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The Best Exercise Bikes

Where Should You Look for the Best Exercise Bikes?

Exercise bikes, also known as stationary bikes, are a great way to get an excellent cardiovascular workout at home when it best fits into your schedule. Exercise bikes also strengthen and nicely tone your legs, butt, stomach, and other muscles, and do so with less impact on the knees and lower back than other forms of exercise.

There are two general types of exercise bikes for home use: upright bikes and recumbent bikes. The upright exercise bike is similar to your standard road bike, with a saddle seat, and pedals positioned directly underneath the legs. Upright bikes allow for more movement, such as riding while standing on the pedals, or in a racing position, which can give you a more strenuous workout.

Friday, January 22nd

2021 Exercise Bike Reviews

TopConsumerReviews.com Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Diamondback Review 5 Star Rating

Diamondback

5 Star Rating
  • Cost: From $749 to $1,499
TopConsumerReviews.com Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

Diamondback has been a major BMX bicycle retailer since the 1970's, and today they also offer a line of indoor cycles at their Diamondback Fitness website. Diamondback offers several different styles of award winning exercise bikes at various price points and with some unique features we haven't seen in most of the other exercise bikes we've reviewed.

Diamondback has the standard Recumbent and Upright bike categories, and also offers a third category they call "Indoor Cycles". It's difficult to tell the difference between the Upright and Indoor categories, as all bikes in both of these categories have the traditional upright positioning.

On closer review, however, it appears that the Indoor Cycle options have a bit more of a forward lean, along with handlebar extensions to support the rider's forearms. Presumably this gives the rider the feel and positioning of a road bike, moreso than the standard upright positioning would. This is a nice feature for consumers who want the feel of riding on a traditional outdoor bike.

Best Exercise Bikes

There are two Recumbent bikes, three Indoor Cycles, and one Upright bikes. With their focus on quality, Diamondback does not offer any cheap introductory bike models. While this could be a negative for anyone looking for a bargain bike, the fact is that you often get what you pay for. With Diamondback, you get a top quality bike at an affordable price.

Equipment overview:

  • Type of Exercise Bikes: Recumbent, Upright and Indoor Cycle
  • Price Range: $749 - $1,499
  • Different Models: 6
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Return Policy: 30 days
  • Guarantee: Lifetime frame and brakes, 3 years parts and electronics
  • Shipping: Free

We were most impressed with the accolades given to the Diamondback exercise bike line. Their lower priced Indoor cycle was named a #1 best buy five years in a row, and three of their other offerings won recent awards for best bike at a certain price range. The reviews we read were all positive, citing the heavy duty quality of the bikes and the wide range of standard features like onboard speakers, iPod docks, adjustable seats and handlebars, and even personal cooling fans. Together with Free Shipping, Diamondback exercise bikes are well worth the price. Diamondback's line of exercise bikes earn our highest rating.

Bowflex Review 4.5 Star Rating

Bowflex

4.5 Star Rating
  • Cost: From $399 to $599

Since 1986 Bowflex has asserted itself as a titan in the home fitness industry. Offering high quality and innovate equipment that delivers for individuals from all walks of life, and all levels of fitness, Bowflex has clearly distinguished itself from competitors. This commitment and dedication to unique and efficient products for consumers have even earned Bowflex numerous awards, including: the ISPO Award in Health & Fitness (2018), the IDA Award in Outdoor & Exercise Equipment (2017), and several other prestigious awards for specific Bowflex products.

Now, at long last, Bowflex is making its debut into the Exercise Bike market - and what a splash it is making! Although Bowflex only offers one exercise bike model - which certainly narrows their offered supply and limits their ability to meet demand - the Bowflex C6 bike is quickly setting itself a part at the top of the field. Marketed as a more affordable alternative to the much acclaimed Pelaton bike, the C6 Bike offers an attractive, technology-friendly, and high-powered performance that meets every level of expertise without breaking the bank.

