Choosing an Upright or Recumbent Exercise Bike

If space is not an issue, then you may want to look at the benefits and drawbacks for either an upright exercise bike, or a recumbent bike. Here we’ll have a look at both styles and how they may suit your needs.

The Comfort Factor

In the upright and recumbent bike comparison, potentially the most important factor is comfort. A recumbent bike offers users a seat, rather than a saddle and the position reduces strain on the body.

If you suffer from back problems or are overweight you’re likely to come down on the recumbent side of the upright and recumbent bike comparison and notice the difference between the comforts of sitting back on a recumbent opposed to being perched on a saddle. The recumbent sitting area means your weight is distributed over a larger area, eliminating the problem of a sore bottom.

Effectiveness of Workout

There is some debate over upright and recumbent bike comparison in terms of effectiveness. Some experts often argue that the reclined position often encourages a less intense work out in comparison with the upright model. With the upright model you can stand or sit, offering varying levels of intensity and exercising different muscles.

On the other hand, the fact that the recumbent position means the rider’s legs are almost level with their heart means less hydrostatic pressure in their circulation, improving blood flow to the muscles from the heart and increasing the rider’s endurance or power output on longer rides.

Breathing is also improved on a recumbent as the rider is not bent over. The reclined position also works the gluteal muscles more than cycling upright; perfect for toning your bum.

What About Cost?

Another factor to consider is cost. A reasonable recumbent exercise bike is likely to be more expensive than an upright bike. Uprights also tend to take up less space; an important consideration when purchasing an exercise bike.

Finally, be sure to try out different models before you buy and budget according to your goals and willpower. There’s very little point spending a small fortune on a piece of kit you’ll put in the spare room to gather dust.

In Summary

To conclude, for a set budget you’re likely to be able to afford a better model of upright bike than recumbent. If you’re already reasonably in shape and want to step up your workouts or have a limited space or budget, an upright is likely to be the best for you. If you’ve never exercised before or suffer from weight or mobility problems then a recumbent may be more appropriate.