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Pain Free Cycling - The 5 Coolest Bicycles

Updated on July 5, 2010

Are You Having Fun on Your Bike?

So why are you still riding a bicycle based on a 100 year old design? Traditional upright bicycles put your body in a very awkward and uncomfortable position. Their only real advantage is you are up high enough for cars to see you.

Since I was a child I have ridden just about every kind of bicycle. In fact it is my preferred mode of transportation. The problem is I like to ride… a lot! And after about 20 minutes my man gear starts to feel no joy in riding. Even with padded seats it simply isn’t right to ride around with a small piece of leather on a stick poking you in the butt. Not to mention how sore my wrists and neck would get.

So I made the switch… and it wasn’t easy because so few people have even heard of recumbent bicycles in the United States. I actually ordered mine from a company in the Nederlands (Netherlands).

The primary benefit is speed – recumbent bicycles are faster because your profile on the bike is more aerodynamic. A rider at 6mph will encounter 20% wind resistance and 80% rolling resistance. By the time you hit 25mph the ratio is reversed… you are now fighting 80% wind resistance and only 20% rolling resistance. So over 20mph the advantages of recumbents start to really kick in for speed.

I typically ride on the flats between 18-22mph which is about the same speed as high performance upright cyclists ride when pedaling comfortably.

Another advantage is of course the ride comfort as your body is not contorted in an uncomfortable position. There are many variations of recumbent bicycles so there is something for everyone and yes it’s possible to get a super low profile bike that is not that comfortable. The only real downside to a recumbent is when climbing hills. Because you can not stand up and take advantage of your weight, it’s all legs. It can be more difficult to climb hills. I ride for fun, so I don’t care about how fast I can go up hills. I just want to not hurt when I’m done and I love that riding in an upright position allows me to see more and enjoy more while I ride.

Challenge Bicycles

The Challenge "Hurricane" Bicycle
The Challenge "Hurricane" Bicycle

Challenge Hurricane

The Challenge Hurricane recumbent bicycle is manufactured by Challenge Bicycles in the Nederlands.  This Dutch company makes some of the most aesthetically beautiful and fun to ride bicycles in the world. What sets this bicycle apart besides it’s beautiful lines is it’s double powder coated aluminum frame, folding tiller steering, dual disc brakes, and rear suspension.  Take the pain out of your riding, turn heads, and have more fun!

Touring Bicycle by HP Velotechnik

HP Velotechnik "Grasshopper" Bicycle
HP Velotechnik "Grasshopper" Bicycle

HP Velotechnik Grasshopper Folding Bike

The HP Velotechnik is manufactured in Germany.  The Grasshopper is considered a “Touring Bicycle” as it includes dual suspension, and  rack options for carrying loads up to 50lbs.  Popular in Europe these bicycles are for people who like to set out on the open road and camp at night.  The most amazing feature of this bicycle is that it folds up into a very small and transportable size.

Rebumbent Trike by ICE

Inspired Cycle Engineering Recumbent Trike
Inspired Cycle Engineering Recumbent Trike

Inspired Cycle Engineering Trike

Inspired Cycle Engineering of Great Britain manufactures a number of Recumbent Trikes that are not only good looking, but a blast to ride. Models are available the fold for easy storage.  Some feature rear suspension (Not that common on trikes) and multiple wheel options and sizes.  Nearly everyone can be fitted for a trike that suits their specific riding style and comfort needs.

Slyway Itailiant Recumbent Bicycle

Slyway Under Seat Steering Recumbent Bicycle
Slyway Under Seat Steering Recumbent Bicycle

Slyway Cycles

Leave it to the Italians to make a bike so sleek it looks fast even when its standing still!  Slyway manufacturers this USS (Under Seat Steering) recumbent bicycle for fast rides and plenty of sex appeal!  For those who have never ridden a USS bicycle the position is extremely comfortable as your arms are at your sides in a very natural position. Ferrari, Lamborghini, Slyway?

Carbon Fiber Speed Machine!

Velokraft VK2
Velokraft VK2

Velokraft Carbon Fiber Speed Machine

Velokraft carbon fiber recumbent low riders are manufactured in Poland. The Velokraft Recumbents are pure carbon fiber speed machines. No this is not your Grandpa’s bicycle and Grandpa probably couldn’t even balance it. But for people who know how to rid bents this is a real dream machine. Obviously not the kind of ride you take out on the open road as cars wouldn’t be able to see you this low to the ground. This is definitely a collectors bicycle for those who have discretionary cash to throw at the sport. Learn more a Recumbent Bike that might be right for you!


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  • christine almaraz profile image

    christine almaraz 8 years ago from colorado springs

    Those are awesome! I would love to have one of those. It would definitely make working out more fun.