As the store manager of a Specialty Fitness store, I always get the same question: Why would I purchase a recumbent bike over an upright bike? Here is my take on which bike is best for you!
Recumbent bikes are easier on the lower back (lumbar spine) due to the way you sit on the bike. It’s gentle on you joints,your lower back is supported by the bucket style seat and you knees and ankles are protected from potential injurious impact. Recumbent bikes are generally safer because you can not stand up on the pedals, this eliminates many of the injuries that occur when using an upright bike. A recumbent bike is a good choice for most people with neurological conditions since the bike provides a workout for individuals of all ability levels.
An upright bike gives you a more consistent workout when relating to outdoor riding. Upright bikes also ensure you’re working the same muscles that you are using with outdoor riding, which is more of a whole body exercise. Where as a recumbent mostly requires use of your glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves and tibilais anterior muscles. The upright bike works the abdominal muscles since you are keeping the body upright and supporting your workout. Since you are in a reclined position on a recumbent bike there is little to no use of the abdominal muscles. Thereis also more of an upper body arm workout since you are engaging the biceps, triceps and shoulders in the upright position.
I hope this helps and if all else fails, come see me!
Bradley “Tank” – Store Manager