Cycling is considered the most effective and safest type of exercise that doesn’t put too much pressure on your joints.
While bad knees can restrict the options of workouts you have, choosing the right exercise bike can help you both avoid worsening your knee pain but still improve your strength and health.
Today, we are glad to provide you with this complete guide on choosing the best exercise bike for bad knees.
Here are the best exercise bikes for bad knees you can buy in 2021:
- Best Overall: Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709
- Best For Larger Folks: Schwinn Recumbent Bike Series
- Best For Tall People: Nautilus Recumbent Bike Series
- Best For Short People: MaxKare Recumbent Exercise Bike
- Best For Seniors: JEEKEE Recumbent Exercise Bike
- Best For Beginners: Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Bike Exercise Bike
- Best For Heavier People: Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Bike
- Best For Lighter People: MaxKare Recumbent Exercise Bike Stationary Cycling Bike
- Best For Moderate Exercise: Marcy Magnetic Recumbent Bike NS-716R
- Best For Long Sessions: EXERPEUTIC 900XL
- Best For Smooth Riding: Pooboo Recumbent Exercise Bike
- Best For A Quiet Workout: EXERPEUTIC 1500XL
- Space-Saving Design: Exerpeutic 400XL
|13 Best Exercise Bikes For Bad Knees|
|Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709|
Best For Larger Folks
|Schwinn Recumbent Bike Series|
Best For Tall People
|Nautilus Recumbent Bike Series|
Best For Short People
|MaxKare Recumbent Exercise Bike|
Best For Seniors
|JEEKEE Recumbent Exercise Bike|
Best For Beginners
|Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Bike Exercise Bike|
Best For Heavier People
|Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Bike|
Best For Lighter People
|MaxKare Recumbent Exercise Bike Stationary Cycling Bike|
Best For Moderate Exercise
|Marcy Magnetic Recumbent Bike NS-716R|
Best For Long Sessions
Best For Smooth Riding
|Pooboo Recumbent Exercise Bike|
Best For A Quiet Workout
Best Overall: Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709
- Great support to your back, arms, and knees - an ergonomically designed saddle and weighted pedals
- Extra comfort - two contoured foam-covered handles & adjustable foot straps
- Affordable yet well-built & solid
- The pedals could be smoother
We particularly love this recumbent bike because of its unparalleled comfort.
It boasts an ergonomically reclined position, two contoured foam-covered handles, an ergonomically designed saddle that is well-cushioned with high-density foam, and weighted pedals. So, you’re extremely supported with no weight on your legs.
It’s also built with adjustable foot straps for both of your foot fitting and control. The step-through design is another bonus for serious bad knee sufferers.
With it, you’ve got eight resistance levels to choose from, all are easily adjusted by tension knobs, as well as an LCD screen display with nice readability.
|Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709 Specifications|
55.5 x 25 x 37.5 inches
Max User Weight
27” – 37”
an ergonomically designed saddle and weighted pedals
two contoured foam-covered handles & adjustable foot straps
The Marcy ME-709 earns the highest scores on most metrics of our tests, making it the best overall performer this year.
Best For Larger Folks: Schwinn Recumbent Bike Series
- Ideal for big exercisers - inseam length ranges of 25” to 35” & upgraded pedals with wider platforms and foot straps
- Feel smoother - walk-through base design, perimeter weighted flywheel combined with the high-speed, high-inertia drive system
- Convenient and enjoyable while exercising - Bluetooth connectivity, free Schwinn Trainer App, and adjustable fan, USB media charging, etc.
- The built-in speakers could deliver clearer sound quality
- The smartphone holders block the main display
While there’s an avalanche of recumbent bikes specifically designed for larger folks who also suffer bad knees, this stands out from the rest for its practicality and support.
The inseam length ranges of 25” to 35” make it easy to adjust to your leg length.
And the perimeter weighted flywheel combined with the high-speed, high-inertia drive system delivers easy startup and consistent, smooth exercise with no strain on your knees.
Compared to other high-end models, this one feels smoother because of its new walk-through base design and upgraded pedals with wider platforms and foot straps. The padded seat, on the other hand, is designed with lumbar support and ventilated back for your comfort.
The exercise machine is also built with Bluetooth connectivity, free Schwinn Trainer App, and adjustable fan, USB media charging, MP3 input port, and in-console speakers, a phone holder, and DualTrack LCD displays. Particularly, it’s VR compatible, making your workout more enjoyable.
|Schwinn Recumbent Bike Series Specifications|
64. inches x 27.7 inches x 49.9 inches
Max User Weight
inseam length ranges of 25” to 35” & upgraded pedals with wider platforms and foot straps
walk-through base design, perimeter weighted flywheel combined with the high-speed, high-inertia drive system
Bluetooth connectivity, free Schwinn Trainer App, and adjustable fan, USB media charging, etc.
