Exercise bikes average noise production is between 55 decibels and 75 decibels. Those numbers are roughly equal to something between the sound of a percolating coffee maker and the noise made by a vacuum cleaner. Generally, exercise bike noise is not horrible–if you are in your own basement. But in an apartment building, the bike noise combined with the possible vibrations created could be annoying to your neighbors.
If you are in the market for a quiet exercise bike, here are some of the best and quietest on the market.
Note: These decibel ratings do not include the noise of your video trainer’s exhortations, the TV, or any music you might play.
Types of Exercise Bikes
Although there are numerous exercise bike options available, most of them fall into the following categories. Most manufacturers offer many different flywheel sizes, bike sizes, seat options, and lots of other bells and whistles.
Upright Bike or Recumbent Bike
Upright bikes are the most popular choice of exercise bike. They take up less space, allow for more vigorous exercise programs, and come with more options. Generally, they also make more noise than recumbent bikes because they allow, and encourage more aggressive exercise. Upright bikes provide a more complete workout.
Recumbent bikes are a much better choice for people with back problems, arthritis, and for older exercisers. They do not transfer as much noise and vibration to the floor because most of the bodyweight is supported by a soft seat that is not over the pedals.
Friction Resistance or Magnetic Resistance
Friction resistance exercise bikes work by having a soft brake applied to the flywheel. Various settings will increase the pressure on the flywheel, thereby increasing resistance. The noise caused by the friction between wheel and brake can be fairly noisy.
Magnetic resistance exercise bikes use magnets to increase flywheel resistance. They tend to be much quieter because there is no direct contact between magnets and wheel. Not only quieter, but they require less maintenance because there is less wear.
Note: Air resistance bikes work by having the pedals drive a large fan. The harder you pedal the more resistance. Along with way more noise than either of the other options.
10 Quietest Exercise Bikes
If you are buying an exercise bike for the first time or replacing one that has passed its best before date, this list includes many different types and styles for your consideration. Hopefully, you will find what you need.
1) Sunny SF-B1002 Health & Fitness Indoor Cycling Exercise Bike
The Sunny SF-B1002 Health & Fitness Indoor Cycling Exercise Bike has a 49 lb. flywheel to produce the same feeling you get when pedaling a road bike, and creates more momentum–reducing jerky, out of control movements. A smooth and reliable maintenance free belt drive system provides quiet operation, and the caged pedals are equipped with straps to hold your feet in the proper position to avoid foot slippage during the most intense workouts.
The large cushioned 4-way adjustable seat and 2-way adjustable handle bars make for comfortable body positioning. The handle bars also provide multiple position grips enabling different types of workouts without having to stop and adjust them. All adjustments are made with simple turn and lock knobs. The micro adjustable tension control is conveniently located–allowing you to increase of decrease resistance with a simple turn of the knob.
The bike weighs 111 lbs. It is just over 19″ wide, 54″ long and 44.5″ high, with a maximum weight capacity of 275 lbs. Adjustable floor stabilizers make it possible to level the machine on uneven surfaces and the attached transportation wheels make it easy to change locations. For friction resistance it is equipped with a long lasting leather pad. And it has a bottle holder. The warranty includes a 30 day money back guarantee.
Sunny Health and Fitness has been in business for over a decade with headquarters in the USA and China.
- 49 lb. flywheel
- Smooth reliable belt drive
- Large cushioned seat
- Caged pedal c/w straps
- 4-way adjustable seat with 2-way adjustable handle bars
- Maximum weight capacity 275 lbs.
- Adjustable floor stabilizers
- 3 year warranty on structural frame, 180 day warranty on all other parts, 30 day money back guarantee
The Not so Good
- Some question about reliability of pedals and bearings but please note that most of the 1-star reviews are for the SF-B1203 model
2) Schwinn 230 Recumbent Exercise Bike
The Schwinn 230 Recumbent Exercise Bike has 16 magnetic resistance levels providing a wide range of workout intensity options. It also offers 13 workout programs providing variety for users of all fitness levels. At 27″ wide x 64″ long x 44.5″ high, it takes up a fair bit of space. It weighs 80 lbs. when fully assembled and the sturdy frame is a stable workout platform for users weighing up to 300 lb.
