Indoor exercising is a great way to lose fat, burn calories and stay fit while inside the comforts of your own home. Among the top workout equipment for indoor exercise is the upright exercise bike. While there are many types and models that offer great potential and results, the Nautilus U616 comes at the top as our best upright exercise bike, thanks to its sleek look, ease of use and highly modern features. We have a handful of upright exercise bikes to use your taste and budget, and we’ve listed them down below why they might just be your next best workout equipment.
Just one glance at this Nautilus U616 Upright Bike you’ll know it’s a highly-advanced workout equipment. Other than giving you the workout challenge you need—with 29 programs already set up in your console, you can also enjoy your favorite media without leaving the set. The console is composed of a twin backlit LCD system where you can track your progress and view your playlist. See your improvement even when you’re away; this model offers Bluetooth connectivity that helps you focus on your health goals, allowing you to access your myfitnesspal account while on the go. Acoustic speakers are installed, pumping up your routines with your music. It may look bulky and sturdy in a distance, but if you think transport is difficult, think again. Wheels are installed underneath for easy portability so you can easily move it from one corner to another.
Step-Up Pick: Schwinn AD6 Airdyne
Coming up second place is the Schwinn Airdyne AD6 Upright Exercise Bike: an edgy, high-quality work-out companion that offers less fuss and frills, just the best and basic features necessary for an exercise enthusiast. With its infinite wind resistance, users can tone their upper and lower body at the same time or independently, allowing them to have full control over their workouts. The console displays progress metrics, with an additional RevMeter RPM gauge to check the movement rate.
Budget Pick: Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike
For users all about indoor biking and nothing else, this product is for them. The Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike strips away all the added features and retains all that is needed: a sturdy, heavy-duty equipment that can easily be assembled and stored until needed. Despite the lack of digital features, its 275-weight support and 40-pound flywheel is enough to satisfy beginning indoor bikers and pros alike.
Table of Contents
- The Benefits of an Upright Exercise Bike
- Upright Exercise Bike vs Recumbent Bike
- A Guide to Buying Your Upright Bike
- How We Picked
- Our Pick
- Flaws but not Dealbreakers
- Step-Up Pick
- Budget Pick
- The Competition
- Wrapping it up
The Benefits An Upright Exercise Bike
An upright exercise bike is just one of the many types of stationary exercise bikes, each with their own features and functions. But all of them, as WebMD discloses, works the same—you get to enjoy a satisfying workout even by staying indoors; perhaps even while watching your favorite show or listening to a good playlist. Their benefits are also astounding; an hour on a stationary bike can help you burn about 500 calories, lower cholesterol levels, increase cardiovascular strength and level your blood pressure, as tackled by the American College of Sports Medicine. By infusing an indoor cycling activity to your daily routine, you get increased energy by up to 20 percent, which results to heightened dopamine levels, which then leads to you, feeling happier and more satisfied with your well-being. Fox News also reported that indoor cycling allows users to employ 75-95% of their maximum heart rate, improving one’s breathing. Now that’s a good return.
Upright Exercise Bike vs Recumbent Bike
Upright exercise bikes have been around for decades and have been the first models of stationary bikes, until other versions started appearing. In fact, this type is often compared, and mistaken for another type of indoor exercise bike: the recumbent bike. So what sets an upright bike apart from other models? Its position.
Reminiscent of regular bikes, an upright bike is an exercise equipment allows you to use the same set of muscles when you ride outdoors. Your abdomen gets more focus as you keep your body erect in supporting your movement. You also get to use more of your upper body as you sturdily grasp the bars, or make use of a resistance mechanism in specific models.
Characteristics of an Upright Bike:
- Users sits erect above the bike frame
- Seats are usually small and cushioned similar to regular bikes
- When used, a person must be slightly hunched over to reach the handlebars while pedaling
- Resistance levels can be controlled electronically through a console. Alternatively, some models use wind-resistance features
- Among the focus muscles are the abdominal muscles, arms and legs
- This model takes up a smaller space due to its make
- Upright exercise bikes are best for young and active workout enthusiasts
Similar to the upright exercise bike is the recumbent bike, where users get to recline in a more comfortable position, reducing upper-body fatigue and encouraging improved spine posture. Workouts done in this exercise equipment are known to be gentle to the joints, especially in the lower body, where knees and ankles are prevented from hard impacts caused by upright pedaling. Diminishing pain and fatigue risks, this bike type is perfect for all ages and abilities.
