What is a recumbent exercise bike?
So why do they call it recumbent? What does that word even mean?
Well, lets start with the word recumbent… it comes from the latin root meaning to lie… so basically a recumbent bike is one in which you are reclined.
I think they stretch it a little using that term, but basically a recumbent bike is where you are seating in a reclining position as opposed to an upright position.
How does it differ from a regular stationary bike?
As mentioned, since it’s a bike where you sit reclined, the seat is much larger and more comfortable and it has a backrest to support your lower back. Also, your legs are NOT moving directly below your pelvis to pedal, but are moving out in front of you.
What can you do with it you cannot do with a regular stationary bike?
For starters it’s just plain more comfortable. Most bike seats are very small and are made for younger folks who either have a lot of muscle to hold their pelvic bones away from the hard tiny seat or they are wearing those biking shorts with a big patch of gel pad between them and the tiny hard seat.
For most regular people, a reclined comfortable seat is MUCH more pleasurable and because it is, most regular people are more likely to continue their exercise regimen if it is actually enjoyable.
Also the head position is much more comfortable and better for reading or watching television. Less probability of neck aches and pains as you are not arching your neck upwards to see things.
So a recumbent bike is perfect for those who fit the following:
- Just want comfortable workouts, so they ensure a continuing and successful program.
- Have injuries or joint pain.
- Want to make sure they don’t get neck, back or other joint problems.
- Want to be able to watch T.V. or read comfortably while they work out.
- Are within the height range of between 5’0″ and 6’3″ as 99% of all recumbent bikes are adjustable for those heights.
- Need a low impact workout.
- Don’t enjoy tiny hard seats.
- Don’t see themselves wanting to stand and pedal (think hard core cycling classes at the gym).
Can you train hard?
Of course you can, but most fat burning occurs at the level where you can still speak comfortably. For most folks, this will be around 50-70% heart rate max (which is 220 – your age).
So the formula is (220-Your Age) x 0.5 = 50% of Heart Rate Max (H.R.M.). You can replace the 0.5 with any number up to 0.7 which would be 70% of your heart rate max. SO lets do an example of a 52 year old person : 220-52 = 168 H.R.M. . This says that your heart rate maximum for safety is 168 beats per minute. (If you go over, don’t stress out, some people are just genetically in better shape than others). Then for your Training Heart Rate Max (T.H.R.M.) we multiply your HRM x (lets say 0.6 which is 60%).. so 168 x 0.6 = 101 beats per minute, which would be a great training zone for fat loss.
So while going to a super fit cycling class will push you WAY past that, it’s not necessary to burn fat and get lean and we know burning fat and getting lean lowers diabetes risk, heart disease, stroke risk and a host of other medical issues.
What are some Good recumbent bikes?
Well, fortunately for you reading this, we like to really look into every nook and cranny of everything we review, so we’ve done just that with several of the most purchased recumbent exercise bikes.
On the down side of things, we found that virtually all of the recumbent bikes on the market seem to be only slightly different that the others. It appears as if they are all produced at the same manufacturing plant and are given different plastics, knobs, and other outward features so they appear different but really all their inner parts are almost identical.
The best thing we could suggest is to click one of the pictures of the bikes below and head on over to Amazon.com and read the recumbent bike reviews and look for customer service issues. Because if most bikes are the same, then price + customer service is the deciding factor.
Below we have done a summary review in a sortable table format, so you can compare however you like. We do a specific review for each bike and if you click the link in the table below, it will take you to the specific review for that bike.