In the age of social distancing we are all forced to reorganize our lives, but staying at home doesn’t have to disrupt your workout schedule. In fact, this may be a great time to look into the best stationary bikes that enable you to continue doing cardio exercises without having to leave your home.
- 1 At a Glance: Our Top 3 Picks for Best Stationary Bikes
- 2 How to Choose the Best Stationary Bike in 2021
- 3 Decide Which Type of Stationary Bike You Want to Buy
- 4 Top 10 Stationary Bikes in 2021
- 5 #1 Life Fitness ICG IC7
- 6 #2 Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike – The Most Affordable Stationary Bike
- 7 #3 Schwinn AD6 Airdyne Exercise Bike – The Best Air Bike in 2021
- 8 #4 Horizon IC7.9 Indoor Cycle
- 9 #5 Concept2 BikeErg
- 10 #6 ProForm 235 CSX Recumbent Bike
- 11 #7 Bladez Fitness Echelon GS Indoor Cycle
- 12 #8 Stages SC2 Indoor Bike
- 13 #9 Yosuda Indoor Cycling Bike
- 14 #10 Nautilus U618 Exercise Bike
- 15 FAQs About Stationary Bikes
- 16 Conclusion
At a Glance: Our Top 3 Picks for Best Stationary Bikes
- Life Fitness ICG IC7 – The best stationary bike in 2021
- Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike – The most affordable stationary bike
- Schwinn AD6 Airdyne Exercise Bike – The best air bike in 2021
A number of studies have proven that pedaling can reduce the risks of cancer, cardiovascular diseases by allowing you to burn extra calories.
The fact that there are so many different types and models of stationary bikes on the market complicates the selection process, as it may be difficult to choose one model over the other.
So, in this guide, we will take you through some of the best stationary bikes in 2021, and hopefully help you find the one that fits all your needs.
How to Choose the Best Stationary Bike in 2021
A stationary bike is a valuable addition to your home gym that should extend the scope of cardio workouts you can do from home.
However, getting an exercise bike that exceeds your expectations, isn’t necessarily a good decision, as you may end up spending a lot of money on a stationary bike that offers options you are not going to use. Here are some of the aspects you will need to consider while selecting a new stationary bike.
Decide Which Type of Stationary Bike You Want to Buy
There are several different types of stationary bikes to choose from, and each type has slightly different features. Let’s take a look at the differences between the four types of stationary bikes.
As their name indicates, recumbent stationary bikes have seats that place you in a more comfortable, reclined position. Consequently, the seats on these bikes tend to have larger backs that provide additional support.
Your hips and knees are not going to absorb as much pressure as they would if you were on an upright stationary bike, due to the body’s horizontal position.
Even so, recumbent stationary bikes can provide you with an excellent workout, especially if they have a great resistance capacity. However, you should keep in mind that this type of stationary bike has a larger footprint than any other type.
Riding an upright stationary bike isn’t much different than riding a regular bicycle since your body is going to be in a vertical position. The seats on upright stationary bikes are much smaller than those on recumbent bikes, and there is no back support. Consequently, this type of stationary bike offers less comfort, and it puts more pressure on your arms and legs.
This type of a stationary bike is a great option for anyone who wants to exercise regularly, as it offers great resistance capacities and allows you to choose how much strain you want to put on your muscles.
In case you are looking for a stationary bike that simulates the experience of riding an outdoor bike, you should consider getting a spin bike.
The seats on spin bikes are smaller, the position of handlebars is lower than on upright bikes and some models can even have clipless pedals. The weight of the flywheel helps create a similar experience to riding an outdoor bike uphill.
Spin stationary bikes enable you to increase the intensity of your cardio workouts gradually, which makes them a great option for professional cyclists who want to keep exercising even when they cannot go out.
Air stationary bikes have a small fan attached to the flywheel that generates the resistance you feel when you peddle. Consequently, the harder you paddle the more resistance the bike is going to generate.
The unlimited amount of resistance makes air stationary bikes a popular option for CrossFit enthusiasts and everyone else in need of a stationary bike that allows them to do a full-body workout.
Even though you can use them for casual workouts, these stationary bikes are designed for high-intensity training and they are best utilized in this context.
Check the key features
The maximum level of resistance is the first feature you should check on a stationary bike, as there is no need to get an exercise bike that offers 40 levels of resistance if you are not planning to do high-intensity workouts.
Moreover, features like heart rate monitors, displays, or Bluetooth can also improve the quality of your exercises, but you shouldn’t get a stationary bike model that offers all these features if you don’t plan to keep track of your metrics.
The level of noise a stationary bike generates while you are using it is yet another feature you should check while picking a new exercise bike for your home gym. The bike’s weight limit is also a feature you should look into since some inexpensive models can have relatively low weight limits.
