The foldable exercise bike is a brilliant space-saving invention. It’s ideal for home gyms, smaller fitness studios, and mobile personal trainers. With so many options on the market, how do you choose the best one for your needs?
In this buying guide – we outline the advantages and disadvantages of folding exercise bikes, what to look for when buying one, and the best models on the market right now.
- Qualities to look for when buying
- 5 best foldable bikes
- How to use them
- Folding vs standard bikes
Exercise Bike Benefits
Exercise bikes are a staple in the gym, home, and PT studio environment. Despite being around for decades they remain a hugely popular piece of training equipment. This is because they improve cardio fitness, endurance, and muscle tone in a low-impact manner.
Cycling workouts burn calories, increase strength, and build bone. They also have functional fitness benefits (balance, climbing stairs, standing up) that help with everyday activities. Because cycling doesn’t put much pressure on joints, it’s ideal for older people, those with injuries, or carrying extra weight.
People buy folding stationary bikes for a number of different reasons – here are some of the key benefits…
- Indoor bikes allow you to train in all weather
- Training at home or in a PT studio can be safer than cycling on busy roads
- Bikes offer a lower-impact cardio alternative to walking, running, and treadmills
- Take up less storage space – ideal for homes, small fitness studios, or mobile PTs
- Exercising on a bike is quieter than a treadmill which can be preferable in apartments
- Easy to transport between different locations
If you’re a personal trainer, then a foldable exercise bike has additional benefits. Firstly, you can throw them in the back of your car which makes them perfect for mobile PT businesses. Secondly, they’re an ideal space-saving option for small personal training studios that don’t have much storage.
You might also like… 5 Adjustable Kettlebells That Are Easy To Use & Transport.
What Makes a Good Exercise Bike?
We’ve ranked products based on the proportion of verified 5* reviews that users have provided. Fold-up exercise bikes with less than 100 reviews were not included since this isn’t a big enough volume to guarantee a statistically valid sample size.
Where two products had similar rankings, we then differentiated between them based on features and price. However, you might have different needs or preferences so consider the factors that matter to you. These might include…
- Price or value for money
- Design aesthetics
- Size when folded up
- Weight capacity
- Saddle comfort
- Handle design or shape
- App connectivity
- Resistance features and programs
- Ease of set-up
Our product recommendations cover the US and UK so that you can find the best product in your location.
5 Best Foldable Exercise Bikes
Here are the best folding exercise bikes you can buy right now…
- Slim Cycle
You can find plenty of used exercise bikes for sale on Craigslist, eBay, or Gumtree. They’re sometimes available from Walmart in the US or Argos in the UK but aren’t always stocked consistently. Whether you want used or brand new, let’s look at each of these products in more detail…
This article was prepared by a certified personal trainer and fitness equipment specialist. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases but this never influences our editorial choices. Fitness is an important topic that impacts people’s health so we always offer 100% unbiased information.
The Exerpeutic 575 XLS is the best foldable indoor bike on the market. It’s highly durable, looks stylish, and has loads of built-in workout programs to choose from. Plus, it’s suitable for people weighing up to 400lbs which makes it the most widely accessible for all body types.
This super-smart bike includes 16 resistance levels, 21 workout programs, and a built-in tablet holder so you’ll always be challenged and entertained. It tracks the usual distance, time, and calories, plus speed, pulse, odometer, RPM, and watts. If you don’t need all these features, then there’s a more basic 500 XLS model that might be more suitable.
This bike is suitable for user heights 5’1″ to 6’5″ and folds up to 26.4″ L x 24.8″ W x 57.5″ H. Almost 80% of its customer reviews are 4* and 5*.
- Pros – durable, stylish, lots of workout programs, 400lb weight limit, positive customer reviews.
- Cons – more expensive than other bikes, no back support for recumbent use.
The Xterra Fitness FB150 folding exercise bike is the cheapest and best value option. It features a classic, compact design and transport wheels that make it easy to move about and put away. It has a maximum user weight of 225lbs so it’s suitable for the average American or Brit (but not for those on the heavier side).
This sleek bike features 8 resistance levels and tracks speed, distance, time, calories, and pulse. It’s suitable for user heights 4’10” to 5’10” which makes it ideal for smaller people but not those of 6′ and over. It folds up to 18.1” L x 18.1” W x 50.8” H. A huge 89% of its 8000+ reviews are 4* and 5* which is even more impressive given the low price.
