Recumbent - hills and mountains?
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08-31-03, 02:36 PM
Hi, I'm interested in buying one of those new hybrid sitting bikes, a cross between a recumbent and a regular bike.
I spoke with a friend of mine who regularly goes on biking vacations in France with a regular bike. He thought that a recumbent wouldn't be suitable for very steep hills. He's telling me that you really need to stand and lean forward to get the maximum amount of power to go mountains or very steep hills. Is there any truth to this?
The hybrid bike I'm looking to buy to similar to the Giant Revive. I'm looking at a Gazelle, a Dutch brand, which is only offered in 8 speeds at the moment. Since most of my biking is in flat Holland, 8 speeds is more than enough. If you guys can take on steep hills with 21 or 24 gears, I might consider waiting until Gazelle offers more models with more options and then use on vacations in France.
So, do you guys take on mountains in your recumbents?
Yes, within reason. I have found that on my bent I go 2-4mph slower up a
hill than on a regular bike. This is on hills that slow me below 8-10mph. I can
sometimes maintain a power output enough to keep up with DF riders on medium length hills, upto 300m or so long, provided I can stay above 10mph.
If you are planning a loaded tour you will definitly need a wider range than 8spd. Steve
09-01-03, 12:48 AM
Steve, thats for that. After reading through a few searches on google, I pretty much came to that same conclusion. I might also just buy that 8 speed version and trade it in when the 21 or 24 speed version comes to market. The Dutch market is pretty big over here. This is a country of 16,000,000 and everyone owns at least one bike. I think about 1,000,000 bikes get stolen each year, but that's another topic.
You mentioned a 'DF rider'... what's that?
09-01-03, 01:51 AM
Never mind ... after reading some more threads I learned that it meant 'diamond frame'. (I have to say that I came up with some interesting alternatives.)
09-01-03, 05:17 AM
I live where it is hilly and I take them on all the time. Slower up hill, faster and more control downhill. Read some posts about people traveling across the USA, climbing certain mountain race courses, etc on the net. Just do a recumbent cross USA or recumbent Mount Mitchell search should show you some of the information that you need.
I've completed the Markleeville Death Ride 5 times on a recumbent.
4 x on a Vision R45
1 x on my new Bacchetta Aero (faster) even though I'm older.
16,000 ft of climb in 130 miles. 5 mountain passes 8,000ft+.
Also Sonora Pass.
11-29-03, 08:35 PM
there is a 21 speed version of the Revive offered in Europe and over on cycleforum there is a guy having his US 8 spd converted to 24 using the SRAM dualdrive.
01-24-04, 05:08 PM
We have a ride called the Golden Triangle out here in Calgary that occurs every year on the may long weekend. 3 days, 100km/day in the Rocky Mountains. There are some very long, steep climbs, as long as 12kms.
In 2000 I rode my home built SWB, USS bent at an average speed of 21.5kph. The next year I rode a wedgie road bike and my average speed was almost exactly the same. I think I was slower up the climbs on the bent but faster down. No comparison for comfort however...you could have bought that wedgie from me for about $5 at the end of that ride.
01-25-04, 10:48 AM
Yes climbing hills on a recumbent is very difficult, at least the ones I've done. I've cycled hills in Nova Scotia, Quebec, Newfoundland, Virginia on loaded recumbents. The hills I encountered were on average 8-10% grade and a few reached 17-19% grade as they did in Quebec. I've heard that some cyclists thought it was easier doing the Rocky Mountains than Gaspe Bay, Quebec.
Doing the hills on a recumbent unloaded is hard enough by itself but I was loaded down with 60-75lb of gear every time. Leg cramps are something I encountered a lot of. On my next bent I will insist on at least a 27 speed and a low 20 gear inch is essential.
01-25-04, 02:22 PM
My point isn't who has done the toughest climbs but that climbing is no tougher on a bent than a wedgie. Those 17-19% grades would be just as hard on a wedgie. IMHO of course
Uppity, up, up, up.
how to insert a picture?
how bout this;\\
01-26-04, 09:51 AM
I've owned and have been riding recumbents since July of 1983 and for me climbing hills and mountains are the same for both (I'm just as fast on one as the other).
01-26-04, 12:50 PM
I use to ride a Vision R40 and sweated the steep long hills. If I were to get stuck in the middle of the hill, it was "lights out". Pretty difficult to get restarted. Happened once on a group state ride in a small town, on a hill with a traffic light near the top. Embarrassing. :D
I'm pretty much exclusively riding a Greenspeed trike now. Just as fast as the Vision (probably because I ride it more and stay in better shape). Hills cause no concerns. I can stop in the middle of the steepest hill and just restart. Now I admittedly do have 81 gears. If I'm riding with someone who has to get off to walk a hill, I can easily just ride alongside the walker.
Cycle NC last year started up in the mountains. It was tough, but no problem.
The Greenspeed breaks down and can ship in one or two boxes depending on how good the packer is. Makes out-of-country touring feasable.
It's an alternative thought.
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