Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Recumbent
Reload this Page >

You're too low to be seen.

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.

You're too low to be seen.

Reply

Old 01-09-18, 05:01 PM
  #1  
Retro Grouch 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Retro Grouch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: St Peters, Missouri
Posts: 28,597

Bikes: Catrike 559 I own some others but they don't get ridden very much.

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 885 Post(s)
You're too low to be seen.

I've come to the conclusion that recumbent trikes are safer than conventional bikes.

The people texting on their cell phones are the ones I fear most. I'm thinking they keep enough look out to see me enough to wonder what I am. A conventional bicyclist registers as a bicycle so they go back to their keyboard.

If I'm wrong, by the time I find out it will be too late for me. You, however, may benefit from my experience if you notice I have suddenly stopped posting.
__________________
My greatest fear is all of my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "how sensible" dad was.
Retro Grouch is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-18, 05:10 PM
  #2  
Juan Foote
LBKA (formerly punkncat)
 
Juan Foote's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Jawja
Posts: 3,311

Bikes: Spec Roubaix SL4, GT Traffic 1.0

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 631 Post(s)
Safer from a 'fall over' perspective, but certainly not from an incident with a car one. I sold mine after repeated issues with drivers in my rolling hilly area. Given thought that your head is right where the bumper is, it makes even a minor collision deadly. No thanks.

I hope to live in an area where I can feel safe riding one again, because I really enjoyed and miss mine for the ride.
Juan Foote is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-18, 05:58 PM
  #3  
Trsnrtr
(Tresenriter)
 
Trsnrtr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Central Illinois
Posts: 14,632

Bikes: Giant Propel, Gianni Motta, Co-Motion Supremo, ICE VTX

Mentioned: 77 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5008 Post(s)
Today was a dreary and slightly foggy day. I generally don't worry about my lowness, but I did opt for an upright with lights and a bright yellow coat instead of my VTX.
__________________
Dennis T

Then some damn fool invents the wheel
Trsnrtr is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-18, 10:08 AM
  #4  
rydabent
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Lincoln Ne
Posts: 7,109

Bikes: RANS Stratus TerraTrike Cruiser

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1069 Post(s)
I totally agree. As I have stated many times when riding on streets, I get a much wider berth than when im riding my bike.
rydabent is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-18, 04:58 PM
  #5  
Trsnrtr
(Tresenriter)
 
Trsnrtr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Central Illinois
Posts: 14,632

Bikes: Giant Propel, Gianni Motta, Co-Motion Supremo, ICE VTX

Mentioned: 77 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5008 Post(s)
Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
I totally agree. As I have stated many times when riding on streets, I get a much wider berth than when im riding my bike.
I think this is generally true.
__________________
Dennis T

Then some damn fool invents the wheel
Trsnrtr is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-18, 09:12 AM
  #6  
shelbyfv
Senior Member
 
shelbyfv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 4,831
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 924 Post(s)
more "You're too low"
shelbyfv is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-18, 11:34 AM
  #7  
rydabent
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Lincoln Ne
Posts: 7,109

Bikes: RANS Stratus TerraTrike Cruiser

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1069 Post(s)
Actually I think the "too low to be seen" is a totally bogus argument. No one, that is no one drives over a dead skunk in the road. Well--------------that is except a teen texting on their smart phone. So--------------my point is even the the lowest super speed laid back trike is taller than a dead skunk.
rydabent is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-18, 02:55 PM
  #8  
Kontact
Senior Member
 
Kontact's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 3,628
Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2138 Post(s)
Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Actually I think the "too low to be seen" is a totally bogus argument. No one, that is no one drives over a dead skunk in the road. Well--------------that is except a teen texting on their smart phone. So--------------my point is even the the lowest super speed laid back trike is taller than a dead skunk.
How many cyclists get run over while they are stopped in the middle of a road like dead skunk?

Bikes generally are hit by crossing or turning traffic.



Recumbents are certainly harder to see and have poorer visibility for the rider than an upright bicycle. I don't know if hitting bumper with your head is worse than hitting a windshield. You make your choice and take your chances.
Kontact is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-18, 08:52 PM
  #9  
tcs
Palmer
 
tcs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Parts Unknown
Posts: 5,211

Bikes: 1980 Mike Melton, 1982 Stumpjumper, 1982 Santana, 1984 Alex Moulton AM7, 1987 Dahon Classic III, 2007 Cannondale Capo, 2010 Dawes Briercliffe, 2017 Dahon Curl i3

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 254 Post(s)
Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Actually I think the "too low to be seen" is a totally bogus argument.
Why then all the flags, I wonder?
tcs is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-18, 08:46 AM
  #10  
Steamer
Senior Member
 
Steamer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: high ground
Posts: 956
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 74 Post(s)
Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Why then all the flags, I wonder?
I use a flag primarily to keep busy bodies from telling me I need a flag.
Steamer is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-18, 11:42 AM
  #11  
BlazingPedals
Senior Member
 
BlazingPedals's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Middle of da Mitten
Posts: 10,341

Bikes: Trek 7500, RANS V-Rex, Optima Baron, Velokraft NoCom, M-5 Carbon Highracer, homebuilt recumbent

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 633 Post(s)
I find that lane positioning is much more important than height. Drivers don't see bikes all the time, no matter how tall they are. They don't see them because bikes and their riders blend into the background and get processed out, like bushes, trees, and sign posts. Ridden at the edge of the road, bikes - any bikes - become invisible. And when out in the lane, regardless of height, they aren't.

