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Street Machine GT After 6 years of dreaming, I placed the order for my recumbent, an HPVelotechnik Street Machine GT (right), on 12 November 2000. It finally arrived on 13 January 2001. Click here for pictures of this bike.

You can read more about this bike at the following sites:

(More recumbent links at the bottom of the page)

The History of recumbents

The Velocar No-one really knows when the first recumbent was built - I've come across dates ranging from the 1850's to the 1920's, and suspect the earlier dates to be more likely.

According to one story, the first recumbents had no gears, with the pedals directly driving the front wheel. The bigger the wheel, the faster the bike would go. And recumbents have small front wheels. So as the bike evolved the front wheel got bigger and the seat moved up and forward. Thus may the ordinary (or penny farthing) have been born.

With the advent of gears, wheel size was no longer such an issue. Recumbent riders could take advantage of the superior aerodynamics and more efficient riding positions afforded by their machines. So why do most of us now ride diamond frame bicycles?

The answer is the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale), cycle sport's governing body. In 1932, Charles Mochet produced the Velocar (above left). A relatively unknown professional rider, Francois Faure, found that he was virtually unbeatable while riding this machifne. He started winning races and breaking records left, right and centre. The UCI is a notoriously anti-progressive organisation. Rather than welcoming this new development in cycling technology, and perhaps spurred on by vested interests in the cycle manufacturing industry, it changed it's definition of a bicycle. The Velocar didn't fit the definition and bicycle evolution was all but brought to a stop.

In the 1970's, a few enthusiasts in North America started building recumbents again. Gradually their numbers have increased, with many countries now having their own recumbent organisations. The more people see them, the more people want them. As demand increases, the choice available is improving and prices are falling.

More Useful Recumbent Links

Organisations & Magazines UK Retailers (most retailers also do cycle hire)

NB - This list used to include all the recumbent retailers that I knew of in the UK. There are now so many that it's not realistic to keep it up to date, so bear in mind that the list is not exhaustive.


NB - This list used to include all the recumbent manufacturers that I knew of in the world. There are now so many that it's not realistic to keep it up to date, so bear in mind that the list is not exhaustive.

Recumbents for Kids


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