Best Spin Bikes With Auto-Resistance For Virtual Cycling

Spinning and indoor cycling workouts have gained immense popularity, both in fitness centers and for home use. In this comprehensive guide, we present an overview of the best spin bikes with auto-resistance, ensuring you make an informed decision for your home gym. We carefully selected seven top models and provide detailed reviews, including pros, cons, and essential considerations for each bike.

The Tacx Neo indoor bike shines as the ultimate champion among the best spin bikes with automatic resistance. However, other notable contenders like the Nordictrack S22i, Peloton Bike+, Echelon EX-5S, Freebeat, Horizon Fitness 7.0 IC, and Echelon EX3 offer unique features to meet specific preferences and budgets. These indoor cycling bikes with automatic resistance have transformed workout routines worldwide.

The benefits of these adjustable magnetic spin bikes are abundant. Their automatic resistance ensures a convenient and seamless workout, eliminating manual adjustments. Precise resistance levels guarantee targeted and effective workouts. They provide real-time feedback on speed, distance, heart rate, and power output and allow progress tracking and goal setting. Furthermore, their compatibility with popular fitness apps enhances the indoor cycling experience, offering interactive classes, virtual routes, and community challenges for motivation.

Nevertheless, it’s also important to consider potential drawbacks associated with auto-resistance indoor bikes. Some of these indoor cycling bikes with automatic resistance require specific brand applications for optimal performance and have limiting app compatibility. Additionally, electricity is necessary for resistance adjustments, and maintenance requirements may be higher compared to manual resistance bikes because there is also a motor to look after. Plus, the motorized components do generate operational noise, affecting the overall workout environment.

Now that you know a little about the pros and cons of spin bikes with auto-resistance, let’s take a look at the 7 top models that I picked and reviewed in this article. I also included a comparison table and guide in the article to help you learn how to make an informed decision when searching for the best auto-resistance spin bikes.

Best Magnetic Spin Bikes With Auto-Resistance at a Glance:

  1. Best Overall: Tacx Neo Smart Indoor Cycling Bike at Amazon.com and Tacxneo.com |
    Read My Review
  2. Most Versatile: Nordictrack S22i Indoor Cycling Exercise Bike at Nordictrack.com and Amazon.com |
    Read My Review
  3. Best For Peloton Virtual Classes: Peloton Bike+ at Onepeloton.com and Amazon.com |
    Read My Review
  4. Best Runner-Up: Echelon EX-5S Indoor Cycling Exercise Bike at Amazon.com and Echelonfit.com |
    Read My Review
  5. Best Value: Freebeat Auto-Resistance Indoor Cycling Bike at Amazon.com and Freebeat.com |
    Read My Review
  6. Best Investment: Horizon Fitness 7.0 Indoor Cycling Exercise Bike at Horizonfitness.com and Amazon.com |
    Read My Review
  7. Best For Multi-App Compatibility: Echelon EX3 Smart Indoor Bike at Echelonfit.com and Amazon.com |
    Read My Review

Best Spin Bikes With Auto-Resistance Spec Comparison

BESTNAMEVERDICTMONITORCAPACITYPEDALSFLYWHEELRESISTANCE
OverallTacx Neo BikeHands down, the Tacx Neo is the best choice as long as you don't care about the lack of big-screen. It is designed by elites and comes with an impressive warranty and also doesn't require app subscription to fully function.Smart Backlit, Bluetooth, Watt, RPM, Distance, Resistance, Speed, Time, HR & CaloriesUp to 275 pounds from 5’3″ to 6’7″ tall9/16" thread but pedals not includedVirtual flywheel and belt drive32-Level Automatic Magnetic Resistance
VersatileNordicTrack S22iS22i Is a great value indoor bike and has a unique incline/decline system. If you don't mind paying for the iFit app subscription, go for it.22" Touch, Wifi Bluetooth, Watt, RPM, Distance, Speed, Time, Resistance, HR & CaloriesUp to 350 pounds from 5’0” to 6’10” tallToe-Cage 9/16" pedals32 Pound and belt transmission24-Level Automatic Magnetic Resistance
Studio-LikePeloton Bike+Worth its price. As long as you like the Peloton app and incline/decline adjustment is not a factor.15" Touch, Wifi Bluetooth, Watt, RPM, Distance, Speed, Time, Resistance, HR & CaloriesUp to 305 pounds from 4’11” to 6’4” tallLook Delta 9/16" pedals32 Pound and belt transmission100-Level Automatic Magnetic Resistance
Runner-UpEchelon EX5-SFor the price, the EX5-S is a great buy thanks to its 22" monitor. However, this one only works with the Echelon app so be aware before hand.22" Touch, Wifi Bluetooth, Watt, RPM, Distance, Speed, Time, Resistance, HR & CaloriesUp to 300 pounds from 5' to 6'4" tallSPD & toe-cage 9/16" pedals28 Pound and belt transmission32-Level Automatic Magnetic Resistance
ValueFreebeat BoomFreebeat Boom is a great bike for the price, especially if you are sure you like being stuck to Freabeat app15.6" Touch, Wifi Bluetooth, Watt, RPM, Distance, Speed, Time, Resistance, HR & CaloriesUp to 300 pounds from 4'11" to 6'5" tallToe-cage 9/16" pedals15.4 Pound and belt transmission100-Level Automatic Magnetic Resistance
InvestmentHorizon 7.0 ICNormally this indoor bike is priced less than $800 which is the best value you can get on the entire market. It even has a 5"x5" LCD screen and Bluetooth to sync with your favourite app.7" Touch, Wifi Bluetooth, Watt, RPM, Distance, Speed, Time, Resistance, HR & CaloriesUp to 330 pounds from 5' to 6'3" tallSPD & toe-cage 9/16" pedals28 Pound and belt transmission100-Level Automatic Magnetic Resistance
BudgetEchelon EX3No built-in console on this one but it works with Zwift, Echelon, and Peloton like a charm and it's very affordable.No console but Bluetooth sensors transmit Watt, RPM, Distance, Resistance, Speed, Time, HR & CaloriesUp to 300 pounds from 4’6″ – 6’6″ tallSPD & toe-cage 9/16" pedals28 Pound and belt transmission32-Level Automatic Magnetic Resistance
Best Spin Bikes With Auto-Resistance Comparison Table

No 1

Tacx Neo Auto-Resistance Indoor Cycling Bike

 in stock
2 new from $3,999.99
Amazon.com

100% designed in the elite road riders, the Tacx Neo is possibly the most reliable auto-resistance spin bike on the market and the only spin bike designed and made by and for pro road cyclists who don’t want to use a turbo trainer at home.

This electronic-resistance indoor cycle includes two optional accessories, an adjustable tablet holder, and a set of cooling fans. Tracking the rider’s Watt (directly and accurately for leg and right leg), RPM, speed, distance, HR, time, and calories, the Tacx Neo is designed to complete your workout needs and will suit a new spinner up to a professional cyclist.

The key to the Tacx Neo is the heavy-duty sturdy frame and extra stable structural supports that will help prevent it from tipping over when being ridden by an extremely heavy rider. The heavily adjustable seat and handlebars are designed to make it possible for anyone who is 5’2″ up to 7’ tall and sturdy enough to handle any rider up to 300 lb.

The Tacx Neo has a unique flywheel as compared with other of the Spin Bikes with automatic resistance on the list. It bucks the notion that you have to have a heavy (40lb or heavier) flywheel to get the necessary benefit of an indoor Spin Bike.

Using smaller and lighter flywheel stores just as much kinetic energy as a larger and heavier one. Tacx Neo was the first to discover a new system where you can stick with a lighter flywheel when combined with road like gearing system, automatic-magnetic resistance, and high-gear ratio.

The sport seat is highly comfortable for longer indoor rides and pro riders. But it doesn’t have extra cushioning underneath to support a wide range of heavy weight new riders, especially if you are used comfortable cushioned seats. As I explained earlier, Tacx Neo was built by and for experience road cyclists.

Its handlebars as you can see are just like a road bike’s handles with horn grips, drop grips, and gear shifters. It’s resistance is not like your traditional spin bike resistance with a knob to adjust. Instead, you can use the gear shifters to change resistance (and gear ratio) with the shifters.

What makes this the best overall indoor bike with auto-resistance is not just its high quality built but also it’s extremely smart technology. From changing your resistance based on the programs, routes, and Zwift games to simulating the feel of riding on gobble stones, it does it all.

The best though is the fact that Tacx Neo auto-resistance exercise bike works (and does auto-resistance) with all the major indoor cycling applications including Garmin, Zwift, Strava, Peloton, QZ, Kinomap, Rouvy, and more.

Pros

  • This indoor bike is wholly designed in the US with the highest standards.
  • It includes a built-in cycling computer that is handlebar-mounted and displays all of the vital information.
  • Electronic magnetic resistance system works smoothly, and precisely.
  • Compatible with all the major indoor cycling applications.
  • 2 USB charging ports, cooling fans, bottle and holder included.
  • Smart backlit monitor with Bluetooth and ANT/+ technology.
  • Can choose front and rear gear ratio from the presets on the Garmin app.

Cons

  • No incline or decline system to physically tilt the bike.
  • No elbow pads on the handlebars for longer rides.
  • Pedals are not included in the box with the bike.
9Expert Score
Editors Thoughts

I love the way it works and the technology is there. It isn’t the cheapest by far but it does an amazing job. Knowing it’s made by professional road cyclists bring a whole new level of ergonomics and road bike similarities to the table.


No 2

Nordictrack S22i Indoor Cycling Bike with Auto-Resistance

 in stock
2 new from $3,100.99
Amazon.com

NordicTrack is one of the top makers of indoor exercise equipment. The versions of their commercial-grade electronic magnetic resistance studio cycles can be found in fitness centers worldwide. They have made it possible for you to bring their advanced technology into your home with the S22i Commercial Studio Cycle. You will find features that you will not find in many other Spin bikes with auto-resistance.

The frame is of very high quality and is of commercial-grade quality, at 200-lb overall durable steel, it’s built to last, and you can tell when you ride it that it’s going to support you well throughout any workout. The front-mounted small size, lighter weight flywheel provides a smoother than expected ride.

The electromagnetic-resistance system features 24-selectable resistance settings, and the powered incline and decline system adds so much value to the experience when riding. You can either adjust resistance by pushing the controls on the handlebars which is more convenient than twisting knobs, or you can set the bike to change its resistance automatically.

When you enable the auto-resistance, iFit virtual indoor cycling class instructors will change your resistance automatically when they change their bike’s resistance. The belt-driven transmission adds to the ultra-quietness of one of the top-rated auto-resistance spin bikes. This system Nordictrack uses virtually eliminates any type of maintenance that you will need.

The spin bike with monitor features a 22” touchscreen display that can also be turned 360-degrees for it to be used to do a wide range of other exercise routines like yoga and free weights (using the 3 lb dumbbells that are included) and several other exercises. The dumbbells fit perfectly into the holder that is mounted just below the handlebars.

NordicTrack, teamed up with iFit that brings Interactive Personal Training directly to your home gym. The technology turns the built-in 22” flat panel screen into your in-home fitness center. With the 1-year iFit subscription included, you will have access to a fantastic amount of fitness content with this top-rated spin bike. The screen is of very high quality and features touch capability, and rotates 360-degrees.

