No matter what terrain you travel on, biking can become a chore. Stationary bikes take some of the stress out of cycling, but they can still leave you feeling weak and weary after a trip to the gym.
While traditional upright bike models give you a workout that’s more similar to outdoor cycling, they can also put an unnecessary strain on your body.
Unless you’re training to place in a competition, it may be more beneficial to your workout routine to opt for a recumbent bike. There are an overwhelming number of models on the market, but if you’re looking for the best recumbent exercise bikes available, we’ve got you covered.
In a hurry? The test winner after 11 hours of research:
Why is it better?
Last Updated: January 5, 2019
By Max Shumpert: This article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information regarding recumbent exercise bikes available for those who are interested in exercising at home. The best 7 available have changed, and information has been added to assist individuals in finding the best recumbent exercise bicycles currently available on the market. The FAQ has also been updated.
Velocity Exercise CHB-R2101
ProForm 440 ES
NordicTrack GX 4.7
Best Recumbent exercise Bikes In 2019
A recumbent exercise bike can be a fairly expensive addition to your home gym, so it’s important that you do your research when looking into different models. It’s worth spending a little bit of extra time to make sure that you choose the perfect bike to suit your needs.
If you’re not sure where to turn first in your search for a new stationary bike, we’re here to help. These are our top picks for the best rated recumbent exercise bikes that will give you a safe and effective workout.
1. SCHWINN 270 RECUMBENT EXERCISE BIKE
This Schwinn recumbent exercise bike is a good choice for users of any skill level thanks to its 29 programmable setting that range from beginner to advanced.
You can also create custom settings or gauge your skill using preset fitness tests.
There are 25 levels of eddy current resistance that riders can switch between using ten convenient quick keys.
Resistance is applied to a high-speed, high-inertia, perimeter weighted flywheel in order to give you the smoothest and quietest workout possible.
A DualTrack backlit LCD window lets you keep track of data such as time, distance, and calories using up to 13 different display feedbacks. USB data transfer allows you to keep track of your progress using the Schwinn Connect website and the MyFitnessPal app.
The Schwinn 270 Recumbent Exercise Bike boasts ergonomic grip that includes heart rate sensors, which allows you to keep track of your BPM and use a pre-programmed heart rate control setting when working out. This can come in handy for users who are concerned with their cardiac health.
The bike’s frame is built to last, manufactured in a single solid piece with two integrated levelers and mid-frame support. It also features an aluminum slider rail system for the seat for quick and easy adjustment.
The seat itself is built for maximum comfort, including a padded bottom with a contoured leg area. The back is unpadded and vented to keep riders cool and comfortable.
Riders can also enjoy a number of unique design features that are built into the bike. A 3-speed fan keeps you cool as you exercise, while an oversized side-mounted drink holder allows you to hold even extra-large water bottles.
Sealed acoustic chamber speakers let you listen to your favorite workout mix in high-quality sound straight from your exercise bike.
This bike requires electricity to operate and plugs into any standard electrical wall outlet on a 110V-120V circuit. The package includes a complementary AC adaptor if needed.
If you’re not completely satisfied with your purchase, Schwinn offers a 10-year frame warranty, a 2-year mechanical warranty, a 1-year electrical warranty, and a 90-day labor warranty for this recumbent bike model.
If you'd like to read our in-depth review, click here.
2. Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike: ME-709
The bike’s compact design allows you to add it to your home gym without sacrificing floor space. It’s built to fit in tight areas, making it an ideal bike for anyone with limited living space.
Wheels along the underside make it easy to transport the bike between rooms if necessary.
The Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike ME-709 features a high-quality frame made of 14-gauge steel tubing, PVC piping, and rubber with a strong powder coated finish. Not only can the machine withstand daily use and abuse, but it’s also resistant to chips and scratches.
The seat of this bike is designed for comfort and is made of high-density foam to offer extra support. A step-through design makes it easy to get on and off the bike, while contoured handles with foam padding help you to maintain proper form when seated.
This Marcy recumbent bike uses a magnetic resistance system to offer a smooth, effective workout that’s easy on your joints. A range of eight settings lets you choose how difficult you want cardio your workout to be. You can quickly switch between resistance settings using a tension knob.
Counterbalanced pedals provide maximal foot support, giving you more control as you move. Adjustable foot straps ensure that your feet remain safely in contact with both pedals and don’t slip during your workout.
