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Recumbent exercise bikes have been designed to make your workouts more comfortable. Unlike traditional bikes, they have larger seats and backrests. Of course, these features take up more space. But, some exercise bikes can be folded for an easy and simple storage solution.
Throughout this article, we’re going to discuss the benefits of having a recumbent exercise bike, as well as taking a look at the best folding recumbent bikes on the market. We’ll also talk you through various factors you’ll need to consider before choosing which bike is best for you.
Benefits of Recumbent Exercise Bike
Recumbent exercise bikes allow you to sit back and relax while working out. However, don’t be fooled by their laid-back nature. When used effectively, recumbent bikes can provide savage workouts. Besides good training, here are a few other benefits the recumbent exercise bike has to offer:
How Much Space Do You Need Approximately For A Standard Recumbent Bike?
We’ve mentioned recumbent exercise bikes have bigger seats and backrests compared to the average bike. However, this doesn’t mean you’re going to have to clear out an entire room to fit in your new piece of equipment; the average recumbent exercise bike measures between 1.6 and 2 meters long. Remember, your bike doesn’t have to stay there, as you can fold it away when not in use.
Why Choose A Portable/ Folding Over A Standard Recumbent Bike?
The main advantage of a folding recumbent bike is its ability to be easily stored away. If you haven’t got much spare room, the thought of having a bike sat in the middle of your room isn’t exactly appealing. Folding recumbent bikes only need to be out when in use. Once you’re done with your workout, simply fold it up and store it in a cupboard or under your bed. Many folding bikes have wheels or handles, making them easier to put away.
Due to the compact nature of a foldable recumbent bike, its structure is a bit different from a standard recumbent bike. On a standard recumbent bike, the seat and pedals are almost level. On the other hand, the pedals on a folding recumbent bike are further below your seat. Therefore, your body is in more of an upright position, like on a standard exercise bike. A folding recumbent bike acts almost like a hybrid between the two.
Reviews of Our Best Folding Recumbent Bike Picks
Best Overall: Original As Seen On TV Slim Cycle
- Dimensions: 42” x 21.5” x 43”
- Weight: 39lbs
- Number of Resistance Levels: 8
Slim Cycle is a well-known brand endorsed by many famous figures. After checking out their folding recumbent bike, we know why it’s so popular. Slim Cycle provides a foldable recumbent bike, as well as arm resistance bands and a heart rate monitor. These features provide a full-body workout with top-of-the-range heart rate technology to help you reach your goals. Slim Cycle has 8 levels of resistance that allow you to work your muscles in various ways. If that all sounds a bit complicated, and you’re a bit lost on where to start, have no fear. Slim Cycle offers 10 free classes to help get you started on your fitness journey. All you have to do is download the Slim Cycle app, and you’re ready to complete your on-demand virtual rides.
The Slim Cycle is an excellent option for those who don’t have much time to spend in the gym. After you’ve taken into account your travel time, strength training, and cardio, you’re talking a few hours at least. With Slim Cycle, you can strength train while performing cardio from the comfort of your own home. Customers agree it’s a great tool for those with busy lives: “If you need to get moving and start an easy daily routine at home, this is a winner in my book!”. What’s even better is it’s just a one-time purchase; no recurring gym fees here. Another neat feature of the Slim Cycle is the digital display. You can keep track of calories burned, distance, speed, and heart rate during your workout. These features are a great way to monitor your progress during training and overtime. Once you’ve completed your activity, you can simply fold it away back into storage.
Runner-Up: Sunny Health & Fitness Comfort XL SF-B2721
- Dimensions: 32” x 21” x 49”
- Weight: 38.5lbs
- Number of Resistance Levels: 10
The SF-B2721 provides extreme comfort and support during your workout. Its foam coated handles and extra-large fully padded seat and backrest make you feel like you’re sitting on a cloud. What’s great about the SF-B2721 is it’s aimed at people of all shapes and sizes. If regular bikes don’t suit your body type, the SF-B2721 most likely can. Mechanically, the SF-B2721 is a really advanced piece of equipment. Its 3.3lb flywheel provides a smooth, noise-free ride. If you’re concerned about making a lot of noise, this is a great option. Customers agree, “this bike is super quiet”. Fully equipped with a performance monitor, you can track your time, speed, distance, calories, and heart rate. The display also has a tablet holder to scroll social media or watch TV while working out.
