Bikes just aren’t the same anymore. The diamond frame celebrates 100 years, but have we seen the end of an era? That upright frame may continue to be mass produced, but change is in the air!
Even though the recumbent bike shares a lifespan nearly as long as the diamond frame, it has only recently re-emerged with a passion to let the cycling world know it will not be ignored any longer.
A Bike Frame Design That Is Accessible To Seniors…
A result of this is yet another entrant known as a “crank forward” or “semi-recumbent” bike. The particular design of the frame for what could be called a hybrid recumbent, takes most of the comfort factors of a recumbent and incorporates them into a bike that is accessible to seniors.
Those with disabilities and others who may not be comfortable getting up or down on a typical recumbent will find the frame of a semi recumbent far more to their liking. The lower position of cranks and pedals on most models make it easier to get the feet down at stops, making the semi more practical.
The position of the handlebars is another factor that make a semi recumbent more comfortable for many riders. With a forward position towards the rider the bent forward position is eliminated, taking the pressure and weight off the hands and wrists. So no more numb fingers or wrists.
The Crank Forward Position Makes Pedaling Easier…
Because of a frame design that avoids the top bar completely, there is no need to do more than step over the lowest part of the frame to mount the bike. Riders with any challenges to legs, hips or knees will find this recumbent easy to get on and ride. This will give back to many the ability to enjoy something that the typical diamond frame eliminated. Even many recumbent long wheel base and definitely short wheel base frame designs were not practical.
The crank forward position makes pedaling easier as the rider is not pushing against their own weight as is typical on an upright bike. Instead the legs are pushing back to the hips supported by a seat with a backrest, with the rider getting better leverage and power to the pedals.
The real jewel of a semi recumbent bike is the seat, which also happens to be the same for any recumbent. At an average of 14” in width, most often standard with a covered foam cushion and a mesh covering for the backrest. This is what riding a recumbent is all about. There’s no small saddle determined to work it’s way up the anatomy, creating pain and discomfort after about 15 minutes into a ride.
The combination of comfort from anatomical support by the seat, handlebar position that eliminates the numb hands and wrists, an upright or slightly reclined sitting position offering a view of the riders surroundings are all great reasons to like a semi recumbent bike.
A full range of components as would be found on any quality bike will be on a semi recumbent as well. Caliper brakes, gears offering 21 speeds, 26” wheels front and back making steering smooth up front, and a reasonable dampening of the road in the rear.
A Frame That Allows Stepping Over To Mount
The added benefit is exercise that can be enjoyed rather than endured. Because of that the frequency of riding is likely to increase, rather than a bike sitting in a garage gathering dust because it’s uncomfortable and painful after a mile or two.
Taking into consideration the wide, comfortable seat that has a backrest which you can actually recline for your riding style, the easy on and off the bike, a frame that allows stepping over to mount. Then top quality components, affordable cost between $500 to $800, handlebar position that eliminates numbness in fingers and hands, and it’s hard to find a reason not to have one of these semi recumbent bikes for yourself. Then you can say as many others do, “Riding recumbent means never having to say you’re sore!”