Best Exercise Bike for Your Home Gym

Last updated: November 24, 2020
Best Overall
Friction Resistance, Solid and Quiet
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Best Budget
Folding, Easy to Use and Affordable
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Best with Desk
Adjustable, Bluetooth and Comfortable
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Best with Screen
Interactive, Adjustable and Versatile
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Best with Fan
Durable, Moving Arms and Low Maintenance
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Your guide

Having an exercise bike at home can make it a lot easier to reach your fitness or weight loss goals. The problem comes when you need to choose the right exercise bike. Getting the first one you see is a bad idea.

Top 5 Exercise Bikes

Do you love spin class, but hate the hour you spend in a loud room full of strangers? If you prefer solitary exercise, the blaring music and shouting instructor can make you dread spin class.  This is where a home exercise bike comes in. ?

Owning an exercise bike makes it easier to get your daily exercise.  You can use it when you have time and never have to worry about going to the gym again. You have decided that getting an exercise bike is the best option and head online to buy one only to be confronted by rows and rows of options.  Which one do you choose? What makes them different?

Which of these exercise bikes should you buy? ?

a woman using exercise bike

The only way to answer this question is through research. Taking the time to find out what each exercise bike has to offer and how they differ. There are a bunch of different types of exercise bikes, like stationary bikes or elliptical machines.  The only problem is this can make it even harder to decide.

Information overload can easily make any decision daunting and make you feel that getting your own exercise bike is too much trouble.  To avoid this, you could buy the first exercise bike you find, but that could leave you with a bike that does not give you the workout you want or need.

To make this decision easier, we have looked at all the exercise bikes for you and shortlisted the top ones.  All the research you need to do, we have done for you. All that’s left is for you to choose between the best exercise bikes.

But if you prefer being outdoors, you better check out our guides on commuter bikes, or maybe even some touring bikes.

1. Best Overall - Yosuda L-001A

Specifications:

  • Folding → No
  • Resistance levels → Unlimited
  • Maximum weight capacity → 270 pounds
  • Heart rate sensor → No

Key Features:

  • Friction resistance system
  • Pedals with toe cages
  • 270-pound maximum weight capacity
  • Exercise meter

Yosuda L-001A Indoor Cycling Bike Review

If you want to get the ultimate cycle workout at home, the Yosuda L-001A Indoor Cycling Bike is the best option.  While the bike has been made for home use, it can support any spin workout you want to complete.

Standard Frame For Stability

The frame of the L-001A is fairly standard and made of steel tubing.  Most of the bars are ovalized to improve the strength and stability of the bike.  The only rectangular bar is the base bar which has wheels attached to it.

The steel construction adds some weight to the bike and it is approximately 68 pounds.  This weight does provide a bit more stability to the bike. It is also light enough to move around using the attached wheels.

A feature of the frame is the integration of ABS parts.  This includes the belt guard and brake cover.  The side covers of the flywheel are also ABS and will not impact the stability of the bike.

When it comes to using the exercise bike, the seat is fully adjustable.  The seat post has a height adjustment between 25” and 35”.  The horizontal slider bar allows you to move the seat closer or further from the handlebar.

According to the manufacturer, the bike can accommodate users between 5’ and 6’2”.  The durability of the frame and seat enable a maximum capacity of 270 pounds.  While this is not the highest on the market, it is higher than many other exercise bikes in the same price range.

While adjusting your seat is important, the saddle itself can affect overall comfort.  The included saddle is wider than the average spin bike and has an integrated layer of padding.  The material is also flexible for additional comfort.  The post is collar-based which makes it compatible with standard bike saddle replacements.

The handles have a multi-grip design and include a small loop bar.  This allows you to change your hand placement for optimal comfort.  The one drawback is the lack of integrated pulse sensors in the handles.  You will need to use a separate fitness tracker to monitor this.

Belt Transmission

Looking at the resistance on offer, you might notice the flywheel is lighter than others on the market.  It weighs 35 pounds instead of the standard 40 pounds, but this provides a consistent pedaling movement. The flywheel is also perimeter weighted for higher inertia making the bike ideal for spin workouts.

To provide resistance, the bike uses a standard friction resistance system.  This is connected to the belt transmission which uses a heavy-duty rubber belt.  In many cases, this could create a lot of noise when in use, but the L-001A is very quiet.

