In addition to elliptical trainers, rowing machines or treadmills, recumbent bikes are also one of the most popular exercise equipment that provides you with effective workout while reclining in a very comfortable posture. Depending on each price range, this type of exercise bikes is very often seen in not only fitness clubs and gyms, but it is also a great choice for the home. In order to help you easily choose the best one for your home fitness among literally thousands of different models on the market, I would like to list some best models according to user’s review. And I also want to introduce the buy guide to help you choose the correct one for yourself.
What is a recumbent exercise bike?
There are many people don’t know what a recumbent bike exactly is. Recumbent Exercise Bike is a very popular stationary exercise bike for those who want to get a convenient, low-impact workout with the great comfort.
This type of bike is quite different from stationary spinning bikes and traditional upright exercise bikes in that it is designed with the pedals out in front of the body instead of directly below allowing users to ride it in a lightly reclined posture. Additionally, unlike upright bikes which normally have a style of vertical seat adjustment, the seats of recumbent bikes are adjustable in two ways including adjusting the length of the base frame or gliding the seat along a rail that is designed for different user heights.
The recumbent exercise bike also has one of the most low-impact and ergonomic designs you can find. The quality of recumbent bikes is different at a variety of price levels. The more expensive models often come with better warranties, large color displays, and computer-controlled resistance systems.
Best Recumbent Exercise Bikes For 2017
Basing on the bike ratings and reviews on the internet, I would like to recommend some products that you should consider.
1. Schwinn 230 Recumbent Exercise
This is an excellent, mid-priced model which offers everything you need to lose weight, get toned, and do workouts in maximum comfort without too much impact. The Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike features a high-inertia, high-speed perimeter weighted flywheel, 22 workout programs and 20 levels of resistance that keep you motivated and challenged. Besides, its center frame support, oversized crossbar tubing and two integrated levelers give you a stable and solid bike platform. Its user weight capacity is 300lbs.
It is almost the same to the higher-end Schwinn model. This recumbent bike let you download your exercise data to track your performance in each workout process. The DualTrack™ two LCD window system displays up to 13 different feedbacks. Additionally, you have ability to access Schwinn Connect as well as get the connectivity to your mobile devices with this model.
In the terms of comfort, a large vented seat back with lumbar support offer a cool and comfortable feeling. The iPod® or MP3 player input port equipped with in-console speakers allows you to enjoy your favorite music while training. And 3-speed fan is also a great comfort feature which keeps you stay cool during your exercises.
It includes a nice warranty with 10 year warranty on the frame, 2 years on mechanical, 1 year on electrical and 90 days on labor. In short, if you don’t need Bluetooth or an overkill of workout programs and resistance levels, this is an ideal option for you.
2. Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike
This is a higher-end model of Schwinn 230 which comes at a more expensive price as well as better features. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced trainee, the Schwinn 270 will fit your needs. It comes with great features to offer enjoyable exercises, and an intense workout. They include 29 workout programs, 25 resistance levels, a Bluetooth connection, speakers with MP3 player or iPod® input port and fans etc.
Like the Schwinn 230, it has a high inertia, high speed drive system with a perimeter weighted flywheel which provides a quiet and smooth workout. In addition to comfortable features like fans or MP3 port, a well-padded seat bottom combining with a large vented seat back makes your workout cool and comfortable. Moreover, the oversized pedals with 3-piece pedal cracks featured on this bike offer a comfortable biking motion too. This supports a user weight up to 300lbs.
Thanks to Bluetooth connectivity and its media shelf, it allows you to connect to the outside world. Besides, it also features a useful console which delivers many workouts and the ability to download your workout data. Plus, you can monitor your heart rate through handlebar grips or even through telemetry enabled for chest strap capability which is not included on the Schwinn 230.
With this model, you will get the quality that is only provided by a 100 year old manufacturer like the Schwinn®. There is no doubt that this model of Schwinn is one of the best exercise bikes on the market.
