Best Spin Bikes Under $300 | 6 Affordable Picks from a PT

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By Robbie Ferri, Personal Trainer & Group Exercise Instructor.

Having a Spinning bike at home is excellent, and I feel everyone should. It’s a tool that can help you get fitter, help you stay in shape, and also it can be so much fun riding these in Virtual classes. However, the misconception is that you need to spend a lot of money on a good bike, and this isn’t true. In this article, we’re going to show you some fantastic exercise bikes for less than $300.

best spin bikes under 300

Can you really “Spin” on a bike that costs less than $300?

Yes, you can. It might not give you the same experience as a $2500 Peloton or a Nordictrack bike, but it can still tick the boxes you need for a fantastic workout. You will still be able to follow classes, and you will get an excellent experience from something much cheaper. When I first started spinning, I used a $280 bike for a long time, and still to this day, I’d happily jump back on for a spin.

What makes an excellent indoor cycle?

An excellent indoor cycle comes down to many things. It’s not the enormous flywheel, and it’s not the multi-position handlebars. It’s not the computer screen to track your workout. It’s a combination of everything put together. Over the years I have been reviewing spinning bikes, I have found it best to look at;

When we take all these into account, we can make an excellent call on if this is the bike for your new workout routine. Each bike we look into heavily, and it only makes this list if we highly rate it ourselves.

Detailed Reviews

Best Overall: Sunny Magnetic Indoor Bike SF-B1877

Specifications

  • Classic Design with Modern Touches
  • 29lbs Flywheel
  • Magnetic Resistance
  • Belt Driven
  • Performance Monitor, Device Holder, Bottle Holder, Heart Rate Monitor 

When it comes to Spinning bikes, you will have come across the legendary Sunny Health and Fitness if you have done any research. Sunny makes a vast range of bikes, starting as low as a couple of hundred dollars all the way up to thousands of dollars. They have been around a long time and understand the principles of how to make a decent bike.

The SF-B1877 is an excellent example of a budget spinning bike and deserves to be the best overall on this list. Firstly let’s look at the design. It’s a beautiful classic spin bike look with modern touches, such as oversized tubing. It’s very adjustable and will work for the whole family in a home gym. It has a large flywheel coming in at 29lbs and sports a frictionless magnetic resistance system, which isn’t often seen on a bike this low in price.

The bike is belt-driven, and underuse will be very quiet, so you won’t need to worry about upsetting your neighbors. It has some fantastic additional features such as a screen that tells you heart rate, time, calories, distance, and other primary data fields. On the handlebars, you even have a heart rate sensor to see how hard you are working. It doesn’t stop there either. You have a tablet holder and a place to put your water bottle. The Sunny SF-B1877 is an excellent bike, and you will get a wonderful experience from riding it.

Runner Up: Pooboo Magnetic Spinning Bike

Specifications

  • Modern Spinning Bike Design
  • 35lbs Flywheel
  • Magnetic Resistance
  • Belt Driven
  • Performance Monitor, Device Holder, Bottle Holder, Heart Rate Monitor 

Yes, the Pooboo has a fascinating name for this bike but don’t let that put you off. This came very close to the Sunny when we got together and ran through this list. It can do everything the Sunny can but look much more space age. Starting at the design, it’s very loud. It looks impressive, but it does stand out. That kind of design might be for you, or it might not. I personally love it, and the oversized tubing looks very stylish. 

Next, we have the flywheel, and it’s very heavy, coming in at 35lbs, a little more serious than the Sunny. When it comes to flywheels, it’s not always about weight, and it comes down to many factors. This flywheel is paired with a magnetic resistance system giving you a totally frictionless resistance. It is belt-driven, so the days of regular maintenance are gone for the owner of this bike

It has a performance monitor that will give you all your essential data such as calories, distance, time, and heart rate. The handlebars are of a unique design and have an inbuilt heart rate monitor in them. Alongside all this, you get a nice tablet holder and a water bottle in a stealthy position on the top tube. I love what they have done with the Pooboo. It’s loud and backs it up in technology.

