Do you have trouble finding the best folding exercise bike for fitness? I guess many fitness enthusiasts new to this indoor cardio workout equipment will answer in the affirmative. Technological advancement has led to production so many different brands and models of folding exercise bikes that differ in design quality, durability, performance, comfort levels and price among other features.
In this in-depth review, I aim to provide you with valuable, easy to understand and incredibly dependable resource. This is to help you comb the online and physical fitness stores and get the best folding exercise bike quickly and with ease. The information I provide is a result of years of experience as well as intensive research on the new developments in the fitness industry. Learn about the important factors that should influence your choice and check out my top 5 best value folding exercise bikes in 2018.
How to Choose the Best Folding Exercise Bike for Fitness
It would be a great mistake to walk into a fitness shop and pick the first folding indoor exercise bike that your eye catches. You should not even believe the word of the shopkeeper or promoter. It is best to arm yourself with enough information to act as your guiding factor. Here are the most important factors to consider in making that choice.
1. Recumbent, Upright or Spinner Exercise Bike
Generally, there are two main types of folding bikes for fitness. These include recumbent and upright exercise bikes. However, a third type, known as spinner bike resembles upright bike but has unique features that set it apart regarding performance. Knowing more about each type will give you a good idea of which type is ideal for your needs.
Recumbent Exercise Bike
A recumbent bike is a type of exercise bike that places you in a laid-back reclining position. This delivers a lot regarding ergonomics. The design distributes your weight comfortably over a large area supported by your buttocks and back. Because of its comfort and ergonomics, the recumbent bike is the best choice if you are suffering from back pain and other posture issues. However, these bikes tend to be more expensive and bulkier and than their upright counterparts.
Upright Exercise Bike
The upright models feature a design based on the traditional style of bikes. The rider sits straight up on the bike seat or slightly hunched forwards over the handlebars. The upright position allows for hill-climbing and sprinting. It even allows for the more of racing style ride where the rider stands up off the seat and pump the pedals vigorously. This way, it delivers more intense workout compared to a recumbent bike. Many home fitness trainers love upright bike because of street style riding brought in the comfort of home. They also feature slimmer frame size than their recumbent counterparts. Many people also prefer them because of their lower cost.
At a glance, you may think spinner bikes are just upright bikes with slightly different styles. Actually, they look similar in design, but they are not the same at all. The difference is in the handlebars which designed to allow the rider to bend while riding. This allows the rider to have a more intense workout and assume different position thus working different groups of muscles.
2. Bike’s Weight and Weight Rating
Once you decide the best type of folding bike for you, the next consideration is the bike’s weight limit. The weight limit or carrying capacity of the bike is the maximum weight it can carry without causing damage to the bike or harm to the user. If you buy a bike that cannot handle your weight, it will be wobbly and unstable. This could lead to accidents or damage to the bike. Each manufacturer includes the weight capacity of the bike in the user manual. It is important that you compare the limit with your weight.
The weight of the bike is a major determinant of stability although it could be a double-edged sword. The heavier the bike is, the more stable it will be for use. However, such bulky models may prove difficult to move from one place to another. To compensate for this, most manufacturers include wheels and carry handles for more mobility. If you suffer from back pain or other postural problems, then you have no choice to go for a lighter model that will not prove problematic to handle.
3. Frame Material
I believe everyone wants to make some savings by purchasing a strong and durable folding bike for exercise. The major determinant of durability is the material used to make the frame of the bike. The material used, on the other hand, contributes to the weight of the bike. Manufacturers can use either of four materials:
Aluminum: the benefits of using aluminum have made the chosen material for years now. Aluminum is relatively sturdy, durable and lightweight. It will never rust. It may not be the strongest material, but it is a good choice.
Steel: It compares with aluminum regarding years of use. Steel is a lot stronger than aluminum and usually have a stainless finish to prevent rusting. However, steel is the heaviest material ever used in making exercise bike frames.
Carbon Fiber: Without a doubt, carbon fiber is the most expensive bike frame material available. It is the lightest material and therefore your bike with weight next to nothing. On the flipside, carbon fiber is not the strongest material so you will have to take good care of it, so you don't break your bank.
Titanium: This is the less used of the four materials. It is as expensive as carbon fiber but slightly heavier. Besides, titanium is extremely strong and durable. It will not break as easily as carbon fiber. So, it could be a viable option as long as you can afford it.
4. Noise Level
At times your daily schedule is so tight that you can only create time to exercise at night when everyone else is at home. It is not appropriate to disturb the peace of others in the house just because you are working out. Besides, the noise may be a bother if you want to listen to some music or watch your favorite TV program.
