Even in old age, it is very important to engage in regular exercise in order to maintain good health. However, not all exercises are suitable for seniors and elderly people. Only light to moderate fitness activities are recommended for them. This explains why activities involving treadmills, upright bikes, or steppers should be avoided by seniors.
For seniors who enjoy cycling, recumbent bikes have been proven to be much safer alternatives to bicycles and regular bikes. This is because recumbent bikes are specially made for moderate exercise, and they provide proper and safe positioning during activity.
Recumbent bikes also come with features such as reading racks and heart rate monitors. So, elderly people who want to stay healthy and fit won’t go wrong with a recumbent bike.
What features should you look for in a good recumbent bike for seniors?
Here are some features to keep in mind when shopping for the best recumbent/exercise bike for seniors or elderly people:
- Moderate-sized and adjustable seat
- User-friendly design
- Strong build
- Bright electronic display
OUR TOP PICK
Best Recumbent Exercise Bikes for the Elderly: Our Top 5 Picks
Truth is, the market abounds with different types and brands of recumbent bikes. To help you make the appropriate choice, we conducted thorough research and came up with our top recommendations.
OUR TOP PICK
Have you been searching for equipment that will keep you losing weight and improve cardiovascular health without taking up too much floor space? Then the answer to all your troubles is the Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709.
The major selling point of this exercise bike is that it is portable and won’t take up too much space, letting you enjoy what larger recumbent exercise bikes provide but in a smaller package.
It comes with 8 resistance levels, all of which are accessible simply by the turn of a knob, and allows you to monitor stats easily through its oversized screen. The seat is adjustable and should accommodate people between 5 feet and over 6 feet tall. The counterbalanced foot pedals can be cycled forward or backward and provide amazing support.
The ME-709 comes with built-in transport wheels, making it possible to move it easily when necessary. To add more safety and comfort, Marcy added foot straps and adjustable handles.
- Low price. It is one of the most affordable recumbent exercise bikes on the market for the level of quality it represents.
- Small footprint. Although it’s not as compact as a regular upright bike, it consumes less space than most recumbent exercise bikes. If you have limited space, then the ME-709 should work well for you.
- Variable resistance. This option makes the bike a top pick for both new and experienced users. This feature makes it possible to raise the intensity of your workout routine over time.
- Quality construction. Heavier exercisers have nothing to fear when using this bike. It is well constructed so it won’t tip over.
- Due to magnetic resistance, workout sessions are noiseless with a smooth transition from one resistance level to another.
- Seat comfort. The insufficient padding means you may need a towel or little foam for extra cushion.
- Heart rate monitor is absent. This is usually one of the key features of bikes in this class these days. If you need a heart rate monitor while working out, you may have to purchase it for external use.
- No workout programs. Even though it is a very effective piece of workout equipment, it still doesn’t come with a set of routines. You’ll have to develop your own or seek outside help from an expert such as a personal trainer.
The Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike is often considered to be one of the best on the market. Considering what it brings to the table, it is really difficult to think less of this piece of tech. Regardless of who you are, novice or fitness guru, old or young, this bike has a function to suit your needs.
Out of the long list of features, what strikes one the most is the 29-list workout programs it’s loaded with, giving you the most effective workout sessions without having to do your research ahead of time. You also have the luxury of downloading your workout data and even connecting up your mobile phone.
Some of the major features include:
- 25 resistance levels allowing for variations in workout intensity.
- 29 workout programs.
- Heart rate monitor fixed on the handlebar. It can be strapped to the chest, which means it’s telemetry enabled.
- In-console speakers.
- Three-speed cooling fan.
- USB and Bluetooth connectivity so you can download workout data from MyFitnessPal and Nautilus Connect.
- 9 customized heart rate programs.
- Quick start capability.
- A 10-year warranty for the frame, 2-year mechanical warranty, 1-year electrical warranty, and a labor warranty which lasts 90 days.
- Comfortable seat. You need comfort to enjoy your workout on a recumbent exercise bike. The Schwinn 270 provides a chair-like seat that is well-cushioned and provides lumbar support.
- The bike isn’t too heavy, weighing in at just 88 pounds, and able to support up to 300 pounds.
- Data transfer. It allows you to transfer your workout report via USB and Bluetooth so you can track how well you’re doing on your fitness journey.
- Built-in workout routines. This saves a lot of time that you might otherwise spend researching the best fitness routines. You can also take fitness tests as you workout.
- Heart rate monitor.
- Incompatible with tall people. If you are tall, then you won’t enjoy extending your legs using this bike.
- Poor packaging. They are more likely to be damaged in transit than the majority of other recumbent bikes.
- The manual monitor is not efficient. Even though the wireless pulse monitor is a huge plus, it just stops working sometimes.
- Defective parts. This is not too common but customers have sometimes complained that they received defective products.
The Exerpeutic 900xl is one of the most popular recumbent bikes for those on a budget. It’s not too costly and is very easy to set up, which is why it is highly regarded among elderly fitness enthusiasts.
It doesn’t come with all the alarms and whistles that other bikes have, except the heart rate monitor embedded in the handgrips. Instead, its major selling point is the user-friendly design that has proven to be really durable. You simply have to step through the machine to get on or off. It is able to accommodate up to 300 pounds in weight, so as long as you are not beyond this, you’re good.
The Exerpeutic 900xl is designed with a low center of gravity and extended leg stabilizers, keeping the bike steady throughout even the most rigorous of workout sessions. The seat is quite large and well-padded for comfort purposes. You don’t need to worry about the pedals, they are large enough to accommodate a wide range of users.
