Recumbent - another neophyte question.
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08-16-09, 09:30 AM
Okay I have another question. It appears my first recumbent is going to be a bit of an investment, and I want to get it as right as possible.
In the online research I have done, it sound like bents, especially SWB are more in need of suspensions then standard bikes. If I am not going off road, how bad is the ride? It sounds like pot holes are really harsh because you can't jump them, but are they more jarring then on a regular bike? If I get a USS is it had to avoid pot holes?
Thanks for your thoughts and recomendations. I am getting anxious to get a bike soon, but I don'twant to screw this up.
08-16-09, 10:22 AM
I have an LWB with USS. Someone said if you have USS, you can hang on better with USS, and not fly off the seat, if you hit a bump. I think this is true, particularly when I ride over RR tracks, which knock me off my seat temporarily (fraction of a second). This is of particular interest to me, as my seat bottom is not rigidly attached to my bike. If I turn my bike upside down, the seat bottom falls off.
It's the pothole you don't see coming that is the real problem.
I hit a bad pothole a couple weeks ago. It was an unavoidable trench cutting the whole width of the lane--no way to miss it, and I didn't see it until I was about a foot in front of my front wheel. I was probably going 15 to 20 MPH. The trench was deep, but not wide. Meaning my front wheel hit the trench's opposite concrete wall right after the wheel fell over the leading concrete wall. So the front wheel didn't have a chance to complete a single revolution before it struck the second concrete wall. It would have been a disaster on an upright bike. The foreman should have had the concrete workers lay a steel plate over the trench before they went home, but NO..........
The second trench threw my bike sideways in the street, and I fell onto the concrete. That was the only time I went down on the pavement from hitting a pothole. And also the last, hopefully.
How bad are your roads? This is paving season in the U.S.A., so go out and ride on some torn-up roads. Chances are you can find some in the middle of construction, with some sections of pavement missing.
Nine years ago, I rode my friend's mountain bike. What really impressed me was that his bike had front and rear suspension (strong adjustable springs). He was able to ride it over curbs. That amazed me. Of course, the bike was heavier because of this, but it could take the abuse of riding over a curb without stressing the rider. I was really impressed.
The other way to add shock absorbers to a bike, recumbent or otherwise, is to take a screwdriver and let some air out of your tires until the air pressure is a good 10 PSI or more lower. This makes the tires springy. It's good for most bumps you'll run across on paved roads.
08-16-09, 05:36 PM
Most swb recumbents do NOT have suspension. Under normal road conditions, including the occasional pot hole, there will be no problem. Two of the major bent manufacturers of swb bents, Rans and Bacchetta, don't even offer suspension. Don't worry about it.
08-16-09, 07:29 PM
I don't have any problems on mine and I commute daily - mostly highway shoulders; through downtown; cross railroad tracks and I've taken my bike and put the skinniest 20 and 26 inch 'roadie' wheels on I could find. I don't find it any rougher than when I rode my Trek DF. The biggest difference that I notice is that more weight is on the front wheel than a DF seems to have. I have seen LWB bents with suspension, but I've never even had a second thought about needing suspension. But, if I don't keep the wheels fully inflated I'll get pinch-flats in a heart beat. Especially on the front 20".
The ride is awful, terrible, forget it.......just kidding. :)
Have never felt the need for suspension. I'm running a 1.5" rear tire which seems like a good compromise between ride and speed for my SWB V-Rex (20"/26").
Front tire is a bit skinnier at 1.35" but the rear carries more of the load. No complaints about the ride today on 53 miles of rural Indiana roads. Noted another fellow on a dual 650 'bent with much skinnier tires and he seemed comfortable enough.
08-16-09, 08:16 PM
This idea that bikes need suspension for comfort is a holdover mindset from uprights. If you're not pounding your pressure points everytime you hit a bump, then suspension stops being an issue; i.e. recumbents are comfortable without the need for suspension.
08-19-09, 12:34 AM
Thanks for the replies. I was looking at possibly getting an AB focus. But if the suspension is not really that big a deal, then I will look at something else. (I do thing it is nice looking bike though) Hopefully I will have bought my first bent after saturday. It is slightly used, and the pictures make it appear pristine. So unless he/she sells it to someone else first, or I am totally uncomfortable riding it, I plan to buy.
Its nothing too fancy, but I am still trying not to get too excited, until after I purchase.
Now as long as that nasty "Bill" heads to the cooler waters of the Atlantic and leaves Florida alone, then I will try to get some riding done this weekend, hopefully with a minimum of falls.
Peace and Grace
08-19-09, 06:34 PM
I have a 2000 Vision R50. My first bent that i just picked up last week. First real bike ive had since i was in middle school also. I really like the suspension. I find it very comfortable and find it takes alot of stress off the frame and me. Hoping it will help my bike last many many years.
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