Best Recumbent Bikes for Seniors Reviewed
As we age, fitting in a great cardio workout can often be a painful endeavor. Your heart and mind may be willing, but your lower back and joints are not having any of it. This doesn’t mean that cardio is off the table, it just means you have to invest in the right equipment.
Recumbent bikes for seniors get the heart pumping and blood flowing through the body without the strain and stress on your lower back. These bikes offer super comfortable seats that help support your lower back and easy pedals for natural movement. You can even adjust the resistance to help build muscles in your legs.
In this guide, we have compiled a list of 10 of the best recumbent bikes for seniors to keep your cardio game in full swing while still protecting your back and joints!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 7 hrs of research
Easy to use
10 Best Recumbent Bikes for Seniors
Easy to use
Nautilus has been on the home gym equipment scene since the mid-1980s, and they are known for bringing all of the power and features of the gym right into your home. What we loved most about this machine is that it provides users with a comfortable ride while still giving your heart a great workout.Read more
The high-backed chair curves to really hug your body and keep you firmly in place. It is composed of a vented material that is breathable to keep you cool as you really start to sweat. Plus, the seat slides along a ramp to make quick and easy adjustments for different body types.
The dashboard has a lot of tension and pre-programmed workout settings that users can select from. Although there are tons of settings and goal tracking options, it’s simple enough that even those that aren’t tech-savvy can figure out how to use all of the detailed settings.
If you are in the market for something that comes from a trusted brand that provides a comfortable ride and is super easy to use, this option from Nautilus is a great choice. The price tag is slightly more expensive than most, but it is far from the most expensive design out there on the market.
2. HCI Fitness PhysioCycle XT
Easy to use
Heart rate monitor
If you want a full-body workout that’s easy on your bone and joints, this is a great option. While it comes in at a very steep price point, there are few designs out there that are better than the HCI Fitness PhysioCycle XT. It has a strong and sturdy frame that offers a comfortable ride for not only your lower body but your upper body as well.Read more
What makes this design stand out from the pack is the addition of the hand pedals. While most designs provide fixed handlebars at the base of the seat, this model offers a pair of hand pedals to help build muscles in your arms and shoulders as you ride.
The foot pedals offer a pair of straps to ensure a secure fit that means your feet won’t slip off when you really start to move. The dashboard is super simple and easy to read and displays all of the important information you want at a mere glance. The simple display is perfect for those that aren’t super tech-savvy.
Although it comes in at a pretty steep price point, this machine is perfect for older users that want to get in a full-body workout while still taking it easy on their joints and bones. We love that it is super easy to use, and doesn’t get bogged down in too many extra features.
Schwinn knows a thing or two about recumbent bikes! What we loved about this design is that it is packed with features for a comfortable ride, and various settings to keep things interesting and exciting. Even though it comes from a big name brand, the price tag is still pretty reasonable.Read more
The high back of this is both breathable and comfortable and is curved to really hug your body. The wide seat accommodates a myriad of body types, and it is super padded to keep your rear happy. It also boasts wide and stable pedals with security straps that keep your feet from slipping off as you really start to move.
The dashboard is pretty easy to use, but it is packed with features to help you get the most out of your workouts. It boasts a big green quick start button, and a red button to pause or end your workout. It is also Bluetooth compatible so that you can pair it with your smartphone and play your favorite music through the central speaker.
We also love that this recumbent bike for seniors also has a built-in fan to keep you cool as you increase the intensity. If you are in the market for something that comes from a trusted brand that is built to hold up well over the years, this design from Schwinn is a great choice!
Easy to adjust
Difficult to assemble
If you don’t have a lot of extra room in your home for bulky workout gear, this compact recumbent bike for seniors from Marcy is an excellent option. It has a small and simple frame while still offering all of the tools you need to fit in a great workout. Plus, it comes in at an affordable price point that won’t break the bank.Read more
What users really love most about this design is that the seat is super comfortable and doesn’t dig into their skin even on long rides. Unlike some of the other models out there on the market, this option also provides users with a padded back as well as a padded seat.
