Best Recumbent Bike Reviews 2018 – Buyer’s Guide

If you like history and are seeking the best recumbent exercise bicycle for your personal needs, you may wish to refer to Martin Kreig. He took it upon himself to compile the definitive history of the recumbent bike, and it’s a fascinating chronology.

Over time, the evolution of this popular piece of workout equipment has taken many forms and been given a long list of names. But, no matter what you choose call this fitness aid – upright exercise bike, gym cycle, stationary bike or recumbent bike – the engineering concept is fairly straightforward: You give your joints, back, neck and skeletal system a break by assuming a reclining position throughout your workout.

The gentle slope makes this exercise bike an ideal recovery machine for those who require rehabilitation following neck and back surgery. Recumbent bikes are the exercise equipment world’s equivalent of the zero-gravity chair, so using one can add years to your fitness life.


  • Sole Fitness LCR Bike


  • Dimensions: 30''W x50''H x 57''D
  • Weight Limit: 350 pounds
  • LCD Size: 9 Inches
  • Heart Rate Monitoring: Yes
  • Sound System: Mp3 Compatible
  • Assembly: DIY Easy & Straightforward
  • Frame Warranty: Life time

    Electronics & Parts Warranty: 3 years

    Labour Warranty: 1 year


  • Schwinn 270


  • Dimensions: 66.5''W x12.5''H x 27.5''D
  • Weight Limit: 350 pounds
  • LCD: 2 Blue Backlit LCD Displays
  • Heart Rate Monitoring: Contact & Telemetry Enabled
  • Sound System: Mp3 Compatible & external speakers
  • Assembly: DIY Easy & Straightforward
  • Frame Warranty: 10 years

    Electronics & Parts Warranty: 1 year & 2 years respectively

    Labour Warranty: 90 days


  • Exerpeutic 900XL


  • Dimensions: 54''W x22''H x 34.1''D
  • Weight Limit: 300 pounds
  • LCD: Backlit LCD Display
  • Heart Rate Monitoring: Yes
  • Sound System: No
  • Assembly: DIY Easy & Straightforward
  • Warranty: 1 year

best recumbent bike

In order to find a representative sampling of the most popular recumbent bikes on the market, we have analyzed reviews, read manufacturer’s literature, perused retail stores and browsed the Internet to identify recumbent equipment that is guaranteed to please your wallet, space and fitness needs. Then we picked 10 of the best to profile here.

If you’re already familiar with the biggest brand names in fitness bikes, you’ll recognize most of them, but we’ll introduce you to some you might never have heard about—one of which may be perfect for you!

Why Choose a Recumbent Bike?

According to Paul K. Nolan, MD who–for one reason or another–decided to turn his interest in recumbent biking into a clinical study, recumbent bikes are modern-day medical miracles because they do a great job of positioning the body properly while allowing the patient, athlete or fitness buff to get a decent workout while protecting vulnerable parts of the body.

Instead of precariously balancing a lot of weight (yours) on a little leather saddle (yours, too), body mass is equally distributed so your skeletal structure, and particularly your torso, can relax.

Recumbent bikes are frequently recommended by doctors and dieticians to overweight people who need exercise but aren’t able to balance on a regular fitness bike seat properly and safely. Seniors? Find recumbent exercise bikes everywhere from assisted living complexes to on-site gyms at independent living complexes.

But perhaps you’re saying, “I don’t want to relax! I want to work out.”

That’s exactly what you’ll do once you find the recumbent bike that suits your needs because while they’re easy on the skeletal system, recumbent exercise bikes deliver calorie-burning, heart-pleasing physical improvement results for all ages and stages of life and levels of physical fitness.

Best of all, recumbent exercise bikes will allow you to get the exercise you crave but you can kiss aches and pains associated with stationary bike workouts goodbye for good.

