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Health

Recumbent bikes give everyone a chance to enjoy cycling

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For those who’ve always loved cycling but had to stop because of an injury or physical limitation, recumbent bikes offer comfort and adaptability to allow everyone to once again enjoy riding the beautiful trails of Kane County.

Hal Honeyman, owner of The Bike Rack in St. Charles, describes recumbent bikes as “feet first,” and have a lower center of gravity compared to upright bikes, which makes them very stable. The bikes can either have two wheels in front and one in back, which is called a “tadpole,” or one wheel in front and two in the back, which is called a “delta trike.”

Honeyman says both are very comfortable and don’t put pressure on hands and wrists.

“Recumbent bikes are good for people of all ages, from young kids to adults,” he explains. “But we’re seeing a lot of aging baby boomers who still want to be physically active but don’t find upright bikes as comfortable. These bikes have a nice mesh seat and a wide range of gears to make it easy to pedal under any condition.”

In addition to being good for a variety of terrains from roads to trails, recumbents often have electric assist, an electrical system built in to the pedals or rear wheel. Honeyman says they’re “smart” systems, which allow the rider to choose how much assist they want.

“If you’re on a big hill, you can engage the motor, and that will add help, but there’s no throttle,” he explains.

And anyone looking for a tough workout can find one on a recumbent. In fact, Honeyman says you can even get a better workout compared to an upright bike.

“They engage more large muscle groups, the legs and glutes and abdominals,” he says. “The population is aging and there is more interest in recumbents because they allow people to stay active, even with back or knee problems, or any physical ailment. People can ride with their families and participate.”

Another advantage of recumbent bikes is they are good for those with traumatic injuries or brain injuries because they are very adaptable and can be custom-made.

“You can get one with special pedals or one-side controls,” Honeyman says. “Recumbents are something that everyone can enjoy. They’re fun, and anytime anyone tries one, they immediately get a smile on their face.”

The Bike Rack carries a variety of styles, and Honeyman says the prices can range from $1,000 to $5,000.

“Some are mass-produced and some are custom-made, and they have different frames. They all have advantages. The key is finding the recumbent that fits your needs,” he explains.

The Bike Rack is located at 2930 Campton Hills Road, St. Charles. For more information, visit www.thebikerack.com or call 630-584-6588.