The Best Exercise Bikes for Seniors: Protect Your Joints

seniors on spin bikes


If you have achy joints or mobility issues, traditional exercise might feel out of reach. Luckily, there are some low-impact options that are ideal for seniors. The best exercise bike for seniors, particularly a recumbent model, is one of the safest and easiest ways to break a sweat.

As we get older, we need to tailor our workouts to our current fitness level and a low-impact cardio option can be a suitable part of that routine. If you're looking for more energy without much injury risk, an exercise bike may offer a solution.

There are plenty of cardio options on the market, but if you're specifically looking for the best exercise bikes for seniors, you've come to the right place. We've reviewed the options and narrowed the field down to the best of the best.

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The Best Exercise Bike for Seniors - Our Top Picks

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Best Overall - NordicTrack Commercial VU 29

NordicTrack Commercial VU 29

SPECS

  • Dimensions: 55.29 " H x 24.86" W x 41.49" L
  • Weight: 115 lbs.
  • Weight capacity: 325 lbs.
  • Features: 14" HD smart touchscreen, ability to stream iFit workouts on demand, ergonomic pedals, built-in fan

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With its large 14" HD smart touchscreen and ability to stream iFit workouts, this bike has a premium feel (watch out Peloton!). Because of its robust connectivity options, this is a good choice for seniors who are comfortable with technology. The 19-lb flywheel and SMR™ Silent Magnetic Resistance offer a smooth and quiet ride.

We also like that the seat is adjustable both vertically and horizontally and that the cushioned seat is oversized. The built-in fan and ergonomic pedals add to the bike's comfortable feel. This isn't the cheapest option, but if you're looking for a sturdy and well-connected ride, you won't be disappointed.

What We Like

  • Resistance levels adjusted automatically with iFit workouts
  • 325 lb weight capacity (higher than industry standard)
  • Oversized cushioned seat is great for seniors

What We Don't Like

  • Expensive
  • iFit free for 30 days only, then a monthly fee

BUY: Commercial VU 29

Best Budget - ProForm Pro C10U

ProForm Pro C10U

SPECS

  • Dimensions: 21.2" W x 34.5" D x 58" H
  • Weight: 77 lbs.
  • Weight capacity: 275 lbs.
  • Features: 10" smart HD touchscreen, ergonomic pedals, integrated fan, water bottle holder

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If you have joint or mobility issues—but still want to break a sweat—cycling is a good choice for weight loss. And with whisper-quiet SMR™ Silent Magnetic Resistance technology and a 10" smart HD touchscreen, the ProForm Pro C10U bike feels a lot more expensive than it actually is.

While we miss the lack of on-board workouts, this bike does come with a 30-day trial of iFit, which has a ton of on-demand options. And the ergonomic pedals, water bottle holder, and integrated fan keep users cool and comfortable as they sweat.

What We Like

  • Wallet-friendly price
  • Included fan and water bottle holder
  • 30-day trial of iFit

What We Don't Like

  • 275 lb. weight capacity is under the industry standard
  • No on-board workouts; can use the bike without iFit, but other apps don't integrate

BUY: ProForm Pro C10U

Best Folding - Sunny Health Space Saving Stationary Bike

Sunny Health & Fitness Space Saving Stationary Bike

SPECS

  • Dimensions: 33.3" L x 16.9" W x 45.3" H
  • Weight: 31 lbs.
  • Weight capacity: 220 lbs.
  • Features: Folding design, device holder, pulse sensors, adjustable seat

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If you're short on space, the folding design of the Sunny Health Space Saver is a good choice. While it is not the sturdiest option on the market, it does just fine with low and moderate-intensity workouts. We like the adjustable, cushioned seat, self-leveling pedals with adjustable straps, and floor stabilizers.

This bike boasts 16 levels of resistance and users can stream free on-demand workouts from the SunnyFit® app to keep things interesting. And with included extras like a device shelf and pulse sensors, this is a great deal for seniors on a budget.

What We Like

  • Free on-demand workouts from the brand's streaming platform, SunnyFit®
  • Space saving design for small spaces
  • Plenty of extras such as a device holder and pulse sensors

What We Don't Like

  • Low 220 lb. weight capacity
  • Warranty is very limited (3 Year Structural Frame, 180 Days Other Parts And Components)

BUY: Sunny Health Space Saving

Best Compact - Diamondback Fitness 1260ub Upright Magnetic Exercise Bike

Diamondback 1260ub Upright Magnetic Exercise Bike

SPECS

  • Dimensions: 48" L x 24" W x 61" H
  • Weight: 106 lbs.
  • Weight capacity: 350 lbs.
  • Features: 32 levels of magnetic resistance, 15 workout programs, smart trainer automatically adjusts resistance

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This bike includes a smart training feature that automatically adjusts resistance according to the chosen workout. And with 15 onboard workout programs and 32 levels of magnetic resistance, you're guaranteed to find an option that works for you.

The step-through design is easy on joints and the oversize seat keeps things comfortable. Users report that this bike's operation is extremely quiet—perfect if you live in an apartment or small space. We also like the included extras such as the USB charger, device shelf, and cup holders.

What We Like

  • Programs automatically adjust the resistance
  • Step through design
  • User-friendly LED console
  • Quickly and easy-adjust bike settings for up to 4 users

What We Don't Like

  • Not ideal for users under 5'3" or over 6'7"
  • Display is pretty basic

BUY: 1260 ub Upright

Best Recumbent - Sole LCB

Sole LCB

SPECS

  • Dimensions: 55" H x 23" W x 44" L
  • Weight: 130 lbs.
  • Weight capacity: 350 lbs.
  • Features: 40 levels of resistance, 30 lb flywheel, 10" LCD display

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This bike has the heaviest flywheel and widest variety of resistance of any of the bikes we reviewed. A sturdy flywheel is a good thing because the heavier it is, the better it can build momentum as it spins, making for a smoother, quieter ride.