7 Great Medical Benefits you Receive from Recumbent Bikes

  1. Exercise to your heart’s content without developing saddle sores triggered by traditional exercise bike seats. Banana-style seats on stationary bikes are counter-intuitive for endurance. Instead, pedal away on a recumbent and you don’t have to stop unless you want to.
  2. Enjoy better blood circulation since you won’t compress vessels on a recumbent bike seat. “DermNet NZ warns that repeated mechanical injury caused by prolonged sitting on bicycle seats can cause pudendal nerve entrapment…” according to editors at Livestrong.com. If you already have circulation issues, you’ll welcome this news.
  3. According to Columbia Medical Center’s Department of Urology, the only way to avoid prostate problems is to keep upright bike activity time to no more than three hours a week. That may not be enough exercise time to achieve your goals.
  4. Women exercisers aren’t immune from exercise bike consequences, says “New York Times” blogger Anahad O’Connor. She cites a Yale research study concluding that female cyclists can suffer genital sensation loss. But recumbent bikes don’t trigger loss of feeling in that body region so women can ride as long as they like.
  5. Men and women can avoid pressure-related problems to the neuro-muscular system say doctors and fitness writers studying athletes who spend lots of time on traditional fitness bikes. “My whole pelvis hurts for days,” reports a frequent cyclist in a “Men’s Fitness” article. No such symptoms have been reported by recumbent bike fans.
  6. Choose a recumbent bike for its low center of gravity so your cycling experience is safer and more secure. Get on and off easily and without much effort. Discover even more comparative benefits at bicycleman.com. Assume the natural reclining position of a recumbent bike, the muscles of your butt get a better workout, adds the aforementioned Bicycle Man.
  7. Recumbent bikes are ideal ways to achieve fitness goals for those suffering circulatory ailments not confined to the lower torso. By moving from a regular exercise bike to a recumbent model, numb hands and fingers aggravated by extended periods of hyper-extension literally disappear. Who wouldn’t achieve a better workout when an exerciser isn’t beset by tingling and numbness in their extremities?

Best Recumbent Bike 2018

Below is a table showing the Top 10 Recumbent Bikes of 2018. These bikes were chosen because they each offer something special. There is a range of price levels and a range of functions, with a good match for just about everyone somewhere on the list.

Bike NameWeight CapacityDiementions: (W x H x D)Price
Sole Fitness LCR Light Commercial Recumbent Bike
(Editor’s Choice)
350 pounds30''x50''x 57''
Check Price
Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike300 pounds27.7''x49.9''x 64''
Check Price
Exerpeutic 900XL Extended Capacity Recumbent Bike300 pounds22''x34''x 54''
Check Price
Marcy ME 709 Recumbent Exercise Bike300 pounds55.5''x25''x 37.5''
Check Price
Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike300 pounds64''x27''x 50''
Check Price
ProForm 440 ES Exercise Bike350 pounds33''x19''x 46''
Check Price
Velocity Exercise CHB-R2101 Recumbent Exercise Bike250 pounds24''x38''x 53''
Check Price
Stamina 1350 Magnetic Resistance Recumbent Bike250 pounds24''x33.5''x 50''
Check Price
ProGear 555LXT Magnetic Tension Recumbent Bike250 pounds22''x43''x 49''
Check Price
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RB4602 Recumbent Bike350 pounds27''x37''x 61''
Check Price

You owe it to yourself to compare the information on this table for numerous reasons. Social scientists have looked at buying decisions through the lens of human behavior and found too many cases of “buyer’s remorse” in people they query.

As a matter of fact, some shoppers have been known to grow confused when confronted with as few as 7 choices. Eliminate that quandary when you shop by defining parameters before you visit retailers and peruse Internet sites.

Do you know exactly what you’re looking for? Do you have a budget in mind? If you live in a studio apartment with a Golden Retriever do you have the room it takes to stow a recumbent bike without having to sleep in your bathtub?

Elimination can be the best tool in your arsenal as you weigh features and benefits. For example, eliminate recumbent bikes take up too much space; those that bust your budget and brands you don’t recognize, crafting a short list can empower rather than confuse you. This web page can help you further if decision making isn’t your strong suit.

Oh, and if your friends own fitness equipment and/or you’ve got access to a gym, turn yourself into a social scientist and ask everyone you trust for their advice. You may already notice that the world is filled with people delighted to share their opinions. A good place to start? With our 10 recommendations.

1. Sole Fitness LCR Light Commercial Recumbent Bike – The Cadillac of Recumbent Bikes

About the manufacturer: Sole’s reputation for providing the best industrial-grade fitness equipment to shoppers throughout North America has grown faster than most in the five years Sole Fitness LCR Light Commercial Recumbent Bikesince the company’s startup. The brand intends to continue focusing on both commercial (especially hotel fitness rooms) and residential use, so if you’ve got a healthy budget and the room, your search may begin and end right here.

Features and benefits

The Sole has been called the Cadillac of recumbent bikes and not just because it costs more than comparable pieces of equipment. It’s comfortable, dependable and designed especially for fitness studios, therapy clinics, community and home recreation centers—and if your place is big enough, your home gym.

The seat is adjustable as are the handlebars and the unit comes with 6-standard, 2-custom and 2-heart rate programs that may even exceed your need for bells and whistles. Additionally, the built-in fan and state-of-the-art LCD console are designed to impress as a result of both design and functionality.

Outfitted for athletes who want to keep tabs on their heart rates, this recumbent bike offers both pulse grip and chest strap heart rate monitoring, thus a strap comes with the unit.

