10 Best Recumbent Road Bikes in 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

What’s a recumbent bike? That’s the first question that pops into your head the moment you read that title.

A recumbent bicycle is a three-wheeled bike that places the rider in a laid-back riding reclining position, almost like they’re sitting on their favorite sofa with a back and headrest and with the legs stretched out to reach the pedals.

Recumbent bikes were invented in the 1860s as an attempt to introduce a bike that was easy to ride, didn’t need the rider to pay attention to balance, and could be used even by people unable to use the normal bike. With time, recumbent bikes have taken on a modern look and design and they now pack impressive features.

We’re going to look at the best recumbent road bikes making waves right now, their biggest selling points and drawbacks, as well as the things you need to be aware of if you ever plan on purchasing one for yourself or a friend.

At A Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Recumbent Road Bikes

If you’re in a hurry, you can jump straight into our top picks (these are the recumbent road bikes that most people buy).

  • Performer JC26X Recumbent Trike 27S FRP Top Pick
  • Mobo Triton Pro Adult Tricycle Runner-up
  • Mobo Shift 3 Wheel Recumbent Bicycle Trike Runner-up

Top 10 Best Recumbent Road Bikes – Our Reviews:

1. Performer JC26X Recumbent Trike 27S FRP

The Performer JC26X Recumbent Trike 27s has one of the most peculiar tricycle designs on the market and has featured in countless road bike reviews. The all-black machine oozes nothing but class starting from the aluminum bike frame that gives the bike the durability and strength to handle even heavy riders without any strain.

The brakes are Tektro disc brakes that are known for their stopping power, especially when they combine with a high-quality Shimano rear and front derailleur.

The JC26X Recumbent Trike 27s requires some assembly settings to be tinkered with when you buy it but it isn’t something that’s too complicated to handle on your own for it comes with a manual. The hard shell seat features a mesh cushion that increases flexibility and comfort.

Pros

  • High speeds
  • Strong aluminum frame
  • Comfortable seat
  • Easy assembly
  • Beautiful design

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Heavy

2. Mobo Triton Pro Adult Tricycle

The Mobo Triton is the poster child of comfort, elegance, and style. The recumbent trike design and construction are so good that it’s hard not to turn heads your way every time you step out with it.

Like most Mobo recumbent bikes, it features a robust Hi-Ten steel frame with a rigid suspension for extra strength. It has a maximum capacity of 250 lb and can accommodate riders who are as tall as 6’3″, a feat that very few recumbent bikes can manage to pull off.

The position of the handlebars on this recumbent trike is strategic, made to reduce the strain on the arms and the shoulders as the rider cruises slowly on the road or the beach. The pedals are adjustable and are calibrated to allow the rider to power the bike with minimal effort, making riding the bike easy and letting you cover many miles before you start feeling tired.

The Mobo Triton Pro has a single-speed derailleur that’s more than capable of providing the needed power to get things moving.

Pros

  • Beautiful design
  • Solid steel framework
  • Strong alloy rims
  • Rubber tires with good traction
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Limited to a single-speed derailleur
  • The turning radius is too narrow

3. Mobo Shift 3 Wheel Recumbent Bicycle Trike

The Mobo Shift 3-Wheeler is considered to be the best reverse gear recumbent bike in the market. Looking at its sleek design, it’s really hard to ignore this recumbent road bike.

The recumbent trike features a Hi-Ten Steel frame that gives it the strength it needs to support heavy riders who can weigh as much as 250 lb and be as tall as 6’3″. The reclining posture can also be adjusted, and the backrest is equipped with paddings which come in handy for riders who may be suffering from back problems.

Some of the key features present in this recumbent trike include dual joystick steering handlebars for maneuvering, the famed gear that’s super fast, resin pedals that come with reflectors for increased visibility on the road, and fenders.

Pros

  • Very comfortable bucket seat
  • Paddings for back support
  • Reliable steel framework
  • Allows multiple adjustments
  • Affordable price tag
  • Good safety bike

Cons

  • Reverse function reacts very quickly and requires caution when dealing with it

4. Schwinn Meridian Full-Size Adult Tricycle

When it comes to commuting, the Schwinn Meridian Adult Three-Wheel recumbent road bike is the king. With a maximum capacity of 300 lb, the bike can handle just about anything and anyone on any road without so much as a creak.

Boasting a step-thru aluminum frame, this recumbent trike is an ideal road bike for seniors and riders who are struggling with arthritis but can’t let go of their love for going out for a spin every chance they get. It’s very comfortable and stable, making those rides from home to the grocery store of the gym such an exhilarating experience.

