Looking for a way to get in shape at home? There is no better way than with a high-quality exercise bike. These bikes are safe, effective, and make having a fitness routine incredibly convenient.
But what are the best exercise bikes for seniors? Read on to see the top models and learn more about how exercise bikes can benefit you!
What is an Exercise Bike?
Exercise bikes take the shape and mechanics of bicycles and plant them on stable, stationary bases. They allow you to get all of the exercise benefits of riding a bicycle without risking an accident or crash- something that can be especially dangerous for seniors.
Exercise bikes, sometimes called stationary bikes, work by using pedals attached to a “flywheel”, a piece that generates resistance on the pedals, replicating the feeling of pedaling a bike on real paved roads. Some exercise bikes have a flywheel that doubles as a fan, keeping you cool as you pedal. Other bikes have a magnetic flywheel which makes them feel very smooth as you work out.
The resistance given by the flywheel is adjustable; most bikes have at least 8 different resistance levels- more luxurious models have up to 25. The higher the resistance, the more power is required to pedal the bike.
Pros and Cons of Using an Exercise Bike for Seniors
Best Types of Exercise Bike for Elderly
Upright Exercise Bike
Upright bikes look just like a traditional bike, with the pedals directly beneath the seat. While you won’t have to focus on keeping the bike balanced or doing any steering, you still have to balance your body on top of the seat. This puts all your bodyweight right on the seat, which results in pressure on your hips and lower back. Over time, this can cause lower back and hip pain in seniors who already have bad backs. For most people, though, 30 minutes a day on an upright exercise bike won’t cause them any trouble.
Recumbent Exercise Bike
The word “recumbent” refers to a seated position that puts most of your body weight on your back. Recumbent bikes have a wide padded seat and backrest that you lean against while riding. This position puts your feet in front of you, rather than directly beneath you.
Using a recumbent exercise bike feels like reclining on a chair while getting a great leg workout. If you have back or hip problems, this is the best type of exercise bike for you. You’ll get all the sweat you’re aiming for, without risking any pain.
Step-Through Exercise Bike
These products are like subcategories rather than a type of bike unto themselves. Step-through bikes can be upright or recumbent; the special thing about them is the frame. These bikes have a frame that you can, well, step through. This prevents you from having to lift your leg up to get on the bike, saving your hips some strain.
Folding Exercise Bike
Both upright and recumbent bikes can be made with a folding design. These bikes are typically lighter and less expensive than other exercise bikes. When you’re not using them, you can simply fold them up and roll them out of your way. They’re the best type of exercise bike for people who don’t have much space in their home, although they aren’t quite as stable as their larger counterparts.
Best Brands of Exercise Bikes
If you’re looking for the best of the best, go with Peloton. This company makes a superb exercise bike and packages it with world-class video instruction. The bike has a large video screen and speakers built into the frame, and you can have access to a large workout video library for a monthly fee.
Peloton bikes are expensive, and the monthly fee isn’t cheap, either. However, Peloton dominates the high-end market for a reason: they’re the best at what they do.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is Exerpeutic. This company has a wide range of exercise bikes for all budgets, needs, and sizes. If you have no interest in the high-end bikes that have video screens and Bluetooth connectivity, Exerpeutic is right for you. They make affordable products that overdeliver on performance.
They may not be a household name, but Stamina Elite has a great selection of exercise bikes for just about every need. Of the three brands we’ve discussed so far, Stamina Elite provides the best bang for the buck. If you’re looking for a great workout that won’t cost a fortune, Stamina Elite is the way to go.
The Best Exercise Bikes for Seniors in 2021
1. Best Recumbent Exercise Bike for Seniors (Overall): Peloton Bike
Though slightly overpriced, Peloton has, for the most part, earned its place atop the high-end home fitness market. The pedaling is smooth and quiet, the seat is very easy to adjust, and the workout library is second to none.
The Peloton Bike costs just over $1,750, and the fitness video subscription costs $39 each month; this may sound steep, but is cheaper than most gym memberships over a 36 month period. If you have the budget, it’s hard to go wrong with the Peloton. It’s not designed for people who are only interested in casual workouts, though. If, however, you’re looking for the best workout possible, go with Peloton and enjoy the sweat!
2. Best Value Recumbent Exercise Bike for Elderly: Exerpeutic 1500XL
Exerpeutic is the best brand for people who are looking for value; most of their products perform just as well as more expensive brands, but the average cost of an Exerpeutic recumbent bike is hundreds less than their competitors. The 1500 XL is an all-around great machine for people who want to get solid exercise but don’t have much interest in a Peloton-style workout.
This bike has 8 different resistance levels, a 300-pound weight capacity, and a step-through design. The best part about this 1500XL, though, is the value. While many recumbent exercise bikes will set you back more than $750, this one costs less than $300. If you’re looking for a great workout on a light, affordable exercise bike, this is the one for you.
