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Recumbent Exercise Bikes - Lower Back Support Reclining Fitness Cycles

Updated on June 13, 2014

Are Recumbent Exercise Bikes Right For You?

If you are thinking of taking the plunge and buying one of the many reclining exercise bikes for sale today to fit in with your home fitness regimen or are just scoping out what kind of options are out there in regards to what home fitness equipment is out there, then the following guide to indoor recumbent exercise bikes should help you along the way to making that decision. Buying the best gym bike doesn't need to mean spending a fortune but instead means finding the right fitness cycle for your own personal requirements. This spotlight on home gym bikes aims to help you make the right choice.

Save Space and Money With This Budget Recumbent Exercise Bike

Stamina InTone Folding Recumbent Bike
Stamina InTone Folding Recumbent Bike

This neat little folding recumbent exercise bike solves many of the issues people have with buying gym machines. Not only is it a compact sized machine which isn't going to take up masses of space in your home but it also folds down when you are done with your workout to save even more space. It is also a fair bit cheaper than many of the alternatives on the market, making savings on a smaller frame and less in the way of bells and whistles which more expensive models have. This bike offers a comfortable reclining seat, a sturdy frame, quiet action and varying levels of resistance as you pedal. It also has an LCD monitor which provides feedback on time, speed, distance and calories burned. For most, that's all you are going to need to get a good cardiovascular workout in the comfort of your own home. If you are someone who just has to have all the extra fitness prgrams etc. then look elsewhere, but if you want a good workout bike at a great price, then look no further. Foldable recumbent bikes are few and far between so if saving space is a big deal for you, then this is your best buy.


Why Buy An Exercise Bike?

Making The Choice!

Indoor stationary exercise bikes are one of the more popular pieces of exercise equipment found in home gyms and home fitness studios across the world.

They offer a great cardiovascular and fat burning workout with special attention being paid obviously to the legs, butt and thigh areas.

They are also one of the few pieces of exercise equipment you can use comfortably whilst performing other activities. Watch TV, read a book, play your Game Boy, DS or even pick up a controller and play your Xbox 360 whilst you work out - you can do all this and more on a static indoor exercise bike, particularly on one of the reclining seat back recumbent cycles.

The recumbent style also features a high seat back which gives your lower back more support as you work out. If you have been turned off indoor bikes for this reason or suffer from lower back pain, then a reclining exercise bike with back support seat is definitely something you should strongly consider.

Comparing Exercise Bikes To Find The Best Models

Recumbent Stationary Bikes vs. Upright Indoor Exercise Cycles

Possibly the biggest choice you will have to make when deciding which exercize bike is best for your needs is to choose between the two main frame types out there. In short, this means deciding whether you want the traditional vertical stationary bike style or the more relaxed exercise bike with reclining seat back style of frame.

In order to illustrate the differences between these two types of indoor cycle let's take a look at them individually.

Top Recommended Recumbent Exercise Bike

Smartdoo 230 Recumbent Exercise Bike
Smartdoo 230 Recumbent Exercise Bike

Loads of features at an awesome price, this home exercise cycle is great value for money and has enough additional settings and training features to keep you from getting bored.


Stationary Upright Exercise Bikes

The upright style, as you can see from the image, is more like the traditional road bike you may or may not be used to riding. They will typically have adjustable seats and handle bars designed to suit all comfort levels and are typically smaller and cheaper than the recumbent bike as they use less materials to make.

The main advantage of the upright indoor cycle is they allow you to treat the bike as if it were a road bike, allowing you to stand up off of the seat to sprint or simulate hill climbing.

They also let you give your backside a rest from the uncomfortable seating if you opted for a cheap upright model.

Recommended Upright Exercise Bikes - Best Upright Exercise Cycle Choices

Recumbent Exercise Bikes

If you are not too worried about your choice of stationary exercise bike actually mimicing the format of a real street bike then you should probably look for a recumbent exercise cycle for sale for your home gym.

The main reason for this is simply because most users find reclining stationary gym bikes much more comfortable to use. The recumbent style puts you in more of a laid back seated position which offers better back support whilst still maintaining the optimal pedalling position. These reclining bike seats are adjustable to suit all shapes and sizes and the seats are generally larger and more comfortable than on an upright cycle.

