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  1. #1
    b_rider
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    Women and recumbent riding.

    I have yet to see more women riding a recumbent. More often then I have anyway. I have only ever seen 4. There are 2 I have seen in my area here, it was during the interview and photo-op I posted about regarding recumbents. I found out those 2 very nice and lovely ladies do not ride very much or very far, but hey at least they are riding.

    And the other 2 was during a organised ride I did in Des Moines in April. One woman was on her own recumbent. A re-painted Vision R40, LWB. This lovely lady had to switch to the LWB, she had a SWB. She is so petite that she kept getting bounced out of the bike when ever she would hit a rough bumpy spot. But that did not stop her from riding it. She just had her R40 modified into the LWB, now she has no more problems. And the other was on a Greenspeed tandem trike with her husband.

    Ladies fitting a recumbent for your smaller and shorter sizes is a lot easier then fitting a wedgie bike for you. You really don't know what you are missing.

    Does recumbent riding not appeal to women as much as it does men? If it does not why not?

    Ladies please do not take this as sexist remarks or comments and if I offended any of you I whole heartidly apologize. That was not my intention.

  2. #2
    Queen of the Pea Pile oceanrider's Avatar
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    Hi bRider. A recumbant bike is a pretty tall chunk of change so only someone frivolously wealthy or serious about cycling is going to purchase one. Not to sound sexist myself but if you look at the organized group rides in my area, there are something like 2 or 3 women to every 50 or so men. That tells me there are far fewer serious female cyclists than men. I wish it weren't so and I hope I'm wrong.

    Kathy

  3. #3
    b_rider
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    Oceanrider, unless you are talking about a low end cruiser style, mtn or hybred bike which cost around $200.00 to $400.00. Recumbents are not that much more expensive then a good quality road bike. My Vision R40 cost me $1,100.00 before my trade in. Most road bikes cost anywhere from $700.00 and up. And you can get a recumbent for less then $600.00. BikeE makes one. To date I think it is the most economical recumbent on the market. So a person really does not need to be wealthy or even a very serious cyclist to own a 'bent. I'm a serious cyclist who not wealthy by any means, unless you consider middle class income for the midwest wealthy, I don't, yet I own and ride a 'bent. Now will I ever own a higher end 'bent, say one that costs around $2,500? Probably not.

    I do agree with your statement about there are not as many women cyclists as men. That is certainly one factor.

  4. #4
    Queen of the Pea Pile oceanrider's Avatar
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    Yep, I agree. See, in my area, the great majority of women who ride are on the $200-400 comfort hybrids. Its a fresh air and sunshine stretch the legs kind of ride. I doubt that type of casual rider is going to buy a recumbant.

    I'd love to try one out myself. It doesn't give the impression it gives a fast ride by its geometry but of course, I know those are my road bike prejudices and ingnorance of recumbants talking. How does it take climbs? That's another thing. They're still much of a mystery to the general cycling population... or at least to me They sure look comfortable.

    Kathy

  5. #5
    b_rider
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    Oceanrider they are very comfortable. Climbs is where there is a disadvantage though. You can not stand up on a 'bent to power up a hill so you gear down and spin spin spin. Other wise you will destroy your knees. But on flats and downhills they are one of the fastest things on 2 wheels driven by human power.

    Heres a good example. Last night there was a club ride I went on. The whole ride is flat. The first half of the ride we were riding into a head wind. There were only 2 'bent riders. Me and another guy. Everyone started out together then we spread apart over the route. I caught a group of wedgie riders and passed them, even in the head wind. And after the half way point stop we were riding with a tail wind pushing us along. The riders that took the same route, (there are alternate choices to the route), could not keep up with me. In fact I caught up with them, (they started out ahead of me) and passed them and they did not catch me until we reached our vehicles. Even with a tail wind the wedgie riders caused their own resistance and could not catch someone on a more aerodynamic 'bent. Not to mention I have a tail box on mine so that makes me even faster.

  6. #6
    Queen of the Pea Pile oceanrider's Avatar
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    Yep, I agree. See, in my area, the great majority of women who ride are on the $200-400 comfort hybrids. Its a fresh air and sunshine stretch the legs kind of ride. I doubt that type of casual rider is going to buy a recumbant.

    I'd love to try one out myself. It doesn't give the impression it gives a fast ride by its geometry but of course, I know those are my road bike prejudices and ingnorance of recumbants talking. How does it take climbs? That's another thing. They're still much of a mystery to the general cycling population... or at least to me They sure look comfortable.

    Kathy

  7. #7
    Member Dan Smith's Avatar
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    I'm not a woman (though I know at least one woman personally) but I am very definitely a "fresh air and sunshine stretch the legs" rider. Except I didn't do it very often because I just didn't ENJOY riding my $250 pseudo-mountain-bike-with-hybrid-tires.

    A couple of years ago wife got a job seven miles from home, and decided to try bike commuting and got very serious about it. She now has three bikes, one with studded tires for winter, fancy lights and blinkers and stuff all over them, a bike stand and tools in the basement, etc. So I've been looking for something I would enjoy riding so we could at least take short rides together. At her urging, I bought a $500 inexpensive EZ-1SC recumbent. To tell the truth I haven't had it long enough to tell you for sure, but... OK, yes, I'm sure, I love it.

