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Indoor cycling bikes like the Spin Bikes by Mad Dogg Athletics, the M3 Plus indoor cycles by Keiser, and A.C. Performance cycles by Schwinn are among the most popular and effective pieces of exercise equipment available. You’ll most commonly see these types of bikes at the gym, but these indoor cycling machines are great to have at home as well. Our reviews will help you decide on the best indoor bike for home use.
What “Spinning Bike” and “Spinning” Really Mean (Important!)
Though a lot of people think of “spinning” as a generic word for exercising on an indoor cycle, it’s important to note that the words SPIN®, Spinner®, and Spinning® are terms created (and copyrighted) long ago in the early ’90s by the founders of Mad Dogg Athletics. Just like Xerox for copy machines and Kleenex for tissues, Spinning Bikes, Spin Bikes, Spin Classes, etc. only really refer to the brand of indoor cycling bikes and classes licensed by that company. Mad Dogg Athletics, Star Trac®, which distributes the bikes, and the Spinning® empire have done such a good job of promoting indoor cycling and selling their quality bikes that it’s led to everyone thinking that’s what indoor cycling is called. But to be clear, we’ll use “indoor bikes” or “indoor cycling bikes” as the generic term and Spinning only when referring to things relating to the company.
Indoor Cycling Bikes at Home?
If you’ve ventured into almost any Spinning class, cycle studio, gym, or fitness club, you’re probably familiar with the mass of people pushing their indoor bikes, and their sweat glands, to the limit. You may actually be one of them. And while working out in a group can be inspiring, having your own indoor exercise bikes at home can actually get you to workout more since it’s right there staring you in the face whenever you walk by it, begging you to get a workout. On your own home indoor bike or Spin Bike, you can jump on and knock out a workout in 30 minutes instead of driving 30 min to the gym, hoping there’s a cycle available, taking the class, then driving home sweaty and exhausted. Doesn’t working out at home sound better?
The truth is, you’re going to workout more at home because it’s infinitely more convenient. Best of all, you can order a top-quality indoor bike online it will be shipped to you for free within a day or two. You won’t have to worry about lugging the bike from an exercise equipment store to your home. You can have it delivered to your door, with free shipping from a retailer like Amazon.
Using an indoor cycling bike is an excellent way to improve your health and fitness in the comfort of your own home. In fact you can easily replace your need for an instructor or gym membership by simply setting up your indoor bike by your computer or TV and watching an array of fitness DVDs or any of the tons of workout program videos on Youtube. Strap on a pair of quality indoor bike shoes and it can be just you and your “virtual indoor bike instructor”, with no one to see you sweat.
Best Indoor Bikes by Price
The indoor cycling bike category includes models and brands that cover almost every feature and price level. So fortunately, when shopping for an indoor cycle or Spin bike, you’ll find that there is something for everyone and you are almost guaranteed to find the perfect bike to fit your needs. To help you zero in on the best model for you, we’ve broken down our top choices for the best indoor bikes by price below:
PRICE RANGE: $100-$400:
Sunny SF-B1001 Indoor Cycling Bike $199 – 280 Amazon reviews
Sunny Heath & Fitness SF-B1110 Indoor Cycling Bike $269 – 188 reviews
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B901 Pro Indoor Cycling Bike $275 – 1280 reviews
PRICE RANGE: $400-$600:
Marcy Club Revolution Indoor Cycle (JX-7038) $425 – 26 reviews
Phoenix 98623 Revolution Cycle Pro II Exercise Bike $494 – 68 reviews
Horizon Fitness M4 Indoor Cycle $499 – 41 reviews
PRICE RANGE: $600-$1000:
Diamondback Fitness 510lc Indoor Cycle $899 – 105 reviews
PRICE RANGE: $1000 and up:
Schwinn A.C. Performance Plus Indoor Cycle Bike $1899 – 14 reviews
Keiser M3 Plus $1795 – 75 reviews
Keiser M3i Indoor Cycle $1995 – 19 reviews
Our Top Indoor Bike 2017 Picks
#1. Keiser M3 Plus Indoor Cycle
The beautifully designed Keiser M3+ (or M3 Plus) is Keiser’s latest addition to their M Series line of indoor cycles. Setting the Keiser M3+ (Plus) apart from the Keiser M3 is the new Fore and Aft Adjustable Handlebars, a backlit display, and a factory calibrated resistance system that has 24 gears for a finely tuned workout.