- Pros – durable, stylish, low price, excellent customer reviews, ideal for smaller users.
- Cons – no workout programs, not suitable for taller exerciser, 225lbs weight limit makes it unsuitable for some overweight users, no back support for recumbent use (although a recumbent model is available).
The Slim Cycle is the most versatile option on our list. It’s a folding upright and recumbent bike that features built-in arm resistance bands too. This allows you to train your upper and lower body at the same time.
This sleek bike features 8 resistance levels and tracks speed, distance, time, calories, and has an odometer. According to the manufacturer, it’s suitable for users weighing up to 295lbs (135kg) although some reviewers dispute this. An impressive 92% of its 8000+ reviews are 4* and 5* making it the best-reviewed product we found.
- Pros – upright and recumbent in one, built-in resistance bands, excellent customer reviews.
- Cons – no built-in workout programs, the basic plain black design doesn’t reflect the premium price.
The Marcy foldable exercise bike has an excellent reputation for quality. It’s available in a range of colours including pink, green, and blue which makes it less boring than some of the other options.
In our opinion, it’s no better or worse than the Xterra fitness bike in terms of quality or features. They really are on par when it comes to resistance options, tracking metrics, and durability. If anything, the Marcy has slightly poorer reviews with 87% 4* and 5* (versus 89% for the Xterra).
It’s really the colour options that set it apart but they come with a hefty price tag. While the plain black bike is $130, you can expect to pay $380+ for a pink or blue one.
- Pros – durable, stylish, low price for the black option, good customer reviews.
- Cons – no workout programs, quirky colour options are pricey, no back support for recumbent use.
The Sunny folding bike is a lightweight yet sturdy option with handy transport wheels. It’s an upright and recumbent bike in one which makes it a bit more versatile. While it may look plain but comes with some useful extras like a device holder and water bottle slot.
This sleek bike features 10 magnetic resistance levels and tracks time, speed, distance, calories, heart rate, and has an odometer. It’s suitable for users weighing up to 300lbs and 90% of its 2000+ reviews are 4* and 5*.
- Pros – upright and recumbent in one, excellent customer reviews.
- Cons – no built-in workout programs, the plain grey design doesn’t reflect the premium price.
How To Use a Folding Bike
In terms of working out, both folding and standard exercise bikes can be used in the same way. You can do endurance training, speed work, HIIT sessions, and spin-style classes.
However, setting them up requires a slightly different approach. With a standard exercise bike, you simply wheel it out from wherever it’s being stored and jump on. For folding bikes, you’ll need to unfold it (sometimes requires releasing a latch) and then lock it in the open position to ensure it’s stable and secure.
This video shows you how easy it is to set up and pack away most foldable exercise bikes…
Foldable Vs Standard
Unsure whether to get a folding option or a traditional fixed design? Here’s a comparison of the foldable vs standard bike options so you can weigh up the key differences…
- Can be folded away allowing space to be used for multiple purposes
- Take up less storage space – ideal for home use, smaller fitness studios, or mobile PTs
- Some products offer upright and recumbent options in one
- Requires careful setup and adjustment to ensure safety
- Can feel less sturdy than traditional exercise bikes
- Easy to move around and transport between different locations
- Difficult to store away so requires a dedicated space
- Larger footprint than foldable exercise bike so requires more storage space
- Fixed upright or recumbent setup makes it less versatile than dual-use machines
- No need to worry about setting it up every time it’s used
- Can feel sturdier than folding options
- Heavy and awkward to transport
There you have a complete breakdown of the best foldable exercise bikes on the market right now. We’ve covered the pros, cons, and unique features that differentiate them. All that’s left is for you to decide which is most suitable for your needs…
Below are some of the most common questions people have when buying a folding exercise bike. If you have one that isn’t answered then get in touch to ask us directly!
Do Bike Weight Limits Matter?
The average US male weighs 199lbs (90.6kg) and US female weighs 171lbs (77.6kg). This means that bikes with a typical 100kg limit will be suitable for some but not everyone.
For those who have a lot of muscle or are overweight, it’s important to find a bike that suits your needs. Personal trainers should opt for bikes with a minimum 300lb limit to accommodate every type of client.