It has a 26-inch rear wheel size that provides the right traction to see you through most roads, especially smooth surfaces that can get pretty slippery after rain. The brakes are also of high-grade material and they have impressive stopping power that can be relied upon in emergency situations.

The swept-back steering makes steering the recumbent trike much easier. These recumbent bikes are good for seniors.

Pros

  • Step-thru aluminum frame
  • Supports up to 300 lb of weight
  • Easy steering
  • Durable construction
  • Good tire traction
  • Dependable caliper brakes
  • Ideal road bike for seniors

Cons

  • Heavy bike
  • Comes in only in single-speed

5. Artifice Adult Recumbent Tricycle

From a distance, the Artifice Adult recumbent tricycle looks like a baby crib. The comfortable seat is so reclined that you’d be forgiven to mistake it for a little bed on wheels, which shows you how smooth Artifice recumbents can be.

It’s the best recumbent road bike that has foldable properties. The frame is foldable Chromoly and has a maximum capacity of about 250 lb.

Unlike most recumbent road bikes, the three-wheel Artifice boasts of a 24-speed derailleur that gives the rider all the power they need to deal with every terrain imaginable. It’s rare to even find this kind of derailleur on a mountain bike built for the most difficult terrains.

The alloy wheels on this recumbent trike are robust and have low rolling resistance that gives the bike a good acceleration power in split seconds. When you add the stability of the recumbent bike, the easy handling, and the powerful brakes, you need not worry about being too fast when riding a recumbent.

The dual joystick steering handlebars make turning the recumbent bike around corners a walk in the park even for inexperienced riders.

Pros

  • Foldable
  • Sturdy Chromoly frame
  • Responsive caliper brakes
  • Elite engineering
  • 24-Speed derailleur
  • Smooth-shifting
  • Easy maneuvering

Cons

  • No rear baskets
  • No fenders
  • Expensive

6. Slsy Adult Recumbent Road Bike

With a 7-speed derailleur and strong stainless steel frame that can support up to 350 lb, the Slsy is the best recumbent road bike for adults on this list. The aesthetic design features a low frame that’s connected to adjustable handlebars and a seat stem on either end.

The 7-speed derailleur may pale in comparison to the 24-speed derailleur found in the Artifice but it’s more than capable of dealing with all kinds of terrain, be it the smooth urban roads or the hilly and rock mountain trail. Also, when you consider the maximum load of about 350 lb, then you have yourself a beast of a recumbent trike that can literally take you anywhere you want.

In the comfort department, nothing has been left to chance with these recumbent bicycles. The seat has a padded backrest that gives your back a good posture when riding a recumbent, protecting you from unnecessary pain.

The bikes also come with a rear basket that you can use to carry some light loads once in a while. These bikes can be used by seniors, too.

Pros

  • Large wheels for long rides
  • Powerful brakes
  • 7-Speed derailleur
  • Padded seats for comfort
  • Rear basket and fenders
  • Safety flag

Cons

  • The seat cushion could do with some upgrades
  • The seat is a bit too narrow for a bike that supports 350 lb

7. PFIFF Adult Recumbent Road Bike

The PFFIF is a recumbent road bike that’s a bit different as far as the positioning of the seat is concerned; it almost resembles an office chair but it has reclining capabilities depending on the preferences of the cyclist.

The frame of this recumbent trike is made out of TIG-welded steel rigid enough to support heavy and tall riders. It has a 7-speed Shimano derailleur coupled up with Shimano V-brakes—the two combine well to grant the cyclist all the power they need to push their recumbent bike to the limits.

A leaned back handlebar ensures that your sitting position on these recumbent bicycles is comfortable both for your back and for extending the reach of your feet to the pedals below without straining.

Lastly, the backrest area on these bikes has a breathable mesh that gives your back the room to dissipate any sweat that forms by allowing wind to blow through cooling you down.

Pros

  • Comfortable ride
  • Breathable backrest
  • Shimano components
  • Reliable brakes
  • Fenders
  • Storage compartments

Cons

  • Pedals aren’t sturdy
  • The seat is a bit too narrow for most people

8. Viribus Adult Recumbent Road Bike

The Viribus is the best recumbent trike with a simple design; raised handlebars and an adjustable seat that’s connected by a strong carbon steel framework. As much as it may be limited in terms of the derailleur, the single-speed recumbent bike can take on most roads without any complaints.

The rear wheel rims are made of aluminum and are sturdy enough to support riders that weigh 250 lb. They also feature some powerful caliper brakes that can bring the bike to a complete speed from a high speed without throwing the rider off the bike, thanks to a low center of gravity.

The adjustable handlebar makes it possible for any rider, no matter their size, to use these bikes. You can adjust the arms reach as you wish as well as the seat stem.

