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The 9 Best Recumbent Exercise Bikes Of 2024 – Top Models Reviewed

best recumbent exercise bikes

Recumbent bikes are great because they offer a gentle, lower-impact way to get your cardio on and they’re easy to access for people of all mobility levels.

But just because they’re comfortable and easy to use doesn’t mean you can’t still get a great workout on ’em.

If you go with a recumbent bike that has a sophisticated resistance system, you’ll be able to get as hard a workout in as you’re looking for.

Regardless if you’re looking for gentle range of motion or a more intense experience, recumbent exercise bikes can make great choices, but the key to happiness is knowing what to look for and where to find it.

And that’s what I’m here to help with.

As a physical therapist, I’ve had lots of experience with these exercise machines and over the years, I’ve learned which models tend to work best for different folks.

In this guide, I’ll share my expertise and go over what I consider to be the best home recumbent bikes 2024 has to offer.

I’ll also be going over all the stuff we should look for when comparing these bikes, you know, just in case none of the bikes on this list seem like a good fit for ya.

After reading this comprehensive guide, you’ll know everything you need to in order to find the perfect recumbent bike for your home.

Let’s roll.

#1 Spirit XBR9530 lb flywheel
40 resistance levels
350 lb weight limit
147 lb assembled weight
Lifetime frame/brake
10 year parts
1 year labor
#2 Sole LCR30 lb flywheel
40 resistance levels
350 lb weight limit
145 lb assembled weight
Lifetime frame
5 year parts
2 year labor
#3 NordicTrack Commercial R3525 lb flywheel
26 resistance levels
350 lb weight limit10 year frame
2 year parts
1 year labor
#4 Matrix Cycle R5030 resistance levels350 lb weight limit
172 lb assembled weight
Lifetime frame
7 year parts
2 year labor
#5 Sole R9220 lb flywheel
20 resistance levels
300 lb weight limit
134 lb assembled weight
Lifetime frame
3 year parts
1 year labor
#6 3G Cardio Elite RB19 lb flywheel
16 resistance levels
350 lb weight limit
115 lb assembled weight
Lifetime frame
7 year parts
1 year labor
#7 Spirit XBR2520 lb flywheel
20 resistance levels
350 lb weight limit
132 lb assembled weight
Lifetime frame
5 year parts
1 year labor
#8 Schwinn 2908 lb flywheel
25 resistance levels
330 lb weight limit
108 lb assembled weight
10 year frame
2 year parts
90 day labor
#9 Schwinn 23013 lb flywheel
16 resistance levels
300 lb weight limit
80 lb assembled weight
10 year frame
2 year parts
90 day labor

The 9 Best Recumbent Exercise Bikes of 2024

#1 Spirit Fitness’ XBR95

Spirit XBR95 Recumbent Bike Trainer

I’m not sure what kind of brand recognition Spirit enjoys these days, but they probably aren’t as well know as they should be.

Which is a shame because they’re awesome.

As a brand, they remind me a lot of Sole Fitness – and I mean that in the best way possible.

Anyway, the XBR95 is Spirit’s highest-end residential recumbent model to date, although it’s rated for light-commercial use as well.

From top to bottom, this bike is loaded with remarkable specs.

With a 30 lb flywheel and 40 levels of magnetic resistance at your disposal, the XBR95 is well-equipped to provide as intense a workout as you’re looking for.

And with a heavy-duty frame that can hold users weighing up to 350 lb, it’s also capable of accommodating the larger users safely.

This recumbent scores highly when it comes to comfort as well – with a large padded seat and a reclining back rest, it’s going to be hard to find a more comfortable recumbent bike in this price range.

These stats are great, but honestly, it’s the warranty that sets this bike a step ahead of the rest.

Spirit backs this bike with a lifetime frame/brake warranty, as well as a 10 year guarantee on parts and a year on labor.

This parts warranty is at least 2x as long as the parts guarantees offered by most brands and Spirit also offers a pretty generous commercial warranty on this model too.

Other nice features of the XBR95 include: 12 built-in workout programs, a self-generating power source, USB charging, bluetooth speakers, and a cooling fan.

The console itself is a little dated looking, but you might actually like this if you’re looking for a bike that’s easy to use.

Put all this together and you have, in my humble opinion, the best overall recumbent bike of the year (I also think it’s priced pretty fairly at roughly $2k).

If you’re looking for a rock solid recumbent with an amazing warranty, the XBR95 is a safe bet. See full review.



#2 Sole’s LCR 

sole lcr
Image courtesy of Sole Fitness

It wasn’t easy putting Sole’s LCR in the second place spot here, especially considering the upgraded console it recently got.

Ultimately, I ranked it here because the XBR95’s warranty is so much better, but these 2 recumbents are actually quite similar.

Like the XBR95, the LCR is a heavy-duty bike with great performance specs and nice features.

Anyway, comfort and durability are the first things that come to mind when I think about the LCR.

With an assembled weight of roughly 152 lb, you won’t have to worry about this bike feeling flimsy on ya during workouts.

This added bulk makes the bike strong enough to hold users up to 350 lb, making it a great choice for the big and tall crowd.

It’s also built to withstand use from multiple users.

Everything from the seat to pedals is oversized for added comfort during use. This also contributes to the LCR’s “feel” of a commercial grade bike.

And in case something does go wrong, SOLE has backed the LCR up with a lifetime frame warranty, a 2 year parts/electronics warranty, and a 1 year labor warranty.

Very solid indeed.

And when it comes to performance, the LCR scores highly with its 31 lb flywheel and 40 levels of resistance.

The backrest on the LCR isn’t reclinable, but this bike does come with a large, padded seat for added comfort.

And now that Sole’s updated their consoles, this bike has a lot to offer in the features department as well.

The 10.1″ touchscreen console comes loaded with entertainment apps and Sole offers a free streaming app that gives you access to instructor-led workouts as well.

