What’s the Best Recumbent Exercise Bike 2021? (UK)

Welcome to our guide on the best recumbent bikes in the UK for August 2021! An often-overlooked form of exercise, recumbent (or ‘sit down’) bikes provide a superb way to get in shape and lose calories at home. Furthermore, they’re ideal for anyone who can’t train on an upright cycle too, offering safe training for those with back injuries.

As with every fitness category, there’s a whole slew of reclined bikes promising to be the best on the market but we’ve dug deep and found the best ones we think you’ll want to look at. Whatever your budget, you’ll find something here that suits your needs. From the mini bike to the excellent RE100, read on and happy hunting!

#1 – ProForm Hybrid XT

See it at Proform >

Hybrid Trainer XT

Unique design: recumbent and elliptical in one

Built around twin functions, as an elliptical and a recumbent bike, the ProForm Hybrid XT is the replacement for ProForm’s successful Hybrid line, and it’s exactly the same model with updated digital multimedia systems. This gives you massive flexibility, letting you train standing up or sitting down, and switch out workouts as needed.

With a 13lb effective flywheel, there’s a lot of resistance here, which can be changed through 16 discrete settings. It’s comfortable, with oversize pedals, a well-designed seat, and a huge maximum weight limit of 160kg (350lbs.)

Like most of the premium models on this list, the Hybrid XT also comes with iFit functionality built right in.

The sheer flexibility of iFit and the number of benefits it gives you, both to fitness and enthusiasm for working out can’t be overstated, and considering you can select low impact workouts right from the home screen, it’s the perfect choice if you need something that’s easy on the joints.

We’ve got a full review of the XT trainer here.

Verdict: Pro-Form’s XT trainer is ingenious and about the only machine we can think of that combines a recumbent and an elliptical. It doesn’t skimp on either station, offering two great ways to get a cardio workout on one. iFit is also ready to go here too.

  • Brill LCD display that’s easy to read
  • Very comfy
  • Combined elliptical and recumbent
  • High quality and really well made
  • iFit ready to go
  • Lighter flywheel might not be ideal for very fit users

#2 – Kettler Premium Recumbent

Sitting in the mid-range of the recumbent bike category is a superb bit of kit from Kettler. Design-wise, this recumbent cycle looks the part and it’s backed up with a solid construction throughout.

At 9kg, the flywheel in this bike is one of the largest in this group. Combined with the electro-magnetic resistance, you get a smooth workout that’s suitable for new users, right up to those looking for a challenge. In fact, there’s an impressive 16 levels of challenge to be found here.

“Kettler have managed to create something that feels extremely comfy, even for extended cycling sessions”

Although plain monochrome, the computer/display is one of the best in this category. We really liked the 4-person memory that allows four different users to store programmes.  You get 12 preset programmes to get your teeth into, offering different challenges and keeping things fresh.

The display is superb and offers 12 programmes

One thing to note is that you’ll need to build this exercise bike up and possibly even get it delivered where you’re going to use it. that’s because the Kettler’s sturdiness comes at a cost – this thing is heavy! This recumbent bike isn’t exactly portable. Still, it has the feel and build of a commercial sit down bike so it’s easy to forgive.

It has to be said that not all recumbents are, well, comfortable. But Kettler has managed to create something that feels extremely comfy, even for extended cycling sessions. The seat is on a slope, meaning it goes downwards as it goes forwards – something smaller users will no doubt find helpful. At the other end of the scale, the weight allowance with this bike goes all the way up to 130kg.

While not the cheapest products in this market, Kettlers’ bike is easily the best recumbent exercise bike in our reviews. A superb piece of kit that’s worthy of your shortlist.

  • Setup is fast and easy
  • Really like the computer/display
  • Comfortable seat
  • Looks and feels like a commercial recumbent
  • Sturdy
  • Suitable for all levels, including people wanting a challenge
  • Heavy, can’t be moved around easily
  • Not the cheapest bike in the home category

#3 – Best Budget Recumbent: JLL RE100 Recumbent – Amazon UK

If you don’t want to pay a fortune for a home recumbent bike, but want something that will last and give a good workout, then the best one we’ve found is the JLL RE100. A sturdy CE approved build means there’s no jiggling around while you train.

The resistance here uses magnets and ships with a 5kg flywheel. It’s bi-directional so you can pedal forwards or backwards. There’s a decent choice of 8 levels of resistance and another good feature is that this recumbent is very quiet to operate. Catch up on some serious TV without any noise.

This is a good bike for the money and it has some nice extras like a heart rate monitor (sensors are built into the handlebars). After sales customer service has been very good, and there’s a 12-month warranty in case anything goes wrong. The assembly isn’t tricky at all and the bike doesn’t take up a great deal of space.

