Which Recumbent Seats Are Most Comfortable?

Which Recumbent Seats Are Most Comfortable?

Which Recumbent Seats are Most Comfortable?

You might be thinking to yourself, aren’t all recumbent seats designed for comfort? And generally speaking, the answer to this question is yes. Because recumbent trikes have a reclined seat, they offer better support. They are designed to “cup” your whole body, but people come in different shapes and sizes.

Therefore, when choosing a recumbent seat, you have to consider your size and shape, as well as where you intend to ride your recumbent trike. Like any seat, what is comfortable for one person is not going to be as comfortable for another. Here we look at the different types of recumbent seats to help you decide which is the most comfortable for you.

Design of the Recumbent Seat

Recumbent tricycle seats are usually about the height of a dining room chair. That makes them easy to get in and out of, but also can cause issues if you tend to go faster and take a lot of corners. When you think of the positioning of the seat, you can imagine that the higher up you are, the easier it becomes to take a topple, because you are closer to the position of a traditional upright bike. With a trike, you combine a lower seat with three wheels for added stability. When you see models with a seat lower to the ground, that is a high-performance trike designed to go faster and avoid issues such as wind. But if you are limited in how low you can go when getting in and out of the trike, the low design won’t be right for you.

Performance vs Comfort

The hammock-style seat is designed for extra comfort and support for your entire body. If you’re all about performance, you have that added balance, but the chair might not be as comfortable compared to other types of recumbent seats. For example, high-performance trikes tend to have seats with a carbon fiber shell that is quite rigid. They are also quite narrow, so they are suited to someone who is leaner.

Cushioned Seat

This seat is designed for the everyday rider. Regardless of your weight, you’ll find an ICE Ergo Luxe seat accommodates you nicely. In fact, it also comes in size options both narrower and wider. This seat is also quite cushiony, compared to the hammock, high-performance style seat. It offers excellent breathability thanks to ventilation areas, so you get everything you would want in a seat:

  • Soft seating
  • Support
  • Breathability
  • Size options

The option for a skinny or wide version offers the same features, but with a more customized “fit.”

Wider Seats

If you prefer, you can also get a mesh seat with straps on the back which offers a more hammock-like quality. This gets you back to the comfort vs performance discussion providing more flexibility but not as much cushion. In this design, you use the straps to adjust the amount of support you prefer, as opposed to the extra padding. If you want an extra-wide seat, the Greenspeed Magnum, the ICE Adventure HD, and the TerraTrike Rambler are good options for you.

Recumbent Seat Pads

Often, we invest in a trike that meets most of our needs, but over time we find it isn’t as comfortable as we like. It could be because you start taking longer rides, or you simply find you don’t feel as supported as you’d like. If you have a TerraTrike but wish the seat had more cushion, no problem. The TerraTrike company understands no one seat is going to please every customer.

That’s why they make accessories you can add to your trike. Instead of thinking you need an entirely new seat or even a new trike, you can just invest in the extra cushions to improve comfort easily. Other trikes that don’t have a lot of cushions like the Catrike 700 and the Expedition can also be made more comfortable with a Ventisit cushion. Adding a recumbent seat pad increases the cushion for a comfy ride.

Other Recumbent Trike Accessories

As mentioned, over time you might find your trike is lacking certain comforts you didn’t think about at the time of your purchase. For example, if you have a Catrike, most come with a built-in wrist rest for added comfort. Something like an ICE trike could use extra support in the wrists. Luckily there are add-ons to improve your wrist support. As well, while many trikes come with headrests, if you purchase a model that doesn’t have enough neck support, you can buy a headrest accessory. It’s all about what makes you comfortable when you are out riding.

