When it comes to choosing an exercise bike that you can use at home, a recumbent bike, which reclines back and allows a more relaxed and comfortable position for the rider is always a good choice and one of the best pieces of equipment you can buy.
Recumbent bikes are much easier on the joints and place less stress on the body due to the rider being reclined and not as upright as on other exercise bikes.
In this review, we are going to look at some of the best recumbent bike models on the market and see which one we think is the best.
Best Recumbent Bikes for Cardio Workout
1. Nautilus R614 Recumbent Bike
Our Top Pick
The Nautilus R614 recumbent bike is a really good exercise bike, in fact, we’d go as far to say as the R614 is as close in quality to what you will find in a gym.
Equipped with many features such as the 3-speed fan to keep you cool when riding, or the built-in acoustic speakers to make listening to your music even easier, the R614 takes home exercise to the next level.
The in-built computer has 22 different workouts to choose from, includes 9 different profiles and 2 new fitness tests for you to try and a goal and achievement function if you want to push yourself more.
With standard features such as display speed, distance and calories burned, not to mention heart rate and pulse tracker, the R614 is a strong piece of kit.
When using the R614 you’ll be amazed by how quiet it is, even with the built-in fan which keeps you cool.
There’s so much that we like about the Nautilus R614 and it’s hard to imagine much better exercise bikes being available at this price point. It does the basics really well, providing you with a comfortable exercising experience from the comfort of your own home, and has a range of features to keep you happy as you workout.
Our favorite feature was the goals feature which allows you to set certain milestones and work towards them, making workouts more challenging and fun but we also loved the app connectivity, which allows you to export workout data to MyFitnessPal or Nautilus connect, the brands own tracker.
Although there wasn’t much we were unhappy with if we had to pick one thing to change it would be the heart rate and pulse monitor, as, like most recumbent bikes, it is built into the handlebars. Being able to use with a chest strap would be a nice bonus, it is by no means a deal-breaker, as you are still getting a very strong exercise bike, it would just take this bike to the next level. It is our pick for the best Recumbent bike on this list.
2. MaxKare Recumbent Exercise Bike
The MaxKare recumbent bike would be our second best recumbent bike out there and is a great piece of exercise equipment that can offer a gym-style lower-body workout from the comfort of your own home.
There are 8 levels of magnetic resistance, providing you with challenging intensities to improve your fitness and as the resistance is magnetic you will also be able to enjoy whisper quiet workouts without disturbing others nearby.
The seat and backrest are padded with high-density sponge, which is extremely comfortable and the ergonomic design gives you great lumbar support as you can adjust the seat to your preferred position and feel comfortable and in control when you ride.
There’s an LCD display in the middle of the bike which shows all of your vital exercise stats and you can even see your heart rate, which can be taken by holding the ergonomic handles that are placed next to the seat. If you don’t want to track your stats you can always place your tablet on the tablet holder, and enjoy a movie or listen to music as you ride.
When you’ve finished exercising, the MaxKare Recumbent exercise bike is easy to move and can simply be placed to one side by using the transport wheels to move position, making it a great option for any home gym, especially one where space is limited.
3. 3G Cardio Elite RB Recumbent Exercise Bike
The 3G Cardio Elite Recumbent bike has the highest quality construction, which is why it also comes with a lifetime frame warranty and 7 years for parts, it’s built to get results.
It has a deceptively small and compact frame that only reaches 49-inches long and 27 wide, but can still accommodate users from 5’ up to 6’4 inches tall due to the seat frame which can be adjusted to find your optimal position.
The handrails situated by the side of the exercise bike also contain pulse grip sensors, making it easier to track your heart rate and that information, along with your calories burned, distance traveled and time elapsed will all be presented in front of you on the easy to read console which is situated in the middle of the bike.
The recumbent bike contains 16 levels of magnetic resistance 12 built-in pre-programmed workouts to give you different ways to work towards your fitness goals and a clear emphasis on comfort as the ergonomic design and padded seat and backrest let you relax into a comfortable position for the duration of your ride and reduce the chances of you developing back pain.
