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  1. #1
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    Should recumbents be banned from Time Trials at Senior Olympics?

    Just trying to get some opinions from mature riders on all categories of bikes on whether one agrees with the ban on recumbents competing in the National Senior Olympics. I myself am a recumbent rider and on my HiRacer last year had the best time while competing in my State Games. Last year was not a qualifying year for the National Games which are held in alternate years. This year the top 3 riders qualify for the Nationals.

    In going to the National Website I learned that recumbents were not allowed for the current Time Trial events at the National Games. Evidently the Senior Olympics follows USCF guidlines which also bans recumbents from competing with DF's but does allow them to compete if a seperated category is established at the event. There is the "Catch -22", nothing says that an event needs to establish a recumbent category. Thereby there are no recumbents doing Time Trials at the majority of cycling events (including the National Senior Games).

    Prior to 2004, USCF regs. did allow recumbents to compete at Time Trial events and therefore they were also allowed in the National Senior Games. States are persuaded to use the same format and regs. that National games have but my State welcomed me to participate. A couple of states actually do have a recumbent category seperate (most states have none so recumbents don't compete). My state director did not want to do this and thought a bicycle was a bicycle. This year to lessen confusion he felt he might have to set up a seperate recumbent category and I maybe the only one in it and of course I could not go on to the National Games.

    I understand the aero advantage of recumbent but it is offset by the extra weight of the bike. Mine probably weighs 10 pounds more than the carbon frames currently being used on DF's. I really don't see the reason I can't compete equally in a Time Trial event. What really doesn't make sense is that recumbents might be a better choice for a lot of Senior Riders who have difficulty riding DF's. I myself discovered recumbents after having back surgery. Doesn't seem right to me to ban a healthy activity that was allowed 5 years ago.


    Just trying to get some feedback and ideas.

    Karjak

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    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    The aero advantage is too great in a flat time trial to make up for the extra weight. The recumbent may be slower to accelerate but once top speed is achieved, the aero drag is by far the largest force on the bikes.

    If they had enough entries, a class for recumbents would surely make sense and I would ask for that if I were you.

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    There are some sports that are more traditional than others. Bike racing happens to be one of them. I have no opinion if this is or isnít the correct attitude but in bike racing I donít think they want the equipment to overshadow the athlete. More than likely the best DF riders would end up being the best-bent riders but they are different pieces of equipment. I do think they should include a category for Bents but it should be separate.

    The attitude is not a new one. Try competitive sailing. Class racing is very narrow. And PHRF has very narrow restrictions on sails and battens depending on class even if the sails and battens are in common use for non-racing applications. It is just the way it is.

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    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    I always considered recumbents to be a different animal and riding them to be a different sport. I too think that if they have enough interest it should be a different category.

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    www.ocrebels.com Rick@OCRR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
    I always considered recumbents to be a different animal and riding them to be a different sport. I too think that if they have enough interest it should be a different category.
    I agree that recumbents should be different category, but given that, a rider should be able to compete in both the recumbent and the DF class, i.e. just because you ride the 'bent class should not keep you from riding the DF class event.

    Rick / OCRR

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick@OCRR View Post
    I agree that recumbents should be different category, but given that, a rider should be able to compete in both the recumbent and the DF class, i.e. just because you ride the 'bent class should not keep you from riding the DF class event.

    Rick / OCRR

    Appreciate your reply as well as others. In my case having past back surgery prevents me from being able to do the necessary training miles to ride and compete on a DF.

    There is a catch-22 to getting a seperate category. The Nationals advise states to go by their rules in local competitons thus no recumbents participating in Time Trials except in a few rare cases. The Nationals won't accept new events unless they can be shown there is enough demand for it. With them advising states to only use National Rules ala USCF ban on recumbents, its hard to establish a recumbent racing base.

