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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 09-23-04, 04:34 AM   #1
lazy rider
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Lynx a poor hill climber?

I have just bought an Optima Lynx and was reading an exchange on Bentrideronline saying that lynxs were seriously poor at hill climbing. What apart from weight affects the hill climbing performance of recumbents.
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Old 09-23-04, 04:57 AM   #2
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The gearing determines how hard you have to work to climb, and ultimately how fast you will climb. Low speed handling affects how well the bike will handle during a long slow climb. The weight of the bike determines how much total energy you have to expend to climb. Light bike plus faster gears equals fast climb for a given effort. Heavy bike plus lower gears equals slower climb for a given effort. Light bike plus low gears equals a slow climb but also effortless climb. Heavy bike plus high gears equals impossible effort and possibly a stall. I can't comment particularly on the Lynx though.

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Old 09-24-04, 09:50 AM   #3
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The Lynx is still relatively heavy, even though it has an aluminum frame, so weight drag is going to be significant in climbs. I found climbing short rolling hills not to be a problem because of the significant momentum gained in the preceding descents. Steep, long climbs were daunting at first, however, even when I had to seriously spin in low gear (though I seldom drop into the 30-tooth granny), the loss of speed never had me struggling to maintain balance. Over a period of several months as my legs were increasingly conditioned to riding in the recumbent position I found my climbing performance improve to where it was at least equal to what I was capable on a regular bike (I'm an average rider - not a racer.)

The Lynx is like many other relatively low seat angle SWB typical of Euro-bent design. The SWB low racers are even lower and more reclined. The open body angle may make it more difficult to adjust to when maintaining the force required for sustained climbing, however, I have learned to push my shoulders into the rigid seat as needed to help. The closed body angle on a regular bike may be better suited for climbs, though this is certainly arguable as there are people on lowracers in this forum who climb exceptionally well.
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Old 09-25-04, 05:46 AM   #4
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Bentrox I suppose that is the answer I was hoping to hear - it's just a matter of getting my legs into condition, I commute about 25kms each way 4 times a week with some long hills. So far I have probably totalled 400kms on the Lynx in the first 2 weeks, and whilst I am blown away by the speed on the downhill and the flat, the climbs are a pain - literally.

I have read in this forum about damaging knees by forcing too much. So I am consciously avoiding pushing against the seat for now. I am relying a lot on the granny gear. There is some improvement, but I have a long way to go before I equal my climbing ability on the df I was using.

However I am heartened to hear that its a matter of conditioning the muscles. In all other respects, I love the Lynx, especially when cornering at speed.

By the way I just watched a DVD called "Off the Rails" about 2 Australians riding from Moscow to Beiging across Siberia and the Gobi Desert on recumbents. Inspiring stuff
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