When you are short (or tall for that matter) it can be difficult to find a spin bike (or other things) that fit you properly. It’s annoying to the say the least, when you end up with something that doesn’t fit properly and with a spin bike it can result in unnecessary strain on the body that can result in injury.
Spin bikes and indoor cycles normally have a range of height they can accommodate.
To get them to fit properly the rule of thumb is that the seat should be adjusted to be at your hip height, the front of the seat should be the length of your arm from the tips of your hands to your elbow from the handlebars. When you are in the seat your knee should only be bent slightly when the pedal is at its lowest point of the stroke.
Other things to consider when selecting a bike besides your overall height is the length of your arms, legs and torso as this can affect how well you can get a bike to fit you properly and comfortably.
To determine the best spin bikes or indoor cycles for a short person I used the following criteria:
Height Adjustment. Must be suitable for people who are under 5 ft ( Unfortunately 4 ft 9 ins is the lowest that I’ve found that has been confirmed by manufacturers or users). I’ve also chosen bikes that can be adjusted for a range of heights.
Stability and Durability. It must provide a stable ride so there is no rocking or flexing as you ride. It needs to be well constructed, be relatively quiet and not breaking down.
Smooth Ride. It should provide a smooth and natural riding sensation for a low impact cardio workout.
For more choice our compare page shows all bikes and where available the range of heights that the bikes can be adjusted to properly fit along with ratings. You can find it here
The list of best spin bikes that are suitable for short people 4 ft 9 ins to 5 ft are:
This is a commercial grade bike that is suitable for people 4ft 10 ins to 6 ft 10 ins. It is a premium bike. For this you are getting a bike that has proven itself in the gym setting so has proved it can take the punishment of repeated use over a number of years.
It is a basic no frills bike with friction resistance, chain drive and a heavy weighted flywheel. It is gives a natural riding experience similar to riding an outdoor bike. The narrow Q-Factor of 158 mm keeps the legs more in line (distance between the pedals) reducing stress on the joints as well as feeling more natural.
It doesn’t come with a console. It does have a dual water bottle holder which is great to help you stay properly hydrated on long workouts. It also comes with 4 DVDs with workouts and guidance on setting up and using the bike.
It is highly regarded bike for the home and gym use. Read more in our full review here
This indoor cycling bike is not the same as a traditional spin bike. Before pointing out the differences, it is suitable for people 4 ft 10 ins to 7 ft 0 ins.
It comes with magnetic resistance and a belt drive which make it low noise and low maintenance. The biggest difference is that it has a light flywheel at only 8.85 lbs and is at the back of the bike.
This does give it a different riding experience to other bikes as you don’t get the inertia of the flywheel to pull the pedals around the pedaling cycle. It means you need to work on your stroke to ensure it doesn’t become an up and down motion which can be hard on the legs and joint.
Most people report back that they like the smooth ride they get with the bike (it is just different to a bike with a heavy flywheel). Read more about the bike in our complete review here.
From the same people that provide the Spinner NXT, this is a more affordable version that is made for the home. It also caters for people 4 ft 10 ins up to 6 ft 10 ins.
It doesn’t have the same level of construction as the NXT but it is durable and stable making it suitable for most home settings.
The seat height and horizontal position can be adjusted to get it in the right position. The handlebars can only be adjusted vertically. For most people this provides all the adjustment required to get the bike set up for an effective and comfortable workout.
The flywheel weighs 31 lbs and provides the inertia for a reasonably fluid pedal stroke but it isn’t as strong as you get with heavier flywheels.
Overall it gives a great ride for those new to working out and more experienced. Check out the full review here.
This is the bike that has the lowest setting for people at 4 ft 9 ins making it one of the most versatile although some do find it can be not quite right for their torso length.
As with the Sprint the handlebars can only be adjusted vertically (seat can be adjusted vertically/horizontally) and this is the reason why some people can’t get the bike set for them.
The 31 lbs flywheel does provide the momentum to bring the pedals round for a smooth pedaling experience but serious trainer and spinners may find it too light especially at higher resistance settings.
This bike comes with a basic console that can help in keep you on track during your training with it providing RPM, calories burned, time, distance and speed.
Overall it is good solid bike that gives the basis for workouts as tough as you want for beginners and intermediate level users. Read more about it here.
Other affordable bikes worth checking out are the Spinner S1 or the Sunny Health And Fitness Indoor Cycling Bike but only has a 22 lbs flywheel that both cater for people under 5 ft tall.
What if I’m 4’5″? Are there any bikes for people that are shorter than 4’9″?
I’m sorry I don’t know of a bike that would suit.
What about for 5’3”?
A 5 ft 3 ins person should be fine with these bikes. You can check inseam leg length (from top of inner thigh to bottom of foot) with manufacturer to be totally confident.
I have had 11 back surgeries and am 4’9″. My Dr. rexommended a rexumbent bike. Which one should I buy? Thanks Much.
You might find one in this list that’s right for you https://indoorsfitness.com/best-recumbent-exercise-bikes-500/ but check with your doctor first.
I need a bike that works for me male 5 foot 9 inches and my wife about 5 foot 1 inch
The bikes in this list should all work for you and your wife.
I have a child. She is 4’7”. Any suggestions. I am looking at Schwann ic3, ic4, and Sunny B1002. Are there others for a petite person? We’d like it to be useful for the family….
Hi, I haven’t come across any others. From the bikes I’ve researched the IC4 is likely to be the most likely to be adjusted to fit It does depend on leg length.
Hello! Do you have an updated list, by chance? Most of your recommendations I cannot find for sale online today. 🙁 Thank you!
Sorry, it is more than a little out of date. There are 2 bikes on the post that are still available the Keiser M3i (4 ft 10 ins) and the Schwinn IC2 (4ft 9 ins). Other choices from my research are the Schwinn IC4 (4ft 6 ins), Sole SB700 (4ft 10 ins). I’ve not reviewed or researched the latest Mad Dogg Spinner Spin Bikes but they are usually good solid bikes without too many add-ons on the more economical bikes – They have a minimum inseam of 29 ins (spimning.com).
I hope these suggestions help and thanks for reminding me that I need to update the post.
Any update on new Spinner bikes for the vertically challenged??? I don’t want to buy another bike that I have to “make work” like I have with my A7 the last 4 years.
Spinner bikes like the L1 fit a minimum inseam of 29″ as noted above. What did you have to do to make the bike fit? What is your inseam? (from top of inner thigh to sole of foot)
I’m 5’2″. My issue isn’t the height but the distance from the seat to the handlebars. Are bikes with rear flywheels better in this situation?
Some of the maybe – in particular those with the v-shaped frame, like the Keiser M3i, and with handlebars that adjust backwards/forwards as well as up/down (along with the seat).
However, you are likely to find it will be those bikes that have fully adjustable seats and handlebars for both front and rear flywheels where it is possible to get a better fit (not guaranteed though unfortunately depending on body type). Do you have any bikes in mind and I’ll see what I can find?