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Recumbent exercise bikes make it easy to get a workout in from the comfort of your own home. But how does one go about choosing the best folding recumbent exercise bike? In this foldable exercise bike review, we will examine five of the best. I hope this will help you decide which exercise bike will best meet your needs, wants, and fitness goals.
My choice for the best folding recumbent exercise bike is the Slim Cycle Stationary Folding Bike – Recumbent and Upright
The 5 Best Folding Recumbent Exercise Bikes
…A 3-way tie for second place
- Slim Cycle Stationary Folding Bike – Recumbent and Upright (score: 92/100)
- Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike with Performance Monitor (score: 90/100)
- Sunny Health & Fitness Comfort XL Ultra Cushioned Seat Folding Exercise Bike, SF-B2721 (score: 90/100)
- MaxKare Exercise Bike Stationary Foldable Upright/Recumbent – with Arm Resistance Bands (score: 90/100)
- Lanos Folding Exercise Bike with 10-Level Adjustable -Upright and Recumbent Foldable (score: 88/100)
What are the benefits of folding recumbent exercise bikes?
Many people find recumbent bikes seats are more comfortable than upright stationary bikes. They also tend to place a lower amount of stress on the lower back.
Recumbent bikes tend to be more stable and safer to use than upright bikes, ellipticals, or treadmills. The center bar is generally lower which makes it easier to get on and off. It also helps reduce the risk of catching a foot and falling.
Recumbent bikes can be used by a range of people. From high-level athletes to beginners.
Recumbent exercise bikes can be great for people who struggle with balance or weak legs. People are often advised to use recumbent bikes to rehabilitate after a stroke or injury.
Researchers found that recumbent bikes are useful for patients in the early stages of recovery. Recumbent exercise bikes are especially helpful for people looking to improve their ability to step up, sit, or stand.
The ability to lean back with less upper body strain makes recumbent bikes more enjoyable for watching TV or reading. For years I began my day riding a recumbent bike. I would connect my computer to my TV and I would read ebooks or watch a show while riding.
Recumbent exercise bikes can be a great way to lose weight while working from home or at an office. Researchers found that workers’ reading comprehension was not affected while pedaling.
Additionally folding recumbent exercise bikes are great for people who are:
- Wanting to burn fat at home
- Seeking a low-impact way to get a work out in without unnecessary joint pain
- Intimidated by or unable to go the gym
- Looking to improve their health and fitness
- Needing a safer alternative to riding a bike outside
- Wanting to read or watch TV while working out
- Looking to strengthen or tone their legs or glutes
- Excited to enjoy a variety of workouts with one piece of equipment at home
- Ready to rehabilitate after an injury or surgery
- Otherwise limited in movement
- Finding their backs get sore with upright bikes
- Unable to comfortably sit for long periods on upright bikes
Are recumbent exercise bikes effective?
On Verywellfit.com, Darla Leal cites that:
“A small study indicated that healthy older women improved their muscle strength, power, and functional abilities after using the bike for eight weeks. High and low impact programs were shown to improve strength and power in a way similar to resistance training.”
Leal went on to explain that:
“Other research compared the energy use and muscular output of upright versus recumbent bikes. Participants included 10 non-cyclist males. No differences were identified in muscle workload regardless of whether the participants were riding on an upright or recumbent bike. However, pedaling a recumbent bike produced greater activity in two of the four muscles being studied (the semitendinosus and tibialis anterior).” (Verywellfit.com).2
Which Muscles do Recumbent Exercise Bikes work?
What Is The Best Way To Use A Folding Recumbent Exercise Bike?
Before jumping into an intense cardio session, it is a good idea to warm up first. You will also want to make sure your seat is the proper height. Your seat is properly adjusted when you can place your heal on the pedal in the furthest position and extend your leg until it is straight. As for posture, you will want to sit with a straight back leaned up against the back rest. The American College of Sports and Medicine states working out for 30 minutes, five days a week, can will lead to positive health benefits. In order to burn fat, they suggest exercising for 60-90 minutes five days a week (livestrong.com).
