Best exercise bike under 500: Standout stationary bikes for home gyms

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The best exercise bike under 500 dollars or pounds can be tricky to find at times because the quality isn't always obvious, nor is the kind of features you should be looking for.

Fortunately, we're here to help with our list of top budget picks based on reviews, price, and any other unique features that make these particular machines stand out from the crowd.

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That said, if you're undecided whether an exercise bike is better than a treadmill for your home gym, then our argument for a top stationary bike is that it provides a relatively low-impact way of improving your cardio setup.

There's also more variety with an exercise bike. For example, spin bikes may be popular, but there's a whole host of alternative options, such as air bikes and recumbent machines, to consider.

An air bike, in particular, looks to be one of the best exercise machines for weight loss as it incorporates both your legs and upper body into one intense cardio session. So, when it comes to burning calories, an exercise bike is definitely worth considering in our eyes.

With that in mind, if you're looking for one of the best air bikes around in this Marcy NS-1000, or a top spin bike in this Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B1203, then we've got you covered.

With also answered some of the most commonly asked questions surrounding exercise bikes to help you figure out exactly what you need for your own personal workouts. So, without further delay, here's our list of top picks...

Best exercise bike under 500

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Best indoor exercise bike under 500 - YOSUDA Indoor Cycling Bike

Best Exercise Bike under 500 Yosunda product image of a black and silver machine.
Credit: Yosuda
Brand: YOSUDA | Max Height: 35 Inches | Min Height 25 Inches | Max Weight: 270 Pounds | Drive System: Belt

This YOSUDA exercise bike looks to be a popular choice and one of the best exercise bikes to upgrade your home cardio setup for less.

In terms of one-size-fits-all, this one should fit the bill, especially since it reaches a maximum height of 35 inches, making it suitable for people up to 6'3" according to YOSUDA.

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As for the drive system, you get a heavy 35lbs flywheel, which gives you that 'spinning wheel' feel whilst exercising.

Another standout feature here that should save you a ton of money is the tablet holder, allowing you to stream your favourite TV show or play video games on your tablet whilst you exercise, for example.

So whether you're enjoying a high-intensity class or want to kick back with some low and slow cardio while binge-watching your favourite shows - you can do it with this budget bike.

Best foldable exercise bike under 500 - Exerpeutic Upright Exercise Bike

Best exercise bike under 500 Exerpeutic product image of a silver bike with an LCD display.
Credit: Exerpeutic
Brand: Exerpeutic | Max Height: 73" | Min Height: 61" | Max Weight: 300lbs | Drive System: Magnetic

As touched on in our list of the best folding bikes under 200, the Exerpeutic Upright Bike looks to be an extremely versatile bit of kit to upgrade your home gym.

For a relatively inexpensive price, you get 8 levels of resistance, allowing you to increase the difficulty at your own rate to help you progress towards your fitness goals.

On top of that, its strong build means it can hold a significant amount of weight. Plus, Exerpeutic boast, it comes with a whisper-quiet ride which should be particularly useful if you have neighbours in close proximity.

The key to this bike though is that it's foldable, which makes it the ideal choice if you're looking to save space in your home or garage gym.

Best smart exercise bike under 500 - Echelon Ex-Prime Smart Connect Fitness Bike

Best exercise bike under 500 smart echelon
Credit: Echelon
Brand: Echelon| Max Height: 27" inseam | Min Height: 35" inseam | Max Weight: 380 lbs | Drive System: Magnetic

The Echelon Smart Connect Fitness Bike looks to deliver the goods when it comes to performance and functionality.

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You're getting 32 levels of precise resistance here, so you can really zone in on how challenging you want your workout to be.

You can use this bike as is, but if you pay extra for an Echelon membership, you can gain access to live on-demand classes from world-class instructors.

This is a good way of literally bringing the gym into your home, but it does come at an additional cost.

For intermediate to advanced trainers, it may be worth considering this Echelon machine to take your cardio to the next level.

Best spin exercise bike under 500 - Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B1203

Best exercise bike under 500 Sunny health and fitness
Credit: Sunny Health & Fitness
Brand: Sunny Health & Fitness | Max Height: 42 inches | Min Height: 31 Inches | Max Weight: 275 Pounds | Drive System: Belt

We've featured Sunny Health & Fitness before in our list of the best rowing machines under 500 dollars as the brand is synonymous with producing excellent cardio machines for less.

Its SF-B1203 exercise bike, for instance, looks to be a great example of its expertise thanks to its adjustable inseam height of 31 - 42 inches, plus 45lbs flywheel to keep every ride challenging, even as you make progress.

There are a few other features that make life much easier too, including a 4-way adjustable seat, bottle holder, and wheels so you don’t need to strain yourself moving it from A to B.

All in all, this spin bike ticks more than a few boxes in our books, especially for the price point.

Best air exercise bike under 500 - Marcy NS-1000

Best Exercise Bike under 500 Marcy product image of a black-framed air bike with a red fan.
Credit: Marcy
Brand: Marcy | Max Height: 49.5 Inches | Min Height 66cm | Max Weight: 250 Pounds | Drive System: Air Resistance

Opting for an air exercise bike, like this Marcy NS-1000, can be a great way of combining both lower and upper body training into one.

