Best Budget Exercise Bikes: Get in Shape Without Breaking the Bank

woman adjusting exercise bike


Whether you're looking for a convenient alternative to studio cycling classes or avoiding wet or snowy conditions, a stationary bike is a great way to burn calories and get fit. There are plenty of premium models on the market, but you don't need to spend thousands of dollars on a quality bike. We've rounded up the best budget exercise bikes available so you can compare features and prices and make the right choice for your home gym.

Beyond the price, there are a few things to consider when researching a budget exercise bike. Our guide will take you through the pros and cons of each model and give you the 411 on things like its weight capacity and special features. Depending on your fitness goals, you may find certain features non-negotiable, while others won't be as important. Ready to sweat? Let's get started.

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The Best Budget Exercise Bikes - Our Top Picks

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Best Overall Budget Exercise Bike - YOSUDA Indoor Cycling Bike Stationary Bike

YOSUDA Indoor Cycling Bike Stationary Bike

SPECS

  • Weight: 72.75 lbs.
  • Weight capacity: 270 lbs.
  • Features: LCD monitor, tablet holder, water bottle holder

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Quiet, easy to assemble, and inexpensive—with this Yosuda exercise bike, you can have all three. Its heavy flywheel makes for a whisper-quiet ride while the LCD screen tracks your time, speed, distance, and calories burned. With adjustable cage pedals and water bottles and tablet holders, this bike will make the miles pass quickly.

If you want to move the bike, its transport wheels make that a cinch. While the Yosuda has a belt drive resistance system often seen in low-end models, users had no complaints about its performance. This is a really good all-around choice if you're looking for an exercise bike—just be aware of the somewhat low weight capacity before you purchase.

What We Like

  • Multiple handlebar and saddle settings
  • 35 lb. flywheel and sturdy steel frame provide a smooth ride
  • Bike has wheels so you can move it around
  • Emergency brake lever

What We Don't Like

  • A belt resistance system is often seen in less expensive and older models
  • Weight capacity is on the lower end

BUY: YOSUDA Indoor Cycling Bike Stationary Bike

Best Budget Folding Exercise Bike - Marcy Foldable Upright Exercise Bike With Adjustable Resistance

Marcy Foldable Upright Exercise Bike with Adjustable Resistance

SPECS

  • Weight: 38 lbs.
  • Weight capacity: 250 lbs.
  • Features: LCD screen, high-density foam padded cushion, adjustable foot straps

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This bike is an upright model, meaning it's a bit more comfortable than a spin bike but still keeps you in an upright position (as opposed to a recumbent bike). An upright position will help you work more muscles and body parts as you pedal. The bike uses a magnetic resistance mechanism and has 8 preset tension levels. That will be enough for a solid workout, but if you're really looking to customize things, this machine may feel a bit limiting.

What this bike lacks in resistance options, it makes up for in space-saving design and thoughtful details. It's foldable, so it won't be an eyesore in your living room. It also offers a padded seat and adjustable foot straps with weighted counterbalanced pedals to keep you comfortable.

What We Like

  • Adjustable seat
  • LCD screen with odometer
  • High-density foam padded seat

What We Don't Like

  • Can only choose from 8 preset resistance levels
  • The weight capacity is only 250 lbs.

BUY: Marcy Foldable Upright Exercise Bike with Adjustable Resistance

Best Budget Air Exercise Bike - Titan Fitness Fan Bike

Titan Fitness Fan Bike

SPECS

  • Weight: 111 lbs.
  • Weight capacity: 330 lbs.
  • Features: Fan guard, water bottle and phone holder, adjustable seat

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Air exercise bikes are popular among CrossFit enthusiasts as they can produce an extremely effective cardiovascular workout in a short time. The Titan Fitness Fan Bike is a great option, whether you enjoy CrossFit or are just looking to burn some calories. The heavy-duty steel frame feels sturdy while the large adjustable seat keeps you comfortable.

Users liked the LCD console equipped with high-intensity interval training (HITT) programs for guided workouts. If you want to track your heart rate, you can pair the Bluetooth Heart Rate function with Polar® Bluetooth Heart Rate Transmitters. If you're a fan of HITT workouts and looking for an affordable bike, the Titan is a terrific choice.

