A stationary bike or exercise bike is an equipment with pedals, seat, saddle, and handlebars. It resembles an outdoor bicycle but is used as an exercise machine instead of a form of transportation. Most of the time, it is a special machine with the sole purpose of improving your health.
It improves not just the legs or lower part of your body, it is also capable of maintaining your overall fitness. It can actively create movement for the muscles and condition them for better health.
Exercise in the Comfort of your Own Homes
Upright exercise bikes are designed for cardiovascular exercises that you can enjoy in your home. It provides convenience and ease of use for every user. You can easily enjoy a workout session for your heart and lungs without putting too much fatigue on your joints. In addition, the saddle of the exercise bike can provide more comfort, especially during long sessions as compared to other types of equipment.
Choosing the Right Stationary Exercise Bike
If you want to get the most out of any exercise bike, the first thing to do is to choose the right design for your needs. It may take some serious decision-making, but as soon as you have acquired the right exercise bike from the variety of styles and designs on the market, workouts will be more convenient and enjoyable.
When selecting your preferred equipment, here are some factors you need to consider:
- Current fitness level – if you have a condition that might limit physical workouts, then you should consider an exercise bike that will offer convenience for your physical limitations.
- Fitness goals – everyone has different fitness objectives. Some might be competing in sports activities, while others might simply want to shed the few extra pounds. Some may be opting for a healthier path. No matter what your goal is, you need to pick the best style that will work best for you.
Upright Exercise Bikes according to Price
A wide range of stationary exercise bikes is available on the market today. From various brands, design, and quality, there are several choices that might pique your interest. Your fitness goals and your budget might help you determine the perfect bike to use. Here are some of the best exercise bikes, categorized according to their price:
- Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike with Pulse – $129
- Sunny Health and Fitness SF-B1203 Trainer – $134
$200-$500 Price Range
- Schwinn 130 Upright Bike – $255
- Schwinn 170 Upright Bike – $299
- Nautilus U616 Upright Bike – $419
$500-$1000 Price Range
- Schwinn AD6 Airdyne Upright Exercise Bike – $539
- NordicTrack GX 4.4 Pro Upright Exercise Bike – $599
- NordicTrack GX 4.6 Pro Upright Exercise Bike – $799
$1000-$2000 Price Range
- SOLE Fitness LCB Light Commercial Upright Bike – $1,999
- Life Fitness C3 Go Upright Lifecyle – $2,300
- Expresso Interactive Upright Exercise Bike – $2,800
- Precor UBK 835 Commercial Series Upright Exercise Bike – $3,795
Comparison of the Different Styles of Stationary Exercise Bikes
Stationary bikes or indoor bikes are sorted into three primary categories: upright exercise bikes, recumbent bikes, and indoor spin or cycle bikes. Here’s an in-depth discussion of each of the categories:
Indoor Cycle Bikes
Closely similar to that of the upright exercise bikes except that they lack the advanced features to maximize workout. They are created using traditional methods and aimed to cater to general fitness goals.
Upright Exercise Bikes
The design is similar to that of the traditional outdoor bike mainly because it allows you to do the same body position when riding a bike. This position allows your body to be engaged in the workout. The upper body, which includes the shoulder, triceps, and biceps are also being involved in the exercise.
They are designed to have a larger footprint and focus on the cardiovascular benefit as well as workout of the lower part of the body.
Based on the comparison, upright exercise bikes boast the overall benefit for an indoor workout. They are designed with additional features of convenience and comfort to provide the optimum experience for any user. Expensive models tend to include more accessories and features. Anyone can look up to it as a workout buddy aiming for a higher level of physical fitness.
Indoor Spin and Cycles Exercise Bikes
Indoor cycles or spin exercise bikes can be the next level of upright bikes. Unlike the traditional bike, they are designed with a sleeker and slimmer style. However, these bikes are not equipped with lush features compared to the upright and recumbent bikes. They are deemed to be the more focused and serious styles as they provide you with the ability of an intense workout, thus there is no time to mess or play around.
Upright Exercise Bikes and Indoor Spins: A Comparison
Upright exercise bikes and indoor spins differ basically on the transmission system as well as the weighted flywheel which both makes the exercise bike move like a traditional outdoor bike. Both types will make your body lean forward in a nearly crouching position to maximize movements for the whole body.
