best recumbent bike

The Best Recumbent Bikes of 2018 - A Comprehensive Guide

Recumbent bikes are becoming such a huge hit for health buffs, for people who just suffered from injuries but would like to stay on shape, and also for people who want to improve their physique.

Folks all over the globe want to get their own equipment the fastest time possible! That’s not surprising given its benefits. But if you are one of these people, it is highly encouraged to read this guide before buying your recumbent bike.

​​​​A piece of advice, learn which one is perfect for you to reap its maximum benefits and to avoid injuries. Getting a recumbent bike out of impulse has its drawback. Instead of improving your health, you might worsen it with the wrong choice of equipment.

And that’s why we’re here to help you. With all the different brands and models that litter the market, it can be overwhelming to find ‘The One’. What we have here is the list of the best recumbent bikes of 2018 and included information that may help you decide which one fits well to your current needs.

Do You Need a Recumbent Bike?

​​​​But before you scroll down to read our guide, you have to ask yourself, “Do I really need a recumbent bike? Am I serious with this, or am I just joining the bandwagon?” If you still can’t figure it out, here are the top reasons why people get recumbent bikes.

  • To make leg muscles stronger
  • To strengthen lower abdominal muscles and abs
  • To lose extra weight
  • To look for another amazing cardiovascular workout
  • To engage in low impact cross training

Best Recumbent Bike: The Top Picks of 2018

Best For Your Budget

Exerpeutic 900XL

exerpeutic 900xl
  • 8 level Magnetic Controlled Tension 
  • Cushioned seats with ergonomic backrest 
  • Smooth and quiet operation 

Our Rating

Best High-End Bike

ProForm Hybrid Trainer Pro

proform hybrid trainer pro
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Includes 20 pre-installed workout routines
  • Capable of playing MP3 music with a built-in speaker

Our Rating

Best For Mid Range

Schwinn 230

schwinn 230
  • LCD display that shows 13 different exercise feedback 
  • Built-in battery
  • Vented seats and contoured leg areas 

Our Rating

The Best Recumbent Exercise Bikes of 2018

We have researched and tested a number of recumbent bikes that are available on the market. And at the same time, considered actual reviews from current users. See which ones made it to our list.

Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike, Under $500

From the company that is well-known for their large selection of bicycles, comes this magnificent recumbent exercise bike perfect for your everyday fitness needs.

Schwinn Bicycle Company, the manufacturer of the Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike, has been in the business of producing high-quality bicycles since 1895. They had been one of the forerunners of bicycles in the United States and is a household brand since the release of their first bicycles.

Overall Build and Structure

Listed below the $500 range, the Schwinn 270 has a weight of 93 pounds and is  66.5" x 12.5" x 27.5". It is made from sturdy and stable solid metal frames made into a very compact design. Users between 4’11” and 6’3” are suitable with this machine.

Warranty Terms

Once purchased, you have a warranty of 10 years on the frame, 2 years for the mechanical parts, 1 year for the electronics, and 90 days for labor, which does not include installation of replacement parts.

Features

It allows Bluetooth connectivity to sync your exercise bike with the Schwinn Trainer and an App for tracking your progress (heart rate and calories) and access to training tips. It includes 25 levels of strong resistance that gives you a wide range of comfortable workouts and a total of 29 workout programs that you can choose from depending on the workout you want, as well as 12 profiles for multiple users.

It has 2 LCDs on the console for multi-tasking, Upload capabilities to both Schwinn Fitness and MyFitnessPal, and 4 customizable profiles for individual users.

It is highly customizable to fit the needs of both beginners and expert fitness enthusiasts as well as includes a nine heart rate controls to maximize cardiovascular efficiency and two fitness tests.

Unfortunately, there are some inaccuracies with the pulse sensors on some occasions. Since it does not have built-in batteries, it needs to be plugged in when in operation. Though it has a built-in fan, it may not be strong enough for some people, reducing comfort.

