*TreadmillReviewGuru helps consumers find the best home fitness products. When you buy a product we recommend, we may earn a commission.
Last Updated: August 27, 2021
If you want to find the best recumbent bike you’ve come to the right place! Recumbent exercise bikes allow riders to sit behind rather than over the pedals for a more comfortable position. Recumbent bikes are easier to get on and off due to their lower seat height and easy step-through design. These bikes are excellent for those with limited mobility or anyone who wants to enjoy a slightly more relaxed position while riding.
Our list of Recumbent bike reviews provides you a quick overview of each of our top bikes, details on specs, and a few reasons why each one made our list. When looking for a Recumbent bike, you’ll want to consider the overall frame design and comfort, the size of the seat and backrest, and how much the bike frame expands to support different-sized users. We consider all these factors when evaluating Recumbent exercise bikes, so if you’re in the market for a new indoor exercise bike, take a look at our updated list for 2021!
Best Recumbent Exercise Bikes 2021:
- 1. Best Overall Recumbent Bike: Nordictrack Commercial R35 Recumbent Bike
- 2. Best Recumbent Exercise Bike For Seniors: Sole R92 Recumbent Exercise Bike
- 3. Best Recumbent Bike For Larger Users: LifeSpan R5i Recumbent Bike
- 4. Best Home Recumbent Bike: Sole LCR Recumbent Bike
- 5. Best Commercial Recumbent Exercise Bike: Nordictrack VR25 Recumbent Exercise Bike
- 6. Best Budget Recumbent Bike: Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike
Sneak Peek of the Best Recumbent Exercise Bikes:
The Nordictrack R35 is our Best Recumbent bike in 2021 because it combines comfort, tech, and convenience in one bike. The R35 has a padded, oversized seat that slides horizontally so you can find the right fit. A vented backrest and lumbar support increase your comfort on the bike, and the wide pedals will support any athletic shoe. We love the 14” touchscreen with high-def resolution and quality iFit content. The 25lb flywheel creates a smooth pedal stroke and 26 digital resistance levels allow for plenty of resistance variables. This bike will support up to 350 lbs of user weight, making it a good option for riders of all sizes. The one-touch controls and a clean console augment the bright touchscreen.
This combination of features makes the Nordictrack R35 a comfortable recumbent bike that will increase your cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength, and help you lose weight – all while exercising at home.
- Smooth, Inertia-enhanced 25lb Flywheel
- Sturdy Steel Construction
- 26 Digital Resistance levels
- Silent Magnetic Resistance
- One-Touch controls
- Automated Resistance/Incline Control in iFit
- 350 Lb. User Weight Capacity
- 69” L x 24” W x 54” H Footprint
- Weighs 190lbs
- Dual Water Bottle Holders
- Flat pedals
- The seat slides forward and back
- 14” Smart HD Touchscreen
- Syncs with Bluetooth Headphones
- Upgraded 3” Digitally Amplified Speakers
- Live Touch Buttons
- Dual AutoBreeze™ Workout Fan
- Automatic Trainer Control
- Indoor and Outdoor Rides
- 10-Year Frame Warranty
- 2-Year Parts Warranty
- 1-Year Labor Warranty
The Sole R92 recumbent bike is quiet, affordable, and doesn’t require a subscription. Sole has long been one of our favorite manufacturers for durable, quality fitness equipment. The Sole R92 has magnetic resistance with 20 different resistance levels. This recumbent bike is the best option for riders who don’t want a subscription or attached touchscreen.
The 9” console displays all ride metrics including calories, speed, distance, RPM’s and heart rate. An attached tablet holder provides the perfect place to watch a show just above the console. Upright handlebars flank the screen and there are also a set of horizontal handles on either side of the seat for stability. Even though the R92 doesn’t feature subscription content, it includes 10 preloaded programs and includes a heart rate chest strap for accurate HR training. We love that Sole covers the R92 with a full lifetime warranty on the frame.
