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A List of Top-Rated Exercise Bikes

written by: Sylvie Colette • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 12/30/2010

Bring your workout inside with a top-rated exercise bike. Perfect for inclement weather as well as the time and money savings you can glean from not having to pay for and drive to the gym.

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    Exercise bikes come in a variety of different styles to help strengthen your muscles and build cardiovascular fitness. Exercise bikes also offer more ways to build muscle than a traditional road bike due to the resistance settings. The different controls allow you to increase resistance in order to work the legs, hips, and glutes. Upright bikes resemble a regular bike, while recumbent bikes provide back support, either one is a good choice for those with balance issues or back problems after clearing it with your physician. Rely both on reviews of the top-rated exercise bikes as well as trying the different styles out to feel the difference in models before choosing the bike that is right for you.

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    Schwinn 140 Upright Bike

    Schwinn has two top-rated bikes. The first is an upright bike with a weighted flywheel for a true road feel, complete with 18 workout programs to ensure a customized workout. It also features 16 levels of resistance, a reading rack and water bottle holder. The pedals are designed with a 1 degree tilt to help align your feet, ankles, knees and hips for more comfortable pedaling.

    • Fully adjustable handlebars
    • Extra-wide seat
    • Oversized stabilizers for a solid workout platform
    • Displays time, interval time, RPM, pulse, speed, calories and distance in both miles and KM
    • Mid-range exercise bike at under $400
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    Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike

    If you prefer to lean into a supportive backrest while pedaling, this Schwinn recumbent may be more your style. A quiet recumbent exercise bike, the Schwinn 230 is a sturdy choice. It features a walk-through design that makes it easy to get on and off the bike.

    • Fully adjustable
    • Wide pedals
    • Heart-rate monitor
    • 12 workouts
    • 16 resistance levels
    • Quick start mode, recovery test, BMI measurements, calorie goals and results mode
    • Great value for the around $400 price tag
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    Life Fitness Lifecycle C3-5

    For a heavy duty upright exercise bike, the Lifecycle C3-5 by Life Fitness is a solid choice. Pricey at over $1500, top-rated bikes like the C3-5 come with high-tech features that you would expect to see at a health club. The heart rate monitor includes a wireless chest strap and an advanced console display that also shows the calories burned per hour, time and distance.

    • 10 challenging pre-programmed workouts
    • 20 levels of resistance
    • Lifetime warranty on the frame, 3 year warranty on parts and 1 year warranty on labor
    • 400 lb capacity

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    Spinner Pro

    Spinning classes are a popular choice at fitness centers. If you want to recreate the experience at home consider the Spinner Pro by Star Trac. You can purchase spinning DVD's to use in conjunction with the bike. Pedals are clip-in capable for cycling shoes although it can be used with regular athletic shoes. Top-rated exercise bikes for spinning are equipped with heavy duty bearings, cranks and axles for strength and durability from the abuse a regular spinning program can inflict on a bike.

    • Adjustable seat
    • Dual water bottle holders to ensure steady hydration
    • Spare parts included for common wear and tear
    • 5 year warranty for frame welds, 2 year warranty for mechanical components

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