My personal statistics are night-and-day: hit many times on my upright including once when I was standing in the crosswalk waiting for a red light. For the bents, only one left hook where the driver was turning blindly in front of a motor home that was in the left lane. That doesn't 'prove' bents are more visible, but it implies they aren't any worse. I now run with a flasher in back, even in the daytime, on the theory that any bike becomes invisible when riding from bright sun into a patch of deep shade. I believe that the biggest impact flags have is to make the owners *think* they're more visible.
BlazingPedals is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-18, 01:25 PM
  #12  
Steamer
Senior Member
 
Steamer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: high ground
Posts: 956
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 74 Post(s)
For my two bents that are not high, IMO, flags do have some points of utility, but increased visibility from the rear is not the big one. I think the benefits are:

1. As already stated, having a flag keeps busy-bodies from stopping and telling you to get a flag. This is the primary function for me.
2. If you are near the crest of a hill (either side of it), sometimes your flag is visible before you and your bike/trike are to traffic on that same road.
3. If you are riding along a roadside linear mound or hedge, your flag may be visible to those approaching your road from side streets when you and your bike/trike are not.
4. If you ride in moderate to heavy traffic, queuing at stop signs / stop lights, etc, sometimes your flag is visible when you and your bike/trike are concealed by the car's hood.

3 and 4 rarely apply to my own personal riding conditions, but sometimes 2 does. And 1 defintely does. So I usually use one, but only on my trike, and sometimes on my midracer (sometimes). I don't bother on my high racers. Never even occurred to me to use one on those. I am higher than some cars on the high racers.
Steamer is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-18, 05:28 PM
  #13  
Trsnrtr
(Tresenriter)
 
Trsnrtr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Central Illinois
Posts: 14,632

Bikes: Giant Propel, Gianni Motta, Co-Motion Supremo, ICE VTX

Mentioned: 77 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5008 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Steamer View Post
I use a flag primarily to keep busy bodies from telling me I need a flag.
Exactly.
__________________
Dennis T

Then some damn fool invents the wheel
Trsnrtr is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-18, 12:13 PM
  #14  
JanMM
rebmeM roineS
 
JanMM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Metro Indy, IN
Posts: 14,891

Bikes: RANS V3 ti, RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 371 Post(s)
'Get a flag' must be a trike thing. Or, is it a regional thing?
Can't recall being told that while riding 'bent bikes.
__________________
RANS V3 Ti, RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer
JanMM is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-18, 12:41 PM
  #15  
Steamer
Senior Member
 
Steamer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: high ground
Posts: 956
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 74 Post(s)
Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
'Get a flag' must be a trike thing. Or, is it a regional thing?
Can't recall being told that while riding 'bent bikes.
Because you are not all that low on one of your bent bikes?

I have only been yelled at when riding my trike or a semi-low bike like my now departed Musashi.
Steamer is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-18, 07:32 PM
  #16  
JanMM
rebmeM roineS
 
JanMM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Metro Indy, IN
Posts: 14,891

Bikes: RANS V3 ti, RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 371 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Steamer View Post
Because you are not all that low on one of your bent bikes?

I have only been yelled at when riding my trike or a semi-low bike like my now departed Musashi.
Yeah, probably mostly applies to way-down-low trikes or low racer bikes. As opposed to my lower-than-a-DF bikes.
__________________
RANS V3 Ti, RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer
JanMM is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-18, 05:24 PM
  #17  
rydabent
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Lincoln Ne
Posts: 7,109

Bikes: RANS Stratus TerraTrike Cruiser

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1069 Post(s)
Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Why then all the flags, I wonder?
Mainly for legal protection. If involved in an accident the car driver's lawyer will claim you are partly at fault if you didnt have a flag or wear a helmet
rydabent is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-18, 02:59 PM
  #18  
Retro Grouch 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Retro Grouch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: St Peters, Missouri
Posts: 28,597

Bikes: Catrike 559 I own some others but they don't get ridden very much.

