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The best Spin and Indoor Bikes 2018

best indoor exercise bikes 2018

Our 2018 Spin Bike and Indoor Bike recommendations:

Ready to get FITTER, FASTER, LEANER?   2018 could be the year you finally achieve those goals – with thanks to a fabulous new indoor bike.

If you are on the search for a new exercise bike this season, we have the full round up of the best of the best.

To help you, we have grouped each set of bikes by price.

In each category we show our pick of the best bikes in that category.

We start with some great value options that work for under $500, move up to the $500-$1000 category and then into the high end region of $1000+ bikes.

Whatever your budget is we have the best choice for you.

Best Bikes Under $500:

The best selling Indoor Bikes for under $500:

These bikes some of represent the best choices of bikes for under $500 on the market today.

Product name Rating Price
Bladez Fitness Fusion GS II Indoor Cycle, Red Bladez Fitness Fusion GS II Indoor Cycle
$329.98
Exerpeutic LX7 Training Cycle with Computer Monitor and Heart Pulse Sensors Exerpeutic LX7 Training Cycle
$249.00
Exerpeutic LX905 Indoor Cycle Trainer with Computer and Heart Pulse Sensors Exerpeutic LX905 Indoor Cycle Trainer with Computer and Heart Pulse Sensors
$362.84 - $544.90
Schwinn IC2 Bike Schwinn IC2 Bike $299.00 - $382.72
Sunny Health & Fitness Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Bike, Grey Sunny Health & Fitness Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Bike
$327.79
Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike
$254.07

The runners up of best choices for under $500:

One of the most popular brands in budget Indoor Cycling. Sunny Health are putting out a great range of affordable, quality bikes. While their bikes may not be very sophisticated they are well built, reliable and familiar to anyone who has been to a spin class. This is one of the best solutions to exercising at home. If you are looking for a solid well built machine from a company that budget friendly options this a great choice
For the lowest cost entry into indoor cycling there is only one real choice. The hugely popular Sunny and Health Indoor Pro. With its chain drive and fixed handle bars it may lack some of the refinement of the Indoor Cycle Trainer. The best thing is that at under $300 its value is hard to beat.

Our Top pick of the best Indoor Bike for less than $500:  Sunny Health & Fitness Indoor Cycle Trainer

Sunny Health and Fitness have produced an amazing Value Bike. Simply called their Indoor Cycle trainer, it includes a huge flywheel, good construction and a smooth ride. The most impressive feature is the price, at a shade over $300 it is $200 less than the Spinner. Designed for home use, it is very solid and provides a great workout. The belt drive and more adjustibilty sets it apart from its brother the Indoor Pro

Best Spin and Indoor Bikes between $500 and $1000:

As you step up in price there is a noticeable increase in build quality, strength and durability of the bikes.  You can expect the bikes to feel far stronger, and less prone to flexing especially at high speeds and resistance.  You will also find better displays, providing vital feedback on your workout, compatibility with heart rate monitors and a more comfortable ride, with greater adjustability of the cockpit.

This years best selling Indoor Bikes under $1000

Product name Rating Price
ASUNA 4100 Commercial Indoor Cycling Bike, Gray ASUNA 4100 Commercial Indoor Cycling Bike, Gray
$535.95
ASUNA 5100 Magnetic Belt Drive Commercial Indoor Cycling Bike Silver ASUNA 5100 Indoor Cycling Bike
$567.22
ASUNA 5150 Magnetic Turbo Commercial Indoor Cycling Bike ASUNA 5150 Magnetic Turbo Commercial Indoor Cycling Bike
$939.00
BodyCraft SPX Club Indoor Cycling Bike BodyCraft SPX Club Indoor Cycling Bike
$999.00
Diamondback Fitness 510Ic Adjustable Indoor Cycle with Electronic Display and Quiet Magnetic Flywheel Diamondback Fitness 510Ic Indoor Cycle
$799.00
Sole Fitness SB700 Exercise Bike New Sole SB700 Exercise Bike
$799.00
Sole SB900 Exercise Bike New Sole SB900 Indoor Bike
$999.00

