Best Compact Exercise Bikes for Small Spaces Review 2019
Finding the space to work out at home can be a real challenge for many.
Apartments, basements and bedrooms often have just a few feet of space that can be used for a short time.
Thankfully there are some great exercise bikes to meet this requirement. In this article, we identify the best compact exercise bikes for small spaces that provide you with a quality workout and then can be stored away inconspicuously.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 10 hours of research
High Torque Cranking System
- Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike
- Sunny Indoor Exercise Cycle
- Feierdun Folding Exercise Bike
- Marcy Foldable Exercise Bike
- FitDesk Exercise Bike
- ProGear Foldable Magnetic Upright Bike
- Flexispot Home Office Standing Desk
- Best Choice Products Locktek Folding Bike
- Xspec Upright Folding Cycle
- Harvil Foldable Magnetic
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Picks
1. Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike
High Torque Cranking System
Pedals Are Too Far Forward
The Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright bike is a lightweight foldable stationary bike which is solidly constructed with a hardy frame that can handle up to a 300 pound user weight. Leg stabilizers ensure that the bike will sit upright, and the framing is made from robust steel tubing.Read more
You get 8 levels of adjustable resistance, along with dual pulse sensors which provide an accurate heart rate reading. This is a rare thing on a cheap folding exercycle.
A three high torque cranking system ensures that you get a very smooth cycling motion with the Exerpeutic folding. This collapsible exercise bike collapses like an ironing board, and weighs just 43 pounds. It is also very quiet to operate. The large LCD monitor allows you to track your training data.
2. Sunny Indoor Exercise Cycle
Large, Comfortable Seat
8 Levels Of Resistance
Rubber Foam Handles
Max Weight 200 Pounds
The Sunny Indoor Exercise Cycle is a very simple designed, functional lightweight foldaway exercise bike. It has an oversized seat with comfortable padding. You simply twist the knob to adjust the level of resistance.Read more
The LCD screen is large and clear, providing you with readouts of your time, speed, distance and calories burned. The maximum user weight of 220 pounds is little light, compared to the likes of the Exerpeutic folding bike.
The Sunny Indoor Exercise Cycle is extremely lightweight, with an overall weight of just 61 pounds, which includes a durable 22 pound flywheel. It folds to a very compact size, which can be stored in a closet or under a bed. The frame construction is solid and this collapsible stationary bike is secure when set up.
3. Feierdun Folding Exercise Bike
Precision Dual Flywheels
Space Saving Design
Arc Frame Design
A Little Noisy
The Feierdun Folding Exercise Bike is a quality folding compact bike which features a unique arc frame that makes it easy to get on and off the machine. The precision dual flywheels have multi crank technology to provide a smooth pedal revolution.Read more
You also get multi level magnetic resistance adjustment. A backrest provides a good level of lower back support, with the seat being adjustable in four directions.
The LCD monitor is clear, providing you with scanning readouts of you time, distance, calories and speed. Built-in hand pulse monitors provide an accurate pulse reading. The space saving design is very stable and secure. This is a solid unit with extra features that you won’t find elsewhere.
4. Marcy Foldable Exercise Bike
14 Gauge Steel Construction
Manually Adjustable Resistance
Seat Is Too Hard
The Marcy Foldable exercise bike is constructed from 14 gauge steel to provide you with a very sturdy yet compact and lightweight unit. The ride is quite smooth thanks to the magnetic resistance and multi level adjustable resistance.Read more
The oversized seat is ergonomically designed and allows for adjustment in both directions. The gripped pedals provide basket cages to allow you to get a secure foot hold.
The stylish monitor of the Marcy Foldable exercise bike provides a clear LCD display that provides you with readout of your speed, distance, time, calories burned and time of exercise. The compact design allows you to train in even the smallest of space, and then store the bike away in a closet.
5. FitDesk Exercise Bike
Adjustable Desk Surface
Thick Padded Seat
Digital Resistance Meter
No Pedal Straps
The FitDesk Exercise Bike is a durable upright magnetic bike with a built in shelf, or ‘desk’, for you to work while you work. You get an oversized, thickly padded seat which is extremely comfortable. The magnetic tension system gives a relatively smooth riding experience.Read more
A twin-belt high velocity flywheel provides you with a smooth cycling motion. Brackets are included which can act as a stand for your tablet. The bike folds up like an ironing board to half it size.
The FitDesk Exercise Bike has a large, centrally located LCD screen which provides a scanning readout of your training time, distance, speed, calories burned and heart rate. This bike has a reliable non-slip adjustable desktop that can house your laptop, phone, magazines, and more.
