The best indoor exercise bikes for lockdown workouts
With most gyms and fitness centres closed across the country, indoor exercise bikes have emerged as one of the hottest home workout trends, thanks to a new breed of smart bikes that bring the high-energy vibes of a sweaty spin class straight to your living room.
Not only does indoor cycling burn serious calories, it also increases your cardiovascular strength. Plus, it’s great for relieving stress after a long day.
Whether you’re looking for a no-frills bike to jump on for 30 minutes before the rest of your house wakes up, or you’re after a top-of-the-range connected bike that pits you in competition with other cyclists, we’ve found all the options in our round-up.
1. Wattbike Atom, £1,899, wattbike.com
The Atom is a solid investment for anyone that lives in close quarters with their neighbours. Unlike its rival Peloton, it doesn’t have an integrated screen, but its biggest selling point is how incredibly quiet it is. You can easily smash out a 20-mile cycle without worrying about disturbing the whole building.
You simply connect the bike to your phone or your tablet, and it will pair with the Zwift app (an extra £12 per month for membership), where you can get accurate ride data and take on virtual races, challenges and courses with the rest of the riding community.
2. Peloton, £1,750 + £39/month membership, onepeloton.co.uk
US brand Peloton has gained cult status in recent months, thanks to the swathes of celebrities and influencers who have been relying on the home fitness concept to keep them moving through lockdown.
The carbon and steel Peloton bike has a 22-inch touch-operated and sweat-proof screen that that links you up with live-stream spinning classes from Peloton studios in New York, as well as a huge library of on-demand content.
The great thing about Peloton is that there’s a class for every type of music lover out there, and you can also filter your choices from length of ride to type of class, difficulty and even the mood you’re in. During classes, it shares loads of helpful data too, such as your speed, distance and the calories you’ve burnt.
3. Wahoo Kickr Bike £2,999.99, uk.wahoofitness.com
Wahoo’s bike-like indoor trainer is the best option for simulating the experience of cycling real, outdoor hills. Designed for those who take their cycling seriously, it has a grade simulation feature which tilts the bike backwards and forwards, realistically emulating climbing and descending on a hilly course.
As well as automatically adding resistance to your ride, the bike has a supremely smooth pedal stroke. We also love that its handlebars and real gear shifters feel just like riding a road bike.
4. Opti Manual Exercise Bike, £79.99, argos.co.uk
This wallet-friendly static bike is a good option for anyone who wants to reap the fitness benefits of indoor cycling, but doesn’t have the budget to splash out on a smart bike.
While it doesn’t have a fancy touch screen or complicated operating system, it does everything you’d expect from a standard spin bike you’d find in a gym. There’s a resistance dial below the handlebars for cranking up the intensity and a basic console tells you your time, speed, distance and calories. Handily, it also has transportation wheels so you can push it in and out of storage.
5. Echelon Connect EX3, from £1,199 + £39/month membership, echelonfit.uk
Echelon is another competitive way to get in on live or on-demand spin classes, although you’ll need to pair it with a tablet, as it doesn’t have its own in-built screen. There are 32 levels of magnetic fly wheel resistance to challenge you and it’s a really comfortable ride too, with a competition-style seat and padded handlebars.
Alongside your Echelon bike, you’ll need to purchase a membership which connects you to live and on-demand studio fitness classes on the app, as well as virtual scenic rides. Much like Peloton, there’s a leader board to keep you motivated to train, and there are also non-spinning classes to be done off the bike, like Hiit, yoga and meditation.
6. Reebok GB40s One Electronic Exercise Bike, £349.99, argos.co.uk
This affordable exercise bike is great value for money. It’s really easy to operate, with a 5” LCD display where you can set personal goals such as speed, distance, time and calorie burn.
While it doesn’t have the same streamlined aesthetic as some of the more expensive bikes on this list, it will save you a fair bit of money in the long run, and you can still reap all the stress-blitzing benefits of getting a good workout in.