The Best Upright Exercise Bikes
Looking for the Best Stationary and Upright Exercise Bikes
Most people that purchase an exercise machine of any kind do so because they really want to stay healthy or get healthy. Stationary and upright exercise bikes offer some of the best low-impact workout possibilities that can be used by women and men of most ages.
Upright exercise bikes have been a popular workout for the last several years and as a result, the choices available in exercise bikes makes it really difficult to find one that works for you.
After considering more than 50 different stationary, upright bikes, our #1 recommendation is easily the Fitdesk FDX 2.0 Desk Exercise Bike. With that said, we did narrow the field to four best bikes that cover different preferences and budgets. (Check out our Comparison Chart for more information)
*Note: Because you have to lean forward to use this equipment, those over 50 and those with arthritis, knee or back issues could be positioning their body in a way that could cause injury. In this case, you should be looking at recumbent exercise bike instead.
HOW WE CHOOSE THE TOP FOUR
Regardless of cost, features or brand, the true test of a good bike is demonstrated by how often real customers use it.
One of the most frequent comments for lack of use was that buyers had too many other things to do during the week. Typically, the complaints revolved around being forced to stop using their computers while riding the bike. With that we also learned that most of those who purchase these bikes are white collar workers— either in offices, corporations or schools.
The next most common reason for not using the bike was that it was too bulky or heavy to put away and take out every time that they wanted to use it.
- Women were annoyed by the machines cluttering their living room or taking up space in their bedrooms.
- Men didn’t like having to drag it to a closet or put it in a space where they didn’t see it to remind them to use it.
The third highest criticism was that one that they had to have two instead of one bike to meet both their needs. Men and women agreed that they wanted one bike that could be adjustable for either of them.
Taking the negatives into consideration, we developed an overall plan for rating the various upright exercise bikes on the market.
We went to several different companies that verify customer purchases in order to provide reviews for those searching for the products offered. We looked closely at the pros and cons, top-rated reviews and lowest rated reviews, seeking out what customers actually said.
It is important to know that each of the bikes in the winner’s circle have at least a maximum user weight of 250-lbs. Using the qualities explained below, we scored each from on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the best.
These are the factors we used to weigh our final decision:
- Practicality - This category encompasses everything from whether or not the machine is practical for the maximum user weight recommended by the manufacturer to how easy it is to put it away to the accessibility of control knobs, settings and extra features.
- User-friendly – Convenience is the byword in this classification. Questions such as, “Is it easy to assemble, store, fold up or put away?” and “Do the features address your needs in a realistic way?” We examine the number of extra features that are included at no extra charge and whether these are ‘user-friendly’ features that will encourage the hesitant exerciser to use it on a regular basis.
- Durability - How well made a given upright exercise bike is, has a lot to do with whether it is made to last for several years or whether it will need to be replaced within the first 12-months. We gave a lower score to those bikes that had plastic casings or aluminum frames.
- Weight & Footprint –The size of the space that the bike takes up in a room is its footprint. The larger the footprint, the more surrounding space is needed to get on and off the bike. The more it weighs, the more difficult it may be to manage. This is, however, not always true, which is why a lot of weight was given to buyer’s reviews.
- Cost – While the price of a given bike is not the most important feature of a bike, it is essential as part of the final analysis. For example, if a bike is made cheaply and priced with $100 of a bike with similar features that is made of better materials, then we score it lower.
- Buyer Rating – We use all the ratings of actual purchasers provided mainly at Amazon, Sears and home shopping network sites averaged together to give you the best possible score overall.
FOUR UPRIGHT EXERCISE BIKES REVIEW
Below are the results of our comparisons and links to the reviews we gave them, based on the information used in our scoring system.
FITDESK FDX 2.0 DESK
SUNNY HEALTH &
EXERPEUTIC FOLDING MAGNETIC
MARCY MAG CYCLE
Support up to
Footprint Dimension (inches)
Weight & Footprint
Buyer Rating (from various retailer)
4.8 / 5
4.3 / 5
4.4 / 5
4.0 / 5
*Price is for reference purpose only. Actual price may vary.
FitDesk v2.0 Desk Exercise Bike with Massage Bar
- Durable: Built to Last with high quality gear box components for years of reliable operation
- Unique: Desk features non-slip surface, easy access drawer and massage rollers positioned to make typing while exercising comfortable
- Adjustable: Seat Back and Extender included allowing for upright and semi-recumbent use
- Space Saving: Quick lock folding frame is great for easy transport and storage
- Practical: Fits naturally into your daily routine, is the exercise bike you will actually use
It is vital to stress the fact that the bikes in this category are not for professional or high-intensity training. These bikes are for those of you that want to get a good cardio workout, strengthen arms, legs and torso but are either bored just pedaling along, looking out the window or are workaholics that want to multitask while exercising.
We placed practicality at the top because it is the single most important factor in choosing an upright exercise bike. The second criterion that was given the most importance was user-friendliness.
In some respects, these factors tend to overlap. What set the FitDesk FDX 2.0 Desk Exercise Bike above the rest of the competition was the outstanding attention to these two factors.
Let’s be honest! Any piece of exercise equipment that is not practical is hard to use, which makes it even more difficult to keep the average user interested.
Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike
- Indoor cycling bike with 40-pound flywheel
- Heavy-duty crank and smooth chain drive mechanism
- Fully adjustable seat and handlebars for comfort
- Adjustable resistance systems; transport wheels
- Supports up to 275 pounds; measures 20 x 46.5 x 48.5 inches (W x H x D)
- The left pedal needs to be screwed in counter clockwise
The Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike was the first runner-up in this competition. While in many respects it was quite practical, it really didn’t offer anything special in the user-friendly category. It’s pretty much a straightforward piece of equipment designed to do one thing: low-impact indoor biking.
Because of the way in which it is manufactured, it has a higher durability rating and will take the serious athlete’s routine better than the rest of these choices. The footprint is wider and the weight much greater than any of the other candidates. Because of the quality of manufacturing, the cost of the unit is a little bit on the high side. However, this is a bike that borders the entry-level and serious workout training.
Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike with Pulse
- WEIGHT CAPACITY: Up to 300 lbs
- SEATING COMFORT: Large seat cushion for people of any size, easily adjustable to fit anywhere from 5'3 inch to 6'1 inch users. HEART RATE: Hand Pulse Monitor
- Please tight the Screws/Bolts to avoid noise during pedaling.
- SPACE SAVER DESIGN: Folds for storage and can moved with the included transportation wheels
- TENSION RESISTANCE: An 8 level Magnetic Tension control system, allows the user to adjust the tension level for an easier or more difficult workout.
Third in best of show is the Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike. The reason for the 8.5 score in practicality is due to the “bio-metrics” as one verified purchaser put it. The brand describes this bike as providing the option of upright positioning or semi-recumbent use. However, there is no seat back to make it usable for the latter position.
Since the seat is not angled in a true upright fashion as you would find on a regular bicycle, the pedals are a bit far forward, creating a situation where full range-of-motion is difficult to achieve. Because the seat is wide and lacks contouring for the rear-end, it becomes uncomfortable more quickly than other seats do.
In addition, the width of the seat can cause chafing after 30-minutes of use in the higher settings. There are no frills or extras that can compare to our Number One place holder. However, users are very pleased with this bike’s stability, resistance settings and the price.
Marcy Upright Mag Bike
- Upright exercise bike with smooth magnetic resistance system
- 8 levels of preset resistance accommodates several fitness levels
- Large console display tracks time, distance, speed, and calories burned
- Counterbalanced pedals with adjustable foot straps; transport wheels
- Measures 31.5 x 48.75 x 18 inches (W x H x D) and weighs 43 pounds
The Marcy Upright Mag Cycle came in fourth. Marcy is a reliable brand and any issues that cause concern such as manufacturing flaws are handled with great respect by their customer care teams.
We scored it with at least 8’s in all categories. One of the best features offered by this bike is the pre-set resistance levels. One of the worst factors is the plastic gear box that reportedly breaks easily. Some users commented that the highest setting failed to produce enough tension but they also followed up on that statement, stating that they worked up a great sweat.
There is no sense in purchasing exercise equipment if you are not able to use it.
1.The steel frame and aluminum gear box create the necessary stability and toughness for daily use without fear of damage from normal activity. This doesn’t mean that you can take a hammer to it and expect it to come away dent-free.
2. The second highest rated characteristic that made this unit a practical standout is the seat that offers two different positions: upright or semi-recumbent. Users raved about the comfort of the seat and the addition of the seat back. A regular upright bike’s seat is positioned in such a way that forces you to lean forward to reach the handlebars. For those with physical difficulties that desperately need a low-impact exercise bike, the sitting position can damage their knees and put unnecessary stress on the spine. The adjustable seat height is designed for people 5-feet to 6-feet tall.
3. The next main features that we gave high marks to are the armrests with the forearm massager that alleviates the numbness associated with using a laptop while leaning on the handlebars. The armrests are well padded and easily adjustable for men and women.
4. Of all the machines that we examined – including the runners up here – this is the only unit that offered an adjustable slide-out workspace with a drawer space beneath it. In this day of multi-tasking and a population that works and lives on the web, being able to exercise and write documents, do accounting, catching up on emails, sending memos to coworkers and clients and read newspapers, books while getting exercising is a major plus.
5. We could not overlook the way in which it folds and locks into place so that when you want to hide it in the closet it isn’t going to spring loose and attack your dresses, shoes and slacks.
6. The small footprint makes it ideal for use in smaller spaces. Even though it has the space requirements, generally, as the Marcy model comparison, it is as tall as the other two runners up. The Marcy is primarily for women while the rest target both genders.
When it came to durability, we gave this bike the highest rank of all because of the steel frame and aluminum gear box. Verified buyers made no mention of issues with noise or breakage other than the 11 customers who primarily purchased the bike during the height of the Christmas season when manufacturing flaws are normally higher for all products.
The Ultimate Winner : FitDesk FDX 2.0 Desk Exercise Bike
Out of 339 customer reviews, 317 gave FitDesk FDX 2.0 Desk Exercise Bike 4 or 5-star rating with glowing comments and some suggestions for user-friendly improvements.
That’s a 98.784% favorable recommendation ranking. And, we agree.
Best Recumbent Exercise Bikes Review : Click here