Do you know what they say? Good things come to those who sweat.
Gross, right? However, this is quite right, both metaphorically and literally.
Healthcare professionals always advise us to incorporate regular workout sessions into our daily routines for their numerous benefits. Physically, mentally, and even emotionally.
As we get older, the need to indulge in physical activity grows and becomes even more critical. Unfortunately, our ability to sustain this physical activity degrades in the golden age. That’s why seniors start looking for low impact forms of exercise.
Here comes the role of recumbent exercise bikes, a nice alternative for treadmills, especially if your knees won’t take vigorous exercise anymore.
Recumbent bikes are the answer to many challenges seniors face while trying to assemble a decent exercise regimen. They’re safe, budget-friendly, and comfortable.
Moreover, they’ll help you harvest the benefits of outdoor cycling while being comfortable in an ergonomic position.
Our Finest Picks:
|EXERPEUTIC 900XL 300 lbs. Weight Capacity Recumbent Exercise Bike with Pulse||Buy Now|
|Top||Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike||Buy Now|
|Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709||Buy Now|
Top 6 Recumbent Bikes for Seniors
With a multitude of options at the market, the choice process might be confusing. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the Best 6 Recumbent Bikes for Seniors to help narrow down the choices for you.
The choice criteria focused on three main aspects: comfort, durability, and cost.
1- Round-Up Winner: Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike
Schwinn has been at the top of the ladder of the cycling and fitness industry for a while now. No wonder they made it to the top of our list.
The heavy price tag of this machine is well balanced with the value it offers. This beast is loaded with features that qualify it to be our roundup winner!
The main appeal of Schwinn 270 is that it comes with 29 workout programs, divided as follows, 12 profile, 9 heart rate control, 4 custom, 2 fitness test, and 1 quick start. Alongside with 25 resistance levels for variable workout intensity.
Off to the seat, probably the reason why you’re buying a recumbent bike in the first place. The bottom is well-padded with a vented backrest allowing for adequate lumbar support.
We know that oldsters aren’t technology’s best friends, but somehow we believe that a simple training mobile app will have a good impact on their exercise regimen. Besides, it’s easy to use.
It’s also one of the few machines that we can call ‘silent’. Thanks to its magnetic resistance system and weighted flywheel.
They do care about accessories; the bike has a shelf for your kindle reader or mobile phone. Alongside with integrated speakers.
The maximum weight this bike can handle is 325 lbs. That’s a big number compared to its rivals.
The machine requires assembly. Lucky for you, the instructions are clear and it shouldn’t take long to assemble the whole thing. We recommend you use some help to speed up the process. Although you’d be okay on your own, you’ll just take a longer time.
Concerning warranty, it comes with a 10-year frame warranty, a 2-year warranty for mechanical components, and a 1-year warranty for electrical ones. Seems like a pretty good deal!
What We Like
- 29 workout programs
- Balanced electricity consumption
- Has incorporated speakers
- Up to 4 users can save their settings
- 10-years frame warranty
What We Don’t Like
- Some customers complained about inadequate resistance
The massive variety of workout programs, alongside with the quiet performance and log warranty makes schwinn a stellar option that’s definitely worth your money.
2- Runner Up: Exerpeutic 900XL Recumbent Exercise Bike with Pulse
With an extended seat and a comfortable backrest, this bike is designed to serve seniors who want to stay in shape. Rarely do we come across a product that functions well at a nice price, but Exerpeutic 900XL broke the rule for us.
Tailored for the elderly, Exerpeutic puts its users’ safety as a priority. Thanks to its leg stabilizers that prevent tripping over. Also, there are pedal straps to ensure stability.
There are no preset programs here. Instead, you’ll find 8 magnetic-tension adjustment levels for different workout intensities. If you feel that the pedals are too hard to push, it’s probably because you’re using a tension level that’s not suitable for you.
Hand pulse sensors are connected to a heart rate monitor, so you can make sure you’re staying within the targeted rates.
You can track your progress by going through your workout data displayed on a wide easy-to-read LCD monitor. Measurements of your burnt calories, distance, time, speed, and heart rate will give you an indication of how your training is going.
Maximum user weight here is 350 lbs. The seat is wide and quite comfortable. It also has 2 versions, one with Bluetooth and the other is without.
While the seat is comfortable, it’s not ergonomic and mostly flat. That’s why some reviewers have complained of it being uncomfortable after using it for relatively long workout sessions, 1+ hour sessions.
The unit itself is only 63 lbs and it has wheels, which allow for easy transportation.
