5 Best Recumbent Bikes for Seniors for Low Impact Exercise

Welcome to our best recumbent bikes for seniors review updated for 2020.

Our team tested more than 20 of the world’s most popular models and evaluated each for comfort, exercise quality, and safety. Then, we scoured the web for real user testimonials to see what others were saying.

Our Top Picks

In this review, you’ll find:

  • The best value for money
  • The absolute best bike for seniors
  • Our top picks for budget shoppers
  • Some tips for finding the perfect bike for you or your loved one

WARNING: During our testing, many bikes wobbled while riding or made it difficult to pedal or adjust the seat. These pose a real danger to senior riders. We highly recommend choosing one of our selected models to guarantee safety.

Don’t worry, though. There are plenty of excellent, affordable recumbent exercise bike models for any budget. Better health is within reach!

Let’s get to it.

These are the 5 best recumbent exercise bikes for seniors.

The Top 5 Recumbent Exercise Bikes for Seniors

After testing nearly two dozen recumbent bikes, these 5 came out head and shoulders above the rest for quality, comfort, stability, and user experience.

1. MaxKare Recumbent Exercise Bike - The Best Overall Recumbent Bike for Seniors

Overview : The #1 exercise bike for seniors and a mainstay at gyms, outpatient facilities, and many nursing homes. The MaxKare recumbent bike is the ultimate mix of comfort, convenience, and safety. For any senior with back pain or mild to severe arthritis, this will provide a comfortable, healthy workout at a very fair price.

Pros
  • Extra comfortable ergonomic design
  • Easy in, easy out, easy adjustment
  • Great value at this price
  • High-def screen with goal options and heart monitor
  • Simple enough for anyone to use
Cons
  • No water bottle holder
  • Weight capacity is low
  • Screen is high-def but not elite

MaxKare’s recumbent exercise bike is the #1 recumbent bike for seniors and the ultimate mix of joint-saving comfort, convenience, and safety.

This exercise bike was built especially for seniors with aches and pains: foam handles, plush seating, extra-comfortable foot pedals, easy entrance and exit, a steel frame for easier peddling—now anyone can cycle, even if they suffer back, knee, neck, or ankle pain.

According to our testing and reviews, no other recumbent bike offered nearly the same mix of comfort and convenience. When we sat down in it, we could feel a deep sink into the cushion that relieved the pressure on our backs. For us, that’s priority #1.

You or your loved one will love the ergonomic designed seating and handles, all meant to unload the pressure from your joints and transfer it to the bike.

It’s not the absolute best recumbent exercise bike, but it’s definitely the top choice for seniors just looking to get a good workout in.


What you’ll like

  • Keep your mind at ease: Most exercise bikes pose an injury risk to seniors due to their design. Not the MaxKare. The ultra-wide “step-through frame” allows your loved one to sit inside without having to lift their leg over the center, so there’s minimal risk of hip injuries. The ergonomic pedals and handles also minimize the risk of aggravating wrist or ankle pain.
  • Added comfort to reduce pain: The plush and foam seating is a great touch. We really appreciated that. MaxKare clearly knows its market. Do you know those exercise bikes at the gym that feel like you’re sitting on a fence? Not this one. Everything from the seat to the pedals is ergonomically designed to minimize joint pressure.
  • Exercise with confidence: The 8 magnetic settings are enough for a good workout but not enough to pose any health risk. So, you can break a good sweat and not break a knee or ankle. Although, this could be a downside if you’re looking for something with more oomph.

What you might not like

  • Not super intense: There are only 8 levels. That’s fine for the vast majority of seniors, but if your loved one is super healthy and needs intense training, this recumbent bike isn’t for you.
  • Low weight capacity: Some members of our team complained that it wasn’t stable enough to hold them. This might not be suitable for someone over 250 pounds.

If you’re looking for an extra comfortable bike designed for seniors just looking to stay healthy, this is 100% the best recumbent bike on the market.

If you’re looking for something more affordable or more intense, keep reading.

2. Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Bike - SF-RB4631

Overview : Our top choice for seniors looking to build endurance and strength due to its magnetic resistance system and built-in arm exercisers. The extra padding relieves pressure on key areas, allowing for a comfortable cardio and strength training session without back, hip, or knee pain. Sunny recommends their products for seniors in need of physical therapy beyond just cardio training for regular exercise.

Pros
  • Affordable strength training
  • Strong non-slip handlebars
  • Adjustable arm tension for added training
  • Easy portability
Cons
  • Assembly could be difficult
  • Only 8 levels of resistance

The Sunny Health and Fitness magnetic resistance bike is our top recumbent bike for seniors in need of comfortable strength training and safe, convenient cardio.

It’s one of the rare exercise bikes for seniors that provides enough training options to improve strength and cardio but enough comfort to keep the rider safe and comfortable while exercising.

The extra padding, extra-wide seating, adjustable arm resistance, and non-slip stabilizers ensure a tough—but not too tough—workout in comfort and safety.

It’s one of the most popular models for seniors in need of extra physical therapy, and it passed all of our tests with flying colors. Overall, it’s a very comfortable and affordable way to build upper body strength, lower body strength, and cardio health in safety and comfort.


What you’ll like

  • Peace of mind: The handlebars are non-slip, so you greatly decrease the chance of injury. And the base comes with extra stabilizers so it won’t move even during a challenging workout. Sunny is renowned for its safety.
  • Upper body workout: The arm exercisers are a nice touch. The rider can build extra strength and resistance to injury. They aren’t normally found on a model at this price point.

What you might not like

  • Assembly isn’t easy: There’s a guide to assembly, but it wasn’t quite as easy as some other models.
  • The arm exercisers DO NOT register on the computer system: The arm exercisers are excellent, but they won’t register on the system so you won’t be able to track progress.

We highly recommend this recumbent bike to anyone in need of a comfortable but challenging upper body workout or to a senior in need of extra physical therapy.

3. Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike - The Ultimate Senior Exercise Bike

Overview : Behold, the ultimate senior exercise experience. Dozens of workout programs, a fully immersive and interactive screen, exotic cycling locations worldwide, ventilated seating for luxury comfort—the Nautilus R616 recumbent bike is the ultimate riding experience, and it’s not debatable.

Pros
  • Ventilated seating
  • Connect the app to explore the world
  • Track your progress and map your cycling route
  • Dozens of workout programs
Cons
  • Price
  • Seat design flaw (explained below)

Ladies and gentlemen, may we introduce the ultimate indoor cycling experience on the market.

The Nautilus blew away the competition in our testing for exercise quality and user experience. This is safe, fun cycling exactly how it should be: comfortable seating, a fully immersive riding experience, goal tracking, and route mapping all in one convenient package.

No other recumbent bike lets you cycle the world’s most stunning trails from your living room while still providing peak performance exercise programs (more than two dozen!).

Prague, Scotland, Japan—we went to all of them and back again. It made exercising so much more fun. And that’s the key: you stay motivated when you know it’ll be a fun experience.

That makes it way easier to get on the bike for 30-60 minutes.

Overall, we weren’t blown away by the comfort or design. The plastic back piece might not be super comfortable. And anyone over 250 pounds might experience some shaking.

But as far as the actual exercise and user experience go, it’s unrivaled.


What you’ll like

  • Achieve results faster: The fully immersive experience keeps things fun and interesting. That’ll help you or your loved one keep at it every day. Normal bikes can get boring quickly.
  • A workout for everyone: This bad boy comes with more than two dozen workout programs. That’s more than triple the first two recumbent bikes. Not only can anyone use it but anyone can progress from beginner to advanced without having to buy a new recumbent bike.
  • Track results in detail: The LCD screen makes it easy to track different metrics like calories burned or heart rate. And you can even map out biking trails (sharing screenshots, anyone?).

