We all want to be fit and healthy, but often it’s easier said than done. How many times have you planned going to the gym or maybe take a ride on your bicycle after work – but ended up in the sofa?
It can be quite time consuming and stressful to keep your body in trim, while having a 9-5 job.
So what’s not better than having your own little gym at home?
No matter the weather and no matter the time. With an exercise bike at home you can stay fit while watching TV, cooking food or reading. Rain or extreme heat outside is no longer a problem.
It doesn’t get any better than that!
Therefore, we have decided to review the best upright exercise bikes to make your life easier and healthier!
Best Upright Exercise Bike 2018
If you are in the market for an upright exercise bike, choosing one might be a challenge. There are thousands of makes and models available. To make the selection process easier, you may need to get an insight of some of the best bikes in the market. We have reviewed 8 of the most popular upright exercise bikes to make the choice easier for you!
- 9 built-in workouts
- Custom designed fan
- Wind resistance
- Machine weight: 113 pounds / 51 kg
- Machine dimensions: 55 x 26 x 53 inches / 140 x 66 x 135 cm
Schwinn has been manufacturing exercise bikes for more than a century. They are a leading innovator when it comes to air resistance technology. The AirDyne Pro is the best stationary bike to date. It has doubled-coated steel body construction, powerful solid steel cranks, and a perimeter-weighted flywheel design. Its features include:
Most people who use such bikes say they do not have enough resistance to make a workout challenging. When they use a bike for a year or so, they will have topped out at the highest resistance. AirDyne Pro uses air resistance meaning the more you pedal, the higher the resistance.
Few people know they can rest their feet while using their upper body arms. It is a great way to take a break in-between workouts. You can decide to work on your upper body as you rest your feet.
The backlight in the console makes it easier to read. A built-in tachometer is installed to visually show you how hard you are exercising.
Cooling as you work out may be a problem with majority of upright bikes. The air resistance system in the AirDyne Pro provides a fan-like breeze from the flywheel as you pedal. Staying cool as you work out has never been easier.
Nine built-in workouts are not common in upright exercise bikes. The target goal and interval programs helps make your workouts more challenging.
- 29 reset programs
- 9 heart rate programs
- User profiles
- MP3 speakers
- USB port
- Machine weight: 76 pounds/ 34 kg
- Machine dimensions: 40.7 x 13 x 22.2 inches / 103 x 33 x 56 cm
One of the top upright bikes from Schwinn is the Schwinn 170 Upright Bike. It can support a customized fitness regime due to online data tracking and preset workouts. Highlights include an online goal tracker and 29 reset programs (that include 9 heart rate programs). A high inertia, high speed flywheel offers challenging and smooth resistance.
A mobile app can be used to store workout results in your phone. This upright bike can sync with fitness apps such as MyFitnessPal and Schwinn Trainer 2. Resistance comes from 25 tension levels in a 13-pound flywheel.
The customizable seating allows anyone to fit. The height ranges are from five feet to more than six feet. Adjustments are made quickly and easily. However, padding is not a strong suit and you may need to swap the saddle or add a gel seat topper. Standards bicycle seats are compatible with the Schwinn 170.
Standard one-crack design is used in the pedals. They have shoe straps and are textured to ensure you are secure. A media ledge is provided for entertainment. It also has a set of MP3 speakers and a USB port. A three speed fan is installed to help you cool during your workout.
- Vertically adjustable seat
- Console monitor
- 22 different programs
- Machine weight: 68.1 lbs / 31 kg
- Machine dimensions: 41.5 x 23 x 57.6 inches / 105 x 58 x 146 cm
It is an upright bike for both amateurs and experienced individuals. The Nautilus U614 is best suited for a low impact cardio workout. It’s a good choice for home use because it is portable, reasonably compact, sturdy, and quiet. However, it is not to be used for extended periods of time. The Nautilus U614 has been designed for non-demanding, simple workouts. If you need very challenging workouts, you will be better off with another model.
The first thing you note about the frame is the professional and appealing design. It does not lose its luster due to the anti-corrosive paint on the steel frame. In fact, the drive mechanism shrouds are the only plastic components.
The Nautilus U614 is fitted with a vertically adjusted, comfortable seat. Take note the seat cannot be adjusted horizontally. The seat can accommodate users who are six and half feet tall (195cm), and four feet ten inches (147cm). 39 inches is the distance between the seat and the lowest pedal at the highest setting.
The console in this upright bike is highly capable. Its plethora of functions gives enhanced comfort and superior workout monitoring. The console monitors distance travelled, time, speed, pulse, and RPM. There are 10 quick level resistance buttons and 4 gradual resistance buttons. The unit has 22 programs including 1 quick start, 2 custom, 2 fitness test, 8 heart rate, and 9 profile.
- Statistic tracking
- 8 levels of resistance
- Magnetic brake
- Machine weight: 41 pounds / 18 kg
- Machine dimensions: 35 x 17.5 x 47.5 inches / 89 x 44 x 120 cm
The Marcy ME-708 is designed for home use. It is compact and can fit comfortably in any room without taking too much space. Most users are satisfied with the bike. This is why it is among the list of the best upright exercise bikes in the market.
