If you have ever frequented a gym in the UK you might have seen a room full of people sitting on spin bikes in the dark, pedalling furiously to loud music whilst a personal trainer shouts motivational words at them. You may even have been one of those people and now want to experience the cardiovascular benefits of sweating your all on a spin bike in the comfort of your own home.
Well if you do… then you are in luck.
We have compiled the best spin bikes available in the UK and after spending a month or so testing each of them we can confidently bring you our full verdict on which is the best spin bike for you. We have selected a complete range of indoor studio type cycles for you to choose from and there should be something to suit all budgets and fitness levels.
Not sure where to start? At the end of the article, we take a look at some of the common questions and misconceptions around spinning as well as providing you with a handy guide on choosing the right spin bike for your needs.
Our Top 3 Quick Picks
If you don’t have time to read the whole article, take a look at our top 3 quick picks below:
- Max user weight of 150kg
- Top specs
- iFit compatibly for interactive and live sessions
- Excellent ride quality
- Software and hardware works flawlessly
- Suitable for all users 6’1″ and under
- Extremely smooth ride
- Compact design
- Ideal for home use
- Overall best value for money
12 Best Spin Bikes UK
Let’s take a look at our top spin bikes available in the UK. They are ordered in preferential order but it is worth reading each review as the best spin bike for you could be different based on your needs and budget.
NordicTrack S15i Studio Cycle
The NordicTrack S15i strikes the perfect balance between quality, usability and affordability.
This is without a doubt a more premium level spin bike (head straight to no.2 on our list if you are looking for the best budget pick), but you get so much with the S15i that it truly is one of the best pieces of home cardio gear on the market – and as far as home use spin bikes go – it is a clear winner for us.
NordicTrack are one of our favourite home gym equipment suppliers. Most of their equipment utilises the ever popular iFit workouts (giving both live and pre-recorded sessions) and the build quality of their machines is second to none.
The S15i is the entry level model of NordicTrack’s studio cycles, which means it is the most affordable in their range, but there is nothing basic about its offering. With a super smooth inertia enhanced flywheel, 20% incline to 10% decline, 22 levels of digitally controlled resistance and a maximum user weight of 150kg – you start to get the idea of how well built this studio cycle is.
It is built to a commercial standard, but it is very much designed for home use. It has WiFi and bluetooth connectivity, an impressive 14 inch HD display that is adjustable and rotates for the perfect viewing angle and the bike can be controlled automatically by the trainer if you so wish.
It all sounds quite complex but it’s actually really easy and intuitive to use. Powered by an Android operating system, NordicTrack have released an upgraded version of this machine and have beefed it up with twice as much RAM and improved processing power – all of which leads to a seamless, non-glitchy experience.
You don’t have to use it with iFit (subscription required) but you get so much more functionality and will really get the most out of the bike if you do. That being said, this is a bike that is built for all ability levels right out of the box. The incline and decline settings make it much more fun and more challenging to ride, and the real time feedback you get is motivational and insightful.
The S15i is incredibly comfortable to use, has all the expected adjustability and is also easy to move around despite its 80kg or so of weight. You also get a couple of dumbbells with it which can be stored on the bike to incorporate some upper body resistance training in to your workouts.
If you have the budget, you shouldn’t need to look past the S15i, and with a hefty discount available below using our link, you can’t go far wrong with this. Finally, a 5 year frame warranty and 2 year parts and labour warranty give you plenty of peace of mind.
HFC Indoor Stationary Bike
Best budget option
First up is this indoor stationary bike from Home Fitness Code. This is one of the cheapest spin bikes we tested and is the cheapest to make the cut on our top 11 list – but we haven’t included it just for its low price point. Measuring up at 99cm (l) x 51cm (w) x 100cm (h) it is also one of the smallest bikes we tested, so although we wouldn’t recommend this model to anyone over 6′ 1″ tall, it is ideal for home use thanks to its compact design. For those under 6′ 1″ – this spin bike offers a comfortable ride, is well made and has plenty of challenge thanks to its infinite magnetic resistance.
As you would expect, there are three areas of adjustability with the saddle height and distance from the handlebars being adjustable as well as the height of the handlebars. This gives an additional 11cm of height and means those at the upper end of the height range will be well catered for.
The HFC spin bike is made from a heavy duty steel frame and as such it can hold a maximum user weight of 123kg. Pretty impressive given the lowish price point of this bike and it really does feel stable when in use.
