How much to get a fully kitted touring / commuting recumbent?

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Tangled Metal
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Re: How much to get a fully kitted touring / commuting recumbent?

Postby Tangled Metal » 12 Mar 2018, 9:09am

What about the suspension? I've got the top weight spec version I believe. That's 120kg rider and load weight. To me it's a bit soft. I brake and it seems to wallow a bit. Like you can make upright front forks wallow if you put your weight on it and rock.

This makes me worry it is either not set up right for me, isn't the right weight range for me, needs maintenance from a suspension expert or is just finished. I'm under 90kg and riding it unloaded. What's the suspension going to be like fully loaded?

I'm hoping to put less than 30kg load on but it could be close.

What's your experiences with the suspension? Do you have any advice because tbh suspension is new to me.

PDQ Mobile
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Re: How much to get a fully kitted touring / commuting recumbent?

Postby PDQ Mobile » 12 Mar 2018, 9:34am

You need to say which suspension is fitted?
There are/were a couple of options and older versions are different from newer ones too.

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pjclinch
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Re: How much to get a fully kitted touring / commuting recumbent?

Postby pjclinch » 12 Mar 2018, 9:45am

Mine is the basic one as far as suspension goes, and I don't think I've ever bothered doing anything to it at all as not being borken hasn't needed fixing. You should be able to download the manuals or pick up advice from HPVel or Kinetics to see what might be fettled and how.
You'd expect suspension to dive some under heavy braking, and that's not a performance issue. Where you lose out is pedal-bob on the flat, and the SMGT is generally good there (that's the "no squat" thing). The point of the suspension is to even out road irregularities which makes the overall ride more efficient. If your wheels and forks/rear triangle move a lot but the rider and luggage don't move much you lose far less energy than the whole lot being displaced on every bump.

The best way to see if it's okay is to ride it with weights on and see how it goes...

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

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Re: How much to get a fully kitted touring / commuting recumbent?

Postby PDQ Mobile » 12 Mar 2018, 10:10am

Yes good advice above.
Set it up according to the downloadable manual. And then fettle a bit to your personal preference.

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NUKe
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Re: How much to get a fully kitted touring / commuting recumbent?

Postby NUKe » 12 Mar 2018, 10:48am

if you have too much weight it will bottom out you will feel it, A bit of dive is normal suspension My comment about weight came from the 110 litre comment, but I was working on 1/2 Kg per litre with your 110 litre capacity.

To set the preload you need about 30% sag once the bike is loaded with you and luggage, you can check this with a cable tie around the front fork and assuming the coil type spring you can do similar with the piston. Sit on the bike at rest, See how far the cable tie moves, to check the compression how far the suspension has compressed, you can get the over all travel from the HPV manuals If you have the air type some have a rubber ring and scale on the side.
Note coil springs for HPV come in three weight and body weight alone you need the heavier one.
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Tangled Metal
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Re: How much to get a fully kitted touring / commuting recumbent?

Postby Tangled Metal » 12 Mar 2018, 11:11am

I'm hoping to do a simple mini tour when spring and the good weather comes. Just need to sort load carrying luggage out. Hopefully any problems will be apparent if they exist.

It's the base suspension for the smgt version, I think someone thought it looked like it was from 2002. I'd post an image but I've got no hosting set up for photos

Front are black legs with silver steel crown with red knobs on top for adjusting. The workings have a concertina rubber boot / sleeve over them. If that's enough to identify.

Rear looks like a spring coil over the body with steel ends to attach to the frame. If that helps.

Apparently it has a good degree of adjustment. The rear has a ring on a screw thread that I assume allows adjustment. The front have those knobs on the top of each arm. I'm really not up on suspension as you can tell.

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pjclinch
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Re: How much to get a fully kitted touring / commuting recumbent?

Postby pjclinch » 12 Mar 2018, 11:32am

I'n not big on sus either but the basics are not hard. There's preload, which is how much oomph it takes to compress, and damping, which prevents excessive bounce by slowing spring action.

With preload, too much means you might as well not bother, and too little it will bottom out too easily (I've heard my front forks bottom out once on the SMGT, when I hit a deep pothole concealed by a puddle at about 30 mph, my pal on a road bike shrieked in pain when she took the same line). In normal use it should never bottom out.

With damping, too much and the suspension won't be very responsive, too little and it'll bounce too much.

Pete.
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Re: How much to get a fully kitted touring / commuting recumbent?

Postby PDQ Mobile » 12 Mar 2018, 11:47am

From memory the suspension should dip/settle at about 1/3rd of it total travel when the required weight is on it. So you need to wind it up a bit when loaded.
Front fork sounds like a Ballistic one.
It's a good strong basic fork I think, no damping adjustment, just preload. The later Meks ones are more sophisticated but IMHO less durable.
The standard rear spring is again only adjustable for preload- no damping adjustment.

