Arm bikes are one of those things you never knew you needed. A few years ago you were lucky if you saw one outside of a rehab center.
However, slowly but surely they have been working themselves into commercial gyms, crossfit centers and home gyms around the world.
At first even I must admit that I was a bit dismissive of arm bikes. If I wanted to do cardio why not use a regular one?
Then I tried to squat heavier than I should have and tweaked my left knee joint.
Suddenly, walking was annoying, squatting was a bit painful and doing cardio was a distant memory of a painless past.
Our Top Pick
MagneTrainer Arm Exercise Bike
Best Overall Option - Editors Choice
- Most Cost Effective Option - Bang For Your Buck
- Extremely Comfortable to Use
- Simple & Very Easy To Use
- Reliable - Built to Last
It wasn’t until I could not use regular bikes anymore that I realized just how useful arm bikes are.
There’s thousands of athletes out there that for some reason or another that can’t use regular stationary bikes or do other types of cardio like running or jumping.
It could be as simple as your legs being too tired, similar to my case and be painful because of injuries, or even someone with disabilities.
Now, thanks to this wonderful invention, more and more people can get their cardio in without being limited by the state of their legs and knee or ankle joints.
Even after having healed my knee and living pain free for months, the Arm Bike is a mainstay in my workout regimens. My knee doesn't hurt anymore but that doesn't mean I can beat it up without any consequence.
That’s why in this article I’m listing the best arm bikes on the market right now, the cheapest ones out there and how to pick the one that fits you best so that you can get one for yourself!
Moreover I’ll also delve a bit into what muscles are worked with an arm bike and how effective they are so that you can properly integrate them into your workouts.
Best Arm Bikes Reviewed
All right, down to the nitty gritty. First I’ll show you the best arm bikes I could find and explain to you why they deserve that title.
1. Best Overall Arm Bike - MagneTrainer Arm Exercise Bike
- Compact and lightweight makes it easy to store and move around
- Works both as an arm bike and a leg bike
- Magnetic system makes it completely silent
- Wide range of resistance range
- Electric monitor shows calories, distance, time and speed
The best of the best, la creme de la creme as the french would say is:
The MagneTrainer Mini Exercise Bike Arm and Leg Exerciser.
This is the one I have at home and I have to say, I could not be happier about it. As you probably figured out. This is not just an arm bike. It can be used as a regular bike as well, the best of both worlds.
Thanks to its really small and compact form factor of only fifteen inches, it is very easy to move around and can be used practically anywhere.
Want to use it as a regular bike? Place it on the floor then. Want to use it as an arm bike? Just place it on top of a table or counter and you’re all set. Just make sure to wipe off any dirt from the handles before switching from bike to arm bike mode.
Thanks to its sturdy steel base and wide supports, it will remain stable on any surface you place it on, even when you are pedaling away at full speed!
However, don't be tricked into thinking that because this Arm Bike is small it doesn't pack a punch!
Thanks to its patented magnetic resistance technology, The MagneTrainer Mini arm bike offers a setting for every type of workout!
Another great thing about their magnetic system is that it is completely quiet! There are no gears grinding against each other, so you can use this without annoying your partner or even during phone calls.
It can be so light that you barely notice you are using it, to so heavy you will be struggling to move it after only a couple minutes!
Not only that, but for those of us with joint issues, the smooth pedal motion achieved by a 39 pound flywheel is a life saver. It allows me to get some good quality low impact cardio without any pain or swelling.
Furthermore, for those of us that like to watch our calorie intake or for anyone trying to lose some weight, the built in calorie calculator is a godsend.
It takes into account your age, weight and gender to be more accurate and show how many calories you burned on the display so you can keep track of your workout.
That is not the only thing the display shows though, you’ll also know how fast you’re pedaling, how far you’ve gone and for how long.
Finally, the pedals in this bike work both ways, allowing you to either push or pull to move them, to work different muscles and prevent imbalances.
2. Runner up - ANCHEER Arm Pedal Exerciser
- Compatibility with FitShow app for guided workouts, coaching, biking scenarios and ride information.
- Portable and lightweight, easy to store and move around
- Wide steel base that supports up to 350 pounds
- Non slip base and anchor rope
- Built in monitor for ride information.
Alright so this one may not be THE BEST bike in my opinion, but it is definitely high up there. It would not do to not mention the ANCHEER Pedal Exerciser Pro on an article about the best arm bikes out there.
It brings a sleek design and a plethora of high tech features that makes it a very solid choice for anyone looking to purchase an arm bike to get some cardio in.
