Best Exercise Bike Under $500 [Full Reviews & Buying Guide]

Best overall exercise bike

Nautilus U626 Upright Bike

Our Score: 4.75 / 5

Nautilus U626 Upright Bike
  • Smooth magnetic resistance of 25 levels
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • 29 built-in training programs
  • Telemetry enabled heart rate monitoring

Best for multiple users

Schwinn 170 upright exercise bike

Our Score: 4.75 / 5

Schwinn 170 upright exercise bike
  • Saves up to 4 user profiles
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Telemetry heart rate monitoring

Best for tight budgets under $200

Upright Exercise Bike Marcy ME-708

Our Score: 4.5 / 5

Upright Exercise Bike Marcy ME-708
  • Compact – good for tight spaces
  • Very affordable
  • Durable steel frame

Table of Contents

Exercise bikes are an easy and effective way to get a good workout from the comfort of your home. There are many different kinds of stationary bikes – upright, spin, recumbent.

Spin bikes are designed for hardcore workouts and recumbent bikes cater to those with spine issues. The other main style of home cycle is the upright exercise bike.

Upright bikes are among the oldest kinds of home exercise equipment and until today, they remain very popular.

Physically, an upright bike is generally not too demanding. Not only that, they offer a different feel than other kinds of bikes and tend to be more accessible for the average person who is just getting into fitness.

Compared to a spin bike, the upright tends to be more comfortable, has better consoles and more inbuilt exercise programs.

There are a variety of upright exercise bikes available today, so there is something for every fitness level and every budget. Particularly if you are a beginner biker, it makes sense to start with an entry-level exercise bike until you develop strength and tolerance.

This article features the best upright exercise bikes under $500. Easy on the wallet, these bikes do not compromise in build quality and are worth every penny.

Side-by-side product comparison - specifications & features

ImageProductOur RatingPriceResistanceConnectivityUser weight capacitySizeWarranty
Nautilus U616 Upright BikeNautilus U6164.75$$$Magnetic (25 levels)Bluetooth and USB300 lb12.5" x 22.5" x 41"Frame: 10 years
Parts & electronics: 3 years
Labor: 1 year
Schwinn Upright Series Bike – 170 modelSchwinn 1704.75$$$$Magnetic (25 levels)Bluetooth and USB300 lb12.5" x 22.5" x 41"Frame: 10 years
Parts: 2 years
Electronics: 1year
Labor:90 days
Marcy Upright Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-708Marcy ME-7084.5$Magnetic (8 levels)None300 lb32" x 18" x 48"2 year limited warranty
Schwinn Upright Series Bike – 130 modelSchwinn 1304.5$$Magnetic (20 levels)USB300 lb41.3" x 21.3" x 55.5"Frame: 10 years
Parts: 2 years
Electronics: 1year
Labor:90 days
HARISON Stationary Upright Exercise Bike with 14 Levels Magnetic Resistance for Indoor Home Gym Cardio Workout 350 LBS CapacityHARISON FITNESS B7 Bike4.5$$$$Magnetic (14 levels)None350 lb35.4" x 20.5" x 51.2"12 month replacement warranty
Sunny Health & Fitness Stationary Upright Exercise Bike with Performance Monitor, Tablet/iPad Device Holder, 275 LB Max User Weight with Body Fat and BMI Calculator - SF-B2952Sunny SF-B29524.25$$Magnetic (8 levels)None275 lb40.5" x 21" x 51"180 day manufacturer warranty
L NOW Exercise Bike, Indoor Cycling Bike, Belt Drive Stationary Bike, Magnetic Resistance Upright Bike With LCD Display for Women Wen Senior Home Office Cardio Workout Bike TrainingL NOW X44.25$$$$Magnetic (8 levels)None300 lb50.4" x 57.3" x 21.6"1 year limited warranty

Our top exercise bike picks under $500

#1 Best overall exercise bike

Nautilus U626 Upright Bike

Nautilus U626 Upright Bike

Our Score: 4.75 / 5

Editor's opinion:

One of the most popular midrange upright bikes, the Nautilus U626 Upright Bike ticks all the right boxes. It has superb magnetic resistance and built-in exercise programs to keep you motivated. Taking into account the included tech features such as Bluetooth, a USB port and app connectivity, it is one of the best upright bikes you can get for less than $500.

