Most runners do some form of cross-training at home. Maybe you like having a variety of options for working out, or perhaps you just live in a bad-weather area and need some form of safe, dry training!
If you don’t have an at-home exercise machine but you’re looking for one, consider one of the best folding exercise bike machines.
They’re a welcome change from running, and take up less space than some other options.
Our first choice is the XTERRA FB360 Folding Bike. It’s battery-powered, folds up nice and compact, and has 8 levels of resistance.
Here are our top 10 best folding exercise bikes for home use.
Top 3 Best and Favorites
XTERRA FB360 Folding Bike
Exerpeutic 1200 folding exercise bike
FUNMILY Indoor Exercise Bike
1. XTERRA FB360 Folding Bike
The XTERRA FB360 compact folding bike wins top spot, for its ease of use and space, and power-saving design.
The LCD screen runs off of 2 AA batteries, which means you can ride this bike even if the power happens to be out. Just make sure your batteries are charged before setting off on a serious ride.
Challenge yourself by choosing from 8 resistance levels during your ride. This is a recumbent bike, so you won’t be positioned quite like on a normal bike, but the handlebars will help you stay steady and secure on the comfy, padded seat.
The screen displays your time, speed, distance, calories, and heart rate so you can monitor the important things. There’s also an accessory tray so you can watch movies or read books on your tablet or phone while riding.
The manufacturer states that it’s suitable for riders up to 5’10”, so those taller than that may find it uncomfortable and a bit like riding an old-school BMX!
- 8 levels of resistance
- Compact design
- 250-pound weight limit
- No power cable needed
- The seat may be too short for tall users
2. Exerpeutic 1200 Folding Exercise Bike
The Exerpeutic comes in as our top value pick, as it offers some great features and a 1-year limited warranty for a decent price.
It’s suitable for users between the heights of 5’3” and 6’1”, and has a weight capacity of 300 pounds, which is more than some others.
This bike is super for small apartments. It folds up to about half its functional size, and it’s easy to move around with the built-in wheels.
The geometry of this bike is more like a normal bike. You have to lean forward and grab the handlebars, so you work slightly different parts than you would with a recumbent bike design. There are also 8 different levels of resistance so you can customize your workout quite nicely.
There is no back support on this seat, which some may not like. But considering the more true-bike design, some may actually prefer it.
- Fits users from 5’3” to 6’1
- 300lb weight capacity
- Folds to half the size
- Large LCD screen
- Some users may not like the lack of back support on the seat
3. FUNMILY Indoor Exercise Bike
In the cycling world, gearing is critical to getting the most out of your workout. Typical road bikes today have 20 gears, so you can dial in the resistance pretty exactly to maintain an ideal cadence and maximize power. It’s no different with indoor cycling. The more exactly you can dial in resistance, the better the ride. If you find yourself struggling to get enough resistance or feel uncomfortable on other bike seats, the FUNMILY could be the bike for you.
With 10 resistance settings, you can get a real hard workout in, or just ride easy for some nice cardio.
The seat is also adjustable, with 6 levels to choose from. There seems to be a little confusion about the weight capacity, with some saying 300lbs and others 265lb. It’s safer to go for the lower number, though!
A fun, unique feature is the app, which allows you to virtually ride through a variety of scenes in a game fashion, adding a bit of excitement and competition to your ride.
- 10 tension levels
- Adjustable 6-level seat
- Quiet operation
- Qiber-Fitness app gamifies your workout
- Taller riders may find it difficult to stand while riding, due to limited space
Most Resistance Levels
4. Xspec Indoor Foldable Stationary Bike
If 8 or 10 resistance levels aren’t quite enough for you, this little bike packs a resistance punch with 16 different levels to choose from.
Set it on high for a good leg workout, or change it up as you go to get a good HIIT workout in. As a nice bonus, you’ll also get resistance bands with the bike, which means you can get a bit of an upper-body workout in at the same time.
Although the weight capacity is less than others, it can still comfortably accommodate riders up to 220lbs. It’s good for shorter riders too, with the manufacturer’s recommendations stating it’s suitable for users between 4’10”- 5’9″. That could be a problem, as that height limit just barely makes it to the average height for men; this bike is too small for lots of people.