Characteristics of a Recumbent Bike:
- Users lean over the recline while performing the exercise
- This model offers a larger seat, but eliminates the use of handlebars. Instead, grips are located on arm rests
- Recumbent bikes are great for comfort-seeking fitness lovers
On a study performed by Gymetrix, a survey company focusing on gym equipment, upright exercise bikes are the most popular types of stationary bikes. This model has 1.98 greater demand than that of recumbent bikes, and 2.5 greater than another indoor bike type, the spin bike.
A Guide to Buying Your Upright Bike
Shopping for an upright exercise bike can be a tough challenge in itself. With a great variety of models out in there in the market, consumers may easily feel confused and overwhelmed. However, by knowing what you need, you’ll have a greater chance of buying the right product to invest your efforts with. Take a look at these pointers to guide you on your upright exercise bike shopping.
- How much are you willing to spend? The prices of upright exercise bikes vary depending on its brand, features and style. There are items that offer basic workout features, perfect for beginners. Mid-range models are sturdier, more quiet, and usually has a couple of programming options to boot. If you choose to go high-end, you’ll expect customized profiles, detailed workout progress and various resistance challenges.
- What features are you going to use? A lot of brand makers are tempting consumers with added attributes—like a great visual on the console and an added media tray–all of which, adds to its general price. But the real question is, are you going to use all of it? The sad case is that some people are led to buying workout equipment which they fail to make the most of. Now, before you begin your shopping, make sure you list down your exercise goals: how often will you use your bike, and what kind of programmable options will you need for your workout? With these points in mind, you’ll get a clear picture of the features you’ll need.
- Always prioritize comfort. This is the main reason why you purchase your indoor bike: to enjoy ease and convenience of a full body workout without having to go outside. Little things, however, make up the entire experience: the padded seat, wide foot pedals, hand bar reach, among others. Take time to check these features. If buying online, make sure you read user reviews.
- Does your upright exercise bike have a good warranty? Your workout equipment is an investment, and you’d want to keep it in its best shape in the longest time possible. Manufacturers include several warranties for their products, some offering 10-15 years for the bike’s frame, a year for mechanical parts and 2-3 years for its electronic features.
- Have you checked the weight limit? While portability is one of the important points of choosing an upright exercise bike, one mustn’t ignore the weight. Stability correlates with an object’s mass, and for users to gain the best workout experience with their indoor bikes, the equipment must be strong enough to support their weight.
- Is it noisy? Bikes with air resistance features tend to produce more sounds than electronically programmed ones. It is crucial to check this factor if the noise bothers you, or other people at home, while working out, especially during unexpected hours.
How We Picked
The number of upright exercise bikes in the market are enough to confuse even a seasoned consumer, but, pointing out several important factors, we have come up with a list of products that will match your workout requirements. Our best upright exercise bike, along with other highly rated products, are influenced by the characteristics most consumers will want in their equipment: pricing, features and comfort. We have scoured through Amazon, listened to reviews and meticulously checked each item to come up with our list. Here, you’ll see an in-depth review of our best choices, plus a few more insights with some of the consumer-favorite upright exercise bikes.
Fitness brand Nautilus steps up their game with Nautilus U616 — a highly impressive upright exercise bike that swept us with its jam-packed features, optimum comfort and handsome appearance, all in a budget price. The brand raises the bar in a whole new level, especially when put against their former best, the Nautilus U614—which already possessed a stunning list of features: 22 workout programs, NautilusConnect Performance Tracking, LCD displays and acoustic speakers. Now holding the honors of being its brand’s top-of-the-line model, we now commend Nautilus U616 as the best upright exercise bike, with many good reasons.
Nautilus paid much attention to connectivity with its U616 model, and this effort has given great returns. It is their answer to the need of new generation health buffs: people who are constantly in need of immediate fitness tracking results, even while on the go. With U616, one easily syncs their data to the brand’s exclusive fitness app: The Nautilus Trainer™, as well as access to myfitnesspal.com. The console looks visually appealing with its blue backlit LCD screens, with brightly colored stop and go buttons for easy recognition. Slender handlebars can be adjusted for better reach, and the padded seat promotes better posture while working out. Users can choose different height adjustments according to their preference.
