Marcy ME 708 Upright Exercise Bike is an affordable upright exercise bike.
And one of the reasons it is popular.
It has quiet low maintenance magnetic resistance, there’s a console for feedback on your exercise, it’s compact and the seat height is adjustable are some of the best features of the bike.
It is a basic bike that doesn’t come with any frills. It helps to keep the price down and also has the advantage that there is less to go wrong as can happen with more expensive stationary bikes.
This bike isn’t going to be for everyone but for those who are looking for a way to get fit and lose some pounds it may be what they are looking for.
In my review I check out what you get for the price and whether you get what you pay for or is it something more than that.
It is lightweight for an exercise bike at 41 lbs and has a small footprint. But despite that, it’s steel tube frame and stabilizer bars do hold everything reasonably steady as you workout
When seated there isn’t an issue with wobbling as it is made to be used – if you do stand on the pedals it will move around a little as some do and I think it will reduce the life of the bike.
If the floor is a little uneven the bike may move from side to side but this can be sorted by turning the rear stabilizer end caps to balance it out or by placing a rug or exercise mat under it.
From the manual the warranty on the frame is 2 years but there is no mention of the warranty on other parts or labor. The warranty on the frame is pretty good considering the price but rest of it is not good as you usually get around 90 days at least.
It seems the frame of the bike is durable with one review saying it was holding up well after 2 years of use. The reviewer did say he had to do a little maintenance on the resistance and belt to keep the tension up and keep it running quietly. The reviewer did say it still represented good value.
If you ride it hard with the resistance up and for extended periods it is unlikely that you will get years of use from the bike as you would if you paid a few hundred dollars more – but for more moderate levels of exercise it will stand up to it for a number of years.
It seems people up to 5ft 11 ins are comfortable on the bike but you may find that you don’t get the full leg extension you want for a proper pedal stroke. You may also feel cramped in relation to the handlebars as you can’t move the sear horizontally.
At the other end of the height range you should have no problem and some people have suggested that people lower than this can reach the pedals fine. It seems the bike is better designed for shorter people except you may find yourself leaning forward more than you want to use the handlebars.
Making the adjustment is quick to do with it involving loosening the adjustment knob and pulling it to release the pin, then sliding seat into position reinserting the pin into one of the pre-set holes and then tightening back into place.
This does mean it can be used by more than one person as the adjustment doesn’t really get in the way of getting started with your exercise.
Marcy ME 708 Upright Exercise Bike Resistance
The 8 levels of magnetic resistance are manually set using the tension knob on the front support pole. It has the 8 levels marked on the knob and as you turn it, it clicks in place.
Making the changes is easy to do and the knob is in easy reach too so you don’t need to stop or slow to do it.
The movement between the levels is smooth so there is no jerkiness to contend with. It goes from very easy to moderately hard – like going up a slope than a tough hill.
Also at the top levels of resistance it is likely to start to feel like it is pulsing as the resistance starts to work as a brake on the flywheel adding a little impact to the pedaling.
The resistance is fine for those who are beginners and those who want moderate levels of exercising to get the heart rate up and get a seat on You can do interval training too if you want
But if you are someone who wants very tough workouts this bike is likely going to leave you disappointed as it won’t give you the challenge you’re looking for.
Most people who use the bike ride on the middle levels and increase their pedaling speed to increase the intensity of the exercise rather than pushing against the highest levels of the resistance.
The bike has a belt drive that is very quiet and will be low maintenance. It and the flywheel are covered which helps to keep it protected from dirt and sweat jamming it up. It also stops you or pets or children getting injured.
You get a relatively smooth pedaling experience that is low impact but at the higher levels of resistance it will get a little rougher (still low impact) with the effect of resistance slowing the pedals down – as you get stronger and better pedaling motion it tends to be a smoother experience
The pedals have a grip and straps to keep your feet in place. The adjustment of the plastic straps can be a little tough at first until the plastic softens up a little. You don’t have to adjust them every time you use the bike – if no one has moved them since you used the bike you can just slip you feet in and off you go. If you don’t like straps you can use the pedals without them.
They are best used with shoes, with athletic shoes being a good choice.