A high speed, high inertia flywheel system makes for smooth quiet workouts. The smooth molded plastic seat has venting holes in it to keep you cool and it adjusts easily for comfortable workouts. Solid, non-adjustable handle bars make for easy and safe entry and exit.
An onboard monitor tracks speed, heart rate, RPM, calories, distance, and time. It is also Bluetooth heart rate enabled (strap not included). Separate subscriptions allow connection to popular cycling apps like Explore the World and Zwift, and the media shelf will hold whichever device you choose. Or reading material. The Schwinn 230 has an excellent warranty: Frame for 10 years, Parts for 2 years, Electronics for 1 year, Labor for 90 days.
Schwinn was founded in the USA in 1895.
Note: The information I used is from the Schwinn website. In some cases it does not match the Amazon site.
- Very quiet magnetic flywheel c/w 16 resistance levels
- 13 workout programs
- Holds up to 300 lbs.
- Onboard monitor for heart rate, RPM, speed, etc.
- Connects to cycling apps like Explore the World and Zwift (subscription required)
- 10 year warranty on frame, 2 year warranty on parts, 1 year warranty on electronics, 90 day warranty on labor
The Not so Good
- Virtually none. (Note: Most 1-star reviews are for the 270 model.)
3) XTERRA Fitness FB150 Folding Exercise Bike
The XTERRA Fitness FB150 Folding Exercise Bike is the perfect machine for apartment dwellers with limited space. It is an ultra quiet machine (many reviews about how quiet) that folds up to 18″ x 18″ for storage when not in use. (18″ wide x 32″ long x 43″ high when opened up.) It only weighs 32 lbs. when assembled, but as small as it is, it will hold someone weighing up to 225 lbs. The FB150 folds down easily and with the built in transportation wheels, it is easy to move and store.
The 3.3 lb. flywheel runs on a silent belt drive system for smooth quiet operation, and can be set to 8 resistance levels with a large manual dial set just under the handle bars. A 2″ x 1″ LCD window displays speed, time, distance, calories, and pulse rate. The raise and lower anatomically designed seat and adjustable handle bars allow for comfortable use and pedal straps hold your feet in place. The warranty covers 1 year on frame, 90 days on brakes, and 90 days on parts.
Note: This bike comfortably fits users between 4′ 10″ tall to 5′ 10″ tall.
- Inexpensive ultra quiet exercise bike
- Compact footprint
- Folds for storage
- Holds 225 lbs.
- 8 resistance levels
- LCD displays speed, time, distance, calories, and pulse rate
- Raise and lower seat and adjustable handle bars
- 1 year warranty on frame, 90 days on brakes, 90 days on parts
The Not so Good
- Not suitable for anyone over 5′ 10″
4) NordicTrack Commercial S22i Studio Cycle
The NordicTrack Commercial S22i Studio Cycle is a serious machine for serious cycling and exercising enthusiasts. A bit pricy; but viewed as a health and enjoyment investment it makes sense. Regardless of how hard you push this magnetic resistance cycle it will remain very quiet on all 24 digital resistance settings. It is 22″ wide x 63″ long x 60″ high, weighs 203 lbs. and the commercial grade steel construction will hold up to 350 pound users. Front mounted transport wheels allow for relatively easy moving.
The ergonomic padded seat adjusts vertically and horizontally. Along with the multiple handle bar adjustments, it is simple to create the most comfortable position on the bike. It also comes with the Autobreeze workout fan and dual bottle holders.