One of the most impressive features of the C6 Bike include its ability to connect with any Smart Screen (tablet, phone, Apple TV, Chromecast, I-Pad, etc.). This feature also means that the user can stream any fitness app of their choice - including the Peloton app, Zwift app, and soon the Explore the World app (plus more)! The bike also has a backlit LCD metric console, offers magnetic resistance with 100 micro-adjustable resistance levels, and comes with a Bluetooth enabled heart rate armband monitor. Additionally, there are two water bottle holders, and two 3 pound dumbbells (included with purchase). All of this, which is offered at roughly 40% of the advertised price of similar models from other brands

Best Exercise Bikes

While Bowflex does limit itself by only offering one exercise bike option for consumers, which is still steeply priced; the output of the product offered is simply flat-out superior and at a price that soundly beats that of its leading competitor. And while it could be viewed as a negative that the C6 Bike does not come with its own 22" tablet, we find that most consumers appreciate the freedom of the bike to connect with any device that is most convenient for the individual. Well worth the wait, Bowflex is entering the Exercise Bike race and quickly spinning its wheels far ahead of its competitors.

Equipment overview:

  • Type of Exercise Bike: Indoor Cycle
  • Price Range: $899 (including free mat + 2 free 3lb dumbbells + free shipping)
  • Models: 1
  • Financing: Available, Pay as Little as $50 per Month
  • Weight Capacity: 330 LBS
  • Return Policy: 6 weeks
  • Warranty: Frame and Parts- 2 years, Labor- 90 days
  • Shipping: Free

As the Bowflex C6 Bike just hit the market late October 2019, the product is still gaining usage and reviews. However, while the quantity of reviews is still relatively small, the quality of those reviews are glowing. We continue to be impressed with the near universal satisfaction of consumers, and are certain this product will continue to exponentially rise in esteem. Bowflex could continue to best serve customers by offering a variety of products, honoring the differing needs of unique individuals; and hopefully the success of the C6 Bike will provide the credibility and public interest for them to continue doing just that. The quality of the C6 Bike, combined with the incredible price and multiple included amenities, makes Bowflex a fantastic option for consumers to consider.

Horizon Review 4 Star Rating

Horizon

4 Star Rating
  • Cost: From $699 to $2,699

Horizon Fitness is a modern home exercise equipment company that has a huge selection of exercise bicycles, treadmills, rowing machines and elliptical machines. This review will focus on their line of exercise bikes.

The website at Horizon Fitness is sleek and well organized. At the top of the front page user can easily choose from a list of all the various types of exercise equipment, each pictured and summarized clearly for easy selection. A nice feature on the site is an area describing Horizon's exclusive technologies. Some of the unique features of Horizon's equipment are described here, like the Johnson drive system, the infinity belt and feather-light folding feature. Also outlined here are the Horizon ViaFit and Passport systems, which connect the equipment to a computer and monitor or TV.

ViaFit allows the athlete to record and track workouts online at the ViaFit website, while the Passport system allows the synching of high definition action footage with any workout. This is great for any athlete who wants something a little more modern along with their exercise machine. There are also links to the Horizon page on various social media sites which gives the site a modern feel. Also located clearly on the main page are the toll free numbers for both sales and customer support.

Best Exercise Bikes

Horizon has all three types of exercise bicycles; the recumbent and upright styles as well as the more traditional indoor cycle which they break down into their comfort series and elite series products. The selection is at least as good as other exercise bike companies we have reviewed, and greater than most. There are five different recumbent bikes, five upright style bikes and two Indoor Cycles available. The selection allows for consumers to find a bike in their price range, and with as many or as few advanced features as desired. All bikes come with a standard chest strap to monitor heart rate during work outs, and many of the more advanced bikes come with the ViaFit and Horizon Passport systems as discussed above.

Equipment overview:

  • Type of Exercise Bikes: Recumbent, Upright and Indoor Cycle
  • Price Range: $699 - $2,699
  • Different Models: 12
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Return Policy: 30 days
  • Guarantee: Only for defective parts
  • Shipping: Free

We would have liked to see some reviews or recommendations posted to the Horizon website. There are some testimonials from satisfied clients, but no links to any news articles, product awards or even a Better Business Bureau rating. Also, the warrantee was a little weaker than some others we have seen in this category. Only faulty parts are covered, unlike some other exercise equipment companies that provide a few years of free repair resulting from normal wear and tear on the equipment. However, with a wide selection of products we can recommend Horizon Fitness to anyone in the market for a home exercise bike.