Personally,  I was impressed with the capabilities that this bike offers at the price it is listed. The Schwinn 270 offers a lot more features over competitors with the same, or even higher, prices. Although, I am conflicted when it comes with comfort because of a lack of strong fan settings to keep you cool and cushions on the seats.

PROS

  • Very easy and convenient to use
  • Best for people between 4’11” and 6’3”
  • Sturdy, stable with solid metal frames with a Compact Design

CONS

  • Inaccuracy with the pulse sensors on some occasions
  • Needs intermittent power source since there are no built-in batteries
  • No physical manual available, only PDF available online.

Actual Reviews

"Loved this bike! I had been using this for less than a week every day and I find it spectacular. I had undergone hip surgery in 2005 and my doctors suggested using a recumbent bike for rehab. It removes the strain off my hips and knees and focuses on my muscles alone! Truly a great product."

-  Frannie 

ProForm Hybrid Trainer, Under $300 

Who knows better about fitness equipment better than ProForm?

They consider themselves the global leader when it comes to in-home fitness. Using the newest research and technologies in the realm of fitness, ProForm had continuously provided accessible and affordable products for us.

For over 30 years, their passion and commitment to helping other reach fitness goals had led them to develop and engineer almost every home fitness equipment you need. ProForm is with you every step of the way - and they give you their latest offering, the ProForm Hybrid Trainer.

Overall Build and Structure

The ProForm Hybrid Trainer is pretty durable. The frames are made from high-quality steel which makes the structure very sturdy according to actual users.

It does not elicit any strain to the users due to its large, cushioned, and adjustable pedals. In fact, it can provide better traction, maximum comfort, and joint supports.

Moreover, the Silent Magnetic Technology lets the users utilize this equipment in a very silent and smooth operation. So, this is a great fitness equipment to place inside your home.

Warranty Terms

The ProForm Hybrid Trainer comes with a full 5-year warranty for the frame. As for parts and labor, it only comes with a 90-day warranty.

The warranty term for the frame is pretty great since this is, in some way and somehow, the average figure. However, many takes the warranty for parts and labor as a drawback for the product. It’s too short which makes a lot of people wonder whether the parts are durable enough or not.

Features

The ProForm Hybrid Trainer lets you switch from a recumbent bike to an elliptical trainer within three steps. Also, it features an integrated tablet holder for entertainment or as a console when working out.

Another feature that makes this bike interesting is the iFit Console feature. It has smart capabilities like Bluetooth connectivity to connect your device. In addition, it is equipped with an online library filled with workout plans and routines from popular fitness experts.

But the main thing that I like about the ProForm Hybrid Trainer is its Power Meter feature. This is because it allows me to control and set my pace. This feature is very useful to every user who wants to manage and track their heart rate monitor and weight.

PROS

  • 2-in-1 fitness equipment
  • Silent operation
  • Very durable

CONS

  • It does not have a cooling fan
  • Not perfect for advanced level users
  • The stride length is very short

Actual Reviews

"I am very excited with my new exercise bike. Though it's a bit heavy, I found all of its parts wrapped very carefully. It was also well-labeled. Even though I'm 58 and with a bad knee, I was able to build it by myself in just 2 hours! The display is nice and readable and there is a number of exercises I can choose from! Really great!"

Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike, Under $750 

The Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike is another great bike from Schwinn. Similar to its predecessor, Schwinn 270, this one also offers optimal fitness regimen for both beginners and expert fitness enthusiasts. And for a price that falls below $750, this can be yours already!

It has the same high-quality frame, multiple featured consoles, and high customizability - a mark of the Schwinn Quality.

Overall Build and Structure

The Schwinn 230 has a total weight of 81.6 pounds which makes it very lightweight. But while it is lightweight, the maximum weight capacity of this equipment is measured at 300 pounds.

As for the dimension, it is measured at 66.5” x 27” x 12.5”. Users can also move this equipment easily due to its transport wheels.

Aside from being lightweight, this bike is also comfortable. In fact, it features a lumbar support, slider and vented seats, and contoured leg areas that makes the whole equipment experience safe and convenient. Plus, the grip bars are ergonomically placed in its sides.

