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My 2nd bike of the year

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Old 10-25-08, 10:12 PM
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cod.peace
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My 2nd bike of the year

Earlier this year, partly inspired by reading this forum, and partly inspired by an insanely strong urge to once again own a bike, I bought a used Trek 520 for commuting (25 mi RT) and fitness riding. Eventually, despite the great fun I was having I had to admit that after 10 miles of riding suffering excruciating wrist pain was not normal. I found a hand surgeon who diagnosed me with mild carpal tunnel in the right wrist, and suspected CT in the left. My years of keyboard and mouse pain have caught up with me, evidently. In fact, my last ride on the Trek left me with burning wrist pain that lasted round the clock for 2 weeks straight.

While I could have gone for a pro bike fitting, moustache bars, etc., I opted to completely eliminate hand problems from biking and go recumbent. The Trek was sold (basically broke even there), and I now have in my possession a very nice Rans V-Rex. It has some upgrades - SRAM x.0 rear D and a Chris King headset, along with a seat-back bag and fenders for utility and all-weather riding.

I've dropped 5 lbs from joining a weight loss class (essentially WW but cheaper) and plan on kicking the weight loss into high gear with the bike. 2 rides so far and I am truly loving the recumbent experience. I have enough cold weather exercise gear on hand and will try commuting once my fitness level is up and I build a lighting system, at least until the snows start (January is typical here). My ambition is to de-Clyde myself in 2009.

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Old 10-26-08, 03:42 AM
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Neil_B
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Very nice bike.

You have a 25 mile round trip commute. How many hills do you have? I'm increasingly thinking a 'bent is my next bike, but I'm deterred by the idea of trying to climb on one.
 
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Old 10-26-08, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
Very nice bike.

You have a 25 mile round trip commute. How many hills do you have? I'm increasingly thinking a 'bent is my next bike, but I'm deterred by the idea of trying to climb on one.
I'm curious of the same. All the 'bent riders I see are *fast* and seem to very much enjoy their rides.
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Old 10-26-08, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
How many hills do you have? I'm increasingly thinking a 'bent is my next bike, but I'm deterred by the idea of trying to climb on one.
I am not qualified here since ye olde engine is too weak to notice any differences in hill climbing between recumbents and uprights. That said, the general rule of thumb is that 'bents tend to be slower climbing hills and faster on downhills and flats due to aerodynamics. My reading also indicates that some 'bents are better climbers than others, and several appear to be considered as good as any upright. I'll leave it to (vastly) more experienced riders to chime in if they happen across this.

That said, are you racing up hills, or just getting over them? If you're riding with others, you'll just catch 'em on the downhill, right?

Originally Posted by bdinger View Post
I'm curious of the same. All the 'bent riders I see are *fast* and seem to very much enjoy their rides.
After a few rides I nearly have the seat position dialed in. The riding sensation is very different compared with an upright. All your energy is going into making the bike go and the upper body is completely relaxed. Get your speed up and the feeling is really thrilling. I'm so glad I bought the V-Rex and didn't fight to keep the touring bike!
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Old 10-27-08, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
Very nice bike.

You have a 25 mile round trip commute. How many hills do you have? I'm increasingly thinking a 'bent is my next bike, but I'm deterred by the idea of trying to climb on one.
I have a long-wheelbase recumbent, and I love it. When I first bought it in July, I took it on a hilly 11-mile ride that I was familiar with. Climbing is different. I ended up walking one hill. I have since improved, and only walk hills that I would have to walk on my upright bike also.

I don't race, or do group rides, so I'm in no hurry. My average speed is bit higher on the recumbent though. I still ride my upright bike. Just not as often.

I strongly suggest you try one out. Test ride at a LBS? Borrow from someone locally?
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Old 10-27-08, 02:49 PM
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It isn't the bike it is the rider that can't climb namely me As to fast recumbent riders apparantly none of you have ever seen me ride because I'm one slow recumbent rider especially on hills so I was kind of embarrased this weekend to be on a ride with John Schlitter who is a bigwig and racer for Bacchetta when I came in HOURS and HOURS after he did

On a 110 miler on sunday I just got the total ascent from John who had it as 5.2k feet. There were some brutal hills in there but all the bents climbed without much of a problem except one rider had to walk when they had a chain shift issue which any kind of bike could have. I can climb, stair climb, on my upright better then I can spin up a really really steep hill on my bent. I don't know many heavier clyde bent riders but I really think weight punishes you more on a recumbent.

Enjoy the VRex just try not to load it down. My Giro 26 is a nice bike but I weighed it the other day in commuter gear with my laptop and it was a porky 72lbs. On the ride this weekend it was around 50 but still those pounds really hurt on hills.

And if you don't already you might try a heart rate monitor. It gets way too easy to slack off on a recumbent and get a lot of miles in with little effort if it is pretty flat.
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Old 10-30-08, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by evblazer View Post
Enjoy the VRex just try not to load it down. My Giro 26 is a nice bike but I weighed it the other day in commuter gear with my laptop and it was a porky 72lbs. On the ride this weekend it was around 50 but still those pounds really hurt on hills.
Right now I've attached the radical designs seatback bag and the plastic fenders that came with the bike. That's it so far!
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Old 10-30-08, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by cod.peace View Post
Right now I've attached the radical designs seatback bag and the plastic fenders that came with the bike. That's it so far!
Fenders? OMG that thing is gonna explode
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Old 10-30-08, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by evblazer View Post
Fenders? OMG that thing is gonna explode
Actually they did! The front fender was a sort of full-coverage one with a support wire at the front edge of the fender. After kicking it 4 or 5 times I cut it down so it projected about 5" in front of the fork. Well, my heel still caught the fender and the next 2.5" exploded into plastic shrapnel. Now it should be fine
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Old 10-30-08, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by cod.peace View Post
Actually they did! The front fender was a sort of full-coverage one with a support wire at the front edge of the fender. After kicking it 4 or 5 times I cut it down so it projected about 5" in front of the fork. Well, my heel still caught the fender and the next 2.5" exploded into plastic shrapnel. Now it should be fine
Heel strike.. glad I bought a long-wheelbase
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Old 10-30-08, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by dcrowell View Post
Heel strike.. glad I bought a long-wheelbase
Storage limitations in my apartment limited me to a SWB, which is too bad since I had to pass up a really great deal on a Rans V2.

I need a garage. I need more bikes!
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Old 10-31-08, 04:32 PM
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Bents have different gearing than uprights generally speaking. You really do go slower up hills from what I've been told by many of the riders I've spoken to, but they say that they are extremely comfortable and have also noticed a higher average speed on them compared to their upright bikes. Most of the bent riders have no plans to go back to uprights. Personally, I'm on the orthodox side on this. I like my road bike and will continue riding them until I can't anymore.
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Old 10-31-08, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by terbennett View Post
...but they say that they are extremely comfortable and have also noticed a higher average speed on them compared to their upright bikes. Most of the bent riders have no plans to go back to uprights. Personally, I'm on the orthodox side on this. I like my road bike and will continue riding them until I can't anymore.
I love my 'bent, but I really want a Surly LHT. As I've ridden an upright more, many of my comfort issues have gone away. I'll still always own at least one 'bent though.
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