What Makes A Good Recumbent Bike?

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5 Things To Consider When Choosing A Recumbent Bike


recumbent bikeSo you’re shopping for a recumbent bike and you want the best bike for your home. But where do you start? What do you look for?

Recumbent bikes are different than upright bikes. There are different things to consider.

You may not get the best of the best in all these categories, depending on your budget levels. However, you should try to factor as many of these things in that you can when choosing a recumbent exercise bike:


#1 Seat Comfort

Recumbent bikes tend to have more comfortable seats in general than upright bikes. The bucket-seat is just easier to sit on for long stretches. However there are still differences in seats.

For example, a mesh-back seat (seen below) lets air circulate to your back and helps keep you cool.


recumbent bike buying guide
Nordictrack VR23 Recumbent


Also look for an oversized seat, preferably padded with lumbar support for maximum comfort.\


#2 Resistance Levels

You want a bike with at least 20 levels if not more – especially if you’re going to be using the bike a lot. Why? Because the last thing you want is to top out at the highest resistance level within a year of your bike purchase. Then you have nowhere to go and nothing to challenge you.


#3 Backlit Console

This is important because a backlit console is easy to read. There’s nothing more frustrating than working out and straining forward to see your workout stats in the console.

You want a bright, backlit console that is large and easy to read – it will pay off in the future. This is especially important if your budget is limited as a lot of cheaper (under $500 bikes) do not come with backlit consoles.


Sole Recumbent bike Console
Sole Recumbent bike Console


#4 Entertainment Options

If you want your workouts to be more enjoyable, the entertainment options are important. What are entertainment options? Well, they are everything from iPod docks to tablet holders to online tracking to new workout add-on options.


recumbent bike guide


For example, Nordictrack and some Proform bikes come with iFit LIVE. This lets you download new workouts to your bike, map out new trails online with Googlemaps and track your workout stats online to see how far you’ve come. A lot of people like this extra addition to their bike – the bike can grow with them as they get more fit.


ifit bikes


heart rate monitor#5 Heart Rate Monitor

If you want to stay in your target heart rate zone, you’ll want a heart rate monitor of some kind.

And there are really 3 options here – the finger pulse monitor (not very accurate), the hand grip pulse monitor (medium accuracy) and the wireless chest strap (very accurate – and most convenient).

Some bikes come with wireless chest straps included, some don’t – but the monitor will work with a wireless chest strap that you provide. Some bikes have the hand sensors on the side handrests – and some bikes have it on the consoles, so you have to reach up.


nordictrack vr23 recumbent bike controls


But those are some things to consider when you’re looking at different heart rate monitors on bikes.


So those are 5 essential areas to consider when shopping for a good recumbent bike. Keep these things in mind and you’re more likely to get a solid, quality bike that you’ll enjoy for years to come!

Some of my recommendations for a good recumbent? I like the Nordictrack Commercial VR23 or the Sole R92 for good design and solid construction.

Good luck and happy shopping!


recumbent bike review




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