5 Best Recumbent Bikes in 2020

Last updated: February 18, 2020
BEST OVERALL
Powerful, Ergonomic, Premium Build Quality
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BEST BUDGET
Affordable, Light, Practical, Durable
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BEST FOR HOME
Quiet, Small, User-friendly, Versatile
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BEST FOR KIDS
Very Stylish, Unique, Safe, Fun
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BEST FOR SENIORS
Comfortable, Quiet, Versatile, Easy to Assemble
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Your guide

A recumbent bike is a big purchase. Most come at a hefty price point, and they tend to last for at least a couple of years. Making sure you pick the right model is of the utmost importance – so it pays to be prepared.

Recumbent bikes vary in size, complexity, and purpose. Some are more geared towards a casual audience, while others wouldn’t be out of place in a high-end gym. Before you decide to purchase, make sure to have a good, objective overview of your needs so that you can pick a bike that meets your own criteria.

Top 5 Recumbent Bikes

We’ve all become keenly aware of the importance of exercise. Staying in shape can be a great motivator, but for most of us, the state of our health and wellbeing is something we think about each day regardless.

There’s no shortcut or convenient way to sidestep exercising. Exercising is important, it can even be quite enjoyable – but truth be told, it isn’t easy. Even if you’ve gotten used to physical activity, scheduling and setting aside the time for a workout can be difficult.

man and woman using exercise recumbent bikes

However, there are ways to make exercising more easily accessible and convenient. A well-made recumbent bike can help you burn off calories or clock in those extra miles from the comfort of your own home. This is a great way to enjoy the benefits of aerobic exercise without the usual hassle.

We’ve prepared a list of five great recumbent bikes that guarantee top of the line performance. We looked at size, tension settings, weight capacity, and special features when selecting our top picks. If you prefer exercising at home, check out our guide on some other types of exercise bikes as well.

1. Best Overall - Nautilus R618

Specifications:

  • Weight Capacity → 325 lbs
  • Dimensions → 67.3 x 26.4 x 48.8 inches
  • Tension Settings → 25
  • Product Weight → 92 lbs

Key Features:

  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Integrated handlebar controls
  • Adjustable console
  • Dynamic recline gel seat

Nautilus R618 Review

The Nautilus R618 is a premium exercise machine built to meet and even surpass the expectations of the most rigorous and demanding customer. It’s top of the line, in every respect.

If you are free of budgetary restraints and want to enjoy the very best of what recumbent bikes can offer, this is the product you’re after. It combines high-quality materials, flawless design, and state-of-the-art technology into a single package that is a force to be reckoned with.

Now that first impression is out of the way, let’s dive into the details which made the R618 our pick for the coveted position of the best recumbent bike overall.

Impressive Design 😍

The R618 features a simple, clean design that favors utility over flashiness. When assembled, it weighs a decent 92 lbs. The materials used to make it are sturdy and solid – but without being unbearably heavy. The R618 is on the larger side when it comes to recumbent bikes – but it manages to retain elegance and balance.

The dynamic recline gel seat is quite large and comfortable. Two chrome cranks located under the seat on either side can be used to adjust the position of the seat. The weighted pedals are large enough to accommodate most shoe sizes and provide a good amount of firm footing. The pedals also include adjustable straps.

The backrest is made out of sturdy, high-quality plastic, and has a nice curve to it. It isn’t adjustable, which is a minor drawback – but this won’t cause you any trouble. The multi-position handlebars are comfortable and allow for a sturdy grip.

The bottom of the large console features a powerful yet quiet fan, which is a nice and surprising feature. The console also has built-in speakers, as well as USB and stereo audio ports.

Adaptability and Feedback 🔄

The R618 uses a magnetic resistance system, which has 25 different settings. These settings can be changed using the console – but, if you want to pick up the pace in the middle of a session, the handlebars also include integrated incline and resistance controls which are easy to get used to.

The dual backlit console also allows you to choose one of 29 workout programs. If none of them appeal to you, don’t worry – the programs can be customized and tweaked. The R618 also supports up to 4 distinct user profiles, making it a great choice for couples or families.

