Best Recumbent Stationary Road Bikes of 2017
Recumbent Bikes, also known as sit-down bikes, are great for people who love to be in a relaxed position. In other words, you’re in a laid-back reclining position while you’re exercising.
Now don’t get this mistaken, and think that this makes your fitness life easier, because that’s not the case. Whenever you want results, you’ll have to put in work. This specific bike is based on preference, and also depending on the condition of ones health.
The difference of the recumbent cycles in comparison to other indoor bikes is that recumbent bikes use padded, backed chairs for seats instead of bike seats. If this is something you’re looking for, and think this would benefit you in your fitness goals then continue reading. You definitely want to make sure you get the best bike that suits your needs.
Top Recumbent Indoor Exercise Bikes – Popular Brand Reviews
Exerpeutic 900XL Recumbent Bike
- “Smooth torque” cranking system for smooth pedaling
- Oversized seat cushion and backrest
- 8 levels of magnetic resistance
- Built-in wheels
- Extended leg stabilizers
- Large pedals with straps
- LCD display (distance, calories burned, time elapsed, speed, heart rate)
- Heart rate monitor
- Precision-balanced flywheel and V-belt drive
While there are several attributes about the 900XL, there are some benefits that you should read about before jumping on this bike.
The 900XL recumbent household bike, in keeping with the brand, is a low-budget bike for personal use at home. It doesn’t come with a lot of bells and whistles, but it can still give you a great cardio workout.
One of the perks of the 900XL amongst the other recumbent home exercise bikes is that it comes mostly assembled, and it’s provided with an easy to follow manual. The only catch may be the tension cable. For this, you may need the help of a friend or a family member. Other than that, it is mostly a one person job. Once you finish this job, you’re pretty much ready to go.
The 900XL recumbent exercise bike comes with eight different levels of tension, which is ideal for all forms of fitness training. Depending on your ability, or the intensity you want from your exercise, you can quickly adjust the level of the bike with just one knob. I think this is the best feature for the 900XL. It takes the boredom out of people, and it makes it a challenge when riding the bike. You always want to challenge yourself when you are exercising.
Comfort and safety of the back, neck, and joints are one of the main appeals of stationary bikes in particular, and the 900XL is no exception. The seat is well padded and adjustable to fit your needs.
Though some reviewers report that the adjustment itself may take some time, once adjusted there were few complaints. The seat is wider than usual and, like all the products we’re reviewing supports up to 300 lbs.
The pedals come equipped with straps, and this bike has leg stabilizers, making it sturdy. However hard you choose to work out, the bike won’t tip over. The handlebars come with finger pads which monitor your heart rate and display it on the LCD monitor in front of you.
The screen is very basic, but it presents the most important data for any workout, including heart rate, distance, speed, and calories burned. One huge downside is that this program does not have any workout programs. Sometimes having different types of programs makes the workout “enjoyable”.
Keep in mind that this product also has a ton of reviews, which means that this is a highly well-known product.
If you want to lose weight, the 900XL is one of the best choices, and it’s very easy to use. Nevertheless, there are still several other fitness workout bikes that you can buy from such as the brand Schwinn.
Schwinn 270 Recumbent Stationary Exercise Bike
Schwinn is a household name – and not just for indoor fitness bikes. Perhaps the most iconic overall bicycle brand, much of the fairly steep price is related to the fact that the brand is recognizable and reliable. Some of the key attributes of the Schwinn 270 include:
- Dual-track two LCD window system
- Connects quickly to SchwinnConnect fitness tracking
- 29 programs, four user settings, and goal tracking
- 25 levels of resistance
- High-speed, high-inertia perimeter-weighted flywheel
- USB port for charging and data transfer
- Built-in fan
- Built-in speakers
- Single-lever adjustment
As you can see, the Schwinn 270 Recumbent Stationary Bicycle has a lot of attributes compared to other recumbent bikes. One of the biggest attributes is that this bike has 29 programs! There’s a ton of workout programs that you can choose from that will keep you going with the Schwinn 270. In addition, the 25 levels of resistance is another feature that stands out with this Schwinn bike in comparison to others.
The onboard computer offers a variety of options for tracking your progress and performance – great for data aficionados, as well as for those who maybe need a little extra comfort or entertainment to motivate them to exercise.
The dual-track LCD window helps users track up to 13 different levels of progress occurring during the workout, including how many miles you have covered, the time used, calories burned, the cycling intensity and others. I think having a tracking window helps you perform at your best. You want to be able to have data so you can see what key areas you need to improve on. For instance, let’s say your goal was to hit 10 miles, and you only did 8. Now you know you’ll have to push further to be able to hit 10 next time. 10 miles on a treadmill sounds way too boring though.
