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Recumbent exercise bikes are a lot like traditional stationary bikes — except you’re sitting in a laid-back position rather than upright. And while they’re def an amaaazing option for older adults looking for a low impact ride, they’re also a good option for, well, basically anyone.

Sitting back on a recumbent bike puts less strain on your body and heart while still giving you the cardio workout you’re looking for. But how are you supposed to know which bike deserves a place in your home?

We’ve got you. Sit back and relax as we ride you through the eight best recumbent exercise bikes.

8 best recumbent exercise bikes for 2021

Here are the criteria we used to pick the top recumbent bikes:

  • Price. We tried our best to include options for different budgets, from entry-level options to premium models with smart features.
  • Comfort. Because recumbent bikes put less pressure on your nether regions than upright bikes, it makes sense to take comfiness into account. We looked for cozy, padded seats to cushion your tush.
  • Weight limit. We didn’t include any bikes with a weight limit of less than 250 pounds.
  • Warranty. Exercise equipment has a whole lot of moving parts, including electronics. These components can crap out at any moment — even if you buy from a well-known company (#ShitHappens). That’s why it’s crucial to check the details about a product’s warranty. If there’s no warranty: RED FLAG.
  • Reviews. Our picks all get rave reviews from customers.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $300
  • $$ = $300–$1,000
  • $$$ = over $1,000

Best smart recumbent bike

NordicTrack Commercial R35

  • Price: $$$
  • Size: 68.22 L x 23.69 W x 53.42 H in.
  • Warranty: 10-year frame, 2-year parts, 1-year labor
  • Console: 14-inch HD smart touch screen
  • Weight capacity: 350 lbs.

The R35 is the most expensive option on our list — but YOLO, right? Really, though, if you’re looking for a top-of-the-line option with plenty of features to keep you engaged, this bike is it. Take on-demand classes and virtual bike rides around the world, keep track of your stats, and enjoy an easy-to-adjust seat.

You do need a subscription to get the most out of the bike — which isn’t cheap ($$$) — but the bike does come with a free 1-year membership you can renew if you love it and cancel if you don’t.

Best recumbent bike for beginners

Sole R92 Recumbent Bike

  • Price: $$
  • Size: 57 L x 30 W x 50 H in.
  • Warranty: Lifetime frame, 3-year electronics and parts, 1-year labor
  • Console: Display to view stats, tablet holder
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs.

The R92 isn’t a souped-up smart bike like the R35, but it’s still got plenty of features, including 20 resistance levels and fans to cool you down when you’re sweating it out. There’s also a USB charging port and a built-in tablet holder, so you can stream your fave shows while you ride.

There are only a few preset programs, so this bike is perfect for newbies, but more advanced riders might want more of a challenge. As your fitness increases, you can use your tablet to access third-party classes and boost your workout.

Reviewers say the bike is sturdy and rides quietly but takes up more space than they’d like.

Best recumbent bike for mobility limitations

Sunny Health & Fitness Evo-Fit Cardio Recumbent Bike

  • Price: $$
  • Size: 62.6 L x 25 W x 49.2 H in.
  • Warranty: 3-year frame, 180-day parts and other components
  • Console: Display to view stats, dual device holders
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs.

The EVO-FIT is cheaper than Sole Fitness’s R92 bike, but it’s still an awesome value with a solid lineup of features. It has 24 resistance levels and a step-through design, which basically means it’s super easy to mount and ideal for people with any mobility issues.

Besides a console that displays your stats, it has two device holders, so you have plenty of options for in-flight entertainment. It also has an ultra-padded seat and comfortable hand grips.

Reviewers say the bike is well built and easy to roll out of the way when you’re done working out. But one person points out that the display could use an overhaul because it’s not super user-friendly.

Best affordable smart recumbent bike

Pro-Form 440 ES

  • Price: $$
  • Size: 22.25 W x 68.25 D x 52 H in.
  • Warranty: 10-year frame, 1-year parts and labor
  • Console: 5-inch display, tablet holder so you can use the iFit app
  • Weight capacity: 350 lbs.

If the price of the NordicTrack made you do a double take, consider this affordable iFit-enabled dupe. You can connect it to your smart device (iPad, smartphone, whatev) and stream the same iFit workouts. The resistance will auto-adjust as you ride with the wind in your hair (literal wind, thanks to a built-in fan).

You can also use the bike without the expensive iFit subscription, which some reviewers say they don’t even miss. One reviewer points out that the handles to adjust the seat position are in an awkward spot, so you might struggle to reach them while sitting down.

Best recumbent bike for small spaces

Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike

  • Price: $
  • Size: 20 L x 17 W x 54 H in.
  • Warranty: 2-year protection plan available with Amazon (for an extra fee), 1-year limited with the manufacturer
  • Console: Small LCD screen
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs.

