12 Best Stationary Bikes for Bad Knee Rehab (Updated 2021)

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Our knees are the largest joints in our body. They are also the most susceptible to injuries. A significant portion of the population suffers from bad knees. It could be from an injury, knee surgery, or simply chronic pain. That doesn’t mean that you have to give up doing exercises. In fact, low-impact cardio such as cycling is one of the treatments that are prescribed. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), cycling is great for improving the strength, mobility, and stability of your knees.

Buying Guide for Stationary exercise bikes for rehab of bad knees

1. Comfort and Adjustability

Obviously, if you have bad knees or are otherwise injured, comfort should be the number one priority. You should definitely not feel any discomfort while using a stationary bike, be it upright or recumbent. The seat and handlebars (if any) should be adjustable. Make sure that you have the correct riding position before exercising. Most seats are 2-way adjustable, but only some are 4-way adjustable. There should also be adjustable straps on the pedals to prevent any accidental slipping. The seat must be well-padded and comfortable enough for you to stay on the bike for a long time without issue. If you are a senior or are facing any sort of back problem, then go for a recumbent bike. Upright bikes are generally more recommended by experts, but they do not have any back support.

Adjustable seat

Image: Adjustable seat

2. Resistance

The level of resistance is also a crucial factor to consider. During rehab, you probably won’t be able to exert as much force as usual without hurting your knees. The resistance level at 50% of the maximum should be a bit challenging for you. This leaves room to grow, while also keeping the option to drop down to easier levels. The minimum resistance level should not be hard at all, otherwise, you risk worsening the condition instead. Start at an easy level and slowly work your way up as you feel stronger over time. Almost all bikes nowadays use magnetic resistance, which is smoother and longer-lasting than the traditional friction-based resistance. High-end stationery bikes use eddy current/electromagnetic resistance. This is the same as normal magnetic resistance but is controlled with buttons instead of a dial.

Resistance dial

Image: Resistance dial

3. Drive Mechanism

The flywheel of a stationary bike is an important component that ensures a smooth cycling motion, similar to a real bike. If it is too light, the motion will feel choppy. Typically as a rule of thumb, heavier flywheels are almost always considered better since they provide a smoother motion. However, a heavy flywheel, weighing 40-50 lbs, will require a greater initial effort to get started. This may not be suitable for bad knees. Finding the right balance is key. The flywheel is driven by a chain or belt which is linked to the crank and pedals. A belt drive is better overall because it is quieter, smoother, and needs less maintenance. We recommend having a test ride on an exercise bike before buying, if possible.

4. Weight Capacity

An exercise bike should be able to withstand the weight of the user. A typical recumbent or upright bike will have a weight capacity of around 300 lbs. For most users, this is more than enough. However, for overweight individuals, it is a good idea to check the capacity. It is not a good idea to buy a bike with a capacity that’s close to your weight. Normally, the higher the better. You are less likely to face any structural issues if the maximum capacity of a bike is higher. Although, this doesn’t really apply to under desk cycles. Also, the weight must be well distributed across the seat. This depends on the seat’s design.

5. Size and Storage

Since you are reading this article, you most likely want to buy a stationary bike for home use. In this case, size is an important criterion. You need to determine which room you want to place the bike in and how much space is available. Check the dimensions of the bike before buying, and be sure to account for at least half a meter of space around all sides of the machine for safety. Upright bikes are more compact, while recumbent bikes have longer lengths. Some bikes are compact enough to fit under a desk, so you can work and get some exercise at the same time. Some bikes have a foldable frame. With this, you can store the bike easily in confined spaces.

Folding exercise bike

Image: Folding exercise bike

6. Workout Tracking

Nearly all indoor exercise machines including stationary bikes have some sort of digital console. These consoles usually have LCD screens that display relevant data, such as distance, speed, time, calories, pulse, etc. These readouts let you track your workouts and help to keep you motivated. A console can be very simple with 4-5 readouts, or it could be very high-end with backlighting and more than a dozen data readouts. With Bluetooth connectivity, you can sync the bike with fitness apps on your phone or tablet. Some even have multiple user-profiles and built-in workout programs. The programs allow you to follow a workout plan based on your level and fitness goals.

Console

Image: Console

7. Portability

There is also the matter of portability. A lot of home users might prefer to work out in one room, but actually store the machine in another. Most exercise bikes do have transport wheels that allow you to move them without much effort. All you do is tilt the machine from the back or front and roll it around like a wheelbarrow. If you plan on moving it frequently then the weight of the exercise bike needs to be considered as well.

Portable exercise bike

Image: Portable exercise bike

8. Other Amenities

There are a bunch of other features or accessories that you could look for. These are not necessities per se, but rather add a bit of luxury and convenience. A device holder, for example, can go a long way to make the workout much more enjoyable. Bottle holders help you stay hydrated without having to get off the bike. Some have an integrated fan to keep you cool, while others have a sound system. A few even have a charging port for your phone or tablet. It is completely up to you which accessories are worth getting.

