Recumbent, Upright, or Compact: Which Exercise Bike Is Right for You?

There are so many different exercise bikes on the market, which can make for a hard decision. First, determine what you're looking for in an exercise bike—and if you're not sure, that's okay too. Our exercise bike guide will help you learn all the benefits of each bike along with specific models to help you get the most out of your machine.

Recumbent Exercise Bikes

The low seat on recumbent exercise bikes is what makes them so unique. A great form of cardio, this exercise bike is easy on the joints and targets your glutes, quads, and other muscles in the legs. The recumbent bike is also ideal if you experience low back pain, giving you the most support out of the different types of exercise bikes. The Exerpeutic 900XL is one of the more basic and affordable recumbent bikes designed with a large seat and easy-to-read LCD screen along with eight resistance levels. The Schwinn 230 Recumbent offers 22 preset exercise programs if you're looking for a machine with more options. The Schwinn model also features mp3 connectivity, a three-speed fan, USB port, and water bottle holder. For a higher-end model, the ProForm 740 ES Commercial has everything you could ever want and more. A bright color HD touchscreen allows you to navigate through a wide range of features including: 34 different workout apps, iPod compatibility, workout fan, 26 resistance levels, stat tracking, and you can "bike" anywhere in the world using Google Maps routes. Overall, the recumbent exercise bike offers a more comfortable form of exercise and is perfect for any fitness fanatic who's susceptible to back pain. (Always consult your physician before attempting a new workout, especially if you experience chronic pain.) This low-impact exercise can also reduce the risk of pain for anyone suffering from back or hip arthritis. (Again, talk to your doctor first before trying a new fitness regimen.) Whether you choose a basic model or a high-tech option, a recumbent bike just might be the best exercise bike for you.

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Upright Exercise Bikes

If you already love outdoor cycling, the upright exercise bike will give you a similar workout from the comfort of your home. In addition to the great cycling benefits, you never have to worry about missing a workout because of bad weather—an upright exercise bike trains your muscles like outdoor cycling. Your thighs, quads, and calf muscles will become stronger and more toned. An upright exercise bike also targets your core , whereas a recumbent bike has little effect on the abdominal area. Your upper arms will also get a solid workout. The Exerpeutic Magnetic Upright Exercise Bike is a standard option featuring heart pulse sensors, eight-level magnetic tension controls, and an LCD screen to monitor all your stats. The ProForm 135 CSX Upright Bike offers similar features, but they're more extensive. There are 16 adjustable resistance levels with this exercise bike, so if you can really push yourself to get more out of your cycling workout. If you're certain an upright exercise bike is for you and want something worth the splurge, the NordicTrack GX 4.6 Pro will amaze. Offering an oversize cushion seat and workout fan for prime comfort during your sweat sesh, this decked-out exercise bike also includes a 7-inch smart HD touchscreen, music port, and an amplified speaker system. Choose from 24 digital resistance levels for a different workout every day of the week. An upright exercise bike takes up less space than a recumbent, while also targeting more muscle groups. Add one of these bikes to your home gym today.

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Compact Exercise Bikes

Compact exercise bikes are designed for small spaces. No matter if you prefer an upright or recumbent bike, both can be made compact either with a slimmer or foldable design that can be easily stored after use. Starting off with the Exerpeutic WorkFit 1000, this foldable recumbent exercise bike is great for the multitasker. Designed with a sliding desktop, you can work while working out. The Marcy Foldable Exercise Bike is also portable and can be put away in a closet if you have a small home or apartment. Track distance, calories burned, and speed to crush your fitness goals. The Xterra Fitness FB150 Upright Folding Bike is another compact and easy-to-move option. This exercise bike features eight resistance levels, an easy-to-read LCD screen to track your stats, and adjustable foot pedals with a no-slip grip. If you don't have time to go to the gym or have the space to start your own home gym, a compact exercise bike is just what you need for a killer cardio workout that targets multiple muscle groups.

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