Recumbent road bikes are ideal for so many riders. So many of us have back pains and butt pains and we just can’t sit on a regular bike for very long at all. And yes, recumbents are as comfortable as they look.
In addition, many of us want a recumbent bike for our exercise room to help us get into shape. As we progress in our athleticism, we’ll switch to a more athletic bike.
I personally like recumbent bikes because they work out an entirely different set of muscles. I find that riding a recumbent bike frequently to be an excellent challenge that helps me cross-train for better fitness.
In this post, I want to go over both indoor and outdoor recumbent exercise bike reviews to give you a few good options to choose from.
The thing to remember with recumbent bikes is to buy as much quality as you can afford. Recumbent bikes have longer cables and larger frames and generally offer more areas where they can break.
Indoor exercise recumbent bikes are especially notorious for being noisy and the cheaper ones are known for breaking.
And, when these bikes break they are a little more challenging to transport to a repair place. The bottom line being that if you don’t get a good bike, it will break and you will be left without your favorite way to exercise
It’s my goal to get you around that hassle.
Outdoor Recumbent Bikes
To be honest, there are not many companies that sell recumbent bikes online. Frankly, these bikes are such a novel design that most customers want to test ride them before they buy.
The neat thing about recumbent bikes is that they are so comfortable and easy to ride, that everyone falls in love with them nearly instantaneously. Especially the trikes. Three-wheeled recumbents require no balance. All you have to do is ride and enjoy!
One of the biggest considerations with a recumbent is whether you want one that sits high or one that sits low. Personally, I like to sit up as high as I can, both for the sake of my own visibility, as well as for the other vehicles that have to avoid hitting me. Being taller lets me be seen more easily.
In addition, those recumbents that are near to the ground can be harder to get out of. Which is another concern, especially if you have knee or back problems.
The Best “Cheap” Recumbent For Beginners
Please meet the True Quest Recumbent. For a bare-bones recumbent bike that will go the distance, it is a hard one to beat. Granted, it’s a little heavy. But I’ve used this style of recumbent to get a lot of people riding, and at its price point, it is a great way to go.
The trick with these recumbents is that you will need a lot of gears so you can climb the hills. Since you can’t stand up and pedal you must rely on your leg muscles — and your gearing — to do the work for you. This bike is using the Sram 21-speed setup which seems to work quite nicely.
Additionally, Bike Mania offers an electric motor upgrade to help you up those steep hills. This can give you the confidence to ride further than you would normally.
The seats on these things are critical. Sure, bike shorts can help, but you are going to be spending long hours sitting here, so you need them something that is as comfortable as your recliner at home. The padded seat and ventilated mesh back come about as close as you are going to find.
I like how this sits up high. You do sacrifice some of that “turn on a dime” steering that you get with the low-slung recumbents, but it is easier for vehicles to see you, and offers you better visibility. And the steering is adequate, just plan ahead so you have room to maneuver.
It is my understanding that this bike is designed for people up to 300 pounds. I love that because so many folks who find regular bicycles to be intimidating will have no issues feeling right at home on this machine. Sit, pedal, burn those calories, and reach your fitness goals.
For this bike, you will need to figure out a payment plan. While it is an entry-level machine, the extra frame, chains and gearing all adds up in price. The good news is that maintenance on these machines tends to be minimal and can all be handled by yourself or your local bike shop.
But to get a recumbent of any quality, well, you can only go so “cheap”.
Places Where you Can Buy A Used Recumbent Bike:
Recumbent bikes tend to see fewer miles in their life span has been other bikes. This means you can often pick up a recumbent login like new condition for about half the price.
Here are five boards that are often updated with people looking to buy or sell recumbents:
Recumbents.com Classifieds (click on “View Everything”)
In addition, you might do a Google search for “cycling club” + ” your town” to find local classifieds or people who might know of recumbents for sale in your local area.
How To Ride A Recumbent Bike
Riding a recumbent is simple. You sit in them and pedal.
Two-wheeled recumbents can be a little trickier at first. But they are surprisingly easy to balance and don’t take long to master comfortably.
Some people one to a friend to hold their bike while they get started. It only takes a couple of times before you’re confidently mounting your ride and peddling off. I’ve never seen anyone struggle with riding recumbents.
You do want to make sure the recumbent is tall enough for you. Some people find it difficult to sit on a recumbent that is too close to the ground, as it is hard to get out of it when you are done riding. (bad knees, etc) If that as your case, you might want to select a taller style recumbent.