A recumbent bicycle is a bicycle that places the rider in a laid-back reclining position. Most recumbent riders choose this type of design for ergonomic reasons; the rider’s weight is distributed comfortably over a larger area, supported by back and buttocks. On a traditional upright bicycle, the body weight rests entirely on a small portion of the sitting bones, the feet, and the hands.
Recumbents are available in a wide range of configurations, including: long to short wheelbase; large, small, or a mix of wheel sizes; overseat, underseat, or no-hands steering; and rear wheel or front wheel drive. A variant with three wheels is a recumbent tricycle.
About Recumbent Bicycles
Recumbent bicycles are the “odd ball” of the bicycle world. However, because of their unique, more relaxed, riding position and extra comfortable seats, many people find that recumbents can solve a laundry list of aches, pains, and general comfort problems that they have encountered using regular up right bicycles. Most bike shops want little or nothing to do with recumbents, and it is difficult to find a store that even has any in stock. Here at Kirk’s, we stock and understand recumbent bicycles. We have been working with them since 1979, when we built and competed in “The Other Woman”, a built from scratch recumbent racing tricycle, complete with a full aerodynamic fairing. In this early example of a modern recumbent tricycle, Kirk, then a 30 year old working husband and father, was able to reach a top flat ground speed of 46.3 mph! This result was good enough for a 6th place finish in the International Human Powered Vehicle Association’s World Championships, against a strong field of other faired recumbent bicycles, many of them piloted by younger, national class and professional cyclists. In addition, Kirk and Trudie have logged over 10,000 miles on club rides, tours, and various cycling events aboard a wide variety of recumbent tandems. At Kirk’s, we truly know and understand recumbent cycling!
Over the years, we have found that the majority of our new recumbent customers come to us having never ridden a recumbent bicycle before. Because of this, we specialize in getting these folks started on that (shaky at first) initial recumbent ride. When you schedule a recumbent appointment with Kirk, he will start by interviewing you to find out what interests you most about recumbent cycling, and then help you select one or more models to try that are likely to work best for your wishes, needs, and budget. Next, he will carefully fit and adjust the selected model/s to your body size and type, so that you can get the most out of what comes next—THE FIRST TEST RIDE!!— Moving out to the safety of the parking lot, you will next receive an explanation of some of the basic nuances of recumbent riding which, among other things, involve relaxing and finding your balance. When you are ready, Kirk will support the bike by standing behind it and holding the seat back. Then, he will have you settle into the seat and get one foot up on a pedal, while the other foot rests on the ground. He will then help you launch yourself forward and continue to support you until he is convinced that you have found your balance. At that point he will let you continue forward without his support. Most folks are a little shaky at first, but generally gain confidence and control (and a big smile!) within 5 minutes. Once you have ridden one recumbent model, it is usually no problem to ride any other that might interest you, so by the end of your (no time limit) appointment you should have gained a good initial understanding of what recumbent riding is like and which types of recumbents work best for you.
To schedule your personal recumbent test ride with Kirk, just give him a call or drop him an email. That’s all it takes!!”