The Best At-Home Spin Bikes

A low-impact, endorphin-boosting workout that’ll work your entire body, reduce stress and build lean muscle, spinning is a smart way to get fit. And with studios closed for the foreseeable, there’s never been a better time to add one to your home gym. Whether you’re looking for studio-inspired classes or something to fit into a smaller space, these are the bikes to have on your radar…
PELOTON

BEST FOR AN AFFORDABLE SMART BIKE: Apex

Spin junkies will jump at Apex’s bike, a surprisingly affordable offering that’s 60% cheaper than market leader Peloton. Having partnered with London spin studio Boom Cycle, membership will also grant you access to some of the best spin instructors in the country and there’s the option to compete on a real-time leaderboard which measures RPM and resistance – ideal for competitive types. Created knowing that an at-home bike spends more time on display than in use, you can also expect a smart, sleek design – the bike is available in four neutral colourways and is compact and mobile, so you can easily move it around the house. Plus, up to six different profiles can be added to one account, making it a good choice for active households. 

PRICE POINT: The bike will set you back £1,200 and subscriptions cost £30 per month, including unlimited live and on-demand classes.

Visit ApexRides.com

BEST FOR THE GYM EXPERIENCE: Echelon Connect Sport Bike

Ideal for those keen to get going, Echelon’s bikes will be delivered in just two to five days (Peloton’s wait times are a minimum of three weeks). If you’re looking for a variety of ways to exercise indoors over the colder months, the Connect Sport could be just the ticket as it also offers a whole host of off-bike workouts, including kickboxing, yoga, Pilates, HIIT and strength classes. The bike itself will set you back less than £800, making it one of the more affordable options out there, but a lower price also means less high-tech features – for example, it lacks extras like dumbbell holders and pedals that work with click-in bike shoes – but it’s a top choice for those looking for a fuss-free way to stay fit. 

PRICE POINT: £799 plus membership from £24.99 per month.

Visit EchelonFit.uk

 

BEST FOR SLEEK DESIGN: Keiser M3i Indoor Bike 

Used in some of London’s top spinning studios, this high-spec bike is for those who take their fitness seriously. Savvy in both design and ride, it’s the first bike to feature a V-shape frame, which mimics road bikes by enabling the seat and handlebar to be raised in conjunction with each other, and there’s an even an in-built stretch pad to loosen tight calves and hamstrings post-workout. Adjustable for all heights (from 4ft 10 to 7ft and up to 350lbs), it’s suitable for men and women alike, and the simple screen displays all the info you need – think cadence, power, calories, heart rate and more. The seat, however, is a little harder than your average spin bike, so it could also be worth investing in a padded seat cover. 

PRICE POINT: The bike will set you back £1,795.

Visit KeiserUK.com

BEST FOR FITNESS NEWBIES: Life Fitness IC1 Indoor Cycle

If getting fit is one of your goals for 2021, this no-nonsense bike is one to keep on your radar. Frivolous features are set aside – there’s no magnetic wheel and the bike doesn’t come with a touchscreen loaded with high-end features – but it’s a fantastic entry-level spin bike that doesn’t compromise on quality and design. More compact than many of the at-home bikes available, it’s also super quiet and has been built to require minimal maintenance. The fuss-free in-built console, which tracks cadence, heart rate and calorie expenditure, makes it easy to track progress, and the sturdy design has been built to withstand sweat and debris. 

PRICE POINT: £845

Visit LifeFitness.co.uk

BEST FOR FITNESS MOTIVATION: Peloton

Self-motivation can be tricky at home, but Peloton has solved this with its in-bult 21.5-inch HD screen that not only tracks your vitals but also serves up dozens of daily live spin classes straight from your living room. With over 10,000 on-demand classes also on offer, there’s the option to filter by music, instructor and difficulty, and if you’re feeling competitive, you can see how your performance tracked against other class participants, even filtered by age, gender and location. Peloton has also recently launched Bike+, a new premium bike that features improved Apple Watch connectivity and a rotating touchscreen, ideal for Peloton’s off-bike classes.

PRICE POINT: The bike itself costs £1,750 and membership £45 per month, but Peloton also offers zero percent finance over 39 months.

