Exercising at home has become much more popular due to many factors. An exercise bike has been at the top of that list for anyone, including seniors that want to get a good cardiovascular workout. Recumbent exercise bikes are ideal for those who have joint or back issues and riding a traditional bike is not an option. These types of bikes still allow for the same benefits as a traditional bike and benefits, but with more comfort.
There are a lot of choices when it comes to choosing the best recumbent exercise bike. All the choices can make it feel overwhelming to make the right choice. What size, preset programs, resistance levels, and more are all things you should know in order to get the best possible bike for your need.
The best recumbent bikes can provide an excellent workout for home while giving you a more comfortable experience than a traditional bike for those with back or joint issues. Keep reading this guide to learn what our top choices are and what to look for before purchasing.
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What exactly is a recumbent bike?
A recumbent bike is a device that can be pedaled in a stationary position and meant to be used indoors. Much like a bike, it’s pedaled but the big difference is the design puts the rider in a laid-back position.
This is done to help the rider feel more comfortable and distribute the rider’s wight evenly over a larger area. The rider’s back and buttocks are supported much better than a typical upright bicycle.
This ergonomic style is much more user-friendly for those with arthritis or other issues that would make riding a bike not as easy. A recumbent bike is also used indoors in the comfort of your home or gym.
Recumbent Exercise Bikes vs. Regulator Upright bikes
Recumbent bikes are used in the layback position where a stationary traditional style bike is used upright. It is important to know that in terms of other cardio devices upright and recumbent bikes typically put less stress on joints. So, what are the differences and why you should consider a recumbent or upright bike.
Used in the reclined position
More comfortable large seat
Pedals are in front of the rider
Pedals are under the rider
Rider has full back support
Back support is limited
Weight is distributed much better
Upright can be harder on joints
Reduces upper body tension
Similar to traditional outdoor bike
Targets lower body and cardiovascular improvement
Entire body with cardiovascular improvement and exercise
Benefits of using a recumbent exercise bike
Comfort is a big key in why so many choose to use a recumbent exercise bike. The fact that you are in a more comfortable reclined position on a much larger seat that is farther back from the pedals makes this a much more stress-free experience on most people’s lower back, joints, and upper body.
Your body’s weight is much more spread out and supported when using a recumbent bike than a traditional bike.
Does a recumbent bike still provide an effective workout?
Yes, a recumbent bike still can provide an excellent lower body workout and cardiovascular improvement over time. It also provides a more comfortable environment with less stress on users’ joints than most traditional cardio equipment.
When using a recumbent bike you will workout the following muscles:
When we exercise regularly it makes our cardiovascular system stronger by improving lung function and capacity, heart improvement, and can help to reduce high blood pressure.
When you use a recumbent bike you can also gain these types of improvements over time. Not only can you achieve these benefits but it can be safer for those with certain upper body mobility issues who cannot ride on the open roads.
Best Recumbent exercise bike comparison chart
Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance
Exerpeutic 900XL Recumbent Exercise Bike
Vanswe Recumbent Exercise Bike
Pooboo Recumbent Exercise Bike
Schwinn Recumbent Bike Series
45 x 20 x 40 inches
54 x 24 x 39 inches
64 x 27.7 x 49.9 inches
LCD monitor display:
1. Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance
The Marcy Recumbent exercise bike is our top choice for the best recumbent exercise bike that we reviewed. With safety straps on the pedals, transport wheels to easily move the bike, and recumbent handlebars, there are many things to like about this bike in terms of comfort and performance.
The adjustable seat can easily be adjusted to make sure your legs are in the best possible range to achieve the right pedal stride.
The Adjustable resistance knob that is located under the handlebars makes changing the resistance super easy for all types of workouts. A simple twist to a higher number to get a harder workout. Smaller numbers for less resistance.
The easy-to-read LCD display makes tracking your performance simple and you can read all types of important metrics like calories, distance, speed, and much more.
This recumbent bike is made of premium 14-gauge steel tubing, rubber, and PVC for a long and lasting product.
The EXERPEUTIC is another excellent recumbent exercise bike that has great features and comfort. With an 8 level magnetic tension system you or a loved one will surely find the right tension for a great workout. This model supports up to 300 pounds and is quiet when operating.
We love that his model has a hand pulse sensor helping you to stay within your target heart rate zone.
Comfort is key and this bike uses an oversized seat cushion and backrest that can be adjusted for quick changes in size.
This recumbent bike has transportation wheels so it can be moved easily and uses a large LCD window screen so you can keep track of your calories, time, speed, and more.
A great choice amount recumbent bike riders the Vanswe recumbent exercise bike packs in great features at a great price. For one, there are 16-levels of tension control that allow you to start at very low tension and to work your way up.
The digital tracking panel uses a large LCD screen to track critical information like heart rate, calories burned, speed, and more. This bike takes it a step further and allows you to use Bluetooth smart technology that is compatible with android and iOS. The free fitness data app is available for those who want to rand workouts.
It has a little higher weight capacity than some of the other recumbent exercise bikes we looked at as well. This bike can hold up to 380 pounds and is rated for a height range from 5’2″ to 6’1″.
The Pooboo recumbent exercise bike is supper quiet with an ergonomic step-through design to help anyone easily get on and off the bike. The adjustable seat along with the backrest can be adjusted easily for multiple height users.