The belt transmission reduces the maintenance on this bike as you do not have to lubricate it.  It also generates less vibration than chain drives. The drive also enables reverse pedaling if you feel the need to change up your workout.  When pedaling in reverse, you will have the same resistance level as pedaling forward.

The tension dial at the top of the frame is how you change the level of resistance.  There are no resistance levels on the dial and you simply tighten the dial until you reach the resistance you want.  The lowest level of resistance is easy to handle while the highest makes it very hard to move the pedals at all.

The tension knob serves a dual purpose as it is also the emergency brake.  If you need to suddenly stop the flywheel, you need to press down on it.

The tension dial is directly attached to the wool felt brake under the main bar.  When the dial is turned, the brake will come into contact with the flywheel.  The top-down nature of the connection reduces noise and works better. If you worry that the felt brake will wear quickly, the bike comes with a replacement.

The bike has been designed with spin workouts in mind.  This ensures a sturdy crankset that has steel arms and pedals made of metallic alloy.  The pedals come with an adjustable cage, but no clips for spin shoes.

The L-001A has a basic fitness meter with an LCD console display.  The console tracks all the basic fitness metrics from calories burned to distance traveled and cycling speed.  The console is easy to use and runs on AAA batteries.

There is a SCAN mode that brings each metric up for a few seconds before moving to the next.  This stops the need to manually toggle through all the metrics. There are no preset programs on offer which can be a drawback for many people.

One of the features of this bike that you cannot get with some others is the phone holder.  The flat bracket is sized for phones and allows you to watch videos or listen to music as you work out.  Another feature this bike offers is a bottle holder.

The bottle holder is conveniently located within arms reach on the crossbar.  This makes it easier to stay hydrated during long or intense workouts.

If you are looking for the ultimate home spin bike, but do not want to pay a fortune, the Yosuda L-001A Indoor Cycling Bike is the best option.

While this bike does not have a heart rate monitor or pre-set programs, it has been designed with spin workouts in mind. The friction resistance system is easy to use and offers resistance when pedaling forward and backward. And if spin workouts are your thing, check out our Peloton bike review as well.

Pros
  • Friction resistance
  • Device and bottle holder included
  • Little maintenance required
Cons
  • No heart rate sensor

2. Best Budget - XTERRA Fitness FB150

Specifications:

  • Folding → Yes
  • Resistance levels → 8
  • Maximum weight capacity → 225 pounds
  • Heart rate sensor → Yes

Key Features:

  • Lightweight
  • 8 resistance levels
  • Magnetic resistance system
  • Folding

XTERRA Fitness FB150 Folding Exercise Bike Review

Getting an exercise bike for your home does not have to cost a fortune.  The XTERRA FB150 is one of the most affordable exercise bikes on the market, but that does not mean it cannot meet all your needs.  While this affordable exercise bike is more basic than some others on this list, the features offer a great cardio workout.

Using A Folding X Frame

When you first look at the FB150, you will notice the minimalistic frame.  The X frame is made of steel which makes the entire exercise bike light.  When fully assembled, the bike weighs only 32 pounds making it easy to move.  This is helped by the small wheels set into the front base bar.

The frame is not only light and easy to move it is also easy to store.  The FB150 can be folded in half making it easy to store in any location.  Once folded, the bike has a small footprint of only 16.75” x 18”.

While the steel frame may not look as sturdy as some other exercise bikes, it can hold a maximum weight of 225 pounds.  This is less than others on the list and is due partially to the lack of a reinforcement bar.

Moving past the frame, you will notice the FB150 has an extra-large seat.  The widest point of the seat is approximately 14” which makes the bike more comfortable to use.  The seat has an integrated layer of padding which increases your comfort.

The seat is adjustable allowing people of varying heights to use the bike.  There are 7 adjustment positions.  According to the manufacturer, the height range of users is 4’10” to 5’10” with complete leg extension.

While the seat is adjustable, the handlebars are not.  The handlebars do have a multi-grip design and a layer of rubber foam for a firm grip.  There is also an integrated stainless steel pulse sensor in the handles allowing you to track your heart rate as you exercise.

