Upright Bike Reviews

Learning more about specific design and structure features of upright exercise bikes should be high on your list of things to take into consideration before you decide to make a purchase.

We take a look at the top rated bikes around the web and discover why they stand out from the competition.

Comparison table showing the best upright exercise bikes of 2017
Analysis, consumer reports, and ratings

ModelDimensionsWeight limitResistanceProgramsPrice
Nautilus u61641 x 22 x 58"300 lbs2529$$
Schwinn 17058 x 41 x 22"300 lbs2529$$
Stamina 532556 x 34 x 26"300 lbs86$
Schwinn 13058 x 41 x 22"300 lbs2022$
Nautilus u61457 x 41 x 21" 300 lbs2022$
Nautilus 8.0 EX61 x 42 x 23"300 lbs2530$$
Exerpeutic 500 xls48 x 39 x 26"400 lbs8N/A$

The benefits of using a upright bike to exercise

Sometimes the traditional style of exercising outdoors does not appeal to people. Windy days, rain, and temperature can have a detrimental effect on your performance. That’s why stationary bikes are gaining popularity and becoming popular among fitness enthusiasts. They can workout from the comfort of their own front room in a climate they are comfortable with.

The other way it benefits cyclists is by targeting many different muscle groups. It will provide a full body cardio workout that tests your endurance and tones your muscles, especially your lower body and core.

Buying guide and considerations

There are numerous factors in play that determine the effectiveness, quality, and price of an upright bike. We highlight each of these below so that research becomes easier.

Training options

You should be asking yourself how a trainer built in training options can help you. Do you see yourself progressing with what’s available or do you think you will be limited. The two big features worth taking into consideration here is the amount of resistance, and exercise programs.

You will find upper tier exercise bikes have anywhere between twenty and thirty levels of resistance, plus anywhere up to 45 workout programs. These are generally the more expensive models on the market.

On the other hand, you have the lower tier, cheap upright bike models that can offer as little as six levels of resistance and no programs. Our opinion is that you need to find the perfect mix between training functionality and value for money. In most cases a mid tier option will offer enough features to challenge you, while keeping the price reasonably low.

Comfort 

No one wants to cycle in a awkward position or a hard seat that effects your focus. That’s why we always look at the seat or saddle in detail. Things to look out for include the amount of padding, whether or not it’s contoured and if it adjusts to different heights and positions.

A lot of consumers overlook this factor when shopping, in favor of the amount of training options and functionality. But ask yourself this, when you’re uncomfortable, do you feel you can fulfill your potential in each training session? The answer will be no in most cases.

Dimensions

If your home gym is quite spacious, you aren’t going to be worrying to much about saving space by getting a more compact model However, many of you will be looking for an upright stationary bike that fit’s in smaller apartments.

There is a vast variety in sizes, some fold, some don’t, and some are easy to move around thanks to transportation wheels. Whichever you choose, it’s important to understand how much space your working with and compare that with the dimensions.

Flywheel

A heavier flywheel tends to be more consistent overall. They are specifically designed to keep the peddling motion smooth and remove any form of rattling whilst limiting the amount of noise.

A lighter flywheel can seem less sturdy and are normally found on cheaper options. They are generally not as durable, although you can find exceptions to this rule.

Tension dials

In most cases, the top rated upright bikes can have two different ways to change resistance. One is by using the digital navigation within the provided console, and the other is making use of small tension dials.

The digital way is the modern, convenient way of changing the difficulty of your workout, whilst the dials are manual that can be frustrating to use at times. However, they can sometimes be found quite a bit cheaper than their digital competitors.

Peddles

The majority of modern upright bikes can be found with non slip features on the peddles. This is done by included specific design features and bumps to the peddle, as well as toe cages that can be adjusted using straps to meet the differing foot sizes.

This is something you should always be looking out for when shopping as it’s a safety feature that you may not want to overlook.

