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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 10-22-11, 05:21 PM   #1
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Help! Talk me through this.

I'm 59 and have been riding DF bikes for about 6 years. I've been laid up from riding from a pinched nerve in the neck, persistent neck and shoulder pain (no medical suggestions, please, unless you slept at the Holiday Inn Express last night).

So I've sat on my butt and accumulated 10 pounds.

I told my family and a few friends I was considering a 'bent. I caught more than the usual flak from almost everyone about it for all the usual reasons. If you have not caught the usual flak for the usual reasons, consider yourself blessed and leave it at that.

On the spur of the moment I dropped by about the only LBS that carries recumbents and tried this one on for size:


I spent the first 5 minutes Fred Flinstoning it around and then reminded myself of all the principles of cycling, such as relax, let the bike do the work, etc etc. Soon I was riding around the very large parking lot.

To be succinct, I thought it was great.

My teenage daughter, who was with me, assured me that it was stupid looking and why would I want something that ugly to ride?

If the weather holds, I'm going to go back and see about longer test rides. I must say I'm intrigued.

But I need the encouragement of you brave 'bent riders to talk me through it.
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Old 10-22-11, 05:50 PM   #2
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Your balance is kept by relaxing your back against the seat, and staying centered in it. If you have trouble keeping one foot on the ground when stopped, ask them about the model with the 20" front wheel.
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Old 10-22-11, 05:59 PM   #3
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Gotcha. The LBG told me about relaxing into the seat, and it made a big difference. My legs are long enough to reach the ground. I don't think I'd like to go smaller than a 26.

The three big areas of concern:
1. Neck and back pain.
2. Peer pressure. I know that's lame, but dang it I've spent 5 years making fun of 'bent riders. I'm so ashamed.
3. And talking my wife into letting me do this (it will be bike #4).
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Old 10-22-11, 06:05 PM   #4
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What kind of encouragement / support are you looking for?

It doesn't sound like you are challenged intellectually or physically by the prospect of becoming a bent rider, so it sounds like (by process of elimination) you're suffering from insecurity.

Dude - man up. Who cares about what other people think? They aren't you and aren't the ones suffering with the frustration of the inability to do what you love to do. A bent will restore that and trust me, that is worth any initial ridicule. True friends and loved ones won't keep that up for long, anyway. Also, consider that ridicule from some of them may turn to envy. My wife and brother turned into bent riders when they saw how much I was enjoying it and much fun it is. They initially scoffed too.
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Old 10-22-11, 06:52 PM   #5
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Riding a highracer or a lowracer raises your cool factor. On either, you'll get way more "cool bike" comments from strangers than you will believe.

I went bent because I figured I deserved it. Now that I have several, I'm only sorry I didn't get them sooner.
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Old 10-22-11, 10:24 PM   #6
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Gotcha. The LBG told me about relaxing into the seat, and it made a big difference. My legs are long enough to reach the ground. I don't think I'd like to go smaller than a 26.

The three big areas of concern:
1. Neck and back pain.
2. Peer pressure. I know that's lame, but dang it I've spent 5 years making fun of 'bent riders. I'm so ashamed.
3. And talking my wife into letting me do this (it will be bike #4).
Find those 'bent riders. Borrow a bike. Go for a longer ride.

A local upright rider had problems like you describe, and went through a similar process. He was also very involved in the local club, so he wasn't going to "switch" casually.

He now has a Volae highracer, has sold his other bikes, and is still riding with the club guys. They got over it.
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Old 10-22-11, 11:50 PM   #7
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ha, I ride with a buddy of mine regularly (on DF) and we aree pretty well matched up depending on the day. Somedays I whip him, some days he pulls me. But we can always hang with each other, we have never dropped one another. Well I had been having low back pain reoccuring from an old injury so I started looking at bents as a new ride. Once i mentioned it to him he started laughing at me, calling me old man, (i'm only 28) and saying they were ugly as sin. well I personally think they are bada## looking and think they just make sense. Aerodynamic, comfy, and awesome looking. Well I got to test ride a corsa for a day and decided i wanted to go riding with my buddy that thought of them as slow old man bikes.