Overall, the Sole LCR is a well-built recumbent bike that could easily find itself in a rehab clinic or fire station.

It’s built to feel like a commercial grade bike and it has the specs and warranty to back it up.

Easily one of the best recumbent bikes in the world. See full review.

#3 NordicTrack’s Commercial R35

nordictrack commercial r35
Image courtesy of NordicTrack

If you’re looking for a recumbent bike with a little technology under its sleeve, NordicTrack’s Commercial R35 might be the perfect fit.

Like pretty much all of NordicTrack’s machines these days, the R35 comes with an HD touchscreen (14″) designed to pair seamlessly with iFit, their streaming service.

Through iFit, you get access to unlimited, instructor-led workouts, as well as scenic rides, metric tracking, automatic trainer control, and all that stuff.

This is great if you’re looking for a streaming bike, but the R35 has plenty else going for it even if that’s not what you’re into.

This powerful recumbent comes with a 25 lb flywheel, 26 resistance levels, and an impressive 350 lb weight limit.

It also comes with bluetooth speakers, quick-touch resistance buttons, and a large, comfortable seat.

And to make things even better, NordicTrack backs their R35 with a legit warranty: 10 year frame, 2 year parts, and 1 year labor.

NordicTrack obviously designed this bike to pair with iFit, but with all these impressive specs and features, it has a lot to offer whether you sign up for the app or not.

That said, I’m not sure it would make a lot of sense to invest in this one if you weren’t planning on using iFit.

Either way, it’s still a great recumbent bike. See full review.

#4 Matrix’s Cycle R50

matrix cycle r50
Image courtesy of Matrix Fitness

Matrix is a commercial fitness brand that also happens to offer an impressive lineup of home fitness machines as well.

And honestly, the R50 could’ve easily been ranked higher than this, but personally, I think it’s a little pricey, hence the lower ranking.

But if you’ve got the budget and are looking for a high-performing recumbent bike, this is a great choice.

Matrix doesn’t disclose their flywheel weight for this bike, but with Matrix’s Exact Force Induction Braking, the R50 provides a great pedaling feel.

And with 30 resistance levels, it offers quite a bit of control over workout intensity as well.

This recumbent is also remarkably heavy-duty, weighing in at around 172 lb and coming with a weight capacity of 350 lb.

All of these performance specs are impressive, but it’s Matrix’s consoles that grab my attention more than anything else.

With the R50, you get to choose between 4 different consoles, ranging from the basis LCD screen of the ‘XR’ to the 22″ HD touchscreen display of the ‘XUR’.

The HD consoles come loaded with entertainment apps and built-in workouts and are also loaded with iFit, the same streaming service used with NordicTrack.

Regardless of which console you choose, you’ll be able to enjoy the comfort the large seat and adjustable-angle backrest provide.

The icing on the cake here is Matrix’s warranty: lifetime frame, 7 year parts, 2 year labor.

There’s not much to complain about here, but with a starting price north of $3k, the Cycle R50 isn’t cheap.

But again, if you’re looking for one of the most sophisticated and comfortable recumbents out there, the R50 is a great choice.


#5 Sole’s R92

sole r92
Image courtesy of Sole Fitness

Sole only offers 2 recumbent bikes and they both landed spots on this list – enough said.

I’ve been a fan of Sole since I tried out one of their treadmills at the local sporting goods store years ago and my love for their work is still going strong today.

The R92 is a smaller, more affordable version of their impressive LCR that you saw earlier on this list.

As a budget model, it’s sometimes priced right under $1000, which is great for what you get (although now it tends to hover right around $1100).

This bike comes with a sturdy, heavy-duty frame and a surprisingly heavy, 20 lb flywheel.

There aren’t many bikes on this list packing a heavier flywheel than the R92 and this is evident when you feel how smooth the operation is.

This extra weight is also evident when you look at the overall weight of this machine- roughly 130 lb.

This makes for a solid bike that is going to feel more like the commercial grade machines we’ve all used at the local gyms.

Sole didn’t add a lot of fancy features on the R92 because, well, that’s not really their thing.

But they did give the R92’s console a built-in USB charging port and bluetooth speakers- both of which will come in handy during you’re longer rides.

Other notable features include: 20 levels of magnetic resistance, an oversized seat, USB charging, and a handful of built-in workouts to choose from.

The Sole R92 also comes with a great warranty (especially for the price): lifetime frame, 2 year parts and electronics, and 1 year labor.

If you’re looking for a bike with a fancy touchscreen display and a ton of built-in workout programs, the R92 isn’t the right choice for ya.

But if you’re looking for an affordable, dependable bike that is easy to use and comes with a great warranty, Sole’s R92 is a great choice. See full review.


#6 3G Cardio’s Elite RB

You may not be familiar with the 3G Cardio Elite brand, but if you’re looking for a club quality exercise bike, you should get to know them.

I first became aware of them when I found their Runner Treadmill, which made it to the top of my home treadmill list.

Long story short: they build home fitness equipment that can compete with commercial grade machines.

And their recumbent bike is no exception.

Let’s talk specifics though.

3G Cardio doesn’t specify the weight of the flywheel on this bike, but with a little digging I was able to find that it weighs in at 19 lb.

This recumbent pairs that solid flywheel with 16 levels of resistance and 12 preset workouts (3 of which are heart rate guided).

And not only is this bike compatible with chest strap monitors, one is included.

The RB isn’t bluetooth compatible either, so if you’re looking for data tracking on fitness apps, this probably isn’t the bike for you.

But one cool feature you should know about: this bike is only 49″ long.

This makes it great for smaller exercise spaces and even though it’s fairly compact in size, it can comfortably fit folks up to 6’4″.

This bike is also built like a tank with a weight capacity of 350 lb.

This limit can rival any commercial grade exercise bike and is high enough to accommodate the larger users.

3G also backs up their recumbent bike with an incredible warranty: lifetime frame, 7 year parts, 1 year labor.