If you like the semi-recumbent platform and are sick and tired of wimpy pedals, this could become your favorite piece of exercise equipment because Sole pedals are oversized and feature ECB resistance.

Require diversion? Who doesn’t! This Sole exercise hub is MP3 compatible so the sound system could make a difference between sticking to your workout and quitting early. Little touches like the water bottle holder that reminds you to stay hydrated and stellar engineering separate the Sole brand from competitors.

This solid equipment measures 30-inches wide, 50-inches high and it’s 57-inches deep. Both the frame and the seat are designed to accommodate exercisers who weigh up to 350 pounds.

Manufacture’s warranties are impressive: a year on labor; three years on electronics and both the parts and frame are guaranteed against defects for the life of the product, so expect this recumbent bike to be with you for many years to come.

PROS
  • Straightforward assembly directions get exercisers up and pedaling quickly.
  • This recumbent is easy on the knees and knee joints; arthritis sufferers can get the workout they desire.
  • Thanks to electronics, users receive a steady stream of information to monitor performance and heart rate.
  • The lifetime frame warranty and other limited warrantees match or exceed benefits of comparable products.
  • You get 6 heart rate programs, so this is the ideal recumbent bike for exercise, rehab and therapy.
CONS
  • Price could be a deal-breaker despite so many excellent features and qualities.
  • For short people, reaching the pedals—despite their size—could be difficult to impossible.
  • You may not need this many bells and whistles if all you want is a daily workout that’s easy on the knees.
  • Third-party pricing can make finding this bike at the best price a task.
  • The size could present problems for those living in confined quarters with little room to spare for equipment.

 

2. Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike – America’s Most Respected Brand

About the manufacturer: The Schwinn brand is synonymous with America’s history, having been founded in 1891 by German-born Ignaz Schwinn whose mechanical engineering degree Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bikecame in handy when he launched his Chicago-based bicycle business. Once the biggest and most well-known brand in the U.S., competition led to bankruptcy in 1992, but Pacific Cycle (owned by Dorel Industries) brought this iconic bicycle company back to life so future generations can enjoy the same history bicyclists enjoyed more than 100 years ago.

Features and Benefits

While some brands of recumbent bicycles are engineered with a single LCD window system, shoppers get twice the functionality with the Schwinn 270 thanks to two window panels loaded with information. This much data surface is required to keep track of 13 displays on feedback monitors.

At the heart of the system is Schwinn Connect, a program that collects data on the progress of the recumbent biker and reports back on progress in real time so riders reach their fitness goals thanks to this information feed.

In total, the Schwinn 270 recumbent bike offers users 29 programs so there’s no aspect of progress that gets lost. Additionally, there are 4 user settings and 25 levels of resistance that challenge people of all fitness levels, keeping them motivated and up-to-date.

This Schwinn 270 features a proprietary high-speed inertia mechanism and a perimeter-weighted flywheel engineered to keep the noise down and make the cycling experience smooth and lively.

The easy-access, charging USB port is ready to accept anything with proper plug-in capacity so the rider enjoys seamless data exchange during a workout in addition to comfort and a low profile so getting on and off is a breeze.

PROS
  • From the perspective of nostalgia, no bike has a better pedigree than a Schwinn.
  • Download the Schwinn Trainer app (SchwinnConnect.com) to keep your workout on schedule and on target.
  • Enjoy Bluetooth capability so you can synch Schwinn Trainer with MyFitnessPal if you like using this app.
  • Heart rate monitoring sensors keep cardio efforts on track and monitored in real time via hand contact.
  • The padded seat and seatback are comfortable even for long periods of time; you’ll love the 3-speed fan.
CONS
  • You could run into difficulties when adjusting the seat slide feature because it’s hidden way under the seat.
  • Brand loyalists may wish to spend a little more and get the newer iteration of the 270 that costs about $800.
  • If you have difficulty peddling, even the lowest resistance setting could to be too high for your physical limits.
  • Rather than a metal frame, this bike is manufactured of plastic and prone to squeaks and scratching.
  • If you insist on products made in the U.S., it’s important to know that this bike is fabricated in China.

 

3. Exerpeutic 900XL Extended Capacity Recumbent Bike – Safety Credentials You Can Count On

About the manufacturer: The Exerpeutic brand is owned and operated by Paradigm Health & Wellness located in Southern California. The company is committed to producing and Exerpeutic 900XL Extended Capacity Recumbent Bikesupplying fitness equipment featuring the latest in engineering, design and function. Literally geared to the consumer market, Paradigm’s product library includes inversion systems, treadmills and standard exercise bikes, but the brand is particularly focused on a wide range of recumbent bikes that come in myriad price points to satisfy brand loyalists on various budgets. Paradigm takes particular pride in its safety certifications that include UL/CUL, ETL/CETL and CE/ROHS.

