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Recumbent What IS that thing?! Recumbents may be odd looking, but they have many advantages over a "wedgie" bicycle. Discuss the in's and out's recumbent lifestyle in the recumbent forum.

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Old 06-09-02, 10:15 PM   #1
b_rider
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POW, Chalk another one up for recumbent riders.

Rode the first day of the Catholic Diocese ride, Pilgrimage on Wheels, POW today. It started in Storm Lake, Iowa. Todays ride ended in Mapleton. The ride is a week long around NW Iowa. It ends in Sioux City on Saturday. It is celebration of the diocese 100th anniversary. I am only able to ride today then again on Saturday the 15th.

Today's ride was nothing but hills and either a very strong head or cross wind. The wind was so strong we had to peddle going down hill or we would have stopped. Now I don't mind climbing hills. Even on my recumbent. But mixed with a strong head or cross wind it can be very unpleasent.

However on my Vision recumbent I was passing a whole lot of wedgie riders today and not just on the flats but going up the hills as well. And most of these people are strong riders that could easily leave recumbent riders behind on hills if there was no wind. And on a lot of the hills I was in my granny gear and spinning my way to the top. On the flats while I was cruising along at 10 to 15 mph, (yes the wind was that strong), the wedgie riders could barely maintain 8 or 9 mph.

Today was the day for 'bents on this ride. I knew the 10% to 15% aerodynamic advantage would come in handy. Plus I don't feel so "beat up" by the wind as I would if I was riding a wedgie. I completed the 62 miles in 5:16:08. Not very admirable I know. But on a 'bent I did it a lot faster then most of the wedgie riders.

So fellow 'bent riders heres another one for us.
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Old 06-09-02, 11:43 PM   #2
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B-rider; have you noticed any difference in speed with the addition of your tailbox? how were the feet on that long ride?
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Old 06-10-02, 05:24 AM   #3
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I was on a windy ride with a friend who was on a recumbant. The rest of us were pretty envious of his streamline position. He said that it was still difficult for him on the recumbant too, but it was a lot easier in the wind than being on a bike.

He did mention that the recumbant loses some advantage in the hills because he can't use his weight on the pedals.

All in all, though, it looks like a comfy ride in a lawn chair with wheels.
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Old 06-10-02, 02:22 PM   #4
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Originally posted by bentboy
B-rider; have you noticed any difference in speed with the addition of your tailbox? how were the feet on that long ride?
Yes there is more of a advantage with the tail box on, especially in a tail wind. But for P.O.W. I left it off because of the high wind. I wouold have been blown all over the highway in the cross wind. And my feet did go numb which was expected. Or were you asking about how many feet were climbed because of all the hills?
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Old 06-10-02, 07:48 PM   #5
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Aww c'mon guys. Don't tell me you believe JV????? There is no way that an overwieght (230 pounds JV?), unfit man on a BENT will drop wedgie riders up a HILL.
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Old 06-10-02, 08:30 PM   #6
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B-rider; Yes I was referring to your numb feet problem of past post I have a hell of a time attacking hills on my bent, I was passed by a 4 year old on a big wheel just recentlly Even on my road bike I only average about 15 to 16 mph though in my defence we have nothing but hills and headwinds here , sometimes crosswinds which are just as bad but rarelly a tailwind, I think Mark Burnette must be behind the wind
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Old 06-10-02, 09:19 PM   #7
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Interesting B_rider.. I have noticed that in strong winds when riding a tandem that we are able to average better speeds than the singles in our group and that it affects us less. Four legs punching one hole in the wind I guess... boy a bent tandem must ROCK in the wind..
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Old 06-10-02, 10:02 PM   #8
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Originally posted by pvt.Cowboy
Interesting B_rider.. I have noticed that in strong winds when riding a tandem that we are able to average better speeds than the singles in our group and that it affects us less. Four legs punching one hole in the wind I guess... boy a bent tandem must ROCK in the wind..
Actually cowboy the tandems did the worst. The individuals on road and hybred and mtn bikes did second worst. But the 'bents did the best. There were only 4 'bent riders though. Me, another guy on a new under seat steering Vision and 2 nice lady's on BikeE's. I talked with the other 3 'bent riders and they did as well as I did and like me they passed several upright riders. And they are in better shape then me. Despite my being overweight, (losing it rapidly because of cycling) I still rode better then upright riders. There were no 'bent tandems though I imagine riders on one would do better then single 'bents.
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Old 06-10-02, 11:11 PM   #9
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Now that he is saying that his bent beat a tandem, I guess you all can see through the BS now eh?

