If you’re in a hurry and want to know best upright exercise bike, then I’d recommend the Concept2 BikeErg 2900. If you want to learn more about other exercise bikes, along with my helpful tips and information, then you should read on.
Upright exercise bikes allow you to experience all the health benefits of cycling in the comfort of your home. Most exercise bikes have LCD screens that display useful performance and health information about calories burned, speed, time, and even your heart rate so you have a better understanding of how cardio training affects your body.
But where do you start? Don’t worry, we’ve got a list of options to help you pick the best upright exercise bike:
How to Choose the Best Upright Exercise Bike
With many upright exercise bikes on the market today, choosing the right one can prove daunting. This is why I’ve compiled a list of helpful tips to help make your decision a little easier:
- Exercise bike size – Depending on the amount of space you have in your home gym or workout area, you may have to purchase a compact bike or a foldable bike that you can store in the corner or in a closet when not using it.
- Exercise bike frame and components – Look for a bike with an aluminum or steel frame as these exercise bikes provide more stability when riding. Choose an exercise bike with an adjustable seat, handlebars, and foot pedals. Adjustable components allow you to maintain good form when riding.
- Exercise bike resistance – Consider an exercise bike with multiple resistance options so you can continue to challenge yourself as your body grows stronger and your endurance improves. Many upright exercise bikes have resistance knobs or push-button settings that you can use to make tension adjustments.
- Performance and health tracking information – Most upright exercise bikes allow you to track performance and health information including speed, time, distance, RPM, calories burned, and heart rate.
- The console – Look for an exercise bike with a console that clearly displays this health information. Select a bike that has a backlit LCD screen for viewing in various lighting conditions. Choose one that displays big numbers so you can easily see the information during your workout.
Cardio-Training: What are the Health Benefits of an Upright Exercise Bike?
Why even decide to buy an upright exercise bike to begin with? Well, cardio workouts provide many long-term health benefits such as:
- Lower stress levels
- Better sleep
- Improved brain and memory function
- Lower blood pressure
- Increased energy
- Improved mood
- Strong immune system
- Prevents diseases such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s
- Improved blood sugar levels
Frequent cardio training increases blood and oxygen flow through your body while helping to strengthen your leg and hip muscles, lungs, and heart.
And, not to mention, an exercise bike provides all of these cardio health benefits and much more such as:
- Weight management
- Toned lower body muscles
- Burning body fat
If you have an injury or medical issue that prevents you from engaging in high-intensity cardio workouts, you should think about investing in an exercise bike.
Considered a low-impact exercise, working out on an upright exercise bike allows you to incorporate interval training into your regular routines while providing a safer workout as compared to riding a street bike.
Interval training helps build endurance and strength. This training also help prevent boredom by constantly challenging your body and mind.
In addition to all the wonderful health benefits riding an exercise bike provides, you can also ride an exercise bike year-round because you won’t have to worry about rain, snow, intense heat, fog, crowds, vehicles, and other obstacles that might keep you from working out.
Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Exercise Bike Workout
Get the most from your exercise bike workout by following these tips:
- If new to bike riding, start out slow to get used to how the exercise bike works. Complete 20-30 minutes workout per session. Aim for two or three times per week. As your strength improves, you can add more time to the clock.
- Interval training helps burn calories, builds muscle, builds stamina, and helps hold your interest throughout the workout.
- Start out on low intensity for 10-12 minutes. Switch to medium-intensity for 10-12 minutes. Then switch between medium and high-intensity every two minutes for another 10-12 minutes.
- Complete your workout with a 5-10 minutes low-intensity cool down.
- Switch between low, medium, and high-intensity every 10-15 minutes to lose weight. Always return to low-intensity for a 5-10 minute cool down.
How to Stay Safe When Riding an Upright Exercise Bike
I always say that you need to be careful when using any piece of exercise equipment. While a safer option compared to cycling outdoors, riding an upright exercise bike requires you to maintain good form to prevent injury. Poor form can lead to repetitive motion injuries, muscle fatigue, neck, and back strain.
Make sure you maintain your balance when getting on or getting off the bike as you could fall. Falling from any height can cause broken bones, fractures, and bruising.
Take a day or two off between cardio workouts to give your body time to rest and rebuild muscle. Over-exercising can lead to exhaustion, injury, decreased motivation, and mood changes.
If you have an injury, talk to your physician before starting any new fitness program. You may need to make modifications to the intensity or workout time.
How to Perfect Your Form
Perfecting your form when using an upright exercise bike helps keep your body safe from injury.
Before starting your workout, adjust the seat so your knees rest above the center of the pedals. The seat should slant forward. Keep the seat about hip high for comfort.
Sit on the seat to make sure it’s positioned properly. After using your bike for a few days, you will have a better understanding of where to position the seat. Most upright models allow you to move the seat forward and backward, up and down.
Keep your arms and hands loose, not rigid, during your workout. Hold the handlebars tight enough to keep your body upright, but not so tight that your fingers grip the bars.
Bend your elbows slightly, but keep your shoulders down to prevent straining your neck muscles. Move your hips a little bit as you pedal to keep from straining your thigh muscles.
When pedaling your exercise bike, focus on performing an up and down motion with your feet. Try not to sway your body – let your leg muscles do the work. After a good workout, you should feel it in your quads, calves, hamstrings, and hips.
Top 5 Upright Exercise Bikes
Here are the five best upright exercise bikes that I recommend for a great cardio workout:
The Concept2 BikeErg 2900 features the Performance Monitor, or the PM5. This monitor displays a wide range of information such as calories burned, pace, watts, and RPM. The monitor also stores this information for you to review later on.
Also, the ‘Just Ride’ mode allows you to use the bike without a pre-set workout. You can also customize and store workout routines. Complete with Bluetooth and ANT+ wireless connectivity, this upright bike allows you to connect to fitness apps, fitness devices, and heart rate belts.
The bike has a Smartphone cradle for your convenience.
You can easily adjust the handlebars and saddle to suit your needs. Move the saddle up and down or at an angle to find a comfortable position. You can also move the handlebars forward and back, up and down.
If you prefer, you can install your own saddle, pedals, and handlebars.
- Flywheel and damper system allows you to control the resistance settings
- Lightweight design
- Welded aluminum frame with steel
- Easy to assemble
The only drawback I’ve noticed with this bike is that those who are new to exercise bike riding may find it difficult to adjust the resistance settings.
- Unit measures: 48 inches long by 24 inches wide by 31 to 40.5 inches high (adjustable saddle height)
- Unit weight: 68 pounds
The PLENY Foldable Upright Stationary Exercise Bike with 16 Level Resistance features a heavy steel frame for a smooth, stable, quiet ride. The curved ‘S’ frame allows for easy on and off. This bike has a large padded seat for added comfort.
The LCD monitor, situated in the middle of the handlebar, provides workout information such as time, distance, speed, odometer, calories burned, and heart rate. Use the count-down feature to set bike ride goals for your routine
The padded U-shaped handlebar allows you to customize your grip. The handlebar has a heart pulse sensor that helps monitor your heart rate. The bike pedals feature a grooved non-slip surface and safety strap to prevent injury.
- Phone/tablet holder
- Bidirectional pedaling forward and backward
- A 16-level magnetic tension control knob
- Transportation wheels for easy moving, foldable
- The display features big numbers for easy viewing
This one of the best upright exercise bike makes some noise when in use and isn’t as stable as some of the other models.
- Unit measures: 48 inches long by 15.2 inches wide by 8.7 inches high
- Unit weight: 38 pounds
- Maximum weight support: 260 pounds
The Schwinn Airdyne AD7 features a frame made from corrosion-resistant powder-coated steel for durability and stability.
You can adjust the seat forward and backward for a comfortable workout. The padded multi-position handlebars allow you to rest your hands in various positions.
This upright bike has an LCD screen that displays personalized health information such as calories burned, speed, distance, RPM, and watts. The screen also provides heart rate readouts.
- Cooling fan
- Telemetric heart rate technology
- Single-stage, direct drive system
- Unit measures: 53 inches long by 26.5 inches wide by 53 inches high
- Unit weight: 113 pounds
- Maximum weight support: 350 pounds
The Marcy ME708 has a frame made from 14-gauge steel tubing for lasting functionality and durability. The powder coating helps protect the steel from dirt, sweat, and other debris.
The LCD screen displays workout information using large numbers for easy viewing. Workout information includes calories burned, speed, time, and distance.
The magnetic resistance system features eight difficulty levels. Use the tension knob to mimic various terrains for a customized workout. The resistance system provides continuous manual resistance to provide exercise bike riders of all levels have the opportunity to challenge themselves.
The adjustable seat and counterbalanced foot pedals provide added comfort and support to your body while you ride. The large padded handlebars allow you to find the perfect position for your hands.
- Adjustable tension knob
- Attached wheels for easy transport
- Unit measures: 32 inches long by 18 inches wide by 48 inches high
- Unit weight: 41 pounds
- Maximum weight support: 300 pounds
The Nautilus U616 upright bike features 25 resistance levels so you can move from low, medium, and high intensity for a complete cardio workout. The 29 pre-programmed workout routines include interval training, cardio health, and weight loss. You can also customize a personal exercise routine to suit your needs.
The high inertia, high-speed drive system provides a smooth ride for a great workout experience. The oversized adjustable saddle offers maximum comfort during your rides.
The interactive LCD screen displays performance and health tracking information such as speed, pace, distance, calories burned, and heart rate. This bike includes both sensor and telemetric options for measuring your heart rate.
This bike features Bluetooth connectivity so users can download popular bike riding apps such as Explore the World and more.
Additional features that I like about this bike include:
- USB charging port
- Speakers included
- Saddle adjusts forward and back
- Water bottle holder
- Media tray
- Free Explore the World app routes (additional routes require an app subscription)
- Unit measures: 41.8 inches long by 21.6 inches wide by 57.6 inches high
- Unit weight: 63 pounds
- Maximum weight capacity: 300 pounds
The best upright exercise bike allows you to get a great cardio workout in the privacy of your home. When choosing an exercise bike, I recommend that you consider the overall size of the bike and its construction, resistance options, and performance health tracking features. Compact in size, any of the bikes listed in this review will fit nicely in most home gyms.