Creating an amazing cycling experience within the four walls of your home can open up new horizons for your fitness goals. From strength training to endurance workouts, indoor exercise bikes offer low impact solutions. However, the price of a premium model might hit a thousand dollars, so the search for a cost-effective option shoots up. But it’s natural to get confused amidst so many alternatives with mind-boggling price differences. That’s why we’ve come up with the finest solutions for you today.
We’ve sorted, tested, and reviewed a list of the best exercise bikes under $500, so you can safely pick one of them. Remember, these bikes might be priced below 500 bucks, but when it comes to basic features, they go in parallel with the flagship models.
How to Choose the Best Exercise Bikes Under $500
Buying exercise gear can be difficult. People show up in the store without good understanding or guidance as to what to consider when buying. Before you proceed to pick an affordable exercise bike make sure you do not miss out on any of the following points.
- Weight capacity
Our chosen models are able to withstand users with over 300 lbs. of body weight. If the weight capacity is low, as an adult, you might not get the expected life expectancy of your bike. An extended period of repeated and rough use will have a heavy toll on a bike with a low weight capacity. So, make sure you secure a model that fits your weight.
- Fitness Goal
We ask you to pick a model based on your fitness goal. If you don’t have a fitness goal already, you should fix one before buying an exercise bike. This is because each fitness bike is engineered in a way to serve certain fitness goals. Some are particularly designed for burning calories, some are for muscle tone ups, while others are excellent cardio machines. Make sure you have the right planning before choosing a certain model.
- Resistance level
The fundamental principle that is responsible for an exercise bike to be effective is resistance. The entire mechanism is based upon utilizing the resistance power of the wheel and putting pressure on the muscle groups. It would be difficult for you to reach your fitness goal if your bike doesn’t or fails to create the optimum resistance level. You need to check the resistance level that the bike covers before purchasing it. In our list, we’ve selected models with the ideal resistance levels.
For any workout equipment ergonomic design is vital. A badly shaped exercise can cause unwanted injuries. So is true for exercise bikes. We might not sweat ourselves to feel comfortable, but putting pressure on the right place of the body is important. The comfortable and adjustable design of a bike can ensure you the right posture and sitting position which is essential to obtaining expected results. The seat should be adequately padded and the height should be adjustable too. Check on these points carefully.
- LCD Display
Digital display–be it an LCD or an LED panel– projects the readings of burned calories, speed, time, distance, heart rate and etc. These are common features that are important to have on your bike. Some models may include pre-programmed workout routines and programs along with musical set up. Make sure the display is big enough to show all the readings clearly and smoothly. Some panels are even touch-sensitive and you can control them without pushing on a button.
Flywheel plays an important role as it is responsible for maintaining the smoothness and stability of the bike while cycling. Make sure the bike you intend to buy has a decent quality flywheel in it for a better user experience. You can check out our recommended models because all of them come with effective flywheels.
Quality is a relative term. It depicts a comparison implicitly. However, we want you to count the flagship models as the premium quality with all the cutting edge features, design and build materials. When you opt for a budget model, you should be prepared for compromises. But don’t worry if your bike isn’t made of carbon fiber or titanium when stainless steel does the work flawlessly. If you have a look at our list, you’ll find that they are built from standard materials that should last for a long time if maintained properly.
The high-end models always come with decent warranty coverage. But it might be a different story for the exercise bikes under $500. Their manufacturers may or may not offer warranty coverage. If they do, you can not expect anything from 90 days to 1-year limited warranty. It is safe to go through the warranty policy carefully before finalizing a model.
Our 7 Best Exercise Bikes Under $500
So, what are the best budget exercise bikes that you can safely buy? We’ve done our homework testing a range of models and finally found the ultimate ones. Here are the top models that offer the best value for money.
Are you a cyclist, looking for performance gaining or a newbie who wants to drop a few pounds? Then Sunny Fitness SF-B1423 could be your ideal choice for achieving your fitness goals. This particular model has two drive options– chain drive and belt drive. You can choose one according to your preference. We’ve put Sunny’s Indoor SF-B1423 on top of our list for a good number of reasons. Let’s find out why.
