As our daily lives get busier and more bustling with time, it has become harder and harder to fit a slot into our schedule for some exercises to shape up our health. One of the most popular exercise regimes is biking: It effectively burns away the fat in our lower body and strengthens our muscles there, also increasing our overall strength and stamina in the process.
However, one thing still stands: Not a lot of people nowadays have the time necessary to actually take a leisure bike in the park or across the city. That is where the stationary exercise bike comes into the picture. You can easily have the same effects as actually biking outside with one, and that is exactly why it is becoming much more popular today.
Who It Is For
Like I’ve explained before, the target audience of stationary exercise bikes are those who are having too tight a schedule that they can’t afford the time to actually go out on a biking trip. Although these bikes can be used by anyone – whether busy or else – those are the main demographic of users. A large percentage of users are also those who are too lazy to actually go out the door but still wish to live healthy, anyway, so you shouldn’t be shy about it at all if that is your case!
But besides the younger populace who are more receptive and capable of healthy living. The older generations – particularly seniors – can be less welcoming both mentally and physically to the thoughts of biking. But stationary exercise bikes, especially the recumbent types with backrests can be of great help.
In this article, we’ll show you the three ‘Prized’ models, or the best recumbent stationary exercise bikes for the elderly to help you with staying fit and healthy.
Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709
|Quality:||(4.5 / 5)|
|Value of money:||(4.7 / 5)|
|Ease of use:||(4.6 / 5)|
|Average:||(4.6 / 5)|
As one of the most ‘Battle-hardened’ veterans in the exercise equipment industry with history dated back to 1982, Marcy has had experiences making the best hardware a sport-body could ask for. The company’s designs are everywhere from gyms, clubs, schools, and colleges, all the way to houses across the U.S. And one of its most notable and newest design in the at-home exercise bike department being the ME-709 is quite worthy of the company’s long-standing tradition of excellence.
The ME-709 is the perfect solution to your needs for at-resident exercising. Standing against a large horde of competitive models with different specifications, quality, prices, … the ME-709 still stands out as one of the best with quality and price balanced perfectly. The praises it received from both professionals in the sports industry and users alike have given it a reputation well enough for it to be considered by the skeptic and the pickiest users.
One of its most notable features that make the ME-709 a machine for both the professionals and the amateurs is the customizable resistance of up to eight levels.
The resistance is like ‘Difficulty’ in biking, the higher the resistance, the more you have to cycle to spin the wheel. And the fact that can be changed at will is appreciated by everyone within the household, whether it be the youngsters or elderly people, and depends on the intensity of training that person is following. This is a huge plus to the ME-709 by making it highly adaptable and flexible to the needs and training routines of its users.
And if you’re concerned about the sound the bike would make for when you’re waking up early in the morning with the last thing that you’d want to do is to wake everyone in the house, you’re covered. The ME-709’s resistance is magnetic, which means it doesn’t involve mechanical brakes known to make awful noises that could very well wake the dead. The magnetic brakes allow the bike to operate silently and smoothly to keep the peace in the house from being disturbed.
Second is the part that gives it the ‘Recumbent’ title in the first place, the seat. Of course, it’s comfortably cushioned and it can be adjusted accordingly to whatever makes you feel best when you hit the laps. Just throw a film or some music on, sit back and start pedaling and you’d be in for the most ‘Actively Lazy’ experience in your life.
The pedals themselves have straps to prevent your feet from slipping off while you’re furiously pedaling. Their placement somewhat below your seat is optimized so that your body won’t have to stress itself way too much to get the wheel spinning.
While you’re cycling, you certainly won’t have the mind to count how many revolutions or how far you’ve actually gotten while you’re pedaling. The ME-709’s computer and LCD would be the one responsible to track your training’s progress from time, distance, burned calorie, speed, … In short, anything that you would want to know to keep track of your personal training plan. The computer itself is also run by AA batteries – which can be bought virtually anywhere in the world at a dirt-cheap cost and replaced in a few seconds top.
The entire bike itself weighs only at roughly 55 pounds in total. The construction of lightweight materials and minimized design makes it dramatically lighter than the standard for a bulky indoor biking machine. Coupling with the wheels at the base of the bike itself, you can easily move it across the house to any good spot of your choosing without any problems at all in the process.
The assembly process of the bike is simple that even if you have troubles with Lego sets you would be able to handle just fine and frustration-free. Just read the instructions, though.
On the bureaucratic side of things, the machine is cheap for what it offered. The retail price is around $170 and coming along with the price tag is a 2 years warranty, which is much longer than most of the manufacturers in the market offer. That only speaks how Marcy is very confident of its brainchild and how much they are willing to cater to your needs as customers.
What we like
- The price. Again, for what it offers the ME-709 is a lucrative deal.
- Well-built and strongly designed to handle any bodyweight.
- Silent operation
- Excellent seat.