    From my perspective USCF had the right idea when they allowed recumbents to compete openly in Time Trials prior to 2004( there were some restrictions on wheelbase I think). I understand the machine over man perspective with the aero riding position of a rider on the bike. But it is really a bike. Mine cost less than $1000. In the nationals there are disc wheels, aero bars light weight frames less than 15 llbs. Some of these bikes are well over $6,000. The nationals are ruled by former race cycling category riders.

    I kind of understand on the open riding circuit there is somewhat of a bias against recumbents in the minds of DF riders. But I think the Senior games is about using physical activity in promoting a healthy life. Recumbents could surely help a lot of riders get back on there bikes again. It would be nice to promote you don't have to hurt to go fast. I just think it would be great to have it open as it was once before. Being selfish I guess.

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    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    I think there is too much bias leveled at recumbents by the U.S. and International cycling federations. They have effectively ruled them out of competing and thereby limited the exposure of 'bents and the adoption of 'bents by people all over the world.

    If people tuned into international events, such as the Olympic time trials, and saw bents wiping out the upright frame bikes, to the point that no one would even be riding an upright bike in many competitions, I think you'd see a lot more recumbents in use. And they would shed the image of being only for older, out of shape riders.

    I also think you'd see a lot more bent designs, far more models on the market, and even lower priced models due to higher production numbers.

    But as recumbents will always win any race (at least any without a lot of climbing) where the riders are close in ability, you won't even see occasional events where they are allowed to participate/compete.
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    I think that a recumbent class should be available for those who wish to compete on recumbents.

    What I would love to see banned is the annoying reference to regular bicycles as DFs.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
    I think there is too much bias leveled at recumbents by the U.S. and International cycling federations. They have effectively ruled them out of competing and thereby limited the exposure of 'bents and the adoption of 'bents by people all over the world.

    If people tuned into international events, such as the Olympic time trials, and saw bents wiping out the upright frame bikes, to the point that no one would even be riding an upright bike in many competitions, I think you'd see a lot more recumbents in use. And they would shed the image of being only for older, out of shape riders.

    I also think you'd see a lot more bent designs, far more models on the market, and even lower priced models due to higher production numbers.

    But as recumbents will always win any race (at least any without a lot of climbing) where the riders are close in ability, you won't even see occasional events where they are allowed to participate/compete.
    Thanks Tom

    In fairness to the United States Cycling Federation (USCF) they did allow recumbents to compete in TT's with Uprights prior to 2004. International (UCI) kept them out going way back from what I understand.

    I do believe that an upright equiped with Aero Bars, disc wheels and having a lightweight carbon frame can keep pace with about any designed non-faired recumbent (excluding a LowRacer or maybe a Carbent Carbon HiRacer) on a standard Time Trial with an equally fit rider. Any long Time Trial is going to favor the recumbent unless of course it is primarily a climbing circuit as you mentioned. It takes a lot of effort to keep in the drops for an extended time. The Senior games Time Trials are 5k and 10K. In my state they also have a 20k time trial rather than the 20k road race which is done at the Nationals.

    I respect all viewpoints and can see the mess USCF would have trying to incorporate what design of recumbent to allow in their circuit competions. I really enjoy watching a Criterium with riders racing in close quarters ( my daughter competes) and realize it would not be the place for a recumbent. Also a road race would not be the place for a recumbent. Perhaps someday we will have enough riders on recumbents who will petition the Senior Games to be included either open or in a seperate category. There is really no reason that I can see for The Senior Olympics haveing to abide by USCF regs., but that is there own boards decision.

  10. #10
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Prior to the 2004 rules changes, I went round and round with the local SO organizers. Even if a recumbent met the then-current definition of a bike (less than 2 meters in length and 74 cm in width were the only requirements) they still didn't allow it. The new rules were put in place to make it appear the USCF is becoming 'bent-friendly, while at the same time completely locking recumbents out of their world.

