A recumbent bike is an excellent piece of exercise equipment for those who are looking to lose weight and build muscle. Add a recumbent bike to your home gym and burn calories while doing cardio or working on your legs and upper body. Not sure which one to choose? Here I’ve listed my top picks of best recumbent bikes for home exercise so you can easily find what works best for your needs.
What is a Recumbent Bike?
A recumbent bike is a bike with the rider positioned in a reclined sitting position, typically with the legs stretched out in front. It may also refer to same type of bicycle that has a seat and pedals which are placed much lower than the center of gravity.
The term “reclining” is best used to describe this type of position since it was designed for riders who are looking to lose weight and build muscle while working on their upper body and legs. Chances of injury with recumbent bikes are very low due to the design of the bike and the zero-impact exercise it provides.
Recumbent bikes are stationary bikes that are very popular in exercise facilities as well as home gyms. Personally, the recumbent bike is my cardio machine of choice when I’m at the gym. It’s easy to read or work on my phone while safely and comfortably riding the bike!
Recumbent bikes are easy to use, safe, convenient, and take a significantly less amount of time to get used to it. Just remember that you have to be consistent. If you train your body to cycle for a long time, you’ll cut those calories and lose that weight faster than you can say recumbent bikes.
Another critical point is that recumbent bikes are excellent for people who suffer from knee or joint pain, the elderly, and arthritis patients. Since these users cannot exercise with intensity, they can slowly work their way through with a recumbent bike. This is why many physical therapy offices have recumbent bikes available for rehab patients to use for warming up before a therapy session.
Why are Recumbent Bikes Better than Regular Bikes?
Recumbent bikes have several characteristics that make them an excellent choice for those who are looking to lose weight and build muscle. These features include:
A recumbent bike uses a low center of gravity, which makes them easy to get on and off. It also provides the best seat angle if you want to work out your upper body at the same time as your legs. The best part is it feels more comfortable than any other type of bike. If you’ve ever had “saddle soreness” from a spin class, you know what I mean!
A recumbent bike uses less energy than other types of bicycles, which means you could ride one for hours without feeling exhausted or needing a break. The best thing about this is it will not slow down your workout routine like regular bikes do because you can ride longer without getting overly tired.
But, which recumbent bike should you buy? What if you buy the wrong one? What if you purchase an expensive bike that doesn’t deliver what you want? Don’t worry – I’ve got you covered.
What To Look For When Buying A Recumbent Bike?
When deciding on the best recumbent bike for home exercise make sure you look at the following:
1. Price is often a good indicator of quality when it comes to home gym equipment such as this, however some more expensive models are not always better. The best way to choose a recumbent bike is to take advantage of consumer reviews that will let you know what others think about their products.
2. Make sure your chosen model has built-in programs and functions, including heart rate monitoring and interval training options so you can do more than just race against time. You’ll get much more out of your workouts if they’re interactive and varied.
Some models also have tablet/phone holder so you can watch TV or follow along with an online workout instructor.
3. A good warranty is important, especially if you’re looking to purchase a recumbent bike for home use. Most warranties range from 1-2 years depending on the manufacturer and model of bike, however some may be longer than this.
4. Next, you need to look at is the comfort of the bike. What’s the material of the chair? Is it high-quality? Or is it low? What about the shape of the seat? Is it too big for you or perhaps too small?
5. After comfort is adjustability. How much can you adjust your recumbent bike? Does it offer many options for you to choose from? Or does it offer none? Obviously, recumbent bikes that are more expensive will have better adjustability.
Ideally your best recumbent bike should include all of these features so you can get the best results possible when working out with it at home.
- The weight of the recumbent bike shouldn’t take a team of workers to move. It should have a system that allows you to move it from one place to another.
- Another thing you might want to think about beforehand is where you’ll keep the bike. Certainly, these bikes can consume a lot of space, so you might want to consider a compact version.
- The resistance of the bike should work well. Resistance, as the name implies, is when it takes you more to do less. The more resistance (you can adjust it), the harder it is to lose more calories.
Since we’re through with the buying guide now, you’re probably thinking about various places or shops where you can buy a recumbent bike. While there are some local places or specialty shops that sell recumbent bikes, I’ve found that Amazon has a great selection. Here are the top 5 bikes that I can recommend.
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1. Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike
The Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike is designed to help you get fit and stay fit. Its high-speed, high-torque, low-resistance drive system helps you achieve your fitness goals with less effort so you can ride longer and more often.
With 29 programs that include 12 profile, 9 heart rate control, 4 custom and 2 fitness test options plus a quick start option. Connect the Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike to your favorite apps as well as the Schwinn Trainer app via Bluetooth® Smart technology for live tracking of performance metrics like speed and distance. This will also allow you to track your data and progress as you increase your exercise duration with time.
Moreover, you can sync it with a free downloadable RideSocial App and view the world as you cycle on the bike. That sounds pretty neat, considering most of the world is locked in their houses.
It requires a standard electrical wall outlet on a 110V-120 circuit and comes with an adapter.
Moving on, you have a variety of 25 levels of resistance to choose from. This will make your workout session more enjoyable, and you can practice various workout intensity options this way to see how much your body can take.
The bike runs at a smooth speed and has a high inertia drive system with a perimeter weighted flywheel. This allows the bike to start easily and conveniently while it will run smoothly to have consistent workouts.
With a DualTrack LCD display, you can watch your progress on the screen. It also has a media shelf, in-console speakers with an MP3 input port, USB media charging, and an adjustable fan to cool you down if you’re all fired up.
This bike is made of carbon steel. Its dimensions are 64 x 27.7 x 49.9 inches, and holds up to 325 pounds (although some heavier users have reported using it with no problems).
