First "commute" on Speedmachine

DIscuss anything relating to non-standard cycles and their equipment.
belgiangoth
Posts: 1252
Joined: 29 Mar 2007, 4:10pm

First "commute" on Speedmachine

Postby belgiangoth » 4 Nov 2018, 11:38am

Half term, but did a review session with the students. As it was a later start chanced it on the Speedmachine...

* It's like being a new cyclist all over again, struggling to get the pedal-ready position and starting off at junctions/lights.
* As a consequence much more timid at intersections, waiting much longer - for bigger gaps in traffic.
* Being less confident on that bike took the scenic/long way round on the NCN5 - in all the ride took me twice as long as on my DF (mostly for the above two reasons, though also because "hills on a recumbent").
* Anti-moped gates are right annoying.
* Lots of tracks have gone from "a bit leafy" to "might as well be in the woods, can't see where the sides of the track start".
* Still fettling in the handlebar setup, may go back to twist-shift.
* Did not experience any extra consideration from drivers, if anything they were worse.

A real reminder of what it was like to start cycling and to start cycling on the roads. Not something I will do again in a hurry (can't afford the time). It will not come as a big surprise that a recumbent is not the best choice for a 5 mile commute in traffic. Reckon if I was forced to adapt to a recumbent as a learner I would go trike.
If I had a baby elephant I would let it sleep in the garage in place of the car. If I had either a garage or a car. (I miss sigs about baby elephants)

Stradageek
Posts: 591
Joined: 17 Jan 2011, 1:07pm

Re: First "commute" on Speedmachine

Postby Stradageek » 4 Nov 2018, 12:35pm

I commute regularly on my Speedmachine, the ride is 15 miles each way, half urban, half rural and includes some cycle paths.

I start early to avoid the worst of the traffic but I find I get MUCH more consideration on the recumbent - especially if I wobble a bit as cars approach from behind :D

The rural bit is very hilly but the recumbent legs are well developed these days so the commute is now faster than I ever managed on a racing bike even 30 years ago (I'm 62).

Twist grips are my favourite, on a recumbent you often need a 'fistful' of gears in a hurry - the only problem can be doing so when the grips are wet.

I'd agree that a lot of stopping and starting in traffic doesn't favour the Speedmachime and leaf strewn cycle paths can be somewhat hazardous - I've come off a couple of times but as the seat takes the pain I've always been pretty much undamaged.

In search of a more manoeuverable/urban recumbent for short town journeys, I've just procured a BikeE - I'll let you know how I get on.

hercule
Posts: 955
Joined: 5 Feb 2011, 5:18pm

Re: First "commute" on Speedmachine

Postby hercule » 4 Nov 2018, 1:06pm

Stradageek wrote:In search of a more manoeuverable/urban recumbent for short town journeys, I've just procured a BikeE - I'll let you know how I get on.


Watch that front wheel on wet leaves... the BikeE seat is a lot higher off the ground than a low racer's, it’s a lot more painful when you hit the tarmac ! :oops:

UpWrong
Posts: 798
Joined: 31 May 2009, 12:16pm
Location: Portsmouth, Hampshire

Re: First "commute" on Speedmachine

Postby UpWrong » 4 Nov 2018, 3:53pm

I'm fine with traffic on my RANS Stratus XP but the more reclined I am the more difficult the stopping and restarting becomes for me. I have previously abandonned a Grasshopper because of this. Spent this lunchtime pottering around on my Paseo with the seat (and ride height adjustment) in the highest position. It made a huge difference so I shall persist and try to find the time to keep practicing. I want to go touring abroad and the RANS is not train friendly so am still fiddling with the 42lbs Paseo, photos here https://photos.app.goo.gl/fGHyYEEofiizHoLY8. Not sure what the RANS is now, maybe 35lbs.

Bonefishblues
Posts: 6711
Joined: 7 Jul 2014, 9:45pm
Location: Near Bicester Oxon

Re: First "commute" on Speedmachine

Postby Bonefishblues » 4 Nov 2018, 3:59pm

I'm not sure that cycles should be called things like "Speedmachine" as it may encourage entirely the wrong type of behaviour.

User avatar
max
Posts: 45
Joined: 28 Aug 2008, 8:46pm

Re: First "commute" on Speedmachine

Postby max » 17 Nov 2018, 1:30pm

Yes, I didn't spend all that money on an aerodynamic bike in order to be able to go like the wind :wink:

User avatar
[XAP]Bob
Posts: 16887
Joined: 26 Sep 2008, 4:12pm

Re: First "commute" on Speedmachine

Postby [XAP]Bob » 17 Nov 2018, 1:32pm

Bonefishblues wrote:I'm not sure that cycles should be called things like "Speedmachine" as it may encourage entirely the wrong type of behaviour.

Better not have performance tyres for cars either, or anything with a turbo...

Speed machine is a reasonable label for a nice machine.
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.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

Bonefishblues
Posts: 6711
Joined: 7 Jul 2014, 9:45pm
Location: Near Bicester Oxon

Re: First "commute" on Speedmachine

Postby Bonefishblues » 17 Nov 2018, 1:34pm

[XAP]Bob wrote:
Bonefishblues wrote:I'm not sure that cycles should be called things like "Speedmachine" as it may encourage entirely the wrong type of behaviour.

