Best Folding Exercise Bikes (2020) – Complete Review

Anthony
| Last Updated: February 23, 2021

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Are you thinking about buying a folding exercise bike?

Here are our reviews of the best options currently available, as well as some additional information about these products to help you make a purchasing decision.

Our Top Picks for Best Folding Exercise Bikes

  • High maximum weight
  • Easy to assemble
  • Compact storage
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  • Adjustable strength
  • Comfortable grips
  • Adjustable seat heights
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  • Best for the Money
  • Adjustable strength
  • Complete system
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Comparison of the Best Folding Exercise Bikes

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Will carry weights of up 300 pounds
  • Very easy to assemble when you want to use
  • Will fold up into a small package for storing
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  • Easily adjustable controls for many levels of resistance
  • Padded handles for improved gripping options
  • Large and comfortable seat with adjustable positions
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  • Best for the Money
  • 8 levels of resistance available to increase the challenge
  • Arm resistance bands included for arm workout
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  • Best Folding Recumbent Exercise Bike
  • Very quiet V-belt double-drive transmission system
  • LCD display is easy to read with large output display
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  • Solid X-frame will fold up quite small when not in use
  • All necessary information displayed on large LCD display
  • Up to 8 levels of resistance to increase the challenge
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How Does a Folding Electric Exercise Bike Work?

A folding exercise bike functions similarly to a regular exercise bike. It consists of a frame, a seat, some handles, and a resistance mechanism that you must push against while operating the bike. By adjusting the intensity of the resistance, you can get a harder or easier session.

Electric bikes vary in their features but usually have several controls to adjust for more flexible exercise sessions. Folding bikes differ from regular cycles in that they can fold down, allowing you to move them out of the way and store them when they’re not in use. This makes them popular exercise tools in space-sensitive areas.

Some folding exercise bikes have wheels, but those aren’t a universal feature.

Slim Cycle Stationary Bike by BulbHead

How Do Magnetic Exercise Bikes Work?

Magnetic exercise bikes use electricity to create a magnetic effect within the bike that you must push against while exercising. This is popular because the resistance grows linearly with power. Other methods of creating resistance usually require significantly more power at higher speeds.

This means that magnetic bikes are most energy-efficient at higher speeds. How much higher depends on the bike, but it usually becomes the most practical option somewhere in the 28-32 miles per hour range.

For more information on magnetic bikes, see this handy guide.

How Do I Choose a Folding Exercise Bike?

Here are the primary factors to consider when choosing a folding exercise bike.

Weight Limit

The weight limit of a folding exercise bike should comfortably exceed the weight of any person using it. Note that some folding bikes are far more fragile than others, holding perhaps 200 pounds at most. Sturdier bikes may hold 400 pounds or more.

Entertainment Features

Just riding a bike indoors isn’t particularly exciting. That’s why most people who use folding exercise bikes do so in front of a television or, for better models, have a screen attached to the bike itself. Entertainment features can distract you from the exercise while you’re doing it and make it much easier to get through each section.

Weight

Foldable exercise bikes are mobile by design, so weight isn’t as great of a concern as it is for other products. However, they can still require some physical strength to move, so it’s important to get a bike that you can lift and roll around as necessary. If you don’t, you may find that it’s not mobile after all, which defeats the purpose of getting a folding bike.

Warranty

Most retailers offer warranties for their products, often in the 30-day range. However, exercise bike manufacturers almost always offer longer warranties so you can test the bike and ensure it’s in good shape after you buy it. Look for a warranty period with a minimum of six months, or longer if you can find that.

Quick Take - Best Foldable Exercise Bikes

Skip the review - here's a snapshot of the best foldable exercise bikes:

  1. Exerpeutic Magnetic Upright Exercise Bike
  2. XTERRA Fitness FB150
  3. Slim Cycle Stationary Bike by BulbHead

Review of the Best Foldable Exercise Bikes

Here are our choices for the top folding exercise bikes currently on the market. These products have a unique selling point compared to other folding bikes, so we’re rating them exclusively as their own category instead of by how they compare to non-folding bikes.

Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Exercise Bike with Pulse, 31.0' L x 19.0' W x 46.0' H (1200)

pros

  • Supports up to 300 lbs
  • Has optional transportation wheels
  • Weighs 39 lbs., which is reasonably light
  • Uses an eight-level magnetic tension system for easier control
  • Has an LCD that displays relevant information while you’re exercising

cons

  • Has some cheaper rubber parts
  • Moderately expensive compared to other mid-range options

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers broadly agree that this is a compact, quiet exercise bike. They say that it works well for the majority of users, too, particularly because its resistance ranges from nothing to extremely hard. However, several people noted that it uses a proprietary seat that you can’t easily swap out, and some of the parts are definitely on the cheaper side.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This product stands out as the best balance of price, features, and overall product quality. While other bikes surpass it in specific areas (some are better budget choices, some are premium-quality bikes at higher price points, and so on), this bike represents the ideal balance point.

