Recumbent vs. Upright Exercise Bike



A recumbent bike is a bicycle that the rider uses while in a laid-back reclining position. Most riders choose this type of bike for its optimum comfort. The rider`s weight is evenly distributed over a large surface area, with ample support on the buttocks and the back. An upright exercise bike is designed with the pedals directly under the rider`s seat, and the rider maintains an upright position.


1. The rider of the recumbent bike sits well on the bike frame while the rider of the upright bike sits above bike`s frame, just like in the traditional bike that we mostly grew up riding.

2. The recumbent bike rider is more comfortable. The laid-back position helps to eliminate fatigue in the upper body as well as reduce body fatigue. On the other hand, the rider of the upright bike sits with their back and neck a little bit bent, which can result in fatigue and muscle soreness.

3. The seat of a recumbent exercise bike is wide and comfortable, with a similar design to the seat of the traditional bicycle. The seat of the upright exercise bike is small. The small surface area can cause the rider to experience aches and pains in the buttocks and back.

4. The recumbent exercise bike is more expensive compared to the upright exercise bike. During work out on an upright exercise bike, the rider can ride while standing to give the legs intensive training. For a recumbent exercise bike, the rider can only ride while sitting.


Advantages of the recumbent exercise bike

1. Due to the laid-back position with the body weight spread over the buttocks and back, a recumbent bike is for persons with back problems, especially those whose hips and back are affected by rheumatoid arthritis. Due to its low impact on your body, the recumbent bike can minimize the threat of pain and can build strength.

2. The recumbent bike is very safe because the rider can only use the bike while sitting. This helps to eliminate the dangers that can occur while using an upright bike.

3. The large seat on the recumbent bike is among the most enticing features of the bike. The upright bike has a small seat which is a bit uncomfortable to the rider.

4. Due to the laid-back reclining position, the recumbent bike is easy on the lumbar spine. In the upright bike, the back slightly bends to reach the handlers, which can cause back pains.

Benefits of the upright exercise bike

1. The upright bikes take a small room space compared to the recumbent bike.

2. The upright bike ensures that you get the same feeling as using the outdoor bike by ensuring that the whole body is engaged. The recumbent bike mostly requires the use of calves, hamstrings and quads muscles.

3. Due to the upright positioning of the body, the upright bike works the abdominal muscles. For a recumbent bike, the rider does not use their abdominal muscles due to its reclined position.


When choosing an exercise bike, I would advise that you go for the two bikes due to their different work out patterns and outcomes. If you have a tiny room, the upright bike is ideal for you because it occupies less space compared to the recumbent.

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