This exercise bike is really quiet and needs almost no maintenance making it a top choice amount recumbent users. The large and clear digital monitor allows anyone to check their speed, distance, and more.
The mulse sensor on the handgrips helps to keep you on your target heart rate.
With the porting wheels, whisper-quiet flywheel, adjustable seat, and pulse senor this is a great all-around recumbent bike for just about any user.
Schwinn is a huge name in standard outside bikes, but did you know they make some excellent recumbent-style bikes as well? If not, they do. This bike uses a dual-track LCD screen that overs a huge 22 workout program along with all types of fitness and goal tracking.
This recumbent bikes a very smooth and quiet ride that most will find enjoyable while in the home. Depending on the model you can find 20 levels of resistance and intensity workout options to meet almost anyone’s workout goals.
Easy adjustable seats allow for anyone to ride this bike.
Best Recumbent Exercise Bike buying guide
Weight capacity of the bike
The weight capacity of a recumbent bike is the maximum weight it is rated to support by the manufacturer. Most of these bikes can hold weight from 300 pounds to 380 pounds safely. If you feel like you are at the top of this weight class it will be safer to find a bike that can hold more weight safely. Heavy-duty bikes are available that can support more weight. You do not want to put yourself or a loved one at higher risk of falling off this type of bike.
LCD Screen is important to view your workout data
The LCD screen on your exercise bike is very important. This is where you will track important and useful information like speed, calories burned, heart rates, track time, and more. While every model above uses an LCD screen there are a few more important factors to know about the LCD screen.
Redability: For those who have difficulting seen smaller screens or information the larger the screen the bigger the text the easier it will be to see data. You can also see if the LCD screen is adjustable to make reading easier. Some screens have this feature especially newer models.
Data do you see: At the minimum, you should be seeing this data:
- Heart rate
- Time spend riding
- Distance traveled
- Speed traveled
Backlight: LCD screens should have a backlight function that you can see in all types of lights Blue light is even better.
Resistance levels of the recumbent exercise bike
The resistance of a recumbent bike typically is in the form of a knob that is numbered. The higher the number the more difficult it is to peddle. The lower the number the easier it is. Look for a good range of motion in terms of resistance.
Those who are just starting out in exercise or using a bike of any kind will find it more difficult to use a bike and need to have settings that are easier. As you gradually get stronger you can and will need to add more resistance to the pedal.
Straps on a pedal are important because it helps to keep your feet stable and to not fall off during the pedaling process while on the bike. Most pedal straps are 2.3 inches wider and 13 inches long when looking at a stationary bike. Straps for exercise bikes are typically made from rubber and are comfortable. These straps will help your feet stay in place especially when you get tired.
Ability to adjust
It should be known that most handlebars on recumbent bikes are fixed. This means they will not move. However, some do offer an adjustable system. These are not huge factors when choosing a bike in our opinion but you should know they do exist if you do want that feature.
Adjust seat forward and back:
Most recumbent exercise bikes give you the ability to adjust the seat either forward or backward. This is a must to get the proper distance from the pedals in order to pedal the bike properly and give you the best comfort while doing so.
We suggest looking at the manufactures recommended height for each rider. Most manufactures will tell you what size riders are the best fit for the exercise recumbent bike.
Adjustable pedal straps are a must. And they come with every bike we feature above. Because they are adjustable they will fit a wide size of foot sizes and shapes.
All the recumbent bikes that we have listed above have transport wheels. Transport wheels are small wheels that are available when you lift and then drag the bike forward. These wheels make it possible to easily move the exercise bike from different areas or rooms within your home.
Without them, it would be very difficult for some to move the bike alone. These wheels are really important for safely and easily moving the bike when it has to be moved.
How quiet is the recumbent bike
While having a quiet exercise bike may not be important to some others may want to have a quiet ride for many reasons while in the home. All bikes will produce some noise but some are quite than others. We have two bikes over that are known to be a little quieter than others. If this is a big factor for you then be sure to look for a quieter ride.
Magnetic resistance is used on almost all the top recumbent bikes. This method of resistance is just smoother and prolongs the bike use. All the models we have listed above use magnetic resistance in order to control the resistance levels.
The price will play a factor in your choice for most people. Look for a recumbent exercise bike that has the features that are important to you at the price you can afford. Most of these bikes will be priced in the range from 200 to 300+ but some can exceed 800 dollars or more.
Finding the right balance of features and price is what to look for. But more importantly, the features you need or want are more important than having a bike that is full of stuff you really do not need or want.
Our final thoughts on the best recumbent bike
As you can see recumbent exercise bikes are much more than pedals and a way to exercise indoors. These bikes have come a long way in terms of comfort and technology. The best recumbent bikes do not need to cost a fortune to get a great workout.
Look for the basic LCD data requirements like calories, speed, and time to know what you’re accomplishing on your bike. Make sure you look for magnetic resistance because it offers a more durable bike and system that does not use friction.
So, what is the best recumbent exercise bike?
After reviewing dozens of bikes we have made our decisions based on features, magnetic resistance, comfort, and price. With that said Our top choice for the best recumbent bike is…
This bike provides a great workout at a great price and has the majority of features for a basic but thorough workout.