Recumbent bikes are some of the most overlooked pieces of training equipment on the market today and many people shy away from these bikes due to the fact that they do not look as effective as the standard spinning bike. The recumbent bike is actually one of the best ways for beginners or any individuals who have had a hard day at the office to come home to and enjoy working out with.
Since recumbent bikes vary in quality and price, one can be tempted to easily just select the cheapest model and go with that for your workout routine, but the high-end recumbent bikes are actually designed to make life easier and more comfortable and many of them are advanced in technology to even include apps like iFit.
Because it can be such a daunting task to choose one of these bikes for your workout routine, we have decided to look a little deeper at some of the key features and make it easier for you to choose the best recumbent bike for your needs. We have done some in-depth research into some of the features and picked our set of top recumbent bikes that you could choose to get started this year.
Recumbent Bike Comparison Chart
Key Features to Consider
Recumbent bikes have a lot of common features, but the top recumbent bikes will give you that extra something to make your workout much more pleasurable and to make it less of a drag to get on the bike and actually start working out. Here are the top features that you should consider looking for when buying the best recumbent bike:
Stability is one of the common features that you should expect in a recumbent bike and the more stable the bike, the better your workout will be. Investing in a good recumbent bike with leg stabilizers is a must and you will also be peddling much more evenly and getting better results. If the bike does move and rattle around, you will get discouraged and this could spoil the entire bike workout.
After a long and hard day at the office, you will just want to come home and sit in a comfortable seat. If the recumbent bike is efficiently cushioned. You will be able to enjoy the workout more and there will be no need for you to add extra cushioning, or to constantly adjust the bike for comfort. The best recumbent bikes are generally designed with comfort in mind and will be a pleasure to workout with.
Versatility refers to the number of options the bike offers you compared to other training tools. In a decent recumbent bike, you should have a few good programs that you could select from to help you achieve your goals and the better these programs, the more weight you will drop once you work out with them. Versatility should also be in the stat tracking system and you should be capable of tracking multiple different stats and have yourself monitored.
Many people forget that they are not the only people who will be using these bikes and the more people in the household who are fitness conscious, the more the bike needs to be adjusted to meet everyone’s needs. Buying a fully adjustable recumbent bike is important and will ensure that you and your spouse can work out together and make the whole thing a family experience.
Emphasis should be put on safety and the bike should not put you in any danger. You should also look to ensure that the bike can be stopped immediately if needed to avoid any further damage to a muscle if it should get hurt. The bike should also be solid and not buckle and throw you off, thus keeping you safe throughout the entire workout routine.
Assembly is sometimes difficult and it can definitely be expensive to get someone from the company to do this for you. When searching for a recumbent bike, you should pay special attention to the assembly and note if you need any specialized tools to complete the job. If you are not into assembling the bike yourself, you could simply just call a friend or pay the added expert assembly fee.
Much like any other electronic piece of training equipment, maintenance is a must and the bike should be serviced every now and again to ensure that your bike does last a long time. The motor gears should all be cleaned a few times a year and this will cost you a few extra bucks unless you do have the skills to take the bike apart and do this yourself. Having an expert do it might be expensive, but you know that the job will be done correctly.
Warranties are important to any pieces of training equipment and when electronic are used, this becomes imperative. A decent warranty should have your entire bike covered and you will be able to train comfortably, knowing that if something goes wrong, the company has you protected. Many warranties also include the service plan to save you a few extra bucks.
These 8 features are what you will be looking for in any recumbent bike that you purchase and the better these features, the better the quality of your recumbent bike. We did not include the price in our selection since we believe that if you plan on buying a decent recumbent bike, you will be spending a little extra. There are; however, also cheaper models for those on a budget and these will also be great for the time being.
Tips & Tricks
We have decided to share three of our top tips with you when you are using a recumbent bike. These three tips are not fundamental, but they could be really beneficial to your workout routine and save you a few unnecessary hassles.
Wear Proper Footwear
Going barefoot or with flip-flops might be tempted, but this is not the way to do it. These other shoes might cause your feet to slip and this could potentially lead to some serious injuries. Any running or training shoe should be perfect for the job and you should also ensure that the shoe does have a closed front end to keep your toes secure and protected. Biking shoes are highly recommended.
Wear Workout Clothing
This might not seem important and many women sometimes do not feel comfortable wearing those tight shirts when they start working out. But, loose clothing might get stuck in the machine and will also hamper the movement of your legs whilst you are working out. With the right clothing, you should be more inclined to get better results and also have more freedom of movement.
Never forget about keeping the recumbent bike maintained and looked after. This will also improve the longevity of the bike and allow you to save money when the parts are becoming weaker and need to be replaced. The warranty on these bikes will also state that you should keep the bike fully maintained and have it serviced when the time arises.
Recumbent Bike Reviews
First, on our list, we have the Schwinn 230 Recumbent bike, which is rated as one of the most durable and value buys that you could make when searching for any recumbent bike. The bike features 2 LCD display screens and these screens are capable of giving you up to 22 preset exercise programs.
