Choosing The Best Recumbent Bike For Your Workout Needs This Year
If your age is catching up and you are finding it hard to keep up with the strenuous upright bike for cardio, a recumbent bike is the best way to go. Or maybe you want a more relaxed workout but still effective. Same answer; go recumbent.
Regardless of your reasons for choosing a recumbent bike for working out, I am here to advise you on the essential features that should be on our bike and whether or not it is a good choice to use a recumbent bike for exercise.
I will also give you a review of five recumbent bikes that I deem noteworthy for exercise both at home and commercially. Have a look at the information provided below before you settle on a recumbent bike for workouts.
Why Go Recumbent?
Recumbent bikes are steadily creeping up in the workout scene as an alternative to the conventional upright bike. This has got to make you wonder if choosing a recumbent bike for cardio is the right move for you. While there is no definite answer for this, a recumbent bike comes with some solid benefits that the conventional bike does not provide.
For one, a recumbent bike offers your back great support while cycling hence the common lower back ache experienced from using the upright bike is non-existent. It also offers a more relaxed workout since you are seated in a leaned back position; the outcome being longer, intense workout hours. Your joints, especially your knees and ankles are also spared the pressure that comes with the upright bike all thanks to the seating style.
Most importantly, this bike is highly recommended for individuals with mobility issues such as the elderly and for physiotherapy patients. This is due to its design which allows you to work out without worrying so much about balancing and posture.
So, a good reason to go recumbent is if you need to work out your legs and kick in some cardio while at it without straining your body. Such as in the case of athletes looking for a safe equipment for cross training.
If you are old and need to do some workout, the recumbent bike is also ideal for you. Also, if you just require a less strenuous workout, going recumbent might do you some good too.
Important Features That Should Not Miss In Your Recumbent Bike
Going in blind when acquiring any exercise equipment might end up frustrating you due to wrong product purchase. Recumbent bikes are no exception. To get you in the loop on what to look out for while purchasing a recumbent bike, I have prepared a list of top four items that are essential to an exercise recumbent bike.
1. Seat Adjustment And Weight Capacity
A decent recumbent bike should have the ability of the seat to adjust especially in terms distance from the console. This will help in accommodating individuals of different heights if you are buying for commercial use and if for home use, you will benefit from finding the perfect seat positions that give your workout a challenge.
Other adjustments on the seat such as inclination and adjustable console are also important as they enhance user comfort. When it comes to weight capacity, go for a maximum capacity of 300 pounds and above. Any lower will be a huge limit to users who can access the bike.
2. Programs And Resistance Systems
A bike that comes with a variety of programs is a huge deal. Using the same workout routine over and over again eventually makes your body used to the workout and the result is a disappointing stagnation in outcomes. This, therefore, makes the use of workout programs important if you want to see changes in your body.
In most cases, the higher the number and complexity of programs the more expensive the bike. The ability to track your progress through saving or downloading your workouts is a huge bonus that comes at an added price too.
When it comes to resistance systems, you are provided with three options, magnetic, fans and friction belts with the magnetic system being the most famous. A good magnetic system should offer a quiet and smooth workout session so discredit any bike that is noisy.
3. A Walk-through Design
Although mostly ignored, a walk-through design is very vital when it comes to choosing a recumbent bike. This is important especially to individuals with mobility issues for easily getting off and on the bike without the struggles of lifting your legs or body. This kind of design is very common in recumbent bikes for rehabilitation purposes and for fitness centers.
4. Easy Use Console And Heart Rate Monitor
Most modern recumbent bikes come with the ability to monitor your heart rate in the pursuit of enhancing your cardio workout. A good bike should not miss this feature as it is vital for tracking your progress.
There are a few creative ways that modern recumbent bikes take your heart rate such as sensors installed in the handlebars as seen in the Exerpeutic 900XL. Some bikes come with the ability to include your age making it even more efficient in giving feedback.
You should also have the console in mind when acquiring a recumbent bike ensuring it is well responsive. One way of ensuring this is by testing it out before purchase and reading other users reviews.
