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Upright vs Recumbent? 7 Best Exercise Bikes for Home Fitness in 2016

Updated on February 24, 2016

Upright vs Recumbent Bikes

I don’t think you need to know any further about the benefits of exercise bikes as you are here to choose one of the best. Although you may need some insights into the difference between the two types of exercise bikes: recumbent type and upright type.

Both are good for cardio workouts and burns calories efficiently. But you need to consider these factors before buying one of the bikes.

A recumbent bike is more comfortable as you are leaning backwards while doing the exercise. The wider seat and its position is the main reason behind this. People of any height can use this type of exercise bike. You will not feel any strain on your back. A recumbent bike is most suitable for elderly people with back pain. Since you will be in a position that is against gravity, you get more intensity workout for legs compared to upright exercise bikes. Also, your hands are free so that you can watch TV, play games and read books during the exercise.

An upright bike, on the other hand is less costly and more versatile. You can either stand up or sit down doing the workout. Upright models take less space for storage too. So if you are worried about the space, consider upright models. But it is less comfortable compared to recumbent bike as the seat is smaller and there is no support to the back. Due to this, upright bikes are not suitable for elderly people with back pain or lower back issues. Also, in rare cases, there is a chance to fall off from an upright bike as it has pretty high center of gravity.

Research show that both machines give somewhat similar cardio workout.

Difference at a glance

Upright Bike
Recumbent Bike
Takes up less space
Takes more space to store
Less Comfortable
Very Comfortable
Bad for people with joint pain or back issues
Does not affect your joints or knees

#7 Velocity Exercise CHB-U2101 Magnetic Upright Exercise Bike

First of all, this exercise bike is completely worth the money, I guarantee that. Velocity CHB U2101 is quite the basic model in which you can’t find any fancy features like others. But it packs all the essentials. The manufacturer, Velocity-Exercise is known for its solid warranties and after sale services. You will find it pleasing with this model too. The machine can hold up to 250 pounds and has 8 levels of resistance for low to heavy intensity workout. The 2-way weighted flywheel gives you extra smooth workout without making any noise. You can find the over sized stabilizers quite useful when you train hard. You don’t need to worry about tripping off the machine.

velocity exercise chb u2101
velocity exercise chb u2101

Speaking of comfortability, the thickly padded adjustable seat is good for long training sessions. The saddle can be adjusted to user’s height. There will not be any impact on your knees or joints if rightly used. Moreover the ergonomically designed pedals add to the comfort. The Resistant Velcro Strap ensures strong grip no matter what your shoe size is.

The assembling is pretty easy task for Velocity CHB U2101. All tools are included in the package. The transport wheels are of great use to move around the machine. The large display shows the details such as distance, time, calories burned etc.

The only drawbacks I found in this are that it does not have any folding options and the 250 pounds capacity is not quite enough for everyone. But hey, it’s only 98 bucks.

Overall, Velocity CHB U2101 is a budget friendly exercise bike with all the necessary features.

Warranty: 5 year frame, 90-day monitor and 30-day all other parts.

Rating: 7.8/10

Price: $98.42

Read User Reviews

#6 Body Rider 3-in-1 Trio Trainer - Elliptical/Recumbent Bike/Upright Bike

As the name implies Body Rider Trio Trainer is a combination of elliptical, upright and recumbent bike to give you maximum efficiency for the workout. It has a patented space saving design to combine all 3 machines into one. It is thus very compact and can be stored easily. It has transport wheels too for moving around.

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Body Rider 3-in-1 Trio TrainerBody Rider 3-in-1 Trio TrainerBody Rider Trio Trainer display
Body Rider 3-in-1 Trio Trainer
Body Rider 3-in-1 Trio Trainer
Body Rider 3-in-1 Trio Trainer
Body Rider 3-in-1 Trio Trainer
Body Rider Trio Trainer display
Body Rider Trio Trainer display

The Trio Tariner is made for those who seeks maximum workout in less time. Indeed very useful for weight loss participants. Also this one is frequently recommended by healthcare specialist for weight loss. The trio trainer has 16 levels of resistance for high intensity workout. It also has 21 training programs for every sort of training. (The package includes a complete training DVD too)

Body Rider Trio Trainer is reputed for its excellent level of comfort. The thick contoured seat will be of great comfort for overweight people. The thick foam padded saddles and back rest adds to the comfort. It has wide pedals with firm straps for any shoe size. The machine is made up of sturdy steel frame and has wide stabilizers so that you don’t ever need to worry about falling off. The armrests are designed to prevent slipping from sweat.

