Cycling is a low impact sport on the body compared to other exercises and provides a very challenging workout.
Indoor spin classes are hugely popular and these days the option to have one in your home is easier and cheaper than you probably think.
The following post will cover some key information as well as what we consider the best spin bikes on the market.
Key Differences Between Spin Bikes and Stationary Bikes
Spin bikes are a much more solid and has a heavy weight flywheel. You can adjust the resistance to suit your fitness level and how you would like to be challenged.
The flywheel of the spin bike is the key difference from stationary bikes. The idea is for a spin bike to mimic a road bike.
Through the flywheel the user creates the momentum that can be resisted. It is this momentum that is the challenging part of the workout.
The shape. A spin bike is generally designed to be very similar to a road bike. If we consider a stationary exercise bike you will notice users sit very upright whereas on a spin bike the user leans forward and toward the handles. Although you can also stand up and include the upper body in your workout.
Advantages of a Spin Bike
- The fixed flywheel can work to improve your pedalling technique.
- Generally better built that other, stationary bikes
- Easy to adjust making it easier to tailor the bike to your height.
- Gives the user the ability to climb and sprint more easily
- Ability to isolate muscle groups
Best Spin Bikes 2018
Sole Fitness SB700 Exercise Bike
- Reviewed as a best buy in its price range
- Heavy 48 lb. Flywheel for smooth resistance
- Offers multi seat and handlebar adjustments
- Comfortable ergonomic padded saddle for long distance training
- Vibrant, easy to view console
The Sole Fitness SB700 Exercise Bike has been designed with the serious athlete in mind. It is one of the more expensive on our list but if you are looking for a top quality spin bike then this is a great choice.
- 48 lb. Flywheel
- Very smooth resistance
- Multi seat and handlebar adjustments
- Seat is comfortable and ergonomically padded
- Blue, backlit LCD console displaying key information
- Wireless chest strap can for her
- Brake pad resistance
The Sole Fitness SB700 Exercise Bike is a consistent winner in terms of the value for price. The bike has been designed to cater for both indoor and outdoor cyclists.
Built to last this bike is durable, reliable and comfortable to use. The adjustments are easy to do so finding the right level of resistance is never too hard. Fully adjustable seats and handlebars can move both vertically and horizontally.
With a great LCD console included with the purchase information displayed includes RPM, time, KCal, distance, speed as well as the ability to pair it with a wireless heart rate. The chest strap heart rate monitor needs to be purchased separately but for those who have strict heart zones to stay in this is ideal!
Once assembled the bike is 42 inches x 21 inches x 40 inches (LxWxH) and the overall weight is 140 pounds with a weight capacity of 300 pounds.
A big consideration for me is the comfort of the seat because who wants to make a workout even more challenging than it already is. The seat of the SB700 is gel which is certainly a lot nicer than a rigid foam alternate.
Kevlar braking has been used as the method of resistance which is extremely quiet and smooth. This along with the heavy duty steel and aluminum frame make this bike virtually indestructible yet still lightweight enough to move around as needed.
The final feature worth mentioning is that the oversized foot pedals are actually ergonomically designed. How so? Well, the pedals slope inward at an angle of 2 degrees which reduces the impact on both your knees and ankles.
- Small footprint
- Very smooth and quiet
- Low maintenance
- Great customer service
- Heavy duty bike
The Sole Fitness SB700 Exercise Bike also comes with a pretty solid warranty. A lifetime warranty for the frame, parts and electronics 3 years and 1 year on the labor. It is incredibly well made, sturdy and built to last.
Keiser M3i Indoor Cycle Bundle
1 used from $ 1,650.00
- Bundle includes: Keiser M3i Indoor Cycle, Floor Mat, Media tray, Stretch pads
- PLEASE NOTE: The "Expert assembly" is a service provided exclusively by Amazon. The technician sent to assemble your cycle is not authorized, or trained by Keiser Corporation.
- Connect your smartphone to the Keiser M Series fitness app for data tracking, or connect to BKOOL for an immersive 3D cycling experience
- 4-way handlebar and seat adjustments for maximum adjustability
- Modern, sleek design compliments any room
The Keiser M3i Indoor Cycle bike is a high end spin bike with a high price tag to match. If you have the budget for this bike then it will not disappoint. Built for comfort and to last it is durable, sturdy and very low maintenance.
