The Best Pool Exercise Bikes: The Complete Review

By Walter J. Farrell | LIVING

Over the course of a month and after countless of miles riding all 5 of the pool bikes we had remaining in our list, we think that the best one is the POOLBIKING EVOLUTION. We were really happy with its reliable features that are comparable to more expensive machines out there. Its interface was the simplest to use out of all the pool bikes we tested. We found it to be incredibly robust and has all the features needed in a pool bike. It has a small footprint so it doesn’t really take up too much of your pool space. It’s a no-frills machine. It can give any user an effective workout routine and has its competitors beat on nearly every front.

Do you ever go back to the good old days when you could still cycle without searing pain shooting through your joints?

You’ve tried different unconventional exercises.

But every time you exercise beyond 10 minutes, the pain comes back and goes on and on. You can’t do it anymore. You simply have to give up exercising to stop the pain.

Exasperating, isn’t it?

Let us tell you a secret about how we discovered a low-impact exercise equipment.

We’ve read a lot of books about exercising and rehabilitation- and we learned a lot from them.

But we’ve learned even more by studying pool exercises. Particularly on exercising with a pool bike. We learned why others hurt and why others really help rehabilitate the joints and knees.

Today, we’ll share 5 different pool bikes that we’ve reviewed, evaluated, and studied in hopes that you’ll find the right one for your needs.

If you’re stuck on which one to pick, just read on and let us help you find the best.

Let’s begin!

The Best Pool Bikes in 2018

Product NameMaterialManufacturerWeight 
POOLBIKING EVOLUTIONAISI 316L stainless steelPOOLBIKING22 kg
Fitmax Aquatic Therapy Exercise BikeMarine grade stainless steelFitmax22.6 kg
Aquabike Wike-up! LightAluminumWIKE-UP9.5 kg
Tidalwave Water Exercise BikeStainless steelAqua Creek Products27.2 kg
POOLBIKING ONE PLUSAISI 316L stainless steelPOOLBIKING20 kg

How Do Pool Bikes Work?

Pool bikes are basically bicycle watercrafts. Earlier in the 1870s to the late 1890s, it was called water velocipede. Riders propel themselves by using a crank with pedals via a propeller underneath. 

Nowadays, pool bikes are used for aqua spinning or aqua cycling- a fitness technique for body training. A stationary bicycle frame is submerged in a pool while people’s upper torso remain above the water. 

They commonly refer to this as an underwater workout. Riders peddle against the water’s resistance which greatly benefits their cardiovascular health just like swimming and cycling does but also significantly reducing the impact on joints and muscles.


What Things to Consider Before Buying a Pool Bike?

Pool bikes are basically defined as a growing popularity among fitness equipment nowadays. It helps reduce impact on your joints and muscles on your legs and knees while helping you burn those excess calories.

This is a great option for people who have had certain surgeries and are on their way to a full recovery or people who suffer from old age. Of course, if you’re healthy and strong and just want another way to exercise- then there’s nothing wrong with wanting to explore other options.

We’ve compiled a list of buying tips and advice to help you avoid bad surprises when choosing which is best for you.

1. Preference

To choose the right equipment for your needs, make sure to try and get the feel of it before making the purchase. Pool bikes vary in shape and size, so when you’re looking for one, make sure to try it and have it adjusted to fit your size.
Look for one that has a comfortable seat and has pedals that can fit your shoe size. There are some that are tailor made to have a more ergonomic design for support and safety.

2. Resistance

Find a machine that has an easy adjustment feature to work your way through a variety of workout intensities. Most pool bikes have paddle wheels that can be adjusted to different levels- the longer the bike’s paddle is pulled out, the greater the resistance.

3. Material

Look for a bike that requires low to no maintenance. A good quality pool bike will be made and designed to resist the hardest form of exercise that fitness coaches can come up with. Look for a machine made with marine steel that allows you to use it in salt, mineral, and thermal rich waters. With this kind of material used, you can either have it stored, left on your pool deck, or in the pool with no worries about rusting and the like.


