If you find it getting harder and harder to climb up onto your bicycle, it might be time to switch to a recumbent bike. The best recumbent bikes for seniors get your blood pumping while also minimizing lower back, hip, and knee discomfort with reclined seats and backrests that more comfortably distribute your body weight as you pedal. (1)
There is no shortage of high-quality models on the market, all of which can be beneficial for older riders looking to maintain their cardiovascular health, lower cholesterol, and improve their balance. (2)(3) That said, recumbent bikes come in a variety of designs and price points, with some offering added comforts like HD touchscreens, streaming services, and folding options. Have a seat, stretch those calves, and join us as we pedal through our picks for the best recumbent bikes for seniors.
Best Recumbent Bikes for Seniors of 2023
- Best Recumbent Bike for Seniors Overall: NordicTrack R35
- Best Recumbent Bike for Seniors with Back Problems: Horizon Comfort R Recumbent Bike
- Best Recumbent Bike for Seniors for Low-Impact Workouts: Sole R92
- Most Comfortable Recumbent Bike for Seniors: Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike
- Best Budget Recumbent Bike for Seniors: Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Bike
- Best Folding Recumbent Bike for Seniors: Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Exercise Bike
How We Tested the Best Recumbent Bikes for Seniors
BarBend’s roster of competitive athletes, fitness aficionados, and certified personal trainers understand the importance of developing sustainable fitness routines that will carry over into your golden years. Though anyone can work up a sweat on a recumbent bike, we wanted to curate a list specifically for seniors who want to stay active without aggravating their joints.
When putting together this list, we looked for machines that prioritized comfort and catered to those with limited mobility. That meant zeroing in on features like additional lumbar support, thoughtful pedal placement, and step-through bases. We also tried to highlight models that offered a wide range of resistance and adjustability. And since recumbent bikes can be pricey, we tried to pick a few budget-friendly options that can still make you sweat.
Best Recumbent Bike for Seniors Overall: NordicTrack R35
NordicTrack Commercial R35 Exercise Bike
- Price: $1,299
- Weight Capacity: 350lbs
- Dimensions: 53.42’’ H x 68.22’’ L x 23.69’’ W
- Weight: 192lb
- The bike caters to seniors of varying fitness levels with 26 easy-to-intense levels of magnetic resistance.
- The oversized, adjustable seat offers added lumbar support for those with sore backs.
- Access trainer-led iFit classes and track stats via the 14-inch touchscreen.
- The commercial-grade steel frame can support riders up to 350 pounds.
- It’s one of the larger recumbent bikes on the market, with a length that’s three to 10 inches longer than most standard models.
- It comes with a 30-day iFit trial, but the cost goes up to $39 a month after that.
- There’s no built-in heart rate monitor, so you’ll need to connect one via Bluetooth.
The top-of-the-line NordicTrack Commercial R35 is a versatile, comfortable, and high-tech piece of equipment that can cater to seniors of varying fitness levels with a whopping 26 levels of magnetic resistance. In BarBend’s review of the R35, we called it “one of the most tech-savvy bikes on the market,” and also shouted out its “luxurious feel and high-quality build.”
That luxuriousness can be credited in part to the bike’s roomy seat, which can support up to 350 pounds and includes additional lumbar support for those with achy backs. NordicTrack’s EasyGlide technology, meanwhile, provides horizontal adjustments to accommodate riders of various heights.
If you’re struggling with limited mobility, the step-through base ensures you won’t need to lift a leg over any bulky frames when climbing on. There’s also a pair of handles on either side of the seat to help you get situated.
After settling in, users can navigate the bike’s 14-inch touchscreen, one of our favorite features. The Android 9 operating system makes for swift, easy navigation of its menus and tracked stats, which include time, distance, resistance level, speed, and estimated burned calories. You can also use it to access more than 16,000 classes via iFit, which our tester declared a “true competitor” to the Peloton fitness app.
You get a free 30-day trial to iFit with your purchase. After that, plans start at $39 per month or $180 per year. We’re big fans of iFit’s range of classes, which include cardio, strength, and yoga classes that can cater to athletes young and old. Most importantly, though, iFit’s programming can automatically adjust the R35’s resistance to a trainer’s specifications or the terrain of a particular location. You can ride the bike manually, of course, but you won’t find any pre-programmed workouts on its console. iFit is what truly unlocks the R35’s potential.
