Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 24 of 24
  1. #1
    vol
    vol is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    2,482
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Why are some recumbent so low?

    I saw quite a few people on their recumbent in Manhattan's Central Park on weekends. The recumbent are so low that they almost touched the ground (I saw the leaves passed by them from underneath being swiped). Once when one of them came up from behind me, I thought it was a dog and was worried I nearly ran it over . Isn't it not only unpleasant to be lower than anything around you, but also dangerous if there is a stone, rock, dead bird, etc., on the road? They could also be run over by another bike and quite easily invisible to a vehicle driver until too late. Those people were almost lying on the ground.

  2. #2
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Middle of da Mitten
    My Bikes
    Trek 7500, RANS V-Rex, Optima Baron, Velokraft NoCom, M-5 Carbon Highracer, homebuilt recumbent
    Posts
    7,092
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    As long as we're taller than the road markings, drivers should see us just fine. And in my experience, they do (see us just fine.) As far as other cyclists seeing us, well that can be a problem. For all of their bemoaning that cars don't look for them, cyclists are just as bad in their way, only looking for things at their height before changing directions like a squirrel. Luckily, they're easy to deal with; sometimes I give them extra clearance and sometimes I just blow past them before they have a chance to make any dumb moves. If it sounds like I'm putting responsibility on the upright cyclists, I AM. They should be watching the road because if they did, they'd see us too.

    Being low is great fun. Being in the ground effect allows for dramatically higher speeds; or if speed isn't your thing, it can mean less effort to go places. And, if I see a stick, a rock, or a lost waterbottle, I can pick it up without stopping.

  3. #3
    vol
    vol is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    2,482
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
    And, if I see a stick, a rock, or a lost waterbottle, I can pick it up without stopping.
    The other day I saw some dollar bills someone had dropped on the ground, but my bike is too high so I couldn't pick them up

    I haven't found a picture to show how low the recumbents I saw were. All the photos I found on the Internet so far are higher than them.

  4. #4
    Senior Member delcrossv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Scalarville
    Posts
    951
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Like this?

    Lightning P-38 / M5 M-Racer/Ryan Vanguard

  5. #5
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    NE OK
    My Bikes
    '06 Kona Smoke
    Posts
    7,738
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You probably saw a low racer- one that is really low to the ground and designed for speed. Challenge has some. However, those appear to be higher off the ground than what I turned up on Google-
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
    Ride what and in what manner pleases you. Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. srsly.
    Community guidelines

  6. #6
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lincoln Ne
    My Bikes
    RANS Stratus TerraTrike Cruiser
    Posts
    3,818
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Simply stated very low profile equals less wing resistance and a faster ride. For some riders, speed is everything.

  7. #7
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Middle of da Mitten
    My Bikes
    Trek 7500, RANS V-Rex, Optima Baron, Velokraft NoCom, M-5 Carbon Highracer, homebuilt recumbent
    Posts
    7,092
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    They don't make 'em much lower than mine. With both feet clipped in, I can flat-palm both hands on the ground. The 700c rear wheel is the tallest part of the bike.


  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Sin City, Nevada
    My Bikes
    Catrike 700, Greenspeed GTO trike, Wizwheelz 3.4 trike, Linear LWB recumbent, Haluzak Horizon SWB recumbent, Balance 450 MTB
    Posts
    760
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Yes it is fun!

    +1 to the perception of going really fast when close to the ground. I've gotten successively closer to the ground as I bought different recumbents over 13 years until now my seat is 6" off the ground and my head is 24" from the ground. I ride a Catrike 700. Luckily I don't have to ride in crowded places like Central Park where there has to be a lot of conflict between cyclists just due to the density of bikes. Riding a low trike down a steep, curvy, two lane road lined with big rocks on both sides at 35 mph is just exciting (road to top of Dante's View in Death Valley NP). I look forward to my first try on the new trike next March. Already made the park reservations. I've reached 38 mph trike speeds in the past and had to brake to keep from going even faster. A fellow rider has done it at 43 mph on his GS GTO trike.

  9. #9
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Middle of da Mitten
    My Bikes
    Trek 7500, RANS V-Rex, Optima Baron, Velokraft NoCom, M-5 Carbon Highracer, homebuilt recumbent
    Posts
    7,092
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by delcrossv View Post
    Like this?

    Is that Mowett on his M1?

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    33
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    because i have reach the age of 67 i find it hard riding because of a few health problems it's hard to enjoy my upright but since i got my recumbent my health,mental problems have improve bright clothes, lights horns,flags make me more visible and happy i'm zooming again don't be a hater join the game!

  11. #11
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lincoln Ne
    My Bikes
    RANS Stratus TerraTrike Cruiser
    Posts
    3,818
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have both a recumbent bike LWB, and a tadpole trike. If the wind is blowing really hard, I always take the trike because it is closer to the ground and has less aero drag.

