It might come as a surprise that recumbent exercise bikes are liked by fit athletes as well as people with sedentary lifestyles. Might you be a potential fan of the seated bike? If you don’t like the discomfort of an upright stationary cycle, the recumbent just may be the solution to your cardio workout needs.
These bikes are very effective, compact in size, and are less likely to break down over time than other machines.
Like uprights, most recumbent bikes are based on magnetic flywheels that are very quiet, and they have electronic displays to show feedback on your workout stats.
There are numerous benefits and advantages to the recumbent bike vs an upright. Let's take a look at a few of them...
In addition to the comfort and safety of the design overall, here are some other pluses:
Everything has its disadvantages, and the drawbacks are definitely worth considering if you're trying to choose between a recumbent and an upright exercise bike.
Let's take a look at some of them here....
So you can expect to pay a little more for that added comfort and it might take up a little more room, but usually not enough to make a real difference. It's less of a real outdoor ride, and engages less of your arms and upper body muscles than an upright does.
At the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference. Some people love the fact that they can get a good cardio workout in while being seated and minimizing impact on their back and joints.
Other people prefer to be in the same position they would be on an outdoor bike, with the ability to rise up and train harder if they want to.
There's no right or wrong decision when it comes to the recumbent bike vs the upright bike...both have their pros and cons, and you need to weigh them to decide what works best for you.
If you are elderly, suffer from back pain, looking to rehab an injury, etc. the recumbent exercise bike is probably the better option for you. You can always grab some hand weights while you pedal to engage your upper body muscles more. They are definitely more comfortable and reduce stress on the back and hips, which is key for many people.
There are a number of manufacturers out there to choose from, at various price points. You can check out our expert's Best Recumbent Bikes here, which breaks it down by price so you can find one that fits your budget.
Entry Level Recumbents
In the entry level market you have names like Schwinn, Nautilus, ProForm and NordicTrack, ranging in price from about $400 to $700. These bikes are good for light use, rehab, elderly...they are ideal for those who are just starting out and want to get into shape, burn some calories and tone up the muscles in the lower body.
Mid Range Recumbents
In the mid-range market you have names like Diamondback, Horizon and LifeSpan, ranging in price from about $700 to $1000. These bikes are a higher grade than the entry level models, with more comforts, programming, more durable construction and better design.
Club Quality Recumbents
Moving up to the commercial-grade recumbent exercise bike market you're looking at top brands like Matrix, Precor and Life Fitness. These bikes are similar to the ones you'll find at your health club, built to last, able to handle heavier workouts with minimal maintenance required. If you want something that will last forever, these are the ones you'll want to pick.
So those are the top brands in all of the different price categories, which should give you a good jumping off point to narrow down your choices. All of these companies have been making recumbent exercise bikes and uprights as well for years, so you know you're getting a good product.
If you can stretch your budget and get one of the mid-range or higher end bikes you'll be a lot happier with your purchase. However, if your budget is tight, by all means go for one of the entry level models. They are perfectly fine for light daily workouts.
UPDATE: Summer Exercise Bike Sales are now on!
Best Bikes For 2020
Find the right bike at the best price!
How to make the time spent exercising fun!
Rave or rant about the exercise bike you purchased online or used at the gym.