Pedaling Past Prime Time: My Best Exercise Bike for Seniors Review

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two older adults laughing while working out on exercise bikes - heydaydo.com image

Because rocking chairs are so last century.

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When age is just a number, but comfort is the goal

Ever wondered if the Fountain of Youth might actually be a gadget in your living room? Welcome to a place where you & I’ll ditch the myths for pedals and the age thing for sweat.

In this review article I share my opinion on what I think are five of the best recumbent exercise bikes on the market in the low to mid-priced range, chosen from those I product-tested with people in mind who are over 50 like me.

I also included two models that are really cheap in case you’re on a strict budget and simply unable to pay for a decent quality bike.

Here are the exercise bikes we’ll be going over in this review:

3G Cardio Elite RB Exercise Bike, Recumbent -...
  • 3G Cardio, an Arizona-based company with a combined 50 years of experience...
  • Our oversized, highly adjustable cushioned seat provides incredible comfort...
  • With an overall small compact size (49" L x 27" W x 43" H) our bike can...

Last update on 2024-02-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


New 2023 Recumbent Bike, Sole Fitness R92 Recumbent...
  • IMPORTANT DELIVERY DETAILS - Please make sure to update your contact...
  • RURAL AREAS SHIPPING INFO: Rural areas or locations that are not easily...
  • EXTRA SHIPPING INFO: Delivery address changes or shipment reroutes after...

Last update on 2024-02-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Sale
Teeter FreeStep Recumbent Cross Trainer and Elliptical...
  • ZERO-IMPACT EXERCISE: Ideal for all fitness levels. The natural stepping...
  • PHYSICAL THERAPY TECHNOLOGY: The only home-use stepper with a patented...
  • EASIER ON KNEES & BACK: Compared to typical recumbent bikes or cross...

Last update on 2024-02-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Sale
Schwinn Fitness 230 Recumbent Bike
  • With enhanced Bluetooth connectivity, users can set, track and monitor...
  • Discover 100+ global routes that auto-adjust in real time to your speed...
  • Designed to work with popular cycling apps such as Zwift (Seperate...

Last update on 2024-02-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Bike, Metallic grey
  • FULL-BODY WORKOUT: Engage the glutes, buttocks, and calves with the...
  • ERGONOMIC, USER-FRIENDLY DESIGN: The sturdy steel frame is built to last...
  • ADJUSTABLE RESISTANCE: This recumbent bicycle is an efficient solution for...

Last update on 2024-02-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709
  • STEP-THROUGH DESIGN – Featuring heavy-duty construction 14-gauge steel...
  • EIGHT RESISTANCE LEVELS – This stationary bike uses a magnetic resistance...
  • EASY-TO-READ COMPUTER SCREEN – The ultra-functional LCD computer screen...

Last update on 2024-02-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Exercise Bike
  • Foldable recumbent exercise bike with quiet V-belt double-drive...
  • Precision-balanced flywheel; 8-level adjustable magnetic tension control...
  • Easy-to-read LCD display tracks your distance, calories, time, speed, and...

Last update on 2024-02-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

 

“The best exercise bikes for seniors are all recumbents?”

You may have noticed that I didn’t include any upright exercise bikes for this particular article, and there are good reasons for this (I’m pretty sure).

I discuss this in more detail a little later in the article, but wanted to say now that a recumbent bike features a few important design choices that make it a better choice than an upright exercise bike for many people over 50.

 

Upright bikes I’ve product-tested & reviewed

Considering an upright bike as well? I’ve tried out quite a few upright stationary bikes & shared my opinions on them here on heydayDo.

There are a few excellent models I recommend you check out & several I suggest you avoid. I grouped their reviews into these articles if you’re interested:

A Deep Look Into The Great Bowflex Velocore Bike That Leans – mimics road cycling; Tour de France here we come.

Best Magnetic Resistance Spin Bikes – also like riding a racing cycle, but stationary.

Best Exercise Bikes With Moving Arms – upright & recumbent models with arm exercisers like the Teeter has in this article.

 

About these exercise bikes for seniors

As I said in the intro, the exercise bikes featured in this review are priced in the low to middle range of the stationary bikes market, & the models here are currently priced from around $150 to $1,800 or so.

On the other hand, the best recumbent bikes — like the ones you’ve seen at gyms — cost a lot more, because they need to be very durable for the long haul.

They’re built to be ridden by gym members constantly from morning through the night, for years.

A high end exercise bike –particularly one with a recumbent design — is much more expensive than the ones in this article, thanks to their higher-quality materials, design, & manufacturing standards.

Here’s a snapshot of a few of them with their price tags:

High end recumbent bikes and their prices - heydayDo image

Some of the best recumbent bikes available these days.

