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  1. #1
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    Why are bents said to be slower up hills?

    Why are bents said to be slower up hills?
    Is it just because you canít stand up? Myself I never do. When I started riding again I was 270# but I was always on my feet and I could walk for miles a day. All I found standing up was I would get tired faster. I had to get in a larger gear or I would peddle too fast. It was less work going in the lowest gear my racing bike had then standing.
    So will my bent be slower for me up hills?

  2. #2
    'Bent Brian
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    Speed up hills are related to the engine (you) and the gearing. The danger of hammering in a high gear going up a hill is damage to the knees. It is possible to put more force on the pedals of a bent because you can, in most cases, push against the seat back. To reduce the stress on knees the recommended way of climbing is by spinning, the same way you would do on your road bike while climbing in the saddle. Recumbents are generally heavier than a road bike and hence you have more weight (more work) to get up a hill. Given the same amount of power output from the engine (you) it would take longer to get up the hill, hence slower. With good gearing I've found my 'bent actually easier to climb compared to my road bike, but the speed is just slower. On the flats I'm about equal or better than my old road bike, and downhill definately faster. Also faster going into a headwind with the 'bent. Keep in mind it takes a while, sometimes as much as 3000 miles, to fully develop the muscles used on a 'bent. Take it slow and easy. Since I got my 'bent this spring I've never looked back. The closest I got to my road bike was to clean it up a bit and chase the spiders off of it. It has not been ridden since I got the 'bent.

    'bent Brian

  3. #3
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    I had forgotten about weight. I find hills easier too. I don't get as winded going up them.

  4. #4
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    I find I don't notice the smaller or less steep long hills as much on my 'bent. I climb the steeper hills pretty much the same as before, which is pretty slow. Maybe I'm a little slower, it is hard to tell, but it doesn't seem any more or less difficult. Going downhill is way more fun on the 'bent. My DF bike was a mountain bike, though, and weighed a ton.
    ~Diane
    Recumbents: Lightning Thunderbolt, '06 Catrike Pocket. Upright: Trek Mountain Bike.
    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  5. #5
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    I notice the smae thing. I don't pant as hard on any hill.
    my last bike was a nice steel racing bike. but not the best choice for someone commuting and over 200#

  6. #6
    'Bent Brian
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    It's all in the gearing. Sbhikes, that is the same feeling I had when first climbing on my 'bent was that of being on a low greared MTB. Pedaling fast and easy but just crawling along. Not like my road bike where despite being a lot lighter where climbng is "stand up and grunt".

    'bent Brian

  7. #7
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    I think the gearing is pretty close to my MTB. There are a few "hills" I have around town that I always groan at when I arrive at them, but they just don't seem as bad on the bent. Maybe it's the novelty of the bent, who knows.

    The steeper hills are just as bad, if not a little worse because there is that fear that if I don't get it into a low enough gear in time I'll be forced to get off and push. But there's one hill I have that I've even had to do that on my MTB.
    ~Diane
    Recumbents: Lightning Thunderbolt, '06 Catrike Pocket. Upright: Trek Mountain Bike.
    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  8. #8
    'Bent Brian
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    Part of the fun in learning to ride a 'bent is in finding the right gear for the job. It is probably better to hit a hill in too easy a gear than too hard. It is probably easier to shift up a notch if it is too easy than to shift down if it is too hard. Downshifts can be done if you back off the pedal pressure during the shift. Once you get an "eye" for how the bike will climb a given hill then task of hitting the right gear the next time you climb that same hill will be easier. 'bents ride differently than a DF and getting used to that fact is just part of the fun.

    'bent Brian

  9. #9
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    I can't "Spin" due to injuries and nervous system troubles but I seem to get up the hills with no more panting, gasping and general terminal wheezing on a recumbent than I do on upwrong bikes or trikes.
    As people say you do go a bit slower but they make up for it on the comfort and I can spend an awful lot more time in a seat than on a saddle!

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