The display should help you set a target and strive to achieve it during your regular exercise routines. The bike also comes with a USB port for charging your devices or transferring your training data to a USB drive or your PC.
In addition, users, in general, have far fewer problems with comfort than other bicyclists who have used cheaper alternatives. It seems to be the consensus that, between the increased comfort and the onboard gadgetry, you are definitely getting something in exchange for the steeper price.
There’s always that saying and it goes along with these fitness bikes “You get what you paid for.” Whether those are the things you need is up to you to decide. With that said, there are still other bikes that might be best for you to choose from.
Now if you still liked the brand Exerpeutic more than Schwinn, then you can read about a higher-end version of the 900XL by continuing below.
Exerpeutic 1000 High Capacity Magnetic Recumbent Home Bike
As the number suggests, in many ways the Exerpeutic 1000 bike is a higher-end version of their 900XL. While the 1000 is the highest-rated option we’re reviewing, it also has the least amount of consumer reviews by far, meaning that it might be a less accurate determination of quality. Some of the best characteristics of the Exerpeutic 1000 Recumbent Bike include:
- Extended leg stabilizers
- Added transportation wheels
- 8-level magnetic tension control system
- Large window LCD (distance, calories burned, time, speed, scan, and heart-rate monitor)
- Hand Pulse heart-rate monitor
- “Smooth torque” cranking system
- Precision-balanced flywheel and V-belt drive
- Large pedal designs with safety strap
- Large oversized seat cushion
- Fits users from 5’3” to 6’3”
Like the 900XL, the Exerpeutic 1000 trades some of the most advanced attributes of other recumbent bikes for a more affordable product.
As we mentioned earlier, most consumers were extremely confident about the bike – the main drawback consistently mentioned was a bit of difficulty with adjusting the seat. What this means is that the 1000 might be a better bet for recumbent bike users who don’t share their bikes with other users, because you won’t need to adjust it that much or that often.
Additionally, this bike doesn’t come with a workout program. A lot of users love to have workout programs to keep them motivated when riding their bikes. With Exerpeutic products, you know what you’re getting. There’s not a ton to say about the 1000 recumbent bike except that it speaks for itself. With how technology is in 2017, it’s very hard to be on a fitness machine without any type of program.
Another downside of this bike is that it only has 8 levels of resistance. As mentioned earlier, there are bikes that have up to 20 levels of resistance. You want to keep in mind that if you do get better with riding this household bike, that you may have to upgrade in the future.
Relatively easy to assemble, the high Capacity Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike is an excellent choice for those looking for an affordable, durable, quiet, sturdy stationary bike to use at home. You can read the full review here.
Schwinn 230 Recumbent Household Exercise Bike
- Two LCD window system
- Goal tracking and data export with SchwinnConnect
- USB charging port and data exchange
- 22 programs, two user settings, and goal tracking
- Vented seat bottom and back
- 20 levels of resistance
- High-speed, high inertia perimeter weighted flywheel
- Transport wheel
- Ergonomically placed grip heart rate
- Acoustic chamber speakers
- 3-speed fan
The Schwinn 230 recumbent exercise bike is a good, solid piece of equipment. If you’re looking for the fitness workout of a spinning class in the comfort of your home, this bike is one of the best choices you can make. For the price, the Schwinn 230 comes with a large selection of features.
The console includes a broad range of fitness workout programs, resistance levels, and profiles. This bike also features an iPad holder and speakers, a fan, and a heart-rate monitor installed in the handlebars. There’s even a cup holder!
This bike, like the Schwinn 270, allows you to track your progress through the Schwinn website. You can upload workout metrics using a thumb drive and read your progress on a weekly, monthly or annual basis. It’s important to track your progress, especially if you’re trying to maintain or lose your weight. As a bonus, the USB port allows you to charge your devices while you exercise. For me, this is probably the best thing, as I need to charge my phone all the time. Click here to read the full review on the Schwinn 270.
Of course, not every customer is pleased with every aspect of this recumbent fitness bike. Some people find the seat uncomfortable, though others have noted that you can easily fix that problem by adding a cushion either to the seat or the back, depending on where the discomfort is located. The good news is that there are different types of recumbent bikes that you can read about as well.
Other customers had trouble with the heart-rate monitor, finding that it doesn’t work if your hands are dry. (Solution: lotion or water on your hands.)