The seat and pedals are comfortable to use although you may wish to upgrade to a gel seat pad if you want an extra layer of comfort – these are typically available for around £10. The pedals are textured to provide extra grip and the straps can be adjusted to give a snug fit around the feet – again ensuring you enjoy a comfortable ride.
The flywheel is one of the lightest to make our top 11 list and weighs just over 8kg. This is certainly at the lower end of what we would be happy to recommend but to be fair it performs well and offers a smooth and fluid ride. When using this bike it is very quiet in operation so there should be no issues with using it while other members of the household are in bed or if you have neighbours to consider.
The display is pretty basic but gives you all the readouts you would expect to see. There is no pulse rate monitor built in to the handles so that is one piece of data that is omitted but you can pick up a heart rate monitor fairly cheaply these days if you really need that.
The HFC is a cheap and cheerful model but it gets the basics right. It will be well suited to anyone just starting out or looking for a quick fix while not going to the gym. For more advanced users we’d suggest opting for one of the Apex, JLL or JTX models – but for beginners and intermediates this budget friendly offering is just the ticket.
- Extremely affordable compared to other models
- Quiet to ride
- Smooth flywheel
- Maximum user weight of 123kg
- Very sturdy
- No pulse rate monitor included
JTX Cyclo 6
Best all rounder upright cycle for home
The JTX Cyclo 6 is one of the best performing spin bikes of all those we have tested and although it usually comes at a mid to high end price point it is currently available with at a very competitive sub-£600 price tag which makes it one of the best options in this price range. JTX Fitness have become one of our preferred UK stockists thanks to their high quality products, reasonable prices and exceptional customer service – and the Cyclo 6 hits all of these selling points with aplomb.
With a heavy gauge steel construction and a 22kg flywheel, the Cyclo 6 is a pretty heavy duty option that is both stable and secure as well as incredibly smooth in operation. This unit measures up at 124cm (l) x 54cm (w) x 122cm (h) and has more adjustable options than any of the other products we tested on this list – with the addition of handlebar distance (as well as height) from the seat – this makes this indoor studio cycle one of the most adaptable for users of all heights. The maximum seat to pedal height is 107cm and the minimum is 78cm which means taller and shorter users alike get on well with this model.
There are an infinite number of resistance levels with the Cyclo 6 and this is intuitively implemented the harder you pedal. But for those who like to be able to control the starting level of difficulty there is a resistance dial that can be used to find the right starting range for you.
The seat is exceptionally comfortable with soft padding but offers a firm enough ride to enable you to push yourself to the max. The handlebars have multiple grip positions and are ergonomically designed – in reality this means you can adopt seated or standing positions that are either upright or leaning and easily find a comfortable grip.
When it comes to the pedals you can opt for the upgraded dual side pedals or the toe clip pedals. Either options work well and it is more a matter of personal preference whether you want to go for the double option.
The LCD display on this bike is pretty basic and it is clear that JTX Fitness have put their efforts in to the bike components and mechanics as opposed to the display but this is still Polar heart rate receiver compatible (in addition to the built in pulse rate monitors). This is a nice touch and adds to the overall value of this unit.
Although the display is simplistic you can use a tablet or mobile device and sync up to popular apps such as Peloton, Aaptiv or other cycling apps to allow you to access spin studio classes and to ride in locations across the globe – all very motivational stuff.
JTX Fitness provide a 2 year at home warranty with this spin bike which provides extra peace of mind but user reviews show few issues over time and are glowing overall. Ultimately, this is one of the best spin bikes we have tested and it simply works well. It is ideal for all levels of user and is also great for taller users thanks to its dimensions and 4 way adjustability. A top buy for us.
- 4 options for adjusting to user height
- Exceptionally smooth ride
- Incredibly stable
- High levels of build quality
- Basic LCD monitor
Apex Smart Bike
Our best alternative pick
The Apex Smart Bike is one of the most innovative pieces of home cardio equipment that we have had the pleasure to test in the last 12 months or so. In a space that is dominated by large interactive screens (that add hundreds and sometimes thousands to the price) it is sometimes hard to judge a bike on what it is truly designed for – but the Apex Smart Bike looks to put things right.
The first thing to point out is that this is an exceptional spin bike. It also has a whole range of interactive and connected features that would make the likes of Peloton shudder. What it doesn’t have though is a screen – and we think this is a real positive. The Apex Smart Bike is designed for use at home. If your home is like most modern homes it probably already has more screens than it needs – so why add another and waste hundreds of pounds in the process. The Apex can make use of your existing tablet or can even cast direct to your smart TV – meaning the need for that expensive screen is eradicated.
