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We’re always trying to find ways to increase our cardio workout efficiency, keep things fresh, and diversify our workouts to stave-off repetition.
You should be using multiple machines to get in a good cardio workout, which is where best spin bikes come in.
These upright stationary spin bikes are a bit more involved than recumbents, where you can work up a sweat and get in core cardio and VIIT training with ease.
We’ve inspected and reviewed dozens of the best spin bike and exercise bike models on the market, but at the end of the day, there are only five that really shined on that list.
We’re going to go over everything from weight loss aid to the best features in these bikes, as well as what features you should be looking for indoor cycling.
It’s time to invest in your health.
Best Spin Bikes in 2021
YOSUDA Indoor Cycling Bike
It really didn’t expect us to find this level of quality at this price, but YOSUDA came through with a fantastic design that has nearly everything including a water bottle holder in the bike.
Starting from the ground up, the four plastic boots that they include on either side of the stabilization axle really do the trick.
They have decent traction, and while they could benefit from an exercise mat beneath them, they’re very good for stock support and traction.
Speaking of traction, the handlebars on this have an excellent fabric that really help keep your hands nice and steady, even as you start to sweat.
It’s a two-way handlebar, which is fully adjustable, just like the seat.
Your seat comes with a fairly high inseam (which may be uncomfortable for some male users at first), but it’s padded in four different spots to give support, not just somewhere to sit.
I think it’s a bit silly that they included a water bottle holder on this, but it doesn’t hurt.
They included a brake cover on this, and the goal is that younger users (13 and up) will be able to avoid injury if they go to use this exercise bike.
However, if you’re tall, you might run into a few issues with it.
This made it to the top of our spin and exercise bike list, but I can tell you now that it wasn’t for the LCD screen.
I think that including these screens are important for basic information, but they don’t need to be over-the-top by any means.
The screen here is pretty dark, and while it displays you information pretty accurately, it only has one button to function: on or off.
When it comes to the pressure bar, I think they hit this one out of the park.
Not only is it vibrant and easy to access, but it applies pressure effectively and evenly, so you can make slight adjustments for big changes in your indoor cycling routine.
Last but not least, they included transportation wheels built into the front, near the feet of the axle.
This comes in handy if you have a small home gym and you’re moving equipment around to use it.
Pooboo Indoor Belt Drive Exercise Bike
Still in the general price range that YOSUDA was in, Poobee exercise bike brings us a similar experience, but with a completely different style.
This black-and-yellow design of exercise bike looks excellent and contrasts against the aluminum components, such as the seat.
Speaking of the seat, we have to talk about it. This is one of the best spinning bikes out there, but the seat does come with problems.
First of all, it’s not as cushioned as YOSUDA. It’s not bad, but it’s not winning any awards for seat design, either.
Next, the adjustments underneath the seat can be very stubborn.
I don’t know if it was during design or manufacturing, but the holes cut for the screw pegs are very rigid, so you might have a hard time scraping against metal while trying to tighten or loosen these pegs.
These three-way handles work well, and with the perfectly triangular design of the frame, they’re positioned perfectly to help with your posture while riding.
As far as riding goes, it’s comfortable and effective, which is where most of our focus should be when shopping for a bike.
The bidirectional flywheel and resistance adjustment system give you total control over this bike, and I would say it makes this bike excellent for beginners as well as those looking for a more intense workout.
Because the frame is made entirely out of steel, the maximum rider weight is fairly lenient at 330 lbs, which makes this excellent for anyone trying to lose weight by increasing heart rate and burning fat to incorporate more fitness in their lives.
It’s durable, it’s high quality, but it’s not the king of this list for one specific reason: traction.
The boots on the bottom are okay, but they’re nothing special. You’re definitely going to need an exercise mat to get the most out of this.
If you’re a larger rider, there might be more skidding from the boots, and an exercise mat would help prevent that entirely while reducing any noise.
When we tested this on hardwood, the boots were all pretty level, which shows the quality of the frame construction as being plenty stable.
SYRINX Indoor Stationary Exercise Bike
Having a 35 lb flywheel is basically what helps any exercise bike make it into an elite list like this, and SYRINX has it.
The flywheel weight basically determines how much resistance you’re going to be able to account for, so if you have a low weight flywheel you will eventually plateau at a skill level because your bike cannot go beyond there.
