Are you ready to burn 500 calories an hour? If you are dying for a rapid total-body transformation, you’ve got to get an indoor bike. More fun to ride than a regular stationary bike, these fitness-oriented machines will transform your workout.
These are made to mimic the feel and fitness of a regular road bike. It is easy to adjust the difficulty settings on them, and they are designed for the serious fitness enthusiast who plan on testing their limits.
More importantly, they let you work out just like you would on a real bicycle: standing, sitting, and using time-trialing and climbing positions that let you get a complete leg and cardio workout. In fact, when used correctly, it is fairly easy to burn about 900 calories per hour.
They are also way less boring.
Just pair with your favorite workout video and you are ready for year-round fitness.
There are only a few of these top-notch models on the market, and I will be reviewing those here to help you choose the right one for you.
The Spinner® Fit – The Only REAL Spin® Bike
For many years, we have promoted the Sole SB700. However, there have been some complaints that recent shipments of this bike from Amazon were not up to par. Maybe there were a bunch of knock-offs being made. Who knows.
So I’m taking a slightly different tact and going with one of my favorite indoor cycles: The Spinner® Fit bike from Mad Dogg Athletics.
You could definitely argue that this is the Granddaddy of all the rest, and just like the purchases your Grandpa used to make, this machine is built to last.
I first used a commercial version at my local gym. They had these Spin® classes that absolutely kicked my butt. But the bikes were so well made. You could adjust them to fit absolutely anyone– and it only took a couple of seconds to make the adjustments. The bike also performed really, really well. It had an excellent “wind-up” when you got started, and the resistance adjustments were instantaneous.
Plus, unlike a lot of the gyms I joined later on, they almost never had to remove a bike for repair, so those of us who loved the class could almost get one (it was the most popular class they offered.)
The Spinner® Fit model is the at-home version of what I enjoyed at the gym. So those of you who don’t have the time to hit up your local gym — or would rather save money by working out at home — will really appreciate being able to get a top-quality bike to use in the comfort of your own home.
This bike is extremely simple. There are not a lot of moving parts, so there is not much on it that could break or would need maintenance. I also love how well-balanced and stable it is. Even when you stand up and crank out your most difficult workout, the bikes is not bouncing around or feeling like it wants to tip over. Absolutely rock-solid.
It is also balanced well for moving. Just grab it by the back legs and it will roll easily on the front tires. It’s only 90 pounds, and when you have it tipped up on for moving it feels like you are only holding about 15 pounds. This makes it easy for even those skinny 4-foot tall ladies in the gym class to move these bikes around. So if you are storing it in a corner when not in use, you’ll have no problem scooting it around.
They also have a great set of videos that is included with your purchase. The Spinning® 8-Week Weight Loss Program is a comprehensive video that will take up most of your winter to complete and can leave you feeling (and looking) like a completely new individual by the end of it.
Even at its full retail price, this is one of the best values on this list. If you think that indoor cycling could be your ticket to a new body, then don’t skimp, and get this name-brand machine. It is worth every penny. (And if you end up not using it, the resale value is pretty rocking, too. )
Now, to the knock-offs:
Alternative #1: Keiser M3 Plus
Aside from looking completely snazzy, this is one of the coolest indoor fitness bikes you will ever set eyes on. Developed by one of the top providers of commercial workout equipment, the M3 is designed with all of the bells and whistles that coaches across the country have consistently asked for, along with the durability to withstand daily, abusive workouts, by hundreds of sweaty gym members.
Unlike the other models that we review, this bike uses a magnetic system to provide the resistance. This creates a nearly silent ride, so you can workout in the living room without ticking off the rest of your relatives. Plus, the resistance adjustment is so exact, so you can just click it into the correct level of resistance every time instead of “guessing” what level of resistance you should have it set at, like you do with the cheaper, pad-resistance systems.
This has virtually unlimited adjustments that let you fit any body size and type. It is durable enough to support all of the extra fat that you are planning on sweating off. And both small and tall users love that you can completely adjust the seat and handlebars to get an ideal fit.
Rounding out the incredible offering is the built-in computer. I love that it calculates your power output. Typically, only pro cyclists get to see their wattage, and the Keiser M3 Plus lets you see exactly how hard you are working out and allows for advanced fitness. It also delivers other great stuff such as cadence (pedaling RPMs), elapsed time and distance and will even read your heart rate if you use a polar chest strap.
Sure, it is an investment in your health, but with a bike this smooth and quiet, it is an investment that no one has ever regretted making.
Alternative #2: Sunny Health and Fitness Pro
This is actually one of the best-selling indoor cycling bikes on Amazon. and we probably see more of this bike sell through our site than any other model. Even better, I constantly hear good feedback from its users.
If you enjoy cycling class, and want to be able to workout from home, this is an excellent choice. It has enough similar features to the higher-end models so that you will feel right at home on it, without the expensive “bells and whistles” that tend to rapidly drive up the costs.
To begin with, it has a 40-pound flywheel, so it is going to feel a lot like those bikes that you’ve already ridden in class. And the seat and handlebar adjustments are also very similar, making it easy to fit yourself to.
Granted, it doesn’t have any of the cool computers, but if you have a good workout video and a heart rate monitor, you should get all of the feedback you need. Just make sure that you set it on a rubber pad to catch all of that sweat.
Alternative #3: CPS 9300
Let’s face it. The reason we need one of these bikes is because we are, well, “poofy”.
Most of the ones I review have weight limits of only 220-250 lbs.
However, there’s a lot of us who are an athletic 200 lbs (Or an overweight 270) and we are eyeing that 220-pound limit thinking “I could probably break that”.
So it is quite re-assuring to get on a bike that is rated for someone much larger.
For a long time, we promoted the Weslo Pro. However, there is a lot of times that it hasn’t been available on Amazon. So we were thrilled to run across the Stamina CPS 9300.
Designed sturdily, it is loved by 300+ pound riders and sub-100 pound riders alike. This added durability is a nice feature if you are in the early stages of your working out.
Now, the stamina only has a 22-pound flywheel. I wish it was at least 30 pounds. There’s something about that larger flywheel that has a better feel to it. However, it is only a preference. I have never had any difficulty working up a sweat with lighter flywheels.
And, lighter flywheels makes these machines that much lighter and easier to move around. This bike weighs about 85 pounds, making it convenient to tuck it in the corner between workouts.
Altogether, it is a solid setup and is what I would recommend if you are a heavier rider.
Alternative #4: Sunny SF-B1001
Sunny once again makes it reappearance on our list with the SF-B1001. This one offers a lot of value for very little money.
One caveat: you need to be under 220 pounds.
I’m giving this one mixed reviews. You’ll want to go over it with a wrench and tighten everything. It has a bad habit of developing loose pedals and the such like when you first get it. And, at only 85 pounds, it isn’t naturally as stable as some of the other bikes we have reviews.
However, it is one of the shortest bikes on the market. So for those 5′ ladies who have been looking for a version that they can actually fit on, the SF-B1001 is a life saver.
My recommendation is to spend the extra money and upgrade to the Weslo or the nicer Sunny model — unless you are a petite, lightweight, lady. In that case, enjoy your savings and get the workout of your life with this entry-level stationary fitness bike.
I mean, for the price, you will rapidly pay yourself back working at home instead of paying for those workout classes!