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Best Upright Bikes Reviews 2019 and Comparison Chart

As opposed to indoor cycling bikes (or spin bikes), upright bikes aren’t made for spinning or spin workouts. They are made for seated workouts, and for light to medium-intensity cardio training. They reduce the impact on the user’s joints and promote an upright pedaling position. These exercise bikes are typically designed for indoor use. Some are more expensive, made for commercial clubs, while others are intended for home use. There are several distinct differences between commercial bikes and models made for home use. We’ll get to pointing out those aspects in some of the sections below. Also, there are quite a few differences between indoor cycling and upright models which many users fail to consider and end up with the wrong machine. Therefore, those differences will also be clarified here.

However, before that, we’re going to put into view some of the best upright bikes available in 2019. Most of the following 10 upright bikes have at least 4-star reviews on most fitness and retail websites. Therefore, if you’re looking for an upright exercise bike, these are some of the best that you can choose from.

Table of Contents

Top 10 Upright Bikes for 2019

UnitSizeMaximum
user
weight
Drive
type
Resistance
type
Resistance
levels
ConsoleWarranty
Schwinn 170

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read-review-button-03
L:41"
W:22"
H:58"
300 lbsBeltEddy
current
2529 programs,
Bluetooth
Frame: 10 years
Mechanical: 2 years
Electronics: 1 years
Labor: 90 days
Nautilus U616

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read-review-button-03
L:41.8"
W:21.6"
H:57.6"
300 lbsBeltEddy
current
2529 programs,
Bluetooth,
RideSocial
capable,
Nautilus
Trainer 2
capable
Frame: 10 years
Mechanical: 2 years
Electronics: 1 years
Labor: 90 days
L NOW D808

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read-review-button-03
L:50.4"
W:21.6"
H:57.3"
300 lbsBeltManual
magnetic
8Time,
Distance,
ODO,
Speed,
RPM,
Calories,
Pulse,
Goals,
Recovery,
BMI,
SCAN
1 year
limited
LifeCORE Assault

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read-review-button-03
L:50.9"
W:23.3"
H:48.4"
300 lbsChainAirn/a2 interval
programs,
Goals
Frame: 5 years
Parts: 2 years
Schwinn Airdyne Pro

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read-review-button-03
L:53"
W:26.5"
H:53"
350 lbsBeltAirn/a3 interval
programs,
Goals
program
Frame: 10 years
Parts: 2 years
Electronics: 2 years
Labor: 6 mth
3G Cardio Elite UB

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read-review-button-03
L:41"
W:22.5"
H:55"
350 lbsBeltEddy
current
16
16 programs,
4 user
profiles,
Recovery,
Goals
Frame:Lifetime
Parts: 7 years
Labor: 1 year
Kettler Axos Cycle M-LA

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read-review-button-03
L:31.5"
W:23.75"
H:56.75"
240 lbsBeltManual
magnetic
8Time,
Distance,
Speed,
RPM,
Calories,
Pulse,
Goals,
SCAN
2 years
limited
Exerpeutic 500 XLS
exerpeutic-500xls-01-feat
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read-review-button-03
L:39"
W:26.4"
H:48.4"
400 lbsBeltManual
magnetic
8Time,
Distance,
Speed,
Calories,
Pulse,
SCAN
Frame: 1 year
Parts: 90 days
XTERRA Fitness FB150

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read-review-button-03
L:31.5"
W:18"
H:50.5"
225 lbsBeltManual
magnetic
8Time,
Speed,
Distance,
ODO,
Calories,
Pulse,
SCAN
Frame: 1 year
Parts: 90 days
Marcy ME-708

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read-review-button-03
L:31.5"
W:18"
H:48.7"
300 lbsBeltManual
magnetic
8Time,
Speed,
Distance,
Calories,
ODO,
SCAN
2 years
limited

Schwinn 170

The Schwinn 170 has received several improvements over the years, and the current version is one of the best upright bikes for 2019. It’s a mid-range exercise bike with a programmable console and digital magnetic resistance. It offers a wide array of features for a cycle in this price range, and so far, it benefits from an almost clean 5-star feedback from users all over the world.

Frame

The Schwinn 170 upright bike features a frame made of steel tubing, with its base center section almost completely concealed by the ABS shrouds. The frame combines cylindrical with ovalized bars for an improved sturdiness and overall aesthetics. It’s a pretty durable trainer rated for users up to 300 lbs (136 kg).

The bike’s frame is coated with a rust-resistant and abrasion-resistant paint finish. The color used is a dark gray, close to black.

The bike is not extremely heavy; with the frame fully assembled it weighs a little over 60 lbs (~28.5 kg). This means it can easily be assembled and transported by only one person. Its front base is equipped with transport wheels, while its rear base has two adjustable stabilizers.

Drive & Resistance

The Schwinn 170 upright bike is equipped with an automatic eddy current resistance system. This means it needs to be connected to a power source, and the control of its resistance is done from the console. Also, since the console has several preset workout programs, when using one of them, the bike will auto-adjust its resistance.

Since the bike’s resistance system uses magnets, there is no friction between the brake elements, and the pedaling motion is very smooth and quiet. The bike makes available 25 distinct tension levels.

The internal flywheel is approx. 10 lbs (4.5 kg). It has a balanced design in order to provide a steady pedaling motion. It’s bi-directional, so it allows reverse pedaling.

Like most other exercise bikes with a magnetic resistance system, the unit’s transmission is belt-based. It uses a heavy-duty v-belt which provides an excellent traction.

The crankset is quite durable, featuring solid steel crank arms. However, it’s not made for standing up and pedaling. The pedals have a weighted design; they’re equipped with adjustable straps to secure your feet on the pedals. They also have a non-slip surface.

Console & Accessories

The latest Schwinn 170 upright bike version comes with an improved console which has Bluetooth connectivity. The older versions only have a USB port for online data transfer. The Bluetooth connection allows you to sync your bike with your laptop, tablet, or smartphone in order to directly stream your workout data online. The console is also compatible with various online fitness apps, such as SchwinnConnect and MyFitnessPal.

Regardless if you’re going to use an online fitness app or not, the console has 29 built-in programs to keep you motivated. It also has 4 user profiles, so you can save different program settings to alternate if needed.

The console features two LCD displays with LED backlight, which can track all the important workout metrics. It can also track your pulse via a wireless HR chest strap transmitter.

In terms of amenities, the console is equipped with a sound system, a cooling fan, and a tablet holder. The sound system is compatible with most MP3 players or smartphones. The workout fan, although not too powerful, it provides a bit of cooling if needed. The tablet holder is placed under the wider display, so in case you place your tablet on it, you will still be able to see your progress on the smaller monitor.

Comfort & Adjustability

This Schwinn upright bike is equipped with a fairly comfortable seat. Its saddle integrates a layer of padding, which is thicker at the rear. It’s wider than most spin seats and provides plenty of contact surface, and is also contoured for extra comfort.

The seat is four-way adjustable (up, down, back, forth). Its upright bar has 14 adjustment positions, while its horizontal slider also offers several inches of adjustment. These being said, the bike can accommodate users between 5’0″ and 6’5″ (153 – 196 cm) with no problem.

The bike is equipped with a multi-grip handlebar with rubberized grips for improved comfort. Its lower corners have elbow rests, a feature that not many upright bikes have. Plus, the transversal section of the handlebar incorporates two pulse sensors.

The handlebar is angle-adjustable. It has a turn-knob which gives you the possibility to quickly lock/unlock it to change its angle to your liking. The console mast is fixed, so the height of the handlebar and console cannot be adjusted.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Sturdy frame
  • Compact design
  • Excellent stability
  • Eddy current resistance system
  • Pulse sensors
  • Superior adjustability
  • 25 levels of resistance
  • 29 workout programs
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Sound system
  • Tablet holder
  • Bottle holder
  • Cooling fan
  • Easy to assemble
  • Little maintenance required
  • Excellent warranty

Cons

  • HR chest strap not included
  • The cooling fan is not too powerful

Summary

The Schwinn 170 is an upright exercise bike equipped with an automatic magnetic resistance system, an advanced console with Bluetooth connectivity and numerous preset programs. It’s great for light to mid-range cardio training, intervals, and weight loss. It’s also among the upright bikes with the best price/quality ratio.

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Nautilus U616

Just as the Scwhinn 170, there were several Nautilus U616 upright bike models released over the years. The latest model offers Bluetooth connectivity and is compatible with the RideSocial app, as well as other online fitness apps. Although it’s not sold as a light-commercial exercise bike, it does offer the sturdiness and range of features of one.

Frame

The Nautilus U616 upright bike features a heavy-duty frame made of thick steel tubing. It has a very compact design, with the base completely sealed by the protective shrouds, and ovalized mast and seat post for improved sturdiness.

Its base bars are triangular; the rear base is equipped with large, adjustable stabilizers, while the front bar rests on two rubberized pads which improve the unit’s grip on the floor. Plus, the front base has a set of transport wheels which improve the unit’s overall portability.

The bike is not extremely large; with the frame fully assembled, it takes only approx. 42″L x 22″W (104 x 55 cm) of floor space. This being said, it can fit well even into a smaller room.

All the steel bars in its construction are double-coated with a corrosion-resistant paint finish. The main color used is black, with the exception of the seat post which is gray. For reference, the older versions have a light gray paint finish.

Drive & Resistance

The Nautilus U616 upright bike features a fairly light flywheel (approx. 10 lbs), which has a perimeter-weighted structure, for a smooth pedaling motion and a pretty consistent momentum.

The connection between the pulley and the flywheel is made available by a durable rubber belt. Just as any belt drive, this comes with the advantage that it doesn’t need lubrication. It also doesn’t generate almost any noise during pedaling.

The bike’s crankset is quite durable. It should be able to support lighter users while standing up on the pedals. This kind of workouts is not recommended, though.

The pedals have weighted structure, so they turn face-up if you remove your feet from them. Their surface is rubberized for maximum foot adherence, and they also have adjustable straps.

The bike’s resistance system is motorized. It integrates a magnetic brake and a servo motor, and the tension adjustment can only be done from the console. Also, the bike needs to be connected to a power source for the console to start up and allow you to adjust the resistance.

Just as the Scwhinn 170, this upright bike offers 25 levels of resistance. The 1-3 levels are pretty light, adequate for users who experience joint problems, or users who need to follow a rehab training regimen. Conversely, the 23-25 resistance settings offer the possibility to achieve a more intense muscle burn and heart rate.

Console & Accessories

The bike’s console is equipped with two LCD displays, one larger which show the workout programs and the set-up workout goals, and a smaller one, which indicates time, distance, speed, RPM, calories, and pulse.

There are 29 workout programs built-in the console unit, and 4 user profiles. However, it also has Bluetooth connectivity and is compatible with various online fitness apps, such as Nautilus Trainer 2, MyFitnessPal, and more. On top of that, you can connect to RideSocial and benefit from an immersive experience by following a virtual trail either on your TV, tablet, or laptop or on a VR device.

The console has an integrated set of speakers, a cooling fan, and a tablet holder. Therefore, you can connect your MP3 player or smartphone to it in order to listen to your favorite music. The workout fan provides a bit of cooling in case it’s necessary, and the tablet holder can accommodate almost any tablet.

The bike also includes a bottle holder. It’s made of flexible nylon material and attaches to the front mast of the unit. It can accommodate almost any type of hydration bottle.

Comfort & Adjustability

This Nautilus upright bike is equipped with a pretty comfortable seat. It integrates a thick layer of padding and has a durable top. It’s fairly large, providing plenty of contact surface, so it shouldn’t create discomfort even for a bigger user. But on the other hand, its connection system to the adjustment bar is standard; thus, you can easily find a replacement for it if it’s the case.

The seat offers 4-way adjustability. The upright post has more than 10 adjustment positions, while the horizontal slider offers a few extra inches of front to back adjustment. Therefore, the bike can accommodate users between 5’0″ and 6’5″ (153 – 196 cm).

The handlebar is equipped with elbow rests and pulse sensors. It’s rubberized for a non-slip grip and optimal comfort. It offers the possibility to adopt multiple grips. Plus, it’s angle-adjustable, a feature that not many upright bikes offer.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Sturdy frame
  • Compact design
  • Excellent stability
  • Superior adjustability
  • Pulse sensors
  • Eddy current resistance system
  • 25 levels of resistance
  • 29 workout programs
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Compatible with Nautilus Trainer 2, MyFitness Pal
    and RideSocial
  • Sound system
  • Tablet holder
  • Bottle holder
  • Cooling fan
  • Easy to assemble
  • Little maintenance required
  • Excellent warranty

Cons

  • HR chest strap not included
  • The cooling fan is not too powerful

Summary

The Nautilus U616 is an upright bike pretty close to light-commercial quality. It’s equipped with an automatic magnetic resistance system, offers 25 tension levels, and a wide array of features. It excels in comfort and adjustability. It’s a great bike for users of all levels, offering outstanding value for the price.

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L NOW D808

The L NOW D808 has been on the market since 2017 and still is one of the best upright bikes in 2019. Although it doesn’t have Bluetooth connectivity, nor it is compatible with any online apps, it still has plenty to offer. Plus, it has a very sturdy and compact construction, and a pretty impressive weight capacity.

