The 10 Best Recumbent Bikes

Updated September 19, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

10 Best Recumbent Bikes
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 40 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top picks for this wiki. For those who prefer to exercise sitting down, or need some physical therapy, check out our selection of the latest recumbent bikes. We've included affordable models that will let you exercise at home in front of the TV and more durable systems good for professional gyms and therapy centers. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best recumbent bike on Amazon.

10. Exerpeutic 400XL

While it's not intended for high-intensity workouts and doesn't have a lot of high tech features, the Exerpeutic 400XL is still a great choice for somebody who doesn't want to spend a lot and has very limited room. It is lightweight & folds up quickly for compact storage.
  • large lcd numerical readout
  • very quiet pedaling
  • not fully recumbent
Brand Exerpeutic
Model 1110
Weight 53 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

9. Nautilus R614

With a vented back and seat, the Nautilus R614 will keep you cool while you work out, but you do sacrifice some comfort for this convenience. The integrated speakers have large acoustic chambers, improving the sound quality for high volume music listening.
  • grip-style heart rate monitors
  • high-inertia flywheel
  • no bluetooth connectivity
Brand Nautilus
Model 100387
Weight 98 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

8. Sunny Health SF-RB921

The Sunny Health SF-RB921 has a dual direction flywheel and a fully adjustable frame that makes it easy for you to choose the distance between your seat and the pedals. It's suitable for users of multiple heights and weights.
  • foot straps for added security
  • excellent back support
  • wobbles when biking at high speeds
Brand Sunny Health & Fitness
Model SF-RB921
Weight 62.1 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

7. Exerpeutic 4000 Magnetic Recumbent Bike

The Exerpeutic 4000 Magnetic Recumbent Bike has a large seat with an ergonomic construction, which allows it to "breathe" and stay cool, even as you sweat. The bike easily handles users weighing up to 325 pounds, and looks stylish with its bright orange accents.
  • mobile fitness tracker app
  • adjustable magnetic tension system
  • not suitable for very short people
Brand Exerpeutic
Model 1115
Weight 92 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

6. Schwinn 230

With a very fluid pedaling motion, the Schwinn 230 is very easy on the knees and more reminiscent of road biking than many other models. It allows you to export exercise data using Schwinn Connect, so you can always keep on top of your progress toward your fitness goals.
  • built-in high quality speakers
  • has 2 fitness tests
  • cooling fan has three speed settings
Brand Schwinn
Model pending
Weight 93 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

5. Nautilus R616

The Nautilus R616 has a well laid out control panel that features oversized, color-coded quick start and stop buttons, so you can hop on and get straight to working out. It also offers Bluetooth connectivity to integrate with the Nautilus fitness app for goal tracking.
  • usb charging port
  • easy height adjustment
  • stores four user profiles
Brand Nautilus
Model 100388
Weight 106 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. Schwinn 270

The Schwinn 270 offers 25 levels of resistance, yet has a super quiet flywheel. This bike makes it easy to monitor your fitness goals, with its twin LCD windows that allow you to monitor up to 13 different display feedback options.
  • good instructions make setup easy
  • automatically shuts off
  • screen cannot be dimmed
Brand Schwinn
Model 100338
Weight 102 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

3. Diamondback 510SR

The Diamondback 510SR is pricey, but it's packed with features for those who want the versatile workout options and super plush padding on the seat for optimum comfort. It comes preprogrammed with 20 unique workout regimens that include target heart rate goals.
  • scrolling message display
  • multidirectional cooling fan
  • convenient beverage holder
Brand Diamondback Fitness
Model 510Sr
Weight 130.5 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. Marcy ME 709

The Marcy ME 709 is a low cost option perfect for the budget-minded individual. Despite its low cost, it feels surprisingly stable, even when biking at high speeds. It features multiple resistance levels, and has a large LCD screen that shows workout data.
  • pedals are counterbalanced
  • integrated transport wheels
  • lightweight at just 66 pounds
Brand Marcy
Model pending
Weight 64 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Stamina Elite

The Stamina Elite features pedals for the hands and feet, offering a complete workout for your entire body, with quiet, low-impact, but impressive resistance. The monitor measures speed, calories burned and virtual distance traveled.
  • eight levels of intensity
  • smooth magnetic resistance
  • built-in pulsometer
Brand Stamina
Model 15-9100
Weight 122 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

Getting A Great Recumbent Bike

The price range one encounters when considering recumbent bikes is rather striking at first blush. You can get a fine, brand new recumbent bike for around one hundred and fifty dollars, or you can get an a top of the line model for more than a thousand dollars. What explains the wide price gap? Simply put, the answer is accessories. But depending on your level of commitment to exercise and to an overall fitness lifestyle, don't conflate the word "accessory" with "superlative" by any stretch of the imagination.

