Recumbent suspension

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Father Jack
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Recumbent suspension

Postby Father Jack » 6 Jun 2011, 12:01pm

I ride road bikes with no suspension, would like Recumbent bike, but wondering if any type of suspension is needed? Either rear or full? Also I'd want it set quite hard I think. But prefer none if it's not needed. On road only. Like the Vortex + but the price

Change from twist grip to bar end though. What are the differences between the two other Ice bikes? With 1.5" tyres suffer from high rolling resistance? How about having 25mm tyres all round?

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Recumbent suspension

Postby [XAP]Bob » 6 Jun 2011, 12:17pm

I have rear suspension and a small rear wheel - This allows me to have one size of wheel (i.e. spares)

My previous trike had a hardshell seat and a large rear wheel, I had only one minor niggle with comfort, even jumping over speed bumps (oops). The niggle I had was rumble strips...
Note that that trike had a Blizzard sport skinny rear tyre at 110psi, and various front tyres:
- Duranos at 100psi
- HS111s at 60-80psi

Currently I run 1.5 inch Marathon Racers at 60psi all round - I'm able to maintain a decent speed even over fairly hilly terrain (16mph over 75 miles into and out of the peak district, with a 20 mile tootle in the middle). I don't think that the ICE rear suspension soaks up much power - the chainline runs through the axis of the suspension pivot, so chain tension isn't compressing the suspension.



The current standard seat on the ICE range is a fabric mesh supported in a metal frame. This provides a decent give for excellent comfort itself, but I think that for some road surfaces I appreciate the rear suspension (although a larger rear wheel might help I'd rather have consistent wheels).


Comparison of the trikes - the explorer is significantly higher than the sprint - you can get either without suspension though. If you're drooling over the vortex I'd suggest the sprint.

I've not had the opportunity to test front suspension on an ICE trike so can't comment on it.
(If ICE want to send me some front suspension units I'd love to give them a go ;) )

As for twist/bar end changers - That's personal preference, I'm happy with the twists at the moment...
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.

byegad
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Re: Recumbent suspension

Postby byegad » 6 Jun 2011, 1:31pm

It depends.
On a recumbent bike (An AZUB-4) I had suspension at both ends. As it was geared from 15" to 150" (81 speeds!) the suspension gave me confidence on 50mph+ descents. My QNT has rear suspension and it's very nice too for comfort. My Kettwiesel has no suspension and is still comfortable, although on really rough roads you do feel a bit more of the bumps.

IF I were to buy another trike, suspension is the last thing on my list of requirements. On a recumbent bike, with a hardshell seat maybe rear suspension, on a mesh seat, no suspension is really necessary, unless you plan on madcap descents. :D
"I thought of that while riding my bike." -Albert Einstein, on the Theory of Relativity

2007 ICE QNT
2008 Hase Kettwiesel AL27
2011 Catrike Trail
1951 engine

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Si
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Re: Recumbent suspension

Postby Si » 6 Jun 2011, 2:25pm

Mine doesn't have suspension (apart from a rubber bung under the seat). It's perfectly usable like this, but I would like a bit more suspension for the really bad roads and sleeping police men.
If the one that you are looking at doesn't have suspension then check the tyre clearances and see how big a tyre will fit.

markg0vbr
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Re: Recumbent suspension

Postby markg0vbr » 6 Jun 2011, 4:32pm

high racers don't normally have suspension my 26x26 giro att, is a a comfortable rid with the euromesh seat and close cell foam seat pad, on 100psi tyres.
rough road and slight rough tracks are better with a bit of suspension, just the same as df bikes.

Bill B-J
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Re: Recumbent suspension

Postby Bill B-J » 6 Jun 2011, 7:15pm

Suspension, a subjective choice.

Presenting (part of,) the case for, for---
Many velomobile have all around suspesion, I believe because the fairing can't take the stress without suspension. Body organs are not as ridgid as a fairing, so maybe they suffer less :) .
Low recumbents have a poor view of some holes in the road, (I find.) Locally, at the bottom of a dip, where I am doing 30mph, small inspection covers, sunk into the road, maybe 3-4"; I found one I did not know was there yesterday. Suspension helps alot in this extreme, but increasingly common situation.
There is a view that rolling resistance is reduced, slightly faster, same effort. :D At the very least, one can run higher tyre pressures.

Different views; choices.
Trial rides useful.

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benm
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Re: Recumbent suspension

Postby benm » 7 Jun 2011, 10:10am

The Orca comes with rear suspension which is very useful. Took me a while fiddling with the adjustment to get the stiffness sorted properly so the ride wasn't too bouncy.

I don't think I would like to ride a 'bent without rear suspension - even though the Orca has 26" wheels it makes a big difference - though for me, my DF of preference has a hard tail paired with a Brooks :)

B.

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squeaker
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Re: Recumbent suspension

Postby squeaker » 7 Jun 2011, 10:12am

Easy(ish) question first - twist or bar end? On a bike with OSS and hamster bars, twisters work fine IME. On a trike I found shifting the front mech too awkward with winter gloves on, so fitted a bar end, but prefer a twister (no need to relocate hand to shift) for the rear mech - bar end is OK though.