- Made in the United States
- Low maintenance
- Very quiet and smooth machine
- Magnetic resistance
- 4 way handlebar adjustments
- Seat adjustments
- Connect your computer to the Keiser app to track data
The Keiser M3i Indoor Cycle is a stylish and simplistic V shaped design which makes it suitable for all types of body shapes and sizes. The interesting thing about this bike is the flywheel is located at the back of the bike instead of the front.
For use in group classes and also from your own home, the positioning of the flywheel is here to prevent any corrosion from sweat.
Smart computer display shows all the key information you need about your workout. Information includes RPM (Revolutions Per Minute), power and energy (Watts and Kilcalories), heart rate, elapsed time, gear and trip distance. Another great feature of the display is that it is backlit and automatically turns on when the lighting is low within the room.
If the smart computer isn’t enough there is also bluetooth wireless with an open API for tablet and smartphone connectivity.
Dimensions of the bike are Height 45” (1143mm), Width 26” (660mm) and Length 49” (1245mm). The total weight is 85lbs (38.56kg) which is quite light and easier to move around. There are also wheels on the base to assist with moving as well.
The magnetic resistance makes this bike the best of the best. It is incredibly smooth and incredibly quiet and is wear and tear free. A single belt drive train makes this low-maintenance and very reliable.
Four way adjustable handlebars as well as seats make it easy to find the right positioning for your body. Keiser have also, re-designed their bike pedal with stronger bearings, cage intergrated design, ramped barbs for simple and secure foot placement as well as curvature to reduce load on riders foot.
- Magnetic resistance
- Easily adjustable
- Quiet and smooth machine
- High price
With glowing Amazon reviews, this bike is the top of the top. Although it comes with a high price tag if you are looking for quality and are not budget restricted then this the Keiser M3i Indoor Cycle is the best choice.
Phoenix 98623 Revolution Cycle Pro II Exercise Bike
1 used from $ 575.00
- Bio medically efficient design
- Adjustments in saddle height and fore-aft seat positioning allow for maximum total tension and force-generating capabilities as well as a neutral knee position
- Manufactured in United States
- Modern exercise bike with direct-drive resistance system and 39.6-pound balanced flywheel
- Direct-drive system lets the rider pedal forward or backward, with quick-stop handle brake
The Phoenix Revolution Pro is a bio medically efficient designed spin bike that has many great features. As per the product name this bike designed to provide a challenging workout with the ability to adapt to different workout needs. The biggest difference is the flywheel doesn’t continue spinning once you stop pedalling.
- Forward and backward pedal options
- Quick stop handle
- 8 resistance levels via a tension knob
- 39.6 pound flywheel
- Adjustable saddle and handlebar
- Heavy duty brake pad
Pedalling can be done both forward and backward as well as a quick stop handle that instantly stops the flywheel in motion. This is great for moments of high fatigue where the risk of injury is high if you are over exerting yourself.
There are 8 different resistance levels to choose from which makes it a versatile spin bike. Assembled the bike measures 47L x 24W x 42.5H has a total weight of 113 pounds and a maximum user weight of 250 pounds.
Considered light weight and paired with front wheels this bike is fairly easy to transport from room to room.
An adjustable saddle and handlebar make it easy to set up the bike to the exact measurements you need. This along with toe clips and pedals offer security for your workout.
Most commonly found in health clubs this is a heavy duty spin bike that can withstand strenuous workouts.
Using a chain and flywheel system this uses two brake pads for resistance which can sometimes need re-aligning and adjusting.
- Pedal in both directions
- Emergency brake lever
- Solid, durable bike
- No monitor
The Phoenix Revolution Pro is an industrial quality spin bike that performs well workout after workout. Adjustable and with a heavy duty brake pad resistance system this is a solid and durable bike. The only downside is that it doesn’t include a monitor, although these can be purchased separately.
