Best Recumbent Exercise Bikes for Seniors

Best recumbent exercise bikes
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As we reach our golden years, it is more important than ever that we continue to engage in a healthy and active lifestyle. But as it would happen, this sometimes becomes less simple as our bodies become less able to do the things that we once took for granted.

That being said, there are many ways in which seniors can remain active without having to experience discomfort or a challenge.

In this article, we are going to look at the recumbent bike which is an excellent exercise option for seniors. We’ll also be exploring some of the best recumbent exercise bikes that are currently on the market, giving you a great choice of equipment to help you keep fit and stay active.

Contents

Best Recumbent Exercise Bikes Comparison Chart

Here’s a handy reference list of our reviewed recumbent exercise bikes. Further below is a more comprehensive comparison and review guide.

Schwinn 270 Recumbent Exercise Bike Marcy ME-709 Recumbent Exercise Bike Nautilus r616 Recumbent Exercise Bike Exerpeutic 900xl Recumbent Bike
Resistance Levels 25 8 25 8
Workout Programs 29 1 29 1
Weight Capacity 300 lbs 300 lbs 300 lbs 300 lbs
Display LCD display (distance, RPM, calories burned, resistance, speed, time) LCD display (speed, distance, time, calories burned) LCD display (Speed, time, RPM, resistance, heart rate, calories burned, distance) LCD Display (speed, time elapsed, distance, pulse, MPH, calories burned)
App Compatible Yes No Yes No
Bluetooth Connectivity Yes No Yes No
Heart Rate Contact and telemetry enabled No Contact and Telemetry Enabled Yes
Bike Dimensions 64" (L) x 27" (W) x 50" (H) 55.5" (L) x 25" (W) x 37.5" (H) 65.3" (L) x 28.3" (W) x 49.6" (H) 54" (L) x 22" (W) x "34 (H)
Product Weight 86.6 lbs 61 lbs 91.9 lbs 70 lbs
Price Check Price Check Price Check Price Check Price

What is a Recumbent Bike?

Essentially, the main difference where a recumbent bike is concerned is the position of the user. Unlike a traditional upright exercise cycle, in which the user sits in an upright position, a recumbent bike allows the rider to recline backward, which has many benefits. But we will look at these in a little more detail later on.

A recumbent bike features a backrest which can make the experience much more comfortable, especially for those who may struggle without support. Your body sits more within the frame of the bike as opposed to above it like an upright bike.

In addition to seating, a recumbent bike differs from an upright cycle in that the pedal placement is vastly different. An upright cycle tends to have pedals that are placed directly below the feet whereas the recumbent bike’s pedals are placed in front of the body so that the legs are stretched out a little more than they would be with a traditional bike.

Is a Recumbent Bike Good Exercise for Seniors?

If you have reached your senior years and have found that you are unable to enjoy an upright bike as easily as you once did, a recumbent bike could be a viable alternative. There are many reasons that this type of exercise equipment works well for older people, the main one being that they offer greater support with backrests and reclining seats. In turn, this means that using the bike is much more comfortable than a traditional option. Many recumbent bikes come with seats that would rival even the comfiest office chair!

Furthermore, you are given superior support which will reduce muscle aches and the fatigue often experienced when using a more traditional version of the cycle. Many older people may experience a strain on the back when using an upright cycle but thanks to the optimal lower back support on a recumbent cycle, any back strain is vastly reduced.

It’s no secret that as we age, our ability to get up and down is hindered, this can make mounting a regular bike somewhat difficult. However, due to the lower placement of the seat in a recumbent bike, this form of exercise is far more accessible for seniors.

Since the pedal placement is so different, and the overall bike design is aimed at comfort and support, you will notice that there is far less stress on your joints, even whilst moving. This is perfect for those who may be struggling with conditions such as arthritis. Doing this type of exercise can drastically slow down the aging process since it promotes better health of the connective tissues.

Whether we want to admit it or not, our balance tends to go a little as we get older but this shouldn’t mean that exercise is out of the question. Using an upright bike could come with a risk of falling or having an accident but a recumbent cycle greatly reduces this risk, making your work out a lot safer and allowing you to feel more confident.

Research has shown that exercise can have a deeply positive impact on your mental health and since between 22-28% of older people are affected by depression and other mental health conditions, staying active has never been more important. Using a recumbent bike will have more benefits than just the physical ones.

What Muscles Does a Recumbent Bike Work?

You may think that a recumbent bike works only the leg muscles and whilst these muscles are getting a good workout, other parts of the body can be put through their paces too.

