FANCY buying an exercise bike for your home but don't want to spend the earth? We're here to help.
We've rounded up the best cheap exercise bikes from around the web to make your choice much easier.
Just because an exercise bike is cheap, it doesn't mean it can't be a great tool for getting in shape.
A lot of the money you spend on a more expensive model is on digital tracking and exercise programmes.
While those things are nice to have, they're not a necessity if you're just parking your exercise bike in front of the TV and knocking out a quick half hour to get your heart rate up.
You'll burn the same number of calories whether or not you've got a personalised coach or wireless connectivity.
Where can I buy an exercise bike?
The current demand for home fitness gear is massive and as a result, some of the items in our list may be out of stock.
We've listed a few retailers below where you can find a good selection of exercise bikes covering all price points.
- JTX Fitness
- John Lewis
1. Best value arm and leg trainer: Domyos Mini Bike
- Domyos Mini Bike, £59.99 from Decathlon – buy here
A super cheap and storable way to get into fitness at home, the Domyos Mini Bike is a versatile piece of kit.
Not only can you pedal with your feet as a low tech fitness tool, you can also use it as an arm workout.
Both methods are basic but effective ways of gaining fitness, whichever you opt for.
You get five feedback metrics for your money, which include: distance travelled, calories burnt and time spent pedalling.
2. Best value lightweight bike: Opti Folding Magnetic Exercise Bike
- Opti Folding Magnetic Exercise Bike, £99.99 from Argos – buy here
With a great value price tag, this Opti Folding Magnetic exercise bike is a serious hit with shoppers, boasting thousands of positive reviews from happy customers.
It’ll fold away to help you save space when not in use and it weighs just 13.4kg, so it’s easy to move around.
And despite the bike's low price point, you still get a pulse sensor in the handlebars and various performance metrics, such as time, distance and calories.
The maximum user weight is 100kg (15st 10lb).
3. Best value all-rounder: Roger Black Gold Magnetic Exercise Bike
- Roger Black Gold Magnetic Exercise Bike, £299 from Roger Black Fitness – buy here
If you increase the amount you’re willing to spend, you’re rewarded in this exercise bike with a number of programmes that will target your exercise goals including calories and distance.
That should help provide a bit of extra motivation as your churn out the miles.
Your performance is charted on a large LCD screen and you even get a bottle holder and an iPhone stand as added extras.
The maximum user weight is 125kg (19st 10lb).
4. Best value seated bike: Domyos E Seat exercise bike
- Domyos E Seat Exercise Bike, £349.99 from Decathlon – buy here
Not everyone likes being in the saddle, so if you prefer to sit a bit more comfortably, it could be worth giving this seated exercise bike a go.
It's got nine user programmes to whip you into shape and even comes with a chest strap heart rate monitor which will help you track your progress.
The maximum user weight is 150kg (330lb).
5. Best value spin bike: Opti Aerobic Manual Exercise Bike
- Opti Aerobic Manual Exercise Bike, £249.99 from Argos – buy here
If you're into spin and you want to get some more time in the saddle away from the gym, this could be the bike for you.
It uses manual resistance to give you a workout and provides feedback in the form of time, speed, distance and calories.
The maximum user weight is 120kg (18st 13lb).
6. Best value smart exercise bike: Nero Sports Bluetooth upright exercise bike
- Nero Sports Bluetooth upright exercise bike, £229.99 from Amazon – buy here
Want to take your workouts virtual using online training platforms like Zwift? Then you're going to need an exercise bike that's able to broadcast your efforts via Bluetooth or ANT+.
While most brands charge four figures for these sorts of features, you can get one for a fraction of the cost if you know where to look.
This Bluetooth-enabled exercise bike from Nero Sports can sync up with training apps, transforming a rotation of the pedals in the real world into powering your online avatar – allowing you to train, race and ride with others virtually.
Resistance is changed using the turn of a knob and its built-in heart rate monitor will help you track your efforts with ease.
7. Best value dual action exercise bike: Marcy Dual Action Air
- Marcy Dual Action Air Exercise Bike, £229 from Argos – buy here
Burn more calories and tone more muscles with this dual action bike; combining alternating arms with pedalling, it'll give you a serious workout in less time than a standard exercise bike.
The model's large fan generates more wind resistance the harder and quicker you train. There's also a manual tension control for you to monitor resistance.
The bike's LCD screen gives you feedback on your workout as you go, including: time, speed in km, distance and calories burned.
