Recumbent bikes help burn calories; they tone your lower body and increase joint mobility. They build a strong foundation so you can become more robust – or stop yourself from losing strength if you’re going through a rough time fitness-wise.
The problem is which model to choose.
You don’t want to spend an excessive amount on an exercise bike you’re not going to use. Also, lots of high-tech features don’t guarantee that bike will be good for you.
Luckily, you’re on the right page.
We’ll teach you how to choose according to your needs and goals instead of taking too much heed of marketing jargon. Secondly, we’ll go over five of the best models on the market to ensure you make the right purchase.
Keep reading below!
Things To Look For In A Recumbent Exercise Bike
Getting a recumbent exercise bike means, first of all, listening to your body and establishing clear goals.
Now, we could list ten or twenty factors to consider, but that would only confuse you. Or it would create FOMO, and you’d ultimately buy a recumbent bike that’s not good enough for what you need.
Also, we don’t want to insult your intelligence by listing idiot-proof factors like price or durability. Obviously, you want the best recumbent bike you can afford.
So, ask yourself:
- Why do you need a recumbent bike
- When you’ll use it
- What preexisting conditions you have
- What your personality is
- Who else will use this bike
Recumbent bikes are easier to use than treadmills or air bikes, so most people who need them are:
- Mobility-challenged/ recovering from an injury but looking to make a strong recovery
- Mobility-challenged and wanting to delay getting worse
- Sedentary and simply looking to squeeze in more exercise
- Sharing this bike with people of different fitness levels
At this point, you probably have a pretty good idea of which category you fit into. Let’s break them down one at a time:
Mobility-challenged/ recovering from an injury but looking to make a strong recovery
- You need a low seat that’s easy to get up or off of.
- You want a very comfortable chair with lots of adjustments so that you can sit comfortably.
- You need accurate pulse measurements, sensors, plenty of programs and resistances to challenge yourself on. Basically, you need an incisive, scalable recumbent bike with all the bells and whistles.
- You should invest in a higher-tech recumbent bike, like Sportstech ES600.
Mobility-challenged and wanting to delay getting worse
- You want an extremely easy-to-use, smooth, and light exercise bike.
- You’re not interested in lots of magnetic resistance levels.
- A lower-weight flywheel would be best for your needs.
- Make sure it’s easy to push the pedals, especially if you have peripheral neuropathy or degenerative muscle disease.
- In this case, consider the Sunny Health & Fitness Recumbent Bike or Circuit Fitness 587.
Pro tip: If you’re in either of these two categories, ensure you have a handy water bottle holder and don’t need to bend for bike adjustments.
Sedentary and simply looking to squeeze in more exercise
- In this case, you want an average number of magnetic resistance levels.
- You’ll probably watch TV while pedalling, so choose a silent magnetic bike.
- Conversely, you may want additional entertainment options, like a tablet holder.
- If you have little space in your home, consider a portable model. You can also look at the best folding recumbent bikes for cramped spaces.
- You don’t want anything to mess with your motivation, but you also don’t need to get lost in tens of exercise programs or high-tech features. You need just a standard, functional, and durable bike.
- Consider SNODE Magnetic Recumbent Bike or JLL RE100 if your budget is limited.
Sharing this bike with people of different fitness levels
In this case:
- You want the most versatile and scalable bike you can find if your fitness levels and needs are polar opposite.
- The Sportstech ES600 is a practical choice, especially because it has four memory slots.
Recumbent Exercise Bike Reviews
Now that you know which factors will influence your choice, let’s look at some of the best recumbent bikes on the market:
Sunny Health & Fitness Bike: Best Recumbent Bike For Chronic Lumbar Pain
- Exclusive easy seat adjustment allows you to make seat...
- Large seat and back cushion
- Self-levelling pedals with straps
The Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Bike is the best budget choice for chronic back pain. One reason is that you can adjust the seat easily, both forward and back, without getting up. Secondly, the chair is large and very cushiony, with contouring back support.
Another sound adjustment is for the inseam, between 73.6 and 96.5 cm. Thanks to this adjustment, you won’t put any strain on your hips and knees while you’re pedalling.
If you were to feel any hip or knee pain, you would instinctively push your weight into your lower back or arch uncomfortably. Therefore, you would exacerbate your lumbar pain.
Lastly, the self-levelling pedals are fantastic for people with chronic back pain because you don’t have to bend to set these up.