Top 6 Recumbent Bikes For Cardio
The Macy ME 709 is a pretty decent bike that carries a bunch of features that make it ideal for your workouts. For instance, it comes with 8 levels of resistance that can be attained by the turn of a knob. The weight limit is pretty decent as it allows a maximum weight limit of 300 pounds.
It also comes with a walk-through deign and the ability to adjust the seat distance to accommodate different heights. The handlebars are also adjustable and are paired with a counterbalance pedals that allow both forward and backward cycling.
The console provided does a good job displaying the essentials such as speed and calories burnt and is strategically placed in front of the user. I can't complain about the warranty as it comes with a two-year warranty for the whole bike, a sign of confidence in its durability.
The Marcy ME 709 is a good bike for enhancing your cardio workouts, especially in the home setting.
- Small and compact design yet very sturdy
- It offers a warranty of two years
- Walk-through design hence easy to access
- It comes with adjustable handlebars and seat hence enhancing user comfort
- It offers a variety of resistance plus counterbalance pedals
- It offers no workout programs
- The seat padding is not very comfortable
- It does not come with a heart rate monitor
- The seat does not recline
The Diamondback 910SR is an upgrade from its 510SR counterpart thanks to the extra features it comes with. A good starting point is the 35 programs it is equipped with which is 15 programs in excess of those in the 510SR. other than this, I am highly impressed with the console design which is adjustable and very user-friendly.
It comes with a weight limit of 325 pounds and a very comfortable seat that is adjustable to accommodate individuals of all heights. This machine is also heavily accessorized with equipment to enhance your comfort such as a bottle holder, an excellent music system, and adjustable handlebars.
This way, your workouts don’t have to feel like work. Although the frame is slim, this should not fool you into doubting its strength and stability. The diamondback 910SR’s frame is sturdy enough to keep it firm on the ground during workouts while the slim design optimizes on storage space.
Even though this bike comes at a considerably high price, the features provided, paired with a lifetime warranty on the frame and brakes makes it worthwhile.
- It comes with a large selection of workout programs. You will challenge yourself throughout your workout and hardly get bored
- Easy moving parts that provide a quiet and smooth workout session
- An impressive sound system that is mp3 compatible as well as IPhone and IPod compatible
- The seat is very comfortable with a mesh backrest that protects your back. It is also adjustable
- Step-through design for easy access to the bike especially for elderly or individuals with mobility issues. You will not have to lift your legs to get on or off
- Easy to use and adjustable console that has backlight making reading easy even in low lighting.
- The seat angle is not adjustable hence may be uncomfortable to some users. You can only adjust the seat distance
- The fan is not very efficient at cooling the machine
When it comes to buying a recumbent bike for commercial settings such as gyms, hotels, and fitness clubs among others, the Sole-fitness Commercial comes highly recommended. Apart from the sturdy frame, we are very impressed with its 350 pound weight limit which allows access to a large variety of individuals.
The ability of the seat and handlebars to adjust makes it even more ideal for commercial use. It comes with a large and comfortable seat that is accompanied by a large display for easy viewing even by the elderly.
The Sole-fitness Commercial is generously accessorized with ten programs six being standard programs, two heart-rate and the other two are custom. It is also equipped with a built-in fan for cooling the system and a sound system that is mp3 compatible.
Although this bike comes with a hefty price tag, acquiring it will attract a bunch of reassuring warranties such as; a lifetime warranty on the frame, three years on electronics and one year on labor. If we were to choose a recumbent bike for commercial use, we would bet our money on the Sole-fitness Light.
- It comes with a pretty strong frame that has a life time warranty. The weight of the whole bike is 125 pounds and is accessorized with wheels for easy moving
- It is equipped with a cooling fan and it operates very quietly
- A good flywheel is provided paired with a decent magnetic resistance system making it ideal for every level of training
- Availability of wireless chest straps and a heart rate monitor built into the handlebars
- It is also accessorized with a large easy use display which has ten programs
- The 350 pounds weight capacity is high enough to accommodate a large variety of individuals
- The seat is pretty comfortable for protecting your back. Its ability to easily adjust by moving forward or back helps consider individuals of different heights. The handlebars are also adjustable
- It uses energy from the exercise to power the console hence it is energy saving
- It is very heavy and might be too large for your workout space
- The programs available are too little
This list would not be complete without mentioning the Schwinn 270 Bike. It comes with 29 programs for your workout and 27 levels of resistance that will keep your exercises as challenging as possible.