 

So when I say “Best Exercise Bikes For Seniors”, within the context of this article I am talking about the better models in the low to mid price range from $1,800 on down.

test tubes orange - heydayDo icon
Science resources included
As is my custom here on heydayDo, I will provide links to all of the relevant sports science & medical resources, clinical studies, and nutritional data used in this article.

 

Gettin’ older, are we?

I’m a senior I suppose; I did turn 64 this year.

Therefore, with my somewhat advanced station in life I’ll go ahead and declare myself the Senior Editor here at heydayDo.

I mean, it’s me or him:

Lil Boji the Rottweiler, posing on a table for the Recumbent Bikes for Seniors article

Either way, I know I’m definitely in Senior Management.

Because every day that I wake up I’m reminded of what I need to manage regarding my aging body & mind, in order to have the highest quality of life at this stage.

 

Exercising can be harder now that we’re seniors

If you’re anything like me, you too are well aware of what happens to our bodies as the decades pile up.

In varying degrees many of us have noticed that our balance, stability, and strength have left the building, so to speak.

This loss of physical fitness can make it harder to exercise, and for some it becomes harder to even do simple things like climb up on an exercise bike in your own home.

Hence my focus in this product review article is on the easy-to-use recumbent exercise bike.

 

A woman on arecumbent bike, the best exercise bike for seniors

 

Best Recumbent Bike for Seniors Reviews

Okie dokie, this section has product reviews for each exercise bike I picked for this article.

At this point I can share which ones I think are the best exercise bikes of the bunch, after giving all of these a ride and a decent going over.

My top picks are these two because they’re built the best, made by the two best companies, and have the highest buyer ratings within our budgeted price range:

3G Cardio Elite RB Recumbent Bike – Top of the class, best of the bunch in terms of durability, warranty protection, customer support, company reputation, and customers’ ratings.

Sole R92My runner up and another very well-made exercise bike from an award-winning, reputable company that comes with an excellent warranty including free in-home labor.

 

Program Notes

* My rating is based on a 5-star scale calculating all online owner reviews across the internet at the time I wrote this article.

* Names in blue & product pics link to their product page on ol’ Amazon if you want to check current prices, except for the Sole R92, which goes to the Sole Fitness website.

 

Top Pick

3G Cardio Elite RB Recumbent Bike

4.8 300 online reviews

3G Cardio Elite RB Recumbent Bike

Review summary

The 3G Cardio Elite RB Recumbent Bike is a no-nonsense, effective piece of exercise equipment. The machine’s compact frame allows it to fit snugly into most spaces, while its adjustable seat caters to users of various heights and sizes.

Though it doesn’t offer fitness app compatibility, it serves its primary purpose very very well.

 

Detailed review

The 3G Cardio Elite RB Recumbent Bike boasts a sturdy frame capable of supporting users up to 350 lb. This not only shows off its durable build, but also makes it suitable for a wider range of users.

As does its very low profile, which makes getting on & off real smooth. Another great aspect of this bike is its quiet, belt drive system which ensures a peaceful workout for the person sleeping in the next room.

The 3G Cardio RB is a good fit for someone who values comfort, simplicity, and isn’t too bothered about not having a ton of workout programs to choose from.

It’s also great for people who have a smaller space but still want a robust piece of exercise equipment, and for someone who wants their bike to last a decade or more.

However, this recumbent bike might not be ideal for tech-savvy users who expect their workout data to be seamlessly integrated into all of their favorite fitness apps.

The 3G Cardio Elite RB also probably isn’t the best choice for someone who needs the ‘full immersion’ interactive experience to motivate them to work out.

 

What I like:

  • Compact frame: The bike’s small size makes it easy to fit in tighter spaces.
  • Fully adjustable, really comfy seat: The seat’s adjustability (30+ settings!) enhances comfort during workouts.
  • Smooth, quiet belt drive system: Ensures you can work out without causing a racket.
  • Chest strap heart rate monitor included: Makes tracking your heart rate during workouts much easier.
  • Exceptional warranty: The warranty offering is the best you’ll find, giving you peace of mind.
  • Great company: Industry-leading reputation for supporting their customers & standing behind their products 110%.

 

What’s not so good:

  • Lack of fitness app compatibility: Dims the bike’s appeal to people looking for a bike with a color screen & interactive workout subscription capability.
  • Limited workout programs: Only 12 pre-set programs might feel restrictive for some.

