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Best Recumbent Exercise Bike | Top 7 Exercise Bikes Reviews (2018)

If you got here, chances are you are looking to buy a stationary recumbent exercise bike for your home.

After spending dozens of hours examining and comparing numerous bikes, we narrowed our choice to what we consider to be the top 7 models.

It doesn't matter what's your budget. We looked at all the price ranges and picked the best recumbent exercise bike for every price point.

From cheap recumbent stationary bikes (some under $200) to mid-range models sold for around $500, and up to pro commercial grade recumbent bikes sold for $1,000 and beyond.

Don't have time? Jump directly to our top picks here.

Kickstart your fitness goals right now in 2018, there's no point in postponing your goals for 2019​.

We included a bike comparison chart to make it easy for you to pick a bike for a specific purpose.

See which ones are compact and folding, compare the ones with high weight capacity, and see which bikes have a moving arms feature for working out the upper body.

In this ultimate guide to recumbent exercise bikes, we cover everything you need to know.

We cover the unique benefits recumbent bikes have over other home gym equipment, and what make them stand out from stationary bikes and upright bikes. 

Top 7 Best Recumbent Exercise Bikes

Winner - Best Bike

  • Most popular recumbent exercise bike for home

Also Great

  • Very well designed with good connectivity 

Best Budget Recumbent Exercise Bike

  • Exceptional performance for the price

400 lb Capacity Budget Pick

  • Compact folding design with high weight capacity

Best Bike with Moving Arms

  • Adjustable tension arm exerciser for working upper body

Best Exercise Bike for Heavy People

  • Commercial grade high 400 lb weight capacity

Best Commercial Recumbent Exercise Bike

  • Ideal for heavy duty use, commercial and residential gyms

Recumbent Bikes Comparison Chart

Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike
Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike
Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709
Exerpeutic Gold 525XLR Folding Recumbent Exercise Bike, 400 lbs
Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Bike Exercise Bike, 350lb High Weight Capacity, Arm Exercisers, Monitor, Pulse Rate Monitoring - SF-RB4631
Fitnex R70 Recumbent Exercise Bike
Precor RBK 615 Commercial Series Recumbent Exercise Cycle

Weight​

Capacity

300 lb

300 lb

300 lb

400 lb

350 lb

400 lb

350 lb

Resistance​

Levels

25

25

8

8

8

16

25

Grips

Heart Rate

✔

✔

-

✔

✔

✔

✔

Opt. Chest

Heart Rate

✔

✔

-

-

-

-

-

Dimensions

64”L x
27.7”W x
49.9”H

65.3"L x​
28.3"W x​
49.6"H

55.5"L x​
25"W x​
38"H

48.5"L x​
24"W x​
46"H

53"L x​
24"W x​
54"H

70"L x​
31"W x​
44"H

66"L x​
23"W x​
49"H

Machine
Weight

92 lb

92 lb

60 lb

55 lb

89.5 lbs

165 lbs

200 lbs

Human

Height
Range

4’11” to 6’5”

4’11” to 6’4”

4’11” to 6’5”

5'2" to 6'5"

4'11" to 6'3"

4’10” to 6’5”

4'10" to 6'6"

Bluetooth

✔

✔

-

-

-

-

RF

Cost

Recumbent Bikes vs. Stationary & Upright Exercise Bikes

Recumbent Exercise Bike For People With Back Pain
Upright Stationary Bike Back Leaning Forward

The comfortable seat and your body's position during a workout is what makes recumbent bike different from upright exercise bikes and other stationary bikes.

The seat of a recumbent bike is close to the floor and slightly further back from the pedals.

This low height of the seat and the reclined angle gives you a stable center of gravity and a more natural posture. In fact, if it weren’t for the pedals, you could say that sitting on a recumbent bike almost feels like sitting on a normal chair.

The large seat and supported backrest make working out for long periods more comfortable than on other bikes. Upright bikes on the other hand, have small seats, no backrests. This can make them less comfortable to use, especially for longer sessions.

This reclined seated position also reduces the chance of triggering fatigue, aches or pains in the upper body when working out.

Advantages of Recumbent Exercise Bikes

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    Great For Limited Mobility
    They provide exercise options for people with back problems or limited mobility
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    Less Back Pain
    If you are prone to back or pelvic pain, you may find a recumbent bike easier and more accessible to use than other exercise equipment.
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    Easier To Get On The Bike
    Hopping onto a recumbent bike is easy. The seats are accessible and generally sit lower. In fact, the seat may remind you of sitting in a regular household chair. Because of this accessibility, it's easy for people of any age to get onto a recumbent bike and work out. Dismounting after riding is also easy and effortless.
    Unlike a regular exercise bike (upright bike), you will not need help to get on and off of the lower seat on a recumbent bike's frame.
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    Comfortable Seat
    The comfortable seated position increases the likelihood you’ll stick with your workout
    The wider, reclined seat and backrest on a recumbent bike is quite comfortable to sit on.

    The more comfortable and pleasant it is for you to exercise, the higher the chance you'll stick with your home workout routine. It's also more likely you'll be able to sustain longer workout sessions.

    Sitting down also helps to reduce back and shoulder pain. On a recumbent bike, you do not have to bend your body forward to reach any handlebars. In fact, your upper body can remain completely still.

    If you are new to fitness, you may be struggling to decide what exercise to start out with. Recumbent bikes are great for beginners. Recumbent bikes offer a comfortable range of motion and can help you build endurance.
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    Cardio & Muscle Toning At The Same Time
    It's well known that spinning on a recumbent bike is good for you heart.  It increases your heart rate and improved your cardiovascular endurance, but there's more.

    Pedaling on recumbent exercise bikes also helps build and strengthen major muscle groups in the lower body. As you pedal the bike, you will activate your abs, glutes, quads, and hamstrings…
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    Capable of Supporting Heavy People 400 lb (180 kg)
    If you are overweight and feel you have limited options for exercise, a recumbent bike can help.

    Many recumbent bikes have a weight capacity of 350 to 400 lbs. As such, working out on these bikes can help motivate you to build the foundations of an exercise routine.

    Their unique seating and shape offer more comfort and support for large-framed individuals without placing unnecessary stress on the knees.
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    Multitask During Workout
    If you seek ways to get more productive, a recumbent exercise bike is probably the best choice for your home gym.

    On a recumbent bike, you can boost your heart rate and productivity at the same time. This is especially true because you can combine your workouts with other activities.

     If you are a productivity freak, that’s the bike for you. It’s the most convenient machine to multitask while exercising. A recumbent bike will allow you to watch television, listen to music, read, or even work on a tablet.
    You won't feel you are "wasting" time because you are actually doing other kinds of work simultaneously.
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    Studies have revealed that biking can increase your capacity to learn new information and you also have a higher chance of storing this information in your long-term memory.
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    More Affordable Than Treadmills
    Treadmills have an internal high power engine, a treadbelt and other complex parts. On the other hand, recumbent bikes, have no engine, no treadbelt, and are more simple to manufacture.

    The bottom line is that you end up paying less for a recumbent bike than for a treadmill.

    The simple design of the recumbent bike means that maintenance and repair costs are also lower than they are for a treadmill.

Recumbent Bikes for Beginners

Recumbent exercise bikes aren't just great for the novice, but also for fitness enthusiasts and even for athletes (we'll discuss why later).

Let's begin first with the 3 main reasons why recumbent bikes are ideal for beginners and the elderly

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    No Practice Required – There’s almost no learning involved. It takes only a couple of minutes to get comfortable and into the groove of pedaling.
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    Less Chance of Doing It Wrong – It’s almost impossible to use a recumbent bike the wrong way. Just adjust the distance from the seat and the pedals and you are ready to go. Upright exercise bike (normal stationary bikes) on the other hand require you to keep a good posture, without leaning forward too much.
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    Friendly Design – The simple look of the machine and the relaxed seated position makes a recumbent bike less intimidating for sedentary people and those not used to work out. Treadmills have noisy engines and beginners many times find them somewhat daunting and uninviting. Elliptical trainers have large handles, and the movement may feel awkward and unnatural. Beginners may find the recumbent bike more inviting to use even before hopping over them.

High Capacity 350 & 400 lb Recumbent Exercise Bikes

If you are overweight and want to lose weight there are plenty of cardio equipment that can help you with slim down.
The most popular machines for weight loss are treadmills, elliptical cross-trainers, steppers, and rowing machines.

