Although high-intensity exercise certainly has its place, you can only perform HIIT so often before your body feels the strain. If you’re returning from an injury, looking to slowly boost your existing level of fitness or want to maintain your current level, low-intensity cardiovascular exercise is the ideal choice. This form of exertion ensures your heart is forced to work, you burn some fat, and your joints are not placed under any undue stress. An upright exercise bike is one of the best pieces of equipment for the task.
Comparison: Best Upright Exercise Bike
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What is an Upright Exercise Bike?
An upright exercise bike is a stationary piece of equipment seen in every gym around the world. Manufacturers have latched onto the new fitness wave, and there are now hundreds of bikes designed for home use. You simply place it in a convenient location in your house and jump on whenever you want to exercise. Most models come with a variety of settings and resistance levels so you can gradually build up your fitness.
Why Would I an Upright Exercise Bike?
If you don’t have time to go to the gym or if the idea of people looking at you while you train fills you with dread, an upright exercise bike is a great piece of equipment to get you into shape. Whether you’re a novice or else, you want to take your fitness to the next level, one of these bikes could prove to be the golden ticket. High-end models are extremely comfortable which enables you to exercise for much longer than other pieces of equipment.
Characteristics of an Upright Bike
There are a variety of bikes on the market, so it is easy to get confused. To help you out, here are a few characteristics of upright bikes.
Higher Handlebar Position
An upright exercise bike looks similar to a traditional bicycle except for the fact that the handlebars are a lot higher up. As a result, the bars are above the height of the seat which means you don’t ride in a crouching position as you would on a traditional bike for example. The result is a much more comfortable experience. The seats on upright bikes are larger than on spin bikes.
Upright exercise bikes are more flexible than recumbent or spin bikes because it is easy to change resistance as you pedal and you’re in a much safer position. It is possible for all members of the family to use the bike because they don’t assume a potentially harmful bent-over cycling position.
One of the great things about an upright exercise bike is that you can stop pedaling immediately when you want to brake.
An upright bike has a more advanced computer than a typical indoor bike. On the flipside, you need to place it close to a power source.
Top 3 Upright Exercise Bike Reviews
1 – Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike
This upright bike from Exerpeutic Therapeutic Fitness is one of the best upright exercise bikes on the market and has the distinction of being ‘Amazon’s Choice.’ It has a weight capacity of 300 pounds, so even slightly overweight individuals will find the bike safe, sturdy and secure. One of its best features is the fact it can be folded up and stored away, and it includes transportation wheels.
The seat is adjustable, so the Exerpeutic bike is suitable for riders from 5ft 3ins to 6ft 1in. The 8-level Magnetic Tension control system ensures you remain challenged by the bike for the foreseeable future and it comes with a hand pulse monitor. Other measurements available include calories burned, time, speed and distance traveled.
We like the large cushion design; the big seat means you can pedal in comfort for a very long time. The pedals are wide, and its straps are reasonably sturdy. The leg stabilizers prevent tripping while the machine is in use. Other features include a 3-piece crank system and a double drive transmission system. Overall, the Exerpeutic upright exercise bike represents tremendous value for money, and as it weighs only 39 pounds, it isn’t difficult to move and store.
2 – Schwinn 170 Upright Bike
The Schwinn 170 Upright Bike comes from a trusted brand, and the company doesn’t fall short with this model as it is an excellent addition to the market. If you want an upright bike with a lot of programs and resistance levels, the Schwinn 170 is right up your alley. It has a total of 29 programs with four user settings and goal tracking. As a result, you can intricately plan your training schedule.
There are 25 resistance levels in total which mean you’ll never get bored. The flywheel design ensures each training session is quiet and the oversized pedals and padded adjustable seat make every ride a pleasure. The angled adjusted handlebars add to your comfort level because this feature enables you to rest your forearms.
The DualTrack console has nine heart rate programs and connects to fitness apps, so you can track your sessions over a long period. Other great features include in-console speakers with MP3 input port and USB charging, an adjustable 3-speed fan, a magazine shelf, transport wheels and bottle holder. You can monitor up to 13 display feedbacks at once, and it has a max user capacity of 300 pounds. If you’re prepared to pay a little extra, the Schwinn 170 is one of the best upright exercise bikes around and worth every cent.
3 – Marcy Upright Mag Bike
The Marcy Upright Mag Bike is very well constructed for the price. It operates via magnetic resistance, so it guarantees an extremely quiet ride. Although it lacks the features of the top-end models, it has eight levels of preset resistance which is enough for most users to handle for quite some time. The durable construction (it weighs 41 pounds) means it has a maximum weight capacity of 300 pounds.