 

 

3G Cardio Elite RB Tech Specs:

  • Compact dimensions: 49” Length / 27” Width
  • Bike weight: 137 lb.
  • Magnetic Resistance: 16 Levels
  • Console Display: Time, RPM, Watt, Distance, Calories, and Heart Rate
  • Adjustable Seat: 25 Forward/Back positions, 5 Seat tilt positions
  • Max User weight: 350 lb.
  • User Heights: Accommodates user heights from 5′ to 6’5″
  • Residential Warranty: Lifetime Frame, 7 Yrs. Parts, 1 Yr. In-Home Labor

Check Today's Price

 

 

Sole R92 Recumbent Bike

4.5 200+ online reviews

Sole R92 Recumbent Bike

Review Summary

The Sole R92 Recumbent Bike is an excellent bike with a great warranty, and is designed to be provide years of trouble-free exercise.

Whisper-quiet, easy on/easy off, and easy to adjust any of its settings, this is a solid choice for seniors, beginners, or anyone wanting a simple, dependable ride.

 

Detailed review

This R92 from Sole is similar in concept to the 3G Cardio Elite RB we just looked at. Meaning that the company’s focus is on the quality of the bike’s frame & moving parts, but not on the console, interactive subscription-based workout programs, etc.

Sitting in it, the R92 felt very sturdy to me, all the buttons & knobs are easily within arm’s reach, and changing settings is a breeze.

Regardless of resistance level from 1 to 20, the bike stayed very quiet while I was using it, thanks to its magnetic ECB* resistance.

(ECB* – eddy current brake)

The R92 is roughly $500 cheaper than the 3G Cardio Elite RB, as it should be IMHO. Not because it isn’t durable — it certainly is & should last through years of regular use without fail.

But its warranty for parts & electronics is 5 years shorter than 3G’s, though it’s still a lot better than most of the other bikes in this review & elsewhere.

That tells you the R92’s just not quite at that ‘excellent’ level of craftsmanship & durability that the 3G Cardio Elite RB is, but it’s still built to be more reliable than most of its competitors.

 

What I like:

  • Excellent company & a very nice warranty
  • Solid, steel frame with sturdy construction: Enhances stability for a safer workout experience.
  • Plenty of quiet magnetic resistance: And variety of resistance settings for most users too, especially older adults just looking for a dependable exercise machine.
  • Accessories are all functional & decent enough: Adjustable padded seat, clear and easy to read 10” LCD Display, large buttons, fans, speakers, music input port,  headphone jack, tablet holder.
  • Two sets of handlebars: Vertical and horizontal, gives you an option for your body position while riding.

 

What’s not so good:

  • Very simple electronics might be a turnoff to someone wanting the full-on interactive experience. (Like NordicTrack does with their immersive subscription service. But the similar NordicTrack S22i has a lower buyer rating due to problems with different parts, so there’s your tradeoff in action.)
  • Bottle holder wasn’t the easiest thing to reach — it’s kind of behind you — but that’s a minor quibble.

 

Sole R92 Tech Specs:

  • Dimensions: Measures 56” in height, 29” in width, and 60” in length.
  • Product Weight: 130 lb.
  • User Weight Capacity:  300 lb.
  • Console: Comes with a 9.0″ LCD workout display that’s Bluetooth-enabled and supports SOLE+ apps.
  • Programs: Features 6 preset standard programs, 2 customizable programs, and 2 heart rate programs.
  • Resistance: Provides 20 ECB resistance levels.
  • Warranty: Lifetime warranty on the frame, 2 years on electronics and parts, and 1 year on labor.

Check Today's Price

 

 

Teeter FreeStep Recumbent Cross Trainer

4.6⭐   2,200+ online reviews

Teeter FreeStep Recumbent Cross Trainer Elliptical

Review Summary

The Teeter FreeStep has a smart design and is a solidly built recumbent stationary bike with moving arm handles. 

It can be used in a variety of ways to achieve a low-intensity full-body workout. And being able to get your upper body involved while pedaling can provide a nice boost to the number of calories burned in your workouts.

Some fitter people didn’t think it provided enough resistance for them, but this bike isn’t marketed towards them anyway.

 

Detailed review

The Teeter exercise bike has a unique elliptical pedaling motion that provides the least amount of stress on the knees and hips of any other recumbent exercise bike, according to Teeter anyway.

You can engage your upper body by grabbing ahold of the handles & getting your arms involved in your workout, and their Teeter Move app gives you free access to workout classes on your devices.

Like the first two bikes we’ve looked at, resistance comes from the nice & quiet magnetic system, and of course it is very easy to get on & off of too.

All this makes it one of the best exercise bikes for seniors or anyone with arthritis, joint pain, neuropathy issues, low back pain, etc.

 

Not the best choice if you’re strong & fit

This exercise bike isn’t designed for the athletically strong among us who are looking for an exercise bike built to handle high intensity training.

The Teeter FreeStep is best-suited for exercise beginners of any age, or for people that aren’t in great shape who’re just looking to get some good muscle toning & cardio exercise going at home.