Schwinn Fitness AC PERFORMANCE PLUS with CARBON BLUE Belt Drive - Indoor Cycling Bike
2 used from $ 1,399.00
- Aluminum frame construction manufactured by Giant - provides rust-free performance and is significantly lighter than steel
- 6-Magnet brake system allows for smooth, consistent control and provides maintenance-free resistance that won't wear or change over time
- Virtual Contact Resistance Technology - the magnetic brake does not contact the flywheel, eliminating friction and wear
- Belt drive using Carbon Blue technology for an authentic outdoor ride feel and virtually zero maintenance
- Double link pedals with SPD and toe-clip combination. Lightweight performance handlebars with ErgoLoop, aero bars, and 12 degree incline enable multiple user positions and increased comfort levels
The Schwinn Fitness AC Performance is a premium indoor spin bike that is packed with many different features. Manufactured with an aluminum frame by the reputable cycling company Giant this bike is significantly lighter than steel yet still durable and stable.
- Lightweight yet durable
- 6 magnet braking system
- Adjustable seat and handle bars
- Comfortable and ergonomic handles
- Easy to transport
- Belt driven chain
Using a 6 magnet brake system the resistance of this machine is smooth and consistent. As the magnets never come in contact with the flywheel there is no friction, no wear and therefore no maintenance required on the bike.
ErgoLoop performance handle bars and aero bars make it comfortable for prolonged use. These along with the double link pedals provide a secure area for your footing through those tough hill climbs.
Belt driven this bike uses carbon blue technology which simulates pretty closely the actual free of riding outdoors.
Measuring at 44″ x 38″ x 11″ with a total unit weight of 112 pounds. This bike can handle a maximum user weight of 350 pounds.
Suitable for users between the height of 4’11” and 6’8″ the handle bars and seat are adjustable. This design also incorporates a 12 degree incline which allows for multiple users and increased comfort levels.
- Magnetic resistance
- Lightweight yet sturdy and strong
- Comfortable to ride
- No computer monitor
Included with your purchase of the Schwinn Fitness AC Performance is a 10 year warranty on the frame, 2 years on mechanical parts and 1 year on labor.
5. Diamondback Fitness 510Ic Adjustable Indoor Cycle with Electronic Display and Quiet Magnetic Flywheel
Diamondback Fitness 510Ic Adjustable Indoor Cycle with Electronic Display and Quiet Magnetic Flywheel
- Electronic Display provides computer controlled resistance in consistent increments
- Fore/aft seat and handlebar adjustments and a 300 pound weight capacity
- Quiet Heavy Duty 31 Pound Flywheel and steel-crafted components
- 16 levels of resistance insuring a challenge, and 14 workout programs consisting of 8 preset programs and 4 heart rate controlled programs
- Ultra-sensitive contact heart rate sensors
The Diamondback Adjustable Indoor Cycle is a good looking bike, wouldn’t you agree? Loaded with many features this bike presents great value for money. With 16 resistance levels to choose from and adjust too this bike offers a very diverse range of workout options.
- Computer Controlled Resistance System
- Belt Drive
- 16 Levels of Resistance
- 14 Workout Programs
- Adjustable saddle and handlebars
- Heavy Duty Steel Frame
- 32 pound flywheel
- Pedal power energy LCD monitor
This bike has 14 built in workout options giving you the ability to climb mountains, hills and any other terrain you can think of. In addition there are four different cardiovascular programs to choose from, allowing you to watch and monitor your heart rates while working out.
A backlit LCD screen comes with this spin bike and covers all the essential information. Displayed information includes distance covered, calories burned, time, cadence and heart rate. The handlebars of this indoor bike have ultra sensitive heart rate monitors.
The LCD console is blue backlit which makes it easy to read in all different lighting conditions. Fairly wide it is easy to see all the information displayed without having to strain. The coolest part, however, is that the monitor is battery free – your pedaling generates the energy to power and run the monitor!
Seat and handlebars are padded fairly thickly which makes it comfortable to use. This along with the seat and handle adjustability make it easy for a range of people to use.
Dimensions are 42″ x 23″ x 46″ and a weight of 126 pounds. The user maximum capacity is 300 pounds.
The flywheel has a weight of 31 pounds which isn’t as heavy as some of the other models in this review. The heavy duty frame does provide the strength and stability if you are worried about the flywheel not being heavy enough.
