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Last updated: June 17, 2021
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What goes into making the best folding exercise bike? Is it the high weight capacity, the multiple levels of resistance, or perhaps the design of the handlebars? Many brands claim to have the most durable and high-performing models but their products leave a lot to be desired.
Our experts sought to separate the wheat from the chaff by using the most important features to evaluate the different exercise bikes available on the market and compile a list of the top-rated models based on key features and buyer rating. We evaluated the weight capacity of each model – you don’t want a bike that will break after several intense workouts. Secondly, we looked at the number of resistance levels so that you could do workouts of varied intensity depending on your goals and physical state. Thirdly, we reviewed the weight and the dimensions of all the models to determine if they are easy to maneuver and store when not in use. As a result, we’ve compiled the list of the sturdiest, most functional and portable exercise bikes the market has to offer.
We picked Amazon’s bestselling Exerpeutic Folding Exercise Bike as our Editor’s Choice because of its space-saving design and high weight capacity. It holds weight of up to 300 pounds and reduces its size to 22 x 20 x 55.5 inches in storage.
The folding exercise bicycle includes an LCD display measuring 3.3 x 1.5 inches for a clear view of your speed, time, distance, calories burned, pulse, and scan readouts.
Exerpeutic Folding Exercise Bike features a 3-piece high torque crank system and a double drive transmission system for powerful and seamless pedaling movement. You can expect a quiet session facilitated by a V-belt drive and a flywheel with precise balance.
A magnetic tension control system lets users adjust to 8 different levels of resistance for customized workouts while extended leg stabilizers prevent the bike from tipping during exercise.
We like the large seat and pedals with protective straps to prevent your foot from slipping. It is the ideal folding exercise bike for short persons of 5’3”, and you can adjust it to fit users of up to 6’1” in height.
This model is sturdy yet small enough for limited spaces and the two front wheels make it easy to move the bike around. It comes with AAA batteries so owners can track their workout stats on the sizeable screen. Remember to activate the display module when setting up this bike.
For the downsides, the pedals made from pre-molded plastic feel cheap and you cannot replace the seat with a standard one.
What stands out?
Large cushioned seat
Multiple progress readouts
Foldable and lightweight
Double drive transmission system
Adjustable to fit different users
What cons did we manage to find?
Cheaply made pedal strap
The seat can’t be replaced with a standard-sized one
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B2721 is among the most comfortable folding recumbent exercise bicycles. It comes with an extra-large padded seat and backrest, stable foam-coated padded handles for a firm grip, a bottle holder positioned behind the seat to keep you hydrated during your workout, and a tablet holder so you can keep up with your work while you exercise.
A well-cushioned seat improves blood circulation to your limbs and eases pressure points on your tail bone. You can flip the handles of this seat up and back to keep them out of the way or to increasing seating space if you have wider hips.
This upright bike utilizes belt drive mechanism and a 3.3-pound flywheel adjusts to 10 levels of magnetic resistance. Although it is lightweight at 38.5 pounds when assembled, it is equipped to support weight of up to 300 pounds.
Foldable handlebars lets users mount and dismount the bike easily and the seat adjusts upwards or downwards to accommodate individuals of different sizes.
You can monitor your workout progress in terms of time, speed, distance, odometer, calories, and pulse rate on the digital LCD monitor. Scan mode helps you track your fitness objectives so you can adjust the level of intensity, if need be.
Along with the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B2721 exercise bike, buyers also receive the required hardware tools, a user manual and 2 AA batteries. This is a versatile folding recumbent exercise bicycle that can also be used in an upright position by turning a dial.
Some users note that the calorie counter is inaccurate. The water bottle holder could also be in a more accessible position.
Exerpeutic is an established company that is well known for manufacturing affordable and high-quality exercise bikes, treadmills, ellipticals and inversion tables since 2007. It makes the best folding recumbent exercise bikes such as Exerpeutic Gold 525XLR for cardio training.
This model is available in a semi-recumbent design that is convenient for getting on or off the bike. It is equipped to handle maximum weight of 400 pounds. This is achieved with a durable heavy duty steel frame with 27% more steel than its predecessor.
The extra-large seat adjusts to accommodate users of height ranging from 5’2″ to 6’5″. Buyers like the high weight limit, large pedals with anti-slip straps, and the dual transmission flywheel that increases the resistance capacity for an aggressive workout, and the smooth motion of the high torque 3-piece cranking mechanism. Users monitor their personal stats on a legible LCD screen. The information displayed includes distance, speed, time, odometer, pulse rate, scan setting to track your target, and the distance you have cycled. The product saves your statistics so you can pause and resume exercise without losing them. To reset them, press down the mode button for a couple of seconds.