Fan and speakers

Image: Fan and speakers

9. Price and Warranty

The budget is by far the main concern of nearly all potential buyers. Stationary bike prices can vary wildly, from less than $200 to over $2000. Very expensive machines are usually meant for commercial use at gyms or fitness centers. Hence, you can get a great exercise bike for use at home at less than $1000. If you have a certain product in mind, but can’t afford it yet, then you could wait a little longer and save up. Remember, as the price goes up so too will the quality and number of features. Therefore, it’s better not to be too frugal and end up with a machine that breaks down in just a few weeks. It is also a good idea to check for the warranty. Frames are typically covered for at least 5 years, while other parts have a warranty of 1 or 2 years.

Our Top Pick(s)

This is why we have prepared this article, where we have reviewed some of the finest stationery bikes used for the rehabilitation of knees. We have also discussed the factors that you should consider before purchasing a stationary bike. Finding the right machine can be quite stressful, especially if you don’t know enough. This is an important investment for those who want something for physical therapy. Luckily for you, you can just read this article to be able to make a decision.

To prepare this selection of products, we took a look at both upright and recumbent bikes. We also took into account the fact that different people will have various needs and preferences. Long hours of online research were followed by rigorous testing of the machines. Among the diverse group of products selected, the MaxKare Recumbent Exercise Bike is the one that performs the best and can cater to just about anyone. Hence, we have given it the title of theOverall Best Choice’.

No products found.

A quick view of our list of some of the top stationary bikes used for bad knee rehab:

BikeWeight (lbs.)Our Ratings
Flexispot Deskcise Pro V97691
DeskCycle 2 Under Desk Cycle2392
MaxKare recumbent exercise bike6593
Exerpeutic Gold 500 XLS51.689
MARNUR recumbent exercise bike57.387
Exerpeutic 400XL4385
Marcy ME-7096183
Schwinn 27086.682
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RB470895.7780
Nautilus R61889.578
Exerpeutic Exerwork 100064.776
Stamina Elite12175

12 best stationary bikes you can buy today for bad knee rehab

BikePreviewTypeDimensions
(L × W × H)
Weight
(lbs)
Maximum Capacity
(lbs)
ResistanceScore
Flexispot Deskcise Pro V9FLEXISPOT Home Office Workstation Upright Stationary Fitness Exercise Cycling Bike Height Adjustable Standing Desk - Deskcise Pro BlackDesk exercise bike37.6” × 22.8” × 48.4”763008 level magnetic resistance91
DeskCycle 2 Under Desk CycleDeskCycle 2 Under Desk Bike Pedal Exerciser with Adjustable Leg - Mini Exercise Bike Desk Cycle, Leg Exerciser for Physical Therapy & Desk ExerciseUnder desk exercise bike24” × 20” × 10”23N/A8 level magnetic resistance92
MaxKareNo products found.Recumbent exercise bike45.7” × 18.9” × 41.7”653008 level magnetic resistance93
Exerpeutic Gold 500 XLSExerpeutic Gold Heavy Duty Foldable Exercise Bike with 400 lbs Weight CapacityFoldable upright bike39” × 26.4” × 48.4”51.64008 level magnetic resistance89
MARNURNo products found.Recumbent exercise bike51.2” × 24.8” × 37.4”57.33008 level magnetic resistance87
Exerpeutic 400XLExerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike with Performance MonitorFoldable semi-recumbent bike33” × 19” × 46”433008 level magnetic resistance85
Marcy ME-709Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709Recumbent exercise bike55.5” × 25” × 37.5”613008 level magnetic resistance83
Schwinn 270Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike (MY17)Recumbent exercise bike64” × 27.7” × 49.9”86.630025 level eddy current resistance82
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RB4708Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike, 350lb High Weight Capacity, Cross Training, Arm Exercisers, Monitor, Pulse Rate Monitoring | SF-RB4708Dual action recumbent bike60” × 25.5” × 52”95.773508 level magnetic resistance80
Nautilus R618Nautilus R618 Recumbent BikeRecumbent exercise bike67.3” × 26.4” × 48.8”89.532525 level electromagnetic resistance78
Exerpeutic Exerwork 1000Exerpeutic ExerWorK 1000 Fully Adjustable Desk Folding Exercise Bike with PulseFolding desk exercise bike45.3” × 25” × 51.3”64.73008 level magnetic resistance76
Stamina Elite TotalStamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Bike with Upper Body and Lower Body ExerciseDual action recumbent bike52” × 24” × 49”1212508 level magnetic resistance75

1. Flexispot Deskcise Pro V9 upright exercise bike

Upright exercise bike w/ a large adjustable desk

Flexispot Deskcise Pro V9
  • Type: Desk exercise bike
  • Dimensions: 37.6” L × 22.8” W × 48.4” H
  • Product Weight: 76 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Adjustability: Height-adjustable seat and 4-way adjustable desk
  • Resistance: 8 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Console: Small LCD screen
  • Display Data: Speed, time, distance, calories, RPM
  • Power: 2 AA batteries
  • Pedals: Standard pedals