The R618 also features a chest strap that can monitor your heart rate and wirelessly transmit it to the console. If that’s not your style, the comfortable hand grips also double as heart rate monitors. Beyond that, the R618 also measures time, distance traveled, and calories spent.

High-end, High-tech🛰️

We rounded off the last segment by talking about the R618’s ability to provide you with valuable, actionable feedback. The R618 also features several high-tech options that make it even more useful in this regard.

The R618 supports Bluetooth connectivity, allowing up to 4 users to sync with the apps on their devices. Nautilus also have their own fitness app, Nautilus Trainer 2 – but the bike can sync with other popular apps such as MyFitnessPal and Apple Health through Nautilus’ web site.

This connectivity is a useful tool, one which allows you to set goals and monitor progress more easily. But the R618 has another trick up its sleeve, technology-wise. We’re talking about RideSocial, a unique mixed-reality app that lets you enjoy video routes from around the world from the comfort of your home.

It’s an interesting addition – one that makes us wonder about the future of biking, exercise, and VR. When all is said and done, the Nautilus R618 is a striking, remarkable product. If you’re serious about exercising at home and need a top of the line recumbent bike to give your workouts an extra edge, the R618 deserves serious consideration.

Pros
  • Fantastic design
  • Incredibly comfortable
  • Lots of settings and programs
  • Compatible with fitness apps
Cons
  • Front handlebars too short for tall people
  • Expensive

2. Best Budget - Marcy ME-709

Specifications:

  • Weight Capacity → 300 lbs
  • Dimensions → 55.5 x 25 x 37.5 inches
  • Tension Settings → 8
  • Product Weight → 60 lbs

Key Features:

  • Sturdy steel construction
  • Light and user-friendly
  • Comfortable padded seat
  • Easy to read LCD screen

Marcy ME-709 Review

Purchasing a recumbent bike can seem daunting. Most recumbent bikes aren’t exactly cheap. But the market is full of affordable, quality products that get the job done without breaking the bank. Our next pick is aimed at those that are looking for a smooth transition into the world of recumbent bikes.

Marcy’s ME-709 is a fine choice if you’re on a budget, or a beginner looking to test the waters. It’s comfortable, reliable, and well-built. The mixture of solid performance and bargain price make it an excellent starting point.

Great Build Quality 🔝

Don’t let the humble price tag fool you – Marcy didn’t cut any corners or take any shortcuts with the design and construction of this bike. It’s a well-thought-out piece of kit that will serve you dutifully for years to come.

The 709 is made from durable 14-gauge steel tubing, guaranteeing stability even during the most intense cardio sessions. The steel body of the bike has a powder-coated finish that is resistant to wear and tear.

You might be tempted to think that this means the 709 is a dense, heavy piece of equipment – but it weighs only 60 pounds, which is on the low end of the spectrum for recumbent bikes.

The bike also has a large padded foam seat that ensures maximum comfort. The contoured foam handles provide additional support, allowing for proper form when exercising.

Simple, Convenient Design 👍

The 709 is equipped with a set of wheels, making it easier to maneuver. The relatively small size of the 709 makes it unobtrusive – it’s easy to find enough floor space for it, or move it out of the way when you’re not using it.

The 709 does require some assembly, but overall, it is easy to put together. The instruction manual is simple and easy to follow, and the entire process shouldn’t take more than two hours.

The length of the bike is also adjustable – depending on your needs, the distance from the front stabilizer to the rear stabilizer can be set at anything from 39 to 49 inches.

The step-through design of the bike makes for easy mounting and dismounting, while also minimizing strain on the knees and back. The comfortable counterbalanced pedals are weighed and provide solid footing and control even with high-intensity sessions. The pedals also come with adjustable foot straps for an even greater degree of control.

Solid Performance, Meaningful Metrics 📈

The fact that the ME-709 is an entry-level product shouldn’t discourage you. It offers admirable performance and can handle tough workout sessions on a daily level. With enough dedication, the humble 709 can take you far – perhaps not literally, but far closer to your fitness goals.

Marcy’s recumbent bike uses a magnetic resistance system that offers 8 levels of tension. The mechanism is controlled using the tension knob which is located under the LCD screen. Providing a leisurely pace on a recumbent bike is easy – but to Marcy’s credit, the more difficult settings truly are difficult, faithfully recreating the experience of slopes and rough terrain.

