Exercise is a very important part of staying healthy. That’s true for everyone, young and old. An exercise bike is a great way to get some exercise. Which type of exercise bike is the best for seniors and specifically which models? I’ve done some research and here is what you should know.
The best type of stationary bike for seniors is a recumbent bike. Because recumbent bikes have a step through design, comfortable seat with backrest they are comfortable to get on and off. Recumbent bikes are also for a low-medium intensity workout that has a very low impact on joints.
Why are recumbent bikes the best option and what are the best models for seniors, find out below.
- 1 Best type of stationary exercise bike for seniors
- 2 Top 5 exercise bikes for seniors
- 3 Favorite Cardio Machine Accessories
Best type of stationary exercise bike for seniors
There are a few different types of exercise bikes and some are definitely better than others for seniors. Seniors have to contend with some other things than younger people.
I won’t put an age on being a senior. People age at different rates and will run into different problems when they get older. However, there are some common things that most seniors have to deal with at some point.
- Mobility issues
- Joints can handle less stress
- Recovery is slower than when younger
- Possibly stability issues
That means we’re looking for an exercise bike that is’
- Easy to get on and off
- Has a comfortable position
- Has a low impact on joints
- Is good for low to medium intensity exercise
- Is easy to stay on
Types of exercise bike compared for seniors
Knowing all of that, let’s compare the different types of exercise bikes to see which one is best for seniors.
As you can see in the chart above, recumbent bikes tick all the boxes of characteristics we’re looking for in an exercise bike for seniors.
- Spin bikes: Spin bikes have an uncomfortable seat and very ‘aggressive’ seating position. Mostly suitable for high intensity workouts. You’ll need to have some stability to stay on it.
- Upright bike: Upright bikes are very similar to spin bikes although they usually have a more comfortable seat and more upright seating position. They are still a little difficult to get on and off.
- Recumbent bike: Comfortable seat and relatively easy to get on and off. Good for low to medium intensity workouts. The large seat and grab handles means it’s hard to fall off
- Air bike: Air bikes are not too hard to get on and off although they aren’t super comfy. Air bikes can be a very difficult workout. Most air bikes have arm levers that turn the bike into a full body workout. This does require some coordination and stability.
Recumbent bikes are the best type of bike for seniors or people with limited mobility. They provide a low impact, low to medium intensity workout, are comfortable and are comfortable to sit on.
Top 5 exercise bikes for seniors
Above you can find why recumbent bikes are easily the best type of exercise bike for seniors. Now here are the 5 best
#1: Best high end recumbent bike for seniors
This is simply the best option. A very good exercise bike with all the features you might want or need and price is no object.
Life Fitness Club+ Recumbent bike
Life Fitness is one of the most famous brands of fitness equipment. You can find their stuff in commercial gyms, health clubs, but also home gyms. Their products are top notch. Very high quality, well developed equipment with great customer support.
The Club+ recumbent bike is an absolutely awesome recumbent bike. The build quality is great and the bike itself looks pretty good too. The seat is fully adjustable, the mechanism that adjusts the seat and backrest are super easy to work and are sturdy.
It is available with a choice of different consoles. If you’re looking for a big screen, plenty of connectivity, entertainment and much more, go for the SE3 HD console.
The movement is silky smooth and consistent because a lot of effort has gone into the drive system and creating ergonomic pedals. This puts the least amount of stress on your joints and lower back. It also has a high quality built-in heart rate monitor that can be shown on the screen and used to adjust the resistance on the fly.
#2: Best affordable recumbent bike for seniors
The first option is quite pricey. A good workout isn’t only for the wealthy, there are plenty of options that are more affordable. Of course in this price range you have to be a bit more careful since the quality can be a bit more hit or miss.