What you might not like

  • It’s not cheap: Hey, the ultimate riding experience won’t come cheap. This could easily cost 2x more than other models on the list. Worth every penny for sure, but not cheap.
  • Seating flaw: OK, so the seat is a little wonky to be fair. First, a few team members over 250 pounds experienced shaking, and a few screws even came loose. And you can’t push the seat back without lifting it. However, for most seniors, this won’t be an issue.

4. Exerpeutic Exercise Bike - Our Favorite App

Overview : The Exerpeutic recumbent bike is perfect for larger individuals reluctant to hit the home gym every day. It’s wider and more stable than most other models, and it comes with a fun app that helps you achieve your goals. The reporting and goal tracking makes exercising each day so much more rewarding.

Pros
  • Great for larger riders
  • Free MyCloud Fitness App
  • Oversized cushion
  • Quick and easy slide rail
Cons
  • Not as comfortable as others
  • Small foot straps
  • Poor customer service
  • Bike isn’t so great without an app subscription

If you or your loved one are on the larger side (6’0, 250+ pounds), and reluctant to hit the gym, the Exerpeutic recumbent exercise bike is made for you.

Finally, a comfortable, rock-solid bike that still pushes you to your limits (comfortably) without costing thousands of dollars.

The Exerpeutic is a fairly affordable bike with some built-in advantages for larger folks:

  • Extra-wide seating: No feeling like you’re sitting on a spike! The extra-wide cushioning provides enough back support and pressure point relief for wider riders. You won’t feel that scary wobbling that ruins your workout.
  • Welded strong: Unlike most other recumbent bikes, the Exerpeutic uses rigid welding, giving it extra weight capacity (310 pounds).
  • Quick slide rail: The slide rail is slick and fast, making it easier for larger riders to adjust the seat without having to keep standing up and sitting down again.

But what our team really loved was the MyCloud Fitness App. We don’t want to oversell it too hard, but it really made exercise fun and exciting. Many of us felt super motivated to keep getting back on the bike and beating our previous day’s records.

To be fair, if you really want to get all of the best features from the app—trainer videos, personalized programs, world tour ride—then it costs $14.99 a month. We paid happily, but it might turn some buyers off.

We highly recommend this recumbent bike to anyone that’s taller or heavier than average and wants a bike that’ll provide a safe, comfortable, challenging workout.

5. Schwinn Recumbent Bike 230 - Our Favorite “Cheap” Bike

Overview : Schwinn is the world’s leading name in “cheap” home gym bikes and our top choice for anyone looking for a recumbent exercise bike for seniors on a tight budget. The 230 is comfortable and challenging enough for a safe, health-improving ride, but not much else. At this price, you can’t complain. It’s got everything you need and nothing you don’t.

Pros
  • Great value for money
  • Cheap but still comfortable
  • 20+ workout programs ensure a good workout
  • Whisper quiet
Cons
  • No bells and whistles
  • Screen isn’t as good as advertised
  • Not as comfortable or advanced as other models

The Schwinn 230 recumbent bike is a budget-friendly model that’s ideal for anyone who just wants a basic home workout.

If we had to describe it in one word, it would be: “Enough.”

Comfortable enough, solid enough, advanced enough, challenging enough—there’s “enough” here for a great workout, and it costs 20-50% less than most comparable bikes. To be fair, it rides like a more expensive bike without costing an arm and leg.

Even at this low price point, you still get:

    • 20+ preset programs
    • A ventilated seat (plastic though…)
    • A decent (but only decent) LCD screen
    • 2 user profiles

If you or your loved one just need a basic bike for improving heart health and maintaining a healthy weight, you’ll be 100% satisfied with it, as long as you temper your expectations.


What you’ll like

  • Plenty of workout programs: Most other cheap recumbent bikes have 6-8 settings. This one has 20. That’s a steal.
  • Great stability: The extra-rigid frame holds up to 300 pounds.
  • Goal tracking: Goal tracking helps you stick to your workout programs and actually progress. You don’t usually get that on cheap bikes.

