Staying fit well into your senior years can be tricky. Our bodies evolve, lose a bit of that flexibility and generally require much more caution. While there are seniors out there who are perfectly fine with running every day, others might need a low impact form of cardio to stay fit.
Table of Contents
At the very top of our list sits one of the best mid to upper mid range recumbent bikes you can get your hands on right now. Schwinn 270 not only packs a decent performance, but it also features everything we would want in a bike designed for seniors. With that said, lets start with the basics. Schwinn 270 sits on a very robust H pattern frame that is fully adjustable.
You can easily level it thanks to the rear leveling knobs while the front of the frame features transportation wheels. The seat is very ergonomic and comes in form of a solid plastic backrest while the seat itself is padded for optimal comfort. It isn’t fully adjustable. You do get to adjust it for height by sliding it along its main rail.
The drive system is a proper rig with a nice perimeter weighted flywheel at its core. It is very smooth, easy to get going and virtually silent during use. The console that sits in front of the user is full of all kinds of great features. You can choose anywhere between 25 levels of resistance manually or pick any of the 29 awesome, built in workout programs.
Next up comes another awesome bike, this time around from Nautilus. R614 has been around for a while and it represents a great choice for those who want the features and functionality of the likes of Schwinn 270, but at a slightly more affordable price point. Truth be told this model has been around for a while now. In that time it has proven its worth and built quite a reputation.
The reason we feel it should be on this list is simple. This is a step-through recumbent bike that is decked out with all the features you could want. It sits on a very sturdy frame that is easy to level out and quite stable despite being somewhat narrower than most out there. The seating position is low to the ground, which adds to this as well. Comfort wise, Nautilus did good.
R614 features a contoured hard seat that may not look like the most comfortable thing out there, but it actually works. The drive system is great, comes with a good flywheel that you can easily get going and manipulate. This is another model with an impressive console that features many programs, speakers and a whole lot more.
Marcy has always been the brand that dominated in the bang for the buck segment of fitness market. Even though other brands have challenged them in this regard, they still offer awesome models such as the ME-706. This is a fairly compact package that still offers all the functionality and everything else you would want from a recumbent bike. Compared to our previous picks, this one comes across as somewhat simplified, but that might be a plus for some.
For instance, the seat isn’t contoured, but rather fully padded which may make it a bit more comfortable to some users. It is adjustable along the main rail and features side handlebars. The drive system is fairly average for this price range. That means a well balanced flywheel that runs smooth and runs silent. The pedals feature good texture, offer good grip and are generally not an issue.
The console is interesting in a sense that it works without batteries. Instead the flywheel provides power for its needs. Built in programs include 23 different options while you can also manually select resistance should you want to. As for other features, you have your heart rate monitor and a built in speaker.
Moving down the price range, you start running into some pretty interesting affordable designs. One such machine comes from Sunny Health & Fitness and goes under the name of SF-RB4708. Recumbent bikes are a pretty straight forward piece of equipment but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t things you can do to them in order to make them more challenging.
Sunny has done that by adding a hands component to what is traditionally a leg exercise machine. This is why SF-RB4708 has found its way onto our list. As for the core machine, it’s as straight forward as they get. You’re looking at a padded seat that can be adjusted for height. The frame is quite simple utilizing the step through design. It is robust enough to offer a stable environment, but light enough where you can move the whole thing with little effort.
The main interesting feature on this machine is the arm exerciser which comes in form of handlebars which are connected to the pedals. In a way, this is a recumbent elliptical although legs and arms were meant to be exercised separately. When it comes to other features, you’re looking at manual resistance selection and standard progress tracking.
Affordable recumbent bikes used to be hard to find, especially if you are after something that is performance oriented. These days things are very different. Exerpeutic 1000 is great budget option for those who need core performance and don’t care for all of the fancy bells and whistles. It is as simple as it gets in every way that is relevant.
