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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I started Cycling as a MTB'er and it's still my main passion as my bike testifies, but a few years ago i got into Recumbents as well. Man those things are fast, and fun!

I was wondering what you guys all think about Recumbents. Not the slow, goat-wool-socks recumbents, but the new generation of lowracers and highracers?

Love em, hate em? Think they're geeky or cool?

Phill
 

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Palomino said:
I started Cycling as a MTB'er and it's still my main passion as my bike testifies, but a few years ago i got into Recumbents as well. Man those things are fast, and fun!

I was wondering what you guys all think about Recumbents. Not the slow, goat-wool-socks recumbents, but the new generation of lowracers and highracers?

Love em, hate em? Think they're geeky or cool?

Phill
I've been investigating them since they might be the fastest thing on a long local river valley trail. Check out this 19 pound, full suspension model; note price:

http://www.lightningbikes.com/r84.htm

I came across a quote from Lance saying that if they were legal, they'd be used in the Tour.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I came across a quote from Lance saying that if they were legal, they'd be used in the Tour.[/QUOTE]

From VeloNews:

OG: Um, who makes...your bike?
LANCE: Who makes it? Trek.
OG: Trek makes the bike, and then you have the Shimano derailleurs and parts...
LANCE: All that, right.
OG: Yeah, all that. You've heard of, I assume, a 'recumbent bike' - a sit down bike?
LANCE: I've heard of it, but I've never tried it.
OG: Never tried it. Well, they claim to have the world record on the flats.
LANCE: Right...
OG: I tried one...
LANCE: [interrupting] Well, one of them sits three feet off the ground and the other sits about six feet off the ground, so aerodynamically, it's far superior.
OG: Yeah. Would that type of bike be legal in the Tour de France?
LANCE: No, totally illegal, [fighting back a laugh] one hundred percent. If it were legal, we would have tried it by now.
OG: Well, it's got two wheels...
LANCE: Yeah, but you have to have a traditional geometry. They call it double triangle. We'll get you a rulebook. [At this point Armstrong allows himself a laugh] And when they pass it, believe me, we'll be on it.
OG: The thing is, I noticed when I tried it, going up hills, it was much more difficult. I slowed down, and of course the owner then told me that you have to develop the muscles, you know, if you're going to go uphill...
LANCE: He told you that you have to train. That's right, that's what he should have told you. [Laughter and applause from a disbelieving audience]
OG: Yeah, but I don't go very fast.
LANCE: Well, you gotta train!
OG: Really? Well in comparisons with the slow, average rider, they can get on the 'regular geometry' type of bike and go up hills a certain speed, they would probably get on these recumbents and go uphill a little bit slower, where as on the flats they might go about a third faster. Anybody in here, uh, ever taken one out one of these...?
LANCE: Nope. But our only opinion is that when we can figure out how to use it, we'll try. We'd better talk to Trek. They may not make those. If they don't make them, then we're not riding them. [More laughter fills the room]

yeah exactly.

You should also check out the offerings from the european manufacturers - thier new sport bike lines have taken huge leaps this past year.
 

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Typically they cost more and are heavier than normal bikes.

A recumbent that costs the same as a normal bike will weigh a lot more. A recumbent that weighs the same as a normal bike will cost a lot more. Why should I pay more for a heavier bike?

And besides, I don't have a beard or beer belly. ;+)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
limitations...

Yeah, theyre more expensive, for the same weight or you get a less trick kit for the same price. But you can get 8kg ones nowdays with 650c wheels.

dude, i dont have a belly, i'm no nerd by any stretch and i only have a tiny goatee..... I was horrified when i visited the states last year. Recumbents are like the mainstay of sport activity for the geriactric or overweight club. Its shocking.

Sure do have a very limited group of people who are interested in them iguess, so that does make me a freak.

hahaha
 

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Palomino said:
I started Cycling as a MTB'er and it's still my main passion as my bike testifies, but a few years ago i got into Recumbents as well. Man those things are fast, and fun!

I was wondering what you guys all think about Recumbents. Not the slow, goat-wool-socks recumbents, but the new generation of lowracers and highracers?

Love em, hate em? Think they're geeky or cool?

Phill
I love recumbents and own one I picked up on eBay. Granted, mine is an "entry level" LWB Burly Koosah (recumbent of the year last year), but I enjoy riding it around on longer bike path trail rides of 25 - 50 miles in duration. I rode it on a week long 500 mile tour last summer (RAGBRAI) and almost felt like I was "cheating" it was so easy. No pain in the rear, neck or arms and I actually enjoyed the scenery. My inlaws in CA are serious recumbent riders/racers. They have a garage full of models that would certainly pay for a new car or two if sold off for cash.

