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Size, cost, and design will have the biggest impact on your choice of folding recumbent bike, and whenever possible, it is best to test ride the bike to ensure it is stable, comfortable, and properly fitted to you. Begin your search for a folding recumbent bike by visiting a local bike shop to ask for advice on shopping for the bike, and to see if the shop stocks any recumbent models. The bike is likely to be more expensive at a bike shop, but you will be getting better customer service in many cases, as well as warranty options and free or discounted service in the future.
Folding recumbent bike models feature hinges on the frame in most cases that allow the bike to be folded up for storage during traveling. These hinges need to be easy to use, and they need to lock into place quickly and easily. The joint should not move when the bike is in use, and any quick release levers should stay in place during the typical jostling a frame will undergo during normal riding. This is an important safety consideration that can prevent dangerous falls, and it will also have an impact on the overall ride quality of the folding recumbent bike.
Size is very important when purchasing this type of bike, not only to ensure the bike folds up very compact, but also to ensure it fits your body well. A bike that does not fit well will be very uncomfortable to ride and can even lead to injuries. If possible, get fitted to the folding recumbent bike at a bike shop to ensure you purchase the correct size. If this is not possible, be sure to take careful measurements of your body and compare them to the recommendations set forth by the manufacturer. Choose the most appropriate size, and once you have purchased it, go to a bike shop to get the bike adjusted to your body.
The cost of a folding recumbent bike will vary according to the features, manufacturer, and materials used to construct the bike. If you will be traveling with the unit often, try to choose frame materials that are lightweight; aluminum is a good choice, and some steel frames are not too heavy, though they will be heavier than aluminum. The lighter materials do tend to be more expensive — especially when you consider materials such as carbon — so balance weight, strength, and cost to find the best option for you.
@Markerrag -- going with a local bike shop is always a good idea, but don't discount shopping online completely. If you know exactly what you are looking for, there is a good chance you can find it online and most online dealers have handy charts that allow you to select the one that will be the best fit.
As for customer service, that is rather hit and miss online. Most dealers do have generous return policies, however. Online retailers regularly run sales, so you might be able to save a considerable amount of money on your online purchase.
But, you are right. If something breaks and you don't have the skills to repair your bike yourself, you may wish you had started with a local bike shop.
Good idea suggesting that people go to a local shop to find a recumbent bike. You will get good service, the shop will be able to fit the bicycle to you and you can try and compare several different models.
You could buy something online and save some money, but you will have to pay a local bike shop to fit the thing (probably) and you can't do much in the way of hands-on, comparison shopping online.
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