Warranty Terms

Just like any Schwinn product, the warranty terms are very efficient. The Schwinn 230 apparently has 10 years warranty for the frame, 2 years for the mechanical parts, 1 year for the electronics, and 90 days for labor.

But keep in mind that these terms do not include installations and replacements.

Features

If you are the type of person who loves exercising to the beat of different music, then this might be the most appropriate bike for you. It actually features an acoustic speaker that lets you listen to your favorite tracks.

Also, the overall build of the Schwinn 230 comes with a USB port. This allows the users to charge and connect their smartphones as they do their fitness goals.

But the main thing that makes the Schwinn 230 quite impressive is its SchwinnDualTrack. It is actually a two - LCD window console that lets you see 13 different backgrounds. Through this feature, you can easily connect and utilize multiple apps. Also, the programs and settings are highly configurable.

Although this may seem a great fitness equipment for some, I still find its predecessor a better type. In short, I honestly prefer the 270 over the 230 recumbent bike.

For me, the extra features do not justify the extra price. It would have been a real step up for the 230 if they increased the weight of the flywheel by 10 more pounds.

PROS

  • Convenient and easy to use
  • Durable and sturdy
  • It comes with 20 resistance levels

CONS

  • Not enough flywheel weight, which can be an issue for more expert users
  • The pulse monitor has apparent issues
  • Not ideal for taller individuals due to the limited legroom capacity

Actual Reviews

"I had always preferred the 230 over the 270 because it has more extra features. I bought it when Amazon had a  $100 discount on the item. I loved it ever since.”

“Though it's disappointing to not have padding on the seats, I simply use a chair pad to cover it.  The sad thing though is that it was damaged on arrival. I contacted Schwinn as suggested by Amazon. I was afraid it's gonna be a nightmare, but it wasn't. They were the nicest people I have ever talked to and I got my replacements fast! Great overall!"

ProForm Hybrid Trainer Pro Elliptical Machine, Under $750

You can consider the ProForm Hybrid Trainer Pro Elliptical Machine as an upgrade to the former ProForm Hybrid Trainer listed above. It has more features, better warranty terms, and bigger weight capacity.

It is literally bigger and better. Hence, the price may seem much higher than the previous one.

Overall Build and Structure

The overall dimension of the ProForm Hybrid Trainer Pro Elliptical Machine is rated at 49” x 25” x 17.5”. As for the weight, this bike has a total weight of 145.9 lbs. And based on these measurements, you could easily see that this bike is pretty bulky, heavy, and huge.

But even so, this bike can only consume a total area of 5" x 2” in your house. Also, it can accommodate up to 350 lbs. So, that is quite an advantage for this bike from ProForm.

Aside from the significant weight capacity rating, this bike also has large foot pads. Hence, users of different foot sizes can really utilize this equipment. Moreover, elderly individuals and people who have poor eyesight are also welcome to use this bike due to its large display monitor.

Warranty Terms

Unlike the former ProForm Hybrid Trainer, the Pro version comes with a lifetime warranty. So, users can really enjoy this fitness equipment for a very long time. As for the parts and labor, owners are entitled to a 1-year warranty.

Features

The Proform Hybrid Trainer Pro Elliptical Machine is a 2-in-1 fitness equipment. You can use it a recumbent bike or an elliptical equipment. In addition, it features 20 pre-installed workout routines.

And unlike other recumbent bikes on the market today, this one has much stronger levels of resistance. So, whether you are a beginner or an advanced-level user, you can fully maximize your workout using this trainer equipment.

This equipment also comes with an iFit Bluetooth feature. And you connect your gadgets effectively. Alongside the iFit application, it has a built-in speaker as well. So, listening to your favorite music is very much available.

And if you are wondering if this equipment is comfortable to use, well, the seats are fully padded and they all come with additional lumbar support. Plus, you can do your workout routine together with your tablet or iPad since it has an integrated tablet holder to secure your gadget.

