Why are recumbents so rare?

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

Postby Stradageek » 11 Jan 2018, 12:39pm

cookie32 wrote:Very good question, why are they so rare?

I have a few ideas, the first and most obvious being people do what they know an are comfortable with. Its a shame but I find peoples closed minds to be the biggest obstacle to them giving recumbent's a go. I always get a funny giggle/laugh, then I'm asked is it difficult or whats it like to ride? I always try to be polite ass possible and even offer stranger a chance to have a seat, being 6'2 and of large stature a ride is normally out of the question. 9 times out of 10 the person in question gives a quick no thanks and continues to laugh or stare sheepishly. For some reason seating with a post up our bums hunched over some handlebars is firmly fixed in the normal bike riders head from that first push off from mom or dad and until we break that fixation I don't see there being a large sway from upright to recumbent.
I'd say the second barrier, is the prices to get a recumbent even and older or entry level one. I built my first recumbent after coming out of the services as a way to keep busy and a way to get rid of some of the weight after leaving the Military. I've always enjoyed bike riding but I've never been comfortable on a upright so I knew if I wanted to ride it'd have to be something else, that something else was my version of a Atomic Zombie Tomahawk. Wasn't as expensive as something new and i got to spread the cost over about 5 or 6 months of building and it was bargain basement if I'm being nice but we saw a nice few thousand miles together before I sold it on. Then I got hold of a second hand PDQ for a steal off a friend, it too needed some tinkering but we've seen a few thousand mile together as well. I recently acquired a semi new Performer 922 which cost me a fair bit, so in the last 4 years or so I'm the better part of 1500 quid of so into 3 bikes which seems like a steal when you say 3 recumbents but its still not peanuts by any standards.
The last and most common reason for converting to the darkside is the necessity or need for comfort. I had a need for comfort while I know others have had to come off of uprights for various medical reasons. I don't think the why matters to the recumbent riders of the world. Recumbent riders are a lot like the motto from the Statue of Liberty " Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore." Instead of freedom we offer a ride without pain or judgement, just a new laid back way or riding.
I'm glad I made the switch to recumbent, I wish more would shed their fear and do the same. Either way I've learned a few things about myself I didn't know and made some awesome friends and acquaintances. Who could ask for anything more?


+1 Very well said

Tangled Metal
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Re: Why is recumbents so rare?

Postby Tangled Metal » 11 Jan 2018, 1:03pm

pjclinch wrote:Image

OH no! What have you done?! I saw a link to that strip a few years ago on another forum. It caused me a few problems as I just had to keep reading them, the whole back catalogue too. I don't remember that one so I suspect there's been more issues since I finished reading them. I'm going to have to read the new ones. It's serious, where I work now I'd never get away with reading them all day at work. I don't need the sack but addiction is something you never get over. It's going to be hard to resist!

:wink:

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pjclinch
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Re: Why is recumbents so rare?

Postby pjclinch » 11 Jan 2018, 1:14pm

canoesailor wrote:
Tangled Metal wrote:I didn't get that video. Why was a car driver coming the road saying they had a lucky escape all the time. Apart from the cyclist right at the beginning there was just empty road. Where were the recumbents?




It's what they call irony.


Read what he wrote again...
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

Tangled Metal
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Re: Why is recumbents so rare?

Postby Tangled Metal » 11 Jan 2018, 1:24pm

canoesailor wrote:
Tangled Metal wrote:I didn't get that video. Why was a car driver coming the road saying they had a lucky escape all the time. Apart from the cyclist right at the beginning there was just empty road. Where were the recumbents?




It's what they call irony.

:roll:
You know how bad your jokes are when you have to explain them!

I was joking about not seeing the recumbent cyclists. Just like ppl who have never tried it claim. What type of "humour" is that? Sarcasm or irony?

It had been a long day and I think I was sleep deprived too so the idea amused me even if the actual joke execution was really poor.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Why is recumbents so rare?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 11 Jan 2018, 2:01pm

pjclinch wrote:
canoesailor wrote:
Tangled Metal wrote:I didn't get that video. Why was a car driver coming the road saying they had a lucky escape all the time. Apart from the cyclist right at the beginning there was just empty road. Where were the recumbents?




It's what they call irony.


Read what he wrote again...


The irony is nested in this one...
And a bit easy to read as 'there wasn't anyone *else* on the road most of the time'.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way.
No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
A good pun is it's own reword

There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

Tangled Metal
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Re: Why is recumbents so rare?

Postby Tangled Metal » 11 Jan 2018, 2:11pm

[XAP]Bob wrote:
pjclinch wrote:
canoesailor wrote:


It's what they call irony.


Read what he wrote again...


The irony is nested in this one...
And a bit easy to read as 'there wasn't anyone *else* on the road most of the time'.

Nope! It's just a bad joke. My coat is on and I'm out the door! :wink:

brynpoeth
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Re: Why is recumbents so rare?

Postby brynpoeth » 11 Jan 2018, 2:13pm

Tangled Metal wrote:
[XAP]Bob wrote:
pjclinch wrote:
Read what he wrote again...