The ME708 is a stable and sturdy bike despite its light weight. For instance, it can support up to 300 pounds. Short users as well as 6 feet 2 inch tall users can exercise with it. There is about 1 meter between the pedal and seat at its lowest setting. The seat is easy on the back and comfortable. You may not need additional padding for comfort.
The handlebar is close to the seat, but it is not adjustable. Its design allows for a variety of grips. A more solid and comfortable contact is provided through the use of rubber foam padding, which also helps absorb moisture.
Even though it’s among low cost upright bikes, it has a progress tracking console. But it does not feature preset training programs. The Marcy ME-708 is not an advanced unit. All the same, it covers the basic statistics users would like to know such as calorie consumption, distance traveled, speed, and time. An odometer is provided to display the distance covered, with a maximum of 9.999 miles. The pedals do not have clips for cycling shoes, but they have straps.
Resistance in the bike involves a magnetic brake that creates a really quiet and smooth ride. There are eight levels of resistance. The first several levels are light, but users feel a challenge from the fourth level. Marcy ME-708 cannot be adjusted to the level you cannot pedal, even at its highest resistance level setting. The 8th level is designed to offer more intense training, but advanced users may not find it a challenge.
- Pulse monitor
- Magnetic resistance
- Can be folded with ease
- Machine weight: 51 pounds / 23 kg
- Machine dimensions: 39 x 26.4 x 48.4 inches / 99 x 67 x 122 cm
The U2500 from Fitness Reality is designed to support weights of up to 400 pounds. It is designed for durability and long life. Features like a “double drive” transmission, heart pulse monitoring, magnetic resistance, and a 3 piece crank system are part of the bike. Knowing its main features can help you decide whether or not it will suit your needs
The seat on the bike is quite wide compared to others in its category and it offers superlative comfort. It is 9 inches long and 14 inches wide, and it integrates a generous layer of cushioning. As for the handlebars, they are 2-way adjustable with the upright bar featuring a few adjustment holes. The handle bar features a multi-grip design covered by foam padding to provide a comfortable and secure grip. EKG pulse sensors are also integrated to ensure the unit can monitor the user’s heart rate.
The U2500 features a belt drive system that involves resistance to stretching and a heavy-duty V-belt making it maintenance free. These features contribute to silent running and also add to the smoothness of pedaling. A perimeter weighted and precision balanced flywheel generates a fairly decent momentum and steady pedaling motion.
- LCD screen
- Workout progress tracking
- Cup holder
- Machine weight: 42.8 pound / 19 kg
- Machine dimensions: 31 x 19 x 46 inches / 78 x 48 x 116 cm
A big workout in a small space is delivered by the Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic bike. Folding and pulse are the two main features of this exercise bike. The handle bars have sensors used to monitor your heart rate as you exercise. You have the ability of staying in your cycling position as you monitor your heart rate to make sure you are within your target zone. Key performance metrics such as pulse is shown on the computerized LCD. It has eight resistance settings to choose from to ensure you have the precise intensity you need for a workout.
The Exerpeutic folding bike comes with a large seat cushion that is very comfortable. Comfort is added by the fact that the seat has very generous dimensions. It can cater for normal and large size butts. There is a button located just below the handles. It is used to adjust workouts by choosing one of the eight levels available. The feature makes the bike suitable for most, if not all, fitness levels.
Dual pulse sensors are on the handles of the Exerpeutic folding bike. They measure your pulse rate as you work out. It is a very rare feature in folding bikes within this price range. A large LCD display is provided for showing users the vital information they need as they track their workout progress. Things such as heart rate, time, distance, and speed are displayed. The Exerpeutic is collapsible, similar to what you would see in an ironing board. Even though it weighs 43 pounds, it is manageable for majority of people.
A consistent and reliable pedaling motion is offered by the three-piece high torque cranking system. A quiet and smooth operation comes from the V-belt and precision balanced flywheel. Their combination gives you a feeling like you are riding a bike on the road. The amount of noise given off by the Exerpeutic folding bike is unparalleled. You can even watch a show on television as you work out. A cup holder is conveniently placed at the front of the unit which can be used as a place to keep your remote.
- 8 levels of resistance
- Sturdy steel frame
- Machine weight: 51.6 pounds / 23 kg
- Machine dimensions: 39 x 26.4 x 48.4 inches / 99 x 67 x 122 cm
The Gold 500 XLS from Exerpeutic is very durable and has a heavy duty design. It is a foldable stationary bike with an X frame and is powder coated to reduce the portability of corrosion. Apart from being affordable, it has features such as double-drive transmission, heart pulse monitoring using grip sensors, eight level magnetic resistance, three-piece crank system, and high torque. One of the best features of the bike is easy storage due to the foldable design. It can be used by people living in a small apartment or studio.
