6 best (& top rated) upright exercise bikes- and very affordable
Upright exercise bikes and cycling are very popular at-home exercising equipment among people of all ages and fitness levels. Whether you are a beginner or pro athlete, exercise bikes are an easy, fun, and effective way to improve your cardiovascular system immensely and to strengthen your core and lower body muscles.
There's no doubt that exercising equipment like upright exercise bikes are proven to help people who want to lose weight and tone up successfully. If you are serious about losing weight and want to improve your overall health and fitness, then Cycling and exercise bike workouts will undoubtedly help you achieve your goals.
The number one reason why exercise bikes are one of the most sought after workout equipment for weight loss is due to their unquestionable power in making you burn a ton of calories, which automatically triggers your body to burn fat and that will lead to successful ( and relatively faster) weight loss.
Pros of owning an upright exercise bike:
Before you go ahead and decide on which upright bike you should get, it's important for you to know and make sure that you are getting the right piece of equipment that addresses your fitness goals. By weighing out the benefits and drawbacks of having an upright exercise bike, lets you make the right and well-informed decision, so you don't waste your time and money on the wrong exercising equipment.
1- Calorie burner = weight loss. As I said before, upright exercise bikes are proven to burn a ton of calories. All you need to do to burn more calories is increase your intensity, and that's the beauty of having an exercise bike. And as we all know that more calories burnt means reduction in weight.
2- Low-impact = No injuries. Upright exercise bikes are designed to protect your joints and muscles against injuries because of its low-impact design and mechanism. The upright exercise bike is one of those exercising equipment that gives you peace of mind that you are protected at all times when you are working out unlike other exercising equipment like outdoor cycling or running on a treadmill where you are exposed to injuries because of their high impact motion and mechanism.
3- Interval training. Doing interval training where you are alternating between low, medium, and high intensity pedaling, will make your body burn more calories when compared to pedaling at a steady pace.
4- Working out more muscles than you think. Most people believe that exercise bikes are only for cardio workouts. In truth, exercise bikes are very effective at targeting and strengthening your core, glutes, hip flexors, quads, and hamstrings. As you can see that you are already covering the most important parts of your body in one single exercise.
5- Rehabilitation and recovery. Exercise bikes are one of the best at helping people to rehabilitate and recover from injuries. The low-impact mechanism help recovering muscles to gradually regain their strength, which will speed up their recovery.
6- Compact & versatile. Upright exercise bikes are the most compact at-home workout equipment. I can guarantee you that an upright exercise bike will fit anywhere you want it to fit, which is not the case with other popular exercising equipment.
7- Affordable. You can get one of the highly rated upright bikes for around $200-$300, which is unheard of when compared to elliptical and treadmills.
What should you look for in an upright exercise bike?
There are a few important factors to consider when you are shopping for the best upright exercise bike that your money can buy. Every bike is designed differently and will not have every single feature that is mentioned below, but what you should look for is the most important features that you want in your upright bike.
Most popular upright exercise bike features:
1- Weight capacity. Most upright exercise bikes are designed to hold between 250-400lbs in weight capacity, which is more than enough for most people. Bear in mind that upright bikes that are designed to hold more in weight capacity are usually more stable and sturdy than the ones that designed to hold less in weight capacity. The downside is that the 400lbs in weight capacity bikes tend to be more expensive than lighter bikes.
2- Seating comfort. Seating comfort is essential if you are planning to exercise for long periods of time. Every make has its own unique design, so the only way that you will know if the seating is comfortable or not is by trying it out yourself or/ and by reading other people's reviews that own the same type of bike. These days is very easy that you buy something and try it out yourself, if you like it, then you get to keep it, if not, then you can return it.
3- Resistance levels. Every upright bike has a different number of resistance levels. Generally speaking (not always), the bike that has more resistance levels are usually more expensive than the ones with fewer resistance levels.
4- Foldable. Most high-quality upright bikes are equipped and designed to fold up for easy storage. But, keep in mind that not all are fordable, even the gym quality ones. Upright exercise bikes are designed to be very compact, and they don't take a lot of space, however, if this is very important to you, then I strongly suggest that you make sure that the bike that you are getting is foldable before buying.
5- Noise factor. This really depends on the make and the quality of the machine that you are getting. You might have guessed it already, which is that the higher the quality of the bike = the less noisy it will be. Like the saying "you get what you pay for," which is very true when it comes to any fitness equipment.
6- Smooth pedaling. This again depends on the quality of the bike. Some bikes will have smoother pedaling than others and that's normal.
7- Cup and tablet holder. This comes down to personal preference. Some people will want to have bottle or tablet holders, or maybe both and others don't really care that much about these features.
8- Responsiveness. Cheaper and not well-designed bikes tend not to be as responsive as the gym quality bikes. When you start pedaling, you will be experiencing empty spots, and the resistance is not consistent throughout every pedaling cycle.