The recumbent bike also includes 20 resistance and those levels of resistance should also help those looking for a challenge and you will certainly never grow too fit or too strong to use this recumbent bike. Goal-tracking capabilities are built-in so you can set your own individual goals like time, distance and calories.
We love the seat rail slider that’s super easy to adjust to fit anyone, and we like the USB charging port even better. You can plug into the console to listen to your MP3’s through the console speakers, but we found the speakers in the bike can’t compare to the sound quality you get from any headphones (connected directly to your phone) like THESE.
The bike is actually quite affordable for the value it provides and the quality that you will receive. Unfortunately, the bike is quite hard to assemble, but if you are willing to pay a few extra bucks, you could have a professional come in and do the assembly process for you. It is also great to know that this recumbent bike is relatively quiet and you will not be waking up everyone when using it at night.
- Durable and stable design
- Easy to use for all family members and offers 2 user profiles
- Decent stat tracking
- Advanced programs and functionality
- Relatively affordable
- Needs to be assembled and this process is quite tricky
Next, we have the Exerpeutic 900XL recumbent bike. This beauty features the mycloudfitness app to monitor your workouts (time, distance and calories burned), 8 levels of magnetic resistance and a large adjustable desktop! That’s just for starters. Then, you get the benefit of an oversized seat which is no ordinary cushion. It uses aerodynamic healthcare technology which allows air to breathe through the fabric. The seat itself remains cool after hours of being sat upon! The seat can slide anywhere along the base and the overall bike can fit people from 5′ to 6′ in height comfortably. It can hold you nicely even if you weigh 300 pounds!
A smoother-than-average pedaling motion is attained via a proprietary “smooth torque” cranking system. We like the 3.5″ large window LCD display that shows distance, calories burned, time, speed, pulse and scan. The flywheel is precision balanced and when combined with the V-belt drive, the whole system is smooth and quiet. Leg stabilizers prevent any movement during exercise.
In terms of pricing, this recumbent bike is actually a bit on the pricey side for what you get, but we still recommend it for the value it provides.
- Great technology available in the Bluetooth fitness app
- Smooth operation
- Lots of adjustability
- Long legs may hit the bottom of the desk
- Potentially, the resistance felt while pedaling is inconsistent
The Marcy Company is one of the most trusted brands when it comes to developing fitness equipment and the ME 709 Recumbent Exercise bike certainly shows us why. The bike is actually quite basic in design and this is what keeps the price down and make it more affordable to the general public and to anyone looking to start working out.
The bike features 8 levels of resistance and these levels can easily be adjusted with a knob on the front of the bike. This works quite similar to that of spinning bikes and will definitely make it easier for you to jump between resistance levels and get the desired results you are looking for. The console is not that advance, but rather quite basic and will still track most of the important stats like distance and calories as you commence with your work out.
The pedals on the bike are also counterbalanced (but not to such an extreme as a balance bike) and this should ensure that you get the great even movement. The straps are also easy to use and tighten whilst you are riding and if you would like to move the bike occasionally, you will be happy to know that the bike does come with wheels, making it easier to move from area to area in the home.
In terms of pricing, the bike is also really cheap and affordable and will definitely be a decent buy for anyone looking to start working out. Since the bike is as basic as it is, you might also be able to self-assemble the bike, but having a professional help you is always the best way to ensure that the bike is stable and perfectly assembled.
- Very lightweight and portable
- Really cheap
- Can be self-assembled with limited skills
- Decent stat tracking capabilities
- Only features 8 resistance levels
Sometimes you are limited with space and might need something that can be folded up and packed away. Well, the Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent bike is just the bike you will need for these situations. The bike is really lightweight and can be folded up and moved to wherever you have your next workout session.
The bike also uses a magnetic tension control system with 8 levels of resistance and while this might not seem like much, it will still be sufficient enough to get you to a decent level of fitness before you feel like investing in a more advanced workout machine. To improve the overall comfort of your workout routine, a cushion has also been added to ensure that you can sit comfortably whilst working out.
The bike also features a decent LCD display and while this display might not be full of colors and fancy buttons, it will still have some decent stat tracking to keep you up to date on your progress and how far you have come, but the biggest selling point of this entire bike is the fact that it can be folded up and moved out of space when needed.
If comfort and versatility are what you are seeking, this bike should be perfect for you to use. The price on the bike is also really cheap and is probably the cheapest bike that we have on our list in 2017. Even though this bike might seem small and not as strong as the larger ones, it is still capable of holding up to 300lbs of maximum weight.
- Really durable
- Portable and lightweight
- Can be self-assembled
- Decent stat tracking
- Really cheap
- Only 8 resistance levels
The Elite RB recumbent bike packs a huge punch in the category of exercise bikes For the $1500 price tag I’d say it better! For starters, the comfort level is off the scale! The adjustable seat and back rest will conform to your body’s shape and ergonomics. It’s well-built but has a compact footprint of only 49 inches in length. In case you’re wondering why this bike didn’t make our number 1 or 2 spot, the reason is simply because of the level of “affordability”. It’s around 6 or 7 times the price of other adequate bikes.