 

What I like:

  • Great company – Teeter is an American company that has been around awhile, and their excellent customer service is well-known. The free fitness app is a nice touch.
  • Recumbent + elliptical = a helpful idea for many – Combining these 2 features into 1 exercise bike with arms is a great idea that provides an accessible means of exercise for so many people who are physically challenged in some form or another.
  • Very quiet exercise bike – this obviously is a common theme running through these bike reviews.
  • Resistance settings – this recumbent elliptical provides a decent range of resistance levels that are very easy to access & change as needed.

 

What’s not so good:

  • Console not lit – The print on the workout console was small and hard to read in dim lighting, since the console is not backlit.
  • Tablet holder pretty far away – The tray that comes with the bike to hold your devices was a little too far away for me to be able to read normal sized fonts on my iPad. It’s not within arm’s length, unless you lean forward some.
  • User weight limit –  it’s ‘only’ 250 lb., which is the least amongst the top 4 bikes in this review.
  • Resistance not enough for a few buyers – Not sure this is a problem for you, unless you’re pretty fit & strong – since I can’t tell how athletic those people were that complained. When I tried it out I felt like it would just fine resistance-wise for older adults who are simply looking for an easy-to-use bike.

 

Teeter FreeStep Tech Specs:

  • Max user weight capacity: 250 lb.
  • Dimensions: 55”L x 38”W x 53”H
  • User height range: 4′ 11″ – 6′ 6″
  • Performance Monitor: basic stats displayed on a backlit LCD
  • Teeter FreeStep weight: 110 lb.
  • Warranty: 2 year

Check Today's Price

 

 

Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike

4.3 4,400+ online reviews

Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike

Review Summary  

This 230 model from Schwinn is their most affordable & biggest selling recumbent exercise bike. It’s a nice & simple all-round choice for an older adult (or anyone really) who isn’t in great shape or is just starting out on an exercise routine.

It doesn’t come with all the flashy interactive tech, these days no $600 recumbent bike will, but it gives a peaceful easy ride thanks to its hushed magnetic resistance, simple electronics, & a very decent warranty.

But if you’re into big colorful screens displaying engaging workouts, you might find this bike lacking. (Of course you’d be paying close to a thousand more for that perk, though.)

 

Detailed review

The Schwinn 230 is one of Schwinn’s most popular exercise bikes, from one of biking’s most popular brands. It’s a decent-quality, bare-bones recumbent bike that has a handful of simple features to help you easily create your ideal bike workout program.

The Schwinn 230 is super easy to get on and off of, like good recumbent bikes are supposed to be. It’s also fully adjustable and features 16 levels of resistance, and has 13 workout programs.

The perimeter-weighted flywheel makes it very easy to start-up – offering smooth, consistent & quiet magnetic resistance throughout. And you can sync up to subscription-based apps (via Bluetooth) to track your progress, like Explore The World and Zwift.

 

Comparing the Schwinn 230 to the Sole R92 & the 3G Cardio Elite RB

I group these three together because they share the same ‘no frills recumbent bike’ design concept. But note how the Schwinn 230 & the 3G Cardio RB are separated by a $1200 difference in price, with the Sole R92 right in the middle of them.

There’s a lesson on product quality in there somewhere, and in my opinion, no surprises. Their ranking in price from highest to lowest is mirrored by their rankings in:

  • buyer satisfaction ratings;
  • warranty protection level;
  • company reputation amongst dedicated fitness buffs;
  • bike weight.

 

What I Like:

  • Good warranty for an inexpensive recumbent – despite it being cheap, the Schwinn 230 still commits to making sure you’re covered for a decent period of time.
  • Good customer rating from lots of owners – 4.3 star rating based on over 4,000 customer reviews I saw online.
  • Trusted Brand – Schwinn is one of the top brands not only in exercise bikes – but all bikes. They’re owned by Nautilus by the way, in case you didn’t know.
  • Easy assembly – I didn’t build the one I got to use, but most buyers who commented on the assembly said it took an hour, tops.
  • Comfortable enough – the seat won’t ever win an award for cushiness, but 30 minutes on it shouldn’t be a pain in the butt.
  • Sturdy but somewhat portable –  solidly built at 80 lb., the 230 can still be rolled somewhere pretty easily.

 

What’s Not So Good:

  • Cheap bike means minimal creature comforts – don’t expect a heart monitor strap, speakers, a USB port, or a cooling fan.
  • LCD display – the screen is small (5 1/2″) & it’s not backlit. Could be hard to see in dim light.
  • Seat issue? – as with most big-selling cheap bikes, a handful of people didn’t like the seat.

