Best Recumbent Exercise Bike For a Short Person

If you’re looking for a convenient and enjoyable indoor workout, nothing beats a recumbent exercise bike. With better comfort, safety, and adjustability, a recumbent bike offers many advantages over similar types of machines.

CliffsNotes Answer on Recumbent Exercise Bikes

The best recumbent exercise bike for a short person is the JeeKee indoor spin bike. It has the adjustments you need including a seat that will adjust close enough down to the pedals preventing your knees from locking out, along with handlebars that will adjust forward so your arms sit comfortably.

Unfortunately, for short people, getting access to the right-sized recumbent exercise bike is challenging. This begs the question, what is the best recumbent exercise bike for a short person?

This becomes even more prevalent if you have a longer torso and short legs. While gyms tend to have a lot of treadmills and even several spin bikes, it seems there aren’t as many recumbent exercise bikes. The only caveat to this is Planet Fitness. In my experience, Planet Fitness does have a wide variety of recumbent bikes. This makes sense because their niche is more of the cardio workouts for beginners.

Here’s a quick table of the best recumbent bikes for short legs.

BrandSchwinnMarcy ExerpeuticJeeKeeLanos
Max Weight Capacity300 lbs300 lbs300 lbs300 lbs330 lbs
Resistance TypeMagneticMagneticMagneticMagneticMagnetic
Lowest Height5’3″5′5’3″4’9″4’5″

A quick list of recumbent exercise bikes for short people

  • Schwinn – reputable brand name. Great for 5’3″ or less
  • Marcy Store – accommodates from 5′ to 6′ in height
  • Exerpeutic – affordable and fits the family. Suitable for people 5’3″
  • JeeKee – suitable for heights starting at 4’9″
  • Lanos – a 2 in 1 bike that alternates between upright and recumbent

Before you move forward with choosing a recumbent bike you need to be aware of the features. It can be very frustrating spending your hard-earned money on something only to find it’s hard to use. So, how do you choose the best recumbent bike for a short person?

If you’ve read any of my other posts you’ll know that I try to stick to about 5 suggestions. This prevents getting too many options and it can become overwhelming. You’ll also notice that I don’t include any spinning bikes. These are strictly recumbent bikes.

So without further adieu, here is a review of the top 5 recumbent exercise bikes, which may help you in your purchase decision.

Best Recumbent Exercise Bike for a Short Person


1) Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike – The first on my list comes from a very reputable brand, Schwinn. Their 230 is a step above their lowest A20 bike and doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as their 270 (all three are available though). The Schwinn 230 has 22 preset workout programs, a 3-speed cooling fan, 20 levels of resistance,  built-in speakers, and much more. This recumbent bike is a great entry-level selection for your home gym.

Features and benefits

  • It has a 300-pound capacity, so versatile for the entire family.
  • The built-in 22 programs keep you engaged and active. Just hop on and go.
  • Includes a 10-year frame warranty.
  • It’s very quiet, so no disturbing other family members while they work, talk, or sleep.

Marcy Store

2) Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike – Whether you want to boost your cardiovascular endurance or shed pounds, the Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike is the perfect workout equipment to add to your home gym! Made of premium 14-gauge steel tubing, PVC, and rubber, the workout bike has a high-quality structure that combines design and performance with a powder-coated finish. Sturdy enough to resist scratches, chips, and damages from the environment, ensuring that it will withstand heavy daily use. The specially designed seat with contoured handles facilitates proper body form allowing your body to conform precisely to the equipment, helping your workout take maximum effect on your target areas. The step-through design is created so that it is easier on the knees and back.

Features and benefits

  • Adjusts down to a 27-inch inseam, so great for shorter legs!
  • A convenient resistance knob located under the handles bars makes it easy to change resistance during your workouts.
  • The recumbent handlebars and seat back pad included with the Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike ME-709 provide comfort during your long bike rides.
  • The transport wheels make it easy to move around, should you need to.
  • 300-pound weight capacity

Exerpeutic 900XL

3) EXERPEUTIC 900XL Recumbent Exercise Bike – The Exerpeutic 900XL Recumbent Bike with Pulse can handle up to a 300-pound user weight capacity. It also has a wider seat for comfort, magnetic resistance for challenging workouts, and hand pulse pads for targeting heart rate zones, all at a very affordable price. If affordability is a key factor, this recumbent bike might be the one for you. Specifically designed with flexible features, this recumbent bike supports heights ranging from 5 feet 3 inches to 6 feet 5 inches.

Features and benefits

  • Extended Weight Capacity up to 300 pounds.
  • Step-thru design for those that have stiff hips and joints.
  • An easy to read large window LCD that indicates distance, calories burned, time, speed, scan, and heart rate monitor.
  • The precision-balanced flywheel and V- belt drive provide a smooth and quiet operation. It will not interfere with watching TV or listening to music.

JeeKee (Editor’s Choice)

4) JEEKEE Recumbent Exercise Bike – Capable of accomodating heights starting at 4’9″ all the way to 6’5″ this recumbent bike is versatile. If you’re looking for a simple, affordable resistance recumbent bike, this is it. It’s lightweight and compact and is designed for maximum comfort. 

