Do you love running, but find it really hurts your knees? Do you have a lot of energy to still workout, but the knee and joint pain prevents you from doing so? If this is your situation, you’ll want to look into using an exercise bike to boost your health and fitness. Not only is biking a great form of cardio, it protects your knees and joints. There is no impact from the movement, but you get great cardiovascular engagement. This will help improve your endurance, heart and lung health, burn calories, and lose body fat.
Normally, the only exercise bikes you can have access to be found in expensive fitness clubs. These days, there are many great home exercise bike options. Not only will they give you a great workout, but they won’t break the bank, either.
Best Budget Exercise Bike
This is a rundown of the 6 best budget exercise bikes to keep you fit, active, and healthy.
Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike
Best For Injuries
If you not only have joint issues but lower back problems, too, you’ll want to check out the 400XL from Exerpeutic. This is a recumbent bike which makes biking even easier on the lower back. With a normal road bike, you are kept in a hunched over position over the handlebars. This can still cause strain on the lower back.
The 400XL puts you into a recumbent position which not only is better if you have back issues, but it also takes the pressure off the knees. This makes cycling much more comfortable, and effective. This bike is also very easy to get in and out of making it the perfect choice for seniors, or those with mobility issues. But you still get a great workout with a smooth performance and 8 different levels of resistance.
- Can accommodate up to 300 pounds
- Foldable and easily transportable
- Can be used as a desk bike
- Not ideal for more intense biking
- Takes up a little more room than other units
EXERPEUTIC 900XL Recumbent Exercise Bike with Pulse
This entry is similar to the 400XL but with some more advanced features. You still get the recumbent design geared around keeping you supported and protected during exercise, but you get a machine that is a bit larger and more stable. It weighs more than the 400XL, but this gives you the better support.
You also get a built-in pulse monitor. This is a great feature to track your heart rate and if you need to be in a certain heart rate range while you exercise. With the 900XL you also get a larger, and more comfortable seat, and an LCD display so you can track your stats such as time, speed, distance, and calories burned.
- Easy to get in and out of
- An hold up to 300 pounds
- 8 different levels of magnetic resistance
- Not deal for high-intensity training
- No Bluetooth or app connectivity
XTERRA Fitness FB150 Folding Exercise Bike
This entry from XTERRA is a great upright exercise bike that can also be easily folded up and stored away when you’re not using it. This bike lends itself well to a great workout as it has a similar set up to a spin bike. This will allow you to perform higher intensity intervals which can be a great way to get even better fitness and weight loss results.
It has a large supportive seat and comfortable handlebars to keep you supported during your various workout intensities. This bike also has 8 different levels of magnetic resistance so you can increase the intensity quickly during your workout. This is the ideal bike if you just want to get on and ride.
- Built-in pulse rate monitor
- Pedal straps to keep you more secure
- Transport wheels to easily move around
- No pre-programmed workouts
- Might be more difficult to use for those with mobility issues
Slim Cycle Stationary Bike – Folding Indoor Exercise Bike with Arm Resistance Bands
Most Unique Option
This entry from Slim Cycle is a truly unique exercise bike. As we mentioned, cycling is one of the best cardiovascular exercises you can do. The only problem, however, is even though it works the heart and lungs–it’s primarily a lower-body exercise. The Slim Cycle turns the exercise bike into a full-body machine with its upper body arm resistance bands.
Now, you can get an overall body workout while also boosting your cardiovascular health. The built-in bands are attached at the front so while you pedal you can do exercises such as shoulder raises, lateral raises, and even arm exercises, too. What’s great with this bike is you can use it just for cycling, or for a full-body workout if that’s what you’re wanting to do that day.
- Recumbent position for less stress on the joints and back
- 8 levels of adjustable resistance
- On-demand virtual classes
- Tougher to perform bike sprints on
- Requires batteries
Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709
Best for Seniors/Those With Mobility Issues
The ME-709 is a great standalone unit that is also a recumbent bike. This exercise bike isn’t foldable, but it doesn’t take up much room. Since it is a one-piece unit, it can be designed for better usage. This is a step-through exercise bike which makes it extremely easy to get in and out of. This is ideal for seniors or those who have trouble getting around. The seat is at a lower position so you don’t have to worry about hoisting yourself up and down.
The ME-709 also has a very supportive seat and built-in handles which will keep you even more secure as you exercise. This is still a heavy-duty exercise bike and will still be great for those looking for an intense workout. It has 8-levels of magnetic resistance so you can increase the intensity of your workout to boost your cardiovascular engagement.
- Easy to read LCD screen to track your workout stats
- Counterbalanced pedals
- Adjustable foot straps to find the perfect fit
- No pre-programmed workouts
- Not foldable
Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Exercise Bike
At number 1 on our list of best budget exercise bikes is from Exerpeutic. This is a folding upright exercise bike that is designed to get you as fit as possible. The 8 levels of different magnetic tension can be easily adjusted so you can increase intensity as you ride.
This bike will easily accommodate riders of all sizes from 5’3” to 6’1”. It can also support a weight of up to 300 pounds. The large LCD display will show you your speed, calories burned, distance, and even takes your pulse measurement. This will help you train to a specific level, and being able to monitor your stats helps to show you the progress you’ve made. This exercise bike can be easily moved around and set up in an instant so you are good to go anytime you want a workout.
- Only weighs 39 pounds
- Large, padded seat
- Built-in hand pulse sensors
- No pre-programmed workouts
Important Things to Consider When Buying a Budget Exercise Bike
Since you have already considered budget, the biggest thing to consider when buying an exercise bike is your specific needs. This list contains a good range of bikes so you have to determine the main way you would use one. If you are feeling fit, don’t have any injuries, and are looking for great workouts, you would want to go for a regular upright exercise bike. This will allow you to perform a more intense workout.
If you are older, have mobility issues, or joint problems, you would be better off going for a recumbent version of the exercise bike This list provides some great options to keep you supportive and safe, while still getting you fit. Since most of these are foldable, they will fit in any space no matter how small.
They can then be moved out of the way as to not take over your whole space. If you need to be more on top of your health markers–such as heart rate–you’ll want to choose an exercise bike that has a pulse monitor. This way, you’ll know if you’re training in the correct heart rate range. This is important not only for knowing if you’ve improved your cardiovascular health, but if you need to be careful because of any heart issues.
Personal Trainer Recommendation & Conclusion
A great way to use an exercise bike–and get even better results–is to perform high-intensity interval training. This is when you perform a high-intensity sprint for around 30 seconds, then back off the resistance and go for 90 seconds at a slower-paced, recovery speed. You can do anywhere from 3-8 rounds of this. This type of training can boost aerobic, and anaerobic fitness. It will help improve your endurance, but also build greater fitness. There is also more calorie-burning that comes from this type of training, too.
The studies show that when you do interval training, you not only burn calories during–but long after, too. This happens because of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption–or EPOC. This is an after burn type of effect that keeps your metabolism up and keeps calories burning. You’ll want to always double-check with your doctor to make sure you are safe for this type of exercise, but interval training like this is not only effective but doesn’t take as long as traditional cardio.
No matter what type of training you do on your exercise bike, make sure to start and end with a 5-10 minute warmup/cooldown. This is important for starting exercise effectively and transitioning at the end back to your resting heart rate.