The Best Cheap Exercise Bikes for Your Indoor Workouts

low section of woman training on exercise bike at home
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If you’re a cyclist, there are plenty of factors that can foil your best intentions to get a ride in: rush hour traffic, unpredictable weather, and busy schedules are at the top of the list for many. While it's not quite the same thing, a cheap indoor exercise bike allows you to still sneak a ride in even after the sun has set. Even if you don’t usually ride a bike outside, the convenience of having a stationary exercise bike in your home can definitely elevate your fitness journey.

An exercise bike is different from a bike trainer in that once it’s assembled, you can simply hop on and ride whenever you want—no need to drag your bicycle in from the garage, swap tires around, or mount it to anything. Depending on the model you buy, your exercise bike will most likely come with adjustable resistance that allows you to tailor your ride to the workout you need, as well as potential bonus features like a display screen, data tracking, or Bluetooth connectivity that can enhance your workout quality.

The bikes recommended below range from around $175 to $750, which even at the top end, is no tiny price tag. When we say cheap, we are speaking relatively (a name-brand exercise bike can cost over $1,400). So if you’re looking to boost your mood or supplement your training plan with an at-home workout, consider one of these cheap exercise bikes.

Best Cheap Exercise Bikes

The Expert: As a retired bike racer and spin instructor, I’ve spent many hours sweating over indoor bikes. Besides discovering the qualities I prefer in an exercise bike, I’ve learned a few tricks for getting the most out of the bike in your price range. I’ve worked with riders along the full spectrum of experience and ability as a tour guide and skills instructor, which helped me get familiar with the factors and features of bikes that influence comfort and fun across all levels, and helped me choose the right exercise bikes here.

What to Look for in a Cheap Exercise Bike

Proper Fit Matters, Even on a Stationary Bike

Just like with a regular bicycle, if you want the best experience on your indoor bike, it’s important to get the proper fit. Josh Taylor, a global brand ambassador for the online fitness site Spinning, recommends finding an indoor cycling bike that puts you in the same position as the bike you’re accustomed to riding outside.

For example, if your daily rider is a road bike, look for an indoor cycling bike with a handlebar option that both incorporates a traditional bullhorn bar and mimics the hand-position options of drops and brake hoods. However, if you’re already used to taking studio classes, an indoor cycling bike with just the traditional bullhorn-style bar will work great, says Ben Sharp, power education specialist at Stages Cycling.

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Resistance Types: Fan vs. Flywheel

When you’re riding an outdoor bike, you’re mostly working against inertia as you pedal. In order to recreate that sensation and effort on a stationary bike, manufacturers have to simulate that resistance in some way. Most choose to use a fan or a flywheel (a weighted disc that spins as you pedal).

Flywheels work by storing inertia as they spin, and smoothing out the pedal stroke to eliminate that choppy up and down motion you’d otherwise experience. For most budget spin bikes, a heavier flywheel means a smoother ride, though some bikes opt for a light (8-pound) flywheel that maintains its inertia by spinning four times as fast instead.

Since the pedals on spin bikes are fixed to the flywheel (no coasting), the smooth-moving mechanism helps keep your pedaling consistent. These bikes will usually have a knob or lever that allows you to adjust the resistance, making it harder or easier to pedal, independent of your cadence (how fast you’re spinning the pedals).

Fan-operated resistance bikes are a bit simpler: As you pedal, the fan blades are pushing against the air around the machine. Your cadence is directly related to the amount of effort required to push the pedals, meaning these bikes don’t allow you to spin at a fast cadence with low resistance, which can be nice for warming up or cooling down.

How We Selected Cheap Exercise Bikes

In addition to my experience using these and similar models, I included recommendations from our test team—among which are spin instructors, Olympic-level cyclists, long-distance touring guides, and casual riders and racers—who test and evaluate hundreds of bikes each year—and also relied on the research and testing of writer Cailtin Giddings. The combined selections include cheap exercise bikes under $1,000 with enough resistance to help you get your sweat on and enough adjustability to fit a variety of users tall and small.

If you’re more serious about your indoor workout and want a more lifelike cycling experience, check out our reviews of the Peloton, Wahoo Kickr Bike, and other high-end models.


Cyclace Exercise Bike

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Indoor Exercise Bike </p><p>$299.99</p><p></p>

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Indoor Exercise Bike


The Cyclace is a sturdy, stable indoor bike built with a steel frame on a wide base that the company claims can support riders up to 330 pounds. This model features a longer seatpost than the previous version that adjusts to accommodate riders from 5-feet-1-inch to 6-feet-5-inches (it also adjusts fore and aft to bring you closer to the handlebar).

