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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 06-09-14, 10:00 AM   #1
delcrossv 
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600 cyclists at Tour de Cure- and one recumbent

Our company sponsored a team for this year’s ADA Chicagoland Tour de Cure. Since I’ve never done a charity ride, I signed up as it’s for a good cause (my dad had Type 2), it would be a good little test for doing longer distances on the M5 M-Racer and trying out the T-cycle “Double Century” bag set up with a 2L bladder. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the whole day, so I just did the metric (100k). They offered a century , a metric and a couple of shorter rides with a later start time.

A couple of things to note: despite my best intentions, I’ve done no long distance rides this year- just 20k and 30k TT’s, and my short commutes. I also have a 53/43 front and an 11-32 10 speed rear. The weather was fairly windy (NNE) – headwind going out and quartering wind coming back.

Got up a 4:30 to drive out for a 6:30 start (UGH!). It was chilly so I wore thin Smartwool tights under my bike shorts and a wicking t-shirt under my jersey . I also started with my windbreaker over the jersey. Met up with a few folks I knew at the start and got into position towards the back. The ride starts down the Fox River trail and I had some creepy moments as the M5 doesn’t really do “slow” too well, but soon after we were on the road and things opened up.

I moved up the pack to catch up with the lead group and followed them for about 15 miles at 20 mph or so. I was getting too warm with the windbreaker, so I stopped to take that off. I found that my speed didn’t really line up with the other riders so I spent the rest of the ride slowing up to chat with folks for a while and then “movin’ on”. At about 40 miles the “fast” group that had turned off at a rest stop caught up with me on one of the larger hills. I had just about gotten to the top and was doing about 8 mph and getting wobbly. One of the guys said “ watch out for that wind!” figuring that I had been knocked out of line by a gust. I told him “ it’s not the wind, this bike just doesn’t like to go slow!” just as we crested the hill and I went tearing down the other side at 30+. They were laughing at that one.

I got a lot of comments: from the joking “Do you fall asleep on that?” to “Looks comfortable!” Not one snotty comment from anyone.

Even with all the chatting and having to stop for lights etc., I still averaged 17 mph for 65 miles without working all that hard. The T-cycle bag worked great with just a little intermittent rubbing of the cross straps against the rear tire- easily fixed. The 2 L water bag was more than I needed- by a lot- I wasn’t too thirsty and didn’t sweat much. The temp was in the low 70’s and it was breezy. (glad for the tights).

As far as I could tell, I was the only person on a ‘bent.
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Old 06-09-14, 10:15 AM   #2
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Where is Scalarville?
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Old 06-09-14, 10:25 AM   #3
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Where is Scalarville?
Near Vectorburg.
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Old 06-09-14, 03:49 PM   #4
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del

Yeah----------that helps a lot!!!
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Old 06-10-14, 06:15 AM   #5
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Thanks for sharing your ride report. Well done!

Andrew
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Old 06-10-14, 06:17 AM   #6
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As far as I could tell, I was the only person on a ‘bent.
Well, that is at least partially your fault. I mean, you do live with how many other 'bent riders?
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Old 06-10-14, 06:39 AM   #7
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Near Vectorburg.
So, the REAL question is, where was the ride? There are Tour de Cures in every state and sometimes multiples in a state.

Rides like that tend to attract a large number of, shall we say, 'less serious' cyclists; so seeing very few if any 'bents isn't surprising. I bet you saw more than a couple of 80s-vintage garage hangers.
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Old 06-10-14, 06:41 AM   #8
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Damn! I had no idea about this. I would have loved to do that ride. I used to live on the Fox River Trail a few years ago (literally - my yard bordered it). I loved riding it.
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Old 06-10-14, 08:03 AM   #9
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Where ever the ride took place if there was only one bent rider, the area seems to be living in the dark ages of cycling. While the UCI is trying their best to keep people on an 1890 formula bike, many people have realized how logical bents really are. More and more cross country cyclist are going to bents because even after long continuous days on a bent seat there is no pain.
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Old 06-10-14, 10:07 AM   #10
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So, the REAL question is, where was the ride? There are Tour de Cures in every state and sometimes multiples in a state.

Rides like that tend to attract a large number of, shall we say, 'less serious' cyclists; so seeing very few if any 'bents isn't surprising. I bet you saw more than a couple of 80s-vintage garage hangers.
It was the Chicagoland T de C. ( edited OP, sorry) For the short rides there were a lot of hybrids etc., for the longer ones, there were alot less riders, and alot nicer bikes.

That was what's surprising, Northern Illinois the home of WISIL/HPRA etc. You'd figure someone would've shown up.
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Old 06-10-14, 12:51 PM   #11
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It is a surprise that only one recumbent showed up. Chicagoland is not exactly a desert when it comes to recumbent bike shops.
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Old 06-21-14, 11:34 AM   #12
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I did a charity 100 mile ride last year on my Tour Easy. There were 2 recumbents out of 350 riders. Unfortunately, I heard snide comments all day long. A lot of road bike fanatics seem to have some type of equipment fetish. Some people were quite nice and curious about my bike, but most acted like I must be slow and/or disabled.
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Old 06-21-14, 11:57 AM   #13
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I have a bent and have always enjoyed riding it, but over time have moved away and currently back on my DF. The only reason is maneuverability , it's not as easy in traffic to handle. I love it's comfort, have no problem with hills ( I'm in a very hilly area ), and the comments I hear from other cyclists are well intended words, but sometimes fall flat, as the mentioned in an earlier post ( falling asleep, or visibility, hills, slowness which they learn later to be untrue ) IMO its maneuverability that keeps the bent numbers low in the overall population.
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Old 06-22-14, 06:34 AM   #14
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Yesterday's Tour D' Cure in Forth Worth had several bent's in attendance.

