There's a lot to factor into finding the best recumbent bike, especially as it can be challenging trying to decide whether it would be more beneficial for you than a spin or upright alternative.
To help you decide, we've listed some of the very best exercise bikes below based on their features, price, and reviews, so you can get a better sense of what they have to offer.
That said, the main benefit of a recumbent machine is that it places less strain on your joints, making it an ideal option to consider if you have arthritis, for example, but still want to get the recommended 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week.
So, if a recumbent bike sounds right for you, then we've got you covered.
We've also answered some of the most commonly asked questions surrounding recumbent machines to help you work out whether they're right for your home or garage setup. With that in mind, let's get into it...
Best recumbent bike
- Schwinn 290
- Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RB4616
- NordicTrack Commercial R35
- JEEKEE Recumbent Bike
- Exerpeutic 400XL
1. Schwinn 290
Best all-round recumbent bike
Dimensions: 64 x 27.7 x 49.9"
Max Weight: 136kg
Recumbent bikes can be a great way to train your legs without putting as much strain on your joints, and the Schwinn 290 seems to be a particularly well-rounded machine for the job.
It comes with 200+ virtual courses for you to experience at your own pace, although the bike will auto-adjust in real time to accurately reflect resistance changes during elevation thanks to Schwinn's Terrain Control Technology.
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That said, it comes with 25 levels of resistance for when you want to up the difficulty and intensity manually, thus putting it in line to be considered one of the best exercise machines for weight loss as well. If you're unsure of how to make things harder though, then the LCD screen allows you to view 13 pre-planned workout programmes to help get you started.
All in all, we feel this recumbent machine is well worth considering if you're looking to upgrade your home gym.
2. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RB4616
Best budget recumbent bike
Dimensions: 46 x 24.5 x 38"
Max Weight: 300lbs
Sunny Health & Fitness manufacturers, in our opinion, a great selection of cardio equipment that you can buy for a relatively inexpensive price.
This recumbent machine looks as though it continues this trend as it features 8 levels of magnetic resistance and a digital display, all for a relatively inexpensive price.
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Furthermore, it comes with pulse sensors on the handlebars so you can track your heart rate during your ride to give you an indication as to how hard you're working.
Ultimately, if you're looking for a relatively inexpensive recumbent bike, then this might be the machine for you, especially as it argues a strong case to feature in our list of the best exercise bikes under 500 as well.
3. NordicTrack Commercial R35
Best smart recumbent bike
Dimensions: 173 x 56 x 135cm
Max Weight: 160kg
Resistance: Silent Magnetic
If you're willing to spend a little more to get a recumbent bike packed with smart tech, then this NordicTrack Commercial R35 could be your answer.
It comes with a 14" HD smart touchscreen, providing metrics regarding your ride as well as trainer-led workouts with an iFIT membership. From studio classes to real-life rides, there are plenty of ways to keep yourself entertained on this excellent machine.
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What's more, it comes with a hugely impressive 26 levels of digital resistance made possible via SMR technology (Silent Magnetic Resistance). It also comes with a SmartAdjust feature that automatically alters the intensity and resistance to you and your fitness level.
Therefore, as far as smart, technology-packed recumbent bikes go, this NordicTrack bit of kit stands out from the pack, making it well worth considering for your home gym.
4. JEEKEE Recumbent Bike
Best recumbent bike for beginners
Max Weight: 300lbs
For those embarking on a new fitness journey, the JEEKEE Recumbent Bike offers a gentle introduction to a workout routine.
With 8 neodymium magnets providing adjustable resistance levels, you can easily tailor the difficulty to match your experience and progress gradually.
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Designed for comfort, the bike also features a spacious seat and supportive backrest, especially beneficial if you struggle with back pain.
Notably as well, the bike includes both an LCD display and a tablet holder, allowing you to enjoy your favourite TV shows while you pedal away, helping block out the pain in those early rides.
So, being as inexpensive and as adjustable as it is, we'd say this is an excellent beginner's choice when it comes to cardio equipment.
5. Exerpeutic 400XL
Best recumbent bike for home gyms
Dimensions: 20 x 17 x 54"
Max Weight: 145lbs
When kitting out your home gym, you're probably conscious of trying to save as much space as possible to make room for more equipment.
Thankfully, not only is the Exerpeutic 400XL small to start with, but it is also foldable so it can be stored away far easier when it's not in use.
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In terms of difficulty, the bike features 8 resistance levels plus a V-belt double-drive transmission system, designed to ensure you're getting a challenging leg and cardio workout in.
Moreover, it comes with an LCD display that tracks distance, calories, time, speed, and heart rate, which, we think, makes this recumbent bike a good option to consider.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
People often have a tonne of questions about recumbent bikes, but we're here to clear up a few common queries to help you make your purchase.
How do you use a recumbent bike?
Like with most cycling equipment, the key to a recumbent bike is to coordinate your legs for a smooth, steady pedalling motion.
Simply sit on the seat, making sure it's in a position in which you can comfortably reach the peddles, then lock your feet in under the straps.
Begin pedalling with your legs and you should be good to go. Make sure you sit straight and in good posture whilst exercising to avoid damaging your back.
We'd also advise you to jot down the resistance your bike is set to after each session to help you keep track of your progress.
What's the difference between a recumbent bike and a regular exercise bike?
Strictly speaking, a recumbent bike is just a specific type of exercise bike.
With the majority of exercise bikes, the saddle is positioned in such a way that you're sat in an upright position whilst you ride.
By contrast, the seat of a recumbent bike is positioned in a more laid-back position and the bike itself is much lower to the ground, which is more beneficial for longer, more relaxing workouts.
As a result, a recumbent bike is far less taxing on your joints. You're also far more stable on a recumbent machine so should suit longer, more relaxed cardio sessions.
How long should you use a recumbent bike?
Recumbent bikes typically offer much slower and less intense workouts than a spin bike, for example.
However, due to the laid-back seating, you'll probably be more inclined to stay riding a recumbent bike for longer as the chair is normally more comfortable than a saddle.
With that being said, we'd recommend at least 30 mins of continuous cycling (plus a warm-up) as a good rule to follow for longer sessions; but you can also complete high-intensity interval sets with a recumbent bike if you prefer that method.
How do you maintain a recumbent bike?
In order to ensure your recumbent bike runs smoothly, we'd recommend cleaning the flywheel and internal mechanisms from time to time to remove any dust and/or dirt that may cause friction.
It may also be beneficial to keep the moving components lubricated for the same reason.
In terms of fitness tracking, you might need to calibrate the speed and heart rate sensors occasionally to ensure you're getting the most accurate readings possible.
Are recumbent bikes suitable for all fitness levels?
Recumbent bikes can be suitable for a wide range of fitness levels, but it ultimately depends on the individual's specific needs, goals, and physical condition.
As touched on though, recumbent bikes offer a low-impact workout, which means they are gentle on the joints and may be beneficial for individuals with joint pain, arthritis, or other conditions that limit high-impact activities. This makes them suitable for people of various fitness levels, including beginners or those who are recovering from an injury.
Recumbent bikes can also provide an effective cardiovascular workout, helping to improve heart health, increase endurance, and burn calories. The intensity of the workout can be adjusted on most bikes by changing resistance levels, allowing you to start at a comfortable pace and gradually increase the difficulty as your fitness level improves.
What's more, recumbent bikes don't require as much core stability or balance as upright bikes. They provide a stable and comfortable seating position, making them suitable if you have balance issues or limited flexibility.
However, it's important to note that while recumbent bikes can be suitable for various fitness levels, they may not be for everyone. So, make sure you weigh up all the pros and cons before making a decision.