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everitreed 04-17-03 03:39 PM

any recumbent health hazads

I am consideing getting a recumbent. Since I am young, 22, I am worried about any long term health problems associated. Does anyone know of any?


bentbaggerlen 04-17-03 05:43 PM

None I know of, same for standard bikes. Just keep in mind if something hurts, dont do it.

ORBIT 04-19-03 12:57 PM

I have been told that a recumbent might not be the best idea if you have glaucoma.But this probably wont effect you.
Having said that the only bad heath effects of riding a recumbent is being attacked when riding one.If you live in a city like Birmingham where there are a lot of idiots you can get a lot of hassle.
I cant get the vision out of my mind,wheni got of a train,and there in front of me was a man just getting into his windcheater.He seen me coming toward him i only wanted to talk,because i also ride a recumbent,but you see the look on his face.Oh no not another barrage of stupid questions.
But if you can ride one in a area where people have some sort of brain you will have a lot of fun on a recumbent.They are the closest thing to flying.

hypnobassman 04-30-03 02:30 PM

As I write this I am sitting up in bed recovering from breaking my leg and the surgery that followed.

The weekend before last I took my new recumbent bike out for my third ride on it. (I have been riding mountain bikes and road bikes for about 4 years.) It had been raining for the previous 3 days, and the rain finally broke. I checked the radar on the weather channel and figured I had a good two hours to ride before it rained again.

I was riding a familiar paved bike path. In a curve that I have ridden many times the bike started to slip from underneath me. But I recovered without crashing. I wondered at the time whether or not it was because the ground was wet or if the EZ-1 SC Lite was not as stable as the other bikes I have ridden. I decided to be careful and continue on my route.

I was heading down the path, and it was straight, when I hit a bump in the road that caused my water bottles to jump out of their cages. I quickly hit both brakes and that is when I lost control of the bike. I was probably going about 14 mph when I attempted to brake. I pulled out of my clipless pedals and went down on my left side. I tried to stop my fall with my left foot, which got pulled underneath me and I landed on top of it.

At first I thought I had sprained it. But when I pulled it out from underneath me I could see that it was pointed in the wrong direction and that it was at least dislocated. Fortunately, I had my cell phone with me. I always carry it with me when I am on my bike, especially when I am going to be riding alone.

I have run the whole thing through my head over and over, trying to decide if the same thing would have happened if I had been on one of my other bikes. I just donít know. Iím wondering if there are special safety consideration that have to be taken into account when riding a recumbent?

I wonder if the long wheel base recumbents are stable?
I wonder if I should have had some special training to handle crashes better?
I wonder if the same thing would have happened on one of my other bikes?

Iím ready to take a *crash* course in bike safety if there is one. Because I want to keep on riding when the leg heals.

Ride safeÖ.

bentbaggerlen 05-01-03 07:15 PM

Wet pavement can be tricky, sounds like you locked up the front wheel and the tire washed out on you. Sounds like you suffered "leg suck" your leg gets pulled under you when your feet touch the ground, same thing can happen on an upright bike.

I did close to the same thing on a long wheelbase bike. I was riding though an intersection on a group ride, just after it rained. I hit a manhole cover and the front wheel slipped on the steel. I almost lost it, but was able to keep it up. Scared the hell out of me, it was really close.

Two others in the group did go down, one was riding a road bike. When he hit the manhole cover he turned the bars sharply, when the wheel hit pavement it folded and sent him over the bars, and to the emergency room. The other rider on a mountain bike recived road rash when she went down.

MichaelW 05-02-03 05:17 AM

Ive never seen or heard of a leg-suck injury on an upright.
Are 3 wheeled designs like the windcheater, much safer than 2 wheeled? You dont suffer from leg-suck on a trike, and your front wheel cant skid out.

hypnobassman 05-02-03 06:50 PM

Any recommendations on how to handle situations where leg suck is likely? I want to start riding again as soon as the leg heals, but I'd like to have better chances if the same thing happens again. I'm riding a long wheel bass bent (EZ-1 SC Lite).


bentrox! 05-04-03 03:19 AM

I've fallen three times in two years on my SWB, each time due to loss of tire control (sand on the path, too steeply banked in turn, etc.)

Try to be aware of road conditions and ride accordingly but if you start to lose control in one of those unpredictable situations, try to focus on steering without death-gripping the bars or trying to stabilize by unclipping. It's hard not to panic when you lose control but it's to your advantage to remain clipped in if your going down at speed. You're not in danger of a clavicle-snapping endo and your fall will be a relatively short, albeit painful, one.