 

Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike Tech Specs:

  • Max user weight capacity: 300 lb.
  • Dimensions: 64” L x 27” W x 44.5” H
  • Resistance levels: 16
  • Workout programs: 13
  • User height range: None specified, but people from 5′ to 6’5″ have said it works fine for them.
  • Performance Monitor: Basic 5 1/2″ LCD display, Bluetooth connectivity
  • Schwinn 230 weight: 80 lb.
  • Warranty: Frame: 10 years / Parts: 2 years / Electronics: 1 year / Labor: 90 days

Check Today's Price

 

 

Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Bike

4.3 300+ online reviews

Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Bike

Review summary

The Stamina Elite is another recumbent bike with moving arms. Its pedaling motion is circular like regular recumbent exercise bikes, and its handles that work your arms rotate in a circle too.

It is an open step-through bike that has a sturdy feel, which makes it a good choice for seniors and people with balance issues.

But in my 2¢ worth of opinion, I think it’s way overpriced for the amount of bike quality you get.

 

Detailed review

Like the other bikes we’ve looked at so far, the Stamina Elite uses magnetic resistance. So it’s a very quiet recumbent bike, and at 121 lb. it rides smooth and feels pretty sturdy to me.

It’s step-through design makes it easy for anyone to use, it has a nice warranty, and it should last awhile if used for light exercise.

While the pedaling resistance offered some needed exercise intensity, I felt that the arm exerciser was useless; it had zero resistance.

So this bike is definitely not built for the active, energetic, or strong among us. I think it’s best suited for exercise beginners who have little muscle strength, or elderly people without a lot of gas in the tank.

The Stamina Elite also has a good warranty to back up its nice build, but it better: I currently see a sticker price around a thousand bucks.

Given its limitations, the Stamina Elite may not be the best recumbent exercise bike available, but it could work well for someone seeking a quiet, low impact cardio workout at home.

That asking price though…

 

What I like:

  • It’s a dual-action recumbent bike – You can burn more calories by using your hands for something other than holding your phone or a book. ‘Pedal’ with them using the included moving arms.
  • Decent warranty – 5 years on frame, 1 year on parts.
  • Magnetic resistance – gives it a quiet ride and it has 8 adjustment levels.
  • Nice design build – Sturdy steel frame, decent flywheel, and a comfortable, adjustable seat make exercising on this recumbent bike smooth.
  • Assembly is easy – allow at least an hour or so.

 

What’s not so good:

  • Seat issues – A few users report that their seat loosens from its setting after awhile.
  • Foot strap trouble – A few owners complained about the foot straps coming off their feet during use.
  • Weak arm exerciser – I felt no resistance in the arm ‘pedaler’, although I don’t know if that’s really a “CON” or simply a personal preference of mine.
  • Overpriced? – My personal opinion (& nothing more): I think it costs too much for the quality of exercise it provides.

 

Stamina Elite Tech Specs:

  • Max user weight capacity: 250 lb.
  • Dimensions: 52”L x 24”W x 49”H
  • Minimal monitor: Display shows basic stats like speed, distance, time, & calories, heart rate
  • Bike weight: 121 lb.
  • Warranty: 5y frame, 1y parts

Check Today's Price

 

An older man riding a recumbent exercise bike in a park

2 Cheap Recumbent Bikes for Seniors

Here are two of the more popular recumbent exercise bikes found in the bargain bin, if you can’t afford to pay for a higher-quality bike with a better manufacturer’s warranty.

Both are priced under $200, or were when I wrote this. (Man, fitness equipment prices are bouncing all over the place — mostly up — these days.)

Before we check them out though, I have a couple of thoughts to share about the reality of really cheap exercise bikes.

 

Something to consider

Bottom line: Keeping realistic performance expectations for these next two cheap exercise bikes is probably a good idea.

They’re very inexpensive because their manufacturers built them that way, using lower-quality methods & materials.

A short product warranty tells you the manufacturer isn’t expecting your bike to be trouble-free for all that long.

But who knows, you may end up getting a few years of consistent use out of one of these low-priced exercise bikes, which would be great.

 

Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike ME-709

4.5 20,000+ online reviews

Marcy Recumbent Bike ME-709

Review summary

This Marcy recumbent exercise bike is the lowest priced recumbent bike in this review, and probably the lowest priced recumbent bike you’d even possibly consider buying.

If you’re on a real tight budget it may be worth considering, bearing in mind my overused “you get what you pay for” advice.

 

Detailed review

The oldest & biggest-selling recumbent exercise bike online, this model was released in 2006 & now has had over 20,000 owner reviews so far.

It won’t last forever, but the Marcy recumbent bike has a nice warranty: 2 years for frame & parts (no labor coverage though).

It’s a comfortable, quiet, fairly compact exercise machine that’s pretty easy to move around.

All for well under 200 bucks too. It used to cost $99, but that was then, this is now.

