I’m told that some people like going to the gym…but I’m still a bit skeptical.
Just to be clear, when I say “going to the gym” I’m referring to all the stuff that comes along with actually getting to the gym. You know, putting on your workout clothes, packing your bag, driving to the gym, feeling uncomfortable the entire time and of course the actual workout.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy working out and I feel amazing after I’ve burned a few hundred calories on the exercise bike.
But I don’t exactly feel comfortable in the gym and as a bigger guy tipping scales north of 375 lbs I’m not exactly your typical gym rat. Because I’m a bigger guy, there’s also just one exercise bike in the gym that I feel comfortable about riding and if it’s in use when I arrive…well, there’s not much I can do.
That’s why I decided to take things into my own hands and pick up an exercise bike that’s actually built for bigger guys and plus size ladies. Not only does it save me a ton of time and stress, but my workout routine has never been more consistent.
However, finding an exercise bike that can support my weight wasn’t easy and I’ll explain all the research that went into figuring out what will work (and what won’t) but if you’d rather just see what made the list you can see out my favorite higher weight capacity exercise bikes here:
- Best Overall: Vanswe Recumbent Heavy Duty Exercise Bike With 380 LBS Weight Capacity
- Best Folding Option: Exerpeutic Gold XLR Folding Exercise Bike With 400 LBS Weight Capacity
- Highest Weight Capacity: AFULLY Stationary Exercise Bike With 550 LB Capacity
- Best On A Budget: Exerpeutic Gold Heavy Duty Foldable Exercise Bike with 400 lbs Weight Capacity
- Best With Arm Exercisers: Sunny Health Recumbent Exercise Bike With Arm Exercisers and 350 LBS Weight Capacity
- Most Comfortable: Exerpeutic 5000 Recumbent Exercise Bike With Bluetooth and 325 LBS Weight Capacity
- Best Commercial Grade High Weight Capacity Exercise Bike: 3G Cardio Elite RB Exercise Bike With 350 LBS Weight Capacity
Now let’s get started by clarifying one important piece of terminology.
Spin Bikes Or Stationary Bikes…What’s The Difference?
While most of the terminology around exercise bikes is pretty straightforward, the difference between spin bikes and stationary bikes (both of which are exercise bikes) can get a little confusing.
Mainly because they’re both stationary, non-moving bikes that can be used indoors. But “spin bike” doesn’t mean that the exercise bike moves, instead it describes the position of the bike in relation to the rider. Spin bikes are designed to mimic the traditional riding position that you’d experience on a road bike.
That means spin bikes can put you in a bent-over position and have handles that are usually designed for you to lean on. While that might sound comfortable at first, it’s not a good idea for most overweight or heavy riders- at least if you’re just starting out.
Not only does that position take some experience and skill to get into, but it can also be extra difficult (or even impossible) for anyone with a bigger belly. I know that when I’m sitting I can only bend over so far before my belly hits my legs and my flexibility stops.
These bikes have other features that are designed to make them more similar to a road bike but unless you’re looking for a bike to specifically train for road racing, fat folks are better off going for a stationary bike which will put you in a more comfortable position.
Most of the bikes on this list will fall squarely into the category of stationary bikes but we will include one spin bike option for folks that want them.
What Big People and Heavy Folks Should Consider In An Exercise Bike
Of course, we’re going to be talking about weight capacity but that’s not the only thing you need to consider so let’s break down everything you need to know.
The first thing I look at for any piece of exercise equipment, whether we’re talking about a treadmill for bigger folks, a comfortable air mattress, or just a regular bicycle, is the weight capacity. I know some heavier folks can still use most regular equipment, but for me, weight capacity is going to be the number one deal-breaker when it comes to making a purchase.
Because of that, I’ve made it as easy as possible to quickly see the weight capacity of every exercise bike on this list and every one of them has a weight capacity of at least 325 pounds. So if you’re under 325 lbs, then you snag any of the exercise bikes on this list.
Riding Position and Back Support (Recumbent vs Upright)
While it will come down to individual preference, most heavy folks will prefer an upright but slightly leaned-back position. The most extreme examples of this position are recumbent bikes that feature large back supports for you to lean into.