The SF-B2721 is lightweight and compact and can be folded away for easy storage. Despite its large seat and backrest, the SF-B2721 takes up little space when folded. All you need is a spare cupboard or corner of a room to store your foldable recumbent exercise bike. This bike also has some handy add ons, including a water bottle and tablet holder. You can easily keep yourself hydrated and entertained while exercising. The SF-B2721 uses pulse sensors in the handles to provide heart rate readings. The ability to view your heart rate during a workout is a great way to see what training zone you’re in. The SF-B2721 also has 10 adjustable resistance levels to ensure you’re pushing yourself to your limits every workout.
Best Value: XTERRA Fitness FB350
- Dimensions: 40.5” x 21” x 50.5”
- Weight: 42.3lbs
- Number of Resistance Levels: 8
If you’re looking for something cost-friendly yet effective, the FB350 is perfect for you. The FB350 has many features for its price, making it the ideal addition to your home gym when on a budget. The FB350 provides a comfortable ride with its padded seat, backrest, and handlebars. Its 3.3lb precision balanced flywheel also provides a smooth and quiet cycle. Despite it’s low-price, the FB350 still includes an LCD monitor and pulse grips to track speed, distance, time, calories, and heart rate. Finally, the FB350 provides 8 levels of resistance to allow you to switch up the difficulty as you please.
The padded seat, backrest, and handlebars provide great comfort when cycling. Sitting in one position for an extended period of time can be highly uncomfortable. However, thanks to the cushioning and anatomically designed padding, you won’t want to get off the bike. Many reviews praise the FB350 for being very comfortable; “seat very comfortable. easy to ride”. In addition to an LCD monitor, the FB350 also has a handy accessory to store your phone or controller. If you’re looking for an effective yet low-cost folding recumbent exercise bike, the FB350 is the perfect option to help you start your fitness journey.
Best with Adjustable Desk: Exerpeutic ExerWorK 1000
- Dimensions: 43” x 25” x 50.5”
- Weight: 68.78lbs
- Number of Resistance Levels: 24
The Exerpeutic Exerwork allows you to do your work and exercise at the same time. It’s perfect for busy people who don’t have time to exercise around their jobs and day-to-day lives. Not only does it have a desk, but it’s also fully adjustable. There is no need to worry about neck and back strain as you can tilt the desktop forward, back, up, and down in a seated or standing position. On top of this, you’ll also get an armrest and storage draw to keep all your bits and bobs. It definitely makes an excellent desk, but what about the actual bike? Well, the bike isn’t too bad either. With 24 preset programs, you have many workouts at your disposal. You can also set a goal for time, distance, or calories burned if you want to do your own thing. The Exerpeutic Exerwork also has 24 levels of resistance to suit all abilities.
The Exerpeutic Exerwork is made from heavy-duty steel with a durable powder coat to ensure it has a long life. The seat is made from thick airsoft foam to provide comfort. Additionally, the seat can be adjusted forward, backward, up, and down for maximal comfort. One popular feature of the Exerpeutic Exerwork is its Bluetooth Smart Cloud Fitness. Simply connect to your Android or iOS to track your workouts. The bike also comes with an LCD monitor that displays distance, calories burned, time, and speed. If you find you spend most of the day sitting down, this bike could help be “perfectly suited for my sedentary lifestyle”.
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 best suited to those with very tight space restrictions. Folded and unfolded, this recumbent bike takes up very little space. All you have to do is turn and pull the dial, and the bike folds up nice and compactly. The Merax 3 in 1 comes with 10 resistance levels and an LCD screen displaying speed, time, distance, calories burnt, and heart rate. You can choose to use this bike as an upright stationary bike or a recumbent bike. If you’re looking to get a full-body workout, you can use the resistance bands to perform upper body exercises while pedaling. Quite literally a great all-around product.