3. Diamondback Fitness 510Sr Recumbent Bicycle
This Recumbent Bicycle is perfect for riders of any levels, whether you are beginner or a seasoned trainee. Specially, the ergonomic recumbent design as well as low-impact workouts it provides are perfect for those who are seeking a fitness routine during pregnancy or want to recover from injuries.
Diamondback's brilliant blue LCD electronic display shows real-time feedback like speed, distance, time, calories burned and heart rate. Plus, it can be tilted down that allows you to watch TV without straining your neck. The bike also offers 20 QuickSet workout programs and 16 resistance levels that keep you motivated. The Diamondback 510SR also has a minimal footprint with the dimensions of 50'' H x 64'' W x 23'' D that can fit to every space. This size combining with transport wheels helps you move and store the bike more easily.
In the terms of comfort, beside an adjustable seat designed for comfort this provides a headphone jack allowing you to play your Mp3 and iPod right through the built-in speakers to listen to your favorite music while working out. The multi-speed fan will keep you cool and a foldout magazine rack is designed to let you store your books or devices during your workout process.
When it comes to the quality and durability, the Diamondback 510SR recumbent bike is high-tech, solid and well-designed machine with steel-crafted components and solid steel magnetic flywheel. It supports for users weighing less than 300lbs. Overall, the 510Sr Recumbent Exercise Bike is indeed great equipment at a nice price.
4. ProForm 440 ES Recumbent Exercise Bike
This bike is not commercial design, it is designed for home use. It is used to help you tone your legs, lose weight and keep your heart healthy without too much impact on your spine and joints. The highlight components on this model are extra wide foot pedals, a strong 3-piece crank system with freewheel clutch and a comfortable, oversized seat. This recumbent exercise bike features 25 levels of digital resistance to offer a smooth transition between a quick pedaling experience and intensities.
The best feature of the 440 ES may be its computer. It is loaded with 32 workout programs designed for intense workouts by fitness trainers. Especially, it is iFit® compatible too which increase your workout options. If you don’t like using the dual grips on the bike to monitor your heart rate this computer also lets you use a chest strap. Lastly, it features a port that you can connect your phone, iPod or MP3 player for entertaining during your workouts.
Moreover, the ProForm 440 ES Recumbent Exercise Bike works very quietly so you don’t have to worry about disturbing around people. The freewheel offers a smooth cycling motion that makes you feel like riding an outdoor bicycle. And the extra lumbar support is very helpful in lining up your posture to protect your back from aching while you ride.
There are also many other additional features you can get when using this bike such as an adjustable levelling feet, CoolAireTM workout fan, Transport wheels or Water bottle holder. It’s certainly a greatly upgraded model of the earlier ProForm models. Overall, this bike is indeed a nice addition to your apartment.
5. Diamondback Fitness 910SR Recumbent Bike
In the terms of quality, this recumbent bike is designed with steel-crafted components and solid steel magnetic flywheel that offer a quiet, sturdy ride. It also has many extra features that will keep you sticking to your workout without boredom including integrated speaker system with mp3 connectivity, adjustable cooling fan, foldout tablet rack and water bottle holder. The better feature of this model compared to others above is that it include up to 35 workout programs as well as 32 levels of gradual resistance. These make your exercise really interesting.
The console of the Diamondback 910SR is an upgrade over the earlier 510IC model. It includes the 20+ options available which grouped together into 6 main sections (the media bay, quick-select resistance keys (right), quick-select program keys (left), input control keys, LCD screen, and the adjustable fan and stereo speakers). Your distance, RPM, number of calories burned, and cycling speed are showed through screen for easier workout tracking.
Additionally, the reclined position distributes weight more evenly to reduce any stress placed on muscle tendons or knee joints. A well-padded seat is contoured to support your lower back while permitting unlimited movement in your legs. Diamondback 910Sr Recumbent Bike provides two different options for monitoring heart rate. You can monitor your heart rate through the stationary handles or through the chest strap. It can be suitable for all fitness levels and age ranges.
