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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 05-25-08, 09:30 PM   #1
grail29er
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racing recumbents?

i know nothing about bents, can you all educate me about the fastest, most elite brands and models?
thanks
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Old 05-25-08, 10:05 PM   #2
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Arguably, the fastest recumbent (unfaired) in the velokraft nocom. Lowarcers in any flavor are the fastest class of bents, which highracers right behind them.

I personally find my m5 tica to be the fastest bike I have ridden over verying terrain. Nocoms rule the flats, but they're a little thougher to climb with.

Plenty of info out there. Why are you looking?
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Old 05-25-08, 10:12 PM   #3
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just curious. i'm sure i will get one someday... i was cruising thru the pics thread and saw the nocom and the m5 tica, both pretty sweet. i'd love to try them but the only recumbents sold in my area are the Rans.
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Old 05-26-08, 05:55 AM   #4
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just curious. i'm sure i will get one someday... i was cruising thru the pics thread and saw the nocom and the m5 tica, both pretty sweet. i'd love to try them but the only recumbents sold in my area are the Rans.
Yep, exotic recumbents are hard to find in the US. Even American performance bents like Bacchettas and Volaes can be hard to find without traveling. I drove 6 hours to buy a Volae Team in 2003 and had to get Bacchetta to relax their "no mailorder" rule in 2004 to buy an Aero. Now Bacchettas can be mailordered, though, but at the time they couldn't.

When you get to European lowracers like the M5 TiCa, the Velokcrafts, the Optimas and Challenges, things begin to get really dicey though Optimas and Challenges are available depending upon where you live. VKs are available from Bentup Cycles in California and M5s can be had with a little work.

I'd suggest visiting www.recumbents.com for lots of racing info and links. To get involved in the general recumbent scene and to get a lot of info on bents in general, visit www.bentrideronline.com .

Good luck.
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Old 05-26-08, 09:21 AM   #5
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thanks much! i perused those sites a bit last night... i like the styling of the low racers the most. i guess i will need to start saving my pennies.
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Old 05-26-08, 11:58 AM   #6
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thanks much! i perused those sites a bit last night... i like the styling of the low racers the most. i guess i will need to start saving my pennies.
Be sure you know where you're riding before getting one. I'd love a lowracer, but a highracer is better in traffic because you are more visible and maneuverable.
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Old 05-26-08, 02:46 PM   #7
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just curious. i'm sure i will get one someday... i was cruising thru the pics thread and saw the nocom and the m5 tica, both pretty sweet. i'd love to try them but the only recumbents sold in my area are the Rans.
I might be wrong about this, my memory isn't what it used to be, but didn't Lance win his final TDF on a RANS Tailwind? You can't go wrong with RANS.
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Old 05-26-08, 02:49 PM   #8
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I've never found a lowracer to be an issue in any sort of traffic, and find cars give me an even wider berth than normal. If you don't own a lowracer, please don't spout stuff you think you heard from somebody that saw a lowracer once.

Grail, the best thing to do would be to find someone near you who had one, and take it for a little spin. If tyou're ever in the DFW area I can get you a test on at leats 3 different types of lowracers.
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Old 05-26-08, 04:37 PM   #9
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I just bought a Rans V3Ti! Compared to any bents I've been on before and compared to the upright carbon fiber bikes ridden by the crowd 20 years younger than me, this bike is FAST!
I'm no racer, though and I haven't any idea how it would perform against highracers or lowracers assuming an equal "engine."
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Old 05-26-08, 06:10 PM   #10
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thanks for the offer! be there tomorrow... joke. i building a road bike at the moment but i think my next bike project will be a low or mid racer.
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Old 05-26-08, 06:16 PM   #11
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Try www.rotatorrecumbent.com then build your own fairing.
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Old 05-26-08, 10:16 PM   #12
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I might be wrong about this, my memory isn't what it used to be, but didn't Lance win his final TDF on a RANS Tailwind? You can't go wrong with RANS.
I think you're right.... about your memory.
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Old 05-27-08, 07:26 AM   #13
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Hmmmmmm.......that's not Lance, it's not the TDF, and that's not a Tailwind................my memory has let me down again........................

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Old 05-27-08, 11:50 AM   #14
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I've never found a lowracer to be an issue in any sort of traffic, and find cars give me an even wider berth than normal. If you don't own a lowracer, please don't spout stuff you think you heard from somebody that saw a lowracer once.
Ditto and +1.
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Old 05-27-08, 01:04 PM   #15
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I've never found a lowracer to be an issue in any sort of traffic, and find cars give me an even wider berth than normal. If you don't own a lowracer, please don't spout stuff you think you heard from somebody that saw a lowracer once.
I could ditto here, but... hey, I just did! Proper positioning in the traffic lane will eliminate visibility issues. AKA Don't ride in the Door Prize Zone or the shoulder!

