Ever had trouble explaining why you ride a recumbent?

DIscuss anything relating to non-standard cycles and their equipment.
Geriatrix
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Re: Ever had trouble explaining why you ride a recumbent?

Postby Geriatrix » 6 Oct 2013, 4:52pm

Si wrote:I just wish I knew why it was slower on the flat! Av 'bent speed: 12mph, av upright (on a heavy tourer with quite an upright position): 13.5mph for the same 40mile ride done a number of times on both, over what you'd probably class as very gently rolling terrain. I know that you have to bed-in your 'bent muscles but I've been riding the thing for about four years now!

My riding experience on my grasshopper is quite different to my speedmachine and I'm not sure why. I can get higher speeds on my speedmachine on the same roads, and aside from the size of the rear wheel and riding position they are very similar spec. Both have the same drive train and are about the same weight.

It's not due to different measuring devices either because I use the same GPS Bryton device on both.
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squeaker
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Re: Ever had trouble explaining why you ride a recumbent?

Postby squeaker » 6 Oct 2013, 11:39pm

Geriatrix wrote:My riding experience on my grasshopper is quite different to my speedmachine and I'm not sure why. I can get higher speeds on my speedmachine on the same roads, and aside from the size of the rear wheel and riding position they are very similar spec.
Isn't the Speedmachine more aero, with lower seat height, more reclined seat and higher bottom bracket? Also what steering arrangements do you have - the standard Grasshopper has rather wide bars, IMO.
"42"

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

Postby Geriatrix » 7 Oct 2013, 5:29am

squeaker wrote:Isn't the Speedmachine more aero, with lower seat height, more reclined seat and higher bottom bracket? Also what steering arrangements do you have - the standard Grasshopper has rather wide bars, IMO.

The speedmachine is more aero but they are the same in other respects. The grasshopper has tiller steering like the speedmachine. Both have Sram dual drive trains.
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled - Richard Feynman

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

Postby Stradageek » 7 Oct 2013, 7:01pm

Though I love my comfy Speedmachine dearly and use it for most of my regular commuting (I've worn out the complete drive train twice in 8 years) it has both weight and particularly drive train efficiency against it. Acceleration is a bit feeble and hill climbing slow. My equally heavy trike (Kettwiesel) leaves it in the dust on hills (though much slower on the flat) - the direct, no idler, chain line being the most obvious difference. My lighter and stiffer Bacchetta beats them both.

For me the acid test is trying to accelerate, the Bacchetta and Kett will burst away from the blocks, the Speedmachine laughs at my efforts and goes no quicker. So, into a strong wind or on bumpy windy roads I'm on the Speedmachine. Around town and in any slippy conditions I'm on the Kett. For hills or any rides of significant distance it is always the Strada.

A Carbent, Zockra or a Bacchetta Aero 2 - well we can all dream!

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

Postby rudge » 15 Dec 2013, 7:54am

To the casual observer, the recumbent position looks as if it should cause constant ache in the neck. If I try to watch television by taking up a recumbent-cyclist position on the settee, my neck aches and I want to lower my head back. The vehicle appears to need a head rest.

Evidently the reverse is the case. Your reports say that the neck pain is eased or eliminated on a recumbent. How is that?

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

Postby [XAP]Bob » 15 Dec 2013, 9:14am

I have a headrest, but very rarely use it (very nice when I do, normally at a standstill)

Depends rather on your exact position, but I find that the natural position for my head is fine, and my neck muscles hold my head up all day normally.

Maybe I should drop the recline a notch and see if that changes anything.
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squeaker
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Re: Ever had trouble explaining why you ride a recumbent?

Postby squeaker » 15 Dec 2013, 10:08am

rudge wrote:To the casual observer, the recumbent position looks as if it should cause constant ache in the neck. If I try to watch television by taking up a recumbent-cyclist position on the settee, my neck aches and I want to lower my head back. The vehicle appears to need a head rest.

Evidently the reverse is the case. Your reports say that the neck pain is eased or eliminated on a recumbent. How is that?

If you look at the side profile of a typical recumbent seat (some hard shell seats on this page) you'll see that the top 1/4 of the seat is much more upright than the main body, thus supporting your shoulders and head in a relatively upright position. I doubt that your sofa has this feature :wink:
Personally, although some of my 'bents have had a neck rest, I never really found them of much use, except as a high mounting point for a rear light :shock:
"42"

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

Postby PaulCumbria » 15 Dec 2013, 11:18am

To the casual observer I'd say it looks like the diamond frame rider has more work to do in keeping his/her head up, especially when in a tuck.

The spine is canted well forward, with the head having to be supported by neck muscles alone - no supporting skeletal structure.

By contrast the recumbent rider's head, while being tilted forward relative to the shoulders, still sits balanced on the top of the spine. Some neck muscles are used to keep the head forward, but it's nothing like as extreme as a DF rider in a crouch.

There's no doubt that tired upright riders sometimes struggle to keep their heads up, while I've never felt any need for a headrest on a recumbent, even after a long day's ride. I think headrests are offered by some recumbent manufacturers simply to satisfy demand from those who think it LOOKS like one might be necessary.

I once had a DF rider come alongside while we were battling a headwind and ask "Is that thing comfortable?" It takes considerable restraint not to be deeply sarcastic in such circumstances...

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

Postby Stradageek » 15 Dec 2013, 11:46am

Yup, I've had the same from a group of motorcyclists who cruised up next to me and said "that looks horribly uncomfortable", difficult to know how to respond - "No, it's beautifully comfortable" was all I could manage.

Acid test for me was the end on a Trivets ride, I watched all the other riders climbing slowly and painfully off their bikes, rubbing shoulders and stretching out slowly whilst I hopped off and was first at the tea bar without an ache anywhere (except perhaps in the legs!)

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

Postby brynpoeth » 21 Jan 2018, 1:57pm

Positive thread alert, worth resuscitating
It is only four years old :wink:
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Cunobelin
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Re: Ever had trouble explaining why you ride a recumbent?

Postby Cunobelin » 21 Jan 2018, 4:12pm

Nope

In most cases letting someone sit on it, or in controlled circumstances ride it and they immediately see the advantages

They are impressed with the comfort and how easy it is to see around you

Try doing that with an uptight

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

Postby Stradageek » 21 Jan 2018, 4:50pm

Had no trouble explaining this time, actions speak louder than words....

Watching the Ladies Tour go by my mate and I had worked out, along with many others, that by riding fast we could cut a corner and see the Ladies again in the next town. My friend and I (Bacchetta Strada and Corsa) were a little tardy getting going and had a hoard or keen roadies well ahead of us by the time we started but we caught the back of the pack pretty quickly and decided to see how many we could catch over a 10 mile sprint.

The simple answer was that we overtook them all and arrived at the next viewing point many minutes ahead of the chasing pack.

As the others arrived they were all somewhat bemused by how two 60+yr old rank amateurs had managed this stunt, but we didn't have to explain why we rode recumbents :D

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

Postby canoesailor » 21 Jan 2018, 5:33pm

Stradageek wrote:I

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.

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.

Cheers guys

Stradageek



If you chose a recumbent or semi trike you have no problems with low speed riding or manoeuvring. My Delta form can turn 360 degrees in its own length and because my weight is low down between the back wheels, tight adverse camber turns are no more a problem than they are for bicycles, motorcycles etc.

The comments I hear most often from schoolboys etc are usually "Cool bike mate" and "Can I have a go?"

I find most motorists give me a wide berth, probably unsure of what it is.