We spent over 36 hours researching and testing 12 different brands of upright exercise bikes and found that number of workout programs, number of resistance levels, and maximum user weight were most important. The Nautilus Upright Bike scored high above the other bikes we tested and is our top pick. This sturdy, durable exercise bike offers 20 levels of resistance and 22 different programs to choose from so boredom was never an issue. The hand grip heart rate monitor helps you keep track of your heart rate and the LCD screen allows easy viewing of your workout stats.
Best Upright Exercise Bike
If you are looking to add a stationary bike to your workout equipment, you will want to know which ones are the best values and have the best features to offer. In this review we have taken three top stationary bikes that are in the top ten lists on many review sites and gone into detail about each one. You’ll learn what features they have, what is special about them and what customers have to say about them as well.
It is much less time consuming to go to a site that you can trust, like this one, and find all the information you need right there, rather than go from site to site hoping to find what you need. We’ve got all the details right here so we save you time and energy and make things much simpler for you in your search Read below to learn about three of the best stationary bikes on the market today and see which one fits your needs the best.
Top 10 Upright Exercise Bikes
Top Rated Upright Exercise Bike Summary
Stationary bikes are better than ever with updated mechanisms, high tech features and great prices too. All three of the stationary bikes we’ve reviewed above are customer favorites for very good reason; they offer users great workouts, great prices, and great features. Depending on what you are looking for, it’s almost guaranteed that one of these great bikes will be just what you’re looking for.
Upright Exercise Bike Comparison Chart
Sunny Pro Indoor
Marcy Upright Mag
|41.50 x 23.00 x 12.80||48.50 x 20.00 x 46.50||31.00 x 19.00 x 46.00||28.00 x 16.00 x 45.00||25.00 x 20.00 x 9.00||38.00 x 27.00 x 9.00||13.00 x 41.00 x 22.50||41.00 x 22.00 x 12.50||21.00 x 11.00 x 25.00||27.50 x 16.50 x 47.50|
Upright Exercise Bike Buying Guide
What is a Stationary Bike?
If you’re looking for a great piece of fitness equipment that provides a great workout regardless of the time of day, the weather outside or your own fitness level, you will really enjoy a stationary bike. These pieces of equipment are still highly popular in fitness centers and homes all over. That is largely in part to the fact that whether you are a beginner or an experienced cycler, you can count on getting a great lower body workout.
Due to the fact that they are virtually no impact workout machines they are great for users who want to work on their cardiovascular health that may not be able to handle an impact based exercise. It is the perfect form of exercise for someone who is starting off extremely overweight and maybe can’t handle the strain on their joints of walking on a treadmill or standing on an elliptical.
Another plus to these pieces of equipment is that you can exercise and watch TV, listen to music or even listen to an audio book while you ride. In this buyer’s guide we will tell you all you need to know to choose the perfect stationary bike for your needs.
The Benefits of a Upright Exercise Bike
With the cost of fitness clubs rising and the commitments that one has to make including contracts, bank drafts, etc. it’s no wonder that more people are looking for equipment they can put in their homes to get a good workout. Some people just don’t feel comfortable working out in public places, so they do better and work out more intensely at home. Yet another reason may be your own schedule that doesn’t fit in with fitness club’s hours. Whatever your reason is for wanting to get a good stationary bike, you will get a lot of benefits from having one in your home. These benefits can include:
- They are easy to use, even when you haven’t ridden a bike of any kind in years
- Provides an excellent cardiovascular workout regardless of your fitness level
- Safe to use when you follow basic safety rules
- Helps increase stamina
- Helps build leg strength
- Keeps you interested in working out
What Muscles Does a Upright Exercise Bike Work?
Because of the design of most stationary bikes, they mostly work the muscles in your lower body. These include your calves, quadriceps, hamstrings, hips, and glutes (butt). You’ll also give your heart and lungs a great workout too since bike riding does so much for the cardio vascular system. This will also engage and work the abs, obliques and your core.
Types of Exercise Bikes
There are four main types of stationary bike. These are the upright, recumbent and spinner. Each of the types is different in their own right and provides their own brand of exercise. We’ve outlined the different types and their differences below.
The Upright Stationary Bike – This is the first style of stationary bike to come out for users to buy for their homes. They are also the most like a regular bicycle that you can ride on the road. The user sits on a small seat that is higher up. There is no support for the back. The handle bars are in the front and the pedals are directly underneath the body.
