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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 02-14-05, 11:05 PM   #1
erik forsgren
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Recumbent or an upright

When I talk to people about recumbents it strikes me that it is like discussing religion, music art and so forth. If the person you talk to hasn't got a recumbent there is absolutely no need for persuading him that a recumbent is a far better vehicle than an upright. Not even scientific proofs of the matter would persuade him. Because you can't persuade a muslim that an uncircumcised woman is more desireable than a circumcised one. A muslim would never understand why you should choose an uncircumcised woman for marriage. A Hank William fan would certainly not change a CD of Hank Williams for a CD of Brahms or Mozart. Classical music is not his kind of music.
Very few people like recumbents in comparison to those who like uprights. But those who love recumbents can not think of any upright alternative, because for them there is no alternative anymore. The recumbent has come to stay in their life. So the question which bike is best a recumbent or an upright is entirely a question of taste tradition and belief.
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Old 02-15-05, 01:38 AM   #2
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You have said that those who ride recumbents do so for spurious reasons such as taste tradition and belief. That is false, I have discovered. It is more a question of experience. I know some people who ride both recumbent and upright and they choose the bike to suit the day's ride.

If someone is unwilling to gather the relevant experience, they are not really worth listening to, whatever the subject matter, are they? You need to ride, then decide. Much of the dismissive attitude of upright riders towards recumbent bikes can itself be dismissed.

John

BTW don't be offended, but I found the comments about muslims to be uninformed, unhelpful, inflamatory, bigoted and innappropriate. Imagine how I'd feel if I were one of our Muslim newsgroup members?
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Old 02-15-05, 07:22 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erik forsgren
When I talk to people about recumbents it strikes me that it is like discussing religion, music art and so forth. If the person you talk to hasn't got a recumbent there is absolutely no need for persuading him that a recumbent is a far better vehicle than an upright. Not even scientific proofs of the matter would persuade him. Because you can't persuade a muslim that an uncircumcised woman is more desireable than a circumcised one. A muslim would never understand why you should choose an uncircumcised woman for marriage. A Hank William fan would certainly not change a CD of Hank Williams for a CD of Brahms or Mozart. Classical music is not his kind of music.
Very few people like recumbents in comparison to those who like uprights. But those who love recumbents can not think of any upright alternative, because for them there is no alternative anymore. The recumbent has come to stay in their life. So the question which bike is best a recumbent or an upright is entirely a question of taste tradition and belief.
To me a recumbent is analgous to a mallet putter in golf - commonly used by old pros who have a case of the "yips," and can no longer putt. They look incredibly nerdy. The nerdiness of said putter is only exceeded by the nerdy look of recumbents. If recumbents were the only choice, I would go back to running.

And yes, your premise is dead on - no amount of discussion could sway me to the recumbent affirmation.
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Old 02-15-05, 07:32 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erik forsgren
Very few people like recumbents in comparison to those who like uprights. But those who love recumbents can not think of any upright alternative, because for them there is no alternative anymore.
Rather than considering recumbent riders as bigots trying to convert the world to their uninformed viewpoint, consider this fact: Virtually all recumbent riders have significicant experience on uprights, and switched after deciding that uprights lacked some quality which recumbents provided. Let me rephrase that for clarity: "ALL recumbent riders speak from extensive personal experience of both platforms when they voice their preference of recumbents over uprights." It's not that there are no alternatives anymore, it's that uprights are inferior alternatives to them.

By contrast, a vanishingly small percentage of recumbent detractors have ever ridden recumbents AT ALL, much less far enough to be considered informed about them.
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Old 02-15-05, 11:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlazingPedals
Rather than considering recumbent riders as bigots trying to convert the world to their uninformed viewpoint, consider this fact: Virtually all recumbent riders have significicant experience on uprights, and switched after deciding that uprights lacked some quality which recumbents provided. Let me rephrase that for clarity: "ALL recumbent riders speak from extensive personal experience of both platforms when they voice their preference of recumbents over uprights." It's not that there are no alternatives anymore, it's that uprights are inferior alternatives to them.

