Ever Unfolding is supported by visitors. If you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. More about us

Recumbent vs Upright Exercise Bikes

Last updated on: February 7th, 2020

Since you are already reading this article, you already know that the exercise bikes are the best option for you compared to jogging, outdoor cycling and sometimes to the gym. Recumbent vs upright exercise bike is the question then…

When it comes to the equipment, you want to use in the gym. Many people have different preferences such as treadmills, rowers, bikes.

If your answer is the bike, you have the option of the stationary upright exercise bike or recumbent bike.

You may ask, what is the difference of recumbent vs upright exercise bike?

There are several differences that set these two bikes apart such as the design and the workout program that each can offer.

Which Stationary Bike Burns More Calories

recumbent exercise bike benefitsThe Best Recumbent Exercise Bike burns more calories in the same amount of time taken to exercise when using the best upright exercise bike.

This is because just like the normal outdoor bikes that upright bikes put the rider on the pedals.

Since the indoor bikes are designed differently, they are not to be used similarly to outdoor bikes where the rider has to lean forward when riding at great speed.

The riders’ workout is lower regarding impact when using the upright exercise bike.

You can also identify the best stationary bike to buy through the displays on the bikes.

The display on these bikes usually refers to the workout data and statistics collected.

This is usually shown in real time on LCD consoles in most fitness equipment dealer shops and chain stores.

The display includes different workout statistics such as calories burnt, speed and distance and resistance that a machine can produce in the braking setting.

It is important to look for a measure of cadence which refers to the count pedals rotations per minute.

You can also look for the bike that is integrated with heart rate monitoring features shown on the LCD screen of the bike.

To know how much calories, you burnt during the exercise it is important to find a bike that shows a number of calories and other statistical data we discussed.

This is important to ensure that those who rely on performance data to be motivated have the ability to evaluate their fitness levels and gains.

The display should have the flowing features:

  • Calories burned
  • The distance covered
  • The heart rate
  • The speed
  • The RPM
  • The workout time

Upright vs recumbent bike

The Recumbent and Upright Stationary Exercise Bikes have been with us for quite a while, and they have become very popular ways of indoor exercise.

While different fitness and exercise bikes have become common the choice of the bike you choose has its advantages and what you choose depends on your fitness needs and rehab needs.

Personally, most people put their physical needs, and physical rehabilitation needs as a deciding factor on what bike they need.

This is why you need to consider using a recumbent exercise bike because it will help you achieve your exercise and therapy goals.

Ironman Triathlon X-Class 410 Smart Technology Recumbent Bike

Why are the recumbent bikes exercises benefits?

  • The recumbent exercise bikes are ergonomic, and they have a bio-mechanically correct frame with a unique handlebar design.
  • Since the rider seats lower than the position required to be at the center of gravity this makes the bike stable allowing for safer and résistance to forces from training vigorously.
  • Because of sitting leaning backward and not leaning forward too much, riders do not complain as much as using upright exercise bikes. It is not common to hear that rider has sore hands, arms, and backs because of the weight and stress due to leaning forward while riding. The rider is able to relax more and work out.

Upright exercise bike benefitsUpright exercise bike benefits

  • The bike offers the rider a seat that is well above the frame of the bike. The bike has a design that is similar to the traditional road bike as the seat is over the pedals.
  • The rider seats high than the position required to be at the center of gravity thus making the bike less stable than normal.
  • Because of sitting upright and leaning forward too much, riders sometimes complain that they have sore hands and arms because of the weight and stress due to leaning forward while riding.
  • Most of the exercise that is done on the recumbent bike does not focus on the gluteus muscles as you could while exercising on the upright bike. This, however, does not mean that you cannot benefit from gluteus muscle workouts since you can exercise the muscles by riding while standing.

The seat position

benefits of a recumbent bikeThe rider needs to make sure that they lean forward and bend their neck and back.

The seating position while cycling is not in a natural position and this produces fatigue due to the body’s alignment especially on the best spin bikes.

Most people who face lower back issues find the upright bike not comfortable and enjoyable when they are exercising.

Those who have neck problems usually complain that they are not comfortable bending their necks when they have to exercise making it not an easy task when exercising.

The Q factor is a factor that most people consider when they are looking to exercise, and this makes them question what exercise they want to purchase.

The Q factor refers to the distance that is located between the crank arms of the bike and the pedal attachments.

The upright bikes have a wide q factor making the bike less ergonomic since the ride has to forcefully pedal wider than the natural inline movements that the hips can allow.

Points to Keep in Mind

What you need to spend to buy the right exercise bike

  • Budget

How much you want to spend when buying the right exercise bike for you is important.

This depends on the features you are looking for.

As an expert, I recommend that you buy the bike that best offers your convenience, stability, and control of your desire within a price range that you can afford.

