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Posted - 09/30/2014 :  05:19:45  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am in the process of building a pedal-powered boat using recumbent bicycle configuration. I have never ridden a recumbent and note there is a wide variety of geometries for seat position relative to pedals.

What is the most comfortable relationship of crank pin to seat bottom height, and seat back angle? When pedaling on the full out stroke should the knee be straight (as with a vertical rider position bike)or slightly bent? Seems to me that if leg were straight, gravity would tend to make the leg want to drop. No?

Is a handlebar necessary to permit the rider to exert force on the pedals? or to steady the rider?

Any assist would be appreciated.


Larry Lem
human power expert

South Sandwich Islands
2541 Posts

Posted - 09/30/2014 :  08:12:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The more upright one sits, the more vulnerable they are to the wind.

The more one lays back and "opens" the angle between shoulder, butt, and bottom bracket, the less power they can generate. But they can train to make "sufficient" power in that position.

I'd think that you'd want the lowest cg possible for best boat stability so one's butt would be on the bottom and the bottom bracket height would be such that one's heels just miss the bottom.

Knees should be bent when the pedals are the furthest away, maybe more-so than on an upright bike.

Larry Lem
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human power expert

6530 Posts

Posted - 09/30/2014 :  09:25:22  Show Profile  Visit warren's Homepage  Reply with Quote
A seat back at 45 degrees and mounted as low as possible with a BB about 5 to 10 inches higher than the seat base works well for an HPB.

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