This model has lots of bells and whistles, but it is on the pricier end of our list – which can be a dealbreaker if you’re on a budget.
2. Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike
The Marcy Recumbent Exercise bike is the best for beginners and budget-friendly! This stationary bike is built to last with heavy duty construction and a powder coated finish that will stand the test of time. With an easy to use magnetic resistance mechanism, you’ll be able to choose between 8 levels of resistance so you can challenge yourself and get the most out of each workout.
The bike weighs 61 pounds and is 55.5 x 25 x 37.5 inches in size. It’s made of heavy-duty plastic and has a trendy yet someone minimalistic appearance. With 14-gauge steel tubing with a powder-coated finish, it can hold up to 300 pounds.
The compact design means it will take up less space in your home than some other models. If you really need a smaller frame bike, this one may be for you!
This bike comes in with 8 levels of resistance. Since it uses magnetic resistance, you’ll have to control the tension knobs to make exercise harder. Remember that the harder you do your exercise, the more your body will work itself and the better it’ll be for your health and wellbeing.
The bike has an ultra-functional LCD computer screen used as an odometer, and the sharp panel display will allow you to see the time, speed, distance, and calories you have burned. This will help you in deciding whether you’ve exercised enough or not.
Talking about comfort, the bike has an ergonomically designed saddle with a highly comfortable high-density foam. This way, you’ll avoid discomfort, and your exercise routine will be smooth and peaceful every single time you get up from the bike.
The extra support handles will help your back and arms while exercising.
Whereas the weighted pedals will allow you to maintain a balanced footing, this will help your feet. This bike comes with an extended 90-day return window.
3. Nautilus Recumbent Bike
This one comes in shining black color. It weighs 105 pounds, and it can tank up to 300 pounds of weight. Its dimensions are 65.3” L x 28.3” W x 49.6” H.
To ensure that you enjoy your exercise, the bike has enhanced Bluetooth connectivity, and users can track and monitor their progress through app-based tracking tools.
Thanks to the World app, you can access and explore a plethora of virtual courses, exotic locales, and stunning trailers from across the globe. They also grant you 3 free courses for your convenience.
This recumbent bike has a staggering 25 levels of resistance to offer to allow you a versatile session of exercise! This way, you can practice a variety of workout intensity options. Moreover, the DualTrack blue backlit LCD console will show you everything crystal clear.
The bike also comes with 29 customizable workout programs specifically garnered for the elderly and beginners. Now you don’t need to wonder whether you’re doing it right or wrong.
For support, you have a padded seat with a ventilated back on a sliding seat rail that gives adjustable comfort.
4. Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike
Sunny is famous for its exercise equipment and machines. I actually own one of their upright stationary bikes and love it! Their recumbent bike is no less, safe to say. It comes in a beautiful grey color and weighs 58.7 pounds.
The bike is made of steel, and this grants it durability and strength. Along with strength, the recumbent bike has 8 levels of resistance that you can adjust to lower or increase the intensity of your workout depending upon your choice.
Moreover, you can track your progress with the digital monitor. It will conveniently display the speed, time, calories, odometer, and heart rate! Through this, you can choose to end your workout, or you can kick it up a notch with the resistance.
Don’t like the adjustment of the seat? No worries. You can easily adjust your seat forward or back just by a handle. Flick it, and your bike will adjust to your desired position. Unlike other recumbent bikes, this one has a very smooth adjusting option.
You can stabilize the bike to your space by making modifications to the onboard stabilizers. It comes with dual handlebars for runners who want to benefit from added flexibility. You can also check your heart rate with pulse sensors.
This model is pretty compact with dimensions of just 46″x24.5″x38″ – and it’s on the lower end of the cost spectrum too, making this another budget-friendly option!
5. Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Bike
The final recumbent bike we have is grey. It has a steel frame, the weight is 117 pounds, and the dimensions are 50 x 24 x 49 inches. The recumbent bike design may look traditional, but this one is a little bit different.
Now you can work your body by benefitting from eight levels of smooth, adjustable magnetic resistance. It has an easy-to-reach tension dial that will allow you to reduce the resistance if things get too complicated.
The multi-function electronic display is very handy as well. Why? Because it tracks and monitors your real-time progress! From speed to heart rate to calories to distance and the workout time.
To ensure that you have a full-body workout, the recumbent bike has both upper hand pedals and lower hand pedals. They will provide a smooth workout. This feature is extremely beneficial for anyone with knee trouble or who may need to rehabilitate after a shoulder surgery.
Moreover, this recumbent bike grants you a high level of sturdiness. With a steel frame that has built-in wheels, you can easily transport it wherever you see fit.
It can hold up to 250 lbs.
Which Recumbent Bike is Best for You?
A recumbent bike is a great option for those who are looking to lose weight and build muscle without sacrificing comfort. Easy on the knees, it’s a good way to get in exercise without adding too much stress or impact to your body.
Hopefully the choices I’ve gathered here have been helpful! If budget isn’t an issue, then I’d suggest going with one of the higher end bikes, such as the Schwinn or Nautilus. Of course, the Marcy or the Sunny are great budget friendly options as well – and are brands I personally like in my own home! For the combo upper and lower body workout, go for the Stamina Elite.
Good luck and stay healthy!
Amanda is a mom of 4 living a mostly crunchy lifestyle outside of Atlanta, GA with her husband, 2 dogs, and a cat. As a former special education teacher who also has her personal training certification — Amanda really enjoys teaching others how to do things!
When she’s not working, Amanda enjoys DIY projects, exercising, photography, hiking, and long walks through Target.