C2C by recumbent

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C2C by recumbent

Postby bevblade » 28 Apr 2010, 3:30pm

Has anyone completed the C2C by recumbent trike? I suppose I'm a 'fair weather' cyclist but would like to complete the C2C. My current bikes are: a Brompton (I know the C2C has been completed on a Brommie, but I don't fancy it personally); a Pashley Moulton TSR 27 - this is a great bike, very comfortable and rigid despite its small wheels. I'm also considering a suspensioned recumbent such as the ICE Adventure much to my partner's dismay (too expensive!). We've cycled in Wales, Cornwall, the Peak District as well as East Yorkshire and I've only ever seen one recumbent (actually three together en route to Scarborough!) so I've not been able to discuss the merits of these machines with anyone out on the road.

My partner is disabled and has a Di Blasi folding trike but not a recumbent. We've seen other tricyclists on the road but no recumbents, where are they all? When she first started riding her trike she had problems adjusting to camber requirements on some narrow roads, but has gained in confidence and is now fine. Do recumbent trikes manage cambers well, especially tadpole designs?

I must admit that I've only seen one other Moulton (not a TSR) and no Di Blasi trikes, so maybe recumbents are as rare as these?

Our favoured routes are via cycle trails (ex rail tracks etc.) as we like to keep away from motor vehicles. So, expanding the question, are recumbent trikes easy to use on rail trails and canal tow paths?

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Re: C2C by recumbent

Postby swscotland bentrider » 28 Apr 2010, 5:02pm

Hi bevblade

Some time ago (2008?) there was an article in the CTC magazine about two riders one on a hand cycle and one on a recumbent trike. I cannot remeber the route but some off road was utilised. They made it I believe!



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Re: C2C by recumbent

Postby Tigerbiten » 28 Apr 2010, 6:27pm

You've just missed a meet of recumbent trikes at Draycote water last weekend.
There was a doz of us there ........ :D

I have a Trice Q.
The only time I can lift an inside wheel is if I take a corner with an adverse camber at a silly speed.
Just lean into the corner and your more likely to bounce sideways if its a bit rough than lift a wheel.

Off-road is a bit more interesting as you need the width of track to fit the trike down.
Also the back wheel is fairly lightly loaded, so you tend to get wheel spin on loose uphill surfaces.
With the 20" back wheel on my Trice Q, the rear derailer is only ~1" off the ground at its lowest, so long grass will get wrapped around the lowest jockey wheel.
Saying all that, they are great fun to ride at speed off-road, power slides on corners, etc, etc.

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Re: C2C by recumbent

Postby squeaker » 29 Apr 2010, 8:38am

bevblade wrote:Do recumbent trikes manage cambers well, especially tadpole designs?
IME (ICE & Catrike) yes. Definitely no 'upright trike veering into hedge' moments :wink: , but they will follow the camber if you let go of the steering. Mainly just feels odd not being upright (compared with a bike).

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Re: C2C by recumbent

Postby LindaRose » 11 May 2010, 6:52pm

Whilst I know nothing really about trikes I have been researching thoroughly prior to purchasing a di blasi folding trike. The whole area seems a minefield to the uninitiated so I can understand your dilemma. Have you tried Mission Cycles who are the distributors of di blasi?

In the event that you do eventually trace a recumbent version which suits your needs I may still be in the market to purchase an ordinary folding di blasi trike so do consider contacting me in this event.

Good luck with your search.

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Re: C2C by recumbent

Postby bevblade » 7 Jun 2010, 10:07pm

I've returned to this post for three reasons. first to thank those who responded, second to thank Linda Rose and to say that my jury is still out! and third is to try to understand the supposed pleasure of recumbents.

My partner has the Di Blasi but is considering moving uo to a trike based on a hybrid frame. We've looked at the tricycle Association website and found several examples of sport and distance riding including pictures of groups of riders completing the C2C. Now, we know that the C2C is the most popular long distance cycle ride. It is suggested that recumbents are better than DF bikes especially when touring, due to comfort and speed. I know that the C2C is quite hilly and recumbents might be considered less efficient on hills, but even that is presented as doubtful by the converted. So my further question is, why are there no stories / examples of people riding the C2VC on recumbents if they are so superior to DF bikes? It can't be accessibility as upright trikes have been taken on the route.

People say how much fun recumbents are to ride, but there are so few around. If they were as good as the users say, why are they not more popular?

Anyway, I'm planning a trip to Dtek in Ely to try some!

To Linda Rose, the Di Blasi is an amazing folder and great for commuting.

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Re: C2C by recumbent

Postby 3tyretrackterry » 8 Jun 2010, 8:32am

there are some stories about distance cycling on recumbents have you ever been to the cyclechat forum and checked there. IIRC a rider has done the C2C on a recumbent bike there are 2 trikers who have done LEJOG there is a tour diary for Germany and there are others. I ride a trice explorer and for comfort i find it cannot be really compared to a DF bike. i suffer from lower back pain and although i commute on a DF i do all my recreational riding on a trike. D Tek is an excellent place to go and try trikes or bikes out i know this cause i did it and bought my trike from him

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Re: C2C by recumbent

Postby squeaker » 8 Jun 2010, 9:34am

bevblade wrote:People say how much fun recumbents are to ride, but there are so few around. If they were as good as the users say, why are they not more popular?

IMO (sweeping generalisations):
1) cost (due to low production numbers)
2) banned from UCI events (too fast) - a lot of expensive bikes are about image
3) a bit more awkward (any or all of: longer, wider, heavier) to park / store
4) not good on loose surfaces (can't move your upper body weight around as on a DF bike)
Doubtless many will disagree with some / all of the above :lol:
Personally, the advantages mostly outweigh the disadvantages, which is why I have more recumbents than DF bikes in my garage.
Enjoy your trip to D-Tek :)

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Re: C2C by recumbent

Postby byegad » 8 Jun 2010, 10:03am

Squeaker's point 4 is only true for two wheel 'bents trikes are excellent on loose surfaces, a lock up is no longer likely to dump you on the floor!

The number of recumbents is slowly rising and in my opinion will continue to rise. They will however remain a niche market, like tandems and upright trikes. I'd go so far as to say there are more recumbent bikes in regular use in the UK today than Tandems and more recumbent trikes than upright trikes. If I'm wrong today I won't be some day soon. Certainly in my area I have seen in the last year, apart from my own trikes a couple of recumbent trike riders and three recumbent bikes. In the same period I spotted one upright trike and no tandems. Further a quick unscientific census at York Rally last year confirmed my view.

Had the UCI allowed recumbents to continue racing in 1934 rather than banning them we would perhaps be in a position where serious sports riders were on bents and the numbers balance would be different. We will never know. The advantages of an upright bike are many, the ease of parking and learning to ride being important reasons why they will continue to be used. The comfort of a 'bent has to be experienced to be believed.

1. Recumbents use a slightly different muscle group so expect to be slow for the first 500 to 1000 miles.
2. Some recumbent bikes are hard to ride at first. The old Penny Farthing riders found safety bicycles hard to ride at first. The lower the centre of gravity of a bike the more difficult it is to learn to ride.
3. Recumbent riders find spinning to be the best way to climb. My comfortable cadence of many years went from 72 to 84 in 4 months when I bought my first 'bent.
4. Recumbents particularly recumbent trikes are not cheap. But they are addictive, see my signature!

When I rode a DF non cycling friends told me how dangerous cycling was and they would never risk riding one. Now, as a 100% recumbent triker, cyclists tell me how dangerous it must be 'down there'. Both perceptions are wrong, in fact I get far more room and considerations from motorists on my recumbent trikes then I ever did on a DF.
"I thought of that while riding my bike." -Albert Einstein, on the Theory of Relativity

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Re: C2C by recumbent

Postby rootes » 8 Jun 2010, 11:47am

bevblade wrote:H(I know the C2C has been completed on a Brommie, but I don't fancy it personally

my mate and i have just done it on 2 speed bromptons.. It was fine

pics here:

think you would be fine on the c2c on a bent, only bad bit would i think the slightly rough bit down from winlatter pass

as for bents i built one at school 2 wheel swb - was ace if a bit rough

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Re: C2C by recumbent

Postby bevblade » 8 Jun 2010, 2:04pm

Wow! Well, I'm certainly glad that I did revist this topic.

3tyretrackterry; thanks for the various sites. I did read about the Lejog trip by recumbent but can't recall where I saw it. good read though! i've looked on the BHPC forum site but not found much. This site seems better.

