Recumbent Exercise Bike vs Upright Exercise Bike | Which one is Better for Indoor Exercise?

Due to the availability of different models flooding the market nowadays, it is crucial to understand each type of exercise bike. To make the right choice on which to choose between these two, you will need to compare them by looking at their distinctive features.

What is your favorite type between two? What feature do you like about it? Or What are its benefits? To understand these and many other questions that may pop up in your mind, we will need to compare them. Remember it is not just only recumbent exercise bike vs upright exercise bike features, but also their effectiveness and benefits. And more importantly, “Which one is better for Indoor exercise?”. So, to properly relate them, then we will look at their differences, benefits, and choice.

That said, let’s start by looking at their differences.

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Recumbent vs. Upright Exercise Bike –Differences

To understand these differences, we need to explain more on some of them, for instance, the fatigue and muscle soreness. These problems are associated with upright bikes due to the slight bend of your back and neck while using it. The bend is due to the fact that most your body is above the bikes frame which causes you to bend over to reach the handles.

But when compared to a recumbent exercise bike, which is a more comfortable type, your body will be in a reclined position. This means no beck or neck bending and your arms in a natural and comfortable position too. The recumbent bike is adorned with a comfortable seat unlike upright bike with a small seat that is similar to the one in traditional bike

Choosing Between Recumbent & Upright Bike

Upright exercise bike:

Recumbent Exercise Bike vs Upright Exercise Bike

Despite if this type being popular and a long-time known exercise bike, it is essential to pay attention to them nowadays. Why? This is simply because each new model comes with new and advanced features that enhance your user experiences. But when it comes to choosing between it and its counterpart the recumbent, then there are few things you need to factor in first. For example, price, comfort, and effectiveness are things to consider when comparing recumbent vs upright bike.

Price is one of the factors that upright exercise bike edges the recumbent exercise bike. Therefore, if you have a thin budget, you should consider going for this type. The other thing to look at while comparing upright vs recumbent bike is the available space. If you have less space, then the best choice will be an upright bike. Upright bikes require less space, and can regularly be folded and put away easily for later use.

An upright bike can also allow you to give your legs that intensive exercise if you need it. This can is achievable by standing while riding the exercise bike, just like riding a traditional bike. When it comes to recumbent vs upright bike on the cardio part, then upright bike also is considered the best for cardio exercise.

Recumbent bike:

Do you prefer comfort while doing exercise? If yes, then the recumbent bike is an ideal choice for you. As said earlier, its seat offers a reclined seating position and supports your back, thus getting rid of fatigue and muscle pain. The other useful feature that it is also a source of comfort is that your arms are free. But in an upright bike, where the handles hunches forward and your arms need to reach over.

Despite it being less effective as far as cardio is concerned, you can still burn the same amount of calories as you would in the upright bike. With a recumbent bike, your workouts will be of long sessions, and your legs will be working hard to fight gravity as opposed to an upright bike.

Recumbent Exercise Bike vs Upright Exercise Bike

Note: Getting into shape will entirely depend on you and your hard work routine. But when it comes to choice making on recumbent vs. upright exercise bike, then you need to consider these factors.

I will recommend upright bike only if:

  • You have no history of back problems.
  • You need quality cardio exercises.
  • You have less space, or you want to conserve as much space as possible.

I will recommend recumbent bike only if:

  • You prefer comfort over cardio.
  • You have back problems.

Therefore, an upright bike is an ideal choice for indoor exercise unless otherwise. This is because it takes up less space and can easily be folded and stored. I usually find this type of bike to be more adaptable and less restrictive, whether you have small or big space.

Recumbent Bike Vs. Upright Bike Benefits

Recumbent bike benefits

When it comes to comparing recumbent bike vs. upright bike, the benefits can’t be left out. So what are recumbent’s bike benefits?

  • Has a larger seat. This is the top liked feature on this type of exercise bike. Upright bikes come with a small seat that tends to be uncomfortable.
  • Better spinal posture. Using recumbent, you will enjoy a better spinal position as opposed to an upright bike, where handles hunched forward.
  • Gentle on your joints. The recumbent bike has a bucket seat that protects your back and your ankles protected from possible injuries impact.
  • Low impact. Recumbent bike design offers a little impact on joints, thus preventing pain while building strength.
  • Suitable for an individual of all ability levels. This exercise bike provides a full-body workout but with low impact. Thus this makes it ideal for people with neurological conditions.


  1. Ideal bike for elderly and overweight individuals. It allows you to position your body comfortably. This helps reduce weight applied on your legs, thus reducing injuries.
  2. It is a comfortable exercise bike due to its large seat and design that offers more relaxation.
  3. You can multitask while using this exercise equipment. For example, riding this exercise bike while reading.


  1. It is more expensive than an upright bike.
  2. It requires a large installation space, thus not suitable for people with small space.
  3. For energetic people, this machine can be boring –sitting in one position for an hour.
  4. Not best for cardio exercises as compared to an upright bike.

Upright bike benefits

  • Offers upper body workout. When you are in the upright position, you are mostly engaging in your biceps, triceps, and shoulders. This means you can target your upper body if you feel like doing so.
  • It offers a full-body workout. Since it resembles outdoor riding, you will, therefore, be engaging all the muscle in your body. Be either your quads, glutes, calves, hamstrings, or tibilais anterior muscles; you will efficiently work out all of these muscles.
  • It offers a more consistent workout. If you need an exercise bike that will provide proper cardio exercise that is consistent, then an upright bike is the best choice.
  • It takes up less space. Besides offering a full-body workout and proper cardio exercises, it also allows you to utilize a small space as possible for your exercise. Upright bikes have a smaller footprint as compare to recumbent bikes.
  • It works out your core. This bike is also superior to a recumbent bike in a way that allows you to work out your abdominal muscles. This is because you are in an upright position that will involve your core in supporting your workout. But with recumbent, you are in a reclined position, and the bucket seat supporting your back; thus, no need for abdominal muscles.


  1. Suitable for cardio exercise due to its high effectiveness capabilities.
  2. It requires a small installation space, unlike a recumbent bike.
  3. They are less expensive than a recumbent bike.


  1. Not comfortable due to its small seat unlike recumbent exercise bike with a large seat.
  2. It may feel less stable at high-intensity exercise due to its high center of gravity.
  3. Not suitable for elderly and overweight people.

Final Words

That said, you are now able to effectively differentiate your ideal type of exercise bike between these two. And keep in mind that you should always know which one suits your physique to avoid more injuries. The other things to keep in mind are:

  • Ensuring that there is adequate room to allow both safe mount and dismount of the bike.
  • Position it in a proper space where you can quickly clear anything out without a problem.

And that’s all on recumbent exercise bike vs. upright exercise bike. Thanks!

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