Riding a bike is a memorable experience. Feeling the fresh air while your feet move freely on the pedals is simply amazing. Unfortunately, not all people have this opportunity, especially those with a busy schedule or severe physical disabilities.
Many among us can't tolerate the physical stress generated by a conventional bike. In such cases, the recumbent bike is a more suitable option. These exercise bikes help emulate the feeling of riding a bike, reducing stress on joints as a result. Your back also remains supported all the time.
Today, we'll give you a top 10 list of the best commercial recumbent exercise bikes today’s market has to offer. You'll also find a buying guide with valuable tips to find the perfect recumbent bike for you.
Commercial Recumbent Exercise Bike: Buying Guide
Most recumbent bikes use two different types of resistance: magnetic and Eddy brake.
Magnetic resistance is the simplest and cheapest of all. It uses magnets around the flywheel of the bike to generate resistance. The closer the magnets are from the flywheel, the higher the resistance is.
Magnetic resistance it’s quiet and eliminates friction between moving parts. That means more durability and less noise. For example, you can use a recumbent bike without risk of disturbing your neighbors.
Usually, the resistance adjustment on magnetic equipment is manual. The user turns a knob to make the change.
On the other hand, Eddy brake units use an electromagnet to generate resistance. This means that the braking system requires electric current to function. Bikes with Eddy brake have a wider range of resistance. Besides, they're usually more expensive than magnetic bikes.
In this case, you can adjust the resistance from the control panel or using a knob. The greatest disadvantage of these bikes is that they’re useless without electricity. If you live in a place with electricity problems, better choose a magnetic model.
Above all, recumbent bikes should be comfortable. In fact, the high comfort level they provide is the main reason so many people prefer them. More comfortable bikes have an ergonomic design. This means that the shape of seats and backrests adapt to the curves of your body.
The seat shouldn’t be too far from the floor. That way, people with a small size can sit without trouble. For maximum comfort and stability, the seat should be 18-22 inches above the ground.
The backseat should have back holes to accelerate evaporation. All supporting surfaces should be covered with waterproof material. Besides, they should be padded with at least 3 inches of foam or other soft material.
Best seats and backrest have a textured surface to prevent accidental slips. In addition, they have concave areas that help reduce pressure at certain points on your body. This facilitates blood circulation, preventing numbness, bruising and other problems.
The seat should be easy to adjust and be supported on a sturdy and stable structure. Best seats have a quick-release lever to adjust position without interrupting your training. More advanced models have armrests and other amenities to make your training comfortable.
It’s important to consider the weight and size of the bike in order to make a good decision. Unfortunately, most recumbent bikes aren’t foldable. That means they can’t drastically reduce the space they occupy.
Usually the strongest models are the biggest and the heaviest. If you have a serious space problem, you’ll have to opt for the most basic and least stable models. The control panel increases the weight of the machine as well. Usually, those models with built-in speakers and Bluetooth connectivity are the heaviest.
If you want a recumbent bike full of gadgets, you should be aware of this. The more gadgets it has, the more difficult it will be to move.
By fortune, recumbent bikes don’t require too much maintenance. Especially if you don't use the bike frequently. However, if you intend to use your machine almost daily, there’s a high risk of wear. Although magnetic resistance helps prevent friction, some moving parts tend to fail.
If you don't want to spend too much money on maintenance, you should look for a long-lasting warranty. In this case, the rule is simple. The longer the warranty time, the better. Best bikes have 10-15 years of warranty. However, not all parts are included with the warranty.
Focus on the electrical and mechanical parts. If the warranty time covers these parts, you should definitely buy that bike.
Recumbent Bike Benefits
Certainly, the benefits of using recumbent bikes are many. Bellow, you'll find a list with some of them:
Recumbent bikes reduce the pressure on the lower back. This is because your back remains supported all the time. Conventional bikes have no backrest, so your back suffers while you use it.
Recumbent bikes allow you to adjust the distance between your legs and the pedals. This way, you can adopt a safe position to relieve excessive stress on your knees.
By far, recumbent bikes are safer than regular ones. On a regular bike, your legs are vertically supported on the pedals. This position increases the risk of injury.
Offer a great cardio exercise
Users who practice cardio on a recumbent bike experience a drop in their blood pressure. Additionally, the heart and lung functions improve. Using a recumbent bike on a daily basis also helps to burn fat and strengthens muscles.
Care & Maintenance Tips
Your recumbent bike needs frequent maintenance in order to look great all the time. Here are some valuable tips you should apply:
- Clean the surface of the recumbent bike after each use. The abrasive particles in the dust tend to scratch the surface. Also, your sweat and natural oils may ruin the paint and cause corrosion and bad odors.
- Lubricate the moving parts of your bike to prevent wear.
- Vacuum the area around the base of the bike. Dust and other debris tend to accumulate around the support feet. If you wait too long, the floor may end up permanently stained.
- In case of any electrical or mechanical failure, contact technical service. Unauthorized maintenance may imply the end of the warranty.
Recumbent Bike Workout Tips
In order to get the most out of your recumbent bike, you should learn how to use it the right way. Here are some valuable tips:
- Adjust your seat until your body adopts a comfortable position. Try to keep your torso close to the pedals.
- Practice some stretching exercises before using the bike.
- Start pedaling during the 5 first minutes on a low resistance level. Then, gradually increase the resistance until you reach the desired level.
- Keep your back supported on the backrest all the time. If you lean your back forward, you run the risk of being injured.
- Train at 5-minute intervals. If you don't stop, you’ll end up exhausted and full of pain.
- Stay entertained while you train. Read something, watch a video or listen to your favorite music. That way, your mind won’t focus on pain.
It's Time to Wrap Up
As you can see, there are several things you need to consider before purchasing a recumbent bike. Choosing a bike with too many gadgets isn’t always the best idea. It will considerably increase the weight, size and price of the product.
Focus always on the most important features. A long lasting warranty, a sturdy and stable structure and an ergonomic design. When it comes to recumbent bikes, comfort is everything. Make sure to test the bike you want before buying.
If you follow our tips, you'll be able to find the best commercial recumbent exercise bike.
1. What is the recommended time for using a recumbent bike?
Ans. It all depends on the results you want to obtain. For cardio training, 30 minutes a day is enough. On the other hand, if you intend to burn fat, you need to train 60-90 minutes a day.
2. Why are advanced features so essential?
Ans. Advanced features add a lot more functionality to your bike. They help make the training process less boring. Here are some of the most wanted features:
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Built-in speakers
- Backlit monitor
3. Can you rehab from an injury with the help of a recumbent bike?
Ans. Yes. When used on the lowest resistance levels, recumbent bikes are good for rehab. Regular use of these machines also helps strengthen muscles and joints.
4. How do I configure the right resistance level?
Ans. Choosing the right resistance level helps prevent injuries. Newbies often set a high resistance level on the first training to get quick results. Certainly, doing this is wrong. It’s better to start from a low resistance level and gradually increase it with time.
5. Are recumbent bikes good for working out?
Ans. Yes. They are good for gaining physical endurance, muscle strengthening and fat burning. Additionally, they’re safer than regular bikes.
7. How similar are recumbent biking and walking?
Ans. According to studies, recumbent biking and walking burn the same amount of calories. To get the same results, both activities must be performed in equal conditions.