Is it just me, or are exercise bikes having a moment? It seems like everywhere I look there are Peloton commercials, Soul Cycle billboards, and ads for eBikes on my Instagram feed sandwiched between photos of my friends’ kids and ASMR tsunami cake videos (search them, you won’t be disappointed). If you’re curious about the cycling fitness trend like I am but have a bad back (or knees, hips, etc.), then a stationary recumbent bike may be the right home exercise equipment for you. Keep scrolling as I deep-dive into the world of low-impact fitness machines and review the best recumbent exercise bikes for every level of rider.
When it comes to low-impact exercise equipment, elliptical machines, electric bikes (AKA “eBikes”), and treadmills for walking are all great options. But if you need something that reduces strain on your back and all your joints at once, a recumbent exercise bike is the most low-impact of them all, allowing you to sit in a reclined position while getting the fitness benefits of a cycling workout.
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What is the best recumbent bike for seniors and those with joint pain?
Recumbent bikes are recommended for seniors, those with sedentary lifestyles, and rehabbing patients who need a low-impact exercise that burns calories. These are our favorite recumbent exercise bikes (keep scrolling for reviews of each!).
- Best recumbent exercise bike with arm exercisers : Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike with Arm Exercisers
- Best overall recumbent exercise bike : Schwinn 270 Recumbent Exercise Bike
- Best 2-in-1 Recumbent and Upright Exercise Bike : Lanos 2-in-1 Upright and Recumbent Foldable Exercise Bike
- Best commercial recumbent exercise bike : Sole LCR Recumbent Bike
- Best recumbent exercise bike with high weight capacity : Vanswe Recumbent Exercise Bike
- Best folding recumbent exercise bike : Stamina Recumbent Exercise Bike with Upper Body Exerciser
- Best recumbent bike with rower : Stamina Conversion II Recumbent Bike/Rower
- Best recumbent exercise bike under $200 : Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Bike Exercise Bike
- Most quiet recumbent exercise bike : Fitness Reality R4000 Recumbent Exercise Bike with Workout Goal Setting Computer
- Best recumbent exercise bike under $200 : Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709
What is a recumbent exercise bike?
Unlike traditional exercise bikes that position the rider upright, recumbent exercise bikes have a reclined seat that allows you to sit comfortably while pedaling. This position provides you with a sturdy base and frees your joints from the common pressures and strains that often result from running, walking, and other upright workouts. For this reason, recumbent exercise bikes are the preferred home workout gear for those with knee, back, and hip issues. They are also great for seniors and those with limited mobility, offering balance and easy on-and-off accessibility.
What are the best recumbent bikes for home use?
If you have the space, recumbent exercise bikes are a great way to get a workout while watching TV, reading, or scrolling through Amazon on your phone. If you plan on keeping busy during your workout, you’ll want to look for quiet recumbent exercise bikes that boast magnetic resistance (like the Fitness Reality R4000 Recumbent Exercise Bike with Workout Goal Setting Computer) and that won’t interfere with your favorite TV show.
If your home is on the small side, don’t sweat! There are plenty of foldable recumbent exercise bikes (like this Stamina Recumbent Exercise Bike with Upper Body Exerciser) that can open and collapse with the push of a button. Many are also lightweight and have wheels, so you can easily roll them away for storage without throwing out your back. Sturdier exercise bikes are available as well, and can withstand higher weight capacities (Vanswe Recumbent Exercise Bike, $319.99).
If you want the option to exercise upright (or live with someone who prefers a traditional bike), 2-in-1 exercise bikes (Lanos 2-in-1 Upright and Recumbent Foldable Exercise Bike) provide the best of both worlds, converting from a standard stationary bike to a recumbent with reclined seating with just a few adjustments — or from a recumbent to a rowing machine (Stamina Conversion II Recumbent Bike/Rower).
Can you get a good workout with a recumbent bike?
With the right interval exercises and resistance settings, recumbent bikes can provide an effective, low-impact cardio workout that can even lead to weight loss. Most models have multiple resistance levels that you can easily adjust, meaning you’re able to intensify your workout as your strength increases. Some recumbent bikes even have resistance bands that tone your arms while you ride (like this one!).