Of course, the R35 is already one of the priciest recumbent bikes on the market at $1,299, and adding another $180 per year on top of that is asking a lot. As such, ask yourself how often you see yourself taking advantage of it. We think iFit’s worth the cost, especially when paired with a machine that was designed with the app in mind. If you’re more interested in a casual pedal than a trainer-led one, there are cheaper options that may be a better fit.
Read our full NordicTrack Commercial R35 Review.
Best Recumbent Bike for Seniors with Back Problems: Horizon Comfort R Recumbent Bike
- Price: $899
- Weight Capacity: 350lbs
- Dimensions: 53’’ H x 65’’ L x 26’’ W
- Weight: 99lbs
- The bike’s wide backrest provides additional lumbar support for those with bad backs.
- The step-through frame provides easy access to an extra-large cushioned seat with handles.
- Riders of varying heights will like the seat’s horizontal adjustability.
- It’s got a rear handle that assists with transport, but no wheels.
- You can’t connect devices to it via Bluetooth, though there is an audio input.
Recumbent bikes are excellent machines for helping people with back problems stay active, but the Horizon Comfort R aims to be extra hospitable with its extra-large cushioned seat and a wide backrest that provides additional lumbar support.
We also like the stability provided by the pair of hand grips on either side of the seat and how you can make horizontal adjustments so your legs and lower back aren’t straining to meet the pedals. Saddling up, meanwhile, is a breeze thanks to a step-through frame that allows you to sit down as you would in any chair.
Customer reviews seem to agree that the Comfort R lives up to its name. “I needed a low-impact exercise bike that would support my back,” reads one five-star review. “This Horizon Comfort R is the perfect bike. It doesn’t hurt my back, and I can ride every day.”
It’ll make you sweat, too. The 15-pound flywheel isn’t as heavy as the 20- and 25-pound flywheels you’ll find on pricier bikes, but it should still provide smooth transitions between the machine’s 16 levels of quiet magnetic resistance. If you’re easing back into fitness after sickness or a back injury, the display’s 12 pre-loaded training programs can help you set goals and develop a recovery routine.
It’s worth noting, however, that the 5.5-inch LCD display lacks a backlight, which may make it difficult to track your heart rate, resistance level, speed, and time, among other metrics, in low light. We also wish it was Bluetooth compatible, though it does have an audio input jack, so you can stream audio and video through its built-in speakers that way. We also like that you can measure your heart rate through the pulse sensors incorporated into its handles.
The Comfort R is on the pricier side when it comes to recumbent bikes, but those in search of a ride that’s as easy on the back as it is on the joints may find it’s worth the investment, especially when you factor in the frame’s lifetime warranty.
Best Recumbent Bike for Seniors for Low-Impact Workouts: Sole R92
The Sole R92 caters to riders of all ages and fitness levels with an extra-wide seat, 14 levels of horizontal adjustment, and pedals that work to promote proper posture and minimize lower back pain. Its 20 easy-to-intense levels of magnetic resistance can provide a challenge for beginners and seasoned riders.
- Price: $1,099.99
- Weight Capacity: 300lbs
- Dimensions: 60’’ H x 56’’ L x 29’’ W
- Weight: 130lbs
- Sole’s pedals were designed to promote proper posture, thus reducing the impact on your feet and lower back.
- It has 20 easy-to-intense levels of magnetic resistance, more than many recumbent bikes.
- The extra-wide seat has 14 horizontal adjustments for riders of varying heights.
- You can access more than 3,000 beginner and advanced fitness classes via the Sole app.
- It’s taller and wider than the average recumbent bike by several inches, making it less suited for small spaces.
- This bike weighs 130 pounds, which is 30 to 40 pounds more than the average recumbent bike.
The Sole R92’s patented pedals were specifically designed to ease the impact on your joints as you ride. Their two-degree inward design works to position the rider in the correct position to help minimize aches and pains in the feet and lower back.