What We Like
- Large seat
- Excellent back support
- 3-year frame warranty
- 90-days parts warranty
What We Don’t Like
- Assembly isn’t smooth and instructions are poorly written
- Hard pedaling
- Tension might be hard for some
If you’re someone who puts your comfort as a priority, then this is the one for you. The comfortable large seat with marvellous back support outweigh all the cons of this machine.
3- Minimal Option: Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Bike Exercise Bike SF-RB4616
For those who want to avoid the hassle of dealing with technology or complex settings, here’s our most minimalistic option: Sunny Health SF-RB4616.
Similar to the Exerpeutic 900XL, it has 8 levels of magnetic tension and its maximum weight capacity is 300 lbs.
Our favorite feature about this bike is its reachable seat handles, through which you can adjust the seat. In addition to the integrated hand sensors that give you accurate heart rate readings to monitor your state throughout the workout session.
The self-leveling pedals will help you adjust your seat and posture without having to get up. Yet they’re a bit old fashioned, unlike the magnetic or electric ones.
It’s worthy to note that the height range for this machine is between 26 to 33.9 inches.
Such adjustment options come in handy if multiple people are going to use the bike so that everyone can customize it to suit their needs.
This machine has a step-through frame, meaning there will be no fuss getting in or out of it.
What We Like
- Easy assembly with clear instructions
- Sturdy & stable
- Adjustable handles
- Smooth pedal action
What We Don’t Like
- Seat height isn’t adjustable
- Old fashioned belt
- Poor LCD
If you want to get things done, not pay a lot of money, and you’re not looking for variable exercises either, this is your way to go.
4- Fancy Option: Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Bike
Luxury lovers, this is for you.
Most recumbent bikes will give you excellent lower body workouts but will fail to target your upper body. Stamina Elite bike is advertised to be a ‘Total Body’ bike and it lives up to the claim.
Thanks to its upper hand pedals, in addition to regular foot pedals of course. This top-notch machine targets your overall cardiovascular fitness, your upper body, and your lower body toning too.
The foot pedals are textured and they have adjustable straps to guarantee you’re stable and comfortable during your workout. Furthermore, there are 8 levels of magnetic resistance for multiple workout levels.
The ergonomic seat base and backseat are fully padded to comfort your body. They can be adjusted to different heights, and the backseat is angeled for even more comfort.
Regarding the monitor, it shows the basic performance metrics; speed, time, calories burnt, and heart rate. This last one is measured through pulse sensors on handles.
While the machine itself is heavy -around 120 lbs. It has one of the smallest weight capacities on the market, at a maximum weight of 250 lbs.
Another interesting feature is that it runs on batteries. This places no restrictions on where you should place it in your house.
If you’re looking for a machine to aid your weight loss process, or just a more advanced level of indoor cycling. Stamina Elite should be your pick.
What We Like
- Sturdy steel construction
- Easy assembly
- Upper body workout
- Adjustable flywheel
What We Don’t Like
- Relatively heavy
People who have some money to spare, there’s no better investment than your health and wellbeing. The durable construction, adjustability options, and exclusive upper body workout make Stamina Elite a real gem!
5- Best Programmable: Nautilus R614 Recumbent Bike
A model that’s been around for a while and never fails to impress us is the Nautilus R614. This can be traced back to plenty of reasons. A step-through durable frame, a set of versatile training programs, lower-back support, and an affordable price make it irresistible.
The goal tracking feature is this bike’s strong suit. You set individual exercise goals and track your progress. It has no Bluetooth connection feature, but its other high-end version the Nautilus R616 does.
Its dual track LCD displays a variety of 22 preset workout programs and 20 resistance levels. The 22 programs are distributed as follows: 9 profile, 8 heart rate control, 2 custom, 2 fitness test, and 1 quick start.
If we have to mention something we dislike about the Nautilus R614, it’ll definitely be the seat. If you’re looking for a fully padded comfortable seat, then this isn’t the one for you.
The seat is adjustable with a sliding reel system that has a solid locking mechanism and it has a vented back seat for proper heat circulation. So as you may have noticed, these are minimally padded.
Nautilus R614 is generous when it comes to accessories. It comes with DualTrack LCD displays, in-console speakers with an MP3 input port, and a media tray. In addition to a USB charging port and even a fan!
One downside is that the pedals are too close to the crank. If you’re not careful, you might hurt your foot.
What We Like
- Goal tracking feature
- 20 levels of resistance
- Relatively easy assembly
- Durable frame
- 10-year frame warranty
What We Don’t Like
- The seat isn’t comfortable
- Plastic backseat
- Water holder isn’t reachable while you’re riding the bike
Some people hate machines because of their limited workout variety. This is not the case here. If you want to enjoy a multitude of workouts and buy only one machine, Nautilus R614 should be your pick.