If you opt for a recumbent bike with included workouts (this one has 25 workouts for every level built right into the machine!), you can customize each ride to help reach your fitness goals. You can also find pages of free recumbent bike workouts on Youtube, like this 10-minute workout from Coach Kim of Vive Health:
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Why we like it:
- Movable handlebars
- 8 levels of resistance
- Easily adjustable seat
- 1,500 5-star reviews
This recumbent exercise bike is an Amazon best-seller — and has some of the best reviews! Unlike most exercise bikes, this one has arm exercisers that give you a total body workout as you pedal. Pulse sensors track your heart rate, and the digital monitor displays your results and progress. A step-through design lets you hop on and off without losing your balance, and an adjustable, cushioned seat gives you just the right position for a pressure-free workout.
Happy customer: “Got this to help my mid-80 year old grandparents… they absolutely love it! They say it is similar to the type of bike they used in the physical therapy sessions at the hospital after my grandfather’s stroke. The seat works well for them… they are neither skinny nor overweight. The hands and feet movement help them stay active without putting a lot of pressure on their feet. My grandfather was using a walker, so couldn’t exercise with all his weight on his legs, but he could do this! He has used it every day for a few months so far.”
Why we like it:
- 25 levels of resistance for a wide range of workout intensity options
- Enhanced bluetooth and access to the Explore the World app
- Console includes 29 workout programs and visibility to workout metrics
One of the hottest features of this exercise bike is the ability to not only use the monitor to record your distance, time, and speed, but to bike anywhere. That’s right, you can simulate a bike ride through beautiful, exotic places around the world with just a few taps on the LCD screen. You can also join virtual classes, start a pre-programmed workout (there are 26 to choose from!), and even “bike” with others. Add that to a whopping 25 resistance levels and all the bells and whistles of a well-built recumbent exercise bike (wide, cushy seat, adjustable controls, ergonomically placed grips that track your heart rate, etc.), and you have our pick for the best overall recumbent exercise bike.
Happy customer: “I have been going to rehab for an injury and using the recumbent bike there. After much online searching and debating, I chose this model for the many features and the affordability. It arrived quickly, was super easy to set up, and is really easy to use. It only took a few minutes to learn how to start using this bike and getting in my first “ride.” It was clearly so much fun that my 8-year-old couldn’t wait for his turn! My entire family uses this bike, especially on rainy days, when it is much more enjoyable to be indoors. I would definitely recommend.”
Why we like it:
- Can be used as a recumbent or upright exercise bike
- 10-level adjustable magnetic resistance
- 3,400+ 5-star Amazon reviews
If you want the option of sitting upright or reclined — or are torn between buying a standard exercise bike and a recumbent — the Lanos 2-in-1 is the perfect combo bike for you. It effortlessly transitions between the two positions, and even folds to be as compact as possible when not in use. The large LCD screen displays your distance, speed, time, calories, and heart rate pulse, and 10 levels of resistance allow you to customize your workout as you advance. The seat is easily adjustable for different heights and leg lengths, too.
Happy customer: “I’m SO GLAD I bought this bike! It has a recumbent feature which I really wanted. It’s sturdy. It has 10 settings of resistance, I started off at 5. That seems to be the setting I’ll use for a while, as I have knee issues. It has a nice back brace to hold you comfortably in place as you pedal. There are two handles by the seat to hold onto. There’s a screen in front with speed, time, distance, calories and pulse. This bike could have been sold for twice as much and it wouldn’t be too much. I’m very happy I bought it!”
Why we like it:
- 30 lb. flywheel provides the perfect quiet, smooth ride
- Heavy duty steel frame
- 40 different levels of resistance to challenge people of all fitness abilities
- Lifetime warranty on frame
Recumbent exercise bikes are popular at gyms and physical therapists’ offices. They are often recommended by doctors of patients recovering from knee and hip replacement surgeries, and there’s a reason for that — they provide a low-impact, therapeutic cardio workout. Of all the recumbent exercise bikes in this story, the Sole LCR Recumbent Bike is the most gym-quality of them all. Made with a heavy duty steel frame, it can hold weights up to 350 pounds. There are 40 resistance levels — the highest of any bike reviewed here — and magnetic resistance allows for easy transitioning between them all. Adjustable seating and foot pedals provide ergonomic positioning, and will help your back pain (not make it worse!). The LCD screen syncs with most fitness apps, so you can admire your progress while having your morning coffee.
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Why we like it:
- Weight capacity of 400 lbs
- Adjustable seat fits users from 5’2” to 6’3”
- Ergonomic with thick, soft seat
- Upgraded model
If a sturdy bike is what you’re looking for, look no further. This heavy duty recumbent bike holds up to 400 pounds, and is built with a durable steel frame that will last you for years. A thick, soft seat provides ultimate comfort while you ride, and is adjustable to provide ergonomic support for most heights and sizes. The newly-upgraded LED screen has large, clear numbers for easy reading while you work out, and is also bluetooth-compatible, so you can sync your fitness app right to the bike and track your progress. Eight levels of magnetic resistance let you start as a beginner and work your way up to a more challenging workout at your own pace.
