If you are looking for the best recumbent road bike to buy, then you have come to the right place.
Are you wondering how to pick the best bike or what features to look out for?
Perhaps, you are not even sure what a recumbent road bike is, fret not, you will learn all about it here too!
I will try to cover everything you need to know about where to get the best recumbent road bikes for yourself.
As a bonus, you will also learn the different variations of recumbent road bikes and see clearly which is most suitable for you!
From over-seat to under-seat steering, to trike versus 2-wheel recumbent bikes, there is useful information here for every recumbent bike enthusiast or beginner!
As a quick summary, here are the top 5 best recumbent road bikes for your next cycling adventure:
1) Mobo Tritan Pro Adult Tricycle for Men & Women. Breach Cruiser Trike. Pedal 3-Wheel Bike
5) AZUB Max
Some of the links here are affiliate links and I may earn if you click on them, AT NO EXTRA cost to you. Hope you find the information here useful! Thanks.
Related Posts on Recumbent Road Bikes:
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- Cycling For Beginners Over 50
- Indoor Cycling For Older Adults
- Is An Exercise Bike Good For Seniors? | Kind of Bikes For Seniors
What Is A Recumbent Road Bike?
A recumbent road bike is so different from your traditional bicycles. Mainly, because you are reclining your back in a comfortable position. Hence, you are sort of sitting on a chair, rather than on a traditional bicycle seat.
Naturally, this means that more of your body weight is spread across a larger surface area on the bicycle.
Imagine if you were to step accidentally on a sharp nail, it would hurt, right? But if you stepped on an entire board of needles, like what some people do for therapy, it does not hurt. The same logic applies here.
Due to this, it is ergonomically healthier for you to ride on a recumbent road bike.
Top Reasons To Ride A Recumbent Road Bike
There are several reasons why a recumbent road bike is such a worthy mode of transport.
1) Health and Comfort
As mentioned above, you spread more of your body weight across a larger seat or backrest. As such, you will feel more comfortable and less likely to suffer from back aches.
Furthermore, by not resting on your groin area, which happens on a traditional bicycle, you are protecting yourself against conditions such as saddle soreness which is caused by the pressure of sitting on a traditional bike seat too long.
It can make your private groin area more sensitive, hurt easily, rashes, and in some cases, become numb.
Additionally, you do not have to lean over when riding a recumbent bike. You are resting your back flat, and it is better for your spine and neck.
The final health benefit is that it has a lower impact on your joints because you are not pressing your knees downwards. Your leg is pointing straight ahead, and your knee does not bear the brunt of your weight.
It is a safer option compared to a traditional bike. This is because you are closer to the ground, hence, if you do fall off, your injury would not be as severe.
Additionally, by being closer to the ground, your movement is more stable.
Imagine standing on a tall ladder compared to a short ladder, naturally, the shorter ladder is more stable and firm.
Additionally, if you do get into an accident on a traditional bike, you are likely to hurt your head by being flung off. For a recumbent bike, your feet will feel the brunt of it.
Between the two, I am pretty sure most folks would rather protect their head.
3) Are Not As Prone To Being Stolen
Due to it being an unusual model that is not so popular, thieves would very likely opt to steal traditional bikes or their parts.
Hence, your recumbent bike may not be the preferred choice for bicycle thieves.
Having said that, please lock your bikes and keep them safe, regardless of the thieves’ preferences.
4) Wide Variety
As you read the article, you will find a wide variety of bikes that suit the needs of most people, even those with disabilities. This will be explored in more detail as you go on.
5) Has A Nice View
With a traditional bike, you will spend most of the time with your neck bending a bit lower, and looking at the road ahead of you. There is not much room available for enjoying the sights.
With a recumbent bike, you will be looking upwards and straight ahead in a more comfortable position. This makes it easier to enjoy your scenery.
Even though they look different, their speed is not affected in any way. You can still go fast, depending on your level of fitness.
Interesting trivia, the fastest bicycle ride recorded in history was actually on a recumbent bike, and not a traditional bicycle.
7) No Special Skills Needed
You can rest assured that if you are a beginner or a professional on another type of bicycle, it is easy to still try recumbent road bikes.
