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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 06-01-09, 11:26 AM   #1
bobbylars
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cycling across the US on a recumbent?

I have an opportunity to ride the Trans America route later this month. Itís a last minute thing as the time has only just become available and I need to be back in late September.
I am virgin touring cyclist and would like some advice on whether I use a touring or recumbent bike. I spent time on a recumbent yesterday which was great, although my concerns, having read blog feedback, are a) climbing hills b) transport i.e. I have to get the bike to Virginia and back to Florida c) getting used to the bike although I imagine this will be addressed the more time I spend on the bike. Any advice from recumbent cyclists who have made the tour would be welcome.
I live in Bradenton, FL and would welcome an opportunity to meet anyone local who can share their knowledge and experiences with me. My e-mail address is boblawson75@yahoo.com.
Thanks in advance for feedback.
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Old 06-01-09, 01:16 PM   #2
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I am virgin touring cyclist
That makes it sound like you most likely aren't a novice cyclist. If that's the case, and you already own a bike you find comfortable - that may be the right bike for your tour! (Not to discourage you from exploring recumbents, of course!)

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a) climbing hills
This largely depends on your fitness and how used you are to the bike. Recumbents are often slower than road (racing) bikes climbing because they are often heavier, but with a full touring load the weight difference of the bike itself will be minimal. Let's face it, if you're riding with a full touring load, you most likely won't be flying up the hill regardless of which bike you're on

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b) transport i.e. I have to get the bike to Virginia and back to Florida
It's hard to pack most recumbents for flying. But these days most airlines charge around $100 each way for a bike anyway. So it may be just as easy to ship your bike with UPS, and I don't think a recumbent will be notably more than any other bike.

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c) getting used to the bike although I imagine this will be addressed the more time I spend on the bike.
Correct! Recumbents aren't that hard to ride, and you'd probably feel comfortable and confident pretty fast. It takes a bit longer to develop the right muscles ("bent legs") but you can always just aim for shorter days the first week of the tour..
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Old 06-01-09, 03:07 PM   #3
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You did not mention if this is a supported tour (ie. a van hauls your gear and/or you stay in motels and eat out) or self supported tour where you pack all your own gear and food etc.. If it's supported you want to be light as possible or at least similar to others in your group. Bents tend to be slow up hills, lagging behind others, and then catching up and passing going down hills and on the flats and when there is a headwind. In other words, hard to stay syncronized with a bunch of DF bikes. If you are all hauling gear, the difference might not be so great. If I was solo touring I wouldn't have any reservations about taking a bent.
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Old 06-01-09, 07:11 PM   #4
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On a long tour, I can ride an upright about 80 miles per day or I really feel like I need to take a light day. I can ride my recumbent 120-130 miles per day and only feel rubbery in the legs. I'm ready to go again first thing in the morning.
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Old 06-01-09, 07:48 PM   #5
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I would not advise crossing the continent on a completely new-to-you style of bike. Different muscles, different skills.

OTOH, if you want to do it, just do it. You only live once.
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Old 06-02-09, 07:10 AM   #6
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if i had a bent and was asked to go on this tour and had the time and cash, i would go without a doubt.

i have donw far dumber thins in my life. not going would be the dumbest.

go for it. have fun.

robi
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Old 06-02-09, 11:44 AM   #7
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I definitely don't recommend meeting your new recumbent the night before the Big Ride starts. That's just a Bad Idea(tm) on any bike, even a recumbent. Otherwise, don't be overly-concerned about what other, non-recumbent riders say about recumbents. All issues can be accommodated. Enjoy the ride and report back!
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