by Rich Pinto (of Bacchetta Bicycles)
This article addresses high racer recumbents with 2 large wheels found with the Bacchetta Carbon Aero, Corsa, and Giro 26 using EuroShell or EuroMesh seats, and Rans Rifle bikes with Hoagie seats.
The seat angle that is the best compromise between aero and hill climbing for most people is 25-30 degrees, in my opinion. This would be measured from the side edges of the seat, with a straight edge spanning the lumbar curve.
If a high racer’s seat angle is in this range it will allow most of the spinning leg and foot circle to stay almost completely inside the reclined torso’s shadow.
Further decreases in seat angle will cause large parts of the spinning leg circle to penetrate the torso shadow. Also, the torso/thigh angle will increase, and most riders will feel a decrease in hill climbing and maximal power. The rider’s view of the road in front of the bike can also
be increasingly compromised.
My ideal is to get behind a rider (from a distance of 30 feet or more) and see nothing but a fairly reclined torso and the back of the shoulders above the seat.