The ME-709 can also provide you with valuable feedback regarding your workouts. The LCD screen displays information in a large font, making it easy to read even while working out. The ME-709 can track time, speed, calories burned, and distance traveled. These metrics are a great way to keep track of your progress and set goals.

The Marcy ME-709 might lack some of the fancier additions that high-end models have, but it’s unquestionably a high-quality product. In its price range, it is unbeatable.

Pros
  • Great value
  • Easy to assemble
  • Small size
  • Durable
Cons
  • Difficult to adjust the seat
  • Relatively low amount of settings

3. Best for Home - Schwinn 270

Specifications:

  • Weight Capacity → 300 lbs
  • Dimensions → 64 x 27.7 x 49.9 inches
  • Tension Settings → 25
  • Product Weight → 86.6lbs

Key Features:

  • Built-in speakers
  • 4 user profiles
  • 29 workout programs
  • Ventilated seat

Schwinn 270 Review

If you’re looking for a versatile, modern, quiet recumbent bike, the Schwinn 270 merits your attention. The sturdy construction, comfortable seating, and modern design make it a great choice for any home. The wide range of settings allows the 270 to meet the needs of casual users and experienced fans of fitness alike.

The Schwinn 270 is well-made and offers solid performance, but that’s not what got it onto this list. Everything about it was designed with real, tangible practicality in mind. That practicality, along with the ability to seamlessly support multiple user profiles, is what made the Schwinn 270 our pick in the best for a home category.

Solid Design 🤩

The Schwinn 270 is quite light, weighing in at just under 87 pounds. But make no mistake – this is a tough, robust bike that will perform admirably for years. It can handle users up to 300 lbs in weight.

The 270 features a convenient walk-through design that ensures easier mounting and dismounting, and also reduces strain on the back and knees. The large contoured seat is padded and comfortable. The seat is adjustable – it can be moved across the aluminum rail underneath it – but overall it sits quite low off the ground.

Both the front and rear handlebars are relatively short, but they are placed in a way that ensures you’ll always have something to hold on to. When combined with the 270’s sturdy construction and center support, this adds up to a lot of stability.

The flywheel of the Schwinn 270 weighs 17 pounds. The pedals are a bit on the small side, but they are durable and include adjustable straps. The 3-crank pedal system, combined with the light flywheel ensures consistent, smooth, and quiet pedaling.

Versatile Settings 🔄

On the performance side of things, the Schwinn 270 is well-equipped to adapt to a variety of needs. The magnetic resistance system features 25 settings. The difference in difficulty between adjacent settings is small, but those small increments allow for a lot of variety.

The 270 also comes with 29 exercise programs. Some of these are fitness tests, while others are profile workouts or heart rate control workouts. Users can also save up to four custom programs of their own design.

These features make the 270 a reliable, convenient, and easy to use recumbent bike that can take a lot of guesswork out of your workout routine. The wide variety of settings makes the 270 fun to use – acing a fitness test or surpassing your own routine is a great way to stay motivated and enjoy yourself.

The Schwinn 270 also features a large console with two LCD displays. The console allows you to easily change the resistance or incline settings. The LCD displays are quite bright, and the large font makes it easy to read the information that is displayed. The screens also display metrics such as speed, distance, heart rate, and calories burned.

Convenient and Practical 👍

The biggest selling point of the 270 is the fact that it supports up to four user profiles. This is quite a rare feature, but it’s what sets the 270 apart from the competition. This allows the 270 to offer its full functionality to more people.

Progress and metrics matter – and the ability to save separate sets of such data is invaluable. The multi-user profile system also allows the entire family to tweak and customize their own workout routines.

But this feature, important as it may be, is just a reflection of the 270’s design philosophy. It truly is a product made for the home – every step was taken to ensure maximum convenience and practicality.

The rear handlebars double as heart rate monitors, while the seat and backrest are ventilated. Schwinn went above and beyond when ventilation is concerned – the 270 also features a three-speed cooling fan. For added comfort, a side-mounted water bottle holder was also included in the design.

