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I can't believe how slow I am.

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I can't believe how slow I am.

Old 08-04-11, 04:16 PM
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craniac
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I can't believe how slow I am.

Ok, I am riding a bargain basement EZ-1 by Sun. I know it weighs 35 lbs, and I weigh 222, but when I am riding with my family on their used Trek mountain bikes, they literally coast past me while I pedal furiously. Is it just a weight issue, or does it have to do with the wheel diameter, or do I need my bearings replaced? It is embarassing. I'm ready to buy a cheap upright for family jaunts.
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Old 08-04-11, 04:49 PM
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Bearings are probably fine if everythings spins freely and nothing is wobbly loose.

I'm no expert but I think that two things are at play here, engine power and gear inches.

As I recall, the Sun EZ-1 runs the same rings and cassette as do their larger sibling the Sun EZ Sport with the 26" rear wheel. Those components are roughly the same as most Mountain Bike gearing. It seems logical to me that you will need to pedal faster with a 20" rear wheel to maintain the same speed as a similarly geared bike with a 26" rear wheel.

If you really like the bike and want to roll faster, perhaps larger rings can be installed. Otherwise I would just suggest rolling along at you and your bikes most comfortable speed and enjoy the scenery. Another idea might be find another recumbent with faster gearing and save the EZ-1 as a guest bike or a backup bike.
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Old 08-04-11, 04:54 PM
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Is this bike new to you? It takes a good number of miles and days/weeks/months to get used to riding a recumbent, even if you've been riding bikes.
No inherent reason that an EZ-1 can't keep up with your basic mountain bike, all else being equal.
Is there air in your tires? Do the wheels spin freely? (Hold the front or rear of the bike off the ground and spin the front or rear wheel). Do you ride in a low-enough gear? Or a high-enough gear?
Your brakes aren't rubbing against the rims, are they?
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Old 08-04-11, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by craniac View Post
Ok, I am riding a bargain basement EZ-1 by Sun. I know it weighs 35 lbs, and I weigh 222, but when I am riding with my family on their used Trek mountain bikes, they literally coast past me while I pedal furiously. Is it just a weight issue, or does it have to do with the wheel diameter, or do I need my bearings replaced? It is embarassing. I'm ready to buy a cheap upright for family jaunts.
If you're new to recumbents, you might not have built up the right muscles yet. You use a slightly different set of them because of the different position.
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Old 08-04-11, 05:34 PM
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Ha ha! I have been riding recumbents since, oh, 1998 or so. I also have a BikeE. It is probably the engine. I had knee problems for a while and got used to using clipless pedals and spinning in easy gears, and recently switched to platform pedals, since most of my rides are local and <five miles, and I am more likely to hope on the bike. The wheels spin fine, and the tires are at 80 lbs. My only attachment to the bike is that it fits a little better than the BikeE (I am tall) and it is the only bent I can afford. I guess if Steve Roberts could pedal the 800 lb. Behemoth around, I can live with this for a while.
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Old 08-04-11, 05:37 PM
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The thing that is odd is that if we are both coasting, they fly on past me. I guess that is a weight issue.
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Old 08-04-11, 06:58 PM
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Oops now I realize that you have a two wheel bike, not a trike. Disregard what I originally posted.
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Old 08-04-11, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by craniac View Post
The thing that is odd is that if we are both coasting, they fly on past me. I guess that is a weight issue.
Challenge 'em to a downhill race.
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Old 08-04-11, 10:19 PM
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My Gold Rush (with all its accessories: bags, fairing, etc.) weighs close to 35 pounds, and I weigh about 220. I have no problem keeping up with similarly-fit upright riders, and I blast past them going downhill. I've been riding recumbents consistently for 20 years, so it's partly the bike, partly the motor. Your muscles will change as you accumulate miles, but nothing's going to change the fact that the fat 16" and 20" tires on the EZ-1 will create a lot of rolling resistance.
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Old 08-05-11, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
My Gold Rush (with all its accessories: bags, fairing, etc.) weighs close to 35 pounds, and I weigh about 220. I have no problem keeping up with similarly-fit upright riders, and I blast past them going downhill. I've been riding recumbents consistently for 20 years, so it's partly the bike, partly the motor. Your muscles will change as you accumulate miles, but nothing's going to change the fact that the fat 16" and 20" tires on the EZ-1 will create a lot of rolling resistance.
Our EZ-1 SX's come with 16 and 20x1.25 100 psi kenda kwest tires stock, I'd certainly not call them FAT??
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Old 08-05-11, 11:12 AM
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This is an older EZ-1 standard with tires like plump donuts. Perhaps I will upgrade.
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Old 08-05-11, 01:42 PM
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Like cranky said, the bike has a 20" drive wheel and the same chainrings as a regular bike would have. So yeah, you're fanning your feet while the others blithely pedal past you. If you want similar gearing to the others, you'll need to get new chainrings. I believe the RANS Rocket, which was also 20", used to come with a 39/52/62 chainring combo. I'd suggest faster tires, but I don't know how much you could gain; there's just not much choice in 16" tires and you could do lots worse than Kwests
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Old 08-05-11, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by craniac View Post
This is an older EZ-1 standard with tires like plump donuts. Perhaps I will upgrade.
mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm..........................donuts.......................
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Old 08-05-11, 05:10 PM
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Were they coasting downhill when they passed you? If so, there may be a mechanical explanation. Though the EZ-1 is a decidedly non-fast recumbent your weight and the bike's should make you coast downhill at a fine pace. Might your tires have been grossly under-inflated? Do your wheels make a crunching sound as you ride? Do your brakes drag?
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Old 08-05-11, 05:36 PM
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I am riding the same bike as you are, with less than 100 miles on it. With the three speed chain ring, given enough strength in your body, you should be able to go 40+ miles per hour in the fastest combination of the 21 speed gear set. It is essentially mtn bike gearing, and I have had my mtn bike, with 21 speed, up to 40 on a downhill, pedaling all the way.