It comes with an in built heart rate monitor. The LCD screen displays time, calories distance etc but it’s smaller than the others. You may find it hard to read from a distance. The display is not back lit too.

You can set up the exercise bike in no time. The illustrated manual and all the tools provided can help you with that. Overall, Body Rider 3 in 1 Trio Trainer is an excellent value for the money especially for weight loss participants.

Warranty: 1 year frame, 90 days parts.

Rating: 8.0/10


#5 Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike

Do you need a portable exercise bike for your small apartment without breaking the bank? Exerpeutic 400XL is the right choice. Weighing only 39 pounds, this one here is one of the most portable exercise bikes for home. It can fold up to half of its size making storage extremely easy.

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Exerpeutic 400XL Exerpeutic 400XL Exerpeutic 400XL
Exerpeutic 400XL
Exerpeutic 400XL
Exerpeutic 400XL
Exerpeutic 400XL
Exerpeutic 400XL
Exerpeutic 400XL

Exerpeutic 400XL, despite its low price tag, features a V-belt double drive transmission system with precision balanced flywheel to make the operation quieter and smoother. The magnetic tension control system aka magnetic resistance has 8 intensity levels which will satisfy even professional athletes. This semi-recumbent designed bike can support up to 300 pounds which is really great. The high torque cranking system gives you a smooth pedaling motion. Overall, Exerpeutic 400XL is smoother and quieter than Velocity CHB U2101.

Exerpeutic 400XL beats its competitors in terms of comfort too. The large seat and thickly padded back rest is not only comfortable but also gives you solid back support. The seat can be adjusted by just turning a knob. It also features large pedals and safety strap to ensure the safety. People of height 5’2” to 6’0” can use this machine. The sturdy leg stabilizers will make sure you are safe even at high pace.

The LCD display is wide enough to read from a distance so that you won’t have to lean forward to know the status. It displays time, distance, calories, speed and heart rate. Yes, the hand pulse monitor in the handle grip monitors your heart rate continuously.

Setting up the machine is easy. The neatly written user manual will help a lot. You can set it up within an hour. The ‘already extremely compact exercise bike’ has transport wheels too to move around. Exerpeutic offers 1 year limited warranty for 400XL.

Although good in many features, there are some drawbacks too. Tall people (above 6 feet) have reported difficulty in using this machine. Similarly some users have reported bad customer service.

Rating: 8.3/10

Price: $149.99

Read User Reviews

#4 FitDesk v2.0 Desk Exercise Bike with Massage Bar

Are you workaholic? Can’t you compromise on comfort no matter what? If yes, FitDesk FDX 2.0 is for you. FDX 2.0 is an exercise bike with a sliding desk platform. You can hardly find another one with this feature. FDX 2.0 has an adjustable 16”x19” desk for placing your laptop. Moreover, the machine is lightweight and folding too. WOW! With FitDesk FDX 2.0, you can do a lot many things without jumping off from the bike like browsing net, chat with friends, video conference etc.

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fitdesk v2.0fitdesk v2.0fitdesk v2.0
fitdesk v2.0
fitdesk v2.0
fitdesk v2.0
fitdesk v2.0
fitdesk v2.0
fitdesk v2.0

FitDesk v2,0 can hold up to 250 lbs and has 8 levels of magnetic resistance which is adjustable by just turning a knob. People of height ranging from 4’10” to 6’ can use this semi-recumbent exercise bike without any complication. One of the many plus is that it is extra quiet and smooth. Since the exercise bike can be used while working, the manufacturer has put thought into making it quiet.

The large LCD display shows time, calories, mileage etc. But I found it hard to read because the display is placed behind the stand. I need to fold my lap to see the stats.

FitDesk FDX 2.0 packs plenty of features to add comfort to the workout. You can use the massage rollers for your forearms if you are tired of typing. Also there is a storage drawer too which is very practical and useful. You can store every small items you need like pen, cell phone, music player, ear phones, notepads etc.

For those who find it hard to find some free time in the busy schedule, FitDesk FDX 2.0 can help with your workout.

