Xterra Fitness are a company that doesn’t make high-end stuff, and they don’t make cheap, lightweight gear either.

This is a company that sort of sits in the middle of the quality and price brackets with all their equipment. And their Xterra Recumbent Bike is no different. I’d call it a mid-level recumbent for people on a budget. This is what Xterra Fitness has always managed to do so well. They produce sturdy, well-made equipment for much less than their competitors like Scwhinn and Nautilus.

The SB2.5r is a Recumbent That Delivers on All The Essentials

What you’re going to love about his recumbent bike is that it gets most things right, the flywheel is heavy, so you have a smooth, strong resistance, the seat is comfy, and you have the walk thought frame design and a ton of workout programs and resistance levels. But, best of all, the Xterra SB2.5r is sturdy; it almost feels heavy duty. It’s a recumbent bike that punches way above its price tag on features and build quality.

It’s certainly the best value recumbent bike Xterra makes. A bike I think is worth taking a closer look at, so today we’re going to take a look at everything this bike has to offer, and at the end of the review, I’ll compare it to another best seller in this price range the Harison recumbent bike, as it will be interesting to see how they match up.

First, a quick look at the Xterra SB2.5r recumbent bike specs!

Product Specifications


Product dimensions –   58.8″ L x 27.7″ W x 41″ H


Weight – 108lb


Resistance Type – Magnetic


Resistance levels – 24


Frame – Steel tubing


Adjustable Seat – Yes


Weight Capacity – 300lb

Why Do We Like The Xterra Recumbent Bike?

The weight of a recumbent bike will give us a good clue to the overall quality of the parts used in the build. Most recumbent bikes costing under $400 weigh 50-70lb which is what I’d expect for a low-cost machine. But the Xterra SB2.5r weighs 108lb assembled. This is heavy for a $400 recumbent bike. So we know this isn’t some cheaply made recumbent bike.

It’s a sturdy machine. That extra weight not only tells us this recumbent bike is higher in quality than its competitors but also that extra weight will help keep this recumbent planted to the floor, it’s almost heavy-duty, which is surprising for a recumbent bike in this price bracket.

And this is what I like most about this recumbent bike; it’s a heavy, sturdy, well-made machine.

10 Position Large Padded Seat

Something else that impressed me was the seat. Firstly, it’s adjustable, which is important. It has ten positions which should easily allow you to find the perfect seating position for your size with a height range of 5ft to 6’4″. Also, the seat is wide, padded, and contoured. Users have pedaled for hour-long sessions on this bike and said how comfy it was.

The only seat feature you won’t find on a recumbent bike in this price bracket is an adjustable backrest, which is a shame as it’s a useful feature for people with back problems. Still, you need to spend twice the price of this recumbent bike to find an adjustable backrest.

And the backrest isn’t vented, so there’s no air getting to your back while you work out.

Overall it is a decent seat for a recumbent bike. Most importantly, it’s comfy and offers enough support that stability isn’t an issue.

24 Levels of Magnetic Resistance

I’d always recommend choosing a recumbent bike with magnetic resistance as it’s a frictionless resistance system which means it’s much quieter than the noisy air resistance systems. And also, because magnetic resistance is frictionless, there’s no maintenance involved which is always a good thing.

Impressive 22lb Flwyheel

Another positive of magnetic resistance is how smooth it feels. It’s not a jerky resistance system. The magnets never make any contact with the flywheel.

Next you want a heavy flywheel as that will make everything feel even smoother. And thankfully, the Xterra recumbent bike boasts one of the heaviest flywheels in this price bracket.

Weighing 22lb, the flywheel of the Xterra recumbent will ensure that the pedaling motion is extra smooth and that the resistance strength in the upper levels is strong. The weight of the flywheel is also one of the main factors that determines how strong the resistance feels.

Basically, you have a flywheel weight here that matches the mid-level recumbent bikes, so resistance strength is suitable for most fitness levels.

Can Adjust From The monitor

To adjust resistance strength, you can use the large quick-touch buttons on the monitor. You don’t have to manually adjust resistance strength from a tension knob like you do with most $400 recumbents.

5" xterra 2.5r monitor

Easy To Use Monitor With 24 Workout Programs

This is one of the better monitors I’ve come across in this price range. It’s not an advanced monitor or anything like that, as it’s impossible to find an advanced monitor at this price point. But it does include workout programs and heart rate monitoring.