- LCD monitor
- Pre-programmed workouts
- Ultra sensitive heart rate sensors
The Diamondback Adjustable Indoor Cycle is a heavy duty indoor cycling bike that has 14 different pre-programmed workout programs. This along with the ultra sensitive heart rate sensors make it easy to track and monitor your fitness levels.
Spinning Spinner L7 Spin Lifestyle Series indoor cycling bike
- Fore/aft incremental adjustment on seat and micro-adjustment on handlebars provides maximum comfort and a personalized fit
- "Umbrella" style resistance knob allows for precise adjustments while protecting the internal mechanical components from sweat
- Dual-sided SPD compatible pedals make it easy to ride with athletic or cycling shoes
- Newly designed dual water bottle holder on the handlebars features a wide center section that is large enough to fit a computer, phone or tablet
- Compact steel frame is easy to move and perfect for smaller spaces, yet strong enough to accommodate riders up to 250 lbs
The Spinning Spinner L7 is another good looking bike that looks the part and functions well. Designed for high performance without sacrificing comfort this bike mimics riding outdoors.
- Stylish and durable
- 36 pound flywheel
- Transport wheels
Commercial style brake pads are used to provide the resistance in this bike as well as a quick stop resistance knob for safety purposes. This bike uses felt brake pads as resistance, which for the price is not the best in my opinion. Factor in the wear and tear and the fact that these pads are going to need replacing eventually.
The 36 pound flywheel offers stability and the strength to handle a tough workout. Using a drive chain this bike is quiet, smooth and fairly similar to riding a road bike.
Dimensions are 18” W × 48” L × 42” H with an overall weight of 100 pounds. This bike can handle a user weight of 250 pounds.
At 100 pounds this bike also comes with transport wheels making it easy to move around your home or gym. In addition it also has stabilizer feet to keep it in the one place while working out.
Micro adjustment on the handlebars allows the user to find the exact location for their use as well as an incremental adjustable saddle.
The resistance knob is considered an umbrella style which allows for precise adjustments while working out. Dual sided SPD compatible pedals make it very easy to use your cycling or athletic shoes.
- Comfortable to use
- Adjustable handlebars and saddle
- Dual water bottle holder
- Comfortable pedals
- No LCD monitor
7. Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike
Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike
- Indoor cycling bike with 40-pound flywheel
- Heavy-duty crank and smooth chain drive mechanism
- Fully adjustable seat and handlebars for comfort
- Adjustable resistance systems; transport wheels
- Supports up to 275 pounds; measures 20 x 46.5 x 48.5 inches (W x H x D)
The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B901 Pro Indoor Cycling Bike features all the basics that one needs in a home bike. Very easy to set up, it also has transportation wheels making it easy to move around the home.
- Adjustable seat and handlebars for comfort
- Chain drive mechanism
- Heavy duty steel frame
- Adjustable resistance
- 40lb flywheel
- 3year warranty
The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B901 Pro Indoor Cycling Bike has a solid, heavy duty steel frame and crank meaning this model is built to last.
With a 40 pound flywheel this makes for a smooth ride. The design has been engineered for both speed and stability which really mimics outdoor riding.
Equipped with a felt braking system as the resistance, it is quiet and smooth although this is where the quality and price comes into it. Felt is the most affordable method of resistance but bear in mind that it will eventually wear and tear and need replacing.
The handlebars have an advanced ergonomic design which allows for multiple hand positions over the duration of your ride. They are multi-grip, padded and slip free which make them comfortable and easy to use even when you start to sweat!
Bike dimensions are 20W x 46.5H by 48.5D inches and it has a total weight of 108 pounds. The maximum user weight capacity is 275 pounds.
With a fully adjustable seat you can set this to the right hight and proximity to the handlebars for your workout. As it is easy to adjust there is the ability for other people in your household to use it. As I discuss below setting the right height is important for your safety and workout!
- Fully adjustable bike
- 3 year warranty
- Small footprint
- Felt resistance is not the best
For a bike that has the features without the high price tag the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B901 Pro Indoor Cycling Bike is a good option. Included with your purchase is a 3 year warranty of the structural frame as well as a 90 day warranty on other parts and components.
