Top 5 Best Recumbent Bikes You Should Consider Before Buying One

Last Updated :- April 9th 2017

Before we get into a significant share of understanding about these types of bikes, ever wondered what the word Recumbent could mean? It simply means seated. So a Recumbent Bike refers to a sit-down bike that looks over-stretched with the peddler’s feet out in the front, while the peddler relaxes comfortably in an ergonomic seat in a weirdly shaped three diamond-frame. While the flow of the above-cited words might get you startled about the comfort of this machine, worry not. We are here to give you a balanced understanding of this dramatic exaggeration of a normal bike and provide you with its advantages and disadvantages when using them in your fitness routine.

Best Recumbent Bikes – The Winners!!

Top-End Pick – Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike

The first on our list is the Schwinn 270 that offers 25 levels of smooth resistance and further has a super flywheel feature that makes it easy to monitor your fitness goals. You’ll also find the heart rate monitor on the arms of the bike.

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Low-Budget Pick – Stamina Elite Total Body

The Stamina Elite is designed to put you in a semi-reclined position so you can work on the major muscles in your hips, thighs and buttocks, while you get a great cardiovascular workout. The convenient walk-through design makes getting on and off the bike easy.

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How to Find the Best Recumbent Bike?

However, there are a couple of more things that you need to keep in mind before buying an ideal recumbent bike for your daily workouts. These little things that most buyers miss make a big difference in your workout. To help you get a better bike, here are the 3 things you should know that many buyers miss:

  • Bike Seat: You would probably want a bike seat that is well padded and provides lumbar support. It should also be easily adjustable forward and backward. Also, consider the material at the back of the seat. Some bikes also offer a mesh back seat. This lets air circulate to your back as you cycle – so you stay cooler. If you tend to sweat heavily, or just work out heavily, you might want to get a mesh back instead of a solid back seat.
  • Foot Pedal Straps: This is another significant point that most buyers tend to miss. A lot of cheap bikes don’t give you straps to anchor your feet to the pedals. A recumbent bike without straps may cause your feet to slip off in the heat of your workout. So make sure you get a bike with straps included to keep your feet on the pedals.
  • Backlit Consoles: Again, several cheaply made bikes do not come with backlit consoles, so you’ll be straining to read the console as you pedal. To save your strain on your neck, make sure your bike console is backlit and easy to read.

While recumbent bikes are very popular in gyms and fitness clubs, they can help you get an excellent workout at home as well. So here’s our top four picks for you to suit the needs for your home fitness.

Best Recumbent Bikes 2017 – Top Recommendations

Here are the best recumbent bikes (machines) reviewed by Fitensity team. Let’s take a look at individual recumbent bike model.

Products
Product Name
Diamensions
Weight
Our Rating
13" L x 67" W x 27" H
86.6 lbs
4.6/5
52"L x 24" W x 49" H
121 lbs
4.7/5
Marcy ME 709 Recumbent Bike
55.5L x 25W x 37.5H
66lbs
4.2/5
64" L x 27.7" W x 49.9" H
81.6 lbs
4.3/5
19" L x 46" W x 33" H
86lbs
4.4/5

#1 Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike

Schwinn 270 Recumbent BikeThe first on our list is the Schwinn 270 that offers 25 levels of smooth resistance and further has a super flywheel feature that makes it easy to monitor your fitness goals. You’ll also find the heart rate monitor on the arms of the bike.

When it comes to comfort, this bike has it all. Padded seat with contoured leg area and a sliding seat system that adjusts easily for any user. The adjustable seat makes it very comfortable for riders to carry out a smooth cycling workout. The pedals are great but if you’re going by a slow pace you might feel a slight bounce back, however, once you get the momentum going it is pretty smooth. With transportable wheels in the front, it makes portability or any sort of movement very convenient and easy. The back of the unit has a low barded grab-on so if you have to move the machine, you can simply pick up the bar and move around easily with the wheels in the front.

The monitor has 4 different preset options; so you do not have to take the effort to enter your weight, height and age every time you use it. You can just go ahead to click Person1 or Person2. So, in case you’re living with a family of four people, you can keep your personal setting, only for your personal workout. On the right side of the monitor screen, you can see your heart rate, while on the left side you can keep a track of your intensity.