 

What I like:

* Super Low Price – It’s currently priced between $150 & $200, that makes it a really really cheap recumbent bike.

* Open step-through bike design , so it’s very easy to climb on & off of.

* Easy to assemble, most owners were up & running in an hour or so.

* As a magnetic resistance bike, the Marcy ME-709 is a very quiet ride.

* 8 levels of magnetic resistance.

* The seat is padded and comfortable for me and lots of owners too.

 

What’s not so good:

  • Manufacturing flaws – A few owners received bikes that were defective in one way or another, right out of the box.
  • Seat adjusting issue? – Some owners report that adjusting the seat is difficult -that it didn’t easily slide. My Walmart ride slid OK, but I didn’t like that the pin was located on the low frame bar, requiring me to get off the bike and kneel down to adjust the seat.
  • Parts breaking too soon –  There are scattered owner reports of parts breaking after a few months of use.

(This is to be expected, considering the price that was paid for it. Since labor is not included in the Marcy ME-709’s warranty, you’d be responsible for handling the repair after they shipped you the replacement part.)

 

Marcy ME-709 Tech Specs:

  • Max user weight capacity: 300 lb.
  • Dimensions: 56”L x 25”W x 38”H
  • Bike weight: 66 lb.
  • Warranty: 2y limited warranty

Check Today's Price

 

Exerpeutic 400XL Semi-Recumbent Bike

 4.5 6,500+ online reviews

Exerpeutic 400xl Folding Bike

 

Review Summary

This Exerpeutic recumbent bike is one of the best selling recumbent bikes on the market. After riding on it at the store, I’m guessing that that’s mainly because it’s so cheap.

A folding recumbent exercise bike that sits comfortably in the low-budget aisle, it offers a unique semi-reclining feature and sells well thanks to its compact design, quiet operation, & that low price.

However, it’s not on par with higher-quality recumbent bikes when it comes to the leg positioning, cycling motion, user heights, and a few other user comforts.

 

Detailed review

It has a pretty high owner’s satisfaction rating, judging by the number of 4&5-star reviews it’s received over the past few years.

And why not? It’s easy to move around, easy to use, & easy on the wallet. Also, I’ve read where a few owners got more than a year’s use out of it without any major problems, except some had the data console fail.

No real loss there, since the bike would still pedal fine and cheap fitness machines are notorious for being equipped with inaccurate electronics anyways.

A couple of people even mentioned that their Exerpeutic 400XL’s were 2-3 years old and still working fine, though I don’t know how hard they rode or how often.

Three years as a laundry hanger doesn’t really wear out a cardio machine…

It has an open step-through design, which makes for an “easy on/easy off” experience, and a heavier-duty base compared to other cheap foldable bikes.

Other features include 8 resistance levels and a max user capacity of 300 lb., another surprise given its foldable nature. But sitting in it, I didn’t feel like it wasn’t stable, and it didn’t wobble at all (I weigh 180 by the way).

A magnetic resistance bike is a quiet bike, so that’s a plus too.

 

Who’s it for

The 400XL is best-suited for light cardio workouts and casual exercise use only; its really low price and short warranty tell you that.

If you’re on a tight budget, the Exerpeutic 400XL might make a good choice for seniors, exercise beginners, overweight people, and others with mobility & balance issues.

Athletic & dedicated workout types should steer clear.

 

What I like:

  • Popular – it’s the biggest selling folding recumbent exercise bike for years – and one of Exerpeutic’s better-rated portable exercise bikes too.
  • Solid customer reviews – Very good owner satisfaction rating – 89%, (4.5 stars, 6,000+ online owner reviews).
  • High capacity – for a lightweight folding bike, 300 lb.
  • Magnetic resistance – good quiet bike for apartments.
  • Ticks all the typical folding exercise bike boxes: 
    • it’s foldable;
    • it’s lightweight & easy to move;
    • it has a very small space footprint for a recumbent bike;
    • it’s cheap (easy on the wallet).

 

What’s not so good:

  • Listed user height range of 5′ to 6′ 3″ is narrow, plus people over 5′ 10″ have complaints over it being too short using the longest setting.
  • The company that makes Exerpeutic cardio equipment — Paradigm Health & Wellness — are a long way from ever receiving an Award of Excellence for their customer service.
  • Like most cheap recumbent bikes, the Exerpeutic 400XL has a short warranty: 1 year for the frame, 90 days for everything else, and no labor coverage.
  • A few owners have reported pedals breaking off after a few months.
  • Seat back & angle aren’t adjustable, just length.
  • Liquid crystal display (LCD) monitor is not backlit, so it’s hard to read in dim lighting. Doesn’t matter too much though, since its stats aren’t accurate anyways.