The Keiser M3+ uses a magnetic resistance system that helps the bike keep a lot quieter than other indoor bikes.
It has a built-in computer that provides a ton of useful information while you’re working out. As we mentioned above, it displays power output, RPM, time elapsed, resistance level, and odometer reading. Throw in a heart rate monitor and you can keep track of that too.
The Keiser M3 Plus features great portability with wheels as well as a compact profile for easy storage.
Keiser is one of the top manufacturers of exercise equipment and the M3 Plus cycle is a incredible addition to their arsenal. This model is a favorite among indoor cycling classes in gyms across America and the world.
Like the Schwinn A.C. Performance Plus (which is a strong contender in this price range, but doesn’t quite match the Keiser M3+), the M3+ is on the higher price side of the indoor cycle market. But for the right budget, this workhorse is truly worth the money. Click here, or click the button below for our full review:Read Full Keiser M3+ Review
#2. Sunny Health & Fitness Pro SF-B901
The Sunny Health & Fitness Pro SF-B901 is one of the best indoor bikes in the sub-$300 price range. It’s a very solid bike that has a durable, heavy-duty crank and lots of adjustability. With assembled dimensions of 48.5L x 20W x 46.5H inches, the fully adjustable seat and handlebars means you can move the handlebars and seat easily to suit your body type.
The Pro SF-B901’s chain drive mechanism provides a quiet and smooth ride, which is great for the home when you don’t want to disturb the other home occupants.
A 40 lbs flywheel means the bike has a lot of stability and can really simulate the momentum and feel of biking on the road. The bike’s total weight is 108 lbs and maximum user weight is 275 lbs that should cover users of most sizes.
The Pro features an adjustable resistance system that provides the ability to fine-tune your indoor workout.
Other great features include wheels on the back legs for easily moving or storing the bike. Click here, or the click the button below for our full review:Read Full Sunny Pro SF-B901 Review
Indoor Bike Features to Consider
Indoor Bike Computer
Bikes such as the Keiser M3 Plus come equipped with a computer that displays power output in watts, show RPM (revolutions per minute), your pedaling time, resistance level, and your trip distance (odometer). These computer calculations and readings are hugely beneficial way to keep track of your progress and can keep you motivated when you want to “break that last record”. Not all indoor bikes come with computers, and it’s not absolutely necessary for getting a great workout, but that said, is a big plus to have one for optimizing your workout.
Much of what separates good exercise equipment from great is customization – the degree to which you can make the device conform to your body instead of the other way around. The best indoor bikes are highly adjustable. Handlebars, seats position, seat height, etc. should all be shiftable. This helps create the most comfortable exercising experience which makes it more likely for you to come back for more and to reach your fitness goals.
Resistance is one of the most important features of a Spin Bike or any other indoor cycle. You don’t want to just keep pedaling without the ability to change the difficulty. Using the resistance function, the rider can adjust the level of resistance in order to give themselves a tougher or easier workout. Resistance can be adjusted throughout the workout in order to vary the intensity, or to ramp up and cool down. The actual resistance mechanism (knob, lever, etc.) varies between indoor bike models.
Bikes such as the Spinner Fit Spin Bike feature heavy flywheels (31 lb) that help simulate the ride of a real road bike. The momentum of a heavier flywheel keeps the bike steady and securely weighted down as it spins while the user is in the middle of a heavy workout.
Most indoor bikes and Spin bikes come with racing style handlebars, but it’s important that they are adjustable. As long as the gears that allow adjustment are well made, you want to have as many options as possible for getting a comfortable ride.
Being able to adjust your pedals can make things a lot more comfortable for your feet as well as your legs while cycling.
Adjustable Seat Position
Seat position is a big one. Everyone’s bodies are different and the distance between the seat and the pedals is going to make or break your enjoyment of the indoor cycling experience, but almost all indoor bikes do have this feature. Vertical (up and down) adjustment is common a lot of indoor cycles also have seats that can be adjust in multiple directions, up and down, front to back, etc. This allows for great customization.
