Best Spin Bikes under $1000 | From a Personal Trainer

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By Robbie Ferri, Cyclist, Personal Trainer, and Group Exercise Instructor.

Spinning bikes are so much fun and such a fantastic tool for staying in shape, improving your quality of life, and just having a good workout. I used to be a professional spinning instructor, and I always believed that a trained person is a happy person. 

What makes an excellent indoor bicycle for $1000

When it comes to indoor cycling and thinking about buying a bike for your home, $1000 is a fantastic budget, in my opinion. You are going to find some excellent bikes with some incredible features. Although you would get a good experience out of any spinning bike, a $1000 spinning bike will be something special, so what makes a good spinning bike for this price range?

  • Design: We want something that looks special; you should be proud of what you have in your living room or home gym.
  • Transmission: Not only does a bike need to look the part, but it also has to act it too. The transmission is the internals, and we need these to be good so you can be challenged.
  • Data: When we’re looking at spending $1000, we want to be able to look at the metrics of our workouts and see ourselves getting fitter. Having a data screen is essential for this.
  • Connectivity: At this price point, it is essential to have a form of connectivity so you can go on applications such as Peloton and iFit. These applications can really improve the spinning experience and give you something to focus on.
  • Unique Features: We love it when spinning bike companies set themselves apart from the competition with something completely unique. 
best Indoor Cycles under $1000

How do we rate a Spin bike under $1000?

$1000 is a lot of money, and it’s important that we completely understand what we are getting. The best way to do this is to break the bike down into sections, and then we get a clearer understanding of what we are looking at.

  • Design
  • Screen and Technology
  • Drivetrain and Flywheel
  • Unique Features

Detailed Reviews

Best Overall: Bowflex C6 and Schwinn IC4

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Bowflex C6 Bike Bowflex C6 Bike
4.8

An excellent alternative option to Peloton or other streaming bikes. A quiet magnetic resistance bike, proficient enough to link with the many available streaming devices such as Peloton® and Zwift®.

Schwinn IC4 Bike Schwinn IC4 Bike
4.8

Comes equipped with Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to link to several apps such as Peloton® and Zwift®. The Schwinn really does offer excellent quality at a very affordable price.

Main Features

  • Great Classic Spinning bike design
  • Data Screen, Bluetooth Technology
  • Magnetic, Belt Drive, 40lbs Flywheel
  • Just a great all rounder

Yes, the best overall is actually two bikes. The reason we have clubbed these together is that they are actually the same bike. The Bowflex C6 and the Schwinn IC4 are the same bikes, just branded differently. The Bowflex C6 / Schwinn IC4 is a fantastic bike and the go-to bike for people who want to use the Peloton application without the cost of a Peloton bike.

Let us start with the design. It’s a cool-looking bike, the Bowflex C6 color scheme is a little more stealthy compared to the Schwinn IC4, but overall you have a bike that is going to add visual credit to any home gym. It has a front-facing flywheel and really stands out with the oversized tubing. The screen on the bike is excellent and gives you a lot of data, time, calories, distance, resistance level, and heart rate. It has Bluetooth technology, and you are a button away from adding a heart rate monitor or linking up to applications such as Peloton and iFit, or JNRY

The drivetrain is excellent on this bike. Not only is it completely frictionless and works on the eddy currents of magnets it also has a belt drive. I love this combination. It will make the bike silky smooth, responsive and will not skip a single beat at any time. It’s equipped with a 40lbs flywheel which plants the bike to the floor and gives it fantastic structure in any sprint. 

The Bowflex C6 is just such a good all-rounder and great value for money while being at the top of the budget.

Runner Up: Sole Fitness SB900

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Sole SB900 Bike Sole SB900 Bike
4.7

Equipped with a 48lbs flywheel, this bike is going to be super silent and going to feel incredibly solid at all times, including when you're in a maximum sprint. It comes with Bluetooth connectivity so that it can be used with third-party applications such as Zwift or Peloton.

