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The 7 Best Spin Bikes for Home 2019

What is a Spin Bike?

To the uninitiated, it might seem like a bike is just a bike, but the spin bike has some unique qualities. For one thing, the spin bike is a hallmark of spin classes at the gym, which are known for upbeat music and an upbeat instructor. They work wonders at keeping you pumped and burning calories. Aside from its gym roots, the key difference between the spin bike and a typical stationary bike is the flywheel. The spin bike features a large wheel, usually in the front and separated from the pedals, that provides resistance and momentum to mirror the experience of riding a bike outdoors. These flywheels are usually heavier, weighing in at more than 30 pounds. With its unique flywheel setup, you can expect an intense workout on the spin bike!

Our Spin Bike Reviews and Ratings

We looked at dozens of bikes and uncovered the best values for the money at different price points. From the feature-rich Schwinn AC Performance Plus to the affordable Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike, we’ve got some great options for breaking a sweat at home.

[Note: All ratings are out on a 5-point scale, with 5 being the best]

NordicTrack S15i

The  NordicTrack S15i steps things up a bit in terms of functionality and features, adding a significant 14-inch high definition touchscreen display and access to iFit interactive training, packaged into a very well-executed and sturdy machine.

If you’re in the market for a well-built exercise bike, you’ll definitely want to take a look at the NordicTrack Commercial S15i Studio Cycle.

  • Resistance: 5
  • Support: 4
  • Materials: 5
  • Technology: 5

Resistance

Like the Keiser, the S15i uses magnetic resistance instead of friction resistance. It’s smooth, quiet, and digitally controlled. The high spec bike offers 22 levels of resistance adjustability, which also can be controlled by the live instructors when participating in iFit classes.

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Support

The NordicTrack S15i is well suited to a wide range of riders; it’s commercial grade frame is good for riders up to 350 lbs, and it can be adjusted in a wide range of directions in order to find the perfect fit. Like much of the competition the seat is a little firm, but this tends to be the way across all indoor cycles out there.

Materials

NordicTrack has always maintained a good reputation for build quality and the S15i is no exception. Other than its high-tech display, there’s little to nothing on this bike that’s likely to require any kind of maintenance as it ages. Its frame is built to commercial specification, and by using magnetic resistance rather than friction it saves on wearable components as well.

Technology

On top if its touchscreen display and interactive training, the S15i is also a winner on account of another clever feature. It is one of very few indoor cycles to offer a variable incline and decline — 20% and 10% respectively

Who Should Buy the NordicTrack S15i?

If you’re a fan of cutting edge tech but aren’t ready to spend the big money like you would on the Peloton, The S15i will be right up your alley.

Buy it today at: NordicTrak S15i Indoor Cycle

 

Echelon Smart Connect Bike EX3 Max

Refreshed extensively for 2019, The Smart Connect Bike EX3 Max is a solid option for those that want a high quality spin bike without the added costs that come with high tech built-in screens.
The Echelon EX3 Max spin bike is great for in-home training, especially if you’re looking for a variety of fun, motivating workouts.

  • Resistance: 5
  • Support: 4
  • Materials: 5
  • Technology: 2

Resistance

Magnetic resistance is the name of the game here, and with the Echelon EX3 you get a broad range of 32 levels of resistance. In training along with programs in the Echelon Fit App (using your tablet in the built-in holder), you’ll see that even a well-seasoned cyclist will have to hustle to fight the higher resistance ranges of this bike (not to worry, you can go low-resistance too).

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Support

The Echelon EX3 is highly adjustable in its bars, seat, etc, allowing it to fit a wide range of users. there have been the occasional complaints about saddle soreness, but when it comes to this style of bike that’s fairly systemic for the category. Its pedals are also compatible with SPD clips, for those using the EX3 for off-season cycling training.

Materials

Sturdy steel construction, a hefty flywheel, and generally well-executed surfaces are the name of the game with the EX3. A first ride will quickly make you realize that this isn’t an entry-level bike despite its price being just north of $1,000.

Technology

On the bike itself there isn’t much to report. Onboard speakers and a USB port are present, however the bulk of the tech in the EX3 comes in the form of the Echelon Fit app. The app is packed with functionality, including instructor-led training sessions, as well as scenic rides filmed in stunning locations from around the globe.