    Senior Olympics and USCF are, for all practical purposes, the same people; the bicycle part is typically run by local race officials, who just happen to be USCF officials. The local official here declared, "no bent will ever compete as long as I'm around." It's no surprise that bents are officially locked out.

    Interestingly, although recumbents are placed in a separate category, there's no definition of what constitutes a recumbent. Without definitions, all sorts of things could be argued. For example, an EasyRacers Gold Rush places the rider's back more upright than an upright rider's. Is it then an upright? The rules also leave unclear whether or not the old 2-meter rule still applies to recumbents. I have concluded it doesn't, since if it were still in effect, the short recumbents such as the Lightning U-2 would still be classed as uprights. There's that definition problem again!

    I'm one who doesn't believe in bents and uprights competing head-to-head, but it'd be nice if they were allowed to race at all. My suggestion would be to incorporate a recumbent class, but limit them to "stock" class under HPRA rules.

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    Should be a separate category. The difference is apples to oranges. You wouldn't expect a kayak and a canoe to be in the same race. It sounds like the critical mass of those wanting to time trial a recumbent in the Senior Olympics is not yet high enough. If I were a bent rider wanting to compete in such an event, I'd work on building a larger population of advocate riders pushing to have a bent time trial included. That said, the politics of sports is no different than the politics found in other areas of ones life. Influence creates change. Build a stronger base of supporters and you'll gain more influence. Conversely, rational or principled arguments frequently don't have much impact on the political decision-making process.
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  12. #12
    Old Road Racer Cleave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by karjak View Post
    Thanks Tom

    In fairness to the United States Cycling Federation (USCF) they did allow recumbents to compete in TT's with Uprights prior to 2004. International (UCI) kept them out going way back from what I understand.

    I do believe that an upright equiped with Aero Bars, disc wheels and having a lightweight carbon frame can keep pace with about any designed non-faired recumbent (excluding a LowRacer or maybe a Carbent Carbon HiRacer) on a standard Time Trial with an equally fit rider. Any long Time Trial is going to favor the recumbent unless of course it is primarily a climbing circuit as you mentioned. It takes a lot of effort to keep in the drops for an extended time. The Senior games Time Trials are 5k and 10K. In my state they also have a 20k time trial rather than the 20k road race which is done at the Nationals.

    I respect all viewpoints and can see the mess USCF would have trying to incorporate what design of recumbent to allow in their circuit competions. I really enjoy watching a Criterium with riders racing in close quarters ( my daughter competes) and realize it would not be the place for a recumbent. Also a road race would not be the place for a recumbent. Perhaps someday we will have enough riders on recumbents who will petition the Senior Games to be included either open or in a seperate category. There is really no reason that I can see for The Senior Olympics haveing to abide by USCF regs., but that is there own boards decision.
    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
    Prior to the 2004 rules changes, I went round and round with the local SO organizers. Even if a recumbent met the then-current definition of a bike (less than 2 meters in length and 74 cm in width were the only requirements) they still didn't allow it. The new rules were put in place to make it appear the USCF is becoming 'bent-friendly, while at the same time completely locking recumbents out of their world.

    Senior Olympics and USCF are, for all practical purposes, the same people; the bicycle part is typically run by local race officials, who just happen to be USCF officials. The local official here declared, "no bent will ever compete as long as I'm around." It's no surprise that bents are officially locked out.

    Interestingly, although recumbents are placed in a separate category, there's no definition of what constitutes a recumbent. Without definitions, all sorts of things could be argued. For example, an EasyRacers Gold Rush places the rider's back more upright than an upright rider's. Is it then an upright? The rules also leave unclear whether or not the old 2-meter rule still applies to recumbents. I have concluded it doesn't, since if it were still in effect, the short recumbents such as the Lightning U-2 would still be classed as uprights. There's that definition problem again!

