Kurt asked in SportsCycling · 9 years ago

are Recumbent bikes/trikes faster and easier to ride than Normal bikes.?

I'd like to ask if Recumbent bikes/trikes are faster and easier to ride than Normal upright bikes. I've heard they easier to ride up hills. Is this true???

8 Answers

  • Ric
    Lv 5
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Well let me say first off I Own Three Trikes, A Catrike speed, A Hotmover and A Greenspeed Tandem. To say Trikes are way slower than anything else out there is completely false. All three of my trikes are as fast as a normal road bike. They're easier to ride up hills than a road bike and I have rode hills on my catrike I couldn't ride on my Trek 5200. I also rode a Bacchetta Strada for a number of years and it was as fast if not faster than a lot of road bikes along with the Rans Formula V that I ride now.

    You really need too keep something in mind when you start talking about Recumbents, they can be purchased just like a normal upright bike. Recumbents can be purchased that are extremely heavy between 35 and 50lbs and a real pain to ride or you can spend a little more money and buy something better and lighter between 20 and 30lbs and faster, it just depends on what you buy.

    So to answer your Question are Recumbent bikes/trikes are faster and easier to ride than Normal upright bikes. I've heard they easier to ride up hills. Yes they're faster and as easy to ride as an upright. Enjoy the photos.

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  • 9 years ago

    I have a recumbent for 13 years. I enjoy it a lot even when I still ride road and mountain bikes. Several members of my club ride both up right and recumbents. All the members of my club that ride both recumbents and road bikes agree, you can go faster with the recumbent even up hill. Today, with winds of 20 mph, you will see me in the recumbent.

    A misconception about recumbents being slow going up hill comes from comparing a light road bike to a heavy recumbent (they tend to be over built because the novelty of the frame, it has not been maximized for lightness yet) but there are recumbents more in the light side even if not as light as modern road bikes. Last time a rode my road bike against a recumbent, I made 15.5 mph average and the recumbent was waiting for me on the top of the hills.

    Recumbents bikes were used on the Tour de France for two years in a row. Even a second class rider with a recumbent could beat the favorite stars and break all the records. By a marginal 4 votes difference, the recumbents were banned from pro sports, the victories were given to the best cyclist in up right bikes and the speed records deleted. Every year the speed record for a human powered vehicle is taken by a recumbent. Currently is at 81 mph average speed for 1 hour.

    There are several recumbent manufacturers and some are not really serious. Also there are many approaches, and some are just rudimentary. If you are interested on a bike that is also competitive and has great components, check RANS, it is manufactured in the USA.


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  • 3 years ago

    Recumbent Trike Craigslist

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  • 3 years ago

    Well, this is very controversial. All of the land speed and distance records are held by (faired) recumbent or semi-recumbent designs. The real question you are asking is, will you be faster on a recumbent?

    The answer is, "maybe". There are so many factors involved; how long you've been riding, how long you've trained on the recumbent, style and weight of the bike, topography - hilly, mountainous, flat. Since the biggest factor limiting speed is aerodynamic drag, if you want to go really fast, use a recumbent with a well-designed fairing or a full body. In this case, the answer is YES, they are faster.

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  • 4 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.


    are Recumbent bikes/trikes faster and easier to ride than Normal bikes.?

    I'd like to ask if Recumbent bikes/trikes are faster and easier to ride than Normal upright bikes. I've heard they easier to ride up hills. Is this true???

    Source(s): recumbent bikes trikes faster easier ride normal bikes: https://shortly.im/sEBlo
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  • 9 years ago

    It's different. It takes a little getting used to

    For reference, I have a flock of the old Infinity LWB (long wheelbase) aluminum recumbents that I absolutely swear by.

    About going up hills: People say you can't stand up while pedaling, but what they forget is that you have the seatback to push against for leverage, giving you MORE speed.

    (Think about pushing an upright piano away from a wall: the best leverage you are going to get is sitting down against the wall and using your legs to push. That's the best analogy.)

    About comfort: Your weight is distributed more on a larger seat. You also have the advantage of not having to keep lifting your head up, it's a natural sitting position so you can look around and see the sights.

