This Year’s Best Exercise Bike for Bad Knees

  Reviewed
 by Dr. Steve Hruby, D.C.

I’m a fitness advocate with a holistic approach to health, wellness, and longevity. I’ve walked the walk since 2009 - using my personal development methods to unleash the fitness champ within you.

  Fact Checked
 by Rhealyn Celestial
Reviewed by Rhealyn Celestial

I’m a researcher, and I’m also a full-time mom. I spend my weekdays crafting thoughtful articles for small businesses, and my weekends with my son learning about the world together

Having bad knees is no joke. It could be because of an injury, or a recurring pain you’ve had for years. Or it could be other causes that may have sidetracked you from your normal workout routine.  

In A Hurry? Here Are Our Top Recommendations
Marcy ME-709 Recumbent Exercise Bike
Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike Series
Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike

You may even feel discouraged from staying active and may think that your bad knees is cutting your mobility.

But you should not! Because there are alternatives that you can do to keep yourself active and strong. Your best bets are low-impact workouts that don’t put too much strain on the knees. 

Here, we review the best exercise bike for bad knees to help you decide which is the best one for you. 

The Best Exercise Bike For Bad Knees: Our Top 3 Picks

Preview
Best Overall
Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709
Runner-up
Schwinn Fitness 270 Recumbent Bike
Best Value
Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike, Pulse Rate Monitoring,...
Features
It can be easily moved around because of the transport wheels in front of the exercise bike
With 29 pre-set fitness programs that provide more options for workout
Has a multi-function handlebar which you can use to grip for stability while working out
Downsides
The adjustable seat was reported to be very difficult to move backward or forward
A few have reported that the heart rate monitor was not working correctly
Some have reported their bikes emitting a clicking noise
Prime
-
Best Overall
Preview
Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709
Features
It can be easily moved around because of the transport wheels in front of the exercise bike
Downsides
The adjustable seat was reported to be very difficult to move backward or forward
Prime
Check Price
Runner-up
Preview
Schwinn Fitness 270 Recumbent Bike
Features
With 29 pre-set fitness programs that provide more options for workout
Downsides
A few have reported that the heart rate monitor was not working correctly
Prime
Check Price
Best Value
Preview
Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike, Pulse Rate Monitoring,...
Features
Has a multi-function handlebar which you can use to grip for stability while working out
Downsides
Some have reported their bikes emitting a clicking noise
Prime
-
Check Price

Why a Stationary Bike?

Riding stationary exercise bikes is one of your best options if you are suffering from bad knees.

These machines are good for your knees and they are very convenient.  You can use them either outdoors or indoors so you can still work out even in harsh weather. 

Types of Exercise Bikes That You Can Use if You Have Bad Knees

There are two types of exercise bikes that you can choose from depending on your needs. 

Upright Stationary Bike 

This type of machine is configured similarly to road bikes. The seat is located on top of the pedals, with the rider hunched forward to reach the handlebars.

There are many available options for this type of exercise bike. They also come with special features to make your workout more challenging. 

woman using exercise bike in the gym

Recumbent Type

The recumbent type is where the rider is in a more comfortable seating position with the pedals positioned forward. The handlebars are located beside the seats. This way, the rider can easily hold the handlebars to support himself. 

Both the upright and recumbent type of exercise bike puts less stress on the knees. They are also suitable for those recovering from injuries or suffering from a chronic knee ailment.

However, be sure to try both before committing to a purchase. See first which type feels better for you.  

Best Exercise Bikes for Bad Knees

Marcy ME-709 Recumbent Exercise Bike

This is a great option if you are looking for a piece of equipment for your cardio workout while strengthening your legs and knees at the same time.

Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709
18,896 Reviews
Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709
  • STEP-THROUGH DESIGN – Featuring heavy-duty construction 14-gauge steel tubing with a powder coated finish, the...
  • EIGHT RESISTANCE LEVELS – This stationary bike uses a magnetic resistance mechanism with 8 levels of resistance. The...
  • EASY-TO-READ COMPUTER SCREEN – The ultra-functional LCD computer screen acts as a odometer and has a sharp panel...

The seats are padded for comfort and contoured for back support during a workout.  

