We know spin bikes. Our writers and editors are fitness freaks who’ve kitted out their home and garage gyms with all types of gear (including a range of different spin bikes), as well as used countless machines and other fitness equipment at commercial gyms. We independently research and, where possible, test every product we recommend.
Top Spin Bikes for Home Use At a Glance
Best Spin Bike Overall
With a large HD touchscreen, 100 levels of magnetic resistance, video streaming support, and an altogether unique Leaning mode, the VeloCore has everything a spinning enthusiast might need from their spin bike. Though its price is astronomically high, it has a never-ending list of features that makes sure you have the single best spin bike on the market if you can afford it.
Best Value Spin Bike
NordicTrack S22i Studio Cycle
The S22i comes a close second to the VeloCore in terms of features, but if you’re looking for a better value for money deal, this one is it. The S22i frame is durable, the resistance mechanism is smooth, the machine is adjustable, and you get a 22inch touchscreen too. It’s exclusive incline and decline feature is also a joy to use. Overall, this is a great alternative to the VeloCore.
Best Budget Spin Bike
Joroto X2 Indoor Cycling Bike
What this bike misses with the lack of fancy features, it makes up for by being the ultimate value for money deal in the affordable spin bike category. It’s a no-frills bike that does all the essentials correct at just a couple hundred dollars. If you’re not sure whether spinning is something you want to do long-term, this is the best spin bike to help you decide.
Spinning classes are hugely popular because they’re unique, challenging, and effective. But, for a variety of reasons, getting into an actual class can be impractical at best, or entirely impossible at worst. This is especially true during a pandemic!
Purchasing your own spin bike to use in your home gym is an option that will save you time, money, and help you see the same great results without the potential downsides of the structured spin class. You can cycle in the privacy of your home, listen to music as loudly as you want, bike at your own pace without having an instructor breathing down your neck, and most importantly, spin whenever your heart desires.
A good indoor cycle might be a big initial investment, but when used right, it will last many years and more than prove its worth over that time. There’s a vast number of spin bikes on the market, and this article is intended to help you navigate the range. We’ve researched and identified the 10 best spin bikes for your home gym, all of which can accommodate your diverse needs. We’ve also detailed what you should consider when choosing a good spin bike so that you can properly assess all options and make the best possible investment in your health and fitness.
Should You Get a Spinning Bike for Home Use?
Spin bikes are generally for those that are serious about losing weight. A 45-minute spinning session can burn as many as 600 calories. One major characteristic that separates spin bikes from other types of exercise bikes is that the former is much more suitable for high-intensity interval training (HIIT). This is especially true when compared to a machine like a recumbent bike, which is more appropriate for lower-intensity, steady-state cardio workouts.
Another thing that makes spin bikes different from other exercise bikes like upright bikes is that they feel more like outdoor cycling, especially if you purchase a high-end model. This drives their price up, but you get what you pay for (a spin bike for less than $300 isn’t going to feel quite as smooth).
The fact that cycling is a low-impact exercise means that seniors and anyone recovering from knee injuries can also partake in it without worrying about inflammation. However, it cannot be stressed enough that those starting out with spinning must take the activity slowly because it’s very easy to overdo it.
Overuse can result in many painful injuries, such as swollen legs, trouble walking, muscle pain, and even kidney poisoning in some cases. When done right, benefits like losing tons of weight and improvements in your fitness levels are only the tip of the iceberg. Other advantages include better cognitive function and alleviation of depression. Other physical benefits like better cardiorespiratory fitness and a lower risk of diseases like cancer, stroke, etc., are also part of the package.