3. Best Folding Recumbent Exercise Bike for Seniors: Exerpeutic Gold 525XLR
Folding exercise bikes offer a lot in the way of convenience, but they often sacrifice performance for portability. The Exerpeutic Gold, though, works just as well as non-folding recumbent exercise bikes. It can fit people who weigh up to 400 pounds, and height ranges from 5’2” to 6’2”. Virtually anyone can get a great workout on the 525XLR and then fold it up and pack it away for next time.
If you live in a smaller apartment or home, this folding exercise bike is perfect for you. It doesn’t skimp on comfort or performance, but it doesn’t take up much space. The only downside is that the bike only has 8 different resistance levels; ideally, it would have at least 10. Outside of that, though, there should be nothing stopping you from getting a great workout on this bike!
4. Best Recumbent Exercise Bike for Overweight Seniors: LifeSpan Fitness R5i Recumbent Bike
Most exercise bikes have weight capacities that range between 250 and 300 pounds. This works for most people, but heavier users are usually left out of the conversation. The R5i from LifeSpan Fitness has a 400-pound weight capacity, controls that are easy to learn, and 40 different pre-programmed exercise programs to choose from.
Some of the exercise programs on the bike are designed specifically for weight loss, and overweight seniors can use them to get their weight to a more manageable space. Losing weight is good for your heart and joints, two common issues that prevent overweight people from being able to exercise. Using this bike is easy on your joints and won’t be too demanding on your heart, either, allowing you to take a fitness program at your own pace!
5. Best Recumbent Exercise Bike for Short Seniors: ProForm 235 CSX
Most recumbent exercise bikes can fit people who are shorter, but that doesn’t mean that short people shouldn’t look for a model that fits them better. The ProForm325 CSX is ideal for people who are very short- as low as 4’8” in height.
Other recumbent exercise bikes for shorter people are lacking in performance and features, but this one is not. It has a large, intuitive LCD screen that makes it easy to select a workout and monitor your heart rate, speed, and distance; it also has 18 different resistance levels to choose from.
The exercise bikes being produced today usually come with some current technology integrations- Bluetooth connectivity for your phone or tablet, USB ports for phone chargers, etc. The ProForm 235 CSX is a few years old, so it lacks these features. If you like the idea of a high-tech exercise bike, this may not be the one for you. However, if you’re a shorter person, it’s hard to beat the performance and fit of the ProForm 235 CSX!
6. Best Recumbent Exercise Bike with Arm Movement for Seniors: Sunny Health and Fitness Recumbent Cross Training Bike
This bike is perfect for a total body workout, or for seniors who have weak legs that need a bit of a boost. You can use your arms and legs at the same time, building strength in your upper body along with the lower body. You can also work your arms and legs independently of one another if you like. This bike fits nearly any user and has a weight capacity of 350 pounds.
The biggest drawback of this exercise bike is that it lacks much in the way of technology. The mechanics work very well; the pedals are smooth and the ergonomic handgrips make it easy to work out your arms. It lacks, however, any programmed workout routines. If you don’t care much for those and prefer to work out at your own leisure, this recumbent exercise bike with arm movement is hard to beat!
7. Best Stationary Exercise Bike for Seniors: Stamina X Air Bike
This exercise bike has everything that seniors need to focus on their fitness. The display lets you select your goals for each workout. Want to burn a certain number of calories? Set the goal, and pedal away! You can do the same for heart rate, distance, and time- no matter what your goals are, the X Air Bike lets you set them and then race toward them.
The X Air Bike is perfect for casual and serious fitness routines alike. The flywheel continuously blows cool air to keep you from getting too sweaty, the seat is soft and comfortable, and the bike has handlebars that you can use to get a full-body workout. If you’re serious about your fitness, or just serious about the products you buy, this is the stationary exercise bike for you!
8. Best Portable Exercise Bike for Elderly: XTERRA Fitness FB150 Folding Bike
If you need an exercise bike that not only stays out of the way but is also small enough to fit in the car with you, this is it! It’s got a very minimal frame and design that makes it easy for any senior to roll and lift. It weighs just 32 pounds, roughly a third of what most other exercise bikes weigh!
The trade-off for that light, portable design is that the bike itself is very simple. It only has 8 levels of resistance and is best used for light exercise. If you have serious weight loss goals or are training for a competition, this is not the bike for you. For a light, enjoyable exercise session on a bike you can take anywhere, though, the XTERRA FB150 is the best choice.
9. Best Dual Exercise Bike for Elderly: Stamina Airgometer
This simple yet effective bike is a type of machine called a dual exercise bike; this means it has pedals for your legs and handlebars for your arms. You can get a total body workout from just one machine! The flywheel on the Stamina Airgometer is made with a fan, blowing cool air every time you pedal and helping you stay cool and focused for the length of each session.
