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Best Recumbent Exercise Bike UK 

Updated June 2022

As you may be aware there are three main types of indoor exercise bikes on the UK market which are:

  1. The Upright Bike
  2. The Recumbent Bike
  3. Spinning Bike

On this page we will be looking at some of the best recumbent exercise bikes that are available in the UK market. Before we do that, it is worthwhile understand what a recumbent bike is and who are the types of people who would get most benefit from owning and using one.

Recumbent exercise bikes allow the user to adopt a more relaxed and comfortable seating position than the other indoor bicycle choices. That is because the actual seat on a recumbent bike is larger and provides much better support to the neck, shoulders and the back.

Anyone who enjoys cycling of any type will fully understand that the single most uncomfortable thing on any bike is the saddle. Many improvements have been made to saddles over the years, with gels and padding, but even with those they can still be really uncomfortable. With a recumbent bike, the seat is larger and that means your body weight is spread over a larger seating area. That makes it more comfortable for your bottom and hips, but also reduces the strain on your entire back and shoulders.

It is true to say that recumbent bikes are mainly used by people in their senior years. There is however a strong argument that younger people are also starting to use these. The reason for that is they are better at preventing injuries from happening. As people start to age more aches and pains do start to develop. That is just a consequence of age. Recumbent bikes make it possible to still do exercise and help keep healthy and fit.

What is a Recumbent Exercise Bike Used For?

A recumbent exercise is a bike used for exercising that also allows the rider to be in a reclined or laid back position when exercising. They have been designed to allow the rider to better disperse their weight over a larger area. That in turn makes cycling a great deal easier on the back and the buttocks.

Most people will know that the normal riding position on a cycle is quite an upright posture. That type of posture places a lot of pressure and strain on the lower back, the lower spine and then down and into the buttocks. If you have ever hopped off a bicycle and immediately rubbed your lower back, then you will know exactly what I mean.

Medical and clinical studies have clearly demonstrated that by using a recumbent style of bike allows users to exercise for longer than they would normally be able to. They also showed that they are a lot less likely to feel any after effects of a sore back. In simple terms because the design offers much better support to the entire back area, you can stay on it longer, and exercise more than you would using a standard exercise bike.

With around 2.5 hours of cycling a week you can improve the activity in your immune cells. This will 
decrease your chance of getting sick, improve your sleep pattern and reduce stress. With a recumbent bike, you
are sat in the frame with your seat in line with the pedals creating a lower centre of gravity making the
rider and the bike extremely stable.

Who Would Buy & Use a Recumbent Bike?

  • People with Back Pain - The stereotypical answer is usually people with bad backs. There is truth in this as other indoor bikes have a standard saddle style which is very upright. When riding in this position pressure is applied especially to the lower back. The recumbent bike removes this pressure as the seat is lower, wider and you can adjust it into he best position for you.
  • Older People - We know in many ways it depends on your definition of old age. It is a fact that older people do suffer from more aches and pains than their younger version. The recumbent bike is much easier to get on and off and still offers a very good workout.
  • People recovering from injury - The recumbent bike is the best choice for anyone recovering from a lower body injury such as knee, tendon or ankle surgery. It is also excellent for anyone recovering from any type of back pain.
  • Heavy People - If you are a heavy person and interested in losing some weight, then we would highly recommend a recumbent bike as a great first step. The seat can help support your upper body weight as your legs get to work. It is also worth pointing out that indoor cycling is a very good cardio workout, and also good for cardio endurance. It can certainly get your heart rate up and get the blood pumping.

This type of bike has a reclined seat which offers a great deal of support to the upper half of your body. That means there is much better dispersion of your weight, and you can then work the legs to help tone and build up muscle.

If you ride a bike on the open road, the riding position can be tough on the back and yes you do feel it when you have finished a long cycle. If you like to keep fit and cycling is a great way of doing that, then it does come with its issues. The Recumbent bike is of course an indoor bike and when you get it set up properly, it allows you do complete a workout from a gentle one to a strenuous one, depending on your own fitness goals.