Well we did our regular 40 mile ride, the first 10 I was still getting used to it, but found out quickly that I wasnt really pedaling hard and was moving at a good jaunt. My buddy on the other hand was breathing! breathing hard! I didn't have a computer on the bike so had no clue what the speed was but I was taking the lead the entire time (we usually switch off mile for mile, not this time), from miles 10-30 mile I pushed myself to the level I usually do on my df and finally after about 24 miles of good pacing i heard a faint voice.........HOLD UP, I had dropped my friend, he couldn't hang on any longer. i slowed down for him to catch up, and asked if he had a cramp or something, he was pissed, sweaty and panting! I was smiling, having a good time, not breathing hard at all, estimated 140 bpm. we pullled over at mile 31 and looked at his computer and we were averaging 25 mph for the 31 miles! no wonder he was dying, we usually only average around 21-22. He said when i had started to pull away he was going 27 and i was moving ahead without resistance. My legs were burin a bit, but I wasn't gonna let him know that! ehehehe Needless to say, he has respect for bents, but still says he wouldn't be caught dead on one. weirdo!

I didn't end up getting the corsa because of unexpected financial changes, but that is all over with, I have bought an xstream and it will be here this week! can't wait to be comfy riding again, oh yeah and faster! point of my story, don't let other people influence your decisions, just whoop em! or if speed is not your thing, get off the bent after your long ride and say, "man that was fun and comfy, lets do it again" as all your friends backs, shoulders,neck,and taint are in pain!
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Old 10-23-11, 12:54 AM   #8
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I suggest that before making any expensive and irrevocable decisions you try a Long wheel base such as a Tour Easy or even one of the Sun cycles.
The so called "cool" factor of a short wheel base wears thin when you have to put that leg down in traffic too often....
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Old 10-23-11, 08:43 AM   #9
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Thanks everybody for the comments.

My "peer pressure" comment was a bit tongue-in-cheek. I'd wear brown shoes with a black suit if the shoes were comfortable enough.

The LBS is willing to set up a LWB bike for me. There's also one on CraigsList I might try to look at. I might also be able to borrow one over the weekend. That would be great if I could pull it off.

My preferred riding is suburban and semi-rural. I live where I can cycle for an hour and either be in the middle of nowhere or in the middle of the city. My area is very hilly but not mountainous, so climbing is an issue.

The roads here can be a little rough. How important is having such things as a carbon fork on a 'bent?
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Old 10-23-11, 09:46 AM   #10
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I've been 'bent since Sept. '07. What I've learned since then is...

There are many varied styles of recumbent bikes and trikes. You deserve to test ride as many of them as you can.

You also need to expect that the purchase of one recumbent will most likely lead to the purchase of a another sooner or later. They are that much fun. I actually own SWB and LWB recumbents. I end up riding whichever one suits my mood an any particular day.

I've also discovered that I still enjoy riding my upright bikes also. You may or may not as we are all individuals with our own personal opinions.

There is a wealth of knowledge on this forum. Another good place to seek information and share cycling experiences is this Recumbent specific forum (in case you haven't already visited there)...

http://www.bentrideronline.com/

Good hunting and be sure to let us know how you made out with your quest.
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Old 10-23-11, 10:02 AM   #11
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Welcome to feet-first cycling. Your rapid adaptation to the Bacchetta is a most excellent beginning. I agree with Jeff Willis that a logical next step is long test rides on a variety of styles to choose your first recumbent. Though carbon forks can make a difference on bad road surfaces you will also find significant variations in frame design, seats and tire selection.

Be sure to apply appropriate discounts to advice you receive about what particular style, brand or model of recumbent you should buy. That often comes from riders with more enthusiasm than experience. The best recumbent for you may be completely different from the best one for me.
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Old 10-23-11, 11:19 AM   #12
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The LBS is willing to set up a LWB bike for me. There's also one on CraigsList I might try to look at. I might also be able to borrow one over the weekend. That would be great if I could pull it off.

My preferred riding is suburban and semi-rural. I live where I can cycle for an hour and either be in the middle of nowhere or in the middle of the city. My area is very hilly but not mountainous, so climbing is an issue.

The roads here can be a little rough. How important is having such things as a carbon fork on a 'bent?
Some LWB 'bents are superior at filtering out imperfections in the road surface. The loooong steel frame of my V3 makes it my bike of choice for suburban/rural club rides; my SWB V-Rex is a great bike but lets me know about every crack or rough spot. Anything other than actual potholes is barely noticed on the V3; it's easier to keep moving forward at speed. (Or at slow.)
Disadvantage of riding a LWB in a group or paceline: Hard to tell exactly where the front of the front wheel is.
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Old 10-23-11, 03:00 PM   #13
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If you can find a shop with a RANS Formula Le, give it a try. Ride as many as you can before pulling out the wallet. You don't always need skinny, high pressure tires on a ride. Lots of riders shod their rides with 1.35" or 1.5" wide tires, which help soak up problems with the road.
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Old 10-23-11, 03:28 PM   #14
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If you go to PubMed.gov and search on resveratrol+spine or resveratrol+arthritis, or polyphenol+arthritis, you'll be surprised.

