Best Folding Exercise Bike in 2020

Best for technology & tracking

Paradigm Exerpeutic 575 XLS

Our Score: 4.75 / 5

Paradigm Exerpeutic 575 XLS
  • Most features of any folding exercise bike
  • High weight capacity
  • Longest warranty

Folding exercise bike for heavy and tall users

Paradigm Exerpeutic 500 XLS

Our Score: 4.5 / 5

Paradigm Exerpeutic 500 XLS
  • 400lb weight capacity
  • Good for riders up to 6’5”
  • Easy to assemble

Recumbent & Upright in One

BulbHead Slim Cycle

Our Score: 4.25 / 5

Slim Cycle folding exercise bike
  • Fits a wide range of heights
  • Converts from a standard exercise bike to recumbent
  • Easy moved and stored

Table of Contents

Getting in exercise is hard enough as it is. Finding time, finding motivation, and finding the right place make it fairly difficult right from the start. If you can’t afford a gym, or there isn’t one nearby, working out at home is the only option. But if you live in a small apartment, how can you justify taking up priceless real-estate with a big exercise bike?

Enter in the folding exercise bike. Bicycling is a great option for those who need a low impact form of cardio exercise in a limited space. Using a space-saving design, most are able to reduce to nearly half their size, making it easy to hide away in a closet, or perhaps even under a bed.

Most folding exercise bikes have a limited feature set compared to their full-size counterparts, but don’t let that deter you. You can still get in a great workout without all the fancy options that others may offer. That said – you may have some questions before we get started, so let’s dive right into the most frequently asked questions about folding exercise bikes:

Are folding exercise bikes any good?

Folding exercise bikes are a great way to get in a good workout with limited space. While not offering as many features, you are still able to get in a solid sweat session. They’re also good if you need to ride for physical therapy at a less strenuous pace.

Do folding bikes break easily?

Incorporating a folding design adds some additional design complications that full-size exercise bikes or spin bikes don’t have to deal with. However, manufacturers (especially Paradigm) have worked hard to create sturdy, durable folding exercise bikes that can withstand many years of use and abuse.

How much is a folding exercise bike?

Compared to most other exercise machines, folding exercise bicycles are fairly affordable, given their limited feature set. Since they are not considered as “serious” of an exercise bicycle as others, many manufacturers have not put in significant effort into creating heavy, expensive machines. They are a great addition to a small home gym – consider adding a few dumbbells and bodyweight workouts to round out your routine.

Are folding exercise bikes good for long rides?

The only difference between standard exercise bikes and folding exercise bikes, for long rides, is their stability and seat comfort. If you are considering long or vigorous rides, consider an Exerpeutic model (more information below) as they are the sturdiest options.

Side-by-side product comparison - specifications & features

ImageProductPriceOverall RatingWeight capacityHeight RangeResistance LevelsFolded Size
(HxWxL)
Usable Size (HxWxL)Warranty
Exerpeutic Bluetooth Smart Foldable Bike with Resistance Bands and Free MyCloudFitness App, Black Folding BikeExerpeutic 575 XLS$$$$4.75/5400 lbs5’ to 6’ 5”1657.5x25x26.449x27x391 year, 6 years if direct
Exerpeutic Gold Heavy Duty Foldable Exercise Bike with 400 lbs Weight CapacityExerpeutic 500 XLS$$4.5/5400 lbs5’1” to 6’5”857.5x25x26.548.4x27x391 year, 6 years if direct
As Seen On TV Slim Cycle Stationary Bike - Folding Indoor Exercise Bike with Arm Resistance Bands and Heart Monitor - Perfect Home Exercise Machine for CardioSlim Cycle$$$4.25/5300 lbs4’11” to 6’ 4”852x21.5x2242x21.5x431 year
PLENY 3-in-1 Total Body Workout Exercise Bike w/ Backlit Monitor, High Backrest, Arm & Adjustable Leg Resistance Bands and 300 lbs Weight Support (Gray)Pleny 3 in 1$$4.25/5300 lbs5’ to 6’2”1652x27x22.552x18x521 year
Sportneer Bike Trainer Stand Steel Bicycle Exercise Magnetic Stand with Noise Reduction Wheel, BlackAlternative: Bike Trainer$4.5/5AnyAnyDependent on bike used8x21.3x25.222x22x15.51 year

