Upright Exercise Bike: A Comprehensive Buying Guide
1. Resistance System
Resistance is extremely important for an effective workout. Upright bikes come with different resistance systems, among which magnetic-resistance is the most useful and common one. This system is smooth and quiet. There are different resistance levels that you can use for different exercise routines.
Some upright bikes also feature the air resistance system that contains a fan-wheel instead of a flywheel. These bikes are a bit noisier and not suitable for longer sessions.
Exercise bikes are of three types: spinning bikes, recumbent bikes, and upright bikes. Spinning bikes are most suitable for high-intensity sessions while the recumbent bikes are preferred by seniors and beginners. But upright bikes are the most popular because of their size, performance, and comfort. The seats of these bikes are placed in a lower position from the handlebars.
3. Control Module
The main function of an upright bike’s control module is to let you control your exercise and get feedback on its various aspects. That’s why most exercise bikes feature LCD screen panels taking the center stage. There are buttons around it, which are the digital controls to adjust the resistance levels. The more you pay for your bike, the better console or control module you’ll have.
4. Maximum Weight
You must check the max weight capacity before buying an exercise bike. The best bike will offer you a capacity of 300 pounds.
5. Height Range
If you have an average height, most exercise bikes will fit you. However, if you’re under 5ft or over 6ft, then you might have an uncomfortable experience. Make sure your bike has adjustable handles and pedals to be able to exercise comfortably.
6. Available Space
These bikes come in various sizes. If you live in a small apartment, go for a compact and foldable model. Otherwise, you should get a larger bike which will enhance your comfort. Keep in mind that the size of footprint is more important than the size of the frame.
7. Folding Feature
Folding features can be a great solution for users who have less space in their house. You can store a foldable exercise bike even under your bed when you’re done with your workout.
It’s useless to own an upright exercise bike that can’t make workout difficult for a user. Most popular models come with magnetic resistance, but some models still use a direct-contact flywheel. Though you’re going to workout indoors with an upright stationary bike, you must have the feel of cycling on an actual road.
Your upright bike should have a safety lock in order to prevent it from moving. The pedals should also have straps and anti-slip features for smooth pedaling experience.
Make sure your exercise bike is easy to assemble. You should be able to assemble it in less than an hour.
Upright exercise bikes with magnetic resistance tend to be quieter than bikes with air resistance. However, the former is more expensive than the latter.
12. Tracking Feature
With some of the best exercise bikes, you can track the amount of calories burned and the distance you’ve covered. They can also frequently check on your heart-rate.
13. Secondary Features
One essential feature for a good workout is the seat of an exercise bike. The seat should be large, contoured, and padded. If your seat is not comfortable enough, you may buy a more comfortable one separately.
You can also expect features like heart-rate monitors, integrated speakers, cooling fans, Bluetooth connectivity, and USB charging point in a premium upright exercise bike.
14. Ease of maintenance
Most advanced models demand less maintenance compared to the cheaper models.
Warranty is another important factor that you should consider. You should get a 2-3 years warranty on an upright exercise bike. Also, the manufacturers should offer you decent aftersales services.
You should get a good exercise bike within a price range from $150 to $1000. There are many affordable options in the market. However, models with the most advanced features come with an expensive price tag.
Benefits of Upright Exercise Bike
1. Improved Cardiovascular Function
Cycling is one of the best ways to strengthen your cardiac muscles and improve your heart rate. It also improves oxygen and blood flow throughout the body. It’s scientifically proven that cardiovascular workout reduces depression and increases brain activity.
2. Weight Loss
Depending on your workout intensity level and body weight, you can quickly burn calories with an exercise bike compared to other fitness machines. As you burn more calories, you start to lose weight.
3. Low-Impact Workouts
An upright exercise bike provides low impact workout that requires smooth movements of joints. You’re less likely to have ankle, knee, or hip injuries than you’re from running by feet on the road. It’s a great workout option for users with joint issues.
