Would it help moving over to a trike?

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patrick9
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Would it help moving over to a trike?

Postby patrick9 » 1 Oct 2009, 10:00pm

I have a bit habit of fainting on my non-recumbent bike. Well actually only about 5 times in the last 10 years, and of course immediately come off. One day is going to happen in front of an HGV car or one of the many tractors around here. Wheareas in years gone by I had no qualms in really fighting my corner with HGVs on my 15 mile commute into Manchester on the A6, and subsequentlyafter my move nore into the heart of the Peak District 15 years ago, I would avoid the RELATIVELY boring long distance old railway line trails here, I now find I am looking more and more for quiet lanes or off-road cycling. Another problem I have is that I frequently get Speed Wobble, on any number of bikes I have ridden, not necessarily at high speed, as low as 12 miles an hour in windy conditions or on rough roads, again a major problem. Long and short is I have broken my shoulder a couple of times (once in a conventional accident) and its now got permanent artritic changes. So am thinking maybe some of my cycling should be on a trike, recumbent or otherwise. If I faint, it might only be for a second or so (not sure about that) so maybe on a trike, recumbent or otherwise I am less likely to come off, or if I do, maybe if I have a low trike, I will do myself less damage – and perhaps veer out less into the middle of the road.. Problem is of course the peak district is hilly (which seems to be a problem for recumbants, particularly of the three wheeled variety) but I could easily use the trails to get out of the Peak District and ride on flatter roads. Or just use the trike for long distance touring, - particularly in Germany which has so many brilliant cycle paths. Do others reading this think I am less likely to come off a trike than my current audax bike, if going light headed or fainting, and am I more or less likely to get speed wobble. Its seems from contributions on this forum speed wobble is common on 2 wheel recumbants. Incidentally have had loads of tests for this fainting habit, nothing could be found and one of my two consultants, who had just taken up fairly serious cycle commuting to work, was anxious to get me back on my bike when at one stage I was showing some reluctance to do so.

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Tigerbiten
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Re: Would it help moving over to a trike?

Postby Tigerbiten » 1 Oct 2009, 10:50pm

Iffy,ish ........

Moving to a recumbent would help.
You would be closer to the ground if you did faint, so hopefully would do less damage if/when you fall off next.

But as for a recumbent trike ??
Its a question if you fainted and did not fall off, where would you end up as you'd keep on going untill you got control again ??
Going uphill, you'd probably be ok, traveling sub 5mph.
Going downhill is more iffy, as you'd be traveling at +20mph.

But go for it, if it got you out on a bike more.

Luck ............ :D

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dkmwt
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Re: Would it help moving over to a trike?

Postby dkmwt » 1 Oct 2009, 11:07pm

If you are only fainting just long enough for you to loose your balance then I think a recumbent trike would be the way to go. The only way you're going to fall off a trike is by taking a corner to fast without leaning into it to keep the inside wheel on the ground (when you remember to do this it's great fun).

Your concern for hills on a recumbent trike from my POV is totally misguided. Although it's slower I can ride my trike up any hill in Plymouth (unless it's got cobbles on it) and there's some pretty big hills around here. One of the hills I ride up is Gunnislake hill and that goes up 600 feet in just over a mile and I only have to stop for the traffic lights about a third of the way up.
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UpWrong
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Re: Would it help moving over to a trike?

Postby UpWrong » 2 Oct 2009, 8:57am

Sounds like it's worth trying a recumbent trike to see if the fainting ceases altogether. With the recumbent position there is a better supply of blood to the head, and it is well established that the heart doesn't have to work so hard.

Paul

byegad
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Re: Would it help moving over to a trike?

Postby byegad » 2 Oct 2009, 9:18am

One advantage of a recumbent trike is the bottom gear can be as low as you want. My QNT has a bottom gear of 14", I've spoken to people who have single figure gear inch bottom gears. My 14" gear gets me, at BMI 32 and my fully loaded QNT up 1 in 5 and steeper hills. If I do need to stop to get my breath back restarting is a breeze.

As a tadpole trike self centres the steering the chances of finding yourself in trouble after a brief black out are lower than on any kind of two wheel vehicle.

BUT:- Be aware that down hill a trike will top 40mph with considerable ease, several recumbent trikers I know have topped 50mph, some 60mph and at least one claimed to have topped 70 mph! My personal 'best' is 48mph and a longer hill would have seen me past 50.
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banjokat
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Re: Would it help moving over to a trike?

Postby banjokat » 3 Oct 2009, 10:08pm

UpWrong wrote:Sounds like it's worth trying a recumbent trike to see if the fainting ceases altogether. With the recumbent position there is a better supply of blood to the head, and it is well established that the heart doesn't have to work so hard.

Paul


I'd be inclined to disagree with you there. On many recumbents, climbing steep hills will have your legs above your heart. I've never found my heart to be having an easier time on recumbents. I would agree with the other posts though about a recumbent trike being the way forward. It must be better to drift slightly than hit the deck if you're losing consciousness for just a few seconds. It is after all, perfectly possible on a trike to let go of the bars and faff about removing layers, getting cameras / food etc out of the side pods and still be heading in the direction you're intending.

On the other hand most recumbent two wheelers are a bit less forgiving than uprights - if you blacked out on one you're pretty much certain to crash - although, as has been said it's not as far to fall.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Would it help moving over to a trike?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 4 Oct 2009, 6:56pm

dkmwt wrote:Your concern for hills on a recumbent trike from my POV is totally misguided. Although it's slower I can ride my trike up any hill in Plymouth (unless it's got cobbles on it) and there's some pretty big hills around here. One of the hills I ride up is Gunnislake hill and that goes up 600 feet in just over a mile and I only have to stop for the traffic lights about a third of the way up.


