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3 Benefits of Recumbent Bicycles and Tricycles

By Kate Gardner

My dad loves to ride his bike (the pedal kind, not the Harley Davidson kind). However, a lifetime of riding a regular bicycle began to wear on him, sending him on a search for a more comfortable alternative. That's when he discovered his new passion, recumbent bicycles and tricycles. These low-to-the-ground vehicles don't look like your average bicycle but they are certainly making a splash in the biking world. 

Recumbent Bicycles and Tricycles

The most important thing to know about recumbent bicycles and tricycles is that they completely change the way you sit to ride. Recumbent means to lie down. Recumbent bicycles and tricycles are built so that you ride them in a reclined position, as opposed to the upright position you're in on traditional bicycles. You also sit lower to the ground on recumbents. 

Benefits of Recumbents

While researchers haven't caught up to the recumbent craze, many people feel that recumbent bicycles and tricycles are safer to ride for a number of reasons. AverageJoeCyclist.com walks us through some of the possible benefits. 

  • Balance - Recumbents are lower to the ground and easier to balance than regular bicycles. Recumbent tricycles offer even more stability due to their third wheel. This can be an important aspect for older adults or those with certain health conditions who may have balance issues. A quick internet search turns up a number of stories about people who have used recumbent tricycles to help with stroke recovery. 

  • Comfort - Be gone, banana seat! Recumbent bicycles and tricycles have a seat more like a chair than a bicycle. As you can imagine, this is reported to be much more comfortable and allows many users to ride for longer periods of time. 

  • Head injuries - Because typical bicycles require you to ride in an upright position, accidents usually send riders head-first over their handlebars, which can lead to head injuries. Supporters of recumbents point out that when you ride in a reclined position, you lead with your feet, thus reducing the dangers to your head. 

While my dad loves his recumbent bicycle, I'm not about to give up my regular bike. For one, recumbent bicycles and tricycles tend to cost considerably more than their upright counterparts. I'm also not sure if I'm ready to zip around on such an odd-looking contraption. I will say, after taking one for a test-drive, the comfortable seat of the recumbent is almost enough to overcome my objections. 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Lawrenceville, Ga.  

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