Best Recumbent Bike For Bad Knees

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There are many reasons for purchasing a recumbent bike, but one of the most popular is to combat bad knees. Recumbent bikes offer relief from overuse on joints and muscles by providing a way to exercise while sitting down. They also often have more features than traditional upright bikes, which can be appealing. In this blog post we’ll outline some of the best recumbent bikes you should consider when looking into these types of bikes for your own home gym or workout space!

Best Recumbent Bike For Bad Knees

What is the Best Recumbent Bike For Bad Knees?

To find the Best Recumbent Bike For Bad Knees for you we have used several of recumbent exercise bike for bad knees and selected the absolute top 5 recumbent bikes for bad knees.

This is based on our first-hand experiences, years of practice as well as individual research on what others have to say, so that we can give you a more well-rounded review.

Feel free to scroll to the end of this article for a short buying guide and some frequently asked questions.

1. Vanswe Recumbent Exercise Bike 16 Levels Resistance

Vanswe Recumbent Exercise Bike 16 Levels Resistance
Price: 💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Resistance Type: Magnetic
Resistance Levels: 16 levels
Material: Alloy Steel
Screen Type: LCD
Screen Size: 6 inches

The Vanswe Recumbent Exercise Bike is a good choice for beginners and doesn’t cost a lot. It’s made of strong metal that lets it hold up to 380 pounds. Even though it’s strong, it’s light and easy to move around. It sits low to the ground which is good for older people or those who have trouble moving around. This bike has a system to make pedaling harder with 16 levels, though when we tried it, it wasn’t much harder than bikes with only 8 levels, especially on the lower settings. We think this bike is best for older people, those who are overweight, or those healing from injuries.

Some people say that the bike isn’t as tall as it claims to be. The maker says people as tall as 6’3” would be comfortable, but people who are 6 feet tall said they can’t stretch their legs out all the way. However, we like that you can easily adjust the seat while sitting on it. The screen on the bike is cool too. It shows typical workout information and has Bluetooth to connect to a fitness app. There’s also a shelf for a tablet or kindle to keep you busy while exercising.


  • Easy to assemble,
  • Lightweight design,
  • Includes a tablet holder, 10-year warranty,
  • Responsive customer service


  • Maximum saddle adjustment is under 6 feet,
  • No high-intensity workouts,
  • Inadequate seat padding

2. Nautilus Recumbent Bike Series R618

Nautilus Recumbent Bike Series R618
Price: 💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Size: 67.3 x 48.8 x 26.4 inches (170.9 x 124 x 67.1 cm)
Resistance Type: Electromagnetic
Resistance Levels: 25 levels
Material: Steel
Screen Type: Dual-Mode LCD
Screen Size: 7.5 inches

If you’re looking to get more sweat and intensity from your workout, you should consider getting a midrange recumbent, such as this Nautilus R618. It comes with more desirable features than most recumbent exercise bikes in this review, and it is ideal for professional cyclists and people who want intense fitness training. This recumbent exercise bike includes 29 built-in and customizable training programs that you use to improve your fitness goals. The console comes with Bluetooth connectivity that syncs with apps like MyFitnessPal and the Nautilus app to track your workouts. You can also sync with a free RideSocial app that allows you to view tons of cycling routes and other cyclists virtually while riding the bike. Plus, the console features a media tray where you can slot in your tablet or iPad to engage with the apps and the MP3 input and USB port to play music from your device with the stereo speakers. To be clear, the R618 is a bulky recumbent bike, and it has the largest footprint and weight value on my list. Also, if you compare it with the Schwinn 270 bike, you get more value with this recumbent for almost half the price even though the features are almost similar. The recumbent also includes several comfort features such as the tilting console to view your data better, a 3-speed fan to cool you down as you work up a sweat, four user profiles, and a water bottle holder. The saddle adjustment is another outstanding feature in that it is as simple as pulling up a lever and sliding it into position. The backrest is ventilated with angle adjustments, while the seat comes with a thick layer of gel padding for maximum comfort. The seat handlebars feature the heart rate monitor and a resistance level adjustment button.