We've got about 10 bikes in the garage and only 1 of them is the Burley Koosah recumbent. If it has wheels and takes me from here to there under my own power - I enjoy all. Then again, I ride 29"ers which are cool, efficient and probably more geeky to some than a recumbent is.... :cool:

If you enjoy it and get some good riding in on the bent - so be it. Hats off to you. I used to go for long road rides on a 10 speed across the wind swept plains of the Dakotas and Montana in the 70's. If I had the chance to do that kind of carefree open prairie riding again - it would be on a bent.

BB
 

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Palomino said:
Love em, hate em? Think they're geeky or cool?

Phill
My view is that the mainstream recumbent scene in the U.S. is an absurd, sad shadow of cycling. This is a shame, since the most amazingly fast two-wheeled machines are recumbents, and the engineering and culture around the serious performance versions are wonderful. Check out these (the designer is a close friend, and yes, he's fast, e.g., a top competitor in the Transalp, even on an upright bike):

http://www.kingcycle.co.uk/hpvs/Kingcycle.html

Conclusion: They're extremely cool. But that is easily obscured.
 

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cruzmissle said:
My view is that the mainstream recumbent scene in the U.S. is an absurd, sad shadow of cycling. This is a shame, since the most amazingly fast two-wheeled machines are recumbents, and the engineering and culture around the serious performance versions are wonderful. Check out these (the designer is a close friend, and yes, he's fast, e.g., a top competitor in the Transalp, even on an upright bike):

http://www.kingcycle.co.uk/hpvs/Kingcycle.html

Conclusion: They're extremely cool. But that is easily obscured.
Wow! Thanks for posting.

I recently read a pretty good book: "Bicycle: The History."

But there was no machinery there to compare with your friend's design!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah there are a whole load of chris king/ dura ace/ tune worthy recumbent designs out there, but the industry is stil getting out of its infancy.

The attempts of cannondale and giant didnt help much either, both of those bikes were a major flop. If the big guys are going to develop recumbents, they need to go full out and design bikes to compete with the likes of the bachetta aero, optima baron, challenge seiran, etc etc. If that were to happen, maybe we will see a new impulse to the industry and im sure sceptics will see that theyre more than bikes for pot bellied hobbyists, who duck-tape thier newest home made trinket on. Not that those cyclists have no right to ride - after all, some of those guys rack up miles that would put your average litespeed rider to shame!

Once the industry has managed to grab the attention of the sport minded cyclists, the leasure bike market that Bike E and easy racers dominate will also begin to grow, just by virtue of the fact that recumbents will ba considered more normal.

Recumbents will always remain a smaller market segment, and they do have their limitations (contrary to many the store of a recumbent enthousiast) but i really see much more potential in them that has yet been realized.

So big manufacturer's.... any ideas?
 

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Palomino said:
Once the industry has managed to grab the attention of the sport minded cyclists, the leasure bike market that Bike E and easy racers dominate will also begin to grow, just by virtue of the fact that recumbents will ba considered more normal.
Bike E went belly up a couple of years ago. I guess that is what dominance did for them. :p

That might explain why Burley has easily filled that void and offers several models in the "entry" level range including some sub $1000 recumbents. I'm not sure if the leisure bike market will "grow" from the current levels. The addition of miles and miles of bike paths around the nation certainly will help the "leisure" cyclist (that is if they make the choice to exercise).

BB
 

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I've never tried one nor do I have much desire to do so. The speed they're capable of might be fun under certain conditions I suppose. Does anyone ride one off-road? Can you bunny-hop one over curbs or potholes? How are they on steep climbs? Or steep descents? They don't appear to be very maneuverable nor safe in traffic to me.
 

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Recumbent surprised me!