6- Budget Pick: Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709
This compact elegant unit would be your best fit if you have limited space in your house, yet you don’t want to sacrifice your cardio exercise.
The seat isn’t adjustable, but you can easily adjust the frame. It’s well-padded, yet it has the same Exerpeutic 900XL problem when it comes to long sessions.
To set workout intensity, you have to manually choose one of the 8 magnetic tension levels. The higher the tension/ resistance, the harder the workout is. Such a feature makes it suitable for both amateurs and experienced cyclists.
The magnetic mechanism means that you don’t have to worry about mechanical hazards producing annoying sounds or causing friction.
You can check your traveled distance, elapsed time, calories burnt, and speed.
One pitfall here is the absence of a heart rate monitor. In our opinion, this is not a feature you -as a senior- should sacrifice, even for a low price.
The assembly of this machine is a breeze, it’ll take you about 30 minutes to set it up and start using it. It has a 2-year warranty for the body, which is relatively a short period compared to other options.
The pedals are counterbalanced. They’re designed to give your feet maximal support while offering you full control over them, for a fruitful workout.
What We Like
- Easy portability because of wheels
- Smooth mounting
What We Don’t Like
- Small LCD
- No heart rate measuring device
- It comes with no initial programming
Nothing’s better than a cheap product that’s not short of any feature. That’s Marcy Recumbent Bike. Efficient, sturdy, portable, and really affordable!
How to Choose the Best Recumbent Exercise Bike?
Now that we’ve seen the best options on the market, let’s guide you through the purchasing process.
Throughout this section we’ll be discussing the benefits of recumbent bikes, the difference between them and upright ones, in addition to the key deciding factors you should consider before buying.
Benefits of Recumbent Bikes
If you’re still having doubts about whether to invest in these machines or not. Here are the main benefits of using a recumbent bike regularly.
We’ve all heard physicians advise us to practice some sort of sports to stay in shape and improve our cardiovascular functions.
Recumbent bikes will give you the exercise you need, as they’ll help lower your blood pressure and improve overall circulation.
Cycling is a great way to improve your cardiovascular functions. A consistent cycling regimen might help protect you against coronary artery disease as well.
Low Impact on Joints
With you sitting in a reclined position and the pedals in front of you. Pedaling a recumbent bike is a breeze. You won’t be pressuring your hips, knees, ankles, or feet into pedaling.
Subsequently, resulting in a comfortable workout that has a minimal impact on your joints.
If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, doing exercises on a recumbent bike can be easier on your hips, thighs, and back.
Lower back pain is among the leading health complaints among seniors. Recumbent bikes usually offer decent lumbar support so that you can preserve your posture while exercising.
They enhance better spinal posture, unlike the hunched body posture of the upright bike.
Pedaling against gravity and preset resistance will improve your muscle endurance. That is the ability of muscles to sustain repeated contractions against a certain force for an extended period of time.
Leg muscles that’ll be affected by cycling include hamstrings, gluteus, and quadriceps. After some time you’ll notice a difference in your mobility.
Physical activity helps your brain pump endorphins, which are basically your feel-good neurotransmitters. Thus, relieving stress and enhancing your mood.
On the long run, this might help improve your immune system.
The comfort and ease reclined seats provide, help you tolerate the workout strain for longer periods of time. Subsequently, encouraging you to extend your workouts.
Why Not Get an Upright Exercise Bike Instead?
The short answer is that recumbent bikes are more suitable for elder people.
While recumbent bikes will mostly provide you with lower body workout, unlike upright ones that can work out the whole body. There are some major differences regarding comfort.
One of the key differences in the pedals’ position. In upright bikes, they’re under you so that you can work your hip and thigh muscles. While in the case of recumbent bikes they’re in front of you to be more comfortable.
Usually, in recumbent bikes, the seat is padded and wide to be more comfortable and allow better weight distribution. It’s also in a reclined position to relieve back pain.
In addition to having a backrest to relieve back strain and take the pressure off your buttocks to avoid backache and muscle strain due to wrong seating positions.
Safety is a vital factor here. The fact that you have to stand on pedals in an upright bike subject you to possible injuries. Unlike recumbent bikes in which such risk is eliminated.
Hence, it’s more suitable for elder people.
To cut right to the chase, here’s a list of the key factors you should evaluate before deciding which product you’re going to buy.
We start off by checking the frame design. A step-through frame is desired for easy mounting, especially when it comes to the elderly.
