Best Exercise Bikes for Effective Workouts at Home in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update August 25, 2018
"You can’t workout while sitting down", they say. Well, why not? The exercise bike is a great solution for getting your body in shape without leaving your home! And our review of the best exercise bikes will help you choose the one to pedal your way to health and shape! ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2018
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Type
Resistance type
Resistance levels
Display
Extras
Maximum weight load
Weight
Warranty
 
PROS

Anti-slip pads on the bike's base keep the trainer firmly in place during workouts. The machine comes 50% assembled so you won't spend much time on its setup.

CONS

The model is bulky and heavy, thus, is difficult to transport. 

OUR VERDICT

The Reebok GB40 is a perfect choice for both novice and professional users of different body shape. Fully adjustable seat, handlebar, and foot straps in combination with 8 resistance levels make this bike almost a universal machine.

detailed parameters
Type

Upright

Resistance type

Magnetic

Resistance levels

8

Display

RPM, Speed, Time, Distance, Calories, Pulse

Extras

Integrated hand pulse sensors, Adjustable saddle, handlebars, and foot straps

Maximum weight load

110 kg

Weight

30.3 kg

Warranty

Frame - 2 years

Computer - 2 years

Brake - 2 years

Plastic - 2 years

Labour - 2 years

PROS

Two-way flywheel allows for both forward and backward pedaling enabling you to develop different muscle groups. A padded seat and backrest add to the usability of the bike.

CONS

Seat height isn't adjustable. 

OUR VERDICT

Back pain or some health issues with joints aren't a reason to give up exercising. Just choose this recumbent bike from JLL and you'll be able to strengthen your legs without causing harmful stress on your spine.

detailed parameters
Type

Recumbent

Resistance type

Magnetic

Resistance levels

8

Display

Time, Speed, Distance, Calories, Odometer, Pulse

Extras

Heart Rate Sensors, Adjustable seat and toe straps

Maximum weight load

100 kg

Weight

24 kg

Warranty

Motor - 5 years

Parts and labour - 5 years

Frame - lifetime


PROS

The foldable design ensures neat storage of the machine when it's not in use. Max weight load of 130 kilos makes this model suitable for a great number of people.

CONS

People who are shorter than 150 cm might find it inconvenient to use the bike.

OUR VERDICT

The Ultrasport F-Bike trainer is a real catch if you want to work out at home but don't have much space. Easy to store and maintain it isn't inferior to any of more sophisticated models and is great for effective cardio workouts in the comforts of your home. 

detailed parameters
Type

Upright

Resistance type

Flywheel

Resistance levels

8

Display

Time, Scan, Calories, Speed, Distance, Pulse

Extras

Eight two-way ball bearings, Folding mechanism, Towel holder, Mobile phone tray, Hand pulse sensors

Maximum weight load

130 kg

Weight

18 kg

Warranty

2 years

PROS

The XS-Sports exercise equipment is more than just a stationary bike, it is also a cross-trainer. With the help of this trainer, you'll be able to work out your legs, arms, shoulders, and thighs as well as you'd do it down the gym. 

CONS

Bike assembly might be somewhat tricky.

OUR VERDICT

The XS-Sports Pro 2-in-1 trainer is designed to suit needs of all family members regardless of whether they prefer walking or running. The machine is easy to adjust to any sports activity. 

detailed parameters
Type

Upright

Resistance type

Flywheel

Resistance levels

Adjustable

Display

Pulse, Time, Speed, Distance, Calories, Scan Mode

Extras

Two-way crank, ABS Body, Adjustable Belt Resistance, Reversible Mode, Hand sensors for pulse reading, Adjustable seat, handles, and feet

Maximum weight load

110 kg

Weight

28 kg

Warranty

1 year

PROS

With the weight of less than 6 kg, this bike is easy to take with you. It has a built-in handle for more comfortable carrying. 

CONS

Some users do not like the fact that the bike isn't equipped with pulse sensors. 