The S22i is equipped with technology that does just about everything except wipe the sweat from your brow. Some of the technology included in this machine is:
- 22″ HD smart screen
- iFit automatically adjusts incline, decline, and resistance to match the program
- Dual WiFi connectivity
- Android 9 OS
- Bluetooth headphone and heart rate connectivity
- Two 2″ digitally amplified speakers
- 30 day iFit family membership
- And more
- Very quiet magnetic resistance machine
- 24 digital resistance settings
- 22″ wide x 63″ long foot print
- Safe for up to 350 lb. users
- Workout fan
- Adjustable ergonomic padded seat and multiple handle bar adjustments
- Technology includes Smart screen, WiFi, Android 9 OS, Bluetooth, iFit membership, speakers, and much more
- 10 year frame warranty, 2 year parts warranty, 1 year labor warranty
The Not so Good
- May be considered a little pricy – specially by those not 100% committed to an exercise regime
5) Marcy ME-709 Recumbent Exercise Bike
The Marcy ME-709 Recumbent Exercise Bike is an ultra quiet magnetic resistance machine featuring 8 levels of resistance to simulate riding on different terrain, and allowing for various fitness levels. An easy to read LCD computer screen shows read outs for time, speed, distance, calories, and acts as an odometer. The manual resistance adjustment knob is situated on the front mast directly under the screen.
The comfortable seat is made of ergonomically designed foam and has a high back and foam covered handle bars to help the rider keep proper position. Weighted, counter balanced pedals come c/w straps ensuring that your feet stay where they are supposed to. The seat adjusts for people well over 6′ tall and the 14 gauge steel tubing construction will hold users weighing up to 300 lbs.
The ME-709 has a footprint of 20″ wide x 58″ long and stands 38″ high. With only a low bar between the flywheel and seat, the step through design makes mounting easy for anyone with arthritis, back pain, knee issues, or hip problems. Built in transport wheels make it easy to move this 61 lb. machine to different locations. Marcy has been manufacturing fitness equipment for over 35 years and offers a 2 year limited warranty on their products.
- Inexpensive, ultra quiet recumbent bike
- Magnetic resistance system
- 8 levels of resistance c/w manual adjustment knob
- LCD computer screen shows time, speed, distance, calories
- Ergonomically designed adjustable foam seat
- Step through design for easy mounting
- 2 year limited manufacturers warranty
The Not so Good
- Virtually none
6) Keiser M3i Indoor Cycle Bundle
The Keiser M3i Indoor Cycle Bundle is the only indoor exercise bike built in the USA. Along with a Poly V quiet, smooth, and maintenance free self tensioning belt drive, the rear mounted flywheel uses magnetic resistance to produce a very quiet ride. Four way adjustable seat and handle bars can accommodate users from 4′ 10″ to 7′ tall and all body shapes and sizes.
It has infinite incremental resistance settings. The simple easy to read digital console displays cadence, power, Kcals, heart rate, ride time, odometer, trip distance–all on one display. You can use the included Mconnect to hook up a phone, tablet, or computer to access almost any bike training app, set your device in the media tray, and enjoy your workout. Some of the apps you might want to try are Bkool, Heart Zone Training, imPowered Be Trained, among others.
The M3i is 26″ wide x 51″ long, and weighs 92 lbs. assembled. The warranty is 10 years on the frame, 3 year all inclusive (not including labor and wearable parts), 90 days on wearable parts.
Note: The Keiser company was started over 40 years ago by 2 brothers. Their equipment is used by every MLB team, NFL teams, Olympians, Navy seals, and rehabilitation experts, among others.
- Very quiet and smooth
- Rear mounted flywheel stays dryer and cleaner
- Magnetic resistance for quieter ride
- Infinite incremental resistance control
- Console displays cadence, power, Kcals, heart rate, ride time, odometer, trip distance
- Adjusts for riders up to 7′
- Mconnect allows access to multiple apps – Bkool, Heart Zone Training, imPowered Be Trained, etc.
- USA company, USA manufactured
- 10 year warranty on frame, 3 year all inclusive warranty (not including labor and wearable parts), 90 day warranty on wearable parts
The Not so Good
- A little pricy
- Virtually nothing else
7) DeskCycle 2 Under Desk Bike Pedal Mini Exerciser
The DeskCycle 2 Under Desk Bike Pedal Mini Exerciser is not the first machine that comes to mind when someone mentions exercise bike. But as something that can be used at home and in the office, it deserves a mention. And it is not quiet; it is silent. It has 8 calibrated resistance settings, providing sufficient options for most people’s daily exercise regimen.
