The Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike with Pulse is one of the most popular and highly rated exercise bikes online. This is surprising considering it is affordably priced and a folding exercise bike.
At first look I thought how is this possible? It’s hard not to be sceptical at the price. It definitely needed more research as to why it could be so well thought of!
Can it really be that good at providing a low impact cardio workout?
Of course, the price is one factor in the rating but that doesn’t fully explain why it is such a favorite, as there are bikes cheaper than this that don’t get a good rating (and with good reason in many cases).
In our review we look at the reasons why this folding exercise bike is so well regarded along with what to look out for when making your buying decision.
This is a lightweight bike for an exercise bike with it only weighing 39 lbs (not that light!) and with stabilizer bars only 19 inches wide it is narrow too. The good news, even with those concerns, it is very stable. It holds steady without any rocking or the feeling that it might tip you off.
You can then just get on with focusing on your workout.
The frame is made from tubular steel that is powder coated making it durable with it lasting and performing well for years.
It gives a good solid base with no flexing at whatever intensity or user weight up to the recommended 300 lbs. (Some have used it over that weight and found it can cope but it’s just not recommended by the manufacturer.)
The bike does need to be used on level ground to keep it steady. It doesn’t come with levelers to balance out any unevenness in the floor.
The frame comes with a limited 1 year warranty which is as expected considering the price.
The seat can be only adjusted upwards/downwards on an angle for different heights and to give some allowance for different upper body lengths too.
The handlebars can’t be moved they are fixed in place.
It is quick to make the adjustment with it taking well under 30 seconds to do, catering for heights between 5 ft 3 ins and 6 ft 1 ins.
This makes it possible for 2 or more people to share the same bike to get their cardio workouts.
To make the adjustment you loosen the height adjustment knob/pin on the post until you can slide the seat to the height you want and then insert into the nearest pre-set hole and tighten up fully.
The pre-set holes can sometimes result in a seat that is slightly too high or too low but with the pin inserted and tightened up properly it won’t slip or move around which could cause injury if it slipped while in use
This range of heights (noted above) are the recommended heights for a comfortable and effective workout with full range of motion for your legs.
People below 5 ft 3 ins and down to 4 ft 11 ins who have tried the bike have different views on whether it fits – some say they can do it with a little or no stretching and others are left high and dry and disappointed.
It depends on leg length if you are under the recommended 5 ft 3 ins as to whether it will work for you.
Most that do manage to use it find they are sitting as far forward as they can on the seat which can be very uncomfortable (like just about any bike seat is!). Still others who are below the recommended height have used wedges/blocks on their shoes/pedals to use the bike and not end up over-stretching.
Also, for those who are below 5 ft 5 ins they can sometimes find it a little difficult to get on to the seat and to get their foot over the bar – a small stool can help if you do struggle with this.
If you are above 6 ft 1 ins you are going find you are cramped up and do not get the full range of motion with the leg not extending until only slightly bent to get the most effective and comfortable pedaling motion.
There is magnetic strip near the small flywheel that is moved closer/ further away by the tension knob that sits below the handlebars. On the knob there are levels of resistance from 1 to 8 marked on it. This helps in objectively setting the amount of resistance you want and to return to a previous setting.
The transition between the levels is incremental and it happens smoothly.
Setting 1 is very easy and is like there is no resistance. Most people progress from that (or use from the start) levels 3 – 6 for their exercising which gets the heart rate up to their training heart zone.
Above these levels they use it for short periods as they find it too tough to maintain for longer periods – it’s like going up a hill on a road bike in toughness.
These levels of resistance are great for those wanting to workout for overall fitness and health but people looking for serious workouts are likely to find that they’re not tough enough. If that is you see our spin bike comparison for bikes that can push you harder.
The bike has v-belt drives to connect the pedals to the flywheel. They provide a smooth quiet ride. The “v” in the belt adds grip to it, to prevent slipping at the various resistance levels.
There should be no requirement for ongoing maintenance like there is with a chain drive so you have trouble free workouts
The pedals are made of sturdy plastic with straps you tighten to keep your feet in place. They take standard athletic shoes and won’t take specialist spinning shoes.
The pedals aren’t directly below like you get on a road or spin bike but are out in front of you part way towards being like a recumbent bike. It can feel a little uncomfortable at first but doesn’t take long to get used to it. Rather than pushing directly down on the stroke you are pushing slightly away from you.
Many people with knee problems use the bike for rehabilitation or general fitness and get good results from it – so it shouldn’t cause problems for people without joint issues.
The bike isn’t designed for standing on the pedals and do spinning style workouts. For one thing you are standing to close to the handlebars to do this without being all cramped up so won’t get a proper workout and it is not recommended by the supplier.
It also has a small light flywheel so you don’t get the inertia to pull the pedals through for standing and sprinting properly. At the higher resistance settings the pedaling motion becomes choppier with it speeding up during the push phase of the stroke and then slowing down as you move round the top/bottom of the stroke.
