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5 Best Upright Exercise Bikes for Home Reviews and Buying Guide

Updated on July 2, 2015

Do you need an exercise bike?

Well, I assume you already know about the benefits of exercise bike by now. In this article I will point out all the advantages and disadvantages of upright exercise bikes, a brief guide to choose the right one and review some of the best upright exercise bikes to make your search easier.

Exercise bikes are a means of no impact cardiovascular workout for anybody. Athletes, weight loss participants, cardio patients, fitness enthusiasts, cyclists and many others use exercise bikes regularly. There are plenty of benefits to owning an indoor exercise bike like

  • You don’t have to go out every day for cycling (or exercise)
  • Bad weather won’t be a problem anymore
  • You can save the ever increasing cost of fitness club membership and the tedious joining procedure
  • Easy to use (Exercise bikes are equally suitable for beginners to professionals)
  • Extremely convenient and safe to use
  • All members in your family can use the same machine thus saving a lot of money
  • You don’t have to face a lot of people in the clubs (Some have problem around group of people. Me for example :) )

Exercise bikes have excellent cardiovascular benefits too. It can be used to increase stamina and for lower body workout. Advanced models with dual action gives you full body workout.

There are two types of exercise bikes. Upright and Recumbent

Upright bikes are generally cheap and offer multiple riding positions. You can either sit or stand on an upright bike for workout.

How to Choose the Best Upright Exercise bike?

To make the most out of what you pay, you may need to consider these factors before buying.

Resistance type: Most common are magnetic resistance and air resistance. Magnetic resistance has less noise level compared to air resistance. But you will need to turn a knob to change resistance levels. Air resistance models are automatic which means the faster you pedal, the harder it would be.

Build quality and Safety: Most of the bikes are made with steel frame which lasts for a long time without complications. You may need to consider the size of levelers for extra stability. Large levelers provide safety and prevent tripping over even if you pedal fast. Likewise, covered wheel chain and safety straps on pedals protect children and elders from accidents.

Comfort: Exercise bikes are meant for daily use, therefore it must be comfortable to use. Opt those with thickly padded seat and large pedals.

Portability: If you are living in a small apartment or you don’t want to spend much space for an exercise bike, choose a foldable one. Some models have transport wheels to move around.

Display console: The display console should be easily readable and must show relevant details. Some models come with backlit display too.

Pre-set programs: It saves you time and helps to organize the workout for different goals.

Additional features: If you are spending more than $300, look for some addon features like water bottle holder, speakers, remote control cup, book rack, cooling fan, mp3 player etc.

Warranty: As these machines are meant to use like ‘forever’, proper warranty will be helpful in the future. High end models offer lifetime warranty for frame and up to 3 year for parts while entry-level models offer 1 to 5 years for frame and 1 year for parts.

Price: Well, I dont have to say much about it. Exercise bikes under $300 offers quite basic features only. While the mid-end types from $300 to $700 comes with pretty lot of features and has quality. And the high-end models (above $700) are usually meant for gyms, although you can buy it for home. It will last for a lifetime with little or no maintenance.

List of Best Upright Bikes For Every Budget

#5 Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike with Pulse

This foldable upright exercise bike is amazingly sturdy and well built for an entry level model. It can accommodate up to 300 lbs and has 8 levels of resistance which is enough for beginners to medium level athletes. It features a 3-piece high torque crank system which gives you smooth pedaling and less stress on joints. Also the V-belt drive and heavy weight flywheel ensures quiet and smooth operation.

The machine is quite comfortable too. The large & soft seat is a steal considering the price. It also has large leg stabilizers so that you will not trip off the machine no matter how fast you pedal. Pedals are large enough to accommodate any shoe size.

Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike with Pulse
Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike with Pulse

The LCD display is pretty basic though. It shows speed, mileage, calories burned and heart rate.

There is a pulse sensor on the handle grip which tracks your heart rate while working out. Although it’s nice for a cheap exercise bike, the readings are actually not so accurate. It is better to buy a heart rate monitor separately if you really want one.

The main attraction is, however, as the name indicates, this machine can be folded up to half of its size making it highly portable and compact. There is a remote control holder too if you like to watch TV as you exercise.

Overall, Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Bike is an affordable and durable basic exercise bike for beginners. If you own a small apartment and are looking for a budget exercise bike, give this one a try.

Warranty: 1 year

Rating: 8/10

Retail Price: $199.99

#4 Stamina 5325 Upright Exercise Bike

Stamina-Fitness is well known for its stellar quality fitness products. Stamina 5325 is one of their latest models and longest lasting. It needs only minimal maintenance. While the machine can hold up to 300 lbs, it also features 8 levels of magnetic resistance for challenging quiet workout.

The unique feature that makes Stamina 5325 popular than its competitors is the 6 preset workout programs. You won’t find another quality exercise bike with preset workout programs in this price range. These programs are fully automatic. You don’t have to change the resistance all the time, just hop on the bike, set the required program for specific goal, and ride on!

