Recumbent bikes are not getting the amount of recognition they deserve. Compared to other forms of fitness machines, recumbent bikes have a lot to offer. Today we are going to show you our top 5 picks for this category, describe our picks and generally give you an idea of what you can find on the market these days.
Later, we are going to discuss why you should look at recumbent bikes, what makes a good one and what things to look for. By the time we’re done, you will understand why these are among the most recommended exercise bikes out there.
1. Diamondback 510SR
Recumbent bikes, although generally simple at their core, come with plenty of room for improvement. Diamondback 510SR has pretty much filled out all of that space. As of right now, this is one of the most capable bikes on the market. Going over this bike reveals just how much attention to detail was invested during its design process.
The frame itself is a masterpiece of stability, support and ergonomics. On top of that, it looks amazing. The seat is ergonomically contoured, fully adjustable and semi padded. you can adjust it pretty much any way you want. By far the best thing about Diamondback 510SR is its computer module. What makes it so good is the combination of displayed data and ease of use.
There are only few buttons available, making it very intuitive to navigate built in presets. Speaking of which, you have 20 workout programs to choose from, all of which are pretty challenging but also optimized for different things. Generally speaking, this bike is about as good as it gets right now. If you are looking for a serious fitness machine that will keep up with you no matter what, this is definitely one of the better options.
2. NordicTrack Commercial Vr21
When it comes to higher end bikes, NordicTrack has proven to be one of the brands to reach the top of the list. NordicTrack Commercial Vr21 offers a few explanations as to why. Just by looking at it you can already notice some differences compared to other similar models.
First thing that comes to mind is the frame. They have used the same trusty H pattern, but with a twist. Basically, you have all the stability and support these frames bring to the table, but in a more optimize package. Moving up from the frame, we see a contoured, ergonomic seat with a mesh back rest. The control module is simple but powerful. You have a fairly basic display that shows you all of the relevant data. However, it is not overwhelming despite all of the controls which are numerous.
Speaking of controls, you have full iFit support with all of the buttons that come with that. Compared to other models in this market segment, Vr21 strikes as one of the more kitted out bikes you can get. In terms of bang for the buck value, it’s very positive. On top of all that, it’s fairly light to maneuver around.
3. Xterra SB2.5r
Since we have just mentioned a bang for the buck value, it would only be fair to name the best model in this particular category. Xterra SB2.5r is about as good as it gets when you need to squeeze the most for your money. On top of that, SB2.5r also brings some pretty awesome solutions which you don’t see too often even though they are fairly important.
The frame is simple, modular but ultimately strong. The rear bar of the frame also houses leveling sliders. These allow you to make sure that your bike is always perfectly leveled. The control module’s the most surprising thing about this bike. Not only is it loaded with features, but it also comes with one of the most intuitive displays we have seen so far. But wait, there’s more.
Display they’ve used is a dual color unit, unlike single color backlit displays which are more or less he norm these days. At the end of the day, that second color really helps you to discern different data without confusion. 22lb flywheel, 24 resistance levels and 24 workout programs only make the whole deal sweeter. This is the ultimate value bike out there.
4. Schwinn 230
Moving down to the mid range segment, we still run into very attractive models. Schwinn 230 is one that stands out. You could say that it merges the upper segment with the more affordable category of recumbent bikes. It features a sturdy frame paired with a very robust seat adjustment rail. Adjusting the position of the seat is as simple as puling a lever.
There are no pins nor holes to chase. The control module comes across very strong. You have not one, but two displays at your disposal as well as a large number of buttons. Controls could be a bit confusing until you figure out what’s what, but once you do, you’ll find them to be fairly intuitive. In terms of hardware and features, you have 20 levels of computer controlled resistance, 22 different exercise programs and so much more. You have a USB port, built in speakers and a built in cooling fan.
Overall, Schwinn has found the balance between raw performance, comfort and pure convenience. At this price, Schwinn 230 is pretty much a steal. If you’re looking to upgrade from a basic bike, or you want something great as your first one, this is it.
5. Nautilus R614
Nautilus is a well known name in the world of fitness gear. Their reputation is that of a reliable and trust worthy manufacturer. With that said, they’re generally specialized in mid range equipment. This is what they do best. Nautilus R614 represents a very streamlined approach to recumbent bikes, and one that will give you plenty of performance for your money.
Starting with the basics, we see a sturdy but not overcomplicated frame. They have stuck to the tried and tested rail mount for the seat, which ensures that reclined seating position no matter your height. The seat itself is pretty comfortable despite lacking any padding. Nautilus has used contoured composite mesh, which does a good job at reducing fatigue. The control module is surprisingly capable. You have two displays, one displaying real time data while the other shows preset progress and similar data.
The controls are a bit extensive, although fairly straight forward. With 22 programs and 20 levels of computer controlled resistance, you are bound to enjoy challenging workouts on a daily basis. Generally speaking, Nautilus R614 brings all the features you would want in an inexpensive package that works. That makes it pretty awesome in our book.