Best Exercise Bike For Seniors – 2021

In this review article I share my opinion on what I think are 5 of the better stationary bike models, chosen from those I product-tested with people in mind who are over 50 like me.

Heck, I just blinked and now I’m over 60 too. 😄

Two of the models were included for those of you who may be on a strict budget and unable to pay for a higher quality bike.

 

What type of indoor bike is well-suited for seniors?

I think for many people, a recumbent step through bike is often an ideal choice for older folk looking to get some exercise on a stationary bike.

So I also share some of the benefits that come with choosing a recumbent over an upright exercise bike, particularly for anyone with either balance issues or low-back pain.

 

Gettin’ old, are we?

I’m a senior I suppose; I did turn 61 this year.

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

I mean, it’s either me or him:

Lil Boji w Judees Egg White Powder and Muscle Feast Isolate - heydayDo image

 

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 gets harder

Me & many of you reading this are well aware of what happens to our bodies as the decades pile up.

For some of us – and in varying degrees – balance, stability, & strength have left the building, so to speak.

This makes 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 recon & evaluation article is on the safe & easy-to-use recumbent exercise bike.

 

Before I wax eloquent any longer about this wonderful human condition of age-related decline, here are my top stationary bike picks for us folks with a lot of road in our rear-view mirrors:

 

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Best Exercise Bikes for Seniors

Click link to see reviews & current price on Amazon.

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

 

Top Picks

Teeter FreeStep Recumbent – 4.7800+ online reviews

Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike – 4.5600+ online reviews

 

Runner Up

Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Bike4.4300+ online reviews

 

Best Inexpensive Recumbent Bikes

And if you’re on a tight budget and need to go the cheap route, these are two of the best bikes from the bargain bin:

Marcy Recumbent Bike ME-7094.49,700+ online reviews

Exerpeutic 900XL Recumbent Exercise Bike – 4.34,000+ online reviews

 

Did you notice that all of my top picks are recumbent exercise bikes and not upright stationary bikes?

There are very good reasons for this, which I’ll get into below.

 

 

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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.

 

 

Recumbent bike vs. upright bike

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 riding a bike.

 

Balance & stability issues

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.

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 deal with that?

 

Lower back stress

Furthermore, the way you have to sit on an upright bike puts stress on your lower back.

For any of you with low back issues, an upright bike isn’t a pleasant exercising option.

I know this firsthand.

I have a long history of dealing with nerve pain due to an ancient low back injury.

An upright stationary bike = a root canal for me.

 

Older man smiling on recumbent bike.

Behold the recumbent bike

All of the aforementioned problems disappear simply by having a recumbent exercise bike instead.

 

Easy on, easy off

It’s easy to get on & off of a recumbent bike because it’s lower to the ground, and also because it has a step through bike frame.

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 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 is a must.

Here 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 Investment

Do you need an exercise equipment mat to protect your floor from your home cardio machine?

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 & article on the better equipment mats available for both carpet & hardwood floors here.

 

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Best Exercise Bike for Seniors Reviews

Top Pick

Teeter FreeStep Recumbent Elliptical

“Extremely well made. I bought the Teeter cross trainer in June, 2018, to supplement my physical therapy. It gives me a better workout than the machine I use in therapy which costs over three thousand more than the Teeter. ” – owner JC201

 

Teeter FreeStep Recumbent Bike - heydayDo image

 

Review Summary

The Teeter FreeStep has a smart design and is solidly built.

This recumbent bike with moving arms can be used in a variety of ways to achieve a low-intensity full-body cardio workout.

 

Detailed review

The Teeter recumbent elliptical bike has a unique elliptical pedaling motion that provides the least amount of stress on the knees & hips of any recumbent bike.

It is very easy to get on & off of too.

All this makes it an ideal choice for seniors or anyone with arthritis, joint pain, neuropathy issues, low back pain, etc.

 

Not the best choice if you’re strong & fit

This bike isn’t designed for the athletically strong among us who want a cardio machine for 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 toning exercise at home. 

