Exercise Bike for Short Person: My TOp 6 Picks as an Instructor

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Exercise bikes offer a great workout. Their genius design provides not only a low-impact workout but one that also incorporates cardio and strength. If you are a shorter rider, it can be challenging to find one that fits your height; a proper fit is vital for your success.

Why is it Important to Choose a Bike That Fits Your Height? 

Finding a bike that fits your height is essential because if proper bike set-up is unable to be achieved, there is a massive increase in the possibility of saddle soreness and injury. As a shorter rider myself and a certified SPINNING© Instructor, I have found and even owned bikes that did not accommodate my height, making the ride unenjoyable. This led to an increase in saddle soreness and a decrease in the amount that I rode, which is unfortunate as riding is an activity I love. This article will examine how to find the right bike for your height to help you reach your fitness goals.

Main Features That Shorter Riders Should Consider

Bikes offer an abundance of features and new designs as their technology continues to improve. It is terrific to have features such as Bluetooth connectivity and digital interfacing, but if the bike does not fit you properly, the chances of you riding it regularly drastically decrease. If you are a shorter rider, there are a few features that you should consider before making a bike purchase. Below we will discuss the importance of inseam length, seat and handlebar height, and front-to-back adjustability for your handlebars and seat.

  • Inseam length: It is essential to understand your inseam before purchasing an exercise bike. A rider’s inseam length determines the range of motion achieved during a pedal stroke in relation to seat height. If the bike‘s minimum inseam length is longer than yours, then the bike will not fit you properly. In this case, the saddle will be unable to go low enough to enable the correct riding position. An improper bike set-up increases the chance of injury and decreases the comfort achieved from merely sitting on the seat.
  • Seat height: The adjustability of the seat height is vital to finding the right cycle set-up for you. If you are a shorter rider, your seat height must allow you to continue to pedal through the ball of your foot and avoid pointing at the bottom. 
  • Handlebar height: The handlebars should be in-line with the saddle after being placed in the correct position due to your inseam length. Finding handlebars that can increase height beyond the seat’s height for rider comfort is excellent for newer riders.
  • Front to back adjustability for handlebars and seat: The adjustability for the handlebars and seat to move closer and farther away from the middle of the bike is an essential feature for shorter riders. Suppose the saddle or handlebars are unable to move closer to the center of the cycle. It can increase the need to slouch to reach the handlebars, therefore, impacting riding form.
best indoor cycles for short person

A workout should be fun and have you craving more. A ride on an indoor cycle does just that while providing incredible strength and cardio workout. The exhilarating feeling of crushing a training session is dashed when the equipment doesn’t fit right and the possibility of injury increases. We understand the importance of the right bike set-up to help you reach your goals, and that is why we have compiled a list of the best bikes for riders with smaller inseams.

We meticulously combed cycle options and selected our list based on excellent customer reviews and those cycles that were created with a shorter rider in mind.

My Favorite Indoor (Spin) Cycles for Short People

An indoor cycling bike is a piece of exercise equipment that includes a weighted flywheel propelled by the pedals through either a chain or a belt drive. These bikes offer riders a smooth and quiet ride. The resistance can be either added or taken away by using a resistance system that includes friction or magnets that adjust the workload. Below we have selected our top two choices for indoor cycling bikes that are perfect for those with a shorter inseam.

DMASUN Magnetic Indoor Cycling Bike

DMASUN Magnetic Exercise Bike

A cost-effective, sturdy, and quiet indoor cycling experience with versatile magnetic resistance, thoughtful design features, and positive user feedback, making it an excellent budget-friendly choice for maintaining fitness year-round.

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  • Minimum inseam: 26″
  • User height range: 26″-35″ inseam
  • Resistance system: friction
  • L x W x H: 40.16 x 21.65 x 46.06 inches
  • Item weight: 28.58 pounds
  • Drive system: belt
  • Maximum user weight: 300 pounds

The DMASUN spin bike is a game-changer for budget-conscious fitness enthusiasts. It’s a solid and silent performer that offers a smooth and customizable riding experience thanks to its magnetic resistance system with a wide range of options. Despite minor imperfections in finishing, it’s a reliable investment for daily workouts, accommodating both beginners and those looking for more intense training sessions. With satisfied users praising its stability, quiet operation, and ease of use, the DMASUN spin bike proves that you don’t have to spend a fortune to stay fit and healthy year-round.

