Exercise bikes are among the most popular machines used at homes, and for good reason. They’re arguably the best option for effective cardio-respiratory training, especially the low-impact variety.
Importantly, they’re often also the most compact option.
That compact size is what draws most to exercise bikes in general. Compared to other common cardio machines like treadmills and elliptical trainers, exercise bikes tend to take up relatively little space in your home gym.
However, what if you could go even smaller? What if you could bring that footprint to something that could fit anywhere in your home and be stowed away in your closet? What you’re looking for is a great folding exercise bike. Today we’re going to show you our top picks for the best folding exercise bikes currently available.
We’ve gone through the process of searching for, selecting, comparing and checking the best models on the market. Once we’ve gone over our picks, we’ll talk in-depth about what makes folding bikes so interesting and why they’re among the best pieces of home exercise equipment you can get.
After that, we’ll give you all the info you could possibly need to make a good, educated decision on which is the right product for you. At the end of today’s reading, you should be capable of recognizing the positive features of any bike on the market, as well as what to stay away from.
With that said, let’s get to it!
Best Folding Exercise Bike At a Glance
Best Folding Exercise Bike Overall
This is a folding model that does a great job of offering all the features found on a full-sized model without the added weight and footprint. Its sturdy build quality and consistent performance are elevated to a whole new level with Ancheer’s software suite.
Best Folding Recumbent Exercise Bike
Exerpeutic’s 400XL offers proof that folding bikes aren’t reserved for the upright variants only. This is an awesome recumbent bike that brings you all of the features that define this type of bike, in a package you can store in your closet. Well made, affordable and durable; a great option for those with joint pain.
Best Budget Folding Exercise Bike
Marcy, much like Exerpeutic, brings a great combination of price and performance. This foldable bike is an upright model that comes with all the bells and whistles you’d want in a bike of this type. Marcy has once more delivered an affordable model that doesn’t disappoint even after longer use.
The 5 Best Folding Exercise Bikes
|Ancheer Folding Exercise Bike||
|Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike||
|Marcy Foldable Upright Exercise Bike||
|Exerpeutic Gold 500 XLS Foldable Upright Bike||
|Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Exercise Bike||
|Exerpeutic ExerWorK 1000 Desk Folding Exercise Bike||
|Ancheer Folding Exercise Bike|
|Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike|
|Marcy Foldable Upright Exercise Bike|
|Exerpeutic Gold 500 XLS Foldable Upright Bike|
|Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Exercise Bike|
|Exerpeutic ExerWorK 1000 Desk Folding Exercise Bike|
Ancheer’s folding exercise bike represents a new echelon of folding exercise bikes that offer a functionality that’s almost as good as that of full-sized bikes.
One of the main arguments against folding models is that you’re losing the in-built features most often associated with a complete display unit. However, with the technology being what it is today, manufacturers can pack all those tools into a smartphone app. That’s exactly what Ancheer did.
The bike itself is made tough. With an aluminum frame, it’s robust enough for sustained use but light enough to store away easily. It features a fully adjustable and padded seat. The magnetic resistance mechanism offers 10 levels of challenge, which is plenty enough for most people to get everything from a light warmup to a full-blown workout.
The software package that comes with the bike includes a number of progress tracking tools but also a cycling game that requires you to use your pedaling power to progress through the story.
Overall, it’s the great folding exercise bike that offers a bunch of innovative design features.
- Great build quality that can withstand frequent use
- Fully adjustable seat that’s padded and fairly comfortable
- A full suite of mobile apps that offer monitoring and entertainment
The Not So Good
- Not the cheapest model in this segment for sure
Folding bikes are all about being compact and saving on space. However, what if you could get a similar form factor from a recumbent bike? Exerpeutic is one of the few brands out there that knows how to pull this off.
They’ve created a fully folding recumbent bike that delivers the benefits inherent in cycling in a reclined position, but which also packs up neatly. Once fully extended, Exerpeutic 400XL reveals all of the classic features of a standard recumbent design.
You’ll find a padded seat with backrest, side-mounted handlebars that feature heart rate sensors, and a built-in display unit. As far as resistance goes, there are 8 levels of magnetic resistance to choose from.
What makes this bike so valuable is the fact that you can use it under a desk. The frame it sits on is robust but also quite slim, so you’ll easily get under a normal sized desk. Overall, this is the best recumbent folding exercise bike you can get your hands on.
- One of the best recumbent folding bike designs on the market
- Comes with a fully padded seat and side-mounted heart rate sensors
- Folds up into a tiny space considering its design
The Not So Good
- The seat, although padded, might become uncomfortable after longer rides
Marcy is one of those names that frequently features in discussions about entry-level and mid-tier exercise equipment. Their foldable upright exercise bike tows the company line – offering reliable performance with consistency on a daily basis. This is an upright bike, meaning that it sports a more aggressive riding position. However, those who dislike this position will appreciate the additional reduction in size that this design brings to the table.
