Recumbent Bike Vs Road Bike – Top Reasons

The human race has gone through a long way of advanced civilization. From whale oil to diesel and now electric charged vehicles but the human-powered vehicle, the bicycle couldn’t be replaced by any of them. It is as popular as it was from its invention.

The bicycle has gone through a long revolution and development. There have been many ranges and different types of bicycle invented. Today we are here to talk about recumbent and road bikes comparison.


For century’s man have used animal powered vehicles for transportation. After the invention of the wheel, the vehicle transformation got a lot more comfortable. And then man made a human-powered vehicle which is a bicycle.

Bi means two and the vehicle is a combination of two wheels which are attached to a frame, one behind other. It’s a single track vehicle paddled by its driver and controlled through its mechanism.

The bicycle also is known as cycle or bike was first introduced in the late 19th century. The vehicle got much attention and popularity that by the end of 21st century its production exceeds 1 billion. There was more model of bicycle than cars, and the companies produced more bikes than cars.


Bicycles are mainly used throughout the world. You will hardly find any area where bicycles aren’t used. These vast uses are because of they’re easy to carry pattern, low maintenance cost, smaller in size, fits in the budget and many more.

There is a whole lot of use of Bicycle; they are used as a fitness tool, children’s toy, military and police application, delivery purpose, bicycle racing, bicycle stunts, etc. There is also a whole lot of range of different bicycles.

The most popular bicycles are road bicycle, touring bicycle, hybrid bicycle, city bike, ice bike, recumbent bicycle, downhill bikes, etc.

Why the comparison needed?

Recumbent bikes are comfortable bikes which are made to use as tourism bikes and relax ride. However, people are taking things differently. They are using road bikes even for the purposes recumbent bikes are made for.

Generally, they think about how they will look riding a recumbent bike. As the recumbent bike place you a laid-back position this look a little funny to some people.

They take this as backdated and go for straight-up bikes like road bikes. That’s why we are enlightening the facts and comparison about recumbent and road bikes.


Recumbent vs. Road bike

Till invention the bike making companies are up to upgrade their work from better to best. As there are a lot of ranges of the bicycle, there is a lot of difference between them. Today we are here to talk about recumbent bikes and Road Bicycles.

Recumbent Bike

Regular bicycle the rider has to sit on his back creating the full pressure of his body weight on a particular part of his body. But in a recumbent bike, the rider sits on a laid-back position which helps him to distribute his body weight through his back to the edge of the buttocks.

In a regular bike, the riders commonly end up having soreness after a long ride as the body weight put on the sitting bones only.

In recumbent bikes, the body weight gets distributed in larger areas so the rider can enjoy his long ride avoiding the pain. All the recumbent bikes come with an aerodynamic advantage, and its frontier profile has a minimal decoration as the rider reclined leg-forward position.

In 1934 UCI (union cyclist  Internationale) banned recumbent bikes from racing. Now the recumbent bikes race under International Human Powered Vehicle Association and ‘World Human Powered Vehicle Association’s banner. A recumbent bike holds the world fastest record for a bicycle.

The recumbent bike has various ranges available in the worldwide market. The main difference between them depends on their wheel size.

They are also categorized by their steering system, front wheel or rear wheel drive and faired and unfaired. In a recumbent bike, the front wheel is usually smaller than the rear.

Road Bike

From other categories of bicycles; when it comes to the road bike, the road refers to the speed here. These bicycles are built for traveling at speed on cemented roads.

Road bikes are meant to be the race bike though they are used for conventional purposes too. But they are not directly racing bike for the similarity the have named sportive bicycles.

Light metals build road bikes so they can be driven fast. These bikes have more endurance and typically have more gear combinations and less hi-tech racing features.

People generally choose these bicycles over the typical ones for its speed friendliness. These bikes are mostly used for touring and traveling.

Differences Between Recumbent Bike and Road Bike

There are a lot of uses of a bicycle. From a narrow turn of a cyclist to a firefighter occupied cycle. A lot of things are being considered before launching a new brand in the market. The riders age to its numerous uses.

Recumbent bikes are made focusing on rider’s comfort and pressure analysis. Where speed inspires a road bike. Here we are targeting some dissimilarity between a recumbent bike and a road bike.


Recumbent Bike

Road Bike


A recumbent bike is a bike in which the seat is set as a laid-back position so that the riders body weight can be spread through his back and sitting bones.

A road is a lightweight bike which focuses on its speed rather than comfort and safety. Generally, people use this bike for daily uses.


The wheels of a road bike are always evenly made; the wheels are equal in size.

Recumbent bike’s wheels can be uneven. One of its wheels can be more significant while the other one can be smaller.


The seat of a recumbent bike is made of a frame which is covered by soft seat cover and designed to protect the rider from being cold and wet.

The road bikes have a hard or semi-hard seat which is quite smaller than recumbent bikes


The handlebar of a recumbent bike is a little away than the road bikes.

In a road bike, you can lean on and stand to paddle harder. Its handlebar is bent and built to go through in air smoothly.

Speeding up

The speedup paddle for a recumbent bike depends on the lower back of the rider

If you want to speed up your road bike, you will have to use your legs and hands.

Climbing up

The mechanism of a recumbent bike makes it hard to go upside down. So, Recumbent bikes are not a good fit for climbing. Because, things get little tricky when it comes to riding your bike in the wind. The road bike’s bent handlebar and upright position make it easy to ride on when it’s windy outside. You won’t want to take the recumbent bike out in the wind for sure.

Road bikes are made to cross difficult roads, and their bent handlebar makes it easy for enabling them to climb friendly.

The fastest one

As the aerodynamic mechanism has made the recumbent bike one of the fastest bike its easy to descend with it too. If you are going down the bike will show a huge difference than a road bike. The difference is roughly 15-20 mph. Recumbent bikes are the fastest human powered bikes. If you are not a fashion freak and looking for speed, you will surely want a recumbent bike over road bikes.

Upright road bikes are slower than the recumbent bikes.


Last but not the least it’s quiet safer on recumbent than on an upright road bike.

On a road bike, you will have a fear of falling down and breaking an arm than you have on the recumbent bike.


If you are going to a nearer shop to buy some useful chores item, it’s better to take your road bike to do that.

Recumbent will only make you noticed a lot in this case.

Touring with bikes

In a recumbent bike, you sit in a neutral position and get a 180-degree view around you. You have minimal fear of an accident so you can relax and enjoy the view.

Road bikes are not a good fit for touring. On your road bike you don’t have many options to look around though if you do, you will probably end up with a broken knee.


There are so much to differentiate between recumbent and road bikes. They are made to use for different purposes. But people nowadays using them as random ignoring the fact they have their own purposes.

Though the recumbent and road bikes both are bicycle ranges, there are a lot more differences between them. Finally, let’s not be judgmental and try out a bike before jumping on conclusion.

Team Chooserly

A passionate blogger! Editor at Chooserly, and a regular author at HuffingtonPost, LifeHacker & Forbes!

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