    I'm one who doesn't believe in bents and uprights competing head-to-head, but it'd be nice if they were allowed to race at all. My suggestion would be to incorporate a recumbent class, but limit them to "stock" class under HPRA rules.
    Hi,

    I have never seen a recumbent compete in a USCF time trial or road race and personally I would not want to see someone on a recumbent competing against riders on UCI legal equipment. I think that HPRA probably covers recumbents sufficiently and there was a time in the 1980s that HPRA had a number of races in SoCal. I enjoyed watching them though some of the equipment was definitely a bit rough at the time.

    There was at least one recumbent at the California Senior Games in June. I personally had no problem with the individual competing in the time trials, but for some reason the officials let the person compete in one of the road races and he definitely caused some problems in that race.

    So if someone can get sufficient numbers of people together who want to race on recumbents then I believe that local USAC officials or HPRA will have to support some events.

    Just my 2 cents.
    Thanks.
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  13. #13
    bobkat
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    I'm amazed tht they allowed you in the state games at all! A couple old guys like me tried to ride the ND Prairie Rose state games 50 miler here a couple years back and the young fit carbon fiber racers had an absolute fit. They actually admitted that they were worried that in the race on very hilly terrain that we old guys (the youngest was 64 the oldest 77 and the lightest bents were 35 pounds) would beat them and they absolutely wouldn't allow us anywhere near the course! And this is the ND state games that is widely billed as "participation for everybody!" I sowre I'd never donate a penny toward that organization again, and haven't and won't!!!
    This was the first time I was ever aware of the dislike of the racing crowd and some regular bike riders toward recumbent bikes! We even told them that we weren't racing per se or out to win or anything else, all we wanted to do was ride the course for fun and NOT be entered against anyone else, and hope to finish by the time the sun went down. ABSOLUTELY NOT!!
    So to try to change the attitudes of these Lance wannabees to me is a total waste of time!

    OF COURSE bents should be allowed to participate in their own category, (the kayak and canoe are great analogies) but if the people you are dealing with are cut from the same cloth as these arrogant hardheads up here, it ain't goon happen! EVER!

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    "There was at least one recumbent at the California Senior Games in June. I personally had no problem with the individual competing in the time trials, but for some reason the officials let the person compete in one of the road races and he definitely caused some problems in that race."

    Out of curiosity, what kind of "problems" did he cause? Jealosy becasue of interest from onlookers about bents?? OMIGOD I hope he didn't dare WIN! Or just geing there looking like a Freddy?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobkat View Post
    I'm amazed tht they allowed you in the state games at all! A couple old guys like me tried to ride the ND Prairie Rose state games 50 miler here a couple years back and the young fit carbon fiber racers had an absolute fit. They actually admitted that they were worried that in the race on very hilly terrain that we old guys (the youngest was 64 the oldest 77 and the lightest bents were 35 pounds) would beat them and they absolutely wouldn't allow us anywhere near the course! And this is the ND state games that is widely billed as "participation for everybody!" I sowre I'd never donate a penny toward that organization again, and haven't and won't!!!
    This was the first time I was ever aware of the dislike of the racing crowd and some regular bike riders toward recumbent bikes! We even told them that we weren't racing per se or out to win or anything else, all we wanted to do was ride the course for fun and NOT be entered against anyone else, and hope to finish by the time the sun went down. ABSOLUTELY NOT!!
    So to try to change the attitudes of these Lance wannabees to me is a total waste of time!

    OF COURSE bents should be allowed to participate in their own category, (the kayak and canoe are great analogies) but if the people you are dealing with are cut from the same cloth as these arrogant hardheads up here, it ain't goon happen! EVER!

    The director here in my state is somewhat of a maverick, he was even contacted by a member of the National Board and was told I should not be competing( this was after I had inquired to the Nationals about my question with recumbents). He has as his advisory a competative upright cyclist from one of the colleges. They believe the Senior Games is about participation and health and as Blazing Pedals described the National games is just an extension of another USCF riding event. Some of the major clubs in States with very competive Masters riders gear a competative team to win these National cycling events. Anyway the director here, also with opinion from his advisor, did away with the 20K road race and changed it to a 20K time trial. He was very concerned about how inexperienced older riders might crash in trying to draft off one another.

