The 9 best recumbent exercise bikes in 2020

The great thing about a recumbent exercise bike is that it puts your feet out in front of you while supporting your back. 

By putting you in this pedaling position, a recumbent exercise bike takes the pressure off your back and knees. Plus, they’re comfortable to ride and easy to use. 

If you have space and have decided this is the choice for you, it’s time to take a look at the best recumbent exercise bikes the market has to offer. 

Let’s get started!  

In a Hurry? Here is our top pick:

Quick Answer – The Best Recumbent Exercise Bikes

  1. NordicTrack Vr21 Commercial Recumbent Bike – Best Overall
  2. Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike – Best For Inexperienced Users
  3. Nautilus R616 – Best For Seniors
  4. Marcy ME-7089 Recumbent Exercise Bike – Best For Bad Knees
  5. MaxKare Recumbent Exercise Bike – Best For Small Exercise Areas
  6. Sunny Health & Fitness RB4708 Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike – Best Complete Workout Bike
  7. Exerpeutic 2500 Bluetooth 3 Way Adjustable Desk Recumbent Exercise Bike – Best Workstation
  8. Exerpeutic Gold 525XLR Folding Recumbent Exercise Bike – Best For Tall Users
  9. EFITMENT Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike – Best For Long Workouts

Reviews – The Best Recumbent Exercise Bikes

1. NordicTrack Vr21 Commercial Recumbent Bike – Best Overall

The NordicTrack Vr21 Commercial Recumbent Bike is a gym-level bike that you can ride at home. It provides a zero-impact workout and features magnetic resistance. 

The Vr21 uses a 20lb Effective Inertia Enhanced flywheel for natural pedaling motion and a smooth ride. 

32 onboard workout programs are displayed on a 5” LCD screen. There are also built-in speakers, a media shelf, and auxiliary input for an exceptional multimedia experience. 

The NordicTrack Vr21 holds up to 350lbs user weight and features a heart rate monitor. The operation is smooth and quiet. 

All of these high-quality features make the NordicTrack Vr21 Commercial Recumbent Bike the best overall recumbent exercise bike.

PROS

  • 25 Resistance Levels 
  • 32 Workout Programs
  • Sturdy Construction – Smooth Operation

CONS

  • Assembly Is Not Easy
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2. Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike – Best For Inexperienced Users

The Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike comes with 25 resistance levels and 29 different workout apps. Several of these apps are scenic so you can see the world while you ride in the comfort of your own home. 

The 270 features a high speed, high inertia drive system with a perimeter weighted flywheel. The bike plugs into a standard outlet, starts up easy, and will provide smooth, consistent workouts. 

There’s DualTrack LCDs, a media shelf, and in-console speakers with an MP3 input port, USB media charging, and an adjustable fan. 

The seat is comfortable with good lumbar support. All of these features and the ease of use make the Schwinn 270 the best recumbent bike for inexperienced users.

PROS

  • 25 Levels Of Magnetic Resistance
  • 29 Built-in Workout Programs 
  • Adjustable Fan 

CONS

  • May Be Difficult To Assemble
  • May Be Noisy When Pedaling
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3. Nautilus R616 – Best For Seniors

The Nautilus R616 features 25 levels of resistance and 29 different workout apps. If that sounds like the Schwinn 270, it’s because Nautilus owns Schwinn. That means that these two recumbent exercise bikes are similar. 

One of the main differences is in the seat. In the case of the R616, there’s a padded seat with a ventilated seatback. The whole thing is on an adjustable sliding rail. The overall comfort level and ease of use that this bike provides is great for seniors. 

The Nautilus R616 uses a Dual-Track LCD console and many of the same apps as Schwinn. It has a 300lb weight capacity. 

This is an easy to use bike that fits in well with the lifestyle of the senior fitness enthusiast. That makes the Nautilus R616 the best recumbent exercise bike for older users.

PROS

  • Easy To Adjust Padded Seat With Ventilated Back
  • 25 Levels Of Resistance
  • 29 Workout Apps

CONS 

  • Very Similar To The Schwinn 270 – May Not Be Original Enough For Some Users
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4. Marcy ME-7089 Recumbent Exercise Bike – Best For Bad Knees

The Marcy ME-7089 Recumbent Exercise Bike features a “step-through” design that allows quick mounting and dismounting. This increased mobility is easy on the knees and back. 

The comfortable padded seat is ergonomically correct and fully adjustable. There are 8 resistance levels and an easy to read LCD screen. The user weight capacity of the ME-7089 is 300lbs. The pedals are designed to provide good foot support while exercising. All of these features make the Marcy ME-7089 Recumbent Exercise bike the best choice for anyone with bad knees.

PROS

  • Designed For Mobility
  • Fully Adjustable Seat
  • Exclusive Step-Through Design

CONS

  • There are No Workout Apps 
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5. MaxKare Recumbent Exercise Bike – Best For Small Exercise Areas

The MaxKare Recumbent Exercise Bike offers 8 levels of magnetic resistance and features smooth, quiet operation. 