    There are some slight disadvantages. Chains and cables are longer. You typically have to buy 3 chains when you're replacing. Chainlines are messy, sometimes having to be routed through plastic tubes.

    Cables have to be extra-long tandem cables.

    Some of these issues are solved by front-wheel drive recumbents but most of them are bad homemade jobs. Good ones are VERY expensive.

    Recumbents are slightly heavier and sometimes ridiculously more expensive than a traditional bicycle with the same components.

    But other than the handlebars and seat, all the other bike parts are the same.

    It's worth it to try one out. Check eBay and Craigslist because alot of bike shops don't carry them.

    Source(s): Recumbent rider since 1993.
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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Trikes are way slower than anything else out there, but super comfy and fun.

    My 2 touring bents definitely take a bit more oomph than a road or even a mountain bike, but they're way more comfy. I think having your legs horizontal makes for more work, generally. I ride a bachetta giro, used to ride a haluzak.

    That said, others with more racing style bents, perhaps with dual 26" wheels (mine are 20/26") say they're faster than other bikes. I can't vouch. The world speed record IS on a bent (with a body fairing), so they can be fast, indeed.

    They're no harder to ride, just very different.

    They're not easier to ride up hills, harder if anything. You can't stand on the pedals, and steep hills make your front wheel a bit dodgy when working hard (steering on bents is touchier).

    Source(s): 15 bent years
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  • jpvskv
    Lv 5
    9 years ago

    I ride a Sun EZ-1 like this one: http://www.bicycleman.com/recumbents/sun/sun_ez1.h...

    I have a great time riding my recumbent. I was building a recumbent last year (http://sites.google.com/site/recycledrecumbents/ho... but the wife made me stop (small fire in the garage from grinding).

    Now we are a three recumbent bike family, two EZ 3 Sun recumbent trikes and my Sun EZ 1 two wheeler. I would say that one of the only hard parts of riding a two wheeled recumbent is actually getting rolling and your feet up on the peddles, after that it is a blast and VERY comfortable to ride any distance. More looking at the seanery and you are closer to the ground so not so far to go when and if you crash.

    I would say from the recumbent blogs that I have come across and read that uphill riding is slow, slower than an upright but the downhills are the opposite, faster than upright bikes. I think that is because of aerodynamics, you sit in a more reclined position and have a better air flow around you with your feet more out in front of you.

    You have a hard time, more like impossible time riding with no hands on a two wheel recumbent. Even one handed is a little harder on a two wheeler, less so on a (delta, that is one wheel in front) trike. I have no experience with tadpole Trikes (that is with two wheels in front and one in the back).

    As far as Ease of riding that you asked about; once you try a recumbent you will never want to ride a upright bike again. You do not get bike butt! Your weight is where it belongs on the seat. Yours hands just steer, brake, and adjust the gears. You use different muscles on a recumbent bike, your gut more and upper thighs (I would say). On an upright bike your weight is unevenly distributed between your butt, hands, shoulders, knees and feet. There are several reports of upright bike riding affecting your sex/love life too.

    I would suggest you do some research on the different types of recumbents that are made:

    SWB: Short Wheel Base (with the peddles in front of the front wheel)

    LWB: Long Wheel Base (with the peddles behind the front fork with peddles high or low depending on the model)

    CLWB: Compact Long Wheel Base


    USS: Under seat steering (Handlebars below your butt/thighs in a more natural hanging position)

    OSS: Over seat steering (Hands out in front of your chest, basically)

    After you have done your research find a Bike shop in your area that sells recumbent bikes then ask for and take one for a short test ride. Then buy one there or look on Craigslist.org in your area and the surrounding area and/or on Ebay.com. Learn what your X-seam is too, while at the recumbent bike shop (it is the measurement from your heel to your butt while sitting down). That will determines what size frame bike you need. Generally the seat slides on a Recumbent but only so much.

    One more thing so you understand is why Recumbent Bikes cost more than other bikes, they are made with quality parts and they are only about 5% of the total bicycle retail market so they cost more to make and there is less market demand for Recumbents (I think that last part is slowly changing).

    Source(s): Experience and a love for recumbents.
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