6. ProGear Foldable Magnetic Upright Bike
8 Levels Of Magnetic Resistance
Dual Transmission Flywheel
Smooth Pedal Motion
Ergonomic Contoured Seat
Limited Set Height
The ProGear Foldable Magnetic Upright Bike is a robust,secure foldable bike.Read more
It provides you with 8 levels of magnetic tension control, an ergonomic contoured seat cushion for extra comfort and a dual transmission flywheel for very smooth and natural pedaling motion. The LCD display provides you with readout of your time, calories, speed, pulse and scan.
7. Flexispot Home Office Standing Desk
Padded Back Support
7 Resistance Levels
400 Pound User Weight
Pneumatic Adjustment Lever
Jerky Pedal Motion
The FlexiSpot Home Office Standing Desk is part exercise bike and part standing desk. It features whisper quiet pedalling that makes it ideal to work out while watching YouTube or the TV. Adjustment of the seat is simple thanks to a gentle press of a button.Read more
The generous desk on this bike is extremely secure, so you will have no problems placing your tablet on it. The fully adjustable oversized padded seat is fully adjustable and very comfortable
The FlexiSpot Home Office Standing Desk has a large LCD display that tracks your training time, speed, distance and calories burned. This unit is very lightweight. When set up, however, it is impressively sturdy.
8. Best Choice Products Locktek Folding Bike
Compact, Slimline Design
2-in-1 Cycling Bike
The Locktek Under Desk folding bike is designed to be used by office workers, allowing them to multi task their extra calories away. It features a compact, lightweight design that is foldable for easy storage.Read more
Transportation wheels make it easy to move around the office. The quiet magnetic tension system provides a smooth resistance and resistance adjustment is easy and fluid.
The Locktek Under Desk folding bike comes with comfortable seat and back rest, long with secure platform to place your tablet or laptop computer. It has a maximum load of 300 pounds.
9. Xspec Upright Folding Cycle
Extra Large Pedals
Heavy Duty Steel Frame
Hand Pulse Monitor
Not For Taller People
The Xspec Upright Folding Cycle features dual action anti skid device handle bars to provide the best positioning and grip while riding. It also has extra large pedals with adjustable foot straps to ensure a secure footing.Read more
The heavy duty steel frame provides a solid base to work from and yet is lightweight and compact, folding to half its original size. 8 levels of magnetic tension allow you to adjust your training intensity as you get fitter.
The Xspec Upright Folding Cycle is very quiet when in operation. It seat is very comfortable and you have backwards and forwards pedaling motion. The monitor is quite basic, but still records your speed, distance, training time and calories burned.
10. Harvil Foldable Magnetic
Built-in Heart rate Sensor
Whisper Quiet Wheel
The Harvil Foldable Magnetic exercycle is a quality portable stationary bike at a great price. For less than a hundred bucks you get a solid frame, smooth pedaling and built-in heart rate sensor.Read more
The magnetic resistance on the Harvil Foldable Magnetic provides natural, jerk free motion which is rare on a bike at this price point. Adjustable tension control and seat height put you in control to customize your exercise session.
The Harvil Foldable Magnetic features a large LCD monitor which provides you with readouts of all of your key training data. The bike is solid yet lightweight and folds for easy storage under your bed. This a very good choice if you’re after a budget bike that performs well and can be stowed away when not in use.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
The flywheel is the powerhouse of any cycle. It gives you resistance and determines the fluidity of the pedaling action. As the name suggests it is a big wheel, made of metal, that is positioned at the front of the bike. When you turn the pedals, the flywheel also turns. A chain or belt drive connects the flywheel to the pedals.
The heavier a flywheel is the harder you need to pedal to get it moving and the more revolutions it will make before slowing down once you stop pedaling. Before flywheels were introduced in the 1980’s, exercise bikes did not produce the natural pedal motion that you get with an outdoor bike. If you get a bike without a flywheel, you will find it way too easy to pedal and you won’t get a good training experience.
Flywheels are measured by weight with the heavier the better. This is because heavier flywheels replicate the hard pedaling that you need to do get started when cycling on an outdoor bike. If the flywheel is too light you will always be having to increase your resistance level to keep the pedal motion natural and fluid. This can produce a jerkiness that is not only frustrating, it’s also hard work on your joints.
Spin bikes have the heaviest flywheel weight, followed by upright. A flywheel weight of around 30 pounds (18kg) will provide you with a fluid motion and plenty of resistance. As a beginner you will want to get a bike with a flywheel that is at least 20 pounds. Any less than this and the motion is not very smooth.
Flywheel weight is a big contributor to both the weight and the cost of a bike. As a result, more budget bikes and those that are foldable will have lighter flywheels. However, it would be a mistake to compromise on this important feature to save a few bucks or to get a lighter bike.