    I don't believe I have any advantage with my sub $1000 ActionBent over specialized Time Trial bikes weighing less than 15 lbs., with Disc wheels, and costing $6,000 plus. I ride extremely hard and like to push myself. I actually have only a couple of people in my riding group of Uprights who can take me up a hill. However, the Nationals would be very hard for me to match there times. They are riding time trials couses in the 24mph to 26mph average. I have only been above 22 mph but hope to do better this year.
    No one was bothered with me competing in my State Trials last year, but since this year it is a qualifying event for the Nationals someone may complain. The director and I already know that I will not be able to go to Nationals even if I have the best time. It is really cool that he has welcomed me to participate anyway. I race tommorrow.

    By dictionary definition I ride a bicycle. But I can understand why there does need to be another category for most events other than Time Trials. The boom of a recumbent would be a little unerving for riders trying to move in and out of a paceline. We do our pacelines generally above 20mph. When I ride with my biking freinds I am always in the front or the back of the pack(never middle).

  16. #16
    Old Road Racer Cleave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobkat View Post
    Out of curiosity, what kind of "problems" did he cause? Jealosy becasue of interest from onlookers about bents?? OMIGOD I hope he didn't dare WIN! Or just geing there looking like a Freddy?
    The recumbent rider was riding along side the pack -- pretty much always near the middle of the pack. Effectively he was keeping people from moving up or moving back because he was blocking half of the road. A friend who was in that race said they asked him to either speed up and ride at the front or to ride behind. he wasn't having any of it. If he was fast enough to break away from the pack then fine, but he wasn't. He definitely wasn't going to win the sprint and he basically messed up the sprint for everyone who was behind him. Personally, the officials should have pulled him from the race when they saw what was happening.

    Quote Originally Posted by karjak View Post
    The director here in my state is somewhat of a maverick, he was even contacted by a member of the National Board and was told I should not be competing( this was after I had inquired to the Nationals about my question with recumbents). He has as his advisory a competative upright cyclist from one of the colleges. They believe the Senior Games is about participation and health and as Blazing Pedals described the National games is just an extension of another USCF riding event. Some of the major clubs in States with very competive Masters riders gear a competative team to win these National cycling events. Anyway the director here, also with opinion from his advisor, did away with the 20K road race and changed it to a 20K time trial. He was very concerned about how inexperienced older riders might crash in trying to draft off one another.

    I don't believe I have any advantage with my sub $1000 ActionBent over specialized Time Trial bikes weighing less than 15 lbs., with Disc wheels, and costing $6,000 plus. I ride extremely hard and like to push myself. I actually have only a couple of people in my riding group of Uprights who can take me up a hill. However, the Nationals would be very hard for me to match there times. They are riding time trials couses in the 24mph to 26mph average. I have only been above 22 mph but hope to do better this year.
    No one was bothered with me competing in my State Trials last year, but since this year it is a qualifying event for the Nationals someone may complain. The director and I already know that I will not be able to go to Nationals even if I have the best time. It is really cool that he has welcomed me to participate anyway. I race tommorrow.

    By dictionary definition I ride a bicycle. But I can understand why there does need to be another category for most events other than Time Trials. The boom of a recumbent would be a little unerving for riders trying to move in and out of a paceline. We do our pacelines generally above 20mph. When I ride with my biking freinds I am always in the front or the back of the pack(never middle).
    Sounds like a sensible approach for riding a recumbent with friends who are on standard bicycles.
    Thanks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
    But as recumbents will always win any race (at least any without a lot of climbing) where the riders are close in ability, you won't even see occasional events where they are allowed to participate/compete.
    Oldest continually run bike race in the world: Paris-Brest-Paris. Recumbents welcome. A rider on a recumbent has never come close to winning.

    tcs
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    I think it's important in something like the Senior Games that an entrant can't "buy" a win over less well heeled competitors. I think recumbents should be allowed, but any raced bike of any design be subject to a $750 claiming rule at the end of the race.

    tcs
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    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    The problem seems to be one of "precident". As we know, many of us would go and ride just for the fun of it, not necessarily to win, but to enjoy.