Hey,
I just received my Volae Club with Rotor Cranks 3 weeks ago. Frame is made my Waterford, upgraded dual 650C wheels with Disk Brake in the rear with a carbon fork up front. (25lbs)Feels like 17 lbs on the road. I ride a Brew Custom Road bike(18lbs) and a Hammerhead Mtn bike(26lbs). I've owned many full suspensions, hard tails and have been riding mtn bikes since the late 80's. I've raced Mtn and road and can definitely say anyone who thinks Bents are for fat, old and weak people think again. They are a much better workout then a DF and much faster on flats and rolling hills. Straight mountain climbing is harder but not impossible depending on the style bent you ride. This Volae climbs well and is geared to do so. The difference is you cannot rely on your body weight to help you push the pedals down. It's all you and your conditioning. You want to learn how to spin, ride one of these things. It's all spinning! I never realized how much I rely on my weight to help me when I hit the wall on a long climb.
Anyhow, if you want one hell of a crosstraining try out a high racer. I personally would not ride a trike nor a low racer due to visibility. I've never ridden so hard with NO pain in my low back, neck wrists or shoulders. Even with almost 20 years of consistently cycling my legs feel as if I've never ridden before after I finish riding my bent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Bikinfoolferlife said:
I've never tried one nor do I have much desire to do so. The speed they're capable of might be fun under certain conditions I suppose. Does anyone ride one off-road? Can you bunny-hop one over curbs or potholes? How are they on steep climbs? Or steep descents? They don't appear to be very maneuverable nor safe in traffic to me.
Threr are a few offroad recumbents, but few and far between. Most of them are backyard shed manufactured hobby projects... So not much on that front. But theyre not suited to offroad riding - you're stuck in one position and you cant use body language to get you through the technical stuff like on a mtb. Bunny hopping is not an option. On steep climbs you are better than on a normal bike, if youre riding a semi lowracer with fat tires - as long as you can choose a good line. (You do need to train your legs though! - rotor cranks give a huge benifit) That means the front doesnt come unstuck and the rear has heaps of grip. The mass is spread across the wheels instead of vertically between the wheels. The same applies for steep descents - very stable. If you were to try the same things on a high upright seated recumbent youd have troubles though.
Yeah the speed rocks. I do a 1 hour commute on my recumbent that takes me 1 1/'2 hours on the mtb and 1 1/4 hours on the road bike. Seriously high cruising speeds.

Youre not as agile as on a road bike, again as a result of the statically placed mass being spread widley over the wheels, instead of being a movable and concentrated in relation to the wheels like on a normal bike. (The moment of force required to turn the mass is much greater on a recumbent than on a normal bike) That means really technical stuff is generally harder on a recumbent fat tire. Nonetheless youre still capable of extreme cornering. - On a semi-lowracer 20"-20" you can do corners much faster cause a) the weight distribution on the wheels is perfect (usually about 55% front, 45% rear) and b) you dont have to worry if you fall, cause youre so close to the ground - so you push the tires to thier extremes more confidently.
 

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I have a 2001 Biike E CT and i love it to death, as of last year when i broke the drive train i had close to 3000 miles on it, hope to have it all fixed and back on the road as my main road bike again soon.

I cant say i'd ever give up my other bikes but i WONT give up my bent. :D
 

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Record setting speed ...

Palomino said:
I came across a quote from Lance saying that if they were legal, they'd be used in the Tour.
From VeloNews:

OG: Um, who makes...your bike?
LANCE: Who makes it? Trek.
OG: Trek makes the bike, and then you have the Shimano derailleurs and parts...
LANCE: All that, right.
OG: Yeah, all that. You've heard of, I assume, a 'recumbent bike' - a sit down bike?
LANCE: I've heard of it, but I've never tried it.
OG: Never tried it. Well, they claim to have the world record on the flats.
LANCE: Right...
OG: I tried one...
LANCE: [interrupting] Well, one of them sits three feet off the ground and the other sits about six feet off the ground, so aerodynamically, it's far superior.
OG: Yeah. Would that type of bike be legal in the Tour de France?
LANCE: No, totally illegal, [fighting back a laugh] one hundred percent. If it were legal, we would have tried it by now.
OG: Well, it's got two wheels...
LANCE: Yeah, but you have to have a traditional geometry. They call it double triangle. We'll get you a rulebook. [At this point Armstrong allows himself a laugh] And when they pass it, believe me, we'll be on it.
OG: The thing is, I noticed when I tried it, going up hills, it was much more difficult. I slowed down, and of course the owner then told me that you have to develop the muscles, you know, if you're going to go uphill...
LANCE: He told you that you have to train. That's right, that's what he should have told you. [Laughter and applause from a disbelieving audience]
OG: Yeah, but I don't go very fast.
LANCE: Well, you gotta train!
OG: Really? Well in comparisons with the slow, average rider, they can get on the 'regular geometry' type of bike and go up hills a certain speed, they would probably get on these recumbents and go uphill a little bit slower, where as on the flats they might go about a third faster. Anybody in here, uh, ever taken one out one of these...?
LANCE: Nope. But our only opinion is that when we can figure out how to use it, we'll try. We'd better talk to Trek. They may not make those. If they don't make them, then we're not riding them. [More laughter fills the room]

yeah exactly.

