Embarking on a fitness journey is like finding the perfect dance between getting fit and feeling comfy. You know, traditional exercise bikes might give you that heart-pounding cardio thrill, but let’s face it—they can be a real pain in the back and legs, literally. But hey, introducing the recumbent exercise bikes, the cool and laid-back cousins of the upright crew. These machines might look chill, but don’t let appearances fool you; they bring the workout heat. Perfect for folks dealing with health issues or those who just want a comfier option.
“So, why are these recumbent bikes a big deal? Well, according to our fitness experts, they’re like a blessing for those with lower back pain or herniations. These bikes go easy on the lower back, giving you a chance to do some heart-loving cardio and amp up that lower body strength. And guess what? They’re not just about keeping your back happy; they also level up your balance and overall strength. Talk about a fitness all-rounder!”
In a fitness world dominated by high-intensity options like Peloton, our lineup of recumbent exercise bikes is here to shine a light on the comfy side of things. We’ve handpicked the best of the best, recognizing that sweet spot between feeling at ease and breaking a sweat.
Whether you’re a towering giant, bouncing back from an injury, dealing with tricky mobility, or a seasoned senior wanting some fitness fun, our tried-and-tested models have got your back. Literally. For home gym heroes with different budgets, fitness goals, and lifestyles, we’ve got your ultimate guide. We’ll spill the tea on each recumbent bike’s strengths, weaknesses, and special features, so you can pick the one that suits your vibe.
From futuristic models with touch screens, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi, to the trusty low-tech champs priced under $300, our journey into the world of recumbent exercise bikes covers all bases. Join us as we break down the good, the not-so-good, and the quirky of each model, making sure you’re armed with all the info for a cozy yet kick-butt home workout adventure. Let’s ride! 🚴♂️💪
Best Recumbent Exercise Bike 2024
- Best Overall Recumbent Exercise Bike: NordicTrack Commercial R35
- Best Value Recumbent Exercise Bike: Schwinn 290 Recumbent Bike
- Best Recumbent Exercise Bike for Seniors: Life Fitness RS1
- Best Budget Recumbent Exercise Bike: Marcy Magnetic Recumbent Bike
- Best Commercial-grade exercise machine: NuStep RB8PRO Recumbent Bike
- Best Versatile Recumbent Exercise Bike: LANOS Recumbent Exercise Bike
- Best Foldable Recumbent Exercise Bike: Exerpeutic 400XL Recumbent Bike
Top 7 Best Recumbent Exercise Bikes Reviews (2024)
1. NordicTrack Commercial Series R35 – Best Overall
- Dimensions: 68.2 x 23.7 x 53.4 inches | Bike weight: 192 pounds |
- Resistance: 26 digital resistance levels | Max weight capacity: 350 pounds |
- Display: 14” HD smart touchscreen| Warranty: 10-year frame warranty, 2-year parts warranty
Meet the NordicTrack R35 recumbent exercise bike – your high-end fitness companion for a top-notch workout journey! This sleek exercise bike is designed with your premium workout experience in mind. Picture this: a vibrant high-definition touchscreen display, an array of features for ultimate comfort, and functionality that goes above and beyond. Let’s dive into the fantastic features that make this bike stand out.
“First off, let’s talk convenience! The NordicTrack R35 comes equipped with a built-in fan to keep you cool and collected during your intense sessions. Need a sip of water to stay hydrated? No problem – there’s a handy water bottle holder right there for you. And when it comes to the workout itself, you’ve got a whopping 26 resistance levels to choose from, ensuring your exercise routine stays challenging and exciting.”
But wait, there’s more! This bike is all about that personalized fit. Easily adjust the distance from the seat to the pedals to suit your height perfectly. The seat’s curved mesh back enhances airflow around your upper body, making your workout not only effective but also incredibly comfortable.
Now, for the tech enthusiasts – the NordicTrack R35 is integrated with the iFit Fitness app. Imagine having access to a variety of on-demand workouts for streaming, virtual locations to explore via Google Maps, and engaging in personalized challenges. While the annual iFit membership is $180 per person, here’s a bonus – you get a 1-month free trial when you purchase the NordicTrack R35. Plus, you have the freedom to use the bike without a membership and connect your audio devices via Bluetooth.
