A lot of people love indoor cycling.
What’s not to love?
The loud music…
…the fast pace…
…the trainers yelling at you…
…and you quickly adjusting the dial when the instructor is not looking.
Don’t worry, we’ve all done this.
If you’ve never taken an indoor cycling class, you probably don’t understand the full benefits you get.
In fact you may think all you have to do is hop on a bike…
…and start pedaling…
Unfortunately, it’s not quite that easy.
An indoor bike does offer a myriad of benefits but it takes some work.
It’s one of the few pieces of fitness equipment that provides a low impact work out in addition to the best cardio fitness exercises.
And any cyclist will tell you that you get a tremendous cardiovascular workout…
…and let’s not forget the stamina…
The classes can be brutal but you get such a euphoric sensation, it makes the effort worth it.
The only downfall to indoor cycling classes is that it’s sometimes difficult to find a bike that’s open.
They seem to fill up pretty frequently.
In many cases, if you show up to class without calling ahead to reserve a bike, you’ll be stuck watching from the side, glaring at the them.
Maybe your intense stare can make someone uncomfortable enough to leave a bike open for you.
Another option is to just avoid the hassles at the gym and just get an indoor cycling bike in your home.
If you’re a spin class enthusiast, an indoor exercise bike will definitely be a great investment.
Prices will vary from a couple hundred to a few thousand.
Just consider how serious you are and how frequently you intend on using it to justify splurging for the higher end models.
The Best Spin Bikes for 2018
These bike reviews were put together as a buying guide to assist you with your search for the best spin bikes available. We certainly hope it provides you with some helpful information.
How to Choose
If you’ve taken indoor cycling classes before, we assume you know the difference between the various types of exercise bikes. In case you don’t, just read our bike buying guide that covers the best stationary bike. For purposes of this review, we’ll be focusing on indoor cycling bikes, aka: spin bikes.
Choices among spin bikes are plentiful but when you look at the conventional categories, they all have, relatively, the same features. However, when you look into the higher end you’ll notice a difference in the design.
We considered several factors that we felt were important when selecting an indoor cycle:
The conventional stationary bike has a weighted flywheel situated in the front driven by a belt or chain. Now, bikes are being designed with the flywheel repositioned to the rear. It turns out that it’s beneficial in that it prevents sweat and droplets from drinking water onto the flywheel which would in turn, affect the belt/chain. Not to mention that it definitely improves the aesthetics.
You’ll even find a bike or two that don’t even have a flywheel. Instead of using a belt or a chain drive, these particular bikes utilize a silent gear system.
The resistance on an exercise cycle is an important aspect to consider. They typically come in magnetic or friction. They’re relatively easy to adjust. A simple turn of a tension knob or raising or lowering of a lever is all you need to do.
New bikes are now being designed with a V-Shape frame. It turns out that the V-Shape is the most efficient shape that allows the bike to be adjusted to accommodate the height of more users. They’ve even incorporated fore and aft adjustability in both the handle bars and saddle. That will help accommodate even more users.
All of the bikes that we reviewed come with a computer that monitors the RPM, your heart rate, time, speed, and distance. Some provide more data for the avid users. It helps to have these monitors in order to keep track of your progress.
Road style handlebars are pretty common but newer spin bikes have multifunctional handlebars that are ergonomic. You can easily switch from a casual ride to a racing position.
Not really a major factor but some accessories do add a bit of convenience and added value to the fitness bike. For example, most bikes come with bottle holders that are conveniently situated within easy reach. They may also come with heart rate monitor chest strap which one would think would be a standard accessory but we can complain about that later.
With everything from effectiveness, comfort, and features, to the manufacturer’s warranty, we’ve put together this list of the top 4 spin bikes available.
Real Ryder – This bike definitely brings the “riding experience” to indoor cycling. Although, you will never get the identical sensation of real bike with any indoor cycle, the Real Ryder brings the “extra” workout to your core and legs thanks to its unique design. You’ll be able to lean the bike just enough to mimic a slow speed turn as opposed to the stationary movement . Another part that I’ve found enjoyable but not necessarily an added benefit is the rocking motion when you ride out of the saddle. Some will say that you shouldn’t do that but I’ve never really heard a legitimate argument stating why. When you ride a road bike out of the saddle, the bike is going to rock, so why that’s such an issue with the Ryder is beyond me. I’ve had an instructor include that into his class. People looking to complain, I guess.All in all, I’ve found that the Real Ryder is beneficial and an excellent indoor cycle to use. Some people hate the movements but many swear by it. I personally love it. See our full review >>
Keiser M3i Indoor Cycle – This is one of my favorite indoor cycles and in my humble opinion, one of the best spin bikes on the market. Its sleek design compliments any home gym and its incredibly sturdy construction will provide you with years of maintenance free use. It’s so well designed, the ride is virtually silent and probably one of the smoothest indoor cycles available. Aside from its construction, another attractive feature is its Bluetooth capability on its computer. You can sync the data collected with an app that you can download with your smart phone or tablet. This indoor cycle accommodates riders of any size with its height and fore-and-aft adjustments on its seat and handlebars. See our full review>>
Bodycraft SPR – Bodycraft, a very well known gym equipment manufacturer, came out with their very own indoor cycle similar to that of Keiser. In fact, it bears a lot of similarities to that of Keiser. It has the V-Shape design, fore-and-aft adjustments for both seat and handlebars, rear flywheel, magnetic resistance, and a computer gauge to monitor your performance and resistance, no Bluetooth capability, however. This is another one of my favorites. I do, however, tend to slightly favor the Keiser for its design and the fact that it’s a lighter bike, so for someone as small as I am, it’s easier to move. Aside from that, the performance between the two are virtually identical. You get an incredibly smooth ride and with the belt driven flywheel, it’s virtually silent. See our full review >>
EVO IX – Ok, at first glance, you’ll look at this bike and notice some major differences from any other indoor cycle. First and foremost, there is no external flywheel. They have internalized all of the components into what they refer to as a Orb Gear Drive. They’ve basically, eliminated the belt or chain and flywheel altogether and engineered everything into a gear system. Another innovative design feature is its rocking or sway action. Like the Real Ryder, EVO IX gives you that rocking motion but without the turning handlebars. See our full review >>