Zwift Stationary Spin Bikes – Best Exercise Bikes w/ Full Compatibility & Capability
Bang For Buck
For me, Zwift has been a total game changer, I used to HATE doing steady-state cardio. It felt so boring and tedious to spend hours on a treadmill or exercise bike. I even tried using a regular bike and going out for rides, but while nature is beautiful, roads are not really biker friendly and I had more than one close call.
Then, I discovered Zwift. It combined the best parts of riding outdoors with the best parts of biking indoors, and with none of the downsides! I get to compete and have fun with my friends and people from all over the world, to experience different scenery and landscapes, and I'm not scared of getting run over by a car! It dawned on me that Zwift was actually worth a try.
However, there is one thing that sucks about getting started with it- finding the right bike for Zwift - the information online is little to none. The only suggestions you get are for extremely expensive bikes, I’m not ready to break the bank for an exercise bike, so I knew I had to dig deeper.
My Top Pick
Wahoo KICKR BIKE - The One I Bought
Best Bang For Buck Ultimate Zwift Experience
- Best Overall Exercise Bike For Zwift
- Zwift Certified To Provide the Ultimate Experience
- 100% Full Compatibility
- Only Bike to Provide Hill Incline & Decline to Simulate Real World Hills and Rough Terrains - This Reason Alone is Why this Bike Ranks #1
- Only Bike to Provide Real World Gear Change Feel
- Custom Transmission Settings
- No Setup Required
My Search for a Zwift Compatible Bike
For those that are unaware. There is little to no information available for those of us that want to get into riding, competing, and touring the virutal world with Zwift. Especially for those of us that want to use it with a bike. For those looking for a Zwift Treadmill there is a bit more info but even then, not very much.
Almost 2 Months of Research & Testing
Because of this I spent about 7 weeks, yes almost 2 full months in my search to find the best exercise bike that would be fully compatible with Zwift. Sure, there is a myriad of exercise bikes with virtual training out there that work pretty well with training programs like Zwift or Sufferest, but finding a bike that could fit my specific needs was proving to be an uphill task.
I visited different retail stores, fitness equipment centers, I even drove 4 hours down to Houston just so I could test out the 4 compatible bikes and see how they work when connected up to Zwift.
For those of you that do not know I am also quite the frugal shopper so when it comes to spending a pretty penny I tend to end up doing almost too much research to make sure I get the best bang for my buck that I can.
Turns out, getting a good bang for your buck option is HARD. I had to spend weeks going back and forth with companies and retail shops. Now, I’m the proud owner of a Wahoo Kickr bike. But I included my notes, research and what I learned into this guide to make it easier for others. This is about as extensive as you can get. I will update this if and when new options come out and if they are good enough to be considered worthy of my buck.
Sneak Peek into the Top 3 Zwift Exercise Bikes
- Wahoo KICKR Bike - Best Overall Fully Compatible Option For Zwift - The one I bought for myself after scouring the web and retail stores for weeks. This thing is a beast, provides full compatibility and is certified by Zwift as the bike that has been tested by them and is shown to give you the best possible Zwift experience. Requires no setup.
- Stages Bike - Cheaper Fully Compatible Option - Another bike that’s certified by Zwift. It’s cheaper than the KICKR, but it's still guaranteed to give you a full Zwift experience that requires no set up at all.
- Keiser m3i - Best Bang for your Buck Capable Option - If you’re looking for a cheaper option, this is the one that will include the most features, though it does not provide full compatibility and will require setup.
Tidbit You Need to Know - Full Compatibility Vs Capable
Fully Compatible = Bikes That Transmit the Needed Data and Control Resistance
These are the bikes that are fully compatible with Zwift and provide the best Zwift gaming experience. These models send all the data needed; your heart rate, wattage, speed, distance and more directly, with no need to use external devices. They also control your resistance without any input, as you go up a hill, it’ll get harder, and when you go down, it’ll be easier.
It’s the kind of bike I own, and the recommended one for people who are really into Zwift training and can afford it. The WAHOO bike would be the best choice in this field, with the Stages being a close second, both of these models will be reviewed first in the list, since they are the top choices.