Unreal.
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Old 06-11-02, 12:01 AM   #10
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Originally posted by bentboy
B-rider; Yes I was referring to your numb feet problem of past post I have a hell of a time attacking hills on my bent, I was passed by a 4 year old on a big wheel just recentlly Even on my road bike I only average about 15 to 16 mph though in my defence we have nothing but hills and headwinds here , sometimes crosswinds which are just as bad but rarelly a tailwind, I think Mark Burnette must be behind the wind
Bentboy, like I said yes my feet still get hot and go numb. The solution like I stated in past posts is to purchase the SPD/platform pedals. In talking with other 'bent riders since I have owned mine, I have found that this is common among people who ride 'bents. And one of the most common solutions os to use the SPD/platform pedals.

One interesting thing though, I talked to a guy from Wisconsin doing the POW ride. He told me he had a Rans Rocket. but because of a bone spur problem in one of his feet he had to get rid of it and ride a road bike instead. On a road bike he has no problems. On a 'bent because of the position of his feet he does.

the thing about the wind here in Iowa. Is it is late in coming this year. We usually have the winds like this during the month of May. Instead in May we still had 60 degree temps. as a high for most of the month. Now in June we have the high winds. It seems as though mother nature is a little behind right now.
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Old 06-11-02, 12:19 AM   #11
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Originally posted by pvt.Cowboy
Interesting B_rider.. I have noticed that in strong winds when riding a tandem that we are able to average better speeds than the singles in our group and that it affects us less. Four legs punching one hole in the wind I guess... boy a bent tandem must ROCK in the wind..
My next ride will be a greenspeed tandem bent But 6 grand is tough
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Old 06-11-02, 12:55 AM   #12
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B-rider you might want to post this on www.bentrideronline.com
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Old 06-11-02, 11:12 PM   #13
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b_rider I can only imagine that you were surrounded by some very weak tandem teams....??
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Old 06-12-02, 12:38 AM   #14
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Originally posted by mike
He did mention that the recumbant loses some advantage in the hills because he can't use his weight on the pedals.
I don't ride a 'bent, but from what I know I think this is a bit of a myth. Yes, they can be slower climbing, but it's not necessarily because you can't use your weight. Think about how many threads there have been here on climbing technique. The consensus that usually comes out of them is that the most efficient way to climb is to sit and spin. A recumbent basically forces you to do this, so in fact a recumbent, based on this factor alone, should climb as well as any upright.

Now, there are a couple of advantages that an upright has over a recumbent. First: dollar for dollar, an upright is always going to be considerably lighter than a recumbent. Even the lightest of affordable 'bents woudl still be considered heavy in upright circles.

Second, and perhaps this is not as commonly known, the climbing position on an upright is generally much more 'closed' than on a recumbent. A closed position is where the hip angle - the angle between a line drawn between the hip and the bottom bracket and the line of the back - is more acute. A more closed position permits much more power to be put to the pedals. I don't understand the physics of this, but apparently it's true. Recumbents generally have a fairly open position, especially when they are trying to maximise aerodynamics. Unfortunately the gains made on the flat can be lost on the hills with this position. Lowracer bikes like the M5, in which the rider is virtually horizontal, are really only intented for velodrome use and therefore climbing ability is irrelevant. If you want better climbing performance out of a 'bent, lean forward allowing the hips to press into the back of the seat.

I heard some time ago about an aftermarket conversion kit for (iirc) BikeEs that shortened the stem, effecitvely giving it a much more closed position. The report I read (on bentrideronline I believe) indicated that the notoroisly pedestrian BikeE suddenly started feeling like a much more sporty machine capable of higher average speeds.
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Old 06-12-02, 02:23 PM   #15
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I ride a bent and can attest to the accuracy of Allister's observations.

