Staying fit is very important for people of all ages.
The benefits of exercising can’t really be overemphasized, and one way people get a good cardio workout is by cycling.
For many people, a recumbent exercise bike is the best way for them to stay fit right in the comfort of their homes.
The natural sitting position helps you workout without feeling much pressure on your back, neck and other joints while burning calories efficiently.
But the question that may come to mind is: What’s the best recumbent exercise bike available today?
While many of them achieve the same goal, which is helping you stay fit, they differ in quality, comfort, functionality, and durability.
In this guide, we will be listing out our top 5 recumbent bikes for exercising, explaining them in detail and telling you the pros and cons of each one.
In addition, when preparing this post, we looked through many reviews of actual customers who bought this bikes, finding out common praises and complaints. We summarized the customer feedback for each bike and added it to this post.
We did all this work so that you won’t have to personally review tons of brands and products when making a decision on the best recumbent exercise bike for you.
Note: You can also check out our review of the best stationary bikes, the review includes both upright and recumbent bikes.
Without further delay, let’s list out our top 5 picks.
Best Recumbent Exercise Bikes in 2018
1. Marcy Magnetic Recumbent Bike NS-716R- Best Value For Money
2. Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike MY17- Best High-End Recumbent Bike
3. Exerpeutic 1000 High Capacity Magnetic Recumbent Bike- Best For Plus-Size
4. Exerpeutic GOLD 525XLR Folding Recumbent Exercise Bike- Best Folding Recumbent Bike
5. NordicTrack Commercial Vr21 Recumbent Bike- Best For Commercial Use
Now that we have listed our top 5 recumbent bikes, it’s time to dig a little bit deeper and explain the reasons why we chose each one, their features, customer feedback and pros and cons.
This is our overall best recumbent exercise bike at the moment. This is because it gives the basic features you need at an affordable price and is beautifully designed
It is very adjustable, meaning it is usable by different people in your home. Family members can keep fit using the same exercise bike without being worried about height differences.
Another thing that makes this bike unique is its comfortable design. Its handlebars are covered with a soft material, and its seat stays at a good angle so that you won’t feel much pain or discomfort when you have to use it for extended periods. It also has a cup-holder that is located at perhaps the best position it could be placed- directly in front of you. So, when working out, you don’t need to get off the bike to get refreshed or drink some water.
The screen is a basic AA-battery-powered LCD variant which displays your speed, distance covered, time spent, and even calories burned. This gives you on-the-go information of how intense or productive your workout session has been.
This product also features a knob that lets you adjust you adjust your workout level by changing the resistance you’re biking against. There are 8 levels, so even if you’re a beginner or an advanced user of recumbent bicycles, you can still use this to achieve your fitness goals from the comfort of your home.
About its downsides, it doesn’t have the best seat available, it may get a little bit uncomfortable or slightly painful if you have to use it for a very long time without getting up. Also, it lacks a pulse monitor, so you’ll probably need to get a pulse oximeter to monitor your heart rate when working out.
The general consensus was that this is a very good recumbent exercise bike for its price. There were many positive comments about how easy it was to use and how silent the bike was. One important advice that seemed to be popular among customers was that you should install the side handlebars before the seat.
Here’s a summary of its pros and cons.
- Best value for money
- Affordable price
- Beautiful and sturdy design
- Almost noiseless
- Well-positioned cup holder
- Can be used by several people
- Not the most comfortable seat
- Lacks a pulse monitor
If you’re looking for a high-end, smart, comfortable and durable recumbent exercise bike, this would be a good fit. It combines a great structure and design with super-comfort and technology.
It is very silent, you can be working out while watching TV or without waking someone who’s asleep near you.
The machine also has different workout programs installed in its console that you can actually use based on your workout goals and fitness level. There are up to 25 levels of resistance- more than most other bike brands have to offer. So, whether you are new to exercise bikes or you’re a workout guru, you can still enjoy this bike.
When it comes to comfort, this product is really top of the range. The backrest has lumbar support and is vented, so you can ride for a long time without any back discomfort. The seat is also well cushioned and soft, so you don’t get to feel pain from sitting down for a long time. This makes it perfect for an extensive, low-impact workout session.
