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Interested in recumbent, but need info

Old 07-12-19, 03:24 PM
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sriley4290
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Interested in recumbent, but need info

I looked on the forums, but didn't find a thread on this. I am sure I missed one or multiple somewhere. I do apologize if I did, I am still looking.

I have been riding my df road bike for over years now, just getting back into it after 20 yrs. while I love my road bike, I am curious as to the performance of a recumbent(mainly trike) compared to a decent road bike. through normal ride on the road in my location I avg about 14-16mph with hills and flats. do recumbent bikes/trikes perform as well as regular road bikes? any advice, or information you can give would be greatly appreciated...
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Old 07-12-19, 05:54 PM
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You can also try BROL or Bentrider.com.
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Old 07-12-19, 06:59 PM
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A 3-wheeler is going to take a speed hit; the only question being how much. Only a small hit for some trikes, large for others. If you're looking for speed capability, look at the same factors that determine speediness in a road bike: weight, frame stiffness, and overall aerodynamics.

With trikes, a quick thing to look at is the gearing. If it has a small drive wheel and doesn't normalize the gearing, that's telling you it doesn't need gears over 85 inches -- because it's slow. IOW, low gears don't make it slow, they simply verify that it's already slow.

Regarding recumbent bikes, just like with upright bikes performance is all over the spectrum. Most are no faster than a typical hybrid, but some are just stupid-fast. Again, look at weight, stiffness and aerodynamics.

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Old 07-13-19, 02:58 AM
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For the most part two wheel recumbents you will be faster on the flat and slight up grade, much fast on the down hill. A little slower on climbing depending on the bike you choose. Overall you will be faster. On the recumbents trikes in my experience you will be slower but then I’m a old man. To me recumbents are all about comfort in riding and building up my lower back and abdominal muscles.
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Old 07-15-19, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
A 3-wheeler is going to take a speed hit; the only question being how much. Only a small hit for some trikes, large for others. If you're looking for speed capability, look at the same factors that determine speediness in a road bike: weight, frame stiffness, and overall aerodynamics.

With trikes, a quick thing to look at is the gearing. If it has a small drive wheel and doesn't normalize the gearing, that's telling you it doesn't need gears over 85 inches -- because it's slow. IOW, low gears don't make it slow, they simply verify that it's already slow.

Regarding recumbent bikes, just like with upright bikes performance is all over the spectrum. Most are no faster than a typical hybrid, but some are just stupid-fast. Again, look at weight, stiffness and aerodynamics.
Thank you very much. that is what I was thinking, but I don't know enough about them. do they use shimano/SRAM cassetts/cranks, etc like road bikes? if no, can you put those types of components on a recumbent? I would think you could and it would be standard for that equipment, but again, I just don't know.
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Old 07-15-19, 01:14 PM
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Recumbents use standard drive train gear, albeit sometimes with some special parts such as idlers or chain tubes.
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Old 07-16-19, 10:34 AM
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Depending on the type of hills and how you climb on your current road bike, likely that your speed average will take a hit regardless which recumbent you try, until you get used and build up the different muscles/muscle memory that allow you to ride a recumbent faster.

The advantage is that any recumbent will likely relieve much neck/shoulder/arm fatigue that you may have on the road bike, especially for long hours in the saddle.
So you may be riding slower, but not nearly as fatigued after a long ride.

Personally, I've been riding regular road bikes for nearly 30 years and recumbents for over 16 years.
Depending on the ride I plan to do, I choose the type of bike I ride.
For long hours in the saddle at casual pace well within my physical limits; I ride my recumbent.
For performance rides that I need to play among competitive riders; I ride my road bike... I could ride my recumbent as well, but it wouldn't be fair to the other road bike riders.

Even with a use recumbent like a Vision R40 or Easy Racer, they are good values to get you started on recumbents.
I got my first recumbent Vision R40, back in 2003 for under $500.
If you really enjoy riding a recumbent after riding a cheap used machine; then get a new machine that suits you.

Last edited by cat0020; 07-18-19 at 07:41 AM.
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Old 07-16-19, 11:13 AM
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Recumbents are an evolving technology. There are a number of different frame designs and they all ride a little differently.

There is no adequate substitute for spending a half day or so at a recumbent specialty dealer. Riding a recumbent or two or even shopping a dealer that has 2 recumbents on the sales floor just doesn't cut it.

In addition to how the various recumbents ride, there are a number of other factors involved with living with a recumbent - fit, chain length, wheel alignment of trikes, transportation, storage and even will one fit through your front door. A recumbent specialty dealer can walk you through those questions.
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Old 07-17-19, 06:18 PM
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The idea that bent bikes are faster than road bikes is based on the assumption that they're more aerodynamic, which isn't always, or even usually, the case. There's nothing else special about them to make them fast. So, in order to reap the benefits of a speedier bike, you first have to be strong enough to ride at speeds where aerodynamics start mattering, which means you have to be an 18-20 mph rider on your road bike.
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Old 07-17-19, 08:41 PM
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Im about 2 mph slower on my trike. But trike riding is so relaxing it is well worth the speed hit. IMO speed is not the holy grail anyway.
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