Recumbent bikes work extremely well for seniors to be able to stay in shape, maintain good cardiovascular health, and it helps keep them active and doing something.
In fact, a recumbent exercise bike for seniors can increase their overall happiness and stave-off feelings of loneliness.
Exercise is powerful at any age. With seniors, it’s important to find the exact recumbent bike that will work for them and their lifestyle.
We’ve found the cream of the crop that puts all other recumbent bikes to shame.
Recommended Recumbent Bike for Seniors
Best Overall: Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike
At the very top, the best recumbent exercise bike for seniors comes from Marcy, a brand you’ll become familiar with through this post.
This excellent recumbent bike has a step-through design to help seniors position themselves with minimal tripping hazards, as well as a bright LCD screen that’s actually visible (many bikes simply fail in this department).
While the screen is still pretty far away from the rider, it’s effective and useful. With a comfortable padded seat, your senior will be able to quickly find their level of comfort and grab onto the side rails to begin their exercise.
Crank the knob to change the resistance level. You get eight levels of resistance built into a magnificently sturdy 14-gauge steel frame, but be careful: actually making those adjustments takes a lot more tension from you than the bike suggests.
Additionally, be on the lookout for the warranty. It’s a well-built bike from a reputable company, but it appears as though the warranty is only viable if you buy it separately. That’s not the best practice, but given the price, it’s not undoable either.
Built to last and designed for comfortable, low impact riding, Marcy simply makes the best recumbent bike for seniors that won’t be a detriment to their joints and cause more problems than they’re solving. With excellent specifications, a great weight and easy construction, it’s the clear choice for any senior.
- Ultra durable 14-gauge steel tube frame for ultimate durability
- 8 levels of resistance to change the way you work out
- Comfortable padded seat works great for seniors
- LCD screen is bright enough to be visible even with fading eyesight
- Hard to actually make adjustments to the resistance
- You only get a warranty with an additional purchase
Runner Up: Marcy Magnetic Recumbent Bike w/ Transport Wheels
Marcy is on this list quite a bit, because they simply mee the perfect trifecta of price and performance. Beyond being an overly amazing machine, this magnetic recumbent bike has a step-through design so that your senior doesn’t get caught or trip while trying to get on or off this recumbent bike.
As the best folding recumbent bike for seniors, it includes a lightweight design at just 41 lbs. This works out to be excellent in assisted living environments because it can be picked up and stowed away with no problem. While there aren’t any built-in wheels to reposition it, the feet do a good enough job at keeping you stable during exercise.
However, those caps do have a bit of a problem. They come off somewhat often from vibrations, so if your senior is using this for an extended period of time, they may run into an issue where the cap slides out and they become imbalanced. It’s important to check these before and after every exercise, or consider permanently affixing them with glue or another adhesive.
The only other gripe about this machine is the fact that the LCD screen is hard to read, especially with the distance that it is from the user. While the soft handlebars are nice and add another element to senior comfort, they won’t help you read the screen.
The 8 different tension levels is where this really shines. We don’t know why it’s so much easier to use than the tension knob on the other Marcy recumbent bike we reviewed, but for some reason it just is.
Overall you’re getting a great bike, a great experience, and the flywheel is magnificent. It’s a smooth ride from start to finish, and after all, what more can you ask for?
- Flywheel is very responsive during entire use
- 8 different levels of tension to adjust the level to the senior’s current physical capabilities
- Soft touch handlebars reduce friction and prevent sore hands
- Lightweight design doesn’t wobble (and the lighter material helps you save on the price)
- LCD screen is fairly difficult to read and not very helpful; far distance from the rider
- Caps on the end of each foot can come off from vibrations fairly often
Alternative: XTERRA FITNESS SB2.5r Recumbent Bike
XTERRA almost took the first spot as the best rated recumbent bike for seniors. This excellent recumbent bike offers the perfect level of resistance to help your senior scale up to higher workout levels. The 22 lb flywheel actually gives you 24 different resistance levels, which is something that we just don’t normally see in bikes like these.
It’s all programmed in the LCD screen, so the only hurdle with a senior using this is that they might have a little bit of difficulty navigating at first depending on their age. Otherwise, it’s a bright display and shouldn’t be too hard to learn. The electronic control over the flywheel means that you won’t run into a ton of issues with knobs that just don’t want to turn or move.
But it’s not all perfect. The handles are not soft touch, so prolonged use by a senior may incur some hand soreness and might be difficult at first. Thankfully, the seat is comfortable and will offer some relief in that area, so it’s not like the entire bike is difficult to use. You can’t cover up the handles though, because that’s where the metal reactor for the heart rate monitor is.
It’s also important to note that this is 108 lbs, which is pretty massive. If your senior needs to move this around their apartment or home, they’ll need to call you or someone else for help. Once you get past these minor pain points, there’s plenty more to enjoy.
The feet are wide and help with stability during intense exercise, which is great with that amazing flywheel that you have. The weight limit is great, the pedal loops help with stability and staying on track, and overall the experience is fantastic for anyone that uses it.
