Cycling is a great way to stay fit, but the safety of it must come into question in 2021 and beyond. With Road Collisions on the increase, it's time to look for indoor exercise. Fortunately, there's a piece of equipment that's ideal for you, the exercise bike!
The downside of owning an exercise bike is that there's a lot of choices – almost too many. How can you pick a great bike that won't break the bank? Here is our list of the best exercise bikes for under £300, as well as what to look for from a bike.
Best Exercise Bikes in the United Kingdom Under £300
Which Exercise Bikes Made the Cut?
JLL IC200 Pro Review
The JLL IC200 PRO is an updated version of the original JC200. As popular as that exercise bike was, our fitness review says the updated version will be even more so.
The exercise bike looks impressive enough, but it's what you can't see that's the defining feature of the bike. We've compared different bikes and spinners and feel that the JLL JC200 offers the best balance between price and specs you can find on the market.
The JLL IC200 has a 7kg flywheel offering 8 resistance levels, an onboard console, and sensors built-in. Throw in the excellent after-sales service you'd expect from JLL and a guarantee on the quality of the exercise bike, and you've got a best-seller for sure.
Our fitness review considers this bike to be a lightweight option, weighing in at 32KG. The recommended user weight is up to 100kgs. The impressive design stands out, especially against the “generic” standard JLL IC200. This version looks much more high-tech thanks to a silvery gray casing and casting on the seat and handlebars.
Cast your eyes on those curves too. The curves of the rear stabilizing bar give the bike a wider footprint. The JLL IC200 stays firmly in place no matter how fast you pedal. Feel free to adjust the height and position of the saddle too. You can also adjust the handlebars and console position to suit your liking.
The pedals are textured to keep feet firmly in place. There are also adjustable safety straps for added protection.
As mentioned before, the exercise bike offers eight resistance levels. The 7kg flywheel is belt-driven for adjustable resistance. All you have to do is rotate the dial to choose the right resistance for you. The dial is within easy reach when working out. It's positioned just under the console unit. The highest level of resistance is tough enough to feel like riding up a steep hill.
While you do get a monitor/console with the bike, don't expect too much from it given the price point. The LCD screen isn't app compatible and won't have fancy bright colours. What you get instead is a basic LCD screen that offers all of the relevant information from the workout. If you're looking for more features, you could consider the IC400 but this does come at an increased cost. Remember, we are looking at budget today.
The screen's default setting cycles through readouts every other second or so. The display notes the speed, time, distance, and an estimated number of calories burned. The handlebars have a sensor built into them. If you hold on to the handlebars properly with your thumb or fingers pressed on the sensor, the display also shows your heart rate, sing it for a more accurate calorie burn figure.
If you're looking for a top-quality budget exercise bike, then you're looking for the JLL IC200. This exercise bike ticks all the right boxes, giving you a cardio workout as intense as you want it to be. This indoor bike is ideal for anyone who wants to get fit without investing a fortune in a top-end spinner bike. Customers have plenty of positive things to say as well, with almost all reviews being positive.
Sportstech ESX500 Review
If you're interested in training your cardiovascular system and pushing your endurance levels to the limit, then you should look up the ESX500. This bike offers excellent value for money. Sportstech is quickly becoming one of the fastest-growing German fitness brands. With a dedication to innovating technology, design, and functionality at fair prices, it's not hard to see why.
The Sportstech EX500 exercise bike has a multifunctional console similar to the JLL IC200. The console for this bike has a five-inch digital display, USB connections for charging devices, and enough on-board memory to create and track up to four user profiles. The console is also compatible with fitness apps and features a tablet holder so you'll have no problem controlling your workout from a smart screen. The bike has full compatibility to give users control of the functions and features of the bike and stay engaged during a workout. You need to be engaged to keep your heart rate up for a truly effective workout.
The on-board computer also helps to track training history to give you a better view of how you are doing. Use the information to monitor your performance and set new goals, such as reaching a certain heart rate or pushing yourself to other levels of resistance. The data from the computer helps you understand what elements you need to work harder with to reach your desired level.
One great thing about the ESX500 is that it comes with transport wheels. These wheels make it easier to install the exercise bike and move it through your house. The feet on the cycle are stable to stay level on the floor. Given that the bike weighs a total of 30kg, it's good to know that it comes with these features for easier movement.
The safety features of the Sportstech ESX500 are also worth mentioning. Safety is an integral part of any piece of gym equipment. Safety features reduce the risk of user injury. The safety features on this exercise bike include an adjustable and secure strap and non-slip pedals. These pedals prevent your feet from slipping off during use.
Another standout feature is the excellent choice of pre-installed programs. The machine comes with 12 programs built-in, along with four different HRC functions and a watt training option. There's also a manual mode where you can set the machine to different levels of resistance and high intensity. If you're looking for a good sweat, then you'll certainly find it with the 16 resistance options this machine offers. Keep an eye on the heart rate monitor and you'll reach your goals in no time.