The pedals come with Velcro straps to keep your feet in place and they rotate both forward and in reverse giving an added dimension to your exercise. The machine weighs 23 lbs. making it easy to move around to where you want it. It will fit under any desk over 27″ high. A 6 function LCD display keeps tells you speed, time, distance, and calories. It has a long enough cord to be mounted on your desk or there is a spot for it on the machine. DeskCycle 2 comes with a 1 year full warranty and a 30 day money back guarantee.
This compact mini exercise bike is perfect for someone who does not have, or does not want to spend, the time riding a stationary bike. It can be used while working, watching TV, reading, or almost any other activity that involves sitting in one place for periods of time.
- Silent operation
- 8 calibrated resistance settings
- Friction resistance
- 6 function LCD console displays speed, time, distance, calories
- Mount display on desk or machine
- Easy to move. Use anywhere
- 1 year full warranty, 30 day money back guarantee
The Not so Good
- Virtually nothing
8) Renpho AI Smart Exercise Bike
Not only is the Renpho AI Smart Exercise Bike a great quiet machine, it is smarter than your average exercise bike. It comes with the free AI Gym App which includes over 70 classes and 5 different training modes along with HD Scenic Rides and Riding Challenges among other options. AI technology algorithmically calibrates your workouts based on your Functional Threshold Power (FTP) training zones. The complete system works together to produce real-time power, cadence, time, calorie, and heart rate information.
The Zwift and AI Gym app connects with popular cycling apps via Bluetooth like Peloton, Zwift, Kinomap, and more. It is compatible with Apple Health and Google Fit. AI Gym also provides for multiple users to track individual results and progress privately. There is a built-in USB charging port on the front of the handles for your tablet, computer, or phone. This bike comes with 80 digital resistance levels.
It has a belt drive magnetic resistance with silent smart motor damping for a very quiet riding experience. The ergonomically designed memory foam saddle is fully adjustable–up and down, forward and backward–and the handle bars can be raised and lowered as required for comfortable positioning. It has a fairly small footprint at 20″ wide x 40″ long x 49″ high, and weighs 77 lbs. This bike works best for users between 4′ 11″ and 6′ 5″ tall and under 265 lbs.
Adjustable stabilizer feet on all 4 corners make sure your bike is level and will not rock if the floor is wavy and built in transport wheels ensures it is easy to move around. It comes with a 1 year manufacturers warranty.
- Very quiet belt drive
- Magnetic resistance
- 80 digital resistance levels
- Zwift and AI Gym App includes over 70 classes
- AI calibrated workouts
- Compatible with Apple Health and Google Fit
- Made for 4′ 11″ to 6′ 5″ heights and up to 265 lbs.
- 1 year manufacturers warranty
The Not so Good
- Virtually none
9) Nautilus A616 Recumbent Exercise Bike
The Nautilus A616 Recumbent Exercise Bike offers a lot of extras for a very reasonable price. Just some of the technology available with this machine include Bluetooth connectivity, over 50 global routes that auto-adjust in real-time (Explore the World subscription required), 29 customizable workout programs, and much more all displayed on a backlit LCD console. The simple part of the console tracks time, distance, speed, calories, pace and heart rate and lets you sync your data with popular apps.
This machine has a fairly large footprint at 28.3″ wide x 65.3″ long x 49.6″ high with an assembled weight of 92 lbs. (The extra width should provide good stability.) It is made for riders weighing up to 300 lbs. It has 25 resistance levels to provide a wide range of workout options. A padded seat c/w ventilated seatback make for a comfortable workout. The seat adjustment is a unique diagonal track the moves up and down as it goes back and forth.
Your computer, I pad, or phone can sit on top of the console. It can be plugged into the USB port for constant charging and there is also an MP3 plug to add music to the workout and an adjustable fan to keep you cool. The A616 has a 10 year frame warranty, a 3 year parts and electronics warranty, and a 1 year labor warranty.
Note: The Amazon and Nautilus websites disagree on some specifications. I used the ones from the Nautilus site.
- Very quiet bike
- Magnetic resistance
- 25 resistance levels
- Bluetooth connectivity, workout programs, many apps are available
- Backlit LCD console tracks time, distance, speed, heart rate, pace, and calories
- For riders up to 300 lbs.
