Recumbent bikes are an extremely popular piece of equipment not only in gyms all over the world but they are also a great choice to use in the comfort of your own home. They are popular because they allow you to get in a great workout while also being fairly comfortable as the seats and the reclined position take pressure off the lower back and allow freedom of movement. The problem for many though is finding the best recumbent bike as there are so many to choose from. Frankly, that’s why we created this recumbent bike review, so that you can make an informed purchase and enjoy enjoy your recumbent bike for years to come.
You can check out our comparison guide directly below and we go into detail about each model below as well. Enjoy!
Ultimate Recumbent Bike Review for 2017
|1) Diamondback 910SR Recumbent Bike||4.5||5.0||4.5||4.9|
|2) Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike||4.0||5.0||4.0||4.5|
|3) Sole Fitness LCR||3.9||3.6||3.6||3.9|
|4) Nautilus R616 Bike||3.5||3.2||3.2||3.7|
|5) Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike||3.5||3.0||3.2||3.5|
What Is A Recumbent Bike?
Recumbent stationary bicycles are a kind of indoor exercise bike that permits you to sit down and recline back a bit in order to take the weight off your back, especially your lower back. This provides you the capability to focus your exercise on your legs in a comfortable and safe position, which is great for people with any type of back issues.
Compared with other pieces of exercise equipment, the recumbent stationary bicycle more ergonomic with a low-impact design so it’s much easier to use for those with injuries, those prone to injuries and/or those that just like the way it feels.
On a recumbent bike, you are avoiding the “leaning over” that happens on an upright workout bike or indoor cycle, which can result in back pain with repeated use. Also you won’t be putting on undue stress on your knees from using the treadmill or running outside, as those are both high impact activities. Also unlike an elliptical machine which has an unnatural running motion, a recumbent bike doesn’t put stress on your hips either. It’s just the familiar and straight-forward leg biking motion, however with a welcome, back-relaxing twist to it.
How Do Recumbent Bikes Work?
Since we know what the difference between recumbent bikes and upright bikes are, you may be wondering how do they work. Like upright bikes you pedal against an amount of resistance that is set by the user. The resistance is commonly magnetic and is applied to a flywheel much like you would find on an indoor cycle.
The flywheel builds up momentum that imitates the feel of biking on an open roadway. Like a typical bicycle it takes a little more effort to get it going (how much depends on the resistance level) and as you pedal much faster or slower, you work all your lower body muscles including calves, thighs, and glutes. There is even some abdominal activation as from keeping your abs tight to preserve your leg position. Many bikes have pre programmed workouts that you can follow, like climbing hills, fat loss workouts, endurance workouts, etc. Most will also allow you to track your heart rate as you exercise as well.
The Best Recumbent Bike Features to Consider
Not all recumbent bikes are made the same and there isn’t just one bike that is just right for everybody either. Choosing the right bike for your needs has a lot to do with the features that you want in a bike and how you plan on using your bike. The following are some features that you should consider when looking for the best recumbent bike for your specific needs.
All the bikes in our review come with a computer display but some models display and track more information than others do. Some things that the various models can track are time, distance traveled, calories burned, heart rate and some of the higher end models will alert you if you are falling off pace of a goal you have set as well. Some models also allow there to be multiple users so you can always track your workouts under your specific user name and not get them mixed up with anyone else’s that uses the machine as well.
Resistance Adjustment and Pre-Programmed Workouts
Resistance for the most part is what sets your average recumbent bike apart from the best recumbent bikes on the market. Having the ability to rapidly and quickly tweak your bike’s resistance level to help you get the best workout you can is a main factor that is going to keep you returning for more. Many of the lesser models work fine at first but over time their magnetic resistance stops working and the user can’t tell the difference between level 1 and level 15. Quality matters in this area for sure.
Additionally, numerous recumbent bike displays allow you to manage pre-programmed workouts and some are even coupled with a heart-rate display to provide you a cardio exercise that is determined by your target heart rate level. A variety of resistance levels and pre-programmed workouts will keep you challenged and returning for more. Some models will even allow you to program your own workouts as well.
Some recumbent bike screens also include the capability to download your exercise information to apps such as MyFitnessPal to help you keep a running record of your progress. For those that want to track their progress this is something that is really valuable and can help you not only get better results but help you stay motivated because you’re working toward new goals.