I've torn my clothing, scuffed up the bent, and suffered serious road rash (with a honking-huge hematoma) but that's as bad as it's been for me. No broken bones, yet...

bentbaggerlen 05-04-03 06:47 AM

I've seen leg suck, no maybe not leg suck more like foot suck, but is much the same thing. The foot comes off the pedal and is dragged under the bike, most often you end up with road rash on your shoes, unless you ride in sandals. I have also seen riders pulled forward off the seat, onto the top tube and stem and then over the bar. I'm not talking about kids, I've seen semi pro racers crash like this.

If your going to crash, it's going to hurt. Recumbent or upright, on road or off-road crashing sucks. On a bent you are more likely to suffer from leg injury and on an up right your more likely to suffer head injury in a crash.

You can get leg suck on a trike, but it is less likely. On a trike when things get ugly there is no need to put your foot down, your not going to tip over. The tadpole trikes (2 wheels front, one rear) are very stable and you really have to try to get one over, the delta trikes (one wheel front, two rear) are built a little higher and can be dumped.

hypnobassman 05-04-03 05:06 PM

So now, if I am understanding you right, if I am heading down the road at say 11 mph or faster I am better off keeping my feet in the clipless pedals and getting road rash than a leg in a cast.

And, that I am better off crashing in a recumbent because I am more likely to injure my leg than my head.

Am I catching on?

Now I could look at the bright side - at least the cast in on my leg rather than on my head! :)

bentrox! 05-04-03 07:19 PM


Originally posted by hypnobassman
So now, if I am understanding you right, if I am heading down the road at say 11 mph or faster I am better off keeping my feet in the clipless pedals and getting road rash than a leg in a cast.
I'm sure given a choice, you'd of course choose not to crash at all, however, the next time you do lose control before crashing you can decide whether or not clipping out is the better action: road rash with bruising or another fracture(s) of foot/ankle/leg? Life is full of tough choices... ;)

hypnobassman 05-09-03 11:43 AM


It seems like there is some kind of speed threshold. Something like, if you are going less than 5 mph, then put your feet down. If you are going faster, then keep your feet in the peddals and ride it out.

What do you think?

bentrox! 05-09-03 02:40 PM


Yes, I think you're right, though I'm not sure what threshold speed that might be - under 5 mph sounds slow enough. If you can put your foot down without it being immediately sucked toward the rear, then your speed is in "safe landing zone."

The hard part is not unclipping at higher speeds in a falling scenario when we're all conditioned to do so from years of riding upright bikes, upon which, as someone mentioned before, leg suck is unheard of.

hypnobassman 05-13-03 02:15 PM

5 mph sounds about right. So, I've decided that I need to wear long pants to help reduce the possibility of future road rash. Maybe the answer is to wear my chaps :)

bentrox! 05-13-03 02:32 PM

If you like to ride in jeans, check out Draggin' Jeans (body armor-lined jeans and jackets.)

hypnobassman 05-14-03 10:05 PM

Thanks for the scoop on the kevlar jeans. I'll check it out.

alanj1 06-01-03 02:14 PM

Back to the original question. One response came pretty close as to potential long term medical issues with a recumbent. It's called "geek factor syndrome." Like anyone who does something out of the norm, people always tend to have a hard time accepting those who march to a different drummer. 'Bent riders are among this category. As such, the "geek factor" is high. For some, the horn honking, shouts from young children of "cool bike," questions about is it hard to ride, where did you get it, did you make it, does it go fast, are taken in normalstride. Others find it to be much like the fellow on the Windcheetah, and they run from all the attention.

If doing something different that is healthy and fun would be likely to cause a problem, don't get a bent! Get a DF bike, and then you can join thousands of others who ride in pain and misery. After all, doesn't "misery love company?"

ORBIT 1 06-02-03 03:02 PM

You have raised a very important point about bent riding.
Yes they comfortable,fast and fun.But when mixed with the public they can have bad effects.
I know i love riding my recumbent,but every time i ride it i get the usuall problems.
This then leads to a real hatred of human nature.
Unfortunatly i suppose evet minority has had to put up with the negative side of human nature at some time.
I get really pissed off .If i was Dave Beckham and rode a recumbent you could bent your life that recumbent sales would go sky high.
Then again if Dave Beckham started eating dog turds the masses would follow
thinking it was the in thing to do.
SEE WHAT I MEAN.If you ride a recumbent get ready to find out the true nature
of the human beast.

NTX 07-11-04 07:40 PM

I became a new recumbent user and a victim of a 'leg suck' accident just yesterday. I purchaced a used SWB Vision R40. As soon as I got home I took it for a ride through the neighborhood. Within blocks of my house I hit a bump (going maybe 15 mph) and lost both pedals. I don't know if I hit the breaks or not but it seem likely. Either way I was suddenly suprised to find myself catapulted into the air. I tried to roll with it but smacked my shoulder on the pavement hard enough to injure my collar bone. (Not a break but certainly a bad and painful bruse.)

