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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 05-23-17, 03:52 PM   #1
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Just picked up my new recumbent

Just picked up my new recumbent last Thur. (5/18/17) from Bent Up in North Hollywood. It's a Bacchetta Giro 20 with the aluminum frame.

I've put about 45 miles on it so far and I'm still ragged on my starts from stop and my climbing is really painful but I know I have new muscles to get into shape, so that's expected.

I'd done a little recumbent practice on an old Sun recumbent I was able to borrow before my Bacchetta arrived but overall, still getting used to the differences in riding a recumbent compared to my 45+ years of riding DF bikes.

My bad back, however, didn't get along with DF bikes yet finds the recumbents to be very comfortable indeed.

Not sure how much time it will take to get mentally comfortable on the recumbent but I intend to stick with it.

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Old 05-23-17, 06:03 PM   #2
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Just picked up my new recumbent last Thur. (5/18/17) from Bent Up in North Hollywood. It's a Bacchetta Giro 20 with the aluminum frame.

I've put about 45 miles on it so far and I'm still ragged on my starts from stop and my climbing is really painful but I know I have new muscles to get into shape, so that's expected.

I'd done a little recumbent practice on an old Sun recumbent I was able to borrow before my Bacchetta arrived but overall, still getting used to the differences in riding a recumbent compared to my 45+ years of riding DF bikes.

My bad back, however, didn't get along with DF bikes yet finds the recumbents to be very comfortable indeed.

Not sure how much time it will take to get mentally comfortable on the recumbent but I intend to stick with it.

Rick / OCRR
Welcome to the Bent world! You will get more proficient with each ride. Happy trails!
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Old 05-24-17, 06:34 AM   #3
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Welcome to the group. Unfortunately, you'll probably always be at least a little slower on the bent. That, or keeping up with the uprights on climbs will mean working harder than they do. But the payback is ... everywhere else.
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Old 05-24-17, 07:17 AM   #4
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Welcome to the Bent world! You will get more proficient with each ride. Happy trails!

I hope you're right! I crashed three times on a ride yesterday evening but fortunately low speed so no broken bones, just road rash.


My current learning issue is sharp turns. Not quite sure where to put my knees, plus on Giro I've had "heel strike" issues. I try to go into/around sharp curves without needing to pedal but maybe sharp-turn balance is my problem too?


Also, on my DF bikes when I go into, for example, a left turn, I'll counter-steer slightly right before leaning the bike into the left turn. Found out yesterday evening that's not a valid strategy on the recumbent!


Lots of live-and-learn going on! My wife suggested that I shouldn't use my clipless pedals on the recumbent quite yet but I don't think that's the problem and in fact I have trouble keeping my feet from slipping off the pedals when using platform type pedals.


I caught up to another recumbent rider on the San Gabriel River Trail on Sat. and he advised that it would take about three months to get totally comfortable with the handling of the recumbent.


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Old 05-24-17, 09:41 AM   #5
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Try a set of mini-toe clips until you get used to the bike. They are cheap and do the job. I never transitioned to clipless pedals so have them on all my bikes and trikes. One of many sellers (Wheel and Sprocket recumbent shop in WI) for $7 postpaid: Cyclists' Choice Vp-700 Mini Toe Clip Lrg | eBay

The good news is that avoiding heel strike eventually becomes automatic as does downshifting before coming to a stop. The learning curve for a recumbent is highly design dependent. I hopped on my first LWB recumbent and felt right at home from the get-go. The Haluzak Horizon SWB was a bit more difficult.
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Old 05-24-17, 11:46 AM   #6
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Congrats...the recumbent position works the top/outside portion of your quads (hard) where as a standard bike works the whole muscle core. You will be very happy once you build up those seldom used muscles.
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Old 05-24-17, 12:07 PM   #7
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Try a set of mini-toe clips until you get used to the bike. They are cheap and do the job. I never transitioned to clipless pedals so have them on all my bikes and trikes.