Exerpeutic Gold 525XLR offers a limited warranty coverage similar to that of Stamina Recumbent Exercise Bike of 1 year for the frame and 90 days for other components. Buyers also receive the required 2 AA batteries and a user manual which advises against pedaling the bike in reverse.
You may have to add a cushion to make the seat comfortable.
ProGear 225 provides probably the best value for money with its budget-friendly pricing, quality materials, and a magnetic tension control system that is adjustable to 8 levels of resistance. There’s also a convenient LCD readout that displays useful information on speed, time, distance covered, and the calories you have burned. It also features a heart pulse sensors to keep track of your heart rate and a dual transmission flywheel for greater resistance. Dual transmission flywheel allows for higher resistance workout
The folding exercise bike fits a short person of 5’1” inches and tall 6 feet users when you adjust the ergonomic contoured seat.
The new version has been upgraded with adjustable leg stabilizers, a large pedal design with anti-slip safety strap, and a 3-piece crank system and V- belt drive for smooth pedaling and quiet operation.
It reduces size from 32 x 17.5 x 46 inches when assembled to 19 x 17.5 x 53 inches when folded to minimize footprint for storage.
ProGear 225 comes with 2 AAA batteries and an accessory holder. The tension knob is easy to adjust and the instructions are clear with all assembling tools included. Unfortunately, some of the handle bars rattle because the bolts loosen up.
What are its best features?
Contoured seat cushion
Adjustable leg stabilizers
Quiet and smooth movement
What could be improved?
Rattling noise – the bolts need to be fastened often
Build your stamina at home with Stamina Recumbent Exercise Bike which makes one of the best folding recumbent exercise bikes. It features padded rotating handles that provide a comfortable grip to alleviate wrist strain, an easily accessible tension resistance dial for the upper body, and magnetic resistance programmable to 8 different levels for the lower body.
There are stationary side handles to stabilize the bike when working out your lower body. To customize upper body exercises, this bicycle with a foldable frame includes an adjustable lever activated with the right foot to tilt the pedals and a knob to set the height of the seat to your preference.
The seat and backrest are padded for optimal comfort. The arm exercisers offer more options since you don’t have to use it with an elliptical.
A multi-functional electronic panel displays the calories burned, workout duration and the distance.
To get rid of the sound made by the hand tension, the manufacturer advises users to turn the dial to the maximum and leave it for a couple of days to stretch the band.
Stamina Recumbent Exercise Bike comes with 1-year limited coverage for the frame and 90-day limited warranty on parts. It holds weight of up to 250 pounds.
This exercise bike works well when riding forwards but you may need rear stabilizers if riding it on a carpeted floor. Also, you cannot adjust the incline.
What are our favorite features?
Padded handles, seat and backrest
8 resistance settings
Lower and upper body workouts
What could be better?
May need rear stabilizers
No foot straps
Things to Consider
Buying the best folding exercise bicycle is not as easy as it sounds. There are a lot of factors to consider for diverse exercises, different resistance levels, compact dimensions, and comfort and safety. We will discuss these must-have features in this comprehensive guide, provide examples of models that embody those qualities, and answer your pertinent queries in the FAQ section.
Features to consider when choosing a foldable exercise bike
Folding recumbent exercise bike are versatile models that can be used in the upright or leaning position for different cycling angles. The best ones come with adjustable programs and multiple resistance settings to customize your workout.
A folding exercise bicycle with a high weight capacity is likely to be made of durable high-quality materials that can withstand heavy weight. We observe this in Exerpeutic Gold 525XLR which has been upgraded with 27% more heavy duty steel frame to hold weight of up to 400 pounds.
You need a stable exercise bike that does not wobble. That is why you should confirm that your prospective bike has a high maximum weight capacity so it is equipped to support the weight of the intended users.
Programs and resistance levels
Cycling is a type of cardiovascular workout that lowers blood pressure, burns calories, relieves pressure points and improves blood circulation. A healthy person burns approximately 500 calories cycling at approximately 17mph for half an hour.
The best folding exercise bicycles feature preset programs for fitness and weight loss and different resistance levels that can be adjusted to personalize your workout to your requirements. They come with heart rate hand sensors integrated into the handlebars, wrist straps or other forms of heart monitors. This allows you to monitor your progress and vary or intensify your exercise accordingly. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B2721 has 10 different resistance levels and multiple workout statistics including heart rate sensors that eliminate the need to buy a separate monitor.
A heavier flywheel moves more smoothly. The products we have reviewed utilize magnetic resistance that is activated and adjusted with touch buttons. This mechanism is common in bikes with pre-programmed workouts.
Other folding exercise bicycles make use of friction generated by a flywheel band or brake pad and regulated with a manual knob, or air fans that create resistance based on your pedaling speed.
