Exercise bikes are great for enabling solid amounts of cardiovascular exercise in the ‘comfort’ of your home. The workout is consistent with outdoor cycling since your body places itself in the traditional cycling position. You can exercise your abdominal muscles, biceps, triceps, and shoulders if put to full use.
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We’ve reviewed five of the best upright exercise bikes for you to ensure your workouts are both effective and comfortable:
- Sole LCB Upright Bike (Our top choice although pricey)
- Nautilus U618 Upright Bike
- Sunny Health & Fitness Indoor Exercise Stationary Bike (Our top value option)
- Schwinn 170 Upright Bike
- Marcy Upright Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-708
Which Is the Best Exercise Bike for Home Use?
Now that we’ve gone over what we should consider before getting that new upright exercise bike—let’s go over the best exercise bikes for home on the market.
Sole is a respected name in the fitness equipment world and provides a first-rate country-wide support network. Although making their name with quality treadmills, this is a great product from Sole.
The LCB upright bike is capable of carrying weights of up to 350 pounds. You won’t have a problem moving it despite its 108 lb weight because of its front transport wheels.
The bike’s seat can be adjusted in various ways. The handlebars are ergonomically designed to provide more ease and ways to grip. The pedals, cushioned and oversized, come with adjustable straps and an inward tilt to provide secure fitting.
The console is large and provides easy viewing and an easy-to-use interface. There’s also a place where you can put your tablet and a USB port for charging.
The console has integrated speakers through which you can play music from your smart devices which can also be used to watch your favorite box set or sync up with training apps.
For serious HIIT workouts, the 31 lb flywheel uses magnetic resistance to give up to 40 levels of difficulty and includes 6 pre-set programs to make life easy. I use them all the time as there’s enough variety in the workouts to keep things interesting.
The bike also includes heart rate monitoring, which happens via contact sensors on the handle – a compatible chest monitor is available at extra cost.
For peace of mind, there is a lifetime warranty on the frame with 5 years on electronics, 5 years parts and 2 years on labor.
- Solid build
- Assured lifetime warranty.
- 10.1″ LCD large console.
- Ergonomic design.
- Smooth ride especially on transmission.
- Bluetooth compatible.
- Part of the assembly process can be a bit tricky.
- Bit pricey compared to others in our list.
A part of a series by Nautilus, the U618 bike comes with many different features, standing out as one of the best exercise bikes. The bike uses a belt and an eddy current brake magnetic system for resistance with a 30lb flywheel, suitable for the more serious cyclist.
Again this model bike is Bluetooth compatible so you can play your favorite fat-blasting tunes through the speakers on its console. The bike also features a USB charging port to keep devices charged.
On top of all this, the bike can sync your exercise data with some popular phone apps like Strava or MapMyRun which can integrate the data with Nautilus/Schwinn’s Explore the World app.
This is an ‘immersive’ app which can take you through dozens of areas of the world. As you cycle your speed is matched with the video feedback, your fitness progression data is tracked and a journal is kept.
I think these interactive fitness apps are great and offer a whole new experience however it’s not for everyone. The app is partially free but like a lot, the companies behind them are keen to get you on to a subscription plan and this one is no different.
The Nautilus U618 comes with 29 built-in workout programs.
The bike features 25 levels of magnetic resistance and a high-inertia drive system with perimeter-weighted flywheels. This allows you to have a smooth start-up as well as a consistent workout.
Warranty is 10 years on the frame, 3 years parts, 1 year for electronics and 90 days labor.
The bike can withstand user weights of up to 300 pounds and weighs itself 90lbs.
- Supports Bluetooth connectivity.
- Syncs data with popular exercise apps and Explore the World.
- 25 resistance levels
- 29 workout programs.
- Back and forward adjustable seat and adjustable handlebars.
- Does not have transport wheels.
This sturdy bike built for flexibility features a steel frame that can handle weights of up to 220 pounds, as well as an adjustable seat that accommodates various leg inseams.
There are 2 versions of this model. One has the resistance provided by friction with felt.
It’s somewhat cheaper than the magnetic resistance version but I’m really not a fan of the friction method of resistance.
I can’t see it lasting for any length of time even if you don’t intend to give the Sunny bike a good thrashing.
It has a belt-drive mechanism. The transport wheels make it easy to move around.
You can also easily attach your iPad or a similar device on its device holder, allowing you to stay connected to your favorite sites and apps while exercising.
- Good price.
- Most suitable for the less serious cycling fanatic.
One of several in a series made by Schwinn, the 170 upright bike makes itself special with the array of features it provides. This is a similar model to the Nautilus U616 which is itself a lesser version of the Nautilus U618 (see above) however you pay the price and make your choice. 🙂
I prefer this to the U616 though as it’s bigger and sturdier and the aesthetics are a little more pleasing – but then, that might just be me.
It comes with an easily adjustable seat and ergonomic handlebars upon which you can rest your forearms. The handlebars also include contact sensors to monitor heart rate. It also comes with transport wheels for easy positioning.