The display is really good too. Especially for a cheap recumbent bike in this price range. It has a quality look and feel and, most importantly, it’s clear and easy to read. You can track the usual stuff like time, distance, calories, and heart rate.

  • Great price for a quality recumbent
  • Smooth magnetic resistance
  • Quiet operation
  • Sturdy construction
  • Easy assembly
  • Crisp, clear and large display
  • Max user weight is 100kg
Best Price
£169.99 at Amazon
Price last checked: Wednesday 4th August 2021 - 09:06 am

#4 – XS Sports Magnetic Recumbent

This is a low-cost entry into the budget side of recumbent exercise bikes here but one that’s won a lot of praise from users. The XS Sports  Bike is a sit-down cycle that’s ideal for anyone looking to get back into exercise or wanting a milder form of training to keep in shape.

It uses the same resistance that the best recumbent exercise bikes use, combining a heavy flywheel with magnets. Speaking of the peddling action – the flywheel is 2-way which means you can go backwards as well as forwards.

Overall this recumbent gives a nice smooth feel without that awful rubbing you can get with other systems. The seat is chunky and comfy and the pedals are over-sized, with straps to keep you from slipping out. Max user weight here is 110kg.

The on-board computer tracks the basics such as calories burnt, virtual distance, times and, surprisingly for a budget recumbent cycle, it also shows your pulse (pads are in the handles). The LED display gives a crisp readout compared to LCD ones.

  • Great value for the price
  • Chunky seat that’s supportive and comfy
  • XS have great after sales support
  • Ideal for anyone with back problems
  • Getting the tension spring in place was a bit tricky
  • Might be too gentle for anyone wanting a punishing workout

#5 – V-fit G-RC Recumbent Magnetic Cycle

The V-Fit G-RC is a recumbent bike and has a pretty good price for what you’re getting. The tubular steel makes it feel nice and solid and the seat part slides back and forth. It should fit all shapes and sizes, with some users allowing the whole family to get stuck in and get fit.

The resistance is magnetic resistance paired with a substantial 6kg iron flywheel. One of the best things with mag resistance is that it tends to be quiet. The G-RC bike is both quiet and smooth. You have a choice of 8 difficulty settings and everyone should be able to find something to suit their level.

One of the best things about this bike is it’s the 7-function monitor. We’ve seen too many recumbents with small fiddly screens but you’ll be able to track your progress easily here. It shows calories, distance, speed and also pulse. The handles have little metal pads that track your heart rate. You don’t have to use them of course.

This bike is a good choice if you’re recovering from a back injury and want to stay in shape. It’s also a good choice if you’ve tried one of these machines at a gym, as they’re very similar. Setup takes 2 – 3 hours and the only tricky bit is getting the wires through the tubing.

  • Sturdy and smooth to pedal
  • Good construction, like the tube style steel
  • Price is good for what you’re getting
  • Display is large and tracks pulse too
  • Magnetic resistance and a nice heavy fly wheel
  • Bit fiddly getting wires through tubes
  • Long use can get uncomfortable
Best Price
£269.99 at Amazon
Price last checked: Wednesday 4th August 2021 - 09:14 am

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#6 – FitQuick Mini Home Exercise Bike

If you think this mini exercise bike looks like some cookie gadget you might see on a late-night shopping channel, then you might want to have a second look. the fitQuick is a small, light and portable bit of equipment that will turn just about any chair into a recumbent bike. OK, it’s a little different to the other bikes here but it’s one of the better models in its category and the price is pretty good.

the fitQuick is a small, light and portable bit of equipment that will turn just about any chair into a recumbent bike

The FitQuick bike is recommended by physiotherapist and can be used by senior exercisers as well as disabled users. It’s extremely quiet and has a smooth, impact-free motion. The magnetic resistance is altered using the dial on the top and goes from easy going to a moderate pace. It’s suitable for beginners to intermediate.

If the idea of burning off calories while you’re sitting on the sofa seems far fetched, this mini recumbent might surprise you. It will work with pretty much any chair, including armchairs and dining chairs. You will be strengthening your legs, arms and ligaments as well as burning off calories. A simple display keeps track of your virtual distance and how many calories you have got rid of.

The sit-down exercise bike comes with a non-slip matt although this is perhaps the main drawback with this product. Even with this matt, it can slip around. However, this can be worked around if you move the minibike against something solid – especially a wall.

This is the best recumbent bike if you’re short on space!

