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Types Of Recumbent Bikes

Last Updated on October 29, 2021 by Jeff

There are various types of recumbent exercise bikes on the market, so it could get quite overwhelming when looking at buying one. We did the research and consolidated all the information we could find on the types of recumbent bikes that you can get. This guide will attempt to set you at ease by outlining all of the various types of recumbent bikes available.

Amazon's Choice:  Schwinn 270 Recumbent BikeSchwinn 270 Recumbent Bike
  • 25 levels of resistance for a wide range or workout intensity
  • DualTrack™ two blue backlit LCD window system
  • Warranty: 10 years for frame, 2 years for mechanical, 1 year for electrical and 90 days for labor

We also took note of some features that you need to consider when buying a recumbent stationary bike.  Hopefully, this guide will help you choose the best one for you based on your preferences.

Types Of Recumbent Bikes

What Types Of Stationary Bikes Are There?

You get three types of stationary bikes: Upright, recumbent, and dual-action.

Upright Bike


With an upright bike, the pedals are placed beneath your body. This bike can be used while standing or sitting. The upright position can place some pressure on your hands and wrists when you exercise.

Recumbent Bike

This type of stationary bicycle puts you in a reclining riding position with your legs stretched out in front of you to allow you to pedal. There will either be handlebars above you or next to your sides, depending on the model.

The seat cushion offers support for your neck, back, and butt.

Upright BikeLike any stationary cycle, a recumbent bike has a seat, a backrest, and pedals. You sit in an ergonomic position that is gentle on your back.

A recumbent will usually have magnetic resistance that is applied to the flywheel. The flywheel generates momentum that resembles the feeling of cycling on the road.

As you pedal, you work many lower body muscles, such as thighs, glutes, and calves. You have to also keep your abs tights to maintain the position of your legs.

Some recumbent bikes also have pre-programmed workouts that will vary in intensity, depending on certain factors, such as your monitored heart rate.

Dual-action Bike


This type of stationary bike has moveable handlebars that can move back and forth. This targets your upper body muscles. You get dual-action recumbent bikes.

Now that you know what the three main categories of stationary bikes are, we can move on to further explain the types of recumbent bikes available on the market.

As this article is focused on recumbent bikes, we will not be going into depth about upright bikes.

However, if you are planning on buying a recumbent bike, you need to consider several things.

The Factors That You Should Consider

Desirable Features 

Firstly, you need to determine the features that you will find desirable in a recumbent bike.Dual-action Bike

This will include features, such as pulse sensors, speakers, in-built workout programs, or device holders.

Weight Capacity

Secondly, consider the weight capacity. Some bikes cannot take more than 300lbs, whereas others are specifically built to support weight over 300 pounds. For example, the Exerpeutic Gold 525XLR can support a maximum weight limit of 400 pounds. 

Seize Of The Bike

Thirdly, you need to consider the amount of space you have. Recumbent bikes tend to be space-consuming, so maybe you would want to opt for a folding recumbent bike.


As mentioned earlier, there are three types of exercise bikes – upright, recumbent, and dual-action. These three primary types are all great options and each type has various benefits that target a specific user.

An indoor upright bike is perfect for you if you want to challenge yourself physically while getting a tough cardiovascular workout. With that being said, an upright back is also comfortable while riding.

A recumbent bike, on the other hand, lets you ride in a reclined position which offers you the ability to multitask while doing your workout. It also allows you to ride for an extended period, compared to the indoor bike.

For these reasons, it is important to consider which style will meet your needs the best.


You want your exercise equipment to be sturdy, so have a look at the exercise bike’s main style, weight capacity, and reviews.

It is important to make certain that your bike is durable before you spend money on this workout equipment.


Lastly, you need to ensure that the bicycle will fit your body ergonomically.

If you buy a bike that is meant for more flexible individuals, then you will not sit comfortably on the bike. You will also notice that your muscles are extra stiff after a workout. If you are overtrained in the wrong position for a long time, this could result in an unwanted injury.

