Bought my first bent yesterday - a used EZ-1 ($200 including a hitch mount bike rack). Went on my first ride today with my son (age 11) in an empty (as in no houses yet) neighborhood and in my yard.
I've been riding a schwinn MTB of some 17 years age (21 speeds, grip shift - like the EZ) and a 30ish year old sears 10 speed free spirit road bike on bike trails, doing 3 to 10 mile rides with my kids (daughter age 8 on a 20" 6 speed, son on a 21? speed 24" MTB, wife on a 16 yr old schwinn 26" MTB). Between guesstimation, a GPS on one ride, my wife's (uncalibrated) cycle computer we do 7 or so mph on a typical ride.
Today's ride, my first on a bent, was with my son - him following. I have no clue as to my speed - no mile markers, no traffic, to timed, no computer or GPS. My feeling (and my son's if his answer is to be trusted) is we (I) were doing a pretty good clip (compared to normal).
Things I observed...top speed sucks. I was a 3/7 and maybe could have spun a bit faster but it didn't feel like I was doing much. I never get my DF bikes to this gear combo, and if/when I get close I'm crankin it - 25mph or so on my 10 speed (at least for short distances)
Second was low speed. On my MTB I changed the cassette to better than 1:1 (on 1/1). It's nearly impossible to ride this on the road and hard off road. The EZ1 could be ridden at 1/1 no problem (ok, some wobbling but I'll get that worked out).
I like to keep a pretty high cadence and am not used to lots of shifting (ok, on bike rail-trails at least). On the bent I shifted a LOT to keep things spinning and it never felt quite the same.
So my questions - are bents (or this particular one) geared that much lower? OR was I riding faster than I thought? (does the perception of speed change with the seating position?)
My legs (quads) were working hard - as i was told to expect - and i usually spin to avoid this 'issue' but seemed to have difficulty spinning on the bent compared to a DF - should the pedals be setup the same (a tad over inseam length?). I've not get clips on the bike (never rode with them).
I have a cycle computer coming and the ride on wednesday on a trail with the kids (and I can take a GPS for speed info) may help me adjust some.
Any advice for a newbie bent rider? (age 50 and male if that matters).
(ps - I know the bike is heavy- I'm 40+ lbs overweight - when I get that off I"ll worry about what a lighter bike can do for me)