As an ex plymouth boy (born there) I do recall that my Dad used to work ina 9 storey building, where 7 floors were "ground floor", having doors to outside!

That's how steep some hills are in plymouth...
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.
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patrick9
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Re: Would it help moving over to a trike?

Postby patrick9 » 4 Oct 2009, 8:54pm

thanks for all your comments; I remember now one bit of consultant's advice I was given, was that if I felt faint, I should get my head lower, and the implicit suggestion was to bend forward and put it between my legs, but logic would suggest being in a a recumbent position must be better than trying to get lower on a conventional bike.
Noone has responded to my other enquiry. Do you think speed wobbles (or in my case simply handlebar shakes) are less likely on a trike. Further advices much appreciated.

byegad
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Re: Would it help moving over to a trike?

Postby byegad » 4 Oct 2009, 10:33pm

My QNT will shake the steering on an uneven surface, but the weight of one finger on the steering will damp it out. I use bar ends under the brake levers to act as a wrist rest, and with one of my hands resting on one bar end there is no shake at all.

I'm a little worried that even a short blackout could prove fatal on the road. Off road the risk is minimal but still there. I'm banned from two wheels for balance reasons and have had a couple of attacks while triking with no ill effects as I've learnt to rely on visual information rather than balance! I'd ride an off road track on two wheels but I'd never ride two wheels on the road.
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Tigerbiten
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Re: Would it help moving over to a trike?

Postby Tigerbiten » 5 Oct 2009, 7:44am

My Q gets lighter in the steering with both speed and a more uneven surface.
But as my artifical left arm is clipped over the top of the left handle bar, I've never have a high speed streering wobble.
I tend to get more a slight steering weave, as any movement of my shoulders is transmitted down the left arm to the steering, even with the elbow lock off.
Again easily damped with the other arm.

I've also had a slight fishtail from the backend, but that was at +25mph downhill offroad on gravel when the trailer started to push the bike under brakes.
Once I had the speed under 25mph it stopped.

Luck ....... :D

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squeaker
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Re: Would it help moving over to a trike?

Postby squeaker » 5 Oct 2009, 8:50am

Can't comment about fainting whilst riding, but I can certainly gaze at the night sky for considerably longer on my trike (without running off the road) than any of my other bikes :wink:
As for speed wobbles, my Grasshopper is rock solid at speed: any wobbling at low speed is due to my incompetence! The Trice is similarly solid on smooth roads but, being unsuspended at the front, can get airbourne over bumps that the 'hopper just swallows. Generally though, as usually you put no weight or pressure on the steering of a 'bent, provided that the geometry is sound (i.e. a relatively modern design), then all should be well.
"42"

patrick9
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Re: Would it help moving over to a trike?

Postby patrick9 » 8 Oct 2009, 8:02pm

thanks everyone, I really appreciate all your advises,
as you might have guessed from the mere fact that I started this thread, I was already half minded to give it a go, but my wife was really anxious about the safety (being seen) aspect, and I have shown her all the posts and now she was said, words to the effect, its nothing to do with her, and dont blame her, which is really the best I will get out of her, so they have certainly helped in that regard.
will do a bit of studying now of all the entries on this section (nonstandard human powered vehicles), to get more understanding of the various trike recumbents on offer, will then go for a taster (if I remember rightly from reading past ads in the ctc mag there is a firm in the wirrall - 90 minutes driving time away - offering trial rides, please correct me if I am wrong or if adverse reports on this firm) and will then report back on this site,
by the way, tigerbitten,I am not worried by that fishtail given the conditions you outline!

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NUKe
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Re: Would it help moving over to a trike?

Postby NUKe » 9 Oct 2009, 11:31am

Patrick don't where you are but most of the recumbent dealer seem very freindly sorts and will oten let you try out machines. I know DteK at Ely have a half day training/ trial session Where you can try various machines and the 25will be taken from the bill should you decide to purchase at a later date I understand he is quite relecutant to let people buy there and then .
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Tigerbiten
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Re: Would it help moving over to a trike?

Postby Tigerbiten » 9 Oct 2009, 7:16pm

I took a weeks holiday and went down to Falmouth to see the icemen.
Being left arm disabled, they had set up a Trice T with brakes and shifters on right for me to try.
Then I tried an unmodified Q and it was "I want a modified one of these".
4 days later I picked mine up on my way home.

As for being seen.
Because your so different, drivers "see" and register you more readily than an upwrong.
Again because your different, a lot of drivers will give you more room when they overtake.
I tend to ride a good foot from the gutter and with the trike being 3 foot wide this means that cars have to well cross the white line to overtake, they cannot just squeaze past with traffic coming the other way, unless you pull right into the gutter to let them.

The most dangerous places I've found to ride a low recumbent trike are supermarket car parks, as your below the sightlines of anybody reversing out.

Luck ............. :D

patrick9
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Re: Would it help moving over to a trike?

Postby patrick9 » 11 Oct 2009, 12:44pm

The most dangerous places I've found to ride a low recumbent trike are supermarket car parks, as your below the sightlines of anybody reversing out.

Yes, I saw a couple of weeks ago on this forum a video of someone learning to ride a recumbent in a carpark, and iit nearly killed my idea of getting one stone dead. Thats one place I would not wish to go if I get one. Around here, in the Peak district, car drivers rely often on seeing above the (roughly one meter high) dry stone walls as they take a corner or whatever, and again a recumbent would be below the lne of vision, it almost makes me feel a trunk road might be safer than the otherwise realitvely safe lanes here.