Many of the features on this design are adjusted by hand, so users that aren’t familiar with digital displays will find this design is super easy to use. To change the placement of the east, simply pull out the central bar and adjust it along the track. To adjust the tension on the line, turn the adjustment knob to your desired setting.
This option also offers a simple digital display that shows users how far you traveled, calories burned, and time in use. If you are in the market for something that is super easy to use and won’t take up that much room in your home gym or living room, this is a great choice.
Easy to adjust
Heart rate monitor
Simplicity is the name of the game when it comes to this model from Velocity. Not only is it super compact and easy to use, but it also comes in at one of the most affordable prices out there on the market. If cost is an important factor when selecting a cycling machine, this option is a great choice without draining your bank account.Read more
The very first thing that we noticed about this design is that it has a high-back seat with a wide base that is super comfortable. The high foam handlebars offer users a good grip, and the handlebars are equipped with a handy heart rate monitor that displays the user’s heart rate on the small central digital screen.
The screen on this device is designed only to deliver important workout information to the user. It displays the user’s heart rate, calories burned, distance traveled, and time spent in use. The frame is small and simple and weighs in at a mere 53 pounds which makes moving it from room to room fairly simple.
If you are in the market for a quality recumbent bike for seniors that won’t break the bank, this design from Velocity is one of the most affordable designs that money can buy. It is super simple to use and adjust and is perfect for those that don’t have a lot of space in their home.
6. EXERPEUTIC 900XL
Easy to adjust
Difficult to assemble
This low profile design from EXERPEUTIC 900XL is a great choice for anyone that doesn’t have a whole lot of room in their home. We love that this machine has a sharp design that looks great in any indoor space. It sits a little lower to the floor than most, which may make it harder to get in and out for older users.Read more
While the frame of this option is super small and simple, it comes with helpful features to get the most out of your workouts. It comes with Bluetooth compatibility to sync it with a fitness app to track all of your workouts and set goals for yourself. To save a little bit of money, you can also select a design that doesn’t have Bluetooth.
Users love that this design has a super comfortable high seat for excellent stability. The pedals are equipped with straps to keep your feet securely in place as you start to pick up speed. The central screen displays calories burned, distance traveled, and your speed. All tension and seat adjustment are completely manually.
If you are in the market for something that has a low profile, affordable price tag, and is super simple to use, this design from EXERPEUTIC is worth checking out!
7. Sunny Health & Fitness
Easy to adjust
Heart rate monitor
Users get the best of both worlds with this design from Sunny Health & Fitness. Not only is it super easy to use and make adjustments for users that aren’t familiar with digital screens, but it also boasts a large dashboard with tons of bells and whistles.Read more
The very first thing that we noticed was the super padded and comfortable seat. It has a high back that adds a little extra cushioning to your back as you press up against it as you start to pedal. The wide pedals come with straps to hold your feet securely in place to prevent slipping.
When you want to make adjustments to the placement of the seat or the tension on the line, it can be done by simply turning a knob. This unit boasts a large and easy to read display that provides information on your ideal target heart rate as well as how many calories you burned, speed, and distance traveled.
If you are in the market for a recumbent bike for seniors that is strong and stable for an easy ride, this machine from Sunny Health & Fitness is a great choice. It has all of the tools you need to fit in a great workout, and it is offered at a price point that won’t break the bank!
Difficult to assemble
Users can expect a smooth, easy, and comfortable ride with this design from Stamina. Making adjustments to this design is super simple and easy, and it has a smaller frame that won’t take up that much room in your home. Plus, it comes in at an affordable price point that makes it worth checking out!Read more
What we love most about this machine is that it offers magnetic resistance inside of the enclosed flywheel. Magnetic resistance is much quieter and smoother than other designs that use friction resistance. If you need something that is quiet for your early morning rides, this is a great choice.
Another feature worth mentioning is that super comfortable seat. It boasts a high back that is reinforced with slight lumbar support to soothe tired backs as you elevate your heart rate. Pulse sensors found on the side handlebars monitor your heart rate and displays it on the central LCD screen.