    However, what is an upright not so aero and ever so heavy and non competative bent one year becomes in the hands of others a pure bred race machine designed to win win win.

    The organizers of these events have a responsibility to ensure a fair event and it is necessary for them to use some standardized rules to do that. As was pointed out in a previous post, it is difficult to catagorize the speed potential even within the recumbent class. The necessity of placing the bents into a class of their own is probably a lack of clearly defined rules covering the mixing and matching of different types of racing vehicles.

    Not all take the Senior Games as a friendly club type event.

    Just my humble opinion.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by karjak View Post
    By dictionary definition I ride a bicycle.
    I'll use the example again. The dictionary defines kayak as a small human-powered boat. It also defines a canoe as a small human-powered boat.

    I'm not trying to put down bents. Nor am I trying to promote a more traditional DF (sorry for the DF term, BluesDawg). They are two vastly different machines that operate with completely different body mechanics. I mean if the logic is played out, shouldn't rowboats also compete with canoes and kayaks? All classifications are, by nature, arbitrary, but based on distinctions deemed significant. I think in this case the distinction is a valid one.

    So, I'm not really sure what the issue is or if it is a multiple issue thing. Is the annoyance/displeasure because bents don't get respect? Is it that you can't compete in the Senior Olympics as a time trialist? Or, is it something else? I realize these questions could be seen as having an edge to them. Please understand, however, that is not the intent. I've read through this thread several times, and I still don't get it. If I go to a marksmanship event and they say I can't use my Smith & Wesson Model 19, 357 magnum in competition with *****s, I've got no real beef with that. Unless, of course this keeps me from any competition at all. If this were the case, I'd look for some other place where I could compete with my favored tool, and/or work to get a new event that would allow me to compete.
    Oh I used to be disgusted and now I try to be amused. But since their wings have got rusted, you know, the angels wanna wear my red shoes. But when they told me 'bout their side of the bargain, that's when I knew that I could not refuse. And I won't get any older, now the angels wanna wear my red shoes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BSLeVan View Post
    ...All classifications are, by nature, arbitrary...
    Actually, if done rigorously, classes fall out quite naturally (if there are any). It is the naming, meaning and interpretation of classes wherein the problem lies. This is a nit pick, but is important for this discussion since part of the problem is trying to decide how to create "fair" and "reasonable" definitions for these two categories (DF and 'Bent).

    I think, also, that there seems to be real public confusion as to the relative performance advantages of 'Bents versus DF's. At least there is on my part. Are 'Bents really faster? If so, under all circumstances or just when aerodynamics is the dominant factor?

    Until the relative strengths of the two designs are more widely understood, it seems to me that the prejudice will go on forever. The only way to resolve this is to pit 'Bents against DF's under a wide variety of conditions until it is clear that they really are two meaningfully separate classes (or not).

  22. #22
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    http://www.wired.com/culture/lifesty...ery_bikerecord

    Here's your first data point, 81mph for a bent on the flat without aero pacing.

    In flatland bicycle racing, aerodynamics is probably the only force worth mentioning other than the riders ability to produce watts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Smokester View Post
    Actually, if done rigorously, classes fall out quite naturally (if there are any). It is the naming, meaning and interpretation of classes wherein the problem lies. This is a nit pick, but is important for this discussion since part of the problem is trying to decide how to create "fair" and "reasonable" definitions for these two categories (DF and 'Bent).