Nice pic of Mr LeMond.
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Old 05-27-08, 02:28 PM   #16
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I'll see your LeMond and raise you one Laurent Fignon and one Jan Ulrich (on Barons):
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File Type: jpg FignonIMGP1049.jpg (79.1 KB, 58 views)
File Type: jpg UlrichCV2005-06-9.jpg (84.2 KB, 79 views)
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Old 05-27-08, 02:58 PM   #17
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I've never found a lowracer to be an issue in any sort of traffic, and find cars give me an even wider berth than normal. If you don't own a lowracer, please don't spout stuff you think you heard from somebody that saw a lowracer once.
You don't need a lowracer to understand that there are issues in traffic. I own a tadpole which has very similar visibility issues. Visibility is not an issue on the highway with low riding bikes because people see you from a distance as they approach from behind. I agree that people cut you more berth whenever you ride something unusual -- I also get this effect on my trike.

However, when you are in heavy traffic, cars next to you can't see you nearly as well. When you are moving along a line of parked cars, cars entering the road cannot always see you. When someone is passing the car that's tailgating you, they might not realize you're there and pull into the space you're taking. Likewise, cars that you are overtaking don't necessarily see you as readily as they would on a higher riding bike. When someone is tailing you, you can't tell what's behind them (or see much of the next lane over if they're too close).

Just say if any of these things aren't true, because this has definitely been my experience. I'll ride in weather and traffic that few cyclists are willing to work with, but I don't pretend there are no issues.

As you get lower, it becomes easier to get into the blind spot of an SUV, pickup, or other vehicle that rides high up. Because of the way sight lines work, it's harder to make eye contact and establish communication with motorists. Adding a flag significantly increases visibility to motorists, but it is not the same as being a bit higher up.

On the highway, low riding bikes are safe enough. However, I cannot see how anyone could possibly say there's no issue unless the conditions they've ridden in are pretty tame.
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Old 05-27-08, 03:04 PM   #18
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I could ditto here, but... hey, I just did! Proper positioning in the traffic lane will eliminate visibility issues.
Lane positioning is critical, but it cannot eliminate visibility issues. When cars get too close to each other, both you and the motorists must operate with obstructed sight lines. The trick is that some motorists might not know you're out there.
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Old 05-27-08, 06:07 PM   #19
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That visibility issue is a function of all bikes, and isn't specific to trikes or racers, man. I take the lane or even move over one in some of those situations. Never been a problem.
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Old 05-28-08, 08:47 AM   #20
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Fastest overall (with a fairing) may well be a faired-version of the Lightning P-38, namely, the F40 (see picture here: http://www.bicycleman.com/recumbents...ng_p38_f40.htm ). Fastest unfaired (on flats) would I suspect be the NoCom, the Optima Baron, M5, Challenge Fujin. Fastest with hills on the route would I guess to be the Lightning P-38 and the Bacchetta Aero

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Old 05-28-08, 10:59 AM   #21
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Fastest unfaired (on flats) would I suspect be the NoCom, the Optima Baron, M5, Challenge Fujin. Fastest with hills on the route would I guess to be the Lightning P-38 and the Bacchetta Aero
I've owned a Bacchetta Aero, Fujin SL-II and an Optima Baron. The Aero wasn't close on hills. That's why I sold it.
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Old 05-28-08, 11:00 AM   #22
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The trick is that some motorists might not know you're out there.
There are motorists out there who wouldn't see you if you were in an M1 Abrams! It's nothing bike-specific or personal, they're just frigging oblivious.

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Old 05-28-08, 12:00 PM   #23
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There are motorists out there who wouldn't see you if you were in an M1 Abrams! It's nothing bike-specific or personal, they're just frigging oblivious.

SP
So true, it is up to you to make your presence known in traffic, no matter what you ride or operate as a vehicle.

Be safe out there and make known of your presence in traffic.
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Old 05-28-08, 01:38 PM   #24
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So true, it is up to you to make your presence known in traffic, no matter what you ride or operate as a vehicle.

Be safe out there and make known of your presence in traffic.
It is true that some morons would hit a school bus -- I almost got taken out yesterday by someone who totally spaced and ran a red light at almost 40mph. While riding in heavy traffic, speed is less important to me than maneuverability and my ability to see what's going on. Plus, some bents aren't much fun in stop and go traffic.

Those of you on lowracers, do you use a flag -- I thought they were required when you're beneath a certain height? That was one of the other reasons I got a highracer (that, and I was able to pick up a Seiran SL for the price of a Corsa). I use a flag with my trike, but it offends my aero and weight weenie side.
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Old 05-28-08, 03:30 PM   #25
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Those of you on lowracers, do you use a flag -- I thought they were required when you're beneath a certain height? That was one of the other reasons I got a highracer (that, and I was able to pick up a Seiran SL for the price of a Corsa). I use a flag with my trike, but it offends my aero and weight weenie side.
Flag? No.

Warning - Thread HiJack: How is that Seiren working out? I've often thought of selling my Volae and picking up a Seiren.
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