The 36-pound flywheel and belt-drive system (as opposed to a chain) offer a smooth, quiet ride, and are adjustable via a knob below the handlebar. The handlebar has many hand position options and is height-adjustable, allowing you to find a position that’s comfortable so you can ride longer.

A handlebar-mounted LCD monitor tracks your time, speed, distance, estimated calories burned, and odometer (lifetime miles ridden); a media stand puts your devices front and center for you to watch videos or listen to music as you ride.


Yosuda Indoor Cycling Bike

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Indoor Cycling Bike</p><p>$299.99</p><p></p>

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Indoor Cycling Bike


This budget-priced, belt-driven bike operates a 35-pound flywheel that provides a smooth and quiet ride. The resistance is adjustable via a knob regardless of pedaling speed. It also has an emergency brake that stops the flywheel immediately, if necessary. According to Yosuda, the seat height adjusts to fit riders with inseams from 25- to 35-inches, and allows riders to adjust the handlebar height as well as the fore-aft alignment of the padded saddle.

Using the single-button monitor, you can scroll through your time, speed, distance, and calories burned as you exercise. Just below the monitor is a platform for a phone or tablet. The heavy-duty steel frame is designed to provide stability and durability, but it's easy to move if you tip it up onto the small wheels on the front edge.


Echelon EX-15

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>EX-15</p><p>$399.99</p><p></p>

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If at-home spin class vibes are what you’re after, then Echelon might be the cheap exercise bike for you. The platform is similar to Peloton in that one of the biggest selling points is the proprietary classes you can stream with membership ($399.99 billed annually).

In addition to cycling sessions, an Echelon subscription offers rowing, running, HIIT, kickboxing, strength training, yoga, and pilates. Workouts are to music by familiar artists like Pitbull, Old Dominion, Lady Gaga, and Daddy Yankee. With this purchase from Amazon, you get a free 30-day membership so you can check it out before committing.

The EX-15 bike itself is sized perfectly for smaller spaces, yet doesn't skimp on comforts like an extra-large cushioned seat and padded handlebars, and with its mechanical knob, allows you to vary resistance between 32 different levels.


Yesoul S3 Indoor Exercise Bike

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>S3 Indoor Exercise Bike</p><p></p>

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S3 Indoor Exercise Bike

Besides being designed to look like an entry-level Peloton, the Yesoul S3’s biggest selling point is its Bluetooth connectivity, which pairs with the Yesoul Sports App (on both iOS and Android) and works with Zwift and other interactive training apps. All your workout data, including distance, time, calories burned, speed, heart rate, odometer, and cadence is tracked and easy to access.

The bike has a quiet belt drive and magnetic resistance, with 100 levels that are easy to adjust by knob. With a height- and distance-adjustable seat and handlebar, the S3 is built to fit riders from 4-feet-9-inches to 6-feet-2-inches—though riders at the higher end of that range and those with disproportionately longer legs might find the riding position to feel a bit “off.” The bike is easy to move on two small transport wheels, and it comes in both white and black models for a sleek, Peloton-like aesthetic.


Sunny Health & Fitness Indoor Exercise Bike

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Indoor Bike</p><p>$269.10</p><p></p>

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Indoor Bike


If you find the time passes more slowly with your data displayed right in your face, consider a monitor-less model like this Sunny Health & Fitness Exercise Bike. With a heavy steel frame that supports riders weighing up to 275 pounds, the bike features a belt-driven 49-pound flywheel that has resistance that’s adjustable by a knob mounted on the top tube.

The belt-drive system is quieter than a chain, requires less maintenance, and is more resistant to corrosion from sweat than a traditional chain. The nearly 20-pound difference in flywheel weight between this bike and the Yosuda above creates more inertia and is meant to increase real-world ride feel and a smoother pedal stroke.

An emergency brake allows you to stop the pedals quickly, and pedal cages help keep your sneakers on the platforms for safety and efficient power output. The handlebar and seat adjust up and down, and you can position the seat more forward or back to your liking.


Vigbody Stationary Bike

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Stationary Bike </p><p>$175.92</p><p></p>

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Stationary Bike


The Vigbody is another stable, supportive option. Like many of the bikes recommended, the 24-pound flywheel’s resistance is adjustable via a knob between the rider’s knees. The seat moves up and down, as well as fore and aft, and the feet screw in and out of the base to different levels so you can stabilize the bike on uneven flooring.

