The 7 Best Budget Exercise Bikes of 2024 — Expert Tested and Approved

The best exercise bikes may have impressive features like dynamic interactive programming, Bluetooth capabilities, and large immersive touchscreens, but come with prices up to $2,600. What’s important is finding the equipment that works for you and your budget. Exercise bikes, regardless of their price, all offer the same benefits to your health and wellness, including increased cardiovascular fitness, weight management, and increased VO2 max. (1)(2) We’ve compiled a list of the best budget exercise bikes so that while you save some cash, you can invest in your health.

Finding the right cardio equipment to bring into your home can be a stressful search. There are so many options out there, and when you’re working with a budget, it can be difficult to know what features you need and what features you can do without. Our team of testers tried out over 34 exercise bikes, from air bikes with large whirring fans to under-desk cycles meant for burning a few extra calories during the work day. Here are our top picks for the best budget exercise bikes.

The 7 Best Budget Exercise Bikes

Best Budget Exercise Bike Overall: ProForm Carbon CX 

Best Budget Air Bike: Assault Bike Classic

Best Budget Folding Exercise Bike: Marcy Foldable Upright Exercise Bike

Best Budget Peloton Alternative: Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B1002 

Best Budget Exercise Bike for Small Spaces: YOSUDA YB001R

Best Budget Recumbent Exercise Bike: Schwinn 230 

Best Budget Under Desk Cycling: Cubii Move 

About our Expert

This article has been reviewed by Amanda Capritto, CPT, CES, CNC, CF-L1, CSNC, a certified personal trainer, CrossFit Level 1 instructor, and BarBend editorial team member. She reviewed the research we cite and the exercise bikes we listed to help ensure we’re providing helpful, accurate descriptions and recommendations.

How We Tested and Chose the Best Budget Exercise Bikes

The BarBend team is filled with competitive athletes, road bike racers, and bike campers who have put over 34 exercise bikes through the ringer. If you’ve been combing through reviews of products, and struggling to interpret ad copy from genuine feedback, you’ve come to the right place. 

We evaluated each bike we tested using a multi-point methodology, scoring categories such as value, footprint, and workout experience from 1 (yikes) to 5 (NICE). The following are some key areas we focused on when making our top picks.


There are spin bikes that can cost upwards of $2,600, but that’s not the type of bike you’re after, is it? (Hey, me neither — that’s more than I sold my last car for!) Keeping buyers looking for the best budget home gym equipment in mind, we curated a list with prices that range from around $200 up to $700. If you come across a choice that sparks your interest but is out of your budget, be sure to check the brand’s page — some of our choices are often available at discounted prices.


“Naturally, less expensive equipment won’t stand up to its more expensive counterpart in terms of quality, durability, versatility, and longevity,” notes certified personal trainer and our expert reviewer Amanda Capritto. She’s not wrong, but we made it our mission to find budget bikes that defied their price tags in the areas of sturdiness and durability. 

When products didn’t provide the qualities we were after — such as reasonable 5 to 10-year warranties, strong structural builds, or worthy 250-pound weight capacities — and we thought it still deserved a place on our list, we made sure to make note of it.


Budget exercise bikes will have trade-offs when compared to premium machines. While the Peloton Bike+ ($2,495) or the ProForm Studio Bike Pro ($1,404) may have connected streaming capabilities, large touchscreens, and access to studio-like classes, the price tags leave us shocked and wondering, “Why didn’t I try to sell my last car for more money?

While sticking to our budget finds, we made sure to provide some features that would still provide the workout experience you’re after. From streaming abilities, folding capabilities, and impressive heavy-duty flywheels, our picks all made our list for a reason.

Best Budget Exercise Bike Overall: ProForm Carbon CX

ProForm Carbon CX Exercise Bike

ProForm Carbon CX Exercise Bike

The ProForm Carbon CX is a sturdy steel 125-pound build with 16 levels of silent magnetic resistance. In addition to being one of the quietest options on the market, this bike also comes with a free year of iFit and a swiveling tablet holder, so you can stream classes on and off the bike.

Shop ProForm


Price: $599

Dimensions: 51” H x 52.5” L x 21.9” W

Weight: 125lbs

Resistance: 16 levels of Silent Magnetic Resistance

Max User Capacity: 250lbs


This bike, which is often on sale for $399, provides 16 levels of resistance and 18 seat and handlebar adjustments to fit most users.