Spin Bike Reviews
|NordicTrack S22i Studio Cycle||
|Joroto X2 Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Bike||
|Schwinn Indoor Cycling Bikes||
|Diamondbackfitness 910ic Indoor Cycle Trainer||
|Keiser M3i Indoor Bike||
|Echelon EX-3 Connect Sports Indoor Bike||
|SoulCycle At-Home Bike||
|NordicTrack S22i Studio Cycle|
|Joroto X2 Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Bike|
|Schwinn Indoor Cycling Bikes|
|Diamondbackfitness 910ic Indoor Cycle Trainer|
|Keiser M3i Indoor Bike|
|Echelon EX-3 Connect Sports Indoor Bike|
|SoulCycle At-Home Bike|
#1. Bowflex VeloCore
The VeloCore by Bowflex combines the very best features you can find on a spin bike with a price that is more reasonable than most others in its category. The biggest draw here is the bike’s Leaning Mode, which lets the bike tilt in either direction, making your cycling feel much more realistic than ordinary spin bikes.
The VeloCore has a large HD touchscreen (available in 16” and 22” models) that not only gives you access to interactive training programs, cycling trails, and data tracking, but also video streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+. While watching TV shows and movies isn’t necessarily aligned to the core philosophy of spinning (i.e., working your butt off!), you’ll be well within your rights to use this feature during warm-up, cool-down, or on active recovery days. Also, the VeloCore comes with a two-month trial of Bowflex’s JRNY app, after which you’ll need to pay for the subscription (~$150/year).
The lightweight frame is durable with a maximum weight capacity of 330lbs, and the resistance is magnetic with 100 different levels to help you get it just right. It also has several luxury features like an included Bluetooth HR band for wireless heart rate monitoring, multi-grip handlebars, and a molded, comfortable saddle. The bike also includes a set of 3lbs dumbbells for a light upper body workout as well, though we certainly don’t recommend using these while cycling (even though some spinning classes include some dumbbell exercises).
The only downside here is the price. The bike itself is expensive as an initial purchase, but the recurring cost of subscriptions (e.g., JRNY app, streaming services, etc.) adds to your expenses every month. However, if cost isn’t an issue for you, this is easily the best spin bike on the market overall.
- Leaning mode adds a realistic and fun element
- The touchscreen supports video streaming platforms and has Bluetooth speakers
- 100 levels of magnetic resistance
- Durable frame with a maximum capacity of 330lbs
The Not So Good
- Very expensive
- The cost of subscriptions add up every month
#2. NordicTrack S22i Studio Cycle
NordicTrack’s S22i is another spin bike with a unique feature that can’t be found in any other exercise bike. This is the incline and decline feature, which adjusts the orientation of your bike to match the terrain of any cycling trail you might be riding on through its mammoth 22inch HD touchscreen.
The price of this bike compared to the 22inch model of the VeloCore is comparable to the VeloCore however the included 1-year iFit subscription that gives you access to more than 1500 different interactive programs arguably makes it a better value bike outright. That said, while you won’t need to pay extra to utilize your bike fully for a full year you will eventually need to get an iFit subscription, which will run you about $400 a year.
Other features include 22 levels of magnetic resistance, heart rate monitoring, a durable and compact steel frame with a maximum capacity of 350lbs, as well as caged pedals, and a comfortable ergonomic seat.
One major downside is that you’ll likely notice a slight wobble in the handlebars and screen. This is not an issue of needing to tighten bolts, but rather seems to be related to the way the frame is attached to the incline motor. It’s not so wobbly that any damage is done to the screen of handlebars, however the movement can be distracting during workouts.
- Incline and decline feature
- 1-year iFit subscription with 1500 programs is included
- 22 levels of magnetic resistance
- Sturdy frame with a maximum capacity of 350lbs
- Great warranty: 10 years on frame, 3 years on parts
The Not So Good
- Also very expensive
- The screen can be wobbly
#3. Joroto X2 Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Bike
Amidst all the expensive options, the Joroto X2 is one that is very affordable and great value for money. It doesn’t have many fancy features, but it includes everything you’ll need to get in some strenuous yet enjoyable cycling workouts over a long period of time.
The frame is durable enough for most people with a maximum weight capacity of 280lbs. The magnetic resistance along with its belt drive system ensures that your workouts remain smooth and quiet. The resistance system has an infinite number of levels, allowing you to align it as closely as possible to your preferred amount of tension. Moreover, the 30-pound flywheel ensures that the higher levels of resistance are sufficiently challenging and that there’s no jerk when ramping up or easing off the intensity.
