In a world full of different exercise bike models, choosing the best one for your needs can be a challenge. What is described as an upright bike is a model that has been viral and quick to sell over the past few years.
For those of you who don’t know, an upright bike is basically an exercise bike that holds the body in an upright position and has a slightly smaller seat than the other types of bikes (for instance, recumbent bikes which have wider seats and are more inclined to the ground).
Therefore, an upright bike gives you a more consistent workout which is similar to outdoor riding, placing your body in a similar body position. Also, this bike ensures that you are working the same muscles as you are when doing outdoor riding, which is basically more of a whole body exercise.
What Makes Upright Bikes Different (And More Effective) When Doing Cardio Workouts
With an upright bike, your knees are bent from 25 to 30 degrees, which is a lot more compared to the 10 to 15 degree bending when sitting on a recumbent bike. The knees are in line with the center of the pedals, which completely changes your workout and the muscles targeted in it.
While a recumbent bike mostly focuses on your legs (working the glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves and tibilais anteriors), an upright bike works the abdominal muscles too, keeping the body in an upright position and supporting your workout. The fact that you are also using the abs when working out on this exercise bike burns even more calories and works your heart rate in a different way.
As a side benefit, there is also more of an upper body arm workout since you are engaging your arms in a different position. The biceps, triceps and shoulder muscles are all engaged in this upright position.
Upright bikes have been very popular in the exercise bike category, mostly because of the above mentioned benefits, and the fact that you can store them easily – they require less space in your home gym.
Below, we are listing the best upright stationary bike models, and showing you their unique features. We will also talk about how they burn more calories and some of the things to keep in mind when shopping for this model.
1. Schwinn 130 Upright Bike
Schwinn Fitness is a name that is very common in the exercise bike industry. Other than having various types of stationary bikes, they are the “go-to” brand for many different generations.
From one glance at the Schwinn 130 Upright Bike model, it is easy to see why. The design of this piece is marvelous and makes you feel like you are a top cycling professional preparing yourself for a new race. Ideal for indoor cycling, this bike positions you so that you can burn calories in an upright position and push your heart rate up, focusing on toning your legs, abdominal area and arms.
The dual track two LCD window system is also sophisticated, allowing you to monitor up to 13 different display feedbacks. Speaking of which, there is also the Schwinn Connect goal tracking and data export that keeps you up to date on reaching your fitness goals.
The handlebars are positioned right around the main console, ensuring a comfortable riding position. The grip is ergonomically placed and has a built-in heart rate sensor, giving you metrics on your beats per minute (BPM). For music enthusiasts, the Schwinn 130 is a perfect model because it has two built0in speakers that produce quality sound, as well as a 3-speed fan to keep you cool throughout your workout.
With 22 programs, 2 user settings and 20 resistance levels, there is plenty of technology to keep your workouts fun and engaging, as well as features that keep you motivated and challenged. The levels of resistance also align with a high speed and high inertia perimeter-weighted flywheel, making the workout smooth and quiet.
As a bonus, there is a charging USB port and data exchange feature, which work well within the console. According to users, the entire console is designed to be easy to use and the buttons can only help you maximize your workouts as you focus on your fitness goals.
Sitting on the Schwinn 130 is a comfortable experience, mostly because the seat is padded and contoured for a comfortable ride. The seat post system makes it easy for it to be aligned and used by different people, who can change their positions with a simple move.
All in all, the Schwinn 130 upright bike is a great piece of machinery. It has two integrated levelers which make it stable, transport wheels for added convenience and an oversized crossbar tubin for added stability. Its console, features, programs and resistance levels make the workouts challenging, while the fan and speakers make them exciting, especially when you are rocking your favorite tunes.
2. Marcy Upright Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-708
The Marcy ME-708 is one of the most popular upright bike models. It is compact, lightweight, but also a great machine for challenging workouts. Some Marcy users know that this model is a predecessor to the popular ME-709 which also has great reviews (and many resemblances), but the ME-708 is an exercise bike that has been fine-tuned to help users burn calories in an easier (and more cost-effective).
Generally speaking, this model is perfect for people who are just starting in the spinning world and want an upright bike that can tone their legs, abs and arms. People with small living space or small space in their gym or garage can also benefit from it. The low entry pricing helps a lot, making the unit easily competitive.
