If you’re on the shorter side, it can be a struggle to find exercise equipment that you can comfortably use. However, the best exercise bikes for a short person feature highly adjustable seats and/or handlebars so you can adjust it to suit your height. Orthopedic surgeon Kellie K. Middleton, MD/MPH, notes that finding a bike that actually fits your body is important because it “helps ensure a comfortable ride and prevents unnecessary muscle strain or discomfort.” You’ll also need to decide between an indoor cycling bike, recumbent bike, or upright bike; each has its own pros, so go with whatever fits your workouts best.
Constance Garnier is a cyclist, triathlete, and workout enthusiast. At 5 feet and 1 inch tall, she has ample experience with searching for exercise equipment that is suitable for shorter individuals. She also runs a blog called Joyful Triathlete.
Kellie K. Middleton, MD/MPH, is an orthopedic surgeon based in the Atlanta, Georgia area. She specializes in shoulder, elbow, and knee injuries while also treating general sports and orthopedic injuries.
What To Look For When Shopping For The Best Exercise Bikes For A Short Person
Types Of Exercise Bikes
Consider these three main styles of indoor exercise bikes:
- Indoor cycling bikes give you a high-intensity workout because they put your body in a forward-leaning position — essentially mimicking a road bike. The handlebars (which are around the same level as the seat) are often larger, so you can place your hands in various positions.
- Recumbent bikes allow you to sit in a more reclined position and extend your legs in order to pedal. “It’s like [sitting] on a chair rather than a stool,” explains cycling enthusiast Constance Garnier. These bikes offer a more comfortable, low-impact ride that puts less stress on your body. Another perk? Recumbent bikes sit low to the ground, so it’s easier for shorter individuals to get on and off them.
- Upright bikes put your body in an upright position during rides, just as their name suggests; the pedals are positioned under your body and the handlebars are higher up. Upright bikes tend to provide more of a total-body workout because, in addition to your legs, your core and arm muscles are engaged.
When looking for an exercise bike, you’ll want to pay close attention to the adjustability of both the seat and the handlebars. The best case scenario is that both of these elements can be adjusted in height and their positioning forward and backward to accommodate your stature, though for some, having just one of them adjustable can be enough. Amazon reviews can be an incredibly useful source of information for this — fellow riders offer insight into whether or not a bike is suitable for different heights. Additionally, the manufacturer will often provide the overall heights or inseam heights that the exercise bike is suitable for.
To narrow down the options further, consider what features are a necessity for you. More budget-friendly models usually have a built-in monitor that records a couple of stats (without the need for a subscription) and likely a few different resistance levels to choose from. On the other hand, higher-priced picks usually offer a wide range of resistance levels, a built-in tablet/phone holder, and more. If you’re tight on space in your home, some exercise bikes even fold up to save major room.
Shop The Best Exercise Bikes For A Short Person
In a hurry? Here are the top picks for the best exercise bikes for a short person:
- An Indoor Cycling Bike With A Highly Adjustable Seat & Handlebars: ADVENOR Indoor Cycling Bike
- An Expert-Recommended Recumbent Bike: Schwinn Recumbent Bike
- A Folding Upright Bike For Less Than $150: ATIVAFIT Exercise Bike
- An Upright Fan Bike That Also Works Your Arms: Marcy Exercise Upright Fan Bike
- A Folding Recumbent Exercise Bike For Less Than $200: Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Exercise Bike
- An Indoor Cycling Bike That’s Packed With Features: Echelon Smart Connect Indoor Cycling Bike
Get your workout on with these six exercise bikes — there are various types, price points (including an inexpensive exercise bike that’s less than $130), and features to consider, but Amazon reviewers confirm they’re all suitable for short people.
1. An Indoor Cycling Bike With A Highly Adjustable Seat & Handlebars
- Seat and handlebars adjust in height, as well as forward and backward
- 100 resistance levels
- Some reviewers report the seat is somewhat uncomfortable
This indoor cycling bike is a fantastic option for shorter riders because the handlebars and seat are highly adjustable — they both can be adjusted in height (the seat raises and lowers up to 8 inches, while the handlebar height adjusts up to 6 inches), as well as forwards and backward. And the brand calls it suitable for riders ranging in height from 5 feet 1 inch to 6 feet 5 inches or those with an inseam between 25 and 35 inches.