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This is because fan-driven machines come with dual arms that are designed to deliver a grueling upper-body workout whilst you cycle.

This particular machine also comes with a user-friendly tracker and an LCD screen that allows you to scan modes and track your time, distance, speed, and calories burned as you exercise.

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Ultimately, we feel it's hard to look past this fan-driven machine if you're after a top air bike for less.

Best recumbent exercise bike under 500 - Vanswe Recumbent Exercise Bike

best exercise bike under 500 recumbent
Credit: Vanswe
Brand: Vanswe | Max Height: 27" inseam | Min Height: 35" inseam | Max Weight: 380 lbs | Drive System: Magnetic

This Vanswe Recumbent exercise bike looks to be a great call for those who want to prioritise comfort when working out, hence why it features in our list of the best recumbent bikes.

As we all know, cycling can be a little uncomfortable at times, especially if you’re not used to it.

Recumbent excise bikes mitigate this, so all you need to do is sit back and focus on your workout goals.

Some of this bike's standout features include 16 magnetic resistance levels alongside a useful monitor for heart rate, speed, and distance that can help you keep track of your workouts.

Overall, this recumbent machine could be a great addition to your home cardio setup if you've got the required space for it.

Frequently asked questions about exercise bikes

There are often a ton of questions surrounding stationary bikes, and we're here to clear up a few things to help with your search.

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Which type of exercise bike should you get?

Ask yourself at what intensity are you working before deciding on your purchase.

If you're planning on really digging deep and hammering out your workouts, then you need a frame that's heavy enough to withstand the amount of force you'll be driving into it.

Typically, the flywheel builds are great for this, especially the heavier ones which feature on this list.

If you're going for more laid-back, slow, and low cardio, folding bikes are more than fine, but you may want to lean more towards a 'spin' bike in case you find yourself wanting more of a challenge.

Are exercise bikes good for weight loss?

As far as a tool for weight loss and exercise, exercise bikes provide a low-impact alternative to other cardio-based workouts, such as running.

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Exercise is of course just one piece of the puzzle with weight loss as being in a calorie deficit is the key to losing weight.

However, while being in a calorie deficit is essential, performing some form of exercise can definitely help. In fact, Havard Health Publishing recommends at least 30 minutes of physical activity and reducing your daily calorie intake by at least 500 calories as an optimal combination for weight loss.

In fact, a systematic review by Chavarrias et al. supports this as it found a combination of indoor cycling and diet is effective for improving your lipid profile, losing weight, and reducing blood pressure.

We feel an exercise bike, in particular, is a great option for kicking off your fitness journey as the movement is relatively low-impact and simple to pick up, making it ideal for beginners just starting out.

Recumbent bikes especially are a great way to introduce exercise into your lifestyle, without having to get used to the sometimes uncomfortable feeling of a bike seat.

Are exercise bikes worth it?

We'd say as a small, generally affordable fitness solution they're certainly worth it.

For beginners, we think they're a great way to begin your fitness journey as cycling is a relatively low-impact movement that's pretty straightforward to pick up.

There's a lot to offer for advanced riders too as tons of variety when it comes to training intensity that can be achieved at a simple twist of a dial.

Moreover, exercise bikes generally take up less floor space than, for example, treadmills, so would be ideal if you're looking to make room for a weightlifting setup complete with one of the best squat racks perhaps.

To find out if a stationary bike is for you, check out our comparison of exercise bikes vs treadmills and ellipticals right here to help inform your decision.

How long should you ride an exercise bike?

There are many factors that come into this one, but if we focus on the time we'd say that 30 minutes is a good amount of time on a stationary bike and across other forms of exercise too.

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30 minutes between 3-5 days a week is a good rule of thumb to follow, however, you will need to make sure you keep progressing and challenging yourself to continue making improvements.

However, this doesn't necessarily have to be a continuous ride. You may find a 30-minute, high-intensity spin class to be more beneficial to help you achieve your fitness needs.

With that being said, it's all about your goal and tailoring your exercise to reach that next step.

Time is one factor, but intensity, lifestyle, sleep, and diet all play their role.

Can you use an exercise bike every day?

Using an exercise bike every day is okay, but we'd recommend incorporating some rest days, plus a few days focused on your upper body to balance out the imbalance of just cycling.

Allowing yourself adequate time to rest will help your legs recover and rebuild which, in turn, will improve your performance whilst also reducing the risk of injury.

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This is supported by the American Council on Exercise which states not allowing your body to rest can cause a depletion of glycogen in the muscles.

This depletion can then trigger your body to use proteins for energy, meaning there is less protein available to assist muscular repair and growth.

How do you clean an exercise bike?

It is important to regularly clean your exercise bike as riding one can cause sweat, fingerprints, and bacteria to build up. Even when not in use, dust can also accumulate.

We'd recommend wiping down your bike after every use to remove the sweat. You can either do this with neutral wipes or a non-abrasive spray and a cloth.

Also, we recommend cleaning the screen (if your bike has one) with a dry microfibre cloth to get rid of any fingerprints or marks.

For longer-term maintenance, we'd suggest lubricating some of the moving parts occasionally to ensure they continue to move smoothly, without resistance.

Read More: Best ellipticals under 500 - Our top picks