It is not a case of switching from automatic driving to manual or stick driving, like in a car. You can still navigate both types of bicycles easily.
8) Fun And Social Experience
You can make new friends while riding a recumbent road bike. Here are some groups or forums you can consider joining to meet up with like-minded folks.
Because of the increased level of comfort, safety, and scenery you get to witness, you will find that riding a recumbent road bike can be extremely fun.
5 Best Recumbent Road Bikes
Without further delay, here is a list of the best recumbent road bikes for your kind consideration!
Just to take note that recumbent street bike prices vary from hundreds of dollars to high four digits. Hence, a piece of gentle advice is to be mindful of the bikes you consider so that you can afford them.
1) Mobo Tritan Pro Adult Tricycle for Men & Women. Breach Cruiser Trike. Pedal 3-Wheel Bike
This Mobo Tritan Adult Trike is a recumbent bike that is designed for cruising and exercise on flat surfaces or slightly sloping surfaces.
What I like:
- This is an excellent bike for beginners who are getting used to riding recumbents. As it has 3-wheels, you can slowly practice riding on a recumbent trike using this product and still get healthy exercise in.
- Additionally, it offers a low-impact exercise.
- There is little to no impact on your joints as you are not exerting pressure on your knees. It also has a comfortable reclining seat that provides your back with comfortable support.
- Another wonderful benefit is that balancing this bike will not be an issue. As it has 3-wheels, you do not have to worry about falling off and losing balance.
- This is the best recumbent road bike for seniors because of the balance and additional wheel. It is a safe and secure option for the elderly to exercise happily without exerting too much pressure.
- Finally, it has an adjustable size for adults and youths so that you can find the optimal comfort for your body.
What I don’t like:
A 3-wheel recumbent trike like this is not suitable for experienced riders who wish to enjoy a thrilling ride at high speed. You may consider one of the 2-wheel recumbents which will be recommended below.
The GrasshopperFX is a foldable recumbent bike that is meant for recumbent cycling enthusiasts.
What I like:
- The first benefit is the folding element. This makes it excellent for ease of transport, especially for those who like to drive out far for cycling.
- It has an aerodynamic and agile design which makes it a fast bike.
- This does not mean comfort is forsaken. It has a wide reclining seat that makes it suitable to ride long distances and enjoy the beautiful scenery too.
- There is full suspension incorporated here so it helps you to take easy control of the bike. The manufacturer, HP Velotechnik has been in business since 1993 and is one of the leading recumbent bike manufacturers in Europe.
- One of the best features is that it comes with a 10-year warranty! Incredible!
What I don’t like: In all honesty, it is hard to find something to dislike about this model because it is just so beautiful.
But, one key thing, it is not the most affordable option. This is more of a premium product.
But if you find yourself really liking it but struggling to get the cash for it, you can consider finding a way to increase your income by getting a side hustle. Check out some incredible tips here at Out and Beyond to help earn some extra money.
3) PINO from Hase Bikes
If you are thinking of a bike for your family, then Pino is the bike for you!
What I like:
- This is one of the most versatile bikes out there! If you want an idea of just how many ways it can be used, check out their video here.
- As a mom, you can bring your groceries or attach your baby’s portable bassinet to the front portion of the bike. In fact, you can even get a custom design to ride in tandem with another adult or your child.
- This makes it an excellent recumbent commuter bike.
- You can place cargo at the bottom of the bike, so it is suitable for those who are in logistics or doing delivery.
- The best part is you can actually request a test ride when it hits your local neighborhood. So you can check it out before forking cash to invest in this.
What I don’t like: While it is versatile, and can ride in tandem, it may not be the most stable option for beginner riders who love the features but struggle with balance.
One way to solve this is to request a custom design where this can become a trike recumbent and have 3-wheels.
4) CARBONTRIKES Race Aero
This has been proudly listed as one of the fastest trikes in the world.
What I like:
- One of the prevailing issues for riding a trike recumbent is that speed is often compromised due to the additional wheel. However, the smooth design using lightweight components contributes to making this bike a fast one.
- Another great feature is that it is one of the easier trike models to transport in a car as it is not as bulky as the traditional trike. If you like outdoor recumbent bikes, then you should consider this option.
