Not every road cyclist wants to spend $1,200 or more on a smart trainer, or even more than that on an expensive Peloton or a smart bike like the Stages SB20. And maybe you don’t want a traditional bike trainer either, because you don’t want to constantly take your bicycle on and off it. One simple solution is a dedicated indoor cycling bike that you can use as a standard exercise bike.
Here are our recommended indoor cycling bikes that don’t cost an arm and a leg and allow you to just get on and pedal. Don’t forget that you’re going to need a good fan too, which we cover here in our best cycling fans article.
Do you own one of these or recommend a different one that we didn’t cover? Please let us know in the comments.
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B1002 Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Bike
This bike generally costs less than $400, depending on the retailer, and is very popular in the Facebook group for people who use the Peloton app but don’t own the Peloton bike. It’s quick and easy to adjust the seat height or move it forward or backward, and equally easy to adjust the handlebar height. Lots of positions to grab on the bars too, to keep comfortable. Another nice feature is the wheels in front, that allow you to roll the bike around your house without having to pick it up, because it’s pretty heavy. Just get on and pedal, and adjust the pedaling difficulty with the simple knob.
Schwinn IC2 Indoor Cycling Bike
Here’s a cycling brand that everyone has heard of, so you know they’ll continue to be around. The IC2 is Schwinn’s most affordable indoor cycling bike, and costs around $300 if you buy it directly from Schwinn. It lets you adjust resistance levels in continuous increments to make it harder or easier to pedal. A very basic LCD computer displays speed, RPM, distance, time, and estimated calories that you burned. Easy to adjust the seat and handlebars, and a place to hold your water bottle.
Echelon Connect Sport Indoor Cycling Exercise Bike, Walmart special edition
Echelon is a competitor to Peloton, and most of the bikes from Echelon cost more than $1,000. But this one sold exclusively through Walmart is only around $500, and it also includes six months of membership to their online lessons. Select from over 1,600 cycling classes of all fitness levels and music genres. What makes this bike different from their more expensive other options is that it is lacking a screen, but you just use your iPad or other tablet and run an app instead, and there’s a place on the bike that holds the tablet in front of you so you can see it. You can use this is a standard exercise bike, but you can also use it with the live classes for free for the first six months. It uses magnetic resistance with 32 different levels, has an adjustable seat and handlebars.
Schwinn Airdyne AD6 Indoor Cycling Bike
Most indoor cycling bikes only work out your legs, but the $599 Schwinn Airdyne AD6 lets you also work out your upper body at the same time, or even put your feet on the foot rests and use your arms to exercise instead of your legs. Adjustable seat and sturdy flat pedals with straps. It will show your heart rate on the screen if you buy your own separate heart rate monitor band and wear it. Lots of other good metrics on the screen show you your RPM, how many calories you are burning, how many watts you are generating and more. These are very sturdy machines and tend to last, as Schwinn has been making them for a long time.
NordicTrack Recumbent Commercial VR21 Indoor Cycling Bike
Some people find it uncomfortable to pedal on a standard exercise bike, and this recumbent model from NordicTrack allows you to sit on a bigger seat and pedal with your legs out in front of you instead of below. This one is a little more expensive at around $1,000, but it’s built like a tank (it even has commercial in the name) and has a built in grip based heart rate monitor, 32 pre-programmed workouts and a screen. Water bottle holder, adjustable seat, wheels that allow you to move it around the house, and a weight capacity of 350 pounds.