When you have bad knees, it finding an exercise that’s you’ll actually want to do can be a challenge. Luckily, there are many equipment options that can help you get a good workout or even improve the pain you’re feeling in your knees.
Exercise bikes are one such option, and they’re ideal for home workouts. Because exercise bikes primarily use the leg muscles without a harsh impact, you can strengthen the knee muscles and get a good dose of cardiovascular exercise at the same time.
Some types of exercise bikes are better for bad knees than others, and that’s why we’ve done the research and found the best ones available on the market.
In this guide, you’ll find detailed information about each exercise bike, so you can choose the best one to suit your needs.
What Are Recumbent Exercise Bikes?
Recumbent bikes are different than the typical upright bikes that people usually associate with exercise bikes. They’re built differently, with the seat positioned further back so you’re in a semi-reclined position.
Because they have a back rest with the feet and legs positioned forward, they take much of the pressure off of joints like the knees and hips. They’re often recommended for knee rehab after surgery since they’re safer and more comfortable to use than uprights if you’re experiencing knee pain or an injury.
The 5 Best Exercise Bikes For Bad Knees In 2019
Exerpeutic 900XL Recumbent Bike
About Exerpeutic 900XL Recumbent Bike
First, we have the Exerpeutic 900XL Recumbent Bike. This is a larger bike that’s designed for a wide range of weights and heights.
It has a wider seat and back rest for more comfort, as well as large pedals to suit most foot sizes. It comes with an LCD display that shows all of your standard workout stats, like calories burned, distance, time, and heart rate.
The machine is designed to provide a good workout while minimizing stress on the joints and back. It uses magnetic resistance with eight adjustable levels to choose from.
You can easily roll the machine on the included transportation wheels to store it out of the way when you’re finished using it.
The Exerpeutic 900XL Recumbent Bike is an affordable option at about $165. It comes with all the basic features you need for a challenging workout.
The bike is very sturdy and easy to use. It also operates quietly, which is a big plus if you live in an apartment or simply don’t want to hear a lot of noise while you’re exercising.
The seat is more comfortable than expected at this price point, and the bike provides a challenging workout without all the extra options like additional programs.
The only real downside of the bike is that the assembly instructions are a bit hard to follow, but the actual setup process isn’t too difficult.
If you’re looking for an exercise bike that provides all the basics at an affordable price, the Exerpeutic 900XL is a great choice.
- 300 lb. weight capacity
- Adjustable magnetic tension
- LCD display
- Low price
- Difficult assembly instructions
- Lacks extra features
Marcy ME-709 Recumbent Exercise Bike
About Marcy ME-709 Recumbent Exercise Bike
The next bike we have is the Marcy ME-709. This bike is another affordable option similar to the Exerpeutic model above and costs around $140.
This bike has a smaller heavy-duty frame with a powder-coated finish to prevent chips or scratches. It also has ergonomic and foam padded seat and handles, as well as weighted pedals for more control.
The bike lets you choose between eight levels of magnetic resistance for the ideal workout, and the seat is adjustable to suit most heights.
You can view your basic workout stats like distance, time, and calories burned on the LCD display.
The Marcy ME-709 Recumbent Bike is another basic, affordable option. The bike itself is very sturdy, and it has a minimalistic design that doesn’t take up a lot of room, so it’s great for smaller spaces.
The bike is easy to assemble with clear instructions, and it shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes to an hour to put together. It operates very quietly and smoothly, and the seat is very comfortable and supportive.
It doesn’t offer a lot in terms of display or extras, but if you’re looking for a more compact and affordable option that can withstand a lot of use, the Marcy ME-709 is definitely one to consider.
One minor issue with the bike is that there’s no transportation wheels, so you’ll have to drag it across the floor to move it out of the way.
Another potential issue is that the pedal straps aren’t big enough to hold larger men’s sneakers, so you might have to make adjustments or wear shoes with a slimmer profile while using the bike.
If you’re looking for a bike that offers more in terms of features, you might want to check out the next option on this list.
- Adjustable magnetic tension
- Low price
- Sturdy design
- Smaller pedal straps
- No transportation wheels
Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike
About Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike
The next option we have is the Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike. This bike is designed to provide versatility and smooth performance, and it comes with 22 pre-set workout options.
The bike comes with a backlit Dual-Track LCD display that’s large and positioned so that it’s easy to read. You can set goals and store two user profiles, so you’ll have easy access to your information and progress.
This bike has a wider plastic seat that’s not padded, but it does have holes for ventilation. The seat is positioned on a slider system that allows you to adjust it to fit your height.