- Comfortable padded seat with unique adjustment system
- USB port, MP3 plug, adjustable fan
- 10 year warranty on frame, 3 year warranty on parts and electronics, 1 year warranty on labor
The Not so Good
- Some complaint about the seat adjustment
10) cycool Recumbent Exercise Bike
The cycool Recumbent Exercise Bike is an inexpensive quiet magnetic resistance machine. It provides 8 levels of magnetic resistance. A large clear digital monitor screen displays speed, time, distance, and calories in real-time. It also has an I pad or phone holder. The built in transportation wheels make the 55 lb. machine easy to move around.
It is equipped with a large soft breathable sweat-resistant seat and backrest that adjusts forward and rearward to accommodate riders from 5′ to 6′ 5″ and weighing up to 300 lbs. The cycool bike includes all the tools needed for assembly and comes with a 12 month warranty.
- Very quiet recumbent bike
- Magnetic resistance
- 8 resistance levels
- Large digital console displays speed, time, distance, and calories in real-time
- Large soft breathable sweat-resistant seat and backrest
- Accommodates riders 5′ – 6′ 5″ and up to 300 lbs.
- 1 year manufacturers warranty
The Not so Good
- Virtually none
How We Chose the Quietest Exercise Bikes
Generally, with most ‘Best of’ lists, I try to present a wide variety of very good, very quiet products that will give the reader choices of styles, sizes, prices, and accessories. When it comes to exercise bikes, if you are looking for a recumbent bike because of back pain, knee pain, or for another reason, I am not very much help if the list consists solely of upright bikes.
How Quiet is the Exercise Bike?
Whenever it is in use an exercise bike will always make some amount of noise. Because anything mechanical does. Belt drive bikes make less noise than chain drive bikes. Magnetic resistance bikes make less noise than friction resistance bikes. Recumbent bikes make less noise than upright bikes.
So when making the list I stayed away from chain drives. I also used mostly magnetic resistance machines. Recumbent or upright is your choice for your circumstances. The harder an exercise bike is worked the more noise it is likely to make
Goals and Intensity
Choose your exercise machine to match your goals. Although there is a $3000 bike on the list, it may be a little overkill if all you want is help losing a few pounds and keeping it off. On the other hand, training for the Tour de France on a recumbent bike likely will not work well either.
There should be a wide enough range of exercise bikes on the list to suit the needs and goals of most people. Up to, and including, very serious training and road racing.
Size – of the Exercise Bike & of the Rider
Size is important. Some of these bikes are close to 2 feet wide and 5 feet long which takes up 10 square feet of of floor area not including the space needed for the rider to mount and dismount. Recumbent machines usually take up more floor space than upright machines because of the design. For anyone nursing aches and pains, it probably requires a little more room to get on and off.
All exercise bikes will provide a maximum safe weight along with height and/or leg length recommendations. You should probably fall well within the safe range of both to get the most out of your machine.
Note: Most exercise bike manufacturers make a wide range of machines. So if you like the options someone offers, there is a chance you can find another one of their bikes that fits you size.
How Comfortable is the Exercise Bike?
Recumbent bikes are generally more comfortable than upright bikes, because they have a seat that more resembles a chair–wider, longer, softer, with a back, and handles at hip height. They also do not have the same levels of resistance making it almost impossible to have the same intensity level as an upright bike.
Upright bikes have bicycle seats. They have memory foam and/or padding and are ergonomically designed. (A great improvement over the leather, wire/spring, and rivet seats of my youth.) You are going to spend quite some time on it, moving. Make sure the seat does not become an excuse to quit using the bike.
Not only should the seat be comfortable, but both it and the handle bars need to be adjustable to accommodate leg length and riding position. The more comfortable and relaxed the rider is on the bike, the more likely she/he is to keep up with the exercise program.
What Type of Technology is Available?
All exercise bikes–to my knowledge–will, at a minimum, provide a read-out console with time, speed, distance, and calories. Maybe a couple other options.
Then there are the machines where you think the technology is more important than the basic reason for the bike. Some of the things you will find include:
- Multiple riding and exercise apps
- Bluetooth enabled
- Heart rate monitors
- Artificial Intelligence
- Personal trainers
- Race competitions
- And more
Some of these bikes will cost thousands of dollars. We have one or two on the list. But there are also a couple on the list that cost under $1000, and still provide many of the same bells and whistles.
