Best Recumbent Exercise Bike Reviews: Choose The Right One!
When you don’t feel like being out in the blistering heat, pouring rain, or freezing cold, an indoor exercise bike is an excellent alternative. If you want to be comfortable, ergonomically correct and take the stress off your joints, you are going to want a recumbent exercise bike!
Finding the best recumbent exercise bike can be a struggle. You have a lot of options to sift through. There are quite a few different types, price ranges, and styles. Where’s a person to start?
Let’s walk through the 5 best recumbent exercise bikes. We will discuss their specifications, what we liked, and what we didn’t like so much. On top of that, we are going to discuss information about recumbent bikes in general and how to pick the right one for you. Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
- What is a Recumbent Bike?
- Why a Recumbent Bike over an Upright Bike?
- What is a Recumbent Exercise Bike Good for?
- How to Choose a Recumbent Exercise Bike?
- The 5 Best Recumbent Exercise Bike Choices
- #1. Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709
- #2. Schwinn 270 Recumbent Exercise Bike
- #3. Exerpeutic 900XL Extended Capacity Recumbent Bike with Pulse
- #4. Nautilus R614 Recumbent Bike
- #5. Schwinn 230 Recumbent Exercise Bike
- The Final Verdict
What is a Recumbent Bike?
Recumbent means lying down, reclining, or leaning. So, how do we apply that to a bike? You are sitting in more of a chair rather than up on a seat. The pedals are out in front of you and often times there are handlebars on either side of the seat for you to hang on to. The same applies for a recumbent stationary bike or a recumbent exercise bike.
Why a Recumbent Bike over an Upright Bike?
So, why would you choose a recumbent exercise bike over an upright bike to get your work out? I don’t know about you, but riding an upright stationary exercise bike can be killer on your back. Between the hunched over, often incorrect posture, to the pressure on your knees, there can be a lot of strain that goes into your work out.
A recumbent exercise bike is going to be easier on your back. It takes the pressure off of your back and applies it to your legs. This is great for those that want to ride bike for a workout but struggle with arthritis or other back ailments.
Another benefit of a recumbent bike over an upright back is the balance issue. Even though your stationary bike is, well, stationary, it still takes a good amount of balance to stay up there. The elderly or those who are unsteady can be at risk for this kind of situation. Sitting in a recumbent bike is much safer.
Getting on and off a recumbent bike is much easier than hopping up and swinging a leg over a stationary bike. While if you are limber and used to it, it won’t pose an issue for an upright bike, it will if you struggle with balance and flexibility.
What is a Recumbent Exercise Bike Good for?
Beyond ergonomics, the recumbent exercise bike is great for workout compliance. It’s easier to just sit down and start to pedal. I like the recumbent exercise bike for those wanting to get into biking or back into biking. It’s just a much smoother, easier, and safer workout than an upright back.
As we mentioned before, it’s also going to be easier on your back and knees. So, if you struggle with pain in either of those areas, the recumbent stationary bike is an excellent option for you. Finally, some people just enjoy this position better than the upright bike regardless of pain issues, flexibility, or balance. We think they are pretty great, too!
How to Choose a Recumbent Exercise Bike?
There are a lot of different things you can look for before choosing a recumbent stationary bike. First things first, you need to take a long, hard, honest look at yourself and what you want out of your bike. Are you someone with chronic back pain? Do you want an intense, hardcore, no holding back type of work out? Are you looking for a modified exercise to get into shape?
These are all great starting points for picking out the right bike for Y-O-U. However, there are a few key things to look for that will get you the bike that meets your expectations.
Obviously, you are going to want to find a bike within your budget. Really keep this in mind when you are looking at different bikes. Another thing to watch for is the really low priced bikes. They may seem like a great deal, but you often get what you pay for. This brings us to our next buying guide point.
While there are some fake reviewers out there, more often than not, you can find out a lot of what you need to know from the customer reviews. Look over them thoroughly! Sometimes the bad reviews are rubbish. Sometimes there is some incredible insight from them. If you are looking at a high star rating and a whole lot of reviews, you know you are sitting pretty.
