CYCLING PERFORMANCE TIPS
Last updated: 6/23/2012
What are the differences as far as athletic performance on a recumbent
versus a traditional bicycle? The physiological principles of exercise and training, whether nutritional
requirements or the concepts of interval versus endurance training, are
similar for all aerobic exercise including both recumbent and upright bicycles.
The differences are in the aerodynamics, the mechanical leverage to power the
pedals, and the stresses placed on the rider's body (musculoskeletal system).
A few of the differences in musculoskeletal stress include:
Most recumbent riders are drawn to them for reasons that have to do with
physical discomfort and limitations. A friend of mine recently asked me for
advice about his chronic neck pain which was threatening his enjoyment
of cycling. Although physical therapy, bike fitting, and anti inflammatories
were temporizing options, I recommended he bite the bullet and consider a recumbent.
Here are a few of the links that I suggested he use to begin his research.
- Less use of muscles of the upper body to provide the resistance for the
lower legs as they power the pedals.
- Protection of the shoulders, elbows, and wrists from the weight of
the upper body on the handle bars.
- An increase in "soreness " in the hips and legs.
- Less problems with boils, ingrown hairs, and saddle sores on the bum.
- A decrease in perineal pressure from the saddle spares the nether
regions in women and decreases penile numbness in men.
First, to see a sampling of the multiple recumbent options that are available,
you might want to look at these 2 videos from the 2012 midwest recumbent rally:
gives a nice overview of recumbent pros and cons - and terminology related
to design features.
And a few links to online e-zines:
And finally several links to specific companies.
Questions on content or
suggestions to improve this page are
Cycling Performance Tips
Table of Contents