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  1. #26
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rebel1916 View Post
    No you should not carry tires. Unless you are touring in outer mongolia, or something.
    Carrying a spare tire is a good practice.

    Everyone in my group of riders carries one.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
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  2. #27
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lblando View Post
    (B) FWD. I've learned (finally), what MBB stands for...and apparently there are some people who swear by it, and some who don't like it. A bit of a passion I've detected. And yet, it is an important variable for me as it appears that if you can (1) stand the slight movement of the BB without hurting your knees, and (2) can get used to handling a FWD, the fact that the chain is shorter etc makes those designs better for climbing and speed (at the same level of effort).
    You're right, it's hard to separate the passion from the facts on MBB. The design seems to work well for some people; but the rationalizations for the 'why' don't make sense to me. The bottom line is, their purported climbing and speed prowess is debatable. I don't see any hard evidence that they're any faster, just that they're different.

  3. #28
    Senior Member rebel1916's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    Carrying a spare tire is a good practice.

    Everyone in my group of riders carries one.
    Really? Whatever makes ya happy. It's definitely cray cray for you all to carry them. One would be enough. But again, unless you are touring in the armpit of nowhere, it is pretty silly. For a commuter, just boot the damn thing with a dollar bill.

  4. #29
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    Short update: I rode a Bacchetta Giro 20 today. I did not have much time, so I had to learn to ride on the recumbents and then took it for a spin, all in a one hour period! In any case, I like it. Sure, it is wobbly and balancing on the bike is different than my road bike, but not too hard I don't think. Once I learned to actually pedal on it, I decided to do the same loop I did when I brought home my road bike (three months ago) to see if I could do those hills (which, for me, are hard). This is what I ended up doing ridewithgps.com / trips / 1842472 (btw, cyclemeter recorded periods with "zero" speed, which are not so). In any case, not too bad for the first time. Going uphill was definitely more challenging than in the road bike. I had to use the lowest possible gear, and this bike was outfitted with three rings at the front and the largest gear at the back had 34 cogs. Still... I could climb both hills. At a snail pace, but up I went. On the downhill, I got up to ~40mph. A bit wobbly but all in all, I think with time I can get the hang of it. After this first ride, the one thing that I need to work the most on is to keep my direction straight when I am climbing at a snail pace, as that is very important to not be run over by a car coming on your side from behind.

    Finally, I guess I am optimistic that if I could climb these hills on the first go with a relatively un-sporty recumbent, if I were to get one that is more aimed at climbing I might do better (in addition to the improvement from practice and muscle atonement of course).

  5. #30
    Senior Member delcrossv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lblando View Post
    Thanks very much for all the advice. I will try to address some of the questions and provide a short update.

    Yes, I will be trying both two wheeled and three wheeled recumbents. Starting tomorrow, as a matter of fact (Bacchetta Giro to begin). Will also try other types (e.g. Lightning, HP Velotechnik, Catrike, and possibly others). I will post my first impressions.

    Have two more questions, for which you may have opinions or answers:
    (a) The neck. Everybody (almost) that I read claims that the recumbents are perfect to alleviate the pain that you get in the neck on an upright, on account of having to lift the head up constantly to look ahead, while the riding position would have you looking diagonally to the floor if you wanted to keep your head aligned with the direction of your spine (don't know how best to explain this, but I hope you get the point). However...If you look at some of the recumbent designs, in particular those of the more "advanced", "faster", "sportier" (expensive) ones, you notice that the back is very much reclined, as if you were lying on the couch...and yet you have to look forward, which seems as if it would require you to "tuck your chin into your chest". So how can that be any better than the situation of the upright DFs? Seems equally as painful, unless I am missing something. Now, if you truly wanted to keep your neck "aligned", then you need a recumbent with as upright a seat as you can get....but I read those are the slowest ones, and the ones that are the hardest to climb on (as they apparently reduce the power that you can generate, which I guess makes sense).
    Really reclined 'bents are usually equipped with a headrest so it's really "recliner-like". That said, having a very reclined position is the hardest to balance, but usually the fastest- Note please that really reclined bikes are not usually suitable for commuters.