A few other noteworthy features of this awesome spin bike include an incline/decline system to mimic uphill/downhill indoor experience. They are electronically adjustable via controls on the right handlebars and screen.

Additionally, this spin bike tracks the user’s RPM, speed, time, distance, heart rate, and power which is an important metric when improving your pedal efficiency. Lastly, it has intelligent electronic magnetic resistance, which means when the iFit instructor changes the resistance, your bike’s resistance will automatically change as well. This is also the case with the Incline and Decline in some of the classes.

Just like the other two Nordictrack auto-resistance indoor cycling bikes (S15i and S27i), it has an adjustable cooling fan, speakers, USB charging ports, and an HDMi port. The only difference between the three Nordictrack spin bikes with auto-resistance is in the price and size of screen.

As the names indicates, the S15i has a 15-inch screen, S22i has a 22-inch screen, and S27i has a 27-inch screens. The price starts from $1499 for S15i and goes to $2499 for S27i so you can choose based on your budget and screen size preference. The common issue with all these motorised resistance spin bikes by Nordictrack is that they are only compatible with the iFit and don’t work with Zwift or Peloton or any other online spinning applications.

Pros

  • The built-in 22” HD Touchscreen monitor brings a lot of content to your workout.
  • The powered incline and decline mechanism add an addition to your workout not found on a typical home indoor cycling bike.
  • Innovative electronically adjustable magnetic resistance, belt-transmission, durable frame, and weights for upper body workouts.
  • Cooling fan, dumbbell holders, and dumbbells included.

Cons

  • The machine weighs in at 200 lb, which makes it difficult to move it around even with the wheels.
  • Handlebars not adjustable horizontally.
  • Only works with iFit application.
  • Hard and uncomfortable saddle.
  • No tablet holder included with the bike.
  • Only cage pedals without clipping elements.
9Expert Score
Editors Thoughts

I really like this bike and it has a beautiful look and feel to it. The technology is there and the incline and decline feature is amazing. I highly rate this bike and would probably be my pick out the list.


No 3

Peloton Bike Plus With Automatic Magnetic Resistance

 in stock
Amazon.com

The Peloton Bike Plus is a commercial-grade spinning exercise bike with auto-resistance and 23.8″ screen that can also be used in a home gym environment. It is a high-quality spin bike that features many functionalities combined to create one of the best indoor spin bikes with electronically adjustable resistance.

It’s very similar to the Peloton Bike Original though it has automatically adjustable magnetic resistance instead of manually adjustable magnetic resistance. It’s a huge improvement because the Peloton Original couldn’t change resistance automatically but the Plus model does. It can increase and decrease resistance every time a Peloton virtual instructor changes their resistance.

In additional to improving the resistance on this bike from manual to electronic, Peloton also added a few other needed improvements including a higher resolution and 2-inch larger screen that can be pivoted to right and left, higher quality speakers, and Apple Watch integration.

Peloton’s electronic magnetic resistance works similar to Nordictrack S22i but it doesn’t have S22i’s incline and decline system. Peloton built this bike and older model without the ability to tilt forward and backward or pivot to the right and left. It’s the main reason I rated the Peloton Bike+ lower than the Nordictrack S22i.

This spinning bike, in particular, features a highly sturdy, all-steel frame. Each of the frame and structural bars are coated with an extra durable coating to provide years of use without needing any type of maintenance.

It features a medium-size 30-lb flywheel connected to the three-piece crankshaft via a Hutchinson Kevlar reinforced belt that helps create a near-silent operation. It’s a standard transmission system among all the indoor bikes with automatic resistance that I have seen.

Compared to Tacx Neo and Nordictrack, Peloton has a more padded saddle made for comfort, and unlike many other auto-resistance spin bikes, you can move it horizontally and vertically. It would have been great if they also added a set of resistance controls/shifter on the grips and horizontal adjustment to the handlebars for better bike fit.

Overall, the Peloton Bike+ with automatic resistance reigns as the best spin bike for Peloton classes. Mainly because this exceptional exercise bike offers seamless integration with the Peloton app, providing a truly immersive and interactive workout experience. As soon as you connect to the app, the automatic resistance effortlessly adjusts, matching the instructor’s cues and intensity levels in real-time.

Pros:

  • It is incredibly compact and therefore does not take up a lot of space The heavy-duty all-steel frame allows it to be used by someone tiny and substantial
  • It also comes with a water mount down on the frame
  • Generous warranty and good support
  • 15 Inches HD monitor with built-in speakers and cooling fan
  • Incline and decline adjustment to mimic uphill/downhill

Cons:

  • The only real negative would be that you would tend to think a Spin Bike like this would come with SPD pedals (it only has toe cage pedals)
8.9Expert Score
Editors Thoughts

The Peloton Bike+ enables you to fully immerse yourself in Peloton’s world-class cycling classes, as the automatic resistance changes in sync with the instructor’s guidance, ensuring a challenging and engaging ride. Moreover, the Bike+ boasts a sleek and sturdy design, a vibrant 23.8″ touchscreen display, and a wealth of performance tracking metrics, delivering the perfect blend of form, function, and technology for Peloton enthusiasts. I am personally happy with this for Peloton online classes but for Zwift and other applications, I would suggest that you start looking at other auto-resistance indoor bikes like Echelon EX3 or Tacx Neo if you are a seasoned rider.


No 4

Echelon EX5s Automatic Resistance Indoor Cycling Bike

 in stock
Amazon.com

Echelon Fitness is the maker of several high-quality auto-resistance spin bikes from EX1 all the way to EX7s, each at different price points and with different features. One of the main improvement on this model compared to EX1 and EX3 is its new more comfortable handlebars with additional grips and horizontal adjustment.

