Getting into the recumbent cycling

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Quicksilver89
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Getting into the recumbent cycling

Postby Quicksilver89 » 5 Jun 2018, 9:50pm

Hello

I've been cycling on a recumbent for a while now and getting increasingly confident with the recumbent cycling and understanding the trike (which is a trice Q).

I commute to work most days and sometimes go cycling around my local park which is really quite big and has a few modest inclines good for practice. The bike is light and comfortable with a weight of just 16.4kg without all the accessories.

The bike in question is here with the only difference being that mine has a mesh seat rather then the hard shell in this pic.

http://thebloomingpoint.com/files/2008/ ... hardsh.jpg

My old handbike was this one weighing in at 13.6kg

https://www.gomobilityscooters.com/Top- ... tefrcr.htm

So obviously a bit of a difference there which will make my current bike slower. One thing I do miss are the speeds the force R could get to. Which makes me wonder how much weight could I shed off my current bike?

I want to do more long distance rides but feel as though I need to be able to go faster. I tried the following:

- Reducing the seating angle to a more laid back position
- Pumping up the current tyres more.

However speed is rather lacking. Here is a ride from today if you can see it.

https://www.strava.com/activities/1619293299

The handbike would hit speeds of 19-20km/h quite easily.

Any other ways I can gain speed without splashing out too much? I was thinking the drum brakes are quite heavy and therefore converting to disc brakes with thinner wheels. I can imagine that would help. Maybe some tyres more suited to the long roads of the new forest which I used to love cycling on.

In addition to that a hard shell seat? though they are expensive from what I have read.

Any suggestions?

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Getting into the recumbent cycling

Postby [XAP]Bob » 5 Jun 2018, 10:39pm

What tyres are you using? What pressure? Are you spinning out?

How’s the chain etc?
Tracking/ toe in is the other big factor.
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.

Quicksilver89
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Joined: 11 Nov 2017, 8:44pm

Re: Getting into the recumbent cycling

Postby Quicksilver89 » 5 Jun 2018, 10:51pm

[XAP]Bob wrote:What tyres are you using? What pressure? Are you spinning out?

How’s the chain etc?
Tracking/ toe in is the other big factor.


Hello :)

The chain is fine I think :) The current tyre setup is a marathon plus so I think that's the first source of potential improvement. I know they are very reliable but I've always been tempted by racier setups haha. I've heard the scorchers are good but how much will they improve things?

I think perhaps I am spinning out, when in the highest gear I find it pretty easy on flat surfaces. The largest front chainring is 48T and I'm tempted to upgrade to 52T.

Although I am using a slightly heavier bike I think I may get faster then I was on the handbike soon, especially given what I read on the other thread about recumbent cycling speed. My legs are still weak I think because I didn't do much cycling during the poor winter weather and have been writing up my PhD thesis but now I have had a big urge to do some serious cycling again.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Getting into the recumbent cycling

Postby [XAP]Bob » 5 Jun 2018, 11:01pm

Just as a note you might want to set up a privacy zone on Strava, I now know which house you live in... And where there is an expensive trike ...


Personally I like Tryker tyres at about 60-70psi all round. If you are spinning out then that'll be limiting your speed, if not then it's other things.

The drums won't make you slower than discs would, and they take much less maintenance...
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.

Quicksilver89
Posts: 34
Joined: 11 Nov 2017, 8:44pm

Re: Getting into the recumbent cycling

Postby Quicksilver89 » 5 Jun 2018, 11:19pm

[XAP]Bob wrote:Just as a note you might want to set up a privacy zone on Strava, I now know which house you live in... And where there is an expensive trike ...


Personally I like Tryker tyres at about 60-70psi all round. If you are spinning out then that'll be limiting your speed, if not then it's other things.

The drums won't make you slower than discs would, and they take much less maintenance...


Ah yes I had one for an old address not much use anymore... updated now :mrgreen:

Do tyres even make much of a difference to overall speed? It seems the two best options which won't burn a hole in my pocket are a bigger chainring and new tyres then.

I pretty much spend all my time in the largest chainring, though there aren't many hills in my area.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Getting into the recumbent cycling

Postby [XAP]Bob » 5 Jun 2018, 11:25pm

Tyres make a significant difference.
If you aren't in area beset with flints I'll recommend Trykers.
Other people have their own favourites.

Tyres are a consumable, so you can reasonably expect to be buying new ones every so often anyway.

Have a look at the tracking/toe in...
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.