Features & Considerations
  • Large Desktop: There is a large desk in the place where the handlebars should be. Here you can place your laptop or a book, allowing you to cycle as you work.
  • Easy Adjustability: The seat height can be adjusted even as you are sitting on it. The desk can be adjusted both vertically and horizontally according to your comfort. There are no knobs and pins. All adjustments are toggled by easy-to-use handles.
  • Pedal Pads: The pedals are standard cycling pedals that are painful to use on bare feet. The rubber pads/covers provided let you use this stationary bike at home without needing to put on shoes.
  • Portability: The bike has four wheels at the base which makes it extremely easy to move around the house. There is no need to worry about sliding since the wheels lock up whenever someone is sitting on the machine.
  • Compact Design: The dimensions of this exercise bike are comparatively small making it convenient for storage. You can also bring the desk and seat down to the lowest height to save even more space.
  • Wrist Pad and Cup Holder: The desk has a wrist pad for comfort in placing your arms. There is also a cup holder to help you stay hydrated.

Some Weaknesses
  • There is no back support.
  • The frame is not big enough for tall people.

The Flexispot Deskcise Pro V9 is the perfect machine to get some exercise while working or doing something else. If you are someone who spends a lot of time at home, then you can stay fit with this desk exercise bike. On the large 4-way adjustable desk, you can keep a laptop, book, or just about anything of similar size. This is also good for seniors and those recovering from injury/surgery. The seat is comfortably padded and the height is adjustable. It has a compact design which makes it suitable for home use.

The Deskcise Pro V9 has four wheels, so you can move it from one room to another with ease. They conveniently lock up when you sit on the bike. For enhanced comfort, there is a wrist pad to rest your arms. Not to mention, the included rubber pads for the pedals allow you to cycle barefoot. You can choose to pedal casually or challenge yourself with the 8 levels of magnetic resistance. As a bonus, a cup holder is there to hold a glass of water, coffee, etc. The small LCD console displays speed, time, distance, calories, and RPM to let you keep track of your workout.

Flexispot Deskcise Pro V9

Flexispot Deskcise Pro V9

2. DeskCycle 2 Under Desk Cycle

Mini exercise bike, ideal for staying fit at the office or while sitting at home

DeskCycle 2 Under Desk Cycle
  • Type: Under desk exercise bike
  • Dimensions: 24” L × 20” W × ” H
  • Product Weight: 23 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: N/A
  • Adjustability: Adjustable pedal height
  • Resistance: 8 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Console: Removable LCD display
  • Display Data: Speed, time, distance, calories, RPM
  • Power: 2 AA batteries
  • Pedals: Pedals with adjustable straps

Features & Considerations
  • Under Desk Use: This exercise bike has been designed for use while sitting at a desk as low as 27 inches off the ground. You will be able to burn some calories while working.
  • Portability: The small size and low weight mean that you can carry it pretty easily. Move it to your living room to use it while sitting on a sofa, or take it with you to the office.
  • Removable Console: Checking your progress on the LCD screen can be a bit annoying since you have to look down. Thankfully, the console has a stand and is detachable, so you can keep it on your desk.
  • Adjustable Pedal Height: The front base can be raised or lowered to adjust the maximum pedal height from 9 to 10 inches. This provides more compatibility with different leg sizes and desk heights.
  • Fitbit Compatible: You can sync this machine to the Fitbit app, which allows you to store and share your activity on mobile devices.

Some Weaknesses
  • It is prone to making some noise while pedaling.
  • Can be a little hard to use unless you sit near the very edge of a seat/chair.

The DeskCycle 2 Under Desk Cycle is a mini exercise bike that is great for getting some exercise even when you are seated. Not only can you use it while watching TV on a couch, but you can also place it under a desk and work while cycling. This is excellent for users who have to sit all day for work. You can cycle under a desk as low as 27 inches from the floor. The maximum pedal height can also be lowered from 10 to 9 inches for extra clearance. Due to the small size, this machine is portable enough to bring to the office.

Keeping track of your activity is very easy with this stationary bike. The LCD console displays speed, time, distance, calories, and RPM. The console can also be removed and placed on top of your desk, so you can just glance over to get the stats. Additionally, there is the option to connect to Fitbit on your phone or tablet. With this, you can see daily, weekly or monthly progress and share with others. Keep in mind that this machine has limited workout capabilities. However, there are 8 levels of magnetic tension to allow for various difficulty levels.

DeskCycle 2 Under Desk Cycle

DeskCycle 2 Under Desk Cycle

3. MaxKare recumbent exercise bike

Has a quality construction, features a padded & adjustable seat, and consists of ergonomic handles | Overall Best Choice

No products found.

The MaxKare is truly a top-class recumbent stationary bike for home use. This type of machine is excellent for people with joint issues or back pain to get a great workout. The reclined position takes most of your body weight off the legs. The large adjustable seat has great back support and is quite comfortable. The frame is made of steel tubing and the mechanism is covered with tough ABS material. It has a maximum user capacity of 300 lbs. The drive mechanism makes almost zero noise thanks to the magnetic resistance and belt drive.