9- Designed for sitting and standing up. Some bikes are designed to be very stable and sturdy whether you are standing or sitting on it. Others are only designed for you to be in seated position at all times when you are pedaling.
10- MP3, USB, and apps connectivity. Again, this depends on your personal preference. Some bikes are fully equipped and others are partially equipped.
Different types of upright exercise bike
When you look for an upright bike to buy, you will find two main types of stationary bikes on the market right now, and they are:
1- Magnetic upright bike. As the name entails, magnetic bikes are powered by magnets that are located on each side of the flywheel and the pedaling resistance is controlled by how fast or slow you pedal. When you start to pedal more quickly, the resistance increases and when slow down, the resistance decreases.
There are two ways of controlling the magnetic resistance on an upright bike. You can either control it manually using a knob or can be controlled digitally by using LCD monitor that most bikes are equipped with these days.
2- Flywheel and chain drive mechanism. These bikes are designed to mimic outdoor road-bike performance and feel. These bikes consist of 3 main parts, and they are:
1- Heavy-duty flywheel that's located at the front of the bike. The weight of the flywheel varies depending on the make. The rule of thumb is that heavy flywheel (e.g., 40lbs) makes the bike very stable.
2- Heavy-duty crank.
3- Chain drive mechanism is there to make your ride as smooth as possible.
Best upright exercise bikes
1- Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike with Pulse
The exerpeutic folding magnetic upright bike is for someone who wants to get a bike that's very durable, quiet, and fits everyone's budget. This is why magnetic bikes are trendy because they strike the perfect balance between affordability and durability.
You will know straight away if a bike is good or not when you are on it and pedaling at full speed. If a bike is built to last, then you shouldn't feel any noise or wobbling. That's why this bike is highly rated due to its design and mechanism that lets you focus on your workout rather than worrying about the annoying noises that some cheaply built equipment tend to make.
This bike is designed to accommodate users of all sizes. It holds 300lbs in weight capacity, which is more than enough for most people, and also It comes with a large adjustable seat so you can adjust the position to accommodate your height.
As the name implies, the exerpeutic bike folds up to 1/2 its size, and it's effortless to fold up for easy storage. They also added wheels , so all you need to do is tilt it and roll it away.
The other thing that I love about upright magnetic bikes is the magnetic tension control system. The pedaling tension and resistance are very smooth and consistent, and that's precisely what you should look for in a bike. The exerpeutic bike comes with 8 resistance levels where you can change the resistance by the touch of a button.
You can easily monitor your heart rate by holding the extended handlebars where the pulse sensors are attached. Plus monitoring your heart rate, you can also track your distance, calories burned, time, speed, scan on the reasonably large LCD monitor.
This bike is not designed for standing up, and you should be in a seated position at all times when you are pedaling. When you are pedaling at full speed while standing, the bike starts to become less sturdy and unstable, and that's when you know if the bike tolerates standing up or not.
Please note that this bike comes partially assembled where the main body parts are assembled, and all you need to do is attach the peripheral parts like the pedals and handlebars. The exerpeutic bike also comes with 1-year warranty.
2- Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike
The Sunny health indoor bike is designed to mimic outdoor cycling experience. If you are looking for a gym quality bike that will give you that natural feel, then this bike is one of the best on the market.
The 40 lbs flywheel design increases stability, which lets you cycle in a sitting and standing position without worrying about instability or sturdiness. The heavy-duty crank and the chain drive design and mechanism gives you that smooth cycling experience that you would come to expect from professionally designed indoor bikes.
It's designed to hold up to 275 lbs in weight capacity despite that it feels like it can hold more than that because of its heavy-duty frame.
The other features that I think you are going to like are the adjustable seating and handlebars. What I liked about the seat is that you can adjust its height and distance from the handlebars using knobs (two of them) that are smooth and easy to operate. The handlebars have 4 different grip positions to choose from. The handlebars with multiple hand positions let you pick the most comfortable position for you especially when are riding for long periods of time.
The adjustable resistance mechanism is designed differently when compared to magnetic upright bikes. On this bike, the resistance levels can be adjusted by the turn of a knob. The resistance goes from low to high, so all you need to do is turn the knob till you get the desired resistance that you want and that's that.
The thing that you should be aware of is that this bike has no LCD monitor for tracking your heart rate, calories etc. And just like a regular bike, it doesn't fold up for storage purposes, but you shouldn't have a problem storing it since it doesn't take that much space and very compact.
The transportation wheels are designed to make it very easy to move around. It's surprisingly lightweight and easy to handle when tilted on the transportation wheels.
The most complicated body parts are fully assembled, and all you need to do is add the extras like pedals, handlebars ...etc.
Lastly, it comes with a 3-year warranty on the frame, which is a really good deal if you ask me since not all bike manufacturers offer a warranty like this one.
If you want a bike that gives you all the features that an outdoor bike gives you, then this bike will not disappoint you at all.
