Best Exercise Bike for Bad Knees

Best exercise bike for bad knees

Finding therapeutic, rehabilitational and healthy indoor cycles for riders with bad knees

Cycling is a wonderful way to rehabilitate, regenerate and improve your bodily systems all round. Most importantly, indoor cycling acts as a safe way to perform certain movements and target certain muscle groups, all in the comfort of your own home. And while indoor cycling promotes better health generally, if you have bad knees, then you’ll have to watch out for a few things.

It’s important to note that in finding the right bike, you might not just be accommodating your bad knees you could be improving them. With the right bike for your specific needs, you could be adding the right resistance slowly to build up your strength and helping with theproduction of synovial fluid, which helps to lubricate the joints.

So what makes the right bike?

Well, you could find that a recumbent stationary bike great for low-impact exercise is the right bike for your bad knees, or maybe you’ll identify an upright bike with infinitely measurable resistance levels as the perfect bike for your health. Either way, as always, there’s something out there for you. And with me as your guide, breaking down this list of the best recumbent bikes going, you’ll be spinning ever closer to finding your perfect match.

Let’s ride.

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In A Rush?

  Best On A Budget: Best Entry Level: Best All Rounder: Best Under £1500: Best Of The Best:
Brand JLL JLL Life Fitness Sole Life Fitness
Model RE100 RE600 Pro RS3 LCR Integrity Series Standard Recumbent Bike
Photo F3
Resistance Air Resistance 32 Levels (Magnetic resistance) 20 levels 40 Levels (Magnetic resistance) 25 Levels (Resistance generator drive system)
Max. Weight 100 kg 135 kg 180 kg 150 kg 181 kg
Assembled Dimensions 140L x 60W x 82H cm 147.5L x 66W x 130H cm 145L x 66W x 137H cm 142L x 74.5W x 151.5H cm 170.18L x 66.04W x 130.81H cm
Check Prices

Best Recumbent Bike On A Budget:

JLL RE100 Recumbent Home Exercise Bike

Key features

  • Resistance – Magnetic resistance for smooth and quiet restriction
  • Flywheel – 5 KG flywheel 
  • Belt – Direct belt-driven system
  • Monitor – LCD display that shows the time, distance, speed, calories burned, wattage, and heart rate 
  • Crank – Strong 3-piece crank system
  • Adjustable Seat – Horizontal adjustments are available 
  • Handlebars – Built-in pulse sensor plates
  • Pedals – Adjustable toe straps 
  • Transport – Built-in wheels 
  • Max weight limit – 100 KG
  • Dimensions – 140 cm x 60 cm x 82 cm 
  • Item weight – 24 KG
  • Smooth magnetic resistance system
  • Built-in wheels for easy transport
  • Supportive backrest
  • Body adjustable seat adjustments
  • Adjustable toe straps
  • Handlebars are placed a little too low for some users
  • Pedals aren’t as durable as some were expecting


Most of us are on a budget at the moment. The world of fitness equipment is expensive, so if you’re already spending money on physio or simply need to watch your cash, then the RE100 is a brilliantly budget-friendly recumbent bike.

Recumbent bikes always offer a range of reclined and relaxed workout options. But the RE100’s careful attention to seat design and adjustability is what gets it on this list. With 7 horizontal seat adjustments for a cushioned and padded seat design, you get the option to optimise your body position, with the end result being comfort and ideal posture. If you have bad knees, then this focus is brilliant; you no longer have to worry about clunky positioning and a lack of rider-to-bike moulding. It also helps to put pressure off of your lower back, an often accompanying pain area for those suffering from bad knees.

Simplicity is also key here. With a straightforward heads-up display on a simple and safe-to-use console, you get all the basic pleasures that an indoor cycle should provide. Easy. But with the modest yet fundamentally effective 8 levels of magnetic resistance, you can tailor this bike’s power needs to your body’s needs in an instant.

Another aspect of this bike that favours body safety is the transport wheel design. The end caps of the bike allow you to lift the other end and roll it around. Therefore, you can wheel the bike into an area where it’s out of the way when you’re not exercising and save space in your home. 

A straightforward bike with a humble price tag. A brilliant pick for those worried about money and health.

Want to know more? Read our full review of the JLL RE100 Recumbent Home Exercise Bike here.

Best Entry Level Recumbent Bike:

JLL RE600 Pro Recumbent Exercise Bike

Key Features

  • Resistance – Magnetic resistance system 
  • Flywheel – 6 KG flywheel 
  • Belt – Direct belt-driven system
  • Monitor – LCD monitor that shows the time, distance, speed, calories burned, wattage, heart rate, and recovery heart rate
  • Crank – Strong 3-piece crank system
  • Adjustable Seat – Horizontal and height seat adjustments are available
  • Handlebars – Stationary with pulse rate sensors built-in
  • Pedals – Adjustable toe straps 
  • Transport – Built-in wheels 
  • Max weight limit – 135 KG
  • Dimensions – 147.5 cm x 66 cm x 130 cm 
  • Item weight – 41 KG
  • Lots of electronic, magnetic resistance levels to choose from
  • Contoured padded handlebars
  • Soft padded seat
  • Horizontal & vertical seat adjustments
  • Adjustable toe straps
  • Assembling the JLL RE600 Pro can be a little tricky
  • The iConsole app integration could be better


Not everything has to be cheap and cheerful, but striking a balance between price and quality is certainly the aim of many gym gear brands. And the RE600 is the perfect example of this.

