The exercise bike remains one of the best ways to exercise at home. Like the elliptical trainer and treadmills, it is the perfect combination of sport and fun. However, the number of models is high, and most have very different characteristics.
Which exercise bike to choose under 500 dollars? You should know that it is not easy to choose among all the models available. To help you avoid a bad purchase, we answer all of your questions and offer a comparison of the best exercise bikes in 2021.
The Advantages of Indoor Cycling
The exercise bike has different advantages, whether compared to the classic road bike or other cardio machines. Here are a few:
- It is practical in all weathers: even if it is raining or cold, you are well sheltered at home. It is more compact and therefore takes up less space than the elliptical trainer, treadmill or rower. Often more economical than the machines mentioned above.
- Play sports while watching TV to combine business with pleasure: when you come home at night you like to watch an entertainment program, but you would also like to do some sport. With the exercise bike, you can do both. You don’t have to watch where you are going or pay attention to traffic.
- Possibility of choosing the type of terrain: one of the big advantages of cycling at home over normal cycling is that you will be able to choose the type of terrain. For example, you want to climb the equivalent of a slope of 15 ° over a distance of 2 km, it is possible without having to travel the region in search of this slope.
- Observe and manage your performance live: thanks to the on-board console, you have all the live information to know your pace, the number of km traveled, the number of calories burned, your heart rate, etc.
- You do not commit to anything: always available, you can pedal whenever you have a free moment and stop at any time, unlike outdoor outings which require a little more time and organization.
Best Exercise bike under 500 in 2021
As a sports and fitness lover, I am used to testing different brands and models of exercise bikes. However, my blog do not work for any organization, and product choices are made independently. Here are the bikes that I recommend to my friends according to the profile of the rider:
Checkout: Our Comparison Table of Top 10 Best Exercise bikes under $500 in 2021.
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1. Ativafit Stationary Indoor Cycling Bike for Home Workout
Ativafit indoor exercise bike equipped with durable steel frame with 35lbs flywheel, so you can get a stable and smooth ride in your home. The belt driven system keeps the exercise quiet and won’t disturb anyone around you. It also has wheels that help you move it easily.
This unit built with 2-way adjustable multi-grip handlebar and 4-way padded seat which adapt any size of the user from 5.1-6.5ft. And with a large range of resistance levels, you can always challenge yourself. Also the tension knob allows for increased difficulty.
It built with a modern LCD monitor that tracks your time, speed, distance, calories, and odometer at the same time, and with the IPAD holder, you can start your exercise right away with your favorite music or video. And if you don’t need the display, it will shut off after about 5 minutes.
The cage pedals are adjustable which protects you from a fast ride. You can simply press the resistance bar if you need to stop the flywheel immediately. It also has a water bottle holder near the arms so that you can get it easily. The padded seat is also adjustable so that the user can move up and down and adjust the height.
To ensure quality, Ativafit exercise bike comes with 12-month warranty and lifetime replacement parts. The bike also comes with tools that you need to put together.
2. Marcy ME-706 Strong Adjustable Recumbent Exercise Bike
If you are looking for a sturdy and high quality exercise bike with a limited budget, Marcy ME-706 waiting for you. The frame made of durable steel which combines both beautiful design and high performance. The overall dimensions are 57″ x 24″ x 42″ and the maximum weight capacity 300 lbs.
Its step-through design helps you keep store easily. The counterbalanced strapped pedals build to ensure superior pedaling and a comfortable cycling experience. It is a perfect choice for users between the ages of 10 to 99 years. Even you don’t need an electrical connection, simply start pedaling.
It comes with a manual magnetic resistance mechanism that includes 23 programs and 24 levels of resistance that able to follow different terrains effects. You can also use a manual mode. This is a decent exercise machine for someone who does a moderate workout.
Marcy ME-706 t provides ample space for the legs and the adjustable padded seat able to accommodate most of the users. This compact functional bike has an LCD display with an LED backlight that helps you to monitor distance traveled, current speed, pulse rate and calories burned.
3. Alpha Sports Exercise Indoor Cycling Bike for Home Gym
Our next choice is Alpha sports exercise bike that comes with heavy-duty flywheel and solid steel frame, ensure more stability when you enjoy indoor cycling. This model built with an infinite resistance system and silent belt drive system that provide smooth and comfortable riding experience.
It has four balance adjustable knobs under the front and rear stabilizer that keep this equipment steady on various surfaces. With 300 lbs of weight capacity, it will enhance your safety when start cycling. It is also easy to assemble even if you don’t have the experience, only takes about 30 minutes.
You can simply increase the resistance by tightening the resistance bar. The seat and handlebar are adjustable for different heights so your whole family enjoys this budget-friendly device. The handlebars are soft with slightly padded cushion. The minimum height is 31 and the maximum height is 37 inches.
