Upright exercise bikes can make it convenient to workout from the comfort of your own home. But how does one choose the best upright stationary bike? With these upright exercise bike reviews, we will examine five of the top choices. I hope this will help you choose the best upright exercise bike for you.
My choice for the best upright stationary bike is the Assault AirBike Classic
5 Of The Best Upright Stationary Bikes
- Assault AirBike Classic – Rated 96/100: 1,044 reviews
- Exercise Bike, DMASUN Indoor Cycling Bike Stationary, Comfortable Seat Cushion, Multi – grips Handlebar, Heavy Flywheel Upgraded Version (Black) – Rated 94/100: 2,300 reviews
- MaxKare Magnetic Exercise Bikes Stationary Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Bike with High Weight Capacity Adjustable Magnetic Resistance w/LCD Monitor – Rated 92/100: 688 reviews
- Schwinn Airdyne AD7 Bike – Rated 90/100 based on 1,805 reviews
- Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Bike with 44 lb Flywheel and Large Device Holder, Black, Model Number: SF-B1805 – Rated 90/100: 1,240 reviews
What are the advantages/benefits of upright exercise bikes?
- Upright Exercise Bikes tend to take up less space than recumbent bikes
- Your position while riding an upright exercise bike is more like riding a road or mountain bike
- People training for races or longer rides may find their buttocks will get more used to bike seats by using upright exercise bikes
- Researchers found “the rectus femoris muscle demonstrated greater activity during upright pedaling” when compared to recumbent pedaling
Exercise Bikes Tend To Be Great For People Who Are:
- Wanting to lose weight in the comfort of their home
- Intimidated by or unable to go the gym
- Excited to enjoy a variety of workouts with one piece of equipment at home
- Wanting to read or watch TV while working out
- Looking to improve their health and fitness
- Planning to strengthen and tone their legs or glutes
- Committed to stay in or get in prime shape
- Seeking a low-impact way to get a work out in without unnecessary joint pain
- Looking for a gentle way to improve the strength and mobility of their legs and knees
- Training for an event
- Hoping for an alternative to running
- Seeking to improve their ability to step up, sit, or stand
- Needing a safer alternative to riding a bike outside
- Following their doctors advice to use an exercise bike daily
- Ready to rehabilitate after an injury or surgery
In his study involving 12 participants, Dr. Jay Cho et al. found that reading comprehension and typing speeds were not affected while pedaling at low to moderate intensities.
Do you have problems with your knees?
Exercise bikes may be a great way to rehab knees. Exercise bikes could also be great for helping to keep one’s knees strong, mobile, and limber.
In the Scandinavian Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, Dr. Mats Ericson, Ph. D. explains that cycling is a useful “exercise in the rehabilitation of patients with injuries to the knee.”
Dr. Ericson also mentions that exercise bikes might be especially useful for those with injuries to the “anterior cruciate ligament” [ACL and] “medial collateral ligament” (MCL).
Exercise bikes can also help improve peoples’ ability to step up, sit, and stand.
How does one choose the best upright stationary bike?
Which types of seats are most comfortable?
When looking for the best upright exercise bike for you, It is important to be realistic based on your desired level of commitment. To illustrate, an overzealous fitness extremist might preach that bike seats must hurt. “If you aren’t willing to suffer, don’t even bother!”
Try not to let such advice convince you that having a comfortable seat means that you cannot get an effective work out in. To illustrate, my wife, Megan, and I pedalled our bikes from Calgary to San Francisco. We then went to India and cycled for another two months. While some may preach that bike seats are supposed to be uncomfortable, I have found that I am less likely to be consistent with my indoor cycling routine if I am in pain.
If you find the seat is comfortable, you will likely want to use it more often and for longer periods. This will help you improve your cardiovascular fitness and burn more calories.
Choosing a seat can be challenging because people vary in their preferences. To find a seat that will fit you, consider the types of bike seats you have found comfortable in the past. Was it a larger, wide and cushy seat that you enjoyed – or did you prefer a narrower, firmer seat.
To illustrate, some might say I have a larger bottom. I find bigger, cushier seats far more comfortable than the smaller, more solid seats. People with smaller bottoms may find compact seats more comfortable. For instance, larger seats might rub against their thighs.
If you have never found a bike seat comfortable, you might consider a recumbent exercise bike. The style of seats on many recumbent bikes are more like the seat you find on a chair than bike seats.
Along with the seat, you will also want to look for an exercise bike that has a range of resistance levels. This will help you continue to challenge yourself as you improve your fitness.
