According to medical experts, it is crucial to do at least thirty minutes of physical activity every day to maintain a healthy weight and keep various ailments at bay. However, not everyone has the time or motivation to go to the gym all day, especially if it’s dark, cold or snowy outside. Consequently, it is advisable to invest in a proper piece of exercise equipment that you can use at your own pace and time. An excellent option are recumbent exercise bikes. This provides all the features that you would normally find in a regular upright bike, but with added comfort.
If you’re planning on buying a recumbent bike, it is crucial to keep in mind that you will be able to choose between dozens of different models. It is important to bear in mind that a recumbent bike is a long-term investment since most models can last for up to five years, if not more. In fact, professional-quality bikes can even last up to several decades. Before buying this machine, do take the time to do some research and compare the various models to ensure that you’re making an educated choice based on your budget.
Best 10 Recumbent Bikes Overall
|Exerpeutic 400XL||Read Review||/||8||300 lbs||4.5|
|Schwinn 230||Read Review||22||20||300 lbs||4.0|
|Nautilus R616||Read Review||29||25||300 lbs||4.0|
|ProGear 190||Read Review||/||8||275 lbs||4.0|
|Exerpeutic 4000||Read Review||12||24||325 lbs||4.0|
|Schwinn A20||Read Review||6||8||275 lbs||4.0|
|Sole Fitness LCR||Read Review||12||40||350 lbs||4.5|
|Exerpeutic 900XL||Read Review||/||8||300 lbs||4.0|
|Diamondback 510sr||Read Review||20||16||300 lbs||4.0|
|Marcy NS-716R||Read Review||/||8||300 lbs||4.0|
Why Buy a Recumbent Exercise Bike?
The major advantage with a recumbent exercise bike is that it can be safely used by any individual who cannot normally use a regular exercise bike. This type of bike does not normally place any strain on the knees or joints, which is also why it can be used by obese, elderly or even mildly disabled people. With a recumbent bike, you can actually lose around 400-500, if not more, calories in one hour. This can actually amount to a significant weight loss, which is ideal for any overweight user.
The main reason why people invest in recumbent exercise bikes is because of the comfort factor. In fact, when working out on this machine, you literally can lie back and pedal away. The recumbent seat will keep all the lower back aches at bay, hence allowing you to work out for far longer periods of time. With a recumbent exercise bike, it is also possible to train all the major parts of the lower body, including the hips, thighs, calves, waist and even the glutes and abdominal area. When training on an upright bike, you would normally remain in a hunched position, which can be quite uncomfortable and demotivating. By stark comparison, recumbent bikes provide an exceptional dose of comfort since you can watch a movie while you work out. Since this machine leaves your hands completely free, you can also play a digital game, make calls or even read books or magazines while you exercise. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t burn fewer calories on a recumbent bike since you’re still training the same muscles that you would on an upright machine.
Recumbent bikes are also ideal for beginners who are mainly used to a sedentary lifestyle. Most of these bikes come with bucket seats that are contoured to perfectly accommodate your body. This kind of fitness equipment also include a plethora of handy features and options that can be used to render your workout far more enjoyable and motivating. For instance, your bike might include a display screen to provide you with a breakdown of the number of calories burned, time elapsed and heartbeat. More sophisticated models even come with built-in fans and speakers to keep you energized while you train.
Recumbent bikes are also perfect for any user who comes from a larger family since it can be used by just about anybody. You will be glad to learn that recumbent bikes are available in various dimensions and price ranges.
Folding Bikes for Small Spaces
Users who live in smaller spaces can be daunted by the thought of buying a recumbent bike because of the lack of floor space. However, a lesser-known fact is that some models can actually be folded up for far easier storage. This means that you can enjoy the multiple benefits of a recumbent exercise bike without having to worry about whether it will fit into the designated room or not. Therefore, you can train for as long as you want and then simply fold it up and prop it against the wall or under a bed for easy storage.
Here are two excellent quality folding bikes:
ProGear 190: With a thickly padded seat, the ProGear 190 is one of the most comfortable recumbent bikes on the market. This machine also has the advantage of being quite lightweight and can even be folded up for storage. It also comes with a wider pedal design to accommodate your foot and prevent any sort of slippage or accident during your work out. Thanks to the digital screen, you will also be able to monitor your progress and track the number of calories burned, along with your workout time. The machine also includes a Hand Pulse Monitoring system that enables you to stay within your target rate.
