The Best Recumbent Bikes Under $500: Get in Shape on a Budget

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Looking to get in shape while staying under budget? If so, the best recumbent exercise bike under $500 might be a good fit.

When it comes to stationary bikes, there are generally two types: upright and recumbent. Recumbent bikes have a larger seat (wider and flatter than a typical bike seat), pedals in front of the rider rather than underneath, and are generally lower to the ground. If you haven't exercised in a while or are having mobility issues, recumbent bikes can be a good place to start.

But as you consider your options, there are many factors to consider. Do you want a large console for interactive workouts and metrics? What weight capacity do you require? And what are some features you'd like to have (cup holder, built-in fan, etc)? We took all of these factors into consideration when compiling our list of the best recumbent bikes under $500.

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The Best Recumbent Bike Under $500 - Our Top Picks

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Best Overall Recumbent Bike Under $500 - Sunny Health and Fitness SF-RB4850

Sunny Health and Fitness SF-RB4850

SPECS

  • Dimensions: 59"L x 26"W x 47.5"H
  • Weight: 86 lbs.
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs.

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A leader in the cardio machine industry, Sunny Health and Fitness knocks it out of the park with this recumbent bike. With 16 levels of magnetic resistance and 24 on-board programs, you're guaranteed a smooth and varied workout. The color meter display tracks metrics such as time, speed, distance, and calories burned, so you'll always know where you stand.

The SF-RB4850 comes with a bunch of integrated extras such as pedal straps, a device shelf, and a water bottle holder. When you need to adjust the seat, simply pull on the patented lever (no need to stand up!). We also like the transport wheels and lift handle which make moving the bike a cinch.

What We Like

  • Lots of included extras like water bottle holders, device shelf, and pedal straps
  • Patented levers for easy seat adjustments
  • Transport wheels for convenient and strain-free moving
  • Mesh backed seat for extra breathability

What We Don't Like

  • Users reported that the assembly can be difficult
  • Weight capacity is only 300 lbs.

BUY: Sunny Health and Fitness SF-RB4850

Best Budget Recumbent Bike Under $500 - Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709

Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709

SPECS

  • Dimensions: 55.5"L x 24.5"W x 38"H
  • Weight: 61 lbs.
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs.

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This extremely affordable recumbent bike from Marcy still feels substantial thanks to its 14-gauge steel tubing, PVC, and rubber construction. The LCD display is rather basic, but we like that the numbers are extra large and easy to see. It has a padded seat and handlebars to keep you comfy during long workouts and the adjustable resistance knob makes it easy to customize your workout.

When you're finished with your sweat session, the transport wheels make it easy to move and stow the bike out of the way. Short on space? The compact footprint of this bike makes it a great fit for apartments and smaller homes.

What We Like

  • Easy to read numbers on the display
  • Very affordable
  • Lighter than many of its competitors

What We Don't Like

  • LCD monitor is very basic
  • Only 8 resistance levels

BUY: Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709

Best Lightweight Recumbent Bike Under $500 - Marcy Regenerating Recumbent Exercise Bike with Adjustable Seat

Marcy Regenerating Recumbent Exercise Bike with Adjustable Seat

SPECS

  • Dimensions: 57"L x 24 W x 42"H
  • Weight: 93 lbs.
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs.

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With 24 levels of resistance (three times some of its competitors!), it's easy to ramp up the intensity on this bike. For variety, choose one of the 23 on-board programs and follow along. The LCD monitor on this bike is unique in that its lithium battery is powered by pedaling, no electricity necessary. As you pedal, the display tracks time, pulse rate, current speed, distance traveled, and calories burned.

As far as comfort, we like the pedal straps, two handlebar locations, and the adjustable levelers to keep things stable. This bike really hits the sweet spot in terms of weight and sturdiness. It's light enough to transport, but still has a solid feel when working out.

