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  Last updated: 6/23/2012

Recumbent Bikes

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.

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:

This link 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 appreciated.

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