12 Best Recumbent Exercise Bikes, Reviewed by a Personal Trainer

ProRehab Physical Therapy’s Candace Morton, PT, DPT, was featured in an article about the best recumbent bike options with VerywellFit, read on below!

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When setting up a home gym, a recumbent exercise bike is an extremely versatile and effective cardio machine to add to the mix. A recumbent bike allows you to sit in a way that promotes good spinal alignment, which may help reduce lower back pain and pressure allowing for a more comfortable ride.1 They’re particularly helpful for folks recovering from injuries, seniors wanting to stay active in a safe way, and novice exercisers looking to improve cardiovascular fitness in a low-impact fashion.2

Reviewed & Approved

We named the Schwinn 270 Recumbent Exercise Bike our top overall pick for its 25 resistance levels, up to four different exerciser profiles, and comfortable ride. The Proform 235 CSX is a good option for smaller spaces.

“Recumbent bikes are also a great way to increase strength in your lower extremities as well as mobility,” Candace Morton, PT, DPT, a physical therapist at ProRehab in Louisville, KY, says.

When shopping for recumbent exercise bikes, consider weight and height capacities and seat adjustability—especially if multiple people in the household will use the bike. A good bike should also have varying resistance levels to allow for different types of workouts and an easy-to-use monitor display. “All of these features allow you to have a more comfortable and customizable ride in which you can achieve your fitness goals,” Morton says.

When evaluating recumbent bikes, we reviewed them for all of these features as well as value, sturdiness, and comfort. We also considered recommendations from experts as well as user reviews.

According to our research, here are the best recumbent exercise bikes on the market.

Best Overall: Schwinn 270 Recumbent Exercise Bike

4.7

Pros

  • Ventilated, padded seat
  • Stores data for up to 4 users
  • 3-speed fan
Cons

  • Assembly requires more than one person
  • Paired app needs improvement

Thanks to its 25 resistance levels, ability to store multiple user profiles, and other impressive features, we chose the 270 Recumbent bike as our top overall pick. A household name in the cycling realm, Schwinn built this recumbent bike with home riders in mind. It has a maximum weight capacity of 300 pounds, and a sliding seat to adjust for your ideal pedal position.

The seat is padded, well-ventilated, and contoured to provide lumbar support as you exercise. Plus, the three-speed fan keeps you cool throughout your workout.

The perimeter-weighted flywheel makes for a smooth ride, and 29 workout presets allow you to take advantage of the bike’s many resistance levels, giving you the exact intensity you want. What’s more, the LCD display lets you store workouts across four different user profiles, so everyone in your home can keep track of their own fitness data.

Maximum Weight Capacity: 300 pounds | Adjustability: Seat slides forward and backward | Resistance: Perimeter weighted flywheel with 25 resistance levels | Product Weight: 86.6 pounds | Dimensions: 64 x 27.7 x 49.9 inches

Pros

  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Clear and sharp LCD display
  • Comfortable seat and handles
Cons

  • Fewer resistance settings than other options
  • Stiffer seat

For a fraction of the price of other bikes on our list, you can enjoy this recumbent design from Marcy. The heavy-duty construction supports a maximum weight capacity of 300 pounds, and the seat slides to accommodate a wide range of leg lengths. The step-through design makes it easy and safe to hop on and off whenever you’re ready to exercise, and the magnetic resistance mechanism provides eight different resistance levels for you to customize your workout based on your needs.

We love that the LCD display allows for a clear and sharp readout of your time, speed, distance, and calories burned in extra-large numbers, so you won’t feel compelled to hunch forward in the high-density foam seat. Finally, the bike features contoured, foam-covered handles for extra support as you ride, keeping your form intact and your back free of pain.

Maximum Weight Capacity: 300 pounds | Adjustability: Seat slides forward and backward | Resistance: Magnetic resistance mechanism with eight resistance levels | Product Weight: 61 pounds | Dimensions: 55.5 x 25 x 37.5 inches

Pros

  • Ideal for apartment dwellers
  • iPod-compatible audio system
  • Monitors heart rate
Cons

  • Not for taller riders
  • Small foot straps

Just 21 inches wide and 40 inches long, we love that this compact recumbent bike from ProForm can fit comfortably even in little apartment workout corners. And the size doesn’t compromise its sturdiness, as the bike can still support a maximum weight capacity of 275 pounds.

A simple lever makes it easy to slide the seat and backrest forward and backward depending on your height, and the silent magnetic resistance flywheel provides 18 different resistance levels for a truly customizable workout experience.