It’s compatible with the iFIT app, which is packed with more than 17,000 trainer-led classes and scenic rides. 

This bike has transport wheels so you can tilt it up and move it out of the way with ease.


While this bike is iFIT compatible, it doesn’t come with a screen to view programming so you’ll have to stream this content from your phone or tablet.

The max user capacity is 250 pounds which is below the industry standard of 300 pounds.

While iFIT compatibility on this affordable bike is worthwhile, this subscription will cost you an additional $39 a month after a free one-month trial.

The Carbon CX is the cheapest ProForm exercise bike available and one of the best portable exercise bikes on the market. “On sale it costs around $399 and provides a ton of value for an exercise bike,” noted our tester. This price is a drop in the bucket compared to ProForm’s higher-end model, the Studio Bike Pro ($1,404). With 16 levels of resistance you can take your training intensity where you want to go. Plus, the handlebars adjust 5 levels vertically and the seat adjusts 13 levels in four directions, suitable for cyclists between four foot eleven and six foot five. Value and dynamic programming scored a 4.5 out of 5.

Our BarBend Tester working out on the ProForm CX exercise bike.

You’re getting 16 levels of silent magnetic resistance, 3-pound dumbbells for upper body work, transport wheels to move this bike from room to room, and an LCD monitor that provides basic stats like distance, speed, time, and calories burned. 

The Carbon CX is also compatible with the iFIT app, which — for an additional monthly fee of $39 — allows you access to more than 17,000 cardio, strength, and yoga classes. The Carbon CX doesn’t have a touchscreen of its own, but you can connect a compatible mobile device and set it up on the bike’s media shelf. Doing this also allows you to take advantage of the automatic adjustments to resistance and incline that iFIT can make during rides. 

iFIT is some of the best interactive programming out there and really helps prevent boredom,” notes certified personal trainer and our expert reviewer Amanda Capritto. Dynamic programming scored a 4.5 out of 5. 

The 250-pound weight limit is 50 pounds lower than the industry standard, but that’s fairly normal for budget buys. Our tester is 6’3” and they fit comfortably. “I didn’t notice any wobble during my ride,” they said, “However, while the frame is steel, there are still a lot of breakable plastic parts.” Durability scored a 3.5 out of 5. 

Footstrap on the ProForm CX exercise bike.

But fear not, ProForm offers a 10-year frame warranty so you can rest easy when it comes to your bike holding up over time. Warranty scored a 4 out of 5. 

“The flywheel made for a smooth and quiet ride, plus I like that you can connect to streaming programming with fitness apps if you want — but you don’t have to,” noted our tester. 

Read our full ProForm Carbon CX Exercise Bike Review.

Best Budget Air Bike: Assault AirBike Classic

Assault AirBike

Assault AirBike

The Assault AirBike is a moderately priced bike with a solid build that features a powder-coated steel frame. It’s an upright indoor bike with moving arms that’s designed to burn calories and integrate seamlessly into cross-training and interval workouts.

Shop Assault


Price: $699

Dimensions: 50’’ H x 50.95’’ L x 23.34’’ W

Weight: 95.6lbs

Resistance: Air

Max User Capacity: 300lbs


At $699, this AirBike Classic costs between $100 to $800 less than some of the best air bikes on the market.

The durable powder-coated steel frame on this bike will hold up against sweat and tears for years to come.

There are seven pre-loaded workouts on this bike’s console.


There isn’t any Bluetooth compatibility or built-in speakers to blast your music from.

Pedaling on this air bike can be fairly loud due to the chain drive as opposed to belt-driven air bikes.

The Assault AirBike Classic is one of the best air bikes we’ve tried and tested. At $699, it costs a good deal less than the AssaultBike Elite ($1,099) and the Rogue Echo Bike V.3 ($895). But don’t let its price fool you — you’re getting a durable frame, reinforced pedals, and tracking capabilities to provide users access to an intense workout. Value scored a 4.5 out of 5, and delivery, setup, and durability scored a 4 out of 5.

“If I were in the market for an Air Bike, I’d go with the AirBike Classic,” noted our tester, a certified personal trainer, “The ride is super smooth. This bike feels like competition for other high-end air bikes.” Value scored a 4.5 out of 5.