When it comes to stability, there is a 14 gauge steel tubing frame which is long-lasting and tested. It is coated with a powder finish, while the other elements are made from PVC material which is durable, even though it is plastic.
In terms of features, there are 8 pre-set levels of magnetic resistance, which makes it easy for anyone to find their speed and select a resistance that meets their needs. The ME-708 upright bike is very comfortable, and the padded seat is where most of the comfort is centralized. Equally, the handlebars are padded for increased comfort.
There is a simple console with basic metrics, and a single navigation button for ease of use. Even though this cannot compare to the high-end models, it is definitely enough if you are looking for a starting option in the world of upright stationary bikes.
Surprisingly stable considering that it only weighs 41 pounds, this model is great for people with weight of up to 300 lbs. The pedals are also designed well, and while there is nothing premium on them, their overall grip and the presence of straps help big time.
The only drawback is the fact that the handlebars are not adjustable. Still, there are plenty of advantages, starting from the price, to the stability, drive type, belt system and solid flywheel that gives a smooth and quiet ride, along with added safety elements that prevent kids or pets from getting injured.
3. L NOW Exercise Bike Indoor Cycling
When shopping for an upright bike, the idea of getting a sleek white bike doesn’t pop to many people. However, the L NOW Exercise Bike for indoor cycling is designed just like that, giving us a big change of the all-black or all-grey standard that we are all used to.
So, the design is one of the things that makes this bike unique from its competitors. Also, the model is built with a magnetic tension control system, which makes it convenient for people to customize their workout tension levels of easier or more challenging workouts. Speaking of build, there is a heavy duty base with a frame that is made of heavy and refined steel. It is not easy to break, and the magnetic resistance ensures that the bike is silent.
The magnetic resistance system produces 8 different levels of resistance, ensuring a smooth and responsive ride by increasing the field resistance. You can easily control this intensity with the multi-control resistance switch.
Tech-savvy users will find the LCD display and iPad holder as a great bonus to their workouts. You can track anything from your exercise RPM, time, speed, distance, calories burned, pulse, and even body fat. The exercise progress index can help you get more info on your personal data, and putting on your phone or tablet can help you relax while working out, whether it’s reading a book on your Kindle, watching a movie, or scrolling through your social media feeds.
Both kid and pet friendly, the L NOW Exercise Bike is safe and comes with an all-inclusive flywheel, to avoid touching and injuries around children and furry friends. The pedals increase stability and comfort, while the adjustability make it a great exercise bike for the entire family.
One of the things that we appreciate about this model is the adjustability in the handlebars – they are rotatable, allowing you to position your hands in the most comfortable way. Overall, the L NOW is a great stationary bike for the price with plenty of features and elegant touches.
4. Nautilus U616 Upright Bike
Upright bikes are being more tech-oriented than ever before. Proof for that is the Nautilus U616 stationary bike, which is coming with an Explore The World App that lets you digitally immerse yourself in scenes which vary from exotic locations to virtual courses, stunnnig trails and other awesome spots captured all around the world.
Bluetooth connectivity is another tech feature to have in mind, with which you can set, track, and monitor the progress thanks to the popular app based tracking tools. With even 29 unique training programs, you can easily select the preset programs and switch between them. For instance, you can immerse yourself in cardio health training, interval training, focus on weight loss or create a program that suits your specific fitness goals.
The 25 resistance levels are another highlight in the Nautilus U616 upright bike, showing that the manufacturers did a great job with its mechanism. Speaking of which, there is a high speed and high inertia drive system with a perimeter weighted flywheel. As you may know from before, this ensures easy start-up and smooth workouts with low-noise.
The bike has a sturdy construction. It is quiet, smooth and packed with technology. It is also easy to assemble and great for people who want to save space. The settings can be adjusted to different people, and the price is solid considering all of the features and technology that go inside this stationary bike. The only drawback, according to some customer reviews, is the seat, which lacks some comfort and probably needs some redesigning in the future.
Obviously, the main highlight of this model is the unique multi-sensory experience that makes the workout fun, placing you in a different location every time you start spinning. With it, getting in a low-impact workout is easy and the extras such as USB ports are great.
5. Sunny Health & Fitness Upright Exercise Bike SF-B2883
If you ever shopped for an exercise bike online, you probably saw the brand Sunny Health & Fitness. They have plenty of great stationary bike models on sale, and are known in the industry as one of the leaders.
