As a personal trainer, I see a lot of fitness trends come and go. Although the exercise bike has been around for decades, over the past few years it has evolved and transformed itself into what most people in the fitness community refer to as a spin bike.
Keiser M3 Plus
If you want the best product on the market, you want the Keiser M3. This is the Rolls Royce of this category. Is it expensive? Yes Is it worth it if you’re serious about spinning? Absolutely!
This is a commercial grade, high-end piece of exercise equipment. It’s extremely smooth and comfortable to ride. It’s also very sturdy and can handle in excess of 300 pounds.
Unlike the other models listed, the M3 uses magnetic resistance. This means two things. First, no parts of the resistance system touch so there is nothing to wear out. Second, since no parts touch, it’s QUIET!
You want to workout while the kids are napping or at night while everyone else is trying to sleep? No problem. Throw on some headphones and start pedaling.
Sole Fitness SB700
If the M3 is the king of the commercial world, the Sole SB700 reigns in the residential market.
The SB700 has a very comfortable ride due to its nice ergonomic design. Along with being able to adjust the seat and handlebar height, you can also adjust the handlebars to be closer or further away from your body.
If you need to ride in a more upright motion to avoid back pain, bring the handlebars closer. If you like to ride in a bent over racing style, extend the bars.
The overall construction is very solid. The SB700 will also support 300+ pounds.
It features a nice footprint which provides a sturdy stance when pedaling hard or doing upper body “dance” movements you’ll typically do in spin classes.
Phoenix 98623 Revolution Cycle Pro II – Best Spin Bike Under $500
The Phoenix 98623 is a great selection for people who want to stay under $500.
This model features a flywheel that doesn’t continue to spin when you’re not pedaling. Since this is a distinct difference from a road bike, some users initially don’t like it. I’ve found after a few uses, it no longer becomes an issue.
Personally, I like this feature because it requires the rider to keep in constant motion which keeps the heart rate up. This typically results in a better overall workout and an increase in calories burned.
Another feature of the Phoenix is its ability to be pedaled both forwards and backwards. Since I had never really worked out by pedaling backwards, it felt strange, but I did feel like it was giving me a good workout. It’s a nice option to have even if you’ll only use it from time to time to add in a little variety.
One thing to note is the 98623 is rated for users up to 250 pounds. I have had larger clients use this model, but not during a spin class.
Overall, a great choice for beginner to intermediate spin classes.
Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike – Best Spin Bike Under $300
If you need to stay under the $300 mark, the Sunny Health & Fitness is the class leader.
This product surprised me. Typically when you get into this price point, the manufacturer starts to cut corners and you really start to notice it, but not in this case.
The S&F Pro features a 40 pound flywheel which really helps give the bike a smooth and balanced ride.
Even though it doesn’t look as sturdy as the Phoenix, it can actually support up to 275 pounds.
Since it does use a friction based resistance system, it makes some noise if you have the resistance set to a moderate to high level. It wasn’t bad, but enough to be annoying to someone else in the room. We were able to reduce the noise by adding some lubrication, but that’s usually a short term solution.
This thing gets great ratings on Amazon with almost 600 reviews, so we’re not its only fan.
Sunny SF-B1001 Indoor Cycling Bike – Best Spin Bike Under $200
If you need to find the cheapest product that isn’t terrible, my pick would be the Sunny SF-B1001.
At under $200, you’re going to be extremely limited in the selection of quality bikes. Out of all the models we reviewed under $200, this is the only one we can recommend.
This product does have its drawbacks, but we found that clients who were not accustomed to using the more expensive equipment didn’t really mind using it.
Although still perfectly acceptable, the bike isn’t as smooth and tight as the other models we have mentioned.
Its limited to a 220 pound capacity, so be sure to take that in consideration.
If your max budget is $200, get the SF-B1001. If you can spend the extra $100 to $300, we recommend stepping up to the Sunny Health & Fitness Pro or the Phoenix 98623.
Spinning classes are HUGE in the fitness world these days and I support them 100%. Not only is it a great non-impact form of exercise, but when you combine it with a great teacher, the classes are FUN!
Now you might be saying “Kelly, I do NOT want to go to the gym!” Don’t worry. YouTube is here to save the day!
Setup your equipment in front of your laptop, computer or TV, fire up your favorite FREE spin training class and exercise in the privacy of your own home without having to pay any monthly fees, deal with the traffic and go at your own pace without feeling judged.
Watch this video and tell me you wouldn’t be fired up and excited to workout! Keith Thompson at KTX Fitness is AMAZING at what he does.