Zwift Capable = Bikes That Transmit the Needed Data
These bikes are a cheaper alternative for those who aren’t able or willing to spend as much on an indoor bike. They won’t transmit as much data as a fully compatible bike.
In fact, most of them will only tell Zwift your wattage or power, and most of the time they’ll need a dedicated addon to do that. However, you can’t just use ANY exercise bike, there are still only a select few that can work with an addon to send wattage data.
Besides my hiper bike, which was quite good for outdoor cycling, I have also tried and tested my fair share of stationary bikes too, from Bowflex C6 to Keiser M3i, the Expresso bike, and several others space saver indoor bikes.
But I have included only the ones that work great with Zwift in my list below for you to check out yourself.
This goes for other spin bike programs too, for those of you who might need several choices to pick from or one that can work better with your bike, I also pitched Zwift against Rouvy, and compared Trainerroad with Zwift, so check those out too.
Zwift Exercise Bikes with FULL compatibility
1. Wahoo KICKR BIKE - Editors (MY) Top Pick
Best Overall Option For the Ultimate Zwift Experience
Wahoo KICKR BIKE Review
I told you before, this is a beast of a machine. I have mine set up in the basement and I couldn’t be happier. Let’s dive in and see why this bike can give you the best Zwift experience out there.
What Makes It Great
There’s a lot going on with this machine, for starters it boasts a Zwift certification, which means it reaches the highest standards of quality and ensures you’ll get the best Zwift experience possible. (1)
In order to qualify as a Zwift certified bike, it also be able / includes:
- Communicate with Zwift via BLE (Bluetooth low energy)
- Support ERG mode
- Change Resistance automatically with the course
- Has a power meter accuracy of at least +/-3% (Though in this case it's only +/-1%)
- Enable Spindown Calibration
- Able to Fully & virtually connect & update with Zwift updates
Now I bet you have a lot of questions about what all of that means, so let me clear things up for you.
ERG mode is a setting on your bike that controls & locks the power output of your bike at a certain level. Let’s say you turn on ERG mode at 200 watts, now as long as ERG is on you’ll HAVE to output 200 watts the entire time. It doesn’t matter if you’re pedaling like crazy or barely moving them.
As long as ERG is on, the resistance will adjust to get heavier or lighter to keep you at the same power level consistently. It’s a great tool to have and I use it pretty much everytime that I ride with Zwift, but be careful, cause even though it sounds easy, your legs will be burning before you know it.
Automatic Resistance Change - My Favorite
One of my favourite features of working out using Zwift on this spin bike is the fact that while you’re on a course, your resistance is adjusted automatically to match what you see on the screen.
That means that if you’re riding on hilly terrain, you’ll struggle more when going up a hill, but you practically won’t have to pedal when you’re going downhill as the resistance is adjusted to your elevation!
Spindown calibration is a lot simpler, it's just a way to calibrate your power meter from time to time to make sure that it’s giving accurate, consistent readings. With this bike, it's literally just clicking a button and waiting.
That’s not all though, there are a lot more features that set this bike apart that are not required for a Zwift certification! keep reading to find out!
What Sets This Bike Apart From the Pack
The KICKR spin bike does two things that really set it apart from the others when it comes to simulating the feel of an actual bike, instead of an indoor one.
1). The bike will actually tilt up or down in order to match the elevation of the course, it can go up 20% or down -15%.
Yes, you read that right, the bike will actually move up or down as you go up hills, so it’s not just your resistance that will change, you’ll actually feel like you’re climbing up!
This is something that most will not be able to appreciate until you are actually on the bike and actually in the virtual world of Zwift. It is absolutely insane that this tech actually exist and for this reason alone I would not consider any other bike if my purpose was to ride, compete, game, or do anything with Zwift.
The second thing is the gear change simulator. Unlike most spin bikes, in which resistance is gradual and you don’t really feel it kick in all of a sudden, the KICKR has distinct gears you can use.
2). As you switch, you’ll feel the motor stick slightly to replicate the feeling of a chain shifting on a regular bike!
This just adds to the overall satisfaction of riding this bike. When tested and compared to the other bike this is another feature that made this bike light years ahead of the others.
