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If you’re on the hunt for an exercise bike with a little built-in motivation, then our selection of the top five exercise bikes with virtual courses will start spinning your wheels. This roundup features some of the best exercise bikes for home gyms that we’ve personally tested. 

Plus, each of these bikes gives you access to take scenic rides through virtual courses and turn your workouts into an entertaining experience, which can help you stay focused on your fitness goals. 

You’ll also like knowing that our expert product testers here at Garage Gym Reviews are not just a bunch of fitness geeks off the street; we’re a group of professionals ranging from CrossFit Level 1 Trainers to nutrition coaches. Some of us have even completed marathons and triathlons. Essentially, we know our stuff, whether it be barbell-based training or conditioning exercise. 

Best Exercise Bike With Virtual Courses  

Best Overall Exercise Bike With Virtual Courses: NordicTrack S22i Studio Bike

Good for: Anyone looking for an immersive cycling experience plus incline and decline training

Best Overall

NordicTrack S22i Studio Bike

GGR Score: 4.5 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • 24 digital resistance levels
  • Incline and decline adjustments
  • Fully rotating touchscreen

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Large 22" smart HD touchscreen
  • Incline and decline ability
  • Compatible with iFIT
  • Adjustable seat
  • Adjustable handles
  • Dual-sided pedals
  • Fan
  • Comes with 2 3-lb dumbbells
  • 24 digital resistance levels

Cons

  • Expensive
  • iFIT membership not necessary, but most beneficial
  • Difficult to assemble
  • Can’t be stored in the garage (brand states doing so will void the bike’s warranty)
  • Hard to move and weighs more than 200 pounds

Bottom Line

This is the bike to get if you want an indoor cycling bike with interactive programming, incline and decline capabilities, and all the extras.

The NordicTrack S22i made it to the top of our list for the best exercise bike with virtual courses because this iFIT-enabled cardio machine delivers much more than just a virtual course. 

The S22i features a 22-inch touchscreen that brings the iFIT programming to life. With your iFIT monthly membership, you will have access to trainer-led outdoor rides through breathtaking terrain all over the globe, and Google Maps technology, which allows you to drop a pin and select bike routes nearly anywhere in the world. 

And if you want to switch things up, you can also use iFIT for studio cycling classes and full-body workouts off the bike including dumbbell strength training, bodyweight routines, and yoga. It’s also worth noting that NordicTrack offers AutoAdjust technology, which automatically adjusts the resistance on your S22i according to the terrain or the instructor’s coaching cues. Because of all of these factors, we give the S22i a 5-out-of-5 rating in both tech capabilities and programming.

Image of woman riding the NordicTrack S22i exercise bike, one of the best exercise bikes with virtual courses

Another standout feature is the fact the S22i can incline up to 20% and decline to -10%. The AutoAdjust feature will not only control your resistance, but the incline and decline settings, too. You will also have controls on your handlebars and the touchscreen. We give a 5-out-of-5 rating in the customizations category because of this.

RELATED: Best Exercise Bike With A Screen 

GGR founder and OG product tester Coop Mitchell tested the S22i and says he enjoys the unique incline and decline settings, writing that, “if you want to feel like you’re actually outside riding, the incline and decline do simulate real rides.”

Coop also notes that with the Google Maps technology, cyclists can potentially even practice routes prior to races performed in the real world. If virtual courses, incline training, and automatic controls excite you, read about our hands-on experience in the NordicTrack S22i review

Display22” HD touchscreen; 360-degree rotation 
ConnectivityBluetooth headphone connectivity 
PedalsSPD toe clip; adjustable toe cages
Resistance 24 digital levels of digital magnetic resistance
User weight capacity350 lbs

Best Exercise Bike With Scenic Rides: ProForm Studio Bike Pro 22

Good for: Those who want to ride through nature indoors  

Best With Scenic Rides

ProForm Studio Bike Pro 22

GGR Score: 3.5 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

The ProForm Studio Bike Pro 22 is a exercise bike that comes with 24 levels of digital resistance, automatic tension control, and an impressive 22-inch HD touchscreen that swivels so you can follow off-bike workouts.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Automatic tension control
  • 24 levels of digital resistance
  • Large and well-lit touchscreen
  • Belt drive system
  • Seat and pedals can be removed and replaced with your own

Cons

  • Incredibly unstable and wobbly during use
  • Resistance wasn’t too challenging
  • Flywheel wasn’t the quietest
  • Poor welding throughout the bike
  • Bike is made with a lot of plastic

Bottom Line

A Peloton alternative that comes with IFIT programming, 24 levels of digital resistance, and automatic tension control.

