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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 08-21-07, 04:54 AM   #1
joe99
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Downshifting on a recumbent trike

In the event that you find yourself in a recumbent trike at rest in too high a gear to start off again, what do you do?

On a conventional bike there are options like just walking the bike forward, or holding the front brake tight while relieving the weight on the back wheel so you can spin it forward to allow the derailleur to downshift.

But what do you do on a trike if you are stuck in traffic pointing up hill?
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Old 08-21-07, 05:13 AM   #2
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Not much you can do, just power the trike forword or just get off the trike and lift the wheel up to shift the trike to a lower gear. Or you could sit forward enough on your seat to bring up the rear wheel and pedal the cranks with your hands, either way you should always remember to down shift.
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Old 08-21-07, 05:59 AM   #3
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Thats a bad situation to be in......Never been in it in fact! I guess 1 hand on a front wheel, "wheelchairing" the trike forward and taking load off the chainline, with the other hand shifting down in the same instance would work on paper. Really depends on the gradient, weight of trike and strength in your arms..........
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Old 08-21-07, 08:18 AM   #4
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Depends upon the trike. If it is my WW 3.4 I have to get up out of the seat and deal with it. My Greenspeed GTO on the other hand is equipped with the SRAM dual drive and Schlumpf Mountain Drive. Most times all you need to do is to shift either one or the other while stopped and still being seated. It is one of the many advantages of having an internal hub or supplimental drive. The other is a decent upper end gear range.
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Old 08-21-07, 08:27 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by joe99 View Post
But what do you do on a trike if you are stuck in traffic pointing up hill?
Been there, done that, and would echo VegasTriker. If the hill's not too steep and the gear too high, getting up enough speed for downshifting may be possible. Otherwise, it's jump off the trike, get to the side of the road, spin your way into an appropriate gear and enjoy having had a learning experience.

George
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Old 08-21-07, 11:08 AM   #6
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ON the flat, I just power through it. If I'm on a hill, I have to get inventive. With non-indexed bar end shifters, I can just drop the handle, get off the trike, push down on the boom (raise the rear wheel) and spin the pedal once or twice around. Be sure to set the park brake before you do this or your trike may just leave without you.
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Old 08-21-07, 11:26 AM   #7
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Just slowly shift down as you power forward. It's all you can do, aside from getting off and shifting down on the sidewalk.

An internal gear hub (Shimano Nexus, SRAM, Schlumpf) will allow you to shift while stopped.
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Old 08-21-07, 12:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe99 View Post
In the event that you find yourself in a recumbent trike at rest in too high a gear to start off again, what do you do?

On a conventional bike there are options like just walking the bike forward, or holding the front brake tight while relieving the weight on the back wheel so you can spin it forward to allow the derailleur to downshift.

But what do you do on a trike if you are stuck in traffic pointing up hill?
Once you start riding bents down shifting at stops becomes pretty much automatic.
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Old 08-21-07, 05:49 PM   #9
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My Greenspeed GTO on the other hand is equipped with ... Schlumph Mountain Drive.
As is my GTX!

All you have to do is whap that paddle with your heel and ...presto... MEGA low gear!

Now, if they only had REVERSE!
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Old 08-22-07, 03:55 AM   #10
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You will only get caught out like that in the early days, power out of it and try to down shift as best you can.
All tadpoles have reverse built in, use your hands on the front wheels to pull backwards.
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Old 08-22-07, 05:25 AM   #11
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I'm surprised that with the proliferation of small wheels on trikes, the SRAM 3x9 isn't used more. As with the Schlumpf that Dr Deltron uses, you can shift it to the low range while stopped. Of course, if you toodle around in low range all the time and still forget to downshift, you're still screwed.
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Old 08-22-07, 09:19 AM   #12
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As a last resort, you could do whatever you do when changing the rear tire -- turn the bike over, raise it on a kickstand, or whatever work well with your setup -- then turn the cranks by hand.
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Old 08-22-07, 11:13 AM   #13
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I'm surprised that with the proliferation of small wheels on trikes, the SRAM 3x9 isn't used more. As with the Schlumpf that Dr Deltron uses, you can shift it to the low range while stopped. Of course, if you toodle around in low range all the time and still forget to downshift, you're still screwed.
IIRC, the Schlumph isn't supposed to be used with a 3x9....or was it with the Rholoff hub??
Anyway, the GTX has the Schlumph Mtn Drive w/60t ring AND the 3x9! (16" wheel)

So I'm never screwed!
(although my wife will contest that point...)

As for reverse by hand, the fenders render that idea VOID!
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Old 08-22-07, 12:17 PM   #14
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Yes, the internal hub works great. Especially if you're riding in stop-n-go traffic. Honestly, when this has happened, I roll back a few feet, down shift and pedal forward a few feet, roll back, down shift and pedal a few feet and keep repeating until I'm in a better gear. Sure, I have to roll back a forth 2 or 3 times, but it works great for me.

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Old 08-22-07, 01:54 PM   #15
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IIRC, the Schlumph isn't supposed to be used with a 3x9....or was it with the Rholoff hub??
I wasn't trying to propose using them in combination - although I've seen it done. Something about a 7-inch low gear just didn't seem very practical!
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Old 08-22-07, 03:08 PM   #16
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Yes, the internal hub works great. Especially if you're riding in stop-n-go traffic. Honestly, when this has happened, I roll back a few feet, down shift and pedal forward a few feet, roll back, down shift and pedal a few feet and keep repeating until I'm in a better gear. Sure, I have to roll back a forth 2 or 3 times, but it works great for me.

Brent
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Thanks to Brent and all others for their replies.
Brent, why do you need go through your routine 2 or 3 times? Is it not possible with an internal hub to shift down by more than one gear while stationary?

Please forgive my ignorance... at this stage I still have not had the opportunity to even try out a trike. I am trying to find out a bit more about them as they do look like great machines to have fun on.
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