So as you can see from the video above, spin bikes are the closest thing you will get to riding your bike out on the road. The recumbent style mainly uses the legs, are easier on the back and are ideal if you want to do something else like read or even watch TV.

Best Recumbent Exercise Bikes at a glance

  • Best overall recumbent exercise bike - Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Bike Exercise Bike
  • Best recumbent exercise bike for seniors in the UK - Exerpeutic (EXER6) Unisex Adult Folding Recumbent Bike
  • Best recumbent exercise bike for seniors with arthritis- Exerpeutic (EXER6) Unisex Adult Folding Recumbent Bike
  • Best recumbent exercise bike for heavy people - Exerpeutic Gold 525XLR Folding Recumbent Exercise Bike
  • Best folding recumbent exercise bike - Exerpeutic Gold 525XLR Folding Recumbent Exercise Bike
  • Best commercial recumbent exercise bike - Marcy Regenerating Recumbent Exercise Bike
  • Recumbent Exercise Bike Buyer's Tips

    If this piece of exercise equipment interests you, then below you will find a quick buying guide. This should help you decide which style and type of recumbent bike is best for what you want to achieve. That will pretty much come down to what you can afford and what features you can live without.

    key features of a recumbent exercise bike

    How much do recumbent exercise bikes cost in the UK?

    There is a huge variation in price for these. A basic one will be between £100-200 with the more gym style high specification and coming in around £600+ There are some really high end models like the Vision Fitness range that cost £1,500 or more. You can get a very good quality recumbent bike for around £160. If you want one with the full range of features then the price goes up.

    Comfort Features

    These bikes are all about exercising comfortably and providing upper body support. A lot of emphasis is placed on that in their design and manufacture. Any of the models will be more comfortable to use than a spin or upright. On the higher end and more expensive models better quality of material will have been used and better design will have been used. 

    Seats & Hand Rests

    The seats can vary quite a lot from soft gel and all the way through to memory foam packed seats. With some models you can vary the angle of recline.

    Now you may have noted that we also include hand rests along with the seating. That is because some of the seats have arm rests and some do not. The basic decision here is to use the arm rests or to let them dangle down.

    best recumbent exercise bikes

    Some of the exercise bikes also come with riding handles which allows you to use those, some or all of the time. You can see those in the image just above. By looking at that you can see that the seat incline can quickly be changed, the hand rests can be raised or let down similar to being on a plane or bus, and there are also handles should you choose to use those.

    You can also adjust the seat position on the bar to make it suit your size, especially the leg size so as you can create a sustained riding position that is the most comfortable for your body size and shape.

    Seat Height

    We have included seat height as a separate section because we think it is very important to understand. Many recumbent bikes have a seat that is close to the ground. The height of the seat from the ground up is around 45-50 cms. (18-19.5").

    For some people that can make getting on and out of the bike quite difficult.

    best recumbent exercise bikes

    Other models like the Exerpeutic range have what is called a "Semi-recumbent design" for easy entry and exit. In other words the seat is higher off the ground and can be adjusted up and down. These are usually designed for people with heights between 1,55m to 1,89m in size.(5 feet to 6'3")

    Inseam Length

    This is an important measurement to understand. This is the distance from the middle of the seat to the pedal when fully pushed down. It is essentially the length of your leg. By moving the seal backwards and forwards you can reduce or lengthen this distance. Always check if the bike can cater for your leg length especially if you have shorter or longer legs.

    Resistance Levels

    These bikes also have some type of resistance to help you change the effort required to pedal. On the better models you will have a wide range of levels which are easy to adjust. At the higher end this will typically be around 24-32 different levels. At the lower priced end these use magnetic resistance and will drop to just a few small level options, but usually enough to be able to improve your levels of fitness.

    Programs

    Some users are happy enough to hop on one of these bikes and just do a workout. Others like to have a choice of different programs. They will like those because they can pick one they like and also change it up when they feel like doing more or less. Others like the choice as the manufacturers who have included programs, know better than most which types of workout are best.

