Freedom Genesis is reader supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may receive an affiliate commission. Learn more.
Best recumbent bike - woman riding exercise bike

Best Recumbent Bike For Exercise & Home Fitness (Reviewed in 2021)

Recumbent bikes are some of the most popular home cardio machines around, and for good reason — they’re convenient, easy to use, and provide a great cardio workout. Among the different types of bikes, recumbent bikes are some of the best for beginners, seniors and other users who don’t want to place as much stress on their joints, but still want the cardio benefits.

But not all recumbent bikes are created equally. 

Whether you’re looking to lose weight, maintain your figure or are looking to get more active, these are some of the best recumbent bikes out. We’ll show you the best in each category, the features of each one, and what makes them stand out. 

Let’s get started…

Our top picks for the best recumbent bikes

Sole Fitness R92

Our Rating


Best premium choice

Why we love it: provides tons of features in a pro grade home bike

In a nutshell, the Sole R92 attributes much of its success to its stellar performance along with some brilliant extras — all without the big price tag.​

It has been built with all body types and experience levels in mind and also displays attention to detail. With 20 levels of magnetic resistance, the Sole R92 delivers a challenge for any experience level.

One of its highlights is its 20lb flywheel, which is light enough to be used comfortably by beginners but can provide a tough workout for advanced users as well. 

Apart from its core features, the R92 also has a 9″ backlit LCD screen, so you can see statistics related to your training and even work out with its built-in exercise programs. Other useful features include built-in speakers, Bluetooth connectivity and an onboard USB port.

The R92 also uses Eddy Current Brake resistance for a quiet and smooth transition between resistance levels. It has 10 challenging programs as well as 12 different positions for the seat — just adjust it to meet your needs. There are also heart rate monitors on the handlebar grips, and a cooling fan to help you keep cool whenever you need. 

Who should buy the Sole Fitness R92?

Anyone who wants to get the most for their money while avoiding the typical high prices of gym equipment should try the Sole Fitness R92.

What makes this recumbent bike special?

  • Excellent performance 
  • Built in speakers and Bluetooth connectivity 
  • Super quiet ride 


  • 20 levels of magnetic resistance 
  • 20lb flywheel for a smooth ride
  • 9” backlit LCD screen and built-in speakers
  • Sturdy and durable frame
  • Takes up to 300 lbs

Schwinn 270

Our Rating


Best in extra features  

Why we love it: For its price, it comes with some high-end features 

Covering all the performance standards needed for training and those looking for a low-Impact workout, the Schwinn also comes with extras that not many other bikes have in this price range.

So if you’re in the market looking for an affordable recumbent bike, this is a great option. Packed with 25 levels of magnetic resistance, the 270 has plenty of power to keep bikers of all levels engaged. The lower levels also make it suitable for anyone recovering from an injury, letting them improve gradually by having the resistance increased one bit at a time. 

The 29 built-in workout programs are a huge advantage for beginners since this makes it easy to progress even if you don’t have experience in planning out rides.

Its ventilated and contoured seat with a padded seat bottom and aluminum slider seat rail system comes with a quick and easy lever, fore and aft seat adjustment. Another great extra included in the 270 is the enhanced Bluetooth connectivity — users can set, track and monitor progress with popular app-based tracking tools like Explore the World, MyFitnessPal, UA Record, and more.

Who should buy the Schwinn 270?

Anyone who wants a quality bike, with all the features, at an affordable price. 

What makes this recumbent bike special?

  • 29 programs and workouts 
  • Large, back-lit LCD screen
  • Syncs with the free RideSocial App that provides trails and lets you virtually ride with your friends 


  • Very versatile with 25 levels of magnetic resistance
  • 29 built-in workout programs – great for new users
  • LCD displays with built-in USB port
  • Affordable price for most buyers
  • Takes up to 300 lbs 

Nautilus R614

Our Rating


Best for music lovers 

Why we love it: it’s one of the more versatile entries

Moving into the more affordable end of the market, the Nautilus R614 packs in some high-end features without sacrificing critical elements in its design.

