Exercise! - recumbent bikes- any opinions?

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10-24-2002, 09:54 PM
Hi everyone,

I'm looking into buying a (stationary) recumbent bike for home, but the range in price/features seems to be incredible. Does anyone have one? Any advice on what to look for? Anyone not like using theirs? There isn't one at the gym I used to go to, so I've only tried it briefly at a relative's house.

I'd appreciate any thoughts you might have.


10-25-2002, 07:45 PM
I have no idea about the price range - but I would buy the most expensive you can afford, based on the theory that you get what you pay for!

But I do know how good such a piece of equipment is! If you have a weak back or an existing back problem the a recumbent cycle is a good idea. You only have to look at the strange curved, crouched positions most people cycle in (on the roads or in a gym) to know that cycling is a BAD thing for backs! A recumbent cycle allows almost full range of motion on the hips without compromising the spine.

If you are only buying ONE piece of equipment and you enjoy the idea of cycling then I'd say go for it. But if you already own a home gym then don't bother. You will be buying a machine that doesn't do a radically different job to a leg press. You just cycle against resistance, one leg at time instead of pushing against resistance with both legs. And yes, you can do leg presses one leg at a time, making the simliarity in muscle work even greater.

Just FYI Annie, I have a Masters degree in Health & Exercise Sciences and am both a health/exercise lecturer and a fitness instructor specialising in exercise and obesity. I say this so's you can evaluate my opinion, not to crow. I have been admonished here for crowing before when I only added my credentials for evaluation purposes.

Good luck whatever you choose to do, Stef

10-25-2002, 11:59 PM
Thanks very much for your advice Stef. I'm very pleased to hear your thoughts here- I am an obese woman with arthritis in my back, and I have no other equipment. I have enjoyed biking this summer, but it's gotten too cold and I have found that it's beginning to really bother my back. So, I guess that makes this a pretty good choice for me! I'm heading out tomorrow to compare.

(I, for one, really appreciate knowing where the advice is coming from!)

Thanks again.

10-26-2002, 12:32 AM
I love recumbent bikes, but I personally would consider purchasing a different type of cardio machine. I don't feel like I get as good of a workout on recumbent bikes as on an elliptical trainer.

But I do enjoy recumbent bikes, and definitely prefer them to the upright bikes.

10-26-2002, 10:35 PM
Hi AnnieQ:

I have a Vision Fitness R2200 recumbent bike. It is a very good 'home based' recumbent bike. I also live in Canada, so the price I paid, taxes included was $1200CDN. I paid in installments.

I went hunting around and checked quite a few out and test rode them all. I have chronic back pain.. and the uprights are too painful to continue on after 10 minutes. The one I really wanted was the 'LifecycleFitness Recumbents' but as you may know they are very very expensive..almost $4,000. You see them in the professional gyms. The Vision Fitness R2200 was the next best thing in my opinion. It has 8 progam levels and is good for anyone/any size. I used it alot but also fell off the wagon many times. My daughter uses it and adjusts it to fit her legs. Like any machine, it is only as good as the one that uses it! These past two weeks I have been going to the gym, where my dghtr runs on an indoor track, and I used an elliptical cross trainer for the first time.. and being niave and brash, I set it to 30 minutes on medium level... well I tell you I almost died! After 3 minutes I knew right away that this was not going to be a walk in the park. So I decided I would stop at 10 minutes..and then 15 minutes..and eventually huffed and puffed my way to 30 minutes. I did it.. but subsequent walks on that equipment were set to 15 minutes. I have to agree with KiraK, I felt I got a far better workout on the elliptical after 30 minutes than a full hour on the bike. It was not painful, not hard on the back or joints..and becuase I was so out of shape, my cardiovascular system felt it more than anything else. I have a membership now at this gym...and I wonder how my bike is going to fair without me. :dizzy:

Well that is my two cents..and in Canada that is as good as a wooden nickel! Good luck

10-26-2002, 11:17 PM
I am with outback, if I were to get a recumbent bike, my first choice would be Lifecycle. I work at a gym, and those are what we use. They're great, but also expensive!

Keep looking, there are some really great bargains to be had!

10-27-2002, 09:26 AM
Thanks very much for the advice! I spent Friday night trying out lots of different bikes at fitness depot, sears and playitagain sports. I found one by Universal which seems pretty good. It's cheaper than the ones you suggested, but I did like the way it felt. Of course, I also avoided testing ones that I knew I couldn't afford. I know that an elliptical is a better cardio workout, but I also know I probably wouldn't use it. I lived with someone with a treadmill for 3 years, and I used it (maybe) twice. I like biking, though, and do it voluntarily in the summer, so I am hoping that a bike in front of the tv would be more enticing. I'm going to keep looking though, and scanning the "used sports equipment" section to see if I can find one that way.

The things I was looking at were: smooth motion, comfort of seat, heart monitor/calories used computer, programs for increased resistance, quiet, not too heavy/large, adjustable for different people.

Anything else I should check out in my search? Thanks again for all the help!

10-27-2002, 06:30 PM
Only other thing is warranty and where the repairs are done. The mechancisms used is important. Perhaps surf the internet too and get the goods on what makes a good recumbent bike.