Ever had trouble explaining why you ride a recumbent?

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Stradageek
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Ever had trouble explaining why you ride a recumbent?

Postby Stradageek » 30 Sep 2013, 8:50am

Try using this link

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... LrMwojkwDk

As someone whose upright riding days were ended by pinched nerves in the neck and who now revels in longer, easier pain free rides, I think this covers all the main advantages.

Please ignore the silly voice!

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Claireysmurf
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Re: Ever had trouble explaining why you ride a recumbent?

Postby Claireysmurf » 30 Sep 2013, 9:15am

Surely the main reason for riding a recumbent is because you want to? I hate arbitrary rules that say we have to conform in one specific way or another.
I think I possibly need to add a recumbent to the list of bikes I should own :( / :D
The silly voice is a piece of text to speech conversion software I think.

Stradageek
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Re: Ever had trouble explaining why you ride a recumbent?

Postby Stradageek » 30 Sep 2013, 7:47pm

Claireysmurf wrote:Surely the main reason for riding a recumbent is because you want to?


That's exactly how I started, I just wanted to try one and saw a 'build your own recumbent' kit that I could afford so I went for it.

Nearly ten years later however, I just wish I'd changed earlier. There are very few recidivist 'bentriders', all my uprights have now gone to new homes - once you're laid back you never go back

hercule
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Re: Ever had trouble explaining why you ride a recumbent?

Postby hercule » 30 Sep 2013, 8:31pm

I had none of the medical issues that seem to drive others to recumbents. I was simply fascinated by human powered vehicles and would have laid my hands on something much sooner than I actually did if I had had any sense...

Unfortunately the idea that recumbents are for those unable to ride proper bikes is one that the CTC inadvertently seems to be promulgating. Yes, there have been a couple of good articles recently in the CTC magazine reviewing the Kettwiesel and a user review of the ICE Sprint (I have a Kett, and the earlier incarnation of the Sprint). But each of them somewhere in the text have the sentiment, "I rode this because I couldn't ride a normal bike", even if the writer may not fully endorse the idea.

Recumbents can be ridden by people without problems riding "normal" bikes! Maybe the CTC magazine needs to do a review of something that will appeal to the carbon fibre upright brigade. Say an ICE Vortex or an Optima Baron. I volunteer to do the testing...

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Ever had trouble explaining why you ride a recumbent?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 30 Sep 2013, 9:45pm

I keep offering, I suspect Dave McCraw would be the chosen author though. Don't know what he's done to get *that* friendly with laidbackbikes ;)
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.
A good pun is it's own reword

There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

Stradageek
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Re: Ever had trouble explaining why you ride a recumbent?

Postby Stradageek » 1 Oct 2013, 9:42am

I wrote this little treatise for the Bacchetta forum, perhaps I should sent it to the CTC mag editor as a taster?

• What made you decide to try a recumbent in the first place?

I like tinkering with bikes and used the cash from a 20 year ‘long service award’ from work to buy a Dutch KS2 ‘build your own recumbent kit’ just for fun.

• Were you always a cyclist?

Pretty much, came from a poor family, if I wanted to go anywhere it had to be by bike.

• If you were a cyclist before your recumbent, what kind of riding did you do?

A bit of touring/commuting but mostly just for fun, fitness and exercise

• How did a recumbent change your life? (weight control, health issues, quality of life, performance, etc.)

I could travel much, much further for the same level of effort and fitness and in vastly greater comfort. A neck problem was also in the process of ending my upright cycling days but now I’m cycling more than ever, with zero ill effects

• What would you tell other people who are new to cycling, or new to recumbents, in terms of "This is why you should be riding a recumbent"

Pros

Aerodynamics – never again fear a headwind, they’ll slow you down a bit but the ‘riding through mud’ or ‘into a brick wall’ feelings have gone, never to return

Comfortable – no saddle soreness, no aching shoulders, no aching wrists, no aching neck, in fact no aching anything

The views – no more cycling along with nothing to look at but your front tyre (especially into headwinds). I’m now a connoisseur of clouds, buzzards, roadside flowers and hedgerow bird life

Safety – being unusual, motorists really wake up when they see you ahead, no more wing mirrors clipping your elbows, I’m usually overtaken on the other side of the road. I also have a sneaking suspicion that many motorists think I’m disabled because I’ve had queues of traffic following me for miles all scared to overtake and risk injuring a ‘vulnerable’ person

Sociable – everyone will want to chat to you about the bike, if you feel a bit lonely, just go for a ride

Crashes – I’ve had two, both my own silly fault, and there is little danger of injury, you can’t go over the handlebars (I’ve abandoned the helmet) and mostly just slide sideways with the seat scraping the ground, no more ‘road rash’

Braking – lots more weight over the rear wheel so you have two useable brakes and can stop in a trice

Speed – let go of the brakes and descents can be terrifying, the handling is brilliant and has to be, with little wind resistance expect any reasonable descent to hit 40-50mph.

Cons

Learning – you can get on a recumbent for the first time and just ride off (I did) but it does feel very different and a little unstable at first. It’s more akin to riding a motorbike (motorcyclists who have tried my recumbent have always felt totally at home). A little more counter-steering is required (turn left first to turn right) but it very soon becomes second nature.

Slow cycling – recumbents will ‘stall’ at very low speeds (less than 0.5mph-ish) and you cannot do ‘track stands’ on the pedals at traffic lights. But if you drop off the pedals, sit upright and coast it becomes an ordinary bike that will balance like any other.

