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Recumbent Exercise Bike Guide

Best Recumbent Bike Reviews and Comparisons 2017

Why buy a recumbent exercise bike?

Although there are hundreds of different exercise bikes now available, they can generally be grouped into three main categories of upright bike, recumbent bike, and spin bike.

But why should you consider buying any of these for home workouts, and what makes a recumbent bike so unique?

Firstly, having an indoor exercise bike allows you to exercise in an environment that you have complete control over. You don’t have to worry about traffic level if you live in a busy city and want to cycle at rush hour, and you don’t have to worry about your safety cycling late at night or if the weather suddenly changes.

Many recumbent bikes also provide you with display consoles that can keep you updated on your performance via a collection of feedback metrics, including RPM, distance, and heart rate.

This is all information that can be used to set and measure achievable fitness goals for the future, as well as seeing your improvements over time.

In addition to the workout feedback, the fitness companies behind many top designs go to great lengths researching and developing ergonomic design features that help make your cycling more efficient and comfortable.

USA Home Gym guide to recumbent exercise bikes

Taking a look at the basic design of a recumbent bike and comparing it with other popular types of equipment, such as treadmills and elliptical trainers, also shows a number of clear benefits.

Their footprint is more compact, meaning that they require less space, and their frames are often much lighter which makes it easier to move them around between workouts if needed.

Being in a reclined position also offers several major benefits over its upright and spin bike counterparts, with improved lower back support, reduced impact on your joints and tendons, and more even weight distribution being just a few of the health benefits you can expect to experience.

However, while the nature of the exercise is lower impact, the range of resistance levels is often still wide enough to provide challenging workouts for all fitness levels.

The fundamental design of most recumbent bikes, with their walk-through frames and low base frame profile also makes it incredibly easy to get on and off. Many models will now provide you with two sets of handles; one at the display console and the other wrapping around the seat cushion, which also assist with getting into position.

There are many more benefits to specific models that we are yet to mention, such as the suspension seat systems and Knee Over Pedal Spindle (KOPS) biomechanics used by Precor, or the advanced workout tracking system used by Schwinn (SchwinnConnect), but we will cover these in much more detail throughout this guide.

Best recumbent bikes by price

PRICE RANGE: $50-$200

PRICE RANGE: $200-$500

PRICE RANGE: $500-$1000

PRICE RANGE: $1000-$1500

PRICE RANGE: $1500+

Top 10 Recumbent Exercise Bikes

NameProduct FeaturesRatingMore Info
Precor RBK 835 Recumbent Exercise Bike
Precor RBK 835 Recumbent Exercise Bike


  • Air flex seat with high-ventilation seat back.

  • Suspension system allows the seat back to move with you for comfort you can feel.

  • The seat has 11 adjustment levels


5
ProForm 440 ES Recumbent Exercise Bike
ProForm 440 ES Recumbent Exercise Bike


  • 32 Built-In Workouts

  • 5" Backlit Display

  • Grip Pulse EKG™ Heart Rate Monitor

  • 25 Digital Resistance Levels


5
Exerpeutic 900XL Extended Capacity Recumbent Bike
Exerpeutic 900XL Extended Capacity Recumbent Bike


  • Eight-level Magnetic Tension Control

  • Onboard Computer

  • Heart Rate Sensors


4.5
Diamondback 910SR Recumbent Exercise Bike
Diamondback 910SR Recumbent Exercise Bike


  • Speaker with mp3 connectivity

  • 35 workout programs

  • 32 levels of resistance

  • Cooling fans


4.5
Sole Fitness LCR Recumbent Exercise Bike
Sole Fitness LCR Recumbent Exercise Bike


  • Six standard programs, two custom programs, and two heart rate programs

  • Nine-inch LCD console and built-in fan

  • MP3 compatible sound system


4.5
Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike
Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike


  • Schwinn Connect goal tracking

  • 29 programs, 4 user settings

  • 25 levels of resistance


4
Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike
Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike


  • Foldable recumbent exercise bike

  • Precision-balanced flywheel

  • 8-level adjustable magnetic tension control system


4.5
Sole Fitness R92 Recumbent Exercise Bike
Sole Fitness R92 Recumbent Bike


  • Patented two-degree inward slanted pedals

  • Six standard programs

  • Two custom programs


4
Horizon Fitness RC-30 Recumbent Exercise Bike
Horizon Fitness RC-30 Recumbent Exercise Bike


  • Programmable resistance system with 8 levels

  • 10-pound flywheel

  • 8 workout programs, including manual, intervals, weight loss, and custom


4
Marcy ME709 Recumbent Mag Cycle Bike
Marcy ME709 Recumbent Mag Cycle


  • Recumbent exercise bike with 8 levels of preset resistance

  • Easy-to-adjust tension-tightening knob for different fitness levels

  • Large console display tracks speed, distance, time, and calories


4

What’s the best recumbent bike for your budget?

Rather than including the price of a recumbent bike alongside our list of features to look for, we thought it best to separate it out into its own sub-guide to the best recumbent bike from each price range.

The fact is that whether you have $200 or $2000 to spend, there’s a highly rated exercise bike for you. The lower priced models just might require you to make some sacrifices to the number of workout programs you can expect, duration of warranty coverage and selection of entertainment options.

The following 5 recumbent bike reviews are based on what we believe to be the best models in their respective price categories.

Best recumbent under $200 – Exerpeutic 900XL

The Exerpeutic 900XL is our best recumbent bike under $200

Our decision to choose the Exerpeutic 900XL as our top recumbent bike under $200 probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Many review sites are also selecting it as their top bike, and the number of highly rated reviews on ecommerce sites like Amazon is unsurpassed.

However, unlike the $200 to $600 price range, companies haven’t really released too many models that position themselves as serious competition. You have to consider just how much more feature-filled a recumbent bike could be and still be profitable enough for the company to manufacture it.

The 900XL already has 8 resistance levels, touch sensors for heart rate monitoring, glide rail seat adjustment so you don’t need to extend the length of the base frame, step-thru design and high 300 lb capacity.

A selection of preset workout programs would have been a nice addition, but this is something that’s rare to find on bikes at this price point.

The reason we chose the 900XL over the Stamina 4825 (with its 6 workout programs) is the fact that the seat cannot be adjusted independently of the frame. This won’t necessarily be an issue if you will be the only one using the bike, but may prove frustrating if you’re buying a bike the whole family can use.

Also, although we managed to find several vendors offering the Stamina 4825 at a price under our $200 limit, once you took into account the cost of shipping this was closer to $220. The Exerpeutic model is available for less than $200 with shipping included.

Read the full reviewBuy now

Best recumbent under $600 – ProForm 440 ES

The ProForm 440 ES is our best recumbent bike under $600

This was probably the hardest category to decide. There are a number of highly popular bikes that have proven themselves as bestsellers, but at the same time it’s difficult to ignore the level of quality that’s being seen in the current generation of recumbents.

After careful comparisons of the technical specs, the ProForm 440 ES just managed to come out on top of the Schwinn 270. In truth the advantages are hard to ignore, and although there are similarities such as the ventilated and well padded seat, we also identified a number of important differences.

While both bikes include integrated tablet support, the shelf on the ProForm model doesn’t obscure the console screen when in use, unlike the Schwinn.

Schwinn also include 10 years warranty coverage on the frame, compared to lifetime coverage offered by ProForm.

Although a minor difference, the 440 ES includes 32 workout programs, whereas the Schwinn has a total count of 29. Both bikes have 25 levels of resistance.

We also took into account the progress each company is making outside of the physical bike design, with specific attention paid to any advancements in their workout tracking software.

Despite the fact that SchwinnConnect is an excellent tool for analyzing and tracking workout data in a way that’s visually attractive, iFit continues to expand, offering up a new line of wearables and online database of workout videos. All of this is directly accessible directly through your tablet, to be enjoyed while you workout.

The only reason we were hesitant to include the ProForm model in the ‘under $600’ category is because the cost of these features would push it over the limit. Tablets can conceivably cost upwards of $800, and when you factor in the $100 cost of an iFit module (the 440 ES is iFit compatible, not iFit enabled), this doesn’t necessarily conform to a person’s strict budget of $600.