I almost forgot about the seat – the seat is fully adjustable (even has different reclining settings) and has a mesh back to help with air circulation.

Overall, the 3G Cardio Elite RB Recumbent Bike is a commercial grade machine designed for home use.

If you’re looking for a bike that operates and feels like something you would see in your local gym, this is a smart bet; and it even has the warranty to back it up if something should go wrong. See full review.



#7 Spirit’s XBR25

Spirit XBR25 Recumbent Bike Trainer

The XBR25 is a lighter-duty version of the XBR95 mentioned earlier, but it’s still got the chops to earn a spot on this list.

Especially since it also comes with a significantly smaller price tag.

The XBR25 comes with a 20 lb flywheel and 20 levels of smooth acting magnetic resistance to work with.

The frame is also quite robust, weighing in at 132 lb, it can safely handle riders weighing upwards of 350 lb and who have a max inseam of around 43″.

There aren’t a ton of high-end features on this cycle, but it does come with a brightly-lit backlit LCD screen, a cooling fan, and several built-in workout programs.

And when it comes to comfort, it doesn’t score as highly as the XBR95, but it’s still pretty impressive.

The XBR25 comes with a large vented backrest and over-sized pedals for a comfy fit.

And Spirit does back this bike with a great warranty as well: lifetime frame, 5 year parts, 1 year labor.

Overall, the XBR25 is a straightforward recumbent that’s built to last. Nothing too fancy going on here, but that’s kinda the point. See full review.



#8 Schwinn’s 290

schwinn 290 recumbent bike
Image courtesy of Schwinn Fitness

The 290 is Schwinn’s newest recumbent bike and it’s an updated version of their highly-popular 270.

FYI, you might still be able to find the 270 through sites like Amazon, but Schwinn is no longer offering it directly.

Anyway, the 290 is a sleek, modern looking recumbent with plenty of nice features in its own right.

It isn’t the highest performing recumbent out there, as it only comes with an 8 lb flywheel, but it does come with 25 resistance levels to give you a lot of control over workouts.

Speaking of workout, the 290 comes with 13 built-in options to choose from and it’s also bluetooth compatible with the JRNY app, which gives you access to instructor-led workouts (through your tablet or phone).

With an assembled weight of 108 lb though, the 290 is surprisingly heavy-duty for such an affordable exercise bike.

It can also handle riders weighing up to 330 lb, allowing it to safely fit most users.

Additional features include bluetooth speakers, USB charging, weighted pedals, and a vented backrest.

Schwinn even backs the 290 with a great warranty for the price range: 10 year frame, 2 year parts, 90 day labor.

The biggest downside here is likely that lightweight flywheel, but if you’re looking for a easy to use recumbent that won’t break the bank, Schwinn’s 290 is still a top choice.



#9 Schwinn’s 230 

schwinn 230 recumbent bike
Image courtesy of Schwinn Fitness

Schwinn finds its way back on the list with their 230 Recumbent Bike.

The 230 is kind of like a watered-down version of the 290 (and older 270) – all the major components are the same, but the 230 isn’t quite as potent.

But for around $500, it’s still got a lot to offer.

The 230 comes with 16 levels of resistance and 13 pre-loaded workout programs to choose from.

The console on this recumbent is pretty darn basic and at only 5″, it’s pretty small too, but it’s still bluetooth compatible with Explore the World and with heart rate monitors.

Otherwise, there aren’t any built-in speakers, fans, or USB chargers, so the 230 is certainly more for the minimalists out there.

The seat on this bike is a little thinner, less cushioned (no cushioned actually), and a little less comfortable than the one found on the 290.

That said, most users still find the seat comfortable to use – the backrest is still vented for improved airflow during your workouts.

This bike also has a max weight capacity of 300 lb- an impressive feat for a bike in this price range (under $500).

It also comes with the same warranty as the 290: 10 year frame, 2 year mechanical, 1 year electrical, 90 day labor.

Overall, the Schwinn 230 would be a great choice for someone looking for an affordable, easy to use recumbent that’s capable of providing a comfortable experience.

If you’re looking for higher-intensity workouts or more advanced console features, you’ll want to go with another model. See full review.



What To Look For When Choosing A Recumbent Bike

Comparing recumbent exercise bikes isn’t really that different from comparing upright bikes or indoor cycles.

Regardless of the type of bike, there are a few features that are essential to compare if you want to get the best product possible.

Knowing a few key points to concentrate on can help you navigate through all the jargon and focus on the stuff that really matters.

When looking at recumbents, always make sure you consider:

Flywheels & Resistance Systems

If you’re simply looking for a comfortable recumbent bike to use for gentle range of motion exercise, you might not care much about the weight of the flywheel.

But if you’re looking for a smooth operating recumbent that can provide a more strenuous workout experience, it’s a good idea to check out how heavy the bike’s flywheel is.

FYI, the flywheel is the metal disc that spins as you pedal.

These flywheels are perimeter weighted and the general consensus is that the heavier the flywheel is, the better.

This is because the extra weight builds more momentum as the flywheel spins, which reduces lag between pedal strokes and makes for a smoother feel as you pedal.

Heavier flywheels usually make for more overall resistance as well, although this will depend on the magnetic resistance system too.

When it comes to recumbents, I’d say anything over 20 lb is pretty heavy, but these days, there are bikes out there with 30 lb + flywheels.

If I was stuck between 2 bikes, all other things equal, I’d go with the model with the heavier flywheel.

That said, higher-end recumbent bikes often use lighter flywheels because their magnetic resistance systems are more sophisticated.

Bikes with nicer magnetic systems can get away with lighter flywheels because they don’t need the added momentum to create a smooth pedaling motion.

Speaking of resistances, all recumbent bikes use magnetic systems these days, but some are nicer than others.

And when it comes to resistance levels, I’m of the opinion that having more is a good thing because it gives you more control over the intensity of your workouts.

That doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll offer more overall resistance, but you’ll be able to make smaller adjustments between resistance levels.

Assembled Weights & Weight Capacity

When comparing frames and performance specs, I always look for the assembled weight spec because this stat tells you a lot about the heavy-dutiness of the bike.

Long-story-short, seeing a heavier bike is a good sign.

A heavier bike is more likely to feel stable while you’re riding it, offering a more commercial-like feel.

Lighter-weight bikes tend to feel just that – light weight and flimsy.

Personally, I like to see an assembled weight of at least 100 lb, although this isn’t always realistic for budget-friendlier recumbents.

Weight capacity is another key spec to look for and when it comes to weight limits, higher is always better.

Because again, it tends to mean a heavier-duty bike.

A bike that can handle a 300 lb person is obviously more heavy duty than a bike that can only handle a 220 lb person.

First and foremost, you have to ensure the bike you are considering can safely accommodate your weight (and anybody else in your family who might be using it).

After that, try to find the one with the highest limit.

Personally, I always shoot for at least a 300 lb weight capacity.

All of the bikes on this list have at least a 300 lb weight limit; commercial grade bikes can have weight capacities as high as 400 lb.


The warranty is another crucial aspect to consider when looking at bikes.

The warranty is your insurance policy. Regardless of how much research you do on a bike, you never really know how the product you receive is going to hold up.

The warranty is the only thing you have protecting your purchase.

Higher quality products tend to have longer warranties, while budget bikes usually have much shorter warranties, but this rule isn’t written in stone.

Warranties vary greatly depending on the price range.

A quality home recumbent bike should have at least a 5 year warranty on the frame and at least 2 years on parts.

High quality home bikes and commercial grade bikes will often offer lifetime warranties on frame and up to 5-10 years on parts.

Warranties shouldn’t be the end all decision making features, but they should definitely be in the conversion.

After all, it doesn’t exactly bode confidence when the manufacturer isn’t willing to put a decent warranty on their product.

It’s basically them saying: “Buy our bike, it might last, but we’re not betting on it”.


Recumbent bikes are often sought out because they have the most comfortable seats of all the stationary bike varieties.

Indoor cycle seats are known for being kinda uncomfortable and traditional uprights aren’t much better.

Recumbents, on the other hand, are nice and big with oversized backrests.

I like to think of them as the “lazy boys” of the exercise bike world- for their comfort only, I’m not trying to insinuate anything about your work ethic here…

When comparing bikes, check out the seat and make sure that it is at least height adjustable.

On a recumbent, that means that the seat can slide horizontally on the frame.

Some higher end bikes let you adjust the recline position of the back as well for added customization.

Speaking of seat backs, a lot of the nicer bikes have mesh backs to increase air flow and reduce overheating during your workouts.

Some bikes will let you adjust the actual height of the backrest too.


How much importance you give to the tech features of the bike is up to you.

Some folks might want a lot of fancy high-tech features while others couldn’t care less as long as the bike functions properly.

Regardless of which side of the spectrum you’re on, it’s important to know what features are available.

  • Streaming- these days, we’re seeing more and more bikes with streaming options, allowing you to connect to fitness apps to follow instructor-led workouts, as well as track metrics, etc. These bikes may or may not come with large, HD touchscreen consoles.
  • Workout programs- all quality bikes offer pre-programmed workouts these days. The number of programs varies greatly though. Some may offer 12 while others offer 35. Something to consider when making your choices.
  • User profiles- bikes with saved user profiles allows you to save your settings (things like age, weight, goals, etc) for quicker set-ups. They come in handy for data tracking too. Bikes usually offer 2-4 saved profiles for multiple users.
  • Heart rate monitoring- pretty much all bikes these days come with grip heart rate monitoring, but the quality bikes should also come with telemetry or wireless monitoring capabilities. Some will even include a chest strap.
  • Integrated speakers- a lot of recumbent bikes come with built-in speakers for listening to your music through an mp3 player or smart phone. Others don’t. Personally, this isn’t a big deal to me, but something to consider I guess.
  • Bluetooth connectivity- some bikes use bluetooth to connect to fitness apps for data tracking. If you enjoy using fitness apps, look for a bike that is compatible.
  • Water bottle holders, magazine racks, and fans- yup, these are other bonus features you may see included. I doubt these features are game changers for you, but if having a great magazine rack is the most important thing you are looking for in an exercise bike, then, there ya go.


Last, but certainly not least, is price.

In the real world, price is probably the first thing we consider when looking for a new piece of fitness equipment.

So, it’s good to know what you should expect at different price points.

When it comes to recumbent bikes, anything under $1000 should be considered a budget bike.

While budget bikes vary greatly in terms of quality and features, they tend to have a few things in common.

Generally speaking, they have lower weight capacities, shorter warranties, and offer a less comfortable exercise experiences.

Bikes between $1000 and $1500 make up the mid-range category and a lot of great bikes can be found here.

Honestly, this is the price range most of us should probably be shopping in.

Frames are a lot sturdier, warranties and weight capacities are more impressive, and the overall “feel” of the bike is better.

Most of the top recumbent bikes fall in this category.

Bikes that cost $1500 and above make up the high-end range.

Home recumbent bikes can easily range up to $2000 and commercial grade bikes can cost as much as $5000.

High-end bikes should have great warranties and feel like the recumbent bikes you find at your local gym.

These bikes are for people who want an experience that mimics being at a commercial gym or for families with multiple users.


I hope this section helps if you have any unanswered questions regarding these bikes.

When researching a bike and you can’t find the answer to a question, don’t hesitate to contact the manufacturer directly.

It’s their job to answer your questions. And remember, there are no dumb questions.

If you have a question and can’t find the answer here, feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll find the answer for you.

Who would benefit from using a recumbent bike?

Pretty much anyone really.

Even though recumbent bikes tend to be thought of as “easier” than other exercise bike styles, the truth is that with the right recumbent, you can get one heck of a workout.