Attributes That Differentiate Recumbent Exercise Bikes
Certain recumbent exercise bikes come with resistance bands. This can be helpful for combining a light upper body workout with the cardio session. More movement tends to equal more calories burned. If you are looking for a recumbent bike for weight loss, it is also important to find a bike with a wide range of resistance levels. This will allow you to use the bike for high intensity interval training.
One way I like to use exercise bands or light dumbbells is to extend and hold my arms out by my sides. The little resistance can go a long way when held for a longer period of time. Shorter rest periods between reps can also help increase the healthy muscle burn.
A variety of budget options exist for folding recumbent exercise bikes. It is important to look for the one that will best suit your height and weight. I also recommend purchasing an extended warranty. It is usually less than $30 and is worth it if something were to go wrong.
Precautions For Using Recumbent Exercise Bikes
Recumbent exercise bikes are generally easier to dismount than other types of equipment. They are often recommended to people looking to recover after surgery or injuries. If you have limited movement, it might still be safer to hold the back of a chair or stool when getting on and off the bike.
Foldable exercise bike review: The Best Folding Recumbent Exercise Bike
Rated 90/100 based on 3,846 reviews
- The Expereutic 400XL folding exercise bike has a V-belt double drive transmission. Personal trainers have found this bike rides as smooth as more expensive commercial bikes.
- Many customers have found this bike easy to assemble. The extended weight capacity also supports up to 300lbs.
- The heart rate monitor on this bike provides quick and accurate feedback. This is excellent if you are looking to stay within specific intensities for a work out. One customer compared the Expereutic heart rate monitor to his chest strap monitor. He found it was very similar. This can be great for high intensity interval training.
- The eight tension levels provide a wide range of resistance. This is another reason this bike is a solid choice for high intensity interval training. This also makes this recumbent bike suitable for beginners and more advanced athletes.
- Paired with an adjustable desk, this bike might work great as a desk-bike in your home or work office.
- Some people who were over 6 feet tall found that they could not properly extend their legs on this bike. People shorter than 5’ have found this bike works for them (especially if they put a pillow on the back rest).
- This bike has a semi recumbent design. Of the semi recumbent bikes, this might be a great choice – but some customers prefer bikes with a true recumbent design.
Sunny Health & Fitness Comfort XL Ultra Cushioned Seat Folding Exercise Bike With Device Holder, Gray – SF-B2721
Rated 90/100 based on 1,499 reviews
- This bike can be easily adjusted to be upright or as a semi recumbent bikes. The extra large recumbent seat, padding, and backrest make this a comfortable ride. People have appreciated that they can comfortably work out for one hour or more.
- There are 10 levels of resistance on this bike. This may make this a good choice if you are looking to mimic an uphill ride. It also provides a nice range for high interval intensity training.
- It is easy to fold this bike. It is also compact with wheels that make it easy to move and store. Many people living in small apartments enjoy this bike.
- The maximum user weight of this bike is 300lb.
- The pulse rate monitor is accurate on this bike. One customer compared it to her Garmin monitor and both measured the same heart rate.
- This lightweight bike weighs 38 lbs. It also comes with a water bottle holder and a tablet holder.
- It is easy to assemble this bike. People have been able to put it together in as little as 15 or 20 minutes.
- The company that designed this bike has many products that have highly rated reviews.
- Taller people with 32 inch inseams or longer have found this bike is too small for them.
- Canadian customers have been told there is no warranty
MaxKare Exercise Bike Stationary Foldable Magnetic Upright Recumbent Cycling 3 In One Exercise Bike With Arm Resistance Bands Perfect For Men And Women At Home
Rated 90/100 based on 886 reviews
This folding recumbent exercise bike provides more options than many other bikes I have seen. With this bike, you have three seating positions:
- Semi-recumbent, and
This is great if you would like to switch up your seating position for longer rides or if there are other people in your household who will use this too.
- This bike also has resistance bands which are great if you would like to get an upper body workout or to pass the time while getting more out of your cardio workout.
