Without debate, the year 2021 was very challenging not only for all of us but also for bike manufacturers, particularly small recumbent producers. Lack of components, a massive increase in demand, and increasing delivery times have affected everyone in this market. Many brands had to inform their customers about lead times being 3, 5, or even 10 times longer than usual. The delivery time has exceeded the unheard limit of one year for others. However, some manufacturers have managed everything with ease, and although the increase in demand was not so huge for them, they were able to adapt, and their delivery times were not significantly extended.

Any crisis brings some positive things as well. Many companies have adjusted their internal procedures, found new suppliers, hired more quality employees, and made the most of the situation. And it is more than likely that they will be able to use what they have learned in the future as well.

However, in order not to talk only generally about familiar things, I asked the individual manufacturers about their year 2021. In this first article, I bring you the answers of some, and it will be followed by individual articles focusing on the few other important players as well.

So let’s get to it.

Alpaca Carriers, Inc.

Alpaca Carriers is a family owned business from Kimball, Minnesota, that produces receiver hitch racks with the capabilities to transport, tadpole and delta trikes and recumbent two-wheelers as well. John Stein wrote:

“We had a great season in 2021. Sales increased by 14% in the last year which was above our expectations, especially considering how difficult it was to find trikes. 

Our product is made in the USA by myself and my brother and we do most of the work ourselves. For the specialty work, we send to other vendors. We try to allow big lead times to make sure we always have product to sell.  As it has for everyone, times have changed those lead times. Parts that required a 30- day lead time may now require 9 months. We have always shipped our racks within two business days of receiving the order and we hope we can continue to do this in 2022.  We don’t know what 2022 will bring, thus I would suggest placing an order long before a rack is needed.”

Intercity Bike

Dutch manufacturer of world known DF velomobile had a common year. Ymte wrote me: “These are our statistic of delivered bikes, https://www.intercitybike.nl/orderboek/. In 2020 the factory where the df is made had to close down for a while due to corona measures. We expect 2022 will not be much different from other years.”

I like the open approach to publishing the statistics. You can find tables showing produced or at least ordered velomobiles at a page of at least three copmanies. I am not sure such a detailed information is needed, but it would be great to know the overall production number of every recumbent manufacturer.
Velomobiel.nl order book
Velomobile World order book

Recycled Recumbents

Probably the only recumbent manufacturer that had the calm year 2021. Ad Carson says: “In comparison to the ‘mad rush’ of Covid Spring (2020), 2021 has been quiet. I have seen less than normal interest in my boutique-built Recycled Recumbents and an average interest in used, refurbished bikes.” He mentions he sold fewer bikes in 2021 than in 2020 and that he expects about the same sales in 2022 as in 2021. His: “It is good. This is a hobby and not a living.” explains it very well, and it seems Ad is happy with it. He adds: “I think 2 wheel recumbent bikes are still worth pursuing. I’ll keep a torch burning for the LWB, even in a world of lovely trikes.” And I have to agree with him. Two-wheelers are great! 

Radical Design

This Dutch company is known for its recumbent-specific bags and cargo trailers. They supply mesh seats to several European producers as well, making it a vital chain link in the recumbent business.

How was your season in general?
2021 season has been a good season. The recumbent bag business has been rather stable but the bike trailer business showed a growth again. The covid situation in the last 2 years makes it very hard to compare the years. Seasonal behaviour is different between years but growth is happening.

The B2B sales are exceeding the consumer/dealer sales. We grow with our bike manufacturing costumers where we produced more in amounts but also introduced and developed new models and articles.

How significant was the increase in your sales?
Growth in B2C market is about 10% but B2B around 25%.

What was the biggest challenge for you?
Container transport issues (price and delays) and price development and availability of raw materials/parts.

Did you implement any improvements that will help you in the post-covid times?
We increased our development capacity (hired an extra developer) and invested in a laser cutting machine.

What do you expect from 2022? 
Regretfully we had to increase prices of some products. We will continue to increase our product portfolio and develop new bag solutions. We expect to grow further in the B2B sales with more partners and products. 

Anything else you would like to tell readers?
We would love to get more input and feedbakc from our customers and users. Do you have new and original ideas we are open to listen and if possible we can use these ideas.


Canadian manufacturer Maxarya is basically the last producer of a recumbent I think is the best for urban use. A Compact Long Wheel Base Bike with two 20″ wheels, quite upright seat position, the bottom bracket being lower than the seat, and overall compact size. They had a great year and sent me also some photos from their workshop and warehouse. Here is the full set of questions and answers that I have received from the Technical Services department, or better to say, from Russ Sarkisian.

How was your season in general?
Extremely overwhelmed with orders from all over Canada, the US and around the world.

How significant was the increase in your sales?
Based on what I witnessed could be well over 200%. For example incidentally a week in last October we shipped 10 bikes in red only. Not to mention other colours.

What was the biggest challenge for you?
Shortage of parts and components from our regular suppliers.

Did you implement any improvements that will help you in the post-covid times?
We pushed to find other alternatives and substitutes for our regular supplies

What do you expect from 2022?
We expect the same story of 2020 and 2021… 

Anything else you would like to tell readers?
Ride your bikes more often to stay healthy and boost your immune system.