The more comfortable your indoor static exercise bike is the more likely you are to keep using it!

Experts often recommend recumbent bikes for back pain sufferers and especially those with lower back problems, or those who find their back aches after using an upright gym bike, as they provide additional lumbar support which the upright cycle does not.

The drawback of gym bikes with a recumbent seat style is that they are larger and a little more expensive than upright bikes and you can not stand up on them to really 'go for it' as you can with an upright cycle.

Recommended Recumbent Exercise Bikes

Think an indoor exercise cycle with a reclining seat is right for you? Check out some of the best rated recliner gym bike models below.

So Upright or Recumbent?!

Fans of upright cycles claim they can get a more intense workout whilst recumbent cyclists claim their choice is more comfortable and therefore allows them to use the machine longer and stick with their regime without it feeling like a punishment.

Ultimately, as there is little concensus from experts as to whether one is better than the other either, the choice really comes down to which one YOU are more comfortable using.

Which Is Best Type Of Exercise Bike - The Recumbent or Reclining Style?

How To Buy A Stationary Exercise Bike

So, you've chosen what frame type suits you what?

There are a dizzying array of choices out there when it comes to brands, models, options and extras which can make looking for the best reclining exercise bike for your needs somewhat akin to looking for a needle in a haystack!

So let's look at some of the things you should be looking for when making your choice.

Comfort and Adjustability

The single most important thing to look for when comparing stationary bikes is whether they are comfortable for YOU to use. Sit on one and try it out. If it's not comfortable then you will quickly lose interest in using it.

Look especially for an adjustable seat height and handlebar adjustments, especially if you will share the use of the machine with other people.

If you are not the only person in your household who will be using the bike, then make sure that the adjustments which will need to be made to things like the seat height, handlebars etc. are easy to do as there is nothing more annoying than having to mess around with making these adjustments every time you want a workout.

Resistance - Belt or Magnetic?

The cheapest, noisy exercise bikes use belts to provide different levels of resistance through friction...and are generally, not recommended. The exercise bike belt is typically adjusted by hand which will interrupt your workout again and again. In addition, they are usually pretty loud and the nylon band will wear out over time, meaning you will have to find someone who sells exercise bike parts and buy a replacement belt or junk the machine and buy a new one.

Manually adjusted fitness machines are best to avoid wherever possible, especially when it means breaking up your workout to perform the adjustments.

The better choice is to opt for a variable magnetic resistance reclining exercise bike which can be controlled on the fly at the push of a button through the easily accessible control panel. Push button control of the resistance levels gives you a much more pleasurable workout as it means you do not have to stop exercising to make adjustments as you go along and can easily raise and lower the resistance levels to simulate hill climbing etc. rather than being stuck with a single, dull, flat level of reistance throughout.

Magnetic resistance should offer smooth operation and better long term durability over the belt driven alternative.

More On Manual vs. Automatic Adjustments

The more things you can adjust through the computer console or which will adjust automatically through a set program, the better you will like it.

Whilst an indoor reclining fitness cycle with a manually adjusted belt resistance etc. is sure to be cheaper just consider how this will affect your workout.

So, you want to climb a hill? Get off the bike, mess around with a knob, climb back on and start cycling again. Now, you want to go down the hill. Get off, mess with the knobs again...and so on. It's distracting, annoying and will disillusion you fast with your new bike.

Now, consider the same scenario controlled by magnetic resistance through the control panel. Climb a hill? Press a button. Simple. Simpler still is using on of the built in programs which will automatically send you on a route which includes hills and dales without you having to make any adjustments at all!

Again - AVOID manual adjustments.

Recommended Exercise Cycle

Schwinn Airdyne AD4 Upright Exercise Bike
Schwinn Airdyne AD4 Upright Exercise Bike

The Schwinn Airdyne exercise bike gives you a total body workout using its patented technology. Work out your arms and legs with this new style of exercise bike.


Built In Workouts and Fitness Feedback

What's available through the display console?

Budget exercise bikes are likely to have very little...if they even have a display console in the first place.