Designed to take your exercise experience to the next level, along with wide, easy-to-adjust inseam ranges and wider foot-base, the Schwinn Recumbent Bike Series is an undeniable pick for larger folks.
Best For Tall People: Nautilus Recumbent Bike Series
- Able to fit exercisers up to 6’6” tall
- Comfortable, supportive, and breathable - well-cushioned seat & a ventilated backrest
- Customizable - 25 resistance levels, 29 programs, & sync to the World app
- The plastic cover going on the end of the seat rail seems to be useless
Designed with an adjustable seat and wide inseam length ranges, this recumbent bike provides enough legroom as well as comfort for tall people up to 6’6” in height.
Besides, its weight capacity is 300 pounds and the seat is not only well-cushioned for support but also has a ventilated backrest to save your back from ridiculous sweat marks.
It offers 25 resistance levels, 29 programs, and a DualTrack blue backlit LCD console connected to the World app via Bluetooth. This is where you can easily choose your custom workout courses and trails as well as track your workout metrics.
|Nautilus Recumbent Bike Series Specifications|
65.3" L x 28.3" W x 49.6" H
Max User Weight
well-cushioned seat & a ventilated backrest
25 resistance levels, 29 programs, & sync to the World app
The Nautilus Recumbent Bike Series are professionally designed for tall people to exercise with the least impact on their knees. Perfect for long-term situations!
Best For Short People: MaxKare Recumbent Exercise Bike
- Compact, easy storage, and ideal for short people – measured by 45.7
- The display box could be better
While fitting snugly people with a short torso, this compact recumbent bike makes storage a lot simpler. Its measurement is only 45.7" (L)x 18.9" (W) x 41.7" (H).
But don’t let that fool you about its strength. By featuring a heavy-duty steel frame, a well-cushioned seat with adjustments, and ergonomic handles, it gives you not just a solid feel but also comforts while exercising.
A big plus for its additional transportation wheels for easy maneuverability.
|MaxKare Recumbent Exercise Bike Specifications|
45.7" (L)x 18.9" (W) x 41.7" (H)
Max User Weight
27 – 35 inches
measured by 45.7" (L)x 18.9" (W) x 41.7" (H)
two transportation wheels
a heavy-duty steel frame, a well-cushioned seat with adjustments, and ergonomic handles
The MaxKare Recumbent Exercise Bike will give short people the best of both worlds – great fit and optimal workout results with the least impact on your knees.
Best For Seniors: JEEKEE Recumbent Exercise Bike
- Gentle on your ankles, knees, and hips - low-impact, ergonomic recumbent-style structure with a wider seat and low frame design
- Offer lots of adjustments for the great fit – adjustable, padded seat, well-cushioned handles with heart rate sensor, and adjustable pedals
- Wish the heart rate monitor was more functional
- The location of the tension dial isn’t really convenient to use
This exercise machine is a good choice for seniors to build and maintain their physical fitness.
Because of its low-impact, ergonomic recumbent-style structure with a wider seat and low frame design, this recumbent bike is gentler on ankles, knees, and hips than other counterparts. Its smooth 8-level magnetic resistance is another big bonus.
Besides, the adjustable seat with padding, the well-cushioned handles with pulse and heart rate sensor, and the adjustable pedals make it even more suitable for the elderly.
|JEEKEE Recumbent Exercise Bike Specifications|
19.3"W x 53.5"L x 39"H
Max User Weight
low-impact, ergonomic recumbent-style structure with a wider seat and low frame design
adjustable, padded seat, well-cushioned handles with heart rate sensor, and adjustable pedals
We give the JEEKEE Recumbent Exercise Bike our Best Pick Award for Seniors based on its exceptional support, low impact, and comfort.
Best For Beginners: Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Bike Exercise Bike
- Easy to use – easily adjusted 16 resistance levels, smooth magnetic mechanism & an LCD console
- Align your gesture properly while exercising & comfortable - cushioned seat with mesh back support and raised side handles
- Functional - pulse grips
- No light in the panel for speed, pulse, etc.
- The calorie counter isn’t really accurate
If you’re new to recumbent bikes, this model is a good start.
It is affordable, simple to use. There are 16 smooth magnetic resistance levels which are easily adjusted through an LCD console.
