11 Best Recumbent Bikes for Seniors

A lot of people believe that exercise is only good for the young. When told they should exercise, a lot of seniors answer, “Oh, I’m too old for that!” The truth of the matter is that exercise is good for everybody’s body, especially older people.

Things like bone and muscle mass and fitness peak when we’re in our early to mid-30s, and without exercise, they start to decline after that. At first, the decline is slow but, like a snowball rolling downhill, it soon gathers speed. As the 50s become the 60s and 70s, strength and vitality are often replaced by weakness and infirmity.

However, while this is all part of the aging process, and completely unavoidable, there are things you can do that will delay the decline, preserving your strength and fitness for longer.

Staying in shape as you age will reduce your risk of developing chronic illnesses like heart disease and diabetes, are good for your mental health, and could even help you live a longer, more fulfilling life. Things like walking speed, balance, and grip strength are all excellent indicators of how long you’ll live.

You don’t even need to join a gym, and in this article, we reveal the 11 best recumbent bikes for seniors, all of which are perfect for home use.

11 Best Recumbent Bikes for Seniors

Amazon.com

The Schwinn name is inextricably linked to high-quality bikes and exercise machines. This recumbent exercise bike is sturdy and well-made and provides smooth resistance via an electromagnetic braking system.

The large display screen is easy to read, and all the necessary functions are right at your fingertips.

This is a very strong and sturdy recumbent that should provide many years of enjoyable, comfortable workouts.

Pros

  • 5” color LCD display screen
  • 13 built-in workout programs
  • 16 resistance levels
  • Ventilated, contoured seat for cooler workouts
  • Third-part app compatibility
  • Handlebar heart rate sensors
  • Heart rate chest strap compatibility
  • Smooth, quiet pedaling action

Cons

  • Only works when connected to an electrical supply
  • Seat is not padded, only contoured

2. Marcy ME-709 Recumbent Bike

Marcy is another name that’s synonymous with quality home exercise equipment.

This recumbent bike is straightforward to use and features a comfortable padded seat, step-through design, and a friction brake which means it works without an electrical supply.

This bike is simple to operate and ideal for seniors.

Pros

  • Counterbalanced pedals and flywheel for smooth, quiet pedaling
  • Easy to operate LCD performance monitor (battery-powered)
  • Eight manually adjusted resistance levels
  • Adjustable foot straps
  • Padded, contoured seat
  • Well-priced

Cons

  • No pre-programmed workouts to follow
  • Performance monitor only has a few basic functions, including time, speed, distance, and calories
  • No heart rate monitor

3. Exerpeutic 900XL

The main downside of many recumbent bikes is their overall size; you need plenty of space to use one.

This model from Exerpeutic has a smaller than average footprint making it ideal for home use. But, despite being small, it still has plenty of useful features and is very easy to set up and use.

Pros

  • Magnetic resistance for smooth, quiet pedaling
  • Adjustable seat height
  • Eight resistance levels
  • Easy to read LCD screen
  • Handlebar heart rate sensors
  • Oversized, padded seat
  • Wide pedals with toe straps
  • Well-priced

Cons

  • No pre-programmed workouts
  • No wireless heart rate monitor connectivity

4. HARISON Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike

While there is nothing wrong with buying a basic, budget-friendly recumbent, if you want a more high-tech workout, this is the model for you.

The HARISON magnetic recumbent bike has many of the features you’d expect to find on a commercial exercise machine, including a powerful electromagnetic braking system, built-in heart rate monitor, and large, easy-to-read display monitor.

Pros

  • Heavy-duty frame and components
  • Magnetic resistance and large flywheel for smooth, quiet pedaling
  • 14 resistance levels
  • Padded seat with ventilated back for more comfortable workouts
  • Non-slip pedals with adjustable straps
  • Transport wheels
  • Multi-function handlebars with tablet and water bottle holder
  • 12-month parts and labor warranty
  • Handlebar heart rate sensors

Cons

  • Quite big and heavy
  • A little on the expensive side

5. Pooboo Recumbent Exercise Bike

While you might not have heard of Pooboo recumbent exercise bikes, don’t let that put you off this model! It’s a mid-price recumbent with several features usually only found on more expensive models.

With its step-through design and easy-access controls, this is a very good recumbent for seniors.