Frame

Although it’s an upright exercise bike with manual resistance control, it has a frame construction similar to light commercial bikes. It’s made of thick steel tubing with the base almost completely concealed by the ABS shrouds. Its longitudinal base bar is slightly curved upward at the middle to improve its overall sturdiness.

The frame features a durable powder coating, highly resistant to corrosion. The color used is white for the console mast, black for the base bars, while the seat post is chrome-coated.

The bike can support users up to 300 lbs (136 kg) with no problem. Its base length is approx. 42″ (106 cm), but the overall length of the bike is ~50″ (128 cm); its width is ~22″ (55 cm), so the fully assembled unit doesn’t take too much space. It’s also not extremely heavy, its out-of-the-box weight is approx. 66 lbs (30 kg).

The bike’s bases are equipped with adjustable stabilizers. The front base has integrated transport wheels.

Drive & Resistance

The most important drive element of an exercise bike is its flywheel, so that’s the first part that we’re going to discuss here. The L NOW D808 is equipped with a balanced flywheel. Its weight is ~9 lbs (4 kg). It’s heavy enough to deliver a smooth pedaling motion, which is considerably enhanced by the internal magnetic resistance.

Speaking of resistance, the bike uses a manual magnetic resistance system. It consists of a small magnetic brake connected to the tension knob on the console mast through a steel cable. When you turn this knob clockwise, the distance between the brake and the flywheel is reduced, which increases the pedaling tension. There are 8 tension levels available.

The bike uses a belt drive system. Thus, the pedaling motion is very smooth and quiet. The pedals have a weighted design, so they turn face-up if you remove your feet from them. They are equipped with adjustable straps, and also have standard threads.

Console & Accessories

Since the L NOW D808 upright exercise doesn’t have a motorized resistance system, its console doesn’t play any role in the resistance adjustment. It also doesn’t have any preset programs. It does have, though, a multi-window LCD display. Therefore, it shows most workout metrics simultaneously.

The console tracks time, distance, total distance, speed, RPM, pulse, and calories burned. For pulse reading, the unit has EKG sensors integrated into the handlebars; however, it is not telemetric and cannot read the user’s heart rate through an HR chest strap transmitters.

There are goal settings available on the console. It allows you to set up countdown values for time, distance, and calories. It also has a BMI function and a Recovery function.

In terms of amenities, the bike has a tablet holder and a bottle holder. The tablet holder is integrated into the console. The bottle holder is made of flexible material and attached to the front mast. It’s large enough to support any type of workout bottle.

Comfort & Adjustability

This L NOW exercise bike is equipped with a pretty standard seat. It does integrate a layer of padding, though, and is considerably wider than a spin bike seat. It has a standard attachment system, though, and can easily be replaced. Compatible replacements with more cushioning are widely available.

The handlebars have a multi-grip design. They integrate pulse sensors and by holding on to them, the console can monitor your pulse, or run its Recovery program. It’s completely covered by a layer of rubber foam material for extra comfort.

Both the seat and the handlebar are adjustable. The seat offers 4-way adjustability (up, down, front, back). The handlebar is angle-adjustable. You can lock/unlock it from the knob on top of it, in order to change its angle. Considering all the possible adjustments available, the bike can accommodate users between 5’0″ and 6’5″ (153 – 196 cm).

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Sturdy frame
  • Compact design
  • Excellent stability
  • 4-way adjustable seat
  • Pulse sensors
  • Frictionless magnetic resistance
  • Multi-panel bike computer
  • Goal settings available
  • Recovery and BMI features
  • Tablet holder
  • Bottle holder
  • Easy to assemble
  • Little maintenance required

Cons

  • No backlight on the console display
  • No online connectivity

Summary

The L NOW D808 is a heavy-duty upright bike featuring a manual magnetic resistance system, superior micro-adjustability, and a console which tracks all the important workout metrics. Although it doesn’t have Bluetooth connectivity and is not compatible with any online fitness apps, it still is a top-quality exercise bike which so far benefits from an excellent feedback from most users. In all, has a great price/quality ratio.

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LifeCORE Fitness Assault Air Bike

Although the LifeCORE Fitness Assault Air Bike has been around for over four years, it still is one of the best air resistance bikes available at the moment. It still continues to benefit from an impressive amount of 5-star reviews from users all over the world, and definitely lives up to its rating.

Frame

The LifeCORE Assault Air upright bike features a durable steel frame made of 14-ga steel tubing. Due to this fact, it’s considerably heavier than other upright bikes, being approx. 98 lbs (44.5 kg) when fully assembled. This weight considerably enhances its stability, though.

Speaking of stability, both its base bars are equipped with adjustable levelers that have large urethane pads. Also, its front base has built-in transport wheels, so moving the trainer shouldn’t be too difficult for anyone.

Most of its frame is coated with a black powder finish resistant to corrosion; the only exception is the seat post which has a chrome finish.

Drive & Resistance

As its name suggests, the LifeCORE Assault Air bike is equipped with an air resistance system. It uses a 27″ (68 cm) steel fan to generate resistance. It doesn’t have a damper, though, or any magnetic elements to physically adjust its overall resistance. But just as any fitness machine with an air resistance system, it generates a dynamic response during pedaling. In other words, the resistance gradually increases as you increase your pedaling speed.

Evidently, as opposed to a magnetic bike, this one does generate some noise when in use. But even if pedaling at a high speed, the noise level if far from being too loud.

The bike’s transmission is chain-based. It uses a standard chain, which can last a lifetime with proper care. The crankset is highly durable and can support the user in standing up pedaling positions. The pedals are also metallic; they do not have SPD clips, straps or toe cages, but do have standard threads, so replacements for them are widely available.

The pedals are attached to the moving arms via two steel bars. This being said, the moving arms cannot move independently from the pedals, nor they can be locked. They continue to move for as long as you pedal.

Console & Accessories

The console included with the LifeCORE Assault Air Bike features a multi-window LCD display. It tracks time, distance, calories, speed, watts, RPM, and pulse. Although the bike doesn’t have any pulse sensors, the console can read your pulse via a Polar T31 non-coded or Polar T34 transmitter. It uses 2 AA batteries and has a sleep mode to which will enter after several minutes of inactivity.

The console makes available several workout programs. Two of the workouts have preset intervals, 20-10 and respectively 10-20. The third program is Custom, allowing you to create your own interval. There also are target settings for time, calories, distance, and pulse. Each program and each target setting has its own key on the right side of the console.

The console doesn’t have online connectivity, nor it has a sound system or other fancy features but does have a tablet or phone holder. The front section that hosts the main Start/Stop buttons creates a small ledge which can support your device.