The good news is that avoiding heel strike eventually becomes automatic as does downshifting before coming to a stop. The learning curve for a recumbent is highly design dependent. I hopped on my first LWB recumbent and felt right at home from the get-go. The Haluzak Horizon SWB was a bit more difficult.
Yes, I have some pedals already set up on my folding bike with nylon toe clips but no straps. Those could work!

Good to hear that avoiding heel strike and downshifting become automatic. Hasn't happened yet but I'm sure its too soon for that. Will be patient and carry on!

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Old 05-24-17, 12:11 PM   #8
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Congrats...the recumbent position works the top/outside portion of your quads (hard) where as a standard bike works the whole muscle core. You will be very happy once you build up those seldom used muscles.
Yes, on long straight stretches and while climbing I've noticed the different muscles in use. Not totally different muscles but somewhat different. I'm sure with more miles and more climbing they'll adapt to the effort.

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Old 05-24-17, 01:47 PM   #9
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Yes, on long straight stretches and while climbing I've noticed the different muscles in use. Not totally different muscles but somewhat different. I'm sure with more miles and more climbing they'll adapt to the effort.

Rick / OCRR
Yep, really the same muscles but used at a different angle. I use to be a fitness counselor and found there are many angles you can use to target the area of muscles. So, if you have access to a gym, the "leg press or leg slide machine" would highly target the same muscle ares as the recumbent. Squats and using the hack squat machine work the core strands of muscle fibers. Of course, training directly on the cycle to condition and build is a very good choice
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Old 05-24-17, 02:04 PM   #10
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It's just like riding a bike - except different!
One good difference is that you don't have to stop pedaling on many turns to avoid pedal strike on the ground - but you do have to make adjustments on sharper turns to avoid heel strike on tire or leg/handlebar interference.
Don't know where you are carrying water but it took me quite a while before I felt comfortable reaching for a bottle mounted behind me on the seat back.
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Old 05-24-17, 05:55 PM   #11
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It's just like riding a bike - except different!

One good difference is that you don't have to stop pedaling on many turns to avoid pedal strike on the ground - but you do have to make adjustments on sharper turns to avoid heel strike on tire or leg/handlebar interference.

Don't know where you are carrying water but it took me quite a while before I felt comfortable reaching for a bottle mounted behind me on the seat back.
Thanks JanMM but could you please clarify "make adjustments." Could you be more specific? The word to use when describing my recumbent sharp cornering style would be "awkward."

Water is via a Camelback bladder perched inside the High-Vis bag on the back of the seat . . . but I have to figure out a way to attach it to the seat or to my jersey so the mouthpiece and hose aren't dangling out the right side of the bike.

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Old 05-24-17, 06:48 PM   #12
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Thanks JanMM but could you please clarify "make adjustments." Could you be more specific? The word to use when describing my recumbent sharp cornering style would be "awkward."
Straighten inside leg.
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Old 05-24-17, 07:29 PM   #13
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The starts and confidence will improve rapidly with only a few more miles. Welcome to the world of comfort.
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Old 05-24-17, 07:45 PM   #14
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Straighten inside leg.
And for really sharp, slow turns, I sometimes put the left (usually a u-turn to the left) foot down.
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Old 05-24-17, 08:20 PM   #15
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Water is via a Camelback bladder perched inside the High-Vis bag on the back of the seat . . . but I have to figure out a way to attach it to the seat or to my jersey so the mouthpiece and hose aren't dangling out the right side of the bike.

Rick / OCRR
Your LBS sells this where the Camelback parts are:

It clips to your jersey.
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Old 05-25-17, 07:40 AM   #16
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Your LBS sells this where the Camelback parts are:

It clips to your jersey.

Thanks for the tip Blazing Pedals . . . that looks perfect!


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Old 05-25-17, 07:41 AM   #17
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Straighten inside leg.


Thanks Steamer, will try that on my next ride!


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