Magnetic Resistance System

Knowing that the frame is sturdy is important, but what about the workout you get?  The FB150 has a manual magnetic resistance system.  There is a small magnetic brake connected to the dial on the top of the frame.  To increase the resistance and make your workout harder, you will need to turn the dial.  This changes the position of the magnet in relation to the flywheel.

With the affordable nature of this bike, it is unsurprising that the resistance system is completely manual.  There are 8 resistance levels for you to use.  One problem with the resistance levels is that the highest is not meant for high-intensity muscle-burning.  You are not going to get the same workout with this bike as you do in a spin class. Light cardio is the hardest workout you can get.

The magnetic resistance system is complemented by a belt drive system.  This makes the pedaling motion much smoother.  It also reduces the maintenance requirement as there is no need for lubrication.

When looking at any exercise bike, you need to check the pedals.  Poorly made or designed pedals can make the bike hard to use and a poor investment.  The FB150 has weighted pedals with a metallic core and non-slip ABS surface.  They also come with adjustable straps to secure your feet while you cycle.

One feature the FB150 has that many other budget exercise bikes do not is a bi-directional flywheel.  To change up your exercise routine, you can pedal forward and backward.  The included console will continue to track all your information when pedaling backward.

The Console Functions

The console itself is fairly basic, but the inclusion does put the FB150 in a different budget class.  The console has an LCD display showing the speed of the bike, the distance, time, pulse and number of calories burned.  If you want to see all fitness metrics without having to manually toggle through, you can use the SCAN function.  This displays each metric for several seconds before moving on.

As the console holds only basic information, it is very easy to use.  It automatically turns on when the flywheel starts to move or you can manually turn it on.  The console is battery powered and uses 2 AA batteries which are included.

Anyone who wants an exercise bike, but does not want to break the bank should look at the XTERRA Fitness FB150 exercise bike.  This budget exercise bike has everything you need to get a good workout, even if it does not match your spin class. The solid but folding frame makes it easy to use and store.

Pros
  • Transport wheels
  • Magnetic resistance system
  • Little maintenance required
Cons
  • No backlight for fitness meter

3. Best with Desk - Exerpeutic ExerWork 1000

Specifications:

  • Folding → Yes
  • Resistance levels → 8
  • Maximum weight capacity → 300 pounds
  • Heart rate sensor → Yes

Key Features:

  • Integrated desk
  • 8 resistance levels
  • Magnetic resistance system
  • Folding

Exerpeutic ExerWork 1000 Exercise Bike Review

Have you ever finished work and not felt like exercising?  Maybe you need to work over the weekend and feel you cannot work out.  This is where the Exerpeutic ExerWork 1000 exercise bike comes in. The ExerWork 1000 lets you exercise and work at the same time.

When you look at the frame of the ExerWork 1000, you might not think that it can handle you exercising and working at the same time.  The looks can be deceiving as it is made from steel and there are stabilizing bars.

The front stabilizing bar will stop any rocking so you can concentrate on your work and not the movement of the bike. The frame and stabilization allow the bike to carry a maximum capacity of 300 pounds.

The bike has an X frame allowing you to fold it.  Once folded, the bike has a footprint of 21.3” by 25.5”.  To make the bike easier to move, there are built-in wheels on the front base bar.  Fully assembled, the bike weighs 64.7 pounds which is on the heavier side for a folding exercise bike.

Working And Exercising With An Integrated Desk

One of the stand out frame features is the integrated desk.  This is a feature that few exercise bikes have and makes it ideal for people who need to work and exercise at the same time.  The desk is fully adjustable to ensure comfort as you work.

There are 3 adjustment angles of 0°, 16°, and 33°.  This will tilt the desk to ensure comfortable access to laptop keyboards.  There are also 5 height adjustments taking the desk from 41” to 45”. This ensures that your screen is at the right level for ergonomic comfort.

The desk is able to hold a weight of 44 pounds and has two cup holders.  There is also a storage drawer and a soft foam armrest.  This will reduce the strain on your arms as you exercise.

With the adjustments of the desk, you can use it even when you are not exercising.  The forward and back adjustments allow you to use this as a standing desk.  Many experts believe that rotating between standing and sitting while working is better for your health.

The Exercise You Get

Knowing that you can work while exercising is important, but what sort of workout are you able to get.  The ExerWork 1000 uses a magnetic resistance system.  There are 8 resistance levels which are controlled with a tension knob on the front support of the frame.

