If you’re in the market for Spin® Bikes, you’ll LOVE this buying guide.
We have done the legwork for you and handpicked the best Spin Bikes by several features, prices, and costomer reviews.
For cyclists considering a indoor cycling bike, Exercise Bikes or Spin bike, attempting to decide on the best bike can be a challenge. These bikes vary widely in price and characteristics that might make different bikes appropriate for different cyclists. Depending on how the bike will be used, it is important that the correct type of bike is selected for the intended application. For example, a professional athlete might prefer bikes that offers greater resistance while a casual home cyclist would find this bike too difficult. As a result, cyclists should research carefully before purchasing an indoor cycle to prevent making a mistake that they will regret later down the road.
This guide will provide advice for cyclists looking to improve their workout by adding the best spin bikes to their workout equipment collection.
Our Picks: Top 10 Best Indoor Cycles of 2017
|Indoor Cycle||Full Review||Rating||Price||Warranty||Size L x W x H (Inches)||Weight||Flywheel Weight||Capacity|
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|4.9 / 5||$$$$$||3 Years Parts 3 Years Electronics||51 x 26 x 57||125 lbs.||N/A (Eddy Current)||300 lbs.|
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|3.9 / 5||$||1 Year Limited||47 x 20 x 49||90 lbs.||40 lbs.||300 lbs.|
|Horizon Fitness M4|
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|4.1/ 5||$$||1 Year Parts||43 x 19 x 35||88 lbs.||42 lbs.||285 lbs.|
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|4.5 / 5||$$$||3 Years Parts 3 Years Electronics||42 x 23 x 46||126 lbs.||32 lbs.||300 lbs.|
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|4.6/ 5||$$||1 Year Limited||43 x 24 x 42||113 lbs.||39.6 lbs.||250 lbs.|
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|4.0/ 5||$$||1 Year Parts 1 Year Electronics||45 x 23 x 49||83 lbs.||31 lbs.||250 lbs.|
|Spinner® NXT|| |
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|4.7/ 5||$$$$||2 Years Parts||54 x 21 x 40||133 lbs.||41 lbs.||350 lbs.|
|Sunny SF-B901|| |
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|4.4 / 5||$||90 Days Parts||48 x 20 x 46||108 lbs.||40 lbs.||275 lbs.|
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|4.3 / 5||$||90 Days Parts||46 x 20 x 43||85 lbs.||30 lbs.||220 lbs.|
|Bladez PTS68|| |
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|4.2 / 5||$$||1 Year Parts||46 x 10 x 43||105 lbs.||40 lbs.||300 lbs.|
Scroll down to see our top picks
What is an Indoor Cycle (And why are Spin Bikes different?)
An IC is an indoor bicycle that allows individuals to exercise from a stationary position without needing to go outside. Indoor cycles use a weighted flywheel that continues to spin even after riders have stopped pedaling. This encourages riders to improve their cadence and build muscle correctly to prepare for riding in real road conditions. Most indoor cycles have specialized handlebars and seats that can be positioned to improve posture. Since indoor bikes are stationary, users are able to supplement their workout with entertainment and productive activities. Many indoor cycle users keep a television or phone nearby so that they can multi-task while working out.
On some bikes, the internal software system allow cyclists to keep track of their performance over time to stay on-track for a workout routine. Cyclists can even compare their performance with previous statistics for an extra challenge and motivation. Some even have monitoring devices capable of reading a cyclist’s heartbeat through an internal computer system. These monitors can also provide output to keep cyclists informed about prevailing workout statistics like speed, mileage, and wattage.
Spin® bikes which are different than generic indoor cycles, are a trademark of Mad Dogg Athletics, and may have gotten their name because they continuously spin due to the inertia generated by pedaling. Spin bikes are often referred to as Spinners® or Spinner® bikes. Additionally, the act of riding a spin bike is often referred to as “Spinning®”.
What are the Benefits of Indoor Cycling?
As opposed to a regular bicycle, indoor cycles (or their counterpart from Mad Dogg Athletics, the Spin® Bike) have the advantage of being safer, allowing users to multitask, and getting a better-regulated workout. Instead of taking a risk each day riding a bike on busy streets, cyclists can spend their workout time indoors watching TV or even getting work done. This can be especially helpful on a rainy days, where severe weather or cold winters might disrupt a regimented workout schedule. On many bikes, riders can adjust the resistance levels to ensure that they are getting an optimal workout for their abilities and goals.