What We Like

  • 24 levels of resistance and 23 on-board programs
  • Lever-based system makes it easy to adjust the seat
  • Step through design and low profile make it easy to get on and off the bike

What We Don't Like

  • Shorter users report that it's difficult to use
  • Lithium battery is charged by pedaling; some users reported issues with this

BUY: Marcy Regenerating Recumbent Exercise Bike with Adjustable Seat

Best Smooth Recumbent Bike Under $500 - Exerpeutic 900XL

Exerpeutic 900XL

SPECS

  • Dimensions: 54"L x 22"W x 34"H
  • Weight: 63 lbs.
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs.

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While this machine lacks extra bells and whistles, it's a great budget option for anyone looking to get a solid cardio workout. We like the easy-to-navigate step-through design and oversized padded seat. The computer display is pretty basic, but does provide workout data such as time, speed, distance, and calories burned. The heart rate sensors in the hand grips are also a nice way to track your output.

This bike is best suited for users in the 5'3" to 6'6" range; if you are shorter or taller than that, you may have trouble getting comfortable. The design may be basic, but the 900XL provides a smooth workout experience at a wallet-friendly price.

What We Like

  • Lightweight and compact design
  • Oversize padded seat
  • Heart rate sensors in the hand grips

What We Don't Like

  • This bike has adjustments for users 5'3" to 6'6", not suited for shorter or taller individuals
  • Only 8 levels of resistance

BUY: Exerpeutic 900XL

Most Comfortable Recumbent Bike Under $500 - Schwinn 230

Schwinn 230

SPECS

  • Dimensions: 64"L x 27"W x 44.5" H
  • Weight: 86 lbs.
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs.

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You'd be hard pressed to find an exercise brand more trusted than Schwinn and while this is one of their budget offerings, it's still a solid choice. With 16 magnetic resistance levels and 13 workout programs, there is plenty of opportunity for customization. This bike has Bluetooth connectivity and you can stream workouts via Explore the World® and Zwift® from your device.

The seat is easily adjustable and vented to keep you comfortable no matter how long you're on the bike. The 5.5" LCD screen is small, but the media shelf makes it easy to stream your favorite show or workout. If you're looking for a great deal from a legacy brand, definitely don't sleep on the Schwinn 230.

What We Like

  • Ventilated backrest and contoured seat for air flow
  • Ability to connect to apps and stream workouts from Explore the World® and Zwift®
  • 16 magnetic resistance levels and 13 workout programs

What We Don't Like

  • Users report that the power cord is on the short side, may need extension cord
  • Display is basic and not backlit

BUY: Schwinn 230

Best Heavy-Duty Recumbent Bike Under $500 - HARISON Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike

HARISON Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike

SPECS

  • Dimensions: 51"D x 21"W x 61"H
  • Weight: 77 lbs.
  • Weight capacity: 400 lbs.

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Recumbent bikes are one the best cardio options for seniors and those with mobility issues and this machine is no exception. With a low to the ground profile and step through design, users can easily get on and off the bike. We like that the weight limit is in the 350-400 lb range, which is higher than most competitors.

The display screen is small and basic, but the integrated tablet holder makes it easy to stream your own entertainment. The bike comes with 14 levels of resistance which allows for easy, moderate, and intense workouts. If you're looking for a bike with a sturdy steel frame and a high weight limit, this Harison model might be just the ticket.

What We Like

  • Heart rate sensors on the handles
  • Water bottle and table holder
  • Vented backrest

What We Don't Like

  • Users report that assembly felt difficult
  • Larger users may find the seat to be uncomfortable

BUY: HARISON Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike

Best Adjustable Recumbent Bike Under $500 - JEEKEE Recumbent Exercise Bike

JEEKEE Recumbent Exercise Bike

SPECS

  • Dimensions: 53.5"D x 19.3"W x 39"H
  • Weight: 62 lbs.
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs.

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This lightweight, inexpensive recumbent bike doesn't come with a fancy display or a ton of extras, but it's a solid choice for a good cardio workout. We like that it accommodates a wide range of heights (4'9" - 6'5") and inseams (27" to 39"). However, due to the low design, some larger users reported that their feet touched the floor while pedaling.