A digital console with an LCD screen gives readouts for speed, time, distance, calories, and heart rate for workout tracking. Pulse is detected when you grab the side handles of the seat. Sensors are built into the handles. The console also features a device holder for you to enjoy media while exercising. However, a device placed there will cover up the display. This recumbent bike is pretty lightweight and has integrated transport wheels for ease of movement. What makes this machine really worth it is the affordable price tag.

No products found.

MaxKare Recumbent Exercise Bike

4. Exerpeutic Gold 500 XLS upright exercise bike

Heavy-duty upright bike w/ foldable frame

Exerpeutic Gold 500 XLS
  • Type: Foldable upright bike
  • Dimensions: 39” L × 26.4” W × 48.4” H
  • Product Weight: 51.6 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 400 lbs
  • Adjustability: Height adjustable seat
  • Resistance: 8 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Console: LCD screen
  • Display Data: Speed, time, distance, calories, heart rate
  • Power: 2 AA batteries
  • Pedals: 3 piece crank, adjustable straps

Features & Considerations
  • High Weight Capacity: This steel frame has a solid build quality. Its maximum load capacity is about 400 lbs which is much higher than a lot of other stationary bikes.
  • Foldable Design: You can fold the X-shaped frame to nearly half the actual length, making it very convenient for storing in a closet or other small spaces.
  • Portability: After you have folded it, you can tilt it from the back slightly and roll it around like a wheelbarrow using the small front-mounted wheels.
  • Affordable: The cost of this bike is pretty low making it perfect for beginners and those looking to build a home gym.
  • Ease of Assembly: Anyone can put together the bike, no matter how skilled they are with mechanical hardware. The structure is pretty simple and the instructions are easy to follow.
  • Smooth and Quiet Running: The flywheel is driven by a V-belt and utilizes magnetic resistance, making almost no noise. It won’t be annoying for you or others around you.

Some Weaknesses
  • The pedals are a bit hard for short users to reach.
  • The accuracy of pulse tracking is not very good.

The Exerpeutic Gold 500 XLS is a good quality upright stationary bike. It is perfectly suitable for use at home thanks to its compact design and bargain price. Not only does it have small dimensions, but the frame can also be folded to nearly half its length for convenience in storage. The wide adjustable seat cushion and the impressive 400 lbs capacity makes this bike suitable for overweight people as well. Moreover, you can transport it from one room to another easily due to the lightweight frame and transport wheels.

The 500 XLS features a digital console to let you track your workouts. Its LCD screen displays speed, time, distance, calories, and heart rate. There are pulse sensors integrated with the handlebars. The drive system makes use of a belt-driven flywheel for silent motion. The 8 levels of magnetic resistance are not too difficult. It has the right amount of resistance for knee rehab. The affordable price makes it accessible to more people. When you purchase the bike, you will have to assemble some of it. Although, this is not too difficult and can be done in an hour.

Exerpeutic Gold 500 XLS

Exerpeutic Gold 500 XLS

5. MARNUR recumbent bike

Portable recumbent bike w/ adjustable seat, has pedal straps, offers pulse sensing

No products found.

The MARNUR Recumbent Exercise Bike is a good option if you are looking to save money. It costs a lot less than other recumbent stationary bikes without sacrificing a lot. It has a similarly comfortable seat that other recumbent bikes have. It is well-padded with back support and is 2-way adjustable for users of different heights. You really don’t have to worry about disturbing others around you. The belt drive system and 8 levels of magnetic resistance make for a smooth and silent running machine.

The handles on the sides of the seat have integrated pulse sensors. Your heart rate is displayed on the LCD screen of the console. It also displays speed, time, distance, and calories burned to let you track your progress. You can also choose to place a phone or tablet on the device holder in front of the console. The steel frame may weigh only 57.3 lbs, but it is strong enough to carry up to 300 lbs. It is also highly portable thanks to the two transport wheels on the front base.

No products found.

MARNUR Recumbent Exercise Bike

6. Exerpeutic 400XL semi recumbent stationary bike

Semi-recumbent stationary bike w/ a foldable frame

Sale
Exerpeutic 400XL
  • Type: Foldable semi-recumbent bike
  • Dimensions: 33” L × 19” W × 46” H
  • Product Weight: 43 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Adjustability: Height adjustable seat
  • Resistance: 8 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Console: LCD screen
  • Display Data: Speed, time, distance, calories, heart rate
  • Power: 2 AA batteries
  • Pedals: 3 piece crank, adjustable straps

Features & Considerations
  • Foldable Frame: For the convenience of storing, the frame can be folded by a pivot at the center. The seat also folds to further reduce the space required for storage.
  • Compact Design: The dimensions are relatively small and the bike takes up very little space. The shape makes it suitable for use with a desk, so you can work and exercise at the same time.
  • Affordable: This is the lowest priced product in this list and is overall one of the most affordable stationary bikes that are available in the market.
  • Comfortable Seat: The seat has comfortable foam padding and a large backrest, ensuring that you don’t develop any sort of back pain.
  • Silent Mechanism: The precision balanced flywheel with v-belt drive and magnetic resistance provides a quiet and smooth operation. You can work, watch TV, or listen to music in peace.
  • Portability: To move the bike, all you have to do is use the front-mounted transport wheels and roll it away. The frame is also very lightweight to make it easier.

