If you want to exercise yet feel comfy at the same time, an upright bike will solve all your problems. That’s because upright exercise bikes have the vibe of a spin bicycle and a recumbent bike. What is also good is that upright bikes allow you to position yourself comfortably, unlike spin bikes.
An upright exercise bike allows you to be in a cozier position compared with a spin bike, have a larger seat, which is made for the comfort of the rider, but they’re not as loungey and calm as recumbent bikes.
Hence, if you like the relaxed feeling of a recumbent bicycle but do not want it as intense as spin bikes, then an upright bicycle is a perfect match for you. There are plenty of options for you to choose from when it comes to these equipments, and to help you make your pick, here’s a list of the best upright exercise bikes for 2021:
Or, you can also check out our review of the best recumbent road bikes.
Our Favorite Exercise Bikes
Below is our review of the best exercise bike 2021 that is well worth every penny you are planning to spend. We reviewed the best bicycles from Schwinn, Nautilus, Assault, and Marcy. These brands offer you the best of the best, so you cannot go wrong if you decide to go with any of them.
Schwinn 130 Upright Bike
One of our top picks of the best upright exercise bike is the Schwinn 130 because it offers excellent features that will make your life convenient. The Schwinn 130 upright boasts of unique features that you’re sure to cherish while you are riding. Although this exercise bike is kind of hard to assemble, at the end of the day, all that effort will be worth it.
The features on this bike are top quality and advanced, and are sure to make your work out sessions easier. This product has a lot to offer to different kinds of individuals, which is always a good thing. Although, this unit might be a little intimidating for beginners who just want the basic features. But if you think about it, that just means you can really grow with this bike.
Plus, this exercise bike has a feature that effortlessly allows you to adjust the resistance quickly. Schwinn also gives a warranty for this exercise bike which means your investment is protected for quite a long time to come.
- Offers you a fan that cools the equipment down
- Features a heart monitor that is accurate
- Offers good quality speakers
Marcy Upright Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-708
If you are looking for a remarkable upright exercise bike that has a sophisticated mechanism for magnetic resistance but also has an affordable price, then the Marcy Upright Exercise Bike is the one for you. One of the many things we like about this upright bike is that while it’s not too digitally geared, it does feature a stopwatch to help you time your sessions.
The Marcy Upright Exercise bike is the most affordable option out in the market for those who still want top-quality features. This upright bike allows you to enjoy the “true” touch-base feeling of exercising, since you’re not saddled with software and tech stuff, so you’re more in charge of your routine.
This unit is simply perfect because aside from its affordable price and decent advertising, this bike is also sturdy and can last for a long time. Perhaps, the only issue with this bicycle is that it doesn’t really accommodate tall people that well, but still, it’s a worthy exercise machine that you definitely need to check out.
- Price range around 100 dollars
- A quiet equipment
- Can be easily adjusted
You might also want to check out: the best hybrid bicycles under 300
Schwinn AD6 Airdyne Exercise Bike
If you are looking for another upright bike from Schwinn that offers excellent quality features, check out the Schwinn AD6 Airdyne Exercise bike. What is amazing about this upright bike is that it’s an air resistance based bike that makes use of a resistance mechanism that’s fan based, which is very unique. It is a truly amazing thing save for its relatively noisy operation.
One thing to note about this is that the AD6 Airdyne Exercise bike is not exactly the best indoor bike that’s beginner-friendly. So, if you are a beginner with using exercise bicycles, then you might want to look for other options, since you have to pedal with more force on this exercise bike, which makes it a little hard for beginners.
Having said that, this bike allows you to be fully in control of your workout without any help from state of the art software, which, if you look at it on the brighter side, is quite good because it teaches you to be more disciplined with your workout routine.
- Features a fan-based resistance
- Stable and sturdy, perfect for tall users
- Comes with tiny wheels; easy to move
- Comes with a bottle holder
Assault AirBike Classic, Black
Among the best upright bikes offered on the market is the Assault Airbike Classic. This upright bike is tried and tested by many athletes like CrossFit Athletes and MMA fighters, which tells us a lot about how excellent this bike is. For starters, this upright bike allows you to have an intense workout where your arms and legs are well exercised.
This best indoor bike features 20 sealed ball bearings that allow you to enjoy a smoother indoor biking experience. What is also amazing about this upright bike is that it can handle up to 350 pounds of weight, which is surprisingly uncommon even to those high-end best stationary bikes.