The Nautilus R618 uses a type of electromagnetic resistance system known as the eddy current brake. The difference from the typical magnetic systems is that it requires a power source to work while the other is manual. Moreover, it comes with a perimeter-weighted flywheel that delivers a smooth pedaling action with 25 resistance levels. The advantage is that you can have a wider mix of users because the lower resistance settings are lighter for seniors, while the higher settings provide more challenging workouts.


  • Compatible with a variety of free fitness tracking apps,
  • It comes with various comfort and convenience features,
  • Excellent warranty package that includes labor,
  • Allows customized user-profiles and training programs,
  • Drive system provides smooth pedaling action on all levels


  • Heavy construction with a large footprint,
  • No height adjustments for the saddle,
  • Seat and backrest angles may be uncomfortable,
  • Apps may not sync with all phones

3. Lanos Folding Exercise Bike with 10-Level Adjustable Magnetic Resistance

Lanos Folding Exercise Bike with 10-Level Adjustable Magnetic Resistance
Price: 💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 48 pounds (21.77 kg)
Size: 41 x 32 x 20 inches (104.1 x 81.3 x 50.8 cm)
Resistance Type: Magnetic
Resistance Levels: 10 levels
Material: Alloy Steel
Screen Type: LCD
Screen Size: 30 x 24 mm

This bike also features a semi-recumbent design with a foldable X-frame structure ideal for home or office use. It delivers low-impact cycling exercises which are easy on the joints in the reclined position and provides full-body workouts to improve your cardio fitness as an upright bike. It has a 330-pound maximum user weight that makes this bike an excellent option for weight loss and rehabilitation exercises. The Lanos folding bike features ten magnetic resistance levels, which you adjust with a tension knob. On the downside, it does not feature tension bands for arm exercises, and it is too lightweight for performance training. Also, the design does not accommodate short people, and the seat may be uncomfortable for them. However, it offers quick assembly as it comes pre-assembled out of the box and is a good value for a budget exercise bike.


  • It comes with 330lbs weight capacity,
  • Quick and easy assembly with clear instructions,
  • Pedals are textured with rubber overlays to prevent slipping,
  • It comes with a phone holder to listen to your music


  • It can be unstable while pedaling heavily,
  • It has a clunky noise while cycling,
  • The bike may not be durable

4. Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709

Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709
Price: 💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Size: 55.5 x 37.5NaN inches (141 x 95.3NaN cm)
Resistance Type: Magnetic
Resistance Levels: 8 levels
Material: 14-Gauge Steel
Screen Type: LCD
Screen Size: 12 inches

The Marcy ME-709 is a basic recumbent bike that’s easy to use and doesn’t cost much. It’s great for older folks, those with extra weight, or people healing because it’s simple to get on. You can set it up by yourself in less than an hour. It’s strong but light, so you can move it with the wheels underneath. It can hold up to 300 pounds, maybe even 400. It’s good for daily exercise but not for pro bikers. It has eight easy resistance settings and a screen showing your exercise info. The seat is big, comfy, and can be moved. The pedals are heavy and have straps so your feet won’t slip off.


  • Affordably priced,
  • Easy mounting,
  • Wide ergonomic seat for heavyweight people,
  • Sturdy structure with a high weight limit


  • Bike parts wear out quickly,
  • Pedaling action is not stable

5. 400XL Recumbent Exercise Bike

400XL Recumbent Exercise Bike
Price: 💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 63 pounds (28.58 kg)
Size: 54 x 34 x 22 inches (137.2 x 86.4 x 55.9 cm)
Resistance Type: Magnetic
Resistance Levels: 8 levels
Material: Steel
Screen Type: LCD
Screen Size: 30 x 24 mm