We’ll be honest: The ProForm Studio Bike Pro 22 is just a standard magnetic exercise bike. It comes with 24 levels of digital resistance, adjustable seat and handlebars, plus a 250-pound weight capacity. All of these stats are average—maybe actually a bit subpar—but where this bike really shines is in the tech capabilities and programming, both of which we rated a 4 out of 5.

anthony using pro form studio pro bike 22

The Studio Bike Pro 22 is equipped with a 22-inch swivel touchscreen where you can stream iFIT programming, allowing you to take studio classes, off-bike classes like strength training, and maybe most impressively, scenic rides. Interested in mountain biking through beautiful mountain ranges or on backwoods trails with an instructor? This is your jam. 

Maybe even cooler, the Studio Bike Pro 22 comes equipped with automatic resistance adjustment—during a ride, the trainer will control the resistance so you don’t have to worry about anything besides trying to keep up the pace. “This was weird at first,” says GGR performance editor and one of the testers of this bike Anthony O’Reilly, “but you quickly get used to it. It’s a great tool to help focus on the workout at hand.” 

pro form studio pro bike 22 bike screen

Although we like the iFIT trainer adjustments, the actual adjustments of the seat and handlebars, plus other ergonomics, are just standard, so this category earns a 3.5 out of 5. 

Lastly, in terms of portability, this bike gets another 3 out of 5 rating. While it’s average-sized for an exercise bike and weighs 144 pounds, there are wheels to help move it around. However, both of our testers found that the large screen makes moving the bike a bit cumbersome; keep this in mind if portability is important to you!

Read our full (and honest) ProForm Studio Bike Pro 22 review for more information.

Display22” HD touchscreen
ConnectivityiFIT and Bluetooth heart rate monitoring 
PedalsToe straps
Resistance24 levels of digital magnetic resistance
User weight capacity 250 lbs

Best High-End Exercise Bike With Virtual Courses: Echelon EX-8s

Good for: Home gym owners on the hunt for a high-end Peloton alternative

Best High-End

Echelon EX-8s

GGR Score: 3.63 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • 24-inch curved HD touchscreen
  • Monitor pivots 180-degrees
  • Dual-ring rear flywheel design
  • 15 LED lights to indicate workout metrics
  • Dual speakers
  • 32 magnetic e-drive levels
  • Bluetooth resistance controls
  • Dual water bottle holders

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Immersive experience
  • 32 levels of resistance
  • Dual-sided, SPD-compatible pedals
  • Large, interactive HD touchscreen
  • Multiple position handlebars
  • Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity
  • 1.8 GHz processing speed is fast

Cons

  • Required paid membership required for use
  • Disappointing warranty
  • Uncomfortable seat

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a fully immersive riding experience on a high-quality bike, the Echelon EX-8s is a solid choice. It is costly and does require a membership, so keep that in mind when making your purchase.

The Echelon EX-8s is our top pick for best high-end exercise bike that delivers virtual courses. Much like the other stationary bikes on this list, you’ll also have access to on-demand classes and live workouts through the brand’s Echelon Fit app. 

Echelon scenic rides are self-guided, which allows you to be in control of your workout with the added stimulus of riding through destinations like Rome, Hong Kong, or the French Alps.

Caroline tested the Echelon EX-8s and reports the scenic rides are “reminiscent of Bowflex’s JRNY and NordicTrack’s iFIT cycling classes,” she says. 

And much like the other popular apps on the market (especially brands competing with Peloton) Echelon also offers more than just cycling workouts. Your Echelon monthly subscription also gives you access to high-intensity interval training (HIIT), yoga, strength training, pilates, and other styles of cardio. We like the programming here, but feel it’s not quite to the caliber of something like Peloton, so we rated it a 4 out of 5.

RELATED: Echelon vs Peloton

monitor on Echelon EX-8s bike

Similar to the Peloton Bike, the EX-8 indoor cycle bike features studio classes, leaderboard competition, and live fitness classes in addition to virtual scenic courses. 

That said, what Echelon has over the Peloton Bike is the 22-inch rotating touchscreen so you can adjust the screen to view workouts off the bike. This, plus the speakers, Bluetooth, camera, and even USB ports led us to rate the EX-8s a 5 out of 5 for tech capabilities.