  12. #12
    Senior Member delcrossv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Scalarville
    Posts
    951
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
    Is that Mowett on his M1?
    But, of course!
    Lightning P-38 / M5 M-Racer/Ryan Vanguard

  13. #13
    vol
    vol is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    2,482
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    This morning I saw a group of 3 guys riding recumbents in Central Park, just like the ones I saw before. Their recumbents are all lower than the pictures posted above---or rather, in the pictures above, the lowest point is the hip area, while the upper body is much higher, so it's like "V" shaped; but the recumbents I saw, it's low all over, not just the hip area. The guys were literally lying flat just short of touching the ground, with only their heads higher. They all had a safety flag on. They were not riding fast. If not for the flags, it really looked like inviting a vehicle to run them over. Unfortunately I didn't have a camera with me.

  14. #14
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Middle of da Mitten
    My Bikes
    Trek 7500, RANS V-Rex, Optima Baron, Velokraft NoCom, M-5 Carbon Highracer, homebuilt recumbent
    Posts
    7,092
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Let's see, lower than a lowracer, flying flags, and slow... They must have been tadpole trikes. Hard to say which ones, though.

  15. #15
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Dallas area, Texas
    Posts
    10,533
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Handcycle.jpg
    They weren't handcycles, by any chance, were they? I saw a couple at a half-Ironman a while back, and it was hard to tell how they could even see where they were going. (And the point of being low here is to gain a competitive advantage in a racing event.)
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  16. #16
    Senior Member gavtatu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    the original jersey
    My Bikes
    lowracer, highracer, moving bottom bracket, 2 tall bikesl
    Posts
    286
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gavtatu...57629578181276
    i love my lowracer, i'm actually gonna chop it, and stretch it by 6", just to get laid back some more !
    its lower, faster, more fun !
    i have the flags on it, two sets of lights front and back, lots of reflectors, so am as visable as i can make myself.
    i try to be aware of not getting myself into dangerous situations.

  17. #17
    vol
    vol is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    2,482
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I nearly hit a recumbent today in the Central Park. The guy was riding the very low recumbent I mentioned (almost lying on the ground), which was also pulling a trailer behind it, so quite long. He wore black clothing, and the recumbent and trailer were both also dark/black, with no flag or other safety signs as far as I can recall. I took a second to adjust my mirror and suddenly he was in front of me--well, actually, about at my feet level.

    It seems every weekend there are some recumbents in the Central Park. Hope next time I can take a picture.

  18. #18
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Indiana
    My Bikes
    RANS V3, RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer
    Posts
    11,520
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Please, if you see any recumbent in Central Park, post a picture.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  19. #19
    vol
    vol is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    2,482
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
    Please, if you see any recumbent in Central Park, post a picture.
    Finally got it today. The picture quality is as low as the recumbent but you can see the recumbent and the long trailer--it has 2-3 empty seats, so I wonder if he's going to pick up some passengers . This could be the same guy I saw the last time. It seems recumbents are always active in Central Park on Saturdays.

    Isn't the recumbent very low?

    Untitled-1.jpg

  20. #20
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Norwalk, CT
    My Bikes
    2012 Cruzbike Sofrider, 2013 Cruzigami Mantis
    Posts
    2,794
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by vol View Post
    Finally got it today. The picture quality is as low as the recumbent but you can see the recumbent and the long trailer--it has 2-3 empty seats, so I wonder if he's going to pick up some passengers . This could be the same guy I saw the last time. It seems recumbents are always active in Central Park on Saturdays.

    Isn't the recumbent very low?

    Untitled-1.jpg
    Umm... That looks like a hand cycle to me...
    http://Charles.Plager.net
    http://RecumbentQuant.blogspot.com

  21. #21
    vol
    vol is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    2,482
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by cplager View Post
    Umm... That looks like a hand cycle to me...
    Funny it never occurred to me there are these two different categories! Well, then it seems most of what I saw in Central Park were hand cycles! Maybe that's why the riders were almost lying flat?

  22. #22
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Middle of da Mitten
    My Bikes
    Trek 7500, RANS V-Rex, Optima Baron, Velokraft NoCom, M-5 Carbon Highracer, homebuilt recumbent
    Posts
    7,092
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yup, the front one at least is a handcycle. In spite of the blurry pic, I can make out the foot cradles. An paralympic-caliber handcyclist might be able to go 15 mph or so. Pulling a trailer would be impressive.

    So now we know the answer to the original question. Handcycles rely on upper body strength; and upper body muscle groups are nowhere near as large and powerful as lower body muscle groups. But the design lets them be faster than wheelchairs!

  23. #23
    vol
    vol is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    2,482
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
    So now we know the answer to the original question.
    Smartest question ever

  24. #24
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Indiana
    My Bikes
    RANS V3, RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer
    Posts
    11,520
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Some handcycles are low. Indeed. If I rode one, it would be low and slow.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •