Marcy NS-1201U Upright Exercise Bike

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Marcy NS-1201U

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300 lbsMagnetic,
8 levels
2 years limited

The Marcy NS-1201U upright bike is a lighter version of the Marcy NS-40504U. Although it’s an exercise bike without too many bells and whistles, it still offers several more features than a completely basic model. For example, its console has goal settings, and its handlebar is adjustable. In this post, we’re going to cover each and every one of its features, as well as all the pros and cons of it. Therefore, if you’ve already put it on your shopping list, here’s everything you should know about it.

Technical Details and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 33L x 20W x 52H inches (84L x 51W x 132H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 45 lbs (20.4 kg)
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs (136 kg)
  • Seat: 2-way adjustable
  • Handlebars: Angle adjustable
  • Drive: Belt
  • Resistance: Manual magnetic, 8 levels
  • Fitness meter: Time, distance, speed, calories, ODO, SCAN, goal setting
  • Warranty: 2 years limited

Frame construction

The Marcy NS-1201U upright exercise bike features a pretty sturdy frame, made of 2″, 14-gauge cylindrical steel tubing. However, the covers of the drive and resistance elements are made of ABS material. The steel tubes are coated with a dark gray paint finish which is resistant to corrosion.

Even though it’s an entry-level model, this Marcy exercise bike has an impressive weight capacity of 300 lbs (136 kg). Despite its light weight (~45 lbs), it provides an excellent stability, even if the user is close to the maximum weight capacity. That’s because it has a low center of gravity. Plus, its rear base is equipped with polygonal caps which can rotate, giving you the possibility to perfectly stabilize it on any type of floor.

Even though the fully assembled unit isn’t too heavy, its front base does integrate a set of small wheels to facilitate its transport. Therefore, by leaning it forward on its wheels, you will be handling less than half of its total weight.

Last but not least, the fully set up unit isn’t extremely large. It is approx. 33″ (84 cm) long, and 20″ (51 cm) wide, while its highest point is approx. 52″ (132 cm) given by the handlebar when it is set at its maximum upright angle.

Seat & handlebars

The Marcy NS-1201U is equipped with a standard bike saddle designed for optimal comfort. It has a layer of high-density foam, a tough vinyl covering and a contoured surface. The top of the upright post features a triangular plate to which the saddle attaches via three screws.

The seat is only two-way adjustable (up, down). Its upright post features several adjustment positions. It does not have a horizontal slider, like the ProForm 135 CSX, for example. These being said, the bike can accommodate users between 5’0″ and 6’2″ (153 – 188 cm), allowing a complete leg stretching during pedaling.

The bike’s handlebar is U-shaped, with its side grips made of high-density rubber foam material which provide excellent hand adherence. It offers the possibility of multiple grips. However, it does not integrate any pulse sensors.

The handlebar is angle-adjustable. It connects to the front mast via a knob which allows you to easily untighten it and secure it in the desired position. Not all upright bikes offer this feature.

Drive & resistance

This Marcy upright bike features a standard manual magnetic resistance system. Differently put, the adjustment of the resistance is done manually. The unit does not need to be connected to a power source. Also, the console does not play any role in the resistance adjustment.

The bike’s resistance system consists of an internal brake pad which is connected to the tension knob on the front mast of the bike through a steel wire. Therefore, when you turn the knob clockwise, the brake pad will move closer to the flywheel which increases the intensity of the magnetic field and produces more resistance.

There are 8 resistance levels available, marked on the tension knob. However, since this is a bike made for light to mid-range training, it doesn’t deliver an extreme difficulty level. The 1-2 tension settings result in a very little pedaling difficulty. The 7-8 levels, although they provide a considerably higher resistance, they don’t offer the difficulty of a light-commercial bike or a spin bike.

When it comes to the bike’s drive system, there are four main elements to cover here. These are the internal flywheel, the transmission, the crankset, and the pedals.