The R614 has 20 levels of magnetic resistance with a weighted flywheel — providing a stable and smooth transition without sacrificing ride quality. With over 20 workout programs already built into the Nautilus R614, it gives you plenty of options to choose for both beginner and advanced cyclers.

It’s also perfect for working moms who just want to jump on the bike, click a workout and go. Another big perk is that the Nautilus offers a 10-year warranty on their frames so this one’s built to last.

To keep the machine running smoothly and so you can see the statistics of your workout, an LCD screen dominates the central display of this bike.

Unlike others in the list, though, this LCD isn’t backlit, so it’s best used in the day time or in a well-lit room. But there are plenty of other extra features on this bike, such as the heart rate monitor on the handlebar grips, in-console speakers, as well as USB data transfer functionality to Nautilus Connect or MyFitnessPal.

They’ve also included transport wheels so you can easily move it around your home gym. 

Who should buy the Nautilus R614? 

Those who can’t get through a workout without music will love this recumbent bike.

What makes this recumbent bike special?

  • Great built in speaker system
  • Integrates with your My Fitness Pal and Nautilus Connect apps
  • 10-year warranty on the frame 


  • 20 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Built-in speakers with integrated USB port
  • Includes 22 preset workout programs
  • Offers a smooth performance
  • Takes up to 300 lbs

Xterra SB2.5r

Our Rating


Best for beginners and seniors

Why we love it: offers a setting that has almost no tension, perfect for starters wanting to get a feel of it first. 

The Xterra SB2.5r walk-thru recumbent bike is ideal for all users looking to lose weight, tone up or stay in shape. But it also targets new users who need a smooth ride with lighter resistance levels across the range.

While this bike has a 22 lb flywheel, it’s 24 levels of resistance make it easy for beginners to start light and work their way up as they progress. 

It’s easy to get in and out, and the densely padded molded foam seat is both comfortable and supportive. It also offers 24 programs including 2 heart rate programs, 1 body fat program, 4 user-defined programs, and a manual program, so you have plenty of workout options. 

It’s large, 5.6” easy to read dual-color backlit LCD display also incorporates speakers for your MP3 player. They’ve also taken seat comfortability into account by having an easy to adjust pop-pin knob that can be tightened once you’ve chosen the best setting for you.

You can even adjust the levelers to make sure that your bike is always level and to your liking. Its foot pedals are oversized on purpose to add comfort to your workout while providing you with a secure and non-slip surface. And to make moving your equipment easy, it comes with front transport wheels.

Finally, the durable steel frame is another plus — this is one of the sturdiest bikes on our list!

Who should buy the Xterra SB2.5r? 

While the Xterra SB2.5r is more than capable of challenging all levels, beginners will have the best experience using this recumbent bike.

What makes this recumbent bike special?

  • Dual color backlit LCD screen
  • 24 built in workout programs  
  • Durable build can accommodate larger people up to 265 lbs 


  • 24 resistance levels provide smooth transitions
  • Heavy flywheel for the price range
  • The large steel frame is extra durable
  • Good price and good value

Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Bike

Our Rating


Best for pure performance 

Why we love it: with the Stamina Elite, you can get a full-body workout in one package 

This intriguing bike from Stamina is a streamlined machine that prioritizes total-body performance over frills and extras. While it includes eight levels of quiet magnetic resistance, its main feature is a pair of hand pedals. These two cranks, mounted on either side of the console, allow you to work your upper body and legs at the same time. 

If you’re struggling to find time to exercise, these cranks can be a lifesaver! With eight levels of tension, this bike works for both beginners and intermediate users. It may not offer enough resistance to keep advanced athletes challenged, but most other users should do fine. 

No matter what level you use, the LCD screen can track your performance statistics including speed, calories, heart rate, distance, and workout time. It was built with an angled backrest for added comfort and also uses a sturdy, steel frame, so you never have to worry about your bike breaking down. As mentioned before, this bike includes both upper hand pedals and lower foot pedals for a full-body workout in half the time. 

