How to buy an exercise bike


Read our reviews of the four best exercise bikes on the market and you'll be able to pick the right one for your needs

9 Feb 2009

You can get every exercise bike here from Fitness Superstore.

Life Fitness C9i Upright
Life Fitness C9i Upright - £1,495
The good: This is a slight upgrade on the commercial Life Fitness bike, so it’s like having a better than gym-quality bike in your house. As such, it’s got everything you could possibly want – a gel seat, loads of programmes (including a Kilimanjaro climb) and workouts synched to your heart rate to ensure you’re exercising effectively.
The bad: It’s a bit pricier than the other models – but you get what you pay for. 
MF verdict: If want to be sure you have one decent cardio machine, this is a great choice. 
Vision E3100 HR
Vision E3100 HR - £586
The good: Before Life Fitness unleashed its C9i, this was the best model on the market. Apart from having a seat that your buttocks will love, it’s got the only five programmes you really need, heart rate sensors in the handlebars and 16 levels of resistance. It’s also a very hard-wearing machine. 
The bad: Not much – it just hasn’t quite got the all-singing, all-dancing appeal of the C9i.
MF verdict: A fine all-round bike at a very attractive price – perfect for those who don’t have a grand and half to spend on the C9i.
Life Fitness R3 Advanced
Life Fitness R3 Advanced - £1,045


The good: A recumbent can offer good lower back support if your posture’s not perfect, and the R3 is as comfy as a hammock. It’s also built like a brick lavatory and has virtually the same console as the machines you’ll see in a gym. 

The bad: If you’re training for sports-specific performance, a recumbent obviously might not be the best bet. 

MF verdict: For a comfortable ride with plenty of features, this is the best recumbent around. 

Horizon Focus 308
Horizon Focus 308 - £499
The good: For the price, this offers everything you’d expect in a more expensive model: it’s comfortable, solidly built and comes with enough programmes to keep even the most attention-seeking cyclist occupied. You can even type various users’ names in and save their progress. 
The bad: With a relatively small 8.5kg flywheel and 37kg frame, it isn’t as solid as its higher-priced rivals. 
MF verdict: If you’re on a budget, this is the best cycle you can buy.