Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike with Pulse Review
Cons: Limited resistance range, basic display
Manufacturer: Paradigm Health and Wellness
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Exerpeutic makes a huge range of reasonably priced home exercise equipment. They make several models of folding exercise bikes, and the Folding Magnetic Upright is one of the most highly regarded and popular you will find. We tested it against the best reasonably priced stationary bikes on the market to see how it stacks up to the competition.
Testers felt the Exerpeutic Folding Upright had a relatively good exercise quality, albeit with a somewhat limited resistance range that we feel makes it best suited for light to moderate-intensity workouts. Those seeking a hardcore workout will be better off looking elsewhere. At the same time, those interested in a convenient folding option for casual to moderately hard exercise may find this to be the perfect option for them. While it was far from the best in this metric, this bike will likely be more than adequate as a home exercise bike for most users.
Exerpeutic calls this model the Folding Upright, but it is really more of a semi-recumbent style than a true upright bike. A semi-recumbent has the seat set back a little, with the pedals low and in front of the rider. This position is relatively comfortable and easy to get along with, but it does not replicate the feeling of riding a regular bike the way a real upright model does. This bike does not have a backrest, so the user has to stabilize their upper body either with their muscles or with their hands on the handles surrounding the console. There are eight levels of magnetic resistance with a range from very easy to moderately difficult. We found this resistance range to be adequate for easy to moderate difficulty workouts, but those with strong legs and a high level of fitness may be left wanting a few harder resistance levels. Similar to the other eight resistance level models we tested, this bike did not provide the resistance needed for a high-intensity interval workout during testing. Beyond that extreme test, however, we found the magnetic resistance to be quiet, smooth, and consistent with noticeable changes in difficulty between levels.
Unlike some of the more expensive models, the Exerpeutic Folding is a relatively bare-bones model that doesn't offer much in the way of features. It has a simple computer console that displays basic workout information one value at a time. Despite its simplicity, it does have a goal workout feature that lets the user set a goal for time, distance, or calories burned. This model also has heart rate sensors integrated into its handles so you can monitor your heart rate while exercising.
The Folding Upright Bike is reasonably comfortable for an inexpensive folding exercise bike. There isn't really a lot going on in terms of comfort features; this model is no-frills and quite basic. Testers found the comfort to be more than adequate for short to medium length exercise sessions, but we would suggest looking elsewhere if hour-plus rides are on the agenda.
Due to the folding design of the Exerpeutic Folding, it has a relatively low step-over height that makes it easy to get on and off the bike. It has a claimed weight capacity of up to 300 lbs and a large, 14.6" wide padded seat that should suit most riders. Those who are accustomed to a more traditionally shaped bike seat may find that the wide seat inhibits the pedal stroke ever so slightly. The seat post has several inches of adjustment to accommodate riders within the manufacturer's suggested range of 5'3" to 6'1" tall. There is no backrest, so riders will need to support their own back while riding or support themselves with their arms on the large cushioned handles that surround the console. The pedals also have adjustable straps to keep your feet from slipping while exercising.
Like most of the other inexpensive models in this test, the user interface of the Exerpeutic Folding exercise bike is relatively basic but entirely functional and reasonably user-friendly. The battery-powered computer consists of a small LED screen with a simple single-button to switch between modes or reset it. The resistance level is changed with a relatively standard adjustment knob that is in an easy to reach location.
The computer on the Exerpeutic Folding has an auto start/stop feature and turns on when the pedals start turning and shuts itself off shortly after you stop. The LCD display is 3.3" wide x 1.5" tall and has large numbers that are easy to read. The display shows just one metric at a time, and the default is scan where it scrolls every six seconds through the metrics of time, distance, speed, pulse, calories, and odometer. By pressing the button on the computer, you can choose the metric you'd like to stay on the screen, and pressing and holding the button for two full seconds resets all the metrics except for the odometer. Changing the resistance level is quite easy, as the adjustment knob is conveniently located within arms reach on the frame just below the computer. Turn the knob counter-clockwise to decrease the resistance and clockwise to make it more challenging.
As one of the least expensive models we tested, our testers were not surprised to find that the Exerpeutic Folding exercise bike was light on features. While it is a relatively basic model, it does have a few user-friendly features that help to enhance the exercise experience. That said, it doesn't hold a candle to the more expensive competition in this metric.
One of the Exerpeutic Folding's most useful features is right in the name. This bike folds for storage or when not in use and cuts its overall footprint by nearly half. This is especially useful for those with limited space. It also has transport wheels on the front stabilizer that make it easy to roll across hard floors surfaces. Those who like to keep their phone at arms reach will also be glad to know that it has a small sleeve on the frame that can fit most modern smartphones. The bike also has two large padded handles that encircle the computer/display, which is helpful for mounting and dismounting or resting your hands while you're spinning away the hours. The handles are also home to the heart rate sensors. By gripping the handles over the heart rate sensors, the machine can read and display your approximate heart rate as one of the modes on the display screen.
Ease of Setup/Portability
The Exerpeutic Folding Upright bike was one of the top scorers in this metric for its less complicated setup, lighter weight, and smaller folded size. While there is still a fair amount of assembly required, it was less involved than the larger machines and took only about 45 minutes to complete.
Our test bike arrived in the box and was very well packaged and protected. Everything you need is in the box, including all the necessary tools, hardware, and a user manual with detailed assembly instructions. The main frame of the bike is the only part that is pre-assembled and is attached at the folding pivot point. The multi-step process is laid out in great detail in the manual with exploded diagrams and written instructions for each step. The assembly is relatively straightforward and isn't particularly difficult, but the weight and shape of the machine can make it somewhat awkward at times. Our tester was easily able to complete it on his own, but some users may find it helpful to have more than one person during the assembly process.
Once the bike is put together, it can be folded for storage when not in use. A heavy-duty safety pin goes through the frame just below the folding pivot and secures the bike in either the open (upper hole) or folded (lower hole) positions. The Exerpeutic's open dimensions are 33" long x 22" wide x 46.5" high. When folded, it measures 20.5" long x 22" wide x 55" high. This makes it much narrower, but also slightly taller when folded for storage. That said, it takes up very little space in the corner of a room and can easily be stashed in a closet. It also weighs just 41 lbs, so it is much less cumbersome to move around than the heavier weight competition. The front stabilizer also has integrated wheels for transport that make it easy to roll across most floor surfaces.
There is no doubt that this folding exercise bike is a good value. Not only is it is reasonably priced, but it is easy to use, relatively comfortable, and it conveniently folds for storage when not in use. It isn't the best for those seeking a super high-intensity workout, but anyone looking for a folding option for light to moderate exercise should consider this affordable model.
The Exerpeutic Folding Upright is a very reasonably priced exercise bike that is ideal for the more casual at-home exerciser and those who may have limited space. It is quite basic, but it is relatively comfortable and provides a good quality workout with a resistance range best suited for light to moderate-intensity exercise. When not in use, this lightweight model conveniently folds for storage, reducing its footprint by nearly half so you can stash it in a closet or hide it in the corner.
Other Versions and Accessories
Exerpeutic makes a huge range of home exercise equipment, including several versions of folding upright exercise bikes.
The 500 XLS cost slightly more and is made with more steel in the frame and has a higher weight rating of 400 lbs.
The Gold 575 XLS is the same as the 500 XLS but with upgraded features, including 16 resistance levels, 21 pre-programmed workouts, a backlit display, and two user profiles.
— Jeremy Benson