 

Exerpeutic 400XL Tech Specs:

  • Max user weight: 300 lb.
  • User height range: 5′ – 6’3″ (listed)
  • Dimensions: 46” L x 19” W x 33” H
  • Bike weight: 43 lb.
  • Monitor: minimal LCD shows distance, calories burned, time, speed, and heart rate
  • Resistance: Magnetic, 8 levels
  • Warranty: 1y frame, 90 days parts

Check Today's Price

 

 

Woman using Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE for leg raises

Benefits for older older adults from riding a stationary bike

Just a quick list of good things you give yourself when you regularly ride your exercise bike.

 

Revitalizes Your Mood

Ever noticed that feeling of elation after a solid workout? That’s because of the feel-good endorphins that are released when you break a sweat.

 

Boost Your Heart’s Fitness

It’s essential to keep your heart in top shape, and what better way than with some indoor cycling? The goal here is to get your heartbeat racing and maintain it.

 

Lower Pressure, Same Intensity

Concerned about joint issues but still want an intense workout? Stationary bikes are an excellent choice. They offer a low-impact option, delivering all the intensity without straining your knees, hips, & ankles like other cardio exercise can.

 

A Powerhouse for Your Lower Body

Stationary bikes serve as a potent tool for strengthening your lower body muscles. Be it your quads, hamstrings, glutes, or calves, regular cycling indoors gives them all an intensive workout.

 

No fuss anytime workout

Exercise bikes are a breeze to use. They’re designed for simplicity; hop on, start pedaling, and you’re good to go. And when you have your own exercise bike a workout is seconds away.

 

Easy way to burn fat

If weight loss is your aim, then indoor cycling might just be the key. Research has indicated that cycling three times a week for about 45 minutes can lower the amount of fat you have.

Circus performer strong man on strange bicycle

“Dang these upright bikes, they aren’t comfy at all…”

 

What is the best exercise bike for seniors?

A recumbent bike with step through design is often an ideal choice for many older folk looking to get some exercise on a stationary bike.

“Step through design” means you can easily step across it, since a recumbent bike isn’t usually built far off the ground.

It also means that getting on & off of its seat is a lot less of a challenge if you have any balance, mobility, or strength limitations.

As a result you may feel less discomfort while exercising on a recumbent bike. This can lead to longer workout times, which provide more health benefits to you as well.

 

Upright vs. recumbent bikes

Clinical research has proven that unless you resolve to fight it tooth & nail (like I try to do), simply getting older causes:

Fast-forward to our senior years, and many of us discover that many routine and simple things we used to do with ease aren’t as easy to do…like climbing up on a stationary bike saddle.

 

Balance & stability issues

By definition, upright bikes require that we climb aboard and maintain an upright position directly over the pedals.

We also have to keep our center of gravity directly over our seat, and that requires the ability to easily maintain our balance.

I’m sure none of us had any problem with that when we were a tad more spry, but it’s likely an issue for some of us nowadays.

For the older people who may have balance, stability, and/or strength issues, climbing up onto & down from an upright stationary bike may prove challenging.

It may be unsafe too, since you create a pretty high center of gravity when parked way up on the seat. If you lose your balance for a sec, you risk toppling over.

Who’s going to feel excited about exercising every day if they have to be concerned with that?

 

Lower back stress

Furthermore, the way you have to sit on an indoor cycling bike can put stress on your lower back. So for any of you with low back issues, an upright bike isn’t a pleasant exercising option.

I know this firsthand, as I have a long history of dealing with nerve pain due to an ancient low back injury.

The thought of riding hunched over on an upright spin bike for an hour makes me think of when I had my impacted wisdom teeth pulled back in the ’70s.

 

Ahh, behold the laid-back bike

Bottom line: For many older adults, recumbent bikes offer a low-impact workout that is safer and more comfortable than what a typical exercise bike can.

The recumbent bike, being easier to manage than those upright bikes, is thus an effective way for some of us older folk to get some much needed exercise.

All of the aforementioned problems disappear simply by having a recumbent exercise bike instead. Like I mentioned, most recumbent bikes are built so that it’s real easy to get on & off of them.

This allows you to get squared away — balanced & oriented — before you park your butt on the cushy seat.

 

Reclined & comfortable

The word recumbent basically means a sitting position where you’re reclining; you’re seated in the bike with your legs extended in front of you.

This is a very comfortable position compared to sitting up on an upright bicycle seat, hunched towards the handlebars.

Unsurprisingly then, the angle at which you’re seated on a recumbent bike is much easier on your lower back than on an upright bike.

 

Feel better, work out longer

One of the bonuses of being more comfortable on a recumbent bike is that you’ll be able to exercise for longer periods of time.

