Best Recumbent Exercise Bike

Recumbent exercise bikes are types of stationary exercise bicycles that provide a great cardiovascular and lower body workout. Recumbent exercise bikes differ from regular bikes in that the rider is seated in a reclined position as opposed to sitting upright. This makes recumbent bikes slightly more comfortable than regular or stationary bikes and allows the rider to spend more time in the saddle and read a book or watch television while they work out.

Recumbent exercise bikes are a great way to exercise for all levels of fitness as they have several features that allow the rider to adjust the resistance, vary the pedaling speed, and cycle backward for more of a challenge. They allow riders to tailor-make their cycling workouts according to their fitness levels and needs.


Recumbent exercise bikes are a great way to exercise for all levels of fitness. Jersey Town Criterium recumbent bicycle races

Recumbent Bikes vs. Upright Bikes

Stationary bikes are designed in an upright (traditional) position or recumbent (seated) position. Cycling on both recumbent and upright bikes is a good form of low-impact exercise that puts less impact on your joints than most other cardio equipment. However, there are a few differences between recumbent and upright bikes.

Recumbent Bikes Upright Bikes
Reclined body position Upright body position
Pedals positioned in front of the body Pedals positioned under the body
Larger seat Smaller seat
Full back support Limited upper body support
Comfortable sitting position Upright seated position may cause upper body fatigue/tension
Reduced upper body tension and muscle fatigue More consistent workout similar to outdoor riding
Focused lower body and cardiovascular exercise Whole-body and cardiovascular exercise

What to Look for in a Recumbent Exercise Bike

There are several factors to consider when shopping for a recumbent bike.

1. Features

It is important to decide which features of a recumbent exercise bike will work best for your fitness goals and exercise needs, such as whether the bike has a touchscreen, a heart rate monitor, built-in speakers for listening to music or a virtual coach, or device holders for your phone or water bottle.

2. Built-in Workout Programs

Some recumbent exercise bikes have streaming capabilities, while others have built-in workout programs which make working out and reaching your fitness goals easier.

3. Adjustable Resistance

Recumbent bikes offer varying options for adjustable resistance, which might be an important factor to consider for your training needs.

4. Budget

You should also evaluate your budget and look for a product that’s within your price range, as recumbent bikes can differ greatly in terms of cost.

Some recumbent exercise bikes have built-in workout programs which make working out and reaching your fitness goals easier. New Recumbent Bike / Jo Zimny Photos / (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Best Recumbent Exercise Bike

We hit the saddle to test some of the top recumbent exercise bikes on the market and came up with this list of the best recumbent exercise bikes.

Best Overall: Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike

The Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike is an excellent product that is comfortable and smooth, moderately priced, and has an array of features. Measuring 64 in × 27 in × 49.9 in (162.5 cm × 68.6 cm × 126.8 cm) with a weight capacity of 300 pounds (136.4 kg), the bike features 29 programs, four different user settings, and goal tracking to keep you motivated and on track.

It has 25 levels of resistance with a weighted flywheel that helps build momentum while you train and provides a smoother ride. The bike boasts a dual track two LCD window system with 13 different display feedbacks, in-console speakers with an MP3 port, and offers Bluetooth connectivity.

Pros

  •         Various user settings
  •         Built-in workout programs
  •         25 levels of resistance
  •         Weighted flywheel
  •         Dual track two LCD window system
  •         Bluetooth connectivity
  •         In-console speakers

Best Value: Marcy ME-709 Recumbent Exercise Bike

The Marcy ME-709 Recumbent Exercise Bike is the best value-for-money bike on the market. Measuring 55.5 in × 25 in × 37.5 in (141 cm × 63.5 cm × 95.3 cm) with a weight capacity of 300 pounds (136.4 kg), this recumbent exercise bike has eight levels of resistance and counterbalanced pedals, and adjustable foot straps.

