Tips on Choosing one of the Best Upright Exercise Bikes

Exercise bikes have been around longer than just about any type of exercise equipment, and today they are still one of the most popular forms of equipment on the fitness market. Bikes tend to be affordable, offer a good low impact workout, and do not take up a lot of room in your home. Upright bikes are easy to use and are a great exercise for someone that needs a low impact activity to build their knees and other leg joints. They also offer a form of exercise that everyone from beginning to advanced exerciser can engage in.

best upright exercise bikes

Important Decisions When Choosing a Bike

Exercise bikes like any other piece of equipment vary considerably depending on the brand you choose and how much money you are willing to invest. Unlike many other pieces of aerobic equipment it is quite possible to get a high quality upright bike for a very reasonable price. That being said, there are things you want to be on the lookout for, especially if you plan to use the bike a lot.

Budget – Upright bikes are one of the most affordable pieces of equipment you can buy, but there is still a good span between budget bikes and higher quality bikes so it is important to give some thought as to how much money you are willing to spend. Low end models sacrifice comfort and can often times be too small for larger individuals, so this is something to keep an eye out for if you are on a tight budget. They also do not offer much in the way of features such as electronics.

Middle range models tend to be more generous in terms of comfort and tend to be much sturdier for larger individuals. They also tend to have more options in terms of resistance and workout programs. Where they tend to lack is in the latest technology and features. They typically have smaller consoles and fewer extras than the high end models. High end models have it all including fans, music, comfort seats and just about anything else you could want, but you will pay for the extras you might not need.

Goals – Your goals and how much you plan to use the bike should also play into your decision. The harder you plan to use your exercise bike the more you will want to invest in it. You may also want certain features such as a console that allows you to download exercise programs. What type of resistance do you need? If you are trying to rehabilitate from an injury this may be a factor you need to consider.

Resistance – There are a number of different types of resistance on upright bikes. Magnetic is the current popular one, because it offers a larger range of resistance levels and gives you more options when working out. Magnetic resistance is also quieter, and causes less wear and tear on a bike. Other types of resistance include brake based (weighted flywheel), direct contact braking systems (friction based), and fan based or air resistance.

Other Features to Look For

Aside from comfort and resistance there are a number of other features you may or may not want. Pedals are often a big selling point, so look for a bike that has pedals large enough to fit your feet. A large seat is also an important consideration, seats that are small and hard, can not only cause pain in the tailbone but they can also adversely affect lower backs.

Consoles are typically proportionate to the amount of money you are willing to spend. Basic consoles on low budget bikes typically offer speed, distance, and time, and little else. As you spend a bit more money you will get calories burned, heart rate, tracking features, and exercise programs.

Some of the Best Upright Exercise Bikes to Consider

FitDesk v2.0 Desk Exercise Bike with Massage Bar

High quality gear box components offer lasting life and reliable operation. A desk attached to the bike has a non-slip surface and easy access drawer. A strap is included to keep laptop securely in place. Massage rollers are positioned beneath the desk to give your wrists a massage as you type and exercise. Comes with seat back to allow for semi recumbent use. Bike folds for storage and comes with upper body resistance bands to increase your cardio workout.

FitDesk v2.0 Desk Exercise Bike with Massage Bar

The FitDesk v2.0 Desk Exercise Bike is a very versatile piece of workout equipment. You’ll be able to work on the computer and get a good cardio workout at the same time. Its compact design gives you a small footprint so it doesn’t take up much space and you can even fold it up and put it away when you’re not using it.

The FitDesk v2.0 is compact but it is also durable. It has a rugged steel frame and it is very well balanced for maximum stability. You can also get a great workout with this bike. There are eight positions of magnetic resistance so you can easily increase or decrease the intensity of your workout. There are even resistance bands so you can work your upper body if you’re not too busy typing.

Product Features and Specifications

  • Product Dimensions: 28 x 16 x 45 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 54 pounds
  • Durable: Built to Last with high quality gear box components for years of reliable operation
  • Unique: Desk features non-slip surface, easy access drawer and massage rollers positioned to make typing while exercising comfortable
  • Adjustable: Seat Back and Extender included allowing for upright and semi-recumbent use
  • Space Saving: Quick lock folding frame is great for easy transport and storage
  • Practical: Fits naturally into your daily routine, is the exercise bike you will actually use

The Reviews

The reviews for the FitDesk v2.0 Desk Exercise Bike are very strong. When researching this product we found over 500 customer reviews online and this exercise bike received an average customer rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars.