SYRINX did a good job at designing the frame on this, as well as the three-way handlebars that give you the option to change your position while riding, but they fell flat on the LCD screen.
It’s not the biggest focal point for an exercise bike, but the exterior of the monitor feels extremely thin and cheap. The only benefit of this monitor is how bright it is, so you won’t have to get extremely close just to see what the time and speed is at.
Much like Pooboo’s exercise bike, you’re going to get a 330 lb maximum rider weight limit, which opens up the field of possibilities for those trying to lose weight, improve heart rate and cardiovascular health with an exercise bike.
If you find yourself taking on too much resistance and you can’t quickly stop the bike, you can initiate their emergency quick stop function to halt everything as quickly as possible, freeing you up to get off the bike as you see fit.
As far as stabilization goes, it depends on what flooring you place this on.
On carpets it works fine, but on hardwood floors, you’re going to need an exercise mat to prevent jittering and shaking. It’s a slight flaw, but one that can be accounted for without killing your workout.
Last but not least, SYRINX has a decent one-year warranty, though for this price I would have expected to see two years. On top of that, if you don’t like the bike or you just aren’t feeling it, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee that you can enact.
Just be careful, because it starts from the purchase date, not from a product registration date or anything of the sort.
JOROTO Belt Driven Indoor Cycling Bike
Magnetic resistance bikes are one of the most popular choices for spin bikes nowadays.
They use electricity and a flywheel to add resistance based on reverse magnetism. They’re the most reliable, because there’s no belts to break or get in the way of your exercise.
We’ve talked a lot about stabilization in these bike reviews, and that’s because it’s important.
While JOROTO has a 25% higher price tag than the rest of these bikes, they completely missed the mark on the stabilization boots. Instead of having a cap that goes over either side of the bottom axle, there are small circular traction pads underneath, and they just don’t perform as well.
The frame is built well, and if you remove those stabilizers, it actually reduces shaking (which is not how these things are supposed to work).
Removing them increases the risk of scratching up your floors, so again, I recommend an exercise mat.
From resistance adjustment to seat height adjusting, they made this one of the most comfortable and easy-to-use magnetic spin bikes ever, which is what earned them a spot on this list.
Everything feels smooth to operate, right on down to the pedals and resistance type.
They do have a slightly lower maximum rider weight than what we’ve seen so far though, which caps at 280 lbs.
Given the design of their frame, this was a bit unexpected. As far as their LCD screen goes, it gets the job done, but it’s nothing special.
One thing I like is that they give you a lectern-style spot for you to position a tablet.
Whether you’re watching motivational content or watching music videos while you ride, it can eliminate some of the mundane feeling of doing cardio day-in and day-out. Nice wide handlebars, comfortable design, and a great resistance type: it’s a viable spin bike, but I just want you to be aware of the weight.
This weighs 108 lbs, so it’s not going to be the most convenient thing to set up.
Thankfully, there are easy move wheels located on the front, so you can tilt it and reposition it in your home gym whenever you need.
Sunny Health & Fitness Indoor Stationary Bike
Last on the list is Sunny Health & Fitness, which you might see a lot of on this site.
They make a fair amount of various exercise machines and pieces of gear, and while I won’t say that they’re a perfect brand, this is a good quality, low-budget spin bike.
It’s easily the best home spin bike for under two-hundred bucks, and comes with some agreable features, such as the lightweight design at just 63 lbs.
It doesn’t seem lightweight, but compared to the others on this list, it’s a bit easier to move around.
Assembly is quick and easy, because they didn’t do anything extravagant with the frame. It does its job and maintains the flywheel well.
The frame extends to the stabilizing feet on the bottom, and I have to say, they did a great job here.
It features circular peg-like stabilizers on the bottom, which aren’t the best, but they turned the rear axle into a curved piece of metal, which counter balances against any rocking or rapid motion that might happen.
But now it’s time to talk about why this didn’t rank higher on the list.
There are two main reasons, and those are the flywheel and maximum rider weight.
The flywheel only goes up to 22 lbs of resistance, which is typically something that you’ll see on exercise bikes that are designed for larger riders that are trying to lose weight.
However, they capped the weight limit here at 220 lbs, which can be a problem for some people.
I think it’s why they made the seat the way they did. It’s not ultra cushiony like the others we’ve seen so far, but it’s decent enough.