Any of these machines will help an overweight person shed pounds, there’s no doubt in that.

However, exercise and stationary bikes have benefits that are specifically relevant to a heavy person.  The excess weight you carry places a lot of stress on your joints which can wear them down.

An obese who weighs 400 lbs places tremendously more pressure on his back, knees hips than a guy who weighs just 170 pounds.

WHAT ABOUT TREADMILLS?
If you are heavy and use a treadmill, with every step your feet hit the belt, considerable pressure is placed on your knees. That’s especially true when running, and to lesser degree when walking.

If you are morbidly obese you can still use a treadmill, just don't run, use the treadmill at a walking speed instead.

Pedaling on an exercise bike is done seated and thus is considered a low-impact activity. The seat of the bike carries and absorbs your upper body weight. That seated position takes most of the stress off your joints.

The two main kinds of stationary exercise bikes are the upright bikes (also referred to simply as ‘exercise bike’) and the recumbent exercise bikes.

While any bike will take some stress off your joints, recumbent bikes easier on the knees than other bike types.

The second advantage for big people that recumbent bikes provide is the broader base and wider seating. Most are capable of supporting weights of 350 to 400 pounds.

You don’t have to be overweight to appreciate the low-impact activity of the recumbent bike. Spinning on a bike is a recommended exercise for people with joint pain. The Arthritis Foundation recommends stationary bikes for Arthritis patients.

What Muscles Do Recumbent Bikes Work?

Recumbent bikes target mainly the legs and lower abs muscles.
Cycling targets the following muscles:

Glutes
Quadriceps
Quad Adductors
Hamstrings
Calves
Tibialis Anterior
Abdominals

To be more specific:

While pushing, you work the glutes, quads, quad adductors, calves, and tibialis anterior.
Upon returning to the start position, you also use your hamstrings and calves.

Because of this range of motion, you get a complete leg workout in one exercise session.

Sitting and pedaling the bike will also target your lower abdominal muscles. Each time that you complete a rotation, your abs stabilize your core. Your abs also provide foundational strength for your leg muscles as you pedal the bike.

Recumbent Exercise Bike Disadvantages

  • The Exercise Can Feel Monotonous
     Some people do not like recumbent bikes because they find them to be monotonous.

    If you like having variation in your routine, you may not enjoy these bikes. In such case, an upright bike may be better since you can spice up your session by cycling while standing or by occasionally leaning a bit forward. There’s more room for a variety in an upright bike than in a recumbent bike.
  • Not The Most Compact Cardio Machine
    Due to their long base design, recumbent exercise bikes occupy more space than upright bikes do.

    Recumbent bikes generally have longer frames due to their reclined seating. This can be an important consideration if you plan on purchasing a recumbent bike for home use. Take the time to measure the dimensions of your space before you buy.

    Some of the larger bike models can measure close to five feet in length and two feet in width. Keep in mind that you will need a little bit more space to get onto and off of the bike from either side.

    If you're willing to spend extra money, you may want to invest in a collapsible bike model for easy storage.

    It's important to mention that still, compared to a treadmill, a recumbent bike is likely to be lighter due to the lack of an engine.

    If you are sold on pedaling but don't have any space to put a bike, you can always opt for a pedal exerciser which is essentially just the pedal part of an exercise bike. Though certainly not a replacement for a real stationary recumbent bike, a pedal exerciser is a viable alternative or an additional piece of equipment you can place at your office
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    It's important to mention that still, compared to a treadmill, a recumbent bike is likely to be lighter due to the lack of an engine.
  • More Expensive Than Upright Bikes
    Recumbent bikes feature larger frames, reclined seating and backrests.
    Although these are great benefits, they also add up to the cost of the bike.
    Upright bikes don't have these benefits, but they are more compact than and usually cost less money than recumbent bikes.

    In comparison to other motorized fitness equipment, recumbent bikes are still generally less expensive.

    Basic models of recumbent bikes can cost between $150 to $200. More high-end models can cost well around $2,500 and even more.
  • Limited Range Of Motion
    The range of motion of the recumbent bikes is quite limited and shorter compared to an elliptical trainer or a treadmill.

    In general, a recumbent bike workout will burn less calories than a treadmill or an elliptical trainer workout. That's because you get more upper body workout and more muscles involved using an elliptical or a treadmill.

    However, keep in mind that the comfort of the recumbent bike may help you to actually keep up with your exercise routine and stay persistent. So a recumbent bike may still be a much better choice for weight loss, especially for beginners or people that find it difficult to stick up with a home workout routine.

Recumbent Exercise Bike for Weight Loss

Working out on a recumbent bike can burn more than 300 calories per hour. The number of calories you will burn largely depend on what intensity you set your recumbent bike.

Even a slight increase in the pedaling intensity will increase the fat burning and accelerate weight loss.

You lose one pound of body fat every time that you burn 3500 calories and create a calorie deficit.

So I know three hundred calories may not sound much to you, especially compared to Zumba or High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) But keep in mind that exercising on a recumbent bike won't exhaust you nearly as much as other cardio machines would.

You are also much more likely to stick with your workout routine pedaling on your recumbent bike at home than you would be going out to a gym class.

If you will keep your home exercise routine and use you recumbent bike consistently you will improve your health and lose weight without feeling worn out.

Recumbent Exercise Bike For Seniors

Getting old isn't an excuse for no exercise, on the contrary, it’s a good excuse to train even more to keep you healthy.

An exercise bike is one of the best machines for the elderly.

Sitting on a recumbent bike is comfortable and reminiscent of sitting on a household chair. The bikes are very easy to sit on and to dismount.

Recumbent Exercise Bike For Seniors

Setting the bike difficulty level to "Low" makes it easier to exercise for longer durations. It also reduces the onset of some aches and pains associated with exercise.

Another advantage that is especially important for seniors is the low impact nature of pedaling on a recumbent exercise. Coupled with an increase in mobility and flexibility, along with improved cardiovascular health, it's no wonder why many professionals recommend recumbent bikes for the elderly.

It's a gentle yet an effective way for seniors to stay active without leaving home or exert unrealistic efforts.

Recumbent Exercise Bike For Back Pain

If you suffer from certain conditions of the back and spine, a recumbent bike can help. Patients suffering from spinal stenosis and osteoarthritis often find more comfort cycling from a reclined position instead of sitting upright.

If you have pain in your upper back or shoulders, a recumbent bike can provide relief. Your upper body tends to stay immobilized on a recumbent bike while your legs and abdomen do most of the work. This keeps you from triggering any unwanted aches or pains in your back, neck, or shoulders.

Recumbent Exercise Bike For Physical Therapy And Rehab

Many physical therapists favor the recumbent bike is for rehabilitation. The low impact of biking is in most cases the ideal way to start recovery from an injury.

Bikers can rebuild range of motion as well as stability in their leg muscles and joints.

If you have sciatica, arthritis, or knee pain, a recumbent bike can help you manage pain.

Starting with minimum resistance will place no stress on your joints, but would still increase lubricate the joints and improve the blood flow.

Moving the joints and increasing blood circulation in injured areas is essential for faster recovery.

You can then increase the resistance to make the pedaling more difficult as you progress. As you continue to recover and regain strength, the bike will adapt to you and your therapy needs. 

Physical therapists have relied on recumbent bikes for years for in-patient care. They have also recommended recumbent bikes for in-home recovery and pain management​.

If you are struggling with pain management or recovering from an injury, talk to your doctor. He or she will help you develop a workout plan that will encourage a healthy recovery at the convenience of your own home.

Recumbent Exercise Bike With Moving Arms for Upper Body Workout

Traditional recumbent bikes don't work your upper muscles, your upper body is stabilized.

Some recumbent bikes that include movable arms can also work your upper body popped up recently.

These bikes have moving arm pedals, so you are getting an arm exercise and work more upper body muscles by pedaling with your arms instead of your legs. 

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Bike Exercise Bike, 350lb High Weight Capacity, Arm Exercisers, Monitor, Pulse Rate Monitoring - SF-RB4631

Pedaling simultaneously with your arms and your legs is a novel idea to kill two birds with one stone.

Bikes like the Sunny Health & Fitness offer moveable handlebars. In combination, the handlebars and lower pedals give you a full-body workout. 