- Simple assembly process.
What we don’t like
- The seat would become quite awkward for you if you’re very tall, particularly the armrests.
- The computer offers limited pre-set training programs and lacks a heart-rate monitor.
For entry-level bikers, those on a budget or those who just want something that ‘Work’ and nothing else, Marcy’s ME-709 offers all that and a little bit more.
This is the go-to machine no matter what you have in mind for the perfectly healthy life that you want: It is affordable, capable, and quite nicely built. With it, you can’t really go wrong, and this has been testified by quite a lot of people considering the bulks of positive reviews that it has gotten over time.
Exerpeutic 900XL Extended Capacity Recumbent Bike
|Quality:||(4.6 / 5)|
|Value of money:||(4.7 / 5)|
|Ease of use:||(4.5 / 5)|
|Average:||(4.6 / 5)|
Just like the ME-709, the Exerpeutic 900XL offers quite an arsenal of benefits for its price. Even though the set-up can only be considered basic and at the lower end of the cost spectrum of exercise bikes, it certainly gives out a lot of bang for its buck.
Exerpeutic – a branch of Paradigm Health & Wellness – is a newer name in the exercise equipment industry than Marcy. Dated only back to 2010, the company definitely doesn’t have the depth of history or the years of experience Marcy had had. But they made it up substantially by catching to the older forerunners with continuous balanced and affordable designs that gave the company the much-needed reputation to keep it running. Indeed, by positive reviews in flocks of thousands with the majority having equally satisfactory experiences with their products, the younger company should not be overlooked for its age.
And the 900XL, of course, shouldn’t be missed on your ‘To-Consider’ list of a good exercise bike as a gift for your aging parents, or any elders looking to keep their health in top shape.
The 900XL has focused a lot on eliminating as much of the obnoxious noises that an atypical exercise bike running at full speed produced, which can really set you off in the long run.
They did this by – as you might be expected – careful engineering. The flywheel is precisely balanced and the V-shaped belt drive dampens out most of the sound, coupling with the ‘Smooth Torque’ system effectively had muted the sound down to whisper level. If you have a crowded house or you’re just generally sensitive to noises, especially prolonged ones, your ears and maybe those around you would thank you for the purchase.
With that said, it’s time we talk about the actual operation of the bike. Just like the ME-709, the 900XL has an 8-level magnetic resistance system you can adjust to your needs easily by fixing a dial. As we have talked about previously, the magnetic resistance system reduces the sound of the resistance even further, making the bike operates even more smoothly.
The seat and the backrest are also padded comfortably to take the heat of the exercise away from your spine and hip. They can be adjusted from 5.3 inches to 6.6 inches to accommodate a variety of height and body width. The leg stabilizers are extended to both prevent unnecessary movements and to keep your legs in a position best for high intensity pedaling. And the pedals itself are sized up to make a better and more comfortable experience in general, and you can’t miss the useful straps keeping your feet right on the pedals, either.
Here comes the best part of the 900XL: The computer. The integrated computer system on the 900XL provides a much better interaction than that of the ME-709 in several ways. First is the LCD. This is where all of the data and information the computer collected and you need to know are displayed. Surely, it is no fancy colored touch-screen but a good old black and white display that can be navigated through three main buttons right below.
It’s not aesthetically pleasing, but it does the job of showing you how much distance you’ve scaled, how many calories burned, and how much time has passed since you’ve started pedaling pretty well.
The highlight of the computer system has not yet to be mentioned, however: The heart rate monitor. If you paid attention to the reviews of the ME-709 last time, there were a lot of complaints about the lack of a heart rate monitor in its computer system. The 900XL remedied that successfully with a heart rate monitor built into the handles and would monitor your pulses as you grip on them. The information it provides can be valuable to judge the progress of your exercise.
With hardware all explained, we will go on and talk about the construction. It is a well-engineered piece of machinery and can handle riders of up to 300 pounds, but beyond that, it is not recommended. For the extra bulk and parts, as well as a design that isn’t stressed very much on mobility, compared to the ME-709’s 55 pounds, the 900XL racks up to 74.2 pounds in total weight. Though heavy, it can still be managed somewhat by utilizing the set of transportation wheels underneath, but if you need something lightweight and mobile, this is quite a poor choice.
The bike would arrive at your doorstep in pieces and step-by-step instructions on how to build up a finished one. Compared to the ME-709, the 900XL’s assembly process is dramatically more complex and more challenging according to some users. While the majority of ME-709 users reported a pleasant and straightforward process, the 900XL user-base split away into two groups: Those who found great frustration and those who found satisfaction. But on average, it would take an entire hour to put it together.
What we like
- Cheap, it is one of the best exercise bikes for the elderly – and virtually, everyone else under $200. Not very steep.
- Comfortable seating.
- Smooth operation.