Xterra Review 4 Star Rating

Xterra

4 Star Rating
  • Cost: $799

Xterra is a fitness equipment retailer that focuses on providing sleek, modern exercise equipment that is both attractive and durable. This review will focus on Xterra's line of exercise bikes.

The biggest drawback we could see in the Xterra exercise bike line is that there are only two models to choose from. Fortunately there is a recumbent option as well as a standard upright bike. Unfortunately, both models cost the same at $799.00 giving no pricing options to potential buyers. For consumers who happen to be looking for an exercise bike in this price range, Xterra may very well provide the right equipment option. However the lack of a varied product line may cause consumers who want a more advanced bike, or more cost effective bike, to look elsewhere.

The bikes themselves are well built and have the standard features most exercise bikes in this price rage would have. Fully adjustable seats, heart rate monitor, and an LCD display that records speed, distance, time and calories burned come standard on both the upright and the recumbent model.

Best Exercise Bikes

Equipment overview:

  • Type of Exercise Bikes: Recumbent and Upright
  • Price Range: $799
  • Different Models: 2
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Return Policy: 60 days
  • Guarantee: Lifetime frame and brakes, 3 years parts and electronics for the recumbent bike, Lifetime frame and brakes, 1 year parts and electronics for the upright bike
  • Shipping: Free for orders over $800

The testimonials from consumers who have purchased an exercise bike from Xterra are very positive for the most part. Consumers report a very quiet, smooth ride, and several said they liked the Xterra bike better than the exercise bikes they use in their spinning class at the gym. Others report the ease of assembly and the comfort provided by the fully adjustable seat and handlebar system. Still others noted the heavy-duty, solid construction of the bikes.

Our opinion is split on Xterra. Certainly the lack of options could be an issue for some consumers, but the products that are offered seem to be of high quality and a good value in this price range. We recommend looking at Xterra bikes for any consumers looking for a quality mid-range exercise bike

Life Fitness Review 3.5 Star Rating

Life Fitness

3.5 Star Rating
  • Cost: From $1,399 to $6,999

LifeFitness isn't shy about their place in the exercise bike industry. More than 45 years ago, they created the first electronic stationary bike and have continued to bring new products to the forefront of the exercise world - home and gym - ever since.

Unsurprisingly, LifeFitness has one of the widest ranges of exercise bikes available. With 14 different base models and a total of 19 different configurations to choose from, there's a product for every user. On the lower end of the spectrum are the R1 and C1 models - a basic upright and recumbent model for shoppers with a tighter budget - while on the high end there's the Platinum Club Series recumbent model with a health club-quality console with all the latest technology for Bluetooth connectivity and TV/app compatibility.

Equipment overview:

  • Type of Exercise Bikes: Recumbent and Upright
  • Price Range: $1,399 to $6,999
  • Different Models: 14
  • Financing Available: No
  • Weight Capacity: 300 to 400 lbs.
  • Return Policy: 30-day trial period on all products. A 25% restocking fee (up to a maximum of $500) is also charged on all returned merchandise
  • Guarantee: Most products have coverage of 3 years for consoles, 5 years for parts, lifetime for the frame, and a 1-year labor warranty. You'll see the option to add extended coverage during your checkout process, which we recommend
  • Shipping: Free
Best Exercise Bikes

One of the reasons that LifeFitness exercise bikes tend to be considerably more expensive than other manufacturers' is the technology available even on the lowest-end models. For instance, the entry-level Track+ Console is compatible with both Android and Apple devices, includes 14 pre-programmed and 12 custom workouts, and allows users to establish up to four different user profiles on the machine. LifeFitness' most advanced console, the Discover SE3, has up to 50 different workouts, including 8 custom ones, limitless user profiles, all packaged in a familiar tablet-style screen. Warranty coverage is decent as well, particularly the three-year coverage for the console itself.

But, that high ticket price may be out of reach for some home fitness shoppers, with no model under $1,000 - and most models over $1,500 once sales tax is factored in. Also, it can be expensive if you decide you don't like your LifeFitness exercise bike and want to return it: a 25% restocking fee, up to a total of $500, will be charged if you return your equipment within 30 days of purchase.

