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  1. #1
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Info for my wife.....climbing on a bent?

    You bent riders can help me out here. I'm primarily a DF rider, but my wife rides a bent. She's relatively new to cycling, and has issues with hills. It's not the trike.....it climbs like a goat when I rode it today, it's a leg strength issue for her. Do any of you have a specific suggestion to help her build the correct muscles for riding a bent? I'm thinking the horizontal leg press in the Apartment complexes gym. Good idea? Bad Idea? Suggestions are welcome!

    (By the way, are all recumbent trikes that good on a climb? It wasn't fast, but it just walked right up a 17% hill!)\ It climbs better than my upright.)
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  2. #2
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    I think the best exercise would be hills. Leg presses or hack/squats wouldn't hurt, but they might not help a lot either.

  3. #3
    Ride more, eat less cat0020's Avatar
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    Check the crankarm length and x-seam setup of the bike, if those two are fitted to her measurements, then check if the seatback is properly reclined to allow more back muscles to contribute to the climbing action.

  4. #4
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Bents [as a general rule] don't climb as well as DF bikes. This is certainly true for the bents I ride. Her trike is quite heavy and has that extra wheel to add resistance - going uphill is going to be a real workout no matter what.

    The advice from BlazingPedals is sound - ride as many hills as she can. The more she rides them the easire they will get. Naturally start with shorter more gradual inclines and build up to the steeper climbs.
    safe riding - Vik
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  5. #5
    el padre
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    Do you spin? actually I am not a spinner but I am sure some would say that along with the strength training, with hills or the weight machine, you need to spin to keep the momentum going.
    peace

  6. #6
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    If one bent climbs better than another it is because it is lighter, period. If one DF (?) climbs better than another it is because it is lighter. If one bent climbs better than a DF it is because the bent rider is better at gearing low and spinning than the DF rider. Wedgie riders have a choice of whether to stand and sprint or sit and spin but bent riders must always spin. The bent rider 'can' if the seat angle is high enough use the seat back as resistance and grind a big gear uphill, this is the bent analog of standing on a wedgie and probably has a similar efficiency. Ultimately it is the rider, the rider, the rider. I agree that the only thing that will make a better climber out of a given rider is more, lots more, riding.

    H

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    The best exercies I ever did off trike to improve my climbing was stairsteps. I set up a step that was close to the same distance as the pedals are from each other and stepped up down repeat. i got up to 200 repeats with ten additional pounds in my hands (dumbells) This had a wonderful side effect of putting my heart rate way up, in fact, that was the limiting factor initially. I could slowly crawl up hills w/o going to redline, but after being able to do 100 or more of these stair steps, the climbing speed went up, significantly.

    Another that I do is lunges:
    http://www.fitstep.com/Advanced/Exercises/Lunges.htm

    Hill climbing on bents is not only outright strength, but lung capacity. Run out of air, you have no choice but to slow way down

  8. #8
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    My wife and I ride trikes. Her physical condition is lower than mine. I can gear down but spin faster and still maintain some speed, she cannot. Just gear down and don't try to sprint the hill. Reduce both the gears and the rpm's so she does not hurt her knees. Go slow up and enjoy the ride down.
    NNY

    I feel like a Weeble. My trike may wobble but I don't fall down.

  9. #9
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    Reduce both the gears and the rpm's so she does not hurt her knees.
    Not good advice - keep the RPM high to reduce the stress on the knees. But certainly slow down and enjoy the ride ......

    Cheers,
    Graeme

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by kalgrm
    Not good advice - keep the RPM high to reduce the stress on the knees. But certainly slow down and enjoy the ride ......

    Cheers,
    Graeme

    You miss my point. Gearing down and then spinning like crazy to keep speed, way beyond your physical condition, is not good.

    Sure spin, but accept that you will be slower. Gear down, slow down, get up the hill, but it is not a race, don't hurt your self.
    NNY

    I feel like a Weeble. My trike may wobble but I don't fall down.