Furthermore, this upright bike features a display where you can see your progress- talk about convenient and inspirational. This feature can also give you the opportunity to target your goal, whether that’s finishing your allotted exercise time or hitting a certain amount of calories burned. The seats are even adjustable either horizontally or vertically, which is a huge plus.
- Sturdy construction
- Can handle weight up to 350lbs
- Seats are adjustable and fit to all body frame
- Tried and tested by professional athletes
Related read: Best bike seats for women
Nautilus U616 Upright Bike: Explore The Stationary bicycle
Another well-known brand that offers top-quality upright bikes is Nautilus, which offers different models: U616, U614, and the U618. The U616 upright bike is beginner friendly since it is not too complicated compared to other products by Nautilus. To be more specific, the U616 only has 22 customizable programs, which is a great start for beginners.
Basically, if you prefer a stationary bike that offers different resistance levels, then go for U618 and U616, each of which has twenty-five resistance models. In any case, any model in the Nautilus Upright Bike Series has a feature that gives you a chance to see your progress with your workout session. It also has an application where you can sync your progress.
To top it all off, this upright bike series even has a handlebar that is multi-positional and thereby lets the users with different frames use this fitness unit. You can also easily modify the difficulty of your workout with different levels of resistance. All in all, this is the best upright exercise bike for seniors and youngsters alike- basically, anyone who wants to get into the fun of cycling.
- Allows you to sync with applications
- Variable resistance levels
- Features an ergonomic design
- Comes with a two-mode adjustable LCD
Upright exercise bike: Pros and cons
If you are wondering why some people prefer upright exercise bikes or how upright exercise bicycles can measure up against other forms of exercises, then reading this section will give you the knowledge that you need. We will show you a fair assessment of both the good and bad sides of upright bikes. So, let’s get right on it, shall we?
Pros of an upright exercise bike
Like any other aerobic exercise, an upright bike is excellent for your heart. It lets your heart rate keep on thumping and lets your blood have a higher volume of oxygenation. Upright bicycles are also low impact to help you avoid knee injuries.
Easy training curve
Upright exercise bikes have the ability to conveniently give you a good training curve. An upright exercise bike’s resistance can easily be adjusted, meaning, it adapts to your body type and the level of your resistance. So, you can either chill or let yourself have a challenge. As such, this is a great option for those people who want to get back into shape.
Customizable difficulty levels
If you feel like you are not in the right kind of shape and want to get back on track, an upright exercise bike is the best match for you to get started with. This will allow you to easily stick to your workout program since you can easily figure out how difficult you can go with your routine.
Unintrusive and noiseless
One of the best features of most upright exercise bikes is that they are noise-free. If you live in a house where the walls are thin, or you live in a condominium unit where the neighbors can easily hear your noise, then you might want to workout quietly, and an upright bike can give you just that.
Close resemblance to normal bikes
The thing with upright bikes is that they are also built just like a typical bicycle, which allows you to work your knees and legs out just like when using a real bicycle. Even better is that, unlike traditional bikes, you’re not cycling on the open road, so you’re not really exposed to any danger or accidents waiting to happen.
If you’d rather cycle on pavement and gravel, check out these best flat bar gravel bikes.
Cons of an upright exercise bike
After discussing a few good things about upright exercise bikes, we will now discuss a few of its downsides. For instance, as we all know, assembling is the most annoying yet inevitable part of purchasing furniture, and that’s something you’ll also have to deal with when it comes to exercise equipment.
Not the most stable design
The upright exercise bike does not have the most stable design if you compare it to other workout equipment. Since the person who is using this upright bike is positioned way too high up and typically is heavier than the upright bike itself, if they lean too much on one side, they might stumble or fall, and that may result in injury.
Not suitable for users neck, back, and knee issues
You might feel a little pain in your shoulder, neck, and back while you’re first working out on an upright exercise bicycle. If you don’t like that kind of pain and inconvenience, then an upright bike is probably not the right equipment for you.
Also read: our review of the best touring bikes
How To Find The Best Upright Exercise Bike
There are lots of different types of exercise bike available to us, but it may still be a little difficult to find the right bike that will satisfy your specific needs, so we have listed a few important factors that you need to keep in mind:
Level and Type of Resistance
As we all know, different upright exercise bikes have a wide variety of resistance levels and types. Resistance plays a big part in upright exercise bikes, so we will explain it to you comprehensively. First, resistance is built in an upright bicycle’s hardware by use of a system of a specified kind.
