I've had a LifeCycle for years. It does give you a workout, although you are only in a semblence of a usual riding position. The problem is that it is totally boring to me. Tonight, I went to two places selling exercise gear. I tried the recumberants and ironically only liked one of the cheapest ones in the stores. The eliptical machines I really enjoyed. Truly thinking of getting one, but they won't simulate riding by any stretch of the imagination.
I'd try out some of the exercycles and see if you'd be using it enough to make it worth the purchase. I'd make sure that it could be programmed to simulate different riding conditions. I'll say from my experiences tonight that the heart monitors I tried out were very inconsistent, so, if that's important, test it out. For me, personally, if I got one, I'd also want to check into its durability. Two of the machines I tested tonight were already malfunctioning. On the other hand, my Lifecycle is still going strong after over a decades use. It's been ridden a million times and still functions...although in a boring sense, at least to me. I can ride for hours on my regular bike and feel alive and involved, but the 24 minute cycle on the lifecycle seems to last an eternity.