3- Exerpeutic GOLD 500 XLS Foldable Upright Bike
The exerpeutic gold bike is an upgraded Exerpeutic foldable bike. To make the Exerpeutic foldable bike much more stable than it already is, they decided to add 20% more steel to the frame. The frame of the older model holds up to 300lbs in weight capacity where this model takes up to 400lbs in weight.
As you know that heavy frames make stationary bikes much more durable and add more stability. It also makes it very quiet and smooth, and that will motivate you to push you to exercise even harder to reach and pass your goals without worrying about whether the bike is going to break on you or not.
The other good news is that they included all the features that the older model had like:
1- 8 resistance levels
2- It still folds up to 1/2 the size.
3- Adjustable seat
4-LCD monitor to track your heart rate, calories, distance, time, speed and more.
5-The handlebars are equipped with pulse sensors to monitor your heart rate.
6- It's very easy to assemble
7- Transportation wheel to move it around.
8- 1-year warranty
Most surprisingly, this bike is still affordable, and I'm pretty sure that anyone can afford it without breaking the bank. So, what you are getting is a top rated and high-quality upright bike for a very reasonable price.
4- Marcy Upright Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-708
Marcy upright bike is very similar to the Exerpeutic bikes and as popular. Marcy upright bike is a magnetic resistance bike that is very popular because it gives you that smooth and responsive pedaling experience and also the quietness that everyone looks for in an upright bike.
It offers 8 resistance levels to choose from. Whatever resistance level you choose, you always going to get that smooth and responsive pedaling experience due to the magnetic resistance system that's designed to accommodate everyone's fitness level.
The other notable feature that I would like to draw your attention to is the maximum weight capacity that it holds, which is 300lbs. When it comes to at-home exercising equipment, always look for equipment that hold at least 200lbs in weight capacity. The weight capacity is a good indication of whether the machine is durable, stable, and strong enough to last for a long time.
The other features that this bike includes are:
1- Adjustable seat to accommodate people of different sizes.
2- LCD monitor for tracking heart rate, burned calories and more
3- Easy to assemble.
Bear in mind that this bike doesn't fold up and is not intended for standing.
Finally, Marcy upright bike is an affordable bike that has the most important features covered and more and the only concern that I have is that it doesn't fold up, which is a shame.
5- ProGear Foldable Magnetic Upright Bike
ProGear upright bike a high-quality bike that ticks all boxes for me. It's responsive, quiet, and very easy to use.
ProGear bike includes features like:
1- Magnetic upright bike, which means it's smooth, responsive and quiet.
2- LCD monitor to track your heart rate, time, burned calories and more.
3- 220lbs in weight capacity.
4- Adjustable seating. The seat only goes up and down and doesn't go front to back or vice versa.
5- Folds up
6- 8 resistance levels to choose from.
7- Pulse sensor on handlebars.
8- Needs some assembly. It will take you around 20mins to do so.
This bike is not meant to be for standing, and you should be in a seated position at all times when pedaling.
As you can see that this bike is very similar in features and design to other magnetic bikes and it's well worth the investment considering how affordable it is. The only issue that I have is the weight capacity, which is slightly lower than other upright bikes.
6- L NOW Indoor Cycling Bike
L NOW indoor cycling bike is professionally built for people who want to push themselves beyond their limits. If you're going to take your fitness to the next level, this bike will make you reach your fitness goals and much more.
As I pointed out earlier, indoor cycling bikes are designed to bring outdoor cycling to the middle of your living room.
This bike holds up to 280lbs in weight capacity, which tells you that this bike is a heavy-duty bike. It's pretty lightweight to move it around with the installed transportation wheels . The transportation wheels are located at the front of the bike where all you need to do to move it is by tilting it from the front end of the bike, and you are on your way.
One thing to remember is that this bike is a non-foldable bike so it might not be the most compact bike, but it's by no means a large sized bike. It won't take a lot of space even when it's not folded unless you are living in a very small apartment, then, in that case, you should get a foldable bike.
To clarify this further, these types of bikes don't fold up because of the belt driven mechanism. They are designed to mimic an outdoor bike, which means, if they are going to be designed to fold up, then that will affect the mechanism and the bike's performance.
If you are not concerned about the folding feature, then everything else in this bike is a top notch.
The other features that you are getting with this bike are:
1- LCD monitor.
2- Adjustable multi-grip handlebar (up and down). For those who like to change their grip position when biking for long periods of time.
3- 4-way adjustable seat (up, down, front, and back).
4- Very easy to assemble.
In short, this bike is a high-end bike that's suitable for all fitness levels and built to last forever with proper maintenance.
As you already know that there are 2 types of upright exercise bikes. if you are looking for a bike that's:
2- For sitting only
Then, you should go for the magnetic bike.
If you are looking for a bike that:
1- Mimics outdoor bike
2- For sitting and standing
4- Very stable
Then, I strongly suggest that you get yourself a belt driven bike.
As you can see, It's very easy to choose the right bike that suits your fitness goals and budget if you know exactly what you want from a bike. That's why you should compare as many as bikes as possible before deciding on one.