Last Updated on June 21, 2021 by TFM Staff
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Recumbent bikes such as the Schwinn 270 and the NordicTrack Commercial VR25 are hugely popular pieces of exercise equipment that help you get an excellent workout while reclining in a very comfortable position. These types of exercise bikes are very often seen in gyms and fitness clubs, but they’re great for the home as well. We’ve put together this comprehensive guide to help you find the best recumbent exercise bike for your home fitness.
Recumbent Bikes at Home?
Recumbent bikes are very popular in fitness clubs and gyms, and for good reason. It’s a great way to either warm up the body for further workout routines, or for a solid workout in itself. And with a comfortable yet challenging recumbent exercise bike in your own home, you’re a lot more likely to be motivated to get those great workouts underway. The bike will be staring you in the face, begging for you to get on and get cycling.
Ordering a recumbent bike online is easy, and you’ll be able to find the best prices and shipping options on sites like Amazon. Plus you avoid having to carry the heavy bike box home from the local fitness store.
Investing in your own recumbent bike is an excellent way to take your health and fitness to the next level in the comfort of your own home. Best of all, you can park the recumbent bike right in front of your TV or computer and control your own entertainment while working out. Pop on some headphones and get in the zone. Or just prop a book up and get your reading in while getting your cardio on.
Best Recumbent Bikes by Price:
The recumbent bike category includes brands and models that include a large array of features and price levels. It’s a lot to consider. But the good news is that when shopping for recumbent bike, you’ll see that there’s something for everyone and you are guaranteed to find one that fits your budget and fitness goals. To help you find the right recumbent bike, we’ve listed what we feel are the best by price range below:
PRICE RANGE: $100-$300:
PRICE RANGE: $300-$600:
PRICE RANGE: $600-$1000:
PRICE RANGE: $1000 and up:
Our Top Picks for Best Recumbent Bikes
#1. Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike
The Schwinn 270 is one of the best recumbent bikes on the market hands-down. It comes with 25 levels of resistance, 29 programmed workouts, and a ton of features including Bluetooth, heart rate monitoring, fans and speakers that make working out (amazingly) something you’ll look forward to.
The DualTrack monitor system is an innovative display that allows you to prop up your iPad, tablet, or book right in front of you on the main LCD display, but you’ll still see your workout data on the secondary screen.
The Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike’s flywheel is perimeter-weighted to help give it a very realistic road-momentum and smooth-cycling workout.
To better keep track of your progress, you’ll be able to download your workout data to Nautilus Connect or MyFitnessPal via Bluetooth. And if you want to rock out on the bike’s in console speakers, just plug your MP3 player into to the USB port.
Schwinn is a household name in exercise equipment and their expertise and devotion to quality is well represented here in the Schwinn 470.
Comparable in price and features to the Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike, and a step up from the Schwinn 230, the Schwinn 270 Recumbent is a great-looking, high-tech, durable and reliable piece of equipment that will challenge you with intense yet low-impact workouts in the comfort of your own home. Click here or the button below for our full review of the Schwinn 270:Read Full Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike Review
#2. NordicTrack C VR25 Recumbent Bike
The “C” in the NordicTrack C VR25 Recumbent Bike stands for “commercial”, but don’t let that dissuade you. It just indicates this recumbent exercise bike can take a beating and keep on performing. This fully adjustable bike with ergonomic seat and lumbar support will deliver a great, challenging workout while providing the comfortable body support that the best recumbent bikes should offer.
Like most of NordicTrack’s line of exercise equipment, this unit is about as cutting edge as it gets. To start, the VR25 recumbent bike sports a 7″ Smart HD Touchscreen. This screen is your window into a fully interactive world of workouts, personal training, cross-training, and full stat tracking.
Offering an ever-growing workout library with new workouts daily, and 26 levels of LIVE Resistance with One Touch controls, the NordicTrack C VR25 Recumbent Bike will keep you endlessly challenged. You’ll never hit a fitness plateau as you’ll be able to endlessly switch up your workouts and give your body something new to work on. The Silent Magnetic Resistance will challenge you while staying quiet.
Beyond that, VR25 recumbent bike has EKG Grip Pulse heart rate monitoring and a chest strap included, two Bluetooth speakers, and an integrated, pivoting tablet holder. The only thing it doesn’t do is give you a foot massage. Maybe in the next model!See Price
Recumbent Bike Features to Consider
Indoor Bike Computer
Models such as the Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike feature computers that display an array of helpful information that helps you track your fitness progress. Data such as time, distance, and calories goal tracking keep you aware of where you’re at in your workout and encourage you to push on to higher goals. Some computers also feature the ability to switch between users.
Resistance Adjustment and Pre-Programmed Workouts
Resistance is the name of the game on recumbent bikes. And being able to quickly and easily fine-tune your recumbent’s resistance level to get a challenging yet achievable workout is going to keep you coming back for more. Additionally, many recumbent bike displays allow you to control pre-programmed workouts and some are even paired with a heart-rate monitor to give you a cardio workout that is dictated by your target heart rate level. A variety of resistance levels and pre-programmed workouts will keep you challenged and coming back for more.
Some recumbent bike monitors also feature the ability to download your workout data to apps such as MyFitnessPal to help you keep a running record of your progress.
Speakers and Fans
Finally, some recumbent exercise bicycles feature nice extras such as fans to cool you off and speakers and charging USB ports so you can plug in and listen to your own music while working out.