Exerpeutic 400XL: The Exerpeutic 400XL is space-saving bike that has a 4.5 star rating on online shopping sites. Extremely lightweight, it only weighs 43 pounds and measures 33 x 19 x 46 inches. With a foldable feature, the apparatus has a weight capacity of 300 pounds and even boasts a silent V-belt for a smoother performance. Because of the leg stabilizers, you can be sure that the machine won’t budge during vigorous training sessions. It also includes a 3-piece crank system as well as hand pulse sensors to help you monitor your heart rate during the entire workout.
Things to Consider Before Buying
When buying a recumbent bike, there are a few things to consider to guarantee both your comfort and the overall efficacy of your training session. Taking the time to analyze the machine’s options and features will ensure that you invest in a piece of fitness equipment that you will be able to safely operate for decades to come. For example, it is quite important to consider the warranty before you buy your machine, hence ensuring that you’re always protected if something goes wrong.
Read on for additional factors to consider before buying a recumbent bike.
- Available Space: A common rookie mistake is to buy any machine that looks good, with no consideration for the size. If you don’t want to train in a cramped area, do take the time to measure your room and compare it to the bike’s dimensions. If you’re short on space, it would be best to go for a model that offers a foldable feature. This largely facilitates storage since you can simply slide the machine under the bed or prop it up against the wall until further use. Luckily enough, the market does provide a variety of recumbent bikes that enables you to easily choose between the various foldable models based on your needs and budget.
- Lightweight machines can also be less expensive than heavy-duty ones. It is still important to note that smaller models may not be suitable to severely overweight individuals so be sure to check the weight capacity before you purchase your recumbent bike.
- Comfort Level: It is crucial to consider how comfortable your machine is before investing in a new bike. Remember that if you’re not fully comfortable, you’ll probably increase the chances of interrupting your workout for just about any reason. An uncomfortable bike can also be highly demotivating. Therefore, make sure that your apparatus comes with options such as an adjustable seat. This is particularly important if you’re taller than average. Users should also consider the seat padding as well as the pedal width. Professional models come with adjustable seats that you can move forwards or backwards according to your individual height.
- Remember to look for a bike that provides you with firm, albeit adjustable, pedal straps that can accommodate different shoe sizes and types. Some even include non-slip grips on both the pedals and handles for added comfort.
- Workout Effectiveness: The workout effectiveness is another important factor to consider before buying your recumbent bike. If your machine doesn’t match your fitness level, you will not lose weight as quickly as you ought too. You should preferably go for a machine that provides challenging options such as built-in programs with uphill terrain types. The majority of indoor bikes provide fan-based, magnetic, or brake-based resistance. If you’re an avid athlete and can handle the challenge, it’s advisable to go for magnetic or brake resistance since these largely stimulate your joints and muscles. The majority of machines also provide different resistance levels that you can adjust according to your capacities.
- Some recumbent bikes will enable you to benefit from different terrain types that can fit users of varying fitness levels. If you live in a larger family where several people are planning on using the same bike, it is strongly advisable to go for machines with an extended number of terrain types. This will ensure that everyone can use it and adjust it to his or her stamina. To boost your workout effectiveness, do pay attention to the flywheel as well. Normally located at the front or back of your machine, the flywheel generates energy, hence encouraging you to input more effort into your workout. Remember that the heavier the flywheel, the more effort you will need to generate.
- Extra Features: Most- if not all- recumbent bikes come with additional features that will boost both your motivation and comfort. For example, the great majority of models include an LCD screen to provide accurate readouts of the calories burned, workout time and even distance covered. If your machine is equipped by pulse sensors, you can also benefit from an accurate read-out of your heart rate- something that will undoubtedly come in quite handy to elderly users. This option is also quite convenient for experienced athletes who want to meet their target heart rate.
- As far as extra features are concerned, some models even include a unique option that provides you with images of scenic routes from all over the world, which consequently allows you to feel like you’re riding up these hills and valleys or even next to the beach. Similarly, more sophisticated machines come with interactive options that will enable you to connect or even race other users connected to the same interface.
