The Marcy ME709 Recumbent Bike is a great way to work out the legs and buttocks without the saddle soreness or other physical strain that comes with riding a regular stationary bike. When riding a recumbent bike, there is no need to hunch the back or bear excessive weight on the wrists. The user’s neck stays aligned with the rest of the back and the perineal nerve suffers less compression, both of which are important spinal strains to avoid when exercising. This is a no-frills, great bike for beginners, users with physical limitations and advanced users alike and sells for an affordable $140 new to $130 used on Amazon with free shipping. Marcy has made top of the line home and gym equipment for over 70 years and backs all of their machines with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
- Eight levels of magnetic resistance
- Padded vinyl covered seat
- Seat is adjustable for users of different heights
- Digital readout tracks speed, time, distance and calories burned
- Pedals have adjustable foot straps and are counterbalanced to keep the engaging foot in an upright position
- Foam covered handlebars and assist bars
- Made of strong, 14 gauge steel tubing
- Can accommodate up to 300 pounds of weight
The bike is well-built, made of sturdy powder coated steel and comes with 8 resistance levels to help exercisers stay motivated. The easy to use console has an extra-large digital display and tracks distance, time, speed and calories burned. The console can be set to alternate every few seconds between distance, speed and calories burned, or set to remain fixed on just one reading. The step through frame and 16 inch seat height makes it easy for those with limited mobility to mount the bike without overextending the hip or knees.
The seat is also horizontally adjustable to accommodate most heights comfortably. Resistance can be set very low as well, so beginners or those who need lighter exercise can still benefit from a workout that is tailored to their needs. High resistance, settings 7 or 8, is very challenging so users who want more intense exercise will feel the burn. It’s very quiet, so it can be used any time of day without disturbing roommates or waking up family members. It also won’t drown out a favorite television show or music, so users won’t become bored just listening to the drone of the motor.
This equipment only weighs about 56 pounds and is easy to move with the built-in mobility wheels. Despite its lightness, it is constructed from very sturdy 14 gauge steel tubing that can handle up to 300 pounds so most shapes and sizes can use it without worrying over premature equipment failure. The shipping package includes a nice ABS plastic shroud cover to keep the bike from collecting dust, although it’s so much fun to use that shouldn’t be a problem.
There is no heart rate monitor, which is a serious drawback for people with special health needs. It would be a good idea to purchase a wristband heart monitor if heart health is a concern or if users need help targeting fat burning vs. cardio intensities. While the vinyl coated seat is padded, it still feels hard after about 30 minutes of use. The seat also isn’t tilted like most recumbent machines; it’s completely horizontal, putting more weight on the glutes rather than distributing it between the buttocks and the back. Those who enjoy exercising longer than 30 minutes will probably prefer adding a pillow or cushion to the seat bottom and seat back to make it more comfortable.
The bike also comes in a package that requires some assembly. It should only take most buyers about 20 minutes to assemble, but installing the tension handle may require a helper. The LCD control panel cannot be plugged into the wall. It runs on two AA batteries, which aren’t included with the bike. There are also no pre-programmed workouts and the magnetic resistance adjusts with a manual knob, but it’s a small trade in turn for this machine’s affordability and durability.
Marcy’s recumbent bike helps users burn more calories because it works the largest muscles in the body but still results in less perceived exertion due to its angle of use and comfort compared to a standard exercise bike. Because it does not require the use of the handlebars for balance, it’s easy to read a magazine or book during the work out; this is perfect for students, moms or busy executives who can never find time to read and want to multi-task. The nicest aspect of this exercise machine is that it is affordable enough to make fitness a reachable goal for everyone. Most of the drawbacks are fixable with a little small effort or expense, such as using an extra cushions for the hard seat or buying a heart rate monitor. For the price, it is well-built and sturdy enough to handle light or heavy-set users and will last long enough to make the purchase a bargain. In short, the Marcy ME709 recumbent bike has everything that matters for a good work-out.
Marcy Recumbent Bike Video Review