Using an upright exercise bike is an excellent way to improve your overall level of fitness. Not only does an upright bike work the same muscles that you would use when riding a bike on the road, but it also allows you to enjoy these benefits without the risk of dealing with inclement weather. This guide was written to help you find the best upright exercise bike to maximize your workouts.
An upright exercise bike is also a safer option since you do not have to worry about dealing with car traffic, pedestrians and other obstacles and dangers that are associated with riding a bike on the road.
With the help of an upright bike, you can work your leg muscles as well as your upper arms as you hold your body in an upright position. Holding your body in this position also helps to work your abdominal muscles and your core as you keep your body balanced on the bike.
While upright exercise bikes offer a number of benefits, it is easy to become confused and overwhelmed by the many different options that are available. First, it is important to differentiate between an upright bike and an indoor cycling bike, as both types of bikes look very similar.
While an indoor cycling bike is meant to allow you to ride in the same way as a road bike, upright bikes tend to offer more creature comforts. Therefore, upright bikes are a better option for those who want to be more comfortable while getting a workout.
How to Choose the Best Upright Exercise Bike
As you search through all of the upright bikes that are available on the market, there are a few key features that you should keep in mind when trying to find the best one to suit your needs.
1. Adjustable Seat
The seat on your upright bike should be adjustable so you can achieve the proper height and angle to suit your body. In addition to help making your ride more comfortable, being able to adjust the seat allows you to target different muscle groups while you ride. This makes it possible for you to get a more effective workout while also making adjustments as your fitness level improves. This is also a good feature to have if you plan to share your upright bike with other users, as you will each want to be able to quickly and easily make seat adjustments to meet your individual needs.
2. Adjustable Handlebars
The handlebars on the best upright exercise bikes are fully adjustable, allowing you to fully customize your fit. Look for a model with multi-position handlebars, which makes it possible for you to pedal while sitting upright or in a more racer-oriented forward stance. Not only does this help you to get a better work out, but it is also a good option to have if more than one person will be using the machine.
The console on your upright bike should have the ability to be tilted to a different position in order to allow you to comfortably read the display while working out. Similarly, the console should be clear and easy-to-ready with buttons that allow you to quickly make changes to your program as necessary. Look for features such as LED lighting, scrolling screens, quick touch buttons and other conveniences that make it easy for you to both use and view the console.
4. Cooling Fan
Getting overheated is a surefire way to make you cut your workout short. Not only is it uncomfortable, but it can also lead to heat-related illnesses and other issues that reduce the effectiveness of your workout. To help keep you cool while you work out, the best upright exercise bikes feature a built-in cooling fan. Not only does this eliminate the need to purchase a separate fan in order to keep yourself comfortable while working out, but it also ensures you are getting hit at the best angle with the cooling air.
5. Built-In Sound System
The best upright exercise bikes feature a built-in sound system that plugs directly into your mp3 player. With the help of a built-in sound system, you can enjoy listening to your favorite tunes as you workout. Listening to music is a great way to keep yourself motivated while working out and having the ability to control it directly through your upright bike is a convenient way to keep your music at your fingertips. The built-in speaker system also ensures better sound quality as you workout.
6. Magazine Rack
Having a built-in magazine rack allows you to read your favorite music and books as you workout, thereby helping to pass the time while also making efficient use of your time. While some models feature obtrusive magazine racks, the best upright exercise bikes have folding racks that can be put away when the machine is not in use. This helps to reduce the amount of space that your bike takes up in your home gym.
7. Preset Programs
The best upright exercise bikes will feature a number of preset workout programs from which you can select. Having these preset programs available helps to prevent boredom while also allowing you to select the program that best meets your fitness goals. Your upright bike should also provide you with the option to manually create custom programs if you so prefer.
8. Heart Rate Monitoring
Reaching and maintaining your target heart rate is one of the key aspects of a successful workout. To assist with this process, your upright bike should include a heart rate monitoring system in the form of handgrip sensors. For an even more effective process, look for a model with multiple heart rate sensors.
9. Resistance Levels
Your upright bike should offer several levels of resistance in order to provide a wide variety of options for all users. Having a minimum of 16 levels of resistance will allow many users to benefit from the machine while also ensuring it grows with you as your level of fitness increases. For an even smoother transition between levels, look for a machine with 32 levels of resistance.
10. Braking System
When working out on your upright bike, you want to be able to enjoy a ride that is both smooth and quiet. To achieve this goal, look for an upright bike that features a frictionless eddy braking system.
Purchasing an upright bike from an online store offers many conveniences, but some companies hit their customers with huge hidden costs such as massive shipping fees. When comparison shopping, be sure to consider the cost of shipping that may increase the overall cost of the product. The best companies will offer free shipping to their customers.
12. Sales Tax
Sales tax can increase the overall cost of your upright bike by quite a bit. Purchasing your machine online can potentially help you save in this area, though some companies will charge sales tax as part of your transaction. Consider this added cost as you are choosing between products and deciding between purchasing online or at a brick and mortar store.
13. Return Policy
If you are unhappy with your product, you should have a hassle-free option for returning the machine to the store where it was purchased. Unfortunately, some companies charge restocking fees and other hidden costs. Before making a purchase, look into the company’s return policy. The only costs you should be charged are the cost of return shipping and any assembly labor charges that you chose to add to your purchase. The company should also be open during normal business hours to address any questions or concerns that you might have.
14. Money Back Guarantee
A quality upright bike will be backed by a money back guarantee. Whether you have simply changed your mind or the products just isn’t quite what you expected it to be, you should have at least 30 days to return the product if you are unhappy with it for any reason.
The best upright exercise bike will be backed by an extensive warranty. After all, if the manufacturer isn’t willing to back up the product, it is a sure sign that it is not quite up to the standards that you deserve. Look for a product that comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame and brakes along with a three-year warranty on parts and electronics and a one-year warranty on labor.
Purchasing an upright bike online offers many conveniences. Not only is it easier to compare the features of various bikes online, but you can also do your shopping without ever needing to step outside. This saves time, gas and frustration as you avoid crowds and pushy salespeople. As an added convenience, the upright bike can be delivered directly to your door.
To ensure you are happy with the upright bike that you purchase, be sure to follow this simple checklist and check the features of the bike you are considering against those that are recommended for the best upright exercise bike.
By carefully selecting an upright exercise bike that meets these criteria, you will be sure to be happy with your purchase and will be far more likely to meet the fitness goals that you have set for yourself.