The first exercise bike I bought provided very little resistance. I immediately sold the bike because I wanted one that had more tension. The next bike provided more resistance and allowed for more intense sessions without having to pedal as fast as on the easier settings.
How do you find an exercise bike that fits you?
It is important to find an exercise bike that will fit you. Are there others in your home who will want to use the exercise bike? If yes, you may want to find a bike that adjusts well and will likely fit the people who are also going to be using it
Many exercise bikes boast a wide variety of heights in their advertisements. The challenge is that they may not fit all heights mentioned in a comfortable way.
Another important thing to consider is how much weight the exercise bike can support. There are a wide variety of options that support up to 300lbs. For people over 300lbs, there are still many great options. For example, the Exerpeutic Gold Heavy Duty Foldable Exercise Bike with 400 lbs Weight Capacity might be a good option.
What attributes should I look for in an upright stationary bike?
When looking for the best upright stationary bike it is important to consider your needs, ‘musts,’ and goals
If you are looking to get some gentle cardio a few times a week you may not need all the features that a triathlete is looking for.
Do you want a bike that is quiet and easy to store?
A person living in a small apartment may want a light, folding, portable exercise bike. Many of the more advanced exercise bikes weigh 100lbs or more and are much more difficult to move and store.
Additionally, many exercise bikes with magnetic resistance are extremely quiet. These can be great for people living with roommates, other tenants, sleeping babies, or thin walls.
Bikes with other types of resistance can provide a wider range of tension but are often noisier. These bikes are often great for athletes and people looking to consistently push their limits. Especially, if they do not have to worry about bothering others with the sound
If you would prefer to keep your exercise bike out in the open so that you will use it more often, you may not care if it folds or stores easily. A heavier bike with more program options might better suit what your needs.
Why do some people prefer exercise bikes with programs?
Being able to follow pre-set programs on your exercise bike can be a great way to keep yourself challenged. You might also find that programs help keep you from becoming bored or stagnant in your fitness routine.
I remember trying to do high interval training from home without an exercise bike. I started using my mini-trampoline but that shook the entire house. Next, I ran my stairs as hard as I could. That also shook the whole house. An exercise bike with a pre-programmed HIIT routine would have been much more convenient and less annoying!
There are many exercise bikes that encourage you to move your arms too. For example, the Assault AirBike Classic has handles that move similar to an elliptical. This can be a great way to burn extra calories by moving your arms. Many people also find that it feels easier to burn the same amount of calories when their arms are moving as well as their legs.
What other features might be nice in an exercise bike?
Some people appreciate exercise bikes that include built-in fans. These can be nice when you are sweating hard and would like a little cool air flowing.
Many exercise bikes also come with tablet or phone holders. These may be nice if you are wanting to work from home or if you would like some entertainment during your ride.
Water bottle holders can be another convenient detail – especially if they are in a handy location
What’s the best way to use an upright exercise bike?
The American College of Sports and Medicine states working out for 30 minutes, five days a week, can ead to positive health benefits. In order to burn fat, they suggest exercising for 60-90 minutes five days a week (livestrong.com)
Before jumping into an intense cardio session, it is a good idea to warm up first.
You will also want to make sure your seat is the proper height. Your seat is properly adjusted when you can place your heal on the pedal in the furthest position and extend your leg until it is straight.
Another way to think of it is “when the pedal is at the lowest position, your leg should be almost, but not quite, straight.”
You will also want to adjust the handle bars – especially, if you are taller or shorter than average. When holding the bar, ideally your arms will extend out at shoulder level.
When riding the bike, you don’t want to be hunching or rounding your back. “Keep your chest up, shoulders back and down, ears in line with your shoulders, and belly button drawn in.”
Aim to pedal with the balls of your feet and heels. Pedaling mostly with your toes can lead to painful calf and foot cramps
Below is a short 2-minute video that will help you adjust your bike to fit you best:
Do upright bikes provide an effective workout?
Many people argue that upright exercise bikes provide a better workout than recumbent exercise bikes. This is still up for debate. For example, in one study, Researchers saw no significant difference between the level of activation of muscle groups between recumbent and upright exercise bikes.
Precautions for using upright stationary bikes
If you are shorter or tend to struggle with balance, please take extra care when getting on and off the exercise bike.
Some people place a stool or chair beside the bike so they have something to hold on to when mounting and dismounting.
Many people have rode the same exercise bike for thousands of miles over a decade or more. Others have found that their bike has stopped functioning in a short time. For this reason, you may want to consider purchasing additional warranty for your exercise bike.
Upright Exercise Bike Reviews:
Which Is The Best Upright Stationary Bike?
Assault AirBike Classic – Rated 96/100: 1044 Reviews
Best Upright Stationary Bike?
