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Bent riders....

Old 04-09-11, 11:16 PM
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Bent riders....

How did you start riding a recumbent bike? Was it due to injury? Desire for comfort? ...or desire to look really cool on the MUP?

Anyone specifically have SI joint issues?

I considering trying recumbent riding. To be honest I never considered a bent bike - admired them from a distance - but never pictured myself on one. I am concerned about how little "regular" cycling aggravates my injury - and how much non-cycling time passes before I'm back in the saddle again.

There have been a couple of Cannondale Bent bikes for sale, locally, recently... No need to go "new", but was wondering if there are special considerations for Clydes/Athenas?

Thanks in advance
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Old 04-10-11, 01:32 AM
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Comfort. On DF bikes, I got tired of painful butt and privates on long rides. Also, unless I was climbing, my upper body used to get stiff and sore from lack of use on long rides. I have since solved the pain on the sensitive parts with women's saddles, but I still get some neck and butt pain on long rides. Of course the butt pain is probably because I refuse to wear spandex

I hardly ever ride my recumbent since I got back into climbing. Climbing sucks on a tadpole trike. For me it's much more enjoyable on a road or hybrid bike.

The tadpole trike is fun to ride, especially at speed around corners
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Old 04-10-11, 02:23 AM
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It was comfort issues for me. Currently I seem to be on a DF more due to manuverability issues. Bent comfort is fantastic however. I have no idea what S1 joint problems are, sorry.
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Old 04-10-11, 03:38 AM
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Back issues started it for me. After 5 years of being pedal-less, I was reminded of bents while strolling around Stockholm. A bent bike zipped by and I thought 'Ooh! Fully supported back!' I settled on a trike because I didn't want my husky to be able to yank me over and I didn't want to fall every time I hit a patch of slick ice.

Oddly, riding the trike has improved my back to the point I probably could ride a DF again, but I'm not inclined. My trike suits my needs perfectly.
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Old 04-10-11, 04:30 AM
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I ride a DF roadie. My wife, however, has a recumbent trike. She has had 4 spinal surgeries, including 3 fusions, and has rheumatoid arthritis, so a bent was really her only choice for a bike. She also has some balance issues so the trike made sense. She didn't like the tadpole trikes because they sit so low and she had a hard time getting in and out of the seat, so she got a Sun EZ-3 and upgraded to the bigger wheels. She hasn't been able to ride much yet because of other health issues, but we're going to get her out riding more this year.
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Old 04-10-11, 04:31 AM
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I bought a two-wheel bent shortly after I started riding. I was having comfort issues and I have shoulder arthritis. The 'bent just looked cool, and a test-ride made me fall in love. Now, I seldom ride it. My arthritis is better (supplements and exercise), the other bikes are dialed in, and I find an upright to be easier to manage.

I'm still considering fixing up the 'bent with some cool parts though.

I've also found that an upright bike actually helps me with lower back pain, but I don't have a back injury. YMMV.
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Old 04-10-11, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by freighttraininguphill
.The tadpole trike is fun to ride, especially at speed around corners
It looks like fun! Enjoyed your video(s) from the trike!
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Old 04-10-11, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by aenlaasu
Back issues started it for me. After 5 years of being pedal-less, I was reminded of bents while strolling around Stockholm. A bent bike zipped by and I thought 'Ooh! Fully supported back!' I settled on a trike because I didn't want my husky to be able to yank me over and I didn't want to fall every time I hit a patch of slick ice.
This is similar to my thinking... and it's funny, the first thing I pictured was riding with the dogs running behind They've been suffering as well as our walks are getting shorter and shorter, depending on the day.
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Old 04-10-11, 11:45 AM
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bassjones;12484817]I ride a DF roadie. My wife, however, has a recumbent trike. She has had 4 spinal surgeries, including 3 fusions, and has rheumatoid arthritis, so a bent was really her only choice for a bike.
Wow... I feel humbled.

She also has some balance issues so the trike made sense.
I wondered about the balance...

She didn't like the tadpole trikes because they sit so low and she had a hard time getting in and out of the seat, so she got a Sun EZ-3 and upgraded to the bigger wheels.
I can already tell that I would like the more upright versions - have no desire to be that close to the ground in a "low - rider". I'm not worried about speed... just distance and exercise.

She hasn't been able to ride much yet because of other health issues, but we're going to get her out riding more this year.
It's great you two are finding a way for her to ride! I am inspired... Thanks bassjones!!
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Old 04-10-11, 11:45 AM
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I took a decade or two off from any serious riding, and now that I wanted to get back into it I couldnt face the idea of slamming my crotch against a seat for hours on end. That and I always used to get various pains, back, shoulder, knee. So I picked up a tadpole trike. Its a bucket of fun. Somebody earlier spoke a truth when they said they suck in climbing hills, but I still prefer my trike over my bike.
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Old 04-10-11, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by freighttraininguphill
Of course the butt pain is probably because I refuse to wear spandex
I'm sure others have brought this up before, but have you considered MTB shorts? There is so much available these days and they are so comfortable - they look like casual shorts so no one would suspect....
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Old 04-10-11, 11:54 AM
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Thanks for all the input everyone!

I will head back to PT this week and discuss the biomechanics of a recumbent with my therapist.

