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  1. #1
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    What is your cruising speed on your bent vs traditional bike?

    What's your normal cruising speed on a regular bike, and what is it on your bent? On flat road, no wind. Also mention if there is a significant difference in quality between the bikes.

    I live near some trails that very flat, straight, and almost no climbing. I think the trails I ride would be perfect for a bent. On my 18lb road bike I cruise 18-20mph depending on conditions. I'm wondering how much faster i'd be on a good bent.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by HBxRider View Post
    What's your normal cruising speed on a regular bike, and what is it on your bent? On flat road, no wind. Also mention if there is a significant difference in quality between the bikes.

    I live near some trails that very flat, straight, and almost no climbing. I think the trails I ride would be perfect for a bent. On my 18lb road bike I cruise 18-20mph depending on conditions. I'm wondering how much faster i'd be on a good bent.
    That's a bit of a loaded question... there are far more variations in the broad world of bents than in the 'regular bike' market.

    At any rate, maybe more importantly, my Cat3 buddy and I ride with Power Taps. He rides a light weight Felt racing bike and I ride either a Corsa or a CA1 (ok, and occasionally my vintage 'dale).
    Depending on conditions, there is any where from 10 watts to 150 watts difference in power when we ride beside each other. Much of that depends on how aggressive he's willing to get on his handlebars.
    On the Corsa I did 27.4 mph on 297 watts for 21 min at Portland International Raceway in May this year. I think the CA1 is 10-20 watts faster on the flats an another 10 watts faster on 5%+ climbs.
    Generally on interrupted (cars, lights, ped) solo rides I average from 20-25mph with most rides falling in the bell curve peak of 21.5-23.5. Distances of 20 to about 50 miles. On the dale, I'm probably 18.5-22.5 for the same perceived effort. I've probably only been over a 22 mph average a few times. and only on 20 mile routes. 18.5 would be somewhat of a recovery ride.
    Keep in mind though, I'm about 50 watts stronger on my bent, too, pretty much across all of my zones. Many people are the opposite.

    Different bents will vary in efficiency as much as a beach cruiser does from a wind-tunnel-tested TT bike.

    T

  3. #3
    Senior Member gavtatu's Avatar
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    on my new MBB, i did a 20 miler with a 19.something av.speed.
    on my three bents, ya looking at i guess for cruising, 17mph, but i can push it up to 20 mph for good stretches easy enough.

  4. #4
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    Further and faster on my bents. Sold all my DF bikes.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    It's all about weight, watts, and aerodynamics. A swb bent, with you laid back, nearly always has an aerodynamic edge over an upright. At speed, this would tend to off set the weight penalty, which on flats, is not terribly significant. You should be at least as fast, maybe faster.
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

  6. #6
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    I have not had a traditional bike since high school; that means, like, in a long, looong time.

    On my 35-pound Sofrider, on the only flat road around, I can loaf along at 18mph, cruise at 20mph and sprint up to 26mph.

    What's a good recumbent bike for you?
    I can't tell you!
    Go try some out and get the one you like.
    What's the speed limit on the trails you like to ride on?
    Are they enforced?

    Go test-ride some bikes.
    "We don't have to be mean because, remember, no matter where you go, there you are."
    -Buckaroo Banzai

  7. #7
    Senior Member Notso_fastLane's Avatar
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    I need to check my speedo too. I think it may not be really well calibrated for my 20 inch front (but maybe it is, I assume the LBS did that part). It typically registers 1.5 - 2.5 mph faster than the GPS app on my iPhone. I thin the GPS app might be ok for average speed, but it's definitely got some accuracy issues, if the maps are any indicator (sometimes, it looks like I'm a fair bit off the road, or cutting across people's lawns on my rides).

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by yakmurph View Post
    I have not had a traditional bike since high school; that means, like, in a long, looong time.

    On my 35-pound Sofrider, on the only flat road around, I can loaf along at 18mph, cruise at 20mph and sprint up to 26mph.

    What's a good recumbent bike for you?
    I can't tell you!
    Go try some out and get the one you like.
    What's the speed limit on the trails you like to ride on?
    Are they enforced?

    Go test-ride some bikes.
    I'm looking for a place in southern california that rents them. I'd love to take one out for a 50 mile ride on the santa ana river trail. Haven't found such a place. So i'll probably just wait and see if I make friends with someone who owns a bent that they can lend me.