How We Assessed and Evaluated These Products

We started by zeroing in on the models and brands that already had good reviews and reputations from reputable outlets like our local fitness experts, swimming coaches, and even online websites. We conducted interviews and discussed in detail the important qualities and the specs to use as factors to narrow our list.

We also had a long deliberation about how companies price the value of their bikes. We figured that most people would want to ascertain their safety and spend a few more dollars over buying an untrustworthy and inexpensive equipment from an unknown brand. So we focused more on distinguished companies that had good reputation and feedbacks in the market.

We unboxed, assembled, assessed and adjusted each bike that made it to our top 5. We noted all of our initial impressions while taking our first pool cycling experience. In quite a number of instances, some of the bikes needed major modifications to fit everyone in the team.

Each of us had a go at test riding the bikes. We rated the quality of the ride/exercise each gave, and studied the specification sheets to highlight the pros and cons of each machine. We also made sure to write all of our observations down to help with the scoring.

We even conducted speed tests after some of our coworkers pointed out that the bikes felt like they took forever to speed up to a normal pace- given the water resistance. We started riding on the pool bikes and timed how long it took us to get to 3mph and then to 5mph.


Our Top Picks

1. POOLBIKING EVOLUTION– Editor’s Choice

The heaviest person in our team is over 250 lbs. she’s been constantly looking for an exercise equipment that won’t send intense pain up her tail bone after 5 minutes of working out. When we first tried pool biking, we felt funny. We observed that we were breathing hard and sweating like how we would be in our regular workouts.

The waves that splashed over our faces when we took turns were very refreshing. Our coworker has observed that this pool bike still got her heart rate up and was able to work her legs just as well as other bikes- minus the aches and pains caused by her usual bicycle exercise.
We loved that this bike has the appropriate resistance necessary to give us a low impact and refreshing workout. We were able to easily balance on the seat without having to lean forward to hold on- the handles are quite easy enough to reach. 

What We Liked

  • Simple, well-made, and comfortable 
  • Easy assembly with clear instructions
  • Good stability and very comfortable

What We Didn't Like

  • Some people have found the seat to be very uncomfortable
  • exclamation-triangle
    Not appropriate for people below 5’2”

When we tried out this machine, we loved that once we sat on it, we immediately felt very secure. The pedaling was as smooth as it could be and we liked that we weren’t in an awkward position when pedaling.

Normal discomforts were a thing in the past and we liked that this pool bike was very nicely designed. We liked that this bike was made of very sturdy and solid materials. After a few days of testing, we were able to see that this required minimal maintenance.

Since this was a mechanically simple bike, it ensured its reliability and durability. The resistance was easy enough to adjust. No electronically-controlled switches meant no chance of any device malfunctions.

The bike is easy to move around on since it is well balanced and the adjustments are quite easy to maneuver. If you’re looking for fancy electronics and displays, then we wouldn’t recommend this type of bike for you. 

What We Liked

  • We seem to have noticed that our legs had a better workout than with a real bike
  • Compact and durable
  • plus
    Mechanically simple

What We Didn't Like

  • exclamation-triangle
    Some mechanically-challenged people had a hard time assembling this bike
  • exclamation-triangle
    Some people complained about the seat- it takes a while of getting used to

3. Aquabike Wike-up! Light – 1st Runner Up

When putting this pool bike together, we found that help will definitely make things faster but it really wasn’t necessary. We read through the manual and we were able to put the machine together in a little over an hour. The toughest part we encountered was the pedal since the instructions didn’t mention the need to use a wrench tool to attach the pedals using the already connected bolt.

We found that extended use of this bike at a higher level of resistance increased our heart rate and made us sweat. Since this isn’t like any exercise bikes that has a heart monitor attached, you won’t know your heart rate but the pulse increase should be fairly obvious.

