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The Best Recumbent Exercise Bikes

Best-Recumbent-Exercise-Bikes

The best recumbent exercise bikes are undervalued additions to any home gym.

Today, we’re going to walk you through everything you need to know about these low-slung cardio machines from their many benefits through to the best bikes on the market.

So…

What are recumbent bikes, then?

Well, they’re the modern alternative to the upright exercise bikes that dominated for so long. You’ll be able to get an intensive cardio workout from a comfortable position with no jarring impact. In this way, recumbent bikes are not dissimilar to elliptical machines or incline treadmills.

Here are some of the key benefits to using a recumbent bike when you’re training:

  • You’ll put very little stress on your joints
  • Work out with purpose without feeling uncomfortable
  • Space-saving option if you have a small home gym
  • Highly cushioned seats offering comfort and support in abundance making a great choice if you have any kind of back pain

What should you consider when you’re hunting for the most effective recumbent?

  • Ergonomics and Comfort: Recumbent bikes have padded seats like a car bucket seat giving you a very comfortable experience even if you have lower back pain. Look for the way the pedals are designed and make sure the straps will sufficiently stop your feet from slipping. You should keep an eye out for models with onboard media, speakers, fans, and water bottle holders. Only you will know which of these areas are important to you
  • Central Console: This acts as your bike’s central nervous system. You can see all the data you need at a glance, data coming from the gadgets and sensors attached. This information is processed then flashed up on the LCD for you. You’ll see all the presets and settings and these are interpreted by the console
  • LCD: This is the most vital element of the central console. The extent of available data depends on the brand and model of the recumbent you choose as well as the price. Typically, you’ll see the length of workout, distance traveled and average speed. You’ll also get metrics about the number of calories you torch along with any custom settings. Make sure the display is crisp, easy to read, and equally easy to navigate
  • Heart Rate Monitor: Although you’ll struggle to find this at the cheaper end of the market, upscale recumbent bikes come with a heart rate monitor. To get the most out of your workouts, you’ll need to keep your heart in the fat-burning zone. Make this easy with the benefit of an integrated monitor. If your budget won’t quite stretch to this, you could easily buy an independent heart rate monitor

OK…

With those basics in place, it’s time to push on with our reviews. We’ll highlight the leading recumbents in a crowded vertical so you can find the right one the easy one.


Top 12 Best Recumbent Exercise Bikes

1. Our Pick + Best for Seniors: Schwinn Recumbent Bike Set

Schwinn-Recumbent-Bike-Series

Our overall favorite of all the recumbents on our shortlist is the classic Schwinn Recumbent. What makes this cardio machine stand out from a glutted pack, then?

Things get off to a strong start with the 300-pound maximum weight capacity. This should give most of you ample latitude even if you’re on the heavy side. Such strength is achieved thanks to the sturdy steel frame, no more than you’d expect from Schwinn.

Another key benefit is the fact this unit is powered by pedaling thanks to its self-generating nature. This allows you to cut the cord and use this bike in a small space even if there’s no power outlet handy.

This magnificent steed delivers a completely customizable workout experience. You get 23 presets punched in allowing you to get going right out the box even if you’re a complete beginner. In terms of intensity, you can ratchet things up through 24 different levels meaning there’s something for everyone. Whether you want to break a light sweat or burn some serious calories, Schwinn has you covered.

The LCD on the central console is backlit so you’ll be able to see what you need whatever the lighting conditions.

The only real drawback with this neat and compact unit is the quality control meaning some packages arrive slightly battered. Check yours as soon as it arrives to make sure you’ll all set. In all other respects, this is a superb recumbent from a legend in the bike world.
Things We Like

  • No external power source of batteries required
  • Oversized, backlit LCD so see all key metrics at a glance
  • 23 presets and 24 levels of resistance for a challenging workout whatever your fitness levels

Things We Dislike

  • Quality control leaves something to be desired so check the contents of your package closely upon receipt

2. Runner-Up: Sunny Health and Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Bike

Sunny-Health-&-Fitness-Magnetic-Recumbent-Bike-Exercise-Bike

Next up, we’ve got a powerful recumbent bike ideal if you’re larger and in search of a low-impact cardio machine for your home gym. Do your joints a favor and work out Sunny Health and Fitness-style. With a class-leading 350-pound capacity, this bike is ideal for just about anyone.

