Recumbent Bike vs. Upright Bike – Which is Better?

Recumbent Bike vs. Upright Bike

Recumbent Bike vs. Upright Bike: Are you looking for the exercise bike that best suits your physical condition? We explain the characteristics of the recumbent and upright exercise bikes and which is best for you.

Most gyms have different types of exercise bikes in their facilities to offer multiple training possibilities to their clients. When choosing the fitness machine that best suits the needs of each user, the technical characteristics they present must be taken into account. Therefore, we explain the differences between a recumbent exercise bike and an upright exercise bike so you know which one to choose.

In Addition – Read our article about Elliptical VS Exercise Bike by clicking hereOpens in a new tab..

Recumbent exercise Bike

Recumbent exercise Bike
Credit – Shutterstock

The body is closer to the ground on a recumbent or horizontal bikeOpens in a new tab.. This class of bicycles has a seat that surrounds the user’s lower back and pedals in front of it, which means that the pedaling is carried out in more open circles and outwards.


Recumbent bikes are perfect for elderly people or people with back problems since the seat allows you to rest your back and does not put pressure on this area.

By staying in a semi-recumbent position, the body weight is distributed better than on an upright bike, preventing the abdomen from being loaded, favoring breathing, and helping the arms, shoulders, and torso to work in a more relaxed way.


Against it, it should be noted that by not allowing the user to stand up when training on a stationary recumbent bike, all the force falls on the lower body, so recumbent bikes are not recommended for people with knee injuries.

Upright Exercise Bike

Upright Exercise Bike
Credit – Shutterstock

Upright exercise bikesOpens in a new tab. allow full user mobility since the seat can be adjusted to the different types of the height of each person. The fact of being able to lift the body from the seat during the training makes an effort greater, which produces a more intense calorie burn in less time.


This elevated position reduces the impact on the knees, making it an ideal machine for rehabilitationOpens in a new tab. programs and routines.

The movements are also more natural, simulating an exercise similar to pedaling a bicycle outdoors, and, as a general rule, it is a type of fitness equipment that has various levels of resistance, which makes it more suitable for creating the illusion of being climbing a slope or in a race.


Some of the problems that can arise from exercising on an upright bike are back pain and tension in the wrists or hands, especially in inexperienced athletes who have just started practicing.

In Addition – The following article may be of interest to you: “Inversion Table for Back PainOpens in a new tab.“.

So, Recumbent Bike vs. Upright Bike – Which is Better?

  • Recumbent: If you are already a certain age or have back problems, we recommend a recumbent bike.
  • Upright: If you want to do an intense workout that helps you lose weight in less time or if you have a knee injury, you should choose an upright exercise bike.


We hope these considerations help you understand the differences between recumbent exercise bikes and upright bikes. Do you already know which one you should choose to exercise the next time you go to the gym? Consider my Recumbent Bike vs. Upright Bike article before buying any exercise bike and Feel free to share your fitness experiences with us!

More for Fitness Admirers
🡆 Exercise Bike Under $200Opens in a new tab.
🡆 Exercise Bike Under $300Opens in a new tab.
🡆 Exercise Bike Under $500Opens in a new tab.

Rose Patterson

Rose Patterson has a BS in Biology/Pre-Medical Sciences as well as an MS in Public Health with a Nutrition specialization. She is a Group Fitness Instructor and a certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist. More about me.....

Recent Posts

Jump to!