On that account, customization is essential.

Make sure that the bike’s pedals, handlebars, and seat are adjustable. If it is adjustable, then you can fit it perfectly to your body measurements.

If more than one person uses the bike, then they can also change the different settings to fit their specific body measurements too.

The majority of injuries are caused by a seat not being adjusted correctly to the ride. That being the case, you need to ensure that the bike has an adjustable seat. This will prevent any potential injuries from occurring.

Now that you are aware of all the features to consider. Continue reading for information on the types of recumbent bikes.

What Are The Types Of Recumbent Bikes?

The next section will discuss the commercial recumbent bike, the semi-recumbent bike, and the dual-action recumbent bike.

Commercial Recumbent Bike

A recumbent exercise commercial-grade bike is a stationary bike with a supported seat. The design of the back seat makes the stationary bike more comfortable to use while you are working out.

Commercial recumbent bicycles come with solid frames and lengthy warranties. This shows that their sturdy build can withstand long workouts. 

It can also be used by multiple users without you having to worry about any wear and tear. It is constructed to be used for lengthy workout durations, such as 1-hour sessions. 

These types of recumbent bikes also come with higher levels of resistance. Regular, budget-friendly recumbent bikes tend to be limited to 10 resistance levels. With commercial stationary bikes, the resistance can go as high as 25 resistance levels.

This type of bike is designed to be used in apartment gyms, health facilities, and rehabs.  

The following are examples of great commercial recumbent exercise bikes: NordicTrack NTEX76016 Commercial Vr21 recumbent bike and the Schwinn 270 recumbent bike.

Semi-Recumbent Exercise Bike 

Semi-Recumbent Exercise Bike 

One can describe a semi-recumbent bike as being a combination of a recumbent and upright bicycle. Your feet are angled down in front of you instead of in front of you, which is the usual case for upright stationary bikes. This is due to the X-frame of the bike. Your legs will be bent down at around a 45 to 60-degree angle. 

Semi-recumbent stationary bikes offer a comfortable and secure workout experience. It is a particularly great choice of fitness equipment for those with joint problems and back pain issues.

Some of these semi-recumbent bikes can also fold. These tend to be referred to as foldable recumbent bikes. You will sit high up in a bike seat with a backrest that supports your back.

With a semi-recumbent bicycle, the sitting position is quite high. You may need to step up on the bike or have a step to get onto the bike. Even though you have the aid of a backrest, you will need to support yourself in an active position.

Some models also have a desk that allows you to do work and exercise simultaneously. But, these models fall under the category of upright bikes.

Semi-recumbent bikes are better than recumbent bikes when it comes to their price range. Semi-recumbent bicycles are more affordable while providing you with basic functions.

Foldable semi-recumbent bikes can also save space. You can fold them up and place them in a closet or behind a door when you are not using the bike. The bonus is that it is a very lightweight recumbent bike, so it can be moved around easily.

This type of recumbent bike is highly recommended for those who are looking for a more affordable stationary bicycle that will not be space-consuming while offering a semi-comfortable exercise.

A good example of a folding recumbent exercise bike is the Exerpeutic Gold 525XLR. The robust frame becomes half its size when folded, which makes it convenient to fit in small spaces. 

Dual Action Recumbent Exercise Bike

A dual-action recumbent exercise bike is a bike where the pedals are beneath you and there are moveable handlebars.

A dual-action bicycle’s seat can be moved up and down, where a recumbent bicycle’s seat can be adjusted forward and backward,

The “dual action” occurs where you work both your upper body and lower body.

The dual-action bike works in a similar fashion to a stationary bike, except the handlebars are attached to the pedals. You work out your leg, arm, and shoulder muscles.