You’ll get an extra edge to your training thanks to the moveable handlebars. If you push these back and forth as you pound the pedals, you’ll get an even more intense workout. The generous seat supports your back wonderfully while the non-slip pedals come with more than enough surface area to give you plenty of traction.

Tweaking the seat before you get started will ensure you get the optimum position for a really tough workout.

With 8 levels of magnetic resistance, you’ll have all main bases covered although we’d like to see a little more variety. If you’re looking for a simple way to train, though, there’s something to be said for not being overwhelmed with options.

Pulse sensors are baked in so you can monitor your heart rate and make certain you’re pushing it hard in the fat-burning zone. Fail to do this and you won’t burn calories like you hope to.

Adjust the seat and pedals with ease so you can dial in the perfect position to blast away that fried food and hit your fitness goals.

As a crowning bonus, the wheels included make it simple to move your bike around if you change your gym around and need to shift it.
Things We Like

  • Generous 350-pound load-bearing capacity
  • Onboard pulse sensors to monitor heartbeat
  • Integrated wheels if you need to shift your bike around

Things We Dislike

  • 8 levels of resistance could be improved

3. Budget Pick: Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike

Marcy-Recumbent-Exercise-Bike-with-Resistance

Marcy makes some fantastic recumbent bikes and this compact example is well worth popping on your shortlist. Despite delivering a pretty powerful addition to your home gym, the Marcy ME-709 is priced keenly so makes a great choice for all you bargain hunters.

If you struggle getting on and off exercise equipment, you’ll love the step-through design which makes this a cakewalk.

Magnetic adjustable resistance is easily manipulated with a knob located front and center. You can make your workouts more or less challenging without needing to fiddle with a complex interface.

Fine-tune seat placement so you can get the very most out of your workout and take advantage of the handlebars for support when the going gets tough.

The seat is also extremely comfy and stuffed with high-density foam. As with all recumbent bikes, the Marcy comes into its own if you have back pain but still want a vigorous cardio session. You’ll get no damaging contact like you would from jogging and you’ll be doing your joints as well as your waistline a favor.

The oversized pedals are neatly textured so your feet won’t slip off when you’re training. The straps give an extra layer of security if you’re pushing it especially hard.

As with all the best recumbent exercise bikes, you’ll get some wheels underneath for increased mobility.

If the 8 levels of resistance and reasonably modest build are not to your liking, Marcy has a deep bench of 6 recumbents to choose from so see which of the others is more appropriate. For all entry-level cardio seekers, though, the ME-709 is a smart choice.
Things We Like

  • Step-through design for ease of mounting and dismounting
  • Ergonomic saddle packed with high-density foam for a supremely comfortable workout
  • Weighted pedals for total support

Things We Dislike

  • Internal assembly could be tighter

4. Upgrade Pick: NordicTrack Vr21 Recumbent Bike

NordicTrack-NTEX76016-Commercial-Vr21-Recumbent-Bike

If you’re hunting for a commanding and highly effective recumbent giving you a great deal of choice when it comes to training, it’s got to be NordicTrack. The Vr21 is rated for commercial use and makes a stellar choice for the home gym, too.

Packing an effective inertia flywheel, you’ll get a smooth workout with the feeling you’re really hitting the sidewalk or the track. The flywheel generates a movement in line with your natural stride.

32 workout programs come baked in although these are not as effective as you’d imagine. Unfortunately, the brand uses the supersized screen on this recumbent to aggressively market its paid program. With a stiff annual fee, we can’t really say we’d recommend that. Regardless of the intricacies, you’ll find you can ratchet up the intensity to suit pretty much any fitness level.

If you like to hit it especially hard, you’ll appreciate the fan to send wind through your hair and cool you down.

The 5-inch LCD is nicely sized and allows you to clearly see all the data you need at a glance. Navigating this is a cinch and the interface is nicely responsive.

The heart rate monitor is compatible with wireless chest straps and lets you dial in your fat-burning zone when you want to hit it particularly hard.

As you’d expect from a recumbent intended for personal gyms, build quality is impressive. You can punish this recumbent day in, day out and it will keep on going.

If you’re looking for pro-grade performance without completely blowing the budget, the NordicTrack Vr21 is a must.
Things We Like

  • Enhanced flywheel replicates a natural stride
  • Large 5-inch display allows you to see what you need with ease
  • 32 workout apps bundled for maximum versatility

Things We Dislike

  • Heavily promoted paid coaching program

 


5. Nautilus Recumbent Bike Series

Nautilus-Recumbent-Bike-Series

Nautilus don’t make cheap fitness equipment but the value for money delivered won’t have you bemoaning the price tag. The R614 is the base model but still packs a serious punch. What’s so good about this bike, then?