Stability and sturdiness

You always want to check the bike to see if it offers a solid base to take your weight. Some thing to take note of is the material used in the tubing as well as smaller details such as levelers which do a great job in keeping the bike sturdy.

This goes hand in hand with a exercise bikes ability to hold a high user weight capacity. The average capacity normally hovers around 300 pounds, but it does go above and below this depending on the brand and price point.

Upright exercise bikes vs Recumbent bikes

The main difference between the two is that the recumbent design offers a lot more back support while the upright design is in a more traditional cycling posture with limited lumbar support.

Both have their benefits, and sometimes it comes down to personal preference.

Upright bike vs spin bike

A major difference between these two is the amount of reinforcement the peddles offer. Spin bikes allow cyclists to stand up and sit down to peddle because that’s what they are designed to do.

On the other hand upright stationary styles require you to sit down as manufacturers don’t intend them to be used in such a manner. They are more suited to long distance, consistent riding, whilst spinners are better for high intensity interval training.

Our reviewed upright stationary bikes

The Schwinn 170

An exceedingly good bike that certainly surpasses all our expectations at this price point. What’s perhaps slightly more impressive is the options built into the machine.

Looking at the various specifications, you will see that it’s got twenty five resistance levels and twenty nine workout programs built in. This is what I consider the very foundations of a good upright bike, and something that should always be considered before deciding on making a purchase or not.

Then, looking at how it’s been received by consumers around the world, based on research through various blogs and retail websites, it’s quite clear that this is popular, and one of the best sellers in the industry. And you don’t get that reputation for nothing.

This one is definitely worth keeping in mind if you’re after value for money.

The Nautilus U614

An impressive brand that is under the same umbrella of companies as Schwinn, and Universal. It’s no surprise that one of their workout machines has performed well since being released.

It’s hard to conclude what makes a good piece of equipment when there is so much choice surrounding you, but there are certain guides you can follow to ensure you’re on the right track.

One of these guidelines includes looking at how much will it challenge you. Does it offer enough tension and apps to push you to the limit or not.

We believe this particular model certainly does with 22 training applications and 20 differing levels of difficulty to train through. Additionally, the reviews from consumers highlight some great features, and help us understand the overall quality.

The Nautilus 8.0 EX

Another great upright exercise bike from Nautilus highlights why they, as a brand, are becoming more and more popular.

A top class modern design, with unparalleled functionality, make this model one to watch in our view.

Lots of choice in how you exercise and adapt, whilst also including a range of options to help riders feel as comfortable as possible whilst cycling.

Then there is a console that is easily read, but includes plenty of more advanced training options and reading to help you reach the pinnacle of your fitness potential.

This particular bike hasn’t yet received the same acclaim as some of its sister products, but looking at patterns from the past, I wouldn’t be surprised if this becomes increasingly chosen as the cardio trainer of choice.

The AFG 7.3AU

One of the newer models on the market, and one that certainly brings the best of two worlds together. For example, you get over twenty applications, and over twenty resistance levels, which you would come to expect from higher price options, but it’s a lower end model.

The drawback here, is we are not convinced the durability levels are quite the same as those expensive options, and the flywheel weighting is a good example of that.

Chances are it won’t be either simply because, there would be no point in splashing cash on the higher priced bikes, when the low budget ones offer the same.

The Horizon Fitness Elite U7

Upright stationary bikes can offer quite a lot to those of you who have a consistent plan of action.

But quite often people find it difficult to distinguish between the good and the bad products in the exercise industry.

With this model, we look at both sides of that argument to help you better understand the design and what it’s capable of letting you do.

Upright bike brands

Exerpeutic

The Exerpeutic 1200

Sole Fitness

The Sole B74

Weslo

The Weslo Cross Cycle

The Weslo pursuit 350

Body Rider

The Body Rider fan bike

Ironman Fitness

The Ironman H-Class 210

Nautilus

The Nautilus U618

Fit Leader

The Fitleader UF4

Universal

The Universal U10

Freemotion

The Freemotion 250