What you might not like

  • Plastic seating: The ventilated seat cuts down on sweat, but it’s plastic, so it’s not that comfortable. You might struggle to work out for an hour.
  • The screen is low-quality: It’s not that bad, but it looks like a 1990’s video game.
  • No bells and whistles: No app, no advanced tracking, no immersive experience—it’s fine if you just need a basic recumbent bike. Nothing more.

On a budget? This recumbent bike is perfectly fine. Save up for a few months and upgrade.

Bonus Mentions

Those were our top 5 picks. We highly recommend choosing one of them if they fit your needs or budget.

However, if they weren’t quite what you were looking for, one of our bonus mentions may fit your criteria. The last one is really fun and perfect for exercising anywhere at any time. Check it out!

6. Vanswe Recumbent Exercise Bike - The Absolute Cheapest Option

Overview : The cheapest option on our list, this model provides a comfortable workout at a rock-bottom price. We do not recommend going any cheaper than this, since it’ll compromise safety. If the Schwinn was still over your budget, this is your next best option.

Pros
  • Dirt cheap
  • Comfortable seat
  • Bluetooth compatibility (rare on a cheap bike)
Cons
  • Barebones
  • Low-quality screen
  • Few resistance options

The Vanswe recumbent exercise bike is a model that anyone can afford.

It’s a very comfortable, solid bike that provides a decent workout at an unbeatable price.

There isn’t a cheaper option on this list, and for good reason. Cheap bikes normally sacrifice build quality for the sake of price, jeopardizing health and safety. As a senior citizen, that is unacceptable.

For an ultra-cheap bike, the Vanswe surprised us. Here’s what we found during testing.

  • The seat is very comfortable: Honestly, we were blown away at how plush and buttery the seat felt. Most of our team scored it nearly as comfortable as our top 3 models. That’s saying something at this price.
  • The resistance is enough: There are only 8 levels, but that’s plenty for a good workout. But the resistance system doesn’t compare to our top 5 picks.
  • The capacity is outstanding: 380 pounds? You can put two people on this recumbent bike at the same time and it wouldn’t flinch.

It doesn’t have any advanced features aside from Bluetooth connectivity. And the screen looks like something out of an 80’s SciFi flick, but for this price, it’s a great value.

If you’re on a super budget, it’s not a bad temporary solution.

7. JEEKEE Recumbent Exercise Bike - Great for Tall People and Couples

Overview : The vertically gifted among us loved the Jeekee, and if you’re a skyscraper you’ll love it too. It’s extra long and designed to give you enough space sprawl out without tipping over (accommodates up to a 39” inseam). The large seat and backrest take the pressure off the tailbone, ensuring a comfortable workout.

Pros
  • Designed for taller folks
  • Wide height range ideal for short and tall couples
  • Plush seating
  • Built-in goal “alarm”
Cons
  • Low-quality resistance system
  • Magnetic tech not nearly as good as advertised
  • Heavy and difficult to move

ATTENTION: Tall people or those with tall loved ones—this recumbent bike is for you.

Not only are you lucky for being 6’3+, but you’re also lucky that there’s a comfortable exercise bike built especially for you.

The taller team members raved about how much space they had, especially those with 37-39” inseams.

The Jeekee recumbent bike is fairly straightforward. The extra-wide design and plush seating keep it comfortable enough for those with long limbs but stable enough to let you go hard in a workout without wobbling or tipping over.

And it comes with 9 different seating positions, so both vertically gifted and vertically challenged people can use it (ideal for polar opposite couples).

As far as actual exercise is concerned, it’s a bit low quality. The 8 levels of resistance aren’t much but still enough for most seniors.

And the LCD monitor is fairly low-quality, if you ask me. Still, as a super tall person, you might not have many other options.

8. PooBoo Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike - Easy, Quiet, Smooth

Overview : The PooBoo recumbent bike is a convenient, smooth, and very quiet model for anyone who wants to exercise without waking the kids or overexerting themselves.

