Best Exercise Bikes for 2024 – CNET

Included in this article are loads of different options to suit the needs of just about every kind of cyclist. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a small apartment, a hardcore cyclist who already has a great outdoor bike, or someone who needs that class environment to feel motivated. I’ve done a ton of testing to help you pick the right option for you, but getting there means understanding what you need. 

Build quality and size

Not all exercise bikes are built the same, and I’m not just talking about the metals and plastics used in their construction. If a frame is too narrow and the weight is not evenly distributed, it may be prone to tipping. If an exercise bike uses friction to add resistance rather than a magnetic drive, it can in many places either be louder or wear out faster. No matter what the bike is made of, being able to move an exercise bike around easily is a big deal if you’re limited on space in your home.

Workout quality

Cycling is way more than just moving your legs. Many exercise bikes include the ability to clip your shoes to the pedals, which allows you to train a totally different set of leg muscles. In addition, exercise bikes are frequently paired with weights or core leans to offer a full-body workout. Depending on what kind of workout you want to do, the accessories surrounding your exercise bike can make a huge difference. 

Software and features

Not every bike comes with a screen, but every good bike should come with the ability to work with the many phone and tablet apps available for cyclists. Whether you’re bringing your own screen and racing friends in Zwift or you’re binging The Witcher to keep yourself on the bike longer on a large, mounted display, the quality of the experience makes a huge difference in your workout.