Pros

  • Smooth magnetic resistance of 25 levels
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • 29 built-in training programs
  • Telemetry enabled heart rate monitoring

Cons

  • Only two user profiles
  • Seat might feel hard

The Nautilus U616 has all the right features to make it the one of the best upright bikes under $500. It combines a perimeter weighted flywheel with magnetic resistance to give you an enjoyable indoor cycling experience.

The resistance is adjustable over 25 levels, allowing you to fine tune your workout to great detail. This upright bike is quiet even at higher difficulty levels.

The console features a blue-backlit dual track LCD display, speakers with MP3 input, USB port. It is compatible with the Explore the World app and there is Bluetooth connectivity to sync your workout stats with popular cycling apps like Strava and UA Record. This makes it much easier to track your improvement and stay motivated to keep cycling as you get stronger.

For a more structured workout, there are 29 different built-in workout programs, including 1 recovery test, 2 fitness tests and 1 quick start. To keep cool and hydrated, Nautilus has added on an adjustable fan with a water bottle holder.

The seat is adjustable up and down, but some very tall users found it a bit too short and ended up swapping out the saddle for a different kind. Others have mentioned that the seat can be a little too hard for comfort.

As it uses a typical bike saddle post attachment, it is easy to upgrade the seat on the U616.

For peace of mind, the U616 comes with a robust warranty that covers 10 years for the frame, 3 years for mechanical parts, 3 years for electronics, and 1 year of labor.

Even though some assembly is needed, it is straightforward to put together this upright bike.

There are only two user profiles, so this is not the best choice if many people in your home intend to share the bike.

Overall, these are relatively minor drawbacks. With a high quality build, generous extra features and solid internal mechanism, the Nautilus U616 is a worthwhile purchase.

#2 Best for multiple users

Schwinn 170 upright exercise bike

Schwinn 170 upright exercise bike

Our Score: 4.75 / 5

Editor's opinion:

A step up from the Schwinn 130, the Schwinn 170 (also known as the Schwinn 570u globally) includes several major improvements. It supports multiple user profiles and offers an array of connectivity options for monitoring progress, making it one of the best upright bikes available today.

Pros

  • Saves up to 4 user profiles
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Telemetry heart rate monitoring

Cons

  • Quality issues with pedals

The Schwinn 170 is a major improvement from the 130 model.

From a distance, they look very similar as both have the same solid frame. In fact, many features are the same. Both Schwinn upright bikes have the same perimeter weighted flywheel, display readouts, 3 speed fan, tablet holder, single water bottle holder, and USB port.

Look closer and the superior quality of the Schwinn 170 becomes evident. One key difference is that the 170 comes with Bluetooth connectivity. Therefore, it is compatible with certain fitness apps such as Explore the World and Google Fit.

While the information displayed on the console is the same, the console on the Schwinn is backlit, making it much easier to read. Telemetry for heart rate monitoring is enabled on the Schwinn 170, a much needed feature for truly accurate heart rate data.

There are more in built workout programs on the Schwinn 170 with 29 different workouts versus the 22 programs on the Schwinn 130. The Schwinn 170 supports 4 user profiles whereas the 130 only allowed for 2 profiles.

Another upgrade is the resistance. The Schwinn 170 boasts of 25 different levels of magnetic resistance. The ergonomics is also much improved as the 170 supports saddle adjustability in both forward and back directions, as well as up and down.

Overall, this is an excellent upright bike for multiple users. The adjustable seat, Bluetooth connectivity to different apps and multiple workout programs all work together to make this a versatile bike that would suit a wide range of people.

One complaint in the reviews is a loud noise when pedaling after a few uses. Most people had no problems with the bike, but a few did have this issue, so there may be inconsistencies in manufacturing quality.

#3 Best for tight budgets under $200

Upright Exercise Bike Marcy ME-708

Upright Exercise Bike Marcy ME-708

Our Score: 4.5 / 5

Editor's opinion:

For a basic upright bike that fits both tight budgets and small spaces, the Marcy ME-708 is a worthy contender. It is affordable, mobile and perfect for light exercise at home.

Pros

  • Compact – good for tight spaces
  • Very affordable
  • Durable steel frame

Cons

  • Assembly needed

This is the most affordable upright bike on this list and one of the cheapest upright bikes on the market.