Comfort & Adjustability

In terms of workout intensity, air bikes are close to spin bikes. They’re not built for super comfort. However, this exercise bike is equipped with a cushioned seat, with a durable vinyl upholstery and a contoured surface. It’s not too wide, but definitely wider than the average spin bike seat. There’s an optional cushion for this seat available. Plus, it has a standard design, and compatible replacements for it can be found in just about any bike shop.

The seat offers 4-way adjustability, up, down, and front to back. Its angle can also be adjusted. The bike can accommodate users between 5’0″ and 6’6″ (153 – 198 cm). The seat itself can actually accommodate users shorter than 5′ (153 cm), but someone shorter than this will find it difficult to use the moving handles comfortably. Seat adjustments are done via two large knobs, easy to turn and tighten. Thus, adjusting it takes less than a minute. The adjustment increments on the upright bar are approx. 1″ (2.5 cm).

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Superior stability
  • Ergonomic, 4-way adjustable seat
  • Air resistance for a dynamic response
  • Multi-window console
  • 3 interval workout programs
  • Goal settings for time, distance, calories, and pulse
  • Durable crankset and pedals
  • Tablet holder
  • Little maintenance required
  • Easy to assemble
  • Excellent warranty

Cons

  • No straps on the pedals
  • No HR chest strap
  • No online connectivity

Summary

The LifeCORE Fitness Assault Air Bike is a commercial grade fitness machine, featuring a sturdy frame construction, air resistance, and a multi-panel console for interval programs. It’s an exercise bike made for high-intensity workouts. It’s not an affordable exercise bike, but the quality in its components and its overall construction definitely stand up to the price. In all, it offers an exceptional value for the price.

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Schwinn Airdyne Pro

The Schwinn Airdyne Pro is indeed a professional air bike. Not only that it offers superlative quality and sturdiness, but it’s also equipped with an advanced console for interval training. So far, this Schwinn exercise bike has gathered an impressive amount of 5-star reviews from all users, and this pretty much stands for the lighter versions, the Schwinn AD2, and Schwinn AD6. In case you’re on a tighter budget, you can opt for these two as they’re also superior quality bikes.

Frame

Just as the LifeCORE Assault Air Bike, the Schwinn Airdyne Pro features a heavy-duty frame, designed to withstand 24/7 usage within the premises of a gym club. It weighs approx. 113 lbs (51.3 kg), a weight that adds a lot of stability. Plus, the unit’s stability is enhanced by the large, adjustable base stabilizers.

The frame section between the base of the seat bar and the beginning of the flywheel is equipped with a stepping pad. This element is typically present in spin bikes, but this Schwinn trainer is an exception. Not only that it facilitates entry and exit, but it also offers support for certain workouts that require you to step on and off the frame. Also, the front fork of the bike is equipped with two foot resting pegs which give you the possibility to rest your feet and legs while using only the moving arms.

The Airdyne Pro is slightly larger than most other upright bikes. It’s approx. 53″ (135 cm) long, and 26.5″ (67 cm) wide. It’s also recommended to leave at least two feet of clearance all around it, to be able to perform all the workouts without any hindrance.

Drive & Resistance

It’s pretty much obvious that the Schwinn Airdyne Pro features an air resistance system. It’s equipped with a 26-blade metallic fan. It doesn’t have any magnetic or friction elements, the whole resistance is generated by the fan.

Just as any other fitness machine equipped with an air resistance system, the unit delivers a dynamic response. In other words, the faster you pedal and/or move the arms, the more resistance it will produce.

The bike’s transmission is powered by a heavy-duty rubber belt, therefore it doesn’t need any lubrication. The crankset and the pedals are extremely solid as well; they can actually support users up to 350 lbs (159 kg) even when exercising while standing up on the pedals. The pedals themselves don’t have any straps or SPD clips, but you can always have them replaced.

Console & Accessories

As we’ve mentioned above, the console included with this Schwinn exercise bike is an advanced one. It features two main displays. The top one is actually a tachometer, while the bottom, large one interests the workout programs data. It offers 3 main interval programs, these being 20/10 interval, 30/90 interval, and a Custom interval.

There also are three preset HR interval programs for 65%, 75%, and 85%. Plus, you can set up a target for time, calories and distance.

The console can be set up to show the workout data in metric or English units. It’s also telemetric; it can read pulse via most Polar HR chest straps.

An important aspect with regards to this console is its calibration system. It has a built-in temperature sensor which allows it to calibrate according to the resistance generated by the fan, in order to provide a highly accurate calorie reading.

Last but not least, the console can be powered by D-type batteries, but there’s also an AC adapter available for it.

In terms of amenities, the console has a bottle holder, molded into the base of the console. It also has a narrower compartment right above the bottle slot, which can serve as support for your phone, or other small accessories.

Comfort & Adjustability

Despite the fact that the Schwinn Airdyne Pro is a bike designed for high-intensity workouts, it also provides an outstanding comfort. Its seat has a very thick layer of foam cushioning, and also has a longitudinal groove for extra breathability. Its upholstery is made of a highly durable vinyl material and synthetic combo. It’s also approx. 12″ (31 cm) wide, providing plenty of contact surface.

The seat is 4-way adjustable (up, down, back, forth). It has a pretty long adjustment span, so the bike can accommodate users up to 6’7″ (201 cm) with no problem.

The moving arms have a multi-grip design, with rubberized handles for a comfortable and secure grip. They don’t integrate pulse sensors, but as we’ve already mentioned, the console is telemetric.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Heavy-duty, commercial grade frame
  • High weight capacity (350 lbs)
  • Stepping pad
  • Superior stability
  • Superior adjustability
  • High-comfort seat
  • Air resistance for a dynamic response
  • Advanced, self-calibrating console
  • Preset HIIT and HR programs
  • Goal settings
  • Tablet holder
  • Accessory holder
  • Fairly easy to assemble
  • Little maintenance required
  • Excellent warranty

Cons

  • No online connectivity
  • HR chest strap is not included
  • No sound system

Summary

The Schwinn Airdyne Pro is a commercial-grade air resistance exercise bike. It’s equipped with an advanced console with preset HIIT and HR programs. It has a very sturdy construction and can support any type of pedaling workout. It also provides superlative comfort and adjustability. In all, it’s a high-grade exercise bike offering outstanding value for the price.

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3G Cardio Elite UB

3G Cardio offers a few top-quality items of fitness equipment, and the 3G Cardio Elite UB upright bike is one of them. It’s a light-commercial grade trainer, offering a decent range of features. Even though it doesn’t have online connectivity, it still is one of the top bikes that you can choose from at the moment.

Frame

The 3G Cardio Elite UB has a solid frame made of steel tubing, with ABS covers for the internal parts. All the steel bars in its construction are coated with a gray/black paint finish which is resistant to corrosion and abrasion.

