Doing a cardio workout at home is one of the best ways to bridge trips to the gym or other exercise classes.
And folding bikes can make that workout routine a lot more effective without causing trouble at home with large training equipment taking up too much space.
The problem with a lot of the folding exercise bikes is that they are too flimsy or have limited features.
You definitely want to avoid one of these collapsing underneath you.
So, as a fitness trainer, I teamed up with a few colleagues at TotalShape and spent 3 months testing out 37 different models to come up with this list of best folding exercise bikes.
Our Top Folding Exercise Bikes (December 2023)
1 - BulbHead 2in1 Folding Bike Slim Cycle
Among the best exercise bikes we tested, the BulbHead foldable exercise bike came up as our top choice as it combines both an upright and recumbent exercise bike. Anyone with back problems will know how valuable a good backrest can be.
We also liked the magnetic resistance system, which provides very smooth transitions. And the highest setting is intense enough to hit those higher heart rate zones.
- Weight limit: 300 lbs
- Folded Dimensions: 53"H, 21"W, 14"D
- Easy to adjust tension control knob with 8 settings
- Includes arm resistance bands for a full body workout
- Allows for upright and recumbent body positions
- Simple assembly process to get you training quickly
- Limited adjustability for taller athletes
The only downside is that the seat adjustments are limited, which might not suit a taller person.
2 - Xterra Fitness FB150 Folding Exercise Bike
This is the entry-level Xterra bike, but you still get pulse monitoring grips to see your heart rate on the display despite the affordable price -- just a few reasons why we placed it high on this list of best exercise bikes.
The eight levels of resistance transition smoothly to avoid disruptions to your training routine, regardless of fitness levels.
It’s also ideal if you have limited storage space and don’t fancy pulling and dragging a heavy bike out of the closet, as the bike weight is only 32 pounds.
- Weight limit: 225 lbs limit
- Folded Dimensions: 51"H, 28"W, 18"D
- Light bike weight design makes it easier to move out of the way
- Handles include pulse sensors to measure your heart rate
- Easily adjusted seat height range for taller people
- Just missing a tablet or smartphone holder
One thing we’d like to see added is some form of tablet or smartphone holder so you can watch some TV shows while you’re exercising. But for a home fitness routine, this lightweight bike is definitely worth the try.
3 - Exerpeutic Gold 500 XLS
The Exerpeutic folding magnetic upright bike is probably the one with the highest weight capacity of 400 pounds. It may not be the best folding exercise bike on this list, but it surely is a top contender and is one of the best.
It also has a larger padded seat cushion than you’d find on most other indoor exercise bike choices, thus we ranked it high on this best exercise bikes list.
We also liked that the magnetic resistance knob is at the top of the display for easier access.
- Weight capacity: 400 lbs limit
- Folded Dimensions: 58"H, 25"W, 26"D
- Convenient wheels on the front frame make moving it a lot easier
- Larger than standard seat cushion provides more comfort
- Great upper weight limit for heavier people
- It’s quite heavy for a foldable bike
Just keep in mind that it’s quite a heavy machine, but it does have wheels built-in to make moving it easier.
4 - Marcy Folding Upright Exercise Bike ns654
This Marcy foldable exercise bike is possibly one of the most compact ones we found, but it still delivers plenty of height adjustment for taller athletes.
The eight levels of resistance bring you to a tough enough intensity to significantly boost your fitness level.
- Weight capacity: 250 lbs limit
- Folded Dimensions: 52"H, 18"W, 18"D
- 8 levels of smooth resistance transitions between different settings
- Good adjustment options for the seat
- Comes with built-in transport wheels for easy storage
- Doesn’t provide heart rate on the LCD display
When you’re comparing this to the above options, make sure you consider that this one doesn’t have a pulse or heart rate monitor.
5 - Xterra Fitness FB350 Folding Exercise Bike
Here’s a more advanced Xterra stationary bike for home gyms that will get you into a recumbent position if needed. The seat and backrest are comfortable, which makes focusing on your training a bit easier.
The display is also easy to read with information about calories burned, distance, pulse, and speed.
