Recumbent Exercise Bike vs Upright Bike

Exercise bikes have been longer than most types of home fitness equipment. Today there are huge range of brands, models and styles of exercise bikes available on the market. However, it is very important to remember that choosing the right exercise bike for you is very important. For this reason, we have compiled a detailed guide that will help you to decide whether to purchase an upright bike or a recumbent bike.

Upright exercise bikes have been around for quite some time but the recumbent bikes have become very popular. Many exercise experts still debate which bike is best among the two exercise bikes but we believe that each exercise equipment has its own advantages and disadvantages. We therefore believe that it depends on your personal riding needs, fitness and rehab needs.


Cardiovascular exercise requires you to move major muscle groups with minimum resistance. Both the recumbent and the upright bike are designed to give you these exercises at the comfort of your home. However, these bikes have some differences. First, the position of your body is different when sitting on a recumbent bike and when sitting on an upright bike. When riding a recumbent bike, your body is positioned in a more horizontal position with the bike’s pedals in front of you. This position makes you to work your legs and glute harder than when on an upright bike. Sometimes, this limits your variation.

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For example unlike an upright bike which you can stand up on the pedals to simulate the action when going uphill, your legs remains on the same position on the recumbent bike. In addition, your body will sit above the bike frame similar to the traditional you grew riding as a kid. With the recumbent bike, your body sits into the bike frame.

Size and price

Both upright and recumbent bikes come with more advanced features that enhance your workouts for you to get your desired result within the shortest period. However, one area where the upright bikes have edged the recumbent bike is in terms of price and size. The upright bikes come in compact sizes that take less space than the recumbent bikes. The upright bikes are also folded easily for storage. For those individuals who do not have a lot of space in their houses, the upright bikes seem to be the perfect exercise bikes for them. Since most of the upright bikes are smaller, they do not use many parts when being constructed.

For this reason these bikes cost a lot less so if your budget is tight you still have the opportunity to buy yourself a quality exercise bike to help you in your daily fitness exercises. In addition, the upright bikes seem to be less restrictive and more versatile. These bikes do not require you to sit in just one position. It also makes your riding experience feel like you are using a usual bike making you to stand up and pedal this way, giving your legs a more intense exercise.upright bike muscle 003

The Posture

While riding an upright exercise bike you must lean over the bike frame and bend your back and neck slightly. This makes the your cycling in a less natural of body alignment, making you to get tired after using the bike for a lesser time when you compare it when using the recumbent bike. This means that if you have back issues you are likely to be less comfortable while doing your exercises. In addition, people who have neck issues will complain more if they use the upright bike. This is because you need to bend your neck forward while riding the bike.recumbent bike muscle 001

On the other hand, when you ride a recumbent bike, your body is reclined in a natural position and you do not have to bend your neck or head. The seat installed on the recumbent bike is also bigger and comfortable. Riding the bike is in a more natural position thus reducing fatigue as well as increasing the ability and desire of the rider continuing to exercise for a longer period. In addition, people who have neck and lower back pains find the recumbent bikes far more enjoyable and comfortable in comparison to the upright exercise bikes.

Back pain

The recumbent bikes have seats located almost in line with the pedal. The rider also has a lower center of gravity as compared to the upright bike. This makes the bike and the rider to be very stable. The reclined posture that allows you to lean backwards with your arms hanging naturally to the side eliminates sore wrists and hands.upright bike 004

This also eliminates the stress that is created when you lean on the arms while riding. The naturally comfortable seat also eliminate the aches and pain in the lower back and butts resulting to a more comfortable workout.

On the other hands, if you ride an upright bike for extended periods, you put a lot of weight on your arms, which are stretched, in front of your bent body. This causes some individuals to experience sores on their wrists and hands. In addition, the body remains in a bent position thus risking hurting your neck and lower back.

The Choice

Remember no matter how effective the recumbent and upright bikes exercise bikes are, getting in shape depends on you entirely. These bikes will help you to stay comfortable and other things but you will have to do the hard work yourself. With that being said, we would like to recommend upright bikes to individuals who loves cycling and those who do not have a history of back issues. When it comes to cardio exercises, nothing can really beat an upright bike since it allows the user to stand on pedals while climbing uphill. The upright bikes also take up less space making it ideal for individuals who live in smaller houses or apartments.

If you have back and neck issues or simply prefer something that keeps you comfortable while exercising, the recumbent bike is the right exercise bike for you. These bikes helps you to get into vigorous workouts similar to the upright bikes without the risk of getting hurt or strained. Remember you do not want to throw your hard earned money purchasing something that does not meet your needs. So, make sure that you do proper research before selecting the best exercise bike that meets your preferences.

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