Exercise bike buying guide: How to choose the best exercise bike for you

We'll help you compare exercise bikes and get fit in the comfort of your own home.

Cycling is an effective form of low-impact cardiovascular exercise, but it isn't always convenient. Not only can rain disrupt your outdoor riding plans, but using an exercise bike at the gym is expensive and isn't everyone's cup of tea.

A home exercise bike can give you a more convenient and cost effective way to get active. There are several types of bikes to choose from, with prices ranging from $200 up towards $2,000.

Compare some of the best exercise bikes

Data obtained December 2018. Prices are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.
Name Product Average Price (AUD) Type Maximum user weight (kg) Adjustable seat Adjustable handlebar Purchase today
Lifespan Fitness SP‌-310
Lifespan Fitness SP‌-310
$298
Spinning
125
Yes
Yes
The Lifespan Fitness SP-310 is fitted with wheels for maneuverability and a steel frame that minimizes rocking during sprints.
York Fitness C400
York Fitness C400
$299
Upright
100
Yes
No
The York Fitness C400 is designed with an adjustable stabiliser for uneven surfaces.
GPI Bodyworx AB170AT
GPI Bodyworx AB170AT
$469
Upright
110
Yes
Yes
The GPI Bodyworx AB170AT has a coloured backlit display that shows pulse measurements and other data.
York Fitness Performance
York Fitness Performance
$499
Recumbent
100
Yes
No
The York Fitness Performance provides a large cushioned seat with backrest for sit-down riding.
Lifespan Fitness SP‌-550
Lifespan Fitness SP‌-550
$528
Spinning
145
Yes
Yes
The Lifespan Fitness SP-550’s frame size and design allow for road bike simulation training.
York Fitness C415
York Fitness C415
$649
Upright
140
Yes
Yes
The York Fitness C415 has an extra large cushioned seat and a water bottle holder.
BH Fitness i.Pixel
BH Fitness i.Pixel
$799
Upright
120
Yes
Yes
The BH Fitness i.Pixel has a pulse measuring system and can be linked to smartphones and tablets.
Endurance Magnetic
Endurance Magnetic
$799
Upright
150
Yes
No
The Endurance Magnetic offers ergonomically designed handlebars that maximise arm comfort.
GPI Bodyworx A932
GPI Bodyworx A932
$999
Recumbent
130
No
No
The GPI Bodyworx A932 is low to the ground and has an adjustable backrest.

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Why buy an exercise bike?

There are several reasons why an exercise bike can make a useful addition to your home gym:

If you're looking to buy more items for your home gym, check out our guide to cheap home gym equipment. You may also be interested in our treadmill buying guide.

Why shouldn't I buy an exercise bike?

Buying an exercise bike (or any other piece of home gym equipment) often seems like a good idea at the time. But the number of under-used exercise bikes, treadmills and ab rollers dumped on the side of the road at kerbside clean-up time would suggest it's an idea many people later regret. Exercise bikes aren't cheap, so you need to be sure that you'll get sufficient use out of a bike to justify your investment.

Before you hand over any money, consider whether you wouldn't prefer to do the following:

  • Ride outside. Cycling outside can be more fun than sweating away in a room at home – the scenery changes, you can breathe in some fresh air, and you get the satisfaction and enjoyment of actually going somewhere.
  • Join a gym. When you join a gym, you can work out on all manner of exercise equipment, sign up for fun and motivational classes, and get personalised advice from fitness experts. If this sounds ideal for you, check out our guide to choosing a gym membership.
  • Get an indoor trainer. Bike trainers are raised stands that allow you to use your normal road bike indoors. If you already have a quality bike and just want to be able to use it when the weather is bad, a trainer can give you what you need for just a few hundred dollars.

What types are available?

You have a few options to consider when choosing an exercise bike for your home:

DescriptionProsCons
Upright exercise bikeUpright exercise bikes stand up just like a normal bike and usually come with a comfortable, padded seat.
  • Cheaper and more compact than recumbent bikes
  • Offers a more effective cardio workout and engages core muscles more than a recumbent bike
  • Not suitable for those who need back support
  • Requires some previous bike riding experience
Recumbent exercise bikeAllows you to cycle while seated in a reclining position.
  • Ideal for seniors, those who want additional back support and people who want to stay comfortable while working out
  • More expensive and take up more room than upright bikes
  • Don't work as wide a range of muscles as upright or indoor cycling bikes
Indoor cycling bikeSometimes referred to as spin bikes, indoor cycling bikes attempt to simulate the experience of riding a road bike.
  • Offers a wider range of resistance levels to simulate gear changes and different terrain
  • Designed for avid cyclists and fitness enthusiasts
  • Provides a tougher workout than upright or recumbent bikes
  • Aggressive seating position can be uncomfortable
  • Not suitable for those who need back support
  • Requires a moderate level of bike riding experience

How to compare exercise bikes

Before you start shopping for an exercise bike, take some time to consider your fitness goals, how often you plan to work out and your spending budget.

Exercise bike prices vary from around $100 for a no-frills model up to $2,000 for advanced models you could expect to find in a gym. Upright bikes are usually cheaper than recumbent bikes, and many entry-level buyers will find a happy balance between features and price somewhere around the $400-$600 mark.

Don't forget to factor in delivery costs when comparing exercise bike prices. Bikes can weigh 50kg or more, and some retailers charge up to $200 for delivery.

Here are the important factors you need to take into account:

Which exercise bike is best for me?

The best exercise bike for you depends on a range of factors, including the type of bike you want, how often you plan on using it and how much money you want to spend. To ensure that you choose a bike that meets all your requirements, it's essential to shop around and compare a range of products.

To help make this easier, we've compared the pros and cons of five exercise bikes in the table below:

The goodThe bad
Schwinn 130i
  • 22 preset exercise programs
  • Easy-to-use console with two-LCD screen system
  • No heart rate chest strap
  • Pedals prone to breaking
GPI Bodyworx A932
  • Easy to mount and dismount
  • 32 different tension settings
  • Not cheap
  • No music
Lifespan Fitness SP-550
  • Heavy-duty flywheel
  • Easily adjustable
  • Heavy
  • A little noisy
York Fitness RB420
  • 32 levels of resistance
  • 17 workout programs
  • Not cheap
York Fitness Performance
  • Simple design
  • Comfortable seat
  • 100kg max user weight
  • Lacks advanced features

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