Sure, this bike weighs almost 200 pounds, emphasizing stability, which might limit its mobility. But fear not! Those clever designers added small wheels at the front for easy positioning. So, you can enjoy a sophisticated workout experience without sacrificing convenience. The NordicTrack R35 – where high-end meets home fitness!
2. Schwinn 290 Recumbent Bike– Best Value
- Dimensions: 66.4 x 28 x 47 inches | Bike weight: 107.6 pounds |
- Resistance: 25 levels of magnetic resistance | Display: 7-inch touchscreen |
- Max weight capacity: 330 pounds | Warranty: 10-year frame warranty, 2-year parts warranty
The Schwinn 290 emerges as a compelling option in the realm of budget-friendly recumbent bikes, offering a host of premium features that elevate the workout experience. While positioned as a more economical choice, it doesn’t compromise on essential elements, boasting a video display, a well-ventilated seat, and seamless access to on-demand workouts through its JRNY app.
Unlike our top choice NordicTrack Commercial R35, the Schwinn 290’s screen is more modest in size, and its display is not touchscreen. However, it compensates by providing a convenient ledge where users can place a tablet, phone, or magazine, enhancing the versatility of your workout space. The bike is Bluetooth-enabled, allowing for connectivity, and includes a practical USB charging port for added convenience.
The JRNY app opens the door to a personalized fitness journey, offering the flexibility to choose on-demand workouts tailored to individual preferences or receive workout suggestions based on fitness levels and specific needs. The Schwinn 290 even sweetens the deal with a complimentary 2-month trial subscription to the JRNY app, providing a taste of its capabilities. Post-trial, users can opt for an All-Access JRNY subscription at $20 per month or $149 annually, expanding the array of available workout options.
In summary, the Schwinn 290 presents an attractive blend of affordability and premium features, making it a worthy consideration for those seeking an efficient and budget-conscious recumbent bike experience.
3. Life Fitness RS1 – Best For Seniors
- Dimensions: 64.4 x 26.8 x 51.5 inches | Bike weight: 133 pounds |
- Display: Blue LCD screen | Foldable: Yes|
- Max weight capacity: 400 pounds | Warranty: Lifetime limited
The Life Fitness RS1 Lifecycle Exercise Bike is tailored for accessibility, making it an ideal choice for older individuals or those facing mobility challenges. Featuring a wide step-through design, this bike prioritizes ease of use, allowing users to comfortably mount and dismount. Notably, the front of the bike incorporates an additional handlebar, facilitating the onboarding process for added support.
Designed with user comfort in mind, the RS1 can accommodate individuals with diverse needs as it has a higher weight capacity compared to many other bikes in the market. Adjusting the seat position is made effortless, even while seated, enhancing the overall user experience. With 20 different resistance levels, the RS1 is versatile enough to cater to a broad spectrum of abilities.
The Track Connect 2.0 console of the RS1 adds a tech-savvy dimension to the workout experience. Users can seamlessly sync the machine with various devices, including a Bluetooth heart rate monitor, an Apple Watch, or a Samsung Galaxy Watch. Offering convenience for multiple users, the bike allows the setup of four different user profiles and comes pre-loaded with diverse workout programs. Practical features such as a water bottle holder and a ledge for phones or tablets add to the overall functionality of the machine.
In essence, the Life Fitness RS1 Lifecycle Exercise Bike stands out for its user-friendly design, adaptability, and technological integration. Whether accommodating older individuals or those with mobility concerns, its thoughtful features and comprehensive console capabilities make it a versatile and appealing option in the realm of exercise bikes.
4. Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike ME-709 – Best Budget
- Dimensions: 25 x 58 x 38 inches | Bike weight: 53 pounds |
- Display: LCD monitor | Resistance: 8 levels of magnetic resistance |
- Max weight capacity: 300 pounds | Warranty: 2 years
Offering an economical entry into the world of recumbent bikes, Marcy ME-709 stands out as one of the most budget-friendly options on the market. While lacking some of the high-tech frills found in top-tier models, it delivers a straightforward yet effective workout experience.