The wide foot pedals with safety straps keep your feet secure in place while the cushioned seat with mesh back support and raised side handles to form a proper and comfy gesture while exercising. Therefore, your knees suffer zero impact or pressure points.
These handlebars are also built with pulse grips for calculating your heart rate.
|Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Bike Exercise Bike Specifications|
46 x 24.5 x 38 inches
Max User Weight
easily adjusted 16 resistance levels, smooth magnetic mechanism & an LCD console
cushioned seat with mesh back support and raised side handles
Budget-friendly, simple to assemble, easy to use, and functional, the Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Bike is an unbeatable selection for beginners.
Best For Heavier People: Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Bike
- Stronger and heavy-duty - a maximum weight limit of 350 pounds
- Easy to use & ultra-comfortable - two anti-slip, adjustable pedals with ultra-large surface area, an oversized, well-padded seat, and more
- Simple storage - transportation wheels
- Slightly expensive
- The resistance level 1-5 are indistinguishable from each other
Finding a heavy-duty recumbent bike is much harder than it seems, especially if you’re overweight. But this high-quality exercise machine won’t let you down.
It is constructed of a sturdy steel frame and has a maximum weight limit of 350 pounds.
The whole construction is extremely easy to use: two anti-slip, adjustable pedals with ultra-large surface area, an oversized, well-padded seat, and two moveable handlebars with a pulse.
Particularly, you can easily adjust the seat while sitting on it to find the most comfortable distance. While it is very compact, the exercise machine is easily stored due to its transportation wheels.
|Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Bike Specifications|
60 x 25.5 x 52 inches
Max User Weight
26.4” – 34”
a maximum weight limit of 350 pounds
two anti-slip, adjustable pedals with ultra-large surface area, & an oversized, well-padded seat
Holding up a max loading weight of 350 pounds, the Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Bike is the best choice for heavier people.
Best For Lighter People: MaxKare Recumbent Exercise Bike Stationary Cycling Bike
- Comfy & good support - an adjustable seat, two ergonomic pedals, and a large, well-cushioned seat with a backrest
- Track accurately your fitness plan - an ultra-large LCD monitor
- More enjoyable - a tablet holder
- Not perfectly stable
- The pedal grips aren’t suitable for riding barefoot
This 8-level resistance recumbent bike allows you to easily customize your exercise due to your physical health and needs without compromising comfort.
It is equipped with an adjustable seat with a brake handle, two ergonomic pedals, and a large, well-cushioned seat with a backrest. Besides, it offers a tablet holder as well as an ultra-large LCD monitor for you to accurately track your workout metrics.
With a weight capacity of 242.5 pounds, it is suitable for lighter people.
|MaxKare Recumbent Exercise Bike Stationary Cycling Bike Specifications|
Max User Weight
29.2" to 37.7"
an adjustable seat, two ergonomic pedals, and a large, well-cushioned seat with a backrest
an ultra-large LCD monitor
a tablet holder
The MaxKare Recumbent Exercise Bike Stationary Cycling Bike is a reasonable choice for lighter people who have bad knees but still want to get better health.
Best For Moderate Exercise: Marcy Magnetic Recumbent Bike NS-716R
- Gives us an adequate workout – smooth pedals, 8 resistance levels, and foam-covered handlebars
- Easily track and monitor your workout metrics - A touchscreen LCD digital monitor
- Great maneuverability – two transportation wheels
- Unclear directions
- Toe straps are not well secured to the pedals
This one is a nice pick for those people in need of a safe way to recover after knee surgeries.
It has a step-through structure and is made with 8 resistance levels adjusted easily by a knob. The pedals, on the other hand, work smoothly. While exercising, you can hold its foam-covered handlebars for better grips and reliability.
A touchscreen LCD digital monitor is a great addition for you to conveniently track their fitness plan. And when not in use, the transportation wheels make it easily moved around hassle-free.
|Marcy Magnetic Recumbent Bike NS-716R Specifications|
52 x 25 x 38 inches
Max User Weight
28” – 34”
smooth pedals, 8 resistance levels, and foam-covered handlebars
A touchscreen LCD digital monitor
two transportation wheels
Well-priced and beloved by customers, the Marcy Magnetic Recumbent Bike NS-716R is one of the best on the market for moderate exercise.
Best For Long Sessions: EXERPEUTIC 900XL
- Low impact & stress-free - reliable low back support and smooth magnetic 8-level tension system
- Give proper exercise gesture with comfort - An oversized, well-padded seat with backrest and sided handles
- A bit difficult to adjust the seat
We find the seat of this recumbent bike to be quite comfortable due to its reliable low back support and smooth magnetic 8-level tension system.
