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What do roadies think of recumbents?

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

What do roadies think of recumbents?

Old 06-18-15, 09:37 PM
  #1  
Paul W.
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What do roadies think of recumbents?

For the last few months, I've been looking to update to a newer used endurance style road bike. Thinking that the added comfort will ease my 57 year old aches and pains. I thought I had it narrowed down to a Trek Domane 5.9 Di2 if I could find a good enough deal.

Then I thought what about a recumbent, possibly the ultimate comfort bike? I'd never considered a recumbent until now, dismissing them as kooky alternatives for nerds and guys with long grey beards. But the more I read about them, the more I like them.

Last weekend I test rode one up and down the block a few times. It was pretty worn out with a bad front end wobble. It had great acceleration due to being able to push against the upright seat back. It didn't seem to turn very tightly and my heel hit the front wheel a few times. It was too rough for me to consider purchasing, but I came away thinking that although it had a different feel than what I'm used to, it is still a bike and not that much different. I'm sure I could adapt.

So what does the road bike crowd think of recumbents?
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Old 06-18-15, 09:48 PM
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You mean the road bike crowd that don't ride recumbents? Not sure what difference it makes what we think. If you can ride comfortably then go for it. Might be more difficult to do group rides if you're into that.

Another alternative would be to get a bike with wider tires 28-32 mm.
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Old 06-18-15, 09:55 PM
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Do you really want to know? ...kooky was pretty close...
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Old 06-18-15, 10:04 PM
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I respect all roadies, whether they ride bents, diamond frames, fixies, singlespeeds, or anything else.
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Old 06-18-15, 10:07 PM
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When I do think about them, it's almost always to wonder why they can't hold a line.
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Old 06-18-15, 10:13 PM
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I rode around a parking lot on a short wheelbase under-the-knees steering recumbent 38 years ago in my racing days. One quick spin told me that if the owner put quality wheels on it, he had one fast, fun machine! I tried a 700c wheeled one with high handlebars and didn't like it at all. I could probably get used to it but I didn't like being that high. Spent a few minutes at a trade show on a '90s Vision with short wheel base and under-the-knee steering. It was on a trainer, so I got no feedback on ride. but what a platform to put power out on!

I see recumbents where you lie flat, ones where you are nearly sitting upright, long wheelbase, short wheelbase, over and under steering. In short, VERY different platforms, far more different than anything on the upright spectrum (leaving out the obvious like sting rays, folding bikes - though some of those ride just like non-folders - and tandems). Unfortunately (in my view) this means that each recumbent is so different that there is little incentive to fine tune them. By contrast, single bikes have benefited from many builders trying to make small improvements over many decades. So it a near given that a bike almost exactly what you want has been made. (Maybe many years ago and you will never find it but still, you can find surely a builder now who will take it on.)

The flip side is if you buy a recumbent, you get to be a data point in a relatively small number of such points. And your input is more likely to be heard. Yes, you can make a recumbent that rivals a fine upright bike for a good ride. And they have the benefit of being a lot safer. (I suspect any ER in the world will approve of the idea of hitting things feet first instead of head first. And your shoulder stay square. No broken collarbones.)

Ben
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Old 06-18-15, 10:17 PM
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Do you like to participate in group rides? I know some people who do so very successfully on a recumbent, but it does make it harder to fit in when everyone else is on a regular bike. Recumbents tend to be a little faster on flats and downhill stretches and a bit slower on uphills and they don't offer as much of a draft advantage to people riding behind them in a paceline.
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Old 06-18-15, 11:14 PM
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I wouldn't want to be that low to the ground, below the level of parked cars. The "I didn't see you" problem magnified a thousandfold.
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Old 06-19-15, 02:32 AM
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Just an erectile dysfunction episode from one. That is what I think of recumbents
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Old 06-19-15, 03:30 AM
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I'm sure the people that are into recumbents like them. They're just not for me.
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Old 06-19-15, 03:30 AM
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Not good uphill. I've always wondered if these guy get hit a lot. They sit so low & out of view. I don't really like them but they are damn fast. A few years back, when I was in damn fine riding shape, I chased an old chunky guy for a few miles, before I caught him. & he didn't have a big lead. It was almost embarrassing. If I hadn't had my pride....
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Old 06-19-15, 04:12 AM
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I have no opinion on recumbent, but find the word "Roadie" childish and mildly insulting. Why do people keep slapping "ie" on perfectly sensible words? Didn't we learn enough from "fixie"?
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Old 06-19-15, 04:19 AM
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Originally Posted by RollCNY View Post
I have no opinion on recumbent, but find the word "Roadie" childish and mildly insulting. Why do people keep slapping "ie" on perfectly sensible words? Didn't we learn enough from "fixie"?
What's wrong with Roadie? We put in silly little outfits, pay ungodly amounts of money for plastic bikes & parade around with our nose In The air. Should she be called Children of the Asphalt?
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Old 06-19-15, 05:17 AM
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guys who ride them don't get laid very often.
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Old 06-19-15, 05:50 AM
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That's due mostly to the long beards, flannel shirt, and suspender jeans
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Old 06-19-15, 05:59 AM
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Depends if they wave or not.
They might be as stuck up as that guy riding a hybrid, wearing a t-shirt the other day. I waved, and he just ignored me
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Old 06-19-15, 06:07 AM
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I think if you want one, get one.
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Old 06-19-15, 07:35 AM
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A friend has one which weighs about 17 pounds. He fits into the club rides when he wants to, except for the climbs when he drops back a bit. He is 63, or so.
A young guy used to come to our rides on a titanium recumbent and he would do the longer climbing rides and he did fine.

There are so many types to look at, it must be hard to choose one.
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Old 06-19-15, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by pdedes View Post
guys who ride them don't get laid very often.
...but you're already lying on your back it's an open invite.

I wouldn't mind trying one on a MUP. I'm not sure about city traffic where I need to see and be seen.
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Old 06-19-15, 07:57 AM
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I've ridden with several guys who ride bents part time. One had a windshield and was amazing to draft into a headwind. Another would occasionally bring his wife's electric assist trike and sit in with the college race team which tended to piss them off when a 50 something guy on a bent would sit in and chat it up going uphill.
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Old 06-19-15, 08:03 AM
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I think recumbents are WAY cool. I suspect most road cyclists are fine with them.

Now if you ask what they think of you joining them in a tight pace line, you will likely get a different answer.

What are your goals? If you plan group rides with tight pacelines, you may need to reconsider.

Otherwise, I say go for it!!
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Old 06-19-15, 08:14 AM
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they are useless to draft off of.
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Old 06-19-15, 08:14 AM
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I rather enjoy telling my bent friends, "ummm no thanx".
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Old 06-19-15, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by ClarkinHawaii View Post
I wouldn't want to be that low to the ground, below the level of parked cars. The "I didn't see you" problem magnified a thousandfold.
That's the feeling I get from it, but I think one can get used to the drastically different ride view after a while. If it ever came to a choice of not being able to balance a standard road bike and not riding I believe I'd adapt to a recumbent. I'm in the age range at 73 so it is food for thought.

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Old 06-19-15, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by RISKDR1 View Post
they are useless to draft off of.
Depends on the type of bent.
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