A multi-use holder allows you to utilize your gadgets (smartphone or tablet) to access interactive training programs for more engaging workouts. This makes up for the disappointing console since you don’t have to rely on it for data tracking either. However, it would’ve been handy nevertheless to have a functional console that doesn’t have as small a screen as this one. This is, however, where you save the money and it makes this bike the perfect candidate for the Peloton hack.
Other miscellaneous features on this bike include a bottle holder and a large, comfortable seat. One inconvenient issue is that the bottle holder cannot be used if you’re using your tablet or smartphone on the multi-use holder. Besides that, this machine is a superb deal. It’s the best value spin bike for anyone looking to start their spinning journey without dropping thousands of dollars on a top-of-the-line spin bike.
- Magnetic resistance system with infinite levels
- The belt drive system ensures a quiet ride
- Comfortable seat
- Sufficiently heavy flywheel for challenging rides and smooth operation
The Not So Good
- The console screen is very small
- Tablet and bottle holder cannot be used together
#4. Schwinn Indoor Cycling Bikes
Schwinn has a series of spin bikes that are suitable for users with different budgets. We’ll consider the two most current ones here: One that is a mid-range option, and a premium option too.
The IC3 is the more affordable Schwinn indoor cycling bike that’s perfect for beginners. It’s durable enough to support 250lbs of weight and has a 31-pound flywheel. The bike is equipped with a very basic console for data tracking and, unfortunately, no media shelf for easy use of your own device. Miscellaneous features include a bottle holder (which is where the media shelf should be), adjustable ergonomic saddle and handlebars, and transport wheels for easy mobility and storage. Keep in mind that the bike utilizes a direct contact resistance system, meaning it’s likely to experience more wear and tear than other bikes. Plus, you’ll need to change the braking mechanism periodically.
Lastly, the IC4 is a step up into the premium range. It’s comparable to the models above in that it has a particularly durable frame that can support 330lbs of weight. The flywheel weight is 40 lbs, and it utilizes a magnetic resistance system with 100 levels. Moreover, it also has a tablet holder so that you can access interactive training programs, or do the Peloton hack via Bluetooth connectivity. Along with the rest of the IC3’s various creature comforts, the IC4 is a worthy spin bike.
- Choice of contact resistance or magnetic
- Durable frames and heavy flywheels
The Not So Good
- IC3 has no Bluetooth connectivity
- IC3 has no media shelf
#5. Diamondbackfitness 910ic Indoor Cycle Trainer
The 910ic by Diamondbackfitness is another option that is on the more affordable side compared to alternatives like the VeloCore and S22i. For its price, you get a nifty set of features that ensure you’ll be using this spin bike for a long time to come.
Like some of its predecessors, the 910ic comes with a 40-pound flywheel, making for challenging workouts and a smooth pedaling action. This is especially true when combined with the 32 levels of magnetic resistance this model offers. The frame here is also very durable with a maximum capacity of 325lbs, making sure it can stand even the most grueling workouts. Moreover, the 12 included preset workout programs help keep you engaged during your sessions
One quirky feature of the 910ic is that it runs completely on power generated by you through your usage of the bike. This makes the 910ic very eco-friendly and reduces your energy cost. However, this can also be inconvenient at times because your console shuts down due to inactivity if you stop pedaling. All the data you collected disappears as a result.
Another drawback here is Diamondbackfitness’ customer service, which can be very unresponsive in case you face issues with your machine.
- Durable frame
- 32 levels of magnetic resistance
- 40-pound flywheel
- Comes with 12 preset programs
The Not So Good
- Customer service is poor
- Reliance on user power can become bothersome because exercise data can disappear if you stop pedaling
#6. Keiser M3i Indoor bike
The Keiser M3i is our third top-of-the-line option that is up there with the very best spin bikes money can buy. The feature that sets this one apart, however, is its V-shaped frame that closely mimics road bikes and makes for a better cycling experience overall. Another way in which the M3i differs from other spin bikes is that it goes against the trend of having very heavy flywheels. As such, its flywheel only weighs about 8lbs as opposed to 40 or more.
