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The 7 Best Recumbent Bikes Under $1000 – Top Budget Models Reviewed

best recumbent bikes under $1000

Recumbent bikes are a great choice for home gyms because they can provide a low impact workout and they don’t take up a ton of floor space.

And luckily, you don’t have to spend a ton of money to get a quality model.

You just have to know what to look for and where to look – and these are things I can help with.

If you’re in the market for an affordable recumbent bike that actually works, you’ve come to the right place.

In this guide, I’ll go over all the specs you should look for to discern the high quality bikes from the lower quality bikes- and don’t worry, you can get a great recumbent bike with a $1000 budget.

I’ll also provide my top picks for this price range based on the specs we discuss.

After reading, even if none of the recumbents on this list meet your needs, you’ll know what to look for when comparing other models.

Let’s get started.

 Flywheel WeightWeight CapacityWarrantyFeatures
Sole R9220 lb300 lbLifetime frame
3 year parts
1 year labor
20 levels of resistance
10 workout programs
Bluetooth, included chest strap
XTERRA SB50022 lb300 lbLifetime frame/brake
3 year parts
1 year labor
20 resistance levels
12 workouts programs
Included chest strap
NordicTrack Commercial VR2120 lb350 lb10 year frame
2 year parts
1 year labor
25 resistance levels
32 workout programs
iFit compatible
XTERRA SB2.5r22 lb300 lb5 year frame
1 year brake/parts
24 resistance levels
24 workout programs
Self-leveling pedals
Nautilus R61813 lb325 lb15 year frame
3 year parts
1 year labor
25 resistance levels
29 workout programs
Included chest strap
Nautilus R61613 lb300 lb10 year frame
3 year parts
1 year labor
25 resistance levels
29 workout program
Bluetooth, USB charging
Schwinn 27013 lb300 lb10 year frame
2 year parts
90 day labor
25 resistance levels
29 workout programs
Bluetooth, USB charging

How To Buy A Recumbent Bike The Smart Way

As I mentioned in the intro, recumbent bikes make great options for home gyms.

They’re the most comfortable piece of cardio equipment to use that I can think of (comfortable, not easy), making them a great choice for folks with achy joints or other mobility issues.

But a quality recumbent can still provide a strenuous workout, so even family members who aren’t dealing with pain can still benefit from using one.

And even though you can easily spend $2-3k on a high-end recumbent bike, you don’t have to.

There are plenty of affordable (under $1000) recumbents out there that work great.

But there are even more affordable recumbents out there that kinda suck.

Maybe I shouldn’t say that.

What I mean to say, is that some bikes are junkier than others…

No, that doesn’t sound too PC either…

Let’s just say, some recumbents are better than others… yup, that sounds more like it.

And when trying to find the best affordable recumbent bike for your home gym, I suggest you focus on the following performance specs:

Flywheel Weight

Most home exercise bikes are designed so that having a heavier flywheel is beneficial.

And even though we tend to think of flywheel weights being more important for spin bikes, any exercise bike can benefit from having a heavier flywheel- even recumbent bikes.

The flywheel is the thing that spins as you pedal.

A recumbent bike with a magnetic resistance system has magnets located near that flywheel (which is metal). The resistance is increased or decreased by changing how close those magnets are to the metallic flywheel.

Having a heavy flywheel is beneficial because the extra weight allows the flywheel to build more momentum as it spins.

This momentum helps the flywheel continue spinning, which eliminates any unwanted lag between pedal strokes- this means heavier flywheels provide smoother operation.

How heavy is heavy enough to be considered “heavy”?

Well, I consider a flywheel to be “heavy” if it weighs 20 lb or more.

At this weight, the flywheel will have plenty of momentum behind it to ensure a pretty smooth ride.

With this benchmark in mind, if you start looking at flywheel weights for affordable recumbent bikes, you’ll find that many are well under 20 lb.

I would say the average flywheel weight for a cheap recumbent bike is somewhere in the 10-14 lb range.

Not to say these bikes can’t work well, but a bike with a heavier flywheel is going to provide a smoother ride. It’s also going to provide a more substantial ride.

Think about it- a 25 lb flywheel is going to be able to offer more resistance than a 10 lb flywheel, just from the extra weight alone.

So, if you’re looking for a recumbent that can provide a real workout, it’s a good idea to go with one with a heavier flywheel as well.

