TOP 10 Best Recumbent Bikes for Seniors Reviewed 2020
Are you thinking about getting a recumbent bike to maintain your fitness well into your senior years? Not sure where to start?
Well, I did some digging. When my father was looking for an exercise machine, I managed to gather and create a list of the best recumbent bikes for seniors – meaning you can start right here and right now with this article.
So, what are they?
Below, I outline my top 10 best recumbent bikes for seniors in 2020, as well as offer some insight into what you should watch out for when buying a brand new recumbent bike.
Review: The Schwinn 270 offers a comfortable and well-rounded option for most seniors. The screen provides great visibility with a blue-black lit LCD screen.
It has 29 programs and 25 levels of resistance – meaning you can challenge yourself when you’re ready, as well as mix up your exercise routine every now and again. This bike is further suitable for different fitness levels, since you can manually adjust your intensity and resistance.
But that’s not all…
The Schwinn also comes with added bonuses like Bluetooth connectivity, a media shelf, USB charging port, an adjustable fan, and speakers. You can also connect the Schwinn Trainer app to it.
29 programs included.
25 levels of resistance.
Media shelf for your phone or tablet.
USB charging port.
The adjustable fan may leave more to be desired.
The built-in speakers aren’t super powerful.
More expensive than other recumbent bikes.
The Schwinn 270 has all the features you’d want in a recumbent bike. If you like having options, Schwinn does a great job at offering them all.
However, this model tends to run a bit on the pricier sides compared to other recumbent bikes.
Review: Topping the best recumbent exercise bikes for seniors at number two, this recumbent bike is probably one of the most affordable ones out there. If you don’t want to spend too much but want a bike that works, the Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike is it.
For those with bad knees or a bad back, getting on and off the bike is made fairly easy thanks to the easy-access and spacious design. The seat is further ergonomically designed. It’s made of high-density foam providing comfort to your rear, making it the most comfortable recumbent bike for seniors.
The pedals are also something special. The pedals on the Mary Recumbent Exercise Bike are weighted.
Why does this matter?
Weighted pedals provides maximal support and maximum control.
But here’s the catch:
This bike only comes with 8 levels of resistance. If you’re already in shape and you’re looking to challenge yourself, this bike may not be the best option.
But if you want to use it for low-intensity cardio or warm-ups, then it may be entirely suitable – especially if you’ve got bad knees or back issues.
Easy-to-read computer screen.
There aren’t any charging port or additional bonuses.
It lacks a media shelf for your phone or tablet.
It only comes with 8 levels of resistance.
The spacious aspect of this design takes the cake. For individuals with back and knee problems, this bike is perfect for challenging yourself – without causing any pain.
Review: The Exerpeutic 900XL is great for anyone up to 300 pounds. It also might be more useful for taller individuals. However, anyone can easily use this recumbent bike.
How is this possible? The seat, itself, is adjustable.
And there’s more…
The 8-level Magnetic Tension Control System provides adjustable resistance as well. The screen is further easy to see, displaying your calories burned, time, speed, and heart rate.
It also has hand pads to help you measure your pulse as you workout. This can help you stay within certain target heart rate zones, such as the ones your doctor may have recommended.
Great for taller individuals.
Hand-pulse pads for targeting heart rate zones.
It lacks a media shelf and charging port or any other additional bonuses.
It’s heavy and not really mobile or storage-friendly.
Pedals may feel jerky.
LCD screen may prove hard to read, depending on the lighting in the room where you’re using it.
This recumbent bike offers a comfortable and affordable option for taller individuals. However, you’ll want to have enough room to keep this bike in one spot, since it’s heavy and hard to move once set up.
Review: Despite this bike being a tad more pricey, it makes up for it with all of its great features. It’s another bike with added comfort. If you’re looking for the most comfortable recumbent bike for seniors, this one is definitely in the running.
It has a sturdy design, along with a padded seat featuring a ventilated backsliding on seat rail for even more comfort.
What else makes this bike special?
Like our top pick, it also has 29 programs and 25 levels of resistance. It has a similar display screen as well to the Schwinn model.
It further has Bluetooth connectivity, access to Explore the World app – making your workouts a little more interesting – USB charging port, water bottle holder, and speakers.
25 levels of resistance.
29 workout programs.
Access to Explore the World app.
Easy-to-view screen and displays.
It’s a bit more expensive.
Might be more technical to use and take advantage of extra features.
This Nautilus bike has a sturdy design, making it easy to mount and dismount. It also has 29 workout programs and a built-in fan.
The additional access to the Explore the World app can also make your ride a little more interesting.
