The best recumbent bike will allow the rider to sit back in a reclined position when riding a bicycle, which allows for a much more comfortable ride. While outdoor models are available, they have also been made available in gyms and are a favored exercise for people who find traditional exercise bikes uncomfortable but would still like to experience the benefits that they provide.
Though these bikes have become more popular in recent years, their origins can be dated all the way back to the 19th century, with several designs being patented in the late 1800s through to the early 1900s. While they experienced a spell of popularity that lasted until the 1930s, interest in recumbent bikes dropped off until the 1970s, when the first commercially available recumbent bike in the form that we know them today was made available. As they increased in popularity, exercise equipment manufacturers created machines that could simulate the experience, for use in gyms of the home.
Beyond the obvious benefit of comfort that the reclined sear of a recumbent bike offers, users will also note that their weight is much more evenly distributed when riding. This allows for fewer injuries, particularly those relating to skin irritation. This makes them a perfect alternative for people who want to avoid saddle sores, or those who are suffering from a medical condition that makes using a traditional bike less comfortable. Furthermore, they still provide a superb cardiovascular workout.
Recumbent vs Traditional
While you will likely be able to achieve higher speeds using a traditional exercise bike, recumbents allow for a far more comfortable workout that can be enjoyed at home while watching television. Both provide similar benefits in terms of muscle development and cardiovascular conditioning when ridden at the same speed.
Making Your Choice
When choosing the best recumbent bike you need to consider the comfort offered by the machine, its features and the general quality of operation. Here we will take a look at seven that are amongst the best on the market.
Best Recumbent Bike Reviews for 2018
1. Exerpeutic 900XL Recumbent Bike
Exerpeutic state that they want to make keeping fit and working out good for both your body and your bank account, which means that place a dual focus on comfort and cost-effective design when building their recumbent bikes.
This culminates in a bike that not only won’t burn a huge hole in your wallet, but also offers an array of features that you would expect to see on more expensive bikes. An LCD screen allows you to track your ride progress, while the “Smooth Torque” system allows for smooth pedaling. Couple that with a comfortable seat and multiple levels of magnetic resistance and you have a superb bike.
- Offers 8 levels of magnetic resistance, allowing for light and difficult workouts.
- Minimizes the stress on your back and joints that is caused by traditional cycling.
- LCD display offers details on a variety of metrics, such as distance and calories burned.
- Has a maximum weight limit of 300lbs.
- Comes complete with a 3 year manufacturer’s warranty.
What’s To Like About The Exerpeutic 900XL Recumbent Bike
A lot of users have praised the overall build quality of the bike, particularly when considering the fairly low price, stating that it is sturdy and able to withstand intense workouts. It is also considered to be very easy to set up, which is ideal for people who don’t want to have to spend ages fiddling around with tools just so they can enjoy a workout.
What’s Not To Like
Some people have experienced an issue where the bike stops working after 30 miles, though this appears to be a manufacturing defect that would be covered by the three year warranty. Others have noted that it has a tendency to emit a grinding noise on occasion, which may be a cause for concern for people who want to be as quiet as possible when working out.
When looking for the best recumbent bike that you can buy on a budget, this has to be considered a front runner. It currently boasts a 4,3 out of 5 rating from more than a thousand reviews and is more than capable of providing a good workout while ensuring the user stays comfortable.
2. Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike
Schwinn has maintained a reputation for creating high quality exercise equipment for a number of years, so it should be no surprise that they have made an appearance on this list. While the price of this bike is a little on the high end of the spectrum, you will find that it comes with an array of features that many others simply can’t offer.
Amongst them are a wide range of resistance levels, allowing you to really vary your workouts, and more than two dozen pre-programmed workouts for people who want to get the absolute most out of the experience.
- Comes with 25 different resistance levels, making it ideal for people of all skill levels.
- 29 workouts are programmed into the machine, each of which features goal tacking.
- High quality LCD screen to allow you to keep track of all of your vital metrics.
- A USB port is available for device charging and exercise information exchange.
- Offers an exceptionally quiet workout.