The bike feels smooth and quiet when running because of its solid chromed flywheel (40 lbs.) driven by a belt drive mechanism.
Long sessions of workout can be exhausting. For that matter, Sunny has added adjustable handlebars to this model. The seat is also fully adjustable with adequate padding. You can’t feel a thing because of its high-density padding. Seat Dimensions stand at 11” L x 9.5” W x 2.5” H.
We found the LCD monitor to be of decent quality. It displays all the essential reading including distance, speed, time, and burnt calories. The braking system is unique. You can literally press it down to control the speed. They have added an adjustable resistance mechanism allowing you to set your own level of resistance in an instance.
The bike is robustly built. With a heavy-duty stainless steel frame, it feels like a tank and can support up to 265 lbs. maximum. You will find a bottle holder in place for keeping you dehydrated.
The inseam height can also be adjustable (Max 36” and Min 27”). For learning more about fitness programs you can visit Sunny’s Health & Fitness online store.
- Durable Stainless steel construction
- Ergonomically designed
- Excellent flywheel, quiet operation
- High weight capacity
- Adequate LDC display output
- Package contains hardware tools and AA Batteries
- Not built for heavy-duty commercial use
- Requires lubing after a certain period of usage
Our take on the bike
For the money, Sunny SF-B1423 offers great value and we found it ticking all the right boxes as a fitness bike. The LCD display shows useful reading using built-in sensors. From the overall build quality to its after sales service, it’s a great buy. We highly recommend it.
2. Schwinn Indoor Cycling Bike
Schwinn is a reputable brand and it’s almost a household name all over the US. They rose as a giant fitness gear producer for their undisputed quality production lineups. Schwinn IC3 indoor cycling bike is one of the finest examples. Let’s find out why.
IC3 sports a premium 40 lbs. flywheel driven by a belt drive mechanism, meaning you can enjoy a smooth and quiet riding experience. The added infinitely variable resistance mechanism allows you to customize the resistance level. You can raise and drop resistance matching your fitness requirement with ease.
They’ve added dual SPD pedals to give a mountain bike feel. Thes pedals also have clips and toe cages to protect your feet from accidental slips.
The adequately padded race-style saddle is fully adjustable and ventilated for ultimate comfort. You can set the seat height according to your height. This is an important feature because the wrong seat height can result in injuries. They have also added adjustability to the handlebars that are urethane-dipped.
You must keep yourself hydrated during the workout and for that reason, Sunny has given a big water bottle holder attached to the bike. You can also put your cell phone or iPod in the media holder integrated into the frame.
- Attractive minimalist design
- Smooth and noiseless operation
- Effective resistance control
- Good build quality
- Large water holder and media holder
- Seat is not that comfy
- The digital monitor could be better
Our take on the bike
Schwinn IC3 is ideal for small space set up. It offers multiple adjustment settings for the seat and handlebars. You can customize it to fit your body type. We don’t have any major complaints about the bike except for its seat and digital monitor. They can improve on these sections. Apart from that, it’s a decent catch.
3. Schwinn 130 Upright Bike
This one is for those fitness lovers who’ve been looking for an upright indoor fitness bike. Schwinn 130 is a top-of-the-line upright bike with all the great features. Let’s discuss why you should or should not get it.
Out of the box you’ll get the 130 model, minimal assembly required. The bike’s dimensions would be 41.3 inches in length, 21.4 inches in width and 55.6 inches in height.
The weight of the total bike stands at 58.4 lbs. The build quality is impressive. It is strong enough to support users up to 300 lbs. Which is a great feature at this price range. The manufacturers recommend that the ideal height of the user should be in between 4 feet 6 inches to 6 feet 6 inches.
The 10 lbs. flywheel is carefully designed so that the operation is quiet and balanced. You’ll require a 110V-120V electrical circuit with an standard outlet to run the digital parts of the bike.
One of the major attractions of the bike is its hi-res DualTrack LCD backlit monitor. The digital panel is equipped with 29 pre-installed exercise programs. These programs would help you reach your fitness goals in no time. You can track the distance, time, and calorie burns from the monitor.