If spinning style workouts a what you want to do it is worth checking out for an indoor cycling bike that can provide these type of workouts effectively.
It is possible to cycle backwards and the console continues to record your effort but it is not advised to do this because it causes the crank and pedals to come loose.
Seat. It is a big seat with some padding. It is flat and not contoured to help with comfort.
Many people find it tough on their sit bones or they find that their thighs rub on the side of the seat. This lack of comfort is especially so for people (mainly those who are below 5 ft 3 ins) with shorter legs finding they are having to sit on the front of the seat to reach the pedals.
It is important to note this is not everyone but there is a lot that do find the seat an issue. In some cases the problem foes away as they get used to the bike
There are some things you can try to improve the comfort if you find you can’t get used to it – sometimes it just needs time for the seat and/or sit bones to be broken in – foam padding, pillow case or folded towel. For more secure options that stay put while you ride you can try padded bike shorts or a XL gel seat cover.
Finally there is replacing the seat. However, this is not easy.
The seat attaches to the seat post using 3 bolts making it difficult but not impossible to replace. To do this you need an exercise seat/ bike seat adapter. You can then fit any bike seat you want to the bike.
Noise? It’s a very quiet bike – there’s hardly any noise at all. The resistance and drive with the balanced flywheel are almost silent.
It won’t wake a baby sleeping in the next room or disturb neighbors in an apartment building.
You can watch the TV without turning the volume up, carry on conversations and exercise in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning without disturbing others sleeping. If there are others watching TV in the room with you as you watch they won’t notice you working out.
The loudest noise is likely to be your breathing when you are pushing yourself hard.
If you are in an upper floor apartment with a wooden floor a rubber exercise mat would stop any possible vibration transmitting to the apartment below.
Handlebars. These are coated for comfort that make them easier to grip especially if they get wet from sweat and prevents blisters from forming.
Dust and Dirt. The bike doesn’t give out much anything really in the way of dirt – it may drop some lubricant but this is going to be minimal. The biggest source of “dirt” is likely to be sweat which may drop on the bike and floor.
This can damage the bike over time and may also affect your floor.
To keep the bike looking and performing its best it is important to clean it down regularly.
For the floor a rubber exercise mat can help in protecting it from sweat and any movement that could scratch it.
This is one of the best things about a folding exercise bike – it is a space saver – you can fit it in a small(ish) space out the way when not in use. This makes it great for small homes and apartments as it takes up too much valuable space (and in larger homes too).
You could take it to the office with you to use it during your lunch hour and then fold up and store out of the way when it’s time to get back to the job . It saves getting out in bad weather or if you work in a location that isn’t really suited for getting outside.
Folding it up is quick and easy. You remove the safety pin slide it together and re-insert the pin to hold it in place. when folded it is 19 by 19 by 46 making it easy to store in a closet but it is going to have too much height when lying down to slide under a bed.
The rollers are in the front stabilizer bar and are recessed with only a small amount sticking out. You tip the bike forward on to them to move the bike and they take most of the weight.
They work well on hard floors but on soft carpet they don’t have enough room to roll properly requiring you to drag rather than roll the bike. It weighs in at 39 lbs which can make this a little awkward.
The bike does require some assembly – most of it has been done you are finishing it off.
It’s pretty easy and can be completed from between 20 minutes to 60 minutes if you follow the instructions, especially about the pedals – the left pedal has a reverse thread – it tightens up counter-clockwise to prevent it loosening while you pedal.
To the part-completed bike you add the stabilizer bars, pedals, seat, seat post, handlebars with console and connect console to the bike. Everything fits together and is easy to identify.
The directions are clear with diagrams and steps. The tools required to complete it are provided. You do need to get past the exploded diagram at the front which is there for information purposes and not required to assemble the bike (They’d be better putting it at the back as it concerns some people.)
The console has a 3.3 by 1.5 ins LCD display. The size of the measures are easily read while you workout. However, it isn’t backlit which can make them hard to read in poor light conditions.
It keeps track of distance (miles), speed (mph), calories burned, time, heart rate and odometer. You can either have one displayed or set it to scan where rotates the measures every 6 seconds.
The measures calories, distance and speed are estimates and not particularly good ones at that as they are overstated.
They are good for motivation and feedback during a workout. They can be used for comparing performance.
If you keep a record of your performance from each session you can use them track how you are improving overtime.
You do need to keep a manual record of your workouts if you want to see how you are tracking over time.
When you stop pedaling the console will stay on for 4 minutes until it turns itself off. It does store the results of your latest workout, so when you start to pedal you can start where you left off it you want or press the set button for 2 seconds to clear everything other than the odometer which has your cumulative distance achieved in your workouts. It iscleared by taking out batteries.