The three-speed cooling (high, medium, low) fan below the monitor makes your workout session enjoyable and comfortable and no matter how tall you’re you can adjust the panels up and down.

The in-console speakers on the media shelf with iPod or MP3 media input port can make your fitness routine, no matter how long it is, a lot of fun. You can watch movies on your iPad or read a book on your Kindle while working out as the machine comes with a charging point.

The DualTrack monitor system allows you to monitor up to 13 different display feedback options. This machine also comes with 29 in-built programs for an efficient workout session. This machine from Schwinn comes with a lot many inbuilt features that make for a smooth cycling workout like Bluetooth, heart rate monitoring, fans and speakers. And it is definitely a value for money!

#2 Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Bike

Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent BikeThe Stamina Elite is designed to put you in a semi-reclined position so you can work on the major muscles in your hips, thighs and buttocks, while you get a great cardiovascular workout. The convenient walk-through design makes getting on and off the bike easy. Its comfortable padded seat is adjustable to put you in a perfect cycling position.

The Stamina Elite boasts of comfortable pedals for the hands as well as feet offering a complete workout for your entire body with an impact but impressive resistance. You can pedal using the rotating handlebars to turn your upper body, working your arms, shoulders and back.

Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Bike has 8-levels of quite magnetic resistance with the availability to increase your decrease your intensity without interrupting your workout. With 8-levels to choose from, your workout routine can vary every day.

You can use the multi-function electronic monitor to keep you motivated and on track. The battery-operated electronic monitor measures speed, calories burnt, distance, pulse, heart rate, workout time, and scans. It has an inbuilt pulsometer too. The pulse sensors located in the stationery handles will take your pulse to display on the electronic monitor.

Exercising on the Stamina Elite bike is extremely comfortable and is highly recommended for users who wish to work on raising their metabolism. Its low-impact but impressive resistance and it being easy on the joints makes it recommendable to certain physical therapy patients too. Like we had mentioned earlier, that a very important point to consider while buying a recumbent bike is that it should be well padded and have lumbar support, well, you have both the features in this machine along with cushioned seat.

#3 Marcy ME 709 Recumbent Bike

Marcy ME 709 Recumbent BikeAt number three, the Marcy ME 709 is a low cast option perfect for the budget minded individual. Despite its low cast, it feels surprisingly stable even when biking at high speeds. With 8-levels of preset resistance that helps to maintain effective workout. These levels of resistance mean that you can choose a level of resistance that best suits your routinely needs and wants. For instance, you can choose a lower level of resistance in case you’re still recovering from a knee injury and then increase the level of resistance as you gain more muscular strength and increase your performance.

The Marcy ME 709 has a step-through frame, which makes it easy to step on and off the recumbent bike; even an elderly person can easily step on and off the bike especially if the handlebars are used for balance.

This bike also has a large LCD console, which shows your workout data mainly your speed for each session, distance covered, time and calories burnt. Each user can set the display in two ways namely rotate the information or set it to a single option.

The pedals are counterbalanced with adjustable foot straps, which means that you can spend more than an hour enjoying the workout. The counterbalanced pedals with adjustable straps create a low impact pressure on the joints. The oversized seat makes for a comfortable workout routine and can be adjusted to accommodate your body size. The legs can also be rotated either forward or backward does allow for riding in any direction, as well as allowing for appropriate adjustments depending on your height. This means that you can also adjust the distance between the pedals and your seat for more comfort.

One of the most important benefits of using the Marcy ME 709 is the opportunity to adjust the resistance levels based on your fitness goals, physical condition and personal mood for the day. It also boasts of an easily adjust tension-tightening knob serving for different fitness levels. The Marcy ME 709 has a compact design with adjustable levels of resistance, a durable frame, and an informative display all of which contributes to its popularity among fitness fans as well as personal trainers.

#4 Diamondback Fitness 510SR Recumbent Bike

Diamondback Fitness 510SR Recumbent BikeAt number four, the Diamondback Fitness 510SR Recumbent Bike is packed with features for those who want a versatile workout option and super plush padding on the seat for optimum comfort. It comes pre-programmed with 20 unique workout programs that include target heart rate goals, with 16-levels of resistance.

The 510SR has a solid endurable frame and its heavy weight makes the product stable. With a good design and a comfortable sculptured seat base and ventilated back, this bike comes with a smooth and quite frictionless eddy current braking. The backrest can be adjusted according to your height that can hardly be found in other recumbent bikes.