What We Like

  • Plenty of features: phone holder, water bottle holder, fan guard, and turf tires for easy transport
  • Higher weight capacity
  • Heavy-duty steel frame

What We Don't Like

  • Some users noted that the bike's handles can be too long if you have shorter arms
  • Assembly isn't the easiest, handles not labeled left and right

BUY: Titan Fitness Fan Bike

Best Budget Smart Exercise Bike - Echelon Smart Connect Bike EX-5

Echelon Smart Connect Bike EX-5

SPECS

  • Weight: 106 lbs. (package)
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs.
  • Features: Cage pedals, front wheels to easily move the bike, adjustable handlebars, and seat, handlebar shelf for tablet, bottle holder

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If you're looking for a connected exercise bike that can stream high-quality classes, the Echelon EX-5 is a good choice (and cheaper than its closest competitor, Peloton). The powder-coated steel frame resists scratching, and the extra large cushioned seat and padded handlebars ensure a comfy ride. No need for special cycling shoes—just slide your feet into the adjustable toe cages.

We like that this bike has a higher weight capacity and 30-plus levels of resistance. The on-demand fitness classes are a great motivator, but you'll need your own tablet for streaming. You can purchase a one-year Echelon Membership for $109.

What We Like

  • Powdered-coated frame resists scratches
  • Adjustable handlebars and seat
  • Live and on-demand classes are available 24/7 with Echelon membership

What We Don't Like

  • Users said they had issues keeping app connected to the bike
  • Purchase of Echelon membership required at checkout

BUY: Echelon Smart Connect Indoor Cycling Bike + 30-Day Free Echelon Membership

Best Durable Budget Exercise Bike - Schwinn 130 Upright Bike

Schwinn 130 Upright Bike

SPECS

  • Weight: 61 lbs.
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs.
  • Features: LCD screen, ergonomic handlebars, water bottle holder, 13 preset workout programs

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This Schwinn is a favorite among home exercisers thanks to its inexpensive price and high-quality performance. The bike offers 16 magnetic resistance levels, 13 preset workout programs, and an LCD screen to track speed, RPM, heart rate, calories, distance, and time.

This bike is well connected and Bluetooth enabled for heart rate monitoring and for pairing with the Zwift and Explore the World apps. Once you download the apps, set your device of choice (phone, tablet, etc.) on the holder, and pedal along to live and on-demand workouts. You can get a premium cycling workout for a fraction of the price of a Peloton!

What We Like

  • You can easily swap out the seat for your favorite bicycle seat (although the included one is plenty padded!)
  • Convenient media shelf for setting your phone or tablet
  • Ability to connect to Zwift and Explore the World apps for on-demand workouts

What We Don't Like

  • Handlebars aren't adjustable
  • Weight of the bike is lower than some of its peers—it may not feel as sturdy

BUY: Schwinn 130 Upright Bike

Best Budget Compact Exercise Bike - DeskCycle Under Desk Bike Pedal Exerciser

DeskCycle Under Desk Bike Pedal Exerciser

SPECS

  • Weight: 23 lbs.
  • Weight capacity: 500 lbs.
  • Features: 8 resistance levels, bi-directional flywheel, adjustable foot straps

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Made of steel components and sealed bearings, this compact under-desk bike is a great low-maintenance option. While you won't get a full-body workout, its convenience and price make it attractive for casual exercisers. Tuck it under your desk at work to multitask and burn calories while you type.

We especially liked the bike's removable LCD screen. The convenient tabletop monitor allows you to see your strides per minute, distance traveled, calories burned, and time elapsed. With multiple resistance levels and a bi-directional flywheel, you can fit in a solid workout almost anywhere!

What We Like

  • Compatible with Fitbit wearables
  • Lightweight and portable
  • High weight capacity—great for all fitness levels

What We Don't Like

  • Not a full-body workout like some other bike options
  • Some users found it a bit cumbersome for use under their desk—make sure you have enough clearance

BUY: DeskCycle Under Desk Bike Pedal Exerciser

Best Budget Exercise Bike Under $500 - Synergy Exercise Bike Stationary Indoor Cycling

Synergy Exercise Bike Stationary Indoor Cycling

SPECS

  • Weight: 88 lbs.
  • Weight capacity: 275 lbs.
  • Features: 4-way adjustable seat; device, dumbbell, and water bottle holders; pulse sensors

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With a hefty 30-pound flywheel and generous extras (seriously, this bike has a holder for everything), this model is an excellent choice for a home gym. Its magnetic resistance system offers increased durability while also decreasing maintenance needs (no friction between the magnets and the flywheel!). We also like its caged pedals and performance monitor that tracks speed, distance, time, and more.

