Which bike or trike...?Updated 23/3/13
Originally I thought that bike seat height and angle would be the biggest factor but in fact I’ve sold more low racers and trikes than high racers. Much of what is considered ‘right’ has a lot to do with your own body and leg size. Not surprisingly some taller customers like the Nazca Gaucho, Bacchetta Giro 26 or Schlitter Encore for example. Others though still prefer being lower to the ground - part of why trikes sell even though they are much lower than a low bike (see pic above).
If you want me to give advice then a few things are useful. Firstly x-height so that I can judge whether you’ll need short cranks or a bigger frame... plus tell me what you currently ride and what you hope to improve with a recumbent bike or trike.
If you want a general purpose bike then the Fuego or Gaucho are well worth considering - both available as ‘allround’ versions to compare. The Gaucho offers both 24”, 26” and 700c wheel sizes. The Fuego offers two frame sizes and a host of accessories - see Nazca site.
Both the above are suspended recumbents so ideal for those seeking more comfort. If you want to really go for speed rather than just comfort you should be looking at SL models with no suspension. You can also do a mix of comfort and lightness using a carbon seat and lighter wheel sets on bikes like the Gaucho 28 (aka 700). In the end you’re the engine and a comfortable ‘engine’ on slightly heavier bike can let you enjoy longer events such as Audaxes.
If you fancy trying to make a recumbent equivalent of a road bike then you can forget underseat steering - almost all models will use tillers (rigid and tilting) or an aerobar set up. Most recently we’ve started selling Schlitter, Nazca and Performer frames so you can fit your road bike’s rim braked 700c road wheels on something with two thirds of the wind resistance. Be aware that a higher bike does take more to touch down with when you stop and that some designs have a very high pedal position.
If you just want a ‘promenading’ style bike then choose an entry level Bacchetta or a Spirit style bike with sliding seat and smaller front wheel.
Trikes are represented by ICE and Azub with their excellent ranges and websites and Hase with their Delta Kettwiesel and Evo variants.
Tandems - try out the Morpheus or Quetzal if one or both of you want/need to ride a recumbent tandem We have also supplied recumbent tandem trikes and Kettwiesel linked trike ‘trains’.