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 885 Post(s)
Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Mainly for legal protection. If involved in an accident the car driver's lawyer will claim you are partly at fault if you didnt have a flag or wear a helmet
Why, of course they will if it comes to that. In a comparative negligence state lawyers will be looking for anything to claim as partial negligence in order to reduce the size of the award. Of course, there will be (or should be) an attorney on the other side to argue otherwise. I don't think they can claim that because some riders choose to display a flashing light in the daylight or wear some distinctive clothing like, for example, a clown suit that all riders must also either do so or be held partially negligent.
__________________
My greatest fear is all of my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "how sensible" dad was.
Retro Grouch is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-18, 04:53 PM
  #19  
BlazingPedals
Senior Member
 
BlazingPedals's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Middle of da Mitten
Posts: 10,341

Bikes: Trek 7500, RANS V-Rex, Optima Baron, Velokraft NoCom, M-5 Carbon Highracer, homebuilt recumbent

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 633 Post(s)
Usually, when I hear of a 'suggestion' to get a flag, it's by a motorist, given in a passive-agressive manner. As in, "Now that I've warned you to get a flag, ALL of the responsibility of avoiding an accident with me next time, will be yours."
BlazingPedals is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-18, 06:33 PM
  #20  
Steamer
Senior Member
 
Steamer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: high ground
Posts: 956
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 74 Post(s)
Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
Usually, when I hear of a 'suggestion' to get a flag, it's by a motorist, given in a passive-agressive manner. As in, "Now that I've warned you to get a flag, ALL of the responsibility of avoiding an accident with me next time, will be yours."
Absolutely. I have never heard it sound any other way. Tone tells all.
Steamer is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-18, 01:28 PM
  #21  
Retro Grouch 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Retro Grouch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: St Peters, Missouri
Posts: 28,597

Bikes: Catrike 559 I own some others but they don't get ridden very much.

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 885 Post(s)
The only time I've been told to get a flag was by a woman (DF) cyclist while on a bike path ride. She took a real long time to tell me how important it was. A real long time.

Most of the time when I'm riding on roads I use a spinner flag. Without exception all of the comments I've gotten from motorists have been complimentary. I've had a couple of (DF) bike riders who have commented about how much my flag pole is bent and how that much drag must really be slowing me down. One of them took a long time to tell me that too. I wish it would have slowed me down enough for him to ride on by so I didn't have to listen to him.
__________________
My greatest fear is all of my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "how sensible" dad was.
Retro Grouch is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-18, 04:49 PM
  #22  
Trsnrtr
(Tresenriter)
 
Trsnrtr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Central Illinois
Posts: 14,632

Bikes: Giant Propel, Gianni Motta, Co-Motion Supremo, ICE VTX

Mentioned: 77 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5008 Post(s)
Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
'Get a flag' must be a trike thing. Or, is it a regional thing?
Can't recall being told that while riding 'bent bikes.
I first heard it numerous times when riding lowracers.
__________________
Dennis T

Then some damn fool invents the wheel
Trsnrtr is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-18, 11:26 AM
  #23  
RL7836
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 66
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
I believe that the biggest impact flags have is to make the owners *think* they're more visible.
Agree. I once rode behind my wife & her friend for 20-30 minutes. It wasn't until I passed them that I even noticed that her friend had a flag. Their construction/design makes them a really poor option if you want to increase visibility from the rear
Originally Posted by Steamer View Post
I have only been yelled at when riding my trike or a semi-low bike like my now departed Musashi.
Yup - I had a lady hang way out of her window to scream "Get a flag!" as loud as she could just as she was passing. Very pleasant interaction. Not.
RL7836 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-18, 02:22 PM
  #24  
HenryL
HenryL
 
HenryL's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Fanwood, NJ
Posts: 170

Bikes: Raleigh Militus, Custom Steel road bike manufactured by Steve Willis of The Bike Stand, Raleigh Rush Hour. Windcheetah recumbent trike, Actionbent SWB recumbent

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
First time out in a while on my windcheetah. Can't ride a road bike due to shoulder surgery recovery. Rode in a group, several mentioned I should have a flag. My response was the first time they were smacked in the face with it during group ride would change their mind. During a solo ride someone when out of there way to point out sans flag I could not be seen. Individual did not appreciate my response "you saw me". Just part of the recumbent experience.
HenryL is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-18, 08:27 PM
  #25  
BlazingPedals
Senior Member
 
BlazingPedals's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Middle of da Mitten
Posts: 10,341

Bikes: Trek 7500, RANS V-Rex, Optima Baron, Velokraft NoCom, M-5 Carbon Highracer, homebuilt recumbent

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 633 Post(s)
Upright riders' common method of checking to the side before doing something stupid is to do a 'shoulder check.' That is, they quickly look for something next to them at shoulder height. Of course that won't detect a bent rider, or even a short upright rider. Then they complain that car drivers don't see bikes because they're only watching out for other cars. They should follow their own advice and watch for all road users, but especially if they know there's a bent in the group.
BlazingPedals is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Terms of Service