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Fast bike for quick rides?

Old 07-03-06, 08:43 AM
  #26  
ScrubJ
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A looong time before there were fancy bike pants available for everyone, we used to ride our "ten speeds" in shorts, jeans =, or whatever we had on at the time. My high school girlfriend had a Brooks saddle on her bike, didn't seem to bother her riding in what she had on.

I found NOT riding in cotton seems to work better for me.
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Old 07-03-06, 04:22 PM
  #27  
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wicking material - I like duofold but there are many others out there.
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Old 07-03-06, 04:41 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by farrellcollie
wicking material - I like duofold but there are many others out there.
Thanks. I did a quick search for duofold online and it looks promising.
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Old 07-03-06, 05:45 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by TheRCF
I sometimes think about a bent, but I'm not ready for that yet. There are some issues I have with them. For one thing, I wonder how much I'll lose in speed uphill - that is, whether that loss will be greater than the speed I gain on the rest of the ride. I've never been good on hills anyway.
Since most people usually take round trips, and we can approximate any round trip as a trip for however many miles on flat ground, then the decrease in drag associated with a 'bent/velomobile far outweighs the increase in weight. For example, a faired bent is probably closer to a velomobile than a racing bicycle, and for all practical matters is faster than a road bike (as seen here on page 59). Another velomobile, the Quest, is much faster than other velomobiles while still being stable and convient. If you don't mind two wheels, you can opt for quicker designs that are more streamlined and capable of over 80mph on flat ground. I'm guessing you don't need to hit 80mph, but a comprimise between the Quest and Varna Diablo should allow for cruising speeds > 40mph and a more comfortable ride.

I also am not real fond of how visible you are sitting down below the parked cars - and I don't think the little pennants are all that noticeable.
That's a bit of a problem for bare recumbents... But if you ever opt for a velomobile, you could paint the exterior glow in the dark neon yellow and be pretty noticable.

Most bents won't fit on a bus bike rack.
Some do, some don't. It depends on wheel spacing and size.

All in all, due to the costs of fabrication (no mass production by third world countries) buying any recumbent or velomobile's not exactly practical, but if you're a DIY'er with a decent amount of time and a few hundred bucks you could probably design and build something that fits on a bus, carries a practical amount of stuff, and can cruise at 40+mph.
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Old 07-03-06, 06:30 PM
  #30  
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lyeinyoureye,

Wow, that's interesting stuff. I have a hard time seeing myself using a velomobile in the traffic here. It would work fine when starting out since I ride in the middle of the night, but during the day when I'm coming back, I think it would be scary and while a bicycle is allowed on most sidewalks here, I don't think a velo would be practical that way.

I'd love to see some of these things in person or even try them (velos or recumbents). Some of the pictures make it look like it would be pretty awkward getting on/off (or in/out) of these things.

The noticeable part can get very tricky. For example, suppose I'm on a multi-lane road. The cars behind me are not in my lane, but the other lanes have lots of traffic. I have to concern myself with some driven suddenly deciding to pass someone on the right, thus moving into my lane, and they may not know I'm there in advance and, as the change lanes and accelerate, they may be looking behind in case some car is coming up on them - thus they don't see me! This is a problem even on a regular bike, but there is a greater chance that they can see me before they even change lanes. On one of these bents or velos, I would be too low to be seen until they changed lanes - which is a problem if they aren't looking as they should.

I'm completely lost when it comes to mechanical things so a DIY isn't going to happen.

BTW, looking at the picture of the bent on the bus rack, I was wondering if the width of the seat creates a problem if another bike is put next to it?

Thanks.
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Old 07-03-06, 07:26 PM
  #31  
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Ouch, yes, that could be a problem. I think the best bet would be to design some kind of really, really, really visible streamer/flag. As far as entry/egress, well, it's as comfortable as it's designed it to be. Obviously the 80mph hpv isn't going to be something to take on quick jaunts to the store, but something with a hinged lid would be practical, while maintaining minimal reference area (the area of the front of the vehicle, directly related to energy expended, cut this in half and you usually reduce the energy required to cruise by ~40-45%). As for the bike rack, well... it seems like that'd depend on how the other bike was oriented, I think everything would fit if the other bike's handlebars were high enough. Of course there might be enough clearance between both racks anyway?

