Whether you're trying to shed pounds or rehabbing from a back injury, the semi recumbent bike is a great exercise tool. The bucket seat makes it easier on your lower back than a traditional bicycle, while the smooth motion of the pedals allows you to work out for hours while reading or watching television. Adjusting the seat, however, can be a bit tricky. If the seat is too far, your knees and legs get overextended; if it's too close, it can feel like you're riding your niece's tricycle. Learn to correctly adjust your seat to make sure you're getting the most out of your recumbent bike.
Sit down in the seat and find the seat adjustment knob. On most recumbent bikes, the seat adjustment knob or handle will be near the front or to the right side of your seat.
Press on the knob or handle to release the seat, then slide the seat forward or backward along its track. Keep your lower back resting up against the seat as you adjust the seat's position.
Place your feet on the pedals and slide the seat either back or forward until you get to your optimal position. Ideally, the best position for a recumbent bike would have your knees at or above hip level, with a slight bend even when you're at full extension. This allows you to pedal without locking your knees.
Release the seat adjustment knob or handle once you've found your optimal seat position. You may need to rock the seat slightly back and forth for it to lock into place. At this point, you're ready to get pedaling.
- If you're rehabilitating a recent lower back injury, you might need a gentler exercise until your back is strong enough for repetitive exercise. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist before starting your exercise routine.
Todd Maternowski began writing in 1996 as one of the co-founders of "The Chicago Criterion." He joined the local online news revolutionaries at Pegasus News in 2006, where he continues to work to this day. He studied religion at the University of Chicago.