Spin Bike Recommendations?

Hey, so I spend a fair amount of time on my Wahoo Kickr and my wife is interested in joining me in the old pain cave (basement). We set her up on her bike on the old dumb trainer, but she doesn’t like the feel of it and wants to get a spin bike. I do not want a Peloton,
1 I’ve seen videos that show they are grossly under-built for the price and
2. The operating costs (monthly subscription) is insanely expensive.
3. Most importantly, f*@# them after the @GPLama debacle.

Does anyone have a spin bike they recommend? I’d like to keep it around $500-$1000. I see plenty of options online, but don’t really know what I’m looking for.

I think I want belt drive, heaviest fly wheel possible, prefer contactless resistance (is this a thing?), prefer one that has a PM, but I have a spare if I can’t find this, and finally I’d like it to be able to connect to an iPad if at all possible, but I could probably get away with using sensors mostly, maybe.

Thanks in advance.

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What does she not like? What type of dumb trainer is she on? Does she like it on your trainer?

Might just be the setup.

Of course, happy life…

I don’t even know the brand. It’s just a wheel on trainer from Amazon or something from years ago. She says it slips and feels unstable when standing.

She’s never used mine. She’s about a foot shorter than me, so riding my bike isn’t an option and it would be a pain to change the cassette on the Kickr every time she wanted to ride. Though I think the point is to ride together anyhow.

The Wattbike ATOM was close in all aspects… just not close enough in the way of how it performed for how I’d use one.

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The ATOM isn’t available in the US unfortunately. It’s also a bit above what I was looking to spend. Aren’t they several thousand, regardless of currency?

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Still not in the US? Christ. What are WattBike doing? Well… two things they should be doing. Sorting out the shortfalls of that bike and sorting out global distribution… like they have with their other bike already.

I’ve used a handful, and the best is at our gym - the Stages SC3

Power and cadence broadcast via Bluetooth or ANT+. Unfortunately it is above your price target unless you can find one used.


Well, unless the ATOM has improved wildly, I would pity a US Distributor.

I had one here in the USA (bloody crazy expensive to ship) and it was a wholly unsatisfactory piece of equipment. The strain gauges broke within a few rides, zero serviceable pieces inside the unit, etc. etc. I ended up shipping it back to WB for a refund.

On top of that, it didn’t in any possible way ‘feel’ like my road bike on a trainer – let alone ‘shift’ in a satisfactory way.

WB does have their act together on the older school bikes. But the ATOM? Not for me.

Maybe a Keiser M3 or M3i from a gym retrofit would be in your pricepoint? It is a commercial-grade spin bike.


I swap my wife’s bike onto my trainer when she wants to do a workout. The cassette is 11 speed which matches my bike. Her bike is is a 10 speed. Works fine. How different are your two bikes?

I have a Tacx Neo Bike on order, but it is definitely way above the price range you are looking for.

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Interesting, I didn’t realize you could get away with that, Dave. Unfortunately she’s just on Sora or Claris. So she’s 8 speed +/- 1. I might still trying it out (gently). I would hate to mess up the bike or the trainer.

Steve, those things are super nice looking. I didn’t think they came out until mid-Feb? Super jealous. Maybe I’ll just buy that and steal it for myself?

Yup, early to mid Feb is the current delivery date. I’m in the same boat as you with the significant other wanting to use a spin bike in the pain cave so I just decided to bite the bullet and get the premium option that is easy to adjust for both of us.

My thought was to have her try it and see if she likes it. Not every time she wants to ride, but how do you eliminate the trainer as the issue without trying another one readily available?

You can also get a KK dumb trainer for her. They hold their value, are built like a tank, and you can get them used.

I just HATE to see someone get a spin bike if they will ever ride outside. Unless you are going to get one that you can setup exactly like what will be ridden outside.

Shoot, see if you can borrow a trainer from someone near you? Where are you located?

Yeah, I’ll test her out on the Kickr and play around a bit more. She has a Peloton login from a friend and I think she’s more interested in using that on a spin bike than re-creating a road experience if I were to guess.

Her interests are (guessing) fitness and spending time with me, she’s not worried about competing or training regularly even. If it’s not an exact recreation of the road, it won’t be a big deal. When we do occasionally go out on a family ride she doesn’t want to feel like she’s dragging me down or anything and just general fitness from a spin bike will accomplish that I think.

The Keiser M3i does seem super nice. I’ll have to keep my eye out for a used one or something.

How about upgrading to shimano 105 5800 and buying her an entry smart trainer like the Tacx Flux?

Top end of your budget, but worth thinking about since both are outgoing models that you can find deals on

That’s a good idea. Though I love Wahoo, I’d do a Kickr Core or a refurb 17 before Tacx. Just personal preference.

FWIW I’ve ridden each of these a fair amount:

  • Kaiser M3i (hotels and gym near parent’s house)
  • Spinner NXT
  • Freemotion S11.8
  • Stages SC3

For your wife I’d say they are probably equivalent.

Buying for myself? The Stages hands down, followed by Freemotion. My least favorite is the Kaiser.

And like others have said, I’d rather go with putting bike on trainer. Thats what I plan to do the day my wife is ready to ride.

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