Plenty adjustable and stable to sit on. Overall, it’s a good bike with accurate resistance settings, it just might not be the last exercise bike you eve buy.
Spin Bikes Buying Guide in 2021
What to Look for in a Spin Bike
Your resistance dictate how much of a workout you’re going to get.
You’ll see 22 lb flywheels and 35 lb flywheels on your exercise bikes, which offer different workouts depending on what you use.
You want a maximum resistance rating of 35 lbs if you’re looking to train for a long indoor cycling trip or marathon, or if you’re just trying to push the limits and see what your body can do.
A 22 lb resistance rating is sufficient enough to lose weight, but you will eventually plateau.
Maximum Riding Weight
In short, the maximum weight that the rider is allowed to be without risking damage to the frame. This is one aspect of any exercise equipment that we get nervous looking at, but it’s very important.
The last thing you want to do is warp the frame on an expensive exercise bike that you’ve sunken money into.
This is a direct correlation on the quality of the frame.
We talked about resistance ratings, but it would be chaotic and nuts if you only had three settings on each bike to choose from.
It would be like selecting easy, medium, or hard, but that’s not how exercise works.
You need the resistance rating to be adjustable and the seat to be adjustable if you want to get in the best possible workout.
Is a Spin Bike a Good Way to Lose Weight?
You can use the best indoor cycling bike to shed pounds without overdoing it. On average, anyone can lose about 230-350 calories in a half-hour, moderate intensity session on an exercise bike.
Since it’s okay to do moderate intensity cardio every single day, you can use this to your advantage.
If you can burn 300 calories a day on a spin bike, that’s 2,100 calories a week.
Add a daily 200 calorie deficit to your diet (which isn’t much at all), and that’s one pound every seven days, from cardio exercise and diet control.
You have 48 separate 30-minute blocks in the day.
If you spend about 2% of your day on a spin bike and you run the possibility of losing over fifty pounds in a year, I’d say that’s pretty good.
It’s a healthy way to lose weight steadily without overdoing it.
What is the Difference Between a Spin Bike and an Exercise Bike?
Older exercise bikes, such as the ones developed before the 1980’s, have pedals directly hooked up to a motor or system inside of the exercise bike’s base. They’re not connected to a flywheel like spin bikes are.
Standard exercise bikes aren’t actually that standard anymore, because everyone knows that spin bikes provide a better workout with a more ergonomic sitting position.
You encounter less back problems, even if you have to stand up or lean forward while using a spin bike.
Are Magnetic Spin Bikes Better?
For your exercise and overall health, they’re definitely better. In terms of an investment in your physical fitness gear, they’re better, but more costly.
A magnetic stationary spinning bike actually costs money to use, because you need electricity to power the magnet. It doesn’t use up a lot of electricity, but it’s still going to leave a footprint or two on your utility bills.
The alternative is a belt-driven friction bike, which is far easier to damage.
Friction eventually leads to plastic and rubber wearing down, and you either have to replace it, or end up getting a new bike.
I’m not saying friction spin bikes are useless, they’re just not as useful.
Is a Spin Bike Worth It?
If you get your use out of it, then yes, it’s worth it.
While it’s recommended to do cardio between three and five days per week, you can still make this a viable purchase even if you’re only doing cardio one day a week.
Why is that?
Because owning a spin cycle bike is cheaper than going to most gyms. Unless you have a major chain gym around you (and nobody likes going to these), then you’re going to spend around $35 to $45 a month on a decent gym in your area.
Let’s say you buy the Sunny Health & Fitness spin bike at the #5 spot on our list.
In four months, you’ll have spent more on a $35/monthly gym membership than you would purchasing the bike for yourself. Another reason it’s worth it—and this can be applied to other exercise equipment pieces as well—is because it’s right in front of you, and you have no excuses.
Exercising constantly is hard, but when the bike is right in your living room, rainy days and lazy mornings are no longer valid excuses.
You have greater access to a bike, you get to avoid the gym mentality and self-consciousness that many of us face going in there, and save time/money on the commute to get there.
Concise Exercise, Any Time
While there are tons of indoor cycling machines and techniques, bikes these remain the most popular because of the sweat you’re able to work up.
If you’re trying to fortify your VIIT workout plan, these bikes can help you optimize your workout and burn calories more efficiently, while testing your endurance at the same time.