What’s the Best Upright Exercise Bike?
It could be that, having looked at the info in this website about 2-in-1 exercise bikes / cross trainers that you decide against that idea and just want to go for an upright stationary bike instead.
So now you’re back at square one – what’s the best upright exercise bike for you?
This comparison assumes you are looking for your first exercise bike, for yourself, or your family perhaps, dipping a toe into the water, so to speak; so we’re looking at the most economical end of the market rather than the Pro- or Commercial end.
I’ve followed the same procedure here as with the combination machines and looked at the most popular models with the best review scores in 3 different price ranges.
Firstly here is a table with the upright bikes we’re considering for an at-a-glance look at the basic stats:
Best Upright Exercise Bikes
|NAME||PRICE - £||STAR RATING||FLYWHEEL WEIGHT||MAX USER WEIGHT|
|JLL - JF100||79.99||4.3||4Kg||100Kg|
|York Active 110||107.99||4.0||4Kg||120Kg|
|We R Sports - Aerobic Training Cycle (spinning)||163.31||4.4||13Kg||125Kg|
|Kettler Sinto P||249.00||4.5||9Kg||130Kg|
Now let’s look at the options in the different price ranges – but all at the less expensive end of the market, where competition is most. We may look at the most exclusive machines in the future, but if you can afford a few grand, it’s probably not too time-consuming to look at all of the options yourself.
Budget Upright Exercise Bikes – Under £100
The number of machines in this price bracket seems to have exploded recently, which should mean you can get a good machine without taking out another mortgage, even if they’re relatively basic, which is what you’d expect.
This, at the time of writing is the most popular exercise bike sold on Amazon, which takes some doing, so it must have something.
What the F-Bike has is that is does all the basics well:
- It is compact and also folds up, which is what many of those on a tight budget and a tight space will require
- It Is considered by users to be stable for its size and weight
- The maximum user weight is a reasonable 100Kg
- It is also quiet enough to be used while watching TV
- There are pulse sensors on the handlebars, and a pulse readout on the LCD display, which also shows time, calories, speed, and distance
It’s not easy to retain a 4+ star rating when there are over 600 reviews, but this machine has. The reason is that it does what it is supposed to do – and does it well – for not too much money.
Boxed Weight: 18 Kg.
- There are 7 levels of seat adjustment, which should make it suitable for most people
- It has 10 adjustable levels of magnetic resistance, though some users have said that the stiffest setting is not terribly hard
- It also has a pulse monitor built into the handlebars, and an LCD monitor with Time, Speed, Distance, Calories, Odometer and Pulse
- The handles rotate 360º
- The quoted maximum user weight is the same as the F-Bike, 100Kg.
The 3-piece detachable crank system together with 4Kg flywheel, more than twice as heavy as the F-Bike, should make for a smooth ride.
The User- Rating on Amazon.co.uk is the same as the F-Bike, though there are a lot fewer reviews.
Weight: 18.1KG. (Boxed: 20 Kg)
Mid-Price Upright Exercise Bikes – £100 – £200
The no.2 best-selling exercise bike on Amazon.co.uk is the good-looking Active 110 from York Fitness. It’s a bit dearer than the Budget models above, but is still very reasonably priced and within the budget of most people.
I have a York Fitness machine, though not this one, and highly recommend them as a company who make solid, good quality equipment. (I actually have a 2-in-1 combination bike. If you haven’t already read it, see my top recommendation.)
So what do you get for your extra bit of hard-earned cash?
- Well, the maximum user weight is 120Kg, a fifth more than the cheaper models. This isn’t just useful if you happen to weigh between 100 and 120 Kg; it implies more solidity generally and should feel more stable whoever is using it.
- The seat is adjustable and will suit a wide range of heights. There was one small complaint from one user (in a 5-star review) that the seat was not as comfortable as it could be, but rectified that with a replacement. (Check out Gel Seat Covers here).
- It has 8 levels of magnetic resistance, 2 fewer than the JF100 but they are better spaced and actually offer more variation.
- Both handlebars have pulse sensors and the large easy-to read display (even if you’re not wearing your specs) shows the usual array of functions. The Scan setting shows all the readouts in turn.
- York machines also have a useful ‘fitness test’ button, which monitors how long it takes for your pulse to slow down when you’ve stopped pedalling.
Be prepared to find out just how unfit you are! And to pat yourself on the back when the number improves!
The other machine in this price range is more of a spinning bike, but it’s great value, having been reduced from nearly £700! (If you’re not sure what a spinning bike is, read Which Type of Bike to Choose).
You can see the classy touches, like the Aluminium pedals with toe cage, and 13Kg balanced flywheel.
If you’re not familiar with them, you may be able to tell from the angle of the handlebars that this type of bike is designed to feel more like a racing bike. It even comes with a water bottle.
The tension adjustment is stepless and wide ranging.
This is a good starter bike for someone getting into spinning as a means to improve their fitness.
Weight: 38kg (Boxed: 41kg)
Higher-Price Upright Exercise Bikes – £200 – £300
Kettler is another long established name synonymous with quality sports equipment. Another step up in price brings us the Kettler Sinto P, an updated replacement for the Kettler 800 upright exercise bike.
- There are 16 electronically-controlled resistance levels
- 12 programmes including
- a heart-rate controlled program,
- 4 user-defined programs,
- 6 ‘motivational’ training programs and
- a Recovery Pulse Fitness Test, like the York 110 bike.
- The flywheel weight is 9Kg or 20 lbs, and it has 3-year parts
- Labour warranty rather than a 1-year one.
Extra features include ‘perspiration-resistant’ keys and 7-function continuous display.
This is another excellent machine wit nearly half of the user-reviewers on Amazon.co.uk giving 5-star reviews.
Boxed weight = 41 Kg.
Of course, the range of prices goes way above this, into the thousands. But I have tried to look at the lower end of the market from the point of view of the first-time exercise bike (or exercise machine) buyer who has either decided to improve their fitness, or someone who has decided to try to save some money on gym fees by buying their own.
There is no such thing as ‘the best exercise bike’ of course; so there is no winner. What is right for you is what counts. If you have plenty of space, a folding machine might not be necessary. If you don’t, it might be at the top of your facilities list.
But at least you have a good short-list from which to start your decision-making.
Inevitably, there are always a few disgruntled buyers for almost any machine. My policy is to ignore the best and worst reviews and see what most people think. Amongst those, all of the machines listed above have been bought and used and have a plethora of happy users. Good luck!
Do you have a bike that you love or hate? Please help us all by sharing your experience below.
And don’t forget to help your friends and acquaintances by sharing this on your favourite social platform.