Does Peloton Have A Recumbent Bike? (Explained)


Peloton offers thousands of on-demand classes from strength all the way to cardio and even meditation. It also makes bikes and treadmills. However, does peloton make a recumbent bike?

In general, peloton does not make recumbent bikes. The only bikes peloton make are upright stationary bikes, similar to the ones in the indoor cycling class. However, you can still use the Peloton digital app and follow the workouts while using the recumbent bike.

Keep reading to find out how to use a recumbent bike with the peloton app, the benefits, and the best peloton rides for the recumbent session.

Is Peloton Bike Recumbent?

In general, the peloton bike isn’t a recumbent bike. The recumbent bike places the person in an extended, laid-back reclining position. On the other hand, the peloton bike is an upright bike where the body rests entirely on an ischium bone also called the sitting bone.

What I like about the recumbent bike is the large sitting area. Not only it allows for better comfort, but it releases tension from the lower back muscles. The only downside is that with less hip flexion you cannot generate peak force as you would do on the regular peloton bike.

However, from my experience, people who are looking for recumbent bikes are either beginners, seniors, or people with a limited range of motion. This means the higher power and intensity aren’t recommended there anyway. The most important part is comfort and minimum risk of injury.

Can You Get a Good Workout On Recumbent Bike?

As a whole, you can get a good workout on the recumbent bike because it engages the same muscle groups as an upright bike. The recumbent bike also allows for less pressure on the tail bone, lower back, and minimizes ACL loads.

The seat position on the upright bike is almost vertical, wherein recumbent bikes are almost horizontal. This can give an illusion of different muscle group engagement and, therefore, different workout effects. However, nothing can be further from the truth.

Research

A study done by Dr. Alexandre Dias Lopes from the Universidade Cidade de Sao Paulo in Brazil documented muscle activation during the exercise on the upright and recumbent ergometers using the EMG (Electromyography).

A group of ten males with no cycling experience pedaled on standard recumbent and upright ergometers. The goal of this study was to assess differences in pedaling kinematics.

Results

The results showed no significant difference between the two bikes (Lopes et al. 2014). The muscle engaged during both rides were the same. The only difference was in the level of muscle activity.

The hamstrings semitendinosus showed the biggest difference in muscle activity. The recumbent bike had 29.9 versus the upright bike showed 22.

On the flip side, the rectus femoris (part of the quadriceps) showed higher EMG activity on the upright bike with 32.2, compared to the recumbent bike 20.4.

Another big difference was noticed for the calf muscle.

The anterior (front) part of the calf had 26.7 on a recumbent bike, compared to 21.9 on the upright bike.

And finally, when it comes to the gastrocnemius-soleus complex, the EMG activity between the two was almost identical.

MuscleRecumbent BikeUpright Bike
Rectus Femoris20.423.2
Semitendinosus29.922
Tibialis Anterior26.721.9
Medial Gastrocnemius3434.1
Muscle activation in an upright bike vs recumbent bike

As you can see, the results showed that you can get as good a workout on the recumbent bike as you would from the regular upright bike.

Learn more: Click here to read more about using the peloton without cycling shoes

Recumbent Bike with Peloton App

Using a recumbent bike with a peloton app is a great combination because not only it allows for a more diverse and guided workout with a variety of sessions. But also helps to stay motivated and be part of the community.

Using the Peloton digital app together with a recumbent bike can transform boring workouts into more challenging and fun experiences. Running and cycling are two of the most popular methods of physical activity.

However, they are not tolerated by everyone and also have a high incidence of injuries. Especially for people who just getting started, or have mobility limitations.

With recumbent bike is different. There is a limited impact on the joints and reduced lower leg loading rates, even compared to regular walking. Which makes the recumbent bike an excellent alternative for exercise and rehab modalities.

Can You Do A Peloton Class On a Recumbent Bike?

In general, you can do peloton class on a recumbent bike because most of the classes are from the saddle. Peloton classes like low-impact, speed, or endurance are all done in the seated position where you only increase the resistance or cadence.

This means you can mimic the peloton workouts directly from the recumbent bike. All you need is a peloton digital membership and a mobile device like a phone or tablet. You just place your device on the panel screen in front of you and follow the instructions from the class.

Can you use any exercise bike with a peloton? In general, you can use any exercise bike with a peloton, as long as it’s stationary. Regardless if it’s an upright bike or a recumbent bike, you can stream cycling classes directly from the Peloton digital app and connect the cadence sensor.

What is a cadence sensor? Generally speaking, a cadence sensor is a device you can attach to the pedals or you can place it inside the shoes. The device will connect to the peloton app and will start to sync with your speed and cadence, so you can receive more precise data.