The Exerpeutic 400XL is another budget recumbent exercise bike that shares some similar attributes with the March ME-709. It is a sturdy and reliable exercise bike with excellent customer reviews as it is easy to use, has a low maintenance build, and is durable. The bike features a steel frame with stabilizers to keep it firm while you exercise. The saddle adjustment is slightly different from the ME-709 recumbent, where it features a slider with pre-set holes instead of a moving frame. Many users have noted that the seat is wide and comfortable, with the handlebars set wide apart to accommodate big people. Unfortunately, you can’t add holes to the slider if you are shorter than 5’3″ or taller than 6’3″ like the Marcy recumbent. However, it comes with a low-profile design profile that enables most users to mount the bike comfortably. Also, the textured pedals with foot straps help prevent your feet from slipping.

It comes with eight levels of magnetic resistance that you adjust with the tension knob. Unlike the Schwinn 270, the bike offers little intensity on the low levels and moderate intensity on the high levels. The magnetic system has a lag between the intensity levels, and if you are relatively fit, you may not notice the difference.

Also, the pedaling action becomes less stable on the upper resistance levels. On the upside, the handlebars feature a heart rate monitor. Plus, the console gives out six different metrics to help you track your workout.


  • Affordably priced with low maintenance construction,
  • Includes a heart rate monitor in the handlebars,
  • Resistance levels deliver moderate impact workout,
  • The balanced flywheel offers a noiseless operation,
  • Leg stabilizers prevent movement while pedaling


  • Unstable pedaling on the high levels,
  • Unreliable warranty information,
  • Difficult assembly instructions


To sum up, out of the top 5 Best Recumbent Bike For Bad Knees, our absolute top pick is Vanswe Recumbent Exercise Bike 16 Levels Resistance.

If you have the money, you can go for Nautilus Recumbent Bike Series R618 which is our premium pick.

However, there’s nothing wrong with going for the budget option, which we found to be the Lanos Folding Exercise Bike with 10-Level Adjustable Magnetic Resistance.

Our other reviews you may find useful in your research:

What You Should Know Before Buying recumbent bikes for bad knees

The Key Features Of Recumbent Exercise Bikes

The adjustable reclined seat with a backrest is the major design feature of recumbent exercise bikes, aiding in comfort during lower body workouts. Other key features include the bike’s size and weight, durability materials, a panel to monitor your workout, and different resistance levels. Unlike stationary upright bikes, most recumbent bikes lack handlebars, instead having support bars near the seat or moving handlebars for arm workouts like on the Sunny Recumbent Exercise Bike. Dual-action bikes like the Xspec Dual Exercise Bike offer both upright and recumbent positions, featuring handlebars for the upright stance and support bars when reclined.


The level of resistance determines how hard your workout is, and the most budget-friendly recumbent exercise bikes come with 8 – 12 levels. Generally, exercise bikes use a resistance setup that puts varying pressure on the flywheel, making pedaling tougher or easier to mirror cycling uphill or on flat ground. The resistance systems include friction, magnetic, and electromagnetic types. All work similarly, but friction magnetic resistance offers an immediate change in resistance like a road bike when you adjust the knob. Magnetic bikes are manual and don’t need electricity, unlike electromagnetic bikes which do and are usually more costly. The downside to magnetic bikes is a slight delay when changing resistance levels.


Recumbent exercise bikes prioritize comfort in their design, which is great for individuals requiring upper body support while exercising. The low-profile design assists the elderly, overweight, and infirm in getting on the bike safely, while the bucket seats provide back support and balance with minimal pressure on lower body joints.


On recumbent exercise bikes, adjusting the saddle helps fit the bike to your leg length to reach the pedals. Two types of adjustments exist based on the bike’s design. A more budget-friendly type moves two frame parts to bring the saddle nearer to the pedals, like the Marcy ME-709 bike. This design has pre-set holes for seat positioning, secured with a pin and knob. Alternatively, some bikes have a lever to lock the seat position, which allows saddle adjustment while seated; however, these are pricier and suit commercial use like gyms. The saddle design supports your back and lower joints, but proper positioning is key to avoiding pain and injury. Ensure your knees aren’t excessively bent or stretched, and your legs are at or above hip level to protect your lower back.