The recumbent bike comes assembled for the most part but it always pays to check everything carefully before taking it out for a ride. These bikes are ideal for seniors.

Pros

  • Colorful options
  • Solid carbon steel framework
  • Low maintenance
  • Comes assembled
  • Reliable drivetrain
  • Powerful brakes
  • Safety flag

Cons

  • Single-speed derailleur can’t deal with challenging terrain

9. Mantis Tri-Rad Recumbent Road Bike

The Mantis is another simple recumbent tricycle with a simple design that makes it ideal for senior citizens. It’s a single-speed recumbent road bike with a steel frame with a carrying capacity of over 330 lb.

This recumbent bike is a highly accessorized bike that comes with fenders, a basket, bike bells, and so much more, making it one of the best value recumbent bikes on this list. 

It has a front fork suspension that makes riding over bumps and holes much more comfortable, something that people with back pains and arthritis will truly appreciate as the bike exerts less strain on body parts.

The derailleur is protected by a chain guard and this allows the cyclist to wear any kind of clothes when going out for an evening trip as you’ll never be in a situation where things get stuck in the chain system.

Pros

  • Sturdy steel framework
  • Comfortable trailing
  • Powerful brakes
  • Solid front wheel
  • Comes heavily accessorized
  • Best value for money
  • A good exercise bike

Cons

  • Lacks a backrest

10. Mophoto Adult 7-Speed Recumbent Road Bike

This is a 7-speed powerful recumbent tricycle that has the capacity to carry people who weigh up to 350 lb, thanks to a solid steel framework and aluminum alloy rear wheel rims that can soak in any pressure applied on them.

This recumbent bike has a retro look—one thing that has played a huge role in bumping up its popularity among lovers of tricycles—and can comfortably be ridden by tall people. It has a swept-back handlebar position that gives the rider a good upright bike riding position that’s kind to the back while giving the right leverage to power the pedals efficiently.

These recumbent bikes have fenders and a rear bike basket with ample space for carrying things like shopping bags or your bag as you commute from class to your house. Also, these three-wheel bikes are ideal for seniors.

Pros

  • Foldable steel framework
  • High weight capacity
  • Retro look
  • Comfortable
  • Can handle hills
  • Solid front wheel

Cons

  • Lacks parking brakes

Things to Consider When Buying the Best Recumbent Road Bike

When going for the best recumbent road bike, there are some vital factors that you need to keep in mind. The notable ones include the following.

Comfort

One of the reasons why the best recumbent bikes even exist in the first place was to provide the comfort that regular bikes lacked. For this reason, things like speed records have been sacrificed to make comfort a reality, so get the best recumbent road bike that’s worth that sacrifice.

Seat and Wheelbase

The two influence the comfort and the balance of the whole bike. If the rear wheel base is short, the bike can only support lighter weight and has to have the seat raised higher for balance to be attained. 

A longer wheelbase translates to a better center of gravity and a lowered seat height, as well as an increased ability to handle heavy people, especially when combined with big wheel size tires.

Read Also: How to Make Bike Seat More Comfortable? 7 Tips to Try

Drivetrain

The number of speeds the drivetrain supports will determine how far the back can go and how much it can handle. Typically, most recumbent road bikes sport 7-speed drivetrains and that’s enough for this kind of recumbent bike, you may want to avoid single-speed models if you plan to ever go off-road at some point in the future.

Brakes

When buying a recumbent, you want a powerful and responsive brake lever on your recumbent road bike, the type that can come in handy in emergency situations.

Look for the best recumbent road bike models that feature Shimano V-brakes as they’re some of the best in the market and last much longer than other brake brands.

Frame

The type of frame material determines the strength of the recumbent bike and how far you can push it.

Steel frames are very common among recumbent road bikes but they tend to be heavy. Aluminum frames are more ideal and while carbon frames are reserved for the best recumbent road bike, not many models use them as they tend to be too costly.

Read Also: Steel vs Aluminum Bike: Which Should You Buy?

Budget

You can only get what your wallet allows you to get. The best recumbent road bikes don’t come cheap and if you plan to get a high-end model somewhere along the road, then you’d better start saving now.

That said, you’d still be okay with a bike that costs between $500 to $1000 as they have a good number of features found in costlier models.

The Bottom Line

Recumbent bikes aren’t your daily ordinary upright bike models and coming across them is hard. However, they’re just as good as the conventional types; if anything, they’re more comfortable and suited for those who are looking for leisure upright bikes or an exercise bike.

If you have been having second thoughts about getting the best recumbent road bike to your collection, then this guide is one of the best recumbent road bike reviews you’ll come across and is what you have been waiting for. Simply follow the tips outlined and you’re sure to land recumbents that will satisfy your needs.