If you want a good cardio session but don’t want to brave the elements — whether heat, cold, rain or snow — an indoor exercise bike is a solid way to burn some calories from the comfort of your own home. Today’s home bikes span a range of styles and price points. And while the pros we spoke to recommend a more expensive bike if you want serious tracking and online connectivity, they were quick to point out there are plenty of more affordable exercise bikes that provide everything you need.
“As with any piece of exercise equipment, the best one is the one you are going to use consistently,” says Eric Ridings, a Chicago-based certified personal trainer.
To help you navigate which ones offer the best ride, we rounded up a list of several highly rated stationary bikes under $500 that align with expert guidance.
How we picked the best affordable exercise bikes
To compile this list, we spoke to personal trainers about the features you should look for in an affordable exercise bike that will give you a great cardio workout. Based on their expert advice, we picked 10 highly rated bikes, paying special attention to the following criteria:
- Maximum weight capacity: We looked for stationary bikes that can hold at least 265 pounds.
- Adjustability: All of the bikes we recommend have either adjustable handlebars orand seats (or botha combination of the two).
- Resistance: All of the bikes considered offer a resistance knob, most utilizing a magnetic system to increase or lower resistance, so you can customize your workout routine.
Best affordable exercise bikes to consider in 2024
The exercise bikes in this roundup are readily available at NBC Select reader-favorite retailers such as Amazon, Walmart and Target, and we included popular brands like Sunny Health, Nautilus and Echelon. As an added bonus, most of these stationary exercise bikes give you a 30-day return policy if you’re not fully satisfied with your new purchase. All of these bikes have an average customer rating of at least 4.3 stars.
This bike from Yosuda has a magnetic drive system, so it’s super quiet, according to the brand. It also has an LCD monitor that tracks calories burned, speed, distance and time spent pedaling, as well as a resistance knob with 100 micro-adjustable levels so you can customize your exercise routine. There’s an extendable tablet holder, so you can ride along to a workout app, and the bike has a padded seat, toe-caged pedals and nonslip handlebars that can be adjusted four ways to fit your frame and stride. The bike can hold up to 350 pounds and has an average rating of 4.4 stars from over 4,500 reviews on Amazon.
Maximum weight capacity: 350 pounds | Digital monitor: Yes | Warranty: 30-day full-refund guarantee and 1-year free parts replacement.
Sunny Health is a favorite among NBC Select readers and fitness pros alike, and it’s a top pick in our guide to indoor bikes. This durable steel-frame model has a 49-pound chrome flywheel (a weighted disk that mimics a bicycle wheel) and can handle a maximum user weight of 275 pounds, according to the brand. While there’s no digital monitor, users can buy the Sunny Bike cadence sensor (sold separately) and connect to the free SunnyFit app to measure and track cycling metrics. This bike has transport wheels, which makes it easier to move around your home, and it has an average rating of 4.4 stars from over 6,300 reviews on Amazon.
Maximum weight capacity: 275 pounds | Digital monitor: No (Cadence Sensor sold separately to track metrics) | Warranty: Frame one year, parts three months
The Dmasun’s extra-heavy flywheel and steel main frame (weighing 90 pounds) makes this bike extremely stable, according to the brand. It has adjustable magnetic resistance and a digital monitor to record your time, speed, distance, calories burned and pulse. Both the handlebars and cushioned seat are fully adjustable to fit most every frame and stride, and it also has transport wheels in case you need to move it. The Dmasun has a 4.5-star average rating from over 9,400 reviews on Amazon.
Maximum weight capacity: 350 pounds | Digital monitor: Yes | Warranty: 12 months of free parts replacement
A noisy spin bike can be annoying for anyone living with or near you (like the downstairs’ neighbors). The Joroto Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Bike uses magnetic resistance, which the brand says makes the bike “whisper quiet,” and the magnets can be adjusted for stronger or lighter resistance. The bike has a 35-pound flywheel and four adjustable feet to keep it stable on different surfaces. This model can hold up to 280 pounds, and it has an average rating of 4.5 stars from over 6,000 reviews on Amazon.