Not only do these back support make the ride more comfortable for overweight folks, but they can also make it much easier to actually get into the bike since you have something behind you to sort of “fall into”. It’s the difference between sitting on a stool or a typical chair and heavy folks already know that a solidly backed chair makes getting up and down much easier- the same can be true for your exercise bike.
However, it’s not going to be a requirement for everyone and younger folks without major joint issues may not have a problem getting onto their exercise bike even if they’re on the heavy side. In that case, they’ll still want to look for an upright position to set themselves up for success.
Let’s Talk About Screens
Most modern exercise bikes will have some kind of screen to display the basics like your heart rate, calories burned, and more. But some of the really high-tech options will also include features like Netflix, Bluetooth connections, access to competitive races, or even live coaching.
That also sounds good but it also comes with a steep price increase of around 50% for the addition of a screen and sometimes a hefty monthly subscription attached to it for additional features.
For the right person, this can be an awesome option. However, most folks just don’t need the exercise bike and screen combination. Instead, a simple tablet, laptop, or phone holder can have the same impact (short of the live racing) with a much more affordable price tag.
Because of that, we’re focusing on high weight capacity exercise bikes that feature an areas for laptops or phones instead of the most expensive options that come equipped with high-tech screen and connectivity right out of the box.
Heavy People Should Go For A Wide Comfortable Seat
For most plus size people, the bike seat is one of the most intimidating aspects of the entire cycling experience regardless of whether you’re talking about cycling outdoors or a stationary exercise bike indoors. Seats that are narrow and pointy took time for anyone to get used to and it’s definitely not a good starting point for a person of real size.
When it comes to a regular bike, you can always change out the seat to find the most comfortable option for you but that’s not always the case when it comes to an exercise bike. Instead, it’s important to take a close look at the seat and make sure it’s a good fit for you.
For most heavy folks, that usually means some extra width to support your size but extra cushion or gel supports can make a good addition as well. Some of this will come down to personal preference but every bike seat on this list is ready for heavy folks.
Best Exercise Bikes For Overweight and Heavy Riders
With the background information out of the way, it’s time to dive into the reviews starting with the best overall pick.
Best Overall: Vanswe Recumbent Heavy Duty Exercise Bike With 380 LBS Weight Capacity
- A weight capacity of up to 380 pounds and a seat that's 17 inches from the ground make this a highly accessible exercise bike for people of all sizes
- A simple but spacious tablet or phone holder makes it easy to watch your favorite show while peddling
- Multiple grip locations and a large backrest mean that riders of any size can usually find a comfortable position
- Budget-friendly pricing and more than 2,000 five star reviews on Amazon
When it comes to our best overall exercise bike, we want something that checks all our boxes for heavy riders and this is just about as close as you can get.
To start with, there’s a weight capacity of 380 pounds and even though that isn’t the highest on this list (or even close to it) it’s still inclusive enough that many overweight or heavy riders will fall into this range.
But it’s not just the weight capacity that makes this a good fit for bigger people and as a fat guy I love that the seat is placed somewhat low at just 17 inches from the ground. I don’t want to have to climb up onto the seat and instead this exercise bike lets you actually sit down pretty similarly to how you would sit in a normal chair.
And with a 16-inch wide seat, several sturdy handles, and a roughly 20-inch backrest, it’s very easy for overweight riders to plop into this seat. Those handles and backrest also help when it’s time to get out of the exercise chair since the low position of the seat can be a bit of a double-edged sword. In other words, the low seat is great for getting into but it makes popping out of the seat a little hard.
You aren’t going to find a fancy and fully connected screen attached to this exercise bike but I’ve already talked about why I think that’s a good thing. Instead, you get a spacious tablet or phone mount that still allows you to watch whatever you want without paying extra.
Speaking of price, this exercise bike comes in at a very reasonable rate and you’re not paying an exorbitant amount just to get a weight capacity that matches your body type. It also helps that there are more than 2,000 five-star reviews on Amazon with many of them coming from other heavy folks.
