When you are trying to work out at home, finding equipment that can fit in your house or appartement might be an issue. Obviously, you want to make smart purchases and buy equipment that will meet your fitness needs. You also have to consider where you will store it while not in use.
Most people do not have an entire extra room to stash a ton of gym equipment (I wish, I would). I recommend finding the best compact or folding exercise bike, which also meets your fitness needs. So, you don’t waste valuable space.
Having a foldable machine will make it much easier to store away in a corner or a closet. Yet, because they are small and don’t weigh too much, it is still easy to pull them out of storage, even on a daily basis.
I have gathered a breakdown of my top five picks for quality compact exercise bikes. They are all foldable and easy to store.
Key factors to consider before buying
Traditional exercise bikes have been around for decades. Yet, not everyone has the space to set up an at-home gym.
Most people need to find equipment that is more compact, so it can slip into a storage spot. It will be out of the way when not being actively used. Plus, it still sets up with ease so it doesn’t become an excuse to not workout.
There are many aspects to consider when choosing your machine, such as:
How sturdy is it?
What accessories are available with each model?
How much space does it take up when unfolded?
How durable will the machine be in the long run?
What amount of resistance will it provide?
How much storage space does it need when folded?
I understand it is a lot to get your head around, even if you are already familiar with gym equipment in general.
To better understand what we are looking for, we will look at these questions. Break the options down and explain the different aspects that you need to consider. Then you’ll be well on your way to make your final purchasing decision.
Compact and foldable build
First things first, let’s discuss the compactness of the build. This is what you need to know about sizing.
Step one is to think about where you will actually be using it. The place where you will be exercising will need to be large enough to fit the machine and yourself.
Don’t forget about your legs! You need to make sure you have enough clearance for your legs to work the pedals. It will obviously lead to discomfort if you bang your legs on the walls or pieces of furniture.
The American Council on Exercise recommends having 10 square feet of space for using an at-home exercise bike. Now, since you are probably going to use a foldable bike, that space won’t have to be clear all the time. You can consider places in your house or apartment where you could slide a table out of the way to set up your machine.
You also need to consider your headroom and watch out for fans or light fixtures above your setup. Test out the spot by sitting on the seat to pedal and also while standing and pedaling.
The second thing you will want to consider is your storage space. It is important that the size of your folded machine will fit inside the designated storage space.
Keep these space factors in mind while considering your options.
The quality of your chosen machine won’t entirely depend on its size. In fact, that may only one aspect when it comes to choosing a model that suits your needs. You will probably want to consider more features, like accessories for example.
The number one concern when it comes to accessories should be the seat. Specifically, the seat’s size and comfort level.
You will be spending a lot of time in the bike saddle, especially if you’re serious about reaching your fitness goals. So you need one that is going to be comfortable. You can also consider purchasing an extra seat cushion.
A good cushion makes your saddle even more comfortable. Just like there are many exercise bikes on the market, there is an equal number of saddle cushions.
Once comfort is addressed, you can start looking at the extra options. Consider the computer displays, pulse-monitoring systems, and holders for your phone or iPod. You will need to consider the options, and decide which ones are most important to you.
For example, you can ask yourself the following questions; do you want your bike to show how many calories you have burned? Do you want it to hold your tablet, so you can watch videos while you exercise?
Consider all of the options, because sticking to an exercise routine can be difficult. So, you want to set yourself up for success. Some people prefer to watch TV while working out. Some people like to listen to music. Think about your workout style before making a decision.
Other factors to consider are the functional aspects of your machine.
Make sure it supports your weight. Check the weight limits on the individual models before making your decision. You don’t want to end up with a bike which doesn’t support your weight. The range of weight capacities varies a lot between models.
Also, you want a stationary bicycle that is going to be able to adjust to your fitness level. All the bicycles will have adjustable tension levels, but some of the models have a larger range of tensions. It is a good idea to consider how much the tension levels will impact your workout routine.
If you are already in good shape, you may need a machine with more options. But, if you are at the beginning of your fitness journey, the bike with fewer tension levels may be enough for you.
Another important factor to consider is the noise. Some are almost silent, and others, well, they may wake up the neighbors. The noise factor may not matter to some people. Especially people that prefer to pedal away with earbuds in blasting music (like me).
But if you are planning on using a Netflix binge to get you through your workout, you will need a quieter machine. Also, if you are living with roommates or family members and want to work out in the AM, having a silent bike will be very important.
Lastly, you will also need to consider how adjustable your machine is and if it is suitable for your height. Those on the more ‘average side’ will not have much of a problem finding one that fits them. If you’re extremely tall or short, then you’ll need to pay closer attention to the adjustability of the machine.
Compact & Folding Exercise Bikes Reviews (our top 5 picks)
In the next section, I will review a list of some of the top compact and foldable bikes (in my opinion). I will also address the factors discussed above. This breakdown will hopefully help you make a better decision.
Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike
The Exerpeutic bike has a heavy-duty design. It comes with a one year limited warranty which will likely mean ‘peace of mind’ for a lot of people. Plus, it also has transport wheels to make it easier to store.