But other than its connectivity and build, Nautilus U616 also delivers in its many added features. There’s a media holder for tablet users and magazine users to keep one entertained during their workout. Integrated speakers pump up one’s motivation while their favorite playlist is on play, giving off a nice, bassy-sound with its acoustic features. And, to keep one cool during their exercises, workout fans are strategically installed, making the experience more convenient. Smaller details, like the vented back seat, water bottle holder, and transport wheels, are a plus to its already remarkable built. This model is already a steal.
Flaws But Not Dealbreakers
Every product has its own flaw, and despite being our top pick, a little tweak in its design and settings can improve the experience in the future. Among the consumers’ complaints, some drawbacks in the assembly, where a few experienced a jerk on the pedal during low resistance challenges. There are also intervals which causes hard core exercise fans to stop for a few minutes to regain back to their momentum. However, we consider these as minor problems, not enough to overshadow the features and functions of our best upright exercise bike pick.
The Schwinn Airdyne AD6 is our Step-Up Pick, taking up the second spot on out choice upright exercise bike list. A true-blue cardio machine built for home users, this equipment is packed with an intelligent construction that allows users to challenge themselves with the equal force they put on their pedal. Hence, the competition is within one’s self: the harder you pedal, the higher the resistance. Both the upper and the lower body reap the benefits of a consistent workout, with a display console showing all key data in a single glance, so you can easily track your improvement without having to wait.
Design-wise, Schwinn Airdyne AD6 comes in a beautiful black construction, with elongated handlebars, adjustable chairs, a cooling fan, and a wide pedal. The sturdy built is among its best points, with built-in transport wheels whenever you want to move it to another corner. Among its new features are foot straps on the self-balancing pedals, as well as a reading rack for magazines and tablet users.
For those who wants to get the best bang for their bucks without the extra frills, the Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike is the one to beat. We listed it as a budget pick because of its incredibly affordable price. But if you’re thinking you’re getting a mediocre experience with this health machine, think again.
Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike may lack all the modern amenities the previous two models possess, but that doesn’t diminish its capability to deliver a great workout experience for every fitness enthusiast. Stripping off the added luxuries, this model stays true to the basic: a sturdy, reliable exercise equipment that everyone can afford. The lightweight steel frame houses a 40-pound flywheel, boosting up resistance features and giving you a consistent challenge on every ride. Seats and handlebars are easily adjustable to fit your reach. Assembly is convenient to set-up, as the lightweight frames can be easily put together like child’s play.
We love it for its easy-to-assemble construction, its powerful flywheel, and the strong chain drive. While there are no enticing digital functions included in this make, one can appreciate the beauty of its simple, sophisticated look that easily melds with any interior.
We’ve already talked about our top upright exercise bike choices, but we’re not done yet. There are still a handful of products that caught our attention and deserves a feature in our segment. If the first three doesn’t sit too well with you, there’s a good chance you might discover the best in-between product, right here, in this list.
Take a look at some of our handpicked upright exercise bike models:
This item is a great contender; not only does it ranks highly in Amazon’s Sports & Outdoors category; it is also highly loved by more than 3,000 customers who bought the product. What makes it special? This basic upright exercise bike is your best bargain for easy storage; fold it up and roll it away after you’re done with your workout. Despite its flexible features, it can carry up to 300 lbs. and deliver optimal workout experience, thanks to its High-Torque, 3-piece crank system and magnetic resistance. It is also equipped with a heart rate monitor that allows quick metric results during your exercise.
This upright exercise bike offers comfort and challenge at the same time. With an ergonomically designed frame and features, Sole Fitness B94 adapts to the user’s needs, giving them better workout sessions, aiding them in better cardio and fat-burning exercises. The well-cushioned saddle and the pedal features prevent joint injury while correcting posture during use. A 9-inch LCD console displays progress and commands in an easy-to-read visual. Six standard programs and two heart rate programs are included in the setup. Add to this, a built-in fan, a chest strap monitoring capability, and an integrated sound system so you can run your favorite mp3s.
A top-rated upright exercise bike, the Diamondback Fitness 510Ic showcases the brilliance of a high-end model. Other than its impressive, edgy looks, this indoor bike houses 14 workout programs that copies the experience of riding different terrains; imagine climbing the mountains, rugged roads and hills, right inside your home! 4 cardiovascular settings offer a safe workout session for patients with heart diseases. A technological gem, it comes with modern, electronic functions, such as an LCD screen which offers visual data of your distance, calories, cadence, time and heart-rate. The handlebars possess a sensitive heart monitors that reads your pulse, even without straps. Equipped with a 31-pound flywheel, professional riders can enjoy the experience in riding this stationary bike. Its capacity carries up to 300 lbs., so it can be conveniently used by people suffering from obesity.