You can increase the resistance as you pedal and the transition is smooth.  The highest resistance level will not give you a high-intensity workout. The resistance offers a moderate workout and is more focused on the benefits of movement while working.

The bike uses a v-belt drive and a balanced flywheel.  This is important because it provides a smooth pedaling movement.  The use of the belt also stops the need for any lubrication.

The pedals themselves are placed ahead of you and at an angle.  This is more reminiscent of a recumbent bicycle than an upright one.  The placement of the pedals can take some getting used to, but the positioning is very comfortable when working.  The platform on the pedals is large and there are adjustable straps to keep your feet in place.

When you work and exercise, you need to be comfortable.  There are a lot of comfort features on this exercise bike that will make it easy to exercise and work.  The primary comfort feature is the seat.

The seat has a large Airsoft saddle that distributes your weight.  There is also good airflow that stops you from overheating as you workout.  The ExerWork 1000 has a backrest which is something that most exercise bikes lack.

The backrest is angled and correctly sized to support your whole back.  This reduces the chances of back pain. There is a gap between the saddle and the backrest when the backrest height is adjusted which can be a problem for some people.

The magnetic resistance system offers quiet operation which is ideal if you need to take calls.  It is unlikely that anyone on the other side of the call will hear that you are exercising.  You can also use the bike without disturbing anyone else.

If you want to exercise and work at the same time, the Exerpeutic ExerWork 1000 exercise bike is the best option.  This exercise bike has a desk and a comfortable seat making it comfortable for work. While you will not get the hardest workout, you will get the movement you need during the day.

Pros
  • Integrated desk
  • Magnetic resistance system
  • Comfortable seat and backrest
Cons
  • Does not track workouts

4. Best with Screen - NordicTrack Commercial

Specifications:

  • Folding → No
  • Resistance levels → 22
  • Maximum weight capacity → 350 pounds
  • Heart rate sensor → No

Key Features:

  • 1-year iFit membership included
  • 22 resistance levels
  • Touchscreen console
  • Built-in fitness programs

NordicTrack Commercial Studio Cycle Review

If you are willing to spend more on your exercise bike, the NordicTrack Commercial Studio Cycle is the one for you.  The additional cost brings a range of features you cannot get with a cheaper exercise bike. This includes an advanced touchscreen console that most exercise bikes do not have.

Strong And Sturdy Frame

The frame of the NordicTrack exercise bike can be intimidating when you first see it.  The heavy-duty steel frame was designed to hold a maximum capacity of 350 pounds.  All of the tubes are ovalized to improve both aesthetics and strength.

The bike is made more intimidating by the size.  Once fully assembled it is 55.75” by 22” making it one of the largest on the market.  While the weight is not explicitly stated by the company, the bike does weigh more than 150 pounds.  The additional weight adds stability, but does make it harder to move around.

While the weight does make it hard to move around, there are integrated wheels in the front base bar.  Ideally, you will not want to move the bike around too much even with the wheels.

Unlike the FB150, the NordicTrack has a race type saddle.  There is an integrated layer of cushioning to make it more comfortable and the top is contoured for breathability.  If you do not like this type of saddle, that is not a problem. The stem is compatible with many saddle options.

To enhance your comfort, the saddle can be adjusted in 4 ways.  Not only can the seat height be adjusted, but the distance from the handlebars can be adjusted.  This is done with the horizontal sliding bar that offers a few inches of movement.

The handlebars can also be adjusted, but this is limited to height alone.  The handlebar post only allows a few inches of adjustment. While the handlebars are not as adjustable, they do offer a multi-grip design.

There are two longer side grips and a small loop bar for more intense workouts.  All the grips are covered by rubber foam which cushions the hands.  One feature that is missing from the handlebars is an integrated pulse sensor.

This does not mean that the bike is unable to read your pulse.  This can be done via the pulse reading function on the console that communicates with any Bluetooth heart rate chest strap.  These readers are not included and will need to be purchased separately.

The pedals are aluminum alloy making them very durable.  They also have adjustable to cages but do not have SPD clips for spin shoes.