You can even opt for an isolated arm workout by keeping your feet still on the floor and cranking the arm pedals.

Many bikes with arm pedals also offer varying levels of resistance for more challenge. 

Interestingly, the moving arms feature is mostly found in the lower cost recumbent bikes and lower midrange models.

The better, more advanced, recumbent bikes do not have the moving arms options. The more professional a recumbent bike is, the less likely it is to have moving arms pedals for upper body workout.

Recumbent Bikes for Athletes & Fitness Freaks

Recumbent bikes aren't just for people who want to lose weight. They are great for fitness enthusiasts too. Although underrated, even professional athletes can benefit from working out on a recumbent exercise bike.

Most sports are considered groundwork, what I mean by that, is that they mainly involve your lower body. Take, for example, running, marathons, basketball, tennis, football, soccer, even CrossFit and dozens of other sports.

These sports include a lot of groundwork and put a lot of stress on your hips and legs. While there's no problem with that, why overload your lower body joints even more by doing strenuous cardio at home?

If you already do sports, you would want to give your joints a break.
Jumping on the treadmill at home can jeopardize your joints, particularly your hips, knees, and ankles. That’s not a good plan unless you are training for an event such as a marathon.

That’s why I recommend the recumbent bike for people who already do a lot of physical activity.

The seated position removes the force of gravity and is easy on your joints. You can get an excellent cardiovascular workout on a recumbent bike without further stressing your joints.

RECUMBENT BIKES BUYING GUIDE - FEATURES

We’ve compiled a list of some of the most important factors to look for when buying a recumbent exercise bike.

From the basics of seating styles and adjustability to more advanced technological upgrades like performance monitors and sound systems.

There's no one size fits all, you want to choose the recumbent bike that is best suited best suited to your specific needs. 

Seat & Comfort

The importance of a good seat

This component is what makes a recumbent exercise bike different from a traditional bike and even from other stationary bikes found in a cycling class.

Unlike a standard bike seat, a good recumbent bike should have a wide seat with a back portion for lumbar spine support.

Every person has a different seat position that allows them to exercise comfortably. Look for a seat that is wide, has molded contours, and plenty of padding.

A bike’s reclining seat should never make the user feel like they are being “scrunched.” It should also be comfortable enough to lounge on for long periods.

Recumbent bikes have lots of benefits, but there's no question comfort comes as the top priority for many buyers.

By far, the seat is the most important feature of the recumbent bike. A comfortable seat is the number one feature that will make a recumbent bike a pleasure to use or a nightmare.

Luckily, all the models we reviewed here have good seats.

Recumbent bikes have wide seats with large backrest, and that's what makes them much more comfortable to exercise on compared to any other cardio equipment.

The comfort of the exercise is what will make you persist with your workout routine.

Although some models feature a seat cushion that is connected straight to the back pad, most models feature a separate seat cushion and a separate backrest, which allow for a greater degree of adjustability. 

If you plan to use your bike as a way to burn a few casual calories while you watch TV or answer emails, you will probably prefer the added comfort of an integrated, non-separated, seat with back pad.

If you want to use your bike as a serious exercise tool, you might be more attracted to the increased flexibility of the separated seat model.

The Two Kinds of Seats

There are two main type of seats. The hard plastic ones and soft padded ones. Each has its own pros and cons.

Hard Plastic & Mesh Seats

That may sound uncomfortable, but in fact some bikers prefer these over the softer kind, particularly for long workouts. They keep your body firmly in place, and may provide better back support.

The advantage of the plastic backrest is that it has many holes in it designed to keep your back less sweaty. A ventilated backrest tends to keep your torso cooler and more comfortable for extended periods of time than a cushioned seat.

Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike

For example, the Nautilus R616, come with a vented backrest to help keep your torso cool. This Nautilus has a seat made of hard plastic, which provides extra lumbar support, which is also ideal for people who suffer from lower back pain.

The Good: Vented plastic seats help you stay cooler by dispersing sweat.

The Bad: Some may find sitting or leaning against plastic backrest uncomfortable for prolong time.

Soft Padded Seats

Most people will probably claim a padded seat is more comfortable, after all, most desk chairs, sofas and other kinds of seats are soft and comfy. But remember you don't really exercise while sitting at your dinner table or while sitting on the sofa watching TV.

That is not to say that recumbent exercise bikes with soft seats are bad, on the contrary.

You may care more about the comfort of the seat than the how hot you feel. Besides, with the air condition on, or if you don't exercise super intensely, it's less of an issue whether the seat has vents or not.

The Marcy ME 709 provides slightly less back support, but a bit more comfort for the trainee. This bike comes with a wide seat and a tall backrest stuffed with copious amounts of foam cushioning.

Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709

Seating styles such as the Marcy ME 709 provide extra padding, while models like the Schwinn 270 provide precise contouring to fit the natural curvature of your spine.

The Good: The most comfortable.

The Bad: You may feel more hot during long workouts.

Folding

A recumbent bike that can be folded will save you a lot of space but is more likely to be less durable.

A folding bike is more portable so you can move around the house.

Most of the top recumbent exercise bike models are made for structural stability over portability, but foldable and compact models do exist, such as the Exerpeutic 525XLR

Storage

You can make most most recumbent bikes take less space simply by minimize the distance between the seat area and pedal assembly.

When you finish your workout you can move the seat so it's closer to the pedals. This will make the bike slightly more compact. The dimensions of a “closed” bike base will measure somewhere in the neighborhood of 4 x 2 feet.

Having a model with wheels at one end allows a person to easily guide it into the corner of a room, or into a large closet. Most bikes have some sort of rolling device no matter the price range, this is pretty basic.

Some people want bikes that fold for storage. However, this is an extremely rare feature and is most often found on lightweight bikes that have no powered components. The foldable bikes that do exist are semi recumbent exercise bike.

In order to have a folding base feature, the bike needs to have minimal base material. Usually, this makes for a more flimsy sort of construction.
That's why high-end recumbent bikes do not fold, although you can still make them smaller by moving the seat all the way towards the pedals.

Instead of a folding recumbent bike, the better choice is one with a sturdy frame that can be collapsed, by adjustment, into a small profile.

Base and Moving Capability

A good home recumbent bike should not have a flimsy base profile. Try finding a model that has a base configuration that is only as wide as the shoulders of the person using it.

The base frame of a recumbent bike also accounts for the majority of the bike’s total weight. If the base is massive, yes it will be super stable, but less portable as it would be tough to move around.

Check for:

  • Base construction that lies completely flat on any surface. This includes carpet.

  • Wheels on one end that makes it possible to roll the bike to a storage area.

  • Hollow and square metal framing. This means the bike will be constructed with metal welds instead of unreliable set screws. 

Usually, the more expensive the bike is, the heavier it is and the more stable it is. Very low budget bikes may have a weak base making them somewhat unstable, which may create an annoying rocking sensation during workout.

Adjustability

It's simple, the more adjustment range a recumbent bike model has, the better

If you are about average weight and height, you may be able to get away with buying a cheaper, one-size-fits-all model. However, if you have limbs that are shorter or longer than average or need a bike that will fit more than one person, you may be better off spending a little bit more a model that have a wide range of seat adjustment.

The ideal distance of the seat from the pedals is when your knees are only slightly bent when one of your feet is at its farthest away position from your body.

Most budget recumbent bikes require you to stand up to adjust the seat-pedals distance. The more expensive models allow you to adjust the position while seated. 

Even though the only adjustment you'll find in most models is the seat to pedal distance, the best bikes give you more control through a wider and finer adjustment. This makes the bike more likely to fit both short and tall people.

High Weight Capacity (350 & 400 lb)

Recumbent exercise bikes are better able to support more heavy people than some other cardio equipment.

Some recumbent exercise bikes have a weight capacity of 400 lbs (180 kg). The two most recommended ones are the budget Marcy ME-709 and the high-end Fitnex R70.

Fitnex R70 Recumbent Exercise Bike

The Fitnex R70  can support people up to 400 lb with heights 4’10” to 6’5” tall

The seat position is closer to the ground than in an upright bike, which makes the recumbent bike more stable and able to support high user weight capacity.

On the lighter end of the scale, entry-level and personal use models usually have a weight capacity of around 250 pounds. Schwinn models tend to support a maximum of 300 pounds.

