The Ultimate Exercise Bike Buying Guide

Are you starting to miss your cycling classes but aren’t sure when you’ll feel comfortable returning to a crowded studio anytime soon? Maybe you’re looking for an indoor alternative to your regular bike as the winter season approaches. Or you’re just searching for a way to stay active and ‘exercise bikes’ popped up on your google search. Whatever your motivations are, the world of exercise bikes is a vast and perplexed one, enough to make your head, spin (pun intended).  


If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the plethora of choices, we’re here to make your decision easy. By the end of this article, you’ll feel empowered in your decision to choose the right bike that not only fits your needs but is built to last. You might even leave with some interesting nuggets to share with friends.


What Cutting Edge Exercise Bikes Looked Like in The 1700s.

 If there’s one piece of gym equipment that can burn calories without taking up significant space in your home, it’s an indoor exercise bike. You’ll be surprised to know, it wasn’t always that way.  


The first stationary bike invented in 1796 wasn’t even called a bike, it was an early example of a series of new technologies in gymnastics, called the “Gymnasticon”. Invented by Francis Lowndes, this girthy mechanism used a set of flywheels that connected wooden treadles for feet and cranks for the hands, to be moved independently and simultaneously. Much like an elliptical, bicycle hybrid? (We’ll leave that interpretation up to you.)


The Gymnasticon, an exercise machine invented and patented by Francis Lowndes in 1797. 

While the first-ever exercise bike may have been an eyesore by today’s standards, it served its purpose well in treating gout, palsy, and other illnesses as well as keeping people physically fit. One correlation between both modern-day and historical fitness equipment is that they were always intended to improve life at any age and stage. 


How to Find the Right Exercise Bike For You

Deciding which exercise bike is best for you depends on how, where, and when you plan to use it. Each person has different needs, so just because something might be a good fit for your buddy doesn’t mean that the same type of exercise equipment will suit all of your own fitness goals. In other words: It’s not worth buying an expensive gadget if it’ll end up gathering dust in the corner! We stand by that – we want you to find equipment that improves your life, and will never find itself under a pile of clothes shoved in your closet. The best choice of bike, however, boils down to your personal preference. 



Here’s what you should consider first before buying an exercise bike:


1. Get Clear on Your Fitness Goals

Different bikes have a varied range of resistance levels depending on your specific needs, and your fitness goals will determine which type of exercise bike you choose. So if you’re hoping for an intense cardio session after work each day, just want to sweat while listening to an audible, or rehabilitation – these all should be taken into consideration beforehand (our Fitness Town experts are here to guide you through this important step.)


2. Determine Your Workout Space

Before buying an exercise bike, make sure it will fit into the space you have. According to the American Council on exercise, the guidelines for exercise bike clearance space is 10 sqft – to put into perspective, 10 sqft is about twenty iPads laying face down. Whether you’re planning to use it in your home gym or office, we suggest measuring the length, width, and height of your workout area first to take into account the clearance space needed so that you have a comfortable and safe workout. 


3. Now the fun part, bike types

At this point in the guide, you’ve thought about your fitness objectives, determined your workout space, and have a budget in mind. It’s important to keep in mind all 3 things in order to identify which model best suits your needs. While you may be inclined to buy the next best bike, your goals might not require that, and can likely be satisfied with a less expensive model. So, keep these points on top of mind when narrowing down a bike type.  


Kesier M3i 

This model stands out to users for a couple of reasons: It feels like a real bike and can fit riders of all sizes.


Keiser M3i. Price: $2,648.00. Go here for more info.


The Keiser M3i is popular for indoor cycling classes, with its design to work with different-sized users it can adjust for heights from 4ft – 7ft and work with up to 350 pounds. Its v-shape engineering mimics road bikes, enabling both the handlebar and seat to be raised at the same time. 


Keiser M3i. Price: $2,648.00. Go here for more info. 

Exercise bikes can be uncomfortable, with the M3i, you have the freedom to completely adjust the handles and seat. The seat in particular has four-way adjustment allowing you to raise, lower, move forward, and back to find your sweet spot.  



If you’re looking for a spin class experience in your living room, this is the bike for you. It includes a media tray if you feel like following a spin class on your phone. You can easily find spin classes on the Keiser MSeries app and the Peloton app that syncs with this bike. There’s also a water bottle holder, which is seamlessly included in the design along with the v frame handlebars. 


Keiser M3i. Price: $2,648.00. Go here for more info.

 It doesn’t stop there. There’s a built-in bike computer that keeps track of your stats and provided RPMs, watts, calories, time on the heavy-duty bike, and trip distance.


Features and Compatibility

The M3i bike computer connects with your devices and offers Bluetooth capabilities. We suggest trying out the free Keiser MSeries app 



LifeSpan R5i  

This recumbent bike is affordable and ideal for home use. If you’re looking for a low-stress workout session, and suffer from foot or back pain this bike is a great choice for rehabilitative training while also provisioning a sweat session.


LifeSpan R5i. Price: $1,888.00. Go here for more info. 


