Indoor exercise bikes are a great way to reach and maintain your peak fitness level while watching your TV! You can save money adding one to your home gym because you won’t have to pay for a gym membership. They provide a great low impact workout that is a must for those with bad joints or knees.
There are different types of indoor exercise bikes available today. The stationary or fitness bike, the recumbent bike, the spin bike – what type might suit your individual fitness goal? And after deciding on the right type, how do you find your best match?
Here we thoroughly reviewed the best indoor cycling bikes under $500 for the budget-conscious fitness enthusiasts. If you think you belong to this category of people, you will surely find our review beneficial and make an informed buying decision when done.
How We Made Our Selection
Our team consists of fitness lovers, yoga enthusiasts and gym rats who are so serious about maintaining their optimum fitness level – sometimes to the extreme (we do admit that!). We have been using indoor cycling bikes for years and we already knew which were the finest based on our experience.
Still, to make this review unbiased and reliable for you, we listed down 18 of the most popular bikes on the current market after a 15-hour long research and then tested them one by one with our volunteer group.
It took us around 4 weeks to finish the process. When done, we had a clear idea about which bike was better than others in which criterion based on the essential factors that one has to consider before their purchase (you will know more about this from the “Buying Guide” section below).
We championed the top 5 according to our practical user experience. Hence, you can be sure what we are presenting here is nothing but the best indoor cycling bikes under 500 USD that you can buy today.
Our 5 Best Indoor Cycling Bikes Under $500
1. Sunny Health & Fitness Indoor Cycling Bike with 40 LB Flywheel and Dual Felt Resistance – Pro / Pro II
Sunny Health products are dominating the fitness equipment industry and their indoor cycling bikes give you flexibility to fit them to your exact requirements. We know how important that matter is to have a satisfying workout session, and we believe this is the sole reason Sunny Health SF-B901 is the most-selling cycling bike of this famous brand.
In short, Sunny Health SF-B901 has everything that a fitness enthusiast could ask for. Its 2-way adjustable handlebar, 4-way adjustable seat, heavy-duty crank, smooth chain drive, 40 pound chromed flywheel, and adjustable resistance mechanism are anyone’s delight.
It took us around 20 minutes to assemble the unit – pretty easy even for the beginner user. Priced below the $300 range, this is a nice package that can be afforded by anyone. Its solid build will last longer while requiring minimum maintenance.
This is our recommendation to make the most of this machine – oil the friction parts periodically. With a little care, you will get real value for your money in the long run. Other than that, we noticed the package was terrible that came in a double corrugated box. A few users even complained about broken parts due to the inferior package quality. Sunny Health really needs to work on getting this issue fixed.
- Solid build
- Lots of customizable options
- Great design
- Good pricing
- Easy assembly
- Poor packaging that needs improvements
It is hard to believe that such a great build quality is available in a fitness bike at this price point. Sunny Health SF-B901 can satisfy any at-home fitness enthusiast with its extraordinary performance. All you have to do is take a little care of the machine and it will serve you for the years to come.
2. YOSUDA Indoor Cycling Bike Stationary – Cycle Bike with Ipad Mount &Comfortable Seat Cushion (Gray)
Although Yosuda stepped into the fitness industry only recently, they have already taken the top market share by surprise. You can easily understand this is possible only when a company manufactures nothing but quality products. Yosuda L-001A lives up to that expectation with smooth performance, great durability, and little maintenance.
In terms of features, it is close to the Sunny Health SF-B901; i.e., 2-way adjustable handlebar, 4-way adjustable seat, adjustable resistance, and a 35 lb flywheel. But there are some extras that attract anyone’s attention – an LCD monitor, bottle holder, cage pedals, transportation wheels, phone holder, and brake pad.
This is a gorgeous looking fitness bike that will compliment any modern home décor. Other than being easy to assemble, we found it produce almost no sound. Many indoor cycling bikes have the noisy issue that hampers the sleep of children and the elderly in the home. But Yosuda L-001A passes this test with flying colors – a thumbs up from us.
Unlike the Sunny Health SF-B901, the package quality is superb. The only thing we did not like was the quality of the pedals that looked cheap. But Yosuda’s customer service is top of the line. If you have any issues and get in touch with them, they will immediately solve that for you. We can vouch for that based on our own experience.
- Attractive design
- Sturdy build
- Smooth performance
- Full of extras
- Great customer service
- Cheap pedals
As fitness fanatics, we want the best for our audience. So, when we say Yosuda L-001A is something you can rely on, you can believe us without a second thought. Just like any big investment, if you spend some time taking care of this extraordinary machine periodically, it will also take care of you.
3. JOROTO Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Bike with Magnetic Resistance
Here comes a solid exercise bike from JOROTO built to stand the test of time. The alloy steel AV-type frame, 50 mm thick frame tube, 35-lb chromed flywheel, and four adjustment knobs below the rear and front stabilizer make it a power house.
The belt drive system means quiet performance for an exercise bike, and the magnetic resistance gives this model a bonus touch of discreetness. The result? JOROTO describes that bas “whisper quiet.” No matter what resistance level you use, nobody in your house will even notice that you’re cycling.