Features and Benefits

Looking for a recumbent stationary bike designed to pump up your cardiovascular work while making sure your joints, back and neck aren’t subjected to the stress and strain of a regular exercise bike? This affordable Exerpeutic recumbent may fit all of the criteria on your short list.

Features include a signature 8-level Magnetic Tension Control System so you can experiment before finding exactly the customized ride you seek and then adjust that setting once you’ve increased your stamina levels and require a harder workout.

No need to wear your glasses when you ride this fitness equipment since the LCD display delivers large and crisp data (a feature seniors love) so no matter what facet of your workout you want to track, receive accurate reports of calories burned, heart rate, the distance you’ve “traveled” plus your speed and elapsed time.

There’s a 3-year limited manufacturer’s warranty on this affordable recumbent bike and if you’re squeezed for space but don’t want to join a gym to get your workout.

This Experpeutic recumbent bike weighs only 63-pounds so it’s easy to move around. For those with limited floor space, this equipment occupies little space at 22-inches wide, 34-inches high and 54-inches deep.

Riders can weigh up to 300 pounds, so this Exerpeutic model is ideal for those employing both exercise and diet to slim down and get fit.

PROS
  • Easy access and no acrobatics required to get on and off this ideally-sized recumbent bike with its low center of gravity.
  • This unit is easy to assemble; once it’s up and running, pedaling—-backward and forward–won’t stress out your joints.
  • Quiet and sturdy, this Exerpeutic brand recumbent won’t annoy your neighbors or roommates.
  • Despite the affordable price, brand-loyal users report years of excellent service without complaints or returns.
  • Delivers a smooth, distinct pedaling experience for those who can’t ride regular stationary bikes.
CONS
  • The seat cushion may not meet your comfort standards; it’s rather hard compared to comparable bike seats.
  • Not engineered for children as the seat won’t move forward enough to accommodate little ones.
  • Though some find the 63-pound weight to be manageable, there are no rollers beneath the unit to help you relocate this recumbent bike should you need to do so.
  • Based on returns to the manufacturer, some damaged inner workings have been reported by owners.
  • You might want to consider the newer model (Exerpeutic Gold) with 21 workout programs at $230.

 

4. Marcy ME 709 Recumbent Exercise Bike – Most Affordable Recumbent on the Market

About the manufacturer: Walter Marcyan’s life story is as interesting as his fitness products. A vaudeville strongman from 1934 to 1940, he won an AAU Light Heavyweight Lifting Marcy ME 709 Recumbent Exercise BikeChampionship before turning his attention to establishing a fitness equipment business during what’s been called the Arnold Schwarzenegger/Jack LaLanne era. Marcyan opened 7 gyms in the Los Angeles area offering memberships to men, women and children. By the 1950s, he began equipping them with strength-training equipment of his own design—patented exercise products that continue to sell as well now as they did more than 50 years ago.

Features and Benefits

This sleek-looking ME 709 recumbent bike in black, gray and copper matches any décor so if you’re worried that it may look too industrial in your living space, you can relax.

There are 8 levels of preset resistance from which to choose. Unlike some bikes that place controls in hard-to-reach places, the Marcy offers riders a large, handy, easy-to-access control knob for tension adjustments on the fly.

The roomy console perched above the bike gives you the data you require to measure your progress: Calories burned, time on the bike, the distance you’ve metaphorically traveled and the speed you’ve achieved. Keep track of those numbers as you work your way through fitness levels from beginner to accomplished.

This recumbent bike weighs about 66 pounds, but unlike the aforementioned Exerpeutic, moving it won’t require hiring a crew since there are built-in transport wheels to help you do the job.

This tidy piece of equipment is big enough to make things comfortable for the rider but trim enough to fit neatly into a small amount of floor space at 55.5-inches wide, 25-inches high and 37.5-inches deep.

If you’re just getting your bearings on a recumbent bike, the adjustable foot straps keep your feet securely on the pedals throughout your workout, so riders feel confident that they can push their limits without experiencing pedal slippage.

PROS
  • At just $117, this recumbent bike is one of the most affordable models you’ll find on today’s fitness market.
  • If you barely know your way around a screwdriver, putting this together on your own shouldn’t be a problem.
  • The ideal starter recumbent bike if you really need to begin exercising but your wallet begs to differ.
  • Quiet and sturdy, the adjustment features help one go from newbie to fit without sophisticated electronics.
  • Expect excellent customer service if you have questions or concerns about the recumbent bike or your purchase.
CONS
  • Not the best recumbent bike on the market if you have long legs due to the unit’s size.
  • This bike is the definition of basic, so as long as you don’t crave bells and whistles, it should work for you.
  • Not everyone finds the seat to be comfortable enough to stay on the bike for extended periods of time.
  • Even on the highest setting, some exercisers complain that the resistance is too low to advance one’s fitness agenda.
  • You could experience annoying squeaking sounds as a result of this bike’s engineering so you may wish to invest in a headset if you are easily distracted.