To give you an idea, the most basic resistance sources are the following:
- Disc brakes that are pressed in a flywheel just similar to that in a good old bike
- Fan-based resistance where air resistance is generated against the flywheel by pedaling
- Clamps that are in direct contact slows it through friction and releases heat
- Magnetic fields that cause magnetic resistance
With these features, magnetic resistance is the latest (and arguably best) method of creating resistance. Although it is the most expensive one, it is also the sturdiest and most durable, which partly explains the price.
The unit’s hardware and software are the ones responsible for an exercise bicycle’s resistance types. Some upright bikes have the feature that recreates the resistance just like when you are walking on a steep mountain or like when you are carrying heavy baggage.
If you want to spice up your workout session and are fed up with just pedaling without a thrill, then try simulating uphill pedaling to push yourself harder every workout session. In any case, the resistance differs per upright bike- some bikes have the resistance of walking on a hill, and some have the resistance of walking in mud. Every machine has unique quality settings to offer.
Also check out: the best mountain bike grips reviewed
Obviously, upright exercise bikes are not compact. Therefore, they would take a decent amount of space in your room, much like any furniture that you bought. Keep in mind your upright bike’s frame size and whether you have enough space in your room or house where you can put it. A bicycle can be a bit big, all the more so if it’s designed for large people.
That said, the best upright bikes are usually the bigger ones, so although they take up some space, a larger upright bike offers you a spacious seat and a bigger pedals which can be used by taller people. A spacious seat also means more comfort while exercising because you cannot hurt your back in those.
There are some upright bikes that offer more challenging and aggressive training, especially for athletes that have certain goals. If you are not ready for that kind of challenge, then you won’t be needing a machine that offers different levels of resistance and workout regimens.
The comfort level of an upright bike also tells a lot about how great the upright bicycle is. Although, the most common issue of the comfortability in an upright bike is the saddle or the bike seat. The bike seats or the saddle can be the culprit of your discomfort aside from working yourself out per se.
You can always change your bike seat to a comfier one if you are not satisfied with what you have. But to save yourself some time, always test a unit to make sure it fits your needs before buying. And, if you change the saddle and you are still uncomfortable, then try looking at the pedal straps or handlebars that can also be a factor.
Ease of Usage
Most upright bikes that we have featured in this very article are digitized models. What this can do for you is to motivate you to push yourself harder while working out because the digital display feature allows you to see your progress in real time. Not to mention, it also lets you optimize the bike’s performance just the way you like.
That said, not all upright bikes are easy and simple to use. There are some that you might need some time figuring out in terms of how to maximize the bike’s features. Alternatively, you may want to consider a different type of exercise machine, such as elliptical bikes and recumbent road bikes.
Here’s an article detailing the differences between an exercise bike vs elliptical machine.
Some upright bikes offer additional features that you can use while working out. Bottle holders that will make your life convenient, cooled seats for comfort, and a blood oximeter that might just catch your eye, are just a few examples.
Now, keep in mind that although these features may help you, at the end of the day, it is up to you if you want to have these kinds of features or not. We’re saying this because adding various features to your exercise machine ups its cost, and also makes the equipment bulkier than it already is. So, the trade-off is convenience vs price and size.
Keep your eyes on those companies that offer decent warranties for their products. For example, if you buy an upright bike and the company gives you a two – three year warranty, then you are safe in the knowledge that the seller is confident in how sturdy their upright bike is.
They should also give you an after sales service, not just a warranty, to assure you that they are going to be available for support whenever you encounter a problem with your upright bike. Keep in mind that an upright bike is not cheap at all, so it’s always a good idea to look for these features before you settle on a brand and model.
Related read: the best bike brands in 2021
You also have to consider your budget when choosing an upright bike. If you can spend a little more than your budget, then it is much advisable to choose a high-end upright bike, but if you only have a limited budget and you don’t really fancy the prestige features of high-end bikes, then it is also fine to go for a more affordable option.
Exercise bikes are one of the most well-known types of equipment for health conscious people who prefer to workout in their own home since bike riding is a great form of cardio exercise. The best upright exercise bike boosts your heart, it helps you lose weight, and it will help you to boost your immune system which is great for both elderly and youth.
There are plenty of options for the best exercise bikes that can offer you special features, so all you have to do is take a look at the different types, price, and resistance levels. Feel free to use our exercise bike reviews as your guide when picking out the right cycling machine for your needs.