Some Weaknesses
  • Tall people may find this to be too small.
  • The drive mechanism may develop a noise after some time which can be fixed.

The Exerpeutic 400XL is a great stationary bike with a semi-recumbent design. This design makes it highly versatile and suitable for many different user needs. First of all, it is compact, lightweight, and portable. It requires little room and the transport wheels make it easy to move from one room to another. Secondly, the frame and seat can be folded to further decrease the required space and make it easy to store. Finally, even though it is not fully recumbent, the seat is like that of a recumbent bike. You will be able to work at a desk thanks to the shape, without having to worry about back support.

All these design features come at an amazingly low price. The only problem is that it may be slightly small for users over six feet tall. It also has other commonly found features such as a digital console. The LCD monitor displays speed, time, distance, calories burned, and heart rate. Pulse sensors are situated on the handles beside the seat. Moreover, the bike operates silently thanks to the belt-driven flywheel. 8 levels of magnetic resistance are present, which are not too rigorous for those recovering from injury or surgery.

Exerpeutic 400XL

Exerpeutic 400XL

7. Marcy ME-709 recumbent bike

Features step-through design, offers easy-to-read monitor & a comfortable seat

Marcy ME-709 Recumbent Bike
  • Type: Recumbent exercise bike
  • Dimensions: 55.5” L × 25” W × 37.5” H
  • Product Weight: 61 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Adjustability: Fore/aft adjustable seat
  • Resistance: 8 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Console: LCD screen
  • Display Data: Speed, time, distance, calories
  • Power: 2 AAA batteries
  • Pedals: 1 piece crank, adjustable straps

Features & Considerations
  • Comfortable Seat: The large recumbent seat with backrest is foam-padded. It ensures a good level of comfort especially for those who suffer from back pain.
  • Affordable: The cost of this bike is very reasonable, especially if you are on a budget. Most recumbent bikes with the same features and quality cost a lot more.
  • Quiet Mechanism: You won’t hear any noise being produced while cycling thanks to the belt-driven mechanism and magnetic resistance.
  • Step-through Design: The heavy-duty steel frame has a step-through design, which allows you to mount or dismount from the machine with ease and speed.
  • Transport Wheels: For easy relocation of the recumbent bike, you can prop it up from the back or front and roll it around using the transport wheels.

Some Weaknesses
  • No heart rate sensing capability.
  • Pedals are hard to reach for short people.

The Marcy ME-709 is a great recumbent stationary bike with a no-frills design. It has a large comfortable seat in a reclined position with fore/aft adjustability. There are handlebars on the sides of the seat. Unfortunately. There are no built-in sensors for detecting your pulse. However, you can get readouts for speed, time, distance, and calories burned on the easy-to-read LCD screen of the console. The frame is made from 14-gauge steel tubing and can support 300 lbs. It features a step-through design for ease of use.

The bike runs smoothly and pretty much completely silent. The enclosed mechanics make use of a belt-driven flywheel. Resistance is provided by magnets, and there are 8 levels which are toggled using a large turn dial. The machine does not really weigh that much and is easy to move. A pair of front-mounted transport wheels make moving this bike quite effortless. Finally, the ME-709 is highly affordable for just about anyone.

Marcy ME-709 Recumbent Bike

Marcy ME-709 Recumbent Bike

8. Schwinn 270 recumbent exercise bike

Loads of high-tech features and on-board accessories

Sale
Schwinn 270
  • Type: Recumbent exercise bike
  • Dimensions: 64” L × 27.7” W × 49.9” H
  • Product Weight: 86.6 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Adjustability: Fore/aft adjustable seat
  • Resistance: 25 level eddy current resistance
  • Console: DualTrack LCD display
  • Display Data: Speed, time, distance, calories, heart rate, RPM, resistance, etc.
  • Power: AC power outlet
  • Pedals: 3 piece crank, adjustable straps

Features & Considerations
  • Comfortable Seat: The Schwinn 270 features a large contoured padded seat with a vented back for enhanced comfort while cycling.
  • Backlit Display: The DualTrack console has two blue backlit screens and displays speed, time, distance, calories, heart rate, RPM, resistance, and more.
  • Bluetooth Connectivity: You can sync to various fitness apps to track your workouts. There is also an Explore the World App that lets you virtually explore different routes all around the globe.
  • Programs and User Profiles: There are 29 workout programs to choose from according to your fitness goals. Up to 4 user profiles allow multiple members of a household to save their own progress.
  • Silent Operation: The drive system uses a belt-driven flywheel and the eddy current resistance is controlled by buttons on the console. All of this makes the operation smooth and noise-free.
  • Device and Bottle Holder: A media shelf attached to the console lets you place your phone or tablet. You can also stay hydrated thanks to the bottle holder beside the seat.
  • Transport Wheels: Moving the bike from place to place is quite easy due to the transport wheels on the front base.
  • Other Accessories: A 3-speed cooling fan, sound system, and a USB charging port all work to improve the workout experience.