It also features with emergency stop brake that allows you to stop exercising when feeling tired. With a water bottle holder, it is a great choice for body workout training, weight loss, muscle building, and promoting blood circulation. To ensure quality Alpha sports comes with 12 months warranty.
4. L NOW Magnetic Resistance Upright Exercise Bike for Home Office Cardio Workout
L NOW is one of the famous companies for their gym and sports equipment. Let’s talk about this exercise bike, first, it built with magnetic tension control system, which is convenient to customize your workout levels and you can set easier to more difficult workouts.
Its ergonomic belt drive mechanism and magnetic resistance ensure smooth and ultra-quiet workouts while cycling. This unit is silent so don’t need to worry about disturbing others. Even you don’t need to maintain regularly that is the part of this easy to use the device.
It has 8 levels of magnetic resistance and easily controls intensity with a multi-control resistance switch which provides a responsive riding experience. The wide leather padded seat you can adjust in 4-way and the seat can be adjusted in order to fit different height or arm length. The rotatable handlebar allows your hand in a comfortable position.
You can track your exercise Rpm, time, speed, distance, calories burned, pulse and body fat with the LCD display and also able to monitor your exercise progress. It also has a phone/IPAD holder so that users can watch videos, making fun to stick their workout.
L NOW upright exercise bike is designed with all-inclusive flywheel that ensures high safety to avoid touching and injuries around toddlers. The pedals also built with adjustable straps so that you can increase the stability and comfort level and give more support while pedaling.
L NOW cycling bike is a good choice for family use and we are so confident that you will love this fitness equipment because it is not only built-in high quality but offer a reasonable cost, less than 400 dollars. It also comes with 12-month replacement warranty.
5. CIRCUIT FITNESS AMZ-594U Magnetic Upright Exercise Bike
You should know that CIRCUIT FITNESS is always famous for their ellipticals trainer, treadmill, and exercise bike, however, CIRCUIT FITNESS AMZ-594U made from a combination of high-grade plastic and steel. It features with a durable frame that will improve your overall performance.
The design helps you to quickly enter and exit from the device and support weighing up to 300 lbs. This exercise bike comes with a beautiful LCD monitor that tracks of distance traveled, the time elapsed, calories burned, and current speed. It is also equipped with pulse that is monitors heart rate.
This fitness equipment is designed for fitness enthusiasts of all skill levels, and it comes with 15 modes of preset levels that simulate the effects of biking on different terrains. You just need to simply select the desired program to personalize your training then get ready to start.
The pedals have straps that will prevent your feet from sliding. The pair of contoured handles allow you to comfortably gripping and provide superior support to your upper body. The adjustable padded seat can be moved up, down, forward, and backward to accommodate each user’s leg size.
The resistance is controlled by electricity, so if the machine is not plugged in it will not work. The display runs off rechargeable batteries. The handlebars can be angled differently, and then tightened into place. And the seat is a standard size so you can be replaced with a more comfortable seat.
6. BARWING Foldable 3-IN-1 Magnetic Upright Exercise Bike
BARWING foldable exercise bike comes with 16 levels of adjustable resistance that offers various degrees of movement to improve your confidence level. Its ergonomic design and angle cushioning system provide a variety of adjustments that are suitable for whole family workouts.
The stationary upright exercise bike built-in arm resistance bands help to better improve your upper body strength and sculpting while you cycle and an extra ankle strap allow you to exercise your leg strength efficiently and effortlessly.
Its heavy-duty steel frame combined with X-type design physical balance theory ensures more stability and support up to 300lbs. And its magnetic resistance functionality delivers a smooth and quiet cycling experience in a long time period. It is also sturdy enough to stand up out of the seat and pedal.
The functional LCD monitor tracks your working process and gives you a more scientific exercise date. This device also has a heart rate sensor on the handlebar and shows the data on the monitor. You can place your phone on the pad holder to watch your favorite shows while workout.
7. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B1877 Magnetic Exercise Bike
This cycling bike is virtually maintenance-free and provides better biomechanical and ergonomic exercise experience, allowing you to pedal faster and harder more effectively. It also has a smart device holder so that users can easily put different size Pad or smartphone.
This Sunny Health & Fitness exercise bike is modern and reliable with a silent 29lbs flywheel and offers multiple levels of adjustable resistance, thanks to an electromagnetic system. This is a compact and practical device, but it’s strong enough for long time use.
You will never be bored during your workouts thanks to a multiplayer mode screen. It is also compatible with heart rate monitors. This device is lightweight so that users can easily transport. Also, this device has convenient transport wheels allowing easy movement in your house.
