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Preparing for Your Recumbent Bike Test Ride

What to expect during a recumbent bike test ride

Considering a new recumbent bike or recumbent trike? Great! There’s no better way to find the recumbent bike that’s right for you than taking a test ride. Knowing what to expect on your recumbent bike test ride will help you plan your time, and get ready for  fun!

When to test ride

Test ride when the weather is clear and you’ve got some time to devote to selecting your recumbent bike or trike. Store hours vary by season, so double check before you head out.

Understand that bad weather can be dangerous for riders and can damage the bikes. If the roads are wet or covered with snow, salt, or ice, we do not allow test rides. Please check the weather forecast for Turners Falls, especially if you are coming from a distance.

Plan to spend at least 45 minutes at the shop trying your recumbent bike, more if you plan to test ride on a Saturday, if the shop is very busy, or you want to try several models. Bikes must be adjusted to each rider, and that takes time to do properly. Some customers spend 3-4 hours here for test riding and having their recumbent bikes or trikes readied to take home. Some days are very busy, so you might want to be prepared for some down time during your test riding.
What to bring to the shop

Bring your bike helmet
You will need a helmet for your test ride. Most people like to bring their own, but if you don’t have a bicycle helmet, don’t worry. Basically Bicycles has loaner helmets available for test rides.

Wear comfortable clothes
Bicycle-specific shorts or jerseys are not necessary for riding a recumbent bike or trike, but you will want to be comfortable in clothes that move with your body. Choose clothes that are streamlined so they won’t get caught in the chain or the wheels of the recumbent bike or trike. Washable shorts, capri pants, narrow-legged pants, and t-shirts are all good choices.

Good shoes protect you
When you are riding a recumbent bike or a recumbent trike, your feet are in front of you, and, perhaps, slightly elevated. For your test ride, choose shoes that fasten securely on your feet and have gripping soles, such as tennis shoes or sneakers. High heels, flip-flops and similar sandals are not acceptable for recumbent bike test rides. If you have cycling shoes, those are ideal for test riding. You may also want to bring your pedals with your shoes if you have clipless pedals.

Bring your sense of adventure and your patience
Riding a recumbent bicycle is a bit different than the upright bike you might be used to, and the recumbent bike models can be very different from one another. The staff of Basically Bicycles has helped hundreds of riders with their first recumbent bike rides, and your willingness to embrace advice for your first time on a new recumbent bike will go a long way toward a successful experience.

Recumbent trikes offer a great ride that doesn’t require you to balance the bike, however, you might be sitting down on a seat that is lower to the ground than the chairs you use. If you are used to riding a bike, you’ll find the “body English” on a trike is totally different. Once you give it a whirl, though, you’ll enjoy the ride a good recumbent trike can offer.

On the recumbent bike
Tour your bike
When you first sit on your recumbent bike or trike for a test ride, check to make sure you know where the brakes and shifters are and how they work. Put your hands on the handlebars to make sure you can reach all the controls. We’ll also check to make sure the recumbent bike is adjusted for your body. Please ask any questions you may have about how the bikes work.

During the ride
Turners Falls has a lovely bike path for your 10-30 minute recumbent bike test ride. Basically Bicycles is just two blocks from the Canalside Rail Trail. See how the recumbent bike handles at both fast and slow speeds. Try stopping and starting, go up and down hill, shift, steer and try the brakes. Most importantly, relax and enjoy the ride!

After the ride
We want you to find the best recumbent bike or trike for your needs. We’ll ask you about your experience on the recumbent bike or trike. If you have any problems, questions, or concerns—please let us know. If you’ve found the one you want, tell us that, too. We can then set you up with all the accessories and safety gear you need to make the most of your new recumbent bike.

Depending on the recumbent bike or trike you select and the options you want, you may need to wait while we customize the recumbent bike for you, or you may need return another day to pick up your fully assembled recumbent bike.

If you find that you have some free time to spend in the area, exploring Turners Falls is certainly a pleasant way to spend the day.