Speakers and Fans
More and more recumbent exercise bicycles include nice additional features such as fans to cool you off, speakers, iPhone ports and charging USB ports so you can plug in and listen to your very own music while exercising.
Heavier flywheels do a great job at simulating riding a real bike on the road, also the heavier they are the better they last over time. Some designs feature perimeter-weighted flywheels to further improve and simulate the sensation of being on a road bike in a peaceful and smooth method. The best recumbent bikes are going to have a fairly heavy flywheel so keep that in mind when looking.
Adjustable Seat Position
A strong warranty on a product can allow you to have peace of mind and it also shows whether or not a company stands behind their product. Hopefully you will never have any issues but it’s nice to know you’re covered if something were to ever happen. If you plan on using your bike on a consistent basis then it’s even more reassuring to have a strong warranty to stand on.
Maximum Weight Capacity
This is a feature many don’t think about but every bike has varying maximum weight capacities. Most recumbent bikes can accommodate users up to at least 250 lbs (113kg) in weight.
Advantages To Purchasing Your Recumbent Bike Online
The internet has made all our lives easier to some extent and it’s evident especially when it comes to making major purchase decisions. Used to you would have to go into a fitness store and deal with a pushy sales guy, you wouldn’t really know if you are getting a good deal or not and then if you decided to purchase it you would then have to carry it to your car and once home drag it into the house. I think you get the picture.
Buying your recumbent bike online is a much easier proposition as you can sit back and find all the information about various models available, compare options and make an informed decision that you will be happy with. Also buying your bike from trusted places like Amazon you will get a great shipping rate (if you even have to pay anything) and if you have any issues with the product they are there to help you. You can just click to order it and wait for it to arrive on your front porch.
Recumbent Bike Reviews: The Best Recumbent Exercise Bikes of 2017
Making the top 5 of our recumbent bike review is The Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike, which is an outstanding, mid-range bike. Schwinn is a trusted brand this bike has everything you need to help you lose some weight, build up endurance, all while doing it in the convenience of your own home. While the 230 bike is a slimmed down version of the higher-end 270 version, it still outranks other recumbent bikes in this price range.
The Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike includes 20 various levels of resistance and 22 pre programmed exercise programs (only 5 less resistance levels and 7 less pre programmed workouts than the 270). It’s missing the Bluetooth capability of the Schwinn 270 model and it doesn’t allow you to use a chest strap heart rate monitor to sync to the machine. But aside from that, this recumbent exercise bike is pretty similar to the higher-end 270 model. If you’re deciding between the 230 and the 270 model much of your decision will come down to how important the bluetooth capability is as well as the added levels of resistance and pre programmed workouts. The difference between the two models is about $200.
The Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike has just about everything you want to have a great ride, an extreme/intense workout, as well as highly enjoyable exercises. It has an outstanding console with plenty of workouts to choose from as well as the capacity to download your personal workout data. It also has app connectivity and a nice media shelf where you can place your phone, tablet or even a book if you want to read while riding. It also comes with a 10 year warranty and you can rest assure you have a solid bike as Schwinn is a quality brand that has been around for a long time.
This recumbent bike from Nautilus is the type of bike that when you purchase it and start using it, you’ll be kicking yourself that you didn’t find it sooner. There aren’t many bikes on the market that can compete with the combo of features, quality and price. You have to really be looking for something to complain about when it comes to this bike as it’s one of the best on the market in 2016 and it’s made by a great and trusted company in Nautilus.
The Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike is loaded with lots of features like 29 pre set workout programs, 25 levels of resistance,a built in heart rate monitor with the option to use a separate heart rate monitor like the chest variety if you have it, and not to mention you can download your workout information as well. It additionally has many bonus features like a Bluetooth connectivity, a nice media/magazine shelf, a place to hold your water bottle and a fan with 3 different speeds.
This bike has just about everything you can want in a recumbent bike that will allow you to have a great workout time after time. One of the best selling points of the bike is who makes it, as Nautilus is one of the best names in fitness and they stand behind their products with a 10 year warranty as well. Really the only drawback of this bike is the fact that it doesn’t come with the chest strap heart rate monitor, basically you’re not going to find a better bike in the $500 price range.
Coming in at #3 in our best recumbent bike review is the Sole Fitness LCR bike. This bike is a haus and is designed to be used in hotels and commercial gym settings, so you know it will do just fine as your home recumbent bike. It also supports up to 350 pounds and comes with a lifetime structure service warranty, which is a fancy way of saying this bike will last and the company stands by their product.