Having no warranty is a red flag for me. It means that either the company cannot afford to give one out or they don’t think their product will stay pulled together for any length of time. Either way, you would be entering a dicey situation. Always, always, always check that warranty!
Having a hard, unforgiving, or even too soft of a seat can ruin your compliance with using your bike. It can also make you develop other aches and pains to compensate for the uncomfortable seat. You want a seat that is supportive without being too hard. That will give you the best ergonomic position and have you feeling great after your ride.
This category is not as important but still something to look into. Are you looking for a computer screen with all your stats and a picture of a trail in front of you? Maybe you just want a run of the mill bike that is going to get the job done. Either way, knowing what you want going in will eliminate some choices for you so you can have an easier time picking the bike you want.
Weight and Height Restrictions
Last, but definitely not least, you want to pay attention to the weight and height restrictions. If you are smack dab in the middle, average height and weight type of person, you don’t need to read too far into this. However, if you have shorter legs, long legs, or are a bigger person overall, you definitely do.
Most recumbent exercise bikes are going to be adjustable, but that doesn’t mean they are adjustable enough for a comfortable, ergonomic fit for you. Check the specifications on the bike before you buy!
The 5 Best Recumbent Exercise Bike Choices
Now that you have decided you want a recumbent exercise bike, how in the world are you going to choose which one? There are SO many options out there it can be mind boggling. We have scoured through the best of the best recumbent bikes out there, and came up with the top 5.
Meet Marcy! She’s a nice little recumbent stationary bike that will fit in your home gym. Between style and durability, Marcy has you covered. She is our number 1 pick and for a good reason. Let’s dive in and see what she has to offer.
There are a lot of little details that make up the Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike. Let’s check them out and see how they apply to the best recumbent bike search.
- 55.5″L x 25″W x 37.5″H All Put Together
- 8 Magnetic Resistance Levels
- Step Through Frame
- Weighted, Counter Balanced Pedals
- Foot Straps and Gripped Pedals
- High Density Foam Seat
- Steel Tubing Frame
- Computer Display
- Transport Wheels
- 2 Year Warranty
- Under $200
Now that we know all the little details, let’s hit the highlights. These are the features I think are most important or stick out the most on this recumbent exercise bike.
2 Year Warranty
Anytime there is a warranty, I feel better about a product. That’s especially true with a piece of exercise equipment. I love that the ME-709 has a 2 year warranty. While it is limited, it means that they stand behind their product and that’s nothing to scoff at.
The Marcy is 55.5″L x 25″W x 37.5″H all put together. That’s relatively small and will fit in most exercise rooms or locals in your home. It also has transport wheels making it easy to move around. Weighing in at only 61 pounds doesn’t hurt either.
14 gauge steel tubing composes this beautifully designed bike. I like that it doesn’t look so harsh. It has a nice and pleasing aesthetic about it while being ready for some hardcore action. The Marcy is going to stand up to the test of time while still fitting in your home nicely.
High-density foam makes up the seat on this beast. It also is in an excellent ergonomic position. The handlebars are also foam covered for a more comfortable grip. Using the handlebars allows you to sit up straighter and keep the tension and pressure off your back and distributed well in your hips.
The straps and gripped foot pedals also help ensure a smooth ride. The movements won’t be so jerky and there is less chance of you making uneven movements. It will take pressure off of your knees and keep your back aligned properly.
Excellent Workout Features
The step-through design makes it really easy to get in and out of. This makes it perfect for those who are struggling with movements or balance. It’s also nice for those that don’t!
The eight resistance levels are perfect for all experience and workout levels. Customizing your workout is simplified. The computer screen will track time, speed, distance, and calories burned on a bright LCD screen. The large font will be easy for your eyes to adjust to.
Finally, the seat is adjustable to fit most body types. It ranges from 26 to 33 inches from seat to pedals. You can make sure you are ergonomically correct and keep comfortable. The more comfortable your ride, the better compliance you will have in continuing your workouts.
While I really like the ME-709, it does come with a few user issues. I scoured the reviews on this bike. It’s well beloved by its users, which is pretty darn good. It is especially good for a stationary exercise bike in this price range.