Customers are saying that the FitDesk v2.0 Desk Exercise Bike is easy to assemble. It could take you up to two hours to put it together because there are a lot of pieces, but the assembly instructions are clear and the tools required to put the bike together are included.

Several customers said that they had an earlier version of this exercise bike that they really liked, but that also had some issues. Customers who loved the original FitDesk bike said that the new FitDesk v2.0 is a big improvement and fixed the minor issues from the earlier model.

The fact that the FitDesk v2.0 Desk Exercise Bike folds up is also a nice feature. Most customers said that they leave the bike out because they use it every day, but if you’re having people over and you need the extra space, the bike can be folded up and moved out of the way.

The FitDesk v2.0 Desk Exercise Bike really is a versatile piece of workout equipment. There are reviews from customers who said that they work at home and it’s great to be able to work and get a low impact cardio workout at the same time. There are other customers who simply use this bike to get a workout while they are watching TV or playing video games. Customers are also saying that the bike operates quietly so that they can still hear the television easily while they are working out.

Overall, the reviews for the FitDesk v2.0 Desk Exercise Bike are very positive and after thoroughly researching all of the reviews online we would recommend the FitDesk v2.0 Desk Exercise Bike to anyone who wants to be able to multitask by exercising while working on the computer or working out while playing video games or watching movies.

Schwinn 170 Upright Bike

Two LCD windows lets you track up to 13 different display features easily. Offers up to 29 programs, 4 user settings, and goal tracking to help keep you motivated. The console also connects to Schwinn Connect to support goal tracking and data export, so you can keep track of what you are doing. The bike offers 25 levels of resistance connected to a high speed, high inertia weighted flywheel. Workouts are smooth and quiet. Has a convenient charging USB port.

The Schwinn 170 Upright Bike is designed to be durable, comfortable, and give you a great workout. It has a very sturdy frame to give you a safe and stable workout platform. There are 25 different levels of Eddy current resistance so you can really dial in the right amount of resistance for your fitness level.

The Schwinn 170 also has a console that will help you keep track of some vital workout statistics. Things like the time spent exercising, the distance traveled, calories burned etc. You can even plug in to the USB port and connect to the Schwinn Connect website for goal tracking and other fitness assistance.

Product Features and Specifications

  • Product Dimensions: 41 x 22 x 58 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 74 pounds
  • Dual track two LCD window system allows you to monitor up to 13 different display feedbacks
  • Schwinn Connect goal tracking and data export keep you up to date on reaching your fitness goals
  • 29 programs, 4 user settings and goal tracking are all there to keep you motivated and challenged
  • 25 levels of resistance aligned with a high speed high inertia perimeter weighted flywheel make every workout smooth and quiet
  • Charging USB port and data exchange

The Reviews

The reviews for the Schwinn 170 Upright Bike are not as good as we would normally like to see. When researching this product we found over 175 customer reviews online and the average customer rating was 3.9 out of 5 stars. There are customers who are very happy with the Schwinn 170, but there are also some customers who had some issues with it.

People who left positive reviews online said that assembling this bike is easy. It does help to have another pair of hands though. Some customers said that if you assemble it by yourself it can be a bit frustrating, but with two people assembly is fast and easy.

The Schwinn 170 Upright Bike has a lot of different workout programs to choose from and you can even program in personal details. You can plug in your age, gender, height and weight to help you select the right workout program. This bike also has a built-in fan that gives you nice airflow while you are exercising.

A lot of customers are saying that the Schwinn 170 Upright Bike is a well built bike that gives them a great workout. Unfortunately, there were a number of customers who had problems with this exercise bike. Several customers said that their package arrived with broken parts or that once they assembled the bike, it just didn’t work properly. When it came to getting replacement parts, the reviews were mixed. Several customers complained about the length of time it takes to get replacement parts, one person said it would take 8 to 10 weeks. However, another customer said that when he talked to a customer service representative, the rep said that the parts would take too long to get there so they sent him a new, replacement bicycle.

