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Best Recumbent Exercise Bike Reviews, Comparison Chart

Making sure you choose a good recumbent bike, which is going to serve as an extension to your will power to exercise, can turn out to be a tough decision considering the wide variety of models out there with different features and prices to offer.

So before you take the big jump and buy a recumbent bike you need to know your needs and preferences as they will (or should) play a major role on choosing the correct bike for you. Now chances are you’ve never exercised on a recumbent bike so, although you might be excited to start with one, you don’t know which model will adjust better to your needs and, of course, to your budget. That is why you’ll probably enjoy the information on this page.

Best By Price RangeComparison Chart

Best 10 Recumbent Bikes Overall

ImageRecumbent Bike ReviewNumber Of ProgramsResistanceMaximum User WeightWarrantyAvg Rating
Exerpeutic 4000
exerpeutic 4000
Read Review1224325 lbs-1 year limited4.0
Schwinn 270
Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike
Read Review2925 levels300 lbs-10 years frame
-2 years mechanical
-1 year electrical
-90 days labor
3.9
Exerpeutic 900XL
Exerpeutic 900XL
Read Review/8 levels300 lbs-3 year limited4.2
Marcy Recumbent Mag Cycle
Marcy Recumbent Mag Cycle
Read Review/8 levels300 lbs-2 years limited4.2
Exerpeutic 400XL
Exerpeutic 400XL
Read Review/8 levels300 lbs1 year limited4.5
Nautilus R614
nautilus r614
Read Review2220 levels300 lbs-10 years frame
-2 years mechanical
-1 year electrical
-90 days parts
5.0
Schwinn A20
Schwinn A20
Read Review118 levels275 lbs-2 years frame
-6 months mechanical
-6 months electrical
3.4
Horizon Fitness RC-30
Horizon Fitness RC-30
Read Review88 levels275 lbs-Lifetime on frame
-20 years brake
-1 year on parts and labor
4.2
Diamondback 510Sr
Diamondback Fitness 510Sr
Read Review2016 levels300 lbs-Lifetime limited on frame and brake
-3 years parts and electronic
-1 year labor
-90 days wear parts
4.6
Schwinn 230
Schwinn 230
Read Review2220 levels300 lbs-10 years frame
-2 years mechanical
-1 year electrical
-90 days labor
4.1

Why Buy A Recumbent Exercise Bike?

A recumbent exercise bike is, of course, designed for indoor use and this carries quite a few benefits in, and of, itself. Outdoor activities like jogging and running are effective ways of burning calories, losing weight, and building fitness. It would, therefore, be fair to ask why you should bother investing in this or any other kind of indoor workout equipment when you can just go running outside? The answer is a complicated one but the simple version is as follows.

Outdoor activities like running don’t require any special equipment – but they also don’t benefit from the technological advances incorporated into modern recumbent bikes and other indoor workout equipment. These machines are designed to maximize the overall workout effectiveness by doing little things many people take for granted like providing increments of increased resistance and employing body positions that are more favorable to the kind of exercise being done (making it more efficient).

Recumbent Exercise Bike

They also employ ergonomic designs – especially in the case of recumbent bikes – that greatly reduce the risk of injury from extended workout sessions or bad posture. It’s a commonly known fact that two much running in anything less than very expensive running shoes (or with bad posture) can wreak havoc on your knees very quickly due to the high impact nature of running in itself. This effect is even more dramatic if running up- or down-hill is involved – as it often is when runners are trying to increase the difficulty level of their exercise. Cycling on an actual bicycle can be even worse on the knees and also causes back pain for some people as a result of bad posture. A recumbent bike is designed from the get-go to be ergonomic and gently enforce proper body positioning to make your workout safe and effective (and some of them are even designed to make it fun too).

Finally, when we compare recumbent exercise bikes to other gym equipment like treadmills it has a few clear advantages. For starters, the same ergonomics apply to this too. Walking or running on treadmills or other similar gym machines is as high-impact as running itself and carries the same risks outlined earlier. Even regular gym exercise bikes are prone to causing aches and pains in the lower back and sometimes in the knees from poor posture for extended workout sessions. Recumbent bikes eliminate this problem completely by keeping you in the perfect body position to get the most out of your workout while keeping the aches and pains away.

Convenience of a Folding Recumbent Bike

Some of us don’t live in big houses with lots of room for an exercise bike to be out all the time without getting in the way somewhat. If space conservation is a primary concern, folding bikes are a great solution. Models like the Exerpeutic 400XL can be easily folded into a compact state for easy storage and are lightweight enough to be moved around without a lot of hassle. Folding bikes like this one can be stored under beds, in closets, or anywhere with just a little bit of extra room without having to leave it out on the floor taking up valuable space in a small house or apartment.