Pros

  • Electromagnetic braking system for quiet, smooth workouts
  • Eight resistance levels
  • Easy to reach resistance knob
  • Easy to read multifunctional LCD display
  • Handlebar heart rate sensors
  • Padded foam seat and backrest
  • Phone/tablet holder
  • Water bottle holder
  • Non-slip pedals with adjustable toe straps
  • Built-in transport wheels

Cons

  • No pre-programmed workouts
  • Very basic performance monitor
  • No wireless heartrate connectivity

6. Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike

Nautilus is a very respected name in fitness and health equipment. Known for their commercial gym equipment, this recumbent has many of the features you’d expect to find on a bike at your gym but is made for home use.

It’s not the cheapest recumbent on review, but you definitely get a lot of bike for your money!

Pros

  • Electromagnetic braking system for smooth pedaling action
  • 25 resistance levels
  • Large backlit LCD display
  • Easy-access control panel
  • Built-in speakers and USB charging port
  • 29 built-in workout programs to follow
  • Padded seat with ventilated back for increased comfort
  • Adjustable leveling feet
  • Bluetooth connectivity for wireless heart rate monitoring (chest strap not included)
  • Handlebar heart rate sensors
  • Water bottle holder
  • Non-slip pedals with adjustable foot straps

Cons

  • Quite large and heavy
  • Not the cheapest recumbent on review
  • Needs to be plugged into an electrical supply to work

7. Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike

With most recumbents, you need to leave them in place between workouts. Unfortunately, recumbent bikes also tend to be big and bulky, so you’ll need plenty of space.

However, this bike from Exerpeutic is foldable for easy transport and storage. If space is an issue, but you still want a recumbent bike, this could be the ideal product for you.

Pros

  • Lightweight, folding design
  • Electromagnetic resistance for smoother pedaling
  • Eight resistance levels
  • Easy to read LCD display
  • Large padded seat and backrest
  • Handlebar heart rate sensors
  • Non-slip pedals with adjustable straps

Cons

  • Semi-recumbent rather than a fully recumbent exercising position
  • Some users may find it hard to fold due to the size/weight of this bike

8. Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent SF-RB4708

The main drawback of exercising with a recumbent is that your legs do all the work. That all changes with this model from Sunny Health & Fitness, which has a unique upper body action, making it akin to a seated cross-trainer.

This is an excellent machine for anyone looking for a full-body workout but prefers a recumbent and not an elliptical.

Pros

  • Sturdy steel construction
  • Electromagnetic resistance
  • Eight intensity levels
  • Simultaneous leg and arm action
  • Non-slip pedals with straps
  • Padded handlebars
  • Handlebar heart rate sensors
  • LCD digital performance display
  • Padded seat and backrest
  • Built-in transportation wheels
  • Floor levelers
  • Step-through design for easy access

Cons

  • No pre-programmed workouts
  • Very basic performance monitor
  • No wireless heartrate connectivity
  • Nowhere to put your hands if you want to just use your legs

9. SCHWINN 270 Recumbent Bike

If you are serious about getting a great recumbent workout, this top-of-the-range product from Schwinn is the bike for you. Fully loaded with lots of state-of-the-art features, this bike would be at home in a commercial gym, and yet, it’s made for home use. Read our detailed review of the Schwinn 270 recumbent bike here. 

Pros

  • Heavy-duty carbon steel frame
  • Electromagnetic friction resistance mechanism
  • 25 resistance levels
  • 29 pre-programmed customizable workouts
  • Large, easy to read LCD display
  • Easy to reach and operate controls
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Molded, ventilated seat for comfort
  • Built-in speakers and media rack
  • USB charging port
  • Built-in water bottle holder
  • Easy access step-through design

Cons

  • Quite expensive

10. Slim Cycle Stationary Bike

The Slim Cycle Stationary bike is a semi-recumbent exercise bike that is foldable and features resistance bands so you can do upper body exercises too. It’s light, compact, and ideal for homes where space is a premium. This is a great option for exercisers who want to develop lower and upper body fitness.

Pros

  • Electromagnetic braking system for smoother pedaling
  • Eight resistance levels
  • Folds in half for easy storage
  • Twin resistance bands for upper body exercises
  • Padded seat and backrest
  • Large easy to read digital display
  • Access to workouts via app
  • Handlebar heart rate sensors

Cons

  • The folding mechanism can be awkward
  • Limited seat height adjustability
  • Semi-recumbent position
  • Step-over frame design

11. BARWING Foldable Recumbent Bike with Resistance Bands

While this product from BARWING is undoubtedly a recumbent bike, it also has pulleys and resistance bands so you can perform a range of strength training exercises too.

It folds flat for easy storage. This is a 3 in 1 home gym and not just another recumbent bike!

