If you really want to exercise without the hassles of going to the gym and the pain of busting your knee, you need to think about getting one of the best upright exercise bikes in your home
Sayings such as “no pain, no gain” aren’t exactly very accurate in the literal sense, but they do make some sense. They certainly seem to apply to the best upright exercise bikes, which offer a more consistent workout that involves basically your whole body. You use the same muscles as you would when you ride a real bike outdoors, except you enjoy all the comforts of home. These bikes even occupy a smaller footprint as their recumbent counterparts.
7 Best Upright Bikes Recommended for 2019
You can enjoy many benefits from using a great upright exercise bike, though you should take care to make sure you get a good one. To help with that, we’ve compiled a list of terrific options for you to consider so that you can do cardio and work out your entire body without having to go outdoors
Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike with Pulse
You have to admit, upright bikes aren’t always compatible with most interior home designs. They can make even the homiest living rooms and bedrooms look like gyms. But often they’re not easy to store away, since they can take up a lot of space. This particular upright bike minimizes this problem by being fold able so that it takes up only have the space it usually does.
Now a fold able upright bike may give you a few qualms about its sturdiness, which is one of the most crucial factors in picking an upright bike. But this is certainly a tough model, as it can handle up to 300 pounds in weight. Unlike regular bikes, this one also has a bigger seat cushion, and the seat height can be adjusted for user heights ranging from 5’3” to 6’1”.
This model has the usual features you’d expect in any good upright exercise bike. There’s an easy to read LCD display, where you can find metrics like your time, speed, distance covered, and calories burned. You can also see your heart rate, which you get through the hand pulse sensors. It’s powered by AAA batteries, and it can take a long while before you need to replace them with new batteries.
This offers up to 8 resistance levels, and you only need to turn a knob to set the level you want. Its cranking system works very smoothly, and it won’t make any noise while you huff and puff.
Assembling this unit is actually much easier than it may seem. You have the main frame, and then you just need to attach the various parts to it. You’ll just want to make sure that you really tighten the bolts and the screws when you put it together. That will keep the bike from making too much noise when you pedal as you use it.
Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709
The Marcy brand has been around for half a century, and they’ve really learned how to make exceptional exercise equipment. This ME-709 machine is a prime example, as it is extremely popular.
It’s a great option for you if you’re recuperating from an injury or you’re getting on in years, as this is a recumbent and not an upright bike. That makes it a gentler option for you. You still get the different magnetic levels of resistance plus the LCD computer screen that displays the important metrics including the amount of calories you’ve burned.
It’s very comfortable to use, and you can spare your lower back some pain as you can just lean back as you use this. For more details on what benefits it offers, here’s a link to a more in-depth review
Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike
This is another recumbent bike, though it’s only a semi-recumbent and it provides more of a challenge like an upright does. It also offers a few benefits that you would get from an upright bike. This thing folds, so that it only occupies half the space it normally does. This makes it easier to store away. It may also not take up as much room even when laid out for use.
While it may seem smaller, it is tough and stable. In fact, it’s designed to hold up to 300 pounds of your weight. It’s very comfortable with its large cushioned seat and back rest, and it can also be adjusted to suit a height ranging from 5’2” to 6’2”. It comes with 8 magnetic tension levels, a quiet cranking system, a huge LCD display where the metrics are displayed, and hand pulse sensors so you can monitor your heart rate.
To find out more details, here’s a more complete review of the 400XL.
FitDesk Desk Exercise Bike with Massage Bar
Do you ever feel like you could be doing something more productive than staring at your TV when you use your exercise bike? If you’re torn about doing your workout and doing your office work, this particular exercise bike lets you do both at the same time.
It has all the usual exercise bike accoutrements, but this time it has a desk where you can put in your laptop so you can work. It even has a drawer for some miscellaneous office stuff like pens, or for your earbuds and smartphone.
Of course, you may end up feeling tense when you work out and do your work at the same time, and that’s also factored in. There are massage bars here for your forearms that can relieve typing strain.
You can find out about the various features of the FitDesk here in our more detailed review.
Marcy Upright Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-708
Now this is one heck of an upright bike, and you get lots of great features without having to suffer price tag shock. It’s extremely popular among many exercise bike buyers, and it’s easy to see when you take a closer look at it.
First of all, it’s very durable and stable. It’s made with 2-inch diameter 14-gauge steel tubing, with powder coating to make it look nice.
It’s also comfortable to use for the most part, though of course comfort isn’t a real priority when it comes to uprights. At least here you can adjust the seat to your height, while the counterbalanced pedals are ergonomic and they come with adjustable straps to keep your feet in place. The handlebars are also contoured to better fit your forearms, and they’re covered in foam so it’s more comfortable to grasp.
The workout is your priority with an upright bike, and you have 8 preset levels of resistance to use to simulate various road conditions. You just need to turn the dial right in front of you to adjust the setting difficulty you want.
You’ll know how you’re doing with the large LCD screen in front of you. It’s very readable as even the numbers are large. Here you get to monitor your time, speed, wand distance covered, along with the number of calories you’ve burned off so far.
Sunny Health and Fitness Indoor Cycling Bike
When first get to see this exercise bike, its gleaming appearance may lead you to think that it’s an expensive bit of machinery. But actually, it’s one of the more affordable models on this list.