PROS

  • Perfect for all users of different weight, height, and size
  • 2-in-1 fitness equipment
  • It features a much longer stride length

CONS

  • It is too heavy and too bulky
  • The flywheel weight is rated at 15 lbs only

Actual Reviews

"Absolutely perfect. The assembly wasn't too difficult. I and my wife got it set up in less an hour. It seems well made to. Rock solid after a couple of months. However, you need to be tall to use the bicycle function. My wife is 5"6  but she still cannot reach the lowest setting on the bike."

Exerpeutic 900XL Extended Capacity Recumbent Bike, Under $250 

Exerpeutic is a brand owned and operated by Paradigm Health and Wellness Industries, a company based in Southern California. They have continuously provided innovative fitness products to the market through their extensive brands, one of them Exerpeutic.

The 900XL is one of Exerpeutic’s best creations. In fact, this equipment is tagged as heavyweight in features but lightweight in design.

Overall Build and Design

The Exerpeutic 900XL is one of today’s most popular recumbent bikes. Aside from its cheap costs, it is rated as one of the most effective fitness equipment.

The dimension of this bike is 54” x 34” x 22”. As for its weight, it is rated at 63 lbs. which is pretty lightweight in comparison to other recumbent bikes on the market. Although it is light in its weight, it can still accommodate up to 300 lbs.

It is pretty comfortable too. The seats and backrest are large and cushioned. And they are all ergonomically placed in the structure. So, strains, as you use the equipment is not entirely a matter of concern.

Warranty Terms

One of the biggest drawbacks of the Exerpeutic 900XL is its warranty terms. Apparently, it only comes with a 3-year warranty. And 90-day warranty for its parts and labor. This is very limited in comparison to the 5 and 10 years of warranty terms of the other bikes.

Features

The Exerpeutic 900XL features 8 levels of magnetic resistance. And they are all found to be very reliable. In fact, beginners can really improve their fitness levels just by utilizing these. However, it is not ideal for tenured and advanced-level users.

Aside from the resistance levels, this equipment also features an LCD computer console that lets the users manage and track their calories, speed, and heart rate. And for a price that falls below $250, this is already quite a steal!

As the cheapest product on this list, it really surprised me on how much features can be packed for less than $250. For that price, you already have most of the features included in more expensive recumbent bikes.

The downside, however, is the lack of an internal battery. It would have been better if you can plug it to the wall rather than spend more money buying AA batteries everytime it runs out.

PROS

  • It has a very quiet operation
  • Very affordable
  • Easy and convenient to use

CONS

  • It does not feature preset workout routines
  • It is very difficult to adjust
  • Not ideal for families and groups

Actual Reviews

"The bike is really great, but I do wish that I can easily adjust the seats more. I am smaller than my husband by about 14 inches, so whenever we take turns, it is a hassle to reset the machine again. Still pretty cheap, but very reliable."

Factors To Consider Before Buying The Best Recumbent Exercise Bike

Just like any product on the market today, it is important that you think twice or even thrice before heading out and make a purchase. And in the case of buying recumbent bikes, these products are not entirely cheap. In fact, the lowest price that you may encounter is around $300 or more.

Hence, it is only fitting that you consider first the factors that may affect the overall quality of the product and your buying decisions.

1. Size of the Bike and Your Space

The sizes of exercise bikes today can range from small up to large frames. And there are those types that are foldable and portable. But, there are also bikes that are not really compact. Even so, this aspect is largely dependent on your space.

Accordingly, you are the only one who can assess this factor. So, before purchasing a recumbent bike, you might want to ponder on these questions first:

  • Where will I assemble and place the bike?
  • Is my space enough or do I need a bigger room?
  • Do I need a bike that is portable or not? 
  • Am I going to use it daily or storing it is an option?

By simply knowing and analyzing these things, you will then get to know which recumbent bike might be a perfect fit for you.

2. Price Point and Budget

Another important thing you need to consider is your budget. More than features and looks, you need to find the right recumbent exercise bike that fits your budget.

Don't go overspending on some bikes just because they have innovative and smart features. Sometimes, these bikes are not really reliable in providing the things that you need in your workouts.