Let’s take a look at the important stuff though – the Apex Smart Bike looks incredible and rides even better. It has a magnetic resistance, protected flywheel that affords a super smooth and quiet ride. It can take a maximum user weight of 140kg, measures up at 2ft x 4ft and weighs in at 45kg. You can use SPD or standard trainers thanks to the Shimano 50/50 pedals that are included as standard and the app gives you access to 100’s of live and on-demand fitness sessions specifically designed for the bike. It even has a charging point for your device and wireless phone charging.
The Apex is Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled and works perfectly in sync with the app. The only downside is that at the time of writing the app is only compatible with Apple iOS and so its a no-go for android users. We have it on good authority that Apex are working on an Android app though so watch this space – (edit – Android has now launched so everyone can access the brilliance of the Apex App). You can sync your data with Strava and Apple Health which is also a nice touch.
The app costs £29.99 per month but you can have multiple users on one account, you can challenge in on-line leaderboards and you get access to some of the best personal trainers. You don’t have to use the app but it’s well worth it and one of the main selling points of this bike.
If you want something that doesn’t need membership then check out the JTX Cyclo 6, otherwise this is a top choice and pretty much our favourite spin bike right now.
Echelon Connect Sport Spin Bike
Super high quality for a well known brand
The Echelon Connect Sport is one of the most impressive budget spin bikes we have tested. It compares incredibly well on price to other models on this list and has access to class leading software and has some of the most advanced hardware at this price point. There are a couple of concessions you need to make compared to their pricier models (mainly there is no touch screen or SDP pedal compatibility) but if you are just on the lookout for a high quality bike that will last for home use then you needn’t look much further than the Connect Sport.
Not only are we endorsing this product after testing, but it is also given a ‘best buy’ award by the Independent thanks to its incredible build quality. It has a relatively small footprint which makes it ideal for use at home (dimensions are 120.5cm length x 63cm width and a maximum height of 126cm), it features a 7kg flywheel which is actually incredibly high performance and has up to 32 levels of resistance. You get 30 days of membership to the Echelon live classes and on-demand classes (as well as the app and all that comes with that) when you buy the bike and you can extend this if you wish – which you probably will want to do as the software is incredible and very motivational.
Of course, if you want something a bit beefier then Echelon have a range of models up from the Connect Sport but when it comes to home use and value for money then you probably won’t really need much more than what this studio cycle offers.
In testing, we found this to be one of the smoothest rides and most comfortable bikes in terms of adjustment and ergonomics, although the seat is not quite as comfortable as their higher end models.
The 12 month warranty covers parts and labour and customer service is excellent from our experience and from what we can see from user reviews. This is a top option and if you have a tablet to attach to the included tablet holder then the lack of touch screen is not an issue.
We can’t recommend this bike highly enough.
JLL IC300 PRO
One of the quietest spin bikes we tested
The JLL IC300 PRO is a high quality indoor cycle that sits towards the mid-price range in terms of cost but packs plenty of punches when it comes to build quality and features. Manufactured in the UK by one of our favoured fitness equipment suppliers, the IC300 PRO is part of a range of spin bikes that sets a high standard.
Sporting a 20kg flywheel that is driven by a strong but smooth actioned rubber belt, the IC300 PRO features a whole host of adjustable components and has a clear focus on user comfort as well as high performance. There is magnetic resistance that is easily adjustable thanks to a turning dial which controls the distance the magnet sits from the flywheel and thus increases resistance the closer it is. We found the levels of resistance to be ample and although you don’t get a set number of resistance levels it is easy enough to set the resistance level and the range of difficulty between the highest and lowest setting is quite considerable.
The IC300 PRO measures up at 131cm in length when fully adjusted and when minimally adjusted can sit at a length of 111cm. The height is also adjustable between 98cm and 112cm and there is a fixed width of 51cm. It is the adjustable nature of the handlebars, saddle height and seat distance (to the handlebars) that make this one of the best spin bikes on offer. It really does allow the user to find a level that is comfortable for them in terms of ergonomics and the large handlebars allow for a range of seated positions as well as standing use.
The IC300 PRO comes with an aluminium bottle which stores perfectly in the drinks holder that is conveniently located to the side of the front wheel. This is generally well positioned but if you are at maximum height on the saddle it is a bit of a stretch to reach the bottle.