    Mind you I am the casualest of casual riders. No racing, no touring, no commuting. (My goal is that on nice days when I only need one bag of groceries I'll get in the habit of hopping onto the bike instead of hopping into the car). So I can't really answer any question about how it takes climbs, except that my $500 21-speed lowest-gear-is-22-gear-inches recumbent takes climbs a LOT better than my $250 15-speed-lowest-gear-is-36-gear-inches mountain-style bike.

    Frankly I always hated riding around the neighborhood because we live on a hill and I HATE having to stand up on the pedals and I HATE sweating faster than my self-generated breeze can evaporate it. Well, I don't hate that hill on my recumbent. I just switch into a low gear and pedal up slowly.

    And I love not having to dismount to stop at intersections.

    When recumbents cost > $1000 I just wouldn't really have considered one but for $500 I was willing to take a chance.

    Of course, there's always the fashion aspect. My daughter who's in her twenties thinks I look embarrassingly geeky on my new bike. But then she's always thought I look embarrassingly geeky no matter WHAT I was doing.

    I find the recumbent far more comfortable than any other bike I've ever ridden. It rides quite differently from a standard bike and it has been a relearning experience, but not a difficult one.
    He said: "This front wheel wobbles." I said: "It doesn't if you don't wobble it." --Jerome K. Jerome

  8. #8
    Member Dan Smith's Avatar
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    I'm not a woman (though I know at least one woman personally) but I am very definitely a "fresh air and sunshine stretch the legs" rider. Except I didn't do it very often because I just didn't ENJOY riding my $250 pseudo-mountain-bike-with-hybrid-tires.

    A couple of years ago wife got a job seven miles from home, and decided to try bike commuting and got very serious about it. She now has three bikes, one with studded tires for winter, fancy lights and blinkers and stuff all over them, a bike stand and tools in the basement, etc. So I've been looking for something I would enjoy riding so we could at least take short rides together. At her urging, I bought a $500 inexpensive EZ-1SC recumbent. To tell the truth I haven't had it long enough to tell you for sure, but... OK, yes, I'm sure, I love it.

    Mind you I am the casualest of casual riders. No racing, no touring, no commuting. (My goal is that on nice days when I only need one bag of groceries I'll get in the habit of hopping onto the bike instead of hopping into the car). So I can't really answer any question about how it takes climbs, except that my $500 21-speed lowest-gear-is-22-gear-inches recumbent takes climbs a LOT better than my $250 15-speed-lowest-gear-is-36-gear-inches mountain-style bike.

    Frankly I always hated riding around the neighborhood because we live on a hill and I HATE having to stand up on the pedals and I HATE sweating faster than my self-generated breeze can evaporate it. Well, I don't hate that hill on my recumbent. I just switch into a low gear and pedal up slowly.

    And I love not having to dismount to stop at intersections.

    When recumbents cost > $1000 I just wouldn't really have considered one but for $500 I was willing to take a chance.

    Of course, there's always the fashion aspect. My daughter who's in her twenties thinks I look embarrassingly geeky on my new bike. But then she's always thought I look embarrassingly geeky no matter WHAT I was doing.

    I find the recumbent far more comfortable than any other bike I've ever ridden. It rides quite differently from a standard bike and it has been a relearning experience, but not a difficult one.
    He said: "This front wheel wobbles." I said: "It doesn't if you don't wobble it." --Jerome K. Jerome

  9. #9
    Queen of the Pea Pile oceanrider's Avatar
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    Thanks for a bit of the scoop on bents. I'm going to be keeping my eye on these odd looking bikes. I love the speed of my road bike and the workout I get but it's not the most comfy ride.

    I saw a couple of bents in LBS's when I was shopping. They only had one or two and the starting prices were in the triple digits. That turned me away real fast. I bought my road bike used and cheap. Not on a triple digit budget.

    Kathy

  10. #10
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    b_rider, I agree there are less bent female riders, but oceanrider's comment that there are less female cyclists in general seems to clear that up. Here in my Detroit area neighborhood, I usually only see 2 other bent riders, both men. But last weekend I saw a lady on a bikeE, looked like she was new to it, and she was surprised to see me. Last night a nice family stopped me to ask about my bike, the wife has back trouble and they're considering getting her one. However, the cost of the cheapest model is a bit more than their budget allows, yes cost is a consideration, bents are expensive for many folks. I suggested they look around for a used one, after I had her ride mine for a couple minutes.
    Theres also what I call the oddity factor, we often get looked at and pointed at. I know last year I never felt like people were watching me on my wedgie but this year on my new bike E I can't seem to avoid it. Every ride I get looks, smiles, waves, comments, etc. Sometimes I don't mind it, other times I want to be invisible. But its worth it for the ride, cause its the most comfortable ride I've ever had.
    Another thing could be that if a lady rides regularly with people on wedgies, she may be left behind, bents are a bit slower, esp at first (god will I ever feel fast on this bike, lol). As far as fitting goes, I can't comment on that, cause my 5' 10" 165# frame can be fit on any style bike, so we need a truly petite lady to tell us about that aspect.
    Bents aren't for everyone, but I don't think theres any gender specific reason we ladies aren't on them more, its just one of those things. Jo

  11. #11
    Senior Member peawee03's Avatar
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    Myself, I'm a regular wedgie roadie, and I've seen all of two recumbents on my not-so-many-as-yet travels. Both of them had women riding them. But then again, everywhere I ride it's dog walkers who are on one side of the trail with their dogs on the far other side...and a darn near invisible leash inbetween... and almost no cyclists.

