When you think about getting and staying in shape, does the idea of “no pain, no gain” come to mind? While it’s true you won’t get an effective workout without experiencing at least a minor level of discomfort, working out certainly doesn’t have to be torture. That’s why learning about the best recumbent stationary bike is a must. Not only does a recumbent bike take the strain off the untargeted parts of your body, it’s also a great option to consider for those with joint pain or recovering from injury.
Here, you’ll find a range of options to accommodate your space and adjustability needs, all while remaining budget friendly.
What Is a Recumbent Bike?
A recumbent bike is a stationary bike that puts its user in a slightly reclined position. It distributes the weight of the rider much more than an upright stationary bike with the use of a wider seat and back rest. The only physical similarity to the traditional structure of a bike is the pedal mechanism, otherwise it is quite a different machine.
The best recumbent stationary bike will offer a very specific kind of workout, low impact with ultimate user functionality. It’s no mystery that recumbent bikes are geared towards those with limited mobility. The common walkthrough design, back rest, and naturally positioned handlebars make them ideal machines for elderly, physical therapy, injury recuperation, or those just taking first strides to increase their cardio fitness.
This is the package deal. PROGEAR offers this recumbent bike that’s likely to check off nearly every box. It can accommodate a rider up to 250 pounds with a height ranging between 5’ to 6’3”. It has a fairly small footprint and looks sleek and tasteful – a nice contrast to other clunky, home gym equipment.
To further customize your training, you can program your workout goals using the wide LCD display. Track your desired metrics of calories, distance, or elapsed time. While you’re striving towards hitting your goals, PROGEAR keeps you comfortable with large pedals, oversized seat, and soft grip handles to make sure you stay in place.
This bike weighs sixty pounds but comes with transportation wheels making it simple to move from one room to another when needed. Like most recumbent bikes, this PROGEAR features the walkthrough design allowing for ease of use for elderly or those in rehabilitation.
- Quiet drive magnetic belt system
- 14 levels of resistance
- Display screen is elevated, making it easy to glance at your progress
- Noted to be difficult to assemble alone
- Lowest resistance setting still has significant tension and may not be suitable to those just starting their workout journey
Marcy Magnetic Recumbent Bike
Another aesthetically pleasing bike – if keeping it out of site isn’t an option – is the Marcy magnetic recumbent bike. This recumbent bike is in black and dark steel with only the Marcy logo contrasting in a yellow gold.
There’s an easy to read digital tracking panel and 8 resistance levels to keep you pushing your sweat sesh to new heights. And speaking of sweat, there’s a built in cupholder so quick hydration is always within reach. This may be the best recumbent stationary bike for you if you’re looking for sleek functionality. To make this an even more appealing option, there are several adjustable elements if sharing with other users as well as transportation wheels to move from one room to another.
- Compact footprint
- Fully adjustable seat to accommodate a variety of users
- Smaller seat than other recumbent bike options
- Seat is not as pictured, but is completely flat
Stamina Magnetic Resistance Recumbent Exercise Bike
Although at a higher price point than others, this is one of the best recumbent stationary bikes for an easy, low impact ride. It offers 6 preset fitness programs and smooth magnetic resistance to keep you going. With minimal bells and whistles, there’s not much to fuss with, keeping your focus on your metrics.
The user-friendly, walk through design makes this bike accessible for easy on and off, especially if utilizing while recovering from injury. For those with limited mobility looking for rehabilitation or to slowly increase their activity level, the Stamina recumbent bike will help with that journey.
- Has pulse censors to track heartrate while exercising
- Fully contoured seat and back providing beneficial ergonomics
- Although pedals are textured, there are no straps to ensure a stable hold
- Highest level of resistance is noted not to be very difficult
Velocity Exercise CHB-R2101 Magnetic Recumbent Bike
Get an effective workout in the comfort of your own home with Velocity’s Magnetic Recumbent Bike. The oversized resistance knob makes it easy to adjust your workout intensity while the strapped pedaling system keeps your feet secure. While it’s hard to compete against the tiny footprints that stationary bikes offer, for a recumbent bike, this has a relatively small footprint.
The two-way flywheel allows for a comfortable and smooth ride, providing resistance that’s not agitated. At only 53 pounds, it’s not too heavy, but still provides transportation wheels should you need to move it around.