Main Features

  • Modern, sleek spinning bike look
  • Data Screen, Bluetooth Technology
  • Magnetic, Belt Drive, 48lbs Flywheel
  • Tablet Mount

When I first saw the Sole Fitness bike, I was very impressed. It’s got an absolutely beautiful sleek modern finish, and honestly, I think it is one of the best-looking bikes we currently have on the market. It’s well put together, and everything on this bike is just sturdy. The oversized tubing rocks and the red details give it a lovely flare.

Yes, it looks the part but does it do the job? Well, let’s start with the technology. We have a small data screen on the handlebars, which will give you all your basic metrics such as time, distance, speed, heart rate, RPM, and much more. It is also equipped with Bluetooth connectivity so that it can be used with third-party applications such as Zwift or Peloton. It has everything it needs to keep up with a bike like the IC4 or Bowflex C6.

Related: Sole SB900 Review from an Instructor

As far as internals go, it is packing a serious punch with a 48lbs flywheel. Not only does the flywheel give it stability, but it’s also paired up with a magnetic resistance system and is a belt-drive too. This bike is going to be super silent and going to feel incredibly solid at all times, including when you’re in a maximum sprint. Another feature I like about this bike is the tablet mount sticking out the front, which has put it in the perfect position. 

Although runner up this bike made the competition for the Bowflex C6 fierce. It’s at the top end of the budget, and we think it’s worth every penny.

Best Peloton Replacement: Echelon EX5 Smart Connect

15% OFF till 19 June
Echelon EX5 Smart Connect Fitness Bike Echelon EX5 Smart Connect Fitness Bike
4.7

Aero handlebars feature ergonomic design to help align your upper body for optimum performance. - 32 levels of silent magnetic resistance lets you vary your workout intensity – Handlebar mounted 180 degree rotating console lets you incorporate off bike exercises

Main Features

  • Epic Looking Bike
  • Bluetooth Technology
  • Magnetic, Belt Drive, 29lbs Flywheel
  • Tablet Mount

Echelon has always been up there with Peloton. In my opinion, they just offer a more comprehensive range of products, and that’s why I rate them so much. The Echelon EX5 isn’t like many other spinning bikes, and they have made something I personally think is incredibly cool and epic value. Firstly it’s probably the best-looking bike on this list. With that rear-facing flywheel and mat black finish, it looks great.

Here’s where the bike gets crazy. It doesn’t have a data screen, but you can’t score it down because of this as it has an excellent alternative. What they have done here is give the bike a Bluetooth connection so you can link up a Tablet to it. It will be compatible with the Echelon application, which is incredible and full of loads of classes and alternative forms of training such as strength sessions. The bike is pretty much locked to the Echelon application, but it is all you will ever need. It has a Magnetic Resistance system with a belt drive and a 29lbs flywheel which is evenly weighted and much more efficient than most systems on this list. 

What Echelon has done here is make a high-quality bike with excellent technology connectivity at a meager price, which is why I highly rate it. In my eyes, something so few companies can offer.

Best Commercial Quality: Sunny Evolution Pro II

Sunny Evolution Pro II Magnetic Indoor Cycle (SF-B1986) Sunny Evolution Pro II Magnetic Indoor Cycle (SF-B1986)
4.6

The 40 lb flywheel provides momentum while you ride on this low impact cycling machine. The smooth and silent belt-drive mechanism guarantees your cycle exercise will be quiet, particularly in shared spaces. 

Main Features

  • Great bike with an oversized flywheel design
  • Data Screen
  • Magnetic, Belt Drive, 40lbs Flywheel
  • Tablet Mount, Heart Rate Monitor

Sunny has always been amazing when it comes to budget spinning bikes. We’re not talking budget here $1000 is a lot of money, so have they come up with the goods here? The bike looks ok. I like the oversized flywheel, and with the oversized tubing, it all fits into proportion. In my opinion, it wouldn’t look bad in a home gym or a spinning studio. 

As far as technology goes, it’s got a basic data screen that will give you the standard metrics, time, speed, average speed, distance, heart rate, calories, and a few more. It, unfortunately, doesn’t have Bluetooth, so getting on the Peloton or Zwift Application will be more challenging as you will need a few add ons such as a speed sensor.

