What’s the Best Recumbent Exercise Bike?
If you’re looking for a great all-around recumbent exercise bike to get an intense yet comfortable cardio workout, you can’t do much better than the Exerpeutic 900XL.
We looked at and tested the five best recumbent bikes on the market today, with a panel of fitness experts, and after a dozen hours of use and testing, we determined the Exerpeutic 900XL to be the best recumbent bike overall.
It’s easy and straightforward to use, comfortable on your lower back and provides an impressive and effective workout for cardio and weight loss.
Advantages of Using a Recumbent Bike
In years past, the stationary exercise bike has been the standard design for indoor cycling. The growth in popularity of the recumbent exercise bike in recent years is changing everything in the way of fitness and demand for this type of exercise.
- Ergonomic Design / Health Benefits. Easier on the Knees- The appropriate ergonomic design of the recumbent exercise bike, to fit the natural motion of the human body during exercise, is a great advantage to producing superior results when working out. The relaxed body positioning with the majority of the user’s weight is evenly distributed across the machine, helps to prevent the pain and stiffness from the pressure of muscles and joints. Due to being compressed while working out, this problem is often seen with upright exercise bikes. Other advantages of the posture and positioning when using a recumbent bike is that it also prevents knee strain or injury and delivers an overall more comfortable workout.
- Aerodynamics- The superior aerodynamic design of the recumbent style exercise bike allows the user a more smooth and precise movement due to better overall alignment of the legs and body with the device. This results in more efficient burning of calories, body conditioning and development of muscles, without strain or injury, during the workout.
- Comfort- The ability to remain comfortably reclined during exercise on a recumbent bike offers several advantages. With the bodyweight of the user is more evenly distributed, problems with muscle and joint pain or stiffness can be avoided. Add to that the ability to comfortably lean back, relaxing the back and neck muscles while working out, which will allow the user to focus on a more intense exercise session. Also, the handlebars can accommodate the weight of the arms at your side more naturally, providing significantly more comfort during any workout. This healthier overall body position encountered on a recumbent bike is proven to prevent neck, shoulder and back strain.
- Convenience– With a more stable, and relaxed exercise position, users report a better ability to focus on other tasks or activities they enjoy during their workout. Things like watching television, or due to having their hands free, using their iPad or reading a book during their workout makes the session seem less boring and therefore not something to avoid or delay. Overall, the ability to multitask during a workout is proven to promote more compliance with regular exercise and a healthier lifestyle for the user.
WINNERS: THE BEST RECUMBENT BIKES
The Exerpeutic 900XL was the favorite recumbent bike from our team of testers because of its comfortable design and overall workout performance. The customizable resistant settings, intuitive LCD display, and durability were just some of the features that caught our attention. It’s the best recumbent bike on the market today, and a great value.
Weight: 63 pounds
Rating: 4.2 out of 5
If you have a little more room in your budget, then we recommend the Schwinn 270 recumbent bike, which we loved for its feature set including a dual track LCD system, 29 different programs, 4 user settings, and USB port. All that in addition to being a comfortable and sturdy bike to get in a good workout. A great all-around machine with some nice bells and whistles.
Weight: 101 pounds
Rating: 4.1 out of 5
Exerpeutic makes another recumbent bike — the Exerpeutic 400XL — which is also an Amazon bestseller and one of the best models under $200. It’s quite similar to the 900XL, except it folds up for easy storage, which is a huge selling point. That design, however, makes it not as comfortable to sit on, so that’s a tradeoff you’re going to have to consider.
Weight: 43 pounds
Rating: 4.1 out of 5
While not quite as big a brand name as the other recumbent bikes on this list, the Marcy ME 709 also drew great marks from our testing team. This unit received good reviews for how easy it was to assemble, the large display console to track your speed, time, and distance, and the easy-to-adjust tension knob to adjust your resistant levels.
Weight: 66 pounds
Rating: 4.2 out of 5
The Stamina 4831 rounds out our Top 5, being singled out by our team for its smooth magnetic resistance, various preset programs with tension control, and the pulse sensors that are built into the handrails to track your heart rate. Amazon customers loved how easy it is to assemble, that it doesn’t make much noise and the overall comfort of the chair.
Weight: 71 pounds
Rating: 4.2 out of 5
Other Things to Consider
While the recumbent exercise bike has distinct advantages over that of a standard stationary exercise bike, there are some facts to consider when owning a recumbent style bike.
- Workout Effectiveness- The workout level of a recumbent exercise bike will match other types of exercise equipment depending on how the user is into intense training. A recumbent exercise bike will provide an excellent cardiovascular workout, burn plenty of calories, increase your endurance and overall conditioning and strengthen your lower body including the hips, buttocks and virtually every muscle of the legs. Increasing the tension setting will deliver an even better workout session, most notably with the strengthening of the legs.