In addition, it has a fan with 3-speed levels, making you feel very cool despite burning those calories. There’s also a space for two cup holders. Practically, you can use one of the cup holders to keep your water bottle, while you can place a remote control in the other.
The product is really smart, the relatively large LCD screen and console have many features that are quite unique to it. It has Bluetooth capabilities that help you send your fitness goals and information to several fitness apps and syncs with the Schwinn Trainer App. It also has an MP3 input port that you can use to play songs from your smartphone through the in-console speakers. You can do this while charging your phone with a USB port. There is also a media shelf where you can easily place your phone, iPad or a book.
If there’s any downside to this device, it would be about the price. Some people may consider it above their current budget for a recumbent bike. So, if you want just a basic bike, and don’t need all the entertainment and extra-comfort features, you may not need to get this product.
There were so many positive reviews and comments about this Schwinn machine. Many people applauded the comfortable seats, silent design and multi-program workouts that are installed in the console. It was also fairly easy to assemble.
- Very comfortable seat and backrest
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Heart rate monitor
- Very quiet
- Easy to assemble
- 3-speed face fan
- MP3 and USB port for listening to music and charging your phone
This bike was made to address one problem, which is that most bike brands don’t make products that consider people with longer waistlines. So if you are plus-size or have balance issues, getting a bike that has a wide-enough seat for you can be challenging. This is the specific audience this bike was made for.
It has a wider and adjustable seat, so you don’t get worried about tipping and falling over when working out. Other than this wider seat, it has other features that depict a basic recumbent bike.
It has an LCD display screen that shows you details of your workout session, like your heart rate, distance covered, time spent, speed and calories burnt. The actual pulse monitor is located on the handlebar.
Also, you can control the difficulty of your workout by increasing the resistance you’re biking against. This magnetic tension control comes in 8 levels, so it is a good workout bike that fits almost any fitness level you are on. The pedaling is smooth and it is fairly quiet to use.
On its downside, it can not be used if you are under 5’3” or taller than 6’3”, this makes it a bit limiting. The seat is adjustable, however, it has this height restriction, so it is only ideal for you if you fall within this height-range.
Now, let’s discuss what actual customers thought about this bike
Many customers were very happy with the extended seat and backrest, supporting its makers claim that it is a comfortable bike. They also praised how easy it was to assemble and use. The pedaling seemed to be easy for many people, but there was concern about the inability to adjust the distance between the pedals.
- Extended seat and backrest
- Perfect for plus-size users
- Heart rate monitor
- Silent cycling
- Has a 300-pound weight capacity
Not ideal if you’re under 5’3” or over 6’3”
Like its name suggests, this product can be folded to an amazing 50% of its normal size. A usual disadvantage of recumbent bikes, when compared to their upright counterparts, is the amount of space they take up, and not everyone has so much room to spare in their homes for a bulky fitness equipment.
This bike solves this problem, so, if you live in a fairly tight home, you can get this bike, it will take only a little space, and it has wheels for easy movement from one location to where you choose to store it.
Apart from this folding capability, the bike can cater for up to 400 pounds of weight! That is a super-high weight capacity, most recumbent bikes are usually not usable by people heavier than 300 pounds. The reason why this product can handle this amount of weight is that it is well built and structured, made of a very durable material.
It has a pulse sensor that is located at the handlebar near the seat, this sensor sends your information to a clear battery-powered LCD screen. Other parameters like calories burnt, speed, distance and time are displayed on the screen for you to track how much progress you have made in your workout session.
An 8-level magnetic tension system controls the riding difficulty, so you can select the resistance that suits, whether you want a very intense session or a simple low-impact one.
About its undesirable qualities, its seat can be quite uncomfortable when used for long periods. The backrest also isn’t very ergonomically positioned, so you may not be able to workout for so long without using a cushion to increase your comfort.
There was a good number of people who claimed that it was not difficult to set up, also, the fact that it is foldable and doesn’t take up space was pretty much loved. Its price also seemed was also praised for affordability. On the other hand, the seat and backrest were noted to be uncomfortable and sometimes unbearable by people with a relatively high weight.