Most notably, the hands can be free to engage in other activities whilst using a recumbent exercise bike so you might decide to do some gentle weight lifting to work out the muscles of the upper body.

It is important to remember that a recumbent bike will not give you a core workout so if you are seeking this type of exercise, you should combine your recumbent cycling with other forms of exercise.

As a cardio workout, a recumbent bike is extremely good which is vital as we get older. Promoting good heart health can have a vast impact on your general health.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Recumbent Bike

The recumbent bike you choose will depend on a number of factors and since there are so many options when it comes to this type of exercise equipment, it pays to think about your abilities and how you will use the bike before making a selection. Here are some important factors you may want to consider:

Build Quality

You want to be sure that the recumbent bike that you choose has been constructed to a high standard. The build quality of the equipment could be the difference between a bike that lasts you for many years and one which won’t stand through more than a few workouts.

Thankfully, there is a good array of high-quality recumbent bikes on the market. Furthermore, a decent quality bike will be much safer to use, this is especially important if you are new to using this type of equipment as you will need something that is stable and durable. You should look for a bike that is made from good quality steel and that does not squeak or creak when you are using it.

Dimensions/Footprint

Before you purchase your recumbent bike, it pays to think about where you will be placing it. The good news is that there are varying sizes of the recumbent bike but due to their nature, they can be much larger than an upright cycle. This is important as having a larger footprint will offer greater stability.

Be sure that the model you are choosing will fit into the intended space. However, you should also think about how much space you will need for mounting and dismounting the equipment.

There are some recumbent bikes that have the ability to fold away in between uses and whilst this will save some space, the footprint of the folded bike may still be quite large.

Resistance Level

Many recumbent exercise bikes come with magnetic tension resistance and it has been demonstrated time and time again that this will provide a much smoother experience, so if this is something that is important to you, it is worth looking for a bike with this feature.

Some of the best recumbent bikes come with a selection of exercise programs so you can alter the resistance and mix up your workout routine.

Seat & Backrest

One of the main reasons that a recumbent bike is the preferred option for seniors over an upright cycle is that they are much more comfortable so it is definitely advisable to check out the seat and backrest to ensure that they will give you optimum comfort.

The best seats will feature a good amount of padding, which is of particular importance if you are planning to use the bike for longer periods of time and can mean that the seat will offer your better support.

Additionally, you should check that the backrest is suitable for your needs, of course, one which can be adjusted is by far the best option. Some backrests also feature a mesh material which is breathable, will keep you cool, and is quick drying.

Console/Display

The display should be easy to use with a clear control panel but should also display enough relevant information. If the display is backlit, this can be perfect for if the lighting in the room is not very bright and can allow you to view the information at all times. This is a common feature of most modern recumbent bikes.

Many models also come with a tablet or phone holder which will allow you to display a YouTube workout or a movie to watch whilst you exercise, for example.

Heart Rate Monitor

The information you see on a heart rate monitor will vary greatly depending on the model of bike you have chosen. Some will simply display your beats per minute whereas some of the more sophisticated heart rate monitors will show data such as a target heart rate and how much time was spent working out at this rate.

Not only is a heart rate monitor good for reaching your targets which can provide a more effective workout but it is also important for ensuring a safe workout. Be sure to look for a recumbent exercise bike that has a heart rate monitor that clearly displays all the relevant information.

Best Recumbent Exercise Bikes for Seniors

Once you are confident that you know what to look for in a recumbent exercise bike, you are given a whole world of options to choose from. We have put together some reviews of what we think are the best recumbent bikes available today.

1. Schwinn 270 Recumbent Exercise Bike

Best Overall Recumbent Exercise Bike

Key Features

  • Resistance levels: 25
  • Workout programs: 29
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs
  • App compatible: Yes
  • Bluetooth connectivity: Yes
  • Heart rate: Contact and telemetry enabled
  • Bike dimensions: 64" (L) x 27" (W) x 50" (H)
  • Product weight: 86.6 lbs

This is a very sturdy recumbent bike that doesn’t have a huge footprint so will work well in smaller spaces. What’s more, this is ideal for a range of people thanks to the generous 300lb weight capacity. Where build quality is concerned, you won’t get anything much more stable than this, and not only is it durable but it is also super comfortable.

You have the option to choose from a unique individual workout or to use one of the 29 pre-installed workouts so you’re getting a very diverse piece of equipment to say the least. These workouts are all displayed on a top of the range dual LCD screen which is fully backlit so you can exercise in all levels of lights. You will also see a range of metrics and data displayed on the screen so you can keep track of your workout.

