Top 5 Magnetic Exercise Bikes
The benefits of cycling are the topic of much research, with some studies even claiming that this is the best form of exercise you can do. Cycling is not only proven to improve cardiovascular health, it also comes with a wide range of other benefits.
Cycling is capable of improving your muscle strength and joint mobility, which makes it a sport that is great for staying young and fit. The resistance faced by your legs when pedalling is excellent for toning your hamstrings, calves and quads. It can also increase your flexibility and improve your posture, which will make you feel healthier all around. You can also get good home exercises using cross trainers, treadmills and rowing machines.
By getting your blood pumping, cycling can cut your risks of developing heart disease and can even help to prevent cancer and improve brain health. It has time and again been shown to lower the risk of illness as a result of the health benefits it brings.
Of course, another key benefit is weight loss. A high intensity ride is capable of burning up to 1000 calories in an hour, making it one of the very best ways to decrease body fat. Cycling has even been shown to improve mental well-being, as endorphins are released as a result of doing exercise. This can help you to get a good night’s sleep and generally make you feel happier and relieve stress.
Unlike with jogging, cycling is a low risk activity as it does not put weight on your joints. This means you are at a far lower risk of injury when cycling than when running. However, cycling on busy roads or in cities of course comes with its own set of dangers. Taking a fall onto concrete, riding into a tree or parked car, or even worse colliding with a moving car are all very real risks.
This is why many people opt to utilise exercise bikes in the safety of the gym or a spinning class, which have seen a huge boom in popularity of late. However, it’s understandable that not everyone has a gym or a spin class available close by and not everyone wants to exercise in the critical public eye.
If you are one of these people, then an exercise bike could be for you. Workout bikes are easy to set up at home, allowing you to workout in peace and privacy – even in front of the TV if you want to! Many bikes come with in-built mileage calculators and calorie counters, which are great for getting yourself motivated.
Whilst dragging yourself to the gym may seem a little too much like hard work, having an exercise bike at home can provide the push you need to get fit. You can increase the intensity of your workout by lifting weights or utilising resistance bands whilst you cycle – something you’d be hard pushed to do on a real bike! This is an excellent way to get a full body workout that focuses on more than just your legs and heart.
If you’re looking for a great all-round exercise that you can complete in the comfort of your own home, then an exercise bike will provide you with everything you need. Unlike older bikes which work through strap resistance, modern exercise bikes tend to use the more technologically advanced magnetic resistance. These may either be manually or digitally adjustable, but in all cases, magnets are used to create resistance on the wheels. This makes for quiet operation when compared to strap bikes.
We’ve done a roundup of some of the best magnetic models on the market to help you find the perfect bike at the right price for you. Here’s a look at our top picks and their key features.
DKN AM-E Exercise Bike Review – Our Number 1
The DKN AM-E (CHECK PRICE HERE!) exercise bike is a professional piece of gym equipment that looks the part. It has a computer-controlled LCD screen and a range of resistance levels that are capable of challenging even the strongest of cyclists. Its pre-set programmes are handy if you don’t want to have to think too much about your workout as they let you just get on with it. Although it is lightweight, it remains sturdy and capable of taking weight. Here are some of its top features:
- 32 levels of resistance are computer controlled, making for smooth transition between each.
- LCD screen displays time, speed, distance calories burnt, RPM, watts and pulse.
- 12 pre-set programmes provide built in workouts to challenge you further each time, plus a user mode, a watt mode and a target heart rate mode.
- Pulse grip sensors to measure heart rate. Also comes with wireless receiver that is compatible with a chest strap.
- 8kg flywheel for smooth motion.
- Horizontally and vertically adjustable seat makes for a comfortable ride. Handlebars and peddle straps can also be adjusted to suit.
- Low frame makes it easy to mount and dismount.
- Transport wheels make for easy moving/storage.
The pre-set modes on this bike are great for getting the most out of your workout and keeping it interesting – some even automatically alter the resistance according to your heart rate. With a wide range of resistance levels, you really have room to grow your technique and keep pushing yourself.
It is relatively easy to assemble and runs almost silently, which is a huge bonus. On the flip side, the calorie counter seemed to be a little out of whack – whilst I’d love to think I’d burnt over 1000 calories in 30 minutes, sense tells me that can’t be possible! The light flywheel does not come as a detriment to the bike – it actually seems to make it run more smoothly and it certainly makes it easier to move it around.
The resistance level is computer controlled, which makes for far sleeker handling than a manual knob. Minor drawbacks are the facts that the calorie counter only goes up to 3 digits, so must be reset to 0 when you reach 999 and also the seat is slightly uncomfortable. You can program your own workout or use one of the pre-set option which are great for things like building stamina or having an intense workout. Overall, this is a sturdy machine with some great features that is more than up to the job – just make sure you invest in a gel saddle too.
