At Home Fitness Focus we research and find ways to get fit and healthy within the comforts of your own home and one of my favorite pieces of exercise equipment is a recumbent bike. After reading this review, you should know the best recumbent bike 2020 that meets your budget and lifestyle and that is just right for you.
What Is A Recumbent Bike?
A recumbent bike is a useful piece of exercise equipment because it allows you to work out while sitting in a position that is comfortable for you. Imagine being able to comfortably sit back and watch TV while exercising.
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You have probably seen stationary bikes in gyms or physical therapy facilities, but having one at home is beneficial as well. Additionally, there are many high quality available that will offer all of the features you come to expect from those at your local fitness center.
The following 6 options are the best recumbent bikes you will find that are specifically designed for home gym use. You may be wondering where to buy recumbent bikes online? Amazon has a large selection.
Recumbent Exercise Bike Reviews And Ratings
The expression "you get what you pay for" is never truer than when purchasing exercise equipment. That is why rankings must vary based on price as well as features. Quality is also a concern, but if you stick with named brand products, that is less of an issue.
What Criteria Did We Use?
- Bike Features
Listed below are my top 6 choices based on extensive research including manufacturer's specifications as well as real customer reviews. The rating listed in the table below is the Amazon ranking which is based on customer reviews.
I take both customer reviews as well as the number of the reviews into consideration. For example, is a 5.0 rating with 9 reviews the same as a 4.2 rating with 2000 reviews? It depends on the reviews!
The table below gives an overview of key features and you can find buying tips later in the article. Click on the recumbent stationary bike's picture in the table to preview it.
This recumbent exercise bike was my Best Overall winner because it is beneficial for people of all levels and ages with all the bells and whistles that you could possibly want.
The features list is extensive. There is even an app you can sync this with so you can take a virtual ride alongside your friends (RideSocial) and you can sync up with MyFitness Pal.
If you want to have person-to-person interaction without heading to the gym, this is an excellent choice.
Schwinn 270 Key Features
- 25 resistance levels
- Bluetooth capability
- Ability to sync with MyFitness Pal bike workout
- 300 pound maximum weight limit
- Built-in heart rate contacts
- Built in speakers
- Built in fan
Schwinn 270 Pros and Cons
Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike Summary
With the built in fan, people are able to complete a longer workout without having to plug in an additional device in order to get air.
With a high maximum weight, users who are on the larger side are able to use this with ease and comfort. The extra padding on the seat may be a huge factor in this. Although the product manual states a maximum of 300 pounds, many reviewers over 325 use this bike.
Assembly is easy; even those who are not very mechanically inclined can put this together in 1.5 hours or less.
Although the fan has 3 speeds, many wish the highest blew a bit more air. The seat is rather slippery, so you will need to place something there to avoid slipping while working out. It is over 80 pounds, so it is fairly heavy to lift and move when necessary.
This is an excellent choice for those of all ages and body types, especially for those who love products that have all of the bells and whistles.
Read Full Review: Schwinn Recumbent Bike Review: Is It Worth The Hype?
#2. Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike ME 709 (Best Value)
Anyone who is looking for a quality recumbent exercise bike that is not over the top in the price department would be very happy with this.
While it is not as costly as some of its counterparts, it does have many features that most people who work out often would enjoy.
Marcy ME-709 Key Features
- LCD Display
- Weighted pedals
- 8 levels of resistance
- Transportation wheels
- Adjustable length 40 - 49 inches
- Ergonomically designed padded seat
- Low profile
Marcy ME-709 Pros and Cons
Marcy Recumbent Bike ME-709 Summary
Transport wheels are included so the unit can be used with ease. It can accommodate users who weigh up to 300 pounds. It weighs only 60 pounds and has a low profile, so it can be hidden away when necessary.
It has an adjustable seat length of 40 - 49 inches.