People have had mixed reviews to Schwinn’s customer service, but overall it seems like you can get what you need from them if you’re persistent.
On the whole, the majority of purchasers and reviewers are highly satisfied with the Schwinn 230 home exercise bike. It’s reliable, easy to assemble, and comes with a good selection of features for the price. You’re pretty much getting your best bang for the buck with this product.
Exerpeutic 400XL Recumbent In-house Bike
Out of all of our reviews, the Exerpeutic 400XL is the cheapest option! Thousands of consumers have reported feeling the same way about this exercise cycle, so we must be on to something. Some of the key features include:
- 8-level resistance adjustable magnetic tension control
- High-torque crank system
- Quiet V-belt drive
- Built-in hand pulse monitor
- Computer with large LCD (tracks distance, calories, time, speed, and heart rate)
- Oversized pedals with safety strap
- 43 lbs.
The 400XL recumbent exercise bike accommodates riders from 5’2” to 6’2” tall, and has a weight capacity of 300 lbs.
One way to think about the difference between the 400XL compared to large recumbent fitness exercise bikes is that you don’t have to build a workout space. In other words, the 400XL is quiet, light, and folds up. It won’t take a lot of space in your household when it comes to fitness. This is what I think, is the best feature for this bike.
Most customers report that it is quiet – one of the most common bits of praise is that you can ride very comfortably in shared spaces. I noticed that I get annoyed and I lose concentration whenever I hear others on loud bikes. It’s more of a convenience factor, and it also helps you stay focused.
Based on our review, the 400XL bike is also easy to assemble. However, a few customers report that some of the parts feel cheap regarding quality. Additionally, there isn’t that many levels of resistance with the 400XL.
Others warn that the 6’2” height limit is a real one – the bike may not be usable for you if you’re taller than that. However, most reviewers had nothing but good things to say, and the few problems seemed not to interfere with how well the bike works.
In short, the 400XL exercise bike is a highly affordable option. For those looking for a basic, low-maintenance recumbent bike; this might be one of the best choices.
Velocity Exercise Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike
The Velocity Exercise Magnetic is another recommended budget option for buyers that’s looking for a good value indoor recumbent bike. The Velocity boasts the following features:
- Eight levels of preset resistance
- Two-way flywheel for a comfortable and smooth ride
- Built in transport wheels allows for easy transportation and storage
- Equipped with padded foot pedals with adjustable straps and a powder-coated finish
- Large console that displays tracks time, speed, ODO, distance, calories and hand pulse.
Some users describe the Velocity as a good choice as a first or entry level recumbent bike for consumers new to buying home fitness equipment. It offers fewer features than more expensive models, but what is on offer is robust and reliable.
The bike has a sturdy feel and won’t shake around as you ride it. The internal mechanics are also very quiet. Therefore, you can concentrate on reading or other tasks, while doing your fitness workout, without any external distractions. One of the best things about being on a bike is you can do other tasks that would keep you occupied from getting bored.
Given its relative simplicity, one might be forgiven for expecting the Velocity to be straight forward to assemble. Unfortunately, users report that this is not the case; the instructions for assembly are unclear, and you’re going to need to set aside some time to put the apparatus together.
The seat is also smaller than many other models, and some users may find this uncomfortable.
Despite its drawbacks, this is a well-made budget bike that is well suited for home use.
Nautilus R614 Recumbent Exercise Bike
With its 20 levels of resistance, the feature heavy Nautilus R614 is one of the more expensive home recumbent bikes on the market. According to our review, the bike’s best features include:
- 22 programs: 9 profile, 8 heart rate control, 2 custom, 2 fitness test, 1 quick start
- Time, Distance, and Calories goal tracking with USB data transfer functionality to the Nautilus Connect™ website and compatibility with MyFitnessPal
- 20 levels of resistance for a broad range of workout intensity options
- High speed, high inertia drive system with a perimeter weighted flywheel for East start up and smooth, consistent workouts
- DualTrack™ LCD displays, media shelf, in-console speakers with MP3 input port, USB media charging, and adjustable fan
Users report that the Nautilus R614 is the sort of bike they would expect to see at a high-end gym or fitness center.
Even though the seat is not padded like some of the other bikes reviewed here, it is still very comfortable. It also runs almost silently, which is great if you’re trying to concentrate on a TV show or podcast while you are riding. The bike provides comprehensive workout data, and it is easy to plug in a USB stick and extract the information to a computer. Something to consider, however, is how long USB’s will be around post 2017’s. You see it nowadays with some laptops with a different type of ports, and people are forced to buy adapters.
