A woman riding a stationary bike

Perhaps you didn’t know that a stationary bike is a good idea in the case of knee recovery. Yet after consideration, it makes sense. 

As a low-impact exercise and with ease of use combined, stationary bikes make for a great rehab tool!

On the flip side, something like knee replacement surgery can be a serious medical issue that drastically reduces a person’s ability to exercise. 

Coming full circle, this is where a stationary bike comes into its own. Or perhaps, a pedal exerciser for recovering knees is a good option for those in the healing phase to stay active. 

In this article, you’ll learn about different types of stationary bikes, along with some suggestions for bikes to purchase post-knee injury or surgery. 

I’ll share what I know – what to look for when selecting a bike, from upright to recumbent and spin bikes. 

So if you’re looking for a safe and comfortable ride for use after knee replacement surgery (to help you on your way to full recovery), this article is what you need to review and buy the best stationary bike for you!

Note: If you’re looking for bike recommendations straight off rather than reading any further, this Peloton Bike+ is my top choice:

Peloton Bike+ | Indoor Stationary Exercise Bike with 24” HD, Anti-Reflective Rotating Touchscreen
$2,100.00

Shop The Post: Upgrade your fitness and your rehab with the Peloton Bike +. A game-changing experience that goes beyond cycling in the comfort of your own home. Designed to fit into small spaces, this compact stationary bike offers an adjustable seat, handlebar, and 24" LCD screen to accommodate different heights and setups. Take control of your activity with an adjustable resistance knob and a 10-point multitouch screen. Unlock your full potential with a Peloton All-Access Membership, providing unlimited access to a vast content library on your Bike and the Peloton App for the entire household.

Buy Now
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02/18/2024 03:48 pm GMT

Why Stationary Bikes?

The benefits of using a stationary bike to help with knee recovery are:

  • Improved range of motion
  • Pain relief
  • Improved cardiovascular fitness 
  • Weight loss
  • Stronger leg muscles
  • Mental health benefits
  • Ease of use in your home whenever you like

Knee Injury And Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee injuries happen for numerous reasons, from sports injuries to nonspecific joint pain to degenerative conditions.  

With that, knee replacement surgery is a common treatment for severe knee issues that cannot be repaired otherwise. 

But what’s important to understand is the risks associated with knee surgery.

Depending on the severity of the injury or condition, the discussion may be either a total or partial knee replacement.

Now, in my view, it’s best to be prepared for such surgery (and discussions!) 

As someone who’s had bilateral ACL repairs, I’ve been on the surgical table, and I can’t tell you how much I wish I’d better prepared myself at the time. 

Therefore, prepare yourself by asking questions and researching what you need before, during, and after surgery. 

Also, follow instructions during recovery to prevent further damage to your knee joint. Healing takes time!

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is essential to the recovery process—to rebuild strength in the knee and help with the return to daily activities. 

Working with a physical therapist usually involves exercises such as stretches, range of motion activities, and strengthening exercises with weights or bands – all under the therapist’s guidance. 

In reality, the best exercises for building knee strength depend on the individual’s activity level before surgery and their specific needs after it. 

What I mean is (and without sounding too obvious) low-impact exercises such as recumbent cycling would certainly be better suited for those still recovering from an operation than high-impact activities such as running. 

A pedal exerciser

Choosing A Stationary Bike

Let’s say you’re ready to choose a stationary bike to help your knee recover from surgery or injury. Good on you! 

You’ll be helping keep your body fit while your knee heals simultaneously.  

I recommend choosing first what type of bike you would like. Are you looking for a recumbent exercise bike or an upright bike?

Secondly, the bike should be adjustable to your current mobility level and the level you hope to reach. 

Therefore, look for features such as adjustable seat height, seat angle, and tension knobs or straps that allow you to customize the training intensity.

In addition, many stationary bikes have Bluetooth connectivity, LCD screens, and consoles that track your progress. 

Some even have built-in speakers to listen to motivating music or watching movies while exercising! Keeping boredom at bay. 

For home use, consider the space in your home. Can you actually fit a bike in your space, or would it be better to join the gym instead and use their bikes?

You’ll want a comfortable bike for long-term use, meaning it’s important to check the seat cushioning, armrests, foot pedals, and handlebars for any (potential) ergonomic issues. I cannot tell you how much of a difference a comfortable seat makes to indoor bikes!

Recumbent Exercise Bikes (Pedal Exercisers)

Upright exercise bikes are an excellent option, but they can be challenging to get onto – especially if you’ve recently had knee surgery. 

This is where a pedal exerciser might be the best option. 