The SF-B2883 upright exercise bike lives up to the mission of the brand which is to create great machines that help people achieve their fitness goals. What looks like a simple bike is actually a great spinning machine that packs 24 pre-installed workout programs, including a BMI calculator and pulse sensors that are a great way to monitor and maintain your target heart rate, burning calories effectively and exercising correctly and efficiently.
More importantly, there are 12 resistance based workout presets and 5 heart rate driven workout presets. The wattage-based preset, time and distance presets and 4 manual presets allow users to customize their workouts on this sturdy model from Sunny Health & Fitness.
With the performance monitor, you can track your speed, RPM, time, distance, calories burned, heart rate, and workout programs. All of this can be done on the backlit screen, as soon as you plug in the model to your nearest power outlet. However, even if the bike is not plugged in, you will still be able to perform in-home cycling workouts, which is a great benefit especially if you are in a remote location or a room with no power outlets.
The only drawback would perhaps be the fact that this model supports people up to 240 pounds, which can be a bummer for some. However, if you are within this range, you should know that this is one of the best upright bike models on the market.
6. 3G Cardio Elite Ub Upright Bike
The 3G Cardio Elite UB Upright bike is the winner when it comes to weight capacity. It can safely accommodate people weighing up to 350 pounds on its steel frame, which is very sturdy. In combination with the nice flywheel and magnetic resistance system, the exercise bike delivers smooth and quiet performance.
There are highly programmable electronics on the model, pre-set along with an easy to use dial interface. The small and compact size makes this upright bike perfect for any room or gym. Also, users reported that the assembly process is fairly simple and straightforward, and should not take more than 15-20 minutes to be fully set up.
The fun begins with the 16 different resistance levels you can choose from, seeing all of your workouts and performance metrics on a digital large format display (LCD). The oversized seat is another great advantage, considering the fact that many upright bikes come with small seats, hence making it difficult for bigger people to accommodate and adapt to them.
Overall, the 3G Cardio Elite UB Upright Bike supports your backside. It fits nicely in any room and comes with a 7-year parts warranty which is another thing to have in mind. There is a set of hand held heart rate contact sensors, making it easy to track your fitness goals.
You can easily customize your ride, configure the display and make the most of the convenient features. All in order to start spinning on a regular basis, get your heart rate up, burn more calories and create a routine that works for you or anyone else in the family.
Most importantly, this bike is compact and built for everyone – proving that an exercise bike does not to be big and bulky and is an element that you can easily place in the corner of any room, as well as put away without taking too much space in your closets/garage/storage room.
How To Choose The Best Upright Bike For Your Needs?
At this point, you have seen some of the best upright bike models available on the market. Now, it is important to find an exercise routine that you can enjoy and stick with for the long haul. With this type of exercise bike, you will always get a good workout and a great cardiovascular exercise, keeping your heart rate up and helping you burn more calories. Because the workout is indoors, you don’t have to worry about any inclement weather and can use the exercise bike at home.
When choosing an upright bike, you should have a few things in mind
Setting Your Upright Bike Up
Whether you choose an upright bike or a recumbent bike at home or in the gym, you should know that there are a couple of tricks that can help you make most out of the workout.
First of all, you should always check to make sure that your bike is assembled well and it is not moving on the floor. All of the moving parts should be allowed safe clearance, too. Next, you should make sure that there is adequate room to safely mount and dismount the bike.
Finally, you should position the exercise bike’s handlebar and seat height before beginning to cycle. Here, it is ideal to find your perfect position in the seat. This is very important and crucial for a safe and effective workout. If you already started spinning and are feeling pain in the front of your knee, it likely means that there is too much knee bend, while back knee pain means that there is too little knee bend.
To prevent any of these types of pain, open YouTube or read the instruction manual (most bikes have the positions visually displayed) and see how to set up your upright bike for maximum benefits.
In the end, choosing an upright bike is a decision that brings nothing but benefits. If you have a home gym but lack a stationary bike in it, you will be very happy knowing that you can burn calories while watching your favorite TV show, scrolling your social media feeds or even reading a book.
Our last tip would be to always set attainable goals, create a routine and stick to it. While doing it on a regular basis, you will easily notice how spinning improves your physical and mental health.