The practice of riding recumbents
The two main factors that make recumbent bikes an attractive alternative to upright bikes - speed and comfort. The lower frontal area and aerodynamic shape provides less wind resistance than an "ordinary" bicycle. This means that a recumbent bike takes less energy to maintain the same speed. Unlike an upright bike your body is supported correctly allowing you to concentrate on the view and the road ahead This means you can enjoy cycling without suffering from saddle pain, sore shoulders, wrists or neck. Some time ago an investigation made clear that recumbents are the most ergonomic bicycles. Apart from all these objective reasons, recumbent bikes are fun to use and give you a whole new perspective on cycling (or human powered transport!) At the end of each day, we see people of all ages coming back with a broad grin on their face.
Are they hard to balance?
No! Just remember that with a recumbent you are 'in a bike' as much as 'on it'. Simply settle into the comfy seat while holding the brakes. After a minute of getting used to the postion you can push off, concentrating on a point ahead. Like all cycling it's important to look ahead and the bike will go there. We regularly get people along to the shop that have never been on a recumbent and almost without exception, everyone can cycle round the traffic free square within ten minutes. It really is that easy to get started. And once you can cycle 100 metres you can cycle further and further....
Who are recumbents suitable for?
For those commuting a distance to their work. For those that like a healthy sporting activity that is efficient and comfortable. With a recumbent you can easily go 50km without thinking about it. So it is also a wonderful means of transport. At Ligfietswinkel you can discover an excellent selection of panniers and carriers to allow you to do carry everything from a briefcase to a tent. If you commute every day and want to avoid traffic queues this is an alternative worth checking out. Some companies encourage bike purchases with tax advantages.
Although the benefits of a recumbent are more noticeable over longer journeys there are now many models that work well in towns and cities. At Ligfietswinkel we can show, and let you try, a huge range of these bikes.
Touring cyclists have discovered the recumbent as the ideal vehicle for greater and lesser tours. Handy 'banana bags' can carry all your luggage with ease. You can cruise along on a well balanced machine with map pockets (or GPS) within easy reach. For even more capacity a trailer is a good option.
For children there are special, smaller models available. There are also special trailer bicycles, which they can ride safely behind you. Bicycle trailers for babies and small children can be towed behind a recumbent.
Tricycles are also fun as no balance skills are required to get started. Over the last few years they have attracted another group of people keen to try alternatives to the traditional bicycle.
For the disabled, various adjustments to this format can be made, including hand-propelled models.
There are about 30,000 people in the Netherlands that use this very relaxed and rapid transport. Thousands more discover recumbent bikes each year. You'll still stand out in traffic, but recumbents are now becoming a more usual sight.