This by no means indicates that the workouts you’ll get on this machine will be lousy. The Poly-V belt drive system along with strategic placements of the magnets generate enough resistance to make sessions a challenge for all types of users.
The sleek, eye-catching design of the frame is complemented well by its durability and utility. The bike’s frame can withstand a maximum weight of 350 lbs and both the seat and handlebars can be adjusted fore and aft to ensure correct set-up for anyone using the bike. Also, the V-shape of the frame supposedly allows for users up to 7’ tall.
Other notable features include a console that can track your essential metrics and supports Bluetooth connectivity for accessing training programs in the Keiser M series apps, along with wireless heart rate monitoring (Keiser includes a polar heart rate monitor with every purchase1). The bike also features well-designed, dual-function pedals that have toe clip cages on one side and SPD cleats on the other. This means you can use proper cycling shoes if you have them. However, all of this comes at a hefty price, especially given the lack of touchscreen console.
- Attractive design
- Extremely durable frame that accommodates users up to 7 ft.
- Unique resistance mechanism
- Advanced pedal design
The Not So Good
- Uncomfortable seat
#7. Bowflex C6
The Bowflex C6 is significantly cheaper than the VeloCore and yet retains most of what made the latter a great spin bike. The C6 has a 40-pound flywheel, wireless heart rate monitoring, and 100 levels of magnetic resistance. The frame is also as durable as the VeloCore’s, with a maximum weight capacity of 330lbs.
There are, however, three notable differences. First, there’s no Leaning Mode, though the utility of this feature likely comes down to personal preference as some people might find it gimmicky. Second, the C6 doesn’t support the JRNY app, which restricts you from accessing some specific interactive training programs. However, you can access other training apps and video streaming platforms while working out through your own tablet (perfect for that Peloton hack!). Lastly, it doesn’t have an HD touchscreen, which again can be remedied through a tablet.
As you can see, none of the differences are too major if you already own a tablet and don’t think Leaning Mode will substantially impact how much you enjoy your workouts (it won’t). Like with Joroto’s bike, the tablet support somewhat makes up for the very basic console on this machine. This also means that you’ll have to subscribe to fitness apps to access training programs as the console doesn’t have any presets.
- Great value for money
- Durable frame
- 100 levels of magnetic resistance
- 40-pound flywheel
The Not So Good
- Lacks preset programs
- Might not be the best option if you don’t own a tablet
#8. Echelon EX-3 Connect Sports Indoor Bike
The Echelon EX-3 is easily one of the most versatile spin bikes on this list. It has a host of great features at a great price—this makes it the main challenger to the Peloton Bike in terms of spin bikes with subscription spin bikes. The powder-coated steel makes for an attractive frame design, while the maximum capacity of 300lbs ensures it’s sufficiently durable as well. The flywheel weighs 33 lbs, which is more than heavy enough to provide challenging workouts for users of various proficiencies. The flywheel is also heavy enough to make for a smooth pedaling action, especially when considered alongside the 32 levels of magnetic resistance.
So, it’s durable, looks good, while also facilitating strenuous yet smooth and quiet workouts. Other features included here are Bluetooth speakers for music during your sessions, a USB port, multi-position handlebars, and a flexible pedal design.
The only glaring drawback is that it doesn’t include a console at all. However, like the Joroto X2 and Bowflex C6, you can use your own gadgets to access training apps and track metrics such as time, distance covered, calories burned, and others. In fact, the EX-3 doesn’t have an in-built screen as it’s designed to be used with the Echelon app on a smartphone, tablet, or TV.
Finally, another inconvenience is Echelon’s customer service, which can be dodgy if you ever need help with issues regarding the bike.
Overall, if you already own a tablet and can handle average CS, the EX-3 is definitely one of the better options on this list.
- Durable and aesthetically pleasing frame
- Heavy flywheel
- Magnetic resistance system
- Good pedal design
The Not So Good
- Lacks a console
- Customer service can be dodgy
#9. SoulCycle At-Home Bike
SoulCycle’s At-Home bike is the most expensive option on this list, but it has several features that justify its extraordinary price tag. Generally, you get what you pay for, and that applies well here too.