The seat is fully adjustable and features a large padded seatback. The padded handles have a heart rate monitor and provide a solid grip. The user weight capacity of the MaxKare is 300 lbs.

There’s a large LCD monitor that displays time, speed, distance, calories burned, and heart rate. 

One of the more unique features is that this bike is movable. With the transportation wheels, you can move it outside on the deck, or into another area for storage if you have limited room. That makes the MaxKare Recumbent Exercise Bike the best choice for small exercise areas.

PROS

  • Features Wheels For Easy Moving – Train Outside Or Store In Another Room
  • Quiet Magnetic Resistance
  • Fully Adjustable Padded Seat

CONS

  • May Not Have Enough Resistance For Some Users
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6. Sunny Health & Fitness RB4708 Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike – Best Complete Workout Bike

The Sunny Health & Fitness RB4708 Recumbent Exercise Bike features 8 levels of magnetic resistance, but there’s a twist. This bike also has handles that work the upper body while you pedal. This allows you to perform a complete workout and burn more total calories. 

There are pulse readers in the handlebars to monitor heart rate. There’s also a device holder and a digital monitor that displays your exercise data. 

The seat is oversized and provides good support. This recumbent exercise bike also has transportation wheels for easy moving or storage. 

It’s a good-sized recumbent bike but it’s sturdy and has a 350lb user weight capacity. 

The upper body arms make the Sunny Health & Fitness RB4708 the best recumbent exercise bike for getting a complete full-body workout.

PROS

  • 8 Levels Of Magnetic Resistance
  • Features Long Upper Body Exercise Arms
  • Fully Movable

CONS

  • May Not Provide Enough Resistance For All Users
  • May Not Fit In All Exercise Areas
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7. Exerpeutic 2500 Bluetooth 3 Way Adjustable Desk Recumbent Exercise Bike – Best Workstation

The Exerpeutic 2500 Recumbent Exercise Bike features a 3-way adjustable work desk with bluetooth capability. 

This bike lets you work and exercise at the same time. The desk has 7 adjustments for tilt, up, down, forward, and back. 

There are 8 height adjustments and it holds up to 44lbs. The seat has 3 angles of backrest adjustment. You can sit and work, take a break and exercise or exercise and work at the same time.

There’s also bluetooth cloud fitness apps and 14 levels of smooth, quiet magnetic resistance. The step-through design allows easy access. All of these features make the Exerpeutic 2500 the best workstation recumbent exercise bike.

PROS

  • Features A Fully Adjustable Workstation
  • Includes Bluetooth Connectivity
  • 14 Levels Of Magnetic Resistance

CONS

  • No Option To Monitor Heart Rate
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8. Exerpeutic Gold 525XLR Folding Recumbent Exercise Bike – Best For Tall Users

The Exerpeutic Gold 525XLR is a folding recumbent exercise bike that features a steel frame and a user weight capacity of 400lbs. 

It features 8 levels of resistance and an easy to read LCD that shows calories burned, distance, time, speed, pulse, odometer, and scan. 

The seat features a large backrest and fits users up to 6’5” tall. It’s a semi-recumbent design that is easy to mount and dismount. And it folds up to half its size for easy storage. 

The Exerpeutic 525XLR is the best recumbent exercise bike for taller users.

PROS

  • Folds For Easy Storage – Great For Small Exercise Areas
  • Fits Users Up To 6’5” and 400lbs
  • Features Extra Strength Steel Frame

CONS

  • Some Users May Find The Seat Uncomfortable
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9. EFITMENT Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike – Best For Long Workouts

The EFITMENT Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike features adjustable pedals and an adjustable, extra-large seat. 

The seat and pedal combination was designed to provide good support for longer workouts. 

There are 8 levels of resistance and a performance monitor to track exercise data. You can check your time, speed, scan, distance, odometer, calories burned, and pulse. Plus, there’s a tablet bracket that holds your mobile device. 

The EFITMENT Recumbent Exercise Bike features a step-through design for easy mounting and dismounting. The user weight capacity is 300lbs. 

The large, well-padded seat and seat back combined make the EFITMENT Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike the best for long workouts.

PROS

  • Extra-Large Seat For Good Support
  • Easy Step-Through Design
  • 8 Levels Of Resistance

CONS

  • Users With Back Pain May Find The Seat Uncomfortable
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Buying Guide – How to choose the Best Recumbent Exercise Bike?

What Is A Recumbent Exercise Bike

A recumbent exercise bike is a type of indoor exercise bike that is designed to provide a low impact workout experience.

This style of bike is designed with the pedals out in front of the body. The user can sit back in a comfortable exercise position. There’s no hunching forward so there’s no upper back discomfort.