It also features a padded seat, and foam-covered handles for absolute comfort, and an LCD screen that displays your time, speed, distance, and the number of calories burned during your workout.

Pros

  •         Great value for money
  •         Eight levels of resistance
  •         Counterbalanced pedals
  •         Adjustable foot straps
  •         Padded seat and foam handles for comfort

Cons

  •         Limited resistance levels
  •         No built-in workout programs

Best High End: NordicTrack Commercial VR25

The NordicTrack Commercial VR25 has it all with an impressive array of features, a weight capacity of 350 pounds (159.1 kg), and a seven-inch (18-cm) touchscreen. Measuring 68 in × 21.8 in × 60 in (172.7 cm × 55.4 cm × 152.4 cm), the NordicTrack Commercial VR25 features 26 levels of digital resistance, 35 programmed workouts, built-in speakers, and an ergonomic seat designed to maximize lumbar support.

It has a smooth and silent flywheel that promises a comfortable and peaceful ride and cycling classes can be streamed using the iFit app and followed on the large touchscreen. The app also offers live and on-demand workouts, real-time performance stat tracking, and live workout leaderboards for extra motivation.

Pros

  •         Superb quality
  •         26 levels of resistance
  •         35 programmed workouts
  •         Ergonomic seat for maximum comfort
  •         Built-in speakers
  •         Compatible with iFit app

Cons

  •         Expensive

Best for Small Spaces: Lanos Folding Exercise Bike

The Lanos Folding Exercise Bike is your best bet if you have limited space. It has a multifunctional, foldable design that allows the bike to be used as an upright, semi-stationary, or recumbent bike that can be folded up after use and easily stored.

Measuring 22 in x 20 in x 55.5 in (55.9 cm × 50.8 cm× 141 cm) with a weight capacity of 330 pounds (150 kg), this affordable recumbent exercise bike features 10 levels of magnetic resistance, a fully adjustable cushioned seat, pulse sensors, and a digital LCD monitor and media rack for streaming workouts from your mobile phone or tablet.

Pros

  •         Budget-friendly
  •         Foldable
  •         Multifunctional
  •         Magnetic resistance
  •         Adjustable padded seat
  •         Digital LCD monitor

Cons

  •         Very small in size

Best for Streaming Classes: ProForm 440ES

The ProForm 440ES is a high-tech bike that is great for streaming classes with iFit — a training app with a massive workout library offering a variety of live and on-demand classes. Measuring 22.3 in x 68.3 in x 52 in (56.6 cm x 173.5 cm x 132.1 cm) with a weight capacity of 350 pounds (159.1 kg), the ProForm 440ES has a resistance that can automatically be adjusted by your trainer using live controls via the app.

The bike also features 25 levels of magnetic resistance, an inertia-enhanced flywheel for smoother, more balanced rotation, extra-wide pedals with adjustable straps, and pulse sensors.

Pros

  •         Magnetic resistance
  •         Inertia-enhanced flywheel
  •         Pulse sensors

Cons

  •         Very small in size

Best for Seniors: JEEKEE Recumbent Exercise Bike

The JEEKEE Recumbent Exercise Bike is an ideal recumbent exercise bike for seniors with a large, adjustable, ergonomic seat that helps to reduce strain on the knees, and a comfortable backrest. Measuring 19.3 in x 53.5 in x 39 in (49 cm x 135.9 cm x 99.1 cm) with a weight capacity of 300 pounds (136.4 kg), this bike has eight levels of resistance, and an easy-to-read monitor, and is friendly on the budget.

The JEEKEE Recumbent Exercise Bike has a magnetic flywheel and dual-belt system for smoother and quieter workouts and a heart rate monitor allows you to assess your effort levels. An LCD monitor on an exercise bike tracks your fitness data, like time, speed, distance, calories burned, and odometer.

