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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 07-12-17, 07:23 PM   #26
trailangel
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^^ I told you they were death vehicles...
They sit too low to see in traffic
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Old 07-12-17, 08:16 PM   #27
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I'm lucky to be alive! Hope to make it home from work in one non-mangled piece.
Made it home from work alive.
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Old 07-13-17, 09:10 AM   #28
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^^ I told you they were death vehicles...
They sit too low to see in traffic
As with all forms of cycling, situational awareness is critical. Any low bike (ie: trike or 2-wheeled bent) who pulls up alongside vehicles at a red light (where they become invisible below vehicle windows) should have an escape plan (or not enter into the situation).

As for on-road visibility, many riders of low bikes/trikes have found their 'uniqueness' more than offsets their lower visibility profile. Coupled with hi-viz clothing & daylight running lights - most drivers see them quite well ...

Back to Rydabent's original lycra-trolling topic ...
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Old 07-15-17, 07:03 AM   #29
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I paged past that article on those high priced jerseys and shorts, and it occured to me that for the $800 you could buy a pretty decent bike for that much if you wore cheap riding clothes.
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Old 07-15-17, 07:12 AM   #30
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I have ridden a trike. I would never ride either in traffic. I don't think they are safe.
Actually if you read reports from most trike riders, including myself, almost to a one we note that cars give us a really wide berth. It has been suggested that drivers think we are some kine of handicapped vehicle. So-----------they swing wide because they dont want their picture plastered all over the front page of the local newspaper saying------------scum bag Bill Smith runs over a handicapped person.

That said, I for instance seldom ride a hi traffic arterials. I ride MUPS and side streets. No use being stupid.
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Old 07-15-17, 12:14 PM   #31
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Nope, they are entirely unsafe. Death vehicles. I just can't understand why I haven't gotten invitations to the funerals for any of the avid trike riders I know from town. We should all be dead by now. It must be a miracle that I have ridden recumbent trikes over 40,000 miles since 2003 and nary a scratch. Nearly all of it is on urban roadways within the Las Vegas valley. It's really no different from many other places in the US either.
Actually, the amazing part of that is that you've done all those miles while sitting so close to the hot pavement.
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Old 07-15-17, 12:38 PM   #32
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The answer as to why I my trike seat bottom doesn't melt can be found here:
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Old 07-15-17, 12:49 PM   #33
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I've never paid more than $50 for a jersey.

I've never felt the need to smirk and jeer at the guy wearing Rapha, though.

I've seen probably a dozen recumbents and/or trikes (outside of watching the local races) out on the roads/trails in my 2.5 years cycling.

I've come to conclude that 'bents are the vegans of the cycling world. Wanna know how to tell if someone rides a 'bent? Don't worry, they'll tell you all about it.
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Old 07-18-17, 01:51 PM   #34
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The answer as to why I my trike seat bottom doesn't melt can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMlyT_Sb7sg
Gee--------------maybe I should be offended, since I am half English.

But OTOH I dont mind the heat, I will ride in temps up around 100.
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Old 07-18-17, 02:00 PM   #35
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I am so glad I am not a bent rider
That might be because Pasadena has more hills than Nebraska.
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Old 07-18-17, 08:44 PM   #36
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As with all forms of cycling, situational awareness is critical. Any low bike (ie: trike or 2-wheeled bent) who pulls up alongside vehicles at a red light (where they become invisible below vehicle windows) should have an escape plan (or not enter into the situation).
I don't do that even on a tall bike. Drivers don't look over there before turning, just to see if something has appeared out of nowhere. I always queue up with the cars. Even that isn't totally safe; a few weeks ago I was rear-ended in my car while waiting for a red light.
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Old 07-19-17, 01:15 AM   #37
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Actually not--------------just my opinion. Take it that way or leave it.
This is actually more offensive than the o.p. Why can't ***h@ts own their snark when called on it. What, a half dozen unrelated English language reading and speaking visitors to this thread all don't know snark when they see it? Too late to edit the o.p. but you might consider an apology. Just saying.
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Old 07-19-17, 06:33 AM   #38
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I always queue up with the cars.
Last year, while behind a car at a red light, the car started to reverse. I quickly stood up & waved my arms. Thankfully, the driver noticed me but it was close. I'm guessing he changed his mind & wanted to make a right turn instead of going straight.
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Old 07-19-17, 08:49 AM   #39
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That might be because Pasadena has more hills than Nebraska.
You might be on to something. How do you stand on a bent to get up a hill?
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Old 07-19-17, 10:00 AM   #40
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You might be on to something. How do you stand on a bent to get up a hill?
You don't. You just push. The seatback resists the opposite reaction force quite well. There is also this though: plenty of riders of DF bikes do not stand to get up hills either. Just saying.
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Old 07-19-17, 10:04 AM   #41
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You don't. You just push. The seatback resists the opposite reaction force quite well. There is also this though: plenty of riders of DF bikes do not stand to get up hills either. Just saying.
I have a hill nearby with a few 15% to 18% stretches, and an average grade of 10% over four miles. I struggle to do this on a conventional bike with low gearing, and having the option to stand on particularly difficult stretches.

Can a recumbent do this (for someone of similar abilities), or what is the limitation compared to a conventional bike? (I'm just curious. I have zero experience with this.)
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Old 07-19-17, 01:16 PM   #42
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I have a hill nearby with a few 15% to 18% stretches, and an average grade of 10% over four miles. I struggle to do this on a conventional bike with low gearing, and having the option to stand on particularly difficult stretches.

