Best Portable Exercise Bike - Guide and Review
Working out for the purpose of losing weight, or staying in shape, has taken on many forms. Of course, there has always been the gym. Many people don’t have time to go to a gym. Sometimes a gym membership is too expensive.
Lastly, a gym can be an intimidating place. Thankfully, we have in-home options that will allow us to workout in the comfort and privacy of our homes.
The most popular home workout machine is the exercise bike. It allows the rider to control the duration and intensity of their workout. Many exercise bikes are now portable. They can be folded up after the workout and put away. Now comes an even more convenient option, the peddler exercise bike.
Basically, a miniature version of the exercise bike, peddlers can be used by a person while sitting in a chair, sitting at a desk, or sitting at the dinner table. Because of the extremely small size, a peddler can also be used for working out arms. These “mini” exercise bikes are great sources for cardio workouts.
We’ve reviewed five of the best portable exercise bikes. Here are our findings.
Our first mini exercise bike is the Mini Pedal Exerciser Bike.
Even though it is marketed by Best Choice Products, the mini exercise bike doesn’t appear to be a good choice at all.
Yes, it is small, it has pedals, and it is designed to be portable, but that’s about all that can be said about it. Where to begin? Upon arrival, there were a few parts that needed to be assembled.
Beginning with the pedals; The wrench that came with the bike was not capable of tightening up the pedals. It would bend before anything was tightened. You’ll need a real wrench to accomplish that task.
Once assembled, we tried to use the Mini Pedal Exerciser as it was intended.
- First problem: The non-slip feet don’t keep the bike from slipping. Only with a rubber mat under it would the bike stay in place.
- Second problem: The base was so narrow that the unit would not remain in place. It wobbled unsteadily while it was being pedalled.
- Third problem: The LCD unit was cheap and hard to read. On other units, the LCD cord arrived unattached or didn’t have a connector plug so that it could be attached to the unit.
- Fourth problem: The tension system didn’t work very well, if at all. The pedals would either be stuck in place, or the tension would be uneven.
There are probably other issues with the Mini Pedal Exerciser, but after encountering those problems, there was no need for a further test.
The unit is poorly designed, cheaply made, and basically unusable. Don’t waste your money.
Just by looking at the Stamina 15-0125 InStride Folding Cycle gives the impression of a sturdy, reliable mini exercise bike.
For the most part, it delivers what it’s looks promise.
It is a well-designed portable bike. The base is long (18 inches) and wide (15 inches). Because it is light (6.2 lbs) it will have a tendency to skid on a slick floor. Using a rubber mat will keep it in place. The Stamina 15-0125 has an impressive list of highlights.
- Easy to assemble. Only one bolt is required for the unit to be made fully functional.
- Folds up easily. Light enough to be taken along to work, visits, or longer trips. Can be stored under the couch when not in use.
- Sturdy straps help keep feet firmly on the pedals during workout.
- Is small and light enough to be used for arm work. Sits on a table nicely.
- Battery operated LCD times your workout.
- Tension control makes it easy to fine-tune pedaling tension to exactly the resistance you need.
The Stamina 15-0125 InStride Folding Cycle is a solid, well-designed, and easy-to-use mini exercise bike. Because of it’s design, it will lessen the impact on your knees as you work out.
There are really no drawbacks to be found with this unit. If you’re in need of a small, portable, inexpensive, and effective mini exercise bike, you should give this one a whirl. You won’t be disappointed.
Here is a folding exercise peddler that looks almost identical to the Stamina. The Drive Medical Deluxe Folding Exercise Peddler is designed in a very functional way.
It’s wide base and low center of gravity makes it a relatively stable platform.
Like other mini exercise bikes, it has a very small footprint. It is very light (5 lbs), so it would probably work best on a carpeted surface, or on a rubber mat.
The Drive Medical peddler has one feature that sets it apart from other peddlers in it’s price category. The LCD monitor is a five function unit. It is designed to monitor:
- Calories burned during workout
- Duration of exercise
- Revolutions per minute (RPMs)
- Revolution count
- Scan feature keeps track of all information on one screen
There are quite a few drawbacks and flaws to be found on the Drive Medical peddler.
- Quality control issues cause too many units to be defective upon arrival or break after light use
- Ease of assembly can be an issue.
- Pedals can be too narrow for some riders
- Tensioning screw effectiveness is spotty. Some provide no tension at all.
- When used properly, the unit is prone to overheating.
- LCD unit doesn’t always work properly
Despit its relatively low price, this mini exercise bike seems to have severe design flaws. Even when the unit works properly, it can be painful, if not dangerous, to handle after normal use.
Low price aside, purchasing a Drive Medical Deluxe Folding Exercise Peddler will probably cause more problems than it is worth. It’s a risky buy, at best.
Here is one of two higher, priced portable mini exercise peddlers on our review.
The Pedal Exerciser by Vive is a slightly larger, slightly heavier (13 lbs) unit than the others reviewed so far.
While this unit may not be as portable as the smaller units, it is still a small, unobtrusive exercise tool. It has most of the basic features of other mini exercise units, but also shares drawbacks with a few.
- Narrow base causes peddler to sway side-to-side or topple over entirely during peddling.
- Pedals don’t attach properly
- Tension adjustment screw isn’t very effective
Despite the drawbacks, the Pedal Exerciser has a couple of nice features.
- Large, five function LCD screen shows: distance covered, RPM, speed, time, and number of calories burned
- Works exceptionally well as a workout machine for arms
- Well-built and durable
- Competent and responsive customer service by Vive
The Pedal Exerciser by Vive is priced a little higher than our other reviewed units. It has good features and bad features. When weighing good versus bad, it’s hard to justify the added expense of the Pedal Exerciser over a lower priced unit of equal quality. You can do better, for less money.
Our final review of portable exercise bikes is also the most expensive model.
The Sunny Health& Fitness SF-B0418 might be the most expensive, but it might also be the best.
It is a little heavier than other models in this article (21 lbs), but the extra weight speaks to the quality of the construction. Like the others, it can be used for either lower or upper body workouts.
So what exactly will one get when they spend almost $100 dollars on a mini, portable exercise bike? Here are a few of the features:
- Easy to assemble
- Handle designed into the top of the unit. Makes moving easy.
- Sturdy and solid construction.
- Because it’s heavier, it is less prone to sliding around or wobbling during leg use.
- Pedals have straps to keep feet in place.
- Hand holds are designed into the pedals for hand and arm workouts.
This mini portable exercise bike seems to have no flaws. Granted, it is a bit larger and heavier, but those properties make it a much more solid piece of machinery. If there is any drawback to the SF-B0418, it would be a 220 lb weight limit.
The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B0418 is an extremely solid, well-built, and durable portable exercise bike.
Unlike a few of the less expensive models reviewed here, the SF-B0418 gives you the feeling that you’re getting your money’s worth. If you’re in a position to spend almost $100 on a mini, portable exercise bike, you won’t be disappointed if you purchase this bike.
This review gave us (and you) a chance to see the difference between well thought out, well-built exercise machines, and those that are nowhere close to either criteria. Surprisingly, the best value of this group is probably the least expensive.
The Stamina 15-0125 InStride Folding Cycle cost only $29.93, yet, it is the best value. The more expensive models are good quality as well, but the greater expense, for basically the same function makes them less of a value.
Whether you’re just getting started, or are experienced in workouts, the Stamina 15-0125 InStride Folding Cycle will meet your workout needs. And it will do it at a fraction of the cost of other comparable machines. It is the best value, and as a result, the best portable exercise bike.