According to physical trainers, it is advisable to indulge in at least thirty minutes of physical activity per day. Realistically speaking, however, this may not be ideal for anyone who works long hours or for people who cannot afford excessive gym fees. Consequently, investing in your own fitness equipment might be an ideal solution for many. If you want to avoid fitness-related injuries like lower back strain and the likes, you really can’t go wrong with a recumbent bike. Unlike a regular upright bike, these machines are especially conceived to enhance your comfort during the entire duration of your training session. This will also encourage you to put in extra minutes- or even hours- and burn more calories as a result. In fact, a recumbent bike can help you lose between 300 and 500 calories in one hour on low intensity and between 300 and 800 on high. With a recumbent bike, it is also possible to lose fat in all the common problem areas such as the stomach, glutes, thighs, arms and hips.
When buying a recumbent bike, it’s always a good idea to look around and compare different models before making a final decision. If you don’t have the time to go out, you can check out our top 10 recumbent exercise bike reviews. It will be easier to compare the prices and features without leaving your house. Pay particular attention to the price, size, resistance, flywheel as well as the warranty.
An extremely important point to consider before buying a recumbent bike is to pay particular attention to the available space that you have. Not surprisingly, this is actually the first factor that most people neglect whenever they shop for their exercise machine. Therefore, remember to carefully measure the available space in the room where you intend on placing the bike, and then compare them with the measurements provided by the manufacturer. If you’re short on space, you will be glad to learn that the market does provide different types of semi-recumbent bikes with a foldable option. These can come in quite handy to anyone who lives in an apartment or dorm room since you can just fold up the machine and tuck it away until further use. Most of the times, a folded-up machine can easily fit under a bed or closet.
Similarly, you can also check out smaller and lightweight machines: while these take up far less space, they do tend to come with limited features. On the flip side, however, these bikes are less expensive than regular ones. Do bear in mind that machines with smaller footprints have a lighter user weight capacity, which means that they might not be entirely suited for severely obese users.
The price is another factor to consider when buying your recumbent bike. Remember that you basically get what you pay for: if you’re on a limited budget, you will most likely get a basic apparatus with very few options and an average level of comfort. However, users who are willing to spend a little more should probably invest in a more professional model that will help you lose weight without any aches or soreness.
An example of a pricey albeit professional-quality bike is the Diamondback Fitness 910sr, which is packed with features and has an excellent level of comfort. If you’re looking for a less expensive option, you might want to check out the ProGear 190. With a maximum weight capacity of 275 pounds, this machine only costs between $100 and $200. To purchase a recumbent bike, you should probably set aside a budget that ranges between $100 and $2000. If you’re a beginner, you might want to stick to a budget-friendly bike before graduating to a more professional piece of exercise equipment.
Here are our top recumbent exercise bikes’ choice by price.
|Our Choice||Exerpeutic 400XL||Schwinn 230||Nautilus R616||Diamondback 510sr||Sole Fitness LCR
Every recumbent bike has a different level of comfort. This factor is extremely important to consider because if you’re not comfortable enough, you won’t have any motivation to train. In fact, several users have found that a comfortable machine led to a rapid weight loss since they could work out for longer periods of time. The one thing that you should consider when analyzing your machine’s level of comfort is the seat: some higher-end machines come with thickly padded and even ventilated seats that will keep saddle soreness at bay. Ventilated seats are also ideal for lengthier workouts because they do not absorb the heat from your body which means that the saddle remains completely cool. The saddles are commonly made from vinyl, PC leather, rubber or mesh.
Another aspect that you should look out for when analyzing your machine’s level of comfort are the pedals. Always try to look for oversized adjustable pedals since these will easily fit around your shoes. The pedals can either be equipped by toe cages or adjustable straps. As far as comfort is concerned, don’t forget to also shop for a machine that comes with textured handlebars: most of the time, the pulse sensors are built directly into the handlebars and when you work out, your fingers will undoubtedly get slippery. Consequently, textured handlebars will deliver a firm grip and prevent your hands from slipping.
Ease of Use
Of course, it goes without saying that you should be able to easily operate your machine. A common mistake that beginners make is to rush out and buy the first recumbent bike that catches their eye without properly considering the machine’s ease of use. If you don’t know how to operate your machine, you might miss out on some of its most important features. Therefore, before you invest in a recumbent bike, make sure that it comes with an instruction’s manual. This will undoubtedly come in handy when you’ll try to navigate your way around the features and options.
You should also be able to easily operate the digital console with ease, since this gadget basically controls all the different features. Most consoles are straightforward and self-explanatory, but the digital display on more professional machines might be slightly complicated to understand and navigate through.
If you’re willing to splurge, you can get a higher-quality machine that will provide you with a plethora of features to render your training session far more comfortable and efficient. These extra features are more suited to intermediate and experienced users, rather than beginners. Most recumbent bikes are equipped with the following features:
- LCD screen: While budget-friendly machines come with regular and smaller-sized screens, professional ones tend to feature wider and backlit LCD screens that can easily be viewed from the sitting position. Through the LCD screen, you will be able to consult an array of information related to your training session such as the calories burned, time, distance and heart rate. Some models, such as the Schwinn 270 even come with two screens to provide you with additional information. Higher-end consoles are equipped with touch screens for easier navigation.
- Built in fans and water bottle holders: This is the one feature that will undoubtedly come in handy to athletes who are fond of lengthier training sessions. Conveniently located to cool down your entire body, built-in fans are often adjustable. Similarly, it’s also a good idea to go for an apparatus that comes with a built-in water bottle holder. Thanks to this feature, you won’t need to repeatedly interrupt your training session just to go get a drink of water. Staying hydrated will also provide you with enough stamina to push through your comfort zone and burn far more calories.
- USB Port: A USB port is easily one of the handiest features you can have on your bike. These can be used to store your fitness information or even compare your fitness results with fellow athletes online. In some cases, the USB port can also be used to charge your smartphone. Bikes such as the Sole Fitness LCR, for example, even allow you to download programs from different websites such as iFitness. The USB port will also enable athletes to track their training data over a long-term period.
- Built-in programs: This feature is found on most mid-range and professional-range recumbent bikes. Built in programs are versatile enough to be used by users of different fitness levels. Some programs are actually designed to simulate different terrain types such as hills and mountains. Higher-end apparatuses can actually help you visualize some of the most scenic roads from all over the world by projecting them on your LCD screen.
- Levels of resistance and flywheel: Recumbent bikes are equipped with different types of resistance such as magnetic, brake based, direct-contact or fan. The most popular type of resistance is magnetic. Practically every bike on the market allows you to shuffle between several levels of tension to intensify the challenging aspect of your training session. While basic bikes enable you to select between 1 to 8 levels of tension while more expensive machines can go up to 40. Users should also go for the recumbent bikes with a heavier flywheel since these will encourage the majority of your muscles to participate in the training session.