Features:

  • With adjustable seats to cater to different-sized people
  • With an LCD computer display that shows the time, speed, distance, calories, and total distance.
  • The LCD display is also in a bigger font size, making it easier to see your progress
  • Provides a more challenging workout because it has 8 levels of resistance or tension control
  • It can be easily moved around because of the transport wheels in front of the exercise bike
  • Holds a maximum user weight of 300 lbs
  • Some good feedback from buyers: Bike is solidly built and came with clear, easy-to-follow instructions
  • Comes with a 2-year limited manufacturer warranty

 Downsides:

  • The adjustable seat was reported to be very difficult to move backward or forward, while some reported receiving broken bike parts
  • Yet a few reported that tension control or resistance level was not that challenging even if turned to the maximum level 

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Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike

You should also consider this as a good choice for a recumbent bicycle for bad knees.

Sale
Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike, Pulse Rate Monitoring,...
6,414 Reviews
Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike, Pulse Rate Monitoring,...
  • Exclusive easy seat adjustment allows you to make seat adjustments, hassle-free, all done while remaining seated on the...
  • Large seat and back cushion, Seat: 11L x 14.5W x 1.5H in
  • Self leveling pedals with straps

It comes with a built-in pulse sensor to give you your heart rate while working out. This is on top of the usual metrics like time, distance, and speed. 

Features:

  • Holds maximum user weight of 300 lbs
  • With 8 levels of magnetic resistance to provide for a more challenging workout
  • Has a multi-functional digital monitor that keeps track of your metrics on time, speed, distance, calories, and total distance
  • It is easier to adjust the seat backward and forward through the slide rail system. It allows you to adjust your seat even while staying seated
  • Has a multi-function handlebar which you can use to grip for stability while working out.
  • It can also monitor your heart rate through the pulse sensor built-in on the handles
  • It is easy to move because of its transportation wheels

Downsides:

  • Some have reported their bikes emitting a clicking noise
  • Others have reported problems with computer wiring where the pulse sensor is not working
  • Yet a few more reported that the backrest is uncomfortable

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Exerpeutic 400XL Space Saver Folding Recumbent Bike

If workout space is an issue for you, then the Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike is a good choice.

Sale
Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike with Performance Monitor
5,273 Reviews
Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike with Performance Monitor
  • Foldable recumbent exercise bike with quiet V-belt double-drive transmission system
  • Precision-balanced flywheel; 8-level adjustable magnetic tension control system
  • Easy-to-read LCD display tracks your distance, calories, time, speed, and heart rate

I would also go on to say that this is one of the best stationary bikes for a short person.

Features:

  • Designed as semi-recumbent
  • Is easier to store because it is foldable
  • Provides a more challenging workout because it has 8 levels of resistance or tension control
  • Is easy to move because of its transportation wheels
  • Good for users between 5’2” to 6’2” tall
  • Supports weight capacity of up to 300 lbs
  • You can easily track metrics because of its large LCD display. Metrics provided are distance, calories burned, time, speed, and heart rate
  • Comes with 1-year limited warranty

Downsides:

  • Some have reported difficulty in assembling the bike even with the instruction that came with the package
  • A few have reported that seat adjustability is limited 
  • Being semi-recumbent, the seat is a little higher than the usual placement, which . So it may put more strain on your knees

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Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike Series

If you are into Bluetooth connectivity, having app-based support, and a bike that’s loaded with features, then this one is for you! Surely you will not get bored with this one for a long time! 

Sale
Schwinn Fitness 270 Recumbent Bike
8,666 Reviews
Schwinn Fitness 270 Recumbent Bike
  • With enhanced Bluetooth connectivity, users can set, track and monitor progress with popular app-based tracking tools.
  • Explore the world and discover 50plus global routes that auto-adjust in real time to your speed
  • Fully-loaded console with DualTrack blue backlit LCD screens offers 29 workout programs and visibility to workout...