Opt for a stable and easily portable stationary bike
The amount of space a stationary bike occupies varies from model to model. What’s more, recumbent bikes are usually heavier and larger than upright bikes, which makes them more difficult to move or store.
Simply checking the bike’s dimensions is going to give you a pretty good idea of how much space in your home you are going to need for a new stationary bike. Most models have wheels that enable you to move the bike from one spot to another effortlessly.
Don’t exceed your budget without a good reason
A stationary bike can cost anywhere between a few hundred and a few thousand dollars, depending on the type, model, and the features it offers.
Lower priced stationary bikes may lack some advanced features like a self-powered generator or a magnetic resistance system, but you shouldn’t opt for a model that offers advanced features if you are looking for a stationary bike that enables you to do light workouts.
Great stationary bikes are available in all price tiers and it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a model that matches both your expectations and your budget.
Top 10 Stationary Bikes in 2021
Pelton is currently one of the most popular indoor exercise bikes, but there are quite a few options on the market that are as good as Pelton bikes.
Even lower-priced stationary bikes allow you to ramp up your cardio workouts and burn calories effectively. So, here are some of the best stationary bikes you can find on the market in 2021.
#1 Life Fitness ICG IC7
The WattRate® TFT Computer 2.0, two-stage drivetrain, or magnetic resistance are only a few reasons why Life Fitness ICG IC7 stationary bike is unique. This model also has a self-powered generator that utilizes the LIPO battery to capture your energy while you are pedaling and uses it to feed the bike’s electronics.
The flywheel has a sensor that monitors the magnet’s position so that you can see the resistance level on the WattRate® TFT Computer 2.0. The bike also has a user-assist saddle and an adjustable handlebar which enables you to find the optimum exercising position effortlessly.
Life Fitness ICG IC7 has an ergo-formed handlebar that provides additional comfort and stability, while the 4-way horizontal and vertical adjustments allow you to customize the bike in accordance with your needs.
The dual integrated water bottle holder or transportation n wheels are also some of the useful features you can find on ICG IC7 that will make exercising and storing this bike easier.
- The bike’s frame is made of steel
- Ships with a built-in training app
- Equipped with a 300-degree resistance controller
- Poly-V and Tooth Belt 2-stage drivetrain has 1:11 gear ratio
- WattRate® TFT Computer 2.0 displays the resistance level, current training zone, RPM, and the distance you cover within one training session
- Offers a broad range of advanced features
- Equipped with Coach by Color® training system
- More expensive than most stationary bikes
#2 Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike – The Most Affordable Stationary Bike
Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike utilizes the belt drive system that generates a minimum amount of noise during workouts. The bike has a 40lbs flywheel that provides speed and stability throughout each session and eliminates jerky movements at all speeds and resistance levels.
The felt fabric pad system allows you to switch between tension levels quickly and increase the intensity of your workouts gradually. Both the seat and the handlebars are fully adjustable which enables you to find the most comfortable position and they also provide all the comfort you need during a workout.
The Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike has caged foot pedals and heavy-duty steel frame that can support up to 275lbs of weight. This stationary bike doesn’t occupy a lot of space and transportation wheels enable you to move it effortlessly from one room to another. This is a budget-friendly stationary bike that meets the needs of most recreational users.
- Micro-adjustable resistance knob
- The belt drive mechanism ensures quiet operation
- The 40lbs flywheel creates excellent riding momentum
- Stop leveler enables you to cease movement instantly
- 275lbs max weight capacity
- Lightweight and easily portable
- Excellent price-performance ratio
- No monitoring display
#3 Schwinn AD6 Airdyne Exercise Bike – The Best Air Bike in 2021
If you are looking for a bike that can be used for high-intensity interval training, then you should consider getting Schwinn AD6 Airdyne Exercise Bike. This air bike offers infinite resistance and it allows you to do upper and lower body exercises at the same time.
Unlike the Life Fitness ICG IC7 that has the self-powered generator, this air bike needs two AA batteries to power the LCD that shows the pulse, Watts, distance RPM, calories, time, and RevMeter values.
The bike utilizes the noiseless dual-stage torque belt drive system, while the paddles have straps that provide better balance and motion control throughout the workout.
In addition, you can get accessories like a windscreen or a reading rack if you want to make the experience of riding this stationary bike even more enjoyable. The Schwinn AD6 Aidyne Exercise Bike is lightweight and very durable as its max weight limit is set to 250lbs. See how the Airdyne compares to Marcy AIR-1 here.
