Recumbent bikes are designed to allow you to lay back on a highly comfortable seat while you work out. Rather than just sitting up like you would in regular exercise bikes, you will be in reclined body position while using a recumbent bike.
There’s no wonder why it’s quickly becoming a market sensation. Its bucket seat feature gives it a unique appearance – it looks like a hybrid between a tricycle and a lounge chair. Although different in appearance from the regular exercise bike, the recumbent bike offers a workout that is similar in nature.
Without a doubt, recumbent bikes are the most accessible type of exercise equipment. They are very easy to use and highly comfortable. However, not all recumbent bikes are of good quality. Some may cause injuries at the lower back or cause discomforts like knee pain or genital syndrome due to poor build quality and/or construction.
We have decided to review the best recumbent bikes in the market so we can give you a definitive guide in choosing the very best product there is. We can guarantee that the models recommended below will make you fit within a very short period without causing any injury or discomfort whatsoever.
Reviews of the Best Recumbent Bikes in the Market
Schwinn 270 and Schwinn 230
Both the Schwinn 270 and 230 are highly exceptional models. They are one of the very best fitness equipment we have been privileged to test. These two models come with display units that have a very striking appearance. You can easily view various workout data on the display unit. As a matter of fact, you can choose from one of the 4 pre-set profiles on the Schwinn 270 and 2 on the Schwinn 230. These pre-set profiles allow you to configure the bike for a number of users. That’s quite impressive because you can easily change the settings for other users without necessarily losing your own configuration.
Another great feature that these models have is their collection of programs. The Schwinn 270 has 29 programs while Schwinn 230 has 22. These programs make it possible to log in personal details such as your own weight so that you can track your workout stats accurately. You can also set goals for yourself with its the goal-tracking function which alerts you each time you set a new record for yourself.
The entertainment capabilities of these two models are simply superb! They feature a headphone jack, high quality speakers, an even a USB charging port. There’s also a tablet stand at the center of the main display unit. Even if you place a tablet there, you can still view your workout information on its second display. With the awesome combination of all these features, your workout will never be boring again.
With it comes to the inbuilt fan, you can adjust the airflow based on the height of the rider. In addition, you can toggle between 3-speed modes.
Structure-wise, these models are remarkably solid and stable. They feature a single-piece frame that has a step-through design and sliding aluminum rail system. The advantage of this design is that getting on and off the bike is entirely stress-free, not to mention it is very easy to adjust the seat.
Furthermore, the high levels of the magnetic resonance of their weighted flywheel (25 for the 270 and 22 for the 230) ensure that the workout is noiseless, exciting, and challenging. The addons featured in the package include grip heart rate sensors and a side-mounted bottle cage among many others.
These two models share a lot of similarities, but they also have a few differences. For instance, smaller increments of the resistance are possible in 270 than in the 230. On the other hand, a 1-piece crank is used on the 230 while the 270 uses a 3-piece crank. Also, the seat in 270 is well padded while that of 230 is more or less plastic. But then, the seat in 230 has better ventilation compared to 270.
Overall, the 270 is a slightly better version as it’s a newer model than the 230; additionally, it has more innovative features. However, the 230 model could offer a more affordable price tag than the 270.
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You will get a good value for your money with the Exerpeutic 900XL. The price is quite modest, yet the features are really fantastic. It has 8 magnetic resistance levels, hand-based heart rate sensors, and a huge and crystal clear display. Of all the bikes we have tested, we can assure you that the 900XL is by far the most comfortable. It’s so comfortable that you could literally fall asleep as the resistance is on a low level. The XL part of its name is no joke at all! The extra-large seat cushion, oversized backrest, and large pedals can all attest to this. The bike makes use of a ‘smooth torque’ cranking system. This system makes for reliability and precision when pushing on the pedals.
The portability of this bike is yet another feature that makes it rank high among other recumbent bikes. It needs no external power to run; and because it has wheels, it can be moved around easily. Being able to move the bike around with ease would solve the problem that most of us face when it comes to deciding where to place it.