The centre console is basic but functional and has all the standard stats displayed as you might expect including your heart rate that is measured using the pulse rate sensors on the handles. We found the readouts to be fairly accurate when compared to the readouts from our Whoop band.
There is a maximum user weight of 130kg which is towards the high end for most spin bikes and the weight of the bike itself is 45kg. There are transport wheels to the front of the bike so you can move it in to a convenient location for your workout.
Every aspect of the IC300 is comfortable and the riding experience is enjoyable and challenging as you would expect. It is worth pointing out that this is one of the quietest bikes we tested which makes it ideal for home or flat use where lower noise levels might be important.
The pedals features a 3 piece crank system which provides a strong feel and we are told this makes the pedals much more durable in the long term. The IC300 PRO is very much designed for home use and should have no issue with daily use and is backed by the JLL at home 12 month warranty.
All in all, if you are looking for a high quality spin bike that doesn’t break the bank then this is a top choice.
- Plenty of adjustable options for comfort
- Very quiet ride
- Good range of magnetic resistance
- High maximum user weight of 130kg
- Excellent build quality
- Slightly inconvenient location of water bottle holder
JLL IC400 PRO
Great option for heavier users
The JLL IC400 PRO is a step up from the IC300 and in theory is actually a significant upgrade on the IC300 PRO. The main reason we have positioned the IC300 above the 400 is down to price as this model will set you back around an extra £100. That being said, if you think you will benefit from the added functionality and some of the extra features then it still represents very good value for money at this price point.
The main design of the IC400 PRO is pretty much the same as its younger sibling from an aesthetic point of view, but there are a couple of key differences. This model comes with an upgraded centre console with bluetooth connectivity which allows you to connect to the iConsole + app giving a range of new functionality. There is an upgraded flywheel, saddle and pedals that can also enhance the overall experience and for more seasoned spin cycle users this might prove to be a better purchase.
The length of the IC400 is pretty much the same as the 300 with a total length of 120cm when fully adjusted. The maximum height is greater with a total maximum height of 141.5cm and a slightly greater width of 54cm. These different dimensions don’t really impact on the usability of the bike and it is just as well suited to users of all heights just like the IC300. One of the key differences is that the 400 sports a gel seat cover which provides extra comfort to the already well padded saddle. There is also the addition of SDP compatible pedals which means you can use dedicated cycling shoes to clip in if you wish. This is a significant upgrade over the IC300 and although not all users will appreciate this upgrade it will make a big difference to dedicated spin cycle and road/mountain bike enthusiasts.
The centre console gets an upgrade too and takes on a much more elegant look with added bluetooth functionality. This allows connectivity to the iConsole app which brings with it a plethora of new features. This worked well for us although some people have had connection issues with the app with other bike models – the IC400 PRO worked well for us when connected to the app though.
The 22kg flywheel is an upgrade on the previous model and will provide a slightly smoother ride but also a more challenging ride with increased resistance at the top end. This model also has an increased maximum user weight of 150kg which is about as good as it gets. The total weight of the bike stands at 53kg.
You will find the device and drinks holders well positioned on the IC400 PRO and overall this is one of the most comfortable to use and sturdy spin bikes we tested. Read our full JLL IC400 Pro review here.
- SDP compatible pedals a huge plus
- Gel padded seat cover included
- 150kg maximum user weight
- Bluetooth functionality
- Extremely comfortable to use
- Some negative user reviews of iConsole app
Life Fitness ICG IC2 Studio Bike
Best spin bike overall if budget no option
Life Fitness are one of the out and out best fitness equipment suppliers on the market and whilst their ICG range is pretty pricey for someone needing a spin bike for home use, the IC2 is an affordable entry level option to this level of bike. What Life Fitness deem as entry level is however many echelons above what the more budget models will offer and with the IC2 you are getting an absolute top end machine at a reasonable price point.
Weighing in at just under 50kg and with a maximum user weight of 130kg, the IC2 will be usable by most people. It is an ideal piece of kit for home and commercial gyms and it comes with a warranty that suits both situations. This bike measures up at 120cm (l) x 53cm (w) x 110cm (h) and sports a 15kg perimeter weighted flywheel. It has bluetooth and an ANT+ console which means it can be connected to other devices and of course heart rate monitors.
The IC2 is a joy to behold and even better to use. There is absolutely no doubt when you set eyes on this studio bike that it is a machine of extremely high quality. It looks and feels sturdy and the high grade aluminium frame is sure to stand the test of time.