Indoor cycles with the highest quality will allow more rooms for adjustments including the seats and bars to be moved in four directions. This will provide you with the most comfortable position that will resemble any traditional cycling ride. Furthermore, they also allow a standing position while cycling, which in turn provides another dimension of the workout process.
There are several more features that make the indoor cycles stand out from other types. The pedals promote ergonomics as well as the Q-factor that creates a realistic bike ride and relieves stress from the ankles and knees. Q-factor is basically the distance between the attachment points of the crank. A narrow Q-factor will provide more convenience as it allows a more neutral position to release fatigue and stress.
Indoor spins are recommended for health buffs and workout enthusiasts since they can provide a more intense cycling activity. Any fitness goal, whether it is to improve strength and endurance or lose weight, will certainly become more achievable with the help of indoor cycles.
Here are two of the best indoor spins available in the market today:
Sunny Health and Fitness Pro Indoor Cycle Bike – The Perfect Bike for Beginners
This indoor cycle from Sunny Health and Fitness is designed for people who don’t want to spend a lot of time on the equipment. Priced under $300, this indoor cycle boasts of a durable steel frame as well as sturdy cranks to cater intense workouts.
Its flywheel weighs 40 pounds and is combined with a chain drive as well as an adjustable system to give you a consistent and smooth motion. This indoor bike can support a load of 275 pounds with adjustable handlebars and seat for every user.
Keiser M3 Indoor Cycle – Top of the Line Indoor Spin
Keiser is one of the leading manufacturers of indoor cycles, and they are taking pride with the M3 Indoor Spin. This bike is the favorite among most users in the United States and other parts of the world. The popular Shimano pedals paired with the magnetic resistance mechanism equipped with 24 gears will make for a smooth and quiet cycling motion. Apart from its carefully-planned design, it also requires almost zero maintenance.
Durability meets innovation as it is also equipped with a computer console to track cycling activities as well as heart rate telemetry connected to a chest strap. It’s considered as every enthusiast’s dream as the quality surpasses the price.
These two indoor cycles as the best choices for their respective style and are surely worth your money as they both promote quality for every indoor cycling activity.
People who still want to enjoy the benefits of cycling workouts but can’t do a full or intense exercise can resort to recumbent bikes. If you have neurological conditions or are suffering from lower back injury or pain, you are encouraged to use recumbent bikes instead of an upright or indoor spin.
Recumbent bikes can still provide you with challenging exercises without suffering from more pain brought about by your condition. The seat of recumbent bikes allows you to ride comfortably as it is naturally inclined and is paired with a cradling mechanism on the lower back to promote spinal health. Also, the design helps in relieving your body of fatigue and allows you to avoid too much muscle inflammation.
If you are suffering from joint conditions such as arthritis, the indoor cycle will distribute your body weight equally to reduce the stress from the buttocks and consequently alleviate pain. The inclined position is easy on the hips, ankles, and knees. With the low impact produced by recumbent bikes, they reduce the risk of generating more pain while doing the exercise you want.
Recumbent bikes are also equipped with numerous features to make workouts more effective and fun. They include programmed exercises, MP3 connections, a built-in fan, and speakers. The variation in prices will determine additional features and specifications.
In general, recumbent bikes are great for people who are not into intense training; rather, a milder exercise towards a healthier lifestyle.
Here are two of the top recumbent bikes in the market nowadays:
Exerpeutic 900XL Extended Capacity Recumbent Bike with Pulse – Affordable and Durable
With just $200, you can get a high quality recumbent bike in the form of Exerpeutic 900XL. It may not have a lot of exciting features, but it is well-equipped with heart rate trackers and sensors on the grips to monitor intensity while working out.
This recumbent bike has a sturdy and solid frame along with a durable footprint. Additionally, it can support a weight of up to 300 pounds. It provides convenience in stepping on and off the machine. Furthermore, its ability to be adjusted in four different ways makes it a popular choice for many. The various adjustment options can easily cater to users of any size.
Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike – Superior Attributes for your Needs
The name, features, and quality will make you spend over $1000 for this recumbent bike. The brake resistance has 25 levels to promote transfers of intensity. Furthermore, it is also equipped with rate sensors as well as a music connectivity, cooling fan, computer console, and a media shelf. The console includes 29 different workout programs to help you in every type of exercise you need.
This recumbent bike is carefully designed by professionals as it aims to improve your workout program and achieve fitness goals. The price speaks for itself as it boasts of high-quality materials and manufacturing methods while helping you with your cardiovascular exercises at home.
Upright Exercise Bikes
An upright exercise bike is a stationary cycling machine that allows users to sit directly on the frame just like the traditional outdoor bikes. The posture is sitting upright as opposed to the recumbent ones where the seats are inclined. Some styles will allow you to hunch over the handlebars.
Upright exercise bikes are not advisable for beginners since the upright position can induce muscle inflammation and stress to the body. However, novice riders may become accustomed to the position and may adapt to the situation. With the different models available in the market, you can choose from the distinctive features depending on your current fitness level and the goals you want to achieve.
Top Picks for Upright Exercise Bikes
Upright stationary bikes vary in designs and styles. To get to know more about these variations, here’s a rundown of the top products you could choose from:
Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike with Pulse – Focused Monitoring of the Heart
This folding magnetic upright exercise bike is designed with a durable steel x-frame weighing about 39 pounds and can carry up to 300 pounds of load. Its foldable and lightweight design makes it portable and easy to be used in any part of the house, especially when there is limited space. It can also be stored without difficulty inside a closet or under any convenient furniture.
Furthermore, its design is one of the most affordable offers in the market. It can be a value for money since it has a built-in heart rate tracker. It has a tension control mechanism that runs on eight levels. It is also manufactured with a 3-piece crank system with high torque to enable smooth cycling for long periods.
The Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Bike also features huge pedals and saddle for users with height ranging from 5’3” up to 6’1”. It basically provides comfort and ease of use at the lowest cost possible.
Schwinn 130 Upright Exercise Bike – Promotes Quality and Ease in Tracking
Schwinn has been known to provide the latest innovations in cycling products for more than a decade now. This is evident in the creation of the 130 Upright Bike. The strong frame paired with the high-inertia flywheel serves as the stabilizer of the cycling platform. Its sturdy design provides safety and comfort to every user.
In addition, its price is value for the included DualTrack console to track your cycling activity. The console includes 22 programs for a well-rounded benefit of using the equipment. The programs include heart rate trackers, media shelf, built-in speakers and MP3 hub, 3-speed fan, and various apps to track the different workouts.
As a bonus, Schwinn has also equipped their bikes with a 20-level brake resistance to easily adjust the intensity of cycling. With a reasonable price, the 130 Upright Bike is considered as a smart buy for the quality and innovation it provides.
SOLE Fitness LCB Light Commercial Upright Bike – High-End Features and Efficiency
SOLE Fitness has produced an amazing upright stationary bike that can be used commercially or privately. It boasts of a 40-level resistance with a flywheel weighing 30 pounds to ensure smooth cycling and transition to various levels of intensity.
The product includes a pulse heart rate monitor as well as an optional chest rate monitor. The seat and the bars of the bike are adjustable to provide ease of use for every user. Furthermore, it also includes several other features including an MP3 hub, a built-in fan, and an LCD console.
The weight capacity and warranties of the SOLE Fitness upright bike makes it one of the most sought-after bikes for every user. If you are looking for a tough one which is complete with the latest console and trackers, this upright bike is perfect for you.
These three upright bikes are considered as the best in the field. They can cater to your needs and preferences; you just have to pick the one that will work best for your activities and goals as well as your budget.
Benefits of Upright Exercise Bikes
Get to know more about upright exercise bikes with the known benefits they can provide:
Workouts can be toned down to lower impacts
Stationary bikes can provide low impact exercises as compared to other fitness equipment such as the treadmill. Some equipment may leave users with pain or muscle soreness after the exercise. Fortunately, exercise bikes tend to be easier on the joints and reduces the risk of pain and injury on the knees, ankles, and tendons.
Recumbent bikes, as a matter of fact, are recommended for mild workouts and for people who are suffering from physical pain as it promotes mild cycling.