- Weight limit: 225 lbs limit
- Folded Dimensions: 51"H, 20"W, 21"D
- Folds easily into a compact frame for practical storage
- Decent screen tracks plenty of exercise data
- Comes with an added seat back for a recumbent position
- The highest resistance might not be strong enough for some athletes
We just thought that the highest intensity setting wasn’t as strong as most other models we tried out.
6 - ShareVgo Bluetooth Smart Folding Bike
This magnetic upright exercise bike has convenient handles attached to the seat, which many people like as it provides more stability at higher intensity levels.
It also comes with a large tablet holder that also fits your smartphone, and you can integrate it with a free app to keep track of your training data and progress.
- Weight capacity: 250 lbs limit
- Folded Dimensions: 63"H, 22"W, 9"D
- Integrates with a fitness app to keep track of your training data
- Smooth resistance transition across the 8 settings
- There’s a convenient tablet holder so you can watch your favorite shows
- The digital display is quite small
The only thing I’d say is that the built-in display is a bit small, and it might be worth just using the app.
7 - Pleny Foldable Upright Stationary Bike
This folding magnetic upright exercise bike is a good option if you need more than 8 resistance levels. You have 16 levels to choose from, which should give you much more flexibility.
The display is also a positive feature, and during our initial tests, we thought the calories burned calculation seemed to be quite accurate.
- Weight capacity: 300 lbs limit
- Folded Dimensions: 55"H, 16"W, 7"D
- Provides maximum training flexibility with 16 intensity settings
- Large and comfortable seat for longer training times
- Provides good training data, including a heart monitor
- The display isn’t the easiest to read
Just keep in mind that the display can be a bit difficult to read if there’s a lot of light shining on it.
8 - FitDesk Folding Exercise Bike and Workstation
The FitDesk indoor exercise bike is one of the more unique ones and ideal for people who like to get a little bit of exercise done while they work at a computer.
We loved that it came with a large tray that is suitable for using a tablet or computer, and the seat is comfortable enough to use for a longer time.
It provides gradual levels of magnetic resistance through an easy to reach knob, making it a great way to get your legs moving at work.
- Weight capacity: 300 lbs limit
- Folded Dimensions: 45"H, 16"W, 17"D
- Provides a large tray to allow you to work at a computer
- Armrests have massage rollers built it to increase circulation
- Comfortable backrest provides good lower back support
- Maximum resistance level might not be tough enough for some athletes
Just keep in mind that this might not be suitable for getting you super fit, as the maximum intensity isn’t too tiring.
9 - Sunny Health and Fitness Magnetic
What we liked about the Sunny Health Fitness bike is that it’s very light for a recumbent bike.
Despite that, it still provides good adjustability and cushioning both on the seat and backrest.
It also took us only a few minutes to get it fully set up as there was very little assembly required.
- Weight capacity: 220 lbs limit
- Folded Dimensions: 52"H, 19"W, 15"D
- Smooth transition between 8 levels of resistance
- Well-cushioned seat and backrest for more comfort
- Easy to follow assembly instructions should have you up and running quickly
- We would have expected heart rate monitoring at this price
One thing we would have liked included are pulse monitoring grips, which you can find on similarly priced options above.
10 - BCAN Folding Exercise Bike
The final one of our best folding exercise bikes is this BCAN option.
It has a unique design that allows it to fold down small enough to fit under a bed.
And you still get great training flexibility from a quiet and highly adjustable magnet resistance.
- Weight capacity: 330 lbs limit
- Folded Dimensions: 46"H, 20"W, 22"D
- Unique folding design makes it quite a small package for a recumbent option
- Great range of tension settings for more training flexibility
- Large display shows training data at a glance
- Only suitable for people up to 6’2”
The only downside is that it won’t be comfortable for anyone over 6’2”, which is a bit limiting.
Here are the 7 things you should keep in mind before you make a purchase.
1. Maximum Weight Bearing Capability
Every foldable stationary bike has a weight limit, and you should avoid getting too close to it.
What do I mean by that?
Essentially, if you weigh in at 210 pounds, then I would suggest that you don’t look at exercise bikes with a limit of 225 pounds.