Some Weaknesses
  • The drive mechanism quality is not as good as it should be. Might start making noises after some use.
  • The grip pulse sensor is not very accurate.

The Schwinn 270 is a recumbent bike that has just about any feature you could think of. Most of these features can be found on the DualTrack console. It has two backlit screens that can display around a dozen different data readouts. It is Bluetooth enabled, allowing you to sync with the Schwinn trainer app or other fitness apps. You can also connect to the Explore the World App that lets you discover various routes on different maps and is VR compatible. There are 29 built-in programs, as well as 4 user profiles. Moreover, you will find a cooling fan, a device holder, a charging port, and even speakers.

Other than all that, there is also a water bottle holder beside the large comfortable seat. The seat is well-padded with back support and is 2-way adjustable. The pedal mechanism is quite smooth and noise-free. It uses a belt drive and an eddy current resistance system. There are 25 levels of tension controlled by the console. You can also easily move the machine if needed thanks to the transport wheels. The price may be a bit high, but all the features make the 270 a worthwhile purchase.

Schwinn 270

Schwinn 270

9. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RB4708 dual-action recumbent exercise bike

Consist of movable handlebars, offers a total body cardio workout

Sale
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RB4708
  • Type: Dual-action recumbent bike
  • Dimensions: 60” L × 25.5” W × 52” H
  • Product Weight: 95.77 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 350 lbs
  • Adjustability: Fore/aft adjustable seat
  • Resistance: 8 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Console: LCD screen
  • Display Data: Speed, time, distance, calories, heart rate
  • Power: 2 AAA batteries
  • Pedals: Self-leveling, adjustable straps

Features & Considerations
  • Movable Handlebars: The handlebars are connected with the drive mechanism. With this machine, you can work both the upper and lower body muscles for an enhanced cardio workout.
  • Comfortable Seat: The large cushioned seat with back support is a great solution for those who experience back pain on normal stationary bikes. It can also be moved forward and backward.
  • High Load Capacity: The frame is constructed from steel tubing and is sturdy enough to withstand weights of up to 350 pounds.
  • Transport Wheels: For ease of portability, there are two wheels at the front of the base. Just prop the machine up from the back and roll it away.
  • Device Holder: The display console features a holder to keep your phone or tablet so that you can listen to music or watch videos while exercising.
  • Silent Mechanism: The enclosed mechanics, belt drive system, and magnetic tension ensure a smooth and noise-free workout.

Some Weaknesses
  • The instruction manual is not that great making it difficult to assemble.
  • No handles or armrests on the sides of the seat.

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RB4708 is a recumbent exercise bike that includes movable handlebars that let you work your upper body as well. So, you can get a total body cardio workout. This makes it a near-perfect machine for staying fit while going through physical therapy for knees or recovering from back pain. The 350 lbs capacity makes it suitable for obese users as well. Exercising more muscle groups at the same time leads to a higher calorie burn. The large seat is comfortable and adjustable. However, there are no side handles, unlike other recumbent bikes.

The LCD console displays speed, distance, time, calories burned, and even heart rate thanks to the pulse sensors on the handlebars. It also features a device holder for keeping a phone or tablet. The drive system is pretty much noise-free so that others around you are not disturbed while you work out. There are 8 levels of magnetic resistance to keep it challenging even as you progress. It is also quite a low-cost recumbent machine. However, it is difficult to assemble and the manual is poorly designed.

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RB4708

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RB4708

10. Nautilus R618 recumbent exercise bike

High-end recumbent bike with plenty of convenience features

Nautilus R618
  • Type: Recumbent exercise bike
  • Dimensions: 67.3” L × 26.4” W × 48.8” H
  • Product Weight: 89.5 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 325 lbs
  • Adjustability: Fore/aft adjustable seat, adjustable recline, tilting console
  • Resistance: 25 level electromagnetic resistance
  • Console: DualTrack LCD display
  • Display Data: Speed, time, distance, calories, heart rate, RPM, resistance, etc.
  • Power: AC power outlet
  • Pedals: 3 piece chrome crank, adjustable straps

Features & Considerations
  • Comfortable Seat: The comfy contoured and padded seat has a ventilated back for superb comfort while cycling. Both the fore/aft position and the angle of the backrest can be adjusted.
  • Backlit Display: The DualTrack console has two backlit LCD screens and gives readouts for speed, time, distance, calories, heart rate, RPM, resistance, and more.
  • Bluetooth Connectivity: You can connect to a mobile device and sync with various fitness apps including the Explore the World App that lets you explore routes all around the globe in virtual reality.
  • Programs and User Profiles: There are 29 workout programs to choose from according to your fitness goals and 4 user profiles that allow multiple users to save their own progress.
  • Silent Operation: The drive system uses a belt-driven flywheel and the electromagnetic resistance is controllable using the console. This makes cycling on this bike smooth and free of sounds.
  • Device and Bottle Holder: You can place your phone or tablet on the shelf attached to the console. The bottle holder helps you stay hydrated without having to get off the bike.
  • Transport Wheels: The portability of the machine is facilitated by the two transport wheels on the front base.
  • Other Accessories: A 3-speed cooling fan, sound system, and a USB charging port all work to enhance the workout experience.