Another bonus with this model is that the display unit is placed in such a way that it doesn’t block your view. In essence, you can have a full, unobstructed view of your favorite TV show while working out all at once.
All in all, the bike is affordably priced, comfortable, and full-sized – a combination that is rare to come by. The measure of competence is worth more than the cost. You should be excited about this!
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The name WorkFit is an exact description of what you can do with this semi-recumbent bike. You can both work and work out simultaneously. While you work your way to fitness, you can use it as a workstation where you can place your laptop or as a platform where you can mount your tablet or book. If you like, you can use it as a chair and desk combo or turn it into a standing desk. The flexibility of this equipment is nothing short of amazing! You can even fold it for easy storage. It shares essentially the same parts as the 900XL, and such has all the capabilities of 900XL when it comes to exercise and fitness.
What’s more? We know that exercise has a lot of cognitive benefits. The cognitive benefits are not just an aftermath of exercise; you can also experience cognitive effects while exercising. During exercise, there’s increased blood flow to every part of the body including the brain. This increase in blood flow to the brain leads to improved cognition and heightened creativity.
When I think of one word to describe this equipment, it would surely be “fabulous”! It’s no doubt a cool equipment which easily earned a spot in our list.
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IRONMAN H-Class 410
If you are the serious kind of athlete looking for a serious bike, then you should take a look at the Ironman H 410. Seriously speaking, you should only use this equipment for the most serious workout sessions. The Ironman H 410 has a very solid and stable structure, not to mention it is very easy to operate. Anyone (even those who are not serious athletes) can profit from using it. But then, its performance potential is so high that it has what it takes for training and/or rehabilitating a proper athlete. No jokes about this.
It has the common features of a bike in its class – it’s quiet, durable, and generally flawless. But it stands out from other bikes in its detailed attention to provide comfort to the rider. Unlike most bikes in its class, it does not overlook the contact points of the rider. The backrest comes with a memory foam, and you’ll find individual arm chambers on the seat.
Come to think of it: when the ride is more comfortable, the rider enjoys the ride; and as a result, tends to ride longer. Longer rides, in turn, lead to increased fitness.
Another great feature of this equipment is its Bluetooth-enabled computer and display. This feature enables you to easily track your workout information. To top it all up, the frame comes with a lifetime warranty. No doubt, the Ironman H 410 is seriously a great product.
Precor RBK 615
When you talk about quality, this bike is first-rate. The quality is so good that you cannot compare it with bikes that are intended for personal use at home. It is more apt for those who own a gym or those who ride a whole lot. Aside from that, you could probably consider buying this if you want to keep it as a family treasure or pass it down as a legacy to your kids. The bike is comfortable and well-ventilated. It is hard-wearing and can withstand rigorous workouts for many years without showing a sign of wearing or breaking down. It’s almost impossible to find someone who would not be satisfied with the quality of the Precor RBK 615.
The quality of this bike is indeed a justification for its price. It belongs in a separate class from all other bikes. The dual-sided pedals, a variety of monitoring tools, a wide range of processing power, and many workout presets are just a few out of the many notable features of this model. Moreover, it is compatible with 5 kHz wireless Polar heart rate monitors.
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Why You Should Consider Purchasing Recumbent Bikes
We have reviewed the best recumbent bikes there are in the market; but then, why should you even consider getting a recumbent bike in the first place. Does it have any advantages over the regular exercise bikes? Well, here are a few reasons why recumbent bikes are a better choice.
They are very comfortable
Think about how it feels to sit on a lounge chair, or more aptly, on a recliner. That’s exactly how comfortable it feels like when you sit on a recumbent bike. It has a bucket seat and a backrest. Moreover, a recumbent bike makes you sit in a more or less reclined body position. In this position, the pressure is completely taken off your lower back and you won’t have to slouch.
The recumbent bike is definitely the most comfortable type of bike you can ever come across. It delivers a very quick and highly effective cardio workout. Your leg does the whole workout while your body is fully relaxed. This way, you can’t feel the slightest pain or numbness anywhere else on your body.