Review: Schwinn has another recumbent bike that has a ton of benefits. The seat is easily adjustable, with the design including a sliding rail to make a quick adjustment.
It has 22 workout programs, including 9 profile, 8 heart rate control, 2 fitness test, and 1 quick start program.
It also comes with all the tech bling, like a USB charging port, MP3 input, speakers, and a media shelf.
But there’s always more!
This recumbent bike has an easy and smooth start-up via it’s high-speed and high-inertia drive system. It further has a dual LCD display screen, providing you with all the feedback throughout your workout.
Adjustable for an excellent fit.
22 workout programs.
USB charging port.
The speakers may leave something to be desired.
It takes up more space than a foldable recumbent bike option.
With an easy and smooth glide to get it going, this bike offers an excellent option for seniors. It’s adjustable and affordable.
It also comes with the basic tech features, such as speakers, a USB charging port, and a media shelf.
Review: Schwinn, Exerpeutic and Nautilus are some of the top brand names that are great when it comes to the best recumbent bikes for elderly individuals.
However, Nautilus tends to come in at a more affordable price than the popular Schwinn options. And it’s arguably almost as good.
This bike fits anyone up to 6 feet and 6 inches through its adjustable seat sliding rail. It’s also praised for its quiet and smooth ride via the high-inertia flywheel. It’s further got 20 levels of resistance and 22 workout programs.
Its goal track capability further allows users to customize their goals unique to them.
Like other highly rated models, the Nautilus has dual LCD screens, a media shelf, a USB charging port, an adjustable fan, and an MP3 input port.
Customized goal tracking.
22 workout programs.
20 levels of resistance.
Smooth and quiet function.
Seat may provide discomfort for some users.
LCD screen doesn’t have a backlight.
The Nautilus recumbent bike is the affordable option to the other big brand names. With 20 levels of resistance and 22 workout programs, you won’t get bored using this exercise machine!
Review: The Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Bike has something a little different from the rest.
It has movable handlebars, taking your recumbent bike workout up a notch. In turn, this allows you to get a full-body workout on a bike. These handlebars also offer two different ways to grip them, depending on your personal preference.
Another neat feature?
You can isolate your arms if you want, and give your legs a break. This can also allow you to alternate between the two – something that no other recumbent bike does on this list.
The seat on this bike is also fairly large. Thus, as far as recumbent exercise bikes for seniors goes, this one also provides optimal comfort and correct posture.
It further comes with 8 levels of magnetic resistance, pulse centers to measure your heart rate, an LCD display screen, and a place to put your media devices, such as a tablet or phone.
Movable handlebars for a full-body workout.
Good for individuals up to 350 lbs.
Large and cushioned seat.
Supports good posture.
Placing a tablet or phone on the media shelf blocks the view of the LCD screen.
8 levels of resistance may be limiting for some, depending on your fitness level.
The movable handlebars may not be suitable for those with back, elbow, wrist, or shoulder issues.
If you like elliptical trainer machines for their full-body movements, you’ll love this recumbent bike. The moveable handlebars are a unique feature, making this one stand out amongst the rest.
However, some users should be cautious. It’s likely not suitable for those with upper-body injuries or back injuries – and may, in fact, aggravate these problems.
Review: For more affordable recumbent exercise bikes for elderly individuals, Marcy NS-716R comes into our top 10 list with excellent features and easy function.
The seat is fully adjustable, making it suitable for a variety of users. It comes with soft handlebars that are foam-covered but also offer a solid grip.
The digital tracking panel has an LCD screen which displays your speed, calories burned, distance, and time. The resistance knob can further be adjusted to 8 different resistances, allowing you to challenge yourself or set your workout to your desired level.
The best part?
This model comes with easy transportation via the wheels attached at the bottom. This makes it easy to move out of the way when you’re not using it, as well as wheel it out in front of your TV or a window.
Soft handlebars with good grip.
8 resistance levels.
Convenient and easy transportation wheels.
It doesn’t come with a media shelf or any additional tech features.
8 resistance levels may prove to be not enough for some.
The Marcy NS-716R is the basic affordable recumbent exercise bike for seniors. It comes with all the foundational functions. It’s only flaw is that 8 resistance levels might not be enough for some users.
Review: Lastly, another Exerpeutic bike makes my best recumbent bike for seniors in 2020 list. While I may have mentioned some of the comfortable recumbent bikes for seniors above, those models have got nothing on the Exerpeutic 4000.
Check this out:
The 4000 model takes comfort to the next level. The Airsoft padded foam seat easily speaks for itself. It’s large and highly comfortable. There are further padded armrests and a mesh backrest. In other words, if you’ve struggled to find a comfortable recumbent bike fit, this is your guy.
