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Recumbent What IS that thing?! Recumbents may be odd looking, but they have many advantages over a "wedgie" bicycle. Discuss the in's and out's recumbent lifestyle in the recumbent forum.

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Old 08-24-17, 08:57 PM   #1
Jeff Wills
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"You're too low"

Every once in a while I get asked if I worry about being seen in traffic. Here's a comparison: This is my bike next to a 2004-06 Ford GT. As you can see, my bike is as tall as the car and my shoulders are higher than that.

I admit that a Ford GT is a pretty low car, though.

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Old 08-24-17, 09:49 PM   #2
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Now make yours as red as a fire engine and three times as loud and you'll be equally visible.

A newer GT stands 44 inches tall. When sitting upright on my cross bike, the top of my helmet is 81 inches off the ground.
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Old 08-25-17, 06:03 AM   #3
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I get that same phrase from others, especially being on my Optima Baron LR. I just tell them "Well, you saw me, didn't you?".

I assume people are just trying to look out for me, thinking that others are dumber than they are. But with flashers, bright shirts, and of course something different on the road, pretty much all drivers see me. If they don't, they should not be driving.
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Old 08-25-17, 08:42 AM   #4
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Every once in a while I get asked if I worry about being seen in traffic. Here's a comparison: This is my bike next to a 204-06 Ford GT. As you can see, my bike is as tall as the car and my shoulders are higher than that.

I admit that a Ford GT is a pretty low car, though.

I sit in almost this same position on my stretch cruisers. when I tell others they're sitting too low I'm joking with them.
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Old 08-25-17, 09:21 AM   #5
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"You're so low I can't see you."


"Then who are you talking to?"
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Old 08-25-17, 12:11 PM   #6
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Maybe they have a point. For example, whoever owns fancy that car must not be able to see well enough to park between the lines.
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Old 08-25-17, 12:17 PM   #7
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I've had the same comment from drivers who see me on my Catrike 700. The seat angle is 27 degrees so I am fairly prone on the trike. The top of my helmet is about 30" off the pavement. If you can see a damn beer can in the road and swerve to avoid hitting it, surely you can see an 8 foot long object that sticks up two and a half feet from the road. I just dismiss crap comments like that one as coming from sheer ignorance.
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Old 08-25-17, 09:35 PM   #8
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Now make yours as red as a fire engine and three times as loud and you'll be equally visible.

A newer GT stands 44 inches tall. When sitting upright on my cross bike, the top of my helmet is 81 inches off the ground.
And due to all that height, upright bikes are very visible and never get hit, right???
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Old 08-25-17, 09:38 PM   #9
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I get that same phrase from others, especially being on my Optima Baron LR. I just tell them "Well, you saw me, didn't you?".

I assume people are just trying to look out for me, thinking that others are dumber than they are. But with flashers, bright shirts, and of course something different on the road, pretty much all drivers see me. If they don't, they should not be driving.
I read it as a passive-agressive threat: "I've done my part by warning you that you're hard for me to see; now I can hit you and it won't be my fault."
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Old 08-26-17, 08:15 AM   #10
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And yet they swerve for potholes and squirrels! At 200 feet the sight angle between an upright and a recumbent is less than a degree, so visibility is more important than height.
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Old 08-28-17, 10:20 AM   #11
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"You're so low I can't see you."


"Then who are you talking to?"
Great logical point. I love it.
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Old 08-28-17, 10:24 AM   #12
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And due to all that height, upright bikes are very visible and never get hit, right???
Another great point. I wonder if there are "studies" that compare the difference between DF and bents being hit.

I googled this, and got referred right back here to Bike Forums.

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Old 08-28-17, 07:37 PM   #13
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If drivers can see lane stripes they can see a recumbent.
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Old 10-03-17, 07:59 AM   #14
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But with flashers, bright shirts, and of course something different on the road, pretty much all drivers see me.
I've heard that argument from other 'bent riders a number of times: That they're more visible than a DF bike just because they're so unique looking.

I'm not sure if I believe that, but it's an interesting theory.
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Old 10-03-17, 08:41 AM   #15
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Another great point. I wonder if there are "studies" that compare the difference between DF and bents being hit.

I googled this, and got referred right back here to Bike Forums.
I don't worry too much on 2 lane roads. I'm a bit more concerned in urban areas where I might be riding alongside cars. Most times I find that folks want to make it easier for me to change lanes and make left turns and the like. Much more so than when I'm riding a DF bike.
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Old 10-03-17, 08:53 AM   #16
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I've heard that argument from other 'bent riders a number of times: That they're more visible than a DF bike just because they're so unique looking.

I'm not sure if I believe that, but it's an interesting theory.
It's a rationalization to explain the observed phenomenon. Whatever the reason is, I seem to be given more room when I'm on a bent - even my lowracers. There's no doubt they see me just as well as if I were taller. Like Retro, I'd probably be more concerned about riding alongside parked cars and in that case would ride out in the lane more.
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Old 10-05-17, 08:07 AM   #17
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I recently was passed by a motorist that went clear out into the left lane, then made a right turn right back in front of me. I had to lock the brakes to keep from hitting him. I blew my (very loud) air horn and he came to a screaming halt, jumped out of his car and started telling me that I sat too low for him to see me. To that I replied “but you went clear out in the left lane to get around me.” He just stood there fore a few seconds the got back in his car and roared off. Must have been something I said!
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Old 10-07-17, 09:08 AM   #18
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I've heard that argument from other 'bent riders a number of times: That they're more visible than a DF bike just because they're so unique looking.

I'm not sure if I believe that, but it's an interesting theory.
I think there's something to it. I call it the "what the hell is that?" factor.
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Old 10-07-17, 09:58 PM   #19
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I think there's something to it. I call it the "what the hell is that?" factor.
I think the correct, scientific name is the "Wutdahellizzat" factor.
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Old 10-07-17, 09:58 PM   #20
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^^^ On the gripping hand, that would be a cool name for a recumbent bicycle company.
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Old 10-07-17, 10:43 PM   #21
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So far, everyone who mattered has seen me.
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Old 10-08-17, 06:56 AM   #22
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I think the correct, scientific name is the "Wutdahellizzat" factor.
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Old 10-08-17, 07:38 AM   #23
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I think the correct, scientific name is the "Wutdahellizzat" factor.
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Old 10-08-17, 08:03 AM   #24
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The way that I look at this is the fact few people will run over a dead skunk in the road. I am bigger than a dead skunk, so why worry.
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Old 10-08-17, 01:12 PM   #25
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The way that I look at this is the fact few people will run over a dead skunk in the road. I am bigger than a dead skunk, so why worry.
Thank you for today's musical selection:

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