Pros, cons and best options

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A recumbent exercise bike is a bike that provides a comfortable position when the rider reclines against a backrest. The unique shape allows users to sit closer to the floor while exercising.

Compared to a standard exercise bike, a recumbent bike has a larger seat, padded back support, and pedals located in the front rather than in line with the body like in upright bikes.

This article discusses the pros and cons of recumbent exercise bikes, the best options to consider, health considerations, and more.

The relaxed position allows users to multitask while training. This encourages users to stay on the equipment longer without getting bored.

Recumbent bikes are lower to the ground and have a lower center of gravity, making them a good option for people with stability issues. The large seats provide better support for users’ buttocks.

Recumbent bikes are a suitable choice for people who are just starting out, have certain health conditions, are recovering from an injury, or want to multitask while exercising.

Recumbent bikes are also popular with athletes because they prevent pain and allow for longer training periods with less fatigue.

Please note that the author of this article has not tested any of these products. All information in this article is based on research.

Schwinn 270

This bike has a Bluetooth connection that synchronizes fitness data (i.e. time, calories, heart rate, distance) with the Schwinn Trainer app and other tracking tools based on the app, allowing users to set and monitor fitness progress.

Bluetooth connectivity makes the device VR compatible. It also syncs with the Explore the World app, which allows users to access a wide variety of destinations and route lengths (the app offers free routes but also a paid subscription).

Users can also use the free RideSocial app which offers an interactive 360 ​​degree view in real time as you virtually ride alongside others.

The company claims that the high speed, high inertia system allows for easy starting and a smooth, consistent drive.

This bike includes media holder, bottle holder, USB charging port and adjustable fan. It also uses two blue backlit LCD screens.

  • Mechanism of resistance: Friction
  • Maximum recommended weight: 300 pounds
  • Number of resistance levels: 25
  • Guarantee: 30-day manufacturer’s warranty for repair and replacement

Marcy recumbent exercise bike with resistance ME-709

This bike has a step-by-step design which allows for easy mounting. Weighted pedals come with adjustable foot straps.

The bike has an ergonomic seat padded with high density foam for added comfort. Users can adjust the bike according to the length of their legs.

The large LCD screen can display user statistics for time, speed, calories and distance.

The bike comes with transport wheels that allow the user to easily move the bike for storage

  • Mechanism of resistance: Magnetic
  • Maximum recommended weight: 300 pounds
  • Number of resistance levels: 8
  • Guarantee: 90 day extended return period

Sunny Health and Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Bike

This bike features a progressive design that allows for easy mounting. It comes with integrated transport wheels for easy portability and front and side handlebars.

The easy-to-read LCD screen displays distance, time, calories burned, speed and heart rate.

Allows easy adjustment of the seat forward and backward with the push of a handle, without the user having to get off the device. It accommodates user heights and height adjustments between 5’3 “to 6’6”.

  • Mechanism of resistance: Magnetic
  • Maximum recommended weight: 300 pounds
  • Number of resistance levels: 8 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Guarantee: One-year limited manufacturer’s warranty

Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike with Performance Monitor

This exercise bike has a foldable (half its size) and space-saving design. The small frame allows one person to use it as a desk bike for adjustable desks. It also comes with transport wheels for easy transport and storage.

The semi-elongated design allows users to get on and off with ease. Users can adjust the backseat and chair to accommodate people between 5 feet 2 inches (inches) and 6 feet 2 inches tall.

This semi-recumbent bike has a precisely balanced flywheel, which the company says runs quietly.

This product includes a performance monitor, a large, easy-to-read 3.3-inch LCD screen that shows the user’s distance, calories, speed, time and heart rate.

It also comes with the MYCLOUDFITNESS app, where users can view their activity reports and see their workout stats. Premium membership gives users access to coach-led videos and personalized training plans

  • Mechanism of resistance: Magnetic
  • Maximum recommended weight: 145 pounds (lb)
  • Number of resistance levels: 8
  • Guarantee: 1 year limited

Sole LCR Recumbent Bike

This recumbent bike comes with a device table, USB port, cooling fans, audio system, and bottle holder.

Bluetooth enabled audio speakers allow users to listen to music from their smartphone.

Allows seat adjustment forward and backward to accommodate users of different heights. It has two wheels in the front for easy transfer and storage.

  • Mechanism of resistance: Magnetic
  • Maximum weight recommendation: up to 350 lbs
  • Number of resistance levels: 40
  • Guarantee: 30 day money back guarantee, lifetime warranty for frames and five years for parts with free shipping

There are various health and lifestyle risks to consider when purchasing a recumbent bike:

Benefits

Regular exercise bikes require users to support their weight on their hips (pelvis) and hands, leading them to adopt a rounded back posture. It is not only uncomfortable, but can lead to back pain. A recumbent bike provides back support and reduces strain on the user’s back and hips compared to standard exercise bikes.

A 2017 study have found that recumbent bikes are beneficial for people with heart limitations. The low placement of the recumbent bike makes it more accessible to people with reduced mobility and wheelchair users.

A Study 2019 recommends recumbent bikes as an endurance conditioning exercise for seniors with hip and knee pain.

Physiotherapists sometimes use recumbent bikes as part of their recovery program for their clients. One older study in 2004 noted that the supine cycling position puts less load on the anterior cruciate ligament, or AC ligament, making it suitable for users recovering from an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury.

A 2014 study found no difference in muscle workload of major leg muscles when comparing cycling while standing and lying down. However, the use of recumbent bikes resulted in greater activity of certain muscles in the lower limb. This makes recumbent bikes a suitable alternative to upright bikes for building leg muscles.

A 2012 study found that using bicycles was also more effective than vortex therapy and hot wet compress therapy in improving range of motion in the hips.

The inconvenients

A recumbent bike may not fully engage the core muscles. Users support much less weight when lying down on a recumbent bike, which requires less core strength than when peddling on an upright exercise bike.

Recumbent bikes only allow one person to occupy a specific position. In contrast, an upright bike offers more flexibility and allows users to target specific muscle groups by changing their position as they pedal.

Unlike most upright bikes which easily fold up for storage, most recumbent bikes do not fold up. Recumbent models also tend to be more expensive than traditional upright bikes.

Similar pieces of home exercise equipment include:

Upright exercise bikes

Upright bikes can be a suitable option for users who don’t have joint or back concerns or who want higher intensity workouts. Upright bikes are a good option for people who want to work out and allow users to target specific muscle groups.

Learn more about some of the best exercise bikes here.

Elliptical trainer

Like recumbent bikes, elliptical trainers provide a low impact workout. However, while recumbent bikes primarily target the lower body, elliptical trainers target both the upper and lower body.

Being suspended in the air also gives users a lower perceived exertion rate, which can cause users to endure longer periods of exercise.

Treadmill

Treadmills aren’t just for walking and running. Users can often customize their treadmill workout routine by incorporating strength training using their body weight or hand weights. There are a variety of treadmills available in the market.

Check out the best treadmills here.

A recumbent bike can be a good option for users of various abilities, including those who may have joint problems or sit for long periods of time.

Recumbent bikes come in a variety of forms, so people should consider their abilities, fitness goals, and health concerns to find a bike that is right for them before making a purchase.



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