This article is from the Bicycles FAQ, by Mike Iglesias with numerous contributions by others.
From: David Wittenberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
(updated by Gary Walsh email@example.com)
Here's my standard response to questions about recumbents. I'd be
happy to answer more specific questions.
Here's some info I posted in the fall of 1990. I think it's still pretty much
up to date. Changes from the last posting are in 's.
A few words about recumbent design, and then I'll provide a much
larger list of recumbent manufacturers.
There are three main choices in designing (or buying) a recumbent.
Frame material -- all the ones I know of are either Alumninum or Steel.
Wheelbase -- The front wheel can either be in front of the bottom bracket
(long wheelbase) or behind it (short wheelbase). You can't have a medium
wheelbase without a lot of extra work because the wheel and the bottom
bracket would interfere with each other. Long wheelbase is reputed to
be a bit more stable, while short wheelbase machines are often easier to
fit into cars for transport. Some long wheelbase recumbents fold in
neat ways to fit into a remarkably small space.
Handlebars -- under seat or in front of the rider. Under seat is probably
a more comfortable position when you get used to it (your hands just hang
at your sides), and may be somewhat safer if you get thrown forward as
there is nothing in front of you. High handlebars are somewhat faster
as your arms are in front of you instead of at your side, thus reducing
the frontal area. Some people find them more natural.
[There are long wheelbase bikes with both high and low handlebars. I don't
know of any short wheelbase, low handlebar recumbents, but there may
be some I don't know of.]
The following updated by Gary Walsh (firstname.lastname@example.org) March 2000.
Recumbent Bicycle FAQs:
Recumbent Mailing Lists
HPV mailing lists
HPVSO mailing list
W.H.I.R.L mailing list
Linear mailing list
Recumbent Bicycle Organizations and Clubs
The International Human Powered Vehicle Association:
An association of national associations and organizations,
dedicated to promoting improvement, innovation and creativity
in the use of human power, especially in the design and
development of human-powered vehicles (not just bicycles).
Human Powered Vehicles of Southern Ontario
Washington's Happily Independent Recumbent Lovers (W.H.I.R.L)
Recumbents.com's list of Recumbent and Human Powered Vehicle Clubs
Recumbent Cyclist News
The premier source of recumbent news and reviews of commercially
available recumbents in North America.
The technical journal of the IHPVA
Newsletter of the Human Powered Vehicles Association.
A British recumbent quarterly magazine.
Bike Culture Quarterly
Published by Open Road in the UK. They also publish the yearly
buyer's guide, Encycleopedia.
Bent Rider Online
An e-mag that started with the January 2000 issue.
Another new (in 2000) e-mag.
Other Recumbent Links
A good source of recumbent links and information.
Bicycle HPV Recumbent Resources and Sources
By Cycle America the National Bicycle Greenway in action.
Manufacturers and Dealers
See lists at:
The Human Power Source Guide - http://www.ihpva.org/SourceGuide/
[This has been copied from a flyer written by Robert Bryant of the
Recumbent Cyclist Magazine. He has given me permission to submit
it for the FAQ. - GW July 1992]