This is a good option if you have old or uneven floors as it features adjustable floor stabilizers for a smooth and steady ride. If you do need to move it, the transport wheels make it easy. While the weight capacity could be higher, this is a good option for most exercisers.

What We Like

  • Tons of extras—holders for weights, water bottles, tablet
  • Floor stabilizers adjust to uneven floors for a smooth ride
  • Users report that it's very quiet while in use

What We Don't Like

  • Users report that the seat isn't very comfortable
  • The weight capacity is on the lower end
  • LCD screen is dimly lit and can be tough to read

BUY: Synergy Exercise Bike Stationary Indoor Cycling

What to Look for in a Budget Exercise Bike

When researching exercise bikes, you'll see a huge price range. Some are just a few hundred dollars while others can cost upward of three grand. Keep in mind that the cost of a bike isn't necessarily indicative of its quality. Cost is often closely related to added features. You can certainly get a decent exercise bike at the lower end of the price range, but it likely won’t have the bells and whistles of higher-end models. To narrow down the options, first, identify what features are important. Do you want clip-in pedals? The ability to stream cycling classes on a touchscreen? If you can get by with a basic machine, the price will be a lot less than a premium bike.

It's also a good idea to check into things like the type of resistance mechanism the bicycle has and its weight and height capacities. Finally, look into the warranty offerings. Most exercise bike warranties separate things out by frame, parts, and labor.

Quality

While a higher price may mean quality components, that isn't always the case. For a long-lasting machine, look for a bike that is on the heavier side. A heavier bike means there will be less movement as you ride, especially as you pick up the pace or ride out of the saddle. Along those lines, make sure your flywheel is heavier, ideally 25 pounds or more. A sturdy flywheel will offer a smooth experience.

Weight Capacity

Most exercise bikes have a weight capacity of at least 250 pounds, often much higher. If you need it, look for a bike that has a capacity of 350 to 400 pounds. If your weight exceeds the capacity (or is close to it), the bike could wear out prematurely or even break.

Features

All exercise bikes have a resistance mechanism, and what you choose will likely be dictated by price. Older and less expensive bikes use a strap system to increase resistance while newer bikes use magnetic resistance. The newest and most premium bikes utilize electromagnetic resistance, where an electric current increases the tension between the magnets.

The pedals and saddle are other areas where price determines what you'll get. If you're okay with using sneakers and pedals or cages, you can save some money; however, if you're looking to clip in, you'll need special pedals and accompanying shoes. This is an extra cost, but it can give you a better workout.

Finally, what are you looking for in a workout? Many exercise bikes have simple digital screens (or none at all), while premium models allow you to stream workouts via WiFi. This could be a good option if you're in need of extra motivation and accountability.

FAQs About Budget Exercise Bikes


Is a budget exercise bike worth it?

An exercise bike is a great addition to any home gym. Even if you choose a less expensive model, you'll be able to get in a good workout. Often, bikes are constructed similarly (steel frame, heavy flywheel), but the cheaper models lack some bells and whistles.

How long should I ride my exercise bike?

This will depend on your fitness history and goals. Most experts suggest starting with 10-20 minutes if you're new to exercising and building from there. A solid goal to aim for is 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.

Does biking burn belly fat?

Yes, but it may take some time. To burn calories and lose weight, experts recommend exercising at a moderate intensity. This will ensure a steady calorie burn and enable you to work out for a longer period of time.

Is it OK to ride my exercise bike every day?

It's generally not a good idea to go from a sedentary lifestyle to working out like a fiend. However, if you're in good shape and enjoy exercising every day, biking is a great low-impact option.

About the Author

Megan Harrington

Megan is a runner and writer who resides in upstate New York. She is a former collegiate runner and regularly competes in marathons. Megan uses her personal experience in competitive running to review fitness equipment and write running guides.

See More from Megan

Megan is a runner and writer who resides in upstate New York. She is a former collegiate runner and regularly competes in marathons. Megan uses her personal experience in competitive running to review fitness equipment and write running guides.

See More from Megan

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