 

5. Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike – Health-Club Approved for Long Life

About the manufacturer: Nautilus has been both a household name and a familiar brand at health clubs and gyms for more than 40 years. As a matter of fact, it’s become a mega-brand Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bikeover those four decades, producing cardio, strength and workout equipment under these proprietary brand names in addition to Nautilus: Bowflex, Universal and Octane Fitness. Availability is amazing: consumers can tap retail and direct channels to obtain equipment sold under all of these labels, but if you prefer an original brand name, the Nautilus R616 delivers.

Features and Benefits

You likely got a clue from the suggested price that this is no stripped-down recumbent bike. In fact, the Nautilus R616 would be a nice addition to NASA’s facility if it wasn’t a piece of exercise equipment! The control panel features a double-screen display with blue LCD background that is backlit for contrast.

Keep tabs on your activity courtesy of 13 workout levels and access to 29 different programs. You create a user profile to meet your level of fitness, goals and objectives and choose from 25 levels of resistance to get going.

If you can’t disconnect from the rest of your life you don’t have to: Bluetooth LE connectivity and a charging USB port are on standby for uninterrupted conversations.

When you don’t want to listen to anyone else drone on, tap your playlist and lose yourself in the unit’s acoustically-balanced and chambered speakers. Need direction or coaching? Take advantage of the MyFitnessPal app.

This Nautilus recumbent bike gets rave reviews from exercisers who have become fed up uncomfortable seats and back supports. The contoured back design of this Nautilus seat earns rave reviews.

Further, riders stay cool and comfortable no matter how hard they push limits because the padded surfaces of the seat are ventilated. If you sweat a lot, this feature alone could win you over.

PROS
  • Few recumbent bikes at this price level offer this much comfort in terms of ergonomic seat design and ventilation.
  • The fully-functional control panel is easy to learn and easier to operate, even for non-techies.
  • Look forward to even pressure and smooth operation courtesy of excellent engineering and material.
  • Quick assembly for anyone who can read easy directions provided by Nautilus.
  • The heart rate tracker is one this recumbent bike’s most popular and often-referenced features.
CONS
  • The unique seat and backrest some buyers rave about isn’t universally popular, according to returns.
  • Pedal alignment could be a problem for those with leg and knee issues.
  • If you don’t need this many programs, save a bundle by choosing a simpler bike.
  • Incidents of flywheel replacement triggered by banging sounds have been reported; don’t lose the warranty.
  • Not everyone finds assembly easy; some insist it’s impossible. If you’re not mechanically inclined, get professional help just in case.

 

6. ProForm 440 ES Exercise Bike – From the Brand Partnering with the Tour de France

About the manufacturer: If pedigrees impress you more than affordability, you owe it to yourself to learn more about ProForm, the company behind the 440ES exercise bike. ProForm ProForm 440 ES Exercise Bikepartners with Le Tour de France and the Boston Athletic Association, sponsors of the Boston Marathon. The company has been building its reputation and profile for 30+ years, so it’s no fly-by-night manufacturer. While building a solid, recognizable brand has been a ProForm objective, the company’s research and development department hasn’t been sitting around: they hold more than 100 patents for their proprietary fitness equipment.

Features and Benefits

If you’re sick and tired of recumbent bikes that promise comfortable seats but have yet to deliver, the ProForm 440 ES could have your name written all over it. Not only is the seat comfortable enough to sustain long workouts but ergonomic design supports the back nicely.

No gymnastics are required to adjust that seat because the mechanism is close and handy so the seat glides into the position you seek effortlessly.

The ProForm console display is backlit while in display mode but if you prefer to use your tablet or listen to music (iPod compatibility and two speakers make that possible), that’s your choice because this recumbent exercise bike is designed to accommodate your needs.

Access 32 pre-set workout apps and enjoy longer bike time because the Coolaire workout fan will keep you comfortable from start to finish.

This recumbent bike features an EKG grip pulse mechanism so capturing and reporting your heart rate gives you the information you need to judge whether or not you’re working to capacity.

Signature features like the Bluetooth Smart receiver keep you connected to the rest of the world. The front-mounted transport wheels allow you to move this recumbent bike around fairly easily.

