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With a recent uptick of Covid-19 cases this winter coupled with frosty weather until spring, you might feel uneasy heading to your local gym to hit your personal fitness goals in the new year. One safe and relatively affordable way to torch hundreds of calories is by spinning on a stationary indoor exercise bike, a Shopping reader-favorite piece of at-home gym equipment. We previously consulted personal trainers for their shopping guidance on the best exercise bikes, and the pros say the more features a spin bike sports, the higher the price tag. However, you don't need to spend thousands of dollars on top-of-the-line models, although they boast desirable features for those willing and able to afford it.
To be clear, lower-end indoor exercise bikes will still run you a few hundred dollars. Still, according to Caleb Backe, a certified personal trainer, the upfront cost is a worthwhile investment in your health and fitness, both in 2021 and beyond. "It might seem like these are added luxuries, but an uncomfortable bike has the potential to affect your performance and form while you bike," he previously told us. "In the long run, this could lead to unnecessary muscle strain and sustained injury." Eric Ridings, another personal trainer, added that at the end of the day, the best indoor exercise bike is the one you'll use, allowing you to reap the associated health benefits like improved cardiovascular health. "Whether that means a realistic price point or the prestige of getting the same gadgets your friends have, it always comes down to the system that fits you best," said Ridings.
Best exercise bikes under $500
With the above expert guidance in mind along with an eye toward brands favored by Shopping readers, we rounded up the 10 best spinning bikes under $500 that are worth investing in right now. These top-rated exercise bikes are also readily available at reader-favorite retailers such as Amazon, Walmart and Target, along with popular brands, including 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.
Yosuda is a popular bike brand among Shopping readers, and this model helps track your calories burned, speed, distance and time spent working out since it is displayed on the LCD monitor. You can also spin while keeping up with your shows by placing your iPad on the dedicated holder. Before you hold onto the non-slip handlebars and pedal away, be sure to customize the bike's resistance levels and four-way padded seating to ensure you're comfy while on the machine.
Sunny Health is well-liked by Shopping readers and fitness pros have recommended its various models in our other guides to indoor bikes. This durable model, which sports a 49-pound chrome flywheel, is made from a steel frame and can handle a max user weight of 275 pounds.
When you live in a shared space or a walkup apartment, you might be concerned with owning a noisy piece of exercise equipment. Enter the Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Bike, which the brand claims is whisper quiet courtesy of the magnetic resistance. Notably, it features a 35-pound flywheel and four knob adjustments to keep your bike stable on various surfaces.
Made from steel and a triangular frame, this indoor exercise bike offers stability and can help keep you challenged. Notably, it is equipped with a 36-pound flywheel, belt-drive system and has an LCD monitor that displays your stats. The indoor bike is equipped with a cushioned seat, non-slip handlebar and is easy to move around your home.
Another affordable indoor exercise bike option is from Pooboo, the brand's heavy-duty alloy steel bike that sports wheels for easy transportation. This machine features a 30-pound flywheel, as well as adjustable pedals, seat and handlebars. 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.
This bike features an easy-to-adjust bike seat and handlebars to accommodate riders who are four-foot-11-inches to six-foot-three-inches tall. It has a magnetic tension system so you can vary the intensity of your workout. MaxKare's grey bike boasts an ergonomic magnetic resistance so you can spin in your home without disturbing your roommates or neighbors, too. The indoor spinning bike also features an LCD screen displaying your stats and a water bottle holder to help you stay hydrated. There's also large padded seating and steel toe-caged pedals with adjustable straps, so you're comfortable throughout your ride.
Hop on your new indoor exercise bike that sports a 40-pound chrome flywheel for a realistic feel of uphill cycling. It also features a resistance knob, two-way adjustable handlebars and a four-way adjustable seat for comfort while pumping through your at-home workout. This cycling bike also includes levelers to help prevent your new investment from wobbling. If you prefer a belt drive over a chain-drive mechanism, then you'll have to spend an extra $90 for Sunny Health's version. Sunny Health also has a similar bike available with a 49-pound flywheel, water bottle holder, either a chain- or belt-drive and the ability to support a rider up to 275 pounds.
The Connect Sport bike from Echelon is a Walmart exclusive product and comes with one main perk: a six-month free membership with access to 500 on-demand virtual fitness classes. It's equipped with slip-resistant padded handlebars, cushioned seats for comfort and adjustable toe cages, so you're safe and secure while spinning away. The bike also boasts 32 levels of magnetic resistance, allowing you to cycle without making too much noise.
This relatively affordable stationary bike offers Bluetooth connectivity to help track your metrics and syncs with the Explore the World app, where you can cycle in real-time with other bike owners. It supports riders weighing up to 300 pounds and boasts 29 pre-programmed workouts and 25 resistance levels, so you're able to vary your workout routine with one simple machine. The bike also has a memory capacity of four users so that you can share your new fitness investment with up to three of your loved ones.
Enjoy a quiet ride at-home with the Harrison exercise bike, featuring 14 levels of magnetic resistance and a four-way adjustable leather seat with extra padding. Beyond the adjustable handlebars and tablet holder, there's an LCD screen that tracks your calories burned, speed, distance, time and more while in use. It also feature non-slip pedals and can safely hold riders up to 300 pounds.