Some Weaknesses
  • It is quite expensive.
  • The durability of the console is not that great. If this breaks down, the whole machine is rendered unusable.
  • The cooling fan is not too powerful.

The Nautilus R618 is another recumbent stationary bike that is jam-packed full of features and accessories. It has a 325 lbs capacity steel frame and a padded seat with a vented back. The position and recline angle of the seat can be adjusted. The pedals drive the flywheel via a belt and the resistance is electromagnetic with 25 levels. Therefore, almost no noise is generated while cycling. Most of the features are found on the large DualTrack console that has two blue backlit LCD. It shows your speed, time, distance, calories, heart rate, RPM, resistance, and more.

With Bluetooth connectivity, you can track your workouts using various fitness apps. You can also experience virtual reality with the Explore the World App with multiple maps from around the globe. To cater to individual fitness targets, there are 29 workout programs and 4 user profiles programmed into the console. The console also has a cooling fan, stereo speakers, and a USB charging port for further convenience. Other features on this recumbent bike include a device shelf, a water bottle holder, and transport wheels.

Nautilus R618

Nautilus R618

11. Exerpeutic Exerwork 1000 semi-recumbent exercise bike

A foldable semi-recumbent bike w/ a fully adjustable desk

Sale
Exerpeutic Exerwork 1000
  • Type: Folding desk exercise bike
  • Dimensions: 45.3” L × 25” W × 51.3” H
  • Product Weight: 64.7 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Adjustability: Height adjustable seat, 4-way adjustable desk, desk angle adjustment
  • Resistance: 8 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Console: LCD screen
  • Display Data: Speed, time, distance, calories, heart rate
  • Power: 2 AAA batteries
  • Pedals: 3 piece crank, adjustable straps

Features & Considerations
  • Large Desktop: In the place where the handlebars should be, is a large desk instead. This will allow you to work and exercise at the same time. The desk has a load capacity of 44 lbs.
  • Comfortable Seat: The padded recumbent-style seat is pretty comfortable and perfect for those who suffer from low back pain.
  • Adjustability: The height of the seat is adjustable. You can also adjust the height, horizontal position, and angle of the desk for your comfort.
  • Folding Design: The steel tube frame can be folded, making it easy to store in a closet or other small spaces around the house.
  • Holders and a Drawer: The desk has two holders where you can keep a cup, bottle, or other small items. There is also a drawer to keep other accessories at hand.
  • Portability: The entire machine is highly mobile. It has a couple of front transport wheels and the weight is also quite low.
  • Noise-free Mechanism: The v-belt drive system, balanced flywheel, and magnetic resistance ensure that little noise is produced.

Some Weaknesses
  • Pedals are difficult to reach for short users.
  • There is a possibility that it will start making noise after a few weeks.

The Exerpeutic Exerwork 1000 is a highly versatile semi-recumbent stationary bike. It has a desktop with which you can work and cycle simultaneously. You can place up to 44 lbs of objects on the desk. The height and angle of the desk are adjustable. You can also slide it forward and backward. There are two cup holders and a drawer to keep all required items at hand, including a bottle, mobile devices, stationery, etc. The near edge of the desk has an armrest and an integrated console. The LCD screen shows speed, time, distance, calories, and heart rate.

Pulse sensors can be found on the handles beside the seat. The seat itself is comfortable and vertically adjustable. A convenient feature of this exercise bike is that the frame is quite compact and can be folded for easy storage. Even so, it has a maximum load capacity of 300 lbs. There are wheels on the front base so that the machine can be transported around. The frame design allows you to use the bike as a standing desk as well. The operation is not noisy and the price is fairly reasonable.

Exerpeutic Exerwork 1000

Exerpeutic Exerwork 1000

12. Stamina Elite dual action recumbent bike

Consists of adjustable hand pedals & a fully adjustable seat

Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Bike
  • Type: Dual-action recumbent bike
  • Dimensions: 52” L × 24” W × 49” H
  • Product Weight: 121 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 250 lbs
  • Adjustability: A 4-way adjustable seat, adjustable hand pedals
  • Resistance: 8 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Console: LCD screen
  • Display Data: Speed, time, distance, calories, heart rate
  • Power: Battery powered
  • Pedals: Textured pedals, adjustable straps

Features & Considerations
  • Arm Pedals: Instead of normal handlebars, there are a pair of arm pedals. With these, you can work out the upper and lower body simultaneously.
  • Comfortable Seat: For people with back problems this machine features a large comfortable seat with back support. The seat is also 4-way adjustable.
  • Adjustability: The seat can be adjusted horizontally and vertically, while the arm pedals are also adjustable. So, you can get a perfectly customized exercise position.
  • Compact Design: Even though this is a recumbent bike, it has a pretty low profile and takes up relatively less space. Home users will find this convenient.
  • Transport Wheels: You can easily store it in a different place after a workout. This is facilitated by the front wheels provided, on which you can roll the machine.
  • Quiet Operation: To prevent any sound from being generated while working out, the drive system uses a belt drive and magnetic resistance.