    I think, also, that there seems to be real public confusion as to the relative performance advantages of 'Bents versus DF's. At least there is on my part. Are 'Bents really faster? If so, under all circumstances or just when aerodynamics is the dominant factor?

    Until the relative strengths of the two designs are more widely understood, it seems to me that the prejudice will go on forever. The only way to resolve this is to pit 'Bents against DF's under a wide variety of conditions until it is clear that they really are two meaningfully separate classes (or not).
    Thanks Smokester. Just trying to keep the discussion alive here. I just finished my Senior State Games here in South Dakota. Came in second in my category for 5k, 10k and 20k age group Time Trials. I was in the 60-64 age group. Categories start at age 50 and are broken down into 5 year intervals. My cycling passion for Time Trials ends here as of course Nationals don't allow recumbents. Was beaten by a club rider who came from Kansas with disc wheels, ultra light sub 15lb Carbon Frame bike and wore one of those long tapered Aero Helmets. I'm guessing his pacakge was in the $7,000 range. There really ought to be a seperate category for bikes weighing less than 25 lbs., costing more than $1,000 dollars, and having disc carbon wheels. All that said there are carbon bents costing several thousand dollars that would be competaive with a Aerodynamically designed Carbon Time Trial bike and also Low Racers that might even be faster. There is in fact a wide variety of designed Bents.

    What I wished in starting this Post is seeing if I can win over a few converts who might believe that in the case of the Senior Games there shoud be no categorization excluding recumbents and no need to add an extra category(which they won't do) . Eventually trying to find a way to get it back to 2004 rules. On the USCF open cycling tour that is another story. What was so neat about the event is that several out of staters came to compete. Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Wyoming, and Hawaii all had riders here competing. Some of these riders had specifically designed Time Trial bikes or had Aero Bars. I don' feel I had an unfair advantage over them. The real issue for me was that prior to 2004 my bike would not have been excluded in Nationals. It is not basically different from an upright other than my riding position is laid back in a more Aero dynamic postion. Probably not much more Aero than an upright rider in the drops. I have pedals, chain, handlebars and two 26" wheels. No one complained about my being there and there were a lot of riders who came up and talked with me about my bike. One of the faster Uprights came up and said I didn't realize recumbents could go so fast. The person who came ahead of me in the 20K Hi-fived me. I was only about 15 seconds behind him, with him having the best time of all the riders for all categories.

    The really big advantage about recumbents is that you have no pain when riding them and can ride them forever. Back Surgery veterans can appreciate this. Thus riding longer you can develop more lung capacity and aerobic capability. Thereby hopefully giving you a more healthful and active life which is what the Senior Games should be about.

  24. #24
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by karjak View Post
    The real issue for me was that prior to 2004 my bike would not have been excluded in Nationals.
    Well, yes you most likely would have been excluded. Since virtually all race directors come from upright-riding backgrounds, they all have rigid mindsets against recumbents. Under the pre-2004 rules, riders were almost always excluded at the local level by the race directors, who quoted "safety concerns." A non-issue IMHO for time trials, but you'd never get them to budge. The authority to do so was not in the rules, but regardless of that, they would not have allowed you to race. Tim Brummer managed to convince some of the directors to let him in, and he had the audacity to win. In fact, Lightning claims that the U2 was the reason for the rule change. Now, they can claim that recumbents are allowed under the rules, but use those same rules to shut them out. Shades of 1931 all over again.

    If you detect a little bitterness here, you're right. In 2003, my club donated seed money for the bike portion of the Michigan Senior Olympics. Only after they got the money did they announce that half the potential competitors from our club (over 100 recumbent riders) couldn't enter their bikes, even though they fit within the 2-meter rule. One of the competitors they turned away was an 80-year old who had already been accepted and would have been alone in his class.

  25. #25
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    time to start your own senior games org so you can set your own rules. If going to allow bents, then need to allow anything in bike geometry. if it helps, it'll be adopted and used.
    Hi 'o Silver away

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