An LCD display provides real-time feedback and is designed to minimize back stress, and is very quite even when using high resistance. It has added features of integrated speaker system for music connectivity and can be connected to an iPod or MP3 player. The 510SR features a scrolling message display, a multi-directional cooling fan and a convenient beverage holder.

Foldout magazine rack and a cup holder are also installed in the equipment so you can enjoy your riding routine like a boss! This will make your workout, not just a need or a habit but a pleasure. The QuickSet programs not just makes altering resistance levels an easy task but also helps in accessing the menu in a fleet of a second.

With features like a magazine rack, a cup holder, a cooling fan, a backlit LCD display providing real-time feedback, an auxiliary music source input the Diamondback 910SR is an excellent value for money product that you will not regret buying. It takes the pressure of the back and upper body while delivering an extremely effective workout for the lower half. It is ideal for every one from beginner to fitness fanatics.

#5 Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike

Schwinn 230 Recumbent BikeThe Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike comes with a Dual Track LCD Window System. It boasts of a USB charging port and data exchange to Schwinn Connect and myfitnesspal.com to help you keep track of your progress. There are 20-levels of eddy current resistance aligned with a high speed, high inertia perimeter weighted flywheel. There is a slider seat rail system with quick, easy fore and aft adjustment that further comes with an ergonomically placed grip heart rate monitor.

With 22 built-in programs coming with 2 user settings and a goal tracking, the Schwinn 230 dual LCD window system gives 13 display feedbacks. There are 10 resistance quick keys for increasing or decreasing difficulty and has a weight capacity of up to 300lbs.

This recumbent bike delivers a challenging workout in a relaxed position with increased lower back support. Its vented contoured seat adjusts in the fore/aft positions with sliding seat rail to accommodate a variety of positions for multiple users. This relaxed body positioning and lower-back support let you ride in maximum comfort.

The Schwinn 230 also features a new oversized console that makes tracking your progress easier than ever. Schwinn Connect goal tracking and data export keep you aware of your progress as you focus on your fitness goals. Its large vented seat back with lumbar support for lumbar support and cooling make your workout effective and comfortable. Further, its slider seat rail system has an easy to operate leveler system.

With 22 workout programs, 9-course profiles, 20 resistance levels, a high-speed high inertia perimeter weighted flywheel, in-console speakers USB charging port, media rack and contact heart rate monitoring built into the handlebars this riding machine can be an excellent purchase.

#6 Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike

Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent BikeThe Exerpeutic 400XL is a compact sized foldable exercise bike with an easy-to-read console display. Its precision balanced flywheel offers 8 levels of magnetic tension and control system. The 400XL is ranked as one of the top selling products on Amazon.com. Its LCD display tracks your distance, calories burnt, time, and heart rate. The Pulse Monitor keeps a track of your heart rate while working out. It has a semi-recumbent design for easy mount and dismount. The oversized pedals are equipped with a safety strap. It is very easy to get on and off the bike, providing a more comfortable and effective workout with up to 300 pounds weight capacity.

It easily folds to half of the full size for storage and transportation purpose. Further, the leg stabilizer ensures safe operation. The bike also includes an 8 level magnetic tension control system so you can find the right resistance for your training goals. Turning the knob just below the console can set the amount of resistance you desire for your workout. It has a 3-piece high torque crank system that provides for a smooth, quite and consistent peddling motion. The bike has a V-belt double-drive transmission system.

The 400XL is space efficient with its large seat cushion and back rest that provides for a comfortable riding session, further making it easy to use for users prone to back pain or troublesome aches. The handlebars coated on either side of your seat includes pulse sensors which when you grip for keeping a check on your heart rate during your workout. The larger pedal design with safety straps prevents any foot slippage when exercising. Extended leg stabilizers prevent any movement or tripping.

Its precision balanced flywheel and V-belt double-drive transmission provide you a smooth and quiet operation. You can watch TV or listen to music while working out with no interference. It is designed to give you comfort and safety while exercising. The Exerpeutic 400Xl Recumbent Bike comes packed with features yet is easy to use and store.

