Best Folding F-Bike Exercise Bike UK – [BONUS WORKOUT GUIDE]

Exercise bikes became mainstream in the mid-1980s when they were championed by famous cyclist Johnny Goldberg.

They have remained consistently popular ever since and for much the same reasons.  They are an affordable, effective and safe way of getting a great workout.

It’s therefore little surprise that the search term “best folding exercise bike” is a very popular one.

In this article we’ll tell you everything you need to know to make an informed choice about whether or not a folding exercise bike is right for you in the first place and, if it is, what to look for when picking a folding exercise bike for your particular needs, wants and budget.

Our aim is to make sure you only buy a folding exercise bike if it’s actually right for you and to ensure that if it is, you get the best possible value for your money when you make your purchase.

We’ll do this by covering the basics of folding exercise bikes so you understand the why and how as well as the what.

Then we’ll give you a list of six folding exercise bikes we’re happy to recommend.

These will cover a range of price points to ensure there’s something for you, whatever your budget.

The Best Folding Exercise Bikes UK

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Key points to look for in a folding exercise bike

Understanding Folding Exercise Bikes

Folding exercise bikes are basically all about bringing the benefits of cycling indoors, even when you have little space.  Therefore the benefits of using a folding exercise bike are, essentially, much the same as the benefits of cycling.

The benefits of cycling

In fitness terms, the main benefit of cycling is that it is an all-round aerobic workout, which, not to put too fine a point on it, is what many people need given the sedentary lifestyles a lot of us lead these days.  Cycling also tones the lower body, which is useful for both genders but particularly women who tend to accumulate fat over the waist, hips and thighs.

Understanding targeted weight loss

Your genetics will determine the order in which the fat deposits in your body are used up and basically there is nothing you can do to influence that.  You can, however, target specific muscle groups during workouts to improve their condition, which can result in you looking like you’ve lost fat in that area even though you actually haven’t (yet).

The social aspect

Up until relatively recently, some people were put off indoor cycling because they felt it lacked the sociability of outdoor cycling.  The internet, however, has changed that.  There are now all kinds of ways you can interact with other like-minded people from forums and Facebook groups to online exercise classes either in real-time or to take when you wish.

The practicalities of folding exercise bikes

Possibly the single, biggest reason why folding exercise bikes have become so hugely popular is that they are ideal for modern lifestyles and modern living spaces.  It’s not just that they are compact, light, easy to set up and easy to store out of use.  It’s that they’re also quiet, there are no machine-driven parts as there are with treadmills, so you can exercise away at any time of day or night without disturbing anyone.  As an added bonus, their simplicity helps to keep prices relatively low, even at the premium end of the market.

Indoor cycling versus spinning

Basically indoor cycling and spinning are the same idea.  In practical terms, however, the term indoor cycling tends to be used when you are just working by yourself, whereas the term spinning tends to be used in the context of indoor cycling classes, or, at least, following a set programme on your own.

Key points to look for in a folding exercise bike

Here are the basic points to check before buying any folding exercise bike.

Key points to look for in a folding exercise bike

Dimensions (open and closed) and weight

While the vast majority of folding exercise bikes will come within a similar range of sizes and weights, it’s always worth double-checking the exact specifications before purchase.

Height and weight supported

Similar comments apply here.  If you’re of average height and weight, you’ll probably be fine with any folding exercise bike available at a mainstream retailer, but if you’re particularly tall or short or heavy, it’s strongly recommended to double-check that any specific folding exercise bike can meet your needs.

Ease of assembly

This is a bit subjective, but we think it’s fair to say that some folding exercise bikes are easier to assemble than others.

Practical foldability

By definition, all folding exercise bikes can be folded, but again, some are easier to fold away than others.

Overall build quality

Obviously, if you’re parting with your hard-earned cash, you want a folding exercise bike which is going to justify it in terms of use, so it needs to have a decently robust build and a comfortable saddle.

Seating position

Most folding exercise bikes use the upright cycling position, however there are now a fair number of recumbent folding exercise bikes on the market, so if you have back problems, these could be well worth a look.