What’s more, the large LCD display helps you track your distance, cadence, and total calorie burn while handgrip pulse sensors allow you to keep tabs on your heart rate. For those of us who can’t imagine a ride without our favorite tunes, it also features an iPod-compatible audio system, so you can blast your pump-up playlist straight from the bike itself.

Maximum Weight Capacity: 275 pounds | Adjustability: Seat slides forward and backward | Resistance: Silent magnetic resistance flywheel with 18 resistance levels | Product Weight: 102 pounds | Dimensions: 40 x 21 x 61 inches

Best for Seniors: Sunny Health & Fitness Recumbent Bike SF with Arm Exerciser

Pros

  • Quiet on all settings
  • Very sturdy
  • Works both your upper and lower body
Cons

  • Calorie/heart rate tracking somewhat inaccurate
  • Not for taller riders

As you age, it’s important to maintain your strength, endurance, and flexibility across all major muscle groups to stave off injury successfully.3 For this reason, we recommend this recumbent bike that also features hand pedals so you can challenge your upper body as well.

The magnetic resistance flywheel makes for a smooth and adjustable ride, and allows you to choose from eight resistance levels. The arm resistance is also adjustable, so you can tailor it to your fitness level.

The bike is very well-constructed and sturdy enough to support up to 350 pounds safely. A large seat and back cushion provide plush comfort and are easy to adjust on the fly. Plus, the easy-to-read digital monitor screen displays your workout time, distance, and calories.

We love that it’s also equipped with transportation wheels at the front so you can easily move it from room to room, or store it away.

Maximum Weight Capacity: 350 pounds | Adjustability: Seat slides forward and backward | Resistance: Magnetic resistance flywheel with eight resistance levels | Product Weight: 91 pounds | Dimensions: 51 x 25 x 52.5 inches

Pros

  • Quiet and smooth
  • No power source needed
  • Accommodates wide range of users
Cons

  • Assembly is a bit tedious
  • No water bottle holder

If you’re particularly concerned about getting the right fit on your recumbent bike, we suggest trying Marcy’s ME 706 bike. Designed to allow for plenty of legroom, it boasts an adjustable seat that fits most users and can be adjusted while you’re seated on the bike.

The well-built, heavy-duty bike can also support up to 300 pounds, so it’s a great option if you need to accommodate a wide range of heights and weights. What’s more, the bike features adjustable levelers that allow you to balance out the bike on most surfaces—including on slightly uneven flooring.

The bike’s magnetic resistance has 24 levels and provides a smooth, quiet ride. The LCD display, which is powered through pedaling, has 23 workout programs and shows workout stats such as time, distance, RPM, speed, calories, and pulse.

Maximum Weight Capacity: 300 pounds | Adjustability: Seat slides forward and backward | Resistance: Magnetic resistance flywheel with 24 resistance levels | Product Weight: 105 pounds | Dimensions: 57 x 24 x 42 inches

Pros

  • Oversized seat and backrest
  • Non-slip pedal design
  • Works both your upper and lower body
Cons

  • Assembly is a bit tedious
  • Pedals may not be as durable as the rest of the bike

Worried when it comes to the weight capacity of your fitness equipment? If that’s your main concern, we recommend this recumbent bike from Sunny Health & Fitness which features a heavy-duty frame that safely supports up to 350 pounds.

Its oversized seat and backrest provide the posture-correcting support you need for a safe workout, and the seat is easily adjusted while you’re already on the bike, so you can find your ideal position and get right to pedaling.

Speaking of pedals, this bike includes non-slip adjustable foot pedals with a large surface area for stability. Meanwhile, the magnetic resistance flywheel allows you to choose from eight different resistance levels during your workout, and the moveable handlebars give you an excellent total-body workout option.

Maximum Weight Capacity: 350 pounds | Adjustability: Seat slides forward and backward, foot pedals adjust, and handlebars move | Resistance: Magnetic resistance flywheel with eight resistance levels | Product Weight: 95.8 pounds | Dimensions: 60 x 25.5 x 52 inches

Pros

  • Small-space friendly
  • Easy assembly
  • Very sturdy
Cons

  • Only semi-recumbent
  • Stiffer seat

If you’re looking for a foldable recumbent exercise bike (yes, there is such a thing!) we recommend this model from Exerpeutic. It supports a maximum weight capacity of 300 pounds and fits in an impressively compact home gym space.