This bike has a sturdy, steel frame and can be easily moved around the home. Sunny Health Fitness are a very reputable brand and this bike has great Amazon Reviews.
EFITMENT Indoor Cycle Bike, Belt Drive Cycling Trainer Exercise Bike w/40 lb Flywheel and LCD Monitor - IC014
- FEATURES: This cycling bike offers a belt drive and 40 Ibs flywheel that provides a smooth and quiet ride. Keep track of your fitness with the easy to read LCD monitor. It alternately displays speed, calories, pulse and time.
- RIDE WITH COMFORT: Front and rear foot levelers provide stability to achieve a smooth and comfortable ride. Seat is fully adjustable as it moves Up, Down, Fore (forward), Aft (backward) and handlebars move up and down (Inseam Min 27.4/ Max 38.3 in). Toe caged pedals secures your foot placement. Max user weight is 300 Ibs.
- ADJUST AS YOUR FITNESS IMPROVES: Adjust the resistance and you will have the ability to simulate flat ground cycling and cycling up slight and steep inclines which will increase your heart rate and of course, burn more calories for every minute you exercise. Push down on the tension knob to brake and bring the bike to an immediate stop.
- READY, SET GO!: Reach your fitness goals with the meter that's help you achieve them! Speed, time, distance, RPM, calories and pulse readouts. You'll be able to meet your goals every time you ride the Premier Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Bike.
- SPACE EFFICIENT: If you are tight on space, just wheel it out using the transportation wheels and you are on your way to a healthier future.
The ICO14 Indoor Cycle Bike, Belt Drive Cycling Trainer Exercise Bike presents many great features without the high price. With a 40 pound flywheel this bike performs well and is quiet.
- Very sturdy, stable bike
- Adjustable seat and handlebars
- Toe caged pedals
- Adjustable resistance
- LCD monitor with key information
- Small footprint and transportation wheels
- Belt drive
The digital monitor makes it easy to track your workout and progress. With all the key information displayed including your time, speed, distance, calories burned and RPM. The other great thing is there is a scan mode as well as pulse read outs if you wish!
Heavy flywheels are linked to a smoother ride and this one weighs in at 40 pounds. The bike is also equipped with front transportation wheels which makes it easy to lift, angle and move the machine to and from your workout area.
Built into the handlebars are pulse grips which is where the monitor can read your heart rate. This is great for those who have targeted heart rate zones for their workouts. The more steady, prolonged and elevated your heart rate the more fat you have the opportunity to burn.
A secure foot cage has been added to the pedals of this bike which prevents foot slippage meaning you can really push yourself. The seat is also adjustable via the twist of a knob- it can moe back and forth as well as up and down.
The resistance of this bike is felt which is what you can expect from the lower priced models. It is still a quality bike but you will need to replace the felt eventually.
The Indoor Cycle Bike, Belt Drive Cycling Trainer Exercise Bike has a maximum user weight of 300 pounds. The bike is 54L x 20W x 48H inches and has a weight of 109 lbs.
- Well priced
- Smooth and easy to use
- Quick and easy to assemble – all tools packaged with the product
- Easy to adjust handlebars and seat
- Seat is a bit uncomfortable
The Indoor Cycle Bike, Belt Drive Cycling Trainer Exercise Bike is well priced for the features it has. Overall this bike is a basic yet sturdy and well designed exercise bike.
EFITMENT Indoor Cycle Bike, Quiet Belt Drive Cycling Trainer Exercise Bike; Low Maintanance - IC007
- FLYWHEEL - With a 22 lb chromed flywheel, the heavier the flywheel, the smoother the ride! Creating more momentum for longer periods of time keeps your workout going the distance.
- ADJUSTABLE SEAT - With a 4-way adjustable seat that allows you to adjust it up/down & forward/back, this bike can accommodate most users comfortably.
- DIGITAL MONITOR - Tracking your progress is simple with the Digital Monitor screen! Displaying your time, speed, distance, and calories burned, you will be able to see your results to keep you motivated and on pace.
- RESISTANCE - Switch up the intensity of your workout with the convenient Felt Pad tension knob. With a simple twist, you can increase or decrease resistance so your workout can remain challenging and effective throughout your fitness journey. Perfect for any user's skill level!