This budget buy provides a sturdy ride, but you won’t get access to dynamic programming or many conveniences. “There’s no tablet holder or a water bottle holder,” says our tester. “Similarly, the tech is really limited. But Assault Fitness doesn’t make luxury equipment. They make stuff that gets the job done.” They gave conveniences a 2 out of 5 and tech capabilities a 3 out of 5, noting that its lack of Bluetooth speakers is a bummer and that, while there is heart rate connectivity, it’s limited. 

Often, budget buys come at the cost of durability, but not here. The steel frame comes with a corrosion-resistant powder coating and reinforced wide metal pedals. Additionally, the pivots and moving parts are fortified with 20 sealed cartridge bearings that’ll help keep this machine working as long as you are. 

These bikes last for years in CrossFit gyms, and that’s with heavy use and not a ton of maintenance and care. I’d guess this bike could last up to 20 years in a home gym with proper care,” noted our tester. Durability scored a 4 out of 5.

As is the case with most air bikes, there’s some noise when you ride due to the whoosh of air as it’s pushed from the fan. Unlike other air bikes with belt drives, the AirBike Classic makes more noise due to its chain drive. As BarBend’s Jake Herod says in the above video review, “As you can tell, it’s kind of loud, [but] I personally like the fan, it gives me a bit of a breeze while I’m working out.”

Read our full Assault AirBike Review.

Best Budget Folding Exercise Bike: Marcy Foldable Upright Exercise Bike  

Marcy Foldable Upright Exercise Bike

Marcy Foldable Upright Exercise Bike

An affordable exercise bike that can fold up for easy storage. With vertical seat adjustments for an inseam between 28″ and 33″, the recommended height of users ranges from 5’1 to 6’3″.

Shop Marcy


Price: $189.99

Dimensions: Unfolded: 43.75” H x 33.5” L x 18.25” W; folded: 51.5” H x 18.25” L x 18.25” W

Weight: 37lbs

Resistance: 8 levels of magnetic resistance

Max User Capacity: 250lbs


When folded, this bike shrinks from 33.5 inches to 18.25 inches, saving users 15.25 inches of floor space.

The 14-gauge steel frame offers a sturdy ride.

It weighs just 37 pounds and comes with built-in transport wheels. 


It has 8 levels of magnetic resistance, which is average for a folding bike but may not be enough for serious bikers.

There’s limited tech on this bike outside of the LCD display.

You won’t find storage for water bottles or a tablet holder on this bike.

Folding exercise bikes are great for those with limited space, but their portable capabilities often come at the detriment of their durability and construction. That’s not the case with the Marcy Foldable Upright Exercise Bike, one of the best folding exercise bikes we’ve tried. Its 8 levels of resistance may not be suitable for all athletes, but this lowered resistance range is standard for folding bikes. Our tester gave an overall score of 4.3 out of 5, higher than the eight other folding bikes we’ve tested.

“This isn’t the smallest exercise bike, but it’s still easy to move around and can fit in small spaces,” noted our tester, a certified personal trainer. When folded, this bike transforms from 33.5 inches down to 18.25 inches in length. With built-in transport wheels — and a weight of 37 pounds — it’s easy to move it out of the way when you’re done with your workout. Footprint and portability scored a 4 out of 5.

“This is the most durable folding exercise bike I’ve ridden,” noted our tester. This durability, which scored a 5 out of 5, is thanks in part to the heavy-duty 14-gauge steel frame. Its user weight limit of 250 pounds is about 50 pounds lower than the industry standard for exercise bikes, but average for folding bikes.

You won’t find the tech capabilities and conveniences of  higher-priced models, like a built-in touchscreen or storage for water bottles and phones. “But there is an LCD screen with some basic metrics,” noted out tester. Conveniences scored a 2 out of 5 and tech capabilities scored a 3 out of 5. 

[Related: The Best Compact Exercise Equipment]

Best Budget Peloton Alternative: Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B1002

Sunny Health & Fitness Indoor Cycling Bike

Sunny Health & Fitness Indoor Cycling Bike

This bike’s 49-pound flywheel is one of the largest we’ve seen on a consumer indoor cycle and will help you build momentum while keeping your ride smooth. The transport wheels are also large and durable, so you can move tip this bike and move it out of the way when your workout is over.

Shop Sunny Health & Fitness


Price: $399.99

Dimensions: 44.5” H x 54″ L x 19″ W

Weight: 110.8lbs

Resistance: Friction

Max User Capacity: 275lbs


Customers love using this bike with the Peloton app, saving $1,045 to $2,095 compared to the brand’s bikes.