While working out, these bikes also provide feedback on a digital display so cyclists can monitor their mileage, speed, heartbeat, and more. As a rider starts to build muscle, this difficulty level can be progressively increased to ensure that workouts continue to be a challenge. With these advantages, cyclists can expect to get more out of their workout sessions to build stamina and stay in shape. Of course, cyclists are also free to use these bikes as a supplement to their regular workout routines. On rainy days or when the winter months arrive, bikers can stay indoors and look forward to sunny days where they can exercise outside. While doing this, cyclists can enjoy a movie, watch the news, or even make phone calls during the workout.
What Should I Look for in a Indoor Cycle or Spin bike for Home Use?
When trying to decide on the right indoor cycle or Spin bike for your home, it is important to first understand which characteristics are most important for individual needs. Since the characteristics of these bikes vary widely, certain bikes often provide advantages that are targeted at specific users. For cyclists who plan to do long workout, it is especially important that a prospective Spin bike is comfortable during long exercises. Casual riders might prefer a bike that has lower resistance to ensure that the difficulty is not too high. In contrast, high-performance athletes should make sure that a bike they are considering will have enough resistance to give them a good workout. Here are some important factors to look for when comparing Spin bikes:
Flywheel Weight: These provide the inertia that keeps the pedals spinning even if a rider stops pedaling. Additionally, heavier individuals will need flywheels with a greater mass to accommodate extra strength and gravitational force. Smaller riders should be especially careful to find a flywheel for their weight class, since they might not be able to get a heavier wheel up to speed at all. Ideally, cyclists should look for a flywheel that provides enough resistance to make getting up to speed a challenge without being excessively straining. For heavier individuals, heavier weights are needed to provide more resistance during acceleration. Those who plan to increase their athletic abilities in the long-run should look for Spin bikes that offer extra weights to increase the difficulty as endurance improves. However, individuals taking up biking to lose weight might want to consider their needs at their target weight level.
Handlebars: When riding any bike, it is critical that riders are balanced correctly to maximize output power. Especially when working out, it is important that this adjustment is made correctly to ensure that the right muscles are being used to maximize performance. Cyclists should keep in mind what is called the fore-aft position. In layman’s terms, this is the correct positioning of the seat relative to the pedals and handlebars. If this placement is off by just a single inch, rides can become very uncomfortable and muscles can be stressed disproportionately. To prevent these problems, it is important that riders find indoor cycles or Spin bikes with adjustable handlebars to make sure that the bike fits them perfectly.
Adjustable Seat: In addition to adjustable handlebars, your bike should have an adjustable seat so that the fore-aft positioning can be optimized. If possible, shoppers should ensure that both the angle and height of a seat on a prospective bike can be adjusted. Many indoor cycles and Spin bikes only allow users to change the seat height, which might need to be varied based on the size of the rider. This can be compared to a regular bike frame, where cyclists might use either a 13″, 15″ or 17″ frame depending on their physical size. To compensate for this, buyers should always make sure that a bike they are considering has a seat that can be thoroughly adjusted.
Extras: In today’s world, cyclists should expect to see plenty of extras included with their bike. Most bikes today have a digital display that allow cyclists to see how they are performing. This can also be used to keep cyclists on-track for the workout schedules and keep them committed to their goals. While working out, cyclists should also expect to see a waterbottle holder on a bike they are considering. Although this might seem like a minor addition, it will come in handy during a long, sweaty workout.
Best Indoor Cycles For Sale
When trying to decide between Spin bikes and indoor cycles, it is critical that buyers first posses a full understanding of their own needs. Riders who are built heavier will need a Spin bike capable of supporting their weight. This prevents a workout from being too easy, especially as muscles grow through use. For casual riders, features like a soft gel-seat might be desirable. However, competitive cyclists will likely find these seats becoming uncomfortable during long rides. Once an indoor cyclist knows what features to look for, picking the right bike is as simple as matching the features to personal needs. Compare the bikes below for some suggestions on cycles that are right for most athletes.
