Comparison Of Recumbent, Folding, Upright, and Spinning Exercise Bikes

updated January 1, 2019

Cycling is one of the best cardio workouts you can do. Having a stationary bike in your home gym will give you all the calorie burning benefits of this great exercise on tap whenever you want it. But, unless you invest in quality, you are going to be disappointed. This article brings you the top 3 recumbent, upright and spin bike options so that you can buy with confidence.

Best Bikes at a Glance

When it comes to recumbent bikes, the Schwinn 270 stands alone as the best of the best. It’s got 29 built-in workout programs, 25 levels of resistance and a high speed inertia perimeter weighted flywheel. Our top Upright Bike is the Schwinn 130, which offers similar specs as the 270 for the upright market.

The best home spin bike you can buy is the Keiser M3 Plus. This bike features a revolutionary magnetic resistance system that makes for a very smooth, natural ride.

Our Top 9 Exercise Bikes

In-Depth Reviews: Recumbent Bikes

Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike

#1. Schwinn 270

The Schwinn 270 recumbent bike is a state of the art home exercise bike that features advanced features that you’d expect to find in a commercial facility. It has 29 exercise programs, features a dual track, two LCD monitoring system that allows you to monitor 13 different display feedbacks and provides a huge 25 levels of resistance.

Along with the 29 computerized workout programs, you get four user settings and goal tracking to measure your progress. The 25 levels of resistance mean that you will never outgrow the Schwinn 270.

The Schwinn 270 has a high speed inertia perimeter weighted flywheel to provide an ultra smooth riding experience. Riding this recumbent bike will feel just like the real thing.

Exerpeutic 400 XL

The Exerpeutic 400 XL from Paradigm Health and Wellness is a folding recumbent bike. This makes it a great space saver in your home. When folded out, however, it is very sturdy, with no issues regarding lack of rigidity.

Exerpeutic 400 XL is a semi-recumbent. That means that your pedaling action is not horizontal but, rather, on about a 45 degree angle. This provides a good mix between leg power and lower back comfort. The eight level magnetic tension control system allows you to adjust the tension level for an easier or more difficult workout.

A three piece high torque cranking system provides a smooth and consistent pedaling motion. The large seat cushion and back-rest of the Exerpeutic 400 XL are for users of any size.

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Bike

The Sunny Health and Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Bike features 8 levels of fast and reliable magnetic resistance. Unlike many budget bikes on the market, the transition between the levels is smooth and natural.

The large screen LCD display features speed, distance, hand pulse, time, calories and scan. The Sunny Health and Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Bike has fully adjustable tension, seat and pedal straps to allow customization for all user types. It even has an adjustable frame which allows you to control the distance from your seat to the pedals.

The double direction 4kg flywheel of the Sunny recumbent bike offers a smooth, natural pedaling motion. This bike is very lightweight for ease of transportation. It offers a very comfortable ride, is secure and solid and comes in at a great price.

Upright Bikes

Schwinn 170 Upright Bike

#1. Schwinn 170 Upright Bike

The Schwinn 170 offers a very stylish, upmarket design. It features a very comfortable contoured seat and an ergonomic placed grip that puts your body in an ideal placement for exercising while protecting the lower back. The acoustic chamber speakers provide a fantastic quality of sound without having to rely on head-phones, though there are also jack points for these provided.

With 29 programs and four user settings, you have an incredible level of workout choice on Schwinn 170 Upright Bike. 25 levels of resistance aligned with a high speed, high inertia perimeter weighted flywheel makes every single workout smooth and whisper quiet.

The Schwinn 170 provides you with all of the functionality of a commercial upright bike, but at a home gym price.

Marcy Upright Mag Bike

The Marcy Upright Mag Bike is a budget bike that does the basics well. You can pick this up for around a hundred dollars. Assembly out of the box is quite easy. This bike provides 8 levels of resistance, which will be plenty for most novice and intermediate users.

The large console display clearly displays speed, distance, time, and calories burned. While not overly accurate, these parameters give you a good idea of where you are at. The counterbalanced pedals of the Marcy Upright comes with adjustable straps to allow for a very secure non-slip foot position.

Overall, the Marcy Upright Mag Bike provides a realistic riding experience without any of the tag on features that come with more expensive models.

Sunny Health and Fitness SF-B111OS Upright Bike

The Sunny Upright Bike has a fully adjustable seat, handle bars and variable resistance. It also comes with a heavy duty crank, steel frame and a 44 pound fly-wheel.

The maximum user weight of the Sunny Upright bike is 250 pounds. The bike weighs 46 kg (102 pounds). This bike is surprisingly sturdy, allowing you to train as hard as you wish without fear of the bike moving around or shaking. You can even ride vigorously in an upright position without fear of the unit tipping over.

The Sunny Upright bike is very comfortable. You won’t experience lower back pain when seated. The bike also has a low noise output. You won’t have to put up with any loud clanging produced by the chain.

Spinning Bikes

Keiser M3 Plus

Keiser have a reputation as manufacturers of premium quality training bikes and have put every bit of that professionalism into the manufacture of the their top of the range home spin bike. bars.

The M3 Plus is fitted with adjustable Shimano TM combo pedals. These provide a tight secure fit and natural pedaling motion. The four way adjustable seat allows for the ideal body positioning in relation to both the handle bars and the pedals.

The Keiser M3 Plus features a revolutionary magnetic resistance system which makes use of eddy current resistance. The resistance level is adjusted by moving the location of the magnets. This means that the parts of the resistance mechanism never actually come into contact, thus greatly minimizing wear and tear.

Asuna 4100 Spin Bike By Sunny Fitness

The Asuna 4100 Spin Bike provides you with a 40 pound fly wheel that provides a whisper quiet operation. Unlike many cycles that provide this size flywheel, there is no vibration either. The handle bars of the Asuna 4100 are ergonomically designed to put you in the ideal spinning position.

The seat is fully adjustable both fore and aft and provides a good level of riding comfort. Though not especially soft, the seat provides the firmness that you would expect from a quality spin cycle. All of the tension adjustments on this spin cycle are also of very high quality, providing you with a very smooth, natural transition without any jerkiness or rattling.

Marcy XJ-3220 Club Revolution Cycle Trainer

The Marcy XJ-3220 Club Revolution Cycle Trainer is built to provide a fantastic in home spin workout at an affordable price. It will provide you with an exceptionally realistic road feel and an ultra quiet ride. For extra safety, this bike features an innovative braking hand grip for quick de-acceleration.

The seat on the XJ-3220 can accommodate almost any sized rider. You can easily adjust the height and fore and aft positioning quickly and easily. The bike also features built-in heart rate sensors, an easy to read on-board computer system, and heavy duty high performance pedal cranks with adjustable toe clips.

The Marcy XJ-3220 Club Revolution Cycle Trainer has a 40-pound flywheel to provide the smoothest of riding actions.


​The 9 bikes that we’ve profiled here are the best of the best when it comes to spin, recumbent and upright bikes. The Schwinn 170 and Schwinn 270 are the most expensive and the most high spec recumbent and upright cycles on the market. The Keiser M3 Plus is the Ferrari of home spin cycles, providing you with a commercial gym-like riding experience.

Click here to read our reviews of the best exercise bikes in 2019 and learn about their benefits for your workout at home. You'll love it!

Keiser M3 Plus

Our #1. Recommendation

Keiser M3 Plus

jim roose

My name is Jim Roose. I'm a former competitive power lifter and gym owner. I've bought millions of dollars of fitness equipment over the last 20 years. This site is my way of giving back to the fitness community that's done so much for me. Every article on here is carefully researched and written by me. Leave a comment if you have any questions.