Short on time? Jump straight to our top choice, the Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Bike.
When it comes to doing cardio from home, many people turn to the exercise bike for their first purchase. Foldable versions in particular are becoming more and more popular. They have all the features of a standard indoor exercise bike, but are much easier to store away. They’re also relatively cheap when compared to other home gym equipment. We’ve been taking a look at what’s on offer, to help you find the best folding exercise bike for your home gym.
Quick Comparison: Best Folding Exercise Bikes
- Our Top Choice: Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Bike
- XTERRA Fitness FB150
- Exerpeutic Gold Heavy Duty Bike
- ATIVAFIT Indoor Exercise Bike
- BCAN Folding Exercise Bike
Why Should I Buy a Folding Exercise Bike?
Exercise bikes provide a great workout for your legs and cardiovascular fitness, and are easy to setup. They’re a perfect backup for those rainy days when you don’t want to leave the house, but still fancy a workout. Lots of people have exercise bikes in their kitchen or living room, but they can be fairly chunky and take up precious space. Folding exercise bikes help to ease this problem by being more compact in design (and foldable!).
If you’re looking at getting an indoor exercise bike, you’re probably aiming to improve your cardio and aerobic fitness. But how far do the benefits of cycling go? Let’s have a look.
Cycling regularly will increase your stamina and cardiovascular fitness. This makes it a great training option for complimenting other sports, and living an active lifestyle.
Put simply, cycling is great for burning calories. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) can be really effective on a bike, and is one my personal favorite workouts. Lots of other things play a part in weight loss too, such as diet and sleeping patterns. But one thing we know for sure, is that burning calories will certainly help. For a very quick intro to doing HIIT workouts on an indoor bike, checkout the video below.
The motion of cycling on an exercise bike means your legs are pushing against a lot of resistance. All of the major muscles in your legs are getting a solid workout, and will steadily get stronger and more toned with a regular shift on the bike.
Reduced Risk of Heart Disease
When you cycle for a reasonable period of time, your heart pumps steadily at a higher rate. Not only does this help to burn calories, but can also reduce the risk of certain health issues, like heart disease and cancer.
Using a foldable exercise bike is a low impact exercise, which is not ‘weight bearing’. This means that it’s less strenuous on your bones and joints, when compared to something like running. This helps to reduce the risk of injury, but it’s still a good idea to do a proper warm-up.
If it were up to me, I would always choose to cycle outside in the fresh air, rather than indoors. However, this isn’t always practical. The weather is out of our control, as is the time of sunset, meaning that outdoor cycling can be dark, wet and cold. Depending on where you live, cars can be speeding round every corner, making road cycling both dangerous and noisy. Flat tires and broken chains are other potential problems that can happen when you’re out and about. Personally, I like having the option to do both. Indoor and outdoor cycling both have their pros and cons, so it helps to mix and match. This all depends on your own circumstances and personal preference, but either way, it’s nice to have the option of cycling at home.
How to Choose the Best Folding Exercise Bike
If you search for ‘folding exercise bike’, you will be presented with a lot of different options. Many of them have similar features, but it’s worth being aware of the main things to consider.
Nowadays, most folding exercise bikes will feature a magnetic resistance. This system consists of a magnet and a flywheel, and affects how difficult it is to push the pedals. A good bike will have the option to adjust this resistance to several different levels.
All indoor bikes will have a maximum weight capacity, with some better designed for heavier users. Make sure you check this value, to ensure it’s suitable for your weight.
The height of the seat should be adjustable, to get a full range of motion whilst pedaling regardless of your height. If you’re particularly tall, go for one with a large range of adjustment. This will save your knees from hitting your chest mid-cycle!
Comfort is important when you’re spending a long time sitting down. The quality of the seat and it’s cushioning can vary between models. Some even come with a backrest, for extra support. It’s worth noting that most folding exercise bikes are not suitable for spinning. This is because the seat itself is designed to take your weight, not the pedals. If this puts you off, look for a bike designed specifically for spinning instead.
Size & Foldability
Of course, all foldable bikes will be foldable. That’s the whole point! But, some will be bigger than others. Check the footprint of the base to ensure it fits the space in your home gym. Certain bikes will also be more compact once folded, making them easier to store away once finished with.