The Recumbent Stationary Bike – This bike used to be seen only in fitness centers but now users can buy it for home use as well. The user is in a reclined seated position rather than sitting higher up on the bike. The seat is wider than traditional upright stationary bike seats and the pedaling is done out in front of the user rather than below their upper body. The back and butt are supported in a recumbent bike, making it a good choice for users that may have back issues. They are also great choices for those who have over 50 pounds to lose.
The Spinner Stationary Bike – The spinner bike is for hard core bike workouts. These stationary bikes are designed almost identically to racing road bikes. The seat position is higher, they have low handlebars and there is support for multiple riding positions for the user. These stationary bikes are best suited for advanced users and will provide the most intense workout of all three of the stationary types. These are the same bikes that are used in fitness center spinning classes.
Dual Action Stationary Bikes – Dual action bikes are similar to elliptical in that they offer a means of exercising the upper body by way of moveable arms. Most dual action bikes have two sets of handlebars, the ones that can move back and forth and another set that is stationary and is simply for holding onto while you pedal. If you’re looking for an all over body workout, a dual action stationary bike will fit your needs well.
What You Expect At Different Price Levels
There are many different styles and prices available when it comes to stationary bikes. There are three usual categories that these useful pieces of equipment fall into: lower-priced choices, mid-range priced choices and high end choices. Each one has its merits and depending on the budget of the consumer, there are those who would be looking to purchase in any one of those categories that fit their wallets.
Lower-range Priced – Even though these are lower priced than others, you should at the very least, expect to find features such as resistance levels, a few programming options, and quiet handling.
Mid-range Priced – The stationary bikes that fall into the middle of the road category in terms of price should have a bit more sturdiness to them, they are also usually easier to use and offer such features as magnetic resistance, built in workout programs, heart rate monitor and may operate much quieter than the lower priced options.
High Range Priced – These models have all the bells and whistles usually, including but not limited to electronic displays that measure calories burned, speed, distance, heart rate, and time, LED displays, pulse driven workouts, a larger amount of built in workout programs to choose from, durable and long lasting, very sturdy and push button resistance controls.
Things to Consider Before Your Start Shopping
There are several things you should think about and make sure of before you start shopping for your stationary bike. It is an investment in your health and thanks to manufacturers that improve the quality and offerings of fitness equipment; they are designed to last a long time. We’ve outlined the most important ones for you below.
What Kind of Rider are You? – If you do a lot of outdoor cycling, you might be much happier with a spinning bike which will give you an indoor workout that will rival what you get when cycling outside. Spinning bikes are definitely good for advanced riders and can challenge even the most avid cycler.
How Often will You be Using Your Stationary Bike? – The reason this plays a part in your decision making process is because how often you will be using your stationary bike determines how durable and sturdy a bike you get. If you’re looking for something you and others in your home are going to be using on a daily basis, you will want to get a higher quality bike that can withstand a lot of intense use and that has a lot of pre-programmed options. Be realistic and honest about this particular question so you are not spending money on a high dollar stationary bike if you’re only going to be using it a couple of times a week.
Watch Out for the Noise Level – Some stationary bikes can be really loud which can happen with air resistance models. If you are a user who likes to read or watch TV or listen to music while you workout, you don’t want to have a loud, noisy bike to have to drown out. It can also hamper your workout times since you’d end up disturbing other members of the house if you worked out early morning or later at night. Magnetic resistance will help ensure a smoother, much quieter ride.
How Stable is Your Stationary Bike? – Your stationary bike needs to be stable and sturdy so you don’t feel like it’s getting ready to tip while you are riding it. The heavier a bike is, the sturdier it will be and the less likely it will be to tip unless it’s being used improperly. While you don’t want it to weigh so much you can’t ever move it, you do want to go for the heavier duty models because they DO last longer. Most heavy bikes have some sort of transport system such as rollers on the front that allow it to be moved.
Look for Covered Wheel and Chain Styles – One of the biggest accidents that can happen regarding stationary bikes is children getting their fingers and other body parts pinched, sometimes very seriously. Having the wheel and chain covered protects children and adults from sustaining injuries due to getting caught in the mechanisms.
What Kind of Features do you Want? – Stationary bikes come with all kinds of features. It’s important to know what features you’re looking for but make sure those are features that you actually will use. Some of the more basic features that you will see on pretty much every bike regardless of model or price include:
- Adjustable seat
- Varied resistance levels
- Good sized foot pedals that work for all foot sizes
Additional features that you may find on certain models will include things like heart rate monitors, water bottle holders, LCD displays, book rest, and programming options sometimes even with pre-set programs available to choose from. Seat sizes will vary but if your favorite stationary bike happens to have a seat you don’t like, you can get bicycle seat covers that are filled with gel or padding or even get padded bike shorts to wear for your workouts.