The internals of this bike is why it’s on this list. Sunny is well known for making a very long-lasting reliable bike. It is a frictionless system with magnetic resistance, and it’s paired up with a belt drive. It’s silky smooth, and it’s going to give you tens of thousands of miles without touching a bolt. As far as unique features, it has a tablet mount and also an inbuilt heart rate monitor, which is very cool. 

The Sunny Evolution II is a great bike, but it lacks Bluetooth connectivity. In return, though, it is much cheaper than the Bowflex C6 and the Sole Fitness SB900.

Best for Road Bike Feel: Diamondback Fitness 910ic Indoor Cycle

Diamondback Fitness 910Ic Indoor Cycle Diamondback Fitness 910Ic Indoor Cycle
4.5

You have a self-generating electronic magnetic resistance system with a belt drive for smoothness. The flywheel is a whopping 40lbs and will make the bike feel super solid at all times.

Main Features

  • Epic Looking Bike
  • Large Data Screen 
  • Magnetic, Belt Drive, 40lbs Flywheel

The Diamondback Fitness 910ic is a lovely-looking bike. The curved tubing along the top tube and nice tight design does make it look lovely and modern. For me, it closely follows the Echelon in style points. The bike has a large data screen, which works differently from many other bikes on this list. It is completely self-powered, so you won’t need to plug this into the wall. It will give you all your standard metrics like time, speed, cadence, distance, calories, and a rough power estimate. 

As far as connectivity goes, this bike isn’t Bluetooth, and it can only really connect to a Polar heart rate monitor. When it comes to connecting to other applications like Peloton or Zwift, this will be more challenging than the other bikes on this list. The internals are excellent, and you have a magnetic resistance system with a belt drive for smoothness. The flywheel is a whopping 40lbs and will make the bike feel super solid at all times.

The Diamondback 910ic is an excellent bike, and for someone who isn’t concerned about applications probably the best on this list. Simplicity is key with this, and it’s a great training tool.


Indoor bikes are a fantastic tool, and I believe we all should have one. They don’t only help you stay in shape, but they also add years to your life. Over my years as a Personal Trainer, I have recommended Exercise bikes to improve the cardiovascular system, improve muscular strength, and aid in rehabilitation. 

Different Types of Exercise bikes

Like a regular bike, you get a lot of different exercise bikes on the market, and they come in vast amounts of shapes and sizes. You will typically see a few different types of exercise bikes in your local gym or online if you are looking at ordering one. What are the different types to look for?

  • Spinning Bike: The first type of bike I want to speak about is a Spinning bike. These are the bikes you will see commonly used in spinning classes and are generally used by outdoor cyclists when they train indoor. They are made to look and replicate a road bike and usually have a large wheel at the front or rear, which is exposed. They will also put the user in a reasonably aggressive position, and the saddle will be similar to a racing bike or mountain bike saddle. You will commonly see these with screens on the front, and a great example is a Peloton.
  • Upright Bike (Classic Exercise Bike): Upright bikes are commonly mistaken for spinning bikes, but they are totally different. Firstly, a classic exercise bike is much more basic looking and seen much more often in commercial gyms. They are very upright for comfort and typically do not sport a large flywheel. They often have a large comfortable saddle and comfortable handlebars with a heart rate monitor inbuilt into them. A good example is the Life Fitness C3.
  • Recumbent Bike: A Recumbent bike is often seen in gyms and is a fantastic tool that very few people use. They are commonly put alongside exercise bikes and usually are not most people’s first choice. This is because people just are not used to the feel of a Recumbent bike, as the position is entirely different. You sit on a chair, and the pedals sit out in front of you instead of under you. These bikes typically share the same screens as an exercise bike and are an amazing tool for people who are rehabilitating with hip issues or back problems.
Spinning BikeUpright BikeRecumbent Bike
StyleSpinning Bikes look like Road Bikes. They lean the user over into an aerodynamic position and commonly have a large flywheel on the front or the rear.Exercise Bikes look very basic and unlike a bike. They are much more upright and sit the user up straight. They commonly have high handles and the internals are small and hidden in the frame.The Recumbent bikes sit the user back more like they are on a sofa relaxing. The pedals are situated in front of the user.
ResistanceTypically a large Flywheel with either Friction brake pad resistance or a Frictionless Magnetic System.Typically a very small Flywheel with a Magnetic resistance system. Very smooth and quiet.Typically a very small Flywheel with a Magnetic resistance system. Very smooth and quiet
TechnologySpinning bikes can come without any screen at all or can have 22″ high definition screens with live classes onUsually, Exercise bikes are simple screens with minimal data such as calories, heart rate, time, distance, speed resistance level.Usually, Recumbent bikes are simple screens with minimal data such as calories, heart rate, time, distance, speed resistance level.
ComfortMany users find Spinning bikes quite uncomfortable to start with but it does get better over time. With more aggressive positions and smaller saddles comes a more challenging workout.The Exercise bike is very comfortable, they are nice and upright and have large saddles. They are designed for anyone to just jump on and feel good turning the pedals.Recumbent bikes are excellent for comfort and sit the user back in a really comfortable position. Commonly used with older or more fragile clients for rehabilitation.
PriceThey range from as little as $200 all the way to $2800, prices vary on quality and technology.They can be as little as $100 all the way up to $1500. Price varies on quality and the more you spend the longer it will last.They can be as little as $200 all the way up to $2000. Price varies on quality and the more you spend the longer it will last.
Who Should use this bike?Road cyclists, Mountain bikers anyone who loves a challenge and is fairly mobile.If you don’t cycle often but looking to get your cardio in Exercises bikes are perfect as they give the user instant comfortAnyone who finds cycling normal quite uncomfortable or who is in rehabilitation for injury. Less mobile people will suit Recumbents.