This bike’s adjustable seat can move forward and back and up and down, and its adjustable handlebars can move up and down, accommodating heights from five foot two to six foot one.

The 49-pound flywheel delivers a smooth ride with plenty of resistance.


To get the most out of the Peloton app, you ‘ll want to buy speed and cadence sensors.

If you don’t keep your flywheel lubricated, the leather pad that presses against it to create resistance can become noisy.

There’s no media holder for your phone or tablet, so you’ll want to buy a mount that can work with this bike. 

You don’t have to buy a Peloton bike to join in on the Peloton fun. The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B1002 is an affordable and durable bike with a 49-pound flywheel that can stand up to the kinds of spin classes you’ll find on the Peloton app. This bike is how I do my training when I don’t feel like going outside, and I’ve ridden virtual century rides on top of it. Price, durability, and workout experience all scored a 5 out of 5.

This bike costs $399.99, which is $1,045 to $2,095 less expensive than the Peloton Bike and Bike+, respectively. Sure, you’re not getting a screen, but with a subscription to Peloton App+ — a $44 monthly subscription — you can stream workouts via your own devices. To get the most out of the app, though, you’ll also want to buy a speed and cadence sensor. 

While this bike doesn’t come with a media holder, I have a Top Form Design spintray that works as a desk so I can work on my laptop or stream content from my iPad (if you’re curious, the exact spintray was the Tray Universal). You could also purchase a handlebar mount for your tablet or phone for around $20.

[Related: The 8 Best Fitness Apps]

Our BarBend Tester is shown riding the Sunny Health and Fitness SF-B1002 exercise bike.

I originally purchased this bike because of the 49-pound flywheel, which is larger than the 30- to 45-pound flywheels we’ve seen on other indoor bikes we’ve tested. This provides a super smooth pedal stroke and makes my indoor ride feel similar to biking outside. 

The seat can adjust four ways and the handlebars go up and down, making it suitable for users between 5 feet 2 inches and 6 feet 1 inch. The seat is uncomfortable, but padded bike shorts are a true saving grace. For this, comfort and ergonomics scored a 3 out of 5.

This bike is built to last. I moved to a new apartment and couldn’t get the bike into my Prius, so I tipped it onto its transport wheels and pushed it a mile down the street to my new place without any problems. You will, however, want to oil up the flywheel or replace the leather pad if you start to notice an increase in noise when you raise the resistance. I’ve owned this bike for 3 years and have only had to oil my flywheel twice. Durability scored a 5 out of 5.

Best Budget Exercise Bike for Small Spaces: Yosuda YB001R

Yosuda YB001R Exercise Bike

Yosuda YB001R Exercise Bike

Smooth and quiet cycling with a 35 lb flywheel and attached transport wheels so you can cruise where you want to. Simple LCD screen with a lip for an iPad, tablet, or phone.

Shop Yosuda


Price: $439.99

Dimensions: 45″ H x 40″ L x 22″ W

Weight: 68lbs

Resistance: Magnetic

Max User Capacity: 270lbs


This is a compact bike for small spaces — about 8 inches smaller and 5 inches shorter than the average exercise bike we’ve tested.

The 35-pound flywheel and belt drive system provide a smooth ride.

This bike comes with a tablet holder, so you can stream classes or watch shows from your own device.


This bike doesn’t come with a ton of tech capabilities outside of a basic LCD display. 

The resistance levels aren’t labeled, so users might find it hard to follow along to specific cues if they ride with a fitness app.

The seat isn’t very durable and our tester recommends buying a padded seat cover.

You want the benefits of cardio, but you’re on a budget and you only have limited floor space. The Yosuda indoor cycling bike is here to answer your prayers — or non-denominal wishes. At 40 inches long and 45 inches tall, you’re saving 8 inches in length and 5 inches in height when compared to the average stationary bike. Footprint, portability, and setup scored a 4 out of 5.

Our BarBend Tester riding the Yosuda YB001R exercise bike.

This 68-pound bike is portable so you can easily move it around to save some floor space. “It’s good for small spaces, and the transport wheels are great for getting in a workout then moving the bike out of the way,” noted our tester, a certified personal trainer. 