 

If you’re interested, I compare this Teeter bike to a couple of bikes built for more intense workouts in my article Best Exercise Bikes With Moving Arms.

(Just note that the heavier-duty bikes mentioned in that article are upright stationary bikes, not recumbents.)

 

What I like:

* Excellent owner satisfaction rating – 94% (4.7 stars from 800+ online owner reviews)

* Great company – Teeter is an American company that has been around awhile, and their excellent customer service is well-known

* 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 – the Teeter FreeStep makes very little noise while in use; easy to watch TV or listen to music without having to crank up the volume

* Resistance settings – this recumbent elliptical provides a decent range of resistance levels that are very easy to access & change as needed

* Shipping free on Amazon, nice since it weighs over a hundred pounds

 

What’s not so good:

* Personal opinion: I think a 1-year warranty is too short for home fitness equipment that costs in the neighborhood of 800 bucks. Sitting in it I can tell it’s well-designed & well-built, using quality materials. But only 1 year?

* The tablet holder that comes with the bike was a little too far away for me to be able to read normal sized fonts on my iPad.

* The print on the workout console was small and hard to read in dim lighting, since the console is not backlit.

 

Teeter FreeStep Tech Specs:

  • Max user weight capacity: 300 lb.
  • Dimensions: 54”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: 1 year

 

See reviews & current price on Amazon

 

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Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike

Top Pick

 

Review Summary

Well-designed & sturdy, the Nautilus R616 is loaded with features, comes with a solid warranty, and provides a smooth & very quiet bike ride.

Even with all that, it’s still nicely priced in the mid-range of the recumbent bike market.

The build quality, warranty, workout programs, app syncing & connectivity make the R616 a good bang for the buck$.

 

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Will the real R616 please stand up?

Note: My review is based on the newer Nautilus R616 model, #100670.

This model is available directly from Amazon, and is also currently an “Amazon’s Choice”.

 

I mention this because there are 3rd party sellers on Amazon selling the older R616 version, which isn’t as good (model 100388). 

 

My links here on heydayDo go to the new & improved R616.

If you scroll down the Nautilus R616’s Amazon page to the orange writing that says “Product Details”, in that section you’ll see “Item model number:”.

It should say 100670. 😉

 

Who the R616 is intended for

If having a recumbent exercise bike for home use is in your fitness plans, the Nautilus R616 is worth your consideration.

It’s not built to handle HIIT training-level intensity with heavy usage — none of these lower-priced recumbent bikes are.

But it’s a good choice for quiet & convenient, low to moderate cardio exercise workouts at home.

 

 

What I like:

* High owner satisfaction rating of 88% (4&5-star owner reviews)

* Excellent warranty – 10 years on frame, 3 years on parts & electronics, and 1 year of labor

* Smart design choices with the drive system & flywheel make for smooth pedaling

* 25 levels of magnetic resistance that are easy to switch during workout via a ‘quick key’

* The Nautilus R616 is easy to assemble thanks to clear instructions (hooray). Not quick, but easy

* Very quiet ride

* Contact (palms) heart rate monitoring included. It has Bluetooth telemetry capability, but you need to get your own non-coded Polar® chest strap or similar, since it’s not included

* 29 workout programs total: 12 profile, 9 heart rate, 1 quick start, 2 fitness tests, 1 recovery, & 4 custom

* Your workout data is compatible with a variety of popular fitness apps and syncs via Bluetooth

* Stores 4 user profiles

* Seat feels comfortable to me, and the majority of owners concur

* Other nice touches: Oversized pedals, bottle holder, and media (tablet/phone) tray are all nice touches

* 3-speed fan if you want to feel the breeze in your hair

* Shipping free on Amazon

 

What’s not so good:

* A couple of owners received bikes with faulty parts right out of the box. They both noted that Nautilus was quick to send replacements

 

Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike Tech Specs:

  • Max user weight capacity: 300 lb.
  • Dimensions: 65”L x 28”W x 50”H
  • Frame levelers & rear stabilizers
  • Performance Monitor: 2 blue backlit LCD displays
  • USB charging port
  • 2 speakers with an mp3 input
  • transport wheels
  • Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike weight: 92 lb.
  • Warranty: 10y frame, 3y parts & electronics, 1y labor

See reviews & current price on Amazon

 

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Runner Up : Best Exercise Bike for Seniors

Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Bike

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.

