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Thinking of converting...

Old 10-01-12, 03:23 PM
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lavadisco
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Thinking of converting...

So, I am seriously considering getting a recumbent, if not for one single reason. Please answer this question for me:

When I get on my regular bike in the morning, it's not that comfortable of a position to sit in and I kind of hate the ride until I warm up and really start moving, then I enjoy it. It strikes me that, on a recumbent, simply being seated in a comfortable, relaxed position from the start would make a world of difference. I feel like I'd be much more likely to want to get on the bike in the first place, and more likely to enjoy the ride along the way.

Is this a true statement for you guys?
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Old 10-01-12, 04:27 PM
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I'm new to "recumbency" (tadpole trike) but find I still have to warm up the legs before I'm really comfortable.
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Old 10-01-12, 05:03 PM
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I went total recumbent two months ago. I can't imagine riding a DF now. I wouldn't try to. Riding a CLWB recumbent is perfect for me. I rode over three hours Saturday, and I can not wait for tomorrow to have a go again. Go for it.
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Old 10-01-12, 06:36 PM
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Head out to the lunch stop on the biggest organized ride you can find. All of the recumbent tricycle riders will be sitting on their trikes. Know why? Because it's the most comfortable place to sit that they could find.

The guys with diamond frame bikes won't be doing that.
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Old 10-01-12, 07:18 PM
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Quite often when I arrive home after riding home from work or after just riding, I find myself sitting on the bike in the driveway for a few minutes - taking a drinking, relaxing, etc.
Stops at red lights are infinitely more comfortable than on an upright bike, too.
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Old 10-01-12, 08:13 PM
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Yep, one of the best parts of commuting by bent, you roll out of the house somewhat awake and just pedal along, and after 5-10 minutes when everthing is warmed up and moving well, then pick up the pace and go on your way. The comfort of the recumbent is the single biggest factor in my year-round commuting the recent 25,000 miles, there's just no reason to skip a day when it's so peaceful.
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Old 10-01-12, 10:49 PM
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When I use my recumbent I still often find the first mile or so to be very tedious, but at least I'm comfortable.
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Old 10-01-12, 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by horatio View Post
I'm new to "recumbency" (tadpole trike) but find I still have to warm up the legs before I'm really comfortable.
I've been recumbent for 30-ish years (my beginnings: https://home.comcast.net/~jeff_wills/aerocoupe/index.htm ) and it takes me a little while to get warmed up. It's still a bunch more comfortable than my uprights.

Lava: try to find the recumbent riders near you. Try a couple different bikes. (Just ask- someone will let you ride their bike.) Don't stop at just one. Different people like different bikes for different reasons.
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Old 10-02-12, 08:23 AM
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Yes comfort on a recumbent is the number one reason among many. However I find that I have to basically "warm up" my legs as I had to when I used to ride DF bikes. That part has not changed. As someone stated at least I am comfortable while I warm up.
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Old 10-02-12, 10:13 AM
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We are also converts from DF and love, love, love our 'bents! We stretch our legs a couple of minutes before starting our ride and that helps the warm up - even then it's only a matter of a two or three miles before we're warmed up. We rode the Pacific Coast from Seattle to Central Cali this summer on our 'bents and loved it, even the hills. Great advice about finding and riding a variety of 'bents before you choose. We both ride Rans, the hubby has a V-Rex and I have the Enduro Sport. The best way to witness the advantage of a recumbent is to watch riders at the end of a century. We 'bent riders hop off our bikes and look ready to ride another 100 while the DF riders gingerly get off theirs and walk away slowly, bent over and rubbing their necks, wrists, etc.
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Old 10-02-12, 12:49 PM
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Endorphins - that feel good feeling you get from exercise

Your feelings about starting out are not unusual. It takes a while for the endorphins that come from exercising to kick in and make you feel really good. I don't notice it much when the weather is really nice but if it is colder then it takes me a mile or two to start feeling like I really want to ride. The other thing you are likely to encounter is that riding a recumbent uses a different muscle groups than riding an upright so it may even seem worse to start out that it did on your DF bike. At first I really dreaded each and every hill that I encountered but that soon went away and it became just another part of the ride. Every hill you go up has an equal and much more fun descent after it. I prefer to plan my rides to go uphill on the way out and downhill on the way back.
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Old 10-03-12, 07:37 PM
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One reason I ride bent is I like to try new things, although I built a bent when I saw the Groundhugger in Popular Science/Mechanics magazine back in the early 70's...
In answer to your question I call each of my bents a lounge chair on wheels, that should answer the question about them being comfortable, along with all the others who noted how and why they enjoy the ride.
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Old 10-04-12, 05:50 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by aviatrix58 View Post
We both ride Rans, the hubby has a V-Rex and I have the Enduro Sport.
How would you compare the Enduro Sport to the V-Rex?