Essentially, you may want to stick to your general reasons as to why you are buying a recumbent bike. The stress of buying something far over your budget defeats the health benefits of the bike in the first place.

3. Warranty Terms

And in relation to your budget, considering the warranty and replacement terms are essential variables to regard as well.

Look at how and what the manufacturers do when it comes to replacing defective or worn out parts. If you are going to use your recumbent bike regularly, there is a larger chance for it to break down. So, make sure that you check for parts availability before buying.

More often than not, the brands and manufacturers that offer great and long warranty terms are the ones who have great qualities for bikes. So, I suggest that you check them out.

4. Comfortability and Stability

One of the main things that separate recumbent bikes from upright or spinning exercise bikes is comfortability. But while all recumbent bikes offer the same advantage of putting you in a reclining position and putting your feet level to the ground, they can differ in the level of comfort.

And there are a lot of factors that can affect it, but the most important one is the material of the seats. Some recumbent bikes utilize hard plastic in their seats. Others, however, are lined with upholstery or use a leather cover.

recumbent bike comfortability

Choosing the kind of material for your exercise bikes depends on two factors: the length of time you will be using it and your budget.

If you plan on using the bike for long periods of time, having an upholstered seat would be ideal. Leather is not entirely a good option because it doesn't breathe. In fact, they can give you skin rashes overtime.

You also need to consider your budget, as upholstered seats are more expensive than plastic ones.

5. Features and Specifications

The features and specifications of a recumbent bike are very important factors to regard as well. Apparently, these aspects have a huge impact on how the bike will fit your needs and wants.

Some major features that you may want to put your attention to are the frame weight, size, dimensions, flywheel weight, seats, heart rate and calorie monitors. This is because each of these features plays an important role in identifying the quality and reliability of the bike.

recumbent bike features

One of the important things to keep in mind is that there are recumbent bikes today that are cluttered with “minor” features. These are not entirely useful and they only raise the overall cost.

Nevertheless, it’s not for me to say that these features are bad. But, depending on your preference, they may be either useful or not. Just make sure that you aren't paying extra for features you don't need.

Avoiding Recumbent Bike- Related Injuries 

While recumbent bikes are generally safer, it is possible to have a number of related injuries if you are not careful enough. Here are some of the tips on how you can avoid it.

Do not get too excited 

We know that it can be too exciting to try your new recumbent bike but it is essential that you warm up first. A golden rule one should not forget.

Do not use your bike without properly adjusting it  

Always remember to adjust your bike depending on your needs or suffer from knee and back injuries in the long run.

Don’t overdo it 

If you want to improve, do it gradually so your body can adjust well. If you feel that you are not comfortable with the routine, you might want to stop first.

Remember to cool down  

Most people who are doing indoor routines are always on the rush to go outside. Such can make you feel dizzy. What you can do is to stretch a bit and allow your body to recover before heading out.

The Verdict: The Best Among All

All of the fitness equipment included in this guide are all great and efficient. But, there is only one that stands out the most. And this is the ProForm Hybrid Trainer Pro Elliptical Machine.

proform hybrid trainer pro

Primarily, the ProForm Hybrid Trainer Pro Elliptical Machine is a heavy-duty fitness equipment. You can it use it as a recumbent bike. And you can use it as an elliptical machine as well. So, that is a real advantage.

Secondly, this equipment features much stronger levels of resistance. And this aspect is very important if you really want to focus on improving your workouts and fitness routines. And thirdly, the ProForm Hybrid Trainer Pro Elliptical Machine can accommodate almost all types of body frames and fitness expertise.

But while this equipment is quite expensive, its overall features and specifications can significantly justify its worth.

Now, this might be the best for me. But this does not necessarily mean that this is also the best one for you. It is still important that you consider all the underlying factors. Besides, we all have our own needs and wants.

In the end, your preferences will be the one that should matter. And this guide is just a tool that you can use in order for you to narrow down your choices and make a better buying decision!


You May Also Like