The bike also includes an ergometer. The ergometer makes it easier to build muscle strength and endurance while burning fat. These exercises are more low-impact to reduce the pressure put on your joints. This also helps you maintain a proper balance on the exercise bike for a smoother ride and more calories burned.
The features and specs of the ESX500 guarantee a smoother ride and better workout for users. The smart technology built into the machine offers a greater level of functionality, giving users more freedom and diversity from their workouts. One small complaint about the exercise bike was that some found the technology too complex or too much for a bike, but most customer reviews agreed that the options and customized workouts generated better results.
Bodymax B2 Indoor Cycle
The Bodymax B2 Indoor Cycle comes with a stunning new design and transport wheels. This is one bike that is sure to look good in any United Kingdom home gym. The wheels make it effortless to transport, too. The flywheel on this one comes in at 13KG, making for more intense workouts. It's rare to run into an exercise bike with such a heavy flywheel. The high-end flywheel also means this bike can better accommodate different user weight and height. The three-piece crank and sturdy nature of the Bodymax means you'll have a comfortable, steady workout at home.
The Bodymax bike comes in two colours; a white bike with navy blue highlights or a black bike with yellow highlights. The bike supports up to 125kgs of user weight and is suited to users of any height. Just make sure that you adjust the handlebar and seat to your desired setting. The good news is that you can adjust everything within seconds for the ultimate high-intensity lower-back workout.
Don't worry about the build quality of the exercise bike. Our fitness review would be remiss if we didn't mention that users can rest assured the bike is certified by the German TUV standards for safety and design. Every cyclist is guaranteed to get a high-quality exercise bike when they choose the Bodymax B2. The bike even comes with a handy water bottle holder so you stay hydrated during an intense workout.
All in all, the B2 is an ideal choice for anyone who wants to get a premium product at a more affordable price. You'll have to assemble the bike yourself, but there's nothing complicated about the procedure. All you have to do is tighten some parts together with nuts and bolts. The bike generates a bit of noise when used, but no more than your average exercise bike.
If you want an indoor bike with enough features, bells, and whistles to guarantee an excellent workout, then you should consider picking up the Bodymax B2. The style and size of the bike mean it fits in neatly with any home gym. Check out some video reviews to get an idea of what the bike looks like at home. The Bodymax B2 offers everything you'll need for a high-intensity workout including an adjustable seat and suitable resistance system.
One small flaw comes from the LCD console used for the model. The console is a little more basic than other options, but it still has all the information you need such as calories burned. The good far outweighs the bad for this affordable exercise bike.
Even Stationary Bikes Require Proper Fit
Getting the proper fit is one of the most important parts of choosing the right bike, and an indoor bike is no exception. If you have an outdoor bike you use regularly, then try to find an exercise bike that feels the same and puts you in a similar position. For example, if you regularly use a road bike then you should choose an indoor bike with a similar handlebar setup.
Fan Resistance vs Flywheel Resistance
When riding a bike outdoors, your body pushes against the inertia generated by pedaling. Stationary bikes need to replicate the feeling somehow. Manufacturers use flywheels and fan resistance to generate resistance levels with a home exercise bike.
Flywheel resistance bikes generally have a dial or knob you can use to switch between different levels of resistance. The more resistance, the harder it is to pedal, and the tougher the workout.
Fan-Operated Exercise Bikes
A fan-operated exercise bike is simpler to understand. Fan blades spin and push against the air around the bike as you pedal. Your cycling rhythm is predetermined by how much effort it takes to push the pedals. As such, fan-based bikes don't allow you to get a fast pedaling cadence with low resistance levels, making them an effective choice for warming up and cooling down.
Whether you go for the IC200 or another exercise bike, please don't neglect the basics of a healthy workout. You should make sure that you do an effective warm-up before starting. Beginning with a short 5-10 minute warm-up at a comfortable pace before increasing the resistance and pace. Warming up gets your heart rate going and blood flowing to muscles. Don't forget to cool down at the end of the workout. If you've spent the past little while spinning those pedals at a high intensity and then stop, blood pools in your muscles. This causes discomfort and muscle cramps, among other problems. Just as you started your exercise with 5-10 minutes of light exercise, finish off with another 5-10 minutes to get your body out of “workout” mode and into “recovery” mode.
The end of a workout is also an excellent time to stretch your body. Stretching is best for the cooldown period because it helps to start recovery. Stretch your legs and lower-back of course, but don't neglect your upper body. Your legs might do most of the work for cycling, but your upper body still helped support your body and keep you upright.
The IC200 is one of the best exercise bikes available today, certainly for the price. It's not the only option, however, so think about what you need from your ultrasport f bike, check some reviews and customer images, and choose the bike that suits you best.