How to Buy an Indoor Exercise Bike – Buying Guide

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If you’re looking to get in a great workout at home without taking up much space, then you are kind of limited on options. However, exercise bikes can help you do exactly that.

There are tons of different options on the market today, due to complete oversaturation. We’re here to help you navigate the market and narrow your options down to ensure you find just the right exercise bike for you.

Type of Exercise Bikes

To narrow things down quickly, let’s talk about exercise bike types first. There are a ton of different kinds out there, and each has their own set of benefits.

Upright Exercise Bike

Upright exercise bikes come in many forms but have one thing in common: you ride them sitting as you would on a normal bike. For maximum core engagement, these are your best bet as you most always keep your abs engaged to remain upright and balanced.

They come in an array of different sizes, there are even folding exercise bikes, so no matter what your available space at home looks like, you’re sure to find at least one that works well.

Spin Bikes

Spin bikes could technically fit under the upright exercise bike category, though they do feature some notable differences. The way the seat and handlebars are configured means you either sit straight up with no hands on the handlebars, or you lean over to grasp them. If you have neck problems, this isn’t the best option for you.

However, if your neck is just fine and you want to burn some serious calories and increase your resistance fast, this is the way to do it. Spin bikes don’t take up much room and have a very small footprint, making them great for limited spaces.

Recumbent Bikes

Let’s say that you don’t feel all that confident or comfortable on upright or spin bikes. That doesn’t mean you can’t pedal your way to a healthier body! In fact, recumbent bikes are the perfect choice if your core isn’t strong enough, if you have back pain, etc. These recumbent bikes come with large, comfy seats with a supportive back for you to rest against the entirety of your workout.

Handlebars on each side of the seat allow you to support yourself and make sure you don’t slip off your seat. Recumbent bikes for seniors are booming in popularity, due to how relatively safe they are as the person using them doesn’t need to rely on their balance while pedaling. Not to mention, the seats are well-padded which feels better for long periods of time.

Bike Trainers

Bike trainers are a bit different from all of the other types of products we’ve covered on our guide. This product requires you to already have a bike. If you’re a cyclist who is trying to stay in shape in the offseason or it simply isn’t possible to ride outside, then this is the perfect alternative for you.

You simply place your bike or attach it onto the trainer, and you can pedal as you normally would outside! There’s no risk of them damaging your flooring, and they’re incredibly quiet so you can train at any time of day and night without disturbing anyone else.

You have anything from the most basic models which don’t do much aside from allow you to pedal indoors, while others connect to smart apps and can even allow you to ride in virtual “worlds”, automatically changing the resistance or incline according to what the world displays.

Pedal Exercisers

Last but not least, are the innovative pedal exercisers. These are perfect for full-body workouts in small spaces or at the office. They are lightweight and compact, making them easy to transport from the office to home seamlessly.

These pedal exercisers can be used under your desk if you’d like to get your legs moving, or you can place them on top of a desk or table and use your hands to pedal them. As they come with little screens between the pedals you’ll be able to track your workout progress easily.

Resistance Methods


Fan resistance is not the loudest in the world, but it’s not the quietest either. Fan bikes are generally a cheaper option as the technology is quite basic, though they still offer endless levels of resistance as it comes from your own momentum.


Magnetic resistance is the quietest type out there and are usually much more compact than fan options. You can expect to have around 20 different levels of resistance with these models which is more than enough for the vast majority of riders to continue advancing their physical fitness while still finding the bike challenging enough to continuously see results.


The display screen plays a big role in your user experience and how you track your stats and performance. Pedal exercisers usually have small, basic screens that will display time, distance, and calories burned typically. However, larger recumbent and upright bikes will commonly offer full-color LCD, backlit displays that are easy to read and feature immersive experiences and worlds you can ride in.

Some even have Bluetooth connectivity which allows you to connect your bike to your smartphone or tablet. This makes tracking your stats a breeze, as you can do so with apps that can help you accomplish your goals and keep you motivated.


Whenever we’re dealing with exercise machines, they must be comfortable. If you ever experience pain or discomfort, you should discontinue using it immediately. The type of seats you’ll find on exercise bikes all vary. You’ll find very small seats on spin bikes, and large and cushy ones on recumbent bikes. The one you pick all comes down to your personal preferences and goals.

However, we do recommend looking at a seat that has contours made to work with your body instead of against it. This can make the difference between you getting in a great workout and accomplishing your fitness goals and wasting your money.


Now that you know just about everything you could ever need to about how to buy an exercise bike, do you have an idea in mind of what you need? We hope that your guide has helped you narrow down your options and that you select just the right model for you and your goals. Thanks for tuning in, and we’ll see you again shortly! Remember, the secret to accomplishing your goals is consistency and hard work!


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Shayanne Weeks

Shayanne is a freelance writer and personal trainer based in LA, California. Describing herself as a nomad, she has lived in Boise, Idaho and Seattle, Washington as well as Guadalajara, Mexico. As an extremely active person, she loves to train people, teach yoga, and ski. She enjoys sharing her love for teaching others through her “how to” fitness guides and workout equipment reviews. Shayanne is addicted to surfing and yoga and practices both everyday.
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