6 Best Exercise Bikes For Bad Knees: Low-Impact Bike Reviews

Do you suffer from bad knees, but you're still looking to exercise? Perhaps you recently underwent surgery and are looking for a way to help with rehabilitation? Keeping active is crucial for our physical health and can also work wonders when our body is recovering.

One way to fit in a quick exercise session from the comfort of your own home is by using an exercise bike. Exercise bikes are perfect for those with joint troubles because, unlike treadmills, which can add a lot of stress and strain on your joints and bones, exercise bikes are 'low impact' and therefore kinder to your joints.


Benefits Of Stationary Biking For Bad Knees

  1. 1
    Low Impact
    Many praise stationary bikes for those recovering from a recent surgery thanks to their low impact nature. Unlike a treadmill where each step places your entire body weight on your knee joint, cycling does exactly the opposite.
  2. 2
    Comfortable
    Indoor cycling is comfortable and convenient. When you're ready to exercise, simply hop on your bike, and away you go. Most exercise bikes are fitted with comfortable seats and adjustable pedals to increase your comfort and place less strain on your joints. After all, the last thing you want is an excuse not to use the bike.
  3. 3
    Customize Your Workouts 
    Many exercise bikes come with pre-programmed workouts with a specific goal in mind. Whether you're looking to shed some extra pounds or increase your cardiovascular fitness, there's guaranteed to be a workout for you. Some of the better models also allow you to build your own custom workout to meet specific objectives.

How To Select A Quality Exercise Bike For Bad Knees

If you're sold on an exercise bike, there are a few things to consider before diving in and making an investment. Understanding some of the basics is essential to make sure you get an exercise bike fit for your purpose.

Type Of Bike

There are typically two types of bike that you need to know about, and that's the recumbent and upright bike type. Generally, the recumbent type is better for those with joint pain thanks to its bucket seat, which takes even more pressure off the joints.

As the name suggests, the rider will sit straight up on an upright bike, much like a typical road bike. However, both types are safe and comfortable for people with any kind of joint pain.

Seat & Back Rest Width

Recumbent exercise bikes offer a larger seat than upright cycles. That's mainly because they're designed to promote good posture by providing a comfortable backrest and positioning the pedals in front of you. 

In upright bikes, it's uncommon to have a backrest. Typically, the seats are molded like traditional bikes, which can sometimes cause saddle soreness if used for long periods.

Comfort & Adjustability

Both recumbent and upright types offer great adjustability. For those with knee pain, you should ensure that the distance between the seat and the pedals can be adjusted, as a properly adjusted seat will put less strain on your knees.

Resistance Levels & Mechanism

There are two common types of resistance you need to know about: magnetic resistance and air resistance. Air resistance comes with infinite resistance levels, while magnetic resistance is adjustable depending on the user's abilities.

We recommend magnetic bikes for those with joint pain as they are easier to understand and make setting goals much more straightforward.

Footprint & Storage Features

Though recumbents are more comfortable, they take up quite a bit of space. This is why, when looking for a recumbent model, you should be aware of its three dimensions. Typically, a recumbent model sits around 50 inches in length and 30 inches in width, but some models cover a smaller footprint.

If you're strapped for space, a foldable upright exercise bike may be suitable. They may not offer the same comfortable seating, but they're still ideal for working out, especially for those suffering from bad knees.

Frame & Flywheel Durability

When picking an exercise bike, comfort shouldn't be the only thing in your mind. Durability and longevity should also be a factor to consider. To know what you should look for, use the bike's material construction as a reference to gauge the durability of your new equipment.

Models that use high-quality metal construction tend to last longer. The downside is they are often more expensive.

Weight Capacity

When picking your exercise bike, you should take note of the equipment's weight capacity. Make sure you choose something that will comfortably accommodate those who intend to use it. As a general rule of thumb, the higher the weight capacity, the more durable the equipment will be.

Extra Features & Accessories

Exercise bikes typically come with a simple computer that keeps track of distance, the calories you've burned, and at times they even come with advanced features such as a pulse monitor and workout presets.

Price & Warranty

Look for a piece of equipment that comes with a 1-year warranty as a minimum. Some manufacturers offer extended warranties at an additional cost, which we think can sometimes be worth it, especially if you're looking at using your exercise bike regularly.

As for the price, base models start at a few hundred bucks, but some models can go up to a few thousand depending on their features.