The ride quality is exceptional – and without a doubt better than any of the other models we tested with only the JLL IC400 Pro and JTX Cyclo 6 getting close – but to be fair, the IC2 is a more expensive model and I guess you get what you pay for. The smoothness and balance of the ride is mainly due to the perimeter weighted flywheel and this leads to more enjoyable and efficient workouts.
Like most spin bikes, there is no fancy large screen monitor and instead all of the focus has gone in to creating a bike that works incredibly well.
With dual sided pedals, users can choose between SPD cycling shoes or standard trainers and this level or versatility is great to have. Every touch point on this bike feels robust and comfortable, with 4 levels of adjustment at your disposal to find the most comfortable riding position.
With a 3 year at home parts and labour warranty and a 2 year commercial gym parts and labour warranty it is fair to say that Life Fitness are putting their money where their mouth is and backing the build quality with a top level warranty. It is true, you may not really need a spin bike of this quality for your home setup but if you want something that is going to last for years and you are going to use it regularly then you are going to get a commercial quality bike at a reasonable price and have the pleasure of using it in your own home.
We really can’t say enough good things about the IC2 so if you have the budget and intend to use your bike a lot then this is a great option to go for.
XS Sports SB500
Offers incredible value for money
The XS Sports SB500 is a budget spin bike that provides a good solid spin workout in the comfort of your own home. It doesn’t have quite the same build quality as the higher positioned bikes on this page but it does a great job at a really budget price. The SB500 is the bigger brother of the SB350 and we prefer this model as it is has a stronger frame and therefore is likely to stand the test of time.
The frame of the SB500 is solid and when you sit on this bike it feels very sturdy. It is designed to be used by users of a maximum weight of 125kg which is pretty decent considering the price tag – if we compared that to the 100kg max user weight of the SB350 then the SB500 certainly inspires a little more confidence.
The SB500 stands at 112cm (l) x 48cm (w) x 105cm (h) and features adjustable elements including height of saddle, distance from saddle to handlebars and also the height of the handlebars. The handlebars are well padded and long enough to provide good support in a range of positions. You can also stand when spinning on this bike without any issue and the stability is overall very good. If we are being super picky we would prefer the handlebars to be slightly greater in width but this is a minimal issue and is a subjective preference of our tester. There are some well made elbow pads on the handles which are ideal for tough gruelling sessions.
The saddle is pretty well padded and is just as comfortable as most spin bike saddles you would find in a commercial setup. XS Sports apparently spend a lot of time researching the ideal ergonomics and this shows in the adjustable nature of this bike and the quality of the seat.
The flywheel is 15kg which is less than some of the other models we tested but it did perform well for us. It is not quite as smooth as the JLL models but it is not noticeably jerky either. In fact, we had some very enjoyable rides on the SB500 and the level of challenge afforded by the magnetic resistance was impressive. This bike has a two way chain driven system which may explain why the ride is not quite so smooth as the belt driven systems we tested but it should also mean longevity will not be an issue with this model. The pedals seem well made and have foot straps to keep your feet in place and the pedalling action was smooth with nothing out of the ordinary.
The centre console is very basic but displays all the key data including time, speed, distance, calories burned and also your pulse rate. The pulse rate sensors are built in to the handles and work effectively.
It is hard to knock this effort from XS Sports given the affordable price point and anyone looking to replace their gym based spin bike sessions with the affordable SB500 shouldn’t be disappointed.
- Generous maximum user weight of 125kg
- Unbeatable value for money
- Good level of adjustability
- Two way chain driven system
- Slightly narrow handlebars
SOLE FITNESS SB700
Best for true cycling fans
At the time of writing spin bikes are hard to find but we have managed to find a top of the range model that is in stock and comes with a 36% saving which makes an already exceptional studio cycle even better value for money.
The Sole Fitness SB700 is an incredibly well made standalone spin cycle that has a great spec, is extremely comfortable to use and has a good level of connectivity. Whereas some bikes focus on gimmicks, this offering from Sole Fitness really focuses on the ride experience that you will enjoy (or endure) when using this model. This is the new model for 2021 and as such it comes with the added tablet holder which does allow you to extend the functionality of the bike quite extensively.
The SB700 has an impressive 22kg flywheel that powers a smooth and fluid ride. Even when used at high speeds this bike provides a smooth ride and with a dial based multi-level friction pad resistance there is more than enough to test even the most hardcore of users. It is also perfect for beginners thanks to the wide range of resistance you can choose from.