Stamina is a very popular and trusted brand in the world of home fitness machines, and this design is no exception. Users love that it has a very comfortable chair that is perfect for long rides, and it is very easy to make adjustments not only to the chair but also to the resistance.
9. Weslo Pursuit G 3.1
Easy to use
This model from Weslo is great because it is small and compact, and provides users with a super steady ride. It boasts a comfortable seat that helps support your lower back, and small quality of life features to help you get the most out of your workouts.Read more
What we liked is that it is super simple and easy to use. It provides users with a central water bottle holder just like on a traditional bicycle for quick and easy hydration. The dashboard has a small LCD screen with large and easy to read numbers that details how much time in use, distance, and calories burned.
Users feel that the high-back seat is super comfortable, even on long journeys. You can also adjust the height of the seat by moving it forward and then securing it into place. The pedals are wide enough for your sneakers and utilize straps to keep your foot securely in place.
The best part of this design is that it comes in at a super affordable price point. If you are in the market for something that is affordable and doesn’t take up a lot of room in your home, this is a great option.
Easy to adjust
Sleek white frame
Limited adjustment settings
Is style something that is important to you? If you want something that has a great style to place in your living room, this is an excellent choice. It has a sharp white metal case with black and yellow accents, and has all of the features you need for a heart-pounding workout!Read more
One of the best features of this recumbent bike for seniors is that it is a cinch to move from room to room as needed. It has a pair of wheels on the base and it weighs in at just 66 pounds so even tired backs can push it in the next room to change up the scenery a little bit.
It boasts a simple to read LCD screen that displays your heart rate, distance traveled, speed, and time traveled. Users can make adjustments to the location of the seat as well as the resistance on the line with the simple turn of a knob to your desired setting. Plus, it boasts a smaller frame than most which won’t take up all that much room in your home.
If you are in the market for something that is sleek, functional, and affordable, this is a really excellent choice. It comes in at a price point that makes it one of the more affordable models out there, which gives you little reason not to give this design a try!
Criteria Used for Evaluation
At the end of the day, you want to know that your machine is helping you stay healthy. The main goal here is to elevate your heart rate to send blood pumping to your muscles and to take the pressure off of your joints and lower back.
There were a few things that we took into consideration to ensure that each recumbent bike for seniors that we selected gets the job done.
Resistance is super important! While using your machine on the lowest setting will elevate your heart rate, it won’t build as much muscle as those on a higher setting. That’s why we wanted to make sure that we selected machines that offer a wide variety of tension settings to make the most out of your workouts.
Many of the designs out there on the market typically have resistance settings that start out at 1 one and work up to an 8 by turning a knob at the base of the unit. The higher the resistance, the harder your legs need to work to crank the pedals. The harder your legs work, the harder your heart pumps to deliver much-needed blood to your legs.
When you set the resistance to a higher level, your heart rate elevates quicker. If you have a limited amount of time to squeeze in a workout, setting the resistance to a higher level will allow for the same heart workout as you would get during a longer workout on a lower setting.
Resistance levels not only help to build muscle, but they also allow you to adjust the type of workout you get every time you lace up your sneakers to go for a ride.
Some of the features found on many models allow you to easily track all of the progress that you make. We wanted to make sure that we only selected machines that come with the most important features, and we did not select designs with complicated features that you may never use.
Below, we will talk about some of the features that we feel are most important.
Heart rate monitor: The aim of the game is to get that heart pumping! To burn the most calories and get your heart strong, you need to get your pulse to your ideal heart rate. That number varies from person to person, so it’s important to find out what that number is for you.
In most machines, the pulse is detected by a metal plate on the handlebars of your device. When you want to check in on your heart, simply place your hands on the metal plate and wait for your number to appear on the screen. Ideally, you want to be withing 55-85 percent of your max heart rate for 20 minutes per day for ultimate heart health.
Bluetooth compatibility: Workout our from home can be rough. There are no fellow gym-goes to impress or talk to, and very limited accountability if you live alone. However, connecting your device to your machine gives you far more options and workout programs to help you stay motivated.