Check out more comparisons from Schwinn models:
- LCD shows six different metrics
- Utilizes a dual-stage torque belt drive system
- Infinite resistance capabilities
- The bike’s fan doesn’t make noise
- Features a bottle holder
- A great option for full-body cardio workouts
- Moderately priced
- Not aimed at recreational users
#4 Horizon IC7.9 Indoor Cycle
Homeowners who use Studio Sweat, Cardioscast, or Pelton cycling and fitness apps are going to love exercising with Horizon IC7.9 Indoor Cycle stationary bike. To make things even better, the bike features a media holder and allows you to attend classes on a variety of fitness apps during workouts.
Just like the Life Fitness ICG IC7, this indoor bike uses the magnetic resistance system and it has a precision resistance lever that allows you to smoothly switch between repeatable resistance levels. Horizon IC7.9 Indoor Cycle has an aluminum-made 35lbs flywheel, racing-style road saddle, and fully adjustable dual-sided pedals with toe cages.
It also features a water bottle holder and LCD console that displays the most important metrics during a workout. However, you can’t keep track of your heart rate with this stationary bike or connect any devices to it via Bluetooth or a USB port.
- Utilizes a magnetic resistance system
- Equipped with 35lbs flywheel
- The racing-style road saddle can be adjusted both horizontally and vertically
- Accurate cadence feedback makes following online fitness classes easier
- Max user weight is set to 300lbs
- Lifetime warranty for the bike’s frame
- Works with most fitness and cycling apps
- No heart rate tracking option
#5 Concept2 BikeErg
Concept2 BikeErg has a welded aluminum frame that weighs just 68lbs. Even though the sturdy frame can endure the wear and tear of active daily use. Moreover, the BikeErg model is compatible with most outdoor bike parts, which enables you to choose your own pedals, seat, or handlebars.
The bike’s flywheel grants you complete control over resistance levels, while the damper lets you manage how much air you are letting into the flywheel. As you increase the airflow the resistance level also rises, but simply closing the dumper a bit will reduce the resistance level.
The PM5 performance monitor is powered by the energy generated by the flywheel, and it uses two D-cell batteries while the flywheel is inactive. The monitor lets you choose from a variety of workout modes, and it displays Watts, pace as well as other valuable data.
The monitor has Bluetooth and ANT+ wireless connectivity options, and you can connect the Concept2 BikeErg to a heart rate belt or a fitness app.
- Lightweight and easily portable
- Utilizes poly groove belts with self-tensioning system
- Adjustable handlebars and saddle
- The PM5 performance monitor saves all your data automatically
- Great connectivity features
- One of the best stationary bikes in its price range
- Assembling the Concept2 BikeErg can be difficult
#6 ProForm 235 CSX Recumbent Bike
Unlike the Horizon IC7.9 Indoor Cycle or Concept2 BikeErg stationary bikes, ProForm 235 CSX recumbent bike is equipped with back support. This feature makes it an attractive option for all homeowners who are recovering from nagging hip or knee injuries.
The adjustable cushioned seat ensures that your body is in a comfortable position throughout the entire workout. There are two sets of handlebars available, one is attached to the seat and the other to the console mast, however, neither of them can be adjusted.
ProForm 235 CSX utilizes the belt drive system and it has a steel frame construction that can support up to 275lbs of weight. The bike utilizes the eddy current resistance system that includes a servo motor and a magnetic brake.
However, ProForm 235 CSX is either powered by an adapter or 4 D-type batteries that have to be purchased separately. This recumbent bike has 18 resistance levels and its console features 18 workout apps.
- Pedals have adjustable straps
- Uses the belt drive system
- The LCD shows the power output, heart rate, and RPM
- The bike has 18 levels of resistance
- Equipped with a sound system
- Impressive LCD console that offers 18 workout programs
- The pulse sensor is integrated into the handlebars on the console mast
- Bulkier than most stationary bikes
#7 Bladez Fitness Echelon GS Indoor Cycle
Even though it offers fewer features than Horizon IC7.9 Indoor Cycle or Life Fitness ICG IC7, the Bladez Fitness Echelon GS Indoor Cycle is still a reliable option for all homeowners who want to extend the range of their cardio workouts.
This upright stationary bike has a 40lbs flywheel that creates an interrupted momentum which resembles the momentum generated by mountain bikes. The Bladez Fitness Echelon GS Indoor Cycle utilizes a felt pad system that can be controlled through a turn knob.
Both the seat and the handlebar are 4-way adjustable, which enables you to customize their height. The bike’s pedals have toe cages that provide additional stability during strenuous exercises.
Although the Bladez Fitness Echelon GS Indoor Cycle has an LCD monitor, it only displays speed, time, distance, and calorie values. This upright stationary bike doesn’t occupy too much space, and it could be a great option if you don’t have a lot of free room in your home. Check out how Echelon compares to Peleton in our full guide, here.
