UPDATED, July 21, 2022
You can expect plenty of benefits from having a home gym, including convenience, privacy, time savings, and cost-efficiency. However, to get the most out of your home gym and take these benefits even further, it’s important to choose the right exercise equipment that you’ll use and enjoy—and that’s where an exercise bike can be a great addition.
While there are countless options when it comes to workout machines, exercise bikes have a few unique features that make them must-haves for your home gym. They also have the benefit of enabling a familiar activity—whether you’re a current bike-riding fanatic or just remember riding around the neighborhood when you were a child.
Today, we’re exploring our best exercise bike options for home gyms, as well as the health and fitness benefits associated with a stationary bike workout. We’ll also help you choose the indoor exercise bike that’s right for you—so get ready for a ride (no helmet necessary)!
Our Top Picks For Home Exercise Bikes
The most important thing to remember about exercise equipment is that it can only provide you with benefits if you actually use it. That means you should put time and research into finding an exercise bike that’s just right for you, because if you find yourself dreading physical exercise, you probably won’t do it.
Luckily, you’ve got friends on the inside. Here at exercisebike.com, we know the ins and outs of the exercise equipment world and have done some of the research for you. Check out our top exercise bike picks:
NordicTrack Commercial S15i Studio Cycle
We love the NordicTrack Commercial S15i Studio Cycle for plenty of reasons––including its quality-driven incline and decline technology, OneTouch® controls, and Bluetooth® headphone connectivity features––but our absolute favorite feature is the world-class cycling experience offered by iFIT®.
You may be on a stationary exercise bike, but with the thrilling classes and visually stunning workout locations, you might just think you can feel the wind in your hair every time you go cycling with iFIT. Check it out:
Plus, you’ll have access to elite personal trainers who can help you with elements like speed, incline, intensity, and workout form––giving you the chance to maximize your workout benefits while having a great time.
Of course, that’s not all you can expect from this indoor exercise bike. It also boasts a 14-inch rotating HD touchscreen, immersing you in the incredible locations and workouts on and off your bike. Since some iFIT workouts take you off your exercise bike to use other exercise equipment like dumbbells, yoga mats, or simply perform body-weight exercises, your touchscreen rotates with you to keep you engaged and focused with the fitness routine directly in front of you.
Finally, don’t forget the automatic trainer control feature. Your iFIT personal trainer actually has the ability to virtually adjust the incline, decline, and intensity of your exercise bike during your workout––helping you feel like you’re cycling up a hill, down a mountain, or winning a bike race. Automating your exercise equipment settings is a great way to simplify the routine without the distraction of making adjustments yourself.
ProForm Studio Bike Pro 22
The ProForm Studio Bike Pro 22 takes the guesswork out of your bike workouts. With the addition of the SmartBeat™ Forearm Heart Rate Monitor*, your exercise bike uses its Bluetooth® capabilities to sense your heart rate and provides feedback right on your bike’s touchscreen in real time. That’s all thanks to optical photoplethysmography (PPG) technology, which measures variations in blood volume (8). Using this capability, you can wirelessly connect to your exercise equipment and iFIT workouts to monitor your heart rate at all stages of physical activity.
Thanks to its patented SMR™ Silent Magnetic Resistance, this stationary bike checks one of the biggest boxes for home gyms: a quiet workout. You’ll get your cycling in without disrupting a work-from-home spouse, kids’ sleep or study time, or even your napping pets.
On top of everything else that you get, your purchase of the ProForm Studio Bike Pro 22 comes with an iFIT Family Membership for a full 30 days of streaming live events and on-demand fitness. Explore all the challenging iFIT workouts, world destinations, and nutritional guidance by experts straight from your home.
Check out our full ProForm bike review for more information.
You can experience all iFIT has to offer on the Freemotion Coachbike™. This gym-quality exercise bike gives you a chance to explore global and studio workouts without leaving home, all while withstanding high workout usage. Its auto-adjust technology allows your iFIT trainer to adjust your stationary bike’s settings to match the guided workout you’re following—including an impressive incline adjustment range that can simulate cycling up a hill.
The Freemotion Coachbike™ helps users reimagine a workout experience at home and brings the motivation of a local gym home without unnecessary gym onlookers. Then once you’ve finished your workout, simply move to its storing area with ease thanks to its lightweight aluminum frame design.
See our full Freemotion bike review for more information.
More On Our Favorites
Although these three indoor exercise bike options really stand out from the crowd, there’s plenty more to learn. Check out our in-depth bike reviews to find out more about these exercise equipment and why a stationary exercise bike could be your new best friend.
6 Benefits Of A Home Exercise Bike
Now that you know a little more about our top exercise bike options, it’s time to find out why they’re a worthwhile investment to your home gym. Here’s a look at the benefits of home exercise bike workouts:
Low-Impact Physical Activity
Looking for a way to enjoy physical activity without putting too much stress on your joints? Biking is a great choice (16). Cycling on an indoor exercise bike uses smooth movements, which means your bones and joints don’t have to work as hard—but the rest of your body can still enjoy a high-intensity workout.
If you have an existing condition, you can utilize an exercise bike for low-impact physical activity and recovery. In fact, a 2020 study discovered that patients with hip osteoarthritis found cycling and educational intervention helped to reduce their pain associated with osteoarthritis and improved their quality of life over a 6-week period (17).