Who Should Buy the Echelon Smart Connect Bike EX3 Max?

As noted above, this bike is for everyone from entry-level to experienced rider, though specifically for those who would rather save money and use their own iPad/tablet rather than having a large screen built into their exercise bike.

Buy it today at: Echelon Smart Connect Bike EX3 Max

Sole SB900

Getting back to basics here, the Sole SB900 is the perfect answer for someone that just wants to hop on and ride without the distraction of technology and programming. Hop on, set your resistance, and go — that is the way things roll with this affordably priced unit.

sole sb900 indoor cycle

  • Resistance: 5
  • Support: 4
  • Materials: 5
  • Technology: 0

Resistance

Whisper quiet magnetic resistance is yet again the name of the game here, and with the SB900 you’re getting one of the most affordable bikes out there with this technology.

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Support

Adjustability and overall comfort is once again quite solid with the Sole SB900, once again earning it high marks. Good for riders up to 300 lbs, it is also one of the bikes in this list with the most comfortable seats for an indoor cycle.

Materials

The SB900 is very well engineered for the money, and is backed by a very respectable warranty too. Its commercial-grade steel frame has a lifetime warranty, whereas other components are covered for 3 years.

Technology

Targeting riders that aren’t after a high-tech bike, there’s really nothing to speak of here.

Who Should Buy the Sole SB900?

This is a killer option for those on a budget who are prioritizing build quality and durability over the inclusion of high tech gadgetry. It’s not for everyone, but it’s still a smart choice for under $1,000.

Buy it today at: Sole SB900 Indoor Cycle

Diamondback 510IC

Not every quality spin bike has to cost over $1,000, and unlike our most affordable offering in the list, the Diamondback 510IC is a solid contender that we are confident in recommending

  • Resistance: 4
  • Support: 4
  • Materials: 4
  • Technology: 4

Resistance

 With 16 levels of magnetically controlled resistance and 14 built-in training programs, the Diamondback 510IC delivers some solid bang-for-buck when looking at its included features.

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Support

Vertical and horizontal adjustment of its seat, and vertical adjustment of its bars are the only means by which you can set up the ergonomics of the 510IC, however most riders manage to find themselves a comfortable spot.

Given the price tag it comes as a bit of a surprise that the seat on the 510IC spin bike is as comfortable as it is—not as cushy as a recumbent or standard exercise bike, but definitely reasonable enough to handle a longer workout.

Materials

Though compact in design, measuring a modest 42” x 23” x 46”, the Diamondback 510IC is still quite sturdy, much like its more expensive competition. It also comes backed by a reasonable warranty (lifetime frame, 3yr parts), so there’s once again some decent peace of mind if you’re concerned about overall legibility.

Technology

The 510IC runs a compact but effective LCD console that displays RPM, resistance, time, and other functions. It’s not as high tech as the NordicTrack, but also not as bare-bones as the Sole. Call it the Goldilocks bike for those wanting something a little more well-rounded.

Who Should Buy the Diamondback 510IC

As noted above, this is precisely the spin bike for someone wanting a bit more tech than the Sole, but not as much as the NordicTrack, all while saving a few bucks in the process. It’s a really smart buy overall depending on your preferences.

Check it out today at: Diamondback 510IC Indoor Cycle

 

Sunny Health & Fitness Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Bike

This most affordable bike to make our list is a prime example of a budget-friendly “you get what you pay for”. Priced under $300, these bikes are as no frills as they get, relatively sturdy overall, but suffer from defect and longevity issues when used frequently. They also aren’t great for riders that fall outside of an “average” height threshold, as you’ll see below.

Sunny Health & Fitnesss Pro Indoor Cycling Bike

  • Resistance: 3
  • Support: 2
  • Materials: 3
  • Technology: 0

Resistance

The Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike has a 40 pound flywheel, which is heavy enough for a smooth ride. It uses a caliper-style friction resistance system, which means a wearable item that will require replacement (per some reviews, as frequently as annually).

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Support

Unfortunately, the included seat is undeniably hard and uncomfortable for most people. If it’s a problem do you, however, you can replace it with a seat you find more comfortable. In terms of handlebars, the Sunny Health & Fitness has padded grips which add comfort and prevent your hands from slipping.

