Individuals setting up a home gym frequently decide to buy an excellent exercise bike that would do the needful for a healthy and fit body.
Most times, they choose to go with upright bikes that promise challenges to all types of trainers (a blessing in disguise).
The most surprising but pleasant fact here is that the equipment satisfies all your requirements without the slightest compromise on comfort or features.
If budget is a concern yet, you would not like to compromise on the resistance levels or height ranges, don’t worry! The following guide would help you sort out your preferences.
For those who just want to see our top picks of the best upright bikes under $500, here you go:
- Schwinn 130 Upright Bike—Best Quiet Choice
- Schwinn 170 Upright Bike—Best Overall Upright Bike
- Marcy ME708—Best Portable Exercise Bike
- Exerpeutic Xbike—Best Foldable Upright Bike
- Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B2710—Top-Rated on Amazon
- Nautilus U614
See the pros & cons, overviews below
How to Choose the Best Upright Bikes?
Choosing a good upright bike primarily depends on your requirements and certain integral features that make the equipment the best in town.
If you want to choose a great upright bike, look out for features such as resistance levels, design, height ranges, and control modules that help you finalize on the right bike that would last long and motivate you to achieve your fitness goals.
Compared to the other designs used for exercise bikes, including recumbent and spin bikes, upright bikes are optimal in terms of comfort, size, and performance as they are in the middle of the spectrum regarding all these features.
They rightly fit between the taxing positioning of spin bikes and the excess comfort of recumbent bikes.
Seating is important for bikes, and the upright bike does offer comfort to sit and work out for a longer period.
The seats are positioned lower than the handlebars, and there is no need to lean forward and ride if you don’t wish to.
Some upright bikes have movable handlebars that push and pull along with your cycling motion—this provides an overall body workout aiding you to burn greater calories.
But, movable handlebars are suitable for those interested in high-intensity workouts.
So, sort out your goals before you select your required features.
Some bikes are foldable, helping those in desperate need for a compact model, but you cannot expect the same stability as non-folding models.
Go ahead with folding bikes only if you live in a small condo, apartment, or dorm room.
Resistance is integral for challenging performances, and there is no use in pedaling away without any resistance that helps in burning calories, raising your heart rate, and flexing muscles.
Among different resistance systems found on upright bike models, I bet that the magnetic resistance system is the commonest of all.
The magnetic system makes use of magnets acting on a heavy metal flywheel to bring about resistance.
Heavier the flywheel, smoother is the bike’s performance. The magnetic system also performs smoothly and quietly.
You might even choose bikes that come with incremental resistance levels, which help you progress gradually and consistently in due course of time.
Greater the number of resistance levels better is your scope to face challenging workout sessions and improve.
The only downside is that the magnetic resistance system costs more comparatively, but that’s not the case always.
There are upright bikes that come with air resistance systems. These have movable handlebars that enable a full-body workout.
But, these are noisy and unsuitable for longer sessions though they offer natural acceleration and no limits on resistance.
Average height people needn’t worry about height ranges as most bike models suit them.
This is for those who are too short (under 5ft) or too tall (above 6ft).
Too tall people often feel too cramped and uncomfortable to keep pedaling for longer while too short people find it difficult to reach the pedals and/or handles (more frequently when they are not adjustable).
While some manufacturers do mention height ranges, many of them skip this part.
It’s better that you look out for any display of leg inseam measures and user reviews.
The control module/central console allows you to control your workout and receive feedback on your performance.
Most bikes come with LCD screens and various buttons that help to adjust resistance levels and other things.
Advanced consoles help you jump across resistance levels that are particularly useful for HIIT training, but it also comes at an exuberant cost.
The features in the console entirely depend on how much you pay for the bike.
Upright bikes are super cool when it comes to secondary features as they ensure convenience and amenities.
Seats are important for upright bikes. You can find larger, padded and contoured seats in bikes that cost more but if you are looking for a budget bike, you might need to buy an extra seat cover.
You could even look for features such as USB charging port, integrated speakers, Bluetooth option, built-in cooling fans, and the media tray.
Again, the features provided depending on your budget.
Remember, performance is more important than these extra features when you have budget constraints, and your primary focus is on health.
Benefits of Using Upright Bike
There are aplenty benefits of using an upright bike, and the importance of them include:
- An upright mike mimics an outdoor cycling experience and guarantees more consistent performance compared to other bike models
- Upright bikes invoke workout of the same muscle groups as an outdoor riding bike meaning, and it provides a whole-body exercise.
- An upright bike provides ample workout to your abdominal muscles as the body is maintained in an upright position while cycling.
- You get to enjoy greater levels of upper body arm workout as you engage the biceps, triceps, and shoulder muscles.
- Occupy less space as the bikes have a smaller footprint
Top 6 Best Upright Bikes Under $500
Given below are the top six best upright bikes that excel in terms of performance and comfort for the given price range.
The Schwinn 130 model has proved beyond doubt that price is not the deciding factor of a good-quality bike.
The bike comes with 20 different resistance levels offering excellent, challenging levels to all trainers.
