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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 03-21-04, 09:32 PM   #1
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I was just recently told that recumbents are not a real bike. Does anyone else think this is true?

And that I should get a real bike, in other words a wedgie. I shudder at the very thought if that.

The first recumbent was built and ridden in 1896. During that time most of the other styles of wedgies were still in their infancy & going through a lot of technological changes.

If anything recumbents should be considered the first true bike. Another little known but important fact is the basic design of recumbents have for the most part remained totally unchanged since the first one was built and ridden. Wedgies can not make this claim to fame. They have been through and are still going through changes. I wonder why that is. Could it be because the search for the perfectly designed wedgie is still on going? When with the basic design of the recumbent this has already been accomplished. Are the wedgie manufacturers trying to catch up? Whats the deal here?

Recumbents are also the only true HPV's, or Human Powered Vehicles. What I wonder though is why are wedgies not considered HPV's? They require human power to operate them as a recumbent does, but yet no one considers them a true HPV.

Please share your thoughts, feelings & opinions on this matter.

Thank you.

John.
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Old 03-21-04, 11:34 PM   #2
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Most of your propositions are straw hypotheses or untrue. Two wheeled bicyles
precede 1896 by decades. If you refer to the "safety" bike, its advent was in
roughly the same era (1896). HPV would include skates, ice and roller, skate
boards, scooters, pogosticks, unicycles, canoes, kayaks and rowboats among
others. The watercraft precede bicycles by centuries. There are far more
designs for bents than for DF road bikes though the ATB bike designs probably
exceed the bent designs in number. (Not to exclude trikes, handcycles, wheelchair
variants, and quads.) Steve
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Old 03-21-04, 11:39 PM   #3
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BIKE is derived from the word BICYCLE.... BI meaning 2 and cycle means well pedallign i guess. the 2 could mean 2 wheels and 2 pedals etc.... so in theory both are bicycles. Wedgies and Bents.

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Old 03-22-04, 10:25 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N_C
Recumbents are also the only true HPV's, or Human Powered Vehicles. What I wonder though is why are wedgies not considered HPV's? They require human power to operate them as a recumbent does, but yet no one considers them a true HPV.
"No one"? The vehicle code of every state in the United States considers them HPV's. They are "vehicles" in the language that defines the word, and "human powered" in the language that distinguishes them from motor vehicles.
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Old 03-23-04, 09:06 PM   #5
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You should know, JV, you ride a Vision. Duh.
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Old 03-24-04, 09:06 AM   #6
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Of course they're real bicycles! And I've seen some recumbent riders totally blow upright riders right out of the water. Those guys can go fast when they get going. I stay out of their way if I can. I ride an upright, but 'bent's rule!
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Old 03-24-04, 07:52 PM   #7
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Recumbents are an HPV not a bicycle according to the UCI. Has alot to do with the bottom bracket distance, seat and frame geometry and such,and I do know they cannot hold any bicycling records, again according to UCI rules. However I do believe that a recumbent does hold the world speed record for a two wheel Vehicle. Check out The History of the Recumbent Bicycle: Winning Forbidden.the storys there: April 1, 1934. Recumbents Banned from all UCI Sanctioned Racing: do a goggle search for cycling records and you will find your answer. The bottom bracket had to be between 24 and 30 centimetres above the ground.
The front of the saddle could only be 12 centimetres behind the bottom bracket.
The distance from the bottom bracket to the axle of the front wheel had to be between 58 and 75 centimetres.

Last edited by Ric; 03-24-04 at 09:31 PM.
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Old 03-24-04, 10:54 PM   #8
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I understand & totally disagree with the UCI rules regarding why 'bents are not allowed to hold any records. What it boils down to is the UCI does not recognize and are denying any records made by 'bents.

The B.S. rules almost sound like they were developed because of politics. BTW why were these foolish rules even made? What is the UCI's reasoning behind it? What is the real reason behind it, not what the UCI tells everyone but the true reason? What are your opinions on these rules the UCI has come up with?

But I do have a question about the bottom bracket distance. Lets say a recumbent is built with a bottom bracket between 24 & 30 centimeters above the ground. The seat of the recumbent is only 12 centimeters behind the bottom bracket. And the bottom bracket is between 58 & 75 centimetersfrom the front axle. I noticed it is not stated whether the bottom bracket has to be in front of or behind the front axle

Would the UCI then recognize any records that may be set on a 'bent designed in such a manner? It meets the criteria of the UCI so why shouldn't it be recognized as a legitimate record setting bike? Or would the UCI again come up with some more B.S. rules for political reasons that would strip a recumbent designed in such a manner of any records?