To start with, the frame here is exceptionally durable. It’s constructed with commercial-grade steel and can stand a maximum weight of 350lbs. The 21.5 inch HD touchscreen gives you access to SoulCycle’s best training instructors and their programs so that you can feel like you’re attending a SoulCycle spin class right at home. The console also supports wireless heart rate monitoring and extensive data tracking.
The weight of the flywheel hasn’t been officially released yet, but the thin carbon fiber belt drive ensures that your workouts and pedaling action are smooth and almost completely quiet. This bike is also highly adjustable, accommodating heights between 4’ 10” and 6’ 10”. You won’t have to pay extra to assemble this unlike the VeloCore and S22i because it arrives already pre-assembled, and you also get 5 SoulCycle classes free with your purchase. Other miscellaneous features include inbuilt speakers, advanced data tracking, and customizable pedals.
Besides the price, the only other drawback here is the warranty, which is slightly short. The frame is covered for five years, however, only one year on the parts and touchscreen is not enough considering the price of the bike and ongoing SoulCycle/Equinox+ subscription (~$480 per year).
- Attractive design
- Large touchscreen with interactive workouts
- Advanced belt drive system
- Puts you in touch with a community of spinners
The Not So Good
- The warranty could be longer
- The price will bankrupt most people
Choosing the Best Home Spin Bike for You
Before pulling the trigger on what will inevitably a sizeable investment, consider these factors to make the best choice for your home spin bike.
Spin bikes vs other exercise bike types
As we’ve touched upon, a spin bike is much more suitable for high-intensity training than other exercise bikes, such as a recumbent bike which is more suited to lower-intensity workouts. In this regard, a spin bike is comparable to an air bike, just without the upper body engagement.
Spin bikes also tend to have more features than typical stationary bikes, which makes them more expensive than even premium upright bikes, let alone the budget models. This can be very useful to some users, such as those that are familiar with spinning classes and want a realistic experience at home. Users who are experienced with cycling/spinning should find the extra features handy and more conducive to improving their fitness.
Spin bike frames are generally made of steel with a variety of finishes to make them look attractive. The finish is definitely important, but the most critical factor is how durable the frame is. You want it to be able to easily hold your weight without being too heavy to move around. The maximum weight capacity of a spin bike is generally a good indicator of this, and you’ll want a bike that can handle at least 300 lbs of weight. While analyzing the frame, it’s also important to consider how much space you have in your home gym. If your home gym is on the small side, select one that is compact and has transport wheels so that you can shift it when it’s not in use.
Spin bikes generally have three broad types of resistance: Magnetic, air, and contact. Of these, magnetic resistance systems are the best option because they’re the most durable, make for smoother workouts, and are very quiet while in operation. They work by having several polarized magnets sit at variable distances from the flywheel. The forces of magnetic attraction then create resistance to the turning of the flywheel—the closer the magnets to the flywheel, the more resistance. While it’s the preferred technology in most exercise bikes, magnetic resistance also comes at a higher price.
Bikes with air resistance are generally slightly cheaper, but workouts are much noisier compared to magnetic resistance systems. This is because resistance is created by a fan at the front of the bike being driven by the pedal (and handlebar) action. Some also find air resistance mechanisms more realistic in terms of pedaling action, but that is a matter of preference. Overall, air resistance mechanisms are a great choice as well.
Contact resistance systems work like the breaks on a road bike or your car. A pad comes into direct contact with the flywheel and provides resistance to its rotation. This direct contact is noisy but also allows very high levels of resistance. Contact resistance systems are also not particularly smooth, and the high level of direct friction means that the relevant parts wear out fairly quickly and must be replaced.
Drive systems are important because they influence the feel of the pedaling action and the amount of maintenance the bike requires. There are two types: Chain-driven and belt-driven bikes. The former is identical to that found on a road bike. A chain connects the pedals to the flywheel via a series of sprockets. These are noisy, require frequent lubrication, and are prone to breaking. Though chains feel more realistic, they tend to deteriorate and need replacement from time to time. Thankfully, very few, if any, spin bikes are made with chain-drive systems.