While the engineering quality is what you’d expect from an entry-level recumbent bike, with a superbly designed electronic, magnetic resistance system, smooth belt drive system and a well-balanced flywheel, it’s the onboard console that shines through here.

The LCD display lets you track all of the obvious stats: time, distance, speed, heart rate, RPM, and calories. But what’s more impressive is the combination of workout programs and user accounts. The 12 workout programs provide great variety in different styles of cardio training. Blend this function with the 4 user accounts available, and suddenly you have an arsenal of styles and approaches perfect for accommodating bad knee progression. In short, you can make use of the user accounts in categorising your injury, for example, from gentle and accommodating workouts to sessions that could push you if your knees are feeling stronger.

Other than that, I liked how the seat that’s included with the JLL RE600 recumbent bike can be easily adjusted both horizontally and vertically. As a result, I found that I was able to get my body into a comfortable riding position. Not to mention, high-quality padded materials have been used for the seat, which enabled me to stay comfortable, especially during my longer workouts. 

A brilliant entry-level bike with enough dexterity to accommodate for different states and strength-based progression.

Want to know more? Read our full review of the JLL RE600 Pro Recumbent Exercise Bike here.

Best All Rounder Recumbent Bike:

Life Fitness RS3 Recumbent Bike (track connect console)

Key Features

  • Console Customization
  • 20 Resistance Levels
  • 13-position seat adjustment
  • Ergonomic design
  • Customised positioning
  • Easy mobility
  • Step through design
  • Power required for Track Connect console 
  • Contact Heart Rate Sensors and telemetric (chest strap included)
  • Non-slip, self-balancing pedals
  • Deluxe two-grip handlebars
  • Console choice
  • Mobility for added off-machine ease and comfort
  • Grip options due to dexterous handlebars
  • Accessory features for added use
  • Go Console is a tad limited compared to Track Connect Console
  • The Track Connet Console is much more expensive than the Go


Striking a balance even further, the Life Fitness RS3 Recumbent Bike gives you an across-the-board approach to indoor cycling. With features like deluxe two-grip handlebars and the non-slip self-balancing pedals, you can be sure to make use of the extras and wider features on a safe and comfortable bike. And with a safe and easy step-through design, accommodating for risk-free mounting and dismounting, you can really focus on your fitness without worrying about health factors.

So what are the wider features?

Well, the RS3 gives you 20 resistance levels, 14 workout programs and mobile device compatibility. The enhancement grade device compatibility really blend with the workout programs and resistance levels in giving you a multi-tooled approach to recumbent spinning. These options are great for those seeking variation and multiple ways to accommodate for different health states. You want a machine that can mould to your day-to-day needs, and the RS3 does exactly this.

Life Fitness manufacture some of the best machines out there – clues in the name – Life Fitness give you machines that last, and we want to find the right purchase to help you maximise the time taken before potentially having to buy another.

A great all-rounder with a focus on adjustability, comfort and safety first. When you feel the power of the programs and wider features, you’ll realise the effectiveness of your purchase.

Want to know more? Read our full review of the Life Fitness RS3 Recumbent Bike here.

Best Recumbent Bike Under £1500:

Sole LCR Recumbent Exercise Bike

Key Features

  • 1-40 Resistance levels
  • Foot pedals with 2-degree inward slope
  • Console 10.1″ TFT LCD Graphic Display
  • Cooling fan
  • Integrated Bluetooth Speakers
  • MP3/Apple connectivity
  • USB Charging
  • Tablet/Smartphone Holder
  • Multi-Position Hand Grips
  • Bluetooth compatible
  • Contact heart rate monitoring
  • Superior resistance level options for varied workouts and eventual progression potential
  • Beastly aesthetics for a more serious workout look
  • 14 kg flywheel for a realistic feel and weighty experience
  • Enhanced engineering for safety and user-friendliness
  • App integration for tech-enhanced workouts, giving you guidance and progression (Oh, and entertainment options)
  • Same basic console Sole are criticised for
  • More serious look may only be for some


Trying to get the most out of your money is an obvious way to buy. We all want the same – quality for a reasonable price, and if you have the funds, then this Sole LCR Recumbent Exercise Bike is a great choice. While it may seem like a hefty investment, purchasing an indoor cycle that’s under £1,500 is a great price range for quality gained.

Let’s find out why.