The runners up of best choices for under $1000:

Since our last round up the price of the Diamondback 510ic has dropped slightly which makes it a more interesting choice! Part way between an Indoor Cycle and upright bike, this offers a range of resistance programmes linked to your heart rate. This ensures that you are always working out in the training zone. They bike is comfortable and well built, its strength allows riders of up to 300lbs to ride in comfort.
Its the little things that makes the difference, and Sole have taken that on board to produce one of the best home Indoor Bikes on the market. We love the smooth feel of the 48lb flywheel that lies at the heart of this bike.
It looks good too, with its X Shaped frame and striking red highlights. The little features that we really like are the handle bar mounted bottle racks, and its impressive build quality.
All the best elements of the Sole SB700, but with added strength and rigidity. If you are looking to push the pedals hard then this is a fine choice. It's comfortable and smooth to ride, with a quality feel and finish. It's worth the extra $200 for the additional level of performance that it brings.

Our Pick of under $1000 Indoor bikes: Sole SB700

Its the little things that makes the difference, and Sole have taken that on board to produce one of the best home Indoor Bikes on the market. We love the smooth feel of the 48lb flywheel that lies at the heart of this bike.
It looks good too, with its X Shaped frame and striking red highlights. The little features that we really like are the handle bar mounted bottle racks, and its impressive build quality.

Best Indoor and Spin Bikes Over $1000:

This years best selling and most popular Indoor Bikes over $1000:

Product name Rating Price
Keiser M3i Gray Indoor Cycle - 2016 Keiser M3
Click to see
Life Fitness Lifecycle GX Group Exercise Bike with Console Life Fitness Lifecycle GX Group Exercise Bike
$1,999.00
Schwinn A.C. Sport Indoor Cycle Trainer Schwinn A.C. Sport Indoor Cycle Trainer
Click to see
Schwinn Fitness AC PERFORMANCE PLUS with CARBON BLUE Belt Drive - Indoor Cycling Bike Schwinn Fitness AC Performance Plus Indoor Bike
$2,295.00
Star Trac Spinner Blade ION Indoor Cycling Bike Star Trac Spinner Blade ION Indoor Cycling Bike
Click to see

The runners up of best choices for over $1000:

The Schwinn AC Performance Plus is a great bike that offers a proper gym quality feel. The only reason that it does not get top billing is due to the friction resistance, rather than magnetic resistance of the M3. Still Schwinn have pulled together an amazing bike, that runs quietly and looks fantastic in its white paint job.
  • The Star Trac spinner blade ION is designed for aerobic exercise in a consumer or commercial environment for all skill levels and accommodates riders 4'10" to 6'10" with a max recommended weight capacity of 350 lbs.
  • The Spinner® Blade IONTM takes the proven accuracy of strain-gauge technology, combined with the highest level of power-based education, to bring you the most sophisticated indoor cycling training methods
  • Summary display offers simple and intuitive large easy-to-read data in real time and summary mode with peak power, average power, time, average heart rate, average cadence, total distance and total calories
  • Operational display with power, time, cadence, heart rate, distance and kilojoules
  • Other features include: Smooth chain drive system delivers an authentic riding feel, custom dual-sided SPD® compatible pedals featuring an oversized pedal body and a simple and responsive control resistance knob with direct pressure emergency stop

Our Pick of high end spin and indoor bikes:

The Keiser M3 is probably the king of the Gym. When it comes to indoor cycling Keiser broke the mold and produced one of the most distinctive, and best riding bikes on the market. Putting the flywheel at the rear of the bike looks great, it also helps performance, balancing the weight of the bike as you push on the handlebars.
We are huge fans of this USA made bike, if you are looking to buy the best this is it.

 

What is a Spin Bike?