Resistance levels

Resistance levels are one way to vary the intensity of your workout.  For some people they are very important and for others less so.  In either case, we recommend being clear about what any given folding exercise bike can do.

What is the best folding exercise bike available in the UK?

Here’s our pick of the best folding exercise bikes we would check out first.

Ultrasport F-Bike and F-Rider, fitness bike and ab trainer

Ultrasport F-Bike and F-Rider, fitness bike and ab trainer

ITEM SPECS

Dimensions 80.5 x 43.5 x 112 cm

Weight 14 Kg

Seat adjustable to fit 1.60m to 1.82m

Weight capacity 100 Kg

Resistance levels 8 Magnetic

Before we get into the proper review, we’d just like to point out that the lower height guidance on this exercise bike is very accurate.  If you’re shorter than 5’2” then you really will have to look elsewhere, there is no “wiggle room” here.  If you’re a bit taller than 5’10” then you might be OK with it.  We’d say about 6’1” was the absolute maximum.  Similarly, we have heard of this bike being used happily by people weighing up to 110 Kg, although we think that would be the absolute limit it could handle.

If you are within the recommended height then this is a solid option for light to moderate use.  It’s very easy to adjust the height, so this exercise bike could be a good option for households where more than one person wants to use the bike.  The saddle is decent and you can make it more comfortable by adding a seat cover, just make sure you get the right one for this particular model!  The anti-slip pedals and wide base (for stability) are nice bonuses.

The Ultrasport F-Bike and F-Rider does come with an LCD screen which displays time, calories, speed, distance and pulse (and can scan between them).  We’d put it under the heading of “does the job”.  At least, it does to begin with.  We have heard of the monitor becoming a bit temperamental, especially the pulse sensors.  We can’t speak for this ourselves and even if we could, we wouldn’t see it as a deal-breaker at this price point.  We also have to mention that the distance is given in kilometres and we couldn’t find a way to turn it into miles.

One slight quirk of this bike is that the LCD monitor saves the results from your last workout and displays them when you start a new one.  If you want to refresh the monitor to go from zero again, you need to hold down the button on the console.  This resets everything – except the odometer.  For some strange reason, the odometer keeps going regardless.

Last but not least, this exercise bike is belt-driven, so it’s nicely quiet.  Not only will the neighbours be happy, you’ll be able to listen to your choice of audio while you pedal.

Overall, this exercise bike is a great choice for light to moderate exercise.  If you reach a point when you want to upgrade, then you’ll probably find it easy enough to sell on this exercise bike as it has very solid build quality as well as a good brand behind it.

SALE
Ultrasport F-Bike, Bicycle Trainer, Home Trainer, Collapsible Exercise Bike with Training Computer and Hand Pulse Sensors, Black
2,211 Reviews
Ultrasport F-Bike, Bicycle Trainer, Home Trainer, Collapsible Exercise Bike with Training Computer and Hand Pulse Sensors, Black
  • Collapsible home trainer fitness bike with 8 resistance levels, quick and easy to set up and foldaway - developed by F-Bike market leader Ultrasport
  • Indoor cycling with this fitness and cardio device for strengthening your circulatory system. Folded dimensions: approx. 131 x 43.5 x 45 cm
  • Robust stamina builder for effective muscle build-up using 8 resistance levels
  • Training computer with LCD display, Functions: Time / scan / calories / speed / distance / pulse
  • Effective muscle and endurance training - max. user weight of up to approx. 100 kg
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Ultrasport F-Bike Advanced Bicycle Trainer

Ultrasport F-Bike Advanced Bicycle Trainer

ITEM SPECS

Dimensions 95 x 45 x 121 cm

Weight 18 Kg

Seat adjustable to fit 1.60m to 1.82m

Weight capacity 100 Kg

Resistance levels 8 Magnetic

This exercise bike is very similar to the previous one and so pretty much everything we said about it also applies here.  The big difference is the seating style.  We’d describe this exercise bike as being a “semi-recumbent”.  In addition to the seat having a backrest, the pedals are further forward than they’d be on a standard “upright” bike.  This can reduce the strain on your back and offer a much higher level of comfort – but only if your legs are long enough to reach the pedals comfortably.