It is suitable for users with a height range of 4.8”-6.1”.

YOSUDA Friction Indoor Cycling Bike 

YOSUDA Indoor Cycling Bike (YB001)

Priced at only $334.99 and some times lower on the official site, it is a great contender for shorter riders that are eager to purchase a spin bike as the minimum inseam requirement is 25 inches.

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Price & Reviews Holiday Sale ▶▶
  • Minimum inseam: 25″
  • Flywheel weight: 35 pounds
  • User height range: 25″-35″ inseam
  • Resistance system: friction
  • L x W x H: 40.16 x 21.65 x 46.06 inches
  • Item weight: 72.8 pounds
  • Drive system: belt
  • Maximum user weight: 270 pounds

The YOSUDA Indoor Cycling Bike accommodates riders with an inseam of between 25-35 inches. The 35-pound belt-driven flywheel and friction resistance system offer a smooth ride.

Earning a 4.4 out of 5 consumer rating, this bike offers many features at an affordable price. Priced at only $334.99, it is a great contender for shorter riders that are eager to purchase a spin bike as the minimum inseam requirement is 25 inches. One reviewer stated, “At 5’1”, this is the perfect bike for me!” This model provides a four-way adjustable padded seat that helps to maximize comfort. Its handlebars can also move up and down, helping find the best riding position for riders of all sizes.

Related: Yosuda Bikes Review (YB001, YB007A & Pro)

The bike‘s LCD monitor tracks important ride statistics such as speed, cadence, distance, calories burned, and time. Included with this purchase is an iPad holder so riders can easily ride along to their favorite music or interactive cycling application. Purchasers appreciate its high-quality construction as they mentioned things such as, “Well built bike for a great price” and “nice quality!” If you are looking for an affordable option that accommodates a wide range of riders, this is a great model to consider.

My Favorite Recumbent Bikes for Short People

A recumbent bike is a piece of exercise equipment where the user rides in a reclined position. Recumbent bikes are a fantastic selection for those riders with decreased mobility, suffer from back pain, or prefer an incredibly comfortable seat while riding. They also offer generous seat settings making them ideal for shorter riders.

Merach S19

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Merach S19 Recumbent Bike

The Merach S19 Recumbent Bike is a fantastic value for the affordability of this bike. I still can’t believe that this model is below $500 because of the level of its craftsmanship.

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I have tried and reviewed the Merach S19 personally, so I know firsthand that it offers a high level of comfort and adjustability. The vented backrest and padded seat allow for maximum comfort while riding. I could easily watch an entire movie with my family while riding without my tailbone feeling numb or my shirt stuck to my back from sweat, which was fantastic!

I also liked how easy it is to move the saddle and lock it into the correct position. My mom, who is 70 years old, could also easily adjust this bike to get into the proper set-up to accommodate her. This bike accommodates a wide range of inseams from 17.72 to 35.43 inches.

Merach S19 Recumbent review featured

Sunny Health & Fitness Recumbent Bike SF-RB4708

Sunny Health Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike SF-RB4708

Purchasers describe it as "well-built" and "sturdy." It earned a 4.4 out of 5 consumer rating with almost 2,000 ratings. 

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The Sunny Health & Fitness Recumbent Bike SF-RB4708 offers eight magnetic resistance levels and accommodates riders with an inseam of 26.5 and 34 inches.

We selected this well-designed model because of the craftsmanship quality that it offers purchasers at a reasonable price. Priced at $599.99, this belt-driven option is quiet and offers superior features compared to its competitors. The oversized padded seat and back offer comfort and versatility. It moves easily to accommodate riders with an inseam beginning at 26.5 inches.

The moveable handlebars add an extra feature not generally seen on typical recumbent bikes meant to increase your heart rate and provide a total body workout. Pulse sensors help to track your heart rate as you ride and display it on the monitor. This bike‘s sturdy steel frame accommodates riders up to 350 pounds, higher than many models. Purchasers describe it as “well-built” and “sturdy.” It earned a 4.4 out of 5 consumer rating with almost 2,000 ratings. It is an excellent selection for those riders that prefer more comfort and requires less balance while riding.