Pros

  • Strong steel frame
  • Magnetic resistance
  • 16 resistance levels
  • Built-in resistance bands and ankle cuffs for upper and lower body exercises
  • It can be used as an upright, semi, or fully recumbent bike
  • Padded saddle and backrest
  • Large LCD display
  • Transport wheels

Cons

  • Not a step-through frame
  • No pre-programmed workouts to follow
  • No heart rate monitoring

Why Are Recumbent Bikes So Good for Seniors?

Any kind of bike is good for developing your cardiovascular fitness, improving your endurance, and strengthening your legs. However, recumbent bikes are especially useful

1. Ease of use

Getting on and off a recumbent bike is much easier than mounting an upright bike. You basically sit down onto a recumbent bike instead of having to climb up onto it. If you have mobility issues or your balance isn’t quite what it should be, you should find a recumbent bike much more forgiving.

2. Comfort

Recumbent bikes have wide seats and padded backrests so you can work out in comfort. Instead of sitting with all your weight balanced in a narrow seat, it’s spread across a broader area. If riding a regular bike brings tears to your eyes, you’ll find a recumbent much more enjoyable to use.

3. An easier workout

When you use a regular exercise bike, your heart has to work extra hard to pump blood up your legs against gravity. On a recumbent, your legs are extended in front of you, so your heart doesn’t have to work as hard to pump blood through your legs. This is especially useful if you are currently unfit or have a history of cardiac illness.

4. Safety

Recumbent bikes are very safe. Accidents are rare as they’re so easy to use. Once your workout is finished, just lower your feet to the floor and stand up. You can use the console/handles at the front if necessary. You don’t need to try and fling your leg over a central crossbar, as you would on a regular bike. Your workout SHOULD be safe; after all, it’s supposed to be life-enhancing and not life-shortening!

Buying Guide

Consider the following before buying a recumbent bike:

Seat designs

Recumbent seat designs vary, but wide and padded are the most important features to look for. After all, you should be comfortable during your workouts. Along with a padded seat, there should also be a backrest for enhanced comfort and support.

If possible, try before you buy you ensure that your recumbent is as comfortable as possible. If that’s not an option, look for products with a 30-day money-back guarantee in case you are unhappy with your purchase.

Size and stability

If recumbent bikes have a disadvantage, it is that they’re bigger and heavier than regular exercise bikes. So, before you buy, make sure you have space for a recumbent bike in your home.

However, once installed, that extra size and weight can be a benefit, as they make your bike more stable. The last thing you want is for your recumbent bike to wobble during use.

The more stable you feel, the more confident you’ll be, and the more enjoyable your workout will become.

Ease of setup and use

Most recumbent bikes are delivered in parts and require at least some self-assembly. Because they tend to be quite big and heavy, this is usually a job for two people.

While assembly is usually a simple process, with all the necessary tools supplied, it will involve some lifting and shifting of some potentially heavy components.

If you can, get someone to help you with putting your recumbent bike together. Otherwise, it may be worth paying a little extra for the delivery person to put it together for you. This is a service offered by many companies, including Amazon.

Once your recumbent bike is set up, you’ll find it very easy to use. All of the controls will be within reach, and things like the resistance and timer are very straightforward to operate.

It may take you a couple of goes to familiarize yourself with the controls, but you’ll soon get the hang of it!

Bottom Line

There are lots of different workouts you can do at home and several different types of workout machines. Treadmills are useful for walking but walking outside is usually more enjoyable, and it’s free, too.

Rowers are okay, but they can be hard on your lower back. Ellipticals are another good choice, but they tend to be very large and not all that easy to get on and get off. That leaves cycling.

Regular exercise bikes are popular but, with their high crossbars, mounting and dismounting are no easy matter, and anyone who’s ever suffered saddle soreness will only too quickly tell you how uncomfortable upright bikes can be.

A better choice for seniors is recumbent bikes. With a recumbent, you sit comfortably with your back supported and don’t have to contend with a narrow, painful seat.

With your legs elevated in front of you, your heart won’t have to work so hard to pump blood up your body, so your workout will be easier but no less beneficial. Recumbents are also easy to get on and off of and very easy to operate.

The only real drawback of recumbent bikes is their size and weight – you’ll need to make sure you have plenty of space to use your bike and will probably need some help putting it together. Other than that, recumbent bikes are arguably one of the best home workouts for seniors.

Patrick

Patrick

Patrick Dale is an ex-British Royal Marine and owner and lecturer for a fitness qualifications company. In addition to training prospective personal trainers, Patrick has also authored three fitness and exercise books, dozens of e-books, thousands of articles, and several fitness videos.

Fitness Equipment Reviews
Logo