Some Weaknesses
  • The machine is quite heavy compared to its capacity.
  • Handlebars might be in the way of knees for tall people.

The Stamina Elite is a good option of recumbent bike for beginners, seniors, and those with joint/back problems. The reclined position ensures minimal stress on the knees and ankles, and the backrest of the seat prevents any sort of back pain. The seat is also comfortably padded, and it has both height and fore/aft adjustability. Rotating arm pedals allow you to exercise your upper body as well for a better full-body cardio workout. You can hold onto the side handles on either side of the seat if you want to work your legs only. There are 8 levels of magnetic resistance controlled using a large dial.

The Stamina Elite has decently compact dimensions, taking up less floor space than other recumbent machines. However, this may also lead to tall people having their knees hit the hand pedals. The LCD console gives you readouts for the heart rate, speed, distance, time, and calories burned, which is great for tracking your progress. Pulse sensors are built into the side handles. The machine makes practically zero noise thanks to the belt-driven system. On the downside, this recumbent bike has comparatively low weight capacity and is quite expensive.

Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Bike

Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Bike


Frequently Asked Questions

Q.1: What type of stationary bike is best for bad knees?

Ans.: The two types of stationary bikes that are most widely recommended for knee rehab are the upright bike and the recumbent bike. Upright bikes resemble the riding position and feel of an outdoor bike. The pedals are below the hips and the seat is usually a saddle type. For most users, an upright bike is a good option since you can keep the core engaged as well. Recumbent bikes have a large seat with back support and the pedals are in front of the body. They are better for people who experience any sort of back pain. Both are excellent choices and ultimately it depends on which one you prefer to use.

Recumbent bike

Image: Recumbent bike

Upright bike

Image: Upright bike

Q.2: Is a stationary bike good for bad knees?

Ans.: Whether you have suffered a knee injury, going through knee surgery, or have chronic knee pain, aerobic exercise such as cycling will prove beneficial. Cycling is a low impact exercise that exerts little to no stress on the joints. It can help in recovering and strengthening the muscles and ligaments around the knees. Stability and mobility of the knee joint are also restored slowly. No need to take our word for it, you can find many studies that support this theory. Just be sure to start easy and slowly build your way up to longer durations and higher resistances. Never force yourself if it hurts. The best advice would be to consult a doctor beforehand.

How to Ride a Bicycle With Bad Knees

Q.3: What is the best exercise when you have bad knees?

Ans.: The key to staying fit with bad knees is to pick exercises that minimize the impact on your joints as much as possible. Machines like the treadmill and stair stepper are more high impact. Although, if you feel fine going at a walking pace then you can use them. The best exercises or equipment according to experts are

  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Ellipticals
  • Rowing

You can also do upper body workouts to improve or maintain your overall fitness.

Q.4: Is a stationary bike good for ACL rehab?

Ans.: The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the most important ligaments that help with the stability of the knees. After an ACL injury, when you can move your leg again, you must start doing some exercise. This will help strengthen the ACL and eventually get you back to your former strength. Cycling on a stationary bike is a commonly prescribed treatment due to its low impact and natural movement pattern.

Q.5: Does a stationary bike hurt knees?

Ans.: The chances of developing knee pain from using a stationary bike are pretty low. When they do occur, the main culprit is usually overworking your legs. Exercising the proper amount with enough rest days is very important. Another reason could be your cycling position. If you don’t set up the bike properly, then you risk causing strain on your knees. Make sure that you feel perfectly comfortable while pedaling.

Q.6: Is a spin bike good for bad knees?

Ans.: A spin bike is mostly used by people who are avid cyclists and to get a high-intensity workout for calorie burning. However, it can be used by people with bad knees as well. Many people don’t really have any major injuries but may have weak knees. For them exercises like running is too high an impact on the knees. Spin bikes are the perfect alternative, as they exert very little stress on the knees.

Conclusion

After thoroughly going through this article, you should now have a clear understanding of how to select the right stationary bike for knee rehab. You are now prepared to make a choice based on your specific needs. These bikes are guaranteed to serve you well and help you on your journey to stronger, healthier knees and a better lifestyle. So go ahead, and buy one from our list without reservation. Thank you for taking the time to read this article and we hope you found it useful.

My name is Dion Lewis. I’ve been cycling since my childhood. When I was in high school, I started racing in our local competitions. In my college life, I took a part-time job in a bicycle shop and I learned how to repair and maintain bicycles professionally. Though I love racing, mountain biking is another thing I do frequently. My friends, neighbors, and colleagues treat me as an avid rider and take my suggestions while they plan for a new bike or bike gear.

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