Almost every recumbent bike use the same basic design: it features a pair of pedals attached to a flywheel that has varying levels of resistance applied through the use of magnets. You can adjust the level of resistance -- or in other words the difficulty -- you prefer to suit your fitness level or your present goal, and you can enjoy a low impact, productive workout from the comfort of your own home, office, or your spot at the gym.

For the casual exerciser who wants a relatively easy way to burn calories and get his or her heart rate up from time to time, a lower cost recumbent bike with few features is a fine choice. Any modern recumbent bike features an adjustable seat, so you can position your body in the ideal arrangement based on your height, and will make it easy for you to adjust the resistance settings so you can tailor each workout as needed. Even lower priced recumbent bikes also tend to have features such as a distance tracker, a burned calorie counter, and a timer. If your recumbent bike is a tool to assist with weight management and general cardiovascular health, those features are all you need, as they allow you to set goals in terms of time and/or distance and to estimate how many calories you have burned.

For the dedicated fitness enthusiast interested not in mere weight management alone, but in maintaining a trim, toned body, a more interactive recumbent bike can be well worth the investment. Consider the benefits of a recumbent bike with a built in computer that can not only track your stats such as heart rate, time and distance, and calorie burning, but that can actually help you plan workouts to help you improve and develop your speed and strength over time. Rather than simply telling you what you have done (miles "travelled" or time spent cycling, e.g.), a top quality recumbent bike can help you maintain your optimal heart rate, hit calorie consumption targets, and can help you develop and improve your physique and stamina over time, tracking your progress and results from workout to workout.

Any recumbent bike can help you stay decently fit; a great recumbent bike can help you get into better and better shape.

Making The Most Of Your Recumbent Bike

A recumbent bike is a great tool for cardiovascular exercise and for strengthening and toning your legs. These devices can also help you tone and tighten your abs and core, as many of the muscle groups of the lower torso are also at work while your legs churn away. But taken on its own, a recumbent bike does not provide a full body workout. With a bit of gear and a few modifications to your recumbent bike riding routine, however, you can turn each cycle session into a head to toe workout.

One of the simplest ways to get more out of a recumbent bike session is to get yourself a set of grip strengtheners and workout your hands and forearms while seated and pedaling away. You can work one hand at a time to maintain your stability with the other, or use a gripper in both hands at once, even rotating your arms in time with your legs to maintain balance and add even more productivity.

To add exercises for the biceps, shoulders, and chest, attach elastic exercise bands to the handles or base of your recumbent bike. Bands allow you to complete strength training exercises while cycling without the loss of stability an actual weight could cause.

And by taking an interval training approach to your use of a recumbent bike, with periodic changes to the resistance setting to approximate sprints and steady cycling, you can build muscle both in your legs and your heart.

A Few Words On Calorie Burning

Simply put, your weight depends on the balance of calories consumed versus calories used. While your brain uses up about twenty percent of your daily calories and your everyday actions as diverse as walking, talking, and digestion consume plenty more most of us tend to eat more calories than we need. Some of these excess calories are excreted, but most are absorbed by the body. To prevent them from turning into fat, we have to burn them up through exercise.

The amount of calories burned during a given workout depends on multiple factors. Understanding these different factors can help you plan effective workouts and more easily maintain your weight and fitness levels. Your weight directly affects calorie burning. During a half hour of moderate exercise on a recumbent bike, a 125 pound person will burn around 210 calories, while a 185 pound person will burn more than 300 calories.

However age also plays a role: a younger person will burn more calories than an older person of the same weight. And of course weight is not a universal indicator of calorie burning potential: a fit person standing 6'5" may weigh the same as an obese person standing 5'5", but of course they will burn different amounts of calories in the same amount of time.

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Last updated on September 19, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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