Vanswe Recumbent Exercise Bike

Vanswe Recumbent Exercise Bike

It uses Bluetooth Smart Technology (compatible with iOS & Android) to provide free fitness data straight to your device & allows you to track your workouts.

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The Vanswe Recumbent Exercise Bike offers riders sixteen levels of magnetic resistance. The comfortable adjustable seat accommodates riders with an inseam between 27 and 35 inches.

Although significantly lighter than the previously discussed model, this model offers an extended maximum user weight range of 380 pounds. The fully adjustable seat ensures riders beginning with an inseam of 27 inches can find a comfortable riding position. We liked that this model included Bluetooth Smart Technology and provided a free fitness data application to help riders continue making progress.

The Vanswe Recumbent Bike also earned one of the highest consumer ratings on our list, with 4.6 out of 5. Purchasers commended this bike with statements such as “great bike” and “very comfortable and easy to use.” We found it remarkable that this bike only cost $239.99 when considering all it offers consumers.

My Favorite Upright Bikes for Short People

Upright bikes allow the rider to sit in an upright position, similar to riding an outdoor bike. They do not include an exposed flywheel as seen on an indoor cycling bike.

Sunny Health & Fitness Comfort XL Folding Exercise Bike

Sunny Health & Fitness Comfort XL SF-B2721

Provides extreme comfort and support during your workout. Its foam coated handles and extra-large fully padded seat and backrest make you feel like you’re sitting on a cloud.

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Amazon Reviews Buy from Sunny Health

This belt-driven model is lightweight and compact but still provides sturdy construction. It accommodates riders with a minimum inseam of 25 inches and riders weighing up to 300 pounds.

This 4.6 out of 5 consumer-rated bikes accommodates riders of all fitness levels and includes ten magnetic resistance levels. We selected this folding exercise bike for the features that accommodate shorter riders, such as the seat and pulse-sensor handlebars’ adjustability. This cycle’s ability to completely fold up for easy storage makes it an excellent option for those living in apartments or do not have a dedicated space available for exercise equipment.

The extra-large fully padded saddle of this upright bike offers maximum support and comfort. Riders described their riding experience as “excellent” and “great.” The belt-driven 3.3-pound flywheel provides a quiet ride. Priced at $393.59, this bike is a viable option for riders with a smaller inseam and where space is an issue.

Marcy Exercise Upright Fan Bike

Marcy Exercise Upright Fan Bike

This model offers a fan resistance system and dual-action exercise arms for a total body workout. Riders with an inseam of at least 21" can effectively use this bike.

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This model offers a fan resistance system and dual-action exercise arms for a total body workout. Riders with an inseam of at least 21″ can effectively use this bike.

The Marcy Exercise Upright Fan Bike not only delivers an intense workout but helps keep you cool in the process. Through its creative design, the harder you work, the greater the air resistance that is achieved. Its sturdy construction prohibits side-to-side rocking. Consumers are raving about this bike and have given it a 4.4 out of 5 consumer rating. “I love this bike. It provides a great workout for both arms and legs – gets your heart pumping,” described one purchaser. The padded handlebar design offers an upper-body workout targeting multiple muscle groups at once. The fan design helps keep riders comfortable as it spins faster as the rider increases their intensity.

The adjustable padded seat offers comfort for a multitude of riders with various heights and body types. This bike accommodates riders with an inseam of 21″, making it the only bike on our list that offers such a low starting inseam length. If you are looking for a challenging workout and have an inseam between 21-35 inches, this is an excellent option for you.

Inseam: What Is It, and How You Can Measure It

Your inseam is the measurement of just below the groin’s underside to the bottom of your ankle. This is an important measurement to know when selecting a bike. However, your biking inseam is measured differently and also matters.

  • For measuring your standard inseam, you can go to a tailor and have it measured professionally, or you can use your favorite pair of pants. Remember to select a pair of floor-length pants. Place the pants on a flat surface and measure the pants’ groin area’s distance to the inside hem of the pant leg. Record your measurement in inches.
  • For indoor cycling bikes and upright cycles, your biking inseam is measured from the seat height down to your pedal when it is in the lowest position possible. It is essential to keep a slight bend in your knee for an accurate measurement of approximately 25-35%. 
  • When measuring your inseam for riding a recumbent bike, it is a slightly different process. You begin by placing your feet in the pedals. After moving one pedal to the lowest position, the seat is then adjusted to where the leg is almost fully extended.