Achieve optimum fitness from any level
Other workout equipment will determine results based on the current fitness level you have prior to starting. Some may require stronger endurance to be able to maximize usage and end up with the highest possible results.
On the other hand, you can simply use a stationary exercise bike for a full workout easily. If you are a beginner, you will have no difficulty in using the equipment as it does not require high intensity. However, if you are an advanced user, you can adjust the program to a more optimal cycling.
As a bonus, these exercise bikes can be used by the elderly or overweight users who want to remove stress from their body and improve health conditions.
Perfect for weight loss
One of the primary benefits you can get from exercise bikes is considerable weight loss. With regular use and constantly following the program, you will surely shred off the extra pounds from your body. As a comparison, running on a treadmill at 5-8mph will help you lose 700-1100 calories. However, a beginner may find it difficult to keep up with the pace. With stationary exercise bikes, you can burn up to 900 calories with just an hour of vigorous training.
Improvement of the cardiovascular condition of the body
The popularity of spinning classes online and on the television proves that stationary bikes are good for the improvement your cardiovascular health. Raising your heart rate for about 20 minutes can significantly improve overall health and wellness while reducing the risk of heart-related diseases.
A lot of experts suggest that you should train your heart at about 80% of its maximum capacity. By doing this, you are helping your heart and lungs to cope up with intense activities and maintain fitness.
The feeling of fulfillment after the cardiovascular training is one of the best results you can get. Cardiovascular exercises release endorphins or happy hormones which give you the feeling of accomplishment and positivity, thus reducing the risks of depression.
Best for home use
Upright exercise bikes are best for indoors or home use. They are often more preferred than hitting the gym and paying the membership fee. Although you will pay for the equipment, it is just a one-time payment. You can get a stationary bike for about $100 which is equivalent to one or two months of gym membership.
Home use exercise can also provide more comfort and convenience as compared to the gym. After work or a busy day, you will simply enjoy your cozy home, exercise, and relax afterward.
With your own upright bike, you can enjoy a mild to vigorous exercise while watching your favorite television show or movie. Also, you can exercise at your own time, thus increasing opportunities to do workouts more.
Legs are pumped up
Stationary exercise bikes can provide an activity for your calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, and flexors. It may be a strenuous workout; however, it may provide the right amount of activity for your legs while gradually improving the condition of your upper body and core.
Conditioning of the upper body
With enough effort, you can also greatly improve the condition of your upper body. Some models are equipped with movable handlebars in a rowing motion that’s simultaneous with pedaling. In the case of recumbent bikes, your arms are free to move because of the reclined seat position.
In comparison, the upright model will give your upper body more conditioning because it helps in powering the exercise machine. Some bikes will also allow you to stand while riding the exercise bike, thus allowing more effort from your legs but more conditioning on the upper body.
Concentrating on the core
An upright exercise bike will induce tightness in the abdominal muscles to maintain form and control. Recumbent bikes will also give the same conditioning for your glutes. In order to strengthen your core during the cycling exercise, you need to draw your stomach in towards the spinal column to flatten your back. You could also do arm exercises while pedaling to increase activity levels.
Final Take on the Best Upright Stationary Bikes
Upright exercise bikes have models that can cater to your needs and preferences and help you achieve your fitness goals. You just have to take a look at your objectives and consider outside factors to help you determine the best one for you. The following factors might be able to help you narrow down your choices for upright stationary bikes.
- Current fitness level and situation
- Level of difficulty: beginner, intermediate, or advanced user
- Frequency of exercise or workout activity
- Fitness expertise and knowledge
- Fitness objectives in using a stationary bike
- The level of health you want to achieve
- Cardiovascular fitness or weight loss
- Training for athletics or races
- Features of the stationary bike
- The use of workout programs and their effectiveness during the exercise
- Connectivity features of the stationary bike
- Modern innovations incorporated in the bike
- Quality of materials used in the manufacturing of the exercise bike
These are just some of the factors you could consider when choosing an upright exercise bike. This ultimate buyer’s guide will help you in your decision-making process and achieve your fitness objectives for a healthier and well-rounded body.
Prices are varied for every model and type of exercise bikes; however, you might want to get the real value for your dollars in order to achieve the goals you have in mind. Exercise bikes are a good investment especially if you are an enthusiast promoting health and wellness.