The build quality of this spin cycle is exceptional and all of the touch points are well made and comfortable to the touch. The seat and handles are of course adjustable and the dimensions of this unit are such that users of all sizes should be comfortable using it. There is a maximum weight limit of 135kg which is about standard for home use indoor studio cycles and this bike can even be used in light commercial settings. It is also one of the most sturdy bikes we tested thanks to the design of the frame and the heavy duty feet.
It is compatible with Polar heart rate straps and can be used in conjunction with third party apps if you wish although this is great as a standalone unit.
There are no fancy screens (just a simple LCD display) but you get all the key data you need and we like the fact that Sole Fitness have focused on ride quality and comfort above all else. The SB700 comes with a 5 year warranty which includes 3 years of labour warranty which is above the average 12 months that most manufacturers provide. This bike retails for around £1000 usually but we have secured a significant discount below and it is available for immediate shipping.
- Top quality 22kg flywheel
- Incredibly smooth ride quality
- Comfortable seat
- Oversized feet pads
- New model comes with tablet holder
- 5 year warranty
- No built in pulse rate monitor
Bluefin Fitness Tour SP Bike
The Tour SP Bike from Bluefin Fitness is one of the nicest looking spin bikes you will see. Now of course, judging something by the way it looks is not going to tell us a great deal about functionality but the good news is that the Tour SP stacks up on both fronts. Standing at 122cm (l) x 129cm (h) x 58cm (w) the Tour SP is one of the sturdiest indoor cycles we tested and also has a great range of adjustable options at its disposal.
Quick release levers allow you to quickly and easily adjust the height of handlebars, the height of the saddle and the distance the saddle sits from the handlebars and means that switching between users is a quick and easy. In fact, it seems that Bluefin Fitness have gone the extra miles with this model to ensure that comfort and convenience is experienced by the user at all times. From the placement of the water bottle holder to the well positioned tablet holder on the centre console, this bike is all about functionality as well as comfort.
The ride quality of the Tour SP is excellent and it all starts with the impressive belt driven 25kg flywheel. This provides one of the smoothest spin rides we have ever had the pleasure to experience and not only that, but it does so almost silently. The pedals have a dynamic anti-slip design with adjustable straps above to keep everything nice and secure mid-spin. The saddle is easy to adjust and has 9 levels of vertical adjustment which promise to provide the ideal height no matter your size. The saddle is not the comfiest we have tested and so it could be worth purchasing an additional gel saddle cover if you are aiming for regular 30-60 minute spin sessions.
The drop handlebars are probably the best we tested for this roundup and the padding on them is excellent as is the design and positioning of them. They also feature handy arm pads that provide increased comfort and stability when you are really pushing hard.
The centre console that comes supplied with the bike is one of the better that we saw although it is still simple by design. This is no bad thing as it keeps the cost down and allows you to easily display your own mobile device or tablet above it and use the bundled KinoMap app for live or pre-recorded training sessions and lots more besides. There is a pulse rate monitor built in to the handle bars and this can be displayed on the console but one feature that does set this apart from some of the other models is that it is compatible with standalone heart rate straps.
The official maximum user weight of the Tour SP is 100kg but we have seen plenty of user reviews saying it can withstand 125kg or more. For safety reasons we would suggest sticking to the 100kg maximum though.
Overall, this is an excellent spin bike with a hefty flywheel and one of the smoothest and quietest rides you can get.
- Excellent connectivity
- Heart rate strap compatible
- Super smooth ride
- Almost silent operation
- Sports pedals included
- Low official maximum user weight of 100kg
Sportstech SX200 Indoor Studio Bike
Great for those who love to use connected apps
The Sportstech SX200 spin bike is the most expensive of those we tested and comes in at around the £500 mark. We had pretty high expectations of this bike and although it didn’t disappoint, equally it didn’t blow us away either. The SX200 does everything right, it has a well built and sturdy frame, is comfortable to use and has a heavyweight flywheel that drives a smooth ride. Where it excels is in its display and connectivity and that is the key difference between this model and those that are slightly cheaper. This is not quite achieving Peloton levels but it is closer to that than the rest we reviewed – the key question is – do you need that level of functionality?
The frame measures up at 104cm (l) x 54cm (w) x 116cm (h) and it has all the adjustability of the other models we tested. The design is very good with the water bottle holder in the ideal position and the centre console being optimally placed for perfect line of sight. It has a larger display than all of the other models we tested and the basic functionality of this is excellent – this does get covered up when you place a device in the holder though so you will need to use the dedicated apps rather than just watching your favourite TV show (which we wouldn’t recommend for spinning anyway).