The included bottle holder helps you to stay hydrated for extended training sessions. The seat is adjustable in 4-Way and handlebars in 2 way that will help you stay in proper form. However, it accepts a user with a maximum weight of 265lbs which indicates that some parts are not well constructed.
This model for less than 350 dollars is excellent value for money by offering the most options for your comfort, all in a very compact format.
8. JEEKEE Recumbent Adults Exercise Bike for Home Workout
Compared with other exercise bikes, JEEKEE has 53.5″ long frame with extendable space and 9 positions seat which fits for adult height 4’9″-6’5″. It built with the superb process of the external magnetic flywheel and dual-belt system that provide smooth and quiet operation.
With 300lbs of weight capacity, it featured the highest quality 8 neodymium magnets and the resistance is great to ensure longer service life than another magnetic bike. The LCD monitor tracks all of your fitness data and the iPad holder allows you to watch your favorite show while cycling.
Its large seat and backrest are able to take high pressure. And this lightweight recumbent stationary bike offer low-impact legs exercise free from joints pain and increase your blood circulation. It builds endurance and the perfect choice for physical therapy, rehab, and elderly parent.
JEEKEE exercise bike comes with 8 levels of magnetic tension so that users can easily customize workout difficulty according to their fitness level. Like our other recommendations, this unit has heart rate monitor that helps you know how hard you workout. The seat is also comfortable.
This recumbent exercise bike concentrates on the lower body and builds endurance without subjecting the hip to the strain of walking. You can peddle backward and will count miles biking backward too. To ensure quality, this unit also comes with 1-year of free parts replacement.
9. L NOW D600 Indoor Cycling Adjustable Stationary Bike
This is another great exercise bike under $500 from L NOW, the D600 model built with the magnetic resistance control system with a normal friction resistance system which provides quiet and smooth operation consistently with a turning knob. It is also very easy to assemble.
This unit can be easily customized to your workout levels. The beautiful LCD monitor tracks your different workout process and allowing you to check your real-time workout. This model also has a tablet holder that allows you to enjoy exercising and music at the same time.
It has 2-way multi-grip handlebar and 4-way adjustable breathable seat so that users can fit different body sizes for ensuring whole family use. With durable materials construction, the maximum weight capacity is 280lbs. This model also comes with a 12 months for free replacement parts guarantee.
The handlebars are comfortable and the padded can use different positions. The bike is very smooth even at very high resistances. Not only that, it won’t make a single sound or squeak. If you are looking for a relatively inexpensive exercise bike, this is a great choice.
10. Cyclace L-003B Exercise Bike with Comfortable Seat
Last but not least, this is a stable Indoor exercise bicycle from Cyclace which provides a quiet and safe cycling experience. It is equipped with thickened steel and triangular frame which ensure more durability. And with 36lbs flywheel and belt-driven system, it can support up to 330lbs.
With this device, you can burn fat quickly and able to build core muscles and strengthen the heart, and at the same time, it will reduce injuries. Its multi-grip handlebar with adjustable resistance meets the needs of beginner to professional users.
This unit is also fully adjustable for family use. It also built with small wheels that will help you to move and store the bike easily. The superb LCD monitor tracks your time, speed, distance, calories burned and more at the same time. It also has a phone holder to watch videos.
It’s compact and doesn’t take up much space. The seat cushion provides a long time of comfortable riding without boring. It can work for a 6ft tall man and the exercise bikes inform you in real-time about the vital constants of your body. Cyclace L-003B is a versatile design that meets all of your requirements.
The compact, light and comfortable device can be easily stored. It works not only in the lower limbs but also in the muscles of the upper body. In addition, it is also easy to maintain.
Five Reasons to Use an Exercise Bike
To lose weight
Many people choose the exercise bike to loss their weight, and it is a good choice for this. Because you know that sport is often overlooked when trying to lose weight. If you are not athletic and can’t find the motivation, the exercise bike is good option for you because it is much easier to use, control and store.
To build your legs
Depending on the intensity of the session and your physical predispositions, it is quite possible to increase the muscle volume of the thighs while pedaling. It is an option generally chosen by men, and safe for the back. However, you will have to put a high resistance, because at low or moderate resistance, you will not have big thighs.
To work the cardio
By practicing regularly and gradually increasing the duration and the difficulty, you will work your cardio and improve your endurance. A good alternative to running because cycling has no negative impact on your joints.
To keep in shape
Not really a goal of physical transformation or performance, but just want to play sports because it’s good for your health. Here again, the exercise bike is recommended. No pressure, you go at your own pace.
Physiotherapists often recommend it for rehabilitation following a leg injury, hip arthritis, etc. The advantage is that you will be able to adjust the difficulty according to your needs at the precise moment of your rehabilitation process.
In the beginning, you should favor a very low resistance, then you will gradually increase the resistance.
