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Best Bikes For Losing Weight

When it comes to losing weight, getting your body moving is an excellent start. Exercise helps burn calories and build muscles that increase your resting metabolism. Biking is a fantastic way to build an exercise habit — but what’s the best bike to help you with your goal of losing weight?

The best bikes for losing weight allow cyclists to use their bikes daily. Hybrid bikes are considered good fitness bikes as they are suitable for most urban commutes and dirt trails. Cycling for sixty minutes can burn up to 750 calories, making it an effective weight loss exercise.

Weight loss is often broken down to the simple equation of ‘eat less, move more,’ and while this is simplistic, there’s truth to it. However, you’re more likely to keep exercising if it’s something you enjoy. I took up cycling rather than running, so I looked at what bike was best for me.

Are Bikes Good For Losing Weight

Any exercise that gets you moving regularly will help you lose weight, and one of the reasons cycling is so popular is because it can help you work on cardio and strength.

The longer you are on your bike, the more calories you’ll burn, so having a bike that is comfortable and suits the way you enjoy cycling will be the one that helps you lose the most weight.

It’s estimated that an average person will burn anything from 450 calories to 750 calories over an hour of cycling. Calorie burn will also depend on what you’re doing in that hour – taking on steep hills and working your quads and glutes will burn more than cruising downhill or flats.

Cycling can also help people stay active for longer. I know I’d rather cycle for about an hour than run. I find it less stressful on my joints, and my range is expanded because of how much faster a bike is compared to running. This keeps my exercise from getting boring.

The speed and distance aspect also makes it more likely that I’ll take my bike to commute the two miles to work and back, adding more chances for me to burn fat throughout my day.

Best Bikes For Losing Weight

The best bike for losing weight will depend on your cycling situation. To make cycling part of your daily lifestyle, it has to fit in seamlessly, and that means choosing a bike that you can easily use on your local terrain or preferred way of cycling.

So before I talk about the best bikes for losing weight, think about where you want to cycle:

  • Do you prefer to go cycling off-road on dirt tracks?
  • Are you in a city with lots of bikeways and want to cycle to work?
  • What’s the weather like – are there times in the year when cycling outside would be impossible or dangerous?
  • Would you find cycling on an indoor exercise bike safer or more comfortable?
  • Would you prefer to use an indoor bike trainer with your regular bike when you can’t cycle outdoors?
  • What’s the terrain like in your area – hilly or flat?
  • Do you want to cycle for speed or touring pleasure?

All these thoughts will help narrow down what kind of bike will suit you best and help you keep cycling to lose weight.

When I looked at all these questions, I realized I needed a bike that I could use for short commutes and longer day-out tours and could take both dirt trails and street conditions. I lived in a hilly area and wanted better braking. With that in mind, I bought a Norco XFR 3 with Shimano disc brakes.

The Best Road Bikes for Losing Weight

If you intend to use your bike to get around town, and the aim isn’t racing or going off-road on rough terrain very often, then a standard road bike will likely be a good choice.

Road bikes are designed to be used mainly on smooth roads and have been developed to be lighter and faster. They usually have lighter frames, and their wheels are bigger and thinner than an off-road bike.

A road bike’s frame is usually made from carbon or aluminum, though expensive top-end models might be made with steel or titanium.

You’ll notice that the wheels on a road bike usually have much lighter rims and fewer spokes than a mountain bike, and their tires are relatively thinner. The tire widths will differ slightly depending on whether you want to get a bike for speed or endurance.

The tire treads on road bikes are smoother and slicker because they need less grip on the roads, and the aim is for speed.

Road bike gears, chains, and cassettes are generally packed closer to the frame to help you cycle faster. Road bikes also have distinctive drop handlebars, meaning you can hold the grip in several positions, making the bike more comfortable for different cycling styles.

A good entry-level bike for road cycling is the Specialized Allez, which will set you up with a decent road bike for $1,000.

The Best Moutain Bikes for Losing Weight

If you prefer biking off-road, zipping around dirt tracks, and heading over rough mountain trails, then a mountain bike is the one you want.

Some people either can’t use their bike for commuting due to distance or impracticality or find the idea of road biking boring. If you want a rugged bike that gets you out on the weekend, hitting the dirt trails for hours, then get yourself a mountain bike.

They are heavier bikes than road versions, with more robust frames, heavier rims, and more wheel spokes so that they can take the beating of off-road biking. Due to the harsh terrains, the obstacles that may be on dirt tracks, and the grit and gravel, mountain bikes have the following features:

  1. Dual suspensions systems
  2. Wide handlebars for better stability and grip
  3. Unique frame built with steeper angles to aid uphill pedaling and downhill stability
  4. Disc brakes for better stopping power
  5. Very wide tires with thicker treads than road bikes – treads range from slick, full knobby, to studded treads designed for snow
  6. Mountain bikes can have tubeless tires for improved traction

If mountain biking appeals to you for weight loss exercise, an excellent entry-level budget mountain bike is the Voodoo Braag, which retails for about $709. It offers a 9-speed drive train, hydraulic brakes, and a coil-sprung Suntour fork. It’s also easy to upgrade components as you progress.