Stamina 5325 Magnetic Resistance Upright Exercise Bike
Stamina 5325 Magnetic Resistance Upright Exercise Bike

Unlike Exerpeutic Folding model, this one has a thickly padded seat which adds to the comfort. It can accommodate users of all sizes and the weighted pedal prevents slipping. Large sturdy steel levelers ensure your safety while pedaling.

The LCD display is pretty large and clear so that you won’t have to lean forward to look at the stats. The hand grip based heart rate monitor is fairly accurate. You can even set heart rate limit so that the system will alert when you cross that.

Stamina 5325 is very easy to assemble as all the tools comes included and the manual is excellent. It has transport wheels for moving around easily.

The only disadvantage of this model is that it has no folding options makes it difficult to store. Also the monitor resets after a few minutes of non-usage which I found very annoying (I like to take long time rest in between).

Overall, Stamina 5325 is perfect for those who want to lose weight and do cardio workouts without spending much.

Warranty: 1 year frame, 90 days parts

Rating: 8.4/10

Retail Price: $300.00

#3 Sunny SF B901 Pro Indoor Cycling Bike

SF-B901 is an affordable and practical model from the well known fitness equipments manufacturer Sunny. While this machine hasn’t got any fancy features, there is a 4 lbs heavy weight flywheel for extra smooth operation. I think that is more important than a remote control cup or water bottle holder. Sunny SF-B901 can accommodate up to 275 lbs weight which will be enough for most of us. Plus there is the heavy duty crank which enables you to ride quite comfortably and silent.

Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike
Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike

Speaking of comfort, the seat is oversized which is good but lightly padded. Some people may find it uncomfortable at first. The handle bars are horizontally adjustable and nicely padded for extra grip.

Assembly will take only 20 minutes tops as all the main parts come assembled. The major drawback of this model is the lack of display console to track your progress. They should have included that.

Apart from the seat and ‘no LCD screen’, the bike is top notch in its class.

Warranty: 5 years

Rating: 8.5/10

Retail Price: $599.00

#2 Sole Fitness B94

B94 is a powerful exercise bike equally suitable for all ages from the well known manufacturer Sole Fitness. The main advantage of this machine is that even though it is an upright bike, it targets all muscle groups like recumbent bike without hurting your joints. The same makes it perfect for weight loss participants and cardio patients.

Sole Fitness B94 Upright Bike
Sole Fitness B94 Upright Bike

Sole B94 make use of eddy current resistance system from 1 to 20 stages for beginners to professionals. There are 10 pre-set workout programs to choose from. The heavy duty flywheel makes the rider smoother and quietier.

The exceptionally comfy Sole B94 features Thick Gel seat which keeps customary bikers burn at bay. The adjustable pedals are large enough for any shoe size and the back rest provided prevents any joint pain. You do not need to fear any injuries on this machine.

The back-lit LCD display is wide enough to read from a distance and shows calories burned, distance, time, RPM, heart rate etc. There is a built in fan, water bottle holder, mp3 jack and speakers as extra features. You will only need an hour to get the thing assembled.

Overall, Sole B94 is a top end model for everyone those who can afford.

Warranty: Life time frame, 3 year parts and 1 year labor.

Rating: 9/10

Retail Price: $1,499.99

#1 Schwinn 170

Schwinn 170 is a lightweight medium-duty exercise bike well received for its longetivity and plethora of features. You can feel it once you see the machine. It is made up with long lasting stainless steel frame and can hold up to 300 lbs. I am sure that you will be amazed to know that this little beast features 25 levels of magnetic resistance and 29 different pre-set programs for every type of users.

The machine is ultra-smooth and quiet. You can select any of these programs for a quick workout for specific goals such as endurance, speed, weight loss etc. Or you can manually program courses which imitate real life biking conditions like mountains, terrains and other outdoor features.

As for the comfort, I will rate it 10/10. The large and extra thick padded seat is so comfy that you don’t feel any irritation even for a long time use. The adjustable handle bars can be tilted, raised or lowered or moved forward and backwards with Heart Rate Grip and removable forearm rests. It also has oversized pedals with safety straps.

Schwinn 170
Schwinn 170

However, the main attraction of this model is the dual LCD display which is programmable for up to 4 users and shows 13 different types of feedback. All your fitness data and progress at a glance! The display is backlit too.

Speaking of the addons, there is a multi-speed cooling fan, USB port for charging and data exchange, speakers and audio jack input, water bottle holder, book rack on console to store books, phone etc. What else you need on an exercise bike?

The SchwinnConnect app can be used to keep track of your progress every day and create back up.

The only problem I found with this model was the assembly. It was little bit difficult to get it done using the manual. Also the seat adjustment was difficult too. But these are nothing compared to the quality and useful features.

Overall, Schwinn 170 is the best exercise bike for the whole family at reasonable price. Don’t hesitate. Just buy!

Warranty: 10 years for frame, 2 years mechanical parts, 1 year electrical parts and 90 days labor.

Rating: 9.6/10

Retail Price: $699.00

Get it @ 54% Discount


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