Working in tandem with the pedals’ design is the wide, padded seat, which can be adjusted in 14 different ways to accommodate riders of varying heights. “I am 5’6’’, and my husband is 6’1’’, and the leg extension for peddling is perfect for us both,” reads one review. Another review calls out the step-through base, saying the R92 is an “excellent choice for us older folks.”
The R92 is capable of slowly easing older riders or those in recovery into a beginner workout plan, thanks to its 20 easy-to-intense levels of magnetic resistance (more than you’ll find on many recumbent bikes). The LCD display also comes pre-loaded with workouts designed to burn fat and improve your overall cardiovascular health “The programs are outstanding! Much the same, if not better than what you would find at the gym,” reads one five-star review.
You can also access more than 3,000 free trainer-led classes via Sole’s app, which features beginner and advanced workouts spanning 10 minutes to an hour. Using Bluetooth, the app can track your heart rate from an external monitor or the pulse sensors built into the handles. Either way, you can always be sure you’re not overexerting yourself.
We also like the R92’s nine-inch display, which is roughly 3.5 inches larger than the screens you’ll find on most bikes. It’s also backlit, making it possible to track your time, distance, and heart rate in bright or dark rooms. It is an LCD display, however, so those pedaling along to classes will have to do so on a mobile device of their own. Thankfully, the console includes a media shelf that can support tablets and smartphones.
It can be a bear to move around, however — at 130 pounds, it’s roughly 30 to 40 pounds heavier than average recumbent bikes. It’s also taller and wider than most models by several inches, so it might not be the best option for those living in close quarters.
Most Comfortable Recumbent Bike for Seniors: Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike
Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike
Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike
The Schwinn 230 has a solid build, a comfortable ride, and a host of user-friendly features. Not only that but an affordable price for the quality with 16 levels of resistance to select from while you follow along to workouts from popular streaming apps like Explore the World and Zwift.
- Price: $549
- Weight Capacity: 300lbs
- Dimensions: 44.5’’ H x 64’’ L x 27’’ W
- Weight: 80lbs
- You can adjust the seat and handlebars of this bike to best suit your comfort level.
- The contoured seat is ventilated to help keep users cool during high-intensity rides.
- A built-in media shelf on the console provides a place for tablets and e-readers.
- Since the frame is made of plastic, it’s not the most heavy-duty bike.
- Some reviews note that the seat was too hard for their liking.
- The display lacks a backlight, which can make it difficult to read.
The Schwinn 230 prioritizes comfort by allowing riders to adjust both the seat and handlebars, a rare luxury on a recumbent bike that may prove to be useful for those with limited upper-body mobility.
During rides, seniors sink into a contoured seat while utilizing the built-in media shelf to pedal alongside their favorite trainers or TV shows. The seat and backrest are also ventilated to promote airflow and breathability, a feature we appreciate during those sweat-drenched final minutes of a ride.
Some reviews, however, note that the seat was too hard for their liking, adding that they went so far as to add their own cushion. Not everyone agrees, though. “I had been reluctant to buy because the seat is not padded, but the ride is very comfortable,” reads one review.
Other five-star reviews shout out the bike’s low-profile design. “The leg step-through is easy to maneuver at only two inches high off the ground,” reads one review. “Also, the width of the flywheel between your lower legs is great for aligned knee position while pedaling.” Another satisfied customer lauded the bike’s adjustability options, saying they found the right seat and handle placement for their “short frame.”
The bike comes with a built-in LCD console that tracks basic metrics and comes pre-loaded with 13 exercise programs that can serve as an introduction for seniors new to recumbent biking. The display, unfortunately, lacks a backlight, which may make it difficult to read.
If you’re looking to zone out as you pedal, a media shelf on the front console provides a space for you to set up tablets and stream shows, read e-books, or partake in scenic virtual rides via Schwinn-affiliated fitness apps like Explore the World. You can even connect your device with the bike’s speakers via Bluetooth.
The frame is made of more plastic than steel, which helps explain its lower price point but may negatively affect the bike’s long-term durability. It does come with a 10-year warranty, which should provide some peace of mind.
