The best recumbent exercise bikes provide a dynamic workout that doesn’t result in undue impact or stress on your body. They’re ideal for folks with back problems, those recovering from injuries, or any user who’s simply trying to get a great workout without as much ergonomic strain as a standard bike.
Of course, not all recumbent exercise bikes are created equal! In this guide, we’ll teach you how to shop for one like a seasoned trainer. We’ll also introduce you to all our favorite models, as chosen by our expert reviewers.
Read on to see which recumbent exercise bikes we’re currently recommending and to learn why they made our cut!
|Picture||Product Name||Max Weight Capacity||Footprint||Cost|
|Exerpeutic 1000 High-Capacity Magnetic Recumbent Bike||300 lbs||$|
|ExerWorK 1000||300 lbs||21.3" L x 25.5" W||$$|
|Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Bike||250 lbs||$$|
|Champion Fitnex R50 Recumbent Exercise Bike||400 lbs||73" x 23"||$$$|
|CYBEX 750R Recumbent Exercise Bike||400 lbs||$$$|
Best Recumbent Exercise Bike Reviews (2019)
The Exerpeutic 1000 is our budget recommendation for a recumbent exercise bike. It’s affordable, adaptive, and surprisingly reliable for such an inexpensive piece of equipment. We suggest it to casual home users and to those who can’t afford to spend $750+ dollars on a premium model.
It’s very affordable. You can grab one of these for a fraction of the cost of typical recumbent exercise bikes. This model is usually available for well under $250, which is a third as much as you’d pay for the Stamina elite model below.
It’s not chintzy garbage. Of course, that should be a given with anything we recommend! The fact is that the Exerpeutic is the only recumbent exercise bike under $500 that’s reliable and versatile enough for us to recommend with confidence.
It’s quite well-made, even if it’s not comparable to commercial-grade models like you’d see in your local gym. The Exerpeutic feels relatively sturdy and doesn’t have any obviously chintzy components. Sure, it’s not premium, but there’s nothing that feels like it’ll break or fall off anytime soon.
It’s rated for users up to 300 pounds. While more expensive models do have higher capacities, this is by far the sturdiest of the budget options. It’s nice to know that you can spend this little and still end up with a machine that’ll support the vast majority of users! Extending side stabilizers and a wider seat are also nice design touches for larger users looking to get fit.
It offers a great workout for a low price. The Exerpeutic has a magnetic tension system with 8 levels of difficulty. You can make it quite difficult, and there are plenty of steps along the way to ease yourself into your workouts.
While it doesn’t include many frills, there is a basic, decent monitor display. It tracks distance, calories, time, speed, and heart rate. It’s definitely not as accurate as the premium options, but it’s enough for the average user to track their progress and keep pushing their workouts to the next level.
The experience of pedaling the Exerpeutic is surprisingly good, for something so inexpensive. The balanced flywheel drive system is relatively quiet and a heck of a lot smoother than others around the same price.
It’s easy to assemble. Even if you’re not particularly good at putting things together, the manual is helpful and the components fit together intuitively.
It’s also available in a desk version. The ExerWorK 1000 is essentially the same recumbent bike, only with a softer seat for long sessions and a desk instead of the plain display panel.
Your workout stats are still easy to see, since there’s a compact display embedded at the front of the desk.
You can adjust the desk as well as the seat to find the right height and angle for productivity.
The addition of cupholders makes this a cushier setup, though we don’t see any point in buying it if you’re not going to use it for work.
Quality control isn’t great. We’ve seen a few reports online of buyers receiving units that were damaged in shipping or missing screws.
Resistance can feel a bit jerky compared to premium models. It doesn’t have that smooth sense of inertia that you get with more expensive equipment.
It’s not as adjustable or as comfortable as the pricier models we recommend. Adjusting the seat on a recumbent bike should be very straightforward, but this one requires you to loosen and tighten three different knobs. It’s hardly convenient for multiple users.
There aren’t any real bells and whistles on this one.
This Stamina Elite model is a nice midrange option for folks who want maximum value for money under $1000. It’s quite similar to the Exerpeutic 1000, but adds slightly sturdier build quality and another set of pedals for working out your upper body. It’s worth considering if you’re on a budget and want to be able to do upper body exercises as well as traditional recumbent cycling.
Like the Exerpeutic 1000, it uses a magnetic resistance system with 8 difficulty levels. The two machines are actually quite similar and feel about the same to use. We do think the Stamina is a bit smoother, but the overall feeling is the same.
The Stamina shares most of the same features with the Exerpeutic 1000, too. It has an adjustable seat, adjustable pedals, heart rate sensors and a basic monitor display.
The key difference between the two is that the Stamina adds handles for working out your upper body. You can use the same tension controls as you do with the foot pedals to adjust the handles. This is a great way to make a machine a whole-body workout station, rather than just a bike.
There are little design touches throughout that are more thoughtful and well-executed than the Exerpeutic. For example, the seat on the Stamina is significantly easier to adjust.
It’s built quite sturdily, if not to the standards of the premium models below. It’s covered by a 5-year warranty, too, which is stellar for equipment in this price range.
You can exercise both your lower and upper body, but not simultaneously. When you turn the handles and pedals at the same time, all the resistance goes to the feet.
