You love to bike. But once winter rolls around, that pretty much spells the end of the cycling season. Don’t fret. Your cycling days aren’t over. Whether you bike regularly or just do it for the many health benefits, you can move your cycling indoors and get a lot of the same benefits through a recumbent bike. The word recumbent means lying down and, while the machines aren’t that comfortable, you are able to spare a lot of back pain and relax much better than on an average bike.
Once you decide you’re ready for a recumbent bike, get prepared to be overwhelmed. There are well over 250 different models of recumbent bikes on the market. And while the task of finding the right one for you may seem daunting, there are some basic guidelines that will help you make the right choice for you and your fitness goals.
While almost every recumbent bike has an adjustable seat, that doesn’t mean it adjusts to fit your height. You need to find the recumbent that adjusts to your own personal needs. Those who are shorter may want a recumbent with a smaller front wheel because the seat of the bike rests low. Those who are taller can perform better with either a small or large wheel but need to ensure the seat adjusts all the way back to allow for proper leg extension.
You should also take your weight into account when purchasing a recumbent. For those who are heavier or have circulation issues, you’ll want more room between your seat and the wheel – that measurement is called the wheelbase. This will keep you comfortable while still allowing for the best pedaling position while on the recumbent. If you are lighter or do not have any leg or back issues, a shorter wheelbase gives your recumbent a sportier feel and makes for faster pedaling.
A recumbent bike is already a more comfortable version of your outdoor bike. Better still, there a variety of seat types to make sure you can get your workout without the pain that typically accompanies a bike ride. From wide seats with gel cushioning to a smaller, aerodynamic seat more akin to your road bike, there is a seat that fits you perfectly.
Additionally, you can choose where the grips are on your recumbent bike. These are basically your handlebars and, for many models of recumbent, a pair is found just below the seat so you can rest your hands naturally. For those that want more of the regular cycling experience, there are also recumbent with handles near the top of the bike. Since most recumbents come with some type of screen to monitor your progress or display workouts, these handles are on the side of the screen and give your arms and hands the positioning they would have on your outdoor bike.The Perfect Recumbent for You
Your size and shape should not limit your options. With a wide range of recumbent bikes on the market and numerous options, you can find the one that fits you and your exercise goals perfectly.