Buyers broadly agree because this is also one of the best-selling folding exercise bikes ever released. A few production issues mean we can’t guarantee it will be great, but the huge majority of buyers love this product.

Bottom Line

If you’re not sure which bike to get, pick this one. The only exception to this advice is if any expected user is more than 300 pounds, which is the maximum rating for this product. The weight limit is the most important detail to consider when buying since that makes or (literally) breaks this product.

XTERRA Fitness FB150 Folding Exercise Bike, Silver, 31.5L x 18W x 45.3H in.

pros

  • Extremely affordable
  • Folds into an extremely small size
  • Has heart rate monitors in the hand grips
  • Significantly lighter than many other bikes
  • Has a large seat designed for people of all sizes

cons

  • Has an extremely small display
  • Uses cheaper components to keep prices down

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers agree that this bike gets the job done, particularly for its price. While it assembles and sets up easily, it’s also awkward for taller users, and the monitors and sensors may not be accurate for all users.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This bike stands out to us mainly for its value. While it’s not the best value for the money (that’s the previous option on our list), it’s significantly more affordable than most other bikes, and that makes it a great option if you’re trying to minimize costs.

That said, remember that you’re going to get what you pay for. If you can get a more expensive bike, you probably should. Those bikes are fundamentally more durable.

Bottom Line

This isn’t a perfect bike by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s worth considering if you want a bike that’s merely good enough. It’s also a good option if you want to try a cheaper exercise bike and see how well you enjoy the exercise itself before you look at buying a premium-grade option.

Original As Seen On TV Slim Cycle Stationary Bike - Folding Indoor Exercise Bike with Arm Resistance Bands and Heart Monitor - Perfect Home Exercise Machine for Cardio

pros

  • Eight levels of magnetic resistance
  • Comes with ten free classes to follow along with
  • Uses a low-impact sitting position for added comfort
  • More affordable than most other products on the market
  • Comes with arm pulleys for additional exercise while you’re cycling

cons

  • Minimal adjustability for taller users
  • Has cheaper components than many other products

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers like the lightweight styling of this bike, particularly when it comes to the upper body sculpting components. The free class videos are also nice, though you’ll need a playback device because this bike only has a simple digital display. However, most users agree that this bike isn’t a good choice for taller buyers.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is a value-focused bike, so it’s somewhat more affordable than many of its competitors. It’s not outright cheap like some models, just less-expensive than our top choices. Essentially, this is the point where it’s the most affordable bike you can get without sacrificing a lot of quality.

We recommend setting this up in front of a larger screen, rather than putting your smartphone on the base of its display. Since it doesn’t have the same handle style as many other bikes, it’s better to use a screen you don’t need to touch to control.

Bottom Line

This is an affordable bike that offers a great deal for the money. However, unless your budget is exceptionally tight, you can find moderately better bikes by spending less than $50 more. That’s why this bike isn’t our top choice, despite its overall quality.

Best Folding Recumbent Exercise Bike:
Exerpeutic 400XL

Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike with Performance Monitor

pros

  • Supports up to 300 lbs
  • Uses magnetic tension controls
  • Excellent LCD for tracking your metrics
  • The semi-recumbent design offers easier entry and exit
  • Usable as a desk bike, especially with height-adjustable desks

cons

  • Poor sensors
  • Can be difficult to put together

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers agree that this is a quiet bike, with no particular shaking or vibrating to worry about. While the tension levels cover different zones, the bike can also be hard to put together if you’re not experienced with products like this. Expect to spend anywhere from 45 minutes to several hours if you’re assembling it solo.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This bike stands out as the best recumbent option. For those who aren’t familiar with the term, recumbent bikes help to take the pressure off of the lower back by adjusting the way you sit on the chair. This makes it a better choice for longer exercise sessions.

This bike is also competitively priced compared to other options on this list. It’s not as cheap as our runner-up option, but it’s still highly affordable, and that was enough to bring it to the top for this award.

Bottom Line

Some people don’t like recumbent bikes, and this isn’t a great choice if you need active monitors. However, it’s excellent as an exercise bike, and the fact that you can adjust it for working at desks makes it even easier to get your exercise sessions in.

Editor's Pick:
XTERRA Fitness FB350

XTERRA Fitness FB350 Folding Exercise Bike, Silver

pros

  • A straight upgrade to our runner-up choice
  • Offers smartly-positioned transport wheels
  • Only slightly more expensive than that option
  • Uses a large dial knob for adjusting the resistance
  • Has an accessory pocket for remote controls or smartphones

cons

  • Somewhat larger than the FB150
  • Relatively low weight limit at 225 lbs.

What Recent Buyers Report

Many buyers like this bike more than our runner-up option. The seat back and handles are the most obvious difference in these products, giving you some extra support if you need to lean against something while you’re exercising.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We considered whether to make this product or the FB150 our main runner-up choice and ultimately, we decided on the more affordable model for that reward. However, this model bears mentioning because it’s only slightly more expensive than its relative while offering a much better seating experience.

