Things to Consider When Purchasing a Recumbent Bicycle
Now that you’ve read through the reviews of the top recumbent bikes, you should also be aware of all the most important factors to keep in mind. This will let you know which features you want to ensure you have without spending extra on features that might not be very useful to you.
What Sets the Recumbent Bike Apart?
You have two different options if you are in the market for a stationary exercise bike to use in your home: an upright or a recumbent. You might think these two pieces of equipment would be largely the same, but that actually isn’t the case.
An upright bike has the same sort of design as a bicycle you would see out on the road. A recumbent bicycle is created with ergonomic considerations in mind.
The upright bike might lead someone to hunch over the handlebars which slightly curves the neck and spine. This can lead to pain and muscle fatigue, while the small seat can lead to pain the area of the saddle.
A recumbent bike offers a more comfortable and relined position to prevent muscle soreness and fatigue. It has a larger seat which provides better comfort and more support to the lower back.
Use of a Recumbent Bike
Have you ever ridden a traditional bicycle? If the answer is yes, you are going to have no issue using a recumbent bike. In fact, it is actually easier because there is no need to balance to keep the bike upright and no need to watch where you’re going for hazards.
All you have to do is relax in the large seat and move your legs like you would if you were riding a bicycle outside. Many people read books or watch television while pedaling if that is something you are interested in.
Assembling Your New Bicycle
In many cases, after your shiny new bike makes it to your door, you are going to have to go through the process of assembling it. The good news is that most of these exercise devices come with easy instructions. The one thing you want to be careful of is ensuring the seat is placed in a way for you to feel comfortable while reaching the pedals.
What to Know About Data Tracking
Many of the recumbent bikes on and off of this list are going to offer a computer that shows you a whole host of interesting information which can help you track your fitness progress. Things like distance, time, and calorie goal tracking will help you determine where you are in your workout and may push you to go harder than before.
If multiple individuals are expected to be using the recumbent bike, you may want to select a model that lets you switch users.
Pre-Programmed Workouts and Resistance Adjustments
Resistance is an important thing to understand when starting to use a recumbent bicycle. Having the ability to quickly switch your resistance level to something that challenging but achievable will keep you coming back to the device. These bikes have a range of resistance levels so consider that in your purchase.
Many recumbent bicycles also allow you to choose a pre-programmed workout to start. Some of them are also paired with a heart rate monitor which allows you to choose a workout that hits your target heart rate without any guessing. Having both pre-programmed workouts and resistance levels will ensure you can continue to be challenged.
Decide if You Need Downloadable Data
You are going to run into a handful of recumbent bikes which offer a monitor that makes it easy to download the data from your workout sessions. This can be a great feature if you want to use that data on sites like MyFitnessPal and others to get an idea of how your fitness level is improving. Not everyone will have use for this feature, but it’s a big deal for many home cyclists.
Fans and Speakers May Be Helpful
Another feature that you will see on occasion with recumbent bikes are extras like fans, speakers, and USB ports that can be used to charge your phone or table. This can be useful so you can listen to music while you ride or have a fan to keep you cool through a workout session. Again, for some these features may be very useful but many people can take them or leave them.
Weight of the Flywheel
Some recumbent bikes have a very heavy flywheel, others are super light, and many are somewhere in between. Those who are interested in an experience that is similar to hitting the road will want to choose a bike with a heavy flywheel. Another option is a model with a perimeter-weighted flywheel which further mimics the feeling of being on the road but in a smoother and more quiet way.
The Need for an Adjustable Seat
One of the few things that you should always look for is a bike that has an adjustable seat. If that option is not provided, you can’t move the seat back and forth. That might mean it doesn’t quite fit you the way that another recumbent bicycle would. This can also make it easier for those who have multiple people sharing a single bike.
A Look at Warranties
While the warranty doesn’t tell you everything you need to know about the quality and durability of a recumbent bike, it is a good place to start with learning that information. When a bike has a reasonably long warranty, that means the manufacturer has confidence that the bike quality can last at least that long. A warranty is always something good to see on a piece of exercise equipment.
Choosing Weight Capacity
Recumbent bicycles for the home tend to have a higher weight capacity limit than traditional exercise bikes. Make sure that the option you choose to purchase accommodates your weight or that of anyone else who will be using the bike. Many of these bikes have a weight limit of at least 250 pounds but can go far beyond that mark.
Reasons to Choose a Recumbent Bike
There are many different reasons to consider a recumbent bicycle for at-home exercise. If you aren’t sure whether this kind of bike is right for your fitness needs, check out a few of the things that it offers the average person. It may be one of the most underrated fitness devices on the market today.
Low-Impact, Intense Workouts
If you think about the most common forms of exercise, you might notice that many of them involve downward thrusts to the legs. The problem with that is it can lead to a large amount of stress to your ankles, knees, hips, and back. This is something you might not notice at first, but which can lead to pain later down the road. The reality is that if someone experiences pain, they are not as likely to continue an exercise routine.
When you exercise on a recumbent back, you can recline comfortably which takes weight off of your back and hips. Even though it is more comfortable, that doesn’t mean it can’t make for a fantastic workout. You can choose how intensely you want to exercise and make it challenging enough that it can certainly burn calories and tone your legs.
Fantastic Form of Cardio
In addition to the toning effects on your legs and butt, a recumbent bike is also a great option for cardio exercise. Doctors and other experts recommend at least 20 minutes a day of exercise or other activities that increase your heart rate to the proper level in order to achieve the best fitness. It can even help to reduce your chances of heart disease and other health issues. Using a recumbent bicycle, you can safely achieve the right amount of cardio from right within your home.
Excellent Option for Burning Calories
While it depends on your fitness level and weight, using a recumbent bicycle can burn hundreds of calories in a single hour. The best part is that you have control over how intense you want to go due to the inclusion of multiple resistance levels and pre-programmed workout routines. If you are more interested in gaining muscle and have an increased metabolism, this sort of bike can help you burn extra calories even after you are done with the workout.
Benefits of Exercise
There are many different benefits to exercising while you are actually doing it, but those benefits do not end when the workout is said and done. Any sustained exercise, even a light version, leads to increased endorphins and has been shown to help reduce the symptoms of depression. Working out can also lead you to feel happier because you can move better when your muscular tone and strength are improved.
While you are going to have an initial cost when purchasing a top recumbent bicycle, you can then enjoy it at home as much as you want without spending extra. This can help you save money since there is no reason to spend money on a gym membership. You can also save money on fuel costs because there’s no need to drive over to the fitness center.
Putting it Together
Recumbent bikes are a great exercise option that help you stay comfortable when you are working out. These devices have quickly modernized, and the newest ones are so comfortable and useful you may never want to get off yours. Whether you find one on this list to purchase or use our tips to choose one elsewhere, you’re sure to be happy with your upcoming purchase.