While the bike is compact, the 35-pound flywheel doesn’t disappoint. This weighted spinning wheel — paired with a belt drive system — creates a smoother ride than comparably priced spin bikes with smaller 20-pound flywheels. The resistance levels aren’t labeled, but I never pay attention to labeled resistance in spin classes and just go off of how I feel. However, some users might find this frustrating during classes. 

This bike is limited when it comes to tech. “There’s a basic LCD screen that shows some basic stats like distance, time, and calories burned, but it’s unimpressive,” noted our tester. Tech capabilities scored a 2 out of 5. However, there is a media holder if users want to stream content from their devices. For this, conveniences scored a 3.5 out of 5.

A close look at the pedal and strap on a Yosuda YB001R exercise bike.

While the seat adjusts in four directions, it isn’t the most comfortable or durable seat we’ve sat on. “I’m already seeing some tears on the seat,” noted our tester. We also noticed some reviews online stating that pieces of this bike would fall off or rattle during high-intensity rides. Durability scored a 2.5 out of 5. 

[Related: The Best Exercise Bikes under $500]

Best Budget Recumbent Exercise Bike: Schwinn 230

Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike

Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike

The Schwinn 230 has a solid build, a comfortable ride, and a host of user-friendly features. Not only that but an affordable price for the quality with 16 levels of resistance to select from while you follow along to workouts from popular streaming apps like Explore the World and Zwift.

Shop Schwinn


Price: $599

Dimensions: 44.5’’ H x 64’’ L x 27’’ W

Weight: 81.6lbs

Resistance: Magnetic

Max User Capacity: 300lbs


This sturdy recumbent bike is around $400 to $900 less expensive than similar recumbent models.

16 levels of resistance and 13 built-in workout programs provide users with an ample amount of challenge.

This bike can accommodate riders from four foot six up to six foot six.


The power cord is a little short, so you’ll want to keep it close to an outlet.

The seat lacks cushioning and may be hard and uncomfortable for some.

The LCD screen’s lack of a backlight makes it difficult to read, especially in darker rooms.

“Individuals with pain or conditions of the lower back, hips, or knees can benefit from a recumbent exercise bike,” notes certified personal trainer and our expert reviewer Amanda Capritto. By providing a backrest that places the rider in a reclined position, recumbent bikes can help ease the impact on achy joints. The Schwinn 230 is one of our favorites, with its footprint, durability, and setup scoring a 4 out of 5.

[Related: The 6 Best Recumbent Bikes for Seniors]

Our BarBend Tester on the Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike.

At $599, this bike is around $400 to $900 less expensive than other recumbent bikes we’ve tested. That budget price comes with 13 workout programs, 16 levels of resistance, and Bluetooth connectivity that lets you link up a heart rate monitor or an app like Zwift or Peloton. “The LCD screen isn’t backlit, which can make reading your training metrics difficult, especially if the room is dark,” noted our tester, who gave tech capabilities 3 out of 5 and workout experience a 4.5 out of 5.

This bike’s sturdy build supports users up to 300 pounds, higher than the 250 pound average we’ve found on budget exercise bikes. Its adjustable seat, meanwhile, can accommodate users between four foot six and six foot six, which is one of the widest ranges we’ve seen on an exercise bike. 

At 81.6 pounds and with built-in transport wheels, moving this thing around doesn’t have to turn into a HIIT workout. However, you’ll need to make sure it’s set up close to an outlet, as we found the power cord to be fairly short. Portability scored a 4.5 out of 5. 

A close look at the screen on Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike.

The plastic seat lacks cushioning and may be uncomfortable for some, but our tester appreciated its vented back. “I really liked the ventilation in the seat, it helped keep my back from getting super sweaty,” they noted.

Best Budget Under-Desk Cycling: Cubii Move

Cubii Move

Cubii Move

The Cubii Move can be a great solution for athletes that want a way to stay active from the confines of their home office. The sleek, 17.6-pound frame fits easily under a desk, giving you access to low-impact resistance training as you power through your daily step counts, email responsibilities, and Zoom calls.

Shop Cubii


Price: $199

Dimensions: 9.7” H x 21.7” L x 19.7” W

Weight: 17.6lbs

Resistance: 6 levels

Max User Capacity: 300lbs


The 9.7-inch height and 19.7-inch width is compact enough to fit under most desks so you can get some cardio in at work.

At under 20 pounds, this cycle can easily move from the desk to the couch.

Track your mileage, stride count, calories burned, and elapsed time through the digital display.


It has no handles to aid with transport.

