Recumbent bikes offer both upper and lower body workout in a single equipment. You can also find the best stationary recumbent bikes with moving hand pedals to make the most out of your exercise. Unlike running outdoors, stationary recumbent bikes offer a low-impact alternative. Below, I reviewed three of the best options in the market that you can consider.
Benefits of a recumbent bike
Recumbent bikes are popular since it allows you to exercise in the comfort of your own home. Aside from that, the following benefits are good reasons why you should get one:
It’s easy on your joints. One of the main benefits of recumbent bikes is their low-impact nature. Seniors and those with joint or hip problems will benefit a lot from this equipment. With less stress on your joints, you can burn calories without the pains and aches.
It supports your back. Unlike upright bikes, recumbent types support your back. This reduces the stress on your spine, which will lessen the likelihood of an injury.
Adjustable intensity. Recumbent bikes have adjustable resistance for sustainable workouts. This prevents you from plateauing. Units with moving hand pedals also have the same adjustments so you can engage your upper and lower body with varying intensity.
It strengthens the muscles. Recumbent bikes target multiple muscle groups in your body. This is an excellent workout equipment for reluctant users.
It boosts your balance. As we grow older, our balance and stability get poorer. A recumbent bike helps delay this by strengthening the muscles and keeping your mobility in check.
3 Best Stationary Recumbent Bikes With Moving Hand Pedals
My best pick for recumbent bikes with moving pedals is the Stamina Elite. This has eight levels of magnetic resistance that you can adjust smoothly. Also, it has moving hand pedals so you can exercise your shoulder, back, and arms at the same time.
Aside from that, this has a multi-function display that monitors your speed, distance, calories burned, heart rate, and time. The metrics are projected in large digits, so it’s very easy to read.
On the side of the seats, there’s another set of handles with heart sensors. It also adds stability while you’re in a full recumbent position.
Meanwhile, this has a sturdy frame with an adjustable seat length. The seat and backrest are well-padded so you’ll remain comfortable during your workout. Also, the foot pedals are textured and fitted with straps for added safety.
Overall, this has a maximum user weight capacity of 250 lbs. It also has a compact size so it’s easy to keep in an apartment or a small room.
Also, this is very easy to assemble and it’s very stable. I also like the rubber plugs on the feet so it will not scrape wooden floors.
Overall, this is a well-built recumbent bike. I first bought a Stamina Deluxe Bike back in 2008 and it remained in good condition until 2017. For me, that’s already worth the price since my entire family used it almost every day.
- Maximum user weight of 250 lbs.
- Large electronic display
- Adjustable seat
- Not for very tall users
2. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-4631 Recumbent Bike
If you don’t have the budget for the Stamina Deluxe, you can consider the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-4631. This recumbent bike has a similar design: moving hand pedals so you can exercise your upper body.
Aside from that, this has eight levels of foot pedal resistance and a separate arm tension knob. Beside the seat, there are pulse sensors connected to the digital monitor. The monitor of this recumbent bike projects the calorie burns, time, and heart rate.
Meanwhile, this has a wide cushioned seat that can be adjusted for your comfort. This is paired with an equally padded backseat and self-leveling pedals with adjustable straps.
Moreover, this has floor stabilizers so you can level it if there are any uneven surfaces on the ground.
Aside from that, it has transportation wheels in front so the recumbent bike is easy to move around.
Overall, this bike has an inseam length of 27” to 34” with a 25” width, 51” total length, and 52.5” height. It’s fairly compact so you don’t have to worry about consuming a large space in your home.
The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-4631 has a maximum user weight of 350 lbs. on its 89.5-lb. build. If you’re on the heavier side, this recumbent bike is an excellent option. For this price range, I’m already impressed with the quality and features.
The only thing I noticed is that the resistance of the rotating arm is still high even on the lowest level. This can be an issue for old users.
- Independent arm and feet pedals
- Equipped with a digital monitor
- Complete with floor levelers and transportation wheels
- The rotating arm still has substantial resistance despite being unengaged.
3. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RB4708 Recumbent Bike
If you prefer an elliptical style recumbent bike, you should consider the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RB4708. To start, this has a magnetic resistance system adjustable in eight levels. It also has movable handlebars while you pedal so you can engage both your upper and lower body.
Moreover, this has an oversized seat and backrest to accommodate your body comfortably. It also puts your spine in a neutral position to prevent strain as you exercise.
Aside from that, there are pulse sensors on the handlebar with readings projected to the digital monitor. The display also projects the speed, time, distance, and calories burned. I also like the added device holder that fits most smartphones.
Also, this has an adjustable seat that glides through the angled beam underneath. This is paired with standard pedals with adjustable straps.
Like most recumbent bikes, this one from Sunny Health & Fitness has floor stabilizers and transportation wheels.
Overall, this bike has a maximum user weight limit of 350 lbs. It’s 94.8 lbs. heavy, which is a tad higher than the previous model from the same brand.
The only thing I noticed is that the handlebars are a bit high. If you’re too short, you might have trouble reaching for it. Also, you have to tighten all the screws well or it will develop a weird squeak.
- Smooth ride
- Adjustable seat
- Affordable recumbent bike
- The handlebars are a bit high for short users
How to choose a recumbent bike with moving hand pedals
Look for separate resistance adjustments
The first thing you should consider is the resistance adjustments of the recumbent bike. This will dictate how sustainable the equipment will be in terms of intensity. As you get used to the initial resistance, you can adjust it to keep challenging your muscles.
Aside from that, you should look for a separate resistance knob for the moving hand pedals. This lets you tailor-fit the intensity for your upper body.
Check the digital display
Most recumbent bikes are equipped with digital displays. It projects heart rate readings from the sensor as well your as speed, calories burned, and distance. This lets you monitor your progress so you can keep increasing the intensity and duration of your exercise.
Consider the dimensions
Not all of us have space for large exercise bikes. When purchasing a recumbent bike, make sure that you take measurements and compare it to the spot where you plan to put it up. Unlike upright bikes, recumbent types tend to have a bigger footprint.
The good thing is that many recumbent bikes nowadays are compact without compromising comfort. But for very tall users, getting a larger bike might be necessary, although it requires a much larger space.
Think about adjustability
Next, check if the seat is adjustable so you can tweak it to suit your body. All recumbent bikes I’ve had before having sliding seats that I can easily adjust. Some have angled beams underneath so the seat height and distance are proportionate when you adjust.
Check the weight rating
It’s important to check the weight rating of the recumbent bike to ensure that it matches your body. Most exercise bikes have an average weight rating of 250 to 350 lbs. Bigger and more expensive options can support up to 500 lbs.
The rule of thumb is that you should only use 80% of the overall weight rating. The remaining 20% will give way to the working force as you pedal and use the equipment. It’s also a matter of safety because a recumbent bike might cause injuries if it suddenly breaks while you’re riding it.
The best stationary recumbent bikes with moving hand pedals are versatile choices for home workouts. In a single piece of equipment, you can exercise both your upper and lower body. Just make sure that you get one with the right features, size, weight rating, and adjustability. What do you think of the recumbent bikes I reviewed here? Share your thoughts in the comment section!