The frame is made of proper tubing and offers plenty of room between the seat and the flywheel. The seat itself is padded but otherwise quite minimalist in nature. You can adjust it with for your height along the main rail. To do so all you need to do is release the pull pin and select one of the available holes. One very surprising detail is the inclusion of a heart rate monitor.
We definitely didn’t expect to find this feature among affordable models yet this Exerpeutic comes with it as standard. The only thing we would have liked to see improved is the display. The way Exerpeutic 1000 is set up places the console quite a bit away from the seat. This could make it pretty hard to read depending the user. Overall, it is an awesome choice.
Next up is a pretty compact setup from Progear. It is a fairly basic recumbent bike centered around offering good performance at an affordable price. In terms of size, 555LXT is much smaller than most of our picks on here. That’s probably its most attractive feature. Progear has managed to reduce the frame to a minimal size that still works in terms of stability.
The seat is pretty close to the flywheel and is mounted on a fairly long rail. Despite this being a compact model, it can still work for a taller person. The flywheel unit is good. It runs smooth, it’s balanced and offers plenty of resistance whether you are a casual or a more serious user. One cool detail about the 555LXT is that it comes with side handlebars.
This usually a feature reserved for models whit built in heart rate monitoring, which this one doesn’t have. It’s a great addition for users who like to hold onto something as they exercise. The console unit on this bike is simple like the rest of the package. It offers decent stats tracking but that is about it. The display is large enough where you can easily read it.
The last model on our list comes from Marcy and represents one of the best minimalist recumbent bikes on the market. This compact unit is well known for its small size, great aesthetics and good performance. While there are many seniors who are perfectly comfortable with using advanced tech on a daily basis, there are still those who just want to keep the complexity to a minimum.
Marcy ME-709 is designed for such users. This recumbent bike has it all more or less. You have a padded seat that is comfortable and fitted with side handles, a super compact yet stable frame, a powerful drive system and a sufficient console unit. As you can probably tell, the seat itself is not adjustable but the frame is. You can set it anywhere from 40″ to 49″ in length which means that even those who are over 6′ can use this bike with no issues.
The drive system is quite simple and offers 8 levels of magnetic resistance which you have to manually select. Being so compact and light means that you can move this thing around with very little effort. At this price, it’s the best option out there for sure.
Recumbent bikes, along with ellipticals, are by far one of the best cardio machines seniors can use to stay in shape. We are looking at a device which offers low impact, high resistance workout.
Since recumbent bikes are built on what is by now the standard technology in the world of fitness, they are often quite affordable. However, not all bikes of this type are created equal if you are a senior.
There are still some features you might want to look for and some you might want to stay away from. Mind you, these aren’t performance altering features for the most part, but rather stuff that can positively or negatively impact your overall experience.
At the very top of our list of features that you might want to look into is the frame design. What we are looking for here are step through frames. A step through frame is a frame where you don’t need to straddle the machine in order to get seated.
This might be an important feature for older users who don’t want to or have difficulties straddling a recumbent bike. Additionally, we suggest that you look into frames which are made of decent tubing.
Seat design is something every brand likes to add their own spin to. Some are believers in padded, flat seats while others use a contoured plastic design which may even be much more comfortable than any padded unit out there.
The key with seats is to know what works for you. It is a very subjective thing. On the other hand, having handlebars on the side of the seat can only be a good thing.
We definitely suggest that you add this feature to your short list of must have things.
Last but not least we would like to address the size of display units. Whether you are fine with a simple console design or you insist on having the most tricked out package out there is completely up to you.
Either way you might want to look for machines that have large, easily legible displays. Doing so just makes life easier.
Recumbent bikes are by far the best option for seniors who are looking for low impact, high comfort exercise machine. As you can tell, these come in all flavors. From super complex models to pretty simple compact units.
Finding the right one comes down to your personal preferences and requirements. No matter which model from our list you decide to go with, you won’t be disappointed.
The bikes we have picked for this list offer the best bang for the buck ratio on the market. More importantly, each of these will give you a challenging workout on a daily basis.