Saturday, 20 April 2024

Exercise Bikes

Marcy Upright Mag Cycle (ME708) | Bike Review

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The Marcy Upright Mag cycle is an excellent example of one of the lower priced exercise bikes that this fitness company has to offer, proving incredibly popular amongst home gym users across the country.

Excluding the low price, this review takes a look at some of the other reasons behind its popularity, together with taking a look at workout options without preset programs, and a quick look at the customer reviews.

Design features

If you’re considering buying a new exercise bike for your home fitness workouts, it can be important to scale your expectations to meet your budget.

Being such a low priced entry level model, the Marcy Upright Mag Cycle doesn’t offer the same range of workout programs as more expensive bikes, but it does do an excellent job of providing many of the same design features.

The seat is fully height adjustable, and although you do lose a bit of comfort compared to the gel and padded versions, separate seat covers are available which offer a greater level of support.

Although this particular bike doesn’t fold away, the compact footprint and lightweight frame help to make this bike much easier to move between rooms if required.

The handlebars have also been ergonomically shaped to offer a wider variety of grip positions, which also helps you to maintain a comfortable and natural cycling posture during longer workouts.

Marcy Upright Mag Cycle

Marcy Upright Mag Cycle – Features Summary

  • Upright exercise bike with smooth magnetic resistance system
  • 8 levels of preset resistance accommodates several fitness levels
  • Large console display tracks time, distance, speed, and calories burned
  • Counterbalanced pedals with adjustable foot straps
  • Compact, space-saving footprint

Display console design

As with the majority of entry level exercise bikes in this price range, there have had to be some compromises made in terms of display console functions and feedback to keep the price low.

Although this will have some impact on your workouts from an entertainment perspective (no built in speakers, shelf for your tablet to watch movies, or virtual cycling track), there is still enough feedback to measure progress and motivate yourself during your workouts.

The size of the LCD screen is fairly compact, which means that only one type of feedback will be displayed at any one time.

Instead of the usual quick-select resistance options you might expect to see as buttons on one of the higher priced bikes, the Marcy Upright Mag Cycle only needs to include a single ‘MODE’ key.

This has just one function, which is to automatically scan the time, distance, speed, and calories burned every 4 seconds for the duration of your workout.

It’s worth bearing in mind that there are bikes that will provide feedback on a much wider range of goal setting targets, as well as sync your workout data to apps or your computer if needed.

But if you’re on a limited budget or don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a bike that you use to compliment an existing fitness routine, then the Marcy Mag Cycle should be more than sufficient.

You can choose to set a goal of cycling for a longer period of time, longer distance, or burn more calories each time you workout.

Workout options

Marcy Upright Mag Cycle

Following on from the display console functions, another area of indoor cardio equipment that’s important to many people is the number and variety of preset workout programs available.

Unfortunately, for similar reasons to why the console is so compact, the Marcy Upright Mag Cycle doesn’t include any pre-programmed workouts.

This means that the bike won’t automatically adjust the resistance to keep you within a set heart rate range, won’t recreate hill climbs, and won’t automatically adjust the resistance for interval training.

But the fact is that all of these things are still possible on a budget, you just have to be a little more creative and not rely on the bike’s own automatic adjustments.

With a simple heart rate chest belt you can easily monitor your current heart rate and adjust your cycling pace to keep it at a certain range.

For the interval and hill climb workouts, things get even simpler, thanks to the 8 levels of magnetic resistance. This means you can quickly adjust the difficulty to mimic natural outdoor environments, such as hills and plateaus.

For example, during a ‘hill climb’ style workout where you want to increase cardiovascular endurance, you can use a combination of the time on the screen and resistance control to gradually increase the resistance level at pre-determined time periods. e.g. 5 minutes at level 1, 5 minutes at level 2, 5 minutes at level 3, etc.

Intervals require a bit more planning, but are still possible.

After your warm up, you could cycle for 90 seconds at a resistance level of 4 or 5, followed by 30 seconds of cycling at the full level 8 setting, before switching back to level 4 or 5.

This could be repeated for however many rounds you could fit into your chosen workout duration.

