Best Upright Exercise Bikes – The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide
An upright exercise bike is a stationary exercise machine that is strategically designed to mechanically mimic the way a human body strides and makes repetitive motions on a bicycle.
Essentially, it's designed to simulate the rigorous activity that you would experience on an endurance or competitive bicycle ride.
Upright exercise bike machines are designed to offer a vigorous, resistance-tension based workout routine via a variety and range of athletically sustained and repetitive motions.
The best upright exercise bikes on the market will give you a good cardiovascular workout, motivate you to work out more, and augment your metabolism. A healthy and active metabolism is what you need to burn calories more efficiently.
Why Use an Upright Exercise Bike?
There are several reasons why buying and regularly using an upright exercise machine would be right for you.
- A lot of people are not comfortable with the idea of a public gym and exercising regularly with strangers.
- The exercise machines in modern gyms can be overly technical and complicated. Also, gym membership fees can be very expensive and such costs add up quite a bit over time.
- An upright exercise bike machine also can offer overall, rigorous cardiovascular exercise. If you use a dumbbell, then you're basically working and strengthening one muscle primarily: your bicep, and you don’t burn many calories overall.
- If you can ride a bike, then you can use an upright exercise bike.
- If you can’t ride your bike as much as you want to, then working out on an upright bike is a great alternative.
Advantages and Disadvantages
There are advantages and disadvantages of buying an upright exercise machine.
- You can buy a good no-frills model for about $100, while more high-end models can run you about $500. It's a great investment over time, especially in lieu of what you would pay over time for gym membership fees.
- You can work out at home or in the office without dealing with the judgment or stares of strangers in a public gym.
- An upright exercise bike is infinitely more affordable, comparatively speaking, than more complicated, technical and expensive machines, like a recumbent or stationary spinning bike machine.
- Great for the novice health enthusiast or the expert exerciser. If you know how to ride a bike, then you can use an upright exercise bike.
- Easier to stay motivated while utilizing an upright exercise bike. While using one you can listen to music, read, watch TV, etc., all in the comfort of your home or the office.
- Upright exercise bikes utilize resistance tension to build muscles and stamina. A good low to mid-priced machine will employ air resistance tension or magnetism-based resistance tension built into the machine to aid exercise.
- A good upright exercise bike will feature multiple levels of resistance tension, pre-programmed exercises, display screens that show caloric burn, heart rate and distance traversed.
- Upright exercise machines that employ magnetic resistance tension are much quieter when being used and won’t disturb others or distract from workouts.
- A good machine will work multiple parts of your body as you use it. This would include, but is not limited to, your calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, hips, heart, abdominal muscles, lungs and your core, to name a few. It will also build up stamina and overall physical strength over time and sustained use.
- Most upright exercise bike machines have a 300+ pound weight support capacity.
- Most models fold up, so that they take up less space.
- Retractable or rolling wheels located on the bottom of the machine make moving and storage hassle free.
- Unless you plan on using the machine regularly, then the purchase could be a waste of money, a waste of space in your home and a wasted investment.
- Until you get used to using one, an upright exercise machine can be awkward to use.
- Upright exercise bikes that have magnetic resistance tension are very quiet when used. If you have ever heard a garbage or recycling truck lift with hydraulic air-pressure, then you have an idea of how noisy an upright exercise machine with air-pressure resistance tension can be.
-Make sure that you buy an upright exercise bike machine with a pedal-wheel and chain cover. You risk serious injury to finger and feet if you do not have some kind of covering over the wheel and chain.
- Make sure that you always stop pedaling and exercising before trying to disembark an upright exercise machine.
Upright Exercise Bike Reviews
The best upright stationary bike is out there for you! You just have to know what you want and do a little homework. Check out our list of 8 affordably priced upright exercise bike reviews.
Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike with Pulse
This upright model is affordable, durable, easy to store, and has comparable features that you may find on much more expensive models.
It's also comfortable and easy to use. However, it doesn’t have all of the technical extras and goodies that a more expensive machine would have. It is a no-frills machine, but offers great value if you want a good beginner upright exercise bike.
- V-belt drive and flywheel greatly dampen noise when machine is in use
- Arrives pre-assembled so all you have to do is affix the pedals, seat and console computer
- 3-piece crank pedaling system
- This is machine is no frills and very basic and does not have any pre-set exercise programming on its computer console
- The basic computer console readouts can be wrong or unreliable
Marcy Upright Mag Bike
This is a budget-conscious yet durable model. It's affordable, efficient and offers great bang for your buck.
As long as you stand under 5 feet 6” and are of average size, this is an excellent option. It works like a more expensive machine without all of the choice extras.
It is, however, not recommended for prolonged or intensive exercise use.