Having said that, there’s a reason for it, so let’s unpack more! I mentioned the comfort level and in fact, it’s likely the most comfortable recumbent you’ll ever use, featuring an infinite Airflow mesh flex adjustable back rest reclining feature. The ergonomic pedals and frame round out a very comfort-centric machine. The frame is step-thru in design and it also features remote handle electronic buttons for easy programming.
A wireless chest strap heart rate monitor is included and it also has hand contact sensors if you choose not to wear the chest monitor. Finally, here’s a quick feature overview;
- 12 pre-set programs
- Manual/Quick Start programs
- 3 heart rate programs
- Hand held grips and wireless heart rate strap is included
- 16 magnetic resistance levels
- 3 Way multi-position adjustable seat
- 350 lb maximum user capacity
- 115 lb product weight
- Lifetime frame warranty and 7 year parts warranty (or 3 year parts warranty for commercial applications)
- Extremely durable
- Really functional with multiple programs
- Multiple resistance levels
- Decent warranty
- Good stat tracking
- Tough to self-assemble
- Very expensive
The NordicTrack Commercial Vr21 Exercise bike is definitely one of the top higher-end recumbent bikes on the market and it will also compete with any for your money. The bike is extremely durable and also quite heavy and while you might not be able to move the bike as easily from room to room, it will be very stable and you can be sure that the bike will not be moving about as you are working out.
The 20 lb inertia enhanced flywheel offers a pretty smooth workout with a natural stride. The 5-inch backlit LCD display allows you to track your progress. It’s heart rate monitor compatible (wireless chest strap) and offers OneTouch controls. There’s also a set of built-in sensors for heart rate readings during your workout.
The Vr21 comes with 32 workout apps made by certified personal trainers, so you’ll have extra help to achieve your goals. A fan is integrated to help you cool down during high-intensity workouts, and the wide foot pedals offer maximum versatility. In addition to all this, the bike offers an easy to mount and unmount “step-thru” design for convenience. We love the ventilated backrest and lumbar support and did I mention you can plug in your phone or tablet to listen to music through the integrated speakers? I just did, so there! Although truth be told, I much prefer listening with headphones directly connected to my phone.
In terms of pricing, we believe that this bike is definitely worth the price tag and you will also be getting your money’s worth with all of the additional features. The bike does lack a decent warranty and you will only be covered for one year and we also recommend taking the expert assembly due to the difficulty of actually assembling the bike yourself.
- Very durable design
- Decent price
- Compatible with wireless chest strap heart rate monitors
- Features 32 workout apps
- 350 lb capacity
- Hard to self-assemble
- Only features 1 user profile
Next, we have the Nautilus R614 recumbent bike and this bike is designed to also make life easier for you and to give you a total view of the stats that you have accomplished. Firstly, the bike is also really durable and also packs quite a bit of weight to ensure that you are stable and solidly planted to the ground when you are using it.
The bike also features 22 different workout programs and also 20 different levels of resistance for you to train with and to ensure that you never get too comfortable using the same level of resistance all the time. The 2 user profiles will also come in handy if you and the spouse decide that you would like to spend some time together working out.
Another great feature included in this recumbent bike is the fact that it can be connected to the myfitnesspal app and this app is a decent free app to help you track all of the calories you have consumed during the day, but now, you will also be able to see and indicate on the app more accurately, the number of calories that you have burnt up during your workout.
In terms of pricing, the bike is also quite fairly priced, but we would also recommend that you do take the expert assembly package to ensure that the bike is perfectly set up without any possible problems. The manufacturer also recommends using this package as it will ensure that everything is perfect and running smoothly.
- Great durability
- Offer good functionality and stat tracking
- Connects to the myfitnesspal app
- Smooth and quiet design
- Reasonably priced
- Expert assembly could be a little expensive
Coming in to round out our list is another capable and unusual recumbent bike. It’s a Sunny Health and Fitness model that offers you a bit of an arm workout in addition to your legs and heart! Lots of adjustability comes standard with the SF-RB4631. Wheels for transportation are included and it offers a weight capacity of 350 lbs. The large seat and back cushion are adjustable for various heights and it’s easy to do just that without awkward screws or bolts.
We appreciated the ease with which all users can change tension levels with a simple twist. It’s done with a knob that sits conveniently right in front of the user. There are 8 levels of resistance. Heart rate/pulse sensors are located on the hand rests on either side of your seat which is adjustable on the fly with no need to stop your workout to change positions.
- Excellent adjustability
- Works out arms in addition to legs
- Super-attractive price
- Not a well-known National name brand
Final Thoughts & Conclusion
We would like to thank you for reading this article and we certainly do hope that you have managed to find the right recumbent bike for your needs. In terms of recommendations, we would like to recommend the Schwinn brand for the value and the added features they have included to make working out much more of a pleasure. You can actually choose any of these 7 bikes and we believe that they all will give you a great working out experience.
Please share your thoughts on our selection in the comment section and let us know if we might have missed any of your favorites or if you have experiences with these above-mentioned recumbent bikes.