Last edited by N_C; 03-25-04 at 12:22 AM.
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Old 03-25-04, 02:23 AM   #9
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Real bikes? Hmmm.... UCI rules, bottom bracket-to-seat position - yada-yada-yada. Bents provide a distinct ride experience. You cannot experience the same degree of exhilaration a bent ride provides on any road bike I know of so I'd say a bent is more than a real bike - it is actually a surreal bike!
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Old 03-25-04, 07:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N_C
I was just recently told that recumbents are not a real bike. Does anyone else think this is true?
Why worry about it? Who told you that and why should you care? If you live in Iowa - I'm sure you've been on RAGBRAI and seen that whether you are on a mountain bike with a kitchen sink mounted on the back, a recumbent trike, a triple tandem, a unicycle, a Trek 5500, an EZ Sport - they all bike across Iowa and make it to the other side. I would note that when registering online for RAGBRAI this year, it did have a box to check if one would be riding a tandem, a recumbent or a recumbent tandem. Maybe Iowa has a thing about knowing just who are the people riding "real bikes" and who are the people riding "not real bikes".

I wonder what the person that recently told you that a recumbent was not a real bike would say about a tandem bicycle pulling a trail-a-bike which in turn was pulling a Burley trailer? Would that be a train or not a real train? ;-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by N_C
And that I should get a real bike, in other words a wedgie. I shudder at the very thought if that.
What's wrong with owning both. No need to shudder about riding a standard bicycle - be it a road frame, mountain bike frame, cross frame, cruiser frame or a hybrid frame. Oodles of components, tires, styles, seats, bars and gear to make it a very pleasant experience.

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Originally Posted by N_C
If anything recumbents should be considered the first true bike. Another little known but important fact is the basic design of recumbents have for the most part remained totally unchanged since the first one was built and ridden. Wedgies can not make this claim to fame. They have been through and are still going through changes. I wonder why that is. Could it be because the search for the perfectly designed wedgie is still on going? When with the basic design of the recumbent this has already been accomplished. Are the wedgie manufacturers trying to catch up? Whats the deal here?
You lost me here, John. The first "true" bike? Recumbents come in quite a variety of shapes and sizes - as do bicycles. Not all riders are alike - and not all pedal powered vehicles are alike. It is hard to argue with the pure simplicity of a "wedgie" that is way on the far right side of the sloping bell curve in its technology adoption life cycle. It's standardized and about all that can be done at this point is substitution of materials, colors, bells and whistles to keep the industry "alive".

BB
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Old 03-25-04, 12:12 PM   #11
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I'll tell you why recumbents are considered weird: it's because it looks like you're sitting in a lazy-boy chair and pedalling. It's uncommon and kinda funny looking.

A regular bike puts the rider in a position that looks like a motorcycle rider so it's more associated with speed and as a 2-wheel vehicle.

I see recumbents all the time, they are never going fast but they do seem to have a decent amount of popularity.
Just ride what you like, that's the important thing.
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Old 03-25-04, 04:57 PM   #12
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Recumbents are considered weird? I don't believe so, and what does a motorcycle have to do with a bicycle I don't believe I'd like to pedal my Vulcan 1500 very far. As for speed, the recumbent should be faster than a bike because it's more areo, but again that depends on the rider. The only thing I do agree with on is Just ride what you like, that should be your thing. If anyone is interested about Bent History check http://afchap.home.mindspring.com/BentHist.htm the story is there.
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Old 03-28-04, 04:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
(why won't the UCI accept a recumbent bike that fits their rules... one where... "The seat of the recumbent is only 12 centimeters behind the bottom bracket" etc.)
think about it for a while (or try to draw it) and you'll realize that nothing you can call a recumbent will fit this rule. in order for the seat to be only 12 cm behind the bottom bracket, it has to be way above the bottom bracket. (unless it's a hampster-sized recumbent, or a lay-on-your-back-feet-straight-up-in-the-air bicycle)

the problem is that the UCI made up this silly rule in the first place and still refuses to get rid of it. the problem is not that they aren't following their own rules; they are.
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Old 03-28-04, 07:35 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N_C
I was just recently told that recumbents are not a real bike. Does anyone else think this is true?
Why are you so concerned with what others think? I have never ridden a recumbant and honestly consider them a little bit dorky looking but if the day comes that I want one, I will get it. Actually they look pretty fun to ride. Who cares what anyone else thinks?
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Old 03-30-04, 09:15 AM   #15
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They look like a lot of fun (even if they make the rider look like like a two-year old having a hissy fit )