What I don’t like: The design comes with a smaller reclining seat. If you are seeking a bit more back support and comfort, you will have to spend extra to accessorize further.
5) AZUB Max
The AZUB Max is a traditional outdoor recumbent bike that is gorgeous and fast.
What I like:
- This is a bike for sporting enthusiasts who wish to cycle long distances and explore the scenery. It has a comfortable reclining back support and allows you to exert more power for acceleration without hurting your knees.
- This is the recumbent bicycle answer to your fancy mountain bike. It has big strong tires which means you don’t feel the bumps and gives you better traction.
- Finally, it can be customized to place your bag at the back. This is helpful if you are going camping or doing delivery. If you are looking for recumbent bikes for the road, then this is it!
What I don’t like: This is not the most suitable bike for riders who may be concerned with stability or balancing issues. This is because the steering is over the wheel, and it may be a bit frightening to get used to at the start.
The Main Reason Why More People Do Not Ride Recumbent Bikes
The main reason why more people do not ride recumbent bikes would be affordability. Traditional bicycles are generally cheaper and easier to find compared to recumbent road bikes. As you do not see many recumbent street bikes out there, you may think it is not the best mode of cycling.
After getting a recumbent road bike, you may have to send it for maintenance or repairs, especially for things like a punctured tire, loose chains, or spoilt gears.
These parts may not be as easily available and could still cost quite a bit to replace.
Here is a video showing you some basic maintenance you can do on your recumbent bike.
Another reason could be that recumbent road bikes are a little difficult to ride on steep hills. While on a traditional bicycle, you can stand to gain more traction and accelerate, you cannot do this on a recumbent bike.
This does not mean you cannot ride up a hill using a recumbent bike, but it just takes more effort. As such, you can easily ride a recumbent bike outdoors.
Having said that, it still has a reduced impact on your joints because you are just pushing your legs straight ahead rather than standing on your legs for more traction to cycle up a hill.
Recumbent Road Bike Vs Regular Road Bikes
Here is a table for you to see a birds’ eye view of the difference between a recumbent outdoor bike and a regular road bike.
|Description||Recumbent Road Bike||Regular Road Bike|
|Ergonomic Design||More ergonomic||Less ergonomic and likely to cause more health issues|
|Neck Support||Easier due to looking ahead without neck craning||Less, due to looking down on the roads more|
|Back Support||Better due to laying on your back and spreading your weight across a larger surface area||Less due to bending your back forward for prolonged periods|
|Groin Support||No issue as your groin does not saddle on any seat||Bad due to your groin straddling the smaller seat which can cause soreness in the long-run|
|Leg Support||Easer due to lesser pressure on your legs, with lower impact as your legs are in a laying position||While it is still low impact compared to running, your legs still support your body weight and your knees have increased pressure when you stand to ride up-hill|
|Body Position||Body is laying down, similar to reclining on a chair||Sitting up-right or bending forwards depending on how high or big your bike is|
|Costing||More expensive as it is not as commonly found nor in demand||Can find it extremely cheap to pricy bikes as it is so much more popular|
|Ease of Buying||Very specific list of manufacturers who sell this, might have to spend more on shipping as a result||Can be found in most neighbourhood stalls or cities, online and retail stores|
|Ability to Ride||Takes a bit of getting used to, especially if you are used to riding a regular road bike, however it becomes easier when you ride a trike recumbent bike||Some people can learn to ride a two-wheel regular bicycle in a day, some take months. Depends on your willingness to practice|
|Power for Riding Up Hills||It is slower, but not impossible. This is due to you not being able to put your body weight to exert more pressure||Easier to increase power by adjusting your gears and standing up to exert more pressure|
|Long-Distance Riding||Suitable, no issues||Suitable, no|
|Collision Damage||Both types of bikes can cause fatal injuries due to serious accidents.|
If a car hits a recumbent bike, it will likely slide more than knock you off
|Can have fatal injuries, similar to motorbikes.|
|Head-Turning Ability||You are not able to turn behind, nor see the passengers who are driving vehicles beside you, due to the bike being lower.||Able to see what is behind you and passengers who are in a car or motorbike as your height is comparable to them|
Types Of Recumbent Bikes: Trike Vs 2-Wheel Recumbent Bike
Here is a bird’s eye view of the difference between the two types of recumbent bikes based on the number of wheels they have.