Follow these tips, and you will successfully find your correct inseam measurements.

What You Should Consider Before Buying a Bike for Indoor Cycling

Now we’ve looked at our indoor cycle top picks, let’s help you determine which one is best for you. We all have our criteria when it comes to making an investment. Here are the main things you should consider before buying your indoor cycle. 


Adjusting the resistance on your indoor cycle allows you to work at different intensity levels. Training at different intensities helps you train towards your individual fitness goal. Playing with the resistance can also aid progression as you get fitter. Most bikes do not need this many levels, but the more levels, the more you have to play around with. 

Additionally, you’ll have to consider how the bike creates resistance. Resistance is created by magnets, friction, or a combination of both. Magnetic resistance is typically quieter, requires less maintenance, and doesn’t need to be replaced often. But, friction resistance is much more affordable. 

Flywheel Weight

Flywheel weight is a popular topic of conversation when it comes to indoor cycles. The greatest question is whether a heavier or lighter flywheel is better? The answer depends on what you’re looking for. Heavier flywheels make pedaling controlled and less jerky. They produce more power at a steady rate, thus placing less pressure on the joints. But, heavier flywheels do require more energy to get moving and typically cost more. Conversely, lighter flywheels need less effort to get moving and are typically more cost-friendly. However, its lightweight makes the movement less smooth and thus can aggravate the joints. Most indoor cycles are designed to suit heavy flywheels. But, advancements in engineering have shown indoor cycles can provide a smooth, stress-free ride with a light flywheel.

Drive System

Most indoor cycles operate with a chain or belt drive. Chain drives mimic that of a real-life road bike. Many road cyclists prefer this feel as it crosses over into their primary sport. But, chain drives are more susceptible to wear and tear due to their connected chain links. Therefore, chain-drive bikes often require more maintenance. Belt drives don’t have chain links, therefore, are less likely to need regular maintenance. Belt drives are often quieter than chain drives, perfect if noise is a concern. 


Q-factor is defined as the distance between the pedal attachment points of each crank. Essentially, it measures your stance width when standing up. A narrower Q-factor allows for greater speed because less force is needed to rotate the cranks. Additionally, Q-factor is used for people with knee injuries and rehabilitation. Q-factors that are too wide or too narrow may cause additional knee problems. 


Inseam refers to your individual leg length. Finding the optimal inseam can make your ride safer and more comfortable. Just like your clothes measurement, the inseam is the distance between the highest point of your inner thigh and the heel of your foot. You’ll need your bike to accommodate your inseam measurement to provide maximal safety and efficiency. Most bikes accommodate the majority of the population. But, if you’re particularly small or tall, you may want to double-check before investing.


Many indoor cycles are compatible with specific cycling or workouts apps. If you want to get data specific with your cycling or follow non-cycling-specific workouts, connectivity is a must. While they’re great features, they often come at a cost. If data isn’t your thing and you just want something to get you moving a bit more, basic, cheaper models are generally just as good.

Bottom Line

The bottom line is to find a bike that accommodates your inseam length while also offering 4-way adjustability of the handlebars and saddle. Once you have found a bike that checks these boxes, try to find a location to ride that model. Test riding your potential indoor exercise bike will ensure that you select the bike that best fits your cycling needs.

Continue Reading My Favorite Roundup Lists:

Katie Pierson CPT

Katie has been a certified fitness professional for twenty years and holds ten fitness certifications, including Spinning Elite and Personal Training. She has shared her expert knowledge in many fitness outlets like Bicycling & Verywellfit.

8 thoughts on “Exercise Bike for Short Person: My TOp 6 Picks as an Instructor”

  1. I want a straight back when I cycyle… not bending over. I am 4’10”. Portable would be even better!
    Which bike do you recommend? Sheila J

    • Hi Sheila!

      If you want the back of the seat to support you, consider a recumbent exercise bike. For example, this bike is an excellent recumbent bike with a great price.

      We suggest you measure your inseam length instead of your height, as it is a better way to determine if the bike is for you. You can check this easy-to-follow video. The Inseam Adjustment for the SF-RB4708 is: Min 26.5 In/ Max 34 In.


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