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Recumbent bikes are stationary exercise bikes with large seats and backrests. They’re an effective way to get in exercise from the comfort of your own home. Sounds great, right? Chances are, you’re thinking “sure, they sound amazing, but something like that’ll cost an arm and a leg”. Wrong. While some high spec models do cost a fortune, some fantastic recumbent bikes are less than $300. In this article, we’ll talk you through some of the best inexpensive recumbent bikes on the market.
What Are The Advantages Of Recumbent Bikes?
How many times have you sat on the sofa, contemplating whether or not to do any exercise? Most of the time, Netflix sounds more appealing than going to the gym. However, recumbent bikes allow you to do both; sit down and watch TV simultaneously. It’s a win-win situation. Despite being sat down, they provide a good, effective workout. They also have some specific advantages that make them stand out from other exercise bikes:
Cheap Recumbent Bikes: Worth it, or Waste of Time & Money?
When you hear the term “budget” what comes to mind? Cheap? Low-quality? Unsustainable? It’s easy to be skeptical of a recumbent bike that’s less than $300, especially when you compare them to higher-end models. However, that’s not to say they’re a waste of time and money. It’s important to remember there will be some trade-offs between features and price, that’s just the nature of budget items. But, there are great models out there that provide a high-quality machine worth $300. They might not be as tech-savvy, but they will provide a great workout. Saying that, you still have to be careful when buying budget recumbent bikes. Research the brand, read the reviews, get to know the product you’re buying. After all, $300 is still a good amount of money you don’t want to waste. The products we’re going to show you are all good options with low prices.
Reviews of Our Best Inexpensive Recumbent Bike Picks
Best Overall: Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RB4616
- Dimensions: 46” x 24.5” x 38”
- Weight: 58.7lbs
- Number of Resistance Levels: 8
At the top of our list is the SF-RB4616 from Sunny Health & Fitness. Get the most out of your workout with 8 levels of magnetic resistance. During the exercise, you can monitor your heart rate using the pulse grip sensors on the handles. Adjustable resistance and heart rate control give you endless intensities and workout options. As well as heart rate, you can also track your time, speed, distance, calories via the digital monitor.
The SF-RB4616 can be easily adjusted to suit your body size and space. The seat moves forward and back with the flick of a handle. What’s even better is you can make these adjustments while seated. The SF-RB4616 has two sets of handlebars; at the side and the front. Adjustability and dual handlebars ensure you can stay comfortable while working out. The SF-RB4616 also contains stabilizers that level your bike based on your surroundings. If your floors are a bit uneven or you’re perched on a rug, the stabilizers will help keep your bike secure during exercise.
Overall, we think the SF-RB4616 is the best overall recumbent exercise bike under $300. Don’t just take our word for it; customers say, “great bike for the money”.
Runner-Up: Vanswe Recumbent Exercise Bike
- Dimensions: 45” x 20” x 40”
- Weight: 53lbs
- Number of Resistance Levels: 16
Next up is the Vanswe recumbent exercise bike. What stood out with this bike is its Bluetooth technology integration. The Vanswe uses Bluetooth Smart Technology (compatible with iOS and Android systems) to provide free fitness data straight to your device. This feature allows you to track your workouts and progress over time. Within the handles are hand pulse sensors to track your heart rate. Heart rate analysis can help ensure you’re working in the proper training zones. The Vanswe is also equipped with an LCD computer screen that displays heart rate, speed, distance, time, and calories burned in real-time. Set with 16 levels of magnetic resistance, you have a ton of options to help mix up your workouts’ intensity.
The Vanswe comes with a thick, soft seat cushion and backrest to provide maximum comfort during your workout. The seat is fully adjustable to ensure a range of sizes can comfortably and safely perform the pedaling motion. The pedals also come with a strap to help keep your foot in place to aid comfort and safety. Small attention to details makes the Vanswe a popular choice with its customers – “worth every penny”.
Best Ergonomic: MaxKare Recumbent Exercise Bike
- Dimensions: 45.7” x 18.9” x 41.7”
- Weight: 65lbs
- Number of Resistance Levels: 8
The MaxKare recumbent exercise bike is one of the most comfortable and affordable recumbent bikes available. Its ergonomic design includes a mesh-based backrest for maximal back support. The mesh interior allows for airflow to keep your body cool and fully supported. The MaxKare also includes a large, thick padded seat to add additional comfort. There is a range of adjustments you can make to ensure your body is in the best position for comfort, performance, and safety. Also, you can adjust the height of the seat to find the perfect angle for your legs. There’s no need to worry about your feet slipping as the pedals come with a strap and granular projections. If that’s not enough, there are also height-adjustable stabilizers to keep your bike steady. Comfort is evident with its customers, with one happy customer saying, “very comfortable bike and great value”.
The MaxKare includes real-time heart rate and exercise data to help you keep track of your workouts. Additionally, the LCD monitor shows time, calories, speed, distance, and RPM. MaxKare uses pulse sensors to pick up heart-rate throughout the workout. Real-time analysis is beneficial when you’re aiming for a specific intensity. You can also change up the resistance by adjusting the knob to one of eight choices.