Mid-level and higher end systems will have a variety of feedback mechanisms which will give you important information about your workout including such things as heart rate, distance travelled, calories burned, time taken, speed and more.

Opt for an exsercise bike with lots of built in or programmable workouts as these routines and the feedback you get from the console are extremely good at keeping you motivated and give you goals to aim for during your next workout session.

Fan Height, Speed and Adjustability

Somewhat overlooked is whether your exercise bike has a fan attached to the cosole dashboard and whether it is likely to do the job it is intended for. Many fans are not adjustable and others do not have must strength to them even if they are. It's not a feature if it doesn't do the job. Look for an exercise cycle with an adjustable fan and a little bit of strength behind it. Better still, find one which has adjustable fan speeds through the dashboard computer.

Recommended Exercise Bike

Nautilus NB3000 Upright Exercise Bike
Nautilus NB3000 Upright Exercise Bike

Treat yourself to a top of the range exercise bike with this model from Nautilus. Feature packed and professional build quality gives you gym quality in your home studio.


Heart Rate Monitor

Budget exercise bikes are unlikely to have this feature at all but heart rate monitors can be bought separately.

Mid-range fitness bikes will have some for of pulse rate monitor, usually through pulse points on the handlebars whilst high end exercise bikes are more likely to have more accurate wireless heart rate monitoring devices as part of the set up.

Some bikes will have programs which will calculate your target heart rate and then adjust the resistance accordingly to ensure your work out is tailored to meeting these levels.

A heart rate monitor is important both for safety and to help you meet your training goals.

Stability and Durability

There's only one way to test this - hop aboard! You should check whether the bike feels sturdy to you when you are using it. The last thing you want is to feel like you might fall off, or to heard things rattling and grinding whilst you are exercising. It's distracting and you are less likely to feel comfortable using the bike if it feels like it might tip. It's also an unnecessary safety risk for you and those around you.

Weight Capacity

If you are overweight then you should definitely check out the recommended frame capacity before you make a purchase. Cheaper bikes may not be able to stand as little as 200lbs and sometimes less without over-stressing their frames. More expensive models can take much higher stress.

Warrantee and Service Options

Look for the best warrantee you can find. Some of the cheap exercise bikes have pretty pathetic warrantees and there's a reason for this - they are not expected to last very long! Some of these might have a warrantee less than 6 months, some as little as 3 months.

A good warrantee is a nice little indicator of the quality of the bike you are buying. Look for at least a year in a general warranty and expect to find a lifetime warranty on the frame.

If the company has no confidence in their bike then neither should you.

Price vs. Everything Else

It's unfortunate but where exercise bikes are concerned, as with just about everything else in life, the saying "you get what you pay for" holds true and perhaps truer than most.

The price of an exercise bike will range from anywhere around $100 to upwards of $2000 depending upon the features it has, build quality etc. For a home user however, there are many very good quality exercise bikes out there for under $1000.

Whilst it may be true that you can go out right now and pick up an indoor exercise cycle for around $100 and possibly less, you will also almost certainly be wasting your money.

These cheap exercise bikes are typically very poorly made, use the band form of resistance, have no exercise programs built in and in general are lacking in just about every other department which is almost certain to guarantee you will either lose interest in exercise bikes in general or be forced to go back out and buy another, more expensive model.

Just do not waste your time on a cheap exercise cycle.

Expect to pay at least $300 - $500 for something which has the basic features and $500+ for a higher end exercise cycle.

Noise Levels and Operation

The quieter the better when it comes to an exercise bike, especially one you will be using in your home, not just for your own convenience but for everyone around you. A noisy exercise cycle will quickly drive you to distraction, get in the way of listening to music, watching TV, reading or whatever else you are doing to pass the time whilst exercising. You might not be able to tell in the shop quite how loud you prospective choice is either so look around online for some reviews. Amazon is a great place to find lots of real user opinions on things like this.

Making Space For Your Exercise Equipment - Folding Exercise Bikes To The Rescue!

Let's face it, an exercise bike, treadmill, elliptical trainer etc. is a pretty bulky piece of equipment and it's not as if all of us have the extra space available to devote to it.

Not to worry there IS an alternative.

Some manufacturers have put the time and effort into remembering the people with little space at hand and brought out some rather nifty exercise bikes which fold down to a fraction of their size.