Features: 32 Levels of Resistance – LCD Display – 12 Pre-Set Programmes – 8kg Flywheel
Pricing: Mid-high range
JLL IC300 PRO Indoor Cycling Exercise Bike Review – Number 2
If you’re looking for a solid, good value exercise bike, then the JLL IC300 Pro presents a great option. It is far more heavy-weight than the DKN AM-E, which may make it more difficult to move, but it means that it handles really well and stays firmly put when getting on and off. This element also makes for a realistic feeling of riding a bike. If you’re used to the professional spinning bikes at the gym, then you won’t be disappointed by this model. It is great for staying fit and runs very quietly. Here’s a look at some of its key features:
- Heart rate sensors built into the handlebars.
- 6 vertical handlebar adjustment levels, 6 horizontal and 10 vertical seat adjustment levels and 3-piece crank make this model easy to tailor and comfortable to ride.
- Direct belt-driven 20kg flywheel replicates the forward momentum of a regular bike, makes the bike feel solid and sturdy, and makes for comfortable pedalling in both directions.
- Rubber belt makes for quiet operation and easy maintenance.
- Adjustable magnetic resistance
- 7-function monitor displays time, speed, distance, calories, odometer, pulse and RPM, allowing you to track your workout every step of the way.
- Emergency stop system for safe handling.
- Comes with 12-month warranty for home use, giving good peace of mind.
- Max user weight of 130kg.
- Wheels make for easy transportation.
This exercise bike handles incredibly smoothly and with almost complete silence, so you can concentrate on your TV programme as you cycle! The heavyweight flywheel makes this a solid piece of equipment that really does simulate the feeling of riding a real bike.
Although this element makes the bike rather heavy, it does have wheels for ease of movement from room to room. The screen is unfortunately lacking an LED backlight, which can make it tricky to read in some instances. It is also lacking a computer system with in-built programmes, so you’ll need to design your workouts yourself. Despite this, the model is well made and sturdy – it certainly feels as though it’s built to withstand the test of time.
The magnetic resistance is strong and makes for a really tough workout – overall, this bike is excellent value for money.
Features: 3-Piece Crank– LCD Display – 7-Function Monitor – 20kg Flywheel
Pricing: Mid-high range
XS Sports Aerobic Indoor Training Exercise Bike Review – Number 3
Although this XS Sports exercise bike comes in at the lower end of the price spectrum, it can certainly give the more expensive models a run for their money. It is sturdy, solid and runs well. The computer may be a little off and it lacks some of the bells and whistles of pricier models, but nevertheless it gives good value for money. It isn’t bulky, so works great for home use. Here are some of the main features of this no-frills bike:
- Double-direction pedalling capability means you can pedal both forwards and backwards.
- Comes with free aluminium water bottle.
- Built-in pulse sensors to measure your heartrate so you can see how hard you’re working.
- Elbow rests give added comfort when cycling in racing position.
- Fully adjustable resistance levels, which are highly sensitive.
- LCD screen displays time, speed, distance, calories, odometer and pulse so you can monitor your workout as you go.
- Stop lever in case of emergency.
- Adjustable padded seat makes for ultimate comfort – can be moved up, down, forwards, backwards and tilt.
- Max user weight of 125kg.
- Wheels make it easy to move the bike when needed.
- Pedals come with adjustable straps.
- 2-way chain-driven system.
Despite the padded seat, we didn’t find this bike incredibly comfortable as the seat itself is quite small and hard, so you may wish to invest in some added gel padding in order to be able to cycle for long periods without stopping for a break. Given time, it may well wear in. However, the seat is fully adjustable in all directions, which is useful. The arm rests also come in handy when you’re flagging.
The handlebars are quite short when compared to the distance to the pedals – take note that this bike is designed primarily for racing style cycling. The seat is adjustable but doesn’t have a great range, meaning it might not be suitable for the very tall or the very short rider. With its 15kg flywheel, it is very sturdy. Although the distance counter may be a little off, the heart rate monitor was spot on. Assembly was very quick and easy.
If you are looking for a no-nonsense bike that forgoes the gimmicks, then this is a high quality, good value option. Again, it does not come with any pre-programmes, but the resistance levels work well and it runs very quietly.
Features: 3-Piece Crank– LCD Display – 125kg max. user weight– 15kg Flywheel
Esprit MOTIV-8 Exercise Spin Bike Review – Number 4
The Esprit MOTIV-8 spin bike offers a sturdy model that is incredibly good value for money. If you’re looking to stay off busy roads outside or to forgo expensive gym memberships, then this makes for a great option. If you’re looking to lose weight, burn calories or increase your stamina, then this bike is a great companion. Here are its key features:
- 5 functions including calories burnt, distance, speed, scan and time so you can measure your progress easily.