It also has a giant HD screen which really sets this model apart from the EX15, Ex1, and EX3 Echelon bikes. They don’t have a built-in screen on the bike which is why they are also less expensive. So, if you want to save money, you should probably look into those Echelon models, especially the EX3.

The EX5 is a bit more expensive at !499 but it’s still currently one of the best spin bikes with motorised electronic magnetic resistance systems. This Echelon smart indoor bikes come with many features and a much smaller price tag compared to other auto-resistance spin bikes like Peloton+ or Tacx Neo.

The EX5s Indoor Exercise Bike features an extra sturdy, all-steel constructed frame and stabilizer bars to ensure that it will hold up to intense workout commonly associated with this type of exercise equipment.

The 28 lb rear-mounted flywheel and belt-driven transmission provide a super-smooth ride. The most significant benefit of having the flywheel mounted in the back is that you don’t worry about the sweat dripping down onto the steel flywheel. This also helps to reduce or eliminate the need for most maintenance.

The magnetic resistance technology is unique compared to other indoor cycling bikes with automatic resistance. It’s both manually adjustable so you can twist the knob and get your desired resistance or you can set the bike to change its resistance automatically when you are connected to Echelonfit. It can automatically replicate the feel of riding steep uphill climbs, downhill runs, and many other types of terrain.

The 22′′ touchscreen HD monitor displays all of the essential data from your workout, including; time, distance, calories, RPM, watt, and heart rate. The console is mounted directly to the handlebars so that it is straightforward to see and keep track of everything. This is extremely important to see precisely how you are performing with every stroke of the pedals.

Its display console includes a proprietary watt technology that helps the rider to be able to keep track of their power output which is an important metric and not always available on some spin bikes with auto-resistance.

Aside from the lack of cooling fans and a tablet holder, my main issue with this bike’s screen is that it doesn’t allow installing Zwift or Peloton applications. It only connect with the Echelon which is fine if you like Echelonfit application but not so great if you are a fan of Peloton or Zwift softwares.

I do appreciate the fact that Echelon includes a pair of SPD compatible pedals that allow you to do spinning with specific spinning shoes. Competitors like Nordictrack only come with toe cage pedals and yet those magnetic indoor bikes with automatic resistance cost more.

Pros:

  • It comes with both shoe clips and SPD guards to help hold your feet onto the pedals.
  • 32 Levels of automatic and optional manual magnetic resistance system.
  • Belt transmission and good US-based support and warranty.
  • 22′′ HD monitor with Speaker, charging ports, and Echelon app compatibility.

Cons

  • You need an additional subscription to access echelon cycling classes.
  • This bike is only compatible with the Echelon application.
  • No elbow rest or resistance controls on the handlebars.
  • Media tray not included with the bike.
8.9Expert Score
Editors Thoughts

I feel for Echelon they have a reputation as a cheaper Peloton but they are so much more than that and this bike really is something special. The Echelon EX5-S with automatic resistance emerges as a strong contender for Echelonfit enthusiasts. While it lacks handlebar resistance controls found in the Nordictrack S22i, it offers unique features that contribute to a fulfilling workout experience. The inclusion of shoe clips and SPD guards ensures stability and safety during rides. The electronically adjustable automatic magnetic resistance system, offering 32 levels, delivers a serene and smooth ride reminiscent of a fitness center. The 22″ HD monitor with integrated speakers and charging ports enhances the overall experience and seamlessly integrates with the Echelon app. However, it’s worth noting that if you prefer to use non-Echelon applications like Peloton, options such as jailbreaking the screen or disconnecting the built-in tablet may be considered, though purchasing the Echelon EX5 without a built-in screen would be a more cost-effective choice.


No 5

Freebeat Boom Indoor Cycling Bike with Auto-Resistance

 out of stock
Amazon.com

Freebeat is known for very high-quality best spin bikes with auto-resistance. The Boom Bike is an excellent example of this. This durable quality compact spin bike that can change resistance automatically is designed around a high-strength all-steel frame. It is a unique V-Shaped design and does look the part.

This indoor exercise bike uses an 15.4-lb flywheel mounted in the front of the bike with a fully protected cover to prevent sweat from dripping down and causing corrosion and other maintenance issues at same time making it safer for families with kids.

It features a belt drive system that connects the crankshaft and pedals to the flywheel using a very durable automotive-grade belt for extra durability. The additional resistance is generated using an eddy current transferred to the flywheel via a series of magnets by a smart motor that control the magnets.

You can set the bike to adjust automatically when you are connected to Freebeat app or use the knob to manually to adjust the amount of resistance by selecting the appropriate level. It’s similar to Echelon EX5 with the option of manual and electronic resistance.

Although the handlebars only unofortunalty adjust vertically, the saddle can thankfully adjust horizontally and vertically to help accommodate taller and larger riders. As long as you are anywhere from 4’11” to 6’5” and weigh under 297 lbs, you should be able to set up this auto-resistant spin bike for a comfortable indoor cycling session.

There are no tablet holder but there are two dumbbells and a holder that you can attach behind the seat and use for upper body workouts. I am all about its 15.6″ HD touchscreen but would have been great if there was media tray to keep your smartphone or tablet on the bike.

As you have already probably imagined, this Freebeat Boom indoor bike is only compatible with the Freebeat application. It’s a pretty common practice for exercise bikes with motorised resistance for online cycling, specially if they already have a built-in HD touchscreen.

Aside from its auto-resistance, and screen, it doesn’t really have any other remarkable features like incline or decline or gearing shifters on the handlebars or even cooling fan. So, when you compared to Nordictrack S22i, it’s a pretty basic bikes.