Best Budget Recumbent Bike for Seniors: Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Bike
Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Bike
Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Bike
This budget-friendly recumbent bike stands out from its contemporaries with a pair of elliptical-style arms that let you work an upper-body routine into your cardio sessions. It’s also surprisingly durable for its price, supporting up to 350 pounds.
- Price: $334.27
- Weight Capacity: 350lbs
- Dimensions: 52’’ H x 60’’ L x 25.5’’ W
- Weight: 95.8lbs
- This solid, well-built recumbent bike costs roughly $1,000 less than luxury models.
- It includes elliptical-style arms that can provide an upper-body workout as you pedal.
- Its alloy steel frame can support up to 350 pounds, the same as more expensive bikes.
- A built-in media shelf makes space for you to stream shows or read ebooks on your phone or tablet.
- It has only eight levels of magnetic resistance, roughly a third of what you’ll find on luxury bikes.
- Since it has no preloaded workouts, getting started can be daunting.
The Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Bike might not have the bells and whistles of the pricier bikes on this list, but it’s sturdy, quiet, and will make you sweat. Also, it costs roughly $1,000 less than some of the more luxurious models on the market.
Despite costing just $335, the bike provides the essentials: eight easy-to-intense levels of magnetic resistance, an adjustable seat, and an oversized backrest that provides plenty of support. Even better? Its 350-pound weight capacity is the same as you’ll find on many of the more expensive models.
Senior citizens looking for a full-body workout will also like the elliptical-like arms of this bike, which allow you to tone your biceps, triceps, and shoulders as you burn calories. If that’s too much action for one workout, you can always keep your arms by your side. On the other hand, you can also plant your feet on the floor and just focus on your upper body.
The digital monitor doesn’t include any pre-loaded classes, but it does track your speed, time, distance, and estimated calories in a large font that’s easy on the eyes. The console also includes a media shelf so you can stream a workout, watch a show, or read a book via a mobile device as you work out.
Several five-star reviews describe the bike as ideal for seniors, with many noting they were over the age of 60. “I’m a 79-year-old woman. Only needed assistance getting it out of the box,” reads one review. “It is extremely quiet, with very smooth motion. Easy-to-adjust seat. Very impressed!”
Another reviewer expressed their astonishment at the craftsmanship of the bike, considering its low price. “The stability, sturdiness and quiet operation surprised me,” reads their review. “This is a high level of quality for the price.”
Those looking for a straightforward cardio workout may not like this bike’s moveable arms, and its reduced resistance variation and lack of built-in classes might deter older riders who are looking for a more accessible bike. For its price, though, Sunny Health & Fitness’ bike is impressive in terms of the strength of its construction and the ingenuity of its design.
Best Folding Recumbent Bike for Seniors: Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Exercise Bike
Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Exercise Bike
Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Exercise Bike
This recumbent bike is lightweight at only 43 pounds while still being sturdy enough to support most users. It folds up to store away easily and can be used under a desk or as a regular recumbent bike with eight levels of manually selected resistance.
- Price: $177.08
- Weight Capacity: 300lbs
- Dimensions: 46’’ H x 33’’ L x 19’’ W
- Weight: 43lbs
- It folds up to roughly half its full size, making it transportable and easy to tuck away when not in use.
- Though smaller than many recumbent bikes, it can still support up to 300 pounds.
- The precision-balanced flywheel provides eight easy-to-intense levels of magnetic resistance.
- It can track your heart rate via built-in pulse sensors.
- The seat can only be adjusted vertically, and the handles are non-adjustable.
- Overall, it can only accommodate riders between 5’2’’ and 6’2’’.
- The seat is plenty wide, but the narrow backrest may not suit those with back pain.
An ideal recumbent bike for those in tight quarters, the Exerpeutic 400XL is the rare bike that can fold up when not in use.
Even when unfolded, the bike is nearly half the length of standard recumbent bikes and between five and 10 inches less wide. When folded, it can become as compact as a dining room chair, measuring 17 inches wide, 20 inches long, and 54 inches tall. You’d think that would result in a shakier ride, but Kate Meier, a BarBend editorial member and certified personal trainer, described it as “sturdy,” adding that the “oversized and comfortable” seat provided ample support.