There was a Bacchetta Carbon Aero, my Giro with 700C wheels, another Giro with 650's, a Giro 20/26 that I saw.

What I didn't see was any representation from the local triker contingent.

Semper Fi
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Old 06-22-14, 08:43 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m_yates View Post
I did a charity 100 mile ride last year on my Tour Easy. There were 2 recumbents out of 350 riders. Unfortunately, I heard snide comments all day long. A lot of road bike fanatics seem to have some type of equipment fetish. Some people were quite nice and curious about my bike, but most acted like I must be slow and/or disabled.
One way to stop the comments is to prove them wrong.

One year we had a group of 7 lowracers on DALMAC. We were just getting ready to leave a rest stop one day when a woman, who was also getting ready to leave with her roadie pack, looked down her nose at me and remarked, "It must be terrible to not be able to climb hills." I told her she had it all wrong, it was terrible to need a draft line to go fast on flat ground. Probably the wrong thing to say, because now both sides had something to prove.

They took off first while I hustled the rest of my group into leaving. We were pulling 30 mph when we passed them, and we pretty much held 28+ mph while they chased us for the next 6 miles of flat, curving, tree-shaded road. (30 mph was too hot for some of the curves.) A lowracer paceline is a beautiful thing to behold! They we got to THE HILL. About a third of a mile at 6-8%; just enough to make everyone head for their middle ring. The lowracers opened a bigger gap on the bottom half, but the roadies were closing it up as we neared the top. The woman, who of course was basically a klingon during all of this, got dropped to death on the hill. Must be terrible! Near the top, one of the roadie guys inched past me, then crossed in front of me and collapsed in the ditch. They all stopped at the top of the hill to regroup and swallow their lungs while all the lowracers continued our ride, albeit at a somewhat slower pace.
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Old 06-24-14, 03:14 PM   #16
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Near Vectorburg.
I see what you did there.....
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Old 07-23-14, 07:36 PM   #17
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Did Cycle Oregon Weekend recently, there were quite a few recumbents including some interesting arm and leg cranked machines. Did a 50 mile training ride for some MS ride and there were a few recumbents. Did the Pioneer Century and there were maybe 3-4 recumbents that I saw. Point is, I think there are at least a few recumbents in every group ride I do.
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Old 07-24-14, 09:45 AM   #18
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Did Cycle Oregon Weekend recently, there were quite a few recumbents including some interesting arm and leg cranked machines. Did a 50 mile training ride for some MS ride and there were a few recumbents. Did the Pioneer Century and there were maybe 3-4 recumbents that I saw. Point is, I think there are at least a few recumbents in every group ride I do.
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Old 07-24-14, 12:59 PM   #19
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IMO its maneuverability that keeps the bent numbers low in the overall population.
That might be part of it, but for some people & in some places - it's lack of visibility. Now - I'm not making excuses for myself but I absolutely know that if I'd been exposed to more bent riders, I would have been riding one years ago. I've been a solo DF rider for more than 30 years & ~15 of them in this local area (western NJ). I only saw ~2 bents in that time on the road. I met a bent rider at an arts & craft show last year & our discussions led me to my 1st purchase last fall, 2nd purchase a few weeks later (to make up for mistake I made w/ 1st purchase) & 3rd purchase in Feb (after I'd done enough research to make up for 1st two purchases).

I recently joined a club & while my primary reason was to use this group to push me harder than I push myself, one of my secondary reasons was to help expose more riders to recumbents. Heck, if just a few percent of people who make positive comments while I'm out riding (ie: that's the coolest bike I've ever seen!, etc, etc) end up trying a recumbent - that would more than double the local population of bents...
------
Later edit - when I just reread what I wrote - when I wrote "Lack of visibility" - I meant lack of local recumbents in the area (not - it's difficult to see a recumbent)

Last edited by RL7836; 07-25-14 at 07:27 AM. Reason: clarification
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Old 07-24-14, 01:45 PM   #20
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if just a few percent of people who make positive comments while I'm out riding (ie: that's the coolest bike I've ever seen!, etc, etc) end up trying a recumbent - that would more than double the local population of bents...
Bingo, yes most of the comments I hear when riding my bent are quite positive. I have at the moment returned to my DF for the reason mentioned, but you are correct that a lot of people are concerned with visibility. I always mention a flag is possible, but the Fred factor may still keep riders from that approach.
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Old 07-24-14, 02:56 PM   #21
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Bingo, yes most of the comments I hear when riding my bent are quite positive. I have at the moment returned to my DF for the reason mentioned, but you are correct that a lot of people are concerned with visibility. I always mention a flag is possible, but the Fred factor may still keep riders from that approach.
Lane position takes care of most of that, even for lowracers or trikes. IMO folks backing out of driveways for example may not see you - flag or not.

We almost exclusively get positive comments too- the only negative or distainful commentary seems to come from poseurs (fancy bike, full kit, but s_l_o_w). The really fast folks, TT'er's and the like, are very supportive.
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Old 07-24-14, 04:08 PM   #22
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Lane position takes care of most of that, even for lowracers or trikes.
+1
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Old 07-25-14, 11:29 AM   #23
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The only from-behind situation that tends to bother me is if I'm riding in and out of shade on a sunny day; in which case it's the deep shade that's the problem and not my height. A flag won't help in shade, but a flasher will.

Lane positioning takes care of most other situations.
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