Maximum weight capacity: 280 pounds | Digital monitor: Yes | Warranty: 1-year of free replacement parts
This Cyclace model’s triangular frame is made from steel and comes equipped with a 36-pound flywheel, LCD monitor and a belt-drive system that propel the pedals. The indoor bike has a cushioned seat, nonslip handlebars and can hold up to 330 pounds, according to the brand. It has an average rating of 4.4 stars from over 7,600 reviews on Amazon.
Maximum weight capacity: 330 pounds | Digital monitor: Yes | Warranty: No
This bike from Pooboo is made from heavy-duty alloy steel and has a 35-pound flywheel. You can adjust the pedals, seat and handlebars to fit your body, as well as to target your workout to specific muscles, according to the brand. The belt-driven spin bike also has a water bottle holder and an LCD screen that tracks your speed, distance, time, calories burned and heart rate. The bike can hold up to 300 pounds, according to the brand, and it has transport wheels for when you need to move it around. It has an average rating of 4.6 stars from over 8,500 reviews on Amazon.
Maximum weight capacity: 300 pounds | Digital monitor: Yes | Warranty: 1 year parts replacement
Similar to the Pooboo bike, the Lanos Stationary Exercise Bike has a lot of adjustability options, including the seat and handlebars. It has a LCD screen that tracks basic fitness information like speed, distance, time and calories burned, according to the brand. It also has a water bottle holder, and there are transport wheels so you can move the bike around your home more easily. The bike can hold up to 270 pounds and has an average rating of 4.4 stars from over 640 reviews on Amazon.
Maximum weight capacity: 270 pounds | Digital monitor: Yes | Warranty: None
This collapsible exercise bike folds into a 20” by 22” footprint for storage. It has an adjustable seat that can accommodate people ranging in height from 5 feet 3 inches to 6 feet 1 inch and a weight capacity of 300 pounds, according to the brand. It offers eight resistance levels, and you can track your workout on an LCD screen that shows calories burned, speed, distance, pulse rate and time. The bike has an average rating of 4.6 stars from over 23,000 reviews on Amazon.
Maximum weight capacity: 300 pounds | Digital monitor: Yes | Warranty: None
This chain-drive exercise bike from Sunny Health works similar to an outdoor bike with a chain. It features a 40-pound chrome flywheel, resistance knob, two-way adjustable handlebars and a four-way adjustable seat. Four floor stabilizers at the base of the bike help prevent wobbling on uneven surfaces, according to the brand, and it includes transport wheels to make it easier to move it from room to room. The bike has a weight capacity of up to 275 pounds and an average rating of 4.4 stars from over 5,000 reviews on Amazon.
Maximum weight capacity: 275 pounds | Digital monitor: No | Warranty: 3 months (parts); 1 year (frame)
This stationary bike offers Bluetooth connectivity and syncs with the Explore the World app, where you can track your metrics and cycle along in real time with other Nautilus owners. You can store up to four user profiles so more than one person can use the bike. With 29 pre-programmed workouts and 25 resistance levels, there are a multitude of ways to tailor your workout. The bike has a 325-pound weight capacity and an average rating of 4.3 stars from over 970 reviews on Amazon.
Maximum weight capacity: 325 pounds | Digital monitor: Yes | Warranty: 10 years frame, three years mechanical parts, three years electronics, one year labor
The Harison exercise bike features 14 levels of magnetic resistance, a four-way adjustable leather seat with extra padding and adjustable handlebars. There’s an LCD screen that tracks your calories burned, speed, distance, time, as well as a separate tablet holder above the screen and handlebars. It also features nonslip pedals and can safely hold riders up to 350 pounds, according to the brand. It has an average rating of 4.2 stars from over 509 reviews on Amazon.