Brands Reviewed on Best Fitness Advisor

We cover a diverse selection of brands and models on our website and we do encourage you to take a look at what the various models we talk about have to offer before deciding which one you like best. Some – like Exerpeutic with their 900XL model – cater to people that want a bike they can fold up and put away easily when they don’t need it while others like Sole Fitness and Stamina produce different bikes for different price brackets with varied feature sets. In this way, people seeking more economically priced models as well as those seeking high-end bikes with all sorts of fancy features – such as the best-seller Schwinn 270 – can find just what they’re looking for to fit their budget and fitness goals. We just bring the best of these options to you and offer helpful advice and information to help you make an informed purchase decision. Other brands we cover include Schwinn, Marcy, Nautilus, Reebok, and many others as we grow our selection and give you more options to choose from.

Things to Consider Before Buying

So before you take the big jump and buy a recumbent bike you need to know your needs and preferences as they will (or should) play a major role on choosing the correct bike for you. Now chances are you’ve never exercised on a recumbent bike so, although you might be excited to start with one, you don’t know which model will adjust better to your needs and, of course, to your budget. That’s why before deciding which recumbent bike suits you best, you’ll want to consider the next few things.stamina elite seat

Comfort Level: If you’re looking for a recumbent exercise bike, it’s probably safe to assume that comfort matters to you and you’d rather not buy a bike that will leave you aching a few minutes after you start. The good news is these bikes are – by their very design – made to keep you comfortable as you exercise. Recumbent seats keep your body in a semi-horizontal position that keeps you as relaxed as possible, evenly distributes your body weight across a broader surface area, and keeps you from falling into a habit of bad posture – thus avoiding the various aches and pains that would come with it.

You should also keep an eye out for bikes that come with padded seats and strong lumbar support since these will ensure that no undue strain is placed on your back to cause any discomfort later on. Some of them even come with nifty little features like built-in fans to keep you cool while you exercise – though you’ll mostly find features like that on the higher-end models of course.

The bottom line is – you’ll want to pay special attention to comfort level when reading the reviews and consider whether the model offers enough in that area to match your needs. Remember that the idea is to spend a lot of time working out on your new bike (eventually) and, as such, it makes sense to do a little extra reading to make sure it’s a comfortable and fulfilling experience.

Available Space: The next thing you’ll want to think about is how much space you have for a new recumbent bike. If you live in a reasonably large house, this probably won’t be too much of a concern but you should definitely give this a lot of thought if you live in an apartment or a relatively small house. The dimensions provided in the specifications section of the reviews will help you figure out how much space you need to accommodate that particular recumbent bike and, of course, there are foldable models like the Exerpeutic 400XL that can be tucked away neatly under a bed or in a closet when not in use. This is especially useful if you’d like to keep it in your bedroom or if you share a room with someone who won’t want it out and in the way all the time.

Workout Effectiveness: This is probably the most complex of the things you’ll want to consider but it’s arguably the most important as well. The whole point of buying an exercise bike is, after all, to get a good workout that helps you shed any pounds you might want to lose and boost your fitness level right? This means you should look at all the features that are discussed in each of the reviews. All recumbent exercise bikes are not created equal and the higher-end models usually come with some extra features that can make your workout much more effective.schwinn 250 male profile

For example, better bikes will have more resistance levels to choose from to make fine tuning your workout to precisely match your fitness level and specific goals much easier. Some also come with customized programs designed to target increasing fitness or losing weight and even allow you to design your own customized workouts from a set of parameters you can specify. This makes for a very individual experience that can almost feel like your own personal trainer giving you just what you need to achieve your next target.

Most people will also want to keep track of their heart rate while they exercise. This is important because science has proven that exercise that doesn’t significantly raise your heart rate towards its maximum and away from rest levels does not have any significant impact on fitness level and certainly doesn’t burn much excess calories. This means you’ll want a recumbent bike that keeps you informed on where your heart rate is as you exercise so you can adjust the difficulty level (resistance) accordingly for maximum benefit from your workout.

Finally, some bikes offer extra features that help some people get more out of their workouts. For example, if you’re like many people and get more done when you workout to music, you’ll appreciate the built-in speakers and iPod connectivity that some models provide. Upbeat rhythms really do tend to improve workout quality and get a good pace going but whatever genre motivates you most will likely get you to perform best and maximize the benefit of your exercise sessions.