Squeaker; I agree about cost, it has certainly caused me to stop and wonder whether I could justify such expense. I know I could try second hand but I want something well built and that folds, sounds like an Ice Adventure to me:). I'd like to be able to put it in the car and on trains (any experiences anyone?)

I know the UCI ban is frequently raised and I guess being able to see recumbents in popular racing events would have considerable impact. But, I still say that if they are so much fun to ride are people bothered that you don't see Lance Armstrong on one?

I need to see one at close hand to judge the extra weight and bulk. Are these issues generally among recumbent riders?

You had me worried about the sliding on loose surfaces until I read Bygad's update. I've no wish to try a recumbent bike, the thought terrifies me!

Byegad; Excellent information. I would agree about bent and upright Trikes and tandems I think, although when cycling on the High Peak trail and the York solar trail, I've seen a couple of tandems and trikes but no recumbents, not a scientific study, just an observation.

Thanks for the warnings.
I've read about the muscle groupings before but it must be a considerable change to have to ride so far before it feels more 'normal'.
As I said above, I don't intend trying a bike, a tadpole trike would be my aim.
I also know about the spinning. My Pashley Moulton is not really designed to stand up and pump. I select lower gears and 'spin'. I know it can't be the same as riding a recumbent but it's as close as I can get at the moment.
Yes, the cost issue again! I'm not youngster and am approaching retirement or semi (I do contract work). Having neglected cycling for far too many years, I'd like to catch up a bit and just ride around. The British Cylcle Quest sounds interesting. Whatever, a recumbent trike, from what I read, seems the type of vehicle that could suit that purpose. I don't see recuments and DF's as mutually exclusive, I will defend my TSR to the last, but sometimes it's nice to have a change. I'd also be reluctant to lose my Brompton, but if I stop commuting by train, it might have to be used to part fund a recumbent?

Finally, I agree about motor vehicles leaving space. When I'm out with my partner, she on her Di Blasi trike, cars give us much more space than they do me on my own on my TSR or Brompton. Also, the Di Blasi isn't quick, but most drivers follow her patiently until she can move to the side to let faster traffic through.

Rootes; I have a Brompton 2 speed and think it's great fun to ride but personally I wouldn't want to ride the C2C on it. That doesn't mean I don't think it could be done. They are great bikes and perform well. You must be very fit and it's great to hear of someone completing the C2C on a Brompton, Well done!

Lastly, sorry, I've gone well off topic and I apologise. Many thanks for all your comments. i hope I can become one of the converted sooner rather than later. If anyone has any more experience to share on touring with recument trikes, it would be good if comments could be added here.


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Re: C2C by recumbent

Postby rootes » 8 Jun 2010, 2:13pm

on the route did not remember many cars on the routes and when you are close to cars you are on quiet roads on on separate cycle track.

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Re: C2C by recumbent

Postby handcycle » 8 Jun 2010, 2:35pm

The article in Cycle with a hand bike and a recumbent trike was on the Walney to Wearside route. Gary Jackson was the hand cyclist. I've recently done the Walney to Whitby route by hand cycle, which I need as I've so little leg power. Single front wheel drive can cause traction problems but not so with my Draft (British made) Longseat. The uphills are slow but at least I don't fall off below 2mph and the downhills are as exciting as you care to make them and faster than most diamond frame bikes. Walney to Whitby is a great route. It remains a great shame that Sustrans will not do anything to conform to the requirements of The Disability Discrimination Act. They speak and publicise themselves well, but do nothing that I can see: man-made obstacles are the only ones preventing me from doing this ride independently. The same is true of the Morecambe to Bridlington route they are about to launch. The same is true for nearly all of their routes through towns that I have used. They know about it and write good guides for others to use but give no actual priority to the issue. So beware if you are using a trike or a child trailer on these routes.

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Re: C2C by recumbent

Postby fimm » 8 Jun 2010, 2:48pm

There were these guys:
link to a blog on the last page.
Of course it's a race...

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Re: C2C by recumbent

Postby Starfire » 9 Jun 2010, 1:14am

Gary and I did the W2W route in 2006, Gary did it on his Varna Handcycle and I used my ICE Q Recumbent Trike. Gary wrote an account of the trip and it was published in the June/July 2007 edition of CYCLE (CTC Magazine). A similar account of the trip is still on the Sustrans Website in the W2W section if you want to read it.