Price tag aside, another reason to consider the LifeFitness is that, for users who are on the upper end of the scale (300+ lbs.), there are several models to choose from that can accommodate larger exercisers. Many of LifeFitness' competitors are designed with a weight limit of 300 lbs. or lower.

Overall, the upright and recumbent exercise bikes offered by LifeFitness have a reputation for quality, high-tech features, and a good standard warranty - with the prices to match!

LifeCORE Fitness Review 3.5 Star Rating

LifeCORE Fitness

3.5 Star Rating
  • Cost: From $599 to $1,799

LifeCORE Fitness, Inc. started in the early 90's as an owner/operators of fitness retail stores. LifeCORE Fitness recently started manufacturing their own exercise equipment and has kept the consumer wants in mind in the design. LifeCORE Fitness has a mission to make the highest quality equipment that is easy to use, and is a good value for the consumer. They also pride themselves on excellent customer service.

Each exercise bike comes with preset workout programs, time, speed, calories tracker and heart sensors. Anticipate a multi adjustable seat for comfort and fit as well as a low profile console to allow for easy TV viewing. The bikes offer magnetic resistance and a large LED display.

Best Exercise Bikes

Equipment overview:

  • Type of Exercise Bikes: Recumbent and Upright
  • Price Range: $599 - $1,799
  • Different Models: 5
  • Financing Available: No
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Return Policy: 30 days minus shipping
  • Guarantee: 2-7 Years Parts, 90 days-1 Year Labor
  • Shipping: Free

Priced a little higher than many other exercise bikes in our review, we liked the quality and warranty but would have liked a little more information on the equipment to feel comfortable with this size of a long term investment. We did find customer comments of a smooth and quiet ride without knee and back pain. Many customers thought the programs were simple and easy to use.

We liked the customer service team at LifeCORE Fitness and they answered our questions quickly and effectively. All in all LifeCORE is a good choice for those with deep pockets.

ProForm Review 3 Star Rating

ProForm

3 Star Rating
  • Cost: From $299 to $1,499

Pro-Form is a high selling brand of fitness equipment in world, with more sales of treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes and fitness equipment than any other brand. Pro-Form is made by Icon Health & Fitness, Inc., the world's largest manufacturer of fitness and exercise equipment. Although the company originally sold just to home consumers, it now sells its equipment to commercial users such as health and fitness clubs. Icon is a major player in the world of fitness, a multibillion-dollar industry.

With Pro-Form having sold thousands of exercise bikes it was easy to find customer feedback on their products. Most agreed that Pro-Form was best designed for the beginner to intermediate exerciser. With some lower priced models available you can anticipate a basic exercise bike with some programs, a heart rate sensor, and a pacer to help optimize your workout. We found some reports of durability issues and odd noises, but overall average comments on set up and quality.

Best Exercise Bikes

Equipment overview:

  • Type of Exercise Bikes: Recumbent and Upright
  • Price Range: $299 - $1,499
  • Different Models: 7
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Weight Capacity: 250 - 300 lbs
  • Return Policy: No
  • Guarantee: 5-7 Years Frame, 90 day parts and labor
  • Shipping: Free

We liked that Pro-Form provides some lower price products for those on a budget. The warranty is a little better than average on the frame and the different models have a good array of features. Pro-Form does an admirable job of offering the latest technology in some of their products, including games, iFit, Live and more. If you are on a budget, are a beginner to intermediate rider, a Pro-Form exercise bike is worth consideration.

Precor Review 2.5 Star Rating

Precor

2.5 Star Rating
  • Cost: From $2,345 to $4,299

Precor prides itself on high-quality engineering and constant innovation within the fitness equipment market. For more than 30 years, Precor has provided equipment to gyms, the military, home users, and many other fitness facilities. They currently offer three models of upright bikes and three recumbent models for home purchase.