These bikes are also referred to as recumbent elliptical bikes.

semi recumbent exercise bikes

Recumbent Elliptical/Hybrid Recumbent Bike

 A hybrid recumbent bike takes these two forms of cardio (the elliptical trainer and the recumbent bike) and combines them into one. In essence, this versatile design allows you to do two things at once.

This recumbent bike elliptical cross trainer has a longer pedaling motion. This requires a smaller range of movement than what would be used in a recumbent bike. 

A recumbent elliptical is aimed at you if you prefer to sit while you are working out.

Benefits Of A Hybrid Trainer 

Low-impact form of exercise

This fitness equipment is an excellent choice for you if you struggle with joint pain. A hybrid stationary bike does not deliver a high-impact workout, so you do not have to worry about injuring yourself. With a recumbent elliptical bike, you can burn, on average, 150 calories per hour. 

Great lower body workout

The recumbent bicycle and the elliptical places resistance on your lower body. For example, you have to exert pressure as you pedal. This forces your glutes, hamstrings, and quads to work hard. This workout will increase your lower body’s strength. 

Burn more calories

You will definitely shed some pounds with this machine. Instead of just working your lower body, you are essentially having a full-body workout. This is because the elliptical gets your upper body involved. You will have an easier time getting your heart rate up as you are working more muscles.

You will not get bored easily

The hybrid recumbent bike lets you switch up your workout by giving you a more versatile workout. 

Drawbacks Of A Hybrid Recumbent Bike

There is one drawback to the Hybrid recumbent bike.

If you are prone to knee joint pain, then this equipment is not recommended as you need to have your knee in a bent position when cycling. For this reason, if you are someone with chronic knee pain, then you might have to consult a treatment specialist before considering buying a hybrid recumbent bike.

The Hybrid trainers are great for anyone who wants to improve their level of fitness through a low-impact form of cardio exercise.

Why Should You Get An Exercise Bike?  

Now that you are fully educated on the various types of recumbent bikes that are out there in the market, it is time to choose a bike that will fit your health needs. 

Fortunately, it does not matter which bike you end up choosing, because all exercise bicycles are a valuable investment. 

If you are still not convinced, here is a list of the many advantages there is to having an exercise bike in your home:

There Are Fewer Restrictions

Biking outside can be quite limited if the weather is not so great. Particularly those snowy and rainy days. The summer heat can be pretty bad for your outdoor bike as well. 

With an indoor exercise bike, you have no setbacks. You are not restricted by any weather conditions. 

If you do not want anything to stand in your way of getting a good cardio workout, then this fitness machine is worth the money. 

It Is Safer

Exercise bikes are known to be much safer than the traditional outdoor bicycle. 

It is so safe that you do not need to worry about any safety precautions. With exercise bicycles, you do not need to purchase a helmet, since you are less likely to fall off and hit your head. 

You also do not have to be worried about a car hitting you or you accidentally hitting a pedestrian on the road. 

You are riding the bike in a very safe and controlled environment. This allows you to stay focused on doing your exercise without the distraction of the external environment. 

The Impact is Lower

Like most fitness machines, a stationary bike provides low-impact exercise. For this reason, exercise bikes can prevent injuries. 

Due to being a low-impact form of cardio, stationary bikes are recommended for individuals who struggle with having poor knees, back problems, and elderly persons. 

Your Lower Body Will Become Stronger

In addition to being an effective form of exercise to improve your cardiovascular health, it also strengthens your lower body. 

When improving your lower body strength, you can become more mobile and improve the base of your muscles’ strength.

The Technology Is Better

Lastly, it is worth mentioning the technological advancement included in stationary bikes. Recumbent bikes offer futuristic screens that provide you with valuable information with regard to your progress. This can include distance, the number of calories burned, heart rate, and so forth. 

The Bottom Line

A recumbent bike, regardless of its type, is a great addition to anyone’s home gym.

There are quite a few options to choose from, each type offers a different array of benefits.

Make sure that you look at the price, the in-built training programs, and the resistance type when looking for a recumbent bike that will suit your fitness needs.

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