Fitness & Equipment Guides > Bike trainer vs. exercise bike: which is best?

Bike trainer vs. exercise bike: which is best?

29th Nov 21

If you want to start cycling inside, it all boils down to the question, indoor bike trainer vs. exercise bike? So which is best? We explain both products in detail to make your decision a little easier.

Want to move fast? Jump to the right section below.

What is an indoor bike trainer?

A bike trainer will allow you to ride your outdoor bike inside. By attaching to or replacing your bike’s rear wheel, your bicycle is transformed into a stationary bike. Resistance is provided through a flywheel or through the bike’s cassette, so it feels like you’re riding outside – just without the risk of wind, rain and busy roads!

The biggest advantage of an indoor bike trainer is that you can use your own bike. Other pros include its portability and compactness. The downsides are that it can take a little time to set up, and sometimes it can get noisy. If you don’t already own a bike, the cost of a new bike plus an indoor bike trainer will probably be more than buying an actual indoor bike. If you’re just purchasing the bike trainer, you can expect to spend anything between £40.00 and £1000.00.

What is an exercise bike?

An exercise bike is an indoor stationary bike with a seat, handlebars and pedals which are attached to a fixed base. Often, the seat and handlebars will be adjustable to suit users of different shapes and sizes. Exercise bikes are either upright or recumbent (the latter being more suitable for users desiring a lower impact workout that’s easier on the knees). An exercise bike creates its resistance through either a magnets, air or contact.

Nowadays, exercise bikes are designed with integrated digital computers that track your progress, as well as offering workout programmes. The biggest benefit is that they’re super easy to use. Also, you don’t need to own an outdoor bicycle. What’s more, they are very quiet. There are also many compact and foldable options to choose from, so you needn’t miss out if you’re pushed for space.

Which is best?

If you are deciding between an indoor bike trainer or an indoor exercise bike, consider your budget, your requirements and the space you have available. If you are looking for the most cost effective option, we would always recommend an affordable exercise bike. Or if you want to simulate the outdoor riding experience, an indoor bike trainer would be better. Meanwhile, if you want something that’s smart and technologically advanced, we’d also sway towards an exercise bike – possibly something like the Inspire IC1.5C, which comes with a year’s free subscription to the Inspire app. And if you are short on space, an indoor bike trainer is a better option, or alternatively a foldable exercise bike.

As you can see, when it comes to an indoor bike trainer vs. exercise bike, every customer is different. But if an exercise bike is the better option for you, we’d certainly recommend taking a look at our fantastic range of exercise bikes at, which include upright bikes, club bikes and recumbent bikes. Shop now!


Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.

If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.