However, we felt that even without taking advantage of iFit and sticking to using the console for your feedback, the overall quality and upgrade in specifications were still enough to make it our top choice of recumbent bike for this price range.

Read the full reviewBuy now

Best recumbent under $1000 – Diamondback 910SR

The Diamondback 910SR is our top rated recumbent bike under $1000

With 35 workout programs and 32 levels of resistance, the Diamondback 910SR offers some considerable improvements over the earlier 510SR model (20 programs and 16 resistance levels).

Although good design is something that’s fairly subjective, we feel that the console doesn’t quite match up to those found on bikes in Precor’s RBK collection from an aesthetic point of view.

Functionally it may actually be more useful, as you have the quick-select resistance levels along one side, and quick-select workout programs along the other.

You also have secure tablet support in a way that doesn’t obscure workout feedback and a scale that grades your current heart rate in a similar way to Precor’s SmartRate.

The ventilated seat mesh back and cushioned seat are features we’ve come to expect from bikes at this price range, but are still nice to have.

In our opinion, some of the most serious competition for the 910 SR comes in the form of the R92 from Sole Fitness. However, the reduction in workout programs (10 instead of 35), 300 lb weight capacity, and lack of ventilation in the back support are a few of the reasons why the Diamondback model came out on top as our best recumbent bike under $1000.

Read the full reviewBuy now

Best recumbent under $1500 – Sole Fitness LCR

The Sole Fitness LCR is our top choice of recumbent bike under $1500

LCR stands for Light Commercial Recumbent, something which is validated by the high overall build quality and sturdy frame design.

Similar to the Precor RBK collection, the LCR is self-powered, meaning you aren’t restricted by having to position it close to a power outlet. Not only that, but it also means that you don’t have to unplug the bike every time your workout ends, which is usually listed as an important safety measure in most user manuals.

The 350 lb weight limit is amongst the highest we’ve seen, with 40 resistance levels and 10 workout programs that include custom options ensuring your training remains varied.

A subtle two-degree inward camber to the pedals has been added to help prevent unnecessary stress on your ankles when cycling, with a wide range of seat positions making this a bike that’s well suited to user heights up to an impressive 6’5″.

The large 9-inch LCD screen provides accurate feedback on a wide variety of metrics, using an innovative combination of text and dials. When you combine this with the high level of customer service that Sole have become famous for and a warranty coverage that’s approaching that of Precor (RBK 835 has 7 additional years on parts and wear items) and there’s no shortage of reasons why this was our top choice for the under $1500 category.

Read the full reviewBuy now

Best recumbent over $1500 – Precor RBK 835

The Precor RBK 835 is our highest rated recumbent bike over $1500

The highest price category for our guide was originally going to be ‘Over $1000’, but we were surprised to find a large number of high recumbent bikes from companies such as Sole Fitness, Life Fitness, and Kettler.

However, we found that this mostly included bikes in the $1000 to $1500 range, which is why we broke this out into a separate category.

There are a number of important reasons why we chose the RBK 835 as our top recumbent bike over $1500. Firstly, the entertainment options, where the reading rack / tablet support is integrated, and the Personal Viewing System and Entertainment Cap are optional.

Workout variation is also excellent, where you can switch between heart rate controlled, interval, cross country, hill climb, and watts control programs. If you feel like switching programs mid-workout, the majority of your data will carry on being displayed and your totals won’t reset.

The width of the walk-through section in the frame, comfort of the seat, and overall aesthetic design also make it one of the most visually attractive recumbent bikes in the world.

The console is intuitively designed with workout data split across multiple screens and quick select buttons making it easier to navigate between workout programs and enter basic personal information – such as age and weight – for more accurate feedback.

Its 25 resistance levels is 5 more than the similarly priced StarTrac E-RBi, although the StarTrac model is supplied with a Personal Viewing Screen.

Read the full reviewBuy now

What to consider before you buy

As with buying any new piece of fitness equipment, it’s worth considering a few important points, including;

  • How frequently will you be using the bike
  • How many people will use it in their workouts e.g. Just for yourself or for the entire family
  • Fitness goals you will use it to achieve
  • How much floor space can you dedicate, and would this be on a permanent or temporary basis

The following section of this guide talks through the different design features to look for, and can be used for selecting a specific model. But the points we’ve just mentioned can be considered more like justification of the price range and level of features you actually need.