Weight capacity

Flywheel weight is an important spec to consider when it comes to performance, but weight capacity is another important one to look at when it comes to overall quality.

A higher weight limit is indicative of superior frame strength.

It makes sense when you think about it- a bike that can hold 325 lb users has to be more durable than a bike that can hold 250 lb users.

If a bike can hold heavier users, it must be of better build quality.

Even if you’re 125 lb, I think it’s a good idea to look for a bike with a weight limit of at least 300 lb (which is pretty average for home exercise bikes… well, quality ones anyway).

Higher weight limits usually correlate with higher assembled weights too- another spec you should examine when comparing models.

I think it’s beneficial to have a heavier bike because it’s going to be more stable during use and less likely to feel flimsy or wobble during workouts.

Personally, I like to see an assembled weight north of 100 lb to ensure a nice, heavy-duty feel.

And there are plenty of affordable recumbents that weigh a lot less than that (60 -70 lb).

Just keep in mind that high weight capacities and heavy assembled weights are good signs when it comes to quality.

Warranty

This one’s kind of a no-brainer, but I always like to remind folks to compare those warranties.

Higher-quality recumbents will come with better warranties; lower quality recumbents will come with very short warranties.

Some brands (like Sole and XTERRA) are known for offering great guarantees, but generally speaking, more expensive models come with longer warranties.

Although this rule isn’t written in stone.

Recumbent bikes usually come with warranties divided into 3 sections: frame, parts, and labor.

The frame warranty should be the longest of the 3 and a good warranty will offer a lifetime guarantee on the frame.

Parts warranties, especially in the $1000 and less price range, will vary, but expect somewhere between 1-3 years (parts may or may not include electronics).

The labor warranty will always be the shortest (this is how long the manufacturer will pay for someone to come repair your machine)- 1 year is pretty standard and you won’t find any longer than that in this price range.

If you’re stuck between 2 recumbents, I’d go with the one with the better warranty.

That about does it for the performance specs.

You’ll likely want to consider additional console features too- top picks in this price range may come with bluetooth, as well as telemetry heart rate monitoring.

You can also find bikes in this price range with tons of workout programs to choose from.

Don’t expect any HD touchscreen displays or workout streaming at this price point though.

The 7 Best Recumbent Bikes Under $1000

#1 Sole R92

sole r92 recumbent bike

Photo courtesy of Sole Fitness

I can confidently say Sole is one of my favorite home fitness brands. I love that they design machines that are easy to use and that perform exceptionally well for their price points.

I also love that Sole backs their equipment with some of the best warranties in the market.

Sole has a nice selection of cardio equipment to choose from and most of their lineup is moderately priced (mostly in the $1k – $3k range).

When it comes to recumbent bikes, they 2 to choose from- the R92 and the more expensive LCR.

The R92 landed my top spot because it offers a great combination of performance specs, features, and warranty.

This bike is packing a 20 lb flywheel, which is heavy enough to provide smooth and challenging workouts. Sole pairs this heavy flywheel with 20 levels of magnetic resistance, giving you full control over your workouts.

The R92 comes with a heavy-duty frame too- with a weight limit of 300 lb and an assembled weight of 134 lb, you won’t have to worry about this recumbent feeling flimsy.

And then there’s the warranty.

Sole offers the following guarantee on the R92: lifetime frame, 3 year parts, 1 year labor.

This is a good warranty for any price range, but it’s an amazing guarantee for a $1000 recumbent.

Additional features include bluetooth, 10 workout programs, USB charging, a 9″ LCD console, and an included chest strap heart rate monitor.

Put all this together and you’ve got the best recumbent bike this price range has to offer. See full review.

 

#2 XTERRA SB500

XTERRA sb500 recumbent bike

Photo courtesy of XTERRA Fitness

XTERRA is another popular brand with lots of great products to choose from. But unlike Sole, XTERRA is a true budget brand, with the majority of their machines costing under $1000.

Like Sole though, XTERRA builds quality fitness machines that work better than most of the competition in their price range.

And they also offer great warranties for the price.

XTERRA offers a dozen or so exercise bikes to choose from, with 5 different recumbents in their lineup.

The SB500 is their most expensive and highest end model to date (and will cost ya right at $1000).