6 Best Exercise Bikes For Bad Knees Reviewed

1. JEEKEE

JEEKEE Recumbent Exercise Bike for Adults...
2,010 Reviews
JEEKEE Recumbent Exercise Bike for Adults...
  • 【Smooth & Quiet Recumbent...
  • 【Ergonomic Design】Large seat and backrest...
  • 【8 Levels Magnetic Resistance】JEEKEE sit...
  • 【Science Workout】LCD monitor on exercise...

Best For Seniors With Arthritic Knees

Bike Type

Recumbent

Dimensions (While in Use)

53.5” L x 19.3” W x 39” H

Levels of Resistance

8

Resistance Mechanism

Magnetic

Bike Weight

66 Lbs.

Max User Weight

300 Lbs.

Although the JEEKEE isn't necessarily designed for seniors with arthritic knees, it's easy to understand features and recumbent design make it the perfect choice for elderly folk with sore joints.

Thanks to its adjustable frame, this model can accommodate people as short as 4'9" and as tall as 6'5" comfortably. One complaint we did have about the JEEKEE is its seat, which isn't as sturdy as you'd like it to be. It can wobble at higher resistance levels, but not enough to put you off in your workout.

The JEEKEE comes with 8 levels of resistance, which provide a well-balanced workout that won't put too much of a strain on your arthritic knees. While some of the other models offer more when it comes to resistance levels, we find that 8 is the perfect amount for seniors, as they are simple to understand and adjust.

It also comes with a few other features, such as a multi-function monitor that covers the distance you've traveled, the calories you've burned, time, speed, and even a pulse monitor to keep track of your heart rate. Despite the wobbly seat, this model can comfortably hold users up to 300lbs.

For those that like to be entertained during their workouts, this model comes with an iPad holder, which you can use to keep yourself engaged for more extended periods on the machine.

Pros

  • The adjustable frame can accommodate short and tall users
  • Suitable for people with bad knees and people in rehab
  • 300lbs weight capacity

Cons

  • Wobbly seat

2. MagneTrainer-ER Mini

On Sale Today
MagneTrainer-ER Mini Exercise Bike Arm and...
  • CONVENIENT: Stuck at home? Get your physical...
  • VERSATILE: Molded pedals provide a...
  • SMOOTH & SILENT: Premium magnetic resistance...
  • PRECISE CONTROL: Our step-less intensity dial...

Best Mini Exercise Bike For Knee Replacement Rehab

Bike Type

Miniature

Dimensions (While in Use)

16" L x 9" W x 16" H

Levels of Resistance

20 For Both Arms And Legs

Resistance Mechanism

Magnetic

Bike Weight

23 Lbs.

Max User Weight

250 Lbs.

If you're strapped for space, then the MagneTrainer-ER Mini could be exactly what you're looking for - a small exercise bike that you can use anywhere in your house! We think this bike is ideal for those recovering from recent surgery, thanks to its extreme portability and ability to offer a low impact workout.

When it comes to exercise bikes, especially recumbents, once you've put it into one spot, it's likely going to stay there for a while and start collecting dust. If you don't have the luxury of having a lot of room in your home, you may need to pack your bike away after each use, which can quickly become a chore.

This mini exercise bike fixes that issue by being extremely compact and lightweight. You can comfortably sit on your couch or sofa and use the equipment. As an added bonus, you don't have to worry about noise either, as it doesn't generate as much as typical magnetic resistance bikes.

And for something so small and compact, the MagneTrainer-ER Mini provides 20 magnetic resistance levels. Levels 1-5 serve as a warm-up and cool-down exercises, 6-10 as light cardio and rehab, 11-15 as endurance training, and 16-20 as muscular toning. It also comes complete with a built-in computer that tracks distance traveled, calories burned, and time elapsed.

This mini bike can also be used on your arms for an intense upper body workout!

One downside of this design is that it doesn't have the same weight to ensure stability. One of the biggest complaints we have is that the machine can wobble while in use. Still, we think this is an excellent buy for those who may only be using the device for a short period.

Pros

  • Portable and compact
  • 20 resistance levels
  • Suitable for people who have bad knees and people who had recently recover from an injury
  • Can be used for an upper-body workout

Cons

  • Machine can be unstable during intense exercise

3. Stamina Elite Total Body

Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Bike with...
  • Eight levels of smooth, adjustable magnetic...
  • Multi-function electronic display with scan...
  • Includes both upper hand pedals and lower...
  • Comfortable, padded, adjustable seat with...