Ease of assembly

The user manual for the Marcy ME708 includes in-depth diagrams and full textual explanations for the assembly

Despite being a fairly simple design, it can still be useful to know just how easy it is to assemble the Marcy Upright Mag Cycle, and how long you can expect it to take.

Poor quality assembly instructions and a badly written / non-existent user manual are two of the most common reasons for people lowering their review rating on ecommerce sites, regardless of the price of the equipment.

To get a clearer idea of the assembly instruction quality for yourself, feel free to download your own free copy of the user manual.

In terms of how comprehensive they are, Marcy have actually done an excellent job of including everything you could hope for in an owner’s manual.

You have the full pre-assembly checklist, hardware pack with all the main bolts and washers you need (together with a basic set of tools), and a step-by-step guide of how each piece fits together, complete with exploded diagrams.

Each step also includes a detailed textual walkthrough, referencing part numbers that clearly tally up with the diagrams.

With such a compact footprint, the flywheel housing is really the only part that arrives already pre-assembled. There isn’t really a base frame to speak of beyond this as the base stabilizers connect directly to the underside of this flywheel case.

The only slightly difficult part is connecting the tension cables from the base unit up to the handlebar support post, but even then Marcy have added extra diagrams to help explain this more clearly.

Overall, considering the high quality of the assembly instructions and fairly small number of parts, you should be able to have the bike setup and ready for your first workout within 30 to 40 minutes.

Customer reviews

Although we aim to provide you with all the information and comparisons you need to find the best exercise bike for your personal goals, budget, and space, another excellent source for reviews is online ecommerce stores such as Amazon.

Rather than just being a source for people to leave reviews about their own personal experiences with the bike, people who have bought the bike can also simply leave a rating or answer a question posed by someone who wants to find out more information.

Add this to the free shipping that’s currently offered with the Marcy Upright Mag Cycle and it’s easy to see why we recommend them.

But when a product is incredibly popular and gathers hundreds of these reviews, it can sometimes be difficult to find the information that’s unique and avoid the repetition.

This is why we’ve read through many of these reviews ourselves (both the good and the bad) to provide you with the following lists of pros and cons according the points that were most frequently mentioned.


  • Wide range of different resistance settings, making it an ideal choice for people that are new to fitness as well as those with a few more years of experience
  • Compact frame design
  • Very quiet and smooth ride thanks to the magnetic resistance system
  • Free shipping
  • Vertical seat adjustment settings cater for a range of user heights, from 5ft to 6ft+
  • Assembly is quick and easy, even with the slight difficulty some people experienced attaching the internal tension cables
  • Adjustable rear stabilizer end caps help to compensate for any unwanted movement over uneven floors


  • Although the resistance system is strong enough for most people, some found that they needed something more challenging
  • The seat can get uncomfortable after longer periods of cycling
  • As with most bikes at this price point, the calorie counter tends to be inaccurate. Unfortunately you would need to find a bike that lets you input information about yourself, such as height and weight to make this accurate. Those types of bikes tend to cost closer to $300 to $400
  • LCD display is lacking a backlight, which can make the information more difficult to read in low light conditions or under glare from the sun

What’s covered by the warranty?

  • Frame: 2 years

It’s worth mentioning that the 2 year warranty on the frame only extends to the original buyer, which could be something worth thinking about if you were considering looking for a used model.

Review Overview

Overall Review Rating

4 / 5

As an entry level exercise bike that's often available for less than $100 with free shipping and a 2 year warranty on the frame, the Marcy Upright Mag Cycle represents incredible value for money.

The range of resistance levels will be challenging for most levels of personal fitness, with anyone that doesn't find it challenging usually requiring a bike much closer to commercial quality.

Despite not being foldable, the compact design still takes up much less space than many of the higher priced exercise bikes, and is ideal for apartments and any spare room you might have.

If you would prefer a folding design that makes it slightly easier to store, then we can recommend another of the exercise bikes from Marcy; the NS-652.

Other than that, this is certainly a bike that we would recommend to anyone just starting their first fitness routine, or who is looking to add some extra cardio workouts to their existing outdoor / gym cycling.

Product dimensions:
31.5" (W) x 48.75" (H) x 18" (L) Product weight: 43 lbs Weight limit: 300 lbs

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