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Using the recumbent bike is a lot more comfortable but it also feels a lot more "lazy".

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Any reason why you feel it's lazy? Have you even checked your heart rate during both workouts? –  Ivo Flipse Apr 4 '11 at 8:12
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3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The primary advantage is you won't be putting any pressure on your genitals, causing them to go numb. This will depend on how upright you're sitting and on the seat as well, but having had my crotch go numb once, followed by a pins and needles feeling as blood got back in I just don't use an upright bike anymore.

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Note that a properly fit upright bike with a good seat won't have this problem, but it's common that stationary exercise bikes have seats that are much too large and cause those sorts of issues. –  freiheit May 17 '11 at 23:17
    
I usually mountain bike 50-100 miles per week in the summer and have never had this problem, nor heard of anyone having this problem. As @freiheit said, it seems like a fit problem. I find it bizarre that this is the accepted answer, given that there seem to be pretty substantial kinesiological differences between the two. –  Doc Feb 19 '13 at 0:16
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You'll likely work your core slightly more on an upright bike.

Upright bikes require more core engagement to support your upper body. I qualified it with "likely" and "slightly" because that level of engagement is going to depend on how you personally ride the bike. If you are leaning heavily on your arms you are going to be taking more strain off your core for support as opposed to someone who is riding in a more neutral position. The seat in a recumbent bike provides the core support isolating the legs from the upper body more completely.

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Care to explain how or why this is @Matt? –  Ivo Flipse Apr 4 '11 at 8:16
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Upright bikes require more core engagement to support your upper body. I qualified it with "likely" and "slightly" because that level of engagement is going to depend on how you personally ride the bike. If you are leaning heavily on your arms you are going to be taking more strain off your core for support as opposed to someone who is riding in a more neutral position. The seat in a recumbent bike provides the core support isolating the legs from the upper body more completely. –  matt Apr 4 '11 at 14:26
    
I deleted my comment about extension because I misspoke. Poor extension isn't really limited to recumbent bikes, I just feel like I see people more frequently exercising with sub-optimal leg extension on recumbent bikes as opposed to upgright bikes. Both styles of bikes are adjustable and improper settings are a product of the lack of experience and knowledge of the user, not the equipment. –  matt Apr 4 '11 at 14:32
    
If you add that information to your answer, it would be quite good ;-) –  Ivo Flipse Apr 4 '11 at 15:19
    
Sorry about that, I should know better. I'll do out as soon as I'm back at the computer. –  matt Apr 4 '11 at 17:07
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You'll find that they let you utilize two different groups of muscles.

http://www.livestrong.com/article/234050-what-muscle-groups-do-recumbent-bikes-use/ may help...

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Care to explain which two muscle groups you use and why you use them? –  Ivo Flipse Apr 4 '11 at 19:20
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