- Compact and sporty design
- Adjustable seat and pedal straps to accommodate a variety of users
- Assembly directions are not clear, and picture diagrams are quite small
- Flat seat and back, no ergonomic contouring
Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Bike
Want a pop of color to brighten your workout? This pretty pink recumbent bike lives up to its sunny description while providing the function of a great cardio machine. If a mood boosting color helps motivate you for your workout, then this might be the best recumbent stationary bike for you.
This bike is smaller in overall frame and allows up to a 220-pound capacity. The quiet magnetic resistance makes it ideal for small spaces like apartments. Keep your workout in check with the pulse grips on the handlebars and easy to read digital display tracking all the necessary metrics. Distance, speed, calories, time, and heartrate rotate appearances on the screen. This way, you’re never more than a few second from seeing what you need to without having to remove your hands from the pulse grips to do so.
- Fully adjustable tension, seat, and pedal straps
- Aesthetically attractive and won’t be an eyesore in your home
- Noted to be somewhat difficult to assemble
- Is quite small and may not be suited for taller riders
Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance
This is the recumbent bike for the aspiring cardio junkie. There are 8 resistance levels to work through from a light to intense workout. And while you’re almost guaranteed to be sore after pushing this recumbent to the max, you’ll maintain a happy backside with the ergonomically designed seat. Its high-density foam will keep you comfortable to push your workout further.
Another great feature of this recumbent bike is the counterbalanced pedals. You get maximum control with weighted pedals which also provide ultimate comfort so you can focus on your ride.
This bike will be especially helpful for those at a heftier stature with its 14-gauge steel tubing giving it a heavy duty, super tough construction. Worried about weak knees? The construction is further enhanced by offering the walkthrough design for worry-free mounting and dismounting.
- Can accommodate much taller and higher weight levels than stationary bikes
- Design is compact for being a heavy duty machine
- One of the least expensive options
- Not accommodating for those on the shorter side (around 5’)
- Does not easily adjust between riders of varying sizes – fine if only one user, but not a bike to share
- Customer service can be difficult to reach
Things to Consider When Buying a Recumbent Stationary Bike
When it comes to exercise, the equipment is definitely not a ‘one size fits all’ scenario. Recumbent bikes are no different.
Which Is Better?
Sometimes the first question that may come to mind is: is a stationary bike better than a recumbent bike? Often, a recumbent bike is chosen specifically for those either recovering from injury who need an easy on and off machine that provides low impact cardio. For others, they may just be starting their workout journey and need to ease into exercise so as not to over-exert or cause injury. These types of workout machines are particularly helpful for elderly because of such features. In this way, once you find the best recumbent stationary bike for you, you’ll find it to be incredibly effective.
Consider Your Budget
Once you’ve chosen to purchase a recumbent bike, take into consideration your budget and how much machine you need. While it’s certainly helpful to have a digital display to track your metrics, it may not always be necessary if you only use the bike to stay loose between heavier training days or as an interim workout during injury rehabilitation. Those without can be less expensive. However, we’ve provided several budget-friendly options here with displays.
Because we’re considering these recumbent bikes for home use, take into account the space you have for it. While many cover a similar footprint, a few inches can make a big difference. If you have to move your machine between its storage room to the space in which you’ll use it, be sure to find one with transportation wheels. Thankfully, most now come with magnetic tension and are at least relatively quiet – making them ideal for shared spaces or apartment living.
Make It About You
Another point to consider is customization. This can mean a few things. How adjustable is the machine and do you need it to be? If you are sharing the recumbent bike, seamless adjustability in the seat, resistance, and pedal straps will be important. Also, how many presets are there and what kind of metrics do you wish to track? While many bikes with a digital display track similar numbers, not all have pulse censors or the ability to set fitness goals.
And don’t forget the water bottle holder. If having hydration within arms reach matters, pay attention to which options have this and which do not.
Should You Get a Recumbent Bike?
If you’re wondering whether you can get in shape or lose weight with a recumbent bike, the answer can be a profound yes…depending on your fitness level when starting.
That’s not to say a recumbent bike can’t be useful to those already at higher levels of fitness. These machines give you a way to stay loose in between heavier training days. Or, as previously mentioned, can be a great way to convalesce if you’ve been injured from your higher intensity workouts but can’t bear the thought of not getting in your daily movement.
Whatever your reason for considering a recumbent bike, the options on this list with a variety of available features will help you achieve your fitness goals. Don’t miss out on pursuing your physical objectives! The best recumbent stationary bike is just the ticket to get you there.
Best Affordable Stationary Bike For Every Budget