They’ve also included features called MyFitnessPal or SchwinnConnect that offer USB input facility. Using the USB, you can charge your cellphone or listen to music through the speaker system that is built into the machine. They’ve also added an adjustable fan (3-speed) to keep your body temperature in control.
In terms of ergonomics, we have to give it A+. You get an adjustable seat and forearms rests along with adjustable handlebars. What’s more, there’s a heart rate sensor built inside the grip, how cool is that! The water bottle holder is oversized for storing more water so that you can remain hydrated during long sessions. You also get transport wheels to easily move the machine wherever you want.
- Elaborate digital panel
- Built-in exercise programs
- Quiet operation
- USB charging facility
- Built-in speaker system
- Ergonomic design
- Large water bottle holder
- Setting up might be a bit difficult for a new user
- Seat post feels flimsy
Our take on the bike
Schwinn 130 is a feature-packed model and most of them are useful. That makes a good point why you should get it. You get the USB input, built-in exercise programs, decent performance and all the digital advantages. We think it’s a great value product and you can’t go wrong buying this.
4. Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Desk Exercise Bike
If you are a fan of multitasking, you’ve got to check this one out. Sunny’s Magnetic Recumbent model is known as Desk Exercise bike for that reason. Let’s find out more.
The desk bike comes with a large non-slip platform (22”-15”) for giving you enough space to use that as your work station. The desk tray is height-adjustable (37.5”-40.25”), meaning you can customize its height if you want. The interchangeable cupholder can be placed according to your convenience around the desk.
The design is efficient and it can be used anywhere you want–from bedroom to office room, this model fits in like a pro. If you want, you can remove the desk tray to use it as a traditional recumbent bike.
You can challenge yourself using the adjustable resistance or tension of the flywheel. The digital monitor has a modern look. It shows useful readings and can hold your mobile device.
Sunny’s sturdy frame design has a max capacity for up to 350lbs. The pedals are of step-through design, like the ones in an MTB. These are self-leveling too. They’ve added adjustability to the oversized seat as well. Combined with the backrest, the seat allows you to do long exercise sessions without any problem.
The foot levelers are versatile and they make it easy for you to move the machine around without much effort. For that reason, Sunny has added high-quality wheels in the feet.
- Modern ergonomic design
- Unique desk for multitasking
- High adjustability
- Good pedal design
- Resistance control
- High-quality digital monitor
- Smooth operation
- Durable build
- The gap between seat and backrest might cause discomfort for some users
Our take on the bike
Like our previous model, Sunny’s Desk Exercise bike is full of features that you’ll find absolutely fantastic. It’s designed for busy multitaskers who need to keep in touch with their network all the time. The built-in desk offers the space for using your laptop and mobile device to carry on with your business while doing your workout simultaneously. It’s a great bike with all the right features and we highly recommend it for those who can afford it.
5. Marcy Exercise Upright Fan Bike
If you want a robust upright exercise fan bike, then Marcy AIR-1 is your model. Let’s find out why.
This is a multifunctional cardio bike featuring a premium stainless steel frame for the ultimate performance. Built from strong 14-gauge stainless steel tubing, the surface is highly scratch-resistant, thanks to the powder coated finishing.
The exercise arms are called ‘dual-action’ by the manufacturer. It is mainly designed to target the right muscle groups of the upper and lower parts of your body in a balanced way, so you can reach your fitness goals fast and efficiently.
Marcy has introduced an unique resistance mechanism in this bike which uses a fan instead of a traditional flywheel in order to raise resistance. The quicker you pedal, the faster the fan moves and creates cool air that is directed towards you to feel ventilated. This is one unique concept in this category of machine and we found it highly effective.
The LCD monitor of the bike shows useful readings as the exercise progresses. It has a built-in odometer and other sensors to read the speed, calorie burns and distance in real time. It’s a large LCD panel with excellent visibility.
The seat of this stationary machine is adjustable for allowing users with different heights and weights to set the right height level. It is important if you want to achieve the best result out of your workout. It also removes the possibility of avoidable injuries.