This high end piece of equipment can easily fall into any best recumbent bike category. With a 350lb weight capacity in addition to an easy to use, low-impact design, the 3G Elite recumbent bike is one of the best recumbent bikes on the market and it certainly has some of the best reviews out there.
4. Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709
A great way to improve your cardiovascular endurance levels and lose weight, the Marcy recumbent exercise bike is a great piece of equipment if you want to exercise at home or complete your home gym.
Built to handle 300lbs of user weight and made from high-quality, strong and durable materials, the ME-709 can withstand heavy use and doesn’t take up too much space.
The step-through design and highly padded foam seats offer maximal support for you before your workout even begins, making getting in and out of the exercise bike easier than ever and the comfort continues once you’re on the bike and recline back into the seat.
With 8 different resistance levels to choose from the Marcy recumbent bike is suitable for anyone and whether you’re new to fitness or more experienced you’ll be able to find the right level for you ensuring your workouts are always challenging.
Assembling the Marcy ME-709 is oh so easy and once the recumbent bike is actually set up and ready to go, the foam padding makes for one comfy ride.
With wheels to help transport the exercise bike, and weighing only 60 pounds, the ME-709 is compact and easy to store and as one of the cheapest recumbent bikes around, we were more than impressed with the Marcy recumbent bike.
If we had to highlight something we didn’t like then it would be the fact that it doesn’t include heart rate and pulse monitors in the handles as most other recumbent bikes do., so if that’s a feature that you want, you won’t get it with the Marcy ME-709.
5. EXERPEUTIC 900XL Recumbent Exercise Bike
Easy to use and reasonably priced, Exerpeutic is a popular brand in the home fitness market that has a reputation for getting the basics right and producing good quality machines at a reasonable price.
It has all the standard features you require for a home-based workout and doesn’t try to do anything too fancy. You need a machine that can take your weight (up to 300lbs) make your workouts challenging and help you to lose weight and improve your cardiovascular endurance and the 900XL does it all.
An all time favorite and considered the best Recumbent bike among many faithful users. It comes 8 different levels of tension control and hand pulse sensors to see just how hard you’re working, the 900XL can be tailored to your own ability levels and workout goals.
Once you are working out the precision balanced flywheel and V-Belt drive combine to make for a smooth and quiet ride, making it even easier to use while watching TV or listening to music and moving the exercise bike is just as easy with the standard transportation wheels to help you move the bike.
When it comes to a recumbent bike the Exerpeutic 900XL does exactly what we want. It displays the basic stats, has large pedals to suit users of all sizes, has a pretty comfortable height and weight limit and the heart rate monitor is another plus. However one of the biggest things going for it is the super quiet usability, meaning we can use this and while watching TV and not have to adjust the volume control at all.
If we had to pick something we didn’t like it would be the fact that assembly was quite difficult, taking a lot of time to set up and that the recumbent bike took up a lot of space, making it hard to use in a smaller room in the house.
6. Schwinn Recumbent Bike
The Schwinn 230 is a reasonably priced recumbent bike that is packed full of features. With 22 preset workout programs, 20 different levels of resistance, built-in speakers a 3-speed cooling fan and a DualTrack 2 LCD screen the Schwinn 230 is a great bike to complement your home gym.
Perfect for those with mobility issues or who are new to exercise, the 230 is a strong and sturdy recumbent bike that provides a great way to challenge and improve your cardiovascular fitness.
Like most recumbent bikes the 230 has an easy walk-through design, making using the bike very simple and like most recumbent bikes on the market, the Schwinn 230 supports users up to 300lbs.
The Schwinn is a great bike that offers many benefits for anyone wanting to reintroduce themselves to exercise. With standard features such as heart rate monitoring and speed and distance stats plus the additional two user profiles which allow you to track and record your progress, the Schwinn 230 is a recumbent bike that takes your results seriously.
