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How long a test with a recumbent should be?

Old 05-29-19, 02:33 PM
Arthur Peabody
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How long a test with a recumbent should be?

My neck and shoulders are hurting permanently now, more when I ride. I've done yoga, stretching, weights, therapeutic massage, and chiropractry. Is it possible that riding a recumbent would make a difference? If I rented one to find out, how long a trial would be necessary to know?
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Old 05-30-19, 07:01 AM
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Recumbents come in many flavors and there is a learning curve that is a bit different for each style. You don't mention what region of the world you're located in, but I would suggest looking up any recumbent dealers in your area. If you have the space, you may want to consider a trying a recumbent trike. The learning curve for trikes is not steep at all. There's really no 'one size fits all' in the recumbent world which, I believe, is one of many reasons why they don't have greater acceptance. Good luck.
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Old 06-12-19, 09:47 PM
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Bikes: Catrike 700, Greenspeed GTO trike, , Linear LWB recumbent, Haluzak Horizon SWB recumbent, Balance 450 MTB, Cannondale SM800 Beast of the East

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The discomfort you describe is exactly what led many of us to switch to recumbents. No more hunched over. Little pressure on your hands.

It is unlikely a bike shop will let you test ride a recumbent bike or trike for the time and distance it takes to find out if the machine is the best one for you. Just like a regular bike it has to be set up specifically for you. That means adjusting the length of the chain and positioning the boom to fit your stature. If it isn't set up correctly you will get the wrong impression. If you live near any of the rail trails where there is a bike shop renting recumbents then you may be able to get one for a day. It will likely be a budget model which is a poor representation of the better recumbent bikes or trikes. Expect it to be more difficult to pedal than a regular bike as recumbents use different muscle groups.

There is a lot of variation in how easy it is to adapt to the bike. I have a 1997 long wheelbase Linear that a few people have tried. It doesn't have much of a learning curve. Nobody ever crashed it even on the initial try. However, there are short wheelbase bikes and high racer bikes that are notoriously difficult at first.

The biggest obstacle is cost. You can buy an entry level DF bike for $500. Expect to pay at least twice that for an entry level recumbent bike. If you like cycling and intend to do a lot of it in the future, then to heck with the cost (if you can afford it). I'd rather be riding an expensive trike than not riding at all and that was the case when I finally gave up my vintage Motobecane Le Champion. It was a fine 21 pound road bike but hurt way to much to ride it. One way to lower the cost is to buy a used recumbent. My Linear cost me $500 way back in 2001 and it got a lot of riding before I switched to riding trikes.
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