The fact that it’s short-person friendly aside, it’s also a high-quality indoor cycling bike at a fair price point. It features a 35-pound flywheel, 100 magnetic resistance levels, and a built-in LCD monitor that tracks speed, calories burned, time, and more. There’s also a tablet holder should you want to follow a class on one of your favorite apps and a built-in bottle holder. The cage pedals have adjustable straps for a more customized fit, and the seat is cushioned for comfort. It comes with a 12-month parts warranty and can be moved via the front wheels.
One Reviewer Wrote: “I put this bike together while my husband napped. Very easy to assemble. It is SILENT. No noise while I ride. I am shorter, 5’ 3”, and I feel very comfortable. Also, arrived ahead sooner than I was told. I highly recommend this bike.”
Type: Indoor cycling bike | Weight Limit: 350 pounds | Weighs: 78 pounds
2. An Expert-Recommended Recumbent Bike
- Large seat with foam padding
- Comes with a 1-year membership with access to workout classes, coaching, and more
- LCD screen has 13 built-in workout programs (it works with popular cycling apps, too)
Recumbent bikes are a popular option for those looking to put less strain and stress on the body, while still allowing you to achieve a quality workout. This recumbent bike from Schwinn is a particularly good option — it comes recommended by Dr. Middleton, and it’s also wildly popular on Amazon (boasting a solid 4.4-star rating overall after over 9,000 reviews). A few short reviewers also specifically called out this model because the seat can slide forwards (and backward) to accommodate their height.
The large foam-padded seat is comfortable during long rides, and the weighted, adjustable pedals ensure your feet won’t accidentally slip out. The 7-inch LCD display has 13 built-in workout programs, goal tracking, and fitness metrics, and the 25 different resistance levels can be tweaked on it as well. It’s also designed to work with popular cycling apps. Plus, there is a built-in charging port and a bottle holder for your convenience.
This pick comes with a 1-year JRNY membership, giving you access to workouts, classes, real-time coaching, and more.
Expert’s Review: “I recommend the Schwinn 290 Recumbent Bike. It has 25 levels of magnetic resistance, a 7″ LCD display, and adjustable padded + ventilated seats. It also features contact heart rate sensors that help you stay in your ideal target zone for optimal calorie burn. It’s great for short people as it has […] a seat that can fit riders of all shapes and sizes. In addition, you can keep track of your progress with their app, which is convenient.” -Kellie K. Middleton, MD/MPH
Type: Recumbent bike | Weight Limit: 330 pounds | Weighs: 107.6 pounds
3. A Folding Upright Bike For Less Than $150
- Most budget-friendly option on this list
- X-frame folds for more compact storage
- Lowest max weight limit on this list
This upright exercise bike costs less than $150 — but it’s still sturdy, comfortable for short riders (the seat adjusts vertically in height), and boasts an X-frame that allows it to fold up for compact storage. It’s also the lightest pick on this list for even easier relocating and has earned over 9,900 five-star reviews. The bike features eight different magnetic resistance levels to tweak the intensity as desired, and a battery-powered digital monitor that tracks your distance, speed, time, and heart rate (there are hand pulse monitors).
One Reviewer Wrote: “I mainly ordered this to get a bike that my wife could comfortably use, as she is 4’11” tall. I got it yesterday, put it together in 45 minutes and she did her first workout yesterday and loved it. […] The seat is very comfortable, the ride is smooth and quiet, the machine looks like a sculpture and it’s very sturdy and not wobbly. I’ve had several exercise bicycles in the past and this one is by far the best!”
Type: Upright bike | Weight Limit: 265 pounds | Weighs: 34 pounds
4. An Upright Fan Bike That Also Works Your Arms
- Handlebars move to work your arms as well
- Fan produces cool air when the bike is in use
- Can’t adjust the resistance levels; though resistance increases as you pedal faster
Work both your upper and lower body when you hop on this Marcy exercise bike. Just be aware that this upright bike doesn’t have adjustable resistance. It utilizes a fan instead of a weighted flywheel that increases resistance as you pedal faster — this also produces a gust of air to cool you down. For your upper body, the bike has two moving handlebars for you to grab onto (they’re similar to ones you’d find on an elliptical machine) that are covered in foam for comfort. The LCD monitor is powered by two AA batteries, and it displays valuable data like time, speed, calories burned, and more.
As for the machine itself, the sturdy steel framework has a scratch-resistant, powder-coated finish. The seat is made of high-density foam, and it’s adjustable in height to accommodate those with inseams from 21 to 33 inches. The foot straps are adjustable as well.
This pick features transport wheels on the front for simple relocation. The adjustable leveling allows you to stabilize the exercise bike on any surface, including carpet.