- Sturdy steel and aluminum frame
- Magnetic resistance
- Adjustable seat
- Ergonomic pedals
- Integrated console
- Simple computer display
- Calories, speed, RPM’s, time, distance and HR
- Backlit for easy visibility
- Doesn’t require WiFi or internet
- Includes Bluetooth chest strap for HR training
- Lifetime Frame Warranty
- 3-Year Electronics & Parts Warranty
- 1-Year Labor Warranty
The LifeSpan Fitness R5i Recumbent bike has a step-thru frame that is easy to get on and off and doesn’t require electricity to run. This lightweight recumbent bike has a vented seat, armrests for comfort, and EKG sensors to transmit your heart rate data to the LCD screen. The screen is battery-operated, so you don’t need to plug in the bike for it to run. Simply sit and pedal!
This is a great option for riders who have mobility issues and need an easy, step-thru design. The R5i stationary recumbent bike is designed to provide both comfort and durability to support home or commercial use. The R5i has an oversized molded seat bottom, ventilated seat back, and extra lumbar support. The seat also includes full armrests with integrated heart rate sensors, so you can monitor your heart rate constantly throughout your workout without needing to move your hands or wear a chest strap. With a solid design and a 400 pound weight capacity, this make the LifeSpan R5i a great recumbent bike for obese or overweight users.
The LifeSpan R5i recumbent bike has an LCD screen that displays a readout for different workout programs. Five tactile buttons on the console allow you to select a workout program. This is not a touchscreen, but the console buttons make it simple to toggle through various settings and programs. Quick-change buttons will quickly jump the resistance to levels. A wrap-around handlebar is also a nice addition since it offers various hand positions for stability when navigating the console.
- 18lb Flywheel
- Molded seat bottom with vented back and chair-style armrests
- Seat: 14” Micro-Adjustment Fore and Aft
- Backrest: Adjustable angle
- Magnetic Resistance Eddy Current
- 16 Resistance Levels
- Ergonomic self-balancing pedals
- 2 Front mounted wheels
- Footprint: 70” L x 27.5” W x 44.5” H
- Max User Weight: 400lbs
- Bike weight: 146lbs
- Multi-color LCD console with profile, personal metrics and exercise program readouts
- Program readouts include: Program name, date and time, workout time, calories, RPM, distance, heart rate, speed, resistance level and watts
- Preloaded with 4 heart rate programs
- 2 customized user programs
- 34 preset programs (10 weight management, 10 healthy living, 14 sports training)
- Contact heart rate sensors located on the armrests
- *Chest strap not included
- Large, soft-touch keys — start, enter, up/down arrow keys and QuickSet™ button
- Frame: Lifetime
- Parts: 5 Years
- Parts: 5 Years
The Sole LCR recumbent bike has a solid frame. The weighted flywheel is smooth and fluid. A few features I really like about this bike include the padded seat and backrest. There are also heart rate sensors on the horizontal handles that flank either side of the seat. These angle upward for an easy grip. The seat slides forward and back so this bike can fit all-sized riders. The pedals are wide and comfortable. The 10” LCD screen has large digital metrics that are easy to see. The attached tablet holder on the top of the console lets riders enjoy their favorite program while riding.
This bike has a 30lb flywheel, 40 levels of resistance and will support users up to 350 lbs, making it an excellent bike for larger riders. The steel frame is heavy-duty and reinforced for stability.
- Solid, sturdy frame is lightweight but strong
- Includes a tablet holder
- Supports up to 350lbs
- Front wheels to roll it when not in use
- Seat moves forward/back
- Horizontal and vertical handlebars
- 40 resistance levels
- Two water bottle holders
- Heavy inertia-enhanced flywheel
- Simple LCD console
- Bluetooth enabled to sync with compatible heart rate monitor
- Displays basic ride info
- Backlit and easy to see
- Bike plugs in – does not require a battery
- Lifetime Frame Warranty
- 5-Year Electronics & Parts Warranty
- 2-Year Labor Warranty
The NordicTrack VR25 is one of our favorite recumbent bikes! This comfortable bike is ideal for anyone looking for low-impact training on a bike that is reclined and easy to use. With a padded seat and vented backrest, you can work hard and still stay cool. The step-thru design works great for those with mobility or joint issues.