Equipment overview:

  • Type of Exercise Bikes: Recumbent and Upright
  • Price Range: $2,345 to $4,299
  • Different Models: 6
  • Financing Available: No
  • Weight Capacity: Up to 350 lbs
  • Return Policy: Precor does not accept returns after products have been delivered.
  • Guarantee: All products have a lifetime warranty on the frame, 3 years on the Console, 5-10 years on parts and "wear items" (depending on the model), and 1 year for labor
  • Shipping: $199 for delivery + installation

Using the website to compare options can be challenging. Even when we added all six available models to compare, the resulting page was difficult to understand and the names of the bikes don't give the average user much of a clue, either - for example, what's the difference between a UBK 815 and a UBK 835? After some scrolling around on the page, it was easier to determine that the main differences lie in the number of available workout programs, riding positions (upright, cruising, road), and whether pedals are dual-sided or single-sided.

Best Exercise Bikes

One feature common to all of the upright exercise bike models is the "Knee Over Pedal Spindle". This design keeps the forward motion of the knee right over the ball of the foot when the pedals are horizontal, reducing harmful pressure on the knee joint.

Depending on the model you choose, Precor exercise bikes have either 6 or 12 programmed workouts, such as Cross Country, Weight Loss, and Hill Climb, and all models feature 25 resistance levels.

Compared with their competitors, Precor came up short in several key areas. First, despite a fairly steep price tag, none of the Precor exercise bikes had consoles with technology beyond the bare basics of time, heart rate, and exercise tracking. Most high-end exercise bikes include compatibility with smartphones, even TV screens and other up-to-date technology. Also, Precor does not offer free shipping: all exercise bikes are delivered and installed for a flat rate of $199.

However, the biggest drawback we found was that there is absolutely no possibility for returning your Precor exercise bike after it has been delivered. In other words, if you buy a recumbent bike without ever trying it in person, and something about the fit or feel of the machine doesn't work for you, you're out of luck. The majority of retailers of exercise bikes allow for returns - granted, often with significant restocking fees - specifically because it can be difficult to know how a machine will feel without trying it first.

We appreciate Precor's solid reputation, especially as a supplier of exercise bikes for fitness centers and other commercial environments. But, for the average home user, the steep price tag, lack of high-tech bells and whistles, and lack of a return policy make Precor a less attractive option among manufacturers of exercise bikes.

NordicTrack Review 2.5 Star Rating

NordicTrack

2.5 Star Rating
  • Cost: From $399 to $799

NordicTrack was founded as PSI NordicTrack, Inc. in 1975 by Edward Pauls who had studied mechanical engineering at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and was a designer of ski boots and bindings for the Minnesota based Rosemount, Inc. NordicTrack is best known for its cross-country ski simulator which ruled the home fitness equipment market in the late 80's. Since that time the company has manufactured several different pieces of fitness equipment including treadmills, strength trainers, exercise bikes, elliptical machines, and more.

NordicTrack exercise bikes have their pros and cons. Most customers have reported a smooth ride and a decent yet wobbly display. The workout and games on some of the consoles are a nice to have feature. Most notably, the machines are extremely quiet when working well. That's nice for someone that wants to watch TV or workout without bothering others.

Best Exercise Bikes

Unfortunately we found several accounts of construction issues, a developed vibration, and serious belt issues. Problems often started immediately and were very frustrating to deal with. Many customers also find the seat very uncomfortable.

Equipment overview:

  • Type of Exercise Bikes: Recumbent and Upright
  • Price Range: $399 - $799
  • Different Models: 8
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Weight Capacity: 250 - 350 lbs
  • Return Policy: No
  • Guarantee: 5-7 years on the frame, 90 days-1 year parts and labor
  • Shipping: Free

Some of the bells and whistles of the NordicTrack exercise bikes make them attractive, especially given the cost of the equipment. However, numerous customer complaints regarding manufacturing defects and wear issues brought us concerns. If you have a desire to try a NordicTrack exercise bike, purchasing an extended warranty is a must.

Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

A recumbent exercise bike is more like sitting in a padded chair with back support. The pedals are situated straight ahead like a recliner. Recumbent bikes provide more comfort and ease of use, especially for those with back problems or who feel unstable sitting high off the ground.

