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The 7 Best Upright Stationary Exercise Bikes for Your Home: Reviews and Buying Guide!
Last updated 3rd May, 2021

The best upright exercise bikes will help you to smash your fitness goals, without having to leave your home. The more relaxed riding position of an upright exercise bike is favoured by many who are not used to riding a bicycle and find tiny seats downright uncomfortable.

We have scoured the internet, so you do not have to, bringing you a definitive list of the best upright stationary exercise bikes for your home. After looking at what options are available to you, there is a buying guide and FAQ section that should help you make an informed decision.

What is an upright exercise bike?

An upright exercise bike is a stationary bicycle that requires you to be sat in an upright position. The handlebars are higher than the seat, so you don’t have to lean or put too much pressure on your arms or shoulders. As a result of this more upright riding position, the seats on upright exercise bikes are also a lot wider than the type you would find on a spin bike.

Why buy a stationary exercise bike?

Great workouts

Firstly, indoor cycling is an amazingly effective way for you to stay fit, without having to leave the comfort of your home. You can change the resistance levels, sync up to cycling apps and follow world class gym sessions. Cycling is an excellent low impact workout, great for rehabilitation or getting your new fitness regime kicked off with minimal risk of injury (no matter how unfit you may be at the start).

Comfort and intensity

Upright exercise bikes are also popular thanks to their increased comfort compared with spin bikes or even cycling outdoors. Thanks to their unsupported upright riding position (unlike a recumbent exercise bike), they are perfect for beginners and non-cyclists. However, just because they are more comfortable does not mean that they cannot give you an intense and effective workout time after time, even if you are a seasoned cyclist.

Top 7 Upright Exercise Bikes

We have scanned the market to bring you our list of the top upright stationary exercise bikes out there, catering for a variety of budgets and experience levels. The best upright exercise bikes that have made it on this list are those in the more affordable end of the market. You can easily end up spending thousands of pounds for a top of the range upright exercise bike. However, you do not need to spend that sort of money to find a high-quality stationary exercise bike that will help you smash your fitness goals.

1. WINNOW Upright Exercise Bike

To kick off the best upright exercise bikes list, we have this simple but effective entry from WINNOW. Although this is a “Budget” option, the overall build quality is good, and you still get plenty of features to make your indoor cycling training sessions comfortable and effective. You may not be able to track your progress on any app, but the LCD screen gives you all the fitness metrics you need while training including time, speed, distance, heart rate (using the built-in HR monitor on the bars), and calories burned. The WINNOW Upright Exercise Bike comes with a wide comfortable seat that allows for 4-way adjustment, allowing you to find the perfect riding position.

  • Resistance: Magnetic with 8 resistance levels
  • Max user weight capacity: 110kg
  • Product weight: 26.7 kg
  • Transport wheels: No
  • Requires power connection: No (requires 2 x AAA batteries for the LCD screen - included)
  • Price: £
  • Retailer: Amazon

2. XS Sports B510 Magnetic Exercise Bike

The XS Sports B510 Magnetic Exercise Bike comes with a comfortable seat and a seat post that allows for 4-way adjustment (you can also adjust the handlebars’ angle). The small LCD screen gives you all the training metrics you need (Heart Rate, Speed, Calories Burned, Time, Distance). The HR monitor on the handlebars is responsive and surprisingly accurate for an affordable upright exercise bike. Another nice feature is the phone/tablet holder on the bars, perfect for your next Netflix and spin session. The resistance is provided by the smooth and surprisingly quiet 5kg flywheel, and you have the choice of 8 resistance levels.

  • Resistance: Magnetic with 8 resistance levels
  • Max user weight capacity: 100kg
  • Product weight: 24 kg
  • Transport wheels: Yes
  • Requires power connection: No (batteries are required for the LCD screen)
  • Price: £
  • Retailer: Amazon

3. Exerpeutic Folding Upright Exercise Bike

If you are looking for a foldable and easily portable upright exercise bike, check out the Exerpeutic Folding Upright Exercise Bike. Do not be put off by its lightweight design. This stationary exercise bike can hold riders up to 136 Kg and still feel stable while you are pedalling. The seat on this folding upright exercise bike is very wide and only allows for vertical adjustment. Although due to the design, it is easy to find the height that is just right to sit upright and comfortably reach the handlebars. You also get a small LCD screen that will show you all your workout stats, including your heart rate from the built-in HR monitor on the bars.

  • Resistance: Magnetic with 8 resistance levels
  • Max user weight capacity: 136kg
  • Product weight: 17.69 kg
  • Transport wheels: No
  • Requires power connection: No (requires 2 x AA batteries for the LCD screen - included)
  • Price: £
  • Retailer: Amazon

4. Reebok Z-Power Upright Stationary Exercise Bike

If you are looking for an affordable stationary exercise bike from a well known and trusted brand, then the Reebok Z-Power Upright Stationary Exercise Bike is the one for you. This is a sturdy and well built upright exercise bike that boasts some great features to help you have a focused workout. The large 5.5" LCD screen displays all the usual fitness metrics (including cadence and watts) and comes pre-programmed with 12 different programs/settings, perfect if you need the bike to do all the thinking for you. Thanks to the whopping 32 levels of resistance, the pre-programmed workouts put you through your paces. The seat is comfortable and allows for 4-way adjustment.