Happy customer: “After doing some research I chose to purchase this bike. I specifically bought this because I figured it would be sturdier with the higher weight limit and this bike doesn’t disappoint! It feels sturdy and durable, plus it’s so quiet. I highly recommend!!”
Why we like it:
- Includes recumbent exercise bike and manual
- Eight levels of quiet resistance
- Fitness meter displays speed, time, distance, calories, RPM, and odometer; requires 2 AAA batteries, not included
- Rotating handles for upper body workout
Most people shy away from home exercise bikes because they can be clunky. This compact recumbent exercise bike is a QVC best-seller for its compactness and portability. It’s completely foldable to fit in just about any size nook. Padded handles and a cushy backrest make the ride as comfortable as possible, and stationary handles on the seat allow for easy on and off. The cherry on top is that the handles rotate for an upper body workout (if you choose).
Happy customer: “I hate to exercise, but I am really liking this bike! It is a nice size for both males and females, adjustable, has many extra features, etc. It’s easy to store away and move from room to room. I put it in front of my TV and pedal away! I like the fact that I don’t have to be seen by everyone in the neighborhood and I can still exercise indoors, no matter what the weather is outside. Thanks for a great product!”
Why we like it:
- 8 levels of magnetic resistance
- Built-in multifunction electronic monitor
- Hand pulse sensor built into grips
- Foldable frame
There are so many ways to use this 2-in-1 recumbent exercise bike, as it doubles as a rowing machine. Both offer great low-impact workouts, and you can transition between the two positions easily, thanks to wheels built into the sturdy frame. You can even stand and use the rower resistance bands for an arm-only workout (pictured here, center). Oversize pedals have adjustable straps, and the electronic monitor tracks your progress in time, distance, speed, and more. The best part? It’s completely foldable!
Happy customer: “I bought this not knowing for sure if I was going to be able to use it. I have MS and arthritis in my spine so while I need to exercise, I didn’t know if I could really row. I can!! This machine makes it easy to both ride a bike at a comfortable incline of the seat and rowing turns out to be even easier for me. I just love the freedom I feel as it glides along… My husband has tried it and loves it too. So [many] different levels — [we] can use the same machine and both benefit at our own pace.”
Why we like it:
- Fast, reliable, and quiet magnetic resistance system with 8 levels of resistance adjustment
- Heart rate sensor locations allow for natural hand positioning during workouts
- Fully adjustable pedal straps and frame allow you to control the distance from your seat to the pedals
Not only is this recumbent bike pretty, it gets the job done without hurting your knees, back, and hips. In fact, it could even be recommended to help you recover from injury. A heavy duty frame holds up to 220 pounds, and seat handles make it easy to balance when you’re hopping on and off. It’s surprisingly quiet, so you can pedal away while watching TV or scrolling through your iPad. The LCD monitor is easy to read and displays your progress in speed, distance, time, and heart rate, while the handles take your pulse as you ride. Easily adjust the frame and your seat for the most comfortable, ergonomic position for your height.
Happy customer: “I saw all the reviews on this bike and I’m so happy I purchased it! Yes it is super quiet and I can watch my tv shows, and before I know it I’ve biked for a half hour or more! I will be having knee surgery so wanted to get something to help with my physical therapy and this is just the best bike! Highly recommend! I know I love it!”
Why we like it:
- 250 lbs weight capacity
- ‘Step Thru’ design provides easy on and off the bike
- ‘Quiet Drive’ belt system allows for noiseless and uninterrupted workout sessions
- 3 computer goal workout settings of distance, time, and calories burned
One of the best reasons to exercise at home is that you can do other things — watch TV, chat on the phone with a friend, browse the internet — all without the stressors of being surrounded by people at the gym. This recumbent exercise bike lets you enjoy the peace and quiet of home. A Quiet Drive belt system ensures a noise-free workout, and its built-in phone and tablet holder will secure your devices while you work out. It also has a “step-through” design for those with limited mobility, and a backrest for cushy lower back support.
Happy customer: “I get dizzy easily on treadmills and elliptical so I was told to try a recumbent bike. I really enjoy the workout and I don’t get dizzy on this, I’ve lost 8 lbs in 3 weeks since I’ve had it just doing 1-3 miles a day. This bike is smooth and doesn’t wobble or make weird noises when you go fast on it. It’s comfortable to sit on and not too bulky to keep in a main room. I like that is has the holder for a tablet or phone. I just put an episode on of a show and am distracted enough to not get bored while I’m working out. I def recommend this one.”
