Last Updated On June 3rd, 2019
Gyms are funny places. Those who are into working out regularly love their gym as much for the camaraderie as for the large selection of training equipment available. Those who aren’t fitness warriors though, often fear going to a gym or even a spin class. Some are self-conscious about their relative training inexperience, while others are frankly intimidated by a large facility filled with those who are in better shape. When you buy an indoor exercise bike, it isn’t quite as intimidating as joining a gym for a newbie but it’s close. Upright, recumbent, spinning, folding – there’s a lot to learn before you can be sure you’re getting the best exercise bike for you.
Never fear – we’re here to help. We’ve conducted 10 indoor exercise bike reviews in reasonable price ranges, which are perfect for your first or second exercise bike – and included a helpful buying guide too! We’ve focused on machines which provide the minimum features necessary, like a decent LCD monitor and adjustable resistance levels. For most people, though, any of these exercise bikes will provide the aerobic exercise they need without breaking the bank. We hope that after reading, you will be able to confidently make the right choice when you buy.
Our Favourite Exercise Bikes Compared
Best Exercise Bike Reviews – Top 10 Picks
The Ultrasport F-Bike is an excellent exercise bike and our editor’s choice. Thanks to its curved design, it takes up a minimum of space when folded, ideal if you don’t have a lot of storage space. It is also height adjustable, so you can adjust it for an individual fit.
It has hand pulse sensors on the handlebars connect to the LCD screen which displays time, heart rate, distance, speed and calorie readings. This makes it a great choice to shed pounds or to simply get in shape, allowing you to track your performance with a choice of eight levels. The backrest is a nice addition if you’re looking for extra support, while the wide seat and stable base add to comfort and stability levels.
Although the F-Bike is our best folding exercise bike, there are a few minor areas that could be improved. Firstly, the backrest is not adjustable, although you could wedge in a cushion if you’re planning to do gentle workouts. For those at the other end of the scale, note that this indoor cycling trainer is not suitable for very high-intensity workouts, you would be better off to buy a dedicated training bike. Finally, the LCD display is not backlit, which can make it a little difficult to see at times. However, on the whole, the F-Bike is a great all-rounder and our best exercise bike recommendation.
This training bike by JLL is our top professional choice exercise bike. Quiet to use and designed to replicate the feel of riding a real bike, its 20kg flywheel offers a smooth ride for beginners or an athletic challenge for serious cyclists.
Its direct belt makes for a quiet ride, while the level of magnetic resistance can be quickly and easily altered even mid-session, allowing you to tailor your training to your performance levels.
Pulse sensor plates send readings to the display monitor which also lets you keep an eye on your distance, calories, RPM, speed and time. The fully adjustable seat and handlebar not only make this training bike suitable for a large variety of heights but also riding styles.
This indoor magnetic exercise bike is suitable for cycling and intense workout enthusiasts alike. While it does have small wheels, it is very heavy and you would struggle to move it to another floor. As it cannot be folded down, it’s not a great choice if you don’t have a dedicated space.
Our main qualm is that the display is not illuminated making it difficult to see at times. However, if you are looking to improve your cycling performance at home then this is the top professional exercise bike to get.
If you’re looking for the best value exercise bike without compromising on quality and performance, then take a look at the 100kg capacity limit F-Bike by Ultrasport. Quiet to use and collapsible, this great value for money exercise bike is a good option if you are short on space as you can fold it away and it won’t bother your neighbours.
The height adjustable seat of this cycling trainer makes it suitable for the vast majority of people. Its hand pulse sensors send your readings to the onboard LCD display monitor which also provides other essential information on your performance, such as time, distance, calories and speed.
This indoor budget exercise bike provides a great way to get in shape from the comfort of your own home. However, for those at an already fairly high level of fitness, we recommend looking at some of our other recommendations as the eight levels are fairly low and designed with beginners in mind.
While this model handily folds away, it is fairly heavy, so you’ll need to be able to store it near the area where you do your workouts. Although this is a good budget exercise bike, you may want to spend a little extra on a gel seat cover as the actual bicycle seat is quite uncomfortable.
The AM-E exercise bike by DKN is a smart exercise bike with a backlit LCD display that is clearly visible, enabling you to keep track of your performance. Its 12 preset programmes, eight-kilogram flywheel and 32 levels of resistance make this the best upright exercise bike in the UK, allowing you to develop truly personalised workouts.