In other words, if you’re around (or below) the minimum height recommendation, it’s a good idea to try out a recumbent before you commit to buying one as your own body proportions will determine whether or not this is a good style of bike for you.  People at the upper end of the height range should be fine, in fact, we’ve even heard of this exercise bike being used by people of around 6 feet in height.

On a similar note, this exercise bike does seem to be able to handle a bit more weight than the official maximum, but we’d suggest that if you’re over 110 Kg, you probably want to look elsewhere.

SALE
Ultrasport F-Bike Home Trainer 200B with Hand Pulse Sensors, with Backrest, Foldable, Orange
1,182 Reviews
Ultrasport F-Bike Home Trainer 200B with Hand Pulse Sensors, with Backrest, Foldable, Orange
  • Collapsible home trainer fitness bike with 8 resistance levels, quick and easy to set up and foldaway - developed by F-Bike market leader Ultrasport
  • Its folding mechanism and curved design make it particularly space-saving
  • The cardiovascular system and muscles are strengthened through the eight resistance levels
  • Modern, battery-operated LCD display (functions: Time, calories, speed, distance, pulse)
  • Available with or without backrest - maximum user weight of up to approximate 100 kg
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Olympic 2000 Compact Exercise Bike

Olympic 2000 Compact Exercise Bike

ITEM SPECS

Olympic 2000 Compact Exercise Bike

This folding exercise bike is a no-frills, budget-level option for people who want light-to-moderate cardio workouts with minimum price and maximum convenience.  The manufacturer doesn’t give a recommended user height range for his folding exercise bike (that we’ve been able to find) so we’ve based the specs on saddle adjustability and user reviews.  We’d also add that users towards the upper end of this range might want to try one out for themselves as experiences vary.

We’d also like to point out that this folding exercise bike takes less weight than the other ones we’ve mentioned and while we suspect 100Kg will be (more than) adequate for most people, again, if you’re at the upper end of this range, you might want to test one out in the real world before parting with your cash.

In general, the Olympic 2000 Compact Exercise Bike offers excellent value for money and while it’s mainly targeted at those who are interested in stationary cycling for rehabilitation or light exercise, particularly older people, it might also be of interest to students and renters, who simply want something light, compact and affordable.

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Marcy Foldable Upright Bike

Marcy Foldable Upright Bike

ITEM SPECS

Marcy Foldable Upright Bike

The Marcy is a folding exercise bike which is pitched fairly and squarely at people looking for light-to-moderately intense cardio workouts.  As such its design is fairly minimalist, which has the bonus of making it really easy to assemble.  Overall, the build quality is very reasonable and while we do have to say that the saddle is definitely not the most comfortable we’ve ever used, we also have to point out that at this price, you could invest in a seat cover and still leave  your wallet feeling good about life.

Marcy Unisex's Foldable Compact Exercise Bike, White, One Size
  • Unique cardio bike, designed to quickly fold and store away in the most space-restrictive rooms. Ride when you're ready to cycle, and hide when you're...
  • Includes a computer monitor that displays your speed, distance, time, and calories burned so you can start setting those daily goals to complete
  • Challenge yourself by changing resistance levels to simulate different terrains just like an outdoor bike ride. 14 gauge steel with a durable gloss...
  • Manual adjustment continuous resistance - High density foam padded seat and height adjustment for different body types
  • Innovative frame design folds up for easy storage - Counterweighted pedals with adjustable foot straps

Summary

The Exerpeutic 525XLR Folding Recumbent Exercise Bike and the FitDesk FDX 3.0 Foldable Exercise Bike are both niche products which means you’re probably either going to love them or hate them.

The Olympic 2000 Compact Exercise Bike is, in our opinion, one of best budget-level bikes around and the Ultrasport F-Bike Foldable Exercise Bike is also very affordable and gives you a bit more functionality.

The Marcy Foldable Upright Bike and the Exerpeutic (EXER6) Unisex’s Folding Magnetic Upright Bike both take comfort and functionality up a notch, while remaining very affordable, especially when compared to gym membership.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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