- Comfort- When speaking of exercise bikes, nothing matches the comfort and technique of working out on a recumbent bike. Achieving a great workout while being relaxed and comfortable enough to read, watch television or have a phone conversation at the same time is one of the biggest advantages of owning a recumbent bike. Statistics show the ability to multitask while working out on a recumbent exercise bike promotes more devotion to regular exercise among the general public.
- Storage/Space- The storage and amount of space used by recumbent exercise bikes have improved significantly in the last few years. Today many are designed as a strong and durable piece of exercise equipment, yet with lightweight construction and an ability to be folded for storage. This makes it easy to place the bike in a location that is not disrupting daily life when you are not using it.
- Price Range- Finding a recumbent exercise bike to meet your needs, both physically and financially, is possible due to the variety of available machines on the market today. Depending primarily on quality and features, the price for a recumbent exercise bike can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars in today’s market. With most falling in the middle of this price variation. The majority of consumers can locate a good quality recumbent bike to meet their needs for anywhere between $150 and $500.
The Exerpeutic 900XL Recumbent Exercise Bike tops the competition as one of the best and most in-demand recumbent exercise bikes on the market. The 900XL is the choice of many seasoned fitness experts and professional trainers alike.
Stationary cycling has always been one of my favorite exercises for working out, and the Exerpeutic 900 XL recumbent bike offers me a higher fitness level with every workout.
The magnetic control system has eight different levels of resistance. With these many different levels of steady resistance, anyone from a beginner to a long-time athlete can expect to receive a good workout session.
When using the 900 XL, I find setting the tension to a lower level during the start of my workout allows me an opportunity to warm up sufficiently before pushing myself to the limit.
By increasing the tension, I can strive for a more intense session every time.
Another feature I find quite helpful during some of the more intense parts of my workout is the large LCD display.
Reading a small display is not always easy when pushing your level of exercise to a new level. For me, it is good to have a large and easy to read digital display for keeping track of my workout information.
I like to have all the information right in front of me during my workouts which allows me to adjust my performance accordingly during every session.
For me, one of the more important features during any type of workout is the ability to keep track of my heart rate.
This allows me to reach and hold my target heart rate to ensure I am getting a great cardiovascular workout.
I must admit I am quite impressed with the accuracy and detail the Exerpeutic 900 XL has to offer in this category.
Knowing my heart rate at all times also allows me to increase the intensity in stages at just the right time for achieving my goal during every session.
The large LCD display also shows a continuous readout of the distance I have covered in miles. Being big into fitness, the last thing I want is to fall behind previously achieved goals with distance traveled during my workout.
The unmatched large LCD display equipped on the Exerpeutic 900 XL also shows me the amount of time and speed at which I have been exercising. Having an accurate readout of the speed at which I am traveling is a great feature that is the perfect tool for endurance training.
Having a continuous and accurate readout of the time, speed and distance traveled at all times allows me the ability to know when to speed things up and the certainty I am moving forward with more intense workouts during each and every session.
Another great feature I like about the Exerpeutic 900 XL is the ability to track the calories I have burned during my workout.
Some days I like to shoot for more calories burned than others and having an accurate way to know just how many I have burned during my workout gives me the ability to tailor each session to produce the results I desire.
The Exerpeutic 900 XL recumbent bike has a 300-pound user capacity. While I am not anywhere near that size, it’s nice to know the 900 XL is built heavy enough to easily handle someone of that weight.
I find the Exerpeutic 900 XL is an impressively stable and well-made piece of equipment for handling the intense and sometimes rough movements during my workout sessions.
- The Exerpeutic 900 XL recumbent bike possesses a variety of impressive features that I would not want to do without. For someone of my height, I like the comfortable feel the 900 XL delivers.
- It has an adjustable seat that is large enough to accommodate small and large size people. On other recumbent bikes, I have tried, the seat is not really padded enough or designed with the idea of keeping the user comfort during use.
- Another positive characteristic I like about the Exerpeutic 900 XL is how quiet it is for working out on days when I am simply maintaining my level of fitness. It is during these standard workouts I like to watch television or make follow up phone calls for my business.
- Having a recumbent bike this quiet makes it possible to accomplish these other tasks simultaneously without disruption.
- I am a busy person and when my Exerpeutic 900 XL arrived I thought I would have to spend several hours of free time in my schedule to assemble everything.
- To my surprise, I was finished in less than an hour. During assembly, I noticed how well the 900 XL is made. It weighs only 70 pounds, yet has a durable steel construction that can sustain a user of 300 pounds in weight.
- The adjustment for setting the resistance during my workout is conveniently located where I can easily make any change in the level of difficulty without breaking my stride when working out.
- Exerpeutic 900 XL is very stable while working out. Some recumbent bikes I have tried in the past tend to wobble and feel somewhat unstable or unbalanced during the more intense portions of my workout.