When Mrs. Grouch and I visited the Rans factory, Carl mentioned they thought the Enduro Sport would eventually replace the V-Rex. For my very first recumbent I bought and built up an Enduro Sport frameset. Since that time I've thought that if I had it to do over again I should have bought a Ti-Rex frameset but I balked at the price difference.
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Old 10-04-12, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by lavadisco View Post
. . . .Is this a true statement for you guys?
For me, the longer the ride the happier I am to be riding a recumbent. It still takes me a while to get warmed up.
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Old 10-04-12, 06:29 PM
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Yep, when I sit down in my recumbents - any of them - I get an "aaahhh!" moment. It just feels good! The muscles may still protest when I tell them to start working, but the riding position or the seat are never a problem.
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Old 10-05-12, 10:24 AM
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The V-Rex sits 2 inches higher than the Enduro Sport which is why I opted for the Enduro. Sitting on the V-Rex I could barely reach the ground on my tippy-toes but it was perfect for the hubby. (I'm 5' 6" and he is 6' 2") I didn't realize it at the time but the Enduro also has MTB gearing which gave me a definite advantage over my husband on his V-Rex on the hills. Because of that, he ended up putting MTB gears on his V-Rex for our Pacific Coast tour this summer. He's since put the original cassette back on since it's flat where we live. I've ridden them both and other than the gearing, they handle the same. They're both quick, responsive, and comfortable and we both really enjoy riding them. I just feel a little uneasy at stops on the V-Rex since I can't firmly plant my feet the ground.
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Old 10-05-12, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by aviatrix58 View Post
The V-Rex sits 2 inches higher than the Enduro Sport which is why I opted for the Enduro. Sitting on the V-Rex I could barely reach the ground on my tippy-toes but it was perfect for the hubby. (I'm 5' 6" and he is 6' 2") I've ridden them both and other than the gearing, they handle the same. They're both quick, responsive, and comfortable and we both really enjoy riding them. I just feel a little uneasy at stops on the V-Rex since I can't firmly plant my feet the ground.
Thanks, At 5'10" I'm halfway between you and your husband. I mainly wondered if there was a significant handling difference. The thing that got me thinking about the Ti-Rex was, of course, the titanium bling. Considering the price difference, I can live without it. I think that I made the right choice.
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Old 10-05-12, 03:45 PM
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Recumbents are (generally) far more comfortable than upright bikes--but how useful that aspect is depends partly on how long a typical ride for you is.

If you only do short "circuit" rides of ~30 minutes, the discomfort of an upright is entirely acceptable and the recumbent may just amount to extra weight and cost.

If you want to take longer multi-hour rides, the comfort advantage of a recumbent is tremendously beneficial to you actually enjoying the ride.
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Old 10-05-12, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug5150 View Post
Recumbents are (generally) far more comfortable than upright bikes--but how useful that aspect is depends partly on how long a typical ride for you is.

If you only do short "circuit" rides of ~30 minutes, the discomfort of an upright is entirely acceptable and the recumbent may just amount to extra weight and cost.

If you want to take longer multi-hour rides, the comfort advantage of a recumbent is tremendously beneficial to you actually enjoying the ride.
I think that where you ride makes a difference too. I'm not crazy about riding my recumbent in urban areas. Starts require more effort and checking traffic at cross streets is harder.
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Old 10-05-12, 10:10 PM
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I'm always comfortable right from the start. Still, as with any form of exercise, I perform better once I'm warmed up. So I get faster / more efficient as my day goes, up until the point of diminishing returns (i.e. - when my ass is beyond tired.)
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Old 10-06-12, 06:11 PM
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Just to be a devil's advocate, it depends where you ride. I have both DF and recumbent bikes. On the recumbent, you can't unweight on bumps, can't hop over holes or sticks, can't use your arms or change position to recruit different muscles on a hard climb, and getting started again if you ever stop on a steep hill is more of a challenge. Bents are faster downhill, but on big downhills I start to chicken out around 50 mph anyway. However, if the roads are smooth, or you are willing to accept the weight penalty of suspension, or you have back (or more so neck) problems, they are less likely to cause problems. People who ride recumbents exclusively clearly feel the pros outweigh the cons, but lots of people (myself included) regularly ride DF's >100 miles and are still able to walk at the end of the ride! If you do decide to try one, give it at least a couple of months, because it is different.
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Old 10-07-12, 07:25 AM
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Yes---------as I have posted from time to time, either riding or running a sag stop, it is interesing to watch DF and bent riders when they stop. DF riders with their "proper fit" bike jump off immediately and shake out their hands and pick at their laundry. Bent riders on the other hand ride up and stop and quite often remain seated while they take a drink of water. Bent riders simply are not uncomfortable.

Cyclist racing HAVE to have a DF bike that meets the antique UCI rules. Cyclist riding for fun enjoyment and exercise dont have to obey those rules. The bottom line here is bent riders are free to ride any type of bike that they choose and be comfortable doing it. The 99% that dont race would be far better off on a bent!!!
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Old 10-07-12, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeWMass View Post
...it depends where you ride. I have both DF and recumbent bikes...
I do it the other way round: I want to ride my recumbent, so I try to optimise my route to fit that method of transport (made easier by the fact that I always ride solo !!).
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Old 10-08-12, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by lavadisco View Post
So, I am seriously considering getting a recumbent, if not for one single reason. Please answer this question for me: I feel like I'd be much more likely to want to get on the bike in the first place, and more likely to enjoy the ride along the way.
Is this a true statement for you guys?
Yes. For any number of reasons.

Chose a style that suits you, buy it, ride it for several weeks. If it turns out to be a no-go, sell. Consider the loss to be the cost of your education. Very small chance of that happening.
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Old 10-31-12, 09:46 PM
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Depends on the ride. As much as I like my recumbents, they are a bit awkward. They are awkward to get out the door, they are awkward in tight spots, they are more awkward in heavy pedestrian traffic. It is 8 block round trip to a liquor store I frequent. I go there because you can bring you bike in the threshold, and not have to leave it outside. This ride goes to the beach cruiser, or my old chromoly mountain bike. For these short utility rides, the DF is better for a quick hop. Anything beyond a mile, recumbent. I was almost going to say I don't the recumbent right away on start, but there is a catch. I don't like it so much in the daytime when I am heading to the bike trail. Traffic, driveways, etc. Once I am on the bike trail, I am perfectly at peace. Or, late at night when there is little traffic. The recumbent is good right from the start in that circumstance.
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