In terms of connectivity the main app you will want to use will be KinoMap and this works incredibly well with the SX200. You can stream to another screen if you want the full screen display and this is where you start to enjoy the Peloton type experience with live and pre-recorded sessions available. If you are the sort of person who needs this level of motivation then the SX200 could be a savvy buy.
All aspects of the build quality are excellent. The maximum user weight is 125kg which is ample (if not the greatest of those we tested) and the saddle is very comfortable too and features horizontal and vertical adjustment. The handlebars are ergonomically designed and we found them to be perfect in testing and they feature arm rests for extra padding when needed. There are pulse rate sensors built in to the handles and you can also use a chest strap heart rate monitor too.
Resistance levels are super easy to change and this is controlled using a dial with no individual resistance steps. The range of difficulty between the highest and lowest setting is pretty vast and means this spin bike is suitable for all ability levels.
The SX200 is driven by a 22kg flywheel which is very smooth and quiet in operation and this cycle uses a belt to drive it.
Overall, the SX200 is an excellent indoor studio cycle for home use, has the best connectivity of those we tested and is very well made. The price point will put some people off but if you need the connectivity it is worth the investment.
- Best for connectivity
- Very comfortable to use
- Good adjustment levels
- Very comfortable saddle
- Most expensive of all tested
More Spin Bike FAQs
Still not sure what to look for? Take a look at these common questions and you will be spinning in no time.
Spin Bikes Vs. Exercise Bikes
It is a common misconception that spin bikes are the same as exercise bikes. This is simply not the case and although there are of course many similarities between the two, there are also some key differences. Spin bikes tend to require more effort and force from the user than exercise bikes and they don’t have the same level of versatility as an exercise bike (that often comes loaded with extra gadgets and the ability to change various settings) but they do help you to burn more calories if you really push yourself.
Spin bikes tend to have a much sturdier base and more solid frame and generally you will not find foldable spin bikes. Exercise bikes tend to be foldable but do lack the stability that spin bikes have.
Spin bikes will keep your body in a more natural position thanks to the design of them and they feature a variation of drop handle bars which are more comfortable to use and grab on to when really pushing hard. These spin handle bars are designed so they push upwards and away from the main frame of the bike and really make a difference when compared to standard exercise bikes.
Both will help tone your legs and particularly your calf muscles and both offer one of the most low impact cardio workouts available. Certainly, if you compare a spin session to a 30 minute run on a treadmill then you will not only cause less impact to your joints but you will also burn more calories.
Advantages and Disadvantages Of Spin Bikes
Spinning is generally the most sought after exercise class at any commercial gym so you might be forgiven for thinking that it has hundreds of positives and no negatives. Like anything, there is a balance to strike so let’s start with the good stuff.
Taking part in regular spin cycle sessions is a great way to keep your heart and cardiovascular system healthy and in good shape. Cycling and spinning are a great low impact way to increase your weekly cardio sessions and spin bikes in particular are pretty affordable when compared to treadmills and rowing machines.
Spin bikes are considered safe from an injury point of view as there is little chance of injury and they do not require any outdoor or road riding which can be more dangerous than stationary cycling in your garage. They can also be used no matter the weather which is just as well for any one using a spin bike in the UK.
If you are looking to improve your stamina or just want to use a spin cycle for a HIIT workout then it is the perfect piece of exercise equipment for those purposes.
The main issues with spin bikes surround overuse. The bikes themselves will have no issues with being used every day but the human body does need rest and so unlike brisk walking which is a great form of cardio, hard core spinning should not be performed every day of the week. Instead, you should aim for a weekly routine of 3-4 spin sessions per week at the most and then supplement this with a lighter form of cardio such as walking.
Will I Lose Weight By Spinning?
Spinning, like most forms of exercise will help you burn calories but that in itself will not necessarily be enough to help you lose weight. If you are looking to burn fat then you should look to be in a calorie deficit – in other words you need to be eating less calories than your body is burning as energy.
Each 30 minute spin session will likely burn between 200 and 300 calories, so if you spin for one hour per day that will be 400 to 600 calories you have burned that you might otherwise have done. However, if you then decide to eat 3 chocolate biscuits as a reward then you have just added on around 300 calories. If you then eat a chocolate bar in the afternoon because you feel good about your spin session you have completely negated your workout.