As long as there is enough resistance to make it difficult enough for you, you can get as much (or as little) workout as you want. It all depends on you.

Because recumbents bikes are, well, recumbent, they naturally put less stress through the hip and knee joints. This makes them a great choice for people suffering from arthritis or stiff, achy joints.

The larger seats and backrests make them more comfortable to sit on for prolonged periods. So, if you have back problems, a recumbent bike might be a good option because they are more comfortable to use.

Recumbent bikes are always a great option for seniors because they are gentle on the joints, easy to get off and on, and are comfortable to sit on.

Can a recumbent bike burn as many calories as an upright bike?

Tough one -theoretically, yes.

If you are using a heart rate monitor, you can directly measure how intensely you are exercising on a recumbent bike.

If you are exercising to a point where your heart rate is elevated to the same point where it would be on an upright bike or spin bike, then sure, you should be burning more or less the same amount of calories.

That said- on a recumbent bike your back is supported. On a traditional upright or spin bike, it isn’t.

To me, this means your body (core primarily) is going to have to work a little harder to stabilize yourself on these bikes than it would on a recumbent bike.

Indoor cycles and fan bikes are usually considered the highest calorie burners in the bike world.

They are designed for intense workouts and the people using them are usually going for higher intensity routines.

But as long as you put the same amount of effort in, you should be able to burn as many calories on a recumbent bike.

How big is a recumbent bike?

All bikes are different, so it’s crucial to check the actual dimensions of your chosen bike before purchase- you know, to make sure that it actually fits in your home.

That said, your average recumbent bike is roughly 70 inches long and 28 inches wide, give or take.

Machine weight also varies greatly from machine to machine.

The higher quality, commercial grade bikes are going to weight more. And weighing more is a good thing in my book because it means the machine isn’t going to move or jostle during use.

Most quality home recumbent bikes weight between 90 – 200 lb.

Just keep in mind that the heavier the bike is, the more difficult it is to move. Most bikes have built-in transport wheels to make moving a little easier though.

What kind of power does a recumbent bike need?

All bikes are a little different, but they all require power…if they have a monitor. The power to work the monitor can come from 3 sources:

  • Batteries
  • AC adaptor
  • Self-powered

Cheaper bikes will have a monitor that takes a few AA batteries.

Nicer bikes will have an AC adaptor that hooks up into an outlet to power the bike. The higher-end bikes are often self-powered- this means you have to keep pedaling to make sure the console is working.

Self-powered bikes are great because you can put them anywhere (don’t have to worry about plugging them into an outlet) and you don’t have to replace batteries.

Some users complain, though, because you have to keep pedaling while making your workout selections and putting in your data.

What heights can a recumbent bike accommodate?

This answer will vary a little from model to model.

Usually the smaller the bike is, the more difficulty it has accommodating taller users. Of course, the longer bikes can have the opposite problem and be uncomfortable for shorter individuals.

It’s a good idea to always contact the company directly or find a sporting goods store that has a demo bike you can try if you are uncertain about the fit.

Most recumbent bikes can fit users between 5’2″ and 6’4″ fairly comfortably.

Are recumbent bikes quiet?

Yes, most recumbent bikes are nearly silent during use.

Assuming you are using a bike with magnetic resistance (all of the bikes on this list are), there will be very little noise during use.

This is mostly due to the fact that with magnetic resistance, there is no friction need to provide resistance.

Magnets are moved closer or farther away from the metal on the flywheel to increase or decrease the resistance. This is a great system- it’s quiet and smooth to use.

It’s also basically found on all exercise bikes these days, unless you are going for a really budget machine that still uses a friction resistance system.

Recumbent bikes are a lot quieter than fan bikes- that make a lot more noise due to the wind they produce.

Will all heart rate monitors work with my recumbent bike?

No. Probably not. Most wireless heart rate monitors use either bluetooth or ANT+ to communicate with the recumbent bike.

Most recumbent bikes tend to use bluetooth technology, so you need to make sure whatever heart rate monitor you are using uses bluetooth.

Some bikes may use ANT+, in that case you need to make sure your monitor does too.

Some machines might actually use both technologies- if that’s the case, you’re probably good to go.

Just make sure you know what type of technology your monitor uses, that way you can check before purchasing to see if the recumbent bike will be compatible.

If my bike has bluetooth, can I listen to my music through it?

Yes, probably- but most likely not wirelessly.

When a recumbent bike advertises bluetooth capabilities, it’s normally referring to the heart rate monitors.

Most (not all) bikes have an mp3 port to connect your phone or mp3 player to so you can listen to music through the speakers.

Surprisingly, few exercise bikes allow you to listen to music through the bluetooth connection. Although this year more and more models are starting to include bluetooth speakers.

Most recumbents do have small speakers built-in, but not all.

Final Thoughts

A recumbent bike can make a great addition to your home gym.

They’ve become popular because they are more comfortable to use and they put less stress through the knees and hips.

This comes in really handy if you are dealing with physical limitations that make other modes of exercise difficult.

When searching for a recumbent bike, it’s important to keep a few key features in mind:

  • Flywheel- heavier is usually better
  • Warranty- longer is always better
  • Weight capacity- higher is always better, shoot for one with at least a 300 lb limit
  • Seat- should be padded, contoured, and adjustable
  • Technology- this varies on your preferences

Then of course there’s price.

The price range for these bikes varies greatly, but I hope this list is proof that you don’t have to spend thousands to get a quality bike.

Most of the models on this list are well under $2000, which isn’t bad in the world of home fitness.

Well, I hope this list helps narrow your search.

There are a TON of options out there and it can get exhausting comparing model after model.

But now that you’re armed with this information, I hope you feel more confident in your decision making.

These are my selections for the best recumbent bikes on the market this year, but if you know of a bike that you feel should’ve made the list and didn’t, I want to know about it.

