Best Recumbent Exercise Bike – Comparison and Reviews
Another favorite type of indoor fitness bike is the recumbent bike. The difference of this in comparison to other indoor bikes is that they use padded, backed chairs for seats instead of bike seats. If you’re interested in looking to buy the best recumbent exercise bike, then continue reading.
We’ve picked five of the most popular recumbent fitness exercise bikes available and reviewed them here for your convenience. If you think a recumbent exercise bike might be best for you, read our reviews to find out more!
Comparison Chart – Best Recumbent Bikes of 2017
|Type||Price||Item Weight||User Weight Limit||Our Rating|
|Exerpeutic 900XL||$||70 lbs.||300 lbs.||4.3/5|
|Schwinn 270||$$$||101 lbs.||300 lbs.||4.2/5|
|Exerpeutic 1000||$||63 lbs.||300 lbs.||4.6/5|
|Schwinn 230||$$||81.6 lbs.||300 lbs.||4.2/5|
|Exerpeutic 400XL||$||43 lbs.||300 lbs.||4.5/5|
|Velocity Exercise Magnetic Recumbent Bike||$||63 lbs.||300 lbs.||4.2/5|
|Nautilus R614||$$$||84.2 lbs.||300 lbs.||4.4/5|
|Marcy ME 709||$||88 lbs.||300 lbs.||4.3/5|
Top 8 Recumbent Exercise Bikes – Reviews
Exerpeutic 900XL Recumbent Bike
Exerpeutic is a brand that specializes in highly affordable personal workout equipment. If you look at the chart above, three of the options we’re reviewing are all Exerpeutic recumbent machines. Some of the best attributes of the 900XL include:
- “Smooth torque” cranking system for smooth pedaling
- Oversized seat cushion and backrest
- 8 levels of magnetic resistance
- Built-in wheels
- Extended leg stabilizers
- Large pedals with straps
- LCD display (distance, calories burned, time elapsed, speed, heart rate)
- Heart rate monitor
- Precision-balanced flywheel and V-belt drive
Benefits of using a 900XL recumbent exercise bike
The 900XL recumbent household bike, in keeping with the brand, is a low-budget bike for personal use at home. It doesn’t come with a lot of bells and whistles, but it can still give you a great cardio workout.
One of the perks of this bike amongst the other stationary home bikes is that it comes mostly assembled, and it’s provided with an easy to follow manual. The only catch may be the tension cable. For this, you may need the help of a friend or a family member. Other than that, it is mostly a one person job. Once you finish this job, you’re pretty much ready to go.
Additional Features of the 900XL
The 900XL recumbent stationary bike comes with eight different levels of tension, which is ideal for all forms of fitness training. Depending on your ability, or the intensity you want from your exercise, you can quickly adjust the level of the bike with just one knob.
It also makes it easy to use if you share your bike with anyone else. The Recumbent household Bike uses magnetic resistance which means it makes very little, or no noise. Another great aspect of this bike is that you can watch TV, listen to music, or exercise anywhere without disturbing anyone else.
Comfort and safety of the back, neck, and joints are one of the main appeals of stationary bikes in particular, and the 900XL is no exception. The seat is well padded and adjustable to fit your needs.
Though some reviewers report that the adjustment itself may take some time, once adjusted there were few complaints. The seat is wider than usual and, like all the products we’re reviewing supports up to 300 lbs.
The pedals come equipped with straps, and this bike has leg stabilizers, making it sturdy. However hard you choose to work out, the bike won’t tip over. The handlebars come with finger pads which monitor your heart rate and display it on the LCD monitor in front of you.
The screen is very basic, but it presents the most important data for any workout, including heart rate, distance, speed, and calories burned. One huge downside is that this program does not have any workout programs. Sometimes having different types of programs makes the workout “enjoyable”.
Keep in mind that this product also has a ton of reviews, which means that this is a highly well-known product.
If you want to lose weight by using a recumbent bike, the 900XL is an excellent choice and very easy to use. Nevertheless, there are still several other fitness workout bikes that you can choose from such as the brand Schwinn.
Schwinn 270 Recumbent Stationary Bike
Schwinn is a household name – and not just for indoor fitness bikes. Perhaps the most iconic overall bicycle brand, much of the fairly steep price is related to the fact that the brand is recognizable and reliable. Some of the key attributes of the Schwinn 270 include:
- Dual-track two LCD window system
- Connects quickly to SchwinnConnect fitness tracking
- 29 programs, four user settings, and goal tracking
- 25 levels of resistance
- High-speed, high-inertia perimeter-weighted flywheel
- USB port for charging and data transfer
- Built-in fan
- Built-in speakers
- Single-lever adjustment
As you can see, the Schwinn 270 Recumbent Stationary Bike has a lot of attributes compared to other recumbent bikes. One of the biggest attributes is that this bike has 29 programs! There’s a ton of workout programs that you can choose from that will keep you going with the Schwinn 270.