The 8 available tension settings can be easily be adjusted and other nice to haves are a comfortable seat. Workout tracker includes metrics on speed, time, distance, calories as well as an odometer.
This is an Amazon's Choice winner with over 2,000 reviews with 80% over 4 stars, consequently making this a solid choice. Users who are seeking a low-cost bike that gets the job done without all of the added technology would appreciate this.
Read Full Review: Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike ME-709 - Is It For You?
#3. Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike(Best Folding)
Those who have a limited workout space in their homes or apartments would appreciate this. This is a best folding exercise bike.
Since it can be folded and packed away, there is no need to have a large, dedicated workout space. It is compact and portable.
Exerpeutic 400XL Key Features
- Space saving design - folds to 20" L x 17" W x 54" H
- 300 pound maximum weight
- 43 lbs
- Hand pulse sensors
- Extendible leg stabilizers
- LCD screen
Exerpeutic 400XL Pros and Cons
Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike Summary
This product is very easy to assemble and is extremely quiet, even when using the unit at its highest speed. The resistance can be set manually. It is very sturdy for a folding exercise bike. It only weighs 43 pounds and is easily transportable.
There is a newer model available, Exerpeutic Gold 525XLR , but the favorite is the 400XL.
This is an Amazon's choice winner and is definitely a people pleaser and great for those who live in small homes or apartments since it is can be folded and tucked away with ease.
Read Full Review: "Is Exerpeutic 400XL Still Best?"
#4. Exerpeutic 900XL (Best Capacity)
This should really be titled Best Capacity (for the price). This XL machine is less than $200 and those on the taller side seeking a bike that will allow them comfort while working out would be very pleased with this unit.
It comes pre-assembled so the setup is relatively easy despite the instructions that are not user-friendly.
There is a newer version with Bluetooth, Exerpeutic GOLD 975XBT, but the reviews are not as positive and it costs more.
Exerpeutic 900XL Key Features
- Weighs only 63 lbs
- LCD display
- Oversize seat and back rest
- Hand pulse sensors to monitor heart rate
- Room for long legs
- Transportation wheels
- Easy on and off capability
Exerpeutic 900XL Pros and Cons
Exerpeutic 1111 900XL Extended Capacity Recumbent Bike Summary
The Exerpeutic 1111 has an adjustable seat and is very quiet. It is very easy to adjust the tension levels. The display has a simple design and is easy to read.
The recumbent stationary bike accommodates heights to 6'3".
This is an Amazon's Choice winner with over 2,400 reviews with over 80% 4 stars. This is a great option for larger people who want a comfortable exercise machine, but it is fairly tricky to assemble.
Read Full Review: Exerpeutic 900XL Recumbent Bike Review – Is It More Comfortable?
The Stamina Elite is a 2 in 1 Exercise machine. Not only is it a standard recumbent bike, it has arm pedals to give a total body workout.
Those who do not mind spending a little more money in order to take advantage of a sturdy bike with multiple features would benefit most from this purchase.
Stamina Elite Key Features
- Upper hand pedals for a more complete workout
- Padded seat and back rest
- Transportation wheels
- Heart Rate Pulse sensors
- Multi-function display monitor
- Nonslip end caps
- Maximum resistance level is 8
Stamina Elite Pros and Cons
Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Bike Summary
The upper hand pedals make this a great choice for those who want a total body workout with one machine.
Built in wheels for transporting the unit around. Sliding seat makes it easy to mount and dismount. The tension dial is easy to reach while in the sitting position
It is a great bike for the price, since it is equipped with an hand and arm pedal. However, it is not ideal for those who are looking for something with all kinds of extras.
#6. 3G Cardio Elite RB Recumbent Bike(Best Priced $1000+ )
You get what you pay for! Those who do not mind spending more money in order to have access to more features and comfort will love this unit.
This unit is just 49 inches in length; perfect for small spaces. The seat cushions are extremely soft. It is quiet even when used at the highest settings.
