The Marcy ME-708 is great for individuals who don’t need a lot of flare, but want a bike that works. It has all the basics, including a display screen, and can provide an excellent indoor workout with the feel of a smooth and natural outdoor ride.
It’s no surprise why this one is considered a top-rated upright exercise bike. Its simplicity and design are hard to beat.
Review: If you like a little more customization, the Nautilus U614 upright bike is your guy. It’s also one of the few best upright stationary bikes that comes with built-in and well-functioning speakers.
However, it’s not all about the speakers!
The Nautilus U614 has adjustable handlebars and an adjustable seat, making your ride that much more tailored to you.
Also, if you don’t like the comfort offered by the original seat, it’s removable and replaceable. This means you can find a seat design you like and use that instead.
This bike also supports individuals up to 300lbs. It has 22 different programs to choose from and magnetic resistance, giving way to a smooth and quiet ride.
Adjustable seat and handlebars.
LCD display screen.
Quiet and smooth magnetic resistance.
No Bluetooth – only USB input.
A bit pricier than other similar upright bikes.
If you’re willing to spend a bit more and love customization, the Nautilus U614 is perfect. It even has a few extras, which justify the higher price point.
Review: The Schwinn 170 upright bike has many things in common with the Nautilus U614. Surprisingly, Schwinn and Nautilus fall under the same giant company known as ICON Fitness.
It makes sense, since they are similar designs and come with similar features. However, the Schwinn 170 is slightly more expensive in price.
Instead of 22 programs, this bike comes with 29 different workout variations. It further has 25 different levels of resistance, offering a bit more in terms of challenge and workout styles.
And there’s more…
The lightweight flywheel makes for a natural ride. It also comes with an LCD display screen, built-in fan, Bluetooth connectivity, built-in speakers, and more.
29 different workout programs.
Dual LCD display screens.
25 different levels of resistance.
Additional features, such as Bluetooth, a built-in fan, and built-in speakers.
Higher in price.
Speakers may leave something to be desired (similar to most stationary or indoor bikes).
This bike also works for various users. It’s comfortable and reliable – like the Nautilus U614. But the Schwinn 170 offers slightly more features.
For this one, it depends on the user or buyer and what they want in their upright bike. If features are important to you and your workout (as well as a variety of programs), the Schwinn 170 has got it all.
Review: Alright, so this is another foldable option. With upright bikes, it just so happens that there are a ton of fold-away models. In fact, some of the best tend to be the foldable kinds, like the Exerpeutic Gold upright bike.
Surprisingly, for a foldable bike, this one is as durable as it comes. It can stand up to 400 lbs. It’s very sturdy.
It also has an 8 level magnetic resistance system, similar to the other foldable bike options.
This bike also gives way to more comfort with an incredibly padded and large seat. It’s great for users ranging from 5’1 to 6’5 in height.
It is slightly more expensive than other foldable upright bike options. This is the catch. While it’s comfortable and probably boasts the most durability, the price may not be affordable for everyone.
Extra-large and padded seat.
Strong and durable steel frame.
LCD display screen.
8 resistance magnetic control system.
Slightly more expensive.
Like other foldable bike options, you may desire more than only 8 levels of resistance.
The Exerpeutic Gold upright bike was named so for a good reason. It’s strong and the best of the best when it comes to foldable upright bikes.
The kicker comes with the price tag. If you’re willing to pay a little more for sturdiness, durability, and reliability, go for it!
Review: The Body Rider exercise upright fan bike’s feature that sets it apart from the rest is its dual-action handlebars. You don’t only get a lower body workout. You’ll work the whole body with arm movements included.
Because of its ability to target the upper and lower body, you’ll get a cardio workout and strengthening workout – all in one.
The coolest part about it?
The fan wheel offers a refreshing blast of air while you workout. Although, if you want a quieter option, this upright bike may not be for you.
This model also has an adjustable seat with cushion and adjustable resistance.
Full body workout.
Adjustable resistance settings.
Fan wheel system.
Adjustable seat with cushion.
If you prefer a quieter system, the Body Rider Bike likely isn’t a good option.
It’s only sustainable for individuals weighing up to 250 lbs.
Some individuals may consider the seat to be too small.
No extra features.
The Body Rider upright bike is great for those on the hunt for a full-body workout, while also getting the benefits of a good cycle.
It’s likely not suitable for those with back or shoulder injuries, as the movement may aggravate these problems.
Review: If you’re into saving space (who isn’t?), the Xspec upright bike is yet another model that folds away. This bike has got something else going for it too. It has optimal style, function, and is entirely affordable.
With a sturdy and adjustable frame, more than one user can get a great workout on this upright bike option. The seat adjusts, allowing you to set it to your desired or required height.
The transportation wheels further make it easy to fold and store this bike away. It’s stylish look also fits into any small-sized apartment, without creating a serious eye-sore.
The 8-level magnetic resistance system allows a challenge for all fitness levels. And it also comes with anti-skid and comfortable handlebars.
Stores away easily with compact and lightweight design.
Lacks additional or extra features.
Not ideal for taller people.
A sharp edge on the pedal may bothersome.
The Xspec upright bike is stylish with an easy to move and store design. It’s further very functional, yet it doesn’t come with any extra bling (besides its aesthetics).
Review: The Sunny Health & Fitness bike is a semi-recumbent. If you can’t decide between the best recumbent bikes and an upright model, this one meets in the middle. For this reason, many people also consider it the best upright exercise bike for seniors. It’s also useful for individuals with chronic injuries or pain.