#7 Velocity Exercise CHB R2101

Velocity Exercise CHB R2101The Velocity Exercise CHB R2101 provides users an effective and challenging workout in the comfort of their own home. Compact and sturdy, the CHB R2101 provides many of the features and functions that can be found on higher priced recumbent bikes such as manually adjustable 8-levels of resistance and comfortable seat surface with padded handles. It further boasts of providing a magnetic control system, which can be used to adjust resistance based on your experience or as an additional challenge to their workout.

The peddling system comes with a 3-piece exo-crank system with adjustable pedal straps. The seating area is adjustable to accommodate a variety of user heights. Along the seating area, the user will find wrapped handlebars for stability, which also feature convenient heart rate monitors integrated right into the handles.

Other significant features of the Velocity CHB R2101 include a large easy-to-read digital LCD display monitor. The monitor functions include time, speed, RPM, distance covered, calories burnt and heart rate.

The oversized resistance knob allows you to choose from 8 variant levels of resistance. It also comes with 2 small transport wheels for easy movement and transport.

Wrap Up – Recumbent Bikes

We hope our search for the top four picks of the best Recumbent Bikes has helped you in deciding on this effective purchase. A Recumbent Bike is an excellent choice for your cardiovascular health improvement and your daily workout routine. Exercise bikes have been around as means of exercise for many years from now. Most of the people prefer exercising on exercise bikes in the gym or at home to match up their weight loss, body shaping and cardio fitness goals.

Having come with the sculptured bucket seat, recumbent bikes allow you to sit back comfortably and pedal on the ground with their lowered seat almost in line with the pedals. Therefore a trainer can sit back and workout efficiently on a recumbent bike without any stiff back or saddle soaring problems. So needless to mention, they are excellent for people with back problems as the seats are typically wider and provide support with little pressure on the bike while rising.

These fitness bikes are easy enough for even the most sedentary beginners, and they usually offer fitness programs that keep the workout from becoming mundane.

Let us give you a quick tip! The best way to get the maximum benefit out of a workout on a recumbent bike is by going in intervals. Interval training with alternate intense bouts of an activity with less-intense sequences will help you get the best workout benefit. With all of these user-friendly characteristics it still goes on to give you an excellent cardio workout routine and undoubtedly they are the safest workout machines you’ll ever find.

33 comments

    1. The pains that are on the neck, back as well as shoulders is one that is most popular among people who have ridden upright bikes. The upright bikes are also known for straining the wrists and this is not the same for the recumbent bikes. Due to the flat and wide surfaced seat, the male impotence problem that may result from prolonged riding of the upright bikes has been solved. The comfortable riding throughout the riding experience while using recumbents has lessened cases of nerve trauma on hands as well as the neck.

  1. Are recumbents safe for people with some medical conditions? Who exactly are these bikes designed and meant for?

    1. Recumbent bikes have proved to be more comfortable and fun as compared to the upright bikes. This is due to the structure of the recumbents. They are made to support body parts such as the neck and back that tend to get strained when riding on normal upright bikes. People with physical medical conditions may also find it easier to ride recumbents such as trikes.

  2. I am really concerned about the fact that I have never seen a single recumbent bike on the road. Why is this?

    1. There are reasons as to why most people have been resistant to recumbents. The recumbents are more costly as compared to the normal upright bikes. It is, therefore, normal that only cycling enthusiasts will be attracted into buying expensive bikes probably because they already know their advantages.

      The different looks that recumbents have as compared to the normal upright bikes are another factor that has made the recumbents unpopular among cyclists. Cyclists would rarely prefer looking odd as compared to their colleagues. The fact that recumbents are prohibited in bicycle racing competitions has also made them rare on most roads as they can only be used by people for touring and leisure.

      The issue of transportation from one place to the other is also important. The fact that trikes have been a challenge to load to normal vehicles has discouraged people from buying recumbents.

  3. I noticed that the pedals of a recumbent bike are placed in front of the rider as opposed to at the sides. This makes me wonder, are recumbents difficult to ride as compared to other bikes?

