Best Stationary Bike for Bad Knees

working out on exercise bicycle

Do you have bad knees and are looking for a low-impact cardio workout to do at home?

People with bad knees can find most workouts challenging and if you suffer from arthritic knees it might even be painful. You don’t have to let this get in the way of being active. One of the best options is to use a low-impact machine like the exercise bike.

Below is a list I’ve compiled of the, in my opinion, five best exercise bikes for bad knees. 

Quick Overview of our Top 5

Note: Clicking the above links will take you to further information, current prices and customer reviews on Amazon.

Stationary Exercise Bikes For People With Bad Knees (Reviews of our Top 5 picks)

In the following paragraphs you’ll find an overview of each review. If you don’t have a lot of time I recommend to read at least the Pros and Cons of the individual reviews. 

Marcy ME-709

The Marcy ME-709 recumbent bike is a good choice for people who want a low-impact workout.

The step-through frame is designed specifically to be easier on knees and back. The recumbent style means that you lean backward, so there’s almost no stress on your lower back and joints.

However, it’s still a good choice if you want more intense workouts as well. Ride while sitting back- or leaning forward with your hands on the handlebars like a regular bike. You can also adjust the resistance between eight levels of tension.

The ME-709 is sturdy, quiet and durable and has a padded seat. The assembly instructions are clear and easy to follow. It measures 55.5 inches (L), by 25 inches (W), by 37.5 inches (H).

Featuring wheels, it can be easily transported around the house by just lifting up one end. The bike itself weighs 60 pounds and has an upper weight limit of 300 pounds.

The pedals are weighted with adjustable foot straps. This gives you better foot support and more control.

PROS

  • Completely silent and rides smoothly.
  • LCD computer screen, tracks time, distance, speed and calories burned.
  • Comfortable padded seat so you can ride longer and at a higher intensity without much discomfort.

CONS

  • It doesn't have a pulse meter.
  • Some users might not like the recumbent style bicycling experience, which is different compared to upright bikes.

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B901

For those who want a similar experience to outdoor cycling, the SF-B901 could be the right fit for you.

It’s a standard indoor cycling bike, so you’ll be working out more than just your legs. The ‘indoor cyling’ position means you’re engaging more core muscles, including your abdominal, upper body and arms.

This type of bicycle gives you the option to ride sitting down or standing up (if you are able to). You can lean over the handlebars to go fast while standing, giving a more intense workout.

Moreover, the SF-B901 has a 40-pound flywheel, which increases intensity and resistance. However, it does mean that the bike itself is a bit heavy.

It has a caged-style foot pedal which is a toe clip that helps keep your foot in place. I prefer this style because I can relax my feet more. However, the pedals are spiked steel, so for this reason, you can’t ride barefoot or with socks comfortably.

Finally, the seat and handlebars are adjustable so you can customize them to make it fit. The handlebars can only be adjusted up or down, though, not forward or backward.

This machine measures 49 inches (L), by 20 inches (W), by 47 inches (H) and weighs 97 pounds.

PROS

  • Adjustable seat and handlebars.
  • Easy and quick to assemble.
  • Doesn’t take up too much space.

CONS

  • Less suited for people with serious knee problems, because indoor cycling bikes don't give much support.
  • No timer, heart rate, or estimated calories burned, so if you want to track your progress you’ll have to get a 'personal' odometer.

Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike

This is a good option for people who don’t have a lot of space at home. 

Open and ready for use, it measures 31 inches (L), by 19 inches (W), by 46 inches (H). Its compact design allows you to fold it to half its size, so you can tuck it into a corner or put it in storage.

Despite its folding capacity, the machine is very sturdy because of the relatively wide bars supporting the bike.

Furthermore, it weighs just 42.8 pounds and the wheels make it easy to move around. It also features magnetic resistance of eight levels, and a heart pulse monitor.

Lastly, it has a weight capacity of up to 300 pounds. It also has a large, adjustable cushioned seat. This bike is a good choice if you’re looking for an upright bike.

PROS

  • Relatively high weight capacity of 300 pounds.
  • Foldable and relatively small, so it saves space.
  • Adjustable tension system with eight different options.

CONS

  • Some users might find the wide seat to be uncomfortable.
  • Total mileage on the console resets to zero after 999.9 miles.

FitDesk 2.0

Would you like to multitask while taking care of your knees? This bike may be a good choice as it features a desk for the modern worker.

The desk is stable with a non-slip surface and a handy drawer for storage. It has a set of massage rollers to rest your arms on while typing. It’s also stable, ensuring your computer screen won’t shake.

The FitDesk has a seat back and an extender so it can be used as an upright or semi-recumbent bike. However, because it’s neither fully upright or recumbent, it doesn’t really have the feel of riding a ‘real’ bicycle.

Pedaling resistance can be set high for a more intense workout. Despite this, it’s more useful for light exercise than intense exercise, because of the desk.

If space saving is important, like the Exerpeutic, the FitDesk also is foldable and has wheels. Plus, it only weighs 45 pounds and measures 16 by 28 inches when folded.

PROS

  • Adjustable with a seat back and extender.
  • Cool desk feature with useful drawer.
  • Digital resistance meter to track mileage, calories burned, and time.
  • Conveniently folds up and has wheels so you can put it away easily.

CONS

  • The desk itself could be annoying if you're not using it.

DeskCycle Under Desk

Unlike the other bikes on this list, this bike has no seat. Therefore, it’s compact and fits easily under your desk. So you can exercise while working. However, you will only be working and toning your legs.

The machine is built well and runs quietly. The motion is smooth and relatively low-impact, so it’s probably a good option for your knee rehab. 

Furthermore, you might have to adjust chair height and, if applicable, your sliding keyboard tray. Without these modifications, you might feel uncomfortable and not get optimal usage.

You can use this bike with a desk of 27 inches or higher. But if you have a desk which requires a higher chair position, it could be difficult to use comfortably.

This small machine measures 24 inches by 20 inches by 10 inches and it only weighs 23 pounds.

PROS

  • Relatively low-impact on your knees.
  • Eight calibrated resistance settings.
  • Display system that shows time, distance, speed and calories burned.
  • Access to an online calorie calculator.

CONS

  • Less suitable for weight loss unless combined with diet and other exercises.
  • Some users might be looking a 'more standard' exercise bike.

Conclusion

As always, I want to help you get the best at-home workout while still protecting yourself from workout-related injuries (like more knee pain).

In my opinion, the Marcy ME-709 is the best stationary exercise bike for bad knees. Its step-through frame is designed to be easy on the knees.

Additionally, its recumbent style puts the user in a laid-back reclined position, distributing the weight more comfortably. So, if you want to bike seriously and frequently, it’s a good choice.

Moreover, it has a comfortable seat and gives the smooth ride, meaning you’ll get a good workout without putting a lot of stress on your knees. The LCD computer screen allows you to track your progress, which is important to successfully meet your fitness goals.

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