Do the slow stuff of polarized on a recumbent?

I don’t think my butt can handle hours and hours of sub-LT1 work on an upright bike. Do you think an indoor recumbent is a viable alternative?

Do you currently own a recumbent? I ride pretty much full time on recumbent these days both hard and easy efforts. It emphasis different leg muscles, ones not used as much on a road bike.

Indoors comfort on recumbent is easy. Did some last year and clearly no comfort issues no matter how many hours.

No, don’t own one, but there are plenty on Craig’s List. It’s the different muscle utilization that I was questioning. Is it that much different that it would matter much?

Somewhere out there exists the perfect saddle, the perfect chamois, and perfect fit for your body.

Keep looking. Skip the recumbent.


When I switched to my current recumbent my recumbent ftp was 90 watts less than my road bike ftp. It took 8 months for my recumbent ftp to catch up with my road bike ftp. That’s with dedicated riding of the recumbent.

So if you go down this route, base your low intensity sessions on HR not power. Plus also do a test to find your max HR on the recumbent you ride. It will not be the same max HR as your road bike, it will be lower.

Almost certainly down to different leg muscle emphasis. For low intensity you generate the adaption signals but perhaps greater in the muscles a recumbent emphasises rather than road bike. So not as effective if your primary ride is a road bike but still effective. Far more effective than not doing the sessions.:smirk:

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I don’t think it’s as bad as you think. Why can’t you ride outdoors?

if you ease into the longer rides then your backside will probably toughen up andf get used to the time quite quickly, IF your bike fit is good and perhaps with a saddle change? Saddles are very personal so maybe borrow some test saddles from your LBS and see what works for you.

Also worth noting that riding outside is MUCH easier on your backside than indoors - I can happily ride 8+ hrs outside bu the same bike on the rollers or turbo and 90 mins is about all I can do before discomfort really becomes a big part of the experience!

I was all-in on recumbents for 5 years. With training I equalized my FTP on recumbents and uprights, and yes you can do good base training on a recumbent.

I found that training transfers reasonably well from recumbent to upright, not perfect but not bad either. I wasn’t doing a lot of training on the road bike though.

Going the other way, not so much.

Now I am pretty much all-in on uprights again, and only ride the recumbents occasionally. I have noticed when I go out on the recumbent my glutes are complaining a lot when I get home, which they never used to do when I rode both a lot.

So probably not as specific as you’d like, but still a helpful training option if the other option is to stay at home because your back and neck are too sore to go out on the ass hatchet.

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@Charlie777 What did you end up doing? Did you try a recumbent or did you get used to longer rides while upright?

I got used to riding upright. I needed a better fitting saddle and a more forward leaning upper body to take the weight off of the butt.