The magnetic resistance system ensures your workouts are quiet and the inclusion of a media tray ensures you can use and charge your devices whilst you work out.
If you’re looking for a mid-range recumbent bike then the Schwinn 230 is a solid choice.
It would be better if it came with Bluetooth connectivity and honestly, the seat could be more comfortable, but overall, this is a good recumbent bike.
7. Vanswe Recumbent Exercise Bike
The Vanswe recumbent bike allows you to work to your own level and push yourself to achieve more. With 16 levels of tension to choose from you can work harder every time you step on the bike and use the activity tracker to track and store your exercise data.
With a more efficient belt, you can enjoy a smoother and quieter ride than ever before and once you feel the soft backrest and seat, you may not want to get off ever again.
The large digital LCD tracking panel shows all your major stats in large letters across the screen and can even be used to check your heart rate. Equally as useful is the large media platform, which allows you to store and hold devices to further make your workout more enjoyable.
The Vanswe is a great recumbent bike for users of all height, shape, and sizes and with a range of different features, you’ll be able to cater your sessions to your specific needs.
The 16 level magnetic tension control system was a big favorite of ours as it gives you so many options for how hard you work, although, in reality, you don’t really notice the tension until around 7, so we would prefer it to be harder sooner, but nonetheless, it is still a good bike. If you are looking for the best recumbent bike at a budget price, this would be a good choice.
8. Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Bike
Supporting user weight of up to 300lbs, the Sunny Health and Fitness Recumbent bike (model SF-RB4616) is a no-nonsense bike that allows you to workout and burn calories from the comfort of your own home.
With an adjustable seat, allowing you to find the right comfort level for you, this bike is strong and sturdy and won’t move around as you work through the 8 different tension levels equipped to challenge your workout
The levels get progressively harder as you move through them but if you’re a more experienced exerciser, you may not get the resistance you want, even at the top level.
The pedals are slip-resistant; with straps to keep your feet in place and the flywheel and belt drive have been designed to allow for a smooth and quiet ride.
All in all, the Sunny Recumbent bike does exactly what you’d expect and is very reasonably priced.
This recumbent bike does exactly what we want and doesn’t have any major surprises.
It’s a fairly straightforward piece of kit but that doesn’t mean they have put care and thought into the design.
We especially like the adjustable seat feature, as it allows for a more personalized and comfortable seating position, however, we feel the bike would benefit from a few other features, namely some transportation wheels to make moving the bike much easier and a screen console that didn’t require AAA batteries.
9. Pooboo Recumbent Exercise Bike
The Pooboo recumbent bike is a stationary bike that has been designed for cardio workouts at home, where and when you see fit.
It uses magnetic resistance (8 levels), which offers a super quiet riding experience and ensures that you won’t disturb anyone else when using this bike. This type of resistance is also maintenance free which will help the exercise bike to last a long time.
You will experience a smooth riding experience when using this exercise equipment and the ergonomic design will ensure you also feel comfortable and supported when you complete a workout.
The padded seat and backrest, made from high-density foam, offer a very comfortable sitting position and the conveniently positioned handrails offer you more support as you ride.
The adjustable seat allows you to adjust the length of the bike to fit your ideal position and with 7 positions to find optimal comfort; you should have no problem trying to find the preferred seating position for your height.
There’s an LCD display in the middle of the bike, perfect for tracking and monitoring your vital stats and assessing your performance and the added device holder also makes it easier to keep your device close by and watch your favorite shows or training videos as you exercise.
When you’ve finished using the bike you can easily transport it to a more suitable destination with the easy to move features, just lift the bike and move the bike on the transport wheels to store the bike safely.
Why a Recumbent Bike is Helpful for Fitness
When it comes to picking the best piece of exercise equipment most people go for the treadmill, rower or spin bike.
Unfortunately, a Treadmill isn’t great for people with bad knees or someone who simply hates running and the rower can pose its own problems if you’re not an experienced exerciser, as getting onto the machine and setting yourself up can be quite difficult.