  • Resistance: Magnetic with 32 resistance levels
  • Max user weight capacity: 120kg
  • Product weight: 31.5 kg
  • Transport wheels: Yes
  • Requires power connection: No
  • Price: ££
  • Retailer: John Lewis

5. ProForm SB Upright Exercise Bike

If you want a little more tech from your upright exercise bike, then the ProForm SB Upright Exercise Bike has got you covered. The Proform SB comes with Bluetooth built-in, meaning that you can use the handy tablet holder and sync your bike up to apps such as iFit. To help you make the most of this feature, they also chuck in a 1-year free subscription to the vast amount of training material on iFit. This is a super comfortable upright exercise bike, with 4-way adjustments on the seat and the ability to move the bars. You also get pre-programmed workouts and built speakers, making this a tremendous standalone upright exercise bike, even if you do not connect it up to your tablet.

  • Resistance: Magnetic with 16 resistance levels
  • Max user weight capacity: 125kg
  • Product weight: 38 kg
  • Transport wheels: Yes
  • Requires power connection: No
  • Price: ££
  • Retailer: John Lewis

6. JTX Cyclo-5 Upright Exercise Bike

The JTX Cyclo-5 Upright Exercise Bike combines superior build quality with functionality, creating one of the best upright exercise bikes money can buy. Firstly, this stationary exercise bike is incredibly comfortable. You get all the adjustments you could need. The curved handlebar post makes it look sleek and unique. The small display features everything you need to know, and the 12 pre-programmed workouts give you plenty of options instead of just pedalling and hoping for the best. However, this upright exercise is best utilised when you use the gadget holder and have your favourite indoor cycling app connected. You can let the app take control of the bike and adjust the resistance levels according to your chosen workout. Sorry, but it is still down to you to make the pedals spin.

  • Resistance: Magnetic with 16 resistance levels
  • Max user weight capacity: 150kg
  • Product weight: 63 kg
  • Transport wheels: Yes
  • Requires power connection: Yes (or spend an extra £200 for the self-powered version)
  • Price: £££
  • Retailer: JTX Fitness

7. Life Fitness Lifecycle C1 Upright Exercise Bike

Life Fitness is renowned for making top quality gym-worthy fitness equipment. The Life Fitness Lifecycle C1 Upright Exercise Bike may be their cheapest model, but it is far from basic (for an extra £300 you can get the C1 with Track Connect Console, offering better connectivity and the use of Life Fitness Virtual Trainer). The C1 Upright Exercise Bike with Go Console has all the features you need for a killer workout. One reason these bikes are so popular is the superior build quality and sturdy feel of the bike. Monitoring your progress is super easy, thanks to the bright LCD screen (it also has Bluetooth). The Go console comes with 13 pre-programmed workouts that are easy to set up and follow. A nice touch if you are looking to let your partner into your man cave, is that you can save 2 riders’ profiles on this upright exercise bike.

  • Resistance: Magnetic with 20 resistance levels
  • Max user weight capacity: 135kg
  • Product weight: 53 kg
  • Transport wheels: Yes
  • Requires power connection: Yes (with energy-saving mode)
  • Price: ££££
  • Retailer: John Lewis

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Buying Guide

There’s a lot to think about when buying an upright exercise bike. In this buying guide we cover the most important things to consider and questions to ask yourself.

Quality and Performance

The best upright exercise bikes are built to last. You do not want to invest in an exercise bike only to have to replace it every six months. All of the top upright exercise bikes do come with a minimum of a 1-year warranty. You are better sticking to well-known brands for complete peace of mind, but you will not be disappointed by the build quality of any of these top upright exercise bikes. Also always check out the reviews and previous buyers’ questions. If any of the bikes are low quality or do not come with helpful assembly instructions, you can guarantee someone has pulled them up on it before.

You may have noticed that all the above upright exercise bikes have magnetic resistance systems. These are by far the most reliable, silent, and stable systems for stationary exercise bikes. Although some people say that the heaviest flywheel will provide the most consistent and smooth ride, that is not so much of a thing nowadays. The build quality is far more important than the weight of the flywheel alone. In addition, the perfect amount of resistance levels is 16 or above as it allows for micro-adjustments and truly tailored workouts. However, if you are a beginner, you will find 8 resistance levels challenging enough to build up your fitness.

Comfort and Ergonomics

One of the main reasons that upright exercise bikes are so popular is their super comfortable upright sitting position. If you are not used to being hunched over on a bicycle, upright exercise bikes are an excellent option. The handlebars are often higher up than the seat. You will have noticed that a lot of the bars almost look like horns, just like in the pub, the more bar, the better. It gives you the option to change your hand position and remain comfortable, especially during longer indoor cycling sessions.