By contrast, a vanishingly small percentage of recumbent detractors have ever ridden recumbents AT ALL, much less far enough to be considered informed about them.
I fully agree on your views on the matter, but if you consider the uprights to be inferior alternatives there is hardly any need to ride an upright anymore, is there?
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Old 02-15-05, 11:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skydive69
To me a recumbent is analgous to a mallet putter in golf - commonly used by old pros who have a case of the "yips," and can no longer putt. They look incredibly nerdy. The nerdiness of said putter is only exceeded by the nerdy look of recumbents. If recumbents were the only choice, I would go back to running.

And yes, your premise is dead on - no amount of discussion could sway me to the recumbent affirmation.
How about tatoos Harley Davidsson and the like? Do you consider those things to be nerdy too? As for bikes I think you should stick to an ordinary upright, because on a recumbent you would certainly run the risk of being ridiculed if you don't know how to ride it. For the rest your ignorence of golf can only be exeeded by your total ignorence of recumbents.
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Old 02-15-05, 12:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erik forsgren
I fully agree on your views on the matter, but if you consider the uprights to be inferior alternatives there is hardly any need to ride an upright anymore, is there?
That's true of my experience anyway. My upright gets almost no road time anymore. Problem is, it's an upright; so it's not worth enough to bother selling it.

Skydive said it all here:
Quote:
Originally Posted by skydive69
They look incredibly nerdy.
Now that's a rational, well-reasoned line of logic. Herd mentality.

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Old 02-15-05, 12:10 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by johntolhurst
You have said that those who ride recumbents do so for spurious reasons such as taste tradition and belief. That is false, I have discovered. It is more a question of experience. I know some people who ride both recumbent and upright and they choose the bike to suit the day's ride.

If someone is unwilling to gather the relevant experience, they are not really worth listening to, whatever the subject matter, are they? You need to ride, then decide. Much of the dismissive attitude of upright riders towards recumbent bikes can itself be dismissed.

John

BTW don't be offended, but I found the comments about muslims to be uninformed, unhelpful, inflamatory, bigoted and innappropriate. Imagine how I'd feel if I were one of our Muslim newsgroup members?
I don't see how a muslim could be offended by telling him something he beleives in. For a muslim the only woman worthy of marriage is a circumcised one. That is a matter of beleif as well as a matter of honour. For us it is merely incomprehensible. Maybe not all muslims beleives in circumcision. But three million women get circumcised each year. As for the role of knowledge and experience history shows that these factors have had little or no importance as for the choice of bike. In 1932 the majority of the members of the UCI knew of the superiority of the recumbent through a lot of testrides. Still they banished the recumbent from Tour de France. And still today it is banished.
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Old 02-15-05, 04:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erik forsgren
As for the role of knowledge and experience history shows that these factors have had little or no importance as for the choice of bike. In 1932 the majority of the members of the UCI knew of the superiority of the recumbent through a lot of testrides. Still they banished the recumbent from Tour de France. And still today it is banished.
Sticking to the uncircumcised bike history discussion, from what I've read about the history, the superior performance was never the issue in 1932. Most of the UCI member represented bike manufacturers, and simply had no interest in retooling their factories to make multiple styles of bikes. So the easy solution for them was to simply outlaw the other formats.

Since the late 1970's the IHPVA has worked very hard at producing a racing format that allows ANY style vehicle to show what they're made of. The record sprint time has increased over that 30 year period from under 50 mph (80 kph) to over 80 mph (128 kph) for a fully faired, recumbent style vehicle. The average speed for an upright, unfaired race legal road bike has increased only 2-3 mph (3.2 - 4.8 kph) over the same 30 years. So if you want to support inovation in the bicycle industry, you should be buying recumbents and following the IHPVA race results, not buying upright Trek's and following the Tour de France.

About the topic of looking nerdy, to a motorcycle rider, all bikes look like toys. To a car driver, all motorcycles look fragile and dangerous. To a pilot, all cars look just so limiting. So to each his own, just get out and ride! besides, anyone riding around with shaved legs, wearing plastic shoes, a Jellybelly team jersey, and wrasslin' tights with a maxi-pad sewn into the crotch shouldn't bring up the subject of who looks goofy.