Here is an example..
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/arti...5/?tool=pubmed

But you have to use higher doses. Walgreens sells two resveratrol dosages, I think the higer one is 500mg. Its a pretty good deal, and its decent quality. When I run out of my mail-order resveratrol, thats what I buy.

It may take a while of taking it daily for it to really kick in but it also may help faster. Its *really good* for the joints. In fact, its cutting edge. Its nontoxic. It also may help fight cancer, but something I found out recently which is kind of scary is that it both prevents and shrinks existing prostate cancer BUT it can also lower PSA, even if you have it. *So you would then test negative* and have a hard time convincing HMO doctors that you might have the illness if you have other symptoms. (Please write that down to remember it, its important.) I don't know how long you would have to stop it to get an accurate PSA. I don't think that anybody has done any studies on that.

So anyway, resveratrol is so good for arthritis, that there is a bunch of research being done by companies trying to figure out variations they can patent and charge a lot for. (resveratrol itself is quite cheap, so no profit motive in that.. But good for us.)

It works much better if you dont take the capsules, instead just put a little bit of their contents in your mouth and let it absorb naturally. Just like you might do with red wine. (which contains a small amount of it) A number of other polyphenols also do similar things.

Inosine may also be good for healing pinched nerves, its being researched for helping heal spine injuries.. it also stimulates the immune system. In order to help repair nerves it needs to be taken for a while (weeks or months) in low doses several times a day to maintain levels in the blood.. Again, companies are researching ways to commercialize it.. (methods of delivering it in a controlled, continuous manner)

Both substances are available as supplements and quite cheap in powder form. Neither tastes bad so they can be mixed with juice, although as I said, resveratrol absorbs better just put in the mouth.
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Old 10-23-11, 04:03 PM   #15
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Thanks for the link for resveratrol. I'll check it out.

I rode about 12 miles on my DF today. Ouch. I'm saving up some pennies for N+1. Any problems transporting a 'bent on a trunk rack?
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Old 10-23-11, 04:17 PM   #16
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Thanks for the link for resveratrol. I'll check it out.

I rode about 12 miles on my DF today. Ouch. I'm saving up some pennies for N+1. Any problems transporting a 'bent on a trunk rack?
I rode about 40 miles this morning. Feel pretty good right now.

No problems putting a bent on a trunk/hitch rack: http://www.ohpv.org/events/albums/co...s/cstdn032.htm
Although it's good practice to remove a fairing before driving on a freeway. This was a shuttle during some testing.


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Old 10-24-11, 07:21 AM   #17
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Funny thing, the only 'negative' comments I ever got were from people I knew. One was from one of the guys I supervised and he was 'ashamed to admit I was his boss.'..... that said, every other person I've ever run across when riding thought my bent was cool (regardless of whether it was the SWB, Tadpole or current CLWB). There's nothing to raise your ego as a 50+ to have a pretty young girl tell you your ride is "Pimping" or the kids stop playing in the yard as you ride by and have they all yelling "Cool Bike Mister".

Find the one you enjoy riding and go for it.
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Old 10-24-11, 09:39 AM   #18
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Note: if a teenager doesnt like it, that is the best green lite you need. I too would suggest a LWB bent. They make a good first bent ride. The long wheel base give a good ride, and are the easiest for new bent riders to get used to. Also as some one stated the wider 1.35 or the 1.50 tires that are labled at 100lbs roll very easy. I recommend them for a couple of reasons. They are less prone to snake bite flats, and since they have a lot more air capacity so with a small leak they might get you clear home without patching.
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Old 10-28-11, 06:33 PM   #19
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Wow! Did I ever get lucky!

I ran into a gent who owns a Bacchetta Strada and was willing to lend it out to me for several weeks. It's now sitting in my garage. I can't wait to try it out tomorrow.