Aim to go at least 50 pounds higher. Not because you should be gaining weight, but just to make sure you get maximum stability. You don't want your foldable stationary bike to wobble around and heave whenever you pedal.
The whole idea of foldable exercise bikes is that they should be easy to store away under a bed or in a closet.
And you want to avoid a stupid mistake I made last year.
I didn’t check the folded measurements of a bike and, as a result, wasn’t able to get it into a closet where I had planned to store it.
Needless to say, it caused all sorts of trouble at home as I didn't have enough floor space.
Just take a few minutes to measure out the dimensions to make sure it fits your planned storage area. Do this especially when you have limited space since you don't want your fitness equipment cluttering your home.
3. Resistance Settings
Compact and foldable bikes mostly come with magnetic resistance.
We did see a few that used friction and one with air resistance, but we didn’t find them useful at all. When choosing the best bike, choose magnetic resistance over air.
You’ll get a nice and quiet bike with smooth levels of magnetic resistance and a user friendly tension control system in the comfort of your home.
We also find that they tend to have better ranges of resistance levels, and you want to aim for 8 or more different settings to accommodate your fitness level and workout progress.
That would give you a lot more flexibility during your cardio sessions .
“Research shows higher-intensity exercise via intervals (when you push yourself during a workout for short bursts of time) can give your numbers the biggest boost.” - Lara Rosenbaum, contributor at blog.fitbit.com.
4. Body Position
Some people prefer an upright bike, while others prefer a recumbent bike.
My personal preference is both.
See, a recumbent bike can free up your arms to use things like resistance bands. That way, you can get an upper and lower body exercise into the same time slot.
Just make sure that your choice of recumbent bike has some good back support to help you avoid unnecessary back strain.
5. Digital LCD Screen
Your LCD screen doesn’t have to look like the cockpit of a plane. But some simple features help you keep track of time, speed, calories burned, distance, and ideally, your pulse  will go a long way towards improving your training outcome.
“Training to heart rate also helps you moderate the influence of external factors such as heat and humidity, which require your heart to work harder. Remember that although HR training is useful, being able to instinctively ‘feel’ pace and effort is also a valuable skill.”
- Jo Pavey, Writer at runnersworld.com
And if the monitor can send data to your smartphone, then you’re onto a good option to keep track of your progress over time.
6. Easy Assembly
Some of our readers will know that my DIY skills are very limited.
And I’ve had to call for help on more than one occasion to assemble exercise equipment and furniture.
That’s why I always encourage buying products that require minimal assembly and that come with easy to follow instructions.
All items on this folding exercise bike review are easy to assemble (it was my personal criteria that the team had to agree on).
Finally, you want to check for a good warranty of ideally 12 months.
This generally says that a company is confident enough in its equipment that your folding bike should last longer.
Are Folding Exercise Bikes Any Good?
Yes, folding exercise bikes are good, as long as you buy one with a sturdy frame. Some of the cheaper options tend to shake and wobble. They might also have too few resistance settings, limiting how intense your workout can become.
Can You Lose Belly Fat by Riding a Folding Exercise Bike?
Yes, you can lose belly fat by riding a folding exercise bike. It’s a low-impact exercise that offers the option of increasing the intensity to levels that can burn fat more effectively. Folding bikes also make it easier to train more regularly at home.
Do Folding Exercise Bikes Make Much Noise?
No, folding exercise bikes don’t make much noise as long as you avoid the air-based systems. Most magnetic ones will be very quiet, making them suitable for apartments or homes with young children.
Is a Folding Exercise Bike Better Than a Treadmill?
A folding exercise bike is better than a treadmill for most people. It provides a low-impact solution that allows many people to train harder and longer without experiencing joint pain.
What's The Best Folding Exercise Bike?
Based on our test results and all the foldable exercise bike reviews we read, we believe you’ll find it difficult to find a better option than the BulbHead model above.
With both upright and recumbent positions and the ability to train your upper body with bands, you should be able to get the most out of your workouts.
Order yours today and let us know how it works out for you.
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