Pros

  •         Magnetic flywheel
  •         Adjustable ergonomic seat
  •         Easy-to-read LCD monitor
  •         Heart rate monitor

Cons

  •         The LCD monitor is quite small

Best Multifunctional: PLENY 3-in-1 Exercise Bike

The PLENY 3-in-1 Exercise Bike is a great option for a multifunctional recumbent exercise bike that is easy on the budget. Boasting a weight capacity of 300 pounds (136.4 kg), this exercise bike can be used as an upright, semi-recumbent, and recumbent exercise bike, allowing you to mix up your exercise routine.

The bike has 16 levels of magnetic resistance, a backlit screen that is easy to read, pulse sensors, and transportation wheels for simple storage. The bike also comes with resistance bands for the arms and legs for you to stretch after your workout.

It has a wide seat with a high backrest and back handle for comfort and a high-end curved crank arm with anti-slip pedals and soft straps.

Pros

  •         Multifunctional
  •         16 levels of magnetic resistance
  •         Additional resistance bands
  •         Pulse sensors

Cons

  •         Only available in pink

Best Adjustable: Nautilus R618 Recumbent Bike

The Nautilus R618 Recumbent Bike is a fully adjustable recumbent exercise bike with a padded seat with a sliding rail that can be adjusted for all shapes and sizes. Measuring 67.3 in x 26.4 in x 48.8 in (170.9 cm x 67.1 cm x 124 cm) with a weight capacity of 325 pounds (147.4 kg), the bike has 25 levels of resistance and 29 built-in workout programs for customizable exercising.

The Nautilus R618 Recumbent Bike is also equipped with Bluetooth connectivity, dual LCDs for monitoring your ride metrics, and pulse sensors. It is compatible with the Explore the World app, which allows you to ride through a variety of routes in destinations around the world.

Pros

  •         Fully adjustable
  •         25 levels of resistance
  •         29 built-in workout programs
  •         Pulse sensors
  •         Bluetooth connectivity
  •         Dual LCDs

Cons

  •         Needs space

Best Foldable: Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike

If you want a recumbent exercise bike that folds easily for transporting and storing, then the Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike is your best bet. Measuring 33 in x 19 in x 46 in (83.8 cm x 48.3 cm x 116.8 cm) with a weight capacity of 300 pounds (136.4 kg), this user-friendly bike has a large cushion and backrest for extra comfort and support, and easy-to-read LCD, and offers eight levels of magnetic resistance.

The Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike can be used with any height-adjustable desk so you can work while working out.

Pros

  •         Fully adjustable
  •         25 levels of resistance
  •         29 built-in workout programs
  •         Pulse sensors
  •         Bluetooth connectivity
  •         Dual LCDs

Cons

  •         Needs space

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are Recumbent Bike Workouts Effective?

Recumbent bikes are a great way to get and stay fit and research shows that using a recumbent bike regularly can increase your overall cardiovascular fitness.

Q: What are the Benefits of Using a Recumbent Exercise Bike?

  1. Burns Calories

Cycling combines cardiovascular and strength training and burns large amounts of calories depending on your body weight and the effort you put in. Cycling can burn between 600-700 calories per hour.

  1. Reduces Stress

Physical activity, like cycling, helps produce endorphins, the feel-good chemicals in your brain. Endorphins help with insomnia and help you to sleep better; they act as natural relaxants and painkillers; and generally, make you feel great! Regular sessions on your recumbent bike will lift your mood, reduce stress, and improve your self-esteem.

  1. Improves Cardiovascular Fitness

Cycling is a cardiovascular exercise that uses the legs, as well as the core and lower. It tones the lower and upper body, and the core, and produces better overall muscle definition than other cardio activities like running. Cycling regularly can help increase your stamina and endurance, as well as overall aerobic and cardiovascular fitness.

  1. Heart Healthy

Cycling is a cardiovascular exercise and one of the best exercises for maintaining a happy and healthy heart. Cardiovascular exercise helps to get the heart pumping, muscles working, and sweat flowing and helps make the heart stronger.