Since this is a pretty light exercise bike, with a total weight of approx. 45 lbs (20.4 kg), it’s pretty obvious that the flywheel can’t be too heavy. Its exact weight is not specified, but as a general idea, it should be between 8 and 12 lbs (3.6 – 5.4 kg). It’s designed to provide a steady and comfortable pedaling motion. It’s also bi-directional; therefore, you can pedal in reverse if you want.

The bike’s internal transmission uses a durable rubber belt. This type of transmission comes with its advantages. For example, it doesn’t need periodic lubrication as a chain and generates considerably less vibration than a chain. Also, the pedaling motion is almost completely silent.

The bike is equipped with a durable crankset. However, since its an upright bike, not a spin bike, it’s important to mention that its crank assembly isn’t meant for standing up workouts, or other types of spin workouts.

Finally, the bike’s pedals are made of durable nylon material. They have a metallic core and a weight element which enables them to turn face-up when you remove your feet from them. They feature a non-slip surface and adjustable straps. Also, they have standard 9/16 threads; therefore, if you ever need to replace them, compatible options are widely available.


As we’ve mentioned above, the Marcy NS-1201U exercise bike features a manual magnetic resistance system, so the console doesn’t play any role in the resistance adjustment. It’s basically a fitness meter which tracks the most important workout metrics. Its LCD display shows time, distance, total distance, speed, and calories. It does not have a pulse reading function. Therefore, if you need to monitor your pulse during your workouts, you will have to use a separate device.

The speed and distance are shown only in English units (MPH and miles). There is no metric option for the display of these workout metrics.

The unit is fairly easy to use. It has three buttons – Set, Mode, and Reset. The Set button allows you to select goal values for time, distance, and calories. When a goal value is selected, the meter will indicate the remaining time, distance, or amount of calories burned until you reach your selected goal. The Mode button toggles ON/OFF the unit’s Scan Mode. With the Scan Mode ON, all the metrics are shown in a sequence, each one appearing on the screen for 4 seconds. You can also repeatedly press the Mode button to select any of the metrics to be shown on the display all the time. And finally, the Reset button allows you to clear all the values to zero.

The meter unit requires two 1.5V (AA) batteries which are not included. It has a self-shutdown mode which will initiate after 4 minutes of inactivity on the bike. It also starts up when you begin pedaling.

Assembly & Maintenance

The Marcy NS-1201U upright exercise bike comes partially assembled. All the drive and resistance parts are already in their place, attached to the base frame and covered by the ABS shrouds. Therefore, you only need to attach the base tubes, the seat and handlebar posts, the saddle, the handlebar, the console, and the pedals. This shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes. All the assembly instructions are provided by the included manual. All the tools needed for the assembly are also included.

The bike doesn’t require any internal maintenance. Basically, you only need to periodically check if any of the parts need to be re-tightened, or if any parts have sustained any damage, in order to replace them before any accidents can happen. Other than this, just keep the unit clean and keep liquids away from the console.

The Pros

  • Solid construction for a basic bike – can hold users up to 300 lbs;
  • Adjustable stabilizers;
  • Transport wheels;
  • Multi-grip and angle adjustable handlebar;
  • 2-way adjustable seat;
  • Balanced flywheel, supplying a smooth and consistent momentum;
  • Quiet belt drive;
  • Zero friction magnetic resistance;
  • 8 tension settings;
  • Weighted pedals with adjustable straps;
  • Bike fitness computer included, capable of tracking time, speed, distance, and calories;
  • ODO, SCAN and goal setting functions on the console;
  • Little maintenance required;
  • Easy to assemble.

The Cons

  • No pulse reading function;
  • No tablet holder;
  • No bottle holder.


The Marcy NS-1201U is an entry-level upright exercise bike equipped with a manual-magnetic resistance system and a console that can track the main workout metrics. It has a pretty sturdy construction and offers plenty of micro-adjustability. It’s a great training bike for light to mid-range cardio training, muscle toning, building stamina, and even losing weight. You can burn up to 4-500 calories per hour on it, depending on the selected tension level. And finally, it’s an affordable trainer, offering an excellent value for the price.

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