Introducing The Advanced Console

When it comes to using the exercise, one of the major features is the console.  The console is one of the most advanced and offers a range of smart functions. There are 2 screen size options depending on the NordicTrack Commercial Studio Cycle you get.  The S15i offers a 14” LCD console with LED backlight while the S22i offers a 22” console screen.

The console uses touchscreen technology to navigate the menus, choose a program and create your own training tracks.  It is also easy to get all the standard metrics such as calories burned, pulse, distance, and speed.  The console is also WiFi-enabled and compatible with iFit.  The exercise bike also comes with a year of iFit membership.

If you do not want to keep the iFit membership, the console has a list of preset workouts.  The built-in programs include interval workouts, stamina development workouts, and fat-burning workouts.  If you choose one of these programs, the incline system will automatically activate to match.

Another notable feature of the console is the built-in sound system.  There are 2 integrated speakers that offer very good audio.  There is also the option to input audio by connecting your phone or MP3 player.

Another great feature is the incline system.  While this is a great feature, it does require an external power source to operate.  Once there is power, the incline can be adjusted manually on the console or automatically based on the program being used.

The incline system consists of a motor at the rear of the bike, an adjustable front fork, and an internal lift.  When the incline is adjusted, the frame will be moved. This system is different from the ones offered by treadmills as it does not always make the workout harder.  What it does offer is a more immersive and natural workout particularly when you follow certain routes.

If the incline system does not affect the workout, you might be wondering what does.  This is where the motorized magnetic resistance system comes in.  As this is motorized, an external power source is required.

The resistance levels can be manually adjusted using the controls on the right-hand grip.  There are also quick selection buttons on the right side of the console. When you select a program on the console, the resistance level will automatically change based on the workout.

There are 22 resistance levels that you can make use of.  The highest setting is before for high-intensity cardio workouts or to simulate a steep hill climb.  The range of the resistance system ensures you can get the workout that you want.

While it is possible to pedal at high speeds, you can easily stop the flywheel with the mechanical emergency brake.  There is a knob on the mainframe bar that you can push down to engage the brake.  This is ideal if you are pedaling at high speeds and need to instantly stop the flywheel for any reason.

The flywheel itself is a composite construction and the drive system uses a poly-v belt.  This transmission means that you do not need to lubricate the bike.  There is also less vibration making pedaling easier and smoother.

The NordicTrack Commercial Studio Cycle is one of the most expensive on the market, but the features are worth the cost.  There are 22 resistance levels from light resistance to high-intensity workouts. The console is also the most advanced out there with a one-year iFit membership included.

Pros
  • Touchscreen console
  • 22 resistance levels
  • Immersive incline system
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Pulse sensor not included

5. Best with Fan - Assault AirBike Classic

Specifications:

  • Folding → No
  • Resistance levels → Unlimited
  • Maximum weight capacity → 350 pounds
  • Heart rate sensor → Yes

Key Features:

  • Fan resistance
  • 8 preset workout programs
  • Moving handles for a full-body workout
  • 5-year frame warranty

Assault AirBike Classic Review

If you are interested in air resistance, the Assault AirBike Classic is the best exercise bike for you.  If you are used to air resistance exercise, this is the go-to exercise bike for gyms and fitness buffs. While this bike is on the more expensive side, the workout you get will be worth the cost.

Different But Strong Frame

When you first look at this exercise bike, you will notice that the frame is very different from the others on this list.  The large fan is the feature that stands out the most, but the moving handles will be a close second. While the frame is different, it is very sturdy and made from solid steel with a powder coating.

The bearings on the frame are sealed to increase stability and reduce any potential noise.  The structure of the frame also reduces the maintenance needs of the bike. The stability of the frame is easy to see with the maximum weight capacity of 350 pounds.

The seat is just as durable and stable as the rest of the frame.  It also comes with a range of adjustments including height and tilt adjustments.  One adjustment that is not often seen, but is included in this bike is a sideways adjustment.  The seat is also shaped to ensure a comfortable long workout.

The AirBike cannot be folded and is fairly heavy.  If you need to move it, this is made easier with the wheels under the fan enclosure.  Ideally, you will want to leave this bike in one place if you can.

Fan For Resistance

Looking past the frame, your eyes will be drawn to the large fan at the front of the bike.  This is the resistance system for the bike and is 27 inches.  To generate resistance, the fan will spin as you pedal.  The harder you pedal, the more resistance you will face.

