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Best Indoor Cycles of 2017

When competitive cyclists train at the gym, they prefer "indoor cycles" to traditional stationary bikes. Indoor cycles (or spin bikes) are best at simulating outdoor bike performance. These exercise bikes are also very popular for weight loss, as they allow especially intense exercise.

A key feature is how the flywheel spins; it lets you work with inertia and resistance in a more realistic way. An indoor cycle also tends to have multiposition handlebars and other customizable features that help riders prepare for outdoor tours. For example, you can equip your indoor cycle with the same pedals and saddle featured on your road bike. Sometimes these bikes have audible chains to help create on-the-road riding experiences. Sometimes they’re designed for virtually silent operation.

Check out five best indoor cycles of 2017 on the chart below. These models have earned the highest overall scores in our reviews. Unlike most indoor cycles, each shows data such as heart rate and speed. Built-in training programs and WiFi-enabled color touchscreens are options too.


Top 5 Best Rated Indoor Cycles

1 2 3 4 5
Model

ProForm
Studio Bike Pro 22

ProForm
Studio Pro

ProForm
TDF Studio Bike

Sole
SB900

ProForm
TDF PRO 5.0

Rating

Our custom rating considers all of the bike's features, specs, warranties, and 100's of user & expert reviews, to save you time!

Rating: 95.5%
Rating: 93.2%
Rating: 91.2%
Rating: 91.1%
Rating: 90.5%
Type

Type refers to the style of the ride: Recumbent bikes allow you to lay back, while Upright bikes are more like road bikes (lean forward).

Indoor CycleIndoor CycleIndoor CycleIndoor CycleIndoor Cycle
Resistance

The flywheel in an exercise bike is what creates resistance. You can choose the level of resistance to increase your workout intensity.

40+40+40+Adjustable40+
Display

Display refers to the screen you'll look at to monitor workouts. LED and LCD displays are similar to TV screens.

22" Smart HD Touchscreen10" Smart HD TouchscreenRound Watts LED Display3" x 4" LCD10" Color Touchscreen
Programs

Bike Programs allow you to complete a workout with changing speeds and inclines, without changing anything manually.

242424None24
MSRP

Suggested retail price, typically higher than the price you'll pay with our recommended retailers.

$3,299$2,499$1,999$1,499$1,999
Pricing

After carefully evaluating each online retailer that offers this bike, this is the website we recommend purchasing from.

See Best PriceSee Best PriceSee Best PriceSee Best PriceSee Best Price

Indoor Cycles Buying Guide

About Indoor Cycles

How are indoor cycles different from other exercise bikes? Indoor cycles and traditional stationary bikes have several differences but the main distinction is resistance. A regular exercise bike has constant resistance and doesn’t build up inertia. If you stop working, the pedals will stop moving immediately. An indoor cycle has variable resistance. If you stop pushing, the pedals will still spin — just as they would on a road bike. This is why indoor cycles are also called spin bikes.

Compared with other exercise bikes, indoor cycles are also the most like road bikes in terms of seat design and handlebars. Indoor cycles use the same saddles as road bikes do. You can even swap out the indoor cycle’s seat for your favorite road bike seat. In contrast, other exercise bikes tend to have wider seats and aren’t easily customized. Indoor cycles have handlebars like those on road bikes too. While handlebars on other other exercise bikes encourage a very upright body position, those on indoor cycles let you lean forward as you would in a race. Some have adjustable positioning and include elbow padding.

Pedals on indoor cycles are special too. They offer the extra stability that’s needed with high-intensity training. Unlike the pedals on other exercise bikes, they usually have toe cages and foot straps. Many can be used with clip-in cycling shoes. Often the pedals on indoor cycles can easily be swapped out for those of road bikes too.

Some indoor cycles have extra features to enhance the street bike sensation. One special feature is handlebar-based gear shifts. (A regular stationary bike, in comparison, has console buttons for controlling resistance.) Another special feature is customizable gear ratios. This feature is especially valuable to competitive cyclists because it lets the indoor cycle perform like a specific outdoor bike.

A final difference between indoor cycles and other exercise bikes is data monitoring. Most stationary bikes today have advanced computers. These show workout data and provide preset training programs. Indoor cycles are often made without data monitors. When monitors are included, they are typically small and simple. The small size allows riders the room to lean over the handlebars. The most useful monitors provide constant heart rate readouts using wireless monitoring.

Why Choose an Indoor Cycle?

Indoor cycles are the most practical options for competitive training since they function so similarly to road bikes. Indoor cycles are also the most useful for strength training: Compared with other exercise bikes they offer more resistance, plus you can stand up on the pedals to isolate different muscle groups.

Indoor cycles, like other exercise bikes, are useful for cardio workouts and weight loss. Indoor bikes can be the most efficient options because they demand more power from the trainee and promote higher calorie burn.

Indoor cycles are the best alternatives to outdoor bikes when realistic cycle training is a priority.

Favorite Indoor Cycles

The following bikes didn’t make our “Best Indoor Cycles” list but are also customer favorites. One might be your best match.

6

NordicTrack GX 3.5 Sport

Rating: 69.9%
Price: $999.00 - Best Price: $399

The NordicTrack GX 3.5 Sport provides a good option for an entry-level sport bike. It features a welded frame, adjustable & padded seat and strap pedals to help you get an effective workout. Read Review »