Based on the design of the recumbent bike, a horizontal exercise bike is a stationary exercise bicycle that has a seat and an adjustable backrest. Because of the reclined position, you pedal with your legs in front of you, rather than below you as you would on an upright bike. This position is ergonomic, back-friendly and reduces possible strain while increasing quality workout time, getting you into shape and burning those unwanted calories.
The flat position is perfect for people with any kind of upper or lower back problems. There is no leaning over like on an upright exercise bike which can lead to back pain over time.
Saving money on gym membership and transport costs is an added value to installing a recumbent exercise bike at home. What’s more, you can set it where you want it: in front of your garden window, computer or TV, and exercise in a pleasant and entertaining environment.
Table of Contents
- 1 Buying Guide
- 2 Best Recumbent Exercise Bike Workouts
- 3 Best Recumbent Exercise Bike Reviews
- 3.1 Marcy ME 709 Exercise Bike
- 3.2 Exerpeutic 900XL Extended Capacity Bike
- 3.3 Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike
- 3.4 Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike
- 3.5 Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike
- 3.6 Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike with Pulse
- 3.7 DeskCycle Desk Exercise Bike Pedal Exerciser, White
- 3.8 MagneTrainer-ER Mini Exercise Bike Arm and Leg Exerciser
- 3.9 FitDesk 2.0 Desk Exercise Bike with Massage Bar
- 3.10 Stamina 15-0125 InStride Folding Cycle
- 4 Final Thought
Here are some features you should have in mind when buying a recumbent exercise bike for home workouts.
Appropriate pedaling resistance is the crucial aspect of effective stationary bike workout. Resistance is mostly magnetic and applied to a flywheel just like on other common indoor bikes. The flywheel creates a momentum that imitates the feeling you get while cycling on an open road. The bikes come with pre-programmed workouts which can also be modified according to your cardio needs and health and fitness condition. The resistance applied to each program will vary based on your target heart rate or different pre-programmed modes. Once you’re properly warmed up, you can choose more challenging models which mimic riding on steep terrain where the resistance would be significantly higher. If you pair a heart rate monitor with your exercise bike, the resistance will adjust according to your target heart rate.
Heart Rate Monitor
Speeding up your heart rate through stationary bike workout provides huge cardiovascular health benefits but you have to stay within healthy heart rate limits while doing your cardio. Therefore, using a good quality heart rate monitor is a must. Your maximum heart rate is easy to calculate: it’s 220 minus your age. For example, if you are 50 years old, your maximum heart rate is 220-50=170. If you are close to maximum values slow down or take a break. Safety always comes first! In the initial workout period you should keep at 50% and, as weeks and months go by, gradually reach 85% of your maximum heart rate and keep it there if you feel well while working out.
Displays are an essential part of the bikes because they show a multitude of useful information such as your speed, time, distance, and calories. The data not only help you track your exercise progress but also encourage you to strive towards more challenging goals. The displays should be clear and bright enough so you can track data. Also, displays have to be positioned in the way that you can clearly see what’s going on while sitting comfortably. The buttons which set values or scroll through the menu should be durable, well-made and react to every single push.
The exercise bikes will help you burn an equal number of calories as an upright bicycle would but with no risk of getting injured over time. The seats are adjustable and allow you to recline into a comfortable position with your back against the seat rest. This position takes the weight off your ankles, knees hips and back. You will still get a great workout but without the usual downward thrust and strain which often brings injuries so common in cycling, jogging and other forms of exercise. A supine bike being so comfortable is what makes people exercise longer and more often compared to upright bikes.
What is the best recumbent exercise bike on the market? Let’s move on to our reviews and you’ll soon find one which best fits your needs!
Best Recumbent Exercise Bike Workouts
Want to get the best results from your exercise bike? Check out the video below for tips and suggestions.
Best Recumbent Exercise Bike Reviews
Marcy ME 709 Exercise Bike comes with 8 pre-set levels of smooth magnetic resistance and easy-to-adjust tension-tightening knob for different fitness levels.
This exercise bike fits into the smallest exercise spaces with its home friendly dimensions of 55.5" x 25" x 37.5" (W x H X D). It only weighs 66 pounds but it’s robust and yet elegant with built-in transport wheels.
It has easy to adjust tension-tightening knob for different fitness levels and a large display where you can see your speed, distance, time, and calories. The step-through bike frame is made of 2-inch 14-gauge steel tubing with a durable powder-coat finish.
The Marcy Exercise Bike is equipped with counterbalanced pedals with adjustable foot straps which will keep your feet in a proper position while you cycle comfortably reclined in a quality padded seat.