But there’s more to this bike than just comfort…
The Exerpeutic 4000 model has a precision-balanced flywheel, a gel-padded media shelf to place your phone or tablet, and a V-belt drive. It also has 24 resistance levels, letting you find your pace and intensity.
Padded seating and armrests for optimal comfort.
24 resistance levels.
Transportation wheels for convenience.
For individuals under 5 feet, the backrest may seem uncomfortable.
Bit more pricey.
The Exerpeutic 4000 offers the most comfortable recumbent bike for seniors. It also has everything you would need in a bike, such as a media shelf for a tablet or phone.
It does come at a slightly higher cost, but if your comfort is your top priority, it might be worth it.
Buying Guide to the Best Recumbent Bikes for Seniors
So, what else should you be aware of? What should you know before you buy?
Let’s take a closer look.
What Factors to Keep in Mind before Buying?
You’ll want to keep various factors in mind before you buy, especially when it comes to your unique individual needs.
Below, I go into more detail on 5 different factors you’ll want to compare when you go to buy.
Stationary bikes don’t just come in recumbent models. There are also upright bikes and spinning bikes.
I looked into recumbent bikes because these tend to be more senior-friendly. By this, I mean they tend to be easier on the joints, as well as easier to get on and off.
Recumbent bikes take the pressure off your joints and allow for higher comfort. And most recumbent bikes have the same basic design.
But there are slight differences.
The seat width or size may vary. The pedals may vary in weight. You can find some designs, as outlined above, that have removable handlebars and others with stationary handlebars. There are also foldable models.
Another key thing to note is whether or not the dismounting and mounting part is going to be difficult. Do you have to lift your legs high over a barrier?
Luckily, most recumbent bikes are step-throughs. Yet, it doesn’t hurt to check!
Recumbent bikes come in all varieties of resistances. You’ll find on our 10 best recumbent bikes for seniors list above that these vary from model to model and brand to brand.
Usually, you’ll want a wide range of resistance levels to choose from. This allows you to set your pace and also challenge yourself when you want.
Further, most models come with magnetic resistance – meaning little maintenance and more durability.
This is absolutely another feature you’ll want to know before you buy. Will it suit your height? Or if others want to use it, will it work for them as well? Find out before you hit that check-out button.
Most bikes will offer adjustable seating for this. But some don’t, which is why you’ll want to ensure the one you buy does.
You can change your resistance in different ways on different bikes. Some types will have ‘precision controls’ which means you can gradually increase your resistance on the digital screen.
‘Quick controls’ is another option that allows you to jump levels quickly.
Further, more affordable recumbent bikes may come with a manual resistance changer in the form of a slider or dial.
Some bikes have additional features on top of the main four listed above. Often, this will impact the price point. Some of these features include Bluetooth connectivity, USB ports, MP3 ports, speakers, fans, dual displays, media shelves, and more.
Determine what you would want to do while biking and then ensure the bike you buy has the features to allow you to do those activities, such as reading or watching a show.
Recumbent bikes aren’t your only option to get in shape (although, they aren’t a bad option either!). And there are also other incredible cardio machines you can try.
You aren’t limited to the recumbent bike.
In fact, every person naturally loses muscle mass after the age of 30 (source). As such, combining cardio of your choice with weight lifting is probably best, especially for the senior population.
Ask your doctor what’s best for you. They can make a recommendation based on your health and situation.
What is the Best Recumbent Bike for Seniors?
The best recumbent bike for seniors depends on your needs and wants. Do you desire a media shelf to watch your show or read while you bike? Do you want additional comfort? Do you need a bike that you can quickly stow away?
These are all things you want to consider. Ideally, you’ll want a bike that’s comfortable for you and fits easily into your lifestyle and space.
The Schwinn 270 and the Exerpeutic Foldable bikes were our favorites. While the comfort that the Exerpeutic 4000 model was enticing, the features available with the Schwinn and the convenience of the foldable bike were hard to beat.
In the end, my dad chose the Schwinn 270. It had everything he needed, and although it cost a bit extra, it seemed well worth it for a reliable and durable brand and model.
Now that you’ve seen the top best recumbent bikes for seniors in 2020, you can make the best choice for your life. Determine what your fitness goals are, your current health status, and go from there.
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Krista Bugden worked as a Rehab Exercise Expert at a physiotherapist clinic in Ottawa, Canada for 4 years. She has an Honours Bachelor Degree in Human Kinetics from the University of Ottawa. She uses her extensive knowledge in this area to educate others through well-researched, scientific, and informative articles.
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