In terms of value, I think the bike offer great value for the price at $700 but considering that it only works with the Freebeat app and the full membership of the app costs $39 is too much. Other applications that provide virtual fitness classes like Ifit, Echelon, and Peloton have cheaper packages and have more variety and daily live classes.

Pros:

  • A 15.6″ HD touchscreen monitor to use with the Freebeat application.
  • Automatic magnetic resistance and manual knob adjustment system.
  • Watt, cadence, speed, resistance, distance, calories, and heart rate readings.
  • Dumbbells and dumbbell holder included.
  • A decent quality saddle for comfortable rides.

Cons:

  • Doesn’t work with Zwift, Peloton and other applications except for Freebeat.
  • No resistance controls on the handlebars.
  • No armrests and horizontal adjustments on the handlebars.
  • Pedals are caged and don’t have clipping area.
  • No tablet or phone holder on the bike.
  • 215mm distance between the cranks (Q-factor).
8.5Expert Score
Editors Thoughts

I have always had a soft sport for Freebeat auto-resistance spin bikes as the value is just so great. You get a Peloton Bike+ for one fourth of the Peloton Bike+ price. I would be happy with this for the money and would also look into their higher priced model, the Freebeat Lit bike as it’s just unbelievably good. It has a better sport saddle with smart on and off the saddle detection sensors for enhanced performance and a 2.1.5″ screen which is bigger than Freebeat Boom’s 15.6″ screen. It also has more ergonomic H design which is more comfortable and easier to fit than V-shape, plus two bottle holders.


No 6

Horizon 7.0 IC Motorised Magnetic Indoor Cycling Bike

 in stock
2 new from $723.00
Free shipping
Amazon.com

Horizon Fitness 7.0 is one of the best automatically adjustable magnetic spin bikes a on our list. While it is primarily a semi-commercial-grade Spin Bike, you will not find a better overall spin bike on the market for the price if you can afford it.

It was evolved after the Horizon 5.0 which has a smaller monitor (3×3 vs 5×5) and lack of handlebar horizontal adjustment. Guys at Horizon created the 7.0 addressing those issues to enhanced the overall comfort for the riders. Plus, the Horizon 7.0 IC has dual-sided pedals to accommodate gym and spinning shoes which is better than Horizon 5.0’s single sided cage pedals.

The reason I think it’s the best investment and even a better one than Freebeat is its FTMS Bluetooth system that allows connecting to the application of your choice. So far, every automatic resistance exercise bikes I reviewed and compared in this article, was only allowing the rider to connect the bike with the application of that brand. Thankfully that’s just not the case with Horizon Fitness 7.0 IC.

Plus, it has a nice tablet holder that you can place your own tablet, install Zwift or Peloton and connect the bike to that application while allowing the bike to automatically change your intensity level to match the virtual instructor you are following.

I do suggest that you use the QZ (Qodmoys-Zwift) application as a bridge for optimal connection between the bike and spin bike application of you choice. This QZ app will enable the bike to connect not just as a “cadence” but also speed, heart rate, watt, and controllable to apps like Zwift. So, if you end up buying this auto-resistance spin bike, I highly suggest that you also invest $5 for the QZ app to open a whole new world of possibilities.

Aside from Bluetooth FTMS, Horizon Fitness 7.0 indoor bike is also packed with all of the usual features that you will find on most of the high-end indoor exercise bikes with automatic resistance.

The frame is beautifully made and looks the part. I feel this bike supports the user and has a lovely connected feel to it while riding it. The weight capacity for this bike is 300-lbs which is very high and opens it up to a lot of users. Alongside this, the saddle and handlebars can move vertically and horizontally, which is a nice feature. Not all spin bikes that can change resistance automatically can do this. All this put together really helps you find the perfect position and can help in those longer sessions.

It features a 28.6-pound electroplated steel flywheel that is front-mounted. It uses a 100-level automatic magnetic resistance system that applies force to the flywheel via a series of magnets mounted just above the flywheel.

Using the frame-mounted dial, you can do emergency breaking but to add or remove resistance as you are riding you can use the buttons on the console. The flywheel is belt-driven, and it is attached to the crankshaft using a rubber drive belt. The pedals have both a toe clip mechanism for spd and mtb shoes and a toe cage so you can wear regular shoes.

The display of the computer is backlit LCD and easy to read so that you can follow your calories burned, distance, RPM, time, speed, resistance, watt, and heart rate. There are also a couple of extra bonuses like a free heart rate monitor and dual water bottle holders.

Pros:

  • Automatic magnetic resistance for a smooth and low-maintenance workout.
  • Easy to reach dual water bottle holders.
  • SPD elements on the pedals for gym and cycling shoes.
  • 5×5′′ high contrast LCD monitor compatible.
  • FTMS Bluetooth to connect with all major indoor cycling apps.

Cons:

  • No cooling fan and tablet holder is not angel adjustable.
  • Can’t install Peloton, Zwift and many other apps on the bike’s monitor.
  • There is no elbow rests on the handlebars.
  • No resistance controls on the handlebars.
  • Poor quality inspections by manufacturer.
8Expert Score
Editors Thoughts

The Horizon Fitness 7.0 indoor cycling exercise bike proves to be an excellent choice for fitness enthusiasts seeking a valuable investment. This indoor bike offers a host of benefits that enhance your home workout experience. Thanks to its automatic magnetic resistance, you can enjoy a smooth and hassle-free workout, ensuring consistent and challenging sessions. The dual water bottle holders conveniently placed within easy reach provide added convenience and ensure you stay properly hydrated during intense cycling sessions. Moreover, the SPD elements on the pedals allow for compatibility with both gym and cycling shoes, catering to a wide range of preferences. The 5×5” high contrast LCD monitor offers clear visibility of crucial workout metrics, while its compatibility with major indoor cycling apps through FTMS Bluetooth expands the bike’s versatility and connectivity options. Great Bike, Great Technology really not much to fault it on. Definitely worth the money. For the price, you can’t go wrong with the Bowflex C7


No 7

Echelon EX3 Indoor Cycling with Electronic Resistance

 in stock
2 new from $502.63
Free shipping
Amazon.com

When it comes to indoor cycling spinning bikes with automatic resistance, Echelon has established itself as a prominent player, rivaling even Peloton. I had the opportunity to review the Echelon EX3, which is one of their main models and offers impressive features and performance.