Off the bat, there are 22 programs built in so you’ll easily find something to suit your fitness levels. With 20 levels of intensity, you can make sure you always push yourself even if you don’t have time to head to the gym. Installing a home gym helps you to save money on that recurring membership while slashing the time it would take to get to and from the gym. And, with gear this good for sale, there’s no excuse not to set yourself up at home.

You get a pair of screens with the Nautilus so you can see all the data you need.

The high-inertia drive and perimeter-weighted flywheel delivers smooth consistency and a super-simple start-up. This bike is a neat fit for complete beginners.

Speakers and an MP3 port help you to train with your favorite tunes. Fire up that Rocky training soundtrack and start burning off that breakfast!
Things We Like

  • Set and track your fitness goals for a truly personalized workout
  • Choose from 22 varied workout programs according to your needs
  • Dual LCDs for improved user experience

Things We Dislike

  • Certainly not the cheapest recumbent up for grabs

6. Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Bike

Stamina-Elite-Total-Body-Recumbent-Bike

The classic Stamina Elite Total Body bike gives you the complete workout promised in the name. The handlebars allow you to bring your arms into play as well as your legs, all while limiting contact.

We’ll state off the bat that this isn’t the most comfortable of recumbents. If you’re hunting for the most ergonomic experience, this isn’t it. We’d like to see the manufacturer uprate the seat at bare minimum.

The small footprint of this bike means it’s a great choice if you’ve got a cramped home gym where space is at an absolute premium.

The display is easily visible and shows you your speed and heart rate along with other valuable metrics to help you get the very most out of your workout.

Although this a powerful and highly adaptable addition to yoru fitness arsenal, the whole affair weighs scarcely more than 100 pounds so you shouldn’t have too much trouble moving it around if you get a helping hand from someone.

The angled back rest is perfectly raked to give you plenty of support and comfort so you’ve got no excuse not to get your cardio session in.
Things We Like

  • Super-quiet in operation so ideal if noise is an issue in the home gym
  • Reasonably lightweight at 107 pounds considering the performance
  • Multipurpose display showing you everything you need to see clearly

Things We Dislike

  • Seat is not the comfiest so rethink if this is a priority

7. XTERRA SB2.5r Recumbent Bike

XTERRA-SB2.5r-Recumbent-Bike

The XTERRA SB2.5r is an understated and affordable recumbent bike perfect for beginners but perhaps slightly too fragile for heavy users. Think about your fitness levels and requirements before establishing whether or not this bike is heavy-duty enough.

You’ll benefit from a generous 24 levels of resistance so you can mix things up and keep pushing your fitness goals.

A robust flywheel gives you smooth movement and durability in one 22-pound package. The seat offers support without compromising comfort while the back pad is also remarkably supportive. If you have lumbar issues or any kind of lower-back pain, this recumbent is the ideal workout companion.

With 24 programs at your fingertips, you can use one of the presets – you get 12 of those – or experiment with the other more specialist settings from heart rate programs to body fat sessions. The bike does all the hard work for you.

You’ll get an audio jack and a port for your MP3 player on this recumbent so you can blast away those calories while listening to your favorite playlist. The 5 x 2.5-inch screen is neatly designed to display all key data.

To ice the cake, build quality is exceptional so you’ll be getting a piece of kit that should give you years of faithful service from a brand you can rely on.
Things We Like

  • 24 levels of resistance for a challenging session
  • Walk-through design makes it easy to get on and off this bike
  • Audio jack and speakers baked into console

Things We Dislike

  • Slightly flimsy if you’re a serious athlete looking for hardcore training but not too problematic for beginners

8. Exerpeutic 5000 Magnetic Recumbent

Exerpeutic-5000-Magnetic-Recumbent-with-Airsoft-seat-and-Bluetooth-MyCloudFitness-App

Exerpeutic has a hard-won reputation for producing great fitness equipment that doesn’t blow the budget. The 5000 has a tweaked open step-in aesthetic so you’ll be able to slide on and off with ease. This comes in especially handy if you’re moving from machine to machine as you train.