 

Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Bike - heydayDo image

 

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

It uses magnetic resistance, so it’s a very quiet recumbent bike. It rides smooth and feels pretty sturdy to me.

 

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

The Stamina Elite also has a good warranty to back up its nice build.

It’s considered a mid-priced home recumbent exercise bike, even though it’s the 2nd most expensive bike in this article.

 

Summing it up

This bike is definitely not built for the active, energetic, or strong among us.

I think it’s best suited for exercise beginners, or elderly people without a lot of gas in the tank.

Given its limitations, the Stamina Elite is a good recumbent exercise bike that’ll work well for those of you seeking a quiet, low impact cardio workout at home.

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.

 

 

What I like:

* It’s a dual-action exercise 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

* Nice warranty: 5 years on frame, 1 year on parts

* Magnetic resistance gives it a quiet ride and has 8 adjustment levels

* The Stamina Elite has heart rate monitor contact handles on either side of your seat

* 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

* Shipping free on Amazon

 

What’s not so good:

* A couple of users report that their seat loosens from its setting after awhile

* A few owners complained about the foot straps coming off their feet during use

* 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.

(In any event, moving your arms while you’re sitting there pedaling is better than not. You’ll burn more calories and increase your heart rate more by getting your arms involved.)

* My personal opinion (& nothing more): I think it costs too much for the quality of exercise it provides.

 

Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Bike Tech Specs:

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

See reviews & current price on Amazon

 

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Best Cheap Exercise 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.

Before we check them out though…

 

Something to consider (AKA “lecture time”)

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.

Aligning your expectations for your new fitness machine’s longevity with those of its builder is a sound approach methinks.

If you end up getting a couple of years of consistent use out of one of these (really) low-priced bikes, that’d be great.

As you’ll read, a number of people have done that apparently.

So perhaps it’s not as far-fetched as I might make it sound, skeptical person that I am…😄

 

 

Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike ME-709

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.

 

Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709 - heydayDo image copy

 

It’s the biggest-selling recumbent exercise bike online as well, with over 6,600 owner reviews so far.

You get what you pay for, so it won’t last forever.

But the Marcy recumbent bike has a nice warranty: 2 years for frame & parts (no labor coverage tho’).

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

All for under $150 too.

 

Summing it up

If you’re on a tight budget the Marcy ME-709 Recumbent Exercise Bike is worth considering, bearing in mind my overused “you get what you pay for” advice.

It’s cheap for a reason, but it has some nice features: it’s quiet, comfortable, has a nice warranty (though the labor’s on you), provides a smooth pedaling workout, and is easy to use and easy to move around.

 

 

What I like:

* Super Low Price – It’s currently priced under 150 bucks, 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

* Has wheels and can be rolled pretty easily

* Shipping free on Amazon

 

What’s not so good:

* A few owners received bikes that were defective in one way or another, right out of the box

* 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

* It’s a super cheap recumbent bike. There are a few owner reports of parts breaking after some 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 Recumbent Exercise Bike ME-709 Tech Specs:

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

See reviews & current price on Amazon

 

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Exerpeutic 900XL Recumbent Bike

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.

 

EXERPEUTIC 900XL Recumbent Exercise Bike - heydayDo image copy

Owner Feedback

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.

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 900XL’s were 2-3 years old and still working fine, though I don’t know how hard they rode or how often.

 

Notable Features

It has a step-through design and heavier-duty base compared to other cheap recumbent bikes.

Other features include 8 resistance levels and a max user capacity of 300 lb.