- Foldable, doesn’t take up space
- Has a very high weight-capacity (400 pounds)
- Affordable price
- Easy to assemble
Not the most comfortable seat and backrest
There are two main reasons why we love this bike. The first reason is that it is durable, and can be used by several people (no wonder it has the word ‘commercial’ in its name), ideal for local clubs, gyms, and hospitals.
The second reason is that it looks very beautiful and loaded with technology.
This is clearly not a basic cookie-cutter gym equipment, it is really specifically designed to cater to specific needs.
It has an ergonomic design, comfortable seat, backrest, and handlebars. The backrest is ventilated and has lumbar support, so you can workout for an extended period without having to worry about back pain of feet numbness.
It also has a large and adjustable LCD screen that displays your calories burnt, distance, speed, and heart rate. The machine can also work with wireless chest strap heart rate monitors.
In addition to its ‘tech’, you can plug in your phone and play your favorite songs through its relatively big speakers. So, you can take your mind off the consciousness of working out and enjoy some entertainment.
Another clearly unique feature it has is its Autobreeze functionality. What this means is that the machine has a fan that blows out air based on your workout level. So, you’ll have more cool air pumped at your face if you’re carrying our some high-intensity cycling, compared to when you’re taking things easy.
As for its undesirable qualities, its electronics aren’t the best. The screen goes off shortly after you stop your workout, so you have to jot down your progress at times. Another thing is that the screen is a bit busy and the device doesn’t connect to fitness apps.
From several reports, the item was easy to put together. It was also relatively noiseless and easy to use. There were negative reports about how the electronic system works- it seemed not to meet up with some customers expectations.
- Can be used by several people
- Comfortable seat and backrest
- Autobreeze fan
- Easy to set up
- Music speakers
- High price
- Does not connect to fitness apps
What To Look For When Deciding The Best Recumbent Exercise Bike For You
Now that we have gone through the top 5 recumbent bikes, it is okay if you are still unsure which bike you should go for. In this section, we will be discussing what we think you should prioritize when selecting your bike.
Most recumbent bikes prices are obviously higher than the prices of upright bikes, however, you should not spend more than the value you’re getting. On the average, the cost of this fitness equipment ranges from about $160 to about $700. The cheaper ones have the basic features- the recumbent design, a basic seat with backrest, a magnetic tension control system help you select your difficulty and a very simple LCD screen.
The more expensive ones have unique features (that you might not need) like USB phone chargers, fans, Bluetooth connectivity and sound systems.
When choosing the best for you, you have to consider how much weight the device can tolerate. If you choose a fancy one and get it delivered, it would be pretty sad if you discover that you can’t use it because your current weight exceeds what its maximum capacity.
The average recumbent bike can handle up to 300 pounds but some can cope with weights that are up to 400 pounds.
The reason why many people prefer recumbent bikes to their upright counterparts is their comfort. Many users of recumbent bikes were counseled by their doctors or physios not to have very high impact exercise that can affect their joints. So, comfort is very important.
Because of the sitting position, you should get a bike that has a soft-cushioned seat. Many plastic seats get uncomfortable when you use them for about 30 minutes, sometimes you may not be able to feel your legs. The best ones that are ideal for older people have lumbar support to protect against back pain. A device that has a fan may not be necessary but is a plus.
Ease of Assembly
The truth is that if you buy a product that is difficult to assemble, you’ll probably spend extra money getting someone to do it for you. Many bikes come with assembly instructions but this doesn’t make them easy to set up, especially if you don’t particularly have much experience setting up home equipment.
You should get one that is easy to put together, to save yourself some time and money.
Over To You
So this concludes our review of the top recumbent exercise bikes at the moment, now we will love to hear from you. Is there any recumbent bike you have used that you think we should review and add to this list? Kindly let us know by leaving a comment, we will be glad to keep this review as ‘up-to-date’ as possible.
Also, if you’ve used any bike on this list, what was your experience using it, we would love to know in the comment section.