Quick thoughts, decided I'd post before I forgot about it.
Since biking seems to be taking off again now and people are buying bikes based as much on comfort as on anything else as evidenced by sales of city bikes...shouldn't hti be the perfect time for recumbents to take off?
Recumbents are, by all reoports, the ideal bikes for the new craze. Ultimate comfort, great speed, they can carry cargo as well as a delta frame bike (excepting cargo bikes, which there are also recumbent alternatives to). The only place where I see a definite lack of superiority is in price. Let's face it, there's no such thing as a cheap recumbent. People also talk about their lack of climbing ability, but I imagine they don't climb any worse than the 50lb Dutch commuter bikes that everyone seems to love right now.
Is it an image thing? Do people still for some reason think they look "dorky"?
The most compelling argument I've seen for recumbents not catching on is that there's more demand for delta frame bikes because that's what the professional bike racers use. That's both ridiculous and terribly, terribly plausible. Most of the hobbies I've been in, people tend to go with what's popular, whether it be flying a radio controlled Edge 640 instead of a Sughoi (so yesterday) or using foil-like wushu steel broadswords in kung fu because they move faster for competition, regardless of the fact that yoiu can't really do a form right without a properly weighted sword.
What's it going to take for recumbents to catch on?
*Note that I don't have a recumbent. I'm planning on getting one within the next year though--finances are not allowing it just now. Of course, I also need an Xtracycle. We'll see which wins.