In terms of hardware, this bike offers a number of great features. The seat is sporty but comfortable and adjustable by height. It might take some getting used to though. The frame is wide and stable as long as you don’t go too hard on it. This model features a built-in display unit and standard adjustable resistance.
Marcy has once again created a great-value-for-money product with this folding exercise bike.
- An extremely compact bike that packs up small
- Comes with a robust and stable frame
- Awesome bang for the buck value
- Comes with a built-in display unit
The Not So Good
- Although adjustable by height, the seat on this bike might be too low for taller users
Next up is another Exerpeutic model that offers a great combo of price, performance, and features. This time around it’s the Gold 500 XLS model and it’s an interesting one. This is another upright bike but one that features a neutral seat design optimized for comfort more than anything else.
With that said, Exerpeutic went above and beyond with aesthetics. Its minimalist design, burnt bronze finish, and non-standard frame pattern give it a high-end vibe.
Once broken down into specific components, things become even better.
The frame, although different from the standard pattern, offers more stability and support. The seat is adjustable by height with enough padding to satisfy even the most sensitive users. With the standard 8 levels of resistance, you’re looking at a smooth, easy-going machine that will get you the performance you need.
On top of that, it features a good quality built-in display for easier tracking of your training progress.
- One of the best-looking folding bikes on the market
- Great seat packed with plenty of padding
- Comfortable seating position
The Not So Good
- Too much padding can be an issue for some
We’re continuing down the Exerpeutic line of bikes with their basic folding upright model. This is what Exerpeutic offers in the entry-level range and it’s great – for the most part.
The bike sits on a sturdy frame made from solid materials that feature the standard pattern we see across this entire category. Being an upright model means that you’ll be enjoying a much smaller form factor once you fold the bike.
The seat design on this bike is very similar to that of our previous pick. In other words, you’re looking at a heavily padded, neutral seat that was designed with comfort in mind. The seat is adjustable by height. The built-in display unit offers the usual metrics and is average at best.
As far as resistance goes, you’re getting the same 8 levels of resistance that most of the entry-level bikes share. Overall, it’s a solid option without being outstanding.
- An affordable beginner entry-level model that performs
- Folds up neatly into a small package
- Comes with a neutral, heavily padded seat
The Not So Good
- Such a wide seat might prove to be uncomfortable for some
The last model on our is something a bit different that also comes from Exerpeutic. Named the WorkFit 1000, this folding bike was created in an effort to solve the main issue modern working humans have to deal with – sitting for way too long.
Exerpeutic’s solution was to put that time you spend sitting to good use. This bike features a fairly standard upright design until you reach the handlebars which you won’t find. Instead, you’re presented with a small desktop where you can put your laptop and work while you pedal.
The bike features adjustment at every step of the way. You can adjust the seat height, the desktop height, and even the angle. There is a storage drawer while Exerpeutic even went so far as to install an armrest. Yes, this bike folds and actually takes up very little space. If you’re into staying active while you work, this might just be the ideal option for you.
- An interesting concept that allows you to work while staying active
- Built on a solid frame using quality materials
- Features good resistance and a comfortable seat with a backrest
The Not So Good
- Slightly more expensive than many straight folding bikes
- It’s a niche design that limits its usefulness
Should You Get a Folding Exercise Bike?
Exercise bikes remain one of the best and most effective means of doing cardio at home. With a static bike, you’re getting most of the benefits of riding out on the road with very few of the risks.
These machines are among the oldest pieces of exercise equipment due to the inherent simplicity of their design. Using an exercise bike gives you access to low-impact cardio that won’t strain your joints but will easily push you to your limits.
So, how does all of that translate to folding exercise bikes? Are the benefits still there despite the somewhat compromised stability?
The answer to this question is “yes, but”. Folding bikes sacrifice some benefits in order to add others. More specifically, you’re sacrificing two things for the sake of a smaller form factor:
- Size of the flywheel, which is much smaller than most regular exercise bikes
- Reduced stability of the frame.
A smaller flywheel usually means a lower quality drive system that can be more prone to wear and tear, and breakdown faster. Lighter and less stable frames tend to be wobbly, and creak and rattle more, which some users might find particularly annoying or disconcerting.
What you get in return is a much smaller piece of equipment that is more suitable for people with limited space for exercising in their home. We’ll go more into this a bit later, but folding exercise bikes also tend to be cheaper than regular bikes. If you’re on a limited budget and are confined by space, but you can live with their drawbacks, then you should definitely consider a folding exercise bike.
Choosing the Right Folding Exercise Bike
Finding the right folding bike can be a tricky process if you’re not 100% sure what features you need or want. For all intents and purposes, that should be your primary goal. If you’re not quite sure what we mean by this, stick with us through this section of the guide. What we’ll discuss next are some of the most important features to look for when choosing the right model.
