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Welcome to our best recumbent bike reviews. Recumbent bikes are ideal for so many riders. So many of us have back pain and butt pain and we just can’t sit on a regular bike for very long at all. And yes, recumbents are as comfortable as they look.
In addition, many of us want a recumbent bike for our exercise room to help us get into shape. As we progress in our athleticism, we’ll switch to a more athletic bike.
I personally like recumbent bikes because they work out an entirely different set of muscles. I find that riding a recumbent bike frequently is an excellent challenge that helps me cross-train for better fitness.
In this post, I want to go over both indoor and outdoor recumbent exercise bike reviews to give you a few good options to choose from.
What Is a Recumbent Bike?
A recumbent bike is a bicycle that places a rider in a laid-back reclining position. Unlike traditional bikes, recumbent bikes have a bucket seat and a backrest. The foot pedals are in front of you. The rider’s weight is distributed over a larger area, supported by the back and buttocks.
What muscles does a recumbent bike work? When you use this equipment, you are exercising various muscles in your body including the glutes (butt muscles), quads (front thigh muscles), hamstrings (back of the upper thighs), calves (lower back part of the legs), and the abs (abdominal muscles).
The thing to remember with recumbent bikes is to buy as much quality as you can afford. Recumbent bikes have longer cables and larger frames and generally offer more areas where they can break.
Indoor exercise recumbent bikes are especially notorious for being noisy and the cheaper ones are known for breaking.
And, when these bikes break they are a little more challenging to transport to a repair place. The bottom line is that if you don’t get a good bike, it will break and you will be left without your favorite way to exercise.
It’s my goal to get you around that hassle.
Indoor Recumbent Bikes
1. Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike
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Suitable for all fitness enthusiasts, this Schwinn recumbent bike has all the bells and whistles you are looking for in high-tech exercise equipment. It has a console with 29 programmed workouts, a feature you won’t find in other recumbent bikes at this price range. These workouts range from easy and fun, to more strenuous rides that will get your heart rate up.
Plus, there are 25 levels of resistance so you can choose the intensity of your workout. It features Bluetooth connectivity and syncs with the Schwinn Trainer App as well as other fitness tracking apps. The Schwinn 270 recumbent bike allows users to download exercise data allowing them to track performance from workout to workout.
For added comfort, this exercise bike comes equipped with speakers with an MP3 input port, an adjustable fan, and a media shelf. The Schwinn 270 is a serious contender for the best recumbent bike.
- 29 programmed workouts
- 25 levels of resistance
- Built-in speakers
- 3-speed fan
- Bluetooth connectivity allows you to sync with the Schwinn Trainer and MyFitnessPal app
- Some parts are made of plastic
2. PROGEAR 555LXT Magnetic Tension Recumbent Bike
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The PROGEAR 555LXT has a widescreen computer display that shows distance, time, speed, odometer, calories burned, and RPM. It offers 14 levels of magnetic tension resistance that will allow you to vary the intensity of your workouts.
The seat and backrest are cushioned, providing utmost support and comfort. Users 5” to 6’3” tall can use this indoor recumbent bike. You just need to adjust the slider seat. Other notable features include a water bottle holder, smartphone/tablet holder, and transportation wheels.
- Widescreen computer display
- 14 levels of resistance
- Adjustable seat
- Transport wheels
- Maximum weight limit of 250 pounds
3. Marcy ME-709 Recumbent Exercise Bike
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If you’re searching for the best recumbent bike, consider the Marcy ME-709. One of the bestselling products in its category, this recumbent stationary bike offers quality and performance at a surprisingly affordable price. The easy-to-read computer screen shows distance, time, speed, and calories burned.
This stationary bike offers 8 resistance levels to simulate riding on different terrains. Customize workouts according to your fitness level. The comfortable seat is padded with high-density foam and the foam-covered handles provide extra support, so you can maintain proper form when exercising. Meanwhile, the weighted pedals with foot straps help keep your feet in the proper position. Despite its compact size, this recumbent stationary bike is sturdy enough to carry a weight of up to 300 pounds.
With the ME-709, you can benefit from similar features that are offered by larger and more expensive exercise bikes. The only drawback is that it doesn’t have pre-set workout programs offered by its more pricey competitors. But for its price, it is definitely a steal.
