Page 1 of 1
Posted: 3 Jun 2018, 3:57pm
So, step change in riding the speedmachine in the last couple of days. Half term has been good with the weather and have been taking my eldest to the park so that he can teach me how to ride my bike - he's very encouraging! Day 1 (tennis court) - really hard to push off, can turn left, not really comfortable turning right. Day 2 (tennis court) - turning left, right and doing figures of 8; mostly don't crash when negotiating obstacles; can push off most of the time. Day 3 (about the park) - riding about the park on the paths, not running down pedestrians, getting up small hills (I can climb like an 8 year old), crossing bumpy bits of path, mostly can push off and not crash into obstacles; can't start on a hill.
Trying a few sessions on the turbo helped, as it got me used to the position. I also started with the most reclined position and then moved it up, which stopped me looking to sit higher. I do find myself trying to sit up and turn when I am turning the bike. Day 3 is when I worked out where to put my arms with hamster bars (I kept trying to stick them in front of me). I find looking into the turn helps. Getting a sense of how far I can lean was probably the hardest/scariest thing (after pushing off) so far; walking the bike while holding the headrest helped.
I want to get some elbow pads/arm guards to that I can try and push it with less worry of hurting myself when I crash.
Still a long way from a ride on roads though.
Posted: 3 Jun 2018, 4:15pm
Elbow guards and hip guards are the other obvious protective but (gloves are assumed)
Posted: 3 Jun 2018, 6:20pm
Sounds like progress. I find it easier to sit up when coming to a halt. I'm fine pushing off when no-one is looking. Not so good starting off at T-junctions with queues of traffic watching me.
Posted: 4 Jun 2018, 1:19pm
I took a big step forward week last Friday. I cycled to work on my streetmachine. That was after only one previous ride on public roads. I've been riding out on canal towpaths and mixed use paths for a couple of months prior to my first road excursions.
One thing I would say even just 30mph felt scary on the recumbent. After my first ride (basically one big hill out with the return one big downhill) was scary how with very little pedalling after the top of the hill I got to 30mph very quickly then I used the brakes to not get any faster. I just felt too wobbly when going fast. I suddenly became very aware that my elbows are very exposed to a 30+mph side if I came off!
So I thought elbow pads, but I'll look a prat wearing t-shirt with elbow pads on a touring bike, even a recumbent touring bike. Are there any discrete elbow pads out there? They all seem to have logos or mtb styling that's too obviously a body armour piece for a big, recumbent softy!
Good work on your re-skilling on your speedmachine. We're on the same learning curve I reckon but yours seems to be going a bit quicker. Enjoy your machine!
PS my five year old took great pleasure giving me advice on how to learn my recumbent. He had only been riding without stabilisers for a year but still he knew everything about learning to ride. TBH he probably repeated our advice to him but it was funny to hear a 5 year old telling a nervous dad to just relax on the recumbent! It was good advice. When I eventually took it my riding felt so much better.
Posted: 4 Jun 2018, 1:23pm
When going fast are you starting to grip the bars again?
I don't know of any discrete elbow guards, but the one time I came off my raptobike at speed I lowsided it, and scraped by wrists, not my elbows.
Remarkable how fast you try to put an hand down...
Posted: 4 Jun 2018, 2:02pm
I've got the loose grip thing sorted. I tend to ride one handed on the flat only using two when uphill or downhill. When using two hands I tend to use two fingers over the bar end shifters so I keep a very loose fit. Enough to steady the bars but not enough to form a grip of death.
I'm wondering if the fact I need to let the boom out a little bit more is causing a wobble. My legs are a bit too bent. However I don't have time to sort out the collection by the bike mechanic I intend to use. I could do it myself but there's a few things I need sorting and I'll be using it on my summer tour so a trained bike mechanic fettling it up properly is a good idea IMHO.
Yes, with USS I'm also worried about the hands taking a big hit if I fall.
What is the effect of fully loading a recumbent up? Does it make handling noticeably worse or does it actually help by lowering CoG?
Posted: 4 Jun 2018, 3:08pm
As with any bike where you're worried about wobbles, do check the headset.
My experience of the SMGT is it's rock steady on descent, including big and sinuous ones on somewhat imperfect roads and fully loaded, so if it's in good shape it ought to be fine. If you keep the serious weight in the lowriders the only real effect on handling is gluing you to the road better.
So I've never felt any particular need to worry about my elbows.
Posted: 4 Jun 2018, 3:10pm
belgiangoth wrote:So, step change in riding the speedmachine in the last couple of days.
What bars do you have, out of curiosity?
It's a personal preference/reaction thing, but I don't really get on that will with tiller/hamster bars, including on the Speedmachine. OTOH I've found the aero bars and underseat bar options much easier to get things pointed where I want. This is not because tillers are objectively more awkward, I know someone who finds precisely the opposite to me.
Posted: 4 Jun 2018, 9:27pm
Hamster bars. They took some getting used to, at the start I hated having to swing the bars and thought I would never get it, now that I can lean to turn it's all ok (ish).
Posted: 5 Jun 2018, 9:25am
belgiangoth wrote:Hamster bars. They took some getting used to, at the start I hated having to swing the bars and thought I would never get it, now that I can lean to turn it's all ok (ish).
I can use them, but I've never been happy with them (though the obvious caveat is I've never used a set for more than a couple of hours). If you can, see if you can try a Speedmachine with aero/scorpion bars: it might
be an easy upgrade that sorts it out for you (my pal with the opposite affliction sold on a Spirit he's bought to replace his old OkeJa because he just couldn't get happy with the different bars).
Posted: 5 Jun 2018, 12:22pm
Check there's no sideways movement in the swingarm. Worn swingarm bushes can affect stability.
Posted: 6 Jun 2018, 9:59am
I rode my Nazca Fuego for 5 years with tiller bars and got reasonably proficient with them but never fully comfortable. I switched to aero steer/superman bars a couple of months ago and have been astonished by how much my confidence on the bike has improved. Still doing some tweaking of position but they have improved my low speed handling no end (and I’ve not noticed any impact on turning circle as some have observed)
Posted: 8 Jun 2018, 5:23pm
Tangled Metal wrote:Are there any discrete elbow pads out there?
How about camouflage? That's pretty discreet, right?
Posted: 8 Jun 2018, 5:58pm
My Hurricane originally came with very tight handlebars, about 6-8" either side, but I replaced them with much wider bars and am far more comfortable and relaxed, Steering is also easier.
I didn't fancy the really curved back bars you get on some recumbents so attached a simple set of "Continental style bars
Posted: 9 Jun 2018, 12:38am
Tangled Metal wrote:So I thought elbow pads, but I'll look a prat wearing t-shirt with elbow pads on a touring bike, even a recumbent touring bike. Are there any discrete elbow pads out there? They all seem to have logos or mtb styling that's too obviously a body armour piece for a big, recumbent softy!
Well, either you're going with a light padded thing or something obvious with bits of plastic. Raceface Charge elbow pads will look like arm warmers and will protect a little more than arm warmers (I just got a pair, tried on but not crashed yet). If you want something super protective you will get something less comfortable so will be less likely to wear it...