Best Total Body Exercise Bike For Bad Knees

Bike Type

Recumbent

Dimensions (While in Use)

50" L x 24" W x 49" H

Levels of Resistance

8 For Both Arms And Legs

Resistance Mechanism

Magnetic

Bike Weight

121 Lbs.

Max User Weight

250 Lbs.

If you're looking for an exercise bike that offers an amazing total body workout, then the Stamina is the one for you.

The Stamina provides an incredible workout for both your arms and legs. With its recumbent design, you'll be comfortably seated while working up a sweat from both upper and lower body exercises. Its single tension dial, meaning that both the handlebars and pedals share the dial, offers up to 8 resistance levels, perfect for people in rehab or those with bad knees.

Its construction is sturdy and durable, made from alloy steel, shown to last extended periods, even with rigorous use.

Thie Stamina comes with a max weight capacity of 250lbs, which is a little less than most other models we have reviewed. If you're looking for something to support heavier individuals, you may have to look at an alternative bicycle.

This model is useful for achieving an all-body workout; however, we think it's best not to do both simultaneously. The movement of both your arms and legs at the same time can become confusing and awkward, leading to a less focused session. For that reason, we would suggest exercising your legs and arms during different sessions to get the most out of your workout.

Another downside is this full-body workout exercise bike is quite expensive, so you would need to carefully weigh all of its pros and cons before buying.

Pros

  • Provides good workout for arms and legs
  • Manageable levels of resistance
  • Sturdy and durable

Cons

  • Working out the upper and lower body at the same time is awkward
  • Slightly reduced weight capacity of 250lbs.
  • Expensive

4. Marcy ME-709

On Sale Today
Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance...
  • STEP-THROUGH DESIGN – Featuring heavy-duty...
  • EIGHT RESISTANCE LEVELS – This stationary...
  • EASY-TO-READ COMPUTER SCREEN – The...
  • COMFORTABLE PADDED SEAT – The equipment has...

Best Cheap Exercise Bike For Bad Knees

Bike Type

Recumbent

Dimensions (While in Use)

55.5” L x 25” W x 37.5” H

Levels of Resistance

8

Resistance Mechanism

Magnetic

Bike Weight

61 Lbs.

Max User Weight

300 Lbs.

Now for a model that offers you the same benefits as any recumbent exercise bike but for an astonishing price. If you're not keen on investing a lot of money on an exercise bike, the Marcy ME-709 is an excellent solution.

Even though it's relatively cheap compared to a typical exercise bike, this model can still hold its own. It's fully adjustable, meaning it can accommodate all manner of heights, so it's perfect for use in a family home where you may be sharing equipment.

While its basic design might not win any beauty awards, it's still perfectly sturdy and durable. With a max weight capacity of 300lbs, it competes with some of the exercise bikes that are double the price, so it's definitely nothing to scoff at.

The Marcy still has an on-board computer with all the features you need, such as time, calories burned, and distance traveled. Unfortunately, it lacks a pulse monitor, which you'd see in most recumbent models nowadays. Keep in mind that the LCD screen doesn't have a backlight, meaning that it'll be hard to read if you aren't using it in a fairly bright room.

As a bonus, assembling the bike is also easy, though it may require an extra set of hands to help you.

Pros

  • Sturdy and durable
  • Adjustable to accommodate users of varying heights
  • Easy to assemble

Cons

  • No backlight on the LCD screen

5. Exerpeutic 400XL

On Sale Today
Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike with...
  • Foldable recumbent exercise bike with quiet...
  • Precision-balanced flywheel; 8-level...
  • Easy-to-read LCD display tracks your...
  • Can be used as desk bike with height...

Best Folding Exercise Bike For Bad Knees

Bike Type

Recumbent

Dimensions (While in Use)

20" L x 17" W x 46" H

Levels of Resistance

8 Only For Legs

Resistance Mechanism

Magnetic

Bike Weight

43 Lbs.

Max User Weight

300 Lbs.

Just like it's bigger brother, the 500XL folding bike, the 400XL foldable exercise bike comes from the well-known brand Exerpeutic. Many customers love the Exerpeutic brand thanks to its ability to provide a great workout, especially for people suffering from bad knees or stiffness in the joints.

Like most Exerpeutic models, this one is perfect for a home lacking in space. It boasts a foldable design that makes both moving and storing the equipment easy and stress-free. Even with its foldable design, this particular model can comfortably sit anyone that's under 300lbs.

The Exerpeutic 400XL comes with 8 levels of resistance that are great for joint pain or stiffness. If you anticipate taking up indoor cycling as your new hobby, 8 levels may not provide enough of a challenge in the long term, so you may want to consider a machine with increased resistance.