With a two in one design, you can use the ANCHEER PEDAL EXERCISER as a leg bike or an arm bike; If you want a bike, put it under your desk, if you want an arm bike, put it on top.
What really sets this bike apart and honestly made it hard to decide if it should take first or second place is the fact that this bike comes with support for the FitShow app for both Apple and Android.
Just download the app and pair your bike via bluetooth to get guided workouts, realistic riding scenes and personalized coaching experiences to make your exercise more enjoyable and effective.
Built for anyone to use, its wide steel frame supports up to three hundred and fifty pounds, add to that a non slip base and you have yourself an extremely stable bike even when you’re cycling at high speeds.
However, just in case you’re really pounding the bike or using it on an extremely slippery surface, ANCHEER has the foresight to include an anchor rope for some more added security.
Moreover, thanks to the built in monitor, you can check in real time how fast you’re going, how, far you’ve traveled, how many calories you’ve burned and even your revolutions per minute or RPM for short.
If you’re thinking that you won’t be able to see the monitor when you’re using it as a leg bike then worry not because you can get all that information in the app as well.
When it comes to intensity, this bike comes with eight different levels of resistance, making it useful for light exercise and rehabilitation as well as high intensity training for those that want to go all out.
Finally, while not having a magnetic system like our top entry, it is still extremely quiet, barely a whisper and the pedal motion is also quite smooth, as expected from a high quality, high tech product.
3. Best Bang for Your buck Arm Bike >> TODO Pedal Exerciser
- Magnetic system allows for pedaling both ways
- Built in monitor to track workouts
- Extremely silent
- Cheaper price point, lots of features
- Compact form factor allows for easy storage.
Say you want an arm bike with all the best features, but your budget is kind of tight right now. Some would say you cant have your cake and eat it too.
I would say, with the TODO Pedal Exerciser, you might just be able to. At a mid range price, this bike comes jam packed with features that are usually only seen in the premium space.
To begin with, like all the ones I’ve put on the list, it is both an arm bike and a leg bike.
Furthermore like our top choice, it has a magnetic system and all the benefits that such technology brings.
The lack of gears and moving parts means that it is deathly quiet and that the pedal motion is extremely smooth.
Also like the MagneTrainer-ER Mini, it can pedal both ways! That means that with this model you won’t have to worry about imbalances.
Especially if you’re using it for rehabilitation since the bike will probably be the only form of exercise your muscles get.
Finally, it also comes with a built in monitor to keep track of your workouts!
4. Cheaper Alternative >> Exerpeutic Motorized Exerciser
- Motorized system to assist pedaling
- LCD display to track workouts
- Remote control to manage intensity
- Auto timer for added safety
- Free non skid mat and built in carry handle
With an even lower price point than our previous entry, it blows my mind how this bike can have so many features, though maybe it is explained by this being an older model.
Not only does it include an LCD display so that you can keep up with your workout. It even includes a motorized system to assist those with mobility issues.
Making this one an excellent choice not only for your wallet but also for those looking to rehabilitate because of an injury or simply to get some blood flowing.
Just plug it into your wall and you’re good to go, it has a fifteen minute auto timer for the sessions and even a remote control to manage speeds and resistance.
Finally, this model includes a built in carry handle to increase portability and includes a free non skid floor mat to keep the bike secure on any surface.
5. Best Cheap Arm Bike >> Portable Mini Cycle
- Extremely low price point
- Built in Display with Odometer, chronometer, and calorie counting
- Small Form factor
- light weight.
The Portable Mini Cycle is the best budget friendly arm bike you’re going to find out there.
As the name implies, it comes in an extremely small and compact form factor that lets it fit anywhere for storage or placing it under your desk at work. Weighing in at only 7.4 pounds, anyone can move it around with ease.
Not only that, you also get a built in display to help you measure distance, speed, time and calories burned to help you track your workouts.
Finally, the Portable Mini Cycle also comes with an adjustable tension knob to control just how hard you want the exercise to be and non skid rubber coating on the bottom of the frame.
6. Another Affordable Option >> TECHMOO Pedal Exerciser
- Very affordable price point
- Small form factor makes it easy to store
- Built in handle makes it very portable
- LCD display to get information on your ride and manage workouts
- Non Skid Feet Pads.
I had a bit of trouble deciding between the last entry and this one, since they are both on the cheaper side but still very solid choices, so I figured I’d include both!
Portable and lightweight, you’ll have no trouble moving around or storing the TECHMOO Pedal Exerciser. It even includes a handle cleverly built into the design so as to not make it stand out.
