Stationary exercise bikes offer a great way to get the cardiovascular exercise we all need, but finding the best one to meet your individual needs can take some work.
After all, there are a ton of options out there and it can be challenging to figure out which ones are really worth investing in.
You know, finding the best brands, comparing specs, checking prices…it can get exhausting.
But don’t worry, I’m here to help.
In this comprehensive review, we’ll go over the best stationary bikes out there this year, but we’ll also cover all the basics you should know when comparing options.
This way, you’ll have all the tools you need to find the right bike for your home, regardless of whether or not you opt for one mentioned on this list.
Alright, let’s get started.
|#1 Sole LCB
|27 lb flywheel
3 year parts
1 year labor
|#2 NordicTrack Commercial VU29
|19 lb flywheel
|10 year frame
2 year parts
1 year labor
|14" HD touchscreen
|#3 3G Cardio Elite
7 year parts
1 year labor
Fully adjustable seat
|#4 Sole B94
|20 lb flywheel
2 year parts
1 year labor
|#5 Nautilus U618
|15 year frame
3 year parts
1 year labor
29 built-in workouts
|#6 Schwinn 190
|8 lb flywheel
|10 year frame
2 year parts
1 year labor
|#7 Life Fitness C1
3 year parts
1 year labor
|Choice of console
Fully adjustable seat
The 7 Best Stationary Exercise Bikes of 2024
#1 Sole LCB Upright Bike
I’m a huge fan of pretty much everything Sole Fitness puts out.
Their bikes, ellipticals, and treadmills always make their way onto my “best of” lists because, well, they often top the competition.
And their LCB Upright is no exception.
The LCB is Sole’s premiere upright bike and as such, it comes with impressive performance specs. We’re talking a 27 lb flywheel and 40 levels of smooth acting magnetic resistance, to be exact.
With a flywheel this heavy, your rides will be smooth and fluent and you’ll be able to crank that resistance as high up as you can handle it.
This means you get get one heck of a workout on the this bike if you choose to.
This bike also has a rock solid frame that can users up to 350 lb, which is as about as high as you’re gonna see on a home unit.
So larger users won’t have to worry about this bike rocking or swaying during use.
The LCB comes with an assembled weight of 112 lb, which is also pretty impressive for a home upright bike.
Sole recently updated their consoles and this bike now comes with a 10.1″ touchscreen console that makes it easy to view all your stats during your workouts.
It also comes pre-loaded with entertainment apps and has screen mirroring capabilities so that you can view anything from your phone or tablet through the console.
You can also watch instructor-led workouts through it via Sole+, Sole’s free fitness streaming app.
This bike also comes with bluetooth technology, wireless charging, and heart rate monitoring capabilities (although a chest strap isn’t included).
Sole backs this LCB up with a an awesome home warranty too: lifetime frame, 3 year parts, 1 year labor.
Overall, Sole’s LCB offers a great combination of performance and hi-tech features. If you’re looking for the nicest home stationary bike in this price range, this is it. See full review.
#2 NordicTrack Commercial VU29
If you’re looking for an upright with some serious streaming capabilities, NordicTrack’s Commercial VU29 is certainly worth checking out.
NordicTrack’s one of the most well-known fitness brands in the world, so they probably don’t need much of an intro, but I will say that generally speaking, they’re a pretty safe brand to go with.
Their customer service doesn’t have the best reputation, but as moderately priced fitness equipment goes, there still one of the better brands out there.
Anyway, when it comes to upright bikes, the VU29 has a lot to offer.
Under the hood, this upright is packing a 19 lb flywheel, allowing it to provide a smooth pedaling motion as well as provide intense workouts when you want ’em.
This fairly heavy flywheel is paired with 24 magnetic resistance levels, giving you a good deal of control over the intensity of your workouts.
When it comes to workouts, the VU29 is designed to pair with iFit, NordicTrack’s streaming platform, giving you access to unlimited, instructor-led workouts.
iFit also has all kinds of non-biking workouts too and a membership gives you access to everything.
The VU29 comes with a solie frame and an impressive weight capacity of 325 lb, allowing folks of all sizes the ability to safely use this bike.
This upright scores well on the performance side of things, but it’s most impressive feature is the 14″ HD touchscreen console mounted in front.
This large screen makes for easy viewing of all those iFit workouts, as well as making it easy to see all your stats during workouts.
