Three Features You Need in a Recumbent Exercise Bike

If you like to squeeze in a little exercise whenever you can, a recumbent bike in your home is a terrific solution, especially when the weather outside turns nasty.

Woman on exercise bike
Recumbent bikes are comfortable, easy to use, and a great way to keep your pulse high while you’re doing something as simple as watching television.Nautilus

One of the great things about training on a bicycle is that it’s easy on your joints. But the upright posture of an exercise bike doesn’t suit everyone. Narrow seats may be uncomfortable, and conditions such as arthritis can make a traditional training bike more painful than beneficial. That’s were recumbent exercise bikes shine. The reclined posture reduces stress on the lower back, shoulders, and arms while focusing effort where you want it—on the legs and lungs. If you like cycling but find an upright bike uncomfortable, a recumbent trainer may be the best alternative. Here are a few features to look for.

Schwinn Recumbent Bike Series
The key to any workout is the amount of resistance, so select a bike with enough settings to accommodate your routine.Schwinn

The key feature of any workout equipment is the ability to produce resistance. On a recumbent bike, that force is delivered by the flywheel, which should have smooth start-up inertia and offer as many adjustments as possible. If those refinements can be made both on the monitor and from the hand rests, so much the better. Pre-set workouts are great if you want to set it and forget it, but if you like to go at your own pace, be sure the resistance level can also be manually increased or decreased.


ProForm 235 CSX Recumbent Bike
If you plan to spend a healthy amount of time on your machine, make sure it has enough apps to keep your mind entertained.ProForm

Like upright bikes and stair trainers, high-end recumbent bikes are equipped with sophisticated routines that allow you to set your own pace or use a pre-programmed workout that will help measure results against your goals. Many come with Bluetooth and Internet connectivity so that the user can dial up anything from international training partners to entertainment while pumping the pedals. For the ultimate home-training experience, some even allow integration with your VR headset for a true “mixed reality” workout.

Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance
Find a frame that’s suited for your body or you will be uncomfortable or in pain through your entire workout.Marcy

Leg and arm length, body weight, and virtually every other metric of physical stature influence your comfort on a recumbent bike. Therefore, it’s critical to invest in equipment that is compatible with your body type. Look for multiple adjustment points in the hand-rest position, the distance of seat from flywheel, and even angle of tilt on the monitor. All of these features will influence how accommodating the bike is to your body type and workout style.

ADVERTISEMENT