Suspension? Depends on loads of factors from typical road surfaces via wheel size to seat type.
Road surface: rough back country road are much nicer with suspension, and control can be improved as the wheels tend to stay in touch with the ground over bumps (my FS Grasshopper is smooth at speed 35mph+ over bumps that have me flying on the ICE 'S' or Raptobike - vision suffers on the latter, too).
Wheel size: 406 works better with suspension, but IME you can get away without it on the front ('S' and Rapto) if wideish (= 40mm) tyres used: not tried an unsuspended 406 rear, and don't want too ;) 559 (with Kojak at relatively low pressure) works OK on the Rapto.
Seat type: wife's Trice 'T' has a mesh seat: definitely some suspension effect (and less sweaty back) compared to hard shells, but loss in performance?
IMHO, Velomobiles need suspension for comfort and control at the speeds they achieve - but I have no experience on roads I know well.
Again IMHO, suspension needs to be done well in order not to rob performance, and always seems to add weight - you pays yer money, ......
HTH
"42"

Father Jack
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Re: Recumbent suspension

Postby Father Jack » 7 Jun 2011, 10:22am

Would not want twist grip, horrible.
What about brake lever, with it on your little finger it's the wrong way round! Can you have it at the top?

I think if I had suspension want it like a sports car, set up hard...not all squishy and soft. Think performance loss would be minimal?

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squeaker
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Re: Recumbent suspension

Postby squeaker » 7 Jun 2011, 12:31pm

Father Jack wrote:Would not want twist grip, horrible.
Your loss - suggest you try one first!
Father Jack wrote:What about brake lever, with it on your little finger it's the wrong way round! Can you have it at the top?
I believe it can be done (but never seen it done) - arguably you can get more cable tension the 'wrong way round' - again, try it first.
Father Jack wrote:I think if I had suspension want it like a sports car, set up hard...not all squishy and soft. Think performance loss would be minimal?
Getting well off topic, but I thought that Chapman demonstrated that suspension with reasonable travel worked well, provided it was controlled properly. (The modern F1 rigid approach has more to do with aerodynamics and ground effect, IIRC.) IME Trice rear suspension 'works', in that it softens the ride, but it's quite short travel so gets away with a simplistic approach. The only time I've seen the front suspension in action was at the HPV worlds a few years ago, where the 'works' Boreallis was pogo-ing like a good'un under (high) power :?
Suggest you need to treat yourself to a day out a DTek :wink:
"42"

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squeaker
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Re: Recumbent suspension

Postby squeaker » 7 Jun 2011, 1:00pm

Father Jack wrote:What are the differences between the two other Ice bikes? With 1.5" tyres suffer from high rolling resistance? How about having 25mm tyres all round?
Bikes or trikes :?
As ICE bikes sadly no longer in production, assume trikes:
Adventure (equivalent to 'T') - higher, more upright seat: better view, less road spray, more aero drag
Sprint (equivalent to 'Q') - all-rounder, can be made more 'sporty' (as can Adventure, but the aero drag will)
Vortex - for those who like bling (or lighter parts) - but think Maserati rather than Ferrari (IMHO)
You could have 25mm tyres all round, but only Vortex stock rims would work. Wouldn't be my choice as I like some comfort.
YMMV, of course.
"42"

Father Jack
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Re: Recumbent suspension

Postby Father Jack » 7 Jun 2011, 1:03pm

Your loss - suggest you try one first!


No thanks had twist grip before, granted on a MTB but principle will be the same, worse as you rotate bars to steer so if you're holding twist bit, probably change gear instead!

So you can't fit your own wheels? That would be pretty important later on just get new wheels/hubs..

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squeaker
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Re: Recumbent suspension

Postby squeaker » 7 Jun 2011, 1:10pm

Father Jack wrote:No thanks had twist grip before, granted on a MTB but principle will be the same, worse as you rotate bars to steer so if you're holding twist bit, probably change gear instead!
Nope, principal, and practice, totally different as there is no weight / load on the bars on a 'bent. Hated them on an MTB - just felt wrong - no worries on a 'bent.

Father Jack wrote:So you can't fit your own wheels? That would be pretty important later on just get new wheels/hubs..
Er, you can, but just remember that ICE trikes use handed front discs (probably not an issue if you have 406 disc wheels spare), or SA drums, and a zero offset rear wheel (the rear section of the trike is asymmetric to compensate).
"42"

Father Jack
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Re: Recumbent suspension

Postby Father Jack » 7 Jun 2011, 1:23pm

No thanks to grip shifters ;-)

Explain handed front discs, 406 disc wheels, sa drums, and zero offset wheel

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Recumbent suspension

Postby [XAP]Bob » 7 Jun 2011, 2:26pm

Rear wheel isn't as dished as it should be because the rear "triangle" is offset.

Front disc brakes aren't handed, but one of the calipers is upsidedown compared with the other.

Brake levers "upside down" -they looked it to me at first, but it just works. Again it's probably related to the fact that there is no need to hang onto the bars, nor to support your weight (which they aren't designed to do)

wrt steering and shifting, I've never managed it - you don't twist the handlebars to steer, you turn them, it's just that you're holding onto vertical bar ends. There is no need to grip the handlebars at all, I often steer with just a wrist resting on the mirror mount.

406 is the ISO rim diameter - it's the more common 20" size.
SA = Sturmey Archer - their drum brakes will last 20+ years on a set of pads, don't overheat on long descents and don't fade in the wet.

You can get your own wheels built - they are effectively nutted axles, but only supported at one end - at the rear it's just a case of getting the dishing right (i.e. less than a standard line would expect) and choosing appropriate gears.
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.