Recumbent Bike Vs. Upright Bike: Which is Best for You?

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During the COVID-19 period, the home gym became popular as people were forced to stay at home. They couldn’t go out for work, exercise, or anything else. For this reason, People tended to do an indoor workout since they were becoming fat.

In this context, stationary bikes like Recumbent bikes or Upright exercise bikes became so familiar among fitness lovers.

People are asking some questions about which one is the best for them, what are the differences between the two bikes and how will they be effective for workouts, etc.

What is the Difference Between a Recumbent Bike and an Upright Exercise Bike?

Yes, It’s important to know their difference before choosing exercise bikes. if you go through this article, you can learn the pros and cons of both bikes. This article, I hope, would help you to get your answers. So, let’s start your exploration and choose the best one.

Recumbent Bikes

  • Reclined body position
  • Pedals positioned in front of the body
  • Larger seat
  • Full back support
  • Comfortable sitting position
  • Reduced upper body tension and muscle fatigue
  • Focused lower body and cardiovascular exercise

Upright Bikes

  • Upright body position
  • Pedals positioned under the body
  • Smaller seat
  • Limited upper body support
  • Upright seated position may cause upper body fatigue/tension
  • More consistent workout similar to outdoor riding
  • Whole body and cardiovascular exercise

Which is Better for Weight Loss Recumbent or Upright?

Actually, people are using these bikes for losing weight. But which is more effective and helpful for weight loss? This is a good question among the clients.

Normally, a Recumbent bike isn’t good or bad for weight loss. If you want to lose weight through exercise, you will also need to emphasize on diet and discipline.

Since the Recumbent bike burns fewer calories, it will not lose weight better than the upright bike. Upright bike engages most of the joints and it works like outdoor bikes.

It burns more calories than recumbent bikes. So, it will be effective in losing weight. you must maintain diet and you should take into consideration of food selection.

Recumbent Vs. Upright Bike: What Muscles Do They Work?

During your pedaling on a recumbent bike, you are using Hamstrings, Calves, Glutes, Quantrceps and Tibialis anterior mainly. As recumbent bikes give you a seated position, it works on the lower parts of the body. You don’t stand in recumbent bike exercise.

Similarly, you are using the same muscles that you did on Recumbent Bike but you are getting another some muscles like abdominal and arms muscles in Upright Bike Exercise. In the Upright Exercise Bike, You can engage your upper body parts more than those of recumbent bikes.

Naturally, Upright Bikes give you more muscle activeness and it helps fitness lovers to burn their calories. But one thing is mentionable that you can make more balance on your body on recumbent bikes. It gives you more confidence when you exercise.

Recumbent Vs. Upright Bike: Which One is More Comfortable?

On the recumbent Bike, the reclined sitting position is a very natural position. you can get legs in front of you and this position helps you to pedal well. Recumbent bikes are very helpful for those who are unaware in keeping balance.

You can feel that you are in furniture as its seat is much wider and larger. so, you can make more balance in your body. Reclined Position is very supportive which pressurize less on your back on your arms. From the position views, Recumbent Bike is more comfortable and balanced.

An Upright Bike is similitude to the bikes that are used for outdoor purposes like road bikes, hybrid bikes, etc. Upright seat position is a common characteristic. It has a small seat and no back support. Pedals are beneath your body parts directly. you may feel uncomfortable on some specific muscles like 

  • Tailbone region
  • Shoulders
  • Neck
  • Arms
  • Wrists.

Which is Better for Calories Burn Recumbent or Upright? 

It has been stigmatized that a recumbent bike is less effective than an upright bike. There are causes behind this stigma. During the workout, Users can not use the upper parts of the body actively because of its reclined position.

But one thing you should keep in mind is that a recumbent bike is very comfortable than an upright bike. You can retain more stamina on recumbent bikes and you can continue your workouts longer. longer workouts are necessary to burn your calories.

An Upright bike is helpful to burn more calories effectively because it engages the lower and upper parts of the body. But there is an issue which makes you discomfort due to its sitting position.

You may lose your stamina within a short time because it will make you tired soon. So, it’s important to keep your exercise longer.

Recumbent Vs. Upright Bike: Which One is Better for Knees?

If you have chronic knee pain, the recumbent bike will be better for you. The recumbent bike is comparatively comfortable for the joints. You can keep your body more balance. In a recumbent bike, you don’t need to pressurize your knees as it doesn’t create any strain situation on your legs.

On the other hand, you may feel a little bit of discomfort on upright bike because this bike includes the upper parts of the body which may pressurize your knees if you continue your workouts for a long time.

Recumbent Vs Upright Bike: What Benefits Does They Provide

Both of the bikes are designed on the basis of specific facilities which are very effective for the clients. they have some common benefits and some are specific to them. Let’s check out their benefits.

Recumbent Bike Benefits:

  • Seating position is comfortable because of its reclined position.
  • wider and larger seat helps to control
  • The recumbent bike is flexible on angles and knees
  • Safer due to its pedal position
  • you can exercise longer because of its comfort.
  • A comfortable sitting position makes more balance

Upright Bike:

Upright bike is popular among those who are experienced indoor exercise before. There are some specific benefits of upright bike.

  • Upright bike circulates the upper and lower parts of the body. 
  • More calories are burned as it engaged many parts of the body.
  • It activates biceps, triceps and shoulder 

Recumbent Vs. Upright Bike: Which Provides More Workout?

The recumbent bike is so popular among the freshers because it’s a little bit easy to run. Actually, the Recumbent bike activates the lower parts of the body. So, It can’t circulate the whole body parts.

This bike emphasizes on Hamstrings, Calves, Glutes, Quantrceps and Tibialis anterior joints. As a result, It burns fewer calories than an upright bike. The recumbent bike is very helpful for cardiovascular fitness. 

On the other hand, Upright bike has an upright position and it engages the lower and upper parts of the body. It burns more calories. Thus, upright bike is effective for the best workouts.

The Upright Bike is very similar to an outdoor bike. So, you can get both features of indoor and outdoor bikes. I suggest you choose Upright Bike for more workouts.

Recumbent Vs Upright Stationary Bikes (Pro’s & Con’s)


Is a recumbent bike better than an upright?

If you are new in indoor cycling, you can choose Recumbent bike because it is more comfortable. Reclined seat position will give you more relax.

What Are the Disadvantages of a Recumbent Bike?

A recumbent bike engages only the lower parts of the body. So, it burns fewer calories but it’s very balanced and comfortable. Hence, you can exercise for a long time.

Are recumbent exercise bikes any good?

Recumbent bikes have some good sides. It doesn’t pressurize joints and angles. You can retain your stamina in recumbent bikes.


Generally, Both of the bikes are awesome for fitness lovers. They are very effective in cardiovascular fitness, joint exercising and moving body parts. you can choose these bikes for burning your calories. Recumbent bikes are comparatively comfortable and have back support.

On the other hand, upright bikes are helpful for burning more calories than recumbent bikes. They have characteristics of both indoor and outdoor bikes. You can pick any of the bikes on the basis of your desire. Before buying these exercise bikes, you must consider the above matters. Let’s get your bikes.

Hi! My name is Dario Lemut and I am the Founder of Cycling fanatic with over two decades of experience on all types of terrain. From long-distance races to rugged mountains. Sharing my experiences and knowledge on my popular cycling website, I'm helping fellow riders to discover new routes and adventures.

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