The worst I could say about this bike is that it doesn’t fold up. Still, that’s not going to be a requirement for most people, and if you do need an exercise bike that can fold then check out the next exercise bike on our list.
But if you feel like this high weight capacity recumbent option could be a good fit, you can read more reviews, take a closer look at the design and check today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.
Best Folding Option: Exerpeutic Gold XLR Folding Exercise Bike With 400 LBS Weight Capacity
- Weight capacity of 400 pounds is great for bigger folks
- Simple but stable design easily folds up and can be stored out of the way
- More than 900 five star reviews including many from plus size people
- Easy on the budget
Whether you have limited space or you just don’t want to have your exercise bike out in the open at all times, the option to fold up your bike and stash it away can be really nice.
Just speaking for myself, I’m usually terrified of “folding” options since I assume that they’re going to fold with me in them! Or just not be able to support my weight and I’m pretty sure that I’ll never trust a folding chair again after a handful of bad experiences.
But the folks at Exerpeutic are doing things differently and this is one of several higher-weight capacity exercise bikes that they offer even though it folds this exercise bike has a generous (and thoroughly tested) weight capacity of 400 pounds.
While this bike is a close competitor to our best overall, there are a handful of features that are missing. However, just because these features are “missing” doesn’t immediately make that a bad thing and it’s really worth looking at the pros and cons for each aspect.
To start with, you’ll notice that there isn’t a ready-to-go stand or mount for your tablet or phone. That means you’ll either need to hold your device in your hands or set your bike up near a television.
That might sound like a pain, but because this folding exercise bike isn’t too hard to move around it’s honestly not too much of a hassle to park it in front of a TV or laptop and watch your favorite show.
Additionally, the lack of a tablet or phone mount also has a benefit that you may not have considered at first and that’s potentially increasing the ease of access for this stationary exercise bike. The open space where a tablet mount would normally go means that you can swing your legs over the front of this exercise bike which can make the entire process of getting on or off the bike much easier.
Speaking from experience, getting on or off the bike can sometimes be more stressful than the actual workout so don’t underestimate this benefit for fat guys like me.
Skipping the extra handles and mount that we see in many other exercise bikes not only needed to make this bike foldable but also means that this bike is available at a very budget-friendly price compared to other stationary exercise bikes- all without sacrificing weight capacity.
The seat is also nice and wide at 14.6 inches but it’s lacking any kind of extra gel or comfort enhancers. In other words, it’s wide but firm and some heavy folks won’t care while others will consider that a dealbreaker. So you’ll need to consider your personal preferences here but don’t immediately write off a firmer seat.
That’s the big picture overview but if you want to read more reviews, take a closer look at the design and see today’s price on Amazon you can click here.
Highest Weight Capacity: AFULLY Stationary Exercise Bike With 550 LBS Capacity
- Weight capacity up to 550 pounds with a wide stable base makes this exercise bike a great option for even the heaviest riders
- Generous handles allow heavy riders to lean into the pedals and go hard
- Wide and comfortable seat with extra suspension to support bigger people
- The highly functional space between handlebars can support tablets, phones, water bottles, and just about anything else you need
Spin bikes like this one are designed for riders who are comfortable leaning into the handlebars and more closely mimic the feel of a road bike. Most of the time, these aren’t a good pick for heavy people as your belly can get in the way.
However, other folks may actually find this position more comfortable than a reclined position as it can help stretch out your back. If that sounds like you, or you like to burn extra calories and stand while riding your exercise bike then this could be a solid option.
But you don’t have to use the handles to lean forward at all if you don’t want to and the comfortable seat allows you to sit upright and pedal as much as you’d like. Because the handles extend across most of the bike it’s pretty easy to change your position to whatever is most comfortable.
In other words, just because this looks like a spin bike doesn’t mean you should be intimidated by it. Not only do you have plenty of options when it comes to riding position but the combination of a wide, sturdy base and heavy-duty construction gives this exercise bike a weight capacity of 550 pounds which is not just one of the highest on this list but also one of the highest on the market.
It also means that it’s not going to wobble and shake even when heavy riders lean in and stand up on the pedal for extra power.