The heart is the engine of the body and the core of the complex and hard-working cardiovascular system, which also includes the vast network of arteries, veins, and other blood vessels that run throughout the body, taking oxygenated blood to every cell.

  1. Tones Muscles

Cycling works the muscles in the legs, back, and core, building lean muscle, as well as toning, and tightening flabby muscles, leaving the body looking lean and mean. Cycling builds and strengthens muscles without putting any strain on the musculoskeletal structure and helps to target muscle groups that wouldn’t normally be used in other exercises. It also helps flex and stretch the muscles, which is great for people of all ages to fend off the stiffening effects of aging.

  1. Strengthens Your Core

Cycling makes your core stronger by working the neutralizer and stabilizer muscles, which are the same muscles that create balance within the body and prevent you from injuring your back when you pick up something heavy.

  1. Improves Flexibility and Mobility

A 20 to 30-minute session of moderate cycling will loosen joints and muscles and increase flexibility. The repetitive stretching actions of cycling help keep the body flexible and also helps to reduce stiffness post-exercise.

  1. Low Impact on the Joints

Cycling is a low-impact form of exercise, using fluid motions that are non-weight bearing on the joints and tendons.

  1. Good Cross-Training Exercise for Other Sports

Cycling is a great cross-training exercise that benefits an array of other sports like swimming, running, tennis, and squash. Because it works so many muscle groups in the body, cycling strengthens and tones the arms, legs, back, and core and helps most forms of other training.

  1. Recumbent Exercise Bikes are Easy to Use

Have you ever walked into a gym and felt overwhelmed by all the different types of equipment? Or even worse, started on a machine, only to be told halfway through that you are back to front and upside down? A cycling machine is easy to use from setting it up for your body and exercise requirements to using the machine.

  1. Good for Arthritis and Osteoarthritis

For anyone who suffers from osteoarthritis or arthritis, cycling is an excellent way to stay in shape. It’s also a good form of exercise if you’re recovering from an injury or battling with other aches and pains. A cycling machine will help you strengthen your joints and increase mobility without causing more damage.

  1. Cycling is Beginner-Friendly

Cycling is an easy way to start working out in the gym or at home as it is easy to perform and can be built up to varying levels of resistance. Cycling can show results in a short time for both beginners and more advanced rowers, so stick with it and you’ll see the results.

  1. Improves Posture

Cycling is an excellent form of exercise to improve posture if done correctly without slouching or over-compressing when you pull back. It requires a straight strong back and core and this can lead to a marked improvement in posture over time.

  1. Cycling is Versatile

Cycling is a very versatile form of exercise that combines cardiovascular, strength, and fat-burning training. Cycling at lower intensities for a longer period can build endurance and stamina while cycling at high intensities for short periods with set intervals is great for building speed, increasing heart rate, and overall fitness.

  1. Improves Circulation

Cycling improves circulation and helps the heart to pump oxygenated blood to all parts of the body, move nutrients around for cell repair, and remove cell waste quickly and efficiently. A healthy circulatory system reduces the risk of embolisms, blockages caused by blood clots that typically form in the veins in the legs and travel to the heart and the lungs, which can be deadly. Improved circulation can also reduce the risk of strokes and other circulatory problems.

  1. Helps with Brain Functioning

Regular exercise, such as cycling, improves cognitive functioning, memory, and thinking skills. Cycling increases the heart rate, which increases the blood flow to the brain, and reduces inflammation and insulin resistance in the brain, which supports the growth of new brain cells.

  1. Challenging and Motivating

Cycling machines can be set at different levels as a challenge, which is also a good motivator to train hard. It’s a form of exercise in which you see fast results, which is also a great motivator to train harder.

  1. Good Practice for Cycling Outdoors

Cycling in the gym can also set you up to try it outdoors. You can join a cycling club and meet new like-minded people while at the same time enjoying the fresh air and beautiful scenery that surround most cycling locations.

Happy cycling!