he best recumbent exercise bike is a matter of opinion. I followed the “objective” consumer magazines for years, along with all their unbiased tests and lab results. Oddly enough many times if I purchased based on their results, I didn’t get the same results they did. In other words, their best-rated products didn’t work well at all for me. And I got great service out of what they said was no good. Go figure!
The basic parts of the best recumbent bike exercise bike are the resistance system, the frame or structure and the electronics. A bike with a poor structure won’t be satisfactory no matter how expensive or no matter what kind of electronics it has. But a bike that’s solid, hefty and smooth riding can be a great performer even with very simple electronics.
What’s your budget? You can get a good, sturdy useful machine for a few hundred dollars. But you can throw your money away on a cheap bike with shoddy design and workmanship. To get all the bells and whistles, especially the latest programmable workout modes, on a commercial grade bike may cost several thousand dollars. It depends on what you need or want. You can certainly get a very serviceable bike for a few hundred. Incremental improvements cost much more.
Following are two reviews of contenders for the best recumbent exercise bike in two price ranges.
The Schwinn 230 Recumbent Exercise Bike .
This is a good example of a moderate priced recumbent exercise bike that’s highly rated by users. This is a compact bike which is an important feature for home use. But the compact size doesn’t keep this from being a very sturdy, solid bike. Weighs 117 pounds so you’ve got enough mass there to minimize shifting around as you ride. This is the kind of bike you will really use and avoid gym fees while finally getting in shape. The similar more recent model Schwinn recumbent exercise bike is the Schwinn 240.
The electronics includes integrated heart rate grips plus 6 preset programs (calorie goal, BMI measurement, recovery test, results mode, quick start, and manual mode) and 16 resistance levels. Also has 10 profile courses. All that works because of the magnetic drive which is now mostly standard on the Schwinn recumbent bikes except for the Schwinn AirDyne bikes.
The frame is a step through model making for easy on and off. Includes a reading rack and a water bottle too.
Noted for a high quality seat too, with many adjustments to fit different size riders and different preferences.
Overall maybe this could be the best recumbent exercise bike among the many moderate priced machines.
This is a home version of the Life Fitness health club machine. It may be a home version but this is still a 170 pound heavyweight. This machine isn’t going to walk across the floor because it’s too light. A top-of-the-line machine like this has the structure, weight and construction to stand up to years of hard use.
This is a self powered machine so there are no cords on the floor. The drive has twenty settings and is quiet so you can watch a video or listen to music as you ride.
It includes 19 pre-programmed and seven personalized workouts, and the five HeartSync workouts adjust resistance to keep you at your target heart rate, ensuring a safe, effective workout.
The HeartSync workouts simulate climbing hills with valleys between. The different workouts simulate different hill sizes and lengths to hold your heart rate at certain percentages of your theoretical maximum rate.
The great variety and complexity of the workouts is part of what you get for your money with these bikes. You’ll get the same riding experience you would get at a gym without the monthly fees and without the hassle of driving to the gym. Work out any time day or night.
If you really want the best recumbent exercise bike check out the Life Fitness plus other top bikes.