With a 22 lb flywheel, the SB500 is actually packing more muscle than the R92. And with 20 levels of magnetic resistance, it offers just as much control over your workout intensity.

This bike also comes with a heavy-duty frame that can safely hold folks weighing up to 300 lb.

And with a machine weight of roughly 128 lb, you won’t have to worry about this bike feeling wobbly during use.

XTERRA backs the SB500 up with the same warranty Sole is offering on the bike above: lifetime frame/brake, 3 year parts, 1 year labor.

The display on this recumbent is a little smaller at 6.5″, but this bike still comes with 12 workout programs to choose from, giving ya plenty of workout variety.

It’s lacking the bluetooth capabilities that the R92 has, but it too comes with an included chest strap for heart rate monitoring.

Overall, if you’re looking for the heaviest flywheel this price range offers, XTERRA’s SB500 is a smart choice. See full review.

 

#3 NordicTrack Commercial VR21

This is one brand who needs no introduction. NordicTrack has been offering the world high-end home fitness equipment for decades and they continue to be one of the most popular brands around.

Recently, they’ve been designing all of their equipment to pair with iFit, ICON’s (NordicTrack’s parent company) workout streaming app.

So, if you’re interested in getting a recumbent bike that is compatible with a streaming service, their VR21 might be a good fit.

You’re not going to find the VR21 being offered directly through NordicTrack anymore, but you can still find it on retail sites like Amazon.

And with a sales price of around $700, this older model still has a lot to offer.

When it comes to performance, this bike is packing a 20 lb flywheel and comes with 25 levels of magnetic resistance to work with.

It also comes with a really high weight capacity of 350 lb, which is impressive for any price range.

The warranty on the VR21 isn’t quite as generous as the ones mentioned already, but it’s not bad given the price: 10 year frame, 2 year parts, and 1 year labor.

But when it comes to features, this affordable recumbent scores highly. This bike comes with 32 workout programs included- and this isn’t counting the workout library you get access to with the free included year of iFit.

This bike is also compatible with chest straps, although one isn’t included.

Overall, if you’re looking for a ton of workout variety with the option of accessing instructor-led workouts through iFit, NordicTracks VR21 is a great buy. See full review.

 

#4 XTERRA SB2.5r

XTERRA sb2.5r

Photo courtesy of XTERRA Fitness

Yup, another XTERRA bike made it on the list- what can I say, they have a lot of great options to choose from.

With a sales price of roughly $600, the SB2.5r has a lot to offer- especially if you like the SB500 but are working with a smaller budget.

This bike isn’t quite as heavy-duty as the SB500, but it still has a lot of impressive performance specs to be proud of.

Under the hood, this recumbent is packing the same 22 lb flywheel we saw on the SB500. And when it comes to resistance levels, the SB2.5r actually has more, at 24.

This affordable bike also comes with a 300 lb weight capacity, which is even more impressive considering the price.

This bike isn’t quite as heavy as the SB500, but with an assembled weight of 108 lb it’s still plenty heavy to ensure a stable base.

Other notable features include a ton of workout programs, chest strap monitor compatibility, and large self-leveling pedals.

The warranty isn’t nearly as generous on this model, but given the lower price, it’s forgivable: 5 year frame, 1 year brake/parts.

Overall, if you’re looking for an affordable recumbent with a ton of built-in workouts to choose from, XTERRA’s SB2.5 is a smart choice. See full review.

 

#5 Nautilus R618

Nautilus is another very well-known home fitness brand that’s been around forever. And even though I have zero evidence to back this up, I get the impression that the R618 is one of the most popular home recumbents out there.

And it’s pretty easy to see why (assuming I’m right about the statement I just made).

For starters, the R618 is well priced for home use at around $800.

But when you take a look at everything this bike has going for it, it’s easy to see why so many people opt for it.

That said, I’m going to start with its biggest flaw, which is its 13 lb flywheel.

Yes, I know that I said heavier flywheels are preferred when it comes to performance, but I also said lighter flywheels can do the job if you’re looking for less strenuous workouts.

Maybe I didn’t say that, but I’m saying it now.

If you’re not looking for strenuous workouts and are more interested in getting a bike that is comfortable to use for lighter intensity routines, a bike like the R618 and its lighter flywheel can be fine.