Pros
  • Quiet
  • Smooth
  • Easy to assemble and transport
Cons
  • Poor quality exercise
  • Average comfort

Last but not least, we present The PooBoo: a super quiet, easy-to-assemble senior exercise bike that won’t wake the neighbors even in a nursing home.

Seniors will love how light and simple it is. Assembly takes no time at all, and it’s super portable, meaning anyone can move it around a room or adjust the seating with minimal effort.

The company claims it supports up to 300 pounds and is suitable for anyone up to 6’3, but our tests revealed that to be false. Some of us in the 6’ range didn’t fare so well on it.

The downsides are it doesn’t come with any fancy features, and the screen is extremely poor. It only shows the basic stats for your exercise. It’s barely a step up from a screenless bike.

Overall, it’s a decent, affordable recumbent bike that’s super convenient and quiet.

One More Bonus Bonus Bike :

9. DeskCycle Under Desk Cycle - Perfect for Working Seniors

Overview : DeskCycle’s under desk model is the easiest, low-impact way to stay healthy and fit as a senior, especially if you’re suffering from arthritis. It’s sofa-friendly fitness that actually keeps you healthy. This is the preferred solution for any senior that’s busy in their office or enjoys spending time on the couch.

Pros
  • Fits everywhere
  • Ready in seconds
  • Ideal for the office
  • Exercise while watching TV or spending time with the grandkids
  • Ultra-low impact on the hips, knees, and ankles
Cons
  • Exercise may not be challenging enough

DeskCycle’s game-changing under desk model has to be mentioned, even if only for the convenience and ease.

Now anyone can exercise anywhere, even in the office or sitting on the couch. And it doesn’t matter even if you have severe arthritis. The under-desk model is low-impact on the knees and hips and 0 impact on the back.

Of course, you won’t get a killer workout, but we still managed to burn around 150 calories in an hour according to the web calculator. Seniors with arthritis may burn closer to 100-120.

The DeskCycle comes with a lot of advantages:

  • No setup
  • Ready to go anywhere
  • Work out in the office
  • Preserve your joints

It’s not going to get you in great shape. It’s meant to give you a decent workout that improves blood flow, energy levels, and weight control, but it’s not meant to be something that improves strength or provides physical therapy.

If you just want a quick, simple workout anywhere, this is it.

Buying Guide: How to Buy a Recumbent Bike for Seniors

Recumbent bikes are almost like a gravityless biking experience that takes all of the pressure off of your vulnerable joints, empowering anyone to get a moderately intense workout without jeopardizing their joints.

Why is it that so many shoppers struggle to find one for seniors?

It’s because they approach buying a bike in THE COMPLETE OPPOSITE WAY.

They worry too much about the bike and not enough about the rider.

The right recumbent bike will improve the rider’s health and motivate them to work out every day. The wrong bike could put their health at risk and have the complete opposite effect.

Here’s how to approach buying a recumbent bike with a senior in mind.

Step 1

Evaluate the Rider’s Health

Ask yourself: How healthy is the rider already?

Someone with moderate to severe arthritis or weak bones needs an ultra-comfortable bike with ergonomic features designed to eliminate impact on the joints. They might even need a bike that’s ultra-easy rather than intense.

Someone in good health with strong joints needs something more powerful. And they won’t need as much comfort and padding.

For beginner riders with health concerns, we recommend a foam cushion (NOT plastic), ergonomic handles and pedals, and 8-level magnetic resistance settings. That will provide enough comfort and safety while still challenging them to improve their health.

A rider in good health should aim for 20+ programs and a more immersive experience to keep themselves motivated. 8 levels of training won’t be enough to keep them locked in.

Step 2

Goals. Goals. Goals

Instead of thinking about the recumbent bike’s features, think about your (or your loved one’s) goals.

Is this just for a basic workout for improving heart health and blood flow? Or is it for physical therapy, strength training, or moderate to major weight loss?

If it’s the former, there’s no reason to spend hundreds of extra dollars on 20+ exercise programs in far-flung nations. You can just get an affordable, basic exercise bike in the $200-$300 range.