Our co-worker who was 5’1” tall found it comfortable enough to exercise on- that was a huge plus. We also took two of our older friends and had them try this bike (they had arthritic knees and ankles) and surprisingly, they enjoyed it so much, they wanted to get one themselves.

What We Liked

  • Heavy duty enough to withstand hours of exercise
  • Seat height range is adjustable to accommodate short people
  • plus
    Sturdy enough to handle its max resistance level

What We Didn't Like

  • The seat twists occasionally but it can be straightened out back to normal position
  • exclamation-triangle
    Some people complained about the seat- it takes a while of getting used to

With this bike, we found the seat to be a little uncomfortable. After about 20 -30 minutes of cycling, we found it uncomfortable to sit on but not too much to warrant a return- its pros definitely outweigh the cons.

Its tension range is quite decent. We could see that if it was an older person, they could find a good level to achieve greater strength. We loved that it felt very sturdy while exercising especially its upright positioning which we can also use to lean forward on our forearms.

On its lowest setting, our 5’2” tall coworkers had a hard time extending all the way down the pedals. If you had an elder friend that used to cycle when they were younger but stopped because of old age, this is highly recommended because it’s a solid machine that gave us, youngsters, a great workout.

What We Liked

  • Doesn’t have a large footprint to take too much space in the pool
  • A great alternative to get cardio and strength training on days when you don’t want to go out
  • plus
    Easy to put together

What We Didn't Like

  • Adjustability on the front handles is nonexistent
  • exclamation-triangle
    Some people reported that this does not accommodate short people

On assessing this particular bike, we put it through semi-regular use. We each took turns warming up for five minutes at the easiest resistance then followed by medium to high intensity intervals for five minutes.

Overall, we had a great workouts for the whole duration we were testing this bike. We loved that this was ergonomically designed and comfortable. We figured that the low impact resistance of the water was far more effective than being on a regular bike if it were for a recovering person.

We found the build to be very sturdy and high-quality despite its size. We also loved that this works for short people. We also liked that this has different resistance levels that provides different levels of difficulty depending on how hard we wanted to work out on any given day.

What We Liked

  • Gives you a good and decent low-impact workout
  • Assembly was fairly decent since it had a good instruction manual
  • Comfortable enough to sit on and ride if you’re used to cycling

What We Didn't Like

  • People below 5 feet might have trouble reaching the pedals
  • exclamation-triangle
    Some of the screws and bolts looked flimsy 


Our Recommendations:

Editor's Pick: POOLBIKING EVOLUTION

This was our second pick. It was an excellent machine for low impact cardiovascular exercise since it didn’t give our joints that much pressure.

We really loved that weightlessness this gives us allows us more to concentrate on the rehabilitation of our affected body part (assuming we had a body part to rehabilitate). We also had test subjects that had rheumatic diseases, arthritis, and varicose veins, test this bike and they absolutely loved it. 

1st Runner Up: Aquabike Wike-up! Light

At only 21 lbs, this ergonomically designed pool bike is easy to move around when not in use. Water fills the frame to keep the bike in the water so you won’t have to worry about it moving when you’re exercising waist-deep underwater.

We chose this bike as the best among the competition because it runs smooth and is very easy on the joints while giving us a low impact workout. It doesn’t feel cheap- it’s made of quality grade materials and it does what it’s supposed to.

2nd Runner Up: Fitmax Aquatic Therapy Exercise Bike

This was our third pick because it also took our pool exercise to a whole new level. Our joints weren’t stressed after every workout. This made it easier to get quicker results while getting a balanced rehabilitation.

We also liked its annual resistance control that allows the user to exercise at the level they are most comfortable with.

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About the Author

Walter J. Farrell is an accountant who is very passionate about sharing his knowledge on high tech gadgets. He started AuthorityAdviser to help people know more about the products that are currently a hit in the market.

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