Warranty: 1 year frame and parts.

Rating: 8.5/10

Price: $259.00

Read User Reviews

#3 Schwinn AD6 Airdyne Upright Exercise Bike

The AD6 is an upgrade to the well-liked model AD2. Well, is it worth the ‘upgrade’ in price? Definitely! Schwinn AD6 Airdyne features dual stage Super Torque belt drive which is extremely smoother and natural. You won’t hear even a single noise from the machine. It can withstand up to 300 lbs (AD2 can hold up to 250 lbs only) which is great for a heavy duty exercise bike. There are no specified resistance levels. It’s automatic which means harder you pedal, more intense it would be. The machine is perfect for full body workout for professionals, weight loss participants and amateurs equally.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Schwinn AD6 Airdyne Upright Exercise BikeSchwinn AD6 Airdyne consoleSchwinn AD6 Airdyne Upright Exercise Bike
Schwinn AD6 Airdyne Upright Exercise Bike
Schwinn AD6 Airdyne Upright Exercise Bike
Schwinn AD6 Airdyne console
Schwinn AD6 Airdyne console
Schwinn AD6 Airdyne Upright Exercise Bike
Schwinn AD6 Airdyne Upright Exercise Bike

With all the tools included and easily understandable user manual, you can get the machine up and running in no time. It has an extra padded oversized seat and adjustable foot straps so that ‘lack of comfort’ will not be a problem. There are 4 levelers for extra stability. NO matter how hard you pedal, you won’t fall off.

The built in HR monitor monitors your heart rate continuously and displays it through the LCD screen. The display is small though. It features RevMeter RPM gauge for better statistics. It also has an integrated bottle holder.

Schwinn offers 15 year warranty for frame which is pretty neat for the price. Overall, Schwinn AD6 AirDyne is extremely well built exercise for full body workout.

Rating: 8.9/10

Price: $539.95

Read User Reviews

#2 BodyCraft SPX Club Indoor Cycling Bike

Well, this one is a high end premium quality indoor cycling bike for effective cardio workouts. It can hold up to 300 lbs and 6’5” tall people. The frame is made up of cold forged steel and uses imported high-end parts only. The machine is so compact that it takes up only a little space. It’s so quiet that you won’t even hear a humming noise.

bodycraft spx
bodycraft spx

BodyCraft SPX is extremely comfortable. The adjustable seat which is made by Velo Seats can exactly fit to your body shape. The handle bars are also thickly padded and grippy. The equipment will never trip over no matter how fast you pedal.

BodyCraft offers lifetime warranty for frame and 5 years for parts. The only con I found is it’s expensive and heavy. And there is no computer dashboard too. But overall, BodyCraft SPX is for a lifetime use.

Rating: 9.2/10

Price: $1,099.00

Read User Reviews

#1 Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Exercise Bike

Like Schwinn AD6, Stamina Elite Total Body Exercise bike also is a full body workout machine which targets arms, legs, shoulders, chest and the others. It has 8 levels of magnetic resistance which is quiet and smooth. You can pedal with your arms and legs simultaneously to burn more calories and lose weight fast. Even though it has only 8 levels of resistance, professional athletes found it challenging at high levels.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Exercise BikeStamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Exercise BikeStamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Exercise Bike seatStamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Exercise Bike console
Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Exercise Bike
Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Exercise Bike
Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Exercise Bike
Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Exercise Bike
Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Exercise Bike seat
Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Exercise Bike seat
Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Exercise Bike console
Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Exercise Bike console

It incorporates recumbent seat design for more ergonomic and comfortable workout. You can exercise in a more relaxed semi horizontal position which will minimize pressure on joints and knees. It is much more safer than an ordinary upright exercise bike.

Stamina Elite has in built HR monitor hand grip and a large display to show the stats. It also has a water holder which I find very useful. The seats and foot rest are well padded and comfortable. Foot strap will prevent you from slipping off.

Machine assembly is pretty normal. It may take up to 2 hours to set up. The company offers 5 year warranty for frame and 1 year for parts. Overall, Stamina Elite Total Body is a mid-end top quality full body exercise bike for every type of user.

Rating: 9.6/10

Price: $619.95

Read User Reviews

Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Bike
Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Bike

List Price: $1,200.00

Price: $619.95

You Save: $580.05 (48%)



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