One more feature to look out for is the resistance type. Exercise bikes will use either friction, magnetic or electromagnetic resistance. The best most expensive is electro-magnetic resistance, which uses a copper coil wire and electric current which is controlled through the bike’s console.
Next best is magnetic resistance, which is what you will find in most mid-range bikes. It features a series of ferrous magnets placed around the flywheel which are controlled by the computer console. Of the three resistance types, this is the most reliable and the one we recommend.
Friction resistance is the least desirable of the three. It features a felt pad which contacts the flywheel and can be tension adjusted. It often produces a jerky action and will wear easily.
The monitor is a handy feature almost every bike has. Many bikes will market the multi training programs that are built into their monitors. However, most people hardly use such programs, so don’t make number of programs a deciding factor. An upright that provide 5-10 programs is plenty. However, your monitor should provide the following training diagnostics: Speed, RPM, workout time, pulse rate and distance. These allow you to keep an eye on how you progressing in terms of fitness from one session to the next.
The comfort of your bike will be determined by the seat. The seat should provide you with the means of custom adjustment. You should be able to move it both fore and aft (up, down and sideways). Being able to move the seat closer to the handlebars is important if you have lower back niggles as it relieves the tension on the erector spinae muscles that run alongside your spine.
Getting the right seat height will allow you to maintain a proper knee to heel angle when pedalling. This prevents the knee from coming out excessively past the line of the pedal, which places undue stress on the knee joint.
The seat of your bike should also provide you with a decent level of comfort through its padding. You will be spending a lot of time on your bike seat.
Sometimes you may find that you just don’t find it comfortable and are wanting to replace it with another that is more to your liking. You need to know that many bikes under two hundred dollars do not easily allow you to swap out the seat. You should check whether the bike has a quick mechanism for removing the seat before buying.
Since you will probably be paying more than enough for your new bike, it’s vital that the bike you get lasts at least two years or more, with regular use of course. The durability of your bike will be determined by many things - the material it’s made out of, how it was constructed, how much you use, what your body shape and size is, and much more.
Look for a bike that has a solid stable, steel frame. An ‘A’ shaped frame provides you with a very solid base with all of the pressure being driven into the ground. The fewer separate parts the better as there is less that can go wrong. Look for a bike that has a max user weight of about 50 pounds more than your own weight. Keep in mind, though that the more sturdy and weight resistant a bike is, the more it will cost. So, if you are 145 pounds, you don’t need a bike that is more than 200 pounds (unless you are buying it for other users who are 200+ pounds). The bike should have a stable, wide base that prevents it from sliding around when you are going all out with high intensity.
The upholstery of the seat, and the screws, bolts, and pedals are also something you should consider before buying the bike. The seat cover will likely be made out of synthetic leather or vinyl, although genuine leather can also be seen from time to time, but it will make the bike pricier. The padding inside will likely be some kind of foam, most commonly high-density foam, or gel. If the seat you have does not work well for you, you can always just replace it with another one, or get a seat cover that doesn’t leave you saddle sore. The screws and bolts should all be screwed in tightly, and in order to make sure they stay that way, you should check them out every now and then. If your bike rattles and squeaks when you ride it, it’s time to look at the construction! If it did that ever since you got it, it’s likely that it was cheaply or poorly constructed, and you should either replace the parts making all of that noise, or replace the bike altogether. The pedals and the chain must withstand constant turning, so it’s vital that they stay lubricated for a smooth ride. Make sure to check your bike for flaws every now and then, and we’re sure that it will help you achieve your fitness goals for as long as you need it to!
The amount of money that you pay is going to determine the weight of the flywheel, the sturdiness of the frame, seat comfort, fluidity of pedaling motion and the quality of the monitor. Here’s what you can expect in the various price ranges.
Under $200 – You can get a quality beginners or intermediate bike for under $200 with a flywheel around 30 pounds in weight and a smooth pedal motion. As your intensity level goes up (for example when doing HIIT workouts) these bikes may get a little stutter in their pedal action, which can be a bit hard on your joints. The biggest compromise in bikes under $200 comes in the functionality of the monitor. It will be pretty basic and will probably lack built in exercise programs. While these are nice to have, they will not actually affect the performance output possible on the bike.
$200-$500 – In this price range you can expect a heavier flywheel that will allow you to get a higher level of riding intensity. This should be enough to meet the needs of all but the most advanced of riders. However, those who are after challenges such as extreme hill climbs for a bike under $500 should be able to find what they’re after in a mid-priced spin bike. In terms of computer monitor, in this range you will get a good range of inbuilt programs and one press resistance levels (usually between 6 and 12 of each).