The bike has been designed for easy start-up so getting going is never going to be a challenge but what’s more, it boasts a very quiet function for a much quieter exercise regime.

If you are looking for a good first recumbent bike then this would be an excellent place to start since it has all the features of a good bike and it is easy to use.

2. Marcy ME-709 Recumbent Exercise Bike

Best Compact-Sized Recumbent Bike

Key Features

  • Resistance levels: 8
  • Workout programs: 1
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs
  • App compatible: No
  • Bluetooth connectivity: No
  • Heart rate: No
  • Bike dimensions: 55.5" (L) x 25" (W) x 37.5" (H)
  • Product weight: 61 lbs

In terms of aesthetics, this is a very sleek, attractive looking recumbent exercise bike so it’s definitely one to consider if you’re looking to make your workout room easy on the eye. However, whilst looking good is great, functionality and performance are far more important, and it’s not difficult to be impressed with all that this bike has to offer.

It features magnetic resistance and 8 different resistance levels so you are in full control over the intensity of your workout. What’s more, the resistance can be easily altered with the use of a simple turning knob.

The seat is fully adjustable so you can alter it to a position that suits you, offering a much more comfortable experience. The pedals also feature straps to keep your feet safe and comfortable whilst you exercise.

The display is extremely clear and comes on a small yet detailed screen which offers information on calories burned, time, distance, and speed, so it’s pretty versatile.

The bike has a weight capacity of 300lbs so is suitable for a wide range of body types. But this doesn’t mean that the bike is large and bulky. The opposite is, in fact, true, and the bike has been designed to be compact with a smaller footprint that doesn’t compromise on stability.

Due to its compact design, this is the perfect recumbent bike for older adults who do not have a lot of space in the home.

3. Nautilus r616 Recumbent Exercise Bike

Best Recumbent Bike for Connectivity

Key Features

  • Resistance levels: 25
  • Workout programs: 29
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs
  • App compatible: Yes
  • Bluetooth connectivity: Yes
  • Heart rate: Contact and Telemetry Enabled
  • Bike dimensions: 65.3" (L) x 28.3" (W) x 49.6" (H)
  • Product weight: 91.9 lbs

One of the most notable features of this recumbent exercise bike is that it has a Bluetooth capability meaning that it can be linked up to some of the most popular health apps – just because we are seniors, it does not mean that we cannot make the most of what modern technology has to offer. You might even decide to take advantage of the included app which allows you to virtually navigate through some beautiful tracks, all complete with full monitoring.

The bike boasts 29 different workout routines which are displayed on a very impressive looking backlit LCD screen for easy viewing.

Where comfort is concerned, the bike is unrivalled thanks to the breathable seat back and padding on the seat which makes for a truly luxurious ride. Furthermore, the seat is fully adjustable on a sliding mechanism which makes changing the position of the seat a breeze.

This is the ideal recumbent bike for seniors who want that little extra something in terms of technology and gadgets.

4. Exerpeutic 900xl Recumbent Exercise Bike

Best Budget Recumbent Bike

Key Features

  • Resistance levels: 8
  • Workout programs: 1
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs
  • App compatible: No
  • Bluetooth connectivity: No
  • Heart rate: Yes
  • Bike dimensions: 54" (L) x 22" (W) x "34 (H)
  • Product weight: 70 lbs

This recumbent bike is ideal for the larger user since it has a good weight capacity of 300lb but also features a larger seat that is ideal for those who may need a little extra support and comfort. The backrest on this bike is also much larger, so offers superior support for those who may have problems with the lower back.

The design of this bike is very sturdy but also super-lightweight so is perfect for those who may need to move the equipment from one place to another. It’s also relatively compact so will fit well into tighter spaces.

The bike boasts magnetic resistance, which we know is essential in a quality recumbent cycle but also makes for a more challenging workout when the moment calls for it.

It also has hand pads which pick up your heart rate and everything is neatly displayed on a compact yet detailed LCD computer.

Conclusion

A recumbent exercise bike is a great way for older adults to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle and can mean the difference between not only improved physical health, but also better mental health too.

Recumbent bikes offer greater comfort and support owing to their reclined seat and perfectly placed pedals which make them an excellent choice for seniors who want to work out.

Carefully considering a variety of factors can help you to choose the best recumbent cycle for your needs and get you on your way to many active later years.

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Jackie

Jackie

Jackie is a passionate advocate for keeping people with all types of mobility problems active. After suffering complications after a knee replacement she knew that she wanted to remain as active as before her numerous operations. Her passion is to advise others on how to be able to lead a fulfilling and independent life no matter what disability they may have.

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