March 19, 2018

Recumbent vs Upright Exercise Bike – How to Decide Which One to Buy?


Recumbent vs Upright Exercise Bike

Recumbent vs Upright Exercise Bike


Folding exercise bikes and compact exercise cycles come in both recumbent and upright varieties.

So before you decide which a better option is for you, you should set your exercise goals and look at your personal physical needs.

Here is a guide that would help you choose between recumbent and upright exercise bikes.


Recumbent vs Upright Exercise Bike – The Basics

There are two popular types of exercise bikes. The first type is upright bikes, and the other type is recumbent bike.

Both these bikes have their own benefits. Here, I have listed a few points to consider before you decide on one or the other.


Upright Exercise Bike

The upright bike looks like traditional road bikes.

The seat of the upright exercise bike is positioned over the pedals. It offers you an adjustment to change the height of the bike according to your body size.

Just like a regular road bike, it offers the handlebars positioned with the level of the seat, so you have to lean over to reach the handlebars.

As the upright bikes resemble regular road bikes more closely, people who want to train themselves for outdoor rides prefer the upright bike.


Recumbent Exercise Bike

A recumbent exercise bike offers a reclined seat with a back, so it looks like a chair.

The handlebars are positioned at the level of shoulders to make it easy for you to reach them without putting too much pressure on your shoulders and wrists.

Recumbent bikes offer you a proper angle for efficient pedaling.

Recumbent bikes are often recommended to those individuals who are suffering from wrist or back injuries, or people who are balance-challenged. Due to its more comforting structure, it is recommended to rehabilitation patients.


Things to Consider – Recumbent vs Upright Exercise Bike

  • Upright exercise bikes have slim and small seats, which is an uncomfortable option as compared to recumbent exercise bikes
  • The upright cycles are more compact and fit better into small home gyms.
  • The reclined position pedaling creates greater fatigue than pedaling from an upright positioning while performing high intensity cycling.
  • A recumbent cycle is not an optimal choice for outdoor cyclists.
  • People with joint pains and poor health conditions should prefer recumbent bicycle.
  • The outdoor trainers should prefer the upright bicycle.
  • Both upright and recumbent exercise bikes have control panels which display the speed, calories, time spent and distance traveled on the bike.
  • The prices of these two models vary and it depends on the producer of these bikes. Generally speaking, upright bikes are usually less expensive.


Pros / Advantages of Recumbent Bikes

Pros / Advantages of Recumbent Bikes

Advantages of Recumbent Bikes

  • Provide support to your lower and upper back and help reduce strain in these areas
  • You can exercise on recumbent bike for long time – you feel less tired on it as it supports your lower back and mid-back regions
  • While toning the muscles of hamstrings, gluts, calves, butt and thighs, you can burn off your calories on these bikes. Consider buying recumbent exercise bike for shaping up your butt because upright bike will offer no assistance in this area.
  • Upright bike is an optimal choice for the outdoor trainers but if you are a beginner, then opt out a recumbent bike. Recumbent bike provides a very comfortable posture.
  • Recumbent exercise bike is recommended to people who are over-weight, because on an upright bike, an overweight person can easily strain his or her back and hands due to the intense pressure on these areas.


Pros / Advantages of Upright Bikes

Pros / Advantages of Upright Bikes

Advantages of Upright Bikes

  • Upright exercise bikes are normally less expensive than recumbent bikes
  • Upright cycles take up less space due to their smaller frame size
  • On recumbent stationary cycles your movement gets restricted, whereas on upright bikes, you can do pedaling by sitting down, standing up or slouching forward
  • Compared to recumbent bikes, upright bikes give you more intense workouts – you can burn more calories in the same amount of time


Which Exercise Bike is Better – Upright vs Recumbent

So, which type of bike should you buy? Upright exercise bike or recumbent stationary cycle?

Which would be best choice for you? Which would provide you more health benefits? What would be the optimal choice for you?

Well, all these answers depend on your specific needs. As you can see, both these bikes have their own benefits and drawbacks. You need to keep these pros and cons in mind while choosing.

If you are an outdoor trainer, then an upright bike is the best choice for you. But if you have any joint issues, are a beginner or are overweight, then a recumbent bike is a better choice.

An upright bike can also be a good choice for people with strong muscles who have been exercising for a long time.

Now, you know all the advantages and disadvantages of each type of exercising bikes So when you face the recumbent vs upright exercise bike dilemma, you can now decide with confidence which one would be a good choice for you.

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