A folding recumbent bike is bound to lose a few key features along the way, and this one is no exception. When rating the bike, Kate dinged it a few points for being able to adjust vertically, but not horizontally. The handles, meanwhile, are not adjustable at all. As such, the bike can only accommodate riders between 5’2’’ and 6’2’’. And though we like the seat, seniors may struggle with its narrow backrest, which isn’t likely to ease back pain.
For its size and $177 price point, though, it can still make you sweat with eight levels of magnetic resistance and a precision-balanced flywheel. That’s below industry standard, according to Kate, but “still allows you to adjust your workout.”
When rating the bike in terms of its durability, Kate gave it a five out of five, noting that the alloy steel frame can support up to 300 pounds, which is on par with many full-size recumbent bikes.
As you might expect, it’s pretty low-tech, with Kate rating it a 3.5 out of five in terms of its technological capabilities. The bare-bones display that has no pre-loaded classes, but it can track basic metrics like distance, calories, time, and speed. That said, one 60-year-old customer review credits the display for being “logical, clear, and easy to read from the exercise position, even for someone with less-than-good eyesight.” Also, the built-in handles include pulse sensors that can track your heart rate, which is helpful for older riders trying not to overexert themselves.
In addition to being easy to store, the XL400’s foldable design, built-in transport wheels, and relatively light weight of 43 pounds can provide other benefits. If you’re in physical therapy, for example, you can bring the bike to and from appointments. Thanks to its wheels, Kate says, it “rolls around easily like a little suitcase.”
Also, if you can adjust the height of your desk, the XL400 can work as an under-desk cardio machine that you can ride as you work.
How We Chose the Best Recumbent Bikes for Seniors
When choosing the best recumbent bikes for seniors, we prioritized comfort and convenience over a machine’s ability to handle high-intensity exercise. That said, these bikes will still provide a challenge, no matter your age. Here are some of the factors we considered.
When we’re young, it can be fun and rewarding to push yourself with high-intensity training and explosive bursts of strength. Over the years, though, even the most conditioned athletes will feel the weight of time settle into their bones. Recumbent bikes are appealing because, thanks to their supportive, adjustable saddles, they can put you through a workout without aggravating existing muscle soreness or achy joints. As such, comfort was a huge factor in our decision-making process.
Our favorite recumbent bikes for seniors feature saddles and backrests that are adjustable, contoured, and reinforced with additional lumbar support. At the very least, we looked for bikes with wide seats and a healthy layer of padding.
Studies have shown that common fitness barriers for many seniors include fear of injury and an insufficient understanding of physical activity. (4) Since they provide a seated form of familiar, pedal-based exercise, recumbent bikes may be less daunting for elderly people with similar fears.
When making our picks, we tried to select models with pre-loaded training programs that can ease older riders into a sustainable cycling routine. It can be dispiriting to hop on a cardio machine and find it too difficult to manage, so we also worked to ensure that each pick had a wide range of resistance levels that could accommodate new riders and experienced ones.
We also worked to cater to those with limited mobility by highlighting several machines with step-through bases. When you don’t need to lift your leg over a bulky frame, mounting is as easy as taking a seat.
Since recumbent bikes include a wider seat and backrest in addition to a flywheel, display, and set of pedals, they can have a sizable footprint. On average, models tend to measure between 50 and 60 inches tall, 60 to 68 inches long, and 25 to 30 inches wide, with weights that can range from 80 to 200 pounds.
Some riders like recumbent bikes on the higher end of the scale, as they’re often made from durable steel and provide a ride that’s largely free of wobbling and swaying. We’ve got a few large, hefty models on our list, but we also wanted to include ones with a smaller footprint for those with crowded gyms or small apartments.
Some budget treadmills can measure between 40 and 50 inches tall, 30 to 50 inches long, and 18 to 25 inches, with weights between 40 and 80 pounds. There are even a few, such as the Exerpeutic 400XL, that can fold up and be wheeled from your home to a physical therapy appointment or the home of a friend or family member.