Interestingly, the Nautilus R614 has a superb set of speakers built into the control panel, so you can plug in a music player and get an awesome listening experience while you pedal. The built in fan also makes the riding experience more comfortable.
Another feature that stands out for this exercise bike is that it has 22 workout programs! This is great if you like to mix things up and try something different every time you workout. It’s possibly the best feature in my opinion for the R614.
Some taller customers might find this bike too small for their needs, which might not be the best choice for them. Additionally, the bike does not come packaged with a detailed instruction manual. Nevertheless, there is a detailed manual that can be found online.
These minor concerns aside, the Nautilus R614 is a reliable choice for exercise enthusiasts looking to pick up a quality recumbent bike.
Why Buy a Recumbent Exercise Bike?
You may ask yourself, why do you want to buy a recumbent exercise bike instead of an upright bike or an indoor cycling bike? In short, the seat is useful for many of the reasons.
One of the main reasons for buying this machine is that it reduces back and neck strain and allows for an even lower-impact workout. Whether you’re new to fitness or you’ve been doing it for a long time, recumbent bikes can be beneficial. Another reason is it helps you stay active and lose weight while being in a seated position!
As Lifespan Fitness writes, riders on recumbent stationary bikes are “in a more comfortable and natural reclined body position,” which helps them “reduce body fatigue and eliminate muscle soreness in the upper body.” Don’t be discouraged when being in a recumbent position either! People think it’s the lazy way, but it’s not.
More Information on Recumbent Indoor Exercise Bikes
A recumbent bike has many advantages over other types of indoor fitness machine bikes. The seat has clear benefits. It’s best known to reduce back and neck strain and allows for a low impact workout.
Another great aspect about recumbent bikes is that it’s shown to be a safe an efficient method of exercising when it comes to fitness training. Particularly, for people who have experienced certain forms of back pain, as they are easier to mount and dismount.
Additionally, there is a reduced impact on the joints compared to an upright exercise bike (although, as always, check with your physician or trainer before you exercise ).
These exercise machines also leave your hands completely free. With a more conventional exercise bike, you might find yourself having to grip and hunch over the handlebars.
A recumbent bike allows you to engage in other leisure or work activities, such as reading, watching TV or reviewing work documents. I noticed that when I’m on the fitness machines, I get bored easily. However, being able to read, or watch the TV, has helped my workouts go by fast. It makes my weight loss journey “somewhat” easier or less boring. Based on your budget, there are bikes that also provide different workout programs for you to try.
Some studies suggest that an upright bike may provide a greater cardio-workout; however, they also show that both styles of exercise bike burn the same amount of calories over the course of a workout session. Just being active in general is already a big stepping stone. Every little movement helps when it comes to losing weight.
Other research indicates that recumbent bikes offer greater resistance to the legs and glutes, giving a better workout to these muscles than traditional upright exercise bikes.
Health Benefits of Using Recumbent Bikes
While there are a ton of health benefits of using a recumbent machine bike, it’s important to consult a doctor before beginning any exercise or fitness program. A lot of customers use recumbent bikes to either maintain or lose weight.
The key benefit is customers are staying active, even if they’re at home watching TV or reading a book. While doing cardio is beneficial, it’s also important that you have a proper diet, to live a healthy lifestyle. It’s highly recommended that you consult a nutritionist as well to create a well-balanced diet plan for yourself.
Winner: Tie – Exerpeutic 900XL/Schwinn 270 Recumbent Stationary Bike<
Based on our reviews, two very different recumbent bikes come in as the winners of our match-up today. In short, the 900XL is the best bike for those looking for a straightforward, no-nonsense, reliable recumbent bike, one that will come equipped with all of the comfort and many of the features of far more pricey bikes.
However, for larger people, those with a higher budget, or those who love features such as data management and customizable workout options, the Schwinn 270 would also be the best choice of bike. Ultimately the goal here is to maintain or to lose weight when riding these machine bikes.
Depending on your needs and budget, there is a broad range of quality and affordable recumbent bikes available.
As always, don’t be afraid to try these bikes out for comfort at a local sporting goods store before making your purchase, or to return it to your retailer if it doesn’t suit you.
At the end of the day, the only thing that makes a recumbent bike “good” is whether or not it helps you achieve your fitness, health, and lifestyle goals. Don’t be like everyone else with their new year new me 2017 resolution crap. Take action and do it! Hopefully, your decision on finding the best recumbent exercise bike made it easier after reading this article!