Just because you’re a senior doesn’t mean you have to live a dull and inactive lifestyle. There are many hobbies for seniors you can take up. If your body can still handle light workouts, then picking up fitness again, or for the first time, can help improve your physical and mental health at this stage in your life.
Besides, working out can lead to developing even more good habits like eating properly and avoiding alcohol, cigarettes, and other nasty habits.
If you’re stumped on how you can start improving your physique, at least enough to make your grandchildren slightly embarrassed, take a look at the following and find the best exercise bike for seniors that you’re sure you can handle.
Don’t have the time read the entire review? Here’s a quick look at our top choices for the best exercise bikes for seniors:
Best Exercise Bike for Seniors Reviews
1. Best Overall Choice: Schwinn 270 Recumbent Exercise Bike
The Schwinn 270 is a very well-rounded recumbent exercise bike not just for seniors but also for younger users, especially those recuperating from injuries and surgeries, or those having issues with their joints.
Its main distinctive feature is the comfortable seat which is hard to beat in this niche. Schwinn obviously put a lot of effort into its design and chose materials and padding carefully to make a very comfortable reclining seat for all ages.
In terms of features, the bike offers 29 programs and functions. You can create your own profile, create exercise routines, take fitness tests, use the heart rate monitor, start and go, and play with the 25 levels of resistance to create a suitable workout plan for your age and fitness level.
Another important aspect of the Schwinn 270 recumbent bike is the perimeter-weighted flywheel. This flywheel design facilitates an easier startup than on other bikes. Therefore, seniors won’t have to make a significant effort from the get-go but can instead take it slow and gradually increase the intensity or resistance.
The LCD display is large and highly readable. It’s also very intuitive so one doesn’t need technical know-how to operate it. Decent eyesight and English comprehension should be more than enough.
Last but not least, the Bluetooth connectivity may actually help seniors more than young users. By syncing with the Schwinn trainer app or using the RideSocial app, you can follow specific programs designed for seniors or even work out with an instructor that monitors your progress.
2. Best Value for the Money: Marcy ME-709 Recumbent Exercise Bike
Another budget-friendly recumbent exercise bike for seniors is the Marcy ME-709. The design is simple, the operation is even easier, and the heavy-duty construction is something worth praising.
The bike has a standard eight-level magnetic resistance mechanism. A tension knob controls everything, which means that setting the intensity level and pedaling difficulty couldn’t be easier.
The LCD screen shows readings for time, speed, calories, and distance. A heart monitor is not included. However, due to the low intensity of the exercises, it’s unlikely that the heart rate will go up too much that it needs close monitoring. Not to mention that many seniors already own heart rate monitors. If not, getting a fitness monitor is an easy fix.
The seat is well-padded and ergonomically designed for ample back support. Even the handles are covered with foam. The bike is also very stable and features weighted pedals too, which should improve the rider’s balance.
In terms of assembly, the tools provided by the manufacturer are enough to get the job done. And, given the smaller bike frame, the assembly process can be a one-person job (but maybe not a senior person by themself).
3. Best for Larger, Heavier People: EXERPEUTIC 900XL 300 lbs. Weight Capacity Recumbent Exercise Bike with Pulse
This is another comfortable recumbent exercise bike with a 300-lb. capacity. It’s a good place to start if you want to improve your cardiovascular health and also lose some of those excess pounds.
The magnetic tension has just eight levels. While this may not seem overly impressive, it’s important to know that the first two levels are very easy and can give you a great low-intensity workout. Starting on the first resistance level is obviously recommended.
Statistics and readings are important for everyone, but even more so for seniors. Working out at an old age is not for everyone so it’s nice to have accurate readings and a diverse set of measurements on display while you’re using a bike.
The Exerpeutic 900XL has a large LCD display with clear indicators for time, speed, heart rate, distance, and calories burned. The sensors seem quite accurate, especially on low-intensity settings.
When it comes to comfort, as with any other recumbent bike, the 900XL can take away or at least minimize most of the stress on your back and joints.
Best of all, this recumbent bike is not just affordable but also among the best if getting the most value for your money is very important to you.
Couple that with its durability, stability, and ease of use, and it becomes clear why it makes a lot of sense as an exercise bike for seniors.
4. Best High-End Exercise Bike: NordicTrack Commercial VR21
The NordicTrack Commercial VR21 is a fantastic all-around stationary recumbent bike for seniors, with a step-through design, an oversized seat with built-in lumbar support, extra-wide ergonomic pedals, and easy comfort adjustments.