- The Assault AirBike comes with 20 sealed ball bearings. This makes for an especially smooth ride. One customer described it as ‘butter-smooth.’
- This bike provides high levels of Air resistance. Even the fittest people will consistently be able to push their limits on this bike. Many people have found that this bike keeps them coming back where they have become bored on stationary bikes.
- The computer provides up to 7 programs which may be helpful for keeping you motivated. After a stressful day at work, coming home for a high interval intensity program may be a good way to decompress.
- The AirBike is durable and works for people of many shapes and sizes. It supports people up to 350 pounds. The six way adjustable seat may also be nice if there are others wanting to use this bike.
- The monitor does not have a backlight.
- Some people may find it to be a bit too noisy. There are definitely quieter options
Exercise Bike, DMASUN Indoor Cycling Bike Stationary
Rated 94/100: 2,300 Reviews
Best Upright Exercise Bike?
- If you have worried that your bike might arrive damaged, you probably do not need to worry with the Dmasun. Each bike is made of Alloy steel, has a 40lb flywheel, and is tested 138 times before being shipped. It also comes with a warranty of 12 months
- Customers have enjoyed being able to place a 10’ tablet in the holder without blocking their view of the LCD display.
- Many people have found that riding this Dmasun is more similar to riding a road or mountain bike. This might be great if you enjoy standing up to simulate pedaling uphill.
- The resistance levels are not numbered unlike other bikes. Customers have found that adjusting the resistance takes some getting used to.
Best Upright Stationary Bike?
- This MaxKare bike supports people up to 260 lbs. It is also designed to fit people between 5’ and 6’ tall. One person mentioned that she appreciates that this bike fits everyone in her family.
- Many customers appreciate the value provided for the price of this bike. For example, many find this bike is of similar quality to spin bikes in gyms but for a much lower price.
- This bike is known to be very quiet. People have found it is quieter than their breathing after pedaling hard.
- The tablet/phone holder can be great for those looking to work from home. It can also make it convenient for you to watch something entertaining while sweating away.
- The water bottle holder is placed in a convenient location. Unlike some other bikes, the water bottle stays secured when getting on or off the bike.
- This bike supports people up to 260lbs. There are many other options for people who weigh more than this.
- The spring-loaded seat can take some getting used to. People who feel less stable may find it feels a bit too wobbly. Others have found the seat to be more uncomfortable than other bikes.
Best Upright Exercise Bike?
- The Schwinn Airdyne AD7 supports people weighing up to 350 lbs. If you are wanting a bike that will support you now and as you shed some pounds, this might be a great choice.
- The wind resistance provides a wide range of challenges. This might be great if you train hard or want a bike that will continue to challenge you even at your fittest.
- The unique handles on this bike allow you to move your arms while riding. The extra movement can be a great way to burn more calories. Compared to bikes without this feature, you may find yourself melting more fat without feeling like you exerted much more effort.
- If you like interval training this bike comes with 3 program options. This bike might be great for high intensity interval training at home. Not having to mess around with a stopwatch while being able to quietly push yourself to the max is something I would really appreciate. Especially compared to my trampoline and running sessions that make my basement renter wonder if the house is falling down.
- While the wind resistance is great for a challenge, some people find it to be noisier than other bikes. The wind might also move dust or papers around.
- This bike does not come with a tablet or phone holder. Many people have bought holders or rigged other ways so they can enjoy a show while working out.
Best Upright Stationary Bike?
- Of all the bikes I reviewed, the Sunny Health bike has the heaviest flywheel – it is 44lbs. This might be great for those looking for the smooth, natural feel that outdoor bikes tend to provide.
- The durable steel frame of the B1850 will hold up to 300 lbs.
- The magnetic resistance provides a nice range of tension and it is extremely quiet. If you happen to use Pelaton or an app that monitors your heart rate, you might also appreciate the micro-adjustable resistance. Enthusiasts have found they are able to keep their heart rates in surprisingly narrow zones.
- This bike also comes with a tablet holder and a water bottle holder.
- Some people might appreciate more markings on the resistance knob in order to easily set the resistance to the desired level.
- This bike is built to last. As such, it weighs 125lbs and can be a challenge to carry or move around. The wheels do make it more portable.
Which Bike Wins In The Category For Best Upright Stationary Bike In 2021?
The Assault AirBike Classic wins my vote for best upright exercise bike.
Not only does it encourage you to move your arms while your ride, I also really like the wide range of resistance, durability, and program options.
Based on my research, the Assault AirBike Classic also received some of the highest ratings I have ever seen for an exercise bike of any kind.