4. Strengthened Muscles
An exercise bike helps strengthen your lower body muscles, especially when a higher level of resistance is used during workouts. Pedaling strengthens your calves, quadriceps, and hamstrings, while bike handles work on your upper-body muscles.
Care & Maintenance Tips
To make sure your upright exercise bike lasts longer and to avoid any unwanted noise during pedaling, you must follow some rules and perform an exercise bike maintenance routine every year.
It’s important that you clean your exercise bike every time after using it. Clean the sweat from pulse sensors, handlebars, seat and console. You may use a clean, wet cloth or any other cleaning product that you can get in a stationary bike cleaning set. Wipe every part with a dry cloth thoroughly afterwards.
Here is a checklist for your yearly maintenance:
- Clean frame
- Clean covers
- Clean the friction belt
- Check cables
- Lubricate chains
- Grease the pivots
- Vacuum interior
- Diagnose errors
Stationary Bike Workout Tips
For beginners, here is a 20-minute workout session tip that can help you achieve your fitness goal:
- Warm up for five minutes at a slow pace keeping the resistance level low.
- Increase the level of resistance 1-4 increments. Continue for three minutes.
- Increase the resistance again and continue for 2 minutes.
- Now decrease your resistance back to the baseline level.
- After three minutes, increase the resistance again and keep this resistance for two minutes.
- Finally, decrease your resistance to the level you started off with and continue for five more minutes like this.
Continue your 20-minute sessions until you’re comfortable and then slowly increase your workout time. When you’ll workout regularly for 30 minutes or more, you’ll start seeing the result.
It’s Time to Wrap Up
There are a wide variety of models in the market today but the one which fits your needs is the best upright exercise bike for you. With our reviews, we hope we’re able to ensure that you feel confident in buying the model that fits you the best.
Check out our buying guide above to know about any detail that you’re not sure of. We also have particular picks to further simplify your search.
If you want an exercise bike only for simple cardio in a home environment, go for an affordable model like the ATIVAFIT or the XTERRA FB150. If you prefer some high-tech features, try out the Schwinn AD6 or Schwinn 170.
Good luck with your workouts!
1. What is the best way to workout on an exercise bike?
Ans: There are a number of ways to workout on an upright exercise bike. If you want to lose weight, the workout will be different for you from the workout designed for building stamina or training for a biking event.
For your initial session, ride for 25 minutes and then keep adding one minute every session. After two weeks, you can have a 35-minute workout session! Also, keep switching the intensity up- pedal slowly for six minutes, then do it fast for 2 minutes, return to light pedaling and repeat.
2. Is 30 minutes on a stationary bike enough?
Ans: 30 minutes cycling on a stationary bike will be moderate exercise. If you ride 30 minutes every session for 5 days a week, it should be good enough to keep you fit.
3. Is an upright or recumbent bike better?
Ans: It depends on the user’s preference. Since a recumbent bike has a reclined seating position with the handlebars placed at the seat’s side and pedals in front of the body, it can be a better option for users with back and joint issues.
On the other hand, an upright exercise bike comes with a regular road bike design – pedals underneath the body and handlebars in the front. If you wish to have the feel of riding outdoors, an upright bike should be a better choice for you.
4. Is it okay to use an exercise bike every day?
Ans: You can certainly use your exercise bike every day. According to fitness experts, a 25-30 minutes workout session every day is beneficial for your health.
5. What muscles does an upright bike work?
Ans: An upright bike mainly works on your calves, quadriceps, and hamstrings. It also strengthens your muscles in the back, core, and glutes.
6. Is an upright bike a good way to lose weight?
Ans: An upright bike is extremely useful to burn calories, which results in weight loss. Depending on the intensity and your weight, you can burn 200-1000 calories with an hour’s exercise session. Remember to increase the resistance level to get better results.
7. Can you lose belly fat by riding a stationary bike?
Ans: Yes, riding a stationary bike can reduce your belly fat. However, it can’t solely burn the belly fat or you can’t target the belly fat only with any specific exercise. We recommend you to improve your diet along with exercise on a stationary bike.