First and foremost, the EX3 boasts a sleek and beautiful design, available in three stylish colors: Black, Red, and Black and White. Its rear flywheel adds to the overall high-quality feel of the bike, making it visually appealing. Priced at $700, it falls within the lower-range category, where competition among spinning bikes is fierce.

Assembly of the EX3 is a breeze, with all the necessary tools provided and clear instructions. You just need to install the stabilisers, seat, handlebars, and pedals, the rest of the bike such flywheel, transmission, and cranks come pre-assembled.

Although its warranty period of one year may not be the longest, Echelon has built a solid reputation in the indoor cycling market, making it an intriguing contender against other mid-range spinning bikes.

While the EX3 doesn’t come with a built-in screen, it is designed to work seamlessly with your own tablet or phone. The bike features a sturdy holder for your device and even includes a convenient USB port for charging. By connecting your tablet via Bluetooth FTMS to the Echelon App, you gain access to a vast library of classes.

At the time of my review, there are around 3500 recorded classes available, including daily live sessions and a variety of workout options beyond spinning, such as Boxing, Pilates, HIIT, Strength and Conditioning. Although the app subscription comes at a cost of $39.99 per month, the Echelon community and diverse fitness offerings make it a worthwhile investment.

One notable feature of the EX3 is the ability to join live classes with friends and compare performance metrics afterward. During the classes, you have access to essential workout data, including time, distance, heart rate, calories, RPM, resistance level, and watts. To track heart rate, you’ll need a Bluetooth heart rate monitor which is not included. The power reading is estimated and not directly measured, which is understandable given the bike’s price point.

Many users wonder whether the EX3 can connect to popular apps like Peloton, Kinompa, Strava, and Zwift. Fortunately, it integrates seamlessly with both. While linking with Peloton allows only RPM and controllable resistance, connecting to Zwift offers a broader range of data, including cadence/RPM, speed, heart rate, and controllable resistance.

To connect with Zwift, you’ll need the Qdomyos Zwift application as a bridge, but this allows you to enjoy the benefits of both platforms. It’s worth noting that Echelonfit runs its own subscription platform, which explains the need for the bridge app.

The EX3 features a belt drive transmission system, specifically designed to be user-friendly and maintenance-free. The polymer belt ensures durability and longevity without the need for lubrication. The bike’s magnetic frictionless resistance system provides smooth and effortless resistance adjustments.

What impressed me the most was the bike’s quiet operation, making it an excellent choice for those living in apartments or cycling at odd hours. With 32 resistance levels easily adjustable via the front dial manually or doing it automatically on apps like Zwift and Peloton, the EX3 caters to users of all fitness levels, allowing for progression as you become fitter.

The EX3 also includes high-quality pedals that go beyond basic toe clips. They offer SPD clip-in options for those who prefer to use specific indoor cycling shoes. This unexpected feature at this price point adds value and versatility to the bike. The pedal thread is also a standard 9/16, allowing for easy replacement if you prefer Look Delta or SPD-SL clips.

When considering the Echelon EX3 as the best spin bike with auto-resistance for households with different indoor cycling applications, it’s essential to compare it with its counterpart, the Echelon EX5. Both models offer impressive features, but they do have some differences worth noting.

Starting with the similarities, both the Echelon EX3 and EX5 share a weight capacity of 300 pounds, ensuring stability and support for a wide range of users. They also offer FTMS Bluetooth connectivity, allowing for seamless integration with various fitness apps and platforms.

In terms of their pros, both models provide automatic magnetic resistance, which ensures smooth and effortless adjustments during workouts. They also feature dual-sided pedals with SPD and cages, catering to different preferences for foot placement during rides. Additionally, the Echelon EX3 and EX5 boast sturdy builds and excellent quality, ensuring durability and longevity.

However, there are notable differences between the two models. The Echelon EX5 offers both horizontal and vertical handlebar adjustments, providing users with more customization options for their riding positions. On the other hand, the Echelon EX3 only offers vertical handlebar adjustment, limiting the degree of customization.

The EX5 also features advanced handlebars with aero bars, providing additional comfort and multiple hand positions during intense rides. In contrast, the EX3 has basic handlebars without aero bars, which may be less optimal for riders seeking a wider range of grip options.

Another distinction is the media tray placement. The Echelon EX5 has a detached media tray, separate from the handlebars, offering superior convenience for holding items such as tablets and phone. In contrast, the EX3 has a media tray attached to the handlebars, which may be considered inferior in terms of accessibility and functionality.

Price-wise, the Echelon EX5 is priced at $999, while the EX3 comes at a slightly lower price point of $799. Despite the price difference, both models provide similar support, with a weight capacity of 300 pounds and height capacity of 5 feet to 6.4 feet.

Neither the EX3 nor the EX5 have built-in screens or monitors, requiring an app connection (not paid subscription) for accessing workout stats. However, the EX5 compensates for this by including dual bottle holders, allowing users to conveniently hydrate during workouts. The EX3, in comparison, features a single bottle holder.