The problem for you (and me, as I am slow also) is simply building our leg muscles up for the muscles required by a bent.

I did 20 miles today - 8.5 miles continuously uphill, and at about 1/2 the speed as on my road bike. However, I am getting better and faster, and was proud that I could make it up the steepest portion, even thouh in the lowest gearset at 3 mph for about a mile.

Time and riding more is our friend.

BTW, Ai am 71 yo, so have that disadvantage, also!!

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Old 08-05-11, 09:52 PM
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Just for giggles I went to the Sheldon Brown website and played around with the Gear Ratio Calculator. It calculates the gear ratio using rear tire size, crank arm length, front ring sizes and cassette sizes.

Wow! No wonder you're spinnig like a huricane trying to keep up. You could use this tool to help even the odds, or at least see for certain what the differecnes are between bikes and their speed potentials.
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Old 08-05-11, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by bjjoondo View Post
Our EZ-1 SX's come with 16 and 20x1.25 100 psi kenda kwest tires stock, I'd certainly not call them FAT??

Recently I replaced a Kenda Kwest with a Continental Gatorskin on my wife's Gold Rush, and she picked up a chunk of speed. They may not be fat, but they're slow.
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Old 08-06-11, 07:44 PM
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I didn't realize that Kwests were slow. But then, I've never tried them. The *do* look like more of a touring tire. That's not a bad thing; after all, the bike isn't made to be a speed demon in the first place, as you can tell by the gearing. An inexpensive way to try faster tires would be Primo Comets. But it may be a combination of factors that's making you slow. Tires, gearing, and conditioning. Well, and bike, too. With enough horsepower, even an EZ-1 can be a speed demon; but we all have to work with what we've got.
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Old 08-06-11, 08:44 PM
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Yes, I have the EZ1 as well, since 2004. You did not say if you tried some higher pressure tires. That seemed to help mine a bunch. Even still, it seems a little slower than the Trek Navigator I have too. But, no sore butt, hands, wrists, elbows ect. And after 7 years it still makes me grin!
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Old 08-12-11, 10:27 PM
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and I weigh about 220.
really?! I'd guess 180 Maybe 190...

I'd say there's something wrong with the machine if they're 'coasting' past the OP.

T
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Old 08-18-11, 04:02 PM
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Adjust your mental attitude

Originally Posted by craniac View Post
The thing that is odd is that if we are both coasting, they fly on past me. I guess that is a weight issue.
Many things to consider regarding your disappointment with 'bents. 1) The EZ-1 is on the heavy side for many 'bents. 2) Tire pressure can be a huge factor. Keep the tires fully inflated. 30 You should be spinning more than conventional bike riders which means you will be in lower gears. It's easier on your knees and you won't feel you're dragging behind. 4) I have been riding bents for 15 yrs. If either leg is fully extended on your down stroke, you will scrub your power. Your legs should be slightly more "bent" than for a conventional bike. 5) Push off the seat to accelerate (though acceleration is a relative term).

If you are coasting down a incline, you should pass everyone else eventually (assuming everyone stops pedaling at the same time) precisely because of your weight momentum. That's true on a conventional bike, too. I think bent riding at first is roughly 65% mental and 35% physical: You will never out accelerate a conventional bike; Remember you are looking way down the road, not ahead of your front tire. This makes it appear you are poking along. Look to the side of the road occasionally. See the grass flying by!

Don't make a hasty decision. Live with the bike for several months. As another forum member said, enjoy the scenery.

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Old 08-19-11, 03:30 AM
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Hmmm.... Neither here nor there, but it happens that two out of the very few `bents that I ride or ride with are EZ1s, and the "coastability" of them has been the subject of some thought for me lately. My bent is a homebrewed copy of a V-Rex, a friend in the next valley rides an older EZ, and I recently bought a slightly more modern EZ to get a taste of LWB and to see how bentism suited my wife. A lot of variables, but I find it curious that my occasional ridding buddy`s EZ seems to outcoast my bike, but mine will outcoast my wife on the newer one. None of them have the same tires, but they`re all fairly similar to each other.

: ) And the current price of Chinese tea is...
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Old 08-20-11, 11:52 AM
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Use these tires on the EZ-1 and you'll be plenty fast: Schwalbe Marathon Racer 1.5 at 85psi and Schwalbe Big Apple at 70psi in front. Those are the max pressures. This combo of sizes gives the bike a nicer stance, a little taller under the cockpit and lower at the seat. More pressure than that and the bike gets jolty. Good grip in turns from the compliant fat Apple. No need to get bigger rings, you'll can go 15mph and above. Shim the seat nose up with wood wedges so you quit sliding forward and are nestled against the backmesh to push off of. Push your seat a little closer to the crank, you may not have enough bend in your knee on extension to allow a natural spin. The EZ-1 is a great model which I enjoy riding just as much as my expensive LWB. The wheel size is not much handicap, after all the rollerbladers go over 20mph on 3" wheels!
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Old 08-22-11, 10:01 AM
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I was thinking yesterday as I rode that my seat was too far back, as I was scrunching forward. I will adjust it today and try the shimming with blocks as well. The local trike store sells those tires, and my birthday is coming up too, so I guess I know what I'm getting!
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Old 08-28-11, 03:36 AM
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EZ-1 was my wife's first recumbent. I replaced the stock tires with Maxxis Hookworms at 110 psi. This gave her more speed, as well as the ability to go "off-road" quickly and confidently when necessary (for example, when some nitwit motorist wants the whole road), as they are wide tires that will "float" on sand, gravel, etc.
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