The Dual Track monitor is a notable design that allows you to use the main screen for whatever reason, be it reading or listening to music while still displaying your workout data on the second screen. I am also impressed by the accessories that come with the Schwinn 270 such as a mp3 compatible sound system and adjustable handlebars.
You are also provided with the option of keeping track of your workouts by downloading your data through MyFitnessPal or Nautilus Connect. If you are out to get a high-intensity workout, this bike would be the best bet for you. The advanced and numerous features it comes with make it ideal for both commercial and home use.
- Comes with an adequate 29 programs and 27 resistance levels that will make your workouts interesting. It also allows access to all levels of fitness
- Give you a chance to track your workouts
- Easy to assemble and comes with a set of wheels making it easy to move
- Adjustable seat to accommodate a wide range of heights
- Sturdy frame with a 10-year warranty
- Impressive console technology with the Dual Track monitor. The availability of backlight is also a huge plus.
- The fan is considerably weak
- The bike is fully dependable on power
- To control the resistance you have to use the console
The Nautilus R614 is pretty similar to the Schwinn recumbent bike in terms of the features it comes with. For starters, it is equipped with 22 workout programs and 20 levels of resistance giving your workout some variation. This bike also comes with the Dual Track LCD display with impressive backlighting.
If you are into accessories, then the Nautilus bike is just for you as it comes with a wide set of accessories including acoustic chamber speakers, handlebars connected to the console and straps on the pedals. This bike comes with a two user profile and you can also track your progress by downloading your data from the Nautilus connect.
This bike is best suited for at home use as opposed to the commercial setting. This is mostly due to the two user profile that may be inadequate in a gym setting.
- You can access your workout data to keep track of your progress
- Adjustable seat to incorporate users of different heights
- Strong frame design with a comfortable seat and high backrest
- Easy to assemble and is very quiet while cycling
- Adequate programs and levels for challenging your workouts
- The fan is not as efficient as should be
- The seat cushion is not well padded
The Exerpeutic 400XL comes highly recommended for anyone looking for an affordable bike that is also efficient. Before we get too deep, I would like to commend the bike’s ability to fold hence optimizing on storage space.
Even with the slim design, this bike is capable of supporting a maximum weight of 300 pounds making accessible by a wide variety of users. The console is very simple and easy to use so you will not have any hard time while working out. It also comes with a well-cushioned seat for comfort and a high backrest to provide support for your back.
I would advise you to purchase this bike if you are in need of a home recumbent exercise bike due to its affordable price yet efficiency.
- Very pocket-friendly price despite its efficiency
- Supports a maximum weight of 300 pounds making it accessible by a majority of users
- It is easily foldable allowing for easy storage
- Operates smoothly and quietly
- The slim design makes it easy to lose balance while cycling
- Comes with a plastic housing
The bikes provided above cut across all price levels, from low budget recumbent bikes to costly ones and they have great features, if I had to choose just one regardless of the price, I would go with the Diamondback 910SR.
Why? Well, simply because compared to the others, the Diamondback seems to have more of the essential features required in a recumbent bike. For starters, the Diamondback bike is well equipped with 35 programs which will come in handy during training. It also has a walkthrough design and a generous weight limit of 325 pounds.
In short, all the necessary features required in a recumbent bike checkout when it comes to the Diamondback 910SR hence I would rank it first among the rest.
I think it’s safe to say that I have pretty much done my part in informing you on everything you need to know before purchasing a recumbent bike. It is now upon you to do the testing on your bike before taking it home with you.
As usual, it is a pleasure to hear back from you so please leave a comment or question below and I will get back to you shortly.