After researching all of the reviews online we would hesitate to recommend the Schwinn 170 Upright Bike. Some people are saying that it is a great bike and they can get a gym quality workout at home, but there were enough people who had issues that it causes us some concern. There are other exercise bikes in the same price range that are getting better reviews and you would probably be better off going with one of the other options.

Marcy Upright Mag Cycle

Resistance powered by a smooth magnetic resistance system, offering 8 levels of present resistance. Large seat padded with high density foam ensures more comfort. Tall adjustable seats accommodates taller individuals. Contoured foam covered handles allow for easy, comfortable grip. Easy to read LCD screen offers speed, distance, time, and calories burned.

Marcy Upright Mag Cycle

The Marcy Upright Mag Cycle can be purchased on Amazon.com for $115.99 and that includes free shipping. That makes the Marcy Mag Cycle one of the most inexpensive exercise bikes you can get. It’s compact and lightweight so it doesn’t take up a lot of space and it can be moved without too much trouble.

The Marcy Mag Cycle offers smooth magnetic resistance and eight different preset resistance levels. There is also a user-friendly computer that will let you track things like your speed, time spent working out, distance covered, and calories burned.

Product Features and Specifications

  • Measures 31.5 x 48.75 x 18 inches (W x H x D)
  • Shipping Weight: 43.4 pounds
  • Upright exercise bike with smooth magnetic resistance system
  • 8 levels of preset resistance accommodates several fitness levels
  • Large console display tracks time, distance, speed, and calories burned
  • Counterbalanced pedals with adjustable foot straps; transport wheels

The Reviews

When researching the Marcy Upright Mag Cycle we found over 600 customer reviews online and the reviews are decent. This bike received an average customer rating of 4.0 out of a possible 5 stars.

Several customers commented on this bike’s compact design. There are people that have small rooms or live in apartments and they said that the small size of this bike is perfect for their needs. Customers are also saying that assembling this bike is fairly easy and straightforward.

A few customers commented that the resistance on this bike is not that high, even at the highest setting. If you do a lot of bicycling, this bike might be a little bit too easy for you. However, there was a review from someone who does a lot of bike riding and they said that after 10 to 15 minutes on the highest setting they are breathing hard and dripping with sweat. So it is possible to get a good workout this bike.

There were also a number of customers who complained about the seat on this bike saying that it is very uncomfortable. Although there were other reviews from several people who said that anyone who does any bike riding knows that bike seats are not very comfortable until you get used to them. Some customers suspected that the people who left negative comments about the seat don’t have a lot of experience riding bikes and are just looking for an easy way to get in shape.

With an average customer rating of 4.0 stars, the reviews are mostly good but there were some people that had some issues. You have to keep in mind though that this bike can be purchased for under $120 which is quite inexpensive for an exercise bike. A bike at this price is not going to compete with bikes that cost more than three times as much, but some customers do agree that the Marcy Upright Mag Cycle is the best of the inexpensive exercise bikes.

Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike

Heavy duty bike offers a 40 pound flywheel resistance for plenty of adjustable resistance. Has a heavy duty crank and smooth chain drive mechanism for smooth quiet operation. Seat and handle bars are both fully adjustable for comfort. Has a heavy duty frame and wheels for easy mobility. Supports up to 275 pounds.

The Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike is a very sturdy exercise bike with a 40 pound flywheel and a heavy-duty steel frame. It’s heavy-duty crank and smooth chain drive mechanism give you a smooth, quiet ride with plenty of resistance for a great workout.

Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike

The seat and the handlebars are fully adjustable to accommodate riders of all shapes and sizes. This bike is designed to support riders of up to 275 pounds. The bike itself weighs in at over 100 pounds, but it has built in transport wheels so you can move the bike from one room to another fairly easily.

Product Features and Specifications

  • Product Dimensions: 48.5 x 20 x 46.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 112.6 pounds
  • Indoor cycling bike with 40-pound flywheel
  • Heavy-duty crank and smooth chain drive mechanism
  • Fully adjustable seat and handlebars for comfort
  • Adjustable resistance systems; transport wheels
  • Supports up to 275 pounds

The Reviews

The reviews for the Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike are pretty strong. When researching this product we found over 800 reviews online and it received an average customer rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars.

The Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike is priced pretty inexpensively for a bike of this caliber. It can be purchased for just over $260 at Amazon.com and that includes free shipping. We found positive reviews from professional spin instructors with great things to say about the Pro Indoor Cycling Bike.