Best Under $200
Pros: The Sunny SF-B1001 provides a 30 pound flywheel that delivers 85 pounds of total resistance. As an entry-level bike, it provides riders with plenty of value for their money with features like adjustable weights, an adjustable seat, and full-adjustable handlebars. This allows riders to fully adjust the fore-aft positioning to ensure that they are getting the best workout possible. As a chain-based spinning bike, it still manages to perform quietly and smoothly during the ride.
Cons: The downside of the Sunny SF-B1001, as an entry-level product, is that it lacks some of the features available in the better models. While the resistance can be adjusted, it offers no ability to change this during the ride and must be adjusted manually. For experienced cyclists, the padded seat might not be preferable because it does not reflect real road conditions. Finally, the product has no electronic display so riders must make manual measurements even to find basic statistics like speed and calories burned.
Verdict: For casual bikers or those on a budget, this product can help cyclists stay in shape and prepare for somewhat-realistic road conditions. As opposed to an exercise bike, this indoor cycle would still be preferable for dedicated athletes. The product is bare-bones, but the price can’t be beaten.
Best Under $500
Pros: As a mid-range product, the Phoenix 98623 Revolution comes with some extra features to help buyers get more out of their workouts. The exercise bike has a 39.6 pound flywheel that has adjustable friction-based resistance. To help feet stay in the pedals, the bike provides straps to keep feet in place. This can be very helpful during long rides, where exhaustion can make it difficult to keep feet firmly planted on the surface of the pedals. The pedal straps are also more realistic since most bikers use clips whether riding on or off the road. Additionally, riders can make full adjustments to the handlebars and seat in order to position them just right. In case of an emergency, bikers can quickly stop this indoor cycle by using the safety brake lever positioned below the handlebars.
Cons: This disadvantage of this product is that it does not have some of the advanced functionality included on the best Spin bikes. There is no electronic display, leaving riders to estimate for themselves performance during the workout. This is a major inconvenience since many riders are looking to monitor their performance carefully while training for the riding season. While the bike supports riders up to 250 pounds, larger athletes might need a bike more suitable to their size and resistance level.
Verdict: The Phoenix 98623 provides all the basic features that riders need to prepare for real-life road conditions with minimal cost. While the product might not have everything, it certainly provides riders with more than enough to train effectively for riding in real-life conditions. Extra features like the safety brake, pedals, and adjustable flywheel give this bike advantages over entry-level products. For bikers looking to get a great workout from the comfort of home, the Phoenix 98623 Revolution is an excellent place to start.
Best Under $1500
Pros: As a higher-end product, the Spinner® NXT comes fully-loaded with all the premium mechanical features spinners need to train effectively. From the start, the product has a sleek design and is mounted on rubber pegs designed to increase stability. Instead of having to use tennis balls, spinners can enjoy a much more elegant way of positioning their bike on wooden floors. For safety, the product allows riders to stop the bike immediately with the press of a button. Throughout the bike, the company has included aluminum components to limit rust and give the bike a beautiful look.
The bike comes loaded with features designed to give the bike a realistic feel when riding. Even the water bottles are positioned realistically, with two water bottle holders included between the handlebars. Both the handlebars and seat can be adjusted across several dimensions to enable riders to optimize the fore-aft positioning to their exact specifications. The Spin bike supports riders up to 350 pounds and has a 41 pound flywheel that can be adjusted using manual controls. The Spin bike even comes with a 10-year warranty that covers the entire product.
Cons: The biggest downside of this product is that it doesn’t have any electronic components to give users more control over the device. This is especially annoying when trying to monitor a workout, since the bike offers no way of tracking performance. While the Spin bike advertises a Q factor of 158 mm, the manufacturer unfortunately assumes that all people are built alike. Ideally, this should be adjustable for truly dedicated athletes.
Verdict: For athletes who plan to spend hours each day working out, the extra cost of this product can certainly be justified for its robust range of features and variable resistance. As riders get stronger, the bike allows the resistance to be scaled to very high levels that are more than enough even for some of the world’s best athletes. The range of available adjustments are also helpful, since dedicated bikers will need to fine-tune this precisely to optimize a workout. For dedicated athletes who plan to improve their performance as time goes on, this product is recommended.
