Why are recumbents so rare?

DIscuss anything relating to non-standard cycles and their equipment.
brynpoeth
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Re: Why is recumbents so rare?

Postby brynpoeth » 8 Jan 2018, 3:22pm

Where can I get an old ordinary to ride so the motons can see me?
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Tigerbiten
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Re: Why is recumbents so rare?

Postby Tigerbiten » 8 Jan 2018, 3:28pm

Yossarian wrote: Look pretty dangerous to me, harder to see them being so low down.

I never hear anyone say a low sports car is hard to see.
So why does everybody say a low recumbent is hard to see ??
I would say they are unexpected.
But anything unexpected is going to catch your attention more.
So they are easier to see once you look.
But most drivers drive on semi-autopilot so don't react well to the unexpected.
That's when I tend to get verbal abuse ..... :(

Tangled Metal
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Re: Why is recumbents so rare?

Postby Tangled Metal » 8 Jan 2018, 3:32pm

Can a truck see a mazda m5 sports car? Less of a height difference between car and recumbent I reckon.

You know you've got ride an upright, wear hi - viz, use lights, wear a helmet and keep off the roads is you want to take up cycling.

Alternatively just get on whatever type of bike you want and ride defensively wearing what you want. Truth is motorists will only see you if they want to see you and are actually looking.

Tangled Metal
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Re: Why is recumbents so rare?

Postby Tangled Metal » 8 Jan 2018, 3:36pm

My old child trailer was low down but whenever I towed it (with my son in) I always observed vehicles giving me a wide berth. The perfect mix of all unusual and children present meant extra consideration.

I can easily believe the first reason for the wide space being left applies to recumbents. Plus you're all potentially disabled in a trike, right? :wink:

brynpoeth
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Re: Why is recumbents so rare?

Postby brynpoeth » 8 Jan 2018, 4:18pm

Maybe the motons have x-ray eyes
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pjclinch
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Re: Why is recumbents so rare?

Postby pjclinch » 8 Jan 2018, 4:38pm

I've noted this here before, but found myself re-telling it on a CTC run on Saturday so it seems it needs telling a few times over again...

On one occasion, stationary in a car park, I had a conversation with a driver. He was in his driver's seat, I was on my bike seat, we were side by side, pretty much eye to eye. It went along these lines...

"You must feel vulnerable down there"
"Down where? I'm at the same height as you"
"... but... you're so low on that thing!"

It's one of those things where convincing people needs a shift of a preconceived misconception that can't easily be shifted because it's already an accepted fact.

On another occasion a pal was planning a major ride which was endangered by some medical issue which he thought might preclude his upwrong and he asked if he could borrow my 'bent. No problem, so off it went. As it turned out he managed fine on his usual bike, but when the 'bent came back it had acquired a flag. I asked why it now had a flag, and my friend had practically had it forced on him by his riding companions who insisted he was invisible without it.

Deary me. This is a semi-low (mine is about a head higher) on a fietspad with some particularly easy-to spot bolt-upright Dutch roadsters.

Image

It's not actually that hard to see the 'bent.

On rides from here to Perth I sometimes encounter a TT enthusiast. His head is at about the same level as mine, stretched out on his tri-bars. Neither of us have ever felt the need to suggest to one another that we ought to have a flag.

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Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

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pjclinch
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Re: Why is recumbents so rare?

Postby pjclinch » 8 Jan 2018, 4:40pm

Tangled Metal wrote: Plus you're all potentially disabled in a trike, right? :wink:


A pal with a very fine home-built 'bent bike was asked if he was disabled.
"Yeah, it's my legs", he replied.
This was taken straight in, hook, line and sinker.
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NUKe
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Re: Why is recumbents so rare?

Postby NUKe » 8 Jan 2018, 4:51pm

someone here made the comment possibly Bob on a different thread, Cars don't complain they cant see the white lines.

In terms of abuse in my just over a year 7500 miles (not much I know) experience, is quite low, only a few idiots laugh. You do get quite a bit of attention, but its generally positive. cars seem to notice me no problem and because they are unsure will often hold back in situations where They may have previously tried to squeeze through. The negative comments I have had have largely been from other cyclists, usually the born again, who have all the gear, but you know are following the fashion.

I have succumbed to the plea's of friends and relatives and added a flag, to shut them up. The only real difference is the flag scares horses. I have had to stop on a couple of occasions and stop the flag flapping.
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canoesailor
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Re: Why is recumbents so rare?

Postby canoesailor » 8 Jan 2018, 5:22pm

some years ago there was a letter in Motorcycle News from a bike cop, he was going to an emergency with sirens going and light flashing and someone pulled out in front of him. The diver said ... you guessed it "Sorry I didn't see you" he sais he would have booked her, but the emergency had to take priority.

My Question is why is it only people in boxes who cant see us, other bikes can and motorbikes can, this must mean that cars are not safe enough to be on the road.