Heavy flywheels are ideal for experiencing a realistic road feel momentum. Some models feature perimeter-weighted flywheels to further enhance and mimic the feeling of being on a road bike in a quiet and smooth way.
Adjustable Seat Position
You’ll want a bike that has the ability to adjust the seat fore and aft. This will help get the bike to fit you, not the other way around.
A solid warranty on a recumbent bike’s frame and parts shows that the manufacturer has confidence in the quality of their equipment and expect it stand up to vigorous use.
Most recumbent bikes can accommodate users at least 250 lbs (113kg) in weight.
Benefits of Recumbent Bikes and How They Work
Intense, Low-Impact Workout
Most forms of exercise involve a lot of downward thrust to the legs. This in turn can cause a lot of stress to your knees, ankles, hips, back, etc. You might not feel the effects at first, but over time performing exercises like running can start to bring pain. And if you’re in pain, you’re a lot less likely to continue exercising.
Exercising on a recumbent bike, on the other hand, allows you to recline into a comfort position and take the weight off your hips and back. This does not mean that you won’t get a great workout. You’ll be able to make the cycling action as intense and challenging as you can handle to help burn calories and tone your legs and glutes.
Achieve Cardio Excellence
While working out on a recumbent bike will get your legs and butt toned like no other, it’s the cardio benefit that get a lot of people excited. That includes your doctor. Research shows that a minimum of 20 minutes a day of activity that increases your heart rate to a cardio-fitness level is a vital part of overall physical fitness. And most importantly it reduces your risk of heart disease and other serious health issues. On a recumbent bike like the Schwinn 230, you can slowly and safely achieve maximum cardio health right at home.
Depending on your weight and fitness level, you can potentially burn hundreds of calories per hour on a recumbent bike. It’s up to you how intense you want to go via increasing resistance levels or trying a tough new pre-programmed workout. Plus if you’re building muscle, you’re increasing your overall metabolism, which means you’ll notice that you’re burning more calories even after the workout is done.
The Amazing Feeling of Exercise
The benefits of exercising on machine like the recumbent stationary bike don’t stop when you step off after your workout. Sustained workouts, even light ones, can increase endorphins and even reduce the symptoms of depression. Beyond that you’ll feel happier because you’ll be able to move better with your increased muscular strength and tone, and reduced overall body weight.
One of the best things about having a recumbent bike at home is the money you’ll save by not going to the gym. You’ll be saving money on gas and memberships.
What Is A Recumbent Bike?
Recumbent stationary bikes are a type of indoor exercise bike that allow you sit down and back in order to take the weight off your upper back. This gives you the ability to concentrate your workout on your legs in a really safe and comfortable way. This is great news for people with any kind of upper or lower back problems. The recumbent position takes the weight off parts of your body that otherwise would be activated in what can sometimes be a negative or painful way.
Compared to other exercise equipment, the recumbent exercise bike has one of the most ergonomic and low-impact designs you can find. On a recumbent bike, you are avoiding the leaning-over that happens on an upright exercise bike or indoor cycle, which can lead to back pain over time. You won’t experience the hard-hitting action on your knees like you would while running on a treadmill. And you’re not working your hips in what can be a somewhat unnatural way like on an elliptical. It’s the familiar and straight-forward leg cycling motion, but with a welcome, back-relaxing twist.
How Do Recumbent Bikes Work?
A recumbent bike is a stationary cycle that has a seat, a back rest, and you pedal with your legs in front, rather than down below you as on an upright bike. This position is very ergonomic and back-friendly, and it accounts for the high appeal of this type of exercise bike. Resistance is often magnetic and is applied to a flywheel much as on an indoor cycle. The flywheel creates a momentum that mimics the feel of cycling on an open road. As you pedal faster or slower, you work all of your lower body including calves, thighs, and glutes. There is even some abdominal effect as you keep your abs tight to maintain your leg position. Programmed workouts will vary the resistance based on things like your monitored heart-rate or hill scenarios.
Other Recumbent Bike Considerations
Wear Proper Shoes
It’s important to wear shoes while working out on any type of exercise machine. Gears on recumbent bikes will be moving fast and you don’t want to get hurt. Any type of running shoe or cross trainer will work fine. Just make sure the shoe has a closed front to protect your toes.
Loose fitting clothes can get caught in exercise equipment and isn’t recommended. Try wearing shorts and shirts that fit a little bit more snug and make sure no parts of your clothing are hanging down near any gears.
Recumbent Bike Maintenance
You’re probably going to be sweating during a good recumbent bike workout, so just make sure to towel off the equipment when you’re done. A solid recumbent exercise bike can withstand a lot, but it always helps to keep moisture off the machine. It will keep it in working shape longer and keep it looking better.
Final Word on Recumbent Bikes
Here’s exercising in a nutshell: If you don’t enjoy the workout, it won’t work out. You have to enjoy it!
Recumbent bikes are a unique type of exercise machine that really places a high importance on making sure you are comfortable while working out. While it may seem obvious, it’s a key concept that if you don’t like the feeling, you won’t do it. Or at least not for long. Recumbent bikes have developed as way to keep people coming back for intense, effective workouts that don’t hurt the back, knees, or other joints. And nowadays, the technology that comes with recumbents is enough to make you not want to leave the bike. In fact some people spend hours cycling on these machines while watching shows on their tablets, or listening to music or audio books. If enjoying your workout makes you work out, then recumbent bikes are, without a doubt, the most effective machines you can buy.
You might be also interested in our overview of recumbent bike parts.