Exercise Bikes

The first thing you need to know when considering the purchase of an exercise bike is whether you want the traditional upright exercise bike or the newer recumbent exercise bikes which seem to be more popular in fitness gyms and in homes these days. Many people claim that a recumbent exercise bike (ones where you essentially lie down while pedaling) is more comfortable to sit on and that may be true but I find during my workouts at the gym that I like to stand up on the upright exercise bikes and really get my legs pumping which is not possible on the recumbent bikes. If you workout at your local gym, get on their exercise bikes and determine which style you prefer. The majority of fitness exercise bikes come preloaded with features like preset programs, LCD viewing consoles, workout stats such as distance, RPM, pulse, speed, calories, and resistance. You want a bike with a comfortable seat since your butt will be on the bike for hours every week (potentially). I recently went looking for an exercise bike I could use at home and replace some of my workouts that I do at the gym. My first bit of research started with reading the latest Consumer Reports article where they compare both recumbent and upright models on features like ergonomics, ease of use, safety, heart rate monitors, construction/durability, and variety of exercise levels available. I also went down to my local sporting goods store to jump on a few of their exercise bikes and see how they felt, what type of features they offered, and how they compared on a big issue – PRICE. I looked into all the top brands like Proform, Stamina, Phoenix, AFG, Schwinn, Lifecycle, Kettler and Marcy. You could spend upwards of $1500 on a Lifecycle or Kettler exercise bike but for much less you can buy a Schwinn recumbent exercise bike for around $550 and models like their 230 and 231 receive great reviews from consumer fitness magazines and online at Amazon.com where literally 100’s of owners have posted comments on the Schwinn bikes and rated their models very high.We like listening to experts in the fitness field, but all too often they try to sell the most expensive brand when you really don’t need that much “exercise bike”. RECOMMENDED – We say start with reading some reviews online at Amazon.com in their sports/fitness section and see which exercise bikes have the highest ratings. You will see that Proform and other expensive brands don’t rate as high as the mid-range bikes from Schwinn, Marcy or Stamina. One of our favorites is the Schwinn Airdyne Upright Exercise Bike which gives you a dual action workout for both upper and lower body. You can browse all the most popular exercise bikes here.

Top 3 Exercise Bikes:
Reviews, Descriptions, and Pricing
1 Schwinn 231 Recumbent Exercise Bike – One of the TOP SELLING exercise bikes on Amazon.com, the Schwinn 231 is also highly rated in consumer magazines like Consumer Reports. It’s the recumbent exercise bike I went with and I couldn’t be happier. All my research led me back to Schwinn time and again. The recumbent bike features 16 resistance levels and an instrument panel that is easy to read from all angles. The seat is what sold me on this bike, it’s wide and comfortable allowing me to concentrate on my pedaling and not worry about a sore rear end after a workout. I get excellent back support from this model and that is another reason I decided to go with the recumbent versus the upright bike. The handlebars have integrated heart rate grips and the 10 preset programs vary my workout from day to day. The programs offer things like BMI measurement, a fitness test, results mode, calorie goal and time trial. I can track my distance, speed, RPM’s, calories burned, resistance, and much more. See all the top selling recumbent exercise bikes online here.
2 Marcy Upright Mag Cycle – For those of you that prefer the upright exercise bikes, the PL-43211 from Marcy should do the trick. It’s not the fanciest or most expensive model around, but it gets the job done and tracks speed, distance, time and calories burned. If you want a basic upright bike definitely consider the Marcy. The bike is value priced, gets excellent feedback from owners, and features a 2 year limited warranty. This compact exercise bike fits great in apartments, basements, or spare bedrooms and owners say the magnetic resistance keeps the bike quiet. The Schwinn 130 Uprights or the Schwinn Active 10 Series are two other models worth considering. You can entire listing of upright exercise bikes here.
3 Schwinn AD6 Airdyne Exercise Bike – Looking for a complete workout without heading to the gym everyday? I’ve tried the Airdyne exercise bike from Schwinn and it delivers. The fan wheel techology will give you a solid workout and LED console keeps you updated with the workout stats. The upper and lower body workout will burn those calories and have you fit in no time. The dual action motion will get your arms and legs moving and your heart rate up. Customer reviews posted on Amazon are overwhelmingly in favor of this total body workout exercise bike and having tried it myself I have to say the Schwinn Airdyne is a quality exercise bike. Check out all the Schwinn exercise bikes online here.

If you are looking for a more expensive exercise bike, perhaps one from Kettler or Life Fitness, you can shop online at Amazon. They carry the Kettler Ergoracer GT Indoor Cycling Bike which sells for almost $1800 and receives great reviews from owners. The Life Fitness C9i Upright LifeCycle Exercise Bike and the Life Fitness R9i Recumbent LifeCycle Exercise Bike are two others worth noting although they are over $2500 each. For indoor cycling bikes – see the LifeSpan Fitness S2 Indoor Cycling Bike for under $700. Most people who want to workout at home don’t need all the bells and whistles that come on the high end models, so stick with the basics and make sure you actually use the exercise bike when you buy it. The worst thing to do is buy a bike and have it sit there day after day and waste your hard earned $$$. We were less than impressed with the reviews we found for the Proform exercise bikes both online and in magazines. We would say go with the Schwinn models before choosing a Proform.

Exercise Bike Reviews

If you want more reviews to help back up your final buying decision, go to websites like Consumersearch.com, Trainersecrets.com, and Exerciseequipment.com. Most of these sites look at several different models from various manufacturers of exercise bikes and give you in depth reviews and buying guides. Consumer Reports publishes their ratings every year or so in the magazine and their website is usually kept up to date with the findings. You can always ask your local gym what they recommend for home use. Keep in mind that most exercise bikes found in gyms are very expensive and require lots of maintenance which is not what the average homeowner wants to take on. You need a bike that requires little maintenance and is sturdy and durable so it will last. You can find used models on sites like Ebay which tend to give you large discounts compared to buying retail.