No Pressure

    BikeFriday recumbent bicycle
    Laid Back: recumbent bicycles provide for a more comfortable riding position (Photo:

    In a recumbent cycling position, the pressure on the spine is only a third of what it is in the forward leaning position on a traditional diamond frame bicycle.[1]

    Dating back to 1896 and originally called the Velocar, recumbent bicycles or bents are nothing new. Recumbents traditionally have a two-wheel design but three-wheel configurations called 'bent trikes are increasingly popular. Enclosed 3-wheeled recumbents are called velomobiles.

    Recumbent bicycles come in two designs: short- and long frames. Recumbent trikes come in tadpole or delta configurations.

    There is a strong DIY element in the recumbent rider scene due to the fact that commercially made bents tend to be expensive, low volume products. Some DIYers have constructed completely ridable 'bent bikes using wood for the frame.

    Shielded recumbent bicycles and tricycles provide protection during use in diverse weather conditions


    Long Wheelbase (LWB) Bents

    a long wheelbase recumbent bicycle with polycarbonate fairing
    Hard-Nosed: a long wheelbase recumbent bicycle with polycarbonate fairing (Photo: Wikipedia)

    This section is under development.

    a long bent bicycle with fairing and bodysock
    Soft-Bodied: a long recumbent bicycle with fairing and synthetic textile bodysock (Photo: via


    Compact Long Wheelbase (CLWB) 'Bents

    This section is under development.


    Short Wheelbase (SWB) 'Bents

    a Flevobike Greenmachine short recumbent bicycle
    Case Closed: the Flevobike Greenmachine short 'bent with enclosed chaincase (Photo: the manufacturer)

    This section is under development.



    See the combination tandem on the tandem bicycle page.


    'Bent Trikes

    an older man on a tadpole recumbent trike, Zurich, Switzerland
    Sunday Rider: a tadpole 'bent trike provides a nice comfortable riding position (Photo: Toni_V on flickr)

    An increasingly popular design, in either a tadpole or delta layout, there are a number recumbents tricycle manufacturers on the market.

    a FlevoTrike recumbent trike modified for a cargo box at rear
    No Hands: the foot-steered FlevoTrike is ideal for carrying children or cargo (Photo:

    For more information on carrying cargo on a trike, see the cargo cycles page.


    Tilting Trikes

    A tilting recumbent trike of unknown manufacture
    Full Tilt: a tilting recumbent trike of unknown manufacture (Photo:

    This section is under development.



    1. HP Velotechnik press release [in German]


    personal mobility, human power, human powered vehicles, HPVs, HP trikes, recumbents, bents, r'bents, position, supine, semi-supine, design, crank forward, pedal forward, above seat steering, over seat steering, under seat steering, USS, fairing, bodysock,

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