It has pulse sensors that allow you to keep track of your heart rate, while other feedback such as calories burned, distance, time and others are displayed on this exercise bike with a screen. Importantly, the seat is fully adjustable, allowing you to change both the vertical as well as the horizontal distance. Combined with the adjustable angle of the handlebars, this exercise bike provides an excellent, highly personalised fit for improved cycling quality and comfort.
On the downside, the power cord is a little short, so make sure that you have a socket located near to where you’re planning to use it. Also, note that this indoor exercise bike does not fold away, so it’s not the ideal choice for small homes with limited space. As the seat is a little uncomfortable, you may wish to buy a seat cover or to use padded cycling shorts.
The best exercise bike for home use is this York model. It has an easy to read, large LED display and four built-in programmes, making it easy to use and to get started with.
Unlike many other models, this indoor upright exercise bike has a comfortable padded seat, so you’re unlikely to have to spend extra on a cover. The eight levels of magnetic resistance are ideal for beginners and allow you to slowly progress through the various grades of difficulty, improving your cardiovascular performance and muscular strength.
With an adjustable seat and handlebar positions, this cycling trainer is a great choice for almost every body type. However, it is very heavy and does not fold away. This makes it less suitable if you have limited space or are planning on storing it between uses. Also, the display can be a little temperamental, not ideal if you are planning on tracking your progress.
Looking for the best budget exercise bike? Take a look at the Sports Exercise Bike by XS, our top budget choice.
This cheap exercise bike is low in price, but still offers plenty of useful functions including an LCD multifunction display screen for all your workout feedback. It also has a 1.6-kilogram flywheel and adjustable magnetic resistance to challenge and improve your fitness levels. The sturdy pedals and foot straps ensure that your feet stay securely in place even during intense workouts.
Unfortunately, the performance feedback from the monitor is fairly unreliable on this model, so if it’s essential for you to be able to reliably check your progress, you may need to consider another model or using a compatible smartphone app replacement.
If you’re above average height, you may find that this exercise bike does not extend enough to comfortably accommodate your body. Also, like many exercise bikes, the seat can be uncomfortable and you may want to buy an additional cover.
If you’re searching for the best type of exercise bike and having a comfortable workout is your main priority, then you should try a recumbent exercise bike like this model by JLL.
The RE100 has a backrest and features heart rate sensors so you can adapt your workout intensity to your cardiovascular performance. This exercise bike is quiet to use thanks to its direct drive belt and eight levels of magnetic resistance. This means you can do different workouts without worrying about disturbing other family members or your neighbours.
Seven horizontal adjustment levels allow you to find the fit that’s just right for your size while the six function display monitor provides feedback on your performance. Unfortunately, this model is not suitable for users with large feet. The pedals are so low to the floor that your feet may have a tendency to catch.
The seat is not especially comfortable and you may prefer to get extra padding with a seat cover or a cushion. You may find the poorly translated usage instructions more of a hindrance than a help, although trial and error should aid you to resolve any issues.
The XS Sports Aerobic Training Bike is well worth considering if you’re looking for one of the best spin bikes in the UK. It comes complete with a 15-kilogram flywheel and a precise LED display which is ideal for testing your limits, both beginners and athletes alike.
This model has fully adjustable handlebars and seat for a customised fit and a more comfortable workout. You’ll be able to set the resistance to suit your fitness level and follow your heart rate thanks to the inbuilt cardio sensors on the handlebars. This provides you with everything you need for your sessions of high-intensity workouts.
Since it is a spin bike, this model does not fold away, so it may not be suitable for you if your space at home is limited. It is also rather heavy to move which could also be an issue if you want something you can move around often. Furthermore, the display is not backlit and is consequently rather dim which can make checking your performance a little difficult.
The JF100 by JLL is a good choice if you are looking for a budget priced, entry-level exercise bike.
It has a four-kilogram flywheel and 10 levels of magnetic resistance making it suitable for all fitness levels and an ideal bike for improving your physical performance over time. Complete with heart rate sensors and an LCD multifunction display, you can keep an eye on your performance and follow your progression.
While this exercise bike does have an adjustable seat, unfortunately, it does not extend very high. This makes it unsuitable for anyone who is taller than average. Although the assembly is not especially complex, the unclear instructions don’t make it any easier and it can be quite difficult to get the tension wires connected. On the whole, this is a decent exercise bike at a budget cost.
The IC300 by JLL is an indoor exercise bike that has been designed to replicate riding a real road bike.