Another great feature of the KICKR is that it's very versatile when it comes to comfort. You can adjust it to fit your body comfortably, while also being able to share the bike with roommates or other family members!
Does the KICKR Require Set Up?
Setting up the machine itself is surprisingly quick and easy. Just follow the included instructions and you’ll be good to go in minutes. After that, you’ll just need to pair it to the Wahoo app and you’re done. Zwift itself requires no setup for this bike.
- Weight: 93 lbs
- Dimensions: 48"Lx30"H
- Maximum Incline: 20%
- Minimum Incline: 15%
- Max Rider height; 6’4
- Maximum power output: 2200W
- LCD Display shows gear, wattage, and other data.
- Includes a USB port to charge your devices
- Water bottle holder
2. Stages SC3 Spin Bike - Bang For Buck
Cheaper Alternative, Fully Compatible, Zwift Certified
Stages SC3 Review
If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative that can still give you the full Zwift experience, then this is the spin bike for you. It won’t be as fancy as our previous option, but it's definitely a close second and can still be considered a premium option when it comes to indoor bikes.
What I Like
Compatible with Everything
Once again, this one is fully compatible with Zwift, but not just that one, it's also compatible with a bunch of other fitness apps, and trackers. As an example, if you count your calories, you can transfer your workout directly from the app to your phone and log how many calories you burned.
Of course, since it's fully compatible, this bike will also adjust resistance automatically as your course changes on the Zwift App.
Most indoor bikes are adjustable to some degree, even our previous entry is extremely adjustable compared to most bikes. However, this one takes the cake when it comes to being adjustable.
The bike comes with laser-etched sizing scales and settings you can use to adjust the following:
- The Saddle
- The Handlebars
- The Brake Hoods
- The Crank Arms
The folks over at Stages Cycling designed this bike for those times when you want to ride your regular street bike, but for one reason or another, you can’t. That’s why they offer so many customization options so that your bike feels tailored to you.
One of the reasons I almost went for a Stages bike rather than the KICKR bike above (the one I ended up going with) was the programmable buttons. Let me explain, the brake hoods on this bike incorporate a variety of different buttons. you get “shift” buttons for changing gears and “sprint buttons”.
What makes it really cool is that the function of any of the buttons is programmable by the rider. This doesn’t just help to mimic the button setup of your real bike, but also makes it extremely comfortable, since you won’t have to move your hands at all to use the inbuilt functions.
As an example, the shift buttons can be programmed along a variety of different “Virtual drive trains” (virtual transmissions) and depending on which ones you pick, you’ll get a different feel every time you switch gears. You can even pick a gradual system like you’d have on a normal spin bike if you’re tired of distinct gears & shifting feels.
Is Setup Required?
Like our previous entry, the setup for this machine is painless. You’ll be done in a couple minutes and almost ready to go, just pair your bike with the Stages bike to calibrate the power meter and you’re done!
- Maximum Power Capacity: 3000 Watts
- Power Meter Accuracy +/- 1,5%
- Includes two fast-charging USB ports
- Flywheel weight: 50lbs
3. WattBike Atom
WattBike Atom Review
This one was a tricky one for me to include. There are two different wattbike models, the Wattbike Pro, and the Wattbike Atom. The Wattbike Pro is NOT Zwift compatible, so steer clear of that one, the one you want is the Zwift Atom.
I want to make it clear cause in my research I ran into plenty of people online complaining of getting the wrong bike by mistake. You can rest easy cause I’ll link directly to page you need to order from for this one, so you can’t pick the wrong one on accident.
What I Like
Believe it or not, the latest version of the Atom is actually CHEAPER than its predecessor, but quality hasn’t been sacrificed to make up costs. This bike is WAY better than it used to be.
What happened is that Wattbike cut out the middleman completely. Before, you used to buy their bikes through retail stores and other websites. Now, you buy directly from Wattbike and you won’t have to pay for transportation and the retailers cut.
That way, Wattbike managed to bring down the price while also adding a bunch of new features that not even their most expensive units had.