Pricing: The last major thing you’ll want to consider before buying is an obvious one – price. We don’t all have the same budgets or requirements, of course, so it makes a lot sense to take cost into account when deciding which recumbent bike you want to buy. If you’re just looking for an affordable model on a budget you might go for one of the cheaper models that don’t have too many extra features but still manage to get the job done very well. On the other hand, if you’ve got a bit of money saved up and want to invest in a more robust and feature-filled model, we’ve got bikes that fit that requirement too and everything in between as well.

The important thing is to know what you want and what you can afford and try to strike the best balance between the two.

Best Recumbent Exercise Bike By Price

Recumbent exercise bikes are known to be more expensive than the average stationary bike because they focus on offering comfort to the user, thus increasing the production costs. Even though, the Fitness industry, realizing that not everybody can afford the costly high end models, is now offering recumbent bikes of a vast array of prices.

Because of this, and with hopes of helping you chose the best recumbent bike for your needs, we’ve compiled our top recumbent bikes for every budget range. Now keep in mind that the top end models can cost an upwards of $1000, and although there are efficient bikes costing a lot less you shouldn’t expect to get the same technical features offered by the ones of higher price.

Price Range: $100-200

Our Choice: Exerpeutic 900XL

900XL Recumbent bikeAs a very low-end model, the Exerpeutic 900XL doesn’t have a lot of features but it does the bare essentials. Its main feature and the one that gives it its name is a wider maximum capacity of up to 300 pounds, which is quite impressive for such a light model. It has of course the recumbent seat design for maximum comfort and has the basics that you’d expect of any exercise bike including a timer, calorie counter, distance counter, as well as a few resistance levels to choose from. With just 8 levels, however, the amount of variation is relatively limited when compared to other bikes but it can be enough if you’re just looking for an entry-level bike that won’t require too much of an initial investment.

It also comes with a pulse rate monitor that helps you keep an eye on how hard you’re working and see if you need to up the resistance a bit to stay within your target zone.

There’s the “Step Thru” technology introduced by Exerpeutic which if we put in simple terms means that you’ll be able to step on and off of it instantly it offers more of a comfortable workout. There are leg stabilizers which basically prevent different types of bad movement as you’re exercising. You’ll have to assemble it, although the assembly won’t take as long as others.

The reason why this bike operates so smoothly and quietly is due to its flywheel as well the V belt drive that works with it. Even if you decide to listen to music or simply watch over your kids, you’ll be able to do so thanks to its quietness. The larger pedal ensures your feet don’t awkwardly slip as you’re exercising. The seat is cushioned nicely as well, catering to a variety of users.

Read Full Review

Price Range: $200-350

Our Choice: Schwinn A20

Recumbent Bike ReviewsThis model is slightly more expensive than the last – though still on the low end of the price spectrum – and comes with a few more features to show for it. Like the last bike, it has eight levels of resistance, but it also includes 7 built-in workout programs designed to provide something for all fitness levels and goals (but obviously doesn’t have as many options for fine-tuning as some of the high-end options we’ll get to in a little while).

The Schwinn A20 also uses magnetic resistance technology – impressive for such an economically priced bike – which keeps it very quiet (almost silent) at even the highest pedaling speeds at maximum resistance. This in especially convenient for if you like watching TV or engaging in some other activity while you workout that would make a typical noisy exercise bike annoying and distracting. Not a bad bike at all if you’re on a relatively small budget.

What can probably be considered its biggest advantage alongside the performance is its quietness. This bike is extremely quiet hence people that are asleep in the same room where you’re exercising will not be disturbed by it. This is of great importance to people living with roommates whom they don’t want to disturb.Additionally, moving the A20 is so easy that you’ll be able to pull it out of the closet, put it in your living room and then put it back in once you’re done working out.

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Price Range: $350-500

Our Choice: Schwinn 270

best recumbent bike The Schwinn 270 is a bit pricier than the A20 model we just talked about but it’s a big improvement over its predecessor in many respects. Instead of just 8 levels of resistance, the Schwinn 270 comes with 25 levels of resistance and just under 30 exercise programs that allow for far greater fine-tuning of workouts than the A20 bike. This mean you can better target your specific fitness level and goals with the program best suited to getting you there as quickly as possible.

Like the A20 model, the Schwinn 270 is quiet enough for you to multi-task while riding it but also provides a significantly smoother ride due to the heavier and better balance flywheel that it sports. It also features digital goal tracking and allows user to export and import data via the USB port that can also be used for charging devices like cell phones and iPods right there on the machine.All-in-all a good bike for buyers on the lower end of the mid-range spectrum.