Our top folding exercise bikes

#1 Best for technology & tracking

Paradigm Exerpeutic 575 XLS

Paradigm Exerpeutic 575 XLS

Our Score: 4.75 / 5

Editor's opinion:

The folding exercise bike market lacks the wide feature range of full-size exercise bikes, but the Exerpeutic 575 XLS is unique as it incorporates bluetooth, preset workout programs, 16 levels of magnetic resistance, and a tracking app, and two user profiles. It also accommodates users of many sizes, with a weight capacity up to 400 pounds – impressive for a folding exercise bike.

Pros

  • Most features of any folding exercise bike
  • High weight capacity
  • Longest warranty

Cons

  • Highest cost
  • Upright exercise bike only, no recumbent option

When looking for a folding exercise bike, you’ll find that most come with very few options compared to their full-size brethren. Not so with the Exerpeutic 575 XLS. Almost every full-size exercise bike has included workout programs, but the 575 XLS is the only folding bike that includes this feature, and it has 21 different programs.

In addition to the programs, the 575 XLS has double the number of magnetic resistance, allowing users to more finely tune their workout to fit their needs. With bluetooth, activities can be tracked on your phone and the included MyFitQuest4 app. Two user profiles allow couples or roommates to track their activities separately.

For many, the thought of sitting high atop a slim folding exercise bike sounds like a recipe for disaster. Paradigm has you covered with the Exerpeutic 575 XLS – it has been overbuilt to accommodate users up to 400 pounds and 6’5″. A wide base ensures stability, and it still folds in half.

With all of these features, it’s not surprising that the 575 XLS costs more than the others on the list. Unfortunately, it isn’t convertible, and is unable to switch to a recumbent style exercise bike. However, this may not be an issue for those who want a standard style bike. One thing to take note of – when purchased from any third party seller, it comes with a 1-year warranty. However, if purchased directly from Paradigm, it includes a 6-year limited warranty – better than all others on the list by a mile.

#2 Folding exercise bike for heavy and tall users

Paradigm Exerpeutic 500 XLS

Paradigm Exerpeutic 500 XLS

Our Score: 4.5 / 5

Editor's opinion:

For those who don’t want to spend the extra cash for the 575 XLS, or who don’t need the fancy connected features, the Exerpeutic 500 XLS offers high weight capacity, a sturdy frame, and a long warranty if purchased directly from the manufacturer.

Pros

  • 400lb weight capacity
  • Good for riders up to 6’5”
  • Easy to assemble

Cons

  • Lacking features of some bikes

The Paradigm 500 XLS is a great bike for those looking for a sturdy folding exercise bike that gets the job done at a reasonable price. It truly supports 400 pounds and is comfortable for riders up to 6’5″ – whereas many of the other options on this list are challenged to comfortably handle riders over 6′ tall. Even at speed, the wide frame allows intense riders to move at speed without fear of tipping over.

While it may not include any features like resistance bands or a convertible design, the 500 XLS can handle a user moving dumbbells while riding, which can help if you need a full-body workout while pedaling. It also includes the same long warranty as the 575 XLS if purchased directly from Paradigm – 6 years, which is really impressive.

It has a small LCD display that will display distance, time, speed, and an odometer (which is cumulative and cannot be reset.) You can cycle through these at the press of a button, or have the display cycle through them for you. One benefit of not having many electronic features is the durability of the bike. If the LCD display stops working, the bike is still fully functional in a purely mechanical form.

With 8 levels of resistance, it’s a basic bike to be sure, but you can build your own workout programs incorporating either “Low-Intensity Steady State” (LISS) cardio or popular High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts. There should be many online articles to help you build an appropriate plan for your workout goals.

For those who need a sturdy bike on a budget, the 500 XLS is a great choice.

