Different Types of Bikes at Home
Once in a while, you may have come across a bicycle which looked more like a piece of lawn furniture than a conventional bike. Their structure makes them look like pedaled lawn chairs which invoke the curiosity of which average cyclist would climb onto them. Those sit-down bicycles are known as recumbent bikes and are powered by the cyclist’s pedaling at the front side of the bike while the cyclist looks relaxed in a mesh seat with total comfort.
There are many variations of this bicycle, and this article will endeavor to explain them.
Mountain bike recumbents
Similar to regular mountain bikes, recumbent bicycles can be engineered to be used to navigate unpaved roads, hilly and off-road just like their conventional counterparts. However, due to their lengthier wheelbase and the way in which the rider is confined in their seat, they are not the best option for such terrain.
These type of recumbent bicycles are common in Europe and especially among racing fanatics. They typically have two 20 inch wheels or a 26-inch wheel in front. The positioning of the wheel is between the wheels rather than above them. Since the seat is extremely reclined and the rider is sitting at the same level as the wheels and not over them makes this recumbent the most aerodynamic.
They are usually distinct due to two large wheels (typically ISO 559, 650C or 700C). This makes it necessary to have a higher-placed bottom bracket as compared to that on a low racer so that the legs of the rider are above the front wheel, making it necessary for the seat to be placed higher.
Highracers are usually better in maneuvering as compared to low racers since their higher center of mass makes them balance quickly at low speeds. At the same sitting position, they could be faster than low racers since rolling resistance is contrariwise proportionate to wheel diameter although some may argue that low racer are faster owing to aerodynamic reasons.
Semi-recumbent and crank forward bicycles
These are bicycles that use positions which are intermediate to a conventional upright bicycle and a recumbent bicycle. They are designed for casual use and have improved comfort and ease of usage as the prime objectives while sacrificing aerodynamics.
These are recumbents which are designed, built and sold with more than one seat, therefore, coupling together the advantages of tandem bicycles and those of recumbents. The most common the tandem recumbent has two seats.
These tandem bicycles are similar to tandem bikes but instead of two wheels; they have three wheels. They are available in two varieties; the tadpole, which has two front wheels, and the delta, which has two rear wheels.
To accommodate paraplegics, manufacturers have made hand-powered cycles which are regularly seen in at HPV meetings and are beginning to be used on the streets. They have a delta design; the front wheels are powered by a hand crank gearing system while brake levers are handhold-mounted.
Hand-and-foot recumbent tricycles
They offer the capability of combining hand and foot input of power thereby ensuring the persons using it experience a full-body workout.
These are four-wheel recumbent bicycles which offer the same advantages as tricycles. The extra wheel offers more stability especially in offroad terrains although they add weight and complexity to the structure.
Some enthusiasts design their recumbent bikes using parts from other bikes, mountain bikes in particular. These are custom made to the builder’s specifications and using available materials.
Some manufacturers design and sell recumbents to enhance portability to allow for packing and mobility.
Manufacturers have integrated couplers in their recumbent designs to allow for disassembly into small pieces and facilitate packing and mobility.
Recumbents are developed and intended for casual use and sports and in some cases for use in physical exercises. They are fun to use and offer a better alternative to conventional bicycles, especially for recreational use. However, they are not as versatile as the conventional bikes.