A sharp 3.5” LCD panel serves as your own personal odometer during your workout, allowing you to keep track of time, speed, and distance traveled. The bike also calculates calories burned. All information is displayed in oversized, easy-to-read lettering.
The manufacturers of this recumbent bike model are so sure of its quality that they include a two-year limited warranty. If your equipment is defective, damaged, or breaks for reasons outside of your control, you can get your money back.
Read our in-depth review by clicking here.
3. Exerpeutic 1000 High-Capacity Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike with Pulse
The Exerpeutic 1000 High-Capacity Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike with Pulse features a frame with a “Step Thru” design and an oversized seat that makes it easy to get in and out of the machine during your workout.
It is an ideal model for mobility impaired individuals.
This bike is also built with safety in mind, featuring extended leg stabilizers to prevent and excessive movement or tipping of the machine. A “smooth torque” cranking system makes pedaling easy and reduces any strain on knees and ankles during your workout.
Riders of all sizes can sit comfortably on the Exerpeutic 1000. The frame is designed to fit riders who stand anywhere between 5’3” and 6’3”, but the seat is capable of adjusting to fit smaller individuals.
In addition to a smoother resistance system, this recumbent bike also includes oversized pedals with safety straps to prevent any accidents. If your feet slip during exercise, it can pull muscles and damage joints.
With the Exerpeutic 1000, you can adjust between 8 difficulty settings that range from easy to expert. The bike uses magnetic resistance to provide a more effective and efficient workout.
A precision-balanced flywheel and a V-belt drive provide smooth and quiet operation so that you can watch TV or listen to music as you exercise without interruption.
A hand pulse monitor can help you to keep track of your heart rate as you exercise. Not only can you record improvements over time, but you can also ensure that you stay safely within your target heart rate zone and avoid and cardiac stress.
While the bike is a relatively heavy piece of equipment, built-in wheels make it easier to transport from room to room without any assistance. The display unit is battery operated, so you don’t have to worry about placing it next to an outlet.
Click here to read our in-depth review.
4. ProForm 440 ES Exercise Bike
The ProForm 440 ES Exercise Bike is designed for larger individuals, with a greater weight capacity than other similar models. The ProForm 440 ES can hold up to 350 lbs and includes an oversized adjustable seat with plenty of room for longer legs.
In addition to the extra room, this bike's seat offers additional lumbar support to help you maintain proper posture while exercising. This makes each workout more efficient while reducing the risk of injury.
A large, 5” backlit display screen shows you stats for each workout to let you know how much you’ve accomplished in a given period of time. Oversized lettering and numbering make it easy for even vision-impaired individuals to read.
During cardio workouts, you can keep track of your heart rate on your bike’s LCD display by using a built-in Grip Pulse EKG Heart Rate Monitor. The ProForm 440 ES is also BLE compatible, but wireless chest straps must be purchased separately.
An inertia-enhanced 18 lb weighted flywheel has been engineered to perfection to give you a smooth, flawless pedal that won’t hurt your knees or ankles.
If you like to plug in while you work out, this ProForm bike includes a built-in stand for your tablet or mobile phone as well as a USB charging station. The machine also features speakers that are compatible with Apple products.
If you use an iFit electronic coach, this Pro Form recumbent exercise bike is compatible. You can make your workout just a little bit more interesting using google maps to travel through new and exotic cycling routes. You can bike through New York, Milan, Bogota, and more all without ever leaving your living room.
As you exercise, you can ride in comfort with extras and accessories built into the ProForm 440 ES Exercise Bike. The model includes a water bottle holder, an integrated tablet stand, and a CoolAire workout fan.
The ProForm 440 ES Exercise Bike comes with a couple of warranties that reduce risk to the buyer and allow dissatisfied customers to get their money back. Each bike comes with a lifetime frame warranty, a 2-year parts warranty, and a 1-year labor warranty.
You can read our detailed review by clicking here.
5. Schwinn 230 Recumbent Exercise Bike
The Schwinn 230 Recumbent Exercise Bike is more affordable than some of its counterparts, and yet the design doesn’t sacrifice quality. The design includes a sturdy single-piece frame that can last for years with proper maintenance.
A contoured seat and seat back provide lower back support, allowing you to exercise without straining your lumbar region. The seat's vented design and lack of padding keep you cool, even during intense workouts.