For example, if you’re going to be the only person using the recumbent bike, and you don’t think you’ll get the opportunity to workout more than a couple of times each week, you may not want to start looking at the bikes in the $1000+ category.

That’s not to say they aren’t worth considering, as these offer some of the best workout tracking and ergonomically effective designs on the market, but it’s just to say that there are lower priced models that still stand up well to this level of use.

Defining how many people will be using the bike is important for similar reasons. Few models offer more than 2 user profiles, so workout tracking wouldn’t be an option unless you started shopping around the higher-end Precor and Sole Fitness models.

Having a clear idea of what fitness goals you want to achieve will also play a major role in your final buying decision. Do you want to be able to monitor your weight loss online? Then you’ll need a model that offers performance tracking. Do you want to improve your lower body strength and muscle tone? Then you might want to look at bikes with the highest resistance levels and Watts ratings.

Once you’re sure you have the space, and have a budget and fitness goals in mind, then it’s time to start narrowing down the list of options by making some important comparisons between features.

Top 10 design features to look for

With so many different designs to choose from, not to mention the terminology that companies use to describe them, it can be difficult to know what you should actually look for when choosing a recumbent bike.

That’s why we’ve grouped everything from the design features through to USB connectivity and workout tracking into 10 key factors that you can use to identify the best bike for your workouts. These are the same 10 factors we use in our own in-depth reviews to compare the latest models and help compile our list of bestsellers you’ll find later in the guide.

  • 1. Walk-through design

    One of the main differences between recumbent and upright bikes is that the recumbent designs set the pedal crank and resistance system further forward on the frame in relation to the position of the seat.

    This is a real benefit for anyone that has low mobility, and has allowed many companies to design their bikes with what’s known as a ‘walk-through’ frame. What this means is that there’s enough space for you to walk between the seat and resistance system casing.

    The distance between the two is what will differ most between bikes, but there are still several well-known designs that don’t offer this feature. This includes the Exerpeutic 400XL, Exerpeutic 2000, Schwinn A20, and the popular InTone folding recumbent bike from Stamina.

    Recumbent bikes we’ve found to have a wide walk-through frame are the recumbents in Precor’s RBK collection (RBK 835, RBK 815, and RBK 615), the Horizon Fitness RC-30, Schwinn 270, and the Exerpeutic 900XL.

  • 2. Comfort level and freedom of movement

    Treadmills and elliptical trainers do have an important benefit over exercise bikes and rowing machines in the sense that you don’t have to worry about the comfort of the seat.

    However, if you plan on using your recumbent bike for workouts with a duration of more than 30 minutes, then the comfort of the seat is certainly something worth bearing in mind. But you really need to split this into two parts; the seat cushion itself, and the ventilation and contouring of the back support.

    Recumbent bikes in the lower price brackets don’t tend to offer ventilated, flexible back supports. Instead, bikes like the Schwinn A20 will use the same cushioning for the back support as they do the seat, with a flat seat design that doesn’t offer any ergonomic contouring to improve your posture.

    If you were to then take a look at the design for the seat of Precor’s RBK 835 commercial quality recumbent, you would immediately notice the differences.

    The RBK has an air flex seat with ventilation to help keep you cool and well supported in the reclined position. The seat itself has been moulded to better fit the contours of your legs and glutes, with raised edges keeping you centered and tapering at the front allowing for greater freedom of movement in your legs while cycling.

    However, that’s not to say that you have to buy a high end machine to experience a comfortable workout. Many of the mid-range machines – including the Schwinn 270 – offer similar features, with its ventilated back support and contoured seat cushion.

  • 3. Seat adjustment options and weight capacity

    When it comes to recumbent bikes, there are really just three main types of seat adjustment;

    1. Locking pin with the seat sliding on a rail
    2. Locking pin on an upright support (similar to upright bikes and found on folding designs, such as the Exerpeutic 400XL)
    3. The seat itself is fixed and you adjust the length of the base frame to set your distance from the pedals (lower priced bikes only)

    Each method has proven to be highly reliable, and doesn’t impact on the level of maintenance required. The reason we’ve included it in our list of factors is because it determines the user height range that the bike will be suitable for.