Maximum weight capacity: 350 pounds | Digital monitor: Yes | Warranty: None
This bike has adjustable toe cage pedals, 32 levels of magnetic resistance and front transport wheels so you can move it around your house. It also has a water bottle holder and a spot for your tablet or phone, so you can follow workouts on the companion app. With the purchase of this bike, you get a free 30-day Echelon Premiere membership through the Echelon Fit app, which gives you access to over 3,000 online spin workouts. Classes range from five to 45 minutes long and are designed for everyone from beginners to pros. After the 30-day trial, the app membership is $40 a month. This bike has a 4.5-star average from over 1,600 reviews on Amazon.
Maximum weight capacity: 300 pounds | Digital monitor: No | Warranty: 1 year (limited parts and labor)
This foldable bike is good for smaller spaces. It has an adjustable seat and eight levels of magnetic resistance, as well as a digital monitor to track time, speed and your pulse. It has a magnetic flywheel that is very quiet, allowing you to watch television or listen to music without distraction while riding, according to the brand. This folding bike has a 4.4-star average rating from over 15,800 reviews on Amazon.
Maximum weight capacity: 265 pounds | Digital monitor: Yes | Warranty: None
How to shop for the best affordable exercise bike
Here are the most important things Christopher LaMarco, owner of CrossFit Nauset in Orleans, Massachusetts says shoppers should consider when buying an exercise bike that costs less than $500:
- Weight capacity. Most models can accommodate up to 270 pounds, but some can even go as high as 400. Always check the weight capacity, especially if you have different riders who will be using the bike.
- Adjustability. Having the ability to raise and lower the seat and handlebars to fit your frame and stride is important to ensure a correct posture while riding, says LaMarco.
- Display. Without a display, it’s nearly impossible to track your progress and replicate workouts, says LaMarco. You want to track calories burned, distance and heart rate each time you ride, he says.
- Resistance. Having the ability to adjust your resistance allows you to increase your workout level so you can improve speed, power and strength. An exercise bike should offer at least 10 levels of resistance so you can individualize your workout. Having no resistance could increase your risk of injury, says LaMarco.
- Noise level. Exercise bikes are one of the quieter pieces of gym equipment. Still, there are different noise levels depending on the type of resistance or drive mechanism. Magnetic resistance is generally quieter than friction resistance, and chain and belt drives are even noisier. Ideally, you’ll want to try the bike out to see if the noise bothers you before you buy.
- Safety and stability. The heavier the steel frame and flywheel, the more stable the bike, says LaMarco.
- Portability. A bike that comes with transport wheels allows you to more easily move it from room to room if necessary.
- Warranty. Some bikes under $500 don’t offer a warranty, but many do, either on the frame or parts or both.
- Your space. In general, exercise bikes don’t take too much space. However, some are wider and others need good headroom. Consider your space before shopping to see what type of bike fits best.
What kinds of accessories can I buy for my exercise bike?
There are dozens of spinning accessories on the market today, and many are available right on Amazon. LaMarco says one of the best accessories to consider, if your bike doesn’t already have them, are toe clips for the pedals to lock your feet in place. Other accessories to consider are padded bike seats, an electronic fan, a cup holder, a portable electronic device mount, easy-to-grip support handles or an anti-fatigue floor mat.
Meet our experts
At NBC Select, we work with experts who have specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also take steps to ensure that all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and with no undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.
- Eric Ridings is a Chicago-based certified personal trainer and the lead coach at Mobility Works, a strength and conditioning center.
- Chris LaMarco is the owner of CrossFit Nauset in Orleans, Massachusetts.
Why trust NBC Select?
Barbara Booth and Justin Krajeski have published several roundups on best exercise equipment for NBC Select, including Best ellipticals, Best women’s walking shoes and Popular exercise bikes. For this piece, Barbara interviewed two experts and researched dozens of exercise bikes, choosing the most highly rated options under $500 that aligned with expert guidance.