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Indoor cycling bikes are often times considered the creme de la creme of exercise bikes. They are the most niche for sure, but also the closest thing you can get to an actual bicycle ride. That explains why we have chosen to put one of these on the top of our list. L Now LD-557 is a pretty formidable machine that offers great performance at an equally great price. This is the bike you would get if you were looking for flagship experience on a budget.
The whole thing sits on an incredibly sturdy frame which is made up of slim yet robust tubing. The flywheel unit they have installed in this bike is a 44lb piece that is extremely smooth and very well balanced. The seat is fully adjustable by both horizontal and vertical axis thus allowing you to find that perfect position. One good thing about the seat is that it is fairly neutral. It doesn’t feature that aggressive racing contour which not everyone likes. Last but not least it’s worth mentioning that this bike comes with a great set of caged pedals and a media deck for entertainment during your routine. Overall, this is an awesome bike.
Coming up next is a bike that stands out in a sea of upright models. Schwinn’s AD7 Airdyne has developed quite a following thanks to its robust build quality and great design. The thing that makes it so interesting is the fact that this is an air driven bike. Not only that but Schwinn has decided to install one of the largest fans on the market into this thing. The end result is a bike which offers smooth yet progressive resistance that can be quite challenging if you decide to push it hard enough.
The bike is planted on a reasonably compact frame capable of offering all the stability and support you could need. One look at the rest of the bike reveals that the fan isn’t the only rare feature it has to offer. Schwinn has also implemented handlebars that allow you to exercise your upper body as well. In a sense this is full body exercise bike. The seat is fully adjustable meaning that you are guaranteed a comfortable fit. Center console is also there and serves mainly as a mean to track your progress. It is a fully passive monitoring system but one that works rather well.
If you’re familiar with the world of exercise bikes or fitness equipment in general, you have probably heard of Nautilus. Their R618 recumbent bike is just one in a long lineage of reliable machines from this brand. It is a upper mid range model that comes packed with all the goodies and then some. Before we get to those, we need assess the entire thing from the ground up. The most important thing with recumbent bikes, aside from the flywheel, is the frame and seat layout.
We are looking for a stable frame that offers a good balance of support and compactness. The seat needs to be adjustable for height at the very least. These are things R618 offers in abundance. You can adjust everything in order to find that perfect fit. The seat is contoured and rather comfortable. Next to the seat you will find a pair of handlebars with heart rate monitors installed in them. The console is a beast. They went with a dual backlit display setup that is packed full with awesome programs, features and all kinds of great stuff. The console even features a pair of speakers as well as a built in cooling fan.
Indoor cycling bikes are slowly growing in popularity. This has been a trend among those who prefer a no nonsense approach to fitness and cardio in general. Sole SB700 offers that and a bit more at a very reasonable price. They’ve essentially fitted a standard indoor cycling design with fully adjustable features in all the right places. For example, you can adjust the seat in both axis which also applies to the handlebars. That alone is becoming quite rare even when you are spending a serious amount of money on your indoor cycling bikes. The resistance system consists of a 48lb flywheel which runs silent and consistent.
The top down brake pad tasked with actually producing resistance is quite progressive. Overall, the bike feels well put together from a both aesthetic and functional stand point. Another cool feature is the built in console. Since these bikes are very rarely digitally controlled, if ever, most of them don’t even have a console. This one does. Despite it just showing you the standard data, it’s good to have the insight. At this price Sole offers a very refined package that is fairly compact and generally reliable. That’s all we can ask for.
Air bikes come in a bunch of flavors, just like other exercise bikes on the market. The one we have shown you previously is arguably a very impressive model but Assault AirBike is nothing to joke about either. As far as design and layout goes, these two bikes are very similar. However Assault Fitness took a slightly different, more Spartan approach to the whole design. The bike is aesthetically gorgeous. In a market full of colorful models it is a breath of fresh air to spot a metallic black unit. Quality control and finish are outstanding. Looks aside, AirBike is packed full with great hardware as well.
