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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 12-10-06, 02:20 AM   #1
John Lewis
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Ouch!

Hello all,

Just had my first spill from my SWB today. Now back from Casualty and sporting some dressings.
I need a newjersey, nicks and skin.

I hit a patch of loose gravel, the rear wheel let go and I was down almost instantly on the left side and sliding along the rough blacktop.

Main bike damage was to the seat material and a little paint. I damaged an elbow and side of upper thigh. I think it would have been worse on a DF.

So my question is : How common are spills on bents?

I have a Logo trike, a homemade LWB easyracer clone and home made Bentech SWB. I'm new to the forum but have been lurking for some time.
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Old 12-10-06, 03:28 AM   #2
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Hi John,
I've a Bacchetta Strada that I've put a bit over 5000 miles on with a couple of spills. One simular to yours on loose gravel and once on a wet road as I crossed over a painted section on the road. My injuries were light, and I was able to keep riding on both days. I believe had I been on a DF I would have dropped it as well, and yes I feel my injuries would have been more substantial. I do not know what tires you are running, but of course any skinny tire responds poorly to loose gravel or slick paint. Several months ago, while on my mountain bike, while traveling at only about 1 mph, I dropped it on wet concrete. The injuries suffered were much more painful as the distance to the ground is just that much farther on a DF. In any case I feel crashing on a bent is no more likely than a DF bike, and any injuries are likely to be less on a recumbent.
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Old 12-10-06, 07:55 AM   #3
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Can't speak for all, of course, but I think most of us have had a spill...mine have all been minor at slow speed..............but most of my riding is a slow speed..
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Old 12-10-06, 08:20 AM   #4
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Bents with steering axis similar to DF bikes, ie the handle bars are a direct extension up from the front wheel are a little more stable than bents with tiller type bars and front wheels that are at shallow angles to the steering axis. LWB and shallow angle steering axes are more prone to front end slide out than bents with steering axes closer to the 70D typical on DF bikes. OTOH it is a rare bent with a seat height above 24" and most are below 22" so the impact force is less and tends to be more tangential resulting in rash rather than high impact forces. It is almost impossible to do a header on a bent. It is safer IMO to tightly grip the bars and keep the feet clipped in the pedals in a bent crash as a leg thrown out from the bike may become a pivot point resulting in major fractures. I have had front wheel slideouts on minimal sand/gravel/mud/wet paint on my Rotator Pursuit LWB 4-5x, and apart from a bit of road rash and torn clothes was always able to continue the ride. DF crashes are more likely to result in ride stopping damage to rider or bike even though the bike is more stable.
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Old 12-10-06, 10:10 AM   #5
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ouch

All my crashes have been on a sandy bike path when I was going a little too fast.They are always the same fast slide out with some skin loss. Jack
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Old 12-10-06, 10:15 AM   #6
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I have had two in 1200 miles this year. Both times the front tire on my Agio slipped out from under me. The first fall came 24 miles into riding my new bent. Trail was wet from a recent downpour and there was a drainage trail of gravel across the bike path. I was in a tight downward spiraling right hand turn and the front tire slid out to the left. I was going slow enough so I put my right foot down to stop the slide, but momentum took me down on the right knee. Very bad road rash, gravel in the skin that had to be dug out, and blood everywhere. When I got home my wife thought I had been shot in the knee. The second fall was minor as far as I can remember. I don't think I posted it to the forum, and I don't have any notes in my log book about it. It was the same type of fall though, front tire slid out to the left in a tight turn. I just attribute it to be a rookie on a bent.
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Old 12-10-06, 04:38 PM   #7
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I've heard it said that it's not a question of IF a cyclist will wipe out, it's a question of WHEN. No matter how good a rider you are, you will have the occasional tumble. And IMHO when that tumble happens, it is better to start out lower. Well, it also helps to be going slower, but that ain't gonna happen all the time!

No wipeouts for me in (counts on fingers...) oh, over 10,000 miles. The last biff I can remember was when I got my front tire caught in a longitudinal crack in the asphalt, resulting in a bit of rug burn on my left cheek, but no damage anywhere else, not even a hole in my shorts. Luckily, I was not yet up to speed after a stop sign. I feel that both of my bents are very stable and predictable: a V-Rex and a Baron. The Baron has tiller steering, and I don't believe that it causes any instabilities.
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Old 12-10-06, 08:16 PM   #8
John Lewis
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Ouch

Thanks for the replies.
I am interested to see what you report.

It looks like we can all expect a fall or two. I know I had some real low speed ones with no damage due to catching my heel in the wheel when I was learning to ride the SWB. I wasn't expecting to fall when going at speed down the road.

It seems that wider tires might help. I have Primo Comet 20X1.35 on the front and 26X 1.25 Specialised slick on the rear. Now I'm wondering if that's the right choice. I certainly dont want to spill too often. Have had to be off work today and wound clinic tomorrow. Hope I'm right for work Wednesday. I work at my LBS as a mechanic and with Christmas approaching it's getting busy.

I have about 600 miles on this bike now and about twice that on the LWB. The seat is a bit high at 26 inches by the way.

I do like this bike because of the speed and it goes well up hills. The trike is great but needs more physical effort to ride. But then its harder to take a tumble.

Enough of my meandering. Should I try wider tires and accept a probable speed drop?
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Old 12-10-06, 09:46 PM   #9
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No, just be more careful about the stuff you're riding through!
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Old 12-10-06, 10:36 PM   #10
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Most of my spills have been from "Horizontal Track Stands" trying to get out of the pedals.

After I figured that part out, it's been smooth rolling with the exception of a near spill when my rear tire wanted to follow it's own track in the groove between the edge of the asphalt road and edge of the curb/gutter cement thing.

I didn't realize until after I got out of that mess how much I had been cussin' trying to straighten things out.
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Old 12-11-06, 07:12 AM   #11
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I figure almost 2000 km on my trike so far, without anything close to a spill. Of course, on a trike, that's to be expected.

With an experienced rider in the seat, a recumbent is no more likely to slip than a regular bike. Just watch out for that loose sand and gravel, ok?
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Old 12-11-06, 07:22 AM   #12
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In my two years of benting I have had no crashes at all, unless you count falling over from a dead stop (unclipping issues). I've had a couple near misses, which were avoided with quick unclips, but thankfully I've been lucky. I tend to be more careful than I need to going around corners and such, and don't draft unless I'm racing. These tend to be where most crashes seemingly occur.
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Old 12-12-06, 11:03 PM   #13
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No crashes yet on my bent, except for the typical newbie stuff (clipping issues, starting on a steep incline, that sort of thing). Most serious crash was 30 mph on a DF in the mountains: missed a high speed turn due to sand (and stupidity). Helmet saved me.

Best safety lesson ever (other than experience): http://bikezen.org/safety/
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Old 12-13-06, 03:35 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Lewis
Hello all,

Just had my first spill from my SWB today. ....
-Running wider tires at lower pressure can help avoid this, and having a longer-wheelbase bicycle can help as well.
~
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