- BELT DRIVE - Cause who wants a noisy chain on their bike? A belt driven mechanism is quieter and virtually maintenance free.
The IC007 Indoor Cycle Bike, Quiet Belt Drive Cycling Trainer Exercise Bike has made the list for the best budget spin bike. If you are happy with the basics and don’t have a big budget then this is a good choice.
- 4 way adjustable seat
- Twist knob resistance
- 22lb flywheel
- Digital monitor
- Belt drive
Compact, this spin bike is suited to those who are tight on space such as those in small rooms, apartments, studios or even one for your condo.
Measuring in at 41.5″ L x 23.5″ W x 48.5″ H this indoor bike has a total weight of 62.5 pounds and a maximum user weight of 220 pounds. The flywheel of this model is 22 pounds which is half the weight of most of the models reviewed.
Although the flywheel is light this is still going to be able to handle a fairly strenuous workout so if you are heavily budget restricted or very tight on space then this is a good option. If you are a serious athlete, however, then this bike won’t do.
Tracking your fitness as it progresses is very easy to do with the included digital monitor. All the key information is displayed including time, speed, distance, calories burned, and scan.
Non-slip foot pedals make it secure for your workout giving you peace of mind with your workout. With a belt drive you can expect this bike to be quiet and also very low maintenance.
- Low maintenance
- Belt drive
- 3 year warranty
- Light flywheel
If you are looking for basic, compact and budget friendly spin bike the Indoor Cycle Bike, Quiet Belt Drive Cycling Trainer Exercise Bike is the best choice. While it is much lighter than the others one can still have a solid work.
How to Set Up your Spin Bike to the Right Height
So you’ve bought a spin bike, now you got to dedicate the time to using it but most importantly adjusting it to the correct height for you body and build. Follow my step by step instructions below!
Adjust the Saddle Height
When using a spin bike the saddle of the bike needs to be parallel to your hip bone. If you can’t find the right spot or are unsure then there is one other way to find the ideal height.
I recommend standing near a wall or ask someone to balance on for this method. Lift your thigh until it is at a 90 degree angle to the floor but be sure that it is level and so are your hips. Also, make sure your hips are both facing the front this is known as squaring off the hips. From here adjust by either raising or lowering the saddle height until it is level with the center of your leg.
Move the Saddle Forwards and Backwards
Now you need to find the right distance between your seat and the handlebars, this is important to get right as the knees come into play here. Knees need to be over the feet but not jutting out past your toes.
Finding neutral is key, what and where is neutral? This is the point in between the back and forth motion of cycling where there is a clear middle. Perhaps a sense of ease of the moment of calm before pushing through another revolution. This can take a little bit of playing around, sliding the saddle forward and back and testing out a few positions.
Once you find that neutral spot, it can be quite easy. If you are a complete beginner, I definitely recommend heading to a spin class and having a teacher or professional explain it to you and help you out.
Handle Bar Adjustment
Important for making sure the spine is in a neutral position while riding, place a slight bend in your elbows and lightly rest your hands on the handle bar. It should feel comfortable and as long as your spine is in a straight, neutral position then it’s fine. Fine tune the height and level until it feels great for your body – no one knows it better than you.
If you have made all the necessary adjustments may I recommend giving the spin bike a quick check over to ensure you have tightened everything up. There is nothing worse than a horrible accident on a spin bike!
The two big checks for me are that the handlebars and saddle because I don’t even want to experience either of those coming undone and falling off mid spin!
Key Features to Consider When Purchasing a Spin Bike
There are many things to look for when making your purchase for the best spin bike. Listed below are what we consider are key things to think about.
Resistance is a crucial feature as this is where your workout really comes from. To easily adjust the resistance while in motion is important.
There are a few different ways the user can adjust the resistance and intensity of the workout.
It can be in the form of a knob, lever or button but this varies with the bike model. Which one you prefer is a personal choice.
Having the ability to change the seat height as well as move it forwards or backwards is very important. In addition adjustable handlebars are a feature worth paying extra for.
If you plan to share this bike with family members then being able to change these things and easily ought to be considered.