The Wattbike ATOM (REMEMBER! NOT THE PRO) has Zwift certifications thanks to the amazing upgrades the latest version received. In case you forgot, that means that you’ll have the best Zwift experience available on this bike. Even if it lacks some features that our top choice has.
All of the bikes we’ve seen till now are quiet. You won’t have to deal with an annoying droning no matter which bike you go for. But I tried this one before making a purchase and let me tell you, you could hear a pin drop.
If you live with roommates, family or just have thin walls, this is the bike for you. You’ll be able to go all out on sprint races with people all around the world and no one is gonna hear a thing.
Real Ride Feel
The Atom’s motor comes with a unique “Real Ride” technology that makes it so that it doesn’t just feel like a spin bike, but rather an actual, outdoors bike. Couple that with their integrated gear shifters and you’ll be so immersed in Zwift you’ll forget you’re at home.
Of course, this will be made even better thanks to the automatic resistant adjustment that takes place when you ride with Zwift!
One of my favourite things about this bike is actually the setup process. Yeah I know it sounds weird, but when you see the box it comes in, you brace yourself for a long and tedious setup, when it's actually the opposite.
Once you take it out of the box, you realize the bike comes almost entirely in one piece, you only have to attach the following:
- The Aero Bars
- The tablet holder
- The pedals
- The power cable.
After that, you’ll only have to tighten a few screws and you’ll be good to go!
- Maximum Power output: 2500w
- Weight: 44kg
- Calibration: Factory set
- Gradient: 0 - 25%
- Made out of aluminum
4. Tacx Neo Bike Smart
Tacx Neo Bike Smart Review
Last but not least, we have the Neo Bike Smart, a bike that you might have heard of if you’re an enthusiast, since it made headlines on a bunch of websites because it kept getting delayed in development.
Now usually this means that the end product will suck, if it even comes out, but in this case it was the best thing that could have happened. The final design looks nothing like it first did and there’s a whole lot more premium features included now.
What I Like
No Need for Power
Unlike all of the other models we’ve seen till now, the Tacx Neo doesn’t need to be connected to your house’s power supply in order to function. You’ve probably seen this system in some gym bikes, you create the power yourself by pedaling.
It’s a pretty cool feature cause your bike can communicate with your phone and apps without needing any sort of external power, so if your basement doesn’t have a power outlet close by, or if your power went out, you can still work out. You can even charge your devices on the 2 included usb ports while producing the power yourself.
However, not all features are available this way. Your bike won’t be able to simulate descent, where you stop pedaling because gravity can do the work for you, since the bike will quickly turn off after you do.
The Tacx Neo comes with one of the biggest inbuilt displays you’ll see today. While Zwift will show you most of the data your bike sends, some important information like what gear you’re on, what mode etc. won’t make it to the app, but it will show up on the screen.
You can set this bike up to be exactly what you want it to be, you can swap out pedals, the saddle, bar tapes and even modify the crank length. This also applies to the buttons, you can change the setup and their function or even manually control some trainers straight from your bike.
If you’ve been reading my stuff for a while, you probably know I’m a competitive guy. Hell, that’s why I love Zwift, I love being able to compete with people from all around the world. That’s why I ALMOST bought this bike, just for this feature.
This bike can track the position of your left and right leg, it will measure and analyze your pedaling and give you tips to improve and develop a more efficient pedaling technique. As you can imagine, when you’re racing every second counts, so any improvement is a welcome advantage.
Setting up the Tacx Neo is quite easy actually, it may seem a bit daunting when you get the whole thing out of the box since there are a lot of parts to assemble, but looks can be deceiving.
The manual is absurdly clear and the whole process is pretty simple, just putting things into slots and tightening wrenches. You should be done in about 30 minutes and the bike will be good to go since it comes calibrated from the factory.
- Max Power output: 2200W
- Max Incline: 25%
- Weight: 50 kg
- Virtual Flywheel
Best Zwift Spin Bikes - Cheaper Alternatives - Capable
As part of my research I found a couple of bikes that can still run Zwift to some capacity and are a whole lot cheaper. If this is the kind of thing you’re looking for, you gotta be careful though. I ran into a bunch of bikes that are “technically” Zwift compatible but the experience is so bad that you’ll hate using it.