The irony is nested in this one...
And a bit easy to read as 'there wasn't anyone *else* on the road most of the time'.

Nope! It's just a bad joke. My coat is on and I'm out the door! :wink:


Oh dear, this has got me thinking too much
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canoesailor
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Re: Why is recumbents so rare?

Postby canoesailor » 11 Jan 2018, 3:59pm

Tangled Metal wrote:
canoesailor wrote:
Tangled Metal wrote:I didn't get that video. Why was a car driver coming the road saying they had a lucky escape all the time. Apart from the cyclist right at the beginning there was just empty road. Where were the recumbents?




It's what they call irony.

:roll:
You know how bad your jokes are when you have to explain them!

I was joking about not seeing the recumbent cyclists. Just like ppl who have never tried it claim. What type of "humour" is that? Sarcasm or irony?

It had been a long day and I think I was sleep deprived too so the idea amused me even if the actual joke execution was really poor.



Yes you were using irony to create the humour :)

Tangled Metal
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Re: Why is recumbents so rare?

Postby Tangled Metal » 11 Jan 2018, 4:10pm

To be fair, the humour wasn't great.

Anyway the chance to try and be invisible is eluding me right now. Why am I always interested in expensive minority pastimes? Time, money and location (away from sources of recumbents) is preventing a trial and subsequent purchase. Like others say, recumbents are fun and one trial in sure I'll be hooked.

The dark side calls but it's so far away I can hardly hear it! :)

StephenW
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Re: Why are recumbents so rare?

Postby StephenW » 13 Jan 2018, 2:04pm

I do think that the presence of busy motor traffic has a big influence on who cycles, where they cycle, and what kind of bike they ride. If people perceive riding a recumbent in traffic to be too dangerous they won't do it, even if there is no hard evidence for this. (We on this forum think it's fine, but then we are the people who have chosen to do it!).

I'm sure the UCI ban has some sort of effect too.

But even if we got rid of these deterrents (i.e. if we had Dutch-style road design and racing rules changed), and allowed some time to adapt, I don't think anything like the majority of bikes would be recumbents. My reason for saying this is that I think all that most people want to do on a bike is make short trips around town (up to around 4 or 5 miles), and perhaps occasionally go for a gentle potter on a sunny Sunday afternoon. A roadster does this job quite well, whereas in this application a recumbent has some disadvantages:

- things can fall out your pockets
- can't wear certain clothes
- works better with special shoes
-can't carry rucksack (although you could put a basket on)
etc...

But clearly as you start to want to go further (and faster) the advantages of the recumbent increase.

I could imagine that maybe 15% of bikes could be recumbents, if we had Dutch-style infrastructure, different racing rules, and some time to adapt.

brynpoeth
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Re: Why are recumbents so rare?

Postby brynpoeth » 13 Jan 2018, 2:10pm

How can one stop things falling out of ones pockets?
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Thomas & Santa events, great for children of all ages

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Why are recumbents so rare?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 13 Jan 2018, 2:17pm

Put them in an upwards facing pocket, have zipped pockets, use a bag...
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way.
No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
A good pun is it's own reword

There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

recumbentpanda
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Re: Why are recumbents so rare?

Postby recumbentpanda » 14 Jan 2018, 11:06pm

sorry, can’t let that go . . .

Things fall out of pockets.
As others have mentioned, zips, buttons etc do exist!

Can’t wear certain clothes
Applies to any bike, ever. Also -bicycle clips!

Works better with special shoes.
Don’t get me started on the ‘clipping in’ debate, which again applies to any sort of bike other than a flat pedal roadster. Foot retention certainly essential on recumbent trikes, but not on most two wheelers. I ride flat mtb pedals on my low-racer with flat sole shoes. No issues.

Can’t carry rucksack.
Used to regularly sling a rucksack on the back of the seat of my Linear. Can do the same on many other bents with similar mesh frame seat design. On my lowracer I use a rack top bag and or panniers like any sensible cyclist of any type would! :twisted:

I would agree it’s not as convenient as a roadster in many ways, but again, that also pretty much applies to any bike type other than the roadster, ever. And guess what, a major use for my bents is a quick trip into town for shopping, and another is a Sunday pootle.

But no, I wouldn’t consider taking anything else out for a longer trip, on both comfort and efficiency grounds.

I am quite happy though that recumbents are rare. Whether they will be in the future I am not so sure. Every young person I pass riding mine expresses eager enthusiasm. Business opportunity for someone there. . .

brynpoeth
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Re: Why are recumbents so rare?

Postby brynpoeth » 15 Jan 2018, 9:09am

One can wear a small backpack as a frontpack
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Thomas & Santa events, great for children of all ages

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Why are recumbents so rare?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 15 Jan 2018, 9:23am

brynpoeth wrote:One can wear a small backpack as a frontpack

You can - more usual to use a bumbag of some sort though.

You don't want thick straps behind you.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way.
No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
A good pun is it's own reword

There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.