8. Best value space-saving exercise bike: Songmics Exercise Bike
- Songmics Exercise Bike, £119.99 from Amazon – buy here
Folding down to a compact 35cm wide and 133cm tall, this petite exercise bike is perfect if you don't have a lot of space to play with. Even when it's unfolded, it's not huge, measuring 70 x 41 x 113cm.
Despite its size, it delivers as a fuss-free exercise bike – there are eight magnetic resistance levels and the bike itself is remarkably quiet, so you'll be able to watch your favourite TV show with no bother as you pedal away.
It has an electronics holder and you can track your speed, calories burned, pulse, distance, and current time on the LCD screen.
Boasting a whole host positive shopper reviews, many happy customers praise the exercise bike for its super comfy seat and great back support, a nice extra for such a competitively-priced model.
9. Best value turbo trainer: Tacx Vortex Smart Trainer
- Tacx Vortex Smart turbo trainer, £349.99 from Decathlon – buy here
While not strictly an exercise bike, if you already own a set of wheels for commuting or leisure, a turbo trainer can transform it into a spin-ready machine – saving space in the process.
All you need to do is position your bike in place, secure it, and you're away – your very own static exercise bike using your own bike.
While there are cheaper turbo trainers on the market, this smart trainer from Dutch brand Tacx is great value because of its interactive features – where resistance can be modified electronically, rather than via a knob or button, making online training applications like Zwift or Trainer Road even more realistic.
Its wheel-on design makes it compatible with most road, hybrid or mountain bikes, and its compact design is easier to store when not in use – unlike a full-size exercise bike.
What is the best at-home exercise bike?
The answer to this question very much depends on what you're looking for – the best exercise bike is one that fits in with your budget and the space that you have available.
If you're looking to exercise in a relaxed manner a couple of times a week, a no-frills, good value bike is all you need.
But if you're on a mission to up your fitness and hit certain goals, you may want more from your bike with a model that gives you different metrics and connects wirelessly to other devices to sync your training.
How much should I spend on an exercise bike?
It's easy to pick up a decent quality exercise bike for £150 or under.
But if you want more advanced features, including a variety of exercise programmes and a high
-quality digital display, your investment will need to start between £200 and £300.
Are stationary bikes worth the money?
That depends on how much you're planning to use an exercise bike.
If you get something cheap and you use it once or twice a week, it's a solid investment.
But, if you're looking for an experience, it could be worth heading down the gym and investing in a gym membership that includes a spin studio.
Can you lose weight on an exercise bike?
If you're looking to lose weight, cycling (along with a healthy, balanced diet) is a good place to start.
Cardiovascular exercise burns calories, which, if done regularly, will help you shift some pounds.
Plus, if you stick your bike in front of a TV, it hardly feels like a workout at all!
Is 30 minutes on a stationary bike enough?
If you're just starting out and you're not used to much exercise, whatever you can manage is good going.
As you get familiar with your exercise bike, half an hour a day is a good duration and will burn around 200 calories each session, although this varies by around 100 calories depending on your weight, the resistance you're working at and the intensity of the workout.
With a daily 30 minute workout, slowly but surely you will build your core strength and cardio fitness and before long you'll find yourself being able to train harder and for longer.
What muscles does an exercise bike work?
Your legs and lower body muscles most benefit from exercising on a bike, including your calves, thighs, quads, hamstrings and your bum muscles (glutes).
You'll also work your upper body – to stay in the correct position, you'll work your triceps, biceps, shoulders, back and chest.
Your core strength is called upon during a bike workout and it will also improve your cardiovascular fitness.
How to turn a bike into an exercise bike?
To turn a bike into a stationery bike you need a turbo trainer, which elevates your rear wheel off the ground and connects it to a roller. The roller’s resistance is adjustable, allowing you to make it harder or easier to turn the pedals.
You can also invest in a roller bike stand, which elevates your whole bike and allows both wheels to spin. Again, the resistance is adjustable.
Does an exercise bike tone your stomach?
Through its aerobic functions, an exercise bike is designed to burn fat. While it's tough to target the stomach muscles directly, using an exercise bike consistently along with following a healthy diet will eventually lead to weight loss and and more toned physique all over.
Loved our roundup of the best cheap exercise bikes? Have a look at our pick of the best cheap treadmills.
We've also rounded up the best vibration plates around in case you're in the market for more fitness equipment.
If you want to check more of our sports-related recommendations, visit Sun Selects' health and fitness page.
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