Because of its basic design, you don’t get nearly as much ergonomic adjustability on this bike. If you’re under 5’7″ or over 6’2″, you’re likely to be uncomfortable.

Materials

Frame construction of the Sunny Health indoor cycle is decent overall, however its moving parts are where the concern lies. Reports of premature failures in pedals, pedal straps, and other places have been noted. One user claimed that she was riding heavily and trouble free, though she also mentioned that she was lubricating the bike’s moving parts weekly.

It’s also worth noting that there are concerns with aftersales support on this bike. Though it is offered with a 3-year warranty, actually getting repair or replacement sorted has been a nightmare for many.

Technology

Nothing. Nadda. Zip. Zilch. Hence the zero score. This bike is purely mechanical.

Who Should Buy the Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike?

Frankly? Buy at your own risk. Our vote? Save up for a better piece of equipment, but if you’re comfortable going for the most budget buy out there we won’t stop you.

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Schwinn Fitness AC performance plus Indoor Cycling Bike

Some people choose to ride indoor cycles because they enjoy bicycling in general or they’re training for longer rides on outdoor bikes. If you want an indoor bike that is modeled after outdoor bikes, the Schwinn AC Performance Plus should be on your shortlist.

Schwinn AC Performance Plus

  • Resistance: 5
  • Support: 4
  • Materials: 5
  • Technology: 3

Resistance

The Schwinn features a great magnetic resistance system that includes 6 working magnets. You can control the resistance using a knob in the same way you would a bike that uses conventional friction resistance. It’s a powerful system with a very large range of resistance, so anyone from a beginner to a professional athlete can find a resistance that challenges them.

It is worth noting that so long as the flywheel is moving, the pedals are moving. This means that you should come to a complete stop before getting off, which can take some getting used to.

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Support

When you look at the Schwinn AC Performance Plus, it’s clear that the bike is the perfect pairing of indoor and outdoor attributes. It has long, angled handles with rubber grips and a large padded seat like you’d find on any indoor cycle. The magnets keep the bike quiet enough that you could cycle next to someone sleeping. It’s a great indoor cycle.

But what makes the Schwinn stand out is its outdoors-inspired features. The first is the Schwinn’s belt drive: Notably, it actually has one. Most indoor cycles have no belt drive at all. Schwinn engineered their belt drive to try to simulate outdoor riding by making, among other things, the belt drive thicker. The belt drive is ribbed so that it feels like riding an outdoor bike. As the belt drive turns, it gives the impression of a chain moving over sprockets.

In addition, the pedals give you two options. You can ride with normal athletic shoes in supportive toe cages or use SPD fittings that allow you to clip special shoes to them. This will completely bind you to the cycle, eliminating the risk of slipping altogether.

Materials

The belt drive is made of carbon fiber that requires no maintenance. Likewise, the magnets never touch the 37 pound flywheel, so there is no wear or tear on that front either. The frame is made of aluminum, a material that traditionally yields strong but lightweight bikes. Plus, it doesn’t rust!

Schwinn is proud of its belt drive because it uses Carbon Blue technology to make the riding experience feel authentically outdoorsy, and we think they’ve been successful. There’s a reason this bike is expensive, but the price is worth it if you want this experience in your own home.

Technology

Shockingly, the Schwinn AC Performance Plus does not come with any computer console despite its high price – perhaps this was done to aid with the authenticity of riding an outdoors bicycle. In any case, multiple consoles have been designed specifically for this bike, but they won’t be included with your purchase.

Who Should Buy the Schwinn AC Performance Plus

People who find normal indoor bicycles inauthentic should purchase the Schwinn. No other bike on this list comes close to offering an experience that mimics outdoor riding.

The bike’s premium features include the Carbon Blue technology and magnetic resistance, both of which are rare qualities that might make up for the lack of a console. Because all the materials are top of the line and maintenance is low, you should have years and years of enjoyable riding (though it will cost you a pretty penny today).

Check it out today at: Schwinn Fitness AC performance plus Indoor Cycling Bike

The Peloton Bike

Lastly comes the mighty Peloton. Its well built, it started a bit of a fitness revolution of sorts, but it’s hands-down the most expensive way to get a spin bike into your home.