3G Cardio Elite Key Features
- 16 resistance levels
- Compact - 49 inches in length
- 3 way adjustable mesh seat
- Large display console
- Wireless heart rate strap included
- 12 Preset Programs
- Ergonomic frame and pedals
3G Cardio Elite Pros and Cons
3G Cardio Elite RB Recumbent Bike Summary
This bike specializes in comfort with an adjustable seat and back that conforms to your body. This has the highest weight capacity of all of the bikes listed as well as the best warranty (lifetime). Including the wireless heart rate strap is an extra bonus.
This is a compact sturdy bike that makes very little noise, so it is great for apartment dwellers.
It is loaded with features but lacks the bluetooth connectivity to workout apps.
This is an Amazon's Choice winner with a 5 star rating making this a highly rated machine. Although there are not hundreds of reviews, having all 5 stars mean the purchasers are extremely satisfied with the quality, features and support.
Read Full Review: 3G Cardio Elite Recumbent Bike Review – Why Buy A Recumbent?
Is a Recumbent Bike Better Than an Upright?
Recumbent Bike vs Upright Bike
Exercise bikes are the perfect workout for just about anyone. This is because they are easy on the joints, and additionally, a great way to burn calories and strengthen the heart.
There are two main types of exercise bikes: an upright and recumbent. A recumbent bike is a bike that has a chair like seat. It is probably the more comfortable of the two bikes.
Both types of bikes provide an excellent workout. It is a good idea to try both types of bikes and see what works best for you and your body. Some argue that you burn more calories on an upright but because you are more comfortable, however, you may workout longer on a recumbent.
I personally like the flexibility of the recumbent bike. It allows me to read, watch TV, or even play games on my iPad.
I love that my hands are completely free. And to be perfectly honest, it is easier on my body, particularly my fanny!
How Effective Is a Recumbent Bike For Weight Loss?
Any structured exercise program coupled with a good eating habits will be effective for weight loss.
The real question many people want to know is - can you can burn calories in a recumbent position? And the answer is yes!
It is true, however, that riding an upright bike for 15 minutes will burn more calories than riding a recumbent at the same pace and resistance. This is because you are putting more stress on muscles leading to a higher calorie burn. That being said, it is also true that you can ride longer on a recumbent burning additional calories since the recumbent is easier to use.
To paraphrase Master trainer, Cecilia Alston, of the National Academy of Sports Medicine, the type of cardio machine does not matter.
It boils down to comfort vs intensity. Riding a recumbent bike at a high intensity could burn more calories than a low intensive workout on an upright. For anyone with back issues, a recumbent may be your only solution, but you can still reach your workout goals.
Can You Get A Good Workout On A Recumbent Bike?
A recumbent bike can in fact provide an excellent workout for anyone. Despite putting the user in a comfortable and reclined position, it does indeed work the muscles in the same way as a completely upright stationary bike. Studies have shown that while there are differences in the level of workout it provides, it leads to similar muscle activity in two key areas including in the trunk and hip.
Best of all, the experience in riding this style of bike yields better comfort throughout the session. This can lead to you working out for much longer periods of time which can inherently assist you in getting in a very effective workout.
Also, being in such a comfortable position can allow you to do things like watch TV or even play games while you are working out which can encourage you to work out more often. Likewise, it can prove to be much less stressful on your joints which can further enhance your ability to workout for long enough to get in an intense workout session.
With other styles of bikes, you are likely to experience more wear and tear on your joints and discomfort which can reduce your riding sessions for lesser results.
The ability to work your muscles in much of the same way as an upright bike that can engage the same muscles while being able to increase the resistance to an even greater incline can help to maximize the results you are able to get from each workout.
Due to the decrease in stress on your joints and the enhanced comfort you get from riding in a comfortable position, you should be able to increase the resistance to levels that you wouldn't be able to reach with other types of bikes.
This is especially true for older people who have difficulties with their joints or for those with generally sore joints after intense workout sessions.