The R5i is a semi-commercial recumbent bike designed with a sturdy steel frame that can accommodate users up to 400 lbs. Its dimensions measure 70” L x 27.5” W x 44.5” and users of different sizes should feel much safer with this heavy-duty machine.  


The LifeSpan R5i was built with an oversized foam seat cushion and ergonomically designed armrest for comfortable seating while getting your sweat on. Its self-balancing pedals are designed by considering those who suffer from foot pain. This bike enables the user to focus on their training comfortably and with convenience.


LifeSpan R5i. Price: $1,888.00. Go here for more info. 

Features and Compatibility 
 You can hook up your favourite playlist by using Bluetooth connectivity with a smartphone while working out.


LifeSpan R5i. Price: $1,888.00. Go here for more info. 

Its goal tracking feature offers built-in Bluetooth connectivity that helps the user sync data in the console with a smartphone. This exercise data can be synchronized to the LifeSpan community using the LifeSpan Club App where you can track your goals and share data with other users! Time to start a competition with your friends. Exercise data can also be supported by google fit or apple health. 


LifeSpan C5i 

The LifeSpan C5i Upright bike is a high-quality machine that offers low-impact movement. Not interested in a “Spin Bike” or the recumbent bike then an upright bike might be the one for you. Bonus – this one has the comfiest seat on the market!  


LifeSpan C5i. Price: $1,488.00. Go here for more info. 


The C5i comes equipped with a moulded seat whose height can be adjusted to 19 positions. Although this bike is pretty small, it weighs over 92 lbs which is more than twice the weight of a mountain bike (fun fact!) The fully assembled bike takes up 40.5” L x 28” W (103 x 71 cm) of floor space.


LifeSpan C5i. Price: $1,488.00. Go here for more info. 


Features and Compatibility 

The C5i offers 16 different resistance options providing a level of exercise variety to any user. Never get bored with its wide range of built-in exercise programs to help you achieve your fitness goals! The built-in Bluetooth transfers your exercise results to the LifeSpan app, which also supports Google Fit and Apple Health so that you can transfer your data seamlessly.



Fit Spin Pro Magnetic 

 The Fit Spin Pro Magnetic Bike is designed to give a real bike feel with a club-quality workout. The Fit Spin Pro is our own cycle bike that we designed in-house. We wanted to create a bike that was seamless and gives you the experience of training in a club-quality studio at a lower price (It’s actually a commercial-grade bike and we do sell these to studios). This bike gives you all the basic features to get you moving without the flashy additives. So if you don’t care about all the extras and want to jump on and move your body, ding ding ding this one’s for you!


Fit Spin Pro Magnetic. Price: $1,099.00. Go here for more info.


The Pro allows for users up to  250-pounds This bike includes a flywheel weight of 31 pounds, a wide comfortable seat that has a horizontal and vertical adjustment, an easy to operate resistance knob, and a no-slip handlebar design with foam grips.


Fit Spin Pro Magnetic. Price: $1,099.00. Go here for more info.

Features and Compatibility

The Fit Spin Pro M offers a “micro” adjustable slide system for the seat and handlebar (no more holes limiting adjustment options). Its belt transmission offers a durable grooved v-belt direct drive system for a smooth and quiet ride. Emergency stop? Press down on the knob – simply and safely. 


Fit Spin Pro Magnetic. Price: $1,099.00. Go here for more info.


The Fitness Town Experience (Installation, Service & customer support)

When it comes to buying fitness equipment, many people overlook one important detail: the buying experience. 


If you’re still reading this buyer’s guide, you’re on your way to ensuring you’re making an informed decision. Questions you’re still probably asking yourself are: Are the products reliable? Am I overpaying for my purchase? Will it meet my expectations? Are there financing options? Who would do the installation? Who would service the equipment and what to do if something goes wrong?


These are all valid considerations and questions you should be reflecting on and our team at Fitness Town will guide you through this process and your fitness journey every step of the way.  


How do we do this? Well, we help you determine the most effective equipment that achieves your goals and we take a customer-centric approach to everything we do here. We do this by sourcing the best fitness equipment in North America and helping you pick out the right equipment for your needs. We have easy financing options, on-site installations, and service assistants and hope aim to provide a smooth and transparent process for you, from online to in-person. 


Are you ready to make a decision?

Let’s take this journey together. We hope this guide kick-started your journey to being well-informed about what type of exercise bike will best suit your needs and capabilities. A little research can go a long way when it comes down to choosing a high-quality heavy-duty machine – we’re here every step of the way. 


When you’re ready give us a call or come by at any one of our local locations in the Lower Mainland and ask as many questions as you need to make the right decision for you. Every bike mentioned today has a floor model to be test-driven, so come on down and test ride each one. 


Image Credits: 

Gymnasticon Image: Welcome Collection, Wikipedia 

Keiser M3i Road Bike Train Image: Bod Healthiness  

Keiser M3i Handlebar Image: Fitness Edge 

Lifespan R5i seat & Bluetooth Image: Lifespan Fitness 

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