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Going up a hill on a recumbent

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Going up a hill on a recumbent

Old 09-27-22, 06:07 PM
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You might use either the Sheldon Brown or Mike Sherman gear calculators to see exactly what you have in the way of gears. There is always some overlap between different chainring combinations. I don't think you need to change anything if you never use the smallest chainring, just ride.
https://sheldonbrown.com/gear-calc.html
https://mike-sherman.github.io/shift/
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Old 09-27-22, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by newbert
I've been considering changing to clipless, but have held off because I'm reluctant to have to change shoes when arriving at my ride start point (which I get to by car). Nevertheless I'm still considering trying clipless. I'd be interested in hearing more specifics about your experience with your new cleats with regard to your "ease and "difference". What specifically is easier and how are they different from what you used before?

Thanks!
I'm glad you ask, Reading at the provided link will give you far more information than I could type here. But the primary reason for having clipless pedals is Efficiency! With your current pedals your only putting power into 50% of every rotation of your foot on the pedal, but if you have clipless pedals, your feet are locked into the pedal and you can both pull as well as push the pedal on every stroke. This proved invaluable to me when too much exertion on my replaced knee would cause excessive pain afterward. Now the bit of hills I've done with the clipless pedals. I can put forth all the effort I want and it alleviates enough of the wear on the knee to keep to keep the pain virtually non-existent

https://www.cyclingabout.com/tips-fo...-bike-touring/

Last edited by Mhiniker; 09-27-22 at 06:53 PM.
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Old 09-29-22, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Mhiniker
I'm glad you ask, Reading at the provided link will give you far more information than I could type here. But the primary reason for having clipless pedals is Efficiency! With your current pedals your only putting power into 50% of every rotation of your foot on the pedal, but if you have clipless pedals, your feet are locked into the pedal and you can both pull as well as push the pedal on every stroke. This proved invaluable to me when too much exertion on my replaced knee would cause excessive pain afterward. Now the bit of hills I've done with the clipless pedals. I can put forth all the effort I want and it alleviates enough of the wear on the knee to keep to keep the pain virtually non-existent

https://www.cyclingabout.com/tips-fo...-bike-touring/
Thanks for that info. Although the info on that link is a bit dated (re: specific shoes and sandals), it was still very useful for me.

Now I need to figure out exactly where to shop for the shoes/sandals. It appears that my local options around here are pretty limited.
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Old 09-29-22, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by newbert
I've been considering changing to clipless, but have held off because I'm reluctant to have to change shoes when arriving at my ride start point (which I get to by car). Nevertheless I'm still considering trying clipless. I'd be interested in hearing more specifics about your experience with your new cleats with regard to your "ease and "difference". What specifically is easier and how are they different from what you used before?

Thanks!
I use SPD pedals, and shoes for those are generally walkable. I regularly wear them while driving to a club ride. Although by the end of the ride it feels good to get out of the hot shoes and into something else! The other good thing about dedicated cycling shoes is that the much stiffer sole will cause less hotfoot, numb toes, and generally sore feet. If you want to try an interim solution, there are PowerGrips.

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Old 09-29-22, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Mhiniker
Stopping is something I've always avoided, from the time I ran, to just keep moving forward is key! It affects me too much mentally if I were to have to stop.

Gearing Down: exactly, but to what? My Bent is a 3-10. I did 3-1 to get up the worst local hill the first time, & now finding I just need to start moving up through the 10, as I can while I'm on it, usually to no more than three or four on the sprocket. It's certainly what seems to be working so although this is my original question it is answered. Thank you!

I've only been getting out recently on serious rides with bike groups so the 'bent legs are coming and I can tell
Some people may need to stop, but the hills I encounter I do not. Nor have I ever walked a bike or trike up a hill.
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Old 09-29-22, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals
I use SPD pedals, and shoes for those are generally walkable. I regularly wear them while driving to a club ride. Although by the end of the ride it feels good to get out of the hot shoes and into something else! The other good thing about dedicated cycling shoes is that the much stiffer sole will cause less hotfoot, numb toes, and generally sore feet. If you want to try an interim solution, there are PowerGrips.

Thanks for that, BlazingPedals. I've been using an interim solution similar to the powergrips. While the heel cups on these keep the foot from slipping off the pedals, you can't really pull up on them effectively That's why I'm now seriously considering trying clipless. However, I don't have any place locally (Albany NY area) to shop for SPD shoes to try them on before buying. Are there good online sources to purchase from with a fair return policy? FWIW, the shoes would be used with the pedals that come standard with a Catrike Villager.

Thanks agai!
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Old 09-29-22, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by newbert
Thanks for that, BlazingPedals. I've been using <a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B096YVD36S/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1">an interim solution similar to the powergrips</a>. While the heel cups on these keep the foot from slipping off the pedals, you can't really pull up on them effectively That's why I'm now seriously considering trying clipless. However, I don't have any place locally (Albany NY area) to shop for SPD shoes to try them on before buying. Are there good online sources to purchase from with a fair return policy? FWIW, the shoes would be used with the pedals that come standard with a Catrike Villager.<br /><br />Thanks agai!
<br />A cheap way to test out what it would be like is to buy some of that velcro "one wrap" which is double sided and run it thru the sides of your pedal and up over the top of your foot where your toes meet the foot. Someone suggested that to me a while ago. I also use this velcro as my heel retention strap and it works great. The toe velcro lets me pull and secures my foot well and I can adjust is to there is a little "float". For less than five bucks you can definitely get a good sense of what being clipped in feels like. There's a demonstrable increase in my speed when I use the toe retention and pull thru the entire stroke. You can also use the double sided velcro like the Power Grips (which I used to own) and insert it at the correct angle. I felt the like power grips kept me from moving my foot angle or it became too loose if I did move the angle, so sold them. I didn't like the tension changing based on foot position. If I hadn't just bought new 5-10's I would consider clipless because now I can definitely see the advantage. I'll be looking for some during Xmas sales that take mountain bike type shoes with inserts because you can actually walk in them, too.
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Old 10-01-22, 09:44 AM
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For hills, I've always tried to maintain a good spin (full-circles) in a lower gear, & only worry about myself (not a racer). Later techniques I learned for longer hills:
-Once the spin is used up in almost the lowest gear, I can either add more leg force using the lower back of my seat as a brace (like a leg-lift weight machine).
-I can pull on the handle bars, forcing my weight & legs forward on the pedals.

t really depends on which bent I'm on and how it's configured. EZ-1 is a handlebar puller, the tadpole trike is a leg-press.

I enjoy hill challenges on my bents. The Ez-1 with a 20" wheel is better than you'd think, and on the trike, well... I don't have to worry about tipping over, LOL! I've ridden past many mtn/road bikers that were walking on steep grades, but a few times on my trike found myself thinking, 'I could walk this hill faster' as I chugged up the hill pressing each leg one after the other.

I guess, just ride more & they'll get easier! Happy trails!
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Old 10-02-22, 11:15 AM
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On upright bikes, I have 170 or 172.5mm crankarms.
On recumbents, I have 165 or 155mm crankarms.
Shorter crankarms, smaller pedaling circles, easier to spin at higher cadence, which helps climbing hills on recumbent.
Picking the right gearing for the hill climb is key, let your cardio do the work.
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Old 10-02-22, 02:34 PM
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The 2-pin clipless shoes have been around for more than 25 years and they have an outer area around the cleat for walking. An alternative are shoes like the Five Ten made for mountain bikes and put on mountain bike pedals with their pins. The Crankbrothers Stamp 7 is great for large feet.


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Old 10-07-22, 11:18 AM
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I'm not sure what pedals come OEM with a Catrike Villager. If pedals came with yours, they are most likely SPD, and if you currently use regular shoes, that might mean that you have double-sided pedals with SPD on one side and a flat pedal on the other side. SPD cleats are two-bolt, common to most mountain biking shoes. The pic posted above by Calsun is for SPD.
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Old 10-11-22, 09:25 PM
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Recumbents are imo the ideal use case for ebike systems because their bulk does not allow them to hide on the side as easily as bicycles and because also it is harder to push them up hills. So there you have it: install an ebike system.
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Old 10-12-22, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by adlai
Recumbents are imo the ideal use case for ebike systems because their bulk does not allow them to hide on the side as easily as bicycles and because also it is harder to push them up hills. So there you have it: install an ebike system.
This from the guy who started the "I don't like electric bicycles" thread over in General? Do you have a trike, or is this just some cerebral evaluation?
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Old 10-24-22, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Mhiniker
Stopping is something I've always avoided, from the time I ran, to just keep moving forward is key! It affects me too much mentally if I were to have to stop.

Gearing Down: exactly, but to what? My Bent is a 3-10. I did 3-1 to get up the worst local hill the first time, & now finding I just need to start moving up through the 10, as I can while I'm on it, usually to no more than three or four on the sprocket. It's certainly what seems to be working so although this is my original question it is answered. Thank you!

I've only been getting out recently on serious rides with bike groups so the 'bent legs are coming and I can tell
Actually myself I have never stopped, but just geared down as necessary. I have never walked up a hill.
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Old 10-24-22, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by newbert
I've been considering changing to clipless, but have held off because I'm reluctant to have to change shoes when arriving at my ride start point (which I get to by car). Nevertheless I'm still considering trying clipless. I'd be interested in hearing more specifics about your experience with your new cleats with regard to your "ease and "difference". What specifically is easier and how are they different from what you used before?

Thanks!
Consider climbing a hill...right now you're not getting anything from the neutral leg! So as you start up, you're having to completely start & stop exertion through that leg. This is something that causes the muscles to wear quicker. With cleats you can continuously work the leg through the rotation. This means instead of switching 100% to 0, left to right, it's like 65%/35%, 35%/65%. Getting more of a balance in my ride, especially while climbing hills is really proving to be more enjoyable and comfortable. The same concept applies to raising and maintaining a speed.

I as someone who has flat feet & typically wear my athletic shoes built for the flat feet with lots of extra support at the arch, feared the minimal type of shoe a cleat is by design. However I've found the required time spent in cleats, it mostly being 'on' the bicycle. the good outweighs any negatives. There are several different types of cleats, some much easier for time off the bike then others, I however try to avoid it, and while I too feared having to switch back and forth between street shoes and cleats. You only become quicker at switching between the two and it really won't seem like anything after a while.




​​​

Last edited by Mhiniker; 10-24-22 at 05:53 PM.
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Old 10-28-22, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by rydabent
Some people may need to stop, but the hills I encounter I do not. Nor have I ever walked a bike or trike up a hill.
Originally Posted by rydabent
Actually myself I have never stopped, but just geared down as necessary. I have never walked up a hill.
Get that memory checked ...
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Old 11-01-22, 11:59 PM
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Are there like rope handles for pulling recumbents up hills?
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Old 11-02-22, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by adlai
Are there like rope handles for pulling recumbents up hills?

​​​​​​Automatic like on the Ski Hill Bunny slopes! 😉
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Old 11-04-22, 01:58 PM
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I'm not the greatest climber in the world, but I can hold my own most of the time. Hill-climbing is highly dependent on the machine and the rider, regardless of which platform the machine is.
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Old 12-31-22, 05:02 PM
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Hills are our friends

Forget speed; just spin.
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Old 01-02-23, 06:29 PM
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Climbing speed is important, because you don't want your friends to all beat you up the hill; you want to beat all of them.
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Old 01-10-23, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe
Get that memory checked ...
My memory is just fine.

BTW I suspect that many DF riders LIKE to get off their bikes with their pain in the ass tiny little saddles, and walk up the hill for some relief.

BTW you are on my turf now!!!!

Last edited by rydabent; 01-10-23 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 01-10-23, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by rydabent
My memory is just fine.
75 days later ... long nap?
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Old 01-11-23, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by rydabent
BTW you are on my turf now!!!!
Tomato Coupe probably views the forums by 'most recent posts,' and doesn't even realize he's in the Recumbent forum. It's something to be aware of when we post things, that even though we're posting in a specialized forum, others will probably see it and follow us back here.
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Old 01-12-23, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals
Tomato Coupe probably views the forums by 'most recent posts,' and doesn't even realize he's in the Recumbent forum. It's something to be aware of when we post things, that even though we're posting in a specialized forum, others will probably see it and follow us back here.
Some of the DF riders sure get cranky with the pain in the ass that their bike seats give them. They sure dont like to be reminded about it either!!!!!!
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