The best thing about a recumbent bike is that it allows you to work out while in a reclined position. This comfortable position has many advantages over the upright position used while working out in conventional exercise bikes. It puts less stress on the joints and allows you to work out for more extended periods.
It is no wonder that recumbent bikes are the preferred choice for people with back problems, joint issues, or pre-existing injuries. Even professional athletes use them to keep fit during the off-season or injury layoffs. These machines are a great help for losing weight and keeping healthy.
All recumbent exercise bikes are not made equal. You must ensure that you buy the right bike for your needs. The following 7 factors to consider before buying a recumbent exercise bike will help you choose the right recumbent exercise bike for your needs-
1. The height and weight capacity
If you plan to invest in a recumbent bike, it makes sense to buy an exercise machine that different people can use. All models have weight ratings. A recumbent exercise bike rated with a 300 lb. capacity can support user weight up to 300 lbs. without losing its stability.
A model with a high weight capacity and superior adjustability will be perfect. Adjustable handles and seats will allow it to be tweaked to suit different heights. You can share the recumbent exercise bike with family, friends, or colleagues.
2. The comfort factor
The main USP of a recumbent bike is the comfort factor. The recumbent position, the large padded seat, and oversized pedals make it the ultimate comfort. Make sure it has a soft seat that can be easily adjusted. Check if the backrest has perforations for airflow. The airflow will keep you cool by drying up any sweat.
Ensure the pedals are oversized with straps for a secure grip. Check if mounting and dismounting are easy. And finally, ensure that the recumbent exercise bike sits solidly on the ground and is stable. An unstable bike is unsafe.
3. Variable magnetic tension resistance
Having a magnetic tension resistance mechanism is highly recommended. It gives you a smooth and quiet ride, extremely important if you don’t want to annoy your neighbors or while watching TV. Opt for a machine with a wide range of easily adjustable resistance levels. You ramp the resistance up when you get stronger and share the device with others.
4. Bright and clear display and a holder for smartphone
While working out on a recumbent exercise bike, you would be leaning backward and a little bit far from the display screen. So, it would be best if you had a large backlit display that is easily readable. This feature will also allow you to work out in the dark if you prefer.
Look for a conveniently placed smartphone/tablet holder also. This feature is convenient. We use our smartphones a lot for different purposes, like music, health apps, etc., while working out. Features like heart rate monitors help track your progress.
5. Preset programs
Preset programs are a great way to start working out on a recumbent exercise bike. These programs help you to stay motivated and challenged. So, look for bikes that come with different varieties of preset programs. These will keep you hooked for a long time until you evolve a program of your own.
Ensure that the frame of the recumbent bike is made of heavy-duty stainless steel. The flywheels should be perimeter-weighted flywheels and come with a heavy rating. A robust frame and heavy-duty flywheel will ensure that your recumbent exercise bike will serve you for many years with little maintenance.
7. Additional features
Some recumbent bikes come with cooling fans to keep you cool during workouts. Other features like speakers, Bluetooth, and USB connectivity are also worth considering. Some recumbent exercise bikes have dedicated smartphone apps that let you track your workout sessions. You can even opt for a bottle holder if you need one.
The above factors will help you zero in on the best recumbent exercise bike for your needs. But there are two additional factors that we have deliberately left out from the list- the cost factor and warranty. Since a recumbent bike is a one-time investment, we recommend that you buy the best that you can afford.
A cheap recumbent exercise bike will ruin your workout experience. It will be noisy and rough to handle. On the other hand, a good quality recumbent exercise bike will give you many years of quiet operation. An extended solid warranty covering both the frame and all parts of your recumbent bike, including the electric components, will be the icing on the cake!
Once you buy a recumbent exercise bike, you need to put it to good use. As in any fitness program, the results of your workout will be palpable only after a week or so’s a regular practice. Your choice of the recumbent exercise bike plays a significant role in helping you to plod through the initial phase of exercising. After the initial weeks, the noticeable improvements in your fitness will push you on.