It’s relatively easy to move—just tip it up on its front edge and two small wheels allow you to roll and stash it in a closet or spare room. The frame is powder-coated for rust and corrosion resistance. Vigbody claims the bike will support up to 330 pounds.


Schwinn 170 Upright Bike

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>170 Upright Bike</p><p>$725.45</p><p></p>

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170 Upright Bike


With Bluetooth and USB connectivity to the Schwinn ConnectTM, Zwift, and MyFitnessPal apps, this stationary bike is a great option for interactive workouts—particularly if you want to work through pre-programmed sessions and track your progress over time. The bike has the standard DualTrack console shared by similar-level Schwinn and Nautilus products, which has two sharp, backlit LCD screens loaded with 29 workouts.

Unlike many of the bikes we've selected that adjust gradually in difficulty at the turn of a knob, this model has 25 preset levels of magnetic resistance, which provides a nice range in difficulty. The seat and handlebar adjust by height and angle to fit users from 4-feet-6-inches to 6-feet-6-inches; however, as always, those at the far ends of the range might have more difficulty getting a comfortable fit. Ultimately, the bike is a solid package for the price—especially if you can catch one on sale for around $400.


Women’s Health Men’s Health Eclipse Bluetooth Indoor Cycling Bike

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Eclipse Bluetooth Indoor Cycling Bike</p><p>$371.17</p><p></p>

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Eclipse Bluetooth Indoor Cycling Bike


While a lot of bikes offer Bluetooth connectivity, this smart bike transmits a few extra data points to whichever app you’re using: In addition to speed, distance, and elapsed time, it reads your cadence and power output, which is useful for riding along with apps like Zwift or TrainerRoad. It also comes with a free one-year subscription to the My Cloud Fitness app, which I’m not familiar with but sounds like it offers some pretty decent pre-recorded classes and ride tracking options.


Nautilus Upright Bike

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Upright Bike</p><p>$299.98</p><p></p>

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Upright Bike


For new riders, the classic bent-over cycling position can sometimes be painful on the wrists, neck, or low back. The upright position of this bike from Nautilus takes that out of the equation, allowing beginners to ease into the rides comfortably. It also has an LCD display console that features 29 exercise programs, so you don’t have to make up the workout as you go.

If you’d rather follow along with your favorite Peloton instructor on your tablet, this bike also has a device holder and Bluetooth connectivity to communicate your ride data to the app.

Ready to Ride Inside? Riley Missel, Our Expert, Tells You the Top Features and Extras to Shop for When Buying a Cheap Exercise Bike.

BI: What is the most important consideration when buying an exercise bike?

RM: Consider what will motivate you to actually use your exercise bike. I used to work at a bike shop where the manager was always saying, “the best bikes are the ones that get ridden.” There’s no sense in buying a bike you won't ride, no matter how nice it is. If you know that you get bored after 10 non-directed minutes on a treadmill, you should look at a spin bike with built-in workout programs, a workout app, or class subscription.

If the only place in your house that will fit a big fancy exercise bike is in your basement with no windows, consider a model with a smaller footprint that you can keep in a room where you enjoy spending time.

BI: Should I get a bike that recreates the outdoor riding experience?

Nah—because honestly, they just don’t. One of the more valuable things about an exercise bike is that it eliminates a lot of the factors that come with riding outside—like balance, steering, awareness of your surroundings, changes in elevation—and allow you to focus solely on the workout.

If you’re riding inside in order to supplement your fitness for outdoor cycling, think of it more as an isolated workout for your heart, lungs, and muscles rather than a replacement for outdoor rides.

BI: What are some extras I should look for on a cheap exercise bike?

RM: Three features that can upgrade your exercise bike experience are a water bottle holder, a device stand, and a seat that is adjustable forwards and back (not just up and down). It might seem like a no-brainer, but having your water within reach can seriously improve your workout quality by keeping you more hydrated without disrupting your intervals to lean way over to grab a bottle off the floor.

A device stand is also a big perk, especially if your bike is Bluetooth compatible and you can only see your ride data on a phone or tablet. If your bike comes with a built-in monitor and is not Bluetooth compatible, it’s still a handy way to watch videos while you ride.

A fore-aft seat adjustment option, in addition to the ability to raise and lower it, is another handy feature. If you are a short person (like me), scooting the seat forward can go a long way towards protecting your lower back from aching as you ride.

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