    1. There are different types of recumbents and the level of hardness in riding differs from one to the other. Some recumbents may prove to be harder to ride as compared to others. This is highly dependent on the intent of use for the bike. The recumbents are generally easier to ride as compared to the upright bikes. The ease of riding a recumbent is, however, incomparable to the upright bikes. This is because there are no worries of the recumbents tipping over due to their high stability levels. The three step process of riding a recumbent involves, sitting on the seat, placing the feet on the pedals and finally riding off. It is that easy. The balance needed while riding is almost automatic while on the recumbent. Recumbents are therefore the easiest bikes to ride around even for starters as much as it may take up to three months to train the muscles needed for the rides.

  4. I want a recumbent bike to use for commuting from home to work. It goes without saying that I need something that is really fast. Are recumbents faster as compared to other bikes?

    1. The speed of the recumbents more or less like other bikes, depends on the rider rather than the bike itself. The more competent a rider is, the faster the recumbent will be and vice versa. However, speed is one of the factors that has been taken into consideration in the manufacture of recumbents. The carbon high racer recumbents are designed with the main focus being the speed. They can accelerate to high speeds, unlike other recumbent bikes. Apart from the high racer, other recumbents are made mainly for leisure riding and touring. This means that speed is not a primary concern for such bikes. It is wise for every rider to choose a bike that is designed for the riding type in which they are most interested. Trikes are also designed for different functions and it is notable that trike riders are most likely to be slower on bikes and vice versa.

      When it comes to using a recumbent bike as a mode of transport, you should be aware that not all countries allow recumbent bikes to be used on roads and highways. You should, therefore, check the rules and regulations of your country before committing to a recumbent bike.

    1. There are recumbent bikes that are made specifically for this purpose. The answer to this question is a yes. The wheels of such recumbents are made such that they are of a larger diameter which enhances stability and comfortability throughout the journey. Any recumbent bike can still be used for off road rides on roads that are not very rough. In the cases where the terrains are really rough, it is advisable to get recumbents that are made for the purpose of off-road riding.

  5. I am torn between buying a recumbent bike and an upright one. Why would one prefer recumbent bikes to the normal bikes? Help me decide.

    1. With a recumbent, the distance covered when riding is more as compared to when cycling while using the normal bikes. This is because recumbents are very comfortable and do not hurt as compared to other bikes that may strain parts of the body such as the neck and back. The longer the cycling distance, the more likely it is that riders will be in a position to experience more fun. There are health benefits that come along with increased mileage in cycling. The muscles get exercised without the worry of getting strained. The more the fun while cycling, the more the benefits there are for riders to enjoy. There is absolutely no cons associated with riding recumbents apart from the muscles that might be a little painful as one teaches themselves the riding of recumbents.

  6. My back acts up every time I exercise, can these bikes help with this problem? Also, is comfort assured when riding a recumbent bike?

    1. The main aim of designing recumbent bikes is to enhance comfort and they, therefore, provide the desired comfort. They are made in a manner such that there is no pressure that is exerted on the neck or back or any other part of the body. The seat of the recumbent is made such that the back remains fully supported throughout the ride. The view of the entire place is on display and there is no straining of the neck as one struggles to view what is on their way. The wide surface area of the seat supports the weight exerted on the seat by the rider. The comfort experienced when riding a recumbent is therefore indisputable.

  7. The seat and general position of a recumbent bike is inclined. This is great for riding on flat surfaces but, can recumbent bikes be used to ride up hills?

    1. Yes, recumbent bikes can be used to climb hills and they do this as good as the regular bikes or even better. However, prior to climbing hills using the recumbents, it is advisable that enough exercises be done as the muscles that will be put in use are not the same as those with regular bikes. This is possible with the leverage that is provided at the back of the seat of a recumbent bike. It should be noted that rather than standing on the pedals as on upright bikes, a rider will stay seated while riding on a hill using a recumbent bike. The supportive systems that come with recumbents are stable for hill climbing also.

  8. I have been hearing about these bikes for a while and I can’t help but wonder, what is a recumbent bike and how is it different from an upright one?

    1. These are a class of bikes which are different from the normal bikes as the position of the rider is usually a leaning (recumbent) position. The recumbent bikes are either hand powered or both hand and leg powered. Users have the freedom to choose the bikes that fit their needs. There are different types of recumbent bikes; those with two or three legs. You will also notice that the seat on a recumbent bike is lower and wider than that on an ordinary bike. Just like in the ordinary upright bike, you have stationary and mobile bikes when it comes to recumbent bikes. Both are an excellent choice for cardio but stationary bikes are more common.

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