Home » Spin Bike and Indoor Cycle Buying Guide and Reviews

Spin Bike and Indoor Cycle Buying Guide and Reviews

m3-keiser

What is a spin bike?

If you go to any gym now you will find that they offer Spin Classes.  They might be called group cycling or bike fit, they are all the same thing.  With the popularity rising more and more people are just using the gym for the exercise classes.  Spin Bikes are actually the brand owned by Madd Dog.  They pursue anyone calling Indoor Cycling Bikes “spin bikes”, through trademark rules.

As gym membership prices keep rising, and a good gym can cost nearly $1000 a year its understandable that people are starting to look to have their own spin bikes at home.

We love spinning, its our favorite form of cardio exercise, a short 30-45 minute blast can burn up to 600 calories!  Over the years we have tried nearly every type of spin bike (and indoor cycling bikes) there is, at the gym and in our own homes.

Given the masses of choice on the market this guide should help you pick the right bike for you.  Or if you just want to skip to our two favorites then skip straight to our Sole SB700 review, or the amazing Keiser M3 reviews.  Both of these bikes represent the best balance of value and performance.  The Sole is our favorite under $1000 indoor cycling bike, and the Keiser is sublime yet expensive at $1900.

This is a list of our Favorite 10 Spin and Indoor Cycling Bikes:

 Bike RSP Target Price Pros & Cons Read More Our Review
Keiser M3m3-keiser $1899 $1695
  • Control resistance from handlebars
  • Whisper Quiet
  • Eddy current resistance
  • 3 year warranty
See on Amazon Review
Sole Fitness SB700Sole Fitness SB700 Exercise Bike Review $1299 $799
  • 48lb Flywheel
  • Chest Strap Compatible
  • Lifetime Frame Warranty
See on Amazon Review
Diamondback Fitness 510Ic Indoor CycleDiamondback 510ic $799 $799
  • 16 levels of resistance
  • 14 workout programs
  • Contact heart sensors
See on Amazon Review
Lifecycle GXLifeCycle GX copy $1999 $1849
  • Duel magnetic resistance for repeatable results
  • SPD Pedals
  • Cadence, Calories, Heart Rate Computer
See on Amazon Review
Schwinn AC Performance PlusSchwinn AC Performance Plus Indoor Cycle review $2,300 $1549
  • 6 Level Resistance
  • 10 year frame warranty
  • Constant resistance levels
See on Amazon Review
Schwinn IC ProSchwinn IC Pro Indoor Cycling Bike $1299 $949
  • Infintly variable resistance
  • 31lb Fly wheel
  • 300lb User weight
  • 15 year frame warranty
See on Amazon Review
Schwinn AC SportSchwinn AC Performance Plus Indoor Cycle review $1399 $1249
  • Zero wear resistance
  • SPD Pedals
  • Aluminium flywheel
  • Oversized water bottle holders
See on Amazon Review
Sunny Health and Fitness SF-B1110100px SF-B1110 Sunny and health $499 $305
  • Chain Drive
  • 44lbs Flywheel
  • Max user weight 250lbs
  • Standard pedals
See on Amazon Review
Sunny Health & Fitness ProSunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike $599 $299
  • Best Seller!
  • 40lbs flywheel
  • Max user weight 275lbs
See on Amazon Review
Cycle Ops 100 Pro Indoor CycleCycleOps 100 Pro Indoor Bike $1250 $1250
  • Elite Level trainer
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Drop Handlebars
See on Amazon Review
Sunny and Health Indoor Cycle Trainer

Sunny Health Indoor Cycle trainer

$499 $349
  • 49lbs Flywheel
  • Fore and aft saddle adjustment
  • 10 year frame warranty
See on Amazon Review
Exerpeutic LX9exerpeutic LX9 review $349 $215
  • Weight Capacity 300lbs
  • Dual direction pedals
  • Toe cages
See on Amazon Review
Spinner FitSpinner Fit Indoor Cycle $999 $949
  • Club Quality
  • Wide saddle
  • 1 year warranty
  • 250lbs user weight
See on Amazon Review

Spinning was started in the 1970’s by Spinner.  They developed a type of bike that was very simple, yet gave a very efficient workout.  Spinner bikes are still available, and are incredibly popular.  All spin bikes have the same feature this is a fixed flywheel attached to the pedals. History of Spinning and Spin Bikes

The reason many gyms call their Spin Sessions “Group Cycling” is because they have to employ specially trained Spinner instructors to use the Spin name.  They can avoid this by calling it Group Cycling or similar.  Don’t worry you will still get the same great workout whatever the name!

Our top spin and indoor bike picks for 2017

Our 2017 Spin Bike and Indoor Bike recommendations:

Best Bikes Under $500:

While the brand is less well known than Spinner the Phoenix bike is better value.  Its construction is solid, durable and dependable. With one of the largest flywheels on any indoor bike its sure to put you through your paces.

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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

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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.  However at under $300 its value is hard to beat.

 

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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.

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, thi sofferes 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 upto 300 to ride in comfort.

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Its the little things that makes the difference, and Sole have taken that onboard 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.

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All the best elements of the 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.

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Best Indoor and Spin Bikes 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 quetly  and looks fantastic in its white paint job.

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The Keiser M3 is probably the king of the Gym.  When it comes to indoor cycling Keiser broke the mould 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.

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A newer entrant to our list of performance bikes.  The GX is incredibly well made, like the M3 it shares the rear spinning wheel that gives it a purposeful look.  We really like the way that the resistance is applied via  a lever that allows upto 20 precise levels to be selected.  The feel of this bike is wonderful, high end plastics and smooth steel make it a joy to ride. A real alternative to the M3.

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If you are going to buy a spin bike or indoor cycle, don’t forget to pick up a pair of proper cycling shoes.  Most bikes come with flat or SPD compatible pedals, you can check out our full guide to the best Spin Bike shoes here