Bottom Line

This isn’t one of our top choices because it suffers from the same issues regarding size and part quality. This bike is good enough, but not outright great. Still, if you want a slightly more comfortable version of our runner-up, this is the ideal bike.

Perks of Getting a Folding Exercise Bike

Here are the major benefits of getting a folding exercise bike.

You Can Store it Away

Most exercise bikes fold vertically, which means they are very tall but have a minimal ground footprint. Some bikes also slide down well, allowing you to store them under raised couches or similar areas. Regardless, the easy storage of these products makes them excellent choices for cramped homes.

Low Cost

Folding exercise bikes are significantly more affordable than many competing exercise products. This, by itself, makes them more attractive for many buyers and can ultimately make the difference in what products you choose to get.

Portability

Folding exercise bikes usually weigh somewhere between 30 and 50 pounds. This isn’t light, exactly, but it’s light enough that many adults can pack them away and carry them to other locations. Even without that, they’re easy to move into other parts of your house if you’re having guests over or otherwise want to hide the bike.

Types of Foldable Exercise Bikes

Here are the main types of foldable exercise bikes currently on the market.

Standard

Standard foldable exercise bikes have handles in the front, usually above or next to a monitor, and hold you in a classic cycling position as you move. These are arguably the most common style.

Recumbent

Recumbent bikes are more comfortable for many users, thanks to the seating alignments. However, they don’t offer quite the same style of fitness as standard positions do.

Interactive

Interactive bikes are mainly premium models that come with screens and, sometimes, access to special programs or entertainment. These are particularly useful if you want to spend a lot of time on your bike, but you can also get something similar to any folding exercise bike simply by putting it in front of a TV.

Interactive bikes are more likely to have additional settings and controls, as well as higher-quality parts.

Recumbent vs Upright Folding Exercise Bikes - Comparison Overview

Recumbent and upright exercise bikes are not the same types of products, despite their surface similarities. Here are the benefits of each type.

XTERRA Fitness FB350

Benefits of Recumbent Bikes

  • Recumbent bikes are more stable than upright bikes, which makes it easier to get on and off of the bike safely

  • Recumbent bikes use less of the body, which means you can go for longer exercise sessions because you don’t tire out as fast

  • These bikes are excellent transition options after injuries because they’re milder on both joints and the back

  • The bikes are stationary, so you can easily read a book or do something else

  • Recumbent bikes provide better exercise for the hamstrings

Benefits of Upright Bikes

  • Upright bikes burn calories faster than the more relaxed recumbent bikes do

  • Upright bikes are much closer to riding a traditional outdoor bike, which means it’s a good way to train or stay in shape

  • Upright bikes exercise significantly more of your body while you’re using them

Conclusion 

Ultimately, buying a folding exercise bike comes down to several different factors. These include finding a bike that folds up small enough to fit in your household, making sure it can hold your weight, and figuring out how to get some entertainment while you’re exercising. Think about these factors first, then find the folding exercise bike that best fits your situation.

People Also Ask

Here are some other common questions that people ask about folding exercise bikes.

Are Folding Exercise Bikes Any Good?

Yes. While folding exercise bikes offer varying benefits, they’re popular choices for both regular and therapeutic exercise. Most modern folding exercise bikes use magnetic resistance to provide smoothly adjustable settings, making them ideal for people at all fitness levels.

What Are the Benefits of Magnetic Resistance For an Exercise Bike?

The main benefit of magnetic resistance on exercise bikes is how smoothly it changes its levels. It’s easier to configure a magnetic bike to accept different settings, which also means you have more options to slowly ease yourself into the tougher levels. Ultimately, this is better for users.

Slim Cycle Stationary Bike by BulbHead

How Much Does a Folding Exercise Bike Cost?

Most folding exercise bikes cost somewhere in the $100 to $250 range, depending on product quality and features. A few rare models can go into the thousands of dollars, but that’s far more than most people want, or need, to spend on products in these categories.

How Small Does a Folding Exercise Bike Fold up?

That depends on the bike itself since they vary. However, most folding exercise bikes fold to the 15 to 20 inches square range, give or take a little. They have a bigger height range, but most end up somewhere between 4 and 5 feet tall after folding. Make sure to check the store pages if the exact folding size is a concern for your situation.

How Much Weight Can a Folding Exercise Bike Hold?

Like the folding size, the weight capacity of a folding exercise bike varies. Most of them support somewhere from 200 to 300 pounds, usually in increments of 25 pounds. A few models can support much more, but those are usually larger, heavier models.

Keep in mind that folding exercise bikes are mostly for shorter users. Tall users may find these bikes difficult to use, regardless of their weight.

Anthony

"I'm Linda's husband. We got married in 2018 and are loving life together. We met in one of my many competitive races and hit it off right away. Our best dates are when we're riding down a trail enjoying each other’s company in the beautiful Colorado weather. I enjoy writing about everything pertaining to bikes. "