- The multi-grip handlebar has integrated aero bars
- 40lbs flywheel provides a continuous momentum
- The bike has an emergency brake
- Belt drive system
- The maximum user’s weight is set to 275lbs
- The bike’s frame has a lifetime warranty
- Straightforward assembly process
- Connectivity features could be better
#8 Stages SC2 Indoor Bike
Even though Stages SC2 Indoor Bike was designed for rhythm classes, you can also use this stationary bike for home-based HIIT and interval workouts.
The bike features a novel Stages SprintShift technology that allows you to increase or decrease the resistance significantly with a single touch. Furthermore, the CarbonGlyde drive system contains the Gates Carbon Drive belt that ensures a smooth ride at all resistance levels.
The drive system that has a 5:1 gear ratio and a perimeter-weighted flywheel replicates the experience of riding an outdoor bike. The Stages SC2 Indoor Bike has RythmBar handlebars that allow you to find the most comfortable riding position, while the FitLoc adjustment system makes changing the height of the seat and handlebars a quick and easy task.
The battery-powered ecoScrn console displays metrics such as time, calories, heart rate, distance, or calories and all data is automatically stored. The Stages Power Meter is also an optional accessory you can get for your Stages SC2 Indoor bike if you want to gather accurate power measurements during your workouts.
- Stages RythamBar is designed to make the rider comfortable regardless of the position
- StageShift technology allows for sudden resistance changes
- The Gates Carbon Drive Carbon Fiber Belt requires almost no maintenance
- FitLock height adjustment system keeps the handlebars and the seat firmly in place
- Accurate data collection via ecoScrn console
- Powered by industry-leading technologies
- 10-year warranty
- Designed for high-intensity workouts
#9 Yosuda Indoor Cycling Bike
Yosuda Indoor Cycling Bike is a spin bike that has a steel frame, a 35lbs flywheel, and a continuous infinite resistance adjustment system. The bike utilizes a belt drive system that doesn’t make noise, which enables you to use it without disturbing anyone. The non-slip handlebar can be adjusted in two ways, while the padded seat can be moved in all four directions.
The pure wool felt brake pad allows you to reduce the speed gradually and without making a sound, while the aluminum-made cage pedals prevent your feet from slipping even when you are operating the bike at high speeds. The LCD monitor displays all essential metrics that allow you to keep track of the number of calories you’ve burnt or the distance you covered during each session.
In addition, Yousda Indoor Cycling Bike has an iPad mount that enables you to listen to music or watch videos throughout a workout.
- Durable steel frame
- Transportation wheels make relocation of the bike effortless
- 4-ways adjustable saddle
- Soundless belt drive system
- 270lbs maximum user weight
- Offers excellent features at an affordable price
- A perfect option for small spaces
- No USB or Bluetooth connectivity
#10 Nautilus U618 Exercise Bike
This stationary bike is designed to mimic the experience of riding an outdoor bike, and its 30lbs flywheel reflects that. Nautilus U618 Exercise Bike uses the magnetic resistance system and it lets you choose between 25 resistance levels.
The handlebars can be adjusted freely and they also have integrated incline and resistance controls that provide more enjoyable workouts. Although the seat is fully adjustable, it lacks the comfort provided by the seats on Stages SC2 Indoor Bike or Bladez Fitness Echelon GS Indoor Cycle stationary bikes.
However, the connectivity features are what truly sets Nautilus U618 apart from other stationary bikes in the same price range. The bike features 29 Nautilus training programs optimized for weight loss, interval training, or heart RATE training, and all the data acquired during each training can be easily transferred to a Smartphone via Bluetooth. Moreover, the DualTrack console is equipped with speakers and a USB port.
- 25 magnetic resistance levels
- Flexible seat and handlebars
- Heart rate chest strap
- Tilting DualTrack console
- Weighs just 65lbs
- Suitable for a broad range of cardio exercises
- Straightforward assembly process
- Limited resistance capacity
FAQs About Stationary Bikes
In most cases, it won’t take you more than one hour to assemble a stationary bike, but the exact amount of time may vary from model to model.
Stationary bikes can have flywheels that utilize air, mechanical, or magnetic resistance.
Stationary bikes require little or no maintenance at all. So, you will only have to check your indoor bike if it malfunctions.
Not really, especially if you are using a Smartphone app to keep track of your metrics. However, getting a model that has a computer console is going to make attending online cycling classes much easier.
Adding a stationary gym to your home gym can be a great idea if you want to dedicate more time to cardio exercises. Luckily you will have no trouble finding an exercise bike regardless of your budget.
We recommend getting Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike if you are looking for an affordable indoor bike that has all the features you need for a high-intensity workout.
On the other hand, Life Fitness ICG IC7 exercise bike may be the right choice for you if you want to spend a bit more on a model that offers high-end features. Hopefully, this guide has helped you narrow down your choices. Leave a comment and let us know which stationary bike you are going to choose.