You should also check out the offerings from the european manufacturers - thier new sport bike lines have taken huge leaps this past year.[/QUOTE]

Recumbants set speed records when people add zip-up aerodynamic housing to them. You could do a similar thing to a traditional bike, but it wouldn't be so easy to build.

I bet that these things downhill great as well on pavement having a lower aerodynamic profile. But I bet that the upright rider would kick-ass vs recumbant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
willtsmith_nwi said:
From VeloNews:

OG: Um, who makes...your bike?
LANCE: Who makes it? Trek.
OG: Trek makes the bike, and then you have the Shimano derailleurs and parts...
LANCE: All that, right.
OG: Yeah, all that. You've heard of, I assume, a 'recumbent bike' - a sit down bike?
LANCE: I've heard of it, but I've never tried it.
OG: Never tried it. Well, they claim to have the world record on the flats.
LANCE: Right...
OG: I tried one...
LANCE: [interrupting] Well, one of them sits three feet off the ground and the other sits about six feet off the ground, so aerodynamically, it's far superior.
OG: Yeah. Would that type of bike be legal in the Tour de France?
LANCE: No, totally illegal, [fighting back a laugh] one hundred percent. If it were legal, we would have tried it by now.
OG: Well, it's got two wheels...
LANCE: Yeah, but you have to have a traditional geometry. They call it double triangle. We'll get you a rulebook. [At this point Armstrong allows himself a laugh] And when they pass it, believe me, we'll be on it.
OG: The thing is, I noticed when I tried it, going up hills, it was much more difficult. I slowed down, and of course the owner then told me that you have to develop the muscles, you know, if you're going to go uphill...
LANCE: He told you that you have to train. That's right, that's what he should have told you. [Laughter and applause from a disbelieving audience]
OG: Yeah, but I don't go very fast.
LANCE: Well, you gotta train!
OG: Really? Well in comparisons with the slow, average rider, they can get on the 'regular geometry' type of bike and go up hills a certain speed, they would probably get on these recumbents and go uphill a little bit slower, where as on the flats they might go about a third faster. Anybody in here, uh, ever taken one out one of these...?
LANCE: Nope. But our only opinion is that when we can figure out how to use it, we'll try. We'd better talk to Trek. They may not make those. If they don't make them, then we're not riding them. [More laughter fills the room]

yeah exactly.

You should also check out the offerings from the european manufacturers - thier new sport bike lines have taken huge leaps this past year.
Recumbants set speed records when people add zip-up aerodynamic housing to them. You could do a similar thing to a traditional bike, but it wouldn't be so easy to build.

I bet that these things downhill great as well on pavement having a lower aerodynamic profile. But I bet that the upright rider would kick-ass vs recumbant.[/QUOTE]

Unfaired recumbents have also set speed records.... Recumbents with fairings have broken records set by upright bikes with fairings. It all comes fown to the aerodynamic profile and frontal area.

The general rule for ideal conditions (reasonably flat terrain), is that a standard recumbent is about 10% faster than a conventional bike. Racing recumbents will be 10 - 15% faster. With a fairing, it can range from 15%-25% faster. With a full body it can be even more, even up to 35%. These are really rough figures, considering air resistance increases at a squared rate.... but as a rule of thumb, it does well.

In hilly terrain, ist hard to predict. A well trained recumbent cyclist can climb at a impressive raite - but he is limited in the muscle groups he can use. An upright cyclist has the use of many more muscles and the ability to shift positions in order to relieve certain muscle groups intermittantly. The longer the climb, the greater the advantage an upright bike has (fatigue of muscle groups).

Recumbents for street use are not always faster than conventional bicycles. Especially upright recumbents. If you want a record breaker you need a low slung aerodynamic bike that you can go fast on without any cheating (using farings).

If you put an unfaired recumbent (a racing recumbent, that is - not an upright one like used in the race across america!) against a lightweight road bike on a velodrome, the recumbent will lap the road bike several times.

Pavement and hardpack roads are the more or less the only place recumbents excell. Put them anywhere else and conventional bikes will kick thier asses.
 
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