Who should buy the Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Bike?

This bike is best suited for beginners and moderate users, since its lighter resistance options may not be enough challenge for more experienced people. 

What makes this recumbent bike special?

  • It has hand cranks and pedals for a full body workout in half the time
  • Performance tracking LCD screen
  • Quiet magnetic resistance 


  • The streamlined design suits beginners well
  • Eight levels of resistance provide light to medium tension
  • Hand pedals help you get in a full-body workout
  • Durable frame supports up to 250 lbs

Marcy ME-709

Our Rating


Best for small spaced home gyms

Why we love it: despite its small frame, its sturdy and provides a great workout 

Another budget option that prioritizes strong performance over amenities is the Marcy ME709. The ME709 offers users eight levels of magnetic resistance, adjustable with a dial beneath the central console.

The frame is made from powder-coated 14-gauge steel, which keeps the bike sturdy despite the smaller frame and footprint overall.

The ultra-functional LCD computer screen acts as an odometer and has a sharp panel display that shows time, speed, distance, and calories burned in extra-large numbers for easy readability.

Its impressive 300 lbs weight capacity is another great feature that you wouldn’t expect from a smaller bike. Finally, you’ll also find a few extra touches, like an LCD console display, a padded seat, and weighted pedals. They’re not make-or-break factors, but together they make this bike a great value for the price.

Who should buy the Marcy ME709? 

If you have a small dedicated area for quick workouts at home, the Marcy ME709 is small enough to fit in most spaces.

What makes this recumbent bike special?

  • Simple and stylish design with a powder coated frame
  • Supports an impressive 300 lbs 
  • Counterbalanced weighted pedals for smooth control 


  • Streamlined step-through frame
  • Eight levels of magnetic resistance
  • 14-gauge steel powder-coated frame
  • Includes a simple LCD display
  • Takes up to 300 lbs

ProGear 555LXT

Our Rating


Best budget-friendly option

Why we love it: for its modest price, it is surprisingly versatile 

Rounding out our list, the ProGear 555LXT is another recumbent bike that works well for beginners and anyone on a tighter budget. At the time of writing this is one of the most affordable bikes on our list — but it doesn’t sacrifice performance.

The 555LXT’s 14 levels of magnetic resistance are almost double the number of levels that most other bikes in this price range offer. Plus, with a 250 lb weight capacity and a usable height range of between 5ft and 6ft 3”, this bike will fit almost any user.

It’s hard to compare with some of the amenities featured on the premium bikes on this list, but the LCD display and tension adjustment knob can get the job done. Plus, its extended and cushioned seat adds another level of comfort for long training sessions. And if you get bored, no need to worry, the ProGear 555LXT comes with a smartphone/tablet holder so you can get in shape while watching Netflix. 

Who should buy the ProGear 555LXT?

This model is suitable for anyone wanting to get a functional recumbent bike for a lower price. But with multiple levels of magnetic resistance, you’ll still get a killer workout. 

What makes this recumbent bike special?

  • Basic yet functional and good for those on a budget
  • Basic LCD display


  • 14 levels of magnetic resistance
  • A basic but functional LCD display
  • Extended cushioned seat
  • Smartphone/tablet holder
  • Takes up to 250 lbs

close up of woman on exercise bike

How to Choose a Recumbent Bike

When it comes to choosing your recumbent bike there’s many things you can pay attention to and some features that may not matter as much to you. Below, we’ll show you the primary features but you really don’t need all of them. The main points are that you have plenty of resistance options, a quiet ride, good display, and a durable frame. Other than that, the bells and whistles are up to your choosing. 

Data Tracking

Models such as the Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike feature computers that display an array of helpful information that helps you track your fitness progress.  Data such as time, distance, and calories goal tracking keep you aware of where you’re at in your workout and encourage you to push on to higher goals. Some computers also feature the ability to switch between users.