Naturally, these foldable fitness cycles are not as sturdy as their fixed frame counterparts, but have improved a lot since their inception.

Some great collapsable frame exercise bikes are listed below.

Exercise Bike Safety Tips

Useful Tips and Advice

When beginning a new exercise routine you should always consult your physician especially if you have a medical history which might warrant particular care.

Start out slowly and build in to your routine. If you have not exercised for a while then there is little point in jumping on a bike and cycling hard for an hour...then being stiff as a board the next day and not being able to work out for a week! Start out slow and build up to whatever goal you have.

Another rule is to known your limits. If you should start feeling lightheaded or begin to feel dizzy whilst working out then stop rather than trying to push through it and risk harming yourself.

Also, consider what physical limitations and goals you have in choosing your exercise equipment. For example, anyone with lower back issues is much better suited to a recumbent exercise bike as these offer lower lumbar support whereas an upright exercise cycle does not.

Wear training shoes and make sure you actually use the straps on the pedals and keep your feet firmly in them. You don't want your feet slipping off whilst in full flow as this can cause injury.

Keep kids and pets away from the machine. A whack from a pedal isn't going to do anyone any good.

New, Used and Refurbished Exercise Bikes

Take a look at eBay to find a great exercise bikes at bargain prices!

Fitness Equipment Accessories - Accessorize and Equip To The Max!

Recumbent Or Upright? - Reviews, Feedback, Suggestions, Comments Appreciated!

Submit a Comment

  • profile image


    6 years ago

    Be Honest With Yourself - In the long run, Exercise Bikes is a great investment and may save you Space and Money.

  • profile image


    6 years ago

    I basically have an In-home Gym, Treadmill, Weight Beanch, Weight Set, Exercise Bike (the Treadmill and Bike are my Personal Favorites), Punching Bag, Jump Rope, AB Machine and Push-up Handles or the "Perfect Push-up". Honestly, I use the Treadmill and Bike the most and for the longest duration, don't get me wrong, I like my other Options but I like maintaining a High Endurance! You never know when you might need it! ;)

  • tvyps profile image

    Teri Villars 

    6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

    Big Squid Like and Squid Angel blessing for this awesome exercise lens! Happy National Stress Awareness Day!

  • profile image


    6 years ago

    I was against these bikes at first, but it is truly amazing how well they support the lower back. Highly recommended!

  • profile image


    7 years ago

    Nice info. I just wish they weren't so expensive :(

  • norma-holt profile image


    7 years ago

    An interesting topic and suggestions. The garden gives me as much exercise as my back can take these days and I don't need any more but would certainly consider the recumbent were I in the market,. Well done,

  • fedhughes lm profile image

    fedhughes lm 

    7 years ago

    surely the Recumbent Exercise Bikes, I have back problem and with recumbent I can monitor my back posture.

  • profile image


    7 years ago

    definitely recumbent, very nicely done and informative lens!

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    Good information for someone looking for a recumbent bike. I couldn't do without mind.

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    Very nice lens. Thanks. I gave you a thumbs up, because it's a nice lens.

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    hey! you simply made such a great lens! wrapping out best informations altogether in this one lens is definitely a bang! You may want to check this out , it features cheap exercise bike equipment which has a good quality just like the stuffs posted in here, Thanks!

  • LisaDH profile image


    10 years ago

    Back in those long-ago days when I used to work out, I used a recumbent bike at the gym and liked it a lot more than the upright workout bikes.

  • profile image


    10 years ago

    When I owned my 2-story townhouse, I had one bedroom dedicated to a gym with a treadmill and a 2-position workout with weights. Didn't have an exercise bike since I had a regular bike in the garage. You've reminded me to get up off of my chair and start working out. Thanks! ;)

  • MeganCasey profile image


    10 years ago

    nice work! personal recommendations are where it's at. thanks for putting this together.

  • profile image


    10 years ago

    Interesting lens. Nice info.

  • profile image


    10 years ago

    I could really use one of these exercise bikes. Thanks for joining G Rated Lense Factory!

  • profile image

    flowski lm 

    10 years ago

    Nice guide to exercise bikes, thanks!


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