OldBloke
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Re: Getting into the recumbent cycling

Postby OldBloke » 6 Jun 2018, 12:53am

Jonathan,

Even very fit cyclists take time to develop their 'bent legs. There is a new set of muscles involved that will take time to strengthen - 3 - 6 months some have suggested. Give them time.


The cheapest place to reduce weight on our trikes is from our waists :D .


OB

brynpoeth
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Re: Getting into the recumbent cycling

Postby brynpoeth » 6 Jun 2018, 4:41am

What does "spinning out" mean please?
Cycling? Of course, but it is far better on a Gillott.. Alternative facts welcome

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Cunobelin
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Re: Getting into the recumbent cycling

Postby Cunobelin » 6 Jun 2018, 6:03am

brynpoeth wrote:What does "spinning out" mean please?



The speed at which you turn the pedals.

If when you are in your top gear on the flat you are rotating the pedals fast, then your gears may not be high enough to deliver the speed

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Getting into the recumbent cycling

Postby [XAP]Bob » 6 Jun 2018, 8:47am

brynpoeth wrote:What does "spinning out" mean please?


There is a limit to how fast you can spin the cranks/pedals (your cadence) which is why we have gears. If your speed and gearing is such that you are spinning as fast as you can in top gear then you are spinning out - younwould be able to go faster if you had taller/longer/higher gears.

If you aren’t in top gear then you aren’t spinning out...

To increase speed if you are then you can train to increase useful cadence (won’t get you much) or put in a higher gear (bigger chainring/smaller sprocket/add a hub gear as well...)
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.

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squeaker
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Re: Getting into the recumbent cycling

Postby squeaker » 6 Jun 2018, 10:47am

At the relatively low speeds you are doing, minimising rolling resistance should be your first action, so faster tyres (see here for some ideas) and correct tracking (as per Bob's post). Aero drag will start to dominate in the 14 to 16mph region, so no baggy clothing, and max seat recline. But, as has already been said, working on the engine always helps!
"42"

hercule
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Re: Getting into the recumbent cycling

Postby hercule » 6 Jun 2018, 8:43pm

My QNT (same as yours, only narrow track) had a 55T big ring and a 11-36 cassette at the back and I still spun out on downhills... a bigger chainring would help a lot (I’ve now migrated to 145mm cranks and have a slightly larger equivalent size ring). Tyres make a big difference, anything other than Marathon pluses will make you faster. Currently I have Kojaks on the front and a Tryker on the back. Don’t be led into automatically inflating your tyres to the maximum, at full pressure you will be bouncing all over the road imperfections and a lower pressure can actually be faster and more comfortable. Tracking makes a huge difference.

More expensive additions include fairings - a tail fairing is supposed to add more aero benefit than a front, but will essentially mean DIY with coroplast or similar, there’s nothing easily available off the shelf. I found a front fairing (Streamer by HP Velotechnik) made a big diffence into headwinds and above 15-16mph as well as keeping the rain off. Or you could go the whole hog and do a full fairing, several people have made their own or you might find a used Borealis fairing purpose made for the Trice (though your Q would be a touch too wide).

I think the Trice Q/QNT has got plenty of speed potential despite its weight, I think the “faster” machines probably do go quicker but at the cost of comfort, practicality and durability. I like mine!

nigelnightmare
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Re: Getting into the recumbent cycling

Postby nigelnightmare » 11 Jun 2018, 9:23pm

On my QNT I use a 55/42/30 with a 32-9 rear and find I can still pedal at 35+ mph (downhill).
You need higher than normal gearing because of the small wheels.
Most cycle gearing is set up for 26"-28" (700c) wheels.
HTH

Up till a couple of weeks ago I was doing an average speed of 9-10 mph.
Now I'm up to 12-14 mph after I did a 25 mile cycle challenge two weeks ago.
Tyres are standard marathon 40-406 @ 70 psi.
Mine is fully loaded with mudguards, rear rack and pannier bags and hub dynamo lights.

The higher speed will come as your legs get used to it.

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fossala
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Re: Getting into the recumbent cycling

Postby fossala » 11 Jun 2018, 9:28pm

Smaller cranks help with spinning. I moved from 170-150mm and it makes so much difference. I'm happy spinning at over 100rpm now and my knees feel better for it.

belgiangoth
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Re: Getting into the recumbent cycling

Postby belgiangoth » 11 Jun 2018, 11:31pm

Where did you get the cranks?
If I had a baby elephant I would let it sleep in the garage in place of the car. If I had either a garage or a car. (I miss sigs about baby elephants)