You get a large and comfortable seat that makes cardio sessions much less unpleasant. The AIRSOFT seat uses an alternating pressure system to dramatically reduce the chance of pressure points or soreness when you’re training.

If this recumbent looks familiar, that’s because it’s an overhaul of the classic 4000 now offering Bluetooth and double the number of fitness programs…

Choose from 24 presets and the same number of resistance levels so you can totally customize your workout. You’ll also find a trio of computer workout settings so you can push yourself even harder.

How about that Bluetooth, then? Well, you’ll enjoy app connectivity. The free MyCloudFitness application adds another layer of enjoyment to your sessions.

If you want to glimpse at the metrics like calories burned, distance travelled, and speed, you have a large LCD for the purpose.

The Exerpeutic 5000 is a solid recumbent if you’re a serious home athlete looking to take your cardio sessions to the next level. The relatively compact footprint makes this a sound choice if you have a smaller home gym.
Things We Like

  • Open step-in design promotes easy access
  • 24 workout programs along with 24 resistance levels to keep things challenging
  • Free fitness app to keep you on your toes

Things We Dislike

  • Need to tighten seat extremely to prevent wobble

9. Exerpeutic 900XL Recumbent Bike with Pulse

EXERPEUTIC-900XL-300-lbs.-Weight-Capacity-Recumbent-Exercise-Bike-with-Pulse

Another fine Exerpeutic bike up next as we push toward the end of our quest for the best recumbent this year. The 900XL is designed with a generous maximum weight capacity of 300 pounds so should be more than enough for most people.

The first choice you’ll need to make is whether you want Bluetooth or not. This is a thoughtful touch from the manufacturer and means you won’t need to pay for something you don’t want. Opt for the Bluetooth-enabled variant and you’ll enjoy the same access to that free MyCloudFitness app.

You’ll be amazed at the lightweight nature of this recumbent considering the capacity is a huge 300 pounds. At just over 60 pounds, though, you can shift the bike around your home gym is required without giving yourself a hernia. Transportation wheels baked in make this even easier.

A crisp and sizeable LCD displays all the information you need. See at a glance if you’re entering your fat-burning zone and check how fast and far you’re travelling all without breaking your stride.

With 8 levels of magnetic tension, you can mix things up to a reasonable extent. Even given the price point, we’d still have appreciated a little more variety.

The V-belt drive and precision-engineered flywheel give you all this performance in a machine that makes almost no noise even at full clip. What’s not to love?

While you’re hardly getting a pro-grade machine here, if you’re looking for an excellent recumbent exercise and you have a modest budget, we can’t recommend the Exerpeutic 900XL strongly enough. Road test one today and start hitting those fitness goals tomorrow.
Things We Like

  • Available with or without Bluetooth
  • Weighs just 63 pounds despite heavy load-bearing capacity
  • Reliable 1-year limited warranty for your peace of mind

Things We Dislike

  • Build quality could be improved but you need to keep your expectations reasonable at this price point

10. Progear 555LXT Magnetic Tension Recumbent Bike

Progear-555LXT-Magnetic-Tension-Recumbent-Bike-with-Workout-Goal-Setting-Computer

Are you hunting for a recumbent exercise bike that’s small but perfectly formed? If so, you’re in great company. Many people constructing a home gym do so with relatively little space. Measuring up at just 49 x 22 x 43 inches and tipping the scales at a scant 60 pounds, you’ll get exactly that from Progear with the punchy little 555LXT. What else is good except for the compact nature, then?

Well, straight off the bat, we’d like to clear up that the Progear is likely not the best bet if you’re just starting out. While you’ll benefit from 14 levels of resistance, even the very lowest setting is still quite tough. If you’re a beginner or not in the best physical shape, you might find this a little too demanding.

If you are ready for a powerful cardio session at home, though, you’re in safe hands. Flick through 14 levels of resistance so you’ll be able to stretch your goals and keep pushing forward. This is smooth magnetic tension so you’ll get a fantastic user experience.

The step-through design lets you get on and off this bike with ease even if you’re larger. Maximum weight capacity is 250 pounds. This should be more than enough for most purposes but rethink if you’re larger than this.

Packing a comfy and remarkably supportive seat, the infinite slider lets you adjust the configuration with unerring precision.