This Schwin recumbent exercise bike uses a high speed, high inertia, perimeter weighted flywheel to provide a smooth and quiet workout. There are an impressive 20 resistance levels to choose from depending on whether you’re looking for a low- or high-impact routine.
As you ride, you can see your progress on the bike’s DualTrack LCD display. It allows you to keep track of up to 13 different display feedbacks to maximise your workout’s potential. You can keep track of your BPM via a built-in heart rate monitor.
If you want to analyze how well you’re doing during your weekly workout, the Schwinn 230 can transfer data to Schwinn Connect online and MyFitnessPal using a USB port. You can also charge your mobile phone or tablet as you exercise.
By navigating through options on the LCD display, you can choose from one of 22 pre-programmed workouts, including custom routines for up to 2 separate users.
Even though the Schwinn 230 has a relatively bare-bones frame, it still offers a comfortable ride. You can cool yourself off using a built-in 3-speed fan and ensure you stay hydrated by keeping your water bottle in the convenient side-mounted drink holder.
In order to use the electronic features of this bike, it must be connected to a wall outlet. The machine plugs into any standard electrical wall outlet on a 110V-120V circuit and includes a power adaptor for homes with AC outlets.
The Schwinn 230 Recumbent Exercise Bike is under warranty and comes with a money-back guarantee from the manufacturers. Each purchase includes a 10-year frame warranty a 2-year mechanical warranty, a 1-year electrical warranty, and a 90-day labor warranty.
6. Velocity Exercise CHB-R2101 Recumbent Exercise Bike
The Velocity Exercise CHB-R2101 Recumbent Exercise Bike is smaller than many other recumbent models and can fit in relatively tight spaces. The machine also boasts transport wheels that allow you to move and store it when not in use.
While this recumbent bike’s design is relatively lightweight, it’s also sturdy. The frame is constructed of steel and has a powder-coated finish to make it scratch-resistant. It’s also easy to adjust to fit your height.
Padded foot pedals help to protect and cushion the feet as you ride while also helping to support the joints in your ankles. Adjustable safety straps prevent your legs from slipping as you cycle.
A 2-way flywheel provides an effortless ride and a smooth workout. There are eight levels of preset resistance that users can choose from to control the intensity of their routine. It’s easy to switch between settings as you ride using a conveniently located tension-tightening knob.
If you want to check your progress as you exercise, you can refer to a large, centrally-located digital console display. It acts as an odometer and shows you time elapsed, average speed, distance traveled, and calories burned.
You can also track your heart rate on the console of The Velocity Exercise CHB-R2101 by using the built-in heart rate monitor. Monitors are located on both of the bike's handles, making it easy to grasp in the middle of even a high-intensity workout. You can ensure that your routine isn't too easy or too difficult by keeping within your target heart rate zone.
7. NordicTrack GX 4.7 Exercise Bike
As one of the big names in exercise equipment, NordicTrack is known for their high-end stationary bikes.
The GX 4.7 recumbent bike is a sturdy machine meant to provide a safe, low-impact workout for riders of all shapes and sizes.
This NordicTrack recumbent exercise bike features an oversized seat with a soft cushion that offers lumbar support and a more comfortable ride. Ergonomic handles next to the seat provide extra stability, making it easy to maintain proper form.
Riders can choose from up to 22 resistance levels depending on their cycling abilities. A 15 lb effective inertia-enhanced flywheel offers a smooth and quiet ride, no matter what resistance level you choose.
In addition to resistance options, riders can also choose from 24 built-in workout apps, including 12 calorie-based and 12 speed-based routines. These preset programs act as your own personal trainer, giving you an expertly crafted workout designed to optimize your results.
In addition to the essentials, the NordicTrack GX4.7 is also built with add-ons designed to enhance the user experience. A built-in drink holder gives you easy access to your water bottle as you exercise, while an Autobreeze workout fan keeps you cool and comfortable.
A large 5” backlit display with a wide viewing angle lets you easily track your progress as you cycle. You can view your resistance level, time, distance, pulse and calories burned. The console also allows you to see your progress on a quarter-mile racetrack.
CardioGrip sensors are built into both of this bike’s handlebars to give you an accurate heart rate reading when you need it. You can keep track of your BPM and avoid falling out of your target heart rate zone.
The NordicTrack GX 4.7 is compatible with iFit, allowing you to create a custom track with visuals from google maps. You can experience cycling tracks from around the world through your iFit screen.