Height and Weight Restrictions
This bike is built for most body types. In saying that, if you are above average height and weight or even below, it’s probably going to be a struggle for you. Look at the dimensions before buying to make sure this is going to fit you!
This seems to be a common issue. The resistance calibration is off on some of the bikes. Here’s the deal though, since it is self-assembly, this could be user error. I’m not saying 100% that it is, but it is certainly a possibility. When you look at the number of positive reviews, it makes me think that the resistance issue is minor.
The slipping belt issue came up less frequently than the resistance calibration issue. However, it is still something to consider. Again, I think this certainly could be user error due to self-assembly. A slipping belt seems like either the bike is in an unstable position or the user didn’t set up properly.
The Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709 is a quality bike with a fairly low price tag. I like the comfort, style, and durability of the bike, but I bet you are really liking how much it costs.
It has excellent reviews and seems to be high quality. If you have any issues, there is a 2-year warranty. Buying the Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709 is an A+ choice for an exercise bike.
Schwinn is renowned for their bikes. It’s no wonder we fell in love with the Schwinn 270 Recumbent Exercise Bike. It’s got elite technology, a sturdy design, and all with the Schwinn name to back it. Let’s take a look at what makes this bike elite.
- 25 Levels of Resistance
- 29 Different Program Options
- Weighted Flywheel
- Bluetooth Enabled
- RideSocial App Capability
- Adjustable Fan
- USB Media Charging
- MP3 Port
- In-Bike Speakers
- LCD Display Screen
- Comfortable and Ergonomic Seat
- Media Tray
- 93 pounds
- 66.5 x 12.5 x 27.5 inches
- Heart Rate Monitoring
As you can see from the specifications, there are a lot of things to love about the Schwinn 270. Narrowing down all of the fine details into our main highlights was hard! However, we did manage to pick our favorite things.
Holy technology, Batman! This thing belongs on a space station. Just kidding, but it does have a lot of really awesome features that will speak to your techy side.
- 29 different program options including 12 profile, 9 heart rate control, 4 custom, 2 fitness test, and 1 quick start.
- Bluetooth enabled to listen to your music, podcasts, audiobooks, etc. through the in-console speakers.
- MP3 input port to listen to downloaded music and more.
- USB media charging dock. This is so great for recharging all your devices or keeping them charged while using them.
- LCD display screen to see all of the regular information plus virtual reality options!
- RideSocial App capable. You can ride along with friends in a virtual reality. How fun is that?
- Heart rate monitor in handlebars or can use the chest strap and connect via Bluetooth.
The seat is incredible and built for comfort on the Schwinn 270. It is ventilated and contoured with lumbar support. Even though that sounds lush and comfy, it’s still stiff enough to keep you upright and ergonomically correct so you take the tension out of your back.
Plus, you can adjust the seat so that you have proper alignment of your knees. That will help keep your lower back comfortable as well. If you have knee or back pain, this is a superb choice for you.
Behind every Schwinn is usually a high-quality bike. The 270 Recumbent is no exception. It’s durable and is going to last you a very long time. The Schwinn just feels solid and I don’t see any negative reviews about its quality or durability.
There were very few drawbacks to the Schwinn 270. In fact, I had a hard time finding any issues that weren’t biased or user error. Let’s take a look at those that seemed to be the same across the board.
Heart Rate Monitor Subpar
The heart rate monitors on the handlebars are a little touchy. Now, I would say temperature, perspiration, and incorrect grip could be a factor here. However, any time you have something with a heart rate monitor you are going to want it to be accurate. I would highly suggest using a chest strap and connecting via Bluetooth. There are quite a few out there that work well with this bike.
The Schwinn 270’s peddle width is kind of far apart from side to side. It’s not a huge ordeal but if you are a smaller person, I could see this becoming an ergonomic issue.
Speakers Are Not Optimal
You didn’t buy this bike for its surround sound capabilities. In the same hand, you should hope the speakers don’t blow out on you. My suggestion is to not blast your audio and don’t set the bar too high on expectations for your speaker quality.
This isn’t your sale or clearance bike. The Schwinn 270 is over $500 which can be a real blow to your wallet. I do think you get what you pay for. However, I think part of this is the Schwinn name brand. There are a lot of extra components, specifically technology related, that they do offer. If you don’t need all that rigamarole, you could get away with a less expensive option.
