Have you ever considered getting a recumbent trike? A recumbent trike is a bike with three wheels and a reclined style. While recumbent trikes are especially great for older cyclists with balance challenges, they are also ideal for all kinds of people for many reasons. Here our Guest Author, Karen Matthews of Florida, presents 7 benefits of recumbent trikes.
Up until last year, I was riding an upright two-wheeler bike and never thought I’d switch to riding a recumbent trike. (See my post on why I switched to a recumbent trike). However, once I got it, I took to my new recumbent trike immediately and have never looked back. Here are 7 of the many benefits of riding recumbent trikes I’ve found.
Benefit #1 of Recumbent Trikes: Safety
Because you’re lower to the ground and obviously more stable, you don’t have to worry about falling off your bike and getting hurt. The stability factor is so important, especially as we get older. Before when riding on bike trails, I was always nervous of squirrels darting out, or objects on the road that could cause me to fall. On my recumbent trike, I never have that fear of falling. I’ve also ridden on wet roads and trails on my trike and didn’t have the worry of slipping.
Surprisingly, I find motorists generally allow me more room on the road than they did when I was on my upright bike. Motorists have no trouble at all seeing me. In fact I am more visible because I look unusual and that grabs their attention. I still prefer riding on bike trails though, when possible.
Benefit #2 of Recumbent Trikes: Comfort, Comfort, Comfort
There’s a good reason recumbent trikes have been called recliners on wheels. They are ridiculously comfortable. When I first started riding with a group of recumbent riders, I was still riding my upright two-wheel bike. I noticed when we came to rest areas that I desperately needed to stop and stretch, yet my fellow recumbent cyclists seemed quite comfortable. They had none of the neck, shoulder, and wrist discomfort that I had. They were able to ride long distances quite comfortably, while I was pretty much done after 45 minutes of riding.
Many recumbent cyclists also find they have less stress placed on their joints. I’ve talked to many riders who actually are unable to walk comfortably or ride an upright bike because of knee or hip pain, yet they find their recumbent trikes quite comfortable.
Benefit #3 of Recumbent Trikes: No Skills Required
Perhaps you never learned to ride a two-wheeler – I know many people who haven’t. Good news – with a recumbent trike, you don’t need to learn since there’s no balancing involved! You can ride a recumbent trike at any age and any weight, even if you’ve never ridden a bike before.
I also love the fact that I can wear clipless pedals on my trike. Not being the most coordinated person, I was never able to master clipless pedals on my upright bike, but on my recumbent trike it’s a breeze. I’m able to get a smoother spin with the clipless pedals.
Benefit #4 of Recumbent Trikes: No Special Clothing Required
I don’t need special uncomfortable padded bike shorts or spandex tops, as I did on my upright bike. I can wear regular loose fitting shorts and tee-shirts or tops on my trike. If you ride long distances, or ride intensely, you may want to wear shirts with wicking ability for sweat. Also, like any bike, you need a helmet, and I recommend clipless pedals or some other foot restraint system.
Benefit #5 of Recumbent Trikes: Recumbent Trikes are a Fun Way to Get Lots of Exercise
Yes, it’s true. I was surprised too! Riding a recumbent bike is fun! They can be fast if you choose (especially downhill), and they are fun around corners. Of course, you don’t need to ride fast, but the option is there if you choose. I had only seen people going very slowly on recumbent trikes, and thought they were built only for slow rides. Not true! In fact, I ride with a group that is always on the lookout for the fastest, sleekest trike models. Many of the seventy and eighty-year-old cyclists can leave me in the dust!
While you are having fun riding a recumbent trike, you can also be getting a fabulous, low-impact aerobic workout. You can burn lots of calories depending on how long or intensely you ride; or you can go at a comfortable pace and just get a good workout. Because you’re outside enjoying nature and having fun, you may not even realize you’re exercising. Because of the reclined position, I definitely feel I get a better leg workout. I also ride much longer because of the comfort factor, so I end up burning more calories.
Benefit #6 of Recumbent Trikes: Social Experience
If you find a group to ride with, recumbent trike riding can be a wonderful social experience. You get to ride with friends and hopefully enjoy coffee or lunch together afterwards. If by chance there aren’t any recumbent bike groups in your area, perhaps a bike club would allow you to ride with them, or you can even start your own club.
Many people who haven’t ridden recumbent bikes will stop to chat to learn about your trike, so you’ll meet even more people.
Benefit #7 of Recumbent Trikes: Storage
Recumbent trikes have plenty of storage capability. I have two large bike bags on either side of my trike which allows me to carry essential bike emergency supplies and other items. I’m easily able to carry enough water, supplies and even additional clothing if needed. (Click here for a free checklist on what to pack for your ride.)
You might also like: 7 Tips for New Recumbent Trike Riders
Thanks to our Guest Poster, Karen Matthews
Karen Matthews has been a recreational bike rider for over 30 years and recently switched to a recumbent trike. She shares her biking experiences and tips on her blog, Bat on Wheels, https://batonwheels.com.
To see Karen’s recumbent trike and learn how to ride one, check out her YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPs1YTjNVHAmze7vHK6yMYg?view_as=subscriber
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