The guy who sold it to me had suggested clipless pedals, now I know why. I am not sure I would ride this thing without clipless after that incident. It occured to me that a long wheel base bike would not have catapulted me but having read the above accounts, I guess being launched from the bike is a lot better than getting my leg mangled.

I have been riding upright bikes for years, worked in bike shops for about 15 of them and tried out any number of bicycle designs including high wheelers (which are perhaps the most dangerous HPV's imaginable) I have had plenty of spills on road and mountain bikes and have even been hit by a car but the sudden and unexpected results of a 'leg suck' incident are not something that I was in any way prepared for. It strikes me that in the litigation oriented environment that we have today, 'leg suck' injuries are a real liability for recumbent bike manufacturers and shops.

None the less I was 'back on the horse' today (with my SPD's installed) and rode about 12 miles. This bike is amazingly comfortable and a real pleasure to ride. However, I could not in good concience recommend a bent bike to anyone without first warning them of the potential dangers of a 'leg suck' accident.

Chris Gizzi

bnet1 07-11-04 08:30 PM

I've heard and read about leg suck. Personally I would prefer leg suck to become sterile and have other healt problems from riding on a narrow saddle and a bent over position! I've had both the front and rear wheels skid out on gravel, fortunately at low speeds. The end result being dumped on my butt, sometimes feet still srapped in to the bike. As I cross intersections and places where gravel driveways enter the street, I give these areas a wide berth. My funniest "wreck" occured at a complete standstill. My feet had a fine layer of grit on them from the sandstone in our driveway. I had mounted up in the paved road at the end of the driveway and prepared to launch. My balance foot slid out from underneath me and with the fine dust on my shoes I couldn't get a purchase on the road. Scramble as I might, I found myself sitting down on the road with a resounding "thump". I wasn't even moving yet! Not hurt but my foot tangled with the idlers and I sheared off a plastic chain keeper.

But there are two very serious side effects that no one has mentioned. The first is this big grin you get on your face. It becomes permanent and distorts you facial features. There is no known cure. The second is the addiction that is stronger than any opiates known to man. You want to ride. You need your fix. You want miles and lots of them. More miles, faster miles. You start propping your feet up when you are in your office chair and holding your hands like they would be on the bars. You get glassy eyed and dream of cruising down scenic roads. This is the point of no return. You are hopelessly hooked on recumbents. Something I'm not sure that a trip to the Betty Ford clinic could cure! Now, go get your 'bent and ride it!

'bent Brian

AdrianB 07-12-04 12:15 AM

Geez Brian, you're not making this any easier... Here I am lurking in the back trying to find reasons why I should not get 'bent!!! ;)

geebee 07-12-04 04:48 AM

Get a tadpole trike then slippery conditions just become time for fun, get clipless pedals or at least clip pedals you only have to put your feet down to get off, so if they jam who cares? ( ever had your foot jammed in the pedals when you want to stop on a 2 wheeler, not fun ) and their braking is phenomonal.

alanj1 07-12-04 05:50 AM

Leg suck, crashes, getting hit by a car, insulted by drivers, can and do happen with much more frequency on a DF bike than a recumbent. Now, before someone brings up the fact there are tons more DF bikes on the road than recumbents, take the time to investigate the seriousness of the ijuries and the relativity. In fact, I would go on to say that far more have met their end on a DF bike than a recumbent, no matter how you manipulate the numbers!

Anyone looking for an excuse NOT to do something will find it! The same goes for someone looking for the "glass half full!" It's difficult to say how many bent riders there are today, but it's a pretty safe bet there are darn few switching back to a DF bike or any other save a recumbent trike!

If it's too expensive for your pocket, make your own. If you're not mechanically inclined, buy a kit and have someone help you put it together. If you don't want to ride city streets, then find places or trails where the traffic is minimal. If you are determined to do it, and that is the key, you'll find a way. The opposite also applies.

Best slogan of the last 50 years still says it all. "Just Do It!"

bentcruiser 07-15-04 05:56 AM


Originally Posted by everitreed
I am consideing getting a recumbent. Since I am young, 22, I am worried about any long term health problems associated. Does anyone know of any?

People will think you had overactive botox surgery due to the unremovable smile from your face.

NuTz4BiKeZ 07-16-04 03:00 AM


Originally Posted by bentcruiser
People will think you had overactive botox surgery due to the unremovable smile from your face.

There is the distinct possibility that you will achieve some measure of fame riding a bent... recently I was attacked in a public meeting because of my cycling passion, they considered it weird that I sometimes use a bike to get around when I am at work but riding my collection of homebuilt bents got me the title of village idiot... Biggest laugh I have had for years.
The more I laughed the louder and faster the stoopid woman ran off at the mouth... Oh man I thought she was going to pop a vein :D

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