- High max user weight of 150kg.
- Fully adjustable handlebars and seat can be amended to suit your height for a comfortable cycling experience.
- Emergency stop system in place.
- 10kg flywheel.
- Comfortable cushioned seat.
This bike’s adjustable settings make for a realistic cycling experience. It was simple to assemble and sturdy enough to suit bigger builds. Having said this, it is very heavy, meaning it is quite tricky to move it around the house and it doesn’t have a pulse reader, making it a little more difficult to assess your progress. Generally speaking, the screen is very basic. It is also a little noisier than the more expensive bikes on this list.
At the price, however, this is a great option and is a good quality bike – especially for entry level riders. It also has a very comfortable seat when compared with other models – wide and very cushioned. If you’re looking for the best bang for your buck, this might well be the bike for you.
Features: LCD Display with 5 Functions– 150kg max. user weight– 10kg Flywheel
Life Carver BTM Indoor Cycling Exercise Bike Review – Number 5
The Life Carver BTM indoor exercise bike is a relatively low-cost model that may be just the thing to get you off the sofa and into the saddle. If you aren’t fussed about added features such as pre-programmed exercise routines, then a simple bike such as this one is very capable of doing the job. It looks professional and comes in sleek black and yellow colours for a sporty aesthetic. Here, we take a look at some of its most important features:
- Adjustable resistance can easily be amended via a knob, plus press down breaking system.
- Digital monitor allows you to track your progress with ease.
- Transportation wheel makes it easy to move around.
- 4-way seat adjustment and high levels of seat padding make for a comfortable ride.
- Adjustable multiple use handlebars can be amended to suit your height and riding style.
- 10kg flywheel.
Although this bike did not come in the most protective of packaging, it was easy to assemble. Resistance is adjusted via a knob, which is not as user-friendly as the DKN AM-E’s computer-controlled system but then again, this model is much cheaper. For the price, this is a good quality machine that is stable to use.
It is easy to adjust the height settings to measure and the padded seat offers added comfort. Again, this is another no-frills model that does the job. When compared to the others on this list, the Life Carver comes in at slightly more expensive than the Esprit MOTIV-8 and does not necessarily have better functions. All-in-all, it is a decent option, but there are better choices on the market at this price point.
Features: Easy Tension Adjustment – Digital Monitor – 4-Way Seat Adjustment– 10kg Flywheel
Pricing: Low-mid range
There’s no question that an exercise bike presents one of the most usable options when it comes to home gym equipment. They are not so hard on the joints as running machines and are easy to use even into old age.
For those looking to keep fit into their golden years, an exercise bike is the perfect companion, whereas younger generations can create their own low-cost spin class in the comfort of their own home. Many of the models on this list can be neatly tucked into the corner of your living room, so that you can opt to cycle whilst you watch TV or movies, rather than languishing on the sofa.
Although all of the bikes on this list will give you a decent workout, some are more user-friendly than others, some are more advanced, and some are simply more comfortable. If comfort is what you’re seeking, then the Esprit MOTIV-8 presents a low-cost option that was more comfortable than its more expensive counterparts, such as the DKN AM-E. However, it does not come with all of the added functions of its pricier rival.
If you want a high-powered bike that is capable of inspiring you to push yourself forward to ever greater goals, then the DKN AM-E is the best option for you. In fact, this is the only model on the list that provides pre-set exercise regimes devised by professionals, making it unbeatable in its flexibility. It may be slightly more expensive than most of the other models but the price difference is not so great that it will break the bank. The hard seat can be easily fixed with a gel cover, too. Topped off with its silent running, we think this could be the best option out there.
However, some people may be put off by the lightweight flywheel of the DKN AM-E as it can make the bike feel a little more flimsy than heavier models. If this is the case for you, then it may be worth considering the JLL IC300 Pro instead. A heavy flywheel can certainly make it feel safer to pedal at high speeds, as it anchors you to the ground and gives a more solid feel. Although this bike doesn’t come with the pre-programmed exercise routines, it is still a great option in terms of functionality and performance.
If you prefer to cycle in a racing position, then the XS Sports aerobic bike is your best bet. With its lower handlebars and special in-built arm rests, this bike is built for those with a need for speed. The seat can easily be adjusted to give the feel of a racing bike, too.
Overall, if you are looking for a bike without too hefty a price tag, we would recommend opting for the Esprit MOTIV-8. This bike has all of the essential features and is easy and comfortable to use. At this price, we don’t think you’re likely to get much better than this! For those with a little more cash to splash, the DKN AM-E is our top pick. This bike comes with unrivalled features that are sure to motivate you to get fit and keep pushing yourself forwards in your workout goals.
Whichever bike you opt for, remember that you can maximise your workout by doing a little weightlifting as you cycle and by putting on some motivational tunes to encourage you to keep on going!