    (B) FWD. I've learned (finally), what MBB stands for...and apparently there are some people who swear by it, and some who don't like it. A bit of a passion I've detected. And yet, it is an important variable for me as it appears that if you can (1) stand the slight movement of the BB without hurting your knees, and (2) can get used to handling a FWD, the fact that the chain is shorter etc makes those designs better for climbing and speed (at the same level of effort).

    Do I have my understanding right on these two points? Once I clarify my education on those, I will have to move to OSS/USS, then to shock absorber/no shock absorber, etc.

    Thanks again.
    Luis
    [/COLOR]
    There's two flavors of FWD Fixed BB like Raptobike, some Barcrofts and some others and moving BB like Cruzbike. Fixed BB FWD bikes drive most like a regular RWD 'bent.
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  6. #31
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lblando View Post
    Short update: I rode a Bacchetta Giro 20 today. I did not have much time, so I had to learn to ride on the recumbents and then took it for a spin, all in a one hour period! In any case, I like it. Sure, it is wobbly and balancing on the bike is different than my road bike, but not too hard I don't think. Once I learned to actually pedal on it, I decided to do the same loop I did when I brought home my road bike (three months ago) to see if I could do those hills (which, for me, are hard). This is what I ended up doing ridewithgps.com / trips / 1842472 (btw, cyclemeter recorded periods with "zero" speed, which are not so). In any case, not too bad for the first time. Going uphill was definitely more challenging than in the road bike. I had to use the lowest possible gear, and this bike was outfitted with three rings at the front and the largest gear at the back had 34 cogs. Still... I could climb both hills. At a snail pace, but up I went. On the downhill, I got up to ~40mph. A bit wobbly but all in all, I think with time I can get the hang of it. After this first ride, the one thing that I need to work the most on is to keep my direction straight when I am climbing at a snail pace, as that is very important to not be run over by a car coming on your side from behind.

    Finally, I guess I am optimistic that if I could climb these hills on the first go with a relatively un-sporty recumbent, if I were to get one that is more aimed at climbing I might do better (in addition to the improvement from practice and muscle atonement of course).
    If you were able to get up those challenging hills on your first ride of a 'bent (is that correct?) you will be just fine! My V-Rex is similar to the Giro 20; when riding to and from work I never use the small ring but on any significant hill I always use the small ring. Staying relaxed while climbing helps a lot with moving straight ahead and up. As you get more used to a 'bent and 'develop your 'bent muscles', your uphill speeds will increase and the wobbles will be less of an issue.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  7. #32
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    Unless you are only going to commute in nice weather, fenders are a must. Maybe you can design them so that they can be easily removed when you are want to go faster. My guess is that you will leave them on.

    If you can go 40 mph downhill on your first ride then a recumbent is definitely for you!
    What is better than getting your heart rate up and saddle time?

  8. #33
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dekindy View Post
    If you can go 40 mph downhill on your first ride then a recumbent is definitely for you!
    If you went 40 mph on your first 'bent ride, you're a bit insane!
    http://Charles.Plager.net
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  9. #34
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    Update 2 - I have the recumbent for only a few days, and I have a business trip coming up, so I decided to make the most of it and went ahead and used it to commute to work today in spite of not feeling well at all (i.e. the "engine" is not well today

    In any case, ridewithgps.com / trips / 1844903 was my morning commute. All flats in this case, all street stuff. Maybe because I am not feeling well but for whatever reason the bike felt heavy. Still, I think I averaged ~15mph. That said, getting to 21-23mph (the speed I usually go to in parts of that ride on the Fuji road bike) was a bit of a chore. I was using the big front ring and small gears in the back and I managed to get up to 21-22mph at times (I tried chasing a road bike :-) but sustaining it was not in the cards. We'll see what happens in the afternoon...