The bike has a rather small footprint; with the frame fully assembled, it is approx. 41″L x 22″W (104 x 57 cm), but the whole bike is a bit longer than 41″. The handlebar extends over the front base by a few inches. But nonetheless, the unit should fit well even into a smaller room or apartment.

The bike’s bases have a triangular shape which improves the connection between them and the main frame. They’re equipped with rubberized, adjustable stabilizers, while the front base features a set of transport wheels.

Drive & Resistance

The 3G Cardio Elite UB is a magnetic upright exercise bike. Its magnetic resistance system is motorized and with digital control. In other words, you can only adjust the resistance from the bike’s console, and the bike requires to be connected to a power source.

There are 16 resistance levels available. The top resistance settings deliver a pretty consistent level of difficulty. allowing you to perform intense cardio workouts, with a high muscle burn. Conversely, the first 1-3 tension levels deliver a light resistance, perfect for recovery training or warming up.

The bike’s internal flywheel is bi-directional, so you can pedal in reverse if you want to diversify your workouts. It has a balanced construction and delivers a very smooth and steady motion. The transmission between the bike’s pulley is made available by a heavy-duty rubber belt which is basically maintenance-free and generates almost no vibration during usage.

The bike’s cranks and pedals are not made for spin workouts, but they’re pretty durable as well. The pedals have a weighted structure with adjustable straps and a non-slip surface. Their threads are standard 9/16″, so in case you want to replace them, compatible alternatives are widely available in any bike parts shop.

Console & Accessories

The bike’s console is a mid-range one. As we’ve mentioned above, it doesn’t have Bluetooth connectivity, and it not compatible with any online fitness apps. However, it does have 16 programs to keep you motivated, plus the manual mode which basically allows you to freely adjust the resistance as you exercise. Among the included programs we can count 12 preset programs, which offer different workouts focusing on weight loss, peak performance, intervals, etc. There are also 3 heart rate programs, 1-watt program, and a Recovery program.

The console features an LCD display divided into multiple sections; thus, it shows all the workout metrics at once, so you don’t have to use a scan function to alternate them. It tracks time, speed, distance, RPM, watts, pulse, and calories. It can monitor your pulse either through the sensors in the bike’s handlebars or through a wireless HR chest strap transmitter.

Apart from the console, there are three other notable amenities to mention here. Two of them are actually built-in the console, one is the accessory holder, the other is the bottle holder. The third one is the bottle holder which is made of flexible plastic material and attaches to the front mast.

Comfort & Adjustability

The bike is equipped with a 12″ (30 cm) wide seat with a contoured surface for extra comfort. It integrates a layer of padding which is thicker in its rear part. It’s top is made of durable and soft vinyl material.

The seat is 4-way adjustable. Its upright bar offers 10 adjustment positions. The distance between the adjustment holes is approx. 1.5″, while the horizontal slider of the seat also offers several inches of adjustment. Thus, the bike can accommodate users between 5’0″ and 6’5″ (153 – 196 cm). Also, the whole seat assembly is quite durable; it can hold users up to 350 lbs (159 kg).

The handlebars have a multi-grip design, with the lower grips slightly curved upward, providing superior comfort for the close grip. They also integrate pulse sensors.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Sturdy frame
  • High weight capacity
  • Compact design
  • Excellent stability
  • Wide, 4-way adjustable seat
  • Pulse sensors
  • Eddy current resistance system
  • 16 levels of resistance
  • 16 workout programs
  • Tablet holder
  • Bottle holder
  • Accessory holder
  • Easy to assemble
  • Little maintenance required
  • Excellent warranty

Cons

  • HR chest strap not included
  • No sound system
  • No online connectivity
  • No cooling fan

Summary

The 3G Cardio Elite UB is a light-commercial upright bike which offers a high weight capacity, superior comfort, and adjustability. It’s equipped with an eddy current resistance system with 16 available levels. Its console offers 16 workout programs. It’s not one of the most affordable bikes but does offer excellent quality for the price.

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Kettler Axos Cycle M-LA

The Axos M-LA is one of the entry level upright exercise bikes from Kettler. It’s a pretty basic model, but does have a decent construction and offers the required training setting for a light to medium intensity pedaling cardio workout.

Frame

The Kettler Axos M-LA upright bike has a steel frame construction with a weight capacity of 240 lbs (110 kg). As opposed to many upright bikes, it has a step-through frame design, which promotes an easier access to the seat. This can be quite a plus for users with certain disabilities.

The bike has a really small footprint; with the frame fully assembled, it takes only 31.5″L x 23.7″W (80 x 60 cm) of floor space. But despite this fact, it offers excellent stability as its rear base has adjustable levelers, while the front base rests on large rubberized pads. It’s also fairly light, with an assembled weight of 66 lbs (30 kg). Therefore, it can easily be assembled and carried by one person. Plus, the front base is equipped with transport wheels which considerably ease its relocation.

The steel parts are coated with a corrosion-resistant paint finish, black in color. The ABS parts that cover the resistance system and the base bar are gray/white.

Drive & Resistance

The bike’s internal flywheel weighs 13 lbs (~6 kg). It’s placed at the rear of the bike, inside the protective casing. It has a perimeter-weighted structure and provides a bit of momentum. The internal transmission is belt-based, so the pedaling motion is almost completely silent.

The crankset and pedals have a durable construction. The crank arms are made of solid steel, while the pedals have a durable ABS construction with a metallic core. They’re equipped with adjustable straps, and have a weigh element in order to self-level when you remove your feet from them.

The bike’s resistance system consists of a magnetic brake which is attached to the front tension dial via a steel cable. It’s not motorized, so you don’t have to connect the bike to a power source. Also, the console doesn’t play any role in the resistance adjustment. There are 8 tension settings available, the first three levels being fairly light, while the 7-8 levels provide a pedaling difficulty which can be compared to a hill climb.

Console & Accessories

Although the console of the Kettler Axos M-LA cycle doesn’t have Bluetooth connectivity or preset programs, it does offer quite a bit more than a basic unit. For starters, it has an LCD display divided into several subsections in order to show all the workout metrics at once. It tracks time, distance, speed, RPM, calories, and pulse. It has goal settings for time, distance, and calories. It can read your pulse via the integrated sensors, but it’s also telemetric. In other words, it can communicate with chest strap transmitters or an ear pulse clip.

A recovery function is also available with this console. This gives you the possibility to calculate your fitness level. Based on the heart rate at the end of the workout it will give you a fitness rating between F1 (Excellent) – F6 (Poor).

Comfort & Adjustability

The bike’s seat is not greatly cushioned but does integrate a layer of padding. It’s pretty much a standard bicycle seat. It only offers upright adjustability, its bar featuring several adjustment holes on the front side.