The console includes a USB port, as well as built-in speakers for enjoying your favorite tunes. The 270 is compatible with the Schwinn trainer app which can be linked to MyFitnessPal, as well as the mixed-reality RideSocial app.

The Schwinn 270 is a rare breed. It offers solid performance, deep customization as well as a lot of versatility and convenience. Combined into one impressive package, these traits make the 270 our top pick for a home recumbent bike. And if exercising at home is your thing, check out our Peloton bike review.

Pros
  • Durable
  • Quiet
  • Adaptable
  • Convenient
Cons
  • Heart rate monitors can be inaccurate
  • Uncomfortable for anyone over 6 feet tall

4. Best for Kids - Mobo Cruiser Triton

Specifications:

  • Weight Capacity → 200 lbs
  • Dimensions → 26.5 x 25 x 41 inches
  • Seat height → 11 inches
  • Product Weight → 39lbs

Key Features:

  • Adjustable frame
  • Chainless chassis
  • Durable steel construction
  • Ergonomic seat

Mobo Cruiser Triton Review

Most recumbent bikes can’t be used by kids on account of their size. So, is it possible for children to enjoy the benefits that recumbent bikes provide in any way?

This is where our next product comes in. We’re sort of bending the rules here – it’s technically a trike, and unlike the rest of our list, it isn’t stationary. But the Mobo Triton is a very unique product that can help your child form healthy habits in a relaxed, entertaining way.

Safe and Sturdy 🚴

The Mobo Triton is made out of durable high-tensile steel. The chainless design is low maintenance – it requires very little upkeep and will last for years. The tough frame of the trike is extendable, and can accommodate children with heights ranging from 3’8” to 5’2”. The sturdy frame has a weight capacity of 200 pounds, and the Triton is designed for kids ages 7 to 12.

The three-wheel setup makes the Triton exceptionally stable. The 12-inch rear wheels and 16-inch front wheel are durable and made to last. The seat sits 11 inches off the ground, minimizing the risks that falling poses.

The Triton also features caliper hand brakes and a safety flag for added visibility. To keep your kids even safer, we recommend you to get them a bike helmet.

Fun and Comfortable 😊

The ergonomic recumbent seat is large and comfortable, and it provides a lot of evenly distributed back support. The low frame and seating position do take some getting used to, but after a couple of days, it’s just like riding a bike.

The Triton features a dual-joystick steering system that is easy to use. It offers a lot of mobility, and requires only simple hand motions for smooth turning or reversing. This method is beneficial for both hand-to-eye coordination, as well as arm and leg strength.

The Triton is a unique product that can help children enjoy low impact cardiovascular exercise. It makes for a memorable gift – one that is fun, safe, and easy to use. What better way to introduce a child to the world of exercise and biking?

Pros
  • Safe and stable
  • Adjustable frame
  • Simple steering
  • Low maintenance
Cons
  • No pedal straps
  • Only meant for flat, paved and gently sloped surfaces

5. Best for Seniors - ProGear 555LXT

Specifications:

  • Weight Capacity → 250 lbs
  • Dimensions → 49 x 22 x 43 inches
  • Tension Settings → 14
  • Product Weight → 60 lbs

Key Features:

  • Cushioned backrest
  • Step-through design
  • Transportation wheels
  • LCD screen

ProGear 555LXT Review

Exercise is no less important for senior citizens. Physical activity can help make retirement a healthier, happier period for you or your loved ones. Recumbent bikes are the most convenient way to enjoy the benefits of aerobic exercise.

But in the case of seniors, not just any old bike will do. Build quality and features matter, of course, but for this pick, design was the most important metric. A recumbent bike that is well suited for seniors has to be comfortable and provide a customizable range of motion and resistance.

The ProGear 555LXT fits the bill. It’s a great bike that can help seniors safely take advantage of cardiovascular exercise.

Safe, Comfortable, Convenient 💡

It’s no secret that old age brings with itself a host of special considerations. For seniors that want to exercise, safety and comfort are the two biggest priorities. Convenience also matters, but more as an added bonus than a priority.