Apart from these back-friendly features, the Sunny Health & Fitness recumbent bike has tons of other advantages:
For example, it offers a challenging workout thanks to its 8-level magnetic resistance that’s easy to adjust according to your fitness level. Also, it accommodates people up to 300 pounds and is in itself a sturdy piece of equipment.
If you want to up your challenge, track your stats and establish your workout goals accordingly. The easy-to-read screen tells you some accurate measurements so that you can rely on them, although the pulse sensors can sometimes be a little off.
SNODE Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike: best recumbent exercise bike for home use
- ✅ MAGNETIC CONTROL SYSTEM&VARIOUS CHALLENGES: 8 levels of...
- ✅DIGITAL MONITOR: Start planning and recording your...
- ✅HEAVY-DUTY & 3PC CRANK: 3pc crank adds better durability...
This SNODE recumbent exercise bike ticks almost all the boxes for generically “best” stationary bikes. Basically, it has virtually everything that most people could be looking for in a recumbent bike, but there’s nothing really unique about it.
Let’s start with the resistance.
The good news is that you get magnetic resistance, and that’s very smooth and quiet, so you won’t disturb the neighbours or get irritated by the noise yourself. On top of that, you can change the resistance levels quickly depending on how hard you want to work out.
Bonus: there’s a sturdy three-piece crank that adds extra durability to the whole thing.
So while 99.99% of people are happy with that whole setup, some customers might want some extra levels.
The same lack of uniqueness but overall good-enough basic functionality stems from looking at this bike’s design.
The SNODE recumbent bike has a good-enough chair with just enough padding and adjustments. Some people prefer a cushiony seat with more back support, but those customers are just a handful.
Besides, you can adjust the seat horizontally to fit most people’s heights, though extremely tall or petite people will feel out of place on the SNODE bike. But again, those are just 1%.
And here’s another feature that a lot of customers want to see for stationary bikes or other gym equipment:
People want the freedom to move their bikes from one room to another or store them neatly. And, of course, the SNODE recumbent bike can do that for you.
In terms of stats, there’s nothing out of the ordinary either.
The computer is user-friendly, easy to read, and displays accurate enough stats. However, it doesn’t have additional functionalities like goal training or expert tracking.
And, of course, the price:
SNODE recumbent bike isn’t dirt-cheap, but it’s also not highly expensive, so it’s affordable for most people.
Sportstech ES600 Bike: best professional recumbent bike for fitness addicts
- ✅ 𝗘𝗩𝗘𝗡𝗧 𝗟𝗜𝗩𝗘,...
- ✅ 𝗤𝗨𝗔𝗟𝗜𝗧𝗬...
The Sportstech ES600 fits people who are passionate about sports and fitness. So, everyone knows that recumbent bikes are easier to use than other stationary bikes or running on the treadmill.
Even if there’s this lower intensity level you’re working at, it doesn’t mean you can’t push as hard as you can and love what you’re doing.
People who buy the Sportstech ES600 have a different profile; they’re interested in more than getting their blood pumping or preventing muscle atrophy:
They want to feel that post-workout satisfaction.
So, here’s what the ES600 can offer you to achieve that gratification:
First, the self-generating system flywheel features a 14-kg flywheel and sixteen resistance levels to really challenge yourself and find that sweet spot day after day. Because if you’re really passionate about fitness, you want to tune your equipment as finely as possible.
Secondly, you get Kinomap. That way, you can take part in live events, use multiplayer mode, or benefit from actual coaching.
There’s also fantastic program diversity because the Sportstech ES600 features 12 built-in training programs and allows you to create four user profiles. As such, you can select and set up your favourite routines – including heart-rate and watt training.
Needless to say, all the stats you’re reading are highly accurate.
All those things will increase your motivation and your results.
Other bells and whistles include a USB connector, tablet holder, and the ability to add your own belt for more accurate heart-rate measurements.
JLL RE100 Recumbent Home Exercise Bike: best budget recumbent bike
- Magnetic Resistance Allows For Smooth and Quiet restriction...
- With a 5kg Two-Way Flywheel That is Driven by a Belt, The...
- Heart Rate Sensors Built into Handlebars. This Allows You To...
JLL RE100 is the best recumbent bike for people with low budgets, obviously because of the price tag but also because it has excellent features you usually see at a more expensive range. Also, this bike could be deemed best for seniors, but we’ll discuss more below.
For now, let’s start with those features we told you are excellent for this price range:
Firstly, JLL RE100 has a standard design that fits most purposes. It offers basic functionality, but it works well and is sturdy, so you won’t regret spending money on it.
Hint: JLL has an excellent reputation in the world of fitness equipment, so that’s probably why.