Leave a comment below and I’ll get right back to ya.


Will's a licensed physical therapist (DPT) with over 15 years of experience treating patients from all backgrounds. He's been lifting weights and exercising in one form or another since middle school and has been working out in his own home gym for over a decade. When it comes to fitness equipment, there isn't much he hasn't tried. In his spare time, if he isn't writing or working out, he's likely playing basketball, watching movies, or hanging with his family.

55 thoughts on “The 9 Best Recumbent Exercise Bikes Of 2024 – Top Models Reviewed”

  1. thanks for your review. I’m a big guy (and older too, 65) so I’m looking for a bike that will hold up while helping me get back into shape. the Sole LCR seems to fit that criteria (for me). However, how would you compare the SOL LCR to the DIAMONDBACK FITNESS 1260sr (not reviewed here). Price is about the same, just wanted your opinion on which way to go (based on your review criteria). thanks

    1. Sole and Diamondback Fitness are both great brands and I’m a big fan of both. When choosing between the LCR and 1260sr, there really aren’t any bad decisions, but personally I’d go with the LCR. I like how heavy its flywheel is (I didn’t see that Diamondback made that info readily available, which usually means it’s on the lighter side). You also get more resistance levels on the LCR and a nicer console. The LCR also comes with a longer warranty, which always plays a big part in my decision making process. Overall, 2 great recumbents, but for my money, I think the LCR is the best home recumbent currently on the market.

  2. Thanks for the info-very helpful! I ordered the Sole LCR but am rethinking my decision because I’d like a recumbent bike that also work arms. Do you have any suggestions?

    1. Sounds like you might be more interested in a recumbent cross trainer– they’re basically a cross between a recumbent bike and an elliptical. They let you work your arms at the same time and they’re very comfortable to use. Check out the link I included to see my top picks. Hope this helps.

  3. HI what do you think of the house recumbent bike?suppose to be the most comfort with a reclining seat..curious on your thoughts…

  4. I just bought a Schwinn 230, but am thinking of returning it. There is an annoying wobble to the seat, I think it’s the sleeve that is on the slider portion of the frame. All bolts are tight.
    I weigh about 250 pounds. Which other recumbent would you recommend for being sturdy. I don’t care about electronic gizmos, bluetooth and such, I just want a sturdy bike.

    1. sorry to hear about the Schwinn 230. I’m not sure what you’re budget is like, but I’m a big fan of Sole and their bikes. Their LCR and R92 are worth looking into (as are all the other bikes mentioned on this list). Good luck.

  5. I am an 80 year old 5’ 2” woman going for knee surgery. My surgeon recommends I get a recumbent stationary bike for before and after surgery. I need a bike that is fairly compact and can be easily moved. Bells and whistles aren’t that important though being able to hold an iPad would be nice. What would you recommend that has a good warranty?

    1. I really like Sole products, but based on your needs the LCR might be a little more bike than ya need. The Nautilus R618 or R616 would be a great choice- they’re easy to use, well priced (especially the R616), and they come with a good warranty for the price range. I hope that helps, good luck with your knee surgery!

      1. I checked those two out on Amazon. There were really bad reviews both for adjustability of the bikes and customer service of the company.

        1. There will be bad reviews for any product- after all, we all have different experiences and expectations. I would point out that the Nautilus bikes have an average rating of 4.3/5 on Amazon, with 83% of users rating it as 4 or 5/5 (which is very impressive).

  6. As for the Sole which is made in Taiwan, it is listed as currently unavailable on Amazon. Going to the gym may be my best bet.

  7. Trying to find a good recumbent exercise bike – looking at the Spirit XBR95, XBR55, and XBR25. What can you share about these as compared to the Schwin and Sole? Thank you.

    1. I’m not as familiar with the Spirit brand, but I’ve received a few inquiries about them so I think it’s about time I get to know that brand. At first glance, Spirit’s recumbent bikes look great. I love that they use heavy flywheels and all of their models come with high weight capacities. I also love that they offer a 10 year parts warranty, which is amazing. The Spirit bikes look nicer than the Schwinn models and seem to definitely be more on par with Sole. The XBR95 even seems more heavy duty than Sole and comes with a longer parts warranty. As far as I can tell, Spirit looks like a winner. I hope that helps.

  8. Thank you so much!! I’m in the market for a bike. I have Rheumatoid arthritis which means I need smooth motion and sturdy but I’m a young Mom which means I want a really good workout. Your website has been the most helpful reviews that I have found on the web. I’m debating on Sole or Spirit. Thanks for helping me nail it down!

    1. Thanks for the kind words and thanks for reading! Sole is my favorite home brand and they’re always a safe bet. If you’re looking for a more intense workout experience, Sole’s LCR is a smart choice with the 30 lb flywheel. I’m not as familiar with the Spirit brand, but everything I’m seeing looks great (and very similar to Sole). Spirit’s XBR95 also comes with a 30 lb flywheel and both bikes offer 40 resistance levels. Spirit has Sole beat in the warranty department (10 year parts, which is incredible), so that’s something to consider. Spirit is also a little more expensive, but it does come with a self-generated power system which means you wouldn’t have to worry about putting your bike near an outlet. If I had to choose between them today, I hate to say it, but I think I’d go with the Spirit… I’ll be updating this article for the new year soon, I guess I have some editing to do 🙂

  9. I’ve had a Norditrack recumbent for many years but now needs to be replaced. I was very happy with it but didn’t see Norditrack on your list. Why?

    1. Glad to hear you’ve enjoyed your NordicTrack recumbent. I think NordicTrack’s a solid brand, but for the price I think their warranties should be better- that’s the biggest reason there aren’t any NordicTracks on this list. But if I had included 10 bikes, their VR25 would’ve likely made the cut.

  10. This is so helpful and made me realize I need to spend more time making a choice. Wish I could ride them all. Curious what you think of the Proform 440?