This design is more for traditionalists who don’t think much of magnetic resistance. That’s because it uses a chain drive system along with a smooth felt brake pad to provide the level of resistance you need to get your heart rate going. You can get a finer adjustment of the resistance tension this way. To see how you’re doing, you have an LCD screen in front of you that lets you see metrics like your time and distance covered.
It also has a very heavy flywheel at 22 pounds, which offers stability and smooth movements even as you pedal furiously. The whole thing weighs 61 pounds, and it can manage a weight of up to 220 pounds.
It can be adjusted to fit most body types, and the seat is thankfully wider than the usual seat found on outdoor bikes. You can adjust the seat both horizontally and vertically. The paddle handlebars are also covered with rubber foam for a more comfortable grasp, while there’s a metal cage on the pedals to keep your feet in place. This setup is certainly more durable than with just a regular strap.
It doesn’t occupy as much space, as it’s only 32 inches long. You do have rubber pads at the bottom of the wide foundation, so you can pedal as hard as you can without worrying about falling over. It also doesn’t make as much noise as you may have thought.
Exerpeutic GOLD 500 XLS Foldable Upright Bike, 400 lbs.
Are you annoyed that quite a few upright bikes are designed for slimmer people? What about the really overweight and obese users who wish to do cardio and burn calories? In general these upright bikes are rated for weights ranging from 220 to 300 pounds, but this upright is pure gold. It can handle up to 400 pounds!
This is because Exerpeutic out in a lot more steel in its construction. In fact, it has 20% more steel compared to the Exerpeutic Magnetic Folding Upright Bike. It’s a beast of a machine, and you can adjust the seating to suit a height of up to 6’5”. Yet it can also handle a much shorter height as it can accommodate a height of only 5’1”. The seat is also large and cushioned, so those with ample bottoms can still feel comfy when using this.
This machine offers up to 8 different magnetic tension levels, and you can just turn the dial right on top of the handle to set it to the level you want. In front of you is also a huge LCD display screen, and you can monitor your distance, time, speed, and calories burned. The handle bars are also equipped with heart pulse sensors, so you can keep a proper eye on your heart rate.
This gives you am very smooth pedaling motion with its excellent cranking system. The pedals are also large so it can suit even large feet. These pedals also come with straps so that your feet stay in place as you pedal your way through your workout.
Moving it about isn’t hard, as it comes with transportation wheels. Just pretend it’s a wheelbarrow when you move it, and it only weighs 51 pounds. It also doesn’t take up a lot of space in your storage cabinet, as it’s foldable. When folded, it’s only 26 inches long.
Why do so many exercise bikes use magnetic resistance?
Magnetic resistance offers several key benefits. It doesn’t require as much maintenance as other forms of resistance such as belts and friction pads. The magnetic force simply doesn’t wear down over time, unlike the belts. In addition, braking is smoother when you’re dealing with magnetic resistance, so it’s much quieter when you use the upright bike.
What’s the target heart rate you should aim for when you use the upright bike?
Experts recommend that you reach up to 55% to 85% of your maximum heart rate when you exercise, and this should be maintained for 20 to 30 minutes. Your maximum heart rate is generally 220 minus your age, so if you’re 40 years old then the MHR is 180. This means you need to keep your heart rate within 99 to 153 heartbeats per minute.
Why are upright exercise bikes so heavy?
They’re heavy because the weight makes it more stable as you pedal the bike. While the weight does make it more difficult to move the bike around a room, at least you reduce the chances of falling over as you pedal furiously
Why should people use an upright bike over rowers and elliptical machines?
Those other cardio workout tools have their uses, but you need some practice before you can learn to use them with the proper coordination. But with exercise bikes, you don’t need to practice at all. Everyone knows how to pedal the bike, and you don’t even have to worry about maintaining your balance like with a real bike
How many calories can people burn off when they use the upright bike?
That depends on how long you work out. On average, people can burn off more than 900 calories in an hour, and you can work out that long since an upright bike is more forgiving with your joints.
In comparison, when you run at 5 mph for an hour you can burn off about 700 calories. You can increase that to 1,100 calories burned off if you increase your pace to 7.5 mph, but then who can maintain that pace for an hour?
What muscles are worked over when using the upright bike?
Pedaling on an upright bike is more like a whole body workout, as it pretty much uses the same muscles as you would when you’re on a real bike outdoors. Unlike recumbent bikes, the uprights also work the abdominal muscles because you’re upright during the workout. You’re also using your shoulders, triceps, and biceps
How do you know when you’ve adjusted the seat correctly for your height?
It’s important that you make your seat adjustments properly before you even begin your exercise. If you don’t, then you will feel pain, although the kind of pain you go through will indicate where you made a mistake in your adjustments. If you’re feeling pain in your back when you use the upright bike, this usually means that you have too little knee bend. But too much knee bend can cause pain in the front of your knee.
Upright bikes are great, as you can use it anytime you like. It can be raining outside and it won’t matter. They offer more of a challenge than recumbent bikes, plus they don’t use up as much space in your room. In addition, they’re very easy to use and you don’t end up busting your knees with constant running. Use them for cardio and for weight loss, and save yourself from the expense and the bother of going to the gym.