Yesterday I was feeling hopeless - now I am envisioning what's possible. Thanks!
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Old 04-10-11, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by ecovelo
It looks like fun! Enjoyed your video(s) from the trike!
Thanks So far I only have two videos from the tadpole trike. I'm posting these for anyone who hasn't seen them, or in case you missed one

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JR6IJRas424

Here's me chasing down an unusual art bike at last year's Amgen Tour of California:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NuaCmuwZrYE

I have a couple more of me riding the rental tandem side-by-side semi-recumbent trike with my disabled friend.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3z2hDXDJLc0

Audio is muted on this one because my friend was making me laugh so hard I sounded like a hyena I have since put a link in this video to the newer one with sound posted above.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRuE59nywYg

When I'm sure my recumbent muscles are up to snuff I'll ride a bit further east on the bike trail and get some better high speed footage
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Old 04-10-11, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by ecovelo
How did you start riding a recumbent bike? Was it due to injury? Desire for comfort? ...or desire to look really cool on the MUP?
Mild carpal tunnel in the right arm led to excruciating arm pain riding a DF with drop bars. I considered converting the bike to upright handlebars and a comfier saddle, but considering the expense with no guarantee of success I opted for a recumbent to completely eliminate weight on the hands. Now that I've got a recovered L4-L5 herniation (last spring's non-bike related injury) I am more than happy to stick with 'bents for the future. In fact at some point I'll upgrade to a bike with a more reclined seat, but for now a small lumbar cushion makes my Rans V-rex completely comfortable.

Those Cannondale 'bents don't have much of a reputation for performance if you have the need for speed. You might want to post a specific question about that model in the Recumbent forum, or over at bentrideronline.com
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Old 04-11-11, 12:03 AM
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Originally Posted by cod.peace
Those Cannondale 'bents don't have much of a reputation for performance if you have the need for speed. You might want to post a specific question about that model in the Recumbent forum, or over at bentrideronline.com
Thanks for the insight. I discovered that there is a bike shop 40 minutes up the road that boasts the "largest dealer of tandems and recumbents in California. Looks like I have a great place to start in my own neck of the woods! If I give this a go I'll check them out first.

I didn't even think about carpal tunnel... I've got it too... both arms. It would be nice to relieve that too.
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Old 04-11-11, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by dcrowell
I've also found that an upright bike actually helps me with lower back pain, but I don't have a back injury. YMMV.
This seems to be a common theme with riders with scoliosis. I sit pretty upright, but the lower I get, the better my back feels. My posture looks awful when I'm done, but since it looks bad when I start, I don't mind it much.

I've toyed with getting a 'bent, but my one test ride was a disaster. I couldn't get balanced enough on my first push off, and the small front wheel caused me to wobble. That experience put me off, as well as the messianic zeal of recumbency in general. Too often the 'bent crowd claim their bikes are the magic pill for everything. Typical conversation:

"I have to make an adjustment to the bike because I get a stiff neck on long rides."

"You need a bent!"

"Maybe I need a stem riser? Or maybe I need to stretch more and adjust my riding position?"

"You need a bent!"

"Hmm, 50 bucks for a stem riser, or 1500 for a recumbent?"

"That's an easy call. Go for the bent!"
 
Old 04-11-11, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by The Historian
"Hmm, 50 bucks for a stem riser, or 1500 for a recumbent?"

"That's an easy call. Go for the bent!"
That sounds about right!

Although in all seriousness for me it was: sold off the Trek 520 for $650, bought my 'bent for $650+shipping. Sight unseen! My 1st recumbent ride on a Bachetta Giro 26 highracer was a terrifying affair, although I figured out it was partially due to the frame being too big for me. I can ride them now, no problemo. After getting my V-Rex I think I did 100 miles in an industrial park before venturing out onto real roads. It took a week before I could ride in a straight line...
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Old 04-11-11, 09:15 AM
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Most of us 'bent riders who preach the word of the 'bent do so because it works so well for us. If I went to a restaurant and had a horrible experience, I wouldn't recommend it. If the place rocked, I'd tell all my friends so they could enjoy it too. Same thing with my recumbent. After going 'bent about 2 years ago, I wouldn't want it any other way. Granted, I still ride my DF from time to time as well, mostly because there are limited racing opportunities for recumbents, but for fun, I take the 'bent every time.
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Old 04-11-11, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by The Historian
Hmm, 50 bucks for a stem riser
Where are you buying your bike parts? I only paid $24 for mine.
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Old 04-11-11, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by freighttraininguphill
Where are you buying your bike parts? I only paid $24 for mine.
That was a guess. I wasn't doing research for the joke. :-)
 
Old 04-11-11, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Sayre Kulp
Most of us 'bent riders who preach the word of the 'bent do so because it works so well for us. If I went to a restaurant and had a horrible experience, I wouldn't recommend it. If the place rocked, I'd tell all my friends so they could enjoy it too. Same thing with my recumbent. After going 'bent about 2 years ago, I wouldn't want it any other way. Granted, I still ride my DF from time to time as well, mostly because there are limited racing opportunities for recumbents, but for fun, I take the 'bent every time.
Oh, I agree. But you wouldn't insist it's the cure-all for what ails anyone.
 
Old 04-11-11, 10:19 AM
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I bought one ten years ago. I needed a new bike for commuting. I honestly don't remember what inspired me to get a bent, I think I just wanted to try one because of curiosity. I bought a Rans Rocket, and used it pretty heavily for about six years of commuting. I decided to buy a light road bike two years ago, and haven't really used the bent since, but it is a great bike. It needs a little fixing up. Maybe this summer I'll get it back on the road. I wouldn't use it on my current commute, though, mainly because of the huge potholes. Now my main commuter is a Long Haul Trucker.
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Old 04-12-11, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by The Historian
Oh, I agree. But you wouldn't insist it's the cure-all for what ails anyone.
Maybe not a "cure-all," but I would suggest that it will help with the common complaints I hear from people. Saddle sores, numb hands & wrists, stiff back or neck... all those things went bye-bye when I "got 'bent."
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