What to consider before buying a recumbent exercise bike

A recumbent exercise bike is a stationary bicycle that allows the rider to recline in a comfortable and ergonomic position.

This type of stationary bike is often recommended for people who have back problems, as it reduces stress on the spine.

Exercise recumbent bikes also provide a more gentle workout than upright bikes and spin bike, making them ideal for seniors or those just starting out with exercise.

Many fitness centers offer recumbent bikes to their members, and they are also available for purchase online or at sporting goods stores.

This comfortable indoor bike has gained a lot of popularity among all levels of athletes in the last two decades.

Benefits of recumbent exercise bike

Indoor recumbent exercise bikes are built in a way so that the user sits on a seat lower towards the ground with the legs in front and a comfy backrest too. Unlike other types of bicycles where your legs come below you.

All indoor and outdoor bicycles have several benefits in common (burning calories/providing cardiovascular exercise, also known as aerobic exercise, to help you stay fit and healthy), but in addition to cardiovascular exercise, the recumbent exercise bike provides comfort and safety to the back and joints.

  • Recumbent bikes utilize the muscles in the legs and thighs and help to tone your legs and glutes, gain confidence and increased strength, and is also a rehabilitation exercise to help elderly people integrate the sit-and-stand movement.
  • Recumbent cycling is safer than upright cycling and spinning because of the large seat, backrest and being lower to the ground.
  • Low impact workout on knees and hips, unlike many exercises that put pressure on your lower body and back.

Things to know before buying a good indoor recumbent exercise bike

If you are looking for a way to get your cardio at home You may want to consider purchasing a recumbent exercise bike.

Recumbent stationary bikes offer plenty of health benefits and can be a great addition to any workout routine. Here are ten things you should keep in mind when buying a recumbent bike:

Recumbent bike weight and height capacity

It’s always better to have wider options in height and weight, especially if someday you decide to sell it or let someone else use your recumbent bike. To make sure the bike fits your height, you would need to measure your inseams and check the exercise bike to see if they are compatible.

Adjustable seat and backrest

The recumbent exercise bike is famous for being comfortable and highly recommended for those with back problems because using the spin bike or upright bike can put too much pressure on them, often with the result of discouraging initially committed users. So, it’s important to make sure it’s both adjustable and has a soft seat. Preferably, the backrest is a mesh to let the air circulate to your back while cycling so you can stay longer and burn more calories with a recumbent bike.

Flywheel

When buying recumbent exercise bikes in the UK or US, Heavy flywheels and preferably perimeter-weighted flywheels are better for experiencing a natural pedalling and smooth momentum. I would say aim for recumbent exercise bikes that have flywheels heavier than 20-pounds.

Warranty

Go for a long solid warranty that covers both the frame and all parts of your recumbent bike, especially electric parts. Not all, but companies that trust in quality of their recumbent exercise bikes, like Schwinn, offer up to 3 years of parts warranty.

Step through design for effortless mounting and dismounting

It may not be a big of a deal for some while for some users it’s critical as they can’t raise their legs across the bike. Basically, stepping through means that you can walk on to the bike and without any hassle sit on the seat (just as you would sit on a chair) rather than lifting your leg up and cross it over the bike.

Backlit LCD display and laptop/tablet holder

When using the indoor recumbent bike you would be leaning backward and a bit far from the display screen so if it’s not backlit, it might be a bit hard to see the progress of your workout. Keep also in mind that sometimes you may want to use the bike in dark light. Most indoor recumbent bikes come with a second display holder so you can put your smartphone, tablet or even laptop to watch a movie, but it’s always better to check that and make sure it has this useful feature.

Preset programs

I love preset programs, especially if there are varieties other than just a few options. Some recumbent bikes under $1000 come with tens of preset programs that keep you motivated and challenged, it’s something you would really appreciate during the paddling session.

Resistance

It’s proven that magnetic tension resistance gives you a smoother ride, so it’s better to look for a recumbent bike with this feature. Preferably recumbent bikes in Canada or the US that come with electromagnetic resistance as they are more precise and efficient.

Cooling fan and speaker

Some models, often not those recumbent bikes under $500 come with a cooling fan to keep the user cool and a set of nice speakers to connect to your device and listen to music. The cooling fan comes in many level-speeds and the more it is the better.

Bluetooth and USB connectivity

It’s important to make sure your recumbent bike comes with USB and Bluetooth if you want to stay connected to your devices to upload and download data or simply charge your device while listening to it.

Your budget

Recumbent bikes can range in price from around $100 to several hundred dollars. decide how much you’re willing to spend before you start shopping. I have already used and reviewed the best recumbent stationary bikes under $1000.

4 Comments
  1. What brand is the best for your money. Do you offer free shipping?

    • Hi Anne, as you have probably already seen there is a countless number of exercise equipment companies manufacturing recumbent bikes. However, some leading fitness equipment brands that really stand out from the crowd for their quality and affordability are the Nautilus, Schwinn and
      3G Cardio. Note that these companies manufacture some of the best recumbent bikes for home use and not for commercial facilities.
      Our team here at Your Exercise Bike only review the fitness equipment. Amazon is responsible for selling and shipping them to you. Usually, the shipping is free for U.S. based customers.

  2. What bike would you recommend for me. I’m 70 yrs old and weigh300 lbs had knee replacement surgery and am starting a weight loss journey. I also have sever spinal stenosis. So will need a step thorough design that gives total body workout.

    • Hi Diane, thanks for stopping by
      I recommend both the HCI Fitness RXT-300 PhysioStep and also the Inspire Fitness Cardio Strider 3. They are both commercial quality, highly adjustable, easy to mount/dismount, and have very little impact on the knees and zero impact on the back and spine.

      But if you don’t want to spend much, I highly suggest the Sunny SF-RB4631. It is step-through, very affordable, has 350 weight capacity and silent magnetic resistance technology and offers full body workout. Except, the handlebars on this one don’t provide as comfortable and versatile workouts as the other two mentioned above. It also has a very low-tech computer.

      I hope it helps

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