Like so many other things at CNET, we test exercise bikes as thoroughly as possibly through rigorous examination and comparison. Each exercise bike in our list has been through at least 100 miles of riding, using as many of the built-in features as possible. Every exercise bike is judged against the following metrics:
Exercise bike volume
Every workout makes some noise, but a quieter bike typically means greater build quality. At the same time, if an exercise bike has a built-in display with speakers it's important to know it's possible to clearly hear the class instructor or your favorite TV show over the sound of you working out.
Riding position flexibility
It's important to be able to set your exercise bike to the riding position that works best for you, and be able to ride in that position for extended periods of time. All of the bikes in this list are tested in cruiser, neutral and competition riding positions to ensure comfort for as many body types as possible.
Even if your bike doesn't have a display, it likely has a way to connect to your phone or tablet to access performance apps. But that testing doesn't end at the ability to connect to a phone, the accuracy of the information sent from the bike to your phone makes a big difference, especially if you're counting calories or you want to use a competitive racing app to ride with friends. Making sure the power you push into your exercise bike is accurately reflected in the information sent to apps makes a big difference.