5 Methods On How To Use A Recumbent Bike
First of all what is a recumbent bike and is it for me? A recumbent bike is any bike, whether it be stationary or not, where the rider is positioned in a reclined position. Unlike the traditional upright bike, which can be uncomfortable to ride for long periods because of the unnatural position your body, the recumbent bike is designed to very comfortable. Not only are they comfortable to ride in, they are much easier to learn and safer than the upright bike. Because of how comfortable, safe and easy it is to use a recumbent bike, it has a variety of uses and benefits. They can be used for traveling, rehabilitation, relaxing and even exercising and weight loss. Another benefit of its design is that just about anybody can use it with ease, whether you are young or old, fit or overweight, or have a bad back or knees, the best recumbent bike is a perfect fit for everybody.
How to Use a Recumbent Bike for Traveling
A recumbent bike is great for traveling, not only is it comfortable and easy to use, but it also goes faster than the traditional upright bike due to less wind resistance, thanks to its design. They are great for going long distances without the uncomfortable stress that an upright bike puts on your body.
If you are a first time rider, there are some steps you need to go through to learn how to use a recumbent bike before taking it out on the road for traveling. First, you are going to want to find a clear, level road, free of traffic and other obstacles that may be impend your safety. Pick a paved surface; a dirt or gravel road can cause your bike to slip, like an empty parking lot or a quiet neighborhood street where you can practice. You probably don’t want start on an uphill slope as you may find it difficult at the beginning.
You want to start with the bike in a low or medium gear. Depending on what type of bike you have, you will be able to switch gears while coasting or standing still, but make sure you release pressure from the foot pedals before moving the shifter. If your recumbent bike has derailleur gears, you will have get off your bike and change gears while the pedals are turning (you may need help for this process).
After choosing your learning area and changing the gears, get on your recumbent bike and sit with both of your feet on the ground and put your hands on the handle bars to get a feel for your bike. Before you learn how to use a recumbent bike, make sure your seat is adjusted according to your height. Just like with the upright bike, your knee should have a slight 15 degree bend at the farthest point of the pedal’s travel. You may also need to adjust the position of the handle bars and the tilt of the seat to make sure maximum comfortability is achieved. You should be able to put your feet on the ground and also reach the pedals easily.
Test your brakes first before learning how to use your recumbent bike, safety should always be your first priority. Before testing your brakes, make sure that the kickstand is up (they are usually located on the back of the bike so it can be easy to forget). Bring the pedal back with your foot until it is almost straight up. Squeeze both hand brakes and push the pedal to ensure your brakes are working properly. Unlike an upright bike where you use your weight to push the pedals, you push back against your seat to exhort force on the foot pedals.
Now you are ready to learn how to use your recumbent bike. Find a target ahead of you in the direction that you want to ride. A lot of beginners make the mistake of looking at their bike instead of the road, causing them to lose their sense of orientation and balance. Unlike the upright bike, which you help steer by displacing your center of gravity by moving around on your seat, you steer by partly by leaning and compensate by moving the steering with your hands. Now that you know the basics of how to use a recumbent bike, you can release the brakes, push the pedal, lift your foot of the ground and you’re off.
Now before you can start traveling everywhere and enjoying the fresh air, there are still some basics you need to know on how to use a recumbent bike. You want to be able to travel without wobbling around like an obvious beginner. Try a few laps up and down the street or the empty lot so you can get a feel for the balance. Similar to other types of bikes, the slower you go the more your bike will wobble and the harder it will be to balance. You want to practice at a good medium pace so you can get used to the balance of your bike. Although, the balance is a little different from an upright bike, but the essentials are the same.
You will also need to know proper braking techniques if you want to know how to use a recumbent bike. You will want to apply both brakes at the same time and always have your feet ready to place on the ground when you come to a stop. If you are using toe clips, you need to give yourself plenty of time to unclip. You should Gear down when you slow down before you stop so your bike will be ready for your next start. If you’re not moving, make sure the brakes are applied the whole time.
After you are more comfortable with your recumbent bike, you can learn how to use more advanced braking techniques. If your bike has front suspension, you get better control if you brake with the front brake first, then the rear. This allows the front suspension to compress and can prevent your back tire from locking-up and losing control.
