If you happen to struggle with back issues, you know how difficult it is to find the best workouts that minimize the pain you go through every day, as well as the most comfortable equipment. It might seem like an impossible task to lift weights every session, while the conventional cardio workout seems too strenuous for your liking.
If this sounds like you, here is some good news – you are not alone. Manufacturers know this as well, as that is why they are continuously making exercise bikes that cater to people suffering from back pain. You might even find something that works well for you from our buying guide below, so read on.
EXERPEUTIC 400XL 300SR folding bike – good for smaller-bodied people
This has many advantages that come with its use – not only does it meet all the expectations from a good recumbent bike, but it also has a fold-up option that makes it very easy to store and move around.
- Large seat with plenty of padding
- Adjustment of the seat to accommodate users between 5’2” and 6’2”
- Weight capacity of 300 lbs.
- Magnetic brake resistance, 8 resistance levels
- 6 programs available
- Includes transportation wheels
Thanks to the features like the padded seat, large pedals (straps included), side handlebars that are level with your hips and the full backrest, it is a safe choice that helps you remain comfortable and keeps good form as you use it.
The bike uses a magnetic tension system, which is in 8 levels. This allows you to change the intensity of your workouts as much or as little as you want. For a quiet, smooth ride, the v-belt drive system and the precision balanced flywheel make the experience as smooth as possible.
In addition, it also includes a health monitor that keeps track of your fitness progress through its easy-to-read LCD computer screen. This will display various aspects – pulse, calories burned, speed, time, distance, and it also has an odometer. The pulse sensors are also conveniently located, right on the handlebars, to increase the accuracy.
- Very compact design and easy to fold up and store
- It is the most practical option on the list
- Very affordable
- It might be too small for bigger people
- It does not have as many intense workouts in some cases
This model has plenty of great aspects of it, and its compact nature is a major bonus. It is a good addition to your home gym and will be a great option for someone on a smaller budget.
PROGEAR 555LXT Magnetic tension bike – strong seat support and adjustment
This is a reduced option for prostate bikes, which is a great choice if you are looking forward to saving money on space, even as you continue to do your cardio exercises at home.
- Computer LCD screen, wide enough to allow viewing of different metrics
- 3 computer goal settings of workouts – displays calorie burning rate, time and distance
- Step-thru design for easy use
- 14 levels of resistance, magnetic
- Weight capacity of 250 lbs.
- Height range of users from 5’0” to 6’3”
Compared to most other bikes, it is quite unique in design and approach. It has a slim slider under the bike instead of relying on strong seat support, which gives you a chance to slide the seat to your preferred position instead of being constrained to specific seat adjustments.
In addition, a decent-sized PC accompanies the system and allows for easy viewing of media and monitoring of your objectives. The outline of the bike is made from steel and is quite strong and durable, and the one-year guarantee is standard for its good quality.
The bike is suitable for people who are between the heights of 5’0” and 6’3”, and you can easily adjust to your preferences by changing the seat position.
The bike uses a magnetic resistance system that has 14 levels of resistance, and a pressure handle at the front part makes it easier to go back to your original setting in case you change it in the course of use. Regarding the drive type, it uses a belt system and a single wrench, which ensures the motion is smooth and tranquil, while the brakes have plastic finishing to give you decent grip levels.
- Easy to assemble, as some of the parts come pre-assembled
- Very quiet mechanism
- The support is exceptional
- Lightweight and easy to move around
- Very strong levels of support
- The tension level on the lowest and highest settings result in motion that is not smooth
This is a great choice for all ages and experience levels, but more so if you are over the age of 40 or 50 and are struggling to keep in shape. It is also quite easy to set up and move around, making it convenient for use in the home.
EXERPEUTIC 900XL recumbent bike – best budget buy
This is another of the smaller recumbent bikes for seniors, mainly due to the handlebars that make your experience comfortable and easy to adjust.
- Magnetic tension system, eight resistance levels
- Large LCD display – shows heart rate, speed, calories burned, distance, and time
- Limited manufacturer warranty of one year
- Maximum user weight of 300 pounds, machine weighs 63 pounds
- Hand pulse sensors
Assembling the bike is easy since most of the parts come pre-assembled for you. The main complication though will happen when handling the tension cable, which you need to attach to the knob, and the instructions are unclear on how it should be done.
Even though this is largely a recumbent bike for those on a budget, the manufacturer still applies a lot of care into setting it up. It is very comfortable to use, with the back support and seat having extensive padding. The seat itself is quite large, helping you stay comfortable throughout use, but it is quite challenging to adjust which can be frustrating at times.
The resistance in use here is the magnetic type, and there are 8 resistance levels, which is quite the feat for a budget bike. The resistance system also makes the bike quiet during use.
However, since it is on a budget, multiple user profiles are the last thing to expect here. The good news is you can monitor many important metrics regarding your activity, such as your heart rate.
- Comes with large pedals that help you stay stable while cycling
- The storage and transportation is easy due to the wheels
- Easy to track progress through the LCD monitor
- Quiet mechanism
- Assembly is challenging in some cases
- The materials making up some parts are not high quality
While this is a bike for entry-level use and those on a budget, it still satisfies many important things and is of good quality to last a long time.
Marcy Recumbent ME-709 – our pick
This is the most affordable recumbent bike on the list and is quite comfortable in order to ensure the best user experience. The handlebars that are covered with foam are quite comfortable to handle, and the padded seat ensures that the bike is quite nice to use.