This bike comes with a number of warranties that reduce buyer risk in the event that a unit is defective or damaged. Purchase includes a lifetime frame and brake warranty, a 1-year parts warranty, and a 1-year labor warranty.
What is a recumbent exercise bike?
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, stationary bikes are a safe and effective means of getting a low-impact cardio workout.
Recumbent exercise bikes, in particular, offer a way to stay in shape without placing any unnecessary stress on your body.
Recumbent bikes function similar to other stationary bikes by applying resistance to a flywheel. The flywheel then creates a momentum that allows you to pedal at whatever speed you choose, with the resistance level mimicking different types of terrain.
The main distinguishing features of a recumbent exercise bike are its reclined seatback and pedals that are positioned in front of the body, allowing riders to sit back in a comfortable position as they work out their core and leg muscles.
The machine’s ease of use makes it an ideal piece of equipment for just about any user, from new cyclists to expert trainers.
Recumbent Bikes: The Pros and Cons
There are a lot of reasons to invest in a recumbent exercise bike for your home gym, but like any piece of workout equipment, recumbent bikes have both their benefits and their drawbacks.
Recumbent bikes place less stress on joints than other similar cardio equipment such as treadmills or vertical climbers. Their angled frame makes these bikes an ideal workout took for individuals with arthritis and osteoporosis, especially in the knees or ankles.
The reclined seatback of a recumbent bike makes it an ideal option for anyone who suffers from back pain either before, during, or after their workout.
The way that you sit on the bike encourages good posture and places a minimal amount pressure on the lumbar region so that you don’t strain your lower back.
In addition to an angled back, recumbent bikes also feature a larger seat than traditional bike models tend to offer. Not only is this more comfortable, but it also helps to support joints and muscles in the pelvic region.
The unique design of recumbent exercise bikes offers an overall safer workout, especially for frail or mobility-impaired individuals.
The oversized seat makes it easy to get on and off the bike while also protecting users from falling off the machine during use.
While recumbent bikes allow you to cycle in comfort, they are not consistent with other biking workouts. If you’re training to ride outdoors, a recumbent bike will put you in a different position and work out different muscle groups than a standalone bicycle would.
One muscle group that recumbent bikes fail to target is the upper arm area. While sitting in an upright position works the biceps, triceps, and shoulders, you don’t use these muscles when seated in a reclined position.
For many who are considering adding a recumbent exercise bike to their home gym, the main drawback when it comes to this piece of equipment is its size. These bikes take up more space than their upright counterparts and other gym equipment, including room for safe clearance.
Recumbent bikes are usually more expensive than other cardio equipment, especially high-end models. While it’s possible to find cheaper models, they are often poorly constructed. The best recumbent exercise bikes can be a significant investment for home gym owners.
How are Recumbent Bikes Different than Other Bikes?
While upright bikes ride similarly to a standalone bicycle, recumbent bikes offer more of a hybrid approach to cycling.
Recumbent exercise bikes offer a larger seat, an angled seatback, and forward-placed pedals to place the rider in a slightly reclined position as they train. While this provides a much different workout than traditional cycling, it is also gentler on joints.
Upright bikes force riders into a slightly hunched position that places a strain on the neck and back, leading to sore muscles and fatigue. The smaller seat can also lead to saddle soreness, which is characterized by aches in the glutes and surrounding muscles
Spin bikes also place users in an upright position and are designed to help outdoor cyclists train. While they offer an effective cardio workout, spin bikes also put users at a greater risk of accidental injuries.
Things to Look for in a Recumbent exercise Bike
When purchasing a new stationary bike, it’s essential that you choose a model carefully.
While many people consider the price to be the deciding factor in which bike they buy, a cheaply made exercise bike may break easily or lead to accidents and injuries.
The best recumbent exercise bikes balance price with quality.
You can read up on a particular model's specs and figures or look at recumbent exercise bike reviews online to get an idea of how reliable a bike is. It's best to search for recumbent bikes built with a sturdy, adjustable frame made of a durable material such as aluminum, steel, or carbon fiber.
Choosing the Right Bike for You
Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all option when it comes to stationary bikes.
The bike that you buy is primarily a matter of personal preference. When picking out the best recumbent exercise bike for your lifestyle, here are a couple of pointers to keep in mind.
Your Workout Style
Recumbent exercise bikes are designed for trainers of all levels, from novice to professional. It offers a low-impact cardio workout that’s gentle on the body while still strengthening muscles in the lower extremities.