The onboard computer offers a variety of options for tracking your progress and performance – great for data aficionados, as well as for those who maybe need a little extra comfort or entertainment to motivate them to exercise.
The dual-track LCD window helps users track up to 13 different levels of progress occurring during the workout, including how many miles you have covered, the time used, calories burned, the cycling intensity and others.
The display should help you set a target and strive to achieve it during your regular exercise routines. The bike also comes with a USB port for charging your devices or transferring your training data to a USB drive or your PC.
In addition, users, in general have far fewer problems with comfort than other bicyclists who have used cheaper alternatives. It seems to be the consensus that, between the increased comfort and the onboard gadgetry, you are definitely getting something in exchange for the steeper price.
There’s always that saying and it goes along with these fitness bikes “You get what you paid for.” Whether those are the things you need is up to you to decide. With that said, there are still other bikes that might be best for you to choose from.
Exerpeutic 1000 High Capacity Magnetic Recumbent Home Bike
As the number suggests, in many ways the Exerpeutic 1000 bike is a higher-end version of their 900XL. While the 1000 is the highest-rated option we’re reviewing, it also has the least amount of consumer reviews by far, meaning that it might be a less accurate determination of quality. Some of the best characteristics of the Exerpeutic 1000 Recumbent Bike include:
- Extended leg stabilizers
- Added transportation wheels
- 8-level magnetic tension control system
- Large window LCD (distance, calories burned, time, speed, scan, and heart-rate monitor)
- Hand Pulse heart-rate monitor
- “Smooth torque” cranking system
- Precision-balanced flywheel and V-belt drive
- Large pedal designs with safety strap
- Large oversized seat cushion
- Fits users from 5’3” to 6’3”
What You May Not Like About The 1000 Exerpeutic bike
Like the 900XL, the Exerpeutic 1000 trades some of the most advanced attributes of other recumbent bikes for a more affordable product.
As we mentioned earlier, most consumers were extremely confident about the bike – the main drawback consistently mentioned was a bit of difficulty with adjusting the seat. What this means is that the 1000 might be a better bet for recumbent bike users who don’t share their bikes with other users, because you won’t need to adjust it that much or that often.
Additionally, this bike doesn’t come with a workout program. A lot of users love to have workout programs to keep them motivated.
With Exerpeutic products, you know what you’re getting. There’s not a ton to say about the 1000 recumbent bike except that it speaks for itself.
Relatively easy to assemble, the high Capacity Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike is an excellent choice for those looking for an affordable, durable, quiet, sturdy stationary bike to use at home.
Schwinn 230 Recumbent Household Exercise Bike
The less expensive of the two Schwinn options, the 230 comes in with amazing features, at a mid-ranged price. Let’s take a look at some of its available options:
- Two LCD window system
- Goal tracking and data export with SchwinnConnect
- USB charging port and data exchange
- 22 programs, two user settings, and goal tracking
- Vented seat bottom and back
- 20 levels of resistance
- High-speed, high inertia perimeter weighted flywheel
- Transport wheel
- Ergonomically placed grip heart rate
- Acoustic chamber speakers
- 3-speed fan
The Schwinn 230 recumbent exercise bike is a good, solid piece of equipment. If you’re looking for the fitness workout of a spinning class in the comfort of your home, this bike is one of the best choices you can make. For the price, the Schwinn 230 comes with a large selection of features.
The console includes a broad range of fitness workout programs, resistance levels, and profiles. This bike also features an iPad holder and speakers, a fan, and a heart-rate monitor installed in the handlebars. There’s even a cup holder!
This bike, like the Schwinn 270, allows you to track your progress through the Schwinn website. You can upload workout metrics using a thumb drive and track your progress on a weekly, monthly or annual basis. As a bonus, the USB port allows you to charge your devices while you exercise.
What You May Not Like About The Scwinn 230
Of course, not every customer is pleased with every aspect of this recumbent fitness bike. Some people find the seat uncomfortable, though others have noted that you can easily fix that problem by adding a cushion either to the seat or the back, depending on where the discomfort is located. The good news is that there are different types of recumbent bikes that you can look into as well.
Other customers had trouble with the heart-rate monitor, finding that it doesn’t work if your hands are dry. (Solution: lotion or water on your hands.)
