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Recumbents and Hills?

 

A good recumbent climbs about the same as a good road bike although trikes due to the additional weight will be slower. Remember with a trike you can stop and don't have to get off. You have tremendous leverage against the back of the seat even though you can't "stand" on the pedals. You will be using a slightly different muscle group so plan on a month or so before your "recumbent muscles" are as strong as your "upright muscles". After the first month or so you should climb hills about like you would on your regular bike. The best recumbents for climbing have very stable and supportive seat systems and a very efficient chain line.

 

Are Recumbents Safe To Ride?

 

On a recumbent you ride feet first so you always have a full view of where you're going and your center of gravity is lower for stability. Most recumbents position the rider more than high enough to be seen as easily as an upright bike. Because there are so few recumbents on the road drivers actually notice you sooner and give you a wider berth than conventional bikes (along with a few stares and waves!) In addition, it's nearly impossible to "flip over the handlebars" on a recumbent.

 

On traditional bikes ~80% of the accidents that cause a rider to go to the hospital involve a car and ~80% of those cars didn’t see the bike till it was too late. Being seen is very important. This involves more than being high off the ground (a number of riders on normal bikes don't feel that safe in traffic). Wearing bright colours is a great idea although that is with any bike. 

 

When a traditional bike has an accident you are likely to arrive headfirst. On a recumbent you will likely arrive feet first. On a bent you may be less likely to get a concussion but more likely to break an ankle. If you are at risk for osteoporosis you should consult your doctor to see if they think you would be safer on a trike where you are less likely to fall over and hurt yourself. And if you ride a trike use a flag.

 Recumbent and Hills and are they Safe?