The Peloton Bike

  • Resistance: 4
  • Support: 4
  • Materials: 5
  • Technology: 5

Resistance

The Peloton is a magnet bike, which means its resistance comes in the form of magnets rather than friction. With magnetic resistance, the most noticeable difference is that the bike is much quieter when pedaling. If you haven’t tried it before, you’ll probably marvel at the lack of noise.

As for the resistance itself, we found it to be quite responsive, and you can easily adjust it with a simple knob. Turn right to increase the difficulty or left to make it easier.

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Support

You want your bike to support your exercise efforts, rather than getting in the way. To help with that, the Peloton bike comes with handy clipless pedals. Frustratingly, you have to use Peloton’s proprietary shoes to use its clips… Other clip-on setups across the industry are universal

This is a good feature for safety and comfort. However, it does require you to own special shoes. If you don’t want to buy new shoes, it’s possible to switch these clipless pedals out and replace them with “normal” pedals from an existing bike.

Materials

The Peloton is sturdy in construction, thanks to a carbon steel and aluminum frame. The Peloton has been designed to “deliver super smooth and nearly silent pedaling.” It also has a dumbbell holder and a water bottle holder.

Technology

The technology on the Peloton is what makes it stand out from the majority of the competition. This bike has it all: First, it comes with a 21 inch 1080p display console mounted in the front. The screen has built-in speakers, a microphone, and a camera. It’s also WiFi connected. Finally, it supports Bluetooth audio and wireless ANT+ heart rate straps. Its this configuration that led NordicTrack to update the S15i the way they did, as well as to push into more interactive training options.

The Peloton has all of these features so you can connect to the Peloton online platform. This allows you to watch live spin classes, view recorded classes, or even host your own! You can see your teacher, other students, and even their current metrics. There are tons of other features too, like prerecorded celebrity-hosted classes and following others. Of course, this online platform comes at a price of $39 per month.

Who Should Buy the Peloton?

If spin cycling is your lifestyle—if you live, eat, and breathe spinning—then this is the bike for you. It’s definitely at the high end of performance, and also comes with a sticker price that’s significantly higher than anyone else on the market, but Peloton has an almost cultish following that has led to some significant sales overall.

What to Look for in a Spin Bike

If you’ve browsed spin bikes online, you may already be overwhelmed by all of the choices. Like with anything, when you’re shopping for a spin bike, you’re trying to find the features you need at the best possible price. Pinpointing the right spin bike for you is easier said than done; that’s why we’ve done the hard part for you. Below you’ll see spin bikes we’ve reviewed, organized by price and rated under four key categories:

 

  • Resistance: The best bikes have a large range of resistances for novice and expert athletes alike.

  • Support: You want a stable bike that holds its own, so you can focus on your workout.

  • Materials: The bike’s longevity is dependent on the quality of its materials.

  • Technology: Technological innovations can make your biking experience better.

These are the factors that matter in choosing a spin bike you’ll love for years to come. Now, let’s get to the bikes!

Most people don’t love waking up in the wee hours to travel to the gym. They also find it frustrating trying to find a spin class that has room for them. You probably feel the same way. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just roll out of bed, hop on a spin boke, and start a powerful fat-burning workout in the convenience of your own home?

Well, with the right spin bike, you can!

Our Final Verdict

Every bike has its pros and cons, and all seven of these bikes occupy and dominate their own niche. However, if we divide the bikes by price range (low, medium, and high), three bikes rise to the top:

Low Price Range: Diamondback 510IC

If you’re strapped for cash, or just want an introduction to spin cycling, the Diamondback will help you enjoy getting into working out at home, and provide you reassurance that it’s not going to fall apart on you.

Mid Price Range: Sole SB900

A step up in build quality, a heavy-duty flywheel, and a rock-solid warranty give the Sole SB900 an upper hand in the midrange. The best part being you’ll still keep your price of entry below $1,000.

High Price Range: NordicTrack S15i

At the end of the day, the S15i isn’t even the highest spec spin bike on the market from NordicTrack, but it delivers significant quality, and tech that rivals the Peloton, though at a much more reasonable cost overall. This is why we’re leaning towards the S15i as our favorite premium spin bike right now.

Whatever you decide, we hope you get a lot of miles out of your new spin bike!