5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Recumbent Bike

Recumbent bikesRecumbent bikes offer a great cardio workout similar to the typical bicycle or exercise bike, but you get the added comfort of being able to sit in a laid-back reclining position during your workout.

Recumbent bikes are super easy on your joints, will help you burn massive calories while you simultaneously strengthen your quadriceps muscles, and you will get in a great overall workout for your most important muscle, the heart.

Recumbent bikes also conveniently come in indoor and outdoor variants so you can easily choose a version based on whether you want to workout at home, or on the go in the great outdoors.

Recumbent bikes offering a great workout aside, before you take the plunge and fork out some of your hard earned dollars for one, there are things you will want to consider, especially when purchasing an indoor model.

You may have heard that all men are created equal, however, the same can’t always be said about recumbent bikes. Recumbent bikes in my experience tend to be either high quality or low quality, and if you’re lucky, you’re find one that sits somewhere in the middle.

If you’re thinking of purchasing one for home use, here are five things to consider when buying one.

#1. Your Goal

One of the fundamental reasons why you would likely purchase a recumbent bike, is to achieve a great workout in the comfort of your home. A recumbent stationary bike from basic trainings is a great place to start searching for a quality model that will fit your needs.

And knowing what your goals are will have a lot to do with your purchasing decision. If you want to lose weight, a recumbent bike is a great option for you, and if you plan on spending considerable time on your bike to achieve this goal, which I hope you do, picking up a model with more bells and whistles is recommended.

While some of you might not necessarily care about Bluetooth or a USB port and other advanced features, and thus won’t go for a model that is too high-end, many of you will want these extra features.

Either way, if you plan on working towards your goals consistently, more bells and whistles may just keep you pedaling for longer durations, so I highly recommend you pay a little more cash upfront and get these features, whether or not you want them or think you do or do not need them.

#2. Size and Shape

People often wind up buying a piece of gym equipment that is just too bulky and big for the space available, and the same is true of recumbent bikes.

The bigger they are, the more features they usually have, and the more comfortable they are. But what’s the point if you can’t fit it anywhere in your house? So don’t get carried away with all the features right away. First, think of where it’s going to be used so it doesn’t wind up for sale in the classifieds.

Because a recumbent bike is shaped differently from an upright bike, with the seat in a laid-back position, it’s easier on the lower back so you’re not hunched up as on an upright bike, but this also means it takes up more space than an upright bike.

Bells and whistles are great, as recommended in the first consideration on this list, however, if you can’t comfortably fit it in your house, what’s the point?

#3. Budget

The good news is these babies come with a lot of different price tags, and you’re likely to find one that suits your budget.

They actually can go from $100 – $1000+, but like everything else we buy, you get what you pay for. So the less you pay, the more flimsy it’s going to be with only basic features, plus weak pedals and other cheap components.

Comfort is important especially for elderly people or people who have a mild disability. Check out the following to see the best recumbent bike for seniors. Before you purchase, try it out at the store and get a feel of it and then you’ll have a much better idea of what suits you and whether or not you can even afford it.

If buying online, make sure to get full measurements, especially for the chair and how high and low it goes, because if you’re tall, you can find your knees getting in the way when you pedal. Make sure you buy a model that fits you so don’t be afraid to stretch your budget a bit if you’re on the taller side.

#4. Resistance

A high-end bike will typically come with a magnetic resistance system, while less expensive ones often come with a manual one. The higher the resistance, the tougher the pedaling. So you will definitely want to know what resistance levels the machine offers. You also want to be able to change resistance easily, in case you want it stronger or weaker.

Again, taking your budget up even a small notch might just make the difference between a machine you’ll likely use long-term, and one that will end up in the classifieds. You’ll also get in a more satisfying and effective workout via a higher-end machine with a magnetic resistance system, so the extra cash may just be worth it.

#5. Flywheel

The weight of the flywheel, the wheel in front of you while you’re sitting, is important to know because it determines the resistance. If it’s too light, you could find jerks happening while pedaling. It’s best to consider at least a 6kg flywheel if you can.

These stationary bikes are perfect no matter what shape you’re in. It’s the best solution to exercise while you’re comfortable and extremely less prone to injuries.

About Shannon Clark

Shannon holds a degree in Exercise Science and is a certified personal trainer and fitness writer with over 10 years of industry experience.

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