my first bent, grasshopper, winter commutes
I'm a new bent rider, might as well share some background. Used to commute in the city to work on a mountain bike, but started having back issues due to the hunched over position using my back as a shock absorber. Took a break from biking got into computer programming, didn't move around enough for extended periods of time. Lucky for me there is a bikepath going from my home to work so I decided a recumbent would be the way to go.
After some research, decided on the hp velotechnick grasshopper. It's a joy to ride. So much more comfortable than my upright there isn't much comparison. I can go many more miles on this bike with no discomfort and many more smiles along the way. The aerodynamics are a huge difference and the adjustable seat is nice for this since you can instantly adjust it for different parts of the ride.
This bike has OSS, and it is good, altough I have always been sort of attracted to USS, maybe I'd try it in the future (seems like it may not be so good for traffic or other arenas where your hands can hit stuff that is close to the side of the bike). One thing I don't like about OSS so much is the folding handlebar, though it is very convenient when you are stopping to just throw it forward, it sort of makes the bike feel less than solid when you apply any pressure in the folding direction if you say wanted to reposition yourself in the seat mid ride.
The suspension is really nice, makes riding super fun, sort of like floating along as if in a dream or something. Tried it on mild offroad conditions, handled well. I wonder if fatter tires can be installed for rides where there are longer stretches of loose surfaces. Climbing seemed pretty good mostly because of the seating position, good pressure to the pedals, sort fo like being hoisted up a roller coaster while lying in bed, nice views at least. Starting from zero on an up hill, on the other hand, seems to be more difficult than an upright.
I wonder about the efficiency of the wheel size. It must be somewhere betweeen a high/lowracer and a trike. I do like the smaller wheels in the sense that the bike is compact, it's easy to touch the ground, good torque / acceleration, and the wieght distribution is very even so the handling is predictable. Maybe in the future I'd look at a larger wheel high or low racer for more efficiency, but generally I can tell this bike is better for any sort of distance than my upright simply due to total comfort and less drag.
Yesterday it was about 28 degrees, commute was fine, but my shoes were inadequate. Seems like there was not enough material between my foot and the cold cold cleat. I'll have to look into dedicated winter shoes.
Also for pedals I'm using speedplay frogs with frog2 cleat. They seem OK, but release a bit too easily, actually the left cleat seems kind of funny in that the 1mm wedge of metal that actually holds your foot in is not totally flush with the rest of the cleat and it releases if you try to apply pressure all the way around the pedal stroke. Kind of a dodgy seeming design with that little ridge of metal and tiny bit of elastolomer underneath, but maybe its OK. Does anyone have a different / better spd pedal suggestion?
Thanks, nice meeting you all,