Other Comfort Considerations for Adult Trikes

Because of the low to the ground, wider design of the adult trike, not all adult trikes are designed with additional suspension. As a result, you might find that on certain types of trails your ride is a lot bouncier than you’d like. If this is the case, consider investing in wider tires. The average trike has wheels in the 1.25 or 1.5 width range. However, upgrading to 2.0 width on your trike provides a lower pressure tire, so you feel like you’re riding with a brand-new suspension system. Keep in mind that if you do plan to hit trails that are more rugged, there are many trikes like the ICE Adventure or Catrike Dumont, that come with rear or full suspension. It makes more sense to consider investing in a suspension system if it’s within your budget. If you don’t have the budget to invest in models with a suspension system, this simple tire hack is the best way to enjoy a smoother ride.

As with any equipment used for physical activity, it takes time to work in your new trike and get a feel for the true comfort of your ride. Much like a new pair of running shoes, you need to get out there and use your trike “in situ” as they say to understand if it meets your needs. When it comes to comfort, you might find your ride isn’t quite what you expect. Using accessories and add-ons helps customize your ride to suit your needs.

Get Comfort Accessories for Your Trike

Video Transcript

Laid-back Mickey here. Hey, today we are talking about whether or not trikes are comfortable. Trikes have a reclined seat that supports your body. It is meant to cup your whole body so that when you sit back it is like a Lazy Boy with wheels, or at least that’s what I call them. Most trikes are about the height of a dining room chair. Now when you go lower to the ground, those trikes are faster and more performance-oriented trikes. So, the wind blows over, but the comfort is still there. The seat is still a hammock style seat that is going to support your body. Now there’s different seats that are more performance based, but maybe they are not as comfortable. They aren’t as comfortable because they are a carbon fiber shell. If you are skinnier, then it might fit you nicely. It’s performance, it’s rigid, it has a lot of performance qualities so you can push on it hard and it won’t flex. But you know what? For me, I don’t fit my butt into that. So, if you are a little wider it doesn’t fit as well. Let me put this one away.

Let’s take a look at this Ice seat. This seat is for the everyday rider. You can be skinny, you can be a little bigger, it doesn’t matter because it has a lot of cushion to it. This seat has breathability with ventilation areas, it has a great cushion, and it supports your body. This is a great seat. So, they have two styles of this one, they have a skinnier and a wider version, and they are both great. You can also get a mesh seat with straps on the back and a hammock like quality. This has a lot more flexibility but not as much cushion like the seat on the ICE trike. But you don’t need all the extra cushion because it has the different straps to provide the support. This is an extra wide seat that comes from the Greespeed Magnum. So, if you want a wider seat the Greenspeed Magnum is a great choice as well as the Adventure HD and any of the Terratrike ramblers are going to be good.

Maybe you already have a Terratrike and you wish it had more cushion. Well, they make extra cushions for your trike. The Terratrike company makes cushions to add onto already owned trikes. You can get extra cushions that way. Maybe you have a type of Catrike that doesn’t have a lot of cushion like the 700 and the Expedition. You can add on something like this venti sit that will give you more cushion. Some people ask if they can get wrist rests. Most Catrikes already come with a wrist rest already built in. And with the Ice Trikes you can buy them as an add on to provide your wrists with extra cushion and support. I also recommend you get a head rest. When you are going up a hill, the head rest provides your neck with support and allows you to rest your head. When I’m riding, I don’t normally use the head rest. I only use it about 10-20% of the time. But when you need it, you need it, and it makes it more comfortable. Another way to make your trike more comfortable is, let’s say you have a bouncy ride, you can get wider tires. A lot of the trikes come with a 1.25 or 1.5 width tires. But you can increase to a 2.0 width on many trikes. It gives you a lower pressure tire, so maybe you aren’t going to race, but it’ll give you a suspension feel without the cost. So that’s a great way to make your trike smoother and cushier.

Talking about suspension, on many trikes like the ICE Adventure, you can get rear suspension and full suspension. On the Catrike you can get full suspension. You can also upgrade your tires for a suspension feel. Or just go rear or full suspension on your trike and you’ll have a great and smooth ride going down the street. Anyways this is Laid-back Mickey, thanks for watching this video. I’ll see you in the next one.

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