It can also be tilted backward or forward slightly, but for this, you will need a wrench. It can accommodate users up to 6’2″ (188 cm), and up to 240 lbs (110 kg).

The handlebar is also adjustable, a feature that many entry-level upright bikes don’t have. Its knob allows you to lock/unlock it and change its angle. It has a multi-grip design and incorporates stainless steel pulse sensors.

Finally, it’s covered by a layer of rubber foam material in order to provide a more comfortable grip.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Sturdy construction
  • Step-through frame design
  • Excellent stability
  • Adjustable seat and handlebar
  • Pulse sensors
  • Frictionless magnetic resistance
  • Weighted pedals with straps
  • Telemetric console
  • Recovery function
  • Easy to assemble
  • Little maintenance required

Cons

  • No tablet holder
  • No bottle holder

Summary

The Kettler Axos Cycle M-LA is an upright exercise bike featuring a manual magnetic resistance system, adjustable handlebars, and a console that can read time, distance, speed, RPM, calories, kjoules, and pulse. It’s perfect for light to mid-range cardio training. It’s not the most affordable bike in the basic category but does offer excellent quality for the price.

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Exerpeutic GOLD 500 XLS

The Exerpeutic GOLD 500 XLS has been available for over 4 years and still is on of the best foldable upright bikes in 2019. All this time it has received an astonishing amount of 5-star reviews from users all over the world, on all retail and fitness websites where it has been listed. It offers an outstanding comfort for a folding bike, and also has an impressive weight capacity.

Frame

The Exerpeutic 500 XLS features an “X” frame construction, made of two main pieces. The piece that holds the console consists of two parallel bars, while the piece that sustains the seat passes through these parallel bars being connected to them in the middle.

Evidently, the frame has a folding design, its dimensions being reduced to 24.8″L x 26.4″W (63 x 67 cm) from 39″L x 26.4″W (99 x 67 cm) when completely folded.

Although it’s a folding exercise bike for home use, its frame offers an exceptional sturdiness. It can hold users up to 400 lbs (181 kg). It’s also pretty stable, its rear base featuring polygonal levelers which can rotate in order to improve its stability.

Drive & Resistance

The Exerpeutic GOLD 500 XLS is equipped with a manual magnetic resistance system. This being said, it does not need to be connected to a power source. Its front, bottom section integrates a small magnetic brake attached to the tension knob at the top of the console. When you turn the knob, the position of the brakes shifts, increasing or decreasing the intensity of the magnetic field, which leads to more or less pedaling difficulty. The bike’s resistance system makes available 8 distinct tension levels.

The weight of the bike’s internal flywheel is not specified. But considering that the bike weighs only approx. 51 lbs (23 kg), it’s probably approx. 8-10 lbs (3.6 – 4.5 kg). It does deliver a very smooth and steady motion.

The internal transmission is belt-based. Thus, the bike’s operation is very quiet. The pedals are weighted and equipped with adjustable straps. Their Q-Factor is narrow, promoting a natural foot placement during pedaling, which eliminates any lateral stress on the knees and ankles.

Console & Accessories

The bike is equipped with a basic fitness meter. It features an LCD display which shows time, distance, total distance, calories, speed, and pulse. It only has one (MODE) button which allows you to toggle ON/OFF its scan function.

The unit is not telemetric but can track your pulse via the sensors integrated into the handlebars. It’s battery-powered, and two AA batteries for it are included with the bike. It starts up when you begin pedaling or when you press the MODE button, but also has a sleep mode to which it will enter after a few minutes of inactivity on the bike.

The only other notable accessory included with the bike, apart from the exercise meter, is the phone holder (or accessory holder). This element is attached to the front part of the frame, right under the console. It can provide support for your phone or other small accessories but does not accommodate water bottles.

Comfort & Adjustability

This Exerpeutic exercise bike is equipped with an extra large seat, approx. 14″ (35.5 cm) wide, and 9″ (23 cm) deep. It integrates 2″ (5 cm) of foam padding. Its top is flat, but this does eliminate any soreness that a generic bike saddle may cause.

The seat is two-way adjustable. Its post offers several adjustment positions, so the bike can accommodate users between 5’0″ and 6’5″ (153 – 196 cm) with no problem, promoting a complete leg extension.

The handlebars are non-adjustable but do offer a multi-grip design. They have rubberized grips for extra comfort and integrate pulse sensors so that the exercise meter can monitor your heart rate.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Sturdy and stable frame
  • Superior weight capacity (400 lbs)
  • Folding, space-saving design
  • Pulse sensors
  • Manual magnetic resistance
  • 8 tension levels available
  • Silent operation
  • Exercise meter included
  • Accessory holder
  • Easy to assemble
  • Little maintenance required

Cons

  • No tablet holder
  • No bottle holder

Summary

The Exerpeutic GOLD 500 XLS is a folding upright bike featuring a highly durable frame which can hold users up to 400 lbs (181 kg). It also has a large, cushioned seat which delivers superior comforts. It’s also an affordable trainer, currently available for less than $200. In all, it’s a great bike, offering stellar quality for the price.

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XTERRA Fitness FB150

The XTERRA Fitness FB150 is another also a folding upright exercise bike, similar to the Exerpeutic 500 XLS that we’ve already put into view above. However, it doesn’t have the AirSoft cushioned seat. Its seat is, though, one of the widest, providing excellent comfort.

Frame

The XTERRA FB150 features an X-type frame, with the two main pieces connected at the middle. Thus, it can fold up in order to save space. Also, even with the frame fully set up it doesn’t take too much space. It’s approx. 31.5″L x 18″W (80 x 46 cm).

The bike is easy to assemble and handle as its net weight doesn’t exceed 32 lbs (14.5 kg). On top of that, its front base integrates two small wheels to facilitate its relocation.

Since it’s a lightweight exercise bike, its weight capacity is also lower than the Exerpeutic model that we’ve shown above. It can hold users up to 225 lbs (102 kg).

Drive & Resistance

This XTERRA Fitness upright exercise bike features a manual magnetic resistance system. The whole drive mechanism is attached to the front part of the seat bar. The resistance system involves a magnetic brake connected to the tension knob under the handlebar. There are 8 tension levels available, the lower one delivers very little resistance, while the 8th one gives you the possibility to undergo a more intense training. But as a general idea, this is an exercise bike for light workouts.

The internal transmission uses a durable rubber belt like most other bikes with a magnetic resistance system. Evidently, this type of transmission is required in case of a magnetic exercise bike so it doesn’t interfere with the magnetic brake. Also, a belt transmission delivers a very smooth and quiet pedaling motion.