  • Space saving mini recumbent
  • Light enough to move around
  • Robust and well made
  • Easy to assemble and instructions are clear
  • Calories burnt off mount up quickly
  • Suitable for older or disabled users
  • Non-slip mat doesn’t always keep bike in place
  • Not suitable for anyone looking for a very hard workout
Best Price
£115.00 at Amazon
Price last checked: Wednesday 4th August 2021 - 09:04 am

#7 – V-fit BST-RC Recumbent Bike

If you’re after a good quality recumbent bike that won’t give you hearty failure when you get your next credit card bill, this bike from V-Fit might be a choice. So what’s to like about this indoor recumbent, apart from its sexy, sleek design?

First up you’re getting a bike that uses magnetic resistance but has a hefty enough flywheel at 5kg. This provides a nice smooth, friction-free motion with non-awful ‘rubbing’ when you’re pedalling.

Reach and height are fully adjustable without too much fumbling around. And the pedals aren’t those awful ones your feet keep slipping off. They are large, and it’s easy to get your feet into position. The LCD screen isn’t anything fancy but has 7 functions and keeps track of your calories, time and the usual stats.

Speaking of light, this bike is fairly easy to move around the home. But at the same time, it feels very sturdy when you’re on it, with no creaking or shifting around.

So what’s NOT to like? For one, assembly is a bit of a bugger, taking upwards of the 40-minute mark. And you’ll need your own tools, as the ones supplied are not too hot. If you’re a heavy user over 100kg, or your height exceeds 6′ 2″ mark then you might find this budget recumbent a little on the light side.

Speaking of light, this bike is fairly easy to move around the home. But at the same time, it feels very sturdy when you’re on it, with no creaking or shifting around.

  • Resistance and fly wheel feel smooth
  • Cool looking design
  • Light enough to move around by yourself
  • Easy to adjust and comfy
  • Stable and good quality build
  • LCD panel won’t win any awards
  • Tools included could be better
  • Set some time aside for assembly
  • Not suitable for larger users

Recumbent Exercise Bike Buyer’s Guide

In this quick overview of what you should be looking for if you’re buying a recumbent exercise bike, we’ll go over the key specs to look for and some help choosing your perfect machine. The following is based on a lot of research and testing of various recumbent gear over the years.

What exactly is a recumbent bike?

There are really two kinds of these bikes: indoor ones and outdoor ones. The machine we’re concerned with is, of course, the kind you don’t need to ride on the road. They’re a bit safer!

Different Kinds of Recumbent Bikes

Different Kinds of Recumbent Bikes

Main things to look for in a recumbent bike

While every recumbent looks amazing in the pics (well, mostly – there’s some ugly ones out there) they’re often very different ‘under the hood’, so to speak. While we can’t review or feature every bike out there, here’s some basic advice on getting one that won’t need to be sent back in a month.

  1. Is the seat comfy? As far as exercise bikes go, recumbents are generally wonderfully supportive and way more comfortable than any upright style bike. But it’s worth checking the seat and backrest to see what kind it is. They generally fall into 2 categories: Car-seat style and perforated. The first is more comfortable but can get a bit, well… sweaty. The second is more sporty but will let your back breathe a lot more.  But they’re more bouncy and not quite as comfortable as the former. Pick which one you want and check reviews for comfort.
  2. Has this got enough resistance for me? One thing that does vary wildly from one machine to the next is the level of resistance the bike has. This is also entirely subjective. One gym buff’s too easy might be more than a senior rider might ever need. Make no mistake, these machines can challenge every athletic level but you’ve got to pick a machine that can keep up with your demands. This brings us nicely on to…
  3. The flywheel! That’s the heavy circular disk that’s normally mounted to the front of your recumbent bike. Bigger is normally better but, as more expensive machines generally have bigger flywheels, you might be able to save a few quid if you go for a cheaper one with a lighter flywheel. You do not need a monster weight if you’re petite, just getting started or are in an older age group.
  4. What’s the panel like? Another thing you’ll want to spend some time looking at is the console (also known as the monitor or display). Cheaper bikes will often harbour small, dim LCD panels. The better ones will have brightly lit LED panels that have graphics on showing how hard the program is. You should also be able to see a number of stats at once.
  5. Has it got Bluetooth and can I use 3rd party apps? While not everyone gives a hoot about this, it’s still worth mentioning. A number of recumbents will have online connectivity. Ideally, they’ll connect to 3rd party apps. Don’t assume that just because there’s an app it’s any good. There are some AWFUL Chinese apps that you won’t want to use. iFit and Kinomap are two (albeit paid) apps that are wonderful.
  6. Little stuff – Cup and tablet holders – Hey, these things matter. Check there’s somewhere to put your phone, keys and definitely your drink. And here’s something we should whisper in a guide about recumbents… it can get a bit boring. So a tablet holder means you can watch something interesting, educational or fun to keep your mind engaged.

Thanks for reading this guide on the best recumbent exercise bikes available in the UK. Please let us know in the comments if we’ve missed any you’d like to see featured, or if you train with a recumbent.

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