Commercial models are generally sturdier, with models like the Fitnex R70 that can support a maximum of 400 pounds and the Physiostep MDX, a heavyweight beast of burden that can handle up to 500 pounds.

Moving Arms

Some recumbent bikes also have upper body workout features like resistance armbars or an arm exerciser. With these, you can get an upper body workout in tandem with pedaling. The moving handlebars exercise not just your arms, but your upper body as a whole, including back and shoulders.

Pedals

Other comfort options include larger or adjustable pedals that can help to prevent foot pain and textured handlebars that provide you with a better grip and less slip.

  • Is the pedal assembly powered by a strap, a chain, a magneto, or a series of manual gears. This is important to know because it gives an idea of how much strength is needed to push the pedals. Purely electronic and magnetic assemblies have a wider range of smooth resistance levels.

  • Check for swiveling at the point where the pedals meet the pedal arms. Pedals that do not swivel will wear quickly. They are also easier on your joints. Swiveling pedals are also called weighted pedals or balanced pedals. Thankfull, the recumbent exercise bike reviewed later in this article have weighted pedals.

  • Do the pedals have foot straps? Straps provide security with whatever type of workout shoe you choose to wear.

  • Does the bike allow for multi-directional exercise? Sometimes, you will want to pedal backward to target hamstring and glute muscles. This is a very handy bike pedaling option. All mid-range and above bikes have that ability by default.

Console & Screens

Displays range from low-end monochromatic displays that usually feature a blue or green backlight, up to high-resolution big beautiful LCD and LED touchscreens displays.

High-end recumbent exercise bikes come with a video screen to keep you updated with your performance data or to entertain you with scenery during your workout.

Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike

The Schwinn 270 console with backlit display

If you are interested in the basics of keeping track of your heart rate and the calories you’ve burned, you may be happy with a small LCD screen that comes with a minimum of features.

The Marcy ME-709, for instance, displays only four essential readouts: speed, distance, time and calories burned.

At the other end of the spectrum are virtual biking models such as the Expresso Bike and the CyberCycle.

These bikes project exotic locations on a large screen, making you feel more engaged and less bored. You can even have games you can play during your workout making time fly by faster.

The Expresso Bike has a racing option where you can compare your time around various virtual tracks with your friends and other users around the world.
It features a gorgeous 26.5-inch HD screen that transports you to different worlds with a high-resolution 3D scenery. 

EXPRESSO GO Recumbent Bike

Every good recumbent bike should have a user-facing console that provides useful information about the bike’s operation.
Even budget recumbent bikes will have a console with features like:
Manual dials for changing pedaling resistance and digital clocks for timing a workout period.

More expensive bikes models always offer more options, for example:

  • Digital distance, heart rate, and speed readouts.

  • Programmable options for customized workouts. These are helpful when keeping your workouts varied and exciting.

  • Cooling fans with On/Off controls.

  • Media device ports and speakers for listening to music while you workout.

Connectivity (Internet, Bluetooth, ANT/+)

If you shop for budget recumbent bikes such as those are under $200, chances are your bike won't be able to connect to the internet.

However, if you spend a little bit more you'll get wireless internet (WIFI), Bluetooth as well as niche options like ANT/+.

I’ve found that connectivity tends to correlate with screen quality. The fancier the screen, the more connectivity options the bike tends to have.

There are also separate consoles you can buy for your bike such as the DISCOVER SE3 HD made by LifeFitness which a ton of features. It comes with wireless internet, Ethernet, Bluetooth, TV connectivity, and can connect to your iPhone/iOS devices and Android.

Bikes without screens or with only simple LCD monitors generally come with more basic connectivity options such as a USB or AUX port to connect the phone to the built-in speakers.

Music & Speakers

Is music an essential part of your workout routine? Then you may want to spend a little extra on a model with a pair of high-end speakers.

Our two best picks are the Schwinn 270 and Nautilus R616. Both feature an echo amplifier system. It sounds much better than your phone's speakers, but don't expect a Hi-Fi music quality.

If you are happy working out with headphones you shouldn't care anyway about built the built-in speakers.

Power Supply

It is also good to note how your bike is powered. Some bikes require an electric power cord. This might limit the choices of where you use your bike.

Some bikes are powered by batteries installed into the control console. This makes your bike more versatile, but batteries can get expensive if you have long workouts every day. Some models have options for both batteries as well as an electric cord.

Some models like the Precor RBK 615 do not require any power source as they are powered by the sheer energy produced by your pedaling.

Cooling Fan

A bike with a cooling fan can help to regulate your body temperature during a grueling workout.

Lower end fan models usually direct air toward your face and upper body, while more expensive bike models may come with two fans to keep both your upper and lower body cool. Don't expect too much of any of the built in cooling fans, they aren't as effective is big fans or air conditioners.  Still, every bit of help to cool you down during exercise helps.

What's the Price? How Much Should You Pay for a Bike?

First, decide how much you want to spend on a stationary exercise bike. Second, when it comes to features and extras, identify the “must haves,” and "nice to have".

Do you absolutely need the most compact bike with the smallest dimensions? In that case, you might want to choose a folding model. If space isn't a constraint, you may want to with a more robust model that is more comfortable and include more features.

You don't want to shell a couple hundreds of dollars on something that you wouldn't use.

LOW BUDGET & BASIC RECUMBENT EXERCISE BIKES

Some basic recumbent exercise models can be found for under $200. These entry-level machines usually only have the bare essentials, the frame, seat, and pedals. The resistance (level of difficulty) on these models is changed manually byy turning a knob. The display is also small and super basic. You'll still get heart rate tracking even with the most inexpensive models we reviewed here.

MID-RANGE RECUMBENT EXERCISE BIKES

The price range of the $400 to $600 is where the majority of recumbent exercise bike fall into. These bikes are stronger, usually more comfortable, always have many more features than the low budget models do.

COMMERCIAL GRADE

There's a big jump in price when you opt for the very high-end models. Commercial recumbent exercise bikes usually start at around $1,500, some models can cost several thousand. Check out our reviews of the Precor RBK-615 and Fitnex R70.

SUPER EXPENSIVE HIGH-END

If you have deep pockets and technology, that's where the fun begins. The EXPRESSO GO, is one of the most expensive recumbent exercise bikes around.

Featuring 26.5-inch touchscreen, virtual biking routes, and virtual studio cycling so you'll feel as if you are in a class with an instructor who will keep you more motivated. It also has lots of gaming features to make your workout so much more fun.

THE REVIEWS

These are the absolutely best recumbent exercise bikes out there.

Our reviews and ratings are arranged by price range so you can choose the best bike for your budget.

Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike (MY17-R270)

Best Recumbent Exercise Bike

Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike

The Schwinn 270 is the most popular mid-range recumbent exercise bike and for a good reason.
The Schwinn bike company was founded in 1895, so they know a thing or two about bikes. 

FEATURES REVIEW VIDEO

NEW UPDATED MODEL

This model has been around for a few years now, but Schwinn keeps updating the bike without changing the model number.

The internal submodel is named MY17, however, to consumers, Schwinn just keeps it as “Schwinn 270”. Think of the Schwinn 270 recumbent bike like the BMW 325i, it’s been around forever, but the company keeps updating it. Same goes for the Schwinn 270.

The good news is that Schwinn has recently updated their bike and that if you get the bike from Amazon, you’ll automatically get the newest version.

Great Connectivity And Progress Tracking With Fitness Apps

You’ll lose a bit of weight every time you hop on the exercise bike for a workout. However, you’ll probably only notice the weight loss, once it accumulated to a couple of pounds off your current weight. It’s a fact, when people work out, most tend not to notice their progress and underestimate their achievement.

The Schwinn 270 connects to a fitness apps on your phone to track your progress. It can connect to any iOS and Android device. By using the app on your iPhone or Android, you can see how every single workout adds up to more and more calories burned.

This will keep you motivated and make you proud of yourself as you see nice graphs of your progress on your phone.

Schwinn has done an excellent job as with the connectivity of the bike.

The Schwinn 270 connects to your phone via Bluetooth and uploads your data to the Schwinn Trainer App. If you don’t want to use a phone or Bluetooth, there’s even a USB socket on the console. You can download your workout to a USB stick and upload it to their website on PC or Mac.