What’s To Like About The Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike
A lot of people have praised this bike for offering an experience that is similar to the one you would find from a recumbent bike in the gym. Users have been particularly impressed with the bikes flexibility, particular when it comes to changing resistance levels on the fly. It is also considered easy to set up, meaning you won’t have to wait long to start your workouts.
What’s Not To Like
A minority of users have experienced issues with their bike being damaged in transit. While this is covered by the warranty, meaning replacements will be sent out, it is still an inconvenience. A few others have experienced issues with missing tools and parts, which make the bike impossible to set up until they are delivered. However, there have been very few problems with its general performance.
As long as you are wary of the delivery issues that a few users have experienced, this is the best recumbent bike for people who are trying to emulate the gym experience, as demonstrated by the 4.2 out of 5 rating that it currently sports. The wide range of programs and resistance levels make it ideal, regardless of whether you’re a novice or have been using recumbent bikes for years.
3. Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike
Exerpeutic are back with a recumbent bike that places a high priority on portability and storage, making this the ideal purchase for people who have a limited amount of floor space and don’t want it taken up 24/7 by a piece of exercise equipment.
The bike can be folded once you have completed your workout, allowing it to be rolled into storage until you’re ready to use it again. It also does the basics very well, offering a comfortable seat and sturdy design that belies the fairly low price. This makes it an excellent choice for people who are new to the world of recumbent bikes.
- Fully foldable, allowing for very easy storage.
- The V-belt double drive transmission system allows for a truly quiet workout.
- Offers 8 resistance levels, allowing for different intensities when working out.
- Has a weight limit of 300lbs.
- Comes with an LCD screen that allows you to track your workout progress.
What’s To Like About The Exerpeutic 400XL Recumbent Bike
A number of reviews have pointed out that this bike is perfect for those living in apartments, as it delivers on its promise of offering a quiet workout. The quality of the resistance levels has also been praised, with many users stating that the higher levels really offer an intense workout that may not be expected of a bike available for this price.
What’s Not To Like
Some taller users have experienced issues with the bike, claiming that it is uncomfortable if you are over 6 feet tall. Beyond that, there have only been a few manufacturing issues, such as misaligned wheels or failing resistance, which should be covered by the warranty offered by the manufacturer.
Exerpeutic deliver again with a recumbent bike that is able to offer a high quality workout at a price that most people will be able to afford. While taller users may want to look for a bike that can be more readily adjusted, the 4.5 out of 5 rating that it currently boasts demonstrates that the majority of people are more than happy with this foldable recumbent bike.
4. Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike
We mentioned before that Schwinn is well-known for the quality of its products, so it should be no surprise that they are featured again on this list. The 230 is essentially a slightly scaled down version of the previously mentioned 270, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a high quality piece of equipment in its own right.
For one, the bike is available at a lower price than the 270, so even though you’ll sacrifice a few resistance levels and programs your bank balance will look a little better while doing it. Beyond that, you still get the same high build quality that you would expect from a Schwinn bike and this is a piece of equipment that would look at home in the gym, never mind a home.
- Offers 20 levels of resistance that can be changed in the fly.
- Comes with 22 pre-programmed workouts, offering plenty of variety.
- The bright LCD screen allows you to keep track of your progress at all times.
- The seat is fully adjustable and built with your comfort in mind.
- The USB port allows for device charging and data exchange.
What’s To Like About The Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike
The bike has received praise for how easy it is to assemble, with many novices claiming that they can get it up and running in less than an hour. The comfort levels offered by the seat are also considered a big bonus, particularly due to the vented design that allows for better airflow when workouts become particularly intense.
What’s Not To Like
A minority of people have experienced manufacturing issues that have led them to contacting customer service, with feedback often being that said service is not of the standard you would expect considering the price of the product. Others have noted that, even though it is adjustable, the bike may not be suitable for those who are a few inches above 6 feet tall.
This is another quality product from Schwinn that offers much more than the average recumbent bike. While you should be wary of the issues suffered by taller users, the fact that it enjoys a 4.2 out of 5 rating from more than 420 reviews demonstrates that the majority of people are happy with the product and the price they paid to get it.