People have had mixed reviews to Schwinn’s customer service, but overall it seems like you can get what you need from them if you’re persistent.
On the whole, the majority of purchasers and reviewers are highly satisfied with the Schwinn 230 home exercise bike. It’s reliable, easy to assemble, and comes with a good selection of features for the price. You’re pretty much getting your best bang for the buck with this product.
Exerpeutic 400XL Recumbent In-house Bike
Out of all of our reviews, the Exerpeutic 400XL is the cheapest option! Thousands of consumers have reported feeling the same way about this exercise cycle, so we must be on to something. Some of the key features include:
- 8-level resistance adjustable magnetic tension control
- High-torque crank system
- Quiet V-belt drive
- Built-in hand pulse monitor
- Computer with large LCD (tracks distance, calories, time, speed, and heart rate)
- Oversized pedals with safety strap
- 43 lbs.
The 400XL recumbent exercise bike accommodates riders from 5’2” to 6’2” tall, and has a weight capacity of 300 lbs.
Benefit of having a 400XL recumbent bike
One way to think about the difference between the 400XL compared to large recumbent fitness exercise bikes is that you don’t have to build a workout space. In other words, the 400XL is quiet, light, and folds up. It won’t take a lot of space in your household when it comes to fitness.
Most customers report that it is quiet – one of the most common bits of praise is that you can ride very comfortably in shared spaces.
It’s also reportedly easy to assemble. However, a few customers report that some of the parts feel cheap regarding quality.
Others warn that the 6’2” height limit is a real one – the bike may not be usable for you if you’re taller than that. However, most reviewers had nothing but good things to say, and the few problems seemed not to interfere with how well the bike works.
In short, the 400XL is a highly affordable option. For those looking for a basic, low-maintenance recumbent bike; this might be one of the best choices.
Velocity Exercise Magnetic Recumbent Bike
The Velocity Exercise Magnetic is another recommended budget option for buyers that’s looking for a good value indoor recumbent bike. The Velocity boasts the following features:
- Eight levels of preset resistance
- Two-way flywheel for a comfortable and smooth ride
- Built in transport wheels allows for easy transportation and storage
- Equipped with padded foot pedals with adjustable straps and a powder-coated finish
- Large console that displays tracks time, speed, ODO, distance, calories and hand pulse.
Additional Information on the Velocity Exercise Magnetic Bike
Some users describe the Velocity as a good choice as a first or entry level recumbent bike for consumers new to buying home fitness equipment. It offers fewer features than more expensive models, but what is on offer is robust and reliable.
The bike has a sturdy feel and won’t shake around as you ride it. The internal mechanics are also very quiet. Therefore, you can concentrate on reading or other tasks, while doing your fitness workout, without any external distractions.
Given its relative simplicity, one might be forgiven for expecting the Velocity to be straight forward to assemble. Unfortunately, users report that this is not the case; the instructions for assembly are unclear, and you’re going to need to set aside some time to put the apparatus together.
The seat is also smaller than many other models, and some users may find this uncomfortable.
Despite its drawbacks, this is a well-made budget bike that is well suited for home use.
Nautilus R614 Recumbent Bike
With its 20 levels of resistance, the feature heavy Nautilus R614 is one of the more expensive home recumbent bikes on the market. The bike’s best features include:
- 22 programs: 9 profile, 8 heart rate control, 2 custom, 2 fitness test, 1 quick start
- Time, Distance, and Calories goal tracking with USB data transfer functionality to the Nautilus Connect™ website and compatibility with MyFitnessPal
- 20 levels of resistance for a broad range of workout intensity options
- High speed, high inertia drive system with a perimeter weighted flywheel for East start up and smooth, consistent workouts
- DualTrack™ LCD displays, media shelf, in-console speakers with MP3 input port, USB media charging, and adjustable fan
Users report that the Nautilus R614 is the sort of bike they would expect to see at a high-end gym or fitness center.
Even though the seat is not padded like some of the other bikes reviewed here, it is still very comfortable. It also runs almost silently, which is great if you’re trying to concentrate on a TV show or podcast while you are riding. The bike provides comprehensive workout data, and it is easy to plug in a USB stick and extract the information to a computer.
Interestingly, the Nautilus R614 has a superb set of speakers built into the control panel, so you can plug in a music player and get an awesome listening experience while you pedal. The built in fan also makes the riding experience more comfortable.
Another feature that stands out for this exercise bike is that it has 22 workout programs! This is great if you like to mix things up and try something different every time you workout.
Concern for Tall Users
Some taller customers might find this bike too small for their needs, which might not be the best choice for them. Additionally, the bike does not come packaged with a detailed instruction manual. Nevertheless, there is a detailed manual that can be found online.