    The majority of exercise bike manufacturers won’t actually list a height range, although we did notice this is something Precor has included with a couple of models in their RBK collection. From our research we’ve found most bikes support a height range of 4’10” to 6’5″, but it’s still best to confirm where possible.

    If you’re unable to try the bike before buying, one of the best places to determine a bike’s suitability for your height is the customer reviews section of ecommerce sites, such as Amazon. Amazon also allow you to post questions to people who have already bought the bike you’re interested in, which are usually answered quickly by either the company that makes the bike, or customers themselves.

    Weight capacity is something that we see listed alongside almost every bike we’ve reviewed, whether it’s on the product listing or in the user manual.

    The vast majority of recumbent exercise bikes will fall into the range of 250 lb to 350 lbs, but there are certain models which will support more, and those which support a little less (Sunny Health and Fitness P8400 supports up to 220 lbs, yet still maintains a high average review rating).

    Finding a bike that has a high enough weight capacity is just as important as finding a bike that caters for your height, which is why it’s something we list at the end of each of our product reviews.

    The good thing is that weight capacity isn’t something that’s linked to price, and we’ve seen plenty of recumbents priced under $200 with 300lb (Exerpeutic 900XL) or even 350 lb (ProForm Hybrid Trainer) weight capacities.

  • 4. Available space

    While this isn’t as much of an issue as it is for elliptical trainers and treadmills, recumbent bikes can still require more space than most upright or spin bikes, and usually can’t be folded away for easy storage (Stamina InTone and Exerpeutic 400XL being two exceptions).

    In each of our reviews we’ll list the dimensions of the bike alongside its weight capacity, which should be enough for you to determine the best location. However, several leading fitness equipment companies are now taking this a step further, offering online room planner tools.

    Life Fitness and Precor are two of the companies we’ve noticed doing this with their product ranges, teaming up with online interior design software Icovia to create their Room Planner (Life Fitness) and Space Planner (Precor) tools.

    These allow you to create a basic floor plan of whichever room you want to use for your workouts, whether that’s your living room, bedroom, home office, or a room dedicated to being your home gym.

    You can then scale the floor plan to match the dimensions and structure of your room, including furniture and doorways, before dragging an icon representing your chosen equipment into the remaining space.

    We’ve found these to be incredibly easy to use, and actually implemented them in a number of our own reviews.

  • 5. Resistance level variation

    Comparisons between resistance levels on recumbent bikes is tricky. Just because two bikes provide you with 25 resistance levels to choose from, doesn’t mean they’ll feel the same.

    For example, the Precor RBK 835 and RBK 815 models both offer 25 resistance levels, yet the RBK 835 model has a maximum Watts measurement of 1000, while the RBK 815 has a maximum of 750.

    Also, there’s no universal scale applied across the industry, making it difficult to perform conversions on the resistance level for an even comparison between models from different companies.

    So what are your options?

    If you have the budget, some of the high-end recumbent bikes now offer METs as one of their feedback metrics. The truth is we could write an entire article based on METs alone, but essentially it’s a Metabolic Equivalent, and considered the standard unit of measure when measuring exercise and energy expenditure.

    Another option is to visit your local sports equipment store and try some bikes out at the same resistance level to see if you feel any difference.

    In truth, as long as the resistance level proves challenging enough for your workouts, then any difference between machines is irrelevant. As long as the recumbent bike you choose is the only one you use in your workouts, then the resistance level remains an accurate measure of your performance.

    Although there are 3 main types of resistance system – magnetic, friction belts and fans – by far the most popular is the eddy current resistance system (magnetic).

    This type of resistance system is quieter than the other two, making it easier to listen to music or watch television while you workout.

  • 6. Storage capacity

    If you’ve owned a piece of cardio equipment in the past, you might be used to the term ‘storage options’ being limited to a water bottle holder. But recumbent bikes – particularly the high-end light commercial models – are often designed to support much more than hydration.