If it’s for strength training, you’ll need something with more exercise programs, arm exercisers, and enough stability to handle fast pedaling without wobbling.

Step 3

How Large is the Rider?

Larger people need to take several factors into consideration before buying a recumbent bike. And we aren’t just talking about weight capacity.

For example, a few of our larger team members noticed screws coming loose while pedaling. For a senior exercising alone at home, that could have dire consequences.

You must evaluate height, weight, and inseam length as well as the bike’s build and stability components.

For example, a larger rider doing intense exercise needs an extra-wide seat and bike plus sticky floor stabilizers. If it’s your 5’2 grandma, there’s no reason to spend any money on those things.

OK, now that you know you should evaluate the rider first, here are the 3 most important bike factors. Consider them next before making your purchase:

Other Bike Factors : 

  • Comfort: Believe it or not, this is #1 even over exercise quality. Chances are, as a senior rider, you or your loved one will only need moderate exercise for health maintenance. In that case, a comfortable and safe riding experience is what’s most important. Look for a recumbent bike with:
  • Extra-dense foam seating (NOT PLASTIC)
  • Ergonomic pedals and handlebars
  • Easy-slide rail
  • Cooling fan (optional)
  • Exercise Quality: How many levels of resistance does the recumbent bike come with? Is it magnetic or manual (magnetic is far superior)? What about exercise programs? If you can afford it, we highly recommend purchasing a bike with trainer-led programs. This not only makes each session more fruitful but it encourages the rider to come back every day and push themselves harder. A bike with 8 levels of resistance is plenty for a moderate workout, but the more the better, especially for advanced riders in good health.
  • Exercise Quality: How many levels of resistance does the bike come with? Is it magnetic or manual (magnetic is far superior)? What about exercise programs? If you can afford it, we highly recommend purchasing a bike with trainer-led programs. This not only makes each session more fruitful but it encourages the rider to come back every day and push themselves harder. A recumbent bike with 8 levels of resistance is plenty for a moderate workout, but the more the better, especially for advanced riders in good health.

FAQ

Are recumbent bikes good for seniors?

Yes, recumbent bikes are absolutely good for seniors. They take all of the stress off of the knees, hips, ankles, and back, giving seniors a comfortable but challenging workout with nearly 0 risk of injury. That’s why they’re so often recommended for seniors in care facilities and gyms.

What is the best recumbent bike for home use?

The best recumbent bike for home use is the MaxKare. It’s the best value for money and the perfect combination of comfort, stability, safety, and exercise quality. The absolute best quality recumbent bike is the Nautilus, but it’s very expensive.

Which is a better workout: an upright bike or recumbent?

The better workout is the upright bike since they demand more from your body and burn more calories. The whole idea of a recumbent bike is to make life easier on the rider, preserving their joints and reducing the risk of injury. Upright bikes require more force from the rider.

Is a recumbent bike good for the knees?

Yes recumbent bikes are good for the knees. Recumbent bikes are like a gravityless experience where the absolute least pressure is applied to your joints. Compared to walking, running, or even spinning, recumbent bikes put less impact on the knees, ankles, and hips.

What is a recumbent bike good for?

A recumbent bike is good for improving cardiovascular health, moderate weight loss, and mild strength training with very little risk of injury. That’s why they are so popular among seniors. A recumbent bike can improve health, energy, weight, and mood and all while putting next to 0 pressure on the back or other joints. Some models can even help improve range of motion in the limbs.

Final Thoughts

In the end, we have to give the nod to the MaxKare recumbent bike. It’s one of the mainstays of the health industry and popular with patient care facilities and professionals for a reason. It’s not the absolute best recumbent bike, but it is the best value money can buy, and it’s wildly popular.

If you have the budget, then the Nautilus is the best bike on the market. It all depends on the rider, their condition, and their goals.

You can’t go wrong with any of the recumbent exercise bike models on our list!

Happy cycling!