The VR215 is a stable bike that sits squarely on the floor. Steel support beams with plastic overlay in key areas keep moving parts protected. This bike does not rock when placed on a level floor. Although it is slightly larger than a studio bike, the footprint is long and narrow so you should be able to tuck it in the corner of a room or under a window. The vented backrest allows for airflow so even as body temp increases during riding, you don’t end up leaning against a sweaty backrest. The backrest and seat are also smooth and germ-resistant, so they clean up easily and won’t harbor bacteria.
The VR25 console features a nice 7” full-color touchscreen that is a significant step up from the LCD screens found on lower-end models. Via the touchscreen, you can control the digital resistance, adjust fan speed and volume, and select from hundreds of iFit cycling classes and programs. The inclusion of a touchscreen enhances the VR25 functionality by adding a database of content that is not available without iFit. We also love how the touchscreen is simple and easy to use. 7” isn’t huge and there were a few times I wished for a slightly larger screen, but since you are sitting directly in front of the screen it is easy to reach.
- StepThru™ Design
- Oversized, Lumbar-Supported Cushion Seat
- EasyGlide™ Seat Adjustment
- Extra-Wide, Ergonomic Foot Pedals with Adjustable Strap
- AutoBreeze™ Workout Fan
- Front-mounted Transport Wheels
- 68″ L x 21.75″ W x 60″ H Footprint
- AC Adapter Included
- 25 Lb. Inertia-Enhanced Flywheel
- Commercial-Gauge, Solid Steel Construction
- 350 Lb. User Capacity
- 7” Smart HD Touchscreen
- Includes 1-Year NordicTrack iFit® membership**
- Integrated, Pivoting Tablet Holder
- Auxiliary Music Port
- Two 2” Digitally Amplified Bluetooth® Speakers
- Bluetooth® Smart Enabled
- 35 On-board Workouts
- OneTouch® Controls
- 25 Lb. Inertia-Enhanced Flywheel
- SMR™ Silent Magnetic Resistance
- 26 Digital Resistance Levels
- EKG™ Grip Pulse
- iFit Bluetooth® Smart Chest Strap Included
- Low-impact workout
- Easy on joints
- Easy to use and get on and off
The Schwinn 270 recumbent bike is an affordable, lightweight option that will support users up to 300 lbs. Priced under $1000, the Schwinn 270 is a popular option for budget-minded consumers. The bike itself weighs 87lbs, and is composed of a carbon steel frame. It has 25 resistance levels and 29 preloaded programs. You don’t need an internet connection to use this bike, but it does require a plug. The console is Bluetooth enabled and will sync with Schwinn’s RideSocial app so you can virtually ride alongside friends in real-time.
The inertia-enhanced flywheel creates a smooth pedal stroke and the gentle decline brings the seat closer to the console which makes the Schwinn 270 a good option for users of all sizes. Two LCD screens display all your ride metrics. The console features a USB charging port, tablet shelf, speakers, and built-in water bottle holder. The Schwinn 270 offers all the conveniences you’ll need to ride comfortably at home.
- Footprint: 64” L x 28” W x 50” H
- Unit weight: 86lbs
- Max user weight: 300lb
- 25 Magnetic resistance levels
- Carbon steel frame
- Easy step-thru design
- Two LCD screens
- Syncs with Explore the World app
- Heart rate sensors on handlebars
- USB charging port
- Media rack
- Built-in bottle holder
What Should You Look For When Buying A Recumbent Bike?
When looking to purchase a Recumbent bike there are several features you’ll want to consider.
Bike Geometry and Adjustment Options
Make sure your potential recumbent bike has enough room for your leg span. Recumbent stationary bikes usually have a sliding seat that moves toward and away from the handlebars. Check out the maximum weight and any data on seat height or leg span.
