You may have seen an older model in your grandparents’ or someone else’s grandparents’ basement. Gathering dust, behold the seated workout bike. You might have even playfully jumped on it and spun the wheels. Those days may be in the past, but the era of the recumbent has come full circle. Just step into your local big box sports dealer and view the current recumbent models complete with current heart and cadence readings and a plethora of built-in workouts. The recumbent is not just for granny anymore, although it still can do wonders for all ages. Its range of benefits goes well beyond just being able to recline while pedaling.
Today’s recumbent exercise bike may look less like a bike and more like the cockpit of a spaceship. With numerous displays and buttons, one might think they are buying a computer along with a workout machine. Well, to put it simply, you are. In addition, just as computers are powerful, so are the displays on the recumbent. Beyond power, though, lies an even more important benefit information. The modern recumbent can display a workout in real-time for whatever mood you are in. Want to climb a mountain? Pull up one of a dozen hilly workouts that automatically change the resistance of the wheel. Want to race with the pros? Try a Tour de Franceesque race program to get your legs moving. Whatever you can dream, you can likely find a preprogrammed workout to match. And if you can’t, some recumbents can hook to a wireless network and download new ones.
In addition to pushbutton workouts, you also have a onestop shop for all of your exercise data. By either syncing an existing heart rate monitor or using one that comes with your recumbent, you can get real-time heart rate, cadence, revolutions per second, distance and calories burned. You can also set goals based on past workout performance and even save workout data to track progress over a longer period. It is almost like having personal trainer and notebook next to you. Some bikes also feature wireless to let you sync to your computer with other fitness software. Imagine keeping tabs on your running, walking, gym trips and recumbent all in one place and with all the data you could possibly want. Your recumbent may still live in the basement like granny’s, but it’s the future.
With the range of recumbents on the market, it’s also now possible to find a bike that fits your size and shape. There was a time when only a few models existed, and you had to fit on it no matter what. No more. You can find recumbents that look similar to real road bikes or you can find models with a longer wheelbase for those who are larger. From gel seats to handlebars, there’s a recumbent to fit your particular body type and needs.
There is no excuse anymore. Your recumbent can do it all and tell you all of it as well. The only thing left is for you to hop on and start pedaling. For additional information please read our best guide of buying recumbent bikes