Features and benefits

  • With 9 seat positions, it is very accommodating for short and tall people.
  • A stronger dual-belt mechanism drives the flywheel, producing only 20 decibels of sound, which is quieter than traditional chain type bikes.
  • Advanced two-way external magnetic flywheel technology providing greater inertia, stronger power, and a smoother riding experience.
  • Adjustable pedal straps allow you to place your feet easily into the pedals and keep from falling off while exercising.


5) Lanos Folding Exercise Bike – As the most unique bike on my list I couldn’t resist this one. I haven’t had a chance to try this one, but with a rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 with close to 2k reviews, it deserves to make the list. This bike can transition from an upright spinning bike to a recumbent bike. Has a weight capacity of 300 pounds and accommodates heights from 4’5″ to 6’5″ making it versatile for the entire family.

Features and benefits

  • Multi-usage from upright bike to a recumbent bike. Nice to switch it up a bit.
  • The Lanos 3-in-1 folding exercise bike has been constructed with the highest quality steel and requires little assembly
  • Anti-slip pedals ensure your feet are secure and you can focus on the workout.
  • Includes a tablet holder that is appropriately located on the handlebars so that you can watch tv, listen to music, or join your favorite exercise class while working out.

What to look for in a recumbent exercise bike

  • Height adjustment – the biggest thing you need to pay attention to is the adjustability. Even if it has all the bells and whistles that you want, they’ll do no good, if the bike doesn’t fit your stature. All the bikes on this list are adjustable, so pick one that fits you. Even if you tend to be on the shorter side, your leg length (if long enough) might open you up to a variety of recumbent bikes.
  • Handlebars adjustment – make sure the handlebars either slide with the seat or are long enough to use. If the seat slides individually, usually the handlebars are quite long to accommodate for the slide, but you don’t want a bike with handlebars behind you. A lot of the bikes have sensors on the handlebars, so you want to make sure you can use them.
  • The footprint of the bike – some people need a bike that folds down to a smaller footprint. If you’re limited on size, you’ll want to measure the amount of space you have and compare it to the size of the bike.
  • Amenities – when it comes to bells and whistles like LCD, phone holders, bottle holders, programming, and large resistance capabilities, make sure it has what you want. There are a lot of recumbent exercise bikes on the market, so choose one that you’ll use for a long time and be happy with it.

What is the right height?

As you’re using the recumbent bike, your leg that is extended out should be at a 10-15 degree bend. The other leg should be at a 90-degree angle. If you find that your leg that’s extended out is locked out, you need to move the seat closer to the pedals.

How to use a recumbent bike

Since I’m not in the room next to you, here is a great video that explains why a recumbent bike is easy to use, low-impact, and should be considered one of the better cardiovascular machines for home use. Each bike is a bit different so don’t get hung up on the features of the exact bike in the video, but listen to how user-friendly and beneficial they are.

Calories Burned On A Recumbent Bike (My Experience)

I was surprised to see that a recumbent bike could burn as many if not more calories than a standard spin bike. The first picture below is my calories burned on a standard spin bike. After 35 minutes I had burned 169 calories. The final 5 minutes was a cool down, so not much effort.

A couple of days later I did 30 minutes on a recumbent bike, and as you can see I burned just over 300 calories. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s difficult to do the same output or exertion on both of these bikes. My goal was to have fresh legs both times, get my heart rate to the same level, and see which one burned more calories. I think my heart rate was a little higher on the recumbent bike, but not by much. Still, the end result was an extra 130 calories burned in the same amount of time as compared to a spin bike (actually a little less, since I didn’t have a 5 minute cool down period).

The takeaway here is that recumbent exercise bikes can and do burn calories just like a spin bike. As long as you’re putting in the effort, you can burn calories just as good on a recumbent exercise bike.

Conclusion of recumbent exercise bike for short legs

Before spending your money on a recumbent bike there are a variety of features to examine. Recumbent exercise bikes can be a large investment and the last thing you want to do is buy one and find it isn’t what you wanted.

The variety of recumbent exercise bikes for short riders, at a reasonable price, are limited. Take your pick from the top 5 exercise bikes reviewed above and begin to enjoy good health for a long time (How To Maintain Good Health).

FAQ on recumbent exercise bikes for short people

How do I choose the best recumbent exercise bike?

The best way to choose your recumbent bike is to first consider how much space you have if you have any amenities that you can’t live without, and consider the cost of those.

What are the benefits of recumbent exercise bikes?

Recumbent bikes put less strain on your joints, while still getting the cardio benefits. The seats tend to be bigger and wider compared to upright bikes. The seated position evenly distributes your bodyweight taking pressure off any one spot.

Is the upright bike better than a recumbent bike?

The upright bike is designed for a higher leg intensity. If you have no issues with balance, joint problems, or sitting on a narrower seat, the upright bike can provide a more intense muscle-building leg workout.

How safe are recumbent bikes?

An advantage recumbent bikes have is, they’re easy to get on and off of. They are closer to the ground so people feel comfortable using them, should they have balance issues. Compared to a treadmill or upright bike, recumbent bikes are the safest.

Are recumbent exercise bikes good for your joints?

Recumbent bikes are considered low-impact exercises. Similar to bodyweight exercises (Bodyweight Burn Review), if you have troubles with your ankles and knees, a recumbent exercise bike might be better for your joints.

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