Many bike speed records have been broken by recumbent bikes. Recumbent bicycles were banned from international racing in the year 1934 and they haven’t seen widespread use until during the 20th century.
Recumbent bikers hold many world speed records for human powered, unpaced types of races. Interestingly, tricycles actually fall into the recumbent bike category and for whatever reason are generally accepted into the main ‘upright bike’ category.
Recumbent bikes are typically classified further by the size fo their wheelbase. There are long wheelbase recumbents (LWB), short wheelbase (SWB) recumbent bikes, and (CLWB) compact long wheelbase recumbent bikes.
Each of these types of recumbent also have somewhat different positioning of the pedals and wheels as compared to the seat. With long wheelbase recumbents the pedals are located in between the seat and the front wheel.
Compact wheelbase recumbents have their pedals either above the front wheel or very close to it. And short wheelbase recumbent bicycles have their pedals in front of the front wheel.
Recumbent bikes have several advantages over upright or traditional bikes. Some of these differences are described below:
Recumbent bikes encourage a posture that reduces strain on the body. This makes them great for longer trips, and when a bike is comfortable for long periods of time we’re likely to bike farther, right?
A big plus is lower body circulation too. In a recumbent bike our legs are positioned at nearly the same height as our hearts, thus reducing hydrostatic pressure and the heart’s job of circulating blood through those areas.
Recumbent bikes are much more stable for obvious reasons: there are more wheels! Also, recumbents are situated closer to the ground.
When choosing a recumbent bicycle, riders have many more varieties to choose from than with traditional upright bikes. There are al kinds of variations and degrees of uprightness from which to choose.
There are some disadvantages as well. For one, recumbent bikes don’t allow riders to change positions, such as standing on an upright bike while going down a hill. And you’ll have to boost a whole new set of muscles. Recumbent bicycles use different muscle groups to power the bike than do upright bicycles.