Features:

  • With enhanced Bluetooth connectivity. This allows you to track your time, distance, speed, calories, and heart rate more easily
  • With 29 pre-set fitness programs that provide more options for workout
  • With 25 levels of resistance, which provides you with more options on the levels of difficulty based on your preference
  • With a built-in USB port; and Virtual Reality (VR)-compatible
  • This is a plus point for me! The bike comes with a cup holder, and this is so convenient!
  • With a 5.5” blue backlit LCD display that provides more visibility in tracking your metrics
  • With a wider seat that’s ventilated and padded. It is also adjustable which allows you to move the seat backward or forward
  • It also has a wider and ventilated backrest for better lumbar support
  • With a heart monitor embedded in the handrail
  • Comes with two handlebars to choose from based on preference.
  • Users have reported the quietness of the pedals, regardless of the resistance level and workout program selected
  • Supports weight capacity of up to 300 lbs

Downsides:

  • Some have reported problems with the Bluetooth feature, where the Bluetooth could not connect with other apps as advertised
  • Also, some have reported power engineering fail, with the power running too close to the pedals
  • While a few have reported that the heart rate monitor was not working correctly

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Exerpeutic ExerWorK 1000 Fully Adjustable Desk Folding Exercise Bike

Want to work while working out at the same time? It is possible with the Exerpeutic ExerWorK 1000 Fully Adjustable Desk Folding Exercise Bike!

Sale
Exerpeutic ExerWorK 1000 Fully Adjustable Desk Folding Exercise Bike with Pulse
2,196 Reviews
Exerpeutic ExerWorK 1000 Fully Adjustable Desk Folding Exercise Bike with Pulse
  • Sliding Desktop: large fully adjustable desktop with tilt, forward, back, up and down adjustability for sitting or...
  • Patented XBike Desk and Exercise Semi-Recumbent Bicycle. 2.5" Thick large AirSoft seat with extra comfort. Adjustable to...
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs. Semi-recumbent design for comfortable, effective workouts

Recommended for users with a height between 5’2” to 6’3”, this semi-recumbent bike is a cross between an upright and a recumbent bike. You get the best of both worlds because you can work out as hard as you work! 

Features:

  • Combines the functionality of an upright bike and recumbent bike in one product
  • Provides a more challenging workout because it has 8 levels of magnetic tension control system
  • With a desktop where you can place your laptop. The desktop supports any equipment up to 44 lbs
  • With an LCD computer display built on the desktop that tracks speed, distance, time, calories burned, and pulse
  • The desktop is ergonomically designed and adjustable to 3 different positions at 0, 16, and 33-degree angles.
  • The desktop can also be lowered or raised to different positions from 41” to 45”, and can be slid forward and back for a better fit. 
  • The desktop comes with a cupholder and a small storage drawer to safely store your things as you workout
  • Is comfortable because of the airsoft seat
  • With enhanced support from the large foam backrest
  • Is easier to store because it is foldable
  • Supports weight capacity of up to 300 lbs
  • Comes with a 3-year limited warranty

Downsides:

  • A few have reported that the bike is too long for a short person of 5’3” height.
  • Some have also reported clunking or thumping noise when riding the bike after weeks of use

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Pooboo Recumbent Exercise Bikes

This bike is sturdily and durably built because it is made of a heavy-duty steel frame.

pooboo Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike Recumbent Bike Indoor Cycling Bike...
750 Reviews
pooboo Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike Recumbent Bike Indoor Cycling Bike...
  • EIGHT MAGNETIC RESISTANCE LEVELS 💎 This exercise bike applies with magnetic resistance of 8 levels, requiring merely...
  • COMFORTABLE SEAT & BACKREST 💎 With high-density foam,the seat and backrest can better support your hip and back,...
  • SUPER QUIET SYSTEM 💎 The stationary bike combines magnetic system with belt drive mechanism. It can ensure quick...

Also, the Pooboo Recumbent Exercise Bike boasts of super-quiet operations, making it a smoother riding experience. 

Features:

  • Supports weight capacity of up to 330 lbs
  • Provides a more challenging workout because it has 8 levels of resistance or tension control
  • Boasts of a magnetic control system which makes the flywheel whisper-quiet
  • The seat is adjustable for optimal position
  • Is easy to move because of its transportation wheels
  • With multi-functional LCD digital monitor which prominently displays time, speed, distance, calories burned, and heart rate.
  • With a built-in pulse sensor at the handlebars to track your heart rate
  • With an easy-to-reach bottle holder placed just below the seat

Downsides:

  • Some have reported difficulty in assembling the bike despite having a user manual, especially in the area of wiring.
  • A few have reported that the LCD screen was no longer working after a few months of use

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Progear 555LXT Magnetic Tension Recumbent Bike

The Progear 555LXT Magnetic Tension Recumbent Bike features an easy on and off-bike step-thru design.