Some models of folding exercise bikes are noisier than others depending on the level of resistance. The models that feature fans tend to make most noise because they feature air resistance. While most models try as much as possible to minimize the noise level, make your choice based on your ability to bear the noise if any. Otherwise, choose from the quietest models.
5. Safety Features
Safety is extremely important if you intend to use your exercise bike in a house with little children. Statistics indicate that many children get injuries related to home exercise equipment which do not have enclosed mechanics for safety. When choosing the best folding exercise bike for fitness, ensure the design include important safety features covered chain and flywheel so that kids do get their hands or fingers stuck in them.
6. The Folding Mechanism
The folding mechanism may not really mean a lot if it is your first time to buy a folding exercise bike. However, it is an absolutely important consideration. This is because the folding mechanism is the single most important determinant of how quickly the bike will fold. Your bike will fold in either of three mechanisms: Split-folding mechanism, triangular folding mechanism, and break-away folding mechanism. Learn more about these mechanisms and choose the simplest and the one that results in a more compact folded bike.
7. Resistance and Flywheel
The flywheel and the resistance determine whether you will have a real-life cycling feeling or not. Spinning the pedals allows you to feel the cycling effects. Each indoor folding exercise bike comes with its own flywheel. The heaviest flywheel currently in the market weighs 25kgs and the heavier the flywheel, the smoother and more realistic the cycling feeling. A heavy flywheel will also force you to use more energy pedaling and this result in you burning more calories.
The flywheels work by generating resistance in either of three ways: direct contact resistance, magnetic resistance, and air resistance. Learn more about all these types of resistance to know the one that will fit your needs. Nevertheless, magnetic resistance is currently favored because it offers smoother, quieter more efficient operation. Besides, magnetic folding exercise bikes feature brakes that are resistant to wear and tear.
8. On-Board Computer
If you are serious about achieving your workout goals, you would want to monitor your progress. It is important to go for bikes that have stuff like consoles, heart rate monitors, LCD/LED screens and pre-set workout programs as well as other features to enhance your workout.
What Are The Benefits Of Buying and Using A Folding Exercise Bike?
We have discussed a lot about folding bikes but why do people buy them? These are fitness equipment that can allow you to achieve your fitness goals right in the comfort of your home gym. There are some benefits you can enjoy by training with a folding exercise bike.
Indoor cycling with an exercise bike maintains your heart rate around some vigorous range for about an hour. It offers a sure way to escape coronary artery disease. To enjoy these cardiovascular benefits, you will need to cycle each day for approximately 30 minutes to one hour daily.
Optimal Muscular Endurance
Just like outdoor pedaling, indoor cycling will work on groups on muscles in your legs including the quadriceps, the gluteus muscles, the hamstrings and the calf muscles to increase their endurance considerably. The effect will extend to surrounding ligaments, bones and tendons to become stronger.
Low Impact Workout
A folding bike is handy if you are on the path to recovery following orthopedic injury. Using the right cycling technique, there will be minimal impact on your hip, ankle and knee joints yet you will enjoy the full benefits of this form of exercise. Indoor cycling can actually guarantee you quick recovery.
Convenience and Comfort
Having to exercise right in the comfort of your home is perhaps the most important benefit of a folding exercise. You will enjoy the convenience of exercising at any time of your choosing. A stationary bike stand is much better for individuals who do not know how to ride usual outdoor bicycles. Besides, folding exercise bikes can be used safely by almost anyone in the house.
Top 5 Best Folding Exercise Bikes for Fitness
As promised, we are now ready to review some of the best folding exercise bikes currently in the market. Based on our research and personal experience we have selective five fine bikes that will give you value for your money should you choose to buy any of them.
1. NexHT Fitness Exercise Cycle Bike
Featuring a heavy-duty crank and steel frame and durable, the NexHT fitness exercise cycle bike is well equipped to provide you with perfect body workout training. It is the bike you need for indoor cycling if you are looking to improve your health, build muscle, promote blood circulation, reduce unsightly cellulite and promote metabolism and thus lose weight.
This folding bike has a 24.3-pound flywheel and is capable of handling persons up to 280 pounds heavy. The bike feature transport wheels to make it easy to move around. For convenience and optimal comfort, the bike features adjustable handlebar and seat which you can adjust to suit your needs. You can also adjust the resistance to be in control of the intensity of the workout. The handlebar is sponge padded and ergonomically designed to provide for comfortable use.
