Obviously the first consideration will be cost and it’s good to have a clear budget before you go to the store or indeed shop online. After cost the most crucial aspect to get right on an exercise bike is comfort. If the seat is not comfortable you’re unlikely to keep to a regular exercise regime. This is probably one of the main reasons why it’s still best to shop in person for such pieces of exercise equipment.
The frame of the bike should feel solid and very sturdy – you know the feeling when you can tell that something is well built. The important parts on the bike such as the seat angle, height and the handle bars should all be adjustable so you can match the bike to your body for a perfect fit. Don’t be afraid to get on the bike in the store, with permission of course, and try it out. After all there’s no other way to really know if it’s going to be comfortable right?
Noise level is another factor with fitness bikes, some of them can actually be quite noisy and this aspect of the buying process is easily overlooked by many people. Even if the sound it makes is small, with constant repetition it can develop into something which you’ll find highly annoying. Look for models which have variable magnetic resistance as they are usually also quieter.
As stated before, unless you are quite familiar with exercise bikes from using them at the gym you shouldn’t buy one online or from a catalog. It’s far better to go along in person to the store where you’ll hopefully get some great advice from knowledgeable staff.