It has everything you need for thorough workouts including built-in heart rate sensors, an 18-kilogram flywheel and fully adjustable friction resistance which makes it suitable for all fitness levels. The seat can be adjusted to accommodate most heights and the handlebars can be vertically adjusted for an optimal riding position as well as a comfortable workout.
This exercise bike uses chain and friction rather than magnets, so it is a little noisier than direct belt driven magnetic resistance models. It may be something to bear in mind if you need a quiet ride as not to disturb family members.
Thanks to its transportation wheels, you can move this exercise bike around fairly easily. However, you’ll need to take care when handling it as the monitor is very fragile and prone to breaking. As with many other models, you may wish to invest in a seat cover since the seat is very uncomfortable on this particular cycling trainer.
Different Types of Exercise Bikes
Now that we’ve examined our top 10 exercise bikes, let’s take a look at a quick rundown of the differences between each style of exercise bike.
These are the most popular exercise bikes, probably because they give their rider the closest experience to riding a familiar outdoor bicycle. As you would assume, you sit upright on these machines with the pedals right under the seat and the handlebars easy to reach. You can stop pedalling at any time if you need a break, but the exercise is comfortable for long periods of time once you build your stamina a little and become fit. The best upright exercise bikes in the UK can give you an excellent cardio session but it will depend on how strenuous your chosen program is.
On a recumbent exercise bike, you’re actually in a reclining position with your feet placed on pedals located in front of you as you cycle rather than underneath you. Also notable is the fact that there are no handlebars, just grips at your side if you want to brace yourself. Although, many people prefer to read or surf their phone while peddling. Recumbents are the most comfortable bike to ride and are perfect for people with back problems or older riders, but the workouts aren’t as thorough as with upright or spinning bikes.
A spin bike is similar to an upright, with one important difference. Spinners have much heavier flywheels which are the mechanism that drives the chain when you pedal. Also, they have handlebars set further back to allow the rider to bend over while riding which gives the core muscles a good workout. Additionally, they don’t let the rider stop pedalling to rest.
This means that the training requires much more energy and therefore is considerably more intense. The best spin bikes in the UK provide an incredible cardio session and work muscles throughout your entire body but rider “comfort” isn’t a top priority.
Things to Consider When You Buy an Exercise Bike
There are several basic things to consider when you buy fitness equipment like rowing machines, treadmills or cross trainers. Let’s take a look at what those factors are when it comes to indoor exercise bikes.
Each machine will take up a different footprint which is how much space it takes up.
If you’re limited by the amount of space you have for your bike, the area it covers is an important consideration. If it is limited, you may also want to consider folding bikes or ones with wheels which can be put away or moved when not in use.
The sound it produces can also be a factor. The resistance that you are cycling against is created by different mechanisms depending on the model, and some methods are noisier than others.
Fans creating air resistance, or flywheels driven by belts or bands, are most commonly seen on inexpensive bikes. For obvious reasons, the ones with fans tend to create the most noise.
Magnetic resistance bikes are quieter and provide greater control over the variety of fitness programs and courses you can follow, but they’re often a bit more expensive.
It’s important to be able to control the resistance you’re pedalling against. Higher-level bikes will let you adjust it automatically from your monitor and would have a number of preset programs included.
On the other hand, most lower-level ones require manual adjustment like turning knobs to increase or decrease resistance.
Each cycle will have a maximum weight limit it can support. Before you ride, be sure to check this to ensure safety and avoid any accidents.
Display and Console
The final consideration is the complexity of the bike’s display and control console. Most basic options will show you information like speed, time, distance, and calories burned. It will also have at least a few preset programs for your ride.
Higher-priced models will have a plethora of functions including a heart rate monitor that you can attach to your chest rather than one that takes reading from the handlebars. Some even have the ability to download your session information to a phone or tablet which allows you to ensure you are working out at the right intensity.
These top ten exercise bikes offer plenty of choices, whatever style of exercise bike you’re after. But if you’ll still wondering which exercise bike to go for after reading our exercise bike reviews, we think the F-Bike 200B by Ultrasport is the best exercise bike in the UK right now. We like how it’s space-saving, curved collapsible design makes it suitable for all homes, even those with limited storage space.
In addition, its adjustable height, wide backrest and seat make it suitable for everyone. This great all-rounder is ideal for shedding off pounds and improving general fitness – thanks to its eight resistance levels and multifunction LCD display, which allows you to keep track of your performance to achieve your overall fitness goals.