Make Sure You Have a Good Warranty
Whenever you buy any piece of workout equipment the warranty that comes with it is very important. Some manufacturers offer several warranties for the same product, for example, they might offer a certain amount of years for the mechanisms, another amount of years for parts, etc.
Be sure to research the warranty as much as you can before purchase so you will know exactly what you can expect in the way of coverage if something should go wrong. Reading customer comments can also give you some insight into the company’s customer support if any consumers who bought the model you are interested in and had to use their warranty for some reason.
How Much Should You Spend?
The prices of stationary bikes will vary as much as the different styles that are available. Prices will depend on the brand name, size, features included, materials used to build the bike and other factors. This question is highly personal because what you should spend is ultimately up to what you want to spend to get the bike you want. If you have a specific budget set aside for purchasing a stationary bike, you can eliminate models that fall outside of this range. If you’re flexible on price, then you can make the purchase more dependent on the KIND of stationary bike you want and what you want it to include.
In general prices can range from very inexpensive for a simple, no frills model, to hundreds of dollars for a more top of the line style. Be sure to pay attention to what the stationary bike offers and what it can do because a higher price doesn’t always equate to it being the perfect choice for your needs.
Using a Stationary Bike Properly
Read the Instructions – When you have decided on the stationary bike you want and it arrives at your house, there are several things you should do to get ready to use your new workout equipment. As cliché as it may sound, start off by reading the instructions. There will be some assembly required depending on the style and model that you choose but the instructions will also cover how to use the features that your stationary bike has. Reading about how to use these features, especially those dealing with increasing/decreasing speed and resistance levels, BEFORE you start working out will save you a lot of headache and frustration.
Adjust the Seat Correctly – Sit on the bike and adjust the seat so your knees are almost completely extended (not all the way) and then put your feet on the pedals. You don’t want to have to reach for the pedals, nor do you want your knees bumping you in the chin! Continue to work with the seat adjustment until pedaling feels really comfortable.
Choose the Exercise Routine You Want – One of the great things about the electronic stationary bikes is that many allow you to choose from a variety of pre-programmed routines that can simulate flat roads to hills. If you choose to go with a program, you may have to input your weight, age and the length of time you want to ride. Difficulty level may also be something you will need to input.
Watch Your Posture – Proper posture is important to ensure the correct muscles are being engaged and to also prevent injury. Your head needs to be up, your back straight and your stomach muscles tight. Make sure you are not holding your breath while you’re exercising.
Stopping the Stationary Bike – Don’t try to get off the bike with the pedals still moving. They can catch you in the lower leg and leave quite a painful bruise. If you stop pedaling, everything should come to a stop on its own.
Wearing the Right Workout Gear
Stationary bikes don’t require any special equipment or gear. You should have some good athletic shoes and comfortable shorts and t shirts or even a sweat suit if you prefer, but other than that anything else you get is optional. Many people get sweat bands to help catch the sweat during super tough workouts. Shoes can be basic athletic shoes not the high dollar ones since there is no impact required.
Use that Water Bottle Holder – Staying hydrated during workouts is good for health reasons and safety reasons as well. Many stationary bikes have a water bottle holder. If your does use it!! You should be able to easily grab your bottle for sips of water while you’re working out. You should aim for a sip of water about every 15-20 minutes throughout your routine and definitely before and after the routines as well.
Other Ways to Get a Great Stationary Bike Workout
Team up with a Workout Partner – Having an exercise buddy has been proven to increase weight loss and fitness success. That has a lot to do with the accountability factor. If your exercise buddy lives in the house with you that’s great but it isn’t a requirement. Workout buddies go a long way towards helping people reach their goals.
Journaling – Journaling workouts is a popular practice among fitness lovers of all levels. You can write down the different pieces of date from the stationary bike about the distance you ride, the speed, the resistance level, and calories you’ve burned. You can also write down your feelings. It gives you a lot of feedback on your emotional and mental state during your program which plays a huge part of successful weight loss.
Even though stationary bikes, also called exercise bikes, are still a popular piece of workout equipment, they’ve changed a lot over the years that they’ve been around. Nowadays exercisers have more choices than ever about size, features, and price. The information in this buyer’s guide will help you understand exactly how to find the perfect stationary bike for your needs. When you go to look, thanks to all the information, you will know what everything means and how it can best serve the purpose and needs you and others who will be using it have.