6. Precor RBK 835 Recumbent Exercise Bike
Like other recumbent exercise bikes, a reclining position on the Precor RBK 835 Bike distributes weight over the air flex seat and takes it off sensitive areas for a more comfortable ride and efficient calorie burn. Plus, a specially designed suspension system on the air flex seat allowing the seat back to move with you also makes you feel comfortable.
The P30 console on Precor RBK 835 provides a wide range of feedback information including calories, pulse, distance, SmartRate® (heart rate zone), RPM, speed, resistance, watts, time and percent complete. There are 12 workouts for weight loss, cardio health, sports performance and other goals built into the console of the RBK 835. These programs can adjust the resistance of machine from 22 to 750 watts to meet any fitness levels. Besides, users can know informative error and a low level of maintenance feedback via the console. In order to keep you motivated, the RBK 835 is designed with 15″ viewing entertainment screen, Reading rack and iPhone /iPod compatibility.
Like Diamondback Fitness 910SR, the RBK 835 features a step-through design that allows you to get on and off the bike easily. With a wide resistance range (25 resistance levels) and adjustable seating, the RBK 835 fits almost any body strength and size. Steel frame with powder coating is sturdy enough to withstand users up to 350lbs while the belt drive ensures quiet, smooth operation and reduced maintenance. It is also sold with a long residential warranty on wear items and parts.
An overall level of build quality, advanced fitness technology and an aesthetically attractive and modern design while providing the entertainment options and challenging workouts make it suitable for home gyms environments and even commercial gym installations as well.
7. Sole Fitness R92 Recumbent Exercise Bike
This recumbent exercise bike is well-built, mid-priced model for home use. It has many features and solid quality. An aluminum shroud and heavy steel tubing make this bike of Sole extremely strong, but still light. The durable steel frame support a weight capacity of 300 pounds. Additionally, its 26 lb. flywheel creates a quiet, vibration-free and secure workout as well as 20 levels of magnetic resistance. The seat and handlebars are adjustable to fit any body size.
The Sole R92 delivers an excellent and low impact cardiovascular workout. This is ideal for those who are suffering from back pain a lot. Sole’s pedals are especially designed to prevent pains and aches in your feet and knees by placing the joints in their correct posture in each workout. The well-padded seat always makes you comfortable whenever you sit on it. It also includes 10 challenging workout programs.
The 9-inch Blue Backlight LCD screen is very easy to view even in low light conditions. It displays information you need to track your workout. Besides, there are also many extra features to keep you motivated during your exercise like iPod or MP3 player compatibility with integrated speaker sound system, pulse grip heart rate monitoring, water bottle holder or built-in workout fan.
Lastly, this unit has one of the best warranties for exercise bikes. With all great benefits it provides to users, there’s no doubt why this bike is rated as one of the best exercise bikes in 2017 that you should purchase for your home.
8. Nautilus R614 Recumbent Bike
The Nautilus R614 Recumbent Exercise Bike is not expensive home bike but it has many features and solid quality. The Nautilus is one of the best quality exercise bike brands. And Nautilus R614 Recumbent Bike is no exception. It is designed with a balanced flywheel, which creates a quiet, vibration-free, secure workout as well as 20 levels ECB magnetic resistance. The large mid-frame support & the two integrated levelers give you a stable and solid bike platform.
Nautilus provides 22 programs with many additional features. They include integrated speakers for listening to your MP3 player or iPod while doing exercise, side water bottle holder, 3 Speed Workout Fan and pulse grip heart rate monitoring. Vented seat bottom and back also keep you cooler during your workout. Additionally, DualTrack™ two LCD window system display up to 13 different display feedbacks. Especially, you can download the data to a USB drive and track and your progress for goal tracking. The walk-through frame design allows you to mount and dismount easily. And with the support of transport wheels, the moving bike is easier.
Like other good models, this bike provides low impact cardiovascular workouts without too much impact on user’s joints. With 300 lbs maximum user weight it can fit most needs of trainee. This model is rated to have very good warranty as well. In short, the R614 recumbent bike of Nautilus is a great, low-priced recumbent bike for home use.
9. Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike
Its precision-balanced flywheel and V-belt double-drive transmission system are used to offer a quiet and smooth workout. There are 8 levels of resistance are set by the Magnetic Tension control system. Plus, the well-cushioned seat and back rest are comfortable and large providing solid back support, great comfort and making the bike suitable for various body sizes. The seat can be easily adjusted with a knob and a little effort. The pedals with safety straps are large, which prevent foot slippage while riding. Sturdy leg stabilizers also keep the bike sitting in place without shaking or wobbling.
In the terms of convenience, this compact and lightweight recumbent bicycle is ideal for people who don’t want their exercise equipment to take up lots of space in their homes. Transportation wheels featured on the bottom of the unit make it easier to move and even store. Besides, its folding design also helps user save more space when their workouts end. The semi-recumbent design of this model makes users weighing 300 pounds or fewer easier to get on and off compared to other fully recumbent models.
LCD display featured on the Exerpeutic 400XL bike is easy to read. It displays many important data points including time, speed, distance, calories burned, and heart rate. The handgrips comfortably placed on each side of the saddle allow you to measure your pulse. By staying your pulse in the training zone you can improve the effectiveness of your workout.
Despite coming with a cheap price, this model is still durable and well-built compared to other models at the same price range. It also has a nice warranty for its price. In short, the Exerpeutic 400XL is one of the best recumbent bikes for losing weight and getting fit at home.
10. Marcy ME709 Recumbent Mag Cycle Bike
Like other recumbent bikes, Marcy ME709 offers a lower impact form of exercise with additional lower back support. It comes with a well-padded, large seat providing the great level of comfort you always expect during your workouts. Counterbalanced pedals with adjustable foot straps not only keep your feet securely but also make the energy transfer from the legs to the flywheel better.
Although it comes at cheap price, this Recumbent Mag Cycle Bike also has 8 levels of magnetic resistance delivering more challenging workouts to meet your demand when your fitness level increases. Its stable steel frame can withstand users weighing up to 300 lbs.
The display console is small and easy to use. It allows you to track your speed, time, distance and calories. This recumbent bike has a compact design that easily fits into even the smallest spaces. It is not too heavy to move around too. Besides, attached transport wheels do make this much easier.
In short, this bike is a great choice for you to increase cardiovascular endurance and shed unwanted pounds without sacrificing precious floor space or spending too much money.
Best Recumbent Bike Under $500
In addition to some best but cheap models I recommended above like Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike or Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike. I would like to suggest some other models under $500, which is favorite price range of many customers.
1. Velocity Exercise Dual Motion Recumbent Bike
In addition to foot pedals, it comes with arm exerciser that allows you to exercise your lower body and upper body just on the one piece of equipment. There are 8 levels of magnetic tension resistance. This cheap model can help you burn more calories and get in shape for the same amount of time when you would spend on a standard recumbent exercise bike.
It is also a quality, well-built recumbent exercise bike. It is designed with a nicely weighted flywheel and a steel tube frame that provides a smooth and quiet cycling motion. Its solid construction can withstand users with the weight of 250lbs. In short, with the Velocity Dual Motion Recumbent Bike you will truly get full-body and excellent workout.
2. Proform 315 CSX Recumbent Bike
Proform 315 CSX Recumbent Bike is well-built, solid, and delivers a quiet, smooth cycling motion. This model comes with some of the best technology of a recumbent bike and a decent amount of resistance levels (16 resistance levels) to help you get an enjoyable experience and a great workout.
The computer on this ProForm bike includes the large display, 20 built-in workout apps, heart rate monitoring, iPod® connection, and iFit® capabilities giving the users more motivation to boost their workouts on this machine. In short, this ProForm 315 CSX Recumbent Bike is very hard to beat with great benefits it provides at its price range.
3. Exerpeutic 1000 High Capacity Magnetic Recumbent Bike
If you’re looking for an affordable recumbent bike which has good quality and delivers a comfortable and challenging workout experience, the Exerpeutic 1000 High Capacity Magnetic Recumbent Bike should be considered. From its well-padded seat and pedals to the step-through design, this recumbent bike provides any shape or size user with a smooth and comfortable riding experience. There are 8 levels magnetic resistance offering a wide range or intensity workout.