When shopping for an affordable recumbent bike, it’s a good idea to go for a simple machine that still has good build quality. It’s possible to get a lot of features for a low price but you’ll likely be sacrificing quality for those features. It’s much better to have a simple machine that works instead of one with tons of features that doesn’t
There are recumbent bikes that are a little cheaper than this but this is the cheapest one I feel comfortable recommending. The ME-706 is a relatively simple recumbent bike but at the same time it has the basic features you really want/need. It has a built in heart rate monitor, console that shows the most important information and the buttons are really simple to understand.
The seat height is quite low so it’s easy to get on and off. The backrest is not adjustable in angle but for most people that’s not a necessary feature. A sturdy non-adjustable backrest is better than a flimsy adjustable one. The distance of the seat to the pedals is easily adjustable.
For the price it looks pretty good and the bike looks substantial, not as flimsy as some of the really cheap models. It also doesn’t have to be plugged into an outlet since the pedaling generates enough electricity to run the display. This removes another layer of complexity. Just start pedaling to turn it on.
The ME-706 is a good machine for the price. But what if you just want something a touch nicer? The Nautilus R616 just takes everything up a notch without becoming too expensive. The build quality, looks, features and customer service are all on a higher level. Of course that does come at a higher price but I’d still classify this as an affordable recumbent bike.
#3: Best mid-range recumbent bike for seniors
Looking for something in between the first and second recommendations? No worries, here is a great mid-range recumbent bike.
Sole Fitness is a company that tries to bring high quality products to market for a lower price than they would usually go for.
The R92 is a great mid-range recumbent bike that has good features, good build quality, a lifetime warranty on the frame. It has a relatively simple console with super easy controls. Press the green button to start, red button to stop and the up/down buttons to adjust the resistance. Some other fancier big screen consoles can be a bit complicated for people that didn’t grow up with smartphones.
They claim to have the most comfortable seat on a recumbent bike which I haven’t tried but it certainly looks well cushioned. The step through design makes it very easy to get on and off and the built in heart rate monitor is easy to reach.
#4: Best compact recumbent bike for seniors
Recumbent bikes are quite a bit larger than other types of exercise bike. While they’re usually still smaller than something like a treadmill, it’s a substantial piece of equipment. Not everyone has a lot of free space available. If space is an issue, this compact recumbent bike can be the solution.
High quality recumbent bikes tend to be a bit bulkier than the lower end ones. There is one model that is compact but at the same time very high quality.
The Sole R92 recommended above isn’t only a great mid-range recumbent bike, it’s also quite compact. It’s especially quite short compared to the average. The R92 is a bit wider but that’s not the biggest problem to fitting a recumbent bike in most spaces, it’s the length that’s difficult. The footprint of the R92 is 30″ by 57″ which means you can fit it into many spaces.
They’ve managed to make a high quality machine that has a very compact footprint for the level it’s at.
#5: Best recumbent bike with high user weight limit
If you need a recumbent bike that has a higher weight limit, this is the one for you. Actually the bike recommended at #1 has a very high load limit (400 lbs./181 kg). However, that model comes with a very hefty price tag. It’s possible to get that 400 lbs. user weight limit for a less than half the price.
The LifeSpan R5I is the most affordable recumbent bike with a high user weight limit. Don’t get me wrong, they’re not cheap even though I called it affordable. However, compared to other bikes with the same load limit, it’s a lot less expensive.
Favorite Cardio Machine Accessories
Check out these accessories that improve a home cardio workout:
- Equipment mat: All cardio equipment should be put on an equipment mat. The Rubber-Cal mat (Amazon) is an affordable yet very high quality choice.
- Interval timer: To time your intervals and workouts, there is no better choice than the GymNext Flex. It’s super easy to use and set up with a phone app.
- Tablet holder: Cardio can be boring. With this tablet holder (Amazon) you can follow along with on-demand workouts or just watch a movie on any cardio machine.
- Heart rate monitor: Monitoring your heart rate is very important while doing cardio. The Polar H10 (Amazon) connects to almost anything you can imagine and is very accurate.
To find which cardio machines I recommend for home gyms, click here.