Progear 555LXT Magnetic Tension Recumbent Bike with Workout Goal Setting...
838 Reviews
Progear 555LXT Magnetic Tension Recumbent Bike with Workout Goal Setting...
  • Wide screen computer LCD display provides large numbers for easy viewing
  • 250 pounds weight capacity. User height range of 5'0 to 6'3"
  • "Step Thru" Design allows easy on and off the bike

The design is minimalistic and made of a durable steel frame that can support up to 250 lbs of rider weight. 

Features:

  • Sleekly built and durable with its steel construction 
  • Supports weight capacity of up to 250 lbs, and accommodates users between 5’0” to 6’3” in height
  • With soft-grip handlebars beside the seat to help with stability and balance
  • With adjustable seats to cater to different-sized people
  • Has a widescreen LCD monitor that prominently displays speed, distance cycled, calories burned, heart rate per minute, and time elapsed
  • Up to 14 levels of magnetic tension resistance which offers more workout intensity
  • Has 3 computer goals workout settings of distance, time, and calories burned
  • Features a quiet drive belt system for a quiet workout sessions
  • Built-in smartphone or tablet holder
  • With bottle holder 
  • Is easy to move because of its transportation wheels
  • Backed with a one-year warranty

Downsides:

  • Some have reported that tension level is hard even if placed at the lowest setting
  • Poorly designed seat function. A few have reported that seats slide forward no matter how much it is tightened, or the seat is too hard to adjust 

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Marcy Regenerating Recumbent Exercise Bike

The Marcy Regenerating Recumbent Exercise Bike is pedal-powered so it does not need to be tethered to an electric outlet! This provides additional portability for indoor or outdoor settings.

Sale
Marcy Regenerating Recumbent Exercise Bike with Adjustable Seat, Pulse Monitor...
697 Reviews
Marcy Regenerating Recumbent Exercise Bike with Adjustable Seat, Pulse Monitor...
  • Cut the cord! This bike is equipped with a regenerating motor that allows you to power the computer as you pedal; you...
  • The sturdy steel frame combines both design and performance. Its step-through design lets you get on and off the bike...
  • Product dimensions – 57” L x 24” W x 42” H | Weight capacity – 300 lbs. | For users between – 10 to 99 years...

Features:

  • Boasts of a regenerating motor that allows you to power the bike’s computer as you pedal
  • With two sets of handlebars, one located beside the seat and with heart rate sensors built into the handlebars. While the second set of the handlebar is located beside the LCD screen.
  • Supports weight capacity of up to 300 lbs
  • Comes with a manual magnetic resistance mechanism with 23 programs and 24 levels of resistance. This simulates the effect of biking on different terrains
  • Comes with an LCD screen with LED backlight. It allows you to monitor distance traveled (odometer), current speed, pulse rate, time elapsed, and calories burned
  • Comes with a 2-year manufacturer warranty
  • Is easy to move because of its transportation wheels

Downsides:

  • Some have reported poor customer service with their support line either unreachable or response time is slow
  • A few others have reported that seat adjustment does not accommodate a shorter person, of about 5’0” to 5’3”

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HCI Fitness PhysioCycle XT Recumbent Bike

This bike is a total body recumbent bike that features a simultaneous arm and leg workout.  

HCI Fitness PhysioCycle XT Recumbent Bike with Arms
25 Reviews
HCI Fitness PhysioCycle XT Recumbent Bike with Arms
  • Walk-through design makes it easy to get on and off the machine
  • Pulse sensors on seat handlebars enable the user to monitor heart rate at all times
  • Pedals with adjustable straps for easy use and perfect

This machine has handles and pedals that engage both the lower and upper body! More movement means more calories burned! 

