People swear by their Pelotons — but the bike alone costs more than $1,000 and the subscription is more than $40 a month, so it’s no wonder customers are shopping for a more affordable alternative. The best exercise bikes without a subscription allow you to cycle to your heart’s content without any additional monthly fees. While you likely won’t find one with a built-in entertainment screen, you can still find an indoor bike that’s effective, customizable, and tracks your progress.
How To Get An Exercise Bike Without A Subscription
In my research, I’ve found that basically every exercise bike with a built-in screen requires a paid subscription in order for you to use it (yes, even if you just want to watch Netflix with your existing account). As a result, you’ll likely have to purchase an exercise bike without a screen, but with everything else, if you want to do without the subscription.
However, if entertainment or guided workouts are important to you, most screen-free models have a device holder so you can use your tablet to stream shows or look up free guided workouts on YouTube. (And if you don’t own a tablet, you can get a great one for under $200 and still pay significantly less than you’d pay for a subscription-model exercise bike.)
What To Look For In A Great Subscription-Free Exercise Bike
Fitness tracking: You don’t need a touchscreen or an app to track your progress. Many less expensive exercise bikes often have built-in LCD monitors that record your distance, speed, and time, among other stats.
Customization: Finally, the more customizable the bike, the better — especially if various people in the household will be using it. Bikes with adjustable heights and seat positions will allow for secure, comfortable use for a wide range of riders, while ample resistance options offer the ability to choose a difficulty level that’s right for you. (For stationary bikes, resistance is either magnetic or friction; the former is virtually silent and requires minimal maintenance, while the latter is more affordable and can be felt instantly when the levels are changed.)
Shop The Best Stationary Bikes Without Subscriptions
In a hurry? Here are the top picks for subscription-free indoor bikes.
- The Fan-Favorite Indoor Stationary Bike: YOSUDA Indoor Cycling Bike Stationary Bike
- The Best Value: BARWING 4-In-1 Stationary Spin Exercise Bike
- The Most Durable: DMASUN Indoor Cycling Bike
- The Best Recumbent Bike: Nautilus Recumbent Bike Series
- The Most Compact Cycling Bike: Bulbhead Slim Cycle Stationary Bike
- The Best Desk Bike For Work: FitDesk Desk Bike 3.0
- Also Great — This Stand That Turns Your Real Bicycle Into A Stationary Bike: Sportneer Magnetic Stationary Bicycle Exercise Stand
1. The Fan-Favorite Indoor Stationary Bike
- Has more than 13,000 five-star ratings
- Less than $300
- Comfortable, adjustable seat
- May not be durable enough for advanced riders
This indoor stationary bike has more than 20,000 reviews and an overall rating of 4.4 stars. Past buyers have called it the “best bang for your buck,” a “great Peloton alternative,” and “everything you need” for both leisurely rides and intense cycling sessions. Thanks to the 35-pound flywheel and durable steel frame, it’s both challenging and durable — and since the handlebar and comfy padded seat both adjust, it’s easy to the ideal positioning. In addition to the LCD monitor that tracks your stats, it also has an iPad holder so you can look up a free class or watch a show.
One reviewer wrote: “Great bike, exactly what I want wanted. Sturdy, easy to assemble, and very affordable!! A fraction of the cost of a Peloton and no monthly subscription fees.. Who needs that big screen when your smartphone or tablet is just fine. There are a ton of free cycling videos on YouTube. Very happy with this purchase.”
Weight capacity: 270 pounds | Resistance: friction (number of levels unclear) | Dimensions: 40.16 by 21.65 by 46.06 inches | Bike weight: 72.75 pounds
2. The Best Value
- Costs less than $200
- Built-in resistance bands for arm and leg exercises
- Frame is foldable
- The computer isn’t the most reliable, according to some reviewers
Even though it costs under $200, this stationary bike is designed to work as a four-in-one for relaxed rides, competitive rides, leg stretches, and arm strength training, all thanks to the 16 levels of magnetic resistance and the built-in resistance bands. The wide, high seat offers more stability than your average bike, while the frame is adjustable, foldable, and assembles in roughly 90 minutes.
One reviewer wrote: “I was leery because the price was so low but there were loads of fantastic reviews so I took a chance. I could not be more pleased. It is so sturdy, doesn’t make a sound, and folds up into nothing. One of my favorite purchases ever from Amazon.”
Weight capacity: 300 pounds | Resistance: magnetic (16 levels) | Dimensions: 32 by 22 by 48 inches | Bike weight: 44 pounds
3. A Durable Bike With A Multi-Grip Handlebar
- Sturdy enough for intense cycling
- Multi-grip handlebars
- Heavy and not particularly portable
Yes, it’s 20 pounds heavier than most others — but if you’re planning on leaving it in one place, this durable cycling bike is worth the additional weight. Its larger flywheel and quality steel frame make it strong enough to support up to 330 pounds, while the six magnets offer a customizable, ergonomic, realistic riding experience for beginners and experts alike. Other noteworthy features include a sports-data tracking screen, an iPad holder, a wider, adjustable seat, and multi-grip handlebars.