 

Group cycling on the Lifespan GXSpin Bikes, or Indoor Cycling bikes which we review here are a type of exercise bike that closely mimic the action of riding a normal bike.  They feature a fixed flywheel that moves with the rotation of the pedals, and there is no free wheeling.  The key advantage of this is that you are forced to continually turn the pedals during the workout, and this provides a far more effective workout than a normal upright exercise bike.

We should point out that Spinning should only refer to bikes produced by Spinner, all other bikes should really be called Indoor Cycling bikes.  Since Spinner have yet to produce an updated model that can compare to our list of best Indoor Cycling Bikes they have not made our short list.

For the start of the New Year fitness season it’s worth a look to see which are the best.  Spinning is a great form of exercise and is the fastest way of burning fat in your own home.  Not only that, but it will keep your heart strong and keep you fit, especially during cold winter months.

Below we have reviewed some of the best Indoor and Spin bike reviews of the year.   If you want to see ALL our Spinning bike and indoor cycling bike reviews click here.

Click Here to buy the most popular Spin Bikes on Amazon>>>

What makes a good Spinning / Indoor training Bike?

At the heart of any spinning bike is the flywheel.  Anything about 35-40lbs is ideal.  A good heavy weight will make the bike feel smooth and much easier to manage at high resistance levels.  Better bikes will have even wheels that turn smoothly with very little wobble.

Keiser-M3-SliderA good indicator to quality is the warranty period.  Anything over a year is good, but the longer the better. If the manufacturer does not have faith that the bike will last more than 12 months, why should you?

Pedals are another key item.   As you are riding a fixed wheel bike (the pedals keep turning if the flywheel is moving), it is important that you are attached to the pedals with clips.  These can either be toe clips, which can be used with any form of trainer, or preferably cleats.  Cleats are found on special bike shoes, and the normal system is the Shimano SPD cleats.

It is also important to consider the frame, you want this to be as solid and supportive as possible, and also the handlebars.  These should be strong enough not to flex.  It’s also handy if they have a water bottle rest on them.

Finally, Spin Bikes are generally “no frills” and you are unlikely to find them equipped with computers etc.  Our advice is to wear a heart rate monitor to keep your heart rate up during your exercise.

Benefits of Indoor Cycling

There are huge benefits to exercise, and indoor cycling is one of the best forms of exercise that you will find.  Its up there with swimming as the best all round workout that minimises strain to joints and muscles.

Cardio Vascular Health

Two Girls RunningVery few exercises will do so much to increase your heart rate so fast, and high.  Experts recommend that you spend 30 minutes 3-4 times a week with your heart up in the training zone (80% of your maximum heart rate).  This is key to keeping fit and healthy, and really is a couple of hours exercise a week really that hard to achieve.  This moderate amount of exercise is sufficient to keep your chances of heart disease, stroke and other health problems down.  As you start to increase your fitness then its natural to want to do more, and in turn your weight will drop and strength increase.

Low Impact Exercise

One of the greatest features of indoor cycling is that there is very little impact on the joints and muscles on the body.  This is perfect for preventing or recovering from injury. Unlike running where every step sends a shock through your body, cycling is a smooth action that puts no impact on your joints.  This means that even the elderly can cycle in safety.  It also means that joint pains that are common in runners are avoided.

Fat Loss

Burn one of these every workout
Burn one of these every workout

Nearly every exercise bike comes with some kind of ‘fat burn’ program.  This normally means a work out program of about 60%-80% of your max heart rate.  Guess what?  It’s nonsense.  Marketing spin to make you believe that its better than just going flat out.  You don’t stop burning fat as you go faster and harder on a bike, in fact you burn more… much more.  It hurts while you are doing it, but thats your body just responding to the exercise.  If you exercise in your training heart zone for 45-50 minutes then you can easily burn 600-700 calories.  Thats a large frappachino.