    Under-seat storage for magazines and reading material is something that’s offered by the Nautilus R514 Recumbent Bike and Schwinn 250, while some of Precor’s latest consoles designs have a patented SmartGrip holder for securely supporting your tablet, smartphone, or MP3 player. Some upright bikes even offer storage slots for a television remote control, such as the Folding Magnetic Upright Bike from Exerpeutic.

    Although something as simple as a water bottle holder may not sound like an advanced feature, it’s actually surprisingly difficult to find this fitted to any recumbent bike under $200. The ProForm 115 CSX and Weslo Pursuit G 3.1 were two of the only models at this price point that had one available.

    We don’t believe this is entirely based around cost though, as many of the recumbents listed in the region of $4000+ didn’t offer it either.

    This is completely different to treadmills and ellipticals, where there will often be multiple storage compartments moulded into the console.

    In summary, unless you want to exclude a large proportion of recumbent bikes currently on the market, storage – even something as small as a holder for your water bottle – is something you have to be prepared to sacrifice.

  • 7. Entertainment options

    There’s no doubt that tablets and apps have transformed the way we live our lives, but recently they’ve also started to integrate themselves into our fitness equipment as well.

    Several major companies, including Precor (Preva app) and ProForm (iFit) have added a shelf / holder for your tablet, which effectively doubles as a much larger display screen when you connect to your equipment via Bluetooth, wireless internet, or a USB port.

    When connected to the app this provides a much more visually attractive layout for your workout feedback, with iFit also offering some stunning visual representations of real locations via Google Maps™ Street View images.

    When you’re not connected to the app, you can use your tablet for a variety of other entertainment options, from browsing the internet to watching your favourite movies or listening to music. This helps avoid the need for companies to build speakers directly into the console – a feature which has proven difficult to perfect, with many customers dissatisfied at the sound quality on many models.

    Even if you’re not using the tablet to connect to a fitness app or monitor your workout, a tablet holder can still be a useful feature to have. It’s something we’ve seen on upright bikes priced as low as $131 (Innova Fitness XBR450), and opens up a world of entertainment options without the need to pay more for the equipment (although you do still have the cost of the tablet if you don’t currently own one).

    Precor also have a number of specialist entertainment options for some of their high-end consoles, including a Personal Entertainment Player (PEP), Entertainment Cap, and Personal Viewing System (PVS).

    You can choose to combine these optional attachments or use them in isolation, providing you with access to a selection of audio channels and television stations.

  • 8. Tracking your performance

    Regardless of the fitness goals you want to achieve with a recumbent bike, being able to measure your performance over time is crucial. Unless you can see clear improvements in your pace, reductions in body fat level, or increase in muscle definition, you may end up losing motivation.

    But it’s not just being able to see your progress towards the goal that’s so important. Having some way to view a historical record of your workout data is one of the best ways to identify the most efficient training technique for reaching your goal in the shortest time.

    Does interval training or steady state cardio yield better results? Do longer workouts less frequently work better than shorter workouts on a more regular basis? These are the questions that workout data software like Precor’s Preva app and Schwinn’s SchwinnConnect platform are able to answer.

    However, despite the importance of being able to build up a historical record of your workout performance, there are still relatively few bikes that offer such a function.

    The Precor RBK 835 supports connectivity to the Preva workout tracking app, and allows you to download workout data via a USB port in the back of the console.

    The Schwinn 230 and 270 models offer connectivity to SchwinnConnect via a similar method of USB data transfer, which lets you transfer data from the console to your computer. You can then visit the SchwinnConnect website, upload data, and analyse your performance.

    ProForm’s 440 ES model (new for 2015) features iFit compatibility, letting you access global Google Maps™ routes and an unlimited workout library in addition to the fitness tracking.

    Although prices tend to fluctuate over time, it’s worth mentioning that the Schwinn and ProForm models mentioned above have list prices of around the $500 mark.

    The fact that the Precor model is closer to the $4000 mark just goes to show that workout tracking isn’t something that’s exclusively reserved for machines at your local gym. You can enjoy its benefits from the comfort of your own home.