One reviewer wrote: “What I love about this bike is that you don’t need to spend more than 500 for a strong durable bike. My wife and I have been riding this DMASUN bike for almost a month now and it has changed my fitness. Very grateful we came across this!”
Weight capacity: 330 pounds | Resistance: magnetic (number of levels unclear) | Dimensions: 21.67 by 41.35 by 46.16 inches | Bike weight: 95 pounds
4. The Best Recumbent Bike
- Comfortable recumbent positioning
- Has three free courses in the Explore the World app
- The most expensive option on this list
A recumbent bike places the rider in an ergonomic, reclined position, which may be more comfortable for some people since weight is more evenly distributed. In addition to its LCD console that displays 29 customizable workouts, this one is also Bluetooth-enabled and works alongside most tracking apps. You can also use it with the Explore The World app (a paid subscription, but one that has three free courses) that immerse you in stunning riding trails and react accordingly to your changes in speed. It also has a padded, ventilated seat, a built-in charging port, and a high-inertia drive system with 25 levels of resistance.
One reviewer wrote: “This bike is sturdy, and the user interface is helpful and easy to use. It is ideal if you have had injuries or are recovering. Overall, there are quite a few nice features. My husband and I switch back and forth easily because it is so easy to adjust the seat and user on the screen. We both love this bike.”
Weight capacity: 300 pounds | Resistance: magnetic (25 levels) | Dimensions: 61 by 22 by 41 inches | Bike weight: 91.9 pounds
5. The Most Compact Cycling Bike
- Recumbent or upright cycling
- Built-in resistance armbands
- Foldable, compact, and lightweight
- Not ideal for taller people
The Bulbhead Slim Cycle stationary bike is an as-seen-on-TV product that, according to reviewers, is “worth every penny.” It’s a great bike in and of itself, with noteworthy features including an extra-wide seat with back support, adjustable positioning for recumbent or upright riding, resistance bands for arm training, an iPad holder, and a digital display that tracks your stats. The real selling point, however, is the 44-pound frame that folds flat for easy storage in a closet or under your bed. For those who don’t have a designated workout area, reviewers report that this “space-saving bike” is an “excellent buy.”
One reviewer wrote: “I’m pleased with the stability of the bike; it’s sturdy and has held up well! I use it in the bedroom and am happy with the small amount of space it takes up. It’s worked out great, and for the money - I couldn’t ask for more!”
Weight capacity: 300 pounds | Resistance: magnetic (8 levels) | Dimensions: 45 by 17 by x 9 inches | Bike weight: 44 pounds
6. The Best Desk Bike For Work
- A workspace and an exercise bike in one
- Has a desk, storage, resistance bands, and arm massagers
- Relatively compact and foldable
- Not the most comfortable, according to some reviewers
If you’re having trouble fitting a workout into your busy schedule, a bicycle desk workstation combines both of those activities into one. Instead of just a tablet holder (which it also has), it offers a 16 by 19-inch nonslip adjustable surface for your laptop, reading materials, and more — plus a storage tray to house any other essentials. It even has massage rollers on the adjustable armrests. In terms of the bike itself, it’s foldable, adjustable, comfortable, sturdy, and offers eight magnetic resistance levels alongside resistance bands to work out your arms.
One reviewer wrote: “FitDesk is just what I've been waiting for. I've often wondered why there aren't more products out there on the market similar to FitDesk - to be frank, it's a great idea and a great way to stay active while taking care of the day's necessities for many of us (emails, reading school papers, work, etc.)”
Weight capacity: 300 pounds | Resistance: magnetic (8 levels) | Dimensions: 28 by 16 by 45 inches | Bike weight: 45 pounds
Also Great: This Stand That Turns Your Real Bicycle Into A Stationary Bike
- Turns your outdoor bike into a stationary indoor bike
- Six resistance settings
- More affordable and compact than a stationary bike
- Not ideal for mountain bikes
Alternatively, if you already have a road bike you love, you can turn it into an indoor stationary bike with this brilliant Sportneer bike trainer stand. It fits bikes with 26 to 28-inch wheels and has six resistance settings to suit riders of all different skill levels. Finally, it’s quiet due to the noise-reduction wheel and stable on most floor surfaces thanks to its adjustable anti-slip rubber feet.
One reviewer wrote: “This is a great product for my needs! It was easy to assemble and helped me create an stationary bike experience without spending a lot of money of a smart bike. [...] Overall, I would recommend it to anyone who is looking to convert their bike into an indoor biking option.
Weight capacity: 300 pounds | Tracks your: N/A | Resistance: manual (6 levels) | Dimensions: 22 by 22 by 15.5 inches | Weight: 19.3 pounds