In any event, I'm hoping to design a single 'bent frame that could be set up to accept a taller body and associated bicycle driveline for velomobile operation, as well as an engine (either twin 2hp two stroke gas engines (~25lbs), or a single 4hp diesel(~75lbs), the difference being the diesel would provide better fuel economy at the expense of weight) mounting point/set up and lower/wider body for commuting as a moped/motorcycle. But, as always, I need to get off my lazy a$$ and familiarize myself with some CFD software/make some money/build a mockup/do a whole load of crap before I can have a vehicle that can cruise at ~40mph on human power, or go much faster and get ~600-1000mpg@40mph on ICE (internal combustion engine) power. If I ever do this I'll post up plans and howto's so people can get into the whole concept and build one if they'd like.
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Old 07-03-06, 08:37 PM
  #32  
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I actually had that happen once, though the exact situation was a bit different. I was on the main road and passing an intersection. There was a merge lane for vehicles turning right onto my road. Well, I passed the intersection and this pickup truck is just about starting to enter the merge lane.

I wasn't sure if they were going to try to pass me on the right in the merge lane or move over so I stayed where I was until I could be sure (it was a LONG merge lane). At that time I didn't have my eyeglass mirror and the next thing I hear is a major squealing of brakes. Obviously the guy had decided to jump all the way over into the main lane while only looking behind to see if other cars were coming so he had no idea I was there. Fortunately he turned around and saw me in time. From that time on, I've used the mirror! Gives me a really good idea of what people are doing as they come up from behind. I can keep a pretty steady eye on them instead of the quick looks you can do by looking back. Besides, when I look back, I can't actually look through the glasses so things are blurred anyway.

A very visible streamer certainly helps, but no matter what you do, it isn't going to be as obvious as a bicycle and we know how some drivers don't seem to see them. Heck, they often don't see motorcycles!

I'm am getting interested in possible designs - just for a bent. I wonder how far off the ground some are and if there are designs which, while you offer less wind resistance, let you easily sit up and be far enough off the ground so you can more easily get of and on - or push off when starting for that matter. Guess wind resistance would be higher, but your body would still offer less resistance than a regular bike.

Wish I was mechanically minded - it would make an interesting hobby. But I've been known to screw up my gear shifting just by making the normal minor adjustments!
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Old 07-03-06, 09:42 PM
  #33  
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Yeah, but are people commonly able to use them on road bikes without biking shorts?
I have a brooks B17 and actually find that shorts with no padding are more comfortable. Just today I rode with some cheapie cotton shorts from Walmart and it was the usual brooks bliss.
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Old 07-03-06, 10:05 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by slowandsteady
I have a brooks B17 and actually find that shorts with no padding are more comfortable. Just today I rode with some cheapie cotton shorts from Walmart and it was the usual brooks bliss.
Very interesting. Thanks.
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Old 07-04-06, 03:07 PM
  #35  
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Okay, I tried some padded underwear I bought ages ago from Performance (Andanmo or something like that - 100% polyester hydro-something or other material).

I did everything else as usual - Sport stick at the crease where the leg meets the torso (in case material bunches up there) and baby powder on the butt and private areas.

At about 3 miles, I could feel something that would, eventually, probably lead to problem I described with regular shorts and underwear (burning sensation). But while I could feel it more as I rode, by the time I stopped (13 miles), it wasn't feeling bad. Just a feeling a would prefer not to have. After being stopped at the beach for over 4 hours, I headed back expecting it to get much worse. Well, it got worse, but still not painful - just an annoyance.

I don't know if I tried these padded undershorts with this saddle or not - it was a long time ago that I got them and as I recall they were more of a problem.

Don't know yet if I tried this on all these rides if the problem would escalate. I do know it isn't as good as I'd like it to be even if it stays the same as this time.
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