The seat is comfortable and has a supportive backrest. A recumbent exercise bike is easier on your knees when compared to other types of cardio exercise. Also, you’re not working your hips in an unnatural way like you would on an elliptical machine.  

What You Should Look For In A Recumbent Exercise Bike

If cardio is an important part of your exercise program, a recumbent exercise bike could be a good addition to your home gym. Here’s what you should look for in a quality recumbent exercise bike:

Design

Recumbent exercise bikes all look pretty similar. However, there are some key design differences. One difference between bikes is mounting/dismounting. While many recumbent exercise bikes are a step over design, some are a step-through design. This is much easier for people with any type of condition that would make stepping over difficult, such as seniors and those with back or knee problems.

Seat Design

Another difference is seat design. Recumbent exercise bikes feature an adjustable seat with a supportive adjustable backrest. Height and leg length differs among users and you want a bike you can adjust to your size. On many bikes, both the cushion and seatback will have different degrees of padding. 

Pedal Design

The pedal setup is important for any recumbent exercise bike. The width and height of the pedals differ a little among manufacturers. On some bikes, the pedals are placed a little high so that your legs are at seat level when you pedal. Others place them a little lower which is a more natural position.

If possible, you may want to try out a few bikes before buying. Still, if you buy online and aren’t happy with your purchase, the bike can be returned.

Frame 

A recumbent exercise bike can be extremely sturdy. They are built tough and will last a long time to prove it. The drawback is that they are not as portable as, say, a folding exercise bike. Even so, many have transportation wheels. Still, one end of the bike will need to be lifted and carried. They don’t fold, so the entire bike has to be guided as you move it. If possible a recumbent exercise bike is best left in one place. 

Resistance

On a recumbent exercise bike, the resistance is usually magnetic and uses a flywheel design similar to other indoor bikes. The flywheel can mimic the feel of biking out on the open road.

The recumbent exercise bike works your entire lower body. The abs are also involved because they help maintain your leg position as you pedal.

Recumbent exercise bikes will use flywheels of different weights. A heavier flywheel provides more resistance but can make the bike harder to move. While you might appreciate a challenging workout, you won’t enjoy moving a bike with a 20lb flywheel.

Some bikes have over 20 levels of resistance, but the standard seems to be 8 levels. There are a few recumbent exercise bikes that also offer resistance bands for an upper-body workout while you pedal.

Ultimately, this approach burns more calories because your whole body is working. One of the major advantages of magnetic resistance is that it’s quiet and smooth. This is important if you work out early in the morning and don’t want to make a lot of noise. 

Console Design/Technological Features

Recumbent exercise bikes include everything from basic LCDs to full-color touch screens. Some have on-screen scenery programs so you get the feel of riding outside on an outdoor bike.

There are also various workout programs to make your cardio more challenging. Many recumbent exercise bikes have a device holder, speakers, and yes, even a work desk so you can exercise and work at the same time.

Most recumbent exercise bikes come with heart rate monitors, usually built into grip-bars that are attached to the seat. On the more advanced bikes, there’s user profile capability, bluetooth connectivity, device holders, water bottle holders, and even fans. 

Price

Of course, price is important. It should come as no surprise that recumbent exercise bikes cost more than other types of exercise bikes. They range from value-minded to very expensive. Yet, while you have to stay to your budget, you also have to buy for your goals. 

Benefits

What are the advantages of a recumbent exercise bike? Let’s take a look:

Good For Bad Backs – The reclined position is easier on the back than sitting upright or hunching over as you would on other indoor/outdoor bikes. 

Good For Sore Knees – On a recumbent exercise bike, the pedal/seat position is easier on your knees than other types of bikes. This style of bike provides a very low impact form of cardio that does not put pressure or stress on the knees. 

Weather Is Not A Problem – You’re riding indoors so the weather has no impact on your ability to ride. 

Great For Fat Loss – As with any type of indoor or outdoor bike, a recumbent exercise bike is a great way to burn extra calories. If you’re following a fat loss program, you can’t go wrong adding a recumbent exercise bike.

Great Cardio Exercise – This type of bike is great for simply getting in better shape.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for cardio equipment, a recumbent exercise bike can be a great addition to your home gym. The features and low impact pedaling position make it one of the best choices you can make. 

The NordicTrack Vr21 Commercial Recumbent Bike is our best overall. It provides a zero-impact workout and uses a 20lb flywheel. There are 32 available onboard workout programs. There’s also a fan and to top it off, an easy step-through design. 

If you want a bike that lets you work your upper body, there’s the Sunny Health & Fitness RB4708 Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike. With 8 levels of resistance and the addition of resistance bands, you can pedal and work your arms/upper body at the same time. 

If you suffer from sore knees, there’s the Marcy ME-7089 Recumbent Exercise Bike. This bike has an easy-on-the-knees “step-through” design and 8 levels of resistance. There’s a recumbent exercise bike for everybody. Let this guide help you choose the best bike for you!

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