The heavy weight of bents and the open position of the rider are the real reasons for lackluster hill-climbing performance - not the inability to stand on the pedals. That said, I find that pushing my lower back against a rigid seat does assist in climbing as well as providing explosive acceleration on the flats (think of the power your legs achieve doing leg presses on a weight-lifting machine.) Unless a hill is exceptionally long and steep, I acquit myself very well on most climbs. Otherwise, I gear down and spin my way to the top. The best part is, if I stop to rest at the summit, I can just relax in my "chair."
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Old 06-12-02, 07:45 PM   #16
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Originally posted by pvt.Cowboy
b_rider I can only imagine that you were surrounded by some very weak tandem teams....??
Finally, someone who can at least suspect that b_rider is so full of BS.
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Old 06-12-02, 07:51 PM   #17
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That said, I find that pushing my lower back against a rigid seat does assist in climbing as well as providing explosive acceleration on the flats (think of the power your legs achieve doing leg presses on a weight-lifting machine.)
Is the traditional circular pedal trajectory inappropriate for a 'bent? Should they have some sort of linear push (like a leg press) mechanism instead?
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Old 06-12-02, 08:04 PM   #18
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Is the traditional circular pedal trajectory inappropriate for a 'bent? Should they have some sort of linear push (like a leg press) mechanism instead?
Possibly. These people are working on it. There is a sacrifice in simplicity with such machines though.

One advantage with a linear drive recumbent is that you can make the nose fairing much smaller and therefore more aerodynamic. But in the end, for compatibility, and therefore reduced cost, simplicity and efficiency a regular drive system is still probably the best compromise.

A hydraulic drive system would be ideal for a linear pedal stroke. I've seen a site with a hydraulic drive for bikes. It converts circular motion to linear and back to circular. Having a linear pedal stroke would remove one of those steps, and probably be very efficient in transferring power.

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Old 06-12-02, 08:16 PM   #19
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Finally, someone who can at least suspect that b_rider is so full of BS.
If you look at the speed records, fully faired recumbent tandems are consistently slower than fully faired singles. Can you explain that?

Besides, perhaps the tandems [i]were[\i] piloted by weak riders. How does this make b_rider full of bs? He merely stated that they were slow. I don't recall any speculation about why this was the case, nor any claims that this was inherent with tandems.

The real question here is why do you have such an aversion to recumbents?
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Old 06-12-02, 09:55 PM   #20
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b_rider I can only imagine that you were surrounded by some very weak tandem teams....??
It is possible the people riding the tandems were not very strong riders. I don't know them well enough to say one way or the other. All I can say is I passed a lot of wedgie riders, including tandems.
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Old 06-12-02, 10:00 PM   #21
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Originally posted by Allister

If you look at the speed records, fully faired recumbent tandems are consistently slower than fully faired singles. Can you explain that?

Besides, perhaps the tandems [i]were[\i] piloted by weak riders. How does this make b_rider full of bs? He merely stated that they were slow. I don't recall any speculation about why this was the case, nor any claims that this was inherent with tandems.

The real question here is why do you have such an aversion to recumbents?
Allister, altwegg's hostility and harrasment toward me is rooted deeper then his attitude toward 'bents. Not to worry though I am getting this resolved with Joe's help. Please do not egg altwegg on or respond when he posts the things he has toward me.
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Old 06-12-02, 10:19 PM   #22
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You have to be VERY VERY unfit to let an overwiehgt guy on a heavy bent with the added weight of some fairing DROP your tandem on a climb.

I find his story unbelievable.
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Old 06-12-02, 10:41 PM   #23
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The part I find amusing is that you say that your average guy on a mountain bike did better than the tandems on your ride but you feel as though a bent tandem would do better than a single bent. Maybe just a touch of bias.... maybe??
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Old 06-13-02, 06:10 AM   #24
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the team i ride with is mostly experienced racers and longtime riders... one guy i know who regularily toasts everyone is about 58?, and a little pudgy around the middle.. but he showed up with his wife on a tandom one day and still smoked all the "b"group and kept up with the "a" team. not a recumbent but i was really amazed by the speed on that thing considering the weight of it.
lol when i got tired(i am still a new rider) they let me draft in the "cradle". thankfully i finished the 136kms that day still with enough energy to ride home.
no bents on that team, but plenty riding around the city streets.
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Old 06-13-02, 09:28 AM   #25
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Allister, altwegg's hostility and harrasment toward me is rooted deeper then his attitude toward 'bents. Not to worry though I am getting this resolved with Joe's help. Please do not egg altwegg on or respond when he posts the things he has toward me.
If Joe had any sense he would ban you and be done with it.
Joe if you wish to know why, then just peruse thru this 236 posts of a thread. It gets really good when b_rider starts using the "N" word. Just ask his former employer.: http://forum.bikemag.com/ubb/Forum4/HTML/001976.html
b-rider=JV=JohnnyV=John Vodochodorksy

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