    I was doing 'S's most of the time, as I still am not experienced enough to keep a straight line. I also would "tilt" to one side or the other. All of this I attribute to not being used to balancing in that position. Not a big deal, and it will improve for certain, but I have to admit that it is a tad nerve wracking when you have cars zooming past you on the left.

    Also, while I was able to come DOWN the corkscrew on the highway overpass without stopping, when I tried to navigate the tight U turn on the ramp at the other side of the highway going up I had no choice but to stop, correct direction, and continue. Not a major issue.

    Another thing... I was not expecting so much wind in my face. I guess when you are on a roadbike most of the wind hits your helmet and slides off of you. But on the recumbent (at least on this one) the wind hits you in the face. It was cool, at least today, but I wonder if it gets tiring (example: I did not wear glasses today, and at times I had to squint).

    And, the whole ride was very pleasing, VERY comfortable. Stopping at the lights was fantastic, etc. I had a few hiccups when starting from a dead stop, etc but nothing troubling. All of that will come with time.

    On the speed thing... I guess I really like speed. Based on your comments above I did not realize that I was going fast for a "first timer". So I am thinking now that whatever bike I end up getting it probably needs to be a "fast commuter" or a "slow racer" or whatever you call it.

    That said, there's 10 more miles this afternoon and I will be looking at different models later in the week.

    Thanks for the advice.
    Luis

  10. #35
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    Recumbent versus carbon DF - side by side comparison

    Update 3 - Today, in spite of a nasty cold I have been fighting, I decided to try the recumbent in a full commute to work. I am halfway through the commute, so I will report on the rest later. However, the ride from home to work was promising. I did change the pedals on the rented Bacchetta so I can use my cleats and clip in, and they did make a lot of difference.

    I compared it with the fastest time on my carbon DF, to have some perspective. These are the results:
    SideBySide.jpg

    In summary, the fastest I rode this route on my DF I averaged 18.8mph, whereas in this recumbent (Bacchetta Giro 20 with heavy tires) I did 17.9mph on average today.

    I started strong this morning, and sometime in the middle I started to notice signals for incipient cramps, and so I did intervals and was able to get to work without any major cramping. We will see on the return leg...

    I got as fast as 40.4mph on the recumbent, whereas the fastest on the road bike was 36.3mph. A simple analysis of the speeds, as seen below, show the effect of the intervals...
    TSAOAES.jpg
    The Bacchetta is in blue, the Fuji in green. I spent more time in speeds 14-25mph on the Fuji whereas I probably crawled to slower than that or burst faster than that (in general) on the Bacchetta.

    Another way of looking at this, is the histogram at each speed.
    TSAES.jpg
    where you can see the blue preponderance in the left side of the median the the green preponderance on the right.

    Not sure what to make of this, other to consider that I hope my muscles will adapt to the new type of riding and I am hoping I can maintain >20mph speeds easier. I think that the incipient cramping is a signal that I am using muscles I am not used to using, and thus if I pace myself I should have no problems.

    Plus, I am hoping that replacing the Bacchetta Giro 20 for a speedier/lighter model would also help in terms of speed. As is, I almost matched what I have been able to get on a very light and fast carbon bike with good components etc... so chances are my expectations of improvements with other models are realistic.

    On that note, yesterday I tried the HPV SpeedMachine, and the Bacchetta Corsa 700C. I liked them both, and had no issues with "handling". Sure, some are more responsive than others, but nothing major I don't think. I did notice that the 700C configuration resulted in a more stable ride, which I wasn't expecting. The suspension on the SPM is phenomenal, and it really works, but I still can handle riding without suspension and I would then focus on the speed/rigidity for climbin.

    As a result,based on all the test rides and the help from many in this forum, I am almost set on a type of bike, a "high racer with 700c". I am currently debating between the Bacchetta Corsa 700C, the Bacchetta Carbon Aero 2.0, and the MetaBikes MetaPhysic. I am leaning towards the later, purely on account of seat height, climbing prowess, very good reviews, and aesthetics, but it is a very close call. I wanted to try a Silvio and/or Vendetta, but I couldn't make it work.

