Best Recumbent Exercise Bikes of 2017 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews

What is the Best Recumbent Exercise Bike [Reviews 2017]

When it comes to getting in shape, losing body fat, and improving your cardiovascular fitness, it’s hard to go past cycling. Cycling offers all of the benefits of running, with the addition that it is very low impact.

There are many types of exercise bikes available for the home fitness enthusiast. A great option that provides a fantastic workout while keeping you ergonomically protected is the recumbent exercise bike. In this article, you will discover the best recumbent exercise bikes on the market today.

Summary: The Best Recumbent Exercise Bikes

What is a Recumbent Exercise Bike?

You’ve probably seen those bikes that allow you to sit down with your legs straight out in front of you. That’s what a recumbent exercise bike is. It allows you to have total back support, making it extremely friendly to your spine.

Why Invest in a Recumbent Exercise Bike?

Because the recumbent bike allows you to sit upright with your feet horizontal, you are placed in a very advantageous position ergonomically. This positioning gives you an extremely low center of gravity, making you far more stable than if you were on an upright bike.

The lower body positioning of the recumbent bike allows you to activate your glutes and hamstrings more effectively. When you use an upright bike, the emphasis is on the thighs. However, the different leg angle of the recumbent bike allows you to target the butt more – a typical problem area for women.

The positioning of the recumbent bike doesn’t just put your lower body in a more functional position. You arms and shoulders are also better positioned. You’ll find that they are in a far more natural, relaxed position. This will reduce fatigue, especially in the shoulders.

People who are afflicted with problems to the spine and neck will benefit from a recumbent bike. As well as relieving a lot of pressure from the spine, a recumbent will allow you to maintain more of an upright head and neck position.

The first thing you’ll notice when you sit on a recumbent bike is how comfortable the seat is. The added level of padding and total upper body enclosure of the seat allows you to stay comfortable for longer, which will inevitably lead to longer, more enjoyable workouts.

What to Look For in a Recumbent Exercise Bike?

In determining which recumbent exercise bike is the right one for you, it is important to start with the answers to some basic questions:

  • How regularly will you be exercising on the exercise bike? If it’s only a couple of time per week for a few minutes, then seat comfort won’t be a prime concern. But, if you are going to be watching TV for an hour a day while you’re working out, then you will want a maximum comfort seat.
  • Do you have lower back problems? If so, you will want an exercise bike that allows you to make adjustments to the seat and pedal distances to get just the right fit for you.
  • Do you really need extras? Extra features, such as multi programs, wireless heart rate monitor, and advanced LCD monitor features all add to the cost of your bike. If that’s what you are after, great. But, if you don’t really need those added features, you’re better off with a cheaper model.

Pedals

Make sure that the exercise bike has straps that allow you to firmly secure your feet in place. If your feet keep slipping off the pedals, there is no way you will get in a good workout.

Motivational Features

The key to success on the recumbent bike is time spent exercising. And the way to stay working out is to keep yourself motivated. Of course, you could always plonk the bike in front of the TV, but that is not always practical. Many recumbent bikes come with features designed to keep you on the bike without getting bored.

Many recumbent exercise bikes allow you to connect to WiFi. They also sync with your computer technology. Others allow you to watch video-streaming applications. Others still turn your workout into a game where you get to race other bike riders.

There are some recumbent exercise bikes that come with impressive LCD monitors that allow you to simulate riding around various famous places around the globe.

Does it Require a Power Plug-In?

Some bikes require a power plug-in to operate various components. Be aware of this requirement as it may not fit with where you intend the bike to end up.

Space requirement

Recumbent bikes take up quite a bit more space than upright bikes. Know the available footprint that you have available and make sure that your new bike will fit the space.

Recumbent Exercise Bike Reviews

Our Rating

The Schwinn 230 is an excellent example of a top of the range brand and model that can be secured at a low to moderate price. This bike is packed with features that you wouldn’t expect to see at this price point. It will give you a very good riding experience, while protecting your back and keeping you motivated with its inbuilt extras.


Design

The Schwinn 230 is a very impressive looking bike. Those looks are reinforced by its performance. You get 20 levels of resistance, and 22 different exercise programs to keep you challenged and engaged. The LCD display is able to display 13 different information readouts.

Value for money

The Schwinn 230 is available for around $300. This represents exceptional value considering the features, robust construction, and stylish design of this bike.

Build quality

The Schwinn 230 is very well made. This is backed up by an impressive 10-year frame warranty, 2-year for the mechanics and 1-year on the electronics. It will comfortably accommodate anyone up to 300 pounds in weight.

Pros

  • 20 levels of resistance
  • 22 exercise programs
  • Inbuilt fan
  • Ergonomic, ultra comfortable seat
  • Stylish design
  • Fully compatible LCD monitor

Cons

  • Low-quality inbuilt speakers
  • Only has computer profiles for 2 users

Our Rating

The Exerpeutic 900XL is a very well priced recumbent exercise bike that will provide you with a quality training experience. The seat comfort is its main feature, but the eight levels of resistance are also excellent for the price.