Better not have performance tyres for cars either, or anything with a turbo...

Speed machine is a reasonable label for a nice machine.

I see parrots!

User avatar
[XAP]Bob
Posts: 16887
Joined: 26 Sep 2008, 4:12pm

Re: First "commute" on Speedmachine

Postby [XAP]Bob » 18 Nov 2018, 1:12pm

I see self contradiction ;)
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.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

belgiangoth
Posts: 1252
Joined: 29 Mar 2007, 4:10pm

Re: First "commute" on Speedmachine

Postby belgiangoth » 25 Jun 2019, 9:16pm

Thought I would update here - just did my first half a real commute (no quotes needed).

For the last few months I have been going out for 8-10 mile rides with my 9yo, easy pace and on off-road paths mostly. A couple weeks ago we did the LetsRide in Birmingham. I start work late on a Monday, so can get there in light traffic and have been using the SM for those rides. The return involves a steep hill and also a right hand turn that I find tricky on a DF (to be fair cars find it tricky) so I have mostly been taking a big detour.

But Sunday I went out for a ride with a friend. He said he'd hurt his knee and wanted to go easy - turns out since the last time we went for a ride he's trained for a 100 mile sportive, so "easy" is relative. It was a decent 25 mile effort on the SM with each hill being a "I'm not going to make it" moment, followed by "I can do this, whodathunkit?".

So Monday I did the usual commute route (though I did use the pedestrian crossing for the right hand turn).

Mostly the SM has lived up to what I bought it for: I've learnt a new skill and now have a distinctly different bike that I enjoy riding. Importantly I have gone through the whole "learning to ride" thing all over again - from not being able to ride it at all, through just messing about in the park, then struggling with short distances, worrying about cars way too much, struggling to set off in traffic ... I've not arrived yet, but I'm not sure I will with this bike, it's not really suited for a 4 mile commute in busy traffic and that's most of my riding. Still, well worth it (and n+1 will be a highracer or a trike)*.

*: n+1 may be dependent on a lottery win.
If I had a baby elephant I would let it sleep in the garage in place of the car. If I had either a garage or a car. (I miss sigs about baby elephants)

UpWrong
Posts: 798
Joined: 31 May 2009, 12:16pm
Location: Portsmouth, Hampshire

Re: First "commute" on Speedmachine

Postby UpWrong » 26 Jun 2019, 10:37pm

Your tale is strangely comforting. I've struggled to master an SWB in busy traffic and have resorted to pavements and crossings at difficult junctions on occasion. But I have got better and when you master it you feel like a circus performer demonstrating their skills :lol:

Stradageek
Posts: 591
Joined: 17 Jan 2011, 1:07pm

Re: First "commute" on Speedmachine

Postby Stradageek » 29 Jun 2019, 7:57am

As further encouragement, the Speedmachine is definitely the most 'flitchy' bike in my recumbent stable but the fastest into a headwind (on the flat).

My highracer (Bacchetta Strada) is doddle in comparison and the BikeE is a breeze. The Kett brings a whole new world, drivers really give you LOADS of room.

belgiangoth
Posts: 1252
Joined: 29 Mar 2007, 4:10pm

Re: First "commute" on Speedmachine

Postby belgiangoth » 29 Jun 2019, 1:35pm

Observation: comfort dramatically changed by reclining the seat to the max. Surprisingly this also made it easier on the legs, both grinding and spinning. In initial learning to ride I couldn't balance with the seat that reclined, but once I was riding along there was (surprisingly) absolutely no issue with the seat recline.
I have discovered, though, that in this position I ride with my head raised to the vertical; head tilted back onto the headrest (in line with back/seat) is more comfortable but is a different beast to balance - so I'm back to learning how to balance all over again! (but with less urgency as when in doubt I just raise my head).
If I had a baby elephant I would let it sleep in the garage in place of the car. If I had either a garage or a car. (I miss sigs about baby elephants)

belgiangoth
Posts: 1252
Joined: 29 Mar 2007, 4:10pm

Re: First "commute" on Speedmachine

Postby belgiangoth » 26 Aug 2019, 9:38pm

Another milestone; rode with my son to the cinema in the day, decided to take the SM for a short utility ride in the evening instead of faffing about swapping bikes round. It’s doable and I like the comfort + I am no longer struggling to control or drive it. For short utility rides it loses out to my fixed df for simplicity, seeing over cars and I would think visibility in the dark.
If I had a baby elephant I would let it sleep in the garage in place of the car. If I had either a garage or a car. (I miss sigs about baby elephants)

belgiangoth
Posts: 1252
Joined: 29 Mar 2007, 4:10pm

Re: First "commute" on Speedmachine

Postby belgiangoth » 8 Sep 2019, 11:09am

So, off the df due to saddle reasons, hence real laidback commuting. It’s easier than utility cycling as you build a familiarity with the route. I would now agree that it is more comfortable, still haven’t built the legs that mean that it’s less effort (though I can coast on it, unlike my df fixie).
If I had a baby elephant I would let it sleep in the garage in place of the car. If I had either a garage or a car. (I miss sigs about baby elephants)