It also has incredible digital capabilities, including iFit compatibility, an EKG grip pulse rate monitor, and 32 built-in workouts. It’s a great choice for people who want comfort, convenience, and reliability in a high-end exercise bike.
The NordicTrack Commercial VR21 is a recumbent stationary bike with a simple step-through frame, an oversized, lumbar-supportive seat, and extra-wide ergonomic pedals. It has EasyGlide seat adjustment and adjustable pedal straps, so you can use it safely and comfortably.
Speaking of comfort, it also has an AutoBreeze workout fan, an integrated water bottle holder, an integrated tablet computer holder, and OneTouch controls, so everything you need is at your fingertips.
It has the latest in exercise technology, including two 2-inch digitally amplified speakers and an auxiliary music port, and a 5-inch backlit display. This exercise bike is iFit ready and has 32 on-board workouts.
It gives a great workout, with a 20-pound inertia-enhanced flywheel with 25 digital resistance levels, and the EKG grip pulse heart rate monitor ensures you are always working out safely and effectively.
The NordicTrack Commercial VR21 is rated for users up to 350 pounds and has a 10-year warranty on the frame, a 2-year parts warranty, and a 1-year labor warranty. Adding iFit capabilities requires Wi-Fi and internet access and requires an additional subscription purchase.
5. Most Budget-Friendly: Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Exercise Bike
The Exerpeutic 400XL is a folding recumbent bike. It’s ideal to use as temporary gym equipment if you’re recovering from injuries and you don’t anticipate using it long term. Storing the bike should come easy, even for seniors.
In terms of fitness benefits, the 400XL has a lot to offer even as a basic recumbent bike. The three-piece crank system offers consistent pedaling motion and quiet operation. This allows riders to follow training routines to the tee so that all exercises are performed under the right parameters.
The magnetic tension system is standard and has eight adjustable levels. The first stage is very simple and can be both a warm-up or a workout, depending on your fitness level.
In terms of comfort, the bike’s not too shabby. The seat cushion is firm but well-padded and the backrest offers good lower back and upper back support. You can’t go all out, however, because there’s no neck support.
If you want to monitor your progress or your performance you can do so on the small LCD display. It shows readings for calories burned and pulse, among other more basic metrics. Although the bike may not look like much, it boasts a 300-lb. weight capacity which makes it a good tool for weight loss.
6. Best for a Total Body Workout: Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Exercise Bike
The Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Exercise Bike is definitely for seniors that can handle a bit of physical strain. Stamina Elite created the bike with the idea that riders can work their lower and upper bodies simultaneously. Therefore, there’s no handlebar but instead hand pedals.
Because of this, the bike has the stability of an upright exercise bike rather than that of a recumbent bike. Even though the seat has a backrest and it can be pushed further back to be almost as comfortable as your favorite living room chair.
As great as this bike is, you may need assistance putting it together. It weighs well over 100 lbs., which may be a bit much for an older individual.
The design should fit comfortably any senior rider over 5 feet tall. But, it’s not for the faint of heart. Although you can adjust the tension levels and monitor everything from speed to heart rate, this model is best-suited for seniors that are still in decent shape.
7. Best Cross-Training Exercise Bike: Teeter FreeStep Recumbent Cross Trainer and Elliptical
The Teeter FreeStep is an innovative recumbent elliptical cross-trainer, for a full-body workout that protects the spine, hips, knees, and feet.
Based on exercise machines commonly used in physical therapy, it makes this zero-impact form of cross-training into the home, allowing seniors and those with pain or reduced mobility to get a full body workout without stress or strain.
The Free-Step engages the upper and lower body at the same time and is safe and effective for users of all fitness levels.
The Teeter FreeStep Recumbent Cross Trainer and Elliptical has a comfortable and natural reclined seat, and patented stride technology that moves the upper body in a natural stepping motion. It engages the upper and lower body in a way that is gentle on the knees, hips, back, and ankles.
The push-and-pull arm motion builds strength and burns calories without stress or strain. This versatile machine ad variable resistance for customized intensity, and can be used to target only the legs, only the arms, or the whole body.
You can also modify your workouts to target the biceps, triceps, or chest and upper back. It has a built-in water bottle holder, a stand for a tablet computer, and an easy-to-read digital console.
The commercial-grade linkage is friendly for home use, with reduced friction and whisper-quiet operation. The natural motion of the FreeStep burns 17.4% more calories than a recumbent bike, while feeling easier and reducing fatigue.
The seat and handle are adjustable for perfect positioning, and the machine has transport wheels so you can easily tuck it out of the way when not in use.