Since the bike only weighs 32 lbs (14.5 kg), it’s internal flywheel cannot be too heavy. It should weigh between 4 and 8 lbs (1.8 – 3.6 kg). This shouldn’t influence the pedaling tension, though, since the resistance generated involves magnets.

The bike is equipped with a durable crank and a set of non-slip pedals. The threads of the pedals are standard, so you can easily find replacements for them if needed. But nonetheless, they do have adjustable straps for extra foot stability.

Console & Accessories

The bike’s computer (or console) is pretty much the only accessory included. It’s a basic bike meter which tracks time, speed, distance, total distance, pulse, and calories burned. It’s equipped with an LCD display which can only show one of these metrics at the time. But does have a SCAN function which alternates them, showing each one for a few seconds.

The console is battery powered; it requires two AA batteries. It has only one button which allows you to turn On/Off the scan function. Also, by pressing it down, you can reset all the values on the console to zero. Evidently, the unit doesn’t have preset programs or other advanced functions.

Comfort & Adjustability

The most important comfort factor of this bike is its large seat. Although it’s doesn’t integrate air cushioning, it does have a layer of padding which adds comfort. It is two-way adjustable (up, down), featuring 7 adjustment positions. This being said, the bike can accommodate users between 4’10” and 5’10” (147 – 178 cm), promoting a complete leg extension.

The bike’s handlebars are non-adjustable. They provide three main grips. They’re fully covered by a layer of rubber foam material in order to deliver a comfortable and secure grip. They also integrate pulse sensors so that the bike’s computer can pick up and monitor your heart rate during your workout.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Space-saving design
  • Lightweight frame, easy to handle
  • Large, adjustable seat
  • Multi-grip handlebar
  • Pulse sensors
  • Silent belt drive
  • Frictionless magnetic resistance
  • Exercise meter included
  • Easy to assemble
  • Little maintenance needed
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • No bottle holder
  • No backlight on the fitness meter

Summary

The XTERRA Fitness FB150 is a lightweight, folding upright bike featuring a manual magnetic resistance system, a large and comfortable seat, and a basic fitness meter. It’s great for light cardio workouts, recovery training, stamina development, and even weight loss. It’s also an affordable bike, priced under the mark of $150, offering excellent value for the price.

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Marcy ME-708

The Marcy ME-708 Mag Bike is one of the oldest Marcy exercise bikes but it’s still available in 2019. One of the reasons for that is that it still continues to benefit from 5-star reviews from all users. It’s definitely one of the best choices that you can make if you’re looking for an affordable upright bike.

Frame

Although it’s a lightweight exercise bike, weighing only 43 lbs (19.6 kg), the Marcy ME-708 has a steel made frame, with the exception of the drive system covers which are made of ABS material. It’s actually pretty sturdy as it can support users up to 300 lbs (136 kg). Its frame has a standard construction, with a low center of gravity which adds stability.

The bike isn’t foldable but has a very small footprint. With all the parts assembled, it’s approx. 31.5″L x 18″W (80 x 46 cm), to which it is recommended to add 1-2 feet of clearance all-around, for safe access and operation. These being said, the bike can fit pretty well even in a small room or apartment.

Drive & Resistance

The Marcy ME-708 upright bike is equipped with a magnetic resistance system. It doesn’t have an internal marcy me708 pedalsmotor, though, and doesn’t need to be connected to a power source. The resistance is adjusted manually, from the knob on the console mast which provides 8 distinct tension levels.

The bike has a belt-type transmission. Therefore, it generates considerably less vibration than a chain bike. Its internal parts do not require any lubrication. The flywheel is balanced, designed to deliver a very smooth motion.

The crankset is durable as well, but since it’s an upright bike, it’s not made for pedaling while standing up. The pedals have a standard design, with a non-slip surface, and adjustable straps. They’re weighted as well, so they turn face-up if you remove your feet from them.

Console & Accessories

The one and only accessory included with this Marcy exercise bike is the fitness meter (or console). Evidently, since it’s a basic bike, this meter is also basic. It features an LCD display which shows time, distance, speed, and calories. It only has one button which allows you to enable or disable its SCAN function. With the SCAN function set ON, all the aforementioned workout metrics are shown in a sequence, each one appearing on the display for a few seconds.

The console if battery-powered; it requires AA batteries. It also has a sleep mode to which it will enter after a few minutes of inactivity on the bike, to save battery. It doesn’t track pulse, though, so in case you need to monitor your heart rate during exercising, you will have to use a separate device.

Comfort & Adjustability

Even though the bike doesn’t excel in comfort and adjustability, we can safely say that its seat provides optimal comfort. It’s a standard bicycle seat with a top made of a highly durable and thick vinyl material. It integrates a layer of foam padding and has a longitudinal groove for improved breathability during exercising.

The seat is only 2-way adjustable (up, down). Its upright post does offer several adjustment positions, though, so the bike can accommodate users up to 6’2″ (188 cm) while promoting a complete leg extension.

The bike’s handlebar offers three grip possibilities. It’s covered by a layer of rubber foam for extra comfort. Since the console cannot track your heart rate, the handlebars are not equipped with pulse sensors. The whole handlebar assembly is non-adjustable. But due to the multi-grip design, it should provide at least one comfortable grip to any user.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Durable frame
  • Comfortable and adjustable seat
  • Large standard saddle for optimal comfort
  • Frictionless magnetic resistance
  • Quiet belt drive
  • Standard pedals
  • Exercise meter included
  • Easy to assemble
  • Little maintenance required
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • No pulse reading
  • No bottle holder
  • No backlight on the exercise meter

Summary

The Marcy ME-708 is an entry-level upright bike for light cardio workouts. It features a durable frame, an adjustable seat, and a frictionless magnetic resistance system with 8 levels. It also has a basic fitness meter. It’s one of the most affordable upright bikes at the moment, offering an excellent price/quality ratio.

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This selection of upright bikes covers most categories, from the most inclusive to the most basic, and from the most expensive to the most affordable. Needless to say, all machines pointed out within the above list offer an excellent value for the price. Even the most affordable ones have a pretty solid construction and make a good investment.

Before we close this article regarding the best upright bikes for 2019 there still are several important aspects about these fitness machines that you need to consider before choosing one. Therefore, the next sections of this article will make all the required clarifications.

Why Should You Buy an Upright Exercise Bike?

Working out on an exercise bike of this type comes with an array of benefits. To begin with, these fitness machines offer a training setting that focuses on the leg muscles and lower body, but with a diminished impact on the ankles and knees. Running on a treadmill, for example, can put a lot of stress on your joints, in comparison to a cycle. Also, since these machines promote an upright, healthier workout posture, they don’t put as much stress as indoor cycles on your lower back.