Your posture on a recumbent bike is quite different from that of an upright back where you would have to pull your head back. On a recumbent bike, your head drops. This is a natural body posture, and as such, almost totally eradicates any chances of back and neck pain.
They help you focus
As you spin your way to fitness on a recumbent bike, your body is well-relaxed and your spine is in a neutral position. The only part of your body that is actively doing any form of work is your legs. This way, your attention is fully diverted to the actual cycling movements, thereby allowing you to focus on your workout.
They are good for rehabilitation
Recumbent bikes are one type of fitness equipment that doctors recommend regularly. This is because people who are injured or otherwise unfit to ride an upright bike can use the recumbent bike to gain and maintain fitness as long as their legs can move. Most of the other types of fitness equipment are usually recommended by a number of gym instructors or fitness experts.
Recumbent bikes open up the possibility of cardiovascular exercise to a wide range of people. Injured individuals, those who are at risk of injury, those who are otherwise unfit to perform conventional exercises, patients who suffer from arthritis, people with chronic pains etc, and many more can greatly benefit from these fitness equipment.
Actually, just about anybody, including bed-ridden patients and those who have been immobile for considerably a long time can make use of a recumbent bike as long as their legs are still functional. This can greatly speed up the recovery process since it proves even easier than walking.
Particularly for rehabilitating injured athletes, the use of recumbent bikes ensures that they do not lose too much fat in the process. As such, it is highly beneficial for athletes who are currently recovering from injury.
How to Set Up a Recumbent Bike
Most of the time, recumbent bikes are a fixed equipment, so it’s better to get it right when they are being set up newly. A certain degree of care and diligence must be applied in doing so. Special attention must be paid to the knee position/angle. This is highly important because of the technical nature of the knee joint.
In order to achieve the correct knee position/angle, one thing you can do is to gradually increase the height of the seat until your knees become almost completely extended when the pedal is at its farthest distance from your leg while cycling. This way, all the muscles of your legs are recruited into movement during your exercise and your knee will stay fine and safe as well.
You should understand that you do not have to regularly adjust the seat position in order to target a wide variety of muscle groups on your leg. Rather, optimize the seat for your knee as explained above and you would automatically be engaging all of the muscles on your legs.
To target different muscle groups, however, you have to toggle the resistance settings. For instance, an increase in the resistance will engage more of your hamstrings and gluteal muscles into the movement. Lower resistance, on the other hand, will shift the workout more to your quadriceps and calves.
Certain muscles that are at work when riding a recumbent bike
There are four major muscle groups that are recruited when you ride a recumbent bike: the quadriceps, hamstring muscles, gluteal muscles, and the calves. The most powerful of these four groups is arguably the quadriceps. They help to flex the knees as you push on the bike pedals and draw your leg up again.
The glutes are quite a large muscle group and they contribute much to the movement. They are recruited to action each time your thigh moves to a straightened position from a position close to the body. They are engaged in the extension movement whenever you push down on the pedal.
The hamstrings usually act to flex the knee at every end of your pedal stroke in order to bring the pedal back. This happens whenever your lower leg goes to a bent position from a straight position during the cycling movements.
The calves are engaged during plantar flexion. That is, as your foot goes around and your toes are pointed downwards. They also act as a pump to get used blood back to the heart to be re-oxygenated.
Beyond these four groups, there are still a few muscles engaged when you work out on a recumbent bike. These muscles usually function in assisting movement and/or stabilizing the body. Some of these muscles include the abdominal muscles, the waist muscles, and even the tibialis anterior (opposing the calves).
Your busy schedule may not allow you the availability to register for regular sessions at an athletic facility. Fortunately, you can keep yourself fit right in your home by making use of a recumbent bike. More so, with the reviews above, you need not be confused anymore on which recumbent bike to go for. We have listed the highest quality recumbent bikes available on the market today.
Furthermore, what we have presented above is the output of many months of research carried out by fitness experts. You surely can trust their judgments and suggestions with great confidence as you decide which recumbent bike is most suitable for your needs and budget.