Apps such as iFit connect you with personal trainers to make workout programs designed specifically for your needs. Some apps, such as Explore the World, make you feel as if you are cycling along scenic countryside instead of next to a shelf of paint cans in your basement!
If it’s not comfortable, you are less likely to climb aboard for your daily workout.
That’s why wae wanted to make sure that we selected machines that provided users with a comfortable ride that cradles the body, but is also breathable. You want these seats to support your body so that it takes the strain off of your back.
Many of the higher-end models out there on the market utilize a curved high back that feels like it almost hugs your body. These designs often have a mesh back that isn’t as stiff and harsh. It also allows for your body heat to escape through the back to keep you from overheating as you turn up the intensity.
A comfortable seat is just as important as the back. The seats on these designs are not like your typical upright bicycle. Recumbent seats are designed to be more like an actual chair that is very cushioned and contoured to the shape of your body. We wanted to make sure that we selected wide chairs to accommodate a variety of body types.
To ensure a comfortable ride, we combed through hundreds of users’ reviews and weeded out machines that were just downright painful. There were quite a few designs that had seats with uncomfortable bars that dug into their backs, and we made sure to leave those designs off of our list!
We realize that not everyone has a lot of space for big and bulky machines in their homes. Space is a valuable commodity, which is why we made sure to stick to designs that had a smaller footprint.
Unlike foldable upright bicycles, these machines have a long history of taking up a lot of room in your home.
However, there are some designs out there that utilize small changes in the design to save you on space. One of the biggest improvements in these designs is the size of the flywheel. Traditional models often use a large fan flywheel to generate power.
These fans are often big and bulky, and make a lot of noise on higher settings! To save on space, we selected models that use magnetic resistance or a friction belt system that is smaller and more compact.
To make it easier to climb aboard without tripping you need to leave at least 18 inches between your machine and other pieces of furniture or equipment. Many of the designs that we selected are generally lightweight and easy to move. This means that you can move it in front of the television to fit in a workout while you watch TV, or you can move it back into a bedroom for a little peace and quiet.
Not everyone is built the same, so making adjustments needs to be quick and easy. We wanted to make sure that we selected designs that were easy to change and didn’t always require the use of a complicated digital screen.
Generally, there are two areas on the machine that is able to be adjusted to fit the needs of the rider. The first thing that needs adjustment is the seat, and the second thing that needs adjusting is the resistance on the line of the flywheel.
For adjustments on the seat, we preferred designs that placed the seat on a track and had the users move the seat up and down on the track and tightened it into place. This method allows users to make smaller adjustments to find just the right spot that works for them.
Some of the more affordable models allow users to make adjustments to the seat by moving the entire back of the unit back or forward and screwing it into place. While this technically works, it demands that the users lift up the back of the device, which is a little less than ideal.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
If you find that you suffer from back, hip, and knee pain on a daily basis, it is important that you listen to your body. A recumbent bike is an excellent tool because it allows you to get your heart pumping without the strain and stress on your tired joints. If you feel that your back is still aching after using your machine, it may simply mean that you need to make adjustments to the seat to find the right spot for you.
When starting a new workout regimen, it’s important to take it nice and easy. New workout equipment is super exciting, but be sure that you don’t overdo it on the very first day! As always, if you are unsure about taking on a new workout be sure that you talk to your doctor to get the all-clear before lacing up those sneakers.
To fight off sore muscles that often follow a great cardio workout, be sure to indulge in a post workout smoothie after you are finished! A good recovery drink is packed with electrolytes to help replenish wrung out muscles, and carbohydrates and protein replenish depleted energy sources. With a good recovery drink, you can actually help mitigate some of the soreness that may follow you into the next day.
Other Factors to Consider
Of course, style is always important. Whether you are placing this machine in the middle of your living room or adding it to your collection of fitness gear in your basement or garage, you want it to look good!
That’s why we made sure to include designs that had a sleek and modern appearance that really makes them stand out from the rest. It was also important to select styles that had a smaller and more compact frame that wouldn’t dominate all of your floor space in your home.