  9. #9
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Back when I rode uprights and I was 15 years younger, 18 mph average was a fast ride; in fact, only once did I ever make an 18 mph average for a century. Now if I'm going that speed, I'm loafing. I can easily cruise at 22-23 mph, and if I need to accelerate to 25-27 mph, I can do so smoothly and quickly, even on slight positive grades. I've done centuries at up to 23 mph overall, and that's solo. The group that used to be too fast for me to hang with now uses me as their 'attack dog.'

    Now for the disclaimer. I ride fast bents. The model of highracer I ride has held several indoor Hour records. My NoCom is billed as one of the fastest production bikes of any kind ever built. I don't go fast because I have a huge engine, I go fast because the bikes I ride do most of the work for me. Most bents are NOT fast and it's wrong to characterize all bents as fast just because some of them are.

  10. #10
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    I am a fat 255 pounds, on a RANS tailwind, and I CANNOT keep up with my 150 pound wife on her Sun EZ-1. When we rode Giant Cyprss DX's, I could keep up with her pretty good. That was 5-10 years ago. She is 63 now and I am 62. Maybe that makes a difference.
    2001 RANS Tailwind- mine
    2005 Sun EZ-1-my wifes

    First recumbents for both of us.

  11. #11
    el padre
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    What has been said...it is hard to compare apples and oranges, as the saying goes. That does not mean that some generalizations can be made but you are looking for more than general info. That can be had with you trying bikes with your motor. peace

  12. #12
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    Hard to say. I had not ridden my Masi for about 8yrs and sold it. It was too painful with arthritis to ride. Yes it was properly fitted to me, but still caused unending hand pain. I think I recall an avg cruising speed at my best fitness wsa 14mph. Now on my pain free Giro 700, I am approaching a 14mph avg. Not bad considering the Giro is about 15# heavier...and I am at least a decade+ older.
    The Monkeywrangler's Blog
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by HBxRider View Post
    What's your normal cruising speed on a regular bike, and what is it on your bent? On flat road, no wind. Also mention if there is a significant difference in quality between the bikes.

    I live near some trails that very flat, straight, and almost no climbing. I think the trails I ride would be perfect for a bent. On my 18lb road bike I cruise 18-20mph depending on conditions. I'm wondering how much faster i'd be on a good bent.

    On my short wheel based high racer, I cruise at 18 to 20 mph. I live in Holland so that means flat flat and nothing but flat trails. On my traditional grocery shopping citybike I cruise at 10 to 12 mph. I was surprised to see how little effort is required for my cruising speeds of 18 to 20 mph. taking into account that I am not a well trained cyclist at all (rather the contrary). BTW I am a newcomer when it comes to riding recumbents (bought my recumbent April 2012)

    I tried some other recumbent bikes and there ARE significant differences between different recumbent bikes. I just picked the one (Metabikes) that felt light, comfortable and fast from the getgo. Later I learned that my bike is also very versatile in that it can take a plethora of different wheel and tyre sizes. As it stands now, for my commute I am happy with 28" wheels and 32mm. Vittoria randonneur tyres. But I can just as easily switch to 26" or even 29" wheels with very wide mountainbike tyres. Maybe I'll do that for the winter time.

  14. #14
    Senior Member oddball's Avatar
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    I cruise about the same speed on my DF and my bent, around 16 mph on my normal 40 mile loop. The route is an out and back ride, 20 mile steady 400' climb to the turn around.

    The bikes in question are a '04 Specialized Roubaix and a '12 Bacchetta Strada. The Roubaix weighs 21 lbs and the Strada 28 lbs. Those weights are ready-to-ride, all gear and two full water bottles.

    On rides that include more climbing the speeds still are about equal. My climbing speeds are painfully slow on both bikes. The Roubaix is only slightly faster than the Strada when climbing and the Strada is slightly faster on the descent. The ascent/descent speeds are close enough that the advantage will go back and forth between rides.

  15. #15
    Senior Member mobilemail's Avatar
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    My informal tests have shown that I'm about 1.5mph slower on my Burley Canto than I am on my road bike. That's a typical difference over the course of a complete ride, in flat-to-rolling terrain. On my TerraTrike I'm actually 3.5 to 4mph slower. As another poster mentioned though, I can definitely ride further in comfort on either of these, so I'm willing to accept the tendency to slip into "tourist" mode.

  16. #16
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    I am faster downhill on my highracer and slower uphill (compared to my Trek Postal). I don't have average speed on my recumbent speedometer. I imagine I am close to the same on both bikes over a 20 mile moderately hilly route. I occasionally take the carbon fiber upright out, because it is so much more responsive, but I usually prefer the recumbent for the comfort factor.

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