- A great computer system that provides all of the necessities of a basic user.
What we don’t like
- Not very durable or reliable. Squeaky parts were reported and the seat would rock after a while of using it.
- The seat is hard to adjust.
- Difficult assembly process.
On the far, far end of the cost spectrum, the 900XL still manages to provide – as said by a lot of end-users – a passable and satisfying experience. It won’t do for more hardcore users seeking advanced, fancy features in a stationary exercise bike. But for the average users regardless of age, this is the perfect machine to be put at the corner of the house and put to use once in a while.
Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike
|Quality:||(4.8 / 5)|
|Value of money:||(4.9 / 5)|
|Ease of use:||(4.7 / 5)|
|Average:||(4.8 / 5)|
While the two previous bikes are at the lower end of the ‘cost chain’, the Schwinn 270 is at the very top and is arguably the best exercise equipment for seniors to juniors, professionals to amateurs alike. It is loaded with features and precisely engineered to prove its position as the apex machine.
And unsurprisingly, to design and manufacture a machine at such high grade, the manufacturer itself must have done their homework well beyond everyone else in the industry.
And almost a century of existing and four decades of doing the same homework that is in-home exercise machines, Schwinn had it down perfectly. The company’s history returns to as far as 1895 in Chicago, with its first entrance into the fitness industry in 1965 – even older than Marcy first established in 1985.
And it’d be your job to judge for yourself whether they have done a successful job or not, but so far from the flurry of responses from the community, they’re on their way to A+ and beyond.
The Schwinn 270 cramps everything that anyone would ever need in an indoor exercise bike into a single package. And the common features that are available in all other models on the market are improved and put on steroids.
It is a lean, mean, and quiet machine. Through the high speed – inertia drive system working in conjunction with a perimeter weighted flywheel, absolute silence is guaranteed while you’re working it out on the bike.
The entire transmission system is interconnected with the 25 levels resistance system, and instead of using magnetic, the Schwinn 270 uses an eddy current brake to make out the quietest experience while also not sacrificing functionality. The eddy current brake also allows the system to be more flexible, which explained the two and a half dozens of levels of resistance made available to the user.
In the comfort department, the Schwinn 270 makes it part of the long list of missions to provide the user as much comfort as possible while using it. Besides the padded seat, the leg rests are contoured to fit snugly the user’s legs and the backrest has air vents to cool down the storms of sweat that would build after a while of exercising.
Cooling your body down not only would be the backrest’s vents but also a cooling fan with 3-speed levels for you to choose. A convenient cup holder is also there for you just in case you need to immediately state that horrific thirstiness after a taxing workout.
The most exciting part of the Schwinn 270 is the computer system, again. This time, it is fully equipped with the 21st Century’s seal of approval.
Starting the list with two, blue backlit LCDs as windows for you to interact with the computer. Workout data and itineraries are available plentifully on the great, big Internet, and that is why Schwinn had made the computer Bluetooth and USB compatible for you to download them. And from the screen, initially, you can choose 12 profile programs with 3 main modes: Fun rides, mountain rides, and challenges for you to vary your training program and have great fun in the process!
The computer also comes with 9 customizable heart rate programs for you to monitor your stamina during a session, 2 fitness test programs for you to put your strength to the test. Then 4 user profiles for you to store personal and workout information of different members of your family or those you share the machine with for best effectiveness. And at last, 1 recovery test program to test the recovery of your heart rate. The computer, as you can see, is designed specifically to put you and your body to the absolute limits, all the while keeping track of these positive changes, as a result, making it a valuable companion to have around.
All of the parts that come with it make the entire bike a juggernaut, however. Weighing up to 102 pounds, even with the wheels equipped, it’d take some efforts for sure to move it around. The structure is beautifully crafted with as many light materials such as Aluminium to reduce weight as much as possible, and with all of the features we have seen on it, it’s actually a surprise that it’s only 102 pounds.
Just like all previous bikes and something of such size and weight, the machine comes in a whole lot of pieces that are going to take you a while to assemble. Have no fear, it comes with illustrated and detailed instructions on how to put the mechanical puzzle together and only takes an hour to two hours top for you to begin training immediately.
What we like
- Extremely quiet.
- High amounts of settings for the resistance system.
- Superb comfortability.
- Amazing, well-built computer system with a great number of useful programs and settings.
What we don’t like
- Surprisingly … none.
This is the pinnacle of at-home exercising, hands down. If you’re looking for something that the professionals would fawn and faint over, this is the way to go. There isn’t much to say about it, and if age has taken a lot out of you, this would bring that lost strength in a few days.
My Final Opinion
Health is one of the most important things in a person’s life. Without it, everything would become meaningless anyway, which is why we want to take care of it so much ourselves. For whatever it is that you choose for your next at-home health machine, best of lucks to your goals!
(Featured image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/154344646@N08/36848778555/)