By Chris Herry
Recumbent bikes are always welcome due to their flexibility in exercise options. Their lower and broader seats are a good change from those of a typical bike.
The word ‘recumbent’ means to lie down or lean back, so this is naturally the position you take while using a recumbent bike. They are designed and manufactured to help users to exercise their thighs, glute muscles, and calves with even less strain.
[Editor’s note: The video below shows a sample 30-minute workout you can do on a recumbent bike. Credit to: Vive Health (on YouTube)]
How to choose a stationary recumbent bike?
As the recumbent bike is one of the most popular choices of exercise equipment for gym users and those who work out at home, it is crucial to know how to choose one.
Exactly what should you look for while selecting a stationary recumbent bike, and how do you tell the difference in performance between the various bike models?
Features at a Glance
The most evident and apparent factors for choosing a stationary recumbent bike are its comfort, design specification, and ease of operation.
On the whole, the choice of bike models depends upon your fitness goals and performance development. Try to choose one which can withstand frequent use, and provides a smooth pedaling action and ergonomic comfort.
As a bonus, some recumbent bikes provide versatile options for customizing your training plan and tracking your progress in an app. Be sure to find out more about any extra feature so that you would know how best to maintain the bike and avoid any future hassle in repairs.
If you wish to learn more about maintaining or using recumbent bikes, make sure to visit this recumbent guide today.
- Reliable design framework
The framework is one factor that impacts upon the future performance of a recumbent bike. Observe how the bike appears when it is set up in a reclined sitting position. This position is the most commonly used when exercising on a recumbent bike.
Importantly, check out whether the seat back is arranged in a supportive way. It should facilitate your spinal posture and not cause you to maintain an unnatural posture.
Secondly, the stationary recumbent bike must be adjustable according to the length of your legs and overall body height. If it lacks this aspect, it would not be suitable for anyone who falls out of the ‘average’ height range, as you might either have to stretch your body or bend your knees too much when pedaling.
Being adjustable for people of varying heights will ensure a secure ride for anyone who exercises on the bike. However, the bike should also be adjustable in other areas – including the seats, pedals and grips. For instance, if you find the grip too hard or thin, you should be able to place a grip cover over it.
- Molded seats
After getting proper adjustments, the next thing is to check out the comfort of the seat. Ideally, seats should be molded so that they could keep your body secure while using the recumbent bike, and at the same time provide support for your back.
Seats should also be padded and insulated. The padding and insulation over the seats will keep them secure and enable you to use them for a longer period of time before they get worn out.
- Strength of flywheels
The flywheel is usually located under a cover, and is a mechanical system that provides resistance when pedaling. A balanced flywheel system is crucial in delivering a reliable workout from its fluid motion.
Since they are integral to all exercise bikes (much like automobile engines), you should check the reviews to see if a particular model’s flywheels are durable. You should also take note of the number of resistance modes offered by the bike’s flywheels so that you could customize your workout difficulty.
- Ease of use
After considering the overall design, adjustments, seats and flywheels, make sure that the stationary recumbent bike you are looking at is easy to use.
Check if the manufacturer provides user manuals on the various settings and adjustments. Even better, some brands may offer video walk-throughs online or in an app. There should also be after-sales support in case you have any maintenance or repair queries.
- Weight limits
Last but not least, as with all equipment, there are limits to how much weight a recumbent bike may support. Check the maximum weight supported by the various recumbent bike models. Unfortunately, you would have to forego purchasing any bike that is unable to support you.
Stationary recumbent bikes are a useful tool to add to your exercise routine. If you are prevented from cycling outdoors due to the weather, or if you just prefer to exercise indoors, recumbent bikes provide a great option.
When purchasing a stationary recumbent bike, make sure to compare the design, adjustability, seats, flywheel resistance and ease of use of various models, and you should be all set up for an excellent workout!
Image: Unsplash/ Sam Moqadam and Pexels/ Max Vakhtbovych
Chris Herry has a Master’s Degree in Sports Science and has worked for fitness brands. He is a regular writer for fitness and sports-related websites and magazines. Learn more about his thoughts and experiences of recumbent bikes at https://recumbentguide.com.