Things to Consider Before You Buy
So, you are interested in possibly buying a recumbent bike. Before you do that, you have a few things that you should consider so that you can make a wise choice – based on your needs and preferences and what is available on various different bikes. You may have never even used a recumbent bike before. So let’s go over some of the features that you should consider to get the best recumbent bike for you.
Indoor or Outdoor
The first and most obvious decision that will need to make is where you will be using your bike. Recumbents are divided into two main types – a recumbent road bike or a recumbent stationary bike. So picking the best recumbent bike for you starts with deciding if you will be riding indoors or outside.
Space is not as much a deal if you will be riding your recumbent outdoors, but you should still consider having space to store it when it is not in use. Because of their unique design, recumbent road bikes are slightly longer than a regular bicycle and will take up more floor space.
If you will be using a stationary recumbent bike, then you need to consider the room you will be using the bike in and how much space it will take up there. If you have a large house, you may have a room to dedicate for this, and it will not be that much of a problem. If you live in a small apartment, you may want to consider a folding recumbent stationary bike. These can be easily stored under a bed or in a spare closet. Make sure you check the dimensions of the bike in it’s folded position to see if it will fit where you plan to store it.
Comfort & Fit
Whether you are going to use a stationary recumbent bike or a recumbent road bike, comfort will be a concern. You obviously don’t want a bike that doesn’t fit you right. It would probably end up not getting used and would be a total waste of your money. That being said, recumbent bikes are, by design, made to be more “comfortable” that regular bicycles.
The seats in a recumbent bike put your body in a semi-horizontal position and also include back rests and lumbar supports. This design supports you better that a regular bicycle and keeps your body more relaxed. The added support helps to improve your posture and ensure that you are not slouching – like some people tend to do after long rides on normal bicycles. Many models of recumbent bikes also offer nicely padded seats to make them even more comfortable.
In all this, remember that you are buying a recumbent bike because you are planning to spend a good bit of time riding it. Therefore, comfort should play a major role in the decision of what is the best recumbent bike for you.
This is another area that probably applies more to a stationary recumbent bike than to a recumbent road bike. Most recumbent road bikes will have the same “features” (similar to what would be available on a normal road bike). A recumbent stationary bike, however, will have several features not found on a road bike – things like displays, resistance level adjustments, cup/bottle holders, book holders, heart beat monitors, predefined exercise programs, and even fans.
Some of these features may be of interest to you and some may not. Some are required (resistance levels, for example) and will be present on every stationary recumbent. You will need to determine which features you need and will use and which you can do without.
The higher end models will have more resistance levels and more programs to choose from. They may even have features that allow you to connect your iPad/iPhone. So take the time to check out the features to ensure that you will get the bike that will help you achieve your workout goals – whether that is toning, weight loss, or whatever it is.
Although listed last, an obvious consideration is also the cost of the bike you will be using. Everyone does not have the same budget, so taking into account the price must also be a factor in your decision. Of course, you may have to give up some features when you choose a less expensive recumbent bike. But by taking your time and comparing features and prices you should be able to make a good informed decision.
Our Top Selections
Best Recumbent Road Bike
Mobo Triton Pro
The Mobo Triton Pro is a top of the line recumbent bike that delivers all the strengths and features that most people look for – good design, a smooth ride, comfort, and dependability. It features a dual joystick steering mechanism that, once you are use to it, is a “joy” (pun intended) to use). It provides smooth and controllable maneuvering.
The Triton Pro’s drive system is a front free-wheel that is connected directly to the pedals. And since it has an extremely low center of gravity, this bike is extremely stable and safe for anyone that is riding it.
One big selling point for this bike is the strong steel frame, which can support riders weighing up to 250 pounds. But may the most significant feature of the frame is that it is easily and quickly adjustable in length and can accommodate riders from 4′ to 6’3″ tall – meaning the whole family can enjoy it!
With the comfortable seating it provides, the Triton Pro make be just the recumbent road bike you need for a brisk workout or for leisurely rides on the beach or street! It is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and stay fit at the same time.
Best Recumbent Stationary Bike
Diamondback Fitness 510SR
The Diamondback Fitness 510SR will win you over, especially if you are a fan of convenience & features. The 510SR has some very nice convenience perks – such as a water bottle holder, a cooling fan, a magazine holder (that folds away when not in use), and built-in speakers that you can connect to any MP3 player or iPod. If you enjoy your music while you are working out, you will appreciate this feature.
The 510SR comes with a unique sculptured back rest that reduces pressure on your back and the seat base is very comfortable. Another nice feature of the seat is that it can be easily adjusted vertically and horizontally – thereby accommodating a wide range of people.
There are 20 pre-programmed workouts and 16 levels of resistance to choose from. So there is something for everyone. And the LCD monitor clearly shows the status of your workout.
Although some may consider the Diamondback Fitness 510SR to be an entry level recumbent bike, if you take a close look, you’ll see that, based on features, it compares very well to more high end models. In fact, Diamondback offers the same warranty on it that it does for its more expensive models – lifetime on the frame and brakes, 3 years for all the electronics and a year on the labor. We think the 510SR may be just right for you.