The saddles (or seat) on upright exercise bikes are a lot wider and far more comfortable than those found on spin bikes. This alone makes them an excellent investment if you have never enjoyed cycling. The adjustability of the bike is essential. The main thing is to be able to move the seat vertically and horizontally (or 4-ways). It is surprising how much more comfortable and enjoyable your workout will be if your seat is in the perfect position for your body shape and size. If comfort is a high priority for you then have you considered a recumbent exercise bike? You can see our top picks in our post on the Best Recumbent Exercise Bikes.

Technology

All of the top upright exercise bikes on this list have a display that shows you the essential feedback from your workouts, such as time, distance, and speed. However, It is also worth considering how helpful you would find pre-programmed workouts or the ability to sync the bike up to your phone or tablet so that you can access live gym classes.

The more expensive upright exercise bikes have Bluetooth connectivity allowing you to sync up with fitness and exercise apps. Being able to follow a class or join friends for a group ride does help to keep you motivated and push you that little bit further. Also, the upright exercise bikes that come with Bluetooth allow you to sync up a heart rate strap. These chest straps are often a lot more reliable and accurate than those found on the handlebars. They also give you consistent readings, no matter where you place your hands.

Space

Another benefit of an upright exercise bike is that it does not require as much floor space compared to recumbent exercise bikes or turbo trainer setups. Although many of the best upright exercise bikes come with wheels to make them easy to move, they are still cumbersome. So, you are best off finding a place in your man cave where your stationary bike can live for the long term and rejoice when on occasion you do need to move it, and the wheels make it super easy. If you’re short on space then check out the Best Folding Exercise Bikes for a bike that can easily be stored away.

Budget

Due to soaring demand, you will find that the budget upright exercise bikes have increased in price. However, that does not mean that you have to break the bank to get in on the action. Generally starting around £100 ($130), the higher your budget, the more gadgets you will get. For £100 - £250 ($130 - $325), you will get a basic upright exercise bike that does what you need it to do. You will get a comfortable ride and view some basic training metrics on the small LCD.

Between £250 - £500 ($325 - $650) upright exercise bikes start to get techier. You may find Bluetooth connectivity and some pre-programmed training sessions built-in. £500 - £1,000 ($650 - $1300) and you are getting everything you could need from an upright exercise bike. At this price point, the screens get more extensive, focusing on more technical training stats such as Watts (power output) and Cadence. You will also generally find that build quality is a bit better on the more expensive options.

FAQs

Is an upright exercise bike better?

Upright exercise bikes are not better than spin bikes or recumbent exercise bikes, but they are different. It all depends on what you are looking for. Upright exercise bikes are the middle ground between spin and recumbent bikes. You are not slouched over or in an overly aggressive and performance-orientated riding position as you are on a spin bike. Nor do you have the luxury of back support like you do on a recumbent. An upright exercise bike has a more relaxed riding position, which takes the pressure off your lower back, shoulders, and neck. However, you still need to engage your core while cycling, arguably making them a better all body workout compared to a recumbent bike.

What is magnetic resistance?

Magnetic resistance exercise bikes use strategically placed magnets around a flywheel (a big wheel of metal). You can control the pedals’ resistance with a touch of a button or twist of a knob, moving the magnets closer or further away from the flywheel. You guessed it, the closer the magnets are to the flywheel, the harder it is to turn the pedal.

This resistance method is smooth, requires little to no maintenance, and is considerably quieter than other resistance methods. For example, you can also get friction resistance or brake-based resistance. These options have a wedge of rubber or hard-wearing leather on the top of the flywheel. Moving this “brake pad” closer to the flywheel creates more friction, making it harder to spin the pedals. However, these friction resistance systems are noisier, require more maintenance and do not run as smoothly as magnetic resistance.

Conclusion

When looking for the best upright exercise bike, you need to make sure it has all the tech and connectivity you need, it is comfortable and is durable enough to handle your training plan. The top upright exercise bikes above have been hand-picked based on their quality and performance, in addition to having lots of positive reviews and being sold by trusted sellers. If you are focused on value for money, then the XS Sports B510 Magnetic Exercise Bike is the best option. If you want the latest tech and ability to get in-depth training stats, then splash the cash and go for the all singing all dancing JTX Cyclo-5 Upright Exercise Bike.

For the rest of your man cave needs and desires, why not explore our site or head over to the Exercise Bikes section to see more posts and recommended products!

Affiliate disclaimer: on some or all of the products above, we receive a small commission if you make a purchase via our site. This does not impact the price you pay, but it allows us to keep helping people by writing these reviews, so thank you!


Louis
Co-founder at Mancaves HQ

Dreams of having his own fully-specced man cave with all the bells and whistles one day. Until then, he loves to play poker around the dining table and pool at the pub, and occasionally get out of the house for a run along the Thames.