A bike is a great investment and fun way to keep fit – but riding it in the winter months can be a nightmare when it’s so cold out. If, like many other cyclists, you are tired of locking yours up for 3-4 months every year and don’t want to waste money on an expensive exercise machine, maybe it’s time you thought about getting a stationary training stand.
Stationary training stands are the perfect compromise between a heavy, expensive exercise machine and the real thing – you use your own bike, attached to a magnetic flywheel mechanism which raises your rear wheel off the ground, and hey, presto! You’ve got your own exercise machine to use at home whenever you feel like it. You can create a personal spin class training sessions from the comfort of your garage.
Different stands suit different types and sizes of bike – so depending on your needs, you might be looking for a bit of help deciding what to buy. Luckily, we’ve written up a list of our top 10 best stationary bike stands including all the information we think you’ll need to make a decision. Whether you’d prefer the silence of an Alpcour or the fluid action of a Sportneer, we’ve covered all the important bits for you. Read on for our full stationary bike stand buying guide.
Top 10 Best Stationary Bike Stands
1. Sportneer Bike Trainer
The Sportneer Bike Trainer stand comes highly recommended by users – it has a sturdy alloy steel frame, 6 resistance settings and is compatible with any road or mountain bike with a 26-28″ wheel (700c) and a rear axle anywhere between 4.92′ and 6.57′. It is also surprisingly easy to set up. Sportneer are known for their customer service – if you have any issues with your frame, try contacting them directly and they will always be more than happy to accommodate you.
- Stability – This stationary bike stand is small and sturdy, and guarantees safety when you are riding, even on uneven flooring thanks to the adjustable anti-slip rubber feet on the base.
- Easy to assemble – Construction is easy since the Sportneer bike stand comes pre-assembled and ready to go, so all it takes is a few minutes to set up your bike and you are good to go!
- Compatibility – You can use the Sportneer with any road or mountain bike with a 26-28″ 700c wheel and 4.92′-6.57′ rear axle. Some other stands will support a bigger range of bike sizes.
- Colors -If you are looking for something flashy, the Sportneer might not be for you since it only comes in black. Some other stands will give you a range of colors – but of course, if you are using this at home then you might not be expecting to show it off very much!
The BalanceFrom one-piece magnetic stand is compatible with any mountain, road or city bike with a 26-28″ rear wheel, just like the Sportneer at number 1 on our list. The wide base works on almost any surface and guarantees stability for up to 330 lbs. Like the Sportneer, BalanceFrom will suit anything at 700c or with a 26-28 inch tyre.
- 8 resistance levels – The BalanceFrom can be set to a whopping 8 different resistance levels (not including gears) meaning that you are covered for any difficulty of workout you like, from a nice downhill cycle to intense mountain riding.
- Raised front wheel riser block – It doesn’t sound like much, but our favourite thing about the BalanceFrom is the size of the riser block for your forward wheel – this is raised higher than most so that your bike is (almost) completely level when it set up on the stand. The wheel block is an additional item which comes included in the box.
- Loud – We found the bigger resistance pads to create a bit more friction with your rear wheel than some other bike stands – so this one can be a little too noisy sometimes the higher up in resistance you go. As with all other options, rough tyres seem to be the worst for this. Try sticking to narrower or smaller tyres where possible.
- Not durable – At its low price, this stationary bike stand is great for starters who don’t expect to be using it as often as pros. But if you expect to have your own spin class multiple times per week, or your bike is a little bit heavier, you might find the constant pressure causes the base skewer to bend slightly. If you’re hoping to make a long-term investment, this might not be the one for you.
3. Alpcour Bike Trainer Stand
The Alpcour is a stationary bike stand for pros. It has a slightly higher price mark than some of the other bike stands, but still easily transportable thanks to the lightweight foldable frame and sturdy travel bag. The Alpcour is compatible with most 26-29″ wheels and 700c road bikes.
- Quiet – The Alpcour is a particularly smooth stationary ride, and the magnetic flywheel mechanism has been designed with noise reduction in mind. Unless you are using particularly rough or wide tyres, we found the Alpcour to be practically silent!
- Lightweight Frame – When we first felt how light the box was, we were afraid some parts would be missing – we’ve never seen a design this sleek and compact. A big plus for the Alpcour stationary bike stand is its portability – it even comes with a sturdy travel back so you can take this foldable stand anywhere.
