Bicycle ergometers are basically ideal sports equipment for anyone who wants to start exercising (again): Anyone who has problems with weight or cardiovascular problems can train gently on them. However, it is important that training values such as the number of watts to be pedaled can be set and measured precisely.
None of the eight ergometers examined by Stiftung Warentest provide correct training values in all performance areas. Many models are also unsafe or contain harmful substances. Only two exercise bikes are recommended with reservations. Our test protects against expensive, bad purchases.
Why the ergometer test is worth it for you
The table shows Stiftung Warentest ratings for eight bicycle ergometers of the highest accuracy class, including devices from Christopeit, Kettler, Horizon Fitness and Finnlo. Prices range between 400 and 1,000 euros.
The best ergometer for you
The test results show which ergometers performed well in individual tests, which models you should stay away from and where almost all providers need to make improvements.
Buying advice, tips and tricks
We explain how you can avoid exposure to the pollutants found as much as possible and which parts of the affected ergometers you should urgently replace.
Magazine article as PDF
After activation, you will receive the magazine article from test 10/23 for download.
Ergometer in the test Test results for 8 bicycle ergometers
An ergometer has to fit exactly
We tested eight bicycle ergometers of the highest accuracy class. Depending on the model, the power ranges are between 10 and 400 watts. If you want to buy an ergometer, you should try it out in the store first. Can the saddle height and the distance to the handlebars be adjusted to suit your own needs? The test showed that not all bicycle ergometers are easily adjustable.
Tipp: Even before activation, you can see all the bicycle ergometers that we have tested in the database – including prices and equipment details.
Exercise bike in the test: The industry disappoints again
The results for the bicycle ergometers are just as bad as in our cross trainer test from 2022. Again, many devices proved to be unreliable. Every second seated ergometer has a significantly different wattage than what the athletes actually have to achieve. This can reduce the training effect and even become dangerous if people with cardiovascular diseases overload themselves. Only three out of eight ergometers performed well in the most important sub-test, “training”.
Most ergometers in the test measured heart rate accurately. The problem: The measurement usually only works when your hands are on sensors on the handlebars. If these sensors are released, the signal disappears shortly afterwards. The devices then sometimes take a very long time to display the correct heart rate again.
Tipp: You can also monitor your heart rate with one of the good models from our test of smartwatches or fitness trackers.
This is how we test bicycle ergometers: training values, safety, harmful substances
In order to test how well the ergometers perform in practice, Stiftung Warentest sent three women and four men to training. There, for example, we checked how accurately the devices measure heart rate and performance values. Many devices revealed weaknesses. The test subjects also tested how well the ergometers could be adjusted and operated.
In the laboratory we tested the mechanical safety and looked for pollutants. The handlebars or saddles of five bicycle ergometers could not withstand the load required by the standard. There is a risk of crushing feet when using two devices. We also found pollutants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in several handles and saddles. Three ergometers are inadequate in this regard, two are only sufficient.