The bike is stable and solid at only 63 lbs. It is designed with an extended leg stabilizers and well-balanced flywheel to keep the bike stably during the most intense workouts. Although it has a small design, it still supports a user weight capacity up to 300lbs. However, remember that you will not receive a lot of features for entertainment on this bike like on other higher-end models.
Types of Recumbent Exercise Bike
There are several types of recumbent exercise bike for you to choose depending on the level of energy, the price and features.
+ Standard recumbent exercise bike:
This is the most popular model which is rated to have the most affordable price. It is built with steel tube construction, padded seat and back rest, pedals and console/control panel. The typical models of this type include Schwinn 230 Recumbent Exercise, Nautilus R614 Recumbent Bike or Diamondback Fitness 510Sr Recumbent Bicycle.
+ Hybrid trainer elliptical recumbent bike:
This model is ideal for those who want to stick with a high-intensity workout while still getting the comfort of the recumbent bike. The hybrid trainer is a combination of the elliptical exercise machine and the standard bike. Therefore, this has a step up in size, energy level and cost compared to the basic bike. You can have reclining state by using the pedals or standing state by using the elliptical section. This combination is very great for strengthening all the body’s muscles. And of course, in the comparison with the standard bike it takes up more space. For example:
ProForm Hybrid Trainer
The ProForm Hybrid Trainer is a very budget-friendly and solid combination between a recumbent bike and an elliptical machine. This helps keep your workout interesting as well as increases your variety of workout options. The ProForm Hybrid Trainer provides some nice features such as 14 workout apps, 15 levels of resistance enabling you to modify the workout intensity, two stationary hand grips for heart rate monitoring and Target Pacer feature that indicates when you should speed up or slow down etc. With the 2 in 1 design, if you feel tired by the full body elliptical workout, you can easily switch to recumbent bike workout. The ProForm Hybrid Trainer also features transport wheels for easy and fast storage
+ Cross-trainer recumbent exercise bike:
This is a high-end model that offers a total body workout in a comfortable seated position. The pedals on the standard bike now are replaced by large hydraulic pads for more comfortable, lower-impact and effective workouts. Additionally, it features the arm pieces with foam handholds that provide you with a workout for the arms. This model also helps firm and condition your abdomen through the back-and-forth movement of the arms and legs. For example:
Nustep TRS 4000 Recumbent Cross Trainer
This machine is the great combination between the seated position of the typical recumbent bike with the glute and leg workouts of the typical step machine. Instead of bulky ellipticals and treadmills, Nustep TRS 4000 Recumbent Cross Trainer simulates the walking motion while you are sitting on the seat. The TRS 4000 seat is specifically made from good materials that absorb vibrations and shocks from the machine for a smoother workout. This cross trainer is well-rated for its ability to improve cardio endurance, tone the leg muscles, and decrease the level of strain on the hips, knees, and spine during a high intensive cardio workout. At 205 pounds, Nustep TRS 4000 Recumbent Cross Trainer is an ideal option for small bedrooms or even tight areas.
How to Choose the Best Recumbent Exercise Bike
Like other fitness machines, this type of exercise bike comes in a wide variety of styles, comfort levels, weights, and prices. The question is which one is suitable for you? I hope with some guides below, you can choose the best one for your needs.
There are different price ranges from just a small price to big money for you to choose. However, at each price range, there are some differences about features and quality among the bikes. The bikes at the basic price often have a simple seat, pedal, console arrangement. Those have a more expensive price often have more strongly constructed pedals, odometers, elaborate readouts, and are built with higher-quality materials. Some cheap models may come with many features found on a quality bike but they may have too poor quality. Keep in mind that if you spend too little money you will likely throw it away.
If you don’t have wide space and tend to regularly move your bike, a basic bike with a simple bar frame and light weight which is easy to handle is more ideal than other hybrid or cross-trainer bikes with heavier weight.