This upright bicycle uses magnetic resistance instead of a belt. Magnetic resistance is usually quieter and runs smoother compared to a belt or strap.
While out and ready to use, the unfolded dimensions of the Exerpeutic are 31 inches (L), by 19 inches (W), by 46 inches (H). It folds down to half of its original size for storage.
Additionally, it has a larger seat designed to support up to 300 pounds, and the seat height adjusts to fit people from 5-foot-3-inches to 6-foot-1-inch. The weight of the bike is 42.8 pounds, which definitely makes those transport wheels come in handy.
The machine has an LCD display that tracks the distance you have ridden. It also tracks the calories you have burned, the time you have been riding, and the speed at which you are pedaling. The hand grips tracks your pulse, which is also shown on the display screen, if you hold on to the hand pulse sensors.
Furthermore, it has eight different levels of tension. Plus, the flywheel provides a relatively quiet ride.
XTERRA Fitness FB350
To a large extent the XTERRA FB350 has a more advanced design compared to the other models, which allows for different seat positions. It also comes with transport wheels for ease of storage and a limited warranty.
Unfolded and ready to ride, the dimensions are 40.5 inches (L), by 21 inches (W), by 50.5 inches (H). Folded for storage, the it takes up 20.5 inches (L), by 20.5 inches (W), by 50.5 inches (H) of space.
The seat is a moderate to large size, and for extra comfort it also has a padded backrest. The seat can support up to 225 pounds and adjusts to fit people ranging from 4-foot-10-inches to 5-foot-10-inches. The weight once assembled is 42.3 pounds.
The LCD screen runs on AA batteries which means it doesn’t need to be placed near an outlet to work. The batteries are included. During your workout, you can track your speed and distance traveled, as well as the time spent riding, your calories burned, and your pulse rate.
The handlebars contain the pulse grips. The pedals have adjustable straps and a three-piece crank. There is also a handy pocket for your phone or iPod on the frame.
Lastly, it provides eight levels of tension. There is a large knob for adjusting the tension level, and the flywheel is quiet while in motion.
Harvil Foldable Magnetic Exercise Bike
The Harvil comes equipped with magnetic resistance. It also has transport wheels in the front, so it can be stored with ease.
The adjustable padded seat in combination with the frame supports people weighing up to 330 pounds. It also comes with a padded backrest for extra support, and the pedals have strong adjustable straps.
The digital monitor turns on as soon as you start pedaling. It shows the speed, distance, and time of the ride. It can also show you the calories burned and your pulse rate.
The unfolded dimensions are 26.4 inches (L), by 20 inches (W), by 46 inches (H). It’s also foldable to a much smaller size. The Harvil bicycle weighs 44 pounds, so it is slightly on the heavy side.
The flywheel is quiet while in motion, so no annoying mechanical sounds while you work out. Also, the magnetic resistance adjusts with a knob to 10 different resistance levels.
Xspec Foldable Bike
When assembled, the dimensions are 27 inches (L), by 17 inches (W), by 44 inches (H), which is pretty small. There’s also an option to fold it to a smaller size.
The Xspec has an ergonomic seat that will support a person weighing up to 220 pounds. The machine itself weighs about 32 pounds, which makes it relatively light.
The battery-powered screen can track your speed and the distance pedaled. The time spent riding and the calories burned can also be tracked.
The pulse monitors are featured on the handlebars, as with most models. Your heart rate shows up on the screen while you grip the sensors. Furthermore, the tension is regulated from one to eight different levels for customizing your workout intensity.
The Innova XBR450 has an S-style frame. The built-in tablet holder can support several brands including iPad and Kindle, so you can stay motivated while you exercise.
This is the only model on the list that has dual flywheels. But unfortunately, it does not have transport wheels, which means you will have to manually carry it to its storage place.
The seat is relatively large and has a padded backrest. It has a weight capacity of up to 250 pounds. The XBR450 itself weighs just over 44 pounds.
Additionally, there is a built-in LCD monitor to display the ride stats. During workouts, it can track time, distance, speed, calories burned, and your pulse. The pedals have adjustable straps and a multi-crank system. Lastly, it also has eight levels of magnetic adjustable tension and the dual flywheels are nearly silent while in use.
Choosing a clear winner of the five was quite difficult because all the machines have their pros and cons. Also, some of the main differentiating factors really come down to personal preference. Especially considering the weight and height limits on the various machines.
After considering all the options, I have picked one winner. In my humble opinion, the Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike is the winner.
With just 31″ by 19″ by 46″ it is relatively small. Plus, when folded it only takes up about half the space. So, it’s a good option for people who want to store their machine after they’re done with their workout.
Furthermore, it has a heavy-duty design which means it’s also relatively sturdy. It certainly must be, because it supports a maximum weight of 300 pounds.
All in all, the Exerpeutic is a good compact and foldable exercise bike that will be a great fit for your home workouts, without taking up too much space!