Another cool feature this bike comes with is Automatic Trainer Control, which allows the trainers to automatically adjust your resistance to match the workouts (available only through iFit).
And as expected, this bike is bluetooth compatible with headphones and heart rate straps.
NordicTrack backs the Commercial VU29 with their standard warranty (10 year frame, 2 year parts, 1 year labor), which is pretty good for a bike in this class.
Overall, when it comes to streaming upright bikes, NordicTrack’s Commercial VU29 is about as good as they come – it’s a potent combination of performance specs and console features.
#3 3G Cardio Elite Upright Bike
Next on the list is the 3G Cardio Elite Upright Bike.
This bike made the list because it is a beast- it has an incredible weight capacity (at 350 lb) and a great warranty that ensures it will hold up for the long run.
For those of you unfamiliar with the 3G Cardio brand, you should look them up.
The name isn’t as recognizable as NordicTrack, but they are producing some top notch home fitness equipment with multiple “best of” rewards in various categories.
Anyway, 3G Cardio doesn’t disclose the flywheel weight on this model (which usually isn’t a good sign), but users agree this bike offers a very quite, smooth pedaling action during workouts.
The console on this bike isn’t overly sophisticated either, but it does come with 16 different workout programs.
This includes 12 preprogrammed workouts (cardio, fat burn, etc), 3 different HR programs, and 1 power workout (watt based).
The 3G Cardio Elite doesn’t offer quite as much workout variety as some, but with 16 different workouts, most users should be satisfied.
Speaking of users, this bike also saves profiles for up to 4 different users.
The 3G Cardio Elite bike doesn’t have any bluetooth capabilities, so if you are looking for a bike that can connect with your fitness apps, this isn’t the right bike for you.
What this bike does have, is an easy to use console – the dial system makes it easy to make your selections and the digital display is easy to read.
The warranty department is where 3G really shines though.
With a lifetime frame, 7-year parts, and 1-year labor warranty, 3G Cardio offers one of the longest home warranties in the biz.
Additional features include a fully adjustable seat, a compact frame, comfy pedals.
Overall, this upright is lacking some of the fancier features found on other bikes, but when it comes to durability and extended warranties, it’s gonna be hard to find a better option.
#4 Sole B94
The B94 is Sole’s other upright bike and it too has a lot to offer for the price.
Speaking of price, this bike is usually goes for around $500 cheaper than the LCB, making it quite a bit more affordable.
The B94 isn’t packing the same kind of specs the LCB is, but with a 20 lb flywheel and 20 levels of resistance, it’s no slouch either.
It also comes with a robust frame that can hold folks weighing up to 300 lb safely, allowing riders of most sizes the ability to use it.
The B94 still comes with Sole’s older console, so you won’t find any touchscreens or entertainment apps here.
But it’s easy to use, bluetooth compatible, and loaded with 7 pre-programmed profiles, making it easy to use.
Sole’s warranty on this bike is still pretty good as well: lifetime frame, 2 year parts, 1 year labor.
Additional features include a fully adjustable seat, USB charging, and bluetooth speakers.
Overall, if you’re looking for a well-priced upright that’s built to last, Sole’s B94 could be a great fit. See full review.
#5 Nautilus U618 Upright Bike
Nautilus is another brand that’s been around for a long time – we actually have this brand to thank, in large part, to the success of commercial gyms…
But that’s a story for another day.
These days, Nautilus is still rocking and they offer some of the best budget-friendly fitness equipment around.
Their lineup isn’t that big these days, but what they do have is top notch.
The U618 is their highest-end upright bike and it comes with a lot of impressive features, including 29 built-in workout programs, a fully adjustable seat, weighted pedals, and a built-in cooling fan.
And folks who don’t want to worry about signing up for a streaming app and paying a monthly subscription fee will likely appreciate having all these workouts.
Under the hood, the U618 is packing a 13 lb flywheel.
This is pretty light when compared to the heavier flywheels discussed above, but for this price range, it’s pretty average.
And users still report a smooth pedaling motion, even with the lighter-weight flywheel.
And with 25 resistance levels to work with, you’ll have plenty of control over the intensity of your workouts.
This bike also comes with a weight limit of 325 lb, which not only is impressive for such an affordable bike, but it allows folks of all sizes the ability to safely ride it.
The console on the U618 is split into 2 LCD screens, both of which are brightly backlit for easy viewing during workouts.
It’s also bluetooth compatible with certain streaming apps, allowing you to track your fitness metrics and whatnot.