    As ever, advice from this forum is much appreciated.

    This recumbent thing is pretty cool!

    Thanks again for your company through this process,

    Luis
    PS: I was stretching today after the ride, and I was concerned that I wasn't "feeling" the stretch on the back or neck... and then it dawned on me... those two parts were relatively relaxed the entire ride... Cool stuff...
    PPS: Today's recumbent ride on the Bacchetta: http://ridewithgps.com/trips/1852002
    PPS: The benchmark, my fastest ride on the DF: http://ridewithgps.com/trips/1813403

  11. #36
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    If you are this close to your best DF times with a 'bent already, then you're in great shape. You do use different muscles and it looks like you don't have far to go at all (again, your comparing your 'bent ride today to your best DF ride).

    At this point, pick the bike that gives you the biggest smile and go from there.
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  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by lblando View Post
    Update 3 - Today, in spite of a nasty cold I have been fighting, I decided to try the recumbent in a full commute to work. I am halfway through the commute, so I will report on the rest later.
    Very nice. How did the after work return trip go?

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by RChung View Post
    Very nice. How did the after work return trip go?
    Update 4 - the long way back.

    So the afternoon return back home was substantially harder than going to work... Still, it was within the ballpark...

    First, since I was really tired, I decided not to push myself that much, to be frank. I did not want to overdo it and then regret it later (as I have done in the past). Still, I tried to keep a healthy clip...

    The return ride: http://ridewithgps.com/trips/1854408

    My best DF return ride: http://ridewithgps.com/trips/1814608

    On the Giro, 13.3mph average moving time

    On the Fuji, 16.3mph average moving time. Anecdotically, that day was the fastest of my life going to work. I don't know what happened, but both going there and returning are the "record holders".

    So, 3mph slower on the Giro. Nothing to ignore, but still hopefully I can make it up with: (a) more training on how to ride recumbents, plus muscle conditioning, and (b) a better bike (lighter, geared, etc)

    Apologies for the delay in posting... I was riding yesterday too. I went on a trail that's all flats, and there were strong winds, so I tried my best and I got as fast as 25.5mph without hills helping me. I am pretty sure that is my limit, at least my current one.

    Corollary to all this, at least for me:
    (1) Bents are really cool, so I am buying one. As a matter of fact, I know the kind of bent I want.
    (2) They are harder to control than DFs. Nothing scary, but harder. I wonder if you can eventually gain the same level of "dexterity" on a bent that you have on a DF. My hunch tells me "no", as there's probably physics, gravity, and geometry to contend with... but would be curious to learn from the experienced ones. [Note: I *know* that you get better, probably much better, but the question is: can you get as good on a bent as you can on the DF in terms of handling, avoiding obstacles, recovering from near falls, etc.... For some reason I think the answer is "no"... That said, I can happily live with that answer)

    Thanks all...
    --Luis

  14. #39
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lblando View Post
    On the Giro, 13.3mph average moving time

    On the Fuji, 16.3mph average moving time.
    When comparing your best DF time to your first 'bent time, this is much closer to what I would expect. More experience and training on the bike will bring these times much closer together (and maybe even change the ordering).

    Quote Originally Posted by lblando View Post
    They are harder to control than DFs.
    You don't have very many 'bent miles yet (and SWB bikes are harder to master than LWB bikes). It's hard to beat the ability to balance being upright on a DF bike (practice balancing a 6" stick and 18" stick on your hands - the 18" stick will be easier). That being said, you'll get very close and the issues with what happens when something bad happens makes up for the difference(e.g. you fall on your side from a much lower height instead of flipping over the handlebars).
    http://Charles.Plager.net
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  15. #40
    Senior Member delcrossv's Avatar
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    You'd be happy with a 700c Metaphysics. Paulw on bentrider kicks butt with his.
    Lightning P-38 / M5 M-Racer/Ryan Vanguard

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by cplager View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by lblando
    On the Giro, 13.3mph average moving time
    On the Fuji, 16.3mph average moving time.
    When comparing your best DF time to your first 'bent time, this is much closer to what I would expect. More experience and training on the bike will bring these times much closer together (and maybe even change the ordering).
    (16.3/13.3)^3 = 1.84

  17. #42
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RChung View Post
    (16.3/13.3)^3 = 1.84
    Ummm... Sure. And the cube root of 27 is 3.