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

 

Who’s it for

The 900XL is best-suited for light cardio workouts and casual exercise use; its really low price and short warranty tell you that.

If you’re on a tight budget, the Exerpeutic 900XL is a good choice for seniors, exercise beginners, overweight people, and others with mobility & balance issues.

 

What I like:

* It’s Pricethis Exerpeutic recumbent bike is very inexpensive

* Quiet – It’s a magnetic resistance bike, so it’s a very quiet bike during use…apartment-friendly noise level

* Easy to use – Step through bike design and decent length makes the Exerpeutic 900XL easy to use

* Heavier flywheel – than other inexpensive recumbent bikes in its price range. This gives it a smoother pedaling experience

* Heart-rate monitoring – via contact handles

* Has a basic console – LCD monitor with basic exercise bike stats: distance, calories, time, speed, & heart rate

* Multiple resistance – 8 adjustment levels of magnetic resistance

* Has transport wheels – to move it off somewhere if need be

* Shipping free on Amazon

 

What’s not so good:

* Like most cheap recumbent bikes, the Exerpeutic 900XL 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 awhile

* I had a couple of issues with the seat. It’s adjustment process isn’t the best, and a few owners & I didn’t think it was very comfortable. It’s basically wood with a little hard foam, wrapped in vinyl

* A few owners received bikes with faulty resistance. That is, the bike was stuck on maximum resistance and wouldn’t adjust to a lower setting

* Liquid crystal display (LCD) is not backlit, so it’s hard to read in dim lighting or if you’re not at a conducive angle

 

Exerpeutic 900XL Recumbent Bike Tech Specs:

  • Max user weight capacity: 300 lb.
  • Dimensions: 54”L x 22”W x 34”H
  • Exerpeutic 900XL weight: 70 lb.
  • Warranty: 1y frame, 90 days parts

See reviews & current price on Amazon

 

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Fitness guides for my fellow members of the Over 50 Club

In case you’re interested…

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

How I Plan To Build Muscle After 60

Over 60 & Overweight? 7 Proven Ideas & Exercises

HIIT For Seniors

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

Dumbbell Exercises For Seniors

 

And if you’re in decent shape and would prefer a bike built for consistent exercise with some intensity, there are a few ideas in these articles as well:

Best Exercise Bike With Moving Arms

Best Heavy Duty Exercise Bikes

 

Wrapping up

I hope this article with my product recon & research on exercise bikes appropriate 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; let’s go.

– greg

January 2021

 

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About Me

heydayDo author Greg Simon
Hi I’m Greg Simon. Fitness training & nutrition researching since 1982. Surfer. Organic food & wine grower. Guitarist & music producer. Congenital heart disease survivor (so far).

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heydayDo.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

About heydayDo

heydayDo is my “fitness after 50” website that’s about embracing the physically active lifestyle as we get older.
 
It’s an information-sharing, personal opinion blog of mine.
 
(So if you’re looking for medical or nutritional advice, hit up your doctor or health professional for that. I’m just shootin’ the breeze here…) 
 
heydayDo began as a daily journal I kept as I recovered from the latest of many heart operations I’ve had to deal with since birth. 
 
I have a deep interest in learning about nutrition & fitness, and applying it to improve my quality of life.
 
I believe this knowledge can help me be the healthiest & strongest version of me as I can, even in the face of inborn heart disease.
heydayDo author Greg Simon at 60 (Jan 2020) original

The 60-year-old version of me, January 2020

So when I get curious about something, I’ll dig into whatever sports science & medical facts there are on the topic to learn what’s real & what’s hype.
 
Here on heydayDo I share what I’ve learned from my fitness, health, & nutrition experience and research with whoever drops by.
 
Oh, and by the way…
 
…I don’t get free stuff from any of the companies whose products I review here on heydayDo.
 
Amazon pays me pennies (1¢ – 4¢) on the dollar if you click on their product link & buy it, and I use that money to keep my heydayDo website up & running.
 
Best of luck with your health & fitness goals!