People who use exercise bikes to work out daily are more likely able to strengthen their muscles, tone the whole body, and enhance their cardiovascular health and bring them many other benefits.
But for those people who have knee problems, choosing the right exercise bikes is probably confusing. If you want to keep fit by using an exercise bike, I recommend you go for stationary bikes that come with ample adjustment features to satisfy your body conditions.
Because they can provide low-impact workout options for you that will not cause so much strain on your knees.
By choosing the right exercise bike for arthritic knees, you can ensure your fitness routine will not aggravate the pain any more than you already suffer.
In a hurry, here are our top 7 picks of the best exercise bikes for bad knees:
- Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike
- Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike
- Exerpeutic 900XL Extended Capacity Recumbent Bike
- Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike ME-709
- Exerpeutic ExerWorK 1000 Desk Bike
- HCI Fitness PhysioCycle XT-800 Recumbent Bike with Arms
- Nautilus R614 Recumbent Bike
See the overview, pros & cons below.
What Type of Exercise Bike Is Best for Bad Knees?
If your primary requirement is to perform low-impact exercises, you can always choose between recumbent or upright bikes.
Both these models offer comfort, are safe to use, and are also similar in many ways but differ in some other means.
My verdict is in favor of recumbent bikes if you suffer from bad knees as the bike’s ergonomic design makes you exercise in a laid-back position, enhancing comfort levels. We even have a study showing that the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) experiences less stress when you ride a recumbent bike.
An upright bike is just like your normal outdoor bike with similar seating positions and pedal placements.
Whereas, recumbent bikes come with more comfortable and broader seats which are semi-reclined with back support.
This makes them safer and easier to exercise, especially for those suffering from knee pain/back-related problems too.
Hence, we are going to look at some of the top bikes in the recumbent category to help you finalize a good exercise bike for your home gym.
Before that, we need to take a look at the integral features that make a piece of equipment worthy of purchase.
How to Choose the Best Exercise Bikes for Bad Knees
Firstly, prioritize your needs and goals before starting to pick products. Be sure about the available space in your house, budget, desired comfort levels, and fitness goals before rushing to make a choice.
Here, I would be discussing some of the vital features that must be considered:
The desired size of the bike must be chosen depending on the space available at your place and the height of the individuals using it.
Don’t be sulked by the fact that recumbent bikes occupy more space compared to upright or spin bikes—after all, they are going to protect your bad knees.
Also, the chosen model must come with an adjustable seat to help you reach the pedals and handlebars comfortably.
You get bikes starting as low as $100 and going up to $5000. The higher the pricing, the better the quality of the product.
But, you do get optimal durability and functionality when you are ready to accept basic features that come in low-budget bikes.
The pricing primarily varies for the additional features that are offered by manufacturers.
#3. Noise Level
The noise generated differs depending on the manufacturer. Recumbent bikes also cause different noise levels based on the brand.
Manual resistance bikes are generally noisier in comparison to magnetic resistance bikes.
Thankfully, recumbent bikes generally come with adjustable seat settings to set them to your desired comfort level and preferences.
If you are shorter than the average height, I recommend you take a look at the height range provided by the model to ensure that the bike is suitable for your use.
These days, exercise bikes generally come with the provisioning for a strap on the pedals to ensure that your foot is intact and set in place while pedaling faster.
If you suffer from knee problems/pain, please go for a model which is designed with slightly inward-sloped pedals—this way, the pedal mimics the body’s natural posture. Also, it relieves you of any soreness or tightness that you suffer in your muscles.
#6. Heart Rate Monitoring
Besides basic metrics such as calories burned, time, and speed, most modern bikes now feature the ability to monitor your heart rate. This is of good help as you can pace your exercise to match your fitness goals.
Also, keeping track of your heart rate helps you work out at a steady speed and exercise for a longer duration without causing exhaustion to your body and strain on your knee.
Above all, you can track your day-to-day progress that’s extremely helpful in achieving your target fitness level.
Though most people don’t give much importance to the warranty period provided by manufacturers, I suggest that you choose models that come with a decent warranty period.
An optimal warranty period covers for sudden breakdown of the machine or also when any of the parts are defective in the first place.
Again, the warranty offered by companies depends on the price of the model but always buy a bike that has at least a one-year warranty offered.
Top 7 Best Exercise Bikes for Bad Knees
#1. Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike
If you suffer from a serious space crunch, don’t think twice about proceeding with the Exerpeutic 400XL bike as it is compact and extremely lightweight.