Another neat aspect of this bike?
It’s foldable – which makes it another excellent option for those tight on space.
The pedals are mounted slightly toward the front of the bike, making it semi-recumbent. This allows less pressure on the joints, but the design also allows for foldability.
It further has arm and leg resistance bands, which give you another option of strengthening while you ride. These bands can also be adjusted.
Folds away for easy storage.
Arm and leg resistance bands.
It’s not fully an upright bike.
It lacks any additional features that some individuals may prefer.
This upright bike is great for those seeking an option half-way between an upright bike and a recumbent bike. The bonus is that it also folds away easily.
Review: Another Schwinn model makes the list! This is a very basic upright bike, without any additional flare or features. At a relatively affordable price (yet slightly higher than similar models), the Schwinn A10 is designed for easy use.
It has 7 different workout programs, with 8 levels of resistance. The magnetic resistance system allows for a smooth transfer from one resistance level to the next, as well as for a quiet ride.
There is also a pulse monitor in the handlebars and an easy-to-view LCD screen.
Simple and easy to use.
Heart rate monitor.
It’s affordable but slightly more than other similar models.
Built-in speakers may leave something to be desired.
The Schwinn A10 is a simple and easy-to-use choice. It doesn’t have any big features, keeping your exercise routine as simple and as accessible as possible.
If you’ve ridden upright bikes before and are looking for more of a challenge, the Schwinn AD6 Airdyne Bike gives you exactly that.
With the fan-based resistance, it takes more to get it going and keep it going. Another catch? This one is slightly higher in price compared to other upright bikes, which is why it’s at the bottom of my list.
Buying Guide for the Best Upright Exercise Bikes
What factors should you keep in mind before buying?
There are various factors you’ll want to keep in mind before clicking that ‘buy’ button.
I discuss these in further detail below.
Some models have more padding and comfort included in their design. If this is a high priority for you, ensure you check this out before buying and compare bikes.
There is the ergonomic design of the seat, as well as the amount of padding. There is also the comfort regarding the handlebars to consider.
Storage and Use
On my list above, there are many foldable upright bike options. You’ll want to consider where you’ll place your bike at home before buying it.
If you want to store it away while not in use, you may want to look into the foldable varieties. And these come in all shapes and sizes. Again, compare them!
The magnetic resistance system offers a smoother and quieter ride compared to other types. It’s also a good choice for beginners.
The other options, like fan-based resistance, may create more noise and prove to be more challenging. Assess your fitness level and compare it to the bike you intend to buy. Is it a match?
You may also desire a bike with more features, such as a built-in fan, speakers, or Bluetooth.
This is mainly a personal preference. But you’ll want to prioritize your features accordingly and choose a bike based on what you desire or want.
What features are you willing to compromise? What aren’t you willing to compromise?
Is an Upright Exercise Bike Better than a Recumbent?
An upright exercise bike offers a similar ride to a road bike. In this sense, it works similar muscles. It’s great for those outdoor cyclists who want to bring their training indoors.
A recumbent bike is good for those that want a lower impact and easy-on-the-joints activity. It’s actually preferred for those with back injuries or knee and hip pain.
It supports good posture and is less likely to cause injury due to its extra safety features (like a backrest).
What Muscles does an Upright Bike Work?
An upright bike primarily targets your legs and lower body. The main muscles used include your quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. You may also engage your core, back, and glutes.
For some types, such as the models with movable handlebars or with resistance bands, you may also use your upper body, getting a full-body workout.
What is the Best Upright Exercise Bike for Home?
The best upright exercise bike for home is the XTERRA Fitness FB150 Bike. It’s foldable, making it easy to store. It further amps up the comfort level with padding and an adjustable seat.
Depending on the size of your home, you may need to go with another option. For instance, the Xspec model is great for tiny apartments. Assess your space and how much you’ll use the bike, then make your decision from there.
What is the Best Upright Exercise Bike for Seniors?
This is ideal for seniors since it can help reduce back pain, as well as provide a great workout.
Is an Upright Bike a Good Way to Lose Weight?
Cardio, including upright bikes, is an excellent way to lose weight. Although, you’ll likely want to also participate in strength training, since muscle burns more calories at rest and this can help you maintain the weight loss.
Don’t forget about the food you eat. Weight loss depends on what you’re putting in your body as well. You can’t ignore this aspect.
How does an Upright Bike Compare to a Spinning Bike?
Unlike a spinning bike, you can’t stand up on an upright bike. In fact, the best indoor spinning bikes provide the closest workout you can get to your road bike.
An upright bike frequently comes with more features and options. It’s also slightly easier on the joints than a spinning bike.
There you have it – the best upright exercise bikes of 2021. Remember to assess your wants and needs before buying. Use our above buying guide to help steer you in the right direction, then happy cycling!
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Krista Bugden worked as a Rehab Exercise Expert at a physiotherapist clinic in Ottawa, Canada for 4 years. She has an Honours Bachelor Degree in Human Kinetics from the University of Ottawa. She uses her extensive knowledge in this area to educate others through well-researched, scientific, and informative articles.
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Michael is a fitness expert and professional home/garage gym builder. His tutorials, guides, and reviews are backed up by his own experience and will definitely help you achieve your goals. He also loves putting mayo AND ketchup on the pizza for some reason!