Pros: The Keiser M3 provides the best features on the market for cyclists who want the best. This indoor cycle provides users with a fully functional computer system that outputs important data such as heart rate, wattage, rotations per minute, and trip length. The bike has a beautiful design that can make for a great conversation piece when guests come over to visit. The seats and handlebars are adjustable across four dimensions to help riders fine-tune their ride settings. Designed with genuine Shimano pedals, the bike feels exceptionally realistic while in use. The product comes with a 3-year warranty backed by the manufacturer.
When operating the Keiser M3, it rides smoothly and quietly because the system takes advantage of magnetic resistance. This means that riders won’t need to worry about friction pads wearing out and squeaking noises that might bother others. During the workout, riders are able to quickly change the difficulty settings by using a gear-based system similar to a regular bicycle. In all, the product has 24 different gears that riders can adjust to optimize their performance while using the workout machine. Of course, these gears are simulated by varying the magnetic resistance.
Cons: While this bike is considered to be a high-end product, it still lacks a couple features that some users might expect. While this indoor cycle has a computer system, it is fairly primitive and has very limited functionality. In fact, the computer has no ability to control any settings on the bike and can only assist with providing output. Still however, the computer system does provide most of the essential information that bikers need.
Verdict: If looking for an indoor cycle that delivers exceptional performance, is easily adjustable, has a realistic feel, and looks great then this is the bike to buy. Backed by a 3-year warranty, cyclists can expect to get plenty of use out of this bike in the coming years. The appearance of the bike is stunning and shouldn’t be overlooked when considering which bike to buy. Overall, this bike is perfect for indoor cyclists who want it all.
Belt-Driven Model vs. Chain Drive
When comparing indoor cycles, cyclists should keep in mind that there are two different drive mechanisms that are commonly used. Like with regular bikes, many of these have conventional chains that cyclists are used to seeing. However, many indoor cycles use a rubber belt instead of a metal chain. This saves users from having to oil their chain or even replace it during extended use. Since many cyclists subject their spin bikes to substantial abuse, this can be more effective in certain cases. Kevlar belts can last for a long time and make for a quieter ride. Additionally, these belts are cleaner because they don’t use extensive amounts of oil that can get on fabrics and furniture.
Like with older cars, Spin bikes can require a new belt if they aren’t used for a long period of time. The rubber material can start to decompose, requiring that cyclists buy a new belt in order to keep using their Spin bike. However, in many cases the belt-driven model is preferable. In summary, the best drive mechanism depends on how a cyclists intends to utilize their Spin bike.
Why Get a Mat to Go Underneath the Bike
Working out can cause residue to build up under the equipment. Through regular use, sweat and oil can build up under the spin bike and cause damage to carpet or wooden materials that the bike is situated on. During intense workouts, bikes can create resistance with the floor and start to wear out floor surfaces over time. For this reason, many indoor cyclists prefer to place a mat below their bike to protect their homes from damage. In most cases, this is strongly recommended because these problems always seem inevitably happen no matter how careful a cyclist is. These mats are very affordable, with prices sometimes less than $30. When getting an indoor cycle, invest in an extra mat to ensure that damage isn’t caused to the home while using the equipment.
Type of Resistance
Indoor cycles can vary based on the resistance mechanism used to make the workout a challenge. Without artificial resistance, a workout would be too easy because there are no hills or friction to offer natural resistance. There are two primary mechanisms that are used on spin bikes to provide resistance:
Friction Resistance: This type of resistance is generated by a brake pad similar to those seen on regular bicycles. Called a fiction pad, this distributes resistance to the spinning wheel to make it more difficult to turn. Unfortunately, this can generate some noise due to the rubbing of moving parts. Additionally, friction pads can wear out and necessitate that cyclists occasionally replace them. Due to these disadvantages, friction-based systems are generally more affordable than the more advanced magnetic systems. On some of these Spin bikes, resistance can be adjusted by changing the amount of force applied by the friction pad. However, not all bikes have this feature so buyers should make sure that a prospective bike can do this when evaluating different choices.
Magnetic Resistance: On some of today’s best indoor cycles, magnetic resistance is used to make workouts a challenge. These magnets can be composed of either static ceramic magnets or variable electromagnets. More affordable magnetic indoor cycles often have ceramic magnets that cannot be adjusted by the user. However, some bikes still allow for mechanical resistance adjustments by changing the distance between the magnets and the conductive surface. Unfortunately, this has to be adjusted manually and can’t be varied dynamically during a workout session. For users who want to vary the resistance during the workout, keep an eye out for indoor cycles that use electromagnets. These can be adjusted in the middle of a workout and can often be controlled automatically by the internal computer system. This means that cyclists can exercise with variable difficulty, simulating ordinary terrain variations and optimizing workouts with periodic changes in difficulty.