Recumbent bikes can also encourage a less intense workout, which is good for those people looking to gently exercise at their own pace. In the end, choosing a recumbent bike or an upright bike is ultimately a matter of preference to the user.

Several different brands of exercise bikes exist today and they range greatly in cost and quality. Before you make the move to purchase an exercise bike, consider the following:

  • Weight Capacity. What is the maximum body weight allowed on the exercise bike
  • Cost. What is the price range for the exercise bikes offered? How do these prices compare with other brands?
  • Return Policy. If you're not satisfied, does the company enable you to return the exercise bike for a full refund?
  • Guarantee. If a piece or part of the exercise bike breaks, does the company offer any guarantee for replacement?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best exercise bikes available today. We hope these reviews help you find a healthier, leaner you!

Shopping the Internet for Exercise Bikes

Finding a quality exercise bike for your home can be a positive, convenient experience without the hassle and stress of traveling from store to store to listen to another sales pitch. Search the widest selection of exercise bikes, easily access product information for a well-informed decision, and shop when it's convenient for you. We're referring to the superstore of exercise bikes - the Internet.

The Internet allows you to quickly compare and contrast several brands and models of exercise bikes at one time. You also have access to product reviews and customer feedback that is not available anywhere else. Also, enjoy the convenience of having your bike shipped directly to your doorstep - no need to squeeze a large box into your car or waste money renting a truck.

When shopping for a quality exercise bike you should consider the following in your search:

  • Type of Bike. There are two general types of exercise bikes for home use. The upright bike is similar to your standard road bike with a saddle seat and pedals positioned directly underneath the legs. These are the most popular treadmills available on the market and allow for more movement, such as riding while standing on the pedals or in a racing position. The upright bike is said to offer the more strenuous workout for those that enjoy testing their endurance. The recumbent bike is another option of exercise bike. Riding a recumbent bike is like in a padded chair with back support. The pedals are situated straight ahead like a recliner. Recumbent bikes provide more comfort and ease of use, especially for those with back problems or who feel unstable sitting high off the ground. Recumbent bikes can also encourage a less intense workout, which is good for those people looking to gently exercise at their own pace. In the end, choosing a recumbent bike or an upright bike is ultimately a matter of preference to the user.
  • Quality. Look for independent reviews and customer feedback on different bike models and brands. Specific brands are going to have a better history of providing quality products over others along with a longer list of satisfied customers. Bikes made with quality parts are also going to last longer and provide a sturdy workout for years to come.
  • Weight Capacity. For those over 200 pounds, it's important to check the maximum body weight allowed on the bike you're considering. A bike designed for lighter individuals is going to potentially feel wobbly and unsteady for those at a greater weight. The bike may even begin to malfunction if not designed for your weight range.
  • Adjustable Components. A comfortable workout is going to be a more successful workout. Feeling comfortable on your exercise bike may require adjustments to the seat and handle height. You'll also want to potentially adjust the pedals for a good fit. Often more than one person is using the bike and it's critical to have a bike that fits everyone. Most importantly, you'll want to be able to adjust the intensity of your workout. Does the bike have several levels and what is the process of changing those levels during the workout? Do you mind climbing off the bike to make an adjustment or are you looking for a quick change while in movement?
  • Cost. Most of us have to keep our budget in mind. With so many brands of exercise bikes out there you'll see a wide range of prices. As long as you have a realistic opinion of what a quality exercise bike will cost, you'll find it's easy to compare and contrast bikes to find what you're looking for. Some companies even offer affordable financing to assist.
  • Return Policy and Warranty. You've done your homework and found the exercise bike that you think will meet your needs, but you realize after stepping foot on it that it's just not right. Choosing a bike that comes with a return policy is a smart decision. Several companies offer a 30-day trial offer to ensure customers are satisfied with the product. It's important to look into this before you purchase, as well as the warranty. Any time you purchase something that costs several hundreds of dollars or more, you're going to want a product guarantee that covers broken parts and repairs for a period of time.

In summary, purchasing an exercise bike from the internet provides several benefits. With the largest selection available, the ability to easily compare and contrast products, competitive pricing, and convenience it's easier than ever to find exactly what you're looking for when it's most convenient for you.

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