JOROTO Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Bike is also so safe and convenient to use with multi-use holder, transportation wheels, digital monitor, emergency handlebar, and stop brake. By now you can understand JOROTO really cares about the quality of their products, don’t they?
When testing this spin bike out, we noticed the digital display was not so high quality. But it did display the distance, speed, time and burned calories as it was supposed do, which means it worked fine. Aside from that, we found no issues but pleasant service from this excellent product.
- Magnetic resistance
- Super quiet
- Smart look
- Fully adjustable
- Comfortable seat
- Low quality digital display
JOROTO Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Bike is one workhorse of an exercise bike that means business. You can use it anyway you want and it will handle that just fine. Considering its so many features and functionalities, you yourself will be thinking how come such a high-end equipment comes with a low price tag! But it does and we believe you should make use of this opportunity.
4. Pooboo Indoor Cycling Bike, Belt Drive Indoor Exercise Bike,Stationary Bike LCD Display for Home Cardio Workout Bike Training
When it is about indoor cycling bikes, we mainly prefer belt driven systems because of their noiseless operation. The pooboo Indoor Cycling Bike is another top contender with gym quality for a rock solid workout.
If you want the look and feel of an expensive trainer without having to break the bank, this is your best companion. Fully customizable handlebars and seat with bottle cage, elbow support, and adjustable pedals, you will have optimum comfort without any unnatural strain on your legs and joints that could lead to an injury.
Its belt drive system is made of heavy-duty steel that’s equipped with a 30-lb bidirectional flywheel and a variable resistance adjuster so you have the real road cycling feel. We really enjoyed this feature and we believe you will feel the same too when you will give it a try.
What’s more, its extras are also something to talk about. Its digital LCD display records your calories burnt, speed, time, distance covered and your heart rate. The transportation wheels make moving the bike easier while the floor levers help give it stability when placed on an uneven surface.
Some of our team members were so obsessed with the pooboo Indoor Cycling Bike that we believe they might have overdone their cycling regimen – it was that good! But nothing comes perfect in life. If there is something to complain about, we will point our fingers to the seat. It was not really comfortable and we ended up a gel cover to make it better.
- Fully adjustable
- Quiet operation
- Good build
- 1-year warranty
- Great customer team support
- Uncomfortable seat
The pooboo Indoor Cycling Bike is your go-to choice to enhance your fitness the safest and most comfortable way. We vouch for this spin bike because we know how amazing its performance is after using it for month and month. With a little maintenance, it will make for an efficient home gym supply ready to serve you for years.
5. Schwinn Indoor Cycling Bike Series
It is literally impossible to review indoor bikes without giving Schwinn bikes a place on the list. Schwinn is a name you trust and so do we. Under the $500 category, we are confident that the Schwinn Indoor Cycling Bike Series is your best bet.
Its heavy 40-pound flywheel, smooth belt drive, and infinite variable resistance ensure you will have an effective spinning session at home. On the other hand, there are dual-SPD pedals with toe clips and cages, urethane dipped handlebars, water bottle holder, and integrated media holder to make your workout session more effective and convenient.
Aside from its overall performance, we particularly liked the fully adjustable race type seat that was ventilated. Some of us are slow spinners who will find the aluminum seat so much comfortable with enough flex for long spinning sessions.
There must be some cons that you are wondering about. Well, the flywheel created some grinding and squealing sound when we opt for higher resistance. So, this is not so quiet like our previous choices.
- Sturdy build
- Excellent performance
- Supports both long and short riders
- Very stable
- Reliable brand
- A bit noisy at higher resistance levels
Just because this Schwinn Indoor Cycling Bike Series takes our 5th place does not mean that it is inferior in any way. As said before, Schwinn has been dominating the fitness industry with high end fitness supplies and that quality reflects on this series as well. With such an impressive indoor bike, your workout sessions will always be fun-filled and you will be asking for more.
Indoor Exercise Bike – Buyer’s Guide
- Types of Indoor Bikes
- Upright bikes: they are the most popular that look like a traditional bicycle where the pedals are positioned under the body. They allow for great cardio exercises aside from strengthening your core and leg muscles. The downsides are the possibility of putting pressure on your wrists and hands due to the upright position and the small seat that is often uncomfortable for long workout sessions.
- Recumbent bikes: they allow for a reclined position that is so comfortable on a large seat positioned back from the bike’s pedals. This does not put much pressure on your lower back, joints, and upper body; allowing for a less intensity workout as a result. You will prefer them if you have joint injuries, back pain or limited mobility.
- Dual action bikes: they are the least popular here with handlebars that can be moved back and forth so you can target your upper body muscle groups. This way you can work your whole body out for more benefits.
- Other types: you will also find indoor cycle bikes with elevated seats and air or fan bikes that do not have preprogrammed options and you have to create resistance through pedaling.
Yes, the right fit does matter even for an indoor cycling bike so you get the desired results. Stationary bike experts suggest that your stationary bike should have the exact fit you would have for your outdoor bike, especially the sitting position and the type of handlebar.