The 400XL boasts a comfortable, large seat and backrest to provide good lumbar support as you do your workout. Speaking of which, your workout is presented on a large LCD screen which shows you the distance you've traveled, calories burned, time, speed, and with the hand pulse sensors present in the handlebars on the side of the seats, it monitors your heart rate at the same time.

If you're looking for a model that's easy to pack away after use, this is a model that's worth investing in.

Pros

  • Foldable for easy storage
  • 300lbs weight capacity
  • Adequate resistance levels for people with joint pain or bad knees

Cons

  • Does not provide enough resistance for long-term use

6. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B2721

Sunny Health & Fitness Comfort XL Ultra...
  • Xl padded seat: extra-large fully padded seat...
  • Belt drive: low maintenance yet durable, The...
  • Performance monitor: monitor time, speed,...
  • Fully adjustable bike: extra large recumbent...

Best Upright Exercise Bike For Knee Rehab

Bike Type

Upright

Dimensions (While in Use)

32" L x 21" W x 49" H

Levels of Resistance

10

Resistance Mechanism

Magnetic

Bike Weight

38 Lbs.

Max User Weight

300 Lbs.

When looking for an exercise bike that delivers a quality rehab workout, it goes without saying that a recumbent model is best. However, don't overlook upright models as they are also a safe choice. Which to pick? It simply boils down to preference. If you're looking to replicate the feel of an outdoor ride on a typical bike, an upright model may be the better choice.

Despite being an upright model, the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B2721 comes with a comfortable seat with a backrest for added support. On the sides of the seat are handlebars that make getting on and off the bike a breeze, which is an excellent addition for those who may suffer from a lack of mobility.

Its robust frame build with a 300lbs max weight capacity is also foldable, meaning that you can store this model with the same ease as you would with the Exerpeutic 400XL.

The Sunny also comes with a handful of other features that you would expect with most exercise bikes. Features such as a performance monitor that tracks your time, speed, and distance. It also comes equipped with a pulse sensor to track your heart rate, conveniently built into the handlebars.

To keep you entertained, there's also a device holder where your iPad or Android device can sit. However, frustratingly, it can obscure the performance monitor when in use.

Pros

  • Comfortable seat and durable frame build
  • Built-in seat handlebars for safe use
  • Foldable frame

Cons

  • Device holder can obscure performance monitor

Stationary Bike Workout Guide For Bad Knees

We know you're excited and raring to go, but before you start your workout on any exercise bike, you should first get a feel for using it. Adjust the seat height to the distance that you're most comfortable with and spend some time reading through the instruction manual to ensure you understand how the bike works.

Although you may be inclined to push yourself as hard as possible, research has shown that low-intensity exercise can be as equally beneficial as high-intensity sessions, especially for those suffering from joint pain.

Most importantly is to warm up properly, ensuring you stretch your muscles to prevent further injury.

Check out this easy to follow beginner exercise for ideas on how to use your new bike.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

Which is better, an exercise bike or a treadmill for bad knees?

Exercise bikes provide a low impact workout compared to a treadmill, as running is considered a high impact activity. When running, you put your joints and bones through a lot more strain, which could be more detrimental for your condition rather than beneficial.

Exercise bikes don't come with that kind of risk, which is why we recommend them for people who suffer from bad knees.

What is the best exercise if you have bad knees? What exercise equipment is good for bad knees?

It's been shown that exercise bikes, particularly the recumbent design, offer the best workout for people with arthritic knees and people in rehab because of their comfortable design.

A recumbent's large and accommodating seat and backrest hold the weight of your body so that your legs don't have to, which offers less strain on the bones and joints on that part of your body while still giving it the exercise it needs.

Is it a good idea to use an exercise bike before a knee replacement surgery?

It is. Not only does it help to familiarize yourself with the workout that you'll soon be doing on a day-to-day basis, but it also helps ease the pain of your arthritic knees, helping to provide a more manageable and less painful road to recovery.

Where is the best place to buy these exercise bikes reviewed for bad knees?

When looking into purchasing any fitness equipment, Amazon is our go-to shop of choice. Not only do they have a vast stock of products for reasonable prices, but they also provide quick and easy delivery and excellent customer service.

However, Walmart is also a good choice if you're the type of shopper that prefers to see and feel the equipment before buying.


Conclusion

Congratulations! You're now armed with all the information you could need to go out and buy your own exercise bike to help you with your arthritic knees or aid you in your rehab.

If you're still not sure, head back to our first review of the JEEKEE Recumbent Exercise Bike, which we believe is the best choice when it comes to functionality and price.