Of course this is a pretty high consideration. Most spin bike seats are quite hard so don’t be alarmed if you find it very uncomfortable. It can take some getting used to.
If the seat is too uncomfortable, consider purchasing a gel overlay or some padded shorts.
The heavier the flywheel the smoother the ride. The momentum of a heavy flywheel works to keep the bike stable and secure. If you really like to push the limits then the heavier the flywheel the better.
Essentially the heart of your spin bike, the flywheel is the critical component to the functioning of your new bike. Mechanical energy is used and transferred through the flywheel which is actually a large, heavy disk.
Having a ‘real’ wheel is not exactly safe and is not exactly practical so the heavy, weighted flywheel is the replacement. Further adding to the safety of this wheel is that it is always encased in solid, sturdy housing.
When I say that the flywheel is heavy, it really is, weighing in at around 50 pounds. The heavier the flywheel the more stable and more of a workout or more of a thrashing you can give the spin bike. This is why when you first jump onto your spin bike that those first few pedals seem like pushing through concrete.
From the flywheel the next big factor is the resistance type, which is how the bike is going to brake and in the process put you through a hard workout.
Types of Resistance
There are three main types of resistance that your indoor spin bike could use including, direct contact resistance, magnetic resistance and fan based resistance.
When deciding on which type of resistance to go with, not all bikes are created equal. These are many different working components which offer very different rides. Let’s take a look at each resistance type in a little more detail to equip you with the knowledge to make the right decision.
Generally speaking, the majority of spin bikes use a magnetic resistance which isn’t that similar to an actual road bike. So why do they use this? To be fair, it is the easiest way to provide adjustability while cycling.
Direct Contact Resistance
Direct braking is where the brake is applied directly onto the flywheel causing friction and the rotational speed to reduce. With the rotational speed reduced the resistance becomes a whole lot harder and thus a more difficult workout.
This resistance is what I would consider fairly accurate or similar to a road bike riding in the sense of gear changes and hills etc. Direct contact resistance uses brake pads which are mostly made from felt. Although I imagine there are many other material types out there now.
This is arguably the biggest negative about direct contact brake resistance, that they will eventually wear and need replacing. It is impossible to give a life cycle estimate because it will change with many external factors such as weight, level of resistance used and time of use.
If you decided to purchase a spin bike that uses this type of resistance then factor in that sometime down the track you will need either replace the brake pads or buy a new flywheel.
Magnetic resistance spin bikes are now leaders in the indoor cycling market and it’s understandable as to why. The biggest attractive aside from smooth operation is that the parts will never wear down because there is no contact with the brakes and flywheel.
How exactly does it work? Through electromagnetic induction between the magnets the flywheel resistance can be adjusted. Still a little confused? Essentially, this is the same principle that the Japanese bullet train use.
If you didn’t know, bullet trains travel at extremely high speeds but never actually come in contact with the train track. Mind blowing that we have that technology right? What’s even cooler is that you can have this within your own home, within your own spin bike.
While many people are yet to experience the smooth, comfortable ride a bullet train offers let me tell you that riding a magnetic resistance bike is smooth. Another great feature is that they are virtually silent in operation and the resistance can be adjusted with the touch of a button.
Fan Based Resistance
Not as popular these days but still a spin bike definitely worth considering, simple and easy to fix should any issues arise.
The fan and your pedal power pushing the air through it is your resistance. Simply adjust the speed of your peddling, increase your speed and you will also increase the air resistance. Decrease your speed and your resistance will decrease too.
It may seem pretty simple and it is, the fan connects via a belt and pulley system to the pedals. The other great thing? The fan actually pumps out a decent breeze!
Spin bikes are a great way to get a very intense workout and nowadays there is the ability to do so from the comfort of your home! There are many on the market and they are increasing in popularity. When choosing the right spin bike for yourself consider the flywheel weight (the heavier the better) as well as adjustability features. It must be said that all of the spin bikes listed in this review are high quality. The choice is of course a personal one that will change depending on your needs!
There are literally hundreds of new spin bike models being added to Amazon monthly and every new spin bike has some new feature you’ve probably never seen before. However, these new features that have not been tested for long periods of time may end up with breaking quickly or worse yet causing an injury. As such this list is the top spin bikes for 2018.