Weighing only 39 pounds, you could move it anywhere around the house as per your space availability.
Still, the manufacturer hasn’t compromised on maximal user weight capacity as the bike supports up to 300 pounds.
You get to pick from any of the eight different tension levels to kickstart your exercise routine and follow up on your fitness performance using the large display screen.
The easy-to-read LCD screen helps you with all important metrics, including calories burned, time, speed, heart rate, and distance.
Unfortunately, the screen is placed a bit low, which makes it quite difficult to keep track of your performance now and then.
The bike has highly adjustable seats that are cushioned, and the semi-recumbent design makes it ideal for those with knee problems as you can easily get on and hop off the bike.
Get a smooth and quiet-performing bike due to the magnetic resistance system provided.
- V-belt double-drive transmission makes the bike’s operation quiet and smooth
- Easy to assemble
- Leg stabilizers help in maintaining stability
- Foldable and compact
- The wheels provided make it easy to move around
- Quite unsuitable for users over 6 feet tall
- The cushion is uncomfortable for some
- One-year limited warranty
#2. Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike
Are you looking specifically for a recumbent bike that attends to your knee problems? Then you can put a full stop to your bike hunting process once you take a look at the Schwinn 270 model as the machine is exclusively designed for individuals with knee problems.
The cushioned seat elevated lower back support, and ergonomic pedals support the needs of those with bad knees, motivating you to exercise regularly.
Track your daily fitness accomplishments by taking a look at the speed, time, distance, and calories burned metrics that are displayed clearly on the screen.
Feel free to save your data by making use of the USB port feature that helps you transfer your data to the computer.
Day or night, don’t bother about exercising any time of the day as the Schwinn 270 model assures a quiet operation using the magnetic tension.
The company has taken the pain of providing 29 different programs and 25 different resistance levels to make your fitness experience challenging and interesting.
Assembling the bike is simple, and moving it around is even easier as the machine is provided with transportation wheels.
On the downside, seat adjustment can be tricky as the seat slides downward while also moving forward, thereby reducing both distance and height from the pedal.
- Quiet operation
- Good warranty
- Dual-track LCD screen to keep track of your performance
- Excellent resistance levels and pre-set exercise programs
- Inaccurate heart rate monitoring occasionally
- Fan performance is not optimal
- Very bright display screen
#3. Exerpeutic 900XL Extended Capacity Recumbent Bike
The Exerpeutic 900XL is a low-budget recumbent bike that comes with a sleek design and a good color combination, including grey, silver, and black that syncs with any home setting.
Though a low-budget model, the manufacturer has taken every precaution to ensure that it is fully functional and highly competitive.
You get to enjoy a good LCD screen showing calories burned, speed, distance, and heart rate, an eight-level magnetic tension system, and above all, an adjustable seat that caters to the needs of people belonging to different height ranges.
But, if you already suffer from lower back pain, the exercise bike might be quite uncomfortable to use as the seat is firm.
Also, assembly is not very simple, and it is best suggested to avoid using it if you don’t have much patience or aren’t ready to hire someone to do it for you.
The compact recumbent bike is a good choice if you live in a small space or apartment. Still, users up to 300 pounds can use the bike comfortably.
So, though you don’t get all features that are present in an expensive model, you surely can’t beat the functionality offered by this low-budget bike.
- Quiet operation
- Adjustable seat up to 6 feet in height
- Measure heart rate using handgrip sensors
- Foldable and compact
- Hard to assemble
- No great extra features
- Seat cushioning causes discomfort to some users
#4. Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike ME-709
Add a piece of stylish and sleek exercise equipment to your home gym space with the Marcy ME-709 model that has a powder-coated finish.
This 300 lbs capacity recumbent bike is also compact occupying minimal space in your workout space, but unfortunately, you cannot fold the model and store it out of sight.
You find the bike to be lightweight, but surprisingly, the frame and construction are remarkable.
The frame is made from heavy-duty 14-gauge steel tubes that are sturdy and remain grounded without any awkward shaking.
Individuals suffering from knee pain find the Marcy bike to be a blessing in disguise as the equipment is provided with foam-covered handlebars, counterbalanced pedals, large seats, and an admirable backrest that provides comfort.
Keep track of your progress using several metrics such as speed, distance, and time, but unfortunately, you cannot track heart rate levels.
The bike also doesn’t provide you with pre-programmed exercise modes. The operation is also not so smooth as it uses 1-piece pedal cranks rather than the normally-used 3-piece cranks.
