Best recumbent exercise bike

Fitness Equipment

Since you’ll be seated the entire time, you’ll want to make sure your prospective recumbent exercise bike has the most comfortable seat possible; look for things like padding and perforation, and especially adjustability.

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Which recumbent exercise bikes are best?

If running or a regular exercise bike are painful on your knees, or you don’t have a long enough space for a rowing machine, then a recumbent exercise bike might be the perfect solution for your fitness needs. 

You have a lot of options when it comes to recumbent exercise bikes, so choosing the right one can be tricky. One of the best recumbent exercise bikes is the Nautilus R618 Recumbent Exercise Bike. It’s built to handle the needs of a professional cyclist without leaving new or casual cyclists behind, plus the seating is padded and perforated for maximum comfort.

What to know before you buy a recumbent exercise bike

Size and accommodation

Consider how much space you have available for a recumbent exercise bike in your home. Many recumbent exercise bike models can be folded when not in use, though bear in mind that even when folded, a recumbent exercise bike will take up a good amount of space.

You also need to consider that recumbent exercise bikes have height and weight limits, which, while not strict, can negatively impact your comfort if you exceed them. Most recumbent exercise bikes are designed for riders up to 6 feet tall and 300 pounds, though there are models that can accommodate those who exceed those measurements.


Most recumbent exercise bikes don’t have handles, as the majority of your balance is accomplished by sitting. Some models do have them at the sides, especially those with heart rate monitors, which take measurements from your hands as you grip them. A few recumbent exercise bikes can also have armrests and even hand pedals for an upper-arm workout.


Whether you find a recumbent exercise bike comfortable will largely depend on its seat’s backrest, ventilation and padding.

  • Backrest: Riders with back pain might appreciate an adjustable backrest, as the angle of some bikes’ nonadjustable backrests may prove uncomfortable.
  • Ventilation: Having a perforated backing to your seat allows air to flow, a feature that those riding their recumbent exercise bikes for longer sessions might appreciate.
  • Padding: You’d be surprised at the number of recumbent exercise bikes that have no seat padding. Make sure your prospective recumbent exercise bike includes at least some level of padding to the seat if you intended to use it regularly or for long sessions.

What to look for in a quality recumbent exercise bike

Heart rate monitor

Monitoring your heart rate is an excellent way to judge just how intense your workout is. With a recumbent exercise bike that includes a heart rate monitor, typically installed in the handles of the recumbent exercise bike, you won’t need to purchase any secondary equipment. Plus, the results will be displayed right in front of you.

How much you can expect to spend on a recumbent exercise bike

Recumbent exercise bikes can cost as little as $100 or as much as $1,000. Recumbent exercise bikes under $300 don’t offer much resistance or bonuses and generally just focus on getting the job done. For $300 and up to $600 you’ll find more resistance options and extras like cup holders or heart monitors. The $600-to-$1,000 range is where you’ll find the most feature-packed and comfortable recumbent exercise bikes.

Recumbent exercise bike FAQ

Will I burn the same number of calories on a recumbent exercise bike vs. a regular exercise bike?

A. Yes, you should burn roughly the same number of calories with a recumbent exercise bike as a regular exercise bike. 

Are recumbent exercise bikes a good workout option for those with arthritis?

A. A recumbent exercise bike is a great option for those with arthritis, as it impacts the joints very little during use. The seat can also aid in exercising comfortably with arthritis, as it better distributes one’s weight and provides more support for the hips and back than a regular exercise bike does.

What are the best recumbent exercise bikes to buy?

Top recumbent exercise bike 

Nautilus R618 Recumbent Exercise Bike

Nautilus R618 Recumbent Exercise Bike

What you need to know: A professional-grade recumbent exercise bike for committed cyclists.

What you’ll love: The seat is padded for comfort and perforated.

What you should consider: The heart rate sensors in the handles aren’t the most accurate.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Nautilus

Top recumbent exercise bike for the money

Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike

Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike

What you need to know: One of the more affordable options for a recumbent exercise bike that still provides professional-level function.

What you’ll love: A USB port allows connection and charging for your phone or other music playing device.

What you should consider: Those seeking a little more oomph might want to upgrade to the Schwinn 270.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Schwinn

Worth checking out

Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike

Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike

What you need to know: A bigger, better and costlier version of the Schwinn 230 recumbent exercise bike.

What you’ll love: There are nearly 30 workouts programmed into this Schwinn recumbent exercise bike and 25 levels of resistance.

What you should consider: If you don’t need all of the features offered by the Schwinn 270, the Schwinn 230 can save you a decent amount of money.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Schwinn


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Jordan Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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