These minor concerns aside, the Nautilus R614 is a reliable choice for exercise enthusiasts looking to pick up a quality recumbent bike.
Marcy ME 709 Recumbent Exercise Bike
The Marcy ME 709 is a cheaper recumbent bike that offers a high-quality ride. It’s counterbalanced pedals give the users a fantastically smooth action and feeling. The bikes best features include the following:
- Recumbent exercise bike with 8 levels of preset resistance
- Easy-to-adjust tension-tightening knob for different fitness levels
- Large console display tracks speed, distance, time, and calories
- Counterbalanced pedals with adjustable foot straps
- Built-in transport wheels
Downside of Owning a Marcy ME709
The Marcy ME 709’s display is bright and functional, with large digits and easy to use controls. However, the available information is more basic than with more expensive models. The bike is easy to put together. Additionally, users report that they can successfully assemble the apparatus in under an hour. The seat is broad and comfortable, and the bike won’t move or shake while you’re doing your workout. All in all, the Marcy ME 709 offers a great ride at a competitive price.
Why Buy a Recumbent Bike?
You may ask yourself, why do you want a recumbent exercise bike instead of an upright bike or an indoor cycling bike? You can read this article which explains a few of the more fundamental reasons. In short, the seat is useful for many of the reasons.
One of the main reasons is that it reduces back and neck strain and allows for an even lower-impact workout. Whether you’re new to fitness or you’ve been doing it for a long time, recumbent bikes can be beneficial.
As Lifespan Fitness writes, riders on recumbent stationary bikes are “in a more comfortable and natural reclined body position,” which helps them “reduce body fatigue and eliminate muscle soreness in the upper body.” Don’t be discouraged when being in a recumbent position either! People think it’s the lazy way, but it’s not.
Additional Information on Recumbent Indoor Bikes
A recumbent bike has many advantages over other types of indoor fitness exercise bikes. The seat has clear benefits. It’s best known to reduce back and neck strain and allows for a low impact workout.
Another great aspect about recumbent bikes is that it’s shown to be a safe an efficient method of exercising when it comes to fitness training. Particularly, for people who have experienced certain forms of back pain, as they are easier to mount and dismount.
Additionally, there is a reduced impact on the joints compared to an upright exercise bike (although, as always, check with your physician or trainer before you exercise ).
These bikes also leave your hands completely free. With a more conventional exercise bike, you might find yourself having to grip and hunch over the handlebars.
A recumbent bike allows you to engage in other leisure or work activities, such as reading, watching TV or reviewing work documents. Based on your budget, there are bikes that also provide different workout programs for you to try.
Downside of Owning a Recumbent Exercise Bike
Some users are put off by the recumbent position, believing that it looks lazy or is not an effective a form of exercise compared to an upright indoor exercise bike.
Some studies suggest that an upright bike may provide a greater cardio-workout; however, they also show that both styles of exercise bike burn the same amount of calories over the course of a workout session.
Other research indicates that recumbent bikes offer greater resistance to the legs and glutes, giving a better workout to these muscles than traditional upright exercise bikes.
Health Benefits of Using Recumbent Bikes
While there are a ton of health benefits of using a recumbent bike, it’s important to consult a doctor before beginning any exercise or fitness program. A lot of customers use recumbent bikes to either maintain or lose weight.
The key benefit is customers are staying active, even if they’re at home watching TV or reading a book. While doing cardio is beneficial, it’s also important that you have a proper diet, to live a healthy lifestyle. It’s highly recommended that you consult a nutritionist as well to create a well-balanced diet plan for yourself.
Winner: Tie – Exerpeutic 900XL/Schwinn 270 Recumbent Stationary Bike
Based on our reviews, two very different recumbent bikes come in as the winners of our match-up today. In short, the 900XL is the best bike for those looking for a straightforward, no-nonsense, reliable recumbent bike, one that will come equipped with all of the comfort and many of the features of far more pricey bikes.
However, for larger people, those with a higher budget, or those who love features such as data management and customizable workout options, the Schwinn 270 can’t be beaten.
Depending on your needs and budget, there is a broad range of quality and affordable recumbent bikes available.
As always, don’t be afraid to try these bikes out for comfort at a local sporting goods store before making your purchase, or to return it to your retailer if it doesn’t suit you.
At the end of the day, the only thing that makes a recumbent bike “good” is whether or not it helps you achieve your fitness, health, and lifestyle goals. Hopefully, your decision on finding the best recumbent exercise bike made it easier after reading this article!