Cheap exercise bike vs. expensive exercise bike

Fitness Equipment

It can be hard to find the time to regularly hit the gym. Exercise bikes offer a great option to work out from your home or office.

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Is a cheap or expensive exercise bike best?

If you’re looking for indoor fitness equipment to get your cardio, one of the most practical and effective pieces of equipment to have is an exercise bike. There are a plethora of exercise bikes available on the market that range from cheap to expensive. The expensive products usually feature premium materials and have several features.

Some factors to consider when buying an exercise bike include ease of use, comfort, price and additional features. If you’re someone with a limited budget or you’re not interested in additional features offered by high-end exercise bikes, you’ll likely be happy using a cheap exercise bike.

Cheap exercise bikes

An indoor exercise bike offers a convenient and safe alternative to road cycling. It’s not necessary to use a premium-quality exercise bike to burn calories, but you should choose one that allows you to ride with proper technique and adjust the difficulty according to your fitness needs. A cheap exercise bike may lack an LCD screen, fitness programs or other features, but a low price tag makes it worth it if you’re on a limited budget.

There are two basic categories of exercise bikes: upright and recumbent bikes. The upright bike allows you to burn more calories by offering you more intense workouts. A recumbent bike offers more comfort and stability, but you have to work harder to achieve your calorie-burning target. You can expect to pay $100-$250 for a cheap exercise bike of decent quality.

Cheap exercise bike pros

  • You save money. The cheap price also means you worry less about spending too much money if you end up not using the exercise bike as much as you thought you would.
  • You can get a cheap bike as your first purchase of this kind to ensure an exercise bike is the right cardio equipment for your fitness needs.

Cheap exercise bike cons

  • A cheap exercise may not come with entertainment features, such as an LCD screen. You’ll have to find a way to keep yourself entertained and motivated to reach your calorie-burning targets.
  • The materials used in cheap exercise bikes may not be as durable compared to expensive exercise bikes. 
  • You may have some uncertainty about the longevity of a cheap exercise bike.

Best cheap exercise bikes

Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike

Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike

The Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike is an easy-to-use and comfortable device. The small display shows all the basic workout metrics, such as calories burned, time, distance and speed. You have a choice of multiple resistance levels and adjustable seat heights.

Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods

XTERRA Fitness FB150 Folding Exercise Bike

XTERRA Fitness FB150 Folding Exercise Bike

XTERRA brand offers several exercise bikes, and the FB150 is one of its cheaper models, but this bike offers a lightweight and sturdy option. You can fold it for easy storage if you don’t want to keep it at all times.

Sold by Amazon

LANOS Workout Bike

LANOS Workout Bike

If you can’t make up your mind on whether you should get an upright or recumbent bike, you can get the LANOS 2-in-1 workout bike. The foldable design makes this exercise bike ideal for home or office use.

Sold by Amazon

Expensive exercise bikes

Expensive exercise bikes offer several more features than cheap ones, such as extra comfort, excellent durability and other benefits, but these bikes come at a much higher price. Expensive bikes cost more than $250 and can go for as much as $2,000, depending on the brand and model. Some high-end exercise bikes have large touch-screen displays that offer entertainment options and more workout data than their cheaper counterparts.

Expensive exercise bike pros

  • With an expensive exercise bike, you get several features, such as entertainment and workout programs, which can help you achieve your fitness goals.
  • The premium quality materials in expensive exercise bikes allow the product to last a long time.
  • Most expensive exercise bikes are ergonomic and offer adjustable seat and handle settings. Biking in the correct posture can reduce the risk of injuries, which means with an ergonomic bike, your chances of injury can reduce quite a bit

Expensive exercise bike cons

  • Spending a lot of money on an expensive exercise bike would be a waste if you don’t use any of the premium features.

Best expensive exercise bikes

NordicTrack S22i Studio Cycle

NordicTrack S22i Studio Cycle

If you can afford the NordicTrack S22i Studio Cycle, you won’t regret it. It offers a full range of features, including a 10-inch touch-screen, a cool air fan to keep you comfortable while working out and an automatic trainer that adjusts the resistance based on your selected workout.

Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods

Schwinn 270 Recumbent

Schwinn 270 Recumbent

With 29 advanced settings for a workout and a twin LCD, the Schwinn 270 Recumbent exercise bike offers several features to assist you in your cardio workout. The premium-built quality makes this a highly durable and stable product.

Sold By Amazon, Schwinn and Dick’s Sporting Goods

YOSUDA Indoor Stationary Bike

YOSUDA Indoor Stationary Bike

The YOSUDA Indoor Stationary Bike is designed for smooth movement and quieter operation, compared to other upright exercise bikes. It features a tablet holder that offers room for different entertainment devices. The product is easy to assemble.

Sold by Amazon  

Should you get a cheap or expensive exercise bike?

Choosing between a cheap and expensive exercise bike comes down to your individual preference, budget and how much you plan to use it. If you can stretch your budget to buy an expensive exercise bike, you’ll get several features that can help you achieve your health and fitness goals. This means expensive models offer great value for the money. If you think you don’t need entertainment or workout programs to keep you motivated during your workouts, you may be fine getting a cheap exercise bike.


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Ali Azhar writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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