Money Saving

Gym memberships are not cheap, a good gym can easily run to $100 a month, thats $1200 a year, plus the cost of getting there.  For this kind of money then you can equip your home with one or two high end bits of equipment.  A spin bike and weights are all you need for a full body workout in the comfort and privacy of your own home.

Look good and Feel Great

Source: http://arunnarounddlife.com/2014/05/07/endorphins-make-people-happy/
Source: http://arunnarounddlife.com/2014/05/07/endorphins-make-people-happy/

The first moment you feel good is when you come off your bike at the end of a hard workout.  Remember the pain we discussed?  Your body will start dealing with that by releasing a powerful painkiller called endorphines.  That this sounds like morphine is no coincidence.  They are very similar and have a similar effect on your body.  It releases a feeling of euphoria that in some can be addictive!  It has been demonstrated to relieve depression, make you feel happy and lower pain levels.

As your fitness increases and you start to burn fat you will have more confidence in every day activities.

How do Indoor Bikes Function?

Golds 290C upright bike with rider
A traditional ‘Upright Bike’ note the small fly wheel.

These indoor bikes, including Spin bikes, are all stationary bikes.  Traditional stationary bikes have a light flywheel with some form of magnetic resistance that is adjustable.  The pedals are not fixed and can free wheel, allowing a short break between effort.

On an indoor cycle you will- for the want of a better word Spin the flywheel by pedalling, this builds up momentum that makes the ride incredibly smooth even with resistance on the flywheel.  On indoor bikes this flywheel is very different to those found on traditional bikes, the flywheel weight is incredibly heavy (up to 50lbs on some bikes) rather than about 10-15lbs on normal upright bikes.  This gives  a very different feel to the ride, and is far more like normal cycling than you get on  upright bikes.

With the added resistance from the pressure of a (fire proof!) felt pad on the fly wheel, or magnetic resistance on higher end models you can get an incredibly challenging workout far beyond that possible on an upright bike.

Because you can exert far more force on an indoor bike than you ever can on an upright bike they have to be made solid.  This means they are heavy, especially if they are made of steel.  Again higher end bikes are made of aluminium, which is lighter and resists corrosion.

Click Here to buy the most popular Spin Bikes on Amazon>>>

Indoor Bike Features to Consider

Indoor Bike Computer

Bike computers are rare on indoor bikes.  The reason for this is that they are pretty much meaningless for your workout goal.  When using the bike properly there are only two measures to worry about.  Time and Heart Rate.  For this reason we recommend a chest strap and heart rate monitor.

Only high end bikes such as the Keiser M3 have heart rate monitoring.  Most other bikes have displays such as RPM, time, calories burned etc.

Our pick of the best Chest Strap for Indoor Cycling and Spin Classes: Polar H1 Chest Strap

Polar H1 Heart Rate Sensor
Price: $69.99
1 new from $69.991 used from $45.00

If you are looking for the best chest strap for use with your fitness equipment in the gym, especailly Spin and other brands of indoor bikes then the Polar H1 is the best option.  It’s 5hz frequency means there is less interfereance with other gym equipment.  We always finds that it pairs reliably.  It does need batteries, so if your connection is not as good as usual then its likley that these need replaced.

Frame Material

If you are going to be using your bike a lot then you might want to consider one made from Aluminium, rather than the cheaper steel.  Aluminium is lighter, so it needs to be thicker.  However it is excellent, unlike steel, at resisting corrosion.  Why worry about corrosion?  Well when you ride these bikes hard you will sweat.  A lot.  I always carry a small towel to wipe my self off during the workout and give the bike a wipe as well.

Custom Position

While one of the big advantages of indoor cycling is that it minimises impact injuries, you do need to ensure that you are in the right position on the bike or you can end up with back injuries.  Most bikes offer a good range of options for moving about handle bars and the saddle.  However none of them have the ability to choose larger or smaller frame sizes.

I have issues with bikes that feature ‘drop’ handle bars, these can make the cockpit of the bike very cramped, as I have to squeeze my legs between the handlebars and the frame with every pedal stroke.