The Echelon also features dual-sided pedals for clip-in cleats or toe cages for regular cross-training shoes, unlike Peloton that pigeon holes users to using specific cycling shoes. 

It’s also worth noting that the all-access membership for Echelon costs $34.99 per month, which is just under Peloton’s $44 monthly fee. One thing we also think you’ll want to be aware of is the fact that the Echelon warranty is extremely short and only lasts one year, earning it a 2 in this category. 

If you want to read more about our experience, check out the Echelon EX-8s review

DisplayCurved 24” HD touchscreen; 180-degree rotation
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.0-compatible
PedalsSPD clips; adjustable toe cages
Resistance 32 levels of magnetic resistance
User weight capacity 300 lbs

Best Exercise Bike With Virtual Courses and Studio Classes: Peloton Bike

Good for: Individuals looking for high-quality virtual rides in addition to live classes 

Best with Courses and Classes

Peloton Indoor Exercise Bike

GGR Score: 4.33 starstarstarstarstar
Community Score: 5 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • 21.5" touchscreen for immersive training
  • Live classes and on-demand cycling sessions
  • Leaderboard-style competition
  • Adjustable screen, seat, and handlebars
  • 5-megapixel front-facing camera
  • Bluetooth connectivity

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Immersive experience
  • Access to thousands of classes, challenges, and a large variety of workout options
  • Compact footprint
  • Sleek design
  • Financing options
  • “Try before you buy” option

Cons

  • Disappointing warranty
  • Membership is required to use bike
  • Expensive
  • Shipping is not included

Bottom Line

One of the more expensive options for virtual biking, the Peloton Bike is designed to be an all-in-one fitness solution on a high-quality cardio machine. You’re paying not only for the bike, but the unique training experience it makes accessible from the comfort of your home.

The Peloton Bike is well-known for its live classes, leaderboard competition, and virtual community. However, to keep up with the list of growing Peloton competitors, the brand now features scenic virtual rides and classes for All-Access members. Peloton programming gets a 5 out of 5, and here’s why according to GGR head of content Nicole Davis: “It’s hard to replicate the experience Peloton creates in their classes. The instructors are top-notch, plus there’s someone for everyone, and there are so many options for classes, you probably wouldn’t get bored for a long time.”

You can access the new category by navigating to “more rides” on the 21.5-inch touchscreen display. You’ll even have three different options to choose from when selecting your virtual courses including: 

  • Travelogues: These are instructor-led scenic classes with automatic resistance and incline controls.
  • Distance workouts: This feature gives you responsive video playback that is consistent with your own speed. 
  • Timed workouts: This feature offers you distance-based timelines instead of timed countdowns (plus customized playlists). 
using touchscreen peloton bike

These virtual courses are not specific to the Peloton Bike either— you can also find these features on the Peloton’s treadmill and rowing machine. 

We know that compatibility is also important for home gym owners, so I’ll mention that the Apple Watch pairs seamlessly with Peloton equipment to track your progress and monitor your heart rate. You can read more about our full hands-on experience in our Peloton Bike review

Display21.5” HD touchscreen
ConnectivityBluetooth and WiFi-enabled
PedalsDelta-compatible aluminum
Resistance 100 levels of magnetic resistance 
User weight capacity297 lbs

Best Budget Exercise Bike With Virtual Courses: Sunny Health & Fitness Synergy Magnetic Bike

Good for: Anyone on a budget who still wants smart programming

Best Budget

Sunny Health & Fitness Synergy Magnetic Bike

GGR Score: 4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Magnetic exercise bike
  • Micro-adjustable resistance
  • 30-lb flywheel
  • 4-way adjustable seat
  • Transportation wheels

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Micro-adjustable magnetic resistance
  • Feels sturdy in use
  • Device holder

Cons

  • No real tech capabilities
  • Slightly low user weight capacity
  • Made with a lot of plastic
  • 30-lb flywheel

Bottom Line

If you're just looking for a solid bike at a great price, the Sunny Synergy magnetic bike could be it. While there's no fancy tech on this machine, it's a sturdy ride that utilizes micro-adjustable resistance and feels good in use.

If you can’t or don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on an exercise bike but are still interested in adding one to your home gym to use for virtual courses, consider the Sunny Health & Fitness Synergy magnetic bike. For the price—oftentimes on sale for around $300, earning a 5 out of 5 in this category—you get a lot. 