Belt-drive systems are smoother, more durable, and quieter, though they don’t feel as much like riding an actual bike. They also don’t need lubrication and have significantly less wear and tear. The vast majority of exercise bikes use belts these days.
Weight of the flywheel
The weight of the flywheel is what determines how much resistance is generated by your spin bike as well as how smooth the pedaling action is. It’s one of the most important considerations while buying any exercise bike. The heavier the flywheel, the more resistance it’ll generate, and the smoother it’ll feel when increasing and decreasing the intensity of your pedaling. You’ll want a flywheel that weighs a minimum of 20 lbs, and ideally somewhere between 30-40 lbs. You can also get ones that have a 50-pound flywheel, but those are very rare. Budget exercise bikes often have lighter flywheels because this is where money is saved in manufacturing. These cheaper bikes also tend to have lower levels of resistance and feel jerky when pedaling—especially when speeding up and slowing down.
Consoles on exercise bikes are generally of two extremes. They are either very basic and can track essential metrics such as distance covered, calories burned, time taken, rotations per minute, etc. In some cases, they support heart/pulse rate monitoring either through contact or wireless sensors. On the other hand, you have consoles with large touchscreens that provide you access to interactive training programs, cycling trails across the world, spinning classes, etc. These also feature more extensive data tracking units. The latter is obviously the more expensive, but also the more useful of the two.
Adjustability is useful if multiple members of your family are going to be using your spin bike. In that case, it’s important to make sure that your seat and handlebars can be adjusted to the right height and depth for everyone that’ll be using it. This is often where you can see the difference in quality between average bikes and great ones: Great spin bikes will allow you to at least adjust the saddle fore and aft, and sometimes even the handlebars.
Spin bikes usually have a host of features that make using them more convenient in some way. As such, you’ll find ones that have bottle holders, tablet holders, USB ports, integrated speakers, transportation wheels, etc. These aren’t essential by any means, but it’s always nice to have them so make sure you keep an eye out for the ones your preferred bike has. Some bikes rely on you owning gadgets like a tablet for accessing interactive training programs because including a basic console reduces the overall price of the bike. If you want a touchscreen and connectivity when spinning, but can’t afford a bike with an in-built system, at least make sure the bike you’re considering has a well-placed media shelf.
Frequently Asked Questions About Spin Bikes
Spin bikes are expensive, and anyone with a bit of nous will be doing their due diligence before making a purchase. This means you probably have questions. Below are our responses to the most commonly asked questions about spin bikes
Are spin bikes worth it?
If you’re looking to lose weight, spin bikes are absolutely worth it. You can burn as many as 700-800 calories from just a one-hour workout, and their suitability for high-intensity training, in general, makes them appropriate for anyone looking to lose fat mass and become fitter.
Should I buy a spin bike or regular exercise bike?
The answer to this depends on how you intend to use the bike. If you plan on occasionally getting some casual exercise through your bike, an exercise bike will probably suit you better. However, if you’re committed to high-intensity training and want to lose weight by exercising regularly, spin bikes are better.
Are cheap spin bikes any good?
Yes, depending on the model you buy, a cheap spin bike could fulfill your training needs. As long as it has a durable frame, a decent resistance mechanism and flywheel, and a basic console or media shelf, you’ll get enough use out of it to be able to decide whether you want to invest in a better spin bike.
Does spinning reduce belly fat?
Yes, because spinning is a great way to rapidly burn calories it will eventually lead to the loss of belly fat. However, no exercise can exclusively target the fat in a particular area of your body, so it might be a while before you observe this change. Combine exercise with a well-balanced, calorie-restricted diet to achieve sustainable weight loss across all areas of the body.
Well, there you have it: The best spin bikes for your home gym.
This article has all the information you’ll need before buying a spin bike along with a list of diverse spin bikes that can accommodate various needs. If money is no barrier for you, go for the Bowflex VeloCore, it’s our pick for the best overall spin bike you can get your hands on.