With a 14kg flywheel, strong max user weight and 40 resistance levels in total, you’re buying a heavy-duty machine. And with heavy-duty builds comes the room to add a variety of outstanding features. From MP3/Apple connectivity to a cooling fan system, the LCR truly is a hub of fitness lifestyle tools. And if you have bad knees, then you’ll want to take advantage of everything that could accommodate here.

Recumbent bikes can often miss the mark of realism, and while there are bikes out there that do a far better job in that field, this machine is pretty close, especially for a recumbent bike. I want to feel like I’m riding heavy even if I’m comfortable or relaxed, and because of the reclined position, I can stretch out my routines and focus on endurance as well as HIIT training. And to help you ride safely in times of intense output, you can utilise the LCR’s multi-position hand grips, incredibly useful cooling fan, foot pedals with a 2-degree inward slope and cushioning seat to help optimise your riding position.

This entry is a beast and one that could enhance your fitness lifestyle in ways you couldn’t imagine. Make sure to check this one further if you’re interested, but if you’re not quite sure if the money’s worth it – you will be on a second read, I’m sure.

Want to know more? Read our full review of the Sole LCR Recumbent Exercise Bike here.

Best Of The Best Recumbent Bike:

Life Fitness Integrity Series Standard Recumbent Bike with SE3 HD LCD Console

Key Features

  • Step through design
  • Interchangeable pedals
  • Accessories holder
  • Comfortable ride easy adjustment
  • Wide pedals for comfort
  • 25 resistance levels
  • Sleek and modern design
  • Valuable asset management data
  • Wireless internet connection
  • Seat side handlebars
  • Wide Ride Pedals (wide pedals)
  • 41 fine-tuned seat adjustments
  • Pedal straps
  • Requires limited maintenance
  • Quiet operation
  • Great training versatility from the poly v belt resistance belt
  • Minimal mechanical drag
  • Commercial fitness equipment standard
  • Doesn’t weigh up close to the Deluxe version
  • Wide ride pedals can be a little uncomfortable for some


It’s all well and good when a bike is comfy or houses great adjustment variation, but it’s important to be able to adjust parameters mid-ride, too, especially if you’re being anatomically conscious.

With over 40 fine-tuned seat positions, integrated accessory tray and step-through design, this machine is one of the comfiest rides out there. But don’t get too comfortable – the classic poly v belt resistance system is back, giving you both the potential for a challenge and a quiet ride while doing so. But what of those mid-ride adjustments if you’re sweating it out?

Thankfully, the Integrity Series Standard Recumbent Bike lets you mould it to your needs even when you’re halfway through a workout. Hassle-free adjustments like the simple pedal straps or 41 fine tunes seat adjustments really let you focus on the stuff that matters – performance. Knee injuries can really grate your performance and focus, so in being comfortable that you can harness that focus, you’re really maximising your fitness potential and looking after your knees at the same time. Saying goodbye to knee problems may be a stretch, but depending on the severity of your issues, bikes like this can certainly mute them for days to come.

The Discover SE3 HD Console is great too. Life Fitness expert consultants often boast that regular classes are added to the console frequently. This gives you a potentially updated experience every time you gear up to ride. To help accommodate for those updates and give you the freshest experience yet, the SE3 console boasts a 21.5-inch 1080p TV. In short, you get crisp, quality technology for whenever you want it. Features like this can transform your riding experience and propel your machine into much more than an indoor cycle.

A top-notch entry optimised for posture and mid-ride safety. Check this one further now.

Want to know more? Read our full review of the Life Fitness Integrity Series Standard Recumbent Bike with SE3 HD LCD Console here.


Whether you want an Exerpeutic 400xl folding recumbent bike, a Schwinn 270 recumbent bike, or a Marcy recumbent exercise bike, if the bike isn’t on this list, then it exists somewhere. I’m more than confident that no matter your knee injury, the right bike does exist in this list, and all of these recumbent exercise bikes are great for knee rehab, so if you’re still unsure, have a quick weigh-up of ones that took your fancy. Weight capacity, body weight, magnetic resistance – I don’t blame you if it feels like there’s too much to look out for, so be sure to focus on the most important aspect of these bikes.

Finding the right exercise bike for knee pain was never going to be easy, but I hope this list made it somewhat more achievable. I personally love the fact that we have so many options when it comes to top-tier rehabilitative bikes, so make sure other bikes on your list properly compare to these ones.

Always remember, upright bikes are great for a more natural position, and recumbent bikes are brilliant for a more relaxed riding position. No matter your preference, there’s a bike to accommodate. Make sure to apply your pros and cons and carefully consider the best exercise bike for bad knees now.


Are the best exercise bikes stationary bikes?

In the world of indoor fitness, then yes, absolutely. However, road bikes and other outdoor variants are brilliant in their own rights, let alone the ability to take advantage of outdoor terrain variation, amazing scenery and external fitness health benefits.

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