You can also sync your workouts with popular fitness apps like MyFitnessPal where you can find even more stats as well as share your progress with friends.

Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike

The Schwinn 270 can also connect with the RideSocial app. 
Install the RideSocial app on your iPad or Android tablet and then place it on the console (there’s a lip to hold it in place). You can then choose which location from around the world you would like to ride in. As you ride your Schwinn 270 the tablet displays the scenery in 3D graphics making you feel as if you are riding in exotic locations. You’ll also see real other people from around the world riding at the same as you are, or you can ride with your own friends. This adds up to the experience and may make your time fly by faster.

May Go Beyond The Max Weight Capacity Of 300 Lbs

The bike is rated at a maximum person weight of 300 lbs. However, guys who weigh around 325-350 pounds reported having no issues despite being above the spec maximum capacity.

The seat is also large enough and comfortable even for big guys. Just remember that is at your own risk and the manufacturer doesn’t guarantee proper function over the weight limit.

SUPER EASY TO ASSEMBLE

All the bikes we reviewed in this round-up are quite easy to assemble, yet the Schwinn 270 is even easier. Most of the parts come pre-assembled, leaving you only to attach the main components together. You can assemble the Schwinn in less than an hour. It can’t get any simpler than that.

NO POWER OUTLET REQUIRED

The display is powered by batteries so no messy cords. You can place the bike wherever you want without worrying to have a power outlet nearby.

INTERNAL HEART RATE READING OR CONNECTS TO HRM CHEST STRAP

Most recumbent exercise bikes can read your heart rate by holding the side handles, and the Schwinn does that too. However, holding the bar handles to get a heart rate reading has two disadvantages. First, the readout is very inaccurate. Second, it’s quite uncomfortable to keep holding the bar for five seconds or more each time to want to know your heart rate beats per minute.

Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike

The advantage of the Schwinn 270 is that it can connect to a chest strap to read your heart rate. The chest strap is connected wirelessly and transmits your heart rate to the console which in turn displays your heart rate readout on the LCD display. It also saves the data along with your workout so when you sync your Schwinn with MyFitnessPal or other fitness apps, you’ll get the full stats of your heart rate.

There are two advantages to using a chest strap as opposed to the built-in handlebar heart rate monitor. First, the readout of the heart rate from a chest strap is super accurate. It can be trusted, as it is as precise as a medical device is. Second, the chest strap reads your heart rate continuously. You don’t have to keep holding the bar handles.

Schwinn 270 doesn’t include the chest strap, this can be purchased separately. The bike supports Polar chest straps heart rate readers which are considered the gold standard in heart rate monitors. The Polar T31 works well with the Schwinn and Nautilus models.

WORKS FOR SHORT & TALL PEOPLE

We mentioned earlier that the company keeps updating the Schwinn 270 recumbent exercise bike model, but maintaining the same model number as 270.

The sub model is named (MY17), however, the bike is simply sold as Schwinn 270.

If you buy the Schwinn from Amazon, you don’t have to worry, as you will get the latest version of the bike.

One of the recent improvements to the Schwinn 270 is that the bike has now been made more comfortable for a wider variety of people’s heights.

Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike

If you are tall and your spouse is short, you shouldn’t have a problem using the bike for both of you. It only takes a couple of seconds to adjust the seat position for users of different sizes. You shouldn’t have a problem as long as you are between 4’11” to 6’5”.

OTHER EXTRAS AND THINGS WE LIKED

Very Quiet - Pedaling is whisper quiet. You won’t disturb anyone watching TV, reading or listening to music. Pedaling on the Schwinn is almost silent.

Fan – There’s a 3-speed fan built into the console, don’t expect miracles off this little fan but it’s better than nothing as many recumbent exercise bikes don’t even include a fan.

Built-in Speakers – You can connect your media player phone or tablet to get better sound from your phone or tablet with the built-in speakers.

USB Charging – There’s a USB socket to charge your phone while you are biking.

Tablet & Water Bottle Holder – There’s a lip that can hold your iPad, tablet or book in place, and a holder for your water bottle.

CONS

  • The seat of the Schwinn is overall quite comfortable, but you can’t please everyone. May it’s got to do with the bone structure of one’s butt, but some people may find the seat a bit too hard. If that is the case for you, you can overcome it by using a small pillow or some other kind of cushion.
  • The built-in fan is weak
  • Heart Rate Reading by holding the handles is inaccurate. These contact ‘hold to get heart rate’ readings are inaccurate on most machines which is why we advise you to invest in a chest strap heart rate reader such as the Polar XXX model. The Schwinn’s console can connect to the chest strap and show your heart rate on the screen.

SPECS

Max Weight Capacity: 300 lbs  (136 kg)
Resistance Levels: 25 Electronically Controlled
Heart Rate Monitoring: Yes built-in grips (optional chest strap)
Dimensions: 64”L x 27.7”W x 49.9”H inches  (162.5 x 70.5 x 127 cm)
Machine Weight: 92 lbs  (42 kg)
Recommended Human Height (approx.): 4’11” to 6’5”  (150 to 195 cm)

Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike

Best Recumbent Exercise Bike

Our Rating

SCHWINN 230 vs. SCHWINN 270

The Schwinn 270 costs just slightly more than the Schwinn 230. If you can afford to pay a little bit more, we recommend the 270 over the 230, though they are both excellent bikes. The Schwinn 270 just offers extras that the lower end 230 model doesn’t provide.

Comparison​
Schwinn 230 vs. 270

Workout Programs

22

29

Bluetooth App Connection

-

✔

Heart Rate Monitor

Handle Grip

Handle Grip or Chest Strap

Display Type

LCD

Backlit LCD

Resistance Levels

2​0

25

Cost

Nautilus R614 & R616 Recumbent Bike

Also Great

The Nautilus R614 and R616 are very similar, so it makes sense that we review them here side by side.

The frame and the seat are the same.

The key differences are the features, namely the connectivity options the Nautilus R616 has which the R614 lacks. We included a comparison chart.

GOOD INFORMATIVE CONSOLE & DISPLAY

The display of the Nautilus and the controls on the console are excellent and remind of the Schwinn 270. The buttons are clearly labeled and make it easy to change the workout, the resistance and watch other stats.

Because the display is larger than those on budget bikes, you can see most stats in one screen, without the need to rotate between them.

The R616 has a bright backlit display while the R614 display isn’t backlit, making it harder to read in a dark environment or with direct sunlight.

Nautilus R614 Recumbent Bike

R614 Standard display

Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike

R616 Backlit Display

TRACK YOUR PROGRESS & RIDE VIRTUALLY WITH OTHERS (R616 ONLY)

The Nautilus R616 has excellent connectivity options. It can connect via Bluetooth to fitness apps like MyFitnessPal and Nautilus own app.

It can also connect to the virtual biking app RideShare. You'll need to install RideShare on your iPad, Android tablet, or your phone and connecting it via Bluetooth to the R616.

You can then bike virtually with friends or strangers in several stunning sceneries around the world. It can make your workout more fun and keep you motivated.

BUILT-IN SPEAKERS WITH USB CHARGING

Both the R614 and R616 include built-in stereo speakers. You can connect your phone, tablet or other music players through the USB port (which also charges your phone) and hear the music through the built-in speakers.

You can also watch the playing song name on display and control the music selection. Very cool touch.

The built-in speakers won’t win audiophile rewards, but they are decent and sound much better than your phone’s speaker.

WELL DESIGNED

The Nautilus isn’t the heaviest recumbent bike, but not the lightest either, the bike simply feels solid. There’s a reason why the Nautilus may cost 2-3 times more than budget bikes like the Marcy ME-709  and Exerpeutic GOLD 525XLR (both of which are also reviewed in this article)

Nautilus has wheels so you can move them around, but we guess they weren’t designed to be moved around like the lighter budget Marcy and Exerpeutic. The Nautilus measure around 5 feet long and about 2 feet wide.

EASY ASSEMBLY

The main unit comes pre-assembled, so you only have to connect a few pieces together. Attach the base to the frame, mount the seat and you are pretty much good to go. The instructions are clear and easy to understand. You can assemble the unit in less than two hours.

SEAT

The seat of the Nautilus is padded and comfortable for long workouts. The padding is not too soft, which we like. Seats which are too soft may seem comfortable in the first few minutes but may feel uncomfortable and less supportive for longer workouts.

Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike

Like most mid-range and up bikes, the backrest is made of hard plastic with vents to keep your back cool.

OTHER THINGS WE LIKED

Quiet – Pedaling feels smooth and pedaling is as silent as it gets.
Built-in Fan – It’s quite small and only adequate for light workouts, but we’ll take anything that helps to cool us down.

CONS

  • Needs to be plugged to an outlet. There’s no other way around it. The large display of the Nautilus along with the built-in fan, stereo speakers and Bluetooth connectivity are power hungry.
  • Seat can wobble a bit when pedaling aggressively.
  • Display of the R614 is not backlit which can make it a little hard to read in low light. The R616 solves it with a backlit LCD.
  • minus
    Heart rate on handlebar grips is unreliable. The R616 can also connect to the chest strap like Polar Heart Rate Monitors for 100% accurate reading.
  • minus
    Pedals on the R614 may feel narrow for some users. The R616 pedals are slightly larger.

SPECS

Max Weight Capacity: 300 lbs  (136 kg)
Resistance Levels: R614 20 Levels (Electronic) / R616 25 Levels (Electronic)
Heart Rate Monitoring: R614 Grip Only / R616 (Grip or Chest Strap)
Dimensions & Weight: 65.3"L x 28.3"W x 49.6"H  (166 x 72 x 126 cm)
Machine Weight: ​84 lbs / 38 kg (R614) 92 lbs /  42 kg (R616)
Recommended Human Height (approx.): 4’11” to 6’4”  (150 to 193)

Nautilus R614 Recumbent Bike

Less Features But Still Great

Our Rating

COMPARISON NAUTILUS R614 & R616

The frame, dimensions and overall feel are the same. The R616 is an improved version of the R614, with several improvements and more features.

The R616 offer more resistance levels (25 vs. 20 of the R614), more workout programs, more user profiles, slightly larger pedals, backlit display, and the ability to read heart rate from a chest strap.

The feature we liked the most in the R616 which is lacking in the R614 is the Bluetooth connectivity. The R616 can connect to popular iOS and Android apps to track your progress.

Comparison
Nautilus R614 vs. R616

Resistance Levels

20

25

Workout programs

22

29

Drive System

18 lb. flywheel

22 lb. flywheel

Heart Rate Monitor

Handle Grip Only

Grip or Chest Strap

Display

LCD

Backlit LCD

Saved User Profiles

2

4

Progress Tracking

Basic Internal

Nautlis App & RideSocial App

Bluetooth

-

✔

Pedals

Standard

Larger

Cost

If you can afford to pay a little bit more, we recommend the R616 over the R614. If you are on a tight budget or don’t need the extra features of the R616, the Nautilus R614 is still a highly recommended recumbent exercise bike

If you can afford to pay a little bit more, we recommend the R616 over the R614. If you are on a tight budget or don’t need the extra features of the R616, the Nautilus R614 is still a highly recommended recumbent exercise bike

Marcy ME-709 Recumbent Exercise Bike

Best Budget Recumbent Exercise Bike

Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709

There’s no shortage of good recumbent exercise bikes, but to find a bike that performs so well, yet cost so little is quite a feat. That’s why we rate the Marcy ME-709 as the best low-budget recumbent exercise bike. Marcy did a great job here, we believe the ME-709 is underpriced for what it gives.

FEATURES REVIEW VIDEO

COMFORTABLE SEAT

The seat of the Marcy is roomy at about 16 inches wide. As in most bikes, the backrest angle is fixed, but the angle seems just right. The seat should be fine out of the box for most. If you want more lower-back support, you can place a small pillow on the lower part of the backrest.

The seat is remarkably comfortable, particularly for such an affordable recumbent exercise bike. 

EASY TO ASSEMBLE

Because the Marcy doesn’t weigh much, it’s easy to drag it in your home, take upstairs and place wherever you want. The installation instructions are easy to understand. Setting it up yourself without help should take no more than one to two hours.

LIGHT & COMPACT

At just 60 lbs, the Marcy is one of the lightest recumbent exercise bikes in our reviews, second only to the Exerpeutic Gold 525XLR which weighs 54.7 lbs. The built-in wheels at the bottom of the frame make it effortless to move it around.

Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709

It’s nice that despite being so light, the Marcy ME-709 still feels stable and is able to support a heavy user.

Although the Marcy is not foldable, it’s only about 4 foot long and 2 foot wide, relatively small for a recumbent exercise bike.

CONSOLE & DISPLAY

There’s nothing fancy about the display of the Marcy ME-709, it's quite basic, yet sufficient. The 3.5” LCD display is big enough to show you the stats, it displays calories burned, times, speed, distance and an odometer. There’s no power cord, the Marcy is all battery powered.

GOES BEYOND THE MAXIMUM WEIGHT CAPACITY OF 300 POUNDS

The Marcy ME-709 recumbent exercise bike is rated for people who weigh up to 300 pounds, but it seems it has no problem supporting heavier people.

Since the Marcy is so popular and inexpensive, some large people who weigh above the 300 lbs rated manufacturer max, decided to give it Marcy a shot, too see if the ME-709 is strong enough for their size.

We could not test it, but quite a few people attested having no major issues using the Marcy ME-709 despite their weight of 325 to 350 pounds. The bike is very stable and the seat is large enough to be pleasant for big guys.

The only two minor issues with exceeding the weight capacity are a possible slight rattle of the seat, and side handlebars that may get in the way. The good news is that the handles can easily be removed, or not installed in the first place, which eliminates the problem.

You don’t need to weigh 300 pounds or more to appreciate the Marcy.

The fact that the ME-709 is able to support heavy individuals means the bike is well constructed. Used by lighter people, it may work well for even more years without malfunctioning.
ith a maximum
Keep in mind though, that Marcy specifies the maximum capacity is 300 lbs. If you weigh more than 300 pounds, you may risk the bike breaking which won't be covered by the warranty. Still, at such a low price that the Marcy ME-709 costs, the risk may still be worth it even at the expense of having to buy a new bike down the road.

GOOD FOR TALL AND SHORT PEOPLE

Another advantage of the Marcy is how versatile the bike adjustment is that it may be as comfortable for tall people as it is for short ones.

The ME-709 is a favorite among tall people looking for an inexpensive recumbent exercise bike. The bike should be comfortable even if you are 6’5” (195 cm) tall, and might even be stretched to 6’6” (198 cm). This depends on your torso to legs length ratio.

For shorter guys, the bike should be fine if you are 5’1” (155 cm). Even if you are just 4’11” you shouldn’t have a problem working out on the Marcy. The seat is large enough so you can place a pillow on the backrest to make it easier to reach the pedals. 

NO NOISE

The Marcy is very quiet. The magnetic resistance means there’s no friction when pedaling. It won't annoy anyone in your home and won't be audible when watching T.V.

CONS

  • Adjusting the seat is tricky - The adjustment lever is located at the bottom of the frame. There's no problem if you adjust the seat for yourself and the same adjustment works for others. However, if different people of very different heights want to use the bike, re-adjusting the position of the seat for each can become cumbersome.
  • No heart rate monitor - The Marcy is the only bike out of the seven we reviewed, that has no built in HRM to check your pulse. If you want to monitor your heart rate, you would have to buy fitness band HR chest strap.
  • minus
    Not as hard for intense workout sessions - If you are well fit and intend to pedal at high intensity, you may feel that even the highest intensity setting may not feel hard enough for you. However, if high-intensity workouts aren’t your thing, you should have no problem.

SPECS

Max Weight Capacity: 300 lbs  (136 kg)
Resistance Levels: 8 via knob
Heart Rate Monitoring: None
Dimensions: 55.5"L x 25"W x 38"H  (141 x 63.5 x 96.5 cm)
Machine Weight: 60 lbs  (27 kg)
Recommended Human Height: 4'11" to 6'5" feet  (150 to 195 cm)

Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709

Best Budget Recumbent Exercise Bike

Our Rating

Exerpeutic GOLD 525XLR Folding Recumbent Bike (400 lbs)

400 lb Capacity Budget Pick

Exerpeutic Gold 525XLR Folding Recumbent Exercise Bike, 400 lbs

Exerpeutic focuses primarily on low budget to mid-range home gym equipment. The company has managed to make cheap fitness machines that in many cases perform better than more expensive exercise machines.