There’s also an MP3 port that you can use to listen to music through the built-in speakers, as well as a USB port to keep your devices charged while you’re using the bike.
The Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike gives you a lot of options when it comes to workout choice. The 20 resistance levels let you find your perfect rhythm, and the preset workouts can provide a nice change of pace.
The bike has a solid build, and it provides very smooth operation. It’s also very quiet and comfortable to use. Although the seat isn’t padded, it’s ergonomically designed and more comfortable than expected.
It’s simple enough to put together in about an hour, and the programming and setup options are pretty easy to work with.
One issue with the bike is that the heart rate monitor doesn’t always work correctly, so you shouldn’t count on it to consistently provide accurate results.
Overall, this is a decent machine that provides more options than a basic model.
- 22 On-board workout programs
- 20 Adjustable resistance levels
- Adjustable seat slider
- Very quiet operation
- Inaccurate heart rate monitor
Exerpeutic 2000 Recumbent Bike
About the Exerpeutic 2000 Recumbent Bike
Next, we have the Exerpeutic 2000 Recumbent Bike. This model is designed for maximum comfort, and it has a 3.5-inch thick AirSoft seat that stays cool during use, a contoured back rest, and elbow pads to help support your arms during exercise.
This bike comes with 6 on-board workout programs and eight levels of magnetic resistance to choose from. It also has an LCD display that shows all of your basic workout info like heart rate, RPM, distance, calories burned, and watts.
There’s also a spot to hold your tablet or mobile phone while you’re using the bike, so you can listen to music or watch your favorite shows.
When you’re done using the bike, you can roll it away on the built-in transportation wheels, so it’s good for smaller spaces and apartments.
The Exerpeutic 2000 Recumbent Bike is a great choice if you’re looking for an extra comfortable bike for longer workout sessions.
Assembling the bike can take a few hours, but the instructions are simple and straightforward.
The bike itself feels very solid, and the operation is smooth and very quiet. The adjustable resistance provides a good challenge, and the pre-programmed workout options give you just enough variety to keep the exercises interesting.
The only downside of the bike is that the seat wobbles after repeated use, and it needs to be re-tightened occasionally.
If you want an exercise bike that lets you incorporate your whole body during a workout, the last option on this list is worth a look.
- Comfortable AirSoft seat
- Quiet operation
- Pre-programmed workout options
- Seat can wobble
Sunny Health and Fitness Total Body Bike
About Sunny Health and Fitness Total Body Bike
Exercise bikes can do more than provide a lower body workout. The Sunny Health and Fitness Total Body Bike has built-in resistance bands that let you tone and strengthen your arms and legs while using the bike, too.
It comes with eight adjustable magnetic resistance levels, so you can customize the intensity of your exercise. It also has a large padded seat that’s adjustable so you can find the right fit for your height.
Another great feature of this bike is that it’s foldable and has transportation wheels, so it’s easy to store in a closet when you’re not using it.
The Sunny Health and Fitness Total Body Bike is a great, inexpensive option at around $170. Its foldability is major plus, since most recumbent bikes take up more space than upright ones.
In addition to giving you a good cardiovascular workout, the resistance bands provide an extra bonus workout for your arms, so you’re getting a more complete experience.
While there aren’t any preset workout programs, there’s enough variety with this bike’s variable tension settings and resistance bands to keep it interesting.
A few minor issues with this bike are that the seat is somewhat hard although it’s padded, and the resistance bands only provide a smaller amount of resistance. This could be ideal for someone looking for a light strength exercise, but some people might find it too light to be useful.
- Arm and leg resistance bands
- Adjustable magnetic tension
- Folding capability
- Seat cushion feels too firm
Best Exercise Bike for Bad Knees for 2019
The Schwinn 320 Recumbent Bike is the best overall exercise bike for bad knees that we’ve found. It combines excellent performance with a wide range of resistance levels and pre-programmed workout options.
If you’re looking for a more inexpensive, basic option that still provides a quality workout that’s easy on the knees, the Marcy ME-709 Recumbent Bike is a great choice.
When choosing a suitable exercise bike, you’ll want to consider which features and options are most important to you. With that said, every one of the bikes in this guide can provide you with a good quality workout that’s ideal for bad knees.
Writer and Product Researcher
Spending the last 10 years researching and writing about various home, garden and electronics topics, Shelley is more than qualified to write for Meccano Home. Her work has been featured on eBay, Pottery Barn, SFGate, TheKnot, Williams-Sonoma and various other blogs and websites.