- 16 levels of resistance
- Includes resistance bands for upper body workout
- Adjustable foot straps
- Suitable for users 4’10”- 5’9″ in height
- Lower weight capacity than most (220lbs)
Highest Weight Capacity
5. Exerpeutic Gold 575 XLS
If you’re looking for a hardcore, heavy-duty folding bike, this one gets our thumbs-up. The frame is constructed from steel, and it can support up to 400lb of weight, significantly more than others.
The seat is also quite a bit larger than others, although users report that it’s not very padded and can cause a sore butt after riding for a while!
It has 8 resistance levels, so whatever your fitness, you’ll be able to challenge yourself.
- 400lb weight capacity
- Large sized seat
- Sturdy steel frame construction
- 8 tension/resistance levels
- Seat isn’t very padded
Best Full Body Folding Bike
6. Slim Cycle Stationary Bike
A stationary bike is amazing lower body exercise, but if you feel like you need a bit more upper body work, this one comes with resistance bands that are easily attached to the frame and provide some good upper body resistance.
It also features a back support on the seat, which adds a bit more stability and means you can ride the bike in a recumbent position if you don’t want to use the armbands.
The bike is nice and compact when folded, so it’s easy to slip into a closet or stand in a corner out of the way.
When you download the free app, you’ll get 10 free classes. But be careful – if you don’t cancel before your free trial is up, you can end up paying for the service.
- Resistance bands for upper body workout
- Has added back support
- App with 10 free classes
- Compact when folded up
- If you don’t cancel your free plan after your 10 classes, you may end up being charged
Best Lightweight Bike
7. Marcy Foldable Upright Exercise Bike | Marcy NS-652
If you’re likely to be folding and moving your bike fairly often, you’d do best with a lightweight one that’s easy to maneuver. The Marcy weighs just 37lbs, which is quite a bit lighter than most.
With an easy folding mechanism and wheels on the bottom, it’s a breeze for a single person to fold and move by themselves without struggling.
The lightness does come at a price though. This bike is not quite as solid and sturdy as others, although the weight capacity is 250lbs.
It may not be suitable for extremely vigorous riding, or standing and riding. That doesn’t mean you can’t get a good, hard ride in, though. The non-slip pedals and foot straps help keep you secure, but it can be easy to move the bike accidentally while you’re riding it.
- Light and easy to move
- 250lb weight capacity
- Non-slip pedals with strap
- Runs on 2 AAA batteries
- May not be suitable for riders under 5’ tall
- Not best for standing and riding
Top Folding Recumbent Bike
8. Exerpeutic 400XL
Recumbent bikes are often a more comfortable option for people dealing with back or shoulder pain. You still get a superb leg workout, even though you aren’t positioned quite like on a normal bike.
This unusual-looking little bike is the perfect foldable recumbent bike. The backrest is a good size and will offer solid support.
It’s lightweight (39lbs) but quite sturdy and hard to rock thanks to the recumbent design. With a weight capacity of 300lb and a user height of 5’2” to 6’2”, most people will be able to ride this bike comfortably.
Something we like is that it can double as a desk chair if you have an adjustable-height desk. It’s the bicycle equivalent of a desk treadmill!
- Nice-sized backrest
- 300lb weight capacity
- Can double as a regular seat or be used as a deck chair
- Lightweight but sturdy
- No device holder
Best Desk Bike
9. FitDesk Bike Desk 3.0
Work and exercise from home? Then this is the machine for you! A hybrid of a recumbent bike and a working desk, you can keep moving and burning calories while being stuck behind your desk.
It’s crafted from heavy-duty steel, so you’ll be well-supported while working and riding. Obviously, you won’t be able to do a wild workout while working, so it’s definitely best suited for those who want to add a bit of movement to their workday.
The desktop is spacious and non-slip, so your laptop will be safe. There’s also a built-in tilt-top for tablets or phones, which has a handy little storage area beneath it.
A nice feature is the foam-roller-like forearm rests, which are a nice addition to keep your arms from feeling fatigued.