Then we look at the manufacturing material. Always opt for frames that are made of durable tubing.
The most distinguishing feature of a recumbent bike is its seat, so you need to pay extra attention to it before making your decision.
There’s no right answer here, every company has its own preferences and so do customers. Some get pride by advertising their padded flat seats, while others claim that plastic ones might be more comfortable.
Generally, larger cushions are more comfortable, as they allow for proper weight distribution.
Arm sets are definitely a plus, in terms of both comfort and adjustability.
No matter which one you choose. But, make sure it has positive online reviews from people who’ve actually tried it.
A bikes screen will show you everything it has depending on its type. Heart rate, tension level, calories burnt, desired program, timing, and speed. Just to name a few.
Whether you’re a senior with not-so-good eyesight or a working mom, you want the display screen to be large, clear, and easy to use. This is something you don’t want to compromise.
High-end options usually have backlit screens with advanced settings. Unlike lower budgeted ones that only show basic information.
Very few of these machines come as a unit. Most of them require assembly, of which the degree of complexity differs.
In all cases, we recommend that two people should carry out this task to save time. Also, we think you should favor a unit with minimal assembly.
At any time you can get someone to assemble it for you, Amazon offers this service. No need to worry.
One of the main appeals of recumbent bikes is their small size. They’re pretty compact and most of them come with wheels for easier mobility.
A foldable bike will be great in terms of space-saving. Yet, the smaller its size, the less stability it offers.
Make sure to check the product’s dimensions and compare them with the free space in your house before making your purchase.
Will you move your bike around the house? or Are you planning to leave it in a dedicated space of its own?
When we talk about portability, two factors come into play; weight and wheels. Stating the obvious, a lightweight machine will be easy to carry around and maneuver.
The important feature here is the transportation wheels, you have to make sure your chosen product has them if you plan on moving it.
Many console monitors of these bikes come with preset workout programs that are specifically designed to help you reach your goals.
Another appealing feature is goal setting/tracking, these help you monitor your progress and pinpoint the areas that need improvement.
Your shopping history probably has taught you that you get what you pay for, well, in most cases. This also applies here.
If you skimmed through our list, you’ll find that our round winner is a bit pricey. Yet, we believe it’s a worthy investment. It’ll improve your health, fitness level, and mood. All this while keeping you comfortable. Most importantly, it’ll stick out for years to come.
However, we tried to dig in for some hidden treasures that offer an equivalent quality at a much lesser price. Lucky for you, we found some and we’ve listed them above.
What we’re trying to say is you should decide a price range first before reviewing options, to narrow them down. Also, don’t be afraid to invest in such a machine, it’ll pay off.
There are some ‘accessories’ that complement the basic functionality of recumbent bikes. Some might pay extra for them, while others might find them just unnecessary.
Take a look at these below.
Probably a high-end feature, but some manufacturers are starting to add it to their products to entice customers.
The Bluetooth connectivity feature allows you to pair your smartphone with your bike so that you can play music, download your workout data through training apps, or track your progress in some applications.
Fancy, but efficient. This is a feature that we’d pay extra for.
Kindle E-reader holders, book holders, or even cup holders. It’s always a nice touch to have them on your machine, isn’t it?
Some bikes have a USB port for charging mobile phones or to allow data exchange.
Music is exercise’s best companion, right?
Your recumbent bike can play some music for you while working out. Some of them do come with integrated speakers for this purpose.
Don’t get your hopes high though, they’re low to medium quality at best. Just enough to do the job.
Can I lose fat using a recumbent bike?
Yes, but slowly.
As we’ve illustrated earlier, recumbent bikes offer low-impact cardiovascular exercise. To lose fat, you’ll need more vigorous exercises. A treadmill will be more efficient in this case.
However, using it 6 days a week for 60 minutes each day will definitely help you burn some calories.
What body parts do recumbent bikes target?
Mainly lower body with a weak full range of motion. It won’t affect your upper body by any means unless it’s designed to do so.
Do upright bikes burn more calories than recumbent bikes?
No, they pretty much burn the same amount of calories. Depending on your workout intensity, resistance level, and duration of the exercise interval.
We hope we’ve helped you make an informed buying decision. To us, if we have the budget, we’ll go with the Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike, we can’t find anything wrong with it, except for the price tag of course.
If you’re looking for more budget-friendly options, you should opt for EXERPEUTIC 900XL 300 lbs. Weight Capacity Recumbent Exercise Bike or Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709. They’re both great fully functioning options with reasonable prices.
Don’t be lazy to start working out, especially as you get older. The results are worth it!
Go ahead, review your options, and order yours now.