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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 02-17-17, 11:21 AM   #51
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Steamer, kind of lame vids there. The bike is rolling over stuff. Not lifting the front wheel up. Sure some rocks, but here in MA that's beginner stuff. And not steep ups and downs. Comical at best, plus a foot dab.
We all can't be as radical as you. Someone has to be available to apply pressure and call an ambulance.
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Old 02-17-17, 08:05 PM   #52
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I think we can all agree that recumbents and DF bikes perform great where they excel, and sometimes there is significant performance crossover. I don't expect a bent to win an X-Games halfpipe competition. Nor do I expect a mountain bike to win a track sprint race. As a young man, I made the mistake of wearing figure skates to play hockey and found out that equipment that allows beautiful performances in certain environments just doesn't cut it in others. Doesn't mean that your choice of equipment should be discounted snobbishly.
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Old 02-18-17, 11:49 PM   #53
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Steamer has been holding out going mountain biking with me. He has MTB tires on one of his 'bents. Now there is no excuse.
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Old 02-19-17, 07:22 PM   #54
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I have no interest in taking any of my 'bents offroad except for the easiest of trails. In my mind, an (upright) mountain bike is still the best tool for more technical offroading. Similarly, I doubt many people try using their time trial road bikes in the dirt. Bents don't have to be great at everything to be worthwhile in their own right.
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Old 02-20-17, 11:16 AM   #55
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I have no interest in taking any of my 'bents offroad except for the easiest of trails. In my mind, an (upright) mountain bike is still the best tool for more technical offroading. Similarly, I doubt many people try using their time trial road bikes in the dirt. Bents don't have to be great at everything to be worthwhile in their own right.
Agreed.


My point was that bents are more adaptable than some give them credit for being.
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Old 02-20-17, 11:18 AM   #56
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Steamer has been holding out going mountain biking with me. He has MTB tires on one of his 'bents. Now there is no excuse.
The closest thing to mountain biking we have done together was that time we got caught in a downpour then rode up Thickhead then down Detweiler Run.
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Old 02-21-17, 12:51 PM   #57
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We all can't be as radical as you. Someone has to be available to apply pressure and call an ambulance.
Radical? No, decent tech skill required, yes. To say that a bent is capable of mountain biking is a stretch at best. Rough dirt roads , sure. Where I ride in MA, one needs to be able to loft the front wheel every 5 minutes, or you just walk. Rolling over smooth rocks and logs with dirt piled up behind? Cross bike stuff. YRMV. Lets just say our 2 versions of mt biking varies. A lot.

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Old 02-21-17, 07:56 PM   #58
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It all comes down to using the right tool for the job. Not all uprights are mountain bikes, either.
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Old 02-24-17, 08:51 AM   #59
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My understanding is that recumbents don't accelerate, handle or climb as well as bikes.
Last year during the Assenmacher 100 tour, I had some young kid running his suck saying the same thing. "It's just that recumbents are so slow, blah blah blah".
So, I gave the young buck a 1/8 mile lead on me. THEN DECIMATED HIM!!
It wasn't even close. I did see him make a futile attempt to keep up. But, that didn't last long at all.
Near the end, I found myself in a paceline of uprights. We made a left turn for the last 1/2 mile of the course. Everyone made a sprint for the finish. From the back of the paceline, I found myself passing the leader, to which he commented about being amazed at the acceleration of my lowracer.