- Near noiseless magnetic resistance system
- Machine design takes weight of body off of knees when in use
- Ease of assembly
- Beware of hitting ankles and shins on pedal-box when using
- Handlebar configuration is awkward, according to some previous buyers
- No heart rate monitor and it does not fold-up for storage convenience
Exerpeutic GOLD 500 XLS Foldable Magnetic Upright Bike
This is one of the newest models from Exerpeutic. It's a solid machine made with quality parts and sells for under $200.
It offers a 400-user weight capacity limit, is made of durable steel and it is foldable and easy to store. It is currently one of the few upright exercise bikes on the market that offers good value for money.
- Supports 400 pounds of user weight
- Foldable and space saving
- Suitable for use by users between 5’ 3” – 6’5” in height
- No preset workout programs, no-frills
- Seat only has 2 adjustability settings
- Fixed handlebars cannot be adjusted very much
Nautilus U616 Upright Bike
This is a high-end, quality upright exercise bike that is totally affordable.
It is space-efficient, ergonomically designed, durable and loaded with lots of extra technological goodies like the ability to input 4 user profiles, 29 pre-set workout programs and even a 3-speed fan built into the machine.
This is the closest you will get to having a slice of a public gym in your home.
- Non-fixed, angle adjustable handlebars
- 2-window backlit LCD console with 13 readouts and 4 user profile capacity
- 29 pre-set workout programs
- If you don’t un-pause the 5-miunte exercise pausing feature in time, the machine will shut and you will have to start over
- If you procrastinate easily or are easily distracted, then you may focus on the boatload of extra features instead of working out
- Some of the multitude of available apps may not work properly
Schwinn A10 Upright Bike
This is a mid-range priced upright exercise bike that's made of quality parts, is affordable and will be able to give an allover and thorough workout.
It usually retails around the $200 mark, is seat adjustable, compact and space-saving and comes with an assortment of extra technological goodies and apps.
You should give this model a look if you are in the market for a good mid-ranged price machine.
- Features a built-in heart rate monitor
- Adjustable handlebars and seat
- Takes up little space
- Seat is uncomfortable so consider extra padding or gel replacement
- No built-in fan
- Console isn’t backlit
Schwinn 170 Upright Bike
This model is the modern definition of what a contemporary and standard bearing upright exercise bike should look like.
It's loaded with multiple extras and apps, and it provides great cardiovascular exercise while maintaining low-impact abuse on joints.
It is comfortable, seat adjustable and made from a sturdy, durable frame. This is truly a great investment at a very fair price point.
- Ergonomically designed to offer extra comfort
- Adjustable handlebars with forearm rest
- Dazzling array of extras, tech and apps
- Assembly manual is in visual diagram form and does not contain many useful written instructions
- Back strain or soreness may set in due to exercise posture on machine
- Handlebars are only adjustable for angle and not the height of the user
Stamina 1300 Magnetic Upright Exercise Bike
This is another great model that's recommend for use by average to moderate-sized users.
Not everyone is into intense workouts, so if you prefer more sprint-like, low intensity exercise sessions, than this is the machine for you.
It is lightweight, durable and very easy to store. This is really a case of getting what you want to pay for: a durable machine for low intensity exercise sessions. It has very basic features and no real extras.
- Great pedal handling during exercise as compared to similar and cheaper models
- No electricity required, the machine can run user exercise-generated power
- Smooth and quiet workout handling
- Budget model that is strictly for low intensity and moderate workouts, not for hardcore fitness enthusiasts
- No frills, no extras, no pre-set programmed workouts
- Weak magnetic resistance tension
Velocity Exercise Magnetic Upright Exercise Bike
This is another budget-conscious bike that is sturdy, ergonomically designed, durable and able to give you a great cardiovascular workout.
It is a rudimentary bike that doesn't come with a lot extra features and goodies, but it's durable enough to offer moderate to intense workout sessions.
It features handlebar grip heart-rate monitors and is made of a durable and strong steel frame. This is another great investment for the frugal-minded exercise enthusiast.
- Easy to assemble
- Sturdy and stable, not prone to toppling over
- Efficient and ergonomic pedal design
- Uncomfortable seat, switch out with a cushion or gel seat
- Handlebars can’t be adjusted
- No extra, goodies, technologies or pre-set work programs
The best upright exercise bikes currently available on the market don’t necessarily have to empty your bank account. Think about what you want out of one. Be sure to ask yourself how often you plan on using it.
You can get a great upright bike will all of the latest tech and features for well under $500.
A good model doesn’t have to have all of the latest technological features and apps to help you get fit however. You can get a bare-bones and no-frills bike model with a few features for very little money.
We hope our research on the best upright exercise bikes was helpful for you. The model you're looking for is out there for you!