- Unique and effective resistance mechanism
- Full fledged LCD display
- Adjustable seat
- Durable build quality
- Attractive design
- Might give off clicking noise
Our take on the bike
For those who like to use unique technologies, this one is for them. It’s a superbly designed and cleverly engineered indoor exercise bike that has replaced flywheel with fan. You’ll get an additional cool bridge out of it as you start rolling. We don’t have any complaints about this except for the clicking sound that our testing unit made. Hopefully, it will work for you fine.
6. PYHIGH Indoor Cycling Bike
This bike on our list is for the hard-core trainers who want an indoor solution during this pandemic situation. PYHIGH’s indoor Stationary Bike has been designed for high performance workout and the design and build quality of the bike ensures that brilliantly. Let’s find out.
It is fortified with a bidirectional flywheel that weighs 48 lbs. offering a higher momentum for the pro athletes to challenge themselves.
The LCD monitor reads time, calories, RPM, pulse and distance in real time. The iPhone holder offers convenience for users to place their iPad, book or cellphone in an accessible holder during workout.
This model features both heat dissipation and air permeabilities to offer a comfortable and heightened cycling experience. It also has a customizable resistance design that allows you to set the right level of resistance according to your fitness training. They have added an emergency knob for immediate stopping of the flywheel.
PYHIGH’s stationary bike also sports Non-Slip pedals with straps and adjustable toe cages making your riding safer. It also has an easy portability option. They’ve added wheels to the front foot so that you can move it anywhere easily. The manufacturer offers a 12-month warranty coverage for the bike.
- Stylish design
- Effective resistant system
- Advanced bidirectional flywheel
- Durable build
- Silent operation
- Absence of water bottle holder
- No battery came with the package for display
Our take on the bike
This one is for those who like aggressive design and high performance. Pro athletes and serious fitness trainers would be benefited mostly from this model. We like the overall package and highly recommend it.
7. CIRCUIT FITNESS Magnetic AMZ-587R Exercise Bike
If you want a strong stationary bike that is built to combine performance and ergonomics, Circuit Magnetic Fitness Bike should be your first choice. It has a powerful stainless steel frame. Users can enjoy fast entry and retreat facility for its step-through style design.The robust construction of the bike allows it to support users below 300 pounds without any problem.
What we liked most about the AMZ-587R is that it comes with 15 pre-installed exercise programs that adds to its versatility. All sorts of fitness enthusiasts with diverse skill levels can benefit from the model as it simulates brilliantly the effects and experience of biking in various terrains and road conditions.
We found the gripping of the handles comfortable even when the user sat further back. Also, the pedals of the bike are textured with straps to protect your feet during riding.
The resistance system of the flywheel is magnetic. That means, it’s super quiet when in operation. Also, the magnetic mechanism makes it smoother to work with.
The LCD monitor displays all the essential readings including distance, speed, burnt calories etc. This bike has built-in pulse sensors for monitoring the heart rate. These important features that are rare in competitive models at this price range. It has a USB charging port for your device.
The saddle of the bike is adjustable meaning you can move your seat backward and forward effortlessly. You can also make height-adjustments according to your convenience. There’s a bottle holder attached to the frame.
- Ergonomic design
- Dark color (black lovers would be happy)
- Heavy-duty construction
- Magnetic resistance offers smooth operation
- Easy portability
- Seat adjustment can be difficult for weak users
Our take on the bike
Circuit AMZ-587R is a great basic machine. It does what it is supposed to do, and does it flawlessly. You can follow the pre-installed programs if they suit your fitness goals. If you think about longevity, this one can be a good choice too. We are impressed by the overall package and hopefully you’ll be too.
Shopping for an Exercise Bike Under $500
There are plenty of categories of exercise bikes out there and it is difficult to get your head around when faced with that many options. So, it would be ideal for you to get to know your personal requirements and fitness goals to choose the right bike.
The primary task for you is to select a particular design, but that’s not enough. You also need to think about their resistance levels, features and how much space you have to set them.
Still scratching the head? Fret not– we’ll be giving you a comprehensive buying guide in the next part so that you can successfully zero in on the best exercise bike under 500.
Design can change your mind about a model. We request you not to get overwhelmed by the look of a stationary bike, instead focus on the operations, durability, build quality and other features. However, reputable brands tend to come up with brilliant designs and ergonomics. That elevates the look of your room.
