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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 06-04-09, 06:39 PM   #1
Erzulis Boat
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Recumbents and the body-

I have always been kinda interested in trying out a recumbent. I saw some pictures of a 3 wheeler (2 up front) called the "Cheetah" I beleive in a DK book on bicycles.

Anyway, I was talking to my father about the recumbent concept and he made an interesting observation.

Truckers with the constant clutching etc. (decades ago probably) would suffer because the body was meant to push and support weight in a more upright position, the joints are suited to standard locomotion, like walking/running etc.

Are there some issues with riding a recumbent and the required body position when pedaling/pushing?
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Old 06-04-09, 06:50 PM   #2
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Well, now, that's an interesting concept.
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Old 06-04-09, 07:11 PM   #3
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I would say it has to do more with the repetitive thing ?tennis elbow? rather than the position of the body. Those truckers were doing a lot of reps on the shifting SO i do not see a connection
my 2 cents.
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Old 06-04-09, 07:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erzulis Boat View Post
Truckers with the constant clutching etc. (decades ago probably) would suffer
So, exactly how were they suffering? Headaches? Bloating?
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Old 06-04-09, 10:08 PM   #5
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I would say it has to do more with the repetitive thing ?tennis elbow? rather than the position of the body. Those truckers were doing a lot of reps on the shifting SO i do not see a connection
my 2 cents.

It was due to repetition, and the heavy clutches on the trucks didn't help. Evidently, the pushing motion while seated had the joints and connective tissue at an angle that the body was less able to support properly. The hip joints for example, would push into the socket with minimal support, where as walking etc. has the ball/socket interface in a more optimal position.

The pedaling action on a recumbent- is it really just rotational, or are you having to push with substantial force also?
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Old 06-04-09, 10:27 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Erzulis Boat View Post
I have always been kinda interested in trying out a recumbent. I saw some pictures of a 3 wheeler (2 up front) called the "Cheetah" I beleive in a DK book on bicycles.

Anyway, I was talking to my father about the recumbent concept and he made an interesting observation.
Why not go ride one and see for yourself. Bring your father and have him ride too.

If you find yourself pushing hard on the pedals...shift down.
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Old 06-04-09, 10:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erzulis Boat View Post
It was due to repetition, and the heavy clutches on the trucks didn't help. Evidently, the pushing motion while seated had the joints and connective tissue at an angle that the body was less able to support properly. The hip joints for example, would push into the socket with minimal support, where as walking etc. has the ball/socket interface in a more optimal position.

The pedaling action on a recumbent- is it really just rotational, or are you having to push with substantial force also?
pedal, don't push
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Old 06-05-09, 05:56 AM   #8
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I don't think the two situations are equivalent. The smooth, repetitive motion of cycling, whether upright or recumbent, is actually *good* for your joints, because it promotes the production of synovial fluid. (I read that somewhere...)
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Old 06-05-09, 07:28 AM   #9
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First the human body, mainly the human leg and knee was NOT designed to run and it was barely designed to walk. What it was designed to do really well is turn circles like when pedalling a bike, any type of bike. No offense to your father, but he is way off base with this concept.
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Old 06-05-09, 09:22 AM   #10
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Hmmm. Riding my conventional bike, I am bent over too, except when standing of course. Doesn't seem too different now that I think about it.

That 3 wheel jobby looked downright fast in the DK bike book. I am always willing to give new things a go.
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Old 06-05-09, 11:37 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erzulis Boat View Post
I have always been kinda interested in trying out a recumbent. I saw some pictures of a 3 wheeler (2 up front) called the "Cheetah" I beleive in a DK book on bicycles.
Was that possibly a WINDCheetah?

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Old 06-05-09, 12:08 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
Was that possibly a WINDCheetah?

That's it! Man, that thing just screams speed, and it actually looks cool too.

Just checked the price specs- Surprisingly inexpensive for what you get, not over priced at all.

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Old 06-05-09, 12:41 PM   #13
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i call bs on the individual who claims the human body was not meant to walk or run. While older theories held the "wear-and-tear" theory, it has more recently been shown through examining chemical markers of cartilage damage that only excessive running, defective biomechanics (i.e. malformed joints, genetic abnormalities that affect the production of collagen, etc.), and prior cartilage injury are implicated in degenerative osteoarthritis. When we say excessive, we are talking about lifelong marathon types. You'd likely see similar injury trends for cyclists; at some point, yes, you are doing more damage than the body can repair. Epidemiological studies seem to confirm this newer belief, showing in particular that club-level runners have lower rates of morbitity from all causes, and lower rates of disabling lower limb joint and spine conditions (weight-bearing activity, which cycling is not, maintains bone density) than non-runners. It is also thought that cartilage, being avascular, benefits from weight bearing exercise in that its nutritive fluids are ciruclated and that it stimulates the construction of new tissue, much as in bone.

Human locomotion is also surprisingly energy-efficient, returning about 90% of the energy from each stride. Good, but not perfect models, include the "inverted pendulum" for walking, and the "spring-point mass" model for running. Gait mechanics are very well-studied, and we are extremely well-adapted to these modes of movement. Evolution will do that for you. We did not evolve with cycling, or likely with any other circular motion. Bicycles have evolved to fit us, as we continually redesign them to better suit the natural inclinations of our bodies.
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Old 06-05-09, 05:03 PM   #14
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Kuddos to your Pops! He's a thinker alright. As a former trucker I can see his line of thought. However, truckers are clutching with only one leg vs. two for pedaling. Also a truck driver will be sitting for many hours at a time without the physical activity of bike riding. Now a bike rider may ride for several hours but I would doubt strongly that it would compare to the day in & day out of a drivers time in the "saddle". Another point; I have noticed that some truckers don't sit squarely in the seat, usually these are short route guys that hop in & out of the seat alot, thus the hips actually will shift or rotate a little toward the door. Clutching with the left leg & turning to the left to get out of the seat can kinda work against the body.

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Old 06-06-09, 09:25 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erzulis Boat View Post
Truckers with the constant clutching etc. (decades ago probably) would suffer because the body was meant to push and support weight in a more upright position, the joints are suited to standard locomotion, like walking/running etc.
I think your dad may be coming out of left field on this one. I've driven trucks for many years. After you initially start the truck moving, you rarely touch to clutch to shift--and no--we didn't have automatic transmissions. Just match the rpms with the gear shifting to and everything goes smooth as a baby's butt. The only problem I ever experienced was lower back one time on a new truck before I got the seat adjusted right.
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Old 06-18-09, 04:37 PM   #16
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recumbent positon and circulation

I have a similar question. I'm looking at the possibility of buying a recumbent trike, never rode one. But twice now I "rode" on recumbent type stationery bikes. Both times I notices my feet starting to "fall asleep" which I always thought was a symptom of poor blood circulation. I saw it mentioned somewhere else on a post here in bike forums. Any thoughts?
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Old 06-18-09, 07:31 PM   #17
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Feet falling asleep, or another similar problem, 'hotfoot' have several causes. Could be tight shoes or socks or even shorts, could be leg extension, could be a circulation problem. It's been linked (unfairly IMHO) to high bottom brackets, i.e. pedals above the seat, but recumbent exercise bikes tend to be low-BB, so that doesn't explain your experience. Sometimes the problem is very hard to isolate, sometimes it's a snap. It should be noted that upright riders occasionally have the same problem; so while you may hear more about it in recumbent circles, it doesn't seem to be a 'recumbents only' problem.
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