Recumbent Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Why ride a recumbent bicycle or tricycle?
Most people get interested in recumbent bicycles because they are more comfortable to ride. Riding a traditional bicycle often bothers people’s wrists, neck, back and bottom. Most people endure it, give up riding all together, or ride a recumbent bicycle. Recumbent bicycles are very comfortable. The rider’s back and neck are straight and supported, the hands are not holding any weight, and the bottom is supported by a comfortable seat. People riding recumbent bicycles are often more aerodynamic than people on traditional bikes. The ride is all the fun of traditional biking without the usual pain and discomfort.
Q. How does one choose between the many different types?
We recommend that people take the time to try them out and decide what feel right for themselves. Renting a bike for a day is another good way to learn about recumbent bicycles. At Spring Creek Recumbent Bicycles, we are glad to discuss the subtle differences between the bikes but know that the best way to narrow down the choices is to try different models. Some questions to consider are: 1. how much am I willing to spend? 2. What kind of riding do I plan on doing? (Touring, commuting, fast road riding, general exercise, going to the store) 3. Which bike feels the best and works best for me?
Q. Is it hard for car drivers to see people on recumbent bicycles?
In some high traffic situations the answer is probably yes. It depends on how low the bike is and if you have a flag, reflective gear, and lights and blinkers. In most cases, recumbent riders are as visible to car drivers as traditional cyclists are. When riding any kind of bike people need to use good judgment, ride defensively and use flags and lights.
Q. How are they in the hills?
Recumbent bicycles tend to be slower on long steep climbs. If a rider trains on a recumbent and develops the muscles used in recumbent riding, they won’t be much slower on hills than they would be on a comparable upright. Some recumbent riders who are very fast in the hills. If being fast in the hills is a top priority, then I would recommend riding the Bacchetta Aero, trimming the body fat, using rotor cranks, and consistent hill training on your recumbent. Either way, you’ll make up plenty of time on the flats and down hills.
Q. Why are recumbent bicycles so fast?
The wind is the biggest factor slowing bicycles. Recumbent bicycles hold all the land speed records because they are much more aerodynamic. Most recumbent bicycles on the market are not going to win any speed records; however recumbent riders do have an advantage on the flats, down hills and into headwinds.
Q. What is the difference between the long wheel based and the short wheel based bikes?
Long wheel based bikes usually have lower cranks with rider sitting more upright. They have a more stable feel.. These bikes have a sportier feel. Both styles make good touring bikes and good around town bikes or fast riding bikes. It really depends on what feels best to the individual rider. The only way to answer that question is to try out different bikes.