|Description||Trike Recumbent||2-Wheel Recumbent|
|Number of wheels||Has three wheels, similar to a tricycle concept||Has two wheels|
|Wheel position||Tadpole position has two wheels at the front and one wheel at the back.|
Delta position has one wheel at the front and two wheels at the back
|One wheel in the front and one wheel in the back|
|Suitability for those with disabilities||More suitable as the additional wheel provides more support||Less suitable, especially if someone has physical disabilities and prefers a safer option with three wheels|
|Pedalling||Can be pedaled with hand and foot||Can be pedaled only with foot|
|Speed||Not as fast due to extra wheel. However, the extra wheel makes it helpful to transport luggage||Much faster and more suitable for thrill seekers|
|Safety||Due to the additional wheel, it is a better option for young children to get exposed to, similar to a tricycle before moving on to the two-wheelers.||Less stable compared to a three-wheeler, but still safer than a traditional road bike|
What Is Heel Strike For Recumbent Bikes?
Heel strike happens when your heel strikes the front wheel when you make a turn on your recumbent bike. It is just like bumping your feet into a wall. Once or twice is okay, but if it keeps happening, it will really hurt.
Another term to describe this is heel interference. At first, you will be a bit shocked when it happens.
Here is what you can do:
- Take a pause and stop pedaling.
- Slowly remove your heel or foot from the wheel.
- Turn your wheel back straight and resume cycling.
If you are concerned that it is happening frequently, you may want to consider adjusting the design of your bike.
Certain product features to look at are:
- Buying a bike where the front and back wheel are far apart, which reduces the likelihood of your feet getting caught in the front wheel
- Buying a bike where your front wheel is smaller, by which you can place your pedal above the wheel so there is no way it can get caught during turning.
Long Wheel Base (LWB) Vs Short Wheel Base (SWB) Recumbent Bicycles
Long wheelbase recumbents are generally more stable than short wheelbase models.
|Description||Long Wheel Base (LWB)||Short Wheel Base (SWB)|
|Weight||Heavier due to its bulky size||Light and agile|
|Comfort||Harder to maneuver and turn due to its long length||Easier to maneuver and turn due to its shorter length, especially for u-turns.|
|Transport||Harder to store in a car due to its size||Easier to store in a car|
|Ease of Riding||Easier for beginners to learn with as it is more stable||More suitable for experts due to its size|
|Safety||Easier to place your legs on the ground after riding as the pedaling area is closer to the ground||If you need to suddenly stop, it is a bit harder to place your feet on the ground due to the pedal being located above the front wheel|
Under Seat Steering (USS) Vs Over Seat Steering (OSS) For Recumbent Bikes
Under Seat Steering means that the handlebars are beside or below your seat. Over-seat steering means that the handlebars are above your seat and further away from your body.
Under-seat steering is more suitable for those with shoulder or hand injuries as there is less strain on their body. However is it more mechanically technical and would require more repair expenses if it is damaged.
This is an example of under-seat steering and this is an example of over-seat steering.
List Of Recumbent Road Bike Manufacturers
Here is a list of recumbent bike manufacturers where you can find some of the best recumbent road bicycles:
- Mobo Cruise
- Avenue Trikes
- Carbon Trikes
- Catrike Store
- Hase Bikes USA
- HP Velotechnik
- ICE Trikes
- Stein Trikes
- Terra Trike
- Trident Trikes
- Sun Seeker
- Maxarya Recumbents
- Long Bikes Recumbents
- Linear Recumbent
- Lightning Recumbent
- Easy Racer Recumbent
- Bacchetta Bikes
- Cycle Loft
How To Choose The Best Recumbent Road Bicycle For Your Needs?
Before you pick a recumbent bike, look for the same features as an upright: a clear display with the desired measurements, built-in workout programs, adjustable seating, and some form of heart-rate monitoring.
Since you understand the different variations for recumbent bikes, you need to check on the areas that fit your needs slowly.