- Not adjustable – The Alpcour stationary bike stand is not adjustable for different sizes of axle, so check directly with the manufacturer to be sure that your bike will fit on the frame before making your purchase.
- Sturdiness – The lightweight foldable frame is excellent for convenience, but if you’re pushing to the highest of the 6 resistance settings it doesn’t provide as much stability as some other, heavier frames.
4. BestMassage Bike Trainer
BestMassage is a terrific stationary bike stand for beginners – it has a quiet, compact flywheel design with adjustable height and is suitable for indoor and outdoor use thanks to the plastic stands on the base.
- Affordable – If you have never owned a stationary bike stand, and you’re not sure if it will be worth the investment, this base is a great place to start. The price tag is very reasonable compared to other stands of the same quality.
- Quality assured for up to 300 lbs – The plastic anti slip feet on the base provide stability on most surfaces, so this bike stand is suitable for indoor and outdoor use, and the screw rods are an extra secure way of fixing your bike to the stand.
- Five resistance levels – Maybe we were just too used to the six resistance settings offers by other stationary bike stands, but the five offered by Best Massage felt like we couldn’t quite get the variety of workout some other stands will provide. This is only an issue if you want to vary your riding intensity quite drastically, or if your bike stand will be used by a beginner as well as a pro.
- No quick release skewer – Loading and unloading your bike takes a little longer than with most designs because it is attached to the frame via a screw rod instead of a skewer, like most designs. If you are not too bothered by this, or don’t plan on loading and unloading regularly, this shouldn’t be much of a problem.
5. Sportneer Fluid Training Stand
Yes – we’re back to Sportneer. Another entry from this exercise company is their fluid bike trainer stand, which gets its name from the almost frictionless spinning resistance wheel which will bring you as close as possible to an authentic road like feel for easy riding. The bike stand is also super sturdy as has a unique dual locking system for additional peace of mind.
- Fluid resistance wheel – Unlike a flywheel bike stand which use resistance pads, this one uses a resistance wheel which is attached at the base. This makes the design far lighter and more compact, and it also makes the experience feel like cycling on a road.
- Cool and compact design – A bit of a vanity point, but we absolutely adore the fluid bike trainer stand design. The construction looks elegant – almost futuristic – and you can take it with you anywhere with ease.
- Assembly – The biggest issue with this stationary bike stand is the assembly time. It is heavy duty, s0 takes a bit longer to get set up than some others, and the instructions are not particularly clear, so if you are looking for a stationary trainer which comes pre-assembled so you can start cycling immediately, we’d recommend looking elsewhere. This one is worth it in the end – if you have the patience.
- Resistance – There is a downside to the fluid resistance system – at its best, it does not provide the same level of resistance as the other flywheel mechanisms. This can be great for noise reduction, but not if you are looking for a difficult or high-intensity workout bike stand.
6. Deuter Bike Trainer
The Deuter stationary bike stand has all the specifications you would ever need for indoor training – a quick release skewer, 330 lbs capacity, six resistance settings, and a raiser block for the front wheel. On top of this, it will suit anything with 700c wheels, or wheels with a 26-28″ diameter.
- Best of both worlds– Despite being a product with a foldable steel frame construction, the Deuter is a fairly heavy duty bicycle trainer. It guarantees a 330 lbs capacity which lets you use bikes on the heavier end of the scale – making this one more suitable for pro use.
- Comes in 4 color options – We are absolute suckers for style, and the color options available with the Deuters bike stand really spoke to us. Where most other products only come in black, the range of options in blue, black, yellow or red mean there will definitely be a color for everyone!
- Noisier than some other products – It wasn’t a deal breaker, but we found this bike stand is a bit more noticeable when in use since the resistance pads create quite a bit of noise on higher settings. Every single indoor trainer will make a little more noise when you use thicker wheels – but we found this design to hate thick wheels more than most.
- Requires a quick release axle – Not all bikes will be compatible with the Deuter bike stand. Even if yours is the right fit, you should make sure it has a QR axle or it might not be compatible with this product. Look out for a thin metal skewer running through the hubs of your rear axle. Most bikes come pre-installed with this – and you can have one installed if yours doesn’t.