There are only 6 levels of resistance, which may not be enough for seasoned pedalers.

Some customers complain about a squeaking noise when they pedal.

The Cubii Move is an under-desk cardio machine that allows users to move their legs against up to 6 levels of resistance while seated at their desk. Is it a cycle? Is it an elliptical? It’s a little of both, mixing a cycling motion with elliptical footpads. This is Cubii’s most affordable under-desk workout tool, perfect for beginners who are curious about the benefits of under-desk cycling. While we haven’t gotten our hands on the Cubii Move (yet), we have tested the Cubii JR,  which is very similar. Once we try out the Cubii Move, we’ll be sure to update this review!

The Cubii Move weighs under 20 pounds, which makes moving this machine from your home office to your office office a breeze. However, there aren’t any handles, so picking it up may be a little awkward for some.

[Related: The 7 Best Ellipticals]

Common complaints about under-desk cardio machines tend to concern users’ knees knocking on the bottom of their desk. To remedy this, the Cubii Move comes in a compact package that’s only 9.7 inches tall and 19.7 inches wide, which easily fits beneath a standard 29 to 30 inch tall desk. (3) Cubii customer support mentions users will want at least 2 to 3 inches of clearance above their knees to operate this device beneath a desk. The elliptical nature of this machine’s movements should also help keep users from having to lift their knees upwards since the pedaling is more of a forward and back motion.

While you’re busy slogging away in Zoom meetings and in spreadsheets, the Cubii’s LCD display will keep track of your calories burned, time elapsed, distance traveled, RPM, and strides taken. 

If you download the Cubii app, you can also track your weekly metrics and view your progress over time. This app also includes workout programming. “I don’t see the benefit in this programming, since I assume most people intend on using this while they’re working,” noted our tester, a certified personal trainer.

The 6 levels of resistance may not provide enough resistance for some users, but that’s to be expected, as this is marketed as an under-desk elliptical for beginners. “It can be noisy if you’re pedaling at a good clip,” said our tester. It’s also worth noting that a handful of customer reviews said the machine squeaked as they pedaled, with one suggesting WD-40 as a remedy. 

For peace of mind, this under-desk unit comes with a 1-year warranty, with an additional year added to that if you register your purchase within 90 days of purchase. 

Benefits of Budget Exercise Bikes

Making an investment in your health shouldn’t come at a steep cost. However, if you need a little nudge to loosen the grip on your purse strings, here are some of the benefits you’ll reap from hopping on and becoming an indoor cyclist.

Low-Impact Cardio Workout

While you can certainly take off for the races, exercise bikes can be useful during recovery, as, unlike running, biking is a relatively low-impact form of exercise. This type of cardio is easier on knees and joints, allowing users to lift their heart rates and work up a sweat without having to take part in high-impact activities. (4

Amanda Capritto, a certified personal trainer and our expert reviewer, noted, “From people who are looking to generally improve their health, individuals who require low-impact cardio exercise, and competitive athletes, indoor stationary bikes provide excellent workout opportunities.”

Health Benefits

Sure, you may feel good after a quick 30 minute HIIT workout on your bike, but there are loads of things happening inside your body that will benefit you in the future. “Cycling brings an impressive collection of health benefits to the table: cardiovascular health, endurance, stamina, muscular endurance are all improved with cycling, to name a few,” mentioned Capritto.

Our BarBend Tester rides the Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike.

Riding on an exercise bike can also lower your blood pressure, manage your weight, and improve your aerobic capacity, meaning your body will become more efficient at using oxygen. (1)(5) Regular exercise can also help prevent cancer, depression, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. (6)

At-Home Workout

Just imagine: You wake up, keep your pajamas on, and you hop onto your indoor cycling bike for a quick ride before you make coffee (fine, sorry, after your coffee). Having access to your own cardio equipment means you can work out whenever you like. 

“Exercise bikes, like treadmills, bring a form of outdoor exercise indoors for when the conditions aren’t right or you need more structure,” notes Capritto. 

What to Consider Before Buying a Budget Exercise Bike

Whether you’re new to the at-home cardio game or you’ve dabbled in this space before, there are many points to mull over before you choose one bike to rule them all. You’ll want to consider your fitness level, what sort of cycling you’d like to do, and how much room you have to spare for the newest member of your household. Here is what to look for when buying an indoor cycle.