A powder-coated finish to any steel or metal gives the frame a great shine and really makes bright colors pop. Not only does powder-coated medals add a pop of color, but that is also a lot easier to wide down and clean. Due to the fact that the surface is slick, dusk and debris slide right off with a wet cloth.
While a powder-coat finish may look sharp, it's important to note that they are prone to chipping. To keep your machine looking like new, we recommend keeping it free and clear of any other equipment that may rub against it and cause the paint to chip.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What makes recumbent bikes different?
The main difference between these machines when compared to upright units lies in the seat. These machines boast a comfortable seat that has a high back to give your upper body more support so you can focus on elevating your heart rate and building muscle in your legs.
The angle of the pedals is also a little different from traditional bicycles. Your body is cocked at a slight angle, which takes the pressure off of your legs. This angle helps promote the circulation of blood throughout your legs, which is super important for seniors!
q: What features are ideal for seniors?
As you age, your joints become worn down with use, which means that you feel the impact of each and every step more than when you were younger. This can make it difficult to really get in a workout that elevates your heart rate without your joints becoming upset.
Cardio machines such as treadmills and upright bikes elevate your heart rate but can be damaging and painful for tired joints. By cradling your body and joints in a high-back seat, you have the ability to elevate your heart rate while supporting your lower back.
q: Do they require much maintenance?
To ensure that your machine has a long and effective lifespan, annual maintenance is important. Many devices fail when dust and debris clog up the internal components or the flywheel, which can cause damage to the belt.
When the belt becomes damaged, weak points start to grow which can actually cause the belt to snap over time. Furthermore, debris that collects on the belt can cause annoying squeaking, or even affect the level of resistance on the belt.
We recommend that you clean your unit at least twice per year. Many user manuals even suggest cleaning your device at least once a month! To clean the internal components, simply remove the casing and use a damp cloth to wipe away any dust and debris from the belt as well as the flywheel.
q: Where is the best place to set up my machine?
The answer to this question boils down to a matter of personal preference, but there are a few things to keep in mind before you set up your unit.
First of all, be sure that you give yourself at least 18 inches of space between your device and any other piece of equipment or furniture. This allows you to easily slip on and off of your unit without tripping.
The second thing you need to consider is what do you want out of your workouts? If you want peace and quiet and solitude, we suggest placing it in an idea of your home that isn’t very frequent, such as the basement or the garage.
If you want to stay updated on all of your television shows while keeping active, there is nothing wrong with placing it in the living room! There are tons of designs out there on the market that are fairly small and compact, and offer a style that looks great in any living room!
q: Do I have to use the pedal straps?
Yes! No one ever seems to want to actually use the pedal straps, but it is super important that you take the time to strap yourself in! Given the angle that you pedal on these machines, it’s even easier to have your foot slip off of the pedals as you start to pick up speed.
While a slipped foot won’t cause an injury to send you to the emergency room, it could cause you to scrape up your shin, which is super painful and unpleasant! Save your shin, and make sure you strap in every single time.
q: What muscle groups do these machines work?
The most important muscle that these machines work is your heart. Elevating your heart rate sends blood pumping through your body, which feeds your muscles and actually makes your heart stronger. Many of these devices come with a heart rate monitor on the handlebars, so be sure to check in on your heart from time to time to ensure you are in the zone.
Aside from your heart, pumping the pedals helps to strengthen muscles in your legs. The primary muscles at work are those big muscle groups such as your quads, hamstring, and glutes. It also helps strengthen your ankles as well, which is super beneficial for seniors!
q: Do I need to wipe down my device even if I’m the only one using it?
Protocol at your local gym tells you that you need to wipe your device down after you are finished using it. The reason behind this rule exists for a few reasons. The most important reason is that you are clearing off any sweat and germs for the next person that climbs onto the machine.
If you are the only one that uses the machine, do you really need to wipe it down? The answer to that question is yes. The other reason gyms require you to wide down your machine is to prolong the life of the machine. Sweat and body oils actually break down many of the fabrics on these machines if they are not removed after use.
We suggest that you take a damp cloth after your workout is complete and wide down the seat as well as the handlebars to ensure that they hold up well over the years of continued use.