The bike’s console features a fan with adjustable speed to help you keep cool during exercise. Additionally, it has 29 built-in workout programs and can have several user profiles, each with their own data. You’re also able to charge your devices as well as play your music through its Bluetooth enabled speakers.
It has access to interactive apps like Explore the World, the same as mentioned in the Nautilus review above for which along with Bowflex are from the same stables
The bike has a durable frame with 25 magnetic levels of resistance and can carry users weighing up to 300 pounds.
- Can set up profiles for four different users.
- Interactive and immersive apps easily synced.
- Fan with several speeds.
- A lighter build.
A product by Marcy, the ME-708 exercise bike features a construction using a premium 14-gauge steel tubing frame to provide some durability. It also comes with a finished powder coating that adds to the appearance.
It also features eight different levels of magnetic resistance that is set using an adjustable knob. The bike’s console is small in size but displays its information in a large display for easy readability. You won’t have any problems keeping updated with your body’s stats while you’re pedaling away, but it doesn’t display information on your heart rate.
The bike’s seat is adjustable to allow for different body sizes and provide a comfortable sitting during your exercising session.
The pedals are weighted and counter-balanced with adjustable straps to provide good fitting. You will not have to worry about losing your footing while you work out those muscles.
Weighs in at only 41lbs which says something about it’s durability although for light workouts the Marcy bike should be very serviceable. You can stick it in the corner of the room as well as it is just 35 x 17.5 x 47.5 inches.
- The bike has all the basic functionality you need.
- Small footprint.
- Good price.
- Data on the console is easy to read
- Pedals work well.
- Not for serious athletes.
- Resistance settings not extensive or exact.
- Assembly not as easy as you might suppose.
What to Look for in an Upright Exercise Bike
Choosing the right bike comes with a lot of considerations. Generally speaking, knowing your fitness goals matters the most, as well as your current fitness level. But there’s more, what kind of features are you looking for on your bike? How much are you willing to pay for it?
Let’s look at some of the features the best upright exercise bike should have.
Screen and Console
Most of the bikes come with an electronic screen where all the information gathered from the bike’s sensors is displayed, some of which include the speed, the distance traveled the level of difficulty and heart rate.
The console allows for the player to interact with the bike and choose from a set of workout programs either installed on the bike or streamed from apps. Although generally, you could still manage to exercise without any of these features, they’re a nice addition for making your workouts more efficient and enjoyable.
Heart Rate Monitor
A heart rate monitor is a good feature to have on an upright exercise bike. The reason for this is that for every workout that involves cardio, there’s a heart rate range where the workout is the most effective; dubbed the fat-burning zone.
Being able to monitor your heart rate while pedaling should make it a lot easier for you to stay in that zone and make sure that your workout sessions are at their best.
Every upright exercise bike comes with a maximum weight limit, which it can handle. As a general rule, always go for the bikes that are above your weight limit, but not just above. The farther you are above the weight limit, the better.
Bikes with bigger weight limits are generally heavier, tend to be better built and also more expensive, but they’re much more stable. Consequently, the bike will not wobble or break, ensuring your safety while using it.
This is one of my favorite attributes for a bike. This kind of resistance is also called the braking resistance and plays an important role in the variability of your workout. The best upright exercise bikes are ones that rely on magnetic methods to provide resistance rather than mechanical or friction based ones.
Magnetic resistance doesn’t rely on friction and, unlike conventional braking mechanisms, doesn’t need replacement due to wear and tear. It also causes much less noise.
Ergonomics and Features
You don’t just want your upright exercise bike to be the most effective at working your muscles out; you also want them to be as comfortable as possible. We all know how riding bikes can generally feel uncomfortable.
With a stationary or upright bike, comfort is often the most important thing for people to remain motivated to continue exercising.
Generally, the seats should have an ergonomic design with sufficient padding to avoid discomfort.
The pedals should be large enough for the feet, but also have straps that can hold them down when you’re pedaling at high speeds to avoid slipping.
Adjustable handlebars with good ergonomics are another thing to look at.
Other features include a water bottle carrier, built-in fans and speakers.
It’s very important to know how much money you’re willing to spend on this new bike, which is also determined by the goals you set for yourself earlier, before deciding which bike to get.
More expensive bikes are more heavy-duty, heavier in weight, and usually, last longer. They can also come with a longer warranty.
If you have long-term goals that you’re adamant about fulfilling, then paying for something more expensive is better in the long run than going for what is cheaper.
The better build of a bike also means a smoother ride and smoother transmission between resistance levels.
With all these options that we’ve gone through, let us now choose which bike stands out as the winner although if looking for other bikes we have a guide that looks at all types of indoor fitness bikes.
The Sole LCB Upright Bike stands out as our choice for the best exercise bike for home use. There are several reasons for this, most notably the bike’s quality build, fully functional and tech-enabled and to top it off a lifetime warranty on the frame.
It also doesn’t compromise on other very important features such as heart-rate monitoring, providing a good number of resistance levels, and displaying information on a large console for easy readability. It even has a stand to hold your tablet while you exercise.
Check out more articles for our guides to exercise bikes.