The seat is fully adjustable, which is not only a plus but a necessity at this point. It features a more aggressive, racing contour which is great for cyclists. The fan is a massive piece that can really generate a bunch of resistance if you give it a good go. All of that force is transferred through a decent drive system that is smooth from start to finish. The built in console offers plenty of features including various motivational programs among others. If you are into air bikes, Assault’s is worth checking out.
Recumbent bikes are notorious for being one of the best machines older users can utilize without risking injury. The fact that you are reclined as you exercise has proven to be a great way to prevent any unwanted strain on joints and knees. Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent bike takes that idea and pushes it to another level. This isn’t the first nor the last recumbent design that includes an upper body exerciser. However, it is one of the rare models which isn’t simply hard linking the handlebars to the pedals. Instead, they have a whole separate belt drive system that cranks the flywheel independently.
Best of all, the entire thing is packaged in a way that makes it all look neat and well put together. The flywheel is pretty decent. It is not digitally controlled and instead comes with a manual resistance selection knob. Between the available 8 levels of resistance, you are bound to have a challenging workout. The console unit is built into the body of the bike and features a large display and few crucial controls. It offers core stats and not much more but it gets the job done. Also, you get heart rate monitoring.
Last model on our list belongs to the indoor cycling segment and comes from Sunny Health & Fitness. Their SF-B1714 has been praised for its simplicity and a rather solid build quality for its given price. The bike is a typical Sunny package. In other words, they have over engineered some features, loaded the whole thing up with core essentials and pretty much overlooked anything that was less important. Because of that we have the classic black, red and chrome theme going on which may or may not be attractive to some users. The flywheel is a solid 44lb unit that feels very natural during use.
The seat is fully adjustable and so are the handlebars. As far as functionality goes, Sunny has hit the nail on the head. Truth be told the only detail which we found to be less than optimal are the leveling feet. While they absolutely are getting the job done, they don’t inspire too much confidence. Aside from that, this bike is golden. You might also notice the lack of a console unit. If this was any other type of exercise bike, we would count it as a flaw. This way it’s a pretty normal sight.
Exercise bikes in general, despite their type, are considered to be a good way to get into home cardio workouts on a budget. The fact that you can get some impressive exercise bikes for less than $500 supports that fact. So where does that leave the price range we are discussing today? There are those who will argue that spending this type of money on an exercise bike might be an overkill. However we can counter that with the fact that most of these bikes offer features you just can’t find in the lower price ranges. On top of that, if you are after silky smooth flywheel operation, chances are that you will find what you are looking for right here. The other most obvious benefit of investing this kind of money into an exercise bike is pure diversity of selection. You are essentially gaining access to a much broader array of bikes and exercise bike designs. The next logical question is which ones to get?
Indoor Cycling Bikes
The first type we would like to discuss are indoor cycling bikes. These are generally seen as bikes for hard core cyclists but they tend to offer some benefits that would be interesting to casual users as well. For example, you can actually stand on the pedals of these bikes as they are not directly bolted onto the flywheel. Additionally, there is no magnetic resistance control. Instead you are getting a top down brake style resistance system which offers what is essentially an infinite amount of resistance.
Another type of exercise bike that is very much present in this segment are recumbent bikes. These are great for those who need a super low impact cardio workout on a daily basis. These are also the most expensive of the bunch. With that said, the type of budget we are discussing today will still net you a very formidable model with a good array of bells and whistles.
Higher end exercise bikes are a smart investment if you are serious about your health and fitness. Some of these bikes can turn your life around and greatly improve your health. The key to figuring out which type of bike to get, what features to choose and so on is to know what you want out of the bike. That might be easier said than done but it is the best way to end up with something that makes sense to you. No matter which model you choose from our list, you won’t be disappointed. They’re all truly impressive machines.