The Marcy upright bike gives you value for your money without compromising quality too much – a solid steel frame makes this product more than sturdy enough for light cycling exercise.

For a varied workout, this upright bike has magnetic resistance with 8 levels of difficulty. The seat can be moved up and down, so there is some room for adjustment.

As for the LCD screen, it shows you the necessary data on speed, time, calories burned, and distance.

The Marcy ME-708 bike is small, light and compact as it doesn’t take up much space. With a small footprint and product weight of 41 pounds, this little exercise bike is easily moved around.

Do note that it lacks proper transportation wheels, but instead relies on the end caps at the ends of the crossbars to act as wheels.

Another drawback is the assembly. Many users have mentioned that assembling it is tricky as the exercise bike comes in many different parts. Marcy has included a detailed assembly manual to help with it.

If you are DIY-shy and concerned about putting the upright bike together, check out the assembly manual online before you make the purchase.

If you are on a tight budget of less than $200 but still want to add an indoor bike to your home gym, it’s difficult to go wrong with the Marcy ME-708. It may be limited in the way of extra features or adjustability, but it does the job without putting a hole in your pocket.

#4 Best for beginner cyclists

Schwinn 130 upright exercise bike

Schwinn 130 upright exercise bike

Our Score: 4.5 / 5

Editor's opinion:

For those on a budget but who desire a decent indoor bike, look no further than the Schwinn 130. This upright exercise bike comes with magnetic resistance, built-in workout programs and a strong warranty, making it a sensible choice for beginners.

Pros

  • Good warranty
  • USB port to sync with fitness apps
  • 20 built-in workout programs
  • Adjustable handlebars

Cons

  • No Bluetooth
  • LCD is not backlit
  • Only handlebar grip sensors for pulse rate

Schwinn is a company known for designing quality indoor bikes, the 130 is one of many different models.

This indoor bike features 20 levels of magnetic resistance, 20 built in exercise programs and an informative LCD console.

To keep the bike stable as you pedal, there is a perimeter weighted flywheel.

Unlike the more expensive Schwinn 170, there is no Bluetooth connectivity on the Schwinn 130. Therefore, the 130 doesn’t support the Explore the World app.

Instead, to keep an eye on your progress, Schwinn has included a USB port to plug in your phone and manually connect to fitness apps such as SchwinnConnect or MyFitnessPal. This is an extra step, but it is not much of a hassle, especially when you take into account the extra savings on the 130 model.

Apart from that, there are 20 different built in workout programs to guide your bike sessions, accessible through its DualTrack™ 2 LCD screen system. The LCD screen also shows you many other details such as time, pulse, distance, RPM, speed, resistance, calories, heart rate (measured via pulse grip sensors on the handlebars), and up to 2 user profiles.

The seat on the Schwinn 130 is comfortable as it is padded and contoured. However, it is only adjustable one way. To compensate for this, Schwinn has made the handlebars adjustable.

Other disadvantages are that the LCD is not backlit and the Schwinn 130 doesn’t support telemetry heart rate monitoring. That aside, it’s an excellent bike for this price point.

#5 Best for heavier users

Harison B7 Magnetic Upright Exercise Bike

Harison B7 Magnetic Upright Exercise Bike

Our Score: 4.5 / 5

Editor's opinion:

The HARISON B7 is a sturdy upright exercise bike with a higher than average weight capacity of 350 lbs. With its solid build and easy to use interface, this bike is made for heavier people who need a simple but stable upright bike.

Pros

  • Heavy user weight capacity (up to 350 lbs)
  • Sturdy and well-built
  • Quiet and smooth feel

Cons

  • Short warranty period
  • Basic console

The chief selling point of the Harison B7 is its weight capacity. The heavy duty frame on this sturdy upright bike can support body weights up to 350 lb.

This is above average for any exercise bike, let alone one under $500.

Based on the reviews, it delivers what it says on the label. Several people, especially those heavier than average, have praised the stability and sturdiness of the B7.

Other perks of the B7 include its quietness and smooth feel when pedaling. For more challenge, the 14-level magnetic resistance can be adjusted through a resistance knob.

Adjustability is also an option as the seat can be adjusted four ways, perfect for getting the bike to fit just right.

Assembly has been reported to take some time, but is doable with the instruction manual provided. Harison can provide you with an installation video if needed.

There are a few downsides, however. The LCD screen shows only the basics of distance, time, speed, calories burned and heart rate as monitored from handlebar grip sensors. The B7 lacks the tech extras which are usually found in other bikes of this price range, such as workout programs or Bluetooth capability. The warranty is also limited, at only 12 months of free manufacturer replacement.

#6 Best for all heights

Sunny Upright Exercise Bike SF-B2952

Sunny Upright Exercise Bike SF-B2952

Our Score: 4.25 / 5

Editor's opinion:

If you are taller or shorter than average, but need an upright exercise bike on a budget, the Sunny SF-B2952 is worth considering. Easy to use, Sunny has produced an ergonomic bike that is highly adjustable  but with no additional fancy features.

Pros

  • Wide adjustability – perfect for people of all heights
  • Easy to use
  • Value for money

Cons

  • No built-in workout programs
  • Seat might be uncomfortable for some

Sunny is a home exercise equipment manufacturing company with a reputation for producing budget to mid-range products that are accessible to all.

For this reason, the SF-B2952 exercise bike does not disappoint.

Powered by magnetic resistance spread across 8 resistance levels, the well-made frame supports up to 275 lbs of user weight.

It also comes with non-slip pedals, an LCD display, transportation wheels and a tablet holder.

The console looks compact but gives you a lot of information such as pulse (measured via heart rate sensors on the handlebar), RPM, speed, time, and distance including extras such as a calendar, thermometer, BMI, and body fat percentage calculator. However, there are no built-in workout programs and the display is not backlit.

The main perk of this bike is its adjustability. The seat is adjustable four-ways and the inseam range is 24″ to 36.5″.

This is great for your cycling posture and makes the upright bike suitable for people of all body types.

Some people felt that the seat was a little hard for comfort, but it was easily improved by adding on a padded or gel seat cover. Installing a more cushioned bike saddle is also an easy alternative.

Essentially, this is a basic upright exercise bike that does the minimum but does it very well.

#7 High comfort exercise bike

L-Now Upright bike D808

L-Now Upright bike D808

Our Score: 4.25 / 5

Editor's opinion:

The L-NOW D808 upright bike is a distinctive looking bike that emphasizes comfort and stylish looks. Magnetic resistance and hand pulse sensors complete the upright bike to give you a wholesome workout.

Pros

  • Adjustable handlebar
  • Wide comfortable seat
  • Easy assembly
  • Looks stylish

Cons

  • No built-in workouts
  • No Bluetooth or USB port

The L-Now D808 is an upright bike that comes with an 8 level Magnetic Tension control system. The 44 lbs flywheel plus its internal mechanics work together to give you a quiet and fluid riding workout.

Not only that, the D808 upright bike has a cool exterior design; it is definitely one of the better looking budget bikes on the market.

One nice advantage of this bike is that the handlebars are adjustable. You can rotate it to the position that feels best for your back and shoulders.

The LCD screen monitors speed, heart rate, distance, time, and calories burned.

The saddle seat is padded and wide, with many users praising its comfortable feel. As the seat is also adjustable four-ways, the D808 is suitable for both tall and short people.

There is some assembly needed but putting the bike together is not complicated. One potential negative is that the L-Now D808 does not come with built-in programs. Without Bluetooth or user profiles, there seems to be no way to keep track of your progress other than to monitor your stats manually.

In a cheaper bike, this might be standard, but as the L-Now D808 is usually sold close to $500, other bikes such as the Nautilus U626 or Schwinn 170 offer more for the same price.

Do note that L-Now and POOBOO are now the same brand. POOBOO is in the process of changing the brand name on the bikes, so the exercise bike you receive might look slightly different.

The best under $500 exercise bike: buying guide, tips & tricks

Compared to spin biking or even outdoor cycling, cycling on an indoor exercise bike is a rather different experience.

When purchasing an upright bike, there are certain special factors that need to be considered.

1. Comfort

On an upright bike, you are likely to be seated for most of the workout, if not the entire time. Therefore, the seat is especially important, more than on a spin bike. Look for a seat that has enough padding to be comfortable.

When it comes to bike seats, size matters – check the dimensions of the saddle on the product listing. Typically, wider saddles feel better for long cycling sessions. If you, unfortunately, end up with a bike that feels uncomfortable to sit on, do not despair as the saddle is easily improved.