Especially considering all the other stuff this bike has going for it.

Like a weight capacity of 325 lb and 29 built-in workout programs.

It also comes with bluetooth compatibility to fitness apps and an included chest strap heart rate monitor.

And it’s also backed by a great warranty: 15 year frame, 3 year parts, 1 year labor.

Overall, if you’re ok with a lighter flywheel, the Nautilus R618 is a great bike for the cost. See full review.

 

#6 Nautilus R616

If you like the R616, but are looking for an even more affordable option, Nautilus’ R616 might just be what the doctor ordered.

This recumbent is almost identical to the R618 when it comes to performance, but it isn’t quite as high-end when it comes to some of the finer details.

But with a sales price that’s $200 cheaper, it’s still a great bang for your buck.

The R616 comes with the same 13 lb flywheel that’s found on the R618. This is still a bit light, but it’s pretty average for a recumbent this affordable.

And again, you can still get comfortable workouts with a flywheel this light, but if you’re looking for more strenuous workouts, you should consider a bike with a heavier flywheel.

Like the R618, this bike also comes loaded with 29 workout programs and 25 magnetic resistance levels to work with.

The biggest differences between this and the R618 are found on the pedals and the seat- the R618 comes with upgraded versions of both.

The R616 isn’t quite as heavy-duty either, but it still has a max weight limit of 300 lb.

And unlike the R618, the R616 doesn’t come with an included chest strap, but it is telemetry heart rate monitoring compatible.

The warranty isn’t quite as generous on this model either, but for the price, it’s still pretty impressive: 10 year frame, 3 year parts, and 1 year labor.

Otherwise, it has all the same console features as the R618, including USB charging, bluetooth, and built-in speakers.

If you’re looking for one of the best recumbents $500 can get ya, the R616 is a great choice. See full review.

 

#7 Schwinn 270

Rounding out my list is another very popular bike from another very popular brand. You may’ve heard of ’em before, they go by the name of Schwinn?

Jokes aside, Schwinn is one of the most well-known brands in the world.

And they’re still one of the top names when it comes to exercise bikes.

The 270 is their highest-end recumbent model to date and it’ll cost ya somewhere between $600 – $700 depending on where and when you purchase.

The 270 is very comparable to the R618 and R616 mentioned above. Actually, at first glance, it can be hard to discern any differences, but there are a couple.

P.S.- Schwinn and Nautilus are owned by the same parent company, Nautilus, Inc., who also owns Bowflex.

Schwinn and Nautilus are both budget brands (although Schwinn does have some higher end spin cycles), but Nautilus seems to offer slightly better warranties.

Performance wise, the 270 also comes with a 13 lb flywheel, as well as 25 levels of magnetic resistance and 29 built-in workout programs.

The 270 isn’t quite as heavy-duty as the Nautilus models mentioned above- this bike only weighs 87 lb fully assembled, but it still comes with a 300 lb weight capacity.

And as I mentioned, the warranty offered under Schwinn isn’t quite as impressive: 10 year frame, 2 year parts, 90 day labor.

Other notable features include bluetooth connectivity to fitness apps, a USB charging port, and weighted pedals. The 270 is also compatible with telemetry heart rate monitors, although 1 isn’t included.

Overall, price wise, the 270 falls between the R616 and the R618. It’s very similar to both models, with the biggest difference being the slightly shorter warranty.

For the price though, it’s still a quality recumbent. See full review.

 

Final Thoughts

Well, there ya have it- the 7 best recumbent bikes $1000 will get ya.

If nothing else, I hope this guide shows that there are plenty of great options out there that won’t completely destroy your budget.

When looking for a budget friendly recumbent, I think it’s a good idea to start with the performance specs mentioned earlier: flywheel weight, weight capacity, and warranty.

And then compare other features, like heart rate monitoring and bluetooth, to find a model that checks as many of your wishes as possible.

All of the recumbents on this list cost somewhere between $500 – $1000, which is quite budget friendly in the world of home fitness equipment.

But there are recumbents out there that even cost a lot less.

Just know that if you go with a recumbent under $500, you should expect very light flywheels, lighter-duty frames, and little to no warranties.

I hope you found this guide helpful.

If you have any questions or comments (or suggestions for recumbents that should’ve made this list), please leave ’em below and I’ll get right back to ya.

Will

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