Best Value for Money: Chaoke Magnetic Spinning Bike

Specifications

  • Basic Design 
  • 37lbs Flywheel
  • Magnetic Resistance
  • Belt Driven
  • Performance Monitor, Device Holder, Bottle Holder, Heart Rate Monitor  

The Chaoke Spinning bike is an outstanding value for money bike. It’s one of the cheapest on this list, and honestly, they are giving it away for what you get. Let’s first start with the design. It is very similar to the Sunny and the Pooboo in design with that classic spinning bike look. I have to say the designer has been very bold in throwing some art into that flywheel. I personally am more of a fan of simplicity is key, but I can live with it. 

The design aside, let’s get to the nitty-gritty of this indoor cycle. Firstly the flywheel is heavier than the previous two coming in at a whopping 37lbs. This will provide you with a lot of resistance and keep the bike feeling nice and stable in those sprints. It is equipped with a belt drive system and will be really smooth when being ridden. 

Like the other bikes, it comes with some great features, a performance computer to see all your data and the calories you are burning. It also has an inbuilt heart rate monitor and also a large tablet holder so you can check out films while spinning it up. The Chaoke is an excellent spinning bike, and I would highly recommend it. It has all the same features as the other bikes, but it does have a design not everyone would want.

Best Friction Resistance Bike: Yosuda Indoor Cycling Bike

Specifications

  • Great looking
  • 35lbs Flywheel
  • Friction Resistance
  • Belt Driven
  • Performance Monitor, Device Holder, Bottle Holder 

The Yosuda indoor spinning bike is an excellent indoor cycle, and it had to see this list. Firstly, I think it is one of the best-looking bikes on this list. The bike tubing and sleek aerodynamic design really do look great. This bike is very different from the others because it is very basic, and this reflects in the price of the bike.

Let’s tell you a little more about the inside of this beast. The flywheel is 35lbs, but it works with a friction system instead of being used in a magnetic resistance format. A friction system means that when you turn the dial to up the resistance, it closes a brake pad into the flywheel, making it more challenging to turn the pedals. This system is a bit noisier, and if you’re using it a lot, you might need to change the pad every few years. 

Related: Yosuda Bikes Detailed Reviews (YB001, YB007A & Pro)

Like the other bikes you have read about on this list, this is a belt-driven bike. It will be efficient, and you will feel connected to it while spinning it up. It still comes with a monitor to look at your statistics such as time, distance and calories, etc. It has a tablet holder on the front so you can follow classes and space for your water. The Yosuda is an excellent bike for the bike, and although a friction system will still be a lot of fun.

Best for Tablet Mount: Joroto X1S Indoor Cycling Bike

Specifications

  • Basic Design solid frame
  • 35lbs Flywheel
  • Magnetic Resistance
  • Belt Driven
  • Performance Monitor, Device Holder, Bottle Holder 

Like Sunny, Joroto has also made a big name in the indoor cycling market. They are great bikes at a fantastic price. The X1S is an excellent example of this and sits at the bottom of a range of many bikes that they offer. The design is essential, but it works. It doesn’t look bad. It has a nice subtle look to it and would fit into most home gyms.

The flywheel is huge and has a nice weight of 35lbs. It runs a frictionless magnetic system that will keep it maintenance-free and keep it nice and quiet. The bike is also fitted with a belt drive and will feel very solid when being ridden. We can’t call this bike the best for tablet mount if we don’t consider how great this mount is.

Many people love to watch films or even do online classes like on the Peloton Application when spinning. Having a big tablet mount does help push this experience and makes you feel much more in the room. The Data display on this bike looks great and fits just under the tablet holder, and it also sports a bottle holder on one side of the forks. The Joroto X1S is a great bike and offers so much for such little money.