Can a recumbent do this (for someone of similar abilities), or what is the limitation compared to a conventional bike? (I'm just curious. I have zero experience with this.)
Being from relatively flat Michigan, I'm not much of an accomplished hill-climber, even on an upright. In past years, I've ridden in the Tennessee mountains on my bents, and done 5-6 mile grades which averaged 8-12%. And, like JanMM, I've done Hilly Hundred in S. Indiana in which there are several named hills of 13-20% max grades. They're hills, though; not mountains. so I think the longest one of them is only 1.7 miles long and the average grade is considerably less than the max grade. Climbing is a lot of work, but the downhills are usually worth it! Coasting DOWN the Tennessee grades at 50+ mph for miles at a time was exhilarating!
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Old 07-19-17, 03:22 PM   #43
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I have a hill nearby with a few 15% to 18% stretches, and an average grade of 10% over four miles. I struggle to do this on a conventional bike with low gearing, and having the option to stand on particularly difficult stretches.

Can a recumbent do this (for someone of similar abilities), or what is the limitation compared to a conventional bike? (I'm just curious. I have zero experience with this.)
A standard 'wide range' road triple for DF use, has a granny ring around 30T. Mountain triple grannies aren't much lower 28T. Biggest rear cog you are likely to see in wide use is 34T. That's why you see people walking their bikes up 15% hills on group rides. These gears are too high to allow spinning (or even winching) uphill and they are two low to stand over. Most people can only stand for several seconds at a time anyway. The vast majority of the riding public would be better served by much lower gearing than is offered by bike manufacturers.

Recumbents do not climb any better or any worse than a DF of a similar weight. Standing is of dubious benefit. It does allow a DF to seemingly leave the recumbent standing, but if the hill went on long enough the DF rider would HAVE to sit down and start spinning, and then s/he would find that their 30/2? (or even 3?) combination is not quite low enough, and they need to get off and walk (20" gear). Especially if they have any kind of load they are toting. The recumbent rider can indeed "stand". The presence of a fixed seat back from which to push allows the recumbent rider to put even more pressure on the leading pedal than a DF rider can. The DF rider cannot put more weight on the pedal than their own bodyweight. The recumbent rider can put any amount of downward force his/her quadriceps muscles can generate. Usually, however, this is more force than the same riders knees can tolerate for very long.

When both the DF and recumbent riders stop trying to prove something, and gear down and spin it out, the only limitation left is the riders ability to balance at very low speed. The DF rider usually has the edge for two main reasons. The first is the much higher center of gravity of the DF position. This actually makes balance easier. It is very counter-intuitive but those crazy 'tall bikes' (stilts as well) with the rider 8' in the air are actually VERY easy to balance. Its the fear factor of being so high off the ground that makes them daunting. Performers on stilts and tall bikes don't have to learn how to ride them they have to learn how not to be terrified up there. Recumbents, especially lowracers are harder to balance because you have much less time to react to the shifting of the balance point. At low speed recumbents are a handful. Recumbent riders are also carrying with them the self fulfilling prophecy that their platform cannot climb well and this is the second thing that gives the DF rider the edge going uphill. At the end of the day, the recumbent can do anything any other kind of bicycle can do. It all comes down to the rider. If they can climb well on a DF they will climb well on a recumbent, providing they have enough miles with it to be comfortable on it.
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Old 07-19-17, 03:39 PM   #44
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@Leisesturm I just learned a lot from your post. Many thanks.
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Old 07-19-17, 06:28 PM   #45
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A two wheeled recumbent has a "stall speed" at some point where you can no longer maintain your balance and steer in a straight line. In contrast, there is no minimum speed on a trike. A recumbent trike rider with the proper gearing and decent fitness can climb any hill (very slowly at times though). I own one trike, a Greenspeed GTO touring trike with special gearing that has a gear range of around 14-130 gear inches.
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Old 07-20-17, 10:21 AM   #46
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That might be because Pasadena has more hills than Nebraska.
Dont judge Nebr by what you see driving Interstate 80. Except for 15 to 20 miles SW of Omaha, it is entirely pretty much on river bottoms.
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Old 07-20-17, 10:27 AM   #47
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A two wheeled recumbent has a "stall speed" at some point where you can no longer maintain your balance and steer in a straight line. In contrast, there is no minimum speed on a trike. A recumbent trike rider with the proper gearing and decent fitness can climb any hill (very slowly at times though). I own one trike, a Greenspeed GTO touring trike with special gearing that has a gear range of around 14-130 gear inches.
Your post is spot on. My trike has a 30 granny in front and a 34 large sprocket in the rear. When in that lowest gear, I can even scratch gravel from a start. Further I have never been on a road that I couldnt ride up. Off road in a park I am only limited by traction in the grass.
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Old 07-20-17, 12:43 PM   #48
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Your post is spot on. My trike has a 30 granny in front and a 34 large sprocket in the rear. When in that lowest gear, I can even scratch gravel from a start. Further I have never been on a road that I couldnt ride up. Off road in a park I am only limited by traction in the grass.
There are plenty of DF's that have a 30/34 combination available. The 'stall speed' thing is indeed valid. However, with practice a DF cyclist can lower by a considerable amount the 'stall speed' of their bike. There is a guy in New Mexico(?) who markets 'MountainTamer' quad and more cranksets for front end gearing that allow super, super low granny rings (using rear cogs) to fit modified cranksets. Gears as low as 9" are in use by DF riders that compete in organized events to see who can keep from capsizing the longest at ultra low road speeds. Trikes are great, but when the road is flat the trike just cannot compete with the DF or the single track recumbent.
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Old 07-20-17, 02:00 PM   #49
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At the end of the day, the recumbent can do anything any other kind of bicycle can do.
Bunnyhop a curb, then pop a wheelie.
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Old 07-20-17, 02:14 PM   #50
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Bunnyhop a curb, then pop a wheelie.
Stoppie, track stand.
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