This bike is equipped with eight magnetic resistance levels and features like adjustable pedal straps to keep you comfortable. The LCD screen is small and basic, but it comes with a tablet holder so you can stream your own workout videos or entertainment.

What We Like

  • Wide height range: recommended for users 4'9" to 6'5"
  • Very smooth and quiet
  • 9 positions for seat adjustment

What We Don't Like

  • Very low to the floor, some users reported that their feet hit the ground when pedaling
  • Some issues reported with the batteries in the LCD screen

BUY: JEEKEE Recumbent Exercise Bike

Who Should Buy a Recumbent Bike?

Anyone looking for a low impact way to exercise can benefit from a recumbent bike. However, there are certain individuals who will do particularly well with the machine. If you are a senior and/or have some mobility issues, a recumbent bike is easier (and safer!) to use than a traditional stationary bike. The wide and low seat and the step-through design of a recumbent bike means there's less chance of falling. Recumbent bikes typically have a lumbar support which is essential if you've ever had back issues. A recumbent bike is also a good way to ease into fitness. Its low impact and supportive design makes it possible to break a sweat without causing pain.

How to Choose the Best Recumbent Bike Under $500

Console

The console (a.k.a. screen) is one of the first things you'll notice on a recumbent bike. Some models have a very basic display while others have touchscreens and the ability to stream on-demand workouts. Think about your workout needs and preferences: Would you like the motivation that comes from streaming workouts? Is larger text and graphics important to you? Or would you prefer to save some money with a basic display? Some consoles have Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to pair your heart rate monitor, fitness tracker, or headphones with the display. There's no wrong or right answer when it comes to choosing a console, it's really about your preferences and how much you're willing to spend.

Seat Design

Seat design comes down to comfort. What feels good to you and will make you eager to exercise? Recumbent bike seats are larger, wider, and more padded than a typical bike seat, making them ideal for larger individuals or anyone with joint pain. The seats usually have back support allowing the user to recline and stay comfortable while pedaling. Depending on the bike, it may have a simple, padded seat or it may feature premium design elements like mesh for breathability and/or ergonomic details.

Accessories

If you're planning on using the recumbent bike regularly (and if you're spending a few hundred dollars on it, you should!), there are some little extras that can make the experience better. Think about what accessories you might enjoy: Do you like having a water bottle or travel coffee mug close at hand? Look for cup holders. If you plan on upping the intensity of your rides, straps that keep your feet on the pedals will come in handy. If you run hot, look for machines that have integrated fans.

FAQs About Recumbent Bikes under $500


Is it OK to ride a recumbent bike every day?

If you're new to exercising, it's a good idea to be conservative. Try using the recumbent bike a few times a week at first. Once you're in a good routine, you can start using the recumbent bike every day (or most days a week). A recumbent bike is low impact, so you're less likely to get injured.

Is a recumbent bike good for losing belly fat?

It's difficult to spot reduce body fat, so to lose weight you'll need to create a calorie deficit. The best way to do this is through exercise and dietary changes. Riding a recumbent bike regularly will burn calories and create a deficit, so eventually, you will lose weight (and belly fat).

Is it better to walk or ride a recumbent bike daily?

Walking at a moderate pace burns about 250 calories per hour while riding a recumbent bike for an hour will burn about 450 calories. To that end, riding a recumbent bike is a more efficient way to burn calories. However, if you enjoy exercising with other people or being outside, you may want to mix in walking workouts.

Which is better exercise: recumbent bike or treadmill?

Both of these exercises are good ways to burn calories and eventually lose weight. Recumbent biking is ideal for individuals who have mobility issues or have back pain. On the other hand, walking can build bone strength. Do whichever exercise fits your routine and preferences!

About the Author

Megan Harrington

Megan is a runner and writer who resides in upstate New York. She is a former collegiate runner and regularly competes in marathons. Megan uses her personal experience in competitive running to review fitness equipment and write running guides.

See More from Megan

Megan is a runner and writer who resides in upstate New York. She is a former collegiate runner and regularly competes in marathons. Megan uses her personal experience in competitive running to review fitness equipment and write running guides.

See More from Megan

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