An oversized, well-padded seat with backrest and sided handles will align your sitting gesture properly for minimum stress on the joints while you’re exercising. Don’t fret if you are just a beginner; this recumbent bike is very easy to assemble and use.
You can start with 20-min sessions and then level up to one hour while watching news/movies/films.
|EXERPEUTIC 900XL Specifications|
54 x 22 x 34 inches
Max User Weight
26” – 34”
reliable low back support and smooth magnetic 8-level tension system
An oversized, well-padded seat with backrest and sided handles
The EXERPEUTIC 900XL is a perfect tool for long sessions while giving the least impact on your joints and knees.
Best For Smooth Riding: Pooboo Recumbent Exercise Bike
- Smooth and quiet – bigger and more uniform magnetic 8-level resistance system
- Reliable - backed by 1-year parts free replacement
- The instructions don’t clear enough
- The seat is a bit hard
The Pooboo gives you a step-up exercising experience due to its incredibly quiet and smooth operation. That’s a big thank you to the magnetic 8-level resistance system which is bigger and more uniform.
While requiring nearly no maintenance, it won’t disturb your family while you’re exercising.
This tool is a fantastic choice for people within height ranges of 5'1"-6'3", and your back will thank you for its two transportation wheels. Besides, your purchase is backed by a 1-year part free replacement.
|Pooboo Recumbent Exercise Bike Specifications|
28 x 14.96 x 20.66 inches
Max User Weight
bigger and more uniform magnetic 8-level resistance system
backed by a 1-year parts free replacement
Want a high-quality exercise bike with smooth riding for your bad knees, we suggest trying the Pooboo Recumbent Exercise Bike.
Best For A Quiet Workout: EXERPEUTIC 1500XL
- Not interrupt the others – the V-belt drive & precision-balanced flywheel
- Give no stress on your knees and joints – ventilated backrest & Large, Oversized seat cushion
- The seat creeps back
- Wish the seat foam was softer
If you’re living in an apartment block or with some partners, the EXERPEUTIC 1500XL is a rest-assured option to let you exercise without interrupting the others.
Its V-belt drive and accurately balanced flywheel make operation noiselessly. It’s also smooth and easy to ride.
The eight-level magnetic tension system allows you to challenge yourself with cardiovascular workouts while preventing stress on the joints and knees. No matter your size, its oversized, padded seat will surely fit.
|EXERPEUTIC 1500XL Specifications|
54 x 22 x 34 inches
Max User Weight
the V-belt drive & precision-balanced flywheel
ventilated backrest & Large, Oversized seat cushion
When it comes to quiet workout, the EXERPEUTIC 1500XL is our favorite of the bunch.
Space-Saving Design: Exerpeutic 400XL
- Compact & space-saving – measured by 33”L x 19”W x 46”H & foldable construction
- Easy to entry/exit – the semi-recumbent bike structure
- Strong & work smoothly and quietly - V-belt double-drive transmission system and stainless-steel frame
- Multifunctional – can be used as a desk bike with height-adjustable desks
- Not for tall exercisers
- The seat is hard
If you’re short on space, living in a small house or an apartment, it might be harder to find a suitable exercise machine. That said, it’s still possible. Exerpeutic 400XL is a typical example.
It is measured only by 33” L x 19” W x 46” H and can be folded up when not in use.
Regardless, the smooth V-belt double-drive transmission system and strong stainless-steel frame still make it a reliable, quiet, and functional tool for bad knees to improve their health.
A good thing is you can use it as a desk bike with height-adjustable desks.
|Exerpeutic 400XL Specifications|
20 x 17 x 54 inches
Max User Weight
27” – 34”
measured by 33”L x 19”W x 46”H & foldable construction
the semi-recumbent bike structure
-belt double-drive transmission system and stainless-steel frame
The Exerpeutic 400XL is exceptionally high performing, despite its small dimensions. That’s why we chose it as our Best Pick for Space-Saving Award winner this year.
How To Choose The Best Exercise Bike For Bad Knees?
Users with bad knees can significantly benefit from low-impact workouts and there are two types of exercise bikes suitable for that: upright bikes and recumbent bikes.
- Upright bikes: they resemble the regular bike, featuring an upright design and pedals below the hips. Their style of seating is also close to the outdoor bike.
- Recumbent bikes: these machines come with a broader and plusher seat that rests in a semi-reclined position for back support. In addition, the pedals are placed in front of the seat rather than below it.
