Recumbent? What does that mean?
When you ride a recumbent bike, you’re not sitting on a small saddle seat, hunched over your handlebars. You ride in a semi-reclined position, with your legs in front of you. As a result, your body’s weight is distributed over a wider area. It’s really comfortable and reduces bodily wear-and-tear and fatigue compared to a conventional bicycle.
Trike? Like Tricycle?
Yes! Three wheels on a recumbent cycle means lots of stability and less worry about balance! There’s no need to dismount or place a foot down on the ground when you slow down or stop on a recumbent trike. One of the pleasures of riding a recumbent trike is that you have a comfortable seat to rest, no matter where you go!
Where are the handlebars?
Most recumbent trikes feature something called under-seat steering - turning is controlled by a steering bar underneath the set, with handlebars on either side. This puts your hands and arms in a more natural position, and you’re not obligated to use your arms to support your weight as well as determine the direction you want to go.
Can you go fast?
Absolutely! In fact, a recumbent holds the world speed record for a bicycle! Recumbents have a more aerodynamic profile than upright bicycles. You can cruise as fast as your legs (or e-motor) can carry you.
Are they safe?
Yes! Three wheels and a low center of gravity make these bikes pretty difficult to tip over or fall from. Even if you should fall, you’re much closer to the ground than when riding a conventional two wheeled bike, so your impact is greatly reduced. You’re also less likely to land on your head because of your recumbent position. There’s no wobbling or tipping over when you slow down or come to a stop. You may be slightly less visible to other riders and vehicles because you’re closer to the ground, but you can easily attach a flag to your bike if you’re not already attracting a lot of attention - these bikes are pretty unique and most folks will slow down to take a second look!
Tadpoles & Deltas
There are two basic types of recumbent trikes. A “tadpole” style recumbent trike has two wheels in the front, and a “delta” style recumbent trike has two wheels in the back. Which is better? Well, that all depends on your preferences. Check out our blog post on tadpoles vs. delta trikes for more information. Tadpoles tend to have a lower center of gravity, which makes them a little easier to turn at higher speeds. Delta trikes are generally a little easier to get on & off and provide the best “smallest” turning radius. We recommend you test ride both and decide what works best for you.
Why choose a recumbent trike?
There are a lot of reasons to choose a recumbent trike over a conventional bicycle. Let’s look at some of the top reasons people are turning to recumbents:
Which recumbent trike is right for me?
Once you’ve decided to make the switch to a recumbent trike, you’ll find you have a lot of options! It’s always best to discuss your choices with an expert, and whenever possible we recommend test riding as many recumbent trikes as you can.
At Rad-Innovations, we work closely with our customers to make sure they get the right trike for them. We can custom build bikes to adapt to most any disability or special circumstance. An adaptive recumbent trike from RAD is an investment in mobility, freedom and fun, and should work seamlessly with you to achieve your goals.