Furthermore it comes with an LCD display to show you information about your ride such as calories burned, revolutions per minute, distance and more.
Finally, it also comes with adjustable tension, though it is recommended for mild exercise only.
7. Cheapest Arm bike >> MOMODA Arm Exercise Bike
- Low cost
- Light weight
- LCD screen
Alright so this one is the cheapest arm bike I could find that was still a quality product. You might find something slightly cheaper out there but I can't vouch for how reliable it might be.
As you can tell by looking at it, this on is pretty barebones and only has the essentials.
A firm, wide base with non skid coating on the ends, an LCD screen to get information on your workouts and a knob to control intensity. Though it must be said that it is only rated for mild exercise.
The thing that makes this one stand out, besides the price, is the fact that it is foldable, so you can store it very easily and carry it pretty much anywhere.
What are the benefits of an Arm Bike?
Listed down below are the major benefits of using an arm exercise bike.
Idle Cardio and Calorie burning
It's no secret that exercise burns calories, and one of the great things about arm bikes is that their compact form factor and mild form of cardio makes them excellent for use when watching netflix, making phone calls or even working!
Just thirty minutes on your bike can make a huge difference in your weight loss journey!
Cardio for leg injuries
As you might know by now, this is my case. People who injured their legs, either permanently or temporarily, can still get their cardio in thanks to the arm bike.
Of course irregular biking and arm biking are not equivalent from a calorie standpoint since the muscles in the legs are bigger and this require more energy, but it's way better than doing nothing!
Cross Training and Variety
Variety is the spice of life as the saying goes! At least for fitness I can say that much is true.
Sometimes you want to get in some cardio but you blasted your legs yesterday so they need some rest, the arm bike is an answer to that! Especially for athletes such as cyclists!
Not only that, but our bodies are very quick to adapt to one form of exercise and the law of diminishing returns becomes evident once we become efficient in a movement.
That’s why switching it up with your training often will keep your muscles on their toes and help you reach your goals faster.
How to Choose the Right Arm Bike?
Looking to buy an arm bike that is not on our list? Here is a guide to help you know what to look for to buy the best arm bike.
Pricing and Budget
I’m sure it comes as no surprise that the first thing you should look for when buying an arm bike is the price. You might have found the best bike in the world, but it's no use if you can't afford it.
Maybe you can afford it, but you have a limited budget for fitness equipment and don't want to blow it all in one thing.
That’s why your first step should always be to plan and determine how much you’re willing and able to spend.
The next step in your buying journey should be to identify what features you’re looking for in a bike. You might find yourself having to choose between different features in order to stick to your budget.
That’s why you should prioritize what is important to you and how you will be using your bike.
On the other side of the equation, knowing what you want to use it for means that even if you can afford a more expensive model, you can save your money and go for a more basic one that still meets your needs.
You could say that this is part of the features of a bike, but I feel it needs to be stressed a bit more.
Like when buying any appliance for your home, you should make sure that it actually fits where you intend to be. Even if you found the perfect bike for you at the right price, it will do more harm than good if you don't have a place to put it.
So take out your tape measure and make sure, consult the manufacturer specifications.
Also remember that if you buy an arm and leg bike, when measuring under your desk you should take into consideration that your knees will rise when you pedal. Otherwise you will bump them on your desk and it isn't fun.
FAQ About Arm Bikes
Listed below are some of the most commonly asked questions that beginners have when buying their first arm bike
Is the Arm Bike a Good Workout?
This is a tough question because what a “good workout” is, depends a lot on what your goals are.
If you’re someone looking to burn calories while working a desk job, trying to get some cardio in, or doing rehabilitation. Then yes, the arm bike is a good workout. If you’re trying to improve your squat and deadlift, then maybe there are more beneficial things to do.
As long as you ensure that you keep the intensity high enough to meet your goals you’re good.
If you just want increased blood flow then the minimum is fine, but if you want a challenging workout then maybe up the ante a bit.
How many calories do you burn working out with an arm bike?
While highly dependant on height, weight, sex and body composition, a rough estimate would be that a mild thirty minute workout burns about 100 calories for a woman of average height and weight, and around 130 for the average male.
What muscles does the arm bike work?
The arm bike works primarily on your arm muscles, the bicep, triceps, forearms and shoulders while also activating your core for stability.
Now if you’re pushing on the pedals you’re also working your chest, and if you’re pulling you can engage more of your back muscles like your lats and traps.