- Best choice for those with bad knees
- Sturdy and compact
- Simple and helpful console
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Not so smooth operation due to 1-piece cranks
- Basic features
#5. Exerpeutic ExerWorK 1000 Desk Bike
Working from home has nowadays become the norm for many. When that’s the case, why don’t you collaborate with your work with exercise?
Reap double benefits by pedaling incessantly on your Exerpeutic ExerWorK bike while doing your office work as it is a combination of a desk and a semi-recumbent bike.
The seat is designed with utmost care as you would be using it for hours together.
Using aerodynamic healthcare technology is a great initiative as this makes the seat supportive and also keeps you cool hours after using it.
The Exerpeutic 1000 bike is just like the 400XL model as both are semi-recumbent bikes that sacrifice the pedal position for enhancing the versatility of use.
- Uses 3-piece cranks
- A versatile model that combines a desk and a semi-recumbent bike
- Superb seat
- Too vertical
- Pedal position is compromised
#6. HCI Fitness PhysioCycle XT-800 Recumbent Bike with Arms
Stationary bikes primarily focus on your lower body workout, but the HCI bike here is quite different as it is designed with a set of pedals both for your arms and legs.
This adds upper body workout provisioning helping you achieve greater benefits from your training routine.
The bike has a 300-pound user weight capacity attending to the needs of heavy users and comes with a sturdy frame and construction.
Adjust your seat to any of the 15 possible positions and also sit comfortably as it is padded and breathable.
You also have fixed handles on the sides if you don’t want to use the arm pedals.
The PhysioCycle bike promises a smooth and quiet ride as it provides bidirectional cycling and magnetic resistance.
- Backlit LCD screen
- Full body workout with arm and leg pedals
- This recumbent bike comes with moving arms, providing you upper body workout
- Highly adjustable seat
- The LCD screen is basic for the price paid
#7. Nautilus R614 Recumbent Bike
Here is a bike that integrates some high-end features in the affordable exercise bike segment. You get to use any of the 20 different magnetic resistance levels with a weighted flywheel that promises quiet and smooth operation.
Enjoy using any of the 22 built-in workout programs if you feel stressed make a plan on your own and track your goals using the Goal Track feature provided.
Do this all by listening to some peppy music using the in-console speakers that have an MP3 input port.
Nautilus R614 also provides you with some interesting features, including a media tray, a USB charging port, and an adjustable fan to cool you down while working out.
The seat is adjustable using the sliding seat rail system and is suitable for tall and big people. This heavy-duty recumbent bike also keeps you safe with its solid locking facility.
Exercise comfortably as the machine is ergonomically designed with a vented seatback.
- Good additional features
- 20 different resistance levels and 22 different exercise programs
- Smooth performance
- Achieve goals using the Goal Track functionality
- Negligible seat padding
- The LCD screen is not backlit
Exercise bikes are great cardio equipment that promises low-impact workouts in the comfort of your home.
Knees are often prone to injury, and even if you are recovering from a knee injury, working out on a recumbent bike can keep you safe and healthy.
Keep a close eye on the features mentioned here to purchase the best model available and reap maximum benefits from the home gym equipment.
How long should I ride an exercise bike?
Cycle for at least 30 minutes a day on at least five days a week. But, if you are involved in some physical therapy treatment, it is better to ask your doctor for instructions.
Besides fitness, most people exercise regularly to lose weight. If that’s the case, rather than the pace of your exercise, practicing consistently for a long duration every day is crucial for weight loss.
Which is better for bad knees: exercise bike, treadmill, elliptical, or rowing machine?
All these pieces of equipment are great cardiovascular workouts that promote fitness.
If you have bad knees/joint pain, working out on an exercise bike is way far better compared to your treadmill, elliptical, or rowing machine mainly because you don’t put much pressure on the joints while cycling.
But a treadmill or a rowing machine is better in quite a few other aspects, including the fact that they can lead to greater weight loss as you must work out harder on them.
Is an exercise bike good for seniors?
Exercise bikes are divided into various types: spin bikes, air bikes, and recumbent bikes. Among these, recumbent bikes offer you low-impact workouts and keep your knees, joints, and back safely. So, recumbent exercise bikes would be a great choice for seniors to use regularly and stay healthy.
Is stationary biking good for bad knees?
Stationary bikes offer plenty of health benefits and are also a great choice when it comes to providing advantages for people with bad knees. It primarily depends on the type of stationary bike that you purchase. You can go for upright or recumbent bikes as both of them provide low-impact workouts that keep your arthritic/achy knees safe.