RECUMBENT BIKES

Know more about those unusual bicycles

Why have we chosen recumbent bikes instead of conventional bicycles ? We won’t pretend presenting those bikes all over again (you can find lots of information about it on the internet, e.g. Wikipedia). We just want to share our subjective feelings and point of view. The best way to make your own mind is to track one down and ride it !

 

SOME ADVANTAGES


 

Aerodynamics and speed

Lower than a upright bicycle, wind resistance is 10 to 20% less, which results in providing less efforts than conventional bicycles. In case of head wind, you’ll be thankful riding a recumbent bike ! Plus in descents and on flat roads, your maximum and average speeds will be higher than ever.

Comfort

With such a laid-back position, you feel more comfortable than ever : there is no strain on the superior parts of your body, having no ache on your neck, arms, wrists, hands, shoulders, lower back, and « sit bones ». Less pain, more fun.

Health

We both suffer from chronic back and neck pain. Recumbent bike position alleviate them. Also, because the leg position is nearly at the same height as the head, blood circulation to the heart is eased, resulting in ease to breathe and make efforts.

Safety

The recumbent bicycle’s low center of mass and short distance from the ground significantly reduce the consequences of a fall for the rider. Therefore, the consequences on head injuries are reduced. In case of fall, the bike will lay on its side and the panniers will touch the ground before the cyclist, softenig the fall for the biker.

Security

Who would think about stealing a bicycle which has nothing common with what most of people know ? Plus, to ride such a bicycle, you first need to practice, specially fully-loaded …

View angle

What a pleasure it is to enjoy the passing scenery and not look at the pavement ! You have a 180 degree-view angle which makes you appreciate and not miss anything during your ride !

 

FEW DRAWBACKS


 

Price and availability

Produced in few quantities and with high-quality materials, a recumbent is indeed much more expensive than a straight bicycle. There are also just few manufacturers and dealers all over Europe which might make them harder to find if you want to have a try or to buy one.

Ascents

This is not a real drawback but something you must be aware of : there is no way to ride standing up on the pedals, and you will have the feeling going slower than normal bicycles. Though, you can use the seat to help you pushing on the pedals and because of that laid-down position, you’ll breathe better and will feel less tired at the top of the hill.

Maneuverability

Recumbents have a larger turning radius and combined with the greater difficulties of balance, tight and low-speed maneuvers can be difficult. Though, this makes sense if you ride in a city and need to turn back watching the traffic.

Starting and balance

Riding a recumbent for the first time is a matter of balance and a skill which must be learned. It is best to learn from an experienced rider, who can help with a little push at first. Several rides may suffice to become confident enough. Riding at low speed and tight maneuvers can also be more challenging on a recumbent as you can’t shift your weight to help balance the bicycle.

Length of the frame

Some recumbent bicycle designs use longer frames than conventional bicycles. Longer frame designs are more difficult to transport if the bikes are shipped, or put on racks on automobiles. Also, the longer distance from the handlebars to the wheels can be problematic for cyclocomputers.

No more anonymity !

It is already difficult to remain anonymous while travelling by bicycle anyhow. Travelling with a recumbent bike will definitely make of you a freak of nature wherever you go, even when you are not riding with your panniers ! Though, it is a good way to meet people !

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