The only potential downsides are that a laptop or tablet would block your view of the LCD screen showing your metrics, and the fact that the backrest is fairly small and may be uncomfortable for some.
- Built-in storage area
- Ergonomically designed desktop
- Non-slip table surface
- Foam roller style forearm support
- Backrest may be too small for some
- A laptop will obscure the LCD screen
Top Bike with Tablet Holder
10. ShareVgo Smart Folding Exercise Bike – SXB1000
One of the annoying things about many exercise bikes is that in order to watch or read something on your tablet, your LCD screen is often blocked. This means you need to choose between viewing your stats or looking at your tablet.
Not so on this bike! It features a decent-sized tablet holder above the LCD screen, which is very well-placed and means you don’t have to be looking downwards when reading or watching.
We like that you get access to ShareVgo’s free mobile app, which (according to the manufacturer) is free to download and use on a monthly basis.
You’ll be able to log your workouts, track your progress, get insight into your training, and take part in exciting, challenging workout programs.
- Suitable for riders from 4’11” to 6’1”
- Weight capacity of 250lbs
- Free workout app, no monthly fees
- Large seat with back support
- No wheels can make it a little hard to move for small people
If you’re unsure if the best folding exercise bike would be an asset or a waste, we’ve answered some questions below to give you more information before making the decision.
What’s Great About Folding Exercise Bikes?
So, what’s awesome about a folding exercise bike and why should you get one? Here are some good reasons to invest in one for your home.
Folding equipment is super easy to carry and store. A folding bike is even easier than a treadmill, because it’s already a bit more compact.
That makes it a great piece of equipment for someone who lives alone and might not be able to drag a large, heavy treadmill around the apartment.
While you can buy exercise bikes for exorbitant prices, most of the time you’ll be able to find high-quality, feature-packed bikes that are decently priced. Anyway, in the end you’ll still be saving on gym fees!
Folding cardio equipment is great for small apartments. You can simply pull it out, unfold it, and exercise when you need to, and fold it up and roll it away out of sight when you need the space for other things.
No Time Restraints
When you have one of these in your home, you can ride it at any time of the day or night. This is especially useful when it’s dark and unsafe to be on the road, or when the weather is a little dodgy and you’re not in the mood for fighting the elements.
As long as it’s fairly quiet in operation, you can ride a folding exercise bike even when other family members or roommates are asleep!
Cleaner Than the Gym
Let’s be honest – the gym isn’t the cleanest place out there. You never know what’s been on those seats, or what the last person to ride the bike touched before they stuck their hands on the handlebars.
When you have your own, you can be assured that it’s far cleaner than the gym’s cardio equipment. Even if multiple people use it, you know who they are and (mostly) where they’ve been.
You can also clean the bike yourself, as often as you want.
One of the best things about bike exercise is that it’s very low-impact. That makes it a great option for beginners, runners recovering from injury, or people who have joint problems.
What Are the Downsides?
Of course, there are some downsides. It’s up to whether or not these are deal breakers, but in our opinion, they’re simply small things that can be worked around.
Not Sturdily Built
One of the pros of these machines is that they’re lightweight. But, for some, this may equate to feeling like they aren’t well-built.
It’s true that they may not be as sturdy as some heavier equipment. But as long as you’re not going to be pedaling like a wild thing, you should be pretty safe and secure on it.
Most folding bikes can comfortably hold up 250lbs. Some can go as high as 400lb, but they tend to be a little more pricey.
Unrealistic Pedal Action
The riding geometry on these folding bikes is substantially different from real bikes, from crank length to where the pedals are in relation to your hips. Pedaling on a folding bike doesn’t feel quite like the real thing. If you’re going for ultra-real, then you’d be better off with a real bike on a real road, or at the very least, buying a trainer you can mount your bike on.
If you’re planning on training for a cycling event, then collapsible indoor machines won’t be the right way to do it. But if you just want an alternate form of cardio, then the slightly-off pedal action shouldn’t be an issue for you.
What Extra Features Should a Folding Exercise Bike Have?
Depending on how you like to exercise, you may look for:
- A built-in desk
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Resistance cables for upper body workouts