While this bike doesn’t have built-in programming or a touchscreen, it does have a device holder for you to utilize your smartphone or tablet with an app like Peloton, which you would have to pay a monthly fee for, or free classes, like those Sunny offers for free on its website. While the experience isn’t exactly the same as if you were using programming connected to a bike via Bluetooth, it’s still a great option for those on a budget. 

One reason why we recommend this bike as the budget option is simply because of the build itself. This magnetic bike utilizes micro-adjustable resistance, which we like as it makes it a very customizable experience. It also has a four-way adjustable seat and multi-grip handlebars, plus a 275-pound weight capacity, which is a bit below the 300-pound average but not bad for a budget option. Our testers rated it as a 5 out of 5 for durability, saying that it doesn’t shake at all in use, even while up in the saddle.

All in all, if you are interested in taking classes on an exercise bike and don’t want to break the bank, consider the Sunny Synergy Bike with your own device to create your own experience. Also, check out our Sunny Health and Fitness Exercise Bike reviews for more info on their full line.

DisplayNone
ConnectivityNone
PedalsToe cages
ResistanceMicro-adjustable manual magnetic resistance
User weight capacity275 lbs

Best Exercise Bike With Virtual Courses and Entertainment: Bowflex VeloCore

Good for: Folks who want the option for virtual courses or watching movies and shows 

Best With Entertainment

Bowflex VeloCore

GGR Score: 4.2 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Simulates outdoor bike riding
  • Easy to use
  • Large monitor
  • Interactive programming
  • Incredibly stable and durable

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Leaning feature activates core muscles
  • Large monitor with lots of information
  • Durable with almost no shaking while in use
  • User-friendly and simple to get started

Cons

  • Difficult assembly with unclear instruction
  • Limited music options with JRNY membership
  • Uncomfortable seat
  • Sub-par warranty

Bottom Line

We were very impressed with the Bowflex VeloCore. It’s a durable, innovative exercise bike that will appeal to a lot of people. We would consider adding it to your fitness equipment repertoire.

If you’re stuck deciding how you want to entertain yourself during indoor bike workouts, look no further than the Bowflex VeloCore. With this bike, you’ll have access to the Explore the World app within Bowflex’s JRNY programming, which features over 200 different destinations to choose from for virtual courses.

The Explore the World is not trainer-led, but you will have real-time metrics displayed on the screen while you ride. Plus, one of the most unique things about the VeloCore is the leaning feature that allows you to lean into corners and turns—just like you would on the road! Tech capabilities earn a 5 out of 5 here.

RELATED: Indoor vs Outdoor Cycling

Former GGR writer and product tester Caroline Lubinsky ordered, assembled, and tested the VeloCore and notes that “Explore the World is a good way to zone out and play your own music or podcast,” she writes. “You can simply enjoy your scenic ride with no virtual coaching.”

Screen of the Bowflex Velocore

You’ll have the option to go at your own pace or participate in scenic rides as a part of the JRNY adaptive workout experience. The JRNY app is designed to deliver personalized and adaptive workouts based on your fitness level and your progress. In other words, the software is going to create a baseline and deliver you more difficult workouts over time and when you make progress. This earns the dynamic programming a 5 out of 5.

In addition to Explore the World features, JRNY also allows subscribers to have access to streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video. While all these services are sold separately, we think it’s worth mentioning that most cardio equipment with built-in touchscreens doesn’t have software that can support third-party apps and entertainment. 

JRNY also offers studio classes in cycling as well as strength training and other forms of cardio. If you’re interested in additional information like what it was like to assemble this indoor cycling bike, check out our Bowflex VeloCore review

Display16” or 22” adjustable HD touchscreen
ConnectivityBluetooth heart rate armband
PedalsSPD clips; adjustable toe cages
Resistance 100 levels of magnetic resistance 
User weight capacity325 lbs

Other Exercise Bikes We Researched and Tested

Our team has collectively ridden and tested dozens of different exercise bikes, and there are several more that almost made it onto this roundup.

Diamondback Fitness 1260SC: Although this is a sturdy rear-wheel drive bike, it didn’t make this roundup because of the expensive price tag paired with the fact it doesn’t have a built-in screen. 

That said, what we do like about this bike is the fact you can connect with any app that features scenic or virtual courses as long as it is ANT+ or Bluetooth-compatible. 

Keiser M3i Indoor Cycle Bike: Similar to the Diamondback bike above, the Keiser is a high-quality bike that can connect with a multitude of apps, but it doesn’t have a built-in touchscreen to deliver the high-quality visual experience you may be looking for at the price point this bike is offered. 

