Why is it Called Recumbent Bike?

We’re all familiar with different types of exercise products. Naturally, each of them has a particular name to make it different from the rest, typically describing its motion or action.

Bikes are not an exception to that. There are many types of bikes available for you on the market, and some of the most popular ones are recumbent bikes. The reason for that is how comfortable they make their riders feel. 

Why are they called recumbent bikes? The word recumbent refers to leaning back or lying down. So the recumbent bike is called this because it defines the way the seat sits on the frame, lower to the ground and further back to a typical bike.

If you are looking for the best recumbent exercise bikes, check out our comparison article.

Table of Contents

What Is a Recumbent Bike? 

If you want to know why recumbent bikes are named this way, you first need to know what they are. Recumbent bikes are bicycles or stationary exercise bikes that allow their rider to lie down while riding them.

Schwinn Fitness 230 Recumbent Bike

That feature comes from its seat, which makes you stay even closer to the ground and gives you additional comfort. There are two types of recumbent bikes which are bicycles and stationary exercise equipment.

Although the recumbent bike is banned from competitive sport it still provides a great cardiovascular workout using the lower body muscles, much like the stationary exercise bike.

Both are very similarly built in terms of structure which is why they are referred to as recumbent.

These bikes are mostly used by people who want to have a more comfortable experience while riding a bike or sitting reclined on a stationary exercise bike. 

Why do they call it Recumbent Bike?

Getting to the main part of this article, it’s time to understand all the implications the name “recumbent bike” has. The easiest part to understand comes in the second word of the name since these products are bikes even though they look different from similar ones. 

The issue comes with the word ‘recumbent.’ When trying to understand the meaning of a word, the first thing you need to do is analyze the etymology behind it. Etymology refers to the study of the history of words and what they mean. 

 why do they call it recumbent bike

Etymologists analyze textbooks and anything that could have caused the origin of that specific word. The best way to do that is by separating the word and studying each part of it to analyze its meaning. Then, you can mix both meanings and get an answer to what the word means. 

As for the word “recumbent”, it comes from the Latin word “recumbentem”, which means lying down. Recumentem is the present participle of recumbere, and recumbere means to recline, lie down, or fall. The Latin pre- prefix means back, and cumbere means to lie down. 

Mixing re and cumbere would mean lying down on your back, and that’s what recumbent truly means. This term is mostly used for products that allow you to lie down and feel comfortable.

Recumbent bikes do that! Therefore, you can conclude that recumbent bikes are called that way because they let you lie down on your bike while riding them. 

Wrapping Up 

Although here at Cardio Capital we like to write about fitness equipment and cardiovascular fitness.  Following etymology, every bike that allows you to lie on your back is, in essence, a recumbent bike.

Knowing that helps you identify these bikes in a better way. Share this with your family or friends to teach them about the etymology of words!  

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An ex-triathlete, fitness coach and writer with a Masters in Sports Physiology. Fitness is my passion and I've had my fair share of home fitness equipment tried and tested!