OUR VERDICT

This portable bike from MiraFit is best suited for strengthening leg and arm muscles. With a 1.5-kilo flywheel, it is safe for users of all ages as well as those who rehabilitate after injuries.

detailed parameters
Type

Portable

Resistance type

Magnetic

Resistance levels

Adjustable

Display

Time, Distance, RPM, Total Distance, Calories Burnt, Scan Functions

Extras

Anti-slip rubber pads, Built-in carry handle

Maximum weight load

No maximum user weight

Weight

~6 kg

Warranty

30-day money back guarantee

Reebok GB40 One Series

Opt for Experience

If cycling is one of your favourite sport activities and you'd like to be able to do it in the comfort of your own home, opt for a quality stationary bike, like the Reebok GB40 One Series bike, a best-selling bike on the market. Having been on the market for over 100 years, the company has learned customers' needs and demands well enough to incorporate only the best features in their products. The Reebok GB40 One Series bike is an upright bike which will suit any user. Pedalling it resembles pedalling a cruiser or a road bike, the feeling most customers are used to. The bike features 8 resistance levels so that users with all fitness conditioning could get the maximum out of training. Whether your aim is to lose some weight or you'd like to tone your muscles or strengthen your body, the Reebok GB40 will help you with that. Equipped with an easy-to-read LCD display and pulse sensors, the bike enables you to track your progress by showing you the speed, time, distance, RPM and even your heart rate. In order to access the data you need, there's a user-friendly control panel featuring just a few buttons, which are:

  • "Total reset" button activates the computer;
  • "Up" and "Down" buttons are used to select the necessary training mode;
  • "Reset" clears selected settings while "Enter" button confirms them;
  • "Recovery" button is used to test pulse recovery status.
Review of Reebok GB40 One Series Stationary Bike

Unrivalled Usability

In addition to great functionality and ability to track your workouts, you'll be pleased with the usability features of the Reebok exercise bike. The bike comes 50% assembled and includes all assembly tools and a helpful user's guide with step-by-step installation tips. All parts of the bike are adjustable for comfortable use of multiple people. And with the maximum weight capacity of 110 kg, there's hardly anyone who this bike won't suit. If you've been looking for a versatile exercise machine that all your family could use with the maximum comfort, do not hesitate to put your trust in Reebok and opt for the GB40 bike.

Reebok GB40 One Series Stationary Bike in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

JLL RE100

Work Out Without Excessive Load

When it comes to the JLL RE100, the first thing we'd like to mention is that it is a recumbent exercise bike, meaning it's suited even for those who aren't allowed to overload their back. Due to a peculiar design of the bike, a user doesn't need to hover over the handlebar and can comfortably lean back. Designed with a two-way flywheel, the JLL RE100 exercise bike enables both forward and backward pedalling so that you can train different leg muscles groups. The movement of the flywheel is based upon the rubber strap ensuring smooth and quiet pedalling. One of the better features of this bike is that it's got wheels on the end caps, making it easy to move or transport it whenever the need be.

We'd also like to draw your attention to the comfort features of the JLL RE100. Equipped with a padded seat and backrest, this bike will make your exercising extremely convenient. Moreover, it's suitable for a wide range of users. By adjusting the saddle and foot straps, it's easy to customise it to different needs. The JLL RE100 has several resistance levels making it possible to vary the level of intensity of your workouts and features a user-friendly display for tracking the progress (speed, time, distance, burnt calories, pulse rate etc).

Review of JLL RE100 Recumbent Home Exercise Bike

Useful to Keep in Mind

As a rule, using a home exercise bike is a simple process but you still need to follow some recommendations from the manufacturer to ensure your safety and longevity of your exercise equipment.

  • The bike should be placed on an even surface at a two-meter distance from other objects. All screws on the bike should be tightened firmly.
  • Keep your piece of equipment in a dry room. Wipe moisture (sweat or water drops) from the bike’s frame, handlebar, footrests, and saddle after every use. Don’t clean the machine with aggressive detergents.
  • Don’t work out if you feel sick. Consult your doctor before you start exercising.
  • Only one person can use a bike at a time.
  • Wearing sports clothing and footwear is a must.
JLL RE100 Recumbent Home Exercise Bike in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Ultrasport F-Bike Heavy

Truly Versatile

The Ultrasport Unisex F-Bike Trainer is a versatile exercise machine that will appeal to most users, regardless of their body tympanum and goals. First of all, the bike has adjustable seat height so that everyone could find an appropriate position for effective workouts. Secondly, it boasts 8 resistance settings allowing users to choose the best one with regards to their fitness level. And thirdly, its max weight load of 130 kg makes it suitable even for plus-sized customers that wish to start cycling. With that, the bike itself isn't bulky, especially compared to other models represented on the market. It weighs only 18 kg. At the same time, it feels very stable and sturdy thanks to the front and rear stabilizers with rubber end caps which keep it fixedly in place. One of the other things that greatly contributes to its convenience features is that it has a foldable design making it easy to store it neatly and compactly after workouts. The Ultrasport Unisex F-Bike Trainer is available in several colour options so you can purchase one that suits you better.