Equipped with a simple LCD display, this recumbent bike keeps track of essential metrics such as time, speed, distance, and estimated calories burned. Its user-friendly design includes eight resistance levels, manually adjustable via a dial on the front post. Adjusting the bike’s height to suit individual preferences involves a straightforward process of disconnecting a large screw at the base, shifting the seat assembly closer to the pedals, and reattaching the screw.
Despite its compromises in advanced features, this recumbent bike earns favor for its quiet operation, lightweight build, and widespread popularity. The inclusion of counterbalanced pedals ensures a smooth workout experience, and the absence of a need for a wall plug or ongoing subscription simplifies its use. With a relatively slim profile, it becomes an ideal fit for smaller spaces, weighing just over 50 pounds and offering greater mobility compared to bulkier counterparts.
In essence, while it may lack the bells and whistles of pricier models like our top choice NordicTrack Commercial R35, this budget-friendly recumbent bike excels in simplicity, functionality, and convenience—making it a practical choice for those seeking an effective workout without breaking the bank.
5. NuStep RB8PRO Recumbent Bike – Best Commercial-grade
- Dimensions: 70 x 32 inches | Bike weight: 250 pounds |
- Display: Dual-touchscreen console with HD display |
- Resistance Mechanism: Magnetic |
- Max weight capacity: 500 pounds | Warranty: 1 year
The NuStep RB8 Pro, highly regarded among physical therapy offices, emerges as a top-tier choice in the realm of commercial-grade exercise machines. Although leaning towards the higher end in terms of cost, these machines are celebrated for their exceptional accommodation of various body sizes and types. The NuStep RB8 Pro, in particular, boasts features that set it apart, making it an ideal option for a wide range of users.
Designed with inclusivity in mind, the NuStep RB8 Pro incorporates a single continuous handlebar around the seat, accompanied by an additional handle on the front post to aid users in mounting the machine. Its wide step-through design further enhances accessibility. According to NuStep, the machine is crafted to accommodate individuals ranging from 4 feet 6 inches to 6 feet 7 inches in height.
The 18-inch seat of the NuStep RB8 Pro is equipped with adaptive features that elevate the user experience. Notably, the seat can rotate a full 360 degrees and locks at every 45-degree interval. The back of the seat can be inclined an additional 12 degrees, providing users with customizable comfort. Multiple armrest options further contribute to the adaptability of the machine.
The console of the NuStep RB8 Pro stands out with two touchscreens, allowing users to monitor their health statistics while staying engaged with their chosen workout routines. This emphasis on comprehensive data visibility enhances the overall fitness experience on the machine.
In summary, while the NuStep RB8 Pro may represent a higher investment, its exceptional adaptability and innovative features make it a standout choice, particularly for physical therapy purposes. The machine’s commitment to inclusivity, combined with advanced console capabilities, positions it as a top-tier option in the realm of commercial-grade exercise machines.
6. LANOS Recumbent Exercise Bike – Best Versatile
- Dimensions: 32 x 20 x 41 inches | Bike weight: 45 pounds |
- Resistance: 10-level magnetic tension control system |
- Max weight capacity: 300 pounds | Warranty: None
The Lanos Folding Exercise Bike offers affordability and versatility with both recumbent and upright positions, providing users the flexibility to switch between styles. Its folding feature adds a space-saving dimension, reducing its dimensions to 23 x 20 x 49 inches when fully closed, making storage convenient. Notably, for a recumbent bike, it is relatively lightweight, easing the process of stowing it away when not in use.
Equipped with a straightforward LCD screen, the bike displays essential metrics including speed, distance, and estimated calorie burn. With 10 resistance settings, users can tailor their workouts to varying intensity levels, adjusted manually through a dial mounted on the front post.