Recumbent bikes are great and all, but they usually take up a TON of room. If you live in a teeny-tiny space, opting for a foldable option like the Exerpeutic 400XL can help you maximize your limited square footage. It’s not a high tech option by any means, but you can still get a fire workout with eight levels of resistance to choose from. And because the display is at a lower angle, you can even work out right at your desk. 🔥🔥

Reviewers say that despite the low price, the bike is comfortable and quiet. Many also say the stats on the display aren’t very accurate, so a fitness tracker might do ya more good.

Best affordable recumbent bike

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike

  • Price: $
  • Size: 46 L x 24.5 W x 38 H in.
  • Warranty: 2-year protection plan available with Amazon (for an extra fee), 3-year frame and 90-day parts and other components with the manufacturer
  • Console: Small digital monitor for basic stats like speed and distance
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs.

If you’re a cycling noob looking for an affordable bike with basic features, this Sunny bike is a solid pick. It has a cushioned, adjustable seat; a knob to quickly switch resistance levels; and a no-frills display so you can keep tabs on your progress.

Reviewers say the bike is easy to assemble and solidly built. The resistance may feel a little weak to some, but if you’re just starting out, it’s nothing to sneeze at.

Best recumbent bike with higher weight capacity

Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709

  • Price: $
  • Size: 55.5 L x 25 W x 37.5 H in.
  • Warranty: 2-year protection plan available with Amazon (for an extra fee), 2-year limited manufacturer warranty
  • Console: Small battery-operated console
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs.

This Marcy bike features an adjustable seat, a roomy step-through design, and a generously padded seat that’s ideal for riders with higher body weights. The handlebars are also wide-set to accommodate larger bodies (and booties 🍑 ). Some reviewers who weigh considerably more than the recommended max of 300 lbs. say the bike is surprisingly sturdy.

A few downsides: There’s no water bottle holder or spot to stash your phone.

Best recumbent bike for a full-body workout

Slim Cycle Stationary Bike

  • Price: $
  • Size: 45.5 L x 19 W x 36 H in.
  • Warranty: 1-year manufacturer’s warranty, protection plan add-on available through Amazon
  • Console: Digital display
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs.

OK, bear with us. This as-seen-on-TV bike seems gimmicky, but if you’re looking to streamline your workout and can’t bear another HIIT session, the Slim Cycle is a low cost option that challenges your upper and lower body. Bonus: The bike folds flat when you’re done.

Reviewers like that it’s lightweight — a lot of foldable bikes are still heavy and hard to move around — and offers a smooth ride. The seat isn’t as padded as those of higher-priced models, but reviewers say it still does the job.

You should get a recumbent bike if you’ve tried a traditional upright bike and hated it.

A recumbent bike might also work for you if you’re disabled or recently injured or you just plain feel uncomfortable on an upright bike. People with back problems might also find a recumbent bike more forgiving.

A recumbent bike allows for a more passive workout. So if you’re struggling to find the motivation to get your blood pumping, this type of bike is a great way to jump-start a workout routine. You can easily sit back and watch TV or read while using a recumbent bike.

If you’re looking for a more hardcore workout, go with an upright model instead. But always check with your doc before starting a new exercise program.

Pros

  • low impact
  • comfortable
  • frees up your hands (Knit and ride, anyone?)

Cons

  • sometimes pricier than similar upright models
  • bigger footprint

Ready to shop for your brand-new recumbent bike? Here’s how to choose the right one for you:

  • Consider durability. This means reading reviews to see what other people have to say about the build quality. But it also means looking at warranty info to make sure you won’t be stuck with a giant piece of non-working exercise equipment.
  • Check out the specs. Ask yourself: Will it fit in the space next to my sofa, or will I need to relocate my beloved houseplant Ferny? Will the bike accommodate my weight? Are there enough resistance levels to see me through the next few years? (YASSSS, you’re absolutely going to crush this and stick to this routine!)
  • Know your budget. Obvi. But also know your deal-breakers. What’s a must-have for you? Def need Bluetooth connectivity to listen to your Spotify playlist or “Montero” on repeat? Don’t settle for something without that coveted feature. You might end up disappointed and turn the bike into a pricey clothes hanger.

A recumbent bike is an excellent tool for getting an effective low impact workout.

But there are A LOT of options out there, and they’re not all equal. Decide on a budget and choose a model with quality construction and features that fit your needs, so you’ll actually use it — and be able to for a long time.

All the options we’ve listed above meet these minimum requirements, but don’t settle for a bike unless you’re totally pumped to sit back and ride it.