7. Sibosen Bike Trainer
Compared to the other products on our list, the Sibosen bike stand has the best capacity. Suitable for weight limits up to a whopping 350 lbs, and mountain bikes with wheels between 24-28″ or 700c road bikes, the construction strength and wide base make this by far the most secure option for heavy duty stationary cyclists. There is also a remote controller so you can alter resistance levels without getting off your bike. It is very easy to assemble – although it contains quite a lot of parts, so when you first take it out of the box it will probably look like a bit of a challenge.
- Capacity – 350 lbs is the heaviest capacity trainer of any indoor bike trainer we have come across. If you have a particularly heavy bike, or are worried about the durability of your purchase, you can sleep easy knowing the Sibosen bike stand will handle whatever you put on it.
- Customer Service – Sibosen are a company who really care about their customers. They are always more than happy to help if you have any issues – which we doubt you will.
- Noise – Probably owing to its strength, the magnetic flywheel on the Sibosen bike stand makes more noise than some other products. This isn’t very noticeable at setting one, but becomes louder as you increase intensity. Make sure you aren’t using thick or rough tyres.
- Five resistance levels – We’ve mentioned this issue before when talking about the BestMassage Bike Trainer, but the five resistance levels feels like a bit of a shame when there are some bike stands out there with up to eight different settings. This is only an issue if you need a lot of variety in your workout intensity.
8. Bike Lane Premium Trainer
Coming in a cool, compact silver design, the Bike Lane Premium Trainer bike stand is somehow sturdy and easily portable at the same time. It is surprisingly small when you first take it out the box , and comes in at only 18.5 lbs, but the wide frame provides a surprising level of safety, despite being foldable for easy storage. This stationary bike stand is suitable for 700c or 27″ bikes.
- Durable – The steel bike stand and internal magnetic rotor guarantee minimal resistance, meaning you should be able to use this as many times as you like without worrying about the friction to your tyres causing any damage to your bike – or to the base.
- Portable – This is perhaps the smallest of our 10 best picks – only 18.7 x 21.5 x 12 inches. This did not cause any problems for us since it is also deceptively sturdy, and it is good to have a bike stand which is lightweight and compact for convenient storage.
- Not easy to assemble – A few of our picks here come fully or almost pre-assembled, and don’t require too much effort to piece together the first time. The Bike Lane bike stand is not as easy to set up these other products, with various different pieces in the box including the noise reduction wheel, the anti slip plastic feet, and the front wheel riser block
- Quite a basic model – While it does the job, the stainless steel frame is unlikely to win any construction awards. If you are looking for convenience, especially if you plan on regularly alternating between your bike stand and outdoor riding, this may not be for you.
9. FDW Bike Trainer Stand
The FDW comes at a reasonable price tag and has pretty much everything you would need – magnetic resistance, adjustable height, the lot. There are only 5 resistance levels, but this stationary bike stand has a capacity of 300 lbs and the jumps between levels are quite significant, so there is still a pretty good workout range available.
- Affordable – Coming in at $79.99, the FDW is a great investment for a new cyclist, or someone who hasn’t done a lot of indoor training before. Some stationary bike trainers can go for hundreds of dollars, so it is always exciting to find an affordable model which does just as good a job.
- Easy to set up – There aren’t many spare parts in the box, so the entire bike stand comes almost fully assembled. We managed to put it all together in around 10 minutes with some fairly simple instructions.
- Simple design – This is a bit of a vanity point, which won’t bother you too much if you aren’t looking for a particularly impressive bike stand. At the end of the day, if you are just using your stationary trainer at home you probably don’t care how it looks. But we have to admit that the frame looks a little bit basic.
- Compact frame not suitable for bigger tyres – We wouldn’t recommend particularly thick tyres for any bike stand – the most common complaint for stationary bike trainers in general are noise complaints owing to tyres too large for the frame. The FDW’s compact design makes it a prime target for these issues – there is not much room left for thicker tyres than necessary.
