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Thread: Beat by a bent.

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    Senior Member akeelor's Avatar
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    Beat by a bent.

    Yesterday I was out on one of my typical 30-40 mile rides. On this particular day I was using a long section of the MUP to complete my route. I came up on a guy(I think since I never saw his face) on a recumbent bike. As I neared him (25 yards) he must have sensed me and he proceeded to accelerate. He buzzed through a cross-street and I had to basically stop due to traffic. After that it was a straight 5-mile shot and I never got closer than 100 yards. I maintained my speed between 23-25mph (path was empty) and couldn't gain any ground on the guy. Amazing athlete this person had to be to keep a trike going at those speeds. This wasn't one of the supine position trikes or two-wheeler with a fairing. Look like he was going to pedal himself right out of his seat. Not your atypical recumbent sighting.

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    Yesterday I saw a bent tandem with a kid hanging off the back but the three of them were not winning any races.

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    Bent is probably a lot more aero.

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    Yep some dude with a fairing has a 60 mph downhill kom

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    Quote Originally Posted by achoo View Post
    Bent is probably a lot more aero.
    But the requisite long white wizard beard negates all of that.

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    Stand and Deliver FLvector's Avatar
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    World human powered bike speed records are on recumbent bicycles, so not too surprising to see someone who's fast on them. Locally, I've seen just a few fast recumbents, but only two wheels, not trikes. I rarely see the bents on the rural routes and never in the hilly areas.

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    take him into the hills. I think bents are generally faster on the flats b/c of aerodynamics, even if they aren't faired and podded up. But the weight and inability to stand kills them on the big climbs. Still the guy must have been in pretty good shape too. I never see them on the hilly training rides I do around here. And yes, some form of wizard beard is mandatory. I have never seen a clean shaven bent rider. Or a woman on one.

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    Medicinal Cyclist Daytrip's Avatar
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    I ride with 'bents on occasion. They're pretty fast on the flats and downhills, but generally suck climbing hills.

    All the 'bents I've seen look like they were put together from a kit in someone's garage. Kinda crude, if you will. Not crazy about that long-azz chain, either.
    Let your freak flag fly.

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    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    I wouldn't be too sure about the hills. On a more gentle grade, say 4%, the 'bent with a short wheel base might still beat you. Maybe worse if it's rolling hills where he gets some speed up on the downhill.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
    I wouldn't be too sure about the hills. On a more gentle grade, say 4%, the 'bent with a short wheel base might still beat you. Maybe worse if it's rolling hills where he gets some speed up on the downhill.
    On a training ride once I went past a 'Bent stopped on the side of the road. A minute or 2 later he was up alongside and overtook me. No wizard beard, full racing kit, the only non-aero things on board were the yellow flag and the mirror. I couldn't hold his wheel on the flat, and away he went. I kept him in sight for a good few miles of rolling terrain, and every time the road went slightly up, I got a little closer to him, but as soon as it went down again he pulled away.

    There's not much point trying to draft a 'bent, incidentally. Their bodies are so low that everything above your knees is still in the wind.

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    Senior Member snidely's Avatar
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    I got overtaken by a hand-cyclist this past weekend. One bad-ass dude. I was moving at a pretty good clip, and he surprised the heck out of me!

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    Senior Member I <3 Robots's Avatar
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    Only experience I have with a bent is at a stoplight. Guy took off pretty fast...
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    Quote Originally Posted by akeelor View Post
    Yesterday I was out on one of my typical 30-40 mile rides. On this particular day I was using a long section of the MUP to complete my route. I came up on a guy(I think since I never saw his face) on a recumbent bike. As I neared him (25 yards) he must have sensed me and he proceeded to accelerate. He buzzed through a cross-street and I had to basically stop due to traffic. After that it was a straight 5-mile shot and I never got closer than 100 yards. I maintained my speed between 23-25mph (path was empty) and couldn't gain any ground on the guy. Amazing athlete this person had to be to keep a trike going at those speeds. This wasn't one of the supine position trikes or two-wheeler with a fairing. Look like he was going to pedal himself right out of his seat. Not your atypical recumbent sighting.
    lol

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    Stand and Deliver FLvector's Avatar
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    ^^ Doesn't seem unrealistic, especially with a little tail wind.

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    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    Once a person has developed his "bent legs" hills are not that big of a deal. Bent legs are not achieved in a short amount of time.

    As far as taking off from a stop, remember a trike rider stays clipped in and only has to start pedaling. There is no time wasted scratching at the pedals trying to get clipped in, and wobbling away from the stop.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Niloc View Post
    take him into the hills. I think bents are generally faster on the flats b/c of aerodynamics, even if they aren't faired and podded up. But the weight and inability to stand kills them on the big climbs. Still the guy must have been in pretty good shape too. I never see them on the hilly training rides I do around here. And yes, some form of wizard beard is mandatory. I have never seen a clean shaven bent rider. Or a woman on one.
    My bent (bike, not trike) weighs 21lbs stripped down for hill climb TTs and 24lbs when I'm out training.
    My Trek 5200 weighs 17.8 stripped down for short races and 20.5 lbs when I'm out training.
    Those 2 bikes share the same Powertap (reynolds rims) 46mm carbon clincher wheelset.

    Not sure what would you consider "kills themů"?
    Over 1000VAM for an hour of 5-6% climbing? I was able to about 960 for 57:12 on the final 10 mile 5-6% Mt Baker climb in 2012's race (Ride 542. The official results are no longer available. :-( I did the 24.5 mile race in 1:40 and change for whatever that's worth)

    I'm in the top 10% on this segment (8% for 2.2 miles) from a TT I did on that hill in 2012 (90th place currently. The official results are also no longer available.):
    Strava Segment | Cougar Mountain TT (official course)
    That one is 1250 VAM for 14 min (steeper grade=higher VAM)
    I didn't run a power meter for either climb, but at the time I was able to hold between 300 and 310 watts for 14 min and probably only about 240-255 watts for the Mnt Baker climb.

    Not sure how much time I could shave off these on my upright if any. Hoping to try soon, though.

    I seem to be a touch faster on many of steeper 3-7 min climbs on my upright this year.
    like this:
    Strava Segment | SE Issaquah-Fall City Rd
    and Lord Hill:
    Strava Segment | Lord Hill

    But then I've been targeting my training toward my upright bike this season, and I've increased the quality of my training significantly since 2012, too. (specifically, more beer)

    Regardless, it seems to take 5-10% more power on the upright to even match or occasionally beat my best climbs on the bent from a couple years ago.
    Even though I did Lord Hill 19 sec slower on my bent in 2012, I still haven't beaten my fastest bent climbs on several long and short climbs (~2 min), like High Rock:
    Strava Segment | Cherry Valley Climb


    anyhow, kind of long post, the platform vs platform comparison if fascinating to me...

    My point is, power is power. Weight matters a bit, but it turns out with a more aero bike you easily overcome 5lbs of extra weight on climbs up to even 8%, if you supply the same amount of power.

    Oh yeah, and I get 28 mph on 285 watts on the flats. :-)

    T

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    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akeelor View Post
    Yesterday I was out on one of my typical 30-40 mile rides. On this particular day I was using a long section of the MUP to complete my route. I came up on a guy(I think since I never saw his face) on a recumbent bike. As I neared him (25 yards) he must have sensed me and he proceeded to accelerate. He buzzed through a cross-street and I had to basically stop due to traffic. After that it was a straight 5-mile shot and I never got closer than 100 yards. I maintained my speed between 23-25mph (path was empty) and couldn't gain any ground on the guy. Amazing athlete this person had to be to keep a trike going at those speeds. This wasn't one of the supine position trikes or two-wheeler with a fairing. Look like he was going to pedal himself right out of his seat. Not your atypical recumbent sighting.
    You stopped and he blew through the intersection. He may have had an interval on you but that doesnt sound like he beat you. He may have thought he needed that jump on you.
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

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    Senior Member akeelor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
    You stopped and he blew through the intersection. He may have had an interval on you but that doesnt sound like he beat you. He may have thought he needed that jump on you.
    He was downright fast and I couldn't catch him and I was pushing my limit for a long while. He beat me.

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    I've ridden with some recumbents and what they lost on a climb, they more than made up for on the descents and flats. I've only seen fairings on the MUP. The guys I rode with said fairings were too hot and no fun in crosswinds.

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    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    A friend in my club has a custom full carbon 'bent which is around 17 pounds, lighter than any bike I've ever had.

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    Senior Member delcrossv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niloc View Post
    I have never seen a clean shaven bent rider. Or a woman on one.




    Now you have.
    Lightning P-38 / M5 M-Racer/Ryan Vanguard

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    It's news that recumbants on a flat and downhill are much faster than bikes? If you are worried about that, climb some hills and then you can have fun watching recumbant struggle.

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    Just Plain Slow PhotoJoe's Avatar
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    There is a whole "club" of recumbents in my area. Each of the riders has to be a minimum of 70 years old (most look a fair bit older than that), except for one dude who looks to be in his 40's. They all have twirly-thingys as flags, lights, mirrors, reflectors, gadgets, gizmos, wild colors, and yes, the requisite beard (on most). The cool thing is, they're out there, often, having a blast, laughing the whole way. When you ride by them, they don't lift a finger or two to acknowledge you. They flat out wave - enthusiastically. Most also follow it up with an equally enthusiastic "HELLO!!".

    Fast - they are not. But I hope I'm that cool when I'm that age.
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    Senior Member Northwestrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akeelor View Post
    I maintained my speed between 23-25mph Amazing athlete this person had to be to keep a trike going at those speeds.
    At first I assumed you were talking about a bent bicycle, so I was not surprised at the speed all that much. But when I noticed you referred to a trike I immediately thought of electric assist.

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    Since recumbants are a more efficient design for manual human powered pedaling, I wonder how it is as an exercise? Already I feel for cycling, it's very inefficient. To get the same level of exercise on a 5 mile 30 minute run, I have to cycle for 2 hours... I wonder if on recumbant you'd have to ride for 4 hours?

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