IMHO a better smoother lighter option is the (expensive) DT Swiss air unit. Four stage damping adjustment.
But whether it's requirement for a high pressure pump and thus not being easily quickly adjusted for varying loads make it suitable for long-distance touring is open to question.
I manage to get it up to pressure with a Toppeak Road Morph but it's a quite a struggle. Though once done it holds up to pressure for a year!!
Last edited by PDQ Mobile on 12 Mar 2018, 11:56am, edited 1 time in total.

Tangled Metal
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Re: How much to get a fully kitted touring / commuting recumbent?

Postby Tangled Metal » 12 Mar 2018, 11:56am

Coil springs and I was told that they'd be the higher weight coils. The guy was just a bit shorter and slimmer than me so I assume 80 rather than 90kg. It would still be the heavier coils.

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Re: How much to get a fully kitted touring / commuting recumbent?

Postby PDQ Mobile » 12 Mar 2018, 12:00pm

In practice just get the preload correct and all will be well. The DT swiss unit is significantly lighter though.

If you tour on it in hilly terrain with 30kgs of luggage you'll have legs like Charles Atlas!! The bike being a pretty weighty beast on it's own.

Tangled Metal
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Re: How much to get a fully kitted touring / commuting recumbent?

Postby Tangled Metal » 12 Mar 2018, 12:13pm

Out of curiosity, what touring weight do you typically carry? Do you ever go above 30kg?

I'm thinking tent 3kg, bags 0.6 - 0.8 x 3, mats 0.8 x 3, stove (larger Trangia with 2 pans, kettle and frypan with gas kit too). Add in clothes, gadgets, toys, etc. I doubt 30 kg for me with my partner a lot less.

Should be ok. I could try losing weight too!

Bulk is more of an issue I think. Perhaps a two wheeled trailer on a weber axle hitch. Anyone heard of vitelli trailers? I think they do a lightweight touring one with a mesh tray that uses 20" wheels (same as my front ones and possibly the same as the one our son might find himself on if I had my way and he continues his growth trajectory).

I do have strong legs. I did a bit in Scotland towing a single wheel trailer overloaded with two pannier bags plus heavy tent on top with only my 50T chainring being available. I was running a 11-25T cassette too. That road to Tobermory on Mull was interesting but very hard work. I couldn't spin so I had to bomb off and wait at the top of the hills. Until my partner stopped me. Trust me 50 to 25 is hard work uphill at a very low cadence fully loaded.

Later on when I got my front derailleur working back at home I found cycling up hills very, very easy.

I have yet to try a proper hill on the recumbent but I did a short steep one in middle ring and smallest cassette perfectly OK. It was my lad cutting me up that stopped me just before the top. Now I have my full range of gears working I reckon I'll be OK touring loaded up. I do tend to ride hills low cadence because I do have good leg strength to cope. Must learn to spin!

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pjclinch
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Re: How much to get a fully kitted touring / commuting recumbent?

Postby pjclinch » 12 Mar 2018, 1:52pm

PDQ Mobile wrote:In practice just get the preload correct and all will be well. The DT swiss unit is significantly lighter though.

If you tour on it in hilly terrain with 30kgs of luggage you'll have legs like Charles Atlas!! The bike being a pretty weighty beast on it's own.


I've never weighed my luggage and I doubt it's as much as 30 Kg, but it's still 4 well filled panniers and though it's not nicknamed the Panzerfiets for nothing I've never found hills a big problem. Bottom gear is about 20" and you just spin away and chug on up. Being Charles Atlas, Mr. Apollo or otherwise two separate gorillas not required!

Pete.
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Tangled Metal
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Re: How much to get a fully kitted touring / commuting recumbent?

Postby Tangled Metal » 12 Mar 2018, 2:47pm

I once backpacked with 28kg. Next trip 15kg. A year or two later less than 6kg. Base load backpacking was at low add 4.5kg solo kit.

Family cycle tour is another game altogether. Think car camping without a car. I think 20kg for me is entirely possible. We try to use my load weight to balance my fitness and cycling speed with my partner. Tire me out as much as she gets tired keeping up with me. I might even tag my son on to the rear axle too.

I really think we should find out how much our kit does weigh. Facts needed really.

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pjclinch
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Re: How much to get a fully kitted touring / commuting recumbent?

Postby pjclinch » 12 Mar 2018, 5:02pm

SMGT is okayed to tow a trailer if you really want the Kitchen Sink And All.
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