House & Beyond is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
What does it take to get the best upright exercise bike? Is it the capacity, number of resistance levels, or the programmability? Though many companies claim to make the best upright exercise bike to help you get into amazing shape, lots of their products won’t hold up to the test of time.
While we were putting this review together, we first looked at the bike’s sturdiness and weight capacity (it should be high enough) so that you can determine if you and other members of your family can ride on it safely. Next, we considered the overall dimensions and weight of each bike – you need the one that will fit in your space and is easy to move if necessary. We also looked for models with a high number of resistance levels and programs, since these will decide how versatile and intense your workouts will be. This careful research has allowed us to put together a comprehensive review of the best upright exercise bikes, so if you want to know which models surpass others in this or that aspect, read on.
Warranty: 3-year limited on frame; 1-year on mechanical parts; 1-year on electronics; 60-day on parts and labor
More features: 7 preset programs; USB port; media tray
If you are looking for the best overall upright exercise bike, then this is the model we recommend you check out first. For starters, this bike has an extremely solid base. This means a smooth ride, which will allow you to pedal at high rates of speed comfortably. This larger base will also allow you to stand up in the pedals for when you are going all out, which will let you burn even more calories.
This machine is built to last. It is made with very durable components that give it a heavier feel. The seat and handle supports are made with thick metal, which will help them to last a good long time without breaking down. This thicker design also gives this bike a higher weight capacity of 275 lbs., making it an ideal choice for anyone with a larger than average frame.
The bike also comes equipped with 7 different preset programs. These programs will automatically adjust the resistance during your ride, which will let you concentrate on getting a great workout in as seamlessly as possible. The bike has 8 different resistance levels, so you can rest assured that you can vary your workout enough to burn as many calories as possible.
The only thing that you will need to keep in mind with this otherwise stupendous bike is that the display is tricky to read in a darker room. The screen is not backlit, which makes reading it harder if the room is not bright enough. Thankfully, this can easily be fixed by making sure the room has enough light so that you can see the detailed readout of your workout progress.
More features: foldable design; adjustable seat height; LCD display
While you might think that you need to spend a ton of money to get a great upright exercise bike, that doesn’t have to be the case. That is especially true if you go for this model, which is priced at a very reasonable and affordable level. Even though this bike is on the cheaper side, it is still a quality product. It is designed to be a compact workout companion that won’t take up a lot of room in your home. It has a smaller yet sturdy base that makes riding comfortable and effective.
Perhaps the best thing about this bike, however, is that it takes space-saving to a whole new level. When you are finished riding, you can easily and quickly fold up this bike to store out of the way. That way, you will never have to cramp up any of your rooms with a permanent piece of equipment.
This bike is also quite lightweight. It weighs a little less than 40 pounds, which makes it easy to move from place to place. Even if you want to store this bike upstairs and use it downstairs, you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting that done thanks to its lightweight design.
The one thing that you will need to keep in mind with this bike is that the seat is not the most comfortable one on the market. The seat, thanks to its smaller design, might cause discomfort while you are riding. Thankfully, if this is the case, you can purchase a different seat or a seat cover to provide more padding. Of course, this will add a bit to the overall purchase price.
If you are in the market for a smaller bike that can still support a larger framed individual, then this is a great model to check out. While the compact profile of this model will barely take up any space in your home or apartment, it is still able to support up to 300 pounds, making it a great combination of space-saving and durability. Add in the fact that this bike is also foldable for even more space-saving and you can begin to understand why this is the best compact upright exercise bike on the market today.
Something else that really helps to set this model apart from other compact bikes is its seat. While many smaller bikes have a small and rather uncomfortable seat, this model’s is quite large. This larger design helps to relieve any discomfort you might experience while you are riding since it helps to spread your weight over a larger surface while you are riding.
This is also a very lightweight bicycle, which shouldn’t come as any big surprise since it is so compact. It only weighs about 40 pounds overall, which makes it very easy to maneuver around your home.
The only drawback that we found with this particular unit is its pulse readouts. While there are sensors in the handlebars that are meant to measure your pulse rate while you are riding, they don’t always give an accurate interpretation of your actual pulse. Thankfully, this doesn’t affect the overall quality of the bike or limit its usefulness for getting a good workout in.
Warranty: 10-year limited on frame; 2-year on mechanical parts; 1-year on parts and labor
More features: 22-inch interactive HD touchscreen display; 16,000+ on-demand workouts
Sometimes, when you are looking for a piece of exercise equipment, you simply want the best of the best. While some others want the bare minimum, you prefer to go for broke and have all of the bells and whistles. If that sounds like you, then this is going to be the best bike to fit your needs.
First off, it has the highest weight limit of all the different models we looked into, as it can hold up to 350 lbs. This very high weight limit is thanks to its large and durable design. No matter how much you use this machine, it shouldn’t break down on you any time soon, and even if it does, it comes with a 10-year warranty to help you keep it running in top form.
