An exercise bike is a good choice if you’re overweight and want to lose weight. Stationary exercise bikes are relatively low-impact exercise machines, which is particularly useful for a heavier person because other types of machines might put too much pressure on their joints.
That’s why I completely understand your decision to search for an exercise bike to use at home. In this article, you’ll find the best recumbent and upright exercise bikes for heavy people. Plus, I discuss which of the two machines is best one for heavier people.
Overview: Our Top Rated Heavy Duty Exercise Bikes
Differences between a Recumbent bike and an Upright bike
There are two popular types of exercise bikes. The upright bike and the recumbent bike. An upright exercise bike makes you hold the handles. Like the name says you’ll usually sit upright on the bike. You could compare it to a regular road bike.
On a recumbent bike, you’ll have to use your feet to pedal in front of you instead of below. A recumbent bike usually also has a backrest and a seat. In the next few paragraphs, I’ll discuss what the advantages and disadvantages of the recumbent bike are. I'll do the same for the upright bike. Some of the pros and cons are general, but most are specifically for heavier people.
Pros of a Recumbent Exercise Bike
- A recumbent bike tends to be more comfortable. The design allows you to divide your weight more equally. Your body sits well into the bike frame.
- The more natural reclined body position might help to reduce fatigue and muscle soreness in the upper part of your body.
- Your back feels less strain during your workout because of the reclined position of the seat. Plus, you can sit against the back seat. This might be helpful for people with back pain.
- You can use the machine without holding on to anything. So, you can hold a book or a tablet during your training.
- They tend to be larger than upright bikes. If you’re looking for a space saving machine, then this might be a disadvantage.
- You might get too comfortable, which isn’t helpful if you want to burn calories. Although, because they tend to be more comfortable you might work out for a longer period.
- You can’t lift your body off the seat and stand on the pedals. So you won’t be able to vary as much. Of course, you can still adjust the resistance or your cycling speed.
Pros of an Upright Exercise Bike
- The machine allows you to stand on the pedals. This might be helpful if you want to do a hill climb.
- An upright bike tends to be smaller, so it might be a better option if you don’t have a lot of room.
- The slightly hunched over position with a slight bend in the back and neck might cause fatigue and muscle soreness.
- The relatively smaller seat could cause pain and aches in the buttocks. Or, what you might call ‘saddle soreness’.
Which exercise bike is best for heavier people?
If you want to lose weight, then both the recumbent- and upright bike are a good choice. There’s no right or wrong machine. Both machines can give you a challenging workout, which you’ll need to lose weight.
You might have a personal preference for one of the two machine. Maybe, you think the upright bike is more comfortable because this machine is more like sitting on a traditional bike.
However, in my opinion, I would choose a recumbent bike if you want a more comfortable workout. A recumbent bike is especially a good option if you know your body needs more support. The design distributes your weight over your back and buttocks. Plus, you’ll most likely experience more support from the back seat.
In my opinion, the upright exercise bike is a better choice if you like to cycle on a traditional bike. If that’s the case, then you’ll most likely have a comfortable workout experience on an upright bike as well. It’s also a good choice if you’re looking for a small exercise bike because an upright bike tends to take up less space.
How many calories do you burn on an exercise bike?
You might be wondering how much calories you can burn on an exercise bike. Well, the amount of calories you’ll burn mainly depends on your weight and the intensity of your workout.
According to the Harvard Medical School, a 125-pound person burns about 210 calories per 30 minutes at a moderate pace on a stationary bike.
Stationary Bicycling (moderate)
Stationary bicycling (vigorous)
The Best Exercise Bikes For Heavy & Obese People (our choices)
The magnetic upright bike from Exerpeutic is a relatively basic exercise bike with a maximum weight capacity of 300 Lb.
The relatively large seat cushion provides a more comfortable workout for heavier people. You can adjust the position which allows users from 5 feet 3-inch to 6 feet 1-inch user heights.
- Compact folding design allows for easy storage. The bike folds to 1/2 the assembled size.
- Relatively large seat cushion.
- Some might argue this is not a real upright bike because the pedals are not straight underneath the machine.
The recumbent bike from Sunny Health & Fitness has a weight limit of 300 Lbs. You can adjust the seat without having to get off the bike. It can move back- and forward by using the handle underneath the seat. This might be helpful if you share the machine with multiple users with varying lengths.
- It's relatively easy to move the seat back and forward.
- The pedals are self-leveling, which means that you can place your feet into the pedals more easily.
- Apart from the frame, you get a 90-day warranty on parts and components, which might be a bit on the short side for some people.
Nautilus 618 Upright Exercise Bike (350 Lb)
The Nautilus 618 is a more advanced exercise bike. This model has got 29 training programs. The programs vary from interval training to heart rate training.
Additionally, if you want to get a relatively accurate reading of your heart rate you can connect the included wireless chest strap.
- Allows you to connect smart devices via Bluetooth. So you can track your workout progress with the Nautilus Connect app.
- The wireless chest strap is included.
- For some people, this machine might have too many ‘bells and whistles’.
The 440 ES from ProForm has a 350 Lb weight limit. What might stands out the most are the 32 workout programs that provide more than enough challenge for most users. These will certainly keep you busy for a while.
- Backlit display makes it easier to read in a darker room.
- Relatively large seat.
- It might be a bit heavy to move.
The Gold 500 XLS is an upright bike with a maximum weight limit of 400 Lb. This is a relatively basic model, just like the other Exerpeutic exercise bike in this article.
The high durability steel frame construction provides enough stability for a heavier person. Plus, the construction has 20% more steel than the Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike, which might make it a better choice for a heavier person.
- The relatively high maximum weight capacity of 400 Lbs.
- 20% more steel than the Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike
- The pedals are not directly underneath the exercise bike.
Fitnex R70 Recumbent Exercise Bike (400 Lb)
The Fitnex R70 from Champion is a commercial grade exercise bike. This is probably the reason why it has a relatively high weight limit of 400 Lbs.
It’s especially a good choice for an overweight person who’s looking for a machine that lasts in the long term.
- Relatively high maximum weight capacity of 400 Lb.
- You get a lifetime warranty on parts (for home-use only).
- Might be a bit difficult to assemble.