For those of you who are unaware, yes—there is a difference between a recumbent bike you can buy for the home and the commercial ones that gyms use.
If I’m buying one for home, I think I would have to go with the Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike.
But wait— is there really that much of a difference between one intended for home use and one meant for commercial purposes? In a word—yes.
Your commercial recumbent bikes are going to need to be sturdy and durable enough to withstand being used for hours and hours every day. Yes, you may use yours for a couple of hours a day, but commercial ones stand to be used as long as the gym is open. So, we are talking eight, ten, 12-hour days.
That sort of use requires a different kind of construction; it requires a much more expensive one. It’s not that manufacturers don’t make the ones for use at home to last. But they don’t need to be ready to take the beating that a commercial one does.
Other models are also good, and I’ll go over a couple others here. But for my money, you can’t go wrong with a Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike at home.
Table of Contents
- 1 Top Choice: Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike
- 2 Other Acceptable Options
- 3 The ‘Big Guy’ Friendly Option: the Exerpeutic 900XL Extended Capacity Recumbent Bike
- 4 The Workaholic Option: the Exerpeutic WorkFit
Top Choice: Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike
At Walmart.com, 15 users reviewed the Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike and gave it an average rating of 4.3 stars (out of five).
At the website for Dick’s Sporting Goods, 64 users left a review and gave the Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike an average rating of 4.4 stars (out of five).
- Entertainment capabilities: If you are like me, you need to be distracted while you are working out. The Schwinn 270 comes with headphones, a USB port, and a pretty good set of speakers if you don’t have to worry about disturbing anyone else in the room. It also comes with a great stand for your tablet or phone, so you can watch something online while you ride.
- The fan: It’s a little thing, but if getting sweaty and hot discourages you from working out, then the three-speed fan that comes built-in with the Schwinn 270 will be great. Oh—and don’t worry about it hitting you in the belly or blowing overhead if you are tall or short. It can be adjusted to accommodate the rider’s height.
- Goal tracking feature: Seeing the physical results from your workouts can take time, but with this feature, you can track and record every time you hit a new personal best.
- No on/off switch: This may sound like a strange thing to call a con. But the way one user described it in a review, it’s a pretty bad one: “The problem with this bike is it does not have an off-on switch. So, it either needs to be continuously plugged in and is prone to damage from electrical storms in my area or needs to be plugged in and unplugged after each use. After 13 months (one-year electrical warranty) the bike will no longer power up, and the LED display will no longer turn on when plugged in despite using a surge protector.” The more something is on, the more likely it is to break down.
- Missing instructions: The Schwinn 270 comes with a great display panel, but several users had a hard time getting the most out of it because their bike didn’t come with instructions for the panel. It’s a small thing, but when you pay for the bells and whistles, you want to be able to use them.
- Difficult assembly: Several users complained about having a difficult time putting their Schwinn 270 together. It wasn’t because the parts were heavy or there were too many of them. It was because the holes often did not line up. More handy users were able to drill new ones; some just forced them in. Either way, with a new product, this should not happen.
The Bottom Line
I like that this bike makes it so easy for me to get distracted, so I can forget what I’m doing. It’s a little concerning when people complain about things not working or having trouble putting them together. But shipping issues could occur no matter what you order or from where, so I don’t hold them against the machine.
Other Acceptable Options
The ‘Big Guy’ Friendly Option: the Exerpeutic 900XL Extended Capacity Recumbent Bike
On one website, 2,349 users left reviews and gave the Exerpeutic 900XL Extended Capacity Recumbent Bike an average rating of 4.2 stars (out of five).
- ‘Big Guy’ friendly: Few things can end a workout program quite like an uncomfortable seat can. But that is not something you’ll ever have to worry about with the Exerpeutic 900XL Extended Capacity Recumbent Bike. Now, recumbent bikes by nature come with comfy seats. But this one has a seat that is described as coming with a ‘large, oversized seat cushion and backrest.’