  11. #11
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Your rate of climbing is determined by your conditioning and power output, but it could be done at any rpm for which you have the gears. If you can't hold at least 60 rpm, then you're in too tall of a gear. Pushing as hard as you can, in too tall a gear, is a good way to get sore knees. The reverse is not true. Spinning too fast up a hill might make you 'blow up' as you surpass your aerobic capacity, but when that happens, the logical result is you have to slow down. Unless you have a heart condition, pushing yourself aerobically like that is good for you.

  12. #12
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    OK, cool, so I was giving her the right advice then, I just wanted to make sure, as I said, since my experience is DF's.

    BY the way, when I say her trike climbs like a goat, this is a good thing. I could pull up the hill faster on her trike than I can on my DF when I tried it out on the hill to see if she was having mechanical issues or if it really was a bear to climb with! She was insisting it was the trike, because it's heavier. Yes, it is heavier, but I couldn't even run my HR up on it, so I'm starting to think about a bent myself!
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoNaYet
    You miss my point.
    Sorry, my bad then. When you said "Reduce both the gears and the rpm's ..." I thought you meant reduce the RPMs. It certainly looks like that's what you meant to say, but I guess I was wrong. I believe you should not reduce your cadence by much, if at all. Indeed, drop down the gearing so that it's no strain on the knees and of course, slow down. Nothing wrong with that.

    Tom Stormcrowe, you may want to check out the link here. Your HR may be lower for reasons other than "it climbs like a goat". Physiologically, the reclined position can reduce your HR during exercise.

    Cheers,
    Graeme

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
    BY the way, when I say her trike climbs like a goat, this is a good thing. I could pull up the hill faster on her trike than I can on my DF

    This should not be the case. While it may be stable and comfortable, Mrs. Stormcrow's (Sun EZ-3?) trike is darn heavy and not a good hill climber. Plus, in the recumbent position she can't user her body weight to stomp on the pedals. A properly geared upright DF would nornally easily outclimb that trike.

    May I suggest a tadpole trike such as an Actionbent, which would put her in a better climbing position and be nearly 15 pounds lighter.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Recumbomatic
    This should not be the case. While it may be stable and comfortable, Mrs. Stormcrow's (Sun EZ-3?) trike is darn heavy and not a good hill climber.
    Precisely my point. The variability of human riders in their fitness levels and experience and technique make it impossible to predict how equipment will behave. As above, one can make the educated guess that a 35lb trike will climb better than a 45lb trike but only if it is with the same rider! Bikes, bents, trikes have certain inherent qualities but the human element trumps them all.

    H

  16. #16
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    What Tom says makes perfect sense. Everyone is right, it just depends on your definition of "climbs better".

    .................................................................................................... ...............................

    My guess is that her trike has lower gears. That kind of a trike would be appropriate to be sold with lower gears.

    If the gearing is substantial lower it could be easier and more comfortable to ride the trike up the same hill as any other lighter bike with higher enough gearing.

    The downside (if you consider it a downside) is that you are traveling slower. Reducing the rate of climbing, and using a lower gear that makes each pedal stroke push the trike a smaller distance, can in fact make a heavier bike easier to ride up a hill. I suspect I am correct because Tom mentions it is slower but easier. Easier being described as "climbs better". OK, I accept that definition. But it's not the only definition. Some consider slower a bad thing. To each his own. Everyone is right, they just mean a different thing.

    If you reduce the mass (weight) or reduce the velocity (speed) you do less work. Period.

    If you travel at the same speed and the weight is the same, by definition you are doing the same amount of "work" but it's easier and more comfortable with a lower gear because each pedal revolution pushed the bike a shorter distance, so you take smaller "steps". That's why shifting to a lower gear and spinning works, each stroke is less work so you need faster strokes to keep the same speed.

    Either factor can make more of a change than the other, it just depends on how much you change it.

    My 16 lb bike has a much higher low gear than my 28 lb touring bike. As it should, they were sold with gearing to fit what they were designed to do.

