Best Indoor Cycles of 2020
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 2019 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
|Type||Indoor Cycle||Indoor Cycle||Indoor Cycle||Indoor Cycle||Indoor Cycle|
|Resistance||22 Levels||1-100 variable||0-100%||1-100 variable||0-100%|
|Display||22" HD touchscreen||3" x 4" LCD||21.5" HD Touchscreen||21.5" HD Touchscreen||no|
|Programs||iFit Coach||None||Streaming||MYX Fitness||no|
|Pricing||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price||See Best Price||See 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.