If you’re comfortable without a back support and you don’t want to worry about weight capacity, this sturdy exercise bike could be a great pick. You can read the handful of reviews from other larger folks, take a closer look at the super stable design and see the latest price on Amazon by clicking here.
Best On A Budget: Exerpeutic Gold Heavy Duty Foldable Exercise Bike with 400 LBS Weight Capacity
- Weight capacity of 400 pounds to support bigger riders
- Upright position can be preferred by many overweight riders since it makes the dismount easier
- Works for tall riders up to 6'5
For our budget pick, we’ve included another folding exercise bike by Exerpeutic but rather than using the recumbent position this exercise bike puts the rider in an upright position. There’s no change to the overall weight capacity and heavy riders up to 400 pounds will still be able to enjoy this bike.
And spend just 5 minutes reading the reviews across the internet and you’ll see that many heavy guys and gals have put this high weight capacity exercise bike to the test with great results. You also get the benefit of being able to fold this bike so you can stash it when not in use.
I know that some heavier people could be hesitant about an upright position but just remember that it can make getting off the bike much easier since all you need to do is put your feet on the floor- especially if you’re on the taller side. Even short and heavy folks will usually find it easier since you’re coming from an upright rather than a seated position.
As with other Exerpeutic exercise bikes, you also get the benefit of a wide comfortable seat but just keep in mind that it is on the firmer side. However, I’ve found that this isn’t a problem at all and it’s pretty darn comfortable even on longer rides.
One potential downside is that this exercise bike isn’t built for hardcore pedaling. For me, that’s not an issue and I’m just looking for a slow and steady kind of ride. But if you’re a heavy rider that also wants to stand up and pedal hard, this bike probably isn’t a good fit as it could lean forward a bit. Instead, check out our previous bike that’s perfect for aggressive riding.
But if you’re looking for something that’s budget-friendly, compact, and fat-friendly then this is worth a second look. You can take a closer look at this exercise bike, read more reviews and see the latest price on Amazon by clicking here.
Best With Arm Exercisers: Sunny Health Recumbent Exercise Bike With Arm Exercisers and 350 LBS Weight Capacity
- Weight capacity of 350 pounds for heavy riders
- Wide comfortable seat and back support for extra comfort
- Arm exercisers for more of a full body experience
- More than 2,000 five star reviews on Amazon
You’ve obviously seen exercise bikes and you may have seen arm bikes…but now you’ve seen a combination of both! This exercise bike from Sunny not only supports heavy people with a weight capacity of 350 pounds but you also get the added benefit of working your arms at the same time.
The arm exercisers (and yes I wish there was a better name for these) can make the time you are working out more efficient by increasing the difficulty of the workout. There are lots of ways to work this into your goals, but I’ve always been a fan of going for a harder but shorter workout and the addition of arm movement can help pull that off.
However, let’s make sure you know what you’re getting into here and the first thing to note is that the arm exercisers can’t be adjusted on their own. You can move the seat around to meet them where they’re at but you’re not going to have complete adjustability for them.
You also can’t have separate resistance for the arms compared to the pedals. In fact, there’s little tension on the arm exercisers at all but that doesn’t mean they can’t get your heart rate up. They may also help tone that area of your arms (on the back) that can always feel a little loose when you’re heavy and I know I’m not the only person who gets a little self-conscious about that.
So while these arm exercisers aren’t going to give you massive arms, they can help improve your overall fitness and could tone up your arms which is a good enough deal for me.
Even without the arm exercisers, this is still an excellent exercise bike with a solid weight capacity. The only thing I’d love to see are some additional handles on the side of the seats as we’ve seen in many other options. However, if you don’t need these handles and want a way to further enhance your exercise bike workouts, this could be a good fit.
You can take a closer look at the unique design for this exercise bike, read more reviews and check the latest price on Amazon.
