Are you searching for effective yet safe exercise equipment? Modern gyms are filled with machines that promise to deliver improved health, yet many are also associated with health risks.
Using the best recumbent bike can provide an excellent cardiovascular exercise routine. Plus, they have the added advantage of being simple to use and take up a relatively small space.
In their pamphlet Selecting and Effectively Using a Stationary Bicycle, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) approves of stationary bicycles as an effective and safe means for regular exercise.
Using them will place less stress on your joints than many other alternative kinds of exercise equipment. However, ACSM especially recommends recumbent bikes for people who suffer from lower back pain.
Quick Answer: The 5 Best Recumbent Bikes For 2017
- Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike
- Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Exercise Bike
- Exerpeutic 900XL Extended Capacity Recumbent Bike
- Marcy Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike
- Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike
As you read these reviews, think about exactly what it is that you want from a recumbent bike. The more information you accumulate before making your decision, the better choice you will make.
Best Recumbent Bikes
Recumbent Bike Reviews
The Schwinn 270 is a recumbent bicycle that comes with all the bells and whistles. It is the big sister of the Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike reviewed below.
The Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike boasts many attractive features for the serious keep fit enthusiast. The frame is sturdy enough to handle even the most high intensity workouts.
It has an impressive number of 29 preset exercise programs, and 4 of those you can customize yourself. The console display is easy to use, shows all your stats, allows you to program your workout, and has a media shelf for your tablet or magazine.
The stats shown on the large LCD console include distance covered, time you’ve been working out, calories burned, and more. You can transfer your workout statistics to a tablet or other computer with a USB port.
Features of the Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike:
- You can easily adjust the seat using a sliding rail system for any height user
- The seat has a vented base for a cool ride every time
- A built-in fan also helps to keep you cool while you work out
- Also built in to the bike is a speaker system so you can connect your MP3 device and listen to your favorite music
- A cupholder keeps your favorite workout beverage close at hand
- It comes with a manufacturer’s limited warranty package that protects your purchase
The maximum weight capacity of the Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike bike is three hundred pounds, and it takes up a floor space of sixty-four by twenty-eight inches.
It requires assembly on delivery which shouldn’t take much more than hour. It also requires a nearby power outlet. The resistance is provided by a smooth and quiet, high-inertia weighted flywheel.
In my opinion the Schwinn 270 is the best recumbent bike, especially considering its reasonable price-tag.
Stamina Products, Inc. is a relatively new fitness equipment company founded in 1987. However, they are a highly reputed corporation that manufacturers a wide range of high-quality exercise equipment which is distributed by large, household-name retail companies.
The Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Exercise Bike is a well-made stationary bicycle with lots of great features, such as being designed for a total body workout by including hand pedals. The foot pedals include safety straps.
You will have to put some effort into assembly but it isn’t too difficult and once put together it is easily to move around and store.
You don’t need to plug this bike into an outlet for the display to work or to operate the magnetic resistance. It comes with a limited manufacturers’ warranty.
Features of the Stamina Elite Recumbent Exercise Bike:
- You get a full body workout with arm pedals as well as foot pedals
- Quiet and smooth operation due to magnetic resistance offering 8 levels to choose from
- Padded seat that is ergonomically designed, tilted back slightly for a more comfortable position when sitting
- Multi-function electronic display that shows speed, time, heart rate, and calories burned
The big feature of the Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Exercise Bike is that it provides the rider with a full body workout rather than merely focusing on your legs.
The hand pedals are designed to work your arms, shoulders and back. This stationary bicycle is designed to hold a rider of up to two-hundred-and-fifty pounds in weight. It requires a space of fifty by twenty-four inches.
If you’re looking for a total body workout, then the Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Exercise Bike is a great choice.
Exerpeutic is a brand owned by PARADIGM Health & Wellness from Southern California. All their products are designed by a dedicated team of engineers and physical fitness specialists.
Their stated company goal is to “holistically deliver a better quality of life with longevity in mind”. All their products are certified by respected regulatory bodies.
The Exerpeutic 900XL Extended Capacity Recumbent Bike is a very affordable model with several attractive features, including a stable and durable frame that has an adjustable seat that is ergonomically designed.
The pedals are oversized and have straps to keep your feet from slipping off. You can also track your heart rate with pulse pads.
Features of the Exerpeutic 900XL Recumbent Bike:
- Comes with 8 different levels of tension so you can vary the resistance and increase the challenge
- Smooth and quiet “ride” no matter the resistance setting
- Display that is easy to use and read, showing you distance covered, heart rate, total time on the bike, speed, and number of calories, you have burned
- Built-in casters so you can easily move the recumbent bike out of the way when not in use
- Covered by a 3-year limited manufacturer’s warranty
This bike is designed to take up to 325 pounds of user weight. It requires a floor space of 54” by 22”. The resistance is provided by a magnetic tension control system designed to provide challenging workouts.
If you’re looking for an especially affordable recumbent bicycle that is comfortable to use, then the Exerpeutic 900XL Extended Capacity Recumbent Bike is a great choice.
The Marcy Gymnasium Equipment Company was established way back in 1959 by an athlete who was involved in the very beginning of the fitness craze on Muscle Beach in the early 1940s.
They are a well-known company with a reputation for manufacturing high quality exercise equipment.