Listen: if you want to slow (and in some cases, reverse) the effects of age-related decline in your body, lots of exercise (relatively speaking, given our age) is a must.

There are some real good reasons to get movin’, so if you’re not yet on a consistent exercise program, I want to sincerely encourage you to take the steps to start one for yourself.

Now. 😄

You’re worth being at your best, and a nice amount of physical activity can help you get there.

 

Protect your floor AND your new exercise bike

Do you need a fitness equipment mat to protect your floor from your exercise bike?

A good mat also keeps floor dust or carpet fibers from getting into your equipment’s moving parts and causing problems.

I wrote a buyer’s guide — Best Treadmill Mats & Exercise Equipment Mats. This article goes over what to look for in a good-quality equipment mat, & I review a few of the better equipment mats available for both carpet & hardwood floors if you’re interested.

Magic book with sparkles coming out - fitness after 50 guide

Fitness guides for my fellow members of the Over 50 Club

In case you’re interested…

I’ve written a bunch of workout and diet guides here on heydayDo with older folk like me in mind, and here’s a few of them:

9 Muscle-Building Dumbbell Exercises For Seniors  – Full Body

7 At-Home Dumbbell Exercises for Flabby Arms Over 60 (Or Any Age)

HIIT For Seniors

5 x 5 Workout For the Over 50-year-old

 

FAQ

Here are answers to some of the commonly asked questions regarding exercise bikes, their workouts, & their benefits.

What are the main benefits of using an exercise bike?

Cycling on an exercise bike can offer a bounty of health benefits. It boosts your cardiovascular health, tones muscles, and even helps with weight management.

Those are some solid reasons why it's a good addition to your fitness routine.

How does an exercise bike strengthen the lower body?

When you use an exercise bike, you engage muscles in your lower body, strengthening your thighs, calves, and glutes.

Consistent cycling sessions can sculpt and tone these muscles, enhancing your overall physical strength.

What types of workouts can be done on indoor bikes?

A range of workouts is achievable with indoor bikes, including high-intensity interval training, steady-state rides, or fat-burning exercises.

Varying your workouts keeps them challenging and engaging, and targets different fitness goals.

How does indoor cycling improve heart health?

Speaking of your heart, indoor cycling is a fantastic way to boost its health.

Regular workouts on the bike increase your heart rate, promoting blood circulation and reducing the risk of heart disease. It's a wonderful, low-impact way to work on cardiovascular fitness.

Can exercise bikes help with weight loss?

Yes, exercise bikes can certainly assist in weight loss.

Cycling burns calories and when paired with a balanced diet, can help create a calorie deficit leading to weight loss. It's an effective, low-impact option if you're aiming to shed some pounds.

Does indoor cycling improve lung capacity?

As for lung capacity, indoor cycling doesn't directly increase it.

However, over time, regular cardio workouts like cycling can improve your body's ability to use oxygen efficiently, making your lungs feel stronger and more efficient during exercise.

Are exercise bikes gentle on the joints?

Absolutely, exercise bikes are known to be gentle on the joints. They provide a smooth motion that avoids the harsh impact that comes with certain other forms of exercise.

This makes them suitable for those with joint concerns or recovering from injury.

Can using an exercise bike improve posture?

Focusing on your posture while cycling can indeed lead to improvements.

The right position on an exercise bike encourages you to keep your back straight, which can help enhance your everyday posture and alleviate back discomfort.

Are exercise bikes easy to use, especially for beginners?

Exercise bikes are user-friendly and a great choice for beginners.

With adjustable resistance and speed, they allow you to start slow and gradually increase your workout intensity as your fitness improves.

Can exercise bikes have a positive impact on mental health?

Regular exercise like cycling can boost your mood and mental health. It triggers the release of endorphins, the body's natural mood elevators.

Not only does it help reduce stress and anxiety, but it can also improve sleep and overall well-being.

 

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Wrapping up

I hope this article with my in-store product testing & research on exercise bikes for older adults is helpful to you, and that the benefits guide for recumbent bikes is useful as well.

I wish you well on your fitness journey.

– greg

 

About The Author

heydayDo author Greg Simon

Hi, I’m Gregory Simon. Fitness training & nutrition researching since 1982. ISSN (International Society of Sports Nutrition) Pro Member. MBA, B.Sc.

Author. Surfer. Organic food grower. Congenital heart disease survivor (so far).

heydayDo.com is my wellness blog that’s about encouraging a healthy lifestyle as we age. 

I share my fitness training experience as well as the sports science research I’ve done on the many benefits strength building, exercise, & good eating habits offer us. 

I also write review articles after product testing and evaluating home gym equipment & fitness supplements.

My hope is that you’ll find useful or encouraging information here on my website that will benefit your unique fitness journey.

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