I checked and double checked that the bikes I feature will provide you with a Zwift experience that’s fun, engaging and will keep you coming back. Stick to the list and you should be fine.
For some of these, you’ll have to buy a converter or power meter to send data to Zwift, I’ll explain how to set things up as we go.
I have personally rode and tested all of these bikes and am writing from my personal notes and experience. I have only rode with Zwift on the M3i, Stages C3, and the Matrix Bike. All other I have not connected up but I have tested and rode them.
1. Keiser M3i - Editors Choice - Best Bang for Your Buck
Must Buy M-Series Converter
Keiser M3i Review
The Keiser M3i is the most “complete” bike you’ll find if you’re working with a lower budget; I previously pinned it side to side with a costlier bike in this Bowflex C6 vs Keiser M3i bout, and this was hands down the bang for buck bike. . You’ll have the added expense of the M- series converter, but just count it as part of the price of the bike, since you won’t be able to use Zwift or other apps without it and you’ll miss out on a lot of functionality.
The converter is about $90-100. So not bad at all and when you buy it and get it hooked up it allows you to take this bike to a whole new level or versatility. You can now game with whatever app you want.
The M-Series Converter
I know you’re probably wondering what a converter is. To keep things simple, the M-series converter is a little device that rests on the back of the bike’s media holder. It will pair with your bike and to different apps so that it can change bluetooth data into the power data that Zwift requires.(2)
The way to set up the converter is really simple to be honest. Just put a coin battery inside it, place it on the back of your bike’s computer and it’ll start flashing red when you turn on the bike. Once it starts flashing green, you’ll know it's paired and it will now remember your bike for future pairing.
Literally just sticks to the back of the M3i
What I Like About This Bike
I always appreciate a nice an exercise bike with a big screen and this bike is no exception. Some manufacturers try to cut costs by using a tiny little screen, but when you’re pedaling like your life depends on it a tiny screen makes it hard to see what’s going on.
On the LCD panel, you’ll get to see:
- Heart Rate
- Ride Time
- Trip Distance
- Gear Selected
This bike is a lot quieter than most at this price point thanks to the Poly-V belt drive. Which is also responsible for this bike needing little to no maintenance, since its self tensioning.
Something that I really like about this bike, or maybe about Keiser as a brand, is that they don’t try to drain your wallet with accessory purchases. In fact, most accessories come with the bike out of the box.
You don't just get a bike, you also get a heart rate monitor strap, a floor mat and Keiser’s “Stretch Pads”, which attach to the bike and will help you stretch your sore calves, thighs and hamstrings after a strenuous workout.
The monitor does indeed work with Zwift but it requires some setup if you really want it to. I did not try when I tested the bike because it is not really needed. I’ve scoured the forums and talked to owners of this bike. Some of them have mentioned that the monitor pairs with Zwift smoothly but it is important to note that some people have had trouble syncing it up.
The thing is, this is really not needed at all. But if you want it to sync up you just have to tka the time to set it up. It's not hard.
How to Connect the Keiser M3i with Zwift
1.) Pair M Series Converter
The first thing you should do is pair the M-Series converter to your bike, like I described above. Once that’s done, the rest of the setup is quite simple.
2.) Zwift Companion App
Download the Zwift companion app on your phone or tablet and it will automatically find the converter and get connected.
If you’re using Zwift on your pc, your PC will then pair to the companion App, some people have had trouble pairing their computer to the M-Series converter directly so just pair with the app first.
2. Stages C3 Indoor Bikes
Best Spin Bike for Zwift but More Expensive
Stages C3 Indoor Bikes Review
On most lists, this bike would be in one of the top spots, if not #1. This is a premium indoor bike, but it wasn’t built with Zwift in mind, so while it has really cool features, it's still not fully compatible with Zwift and it's more expensive than our #1 choice.
However, if you’re somewhere in between the budget for a fully compatible smart bike, and a cheaper indoor bike, this might be the one for you.
What I Like
I told you this is a premium bike, and as such, it's made out of premium materials. This shows in the carbon fiber belt that replaces the usual chain or poly-v drive that most bikes use.