One customer said that she has been a spin instructor for 10 years but just had a baby and needs to take some time away from the gym. She bought three of these bikes for her and her clients to use. She says that she is very impressed with the bike and so are her clients.

There was another review from a customer that said she is also a spinning instructor and has been for 10 years. This woman said that she has taught at a variety of clubs with bikes from the mid range to the high-end. She said that she recently retired from teaching but wanted to be able to spin at home without spending a fortune on an expensive bike. She said that the Pro Indoor Cycling Bike has a solid feel and compares favorably to the bikes she has used at the higher end clubs.

The Pro Indoor Cycling Bike seems to be built to last. There was a review from a customer who said that he has been using this bike for over a year and he said that he uses it quite vigorously. After a year of vigorous use, he said that the bike is still like new and he is amazed at the value he got with this bike for such a low price.

The reviews for the Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike are quite good and with favorable reviews from professional spin instructors saying that the Pro Indoor Cycling Bike compares favorably to high-end bikes that cost several times more money, we would certainly give the Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike our recommendation.

Stamina 5325 Magnetic Resistance Upright Exercise Bike

Upright bike with smooth quiet magnetic resistance. Has eight step adjustable tension to allow you to set workout intensity. Console includes time, speed, distance, calories and 6 preset programs. Easy to read LCD monitor. Heart rate sensors in the handlebars. Has oversized sculpted seat for the ultimate in comfort, seat is padded and adjustable. Oversized weighted pedals and wheels for easy transport.

Stamina 5325 Magnetic Resistance Upright Exercise Bike

The Stamina 5325 Magnetic Resistance Upright Exercise Bike features an eight step adjustable tension control so you can easily adjust the intensity of your workout. Of course you could also use one of the six preset programs that come with this bike.

The console is large and easy-to-read so you can track your speed, time, calories burned, and your heart rate. The handlebars have a built-in pulse sensor to help you stay in your target heart rate zone and burn a maximum number of calories.

Product Features and Specifications

  • Product Dimensions: 34 x 26 x 56 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 68.3 pounds
  • Upright stationary bike for effective low-impact aerobic exercises in your home
  • Smooth magnetic resistance with eight-step adjustable tension control to set workout intensity
  • Six preset fitness programs with pace guide; pulse sensors built into handlebars
  • Oversized, sculpted seat is padded and adjustable to fit any size
  • Some assembly required
  • 1-year warranty on frame, 90 days on parts

The Reviews

The reviews for the Stamina 5325 Magnetic Resistance Upright Exercise Bike are mixed. When researching this product we found over 200 reviews online and it received an average customer rating of 3.8 out of 5 stars. There are plenty of reviews from people who love this bike and gave it a 5 star rating. But there are also reviews from people who had problems with it and gave it a 1 star rating.

People who left a positive review online for this bike feel like it gives you the best bang for your buck. The bike is currently available on Amazon.com for about $185 with free shipping and a lot of customers feel like you won’t find a better bike at a better price. Some people readily admit that the Stamina 5325 is not going to be as good as the high-end and very expensive bikes on the market, but they say at this price it is an excellent buy.

The Stamina 5325 is a sturdy bike that can accommodate rather large riders. There was a review from one customer who said that he is 6’5″ tall and weighs 280 pounds. He was hesitant to buy an exercise bike because he didn’t want something that was going to fall apart but he said that the bike feels very stable even at his weight. He said that he sometimes does high intensity training where he goes as hard as he can for 30 seconds to a minute and the bike never wobbles or feels like it’s going to fall apart.

Of course not all of the reviews were so positive. There were reviews from some customers who said that they liked the Stamina 5325 quite a bit, but then it started to have issues. One customer said that the bike started getting louder and louder and eventually froze up and couldn’t be used anymore. Another customer said that after eight months of use the bike fell apart and that customer service was not helpful.

If you’re just reading the positive reviews for the Stamina 5325 Magnetic Resistance Upright Exercise Bike it seems like a wonderful exercise bike that is durable and well built, and will give you a fantastic workout at an affordable price. However, there are also a number of 1 star reviews from customers saying that the bike fell apart inside the first year. With mixed reviews like that, we would recommend avoiding the Stamina 5325 and going with one of the many other options on the market.