The instructions provided are and the set includes a couple of wrenches to tighten the bolts. You can also adjust the length from the seat to the pedals based on your height, which makes this bike the best exercise bike for short people.
Although sturdy, the bike can easily be moved around your room if you don’t have a separate workout space at home. You can lift it and roll it around in case you need to put it elsewhere.
Marcy Exercise Bike is super quiet so you can watch TV or a movie while you pedal and the digital display easy to read and use at all times. Sit back and enjoy your workout!
Exerpeutic 900XL Extended Capacity Bike has a wider seat for comfort and can handle up to a 300-pound user. The precision balanced flywheel and V- belt drive provide a smooth and quiet operation. The bike features magnetic resistance for challenging workouts and hand pulse pads for targeting heart rate zones.
The display is fairly simple to read. It has large window LCD indicating the distance, calories burned, time, speed, scan and heart rate monitor. The bike handles have pulse pad readers which are convenient and accurate. The computer installed also keeps a running count of your overall distance covered.
An 8 level Magnetic Tension control system allows the user to adjust the tension level for an easier or more difficult workout. The seat is fairly comfortable, and as long as you have the adjusters tightened right, you’ll pedal smoothly, quietly and the bike won’t wobble as you cycle.
The stabilizing bars are wide enough that they keep the machine from shifting from side to side. The “Step Through” design makes it easy to hop on and off the bike. This bike is a bit longer and wider so it does take up quite a bit of room. If you need to move the bike, transportation wheels will come in handy.
The chassis cover and the display board are made of plastic so expect a few scratches over time.
Overall, Exerpeutic 900XL is one of best rated recumbent bikes for anyone who's looking for an affordable exercise machine for their daily cycling workout.
Schwinn 230 features an oversized console that tracks your progress in a precise and easy to read way. There are 22 workout programs, 2 user settings, 9-course profiles and 20 levels of eddy current resistance. You just focus on your fitness goals and the computer will track your progress!
Schwinn Connect goal tracking and data export over USB data exchange port are user-friendly and highly motivating. It easily connects to myfitnesspal.com as well. Dual track two LCD window system allows you to monitor up to 13 different display feedbacks including contact heart rate monitoring built into the handlebars.
High-speed high inertia perimeter weighted flywheel makes every cycling session smooth and quiet. There are in-console speakers for high-quality sound and a media rack. There’s a well-positioned cup/bottle holder just don’t use it for beer!
Schwinn 230 Bike provides a challenging workout but in a relaxed position with increased lower back support and minimum strain. Static handle bars will help you to get on and off the bike easily and safely.
The leg area contoured seat is vented and can be adjusted in the fore/aft positions. It provides lumbar support for comfort and a 3-speed fan for cooling. Its sliding seat rail enables a variety of positions for several users up to 300 pounds in weight. Simply adjust this easy to operate lever system.
Oversized crossbar tubing will provide better stability and two integrated levelers and a center frame support make for Schwinn 230 a solid workout platform. There are also transport wheels under the front legs to make it easier for you to move the bike around.
Schwinn 270 comes with a single piece frame, 2 integrated levelers and large mid-frame support, which makes it an incredibly solid workout platform.
There are 29 preset programs including heart rate control beginner and advanced, custom user defined; 2 fitness tests again beginner and advanced, recovery test and quick start. Plenty of options for everyone!
DualTrack backlit LCD display lets you monitor up to 13 different display feeds depending on what you need to monitor. Choose between time, distance or calories tracking and connect, store and follow your progress using USB data transfer. Compatible with Schwinn Connect website and MyFitnessPal.
With DualTrack display, you will love the ability to mount an iPad or Kindle Fire without additional accessories needed. You’ll be able to watch a movie keep track of your progress at the same time.
25 levels of eddy current resistance are aligned with a high speed, high inertia perimeter weighted flywheel. This Schwinn model will also provide comfy and quiet workouts. While cycling, you can monitor your heart rate using grip sensors.
Aluminum slider seat rail system with a quick and easy lever, before and after seat adjustment.
This bike has a padded seat bottom with contoured leg area. Back rest is adjustable but not padded. A 3-speed fan, acoustic speakers installed, a water bottle holder and transport wheels are nice additions to standard features. So is the auto turn off feature when you aren’t using your bike.