- Compact size
- Durable and sturdy
- Easy to use
- Comfortable padded seat
- Affordable price
- Doesn’t have pre-set programs
4. Exerpeutic GOLD 975XBT Recumbent Exercise Bike
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The Exerpeutic Gold 975XBT incorporates many features such as Bluetooth smart technology, 21 pre-set workout programs, 3 goal setting programs, a free MyFitQuest4 app, and an easy-slide seat adjustment. The backrest supports your lower back while the seat won’t pinch or strain your lower body (although it could be better if it had more cushioning).
This stationary recumbent bike has a backlit LCD that displays distance, time, speed, calories burned, and pulse. A 16-level magnetic tension control system allows users to do easy or more challenging workouts depending on their fitness level and goals. For your comfort, this recumbent bike is equipped with a water bottle holder, smartphone/tablet holder, and transport wheels. Ideal for light to medium cardio workouts, stamina development, and weight loss, this exercise equipment is somewhere in the middle when it comes to quality and performance.
- 21 workout programs
- 16 levels of resistance
- Adjustable seat
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Transport wheels
- The seat could use more padding
5. Velocity CHB-R2101 Exercise Recumbent Bike
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The Velocity recumbent bike is a piece of affordable exercise equipment ideal for people who want to get fit without spending a fortune. The low price notwithstanding, you’ll still get decent quality and performance out of this bike.
It has a console display that tracks time, speed, distance, calories, and hand pulse. To vary your workouts, you can choose from 8 levels of resistance. When it comes to design, the foot pedals have adjustable straps to make pedaling easier. And finally, the powder-coated finish provides visual appeal and protection.
- Easy to assemble
- Simple to use
- Powder-coated finish
- Transport wheels
- Affordable price
- Resistance levels not that consistent
Outdoor Recumbent Bikes
Preview Product Price
Performer JC26X Recumbent Trike 27S FRP
To be honest, there are not many companies that sell outdoor recumbent bikes online. Frankly, these bikes are such a novel design that most customers want to test ride them before they buy.
The neat thing about recumbent bikes is that they are so comfortable and easy to ride, that everyone falls in love with them nearly instantaneously. Especially the trikes. Three-wheeled recumbents require no balance. All you have to do is ride and enjoy!
One of the biggest considerations with a recumbent road bike is whether you want one that sits high or one that sits low. Personally, I like to sit up as high as I can, both for the sake of my own visibility, as well as for the other vehicles that have to avoid hitting me. Being taller lets me be seen more easily.
In addition, those recumbents that are near to the ground can be harder to get out of, which is another concern, especially if you have knee or back problems.
The Best “Cheap” Recumbent For Beginners
Please meet the True Quest Recumbent. For a bare-bones recumbent bike that will go the distance, it is a hard one to beat. Granted, it’s a little heavy. But I’ve used this style of recumbent to get a lot of people riding, and at its price point, it is a great way to go.
The trick with these recumbents is that you will need a lot of gears so you can climb the hills. Since you can’t stand up and pedal you must rely on your leg muscles — and your gearing — to do the work for you. This bike is using the Sram 21-speed setup which seems to work quite nicely.
Additionally, Bike Mania offers an electric motor upgrade to help you up those steep hills. This can give you the confidence to ride further than you would normally.
The seats on these things are critical. Sure, bike shorts can help, but you are going to be spending long hours sitting here, so you need them something that is as comfortable as your recliner at home. The padded seat and ventilated mesh back come about as close as you are going to find.
I like how this sits up high. You do sacrifice some of that “turn on a dime” steering that you get with the low-slung recumbents, but it is easier for vehicles to see you, and offers you better visibility. And the steering is adequate, just plan ahead so you have room to maneuver.
It is my understanding that this bike is designed for people up to 300 pounds. I love that because so many folks who find regular bicycles to be intimidating will have no issues feeling right at home on this machine. Sit, pedal, burn those calories, and reach your fitness goals.
For this bike, you will need to figure out a payment plan. While it is an entry-level machine, the extra frame, chains and gearing all adds up in price. The good news is that maintenance on these machines tends to be minimal and can all be handled by yourself or your local bike shop.
