Linear Recumbent Bicycles - Recumbent Bikes Made in America (USA).


Linear Recumbent Bikes Made in the USA

Linear Recumbents of Today
Linear 3.0 LWB Limo
Linear Limo 3.0
Linear Limo LR

Linear Limo Engineering

Made In the USA
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Linear 3.0 SWB Roadster
Linear 3.0 SWB USS
Linear 3.0 SWB OSS

Linear Recumbents of the Past
Linear 2.0
  LWB 2.0
Linear History
Linear USS History

Linear Recumbents of the Future
Mach III 2.0

Recumbent FAQs
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More Recumbent Info & Models
Iowa Linear Pages
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  Iowa Linear Models
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Frequently Asked Questions about Recumbent Bikes:


Q. What do you call that bike?


A. Recumbent bicycles get called a lot of things - we've heard them called Incumbent Bikes, sit down bikes, Recumbant Bikes, Human Powered Vehicles or HPVs and some aficionados refer to them as 'bents.


We use the term 'recumbent' bicycle to name bikes that allow comfortable riding in a seated position. My dictionary says recumbent means "leaning, reclining, lying - as in the recumbent position of the Romans while they ate their meals."


Q. It looks comfortable, is it?


A. Very comfortable thanks. From my butt to my neck, my body gets along with my recumbent very well. On an upright bike (AKA "wedgie" or ?neuter scooter?) the seat can't be very wide, or it will cause chaffing between your legs. With its pedals in front of the seat a recumbent doesn't have this limitation, their seat can be as wide as we are! Because the seat doesn't fit between your legs, it doesn't put any pressure on your anatomy there either. Your lower back is relaxed, and well supported. You are not leaning on your hands. Your arms are relaxed at your side, not holding you up, feeling every bump through the handlebars. In the seated position you don't have to crane your neck to see where you are going, it?s easy to keep an eye on where you are going. You can ride long distances in comfort, free from saddle sores, wrist, back, neck and shoulder strain. (Can you tell, I like recumbents?)


Q. What physical problems can be helped by recumbents?


A. Some common physical problems that can limit riding a traditional bicycle do not affect riding a recumbent. They include:
1. Butt & crotch pain or numbness.
2. Wrist & hand problems i.e. pain, nerve trauma, Carpal tunnel syndrome.
3. Neck, shoulder & and back pain & pinched nerves.
4. Male impotence (relatively rare.)

Q. Are they difficult to ride?


A. No, It may take you a mile or two to get used to though. They feel and handle differently, but you soon learn to lean back and relax. When my family goes to a campground, we usually take a Linear recumbent or two. We ride them around till someone stops us to ask a question. Then we invite them go for a spin and everyone does fine after 100 yards or so. Recumbents fit right in with the relaxed atmosphere at a campground. Different recumbents handle differently. Come dressed appropriately and, hey, my daughter could ride one when she was only 8!


Q. Can I climb a hill on a recumbent?


A. Yes, you can. You don?t have to stand on the pedals, just let your legs push your back into the seat and keep spinning the pedals. Liner recumbents come with a low "granny gear" so you can take your time and spin your way to the top. Usually you can keep up with most upright riders, and if you lost any time climbing, you get it back on the downhills and flat ground. Recumbents use different muscles, even a very fit rider will climb more slowly at first until they develop their gluteus muscles. I live 1/10 mile from a hill, a big hill. It climbs 425 vertical feet in 11/2 miles. I've climbed it on a few different recumbents, and I'm 45 years old! You may have trouble believing a bike that looks so comfortable can perform well.  


Q. Are they faster than ?normal? bikes?


A. Racing recumbents are faster but Linear recumbents aren?t for racers. Linears are best for touring; commuting; exercising; running errands and generally enjoying the outdoors. Just like any exercise, persistence yields results. You will develop some new leg muscles, (and speed) if you don't give up. Since most of a cyclist's energy is consumed pushing air out of the way, the smaller frontal area of a Linear recumbent gives you a bit of an advantage.


Q. Are recumbents easily seen by automobile drivers on the road?


A. Because recumbents are still pretty rare, they are eye-catching. Which are you more likely to notice when you are driving, a minivan or a Ferrari? But a Ferrari is so low to the ground! (On a Linear recumbent my head is higher than the roof of a Corvette!) Depending on the traffic you ride in, you may want to make your bike more visible (even on a wedgie). Try wearing a bright colored helmet or adding a flag.


Are they safe?


On traditional bikes ~80% of the accidents that cause a rider to go to the hospital involve a car and ~80% of those cars didn?t see the bike till it was too late. Being seen is very important. This involves more than being high off the ground (I didn?t feel safe in traffic on my 1879 High-wheel bike). Wearing bright colors is a great idea. I like the safety gear available at

When a traditional bike has an accident you are likely to arrive head-first. On a recumbent you will likely arrive feet first. On a bent you may be less likely to get a concussion but more likely to break an ankle. If you are at risk for osteoporosis you should consult your doctor, maybe you would be safer on a trike where you are very unlikely to fall.


Q. How do you steer it?


A. The Linear has Under Seat Steering (USS). The handlebars are just beneath the seat. Sit on a chair; relax your hands, hanging them at your side. This is where Linear?s USS handlebars are.


Q. Are recumbents a recent invention?


A. On our recumbent history page you will find a review of a recumbent with USS dating from 1905. Our USS recumbent museum includes a 1980 Avatar 2000, serial #0024 (the first recumbent to ride in Paris-Brest-Paris), the first Linear USS prototype from the early 1980?s; an Infinity from about 1987 and a DeFelice, also from the mid 1980?s. Check them out when you stop in for a visit and some test rides.


Q. Is their much variety among recumbents?


A. Oh yes! They are mainly classified by wheelbase and handlebar position. Wheelbase is the distance between the centers of the front and rear wheels of the bike. Some are long wheelbase (LWB), some are short wheelbase (SWB). Most riders find LWB bikes (64" - 72" wheelbase) more comfortable, fast and stable. They are great on the open road but U turns and navigating narrow, twisting paths can be awkward.


Short wheelbase bikes (SWB) have wheelbases from 40" to 45". They are easy to recognize because their front wheel is behind the pedals. Most riders find them more nimble and easier to maneuver. They transport and store more due to their size.


Q. I'm still slow! How long till my speed is back?


A. It depends on how much (and how hard) you ride your recumbent. Some riders find they are faster almost immediately. Some riders take longer to develop speed on a recumbent, especially riders who have trained and raced upright bikes. Just like any exercise, persistence yields results. You will develop some new leg muscles, (and speed) if you don't give up.




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