Nautilus R616 features a stylish design and reliable recumbent bike performance. This Nautilus model will also provide smooth and quiet workout with 25 levels of eddy current resistance aligned with a high speed, high inertia flywheel. While cycling, you can monitor your heart rate using grip heart rate sensors. With a sturdy and elegant easy adjustable frame supported by 2 integrated levelers, you will paddle at ease and without wobbling or side movements.
Nautilus R616 features a DualTrack display so you can simultaneously watch something from your tablet while staying in control over your workout. No additional accessories are needed as there are quality sealed acoustic speakers installed.
Nautilus R616 will meet everyone’s cardio needs with its 29 preset programs. There are heart rate control programs for beginners and more advanced users, custom user defined presets; fitness tests, a recovery test and quick start.
DualTrack LCD display lets you monitor up to 13 different display info features depending on what you’re interested in as regards tracking your progress. The usual feeds as in all top rated recumbent bikes are there: distance, time, calories etc. You can connect, store and keep track of your progress using USB data transfer as the bike is compatible with NautilusConnect website and MyFitnessPal.
Aluminum slider seat rail system with a fast and easy lever, fore and aft seat adjustment is easy to use. The back rest is also adjustable but no pad available here either.
Media tray, a bottle holder, a cooling fan with 3 speeds will make your cycling comfortable. If you need to re position your exercise bike, there are transport wheels on the bottom of the front bar.
Exerpeutic Folding Bike folds to half the size, which is a convenient storage feature. The installed wheels make moving the bike around even easier. The frame structure also makes it easy to get on and off the bike. The frame tubes are heavy steel with good welds.
The bike has a large comfortable padded seat which is adjustable for people 5’3” – 6’1”. The sturdy Exerpeutic Folding Bike is designed to support users of up to 300lbs.
The bike features the 'high torque' 3-piece crank system, 8-level Magnetic Tension control system, heart pulse monitoring and a 'double drive' transmission system. Large pedals with safety strap prevent your feet from slipping and the extended feet at the base will keep the bike from tipping while exercising.
An easy to read large window (3.3 W x 1.5 H inches) LCD display indicates distance, time, speed, scan, and heart rate monitor and calories burned: features of all the best reclining exercise bikes are there. What’s more, the handles have Hand Pulse Sensors for monitoring your targeted heart rate zone.
The precision balanced flywheel and V- belt drive provide a quiet and smooth operation. 3 piece 'high torque' cranking system provides a smooth and consistent pedaling motion. As all top rated decumbent bikes, Exerpeutic Folding Bike is really quiet and no noise will interfere with listening to music or watching TV.
DeskCycle Desk Bike makes it easy to get safe and effective exercise while watching TV from the comfort of your armchair at home while working at your desk or at any other time while you're sitting and your legs are free.
It comes with the large pedals with adjustable Velcro straps. It has 8 calibrated resistance levels. Pedaling the DeskCycle at one rotation per second on the lowest resistance setting doesn't feel like exercise at all but it will increase your energy expenditure by 50% more than while you’re just sitting and by 20% more than when you’re standing.
5-function display shows speed, time, distance calories and scan. The pedal motion is bidirectional, which means you can pedal it forward as well as in reverse. This lets you work out the opposite muscle groups in a comfortable and quiet way.
When using the DeskCycle at your desk at work, you should set the resistance level to 3 or less. This low cardio zone increases your energy level and oxygen coming to your brain without distracting you by putting conscious effort into pedaling or straining your muscles.
The gears are completely quiet so if you’re doing business over the phone, your clients won’t realize you’re pedaling when on calls. Smooth pedal motion makes pedaling the DeskCycle an unconscious activity so that you can focus your attention on whatever you’re doing at the moment, which makes DeskCycle by far the best recumbent exercise bike overall.
The low profile and wide base prevent the DeskCycle from rocking or tipping as the taller bikes. With the lowest pedal height of only 10 inches, the DeskCycle fits under desks taller than 27 inches.
MagneTrainer Mini Bike uses a patented adjustable magnetic resistance system to provide ultra-smooth pedaling in both the forward and reverse directions.
The wide resistance range and smooth pedal motion make it ideal for both physical therapy and healthy exercise. The MagneTrainer is used by many to exercise at work but also in medical facilities, rehab clinics, assisted living homes etc.
To use it while typing you will need a tall desk, between 34 and 36 inches. The MagneTrainer is quiet and durable. Made to last for years, it uses high-quality components, has wider 4V belts, heavier duty pulleys, and flywheels with German flywheel bearings.
The wider 15-inch steel base keeps the bike from rocking side to side. The pedals have adjustable Velcro straps to accommodate all foot sizes. The MagneTrainer is not limited to 8 resistance levels like the other bikes. The resistance on the MagneTrainer can be set to any value within its very wide range.