Features:

  • With 7 quick workout programs
  • With two sets of handlebars 
  • Handlebars located beside the monitor rotates, which provides upper body exercise
  • The handlebar beside the seat has a built-in pulse sensor that tracks heart RPM
  • Bi-directional pedal, where you can pedal forward or backward, exercising different muscle groups
  • Is easy to move because of its transportation wheels
  • Breathable seat
  • Supports weight capacity of up to 300 lbs, and accommodates users between 4’10” to 6’3” in height
  • With a backlit LCD display prominently displaying time, speed, distance, calories burned, heart rate, and torque level
  • With adjustable seat position, controlled via a lever located beside the seat
  • Comes with these warranties: 3 years for parts, 1 year for labor, and a lifetime warranty on the frame

Downside:

  • Out of 25 raters, one has reported noise heard when pedals are used backward.

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Buyer’s Guide: Choosing The Right Exercise Bike For You

The equipment must be the right one for you so you can reap the most benefits from the exercise bike.  Below are some things for you to consider that can help you decide on the best machine to invest in. 

Cost

Think of it as an investment, one that will get you returns over time. This mindset will help you make the best decision on buying the bike that fits you.  The cost of the bike is one of the big considerations, especially if you are working on a budget. 

Some machines come with a lot of features, some come with basic offerings. Compare and contrast the different models available and then choose the one with the best value for your money that will not make a big dent in your savings. 

Bike Size

Bike fit is just as important as the features that come with the bike. Your current weight and body type are big factors in choosing the right machine. 

women using stationary bikes in the gym

You should also check your current fitness level and if you are suffering from chronic knee pain. This will help you decide if you should get an upright or a recumbent bike.

Product Warranty 

Manufacturers that have faith in their machines include a product warranty on your purchase. This should give you confidence when buying the bike. And will ensure that parts can be replaced and saves you from headache in the future. 

Noise Levels

If you will be using the bike in a home setting, the noise levels when using the machine are a big consideration. You don’t want to wake up the household while you pedal. Try out the machine while in the store or read product reviews if you are buying online. 

Heart Monitor and Other Features

Upper-range bike models include heart rate monitoring and other metrics to help you track your workout. While these are good features to have, keep in mind that these are not the main features that you should look for if you don’t have the budget. 

What You May Also Ask

Which Stationary Bike Is Better for My Knees, Upright or Recumbent?

The recumbent type is a better choice if you have bad knees. The seating position is more comfortable by design, with the pedals positioned comfortably in front. 

Can I Use an Exercise Bike With Bad Knees?

Yes, you definitely can.  When you read customer reviews, you will see that a lot of users are recovering from some form of injury either in the knee or hip area. A lot use exercise bikes to slowly strengthen their knees while getting some form of cardio in.

Is It Safe To Ride a Recumbent Bike Every Day?

Yes, it is safe to ride a recumbent bike daily as part of your exercise routine. I would suggest going for 30 to 40-minute exercise daily to get your knees in shape. 

woman using a recumbent bike in the gym

Is the Recumbent Bike As Good as Walking?

Both are good ways to exercise. Both are good for the heart and can help you burn those extra calories. Your workout of choice will just depend on your preference, how long you can allocate for exercise daily, and how many calories you want to burn given the amount of exercise time you have set.  

Can a Recumbent Bike Help You Get in Shape?

Yes, the recumbent bike can help you get in shape. It is not the perfect choice if you are after a high-intensity, movement-rich workout routine. But if you are someone who is recovering from injury, suffering from bad knees, or someone who simply wants a bike over other exercise equipment, then the recumbent bike is a great choice for you. 

Which Is Better for Bad Knees: Exercise Bike, Treadmill, Elliptical, or Rowing Machine?

I would say all are good for bad knees, but my personal preference would be the elliptical machine because it has the least impact on your knees.

Walking on a treadmill would still impact your knees because you will still be carrying your weight as you walk. And although your knees don’t carry your full weight on either the rowing machine or exercise bikes, both machines still offer more impact on the knees when compared to the elliptical machine.

Is an Exercise Bike Good for Seniors?

Yes, an exercise bike is good for seniors, especially recumbent bikes. They provide very low impact and stress on the legs, knees, and hips. They also just allow the older folks to sit comfortably while slowly pedaling forward for cardio. 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Bad knees are no reason for you not to exercise and put in cardio time.  One great solution to painful knees is to lubricate them, and lubricating your joints means continually exercising them. 

We hope that with this article, you can select the right exercise bike that’s fit for you, your preference, and your needs. 

Don’t forget to visit our blogs for more reviews and wellness guides!

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