    But how is any of that relevant.

    1) At those speeds, he is not dominated by air resistance.
    2) He's talking about his first outing on a 'bent compared to his BEST time on a DF.
    3) He hasn't yet bought the 'bent, let alone acclimatised to it ("bent legs").
    4) I just switched tires (and took out tire liners) on my bike. My best time went from an average speed of 12.9 mph to 14.3 mph. There could be a lot of factors contributing to the difference.

    Cheers,
    Charles
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    http://RecumbentQuant.blogspot.com

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    It's relevant because it shows that your assertion that 13.3 mph and 16.3 are close isn't right.

    BTW, he was using Gatorskins on the Fuji.

  19. #44
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RChung View Post
    It's relevant because it shows that your assertion that 13.3 mph and 16.3 are close isn't right.

    BTW, he was using Gatorskins on the Fuji.
    First of all, even at 16 mph, he's not yet completely dominated by aerodynamic resistance (although that's probably quite a bit past the "break even" point). So I'd be quite surprised if that difference in speed requires an 85% increase in power.

    Second, riding a 'bent, particularly when starting out is different than riding a DF. Balancing is different. Cornering is different. Starting is different. They use different muscles. And it takes a while to get used to all of these things. I don't think it's difficult for most of us to imagine that after getting used to a new recumbent, that the average speed might increase by a lot.

    And again, comparing a record day to a first outing, just from a statistical sampling point of view introduces quite a bias as well (particularly when we are talking about an urban commute with lights and traffic). Comparing two bests when a similar number of trials is better, but mean or median are usually much more stable numbers yet.
    http://Charles.Plager.net
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  20. #45
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    To the OP, I'm curious how you feel physically for the effort of the rides if they were long enough to notice a difference?

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by cplager View Post
    First of all, even at 16 mph, he's not yet completely dominated by aerodynamic resistance (although that's probably quite a bit past the "break even" point). So I'd be quite surprised if that difference in speed requires an 85% increase in power.

    Second, riding a 'bent, particularly when starting out is different than riding a DF. Balancing is different. Cornering is different. Starting is different. They use different muscles. And it takes a while to get used to all of these things. I don't think it's difficult for most of us to imagine that after getting used to a new recumbent, that the average speed might increase by a lot.

    And again, comparing a record day to a first outing, just from a statistical sampling point of view introduces quite a bias as well (particularly when we are talking about an urban commute with lights and traffic). Comparing two bests when a similar number of trials is better, but mean or median are usually much more stable numbers yet.
    Hmmm. So it seems you're agreeing with me: those speeds aren't close.

  22. #47
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RChung View Post
    Hmmm. So it seems you're agreeing with me: those speeds aren't close.
    I never said they were close. Rather, since the discrepancy was larger than his other comparison, I said it was closer to what I expected - meaning the DF time significantly better than the 'bent time. I did say that he still might end up faster on a 'bent than his DF.
    http://Charles.Plager.net
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  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingsqueak View Post
    To the OP, I'm curious how you feel physically for the effort of the rides if they were long enough to notice a difference?
    Thanks everybody for all the advice and support. I have to admit that the warmth and solidarity of all these recumbent riders ALONE is reason enough to switch. I have never seen such a supportive group of people. Amazing. In particular, PaulW and JoelDickman, as well as Delcrossv (all BROL handles I believe) have been specially patient with the many idiotic questions I have asked.

    I have made a number of decisions, based on the week of riding experience and test riding different bikes, plus all the advice...

