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What do roadies think of recumbents?

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What do roadies think of recumbents?

Old 06-19-15, 08:44 AM
  #26  
TobinH
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I used to do some randonneuring, and sometimes recumbent guys would come out. I think they're neat, and some are very fast. Others much less so. Like all bikes I guess.
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Old 06-19-15, 09:38 AM
  #27  
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Not really my thing, and I definitely don't like how low they are.
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Old 06-19-15, 09:48 AM
  #28  
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I think "hey, there goes a recumbent". FWIW, I think the same thing about lima beans and golf on TV.
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Old 06-19-15, 09:51 AM
  #29  
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Not only is the low/no visibility thing a huge problem-- what if that big truck or bus that didn't see you because of parked cars pulls out right in front of you and you can't stop in time and slide under the frame and get squished by those huge wheels? That thought is a definite woody deflator.
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Old 06-19-15, 09:55 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by bbbean View Post
I think "hey, there goes a recumbent". FWIW, I think the same thing about lima beans and golf on TV.
MMMMMmmmmmm, golf on tv--my very favorite action drama!
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Old 06-19-15, 11:10 AM
  #31  
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I've ridden 'bents for a long time and currently own two of them. A few observations:
  1. Lumping them all together as if they were a single type of bike is nuts -- I would go so far as to say it's like lumping BMX and road bikes in the same category. The variety in recumbent geometry is WAY greater than with upright bikes.
  2. Visibility is not an issue. Yes, you are lower but you look different enough that you attract more attention. I actually have less trouble with cars moving into me on my 'bents than on road bikes. The exception is riding my trike in heavy traffic. My head is only a couple feet off the ground, so you're totally invisible from the side so you have to be ready for cars to pull into you. Riding on peoples' left rear quarter panels mitigates this considerably. BTW, riding super low is an issue with dogs. The teeth come in at eyeball level when I'm on the trike.
  3. The handling characteristics vary widely among bikes, but they're not as bad as people think if the rider understands his bike. I can do funky things on the trike you could never do on a road bike -- for example steep descents on hairpin curves are a blast because you can grab a handful of brake on one side and let the rear fishtail which gives a super tight turning radius. This works great on gravel and wet too. Even the longer wheelbase bikes can do some neat things if you know how to handle them.
  4. Hill climbing difficulty varies with geometry but is mostly about the engine. The big minus is not the weight but rather that you can't rotate muscle sets as well as you can on a road bike. This means that cooking your spin muscles can be an issue. But I've climbed 10K feet in one day on a 'bent. Not as hard as it sounds.
  5. Comfort varies with geometry and 'bent evangelists will tell you they're more comfortable, but this is not my experience for longer rides. Due to not being able to shift riding positions, any issues get amplified. I've pulled many 10+hr days on a 'bent, and I'll be bruised up where the edges of the seat are. If your bike is aero, you need a strong neck if you don't have a neck rest. Even if you do, it's not that great. My personal opinion is that traditional road geometry is hard to beat for comfort. You can shift forward and back, stand and sit, and there are a zillion ways to deal with discomfort.
  6. Drivers are much nicer to 'bents than road bikes. Even demographics generally thought to be hostile to road bikes are intrigued by them and tend to get curious
  7. Contrary to anything you see here, road cyclists are also nice to 'bent riders. If you do something stupid like join a paceline uninvited, your experience may be different, but overall, it's easy to make friends. One really quick way to do so is to tow riders who are trying to bridge gaps or just want a boost for awhile.
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Old 06-19-15, 12:00 PM
  #32  
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A guy rides a 'bent in the group ride I do most often. I'm sure he'd be pretty strong on a diamond frame and he can be damned fast on the flat and often windy rides we do here. He's been riding a long time and holds a decent line though he's notably better on one of his 'bents compared to the other. Definitely harder to draft off of but when he's laying it down I can't hold his wheel anyways.

Recumbents don't make me go "ooh" in either a positive or negative way. I don't plan on owning one but don't stay away from them either.
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Old 06-19-15, 12:29 PM
  #33  
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I've met a couple older guys touring on recumbent. They loved them. And if you happen to fall, you're not too far from the ground.
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Old 06-19-15, 12:32 PM
  #34  
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Wouldn't be caught d . . . . . . . . . . . . um, not my cup of tea.
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Old 06-19-15, 12:44 PM
  #35  
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I view recumbents in the same category as golf. I'll probably take it up when I get old.
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Old 06-19-15, 12:46 PM
  #36  
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If I couldn't ride another type of bike, I'd be riding a recumbent. It's still cycling, afterall.
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Old 06-19-15, 01:26 PM
  #37  
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I ride recumbents vs road 50/50. Recumbents mostly for double centuries for the comfort (and I've finished Alta Alpina's 200mi/20k ft of climbing on one), base/endurance training (5hr flat century is not a problem), and sniping flat Strava segments.