The Marcy Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike is one of the cheapest recumbent bicycles on the market, yet it still boasts some impressive features.
Features of the Marcy Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike:
- Fully adjustable seat that is designed to suit almost any rider
- Foam-covered handlebars for comfort
- Comes with 8 preset resistance levels, plus the ability to manually adjust the tension with a knob
- This recumbent bike is designed for a high intensity workout
The foot pedals are textured and also come with safety straps. This provides two levels of safety. There is a built-in cupholder to keep hydration handy at all times.
The LCD display shows your workout stats such as speed, time on the bike, distance covered, speed, and more. The Marcy Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike takes up a space of 48” by 26”.
If you’re looking for a super affordable recumbent bike that features a high quality construction and comes from a respected brand, then you should consider the Marcy Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike.
Schwinn is a long-established company that began manufacturing bicycles way back in 1895 and launched its first range of stationary bicycles in 1965.
With such a long and rich history, it’s no surprise that today they are one of the market leaders. They produce a range of recumbent bikes to meet different budgets and requirements.
All are high quality and good value for money. Recent research and development and ergonomic improvements mean that their products today little resemble the first upright bikes they produced in the sixties.
The Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike is one of their more affordable models, yet it still boasts many attractive features for the keen keep fit enthusiast.
The frame is durable and sturdy while there are 22 exercise programs already pre-programmed into the machine. If you want to manually adjust the resistance, you can do that with 20 different levels.
All of the programming is available from a simplified console that also allows you to view your progress and store a tablet or magazine.
Features of the Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike:
- Easily adjustable seat on a smoothly sliding rail system, ergonomically designed seat with cooling vents and back support
- Built-in cupholder to keep hydration within arm’s reach
- Casters to make moving the bike out of the way a breeze
- Comprehensive manufacturer’s warranty for peace of mind
Note that the maximum weight capacity of this bike is 300 pounds, and it takes up a floor space of 64” by 27”. It requires some assembly on delivery, but this is simple and shouldn’t take more than an hour.
You will need a nearby power outlet. The resistance is provided by a high-speed, high-inertia weighted flywheel, which is smooth and quiet.
If you are serious about getting fit, then the Schwinn 230 is the best recumbent bike for the money that provides a smooth and comfortable workout.
How to Choose the Best Recumbent Bikes for You
After reading the reviews above, it’s time to consider the factors involved in making the correct purchase of a recumbent bike. It’s important to choose features that fit your needs without spending extra on features you don’t need.
- Types of Recumbent Bikes
- Using a Recumbent Bike
- Resistance Level
- Which Recumbent Bicycle Should You Buy?
- The Bottom Line
Types of Recumbent Bikes
There are two kinds of stationary exercise bicycle: upright and recumbent. Both provide excellent cardiovascular exercise. However, there are significant differences between the two different pieces of equipment.
The upright bicycle adopts the traditional shape of a road bicycle rather than following ergonomic considerations. Using an upright stationary bicycle, the rider will be hunched over the handlebars with a slight curvature to the back and neck.
This may lead to muscle fatigue and pain. The relatively small seat may lead to saddle soreness.
In a recumbent stationary bicycle, the rider adopts a more comfortable reclined position which minimizes fatigue and muscle soreness. The broader seat of a recumbent bike provides much more lower back support and comfort.
Using a Recumbent Bike
If you can ride a bicycle, you can certainly use a recumbent stationary bike. It’s actually easier to use than a bicycle because you don’t need to look where you’re going and you don’t need to balance to stay upright.
Just relax into the seat and focus on working your legs. You can even watch a video or read a magazine while you pedal, should you wish to do so.
When you first get your bicycle, you may have to assemble it. Most come with easy-to-follow instructions. The important thing is to make sure that you set up the seat in such a way that you can easily reach the pedals and feel comfortable doing so.
Most recumbent bicycles come with variable resistance, so you can start with a low resistance and exercise for a short while, but then increase the resistance and the duration of your exercise as you become accustomed to the machine over a period of time.
Many recumbent stationary bicycles also provide information in the form of a digital display. Statistics are provided at the push of a button, such as the distance you have virtually peddled, your heart rate, and the calories you have burned off while working out.
Which Recumbent Bicycle Should You Buy?
Your choice of recumbent bike will probably depend on three factors:
- How often and how intensely you intend to exercise.
- How much statistical data you want to extract from your machine.
- Your budget.
Some recumbent bicycles offer more resistance levels than others. Some offer preset programs so that you don’t have to think in order to vary your workout, you just select the right button.
Some provide more feedback about such things as the virtual distance you’ve covered, your heart rate, and the calories you’ve burned while exercising.
If you’re going to use your recumbent stationary bicycle a lot then you might want to invest in a higher end machine that provides more resistance options and better feedback.
The Bottom Line
Recumbent bicycles are excellent exercise machines for cardiovascular workouts. They are especially ideal for people with back pain, and offer low impact exercise routines.
Any one of the five recumbent bicycles reviewed above would help you to get fit and remain healthy. All you need to do now is decide which is the best machine to match your personal requirements and budget.
I hope this guide was helpful for finding the best recumbent bike to fit your needs. If you want to comment or recommend a bike I didn’t include, please use my contact form to get in touch.
Enjoy your workout!