Carbon fiber is extremely light and extremely durable, so you know you won't have any issues. Stages knows that too, so the belt is covered by a 10 year warranty in the unlikely case that something goes wrong.
What really sets the belt apart though is that it provides a feeling of inertia like you’d get on a regular bike when you stop pedaling and that it doesn’t need ANY maintenance or lubricants to function.
The FitLoc System
It might seem a little nit picky, but when you make a living out of fitness equipment, you start noticing the smaller things, like how machines adjust, which systems they use, etc.
In all my years reviewing and trying equipment, I can’t remember a more comfortable way of adjusting the position of the user. Most machines use little pins that eventually get bent, or screw systems that get stripped, but not stages.
Stages uses their proprietary “FitLock” system, which makes adjusting seat and handlebar height quick, easy and safe. Just pull and you can adjust it, push and it's locked. If you gotta share your bike with someone who’s not your size, you’ll start appreciating the FitLock real quick.
The console on the Stages C3 spin bike is pretty cool to be honest. To begin with, it needs no batteries, which is always cool for people like me who forget to buy batteries until all your devices are out of juice. It's powered by your pedaling so you’ll never miss a workout.
Asides from that you also get an always on backlight, which is dope since it allows you to see clearly on all kinds of lighting. Most bike consoles are not bright enough and you can’t really see anything if there’s direct sunlight from a window or poor lighting conditions.
Finally, there’s the “Stage” button, which will prevent the bike from collecting data on your ride for up to 99 laps so that you can warm up without messing up your metrics.
Setting Up Zwift
Setting up Zwift with the SC3 is pretty simple, it’ll communicate with the app through the included Stages power meter. Just pair your it with the app and then select your bike as a power source on Zwift. Unfortunately. the SC3 can't control resistance automatically like the Stages Smart bike can.
- Weight: 100lbs
- Dimensions - 24.5” W x 43.5” L
- Max User Weight: - 350 lbs
- 2 USB ports
3. Matrix IC3
Best Exercise Bike for Beginners
Matrix IC3 Review
Now I know what you’re thinking, “How can a bike be for beginners? It's just pedaling” but you couldn’t be more wrong, one thing is riding around town with your friends when you’re a kid, a whole different one is racing and cycling seriously.
Pretty much anyone knows how to do the first one, but very few people know how to do the latter. Once you dive into the world of competitive cycling you’ll discover the intricacies of positioning, pedaling, and more.
How can an indoor bike help you ask? Well read on and find out.
What I Like
Narrow Q Factor
In layman's terms, the Q factor is the distance from the pedals to the axle to which they are attached, and it matters because it will determine how wide - or narrow- your stance is. This, in turn, will impact the angle at which your muscles exert force onto the bike.
The IC3 is a great exercise bike for beginners because it features a narrow Q factor, of only 155mm, which will teach them proper leg positioning as well as allowing them to pedal in the most efficient way, so that their energy is not wasted.
Most of the bikes you’ll see on the market can work with a variety of different pedals, but very few of them actually include more than one kind of pedal out the box. While in most cases you’d have to spend even more money in order to switch up pedals, with the IC3 you get the choice between SPD or Toe cages without spending a dime.
The IC3 features a durable steel frame that has conveniently placed emergency stop features so that in case of an accident you can avoid injury. This is especially important if you’re using toe cage pedals, since you won’t be able to leave the bike easily in case of an accident.
How to Set It Up with Zwift
To get Zwift working with the IC3 you’ll also have to purchase the Wahoo Cadence sensor, it’ll change bluetooth data into the usual power metrics Zwift requires. Unfortunately, it can’t send heart rate information or control resistance. This is why it is only a capable bike and not a fully compatible Zwift spin bike.
4. Concept2 BikeERG
No Adapters Needed
Concept2 BikeERG Review
This is one of the few bikes on our “CAPABLE” list that won’t require a separate device in order to connect to Zwift. Unlike most “cheaper” indoor bikes, the Concept 2 has inbuilt BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) so you can skip the hassle of pairing so many devices.
The only thing that keeps this bike from being fully compatible is that it does not allow for resistance control.