5. Diamondback 910SR Recumbent Bike
Diamondback take the fight right to Schwinn with this recumbent bike, aiming right for the higher end of the market that is looking for a machine that is capable of emulating the gym experience as closely as possible. The sturdy design is only part of the reason why this bike has been receiving plaudits, as it also comes with an array of features that no other bike on the market can compete with.
You will find that it comes with an unparalleled amount of resistance levels and programmed workouts, making this the bike of choice for anybody who has a big budget and wants the most flexible piece of kit available.
- Comes with an astonishing 32 levels of resistance, allowing for all workout intensities.
- Includes 35 programmed workouts that also keep track of targeted metrics.
- Made using steel-crafted components to offer a quiet and sturdy ride.
- The LCD display offers high quality levels of feedback.
- In built speakers allow you to plug in an MP3 player so you can enjoy music while you exercise.
What’s To Like About Diamondback 910SR Recumbent Bike
Reliability has been marked as an enormous plus point for the bike, as you should really be able to expect for a machine that costs close to the $1,000 mark. Of course, exercise enthusiasts are also thrilled with the flexibility the bike offers in terms of programmed workouts and resistance levels.
What’s Not To Like
Negative feedback has been very thin on the ground and mostly relates to manufacturing issues that should be covered by the warranty offered by Diamondback. However, the few who have experienced such issues report that it can take quite a while for repairs and replacements to be delivered, so users should be aware of this when buying.
The 4.1 out of 5 rating that this machine currently boasts doesn’t quite do the justice to the level of quality this bike offers, which can be put down to the fact that it has received less than 40 reviews so far. This is simply the best recumbent bike for those who are looking for all of the features you would expect from a gym-level piece of equipment.
6. Schwinn A20 Recumbent Bike
Schwinn are back again, with a bike that offers something a little bit different to their other products on this list. The A20 is essentially their “back-to-basics” range, so it lacks the features that are offered by the 230 and 270.
However, this should not be considered a mark against the bike, as it is clearly made with those who have a lower budget in mind. You still get an extremely high level of build quality, ensuring that the bike will last for years to come. Couple that with the varying resistance levels and it is more than capable of offering a tough workout when required.
- Comes with 7 programmed workouts built into the machine.
- Offers 8 levels of resistance, allowing for both light and intense workouts.
- The grip heart rate monitor allows you to keep track of your vitals at all times.
- The LCD screen offers information about a variety of different metrics.
- Comes with speakers so you can plug an MP3 player into it and enjoy music as you ride.
What’s To Like About The Schwinn A20 Recumbent Bike
The quality of the instructions provided with the bike have been praised, as they allow even novices to get it set up quickly and without any issues. The smoothness of the ride and comfortable seat have also received plaudits, with a number of users claiming that it is perfect for those who suffer from a bad back but still want to exercise.
What’s Not To Like
A few users have experienced issues with the motor and resistance in the bike giving out after intensive use, which suggests it may not be ideal for those who really want to push themselves. However, this appears to be a rare issue and so may be a mechanical fault that is covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, rather than a problem with every A20.
The A20 offers plenty of competition to the Exerpeutic models, as it provides various programmed workouts in addition to being available at a lower price point. It currently has a 4 out of 5 rating from almost 100 reviews, suggesting that it may well be the best recumbent bike available for those shopping on a budget.
7. Sole Fitness R92 Recumbent Bike
We return to the high end of the market once again with our last bike, as Sole Fitness are looking to emulate the gym experience as closely as possible with their R92 recumbent bike. It offers an exceptionally level of comfort in the ride, which is ideal for people who are looking for a low impact workout that won’t aggravate any injuries.
Better yet, it also comes with a number of features that will surely attract potential buyers. Beyond the various programmed workouts, users are given the option of creating their own. Better yet, it is also fully adjustable, which means taller users should find that they experience very few problems.
- The adjustable seat and handlebars are ideal for people who are above or below average height.