Different Types of Exercise Bikes & Alternatives
Exercise bikes are distinguished by the functions they offer such as programs, resistance, build quality, comfort, and more. Above all, there are also different families of exercise bikes:
- Classic upright bike: the one we all know and on which we stand relatively upright. We can distinguish here the folding models or not, the 1st having the advantage of being less bulky. They are found at all prices.
- Spinning bike: it looks more like a racing bike and the user’s posture is more like that adopted by professional cyclists. It is especially suitable for athletes who looking for high performance. It often offers more advanced functions.
- Semi- recumbent bike: more comfortable, the user benefits from a wide backrest and a backrest tilted back. The knees go up to the torso when you pedal. Above all, it offers a better posture for the back. However, this type of bike takes up significantly more space.
- The elliptical trainer: it is not really an exercise bike, but I still wanted to mention this device that is very present in fitness rooms. It has the advantage of working more muscles than the conventional exercise bike and in particular the muscles of the back, those of the shoulders and the biceps.
- The mini exercise bike: Same principle as the exercise bike, but in mini version! It is in fact only a pedal, which allows to save a maximum of space but also and especially to exercise while being at the office on his computer.
How to Choose Your Exercise Bike
You know that the indoor cycle is surely one of the most popular cardio/fitness equipment and everyone should find something there because it is still necessary to have the right advice to choose from. To help you, we’ve put together a list of criteria to consider:
Frequency of use
Use occasional, regular or intensive, don’t invest a fortune in a bike that you won’t use very little, but pay the price for a sturdy and comfortable bike if you plan to use it regularly.
Your height and weight
If you have a physical specificity for example very tall, obese situation, you must check the limits of the bike. Generally, the 1st price models are not suitable because they are too light. The heavier your bike, the more stability is assured.
This is one of the most important technical criteria because it determines the quality, comfort and fluidity of pedaling. For better joint comfort, avoid exercise bikes with a flywheel of less than 10 lbs. For efficient work focused on resistance, opt instead for a heavier flywheel more than 15 lbs.
Folding exercise bike or not? Many are looking for a foldable bicycle due to lack of space. This is indeed a good reason, but they are also less stable. The foldable is ok for an occasional user for example fitness or weight loss purposes. Otherwise prefer a classic model, but compact.
Comfort and ergonomics
Several aspects of the bike can increase your comfort: An ergonomic seat, a backrest for the back, an adjustable seat height, non-slip pedals, a good quality adjustable belt, etc. The comfort options can also take into account elements such as PC support, a bottle holder, wheels to facilitate movement.
Not everyone uses it always, but modern bikes are often equipped with a touch screen with different options such as statistics, pre-installed training programs, Google Maps, and more. Some are also compatible with Smartphone applications, most include a heart rate sensor.
I will speak about it last but it is obviously the most determining criterion in the choice of your bike, and the criteria above depend on it. If you don’t have more than 300 dollars to put in, you won’t be able to have a top bike and you will necessarily have to make concessions. If your budget is higher, then you can start to choose according to your criteria what suits you best.
Frequently Asked Questions
What parts of the body does the exercise bike work on?
The exercise bike helps in particular to strengthen the legs and thighs. However, two aspects must be taken into consideration: sports activity and diet. This second point is very important for a good shape. However, make sure you have a balanced diet.
How often should I use an exercise bike?
It depends on the goals and other activities practiced. You can use it every day without any other activity or include it in a sports program twice a week. Make sure you adjust the saddle correctly, flex your lower limbs slightly and keep your knees away from the handlebars.
What kind of sport should combine with an exercise bike?
Several sports can be associated with the exercise bike. This device can be combined with all sports that require a warm-up. According to studies based on a comparison, researchers recommend an interval exercise program to burn calories faster.
What is the lifespan of an exercise bike?
An exercise bike can last about fifteen years if it is well maintained. Comparisons prove that annual maintenance is necessary to extend its lifespan.
Does the recumbent bike make you lose weight?
This type of exercise bike helps firm the muscles of the lower limbs, but it is not the ideal alternative for weight loss. But the recumbent bike allows you to use more muscles and is more comfortable. This type of exercise bike can also work on the lumbar and abs.
Choose a bike that suits your needs
As I have said several times, you must choose an exercise bike according to your needs, what type of practice you plan to do: rehabilitation, fitness or performance. Similarly, also think about the frequency of use: how many times do you plan per week, and what will be the average duration of these sessions?
For beginners, I recommend choosing a model between 200 and 500 dollars. At this price, you will find the perfect starting and sturdy exercise bikes. Below 200 dollars, you really risk falling on a low-end model that is inefficient and won’t last. Also remember to adapt the exercises to your level by gradually increasing the difficulty. And yes, that’s how you will progress!