I'm gonna get one when I've got *more room* in which to store the thing, *less ego* to bruise from riding the thing, and enough low-traffic roads where I won't worry about getting run over in the thing.
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Old 03-30-04, 01:38 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExMachina
They look like a lot of fun (even if they make the rider look like like a two-year old having a hissy fit )

I'm gonna get one when I've got *more room* in which to store the thing, *less ego* to bruise from riding the thing, and enough low-traffic roads where I won't worry about getting run over in the thing.
None of these hang-ups against getting a recumbent have been mentioned by any recumbent owners I know. You'll never "cross over" until you have better reasons to do so.

Eddie
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Old 05-24-04, 09:41 AM   #17
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no they are recliner chairs on wheels;
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Old 05-24-04, 04:35 PM   #18
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no they are recliner chairs on wheels;
Yes, indeed, and of course that makes a "real bike" an anal post on wheels - a mobile perch with a tiny pad lodged in a delicate area of the body where the sun never shines.

And yet, it's the recumbent that gets the "weird" and "dorky" tags? Go figure! Really, who cares?
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Old 05-24-04, 06:24 PM   #19
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I consider recumbent bikes to be true bicycles, and I base that on what MY perception of a true bicycle is, NOT on the narrow minded perceptions and definitions of other people, or politically driven organizations like the UCI.

I proudly own a Burley Django swb(short wheel base) recumbent, as well as my upright, diamond frame Marin Larkspur City bike. And I just received my newest addition, the semi-recumbent Rans Fusion. I've had a chance to take it on my favorite loop a couple of times, and it's about the most fun thing that I've ever ridden on two wheels! It retains about 80% of the comfort that full recumbents provide, but it has the sweet traditional handling of an upright. And it looks cool to boot!

Recumbents offer a very real solution for those of us who just cannot find comfort in riding a traditional upright bike(I only ride my Larkspur on really short jaunts). And the cycling world should applaud recumbency, because it's getting a lot more people out cycling and having fun...isn't that what it's all about??
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Old 05-24-04, 06:25 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bentrox!
Yes, indeed, and of course that makes a "real bike" an anal post on wheels - a mobile perch with a tiny pad lodged in a delicate area of the body where the sun never shines.


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Old 05-24-04, 06:32 PM   #21
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If it has 2 wheels, and you propel it forward using your own muscle power, it's a bicycle regardless of how it looks.
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Old 05-24-04, 06:57 PM   #22
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This recurring "debate" about what constitutes a real bike (hybrid vs. road, 'bent vs road, steel vs. everybody, etc.) illustrates one of cycling's worst problems: elitism. This snobbery is far from universal in the cycling world, but it is prevalent enough to dissuade many novices from taking up the sport. I've seen this in my own personal experience in trying to recruit or retain new riders. This even carries over into rudeness toward inexperienced riders who make mistakes; come on, newbies don't have the bike skills yet, so ease up.
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Old 05-24-04, 07:01 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trek Rider
If it has 2 wheels, and you propel it forward using your own muscle power, it's a bicycle regardless of how it looks.
Okay - this has two wheels and you propel it forward using your own power. So, it is a BICYCLE?
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Old 05-24-04, 11:27 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by DnvrFox
Okay - this has two wheels and you propel it forward using your own power. So, it is a BICYCLE?
Denver,

If you own it, it must be a real bike because you are a real cyclist.


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Old 05-25-04, 11:33 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DnvrFox
Okay - this has two wheels and you propel it forward using your own power. So, it is a BICYCLE?
By Wisconsin law, no. It has to have a seat and a mechanical means of propulsion (that is, not propelled simply by "kicking"). Otherwise, it's legally defined as a "play vehicle", and is not allowed on the street.

Not to disparage it; I have one. An adult-size Schwinn Sting-Ray. "Bass-boat" blue, metal-flake grips. Good for quick trips to the store and the like (on the sidewalk, of course ).
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