When shopping for an exercise bike, you also need to choose a seat position of your preference and this differs between different types of bikes. In either case, the bike should allow for adjusting the seat.
On a recumbent bike, you should be able to push the seat forwards and backward while on an upright bike, you should be able to change the height of the seat.
Besides, your legs should have only a minimal bend when you are riding and they shouldn’t be too much when you pedal to avoid adding pressure on the knees.
Size & height
When it comes to the size of an exercise bike, you need to consider both your height and the free space you have at home to set up the machine.
Regardless of the bike type you choose, it must fit your height properly so you can work out in the right posture and position.
On the other hand, keep in mind that a recumbent bike requires more space than an upright bike, so make sure you have enough room for it. It’s best to measure the available space at home before browsing models, you can find a fitting bike based on the dimensions you have.
In addition to those prominent factors, you should also think about these things:
- Budget: make a decision on how much you’re willing to pay for an exercise bike. If you have a deep pocket, you can always opt for more expensive machines with higher quality and a full range of features. But if you have a limited budget, you can still find quality options out there with the key features you need.
- Comfort and sturdiness: choosing a sturdy bike that’s comfortable to exercise on. This involves considering the situation of your knees because the machine should strengthen your knees or help recover them instead of worsening the pain.
Which Brands Make The Best Exercise Bike For Bad Knees?
Founded in 1895, this company started with manufacturing bicycles and has since developed to make home fitness equipment as well. It offers a wide range of exercise bikes and you can freely choose a model that benefits your knees the most.
Since its establishment in 1970, this brand has set the gold standard in the fitness industry and it now offers an excellent exercising machine for home gymers. It focuses on performance to ensure the best result from your workouts.
Marcy is a brand acquired by IMPEX, a leading manufacturer of fitness products that have been standing in the industry for 38 years. Over time, it has achieved certain success in the market for delivering both quality and innovation while securing competitive prices.
Over the past 16 years, this company has proven itself a professional in the exercise machine business. Its strengths come from the attention to innovating technology and developing products that can encourage people to work out more.
This brand takes pride in its products for serving every user’s needs in improving their life quality through workouts.
Sunny Health & Fitness
This brand doesn’t make health and fitness equipment but instead, it imports the best machines from global manufactures so you can get great exercise bikes from around the world. That means you can get the best technologies, the newest innovations, but still pay a reasonable amount.
Does an exercise bike hurt your knees?
An exercise bike isn’t supposed to hurt your knees, but it can if the seat is set too high because then, your legs will stretch too much, putting more pressure on the knee.
Is stationary biking good for bad knees?
Yes, it allows for low-impact workouts that will avoid stressing your knee joints. Among types of stationary bikes, the recumbent bike is the best option because you won’t be sitting upright during the exercise, taking more weight off your knees.
Is walking or biking better for knees?
For your knees, biking is always better because it’s a non-weight bearing activity, which helps prevent muscle soreness. On the other hand, walking is also good for bad knees, but it can put more pressure on your knees, including the upper-body weight.
How can I ride a stationary bike with bad knees?
To ride a stationary bike properly when you have bad knees, you have to set it upright.
That means when you sit on the bike and look down on your knees, you should see your toes peeking out a bit from under the knees so that you have a slight bend in your knees when your foot is at the bottom of the pedal stroke.
Also, avoid climbing hills, big climbs, or strength rides.
How much should I cycle a day to lose weight?
You can cycle just 30 minutes per day to lose weight if you do it hard enough. That means the duration of the workout is not enough, the intensity of the workout is important too and will further assist weight loss.
Does cycling reduce belly fat?
No, cycling won’t likely help you reduce belly fat. Instead, it requires a holistic approach to burn the fat on your belly.
How far do you have to bike to burn 500 calories?
Havard Medical University has pointed out that the average person must cycle about 33 minutes to burn 500 calories.
How long does it take to lose 20 pounds?
Generally speaking, it can take you 4 to 5 months to lose 20 pounds.
Can riding help you get rid of fat on your lower stomach?
Yes, riding can actually help you burn the fat on the lower stomach. However, you can expect it to completely eliminate your belly fat, you need a holistic approach for that.
Are exercise bikes good for seniors?
Yes, they are. These indoor exercise machines get the heart pumping, which improves heart health and endurance for seniors. They also help lower stress levels, blood pressures while strengthening leg and hip muscles.
We hope that through this post, you will find it simpler and quicker to choose the best exercise bike for bad knees.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that your knees are vulnerable, so no matter what machine you choose, it must be safe and remember to set it up to the comfort level for your joints.