- Portable: The wheels on the frame of the Exerpeutic 900XL Extended Capacity Recumbent Bike make it easy to move around if you can’t seem to find the just right location. While you are looking for one, you don’t have to worry about being near a plug. It doesn’t need an external power source.
- Quiet: Since we are talking about recumbent bikes for the home, the less noise they make, the better. People that had difficulty assembling it often had noise issues. But if it was put together properly, users thought it was perfectly quiet.
- Warranty: It’s just a one-year limited warranty. Whenever they come with such a short one, that just scares me a little. I get it if they are that confident in their product, but I have no reason to be so confident.
- Assembly: Some reviews said they had no trouble putting their Exerpeutic 900XL Extended Capacity Recumbent Bike together. But several talked about holes not lining up properly and confusing instructions. Some mentioned it taking hours to put together.
- The seat: A few users complained that the seat on their Exerpeutic 900XL Extended Capacity Recumbent Bike was not comfortable enough to spend more than 40 minutes on. Some of them said sitting on a pillow did the trick. Others complained that the seat was difficult to adjust.
The Bottom Line
I’m a big guy. I used to love riding my bike, but I can’t stand that tiny seat on those things now. So, when I choose to ride a bike now, I prefer to have a seat that is comfortable and spacious. I prefer there not be something sticking up where guys don’t like things sticking up making the ride uncomfortable.
While prices will vary according to location and vendor, the Exerpeutic 900XL Extended Capacity Recumbent Bike can often be had at an affordable price. That and the seat make it a good buy for me.
The Workaholic Option: the Exerpeutic WorkFit
One site had reviews from 471 users who gave the Exerpeutic WorkFit an average rating of 4.2 stars (out of five).
At Walmart.com, 52 users left a review for the Exerpeutic WorkFit and gave it an average rating of 4.3 stars (out of five).
- The desk: How many of us would like to get more exercise in but always say “as soon as I’m done with work” when asked when you are going to go? Now you can ride and work using the desk that comes on the Exerpeutic WorkFit! It’s a good-sized surface (16” x 24”), has three angle adjustments, five height adjustments, comes with a drawer, two cup holders, and can hold up to 44 lbs.
- Quiet: If you are going to be working while riding, the last thing you need is noise to distract you from what you are doing—which will not be a problem with the Exerpeutic WorkFit. The pedals are surprisingly quiet.
- Better work: some researchers have found that with increased blood flow (via exercise) creativity is heightened and cognition is improved. So, if your work is dependent on either, you may want to start using an Exerpeutic WorkFit today!
- Convenience: It folds up for easy storage, so you don’t need to worry about finding a large enough space in the house to leave it. You just need to have a place you can store it. The wheels make it easy to move around as well!
- Semi-Recumbent: It allows you to exercise and work, but it is not going to be as comfortable as a traditional recumbent bike. That being said, the Exerpeutic WorkFit will still be more comfortable than your typical stationary bike.
- Not for the ‘vertically challenged:’ It says that the seat can be adjusted for someone as tall as 6’3” and as short as 5’ 2”. But several users complained about that not being the case in their reviews. There were no issues noted among taller users. But several shorter users said they had to sit up to use it, meaning they had no back support while riding their Exerpeutic WorkFit.
- Assembly issues: Several people complained about having trouble putting their Exerpeutic WorkFit recumbent bike together properly. They either got it together, and it made noise, or they struggled to get it together in general.
The Bottom Line
If you want to workout more but struggle to find the time because of work, the Exerpeutic WorkFit is the bike for you. From the trouble some people had putting it together (according to their reviews; not everyone did, but enough had issues), I’d say it is worth paying the extra money to get the expert assembly.
The only thing that keeps this bike from being my top choice is that it is only semi-recumbent. But the desk aspect is a nice touch. Desk-treadmill combos have been popular for some time, but I have trouble walking and typing. But typing while sitting and pedaling on my Exerpeutic WorkFit?
I can do that.