The thing that this bike apart from the rest is that it is self powered, meaning you don’t need to be near an outlet to use it. When you start pedaling it generates the power needed to operate the computer display and powers the whole machine, you’re literally your own power source. This is a great feature for those that need a bike in an area where an outlet isn’t nearby and also for those that want to save as much on their energy bill as possible.
The SOLE LCR has a bunch of solid features like 40 degrees of magnetic Eddy Current Brake (ECB) resistance, 10 workouts pre programmed in, 12 different seat positions, ergonomic and comfortable pedals, a solid flywheel weighing in at 30 lbs, and a built in heart rate monitor that also allows you to connect a chest strap monitor if you wish also. You likewise get the typical comfort features like a nice cooling fan, a water bottle holder and the option to plug in your tablet or mobile device to listen to music. This is a well built machine that will last a very long time and has enough features to make your ride as smooth as possible.
The Schwinn 270 is hands down one among the very best recumbent bikes you can buy and it comes with a favorable price tag at around $500. It comes loaded with 25 different levels of resistance, almost 30 pre programmed exercises, and a bevy of features like Bluetooth connectivity, a heart rate monitor, speakers and cooling fans that make it much more enjoyable to workout on and not much of a chore at all.
The DualTrack display system is great in that gives you a place to hold your phone, book or tablet on the media shelf but still be able to see all the workout stats. This is a small feature but it’s one that we found very enjoyable as most models don’t think about this part of the user experience.
The Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike’s flywheel uses a perimeter-weighted system that simulates riding a bike on the road very well and it also provides an ultra smooth ride time after time. Like many of the models in our review you can also download all your workout stats to your Schwinn account or use your MyFitnessPal account by means of the Bluetooth connectivity. The speakers are surprisingly powerful as you can really rock out if you want to while riding, just plug in your tablet or mobile device and you’re good to go.
Schwinn is one of the most respected names in the industry and their years of expertise and dedication to quality made products is really shown in the Schwinn 470, so it’s no surprise that it’s one of the best recumbent bikes of 2016. It is in the same price range as the Nautilus R616, and a step up from the Schwinn 230 model. The Schwinn 270 Recumbent is a great-looking, state-of-the-art, sturdy and trusted piece of workout equipment that will challenge you with extreme yet low-impact workouts in the convenience of your own home.
To be honest all the bikes in our review we would highly recommend to anybody that is looking for a recumbent bike, but if you are looking for the best recumbent bike in 2017 then look no further than the Diamondback 910SR. This bike has been voted a Best Buy by Official Fitness Professor for 6 years running in the best recumbent bike under $1,000. It won’t take long to take a look at the list of features this bike has to see why it has been winning awards for years now.
This is not only a really good looking bike but it’s also extremely adjustable and is a real durable piece of equipment that is backed up by a solid warranties as well. The thing that sets this bike apart from a lot of the other bikes is the technology it utilizes. It comes with an astonishing 35 pre programed exercise programs and has 32 levels of Eddy Current Resistance (ECB). The amount of various workout programs this bike boasts means that you will never plateau in your progress and you won’t have to worry about your workouts becoming stale and boring.
The computer console on this machine is truly a sight to see. It has a gorgeous digital screen that controls all the bike’s high tech features and shows you all the workout information in a user friendly manner. Some of the features this bike has is a built in heart rate monitor and also allows you to use a chest strap heart rate monitor as well, can use two user profiles, also has inputs for mobile devices and tablets, fans to keep you cool, media/magazine rack, a water bottle holder and transportation wheels to make it easy to move around the house. I suppose one could expect a back massage but maybe next year’s model will add that.
The max user capacity of the bike is 325 pounds which is the most out of any in our review and it also comes with a 3 year warranty on the electronics and parts but a lifetime warranty on the frame and brakes. Diamondback, has been a reputable leader in bikes for years, and their warranty shows they stand by their products.
In comparison, the Diamondback 510SR is a solid, but more fundamental version of this model but doesn’t have the premium features that make this bike so nice. We feel it’s worth it in this case to spend a couple of hundred dollars more for the 910 SR given you’ll be spending a lot of time using it and the little extras it has will help give you better workouts and keep you coming back for more workouts.
If you enjoyed this article then you should check out our review of the best spin bikes of 2017, we tested all the top brands and came up with the top 5 of the year. Check it out!