Recumbent bikes are wildly diverse in terms of price, with models ranging from a few hundred bucks to as much as $2,000 or $3,000. The pricier models have a lot to offer: adjustable seats and handles, robust flywheels capable of 20 or more levels of magnetic resistance, and huge touchscreen displays with app integration, among other luxuries.
The most expensive options on our list have these features, but they’re also integrated with design choices that work to minimize back, neck, and hip pain and reduce discomfort. That can include additional lumbar support, ventilation, and angled pedals that promote proper posture.
Budget options tend to have smaller consoles and fewer levels of resistance, but there’s still an ample supply of options that offer comfort, stability, and challenge. They can also include flourishes of their own, such as foldable frames or elliptical-style arms.
How Much Do Recumbent Bikes for Seniors Cost?
Like standard exercise bikes, recumbent bikes can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand, with the pricier models featuring sturdy steel builds and luxury add-ons like touchscreen displays and app integration.
Since recumbent bikes, in particular, are designed with saddles and backrests that provide additional comfort and support, many models over $1,000 will fortify their seats with lumbar support, contouring, or ventilation. Recumbent bikes at this price point also tend to include 20 to 30 levels of magnetic resistance, which can provide more accessibility and variety than the eight to 15 levels you’ll find on less-expensive machines.
You can still find sturdy recumbent bikes under $500, though they’re likely to have smaller seats, fewer levels of magnetic resistance, and a build that’s made of more plastic and steel.
Benefits of Recumbent Bikes for Seniors
If your days of hitting the pavement or hoisting weights are over, recumbent bikes provide an accessible way to stay active without stressing weary joints or inflaming old injuries. Riding a recumbent bike can help you reap the benefits of cardio fitness, reduce the risk of injury, and aid in muscle strain recovery.
Improved Health and Balance
In addition to strengthening the lower body, the aerobic workout one gets on a recumbent bike has been proven to boost overall cardiovascular health and lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels in seniors. (2) In general, even brief rounds of light pedaling can promote better health, helping to increase blood flow, build muscle, and burn calories. (5)
The ergonomic design of recumbent bikes, which includes a wider saddle and a backrest, provides back, neck, and shoulder support in a way that traditional bicycles don’t, making them especially useful for older riders with limited mobility. Many models also include a step-through base that lets you mount the bike without having to swing a leg over the frame.
Recumbent bikes can also be beneficial for rehabilitation. Seniors, in particular, have also been shown to benefit from pedal-based exercise machines when suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. (6) Furthermore, recumbent bikes can relieve pain and improve sport performance for those with knee osteoarthritis, a form of arthritis most commonly found in older individuals. (7)
What to Consider Before Buying a Recumbent Bike for Seniors
Since recumbent bikes can come in a vast array of designs, sizes, and price points, there’s plenty you’ll want to ask yourself before buying one. Here are a few key considerations.
Your Physical Needs
Your fitness level, mobility, and motivation will ultimately determine the best recumbent bike for your home gym. Seniors in good shape who see themselves using the bike often will want to consider a bike’s build and durability in addition to its level of support. Those with a history of back or knee problems, however, may want to focus on a bike’s seat, backrest, and pedals, specifically in terms of their adjustability and overall level of support.
Your Fitness Needs
Recumbent bikes can serve a variety of purposes for seniors, from providing a light round of daily exercise to serving as a rehabilitation tool following an injury. If you’re new to cycling and daunted by the challenge, take a look at bikes with 15 or more resistance levels — that should provide a wide range of easy, moderate, and intense levels of difficulty to explore.
For those looking to develop a routine, we’d recommend bikes with workouts pre-loaded into their display. If something trainer-led is more your speed, there are several models that integrate class-packed apps like iFit into their programming.
Whether you’re on a budget or itching to empty your wallet, there’s a recumbent bike for you. Luxury models can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000, and many come integrated with fitness apps that can add an additional fee — think $15 to $40 a month — to the cost. If finances are tight, however, there are still a number of sturdy, comfortable options available between $150 and $500.