So, you’ll notice the eight levels of magnetic resistance and the 5-kg flywheel. This flywheel is somewhat light especially compared to the Sportstech ES600 above, but it’s great for beginners, mobility challenged people and seniors not used to working out.
But here’s the thing:
Everyone would expect something like this from a cheaper recumbent bike.
What makes JLL RE100 stand apart is its quiet, smooth operation and comfortable user experience.
So, its cushioned backrest alleviates back pain because it contours and takes the pressure off your spine. At the same time, the cushioned seat is foam-padded and has an ergonomic, slightly tilted design that keeps your hips open at the correct angle, thus avoiding the risk of back pain.
Besides, there are seven levels of horizontal adjustments for the seat, which means you can find the best ergonomic position during your workout. So, tall and shorter people alike can use the JLL RE100 comfortably.
And, surprisingly for the price range, the stats are actually entirely accurate.
But there are two issues to consider if you’re getting this bike:
First, the front end is quite close to the floor, which means your heels can hit the floor while you’re pedalling. Most customers don’t mind this design feature because they simply angle their feet more while pedalling.
Here’s the thing, though:
Some people have degenerative muscle diseases or peripheral neuropathy. As such, their calf strength is almost nil, so they don’t have enough force for something as “simple” as tilting their feet forward.
So, if that’s you and you’re looking for a budget recumbent bike, scroll a bit up until you get back to the SNODE model.
And secondly, the computer resets itself if you don’t use the bike for five minutes. So, if you’re stopping to use the bathroom or talk on the phone, the computer won’t keep your calorie count or other stats you’re interested in.
Circuit Fitness 587: best recumbent stationary bike for seniors
- HEAVY-DUTY CONSTRUCTION: This equipment features a...
- 15 WORKOUT PROGRAMS: Created for fitness enthusiasts of all...
- ERGONOMIC HANDLES AND SAFETY PEDALS: This gear has textured...
Circuit Fitness 587 is one of the best recumbent exercise bikes for seniors because of its elegant, sturdy, and user-friendly design.
Pro tip: Even if we rated this model as best for the golden-aged group, most of these features are unique for other people as well, so keep reading.
For instance, the heavy-duty construction with a high-grade steel frame is excellent for seniors because they would get more seriously injured if they fell off an indoor exercise bike. But seriously, who wants a flimsy recumbent bike?
Another thing is the padded adjustable seat. You don’t want to deal with tailbone pain or exercise-induced sciatica if you’re in your golden years.
So, you want a comfortable seat that’s easy to adjust according to your size/ height.
Plus, seniors are more likely to have good days and bad days. Some days you can exercise like a champ, while on others, you’re barely moving.
Well, the Circuit Fitness 587 boasts 15 different exercise programs, including watt-based and heart-rate based, Sporty, Cardio, and Beginner. Thus, you can pick the right intensity – or even share this bike with a more active grandkid.
But here’s what really sets Circuit Fitness 587 apart from other recumbent bikes:
It has two pairs of ergonomic handles. Thus, you can recline the bike or set it up upright according to how your back feels on a particular day.
Besides – and here’s a crucial feature for seniors – you can easily sit down or get off the Circuit Fitness 587 thanks to its step-through design.
Now that you’re here, let’s delve into some key questions:
Are Recumbent Bikes Good For Knees?
Recumbent bikes are gentle on your knees compared to walking or using the elliptical. At the same time, recumbent bikes will strengthen your tendons and muscle. As a result, you can gain more flexibility and mobility in your knee area.
Is A Recumbent Bike As Good As Walking?
A recumbent bike can be as good as walking – but it depends on your purpose. For example, recumbent bikes and walking at a slow-moderate pace burn a similar number of calories. Also, both activities strengthen your lower body and core muscles about the same.
However, walking is a weight-bearing activity which means it will strengthen your bones more. Conversely, recumbent bikes are better at building up your joints and creating more mobility.
These recumbent bikes you’ve read about in this article are excellent, but they fit different purposes. So, ask yourself what you really expect from such an indoor bike. Do you want to gain more strength or simply maintain your current fitness level? Do you need lots of workout motivation from extra features, or can you happily pedal daily while watching your favourite soap?
So, at the end of the day, your goals are your best lens. Here’s a quick rundown of what to choose:
- Sunny Health & Fitness: Best for chronic lumbar pain
- SNODE: Best for home use
- Sportstech ES600: Best professional
- JLL RE100: Best budget
- Circuit Fitness 587: Best for seniors