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Thread: Uphill starts

  1. #1
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    Uphill starts

    Hi folks,

    I just got my first recumbent, a Christmas present to myself after wanting one for over 2 years. It's a Lightning Phantom and I've been having a great time learning to ride it around my neighborhood. I have a question for the experienced 'bent riders here though: will I ever be able to start moving going uphill. For example, if I have to stop at a corner and let a car go by, and I'm going up a hill, will I be able to start moving again or will I have to turn around and go the other way? It might sound like a stupid question but so far I havn't been able to do it. 'Bye for now.

    Paupie

  2. #2
    Senior Member Dr. Duk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pierce
    Hi folks,

    I just got my first recumbent, a Christmas present to myself after wanting one for over 2 years. It's a Lightning Phantom and I've been having a great time learning to ride it around my neighborhood. I have a question for the experienced 'bent riders here though: will I ever be able to start moving going uphill. For example, if I have to stop at a corner and let a car go by, and I'm going up a hill, will I be able to start moving again or will I have to turn around and go the other way? It might sound like a stupid question but so far I havn't been able to do it. 'Bye for now.

    Paupie
    Paul: The only advice that I would give is for you to shift into a lower gear when you know you are going to have to make a stop and try to be prepared to downshift if you have to come to an unexpected stop. You may have to go downhill and change gears in your cycling career with "Bents". I have had to do some strange things in order to change gears and accomplish the uphill battle. The know how will come from experience so hang in there and Great Riding.
    Carpe Diem

  3. #3
    sch
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    Well, one of the early parts of the learning curve is remembering to automatically down shift a
    LOT when you come to a stop. At least one chainring, and on more formidable slopes 2-3 gears
    in back as well. If that doesn't do it then you are stuck..... I either turn around or get
    off and walk. My driveway has about 75' of 15-18% grade and walk is the only option if
    something happens on the way up.
    Steve

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    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Starting on hills hits noobs with the ol' double whammy. Balancing at low speed is tough anyway, but then the new rider is still learning how to start without pushing off like they'd do on an upright. Make sure you're in a low gear, make sure you start with your strongest leg in the 12:00 or even a little earlier position. Push hard and relax the upper body. With enough practice and a low enough gear, you can even start on 15+% grades.

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    I owned a Rans Stratus of a couple years. I never escaped the bugaboo of trying to start on steep hills. Unfortunately, I live in the mountains and resting on steepest grades is most sensible approach for me. Short of dropping 20 pounds or twenty years (Ha!), I settled in a cowardly way on a recumbent trike, Greenspeed GTO, with very low gears. Now, stopping for a brief rest on the steepest hill is a snap.

    Not much help, but at least you know that you are not alone.

    Gary, Salt Lake City

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    At the beginning it might be a little difficult to start uphill especially if you start at high gears. But as soon as you get used to put a low gear before you stop there will be no problem to start uphill. Before you enter a hill you should also put on a low gear and spin up. I wish you good luck!

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    An alternative to turning around if you get stuck in a high gear is to get off the bike, move the shift lever to a lower gear and walk the bike while leaning forward to turn the cranks until it shifts. This is the 'bent equivalent of picking up the rear wheel on an upright to shifth when stopped.

  8. #8
    Errand Boy for my girls sukispop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Mc
    Short of dropping 20 pounds or twenty years (Ha!), I settled in a cowardly way on a recumbent trike, Greenspeed GTO, with very low gears. Now, stopping for a brief rest on the steepest hill is a snap.
    Hi Gary,

    I don't think your move to a GTO was cowardly in the least. You found a 'bent that better suited you and your riding conditions. I'm guessing that it's increased your overall riding enjoyment, and that's a good thing!

    I kinda did the opposite of what you did. I had a GTO, and now I have a Stratus(and a Fusion). The GTO's a lot more fun tackling the hills with...but I couldn't get over the anxiety I felt while riding the GTO with car traffic around me(which is unavoidable for most of the routes I ride). The Stratus is an incredible bike...but I can tell you that, whenever I'm hitting hills on my Stratus, I'm missing my GTO...
    ***Geoff***
    '05 Greenspeed GT3, '04 RANS Stratus, '04 RANS Fusion

    "Nothing compares with the simple pleasure of a bike ride."
    (by John F. Kennedy, from The Quotable Cyclist)

  9. #9
    low and laid back atom bomb's Avatar
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    Yes, gear down in anticipation of stops. Yes, 12 o'clock postion, firm push off, relax upper body. AND MOST IMPORTANTLY in my opinion.... DON'T LOOK at YOUR FEET!! Look ahead and trust that your feet will work as intended. I'm serious... the only time I've tipped over on hilly starts is when I get anxious about it and LOOK at my feet when starting up. Don't do it. Also, if you are starting at a corner and have to turn immediatley..... my expereince is that it is better to pedal forward until you get your other foot up on the pedals, and THEN initiate the turn. Part of the fun of recumbent riding is mastering the intricate choreography.
    Atom Bomb

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    After your first season, it'll be a snap.

    I've been riding for a few years and can now turn completely in my seat, fish around in my Ortliebs for a half-eaten energy bar AND answer my cell phone. All this, while starting uphill on a steep slope!

    No worries, you'll become 'one' with your 'bent

    Cheers,
    NR

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    Quote Originally Posted by sukispop
    Hi Gary,

    I don't think your move to a GTO was cowardly in the least. You found a 'bent that better suited you and your riding conditions. I'm guessing that it's increased your overall riding enjoyment, and that's a good thing!

    I kinda did the opposite of what you did. I had a GTO, and now I have a Stratus(and a Fusion). The GTO's a lot more fun tackling the hills with...but I couldn't get over the anxiety I felt while riding the GTO with car traffic around me(which is unavoidable for most of the routes I ride). The Stratus is an incredible bike...but I can tell you that, whenever I'm hitting hills on my Stratus, I'm missing my GTO...
    The Stratus is a great bike. My 15 year old son still has mine and loves it. He likes to tool around the neighborhood with one hand on the handlebar looking as cool as only a 15 year old can.

    Regards,

    Gary

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Mc
    The Stratus is a great bike. My 15 year old son still has mine and loves it. He likes to tool around the neighborhood with one hand on the handlebar looking as cool as only a 15 year old can.

    Regards,

    Gary
    We need more of that! Teenagers spreading the word that 'bents are stylish
    Rich
    Rans Rocket; Montague CX; Dahon Helios SL

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