The ProGear 555LXT features a safe and convenient step-through design that makes it easy to get on or off the bike. Mounting and dismounting are the two riskiest moments in any exercise session – even more so for those that may be dealing with limited mobility or joint pain.

So, getting on or off the bike is safe and easy. But what about actually working out? You’ll be happy to hear that the answer is the same. The 555 is convenient and easy to use, owing to a variety of smart design choices.

The comfortable cushioned seat is large and well padded. The backrest is also cushioned and quite large, providing plenty of much-needed lower back support. The soft grip recumbent handlebars are ergonomically designed and sturdy, allowing for even more stability.

The seat of the 555LXT can be adjusted to fit your needs. This is doubly important for seniors – it’s important to exercise in a comfortable, safe range of motion.

The pedals of the 555LXT are oversized – but this was done on purpose. The large size of the pedals, together with the adjustable foot straps, guarantees a maximum of safety. This comes at the cost of performance – but setting record-breaking laps isn’t a priority here.

Practical and Adaptable 👍

The ProGear 555LXT is very light, weighing in at just 60 pounds. A set of transportation wheels makes for easy relocation, and the small size of the bike means that finding enough space for it won’t be an issue.

The bike does require some assembly, but the instructions are clear and easy to follow. All in all, the process shouldn’t take more than one hour. Adjusting the seat is easy, and the bike can accommodate users from 5’0 to 6’3” tall.

The 555LXT features a magnetic tension system that has 14 levels of resistance. Such a wide range of settings allows seniors to exercise at a comfortable pace and difficulty, gradually amping up the resistance if needed. The quiet drive belt system guarantees smooth, even, and noiseless action, even at high speeds.

The wide LCD screen clearly displays information and can track time, speed, distance, calories burned, and heart rate per minute. The 555LXT lacks Bluetooth support, but the basic metrics that it offers should be enough for seniors. The console also has three basic workout goal settings, focusing on distance, time, and calories burned.

The LCD screen also has a built-in smartphone/tablet holder, allowing you to enjoy your favorite music or media while exercising. On the other end of a bike, a water bottle holder allows you to always keep refreshments at arms’ length.

The 555LXT was made with real people and real issues in mind. It’s a great product that combines solid features and common sense design. Off all the recumbent bikes we’ve reviewed, it’s the best choice for seniors.

Pros
  • Adjustable
  • Comfortable
  • Convenient
  • Safe
Cons
  • Rudimentary workout plans
  • Limited feedback and metrics

Recumbent Bikes: Frequently Asked Questions

Can Using a Recumbent Bike Strengthen Muscles?

Yes. Exercising with a recumbent bike will tone your leg muscles. If your goal is to strengthen your muscles, you should experiment with more difficult incline and resistance settings. Recumbent bikes can help strengthen your calves, quadriceps, and hamstrings.

Are Recumbent Bikes Good for Losing Weight?

Yes. Recumbent bikes are a great, practical way to burn calories using an aerobic exercise from the comfort of your home. If weight loss is your goal, focus on maintaining an elevated heart-rate for extended periods. When paired with a proper diet and adequate rest, recumbent bikes can be a powerful tool at your disposal.

Can Recumbent Bikes Help With Knee Pain?

Recumbent bikes are a great way to exercise without putting undue stress on your knees. Using a recumbent bike guarantees a full range of motion, and can help strengthen the muscles that support your knees.

A comfortable seat and backrest take most of the weight off your knee joints, allowing you to exercise safely. If you have knee issues and plan on using a recumbent bike, start with the lower tension settings, slowly working your way up to a comfortable level.

Is It Healthy to Use a Recumbent Bike Every Day?

Absolutely! Recumbent bikes are completely safe, and put much less strain on your joints when compared to regular bikes or treadmills. Using a recumbent bike every day is perfectly safe and healthy, so long as you also include some upper body exercise into your overall routine.

How Long Should My Recumbent Bike Workouts Be?

The answer depends greatly on your personal goals. However, as a general rule of thumb, you should try to exercise for at least 30 minutes at a moderate pace each day using a recumbent bike. This level of activity will both burn calories, improve your endurance, and strengthen your cardiovascular health.

5 Best Recumbent Bikes in 2020: Top Picks — Bike Hacks