One problem: the seat mount is stuck on the tube. I'm pretty sure it hasn't been moved for at least two years. Any tips on how to loosen it? I've spent a while on the mechanics forum and not found anything helpful.
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Old 10-28-11, 06:49 PM   #20
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The so called "cool" factor of a short wheel base wears thin when you have to put that leg down in traffic too often....
I have only ridden various SWB models, and have never had a problem putting my feet down or even really imagine why it would be hard? I commute into downtown, lots of stops. So - at least some people have no problem with them. But the advice to try all kinds of bikes is good advice - maybe a LWB is even better (I've never had a chance to try one, and their looks are not for me).
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Old 10-28-11, 07:09 PM   #21
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I have only ridden various SWB models, and have never had a problem putting my feet down or even really imagine why it would be hard? I commute into downtown, lots of stops. So - at least some people have no problem with them. But the advice to try all kinds of bikes is good advice - maybe a LWB is even better (I've never had a chance to try one, and their looks are not for me).
What can I say, "try it, you'll like it ! " As to putting your feet down...I didn't say it was a problem; I love riding my StreetMachine but having to down-shift (way-down) and unclip at every signal becomes really tiresome! On the other hand, when on my Gold Rush I am so relaxed I just don't care! When on my DF, I am just ennoyed that my work-out has been interrupted.......Which brings me back to those extra 10 lb the OP was complaining about; I tried to loose weight on my recumbents for years but somehow the relaxed position was not conductive to exertion (at least for me!) . When my wife gave me a new carbon fiber DF for my 67th birthday I managed to loose 40+ pounds in just over 3 months and still loosing!
So perhaps a better investment for the OP (if weight is the concern) might be an investment in a better DF and a proper professional fitting to address the bad back issue...... Just saying.....Recumbents are great, but not for weight loss....At least for me - your experience may vary...
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Old 10-28-11, 08:44 PM   #22
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I'm a little late to the party... I don't check out the recumbent forum as often as I used to.

First, other people. Eff 'em. You'll notice other bicyclists harassing you occasionally, but that passes after a while. Non-bicyclists think 'bents are cool - and they are! Be prepared to answer a lot of questions from random strangers.

Second, I have a cervical spine issue: pinched nerve, bone spurs, inflamed facet joints. Not fun. Although treatment has got me where I can do everything I want again (including riding my DF bikes) I was really glad to have the 'bent. I bought it before the neck issue for other reasons, but was really glad to have it. My bicycles are my transportation, my fitness, and my sanity. When my neck was at it's worst it still hurt to ride a 'bent - about as much as sitting in a reclining chair. I literally couldn't ride a DF at all.

I'm back to riding DF bikes (mostly) now, but I won't sell the 'bent. It could come in handy next time my neck flares up, or I hurt my back, or my prostrate gives me issues, whatever. I also take it out for fun now and again because I love the way it bombs down hills

Good luck!
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Old 10-28-11, 09:00 PM   #23
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I'm a little late to the party... I don't check out the recumbent forum as often as I used to.

First, other people. Eff 'em. You'll notice other bicyclists harassing you occasionally, but that passes after a while. Non-bicyclists think 'bents are cool - and they are! Be prepared to answer a lot of questions from random strangers.

Second, I have a cervical spine issue: pinched nerve, bone spurs, inflamed facet joints. Not fun. Although treatment has got me where I can do everything I want again (including riding my DF bikes) I was really glad to have the 'bent. I bought it before the neck issue for other reasons, but was really glad to have it. My bicycles are my transportation, my fitness, and my sanity. When my neck was at it's worst it still hurt to ride a 'bent - about as much as sitting in a reclining chair. I literally couldn't ride a DF at all.

I'm back to riding DF bikes (mostly) now, but I won't sell the 'bent. It could come in handy next time my neck flares up, or I hurt my back, or my prostrate gives me issues, whatever. I also take it out for fun now and again because I love the way it bombs down hills

Good luck!
Thanks! I'd like to PM you but my post count isn't high enough yet. May I ask where you received treatment? You can PM me. Crazy rules. I can receive PMs but I can't send them.

I should add that I live in Louisville.
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Old 10-31-11, 08:03 AM   #24
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Thanks! I'd like to PM you but my post count isn't high enough yet. May I ask where you received treatment? You can PM me. Crazy rules. I can receive PMs but I can't send them.

I should add that I live in Louisville.
I sent you an email. Did you receive it?
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Old 10-31-11, 08:21 AM   #25
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Wow! Did I ever get lucky!

I ran into a gent who owns a Bacchetta Strada and was willing to lend it out to me for several weeks. It's now sitting in my garage. I can't wait to try it out tomorrow.

One problem: the seat mount is stuck on the tube. I'm pretty sure it hasn't been moved for at least two years. Any tips on how to loosen it? I've spent a while on the mechanics forum and not found anything helpful.
Ask on the Bacchetta forums. The last thing you want is to bung up something on a borrowed bike.
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