The Schwinn 270 Recumbent Exercise Bike is one of my favorite picks for best recumbent exercise bike on the market. It’s got incredible technology options, ergonomics, and the quality you want. It’s sure to stick around for a long time and you a worthwhile investment.
#3. Exerpeutic 900XL Extended Capacity Recumbent Bike with Pulse
The Exerpeutic 900XL Extended Capacity Recumbent bike with Pulse is what I envision when I am looking for a stationary recumbent exercise bike. It’s your standard looking recumbent exercise bike with the perks that you have come to expect. Let’s take a look.
- 8 Levels of Magnetic Tension Control
- 54 x 22 x 34 Inches
- Holds up to 300 Pounds
- LCD Display
- Tracks Workout Stats
- Monitors Heart Rate through Handlebars
- Built in Wheels for Easy Moving
- Extended Leg Stabilizers
- Large Pedals with Straps
- Hovers around $200 mark
- Weighs 75 Pounds
The Exerpeutic 900XL is such a great basic recumbent bike for those looking to stay active indoors. Let’s check out the highlights.
No Plug In Required
I love that you can just set this up and go. You don’t have to be close to a wall. It only needs some batteries for the display. This is a huge benefit for putting the bike where you want it.
Once set up, there is not much else to do with this recumbent exercise bike. It is so user friendly. It’s also only 75 pounds with wheels on the bottom to easily move around. I love that there is still a bike out there without all the gadgets. I would highly recommend this stationary exercise bike for seniors.
Easy on Your Wallet
The Exerpeutic is so inexpensive! It is more of a basic set up so I can see why the price isn’t that high. The reviews are still great on this one, so I don’t think it has anything to do with how it’s made. It’s just a solid, basic exercise bike that won’t break the budget.
This thing is durable. It’s got extended leg stabilizers and a sturdy frame to keep you from rocking and tipping. It can hold up to 300 pounds, too! I like that it’s still lightweight enough to move around on it’s wheels but heavy enough where you don’t feel like you are going to take off once you start pedaling.
There were a couple of things I didn’t like about the Exerpeutic 900XL that are worth looking over.
No “Extras” for Technology
This one could go either way. If you are a gadget lover and want the virtual reality, speaker system, and more, then this is not the bike for you. However, if you are an average Joe who just wants the bike without all the extras, you’ve got a winner.
Pedal Straps Aren’t Adjustable
This is annoying if you have larger feet. However, at the price this bike comes at, I think we can overlook this feature. My suggestion? Wear some lightweight shoes or go barefoot!
The Exerpeutic 900XL Extended Capacity Recumbent bike with Pulse is an excellent choice for a recumbent exercise bike. It’s straight forward. There’s no hassle. I love that you just set it up and go without any worries.
To me, Nautilus is one of those brands that you just know you are going to get a good product from. The Nautilus R614 Recumbent Bike is no exception. Let’s dive in and see what it’s all about.
- 67.8 x 28 x 12.5 inches
- 98 pounds
- 20 Resistance Levels
- 22 programs: 9 profile, 8 heart rate control, 2 custom, 2 fitness test & 1 quick start
- Weighted Flywheel
- LCD Displays
- Holds up to 300 Pounds
- Media Shelf for tablets, smartphones, etc.
- Adjustable Fan
- MP3 Input Port
- Built in Speakers
- USB Media Charging
- Around $400
- Goal Track
- Adjustable Vented Seat
After scouring reviews, here is what I liked most about the Nautilus.
From the MP3 port to the LCD display, the Nautilus R614 has a plethora of technology for all of you gadget lovers out there. I like these because, for the most part, they are just options. If you don’t want to use them, you don’t have to. Having the option is a great way to make this bike have a little something for everyone.
I love that the Nautilus has Goal Track and 22 workout options. This keeps you on your toes and gives you the ability to switch it up when you need to.
The weighted flywheel and high speed, high inertia drive system make pedaling a dream. It’s a sturdy, comfortable ride. You won’t be calling the manufacturer after a couple months because it’s ragged or loud.