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Cunobelin
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Re: Why is recumbents so rare?

Postby Cunobelin » 8 Jan 2018, 5:43pm

brynpoeth wrote:What sort of people abuse bent riders?

On an UpWrong I can move my hands on the bars, change position a bit to avoid fatigue
Can one do that on a bent? Is it easy to move the seat forward or back a bit?



One could argue that it far easier than many people think

My Challenge Hurricane has a hinged handlebar that allows anything from tight in to the chest to arms at full length and doesn't affect steering or handling at all

Others it is simply loosening the bolt. on the stem and rotating. On my Catrike the variations are almost infinite with movement forward, backward and a tilt either way. Same with the Gekko and Street Machine

The Kettwiesel allows movement laterally as well



But of course the real answer is that you do not have the same pressure on the arms, wrists and hands, so practically.......You do not need to move your hands on a recumbent as the fatigue levels are so much less

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Cunobelin
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Re: Why is recumbents so rare?

Postby Cunobelin » 8 Jan 2018, 5:44pm

canoesailor wrote:some years ago there was a letter in Motorcycle News from a bike cop, he was going to an emergency with sirens going and light flashing and someone pulled out in front of him. The diver said ... you guessed it "Sorry I didn't see you" he sais he would have booked her, but the emergency had to take priority.

My Question is why is it only people in boxes who cant see us, other bikes can and motorbikes can, this must mean that cars are not safe enough to be on the road.



I used to have a regular complaint, who would always rant that he nearly didn't see me.

Ironically he couldn't understand the irony that in his own words, he actually saw me every time

reohn2
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Re: Why is recumbents so rare?

Postby reohn2 » 8 Jan 2018, 6:07pm

canoesailor wrote:some years ago there was a letter in Motorcycle News from a bike cop, he was going to an emergency with sirens going and light flashing and someone pulled out in front of him. The diver said ... you guessed it "Sorry I didn't see you" he sais he would have booked her, but the emergency had to take priority.

My Question is why is it only people in boxes who cant see us, other bikes can and motorbikes can, this must mean that cars are not safe enough to be on the road.

It could be that some only see a threat to their welbeing and not anything of no threat to their person,therefore not needing their attention.
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busb
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Re: Why is recumbents so rare?

Postby busb » 8 Jan 2018, 9:02pm

pjclinch wrote:
busb wrote:Can remember a guy on one on Wednesday evening CTC rides from Reading. Always wanted to try one. From what I've read, they are hard work up hills but would probably be great fun to race on a track. As for commuting - am not sure I'd want to be so low that I became virtually invisible & how the hell do you steer them when transversing a pedestrian area?


Hills... mine is a bit slower up hills but that's because it's a full-sus luxury touring machine that's built like a tank, not because it's a 'bent. The right 'bent with the right engine, and it looks like this...



Low to the ground... mine has me at about identical eye-level height with a normal car. You can get lower, certainly, but even on something like a Baron you're higher than e.g. medium to large dogs and If you can't see a dog in the road then your driving/riding system needs work. Being invisible really is an imagined problem, and most 'bent riders find that not only are they visible but thanks to the W T F ? factor they get a lot more space.

Steering... On mine I find the handlebars enable me to do all the necessary steering, whether on shared space, roads or wherever. Underseat steering may have limited lock so not quite so manoeuvrable at low speeds, but not cripplingly so.

I get quite a few, "how do you do X" questions, and most of the time it's pretty much the same as with any other bike. So how do you steer, how do you do a hill-start, how do you check behind you etc., it's all very much the same.

Pete.

Thanks Pete - obviously quite a variation in design.

busb
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Re: Why is recumbents so rare?

Postby busb » 8 Jan 2018, 9:15pm

Cunobelin wrote:
busb wrote:Can remember a guy on one on Wednesday evening CTC rides from Reading. Always wanted to try one. From what I've read, they are hard work up hills but would probably be great fun to race on a track. As for commuting - am not sure I'd want to be so low that I became virtually invisible & how the hell do you steer them when transversing a pedestrian area?




Think of a family car.......

In a queue of traffic you will not see a family car, or one of the smaller city cars past a 4x4 or van.

IT is absolutely no more unsafe than driving a small car from the visibility point of view in traffic... the rest is up to you, ride sensibly and traffic will not only see you but give you more room!

As for steering, depends upon the machine. For most through place your hand on teh top of the seat and that is as complex as it gets....same as steering an "normal" cycle from the saddle

Thanks - great to hear from those riding them! Vehicle drivers are programmed to expect what they are used to experiencing on roads to some extent.

brynpoeth
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Re: Why is recumbents so rare?

Postby brynpoeth » 8 Jan 2018, 10:06pm

+1 I love this philosophical talk about visibility and invisibility and nearly not being seen
Determined to test ride a Liegerad (German: lying bike) soon
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