Town cycling – is ok (see notes above on respectful motorists) but being longer than an upright bike it’s a bit like riding a tandem through traffic, somewhat less manoeuvrable.

Muscles – slightly different muscles are employed and take a while to fully develop. Hills can seem hard work for the first few months, don’t be discouraged (see below) it soon goes away.

Laughter – If you are a self-conscious shrinking violet these bikes are not for you. Everyone will notice you, car horns are no longer used in anger but in admiration, but teenage girls often laugh themselves into helpless hysteria.

And finally:

All the claims that recumbents cannot climb hills have now been dispelled. At 55 years young and as a leisure cyclist only (I’ve never raced anyone) I decided to see if I could tackle some ‘real’ hills on my Strada. I had always loved hills on my upright racer and had found climbing initially disappointing on my heavy recumbents (KS2 and a Speedmachine). However, I more than held my own in the UK’s ‘Phil and Friends’ Challenge ride on my new Bacchetta Strada. The ride was a brutal 60 miles in the Derbyshire Peak district (into headwinds and rain) with no flat sections and 5000ft of climbing up hills from 10% to 18%. I not only survived but finished midfield and was still smiling 3miles from the finish when the sun finally came out, as the photos prove

033-CTCPF04.jpg


Cheers guys

Stradageek

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PaulCumbria
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Re: Ever had trouble explaining why you ride a recumbent?

Postby PaulCumbria » 1 Oct 2013, 9:22pm

My route into recumbents was fuelled by suspension. I rode uprights, including a beautiful - and stiff - made to measure Ron Cooper racing bike. But being a skinny whippet I found saddles a sore point (or two). So I tried a Moulton, and discovered how efficient a properly designed suspension system could be. I would commute up the Old Kent Road in London and keep pedalling past uprights coasting over rough surfaces. Loaded touring just made the suspension work even better. But any big effort uphill resulted in pogoing, with pulses of up/down power just causing the suspension to bounce.
So the obvious solution was to look for a machine that had the power pulses fore/aft, rather than up/down - a recumbent, in other words.
I've since found that fully suspended recumbents are fabulously comfortable, but also offer all sorts of other benefits.
I think it's important stress that recumbents are not better than uprights, they just offer a different set of pros and cons, which may suit you better than the pros and cons of uprights.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Ever had trouble explaining why you ride a recumbent?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 1 Oct 2013, 9:43pm

I find that the grin, and an offer of a seat, often does the trick quite well...

They're comfortable, they're fun - what more reason do you need.
I run three wheels - increased comfort, particularly at low speed/stop, increased confidence, particularly on loose surfaces/ice etc.


When people tell me I'm too low to be seen I point out the white lines, and suggest that my years of experience tell me the exact opposite of what they are assuming - although I am acutely aware of the ease of concealment when filtering, which probably makes me safer than I would be on an upwrong.
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.
A good pun is it's own reword

There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

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squeaker
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Re: Ever had trouble explaining why you ride a recumbent?

Postby squeaker » 2 Oct 2013, 9:04am

Yes, to my wife, especially :( She insists that you are using less muscle groups, hence not such good exercise :roll:
I can counter with a 'cardio workout' response plus the usual 'I can ride a lot further pain free' (although last evening's 14m ride on my trike got at my iffy hip joint, whereas my full sus MTB which I've been riding for the last 2 weeks on holiday actually helped my hip, if not my elbows, wrists, and derriere).
Mind you, she's also a helmet fanatic :cry:
"42"

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Ever had trouble explaining why you ride a recumbent?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 2 Oct 2013, 9:47am

"good exercise" rather depends on the aim, and the alternatives.
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.
A good pun is it's own reword

There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

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squeaker
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Re: Ever had trouble explaining why you ride a recumbent?

Postby squeaker » 2 Oct 2013, 11:20am

[XAP]Bob wrote:"good exercise" rather depends on the aim, and the alternatives.

Quite: most of my cycling is to get from A to B and back, usually carrying 'stuff', so the exercise is a by-product, rather than an end in itself. Wifey's point is that 'bent riding focuses too much on a restricted group of muscles (compared to a DF) - which is why I also do circuit training (but not as much time-wise as cycling).
"42"

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Ever had trouble explaining why you ride a recumbent?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 2 Oct 2013, 11:25am

Maybe it does - it makes us use the large muscles in our legs and buttocks to provide motive force, and doesn't require the small muscles in the neck and wrists to do lots of work they are ill suited to.

There is some reduction in core muscle usage - but you do still need to hold yourself still on the seat.
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.
A good pun is it's own reword

There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

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pjclinch
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Re: Ever had trouble explaining why you ride a recumbent?

Postby pjclinch » 2 Oct 2013, 1:04pm

I was once asked by a driver, and had pointed out "comfort".

He looked at the seat on my Streetmachine, and declared that it couldn't possibly be comfortable.

Ummmmm... While there are people who can't get their head around being lower than a wedgie isn't actually the same as "doomed", I really didn't understand the problem here.

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

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Re: Ever had trouble explaining why you ride a recumbent?

Postby Geriatrix » 2 Oct 2013, 1:30pm

I was initially attracted to bents because of the aerodynamics and they looked fun. My 1st bent was a trike which wasn't practical for a train bike commute. I bought my bikes because my upright was causing a lot of neck strain.
My only gripe with my recumbents is weight.
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled - Richard Feynman

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Ever had trouble explaining why you ride a recumbent?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 2 Oct 2013, 1:31pm

How much difference does it make to all up weight (bike, you, kit, luggage)
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.
A good pun is it's own reword

There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.