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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 09-16-09, 08:30 PM   #1
quercus
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Recumbent Speed

I've wanted a faster bike for some time now, but I'm torn between a traditional road bike or hybrid. If I got a recumbent, it would probably be a trike like the Terra Trike. My question is, on fairly level ground what kind of speed can you expect to cruise at for extended periods on a trike like that? Thanks for you help.

Steve
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Old 09-16-09, 08:32 PM   #2
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What kind of motor would you put on it?
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Old 09-16-09, 08:59 PM   #3
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Honestly, some trikes with the right rider can hit and maintain soem good speed, but that same person would go significantly faster on two wheels of whatever flavor. A hybrid would be comparable speed to a trike in most cases and a road bike faster. A good swb bent faster still.
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Old 09-17-09, 05:59 AM   #4
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My question is, on fairly level ground what kind of speed can you expect to cruise at for extended periods on a trike like that?
"fairly level", "cruise", "extended periods" ...... since you are not looking for hard science here....

I can tell you that on a Catrike Road (tadpole trike, aluminum frame, 406 wheels, 35 degree angle seat, about 31 lbs....) I average about 1-2 mph faster than my lightweight road bike on a 25 mile ride over rolling terrain. Same effort (by HRM averages, anyway...) High racer (SWB, steel, 26 lbs, 25 degree seat angle) averages are 1-2 mph faster still.
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Old 09-17-09, 07:00 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by quercus View Post
I've wanted a faster bike for some time now, but I'm torn between a traditional road bike or hybrid. If I got a recumbent, it would probably be a trike like the Terra Trike. My question is, on fairly level ground what kind of speed can you expect to cruise at for extended periods on a trike like that? Thanks for you help.

Steve
You may want to do some browsing here .. this link sends you to the BentRiders Online Trike forum where there's lots of discussion on trikes and speed .. the consensus there seems to be that the Catrike 700 is one of the fastest trikes (there are others close, but not TerraTrikes).

You "wanted a faster bike for some time now" .. but I see this lots and wonder why folks do this ...

perhaps they are riding with a 'fast group' .. if you are a trike is not a good choice it seems ..

perhaps they ride with friends and want to keep up or keep ahead .. a discussion with the fellow rider friends might help in ride choice ..

But, it seems wanting a faster bike just to be 'faster' may not be satisfying in the end
.. the motor is the real determiner and people can be 'fast' on most anything
... seems they make different bikes/trikes for different folks and reasons
... want to ride with the fast guys? .. get a road bike
.... want utility with trips around the neighborhood or to the store .. 'prolly a hybrid is best
... want to be really fast .. "Sam Whittingham has set a new record at Battle Mountain with a speed of 82.43 mph" this week on a custom recumbent.

The short of it seems to be examine what you will do with the new ride and choose accordingly .. or not

Cheers
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Old 09-17-09, 07:12 AM   #6
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If you want to go "fast" check out the Baccetta high racer recumbents. They will totally blow away all trikes and many road bikes, Trikes are not traditionally considered "faster" than a two wheel bent. Yes go to the trike section of bentrideronline.com and you'll see this.
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Old 09-17-09, 07:49 AM   #7
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What are you now riding? At what speed do you now cruise?
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Old 09-26-09, 10:09 PM   #8
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why why why a trike? i'm so confused why anyone would want a trike unless he has a balance issue. A high racer bacchetta will get you around 5mph faster once you get your legs in shape for riding that position. I'm a serious x roadie with 9 years of racing road and track. Too old now to want to bother racing but I made the switch a few months ago and now my 2006 Madone is gathering dust. I've tried to go back but for what. The view the speed the comfort all superior on a recumbent. As far as a trike i personally would miss the lean into corners way too much. Its like riding in a car. flat in corners and way way too low to the ground if you ever end up between cars in traffic
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Old 09-27-09, 11:33 AM   #9
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why why why a trike? i'm so confused why . . .
Strange you would find yourself so confused. It's simple. Some of us enjoy riding trikes. I happen to enjoy both two wheels and three.