Frame ensures the stability and longevity of a bike. Everything holds on to it. Make sure you get one that is built from high-quality stainless-steel or stronger materials. Anything lesser than that will not last long enough.
If you have a close look at our list, you’ll find the majority have flywheel mechanisms. Apart from that, you’ll find a fan resistance mechanism where the friction of air is used as the resistance. So, it’s up to you to pick which one would suit your style.
Almost all exercise bikes under $500 come with height adjustable seats. It’s a great feature in the sense that you can tune the right seat height for yourself. If your posture isn’t correct, your exercise wouldn’t be fruitful.
Bikes in this price range vary greatly in terms of control modules. There are mainly two types of modules, one being digital and the other one is analogue. It’s easier to control the motion and resistance of the flywheel digitally. Certain workout programs would ensure such auto-controlling. However, if you pick one with analogue modules only, you might miss out on the digital features. On the other hand, bikes that have digital controlling systems do come with analogue modules too.
Yes, it is true that secondary or extra features can sometimes be the deciding factors when it comes to buying an exercise bike under 500 bucks. Apart from the regular features, some models offer extra sensors like handlebar pulse sensor, heart rate monitors or fan-resistance mechanism. Some of them can change the overall riding experience for you while others might not be that much of a deal. It’s up to you now to select which one you’d go for.
Is it Worth Getting an Exercise Bike?
Of course it’s worth getting one for so many reasons. First of all, in a global pandemic situation like this, going to regular gyms can be risky. An indoor exercise bike gives you the convenience of undergoing heavy workout sessions within the safe four walls of your home. Besides, if you can multitask using the bike, it would help you reduce the sitting-related health damages that we gain from long hours of desk-based jobs. If any time an exercise bike has been worth the most, it is today!
Is an Exercise Bike Better Than Walking?
When it comes to ripping benefits from a particular exercise, your health condition should be taken into consideration first. Both of these exercises offer benefits to certain areas and joints of the body. Cycling could be highly beneficial as a cardio exercise and for thigh muscles, whereas walking can benefit the hip and leg joints. Both have shared health benefits as well. So, it depends on your fitness goals and health condition whether exercise bikes can be better or lesser.
Which Muscles Does an Exercise Bike Target?
Exercise bikes target the major muscles of the lower part of the body including Quadriceps, the large muscles above knee responsible for pushing the pedals, Hamstrings, smaller than quads and located in the back of the legs, Gastrocnemius and Soleus, muscle groups responsible for protecting ankles and knees, Glutes, muscle groups located in the buttocks, and Core Muscles, these control the balance.
Wrapping It Up
There you have it, we’ve sorted, tested and fully reviewed 7 best exercise bikes under $500. As you’ve seen, it’s not an easy job to select one from so many options. But if you have the right knowledge about the bike and your fitness goals, it gets easier to zero in on a choice. However, we highly recommend our reviewed models and you can safely invest your money in any of them.
What is a good inexpensive exercise bike?
Check out our first choice Sunny Fitness SF-B1423 model. This is the best inexpensive exercise bike that you can get today.
Is 30 minutes a day on an exercise bike enough?
Yes, if you have a busy schedule throughout the week, a 30 minutes workout on your exercise bike on a daily basis will be more than enough for you.
Can I turn my bike into an exercise bike?
Yes, you can do that for sure. You’d need a good quality double stand for that. If you can’t find that stand, use DIY technique to make yourself one.
Can you lose belly fat by riding a stationary bike?
It definitely helps reduce your belly fat. Stationary bikes are highly effective cardio exercise machines. They put your major lower body muscles to work very hard, that helps reduce your belly fat effectively.
Is it OK to ride a stationary bike everyday?
It’s even better to ride an indoor bike on a regular basis. Continuity and consistency helps you gain your fitness goals faster.
Is biking good for your butt?
Biking does give you a nicely shaped butt, but it won’t grow it bigger.
Does cycling give you a flat stomach?
Affirmative! Biking will help you shed fats from all over your body. If you do it regularly, you should expect a flat stomach. For that to achieve, you’d need to maintain consistency.