What you Should Know Before Buying a Spinning bike

When it comes down to buying an exercise bike, it’s essential to get what’s right for you. If you have the right bike, you will spend much more time on it, and you will hit your fitness goals much quicker, and you will enjoy being on it. Spinning bikes are a minefield when you’re trying to pick the right one. The best way to go is to break it down to understand what you will get out of the bike.

Budget

You don’t have to spend a lot on a spinning bike to have something excellent. People often think you have to have a budget for a Peloton to have something good when you don’t. There are many alternates to a Peloton. For as little as $300 you can get a Spinning bike with a data screen which with the Peloton Application would give you a very similar experience. Spend what you can afford and no more.

Flywheel

Flywheels come in many different weights. Years ago, the bigger, the better. A large flywheel would make the bike stable and give a heavy friction resistance, and now you can achieve the same from a smaller flywheel with magnetic resistance. 

I would personally look for a heavy 30lbs flywheel on a friction resistance bike, and a magnetic anything 15lbs and upwards will give the bike a fantastic feeling to it. If you hear the term an evenly weighted flywheel, this means it spins better and is a very high-quality flywheel that will be much lighter but highly efficient.

Another thing to look out for is front or rear-facing. This means the flywheel is situated at the front or the rear. The front is much safer as you can make sure no pets or children are getting close, but it does mean your sweat can be falling onto it, meaning over the years, you might require more maintenance on the bike. Rear-facing flywheels sit behind you at the back and are not in the rider’s view, which means you have to make sure it’s safe behind you at all times.

Resistance

You have two types of resistance when it comes to spinning bikes. You have friction resistance systems and frictionless (magnetic) systems. The friction you create resistance by locking a brake pad onto the flywheel. In frictionless systems, you create an eddy current by pushing magnets close to the flywheel forcing it to slow down.

Friction

Pros

  • Very cheap to manufacture 
  • Heavy Flywheels create stability
  • Simple to repair if needed

Cons

  • Noisy
  • Require Maintenance
  • It makes the bike much heavier
  • Older technology
  • It needs to be controlled by a dial or screw

Frictionless (Magnetic)

Pros

  • Quiet when being used
  • Requires no Maintenance
  • It can be controlled with buttons
  • The bike is much lighter

Cons

  • More expensive to produce
  • Lighter bikes might not feel as stable

In our opinion, you will get much more out of a frictionless (magnetic) system. Modern bikes these days use Friction systems less and less as they are becoming old technology. 