So the simple answer is that spinning can help you to get in to a calorie deficit but only as part of a well balanced nutritional plan (we don’t like the word diet).
Put it this way – if your body expends 2500 calories on an average day and you usually consume 2500 calories then you are not going to gain or lose weight. If you still consume the 2500 calories but add a spin session to your usual day that means you are likely to be expending 2900 to 3100 calories – which is putting you in a calorie deficit of 400-600 calories – in this case, yes you will lose weight.
Why Buy A Spin Bike For Home
The spin studio at any commercial gym is usually the most popular room in the building. It is also not uncommon for these classes to be fully booked which can lead to plenty of frustration if you are desperate to join the class and can’t get a space. The number one benefit to buying a spin bike to use at home is that it is yours to use whenever you please which means using it consistently is easy to do.
Of course, when using a studio type cycle at home you are still going to have all of the benefits of using one at the gym except you won’t have the gym instructor shouting at you. If you still need the added motivation of someone telling you what to do and when, then you can either follow pre-recorded sessions or even follow live follow along sessions on one of the many apps available. Check out our guide with the best Peloton alternatives if you want a more premium experience.
Spin bikes are one of the most effective cardio tools we can use and for us cardio is something that is generally better achieved outside of the gym. Whether that is running, cycling, walking etc. is up to you, but we prefer to use the gym for strength training which you should look to incorporate alongside your cardio training. If you have a home setup for strength training then you could even lose the gym membership altogether thus saving you money in the process.
Another consideration might be to up your cardio to an outdoor routine. We have rounded up the best electric bikes under £1000 to help you choose a great outdoor bike that gives you just enough assistance when needed – great for beginners!
How To Buy A Spin Bike For Home Use
Buying a spin bike can seem a little daunting but it needn’t be. Unlike some gym equipment, spin cycles are not the hardest thing to buy and the biggest factors should be longevity and budget – and often these two go hand in hand. In other words, the more you pay the higher quality bike you should get and therefore the longer it should last – of course, things aren’t always that simple so here are a few handy tips showing what to look out for.
Size – Most spin cycles are very similar in size but some do have larger dimensions than others so always check the measurements before you order. We have included the dimensions of each cycle we have reviewed so you can be sure it will fit in your space. It is also worth noting that if you are really tight for space you might be better off with a folding exercise bike.
Maximum User Weight – Cheap spin bikes tend to have much lower maximum user weights compared to more expensive models. That being said, most spin bikes will have sufficient weight capacity for most users thanks to their more stable base. Always check the maximum weight limit before purchasing as this is also a good sign as to the quality of the frame.
Connectivity – Although spin bikes are usually a little less sophisticated than standard exercise bikes you can still get some with excellent connectivity with various apps and wearable tech such as heart rate monitors. If app connectivity is important to you then this is well worth looking in to before buying.
Comfort Levels – The ergonomics of the bike are important and you should put a particular focus on the saddle, handle bars and pedals as these are the key points of contact you will have with the bike. You should also consider who is going to use it and if there are any particular issues for anyone who is taller or shorter than average. It is important that the bike is adjustable to the user height too.
Flywheel and Drive Belt – The flywheel and drive belt are key components of any spin bike and as such you should look for bikes with high quality flywheels and smooth but strong drive belts. Flywheels come in a variety of weights but it is not always the case that the heaviest flywheel is best (although this is a good rule of thumb) so always look for something that is smooth running and ideally not too loud. The same applies to the drive belt which can either be a belt or chain. Chain belts tend to be stronger but are often noisier whereas standard belts are smoother and quieter.
Resistance Levels – The resistance levels found on a spin bike allow you to control the intensity of the ride. These need to be handy to adjust as you will often look to make adjustments mid-ride. They can be mechanically or manually controlled and there can be anything upwards of 8 levels of resistance. It is worth noting that a bike that has 24 levels of resistance may not provide a tougher ride than a bike with 8 levels of resistance but just means it has more variations between its hardest and easiest setting. Many spin bikes tend to have a dial with no set levels of intensity – this is perfectly normal.
Durability – Spin studio cycles are going to cost anything from £150 to £600+ so it is not an investment to take lightly. It is important that it is built to last and that it is easy to maintain so it can be used for years, if not decades.
Warranty – All spin bikes will come with a warranty. Some start at just 6 months for refurbished models and some will offer 10 year warranties or even lifetime warranties on certain components. It is worth checking the warranty details before purchasing.