Friction Resistance vs. Magnetic Resistance
When trying to decide between the to primary resistance mechanisms, buyers should consider how the bike will be used. Cyclists who plan to use their bikes at home might want a bike with variable difficulty to accommodate other family members and guests. If the bike will be used alone, cyclists might still want a spin bike with variable difficulty to increase it as performance rises. In these cases, Spin bikes with magnetic resistance are preferable because of their easily adjustable difficulty. In contrast, users with budget constraints might want to consider a friction-based bike. Even as strength increases, these bikes can still offer enough resistance to get a good workout in.
For casual riders, more affordable friction-based systems can be preferable. However, serious professionals will need a bike that uses magnets to get an optimal workout. Since these can usually be adjusted while working out, adjustments can be made to create short periods of peak performance necessary for certain workout routines. This can help to train muscles for long hills by simulating their increased difficulty. By doing this, users can create artificial mountains or hilly terrain that is simulated by the magnetic resistance. Fun challenges like climbing Mt. Everest or riding through the California hills can be simulated as well with a few simple calculations. Cyclists who want these features on their Spin bike will need to ensure that it is capable of doing these functions.
Importance of Body Position
When training on an indoor cycle, it is important that a cyclist is properly positioned on the seat. Without this, riders risk training improperly due to incorrect fore-aft positioning. If this is not adjusted correctly, riders will stress muscles disproportionately. This causes certain muscles to become exhausted while others don’t get a good enough workout. Additionally, soreness and muscle tightness can result. This is especially true for long rides where these factors can be compounded over several hours of riding. For this reason, it is important for bikes to be adjustable and for users to take the time to adjust them correctly. The seat should be high enough that feet can just barely touch the ground and handlebars shouldn’t encourage slouching.
What is Q Factor?
In cycling, the Q factor is the measured distance between the crank shafts and pedals. In practice, the Q factor is significant because it helps bikers ensure that the distance traversed by feet during a full rotation is optimal. Just like how runners have to monitor how far their feet are apart, bikers need to do the same to ensure that their legs are delivering as much force as they can. In addition to better performance, a properly adjusted Q factor can make bike riding healthier because less damage will be done to the knees. When deciding between spin bikes, it is important to consider whether the Q factor can be adjusted on the crankshafts. This can be especially helpful for families, where different users might have their own preference based on their body shape and build.
Transportation wheels are a nice extra convenience that buyers should look for when purchasing a Spin bike. While a bit ironic needing wheels to move a bike, these can make it easier to move the bike around a house and get it into position upon delivery. Of course, buyers should make sure that a bike with transportation wheels can be locked in place to prevent injuries.
Spin Bike vs. Exercise Bike
Even workout professionals confuse the two, so it is certainly understandable when buyers don’t know the difference between a Spin bike and an exercise bike. Exercise bike is a general term for a stationary workout device with a separate wheel that will continue spinning even if a user stops pedaling. These exercise bikes are similar to regular bikes both in design and functionality. In contrast, Spin® bikes have a weighted flywheel that is fixed in place along with the pedals and crank, as well as being strictly a trademarked brand owned by Mad Dogg Athletics. Expert cyclists might compare these to single-speed bikes, where pedals will spin even if constant force isn’t applied to the crankshafts.
Like most products, it generally goes without saying that shoppers can expect to get what they pay for. Both Spin® bikes and indoor cycles can be quite affordable, but buyers shouldn’t expect affordable bikes to come fully loaded with every feature imaginable. The more that a buyer is wiling to spend, the more features that will be included with a given product.
When trying to decide on an indoor cycle that is the best value, shoppers should evaluate their personal needs. Competitive athletes probably want a bike with maximum resistance and features, but for others an entry-level Spinner® bike can be more than sufficient. In fact, even among professional spinners basic products are commonly used for routine workouts.
Regardless of what a rider chooses to do, taking action to get started is the most important step. Without doing something, bikers can never expect to advance their endurance while on a tough ride. Compare the best Spin® bikes and indoor cycles on the market, then decide which is best for your own needs and make a start now!