Related: Our Best Magnetic Resistance Indoor Cycles

Drive Systems

When it comes to Spinning bikes, you also have to think about drive systems. This means how we drive the flywheel around on the internals of the bike. We have two types, chain drive, and belt drive. A chain drive is like what you might see on a pushbike, but heavier duty. A belt drive is what you will typically see on an exercise bike.

Chain Drive

Pros

  • Chains are very cheap to buy and do last a while

Cons

  • They require oil
  • They need replacing 
  • It can be tough to change
  • Noisy in use

Belt Drive

Pros

  • Require no oil or maintenance
  • Last for years and many miles
  • Very quiet to use
  • Cheap to replace if ever needed

Cons

  • Replacing is challenging

You will get much more from a belt-drive than a Chain drive system. Most bikes on the market now are belt drives, and very few bikes are released with a chain now. 

Connectivity 

A fantastic feature of many modern-day bikes is that they can connect to applications. You have applications such as Peloton, iFit, Zwift, and many more. If you are looking to use these applications, you need to make sure that your bike can connect via Bluetooth or ANT+ to the device you’re using, such as a tablet. 

For example, if you buy a bike to connect to the Peloton application, it will need Bluetooth. You can add parts to a bike that isn’t compatible to link it with the Peloton application, but it can end up costing more. Check your bike is compatible with what you want it for before buying it.

Adjustability

Many cyclists make a very common error when buying a spinning bike by not checking that it will fit them. Always check the height limitations as some bikes will only work for cyclists who are 6ft 5″ and lower. You will also find some bikes with a minimum height of 5ft. 

You also should look at the handlebars, and you will find they are not all the same. Some handlebars on spinning bikes can only move up and down, not forward and back. It’s always a good idea to check what the bike is capable of before purchasing.

Pedals and Cleats

When it comes to Pedals, you have a few things to think about. There are three different types that you mainly see on spinning bikes. You have clipless, which are just basic bike pedals with toe straps. You have clip-ins which are commonly known as Look, Delta, SPD, or SPD-SL. These are the different types.

Clipless

Pros

  • Cheap to buy, all bikes are equipped with these
  • Easy to remove your feet at anytime
  • Better Power Transfer
  • Can use any Shoes

Cons

  • Fit can come free easily
  • Not great for standing climbs

Clip in

Pros

  • Feet are clipped in and safe
  • Amazing power transfer
  • I feel really connected to the bike

Cons

  • Need special shoes
  • Need different pedals
  • Need setting up properly

When it comes to being clipped and going clipless, it’s really up to the user for what they feel best using. I would recommend starting with clipless then going to clip in later. The beauty of pedals is nearly every bike is compatible with any pedal as they practically all use the same standard thread. 

Extra Features

Spinning bikes tend to vary in price a lot, and this is because they can not only differ in quality, but they can come with a considerable amount of extra features. On the lower end of budgets, you can find bikes with water bottle holders and tablet mounts. On the higher end of budgets, you get 22″ HD Screens, climbing simulators, fans on the front, power meters, and even automatic resistance control. 

It’s always worth looking into what extra features a bike may have, as this can completely change the experience that you will get out of it. There are many bikes on the market, such as the original Peloton, which is actually a reasonably basic bike on the surface, but with all the extra features, it comes in well worth the money they want to charge.

Conclusion

All the bikes on this list are excellent value for money, and you won’t be going wrong buying any of them. The stand-out one for me has to be the Bowflex C6. It’s a fantastic bike with so much to offer and for less than $1000, such a huge bargain.

Important Information

Spin®, Spinner®, Spinning®, Spin Fitness® are trademarks of Mad Dogg Athletics. Even if we use the phrase “spin bikes” sometimes to refer to the Indoor Cycle type of bikes, we must inform you that they are not in reality. When we are referring to Spin Bikes, we mean the official Spinner Bikes of Mad Dogg Athletics. However, keep in mind that in this article, where we talk about resistance, the Spin Bikes and Indoor Cycles share similar characteristics.

Robbie Ferri

A Personal Trainer and Ultra Cyclist living in King's Lynn in Norfolk, UK. From Ultra Cycling World Records to Bikepacking Races and a huge amount of time on the gym floor training myself and clients my experience when it comes to Health and Fitness is vast.

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