Exercise bikes with tablet holders are excellent alternatives to pricey touchscreen-equipped bikes. But are they good enough?

Indoor bicycles with a built-in tablet holder are not only more affordable. They also let you enjoy your favourite music, podcasts, or movies while working out. Also, downloading fitness apps to your tablet diversifies your routine through workout libraries and virtual cycling.

Here are other reasons why built-in tablet holders are a good exercise bike feature.

How Can an Exercise Bike with a Tablet Holder Benefit You?

Tablets are multipurpose devices. They can display any form of media, from music to published articles to videos. And if you connect them to the Internet, access to online media is limitless. These functions alone make them an excellent add-on to your cycling routine.

However, holding your tablet while biking is not ideal. Aside from being uncomfortable, it affects your cycling form and limits the efficacy of your exercise.

So, getting an indoor bike with a built-in device holder is more practical and convenient. Check out our top exercise bike picks with device holders.

Here are the other benefits you get from this machine feature.

1. It makes indoor cycling more enjoyable.

Some of us prefer to work out alone. But cycling for 30 minutes or so by yourself can be dull and repetitive.

Working out daily with a different music playlist or trainer-led video can spice up monotonous cycling routines.

An exercise bike with a tablet holder lets you hear or watch entertaining things to pass the time and make workouts more bearable and enjoyable.

We know that regular cycling is good for our health. But having add-ons that boost our motivation can help us stick to that active lifestyle.

2. It lets you sync to your favourite fitness app.

Bikes with a touchscreen display often work with a compatible fitness app, giving you access to extensive workout libraries. Syncing with certain apps may also activate their automated features.

Exercise bikes with tablet holders may not have automated functions. However, you can download a fitness app to your tablet and use it to enjoy various cycling programs online.

The screen of a tablet may not be as big and immersive as the touchscreens that most modern bikes have. But it still serves its purpose of making your workouts diverse and exciting.

3. It allows you to set up a virtual cycling space.

If you haven’t tried virtual reality cycling before, consider giving it a go using your tablet. This fun and engaging indoor cycling variation is not new, but it became extra popular during pandemic lockdowns. It’s similar to how fitness apps work.

However, this one applies a more gamified approach, allowing you to experience indoor cycling with realistic 3D outdoor views or join virtual bike races with other online players. A touchscreen-equipped exercise bike simplifies setting up a virtual cycling space at home.

You can also do the same if your indoor bike has a device holder. There may be some limitations on automated bike adjustments or real-time monitoring. Still, you get to experience this fun indoor cycling innovation.

4. It enhances workout performance.

Isn’t playing music or watching videos during workouts distracting? Some may think these extra tasks are distractions, and quiet rides and a peaceful gym environment are better.

However, some indoor cyclists can work out longer while listening to music. Some are also more motivated to perform their best while watching a cycling coach or racing with online riders.

Several studies have explained why this happens. For instance, researchers observed that music tempo can increase exercise duration or the participants’ endurance (Thakare et al. 2017).

Others explained this further and noted that music can reduce perceived exertion during exercise (Terry et al., 2020).

Mestre and colleagues (2011) had similar findings after studying the effect of virtual reality on indoor cyclists. They said that video feedback, speed, and music contribute to riders’ performance and attentional focus.

Based on their observations, the participants’ pedalling speed is proportional to the video display. They also seem to be more committed to the cycling task with music-enhanced videos.

These conclusions only mean that we all have different sources of motivation to stay active. Exercise bikes with tablet holders can potentially help us become better-performing cyclists.

Is It Worth It to Get an Exercise Bike with a Tablet Holder?

A tablet holder makes it easier to experience better cycling workouts. You can still get the health benefits of using exercise bikes without screens. However, with the price difference between one with and one without a device holder, we would recommend getting one with a holder.

The music, videos, and programs you can play on your tablet can boost cycling motivation and, perhaps, your overall performance. These help you stick to your routine and avoid monotonous cycling or fitness plateaus.

And probably the best part about indoor cycling bikes with tablet holders is they give almost the same perks as touchscreen-equipped models and cost less.

Mat under an Exercise Bike

What Should You Look for When Buying Exercise Bikes with Tablet Holders?

Getting a machine with a built-in device holder has several benefits. But before buying, make sure to consider and check the following:

  • Build quality. Smart gadgets like tablets are investments. Your holder should be strong enough to keep your device safe. Ideally, bring your tablet while shopping, then test if the holding mechanism is secure and wobble-free. Also, choose tablet mounts made of durable plastic or steel for longevity.
  • Size compatibility. Tablets come in various sizes. So, measure your tablet and the holder before buying the exercise bike. Ideally, go for a holder that can carry tablets of different sizes. Check if it gives a snug fit regardless of the tablet size.
  • Weight capacity. Older tablet models are heavier than newer ones. Some with big screens are hefty as well. So, ensure that your chosen holder can accommodate your device’s weight.
  • Design. Indoor cycling, particularly intense workouts, can cause slight movements and vibration. To protect your tablet, look for holders with cushioning or shock-absorbing features. Also, ensure that the holder does not restrict your access to the bike’s buttons, connectivity ports, and other essential parts.
  • Reviews. Read firsthand accounts or customer feedback about the indoor exercise bike you intend to buy. Watching product videos or demos also helps.

What are the Best Exercise Bikes with Tablet Holders?

Here are a few suggestions.

1. Pro-Form 8.0 Exercise Bike

The Pro-Form 8.0 may not have a large touchscreen. However, it does have a 5-inch backlit display with easy-access buttons below for program selection. Its console is also adjustable to get your ideal viewing angle.

There’s also an auxiliary port on the lower right side for connecting devices, like your headphones. On top is a tablet holder for streaming iFit workouts, checking social media feeds, or watching movies while cycling.

Check out our full review to learn more about its features.

2. Lifespan Fitness Exer-80 Bike

The Lifespan Fitness Exer-80 has a multifunctional LCD screen for tracking various workout metrics, including time, speed, distance, and calories. This one also has a built-in pulse sensor for monitoring your heart rate.

I like the simple design of its console and how easy it is to switch resistance levels using the accessible buttons. There’s also a stand below the console for holding your book, tablet, or mobile phone. The only problem is big books or tablets can block the console screen and its buttons.

Learn more about this exercise machine from our full review.

Should I Try Virtual Cycling Workouts?

Virtual cycling is 100% worth trying, especially if you have a stationary bike with a screen and fitness app access. This fun exercise variation combines indoor cycling and video gaming. It helps enhance your workout performance and motivation. Studies also suggest that it encourages healthy competitiveness and brain functioning.