The magnetic resistance system that comes with a 10lb flywheel guarantees a smooth and quiet performance despite hard training levels.
The height range here is beyond average, making it comfortable for users up to 6ft 6inches tall to workout conveniently on their bike.
Coming to secondary features, the list isn’t disappointing. You get a dual-screen console displaying your workout data.
The main console consists of precision controls and quick controls.
You also get to enjoy a media shelf, a 3-speed cooling fan, and a USB charging port that makes your exercising experience more comfortable and enjoyable too.
- Smooth and quiet performance without disturbing others
- 20 different resistance levels
- Dual display screens and a good console
- Good secondary features for the price paid
- The display screen doesn’t come with a backlight
- Push buttons generate a disturbing beep sound
Though priced quite high compared to the Schwinn 130 model, the 170 model comes at an affordable rate and also offers better performance and more features on a comparative basis.
Though a mid-range model, the company has done a splendid job in providing a solid steel frame that can withstand up to 300 pounds of user weight.
You can also get to adjust your seat and handlebars that enhance your comfort levels and exercise convenience.
If you worry whether this model can match good resistance levels, put your doubts to rest as the bike comes with 25 different magnetic resistance levels that provide you with optimal challenges.
Schwinn 170 boasts of excellent secondary features, including a heart rate monitor, Bluetooth connectivity, dual LCD screen, integrated speakers, and a media tray.
- 25 magnetic resistance levels
- Sturdy frame and construction
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Easy to assemble
- Uncomfortable seat
- Bluetooth connectivity provided only for apps and not for speakers
Though not foldable, the Marcy ME708 model is well-recommended for small homes and condos as it occupies a smaller footprint and remains compact.
The bike comes with integrated wheels that help you steer it easily to one corner of your room once you finish exercising.
A budget bike, the equipment doesn’t compromise on its frame and construction. The bike comes with a strong and sturdy powder-coated steel tube frame.
Users of different height ranges can jump onto the bike and start pedaling away. Also, the bike holds up to 300 pounds of maximum user weight.
Eight magnetic resistance levels could be easily changed with the twist of a control dial.
Though you might not find the small console to be quite amusing, you get to read all important metrics that help you improve your performance over time.
- Quiet performance
- Sturdy frame and construction that’s durable
- Excellent pricing for the comfort and durability offered
- Some resistance levels are quite similar to each other
- Seats are not too comfortable
Here is a budget-friendly upright bike that’s one of the most demanded models in the market for a primary reason—it has a foldable frame that becomes as compact as possible and easy to store after working out.
Don’t worry about stability or weight ranges despite its compactness as the bike can accommodate up to 300 pounds of user weight that’s appreciable.
You get to enjoy eight different levels of resistance that provides quiet performance.
The manufacturer has provided a central console that accommodates an LCD monitor helping users with all required metrics to improve performance.
Isn’t data on calories burned, speed, time, distance, and heart rate sufficient to improve your fitness levels over time?
- Compact and easy to store using the folding feature of the bike
- Optimal console displaying essential metrics in the LCD screen
- Sturdy frame
- Optimal for beginner trainers as the equipment provides eight levels of resistance
- Not good for too short or too tall individuals
- Quite an uncomfortable seat
The Sunny upright bike is not any ordinary budget bike. Still, a piece of equipment that comes built with a superb twist—the unit has integrated arm and leg resistance bands that help you improve your flexibility and body strength as you cycle.
Like the Exerpeutic XBike, this model too can be folded and stored (or rather wheeled) away to save space when you are not working out.
Again, don’t worry about sturdiness as the unit can accommodate up to 265 lbs. of user weight.
The secondary features in the Sunny bike include a functional LCD screen that displays important basic information such as speed, distance, and calories.
Heart rate is also displayed using the pulse monitors in the handlebars.
- Solid performance though a budget model
- A belt drive is smooth and quiet
- Easy to fold and store
- Integrated resistance bands are uber-cool and take the bike’s value a notch higher
- Not suitable for people under 5ft 2 inches in height
- Very basic central console
Priced comparatively lower than other models of Nautilus, this bike doesn’t compromise on any of the features provided, which is simply superb.
You get to enjoy built-in speakers, a cooling fan, and even a USB charging point in a bike that’s budget-friendly. Isn’t it nice to listen to songs or stay cool while working out?
Even the control module comes with two separate displays with one display for navigating presets and the other for tracking real-time stats.
Enjoy a smooth and quiet performance with the help of the 18lb flywheel and the bike’s solid frame.
The company doesn’t compromise on resistant levels, too—they offer 20 different levels and 22 different workout programs that enhance the exercising experience of users.
Set up to two different user profiles to enjoy your biking experience on the Nautilus bike.
- Easy to assemble
- Central console provided with two LCD screens
- Smooth and quiet biking experience
- Excellent secondary features for the price paid
- No backlight on LCD screens
- The seat is not too comfortable
Though the market is flooded with innumerous upright bike options, the primary features listed here would help you choose a good model that satisfies your key requirements, especially when you are looking for a budget bike under $500.
Make an informed decision after going through all the features carefully and reap the benefits of buying a durable and comfortable upright bike for your home gym.