Why ride a recumbent?
Speed is cool
Air resistance is the greatest resistance factor when cycling on a level road.
Reclining reduces air resistance. When you, on top of that, choose to position yourself close to the floor, you can go even faster with the same effort. Since the airstream there has almost allways been broken by all kinds of obstacles. But the faster you go, the stronger the airresistance and the more important it is to streamline your bicycle.
The ICU, the international cycling union, once excluded recumbent bikes from competitions. Recumbent riders just won way too often. The ICU has strict guidelines how a bicycle should look, to make it a competition between the riders. This has slowed the development of recumbents down for years. But believers organize recumbent cycling competitions and set records. In those races it certainly helps to have the best bike. Mark has a lot of experience here. The many cups that are on display in the shop show that. Esther borrowed a Challenge Fujin and won second place in the Recumbent World Championships of 2002.
The world speed record on a fully streamlined recumbent bike in 2018 is: 138 km / h, for women it is 121.8. The riders get onto speed by themselves over 6 k and their speed is measured over 200 meters.
The world hour record on a UCI recognized bicycle is 52,491km from Rohan Dennis, who achieved it in 2015.
The world hour record for fully streamlined bicycle is 92.439 km from Francesco Russo ridden a fully enclosed recumbent bike the Metastretto on June 26, 2016
Below is a list of different bicycles and the speed they achieved when testing them with a fixed input (always the same effort) of 250 Watt on a flat road with windless weather. (Note that 250 watts is quite a lot to achieve.)
Speeds overview at 250 Watt
- Standard bicycle, sitting upright 29.0 km / h
- Road bike, touring position 32.0 km / h
- Road bike, racing position 35.0 km / h
- Triathlon bike 37.0 km / h
- Recumbent bike (seat height 60 cm) 38.5 km / h
- Recumbent bike (seat height 40 cm) 39.5 km / h
- Recumbent bike (seat height 20 cm) 41.0 km / h
- Recumbent bike (seat height 20 cm) with tail tip 45.0 km / h
- Recumbent bike (seat height 20 cm) with foam streamline 51.0 km / h
- Recumbent bike with aerodynamic hard shell 69.0 km / h
Thanks to Bert Hoge, who took the measurements.