The 5-rotation dial lets you precisely select the resistance you want. The LCD display shows your speed, time, distance, and calories. It turns on when you use the bike and automatically turns off when you are done.
The MagneTrainer is bi-directional so you can pedal it forwards or backward and if you put it on your desk it conveniently becomes arms exercises machine with ergonomic features for your fingers and palms. The bike comes with simple, clear instructions and it doesn't take long to assemble. Stability issues are minimized by the MagneTrainer's weightiness and the width of its base.
All but the most dedicated cyclists/spinners will find the intensity more than adequate. If you find the bike moving during intensive cycling, get a rubber mat or simply fix the base to the floor.
Convenience and portability are the main selling points for MINI-bikes, and these features involve some compromises compared to much more expensive full-size large footprint bikes. With MagneTrainer bike you will compromise the least!
FitDesk 2.0 Exercise Bike’s 'Balanced' flywheel and 'Precision Sealed' bearings ensure Smooth operation that won’t distract from work or cause vibrations on desk surface which is conveniently added.
This bike has a 16 x 19-inch non-slip surface desk which fits laptops, tablets, magazines with and easy access drawer. There are also massage rollers to make typing while exercising comfortable.
8-position magnetic resistance is easily adjusted using a frame mounted control knob for a harder or easier workout. Convenient resistance bands for upper body exercise when not typing are a unique and useful feature.
Gear box components are made of aluminum and steel instead of plastic to ensure durability and reliable operation. Twin belt, high-velocity flywheel gives you a big bike feel in a lightweight product. The frame itself is powder coated steel.
FitDesk platform is very convenient for your laptop, tablet or other gadgets of your choice. Easy-to-Read Digital resistance meter tracks mileage, calories, and time. A storage drawer below the desk is very convenient for putting away your phone, mt3 player, earbuds, pens and so on.
The seat can easily be adjusted along with 4″ seat extender. This bike can comfortably fit users who are 6’ tall down to 4’10”, making this bike the best recumbent exercise bike for short people.
Backrest and extender allow you to adjust the bike to upright and semi-horizontal configuration. An adjustable armrest with padded and contoured massage rollers for your forearms provides support and comfort for any height while working on your laptop.
Quick lock compact folding frame with built in wheels makes FitDesk easy to transport, move and store away. With this one of the best exercise bikes, you’ll be able to forget you’re actually exercising while comfortably reading or watching TV or emailing friends!
Stamina InStride Bike is lightweight and portable so you can take it with you to use at the office, on vacation, or at home. If you want to burn extra calories while performing your regular daily tasks simply pedal with your feet while seated for a lower body workout, or use it on a desk or tabletop and pedal with your hands for an upper body workout.
However, since Stamina is light-weight, this may be a challenging task in itself; unless fixed to the floor, it tends to paddle away. It has a battery-operated electronic monitor to keep track of your workout. Not that accurate, though.
Sturdy rubber feet should prevent the Stamina InStride Folding Cycle from slipping, and straps hold your feet firmly in place on the pedals. Sadly, it doesn't always go that easy.
A convenient tension control allows a broad range of pedal resistance to set the intensity of your workout. Compact and lightweight, the bike can be simply folded and taken with you to the office or on holiday.
The tubular frame itself is made of steel to provide durability and solid workout performance. Cycling improves cardiovascular health and Stamina InStride is just about efficient in its operation. It can be easily moved or stored away when not in use.
If you want to change the intensity of your workout, there is a T-handle screw on the pedal housing. Tighten it and it will increase the pressure required to turn the pedals. However, the more pressure you apply, the more stability you need so have that in mind when positioning this bike.
For the price this is a solid purchase if you don't mind its shortcomings: less than perfectly aligned, the drive gets too hot and the bike tends to slide quite a bit.
You can still put it against a wall and sit on a chair in front of it with your laptop, a book or a magazine and burn some calories when you're too tired to do anything else. At such affordable price, it's not realistic to expect neither the same performance nor stability as with much more expensive models.
Ultimately, the exercise bike is a great product that offers many features and benefits to succeed in your exercises. It is important for the individual to continue their exercises and understand the correct technique to reach their maximum potential. This is a suggestion and recommendation of what your options in choosing these recumbent exercise bikes.
We wrote this review to help our users understand the importance of utilizing these types of equipment so that they know what to expect from the purchase. This detail of information is crucial and was well researched before posted. We hope this offers a better assurance of what customers need in their lifestyle.