- If you like to be entertained while you work out, you can also look for a recumbent bike with a book or tablet holder and a water-bottle holder. Higher-quality recumbent bikes even include built-in fans and speakers, but these models tend to be on the more expensive side. Users who like to watch a movie while they train should also pay attention to the bike’s noise level. Indeed, some models- especially cheap ones- can be on the noisier side. If a silent operation is a factor for you, it’s not a bad idea to increase your budget and purchase a higher-quality machine with a smoother flywheel.
- Price: Of course, it goes without saying that the price should play a major role in your choice of machine. Don’t go over your budget if you’re not used to rigorous cardiovascular exercises. On the contrary, you can buy a relatively inexpensive albeit solid machine to build up your strength and stamina before switching to a more professional model after a few years. Be careful when buying an inexpensive machine and always opt for well-known brands to ensure that you don’t invest your money in a bike that will fall apart after just a few uses. If you’re an experienced athlete on a limited budget, remember that the number of options and features provided by the machine will ultimately affect the price.
Best Recumbent Exercise Bike by Price
Recumbent bikes are available in various price ranges, with different options that you can use to customize your workout and burn more calories.
Price Range: $100 – 200
Our Choice : Exerpeutic 900XL
The Exerpeutic 900XL costs between $100 and $200. In spite of its affordable price, however, this machine is designed for both convenience and comfort and will allow you to benefit from a vigorous workout without any strain or ache. It is designed to minimize stress on the back and joints, which can be quite convenient if you’re elderly. This model features a 300 pound user weight capacity, which is quite impressive for its price range. It also measures 22 x 34 x 54 inches, which makes it relatively easy for you to store.
With the Exerpeutic 900XL, users will get the basic 8 levels of magnetic tension. Now this is definitely less than what you’ll get with more expensive models, but it’s definitely challenging enough for beginners. An easy-to-reach knob is included to help you shift between the different tension settings. Best of all, it provides a near-silent operation thanks to the V-belt drive and precision balanced flywheel. This allows you to listen to music, watch TV or even chat on the phone while you work out. The silent operation is additionally an excellent option for anyone who likes to train late at night.
An LCD screen is also included to help you track the number of calories burned, heart rate, speed, time and even the distance. The seat is contoured to fit your body and is framed by two handles for added comfort. While it is quite lightweight, this machine is equipped with stabilizers to keep it from wobbling. It is constructed from high-caliber steel that is quite resistant to scratches and general wear-and-tear.
Price Range: $200 – 300
Our Choice: Schwinn 230
The Schwinn 230 is an excellent budget-friendly exercise bike that costs between $300 and $400. In spite of its affordable price, this machine is packed with an extended variety of features that will allow you to burn more calories in less time. For example, it includes no less than 22 built-in programs that will keep you motivated during the entire duration of your training session. A goal tracking program is also included to ensure that you always meet your target. With this apparatus, you can also benefit from an interactive feature that enables you to swap your workout data with other athletes using the same software on myfitnesspal.com or on SchwinnConnect.
As far as your comfort is concerned, you will be glad to learn that the Schwinn 230 also comes with a vented contoured seat that will guarantee your comfort and enable you to train for far longer hours without getting fatigued. In fact, the seat even includes a lumbar support back to encourage cooling. Taller athletes will certainly be able to make the most out of the machine’s handy slider seat rail system that is easily operated through a lever system. As far as resistance is concerned, users can benefit from 20 different levels of Eddy Current Resistance that will draw the major muscle groups of your body into the training session. The weighted, inertia perimeter flywheel ensures that you always benefit from quieter and smoother workouts.
Price Range: $300 – 500
Our Choice: Exerpeutic 4000
As a mid-range exercise bike, the Exerpeutic 4000 comes with 24 levels of magnetic tension that will deliver a challenging workout for both experienced and beginner athletes. Best of all, users will also get up to 325 pounds of maximum capacity, which is impressive for a price range of $300 to $400.
This model is also reputed for its excellent level of comfort: indeed, it bases itself on aerodynamic technology to provide you with ergonomic features that will prevent injuries while boosting your comfort level. For example, it has a wider-than-average 3 ½ inch thick seat that sports different air chambers for easy ventilation. More importantly, the seat is covered with a breathable fabric, hence ensuring that it remains cool and comfortable regardless of how long you exercise.
