There are few more beneficial workouts than spinning. From working your leg muscles to your upper body and that calorie burning. Plus you can do all that cardio from the privacy and comfort of your own home. Even while enjoying a film or TV show on your tablet, even doing a tailored workout.
Plus no effervescent instructor to obey either. However, there is a lot to consider when deciding on your spin bike and the choices can seem exhaustive.
The spin bike may look great in your cellar yet as you progress with your resistance, the workouts get increasingly difficult.
You can still pedal hard yet the ride feels unstable and you spend more time checking your balance. Having a sturdy construction with a heavy enough flywheel and a reliable belt system should be insisted upon.
Effective home spin bikes should not break the bank and you should be able to get a durable design. You can still find the one you want at a price that comes under $500. That includes magnetic resistance and state-of-the-art fitness trackers. Read our guide to find out which spin bike you can get in your budget.
Best Spin Bikes Under $500
Last update on 2022-10-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Best For Magnetic Resistance: Finer Form Magnetic Indoor Exercise Bike
Right at the top of your budget should be the Finer Form Magnetic Indoor Exercise Bike, and rightly so. By offering a simple magnetic resistance system, this spin bike may be the closest experience to a regular bike.
Finer Form actually listened to user feedback and lowered the resistance making it a spin bike for beginners to progress with.
You can expect a smooth ride from a 35-pound flywheel and responsive, gentle braking too. If you still have a pair of cycling shoes then clip them into the SPD compatible pedals.
There are extra touches too in a ‘gym quality’ spin bike you can enjoy at home. We enjoyed the tablet holder in our experience with this product. The LCD monitor also offers the essentials such as heart rate and calorie burn, yet also offers RPM which few others do.
- Magnetic Resistance – Simple levels of three to ten for a variable resistance you can understand and progress with
- Gentle Braking – Few bikes offer a braking system that is this responsive and feels this natural
- SPD Compatible Pedals – You can ride with your regular cycling shoes or just clip in some sneakers
- Tablet Holder – Enjoy watching a TV show or film while you pedal from the tablet holder
- Reliable LCD Monitor – The ‘gym quality’ bike comes with an LCD monitor to track your speed, heart rate, calorie burn, and even RPM
- Loud Pedals – Following some weeks of use, the pedals can become audibly loud
- Too Challenging Resistance – Perhaps the resistance works too well as the toughest levels can prove too challenging
Best For Value: Echelon EX15 Indoor Cycling Exercise Bike
Also close to the very top of your budget is the Echelon EX15 Indoor Cycling Exercise Bike. Whether you opt to buy the additional membership and enjoy on-demand classes, this spin bike still packs a lot in for the price.
Choose from 32 precise resistance levels to take your ride to new heights, and back down again which we enjoyed in our experience of this product.
Featuring a design that trains your lower body muscles and develops your physical strength, it will feel like you are riding outdoors in your own private surroundings.
The spin bike is ideal for pushing your high-intensity workout to the limit. Start by adjusting the ergonomic handlebars and get the seat just right. After that, pedal as hard as you like as ECB magnetic resistance keeps your ride blissfully quiet.
- Versatile Resistance – A range of 32 resistance levels makes this a spin bike you can progress with
- ECB Magnetic Resistance – Few spin bikes in this budget will offer magnetic resistance so enjoy those quiet rides
- Ergonomic Design – The spin bike is designed to mimic outdoor racing
- Ideal For High-Intensity Spinning – Adjust the seat and handlebars to try various positions
- Lightweight Flywheel – At only 20 pounds, the flywheel can become a bit wobbly
Best For Safe, Sturdy Riding: Ancheer Indoor Cycling Bike
The Ancheer Indoor Cycling Bike is one spin bike that surprisingly comes within the $500 budget. Such a high performance comes from a flywheel that weighs 49 pounds for a reassuringly sturdy ride and little noise.
That natural ride should feel smooth though a handily placed knob is there to quickly switch up the resistance or use as an emergency brake.
The technology is also worth shouting about. Install the free Qiber app on your smartphone then place it in the phone bracket for personalized coaching. Compete with others or go against yourself to improve your performance.
Another way of keeping track is from the LCD monitor which will record your calorie burn and heart rate. Few spin bikes are this sturdy and this easy to ride with which we liked in our testing.
- 49 Pounds Flywheel – For high performance with low noise, you should aim for a sturdy flywheel and 49 pounds is more than enough
- Emergency Brake – Hopefully you don’t need it but the emergency brake is there for a sudden stop
- LCD Monitor – Easy to track your speed, distance, time, calories, and heart rate
- 3D Virtual Riding – Enjoy the free Qiber app in the phone bracket for personalized coaching if you want to try a high-intensity ride or smash some speed goals
- Height Restriction – Some tall users have noted that the bike feels too small for them
Best For Weight Capacity: Pooboo Indoor Cycling Bike
Few spin bikes offer as much support as the Pooboo Indoor Cycling Bike. From a staggering 300 pounds weight capacity to a fully adjustable handlebar and seat. Whether a grown adult or a svelte teenager, anyone can enjoy a ride which we liked in our testing.
You can also enjoy a film or read a book while pedaling thanks to a tablet holder.
A padded seat makes for a comfortable ride no matter how long you go. Just like a regular outdoor ride, you may want to throw in some hills or a bit of a flat sprint.
If you want to go a bit harder, simply turn a knob and you can turn the resistance up, or down if you need to ease off. This is a spin bike to share with friends and family with a weight capacity you can rely on.
- 300 Pounds Weight Capacity – A maximum user weight of 300 pounds is more than most spin bikes
- Tablet Holder – Enjoy a film or a book with the tablet holder
- Fully Adjustable Handlebar And Seat – Let your friends and family enjoy the spin bike too as both the handlebar and seat can be adjusted
- Easily Changeable Resistance – Using a single knob you can gradually and smoothie change the resistance up and down
- Cage Pedals – You would have to buy separate cleats to clip into the pedals
Best For Value: XEGAR Magnetic Indoor Cycling Exercise Bike
Yes, for that price you can get magnetic resistance in your spin bike. You can even get a full seven magnets that ensure a reliable and gradual braking system.
The XEGAR Magnetic Indoor Cycling Exercise Bike offers great value. From the sensor equipment that links to their own dedicated app for real-time fitness tracking. To the non-slip handlebar that will keep you on track during a high-intensity workout.
Even the little touches are well received. The dual transportation wheels to move the spin bike to another room which we liked in our testing. Then include the tablet holder, free water bottle, and solid chromed 36-pound flywheel and belt-driven system for smooth riding.
Finally, an eighteen-month guarantee is worth noting for peace of mind.
- Sensor Equipment – Download their own app for real-time tracking of speed, time, distance, and even cadence
- Seven Magnets – The magnetic resistance system is durable enough with a total of seven magnets
- Non-Slip Handlebar – No matter how sweaty your spinning session, you can rely on the non-slip handlebar
- Belt Driven System – For quieter pedaling while maintaining the effort and high performance
- Free Water Bottle – XEGAR even include a free water bottle so you do not forget your hydration
- Temperamental Handlebar – There are some reports that the handlebars can become wonky or loose during intense workouts
Finding a spin bike that you are happy with for under $500 should not be that much of a challenge. However, there are certain factors that you simply must consider before purchasing. Ensuring a comfortable ride should be your primary concern.
Certainly, an adjustable, foam-padded seat and handlebar are welcome features. If you want to share the spin bike with friends and family then consider, not only the adjustability, but the weight capacity too.
The other features are more for your own personal choice. An LCD display to give you real-time information on your ride? Sure.
An adjustable resistance for an enhanced performance and a spin bike you can progress with? Yes please.
A heavy enough flywheel to give you a sturdy ride and keep your joints in good condition? Absolutely.
There are certain other additional features to look out for too including a bottle holder and emergency brake.
A lot of the comfort in your ride will come from the seat. You may spend some time with your back and rear in the air yet you should be able to enjoy the ride sitting down too. For a long session, you should be able to develop proper body balance which can be helped by a sturdy foam padded seat.
Having a seat that you can adjust is also helpful to get it just how you want it. The ways a seat can be adjusted should be up, down, and even sideways in either direction.
