The sight of a recumbent in today’s traffic is no longer a rarity. Nevertheless, this rather unusual type of cycling still attracts the attention of most road users.
In the USA, around 50 million conventional bicycles are on the road, while the recumbent has approximately 30,000 units. Technical innovations and further developments of old bicycle models have helped the recumbent to new popularity since the late 1990s.
Modern also often referred to like biking, you can find the recumbent 1000w electric bike today in many forms. There is the two-wheeled recumbent, then the recumbent tricycle, or even the recumbent as a tandem. Also, the support of an electric motor in the electric recumbent is becoming increasingly popular.
Are recumbents allowed in traffic?
Yes, these unique bicycles can be used on the road if they meet the requirements of the Road Traffic Licensing Regulations.
Are recumbent bikes at a higher risk of accidents?
Due to the lying driving position, there is a risk that recumbents will be overlooked faster than ordinary bicycles. This may lead to a higher risk of accidents.
Recumbent bike: advantages and disadvantages due to the sitting position
A recumbent is generally referred to as a bicycle with a reclined seated position or lying position. The recumbent also has no saddle but is usually equipped with a net seat or bucket seat. The bottom bracket and the pedals are in front.
Depending on the type of bike, the handlebar is in front of the driver or below the seat. The top link is located in front of the driver’s chest and is the most common form of the handlebar for recumbent bikes. The lower link is fixed under the seat. Here are the handles usually laterally and slightly above the seat.
The most common variant is the recumbent as a tricycle – the recumbent trike – with two wheels in front and one in the back. The trike has proven to be more stable and stable, so many manufacturers prefer this model. You should have the best recumbent trike for the money to get full pleasure.
The sitting position or lying position when driving a recumbent bike is considered by many to be very relaxed and comfortable. In contrast to the conventional bicycle, support of the upper body is not necessary. The posture of the recumbent bicycle allows the relief of the wrists and arms. Also back and neck are as good as not charged.
Due to the relatively low seating position, there are even more advantages: Due to the small drop height, the sitting position with the feet ahead and the changed head position when driving a recumbent, accidents in road traffic are less likely to result in serious injuries.
Recumbents in traffic
There is still disagreement about the visibility of recumbents. Drivers often state that they can not see the wheels behind parked vehicles because the low driving position does not allow the driver to protrude above other road users. Recumbents, on the other hand, say they are better viewed because of the attention your vehicle generates.
For participation in road traffic and road, use applies for recumbents, as for all other types of bicycles, the Highway Code and the Road Traffic Licensing Regulations ( StVZO ). For the use of a recumbent, no separate approval or insurance is necessary.
A helmet is not required for recumbents.
Besides, however, the wheels must be equipped roadworthy. That means there must be two independent brakes as well as a front reflector and a reflector. Besides, a light-colored bell and reflectors on the wheels are also part of the traffic-safe equipment. If a recumbent bike is not roadworthy, fines are imminent. Even when driving under the influence of alcohol must be expected to fines since for recumbent cyclists, the same alcohol limits apply as for cyclists.
A disadvantage may be in unclad variants of weather protection. The body is hit in the driving position by both wind and rain and snow at full length. Through the additional installation of transparent front protection and special rain capes, good rain protection can be generated. In addition to retrofitting for rain protection, many recumbents can also be equipped with transport boxes and bicycle bags.
The assumption of a recumbent bike can be difficult due to the dimensions, so driving in some train types can be a problem.
Which types are there?
Modern recumbent bikes are also often referred to as a short-hauler. Here, the wheelbase is smaller than in the older Langliegermodellen, what they maneuverable making and for everyday life as well as for trips suitable. This recumbent is currently the most widely used.
These following recumbent types are still in production today:
- Short trailers with the short wheelbase
- the low-flyer variants are equipped for sporting use
- The articulated arms are steered by shifting the weight
- Langlieger with the long-wheelbase
- Chair wheels with a high seating position
- Recumbent tricycle: is also available in the variant with two front wheels
- Velomobile is a unique form, fully covered
- Lying tandem is designed for two drivers, there are two or three wheels
- Rowing wheels are driven by the power of the arms
- Belly buggies in which the driver lies on his stomach, here is often the overview limited
Recumbent particular case: The velomobile
The velomobile is a recumbent tricycle, which is fully clad and commonly used for sporting purposes. The Velomobiles are manufactured in lightweight construction and partly supported by an electric motor. This variant of the recumbent bike usually has two front wheels and one rear wheel. The steering is referred to as Panzerlenkung.
Some velomobiles are fully interconnected, but can also be driven without shuttering. For other velomobiles, the shuttering is part of the construction and can not be removed. Depending on the design, there is a Velomobile in a completely closed or semi-open form. The ventilation of the vehicle takes place via the airstream.
Due to the formwork and the resulting weather protection, the Velomobile is also known as an all-weather, year-round bicycle. Moreover, these recumbents provide storage space for luggage or purchases, so that a Velomobile can be used well in everyday life.
Also, at velomobile, it requires no special permission to use the roads but needs traffic safety to be given as well as the road traffic regulations are followed. Otherwise, there will be fines.Read about WeRedesign.