Knowing the Different Types of Folding Bikes
Folding bikes, just like their full-sized counterparts, arrive in different shapes and formats. The two greatly differing variants you’ll see are upright and recumbent bikes. We’ll get into the various differences between the two later on in the guide, but for now, you need to know that they’re not the same.
With that said, we can go one step deeper. Upright bikes, which are generally more aggressive in terms of body position and seating height, come in two different shapes. You’ll find upright bikes with a sporty seat and those with a neutral, flat seat. Different people prefer different seats. It’s a matter of personal preference.
Actual Folded Size
One thing many owners of folding bikes tend to overlook is the actual size of the bike when it’s folded up. Sure, all of these bikes fold, but they’re not all the same dimensions when folded.
Some folding bikes aren’t actually all that compact when folded. Check the dimensions twice before you make your final decision.
The next thing to consider is the frame design, build quality and overall appearance. You’ll notice that most of our picks feature a very similar frame design. However, if you look a bit closer, you’ll notice that there are certain differences between the models.
Whether the feet are different width or the main support beams are of different thicknesses, different manufacturers use different measurements. It pays to be vigilant with this one. The frame is probably the most important component on a folding bike as it’s the only thing that keeps you from checking whether gravity still works.
Last but not least, make sure that secondary features such as the built-in display and media shelves are up to your standards. These don’t generally have much impact on the performance of the bike but can significantly influence how convenient and enjoyable your cardio training ends up being.
If the display doesn’t have many metrics to track, or doesn’t work properly, then measuring your progress will be more difficult and, for many people, frustrating.
Similarly, if your phone, tablet or kindle doesn’t fit on the media shelf properly, then this will also frustrate the hell out of you, and reduce the likelihood of you actually using the bike.
Frequently Asked Questions About Folding Exercise Bikes
We’ve reached a point in our guide where we’ve covered a lot of core things regarding this specific type of exercise bikes. However, there are still some questions that pop up more often than others. Here are the most frequently asked questions regarding folding bikes:
Are folding exercise bikes any good?
That’s a matter of perspective, and very much depends on what you’re hoping to get from a folding bike. Being realistic with your expectations is critical whenever you’re dealing with non-standard fitness equipment.
Are folding bikes as good as their full-sized cousins? That depends on what you mean by good. Generally speaking, folding bikes won’t have as solid or stable frames as regular bikes. Nor will their consoles be as advanced. You must give up something for the space-saving nature of folding equipment.
But, that’s very much the point.
A full-sized bike won’t do you any good if you don’t have enough space to put it or if you have to squeeze past it every time you need to go to the bathroom. Not only will you struggle with it, but you’ll grow to resent it. Folding exercise bikes are good for when you need a compact fitness machine that doesn’t take up lots of space. Simple as that.
Is a folding upright exercise bike or a folding recumbent exercise bike better?
This is another question that many users have that doesn’t have a clear-cut answer. These two types of bikes aren’t better or worse compared to each other. They’re designed to deliver the same results (effective cardiorespiratory exercise), but they take diametrically different approaches to get there.
What you need to understand is that it’s not a matter of which one is better. These two designs of exercise bike were created to offer solutions to different problems.
An upright bike has many benefits of its own, but so does a recumbent bike.
A much better question would be ‘are folding recumbent bikes better for your joints?’ In this case the answer is a solid yes. The fact that you are semi-reclined in a seat with the pedals in front of you rather than beneath you has a number of beneficial effects:
- Your weight is evenly distributed across your whole buttocks, which reduces the pressure placed on your ischial tuberosities, or “sitting bones”
- Your lower back is supported, and not hunched
- Your head is in a natural, forward-facing position, which reduces strain on your neck
- Your arms are not forced to support any of your weight, eliminating potential strain on your wrists
In short, recumbent bikes change your body’s weight distribution to reduce strain on certain joints. This is generally why recumbent bikes are often used as a part of the injury rehabilitation process, and are more suitable for people who suffer from various joint pains.
Why are folding exercise bikes cheaper than non-folding exercise bikes?
We’re often used to non-standard versions of a product costing more than the standard version. So why is that not the case with folding bikes? There is a very simple answer to this question. A folding frame is an important component, but it isn’t the most expensive one. Resistance systems, flywheels, built-in control modules all cost more on average. It just so happens that those are fairly basic on folding exercise bikes because there’s just no room for the more advanced stuff. Hence a lower manufacturing price.
Well, there you have it: The 5 Best Folding Exercise Bikes
We’ve done our best to find the optimal models for this list and present you with great bang-for-the-buck choices. As you’ve probably noticed, we’ve also included some not so standard folding bikes for those who like to think out of the box.
Either way, these bikes are a great way to stay fit and maintain your cardiovascular health at home, without having to build another living room. All you have to do now is choose the model that best fits your needs!