With the foldable design, you do sacrifice the preferred magnetic resistance flywheel, but the three-piece cranking system still provides a smooth and consistent pedaling experience. Meanwhile, the resistance system does use magnetic tension control to give you eight resistance levels to choose from, and the LCD display tracks your distance, calories, time, speed, and heart rate.

The seat sits a little higher than most recumbent bike models, but if foldability is the priority, you really do get the best of all worlds with this pick.

Maximum Weight Capacity: 300 pounds | Adjustability: Seat slides up and down | Resistance: Three-piece cranking system with eight resistance levels | Product Weight: 43 pounds | Dimensions: 20 x 17 x 54 inches

Pros

  • 30-day iFit membership
  • Speakers plus auxiliary port
  • Oversized seat with lumbar support
Cons

  • Light resistance is still challenging
  • Flywheel is light for a “commercial” machine
  • Expensive

If you tend to like more bells and whistles with your exercise equipment, we recommend NordicTrack’s recumbent bike as a splurge-worthy item. The step-through design supports an impressive weight capacity of 350 pounds, and the 25-pound flywheel offers 26 resistance levels that you can navigate with OneTouch controls.

The integrated tablet holder makes it easy to follow along with your favorite cycling programs, and the bike comes with a one-month iFit membership so you can tune into any of those workouts as well.

The bike comes stocked with two digitally amplified speakers and an auxiliary music port so you can rock out as you ride to your favorite tunes. The oversized seat with additional lumbar support is also easy to adjust with its sliding mechanism.

Maximum Weight Capacity: 350 pounds | Adjustability: Seat slides forward and backward, plus adjustable handlebars | Resistance: Magnetic resistance flywheel with 26 resistance levels | Product Weight: 192 pounds | Dimensions: 68 x 21.75 x 60 inches

Pros

  • Sturdy steel construction
  • No power source needed
  • Wrap-around seat adjustment mechanism
Cons

  • Expensive

If you gravitate to recumbent bike workouts because of knee pain, we suggest you try this top-of-the-line Star Trac bike. This steel-framed bike supports a maximum weight capacity of 350 pounds, and it doesn’t require an external power source for operation.

The one-piece crank system offers 20 different levels of resistance so you can customize the intensity of your workout easily. The walk-through design paired with the wrap-around seat adjustment mechanism—which allows you to truly customize how far or close your seat is to the bike’s pedals—prevent you from putting your knees in potentially painful positions.

Meanwhile, the built-in fan keeps you cool and the dashboard shares all the statistics you need to keep track of your workouts.

Maximum Weight Capacity: 350 pounds | Adjustability: Seat slides forward and backward with wrap-around adjustment mechanism | Resistance: One-piece cranking system with 20 resistance levels | Product Weight: 212 pounds | Dimensions: 66 x 28 x 53 inches

Pros

  • Easy to adjust
  • Small footprint
  • Easy assembly
Cons

  • May be too lightweight for intense exercise
  • Not for taller riders

For beginner exercisers, we recommend Vanswe’s Recumbent Exercise Bike as an ideal entry-level machine that’s easy to use and extremely comfortable. With a weight capacity of 380 pounds and an adjustable seat, it can accommodate a wide variety of riders. It also comes with a thick, plush seat cushion and backrest to ensure proper posture.

Although it’s a fairly basic and inexpensive bike, we love that it still comes with features such as Bluetooth connectivity, heart rate sensors, and a wide, bright LCD screen that displays time, distance, speed, pulse, and calories.

The bike’s magnetic resistance system provides quiet, smooth pedaling and offers 16 resistance levels, so you can change the degree of difficulty as you become more fit. Plus, it has a stand to hold your tablet so you can watch your favorite shows as you’re riding.

Maximum Weight Capacity: 380 pounds | Adjustability: Seat slides forward and backward | Resistance: Magnetic resistance flywheel with 16 levels | Product Weight: 53 pounds | Dimensions: 45 x 20 x 40 inches

Pros

  • Plenty of resistance options
  • 29 built-in workout programs
  • Quiet and smooth
Cons

  • Not for petite riders
  • Difficult to move

If you like having access to a wide range of programs, we recommend the Nautilus R616 recumbent bike, which comes with 29 built-in workouts. The bike also features Bluetooth connectivity and access to the Explore the World app, which lets you travel the globe through simulated rides. In addition, the 25 resistance levels give you a lot of workout intensity options to work with.

