Which upright exercise bikes are best?

Cardiovascular workouts are essential for a healthy life, but running and similar activities can be hard on your joints. Cycling is pretty easy on your knees and joints, and upright exercise bikes are a great addition to your gym at home. Upright exercise bikes provide a traditional cycling position without back support, similar to road bikes. They also include a console or display in the front to help you track your stats. The Schwinn 170 Upright Exercise Bike is a fantastic model of upright exercise bike.

What to know before you buy an upright exercise bike

Consider the seat of the upright exercise bike

Most upright exercise bikes have bigger seats with plenty of cushioning, but some basic models have less comfortable and smaller seats. Look for a model with a vertically adjustable seat so you can get the correct height.

Learn about the different types of pedals

Upright exercise bikes have various kinds of pedals. The most basic models have bare pedals that you put your feet on, while other models have a loop or cage on the pedals to keep your feet in the right position. The pedals with loops or cages are typically the most comfortable.

Find the right handlebars

Upright exercise bikes usually have a tall handlebar post, which leads to an upright position while you are riding. Other models have handlebars with multi-grip designs for improved flexibility. The handlebars typically are not adjustable, but there are some high-end upright exercise bikes that enable you to move the handles horizontally or vertically.

What to look for in a quality upright exercise bike


Upright exercise bikes usually have a console or display that tracks all of the exercise data and features the bike’s controls. You will at least get data like workout duration, distance, calories burned and pedaling speed, but some high-end upright exercise bikes have extra workout stats.

Heart-rate monitor

Many upright exercise bikes come with a heart-rate monitor. Some models have chest strap heart-rate monitors that measure your heart rate without you needing to touch anything on the bike, while other models only track your heart rate when you’re touching a particular part of the bike, like the console or the handlebars.

Weight capacity

You should check the maximum user weight on your upright exercise bike. Some upright exercise bikes only go up to 250 pounds, while others can hold up to 300 pounds.

How much you can expect to spend on an upright exercise bike

Upright exercise bikes vary in price from about $60-$3,000. Basic upright exercise bikes go for $60-$300, while midrange upright exercise bikes cost about $300-$900 and high-end upright exercise bikes range in price from $900-$3,000.

Upright exercise bike FAQ

What is the difference between a spin bike and an upright exercise bike?

A. An upright exercise bike has a wide seat, which is more comfortable for many riders. The console of the upright exercise bike is also wider, and when you stop your feet, the pedals stop moving.

A spin bike, on the other hand, is constructed like a traditional road bike, and the pedals will keep moving even after your feet come to a halt. Spin exercise bikes are used for fast-paced spin classes and indoor cycling training.

Is an upright exercise bike a good choice for a beginner to cycling?

A. An upright exercise bike is a superior option for those who are exercise beginners since it can offer a great cardiovascular workout without straining or stressing your joints too much. You can challenge yourself as your workout level increases since it’s easy to control the intensity of your workout.

Do you get warranties with upright exercise bikes?

A. Almost all manufacturers of exercise bikes offer some kind of warranty protection for upright exercise bikes. Many manufacturers provide at least one year of warranty protection from the date that you purchased the upright exercise bike, but some manufacturers provide different coverage amounts for each and every portion of the bike. For instance, you might get one year of protection for the electronics and 10 years of protection for the frame.

What’s the best upright exercise bike to buy?

Top upright exercise bike

Schwinn 170 Upright Bike

Schwinn 170 Upright Bike

What you need to know: This studio-quality upright exercise bike from Schwinn comes with a wide range of media and programming options.

What you’ll love: This competitively priced Schwinn upright exercise bike features a perimeter-weighted flywheel, a high inertia drive system and in-console speakers with a fan, MP3 input and USB charging.

What you should consider: There are computer-system glitches with this upright exercise bike, according to reports.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top upright exercise bike for the money

ATIVAFIT Folding Magnetic Upright Exercise Bike

ATIVAFIT Folding Magnetic Upright Exercise Bike

What you need to know: This basic and affordable upright exercise bike from ATIVAFIT is foldable and versatile.

What you’ll love: This inexpensive ATIVAFIT upright exercise bike features a comfortable and wide seat that can hold up to 265 pounds and adjust to fit your needs. The upright exercise bike also saves space, since you can fold it up easily to store it.

What you should consider: The ride height of this upright exercise bike is not meant for taller people.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Sunny Health & Fitness Indoor Cycling Bike

Sunny Health & Fitness Indoor Cycling Bike

What you need to know: This feature-packed upright exercise bike from Sunny Health & Fitness is popular for at-home exercises.

What you’ll love: This Sunny Health & Fitness upright exercise bike offers caged pedals to prevent slipping, padded handlebars, a chain drive mechanism and an LCD fitness monitor that tracks your calories burned, your time, your distance and your speed.

What you should consider: The height settings on this upright exercise bike might not work for those over 5 feet 7 inches.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Alex Kilpatrick writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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