These floor-based machines provide a low-impact workout from the comfort of your chair or sofa at home. They’re a top choice due to their compact design and a better option for a smaller home gym in many aspects. 

There’s no ‘sit on’ seat involved, nor do you need to do any climbing to get onto a pedal exerciser. You simply sit down and put the pedal exerciser at your feet, ready to cycle. 

For Limited Space

If space is an issue in your home, this folding pedal exerciser is a great option:

Folding Pedal Exerciser

Drive Folding Pedal Exerciser with Digital Display

If space is of the essence, consider a folding pedal exerciser. Designed to be stored discreetly under the stairs or a table when not in use, this will get your legs moving and your heart pumping while allowing you to relax in comfort in your chair at home. Perfect for most post-knee-op recovery situations.

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Best Stationary Bike For Knee Replacement Recovery

This section talks about spin-type bikes, which are sit-on-top bikes, still stationary but a level or two up from a pedal exerciser. 

Bikes like these are ideal for milder knee injuries or a few months following knee surgery. 

Of course, before making a purchase, you need to be honest with yourself and consider your requirements.

From weight capacity to adjustable seat height and resistance levels, these factors all impact how comfortable you feel while working out on the bike.

With that said, the options listed below all suit different shapes, sizes, and budgets. These are my choices based on experience and reports from clients I’ve worked with over the years.

The Best All Around: Peloton Bike +

Peloton Bike+ | Indoor Stationary Exercise Bike with 24” HD, Anti-Reflective Rotating Touchscreen
$2,100.00

Shop The Post: Upgrade your fitness and your rehab with the Peloton Bike +. A game-changing experience that goes beyond cycling in the comfort of your own home. Designed to fit into small spaces, this compact stationary bike offers an adjustable seat, handlebar, and 24" LCD screen to accommodate different heights and setups. Take control of your activity with an adjustable resistance knob and a 10-point multitouch screen. Unlock your full potential with a Peloton All-Access Membership, providing unlimited access to a vast content library on your Bike and the Peloton App for the entire household.

Buy Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/18/2024 03:48 pm GMT

Best For Heavier Builds: Pooboo Exercise Bike

Pooboo Exercise Bike, Adjustable Magnetic Resistance Silent Belt Drive, Indoor Cycling Bike for Home Cardio Gym, Fitness Stationary Bike Machine with 350lbs/300lbs Weight Capacity, Monitor with Pulse ...
$37.99

Enjoy stability, comfort and modern aesthetics with the Pooboo exercise bike featuring a robust steel frame with 35lbs flywheel for a secure, realistic cycling experience. Fully adjustable with a 2-way handlebar, 4-way padded seat, and versatile resistance levels. It offers a comfortable indoor riding experience for muscle toning, weight loss, and cardiovascular health. The LCD monitor tracks exercise metrics, and the pulse handle provides real-time feedback. Safety features include a quick-stop resistance bar, a convenient monitor holder, and transport wheels for easy relocation. 12-month parts replacement guarantee and responsive customer service.

Buy Now
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02/17/2024 07:30 pm GMT

Best Low Budget Option: Sunny Health Indoor Exercise Bike

Sunny Health & Fitness Indoor Cycling Exercise Bike with Heavy-Duty 49 LB Chrome Flywheel, Stationary Bike with Customizable Comfort with 275 LBS. Max Weight - ‎SF-B1002

Experience an authentic and comfortable workout at home with this exercise bike's heavy-duty 49 lb flywheel, providing a smooth cycling feel. Enjoy a real road biking sensation with micro-adjustable leather resistance. The ergonomic design includes a high-quality non-slip handlebar and adjustable resistance for reduced fatigue during extended sessions. Stay focused on your exercise with the belt drive system offering quiet operation. Customize your comfort with a 4-way adjustable seat and 2-way adjustable handlebar. The bike's sturdy frame supports up to 275 lbs, and safety features like caged pedals and a quick-stop function provide a secure and safe ride.

Buy Now
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Summary

When considering any form of exercise bike for knee rehabilitation purposes, please remember to consider what you need

Unfortunately, it’s not about what you ‘want to have’ as many of you reading this will undoubtedly be recovering from knee surgery right now. 

Really, my best advice is to consider your individual needs. Whether you’re just starting out or already experienced in post-surgery workouts, there’s sure to be a perfect machine for you.

For more interesting reads, click here.

About the Author

Hi there! I’m Dr. Keagen Hadley, OTD, OTR/L. Straight out of the University of Mary, I’m all about blending my know-how in knee health, well-being, and medical technology. As a licensed occupational therapy doc, I’m here to translate complex concepts into clear, actionable insights – whether it’s knee care or groundbreaking healthcare tech.

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