- Eight resistance levels, magnetic mechanism
- Step through design of the frame
- 14-gauge steel tubing
- Computer screen that is easy to read
- Padded seat (uses high density foam)
- Counterbalanced pedal system
The high-backed seating has plenty of high-density foam, as well as counter-balanced pedals and foam-covered handlebars for a more comfortable experience. However, the disadvantage is the lack of pulse grips, so it will not work for you if you are looking for a recumbent bike that has heart rate monitoring as part of its features.
The weight limit is 300 pounds, just like the previous two, although the height limits are between 5’2” to 6’0”. The good thing is that the console screen is quite easy to read, and it displays important metrics such as calories burned, speed, and time as well as distance coverage. It will also allow you to store more than one user profile for convenience.
It also happens to be the most compact bike on the list, having measurements of 55.5 x 37.5 x 25 (L x H x W). Its weight is 60 pounds, and the addition of transport wheels makes it easier to move and store. The design is heavy-duty, and the step-through design makes it easy to jump on or off without the risk of injuries.
In addition, it is great to note that there are counterbalanced pedals, which give you added control and support, while the adjustable foot straps help you remain secure as you pedal through.
- Can adjust to fit a range of height differences
- Step-through design
- You can exercise while standing or sitting, due to the two bar placements
- Easy to assemble, use and store
- Lacks a pulse monitor
- It does not have pre-programmed workouts
The model does a good job of allowing you to do a low impact aerobic activity without hurting your legs and joints. However, it has issues with adjustment of the seat, which can be frustrating if you are not patient with it.
Schwinn 270 recumbent bike – great extra features
This might be among the most expensive recumbent bikes on this list, but it certainly lives up to much of its reputation, thanks to the numerous features it comes with.
- Bluetooth connectivity, helps you sync with Schwinn apps for training and tracking progress
- 25 resistance levels
- 17 pounds flywheel
- Ability to sync with RideSocial smartphone app
- High inertia and high speed drive system
- 29 programs – 4 custom, 9 heart rate control, 12 profile, 1 quick start, 2 fitness test
- Perimeter weighted flywheel
- DualTrack LCD display, in-console speakers, media shelf, adjustable fan, USB media charging
This bike has a ton of useful features, most notable being the 29 preset workouts and 25 resistance levels that provide some extra variety when you need it.
You likely want to keep track of your heart rate as you work out, and the bike solves this need through the heart rate pulse grips that are on the seat grips. Even though it lacks a chest strap, the machine can still monitor the breathing rates due to the telemetry abilities it has. The seat itself is quite padded, which helps you stay comfortable throughout your workout, and there is plenty of back support that keeps you cool when you are exercising.
Even though the handlebars are not adjustable, you can change the console’s angle. The bike takes up quite a large footprint and is quite heavy though – it weighs 86.6 pounds and us 64 x 27.7 x 49.9 inches in dimensions (L, W. H).
The maximum user weight is 300 pounds, which is reasonable and quite common when you check out mid-level recumbent bikes. Other convenience aspects are pedal straps to keep your feet firmly on the pedals, an accessory and large water bottle holder, sealed acoustic chamber speakers, Bluetooth connectivity, and a three-speed workout fan.
In addition, you get a warranty period of 10 years on the frame, one year on electronics and two years on the mechanical parts.
- Strong construction
- Bluetooth connection and all other features are great
- 29 workout programs
- Easy adjustment of the resistance levels
- Comfortable seating
- Four user profiles, making it easy to use for the family
- High weight capacity
- The handlebars are not adjustable
- The flywheel is lightweight
- Some users might complain due to the brightness of the display
- Not for tall people
This is the best recumbent bike you can choose if you want multiple user profiles, and many people choose it due to the low-impact design. It is however best for you if you are a maximum height of 6 feet tall – anything more than that, and you will struggle to get the most benefits from it.
What to consider when buying recumbent bikes for back pain
Exercise is a good way of reducing the pain in your lower back region, even as you work on improving your spinal health. You just need to keep your focus on the correct equipment and workouts, which will reduce your back pain eventually.
Recumbent bikes work well in this instance compared to an upright bike, because they keep your body in a reclined seating posture instead of an upright one. This is ergonomic because it reduces the stress that your weight is placing on different bike parts, therefore reducing the pain associated with exercise.
Here are some important things you need to keep in mind:
Stability vs. Size
The space that is available to you will determine the bike you go for. In the case of larger bikes, they have a high sense of security and stability, but they seem inconvenient due to space constraints. If you want a space-efficient option, folding bikes are good, but they might not provide as much stability.
Seat and backrest
This is one factor you must never compromise on when looking at the best recumbent bikes in general, but more so in this case. The best bikes will have a seat with as much padding as possible, which adds to the comfort levels and increase the desire to exercise.
There are numerous seat designs in the market, so your choice depends on flexibility and needs. Some seats will take a more ergonomic design, even though they are smaller, while others have a large area to work with. Other features such as armrests provide extra stability, which can also be a good help.
The warranty period might be among the last things you will look at, but it is also an important factor to consider when you are looking at bikes. It essentially acts as your insurance policy, so the longer it is, the higher the quality of the bike. For a budget bike though, the warranty might not be as long, lasting for about a year or so – although this is not always the case.
The technology it offers
This is entirely up to your preferences, as some might want a lot of extra features while some are comfortable with the basics. These include:
- Workout programs – plenty of bikes will have pre-programmed workouts, though the number will vary.
- Heart rate monitor – all bikes will have a grip heart rate monitoring system, but the high-quality ones add wireless monitoring or chest straps
- User profiles – this will allow you to save your workout settings and your information like weight and age, all for tracking your progress
Choosing the correct recumbent bike is a step closer to helping you achieve your fitness objectives, even if you struggle with back pain. This guide will hopefully help you make the decision that suits your needs effectively.