  • 9. Variety of workout programs

    If you’ve experienced a workout plan before, whether it’s last 4 weeks, 12 weeks, or something longer, you might have noticed that the gains you made at the start were more significant than those you made towards the end.

    This is partly due to a process known as muscle adaptation, whereby your muscles become more efficient at performing a particular task the more they’re asked to do it.

    If you want to see the greatest improvements to your fitness, this isn’t necessarily a good thing. To shock your body into making more significant gains on a more regular basis, you need to vary your workouts.

    But when it comes to buying a recumbent exercise bike, a higher price tag doesn’t always equate to more programs.

    For example, the StarTrac E-RBe Recumbent Bike, usually retailing for between $5000 and $6000 includes 15 workout programs, with the lower priced StarTrac E-RBi model offering just 10, despite retailing around the $4000 mark.

    In contrast, the Schwinn 270 lets you choose from 29 preset programs at a price closer to $450, which is one of the reasons it has so many highly rated reviews, and why we’ve included it as our top option under $600 later in the guide.

    The Nautilus R614 is also an excellent choice if workout variety is important, with 22 programs available for a similar price to the Schwinn.

    Despite having over 1000 customer reviews on Amazon alone, the Exerpeutic 900XL doesn’t offer any preset workout programs at all, which isn’t unusual for a bike priced under $200.

    The Weslo Pursuit CT 2.0 R (4 workout apps) and Stamina 4825 (6 preset programs) are two of the lowest priced bikes we’ve found to have preset workouts as a feature.

    But if you’re looking to get the most variation, you really need to be willing to spend closer to $450.

  • 10. Heart rate monitoring and console feedback

    Whether it’s for a specific health reason or for working towards fitness goals, being able to monitor your heart rate is a useful feature to look for, and something that’s available on the majority of modern recumbent bikes.

    However, accuracy of feedback for your heart rate and number of calories burned is a major point of contention in many customer reviews. This is due to the formula for calculating your maximum heart rate requiring your age to provide any sort of accurate result.

    Although you’ll see touch sensors and telemetry (using a chest strap) heart rate monitoring listed as a bike’s features, you also need to find out if the console lets you enter basic personal information, such as age and body weight.

    One of the best known examples is the Exerpeutic 900XL, which is one of the lowest priced recumbent bikes to feature the touch sensors built into the handles next to the seat. Unfortunately the console doesn’t let you enter your age.

    Lower priced bikes like these will usually only offer a single-button console, which lets you scroll through the feedback displayed on the screen.

    This is completely different to mid-range and commercial quality bikes, the majority of which provide an array of feedback on a much larger screen, or even via several smaller screens.

    Similar to the workout tracking, which bike is best for you really depends on what you’re looking to gain from your workouts. If cycling as a form of exercise a few times each week is all you’re looking for, then workout duration and distance will probably be enough feedback, and you won’t necessarily need to see both at the same time.

    But if you like being able to see your distance, calories burned, heart rate, RPM, current workout program profile, and much more in real time, then you’re generally better off comparing bikes in the $300+ range.

    As a quick comparison, the console for the P8400 recumbent bike from Sunny Health and Fitness (retails for around $130) provides feedback information for 6 different metrics on a single screen, whereas the Precor RBK 835 (retails for closer to $4000) displays feedback on more than 20 metrics across 6 screens.

Recumbent bike brands reviewed by USA Home Gym

If you’re visiting a review site like ours, something that’s fundamentally important to helping you choose the equipment that’s best for your own workouts is having a diverse selection of products to choose from.

By not showing a preference towards any single brand, we’re able to create impartial reviews that judge each bike by its own merits, taking into account the physical and technological features and comparing these with similar bikes from other companies.

Although we don’t claim to review every recumbent bike on the market, we don’t feel that this would be entirely beneficial. Instead we review only those which provide unique and useful features, are highly rated bestsellers already, or are new product lines that have the potential to take the recumbent bike industry in an exciting new direction.

A quick search of our site will reveal a wide range of recumbent bikes that we’ve reviewed, from companies including Precor, Exerpeutic, Schwinn, Horizon Fitness, Sole Fitness, ProForm, and Marcy.

There’s no bias towards a specific price range either, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding a high quality recumbent bike to suit every budget.