Storage Space

Some recumbent exercise bikes come with added features such as media racks to hold your gadgets, allowing you to watch or read while exercising. Built-in speakers, Bluetooth, and USB drives are common in midrange models for entertainment and transferring workout data to apps like MyFitnessPal. Extra comfort features worth noting include built-in fans to stay cool and gel padding on seats for comfort in extended workouts.

Types Of Recumbent Exercise Bikes

Although recumbent road bikes can be quite diverse in construction, recumbent exercise bikes show only slight variations in design features. This includes digital compared to manual consoles, various seat adjustments, drive mechanisms, and sizes. We have detailed these features below.

Drive mechanism

When you’re on the hunt for a recumbent exercise bike, the term drive mechanism will pop up. It includes the flywheel, a disc in the front that provides resistance. In recumbent bikes, it’s often covered and linked to the pedals with a belt or chain. The flywheel’s weight creates resistance, like outdoor biking. There are perimeter and center-weighted flywheels. Perimeter-weighted ones have weight on the outer edge, simulate road biking well, are heavier, and need more effort initially but smooth out, great for joint issues. Center-weighted ones are lighter, simpler to start and stop, but might not be as smooth and are usually pricier.


Recumbent exercise bikes, like all gear, need routine care, and we suggest getting your bike checked for any wear and tear about every six months. It’s also important to look over the bike for loose nuts and bolts and to grease the mechanical bits to keep it in good shape. Also, for hygiene, wipe the handlebars, seat, and digital console with a soft cloth and antibacterial cleaner after each workout.


Recumbent exercise bikes prioritize comfort in their design, which is great for individuals requiring upper body support while exercising. The low-profile design assists the elderly, overweight, and infirm in getting on the bike safely, while the bucket seats provide back support and balance with minimal pressure on lower body joints.


There are three kinds of stationary bike pedals: clip-ins, flat, and hybrids. While upright and spin bikes often have clip-ins and hybrid pedals, recumbent exercise bikes typically come with flat pedals made of steel or plastic. Many flat pedals are textured and have a plastic strap or a toe-cage adjustable strap to hold the forefoot securely on the pedal, avoiding slips.

Extra Features

Some recumbent exercise bikes come with added features such as media racks to hold your gadgets, allowing you to watch or read while exercising. Built-in speakers, Bluetooth, and USB drives are common in midrange models for entertainment and transferring workout data to apps like MyFitnessPal. Extra comfort features worth noting include built-in fans to stay cool and gel padding on seats for comfort in extended workouts.

Who are Recumbent Exercise Bikes best for

Recumbents have a laid-back design that supports your upper body and helps to distribute your body weight over a large surface area with the seat to reduce pressure on the lower body while exercising. This design setup makes recumbents ideal for rehabilitation exercises, seniors, weight loss, and anyone with poor form starting an exercise routine. Additionally, the professional-grade recumbents are excellent for training professional cyclists and for people who need high-intensity workouts.


Recumbent exercise bikes burn fewer calories than upright stationary bikes due to their low impact resistance mechanism. However, you can still achieve decent weight loss results if you include high-intensity interval training in your workout to enable you to burn more calories. It involves doing your exercises in intervals where you perform at a high intensity over a short period followed by a recovery period. You repeat the session a total of eight times, and if you are a beginner, you can have slightly extended recovery periods until your body gets used to this type of training. The advantage you get from interval training is that your body burns more calories in the recovery process after exercise. In this way, recumbents with pre-set programs are your best option for weight loss as they give you interval training options to choose from, depending on your fitness level.