In addition to performance, this bike also takes comfort seriously. We like the oversized cushioned pedals, fully adjustable gel cushioned seat, and integrated cooling fan. The 10" display is easy to view, but there's also a tablet holder and USB charger if you want to watch entertainment on your own device.

What We Like

  • Lots of resistance options and a heavy flywheel for a smooth ride
  • Adjustable gel cushioned seat
  • Heavy duty steel frame

What We Don't Like

  • Syncs with the Studio app, but not others (Zwift, iFit, etc)
  • Only 10 on-board workout programs

BUY: Sole LCB

Most Comfortable Recumbent - Horizon Fitness Comfort R Recumbent Bike

Horizon Fitness Comfort R Recumbent Bike

SPECS

  • Dimensions: 65" H x 26" W x 53" L
  • Weight: 99 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 350 lbs
  • Features: 10 onboard programs, 16 resistance levels, 5.5" non-backlit LCD screen

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With "comfort" in its name, this bike has a reputation to live up to. Luckily, it does. The sturdy frame has a weight capacity that's higher than the industry average and the extra-large seat includes lumbar support. The safe step-through design and ergonomic grips add to its comfy feel.

Beyond comfort, this bike comes with a bevy of features including a tablet holder, cup holder, built-in speakers, and an energy saver mode. The LCD monitor is small and basic, but that could be a plus if you're not looking for lots of integrated technology.

What We Like

  • Weight capacity is higher than industry average
  • Extra large seat with lumbar support
  • Display works with all wireless heart rate trackers

What We Don't Like

  • Screen is small and may be tough to see in low light
  • May be uncomfortable for shorter users

BUY: Comfort R Recumbent

Best Exercise Bike for Seniors with Back Problems - Sunny Health Essentials Series Magnetic Smart Recumbent Bike

Sunny Health & Fitness Essentials Series Magnetic Smart Recumbent Bike

SPECS

  • Dimensions: 52.4" L x 26.4" W x 41.5" H
  • Weight: 58.6 lbs.
  • Weight capacity: 220 lbs.
  • Features: 8 levels of resistance, Bluetooth connectivity

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This bike is a good option if you want a cycling workout that won't break the bank. It includes the basics (device holder, adjustable pedal straps, pulse grips), but not a ton of bells and whistles. The digital monitor is basic, but easy to understand, which is perfect if you're not super tech-savvy.

The step-through design is a good choice for seniors and the extra wide seat keeps things comfortable. For more functionality, users can download the SunnyFit app to their preferred device and then connect it to the bike via Bluetooth. From there, you can view workout metrics and stream on-demand classes. This isn't the sturdiest bike (see the 220-pound weight capacity and 9-pound flywheel), but you can't beat the price!

What We Like

  • Budget-friendly price
  • Space-saving design
  • Connect to Bluetooth and the SunnyFit® app to stream workouts and see performance metrics

What We Don't Like

  • Flywheel is only 9 lbs.
  • 220 lb. weight capacity much less than the industry standard

BUY: Sunny Health Essential

What to Look for in Exercise Bikes for Seniors

As a senior, there are some things you should take into consideration before purchasing an exercise bike. Some of the decision-making will depend on personal preferences, but other features are more universal. As you consider exercise bike options, be sure to take note of the machine's weight and weight capacity, special features, ease of use, seat style, and mount/dismount.

Weight and Weight Capacity

In general, the industry standard for weight capacity is about 300 pounds. If you are close to that threshold, you'll want to look for an option with a higher capacity. In terms of how much the bike weighs, that can vary from about 50 pounds for lightweight models to well over 100 pounds. If you choose a heavier bike, look for transport wheels that make moving it easier.

Features

Some exercise bike features are standard (you're unlikely to find a bike without handlebars or a seat!), while others are optional extras. Think about your exercise experience and what you value. If you're looking for extra motivation, a large display and on-demand workouts might make sense. If you run hot, a built-in fan and water bottle holder might be non-negotiable. Look into how the bike can be adjusted—can you easily move the seat back and forth? Can the pedals be swapped out?

Ease of Use

The last thing you want is a bike so complicated that using it feels like a chore. Make sure the screen and the letters/numbers are big enough for you to see them comfortably. Is the bike easy to start and stop? Will you require a WiFi connection? For fewer barriers to entry, look for a simple and easy-to-use bike.

Comfortable Seat

Most bikes for seniors feature seats that are wider and more cushioned than a traditional spin bike. For extra support, look for a bike that has a backrest. If the seat can't be adjusted to your liking (or is just uncomfortable), consider swapping out the seat or adding a cushioned cover.

Easy to Get On and Off

You'll also want to make sure you can mount and dismount the bike safely. Look for either a recumbent bike or an upright bike with a step-through design. This allows you to get on and off the bike without lifting your leg over the frame.

FAQs About Exercise Bikes for Seniors


What is the best type of exercise bike for seniors

In general, look for a recumbent-style exercise bike that places the pedals in front of the rider rather than below. These types of bikes have wide seats and usually have backrests. Seniors may also want a low-profile bike that is easy to mount and dismount. Everyone's preferences are different, so choose a bike that is comfortable and offers the features you care about.

Is an exercise bike good for seniors?

Yes! An exercise bike is a great low-impact option for older individuals and/or anyone with mobility or joint issues. Unlike treadmills or racquet sports, indoor biking isn't high-impact and can be done from the comfort of home.

How long should a senior ride an exercise bike?

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that seniors over age 65 get about 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week. To meet this goal, seniors should plan on cycling for 20-30 minutes, most days a week. Of course, you should always check in with your doctor before starting or ramping up a fitness routine.

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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