    ...but first, let me address the question quoted above: In terms of physical exhaustion, there is no comparison whatsoever. First, and I am not sure I have shared this, I was sick the entire week I was doing all these test rides with the Giro 20. I mean, sick with fever, antibiotics, cold, etc. It was the only week I had to test it, so I pushed myself to do it. Every number I've shared for the recumbent has been, at least in some way, tarnished by my overall state of health that week. Probably not much, but enough. Second, without a shadow of a doubt, I was a LOT less tired with the recumbent than with the DF. Sure, climbing those hills was tough, but it is also tough on my DF. I was so relaxed actually that for a moment I worried that I may not be exercising enough if I commute with the recumbent instead of the DF!!! (that was a fleeting thought, because I realized I could actually push myself harder and still sweat). For comparison, on the DF I arrive drenched in sweat, head to toe. Not so on the recumbent. Third, the legs were perhaps a bit more tired on the bent, though maybe that's attributable to my lack of experience, muscle acclimation, and/or technique with bents. Fourth, I had no pain anywhere, not even a nuisance pain, no discomfort, nothing, with the bent. On the DF, after the 20miles it is not uncommon for me to feel a bit of lower-back pain, a stiff neck, palm soreness, etc. Nothing scary, as I am 43 and relatively fit, so it is manageable, but it is not at all "comfortable".

    [note: for whatever it is worth, I have no hidden agenda in any of this. As a matter of fact, I am NOT an old-time DF rider or anything like that. I took up DF riding three+ months ago and I am a relatively newbie at that as well ---though I have ridden bikes all my life of course---. In other words, I am calling it as I see it and, if anything, I would have motive to "keep the DF" in which I have invested quite a bit ---fitting and all---]

    Finally, I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that I will be able to meet, and improve, the times I have posted as my DF times. But even if I don't, I would take 13.5mph on a recumbent over 16.5mph on a DF any day. Why? Simple, I will (a) enjoy the ride more, and (b) enjoy the ride more. That said, I have no doubt I will be able to improve.

    On the theme of which bike to pick, and with the help of many in this forum and BROL I finally decided on the MetaPhysics. It should arrive by the end of the month, and I will post first impressions then.

    In the meantime, a couple of days back my craiglist alarm went off as it found a P-38 locally. I have been searching for one of these to try forever, and I was lucky to find it. I tested it and bought it. It is old, (~20 years old), but it is in very good shape, with several accessories, and is the perfect size for me. I will take it for ride tomorrow, and I am of course in the process of cleaning it up and leaving it "ready". Here's a picture:
    LRBP38 001.jpg

    I need to get the cadence sensor, etc etc installed on the bike but once I do, I will start to collect data and share, if it is of interest.

    Thanks again for the support.
    --Luis

  24. #49
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    On either of those well-respected bikes, I would expect your speed to gradually increase as you acclimate to 'bent riding.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  25. #50
    Senior Member delcrossv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lblando View Post
    Thanks everybody for all the advice and support. I have to admit that the warmth and solidarity of all these recumbent riders ALONE is reason enough to switch. I have never seen such a supportive group of people. Amazing. In particular, PaulW and JoelDickman, as well as Delcrossv (all BROL handles I believe) have been specially patient with the many idiotic questions I have asked.
    You're very welcome.

    In the meantime, a couple of days back my craiglist alarm went off as it found a P-38 locally. I have been searching for one of these to try forever, and I was lucky to find it. I tested it and bought it. It is old, (~20 years old), but it is in very good shape, with several accessories, and is the perfect size for me. I will take it for ride tomorrow, and I am of course in the process of cleaning it up and leaving it "ready". Here's a picture:
    LRBP38 001.jpg

    I need to get the cadence sensor, etc etc installed on the bike but once I do, I will start to collect data and share, if it is of interest.

    Thanks again for the support.
    --Luis
    Awesome! About the same vintage as mine. And already with a rack and zipper fairing- you've got an excellent commuter! Let us know how your times are on the P-38.
    Lightning P-38 / M5 M-Racer/Ryan Vanguard

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