Seniors looking to stay active without inflaming old injuries or achy joints would be wise to invest in a recumbent bike. Their ergonomic design is accessible and effective for those with limited mobility, whether it’s due to aging or nagging neck, back, or hip pain. Not only are they easy on the joints, but studies have shown the benefits of cycling, which can help older adults maintain their bone density and sense of balance, not to mention burn calories. (2)(3)(5)
Before buying a recumbent bike, seniors should consider their physical limitations (or lack thereof) and ask themselves what they hope to achieve with one. Are you looking for a bike that won’t aggravate a sore back? How often do you plan on riding, and at what intensity? As you find answers, cycle back up our list to see which bikes you’d like to take for an extra mile.
Is a recumbent bike better for seniors?
Seniors looking for a cardio option that won’t strain their back or aggravate their joints may find more comfort on a recumbent cycle than a traditional exercise bike. (1) Since they’re designed with back support and extra-wide saddles, recumbent bikes more evenly distribute your body weight as you ride. As such, they’re often recommended as a low-impact way for people to stay active, lower cholesterol, and maintain their gait and balance in later life. (2)(3)
What’s the best recumbent bike for seniors?
It’s one of the pricier models on the market, but our pick for the best overall recumbent bike is the NordicTrack R35. Firstly, it caters to those with achy joints and limited mobility with lumbar support, extra-large pedals, and a step-through base. Second, it’s also integrated with the iFit app, which provides access to thousands of trainer-led classes and scenic rides for users of all fitness levels. Forged from commercial-grade steel, it can also support up to 350 pounds.
Is a recumbent bike okay for bad knees?
Yes. Research has shown that recumbent bikes can provide pain relief and other benefits for those with knee osteoarthritis, which is associated with seniors. (7) As a rehabilitative tool, pedal-based exercisers can also help expedite recovery and increase mobility following knee surgery. (8)(9)
- Reiser, R., Peterson, M. L., Broker, J. P. (2002). Understanding recumbent cycling: instrumentation design and biomechanical analysis. Biomedical Sciences Instrumentation, 38, 209-14.
- Blumenthal, J. A., Emery, C. F., Madden, D. J., George, L. K., Coleman, R. E., Riddle, M. W., McKee, D. C., Reasoner, J., Williams, R. S. (1989). Cardiovascular and behavioral effects of aerobic exercise training in healthy older men and women. The Journals of Gerontology, 44(5), 147-57.
- Baughn, M., Arellano, V., Hawthorne-Crosby, B., Lightner, J. S., Grimes, A., King, G. (2022). Physical activity, balance, and bicycling in older adults. PLoS One, 17(12), e0273880.
- Chen, Y. (2010). Perceived barriers to physical activity among older adults residing in long-term care institutions. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 19(3-4), 432-9.
- Füzéki, E., Engeroff, T., Banzer, W. (2017). Health Benefits of Light-Intensity Physical Activity: A Systematic Review of Accelerometer Data of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 47(9), 1769-1793.
- Torres-Sánchez, I., Valenza, M. C., Cabrera-Martos, I., López-Torres, I., Benítez-Feliponi, A., Conde-Valero, A. (2017). Effects of an Exercise Intervention in Frail Older Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Hospitalized due to an Exacerbation: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases, 14(1), 37-42.
- Luan, L., Bousie, J., Pranata, A., Adams, R., Han, J. (2021). Stationary cycling exercise for knee osteoarthritis: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical Rehabilitation, 35(4), 522-533.
- Reiser, R. F., Broker, J. P., Peterson, M. L. (2004). Knee loads in the standard and recumbent cycling positions. Biomedical Sciences Instrumentation, 40, 36-42.
- Sattler, L. N., Hing, W. A., Vertullo, C. J. (2019). Pedaling-Based Protocol Superior to a 10-Exercise, Non-Pedaling Protocol for Postoperative Rehabilitation After Total Knee Replacement: A Randomized Controlled Trial. The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, 101(8), 688-695.
- Bhatt, N. R., Sheridan, G., Connolly, M., Kelly, S., Gillis, A., Conlon, K. C., Lane, S., Shanahan, E., Ridgway, P. F. (2017) Postoperative exercise training is associated with reduced respiratory infection rates and early discharge: A case-control study. The Surgeon, 15(3), 139-146.