Now, I'm not gonna poo poo the uprights. I own, love, and still ride my mine. I couldn't imagine taking my lowracer up Whiteface in NY or to Clingman's Dome in the Smokies. My uprights are my climbing bikes. Though, if I were descend with the lowracer from said routes, I'd easily be 3-5mph faster.
I also find my uprights to be easier for railtrails, where stopping/starting every mile is the norm. Easier to see over the grass at road crossings.
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Old 02-24-17, 10:45 AM   #60
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@friday1970, sounds like a lot of people believe that recumbents can maintain faster average speeds than bikes, which makes a lot of sense to me given the obvious aerodynamic advantage, so I don’t dispute that point. My comment was really more about pro road racing, where I believe acceleration, climbing and handling in a pack are relatively much more important than average or top speed. The tactics of a pro peloton pretty much negate the areo-advantage of a recumbent, and I have a hard time believing that a world-class sprinter could put down the same kind of power in a reclined position as they can from an out-of-the-saddle sprint. Those are powerful guys who use their whole bodies to accelerate the bike. I don’t see how they could do that while they are lying down. I can’t remember ever seeing anyone claim that recumbents are better climbers. In real life, I find it difficult to ride with recumbents and tandems because they tend to be relatively slower uphill and faster downhill, even when we are riding the same average speed.
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Old 02-24-17, 11:15 AM   #61
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@friday1970, sounds like a lot of people believe that recumbents can maintain faster average speeds than bikes, which makes a lot of sense to me given the obvious aerodynamic advantage, so I donít dispute that point. My comment was really more about pro road racing, where I believe acceleration, climbing and handling in a pack are relatively much more important than average or top speed. The tactics of a pro peloton pretty much negate the areo-advantage of a recumbent, and I have a hard time believing that a world-class sprinter could put down the same kind of power in a reclined position as they can from an out-of-the-saddle sprint. Those are powerful guys who use their whole bodies to accelerate the bike. I donít see how they could do that while they are lying down. I canít remember ever seeing anyone claim that recumbents are better climbers. In real life, I find it difficult to ride with recumbents and tandems because they tend to be relatively slower uphill and faster downhill, even when we are riding the same average speed.
That's pretty much what I think too.

While riding my trike on the Katy last Sunday a fellow asked me if I thought it was slower. I told him that it didn't really matter because he wasn't going to win the trophy anyway. It's just a different thing.

Doesn't Strava have a "suffer score" statistic or something like that? I want a bike computer that calculates a "fun factor" for what I'm doing. If there was such a thing I think that more people would gravitate to recumbents, particularly recumbent trikes. Wouldn't be everybody though. Lots of people get enjoyment from seeing how hard they can work and how high a "suffer score" they can achieve. That's OK with me too.
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Old 02-24-17, 03:41 PM   #62
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That's pretty much what I think too.

While riding my trike on the Katy last Sunday a fellow asked me if I thought it was slower. I told him that it didn't really matter because he wasn't going to win the trophy anyway. It's just a different thing.

Doesn't Strava have a "suffer score" statistic or something like that? I want a bike computer that calculates a "fun factor" for what I'm doing. If there was such a thing I think that more people would gravitate to recumbents, particularly recumbent trikes. Wouldn't be everybody though. Lots of people get enjoyment from seeing how hard they can work and how high a "suffer score" they can achieve. That's OK with me too.
Being older and wiser I go for the fun factor, rather than the suffer score.
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Old 02-24-17, 07:12 PM   #63
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Being older and wiser I go for the fun factor, rather than the suffer score.
Me too.

