While there are many exercise machines you can incorporate into a home gym, like treadmills, elliptical machines or indoor rowers, a stationary bike seems to inspire people to get up and move the most. Peloton in particular made one of the biggest impacts in the stationary bike world — and though the company’s shares have dropped significantly over the past few years, they contributed to a wave of interest in at-home cycling. But the brand’s signature indoor bike isn’t the only way to get a great spin class in at home. In fact, brands like NordicTrack and Schwinn have also been making their mark on the at-home cycling industry.
SKIP AHEAD Best exercise bikes to shop | How to buy the best stationary bike for you
To help narrow your search, we vetted these under $2,000 Peloton alternatives and talked to experts about what to look for in an exercise bike, spinning accessories and other important considerations so you can invest in the best bike for your needs.
Our top picks
How we picked the best stationary bikes
Before you decide which bike is the right fit for your needs, here are a few things our experts recommended you consider:
- Price: A basic indoor bike will easily run you a few hundred dollars or more.
- Weight: We looked for stationary bikes that can hold at least 270 pounds.
- Adjustability: All of the bikes we recommend have either adjustable handlebars, seats (or a combination of the two) and resistance knobs. Keep in mind that unlike most of the higher-end models, budget stationary bikes don’t typically list how many resistance levels they have.
- Subscriptions and connectivity: Smart bikes might require monthly subscriptions, especially when it comes to on-demand training and cycling classes. They also include metric consoles and the capability to link your workouts to apps and social media.
- Warranty: For higher-end exercise bikes, our experts recommended looking at least a one year warranty. Although many affordable bikes don’t come with warranties at their price point, we made sure to highlight those that did.
Best exercise bikes to shop
Below, we highlighted highly rated and expert-recommended exercise bikes at various price points that are in line with our experts’ guidance. All the bikes feature aluminum or steel frames and have belted drive systems, which are designed to operate very quietly.
Budget-friendly stationary bikes
We highlighted affordable stationary bikes that cost less than $700, focusing on those with great customer reviews.
The Pooboo Magnetic Resistance Indoor Cycling Bike has an LCD digital monitor that tracks your time, speed and distance, among other metrics. If you want to give the Pooboo a boost, it offers a tablet stand where you can place your iPad or water bottle. Though the bike doesn’t come with a warranty, Pooboo says its customers can receive free replacement parts within a year of buying the bike. It comes with a 4.5-star average rating from nearly 7,000 customer reviews on Amazon.
Maximum weight: 330 pounds | Digital monitor: Yes | Warranty: None
Like the Pooboo, the Lanos Stationary Exercise Bike offers an LCD digital monitor to track various metrics as well as a tablet mount to watch instructional YouTube videos — or simply pass the time by watching TV. The Lanos Stationary Exercise Bike has a 4.4-star average rating from nearly 600 reviews, and it’s ranked highly on Amazon’s list of best-selling exercise bikes.
Maximum weight: 270 pounds | Digital monitor: Yes | Warranty: None
The Yosuda Indoor Cycling Bike comes with an LCD monitor to help you track your progress, as well as an iPad holder for more ways to amuse yourself as you exercise. The Yosuda comes with a three-month warranty for the overall bike and offers free replacement parts within a year of buying it. The Yosuda Indoor Cycling Bike has a 4.4-star average rating from almost 20,000 customer reviews on Amazon.
Maximum weight: 270 pounds | Digital monitor: Yes | Warranty: 3 months
Although it doesn’t come with a digital monitor or an iPad holder, the Sunny Health & Fitness Indoor Exercise Bike is a good option for those looking for a basic, adjustable exercise bike. The bike is mounted on wheels to make it easier to transport it from room to room. It comes with a three-month warranty for its parts and a one-year warranty for the bike’s frame, according to Sunny Health & Fitness. It has a 4.4-star average rating across more than 5,800 customer reviews on Amazon.
Maximum weight: 275 pounds | Digital monitor: No | Warranty: 3 months (parts); 1 year (frame)
“There is a touch of nostalgia to a Schwinn, and they are consistent and reliable machines,” says Chicago-based certified personal trainer Eric Ridings. “The IC3 serves the purpose of being a quality bike with great features at a lower price.” Schwinn’s IC3 Indoor Cycling Exercise Bike is equipped with dual pedals that allow for different types of footwear, meaning you can wear regular sneakers or higher-end clip-in shoes that snap into the bike’s pedal clips. The Schwinn IC3 comes with a digital LCD monitor as well as a water bottle or tablet holder. It can hold around 300 pounds — more than most of the bikes here — and Schwinn says its warranty will cover the frame for five years, among other things.