Similar to the A20, it is extremely quiet in operation and provides for a comfortable workout because the seat is neatly padded, the leg support is padded and the quietness goes hand in hand with that.

This model’s best improvement over other models is- without a doubt- that it’s Schwinn Connect compatible, which means that you’ll be able to export your fitness data into Schwinn Connect and-even better- to myfitnesspal.com! Now there’s something cool.

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Price Range: $500-750

Our Choice: Diamondback Fitness 510Sr

510Sr Recumbent Exercise Bike The Diamondback Fitness 510SR is a big improvement on the last bike – especially if you’re a fan of convenience features. While from a purely functional standpoint it’s quite similar to the Schwinn 270, the 510SR comes with some cool convenience perks like a magazine holder, a water bottle holder, and built-in speakers that can be connected to your iPod or MP3 player. This is convenient for users that enjoy working out with their music and can actually significantly improve workout effectiveness by boosting motivation – especially with dance genres and hip-hop that feature up-tempo rhythms designed to get people moving.

The 510SR also does a good job on comfort and sports a cooling fan in addition to the water bottle holder to help keep you cool and hydrated while you exercise. Definitely a significant improvement over the last bike and floating somewhere around the top of mid-range pricing.

We won’t get into the individual aspects of its features (check out our full review for that) although the main features are 16 resistance levels and 20 pre-programmed workouts to pick form. The LCD monitor is clear and you can program it to personalize your workout. The handlebar angle can also be adjusted.

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Price Range: $750-1000

Our Choice: Diamondback Fitness 910Sr

910sr recumbent bikeThe Diamondback Fitness 910SR has the same functionality as its predecessor that we just discussed but justifies its spot among the high-end price range by incorporating a couple of unique features that set it apart from the 510SR. It has a wireless heart rate monitor/receiver that works via a wearable chest strap that sends real-time data to the LCD console where you’ll see you current heart rate as you ride. This is significant because other low-end models determine your heart rate by measuring your pulse through sensors in the handle bars. Recumbent bikes don’t require that you hold onto the bars at all times, however, and many users would prefer not to have to do that just so that the console can get an accurate pulse reading. The wireless heart rate receiver removes this inconvenience – while retaining all the cool media-playing and body-cooling features we talked about in its predecessor.

It also features a 30-pin connector designed specifically to connect Apple devices to its full featured media center application. Smaller bonus perks include the new mesh-backed seat (much more comfortable) and little niceties like the ability to fold away the magazine rack. It also has more resistance levels and workout programs than all the models we’ve discussed so far – 32 and 35 respectively.

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Price Range: $1000+

Our Choice: Sole Fitness LCR Light Commercial

LCR exercise bikeThe Sole Fitness LCR Light Commercial is at the top end of the price spectrum and rightly so. As its name suggests, it’s a commercial grade, very robust bike that can handle a lot of wear and tear and is well equipped for heavy duty use. It features a vivid 9-inch display that makes it possible to display all the important workout information you need on-screen – all the time. It features a whopping 40 levels of resistance that provide enough variation for the finest degrees of fine-tuning across all fitness levels and workout goals. It has a sound system far more sophisticated than the other models we’ve discussed – with better and louder speakers.

It’s most amazing feature however, is its power source – or lack thereof. The Sole Fitness LCR requires no external power source and is entirely self-powered as you ride it. This translates into big savings over time on electricity costs and also means you don’t have to worry about accidentally leaving it plugged in or being unable to use it during a power outage. This really is the feature that sets it apart from the rest but there are still a couple more features worth mentioning.

The bike’s frame is all but completely indestructible and is supported by reinforced steel and aluminum. This adds considerable weight to it, of course, and you might expect this to have its drawbacks in terms of portability – but the wheels in front make it easy enough to move the bike around without needing to lift it up or struggle to drag it across the floor.

The Sole Fitness LCR is about as good as it gets and definitely packs enough features to make the price worth it but these options should give you a good idea of what your options are with regards to reconciling your budget with the features you’re most interested in.

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The Breakdown

Speaking in general terms, all of these bikes offer excellent quality and value for money thus they managed to make their way to our front page. The case with all of them is that you’ll be able to adjust the seat, handlebars and pedals, although the technical features are really what separate them in terms of price points.

If you have more people living at home, you’ll be appreciative of their quietness in operation. This is actually something we had in mind as we can relate to your concerns prior to purchasing. Make sure you look into our full reviews before you’re ready to make a decision as you don’t want to rush the decision out.