The heart pulse sensors are on the side handlebars and need to be gripped firmly (but not too tight) by both hands for the best results. Many people do find that the reading isn’t that accurate and this is one of the reasons, as well as these type of sensors being hard to grip fully when riding as found on other bikes they aren’t as reliable as heart rate strap and monitor.
With them you can have you hands where you are most comfortable rather than tied to one place when trying to train in your heart rate zones for the most effective workouts for your age and exercise/training goals.
The console is powered by 2 AAA batteries (supplied) and you get a good period of use before they need replacing. This is the only “electrical power” the bike requires as the rest is manual. If the console stops working you can still use the bike.
Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike With Pulse Dimensions
The dimensions and weights of the bike are
Height 46 ins
Width 19 ins
Length 31 ins
Height 46 ins
Width 19 ins
Length 19 ins
Bike Weight 39 lbs
Max User Weight 300 lbs
The bike comes with a handy holder at the front of the bike where you can put your TV remote or phone while you exercise. It keeps them in handy reach when you need to change channel or answer the phone without breaking stride!
There isn’t an assigned place to put a water bottle, MP3 player, tablet or book. To keep water close at hand you need to workout near a table or bench.
It is possible to place a book on the console and hold it in place with your hands and you could try it with a table too but there’s no lip to stop it from falling off. You may be able to keep it in place with strong rubber bands. If you did you wouldn’t be able to see the console.
The manual does have a section on warming up properly before you start your workout. It doesn’t go any further than that, there is no guidance on how to set it up properly for most comfortable and effective workouts. Also, it doesn’t have any workouts that you could do when getting started. You are left to find help online – which there is plenty to choose from.
- Easy and quick to assemble with good instructions and tools included
- Provides a low impact workout
- The price makes this affordable for most people to get their low cardio impact workouts in the comfort of their home
- The small footprint and that it can be folded up make it a space saver for all homes and apartments
- Bike comes with transport rollers making it easy to move around except on soft carpet
- It well made and holds steady while you workout
- Resistance can be adjusted for more difficult workouts as wanted
- Resistance levels are marked making it easy to objectively set and return to a previous setting
- There is handy holder on front post for your TV remote or phone
- Can be used by all abilities including those with knee injuries (if doctor approved), those wanting to lose weight, getting in shape and moderately tough workouts. Adults of all ages can use it between 5 ft 3 ins and 6 ft 1 ins
- It can ‘t be used as a spin bike as it is not designed for standing on the pedals
- It is not suitable for serious athletes or those wanting intense workouts
- Although a large padded seat some people will find it uncomfortable (as with any bike type seat). It can’t be replaced easily
- Doesn’t suit people below the height of 5 ft 3 ins
- Nowhere to put your water bottle holder, book or electronic devices such as a tablet
- No pre-set workout programs or guidance
- Doesn’t record your workouts for tracking purposes
- Measures except for time are inaccurate
- Transport rollers don’t work well on soft carpet
Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike With Pulse Consumer Ratings
This is a highly rated bike with reviews talking about how easy it is to set up, that it is a stable and durable bike all at a great price. They say they get the workout they want – low impact cardio at their choice of intensity. The reviews come from adults of all ages (into their eighties), people with knee problems, people wanting to be more active, stay in shape or wanting to lose weight and so on.
There are some concerns about the height adjustment, the console and the seat.
The first issue is unfair (it is a con but not a reason to mark it down from a users perspective). It seems that not everyone reads or believes that the bike won’t adjust to accommodate people below the height of 5 ft 3 ins properly so they unfairly leave a bad review for it in my opinion. This is shown plainly in the product listing.
The other 2 have merit. The console overstates the distance, speed and calories (estimates) and doesn’t sense heart rate accurately (as is the case with most handlebar heart pulse sensors. The time measure is accurate.
The seat issue is something to be expected with most exercise bikes and is a common complaint. (Some people do find the seat comfortable.)
After mentioning those 3 things it is important that for the vast majority of users the positives far outweigh any negatives especially for the price.
Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike With Pulse Price
The budget price of bike for the value you get for it, making it hard to beat for an affordable exercise bike.
The bike qualified for free shipping at Amazon when I checked.
This bike is a great option for those wanting to get in shape, stay in shape or burn calories to help with weight loss (exercise bikes are great in this) . It can be used by adults of all ages and abilities.
The quietness of the bike allows you to use it while watching TV (rather than sitting on the couch you can be active at the same time) or use at night when others in the house are sleeping or when you child(ren) are taking their naps.
Having said that, those looking for serious workouts or spinning style workouts are likely to find this isn’t the bike for them with it not providing the ability to have very intense workouts (or stand on pedals).
Everyone else will get as tough workouts as they want to meet their goals on a quiet, stable and durable folding exercise bike. They are in their own home avoiding the crowds at the gym or avoiding the bad weather and they can watch what they want on TV.