One of the most beneficial things about this upright bike has little to do with the pedals or handlebars; it’s the seat. The seat is wider and thicker than most seats you’ll find on upright exercise bikes. Because upright bikes are known for having smaller, less comfortable seats, this is actually a big advantage for seniors who need the extra padding! You can get a full-body workout without risking a sore tailbone after a long routine.
10. Best Exercise Bike for Senior With Bad Knees: Sole Fitness R92 Recumbent Bicycle
The R92 has 20 different resistance levels for you to choose from and puts your body in an ideal posture for the knees- slightly reclined, with the knees in front of the body. That means you can dial in the difficulty to a point that works well for your knees, all while sitting in a position that minimizes the pressure they’ll feel while you use the bike.
If you have bad knees, recumbent bikes are easily the best type of exercise machine you can use. This one puts your body in a great position for your knees and is very comfortable to sit in. The magnetic flywheel makes pedaling extremely smooth, further protecting your knees against pain while pedaling and soreness after a workout. For any seniors with bad knees, the Sole Fitness R92 will feel like a breath of fresh air!
11. Best Folding Exercise Bike for Seniors: Exerpeutic 1200 Folding Bike
This might not be the fanciest exercise bike on Earth, but it does have two things going for it: convenience and price. First, the bike is very light, and the folding mechanism is very simple, making it a breeze to put the bike out of sight after you use it. It’s still big enough to get in shape, even though it can’t perform at the level of heavier, less portable bikes.
The low price of the Exerpeutic 1200 is also worth mentioning. For less than $200, you can own one of the most convenient exercise bikes on the market from one of the best exercise brands for seniors! Finally, for a small bike, it still manages to include a comfortable, wide seat and sturdy handlebars. If you need an exercise bike that performs well when you use it and moves out of the way after, the Exerpeutic 1200 is the way to go.
12. Best Small Exercise Bike for Seniors: Stamina Magnetic 345
Though it is every bit as effective as the larger, premium-priced models, the Stamina Magnetic 345 comes in a very small, space-saving package. If you are a shorter person or you lack space in your home, this is the exercise for you.
The frame of the bike hardly takes up any more floor space than a dining chair would. The seat can be adjusted to fit a user who is only 4’10”, too- one of the best exercise bikes for shorter seniors on the market. Even in this small frame, this exercise bike packs a lot of potential for seniors to get into great shape! The pedals are smooth and comfortable on the feet, and the simple display makes it easy to hop on the bike and get to work!
FAQs: Exercise Bikes
Is Riding a Bike Good Exercise for Seniors?
Riding bikes gives seniors the aerobic and muscular exercise that they need without risking their joint health. Cycling isn’t perfect; riding outdoors can sometimes be unsafe, and there is always a danger of overdoing it and straining muscles.
However, cycling, whether indoors or out, is one of the safest ways for seniors to stay active and fit! It’s much safer than running, which puts your knees and ankles under far too much pressure over time.
You won’t be putting your joints at risk, nor will your muscles wind up sore and stiff for days on end. No matter whether you’ve made fitness a part of your life for years or if you are just starting on a fitness journey, cycling is an amazing and relaxed way to get in shape!
Which Type of Exercise Bike is Better for Seniors: Upright or Recumbent?
Upright bikes are better for seniors who don’t have serious medical concerns; they are safer than riding outdoors but can still make for a very beneficial workout. If you don’t have any major concerns about your muscles and joints, getting an upright exercise bike is a great idea; you can work out with more intensity.
If you do have joint problems, back problems, or are overweight, a recumbent exercise bike is better for you. They’re also better for people who aren’t looking for an intense workout; upright bikes are great for casual workouts, but recumbent bikes are better suited to light-moderate exercise. You can still maintain an intense exercise routine with a recumbent bike; it’s just that your posture is more relaxed.
Good Exercise Bike Workouts for Seniors
Fat Burning Beginner Stationary Bike Workout
Stationary Cycle Workout- 30 Minutes
Quick 10-Minute Recumbent Exercise Bike Workout
How Long to Exercise on a Bike for Seniors with Bad Knees?
Exercise bikes are the best way for seniors with bad knees to get a good workout without feeling sore afterward. Still, though, you should be careful not to overdo it. It’s best that most of your workouts, especially for the first few weeks of owning an exercise bike, last not more than 30 minutes. 30-minute workouts are recommended because they let you get your heart rate up and strengthen your muscles without overworking your knee joints.
Buying Guide: Exercise Bikes
What to Look for in an Exercise Bike for Seniors
How to Find the Best Price on an Exercise Bike for Seniors
Exercise bikes are convenient, safe ways for any senior to stay in shape. Whether you opt for a top-of-the-line upright Peloton or a slightly more casual recumbent bike, exercise bikes are a huge benefit to your health and well-being. Which bike do you think is best for your home fitness routine? Do you have any questions about any of the models on our list? Leave your thoughts below!