We like the large display panel which clearly shows your speed and distance traveled along with the duration of your session and calories burned. You can program it to display the readout you prefer and even alternate between different statistics every few seconds. Most users believe the calorie readout given by the Macy bike is extremely accurate.
The bike has an adjustable seat along with counterbalanced pedals and adjustable foot straps. The counterbalanced pedals enable you to pedal in reverse to target different muscles. Although the bike is far from heavy, the transport wheels are welcome, and the adjustable padded handlebars mean your hands grip foam and don’t get sore during a long session. If you’re on a budget, the Marcy Upright Mag Bike is well worth a second look, and it even comes with a 2-year warranty.
How To Choose An Upright Exercise Bike
You might believe that when it comes to an upright exercise bike, any model will do. Whether you need an expensive bike depends entirely on your goals. A cheap bike includes a handful of programming options and maybe a few resistance levels. A mid-range model is sturdier, makes less noise and contains more features. Top of the line bikes has advanced features such as a ton of preset workout programs and resistance levels, an accurate computer and a longer warranty. Here are a few things to look at.
Pay special attention to reviews that analyze seat comfort because hopefully, you’ll spend a lot of time on the machine. No matter how dedicated you are, if you buy a bike with an uncomfortable seat, you risk injury and will use it less often. Also, look at upright exercise bikes with adjustable seating, this feature is a life-saver for large users.
Only choose bikes with wide pedals and straps to keep your feet in place. There is nothing more annoying than being forced to stop every two minutes because your feet keep slipping from the pedals.
No matter your budget, choose an upright bike with a computer that shows basic statistics such as speed, time and calories burned. A heart rate monitor is also good but not essential.
Programs & Resistance Levels
You’ll get bored quickly with bikes that suffer from a lack of workout programs and resistance levels. You need at least six of each or else you won’t get value for money.
Always check the weight limit of the bike before purchase. If you choose a model only capable of barely holding your weight, it will invariably start to wobble during use. For stability, a heavier bike is usually the best option. Just make sure you have the means to transport it.
If you want a bike that doesn’t produce much noise, avoid models with fans.
These features are not essential but could come in handy:
- Built-in fans to provide air resistance and also keep you cool.
- A built-in acoustic system so you can play your favorite music nice and loud.
- A water bottle holder; you’ll be grateful during a long session.
- A magazine or book stand.
Pros of Upright Exercise Bikes
The most obvious benefit is convenience. As the cost of fitness club membership is rising along with longer contractual commitments, an increasing number of people are steering clear of the gym and investing in home exercise equipment. The benefits of owning an upright bike are manifold:
You’re in Control
Rather than scheduling your day around a gym’s opening and closing hours, you can hop on the bike anytime you want. You can wake up and exercise at 3 am if that’s your thing! Best of all, there is no waiting to use equipment; unless of course, a member of your family gets there first!
There are upright exercise bikes available for around $100. This figure is the equivalent of a few months of fitness club membership, and once you buy it, there are no added costs.
Tailor Your Workouts
The best upright exercise bikes on the market have dozens of programs and resistance levels so you can tailor each session to meet your needs. If you just want a leisurely ride, choose a low resistance level and start pedaling. Likewise, if you fancy some HIIT, get your head down and prepare for intense training.
Easy to Use
It doesn’t matter if you’re new to exercise; an upright exercise bike is ridiculously easy to use. You don’t even have to bother with the process of setting programs, just jump on the bike and start pedaling. One of these bikes gives you a proper exercise session which is excellent for cardiovascular health. It places little or no stress on the joints and is small enough to store away when not in use.
Cons of Upright Exercise Bikes
One of the biggest barriers to exercise is boredom. If you don’t love the feeling of exercise, pedaling on a bike or pounding the treadmill for half an hour feels like the ultimate punishment. You can get around this problem by listening to music or even watching TV as you cycle.
It is all too easy to cheat on a stationary bike; check out any gym in civilization for evidence! It is normal to see people pedaling at a slow pace while reading a magazine. It is better than sitting on the couch, but not by much! If you spend time and money finding and then buying the best upright exercise bike on Amazon, you owe it to yourself to put in a genuine effort for every session. Remember, the only person you’re cheating is yourself!
The propensity for people to cheat while on an upright bike leads to mediocre results. 30 minutes of cycling on a stationary bike at a moderate pace burns less than half the calories of jogging on a treadmill at a moderate pace. Also, cycling does nothing for your upper body so you must supplement with suitable exercises.
An upright exercise bike is an excellent investment whether you’re a fitness neophyte or fanatic. Build up your fitness by gradually upping the resistance level and keep it at a high level by regularly exercising. The bike is sitting there staring you in the face, so bin the excuses and hop on today!