Extremely durable with features that make it possible to perform comprehensive workouts with bike and floor-based exercises. Large touchscreen monitor is 21.5 inches and is sweat-resistant. Has a heart rate monitor. Company provides access to trainers with paid membership for $29 per month. Available in two colors.
Quite expensive, so it will be out of reach for some shoppers.
Features 29 total programs: 12 profile, 9 heart-rate control, 4 custom, 2 fitness tests, 1 recovery test, 1 quick start. Offers 25 resistance levels. LCD display with media shelf. In-console speakers with MP3 input, USB charging and fan. Perimeter-weighted flywheel allows easy start-up and smooth pedaling. High-inertia drive system.
Some report computer-system glitches that stop workouts mid-cycle.
Comes with a built-in JRNY experience dashboard on a 16" or 22" touchscreen. Offers 100 resistance levels and has a Bluetooth heart-rate arm band. Comes with 3-pound dumbbells, and users say they're located in an accessible place. Workout experience is highly immersive and is appreciated by seasoned riders.
Membership required to access JRNY. Not ideal for beginners or infrequent users.
Smooth, magnetic resistance for a comfortable ride. Equipped with a full-color backlit LCD display, media rack, and Bluetooth LE heart rate armband. Designed to work with the Peloton and Zwift apps and enables class streaming.
Some complaints that the water bottle holder is not well-placed and is easy to knock your legs against.
Affordable. Large and easy-to-read LCD screen. Comfortable seat. Equipped with 8 resistance levels that adjust via an easy-to-reach knob. Simple to fold down for storage. Offers near-silent operation. Padded handlebars. One of few affordable models equipped with handlebar pulse grips for accurate heartrate monitoring.
Even at its highest setting, its seat may be too short for taller riders.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Cardio workouts are a critical component of a healthy lifestyle, but activities like running can be hard on the joints. Cycling, however, is relatively easy on the knees, making an upright exercise bike an excellent addition to your home gym.
Upright exercise bikes are similar to street bikes in that they offer a traditional riding position without back support. A display or console in front keeps track of your workout stats so you can monitor how hard you’re working.
Perhaps best of all, upright exercise bikes are more affordable than many other types of exercise bikes. For casual users and those new to exercise bikes, an upright bike is an excellent choice. Our buying guide will help you determine what to look for in an upright exercise bike seat, pedals, handlebars, and resistance system. We have also included some specific upright exercise bike recommendations to make your shopping as easy as possible.
The nature of an upright exercise bike seat determines how comfortable it is to ride. Most upright bikes feature a larger seat with significant cushioning, but some low-end models have smaller, less comfortable seats.
Most seats are vertically adjustable so you get the right height. Some are also horizontally adjustable so you get the right positioning. Adjustability contributes to better posture while exercising.
Upright exercise bikes have a few different types of pedals. Low-end models tend to have bare pedals on which you simply place your feet. Others have a cage or loop on the pedals to help keep your feet in place. The latter are usually the most comfortable.
Upright exercise bikes typically have a tall handlebar post, resulting in an upright position when riding. Some have handlebars with a multi-grip design for flexibility. The handlebars themselves usually aren’t adjustable, but you can find some high-end models that allow you to move them vertically and horizontally.
Upright exercise bikes provide resistance as you’re pedaling to give you a better workout. Two main types of bike resistance are strap-based resistance and mechanical resistance.
Bikes with strap-based resistance feature a flywheel with a strap attached. When you tighten the strap, the bike’s resistance increases. Strap-based resistance bikes are usually more affordable, but they don’t hold up as well to repeated use.
Bikes with mechanical resistance feature pads at the top or sides of a flywheel. You can tighten the pads to increase clamp pressure and resistance. Mechanical resistance bikes can be noisy, though, and the pads can break down over time.
Number of resistance levels
In addition to the type of resistance system a bike has, pay attention to the number of resistance levels it offers. Some bikes only have three resistance levels; others have as many as 100. The more resistance levels offered, the more control you’ll have over the intensity of your workouts.
As mentioned, upright exercise bikes feature a display or console. This houses the bike’s controls and tracks workout data. At minimum, most exercisers want a bike that tracks pedaling speed, calories burned, distance, and workout duration. Advanced bikes may include additional workout stats.
Low-end bikes generally have basic digital displays, but many models have easy-to-read LCD displays. Some high-end bikes have a touchscreen display for enhanced ease of use. If you opt for an upright exercise bike with a touchscreen, make sure it’s sweat-resistant so you needn’t worry about damaging it during a workout.
Some upright exercise bikes include a heart rate monitor. Most have a contract monitor that only tracks your heart rate while you’re touching a specific area of the handlebars or console. However, some have a chest strap monitor that measures your heart rate without you having to touch anything. Bikes with heart rate chest monitors are usually more expensive.
It’s essential to check an upright exercise bike’s maximum user weight. Many can hold up to 300 pounds, but some top out at about 250 pounds.
Some high-end upright exercise bikes with a touchscreen display are WiFi-connected, allowing you to stream classes or training sessions. You’ll pay more for these models, so consider the importance of this feature when shopping. If you want to take your workouts to the next level, it’s a feature worth considering.
A media rack in the console allows you to peruse a book, tablet, or phone while you’re cycling. With this feature, you can easily read or watch videos while you exercise to keep yourself entertained.
Some upright exercise bikes have built-in speakers in the console, allowing you to connect to your phone or tablet and stream your favorite workout music to keep you motivated while exercising.
Staying hydrated while you exercise is important. For this reason, many upright exercise bikes feature a water bottle holder in a spot where you can quickly grab your drink.
When choosing a location for your exercise bike, consider how warm the area gets. Basements are ideal locations because they tend to stay cool in warm weather.
Bike shorts: Louis Garneau Fit Sensor 5.5 Short 2
For cycling, many people find bike shorts to be their gear of choice. We love this pair from Louis Garneau because they offer a slim fit and a wide waistband that won’t pinch your belly.
Sports water bottle: Hydro Flask Water Bottle
To keep on top of hydration, it helps to have a durable sports water bottle nearby. This one from Hydro Flask is a favorite because it’s easy to clean and keeps water cold for a long time.
Inexpensive: The most affordable upright exercise bikes are basic models with strap-based resistance. Fewer resistance levels are typically offered, and the digital display is likely to track only basic stats like distance, time, and calories burned. Expect to pay between $60 and $300 for a bike like this.
Mid-range: Between $300 and $900, upright exercise bikes offer a wider range of features. Some have strap-based resistance; others have mechanical resistance. These bikes typically offer at least 25 resistance levels, and many also feature LCD displays and heart rate monitoring. Some are WiFi-connected.
Expensive: The most expensive upright exercise bikes are high-tech, feature-packed models. Nearly all have mechanical resistance and as many as 100 resistance levels. For $900 to $3,000, you can also expect color touchscreen displays that allow you to stream cycling classes or movies.
A. An upright bike usually has a wider seat, which most users find comfortable. The console is generally wider, too, and the pedals stop moving when you still your feet. A spin bike is designed to be a lot like a road bike: the pedals keep moving even when your feet stop. It’s used for indoor cycling training and fast-paced spin classes.
A. An upright exercise bike is a great choice for many people who are new to exercise. It can provide an excellent cardio workout without putting too much stress on your joints. It’s also easy to control your workout’s intensity, so you can challenge yourself as your fitness level increases.
A. Nearly all exercise bike manufacturers provide some type of warranty protection for their upright bikes. Many offer at least one year of warranty coverage from the date of purchase, but some offer different coverage for each part of the bike. For example, you might find a bike with 10-year warranty protection on the frame but just a year of protection on the electronics.