Nautilus also backs their U618 with a surprisingly impressive home warranty: 15 year frame, 3 year parts, 1 year labor.
Yeah, that’s a great warranty for any exercise bike, but it’s especially fantastic for one that only costs a few hundred bucks.
Overall, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly upright bike with some serious tech game, Nautilus’ U618 should be on your short list. See full review.
#6 Schwinn 190 Upright Bike
Schwinn’s another brand I bet we’re all familiar with.
They’ve been creating exercise bikes forever, but the 190 is one of their newer models, usurping the older 170 as their highest-end upright model to date.
The 190 comes with a new, sleek frame design, but the 8 lb flywheel is actually lighter than what was found on the older 170.
That said, if you’re looking for a comfy ride, it’ll still do.
And with 25 resistance levels at your disposal, this bike certainly offers a lot of control over your workouts.
The 190 comes loaded with 13 different workout programs and it’s also compatible with JRNY, giving you access to tons of instructor-led workouts as well (through your tablet).
This upright bike has a max user capacity of 330 lb, which is great, especially for a bike in this price range.
Schwinn’s guarantee for the 190 is pretty solid too: 10-year frame, 2-year mechanical, 1-year electrical, and 90-day labor.
Additional highlights include a fully adjustable seat, bluetooth speakers, USB charging, and weighted pedals.
Overall, the 190 isn’t the best option for strenuous workouts, but if you’re simply looking for a smooth ride that won’t break the bank, it’s a great option.
#7 Life Fitness C1 Upright Bike
The “Life Fitness” name should look familiar to you if you have ever worked out in a commercial gym.
They are a huge producer of commercial grade fitness machines and odds are, if you rode the stationary bikes at your local gym, you probably rode one of their products.
Life Fitness also produces home gym equipment.
Anyway, their C1 Upright Bike is the home version of their popular commercial grade bikes – it has the feel of a commercial bike, but without all the cost.
There’s nothing too fancy going on here, but the C1 definitely offers a stable feel and a comfortable ride.
The features you get varies a little depending on which console you choose, but honestly, neither option is particularly fancy.
Workout options and bluetooth features will depend on which option you go with.
The C1 offers 20 different levels of resistance to help you control your workout intensity throughout your ride and it also comes with a respectable 300 lb weight capacity.
Life Fitness also supports the C1 with a fairly average warranty for the price: lifetime frame, 3-year parts, and 1-year labor.
This is a pretty solid warranty, but for the price, it isn’t overly impressive.
Additional features include a large comfy seat, self-balancing pedals, and a handy water bottle holder.
Overall, there’s nothing too spectacular going on with this bike, but it’s comfortable and easy to use (and of course it comes from a great brand).
Stationary Exercise Bikes 101
This may sound like a silly question, but for the sake of clarity, I think we should define what a “stationary” exercise bike is.
This is a very broad term and technically encompasses several different types of exercise machines.
For the sake of this article though, when I talk about stationary exercise bikes, I’m really talking about the upright variety.
Stationary exercise bikes really include upright bikes, recumbent bikes, indoor cycles, and even air bikes.
I’m not going to go into too much detail here with regards to the differences between them all, but if you’re interested in a more detailed comparison, click here to check out my full bike guide.
Anyway, each type of exercise bike has its benefits.
Recumbent bikes are great because they are more comfortable to sit on and they put less stress through your hips and knees.
Indoor cycles are great because they closely mimic the feel of riding a road bike and they can really provide an intense workout.
Upright bikes are a nice combination of the two – they’re more comfortable to use than indoor cycles, but they still keep you in the traditional biking posture (upright).
Upright stationary bikes can provide a great workout too.
The good ones offer plenty of workout options and plenty of resistance to get the job done.
Fan (or air) bikes are another category of stationary bike I don’t want to neglect.
I love fan bikes because they can really provide an intense cardiovascular workout while working your arms and legs at the same time.
The CrossFit folks use them a lot…enough said.
To me though, they belong in their own category and won’t be included with these upright bikes (the link above will direct you to my air bike guide).
One thing all stationary exercise bikes have in common is that they can be a wonderful addition to any home gym.
Generally speaking, they offer a low-impact form of cardiovascular exercise that can be done indoors.
Upright stationary exercise bikes are a good choice when:
- Space is an issue
- You are looking for a low-impact workout
- You want a bike with a display monitor
- You are looking for an exercise bike with a comfortable seat
- You are looking for a quiet machine
What To Look For In A Stationary Exercise Bike
When searching for a stationary exercise bike, it’s a good idea to have a game plan because there are a TON of different exercises bikes out there.
And it can get a little daunting if you don’t have a blueprint.
If you have a predetermined list of what you want, you will know what to look for and compare between models.
This will definitely make your job a lot easier.
If you’re not sure what you should be looking for, that’s ok, that’s why I’m here. Here are the top 5 factors I think you should consider when comparing bikes:
The flywheel on an exercise bike is the metal disc that spins as you pedal and it’s an important component to consider when comparing options.
Flywheels come in a variety of sizes and generally speaking, heavier is better.
That’s because most home exercise bikes are designed to benefit from a heavier flywheel.
The extra weight results in a smoother feel during use because of the added momentum that builds as the weighted flywheel spins.
Higher-end upright bikes usually come with flywheels in the 20 lb+ category, but depending on your fitness goals, you might not need a really heavy flywheel.
If you’re looking for more strenuous workouts, then going with a bike with at least a 20 lb flywheel is a smart idea.
If you’re looking for lower intensity workouts, lighter flywheels will likely do just fine.
The different workout programs an upright bike offers is a great place to start.
Most decent stationary bikes will offer anywhere between 16 – 30 different workouts, but nowadays, many offer bluetooth compatibility with fitness apps too.
More isn’t always better, because often several of them may be very similar to each other, but if you like the idea of having plenty of preprogrammed variety, aim for a bike that offers more workouts (many offer over 20).
Most stationary bikes offer similar programs too.
These include: manual, hills, intervals, random, fat burn, and heart rate (HR).
Sometimes you’ll see different cardio programs and custom programs.
The machines with 20 and 30 different programs will have multiple programs in each category.
Anyone that has read any of my reviews in the past knows I’m a stickler for weight limits.
Not only is it important to make sure you are safe to use the bike, but it gives you a good idea of how well the bike is built.
Higher weight limits are always preferred.
I recommend finding a stationary bike that has a weight capacity of at least 300 lb because it’s going to feel more stable during use and last longer.
I like to look at assembled weights too because this spec can help give ya a better idea as to how stable or secure you can expect the bike to feel during use.
With heavier bikes being less likely to wiggle or wobble during workouts.
I like to see an assembled weight north of 100 lb, but this rule isn’t written in stone anywhere.
For some folks, technology might be the most important factor – if so, look for a bike that offers bluetooth connectivity to your favorite apps.
Not all bikes do, especially with budget models.
If you don’t care so much about fitness tracking, you should also consider console size and whether the bike can track heart rate or not.
Decent exercise bikes should at least offer a grip heart rate monitor and many will offer telemetry tracking (chest strap).
Any bike that offers HR workouts will have the ability to track your HR.
There aren’t nearly as many streaming upright bikes out there as there are indoor cycles, but there are a few, so if you’re into streaming, don’t fret.
Warranty is another great indicator of how well built an exercise bike is and longer is always better (duh).
Many quality bikes will offer lifetime warranties on frame, 3-5 years on parts, and at least 1 year on labor.
When in doubt, I say go with the bike with the longer warranty, but a long warranty certainly isn’t the only factor to think about.
It’s just one part of the entire picture.
I hope this article helped give you an idea of what you should compare when looking for the best stationary exercise bikes.
In summary, I suggest you focus on the performance specs, including flywheel weights/resistance systems, assembled weights, and weight limits.
But it’s important to think about the consoles and tech features too, especially if you’re looking specifically for a streaming bike.
I think the above list shows that there are plenty of great options to choose from out there.
It’s not easy ranking these bikes, but I stand by my decision to rank Sole’s LCB as my top pick because I feel it offers the best features to price ratio.
The Nautilus U618 is a great option for the price too, but I have a feeling that might not be available for much longer…
If you like the idea of having a really long warranty, then you might want to go for the 3G Cardio Elite.
3G Cardio makes great products that are built to last and I love their long warranties- a great sign of a quality product.
If you aren’t aware, you should know that Nautilus owns the Schwinn brand – that’s why there tend to be a lot of similarities between Nautilus and Schwinn bikes.
They are usually pretty comparable, but the warranties do vary though, so I would pay special attention to them.
Well, that about does it.
I hope this article helps you in your search.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below and I’ll get back to ya soon.