Additionally, both models lack a built-in power meter, relying on estimated power readings. They also do not include armrests on the handlebars, which may affect comfort for some users during longer rides.

Pros:

  • There is a shroud that covers over the otherwise exposed flywheel that prevents sweat from getting onto it.
  • Adjustable tablet holder and USB charging port.
  • The heavy-duty all-steel frame and support stabilizer bars add extra sturdiness that keeps it from feeling like it might tip over.
  • Powerful and silent automatic and manual magnetic resistance system for a peaceful, enjoyable ride.
  • Dual-sided spin bike SPD pedals for cycling shoes and regular athletic shoes.
  • Comes equipped with Bluetooth FTMS connectivity.

Cons:

  • Watt reading is an estimation (not power meter) and there are no elbow pads on the handlebars
  • No streaming or entertainment options on the bike.
  • No built-in console on the bike so you need to use your device.
  • Handlebars don’t adjust horizontally for a more customised setup.
  • No resistance controls on the handlebars.
7.9Expert Score
Editors Thoughts

Overall, the Echelon EX3 and EX5 share many positive attributes, such as automatic magnetic resistance, sturdy builds, and FTMS Bluetooth connectivity. However, the EX5 offers additional features such as horizontal handlebar adjustment, advanced handlebars with aero bars, and a detached shelf, at a higher price. Meanwhile, the EX3 provides a more affordable option with vertical handlebar adjustment and a basic handlebar design. So, based on your budget you can choose between these two top of the line automatic magnetic resistance spin bikes. They are both good value spin bikes with auto-resistance.


Do Spin bikes Come Fully Assembled?

Virtually all spin bikes don’t come fully assembled. They are usually delivered partially assembled with an instruction manual and assembly tools. However, some brands offer in-house assembly at a fee, to spare you the chore.

Are Spin Bikes Hard to Assemble?

It depends; some spin bikes are easy to assemble, some are moderately easy to assemble while some are difficult to piece together. You should always read reviews to gauge the ease of assembly before purchase.

Will Riding a Spin Bike Thicken my Calve?

No, instead it does the opposite when used correctly. Your calves will lose a good portion of their fat with consistent rides and become thinner.

Are Spin bikes Noisy?

This boils down to the drive and belt system the bike uses. Spin bikes that use chain drive and felt pads are characteristically noisy, while those that use magnetic resistance and a belt-driven system are typically quiet.

Can You Replace a Spin Bike Seat if it is Uncomfortable?

If you notice that your spin bike seat is uncomfortable, you can swap the seat for a more comfortable one or get a seat bike cover. There are several on the market you can choose from.

Can You do HIIT workouts on a Spin Bike?

Yes, you can perform HIIT workouts on a spin bike but it won’t be full body HIIT workout as spin bikes mainly use the lower body. In order to do fully body HIIT exercise, you need air resistance exercise bikes.

What is Indoor Online Cycling?

Indoor online virtual cycling combines the physical act of pedaling on a stationary bike with immersive virtual environments and interactive technology. So, participants can experience the sensation of outdoor cycling and engage in virtual cycling classes or races. All you need to do is log onto your computer and pedal away while watching videos of cyclists worldwide or moving your avatar with other cyclists in a virtual world.

Virtual cycling platforms offer a variety of experiences, including pre-recorded cycling videos or interactive virtual worlds. For example, individuals can simulate cycling through mountains, forests, or urban landscapes, synchronized with their speed and resistance settings. Moreover, some platforms like Peloton, iFit, Freebeat, and Echelon provide live classes or races led by professional instructors or virtual coaches, allowing participants to interact with other cyclists in real-time.

Indoor online cycling provides several benefits. Firstly, it adds an element of entertainment and engagement to indoor workouts. Therefore, it makes them more enjoyable and motivating. The immersive environments and interactive features create a sense of presence and excitement, enhancing the overall workout experience.

Secondly, virtual cycling offers flexibility and convenience. Participants can access virtual cycling platforms at any time, choosing from a wide range of classes or routes to suit their preferences and fitness goals. They are not limited by outdoor cycling conditions or group class schedules, allowing them to ride whenever and wherever they want.

Furthermore, virtual cycling provides performance tracking and data analysis. You can monitor your speed, distance, power output, and other metrics in real-time. You can also review your workout data afterward at the end of each week or month. This information helps you track your progress, set goals, and adjust your training accordingly.

However, there are also considerations for virtual cycling. You need to ensure you have a suitable stationary bike like the ones I reviewed in the article or smart turbo trainer that is compatible with the virtual cycling platform of your choice. You also require a reliable internet connection and a device like smart TV, laptop, tablet, or phone capable of running the virtual cycling software. In case these requirements are not met, the experience may be compromised espcielly for apps like Zwift that require good quality graphic, storage and ram.

Overall indoor virtual spinning offers a dynamic and engaging way to experience cycling indoors. Trust me when I say it, it’s less boring that cycling on your own. You can engage in virtual classes, races, and explore virtual worlds. It not only provides entertainment and motivation but also offers flexibility, convenience, and performance tracking. To fully enjoy an online indoor cycling class, I strongly suggest that you use a spin bike with auto-resistance system instead of manual resistance or friction resistance.

Key Decision-Making Factors For Auto-Resistance Spin Bikes

All of them are designed to last for many, many years due to their heavy-duty all-steel construction. They feature long wear and highly durable powder-coated finishes that not only look good but will last for years. Spinning bikes such as Tacx Neo that are entirely made by and for cycling enthusiasts are incredibly high quality and built to last forever.

Adjustability: Look for spin bikes that offer both horizontal and vertical adjustability for the seat and handlebars. This allows you to find the most comfortable riding position and reduce the risk of discomfort or pain during extended workouts.