Visit OnePeloton.co.uk

BEST FOR PSYCLE FANS: Stages Indoor Bike

The bike of choice at Psycle (they’re the only brand you’ll find inside the London-based studios, as well as in Soho House and Equinox gyms across the globe), Stages’ bikes are for those wanting to take advantage of a smooth ride that’s designed for HIIT workouts. The clever handlebar design makes it comfortable to ride, and the new-gen tech make switching between intervals quick and easy. Plus, it’s designed to be low maintenance and can be paired with either cleats or normal trainers. Psycle members can get an exclusive discount on the bike, and stream live and on-demand Psycle classes via the touchscreen monitor, while non-members can still access Stages Solo classes. 

PRICE POINT: Psycle members can get the Stages SC2 bike for £1,275; non-members price £1,825.

Visit StagesIndoorCycling.com

BEST FOR SOMETHING SLEEK: Technogym Bike

The result of more than 30 years of research and constant testing with Olympic athletes, this stylish bike won’t disappoint. It adapts to your body in seconds, thanks to its quick setting and the pedalling is the most fluid and quiet ever, ideal for those concerned about bothering the neighbours. Like Peloton, it also boasts an impressive-sized screen from which to stream classes – Technogym has an exclusive partnership with 1Rebel, so expect daily live classes and hundreds of on-demand sessions, all of which serve up the studio’s cult total-body workout, complete with hand weights to build upper body strength. Whether it’s bad weather or a global pandemic that’s forced you to move your cycling efforts indoors, this sleek model gets our vote. 

PRICE POINT: £1,990

Visit Technogym.com

BEST FOR AN AUTHENTIC RIDE FEEL: Next Generation Wattbike Atom

Having launched in 2008 following an eight-year period of development with British Cycling, Wattbike is the name to know for performance-driven kit that’s built to last. Sales of this bike – the Next Generation Wattbike Atom – soared by 113% in the first month of lockdown 1.0 alone, and it continues to be a top choice for those looking for a real ride feel. Sufficiently quiet for home use, it’s also compatible with a host of popular training apps (including Peloton) for classes and it’s one of the few bikes that works well with Zwift, the online multiplayer cycling platform that recently hosted a virtual Tour De France. There’s no built-in screen, so you’ll need to use an iPad or phone, but for a high-tech offering that ticks plenty of boxes, it’s no wonder this bike is a go-to for those in the know.  

PRICE POINT: £1,899 but also available in monthly instalments from £90 per month.

Visit Wattbike.com

Looking to invest? Simon Cook and Charlie Lucas, founders of Apex, share their top tips for buying a bike for home use…

 

Check The Spec: “Check how much weight the bike supports and that the handles and seat can be adjusted to your height. If you can’t reach the handlebars or your knees are coming up too high when sat on the saddle, you won’t do your body any favours. Also check the bike’s footprint – most of us don’t have huge amounts of space to spare, so the more compact the bike is, the better.”

Understand The Flywheel: “Flywheels – which are there to stimulate the feel of an outdoor bike by storing energy to smooth the cycling motion – can come in all shapes and sizes. It’s a myth that the heavier the flywheel the better. A light flywheel is more appropriate for the average person and provides more than enough inertia to give a comfortable ride, and it’ll also mean there’s less pressure on your muscles and joints. A lighter flywheel will also make your bike easier to carry around the house if you need to move it.”

Choose A Magnetic Bike: “Where possible, avoid a bike with a cable resistance system, and go for magnetic. This will make your bike virtually silent (great for the neighbours) and will require a lot less maintenance.”

Check The Pedals: “Ideally, a bike should give you the option to clip in, as well as the option to wear normal trainers. For example, Apex bikes have 50/50 pedals – there’s a toe cage on one side for those who don’t have cycling shoes, or you can flip the pedals and wear cleats.”

Consider Its Shape: “Look at the size of the bike’s frame and legs – you want it to have some heft so the bike feels stable and balanced, and can withstand a good amount of usage, without being too bulky. It also helps if your bike has small wheels on its feet, as this makes it a lot easier to manoeuvre around a room.”

Stay Connected: “If you want to join virtual classes and track your stats, check what connectivity your bike offers. If it’s Bluetooth-enabled, you’ll be able to connect your phone or tablet to your bike.”

Visit ApexRides.com​

INSPIRATION CREDITS; OnePeloton.co.uk
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