The 4 Best Indoor Cycling Bikes

Indoor cycling bikes are an increasingly popular style of exercise bike now found in gyms and fitness centers everywhere. Indoor cycling bikes are designed to produce a forward-leaning body position that mimics the positioning on a real road bike. Additionally, a quality indoor cycling bike is typically outfitted with a heavy flywheel that produces a feeling on the pedals much like you get when pedaling a road bike. Given these similarities, it’s no wonder that indoor cycling bikes are popular among both outdoor cycling enthusiasts and all kinds of other people looking for a challenging fitness pursuit. While indoor cycling bikes are a little more expensive on average than other types of exercise bikes, many users find that the extra expense is well worth the enhanced riding experience.

The Diamondback Fitness 510Ic Indoor Cycle is one of the most full-featured indoor cycling bikes on the market. While the typical indoor cycling bike has few features beyond a manually adjusted resistance system and a small workout monitor or cycling computer, the 510Ic Indoor Cycle is fully outfitted with a computer-controlled resistance system, 14 preprogrammed workout routines, and an excellent cycling computer. Although these kinds of features are pretty common when it comes to upright and recumbent exercise bikes, there just aren’t that many indoor cycling bike models that include such advanced capabilities. The 510Ic Indoor Cycle also has an integrated heart-rate-monitoring system to provide feedback for several of the included workout routines, which are programmed to automatically modify the bike’s resistance levels based on your heart rate readings. On top of these great features, this Diamondback Fitness indoor cycling bike also delivers solid warranty terms, including five years of coverage on the bike frame, three years of coverage on mechanical parts and electronic components, and one year of coverage on labor costs.

Although you won’t find much in the way of advanced capabilities and technologies, the Keiser M3 Indoor Cycle stands out for its exceptional real-bike feel, its overall build quality, and its terrific warranty. This cycle has been designed from the ground up for strength, stability, and simplicity. With its minimalist design, virtually no maintenance is required apart from a quick wipe-down after workouts. The M3 Indoor Cycle is equipped with Shimano Combo Pedals, a belt drive, and a smooth eddy current resistance system to produce a realistic pedal feel few other indoor cycling bikes on the market can match. The included cycling computer monitors statistics like distance traveled, elapsed time, and calories burned. It also monitors cadence, or pedal rotations per minute, and has an on-screen resistance indicator, both of which are not common to indoor cycling bike computers. The cycle also includes an integrated receiver for Polar-compatible wireless heart rate monitors. Although this bike is priced on the high side of the market, if you’re a serious indoor cycling enthusiast, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better option. Note that Keiser also offers the M3 Plus Indoor Cycle. The M3 Plus model is essentially the same as the standard M3 model, but with an upgraded fore and aft adjustable handlebar system that allows for a better fit for riders of shorter stature.

The Horizon Fitness M4 Indoor Cycle combines affordability and quality in an excellent indoor cycling bike suited to entry-level riders and seasoned outdoor cyclists alike. With a suggested retail price less than one-third of the Keiser M3 Indoor Cycle, this bike delivers the feel of a road bike without the high expense common to this category of exercise cycles. You don’t have to trade good warranty terms for the lower price, either. The Horizon Fitness M4 Indoor Cycle comes with a 10-year frame warranty and a one-year warranty on mechanical parts and labor. The most notable differences between this model and most higher-priced indoor cycling bikes is the lack of cadence and heart rate monitoring and the use of a direct-contact resistance system rather than a magnetic resistance system. Although direct-contact resistance systems are durable, reliable, and accurate, they are generally not as smooth as magnetic resistance systems. As for monitoring, you might consider equipping the Horizon Fitness M4 Indoor Cycle with third-party heart rate and cadence monitors if those capabilities are important to you.

The SF-B901 Sunny Pro Indoor Cycling Bike is another solid option if affordability is high on your shopping list. This bike has a heavy-duty chain drive mechanism with magnetic resistance to create a smooth, real-bike feel. Both the seat and the handlebars are fully adjustable in forward-back and up-down directions, ensuring you get just the right fit for your preferred body position. Note that this bike does not have any kind of cycling computer. If statistics like distance, cadence, heart rate, and calories burned are important to you, you have to buy, install, and calibrate third-party equipment. Additionally, the included warranty is not as generous as most other comparable models on the market, delivering just one year of coverage on the bike frame and 90 days of coverage on mechanical parts.