NordicTrack Commercial R35: This NordicTrack recumbent bike offers virtual courses through iFIT, but didn’t make the list because we decided to stick with studio cycle bikes for this roundup. 

Schwinn IC4: This is another bike without a screen but offers the ability to connect with third-party apps. That said, one of the reasons we didn’t choose this bike is because many reviewers find that the metrics lag or don’t match when using third-party apps.  

How We Picked and Tested

Our process typically starts with internet research. We started by making a comprehensive list of every exercise bike that offers virtual courses. 

Then we narrowed down that initial list to a smaller selection based on which of those bikes we’ve actually tested. In some compelling cases, we’ll absolutely include fitness equipment we haven’t tried, but for the most part, we like our expert product testers to have experience with it before we can call it “the best” of anything. 

For this roundup of indoor exercise bikes with virtual courses, we also took into consideration the bike as whole and what else it offers. We also wanted this roundup to include options for folks on any budget. 

Benefits of an Exercise Bike With Virtual Courses

Here are some benefits of investing in an exercise bike with virtual courses: 

Engaging Indoor Experience

We think this is the most obvious benefit: Your indoor workouts become a little less boring! 

Although studio classes also help you stay engaged on your bike, participating in instructor-led classes is not everyone’s cup of tea. If you are someone who prefers a little less hype and needs a little more zen, then a virtual scenic course might be your best bet. 

RELATED: Benefits of Indoor Cycling 

Tracking Your Metrics

In addition to having a scenic and enjoyable bike ride, most apps that offer scenic rides also track your bike workouts and provide data about your performance. You’ll be able to track your time, speed, distance, and calories burned. This can be a helpful tool to set goals and stay motivated. 

You may even be able to track your heart rate if the bike you choose features connectivity with heart rate monitors. 

What to Look for in an Exercise Bike With Virtual Courses

You might be on the hunt for the best exercise bike with stunning virtual courses and amazing visuals, but let’s not forget you’ll want a sturdy bike, too. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Resistance Levels

Choosing the right bike now that offers a wide range of resistance will make it so you don’t have to upgrade your bike once you become a better cyclist. Ideally our product testers like to see at least 12 levels of resistance. 

It’s also worth pointing out that many indoor studio bikes have a knob—not all bikes in this style have digital resistance controls. 

Durability 

Factors we consider when looking for a durable exercise bike include: 

  • Maximum user weight capacity of 275 pounds or more
  • Flywheel weight between 30 to 40 pounds 
  • No shaking or shifting while riding 

Pedals

We appreciate it when indoor exercise bikes come with two options: toe cages and clip-in pedals. That way you can choose and not everyone in your household has to own a pair of cleats to use the bike.

Comfort and Customizations 

Be sure you read the specs carefully for things like seat and handlebar adjustments. Ideally, you’ll have the option to move both points up and down in addition to horizontally. 

Also, it’s worth looking to see if the screen that comes with your bike adjusts, tilts, or pivots. This can be helpful for getting the most ergonomic position while you ride in addition to allowing you to use the screen for workouts off the bike.

Lastly, as part of your overall comfort, make sure you take into consideration extra features like built-in workout fans, water bottle holders, and a place for your phone. 

Exercise Bike With Virtual Courses FAQs

What exercise bikes let you watch Netflix?

The Bowflex VeloCore allows you to stream more than just the brand’s JRNY app. Although you will need your own login, separate from Bowflex or JRNY accounts, you can access your favorite movies and TV shows on Netflix in addition to Amazon Prime, Disney+, HBO, and Hulu. 

What are the best exercise bikes to use with Zwift?

Our top picks for using Zwift are the Bowflex Velocore, the Diamondback 1260sc Rear Wheel Studio Cycle, and the CAROL Bike.

Which exercise bike does not require a subscription?

These are some of our favorite exercise bikes that don’t require a subscription for programming:
-Echelon Connect EX-5
-Diamonback 1260sc Rear Wheel Studio Cycle
-YOSUDA Indoor Cycling Bike
-AssualtBike Classic
-Sunny Health & Fitness Indoor Cycle Bike—B1002

What exercise bike is compatible with Strava?

Our top picks for using Strava are the Echelon Connect EX-5, the Diamondback Fitness 1260sc Rear Wheel Studio Cycle, the Peloton Bike, and the NordicTrack S22i.

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