For anyone who likes to exercise on a stationary bike but does not like the strain it puts on your lower back and body, investing in the best recumbent bike is the answer. Recumbent bikes allow you to exercise your legs without having to endure the discomfort of a bicycle seat.
Additionally, instead of propping you forward, like a regular stationary bike often does, a recumbent bike allows you to recline, slightly enough that it ensures a comfortable, almost leisurely workout. For people new to exercising or for people in need of rehabilitation, recumbent bikes offer safe, effective workouts that target your legs.
First and foremost, the best recumbent bike should be comfortable. Comfort, of course, involves the seat being comfortable. However, comfort also means the bike should adjust to the user’s needs. Comfort is one of the more obvious differences between a recumbent bike and, say, a spin bike which is notoriously uncomfortable at first.
For instance, the seat should adjust forward and back to allow the proper amount of space. Additionally, when the seat locks into position, the user should not feel cramped or have to stretch to reach the handles and pedals.
Equally important, the seat size should support the user completely. Users should not feel as if they are sitting on a balance beam.
Levels of resistance
Because recumbent bikes are for new users or rehabilitation purposes, they should offer extremely light levels of resistance. However, they should also accommodate more advanced users by offering advanced levels of resistance. Advanced resistance also is important because as people gain strength, they need to increase their levels.
Additionally, the levels of resistance should be incremental. For instance, the resistance should not go immediately from very easy to very difficult. There should be plenty of levels between these outer extremes. This rule applies to all exercise bikes really, not just recumbent bikes.
For convenience, you should look for the best recumbent bike with a highly visible display. The lights should be bright and easy to identify. Additionally, the display should offer a range of information.
For instance, heart rate or calories burned are common pieces of information useful to a rider. Finally, the bike should have a timer countdown and a library of exercise programs from which a user can choose.
Look for a recumbent bike that is built of solid steel. Composite metals or bikes with an undue amount of plastic can feel wobbly, which is not what you want in an exercise bike. Additionally, the pedals should feel firm. They should offer no play. Finally, the seat should lock firmly into place and should not wobble.
Ten Best Recumbent Bike Reviews
The recumbent bike from Stamina is comprised of both hand and foot pedals to deliver a full-body workout. In terms of tracking your progress, the electronic display includes a scan function that tracks multiple items, such as distance, calories, and heart rate.
The adjustable seat ensures people of multiple heights can be accommodated. In terms of comfort, the back rest is angled, and both the backrest and seat are padded. Additionally, there are eight levels of resistance, allowing you to vary your workouts.
The ultra-quiet, magnetic resistance ensures you can get in a workout whenever you want–without bothering anyone. Finally, the pulse sensors allow you to monitor your heart rate.
- multi-function display
- upper and lower pedals
- pulse sensors
- built-in wheels
- The hand pedals cannot be adjusted for increased or decreased resistance.
You can lose unwanted weight, improve your cardiovascular health, and tone your muscles with the ME-709 recumbent bike from Marcy. With eight levels of resistance to choose from, you can easily progress through your workout plan and achieve your goals in a measurable way.
Equipped with a tension-control dial, this recumbent bike allows you to simulate workouts you would typically experience on different terrains. This level of customization is important because it provides you the ability to match your workout to your fitness level.
Additionally, the easy-to-view screen displays a variety of information, so you can monitor your progress. For instance, you can track calories burned, speed, and distance.
In terms of build, the bike is constructed of 14-gauge, steel tubing. Additionally, the pedals are weighted and include foot straps that ensure your feet do not slip.
- The step-through design provides safe mounting and dismounting. In addition to being easier to climb onto the bike, this design protects your knees and back.
- two-year warranty
- magnetic resistance
- extra-large display
- ergonomic design
- may not fit smaller individuals
The magnetic resistance on this bike includes eight levels of resistance, which you can control with the tension knob. Additionally, the LCD screen displays exactly what you need to track your progress. For instance, it displays your speed, the calories burned, and the riding distance, each of which is an integral piece of information as you become more fit.
Ergonomic handles are a welcome extra. Additionally, the handles are specifically designed to support the precise placement of your palms. For added comfort throughout your workout, the handles are also padded with a high-quality, vinyl foam. The foam prevents hand fatigue and provides a solid grip. Finally, this bike includes upper and lower handles.
- displays extra-large numbers on screen
- steel frame
- upper and lower handles
- ergonomic design
- adjustable seat
- adjustable distance between seat and pedals: 26 inches to 31 inches
- pedal straps
- back of seat not adjustable
Schwinn’s incorporation of Bluetooth technology in their 270 recumbent bike facilitates a maximum workout experience. For instance, you can utilize the Schwinn Trainer app to synchronize your workout results and easily track your fitness goals.
In terms of preset workouts, there are 29 programs to choose from and 25 levels of resistance. These options help you continually challenge yourself to reach the next level of fitness.
