The best exercise bikes for seniors are those that do not strain their ankles, knees and hips. These low-impact machines should help them burn calories and keep them active. Among the different bicycle types, recumbent bikes meet these criteria.

Keep reading for more details and tips on choosing an exercise bicycle for the elderly.

Best Exercise Bike for Seniors

Fitness experts say that recumbent bikes are one of the best exercise machines that seniors can use. But what are recumbent bicycles exactly? And how are they different from the other types of exercise bikes?

The ergonomic design of recumbent bikes makes them stand out from the rest. Unlike the usual stationary bicycle with pedals right below you, recumbent bikes have pedals in front.

Also, compared to the narrow seats of spin or upright exercise bikes, their recumbent counterparts have cushioned seats with backrests.

The seat height is also significantly lower and closer to the floor than standard indoor bicycles.

With this design, the user will be pedalling in a reclined position, and this suits the elderly well because:

  • It is more comfortable. The recumbent position evenly distributes the user’s weight on the bicycle seat while pedalling. The back rest also provides ample support to avoid soreness or pain post-workout.
  • It is safer and more stable. As the seat height is lower, there’s little to no chance for the user to fall or go off balance while exercising. A lower seat height also makes it easier for seniors to get on and off the bike.
  • It is more low impact. Old age can make our bones fragile. But with the recumbent bike pedals out in front, the user can cycle without bending the knees too much.

Things to Consider When Choosing Exercise Bikes for Seniors

While recumbent bicycles are best for the elderly, every model is different. So, make sure to check the features and specs first. Ideally, shop for an exercise bike with the person who will use it. That way, you’ll know for sure which machine to get.

Here are a few things to prioritise.

Recumbent Exercise Bike Features

1. Comfortable seat

Most recumbent exercise bikes for seniors come with padded seats with a backrest, so it shouldn’t be hard to find a comfy machine. However, it will be best to choose an adjustable model.

Some indoor cycling bikes have seats that lean forward too much, which can be uncomfortable for riders with back problems.

In that case, go for a machine that can shift to a more upright position. Some users may also prefer a recumbent bike with built-in padded armrests.

2. Easy mounting

The ideal exercise bike for seniors is something that they can mount and dismount with ease. Make sure the seat height is low enough for optimum safety and stability. Also, choose recumbent bikes with a step-through design.

These models do not have a centre frame, so riders can get on and off the bicycle without lifting their legs over it. This design is ideal for riders with leg or hip problems or limited mobility.

3. Wide and secure pedals with straps

The foot pedals should be comfortable for most foot sizes or shoe types. Ideally, they should be adjustable for a secure fit. The foot straps should be easy to tighten and remove, too.

You can also choose bicycle models that allow pedal swapping for maximum comfort.

4. User-friendly console

You can skip this if the senior rider is not into built-in workouts and other advanced features. But for simple consoles, make sure the letters and numbers on the screen are big enough for easy reading and navigation.

It will be better if the console height is adjustable and has a backlit LCD screen. Also, choose control panels with only a few buttons to make the machine easy to figure out and master.

Recumbent bikes with extra features like a water bottle holder, pulse sensor or workout fan should also enhance the seniors’ cycling experience.

Recumbent Cycling for Seniors

How to Use an Exercise Bike for Seniors

Getting a suitable exercise bike for senior riders is one thing. But how they intend to use it is another crucial matter. After all, workout efficiency and safety are even more critical among the elderly, especially those with existing medical conditions.

Before buying an indoor bicycle and starting an exercise program, senior riders should consult their doctors first. Once you have the medical clearance, follow your physician’s advice.

Generally, if you are new to cycling or being more active, the best way to go is to start slow. The Australian Department of Health and Aged Care suggests 10 minutes of exercise once or twice a day for beginners. After two weeks or so, you can extend your exercise time to 15 minutes.

Keep levelling up your routine until you get to the World Health Organization recommendation of 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise.

Here are other helpful tips for seniors when riding an exercise bike:

  • Pay attention to your body signals. Stop exercising if you feel any discomfort. And give your body enough time to recover before working out again.
  • Use a heart rate monitor. Our bodies respond differently to exercise, depending on our fitness capacity. A pulse monitor should help seniors monitor their status while exercising. Consulting a fitness trainer should help, too.
  • Do exercise variations. Spice up your routine and try different cycling programs to keep you motivated. You can use the pre-set programs of the bicycle or incorporate strength training exercises. Occasional challenging workouts like interval training are good, too.


Starting a recumbent exercise bike routine is excellent for senior riders. Aside from the many health benefits, recumbent cycling is also gentler on the body.

Recumbent bicycles guarantee safer and more comfortable workouts, too. In turn, seniors can stay active and enjoy a healthier lifestyle without the risks.

So, consider adding cycling to your fitness plan, regardless of age. Also, don’t forget to study your exercise bike options to find the best machine for your health goal.

Recumbent Cycling Tips for Seniors

1. Which stationary bike is best for arthritis?

A recumbent bike is best for people with arthritis. This bicycle type encourages the reclined position to maintain proper posture when cycling. It puts less strain on the joints, too. Also, the wide seat with a backrest ensures even weight distribution, preventing pain and irritation.

2. What are the other exercise machines that suit seniors?

Any joint-friendly exercise machine is safe for the elderly. Rowing machines can give seniors a good full-body workout with minimal strain on the body. Vibration machines are also excellent options for seniors. They allow low-impact exercises and help address balance issues, reduce backaches and improve immunity.