However, there are some drawbacks to consider. Some users find the seat uncomfortable, especially during longer workouts. The overall size may not be well-suited for individuals below-average in height, and the x-shape connection could pose challenges for individuals with certain mobility issues, making it less accessible. While the bike features a contact heart rate sensor on the handlebars, it’s worth noting that these types of monitors may not provide fully accurate readings.
In summary, the Lanos Folding Exercise Bike offers a budget-friendly and space-efficient option with its versatile design. While it may have some limitations in terms of comfort and accessibility, its affordability and folding capability make it an attractive choice for users seeking a convenient and adaptable exercise solution.
7. Ironman Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike – Best Foldable
- Dimensions: 33 x 19 x 46 inches | Bike weight: 43 pounds |
- Resistance: 8 levels of magnetic resistance |
- Max weight capacity: 300 pounds | Warranty: 1 year
Hop onto the Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike and let the good times roll! Engineered with a quiet V-belt double-drive transmission system, this bike promises a consistently smooth ride. Designed for durability and tranquility, the Exerpeutic 400XL accommodates users up to 300 pounds, ensuring stability and support during your workouts.
Perfectly tailored for those navigating small living spaces or prioritizing minimalistic home workout setups, this recumbent bike distinguishes itself with an impressively compact footprint like our previously reviewed Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike ME-709. It addresses the need for space-conscious fitness equipment, making it a practical choice for users looking to maximize efficiency without sacrificing functionality.
An additional highlight is the lower height of the front post, where the display is positioned, offering compatibility with adjustable-height desks for convenient multitasking. Weighing a mere 43 pounds, the Ironman Exerpeutic 400XL is one of the lighter options in the recumbent bike market, enhancing its portability. The bike’s adjustable back height and wide seat contribute to overall comfort, although the step-over height is relatively high compared to other models.
Designed with simplicity at its core, the Exerpeutic 400XL features a basic LED screen that displays essential workout metrics, including distance, calories, time, speed, and heart rate (bearing in mind the potential inaccuracies of this type of heart monitor). With only eight manually adjustable resistance settings, the bike offers a straightforward yet effective workout experience.
In conclusion, the Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike is a practical and user-friendly choice for those seeking a space-efficient, lightweight, and no-frills exercise solution. Its compact design and adjustable features make it an excellent fit for small spaces, delivering a straightforward yet effective workout tool for users with diverse fitness goals.
This Is How We Tested And Picked Our Recumbent Exercise Bikes
Adding a recumbent exercise bike to your home gym can be a fantastic investment in your fitness journey. To ensure you choose the right model, it’s crucial to understand the key features that distinguish various recumbent bikes. While many may appear similar, subtle differences can significantly impact your workout experience.
We carefully considered the following factors before making our final selections for the best recumbent bikes.
Design: The design of a recumbent bike plays a pivotal role in your overall workout satisfaction. Consider the seat design, with track-mounted seats being common for easy adjustment. A flywheel’s weight is essential, as a heavier flywheel provides greater resistance for a more challenging workout. Magnetic resistance systems offer flexibility even with heavy flywheels.
Frame: A sturdy frame is crucial for the durability of a recumbent bike. Commercial-grade models, like those listed here, are robust and can withstand extensive use, catering to larger users and providing stability during intense workouts.
Portability: If you plan to move the bike after assembly, opt for models with integrated transport wheels. This feature saves time and effort when relocating the recumbent bike within your training space.
Resistance: Differentiating between recumbent bikes often comes down to resistance levels. Some models offer over 20 resistance levels, allowing for a versatile workout experience. Higher resistance levels provide room for progression as your fitness improves.
Comfort: Comfort and safety are paramount. Look for padded seats instead of molded seats for enhanced comfort during workouts. A comfortable workout space promotes a positive exercise routine.
Console: While advanced features like color consoles or touchscreens with internet functionality are rare, basic LCD screens are common on recumbent bikes. These screens display essential training feedback, allowing users to monitor their workout progress. Check for user-friendly controls and additional amenities such as USB charging ports and integrated speakers.
Space: Consider the available space in your home gym. Opt for a compact recumbent bike if you have limited space. Measure the designated area to ensure a proper fit.