In fact, you get a whopping 24 workout programs which are more than you find on most recumbent bikes, and as I already mentioned, the 24 resistance levels, which is more than enough for most users.

What I like most about his monitor is that it’s not over complicated, it’s easy to use, and the quick-touch buttons for resistance and workout programs really do help save time. There’s no need to scroll through loads of menus to find what you want.

You also have a 5″ LCD so you can easily view all your workout stats and a built speaker.

Overall it’s more than decent for the price. There’s nothing here to complain about.

Even Stays Stable on Uneven Floors

We already know this is a sturdy, well-made machine, but what if you have uneven floors? Thanks to the adjustable levelers, you shouldn’t have any issues.

The Xterra recumbent bike comes with built-in adjustable levelers. They’re built into the rear stabilizer bar, and you can adjust them independently to keep the recumbent stable on an uneven floor. It’s a handy feature you don’t always find on exercise bikes.

How Many Calories Can I burn on The Xterra SB2.5r?

When it comes to calorie burn, recumbent bikes aren’t much different from your standard upright exercise bike. They work the same muscle groups, such as your glutes and hamstrings.

Your glutes are the largest muscles in your body, and the hamstrings are three times larger than the quads. These large muscles have a high caloric output requirement, so just like an upright bike, you can burn up to 300 calories an hour on a recumbent bike.

Assembly 1-2 Hours

This is quite a heavy recumbent bike, so you might want a friend or family member to help you get the box in place.

The complicated stuff like the drive system and resistance system already comes pre-assembled. What you’ll need to do is attach the main two pieces of the frame together, add the bases of the bike, and connect the seat assembly, the front handlebar post, and the console. The whole process shouldn’t take longer than 2 hours.

Xterra provides all the tools for the job and an illustrated manual. 

The Good

Surprisingly heavy duty build for price point

Impressive 22lb flywheel ensures the pedal motion is smooth, and resistance in the upper levels is strong

Frictionless resistance system – whisper quiet and maintenance free

Uses a belt drive system which is much smoother and quieter than a chain drive system

Decent monitor with 5″ LCD and 24 workout programs

Comfy, wide adjustable contoured seat

Built-in transport wheels, adjustable levelers, speaker and handlebar pulse sensors

The Bad

No water bottle holder

Backrest isn’t vented

The tools supplied aren’t great, probably better to use your own for assembly



side view of harison recumbent bike

Harison Recumbent Bike

Harison hasn’t been around as long as Xterra, but they’re starting to make a mark and rival top companies like Sunny Health and Fitness in the low-cost price brackets.

I like their budget recumbent, it costs about $80 less than the Xterra, but it is still an impressive compact recumbent. Its best feature has to be the seat. It’s a 10-position seat, just like the Xterra seat, but it uses high-density foam for padding; this is the gold standard for cardio equipment and gym gear. High-density foam isn’t too hard to be off-putting or too soft to cause stability issues. It’s just right.

And the Harison seat is vented, so you won’t have to deal with a sweaty back when pedaling on this bike. The vented backrest allows the air to flow.

But perhaps what’s most surprising about this budget recumbent from Harison is that it includes a 20lb flywheel which is very impressive for such a low cost recumbent bike. It’s one of the only budget recumbent bikes that can be used by beginners and intermediates thanks to the strong resistance in those all important upper levels.

And the build quality is good, too. It’s a sturdy machine weighing 80lb, there’s enough weight there to keep things stable, and it doesn’t have that cheap feel like many of the lightweight recumbent bikes.

The only thing that lets the Harison bike down is its monitor. It’s very basic, just tracking your vital workout stats like distance, pulse, calories, and speed. There are no workout programs, and you have to adjust the resistance from the tension knob under the monitor; there’s no electronic adjustment.

Overall a well-built, well-equipped recumbent bike, with only a basic monitor letting it down. If you’re okay with a basic monitor, then it’s worth checking out this recumbent. It’s certainly proving to be a very popular choice right now.


To Sum Up

There’s nothing much you can fault about the Xterra recumbent bike. They seem to get most things right with the SB2.5r. I love the heavy flywheel and this machine’s sturdy build. It boasts everything that the much more expensive mid-level ellipticals do, apart from a few monitor features like BlueTooth.

I would have liked to of seen a vented backrest, but it’s a minor issue, not a deal-stopper. If you can get the Xterra Recumbent bike for $400 or under, it’s a bargain. It’s better than anything else I’ve reviewed in this price bracket, both on quality and features.