What I Like
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m a sucker for a big screen, I can’t help it. That’s why I absolutely LOVE that the Concept2 comes with a huge panel for your date. You can pedal as fast as you want and you’ll have no trouble seeing all your ride’s information.
Even better, the bike comes with a Smartphone Cradle that you can attach to the top of the panel to run the Zwift app right on top.
The Concept2 doesn’t use chains in its drive to avoid the need for lubrication and regular maintenance that most customers won’t actually do. Instead of chains they use poly groove belts that are self tightening and need no lubrication at all.
No Extra Modules
I said it above but it's worth pointing it out, the Concept2 has Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) so you wont need to purchase any additional products to connect it to Zwift. Just run Zwift on your computer, smartphone or tablet and it will find your device and pair.
- Crank Length: 170mm
- Maximum User Weight: 300lbs
- Assembled Dimensions: 48 in x 24 in
- Machine Weight: 68lb
- Welded Aluminium Frame
Star Trac Spinner Pro Review
You’ve probably seen Star Trac bikes before, if you head over to your local gym you’re likely to find one of their models for spin classes. In this case, we have one of their beautiful pro models. For this one, you’ll have to buy a sensor though.
What I Like
Tried and True Form
As I said before, Star Trac has made countless spin bike models and their bikes populate spin clubs and gyms around the world. Their designs have been tested and refined countless times and as such you couldn’t get a more comfortable and functional design.
The saddle on this bike comes equipped with double density padding and an anatomical design to prevent soreness and allow riders to stay on their bikes for hours. Even better, there’s plenty of different seat models you can swap out until you find the one you like.
Like our previous entry could swap out the pedals to accommodate both pro riders and amateurs, the Spinner Pro can do both too, without even swapping pedals!
The ones on this bike are specially designed to function with their SPD programs, they are dual sided to provide stability and comfort for amateur riders, but they also provide clip-in compatibility for pro riders.
Of course, a home gym equipment warranty is always a huge priority. You’re making a big purchase and you want things to last for a long time. That’s why one of my favourite things about this bike is that Star Trac offers a lifetime warranty for residential users.
- Dimensions: 51.6in. l x 20.1in. w x 40in. h
- Weight: 121 lbs
- Flywheel Weight: 43 lbs
6. Matrix - ICR 50
Matrix - ICR 50 Review
You’ll find plenty of Matrix models on the market, but the ICR50 is the newest model out there. Unlike most models on the “CAPABLE” list, it supports bluetooth connections directly, so you won’t have to buy a separate adapter to use it with Zwift.
What I Like
Of course, the first thing I have to say about this bike is that bluetooth is included straight out the box. No need to do any setting up to get your bike communicating with Zwift or any other workout apps you want to use.
Of course I have to talk about the screen! In this case you get a great display that will show you a bunch of workout data; Time, Distance, Calories, Heart Rate and RPMs. Even better it also includes several workout options like HIIT training and speed or heart rate interval training.
Rear Aluminium Flywheel
The ICR50 is designed with durability in mind, and part of that design is placing the flywheel in the back of the bike. While it may seem inconsequential, you need to remember you’ll be pedaling for hours and when that happens, you’ll sweat. A lot.
What happens when water and moisture fall onto metals? They rust, and once your flywheel begins to rust, your bike is already doomed. The easiest and simplest fix for this is to just move the flywheel out of the way of any sweat, and that’s just what matrix did.
Even when moving it out the way, the matrix shielded the flywheel with plastics and made it out of aluminum to make 100% sure moisture would never be a concern.
Narrow Q Factor
I went over this in depth above so I won’t go through the entire explanation again. Let’s just say that thanks to the narrow stance, hip, leg and feet position is optimized to produce the most efficient pedaling and avoid wasting your energy.
There are several benefits to a magnetic resistance system instead of a chain or belt. For starters, it's a lot quieter. Since it works with magnetic forces, there are no touching parts, which cuts down on the grinding noises, instead being whisper quiet.
Another benefit, and one of the most important in my opinion, is that flywheels that work with magnetic resistance require no lubricant and very little maintenance, which is always great since most of us end up forgetting about it until our bikes are breaking down.
