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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 09-21-07, 10:29 AM   #1
bkaapcke
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LWB's & no hands riding

What is it about LWB 'bents that you can't ride no hands? It sure would be comfortable. But, my EZ Sport just won't do it. Is it the head tube angle, the 20" front tire? Are there any changes that will fix this? bk
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Old 09-21-07, 03:40 PM   #2
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Center of balance

Can't go hands free on any bent I know of but I am kind of new to the bent world. The center of balance is to low. I am sure you will get further details for people more in the know than me.
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Old 09-21-07, 05:17 PM   #3
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You just suck at it, that's all! I ride hands free and steer just fine on my 'bent trike

J/K! I suppose the length and position of the handlebar has a lot to do with it also. The distance from the head tube and the center mass is also quite great so it only requires a little input for a lot of change at the headtube.
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Old 09-21-07, 05:52 PM   #4
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I strongly advise against even trying it.
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Old 09-21-07, 06:12 PM   #5
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It took me two months just to be able to ride with one hand and use the other to get my water bottle!
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Old 09-21-07, 06:35 PM   #6
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I can coast hands free on my Aero and Corsa's. Just takes time, not sure about the LWB's though.
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Old 09-21-07, 06:56 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Pockets View Post
Can't go hands free on any bent I know of but I am kind of new to the bent world.
This guy does all right:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnfdhnAobeg
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Old 09-21-07, 09:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkaapcke View Post
What is it about LWB 'bents that you can't ride no hands? It sure would be comfortable. But, my EZ Sport just won't do it. Is it the head tube angle, the 20" front tire? Are there any changes that will fix this? bk
Successful hands-free riding requires sufficient positive trail, a predictable and controllable way to tilt the frame (without hands, of course), and forward motion.

On an upright, the rider's vertically positioned legs (which are perpendicular to the bike's roll axis) provides leverage to accurately tilt the frame without laterally disrupting the CoM. Not so on most recumbents because the rider's legs are positioned horizontal (and parallel to the bike's roll axis) - thus providing no easy way to accurately control frame tilting.

Last edited by PaPa; 09-21-07 at 09:49 PM.
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Old 09-25-07, 06:42 AM   #9
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Well said Pa Pa! Also, you need the centrifugal force of a spinning larger front tire to help you stay upright, which you don't have on most bents, as well as the vertically positioned legs to automatically feel any subtle tilts before you lost control. You don't have any of those on a bent.
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Old 09-25-07, 07:54 AM   #10
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...you need the centrifugal force of a spinning larger front tire to help you stay upright...
That part of the equation has been thoroughly discredited. The gyroscopic effect from the wheels is not a significant factor in balancing a bike. But without that 2 feet of vertical leverage between the pedals and seat (on an upright) there's not a good way to control a bent frame's tilt.

Uprights are balanced to steer, bents are steered to balance. Which is also why track stands are so difficult on a bent.
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Old 09-25-07, 11:13 AM   #11
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DF's have a very low CG when standing on the pedals allowing for very sensitive adjustment at the handlebars. When sitting on DF's seat, however, you fall over like a rock. The art is very similar to a trapeze artist (tightrope walking)... use a long balancing pole until you are good at it. On my trike, I ride hands free and turn by just leaning my shoulders to one side or another or even holding out my arm. As long as you keep it close to balanced, and you have some heft to your arms, you should be able to use your elbows for minor adjustments.
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Old 09-25-07, 11:57 AM   #12
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DF's have a very low CG when standing on the pedals allowing for very sensitive adjustment at the handlebars. When sitting on DF's seat, however, you fall over like a rock.
DFs have a very high center of gravity. The center of gravity is roughly at the rider's hips, not at the rider's feet. This is true whether the person is seated, standing, or flying throught the air. Although what you're trying to say is roughly the same: the vertical distance between the pedals and seat allows good leverage to control the bike's tilt. If you don't have your feet on the pedals, or if your feet are placed on the top tube, you don't have a good way to control the bike's tilt and you're stuck with steering to balance, just like on a recumbent.
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