Maximum weight: 300 pounds | Digital monitor: Yes | Warranty: 5 years (frame); 2 years (mechanical); 2 years (electrical); 1 year (labor)
Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike
Zach Moxham, certified personal trainer at Physical Equilibrium in New York City, recommended this recumbent bike from Schwinn as the “best option for those with limited mobility” or those who need a back rest while riding.
This bike works with cycling apps like Explore the World and Zwift (both of which require separate subscriptions) where you can keep track of your fitness goals and compete with other users. Though its handlebars are static due to its recumbent design (which makes it easier for entry and exit), it does have an adjustable, contoured seat that can move both backwards and forwards, according to the brand. It also offers 16 magnetic resistance levels, 13 workout programs, a Bluetooth-enabled heart rate monitor and a 5.5-inch LCD display that can show programs, goal tracking and more.
Maximum weight: 300 pounds | Digital monitor: Yes | Warranty: 10 years (frame); 2 years (parts); 1 year (electrical); 90 days (labor)
Higher-end stationary bikes
If you’re looking for a smart, higher-end stationary bike that costs less than Peleton’s options, we list highly rated and quality stationary bikes under $2,000.
Bowflex C6 Bike
The Bowflex C6 Bike has a backlit LCD metric console as well as a media holder for your phone or tablet. As an upgrade over the more affordable exercise bikes, it has two water bottle holders (for those of us who get extra thirsty during a ride) and a knob that allows you to choose between 100 resistance levels, according to the brand.
The Bowflex C6 Bike comes with several additions, like a one-year fitness membership to JRNY, Bowflex’s workout app that comes with trainer-led videos. (Once its trial is up, JRNY costs $20 a month or $149 annually.) It also has dual-sided pedals (to slip your toes or clip your cycling shoes into) and comes with a pair of 3-pound dumbbells that slide into cradles at the front of the bike and a Bluetooth-enabled heart rate monitor. “The Bowflex has the weights, and people really enjoy the JRNY trail rides,” Ridings says. “It also has a sleek, modern look. People care what it looks like in the room.”
Maximum weight: 330 pounds | Resistance levels: 100 | Membership: 1-year JRNY Membership | Warranty: 10 years (frame); 3 years (mechanical); 3 years (electrical); 1 year (labor) | Built-in tablet: No
Echelon Connect Bike EX5-S
The Echelon is about as close to the Peloton as you can get, with the major differences being that the Echelon has only 32 resistance levels compared to Peloton’s 100. Both offer an interactive experience with a wide range of on-demand classes (subscription sold separately) on an HD display that rotates 180 degrees, but the Echelon doesn’t require special cycling cleats. According to the brand, its extra-large cushioned seat is fully adjustable, and its handlebars are padded as well. The toe cages are also fully adjustable. Although it has two dumbbell holders to hold a set of 2-pound weights, the weights are not included.
The company offers a number of other bikes at multiple price points, but they don’t all come with a screen. “Echelon also makes rowers and treadmills, so it’s great if you want to expand your home gym,” Ridings says. “They also have their own brand of trainers. If you have good instructors and the riders connect with them, it’s a valuable service.”
Maximum weight: 300 pounds | Resistance levels: 32 | Warranty: 1 year | Built-in tablet: Yes
Bowflex VeloCore Bike
If you love Bowflex but you’re looking for a bike that has a built-in tablet, the Bowflex VeloCore Bike is your best bet — it comes with a 16-inch console (you can swap it out for a 22-inch console if you’re looking for something bigger and don’t mind spending $400 more). Like the Bowflex C6, it has two water bottle holders and a knob that allows you to access 100 resistance levels, according to the brand. It also offers the same one-year JRNY fitness membership, dual-sided pedals, 3-pound dumbbells and Bluetooth-enabled heart rate monitor. The VeloCore features Bluetooth speakers and a media rack, but it comes with a shorter warranty than its brethren: two years for its frame. It has a 4.7-star average rating from almost 900 reviews on Bowflex.