Another low-impact cycling option is a recumbent exercise bike. This exercise equipment is designed almost like a recliner, allowing you to lean back while you pedal. The NordicTrack Commercial R35 is our favorite model in this case, combining a sleek design with reasonable comfort. It also has a 14-inch HD touchscreen, allowing you to access personal cycling training at home with your favorite iFIT trainers all over the world right on your recumbent bike.
Access To Customizable Workouts
When it comes to your workout, cookie-cutter just won’t do. Cycling gives you the freedom to turn up the heat on your physical activity so that you diversify your benefits and keep yourself from getting bored.
In fact, that’s what interval training is all about. High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, may enable you to increase your calorie burn in a shorter time by combining powerful “work” periods with slower “rest” periods (19).
On an exercise bike, HIIT may follow a pattern like this:
- 1 minute of low-resistance, low-speed cycling.
- 30 seconds of high-speed cycling.
- 1 minute of low-resistance, low-speed cycling.
- 30 seconds of high-resistance cycling.
You can adjust the rest and work periods to match your physical activity goals and maximize your exercise “return on investment.”
Even if HIIT isn’t your favorite type of workout, you’ll have plenty of other choices to explore. An exercise bike gives you access to customizable programs and routines, complete with speed and incline control, on iFIT.
Take, for example, these stationary bike workouts via your iFIT membership. Challenge yourself to an interval training workout while exploring incredible countries like Norway, Japan, Turkey, and Argentina:
Cycling on the road puts you in contact with pedestrians, traffic, and other everyday hazards. It also leaves you at Mother Nature’s whim—so if it’s too hot, too cold, or raining cats and dogs, you’re out of luck.
A stationary exercise bike doesn’t have these limitations. By taking your workout into your home gym, you have more control over your physical environment and, therefore, your physical activity. For instance, you can open a window if you get hot, pull on your long-sleeve workout gear if you’re chilly, and stay dry even during rainstorms. You have total control over your workout environment!
Reduced Risk Of Health Issues
Regular cycling has plenty of benefits when it comes to overall health. In fact, jumping on your indoor exercise bike can help you reduce the risk of certain health issues, including:
Regular cycling may help protect you from developing certain types of cancer (24). These include breast, colon, and bowel cancer.
Research by the University of Utrecht found that people who cycled for at least 30 minutes daily had a 40% lower risk of developing diabetes (25).
Regular exercise, including cycling on a stationary bike, has been found to reduce the risk of depression and help manage its symptoms (26). A study by the University of Reading also found that cycling may also have positive impacts on cognitive function overall (27).
Better Body Composition
Body composition isn’t just about losing weight—it’s about finding a healthy balance between body fat and lean mass (28). In fact, fat has many roles to play in the body, including hormone regulation, organ insulation, and energy reserve storage (29). However, an unhealthy distribution of body fat can be an indicator of long-term health conditions (28).
How To Choose A Home Exercise Bike
Before you can start enjoying any of those great benefits, you need to take one last step: Choose the exercise bike that will fit perfectly into your routine, physical activity goals, and home gym. Here are a few things to keep an eye on as you consider your options:
When it comes to outfitting your home gym, you need exercise equipment that can pack a big punch without a big footprint especially if you’re limited on home space. That’s why it’s important to review the dimensions of every exercise bike you consider. Some makes and models will be bigger than others, especially if they have different resistance mechanisms.
One way to be absolutely sure an indoor exercise bike will fit in your home gym is to pull out a tape measure and some painter’s tape. Write down the dimensions of the stationary bike you’re considering, then use the tape measure and painter’s tape to mark out a rectangle on the floor. This represents the area your new exercise equipment will require.
Remember, it’s not just about floor space—you need to be able to walk around the bike and access other exercise equipment too.
You have options when it comes to exercise bike types. For example, you could choose between an upright bike and a recumbent bike:
An upright bike has you sitting straight in the saddle. The pedals are beneath you, and you perform the same cycling action and physical activity as an outdoor bike.
A recumbent bike is less similar to an outdoor bike. Its reclined seat may be more comfortable for some users, but others may find that the position isn’t ideal for their preferred physical activity.
Contrary to what some home gym owners believe, a cardio workout doesn’t have to come at an unmanageable price. Different makes and models of indoor exercise bikes have different features. If you want to spend less, you can skip the bells and whistles to get a simple but effective cycling workout.
No matter what your budget, there are some features you shouldn’t skip out on—like iFIT compatibility or a display illustrating speed, time elapsed, and calories burned.
Although the benefits of home exercise bike workouts are numerous, they’ll amount to nothing if you don’t actually get to work. That’s why it’s so important to choose an indoor bike that fits your personal needs, fitness goals, and home gym space requirements.
Sure, we have our favorites—but here at exercisebike.com, we’re committed to helping you find your favorite. Check out our exercise bike buying guide for more help choosing the best exercise equipment for you!
iFIT memberships start at $15/mo. + tax, and auto-renew unless canceled in advance. Cancel at any time. Credit Card required for activation. Internet and WiFi required.
This article is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. exercisebike.com assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article. Always follow the safety precautions included in the owner’s manual of your fitness equipment.
*Heart rate monitors used for exercise such as the wireless heart rate monitoring chest strap, grip sensors, or forearm monitors are not medical devices, and their accuracy may be affected by a number of factors. They are also not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.