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former road bike snob with neck problems

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former road bike snob with neck problems

Old 02-04-15, 09:40 AM
  #1  
geezerwheels
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former road bike snob with neck problems

I've been learning a lot of terms lately that I never wanted to learn, such as "sponylolisthesis," "facet sclerosis," and "foraminal narrowing."

These terms refer to my neck, and seem to be responsible for weakness in my arms and fingers. The condition came on suddenly, while riding my Motobecane. Scared the bejeezus out of me,http://www.bikeforums.net/images/smilies/cry.gif when it happened.

many exams, xrays, and MRI's later, I am confronted with the ugly truth--that I am aging,http://www.bikeforums.net/images/smilies/frown.gif and may have to restrict some activities. Riding in the crouch seems to be at the top of the do not do list.

So I would be grateful to hear recommendations for recumbent bikes that let you ride without stressing out your neck, or put pressure on your arms--but still have some sort of road bike feel. I'm starting from zero here, so no advice will not be valuable to me.

thanks!!!
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Old 02-04-15, 11:36 AM
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Are you looking for neutral neck positioning or is chin-down okay? If you want a road feel, that would probably imply short wheelbase of some type, and neutral neck position would put you in a more upright/less aero position. If you can tolerate more recline, even with a head rest, there are more speedy options. The other thing you should think about is budget. In the recumbent world, steel is common, aluminum not quite so much, and carbon is very limited.

No matter what you get, you won't have pressure on your arms like with a road bike.
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Old 02-04-15, 01:26 PM
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Fed up with neck, wrist, and finger issues, I bought a Bacchetta Giro 20 last December. It is sporty to ride and I have zero issues that I used to have from riding my DF's.

I should have done this a long time ago.
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Old 02-04-15, 02:53 PM
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IMO for someone new to recumbents a LWB would be a better first bent. There is much less change from a DF. And yes you would be setting up right in a comfortable postition.
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Old 02-04-15, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
Are you looking for neutral neck positioning or is chin-down okay? If you want a road feel, that would probably imply short wheelbase of some type, and neutral neck position would put you in a more upright/less aero position. If you can tolerate more recline, even with a head rest, there are more speedy options. The other thing you should think about is budget. In the recumbent world, steel is common, aluminum not quite so much, and carbon is very limited.

No matter what you get, you won't have pressure on your arms like with a road bike.
Hey Blaze--

thanks for the remarks.

with regard to neck angle--didn't even realize this is a variable. It makes sense that a neutral angle would be best. Does that translate to a lower bottom bracket and smaller front wheel? A short wheel base makes sense, too, for ease of storage and transport.
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Old 02-04-15, 05:21 PM
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Neutral neck angle means a somewhat upright seat. That can be a long wheelbase as rydabent says, or it can mean a short wheelbase, just not a 'racer' with a laid-back carbon shell seat. High pedals, low ones, wheel sizes, those are all options independent of the seat angle. As a few examples, Google Lightning Phantom and EasyRacers TourEasy. Of the two main types, long and short wheelbase, I think the shorts will most remind you of your road bike since they have similar wheelbases. The long wheelbases give a nice smooth ride and are generally easy to learn, but they steer like a tandem due to their longer (60+") wheelbases.
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Old 02-05-15, 09:20 AM
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In addition to Blazing's suggestions, I'd throw a Lightning P-38 into the mix. It has a similar speed profile as a DF. I'd agree that SWB (short wheelbase) is most "DF-like"

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Old 02-05-15, 09:47 AM
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If at some point in time, being like a road bike isn't good enough anymore, you can add a front fairing and body sock to a P-38, which converts it into... something else!
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Old 02-05-15, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
If at some point in time, being like a road bike isn't good enough anymore, you can add a front fairing and body sock to a P-38, which converts it into... something else!
Yes, a ROCKET!

http://lightningbikes.com/f40/index.html
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Old 02-05-15, 12:46 PM
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Some recumbents have a lot of rider recline and have had to make head rests available either as DIY or OEM supplied for comfort. Lowriders and some
trikes have had this problem but you can recline the seat on Bacchetta type bikes enough where this is a problem for such as the OP. Look at a side
view of the bike to see what the recline angle of the seat is to get an appreciation of this. In general recumbents do not allow the upper body to contribute
to bike propulsion, which, in addition to their weight is the biggest reason for slowness on hills compared to diamond frame bikes.
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Old 02-05-15, 02:10 PM
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geezerwheels,

If you are serious about learning your recumbent options you need to start doing research at Bent Rider Online Forums:
BentRider Online Forums - Powered by vBulletin

It's pretty much the best way to learn about recumbents before test riding them. Fire-up your coffee pot!

Good luck!
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Old 02-05-15, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by sch View Post
...Lowriders and some trikes have had this problem...
Lowriders are not recumbents. You're thinking of lowracers.
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Old 02-06-15, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
Lowriders are not recumbents. You're thinking of lowracers.
Yup!! Somewhere I have a snagged pix of frontal view of cyclist on DF, Rans type bent, high racer type bent and low racer type bent showing
the frontal area reduction. A similar side view panorama of same bikes would be interesting.
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Old 02-06-15, 12:44 PM
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I would recommend an Easy Racer. They have the cromoly Tour Easy, the aluminum Gold Rush, and the titanium TiRush. They are an easier transition from the upright riding position than some other 'bents, they have decent speed (especially the Gold Rush and TiRush), and they do not stress the neck or arms.

Sorry about your neck issues, but welcome to the 'bent side of life.

