Recumbent bikes offer a good deal of benefits when it comes to working out. However, unlike stationary exercise bikes, choosing the correct recumbent bike will require a bit more research and more factors to consider. You will need to consider your personal needs as well as your preferences. These factors, as well as your budget, will play into which recumbent bike will be the best choice for you. In order to help you choose the right one, I will be giving you some pointers as well as recommendations that you should check out.
This guide is based on my own personal experiences when I was looking for the right recumbent bike to accommodate my needs. Hopefully, this will help you speed up the research process so that you can narrow your choices of the best recumbent bikes in the market today.
Why Should You Buy a Recumbent Exercise Bike?
Indoor exercise bikes come in two types: the upright and the recumbent bike. Both have their strengths and weaknesses which is important for you to fully understand first before deciding which of the two you should choose. For now, we will be primarily discussing the recumbent bike. I will be listing the main benefits of using a recumbent bike as your main indoor exercise bike to help you better wrap your head around this machine.
Great Cardio Workout
A recumbent bike exercise is a great way to improve your cardiovascular health. It also helps strengthen your glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps; some of the largest muscles in the body. Its ability to really get your heart pumping helps improve blood pressure as well as strengthen your lungs for better stamina. I do advise people with heart or lung conditions to first consult their doctor before trying this type of exercise.
Develops your Muscles
Similar to the upright stationary bike, the recumbent bike also targets muscles in the lower body. However, due to it putting you in a different position, the muscle benefits are slightly tweaked. The recumbent bike develops muscles at a different rate than upright bikes. This doesn’t mean that recumbent is better though. It is just that it takes a different approach towards the same goal.
Recumbent bikes have a reclined position which offers more comfort to the person using this exercise machine. The recline also helps support your back muscles by dampening the amount of pressure it experiences during the whole exercise routine. This position also makes the recumbent bike a preferred stationary bike for people who are suffering from joint and muscle pains in their lower extremities.
Since it uses a reclined seat, it also eliminates the need to stand up when using the pedals which increases the risk of injury for some people. This is where the recumbent bike excels where the upright bike cannot, comfortability.
On the subject of comfort, being comfortable when using any type of exercise machine means you will be able to use it for longer periods of time. The recumbent bike is designed for both comfort and results. Being able to stay on the bike longer means more calories burned.
Best Recumbent Bikes of 2018
- Exerpeutic 900XL
One of the more affordable models available that deliver premium performance. The Exerpeutic 900XL may not include all the features most high-end recumbent bikes have but it does come with all the necessary features to deliver the results you want.
This recumbent bike is designed to support up to 300 lbs. of weight. That is quite impressive as this is one of Exerpeutic’s lighter models. It features a display that tracks the calories you have burned, the distance, timer, and info on the current resistance level.
As I have pointed out earlier, it offers the bare bones feature of a recumbent bike. It features 8 resistance levels which are quite limited when compared to its more expensive counterparts. All in all, this is a great entry-level recumbent bike for those wanting something budget-friendly but still manages to deliver results.
- ProForm 44 ES Recumbent Bike
The ProForm 440 ES can be considered the most well-rounded in this list. It also comes with a good selection of features that will make your workout flow much more smoothly. The well-padded seats are designed for comfort with their ventilated design. It also has tablet support in the form of a downloadable app companion.
The ProForm 44 ES also has an easy to use interface and a responsive control screen. Another great addition to this recumbent bike is the lifetime warranty that comes with it. It makes that extra hundred bucks on the price tag well worth it, right?
As for features, you can choose up to 32 exercise programs and 25 levels of resistance. ProForm 44 ES is certainly one that offers the most at a reasonable price. This is something you should definitely check out if you are looking for a reliable recumbent bike.
- Vision R40 Recumbent Bike
Vision R40 Recumbent Bike enters this list and certainly knows how to make an entrance. It features 17 workout programs and comes in three design variations: Classic, Touch, and Elegant. The Vision R40 is designed to accommodate certain styles for specific individuals which is actually a smart marketing move as it casts a wider net.
Another feature that separates it from the rest is the helpful workout videos that are pre-installed into the machine. These videos can be accessed via the control and display console. However, this feature is not available in the Classic version which is something you should be aware of. These videos react in real time which enhances the immersion as it simulates having your very own trainer.
It also features a heart rate monitor and utilizes magnetic resistance for optimum control when increasing or decreasing resistance level. I also found a USB port where you can charge your device, not an essential feature but is definitely a welcome addition. If there is one downside to the Vision R40, it is the limited resistance level. This will do with people who want to get fit but athletes need to look elsewhere for a decent challenge.
- Precor RBK 835
A premium recumbent bike delivers quality and features in spades, something the Precor RBK 835 manages to accomplish. It comes with a variety of advanced features and tablet support. It comes with entertainment options which allow you to incorporate media into the machine such as music and video. Again, not ‘must-have’ feature but I’m not complaining that it is here.
Workout options are also quite impressive with cross country, hill climbs, heart rate controlled, etc. programs all pre-programmed into the machine. This makes selecting the right workout intensity quick and easy. The data progression will also stay even if you switch to a different workout program.
In total, the Precor RBK 835 features 25 workout programs to choose from along with other nifty little features and a comfortable, ergonomic, and durable design.
- Sole Fitness LCR Light Commercial
The last entry in this list is the Sole Fitness LCR Light Commercial Recumbent Bike. This is a well-made, commercial-grade exercise bike that offers premium quality and features. It comes with a hefty 9-inch display screen that tracks all important information during your workout routine.
As for the resistance level, the LCR offers an impressive 40 levels of resistance. If you are meticulous when it comes to your training regimen then the LCR might satisfy that detail-oriented mind of yours. This level of option for resistance allows for more flexibility and can assist beginners and athletes as well.
It also has a built-in sound system and is completely self-powered, unlike other recumbent bikes. Overall, the LCR is another recumbent bike that is worth your while to check out if you are looking for a premium exercise bike that delivers convenience, reliability, and practicality.
Recumbent bikes are a great alternative for people who are not comfortable with using the upright stationary bikes. Upright exercise bikes, while certainly a good way to improve cardio, might not be for everyone. Case in point, people with arthritis who will already have trouble sitting on this type of indoor exercise bike. The next best option is the recumbent bike. It offers almost similar results as an upright bike but focuses a bit more on the person’s comfort and convenience.
Hopefully, this article has helped you figure out which recumbent bike would be best. Remember, you should always consider personal needs and preference when buying a recumbent bike. You should also be aware that these are more expensive than the standard upright bikes but you can still find top-notch choices at an affordable price which you can see from our list above.