    Anywhoo, my point is is that I've never seen a bent boy... only bent gals.
    I am PeaWee, hear me meow!

  12. #12
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    i still have 5 road bikes that i can't get my leg over the top tube, so in 1999 i bought a greenspeed gto trike
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    there are almost no women in the boston area charles river wheelmen who are not skilled serious cyclists, none of them ride recumbents. ditto for the men. the reason i bought a greenspeed gto recumbent tricycle last year is because i could no longer tolerate drop bars & had a difficult time getting my leg over the top tube. i could no longer start properly. three out of every 4 stops i would end up on my ass, because my balance had deteriorated so badly. i built most of my bikes from the frame up & my klein team super cost $3000. so i can not agree that there are inexpensive qualitity trikes out there. my boss recomended that i not buy buy the the most expensive trike (greenspeed is not the most expensive but it certainly is up there). i learned long ago that gettng something that you do not want is false economy provided you have the finacial resources to cover it, which i did, $6000 in my case. i am very happy with my 54-speed 10.4" to 121.8" gear range. 22 usable gears, only 3 duplications.
    Last edited by gear freak; 11-13-10 at 11:08 AM. Reason: mistake

  13. #13
    Member Willeke_igkt's Avatar
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    Even here, in the Netherlands, where more women ride a bike than men, women bent riders are a minority.
    I have seen it explain as bike riding is seen as an 'extreme sport' in many places and extreme sports are more often done by daring young men.
    Bent riding is not that much more daring, it is daring enough that most women who are comfy on a sit-up-and-beg-bike do not dare to try it.
    But I do know several other female bent riders. One on a tadpole trike, one on a LWB 20/26 and me on my delta trike. Most bent riders I see around here are male, so we women have to convince a lot of others.
    But that said, my friend has asked me to try her LWB bike for years and I still have to do it.

  14. #14
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Almost 8.5 years between posts #11 and #12... I do believe that qualifies for Zombie Thread of the Year contention.
    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.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    There are something like 20-25 women on recumbents in my club. TourEasys are pretty popular because they have relatively low seats and enough frame sizes to fit 5' to 6'+. So are tandems which they ride with their hubbies. But they also ride SWBs and trikes.

    Recumbents may be slightly slower on hills, but... Oceanrider... you live in S. Florida! When someone rags on recumbents for not climbing, they're talking about 10%+ grades for multi-thousands of feet. Most of the women 'bent riders do DALMAC every year, which includes hills with grades that are well in to the double-digits. I think the women 'bent riders in my club ROCK!!!


  16. #16
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Oceanrider hasn't posted since 2003. Maybe he/she is lurking.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  17. #17
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Yeah, I noticed how old the thread was, then got carried away. Talk about zombie threads! Obviously someone (gearfreak?) is interested in the subject line.

  18. #18
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Gearfreak seems passionate about recumbent riding, that's clear.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  19. #19
    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    My smart and beautiful wife has been riding a recumbent even longer than this thread is old.
    George
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  20. #20
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    That DOES qualify for the zombie award. That being said, there's female recumbent riders in the local Lone Star Randonneurs, I've seen 'em at local charity rides, I've seen 'em at the Texas Time Trials. I think it's just a numbers issue.

    I recall long ago from photography forums that while men and women were about equally interested in taking pictures, men were more likely to be interested in gadgetry in general, so they were the ones more interested in cameras as opposed to photography. That kind of thinking may happen in the bicycle world, too.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  21. #21
    Senior Member Steamer's Avatar
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    Chicks dig 'bents. My chick just hates it when I take pictures of her and post them on the internet (hence scowl in photo)

  22. #22
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcottay View Post
    My smart and beautiful wife has been riding a recumbent even longer than this thread is old.
    Ditto on the "smart", ditto on the "beautiful", ditto on the wife, ditto on "riding recumbent longer than this thread is old". Wow! We're twins!

    Jeff Wills

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  23. #23
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    As long as we've re-opened this thing I'll contribute a pic of my bride on her 'bent as she tours along the old Erie Canal....



  24. #24
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Too bad we can't rename the thread to "Women on Bents."

  25. #25
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    I really enjoy my trike and I know of several other women in my area that ride recumbents (trikes and bike) too. Some I have ridden with, and some I know only from reading their accomplishments in the local recumbent forum. There are quite a few women rando riders in the D/FW area.

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