Consider adding a padded bike seat cover, or even swapping out the saddle for an entirely new one. Most indoor bikes use a standard saddle attachment, so upgrading the seat is a straightforward process.

2. Adjustability

Posture while cycling is important.

Choosing an exercise bike with adjustable handlebars and seat goes a long way to improve your posture while cycling.

Almost all exercise bikes have seats that are adjusted up and down. Some upright bikes allow for backward and forwards seat adjustment too.

Not many upright exercise bikes come with adjustable handlebars, but a few do, such as the L-Now D808 upright bike.

3. Console

With a spin bike, you are likely to be following classes on YouTube or a cycling app. This is not so common with the upright bike. On an upright, a lot of progress monitoring is dependent on the bike itself.

Look closely at the console of the upright bike you are considering. Is the screen backlit? What sort of statistics does the bike measure? Does it have Bluetooth to sync to your favorite app?

Not only that, many upright bikes come with built-in exercise programs; these are particularly great for building fitness and keeping you motivated.

One other feature to examine is user profiles. Certain bikes, such as the Schwinn 170, supports up to 4 profiles. If more than 2 people will be using the exercise bike, this is a handy advantage to have.

4. Cost

If this is your first stationary bike, you may have noticed – these do not always come cheap. Up to a certain point, you get what you pay for. More expensive bikes tend to have more tech connectivity features, better resistance systems and improved displays.

However, for a total beginner, there is no need to splurge on an expensive model. A mid-range exercise bike that gives you decent quality with a few extra features to keep things interesting is often the best choice.

With time, the features that you enjoy having in an indoor bike will be clearer to you. Some people prefer sturdy and simple machines that can take a beating, others relish a modern HD screen to keep workouts interactive.

The only way to identify your priorities is by gaining indoor cycling experience.

If you are on a budget, a cheap exercise bike that allows you to get some form of exercise is better than doing nothing at all.

5. Dimensions and weight

Exercise equipment can take up space. If space is already at a premium in your home, take extra care to double-check the dimensions of the indoor bike you are eyeing.

Measure the area you are planning to use it in, and compare that against the footprint dimensions of the stationary bike. If you are planning to store it away after use, consider getting a folding exercise bike instead of a full-sized model.

Otherwise, check the weight of the product. A lighter stationary bike will be easier to wheel into storage, but be careful not to compromise stability for mobility.

6. Other forms of indoor exercise

As always, you have options. Two popular alternatives to indoor bikes are the treadmill and the rowing machine. Each has its own individual pros and cons.

Jogging or running is the best for calorie burning, but it is hard on your joints. Cycling is less taxing on the joints, but it burns fewer calories.

Both the treadmill and indoor bikes focus on the lower body, neglecting the other major muscle groups. For a well-rounded workout, rowing involves the upper body as well as the abdominals in addition to engaging the legs.

It also strengthens the back muscles very efficiently, and stronger back muscles often translate to better posture. However, it burns the least amount of calories and the push-off while rowing might aggravate sensitive knees.

There is a learning curve as rowing requires some coordination to do it correctly. Rowing machines also take up more space and are more expensive than indoor bikes or treadmills. If you are considering taking up rowing, check out the best rowing machines you can get for less than $500.

Ultimately, cross-training and partaking in a wide variety of exercise types is the best for the body. Adding variety to your fitness routine also reduces the chances of any overuse injuries.

Final verdict

Whether a treadmill, bike, or rowing machine, using home cardio equipment is one of the easiest ways to get fit.

Working out at home is more relaxing and it beats rushing to the gym. In fact, there are even home gyms that you can set up at home.

Slightly simpler than home gyms, indoor exercise bikes are gaining popularity these days. If you too decide to hop on the upright bike bandwagon, hopefully, this article helps you choose the best exercise bike for your needs.

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All our articles are the result of many hours of research, comparisons, study, and writing. If you'd like to know more about our research and writing process you can do so here.

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Dr. Praveena Asokan
Dr. Praveena Asokan

Dr. Praveena Asokan, MBChB has a background in medicine, having graduated from the University of Leicester before working in various hospitals. Her additional experience as a medical researcher helped her transition to a career as a writer, and she now enjoys researching and writing on a number of health-related topics.

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