Apart from the folding design, the frame has a higher user capacity. This means that it can hold people who are on the heavier side. These bikes have a maximum capacity of 400 pounds (approximately 180 kg). Thick steel tubing is used to make the frame, incorporating more than 20% more steel than other similar bikes. The bike weighs 50 pounds, making it light to transport and store.
Just like other bikes, the 500 XLS has 8 levels of resistance. These levels are best used for a light to medium cardio workout. More experienced users should look for a bike with higher resistance. In case the resistance does not meet your needs, you can opt to adjust the resistance cable.
Brake mechanism and drive system are enclosed in a small box. It is obvious this exercise bike has a small flywheel. All the same, the flywheel does not have contact with the brake pad and is balanced. The end result is smooth pedaling without creating the stair climbing effect.
- LCD screen
- Tracks calories burned, speed, time and distance
- Cool air coming from the fan
- Machine weight: 47.3 pounds / 21 kg
- Machine dimensions: 45.6 x 22 x 45.5 inches / 115 x 55 x 115 cm
Body Rider is a strong exercise bike that can be used by beginners and professionals. If you are in the market for an affordable bike with basic functions, this is a good place to start. Take note it does not have pre-loaded programs. It is designed mainly for people who want a full and easy workout. Some of its features include:
People who are more than 5 feet 6 inches tall may have issues using the bike. Their knees may bend a little when the pedals are extended to the maximum. Some may hit their knees on the handle bars at this height. This is one of the factors you need to consider when you are plan on buying this bike. This may be the reason why it is more popular among women than men.
The bike uses an LCD panel with standard features and displays various functions such as calories burned, time, speed, and distance. The digits on the LCD screen are a bit large. This means you will not have to squint to see the digits. Unfortunately, the exercise bike does not have a heart rate monitor. This is why it considered to be a good bike for people on a budget.
One of the fan’s function is cooling you down. However, its best function is increasing the amount of resistance. The faster you pedal, the higher the amount of cool air produced. As a result, the fan acts as a motivator during a workout. Handles have been positioned ergonomically to minimize discomfort. It works well for upper and lower body workouts. A tension strap and an operating knob are used to adjust the bars according to your preferences.
What to look for in an upright exercise bike
When you are looking for an upright exercise bike, there are some things you should consider. You will need to know the various features you may like or not like. This way, you can make an informed decision and get the best bike for your needs. Some of the things you need to consider include:
The frame has an impact on various features of an exercise bike. For starters, the material used to make the frame will determine the amount of weight that can be put on the bike. Aluminum frames may not be able to handle as much weight as steel frames. The materials used to make the frame will also determine how durable it is. For example, if you are along the coast line or near the beach, you will need a frame coated with anti-corrosion materials.
Design is another feature to consider when you’re looking at the frame. Some frames are foldable while others are not. If you plan on moving around with your bike, you need a foldable frame. Consider having a foldable frame if you have minimal space in your home. This way, you can store the bike when you are not using it.
It may be one the most important features of an exercise bike you should consider. Most of the time, you will be seated as you do your workout. Therefore, you need to have a comfortable seat. It should be padded to ensure you do not get “butt tired” from seating for long durations. If you find a bike with everything you need, but it has a poorly padded seat, be ready to purchase a gel pad to increase comfort.
The resistance type will vary depending on how much you need to workout. If you plan on working out for long durations and increasing the amount of workout, you need many resistance levels. For instance, an exercise bike with more than 8 resistance levels can be a good place to start. The higher the number resistance levels, the better performance you will get from the bike. It may be advisable to read reviews of resistance from differ upright bikes before you make a decision.
Last, but not least, is the price. You may want to have a bike with all the features you need, but you may not be able to afford it. Instead for getting the bike using a credit card, you can do away with some features that are not necessary. For instance, entertainment is not a prerequisite for a workout. Most stationary bikes without an entertainment system are more affordable than those with such systems. Other accessories such as cup holders and Bluetooth connectivity may be sacrificed. However, never compromise the quality of the frame, drivetrain, and seat.
Benefits of using the best upright exercise bike
There are many benefits associated with using an upright exercise bike. The three major advantages are:
You will improve your cardio-respiratory when you use an upright exercise bike regularly. For example, you will be able to climb a flight of stairs without being breathless after working out for a few days. Such benefits help the heart minimize the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Studies have shown people who exercise with upright bikes reduce their chances of having a stroke. The workouts also improve your respiratory capacity.
People with COPD or asthma and chronic lung disease improve their symptoms when they workout using upright exercise bikes. If you are such an individual, make sure you consult with your doctor before starting any workout regime.
Exercising using an upright bike burns a lot of calories. As a result, you will lose weight. Keep in mind the more you exercise, the more weight you will lose. Remember, the higher the training intensity, the harder it is to cycle for long durations. All the same, using the bike at least three times a week goes a long way in achieving your weight loss goals.
An upright exercise bike has a lot of benefits. Make sure you choose one that suits your needs and budget. Go through these reviews and find out the bike that has everything you need. Remember to take into consideration weight limits, height limits, and storage.