A bike on the other hand, and a recumbent bike at that, doesn’t pose these problems and can actually be far better for you than any other type of cardio equipment.
With the pedals positioned in front of the body, a larger and more comfortable seat and a bike that allows you to sit into a more reclined position a recumbent bike helps you to exercise at a much lower impact, taking the stress and pressure off of your joints and limiting pain felt from exercising.
This can be especially good if you’re someone that is new to exercise, suffers from knee, back or hip pain or is recovering from injuries. It’s also an added bonus if you’re of a larger height or weight.
Recumbent bikes are perfect for a more gentle exercise routine and therefore ideal for someone recovering from injuries, getting into exercise after a long time off or who struggles with traditional exercise.
Due to the way the bike is positioned exercising on a recumbent bike offers more support to the lower back area and can reduce the impact felt on the hips too.
An Exercise Routine You Can Do On Your Recumbent Bike
There are multiple ways to exercise on a recumbent bike and depending on your goals, how exactly you do that could be slightly different to other people, but to help you along, here are three simple exercise routines you can do on recumbent exercise bikes.
Why Use a Recumbent Exercise Bike?
Recumbent bikes are a great alternative for those that need a low-impact solution with less strain on the body. You can work your leg muscles and gain flexibility while achieving more comfort as you ride. There is less pressure on painful joints and the chance for less-able users to workout a little longer.
Is a Recumbent Bike Safe for Seniors?
The best recumbent bikes for seniors should be a great option for older folks in need of a safer way to ride. The low-impact workout means that you can work leg joints without aggravating conditions like arthritis as much. The right combination of a secure backrest, stabilizing feet, and a step-through frame also means that seniors have fewer worries about their balance.
Is a Recumbent Exercise Bike Good for Cardio?
Yes. While you might expect these recumbent exercise bikes to be less effective because of the relaxed position, you can still get the cardiovascular system working when pedaling on one of these recumbent exercise bikes. An upright bike can be more intense. But, it all depends on the duration and intensity of the session. You can still push yourself and build stamina and lung capacity with regular sessions on a recumbent bike.
Is a Recumbent Bike okay to Use With Bad Knees?
Yes. The low-impact approach of recumbent exercise bikes means that you can ride without putting too much pressure on your knees. You aren’t putting all your weight on them in the same way as an upright bike. With the right adjustments on the frame and seat, you can put your legs at the ideal angle for a smooth, pain-free motion.
How Long Should You Cycle on a Recumbent Bike for?
While many trainers and keen users would say that 30 minutes is a good average, it all depends on your current ability level. Don’t push yourself too far too early. At the same time, you shouldn’t spend too little time on the bike if you aren’t getting any gains. To improve your performance, either increase the duration up from 30 minutes or stick with 30 minutes on a higher intensity.
Treadmill or Recumbent Bike?
The answer here depends on your aims. Do you want to burn lots of calories quickly with a simple form of exercise? Or, are you looking to slowly gain strength and fitness in your legs? Treadmills are better for calorie burning and are great cardio workouts. But, recumbent bikes are perfect for building leg strength and rehabilitation.
Is the Backrest on a Recumbent Exercise Bike Comfortable to Cycle With?
The backrest should provide a lot of comfort for those that need a supportive alternative to an upright bike. However, comfort levels can vary between models. Check out the shape of the backrest, the width of the seat and the amount of padding on offer. Also, look to see if there is any way to change the position or angle of the backrest. This should allow for better posture.
Our Top Recumbent Bike Pick
All of the Recumbent bikes above are great pieces of equipment and with reviews like this it can be hard to find a standout bike as they are all in a similar price range and have similar features, however, in this instance, there was one particular bike which sat above the rest, the Nautilus R614 Recumbent Bike
It had almost everything we could want and was as close to gym quality as we could find in this price range. With multiple programs, user profiles and more features to play with, the Nautilus bike is our clear choice for the best recumbent bike you need in your home.