You do not need to overspend especially in a situation that you are unsure of whether you will stick to a cycling program or not.

  • Warranty

What you need to look for is a bike dealer who will offer you a warranty, good service contract and this can be found from local equipment fitness dealers.

This is much better than buying the exercise bike you want to from a local convenient store.

Spending on a reputable bike is more logical and safer due to the quality that reputable companies produce.

You can also decide to buy a used bike from health clubs that usually sell used stationary exercise bikes at minimal costs.

  • Considering Your Body’s Needs

benefits of recumbent bikeYou need to have a workout program to achieve the desired workout result you are looking for.

This could either be therapeutic or for fitness purposes.

What you are looking forward to achieving needs to be clear and this is why the modern stationary bike has the ability to offer automated workout routines that are accessible by the push of a button.

Your body could need smooth cardiovascular exercise and cannot handle vigorous workouts.

You can decide to buy a recumbent exercise bike that will fit your non-vigorous workout since it is not strenuous.

The recumbent exercise bike has the ability to ensure that you do not suffer back and neck pains.

This is because the pedals are raised above the seat and the rider is in a more natural position to ride the bike with ease.

  • Examining your exercise goals

Your body could need the following workout:

  • Fat burn regime: the bike you buy between the two have different workout programs that are designed to burn body fat. All you need to ensure is that the bike you buy has the workout programs set so that you can automatically engage yourself in an exercise regime that works effectively.
  • Hills exerciseThe upright exercise bike has the option for uphill riding or rolling hills that are stimulated by the settings on the bike. The recumbent bike also makes the hill work out possible through the braking settings on the bike.
  • Intervals you take to exercise – this refers to the selected workout program where one has the option of changing between high and low exertion. This can be on a daily basis or a weekly basis depending on the schedule that you have.


It is clear that depending on your goals and preferences the recumbent bike and the upright bike are favorable options when it comes to indoor bike training. The support and comfort offered by each machine while sitting in both the reclined – recumbent seat and upright exercise machine are in different positions. The difference shows that the recumbent bike allows you to cycle for longer and with less strain than when you do the workout on an upright.

This allows riders to get better workouts thus you can easily achieve your fitness goals and rehab goals. Depending on the type of bike you are considering to buy, always remember to take a test ride and take your time doing so. This will help you make the best of decisions and more comfortable feel you are with the stationary exercise bike of your choice the more comfortable you get using it in achieving your personal workout goals.

I’m a seasoned Interior Designer whose innovation, keen eye for detail and creativity have all earned me the reputation as a reliable go-to professional. Over the course of a decade, I’ve garnered extensive industry experience, successfully designing hundreds of bathrooms along the way. Additionally, I hold an Interior Design Certificate from College of Architecture and Design in Newark, New Jersey. Outside of my profession, I have an avid interest in all things related to fitness and cryptocurrency. If you are looking for a competent expert who can help you renovate your living space, then feel free to contact me today.

  1. This web site is actually a walkthrough for all the information you needed about this and did’t know who to ask.
    Glimpse here, and you’ll undoubtedly find it.

  2. If you are planning on buying exercise gear for your home, a Recumbent exercise bike is the best option. This bike is stationery on which you can incline toward the back and comfortably pedal your approach to fitness. A great many people who have used an upright exercise bike and also a recumbent exercise bike say that they loved the last more. The sheer comfort level of this bike is the principle motivation behind why it is prevalent even among people with stationary ways of life. It burns countless and in the meantime never harms any part of the body. The comfort factor is also the motivation behind why this bike is used as a part of many restoration programs for physically-handicapped individuals.

  3. Hey,

    How you doing? I really like the way you write. Thanks for the informative post, I learned a lot from your article. Boost Up!


  4. Thanks a lot for sharing such kind of informative article about exercise bike. Keep posting more update on your page.

  5. I would like to point out that, no matter how effective these bikes are, getting in shape is entirely up to you. Machines can help with some things, but you still have to do all the hard work yourself. That being said, I would recommend an upright bike for those who are into cycling, and people with no history of back problems. When it comes to quality cardio workout, you just can’t beat an upright bike. They take up less space as well, which makes them a natural choice for those who live in smaller apartments or houses.
    If you prefer comfort over cardio, or if your back problems don’t allow you to work out much, then go with a recumbent bike. As I said, they will help you burn an equal amount of calories as an upright bicycle would, without the risk of getting strained of hurt. Exercise bikes can cost a lot of money, so I understand your concern about choosing the right one for yourself. I’m hoping this guide has made that choice a little but easier.

  6. Thank you for sharing. This information really helped a lot, gained a lot of knowledge and helped me choose Fitness tip.

Leave a reply


Ever Unfolding