Review of Ultrasport F-Bike Heavy Trainer Exercise Bike

With the User in Mind

With the user in mind, the manufacturer supplies the bike with a detailed guide containing traditional safety instructions, information on the bike's assembly, computer function explanation as well as handy tips regarding workouts. Here are some useful tips that will help you achieve the best results while exercising on the Unisex F-Bike Trainer from Ultrasport:

  • Every workout should consist of three parts: warm-up, the main training session, and cool-down. You can find several useful exercises in the manual which should help you prepare your body for a workout in a proper way.
  • If you have never used an exercise bike before, it’s recommended to work out 10 minutes a day and increase your training session time gradually. The same goes for a resistance level.
  • Set realistic goals and don’t overestimate your abilities. It’s better to start small building up muscles slowly than let improper workouts cause harm to your health.
Ultrasport F-Bike Heavy Trainer Exercise Bike in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

XS Sports Pro 2-in-1

More Than a Stationary Bike

The XS-Sports Pro 2-in-1 isn’t simply an exercise bike. The machine performs a double function and can be used both as a stationary bike and a cross-trainer. This very combination allows you to work out more muscle groups, including legs, arms, shoulders, hips, and buttocks. The option of pedalling both forward and backward and changing the direction of movement makes it possible to work out your front and back thighs equally effective, which is definitely a great advantage of the XS-Sports Pro fitness bike. Another thing that we like about this bike is that it features low-high resistance adjustment allowing people with different fitness level to derive benefits from training on it. Aside from customisable settings, the XS-Sports Pro 2-in-1 trainer has an adjustable seat, handles, and feet so that all users, regardless of their weight and height, can use it comfortably and work out with maximum efficiency.

Review of XS Sports Pro 2-in-1 Cross Trainer/Exercise Bike

Smart and Convenient

Obviously, it's beneficial to keep track of your performance while doing exercises. To do so, you can rely either on a fitness tracker (if you haven't got one yet, you can look through our fitness trackers reviews) or this bike's computer. The XS-Sports Pro 2-in-1 is equipped with a display where you can track your pulse (heart track sensors are located on the handlebar), workout length, speed, distance travelled, and calories burnt. Another thing that adds value to any sports equipment is its convenience of use and the XS-Sports trainer doesn't have flaws in this regard, either. The bike features a durable construction with a solid steel frame and ensures great stability even during intense use. According to the specifications, the XS-Sports is well suitable for people with up to 110 kg of weight. It's also worth mentioning that the bike is very easy to navigate. It has the wheels that make its transportation a breeze. Basically, the XS-Sports trainer doesn't seem to lack in any of the features that more sophisticated models offer. If you don't mind its slightly biggish weight (and if you do not think you will often drag it around your house), opt for this bike and you will have no regrets.

XS Sports Pro 2-in-1 Cross Trainer/Exercise Bike in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

MiraFit Arm & Leg Mini

Your Personal Fitness Trainer

Judging by specifications, the MiraFit Arm & Leg Mini bike isn't much different from the competition. Like most of the exercise bikes out there, it offers adjustable resistance levels so that both fresh and seasoned users could get the maximum benefits out of training and has an LCD display providing clear info on a user's progress. Apparently, this functionality is quite typical of most exercise bikes, regardless of their price tags. What does, however, distinguish this model from the pack of other products, is its unique design. Dissimilar to the majority of bikes, this one is produced as a mini bike which can benefit those customers that look out for a portable and compact sports gear to train anyplace. The advantage to using mini exercise bikes is that most of them allow for working out not only legs but also arms, which makes them more an attractive option for those willing to work out full body. The disadvantage, though, is that most mini bikes are only good for beginners and amateur athletes that do not need increased exercise intensity. In any case, we believe the MiraFit Arm & Leg Mini bike can become a good starting point for most customers who'd like to get into training and to do it in the privacy of their homes.

Review of MiraFit Arm & Leg Mini Exercise Resistance Bike

A Few Words About Usability

When it comes to usability features, there are very few models that can beat convenience of portable exercise bikes. The obvious benefit of the MiraFit bicycle is that its assembly doesn't require a lot of effort and time. Due to its small dimensions and weight, you will be able to put it together virtually in no time and move it with ease anywhere you need. Moreover, it has a handy carry handle facilitating its transportation. With that, the bike doesn't feel flimsy. Although it isn't as strong as stationary exercise bikes it doesn't tend to shift on the surface owing to rubber anti-slip pads that keep it securely in place. We'd definitely recommend this mini portable exercise bike to all users who look for affordable sports gear to train at home. Smaller than the rest, it offers quite a lot of benefits that make it an appealing choice.

