Best Indoor Exercise Bikes for Shorter Riders

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

Our Top Indoor Cycles for Riders with Smaller Inseams  

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.

Best Indoor & Spinning 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.

PYHIGH Indoor Cycling Bike

Price $314.99 – 4.4 out of 5 – Minimum 25″ Inseam

The PYHIGH Indoor Cycling Bike is a belt-driven bike that includes a 35-pound flywheel. It accommodates riders with an inseam between 25 and 38.5 inches and consists of a friction resistance system. It also includes an LCD monitor.

This model offers 4-way seat adjustments, which means that the seat moves up, down, forward, and back from the handlebars. The seat adjustability is an essential feature for shorter riders as it provides more flexibility to find a correct bike set-up. One purchaser exclaimed, “At 5’4″, I fit great on the bike.” It is also equipped with an extra-wide seat to accommodate riders of various heights. This seat design will help to decrease saddle soreness compared to bikes that include a competitive style seat.

This bike boasts a 4.4 out of 5 among Amazon users. Users raved about its quality and price. Coming in at only $314.99, this bike provides tremendous value, and it is not going unnoticed by consumers as they made statements such as “best quality hands-down” and “great quality for its price.” If you are looking for an extremely affordable cycle option and have an inseam of at least 25 inches, this is a viable purchasing option.

YOSUDA Indoor Cycling Bike 

Price $334.99 – 4.4 out of 5 Consumer Rating – Minimum 25″ Inseam

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.

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.

Best 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.

Sunny Health & Fitness Recumbent Bike SF-RB4708

Price $599.99 – 4.4 out of 5 – Minimum 26.5″ Inseam

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

Price $239.99 – 4.6 out of 5 Consumer Rating – Minimum 27″ Inseam

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.

Best 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

Price $393.59 – 4.6 out of 5 Consumer Rating – Minimum 25″ Inseam

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

Price $349.99 – 4.4 out of 5 Consumer Rating – Minimum Inseam 21″

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.

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.

Katie Pierson

Katie is the creator of MT Girl Fitness and has been a certified fitness professional for almost twenty years. She currently holds ten different fitness certifications, including Group Fitness, Spinning Elite, Rockstar Spinning, and Personal Training. Fitness is her passion, and she loves seeing her clients reach goals they never imagined.