The belt driven mechanism will guarantee smooth and quiet training, so you do not disturb occupants of your home as you workout. To motivate you to work out, the bike features an LCD console with six functions including speed, time, distance, total distance, pulse and calories with scan feature. Once you are through with the bike, it folds easily for storage.
2. Harison Spin Bikes for Home
In case you are looking for an incredible training experience right in the comfort of your home gym, the Harison Spin Bikes are the best choices. An interesting aspect of investing in this high quality folding magnetic upright exercise bike is the iPad mount which allows you to watch your favorite movies for a long and productive workout schedule.
With adjustable handlebars designed to move up and down, you can simply adjust the bike to match your height for a sustained, comfortable ride. Besides, the handlebar features a multi-ergonomic handle designed for all types of hands as well as grip positions for additional comfort. The seat is leather padded and can move back, forward and down meaning you can adjust it for height and proximity to the handlebars.
A tension knob allows you to conveniently adjust the intensity of your workout. You can just increase or decrease resistant levels by simply twisting a knob. This feature is perfect for different user levels. The bike features an LCD console that monitors speed, time, calorie, pulse and distance to give you the motivation you need to work out and achieve your fitness goals.
3. Flexispot Exercise Desk Bike
Do you need a bike that could double as an exercise bike and standing office desk? You can find what you need at this Flexispot exercise desk bike. This high-end folding bike combines on-demand, fully height-adjustable and exercise bike into a sturdy and sleek desk bike. The unique design means you can move from the standing to sitting to cycling with a single space-saving solution.
Interestingly, this valuable folding exercise bike features a large desktop surface to hold your tablet, laptop, favorite novels and many more. Thus you can easily multi-task with the bike to achieve much at the same time. Height and proximity adjustability mean everyone in the house can use the bike from with height-range of 5ft 1-inch to 6ft 2-inches.You will also appreciate the user-friendly pneumatic adjustment lever that moves the seat up and down with a simple and gentle press. The cycle desk features four durable caster wheels designed to swivel 360 degrees that allow you to move it from room to room with ease at your convenience. Furthermore, you will simply need to attach the desktop component to the desk bike, and you are good to go with multi-tasking cycle desk.
4. Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike
You might be wondering why we hadn’t reviewed any recumbent bike. Well, we now present you with a review of the Exerpeutic folding recumbent exercise bike with pulse reader. This unique, high-quality bike boasts of a quiet V-belt dual-belt transmission system that also guarantees a very smooth ride. Its precision-balanced flywheel and 8-level adjustable magnetic tension control system ensure full body workout and better results.
The semi-recumbent design of the Exerpeutic 400XL allows for hassle-free entry and exit. It also means the bike is extremely low impact allowing you to achieve much without undue pressure on your ankle, knee and hip joints. Furthermore, a large seat cushion, as well as a reliable backrest, guarantees utmost comfort and ergonomics during the training session.This nicely built exercise machine can support up to 300 pounds of maximum weight. Sometimes you need the motivation to continue and achieve your fitness goals. No better way to do this than to use an exercise bike with workout enhancers. This Exerpeutic folding exercise bike features a nifty, user-friendly LCD display that monitors your time, distance, pulse, calorie, speed, and heart rate.
5. Marcy Foldable Exercise Bike
The Marcy Foldable Exercise Bike is undoubtedly one of the best folding bikes under 300 dollars. Being so affordable does not in any way correlate with bike’s quality. In fact, it is a best value folding bike that will provide you with significant cardio exercise to allow you lose weight and enjoy many other health and fitness benefits.
The bike features a manually adjustable resistant allowing you to increase or decrease training intensity as suits your needs. There are 8-preset levels of magnetic resistance controls to choose from and simulate various types of workouts based on each resistance level. This allows for complete body workout for fat-loss, muscle enhancement, cardiovascular health and toned legs.The bike folds into a compact unit that is not only easy store but also easy to handle. Additionally, the unit is fitted with rubberized foot base to prevent forming scratches on your floor or damaging your bike. Heavy-duty, 14-gauge, high-quality frame prides on strength, durability and surface sufficiency. The pedals are counter weighted with easy to adjust foot straps. Adjustable foam padded seat provides for hassle-free cycling.
That’s all we had for you, and it is my trust that it has proved beneficial to your situation. Since we have provided you with five of the best folding exercise bikes for fitness reviews, we realize that one particular model is greater than the rest, at least according to our research and experience.
We would highly recommend the Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent exercise bike. It is armed with some of the greatest features, and it has stood the test of time. You will also love its highly competitive price. Many people, not just us, consider it among the best folding semi-stationary recumbent bike current market has to offer. However, the other four are also great models that will help you achieve your fitness goals. You can check them out.