You are here

Feeling cramped

After getting the bike looked over I have made all necessary chges and kept it original. I've adjusted to boom to the correct adjustment for fit but I am still feeling cramped in the cockpit. I'm not obese nor wld I say I have a big belly. Maybe a little too much but not over kill. So I don't know if it's just gonna be the way it is or is there something I'm missing? I just wonder if it is because of the original seat design which doesn't allow the back to recline a little more and that's what's causing the cramped feeling? If I can't be relieved of the cramped position I don't k ow what I will do!!

Hi again Scooter -

Hopefully the cramped feeling will go away as you continue to ride the bike. Some riders find that their thighs hit their tummy when pedaling a Lightning bike, and they do not like this. The more generous your tummy, the more likelihood of this happening. If you keep riding, you might discover that your tummy shrinks and the problem disappears! Then again, if you really dislike the feeling of being too "cramped", you will be discouraged from putting in more miles. If I have understood your problem correctly, and the cramped feeling is caused by your upper thighs striking your tummy, there is not a lot you can do about it short of changing out the seat. Lightning offers a laid-back carbon fiber seat than can be substituted for the original and more heads-up mesh seat. Using the carbon fiber seat requires some modification of the bike, and it really makes a big change in your body position. And naturally a hardshell seat is going to feel very different from a full mesh seat, even if the hardshell seat had a pad on it.

I would try to get used to riding the bike as it is, and see if you can work through the feeling of being too cramped. Maybe the feeling will go away and you will get to like the bike more over time. But if this does not work out, and you continue to feel cramped and uncomfortable, you may have to consider switching seats. Either that or giving up on the bike. I think (surprise! surprise!) the Lightning bike is a great design, but it clearly does not work for everyone.

Let us know what you try, and what works and what doesn't. It would be a good idea to also get on the telephone with Tim Brummer at Lightning and pick his brain about your problem.

Safe riding,

These three prevent most accidents: seeing, being seen, & (usually) common sense.

Thanks Joel for your response and putting up with me and my whinning. I will force myself to getting use to the position. I will not alter the originality. Thanks again.


It is not "whining" to complain about a comfort problem you are having with your recumbent bike. After all, for most of us the most important motivation for riding recumbent bikes in the first place was to be more comfy than we were on traditional bikes. A recumbent bike that is not comfortable is a recumbent bike that needs to be altered in some way, or sold to another rider.

Give the Lightning a decent amount of time before you give up on it. Make sure the crankset boom is extended far enough. Talk with Brummer. If the cramped feeling does not go away after a reasonable test period, you will likely have to consider switching to the carbon seat or selling the bike. What other recumbent bikes do you have riding experience with? Ever encounter the cramped feeling before, or is this new?

Safe riding,

Setup is key, 4 or 5 mm makes all the difference! Shorter crank arms may shorten the range of travel of your knees enough. There is some lean possible to the seat and it can be modified to lean further as I have done and you can go down to a 26" wheel to allow even more lean (Don't let the seat fabric get on the tire.) I find a headrest allows me to push back more into the seat and it feels goooooood. Don't give up, when it's right it is the best! I'd be glad to help you further depending on where you are and size model and year of the bike. .............. The David, the artist formerly known as screamindave, aka DoubleDave, Lightnin Dave and Da Hawk


User login

Powered by Drupal