Looking for a smart bike to to add to your indoor exercise routine? Today’s modern bikes come with screens, social media, interactive programs, and many more features to make your sessions fun -- and as similar to the open road as possible.
So if you’re thinking about upgrading, switching away from a beleaguered brand like Peloton, or finally getting that in-home exercise machine you’ve always wanted, these are the picks for you!
NordicTrack S22i Studio Cycle
Best all-around indoor bike
- Excellent training options and live sessions
- Reasonably priced
- 360-degree touchscreen for guiding a variety of workouts
- Not as useful for those who already have preferred training programs
- Subscription fees are high
NordicTrack’s latest Studio Cycle model is the complete package for a smart, in-home bike that has everything you want to make training easier. The unit sports an extra-large 22-inch touchscreen to view exercise programs or entertainment, along with a 30W sound system that can really pump out the tunes if you’re not the earbud type. There are hundreds of on-demand workouts, as well as live options if you still like the feeling of training with others (or want to watch the leaderboard for a little bit of competition). You can even send your trainers texts in real time.
The Studio Cycle’s automatic incline technology also shifts the incline based on the program you choose to help mimic the real-world feel of navigating hills, mountains, and more. There are also plenty of little smart design choices, like hybrid pedals made to fit cycling shoes, or 360-degree turning for the screen so that you can use it as a guide for a variety of exercises off the bike, too. While expensive, this bike really gives you the maximum value for money.
MYX II Plus
Best indoor bike kit for a new home gym
- Solid construction
- Two streaming workout service providers
- Includes additional equipment
- Requires a subscription
There are several things we really like about the Myx II Plus package with its Star Trac bike. It includes a lot of useful health data while you are working out, allowing you to monitor your heart rate, current speed, distance traveled, and more. It comes with its own heart rate monitor, but it also supports pairing with your Apple Watch, so it’s a particularly good choice for Apple fans. There are thousands of workouts available, with more added every week to keep things new. The spacious 21-inch touchscreen allows for plenty of interactive session options, too.
This bike also comes with additional home gym accessories like a six-piece weight set, kettlebell, mats, resistance band, and a foam roller -- making it the perfect option if you’d like to invest in a home gym but haven’t started yet (although the bike is also available as a standalone option). Note: The subscription service is pretty expensive for this bike too: Like NordicTrack’s iFIT program, you’ll have to around $40 per month to access all features.
Bowflex VeloCore Bike
Best indoor bike for frequent training
- Multiple screen size options to save money
- Unique lean mode
- Includes heart rate armband
- Durable design with 100 resistance levels
- Most live and streaming features do require a subscription
The VeloCore offers both a small and large bike version, allowing you to save money by downsizing the touchscreen, making it an excellent choice for getting a workout bike while saving some money. The bike offers 100 different resistance levels, letting you scale up as you grow stronger. It also has a unique “leaning” mode that mimics the lean of a real-world bike at high speeds and gives you some extra balancing challenge. Bowflex’s program offers more than 50 worldwide destinations to experience, adaptive daily workouts, real-time sessions with coaches, and access to streaming apps like Netflix (as long as you’re paying the subscription fee, which works out to around $150 a year, although you get a full year free when you purchase the bike).
The bike comes with a heart rate-tracking armband and three-pound dumbbells, but it’s the bike itself that really impresses with an excellent design and construction made for people who take their training seriously.
Wahoo Fitness Kickr Bike
Best indoor bike for an outdoor experience
- Tons of customization options
- Can switch out handlebars, pedals, and saddle with real-world versions
- Touch panel controls
- Particularly expensive
- No display
The Kickr bike offers an incredible level of customization, allowing you to change the gearing and similar shifting in realistic ways so that you really do feel like you are on a bike out on the road. You can even take a photo to measure your actual bike and make sure the Kickr is programmed and set up to mimic it. If that’s not enough, you can even customize it with your own handlebars, pedals, and saddle to get as close as possible to the real deal. A minimalistic touch panel allows you to easily control gearing and grade for every session.
The downside is that there’s no included touchscreen for interactive programs, so you’ll have to handle that on a screen of your own, along with the Wahoo app for training sessions. It’s also a particularly expensive bike, made for those who want a real-world biking experience and don’t mind paying for it.
StagesBike SB20 Smart Bike
Best indoor bike for strength training
- 50-pound flywheel for manual resistance settings
- Excellent customization options for pedals, saddle, and more
- Tablet stand
- You'll need to find your own training app
This compact bike combines classic commercial workout features with smart tech including app compatibility and a stand that’s perfect for your iPad or other tablet computer while you work out. It has a heavy-duty 50-pound flywheel that you can manually set to control resistance based on your muscle-building goals. You can also adjust pedal positions, saddle positions, stem length and height, and more.
The model comes with a standard road bar, but you can switch it out with other bars from StagesBike if you prefer. It’s easy to see why StagesBike boasts that professionals use their bikes for race training. You’ll just have to find a training app that you like, but that freedom allows you to look for programs that match how much your budget.
SoulCycle At-Home Bike
Best indoor bike for social excerising
- Plenty of live class options
- Beat Match tracks your rhythm to the music
- Durable design
- More focused on social experiences than professional training
SoulCycle is, in some ways, the opposite of the StagesBike experience. It’s entirely focused on digital training programs to mimic the popular SOUL biking classes at home. That means training with an online class, finding passionate instructors that can keep your energy up, and getting new sessions weekly. The bike includes sensor “Beat Match” technology to measure how in sync you are with the current beats of the session’s playlist (helped by a high-tech speaker system), a feature aimed to get newcomers in the zone. It’s also compatible with a wide variety of training apps via Equinox+, which includes SoulCycle, Equinox, HeadStrong, Pure Yoga, and others.
The only catch here is that this particular bike isn’t available in all areas quite yet. You’ll have to sign up to get qualified for a preorder if you’re interested. We’ll be sure to keep you updated when it releases!
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