Now that you know how to ride and how to stop, you need know how to use a recumbent bike to turn. Just like the traditional upright bike, you need to lean into the turn while keeping pressure on the outside pedal in order to follow the bike into as vertical an angle as possible. Stop pedaling while in the turn and have the outside pedal down. Before turning you will want to brake and make sure you are making the turn at the right speed. If you brake during the turn, you will be more likely to skid and lose control, possibly falling and causing injury.
Now that you know the basics of how to use a recumbent bike, you can take your bike and start traveling the roads and enjoying the fresh air. While on the road, you want to be very aware of the conditions ahead. Seating on the recumbent bike is low, making it hard to see the ground in front of the front wheel. Unspotted debris or adverse surface conditions such as pot-holes can cause you to lose control and cause a possible accident.
How to Use a Recumbent Bike for Relaxation
If you are looking for a hobby that will get you out of the house, provide some physical exercise without tiring you out, and relaxing all at the same time, then a recumbent bike might be just what you need. You can sit back on its wide, thick comfortable seat and adjustable back rest while riding along a scenic road taking in the view.
Compared to an upright, which has a smaller seat that often causes saddle soreness after long period of cycling and is uncomfortable. The seat for a recumbent bike has often been compared to a comfortable piece of furniture, and is much more comfortable for people of all shapes and sizes. The unnatural position your body must stay in while riding an upright bike causes stress and soreness to your hands, wrists and arms because of the weight of your body constantly putting pressure on them, while on a recumbent bike, your arms hang naturally on the side. The unnatural body position on an upright also leaves your back and neck sore, making it difficult to relax and enjoy your ride. The natural reclined position of your body on a recumbent bike takes all the pressure off your back and neck, leaving your body relaxed and able to enjoy your journey.
How to Use a Recumbent Bike for Rehabilitation
You should not let physical limitations or injuries prevent you from enjoying the outdoors or exercising. If you miss feeling the air against your face while riding a bike down a scenic road, but are now unable to because of soreness in your back or knees. Or maybe you were in an accident or recovering from a hip or knee replacement. Learning how to use a recumbent bike is a great way for you to get back out there and at the same time strengthen your legs and get the exercise your body needs.
The design of a recumbent bike keeps your center of gravity low, making the bike more stable and allowing for better control. This is great for people nerve disorders, balance ailments and Parkinson’s. The seating on the bike also keeps your body in a naturally reclined position, taking stress and pressure off your back, which works great for people spinal cord injuries, MS, and ALS. Unlike an upright, where you use the weight of your body to push your legs against the pedals, in a recumbent bike, you push back against your seat to move the pedals with your legs. This takes a lot of pressure off your knees and works great for people who are going through post-operative rehab and trying to build strength in their legs. Recumbent bikes can be fitted for riders from age 9 to 90 and is an adaptive means of comfortable exercise and rehabilitation.
How to Use a Recumbent Bike for Losing Weight
Recumbent bikes, whether they be stationary exercise bikes or on road bikes, are a great alternative to upright bikes and treadmills when it comes to weight loss. Overweight people often suffer from soreness and aches in their body due to the extra weight they are carrying, and an upright bike and treadmill often put added pressure on their bodies, which can be damaging to the knees and back. The design of a recumbent bike takes this pressure off your knees and back, and puts you in a comfortable position while able to exercise and start losing weight. There are also a variety of routines and settings on a stationary recumbent bike that allows beginners to start at a slower pace and build their endurance while losing weight. The comfort of riding a recumbent bike also encourages the rider to go for longer periods of time without feeling the unnatural fatigue the stress of an upright bike or treadmill causes your body.
How to Use a Recumbent Bike to Exercise
Among all the other uses the recumbent bike is great for, let’s not forget the cardiovascular training you get every time you use your bike. It helps build muscles in your thighs, legs and buttocks. Different settings on your stationary can make your workouts as intense as you want them to be. You can also add dumbbells to your workout so your body can benefit. The comfort of the recumbent bike encourages the rider to meet the goals they have set for themselves and even go beyond. Unlike other machines that causes stress on your body that is not related to exercise, the bike leaves your body relaxed so you can concentrate all your energy on the muscle groups you are working out. It also has the benefit of working out parts of your body that is usually difficult to shape, such as the glutes and quadriceps.
Now that you know how to use a recumbent bike for a variety of activities you can see why the bike is growing so fast in poplarity.