#3 Recumbent & Upright in One

Slim Cycle folding exercise bike

BulbHead Slim Cycle

Our Score: 4.25 / 5

Editor's opinion:

As seen on TV usually isn’t a good indicator, but in the case of the Slim Cycle, it’s not just a gimmick. The Slim Cycle is a 2 in 1 recumbent or standard exercise bike that folds away to half the size. It also comes with resistance bands so you can get an upper body workout at the same time.

Pros

  • Fits a wide range of heights
  • Converts from a standard exercise bike to recumbent
  • Easy moved and stored

Cons

  • Limited warranty service

Easy to assemble and easy to store, the Slim Cycle started the craze of foldable exercise bikes to help riders with limited storage space make the most of their exercise goals. Rather than forcing the user to purchase multiple pieces of equipment, the Slim Cycle includes resistance bands so you can work out your upper body while riding.

One of the best benefits of the Slim Cycle is not only it’s foldable nature, but the fact that it can easily convert from a recumbent exercise bike to a standard exercise bike as well! Whether you have multiple users who need a different kind of workout, or some days you just need to sit in a different position, the Slim Cycle has you covered.

As with most of the options on this list, the Slim Cycle comes with 8 levels of magnetic resistance, so you can easily adjust the difficulty to suit your needs. While it does not have built-in workout programs, the Slim Cycle folding exercise bike comes with an app that allows you to download classes and workout rides through picturesque locations.

The Slim Cycle folding exercise bike has one of the widest ranges of height adjustments of all bikes on the list. Fitting riders from 4’11” to 6′ 4″, this is a great option for couples who are of widely differing height. It’s also completely silent, allowing users to enjoy their workout without disturbing others. It has wheels making it easy to roll away for storage.

The Slim Cycle has a digital LCD display that shows time, calories, distance, speed, and total mileage. It will also display your heart rate when gripping the included heart rate monitor, however, it does not have any “smart” features such as bluetooth connectivity.

#4 Convertible 3-in-1 frame

Pleny 3 in 1 Exercise Bike

Pleny 3 in 1 Exercise Bike

Our Score: 4.25 / 5

Editor's opinion:

With 3 different riding positions, the Pleny 3 in 1 offers more styles than any other bike on the list. It also has many resistance levels, and included arm and leg resistance bands. It’s easy to put together, as it comes mostly pre-assembled.

Pros

  • Ride recumbent, semi-recumbent and standard style
  • 16 resistance levels
  • Easy assembly

Cons

  • Not the best for tall riders

Offering a feature that no other folding bike can boast, the Pleny has a 3-in-1 convertible frame that allows users to ride in three different styles: recumbent, semi-recumbent and standard style to suit your preferences and health goals. While some other convertible folding exercise bikes offer a recumbent style, the Pleny 3-in-1 has a true recumbent option. Most of the other “recumbent” folding exercise bikes are really just adding a back to the seat, whereas the Pleny stretches out further.

In addition to the convertible frame, the Pleny offers 16 levels of magnetic resistance. For those who want a wide variety of adjustability, this is a great feature, allowing you to fine-tune how hard you have to pedal across your workout. Without built-in workout programs, I suggest getting online to find some suggested workout programs and manually adjusting your resistance to simulate hills, flats and downhill rides.

Pleny has taken even more steps to include additional features you won’t find elsewhere – and that includes leg resistance bands. This helps users perform stretching or strength exercises in addition to cardio. It also has arm resistance bands that can be used while riding to do arm workouts.

Like the other bikes on the list, it includes an LCD screen that shows time, distance, calories burned, and heart rate from the included heart rate monitor. Unlike the other models, this shows all of these details on one screen, so you don’t have to switch what’s on the display.

For those who want lots of convertible options, the Pleny 3-in-1 might just be for you!

Folding bike alternative

If you already own a bike and space-saving is your number one concern – then a bike trainer may be the product you’re looking for.

A simple machine that lets you use your regular bike as a stationary bike, trainers are a great alternative if you already own a bicycle and want to do more indoor training.