Floor Space

Measure, measure, measure! I know. You don’t want to. I’ve been there, too. I was certain that my under-desk treadmill would fit underneath my desk because it looked like it would from the pictures! And you know what, I got lucky. It fit. Still, you should always measure the space you have available and set those measurements beside the dimensions we provided for every option on our list. 

Since they often lack cutting-edge tech and heavy-duty builds, budget indoor exercise bikes tend to have smaller footprints and lighter weights than luxury models. Some even make compactness their whole thing with folding mechanisms and built-in transport wheels for easy rolling. If you’re in a tight space, a budget model may be just what you need. 


Something you’ll need to consider is how much you intend to use your bike. Budget buys are great for those who want to sneak some cardio in a few times a week, but those looking for a beast to support high-intensity workouts on the daily will likely want a more durable machine built from heavy-duty steel. A solid warranty plan — think 5 to 10 years for the frame — also helps. 

Fitness Goals

Are you looking to put the pedal to the metal, or are you someone who’s looking for some leisure rides to help increase your cardio throughout the day? Your fitness goals and the intensity you desire from your exercise bike will help you navigate between upright and recumbent bikes. For example, if you’d like to stand up out of the saddle as you push the resistance to its limit, a recumbent bike won’t provide you that opportunity. Recumbent bikes, though, offer an even lower-impact experience, which should help those with achy joints. 

Close look at the handlebars while our BarBend Tester rides the Yosuda YB001R.

“I encourage individuals on a budget to strictly prioritize before beginning their shopping process. Making a list of exercise equipment priorities may help you stretch your dollar a bit further; when you know exactly what you want, you’re less likely to… wind up with a piece of equipment you don’t really want,” notes certified personal trainer and our expert reviewer Amanda Capritto. Whether you’re pedaling at a light pace or pushing yourself towards a fat-burning heart rate zone, you’ll need to understand the type of work you’re interested in doing, so the equipment you invest in can provide.


“One’s budget should obviously be top-of-mind when shopping for budget home gym equipment,” notes Capritto, and we’re sure that’s the case if you’re perusing this roundup. Be sure to make up your budget for how much you’d like to spend, then you can cross reference your favorite options from this list (and elsewhere) to see which products offer the training and high-quality capabilities you’re after for the price point you’re after.

How Much Do Budget Exercise Bikes Cost?

Here is a breakdown of the cost of each budget bike on our list. Keep in mind that some of these options may have discounted deals on the brand’s website.

Ranging from $199 up to $699, there’s an exercise bike that’ll suit most budgets. With options for recumbent bikes, under-desk units, folding bikes, studio cycles, and air bikes, we’ve got an option on our list for whatever type of cycling you’re looking to do.

Final Word 

The best cardio machines for home use can help bring the health benefits of cardio right to your doorstep. Whether you’re looking to spike your heart rate a few times a week or train for a cross-country bikepacking trip, there are options available to suit most budgets.

Purchasing an exercise bike is an investment, but it’s one that can lead to a routine that can help change your life. Before you can get there, though, you’ll have to do your research, cross-reference your options, and finalize your budget so that you can make a choice that fits your needs. Regardless of the choice you make, the path you’re taking towards cardio glory is sure to be a worthy investment.


What’s the best budget exercise bike ?

Our pick for the best budget exercise bike is the ProForm Carbon CX. While this spin bike doesn’t come with a screen for streaming content, the bike is still compatible with the iFIT app, which offers access to more than 17,000 cardio, strength and yoga classes. Simply link up your mobile device to the machine to take advantage of the app’s trainer-led content and AutoAdjust capabilities. While this bike retails for $599, it’s often on sale for $399.

How much does a good budget exercise bike cost?

While you can spend upwards of $2,500 on a premium exercise bike, you may not have to. Our choices span $200 up to $700, and include upright bikes, air bikes, folding bikes, recumbent bikes, and under-desk pedalers. A budget price means they’re probably more utilitarian in design, but that doesn’t mean they won’t help you work up a sweat.

Are budget exercise bikes worth it?

It depends. Budget bikes are often made with cheaper materials, or come from lesser known brands and manufacturers. If you’re uncertain about shelling out the cash on a bike you’re worried won’t last long, make sure to check and see that the bike is covered by a warranty that can provide some peace of mind.


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The post The 7 Best Budget Exercise Bikes of 2024 — Expert Tested and Approved appeared first on BarBend.


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