Resistance System: Magnetic resistance is generally preferred over friction-based systems due to its smoother and quieter operation. Additionally, auto-magnetic resistance provides the added convenience of automatic adjustment, eliminating the need to manually change resistance levels.

Connectivity: Opt for spin bikes that offer Bluetooth FTMS connectivity. This feature allows you to connect the bike to a wide range of fitness apps and platforms, providing access to workout tracking, data analysis, and interactive training programs.

Pedals: Look for spin bikes that come with dual-sided pedals, featuring both SPD clips and cages. This allows you to use cycling shoes with cleats for a secure and efficient pedal stroke, or use regular athletic shoes with the cages for flexibility.

Sturdiness and Stability: Ensure that the spin bike is sturdy enough to handle your weight and provide a stable platform for intense workouts. Heavy-duty construction, all-steel frames, and durable powder-coated finishes contribute to the longevity and stability of the bike.

Workout Computer and Displays: A spin bike equipped with a workout computer or LCD display enhances your cycling experience by providing essential metrics such as cadence, wattage, distance, speed, and heart rate. Some models even offer touch screens that can integrate with specific software or online fitness services.

Pedal-Foot Restraint Systems: Consider the type of pedal-foot restraint system that suits your preferences. Options include toe clips that connect directly to cycling shoes, toe cages that provide additional grip, or a combination of both. These systems prevent your feet from slipping off the pedals during intense workouts.

By evaluating a spin bike’s performance in these key areas, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your specific needs and preferences. Remember to prioritize adjustability, resistance system, connectivity, pedals, sturdiness, workout computer, and pedal-foot restraint systems to find the best auto-resistance spin bike for your indoor cycling workouts.

9.9Expert Score
Best Spin Bikes With Auto-Resistance

When it comes to the best spin bikes with auto-resistance, the Tacx Neo indoor bike takes the lead, offering a smooth ride and compatibility with popular indoor cycling apps like Zwift, Kinomap, Peloton, and Garmin. However, there are other impressive indoor cycling bikes with automatic-resistance available in the market. For instance, the Nordictrack S22i, Peloton Bike+, Echelon EX-5S, Freebeat Boom, Horizon Fitness 7.0 IC, and Echelon EX3 each possess their own unique strengths to cater to diverse preferences and budgets. In this comprehensive review, guide, and comparison article, I will provide an in-depth evaluation of these top 7 indoor cycling bikes with automatic resistance, highlighting their performance across various categories and showcasing what sets them apart from their competitors. Additionally, I will delve into the benefits and drawbacks of these exercise bikes with motorised resistance, drawing on my original research and findings. Moreover, I will explore the evolution of these magnetic indoor bikes with automatic resistance, shedding light on the advancements made compared to previous models. To assist you further in making an informed purchase decision, I have included a buying guide that outlines the key factors to consider. Discover why these spin bikes that can change resistance automatically are considered the best in the industry for online cycling classes.

Adjustability
9.7
Display
10
Sturdy
9.6
Comfort
10
Perfromance
10
Pros
  • Convenience: With automatic resistance, there's no need to manually adjust the resistance level during your workout. The exercise bike automatically adjusts the resistance based on the program or settings you choose, allowing for a seamless and uninterrupted workout experience.
  • Precise and Consistent Resistance: Automatic resistance ensures precise and consistent resistance levels throughout your workout. This eliminates the guesswork and ensures that you're always training at the desired intensity, resulting in more effective and targeted workouts.
  • Real-time Feedback: Many spin bikes with automatic resistance offer real-time feedback on your performance, including metrics like speed, resistance level, distance, heart rate, and power output. This information can help you track your progress, set goals, and make adjustments to optimize your training.
  • Integration with Fitness Apps: Automatic resistance spin bikes often have compatibility with popular fitness apps, such as Zwift, Peloton, iFit, Echelonfit, or Kinomap. This integration allows you to access interactive training sessions, virtual routes, and community challenges, adding an element of excitement and motivation to your workouts.
  • Suitable for Multiple Users: Automatic resistance bikes can easily accommodate multiple users with varying fitness levels. Each user can set their preferred resistance profile or heart rate zone, and the bike will automatically adjust the resistance according to their individual settings, making it convenient for households or fitness studios.
Cons
  • Limited App Compatibility: Most spin bikes with auto-resistance are designed to connect and automatically change resistance only when connected to specific brand applications. This limited compatibility may restrict your options and prevent you from utilizing other popular fitness apps or programs.
  • Dependency on Electricity: Automatic resistance spin bikes require a continuous power supply as they rely on an electronic motor for resistance adjustment. This means that if there is a power outage or if you prefer to use the bike in a location without access to electricity, you won't be able to adjust the resistance manually.
  • Increased Maintenance: The presence of an electronic motor in spin bikes with automatic resistance introduces additional components that require maintenance. Over time, these bikes may require more upkeep compared to manual resistance bikes, as the electronic motor and associated mechanisms can be more susceptible to wear and tear.
  • Noise Levels: The motor used to change the resistance in automatic spin bikes can generate some noise during operation. The extent of the noise can vary depending on the specific make and brand of the bike, potentially leading to a less silent or peaceful workout environment compared to manual resistance bikes.

Robbie Ferri
Robbie Ferri

Robbie Ferri from “Riding with Robbie” has been cycling for almost ten years. In that time, he has broken World Records, Bikepacked all over the World, and also raced ultra distance at a top-level. Robbie picked up a bike and started cycling when he was about 25 years old and said it was the best thing he ever did. The experiences and the fun he’s had have given him a huge passion for helping inspire others to ride further, farther, and get fitter.

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