Built-in USB Port and Speakers: For modern features, some recumbent bikes include an integrated USB port and speakers. These additions enable you to listen to music during workouts and charge your devices if needed.
Handlebar: While handlebars are not as critical on recumbent bikes as they are on spin bikes, check for comfort and positioning. Recumbent exercise bikes typically feature handlebars on the sides of the seat, often parallel to the floor or with additional armrests.
Heart Rate Monitor: Models with integrated heart rate monitors provide valuable data during workouts. These monitors measure pulse through the grips, offering insights into effort levels during exercise.
Price: Set a budget for your recumbent bike purchase. While more expensive models may offer advanced features, it’s crucial to strike a balance between features and cost. Consider your needs and find a recumbent bike that aligns with your budget.
A thoughtful consideration of these factors will guide you towards selecting the best recumbent exercise bike for your specific requirements, ensuring an enjoyable and effective home workout experience.
Additional Recumbent Exercise Bikes We Have Investigated
While we’ve highlighted seven of our preferred recumbent exercise bikes, we conducted tests on several others, and a few deserve an honorable mention from our expert product testers.
ProForm C10R: The ProForm C10R is a smart recumbent exercise bike with a step-through design, padded seat, ventilated backrest, and a 10-inch HD touchscreen featuring iFIT capabilities. It didn’t make our list due to its numerous plastic parts, and apart from the screen, it lacks differentiating features compared to more budget-friendly recumbent bikes like the Schwinn 270.
ProForm C10U: The ProForm C10U can function as both an upright bike and a recumbent exercise bike, equipped with a 10-inch HD touchscreen. It’s a solid choice for a versatile stationary bike, but if you’re specifically seeking a recumbent-style bike, there are more cost-effective options available.
ProForm Hybrid Trainer Elliptical: Although not technically a recumbent bike—or a bike at all—the ProForm Hybrid Trainer Elliptical resembles a recumbent bike but operates with an elliptical stride. If you’re interested in hybrid equipment, it’s a reasonable choice, priced similarly to some of our top picks.
Exerpeutic ExerWORK 1000: Similar to the Exerpeutic 400XL Recumbent Bike, the Exerpeutic ExerWORK 1000 includes a shelf for a laptop while riding. Its exclusion from our list is due to the shelf making it slightly less foldable than the 400XL. However, this may not be a concern for some users.
LEIKE X Bike Ultra-Quiet Folding Exercise Bike: The LEIKE X Bike can be used as both a recumbent and upright bike, but its smaller seat and less-than-optimal durability set it apart from our top picks.
How to Use a Recumbent Bike:
Using a recumbent bike effectively involves several key steps to ensure a safe and efficient workout. Here’s a detailed explanation of each step:
1. Make the Adjustments:
- Begin by adjusting the seat height and pedal distance on your stationary recumbent bike.
- The goal is to have your knees slightly bent when pedaling, promoting proper biomechanics and comfort during the workout.
2. Resistance Levels:
- Adjust the resistance levels according to your fitness level and goals.
- Beginners should start with lower resistance levels, gradually increasing as they build strength and endurance.
3. Warm Up:
- Prioritize a proper warm-up to prepare your body for the upcoming workout.
- Pedal at a slow pace for 5-10 minutes to increase blood flow, warm up muscles, and enhance flexibility.
4. Smooth Pedaling:
- Focus on maintaining a smooth and controlled pedaling motion.
- Avoid abrupt or jerky movements, ensuring a fluid and effective exercise session.
- Pay attention to your breathing throughout the workout.
- Maintain a relaxed and steady breathing rhythm to support oxygen flow to working muscles.
6. Mix It Up:
- Prevent monotony by varying the intensity of your workout.
- Incorporate intervals of higher intensity with periods of lower intensity or recovery to challenge your cardiovascular system.
7. Cool Down:
- After completing the main workout, initiate a cool-down phase.
- Pedal at a slower pace for 5-10 minutes to gradually lower your heart rate, prevent dizziness, and aid in muscle recovery.