The pedals are always the right side up due to the counterbalancing removing the need to flip them over. You just get on and slide your shoe into the pedal and off you go.
The single crank the pedals screw into in is not as durable as a 3 piece crank but should be up to the challenge of the workouts it is designed for (sitting down) – so as to get years of use out of the bike.
It’s not designed for spinning type workouts where your jumping in and out of the seat or standing on the pedals. It is set up for you to pedal while in your seat.
You can pedal backwards but there is no resistance to push against.
Seat. The seat is oversized and padded for comfort and some will like it. They can use it for as long as they want without it getting too painful. But not all will be so lucky. That is just the way it is with bike type seats.
You have a couple of options to help add more comfort. You can try padded bike shorts or a gel seat cover.
It is possible to replace the seat but it isn’t straightforward. It is attached to the seat post with 3 screws. You can take it to a bike shop and they should be able to fit a new seat. Or you can buy a universal exercise bike seat adapter (available on Amazon). Then you can add any standard bike fitting seat to it.
You might want to try the seat first to see if it is to your liking and it might take a couple of weeks to get used to it, in particular if you’re not used to riding a bike.
You don’t have to raise your foot that high (about 8 inches) to step over the shroud but it doesn’t have a step through design and you do need to hop on to the seat. Most people find it is fine to get and don’t need a step to get on to the seat.
Handlebars. The handlebars are fixed in place and the angle can’t be changed (except as noted below). The ends are bent backwards which can make them awkward to grip comfortably.
The handlebars are covered with soft foam that makes them easy to hold and hand won’t slip if they sweaty.
Some people do find they are leaning more forward than they are comfortable or stretching to reach which can end up with some back pain- to help with this some customers have successfully reversed them and found this much more comfortable and they can sit up more upright.
Noise. The bike operates very quietly. so you won’t disturb others whenever you workout even when they are sleeping – which helps if you work shifts or have young children. If you want to use it while watching TV you don’t need to turn it up to hear it over the bike.
This along with it being a small bike can make it a good solution for an apartment as you’re are unlikely to know you’re using it. If you put it on a rubber exercise mat there is even less chance of someone below you hearing anything.
The loudest sound that might come from using the bike is heavy breathing when people exert themselves.
Cleaning Up. The bike itself won’t generate a lot of dirt. But as with any piece of equipment you do need to clean up any sweat that might drop on the bike as you exercise to prevent it starting to rust the bike (even with the durable paint job) – it is very corrosive. Also, the sweat will drop on the floor and if you want to protect this it is a good idea to put the bike on a rubber exercise mat.
It doesn’t fold up but the bike is compact requiring an area of 18 by 31.5 ins when not in use. When using you do need clear space round it for safety reasons.
But it still does make this bike a bit of a space saver to help those without much room.
You might even be able to store it in a closet at a push.
You can move it by tipping the bike on to the front stabilizer bar. The end caps work as rollers – they work well on hard surfaces but you’ll find you are more sliding it on carpet than rolling – so it might stick a little – fortunately it isn’t too heavy at 41 lbs.
You are advised it is better to do this with 2 people to avoid risk of injury. Many do move these upright exercise bikes on their own.
On a wood floor, before moving it all the way across it, you might want to check if the rollers will scratch it.
The manual advises that the bike be placed at least 24 inches away from furniture and wall for access and safe passage around it but many put it against the wall or in a corner when they’re not using it.
The bike is delivered part completed. Finishing the assembly takes about 1 to 2 hours but some can do it quicker with some reporting they get i done in less than half an hour
All the tools needed to complete the job are included. if you have your own it will probably be easier and quicker but they’re not necessary.
There is one tricky part and it is a good idea to study the manual closely. This connecting the tension cable and console cable when putting on the front support to the frame drive. If you get it wrong it affects the resistance. It could do with better instructions but it’s not too bad just take a little time over it.
Overall the assembly is easy – better than IKEA furniture. It can be done by one person but a 2nd will help. The hardest part of the assembly has been completed before you get it
You are required to add to the frame and drive assembly the front support, pedals, seat post, seat, handlebars and console.
The console has good sized numbers so you can see them clearly as you exercise. The measures it displays are time, speed, distance; calories and odometer (cumulative distance of workouts).