As long as we're on the topic, does anybody know what things are considered in determining a "suffer score"? It might be interesting to hear what folks would consider in calculating a "fun factor" too.
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Old 02-24-17, 08:27 PM   #64
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One year on Assenmacher I was riding with a loose chainring bolt. Out past the first rest stop I was fooling with the gears as I rode to see if big ring or middle ring made a difference, finally decided it didn't, and resumed my former pace. At the end of the ride, a group from one of the faster clubs I see there, came over and told me that they had seen me ahead of them and though I was catch-able, but just as they got into attack range, I suddenly upshifted and accelerated away from them like they were on bmx bikes. I never knew they were there, although I didn't grind their egos in the dirt by telling them that.
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Old 02-25-17, 08:27 AM   #65
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@kingston You can use your whole body to accelerate. First you have the hard shell your back lays on, and that add lots of leverage to put more power to your legs. And second, similar to riding an upright where you can pull up on your handelbars to give your legs more power, you can do this to a lesser extend on a recumbent.
Remember, the bents blazingpedals and I ride aren't exactly the large bents. These are lightweight high/lowracers built for speed. (and blazingpedals always smokes me on his incredible CHR M5).
And on to the paceline issue. A group of strong upright riders in a paceline will always catch up to me and pass me. There is just more energy to pass around. Now, I can sneak into the back of an upright paceline where I can get a good draft. But, I have to stay in the back because I cannot offer any draft to any other riders.
There is a video out there from a bike race at Sebring. A few bents competed there. Initially, since they were trying to join upright pacelines, they were getting smoked. Once they finally sorted themselves into a recumbent only paceline, they quickly accelerated to the front.
Found it the video. Around the 7:15 mark, this is when the bent only paceline got more organized and quickly distanced themselves.
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Old 02-25-17, 09:25 PM   #66
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Video confirms that recumbents are faster for the average person and don't handle very well. Two points we have already established. There were no hills, sprints, or team race tactics to inform an opinion regarding how competitive they would be in a pro peloton.
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Old 02-26-17, 01:54 PM   #67
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Video confirms that recumbents are faster for the average person and don't handle very well. Two points we have already established. There were no hills, sprints, or team race tactics to inform an opinion regarding how competitive they would be in a pro peloton.
Team tactics? Pro peloton? You do realize that recumbents are banned by the UCI and so you're never going to see them in any sanctioned race? Or ridden by a pro for that matter.

Ironic that someone in N. Illinois would level the "can't climb hills" charge against bents.
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Old 02-26-17, 02:43 PM   #68
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Team tactics? Pro peloton? You do realize that recumbents are banned by the UCI and so you're never going to see them in any sanctioned race? Or ridden by a pro for that matter.

Ironic that someone in N. Illinois would level the "can't climb hills" charge against bents.
Seems like you haven't been following the thread.
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Old 02-26-17, 07:49 PM   #69
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Ah... the Moe Zhoost post, way back on page 1. I missed that and wondered why the sidetrack into pro racing. Pro racing just doesn't matter to most of us recumbent riders. For some perverse reason, it matters the most to those least likely to ever do it. My only complaint is that the UCI ruling has, in the past, kept me out of some recreational rides. "Safety Reasons." Most recreational ride organizers have discovered that our money is just as green as everyone else's; but it wasn't always that way.
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Old 02-26-17, 08:56 PM   #70
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I have to admit that I like watching pro cycling and while recumbents aren't for me, I really don't have anything against people riding them recreationally. The only organized recreational rides I have done in the last several years have been RUSA brevets where recumbents are always welcome, and I have ridden quite a few miles chatting with some very nice recumbent riders. Some of my biases likely come from conversations with those older guys who thought they wouldn't be able to ride anymore until they got their recumbent and were out doing a 400k or whatever. By the way, the Chicago area RUSA club is in Wisconsin where they do have some hills, so I have at least some real life experience riding hilly terrain with recumbents. They usually take it nice and easy going up the big hills then blow past me on the way down.
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Old 02-27-17, 11:35 AM   #71
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Video confirms that recumbents are faster for the average person and don't handle very well. Two points we have already established. There were no hills, sprints, or team race tactics to inform an opinion regarding how competitive they would be in a pro peloton.
I guess I have a problem with your statement that bents dont handle well.

After riding a LWB bent for more than 11 years, I can ride almost perfectly straight down to about 3 mph, and ride off on a line little more than 6 inches wide. Its all a matter of experience IMO.
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Old 02-27-17, 12:53 PM   #72
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I guess I have a problem with your statement that bents dont handle well...
Did you watch the video? Those guys were all over the road. The narrator even commented on it. He claimed it was the cross-wind that prevented them from holding a straight line.

Perhaps recumbents handle well enough, but there is no way they handle as well as a bike. Look up "Road Bike Party" on youtube, and you'll see what I mean.
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Old 02-27-17, 04:41 PM   #73
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... but there is no way they handle as well as a bike.

Recumbents ARE bikes.
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Old 02-27-17, 05:24 PM   #74
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Whats the hell is a df saddle?
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Old 02-27-17, 05:35 PM   #75
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Whats the hell is a df saddle?
DF = diamond frame. i.e. a regular bike.
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