MiraFit Arm & Leg Mini Exercise Resistance Bike in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

What Is an Exercise Bike?

Back to our salad days, almost all of us loved riding a bike, but very few knew how beneficial it was. Riding a bicycle, we work out our legs, buttocks, and abdominal muscles. Riding also gives us a fantastic cardio workout that strengthens our lungs and cardiovascular system. But now, when the childhood is over, we don't always have time or opportunity to ride a bike. In this case, an exercise bike is an indispensable assistant that will help you achieve your fitness goals.

A stationary exercise bike is an exact imitation of the bicycle which sometimes has even more features and is designed specifically for those who want to exercise without leaving home, in any weather! Let's see what you should look at before getting such a useful exercise machine!

If you are a real fitness lover, give some attention to the rowing machines, those are very useful for your cardiovascular and respiratory systems as well as for muscles.

What Features to Compare

Type and Resistance

Exercise bicycles may vary according to their type and resistance.

Bikes may be upright, recumbent, portable, and hybrid.

  • Classic upright models provide pressure on almost all muscle groups and don't take up much space.
  • Recumbent bikes are characterized by the vertical back and raised pedals, that reduce the load on your lower back, back muscles, and abs. In other words, they work out only your legs. Such exercise machines are the best choice for people with various back problems or those who are recovering from serious injuries.
  • Portable (also known as mini) exercise bikes have no seats and the load distribution is not so precise, but they are very compact and easily fit, for example, in the trunk of your car.
  • Hybrid models are the combination of upright and recumbent bikes; such bikes are very rare since the demand for them is rather small.

Regardless of the bike type, the resistance may also differ. It can be mechanical, brake-based, fan-based, magnetic, electromagnetic, ergometer.

The most common is a mechanical type. Such bike is equipped with straps that change the tension degree depending on the required resistance level. Mechanical bikes are the least wear-resistant and they are a bit noisy but very simple and cheap.

The next type is brake-based machines. Bikes of this type have a heavy flywheel which stops the brake. The load on a flywheel occurs due to the pressure pads on it, i.e. the user turns the knob to the right or left, thereby increasing or decreasing the tension on the top of the flywheel.

Magnetic bikes have two magnets in addition to a flywheel. They use electromagnetic induction to provide resistance. Their elements don't wear and tear since there is no direct friction.

One of the most effective exercise cycles is an electromagnetic bike. It is similar to the magnetic one but is controlled by the electromagnetic field. They are the most durable but need a power supply.

Ergometer - is a new type of training device that offers high efficiency and functionality. They are very often used in rehabilitation facilities and hospitals as their special design creates minimal stress on the joints and spine.

Extras

Extras also play an important role, dramatically adding to the convenience of use. For example, today a lot of bikes are fitted with computers that can display speed, distance, time, resistance level, heart rate, and calories. When working out on a conventional bike, the user must control the whole process while the ergometers are able to monitor the user's physical condition and pick a special program according to it. In addition to displaying information, some computers boast built-in and optional features, such as MP3-player, Bluetooth, an application that synchronizes with your computer to show the progress. Another distinctive feature of some models is that they can provide users with additional exercises. For example, some models have movable handles for hand training that improve cardio.

Conveniences

It is vitally important that the exercises be comfortable. Now stationery bikes are more friendly to their users and are made with convenience in mind. For example, you can adjust the seat, tilt or raise steering wheel, and with a folding frame and built-in wheels, the bike can be easily moved to another room. Nowadays almost all stationary bikes are equipped with very comfortable pedals with non-slip, textured surface, and some models even have a stand for a laptop or a tablet.

Did you know?

Four things that make your exercise bike workout comfortable.

  • Proper body position can make your workout convenient and effective. To take the right position, adjust seat height and foot straps so that your legs aren’t straight when your feet are at the lowest point, they should be bent a bit. When you lift your legs, they shouldn’t be higher than a hip level.
  • Cushioned shorts for cycling make your workout more convenient.
  • A bottle of water at hand will help you maintain the water balance during your workout.
  • A towel to remove sweat is a must to refresh yourself without stopping your workout.

The first exercise bike was invented in the 18th century.

Well, we’re speaking not about the exercise bike we are used to nowadays but about the prototype of this exercise machine. Called Gymnasticon, this piece of equipment was invented by Francis Lowndes in 1796. The machine consisted of a wooden frame and wooden wheels and was aimed at training joints. It was possible to train arms and legs together or separately. The Gymnasticon not only was an ancestor of a modern stationary bicycle but also became one of the first steps towards physical therapy development.