This machine comes equipped with a very large touchscreen that will provide you access to a ton of different workout regimens. In fact, if you sign up to use the provided app, you can access up to 16,000 different workouts. While these workouts are not live, they are exciting and worthwhile. In fact, they will automatically adjust the bike’s resistance level for you during the program, alternating between 24 different levels to give you tons of workout options.
Perhaps the only drawback to this otherwise wonderful machine is that it is very difficult to put together. This shouldn’t come as too big of a surprise, as this is a very advanced exercise bike. Still, you need to be prepared for a lengthy assembly process should you choose to get this model before you can get riding.
More features: 24 pre-installed programs; pulse sensors; belt-drive; bottle holder
One of the biggest issues that lots of tall folks have is finding an exercise bike that can accommodate their height. Many compact bikes are much too small, while other larger ones might be too big for the space you have in mind. This bike is the best of both worlds. It has a relatively compact base, but can be adjusted to fit a much taller individual. It is also quite heavy, which helps to keep it in place, even when a taller person’s leverage is being exerted on it.
The seat for this model is also quite comfortable. It is nice and thick and wide enough that you shouldn’t feel any discomfort while you are riding. Unfortunately, if you set the seat as high as possible, it does tend to wobble a bit if you are riding as fast as you can. Thankfully, if you just tighten up the screws holding the base in place a bit more, you can alleviate most of the wobble.
This bike also comes equipped with a number of built-in programs to help give you a challenging and enjoyable ride. You can select from 24 different preplanned rides to help get the kind of exercise you desire. The pulse sensors and other information on the easy to read screen will keep you informed as you ride so that you can keep track of your progress with ease. You can also choose from 16 different resistance levels to help make the ride more or less challenging for you.
Warranty: 10-year limited on frame; 3-year on mechanical parts; 3-year on electronics; 1-year on parts and labor
More features: Bluetooth connectivity; USB port; inbuilt speakers
If you are someone that likes a lot of interactive content built into your exercise equipment, then this might be a good option for you. This bike can be connected to your phone through an app that allows you to keep track of your rides so that you have a better understanding of your fitness journey. This app also allows you to choose from different ride footage to help you enjoy your rides as you virtually travel through a variety of different locales.
This model also has a very sturdy base and heavier overall weight that keeps it from wobbling while you are riding. This larger design also helps this model to be quite durable, and a long warranty backs up the product against any malfunctions over the years.
Even if you choose to avoid the app, you can still connect your phone or music device to play your favorite music while you ride. This machine also has some built-in stereo speakers that allow you to listen to your music comfortably as you are exercising.
The only thing to keep in mind with this particular bike is that it comes with a very short power cord. While this shouldn’t be too big of a deal if you have an outlet near to where you want to use the bike, it could spell trouble if you have an older home with limited outlets. The company warns against using extension cords, so be sure you have an outlet that is close enough so that you can keep it plugged in safely.
Why are we impressed?
High weight limit
What negatives must you be aware of?
Things to Consider
In this section, we will go through everything that you need to know to find the best upright exercise bike to get in the best shape of your life. We have also answered several frequently asked questions, so be sure to read through those as well if you need any further information.
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.
Whether or not you can use your new exercise bike without plugging it in will depend on the functions that you want to access. If you are looking to utilize your bike with a pre-programmed resistance regime, then you will need to have the bike plugged in. On the other hand, if you want to only utilize the resistance without the programs, you should be able to get by without plugging in the bike. Some other models only rely on batteries to power their displays, so you won’t ever need to plug them in. You will, however, need to replace the batteries every once in a while to keep the bike working correctly.
While some companies will offer to assemble the bike at your home for a fee, they will not arrive fully assembled. Thankfully, the assembly process is not that difficult, though it does become more complex with more advanced options. If you are not all that handy, it might be a good idea to get someone to help you put the bike together correctly when it arrives. That way, the two of you will be able to figure out how to assemble the bike so that it works the way it was meant to.
Upright models are especially good for taller folks. Recumbent bikes and standard spinning models might make someone on the taller side feel cramped due to their design. Upright models can be adjusted so that a taller individual can find the perfect seat height for their needs so that they can exercise both effectively and comfortably.
As you would expect from a great company like Schwinn, the Schwinn A10 is a great bike. In fact, we think it just might be the best overall upright exercise bike on the market today. It is easy to assemble and lots of fun to ride, all while being lightweight and sturdy enough to provide you with years of great rides. We highly recommend you check this bike out!
Of course, if you are looking to get the best value exercise bike, then the Marcy NS-652 is a great bike. Even though this model isn’t the most expensive, it can still provide you with a great ride, all while being lightweight and compact.
If you think that the best upright exercise bike is a compact model, then the Exerpeutic Folding Exercise Bike is going to be right up your alley. This bike is compact, lightweight and can be folded up when it is not in use, which is a great way to save lots of space.