- This bike supports up to 265lbs and provides 8 levels of tension. This bike is also easy to set up. One person assembled this bike in 15 minutes.
- Many people find the large ergonomically designed seat with thick padding to be very comfortable.
- An extra bonus of this folding recumbent exercise bike is that it comes with a one year warranty. This is great because sometimes the defective parts of exercise bikes can take a few months to discover. Many other bikes come with warranties of 90 days or less.
- This bike has a sleek, minimalist design. Many customers find it is simple and effective. Without the excess bells and whistles, there may be fewer things to go wrong. Customers have also boasted of being able to store this in small spaces such as studio or one-bedroom apartments.
- If you are looking for an exercise bike that folds easily and takes little space, this bike is a very good option even for smaller apartments.
- Unlike many other exercise bikes, the odometer allows you to track the total distance traveled as opposed to the distance of one work out. Seeing the distance you have cycled over the course of a few days, weeks, and months might provide extra motivation.
- This recumbent also has a smartphone holder. This is a nice feature if you are looking to work from home or if you would just like to be entertained during your workout.
- Many customers varying from 4 “9 to 6 “2 have happily rode this bike. Others would prefer to extend their legs out more than this bike offers.
- This bike supports people who are 265lbs or less. If you weigh more than this, there are other options in this article that might be a better fit.
Lanos Folding Exercise Bike With 10-Level Adjustable Magnetic Resistance | Upright And Recumbent Foldable Stationary Bike Is The Perfect Workout Bike For Home Use For Men, Women, And Seniors
Rated 88/100 based on 1,670 reviews
- You can use this as a recumbent or upright exercise bike. Having the option to adjust your posture might be nice for longer rides or if you would like to switch it up.
- This bike has 10 resistant levels. I would enjoy having this many options to ease into those early morning cardio sessions.
- Another convenient feature is that this bike comes with a tablet and phone holder. This can be great to multitask during cardio sessions.
- This bike is very easy to assemble. The bolts are pre-placed in the correct locations. If you’re like me and you get super excited to try your new equipment, this can be a bonus. One person set this bike up in 15 minutes. Others have found that it took up to 60 minutes to assemble.
- This exercise bike also fits people of varying heights. It is advertised to fit people from 4’6 to 6’5. Customers suggest that it is better suited for people in the height range of 5’2 – 5’11.
- Some people find the seat uncomfortable especially in the recumbent position.
- Some people found this exercise bike had an annoying knocking sound when pedaling.
Rated 92/100 based on 6,100 reviews
- The Slim Cycle exercise bike comes with resistance bands. These are super convenient if you would like to do a light upper body workout while riding the bike. Getting some extra arm motions in might also work well for people who are looking to tone their upper half.
- To make this bike more flexible, it can be easily adjusted and doubles as an upright or recumbent exercise bike. This is handy if you would like to change things up or if others in your household prefer different positions.
- This product also works great for people of varying heights. Customers have enjoyed that it works for both shorter and taller members in a household. This could be especially helpful if more than one person in a home is looking to ride the bike. People between the heights 4’11 and 5’10 or taller have reported that this bike fits them well.
- This bike is easy to set up and to move around within a home or into a closet. The bike also slides and folds easily making it extra convenient for moving it around and storing it.
- This bike comes with 10 virtual rides led by Slim Cycle instructors. This might be important if you are wanting some guidance or extra motivation.
- People with larger midsections have found it is a little tight between the handles on this bike. These people said they would appreciate an extra inch or two of space between the handles on the sides of the bike
- This is not the best bike for taller people. Some customers over 5’10 have mentioned this bike is a little too small for them.
Which Bike Wins In The Category For Best Folding Recumbent Exercise Bike in this foldable exercise bike review?
The Slim Cycle Stationary Folding Bike – Recumbent and Upright wins for best foldable exercise bike.
I like the flexibility of this folding exercise bike. Not only does it offer the resistance bands for an added upper body workout, but it can be used in the upright and recumbent position.
Based on my research, it also received the highest rating even though it was reviewed by more people than the other exercise bikes.