Resistance Adjustment and Pre-Programmed Workouts

Resistance is the name of the game on recumbent bikes.  And being able to quickly and easily fine-tune your recumbent’s resistance level to get a challenging yet achievable workout is going to keep you coming back and help you get in shape faster. 

Additionally, many recumbent bike displays allow you to control pre-programmed workouts and some are even paired with a heart-rate monitor to give you a cardio workout that’s dictated by your target heart rate level.  A variety of resistance levels and pre-programmed workouts will keep you stay challenged and achieving your goals over the long term. 

Downloadable Data

Some recumbent bike monitors also feature the ability to download your workout data to apps such as MyFitnessPal to help you keep a running record of your progress and track calories in and out. This is an excellent feature that even most spin bikes don’t offer. 

Speakers and Fans

Finally, some recumbent exercise bicycles feature nice extras such as fans to cool you off and speakers and charging USB ports so you can plug in and listen to your own music while working out.


Heavy flywheels are ideal for experiencing a realistic feel for road momentum. Some models feature perimeter-weighted flywheels to further enhance and mimic the feeling of being on a road bike in a quiet and smooth way. If you like a challenge and a more realistic feel, opt for one with a heavier flywheel like the Sole Fitness or the Schwinn.


A solid warranty on a recumbent bike’s frame and parts shows that the manufacturer has confidence in the quality of their equipment and expect it will stand up to vigorous use.

Weight Capacity

Most recumbent bikes can accommodate users at least 250 lbs (113kg) in weight.

woman adjusting recumbent bike

Benefits of Recumbent Bikes and How They Work

There’s so many benefits to a recumbent bike that go beyond the convenience. Below are some of the big ones…

Benefits: Intense, Low-Impact Workout

Most forms of exercise involve a lot of downward thrust to the legs. This, in turn, can cause a lot of stress to your knees, ankles, hips, back, etc.  You might not feel the effects at first, but over time, high impact exercises like running can start to cause pain. And if you’re in pain, you’re a lot less likely to continue exercising.

Recumbent Exercise Bikes Achieve Cardio Excellence

Cycling can tone your butt and legs like no other but it’s the cardio benefit that gets people excited. Research shows that a minimum of 20 minutes a day of activity that increases your heart rate to a cardio-fitness level is a vital part of overall physical fitness.

And most importantly it reduces your risk of heart disease and other serious health issues. On a recumbent bike like the Schwinn 270, you can slowly and safely achieve maximum cardio health right at home.

Cost Efficiency

One of the best things about having a recumbent bike at home is the money you’ll save by not going to the gym. Another perk is that you don’t have to get ready or drive there so you’re saving time as well. 

How Do Recumbent Bikes Work?

A recumbent bike is a stationary cycle that has a seat, a backrest, and you pedal with your legs in front, rather than down below you as on an upright bike. This position is very ergonomic and back-friendly, and it accounts for the high appeal of this type of exercise bike. 

Resistance is often magnetic and is applied to a flywheel much as on an indoor cycle. The flywheel creates a momentum that mimics the feel of cycling on an open road. As you pedal faster or slower, you work all of your lower body including calves, thighs, and glutes. 

Final Word on Recumbent Bikes

Recumbent bikes are a unique type of exercise machine that places importance on making sure you’re comfortable during your workout.

They have developed as a way to keep people coming back for intense, effective workouts that don’t hurt the back, knees, or other joints. In fact, many people spend hours cycling while watching shows or listening to music or audiobooks. 

If enjoying your workout makes you work out, then recumbent bikes are, without a doubt, the most effective machines you can buy.

And based on the results above, Sole Fitness R92 is our 1st choice, since it easily hits all the requirements for an excellent recumbent bike. It is then followed by our number 2 choice; the Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Bike, for the exercise junkies and our number 3 choice; the ProGear 555LXT, which is the best budget-friendly option. Any of these choices is a great addition to your home gym and we’re confident that you’ll find these to be the best recumbent bikes and get in great shape for this next bikini season. 

Continue Reading

Related Posts