The best recumbent stationary bike often has a combination of a powerful computer power and quiet resistance. The bike should be stable and heavy for a solid ride. Besides, a well-padded seat with plenty of adjustment is also very necessary for a comfortable riding. It is a good idea to notice to the construction of the back and seat pad if you requires a higher comfort level because of infirmity or age
Basing on the fitness goals
For those who want to get a high-intensity workout, Hybrid trainer elliptical recumbent bike or a cross-trainer is highly recommended. However, for the infirm or elderly rider who prefers a light and comfortable workout, the standard recumbent bike is a better option.
Think carefully about how many additional features you need to have on your bike as well as what kinds of warranty packet you are comfortable with before making decision to purchase. This will help speed up your search to find the best recumbent exercise bike.
Wear Suitable Shoes
Gears on recumbent bikes often move fast therefore you should wear shoes to avoid getting hurt. You can choose any type of shoes but make sure that they have a closed front to protect your toes.
Loose fitting clothes are which you should avoid because they can get caught in your bike. Wearing shirts and shorts that fit a little bit snug is highly recommended and make sure that your clothing doesn’t hang down near any gears.
In order to maintain your bike working longer and looking better, you should keep moisture off the machine. Therefore, you should clean your equipment after each workout session by a soft towel because you can sweat during your workout.
Benefits of using a recumbent exercise bike
Better weight distribution
The lightly reclined posture when riding this bike leads to some recumbent exercise bike benefits, including better weight distribution across the back and buttocks rather than directly on your tailbone. So it is a great option for those who have hips and back are affected by arthritis or other similar problems.
Less Stress on Hip and Knee
Another benefit makes the recumbent exercise bike ideal for people with arthritis is recumbent cycling puts less stress on the knee and hip. Cycling on recumbent bike extends the angle of the knee joint so your hip and knee don’t flex so much with each rotation. That means a recumbent bicycle cause less knee and hip pain compared to a traditional bicycle.
Targeting More Muscles and Burning Calories
Cycling helps you build muscles in your lower legs, thighs and buttocks as well as build more lean body mass. This type of exercise bike places user’s legs in a different position compared to an upright bike. And this is proven to target different and more muscles than an upright bike. Plus, cycling also helps you burn calories to lose or maintain weight.
Recumbent cycling is a type of cardiovascular exercise because it uses large muscle groups such as the gluteal muscles of the buttock and the hamstring and quadriceps muscles of the thighs. Therefore, it might help to strengthen your lungs and heart and improve the ability to use oxygen of your body. In other words, recumbent cycling can help decrease your blood pressure and heart rate and make breathing easier.
The larger seat, back rest and semi-reclining position of the recumbent bike also provide a more comfortable workout to user than the upright bike. Some people complained about the smaller seats on upright bikes which caused the pain in their buttocks. Plus, your back will not be tired or strained due to lacking of back support.
This type of exercise bikes is safer because you can’t stand up on the pedals like when using an upright bike. This reduced many risks of getting injuries. It also offers a larger seat as well as back support. Additionally, recumbent bike is also lower to the ground than other types of bike that makes it easier for everyone to get on and off.
Extending Your Workout
Keeping user’s body pain-free and comfortable is a great way to push them and make them to stick with their new exercise routine. Because the recumbent bike is generally easier and more comfortable to use than the upright bike, you often want to stick your workout routine with this. Plus, you will also tend to last your workouts for a longer period of time.
Reducing the stress
The benefits of exercising on the recumbent exercise bike still continue even when you finish your workouts. Light or sustained workouts can increase endorphins and at the same time decrease the symptoms of depression. Besides, your increased muscular tone and strength, and effective weight management also makes you feel happier because your health is improved.
Recumbent bike is a unique type of exercise machines that makes sure you are comfortable while working out. It has been developed as a great way to keep you motivated with high intensive workouts without back, knees, or other joints hurt. Additionally, with a lot of extra features, you can spend hours in cycling on these machines while listening to music or audio books or watching videos on your tablets. There is no doubt that this is the most effective equipment you can buy.