#5 If you already own a bike

Sportneer Bike Trainer

Sportneer Bike Trainer

Our Score: 4.5 / 5

Editor's opinion:

Foldable exercise bikes are great for small city apartments. However, an alternative option is a bike trainer that you can use with your already existing bicycle. Much smaller than a folding bike, and cheaper to boot, a bike trainer is a great option if you already have a bike and you want to do more indoor training.

Pros

  • Cheapest option
  • Smallest size
  • Sturdy design

Cons

  • Requires you to own a bicycle (or purchase one)
  • No built-in screen (though a cycling computer can be purchased cheaply)

Frankly speaking, most of the folding exercise bikes on the market are not very different from one another. Some are convertible, some have more features than one another, but they’re all designed for one purpose – getting an exercise machine that can easily fit into a closet when not in use.

Knowing this, I wanted to give readers an alternative option! Many city dwellers and those with small apartments already have a full-size bicycle for commuting or saving money on the costs of owning a car. If the goal is to save space and get exercise, a bike trainer may be the ticket. The Sportneer Bike trainer offers 8 levels of magnetic resistance, and by using your bike’s gears (assuming it is a geared bike) you can have even more resistance options.

The Sportneer trainer offers a quick-release setup, offering an easy in-and-out option, so you can quickly disconnect your bike and take it out for a ride. It is adjustable for multiple sizes and styles of bikes, so anyone can use it with their own bicycle. With a compact foldable design, you can easily store it in a closet or under a bed, and it’s lightweight and easy to move.

If you’ve already got a bike, a bike trainer might be just the ticket to get your exercise in a compact space.

The best folding exercise bike: buying guide, tips & tricks

If you need to fit in a workout in a small space, your options are limited. While you can find a wide range of exercise bicycles, from recumbent to standard size, with feature sets from simple to expansive, folding exercise bikes are fairly simplistic with few features. On the plus side, they’re also fairly affordable.

In my research, I found that most folding exercise bikes are fairly similar – many are even built by the same manufacturer with different names attached to them and sold on Amazon.  8 levels of resistance is most common, and folding to half size is also typical. Finding a bicycle that is sturdy, durable, and has the features you’re looking for is extremely important.

Key differentiators for the bikes on our list are whether or not they are convertible, and their weight/size capacity.  The Pleny and Slim Cycle are great options if you want or need a folding exercise bike that is capable of moving between a standard bike and a recumbent bike. Both are easily adjusted and offer a similar feature set, though the Pleny has double the number of resistance levels.

The Exerpeutic 575 XLS and 500 XLS are built on the same frame, which is designed to be adjustable for taller and heavier riders. If you need to put in a vigorous workout, even if you’re not approaching the maximum weight limit, these are going to be better options.

If you are eager for connected features, the 575 XLS bike is the only bike that offers a technological feature set, with bluetooth connectivity and 21 built-in workout programs. It also has a 6-year warranty when purchased directly from Paradigm, which is great if you’re putting in a lot of hours. A folding frame and being frequently moved make damage more likely, so having a long warranty is a good idea.

Finally, you can opt for one of my favorite options (assuming you have a bicycle already) – getting an indoor bike trainer like the Sportneer. It’s smaller, cheaper and offers more resistance levels (assuming your bike has gears on it) than the other options. It also doesn’t require you to have yet another big piece of equipment taking up space in your already limited living arrangements. If you need the connected features, you can easily add a computer to your bicycle and connect to your phone.

Final verdict

For most riders, the Exerpeutic 500 XLS is going to be a great option. With a strong warranty, durable frame, and reasonable price, as well as fitting large riders, you can’t beat the 500 XLS.

Unless you want connected features, in which case the 575 XLS has you covered, with options no other folding exercise bike can boast.

If you need a convertible design, or like the idea of riding a recumbent bicycle, the Pleny 3 in 1 or Slim Cycle are going to take care of your needs. Finally, if you’ve already got a bicycle that you love, consider trying a bike trainer – it could help you make the best use of the space you already have.

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Elisha Catts
Elisha Catts

As a working mother of three, I know how hard it is to find time to research products, exercise, and eat right! I want to help others discover products, methods, and lifestyle choices that will make a difference. I enjoy writing, research, and exploring new things.

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