The Stamina 5325 is another budget upright exercise bike that got our list. Perfect for beginners, it offers low-impact, quiet workouts with its magnetic resistance system. There’s a console at the heart of the machine, offering 6 preset programs for various aerobic options. The screen displays time, speed, distance and calories, and everything can be easily accessed by a convenient InTouch button control. Stamina 5325 is made of durable steel and can handle about 300 lbs. A few of its other interesting features: there’s a build-in pulse sensor at the hand grip to check your heart rate, deluxe cushioned seat, and an extra-wide pedal to make workouts more convenient.
Your workout equipment is a health investment, and, if you are able to cash in a few more bucks, why not purchase an upright exercise bike fit for a pro? Lifecore’s Assault Air Bike Trainer is a beautifully crafted indoor gym equipment which opens limitless exercise abilities. Twenty seals ball bearings are installed throughout its modern, matte black frame, offering a steady aerobic experience. Making use of infinite resistance, Lifecore endowed this model with custom-fit features in both pedals and seat, along with digital features such an intelligent console that monitors your speed, time, distance and calories. Motivating apps, such as Tabata Intervals, are listed to increase your strength. The Assault Air Bike from Lifecore is perfect for home and commercial use.
Marcy’s compact upright exercise bike is the item for the smart savers. Costing a bit more than a hundred dollars, this valuable workout item offers smooth and quiet aerobic experience each time you pedal. It’s remarkably small in size, making it easy to put away for storage whenever not needed. But hold on; this portable exercise companion comes with 8 preset resistance programs that helps you achieve different fitness levels. And it’s more than just basic; there’s a small console that displays time, speed, distance and calories, helping you keep track of your daily progress. Transport wheels and counterbalanced pedals add up to its already impressive features. Marcy’s Upright Mag Bike weighs 41 lbs. and comes in a beautiful black, silver and copper paint.
Another top-ranked product in Amazon’s list of upright exercise bikes is Velocity’s own: a white and gray schemed workout machine that features a two-way weighted flywheel, a manually adjustable resistance, padded seat and handles, and heart-rate sensors. Workouts have never been more comfortable. thanks to the 3-piece crank system that makes pedaling easy on the legs, diminishing possible harms caused by joint injuries. Users commend this product for its seat and reach: it accommodates most user height and is perfect even for short people. An LCD console is located up front, showcasing different functions, as well as an option to choose from 8 preset resistance levels. Built casters are included in the package, helping users to easily move and store the equipment when not in use.
Wrapping It Up
Upright exercise bikes are perfect, hassle-free options to stay fit even while indoors. This low-impact activity is perfect for people who are rehabilitating parts of their body, yet wanting to remain physically strong. Unlike outdoor activities, biking indoors offers the same feeling of a runner’s high minus the stress-levels. This, in turn, helps in making the person happier and more satisfied with life. Among other benefits caused by indoor cycling: muscular endurance, cardiovascular health and improved breathing and posture, caused by repeated exertion of force and muscles over time.
To help you with your upright exercise bike purchase, we have listed down the best of the products out there in the market, methodically researching popular consumers’ wants and needs that might match your own. With all of the products we have looked into, Nautilus U616 rises a heads up above all; we think that its noteworthy features are enough to satisfy every exercise enthusiast, delivering nicely on both form and function, and offering a remarkable workout experience through the variety of options it offers. We believe in connectivity—now a requirement in this fast-moving, digital age. With health information just within reach through various apps, uses can enjoy workouts better, inspiring them to improve their time and efforts when it comes to staying fit.
However, additional features shouldn’t take away the most important trait—the equipment’s basic use and comfort. While the Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike appears to be a stark contrast to our best upright exercise bike choice, we think it’s a great contender that stays true to a customer’s need. It is stripped down of modern functions, but users can enjoy their workouts incredibly the same, without the higher cost. If you are a beginner, wanting to get into the world of upright exercise biking, this product is for you. However, if you’re all about features and experience, you deserve an inexpensive, but highly impressive equipment like the Nautilus U616.