$500+ - Bikes in the 500 plus range are often designed for light commercial use. As a result, they will have a more durable frame, enabling them to take more punishment and the seat and handle -bars will be fully adjustable to suit a range of users. Flywheel weights will range between 25 and 55 pounds, providing the experienced high-end user with plenty of grunt. The monitor on a bike in this range will feature more in-built programs and resistance levels, with some providing dozens of each. The monitor will probably also be paired with an app so that you can download your training data to your computer for future analysis. Bikes in this price range are best suited for experienced cyclists or high intensity advanced fitness trainers. Beginners should be able to find everything they need for a lot less of an outlay.
We are talking about compact exercise bikes here, so their size is something you should definitely consider. The smaller the bike is, the easier it will be for it to fit inside of your house or apartment. But smaller bikes cannot withstand a lot of weight, so they don’t have a big maximum user weight threshold. What you need to do is find a bike that is large enough to withstand your weight and your demands, but still small enough to fit into your space.
Luckily, even the largest bikes on the market today are foldable, or at least they can be taken apart so you can easily store them away. Most of them allow you to remove the seat and pedals, which you can just put away in a closet or under the bed, while the frame can also easily fit in a small amount of space. If the bike is way to heavy for you to move it around, you shouldn’t worry, as many of them do come equipped with transportation wheels. These wheels will make moving them around wherever you want an easy task, so you will be able to store them away even faster and easier! Exercise bikes are not that large to begin with, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding a small one. If you do, consult our list and we’re sure you’ll find just what you’re looking for!
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Most exercise bikes are designed to be adjustable for people in the height range of between 5’2” and 6’. People who are taller or shorter than that will have more difficulty in finding the bike that is right for them. If buying online, check the reviews to see if people your height can properly use the bike. If you are under 5’2” or over 6’, the Sole B94 will adjust to your user specs. This is a light commercial bike that is rather pricey (just over $1000). It will provide you with a consistent, smooth ride but the flywheel weight is only 20 pounds and it doesn’t provide you with that many inbuilt workout programs for the price.
Other Factors to Consider
The best compact space saving stationary bike on the market is the Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright bike, which features a high torque crank system to provide a smooth ride at a great price, and yet is surprisingly lightweight and portable. We also love the Sunny Indoor , with its large ultra comfortable seat and heavy duty 22 pound flywheel. Rounding out our top 3 compact exercycles is the Innova XBR450 which comes with such handy extras as a tablet holder, back rest and dual precision flywheels.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are three main types of exercise bikes you can get, and all of them are brilliant ways to become fit or stay fit. There’s the upright bike, the recumbent bike, and the spin bike. There are of course different variations of these styles, and hybrids as well, like the semi-recumbent, which is a mix of the upright and recumbent bike. What people usually think of when they say exercise bike is the traditional upright bike. It works by keeping you upright, like the name suggests, while the pedals are below your torso, just like a regular bike. A recumbent bike has a large seat with a big backrest to which you should stay glued to, the handrests are next to your bottom, while your legs extend in the front to pedal. The spin bike is the modern version of the upright bike - it has a small saddle, low handlebars, a flywheel that is weighted, nd a bike chain to power it instead of a belt.
Yes there is, but it may not be as obvious as the differences between these two and the recumbent bike. The regular, run-of-the-mill upright bike has a magnetic flywheel that stops spinning as soon as you cease pedaling. The upright has many features, like consoles, a wide comfy seat, programs, and much more. A spin bike, on the other hand, is made to look like as similar to the road bike as possible. The wheel here will not stop sinning as soon as you stop pedalling - instead it will go on as long as the pedals are going. These bikes are ideal for high-intensity interval training, and for cycle training too.
If you ever rode any kind of bike before in your life, be it indoor or a regular bike, then you know just how good the bikes are at building up your endurance and strength. The bike, no matter which type you choose, will work on your lower body, and an airbike will work on your upper body as well, thanks to the moving handles. This way, you will work on your leg muscles and your cardiovascular health, making the bike a very effective way to stay fit!
Getting the correct saddle height might not seem like such a big deal, but it can mean the difference between a successful and pain-free session and injured joints and muscles! The way your seat is positioned will largely depend on how tall you are, and slightly on how big you are. The general rule of thumb is that your saddle should be locked into place when your knees are only slightly bent, with your foot resting on the lower pedal. The seat should also be close enough to the paddles so you don’t have to struggle to reach them!
Both of these drive systems have their set of benefits and drawbacks. A chain drive is more durable, but it’s also much louder, so if you are someone who is bothered by noise you might want to go for a belt drive. The chain drive will also make pedalling both backwards and forwards a possibility. The pedals are linked to this system, so they will just keep on spinning until you press the brakes. On the other hand, a belt system allows the flywheel to just keep spinning on and on, no matter when you stopped pedalling! The belt will eventually wear down, so you will need to replace it, but it’s quite a cheap investment and you can do it easily by yourself.