Following these steps will not only optimize the effectiveness of your recumbent bike workout but also contribute to a safer and more enjoyable exercise experience.
15 Benefits of using a recumbent bike:
Can You Get A Good Workout With A Recumbent Bike?
Certainly! In brief, yes, you can get a significant workout with a recumbent bike. According to Gallucci, these bikes are effective for strengthening the lower body and providing a cardiovascular workout, which is beneficial for heart health and overall fitness.
However, if your goal is to strengthen your abdominal muscles, a recumbent bike may not be the most suitable choice. Gallucci notes that when using a recumbent bike, you don’t engage your core as effectively as you would on a regular bike.
Can You Get A Core Workout On A Recumbent Bike?
FAQs on “Recumbent Bike”
1. Is a recumbent bike good for knee pain rehabilitation?
Recumbent bikes are excellent for knee pain rehabilitation as they provide a good aerobic workout without stressing knee joints. By adopting a reclined position, these bikes reduce weight on the knees, allowing the quadriceps and hamstring muscles to engage without excessive load. Strengthening these leg muscles contributes to knee joint stability, making recumbent bikes a beneficial choice for rehabilitation.
2. Are recumbent bikes ideal for the elderly?
Yes, recumbent bikes are ideal for the elderly and individuals with physical limitations. They offer ease of accessibility, allowing users to get on and off with greater ease compared to other exercise machines like ellipticals or spin bikes. Seniors with arthritis find recumbent bikes suitable, comfortable, and effective for spinning workouts, promoting joint development in muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
3. How can I maintain my recumbent bike?
Maintaining a recumbent bike is straightforward. Regularly check bolts and fasteners for tightness, typically once or twice a month. Ensure proper lubrication of moving parts, and dust off the fan resistance if applicable. Instructions for maintenance are usually included with the purchase of a new recumbent bike.
4. How can I make my recumbent bike’s seat more comfortable?
Depending on the bike type, if the provided seat is not comfortable, you can add padding using a foam or gel seat cushion. Some manufacturers also offer replacement seats that may better suit individual preferences for improved comfort.
5. Is a recumbent bike good for training?
Certainly, a recumbent bike is a valuable addition to your training routine. It allows for a comfortable yet effective workout, enabling you to sweat without putting excessive stress on your joints. The convenience of using it at home makes year-round cycling accessible.
6. What is the best value recumbent bike for home use?
The Schwinn 290 Recumbent Bike is considered the best for home use. It offers a smooth ride, a sliding seat for perfect adjustment, an 7 inch LCD display for storing workouts, a perimeter-weighted flywheel, 13 built-in workout programs, a 330-pound weight capacity, a well-ventilated padded seat, and top lumbar support. Plus, you can embark on a journey through over 200 virtual courses at your own pace or immerse yourself in them while undergoing adaptive workouts.
7. Can I use my recumbent bike for HIIT training?
While not as optimized as some other indoor bikes, using a recumbent bike for high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is still possible. Some models come with preset interval training programs to help users get started with this type of workout.
8. How do I know if my recumbent bike is correctly adjusted to my size?
Ensure the seat is properly adjusted to your height to avoid injury or discomfort. When the leg is extended on the pedal furthest from you, the knee should have a slight curve. Aim for a riding position with a shock-absorbing bend in your arms, allowing comfortable access to the handlebars without overreaching. The correct position is achieved when it feels like you can play piano keys comfortably on the handlebars.
Having a good quality recumbent bike at home is a great way to get the workout that you need. Recumbent bike will not give you stress on the back and shoulders, neck and arms that a normal stationary exercise bike can cause. As you can see, there are several excellent recumbent exercise bikes on the market. You must choose the one that best suits your needs and your specific expectations.
Recumbent exercise bikes are also great for senior people recovering from an operation or injury. Whichever recumbent bike you choose from our list, you will find it very enjoyable and easy to use for them.
Remember to consider the weight capacity and height of the bike before you buy it. Also, be sure to check the dimensions and footprint of the recumbent bike to make sure you have enough space to place it and a little extra space for added safety when using it.