You may not need the sideways option and simply need one that you can adjust up then down to allow someone else to use it. The mechanism should be easy and reliable too, you do not want to spend time fiddling with the seat when you need to be pedaling.
That wheel at the front of your spin bike, that is the flywheel. Just like a normal bike, the faster you pedal, the faster the wheel shall rotate. They are typically connected by a belt drive yet can also come with a chain for that more authentic feel.
A smooth and stable flywheel goes a long way to determining how quiet your ride is. This is one feature where you do not want to skimp on weight if you can help it.
The heavier, the better for a reassuringly smooth ride that demands more effort and increases your momentum. You can tell the difference on a lighter wheel as it may seem shaky which can put undue pressure on your joints.
If your knees and hips still ache after a spin then it is likely down to the flywheel being too light or the construction being lackluster. A good weight to look out for is between 20 and 50 pounds.
Several manufacturers now include a handlebar you can adjust due to the various body structures they can suit. Just like the seat, being able to adjust the height of the handle enhances how comfortable the ride is.
This may not be that noticeable when you are spinning away but you will certainly know when standing or leaning during a break.
As if to enhance the ‘gym quality’ of a spin bike, you can also get a non-slip handlebar. This is particularly useful for those high-intensity workouts when sweat is unavoidable.
Having a non-slip handlebar is a neat safety feature that gives you the confidence to go that bit further. These handlebars tend to use grips as a means of ensuring comfort and sturdiness for your sweaty palms.
Getting the most out of your spin bike has a lot to do with the resistance. Being able to adjust the resistance also means progressing with your bike as your muscles develop. There are two types of resistance to consider and each has its own merits.
Frictional resistance involves a pad that touches the flywheel, creating drag and making it harder for you to pedal. This is arguably closer to the natural feel of a regular bike and its own physical braking system.
However, magnetic resistance does not touch the flywheel but uses magnetic force to ramp up the resistance.
For a quieter ride, you should be opting for magnetic resistance which does not involve physical contact. Without touching the flywheel, you do not need to worry about creating audible friction or wear and tear.
A resistance that you can adjust really comes in handy after a few months. With regular use, you may find spinning easy and want to build on your performance. Switching from an easy resistance to a harder one, even during your ride, can help build up your stamina and endurance.
The easily changeable resistance can also help if you want to use a tailored workout that may involve higher resistance followed by easier spells.
If you prefer to be able to read your progress and performance as you spin then an LCD display is a feature to look out for.
These should tell you your speed, distance, calories burned, and time while added bonuses include a heart rate sensor and RPM. However, you may prefer not to know these statistics in real-time and simply prefer to bust out a workout and then look over your stats.
There are essentially two types of pedals to choose from in spin bikes; toe cages and SPD pedals. At the higher end of your $500 budget, you may be able to opt for SPD pedals that clip directly to the cycling shoe or sneakers for enhanced grip.
Toe cages are still a decent option that use a rubber enclosure on more rudimentary pedals for their own enhancement.
Weight And Height Capacity
The height capacity of your spin bike should fall in line with how adjustable the seat and handlebar are. Certainly, if the ride is still uncomfortable despite adjusting both settings as far as they can go then you should consider another spin bike.
Despite a sturdy frame, certain bikes only have a weight capacity that goes so far. This is not a feature that you want to experiment with as the capacity will have been thoroughly tested.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Ideal Weight For A Flywheel?
There is a general rule that the heavier, the better for a flywheel. That may be so and 40-pounds may seem like the ideal weight. However, any flywheel with a weight over 20 pounds should be enough to generate a sizable momentum. With a solid construction and a belt-driven system, your ride should feel smooth and natural.
Which Is Better: Spinning Or Cycling?
Some prefer the all round experience of cycling. From the fresh air and scenery to the comprehensive workout. That includes working all your major lower-body muscles from the hamstrings to shins, glutes, quads, and calves.
You also have to stay balanced on your bike to prevent you from falling over. There is also the challenge of uncertain conditions and unexpected slopes.
Spinning is more rudimentary than cycling, though you can change up your resistance and enjoy the indoors with a film or TV show on your tablet.
Your muscles work all the time too as you cannot ‘freewheel’ due to the fixed wheel. However, that does make spinning a high-intensity workout with a considerable calorie burn rate.