- For me, nothing compares to the large, multifunction display that allows me to track time, distance, speed, calories burned and even my heart rate. The 900 XL is aerodynamically designed and a rugged piece of exercise equipment well worth the price at under $170.
- The Exerpeutic 900 XL comes with a full 3-year manufacturer’s warranty.
- I discovered a few minor drawbacks during my experience with the Exerpeutic 900 XL. The instructions for assembly were somewhat vague on how to put the piece of equipment together.
- I consider myself to be intuitive and handy with putting things together and therefore was successful in completing the assembly in a timely manner. However, some may find the instructions confusing and incomplete.
- Another disadvantage I noticed that some may find an inconvenience with the Exerpeutic 900 XL was the seat adjustment. There are 3 different screws for making adjustments which can take extra time when switching between users.
- This is not a problem if there is only one user of the equipment as the adjustment can be left in one position at all times.
For decades the name Schwinn has long been associated with quality and durability in bikes. The Schwinn 270 Recumbent Exercise Bike is no exception to that standard being a remarkable piece of exercise equipment for getting in shape.
The Schwinn is a popular piece of exercise equipment for both beginners and longtime fitness addicts alike.
The Schwinn 270 delivers performance and quality to meet the fitness needs of anyone. I find the advanced features of the Schwinn 270 deliver plenty of tracking and information for me to receive a great workout every time.
The dual-track double LCD window gives me a continuous readout during my training sessions. I can monitor an impressive total of 13 different data readings when exercising.
One of the features I really like about the Schwinn 270 bike is the “goal tracking” feature” with data export for helping me achieve all my fitness expectations.
The goal tracking feature keeps me constantly challenged to push the limits of endurance.
Having 29 programs and 4 separate user settings, the Schwinn 270 bike has a goal level to meet anyone’s needs. The Schwinn 270 has an impressive 25 levels of resistance for delivering an intense exercise session throughout.
The high-speed flywheel, with a high inertia perimeter, delivers smooth rolling and ultra-quiet movement when working out. I find the high-tech design allows me to push my workout to the limit with no change in equipment performance.
The large high-tech dual display keeps me continuously informed of all my fitness information and even has a USB charging port that also supports data exchange.
I find the Schwinn 270 has a lot to offer for making my workouts everything I want them to be.
- The Schwinn 270 dual track LCD display with 2 viewing windows is unmatched for being able to keep track of all my statistics and performance when working out.
- Having 13 different data feedbacks, I find it helps me to push my workouts farther every time. I enjoy having 25 different levels of resistance for intensifying my workout session.
- I also like the smooth and quiet operation of the Schwinn 270 which allows me to enjoy a phone conversation, watch television or listen to music without disturbance.
- The Schwinn 270 even has some additional features that simply make things better when working out.
- One of the most convenient features of the Schwinn 270 is the USB charging port with data exchange capability. Its location is easily accessible near the display, making it convenient to use when working out.
- The dual speakers supply good quality sound and are in the perfect location for me to get the most from the music while exercising.
- When my Schwinn 270 arrived I immediately noticed how well it was packed. There was only minor assembly required before I could begin trying it out.
- I found the directions to be clear and precise with no problems at all. During assembly, I was pleased to discover the frame and all parts to be well made and durable.
- The contoured and well-padded seat gives me the ability to focus on my workouts without any discomfort during my entire session.
- The Schwinn 270 exercise bike has it all in the area of being high-tech, well made and simply an all-around great piece of exercise equipment. The Schwinn 270 recumbent exercise bike weighs 101 pounds and comes with a full 10-year warranty on the frame.
After giving the Schwinn 270 a good tryout for several weeks the only drawbacks I have noticed is the brightness of the LCD display does take a little getting used to when in a dark room and it took me several tries to get the seat adjusted just the way I like it for maximum comfort when exercising.
The Exerpeutic 400 XL Folding Recumbent Exercise Bike is a quality choice of exercise equipment for staying in shape that won’t break the bank.
Being designed to accommodate all sizes of people, the 400 XL is a great piece of exercise equipment for everyone.
I found the Exerpeutic 400 XL to be a fine piece of fitness equipment with an unmatched smooth operation.
The V-belt double-drive transmission delivers an impressive and silent session during my workout. The advanced precision-balanced flywheel delivers a quiet yet precise performance every time.
The magnetic tension control system allows me to use the Exerpeutic 400 XL at 8 different levels of resistance. I really like the large LCD display provided.
The display gives information on the distance, calories burned, workout time, speed and heart rate.
The Exerpeutic 400 XL has the ability to be folded up when not in use allowing for convenient storage. Capable of being folded to approximately half its normal size.