Design

The Exerpeutic 900XL features an extra wide back support to provide an extra level of comfort for those with back issues. You can adjust the seat in any direction to find the perfect fit. With this bike, you get 8 levels of resistance. This provides for a progressive workout, with the control knob centrally located and easy to turn.

The balanced flywheel and V-belt drive give you a very natural, smooth operation.

Value for money

The Exerpeutic 900XL is available for around $170. This represents very good value for money when you consider the rigidity of the unit, its program variety, and the smooth pedaling operation.

Build quality

This exercise bike is very well constructed. It feels very rigid and secure when pedaling. With a maximum weight of 300 pounds, it is designed for hard and heavy work. The total weight of the machine is 63 pounds.

Pros

  • Very wide, comfortable seat
  • 8 resistance levels
  • Solid construction
  • Adjustable seat

Cons

  • Adjusting the seat takes time
  • Computer data may be unreliable

Our Rating

The Sunny Health & Fitness Folding Recumbent Bike is a low-cost bike that packs in some solid features. Even though it is a light bike, it is very solid and reliable when in use. The Sunny Health & Fitness Recumbent offers features that normally are not found at this price.


Design

The Sunny Health & Fitness Folding Recumbent Bike is a compact, foldable model that may be lightweight, but has some solid features. Unlike most foldables, it has a wide seat that is adjustable. The pedaling motion is natural and smooth. An LCD monitor provides all of your workout data. This bike has 8 variable resistance levels.

Value for money

The Sunny Health & Fitness Folding Recumbent Bike is available for around $120. This is a very good price for a reliable, sturdy yet lightweight foldable bike.

Build quality

For a lightweight exercise bike, the Sunny Health & Fitness Folding Recumbent Bike is surprisingly strong in terms of its frame. When you sit on the bike, it feels firm and reliable. The maximum user weight is 220 pounds.

Pros

  • Foldable and compact
  • Wide, comfortable seat
  • Natural, smooth pedaling motion
  • Quality LCD monitor

Cons

  • Resistance levels are not very challenging

Our Rating

The Exerpeutic 400XL is a cross between an upright and a recumbent exercise bike. That means it allows for easier entry and exit. It also angles your legs so that you work your thighs more than on a true recumbent bike. On the downside, it doesn’t give you as much back support. This is a solid and durable bike that comes in at a good price point.


Design

The Exerpeutic 400XL is classified as a semi-recumbent bike, meaning that it is a hybrid between an upright and a recumbent bike. The key difference between this bike and pure recumbents is that here your legs are pedaling out and down at a 25-degree angle to your torso. This positioning allows you to work your thighs more than the traditional recumbent position.

Value for money

The Exerpeutic 400XL can be purchased online for around $150. This represents good value for money, as the bike is unusually rigid for that price bracket. For just an extra $20, however, you can advance to the Exerpeutic 900XL, which provides much better back support.

Build quality

The Exerpeutic 400XL provides a quality, stable riding experience, which is a rarity for this price range. It has a rigid steel tubing frame. The bike does not move around when you are exercising.

Pros

  • Folds for ease of storage
  • Quick and easy assembly
  • Very sturdy
  • Smooth resistance levels
  • Ergonomically designed to activate the thighs

Cons

  • Console readouts not accurate
  • Limited back support
  • No pre-programmed workouts

Our Rating

The Velocity Exercise CHB-R2101 Recumbent Exercise Bike features a solid metal frame, a good range of resistance levels, and a natural, smooth pedaling motion. The seat design may not be ideal for people with back issues, but overall this is a solid performer at an affordable price point.


Design

The Velocity Exercise recumbent bike features a 2-way flywheel that gives you a smooth, consistent ride. The seat to pedal angle allows for an angled motion, which involves both the thighs and hamstrings. The magnetic resistance provides for a challenging workout at a range of resistance levels. The bike comes with a large LCD console that monitors all of your vital workout statistics.

Value for money

The Velocity Exercise Recumbent Exercise Bike is available for around $130. That represents excellent value for the quality ride that this bike offers.

Build quality

The Velocity Exercise CHB-R2101 Recumbent Exercise Bike is a solidly constructed bike. You will have to put it together yourself, but assembly is relatively pain-free. Maximum user weight is 250 pounds.

Pros

  • Natural, smooth operation
  • 8 levels of resistance
  • Compact design
  • Solid metal frame

Cons

  • Gap between seat and backrest does not support lower back
  • Difficult seat adjustment

Conclusion

A recumbent exercise bike is an excellent addition to your home gym. It will enable you to get a great cardio workout in, doing so in the most comfort that you’re likely to experience while training. The recumbent bike is the ideal choice for anyone who has suffered from lower back issues or who is recovering from injury.

Exercising on a recumbent bike offers the great cardio effect of a stationary bike. It doesn’t allow for the same freedom of movement as with an upright bike (you can’t stand up and pedal on a recumbent bike), but it will allow you to work your butt more effectively.

Follow our recumbent bike guidelines and check out our best recumbent exercise bike reviews as you go about selecting your ideal home training bike.

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