One Reviewer Wrote: “This is a heavy, sturdy bike. It was easy to assemble with the tools that came with it. I’m liking the workout and finding it harder than I imagined when I speed up the pedalling (which is how it’s supposed to be). The size works for me, I’m 5’2″ and can reach the full extent of the handles which was a concern of mine while choosing an air bike. […] I’m very happy with this purchase and would recommend it to anyone looking for a well built affordable air bike for home use.”
Type: Upright bike | Weight Limit: 300 pounds | Weighs: 79 pounds
5. A Folding Recumbent Exercise Bike For Less Than $200
- Folds for compact storage
- Comfortable; large seat cushion and backrest
- Can be used under a desk
- Some reviewers reported that the handlebars are too low, but many short reviewers wrote that this bike worked well for them
This folding recumbent bike has a knockout 4.5-star rating overall after 5,000-plus reviews. It features a weighted flywheel and eight varying levels of magnetic resistance that you can set based on your workout preferences. Plus, the large seat cushion and backrest are exceptionally comfortable, and the entire seat adjusts in height, so it’s ideal for riders of all statures (short people included). The handlebars are also located on the side, so anyone can reach them; this setup allows you to utilize this pick while sitting at a desk or table if desired. The easy-to-read LCD display tracks distance, calories, time, speed, and heart rate. When your workout is complete, simply fold up this exercise bike for more compact storage.
One Reviewer Wrote: “I’m 5’2″ and I have short legs but I’ve had no problem reaching the pedals on this bike. I find the seat to be very comfortable even while riding for long periods of time >2 hours and I love the back rest as well. I feel like it’s really well made, it’s sturdy and everything spins smoothly and quietly.”
Type: Recumbent bike | Weight Limit: 300 pounds | Weighs: 43 pounds
6. An Indoor Cycling Bike That’s Packed With Features
- Seat and handlebars adjust in height, as well as forward and backward
- Console rotates 180 degrees
- Comes with 30-day membership with access to 3,000 classes
- Has spot to stow hand weights & 2 bottles of water
The Echelon indoor cycling bike is packed with useful features. It has a back-mounted, 28.6-pound flywheel that delivers a smooth and stable ride. And the 32 levels of magnetic resistance let you vary your workout intensity. Additionally, the handlebar-mounted console (which can fit smartphones or tablets ranging from 2.5 to 12.5 inches) conveniently rotates 180 degrees, should you want to incorporate off-bike exercises into your fitness routine. It even has two built-in water bottle holders and a rack for small hand weights behind the seat. The exercise bike’s powder-coated frame is resistant to scratches. And it has dual front wheels for easier transport since the machine is a bit heavy.
Now I know what you’re thinking: Most indoor cycling bikes just don’t work for short riders. Well, that’s not the case here. The exercise bike’s vented, cushioned seat and padded handlebars adjust up and down, as well as forward and backward — you’ll be able to make all of the tweaks needed to ride comfortably on it. The toe cages on the pedals are also adjustable for the best fit and are SPD-compatible. The bike also comes with a 30-day Echelon membership with access to more than 3,000 classes.
One Reviewer Wrote: “After researching and trying out two different bikes this one is very high quality in both construction and performance. I’m 6′ and my wife is 5’2″ with a 27″ inseam. […] The bike with magnetic resistance is very smooth, the seat is comfortable, and has lots of adjustments. […] The adjustments on the bike are excellent and should prove to be comfortable for a wide range of riders.”
Type: Indoor cycling bike | Weight Limit: 300 pounds | Weighs: 106 pounds
Also Great: An Under-$50 Mini Exercise Bike That Can Be Used With A Chair
Don’t want to invest in a full-sized exercise bike for your home or want an option you can use discreetly at work, home, or elsewhere? This mini exercise bike is a genius alternative. It costs less than $50, and it can be used while sitting on nearly any chair in your home — some Amazon reviewers use it while sitting on a couch or even for their arms. You can easily change the resistance level with the tension knob, and the LCD display shows data like time, speed, calories burned, and more. The non-slip foot pedals have a strap to hold your feet in place.
This pick weighs just 9 pounds, and it’s compact in size (just 12.6 inches tall). It’s powered by one AAA battery that’s included.
Writer’s Review: “I have this mini exercise bike underneath my desk, and I use it whenever I am working to squeeze in a little bit of extra exercise. It can be used with practically any chair around your house (or even with your couch!) and it’s suitable for different heights/and legs lengths because of this.”
Constance Garnier, triathlete and blogger behind Joyful Triathlete
Kellie K. Middleton, MD/MPH, orthopedic surgeon