- Comes with 6 workout programs in addition to the ability to create and save 2 custom programs.
- Offers both pulse and strap heart monitoring systems.
- Has a 300lbs weight limit, making it ideal for people looking to lose a little weight.
- Comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame, a year on labor and 3 years for electronics and parts.
What’s To Like About The Sole Fitness R92 Recumbent Bike
This is a beautiful recumbent bike that would like right at home in the gym, which many users have commented on. Better yet, many reviews have commented on how the build quality matches the aesthetics, allowing for a comfortable and quiet ride in a machine that feels as sturdy as it looks.
What’s Not To Like
Though the bike has adjustable seat and handlebar settings, smaller users have found that they don’t quite cater for them, so it may be worth looking elsewhere if you are around the 5 feet mark in height. A few people have also experienced manufacturing issues, though these should be covered by the extensive warranty.
The bike currently boasts a 4.6 out of 5 rating, though less than 20 people have reviewed it so far. Still, the feedback indicates that this offers an extremely high level of quality when it comes to design and construction, though some may find themselves hoping for more resistance levels and programs given the price.
Choosing from the Best Recumbent Bike Reviews
When choosing the best recumbent bike you will generally find yourself picking between budget, mid-range and high-end products. For those who are looking to spend very little while also getting a high quality product, the Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike is ideal as it offers a solid workout while also being easy to store.
Those with a little more money to spend should consider the Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike as it offers many of the features you would expect from a gym-level piece of equipment while still keeping the price fairly affordable. However, if you want nothing but the best, look no further than the Diamondback Fitness 910SR Recumbent Bike. While your bank balance may need to be topped up after the purchase, the unrivaled amount of resistance levels, programmed workouts, build quality and features make this the pick of the bunch.
How many calories do you burn riding a recumbent bike?
There are so many ways of losing weight and toning your muscles that it can be extremely difficult to decide what to begin with in the first place.
In today’s article we are going to talk about the use and effects of recumbent bikes. They look a lot like normal gym bikes, but they have backrests and force you to keep a rather horizontal position of the legs when pedalling.
These fitness machines are mostly encountered in gyms, but they can be also bought for home use. Most of them come with monitors that allow you to track your workouts and total physical activity.
Additionally, there are recumbent bikes that can be ridden on the road, just like upright bikes.
Why ride a recumbent bike?
Recumbent bikes are great for daily or weekly cardio workouts. They have a low impact on the joints, which is why they can be used at any age. It is fun and easy to ride such a bike, but there’s a catch.
This type of bike is so easy to ride that sometimes you might not even feel that you are working out. And the truth is that it shouldn’t feel like that. If you are going to lose some calories you have to put some effort into your workout routine.
Unlike upright bikes, they reduce neck pain and wrist pain. Also, they are safer when riding in the gym and on the road. Moreover, they are more comfortable for overweight individuals than regular bikes.
How many calories can you burn using a recumbent bike?
It all depends on your body weight and BMR, which is the basal metabolic rate. There are some studies that show that the more muscles you have, the more calories you will be able to burn.
If you are looking to lose weight, then you are obviously a bit overweight, which is ok. But you will burn fewer calories in the beginning comparing to a person with normal weight.
However, you mustn’t lose your confidence and motivation. Take it step by step and you will notice the difference from one month to another.
Here’s how many calories most people burn when training with a recumbent bike, according to William McArdle, a renowned author who focuses on nutrition and human performance:
- 100-130 pounds – 2.8 to 3.8 calories/minute at 5.5 miles/hour and 4.6 to 5.9 calories/minute at 9.5 miles/hour
- 170 – 200 pounds – 4.9 to 5.8 calories/minute at 5.5 miles/hour and 7.7 to 9.9 at 9.5 miles per hour.
Recumbent bikes are great exercise machines and vehicles that represent a great alternative for those who need to work out comfortably and still, lose a considerable amount of calories.
It’s great that there are methods of losing weight and maintaining yourself healthy without having to put extreme effort into daily workouts. If you haven’t tried a recumbent bike before, it’s never late do to it!