Learn more: Click here to read more about using the best peloton classes for weight loss

How To Use Recumbent Bike With Peloton App

Here is the video below you can see a great presentation from the SilverSneakers where they explain how you can use a recumbent bike.

All you need is to place your device with the peloton app on the screen in front which shows you the metrics and data.

Best Peloton Rides For Recumbent Bike

Generally, you can use any peloton cycling classes on the recumbent bike. However, some of the classes do include standing and doing a class out of the saddle, which is not recommended for a recumbent bike. Here are the best peloton recumbent bike workouts.

#1 Low Impact

Low impact is perfect for people who are just getting started. It is a series of classes where you stay in the saddle for the entire duration of the session. This class lasts anywhere from 10 to 45 minutes where you gradually increase the resistance or speed.

Why low impact is good for the recumbent bike? In general, the low-impact class is good for the recumbent bike because it’s a good start and helps to build up aerobic capacity. Starting from lower intensity helps to minimize muscle soreness, improve body ability to recover, and slowly build strength and stamina.

#2 HRZ Endurance

Heart rate zone endurance is similar to low impact, however, those classes last for longer. The session is usually focused on long-distance and the class can last up to 75 minutes. To find the HRZ endurance rides you need to filter the class by “class type” and choose “heart rate zone”.

Why HRZ endurance is good for the recumbent bike? It gives an alternative way to implementing progressive overload, instead of adding more resistance or speed. Increasing the duration of the class is an effective way to progress and challenge yourself, without reaching the anaerobic threshold.

#3 Power Zone Ride

Power zone ride is another step forward. It is similar to climbing classes, but without standing off the saddle. The climbing is done by adding resistance. Power zone ride has its separate filer tab in the peloton app under “power zone”.

Why power zone ride is good for the recumbent bike? Power zone ride works on muscle strength by gradually increasing the resistance while staying in the saddle. It allows to increase the heart rate, work towards the lactate threshold, and improve cardiovascular fitness.

#4 HIIT Ride

HIIT ride is a combination of hills and interval training. The class is shorter in duration, but it’s a higher cardiorespiratory demand. Classes run between 15 to 30 minutes. The goal is to ride faster for an amount of time, followed by the recovery time.

Why HIIT ride is good for the recumbent bike? The HIIT ride is good for recumbent bikes because it challenges both aerobic and anaerobic fitness. High speed and high resistance efforts engage both type 1 and type 2 muscle fibers, build up strength and conditioning, and also help to burn more calories in a short time.

Learn more: Click here to read more about the best peloton classes for seniors

Best Recumbent Bike For Peloton

In general, the best recumbent bike for peloton will be the one that you feel the most comfortable with and will last for a long time. I’ve only used the commercial recumbent bikes in the gyms I’ve worked so I cannot tell you what brand is the best.

From my experience, the absolute best piece of equipment I’ve been on is LifeFitness and Technogym. Those machines can work 24 hours without any problem for several years. But they also come with a steep price. If you want to check out more information go ahead and visit the

Recumbent Bike or Peloton?

If you’re on the fence between choosing the peloton bike or recumbent bike I will try to give you some guidance to help you make a smart decision. As with everything, there are some pros and cons of getting either one or another.

Should I get a recumbent bike or peloton? In general, you should get a Peloton bike if you don’t have any contraindications for using the upright bike. However, the recumbent bike is a perfect alternative if you have any limitation in range of motion or you’re concerned about your knees or lower back.

ProsCons
Peloton BikeAccess to leaderboard
Allows to ride in and out of the saddle
Generates more power and can burn more calories
Takes time to set up
Require delta cleats and cycling shoes
Can put pressure on knees and lower back
Small seat and can hurt the backbone
Recumbent BikeMinimizes injury risk
No pressure on lower back or knees
Easy to set up
The seat is large and comfortable
Doesn’t allow to move out of the saddle
Doesn’t generate optimum output
Peloton vs Recumbent Bike

Will Peloton Have a Recumbent Bike?

As far as of now, the peloton didn’t announce any plans about releasing a recumbent bike. At the moment you can only get a Peloton bike, peloton bike+, peloton tread, and peloton tread+. However, you still can use the Peloton app while using the recumbent bike.

Conclusion

The combination of the recumbent bike with the peloton app not only can provide a better experience but also offers a variety of workouts. This means you can get a good workout, without worrying about knees, hips, or lower back.

What I like about the recumbent bike is the seat. One of the chief complaints I get from people using the upright bike is the uncomfortable seat. This can be a real issue, especially for beginners or bigger people. With a recumbent bike, this problem is solved with a large and comfortable sitting area.

Michal Sieroslawski

Michal is an exercise physiologist (MSc), nutrition coach, Ashtanga teacher, and fitness blogger. He shares his successes and failures to help busy men and women squash down 20, 50, or even 100 pounds of fat without leaving their home.

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