With 300 pound capacity and a large cushion seat, it is a sturdy and versatile machine for different body types. The Exerpeutic 400 XL weighs 39 pounds and comes with a 1-year warranty.
- I found the precision-balanced flywheel and V belt drive of the Exerpeutic 400 XL to deliver a quiet and smooth workout during my session.
- The 400 XL fits users from 5 ft 2 in all the way up to 6 ft 2 inches tall. It has a maximum user weight capacity of 300 pounds.
- The large padded seat has a contoured design that allows me to remain comfortable throughout my entire workout.
- The backrest is tall and strong enough for me to lean back while increasing the intensity of my workout. The durable safety pedal straps ensure my feet will not slip off during vigorous training.
- I like the large LCD display readout with large digits. It helps me to read even when leaning back in the padded seat.
- The large display gives me a continuous readout of my distance, heart rate, speed and calories burned while working out. When folded up, I find the 400 XL easy to store when not in use. After folding, it’s small enough to easily move to the corner of the room out of the way.
- During the workout, I do it in front of my television and exercise while watching my favorite show.
- There were a few minor issues I did encounter with the Exerpeutic 400 XL. I found assembling the piece of equipment alone to be somewhat difficult.
- It took me a few tries to learn folding the 400 XL, for placing it aside, when not in use. Once I learned folding, I didn’t encounter any problems for storing the device out of the way between workouts.
The Marcy ME 709 Recumbent Exercise Bike is a great piece of exercise equipment available at an affordable price.
The Marcy ME 709 has plenty to offer in quality, durability, and features for creating a successful workout every time.
The Marcy ME 709 offers 8 different levels of resistance for getting a good workout throughout my exercise session.
I find the tension adjustment to be a great tool for boosting my performance. The adjustment is within reach and you can increase it by turning the knob without getting up from the seat.
I like the large console LCD display. It is easy to read at all times during my session. It helps in keeping track of speed, distance, calories burned and the amount of time I have been exercising.
The counterbalanced foot pedals permit smooth motion throughout my entire routine. The high-quality adjustable foot straps allow me to stay focused with no slippage or disruption.
The Marcy ME 709 recumbent bike weighs 64 pounds and has a user capacity of 300 pounds.
- The Marcy ME 709 has a durable steel frame construction. The 2 tone finish has an attractive appearance when completely assembled. The step-through frame allows easy maneuverability when using the bike.
- I find the high-tech magnetic flywheel provides smooth and precise resistance throughout my exercise session. The thick padded seat and backrest prevent any discomfort when I am working out.
- I am on the Marcy 709 for long sessions sometimes and find the thick high-density foam padded seat and backrest prevent any problems or discomfort even during long workouts.
- The contoured foam-covered handlebars are located in the perfect position, at my side. It prevents neck or shoulder strain by supporting the weight of my arms.
The Marcy ME 709 is an outstanding piece of exercise equipment. I did, however, find a few minor issues with the product. I noticed the assembly instructions to be somewhat vague in certain areas. The seat adjustment took a few tries to find a comfortable position for my workout.
The Stamina 4831 Magnetic Resistance Recumbent Exercise Bike is a remarkable piece of exercise equipment at a reasonable price. The Stamina 4831 has all, quality, durability and advanced features for creating a great workout session every time.
The Stamina 4831 Recumbent Bike is an effective piece of equipment for staying in shape. The smooth flowing magnetic resistance provides a great workout for me every time.
I can simply turn the dial to increase or decrease the tension when desired. The silent operation of the resistance wheel is very useful. It helps me to watch television, have a phone conversation or listen to music without disturbance.
The unique design of the Stamina 4831 with built-in handrail sensors provides an accurate and useful tool. It helps me in tracking my pulse rate throughout my exercise session.
The large LCD display continuously shows my heart rate, time, speed, calories burned, and distance traveled. The LCD display has a simple one-button control capability and six preset fitness programs. It also includes pace guide and speed targets for getting the most out of my workout.
The Stamina 4831 weighs 71 pounds. It comes with a 3-year warranty on the frame and a 90-day warranty on parts.
- The contoured seat and backrest of the Stamina 4831 are well padded for maximum comfort during my workout. The seat is easily adjustable to accommodate different size users.
- I like the largely weighted pedals for giving me a smooth and secure footing. It helps to push against during the intense portions of my exercise session. Having built-in wheels, the Stamina 4831 is easy for me to move from one location to another.
- Once in position, the leveling stabilizer caps keep the Stamina 4831 securely in place throughout my workout. The Stamina 4831 has an impressive maximum user weight of 300 pounds.
The Stamina 4831 does have a few minor issues that may be considered an inconvenience for some. The LCD display has only one button and therefore is a little difficult to learn in the beginning. The sensors are embedded within the handrails. So, to continuously read my pulse rate I have to keep my hands firmly on the handlebars.
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