Receive lifetime frame, 2-year parts and 1-year labor warranties. Weight capacity is 350 pounds. That stated, this is a popular seller so if you see it, grab it so you’re not left waiting for product restocking.

PROS
  • Enjoy the equivalent of commercial fitness equipment for about one-third of the cost.
  • Weighing over 150 pounds, this recumbent bike is solid and sturdy so you can forget about instability issues.
  • The variety of programs accessible via the console is impressive; program options suit myriad fitness levels.
  • Smooth, silent pedal action courtesy of the beefy 18-pound flywheel makes this model a popular pick.
  • An excellent choice for those seeking program guidance to maximize long-term fitness goals and objectives.
CONS
  • Assembly can be tricky and time consuming if you’re not comfortable using a crescent wrench and other tools.
  • For large men and women, the seat may not be comfortable nor wide enough and the seat back isn’t adjustable.
  • Not recommended for those with knee problems. The diagonal base makes it hard and painful to get on and off.
  • Dissatisfied shoppers report problems sorting out returns despite using the online return portal.
  • Don’t neglect lubricating parts or you could wind up with annoying squeaks just months into ownership.

 

7. Velocity Exercise CHB-R2101 Recumbent Exercise Bike – Outstanding Distribution Network and Excellent Pricing

About the manufacturer: Velocity Exercise equipment is part of CAP Barbell, a 25-year-old distributor of fitness equipment. At start-up, Velocity produced only free weights and weight Velocity Exercise CHB-R2101 Recumbent Exercise Bikebenches, but an expanding network of retailers helped grow this company’s product library to more than 1,000 products in 30 categories. Suppliers of equipment to gyms, community centers and other commercial facilities, CAP is focusing on fitness gear for homes, opening distribution centers in Chicago, Los Angeles, Savannah and Houston to better serve customers throughout the U.S.

Features and Benefits

The Velocity CHB-R2101 is an affordable piece of equipment that suits the needs of those in the market for a recumbent bike who prefer not to spend a fortune. But just because this exercise bike doesn’t come with a pulse-raising price tag, that doesn’t mean it’s a stripped-down unit.

For starters, there are eight levels of preset resistances from which to choose so this recumbent can take you from newbie to advanced levels on your time schedule thanks to your ability to adjust them as you improve.

Additionally, the foot pedals are padded and come with adjustable straps so foot slippage isn’t a concern for those who have experienced this inconvenience in the past.

To ensure many years of enjoyment, the Velocity frame features a powder-coated finish added to protect the surface over time. Owners like the built-in transport wheels that allow them to move this recumbent bike if necessary.

Once you have assembled this recumbent bike by following manufacturer instructions, you’re ready for a comfortable, smooth ride courtesy of the two-way flywheel mechanism.

Obtain tracking basics on this bike’s large console display that connects with a hand indicator engineered to keep tabs on your pulse as you exercise. Additionally, obtain accurate reads on calories burned, speed, distance and the time you spend achieving goals via the large console.

The reclined seat design relieves lower and upper back strain. While this recumbent bike is engineered for people who weigh no more than 250 pounds, the unit isn’t flimsy, measuring a respectable 53-inches long, 24-inches wide and 38-inches high.

PROS
  • Comfortably fits most budgets yet construction is sturdy and solid.
  • Easy assembly instructions for anyone with a little technical expertise and basic tools.
  • The heart monitoring sensor wires are snugly affixed between the handlebars and seat bar.
  • The powder-coated frame can add years to the life of this recumbent bike’s frame.
  • Ideal for those who want some features but don’t necessarily require every bell and whistle under the sun.
CONS
  • Don’t start assembling until you’ve counted the bolts as you may not get enough to complete the project.
  • Armrest screws may also be in short supply when you unpack this bike, so verify that number immediately.
  • At just one speed, this recumbent bike may not allow you to progress as far as you might like over time.
  • Owners have reported console display problems from the get-go which could require disassembly and/or returns.
  • Customer service is only available during normal business hours so you may have to wait for help.

 

8. Stamina 1350 Magnetic Resistance Recumbent Bike – Company-backed Excellence to Spare

About the manufacturer: When founders launched the Stamina brand in 1987, a goal was penetrating the affordable fitness equipment market. Diversification? That’s this brand’s middle Stamina 1350 Magnetic Resistance Recumbent Bikename, which is why familiar brands like American Gladiator Home Gym, AeroPilates Performer, InStride Walker, the Body Dome and Gold’s Gym are actually Stamina products “under the hood.” Headquartered in Springfield, Missouri, Stamina intends to beat competition on commercial and residential fronts.

Features and Benefits

It’s always a good sign when a product is so popular, a retailer’s stock depletes quickly, and that’s exactly what we found when surveying online retailers selling the Stamina 1350 Magnetic Resistance Recumbent bike.