It’s far from perfect. The display is still quite basic, and there aren’t any programmed workouts in the computer. The ride isn’t as smooth as commercial-grade models, either.
Quality control isn’t great, like the Exerpeutic.
It’s not packed as well as it could be. We’ve seen buyer reports of machines being damaged quite badly in shipping. This seems to have been resolved recently, but do make sure you’ve got free returns before you buy.
It gets pretty difficult at the highest tension settings, but you’ll find that the more expensive models offer a greater challenge. This is an excellent place to start, though, and many users will never outgrow it.
It’s overpriced for what it is. It’s a bit better-made than the Exerpeutic, but the only real upgrade is the addition of the arm pedals. We do recommend it, but we suggest holding out for a sale.
The Champion Fitnex R50 is our recommendation to those who want a premium model without shelling out top dollar for the CYBEX below. It’s quite expensive, but still costs decidedly less than our top quality recommendation. We suggest it to dedicated recumbent cyclists who want a machine that can offer pre-programmed workouts as well as plenty of manual options.
There are a lot of improvements coming to the Champion Fitnex from cheaper models such as the Stamina, but the biggest difference you’ll notice right off the bat is the fact that this one has a complete computer system onboard rather than just a basic tracking display.
Having a complete computer system means your machine can program your workouts for you and act as a trainer, rather than just a tracker. There are 8 pre-programmed workouts built into the Champion Fitnex–plenty of variety for most users.
It has 16 resistance levels to choose from. That’s twice as many as our cheaper picks! Not only does this get significantly harder than those models at the upper end of the settings, but it offers more gradual steps along the way.
As with any commercial-grade unit, the Champion Fitnex provides much more accurate tracking of your heart rate than cheaper models offer. This is as reliable as most wearables in that department.
It’s sturdier than the Stamina by a long way. You can feel the difference all over the machine. It’s no surprise then that it’s rated for users up to 400 pounds and has a very good reliability record.
It doesn’t offer nearly as much variety as the CYBEX below. That machine offers more levels of resistance to choose from, as well as more preset workout programs.
We also don’t think it rides as well as the CYBEX. The Champion Fitness is less smooth and doesn’t have as nice a sense of inertia as the flywheel system on the CYBEX.
The CYBEX 750R is our current recommendation to those who want the best recumbent exercise bike on the market–at any price. It’s even more expensive than the Champion Fitnex, but we think its performance totally justifies the cost for dedicated users. If you spend time on a recumbent exercise bike every single day, and want something that will always keep you engaged and moving forward, this is the machine for you!
This is not only commercial-grade, but at the front of the pack. It’s often used in commercial settings, and that’s actually how we first came across it! The CYBEX is incredibly rugged and easily adapts to suit users of any size and experience level. They don’t come better than this. There’s a reason so many gyms use the 750R!
It’s full of amenities and extras that make it more enjoyable to use. There’s an excellent fan to keep you cool as you work out, as well as a very unique ventilated seat cushion. You have cupholders, a ledge for your smartphone, and everything else you could think to want.
Controls are easy and intuitive on the CYBEX. The best thing about it is how little you actually need to control it! This one automatically starts and stops workouts, and you can make modifications from there. You can even adjust the resistance settings right from the handlebars!
It’s a pleasure to use. It pedals smoothly on any setting, and it’s equipped with comfortable handles and seat cushions. Everything’s easy to keep clean and sanitary, too, which is often a tradeoff for comfort. Not in this case!
This is as versatile as recumbent bikes get. The 750R’s computer system offers plenty of variety to keep you pushing forward. A whopping 21 programmed workouts and 21 levels of resistance mean that even the most demanding users are never going to outgrow the machine or get bored.
This one’s only widely available as a refurb unit for the average consumer. You can certainly get ahold of a new unit, but it’s rather a pain. However, quality control is really excellent on the refurbishment program. You’ll actually find that these used and refurbished models go through much more intensive testing than the ones coming right off the factory floor!
It’s extremely expensive. This is the best recumbent exercise bike we’ve ever used, but it certainly comes at a high price. You don’t need to spend this much if you’re not absolutely sure you’ll get your money’s worth from it.
Which of these recumbent exercise bikes should you buy?
The Exerpeutic 1000 is the obvious choice if you’re on a tight budget. It costs the least of our recommendations by a long shot, and it’s the best thing under $500. This is also our suggestion to anyone who wants a recumbent bike to use as an active sitting desk!
The Stamina Elite is our suggestion to buyers who want a recumbent exercise bike they can use to train their upper body as well as the lower body.
The Champion Fitness is the way to go if you’re a dedicated recumbent bike user who wants something you’ll never grow out of, without spending so much for the top-notch CYBEX. It’s commercial-grade, capable, and very sturdy. However, this is more than casual users will want to spend.
The CYBEX 750R is our recommendation to anyone who wants the absolute best of the best in a recumbent exercise bike. If price isn’t an object, it’s simply a joy to use. It’s adaptive, convenient, reliable and ergonomic. Just be sure you’ll get your money’s worth out of it.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our guide to the best recumbent exercise bikes. You can learn more about any of the equipment we’ve recommended above by clicking on the links in our reviews. That’s a simple way to find full spec lists and check current prices. For more expert reviews and recommendations covering all your workout needs, visit our homepage at bodytrained.com!