Best Folding: Original As Seen On TV Slim Cycle
- Dimensions: 42” x 21.5” x 43”
- Weight: 39lbs
- Number of Resistance Levels: 8
Slim cycle is popular with celebrities and everyday people. Their folding recumbent bike is all the rave and with good reasoning. Not only is it a recumbent bike, but it also includes a heart rate monitor and resistance bands. The addition of resistance bands is a really great feature, as they allow you to get in a full-body workout. You’ll also be able to see your heart rate in real-time, allowing you to work to specific training goals. Another neat feature of Slim cycle is its on-demand virtual classes. Simply download the app and follow along with on-screen instructors. What’s better is your first 10 classes are free. To make your workouts even harder, there are 8 levels of resistance you can work through during a session.
Slim cycle is the perfect product for people who don’t have time to get to the gym. We all live busy lives. Traveling to and from the gym and getting in a workout takes up a big chunk of our day. With Slim cycle, you can get in a full-body cardio-based workout from the comfort of your own home. Many reviews state time-saving is one of the most attractive features of Slim cycle; “If you need to get moving and start an easy daily routine at home this is a winner in my book!”. When it comes to budget home gym equipment, many of us think of something pretty basic. But, not with Slim cycle. On the bike, there is a digital display of calories burned, distance, speed, and heart rate. These features help you track your workouts and progress over time. After your workout just fold it up and store it away. No need to worry about a big bulky bike taking up half of your room.
Best Convertible: Merax 3 in 1 Adjustable Recumbent-Upright Bike
- Dimensions: 30.7” x 19.7” x 42.3”
- Weight: 48lbs
- Number of Resistance Levels: 10
The Merax 3 in 1 is a jack of all trades. It can be used as an upright stationary bike or a recumbent bike. It also has resistance bands you can use to train your upper-body while cycling. If your goal is full-body training, this is a perfect addition. The Merax 3 in 1 has 10 levels of resistance to push you to your limits. To track those limits you’ll also be able to see real-time speed, time, distance, calories burnt, and heart rate on its LCD screen. The resistance uses magnetic tension to provide a smooth and quiet cycle. If you need to keep your environment quiet, this is a great perk.
Folding and unfolding the Merax 3 in 1 couldn’t be simpler. All you have to do is twist and pull its dial and you’ve suddenly turned a bulky bike into a neat, neat compact folded bike. It’s obvious to us that Merax has thought outside the box with this product. They’ve thought carefully about how to make this recumbent bike appeal to many. Their top thinking crosses over into their outstanding customer service. Here are just a few things customers have to say about Merax; “great response from customer service”, “awesome customer service”.
What You Should Consider Before Buying an Affordable Recumbent Bike
Now we’ve discussed our favorite affordable recumbent bikes, let’s help you find the perfect one. There are several factors you’ll need to consider before making a decision. We’re here to guide you through the differences between each model and how certain features might suit one person and not another.
All our picks are less than $300, but there are slight differences in price between the bikes. Depending on your budget, you might have to choose a cheaper bike and sacrifice certain features. Generally, the greater the price, the better the quality. This is also the case for budget options. If you’re looking for a very cheap recumbent bike, you will probably have to sacrifice features such as heart-rate analysis, as this add-on can be pricey.
Heart Rate Analysis
Heart rate is a neat feature, but it’s not a priority for some people. For those who just want to get more active, a recumbent bike without heart-rate analysis is a cheap, effective solution. However, if you want to use heart rate as a training tool, the built-in analysis will become a priority. Real-time heart rate analysis will help you reach your desired training zone and thus help you achieve your training goals.
Body Size Limits
Recumbent exercise bikes are known for their larger seats, thus suit a larger population of people. However, not all recumbent bikes will suit everyone, especially those who are very large or small. If you’re worried you may exceed the weight or height limit, be sure to check with the manufacturers. Exercising on a recumbent bike that isn’t suited to your body type is uncomfortable and potentially dangerous. If your legs aren’t correctly positioned, you can cause damage to your knees and hips. If you’re on the larger side, the MaxKare Recumbent Exercise Bike is a suitable, comfortable option.
Most recumbent exercise bikes have several levels of resistance. However, some bikes have more levels than others. More levels give you more options and control over your workout intensity. Not only is this great for switching up your workouts, but it can also push you further. The Vanswe Recumbent Exercise Bike has 16 levels of resistance, the most out of our top picks.
Recumbent exercise bikes are perfect for increasing your daily movement, improving your cardio, and strengthening your core and legs. However, one of the biggest flaws with recumbent exercise bikes is they don’t work your upper body. This isn’t ideal for someone trying to strengthen their shoulders, for example. Fortunately, some manufacturers have identified this flaw and created built-in resistance bands that allow you to work your upper body while cycling. The Original As Seen On TV Slim Cycle has two resistance bands attached to the bike so you can get a full-body workout while sitting down.
Recumbent exercise bikes are all well and good when in use, but they can get in the way when not. There’s no denying they’re a bulky item. If you have a lot of free space or don’t mind it getting in the way, most recumbent bikes will be suitable. However, if space is limited and you don’t want it getting in the way, you can pick up a folding recumbent exercise bike. Once you’ve finished your workout, simply fold it up and store it in a cupboard or the corner of your room. Both the Original As Seen On TV Slim Cycle and Merax 3 in 1 Adjustable Recumbent-Upright Bike are foldable.
Recumbent exercise bikes provide comfort and support while cycling in the comfort of your own home. They’re a great way to stay fit and active without having to go down to the gym every day. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to break the bank to own one. In fact, there are some very high-quality options for less than $300. No matter what your needs, there’s bound to be a perfect recumbent bike for you.