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Old 02-15-05, 07:06 PM   #10
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Here is a cut-and-paste from the Advocacy and Safety forum:

http://www.stickergiant.com/page/sg/PROD//mcs87

. . . And the next evolutionary step after the human on a bicycle is a human on a recumbent. Ha Ha
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Old 02-15-05, 08:59 PM   #11
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Here is a cut-and-paste from the Advocacy and Safety forum:

http://www.stickergiant.com/page/sg/PROD//mcs87
You left off the rest of the evolution. Here, this shows the whole story.
http://tinyurl.com/5fy7y
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Old 02-15-05, 09:05 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by skydive69
They look incredibly nerdy.
Yes they do. The image of an upright cyclist on their bike has been etched in our minds and predates living memory.

Recumbents look nerdy because mostly they have:
a) a small odd ball wheel at the front, and
b) a musty looking deck chair style seat

In my last bike design I tried to change that.


But the sculptural carbon fibre low racers - Its pretty hard to accept them as nerdy!

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Old 02-15-05, 09:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skydive69
To me a recumbent is analgous to a mallet putter in golf - commonly used by old pros who have a case of the "yips," and can no longer putt. They look incredibly nerdy. The nerdiness of said putter is only exceeded by the nerdy look of recumbents. If recumbents were the only choice, I would go back to running.

And yes, your premise is dead on - no amount of discussion could sway me to the recumbent affirmation.
well for something so nerdy I get compliments every day. where as most do on a df bike I get ignored. so I would say regular people may disagree.
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Old 02-15-05, 10:53 PM   #14
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exactly........ take a look at the nocom for instance. nerdy? yah whatever dude.


http://www.wisil.recumbents.com/wisil/misc/nocom.htm
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Old 02-15-05, 11:05 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skydive69
To me a recumbent is analgous to a mallet putter in golf - commonly used by old pros who have a case of the "yips," and can no longer putt. They look incredibly nerdy. The nerdiness of said putter is only exceeded by the nerdy look of recumbents. If recumbents were the only choice, I would go back to running.

And yes, your premise is dead on - no amount of discussion could sway me to the recumbent affirmation.
I love my Specialized bike, skydive, but they don't make "nerdy" recumbents, even though I like to ride 'em, too. I never feel the need to advertise that I ride a Specialized or Optima (that's my recumbent - not that you'd know this). I prefer to use a blade putter myself but have no aversion to the mallet folks - does it really matter? "Nerdiness" - what is this quality that makes one a pariah? - it must be in the eye of the beholder - perhaps those that harbor insecurities? Image is such a b**ch....
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Old 02-15-05, 11:08 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfulton
Sticking to the uncircumcised bike history discussion, from what I've read about the history, the superior performance was never the issue in 1932. Most of the UCI member represented bike manufacturers, and simply had no interest in retooling their factories to make multiple styles of bikes. So the easy solution for them was to simply outlaw the other formats.

Since the late 1970's the IHPVA has worked very hard at producing a racing format that allows ANY style vehicle to show what they're made of. The record sprint time has increased over that 30 year period from under 50 mph (80 kph) to over 80 mph (128 kph) for a fully faired, recumbent style vehicle. The average speed for an upright, unfaired race legal road bike has increased only 2-3 mph (3.2 - 4.8 kph) over the same 30 years. So if you want to support inovation in the bicycle industry, you should be buying recumbents and following the IHPVA race results, not buying upright Trek's and following the Tour de France.

About the topic of looking nerdy, to a motorcycle rider, all bikes look like toys. To a car driver, all motorcycles look fragile and dangerous. To a pilot, all cars look just so limiting. So to each his own, just get out and ride! besides, anyone riding around with shaved legs, wearing plastic shoes, a Jellybelly team jersey, and wrasslin' tights with a maxi-pad sewn into the crotch shouldn't bring up the subject of who looks goofy.


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The recumbent of Mochet was not banished for reasons of retooling. It was only a matter of tradition. The UCI even rewrote the definition of a bike in order to get rid of Mochets great innovation. In other words a recumbent was not a bike and it still isn't according to the definition given by UCI.
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Old 02-15-05, 11:19 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johntolhurst
Yes they do. The image of an upright cyclist on their bike has been etched in our minds and predates living memory.

Recumbents look nerdy because mostly they have:
a) a small odd ball wheel at the front, and
b) a musty looking deck chair style seat

In my last bike design I tried to change that.


But the sculptural carbon fibre low racers - Its pretty hard to accept them as nerdy!