The mode button under the display allow you to choose the measure you want to see or you can set it to scan through the measures displaying them 4 seconds a time.
It has an auto on and off feature where it comes on when you start pedaling and if there is no pedaling for 8 minutes it will turn off to help conserve battery. It does give you plenty of time if you need to get off the bike for anytime to come back and resume where you left off.
It requires to 2 AAA batteries and they should last around 3 months before they need replacing.
The display is not backlit so it can get difficult to read when the light conditions aren’t the best.
If the batteries are drained or the console isn’t working you can still use the bike and change the resistance. You just won’t get any feedback on how you are doing.
It doesn’t work with an App or allow you to upload your results so if you want to keep a record to analyze and see progress this has to be done manually.
The supplier does warn that the measures are only approximate and should only be used for comparison purposes.
You can’t monitor your heart rate with this. However. many bike that do this that are priced below $300 use hand pulse sensors and these have a reputation of being unreliable. If this is something that is important to you, you are better off buying a heart rate strap and monitor. Even bikes that are compatible with a strap often require you to supply your own.
The dimensions and weight of the bike are:
Height 48.75 ins
Width 18 ins
Length 31.5 ins
Max User Weight 300 lbs (per manual)
Bike Weight 41 lbs
The bike doesn’t come with any other accessories. There’s nowhere for a water bottle or your media devices. If you want these close at hand you are going to need to exercise next to a table or buy a mount as an extra.
Similarly, if you want to read a book you have to hold in your hand – the bike is steady so as long as you can balance yourself you should be alright to do this as you exercise.
The manual has some instructions general on warming up, exercise and cooling down but there aren’t any specifics on best position for the seat or workouts you can try. It would be good to see something here to help beginners. Fortunately there is plenty of good information online including videos.
- It is a compact bike making it easy to store and use
- It is quiet and won’t disturb others
- It comes with a basic console
- Resistance is incremental and has 8 marked levels
- It doesn’t plug in so can be used anywhere
- It is compact so can be used in smaller homes without taking them over
- Pretty stable bike so there is no worries of being tipped over
- It is easy and quick to assemble
- It is very affordably priced
- It can be adjusted to fit a range of people so more than one person can use with a good design for smaller people
- There are no extras to cater for your water bottle or media devices
- To keep a record of your workouts you need to do this manually
- Won’t suit people who want tough workouts
- Seat is not straightforward to replace with other standard bike seats
- Not designed for spinning type workouts or standing on the pedals
Marcy ME 708 Upright Exercise Bike Consumer Ratings
Customers are generally positive in their reviews with 80% rating the bike a 4 or a 5. That is from over a 1,500 reviews and being around for 6 years giving it a good test of time too.
Those that disagree about the bike being a good buy, talk about it being broken or not working on delivery and having had problems with Marcy in getting it fixed or replaced. A few found the resistance wasn’t hard enough for them – if you are a seasoned cyclist or athlete this bike isn’t for you. But overall these concerns are in the minority.
Some do find the seat is hard – as you’d expect but it’s not all customers. Also, the computer calories burned calculation is over generous.
Most customers like how quiet it is to use (you can watch TV without adjusting the volume), that it is small enough to fit anywhere and how easy it is to set up and to use. They find that they can get the workout they want and there is no wobbling around. And of course they like the price.
Marcy ME 708 Upright Exercise Bike Price
For the price you get good value – it is basic and provides good workouts for those who are starting out and/or want moderate intensity workouts where they can get there heart rate up a bit. It’s not made for more extreme workouts. It works best for those looking for basic exercise.
When I checked at Amazon it qualified for Prime and free shipping.
The Marcy ME 708 Upright Exercise Bike is good bike for getting started or those wanting moderately hard exercise.
It’s not designed for those wanting tough training hill climbs or tough spinning workouts.
It doesn’t take up much room so can be used in homes that are tight for room. And it can be used by more than one person as it is quick and easy to adjust.
Whether this bike is right for you does depend on your fitness goals and how intense you want to ride it- it works out best for those who stay in the seat and want up to a moderately intense workout.
The affordable price makes it a good way for those who don’t want to spend a fortune to get exercise. It can help with getting in shape, toning up and lose weight when combined with a good diet.