Recumbent Bikes

Recumbent bikes offer a safe, reliable way to tone up and are an excellent alternative to treadmills, rowing machines and traditional upright gym bikes. That’s not so say they’re an easy workout. This type of reclined cycle can offer a tough workout, even if you’re already in good shape. Here are our home recumbent guides, reviews and best of round ups to help you get started and find your perfect training companion.

ProForm Hybrid Trainer XT Review

ProForm Hybrid Trainer XT Review

Here’s an interesting machine, in a saturated market: Proform’s Hybrid XT aims to combine two types of exercise machine into one. The XT aims to give you a recumbent bike and an elliptical cross trainer

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NordicTrack VR25 Review

Welcome to our review of the NordicTrack VR25. In this guide we’ll cover everything you need to know about Nordic’s recumbent bike including our opinion on what this bike gets right, and where it falls

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NordicTrack VR21 Review

NordicTrack VR21 Review

Welcome to our review of the NordicTrack VR21. In this guide we’ll cover everything you need to know about Nordic’s recumbent bike including our opinion on what this bike gets right, and where it falls

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NordicTrack VR19 Review

NordicTrack VR19 Review

Welcome to our review of the NordicTrack VR19. In this guide we’ll cover everything you need to know about Nordic’s recumbent bike including our opinion on what this bike gets right, and where it falls

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Recumbent bike buyer's guide

How to choose a recumbent bike: What you should be looking out for

Features and build quality

Any bike that makes our list is going to meet a certain standard, so there’s no reason to be concerned with general build quality. Nothing we choose is going to break down on you, so the only number to look for here is maximum user weight, to make sure that you’re within your chosen bike’s weight capacity.

Instead, when considering the build, you should specifically be paying attention to the flywheel, specifically the flywheel weight.

How heavy a flywheel is dictates everything about a recumbent bike, including how hard your workouts can be, how high you’ll be able to push the resistance, and even the overall smoothness and comfort of the ride.

If possible, pick up a recumbent bike that uses a magnetic flywheel, normally referred to as Silent Magnetic Resistance (SMR.) Magnetic resistance is smoother, makes almost no noise when it’s in use, and requires almost no maintenance.

Finally, it’s worth considering the warranty. Most good bikes will have warranties that begin at a year, extending to upwards of five years on frame and flywheel on the better bikes. While we don’t expect any of the bikes on our list to go wrong, unfortunately, things happen, and having the support provided by a long warranty can make a big difference in protecting your investment.

Inbuilt training options

Training options vary wildly across different bikes, from simple programs that only shift resistance, up to fully integrated interactive training sessions run by world class trainers.

Your training needs dictate what programs you should be looking for. If you’re buying a recumbent bike just to warm up and get some cardio in, then you might not think that training programs are important. If you’re training seriously, on the other hand, then a whole host of interactive options could get you closer to your goals far faster.

In our experience, more training options are a fantastic way to keep yourself motivated and moving forward. If possible, look for a bike that has the option for an interactive fitness app.

Now is also a good time to consider how you set up your training time. Does the bike have a touchscreen or an LCD display? Can you link your tablet or phone to it through Wi-Fi?

Also consider what metrics are tracked through the system, and whether you can monitor your long term training. Nothing is more motivating than looking at how far you’ve come, and how much fitter you are now, compared to weeks and months ago.

Comfort and ease of adjustment

Recumbent bikes are designed to be as comfortable and easy on the body as possible, but it’s still worth taking a serious look at the design features of a bike before you buy.

Pay particular attention to the seat size and quality, as a little extra padding can go a long way after a long workout. High quality, oversize pedals and good handlebars really help, as does everything being in easy reach, for example resistance controls, and even the water bottle holder.

Finally, also consider how adjustable everything is, especially if you’re on the larger or smaller side. Making sure that you actually fit your chosen bike and it has enough seat positions, both vertically and horizontally, to be comfortable for your needs. 

How much does a recumbent bike cost?

The last consideration is economical. No one has bottomless pockets, and an infinite budget is for the Bezos’s and Musks of the world.

While recumbent bikes aren’t the most expensive pieces of exercise gear in general, it’s still a reasonable investment, and if you can pick up a slightly cheaper model that offers everything you’re looking for, then that’s generally a good thing. This is why our best of lists always feature a full range of products, from budget friendly entry level bikes, up to feature packed luxury systems.