Features of the Exerpeutic 900xl include:
- Heart rate monitor embedded in the handgrips.
- 8-level magnetic resistance that allows for a wide range of workout intensities.
- Large padded seat for comfort. It also comes with a backrest.
- Large pedals accompanied by straps to keep your feet safe during workout sessions.
- Extended leg stabilizers to ensure the machine is immovable through your most rigorous sessions.
- Transport wheels for ease of movement.
- LCD display.
- Access to workout data, including distance, heart rate, speed, calories burned, and time.
- Affordable, especially considering the quality and design. You can’t get them cheaper.
- Versatile Design. Most bikes can only work for a specific range of people, while the Exerpeutic 900xl is more versatile in its design, accommodating a much wider array of users.
- Heart rate sensor. The heart rate sensors in this bike are embedded in the hand grips which is really comfortable. It makes it really easy to check your cardio stats while you work out, which, considering the price, is a huge plus.
- The oversized well-cushioned seat is very comfortable for the user, and the simple step-through design lets you get on and off the bike with ease.
- It has a very low resistance, which makes it quite difficult to switch between workout intensities.
- Most users have complained of having some parts squeaking while working out, which would be understandably unpleasant…
The Nautilus R614 is another really affordable choice. It is one of the cheapest on the Nautilus range of bikes, yet it brings a lot to the table. It is a very versatile machine; you can literally adjust a lot of functions and still enjoy the same efficiency.
When it comes to bikes, looks don’t really matter but we have to say that the design is really quite attractive. It has a rugged and solid frame, making it very stable while you work out. The seat is made from composite materials, which makes it ergonomic and quite hard. You enjoy a lot of comfort on this bike and probably wouldn’t feel fatigued after working out for a while.
The R614 from Nautilus is very easy to assemble. You should be done from scratch within an hour, using the step-by-step guide provided in the manual.
Features of the Nautilus R614 Recumbent Bike include:
- 20 resistance levels for easy transition between workout intensities.
- 22 workout programs.
- Ease of mobility due to the transport wheels added.
- USB data transfer allowing you to transfer your workout data to the Nautilus and MyFitnessPal app.
- Heart rate monitor fixed on the handle grips.
- Media shelf.
- In-console speakers allowing you to play songs from your Mp3 player or iPod.
- The LCD screen with blue backlight.
- 8 heart rate programs.
- 2 fitness test programs.
- Workout data, including speed, distance, heart rate, revs per minute, level, time, and calories.
- 10-year warranty on the bike frame, 2-year warranty for the parts, 1-year electronics warranty, and a labor warranty of 90 days.
- It will be really difficult to find a cheaper bike with these features. It’s almost unreal; the bike is worth every dime spent, and more.
- It comes with 22 workout programs that allow you to enjoy a variety of workouts to easily improve your routine.
- Nautilus has a reputation for producing top-quality fitness equipment. This bike has proven to be strong and durable.
- They’re okay but not so great for entertainment purposes.
- No chest strap. Many other recumbent exercise bikes in this price range come with chest straps but the heart rate monitor on this bike doesn’t. Not that it’s that bad, but Nautilus could have done better here.
The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RB4616 has been around for quite a while, but it’s still very much worth mentioning here. Most people regard it as one of the best recumbent exercise bikes for the elderly, and one of the cheapest, too.
It’s not really gym-grade equipment but it has a wide range of functions and the sturdy construction makes it really comfortable while you work out. It’s designed to be really durable and can carry up to 300-pounds. It’s not that large either, so it doesn’t take up a huge amount of floor space.
The extended legs allow for stability while you work out, but it’s recommended that you place the bike on a rubber mat. The seat is large and well-cushioned with a backrest, making for a more comfortable workout routine.
Did we mention that it is easily adjustable? It has two sets of handlebars; one is attached to the seat assembly and the other can be found on the console mast. The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RB4616 features a manual resistance system so you don’t need to plug it in, making it one of the more eco-friendly options on the market.
It also has 8 levels of resistance for a wide range of workout intensity options.
- Easy to assemble. This is one of the easiest recumbent bikes to put together and it even comes it a manual. Follow the instructions and you should be done within the hour.
- Comfortable seat. The seat is big enough and well-cushioned to allow you to enjoy maximum comfort while working out. It’s also easily adjustable.
- Fits into small spaces. The design is compact enough that you won’t have any issues with storage space.
- No backlight.
- Not easy to connect the wires.
- Jerky motion pedaling.
What are the benefits of recumbent bikes for seniors?
Here are some of the general benefits of recumbent bikes that make them the best exercise bikes for seniors and elderly people:
Each exercise session on a recumbent bike provides a complete cardiovascular workout, which helps to burn calories, maintain a healthy weight, improve circulation, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. A recumbent bike also improves metabolism, posture, balance, flexibility, endurance, and stamina — without subjecting the rider to extremely rigorous activity.
Zero risks of injury
Because recumbent bikes are used indoors, there is no risk of injury due to falls or crashes. In addition, they are low impact bikes, so exercising with them helps to strengthen the leg muscles without mounting pressure on the hip, knee, and ankle joints.
Recumbent bikes have reclining seats, which provide comfort as well as the proportionate distribution of pressure during exercise. The seat design also provides enough support, so there’s no need to hold the handle during exercise. In addition, the front positioning of the wheel allows for full stretching of the legs and makes exercising much easier.
Last update on 2022-01-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API