Maximum User Weight: 300lbs
Machine Weight; 114 lbs
Dimensions: 55.75” x 22.25” x 49”
Maximum User Height: 6’4
7. Sole R92
Recumbent Bike That Is Zwift Capable
Sole R92 Review
I’m a competitive dude so I always talk about how fun it is to race people on Zwift, but I know not everyone is into that. Some people want to exercise without going all out all the time, and that’s fine. Maybe you’re just not feeling it, or maybe because of injury or age, you’re not able to go hard.
If you need to take it easy on your muscles and joints, a recumbent bike is just what you’re looking for, the modified positioning reduces a lot of the stress on your hips and knees. Unfortunately, not many recumbent bikes work with Zwift, but after A LOT of research, I found one!
What I like
Easy on the joints
This is the main reason people get recumbent bikes is because they are the best exercise bikes for knee rehab and joint recovery. Their design is 100% oriented to reducing the load on your ankles, knees, hips and back, so that those that aren’t able to exercise on regular bikes can do so without pain.
In this case, the comfort comes in the shape of an adjustable, padded seat, and a 2 degree inward design that will keep your posture perfect.
The Sole R92 is also a perfect recumbent bike a people who are on the taller side of the spectrum. The design is laid out and long enough for even the tallest of users.
At this point I shouldn’t have to tell you just how useful integrated bluetooth is, you can connect directly without the need for modules or addons. However, you still won’t get the full functionality of Zwift out of this bike but it is capable and will still provide you with an awesome Zwift experience.
The R92 Features a bright display that will give you real time information on your workout, including: Cadence, Distance, Time, Calories Burned and your heart rate (Which you can measure with the included strap or handles)
As part of the bluetooth functionality, you’ll also be able to connect your device and have the sound come out of the integrated bluetooth speakers. Both Zwift and any media, like Netflix or music can be played on the speakers so that you don’t have to use headphones.
Of course, if you’re gonna be using a mobile device for Zwift or for media, you’ll eventually run out of juice, which is why there are two usb ports for you to keep your devices topped up.
Part of being easy on the joints is providing a smooth riding experience at all times, and there is no better way to do it than using magnetic systems, since there is no chance of grinding or catching and messing up your knees or hips on accident.
Maximum User Weight: 300lbs
Heavy Duty Steel Frame
Includes Wireless Chest Strap
Questions That Most Zwift Biking Newbies Have
Can I Use Zwift on a Peloton Bike?
Technically, yes you can. However, setting up a peloton bike for Zwift requires coding experience, there is no simple 1 click solution. Not to mention that Peloton bikes are extremely expensive, so unless you already own one, I wouldn’t recommend it. Instead go for an alternative to Peloton if you insist on getting this type of exercise bike.
Is There Any Other Thing I Need for Zwift?
If you go with a fully compatible bike, you don’t really need anything else for Zwift to work, though I’d suggest you get yourself some water and a towel cause you’ll be sweating buckets once you get started.
Where Should I Buy My Bike?
Getting one of these bikes can be a bit cumbersome at times, but I’ve tracked down the links for all of them and I highly suggest you go through them. I have heard too many stories and gotten too many messages about people getting the wrong bike, or getting the right bike but not the right configuration. I did the research, use what I provide you. Or if you go off on your own please do your research and make sure you personally test each and every bike before making a commitment.
- Rogue Echo Bike Review
- Schwinn 170 vs. Nautilus U616 – Which Exercise Spin Bike Is Better?
- Teeter FreeStep Recumbent Cross Trainer
- Top Professional Treadmills
- Expresso bike vs Peloton
- Indoor Cycling (Spin/Exercise Bike) vs. Treadmill – The Great Debate for Fitness at Home
Hi there! I'm Ben, main author and chief editor at Fitlifefanatics.com. I have been obsessed with Strength Training and Fitness for 16 years now.
My passion for living a happy fit lifestyle is what made me realize that fitness is what I wanted for my future.
I went on to earn my Masters in Sports Training & Biomechanics.
My passion for Strength training & fitness and my love of helping others is what made me start Fitlifefanatics.
Here, myself, and a team of specialist aim to provide the most accurate, and actionable information possible in hopes to help foster the fitness community forward.
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