Purchasers are impressed by features like leveling caps that contribute to the bike’s stability. Get your hands on this Stamina 1350 and you can adjust the intensity of the magnetic resistance component easily using the accessible tension dial.

The padded, upholstered seat offers a user multiple seat positions and this bike can be easily rolled away when it’s not needed. Further, users are particularly complimentary about the handy handrails.

Tap into the features loaded into the Stamina InTouch console so you can monitor your speed, exercise time, distance and calories using the one-button control ideal for those who like things simple. Use the scan mode feature to track the progress of your workout. Numbers appearing on the control panel are so large, you could skip wearing your glasses.

Work major muscles against this recumbent bike’s heavy-weighted flywheel/belt drive train. Oversized pedals accommodate big feet and if you’ve had negative “on and off” issues in this past, this Stamina’s walk-through design will benefit you.

Manufactured for shoppers who weigh no more than 250 pounds, this bike is surprisingly compact at 50-inches long by 24-inches wide by 33.5-inches high. Receive a one-year warranty on the frame and 90 days’ coverage on parts.

PROS
  • This Stamina bike offers relatively easy assembly so it won’t take much time to get you up and moving.
  • Assembly instructions are so easy to follow, Stamina regularly receives fan mail from owners!
  • An ideal solution for people recovering from knee surgery who require at-home exercise therapy.
  • This bike is affordably priced, easily moved and compact enough to fit into small spaces.
  • The company stands behind this bike if you tend to worry about short-term return policies.
CONS
  • Reports of “clunking noises” while pedaling have been reported by purchasers; since the housing is sealed, troubleshooting may not be possible without cracking the housing.
  • If you are tall, the distance between seat and pedals may not offer the comfortable workout you seek.
  • Not everyone buying this bike finds the resistance to be adequate for their workout needs and goals.
  • If you weigh more than 250 pounds, keep shopping for a comparable recumbent bike.
  • The short warranties may not satisfy you if you’re comparing this Stamina to competitors.

 

9. ProGear 555LXT Magnetic Tension Recumbent Bike – Surprising Quality at a Surprising Price

About the manufacturer: If you liked the profile included in this review about the Exerpeutic 900XL Extended Capacity Recumbent Bike (#3), but for one reason or another the ProGear 555LXT Magnetic Tension Recumbent BikeExerpeutic doesn’t thrill you, take a look at the comparatively-priced ProGear 555LXY. It is also manufactured by Paradigm, the California company committed to “bringing to the market new and innovative” fitness products for contemporary “value conscious people who train hard but don’t want to spend a fortune.” If you like to comparison shop, this is your opportunity to weigh two bikes from the same resource.

Features and Benefits

The ProGear 555LXT is designed with a finite audience in mind. It’s recommended for exercisers weighing under 250 pounds, yet the user height range spans those who are between 5-feet and 6-feet; 3-inches.

The durable steel frame supports an extended-size seat for comfort and that seat provides lower back support that can be further enhanced once you adjust the Infinite slider seat to suit your body.

This low-profile equipment is a breeze to get on and off thanks to a low center of gravity so it’s ideal for the older set or those using a recumbent bike for therapeutic purposes.

Enjoy 14 levels of tension resistance, yet it’s easy to toggle back and forth between them due to the magnetic nature of the mechanism. Fitted with adjustable floor stabilizers, you needn’t worry that this exercise bike will tip over or rock, a common complaint among owners of inexpensive workout equipment.

If you like your LCD computer control displays big and bold, the ProGear 555LXT won’t disappoint. You can read about your accomplishments—calories burned, distance traveled and time on the bike—in real time in large, crisp high-contrast numbers.

Even the mechanism driving your efforts is quiet so whether you’re monitoring your numbers or listening to music, your attention won’t be disrupted.

Because this recumbent bike weighs only 60 pounds and is fitted with transportation wheels, it’s easy to store in tight places but since this bike is compact at just 49-inches long, 43-inches high and 22-inches wide, moving it may not be necessary.

This recumbent exercise bike comes with a one-year limited warranty and features a smart phone/tablet holder to keep you occupied while you pedal your way to fitness.