    When climbing a huge one mile hill that is so steep I literally almost fall over backwards, the touring bike with 60 lbs in the panniers is just as easy as the 16 lb bike, If I take off the panniers it's easier. However, it's much, much, slower. When going up that hill I like it that way. It's easier to get going and accelerate too. This is what probably what is happening to Tom and Crazylady.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  17. #17
    <>< SoonerBent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals
    I think the best exercise would be hills. Leg presses or hack/squats wouldn't hurt, but they might not help a lot either.
    Hills are the best exercise for hills. However, I've been doing leg presses on the machine at work every day for a few months and my climbing and sprinting have improved much more than ever before for a given time frame. I do 100 with the most weight I can comfortably do 100 at. I think it also helps that the machine closely mimics my position on the bike.

  18. #18
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    At least two things factor into climbing effectively on a bent. (Wo)man and machine. I'm new to bents but I'll give a little advice on the human factor. Climbing hills is a great way to increase bent climbing ability (I'm finding this out) but the downside of hills is that you can't regulate them. True strength training should be regulated in such a way that one makes constant incremental gains.

    If you want to do a little reading you'll find all types of strength values (max strength=single rep max, endurance strength=a degree of strength for an extended period of time, explosive strength, static strength ectras).

    What needs to be developed is a combination of aerobic capacity with certain levels of anerobic capacity with muscle/strength endurance. The anerobic improvement will help your wifes ability to go into that reserve when muscle expenditure out does the bodies ability to bring in oxygen and take away waste (lactic acid.....that stuff that burns when you push your muscles to their limit)............mainly hills and if she ever feels the need to sprint by you.

    There will be many opinions which is the best way to do both. But one of the simplist (and most fun) is to use the bike riding for improving the aerobic aspect by radually increasing length and speed of her rides WITHOUT maxing her capacity. Also tackling modest hills at a comfortable rate for her. As for the anerobic/strength endurance, some form of interval training with resistance would be good. I would think stairs, running in sand, running up hills, sprinting up hills in sand......OK save that one for later.....will all do the trick. The main thing is to monitor progress and vary the degree of effort while progressively building up her strength levels.

    One final piece of advice that I've given many times and it usually helps. Contact your local college or universities strength coaches. It's usually a relatively inexpensive way to get good sport specific training advice. In the case of bent riding you might want to take the bike along to show what you/she are trying to improve. It will give them an idea of the muscles involved and what your needs are. If your wife is like most she is probably quad dominant and will need to strengthen glutes, hams and calves. They'll know how and what type of training will be of most benefit......Good luck and tell your wife it gets more fun with time.

  19. #19
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    If Mrs. Stormcrowe on her heavy bent is trying to keep up with DF-riding Mr. Stormcrowe in the hills, yeah I imagine she's working pretty hard. Time for Mr. Stormcrowe to strap on a knapsack full of rocks, or get some bikes that are a little more equal.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Rogerinchrist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Recumbomatic
    If Mrs. Stormcrowe on her heavy bent is trying to keep up with DF-riding Mr. Stormcrowe in the hills, yeah I imagine she's working pretty hard. Time for Mr. Stormcrowe to strap on a knapsack full of rocks, or get some bikes that are a little more equal.
    Or a bit of rope.................


    Although I too enjoy the "mental gymnastics" offered above, I've always held to this philosophy; I was given legs before I had wheels. In other words, taint wrong to walk up a hill! (especially 17%) Besides walking & pushing the heavier trike IS good exercise! See if Mr. Stormcrowe's riding skills are up to snuff to ride that slow.

  21. #21
    Recumbent Evangelist
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    It's not about climbing the hill, it's about conquering it. The best way to climb hills fast is to keep climbing hills until they aren't a problem anymore.
    www.rebel-cycles.com

    The official Canadian dealer of TW-Bents recumbent bicycles!

  22. #22
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    Make sure the seat isn't too far from the pedals. On some 'bents, you need to push against the back of the seat to get climbing power. If the seat is just a little to far back, no power. bk

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