    Bluetooth and Apps

    With the popularity of Smartphones, most manufacturers of fitness equipment have now started to include bluetooth and various apps to improve the rider experience. With bluetooth for example you can listen to music when working out. Some bikes also come with built in apps to enhance the riding experience.

    Extra features

    On the more expensive bikes you get added features such as a fan to cool you down, built in speakers, tablet/phone holders, improved displays with maps to make the ride more realistic, water bottle holders and USB ports.

    Best Recumbent Exercise Bikes at a glance

    Just below we have explained each of our choices in more detail. If you click on the link, you can read more information about each bike.

    Best Overall and Best Seller - Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Bike Exercise Bike

    This is the best selling recumbent exercise bike in the UK - that is mainly down to the keen price point, and that it has lots of the important features.

    It has a comfortable wide padded seat (14.5" x 11") and the position of this is very easy to adjust, even when on the bike

    There is a pulse sensor on the handles and we also like the easy to read digital monitor which tracks your time, speed, distance, calories, odometer and heart rate.

    It measures 46" long, 24.5" wide and 38" high

    90% buyer satisfaction based on 5,000+ online buyer reviews

    Weight capacity

    Up to 136Kg (300lbs)

    Resistance

    Magnetic (8 levels)

    Inseam Length

    29-38"

    Transportation wheels

    Yes

    Our Opinion: This is a good basic recumbent exercise bike that is easy to assemble and takes about an hour. The levels of resistance are limited but still good enough to be effective. It is well made and sturdy. This one does offer very good value for money and that is the main reason it is so popular.

    Best for Seniors - Exerpeutic (EXER6) Unisex Adult Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike

    This is also a really big seller in the UK but slightly more expensive than the one above.

    What we think makes this a better choice is that the seat height makes it very easy to get on and off as its is a semi-recumbent design.

    It has a comfortable wide padded seat (14.5" x 11") and the position of this is very easy to adjust, even when on the bike

    There is a pulse sensor on the handles that measure your heart rate and the display monitor tracks time, speed, distance, calories burned, and heart rate.

    It measures 84 cms long, 48 cms  wide and 117cm high

    90% buyer satisfaction based on 5,000+ online buyer reviews

    Weight capacity

    Up to 136Kg (300lbs)

    Resistance

    Magnetic (8 levels)

    Height

    For people heights 5'-6'3"

    Transportation wheels

    Yes and folds

    Our Opinion: This is a good semi- recumbent exercise bike that is so much easier to get on and off.

    Best for Heavy People - Exerpeutic Gold 525XLR Folding Recumbent Exercise Bike

    This is an ideal choice for heavier users as it is very sturdy and makes the user feel very safe thanks to the extended leg stabilisers

    It has a comfortable wide cushioned seat (36 x24 cm) with backrest and the position of this is very easy to adjust to suite your height

    There is a pulse sensor on the handles that measure your heart rate and the display monitor tracks time, speed, distance, calories burned, odometer and pulse

    It has a dual transmission wheel for a more rigorous workout should you prefer that.

    It measures 123 cms  long, 61 cms wide and 116 cms high and weighs 25 Kg It folds up to about half its size and has wheels for easy storage.

    92% buyer satisfaction based on 1500+ online buyer reviews

    Weight capacity

    Up to 181Kg (400lbs)

    Resistance

    Magnetic (8 levels)

    Height

    5'2"-6'5"

    Transportation wheels

    Yes and folds

    Our Opinion: This is one of our favourite semi-recumbent exercise bikes on the market a very good price point.

    Marcy Regenerating Recumbent Exercise Bike

    This is the vey high end style of recumbent exercise bike

    It has a wide range of resistance levels and is extremely quiet to use

    sturdy steel frame combines both design and performance

    It has 23 programs

    It measures 59" long, 24.5" wide and 42" high and weighs 47 Kg It has wheels for easy storage.

    85% buyer satisfaction based on 600+ online buyer reviews

    Weight capacity

    Up to 136Kg (300lbs)

    Resistance

    Magnetic (24 levels)

    Inseam Length

    29-37"

    Transportation wheels

    Yes

    Our Opinion: The Marcy brand is of course well known as a high end bicycle brand. They are excellent quality and for those people who want to own something special. 