Recumbents work fine at the front of a paceline, but in the middle/back you can't see jack, rob anyone behind you of a good draft, and don't allow for much of a workout (however at the end of a double, only needing 100W to go 20mph+ while drafting is welcome).

I'm no recumbent zealot (tho have ridden one for 25 years now), though firmly believing in n+1, expect to always have at least one in the garage.
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Old 06-19-15, 02:07 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by cydewaze View Post
I respect all roadies, whether they ride bents, diamond frames, fixies, singlespeeds, or anything else.
You forgot Tandems. On the last group ride I went on, there was a father/daughter that rode a tandem together.

GH
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Old 06-19-15, 02:15 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
That's due mostly to the long beards, flannel shirt, and suspender jeans

I could see Gandalf and/or Dumbledore on a bent. Casting spells as they cycle.

GH
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Old 06-19-15, 05:19 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by ColaJacket View Post
You forgot Tandems. On the last group ride I went on, there was a father/daughter that rode a tandem together.

GH
I knew I forgot someone!
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Old 06-19-15, 05:25 PM
  #41  
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I would love to give one a try. Looks like they should be a blast.
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Old 06-19-15, 06:15 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
[*]Contrary to anything you see here, road cyclists are also nice to 'bent riders. If you do something stupid like join a paceline uninvited, your experience may be different, but overall, it's easy to make friends. One really quick way to do so is to tow riders who are trying to bridge gaps or just want a boost for awhile.
Despite the jokes I occassionally make here, bent riders are a great group. I've never met one that wasn't friendly and enjoyed talking and showing off their ride. Three or four bents got together and pulled a group of 30 or so century riders to almost every riders personal best. Those bent riders made a lot of friends that day.

Last edited by StanSeven; 06-19-15 at 08:21 PM.
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Old 06-19-15, 08:13 PM
  #43  
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I respect all cyclists. Would I ever own a recumbent? If it were to be the only way I'll be able to continue to ride, yes, in a New York minute.
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Old 06-19-15, 08:18 PM
  #44  
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The first step to enjoying a recumbent is getting over what other people think about you, how you look, or how you ride. Some people just can't do that.
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Old 06-20-15, 04:28 AM
  #45  
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I think "why?" I wonder what lead to the decision to go for such a peculiar bike. Does the guy have some condition that prevents him from riding a normal bike, or is he just being contrary? Does he WANT to be underfoot? Why would anyone ride such a thing?

I suspect it would be easy to make them go fast, and one would get a stronger sense of speed when closer to the ground. I think it might be fun to ride such a bike on a closed course, but would be VERY uncomfortable giving up the superior vantage point of a 'safety bike' on roads with traffic.

I've seen a few folks riding recumbents that are actually propelled by hand cranks, but those are folks who can't use their legs, or may be missing one. Then I think 'more power to them." If I were so disabled, I'd hope to have such courage.

Last edited by kbarch; 06-20-15 at 04:38 AM.
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Old 06-20-15, 06:38 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by mobilemail View Post
the first step to enjoying a recumbent is growing a white beard and developing a beer belly
ftfy
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Old 06-20-15, 06:58 PM
  #47  
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The recumbent riders that have joined the DB group rides I've been on knew how to ride, were good on the flats and not too shabby on the climbs. Today I saw my first recumbent where the rider was almost fully reclined like this:



I found the above picture on a stroke survivor's webpage. Perhaps the lady I saw riding today was also a stroke survivor. At any rate, she was out on a bike, having a good time. That's all that matters.
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Old 06-20-15, 07:10 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Paul W. View Post
So what does the road bike crowd think of recumbents?
I don't really give it much thought since the only place I see them is on the MUP. They rarely jump in a pace line, which most appreciate since they provide almost no draft. Out of the dozen I see on occasion, most are old farts, but there's a few that are very fast. I rarely see them on the rural routes, especially in the hills.

It wouldn't be my choice due to their limitations. My guess is that most that ride them have some issues with their back or neck, otherwise they would be on a road bike. Possibly a very wrong assumption, but I don't really give it much thought. Just not my thing.
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Old 06-20-15, 07:49 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
ftfy
Hmm, you attributed a quote to me that I didn't write. Look back a few posts, to #44 .
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Old 06-21-15, 07:57 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by mobilemail View Post
Hmm, you attributed a quote to me that I didn't write. Look back a few posts, to #44 .
10 years and you haven't seen ftfy?
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