Upright vs. recumbent


Hi BikeRoarians, I can finally afford a real bike, and am wondering about recumbents. On the path near me I’ve seen a few guys riding them, and it looks like fun. Is it hard to get them maintained? Are parts hard to come by? Is there some reason they’re not more popular?


Hey Adam,

I have ridden a few recumbents and found them heaps of fun. Ranging from street rockets to full suspension electric MTB versions.

Your questions:

Fun - Absolutely being close to the ground gives you a real sense of speed and they corner like they are on rails.

Maintained - this is an issue, I have ran shops where we serviced them and done a lot of this myself. They don’t mount in a stand and therefore require a bit a big bench or you are working off the ground. Also most workshops are fairly small and would struggle catering for them. My suggestion here is seek out a store that is happy to work on them and build a relationship with them. The trick here is they won’t really want to store it so by having a good relationship you could arrange same day service.

Parts - Most of the parts are standard - derailleurs, shifters, brakes, bearings, rims, drive chain. When they build them they work around the problems to ensure they use standard kit. Things that are not standard are hubs and sometimes you require tandem cables, but for the most part that is not really and issue.

Why are they not more popular - there are several reasons:

  • Stores do not stock them as the floor space v’s revenue model does not make sense.
  • Consumers struggle to store them at their house.
  • As a mode of transport they are really hard for cars to see and, being wider than a bicycle, easier for cars to hit.
  • Most work places do not have enough room to store them if you ride to work.
  • They do not fit the traditional concept of a Bicycle so people struggle to understand them

let us know how you go…


Hey Dax, thank you, helpful! I think I will look for a recumbent. I found a store called The Bicycle Man that’s not so far from here which sells a lot of them. They say you can take test rides.

I will ask around here at shops to see if any of them are willing to work on recumbents. Maybe before I go shopping, the recumbent store is about eight hours away, that’s a long drive for a bike repair.