You’ll need the best folding exercise bike if you lack space at home or want a kit that you can easily stash out of the way when not in use. Folding exercise bikes provide an excellent way to lose weight and keep your cardio health in check for little money – making them one of the most accessible pieces of home gym equipment overall.
These days, gear manufacturers are keenly aware that users want to work out at home but may be limited in how much space they have to work out. The answer lies with ingenious folding equipment. Like the best folding treadmills, indoor folding bikes reduce in size, so you can store them in a cupboard or other small spaces when not in use.
Cycling provides an excellent all-around cardiovascular workout, and the best folding exercise bikes will get you to work up a sweat in your own house via a low-impact session. As a result, it’s become hugely popular, and there are many ways to make your indoor cycling training more challenging and a more intense workout.
If this sounds like the kind of thing that would work well in your house or apartment, we have rounded up the best folding exercise bikes below so you can see what’s out there and what rates well in testing. But before you read on, take a look at T3’s best exercise bike guide, best treadmill guide and best rowing machine guide. Also, find out the difference between folding and non-folding exercise bikes by reading our comprehensive article on the topic.
Best folding exercise bikes to buy right now
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This is a high-end folding bike from Domyos and as such offers more in terms of special features than others on this list. The main draw over other bikes is the inclusion of a 6 kg flywheel and 15 auto-motorised resistance levels, which will add some variety and challenge you on your workouts.
It features an electronic panel that shows six functions: calories, distance, time, speed, heart rate and cadence. It also connects to external apps including Kinomap, where you can cycle virtual real-world routes, and Domyos’ own E Connected, which will introduce an extra dimension to your workouts and take you away from simply staring at a wall while you pedal. In terms of folding, it reduces down to 50% of its original size as the legs, seat and handlebars pack down into the main unit.
This is a popular bike due to its low price, and it is sold specifically for “gentle endurance training”, so avoid this if you aim to push yourself in your workouts. The F-Bike looks like it might not be sturdy but feels robust even though the maximum user weight is 100kg and height is 200cm. The eight resistance levels can be altered via a knob just below the handlebars, making it as easy or as hard a workout as you wish.
It features an LCD screen that can read out calories burned, time, distance, speed and heart rate via the sensors on the handle (the screen requires batteries to work). In terms of folding, the F-Bike collapses via a hinge in the centre of the frame to take up very little space when not in use. You’ll find a range of colourways available, with some bright pops of colour, which is unusual in the sea of grey or black bikes on the market.
Read our full Ultrasport F-Bike review
The Viavito Onyx Folding Exercise Bike provides a convenient, practical, and affordable solution for those who want to get fit at home but are short on space. The star of the show is the lightweight, compact, and collapsible x-frame, which folds away simply and easily when you want to reclaim your space but is also safe, sturdy, and reliable when you want to work up a sweat.
The eight levels of resistance alongside the basic metrics displayed on the LCD monitor – including accurate heart rate readings - make it a great choice for new and casual exercisers wanting to understand the effects of exercise on their body. But those wanting a more strenuous workout or greater scope for progression should look elsewhere.
Read our full Viavito Onyx Folding Exercise Bike review
Former 400m Olympic silver medallist Roger Black sells his own-name branded fitness equipment, including this folding exercise bike. An 8-level tension knob controls the 3kg flywheel, meaning there’s a range of levels to push yourself harder or adjust as your fitness levels increase. Another handy feature is the self-levelling pedals, so you don’t have to spin them around with your toes to find the side with the strap. Also, expect a personal thank you from Roger himself for purchasing the bike…
A sturdy and dependable bike from the German brand SportPlus. A few features make it stand out from other folding bikes: the 24 electronic resistance levels mean it requires mains power, so you’ll need to be near a plug socket, but this will mean you get increased options for a more challenging workout. It comes pre-programmed with six training workouts, and the app support is also useful in taking your sessions to the next level. On the app, you can analyse your workout data, access coaching videos and see how you stack up against other users.
Exerpeutic’s folding bike has two big plus points – it’s sturdy and built to hold more weight, so whereas most bikes on this list have a maximum user weight of 100kg, this goes up to 137kg. It also features a wide and flat saddle which most users will find comfortable, and it folds down to half its original size. The LCD screen provides data for you to track, and the resistance is controlled via an 8-level magnetic tension system, which you alter via a dial.
One user review said, “Better than a Peloton” – that’s glowing praise, but we’re not sure we’d go that far. The ProFitness FEB2000 is a sturdy machine that offers a backrest, so if you suffer from lower back problems, this will help provide some helpful extra support. Like most others, it features a battery-powered LCD console that reads out the usual data. It’s worth noting that the seat is high, and you cannot lower it, so if you measure less than 5ft 4in, you may struggle to reach the pedals.
How to choose the best folding exercise bike for you
Folding exercise bikes are designed for light workouts of around 30-60 minutes at a time. Due to their construction and limited resistance levels, folding exercise bikes are aimed at those who are new or returning to exercise or are coming back from injury. Due to the fact that they collapse, they are perfect for anyone short on space or who doesn’t want a full-size stationary bike taking up room in the spare room or garage.
You’ll find that their design means you’ll be cycling in a more upright position than other stationary bikes, with your body in a neutral position and your feet on the pedals slightly in front of you. This is perfect for those suffering from back problems who tend to find a regular cycling position painful.
The type of fold can vary from bike to bike. The most common fold you’ll see is with the ‘x’ shape bikes – the two sides close up together when it’s not in use. Due to the more lightweight construction of these bikes and the fact that the frames are made of thinner metal, many have a low user weight limit, often around 100kg. Most also recommend that you don’t use them for more than around 3-4 hours a week.
The usual pedal type you will find on these bikes is flat with a foot strap that you tighten over your forefoot. The gentler nature of these bikes means that the provided flat pedals will suit the level of cardiovascular expenditure. Most of these bikes feature a heavy flywheel that provides magnetic resistance. This also means they’re quiet – you won’t have problems disturbing neighbours or sleeping family members or flatmates, and you can also watch TV or a tablet while you work out.
How we test the best folding exercise bikes
Folding exercise bikes are not performance home gym equipment, and we take this into account when reviewing them. All folding exercise bikes are tested in a home environment. We test the following: build quality, workout performance, utility and ergonomics. We also test the features of the bikes and how convenient it is to fold and unfold them. For more info on how we test at T3, click on the link now.
Are folding exercise bikes worth it?
There’s no denying that folding bikes have their place, but the workouts they provide are at the more gentle end of the workout spectrum. The price generally reflects this, as most bikes on our list come very cheap. For that money you should not expect a sturdy bike that you can push yourself on – these bikes are built for leisurely spins while you watch TV or a series on Netflix.
Can you stand up on a folding exercise bike?
As a general rule, and due to the design of folding exercise bikes, it is not recommended that you stand up while cycling them. Some of the bikes on this list even state that they are “not to be ridden out of the seat”. For most, it would be difficult physically to do this as the pedals are out in front of your body, almost in a recumbent cycling position.