With a padded, wide, and adjustable seat, this bike also offers a high level of comfort, making it a nice option for riders who enjoy longer rides. It’s also well-built, easy to operate, and runs quietly. What’s more, the bike comes with some nice-to-have features such as a fan, water bottle and snack holder, and tablet stand.

Maximum Weight Capacity: 300 pounds | Adjustability: Seat slides forward and backward | Resistance: Magnetic resistance flywheel with 25 levels | Product Weight: 92 pounds | Dimensions: 61 x 22 x 41 inches

Pros

  • Oversized seat with lumbar support
  • Self-balancing pedals
  • Smart, ergonomic design
Cons

  • Display lacks backlight
  • Flywheel is lighter than other options

Many recumbent bike riders are attracted to this style of aerobic workout because it’s kinder on back injuries and other issues. For folks looking to manage back pain, we recommend this comfort-focused bike from Horizon Fitness. The bike features an extra-large seat with lumbar support and self-balancing pedals—a mechanism that ensures your pedals are always facing upright—for a smooth and stable ride.

The seat is easy to adjust horizontally, and the ergonomic handgrips ensure that you feel secure, no matter where you are in your workout. The bike comes with 12 preset workout programs, and the LCD display shows your calories burned, distance, heart rate, speed, workout time, and more.

The bike also has a solid maximum weight capacity of 350 pounds.

Maximum Weight Capacity: 350 pounds | Adjustability: Seat slides forward and backward | Resistance: Magnetic resistance flywheel with 16 resistance levels | Product Weight: 99 pounds | Dimensions: 65 x 26 x 53 inches

If you’re looking for a trusty recumbent bike to add to your home gym setup that features plenty of resistance options and preset workouts while also storing data for up to four users, we recommend Schwinn’s 270 Recumbent Exercise Bike.

And if you’re looking for a space-saving option that still has quality features, we recommend the Proform 235 CSX for its apartment-friendly footprint.

How We Selected the Best Recumbent Exercise Bikes

To find the best recumbent exercise bikes, we researched dozens of machines from top fitness equipment retailers and brands, opting for best-sellers and options with stellar customer feedback. We also reached out to experts—including two licensed physical therapists and two certified personal trainers—for recommendations and advice on what to look for when selecting recumbent exercise bikes.

To narrow down our options, we evaluated bikes based on their features, ease of assembly and use, adjustability, sturdiness, comfort, and value. Based on how each bike held up to these criteria, we determined which bikes were best suited for different needs.

What to Look for in a Recumbent Exercise Bike

Weight and Height Capacity

Recumbent bike weight capacities can range pretty dramatically, so be sure to check whether the one you’re eyeing will give you the stability you and any other rider in your family may need. What’s more, some models work better for shorter folks, and some models are ideal for taller folks. Check the height range listed in the product description to ensure that you’ll be able to pedal on the bike comfortably.

Adjustability

Ideally, your recumbent bike should feature adjustability in the seat and backrest to suit your leg length, in addition to an adjustable foot cage for secure peddling. “With your feet on the pedals and the pedals furthest away from the seat, your knees should have a 25- to 30-degree bend to them,” Shelby Morrison, certified personal trainer and owner of ShelbyFit, says.

Proper positioning allows you to reach and hold the handlebars comfortably, as well as use any controls on the display screen.

Resistance

Most popular bikes use magnetic tension resistance on the flywheel to create a quiet and smooth ride that can be as challenging as you want it to be. Be sure to look for this detail when picking out your bike. And when it comes to the flywheel itself, the heavier it is, the more realistic riding experience you’ll get with your bike.

Monitor Display

This one comes down to personal preference, as some people prefer a simplistic design while others want it as technologically advanced as possible. “While all bikes don’t have a display, it can be helpful,” Morrison says. “Most people will work harder, since you can see the level of resistance, your time, your speed, and some even have a heart rate monitor.”

Regardless of your style, be sure your display gives you the basic information you need, since those factors can help you keep track of your progress over time.

Price

Although some bargains can be found, it’s worth it to get a higher quality bike in the range of $300 to $600 if you plan to use it long-term. “Higher end bikes, which are typically $1,000 to $3,000, are not typically necessary unless multiple people are going to be using the bike and it will get several hours of use a day,” Dan Macera, PT, DPT, clinic director at Pappas OPT Physical, Sports and Hand Therapy, says.

 

Read full article here: https://www.verywellfit.com/best-recumbent-exercise-bikes-4687331

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