Resistance Options

Resistance is where the work happens, by making it harder to turn the flywheel it will be harder to turn the pedals and as a result you workout more.  As you become stronger and fitter you will need some hardcore resistance if you are to have any benefit from the workout.

For beginners and entry level riders then the simplest and cheapest option is to use felt pads to press against the flywheel.  This is usually controlled by a knob that twists to screw the pad harder onto the flywheel.  As a cheap and simple mechanism this works fine, however for commercial gyms running 3-4 classes a day it is quite high maintenance.  I find that the resistance can differ between bikes, and without constant corrections to the cable then you can have bikes with nearly no resistance even when fully dialled in, to bikes that are impossible to ride even with the resistance supposedly off.

LifeCycle GX Review
Lifecycle GX with Magnetic Resistance
Sole Fitness SB700 Exercise Bike
Sole SB700 with Felt Resistance

The solution is the higher cost, but more reliable magnetic resistance.  This gives a consistent performance, and allows the rider to apply the same levels of resistance workout after workout.  Its perfect for classes when you want all the riders to be at or about the same level for sprints or hill climbs.

Flywheel

There was a time when the weight of the fly wheel was king! The heavier the flywheel the more momentum it carries, this makes the ride smoother especially at high resistance.  The reason is that when you are pushing with the pedals the amount of force you can exert changes during the motion.  When the pedals are horizontal you are exerting the maximum force and pushing the wheels faster, when they are straight up and down you are applying very little force and the wheel starts to slow.  By having more momentum you have less slowing over the top of the motion.

The old fashioned heavy Fly wheel of a 90's Spin Bike
The old fashioned heavy Fly wheel of a 90’s Spin Bike

However there is another component to this, heavy flywheels spinning fast need to be finely made to ensure they are balanced.  Have you been to a tyre shop and seen the mechanic tap little weighs to the rim?  Thats to ensure that the wheel is balanced.  If the wheel is unbalanced then vibrations can develop as the wheel spins faster.  So big is not better if the wheel is not well made.

Higher end bikes no use lighter weight wheels, and magnetic resistance.  This allows the same feel of cycling that is also incredibly smooth.  The lighter wheel is easier to balance, so there is little vibration, and the resistance is not applied to the flywheel directly meaning that the momentum is not an issue.  If money allows we would always recommend the newer breed of light weight, yet well made flywheels such as that found on the
Sole SB700, or Keiser M3

Water Bottle Access

If you are exercising for more than 15 minutes you will probably want a water bottle at hand to keep you hydrated.  Some companies integrate water bottles better than others.  Our favourite system is where a bottle cage is integrated into the handlebars.  This makes it incredibly easy to grab the bottle, take a sip and put it down again.

Older style bikes like the Spinner Spin Bikes use an old fashioned cage.  These are designed to only hold bike water bottles, anything else like protein shakers etc just don’t fit.  This is a problem, because bike water bottles have a slow flow rate, so you spend longer with your hands off the bike.

Overall the best Indoor Bike money can buy:

 

The Keiser M3 is probably the king of the Gym. When it comes to indoor cycling Keiser broke the mold and produced one of the most distinctive, and best riding bikes on the market. Putting the flywheel at the rear of the bike looks great, it also helps performance, balancing the weight of the bike as you push on the handlebars.
We are huge fans of this USA made bike, if you are looking to buy the best this is it.

With a price tag of $1900 the Keiser M3 Spin Bike is not cheap.  However, it is rock solid and looks amazing.  If money is no object this would make a great choice, pulling together the best of the technology available to produce an uncompromising bike.

Best Spin Bike and Indoor Bike Summary 2018:

Once you have a budget in mind, then you can begin to shop.  I hope you found this guide useful if you did please like our page, or leave  a comment below.

For all our spin bike reviews click here

Click Here to buy the most popular Spin Bikes on Amazon>>>

 

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