If you are a beginner to cycling, or even to exercising as a whole, recumbent bikes are an excellent way to ease yourself into a training routine. There’s little risk of inadvertently overexerting yourself, and you can safely build up your endurance before moving on to tackle more high-intensity workouts.
Professional trainers and top-tier athletes might be tempted to pass off the recumbent bike as a machine built for beginners. A low-impact cardio workout every now and then, however, allows you to give your joints a rest without compromising your weekly routine.
One of the most important things to consider when looking at recumbent exercise bikes is the size.
Not only does the apparatus have to fit comfortably in your home gym, but it also has to be the right size for your body. Otherwise, you may not be getting the most out of every workout.
Many of the best recumbent exercise bikes have adjustable seats and pedals to conform to the bodies of different users. The ability to adjust various parts of the bike means that you’re not restricted to bikes of a single size, opening you up to many more high-quality options.
Whether it’s adjustable or not, your recumbent exercise bike should include a seat that’s roomy enough to fit you comfortably. It’s also crucial that the seat has a weight capacity that can support your frame.
Recumbent exercise bikes are a good choice for mobility impaired individuals and older adults who are looking for a gentle weekly workout. The design allows these users work on building their strength without overexerting themselves.
Ease of Use
Cardio is an essential part of any exercise routine, but often, cardio equipment can be intimidating for beginners. Recumbent exercise bikes have the distinction of being easy to use for just about anyone, regardless of skill or experience.
Recumbent bikes have a large seat and a supportive back that makes it easier for users to move around and position themselves. Pedals located towards the front of the bike instead of directly under the user also make it easier to get on and off the machine.
The position of the rider when using a recumbent exercise bike takes most of the strain off of the knees and ankles, making it easier to pedal for longer than on an upright bike. Two sets of handles allow users to switch back and forth between a reclined or a leaning position at will.
With stationary bikes, you can’t amp up your workout by riding up hills or down winding pathways. Instead, adjustable resistance settings allow you to mimic different terrains, giving you complete control over the intensity of your workout.
Most recumbent exercise bikes feature adjustable resistance settings, whether manually or digitally operated. You can use these resistance settings to add some variety to each workout or to build up your stamina over time.
Many high-end bikes have technology integrated into the machinery that allows you to plan out every workout with expert precision. Pre-programmed workouts designed by expert trainers can help you to target certain areas or reach particular fitness goals.
You can find pre-programmed workouts that simulate rocky terrain, hills, roads, and more in order to give you different levels of intensity in your workout. Some bikes also include routines designed to help you either build muscle in specific areas or reach weight loss goals.
For a more personalized workout, you can find recumbent exercise bikes that pair pre-programmed workouts with a heart rate monitor. This creates a safe and effective cardio routine that’s based around a user’s BPM.
Accessories and Add-ons
Not all recumbent exercise bikes are created equal.
Some models take a bare-bones approach, while others come built with all of the bells and whistles included. Here are some of the more popular features to look for in the best recumbent exercise bikes:
Not all recumbent bikes are entirely stationary. You can find models that fold up into a more manageable assembly when they're not in use.
Foldable exercise bikes give you the option of portability, allowing you to take your workout outside the home gym. Whenever you’re in the mood for a change of scenery, you can pack up your bike and head to a different room, go outside, or even meet up with an exercise buddy.
A recumbent exercise bike that folds is an excellent option for anyone living in an apartment or a smaller house, or for families without a designated home gym.
After your workout, you can pack up your bike and stick it in the closet instead of leaving it to take up valuable space.
Recumbent Exercise Bikes For Seniors
Getting into a regular workout routine on a stationary bike has tremendous health benefits for the elderly.
If you are struggling to find an exercise that works for you, try a recumbent bike regimen. It's gentle on your body and a great way to get started.
Conclusion: Keep Comfortable While Staying in Shape
By introducing a recumbent exercise bike to your home gym, you’ll be giving yourself the opportunity to add some low-impact aerobic exercise to your weekly workout.
Recumbent bikes position cyclists in such a way that the stress is removed from problem areas such as the ankles, knees, and lower back. Users of all skill levels can enjoy a gentle cardiovascular workout without having to worry about any aches or pains later on.
It can be challenging to find the right recumbent bike for you, but the effort is well worth it in the end. You can safely work out your muscles and strengthen your heart, regardless of athletic abilities.
Last Updated On: