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  1. #1
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    Modern Road bike speed vs. Recumbent bike speed?

    Modern high end road bikes are weight about 15 to 17lbs. However, I do not see recumbent bikes are weighted even close to high end road bikes.

    The long drive chain, the heavy chair and the long and oversized main tube are all increasing weight. I am starting to think that lighten a recumbent bike is nearly impossible.

    Most people thought recumbent bike is faster since it is more aerodynamic but I think that it is already old school thought.

    Moreover, riding a recumbent bike is not as efficient as a road bike because a rider need to lift up both leg, plus he cannot use his body weight to help pedalling when going uphill.

  2. #2
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    On flat ground the recumbent will be faster due to aerodynamics. Get over it.

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    Air resistance increases with the square of velocity. If you double the speed you quadruple the resistance. Cutting air resistance is THE ONLY way to go very fast.

  4. #4
    Senior Member geebee's Avatar
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    There are some low racers out there in the 8Kg weight range. It took me a couple of seconds of searching to find an 8.5kg M5 lowracer.
    On the flat and down hill the recumbents have a substatial advantage but up hill they suck big time, although it apears some of the newer ultra light weights are improving the hill situation.
    Actually on a road bike you have to lift up both legs (one after the other) on a recumbent you push and pull horizontally so you don't have to lift up your legs assuming you clip in.
    Greenspeed GLR trike
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  5. #5
    Banned. galen_52657's Avatar
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    even if the weights and riders where identical, a rider on a standard road bike will out-climb the 'bent (assuming the climbing speed is low enough to rule out the 'bent's aero advantage) because you can't stand use your legs against your arms on a 'bent.

    I have been on a ride where a guy on a ti 'bent came to a stop and fell over trying to climb a steep grade.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceGrabber
    Modern high end road bikes are weight about 15 to 17lbs. However, I do not see recumbent bikes are weighted even close to high end road bikes.

    The long drive chain, the heavy chair and the long and oversized main tube are all increasing weight. I am starting to think that lighten a recumbent bike is nearly impossible.

    Most people thought recumbent bike is faster since it is more aerodynamic but I think that it is already old school thought.

    Moreover, riding a recumbent bike is not as efficient as a road bike because a rider need to lift up both leg, plus he cannot use his body weight to help pedalling when going uphill.
    I ride and build a lot of my recumbents. I have been riding bicycles for over 60 years. I ride a recumbent because I like to enjoy long slow country rides. If I can not climb a hill I get off and walk my recumbent.

    After building many recumbents I can tell you that a recumbent will never be light like the one that Lance Armstrong fellow rides. It is impossible to weld a frame and make it light to support the weight of a fellow who has his feet stretched out in front and his back and head stretched out in back of the frame. Recumbents will always be heavy compared to the fancy new regular bicycles in carbon fiber.

    It is true that a recumbent is not efficient like a regular bicycle for riding. When sitting down I can not jump over a pot hole, RR tracks, rocks or glass on the road. I will get off my recumbent and walk. I do not want a flat and I am not racing at my age so I am in no hurry.

    I enjoy riding my homebuilt recumbents and I go slow and laugh a lot. I have been building my own since 1980. Lately I see very bad attitudes by young recumbent riders. They call me names when they I tell them I walk my recumbent up a hill. Some of them brag about racing their recumbent against regular bicycle riders who do not know they are challenged to race. Those foolish people pretend they are racing at century rides with children and families on tour. Ridiculous.

    I say if they want to race they should race their friends at an organized recumbent race.

    If you see a recumbent rider posting about how fast they are compared to regular bicycle riders or how they "smoke" roadies with their expensive "low race" recumbent I say do not get mad just laugh about them and their behavior. Youngsters with bad attitudes like that are ruining it for everyone who rides a bicycle or recumbent.

    The fastest bicycle riders will always be the riders who train to race regular bicycles. There are no recumbent riders who train for the Olympics like Fred Markam or Sam Whittingham from Canada. Those athletes race recumbents called streamliners that are very fast but not practical for everyday use. Sam has to be duct taped into the streamliner shell by a support crew when he races.

    Recumbents will always be slow bicycles and fun for folks like me who like to ride slow, walk up hills, smell the roses and laugh. A poll at a recumbent forum says that most recumbent rider are 45-55 years old. Not many young people want to ride recumbents or know how to build one.


    Wave Hi when you see me walking my recumbent up a hill.

    Spuds

  7. #7
    Senior Member Chickenlipz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spuds McDoogle
    If I can not climb a hill I get off and walk my recumbent.

    I will get off my recumbent and walk. I do not want a flat and I am not racing at my age so I am in no hurry.

    Recumbents will always be slow bicycles and fun for folks like me who like to ride slow, walk up hills, smell the roses and laugh.
    Wave Hi when you see me walking my recumbent up a hill.

    Spuds
    Hey Spuds, with as much walking as you do, wouldn't it be easier to just start off walking? That way you wouldn't have to push that heavy ole bike... Ha!

  8. #8
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    I don't know about you but if I had a recumbent I think I would still want to ride fast, and I bet it wouldn't let me down.

    The long chain still creeps me out. There has to be a better way.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chickenlipz
    Hey Spuds, with as much walking as you do, wouldn't it be easier to just start off walking? That way you wouldn't have to push that heavy ole bike... Ha!
    I'm no longer am one of those young whipper snappers I use to be. Some of those old war injuries caught up to me so I walk up hills and drag up my homebuilt recumbent. It weighs about 40 pounds and was welded from throw away bicycles. I hear some of the race recumbents from Belgium weigh 20 pounds including some of the fancy expensive carbon fiber "low race" styles. But they still climb slow with the legs in front of the rider.

    Man was not built for bicycle climbing a hill sitting down with legs in front. That is why the regular bicycle works the best climbing hills and mountains.

    I see there is a young 50 year old fellow out in CA who rode a recumbent up hills in a 24 hour race and came in 2nd place. A 30 year old youngster beat him on a regular bicycle by a few minutes. Jim Kerr is the recumbent fellow and the only rider in the USA who can ride a recumbent like that. Most everyone else on a recumbent is slow and has a hard time climbing hills. If they say they are fast climbing a hill on a recumbent they are telling make believe stories.

    I just keep smiling and tooting along with my recumbent. Walking up hills and smelling the roses in the recumbent lifestyle.

    Enjoy the roads,
    Spuds

  10. #10
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    recumbent...

    why????

  11. #11
    Whateverthehell Chucklehead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggurat
    recumbent...

    why????
    i ask the same thing when i see so many people driving SUV's or cadillacs.
    if you don't ride what you like, you aren't going to like riding. right..?
    "When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return." - Leonardo daVinci

  12. #12
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    I guess, I just don't like it when people get all ideological about their bikes.

    I hate it when people start spoutin' off about why their way is better.

    I like Spuds' outlook.

  13. #13
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    Why?

    21lbs. of titanium and carbon comfort...


  14. #14
    Wheezing Geezer Bud Bent's Avatar
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    I ride with a bunch of roadies in a club, so even though I ride a recumbent, I read this road cycling forum.

    If recumbents weren't fast, they never would have gotten banned from UCI sanctioned races. A quick search on the history of recumbents will confirm that: http://www.physics.helsinki.fi/~tlinden/winforb.html

    It does take more dollars to get a lightweight recumbent. And, the fact that I'm slower up hills, but out-coast everyone else downhill, makes it a bit tough to fit in on club rides. However, for some folks like me with back problems, bents are the only possible ride, so I've gladly become my club's token geek bent rider.
    Bud
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    They told me it's ok to post mileage over in the commuting forum, so you'll probably find me there these days.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggurat
    I guess, I just don't like it when people get all ideological about their bikes.

    I hate it when people start spoutin' off about why their way is better.

    I like Spuds' outlook.
    Ziggurat,
    We are all in the cycling brotherhood. Unfortunatley some sassy recumbent folks foolishly boast about "smoking roadies" on recumbents. The bicycle riders they "smoke" are not aware they are in a race. Some of these rude youngsters need a good lesson or two from real bicycle racers.

    When you pass me walking up a hill with my recument I will wave and smile.
    Spuds
    ___________________________________________________________

    http://www.bentrideronline.com/messa...ead.php?t=7750

    "So, he took a shortcut to save face. About a mile later, here he comes behind me as I'm waiting for a light. He slinks away down a side street and I never see him again. Ha ha ha! I really smoked him, didn't I!
    Diane"

    "Smoked a roadie!
    Cool - you mentioned before that you'd like to do that, now you have. Chalk one up! Good job.
    John Yount"

    "Smoke 'em if ya got 'em
    The first of many! Congrats on a the start of a promising career.
    John Foltz aka Blazing Pedals"

    "Diane, congrats, and keep on smokin' 'em.
    Tim"

    "Great job Diane! Really love the part about the failed shortcut!
    I'm_Bent"

    "WooHoo! Good one! Keep up the good work. Now we can see where you've been by the trail of exhausted DF'ers laying by the road side. Congrats.
    Bent Brian"

    "Diane when you start dropping them on the uphills and let them catch up on the downhills, be sure to let us know. Now THAT'S really fun.
    -John Strada Aero"

    "That is so cool! It is time for you to put a notch in the crank arm!
    Bentcruiser
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spuds McDoogle
    I see there is a young 50 year old fellow out in CA who rode a recumbent up hills in a 24 hour race and came in 2nd place. A 30 year old youngster beat him on a regular bicycle by a few minutes. Jim Kerr is the recumbent fellow and the only rider in the USA who can ride a recumbent like that.
    One other fast "young fellow" on a recumbent is 47-year old John Schlitter (on the Bacchetta Aero in the post above). John Took first place and set a new course record (6:34:10) in the 167 mile Bike Across Florida last year (not many hills though) .

    AB

  17. #17
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    John Schlitter is a fine young man. I never see sassy words by posted by John Schlitter anywhere. John Schlitter can teach a lesson or two or three about winning and racing to some of those recumbent people who only brag about "smoking roadies".

    Spuds


    Quote Originally Posted by abarnard
    One other fast "young fellow" on a recumbent is 47-year old John Schlitter (on the Bacchetta Aero in the post above). John Took first place and set a new course record (6:34:10) in the 167 mile Bike Across Florida last year (not many hills though) .

    AB

  18. #18
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    I believe my lowracer is a secret weapon in the same way the English longbow was in medieval times. The French could see how a longbow worked, but didn't believe it was a superior weapon even as it was decimating their soldiers from beyond crossbow range. In the same way, I can destroy the fast guys in my club who used to dump me without so much as a second thought. They can see that I have almost no frontal area, they comment that there's no draft behind me, but when I wail on them in a sprint, they think it's because I'm Superman(tm). Even when I tell them, "it's the bike," they don't believe me!

    Even my bike has disadvantages, which is another way of saying, "it's not for everyone." Along with way more speed than the average recumbent, mine has what might be euphemistically called, 'advanced handling characteristics.' And the different speed profile makes it hard to ride WITH my friends on uprights. But I'm willing to live with the 'downs' because overall I love riding it so much. Bikes exist in all their variety because we're all different. Enjoy what you ride, respect others' choice of machines.

  19. #19
    Veni, Vidi, Vomiti SteveE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spuds McDoogle
    I see there is a young 50 year old fellow out in CA who rode a recumbent up hills in a 24 hour race and came in 2nd place.
    Actually, it was pretty darn flat compared to the roads he normally rides. He calls the ones at Sebring, "rolling hills".
    "Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ...'holy *****...what a ride!'"

  20. #20
    Work hard, Play hard forum*rider's Avatar
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    Does riding a bent work the same muscles as riding an upright bike?

    Just wondering since you are in a different position, maybe it uses you're glutes more or something.

    Anyway, the general conclusion I have come to after reading articles about bents vs "conventional" bikes is that bents are faster on flats and downhill while traditional bikes are faster up hills.

    Spuds, I have met a few of those young bent riders who think they can "smoke" me just because I'm on a regular bike. I do agree that they need to go out and ride agasint someone who is actually prepared to race. Blowing by me while I'm riding my mtb with my 5yo sister yelling "sucker!" is not the most prestigious race to win

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals
    I can destroy the fast guys in my club who used to dump me without so much as a second thought....
    More foolish talk from a recumbent rider. "Destroy the fast guys", "Smoke roadies". Nothing but big talk. Can you destroy fellow recumbent riders at a Human Powered Vehicle race with other participants riding the same low race bicycle?

    If so let us all see how much "smoking and destroying" you can do racing recumbent folks at an organized Human Powered Vehicle race. I bet a roll of duct tape you will be the one who gets "smoked".

    Spuds
    Walking my homemade recumbent up hills and smiling all the way.
    Last edited by Spuds McDoogle; 03-17-05 at 10:06 PM.

  22. #22
    Work hard, Play hard forum*rider's Avatar
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    all this talk of 'bents....

    I may have to get one

  23. #23
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    I switched to recumbents due to a neck injury. I'm glad there are many choices available in recumbents today. I enjoyed light, responsive DF road bikes for many years (still own one), and now I enjoy a light, responsive recumbent. It's all good...

  24. #24
    Work hard, Play hard forum*rider's Avatar
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    What does "DF" mean?

    is it diamond frame?

    To "counteract" my earlier post about the rude 'bent riders, there are many more nice 'bent riders around here than rude ones. There is one group of older guys I see almost every morning on my way to school. They all wave and say hello to me even though I'm just a kid on a mtb going to school.

    I'm sure the majority of 'bent riders are nice. But it's the few rude ones that get stuck in you're mind.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by forum*rider
    What does "DF" mean?

    is it diamond frame?

    To "counteract" my earlier post about the rude 'bent riders, there are many more nice 'bent riders around here than rude ones. There is one group of older guys I see almost every morning on my way to school. They all wave and say hello to me even though I'm just a kid on a mtb going to school.

    I'm sure the majority of 'bent riders are nice. But it's the few rude ones that get stuck in you're mind.
    Yes, diamond frame.

    The other side of this coin are the individuals on DFs that criticize recumbent riders as "freaks", "old guys on lounge chairs", etc, etc. Unfortunately I don't think any particular class of bike rider has a monopoly on rudeness...

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