Does that help?
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Old 09-27-09, 06:19 PM   #10
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What are you now riding? At what speed do you now cruise?
I ride an old steel frame Ross. I guess it would be a hybrid, or maybe a mountain bike. I got it quite a few years ago from a second-hand store. I've outfitted it to commute to work; the gear I've put on it adds up to more than the original cost of the bike. On flat terrain I can average 12-14 mph.
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Old 09-27-09, 06:21 PM   #11
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Strange you would find yourself so confused. It's simple. Some of us enjoy riding trikes. I happen to enjoy both two wheels and three.

Does that help?
Yes, it does. I'll probably end up with more than one bike; just got to find the room to store them, after I find the money to buy them.
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Old 09-27-09, 06:26 PM   #12
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Just got back from vacation in West Virginia. Lots of good info from people with experience. Thats what makes Bike Forums so great. Thanks to everyone for the terrific insights.
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Old 09-28-09, 03:08 AM   #13
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If you want to go "fast" check out the Baccetta high racer recumbents. They will totally blow away all trikes and many road bikes, Trikes are not traditionally considered "faster" than a two wheel bent. Yes go to the trike section of bentrideronline.com and you'll see this.
Bacchetta's are indeed great bikes, but if the OP lives in Europe then I would have to advise against them simply because their European distributor (CycleCentric) is so bad at their job - 2 months (with no communication about what was going on) to get some replacement parts after a crash, and then they shipped the wrong ones is my experience ...

Conversely, from what I've heard, in Northern America Bacchetta is so good at that kind of situation it seems like the parts arrive almost before you've put the phone down!
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Old 09-29-09, 07:06 AM   #14
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Expect to pay for speed, too. My carbent high racer is not cheap but boy does it move. It weighs less than 18 pounds. Expect some relearning how to ride, time. once you get the technical issues down, it is fast. Everyone I've met with a trike loves their ride. But is speed their main desire? probably not.I live in an area with some shoulders and a lot without. Does that effect a persons choice?
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Old 10-05-09, 06:24 AM   #15
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Everyone I've met with a trike loves their ride. But is speed their main desire? probably not.I live in an area with some shoulders and a lot without. Does that effect a persons choice?
Good Points. My wife and I were just now discussing the pro's and con's of two-wheeled bent vs. trike, and concluded that the choice probably depends on wether speed or just the ride is more important. Our current area has a lot of road with shoulder, but some without, Thanks for your thoughts.
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Old 10-05-09, 11:31 AM   #16
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That is very light for a DF bike.

papawizo,
what kind of Carbent do you have that only weighs 18# ?
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Old 10-05-09, 11:57 AM   #17
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The confusing part of this is that quercus is looking at a trike as an upgrade in the speed department. Normally 'trike' and 'speed' are mutually exclusive words, although in fairness maybe some trikes are faster than mountain bikes. I seem to remember that Wizwheels used to claim 3 mph speed improvement over a standard road bike, but I just don't see how. For speed, you should stick to 2-wheelers.
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Old 10-05-09, 06:36 PM   #18
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papawizo,
what kind of Carbent do you have that only weighs 18# ?
That would be all of them. Mine weighs right under 18 even with q-rings. Ac compact double can get you very close to 17 flat. I think one was even built slightly sub-17.
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Old 10-05-09, 07:23 PM   #19
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I was riding a Worksman industrial cruiser, single speed, wide tires, heavy bike. I just switched to a Raleigh Sojourn, a touring bike. That by itself bumped my speed up about 2.5-3 mph. I just got back from a 20 mile ride, averaged 16.3 mph, was doing about 13.3 on the Worksman. And that Raleigh is still about 10 lbs heavier and somewhat less streamlined than a good road bike, so I could still make some improvement over that and be on an upright bike. So you might want to test-ride some upgraded upright bikes as well.
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