Best fitness bikes: flat handlebar machines to smash your workout goals

best fitness bikes
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Riding a fitness bike is a perfect way to stay healthy while escaping the stresses of everyday life. Designed to help you on your way to demolish any workout targets, fitness bikes are sporty and fast rides.

We have rounded up the best fitness bikes for leisure cyclists and fitness enthusiasts alike in our guide below, but first...

What is a fitness bike?

Dropbar handlebars are not a prerequisite for speed on the road. Flat handlebars can boost your confidence to push deeper and go faster as the slightly more upright riding position and wider grips on the bars feels more secure and stable.

Looking for a dropbar model? Check out our guide to the best performance road bikes reviewed here or the best road bikes under £2000 / $2500 here.

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Fitness bikes are essentially performance oriented hybrids. Powerful hydraulic disc brakes are often fitted so with a slight clench of your fingers the bike grounds to a rapid halt, even in wet conditions. Fast speeds, therefore, are no concern.

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Lightweight builds result in snappy acceleration and the inclusion of comfort oriented contact points means you can focus on your legs screaming at you and not your hands or your nether regions.

Not only can these bikes be perfect workout machines, they fit right in with commuting needs. With mounts for mudguards and a pannier rack in worse riding conditions dirt on the road won't be flicked up at you and it's possible to carry extra luggage on the bike instead of in a backpack, which can strain your shoulders and back.

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Fitness bikes are an excellent do it all bike. Perfect for riders who only have space or money for one bike, and want one that can be used for both short expeditions to the shops/work and for sweating it out for fitness gains.

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If a fitness bike ticks most of your boxes but speed isn't a priority, it may be worth looking at the other end of the hybrid scale at comfort bikes. The geometry and contact points on these bikes are optimised for cyclists who are beginners, less flexible or have niggling or persistent injuries.

>>>Best comfort hybrid bikes: a guide for happier leisure rides

Our pick of the best fitness bikes

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best fitness bikes

Giant FastRoad SL 1

The FastRoad from Giant is agile with its lightweight aluminium frame and carbon fork, while providing confidence and control with a flat handlebar setup.

Any rough roads will be smoothed out by Giant's D-Fuse seatpost which absorbs the road vibrations and the high volume 32mm wide tyres which are fitted– these tubeless ready, puncture protect tyres will also provide reassuring grip and fewer flats so you can keep pedalling without annoying interuptions.

Equipped with hydraulic disc brakes and a Shimano 105 gearing groupset, these are quality components that will allow you to push to your limits with the confidence that you can stop when you need to and switch gear effortlessly mid effort.

With its easy to use pannier and mudguard (fenders) mounting system, this bike is also ideal for commuting and weekend adventures in addition to fitness riding.

best fitness bikes

Trek FX Sport

Demolish your fitness goals with this bike from Trek that is built for performance and versatility. Featuring a lightweight carbon frame and fork it has a responsive ride feel and hills can be conquered at speed.

For fast rolling speed on the tarmac while ensuring sufficient grip in poor conditions, Bontrager R1 Hard-Case Lite tyres have been fitted. For controlled, powerful stopping power it's hydraulic disc brakes will have you covered.

Shimano Tiagra gearing setup is a lower spec than some fitness bikes, but will still provide reliable shifting and keeps this otherwise very well speced bike at a reasonable price.Perfect for riders looking for road bike speed with hybrid bike practicality and stability.

best fitness bikes

Specialized Sirrus X 5.0

Comfortable over the longer rides and agile for when you want to give it your all, the Specialized Sirrus X is the perfect option for riding more and pushing your limits.

The carbon frame and fork Sirrus X is fitted with wide, confidence-inspiring 38mm tyres and the geometry has a slightly more upright riding position for a stable ride feel. In addition, the brand's Future Shock technology in the front fork will dampen the harsh feel of any rough surfaces or potholes.

Internal cable routing keeps this ride looking smart and clean, while a 1x drivetrain chain set up ensures easy, swift shifting.

best fitness bikes

Canyon Roadlite 6

Delivering an impressive level of performance for the price, Canyon's Roadlite is only 9.9kg (21.8lbs) thanks to its high grade aluminium frame and compliant carbon fork.

Extremely effective hydraulic disc brakes are integrated seamlessly into the frame and Canyon have fitted this bike with comfort focused contact points, including Ergon GA3 grips and a Canyon Sport saddle.

Complete with aerodynamic wheels wrapped in reliable Schwalbe G-One Speed tyres - at 30mm wide these are narrower than other fitness bike offerings but will still provide a confident ride and excel at speed.

best fitness bikes

Merida Speeder 900

Sporty yet comfortable geometry features on the lightweight triple butted and hydroformed aluminium frame in the Speeder range.

To help keep your speed in check hydraulic disc brakes are fitted and Merida's fitness offering is equipped with a higher end Shimano groupset than others on this list, with its Ultegra 2 x 11 drivetrain.

It can also accommodate up to 37mm wide tyres, or 32mm if you fit mudguards (fenders in the US), both of which will provide a stable feeling ride that will give you confidence to push higher speeds.

best fitness bikes

Scott Metrix 10

Lightly dusted with gold glitter, this fast machine from Scott has a lightweight carbon frame paired with sporty features.

The 2x11 Shimano 105 groupset delivers high enough gears for high speed cycling, while leaving enough in reserve to get you up the steeper hills. With hydraulic disc brakes there is ample stopping power and lower maintenance over cable actuated alternatives.

Providing a balance between aerodynamics and stable handling, the 580mm wide handlebars from in-house brand Syncros are also design with comfort in mind. Adding further vibration dampening properties is the 27.2mm seatpost, offering greater compliance over those with wider diameters.

best fitness bikes

Cube SL Road Race

Sleek and speedy sums up Cube's stylish fitness bike offering, with a double butted aluminium frame and full carbon fork, and with aero rim wheels completing the look.

Powerful Tektro hydraulic disc brakes come as standard and Shimano 105 2x11 gearing will give you reliable shifting with plenty of choice.

Schwalbe G-One Allround tyres provide excellent grip even in poor conditions and there are mounting points for mudguards and a rack if you want to convert this bike into a winter commuter warrior.

best fitness bikes

Marin Fairfax 3

The Fairfax 3 is Marin's top-tier flat-bar fitness bike. It features a 6061 aluminum frame with a full carbon fork, helping to keep the weight down and the road chatter at bay. Flat-mount disc brakes and thru-axles ensure it's right up to date.

The 2x9 groupset is a blend of Shimano, Microshift and a Marin-branded chainset. The gear-range is wide, with a better than 1:1 low gear thanks to a 48/32t x 11-34t combination.

The bike comes with 700 x 32mm tires, while the frame offers rack and mudguard (fender) mounts, making this fitness bike a more than capable commuter too.