Most Comfortable: Exerpeutic 5000 Recumbent Exercise Bike With Bluetooth and 325 LBS Weight Capacity
- Weight capacity of 325 is a little on the low side but can still work for many heavy people
- Breathable but highly supportive back support along with cushioned armrests and a soft seat make this exercise bike extremely comfortable
- Bluetooth connection seamlessly transfers your workout information to your favorite fitness app
- Designed to be super quiet for a smooth ride
Who says exercising has to be uncomfortable? I certainly don’t and neither do the folks at Exerpuetic! They’ve taken the classic (and comfortable) recumbent position and leveled it up by adding a mesh backrest to help manage sweating, extra support on the armrests along with hand grips for additional comfort, and a super squishy seat.
Yeah, it’s a lot and when you combine all that with the generous 325-pound weight capacity it’s easy to see why they’re the winner for the most comfortable category.
I’m a particularly big fan of the seat which measures 17 inches wide, making it one of the wider options on this list, but it also features what’s described as “airsoft” technology. While there’s a lot of marketing mumbo jumbo out there, they go on to explain that this seat uses a chamber system to allow for more balanced and supportive seating. This makes sense and the best air mattresses also use a chamber technology that can increase their weight capacity and support.
It doesn’t matter how much you weigh, no one wants to sit on an uncomfortable seat for a one hour exercise session!
This exercise bike also comes with plenty of other bells and whistles like a dedicated phone mount and Bluetooth connectivity. However, I do think the real selling point for this exercise bike (at least for most people) is going to be the comfort and it’s tough the beat the little extras that make it easier to go for longer workouts on this bike.
Considering everything that’s packed into this exercise bike, the price is still pretty reasonable. You can read more reviews, take a closer look at the comfort add ons and check today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.
Best Commercial Grade High Weight Capacity Exercise Bike: 3G Cardio Elite RB Exercise Bike With 350 LBS Weight Capacity
- Weight capacity of 350 pounds to support bigger people
- Extensive warranty and high-level of customer support from this Arizona-based company
- Heavy-duty and commercial grade means this exercise bike is built to last
There’s usually a big difference between commercial quality workout equipment and gear that’s made to be used at home by just one or two people. When you consider just how much wear and tear a commercial exercise bike can take from being used for 8 hours a day this makes sense.
Commercial equipment usually comes with additional or more extensive warranties and of course a more rigorous manufacturing process that includes additional heavy-duty construction. Even if you don’t plan to rent out your exercise bike or start a gym, the benefits of heavy-duty construction and an additional warranty can definitely be appealing- especially if you’re a plus sized person.
That’s where this bomb-proof exercise bike from 3G comes into the picture and they’re bridging the gap between commercial quality and home use. You are going to pay more for commercial quality, and that should go without saying, but you get a seriously heavy-duty exercise bike that can support long uses from multiple people. Of course, like all the exercise bikes on this list you get generous weight capacity with this one coming in at 350 pounds.
3G also advertises additional customer service and while anyone can say that, it takes actual work to make it happen.
One of my favorite ways to test this is just to read the questions section of the Amazon listing. A company that takes customer service seriously will almost always answer all the questions that come through and that’s true here. You’ll notice that the reps at 3G are answering every question that is asked which is a very good sign that future support (if you need it) will be just as responsive.
Because this is a heavy-duty and commercial-grade exercise bike, it weighs significantly more than the other exercise bikes on this list and comes in at 115 pounds. That’s more than double most exercise bikes and illustrates how much extra goes into this bike. While that’s a downside if you’re trying to move this bike around the house, it’s a good thing for fat guys like me that want an exercise bike that won’t wobble.
Overall, this is an exceptional exercise bike and while the premium pricing could deter some folks it’s still worth considering. You can take a closer look at the design (including the super comfortable seat), read more reviews, and check today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.
Even though there’s a stereotype that fat people don’t exercise, you already know that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Whether we’re talking about Crossfit or mountain climbing, fat folks can do it…and do it well.
But your workouts don’t have to be that extreme either and steady-state cardio on an exercise bike in the comfort of your own home is tough to beat. You can really level up the comfort, while still getting a great workout by going for recumbent options and as we’ve already seen there are plenty of choices with weight capacities well above 300 pounds.
These can be tough to find but the goal of this article was to make that entire process easier and show you all the best options.
Hopefully, you found your new favorite exercise bike and I’d love to hear which one you picked!