  11. Happy New Year .
    Thanks for your thorough reviews . You’ve done so well , there’re aren’t many left on Amazon from your list . Spirit XBR 25 and 55 are still out there . Whadya think of them ?

    1. Hi, thanks. Yeah, I know what you mean, it’s getting hard to find a lot of the bikes on my list. I think Spirit is a great brand, very similar to Sole. The XBR25 and 55 are both great options- lighter flywheels than the 95 on this list, but still very high-end bikes. Both of these bikes could’ve easily been on this list, but I wanted to have a little more variety. Hope that helps.

  12. Hello and thanks for your prompt reply . Just a follow-up that I hope is helpful to others . Is there a significant performance difference between the 20lb. and 24lb. flywheel ( or 30lb. ) that justifies the extra cost ? Also , is it worth the extra cost to have a tech sent by the merchant to set up a recumbent machine ? I’m not an engineer , am capable of following some basic directions , but not certain if this is beyond my “ pay grade “ . Thanks again !

    1. All other things being equal, I don’t think most of us would notice much of a difference between a 20 lb and 24 lb flywheel. There would likely be a little more of a difference noticed between a 30 lb and a 20 lb flywheel, with the 30 lb offering a smoother ride. When thinking about flywheel weights, I think it’s a good idea to think about the type of workouts you’re planning on doing as well. If you’re looking for more intense, high-resistance workouts, it could make sense to go with the heavier flywheels. If you’re just looking for a comfortable, lower-intensity workout, the lighter flywheels should do just fine. When it comes to assembly, most of these recumbent bikes are pretty easy to put together. The main base that houses the flywheel and internal components is pre-assembled. You’re basically just attaching the smaller components, like the seat, console, handle bars, etc. If you’re comfortable with basic instruction following and screwing bolts, you should be just fine.

    1. Do you mean the R35? (sorry, I can’t find an R 235). If you’re talking about the NordicTrack R35, it looks like a nice model to me- I like the heavy flywheel and heavy-duty frame and it’s backed by a pretty good warranty. The Schwinn 270 is a good buy for the price, but it’s not nearly as heavy duty as the R35 (of course it also costs $1000 less). I guess it depends on what kind of budget you’re working with. Hope that helps.

  13. Do you have any thoughts about the XTerra SB550 that is sold at Costco and Amazon? Unable to find any warranty information on it although it is made by the same company that manufactures the Sole brand.

    1. I like Xterra as a brand- I actually think they’re one of the best budget fitness equipment brands around, great warranties. I checked out the SB550 and I think it looks great. I like the 22 lb flywheel and that it comes with 20 levels of resistance and a nice selection of built-in workout programs. I also like that it’s backed by a lifetime frame warranty, 3 years on parts, and 1 year on labor. I like Costco’s price much better than Amazon’s, but overall I think it’s a great recumbent bike for the price. It looks pretty identical to Xterra’s SB500, although it’s $200 cheaper through Costco. Nice find!

    1. A little. I haven’t reviewed any True products yet, but the brand is definitely on my to-do list for this year. At first glance, the ES700 and ES900 look very high-end. I like how heavy-duty they are and the warranties are great. I also like the self-generating power. Overall, they look like great products to me.

  14. After a lot of researching, and thanks to the level of detail you provide right here, I’m going with the Spirit XBR95. But it’s showing as “out of stock” on their own website and at Amazon. Other sites like FitnessZone say it’s in stock and shipping now. These bikes aren’t cheap…so do you trust sites like these or do you wait for Amazon?

    1. Yeah, sites like FitnessZone are usually good. It’s a good idea to check em out before purchasing, but this one is accredited by the BBB with an A+ rating, so I think it’s a safe bet. FitnessFactory is another similar site with good inventory. Nice choice with the Spirit, I hope you enjoy.

      1. Hi Will, just a follow-up to my Feb. 14 comment. I purchased the XBR95 from FitnessZone on Feb. 16. It shipped on March 3 and arrived March 10. So either it wasn’t in stock or they had 2+ weeks of shipping backlog ahead of mine. Either way I’d have preferred they had been more honest about it. But as for the bike itself, holy smokes what a beast. To my large frame it’s just as solid as the $4k LifeFitness machines you see at the gym, and quieter to boot. The 40 resistance levels mean I always find just the resistance I want. The manual, despite being solely written for this model, is clearly a cut and paste from other models, with warnings like “don’t lift the bike by the power cord” and “the unit shows the current odometer when it first starts up”. I kinda wish the odometer was a thing, it would be great to have the bike keeping track of my overall distance. Anyway, a huge thanks for your review, alerting me to a manufacturer I never knew existed.

        1. Hi, good to hear from you again! Yeah that sucks about the long wait time, but I’m glad to hear you like the XBR95. Thanks again for reading.

  15. I’m 6’3″ athletic build. But also 52 yrs old, stage 4 cancer survivor with back issues. Looking to lose some weight and get in decent shape after years of not doing much. What bike(s) would you rec for someone like me. My wife also will use the bike. She’s 5’4″, so we will need a bike that can adjust to both. Thanks for your insight.

    1. You can’t go wrong with a Spirit or Sole bike- depending on your budget, they have the heaviest duty frames and best warranties. And they also come with heavy flywheels to provide enough resistance to challenge ya. Diamondback is another great brand- heavy duty and simple to use. The XBR95 would be the Spirit and the LCR is Sole’s highest-end model. Sole and Spirit are very similar by the way, although Spirit warranties are just a little better. Hope that helps.

  16. Hi. Great article. I am leaning towards teeter free step LT3.
    Why don’t you list it in top ten?
    What is your opinion. Also all you showed look like knees go up high and that’s why I like LT3, keeps knees lower and I have issues in knees and ankles and back. Thanks

    1. Hi, the Teeter LT3 actually isn’t a recumbent exercise bike, it’s a recumbent cross trainer. The 2 styles of machine are similar, but as you mentioned, the foot action is a little different. A recumbent bike, like those listed here use a rotational pedal movement, like any bike would. A recumbent cross trainer, like the LT3, uses more of a pressing motion (less rotation). Semantics aside, I think the LT3 is a great machine and easily one of the best recumbent cross trainers in its price range. Here’s a link to my full LT3 review if you’re interested. Thanks for reading.