- Comfortable foot loops help your senior stay engaged and secure during the entire workout
- Flywheel has extremely smooth operation
- Monitor is useful and has 24 different programs, including heart rate
- Seat is relatively comfortable and shouldn’t be a bother to your senior
- Extremely heavy; not something your senior will be able to move on their own at 108 lbs
- Handles aren’t soft touch, so prolonged gripping may cause some hand soreness
Alternative #2: Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike
Sunny Health & Fitness isn’t known for being the most amazing brand out there, but they certainly have some strong points that we can all appreciate. First and foremost, it’s wildly inexpensive compared to a lot of other recumbent bike models on the market.
The handles include pulse grips to take your heart rate and monitor it during exercise, and the step-through design is specifically handy for seniors who are trying to regain mobility or have mobility issues. It allows them to move in and out freely, usually unassisted.
Sunny Health & Fitness also did an excellent job at making self-leveling foot loops for the pedals. What that means if you never feel like the top of your foot is stuck in the loop, so there’s no need to panic or pull to release your foot.
When you get to the resistance adjustment knob, that’s when we run into some problems. The resistance knob is extremely difficult to turn for some reason, so you might want to either help your senior set it to a specific level, or find a way to lubricate it that won’t harm the mechanism inside.
The only other major problem is that it has a low maximum weight of just 220 lbs, which is quite low for a recumbent bike. It makes you wonder about the durability of the entire frame. Fortunately, Sunny Health & Fitness created this out of alloy steel, and their reputation is enough to trust them on.
The back foot extends out and curves at either side, giving you a platform that helps with balancing. The LCD screen isn’t that bad, although the handles in front are at an awkward place. Just be sure that you have fresh batteries every six months if you want to use the LCD screen to actually track your fitness progress.
It’s a budget pick, and it gets the job done. If your senior is just trying to get a little more active without going overboard, this fits right in between price and performance.
- Pedals are completely self-leveling with loops to keep your senior’s feet in place
- Seat is easily adjustable for maximum comfort during the entire workout
- Step-through design is easy to maneuver around, sit down on, and stand up afterwards
- Pulse grip handles for comfort and heart rate monitoring during exercise
- Lower maximum user weight than we see with other recumbent bikes
- Knobs are very difficult to turn when you want to change tension
Alternative #3: Marcy Regenerating Recumbent Exercise Bike
To get a good recumbent bike workout for seniors, you need something that stands up to the test of time. As we’ve seen from this list, Marcy is the brand that’s up to the task. You get 24 levels of resistance right off the bat, all of which is entirely controllable without having a fidgety knob that doesn’t want to turn for you.
The size is relatively compact compared to other recumbent bikes, but that’s not the most impressive part. They were still able to make it a step-through design without compromising on leg space, and that’s what’s impressive. There’s ample space on either side of the rider as well, and the LCD panel/top handles don’t interfere with your knees while riding.
Speaking of the LCD screen, it’s time to clear the air. They really dropped the ball on this one, because this LCD screen is among the worst of any we used (partially why it’s on the bottom of the list). The brightness washes out the text, so despite having a strong backlight, it doesn’t do much for visibility. It’s like all the digital text is smudged.
Apart from that, it’s a little pricey. It’s recommended for seniors to wear an Apple Watch or FitBit to track fitness performance over the course of the entire day, so the screen being fairly useless isn’t much of a problem. They can get the same data from their watch.
The steel frame is hyper durable, giving you world-class strength and stability while you ride. That’s aided in part by the wide, flat feet on the bottom of the treadmill. Many treadmills make circular tube bottoms and just slap some caps on either end, but that doesn’t really get the job done. This is the most stable, arguably safest treadmill for your senior.
And not just because the seat is extremely comfortable (but that part also helps). You can get fatigue in your glutes and back when you use a recumbent bike with a bad seat, so we’re really glad to see that Marcy took the time to design this seat extremely well.
- Self-leveling pedals and foot loops to maintain stability during the entire exercise
- Extremely comfortable seat, perfect for prolonged use
- 24 levels of resistance to fine-tune your workout
- Hyper durable steel frame
- On the pricier side
- LCD screen washes out some of the text, so it’s bright, but hard to rear
Recumbent Bike for Seniors FAQ
Is Recumbent Bike Good for Seniors?
Yes, recumbent bikes are good for senior citizens because they don’t require dynamic engagement. Your entire torso can be static while you engage with a recumbent bike, which means that seniors can get moderate exercise without causing too much strain. These are the best options for seniors by far.
How Do I Choose a Recumbent Bike?
To pick the best recumbent stationary bike for seniors, you have to figure out what features they’ll benefit from the most. Age is a factor.
If they’re on the younger side of seniorhood, a recumbent bike with more capability and more resistance levels will do wonders for their joint health. Choose the best recumbent bike for seniors based on what they need the most. Base some of your decision-making on their doctor recommendations.
Make the Right Choice
Recumbent bikes are the best option to keep seniors active. Be sure that you take their current mobility level into consideration, the limits of the recumbent bike you’re considering, and that they’ll have ample room for it.
The senior in your life can benefit from regular cardio exercise with a recumbent bike. It’s time to give them the gift of health as soon as possible.