The 270 recumbent bike’s stand-out feature is that it is compatible with virtual reality. This feature opens up a whole new world of possibilities to enhance your workout experience. For instance, you can download the free RideSocial app for a virtual workout with friends. RideSocial displays the world as you virtually ride with your friend–in real time.
- upper and lower handles
- media shelf
- input port for MP3
- adjustable fan
- water-bottle holder
- ventilated seat with lumbar support
- compatible with virtual reality
- must plug in to adjust resistance
The Nautilus Recumbent Bike offers vertical handles for accelerated pedaling, but it also offers horizontal handles parallel to the seat for a more relaxed ride. The angled seat adjusts forward and back for comfortable seating. Additionally, the seat is fitted with an air-flow design that keeps your back from sweating. To ensure you are always comfortable, the rear bar incorporates two leveling feet, so you can level the bike even if your floor might not be perfectly level.
The console offers 29 different programs, making it perfect for riders of varying fitness levels. Additionally, it comes with one fitness test as well as a recovery level, ensuring you can gauge your ongoing fitness evolution. Finally, it offers nine heart-rate indicators, providing information such as beats per minute and average heartbeat.
- wide seat
- 29 fitness programs
- incremental levels of resistance
- solid build
- two sets of handle
- rear levelers
- might not be comfortable for very tall riders
The Exerpeutic 1000 is a basic recumbent bike designed specifically for users new to exercising or those needing rehabilitation. For instance, it offers an extra-wide seat to ensure people of all sizes are comfortable.
In terms of taller or heavier users, it offers a seat-extension that extends horizontally. The horizontal movement ensures additional strain goes to the buttocks rather than the legs. In terms of heavier users, it will accommodate users up to 300 pounds.
The LED readout offers information on heart rate, calories burned, and duration. However, it also offers a target zone, allowing riders to exercise within their ideal heart-rate zone. This is important because when you workout at your ideal heart rate, you get a more effective cardiovascular workout.
- horizontal seat adjustment
- accommodates up to 300 pounds
- specifically designed for new users or people needing physical therapy
- extra-wide seat
- not many options for advanced users
The Progear 555LXT is perfect for fitness enthusiasts of moderate experience and fitness needs. For instance, it offers three workout settings, and it employs a tension system with 14 different levels. With so many levels, you gain an smooth, safe, incremental workout experience as you advance from one level of fitness to another.
The seat adjusts at a slight angle, ensuring most of the weight remains on the buttocks. In terms of durability, this bike is designed for users up to 250 pounds.
Perhaps one of the most rider-friendly features is the open chassis between the seat the pedals. This open space allows you to step through as you get on or off the bike, eliminating the need to climb over the seat.
- step-through design
- near-horizontal seat adjustment
- three workout settings
- 14 levels of resistance
- easy-to-reach resistance knob
- not for advanced fitness enthusiasts
The Marcy recumbent bike not only helps you exercise for greater energy, it is, itself, an exercise in energy generation. For instance, most recumbent bikes require batteries for the LED readout to operate. The Marcy bike, however, is a regenerating bike that generates electricity as you pedal. This hi-tech, environmentally-friendly, power system eliminates the needs for power cords or batteries.
For new or moderately experienced fitness enthusiasts, this recumbent bike offers a whopping 24 levels of resistance. The step-through design allows for comfortable mounting and dismounting, and the large, easy-to-see dashboard ensures you are within easy reach of the controls while you stay apprised of your performance.
- 24 levels of resistance
- step-through design
- 23 fitness workouts
- might not be for good for extra-tall users
The Sunny Health and Fitness bike offers eight levels of magnetic resistance, and the LCD readout provides accurate information on the user’s speed, distance, and calories burned.
The tension knob is placed directly in front of the user, making adjusting the workout difficulty easy.
In spite of its basic appearance, the handles are equipped with sensors that monitor your pulse, and the LCD readout relays that information. Additionally, because of the magnetic friction, there are a theoretically infinite number of fitness levels. All you have to do is slightly adjust the friction dial from lower to higher, and you can find the precise level for your needs.
- solid-steel construction
- magnetic resistance
- front wheels for easy mobility
- might be too basic for advanced users
The EFITMENT recumbent bike is designed for people with extreme fitness needs. For instance, it can accommodate people up to 300 pounds, and the step-through design ensures you do not get tripped up climbing on or off of the bike. Each pedal is equipped with a strap, ensuring your feet do not slip.
For larger users, the extra-wide seat will provide both support and comfort. Additionally, the extra-wide back will ensure you feel both comfortable and secure as you work out.
More importantly, the extra-wide seat and back provide extra-large people the confidence and support they need to work out. For instance, when you sit on it, you will feel as if you belong. You will not feel as if you are sitting on a tiny seat designed for people who are already in shape.
Finally, to ensure you have easy access to music, it comes with a holder for your smart phone or table.
- designed for people who might be self-conscious about working out
- designed for extra-heavy users
- magnetic resistance for infinite number of resistance levels
- foot straps for secure foot placement
- step-through design
- holder for smart phone or tablet
- cup holder
- might not be good for extra-tall people