10. 1114 RAD Portable Bicycle Trainer
Suitable for mountain bikes with a 26-28 inch wheel or 700c road bikes, the RAD did not disappoint. This stationary bike stand has a slightly lighter weight capacity of 275 lbs than a lot of other pics, but if your bike is light enough then this shouldn’t be much of a problem. It is also low down, so you are closer to the floor than with most other products. This means that bikes are almost perfectly level when you put the forward wheel on the anti slip block which comes included in the box. Our favourite part was the resistance controls which clamp straight on to your handlebars and attach to the bike stand with wires, making it feel like turning the gears on a regular outdoor ride for authenticity.
- 7 magnetic resistance levels – Most stationary trainers only come with six, so having that extra one comes in handy when you really want to push yourself that little bit further. Additionally, the resistance levels can be changed using controllers which are clamped to your bikes handlebars – so you can change the intensity of your workout with ease.
- Simple attachment – As well as being easy to set up, there is an incredibly simple quick release axle system to attach bikes to the bike stand – attaching and detaching only takes a matter of seconds.
- Weight capacity – Most bikes and cyclists come well under the RAD’s 275 lbs maximum weight capacity, so this shouldn’t actually be too much of a problem. But if the maximum weight limit is important to you, you should know that most other stationary bike stands guarantee to withstand that little bit extra.
- Tyre capacity – Another related issue is that tyre width really shouldn’t go beyond the recommended size, as the construction does not leave a lot of room between your tyre and the back of the bike stand.
What is the best stationary bike stand?
There are no items in our top 10 buying guide which we would not recommend – although some are definitely more suited to different people, depending on things like how much use you intend on getting out of your indoor bike trainer. On balance, the best stationary bike stand is probably the Alpcour Bike Stand, which ticks the most boxes for us. The 300 lbs weight limit was more than enough for our needs, and most bikes come within the 26-29 inch diameter limits so you shouldn’t have any compatibility issues. The slightly higher price tag is worth it when you realise how easy to set up this bike stand is – and how portable it is, if that’s something you will need.
We have found the biggest issue for any stationary bike stand tends to be noise. Of course, a regular exercise machine is quite loud, so we didn’t mind too much with most of them. But the Alpcour bike stand is one of the quietest. With the right tyres, you can even watch TV in your home while exercising – that’s the dream!
Remember, if you are looking for a specific characteristic – for example, a better capacity for heavier bikes, or a fluid bike trainer – make sure you check out the individual products on our list which are better suited for your needs. What we found is that, on the whole, Alpcour had the most advantages with the fewest drawbacks.
What is the best indoor bike trainer stand?
The best stationary bike stand for you depends on your needs. As we have said, the Alpcour ticks the most boxes, but for flow and authenticity the Sportneer fluid trainer is quite special. Well suited for mountain bikes, if you aren’t too sure about switching to a stationary bike stand then this will feel the most genuine. The fluid resistance wheel is different to the flywheel mechanisms used by most other options.
How do you turn a regular bike into a stationary bike?
You’d be surprised how easy it is to turn your regular peddler into a stationary exercise bike – but you’ll need a proper bike stand. Depending on the type of base you buy, there will be different ways of attaching different bikes. Most use a flywheel system, meaning it attaches directly to your bikes rear axle using a special sort of skewer, and most products come with a front wheel riser block for that added bit of stability.
The main benefit to this is that you can put your bike on and off the bike stand whenever you like – while some mechanisms vary and might take longer than others, even with the most difficult options it should only take you a couple of minutes to attach or detach – meaning if it’s a particularly nice day and you’d rather do some cycling outside at the last minute, the added hassle of detaching from your bike stand won’t put you off.
Most stationary bike stand designs are compact and fairly lightweight – not only are you saving money or a gym membership or your own personalised exercise machine, but you can take your stationary bike stand with you almost anywhere. Exercise bikes are famously heavy – if you live in an apartment or wanted to exercise upstairs in your home, you’d probably need help getting an exercise machine up there. Turning your own bike into an exercise machine means that you won’t be tired out from moving your equipment before you even start cycling!
What muscles are used when riding a stationary bike?
Riding stationary bikes uses most of the same muscles as outdoor cycling. The main difference is simply gradient – since there are no hills indoors, you are riding at a more consistently flat level. This is what the resistance levels are for – the simulate the experience of changing gradients in an outdoor ride. The upper leg muscles do the most work when cycling, however- these are your quadriceps and hamstrings. You will also get a bit of work in your leg’s lower muscles – the gastrocnemius and the soleus, which are in your calf.