Cheapest Choice: Sunny Belt Drive SF-B1423

Specifications

  • Basic Design solid frame
  • 40lbs flywheel
  • Friction Resistance
  • Belt Driven
  • Performance Monitor, Bottle Holder

The second Sunny on this list is the SF-B1423. It’s a great bike but compared to the other Sunny, it is more basic. It does have a lower price because of this and does take our crown of the cheapest choice bike. It does have a lot to offer and is well worth looking into. As I mentioned before, starting at the design, simplicity is key, and Sunny here has done this well. It looks great. It’s not too much at all and looks like a proper studio spinning bike.

It has the heaviest flywheel of all the bikes on this list and has a friction resistance system, so it does require a brake pad to give you something to push against. That 40lbs flywheel will make the bike feel very solid no matter what you throw at it. It does have a belt drive to back up and give even more smoothness to your cycling.

Even at such a low price, it comes with a data monitor and also a bottle cage on the side like the Joroto. It doesn’t have a tablet holder as such, but it does have aero bars that you can lean a tablet on pretty safely. I rate this Sunny very highly, and it is one of my favorites on this as it is just such a good solid bike for the price.


Things you should know before buying a Cheap Spinning Bike

We have recommended some fantastic bikes here for you, but you might not like the look of them, or maybe you’re looking for something a little different. In this next section, I want to discuss things to look out for when buying a cheaper spinning bike.

Types of Resistance

Magnetic vs Friction Resistance

This is a question I am often asked as a spinning instructor. Should I buy a magnetic bike, or are they not as good as a brake pad bike. They are very different and work in entirely different ways. Let us explain.

  • Magnetic: These Systems are unique in the fact they can stop without the use of any friction. They use the eddy current of the magnets to push against the flywheel and make it challenging for the user to pedal. This means you are going to have very little maintenance over the life of this system, and it will give very smooth transfers between the gearing.Line 2
  • Friction: These brake systems are much more basic compared to magnetic systems and are favored by old-school spinners. To slow down the freewheel, they must create friction on it by pressing against it with a brake pad. These pads are often made of a material such as leather or wool. These systems are much cheaper to buy but will require more maintenance over years of use. You might also find them much noisier than frictionless.

Which is better?

They are both very good and will give you a fun, enjoyable experience. In my opinion, I much prefer magnetic. It’s really smooth to use and feels much more engaging on the pedals when you start dialing it in. Either one you get, you won’t be making a mistake.

Types of Drive Chain

Belt vs Chain Drive

When we look at bikes, we will see that they cover the majority of the internals. This isn’t just for safety but also because it looks much better. Under the cover of your pedals, there are two systems: a belt or a chain drive.

  • Belt Drive: This type of drive is impressive. They are generally made of Kevlar and sit on notched wheels. They provide the user with a really smooth experience, and they will require no oil and next to no maintenance.
  • Chain Drive: These spinning bikes are not often seen on new bikes but are still on the market currently. They like a typical push bike. They’re used to be shifted around by cassettes and have a little more flexibility to them. Unlike the belt, the chain will require more maintenance, and it will need oil. The first few months of a chain bike will feel smooth, but it can get a bit clunky after that.

Which is better?

Hands down, in my opinion, the belt drive is so much better. It takes no maintenance and will give you a lot of miles for your money. 

Design

Exercise or Spinning Bike

The design of a spinning bike is essential. Many companies will list exercise bikes as spinning bikes, and these are not the same thing. They are very different. An exercise bike will be difficult to stand upon and not give you the capabilities you need for a Peloton class. So make sure before buying it looks like a spin bike.

Too much on the eyes

A very common thing I hear from people who spin at home is that some of the cheaper spin bikes on the market are very bold-looking, and they don’t like how they look. If you don’t like the way it looks, it will not make you want to ride it. I recommend going for something you would be proud to have in your home gym.

Conclusion 

Bikes don’t have to be expensive to give you a good experience. Pelotons and these high-end bikes underneath are very basic in themselves. Where you are putting your money is on the screen and into the marketing of the bike and the people that make you aware it exists. It’s surprising how a cheap bike with a tablet on the front will go so far compared to one of these all singing and all dancing machines.

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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