PROS
  • This affordable recumbent bike is made by one of the most diverse fitness equipment companies in the U.S.
  • Compact and relatively lightweight, it can be wheeled around and stored quickly and easily.
  • The adjustable seat is easy to manipulate, even for exercisers who suffer with arthritis.
  • An excellent choice for those who need therapy after knee surgery to rehabilitate extremities.
  • If you follow instructions, assembly is relatively swift and stress-free.
CONS
  • Not every buyer likes the seat; you may need a section of thick foam if your posterior is bony to avoid bruising.
  • Follow assembly instructions carefully so you don’t put it together and realize that you haven’t tethered the tension wire to the console.
  • This recumbent’s advertising says it’s for very tall people. If that describes you, test drive before you buy just in case.
  • Since you get what you pay for, don’t expect lots of bells and whistles; this bike is a straightforward model.
  • Not every owner is delighted with the mechanism that enables one to adjust the tension, so keep that in mind before you make your buying decision.

 

10. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RB4602 Recumbent Bike – Preferred by Seniors for Myriad Reasons

About the manufacturer: Sunny Health & Fitness imports and distributes health and fitness products from its Los Angeles headquarters (hence the “Sunny”) but all manufacturing is Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RB4602 Recumbent Bikedone in Taiwan and China. Because everything is fabricated in Asia, the company says it can keep its retail prices down, making Sunny “more competitive than the average distributor in the industry.” In addition to regular, stationary and recumbent bikes, Sunny Health & Fitness has prioritized diversification for 15 years so the firm also imports steppers, rowers, ellipticals, strength training equipment and accessories.

Features and Benefits

The SF-RB4602 offers users an 8-level adjustable magnetic tension system that allows riders weighing up to 350 pounds to log their exercise time efficiently.

You probably won’t be disturbed by rattling, cranking or clunking, because this Sunny recumbent bike features a quiet belt drive. Additionally, the easy-to-reach seat adjustment handle is a patented design.

Track your heart rate on the go; the hand-pulse sensors monitoring it deliver accurate readings so you always know where your numbers are. Burn calories and keep your legs and glutes toned while delivering other benefits to your body without putting stress on your joints—particularly those in your legs and feet.

The digital screen size is ideal for seniors and those with eyesight issues because it broadcasts your time, speed, calories and distance in bold, high-contrast numbers and you’ll always have a handle on your pulse, too.

Get a full body workout from a large cushioned seat engineered for back support. No pedal slippage to worry about since Sunny pedals are crafted of slip-resistant material and are fitted with security straps.

Hold on tight when you push your limits because these handle bars are designed for comfort, accessibility and safety. The low center of gravity allows you to get on and off this recumbent bike without a struggle.

PROS
  • Great value for the money, this recumbent bike is easy to assemble thanks to the straight-forward design.
  • The easy step-in body makes this Sunny a favorite among seniors and post-rehab patients.
  • Unlike recumbents designed for slimmer people, you can weigh up to 350 pounds on this exercise bike.
  • The comfortable seat and easy-adjust seat handle get rave reviews from owners.
  • Quiet enough to attend to your favorite diversion—music, TV, reading—without being interrupted.
CONS
  • Despite the bike’s large console readout feature, electronics have failed owners after short periods of use.
  • Remove this recumbent bike from your short list if you prefer to buy exercise equipment made only in the U.S.
  • Owners attempting to increase tension found that the lightweight material housing the mechanism bends easily.
  • Buyers may experience return delays if they’re dissatisfied since this product is made in Asia.
  • If you require a more expansive or sophisticated console, this recumbent exercise bike may not suit your needs.

 

Recumbent Bike Buyer’s Guide: How to Make Your Buying Decision

recumbent bike reviews

There’s a lot of material here for your consideration, so we strongly encourage you to use the process of elimination to make your choice after evaluating and comparing each of the recumbent bicycles profiled in this review.

Start by removing from the list recumbent bikes that don’t suit your budget or financial status because there are too many models available to you that won’t stress you out to deliver the workout you seek.

Your physical condition is an important evaluative tool. Whether you’re exceptionally tall or overweight–or investing in a recumbent bike follows doctor’s orders–you’re not going to use your bike unless it specifically allows for your limitations.

If the idea of dealing with potential returns is enough to keep you awake at night, ordering a recumbent exercise bicycle made outside the U.S. may be asking for more concessions than you are willing to make.

Furthermore, by balancing the pros and cons gleaned from owners, buyers, manufacturers and reviewers, it won’t take a spread sheet to shorten your list as you get close to making that buying decision. On the other hand, you may be favorably disposed to one brand over another simply because you or those you trust have had experience buying recumbent bikes.

After all, it’s as important to know which brands don’t meet expectations as it is to identify those that do. Why not build your decision around the trials and errors of others?

You already know that doctors and fitness experts extol the virtues of recumbent style equipment over all other types of exercise bikes, so no matter which bike you pick, you can count on your instincts and smarts to guide you in the right direction.

Besides, if this review turns you into a quasi-expert on the topic of best recumbent bikes, who knows how much help you can give others down the road who find themselves eager to bicycle in your shoes.

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