Recumbent - Commuting on a bent
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08-17-02, 11:28 PM
Feel free to pitch in on this. Anyone do it? Advice?
How do bents stack up as general transportational bicycles--you know, to replace driving a car?
And hills, fully loaded?
Locking a bent?
08-18-02, 12:04 AM
I don't have a 'bent but have considered it off and on. I understand all the benefits but I just can't get past one thing: how low to the ground you are, and therefore less visible. Sure, I've seen the flags, etc., that 'bent-ers fly to enhance their visibility, but that just doesn't cut it for me.
I lovve being a big yellow blob, at about SUV height.
But, man, I'd love to wrap myself in one of those wind-cheating bubbles I've seen. I think I'd go 30 MPH !!!
I commute on a recumbent.
The only time the I find the hieght being a problem is at junctions
when a car is next to you.You have to ride almost like driving a car.
Also I find that cars coming from behind give you loads of room
as they go past.On my upright they somtimes come very close.
I can lock the bike in the bike racks without any trouble.
But I do find the recumbent harder to get out of the house etc
as its harder to get around doors.
If I load panniers very heavy the front end of my recumbent
can get very light up hills,and the front wheel can lift when putting on a lot of power.
The biggest problem I find about commuting on a recumbent
is peoples attitude towards them.If you come up to a group of
teenagers it is possible to be attacked.Most of the time its just abuse,but on occasion they can come at you.
I find that for short distances through heavy traffic,or there is a lot of obsticles to get around the upright as the edge.But for distance stuff on long roads the recumbent is great.
I commute on a trike. For in-town usage, I find the trike works well since I no longer have to worry about washing out on gravel. The gravel does make a 3-wheel drift fun, tho. I have heard a number of comments that the trike is hard to see because I am so low. The comments are a contradiction. I fly a flag and have a taillight. Soon to have a headlight with automotive-grade taillights as well. Get some good rear view mirrors and develop a habit of watching them.
The low sightline elevation of the riders may be a disadvantage but I avoid situations where that becomes a worry. Generally on any HPV you are far enough in front of a driver that you are in his sightline. The main problem will be approaching intersections with cars parked close to the intersection or other things that block you being able to see up and down the intersecting streets. Approach with caution and awareness, generally good for all driving and riding.
The major advantage of trikes is the ability to ride clipless and not having to unclip when stopped. No more Artie Johnson's! Embarassing!
08-18-02, 11:10 PM
The biggest problem I find about commuting on a recumbent In this area I get great comments from young people, kids and everyone in general. I ride with a club of uprights and other riders have commented about the attention I get. Every once in a while I get a negative comment and that generally comes from lowlife types even though I usually get faverable attention from them. Karl
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