    Schwinn Recumbent Bike 570R

    This is the vey high end style of recumbent exercise bike

    It has a wide range of resistance levels and is extremely quiet to use

    It comes with the RideSocal app for training in real places with people from around the world

    It also comes with a sound system, a tray that hold tablets or phones, a USB port, water bottle holder and a fan to help keep you cool.

    It measures 162.5 cms  long, 70.3 cms wide and 126.8 cms high and weighs 345 Kg It has wheels for easy storage.

    76% buyer satisfaction based on 50+ online buyer reviews

    Weight capacity

    Up to 136Kg (300lbs)

    Resistance

    Magnetic (25 levels)

    Inseam Length

    29-37"

    Transportation wheels

    Yes

    Our Opinion: The Schwinn brand is of course well known as a high end bicycle brand. They are excellent quality and for those people who want to own something special. You do of course get all those nice extras, but the important things are the quality of this bike overall. It is very quiet and great choices of resistance for all users.

    The Lazy Person's Bike

    We have often heard the recumbent referred to as the bike for a lazy person. That is quite an unfair thing to say and is usually said by those who have never suffered from an aching back. Now don't get me wrong here - if we saw someone laying back on a bike exercising and also reading a book, it would be easy enough to jump to the conclusion of being lazy.

    The reality is that it is not. These bikes give you a great workout once you get used to the feel of riding them. They don't have the same feel as riding a normal bike and initially they may even feel a tad awkward. Once you do get used to the actual riding style, then these can give your legs a real workout. So if you are doing that, then why not read a book rather than staring at a wall!!

    It also means that if you are not a fan of expensive gyms, or don't want to go outdoors, then you can still exercise at your pace, in your style and within the privacy of the four walls of your own home. The bottom line for us always is making some effort to keep fit. If we can do that without straining or damaging any of my joints, then that will always work for us.

    Recumbent Bike FAQ

    Is 30 minutes exercise on a recumbent bike good?

    We would recommend at least 30 minutes of exercise on a recumbent bike each day. In reality the longer you can pedal for the better the workout you will get. It is always best to begin with a short period of time and slowly build this up to avoid over exercising which will give you muscle pains. Start slowly and set a goal for 30 minutes initially and then try to increase that time period slowly. Your current level of fitness will really determine how long you can pedal for. Experts agree that a 30 minute cycle is very good and ideal for a cardiovascular workout.

    Is a recumbent bike a good workout?

    It's important to realise that this type of bike offers a solid cardiovascular workout, and also does an excellent job at developing and strengthening lower body resistance. Like many things in life you can take it very easy or you can put some effort in. The harder you do the workout the more you stand to gain.

    Is a recumbent bike as good as walking?

    There are pros and cons for both walking and using this type of bike. Walking is good as an exercise and if done outside has both physical and mental health benefits. Using an indoor recumbent bike will be easier on the joints, can be done in all weathers and overall gives you as good a workout as walking. With walking you are carrying your own weight around and this impacts the joints such as the back, hips, knees and ankles. It is a low impact but an impact nonetheless. The recumbent bike exercises the legs without impact and also gives you a solid cardio workout.

    Which is better, a recumbent bike or an elliptical?

    An elliptical trainer will give you a better overall workout than a recumbent bike. The elliptical trainer works out more muscle groups such as the bottom, lower back, shoulders, arms and neck and a recumbent does not work those muscle groups. generally speaking recumbent bikes are the lowest in terms of losing calories and  overall body workouts. The strengths of this type of bike is it is good at cardio and offers much better back support than other forms of exercise equipment.

    Can you lose belly fat on a recumbent bike?

    It's not a specific machine that will help you lose belly fat. Any type of bike will burn calories and allow you to lose weight and that of course will include belly fat. We would recommend exercising on the recumbent bike along with abdomen exercises that will help flatten the tummy and firm it up.

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