You must keep recumbent exercise bike safety in mind when you buy and use them because you want to improve your health, not injure yourself.
Therefore, whether you’re a champion on the road cyclist stuck working out inside by a blizzard, a 60-year-old who just got knee replacement surgery or a 90-year-old who just wants to keep your ticker ticking . . . safety must be your first consideration.
Because injuring yourself is not good for your health.
By their nature, indoor recumbent exercise bicycles are inherently safer than upright indoor stationary bicycles. You don’t want to fall from either one, but if you had to fall from one, obviously you’d rather fall from the recumbent cycle, because you’re much closer to the floor. The recumbent bike’s center of gravity is much lower.
And, because recumbent exercise bicycles tend to have wider seats, backs and arms, it’s a lot harder to fall from one than from an upright bicycle. An upright bicycle has just the same kind of small seat as a regular, on-the-road bicycle.
And that also means recumbent bicycles are a lot more comfortable.
Also, most injuries from riding upright bicycles come from people pedaling while standing up. While riding a recumbent bike, however, you can’t stand up.
What is the Safest Recumbent Exercise Bicyle Frame Design
Many recumbent bikes have a “step-through” type of design. That means the front with the handle bars is connected to the seat only by an aluminum bar that rests on the floor.
Recumbent bicycles without this feature are connected with a higher, more substantial frame.
The “step-through” design is generally touted as safer than a frame that requires you to lift your foot higher.
However, I’m not so sure.
You do not want to accidently kick the bicycle frame because you either have trouble lifting your foot high enough to clear a high frame or you just plain forget you have to raise your foot high.
It’s a lot easier for elderly or disabled people who have trouble using their legs or raising their feet to clear a one-inch bar on the floor than a piece of molded plastic a foot high.
However, anybody can forget that one-inch bar is there while they’re stepping through, and so they could still fall from stumbling over the little bar. Most people are probably more likely to remember that higher and obviously solid frame is there.
Therefore, they are more likely to make allowances for it. If they can’t step over it, they can just get onto the bike by approaching it from the rear.
So, I’d say take the one that most appeals to you.
What’s more important is to buy a bicycle with a sturdy frame that supports your weight. And it must be stable no matter how hard you cycle.
Normal recumbent bikes are designed to handle people who weight from 200-250 pounds. Some major brand names and models go up to 300 pounds.
And, let’s be clear, according to online reviews, many people weighing 400 pounds or so use these bikes designed for 300-pound people and say it works for them just fine.
That could be true, but they are probably stressing the frame, leading to a shortened life for the bike. And, if the frame actually breaks, that could cause an injury.
However, while you may have to look around, there are indoor recumbent bikes designed for people weighing 350 and 400 pounds.
If you weigh more than 400 pounds, consult with your doctor or physical therapist.
To get a stable bicycle, you’ll need a heavy frame. That’s especially true if it’s built to accommodate you or somebody else from 300-400 pounds.
That means you’ll need to make sure it has transportation wheels so you can move the bike around just by wheeling it to where you want it.
Pedals for Maximum Recumbent Exercise Bike Safety
To make the flywheel spin, you must apply the bottoms of your feet to the pedals and cycle.
Make sure the pedals on the model you buy are big enough for your feet. And get a model with straps on the pedals to keep your feet from slipping off.
Sometimes you’ll get tired and your feet just can’t keep up with the momentum without help.
Monitoring Your Heart Rate
If you’re a trained athlete, chances are you now monitor your heart rate during workouts to maximize the efficacy of your training.
Also, some people want to meet their fitness goals using High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
In this type of workout, you sprint at from 90-100% of your capacity for a short period of time (from 30-60 seconds).
Then you scale down to a slower pace during a recovery period.
Then you repeat.
The exact times vary with the person, their current physical condition and their goals. But it is possible to squeeze a highly beneficial workout into 12-20 minutes.
Both of these type of recumbent bike users might want to monitor their heart rate.
Some exercise bicycles have heart monitoring built in. However, you can also buy separate heart monitors. And some stationary bicycles have computer screens that will display heart rates captured from third-party monitors.
However, that’s optimizing your workout, not a safety concern.
But if you’re a heart patient or simply at risk because of your age or weight, using a heart monitor that either separate or part of the bike itself is a good idea.
If you know your resting heart rate, program the monitor to notify you if your heart beat goes too much beyond that.
If you get too out-of-breath, back off and rest.
If you experience chest pains, dial 911.
Many endurance athletes now use the Maffetone Factor to gauge and manage the intensity of their workout. It’s a simple formula devised by trainer Phil Maffetone.
Keep your heart rate below 180 minus your age. And modify it according to the factors explained on this page:
Therefore, the younger you are, the more intense training you can handle. As you age, you back off.
However, consistent practice improves your endurance and heart health.
Make Sure the Inner Mechanics are Covered
Recumbent exercise bikes have a flywheel that spins around. Some of them have a chain linking the flywheel to the sprocket you turn with the pedals.
These moving parts injure thousands of children every year. Therefore, make sure the bike you buy keep the inside parts covered, especially if you have children in your household.
Also, it’s a good idea to keep children off the bicycle altogether. It’s not a toy or a gymasium. They’re not designed to have children climbing round on them.
That’s because they’re easier on your lower back than upright bikes. They’re also easier on your joints. These bikes give you a terrific low-impact workout that’s even easier on you than walking.
Therefore, serious athletes who want to stay in shape for on-the-road cycling generally prefer upright stationary bikes.
But older, heavier and less strong people tend to prefer recumbent bikes for their indoor exercise.
You can integrate your exercise bike into your daily routine. As long as you choose one that makes little to no noise, you can watch TV, read, talk on the phone, listen to music, check your email, play games or do other things while you sit on your bicycle and keep pedaling.
Get tired? Just slack off on how hard you pedal. But you don’t have to move. Just keep lying back in your bike while you watch a movie.
Many scientific studies now show that one of the worst habits of modern life is sitting for long periods.
When you watch out for recumbent exercise bicycle safety you get to sit down, and still enjoy the benefits of regular, healthy exericse.