Unless you have a dedicated gym space in your home then you are going to think long and hard about buying any form of exercise equipment. Even those lucky enough to have a dedicated room to work out in are going to want to optimise their space as fully as possible – so any equipment that folds down and is easy to store is going to appeal. Folding exercise bikes are a great idea – but are they really all they’re cracked up to be?
Like most things in the world of fitness, there is the good, the bad and the downright ugly – not to mention the ludicrously expensive! Having trawled what feels like hundred of options we have found 5 of the best folding exercise bikes that offer good value for money, a decent workout and are easy to store – we then put them to the test and have brought you this comprehensive review.
Are Folding Exercise Bikes Worth It?
Whether a foldable exercise bike is a good option for you or not is a question that only you can answer.
Do they have a place? Yes.
Are they going to give you the same degree of a workout as a real bike or a professional exercise bike? No.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy one. For some people, the idea of going to the gym is either mentally off-putting, can’t fit in with their schedule or is financially out of reach. For those people there are two alternatives – do very little exercise or find ways to work out that fit your lifestyle. If cycling is your thing then an exercise bike for the home can be an ideal choice. For those who are limited on space then a folding exercise bike is a top choice.
The other aspect to consider is that there are some very affordable and even what we would consider to be cheap foldable bikes. If you consider an average gym membership might cost you £25 per month then for the price of four month’s of gym membership you could one of the budget folding exercise bikes. You also have the flexibility to use it when you want and because it is in your home you can even mix it with your own entertainment such as whilst watching your favourite show on Netflix.
It is worth pointing out that a folding exercise bike does not quite have the same level of sturdiness as a fixed position bike and that means you are less likely to have quite such an intense workout on one as you would at the gym or even out on a real bike, also – if you are looking for a recumbent model then it may be difficult to find one that folds – so we really see the folding bike as a compromise – if you need or want an exercise bike for your home that isn’t going to take up a lot of space then it is just about the best option.
Best Folding Exercise Bikes – Top 5
So let’s take a look at our top 5 foldable exercise bikes:
Ultrasport F-Bike Folding Exercise Bike
The Ultrasport F-Bike is not the cheapest on our list but it is one of our favourites and offers exceptional value for money. At around the £130 mark, the basic model (F-Bike 250) is offers a good solid level of performance from its 74cm wide, 111cm high body. The F-Bike features magnetic resistance of which there are 8 levels to choose from and affording a good light to moderate workout for most types of user.
When folded, the F-Bike measures up at just 39cm wide and 129cm in height so it can be easily stored away from sight – the under the stairs cupboard springs to mind as a perfect place for it to live when not in use.
The F-Bike should appeal to all ages and is suitable for both men and women. It does have a maximum weight restriction of 100kg so if you are over this you might want to check out the Ultrasport F-Bike Heavy version. The bike itself weighs just 16kg so it is pretty easy to move around. There is a built in LCD display and although this is pretty basic it does serve a few functions and does so effectively. A single button can be used to scroll through the display that offers information on calories burned, time elapsed, distance covered, speed and your heart rate which is determined by two pulse monitors found in the handle bars.
The handles themselves are pretty sturdy and the pedals are wide, feature an anti-slip surface and are comfortable to use. The saddle is decent although as with most bikes it is not the most comfortable place to sit. If you are planning on regular rides of more than 30 minutes then you might wish to upgrade the saddle but this is easy to do. The seat is height adjustable which makes the bike suitable for people of varying heights.
User feedback for the F-Bike is very good indeed and as far as we can see it looks like Ultrasport have a very good track record when it comes to reliability and customer service. The bike is easy to put down and setup with the folding being initiated but simply removing a single pin and then replacing it to lock in the new folded or unfolded position.
If you want something with a little more stability there are two other options available to you with the F300B providing a backrest and the F400BS providing a backrest and resistance bands which turns the bike in to more of a cross trainer allowing you to perform upper body and lower body resistance training.
For the money, the F-Bike is a top choice and as a budget model tops our list.back to menu ↑
Exerpeutic Foldable Exercise Bike
Exerpeutic are a fairly well known brand in the home fitness market and have fast developed a reputation for high quality but affordable products. The Exerpeutic Folding Exercise Bike stands up their reputation and is one of the best budget foldable exercise bikes on the market. It is a little bit sturdier than the Ultrasport F-Bike and the only reason we didn’t give the Exerpeutic the no.1 spot was because it doesn’t fold down quite as compactly as its competitor. That being said, this bike will fold amply for most users.
The Exerpuetic model measures up at 78.5cm in length by 48cm width and stands at 117cm tall when not folded. When folded it is still fairly compact at 59cm length, 51cm width and 141cm in height. The larger frame allows a good level of weight distribution and the Exerpeutic can withstand 136kg of body weight – just about as good as it gets at this price point. In addition to having a sturdy frame, the seat pad is huge and pretty comfortable too – it really should be described as more of a seat than a saddle. It weighs a pretty lightweight 20kg and moving the bike from place to place in your home is fairly straightforward with wheels in the sides of the base designed to make this even easier on hard floors (which are recommended for this bike).
There are 8 levels of magnetic resistance on this folding exercise bike and there is plenty of range in the levels of resistance between the lightest and heaviest settings. Don’t get us wrong, this bike is probably not going to satisfy a pro but any beginner or intermediate users just looking to use a bike to elevate their heart rate and give some light resistance to the leg muscles are going to be more than happy. There is a 3 piece high torque crank system that drives the transmission through a well set flywheel and we found that the ride was smooth and felt well balanced.
