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Why Recumbent Bikes Are Awesome!

Updated on May 12, 2015
Recumbent Trike.
Recumbent Trike.

Everything You Need to Know About the Recumbent Bikes and Trikes!

Have you ever seen those people riding in bikes where they seem to be laying back on a comfortable chair while riding? This bike is known as a Recumbent Bike and the reason why many people choose to ride this bike is for ergonomic reasons. Recumbent bikes prevent people from straining their backs while riding.

They are also used by people who have pre-existing back problems that prevent them from riding traditional bicycles. Recumbent bikes are very interesting and more people should learn about them because they present many fine benefits and advantages to those who use them. Before learning more on Recumbent Bikes, let us first take a look at how they came to be.

Two wheeler.
Two wheeler.

Recumbent Trike Versus Bike!

A recumbent trike has three wheels, versus the regular bike version has two. The three wheeler is good for those who find the two wheeler harder to balance. It's very popular with the older crowd.

They are both low to the ground therefore balancing is a little trickier on the two wheeler and that's one of the reasons why people prefer the three wheeler.

The bike is more nimble and gives a sense of more freedom to the rider. But the recumbent trike gives you more stability and you feel safer.

Both have their advantages which are covered below.

How Recumbent Bikes Came to Be.

The invention of the Recumbent Bike occurred in the early 19th century when most people could not afford automobiles. Invented by a Frenchman known as Charles Mochet, the Recumbent Bike was developed for people who needed a faster mode of transportation. The bike was well-received by the general public as it was even used in various races.

As the decades passed, the Recumbent Bike became well-known in Europe then finally in the U.S, where it was even featured in a few Hollywood movies. Since then, the Recumbent Bike is now a staple on neighborhood roads and even in exercise gyms, where they are utilized as an ergonomic exercise bike.

Lightweight high quality recumbent trike.
Lightweight high quality recumbent trike.

Features and Characteristics of a Recumbent Bike.

Now that you are aware of how the Recumbent Bike came to be, it is time to discuss its unique features. The Recumbent Bike, as previously mentioned is an ergonomic bike because it has a larger seat than most traditional bicycles. The seat tilts to a backward position so that riders can lean back on a lumbar supportive back rest that the bike also features. Other notable features of the present day Recumbent Bike are:

  • Wheels. Today’s Recumbent Bike comes in traditional two wheels and in Trike mode, which has 3 wheels. The wheels of a Recumbent Bike are different from traditional bicycles because they are not alike in size and thickness. Sometimes a recumbent bike will have a larger front wheel than the back and vice versa. Today, most Recumbent Bikes have a larger rear wheel and a smaller front wheel. For Recumbent trikes, the same principle applies as most have two larger rear wheels and a smaller front wheel.
  • Seats. The main difference of Recumbent Bikes and traditional bicycles are the seats. Recumbent Bikes have longer seats that provide riders with full upper-body support. These seats are even modified with an external head rest where riders can relax their necks while pedaling the bike. The backward-tilted degree of the Recumbent Bike seat is perhaps the largest reason why the rear wheel/s must be larger than the front. If the opposite were the case and the front wheel is bigger, riders would not be able to find the proper balance to ride the bike.
  • Handling. Another difference that the Recumbent Bike has from traditional bicycles is its handling. With traditional bikes, riders must use the handle bar to maneuver the bike. With a Recumbent Bike, riders have various options of handling. These are:
    • Over Seat Steering
    • Pivot Steering
    • Under-Seat Steering

These options are usually available with most Recumbent Bike providers. You simply must test them to see which option suits your preferences the most.

  • Riding. Many people usually have a lot of questions about how to properly ride a Recumbent Bike. It may be because the bike has a different design and seating angle from traditional bikes. The truth is that Recumbent Bikes are actually very easy to ride and they are very similar to riding traditional bikes. The only difference is that riders must first adjust their seats to a comfortable and natural position before riding. Once in the ideal seated position, riders balance their bikes normally as they would a traditional bicycle.

Enjoying a day out on his trike.
Enjoying a day out on his trike.

Benefits and Advantages of Recumbent Bikes!

There are a lot of people in this world who prefer riding a Recumbent Bike over a traditional bike. Their reasons may be because Recumbent Bikes are more comfortable and do not present a risk to causing back and neck problems. Other people simply like the design of this bike over traditional bikes. For whichever their reason, Recumbent Bikes actually are very advantageous to own and use. Here are some advantages.

  • They Provide Lumbar Support. People with pre-existing back and neck problems often do not have the option of riding bikes anymore. This is because riding a traditional bike may cause their conditions to worsen. With Recumbent Bikes, many doctors and physical therapists actually recommend the use of these bikes as they allow the injured to have an ideal exercising tool.
  • Comfort. Aside from being ideal for back support, the Recumbent Bike also provides support for numerous other body parts such as the buttocks, neck, wrists, hands, and shoulders. It even prevents groin pain, which many cyclists experience especially after riding for extended durations.
  • Safety. Recumbent Bike riders normally do not find their bodies high above the ground when they are riding. This is because of the lower angles of their bodies when they lean on the bike’s tilted back rest. In the event of a fall, a rider will not fall a long way down as compared to traditional bikes.
  • Maneuver Capability. The maneuvering capability of a Recumbent Bike does not usually get the props that it deserves as it is normally overlooked by the bike’s many other fine qualities. What many fail to notice is that when you are riding a Recumbent Bike, you can actually continue pedaling your bike as you turn. You do not worry about the pedals touching the ground because you sway to an angle with each turn. In addition, Recumbent Bikes have larger turning circles than traditional bikes. This makes them that much easier to maneuver.

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