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I’m looking to get a recumbent bike for travelling long weekends around Europe. I don’t know much about bikes and I’m looking at recumbent mainly for comfort reasons; I tried biking long trips on a normal bike and by butt was hurting quite a lot.

I have a view quite specific questions:

  • Which model should I look into buying as a total newbie? Considering my budget is around ~2000 euros
  • Should I consider the electric assisted paddling ones? I’m super interested in these. Would buying a normal recumbent and then adding an electric motor later make sense?
  • Can a regular recumbent fit another seat in the back? Curious since sometimes I may want to travel with a friend.

Any help would be great!

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    There are too many distinct questions in here to work well with our format. The first is too much of a shopping question as well. While there are both electric and tandem recumbents, you won't get either under €2k - you'll probably be looking second hand for a recumbent at all at that price – Chris H Jun 11 at 15:46
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    Note that we don't do product recommendations here. Also note that the butt pain issue is largely dealt with by "conditioning" your butt via lotsa riding. – Daniel R Hicks Jun 11 at 21:04
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    @DanielRHicks is correct, and also the OP may have been exposed to poor saddles in the past. Ironically, too much padding can lead to greater discomfort. That said, there may nevertheless be other substantive reasons to go with a recumbent (although the OP hasn't indicated that any of those, like serious injuries/physical limitations, necessarily apply). – Weiwen Ng Jun 11 at 22:47
  • Unless you want to ride with your friend 100% of the time, carting around extra empty bike is a waste. Make them ride their own bike. – Criggie Jun 12 at 4:39
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  1. We don't give specific product recommendations here on Bicycles.SE. I will mention that because they are produced in smaller volumes, recumbents usually will be more expensive than conventional bikes with similar specifications.
  2. Long-distance riding is not a great use case for electric bikes: you'll run it down before you get where you're going and will then be hauling the electric system as dead weight. Or if you use it intermittently, you'll be hauling it around as dead weight the rest of the time. And you'll need to arrange to recharge it where you're going. You would need to compare the prices of buying a bike with electric assist built in vs buying an aftermarket electrical system. I suspect the aftermarket system would be more expensive overall. It would not be as well integrated.
  3. There are tandem recumbents, but you can't just stick a seat on the back of a single recumbent.

If you're new to long-distance riding, you need to acclimate to it, and some minor changes to your current setup may make it more comfortable.

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To be straight forward I would question your experience on the 'traditional' upright bike and how much thought went into your own personal body fit on that bike.

It's the difference between wearing an expensive piece of clothing that doesn't fit versus a cheap bit of clothing that does. Whether that either piece of clothing is actually suitable for why you're wearing it is a seperate problem.

There is a lot marketing BS around with regards to bicycle fit; but it can boil downto a couple of different body proportions to get in the ball park set up.

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Tadpole trikes (two wheels in the front, one in the back) are probably the easiest recumbents to ride since you're effectively on a beach chair with the handling dynamics of a go-cart. No balance required, just don't flip the thing turning too fast.

Just keep in mind it's also pretty disconcerting to be riding in traffic so low to the ground.

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