Other Factors to Consider
After the types, styles, and noise production listed above, some of the other things we take into consideration are:
- Price. Price is always a consideration with every purchase. Once all of the other questions have been addressed, then affordability can be attached to wants and needs. The machines on this list range in price from around $200.00 to around $3000.00 which should provide enough options to enable you to make an informed choice.
- Warranty. I always like to have the longest warranty possible. Although warranty length is not as big a consideration if I have faith in the company’s reputation, a decent warranty makes it easier to buy with confidence.
- Safety. Many exercise bikes have almost all of the moving parts enclosed, but some do not. Children tend to poke fingers into places best left alone, making an enclosed machine a better option. Other safety concerns are the tip-ability of the bike and the condition of the rider–back problems, knee problems, age, or other injury.
Make Your Exercise Bike Even Quieter
Spend a few minutes with your owner’s manual getting to know what type of maintenance your machine requires, and what kind of schedule they recommend. Some of the things that might require regular attention could include:
- Lubrication. Chains, shafts, maybe a drop or 2 on the seat and handle bar adjustment bars. Use Teflon based cycle oil.
- Belt or Chain. Check belt for wear and chain for rust. Apply chain oil to the chain. (Try oiling a rag and dragging the chain through it. Works better than dripping oil on the floor.)
- Resistance Pad. Ensure it is in good shape and adjusted properly. Or replace it.
- Bolts & Screws. Give the whole machine a once-over regularly and make sure all bolts and screws are tight. Check that it is still level and the feet have not backed off from hard use.
I have seen suggestions that you need to oil the bearings. Not if they are sealed bearings. All you will do is dilute the bearing grease enough to allow it to run out.
Make the Bike Level
Many exercise bikes are manufactured with feet that can be extended or retracted–like washing machine feet–to make them level. Or to keep them from rocking. Although the construction gods may smite me for saying this, level is not quite as important as solid. If you have one foot shorter than the others the bike will make more noise because it will clunk as you ride it, or even start moving across the room.
If you have a small level like a torpedo level, make it as level as possible. Every machine that is designed to work level and plumb, performs better level and plumb. It will help it stay in one place and probably last a little longer.
Place the Bike on Soundproof Mats
To keep exercise bike vibrations from travelling through the floor into the room below or through the wooden framing members into adjacent rooms, set your bike on a anti vibration isolation pads, or an exercise mat, or interlocking floor mats, or even an old rug.
Not only will a mat of some type make it quieter in other rooms, it will help in the room you are using and protect the floor. Make sure the mat you get is big enough for the entire machine.
FAQs About Quietest Exercise Bike
Here are answers to some of the questions asked when people are considering replacing an exercise bike or buying one for the first time.
What is the quietest exercise bike for an apartment?
Magnetic resistance exercise bikes are much quieter than friction bikes or air resistance bikes. Also, a recumbent bike is quieter than an upright bike because the recumbent usually does not produce the same types of speed and effort.
Is there a silent exercise bike?
Not really. Anything mechanical will make some noise–however little. Parts rubbing together will create some amount of noise and any movement of the bike on the floor will cause a certain amount of vibration. I did list one machine that is virtually silent. It is an under-desk model that does not have a seat keeping the exercise less aggressive.
Can I soundproof my stationary bike?
Yes. Setting your bike on anti-vibration pads, an anti-vibration mat, or interlocking foam exercise mats will help prevent the vibrations from transferring into the room below. They will also stop vibrations from moving horizontally into adjoining rooms.
For the dedicated cyclist choosing an exercise bike is usually only a matter of deciding how much money to spend and what type of bike and how many bells and whistles. For some of us, the most difficult part of the decision is assessing our commitment to the exercise, work, and effort.
Regardless of how much I have convinced myself I will get on it daily and pedal my way to health, I would still buy an inexpensive exercise bike of the style I want, as a starter unit. If I could stick with it for a year, the reward would be a new bike with the technology I wanted. Then the old one could go into the garage sale–like many others.