The Best Hybrid Bikes for Losing Weight

Some people need a bike that gives them the best of a road bike and trail bike, and that’s where the hybrid comes in. While it’s not going to excel at either racing or off-road, it handles both conditions very well and is an excellent all-rounder bike.

They are often marketed as fitness bikes because you can easily use them across multiple types of trails. Hybrids are my favorite bike for weight loss because I’m more likely to exercise when there are fewer obstacles to my cycling.

Hybrid bikes appeal to casual cyclists who want a bike they can use for commuting and some longer touring, especially in less-than-perfect road conditions. They are excellent beginner bikes, and you can pick up a decent hybrid at a pretty low price.

If you’re interested in a bike that you can use as a stable all-rounder for urban commuting and general cycling, the Ridgeback Speed Hybrid is a great choice for beginners.

With a retail price of $626, it comes fully equipped, which removes some confusion about what accessories you need for a good cycling experience.

If you’re in the market for a more advanced hybrid, the German-made Canyon Commuter Seven packs a great set of components into a rugged, engineered frame, perfect for urban and public lanes.

It will not make a great off-road bike, but it handles steep climbs, and the durable frame gives a superb ride. You can pick up a new Canyon Commuter Seven for about $1749.

The Best Exercise Bikes for Losing Weight

While I love biking outside, it’s not always suitable for everyone, and I keep a backup exercise bike inside for those days when I can’t get out on my bike.

While exercise bikes can be boring, and you’re not going to get the same variety in your exercise that you would on a ride, they are excellent ways to keep fit and lose weight when cycling is not an option.

Many people have got on the Pelton craze, and using these indoor stationary bikes has helped them lose weight and keep fit. But you can do the same with a lower-priced exercise bike like the Yosuda Indoor Stationary Bike, with a starting price of $363.

Using a Bike Trainer to Lose Weight

Another option for training on your bike even when it’s snowing outside, or you haven’t been able to get out is to invest in a bike trainer. A bike trainer enables you to use your bike indoors, providing you with the same style of biking you’re used to when riding your regular bike.

These are fantastic options for those of us who hate the feel of exercise bikes and store our bikes handily indoors. You’ll have to ensure you get a bike trainer compatible with your bike and have the space indoors to set it up.

A popular smart bike trainer that works well with most road and mountain bikes is the Saris Fluid2, which retails on Amazon for $379. You can use the bike trainer with indoor cycling apps like Rouvy and Zwift to make indoor rides more enjoyable.

How to Lose Weight with a Bike

When losing weight by cycling, one thing to remember is that exercise intensity can affect the type of energy your body uses. The consensus is that Low-Intensity Steady State (LISS) exercise targets fat while HITT (High-Intensity Interval Training) raises your heart rate and helps burn calories quickly.

This would make it seem like HITT is the answer, but HITT is so intense that it’s usually only done in short bursts. It’s much easier to do a leisurely cycle for an hour than 20 minutes of uphill race sprints.

Luckily, cycling, even on an exercise bike, means you can easily switch between LISS and HIIT, building muscle, endurance, and speed and improving your oxygen consumption and metabolic rate.

The best way to lose weight with a bike is to incorporate both LISS and HIIT into your ride. Longer, slower rides will help you build endurance, and by maintaining your heart rate at about 50-65% of your maximum, you’ll be able to spend more time on your bike and burn more calories.

Throw in some HIIT sprints by cycling at speed uphill, and work your muscles and build lung capacity.

You will get the best exercise by alternating bursts of high-intensity activity with some recovery cycling in between.

Can You Lose Belly Weight Riding A Bike?

Belly fat is often the number one place most people want t target for weight loss, so they question if biking helps lose belly fat. After all, you don’t seem to be doing much with your stomach while cycling.

The idea that you need to target your stomach for fat loss is a bit misguided. Cycling uses a lot of core strength for balance and to support your back, so it does help build your core muscles.

But you cannot target fat loss, so even if all your exercises were core-targeted, that wouldn’t necessarily make you lose stomach fat.

To lose belly fat, you need to lose body fat in general, and your genetics and hormones will determine where you lose the fat from first. You will reduce body fat by adding in regular cardio and tracking your diet to ensure you don’t go overboard on calories.

Cycling is a fantastic way to help you lose belly fat, as it allows you to incorporate different kinds of fat-burning exercise (like LISS and HITT) into your daily life.

Moderate intensity exercise, such as cycling, for 30-60 minutes a day has been shown to reduce body fat, including belly fat, and lower insulin resistance. Occasional long rides (like endurance rides that take six hours) are excellent ways to burn fat.


Biking is an excellent way to help you lose weight by creating a regular exercise habit. Many people have found they prefer cycling to run because it places less stress on their knees and feet and allows them to commute to work easily.

The best bike for weight loss is one that is easy for you to ride and suits the environment you prefer to cycle in. Urban commuter bikes like hybrid bikes are excellent ways to start cycling for fitness and weight loss, and hybrids start at very reasonable prices.


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