Exerpeutic machines simply give excellent value for money, and the Gold 525XLR is no exception.

The Exerpeutic Gold 525XLR recumbent exercise bike is one of the best-selling recumbent exercise bikes in its price range. It’s usually sold for around $200.

FEATURES REVIEW VIDEO

BETTER BUILD THAN PREVIOUS MODELS

The Exerpeutic 525 XLR is the successor to the very popular Exerpeutic 400 XL.

The Gold 525 XLR is much more robust than the 400 XL. It's a bit heavier yet have a maximum weight capacity of 400 lbs (the 400 XL max was only 300 lbs). 

FOLDABLE & COMPACT & LIGHTWEIGHT

Although Exerpeutic calls the 525XLR model a recumbent exercise bike, it’s more like a semi-recumbent bike. This means the pedals are positioned a little bit lower. It looks like a mix between an upright bike to a fully recumbent bike.

Exerpeutic Gold 525XLR Folding Recumbent Exercise Bike, 400 lbs

There are two advantages to this design. You get the comfortable seat and backrest which recumbent bikes feature, plus the compactness of an upright bike and being foldable.

The Exerpeutic GOLD 525XLR is the only stationary exercise bike here that is folding which is due to its semi-recumbent design.

When folded the bike is only 27" long and 18" wide with a height of 48" (2 ¼ by 1.5-foot footprint). 

The 525XLR isn't just compact, it's also one of the lightest recumbent exercise bikes with a weight of only 54.7 lbs. The built-in wheels make moving from one place to another a snap.

HIGH 400 POUNDS WEIGHT CAPACITY

The GOLD 525XLR has a 400 lbs weight capacity. We don’t know how Exerpeutic managed to make a recumbent bike with such high weight capacity that is also folding and weighs under 55 lbs. You might think that a machine that needs to support a 400 pound person needs to be heavier, but seems not.

The Exerpeutic 525XLR is our pick for the best budget recumbent exercise bike for heavy people.

OTHER THINGS WE LIKED

Large comfortable seat
With a maximum user weight of 400 lbs, Exerpeutic had to build not just a sturdy frame, but also a large seat. The seat is as comfortable for small as is for large people.

Exerpeutic Gold 525XLR Folding Recumbent Exercise Bike, 400 lbs

Battery operated display
There’s no need for a power outlet which makes it even easier to position the bike wherever you want.

Exerpeutic Gold 525XLR Folding Recumbent Exercise Bike, 400 lbs

CONS

  • There’s a gap between the seat and the backrest that may feel uncomfortable for some people. That can be solved by placing a small pillow or a roll a towel in-between the seat and backrest.
  • There are 8 settings of tension but there’s hardly any difference in resistance between one to five. Though six to eight feel much harder.
  • The display is very basic. It displays all essential data like calories burned, speed and distance, but no other bells and whistles here. However, it is in line with what other affordable stationary bikes offer.

SPECS

Max Weight Capacity: 400 lbs  (181 kg)
Resistance Levels: 8 via knob
Heart Rate Monitoring: Yes
Dimensions: 48.5"L x 24"W x 46"H inches  (123 x 61 x 117 cm)
Machine Weight: 55 lbs  (25 kg)
Recommended Human Height: 5'2" to 6'5"  (157 to 195 cm)

Exerpeutic Gold 525XLR Folding Recumbent Exercise Bike, 400 lbs

400 lb Capacity Budget Pick

Our Rating

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RB4631 With Moving Arms

Best Bike with Moving Arms

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Bike Exercise Bike, 350lb High Weight Capacity, Arm Exercisers, Monitor, Pulse Rate Monitoring - SF-RB4631

The Sunny SF-RB4631 is the only recumbent exercise bike here that also gives you an upper body workout. In addition to the standard foot pedals, there are also arm pedals (also known as arm exerciser).

It combines cardio, lower-body, and upper-body workout at the same time.

FEATURES REVIEW VIDEO

UPPER BODY WORKOUT WITH ADJUSTABLE RESISTANCE ARM EXERCISER

There aren’t that many recumbent exercise bikes that also engage your upper body. The Sunny SF-RB4631 is one of those bikes and in our opinion the best one at its price level.

It’s like a standard recumbent bike, only that there is an additional set of pedals at arm level.

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Bike Exercise Bike, 350lb High Weight Capacity, Arm Exercisers, Monitor, Pulse Rate Monitoring - SF-RB4631

You don’t have to use the arm pedals, you can decide only to use the foot pedals, use both at the same time, or alternate the same workout between lower body and upper body. 

The Sunny SF-RB4631 is one of the few bikes that not only works your upper body, but that also allows you to change the intensity level of the upper body pedals.

Most recumbent exercise bikes that combine upper body workout do not have adjustable resistance knob for the upper body exerciser.

The Sunny SF-RB4631 allows you to adjust the resistance of the arm pedals independently from the resistance of the leg pedals. Letting you decide on the intensity level of your upper body workout. 

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Bike Exercise Bike, 350lb High Weight Capacity, Arm Exercisers, Monitor, Pulse Rate Monitoring - SF-RB4631

We liked the Sunny SF-RB4631 over other bikes with upper body motion since do not allow you to change the resistance level of the upper body exercise. Even the Stamina Elite Total Body which is considered a more expensive recumbent bike has a fixed low resistance arm exerciser.

SEAT

The seat and backrest are both padded. Some people prefer the soft feeling of a padded seat and backrest as opposed to the hard plastic ones that are found mainly on higher-end models.

Adjusting the distance of the seat from the pedals is quick, you don't need to get off the seat. Some bikes like the require you to stand up, making seat adjustment slower.

OTHER THINGS WE LIKED

Easy to assemble – Should take about an hour

Battery operated console with hear rate reading

Check heart pulse on side handles

CONS

  • The arm exerciser pedals do not use the same silent magnetic resistance that the leg pedals use. The arm pedals use friction resistance which can be noisy. Expect some kind of noise when using the arm exerciser. Leg pedaling is almost silent though.
  • Something to note with all recumbent bikes that include an arm exerciser is that their location is fixed. While the seat can be adjusted, the arm pedals can’t. And may not be comfortable for everyone.
  • The arm exerciser workout won’t register on the console, the console only shows the stats for leg pedaling.
  • minus
    Uses a Manual Knob For Changing Resistance – This is common among low price to mid-price exercise bikes.

SPECS

Max Weight Capacity: 350 lbs  (159 kg)
Resistance Levels: 8 via knob
Heart Rate Monitoring: Yes
Dimensions: 53"L x 24"W x 54"H  (134.5 x 61 x 137 cm)
Machine Weight: 89.5 lbs  (40.5 kg)
Recommended Human Height (approx.): 4'11" to 6'3"  (150 to 190 cm)

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Bike Exercise Bike, 350lb High Weight Capacity, Arm Exercisers, Monitor, Pulse Rate Monitoring - SF-RB4631

Best Bike with Moving Arms

Our Rating

Fitnex R70 Recumbent Exercise Bike (Champion)

Best 400 lbs Capacity Exercise Bike

Fitnex R70 Recumbent Exercise Bike

The Fitnex R70 is ergonomically designed to fit people of all sorts. It doesn’t matter if you are big or small, weigh 400 pounds or 150 pounds, or if you’re short or tall. 

HIGHLY ADJUSTABLE

The wide range of adjustment range is what makes the R70 so versatile. For that reason, the Fitnex R70 isn’t just great for home gyms but is also a popular choice for residential gyms, spa & wellness centers, and physical therapy clinics.

Finding a single recumbent exercise bike that can be used comfortably by nearly anyone is very hard to find.

That’s precisely where the Fitnex R70 recumbent exercise bike comes in.

We couldn’t find any other stationary bike in that price range, that can adapt to so many users.

Fitnex R70 Recumbent Exercise Bike

COMMERCIAL GRADE BUILD

The Fitnex R70 is a commercial grade bike, yet for a “commercial” brand the bike may even be considered cheap. Heavy duty commercial grade recumbent bikes usually cost between $2,000 to $7,000.

Fitnex says the bike is good for light commercial use. So while it’s great for home gyms, its use potential goes way beyond that. Physical therapists can use the bike in their clinics, private residential gyms can have it as part of the cardio gym equipment. 