There are dual pulse rate monitors on the handles that relay heart rate information to the 3.5″ LCD display along with other important data such as distance, speed, time and calorie expenditure. The display is easy to use and easy to read too with the main data displayed taking up most of the screen. The height of the seat can easily be adjusted and is suitable for users between 5’3″ and 6’1″. The peddles are very comfortable and pretty wide and feature a non-slip finish and straps to keep your feet in place.
Overall, the Exerpuetic is a top choice when it comes to foldable exercise bikes and even took ‘editors choice’ from Mens Health magazine.back to menu ↑
AtivaFit Foldable Exercise Bike
One of the best cheap folding exercise bikes has to be this AtivaFit model. Calling it cheap might be a bit of a disservice but if you are looking for a quality folding exercise bike for less than £100 then this is pretty much the top choice. The AtivaFit sports a slimline design that at first glance looks like it could be somewhat flimsy, but it is actually really well made and very sturdy considering its lightweight looks. Although this bike weighs in at just 15kg, it is capable of holding 100kg of bodyweight pretty comfortably and is also incredibly stable and sturdy for a foldable bike.
Like the other two bikes above, the AtivaFit has 8 levels of magnetic resistance can this can easily be adjusted thanks to the controller for this being towards the top of the bike where your hands can easily access. The flywheel and magnetised resistance are almost silent so you this is also a top choice for anyone who needs to workout quietly – for example if you are working out once the kids have gone to bed.
The large seat is fairly comfortable and the height can be adjusted from 26 inches high to 32 inches high which means it is going to be suitable for most people between 5’3″ and 6’1″. The pedals are also a decent size and feature a really impressive non-slip surface along with foot straps.
The LCD monitor sits atop the handlebars and has a large screen that shows you all the usual stats including speed, time, distance, calories and heart rate. The pulse rate monitors are found in the handle bars which are also well made, comfortable and give you added stability. There is a convenient phone/mobile device holder just underneath the main display – this is a great addition and allows you to use your phone in landscape mode to watch videos whilst still being able to see the main display of the bike – however if you want to view your phone in portrait mode it will obscure the main bike display. We actually found this to be one of the best features of the bike as the phone holder is in such a convenient place.
When folded, the AtivaFit measures 136cm in height by 40.1cm width and 17cm length – pretty impressive really! Overall, we found the AtivaFit to be a great budget option when it comes to folding exercise bikes and was comfortable enough for a 45-60 minute workout. The depth of challenge is limited but for beginners or those who are really limited by space or budget then it is a great buy.back to menu ↑
Kuokel Folding Exercise Bike
The Kuokel folding exercise bike was one that we had pretty low expectations of and mainly because we knew it was coming from a company that has very little history behind it. Being formed in 2017, Kuokel manufactures and supplies a range of exercise equipment with a clear focus on exercise bikes. This folding version is very well priced and has good reviews so we thought we’d take a punt – and we were glad we did as it is actually really good and offers something that most other models don’t.
In many respects this folding bike is like many others on this list, it features 8 levels of magnetic resistance with levels 4-8 being the ones you will use more often than not – offering beginners and intermediate users a decent level of workout challenge. It has pulse sensors, a decent display showing all the usual stats and pedals that are non-slip with foot attached foot straps. But the biggest difference with this bike is the seat. Anyone with any kind of lower back issues will be happy to know that this seat offers plenty of support to the lower back as well as extra stability afforded by extra handles to the sides of the seat. The seat itself is also incredibly comfortable and the added padded back rest is great for those who prefer a more upright ride – almost giving the perfect balance between an upright and recumbent exercise bike.
The Kuokel foldable exercise bike also comes with a 2 year warranty which for us offsets the brand history and can withstand 100kg of weight comfortably. There are the usual height adjustments for the seat position so it is suitable for most adult heights up to around 6’2″. When folded, the bike stands at 134.7cm with a width of 53cm so although it isn’t the smallest on our list it is still pretty compact. Overall, if you want a foldable bike with a good level of support for your back then this is a great option.back to menu ↑
Pleny Foldable Exercise Bike
The Pleny Foldable Fitness Bike may look at first sight similar to many of the other bikes listed on this page but there is one key difference – the Pleny has 16 levels of resistance which are magnetically controlled. There are two models, the black and the pink and although they look the same the black one actually offers a more intense workout so just bear that in mind if you are considering the pink – we reviewed the black model.
The Pleny is fairly well built and sports a well padded seat which although is not the largest of the seats we tested is still well padded enough for a not-uncomfortable 45 minute workout. The pedals are also a little smaller than some of the other models we tested but they were comfortable and non-slip with the usual foot straps attached.
The handle bars were not the most comfortable of the bikes we tested but they do the job and have in-built pulse rate monitors with heart rate being conveniently displayed on the LCD screen found on the large centre console. Here you can expect to find out your distance, time, speed, calories used as well as a count down feature if you prefer your workout to countdown.
The Pleny was pretty sturdy and should be fine for users weighing up to 100kg and it is one of the most compact of all we tested. It also features small wheels in the feet so you can easily move it from place to place and is perfect for the home or office.