What Is the Best Recumbent Exercise Bike For Seniors?
According to the American College Of Sports Medicine, physical activity and exercise are essential in healthy aging.
A recumbent bike is actually great for those who have mobility issues or who need physical therapy at any age.
For seniors, however, this is particularly important. We must exercise but must be extra careful of injuries.
So what is the best recumbent bike for seniors? Any of the the bikes reviewed above would be a good for seniors.
Most benefits for recumbent exercise bikes have been listed above, but the benefits specific to seniors are listed below:
Recumbent Bike Buying Tips
To help you have the best possible user experience when shopping, here are some things to keep in mind when you are out there shopping for an recumbent bike.
BE REALISTIC ABOUT YOUR BUDGET
There are some people who have gone into debt trying to afford a bike that is not really in their price range. It is also common for people with limited funds to believe that they cannot afford one.
Recumbent bikes come in all different price ranges, so be realistic when you are trying to set aside enough to make a purchase.
CONSIDER YOUR SPACE
The amount of space that you have will make a huge difference when you are buying a bike. You do not want to get something that is large and bulky if you are living in an apartment or a very small home. You also do not want to limit yourself to a tiny machine when you have plenty of space to spare.
Everyone knows that the goal of using a recumbent bike is to get yourself in shape. This does not means that you want to do so while sitting on a unit that is not very comfortable. You should consider your height and weight when trying to decide which bike is the best fit.
Many like ignoring things like maximum weight and seat size when they are choosing a bike, especially if they are trying to save money. This is an issue since not paying attention to these things could lead to injuries and other unfortunate events.
UNDERSTAND THE FEATURES
Every recumbent bike has different features and you should focus on one that will offer you the best benefits. Here is an overview of common benefits and the importance of each one to the overall user experience.
Key Features When Buying A Recumbent Bike
This is one of those modern technologies that allow users to connect wirelessly with apps when they are using the device. For instance, you may want to add the results concerning your heart rate, calories burned and things like that to apps that you have downloaded.
You will be able to seamlessly add all of your information without having to type in manually. If you are not plugged in and using any applications, you don't have to worry about buying a bike that has this feature.
All displays are not created equally, especially if you are someone that does not see very well or has problems pressing a large number of buttons.
There are many units available that have very large, easy-to-read displays, so if you have difficulty reading small print, this is definitely something to be concerned about.
You should also consider whether the display is in full color since that can make it easier to make out all of the characters.
Portability and Weight
These are mentioned together because they often complement one another. Having a unit that is really heavy makes it difficult to move it around if need be. If you know that you will need to change locations often, you should look for something that is fairly lightweight.
If this is not a possibility and the unit you want is heavier than usual, you should consider whether it has wheels on it. In that case it would not be as easy to move as one that is light, yet it would not feel like an impossible task.
Always consider the size of the seat, particularly if you are very small or very large. If you are fairly petite and the seat is overly huge, it may result in you sliding around when trying to work out.
On the flip side, those who are rather large may find high capacity units with small seats. Since comfort is one of the key factors in buying recumbent exercise bikes, it would defeat the purpose.
As far as this goes, the more resistance levels the better for most. This is because you may grow stronger as you use exercise bikes and the setting you are typically used to may not be enough.
After several years, you may be far more advanced that the adjustments will allow. For this reason, you should look for something with a large number of levels.
The only exception would be those who are looking to strengthen a bit for health reasons but it is not likely they will advance much farther then their current level.
Final Verdict - Should You Buy A Recumbent Bike?
All of this information should be very helpful for someone who is looking to buy a recumbent bike. Not only is it filled with general information about bikes, but it also has details on some of the best options that are available.
Keep reading best recumbent bike reviews. Everything changes quickly and there are likely to be far more options introduced in the coming years, yet if the plan is to get something sooner rather than later, the 6 mentioned here are the best ones available on the market. Keep reading best recumbent bike review.