John
www.cruzbike.com
Looks is not so important as function and performance to me. But I have a strong feeling that looks is the most important factor when it comes to attracting buyers. If a bike looks nerdy or goofy the eventual buyer will not even try it. A typical upright racer like De Rosa is certainly beautiful but it is a horror to ride. I would certainly choose a "goofy" recumbent if a De Rosa was the alternative.
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Old 02-16-05, 06:22 AM   #18
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I don't understand why anyone would ride a bike in order to create a certain appearance. Unless, of course, you were riding for the purpose of appearing in a film, parade, or a performance of some kind in which creating a certain look was the objective. If your recreational riding is for the purpose of preening and creating a show of yourself, by all means, ride an upright - the nicest looking you can afford - and have a ball. If you seek comfort and speed....a recumbent is something to consider.
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Old 02-16-05, 10:40 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erik forsgren
The recumbent of Mochet was not banished for reasons of retooling. It was only a matter of tradition. The UCI even rewrote the definition of a bike in order to get rid of Mochets great innovation. In other words a recumbent was not a bike and it still isn't according to the definition given by UCI.
Where did you get your information? I've read at least 3 sources, that all get their information from the original meeting transcripts, that clearly indicate the UCI was protecting the interests of the manufactures when they created their definition of a race legal road bike. They also threw in a few token comments about safety with regard to the exposed cranks mounted on the front. (This, while completely disregarding the far more dangerous issue of head injuries when riders fly off an upright).

While this is academically interesting in regard to the history of bicycle design, the riding public is no longer constrained by this narrow point of view. My opinion is that more people would ride recumbents if the simply TRIED recumbents. How many half-forgotten DF bikes are moldering in garages right now because they are just simply too painful to ride? Next time you see a dusty old bike hanging in someone's garage or shed, ask the owner why the don't ride it. The answer I've gotten is 99% of the time related to pain.

Darren
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Old 02-16-05, 10:41 AM   #20
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just like drivers want to show off in their cars. it's a vain thing to do but some people are that way. if you want other cyclists to maybe notice you then spend a lot of bling bling if you want regular people to notice ride a bent (G) if you wnat to be snubbed by regular cyclists ride a bent. but you know they are hurting and you are not (G)
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Old 02-16-05, 11:28 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skydive69
To me a recumbent is analgous to a mallet putter in golf - commonly used by old pros who have a case of the "yips," and can no longer putt. They look incredibly nerdy. The nerdiness of said putter is only exceeded by the nerdy look of recumbents. If recumbents were the only choice, I would go back to running.

And yes, your premise is dead on - no amount of discussion could sway me to the recumbent affirmation.
I really find you ultra conservatives really entertaining.
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Old 02-16-05, 12:26 PM   #22
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I really find you ultra conservatives really entertaining.
I am pleased to be able to amuse a liberal in that so many have weak processors!

BTW, recumbent users also remind me of Honda Gold Wing riders. They go out of their way to look nerdy, and they have the ugliest specimens of alleged females riding to their (oftentimes large) rear.

Having said all that, someone in an earlier thread probably made the best point - anyone that wears the kind of garb that we cyclist enthusiasts do, and shave our bodies, have little room to criticize what others do or wear!

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Old 02-16-05, 01:30 PM   #23
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BTW, recumbent users also remind me of Honda Gold Wing riders. They go out of their way to look nerdy, and they have the ugliest specimens of alleged females riding to their (oftentimes large) rear.
And those COOL guys on the Harley's always have the sweetest, skinny hotties riding on the pad.

Oy! the generalizations are killing me. Ride what you want. Ride what you got. Just ride
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Old 02-16-05, 01:55 PM   #24
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And those COOL guys on the Harley's always have the sweetest, skinny hotties riding on the pad.

Oy! the generalizations are killing me. Ride what you want. Ride what you got. Just ride
Let me look back in my post to see where I mentioned Harleys. Hmmmm, can't seem to find it....
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Old 02-16-05, 02:02 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by skydive69
Let me look back in my post to see where I mentioned Harleys. Hmmmm, can't seem to find it....

Uummm....you didn't. You mentioned nerdy Honda Goldwings and......whatever, it is not worth explaining if you didn't get the obvious point.
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