Water Bottle Holder
Featured on indoor cycles like the Spinner brand Spin bikes, this is a nice touch that allows you to keep your water handy, because you’re going to need it to stay well hydrated.
This is how much user weight the bike can handle. Most quality bikes are rated to accommodate at least 250 lbs.
Benefits of Indoor Cycling and How It Works
Low impact exercise
Save your knees instead of running. Spinning and cycling is a low-impact exercise that is not tough on your joints. Running, on the other hand, can take its toll on your hips, knees, and ankles and become a seriously painful problem after a few years.
Improved cardiovascular health
While indoor cycling is one of the most effective workouts for losing weight and building muscle (lean muscle), the cardiovascular benefits of a high intensity workouts such as Spinning classes are incredible. Experts agree that at least 20 minutes daily of activity that raises your heart rate is an essential key to leading a healthy life and reducing your chances of heart disease and other chronic health problems. While Spinning you can hit your target heart rate and get a great cardio workout in a safe and controlled manner.
As far as weight loss, you’ll burn anywhere between 400 to 1500 calories per session depending on your fitness level and workout duration. That’s the same amount of calories as a normal meal for most people, so you’re basically canceling out at least one meal that way. Additionally, indoor cycling can have a hugely beneficial effect on your metabolism, increasing your resting metabolic rate and allowing you to burn calories even after your workout.
Full Body Workout
Something you might not have considered is that indoor cycling gives you a full body workout. That’s right, it’s not just your legs that are getting the benefit – holding yourself up and gripping the handles works your back, arms, shoulders, and abdominal muscles to varying degrees.
You’ll Feel Great
After 20 or 30 minutes of cycling, you’re going to feel great, almost euphoric. The endorphins that are released during an intense indoor bike workout are going to be coursing through your body and stimulating you. Don’t be surprised if you get addicted – in a good way. Exercise has been proven to reduce depression and improve your mood.
Who doesn’t want to save a few bucks? If you’re working out at home, you’re going to save money on gym fees and gas over the long haul. Plus you’re more likely to work out at home.
How Does It Work?
In case you’re new to this world, an indoor bike is a form of stationary bike. (As we mentioned, Spinning and Spin bikes only refer to the classes and indoor cycles of Mad Dogg Athletics.) Indoor cycling is a workout that utilizes an upright stationary bike, or Spinning Bike, with usually a heavy weight flywheel and adjustable resistance to change the desired exertion challenge level. The rider sits on an indoor bike just like any other bicycle with feet in pedals and “spins” the flywheel. The flywheel of an indoor bike is the component that sets it apart from normal stationary bikes. The flywheel helps your leg exertion create momentum that can then be resisted via brakes and resistance functions. This helps mimic the feeling of being on a real road bike. The momentum both challenges and helps keep you going during a workout. That’s all there is to it!
Other Indoor Bike Considerations
Choose the Best Indoor Bike Shoes
You’ll definitely want to wear proper footwear when cycling, or working out on any kind of equipment for that matter. The problem is you’re very close to the moving parts of an exercise machine that can hurt you under the wrong circumstances. Be sure you grab a pair of proper cycle shoes before working out.
It’s important to wear clothes that won’t get caught in the indoor bike’s gears while working out. Shorts are usually okay, but pants can present a problem unless they’re very tight-fitting.
Finding Indoor Bike Workouts
If you’re working out at home, you want to make sure you keep motivated. One of the best ways is to find indoor bike workouts on Youtube or specialized DVDs. It’s not absolutely necessary, and you can definitely get a good workout just watching a TV show or movie.
Indoor Cycle Upkeep
After a sweaty workout (that’s the point right?), you want to make sure to wipe down your bike. Sweat can be corrosive to the metal parts of your indoor bikes and Spin Bikes, so take that extra moment to towel it off.
Final Word on Spin Bikes and Indoor Cycles
Overall you’re going to get an excellent workout when using a Spin Bike or indoor cycling bike at home. A quality bike is comfortable, adjustable, offers plenty of challenging resistance, and is portable. But most important is finding the one that works best for you. We hope this breakdown of indoor bikes (including Mad Dogg Spinning bikes) has helped, and feel free to contact us for more information.