The tilted seat design of recumbent bikes makes them particularly suitable for heavier individuals. Many who carry more weight experience back and lower joint discomfort and can benefit from the support and stability that a recumbent seat offers during workouts. While the standard weight capacity for most recumbents is around 300 pounds, there are specialized options catering to obese individuals with weight limits of up to 500 pounds, like the Fitnex R70 Recumbent and Physiostep MDX Cross Trainer. When choosing, it’s beneficial to consider bikes with wider seats for prolonged comfort during workouts. Bikes featuring swiveling saddles are also advantageous, as they ensure safer mounting. Lastly, opt for bikes that come with pre-set programs, ideal for interval training that amplifies calorie burn.

Questions and Answers About recumbent bikes for bad knees

What recumbent bike has the most comfortable seat?

Comfort can be different for everyone, but there are clear things to check to see if the recumbent bike seat will be comfy. Adjusting the seat and its height are important for a good workout. Sliders that move smoothly are better than turning knobs. They help you get a good seat fit. Look for seats with soft gel padding and a mesh back to keep you cool. A seat that can be changed to fit your back shape is a plus. Also, pick a seat material that doesn’t let you slide off when you exercise.

Is recumbent bike good for hips?

If you’ve been through hip replacement surgery or you’re looking to strengthen your hip flexor muscles, the recumbent exercise bike is a better choice to use than a regular bike. Recumbents are more stable, and you don’t have to maintain balance or support your upper body due to the reclined saddle design. It allows you to put your effort into moving your hip joints smoothly without adding strain on them.

How long should I ride my recumbent bike?

Your objectives guide how long you should ride the bike. Seniors or those desiring a milder workout can benefit from 30 minutes daily. Yet, if you’re focused on shedding pounds or boosting your overall fitness and cycling prowess, dedicating 60-90 minutes five days a week can be effective. It’s crucial, however, to stay within your physical boundaries to sidestep injuries.

Does the recumbent bike tone legs?

Cycling activities help sculpt your legs. Even if recumbent bikes feel more relaxed, they’re good for toning your thighs, calves, and legs, and they also benefit the hips and butt.

How Do I Choose A Recumbent Bike?

Your fitness goals will guide your recumbent bike choice. Look for resistance levels; those with more than 12 are great for high-intensity workouts. Prioritize comfort features, such as saddle adjustability and cushioning. For those with mobility challenges, a step-through design is beneficial. Always balance cost with build quality, ensuring you don’t compromise on durability or warranty.

Can I lose weight on a recumbent bike?

Cycling is an effective way to burn calories and lose weight. With the proper food intake, you’ll likely see weight loss results.

Do recumbent bikes work abs?

Cycling on a recumbent bike not only exercises your core but specifically the muscles in your abdomen. It’s also a way to do cardio, which can burn fat and let your abs shine through.

Are recumbent bikes a good workout?

Absolutely, you can trust recumbent bikes for a quality cardio routine. The beginner ones are gentler, but the high-grade models up the ante. They aid in leg enhancement and are a boon for those in need of light exercises.

Are recumbent bikes any good?

Recumbent bikes present certain perks over their upright counterparts, including support for the upper body and gentler workouts for groups like seniors, overweight individuals, and those with health challenges. However, they also cater to the rigorous training needs of professional cyclists, and their seating design aids in lowering risks of joint and back issues.

What’s better recumbent bike or upright?

Recumbent and upright bikes cater to different fitness objectives. While recumbents are gentler and good for those with certain physical issues, uprights are best for those aiming for an all-out workout.

Is recumbent bike as good as walking?

Recumbent bikes and walking are both effective for heart health and losing weight. Using a bike might help burn more calories due to resistance, but a quick walk can outdo a low-setting bike ride. Bikes are softer on joints since you sit, but walking is tops for strengthening bones against osteoporosis.

Do You Need Extra Features?

Some recumbent bikes have special features like connecting to apps, playing music, or cooling fans. They’re nice, but not everyone needs them. What’s important is the bike’s resistance levels, which help with fitness goals.

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