A heavy bicycle is a stable one and chances are it has a high maximum supported weight. However, you do not have to choose between stability and mobility. To ease transport, all the best folding exercise bicycles are equipped with wheels. Exerpeutic Folding Exercise Bike and Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B2721 weigh less than 40 pounds, making them the best lightweight folding exercise bikes for a short person.
Dimensions: when folded and unfolded
The best folding recumbent exercise bicycles favor minimal spaces because they can be folded to reduce the total size substantially for convenient storage, as well as the best foldable rowing machines. The ability to folds is a useful feature in recumbent bikes which tend to take up more space than upright models. For instance, Stamina Recumbent Exercise Bike measures 48 x 24 x 50 inches when fully assembled but the size is reduced to 30 x 25 x 52 inches when you fold it. Some models are available with foldable frames while others feature removable seat handles or foldable handlebars.
A folding exercise bicycle is also easy to assemble and store because you don’t have to connect or remove components each time.
A large built-in computer console display is a key feature of the best folding exercise bicycles. This is where you can view useful statistics of your current session and monitor your progress and goal as you exercise. The readouts include your distance, speed, time, burned calories, odometer, pulse rate, and a scan mode for your fitness target.
The amount of key details your display can show will depend on your specific product. Consider a folding bike that retains the information so you can pause and resume your session will not need you to reset it frequently.
To avoid pain and discomfort during prolonged sessions, look for a folding exercise bicycle with a seat that lets you adjust the height to fit users of different sizes. It should also be adjustable forwards and backwards so you don’t have to strain to reach the handlebars. The seat height should be level with the height of your hips and your knees should be parallel to your feet in an upright bike. Set the height of the seat to a position where your hips will be at the same level or lower than your legs.
Folding recumbent exercise bicycles such as Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B2721 ease off pressure from your knees by allowing you to pedal in a reclined position with your legs extended in front of you and your knees bent slightly at an angle of 10 to 15 degrees. They are advantageous for people with back problems or those recovering from injuries because the ergonomic seats provide additional support to minimize pressure on your knees and ankles. This particular model doubles up as an upright and recumbent bike. Another benefit of this kind of folding exercise bicycle is that the handlebars are within reach.
This is where your grip will be, probably for an extended time. That is why you should look for padded handlebars that are comfortable and within easy reach to prevent straining your back. Some handlebars feature built-in monitors that track your heart rate when they are in contact with your hands.
The minimum warranty period for folding recumbent exercise bicycles is normally one year for the frame although some manufacturers may cover you for up to 5 years. This warranty differs from that of other components which is usually shorter. For example, Stamina Recumbent Exercise Bike and Exerpeutic Gold 525XLR offer 1-year limited warranty for the frame and 90-day limited warranty for other parts.
Some brands allow you to extend the coverage when you register the purchased product.
Bottle holder: This is convenient for water and energy drinks while working out.
Safety straps: They prevent your feet from slipping off the pedals when cycling.
Noise level: Unlike the air resistance models that use noisy fans, the best folding recumbent exercise bikes utilize magnetic resistance and the type of V-belt drive in ProGear 225 for seamless movement with minimal noise.
You should use a protective rubber mat for carpeted and wooden floors to stabilize the bike and prevent damage, dust or spillage of lubricants. Fortunately, the featured folding recumbent exercise bicycles utilize a belt drive that does not need to be lubricated and magnetic resistance mechanism such as the ones found in ProGear 225 to limit dust.
The best folding exercise bicycle have components that can be easily folded or unfolded for quick assembly and compact storage. Majority of these products have a frame or handlebars that fold to reduce the overall size of the bike by a half.
The best folding exercise bike for a short person is a versatile model with an adjustable seat height that can fit a broad range of individuals so it can also accommodate tall people. A good example is Exerpeutic Gold 525XLR which is equipped with an extra-large adjustable seat for user height ranging from 5’2″ to 6’5″.
Exerpeutic Folding Exercise Bike features a powerful crank system, double drive transmission, leg stabilizers, and a belt drive with a flywheel for flawless, balanced and quiet motion. It accommodates a wide range of user height from 5’3” to 6’1” and individuals weighing up to 300 pounds.
Our second pick is Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B2721 which comes with a well-cushioned extra-large seat, padded handles coated with protective foam, and built-in storage for your tablet and water bottle. You can set resistance level to 10 different settings and adjust the seat height or flip its handles out of the way to increase space. You can also track your progress on the LCD screen which displays your time, speed, distance, odometer, calories, and pulse rate.
Apart from the high weight capacity of 400 pounds, what makes Exerpeutic Gold 525XLR our third pick for the best folding recumbent exercise bicycle is the sturdy steel construction and the broad user height support of 5’2″ to 6’5″.