Several benefits of riding an exercise bike.

  • Regular exercise bike workouts provide great calorie burn which you can track on a bike’s monitor. Whether you choose an upright, recumbent, folding, or mini exercise bike, you’ll always be aware of the calories you burn during your workout, since all modern bike models are fitted with a small display.
  • Stationary bike workouts are great cardio exercises. By doing them on a regular basis, you’ll be able to lower blood pressure, control blood sugar, and even prevent heart attacks.
  • Riding an exercise bike at home is one of the safest exercises, especially when it comes to joints. Unlike other activities like jogging, working out on a stationary bike doesn’t produce great load on your back, hips, and knees, thus it's a beneficial and safe way of keeping fit.

Three activities you can do when riding an exercise bike in order not to get bored.

There’s no need to repeat that exercise bike workout is beneficial to your health. But pedalling for half an hour, let alone an hour, can be boring. Here are some tips that will help you relieve boredom:

  • Listen to music. Choose your favourite music to make your workout really enjoyable. By the way, music can help make your exercises more effective. Fast or dance music can provide you with energy, so you can start pedalling faster and, consequently, lose more calories.
  • Watch TV – mix business with pleasure. Watching news or some educational programme during your workout, you’ll be always tuned in to what’s happening in the world.
  • Read a book or listen to an audiobook. Not everyone can concentrate on reading when doing some exercises but if you can, you’re a lucky one. Finally, you’ve got time to read all the books you have on your must-read list.

FAQ:

Q: Is it difficult to maintain an exercise bike? Does it take much time?
A: Just like any exercise equipment, training bikes require some care. Fortunately, this process doesn't require you to put a lot of effort or time. Make sure to follow these common recommendations and you will be able to maintain your exercise bike like new as long as possible:

  • Before every use, check adjustment pins – they should be tightened firmly. The same goes for pedals;
  • After every use, wipe the bike with a clean cloth so that sweat drops don’t cause corrosion of exterior bike parts;
  • Mechanical parts such as adjustment threads need to be greased from time to time. As a rule, carrying out this procedure once a year will ensure long service life of your exercise equipment.
Q: Portable exercise bikes come without a seat. How am I supposed to work out?

A: A stool, chair, or any other firm piece of furniture (firm sofa, for example) can serve as a seat for your mini exercise bike. The only thing to keep in mind is that this seat shouldn't impede the correct position of your legs. When seated, feet rested on pedals, make sure that your knees are slightly bent.

Q: Should I consult a doctor before using this bike?
A: Whether you'd like to work out at home or attend some fitness classes, consulting a doctor is a sensible thing to do. Although sports activities are generally considered to be beneficial to our health, some people may not be allowed to exercise because of certain health conditions. Even if you feel healthy but you used to lead inactive lifestyle or you're over forty, it'd be wise to go see your doctor first before jumping on a bike.

Q: Are there any weight or height restrictions to using this type of sports equipment?
A: Yes, there are. Every exercise bike has its own weight capacity that varies from model to model. You can usually find the maximum weight load of your bike in specifications. As for height limits, there are no strict rules, but you should make sure it will be comfortable for you to use an exercise bike. The models with adjustable seat, handlebar, and foot straps will suit any user. However, if the model you’re considering doesn’t have these options, it’s better to consult the manufacturer and ask whether it will suit your height or not.

Q: Do training bikes come assembled?
A: Exercise bikes are quite bulky equipment, which is why they are usually shipped disassembled. To make it easier for customers to put a bike together, as a rule, manufacturers pack in assembly instructions, guides, and sometimes even tools. The assembly is quite a straightforward process and you should be able to handle it easily yourself without anybody's help.

Sources:

1. Exercise Bike Buying Guide, ConsumerReports. September 2016.

2. A Guide to Exercise Bikes, Argos.

3. Kelly Burgess Exercise Bike Buying Guide, ConsumerSearch. December 2015, 2016.

4. Barbara Russi Sarnataro Fitness Basics: The Exercise Bike Is Back, WebMD.

5. David Fiedler Guide to Buying an Indoor Exercise Bike, About. August 25, 2016.

6. Stationary Bicycle, Wikipedia. October 8, 2017.

7. Charles O'Neill Exercise Bike Buying Guide - How To Choose The Best Bike For You, SelfGrowth.

8. Kim Gilmour Exercise Bike Buying Guide, Choice. February 7, 2017.

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Publish Date: 2017-11-22 08:51:04