The Teeter FreeStep Recumbent Cross Trainer and Elliptical is rated for users up to 300 pounds.
Exercise Bikes for Seniors Buyer’s Guide
The Three Types of Exercise Bikes
You’ve seen them in gyms, homes, even designated outside workout areas. Exercise bikes vary in terms of design, construction, and purpose. That being said, you can classify exercise bikes in three categories.
Indoor cycles are similar to regular bicycles. The ever-popular spin bikes belong to this class. The handlebars are far from the seat which forces the rider into a forward-leaning position. They’re very stable which allows riders to pedal sitting or standing.
These are the types of bikes that yield the best results if your main goal on the bicycle is to burn calories fast. At the same time, they may not include advanced features like calorie tracking, heart monitoring, etc. But there are many compatible workout computers, including those from the same manufacturer, that you can add to a good indoor cycle.
Upright Stationary Bikes
Upright bikes put riders in a more comfortable pose. The way the pedals and handlebars are set up makes the user sit with their back straight and having all their weight supported by the seat.
In a way, this takes a lot of the pressure off and makes exercising more comfortable. Some upright bikes may have moving handles. This allows riders to work on both the upper and lower body simultaneously.
Upright bikes are often foldable design. You would need less space to store them.
As the name suggests, you sit on a recumbent bike in a recumbent position. They are all about comfort first. While they do also provide a good cardio workout, it takes longer to get similar results to what you would achieve from using an indoor cycle or an upright stationary bike.
Best Exercise Bikes for Seniors
The best exercise bike for seniors has to be the recumbent bike, unless we’re talking about an exceptionally fit senior with nary a physical problem. This design makes for less intense workouts and eases a lot of the pressure on the joints and the core, because of the added comfort gained from sitting in a reclined seat.
Proper back support is also provided, which is often not the case with other exercise bikes. While they may sometimes occupy a lot more space inside the home, recumbent bikes allow you to work out without getting sore knees, ankles, a sore back, and various other problems associated with physical stress and aging.
Recumbent bikes can be very high-tech toys these days. Some even more high-tech than upright bikes. Because the frame and the bike itself are larger, manufacturers get more room to play and experiment with advanced features.
Heart monitors, large displays, preprogrammed workout routines, fine-tuned resistance adjustments, calorie counting, and many more – these are features to always keep an eye on. While youngsters may work out without all the bells and whistles, seniors need to be more careful and monitor more aspects of their workout.
Sometimes, the more features a bike has, the better and safer it is to use.
Don’t assume that just because all bikes have adjustable resistance levels that they all start out at with the same intensity at level 1. Some recumbent bikes may start out with something close to an intermediate difficulty level.
Manufacturers may choose to do this in order to make up for the lack of intensity of recumbent bikes in comparison to the other two available styles.
What’s also nice is having the ability to increase and lower the resistance in small increments as opposed to doing it in big jumps. As a senior, shocking the muscles during a workout is not something you should be doing.
Comfort comes down to personal preference or doctor recommendations. Keep in mind that recumbent bikes are comfortable by default. However, the quality of the cushioning, the adjustability of the seat, the distance from the pedals can be the difference makers.
It’s not necessarily that some recumbent bikes are superior to others in this regard. It’s more along the line of what makes you more comfortable. Young people may be able to adapt but after a certain age, the “improvise, adapt, overcome” motto is no longer applicable.
Seniors deal with the same issues as kids, teenagers, and young adults. They can be skinny or they can be overweight. Weight is even harder to control after a certain point in your life. Once you’ve gotten past your midlife crisis, you’ll start noticing that staying in shape doesn’t come nearly as easily.
Therefore, the bike’s weight capacity is important for seniors too. A bit of extra weight capacity is recommended to allow for accidental weight gains. Extra weight capacity also implies a heavier bike, which translates to a more stable bike. If you have trouble with maintaining balance, this will also come in handy and keep you safe.
Final Thoughts on the Best Exercise Bikes for Seniors
Although most people recognize Schwinn as one of the leading manufacturers of leisure bikes and competition bikes, the company is quickly becoming a household name in the fitness industry too.
It should come as no surprise that the Schwinn 270 is regarded by many as the best exercise bike for seniors. It has so many functions and resistance and intensity levels compared to most of the competition, complete with very accurate sensors.
If you’re looking for more articles about nutrition, be sure to check out these blog posts:
- 5 Best Recumbent Exercise Bike Options (2023 Review)
- 9 Recumbent Bike Benefits: Does It Provide a Good Workout?
- Recumbent Bike VS Walking: Which Provides a Better Workout?