    1. Life Fitness is a great brand, very well respected, with a great reputation for the quality of their products. I haven’t reviewed the RS3 yet, but at first glance it looks pretty awesome. And unlike a lot of Life Fitness products, the RS3 is priced pretty competitively for home use. I like the heavy-duty frame and step through design and I like that the seat can recline. The RS3 is also backed by a great warranty. Overall, I’d say the RS3 looks like a great bike… I’ll have to add reviewing it to my to-do list. Thanks for reading!

  17. Hi, thanks for writing this article. Lots of great info! I’m looking for a recumbent bike that my 6’5″ husband will be able to use, and having trouble finding specifics about upper range of heights. Do you suppose he’d be able to use the bikes in this article? Thanks!

    1. Hi, yes, it is really hard to find max height specs for most recumbent bikes because most manufacturers don’t seem to provide this info- but it’s a really important spec to think about if you’re well over 6′ like your husband is. According to Nautilus, the R618 can fit most folks up to 6’6″ tall, so, that model should work. I couldn’t find max heights for the Spirit and Sole models, but their machines are about the same size (57″ long) which is 10″ shorter than the R618 (67″ long). This difference in length doesn’t necessarily mean these models couldn’t fit your husband too, but it might. XTERRA (none of their models are on this list, but they’re a great budget brand) offers the seat to pedal distance, which I would think would correlate with inseam length, and their SB500 has a max distance of 39″, so that might be another option. If you’re interested in a particular model, you could reach out to their customer service before purchasing and they might be able to tell ya if your husband would fit. Hope that helps and thanks for reading!

      1. I had gravitated to the Schwinn 270 based on your article. We ended up going to a local sports equipment store, hoping they’d have one set up to try out. They did, and he was able to use it easily on the farthest-back seat setting. Both happy with it thus far. So now we know, Schwinn 270 will work for a 6’5″ person with a 36″ inseam! Thanks so much for all your advice!

  18. 76 year old male, just want to lose some weight and get into better shape.
    Trying to decide between Nautilus R618, Nordic Track VR25 and the Sole R92. Comfort is important and have also considered the 3G CardioElite RB. My wife is 5’0″

    1. Yeah, that’s a tough call, those are all great bikes. The R618 is the most affordable of the bunch, so if you’re looking to keep price under $1000, that’s the way to go. The VR25 and R92 are nicer bikes, but do cost more. Between those 2, I would go with the Sole R92 because I like the extended warranty, but if you’re looking for more workout options, it makes sense to go with the VR25 because it has a lot more to offer in that department. Speaking of warranties, the 3G bike comes with an amazing warranty too. And if comfort is your biggest concern, the 3G is probably your best bet because it’s the only bike of this group that comes with an adjustable backrest (which is very nice if you have back issues). The 3G also states it should be comfortable to use at 5’0″, but that’s the lowest height range it recommends. Hope that helps.

  19. Hi Will; thanks so much for all the advice and assistance and for the cheerful and familiar manner with which you dispense it. I am a bit torn. New to recumbents (due to my first long hospital stay and subsequent physical derailment), I used a Nu-Step in Rehab. Your advice has me thinking about these other high quality brands. At 65 and being a shell of my former self (played football at UF), I weigh 240 and am 6’1″. I don’t think I need or require state-of-the-art performance any longer, just something to help me to walk again. I like the high-end SOLE, but I wonder if for $500 less the second model wouldn’t be more appropriate? Also, since you said you ride a Diamondback, can you tell me which you would choose: the 1260SR or the 910SR? The difference in price is now only $100 (SALE), but I’m no technical wizard and not only is the flywheel heavier on the 910, but the seat back is also adjustable. All four of these models come with free shipping, as well as a no-interest purchase for 12 months. I know I’ll order one of the four in a day or two, but I truly value your opinion or direction on this. Thank you again, you pulled me back on track with your opinions and levity.

    1. Hello there- I appreciate your kind words and thanks for reading! Personally, I think Sole offers the best quality for the price, so I would recommend the LCR if you’re looking for a heavy-duty model that’s still pretty affordable. True, I ranked the Spirit XBR95 1st because with a 10 year parts warranty it’s hard not too, but with the Sole I wouldn’t be worried about it falling apart. I agree with you with regards to the 2 Diamondback models- I would go with the 910Sr- not only is the flywheel heavier on that model, but it comes with more workout programs too. Long story short: of these 4 bikes, I would go with the Sole LCR (if the budget allows). Hope that helps man and again, thanks for reading!

  20. While I appreciate that most of your focus is on somewhat more affordable recumbents, as I’ve been researching for the past few weeks there are two high-end brands that perhaps warrant your attention. Matrix manufactures a variety of gear found in gyms and I’ve been very impressive with their in-home consumer line as well. Also worth your attention is the True brand (which was new to me) but a short “test drive” showed this to be a very high-quality product for those who desire — and can afford — the best. These appeared equal to the state-of-the-art Precor recumbents, the Woodinville, Washington maker of high-end commercial and consumer gear. Too pricy for your list, perhaps?

    1. Hey, great comment. You’re right, when coming up with these lists I try to keep the bikes in a price range that I think most are workin’ with for a home model (usually under $3k). I realize there are plenty of higher-end, more expensive bikes that could easily make this list. I’m not very familiar with the Matrix or True brands, although I’ve come across Matrix a little here or there, but I appreciate you brining them to my attention (I’ll certainly learn more about them). Life Fitness is another brand I like that didn’t show up on this list, again mostly for cost. Anyway, thanks for recommendations and thanks for reading.

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