There were a few complaints that were pretty standard across the board on this stationary recumbent bike. Let’s take a look.
Uncomfortable Seat Back
Across the board, this is the biggest complaint on the Nautilus. Apparently the seat back is made of plastic and not forgiving. Now, some people actually like that it’s not a “comfy” seat, but a whole lot of people do not. You be the judge here.
Lower Standard of Tension
The tension does not seem to be as high as compared with other recumbent exercise bikes. Some of this is preference or opinion based, but I can see where this could be an issue. If you are looking for a very intense workout, you might want to look at a different bike.
Unreliable Pulse Monitor
While most pulse monitors are unreliable, this one seems to take the cake. It kind of goes all over the board and is very touchy. I would buy your own or just not pay attention to this one.
The Nautilus R614 Recumbent Bike is a quality recumbent exercise bike that will be both durable and fun for you to ride. You can catch up on your favorite podcast or tune into your MP3 player while enjoying a smooth ride. This bike is one that is built to last.
Another Schwinn, I know, I know. There’s a reason we had two of them make our top 5 list! They are a gold standard in the exercise bike arena. The Schwinn 230 Recumbent Exercise Bike has it all.
- 66 x 12 x 27 inches
- 80 pounds
- 22 Pre-set Programs
- 20 Resistance Levels
- Goal Track
- 2 DualTrack LCD Screens
- High Speed, High Inertia Drive Systems
- Adjustable Seat on Rail
- MP3 Input
- USB Charging Dock
- Holds up to 300 Pounds
- Contact Heart Rate Monitoring
- Media Rack for All Your Devices
- Fan Included
Okay, I bet from the specifications you can see there is a lot to love with this bike. Let’s hit the highlights.
Smooth and Quiet Ride
Schwinn knows how to make a good bike. This thing is quiet and smooth. Your kids aren’t going to get woken up when you start your 5 am workout. It’s not like those bikes from the 80’s that sound like a small plane is in your house. I love that it’s a smooth and seamless ride.
There are so many little technology options on the Schwinn 230, it’s wonderful. You’ve got a heart rate monitor, charging station, media rack, LCD display screens, MP3 port, and more. All of this makes for a more enjoyable workout.
Between Goal Track capabilities and 22 pre-set workout options, you can customize your workout however you want. I like that you don’t have to press quick start every day and keep a monotonous routine. Spice it up! Go with some rolling hills or climb a mountain.
Easy to Use
If you get assembly with this, you will not regret it. Most buyers claim this was an amazing service. However, you can certainly assemble it yourself. A lot of people said it only took them a couple of hours, which is pretty good for a bike of this caliber.
I did find a couple of holes in their shiny marketing to buy this bike. Let’s take a look.
A plastic seat can be just so unforgiving. The back is ventilated and plastic so it just is not as comfortable as it could be. You could, of course, by a cover for it or pad, but it’s frustrating to pay this amount and have an uncomfortable seat.
Not Made for Every Body
It seems like there is a wide range of people the Schwinn 230 does work for. However, if you are on either extreme end of the spectrum, you might struggle a bit. There were reports of if you were 5 feet or so, things being too large. The same went for larger than 6 foot. Give or take a little bit, it’s just not 100% customizable.
Display is Kind of Dark
The screen is great and I like all that it has to offer. However, the display is just not as bright as I would like to see. Maybe Schwinn can upgrade this on their next bike.
The Schwinn 230 Recumbent Exercise Bike has everything from technology to an excellent build. I like that you can customize your workouts and use all the technical gadgets but it still runs and rides smooth and quiet. It’s a great pick for anyone.
The Final Verdict
Whether you go with the Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709 or any other option, you are going to be getting a top-notch bike. We searched high and low for the best recumbent exercise bike and found only those that we feel good about recommending.
Remember, ultimately, you have to choose the right bike for you and your lifestyle. Are you limited in space searching for a space-saving exercise bike? Are you a hardcore biker looking for a winter work out? Or, are you struggling with arthritis but want to stay active in your own home? Whatever level of experience or fitness you are at, a recumbent exercise bike can be customized to you. Isn’t that what we all want at the end of the day?
Physical Activity Basics