The best Recumbent bike? How is it possible to determine if that is true? There aren’t exactly any consumer reports that have made an exhaustive investigation of these bikes. At best, there are those who call themselves experts, who may have a great deal of experience. Does that mean they are completely objective and unbiased? Can they determine the best recumbent for you?
So where does this article get off implying that it can guarantee information that will lead to your best recumbent bike? That answer is simple, but you will need to keep reading to find it.
How much do you know about a recumbent bike? Chances are if you’re reading this, not enough, and that’s why you are here. While carefully considering all you find here, and following a few steps, you are guaranteed to be successful in your quest.
There may never be the “perfect” recumbent for you, but chances are it can come very close. If perfection is defined by comfort, pain-free riding, safety, aerodynamics, and the joy of seeing all that is around you while riding, this describes a recumbent bike.
Have you experienced the sore neck, wrists, lower back pain, and having a skinny seat determined to work it’s way up your anatomy? Do you enjoy spending more time looking at the road in front of you? What about the difficulty seeing what is sneaking up from the rear to threaten your safety? The you have the near falls at low speeds while desperately trying to unclip for a stop.
Sure, those riding in that fashion consider themselves masculine, enduring the mantra of “no pain-no gain.” What a myth! On a recumbent, the mantra could be, “ride awhile then check your smile!”
There is a recumbent to fit nearly any riding style, size, or location. You can find them faired or bare bones. There are high racers and low racers. The more traditional is a long wheel base offering somewhat of a cushioned ride. A short wheelbase is great for city riding where quick turns in limited space is needed. Also a compact long wheelbase that does it’s best to combine the features of both.
The greatest feature of a recumbent bike is the seat. In short, it is nearly like sitting on a lawn chair for comfort. Most will average 14” of width with a nice thick foam seat cushion, or something more adequate for those choosing a racer with a molded fiberglass or carbon fiber seat.
Steering is as varied as the styles of recumbents. You have “tiller steering,” “remote steering” and “under-seat steering.” Each offers it’s advantage and the one you choose will be perfect for you.
Reading about the bikes may give you some idea of what features you want. Even before getting to that, will be the practical part of your search. Riding!
Now a Google search for a bike shop in your area may reveal one offering recumbents. These shops know that you, on a recumbent seat on the street, road, or trail is the only way to have the experience to help determine the style.
If there is none in your immediate area, then look within the next 50 miles if necessary. Why? Consider that a mid-range LWB bike will run in the $1000 to $1500 category. Chances are you wouldn’t buy a car without driving it. Would you be willing to plunk down that sort of cash for a bike you had never ridden?
So first is the ride, and as many as you can. Look at as many styles and brands by checking the images on Google. Then you will have a better idea what to look for at a bike shop. If you are fortunate to be near an area where there is a recumbent event taking place, this is perhaps the absolute best opportunity to see a huge variety of styles and brands.
What’s more, if would be rare for any of these recumbent enthusiasts to not only offer you a ride, but encourage it. They know and understand how a recumbent looks strange to those who have been locked in to the traditional upright bike. None of them are likely to have started out on anything different.
So in summary, here are the factors that are guaranteed to get you your best recumbent bike!
- Research the styles on Google
- Research the brands
- Travel as far as you need to a shop offering recumbents
- Ride as many different styles as you can.
- Ride, ride, and ride some more
- Peruse commentaries on recumbent forums and blogs to get a feel what others have to say
- Once you have found the style that suits your riding comfort, only then begin to consider features and components
- Entry level bikes and components usually end up being a disappointment after riding for a few months
- Most of the personnel in the bike shops will offer sound advice on components
- Pay attention to your instincts
The guaranteed best recumbent bike for you, is the one that you are comfortable on, satisfied with the price and components, and will ride with far more frequency than a road bike or mountain bike. You will understand what “getting bent” is all about.
Better yet, is building your own. After all, that’s what this site is about. Recognizing the fact that not everyone is willing to do the work required to build one, buying one is next. That is also what this site is about.
Helping you to make a good choice, once you determine which way you want to go.