To make it easier for you, there is a simple table below you can use to tick on all the relevant requirements.
|Trike or two-wheel|
|Long wheel base or short wheelbase|
|Under seat or over seat steering|
|Size or Dimension Requirements|
|Any other safety issues|
|Built-In Workout Programs|
You can screenshot the table above and list down your answers. Using that, you can then find the perfect bike for you after fitting in all the puzzle pieces.
With this information, you can share it with the above-listed bike manufacturers and see who has it in their stores or is willing to build it for your customizations.
Here is a fun tip!
If you have a manufacturer who is willing to reply to you politely with your requests about these features to get your perfect bike, do pay them more attention. Their customer service is likely better and they want to help you out!
I can personally vouch for this strategy because I recently bought a bike.
It was from a young gentleman, who was located in a remote town. Yet he had customers traveling far to buy from him due to his stellar customer service and how he personally attended to each customer like they were his friends!
Those who are rude to you or try to pressure you into buying something you do not want, well, you are better off without them.
Another tip is to be mindful of the recumbent street bike reviews that you read online. The products that were recommended above are based on original and unbias reviews.
It is very important to read what previous customers have said about a product before you purchase it. However, please be careful if there are overly positive reviews from spam accounts that do not have profile photos or sound robotic.
Are Recumbent Bikes Faster Than Road Bikes?
Recumbent bikes are actually faster than regular road bikes. The world record for the fastest human-powered bike was achieved on a recumbent bike. Naturally, to achieve optimal speeds, you would need to practice regularly and improve your fitness as well.
You can check out some useful tips here which cover fitness and technical components on how to increase your speed when cycling.
Why Are Recumbent Bikes Not Popular?
One of the main reasons that would affect the popularity of recumbent bikes is balance issues. This can be attributed to the unusual position of how a two-wheel recumbent bike appears and gives you the impression that you will fall off.
To counter this, you can get used to riding a recumbent trike first, before moving on to a two-wheel recumbent. For further support, here are 2 different video guides on how to ride a recumbent bike.
- Learn how to ride a long-wheelbase recumbent bike here!
- Learn how to ride a short-wheelbase recumbent bike here!
Are Recumbent Bikes Good For Long Distances?
Yes, recumbent bikes are good for long distances. Due to its comfortable, and more ergonomic design, plus the health benefits for your back, groin, and neck, you will be able to cover more ground. Over long distances, the benefits of increased efficiency and comfort add up.
Do You Need Special Skills To Ride Recumbent Road Bikes?
There are no special skills required to ride a recumbent bike. In fact, it is a safer option and more friendly for those with physical disabilities.
How To Store A Recumbent Road Bike In Your Car?
As recumbent bikes come in various shapes and sizes, there is no one size fits all approach. Additionally, the size of your car matters as well. If you have a pick-up truck, it will be easy to just place your bike in the open area on the back.
But if you have a sedan, you would have to buy additional accessories to attach to the back of your car.
Here are some options for accessories you can purchase to help transport your bike using your car.
If you do not wish to purchase additional accessories and want to see how some folks do it, you can check out this video guide.
Additional Bicycle Accessories For Recumbent Road Bikes
While you have seen the recommended list of recumbent road bikes listed above, you will now get a list of some recommended bicycle accessories.
1) Bicycle Helmet With Light, Portable Bag
You cannot go cycling without a helmet. The helmet has a front and back light as well as a portable bag.
2) Hydration Pack
A Hydration Pack is helpful because you can drink a lot of water on the go. It has a 2L space. It has a strong material which makes it durable for all weather types.
3) Saddle Bag
A Saddle Bag will help you carry your small essentials such as your keys, cards, phone and wallet.
4) Bicycle Locks
Bicycle Locks are so crucial. Even though recumbent bikes are not high on the list of thieves because it is not commonly found, you must still be careful.
5) Cycling GPS
Having a cycling GPS will help you navigate your scenic travels on your recumbent bike. Also, it comes with pre-installed cycling routes.
Well, there you have it, folks! You have learned about the best recumbent road bikes! The list was comprehensive and I covered a whole host of manufacturers you can consider contacting if you are looking for a bit more customization.
Additionally, you can also see the various variations of recumbent bikes and all the different features to see which bike is suitable for you.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and it helps you in deciding which recumbent bike to buy and whether recumbents are even suitable for you!
Good luck with your next cycling adventure and stay safe!
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