Why we like it:
- Easy to read computer screen
- Comfortable balanced seat
- Wide pedals
- Easy on and off
- 11,000+ 5-star reviews
It’s not too good to be true – this bike really is under $200 with more than 11,000 five-star Amazon reviews. That’s because it’s more than just a budget recumbent exercise bike, it’s high quality, too! With a sturdy frame and step-on, step-off design, it’s built especially for seniors and those who have mobility issues. It’s not flashy, but it does have the essential features: wide pedals, an easy-to-read computer screen, digital progress tracking, and a wide, cushy seat. You have no excuse not to buy it!
Happy customer: “Great value for a stationary bike. Easy to assemble. I am a 61 yr old, 5 ft. tall, 120 lb grandma and managed it on my own. Had to adjust to last notch due to short stature… The quality is great for the price, sturdy, a little heavy, seat is roomy, back rest is supportive, arm rests help stabilize while pedaling and give a good place to rest arms. Comfortable to sit and read or watch TV while exercising, making time pass very quickly. Does not feel like you are torturing yourself exercising. Easily raised my heart rate on the lower tension settings. Appears to be made of good quality materials, not overly bulky looking, able to leave in living area without cramping my space. Computer readouts nice to keep track of progress. All the parts fit well together, no problems with assembly. Did use another tool to tighten the screws, even though tools needed for assembly are provided. Would recommend this bike.”
Why we like it:
- Rotating handlebars with pulse sensors
- Ergonomic padded seat
- Large foot pedals with straps
The arm exercisers on this recumbent bike are closer to the body than on other models, providing a total-body workout without taking up much space. Large foot pedals are easy to grip, and an ergonomic, cushioned seat adjusts for your leg length and comfort. Pulse sensors keep track of your heart rate, and an easy to use monitor displays your speed, calories burned, distance, workout time, and heart rate.
Happy customer: “Have had this bike for about a month now and absolutely love it! I have MS and am using this bike for my daily exercise routine to help both loosen up and strengthen my legs and arms. This bike is very high quality and very sturdy. I can adjust the tension to match my needs. I exercise my legs with the pedals first, then my arms with the handles so I get the benefit of the tension adjustment for both! I could not be happier with my purchase! And it took us about three hours to put the bike together. The instructions are very easy to follow, but you need two people to do it.”
Why we like it:
- Adjustable desktop for mount and standing position; tablet holder, laptop strap, and cup holder
- Foot release moves desk to standing position
- Wheels for mobility, folds for storage
If you work from home and find yourself not hitting your daily step goals, this recumbent bike/desk combo will get you moving without disturbing your work. It has all the bells and whistles of a best-selling recumbent exercise bike – adjustable seat, tension adjustment, and an electronic monitor to track your progress — but also has a desktop, cup holder, and laptop strap. You can even take a break from pedaling and use it as a standing desk. The cherry on top? It folds up when you want to put your work away for the night!
Happy customer: “After sitting at a desk at a home office, this was exactly what I needed. I really like that I’m standing instead of sitting all day. When I do sit down, I use the bicycle, since my feet are on the pedals and I start pedaling without really thinking about it. I feel so much better than when I was sitting at a desk all day.”
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Why we like it:
- Vented seat back for a cool, comfortable ride
- Transport wheel for portability
- Multi-function LCD display and heart rate monitor handrail
The vented seat on this recumbent exercise bike is similar to that of an ergonomic desk chair, and is just as comfortable. Built atop a heavy-duty frame, the padded seat adjusts to fit your height, so you can find the most comfortable position for your body. 14 levels of smooth magnetic resistance allow you to create your own workout at the pace that works for you. When you’re done working out, just wheel it away for storage. It has other fun features, too: a multi-function LCD screen, heart monitor, and even a holder for your tablet, phone, and water bottle.
Happy customer: “After several weeks of reading reviews and mulling it over (there are many options out there!) I chose this bike… The bike is super quiet, comfortable and after years of running, this gave me a great workout! I’ve been skeptical of stationary equipment, but with a hip replacement scheduled in a few weeks, I needed something to help with my recovery and this will be a great incentive. I started out on a medium tension and dialed it down to about 3 and it gave me plenty of resistance. I’m confident that as I get better, this bike will challenge me. Great choice, very happy with my selection and purchase.”