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Old 02-07-15, 05:20 PM
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My sled

LE model


Added a rear disk brake, BB7 and a teflon coated brake cable because of the long run,
A fatter rear tire for less rolling resistance through better bump compliance,
Good lighting,
building a trailer for it,

I rescued a garage queen, original tires, no wear, Paid a thou for it, like new.
It's a keeper,

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Old 02-07-15, 05:33 PM
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My advice is to take a road trip to a recumbent specialty shop. There are a number of different recumbent bicycle designs and they all ride quite differently. An afternoon test riding several different styles will make you a lot smarter about what's going to work best for you.
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Old 02-07-15, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by sch View Post
Yup!! Somewhere I have a snagged pix of frontal view of cyclist on DF, Rans type bent, high racer type bent and low racer type bent showing
the frontal area reduction. A similar side view panorama of same bikes would be interesting.

That would probably be this pic:



The left 5 pictures are Garth from Hostelshoppe, demonstrating frontal area of various bikes and positions. The final, right-most picture, is Warren Beauchamp on his NoCom. It is sized correctly, but the pic was taken from too close and it made his feet look huge.

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Old 02-10-15, 07:39 PM
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A recumbent like the Tour Easy or Rans Stratus has a couple of things going for it.
They've both been in production since the 80's. The bugs were mostly worked out a long time ago. Parts are available, even some aftermarket.
They're "known," can be found for under a grand, and probably sold for what you paid without a lot of anxiety or requests to ship across the country. The supply and demand are both kind of stable.
The cranks are low, which takes a little less getting used to at a stoplight and which many - but not all - of us find less likely to get tingly on a ride.
They have decent performance. I've seen one set up for commuting (no fairing, slow tires) do a 10 mile TT at just a bit under 30 minutes. Faired and socked, they're supposedly faster, but I've no experience.
The neck position is pretty relaxed.

It's a fairly low risk way to ride a couple months and think about what you do and do not like.

I'd think some of the older short wheelbase bikes (Rocket, VRex, Giro, Lightning, and Phantom) would be similar,
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Old 02-10-15, 08:17 PM
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I have arthritis in my neck; different from you but similar. For me, a neutral neck position is necessary. That means a more upright position than many 'bent riders, particularly those who seek speed. My first was a RANS V-Rex, had a seatback that could be adjusted quite upright. That's a SWB small front wheel bike; out of production but available used. My second and current is a Volae Team; the important bit is the comfort mesh seat rather than the stock carrbon seat. Most "stick bikes" could work with the right kind of seat, just beware carbon seats are typically for more reclined positions.

Since going bent, I've competed in 24 hour events and completed Paris Brest Paris. Your cycling life does not have to end.
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Old 02-15-15, 09:48 PM
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An out of control driver read-ended me in my precious MX-5 Miata. Wasted my 65 year old neck. Been fighting to get back to normal for a year, but finally gave up. Purchased a HP Velo Scorpion FX recumbent trike a month ago. Coming off a Scott Addict at less than 15# to this trike has been a trip, but actually not as bad as I imagined. Having fun. I went from riding under 3 hour metric centuries to riding in the neighborhood, stopping to speak with people out working in their yards. At least I am riding.
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Old 02-16-15, 08:48 AM
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First--to BikeArkansas: glad you are able to still ride--hope you continue to recover...

Then...to update my OP: made a visit to Bikes@Vienna (Vienna VA) this past week. Tim Fricker, the proprietor of the shop--which features bents and folding bikes--put me on a variety of bikes to test ride--LWB's, to get the basic feel (Easy Racer)--then SWB's. First a 26/20, and finally a 26/26 (both Bacchettas).

living in a high rise condo, the LWB is out, due to the elevators. I considered the 26/26, but don't have the confidence that I can manage it in traffic. So just waiting for a quote from Tim, for a Giro 20 ATT, and dithering over decisions like disc brakes or long reach, what type of seat, stock Kenda's or something like Marathons...

I should add that there is another local shop in Mt Airy, MD, that has a good reputation for bents. However, I got first class service from Tim, and don't see a great need (or have a lot of time) to look farther.
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Old 02-16-15, 01:40 PM
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I did my test ride at Bikes @ Vienna, too. Tim was off that day, but his staff was great!
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Old 02-21-15, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by delcrossv View Post
In addition to Blazing's suggestions, I'd throw a Lightning P-38 into the mix. It has a similar speed profile as a DF. I'd agree that SWB (short wheelbase) is most "DF-like"
...just faster.

On a serious note, I will second the suggestion of a P-38 (even though i'm a trike and velomobile guy). You can also look at HP Velotechnik HP Velotechnik - Main page (recumbent) . And also try out over-seat and under-seat steering models.
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Old 02-25-15, 09:45 PM
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Check Bacchettabikes.com
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Old 02-25-15, 10:00 PM
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geezer, if you want a recumbent that has good road feel, look for a short wheelbase one with handlebars under your knees. I don't follow recumbents so I have no idea if any of that type is currently made.

I was introduced to recumbents the year I was introduced to racing, 1975. David Wilson, MIT professor, showed up at a club dinner on his recumbent and encouraged us to take it for a spin. An eye-opener! And a fun ride! Many years later, I went for a trainer spin on a Vision of the same layout at a bike trade show. That ride, I went nowhere, but that was a fun spin!

There is some getting used to the short WB, under the knees set-up, but you will get to keep the quick feeling and natural position qualities of a dropbar bike you love.

Ben
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