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What to Consider When Shopping for a Folding Exercise Bike

If this is your first time shopping for foldable exercise bikes (even if you’ve bought a “typical” exercise bike before), you may not know what to look for. Folding exercise bikes are similar to traditional indoor exercise bikes, although there are some key differences. It’s important to understand them when shopping for the best foldable bike for you.

Size and portability: If you’re shopping for foldable exercise bikes, there’s a good chance you’re short on space at home. So, it’s likely that size and portability are important considerations. The most lightweight folding bikes we’ve seen weigh less than 40 pounds, while beefier models can be more than 60 pounds. In either case, they’re still fairly portable, even for one person to move. This is made all the easier for models with built-in transport wheels. Also, be sure to compare the “open” and “folded” sizes, so you’ll know just how much floor space that folding bike will save you.

Resistance: As with traditional models, the type of resistance can make all the difference. Thankfully, the choice is simple because most folding exercise bikes rely on magnetic resistance. This is the quietest and most low-maintenance construction. Some use air-powered flywheels which offer almost limitless resistance levels, but they are inherently louder and need more frequent maintenance.

Delivery and assembly: The most important difference between traditional exercise bikes and folding models is, of course, in the name: Folding. This can make foldable exercise bikes slightly more complicated than their ordinary counterparts, which means they can be more difficult to assemble. When shopping for your first model, check other buyers’ reviews on how easy or difficult the assembly process was. Also consider what delivery options are provided. Will the bike be left outside your front door? Or is “white glove” delivery (inside your home) offered, whether for free or as an add-on? You may want to consider the latter and, if you don’t want to bother assembling it yourself, see if the company offers assembly as well.

Price: In the world of home gym and workout equipment, folding exercise bikes are relatively affordable. Most fall into the $150-$200 range. Some budget models can be had for closer to $100 but, in most cases, we don’t recommend these as they’re just not built to last. The best folding exercise bikes can top $300 and offer a lot more convenience features—think larger LCD screens, built-in work desks, dozens of resistance levels, and more.

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The Benefits of Folding Exercise Bikes

Low impact workouts: In general, folding exercise bikes provide most of the same ample cardio benefits for newbies. Just like any spinning workout, they can strengthen your heart, lower blood pressure and help burn off calories.

But the real reason to buy a folding exercise bike over a traditional model is because of their space-saving capabilities. Most weigh less and fold down to less than half their expanded size, making them an ideal cardio machine for smaller apartments or compact spaces (like basements or garages).

But if you’re looking for a more intense workout—say, full-body HIIT exercises—then you’re better off investing in a traditional exercise bike or air bike, if you have the space and budget for one.

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How Should I Decide on a Folding Exercise Bike?

We’ll dive into this a bit more below. But, in general, you’ll want to consider the price, durability, warranty, and resistance type. Size and portability are arguably the two most important factors, however.

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Can I Get a Good Workout Using a Folding Exercise Bike?

Working out on a folding exercise bike can get your heart rate up. However, most trainers and workout veterans admit that it won’t be quite as intense. Folding models aren’t as beefy, as durable, or as up to the task of more intense cardio workouts. Despite that, they’re still a great, affordable option for beginners looking to start small on their workout journey. Plus, if you’re short on space, a folding model may be the best (or only) way to go.

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Are Exercise Bikes Good for Weight Loss?

Virtually any fitness machine, especially cardio equipment like exercise bikes, can help with weight loss. Folding exercise bikes aren’t much different, other than that they’re more compact and able to fold away for easy storage.

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Is It Safe to Ride an Exercise Bike Every Day?

The short answer is: Yes. Just keep in mind that your body needs rest days, too. They’re just as important as your workout days.

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Why You Can Trust Us

At Men’s Health, we take great pride in providing our readers with reliable and trustworthy product recommendations. We believe that our readers deserve the best, which is why we always make sure to conduct thorough research and testing before making any recommendations. Our writers and editors thoughtfully select experts for collaboration on product recommendations, and are also experts in their own right. We’re up-to-date on industry standards (weight capacity, warranty, resistance options, and tech features) and the components that make up an excellent folding exercise bike versus a ‘meh’ one.

Our product recommendations are purely editorial, and while we may receive free products to test and review, we only recommend the products we are most impressed by. We never let retailers or public relations contacts dictate our content or product coverage. Which is why you can trust us to provide you with reliable and unbiased product recommendations. So, if you’re going to trust anyone to help you make a buying decision here, it should be us.

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How We Selected the Best Folding Exercise Bikes

For the past few years, Men’s Health‘s fitness directors and editors tested countless home gym equipment pieces, including folding exercise bikes. Experts including our in-house Fitness Director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. put dozens of folding exercise bikes through the wringer to evaluate every feature and spec, including resistance, functionality, durability, effectiveness, user-friendliness, and price. We also considered top-reviewed folding bikes that had at least 100 five-star customer ratings on e-commerce websites that we trust. The list above represents our honest picks of the best folding exercise bikes of 2024.

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Read More About the Best Home Gym Equipment

Best Folding Treadmills | Best Exercise Bikes | Best Under-Desk Exercise Bikes | Best Treadmills | Best Home Gym Equipment | Home Gym Awards 2023 | Best Cardio Machines | Best Under-Desk Treadmills | Best Ellipticals | Best Recumbent Exercise Bikes

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