My cousin recently bought a recumbent bike (well, I suppose it's technically a trike) and has been having a blast with it. I'd love to encourage her new hobby and get her an accessory for it as a Christmas present. Unfortunately, I know next to nothing about recumbents and what might be useful to have.

So, recumbent riders: what would you love to have or what do you find useful when you go out for a ride?

Update: My problem, specifically, is that I don't know what make/model of recumbent they have. So I'm looking for accessories that will work with all (or almost all) models. Not necessarily accessories that are exclusive to recumbents in particular.

  • Of course a problem is that there are many different types of 'bents, and what fits one may not fit another, and may not even be appropriate for another. Dec 5, 2011 at 23:59
  • This is my problem. I don't know what make/model of recumbent they have, so I'm looking for something that could apply to all (or almost all) recumbents as a class. Dec 6, 2011 at 0:46
  • 2
    How about a tee shirt that says "Get Bent!"? Dec 6, 2011 at 1:05
  • 1
    This question is polling the community. Vote to close. Dec 6, 2011 at 5:06
  • For what it's worth: safety flags are recumbent-specific!
    – Cascabel
    Dec 8, 2011 at 0:23

4 Answers 4


There's very little you need on a 'bent trike that you wouldn't also need on a conventional bike. Rear jersey pockets are useless on a 'bent, of course, so it's nice to have an accessible place to store energy bars and stuff like that (I've used a bag that's intended to fit above the top tube, behind the stem of a conventional bike, and a small fanny pack turned sideways). Rearview mirrors are a necessity, but I think all new trikes come with them. Many trikes lack good bottle-cage mounting points, requiring you to improvise with clamp-on cage mounts; I use a Camelbak Unbottle and some webbing straps.

Trikes often have oddball tire sizes, which you would need to know if you were going to get her spare tubes. Normal seat-bags won't fit, and some trikes don't really need them. There are recumbent-specific bike shops on the Internet. It wouldn't hurt to ask her what she got.

So, regular stuff: a cycling multi-tool is always handy to have (assuming you know how to use it). Likewise the typical frame pump, patch kit, lights (may need special mounting adapters), etc.


All the usual stuff applies, lights, bags, clothes, trailers, special saddles, etc. I personally would love to receive some huge panniers. The problem with your question is there are no recumbent-specific accessories, only recumbent-specific versions of common bike accessories. The single exception might be a flag for added visibility, but I doubt it would make a good Christmas present.

  • I've updated the original question to address this. Dec 6, 2011 at 0:47

Better than a gift certificate, get them a membership to their local bicycle advocacy group, like their state chapter or the League of American Bicyclists.


I would go for lights (as @meagar suggested), a ring-ring bell, and perhaps a helmet-mounted rear-mirror.

I doubt anybody in the world would not like a powerful light, be it front or rear!

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