If you’re fit, strong, and in need of some hardcore cardio training, consider adding the Progear 555LXT to your home gym.
Things We Like

  • 14 levels of resistance to keep you challenged
  • Infinite slider adjustments for complete customization
  • Oversized and remarkably comfy seat offers ample back support

Things We Dislike

  • Even the lowest resistance setting is pretty hard going

11. Exerpeutic 300SR Heavy-Duty Recumbent Bike

EXERPEUTIC-300SR-Heavy-Duty-300-LBS-Weight-Capacity-Foldable-Recumbent-Bike-with-Balanced-Flywheel

Nearing the end of our best recumbent exercise bike reviews, we’ve got yet another Exerpeutic for you. While we typically avoid highlighting multiple products from one manufacturer, Exerpeutic has such a stranglehold on this vertical that we couldn’t really avoid it. Why is the 300SR so good, though?

Firstly, we should draw your attention to a minor drawback here…

Unless you’re quite handy with DIY, you might find this bike a little awkward to assemble. You should give this due consideration before committing to purchase. Are you confident with this kind of practical job? Could you get assistance from someone? If so, once set up, you’re in for a treat.

8 levels of resistance should be enough for most beginners to intermediate athletes. While we’d like to see a little more variety, you have all main bases covered. Magnetic resistance makes for a silky smooth experience. As with all recumbents, you can harness a really intense cardio workout without jarring your joints like you would if you hit the sidewalk to go jogging.

Do you have one of those height-adjustable desks? If so, you can use the 300SR in tandem with that so you don’t waste any time at all. Get a quick workout in when you’re taking a screen break and keep hitting your fitness goals however busy your day.

If you’re prepared to tangle with the more involved assembly required on this bike, you’ll be delighted you made the investment. Get a non-contact workout from the comfort of your home gym saving you time and money without compromising your training program.

With weight capacity of 300 pounds, an impressively rugged build and all the experience Exerpeutic boast in this vertical, this is one of the best recumbents you’ll find so what are you waiting for?
Things We Like

  • Works well as a desk bike if you have a height-adjustable desk
  • Smooth flywheel for a seamless workout every time
  • Supports a generous 300-pound maximum weight

Things We Dislike

  • Not the easiest bike to assemble so bear this in mind if you’re not too practically-inclined

12. Marcy Regenerating Recumbent Bike

Marcy-Regenerating-Recumbent-Exercise-Bike-with-Adjustable-Seat

To round out today, we’ve got another entry from Marcy with the ME-706, a regenerating recumbent bike that doesn’t call out for any power supply. You won’t even need any batteries so you can pop this bike anywhere and you won’t face any niggling running costs.

If you’re a serious athlete looking to stretch yourself and pound the cardio day in, day out, this is not really the recumbent for you. While acceptable and fit for purpose, build quality is not the strongest. To be truthful, the bike feels lightweight and slightly flimsy. That said, if you only train on a casual and more occasional basis, this pocket-friendly bike could be a neat fit.

Since this recumbent powers itself up as you pedal, you won’t need a power supply and you won’t need any batteries either.

Flick between 23 different fitness programs so you can find something in line with your goals. You can manipulate the magnetic resistance through 24 progressive stages. Start gently and keep on tracking, hitting then exceeding your goals. You can do it!

There’s a sizeable display on the central console displaying all the data you’d expect. From speed an distance through to calories burned, keep on top of everything at a glance.

Ergonomics extend throughout this recumbent. The seat gives you all the padding and support you need, the adjustable pedals will keep your feet nice and snug and the recumbent handles add a valuable extra layer to your training.

If you’re looking for a gentle yet incredibly effective cardio machine to your smaller home gym, this compact gem from Marcy is well worth popping on your shortlist.
Things We Like

  • Self-regenerating power with the bike powered by pedaling so cut the cord and ditch the batteries
  • 23 programs to keep you stimulated
  • Choose from a wide band of 24 resistance levels so there’s something for everyone

Things We Dislike

  • Feels a little cheap and flimsy but you should peg your expectations with budget bikes

Conclusion

Well, by now you should have a decent overview of how to find the best recumbent exercise bike without too much time or trouble.

Whether you have lower-back pain and you need some extra support or you want a low-impact alternative to jogging, investing in a recumbent for your home gym is a superb way to get in a cardio session to die for whatever the weather without leaving home.

Don’t forget to bookmark the PrinceLA before you go. We’re sure you’ll be spending a lot more time indoors over the coming weeks so why not put that time to good use kitting out your beloved home and garden? Come back soon as we’ve got a busy content calendar in place for the coming month. We’ll see you soon!

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