But to get a recumbent of any quality, well, you can only go so “cheap”.
Places Where You Can Buy A Used Recumbent Bike:
Recumbent bikes tend to see fewer miles in their lifespan has been other bikes. This means you can often pick up a recumbent login like-new condition for about half the price.
Here are five boards that are often updated with people looking to buy or sell recumbents:
Recumbent and Tandem Rider Classifieds
Recumbents.com Classifieds (click on “View Everything”)
In addition, you might do a Google search for “cycling club” + ” your town” to find local classifieds or people who might know of recumbents for sale in your local area.
How To Ride A Recumbent Bike
Riding an outdoor recumbent bike is simple. You sit in them and pedal.
Two-wheeled recumbents can be a little trickier at first. But they are surprisingly easy to balance and don’t take long to master comfortably.
Some people one to a friend to hold their bike while they get started. It only takes a couple of times before you’re confidently mounting your ride and peddling off. I’ve never seen anyone struggle with riding a recumbent.
You do want to make sure the recumbent is tall enough for you. Some people find it difficult to sit on a recumbent that is too close to the ground, as it is hard to get out of it when you are done riding. (bad knees, etc) If that is your case, you might want to select a taller style recumbent.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are recumbent bikes better for seniors?
Recumbent bikes have the rider sit lower to the ground in a more cushioned seat that also has back support. This allows the rider to fully relax and be comfortable while they ride. Their hands are also free during riding. Recumbent bikes are great for those with balance issues because the seat is much more stable. In short, yes, recumbent bikes might just be the perfect match for an older bike enthusiast.
Are recumbent bikes good for bad knees?
Yes, recumbent bikes are perfect for those with bad knees, as you can adjust the angle just right to get some good exercise without feeling the severe pain or aches that come with bad knees and other conditions that affect the bones and cartilage inside your body.
Can a recumbent bike help lose belly fat?
Yes, cycling can help lose belly fat, but it will take time. Some studies throughout the years have shown that regular cycling may enhance overall fat loss. I recommend practicing medium-intensity exercises on a recumbent stationary bike if you want to experience the best results with relatively minimal effort.
Why are recumbent bikes not popular outdoors?
While recumbent bikes are great for indoor exercise and for riding on lanes that are specially made for bikes, they can represent a hazard in traffic. A car driver won’t be able to see a person that’s riding a recumbent bike nearly as easily as they can see other drivers. This is because recumbent bikes are somewhat lower than your average vehicle. As such, we recommend you practice extreme caution when riding through traffic and always pay attention to road signs.
Does a recumbent bike work your core?
Yes, a recumbent bike will work your abdomen quite well. When you pedal, your abdominal muscles engage to balance and stabilize your upper body.
Final Thoughts and Verdict of the Best Recumbent Bike Models
Buying the best recumbent bike can help you get fit, lose weight, and attain your fitness goals. Various brands offer different specs and features. Make sure the one you choose can satisfy your workout requirements. Evaluate the pros and cons, as well as your budget when making a buying decision.
The Best Deals On Normal Road Bikes
I am looking for a recumbant bike that has three wheels that is reasonably priced. I developed severe neuropathy in hands and feet from chemo treatment so now walk with a cane but would like to get back to cycling. Stay in the DFW area so would need sime where close to get the bike.
Terribly poor article leading you on to a recumbant trike review and then reviewing exercise bike instead. A waste of time article!
Look into “Atomic Zombie.com”, I am personally looking at building the tricruiser winter tadpole, having lusted about the “maurader” for years, and test riding ice trikes. I curently have a Peogoet 10 speed and a folding Iococca 5 speed electric assist.
Want a used trec recumbant
To ride ouside
So how do I buy it? The best recumbent bike for beginners?
The blue one?
Can’t find the order process.
This is a great list of the best recumbent exercise bike!
In several places you refer to the recumbent bike in a photograph, but what you are showing is a three wheeled tricycle. Not a bicycle. I am new to recumbent riding, and have been riding a road bike for many years and many thousands of miles, but have no interest in three wheelers.
Could you correct your descriptions, as they are inaccurate?