Folding Exercise Bike Reviews
Our Top Choice: Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Bike
This bike from Exerpeutic is a perfect all-rounder, at a mid-range price. There is a 300lb weight capacity, suitable for most, and an extra wide 14.6” cushioned seat. The x-frame design means it can be folded to half of its size, with a folded footprint of 22” x 20”. The adjustable seat provides a recommend rider height between 5ft 3in and 6ft 1in. This is a reasonable range, although not best suited for our shorter readers. As with most bikes these days, there is an LCD display showing all of the key stats. Your distance, calories, time and speed can all be kept track of. There are also hand pulse sensors for monitoring your heart rate, which is particularly useful for doing HIIT. The magnetic tension has 8 levels of control, and the cranking system means you’ll have a smooth and quiet ride (unless you pump the sound system of course). This gives you everything you can expect from a folding exercise bike, without breaking the bank.
- Suitable for riders of an average to tall height
- 300lb weight capacity
- Folded footprint of 22” x 20”
- Extra wide seat cushion
- No transportation wheels
- Not ideal for shorter riders
Our second bike is a great choice for those of you on a budget. Whilst it’s at the lower end of the price range, it still comes with all of the standard features. There are 8 levels of magnetic resistance, an LCD display, pulse sensors and even transportation wheels. Despite the price, many users have commented on the thick steel tubing and construction of the frame, which will ensure durability. If you’re taller, or of a heavier build, then you might want to look elsewhere. The maximum suggested rider height is only 5ft 10in, and the 225lbs weight capacity is at the lower end. However, for many riders this won’t be an issue. The folded footprint is impressively small, making this a compact bargain bike worth considering.
- Suitable for shorter riders
- Folded footprint of 18.1″ x 18.1″
- Solid and durable steel frame
- Transportation wheels
- Very good value
- Not suited for taller & heavier users
- Some users complained of an uncomfortable seat
This is the second indoor exercise bike from Exerpeutic on our list. Similar in features to our first choice, this is a heavy duty version at the higher end of the price range. The payoff is a massive 400lbs weight capacity. This is provided by the highly durable steel frame, which comes in an enticing shade of gold (if that’s your thing!). The adjustable seat also has an extended range, up to a rider height of 6ft 5in, perfect for the taller user. The compromise for having a heavyweight frame is a larger footprint. When folded, it measures 26.4″ x 24.8″, which is reasonable but not the smallest we’ve seen. Lots of users have also mentioned how quiet the bike is, due to the 3-piece cranking system. Whilst this is for a slightly higher budget, it’s a great choice as a heavy duty option.
- Perfect for taller riders
- Huge 400lbs weight capacity
- Durable construction
- Larger folded footprint than other models
- Higher end of price range
This is the most compact version on our list. When folded, the footprint comes in at 6.7″ x 15.8″, which is incredibly small. This makes it very well suited for home gyms or rooms that are limited on space. The lightweight design means it has a slightly lower weight capacity of 265lbs, although this will suffice for the majority. There have been some reports of clicking sounds whilst cycling, which I must admit would become particularly annoying on a long ride. Otherwise, this is a solid no-frills exercise bike. All the standard stuff is there… an LCD screen, pulse sensors, transportation wheels and the usual 8 levels of resistance.
- Extra small folded footprint of 6.7″ x 15.8″
- Very compact
- Transportation wheels
- Reports of clicking sounds during use
- Some users found seat uncomfortable
The BCAN folding exercise bike stands out for several reasons. Firstly, the padded seat has a backrest, adding that extra bit of comfort. Secondly, the magnetic tension has unlimited adjustment. What this means is that the resistance can be continuously adjusted to the perfect amount, rather than having set levels. Whether this warrants the description of ‘unlimited’ is another question, but it’s a nice feature nonetheless. It also has a very good range of height adjustment, making it suitable for both taller and shorter people. The biggest complaint of this bike is the pedals, with many describing them as poor quality and flimsy. Even so, this bike still has its merits, with several features you can’t get elsewhere.
- Large range of rider heights (4ft 8in to 6ft 2in)
- Folded footprint of 22” x 19.6″
- Seat with a backrest
- ‘Unlimited’ tension adjustment
- Poor quality pedals
At first glance, folded exercise bikes can all look the same. They have their differences though, and out of all of the bikes we reviewed, the Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Bike was our favorite. The resistance system and seating are of high quality. The seat adjustment means it is suitable for a big range of heights, with a solid weight capacity to keep things stable. Lastly, it does the main thing we’re looking for, which is fold to a remarkably compact size. Whilst there is nothing particularly unique about this model, it does all of the basics impressively well, at a very reasonable price. For a versatile choice, that will suit most riders, we think this one comes out on top.