The Merax 3 in 1 has 10 resistance levels that use magnetic tension for a smooth and quiet cycle. If you live in a flat or apartment with little space and neighbors, this could be your perfect bike. Quiet and space-saving are a win-win for these types of buildings. Its technology is pretty neat, with a heart rate sensor and LCD to monitor your progress. One thing that stands out for Merax customers is their customer service; “great response from customer service”, “awesome customer service”.
What You Should Consider Before Buying a Foldable Recumbent Bike
We’ve gone through our favorite models, now let’s talk about which one is best for you. Everyone has different criteria for purchasing a foldable recumbent bike; what might be best for someone else might not be what’s best for you. Here’s what you should consider before investing in a foldable recumbent bike.
At the top of many people’s list is the price; as a general rule, the more advanced the features, the greater the cost. Therefore, you might have to make small sacrifices to your criteria if you’re on a strict budget. When making your decision make sure you consider the money you might be saving from your gym membership. If your bike is going to substitute your membership, you could be saving a lot of transport and membership fees. If budget is a priority, we recommend taking a look at the XTERRA Fitness FB350.
Heart Rate Analysis
Heart rate analysis can be a handy training tool and progress monitor. It allows you to work in different training zones and shows you any fitness improvements over time. However, not all of us are concerned with our heart rate data and just want something to get us moving. If you do want heart rate analysis, be sure to check if the model has it. Some models, such as the Exerpeutic ExerWorK 1000, do not have heart rate analysis.
Weight and Height Limit
We’re a diverse community full of different shapes and sizes. While this is great, it means it’s not always easy to create a bike suitable for everyone. Before you choose, check the weight and height limit to ensure it’s ideal for your body type. A bike not suitable for your body type can be very uncomfortable, and most importantly, dangerous. Additionally, not all seats are created the same. Some are small and firm, while others are wide and soft. Depending on your body size, you may want to look at a bike with a wider seat to ensure maximal comfort. The XTERRA Fitness FB350 has many great reviews based on seat comfort.
Resistance plays a big part in changing the intensity of a workout. More resistance levels mean you have more intensity options. This can be a great way to mix up your workouts while constantly challenging yourself. The Exerpeutic ExerWorK 1000 has a whopping 24 levels, giving you loads of options. However, other models also have a sufficient number of levels ranging from 8-10.
If you’re a complete beginner, you might not know where to start with your bike. Some models such as the Original As Seen On TV Slim Cycle and Exerpeutic ExerWorK 1000 include preset programs you can follow along to. This makes starting your fitness journey a lot easier. It’s also a great way to get used to the bike and learn some different training styles you can use in the future. Additionally, it’s a helpful way to increase your motivation. Having a trainer take you through a session can make you work hard and encourage you not to give up.
If working a full-time job, balancing your day-to-day tasks, and exercising sound a bit too overwhelming, there is a suitable solution – get a bike with a desk. That’s right, be more effective with your time and get two things done at once. The Exerpeutic ExerWorK 1000 comes with a desk and a storage draw to hold items like pens and paper. It’s also very quiet, which means you could use it in an office full of co-workers.
Bikes are a great way to increase your fitness. However, they’re specific to your core and lower body. If you want to work your upper body while cycling, some bikes come with resistance so that you can do just that. The Original As Seen On TV Slim Cycle and Merax 3 in 1 Adjustable Recumbent-Upright Bike both include resistance bands for an upper-body workout.
Folding recumbent bikes provide comfort and support while working out. They’re also easy to store away, so they’re not taking up half a room when not in use. If getting to the gym isn’t always an option in our busy lives, folding recumbent bikes are the perfect at-home or work solution. Everyone’s criteria are different, but there’s a model suitable for pretty much anyone.