Maximum weight: 325 pounds | Resistance levels: 100 | Membership: 1-year JRNY Membership | Warranty: 2 years (frame); 2 years (mechanical); 1 years (electrical); 1 year (labor) | Built-in tablet: Yes
Nicole Nahed, a personal trainer and owner of Sculpt Studios in Royal Oak, Michigan, recommended NordicTrack stationary bikes since they’re the most comparable to Peloton since many of them offer similar features, including scenic rides and Bluetooth connectivity. Like the Peloton Bike+, the NordicTrack Commercial Studio S22i Cycle has a large, 22-inch touchscreen display that rotates 360 degrees so you can use the display off your bike, too (it’s the most affordable bike here with that capability). It also comes with dual water bottle holders, dual-sided pedals and a variety of resistance levels (though it only offers 24 compared to Bowflex’s 100 levels). The NordicTrack S22i bike comes with a 30-day iFit Family Membership — it costs $15 a month once the trial is up, or $180 for the year — and a pair of 3-pound dumbbells. Like the Bowflex, it has a 10-year frame warranty.
Maximum weight: 350 pounds | Resistance levels: 24 | Membership: 30-day iFIT Family Membership | Warranty: 10 years (frame); 2 years (parts); 1 year (labor) | Built-in tablet: Yes
The IC4 has more features and costs a bit more than the IC3. The exercise bike — which has a 4.7-star average rating from over 700 reviews at Best Buy — can be synced with other workout apps like Peloton and Zwift, so you can stream thousands of workout classes. It comes with a 40-pound flywheel, 100 levels of resistance and a set of included 3-pound dumbbells that sit in an easy-to-reach cradle, according to the brand. It also has dual water bottle holders and an integrated media rack so it can hold your tablet. A Bluetooth heart-rate armband is also included.
Maximum weight: 330 pounds | Resistance levels: 100 | Membership: 1-year JRNY membership | Warranty: 3 years (parts); 90 days (labor) | Built-in tablet: No
Rogue Echo Bike
Nahed says she uses Rogue Fitness’ Echo Bike in her studio and notes that its $900 price tag is a good value for the quality. “This one is more like a conditioning bike — it’s a bike that you would use for quick bursts,” she says, adding that she recommends it for people who need motivation and a bike they’re “actually going to be excited about using.”
The Rogue Echo Bike can be a good option if you want a good quality bike without the bells and whistles of traditional high-end options: While it doesn’t include a built-in tablet, it does offer a mounted LCD console to monitor distance, calories burned, heart rate and more. And instead of using magnetic resistance settings like many other higher-end bikes, the bike uses a fan to adjust resistance, which means the faster you pedal, the more resistance builds, according to the brand. The padded seat can also adjust to eight different height settings and five front-to-back settings for a more comfortable fit (but keep in mind that the rubber-grip handles are welded directly to the bike’s arms and can’t be adjusted).
Maximum Weight: 350 pounds | Resistance levels: N/A | Warranty: 2 years | Built-in tablet: No
How to buy the best stationary bike for you
The best stationary bike is the one you’re most likely to use, according to Ridings: “Whether that means a realistic price point or the prestige of getting the same gadgets your friends have, it always comes down to the system that fits you best and leads you to more exercise.”
Serious riders should prepare for a hefty price tag (starting at $1,000) if they’re looking for quality equipment, according to Angelina Palermo, a former professional cyclist and spokesperson for USA Cycling — a non-profit group focused on cycling as a sport. That said, you don’t need to spend $2,000 on Peloton’s Bike Ultimate Package. “If you know you are going to ride consistently, it makes all the sense in the world to invest in a more expensive bike — and the no-interest financing many of them offer makes some of these expensive bikes more accessible,” Ridings says.
Many of these needs may be met by relatively affordable options. Maybe you want to easily adjust the bike’s resistance, move its handlebars or just need something quiet for nighttime sweats. (It’s often when you introduce screens, monitors and trackers — as well as features allowing for social connectedness — that prices climb significantly.)
And don’t overlook sprucing up your current stationary bike with spinning accessories like a padded, adjustable seat and easy-to-grip support handles, if those are the issue. An uncomfortable bike has the potential to affect your performance and form while you bike. “In the long run, this could lead to unnecessary muscle strain and sustained injury,” Ridings says.
Meet our experts
At Select, we work with experts who have specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also take steps to ensure all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and without undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.
- Eric Ridings is a Chicago-based certified personal trainer.
- Zach Moxham is a certified personal trainer at Physical Equilibrium in New York City.
- Nicole Nahed is a personal trainer and owner of Sculpt Studios in Royal Oak, Michigan.
- Angelina Palermo is a former professional cyclist and spokesperson for USA Cycling.
Why trust Select?
Mili Godio is an editor at Select who has written a variety of stories about fitness equipment, including dumbbells, affordable ellipticals, weighted hula hoops and more. For this article, Godio spoke to four cycling and fitness experts about how to shop for exercise bikes and researched dozens of options on the market to recommend the best ones to consider.