When it comes to a healthy lifestyle and body, it is impossible to devalue exercise and remove it from the equation. Even as people grow older, it is even more important to live a life of fitness and commit to staying active every day, for the sake of your health.
However, exercise at older ages becomes difficult at times, and not because you want it to be. The demands of age bring on new challenges for older users, which means that there are certain considerations to always keep in mind. Among the best exercise tools for older users are recumbent bikes, which provide the maximum benefits of exercise without the risk of injury, unlike many conventional exercises. These bikes also go a long way toward helping individuals with reduced flexibility.
You will notice that there are numerous recumbent exercise bikes for seniors in 2019, but hopefully this guide will help to narrow down your choices and select the best one that fits your requirements.
Here is a comparison table for the best recumbent bike for seniors
Maximum weight limit (pounds)
Schwinn 270 recumbent bike
Nautilus R616 exercise bike
Marcy ME-709 recumbent bike
EXERPEUTIC 900XL recumbent bike
Sunny Health & Fitness RB4631 bike
Schwinn 270 recumbent bike – best for short people
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.
Nautilus R616 Recumbent exercise bike – best for heavier users
This is quite similar to the Schwinn 270 in its offerings, as it offers quite a range of luxury features compared to most of the competition, though at a more affordable price. Its build makes it suitable for heavier users, as it is strong enough to offer a smooth riding experience compared to the former.
- 29 customizable workout programs
- 25 resistance levels
- Padded seat, featuring a sliding seat rail that makes it easy to adjust the seat
- Improved Bluetooth connectivity
- Track progress through the Explore the World app
Part of the appeal it has is the wide range of offerings – there are 29 workout programs, media shelf, 25 resistance levels, and many more. In terms of appearance, it does look like the Schwinn 270, but there are some differences, especially the improvement of the console, making it better when monitoring your performance.
The frame is made from steel, which will keep you steady as you pedal, regardless of the resistance you are using. In some cases, you might hear creaks from the seat, but that is only due to loose bolts – you can correct this by tightening them. In order to use the bike on uneven surfaces (which can happen), the bike has two levelers in the middle and rear areas, which you can adjust to stop the bike from rocking too much.
When you want to adjust, keep it in mind that it can accommodate heights between 4’11” and 6’3”, giving it a great range than the Schwinn 270. The seat is also easy to adjust, since it moves on an aluminum rail, and there are no pre-set positioning slots.
The bike has magnetic resistance in 25 levels, and it has a quiet working mechanism with no extra maintenance needed. The transitioning of different resistance levels is also quite smooth due to the small increments. On the other hand, it uses a perimeter weighted flywheel that gives a smooth pedaling motion, and the pedals are oversized in order to allow you to use it regardless of your shoe size.
The warranty is 1 year on electrical parts, 10 years on the frame, 90 days for labor, and 2 years for mechanical parts. Compared to some recumbent bikes, this is among the best on the market.
- Low impact workouts regardless of the specific resistance level
- You can measure your heart rate through compatible heart rate strap (comes in package) or pulse sensors
- Quiet cycling
- Easy assembly
- You can add four user profiles
- Comfortable to use
- Lacks a guest profile
- Short power cord, which will force you to buy an extension cord
Most of the features here are not really necessities, but it will still give you a good experience if you have the patience to learn using the bike and its features.
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.
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.
Sunny Health & Fitness RB4631 bike – best weight limits
The manufacturer has been in the business for more than 10 years, and consistently produces health and fitness products of high quality – including the RB4631 model. It stands out because of its length, which makes it easy to exercise without forcing you to stretch or causing possible injuries.
- 8 resistance levels, magnetic tension
- Large back and seat cushions for extra comfort
- Transportation wheels for extra portability
- Adjustable height of inseam (27 to 34 inches)
- Dual position handle grips
- Maximum user weight limit of 350 lbs.
You can control the intensity of your workouts easily through the 8 resistance levels while changing the height of the seat and back cushion angles. It is quite heavy though, weighing about 103 pounds, so setting up will require some assistance.
The monitor is adjustable, making it easy for you to check your progress as you go along, and it displays time, count per minute, calories and total count. The bike also has a pulse monitor, which will help you keep an eye on your heart rate.
- High weight limit of 350 pounds
- The transportation wheel helps in portability
- Warranty – 3 years for the frame, 90 days for the other parts
- The features are not extensive, especially when considering the price
The product is from a well-known manufacturer, although it would be better if it had more features to go with it. However, it will cover your basic exercise needs, which can cover for the cost.
What to consider when purchasing recumbent bikes for seniors
What are recumbent bikes?
These are exercise bikes that have inclined seats, which allow the user to sit back and engage their lower body while staying comfortable. This allows many people, especially seniors and people recovering from injuries, to engage in exercise without placing themselves in difficult positions.
What should you look for?
Seat and backrest
This is one factor you must never compromise on when looking at the best recumbent bikes for seniors. 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.
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.
Many exercise bikes will have a feedback screen, which informs you of your heart rate, distance ridden, speed and time you are riding at, calories burnt, and so on. However, some will make this information large and easy to see, so it is important to consider whether this is important to keep in mind before buying the best bike.
If you are going to move the bike around on a regular basis, then you should go for a bike that has transport wheels or a folding model. The folding models are less stable compared to larger models, but they are quite easy to store and move.
The models with transport wheels are in the middle, as they offer you plenty of room for moving the bike around while not compromising on the stability and sturdiness of larger exercise bikes. They are not foldable though but will give you a comfortable compromise.
The best recumbent exercise bike for seniors will be dependent on your preferences and what you want from it, and the choices are quite many. However, with the help of the criteria listed, you can make a choice that is right for you – with safety being the top consideration here.