- Types of Resistance
When riding a regular bike, you mostly work against inertia as you keep pedaling. The indoor bikes need to recreate that effort and sensation with the same level of resistance. There are two types of resistance –
a) Flywheel: flywheels are weighted discs that spin and store inertia in the process as you pedal. This helps smoothen out the pedal strokes for eliminating chopping up and the down motion you might experience otherwise. The heavier the flywheel, the smoother the ride.
b) Fan: Fan-operated bikes have a much simpler mechanism. The fan blades push against the air that is around the machine as you pedal. Your cadence is created by the effort you make to push the bike pedals.
- Weight Capacity
Any quality fitness bike can accommodate a minimum of 250 lbs and you have nothing to worry about if your do not exceed that weight limit. If you do, you need to carefully check out the weight limit of your preferred model.
- Bike Computer
The high-end bikes often come with a computer that shows a number of user activities, such as the revolutions per minute or RPM, the power output (usually in watts), the time of pedaling, your resistance level, the odometer or the trip distance covered.
The good news is that many of the best indoor cycling bikes under $500 feature such a computer that will keep you encouraged when you will challenge yourself to break your last record.
What really separates a good stationary bike from a not-so-good-one is the presence of customizable features. More customization equals to better performance, more comfort, and ultimately, better results. We know exercising is not really about feeling comfort, but that is necessary to some extent in order for you to be motivated to come back to your bike and use it without any excuses.
So, what kind of customization can you expect from this type of fitness equipment? Here are the major ones –
- Adjustable seat position: as mentioned before, this is a major factor to consider. The distance between the pedals and the seat should be perfect as per your height. You will also find seats that can adjusted in several directions; i.e., up and down or front to back.
- Adjustable handlebars: usually, indoor exercise bikes come with racing-style handlebars but they still need to be adjustable. But there are also those that replicate city bikes or the traditional bull horn bars.
- Adjustable pedals: these will allow for easy pedaling and keep leg or knee strain away.
- Water bottle holders: they are not usually a must for indoor bikes, but based on our experience we can say that they will come in handy every now and then
How Indoor Cycling Benefits You
- Improves cardio health
Cycling is an excellent aerobic or cardiovascular workout that strengthens your muscles, lungs and heart. You also have improved level of blood flow and oxygen all throughout your body. You get to enjoy several more benefits as a result, including enhanced brain functioning, better sleep, lowered blood pressure and stress levels, better mood, and a stronger immune system.
- Aids in weight loss
With your exercise bike, you could even burn more than 600 calories in just an hour. But your body weight and your workout intensity will also have a role to play here. Your stationary bike is a quick way to burn some serious calories.
- Burns fat
Any high intensity workout – when combined with a low calorie diet – helps burn fat that in turn causes fat and weight loss. Cycling also helps lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
- Facilitates a low impact workout
Your exercise bike is your best companion to have a low impact workout that will allow you to have strengthened joints and bones without having to put much stress on them. This is unlike jogging, running, jumping or other high-impact exercises that put your hips, knees, ankles and other joints under a lot of pressure.
- Assists in Interval Training
Interval training is all about alternating short bursts of intense, vigorous exercise with longer intervals of low intensity exercise. This is effective in burning more calories in a relatively lesser period of time. With various resistance levels, exercise bikes allow you to exercise at high, medium or low intensities to boost your cardio fitness.
- Strengthens your lower body muscle groups
You can strengthen your legs and other lower body muscles e.g. your quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves with a high resistance level on your fitness bike. Your core, glutes and back are also worked out well.
- Safer than cycling on the road
Road cycling is great but there are certain hazards; for instance, poor visibility, uneven or bumpy roads, and inattentive drivers. There is also the weather factor to take into account. But you won’t have to worry about the traffic or weather with your stationary bike.
Indoor exercise bikes are way safer when compared to road cycling. But you still need to be concerned about some safety issues:
- You may fall off your bike and hurt yourself if you fail to correctly balance yourself. If you cannot do that yourself, call in a certain personal fitness trainer to give you a hand
- Muscle fatigue is common due to the repetitive motion of these fitness equipment, especially if you are trying to keep pace with a cycling group.
- Do not strain yourself because there is always the risk of an injury. Take some time off to let your body recover in case you notice muscle pain due to cycling
- For the elderly and those with injuries, consult with your doctor whether you can really use such fitness accessories. They will look into your heart health, balance, blood pressure, and fitness level to decide whether you can use these bikes.
A Word from Us
If you live in a part of the country where biking is not possible year round because of brutal cold or excessive heat, or if your busy schedule does not allow you to hit the gym regularly, an indoor cycling bike is the perfect solution for you. We believe you had a hard time looking for the best indoor cycling bike under $500 and that’s why you visited us here in the first place for some guidance.
We shared our hands-on testing knowledge and reviewed only the best for you. By now, we think you have already make up your mind and ready to hit the road with a top of the line indoor cycling bike! However, if you have any question about our top picks or need any suggestion, feel free to contact us or leave your comment below.