The Exerpeutic 4000 comes with a console designed to provide you with accurate readouts of your workout such as the number of calories burned, time, distance covered and heart rate. Tech-friendly athletes will undoubtedly relish in the Mobile App Tracking system supported by Bluetooth technology. This option allows you to use graphical interfaces to keep an eye on your progress through your phone or tablet. You can actually download the application designed for Android and IOS system, hence ensuring that you’re always motivated. With this particular model, you can also benefit from 12 built-in programs, 7 training modes and 4 individual settings. To keep you entertained while you train, the computer console also comes with an adjustable latch that you can use to keep your smart phones, tablets and other similar mobile devices.
Price Range: $500 – 700
Our Choice: Nautilus R616
As shown by its price tag, the Nautilus R616 is a professional-grade machine designed for more advanced users. It sports not one, but two LCD windows that can display up to 13 different types of data related to your workout. It also comes with a USB charging port and an interactive Bluetooth LE connectivity system. It can accommodate 4 different user profiles, hence enabling each member of the family to track his or her individual progress. To render your workout more enjoyable, this model also comes with ergonomically-located heart rate sensors that enable you to remain in a recumbent position when tracking your pulse. Acoustic chambered speakers are also included for some added motivation.
Ideal for overweight or obese users, this machine has an impressive capacity of 300 pounds. It features a center support as well as two integrated levelers for added stability during your training session. Users can also move it from room to room thanks to the handy transport wheels. The oversized crossbar tubing ensures that your bike remains completely stable, even during vigorous exercise. With this model, you can enjoy 29 built-in programs, including 9 heart rate controlled and 12 profiles. 1 recovery test as well as 2 fitness tests. If you’re taller or shorter than average, you can easily slide the seat back and forth thanks to the aluminum sliding rail system. This recumbent bike is protected by a 10 year warranty on the frame, 90 days for labor, 1 year electrical and 2 years mechanical.
Price Range: $700 – 1000
Our Choice: Diamondback Fitness 510SR
Very often found in gyms and other fitness centers, the Diamondback Fitness 510SR is equipped with no less than 20 built-in programs to provide variety to your workout. Thanks to the LCD screen, you can consult real-time data rendition of the time elapsed, distance covered and calories burned. The USB port offers a whole range of possibilities including interactive features with other athletes who are using the same machine. This bike has a scrolling message center and QuickSet program keys for an easier operation.
The frictionless Eddy Current Braking System ensures that you benefit from a super-smooth and quiet operation. To keep boredom at bay, you can also prop up a book or a magazine against the magazine rack and fold it away when you’re not using it. The water bottle holder will stop you from continuously having to get on and off the bike for a drink of water. As far as comfort is concerned, athletes can benefit from a perfectly contoured seat to accommodate various body types. This will also prevent joint injuries while making it easier for people with chronic pain to get on and off the machine. Like most professional pieces of fitness equipment, this machine comes with a multi-speed fan to keep you cool and motivated. Measuring 67 x 13 x 13 inches, this recumbent bike has a smaller footprint and transport wheels that will come in handy if you need to move it.
Price Range: $1000+
Our Choice: Sole Fitness LCR Light Commercial
While the Sole Fitness LCR it is undoubtedly pricier than other apparatuses, it can last for life and provides an extensive array of features to help you lose weight and keep it off. With an impressive 350 pounds of capacity, no wonder this commercial-grade recumbent bike is often found in fitness studios or even physical therapy clinics. It also comes with a 30 pound heavy flywheel to draw every muscle of your body into the training session.
The Sole LCR comes with a comfortable seat with a supportive back. The ergonomic pedals feature a 2-degree inward cant that largely protects your ankles, knees and feet since your joints remain perfectly aligned during the entire duration of your training session. Thanks to the heavy-tubing feature, the bike remains extremely stable no matter how hard you pedal. It has two custom and six standard programs as well as a 9-inch LCD console to display relevant data about your workout. Extra features include a built-in fan, water bottle holder and the MP3 compatible sound system, as well as a chest strap heart monitoring system that comes complete with the strap.