This type of exercise cycles is great for beginners. They supply the perfect training setting for users who want to get back in shape. An exercise bike of this type should help you build enough strength and stamina in order to be able to take on an indoor cycling bike or a treadmill. Some of the sturdier models can also support a medium-range training, making a great choice for interval training, or for alternating cardio with lifting weights.

Most upright cycles come with at least a basic performance monitor. These devices help you track your progress, count calories, or set-up goals to achieve, in order to make training more demanding and motivating. Some of the most advanced types also offer performant consoles, which not only include a selection of preloaded workout apps, but also incorporate comfort factors, such as speakers, cooling fans, USB charging ports, or even offer online connectivity, so that you can compare your workout progress with others, or compete.

Last but not least, you will be riding your bike indoors. Therefore, rain or cold weather won’t stop you from undergoing your training. The risk of injuries or accidents is nearly zero. And on top of that, you can watch TV, read your favorite books, browse the web, or watch your favorite online streams as you ride.

Differences Between Indoor Cycling Bikes and Upright Bikes

When it comes to exercise bikes, there are actually 3 types: cycling, upright and recumbent. Each type offers a specific set of features, and meets a well-determined exercising range. As a general idea, cycling bikes are made for high-intensity training, upright bikes are for light and medium training, and put less stress on the back, and recumbent bikes offer a light training, but supply a lot of comfort. In this part of this post, we’ll focus on the main differences between indoor cycling bikes and upright bikes, as many users may not consider all these differences, and may make the wrong choice.

First of all, when it comes to construction, cycling bikes feature solid, heavy frames, similar to mountain bikes. They also have solid cranksets, which can support the entire weight of the user. Uprights, although there are many durable and solid models out there, are not built for “spin” training. Even the sturdiest models will wear out pretty quickly if you repeatedly workout in a stand-up position. They’re designed for workouts in an upright, seated position, and not for full stand-up posture required for climb training.

Indoor cycles feature heavy flywheels, made to supply a smooth, consistent momentum, and put your leg muscles to the test. Upright cycles use much lighter flywheels.

Uprights feature wider, more comfortable seats than the usual slim saddle present in most cycling bikes. Most models only offer up/down adjustability, but there still are models which provide a 4-way adjustable seat. On the other hand, handlebars in most upright bikes are fixed; cannot be adjusted in any way. Most spin bikes offer at least up/down adjustability for the handlebar. Design offer multiple grip possibilities, aero bars incorporated, and even elbow rests. Upright bikes, have simpler handlebars, but can still promote multiple grips. However, in uprights, even the most basic models incorporate pulse sensors in the handlebars.

Almost every upright bike, even the cheapest models, comes with a console. The more expensive models offer a more or less consistent amount of preloaded training programs and goal tracking options. Cycling bikes on the other hand typically include basic consoles, only for RPM, speed, time, distance and calories. And many models don’t include a console at all.

Finally, most upright bikes offer magnetic resistance, which doesn’t involve any wear and tear, or the touching of the brake pad and the flywheel, and thus don’t require maintenance or component replacement. Indoor cycles, even though there are models with magnetic resistance, such as the Keiser M3, most of them feature friction, felt-pad resistance. Felt-pads wear out after a while and call for a replacement. Some types of friction brakes may also require the lubrication of the brake pads.

Manual Magnetic vs. Electronic Magnetic Resistance

As we’ve mentioned above, most exercise cycles in this category feature magnetic resistance. But there are several types of magnetic resistance though. In most affordable models resistance is adjusted manually via a resistance knob, similar to spin bikes with a friction brake. They feature a mobile brake pad attached to a wire and connected to the knob. As you turn the knob, the magnetic pad moves closer of farther away from the bike’s flywheel, modifying resistance.

On the other hand, the more expensive models come with an electronically assisted magnetic brake, resistance being controlled exclusively from the console of the machine. The magnetic brake is connected to a servomotor and may feature either a mobile or a fixed brake pad. As the command for a certain resistance setting is inserted on the console, the servomotor will move the magnetic pad closer to the flywheel. In case the magnetic pad is fixed, the pull of the magnet is adjusted, and braking force or retarding force is induced to the flywheel, adjusting resistance. These machines also require to be connected to a power source, but some of them are self-powered.

In general, bikes with manual resistance only feature 1-8 resistance levels, or 1-12. The ones with an electronically assisted brake can have up to 40 levels of resistance.

Folding vs. Non-Folding

If you’re looking for an upright bike, you’ve probably noticed that there are models which feature a folding design. Evidently, foldability is aimed at users who lack storage space. These models are usually cheaper, as they’re pretty basic, but they can still supply a decent training setting. Resistance on these bikes is in general, manual magnetic. The only downside related to foldable models is that mounting and dismounting may be a bit awkward, or even difficult for elderly, or physically impaired users.

On the other hand, non-foldable models, supply a more compact design. They’re typically more solid, offer superior stability, seats are more comfortable, and the more advanced models also offer 4-way adjustability at least for the seat.

Now, for a bit of a conclusion here, if you have the required usage space and you can afford it, it’s a better choice to go with a non-folding bike. Comfort and ease of use are always important in an upright bike.

Commercial Grade vs. Home-Use

Although these fitness machines are pretty much aimed at the home user, there still are models made for gym use. Evidently, these are more expensive but do offer superior quality. So, the question is, is it worth it to pay the higher price, for a commercial grade bike, or go with a less expensive model?

First of all, let’s look at the differences. To begin with, commercial grade bikes typically feature a larger footprint, and always have a fixed, compact frame. Many of the ones intended for home use have a considerably smaller footprint, and some of them even offer a folding frame. They’re lighter, easier to handle, but also with a lower user capacity, typically up to 250 lbs.

Many of the cheaper models made for home use, feature manual resistance, with a basic, battery powered console. Club quality cycles feature electronically assisted magnetic brakes, with automatic resistance, which typically adjusts from the console.

Needless to say, commercial type models offer a wide array of workout programs. Not only that, but some of the models even feature online connectivity to various sites such as MyFitnessPal, or iFit, where you can download extra workout programs, or upload your workout data and compare your progress with others’.

Club class bikes also offer superior adjustability. Most of them feature a 4-way adjustable seat, and certain models even offer some adjustability for the handlebars.

ironman-xclass-310-upright-bike-model-01

 

Final Thoughts

Whether you want to a fitness machine for a light or medium cardio workout, or you want one to help you get in shape and build enough stamina for more advanced workouts, an upright exercise bike is one of the most practical and convenient types to choose from. Depending on your budget, there are many choices that you can make. The selection of bikes in this post covers all budgets, beginning with the most basic, and up to the most inclusive. We hope that the information and bikes presented on this page should be enough to help you make the right choice.