House & Beyond is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
Features to consider when choosing an upright exercise bike
As you can imagine, it is not an easy task to find a great upright exercise bike. There are lots of different models to choose from, so you need to keep lots of different factors in mind before you make your final decision, as well as with any other exercise equipment, as for example rowing machines or treadmills. In this section, we will go through all of these important factors in detail, so that you can purchase your new bike with confidence.
One of the first things that you will want to consider for your new bike is how much it should weigh, especially if you are going to be keeping it upstairs. The last thing you want is to get a model that is so heavy that you cannot get it up the stairs when it is delivered. Of course, heavier models are much more durable and well-balanced when compared to lightweight bikes. The advantage of having a lighter bike, aside from its maneuverability, is that it will usually cost a lot less.
If you are looking for a heavier bike for added durability and stability, then the Schwinn A10 and the Nautilus U616 are both great options. These bikes are very stable and very durable, thanks to their additional bulk. Of course, if you are looking to save a bit of money and want to move your bike out of the way when it is not in use, then the Marcy NS-652 or the Exerpeutic Folding Exercise Bike are both great choices. These bikes are lightweight and easy to move, while still providing a good workout.
After you have settled on how much your bike should weigh, you need to figure out how large of a model you want. Before you even take this into consideration, however, you need to make sure to measure your room carefully to make certain what size of a space you have. That way, you can make sure that your bike will fit without making the room feel cramped. Again, the larger the bike, the more stable it will be for you while you are riding.
If you have a lot of space and you are looking for a bike that offers lots of stability, then the NordicTrack S22i is a good option. It has the widest base of all the different models on our list, which helps to make it feel extremely balanced. On the other hand, if space is tight in your home, then the Exerpeutic Folding Exercise Bike might be your best bet. This bike has a much smaller base, which makes it compact enough to fit in tighter spots. It can also be folded up when you are finished riding for easier storage.
The next thing that you need to consider after the measurements of your new bike is your own. If you are someone that has a larger frame, you need to make sure that you find a bike that is capable of holding your weight. You certainly don’t want to spend a ton of money on a bike, only to have it break down because it didn’t have the right weight capacity.
If you need a more durable bike with higher weight capacity, then the NordicTrack S22i or the Nautilus U616 would probably fit the bill. Both of these bikes can hold up to 300 pounds, which makes them great for anyone that has a larger frame. Of course, these bikes are a bit heavier in their own right, so you might want to get something like the Marcy NS-652, which is much lighter, but can still hold up to 250 pounds with ease.
Programs and resistance levels
Something else to take under careful consideration is how programmable your new bike is and whether it comes equipped with different resistance levels. Resistance levels change how difficult it is to pedal the bike. Obviously, the harder the resistance, the more calories you will be able to burn when you are riding your bike. This will also make it more difficult, however, so it is best to get a bike with a wide range of levels, like the Nautilus U616, which comes with 25 different levels of resistance.
As far as adjusting the resistance levels, there are two ways that you can do this. You can either adjust them manually or utilize a program that adjusts the resistance level for you. Obviously, the more programs available to you, the more customization you can get with your workout. If you are looking to really step up your exercise routine, then the NordicTrack S22i is a great choice, as it has thousands of different programs you can follow.
Another component of any good exercise bike that you will want to think about before you make your purchase is the display. Displays can vary, however, so you need to know what is important to you. The more basic displays are only going to give you the important measures from your workout, such as heart rate, distance, and time. Some other displays, on the other hand, can bring you more in-depth analysis, as well as motivating videos or scenes made to make it look as though you are riding on a real bike path.
Regardless of what you want out of your display, you need to make sure that you get one that is large and bright enough so that you can easily see the figures for your ride. The last thing that you want is to get a model with a dark display that is too small to read. By getting one that is nice and large, you will be able to keep yourself on track as you go for your daily ride.
If you decide to get some of the more advanced biking systems, like the Nautilus U616 or the NordicTrack S22i, you can connect your phone to your bike to record your workouts. This is done through different apps, with some being provided by the manufacturing company and some being second-party apps. The good thing about this system is that it will allow you to keep very detailed records of your workouts.
The bad thing about using these apps is that they are not always free. While the companies might offer a free subscription for a period of time, you will eventually have to pay to keep using the app to keep track of your workout. While these apps are certainly beneficial, you should decide if you are up for the extra monetary commitment before you make your final purchase. The last thing that you want is to be stuck using and paying for a service that you don’t really want or isn’t all that beneficial to your exercise regimen.
If you have ever ridden a regular bike, then you know how much of an impact the seat can have on how effectively you can ride. If the seat isn’t in the right position, you are not going to be very comfortable while you are working out, which will not only limit the effectiveness of the exercise but could lead to an injury if you are not careful.
Thankfully, all of the different models on our listing have seats that can be adjusted. These adjustments will allow you to move the seat up or down to better suit your body. That way, you will be able to find the right position to keep you riding your bike as quickly, comfortably, and safely, as possible so that you get your best possible workout.
Something else that will have a direct effect on your how well you can use your new bike are the handlebars. While riding an upright exercise bike, you need to hold onto these bars just like you would on a normal bicycle so that you can maintain your balance and use the bike effectively. These bars come in three different arrangements, which have the handles on the side, front, or both. You need to be sure that you get a bike with the arrangement that works best for your riding style.
Your best bet is to get an upright bike that has a hybrid style handlebar. That way, you get the best of both worlds so that you can switch your hand position to match your riding style. When you are riding at a more leisurely pace, the side section of the handles will provide the right amount of stability. When you are riding more quickly, however, holding closer to the center will give you the grip, you need to go all out.
When you are making a big purchase, whether it be for a new stove, fridge, or exercise bike, you need to make sure that your look for a good warranty. That way, you will be covered should anything on your new item fail through normal use. You want to be certain, however, to read through the warranty information as carefully as possible before you make your purchase.
Even though all of the bikes on our list are from great companies, it is still a good idea to look at the warranty information as carefully as possible. Many manufacturers will offer a tiered system of warranty that covers different parts for different amounts of time. By reading this information as closely as possible, you will be able to have a better understanding of what is and what isn’t covered should anything break down on you prematurely.