The resistance offered by this system is low impact reducing the chance of pulling a muscle or strains.  The smooth resistance is also softer on the joints than other exercise bikes making this exercise bike the best for rehabilitation.

While the fan is a major feature of the bike, the moving handles are also important.  Most exercise bikes have stationery handles that reduce the overall workout you get.  With moving handles, you are getting a full-body workout with the AirBike Classic.

The handles are made from 2mm steel tubing making them as durable as the rest of the bike.  The only issue with the handles is that you cannot use the bike without them moving.  On the other hand, you can also use the handles on their own if you only want an upper body workout.

The handles do not have a heart rate sensor, but the bike is compatible with a wireless heart rate receiver.  Fortunately, this receiver is included with the bike, but you will need to buy the wireless chest straps.

The console on the bike is a state of the art LCD screen display.  There is a lot of data shown on the console including the basics of speed, calories burned, total time and distance travel.  There are also 8 preset workout routines that you can choose.

The routines will help you target certain exercise metrics such as burning a set number of calories, meeting a distance goal or doing interval training.  When you choose the program, the console will tell you the total time, distance, RPM and heart rate. Each program can also be personalized.

A fan exercise bike offers unlimited resistance making it the ultimate workout companion.  The Assault AirBike Classic is the best exercise bike with a fan on the market and has a state of the art console.  The bike has a solid steel frame and has a maximum capacity of 350 pounds.

Pros
  • Fan resistance
  • State of the art console
  • Moving handles for a full-body workout
Cons
  • Not foldable

Exercise Bikes: Frequently Asked Questions

Are Exercise Bikes Effective?

Regardless of your fitness goals, an exercise bike will be effective. These bikes can be used to burn calories and body fat while increasing muscle mass and strengthening your heart and lungs. The stress placed on the joints is also lower with an exercise bike compared to other cardio workouts.

Of course, the effectiveness of the exercise bike will depend on how they are used. Consistent use will achieve the best results. Using the right resistance levels is also important as this affects the difficulty of the workout.

What Is the Best Exercise Bike for Home Use?

The best exercise bike for home use will vary depending on the exercises you want and your fitness goals. The amount of space you have in your home will also impact which bike is the best. If space is not an issue, you should look for the exercise bike that offers the resistance levels you want. Whether you want a full-body workout should also be considered.

If you have a small area for an exercise bike, it is best to look for one that folds such as the FB150 or the ExerWork 1000. If you want to recreate your spin class in your home, you should get an exercise bike created with this in mind, such as the AirBike, L-001A or the NordicTrack. Unless you are looking at a commercial exercise bike, you will be able to use any in your home.

What Is the Best Exercise Bike for Small Spaces?

The best exercise bike for small spaces will be folding ones or those with a small footprint. If you want your exercise bike to be out at all times, you will need to look for one with a small footprint. This will include the Exerpeutic ExerWork 1000 which doubles as a standing desk.

Folding exercise bikes are better when you need to stow the bike away when you are done. The XTERRA FB150 is a good option as it folds fully and has a small storage footprint. Large bikes such as the NordicTrack should be avoided if you do not have a lot of space.

Is It Okay to Ride an Exercise Bike Every Day?

The low impact workout you get with an exercise bike makes it easier to do this every day. The only concern is whether you should be doing this and if it is safe to. While it is okay to use an exercise bike every day, it is recommended that you have rest days.

Using your exercise bike each day can increase the chances of overuse injuries. You can also overtrain which stresses the muscles and will set your fitness goals back. The number of rest days you have per week will depend on your overall fitness, but one day a week is the minimum suggested.

Is a Treadmill or Exercise Bike Better?

This will depend on your fitness goals and the type of exercise you enjoy. If you like running, an exercise bike will not provide the workout that you want. However, if you need a workout that is low-impact, a treadmill can be harder on your joints.

When it comes to weight loss and overall fitness goals, there is no clear winner between treadmills and exercise bikes. Both help you burn calories and build stamina. Exercise bikes do have height restrictions, but the better ones will have a large range. Both treadmills and exercise bikes have weight limits.

Best Exercise Bike for Your Home Gym in 2020 — Bike Hacks