Recumbent Links

No-weld recumbent SWB

Recumbent Bicycle Pictures

First, my own recumbent. The original bike in the first picture below.
A common name for this style of design is: "stovepipe special". ie the bike is built using muffler pipe or some such pipe joining a standard rear triangle and forks. Typically it is a mild, thick walled steel tube.
In the first incarnation of this bicycle the chain line was going thru the seat and I had to deflect it using a nylon pully. That make the bike really, terribly slow! The design that you see below has the rear triangle sloping down and the main tube is far too long. The bike had a very soft ride and the chainstays were flexing noticably when I jumped the bike off of curbs and ramps. Because of this I expect that the stays would have failed within a year of riding.
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The seat is the hardest thing to make. I went thru 3 different designs and never found one that I considered comfortable. Even the commerical recumben bikes I tried all had seats that I found uncomfortable to extreamly uncomfortable. On the other hand I know people who find nothing as comfortable as a recumbent!
I detest wide seats with steering bars under the seat. It makes the bike feel like a big wide sail. I prefer the steering in front of the rider.
All in all I never found a recumbent that I could call fast or comfortable. I modified my own bike two times and built another recumbent with a friend. In that design we kept the entire rear triangle intact - BOTH DERAILLEURS!. Then a chain ran from the crank in the front to the rear triangle crank. It required us to make a frame with an adjustable length - so that the chain could be tensioned. It was quite awkward! I do have friends who would choose their recumbent over any upright bike for comfort. Be sure you try one before you buy!

All of the recumbents that I rode were slower than my upright bikes and very uncomfortable for rides over 1 hour. Every time I re-adjusted the seat I spent hours of painfull riding getting used to the new position.

Here is my second design. The rear triangle was rotated upwards and the main tube was cut a bit shorter. Rotating the triangle solved the problem of the chain line going thru the seat.
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(c)1993 Eric Praetzel (c)1993 Eric Praetzel (c)1993 Eric Praetzel

Here is my design next to a recumbent built by Doppler Cycles in Kitchener. They built some excellent bikes but the company disolved about 1999 I believe. Their more amazing bike was one with the rear wheel held by a single chainstay. The gears were on one side of the stay and the wheel on the other. That sort of design is known as a bit of a wet noodle (twists very easily).

This is just a home-built mountain bike that I ran across while cycling. It was literally welded up with custom wall thickness out of sheet aluminum!

Here are a handful of other recumbent designs.
Some of these pictures I recieved from cyclists in California and England.
I'll start with the home-built bikes. Some of these may be home built; but they are designed for production!
Sprint without a cover picture Ice racing recumbent

Geni picture picture Lightning picture picture picture picture

Pictures from the Grand River in Kitchener, Ontario
Pictures from the Ride for Heart in Waterloo, Ontario
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Misc. cycling pictures:
  • Lost Pictures (tri.jpg, doplr1.jpg, ep-all.jpg, rd2-c2.jpg)

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