Most recumbent bikes have wide pedals that will work with any athletic shoe. Unlike regular spin bikes, recumbent bikes don’t typically have hybrid pedals that support a cycling shoe.
There are often two sets of handlebars on a recumbent bike. One pair flanks the saddle on either side so you can hold on while riding. Another set is usually attached to the console with an upright position for more of a vertical grip.
A wide, padded saddle is important on a recumbent bike. Make sure the saddle is both wide and deep enough. The backrest on a recumbent stationary bike may be padded or vented and usually includes some form of lumbar support. Some backrests will adjust slightly for more of a reclined position.
Ease of Use
Do you want a bike you can just jump on and go? Do you need to roll your bike out of the way when you’re finished? Do you want the option of finding the right class and instructor? Depending on how you plan to use your bike, look for a frame/screen design that will best facilitate your needs. If you plan to roll your bike in and out of a corner or closet, look for something lighter weight with wheels. If you want to select a new class each time, make sure the console app has good filter options for convenience.
We all know that when exercising at home, noise matters! Most of the bikes on our list are very quiet. In fact, in general, recumbent bikes are the quietest type of exercise bike. There’s no motor noise or thudding like on a treadmill. Bikes are compact and quiet, making them easy to use. In general, bikes with magnetic resistance will be quieter than friction resistance bikes because there is no contact point between the flywheel and the resistance.
A warranty is a good reflection of the manufacturer’s confidence in that particular product. We recommend looking for a warranty that has at least five years coverage on the frame with two years on parts and one for labor. This coverage is pretty standard. We are wary of companies that only offer a 12-month limited warranty. Also, look for “restocking fees” that may be as much as $250 to return your bike – even within the initial 30 days. Read the warranty and return policy carefully.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Lose Weight Riding a Recumbent bike?
Yes! Cycling is excellent cardiovascular exercise. During exercise, the body requires more calories as it works to supply oxygen and other vital nutrients to working muscles, including your heart. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends adults between the ages of 16-65 engage in moderate-intensity aerobic exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes 5 days per week — or vigorous-intensity exercise for a minimum of 20 minutes 3 days per week. Cycling is excellent low impact, cardiovascular exercise. The more you exercise, the more calories your body needs for working muscles. If you maintain or reduce daily calories slightly and consistently ride a recumbent bike 5 days per week at the recommended level of at least 30 minutes, your body will tap into fat stores to supply the needed energy. This results in weight loss.
Can I Ride A Recumbent Bike Every day?
You can ride a bike regularly as this is an excellent low-impact exercise. Once you are comfortable on your bike and feel confident, you can ride as often as you’d like! Since cycling is an excellent low-impact aerobic exercise, it can be done for as little as 20 minutes or as long as several hours based on the conditioning of the rider.
How Long Should I Ride My Recumbent bike?
Most cycling classes range between 20 minutes to an hour. A recent study published by the IDEA Fitness Journal in April of 2021 reported that the ideal training duration for moderate to high-intensity exercise is between 30-60 minutes with 45 minutes being the ideal sweet spot for best physical and mental health. Exercising over 90 minutes can actually cause muscle breakdown, lead to overuse injuries, and even worsen mental health in susceptible individuals. Conditioned cyclists may enjoy riding for longer periods of time, but this isn’t recommended as a means of additional conditioning or weight loss. Muscular breakdown will reduce your basal metabolic rate which negatively impacts weight loss and body composition.
Why Are Recumbent Bikes So Expensive?
With exercise equipment, you get what you pay for. We’ve tested hundreds of products over the years and consistently find that solid, sturdy, well-built exercise equipment requires quality materials and construction. Since recumbent bikes are designed to support users up to 300 pounds, they have to be built of quality materials.
Does Peloton Have A Recumbent Bike?
Peloton does not currently have a recumbent bike. Peloton’s main focus from the beginning has been their studio bike and content surrounding the studio bike and their treadmills.