EXCELLENT FOR SHORT PEOPLE AND TALL PEOPLE

The Fitnex R70 suits a wide range of human heights.

Some recumbent exercise bike models pride themselves for being the best ones for short people while others claim they are the best ones for tall folks. The Fitnex R70 can claim both.

We noticed the seat allows for a great degree of adjustability, but we couldn’t find anywhere in the specs what’s the range of heights it’s good for. So, we decided to ask Fitnex which confirmed the range of height the bike is good for.

The Fitnex will generally work for people from 4’10” to 6’5” (147cm to 195cm). It may even work for if you are slightly shorter or taller, but might change if your body has an exceptionally non-standard torso to legs length ratio. 

400 LBS WEIGHT CAPACITY

Most recumbent exercise bikes have a weight capacity that is between 300 to 350 lbs. There aren’t that many recumbent exercise bikes that go beyond that. However, the Fitnex is one of the relatively few that can support an individual of up to 400 pounds.

CONSOLE & DISPLAY

The console is easy to use with a simple yet large display. There's no power cord, it's all battery powered.

Fitnex R70 Recumbent Exercise Bike

The display contains the usual workout stats, like distance, speed, calories burned and heart rate, but also includes METS which is the preferred measure of exercise intensity among more professional users. https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/professional/expert-articles/6434/5-things-to-know-about-mets which is a much more accurate measure of energy expenditure and the intensity at which the exercise is performed.

BODY POWERED USB SOCKET

There’s a USB socket that you can use to charge a device using you’re the power you produce by pedaling. The more you pedal, the more energy you’ll produce charging a device. We wouldn’t count on it to replace a phone charger, but it’s a nice gimmick regardless.

GREAT MANUAL

It seems that Fitnex really cares about the customer. The manual includes recommended stretches before and after workout. Of course, you can find body stretches all over the internet, but the fact that Fitnex included stretches in their manual, indicate to us that the company is serious about the customer health.

OTHER THINGS WE LIKED

Easy to piece together – Assembly is quite straightforward, it can be done by one person, though due to the size of the machine, would be easier for two people.

Good Warranty – The bike comes with a lifetime warranty on parts and one year on labor.

Quiet – Pedaling feels smooth and produces almost no noise, will not disturb you or anyone around.

Adjusts in Seconds – The seat is designed for quick adjustment. Especially useful in the case of multiple people exercising on the same machine.

Electronic Resistance – The tension of the bike is changed through buttons on the console which is much better than the manual tension knobs that most recumbent bikes under $500 employ.

CONS

  • Bulky and Heavy - The Fitnex R70 weighs 165 lbs and may require more than one person to move around. The R70 is 6 feet long and about 1.9 feet wide. Its length is one of the longest, but it’s the only way the company was able to build one recumbent exercise bike that fits such vast differences in user’s heights (4’10” up to 6’5”)
  • Lacks Connectivity - This is an old-school exercise bike. It’s very sturdy and comfortable, but it lacks features like Bluetooth and internet connectivity. For such a high price tag, we wish it had more features. We guess Fitnex invested all its efforts on the ergonomic design, the ability to accommodate to a wide spectrum of users, short, tall, heavy and light, deciding to leave the fancy stuff out.

SPECS

Max Weight Capacity: 400 lbs  (181 kg)
Resistance Levels: 16 Electronically Controlled
Heart Rate Monitoring: Yes
Dimensions: 70"L x 31"W x 44"H  (178 x 79 x 112 cm)
Machine Weight: 165 lbs  (75 kg)
Recommended Human Height: 4’10” to 6’5”  (147 to 195 cm)

Fitnex R70 Recumbent Exercise Bike

Best 400 lbs Capacity Bike

Our Rating

Precor RBK 615 Recumbent Exercise Bike

Best Commercial Recumbent Exercise Bike

Precor RBK 615 Commercial Series Recumbent Exercise Cycle

The Precor RBK 615 is a true commercial grade recumbent exercise bike.

It's a sturdy beast, it's the heaviest bike in this review. It weighs 200 pounds. As a comparison, most bikes weigh way under 100 lbs. 

Expect to pay a premium price, though still, as a commercial recumbent bike, the Precor is still reasonably priced (some commercial bikes can cost twice as much or more)

A GREAT CHOICE FOR COMMERCIAL & RESIDENTIAL GYMS

Precor is a company that focuses primarily on commercial cardio equipment. You can find Precor bikes and treadmills in gyms, hotels, spas, residential gyms , and private training facilities.

Precor bikes are used in spas, hotels and private training facilities in buildings. 

FEATURES REVIEW VIDEO

EXCELLENT WARRANTY

The Precor RBK 615 comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame, 10 years on parts and one year on labor. That should give you a long time of peace of mind and a safe feeling when spending that much for a recumbent exercise bike.

CONSOLE & DISPLAY

The Precor has a nice yet basic display, there's nothing fancy here, but it got all the stats you need to know like speed, calories burned, distance etc...

Precor RBK 615 Commercial Series Recumbent Exercise Cycle

The bike’s display is self-powered by the force of your pedaling, free of cables, so there’s no need to connect it an external power source.

The screen will shut off after 30 seconds of no activity. If you want the display to remain active, there’s an option to connect it to a power outlet.

INTERCHANGEABLE PEDALS

The bike pedals are extra-large, so you should feel comfortable even if you have big and wide feet. That said, if you are unhappy with them for whatever reason, you can simply change them.

Most stationary bikes come with a set of pedals that the manufacturer designed for that specific bike and you are stuck with them, there’s no way of changing them. Not so with the Precor.

The Precor RBK 615 have standard interchangeable pedals which can be replaced with other kinds of bicycle pedals. You can replace them with road bicycles or racing pedals.

SEAT

The backrest has a lot of holes to keep your back ventilated so you won’t sweat as much.

Precor RBK 615 Commercial Series Recumbent Exercise Cycle

The seat is not too hard but not soft either. Overall we would say the RBK 615 was designed for long workouts comfort.

You do not need to stand up in order to adjust the distance of the seat from the pedals. The seat can be adjusted while seated which makes more sense and is more convenient. Some budget exercise bikes require you to stand up to make an adjustment, you may need to sit down and stand up a few times till you find a comfortable position.

COMPATIBLE WITH POLAR HEART RATE MONITORS

All of the recumbent exercise bikes we reviewed here can read your heart rate through contact of the side handlebars. You hold the sidebars, and after a few seconds, the readout of your heart rate shows on the console’s display. However, holding the bar to get a readout is neither accurate nor convenient.

Like the other, the Precor RBK 615 has the “on contact” HRM, but unlike most bikes, the Precor can also get a much more accurate heart rate by connecting wirelessly to Polar HRM chest strap. Polar is considered the gold standard in heart rate monitors and is the preferred brand by athletes.

However the chest strap is not included, if you want that functionality, you will have to purchase the Polar heart rate monitor chest strap, and the Precor will automatically connect to it.

SPECIFIC COMMERCIAL USE FEATURES

Limit Duration Of Use – If the bike is placed in an area where several people may want to use it, you can limit the duration per user. That can be especially important during peak times where you don’t want to keep someone waiting for an hour for the previous person to finish his workout. Typical limits are 20 to 30 minutes, but you can set it as you please.

T.V. Channels and Volume Control – The Precor can connect wirelessly to control the TV channels and volume right from the console’s buttons.

Optional 15" Display – Precor has an optional screen that can be mounted neatly on top of the console. The display position gives you an ideal eye-level viewing angle. Perfect for watching your favorite show while burning calories.

CONS

The Precor RBK 615 is designed for heavy use, whether in a commercial setting, in busy areas, or by serious trainees. It's an overkill (and too expensive) for only an occasional workout.

SPECS

Max Weight Capacity: 350 lbs  (159 kg)
Resistance Levels: 25 Electronically Controlled
Heart Rate Monitoring: Yes built-in grips (optional chest strap)
Dimensions: 66"L x 23"W x 49"H  (167 x 58.5 x 124.5 cm)
Machine Weight: 200 lbs  (91 kg)
Recommended Human Height: 4'10" to 6'6"  (147 to 198 cm)

Precor RBK 615 Commercial Series Recumbent Exercise Cycle

Best Commercial Recumbent Bike

Our Rating

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