Bents in The Times

Discussion in 'Recumbent bicycles' started by ChrisW, Mar 17, 2003.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. ChrisW

    ChrisW New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    A week or so ago that impeccable journal of record The Times (London) carried a very favourable article about recumbents.

    A bit too favourable, maybe, as it claimed that they "average 55mph on the flat and 70mph downhill". It's hard to argue with the downhill figure (what can a recumbent rider average if thrown out of a helicopter?). But the figure for flat ground has me worried. To average 55mph a bike is going to have to go at least 65mph for a large part of its journey.

    Maybe this sort of speed is everyday stuff for you guys. If so, I have to admit that I'm letting the side down in a big way. Actually, I've only once exceeded 55mph on a bike (DF), and that was freewheeling from the top of Ditchling Beacon down to Brighton. The route was cleared of motor traffic, but even so my overwhelming feeling was that this would not be a good time for anything unexpected to happen.

    I suspect this is an instance of a well-known phenomenon: newspaper articles dealing with any subject you know something about are invariably complete nonsense. People who buy recumbents on the basis of this article may be in for a disappointment.

    Chris
     
    Tags:


  2. Doesn't sound too bad compared with some of the deranged nonsense they were spouting during 2001
    with regard to Mr. J Queally and streamlined four berth caravan ;-)

    Hopefully my father will have saved it, as it doesn't appear to be available on their web site.

    Dave Larrington - http://legslarry.crosswinds.net/
    ===========================================================
    Editor - British Human Power Club Newsletter
    http://www.bhpc.org.uk/
    ===========================================================
     
  3. Additional: I have found it in my employers' database.

    "A LAID-BACK WAY TO GET FIT;HEALTH

    Recumbent bikes are easier to ride than they look and offer benefits beyond those of conventional
    cycles. Peta Bee reports

    Posture-friendly the average bike is not. You must not only contort your spine to reach the
    handlebars, but the saddle offers barely comfortable support, while to turn the pedals you must
    extend your legs in the most unorthopaedic of movements.

    Hence the appeal -for the body-conscious at least -of the so-called "recumbent" bike. This bike is
    easy on your back, while offering fitness benefits that you don't get from conventional cycling.

    On the recumbent bike, you lie in a virtually horizontal position in order to cycle. Although there
    is a variety of models (outdoor and indoor), the design principle is the same, with the pedals out
    in front rather than beneath the body, and the seat positioned close to the ground.

    Most gyms now have at least a few stationary versions of the low-level bikes in their cardiovascular
    training zones, but a growing number of cyclists is taking to the roads on them -specialist bike
    shops have reported a rise in sales, particularly among Londoners, who are opting for this mode of
    transport to dodge both the traffic and the congestion charge.

    On first inspection, the recumbent bike looks unrideable. In fact, the technique is easy to master
    and you will be fully mobile within minutes.

    Most outdoor recumbent bikes have handlebars with gear levers positioned either just above your lap
    or beneath the seat. In that cluster of controls there is also a brake and steering mechanism. The
    bike simply goes where you point it -and you can even leave your feet on the pedals when you come to
    a stop (Eh? - Ed.).

    Recumbents can reach average speeds of 55mph on the flat and up to 70mph downhill.

    Indeed, the aerodynamic construction enabled a recumbent to set the world's 200m speed record for a
    human-powered vehicle which, at 68.73mph (sic - Ed.), is not what you want to hear when you lower
    yourself gingerly into the seat for the first time.

    The most common reaction when people sit on the bike is how comfortable it is, says Oliver Taylor,
    of the London Recumbents shop. "The mechanics of the bikes mean that, with the seat to lean on, you
    can push the pedals with the right amount of pressure, allowing your body to relax and your legs to
    do all the work rather than your lungs," he says.

    There are other advantages. With your body weight supported, your neck, back and wrists don't suffer
    from the pounding and reverberating impact you suffer on a normal bike, which can lead to chronic
    aches and pains. And because the handlebars and gears are usually positioned just above your lap,
    there is no opportunity for slouching or leaning on them as you pedal.

    Experts say that cycling this way offers a range of benefits. Research by exercise physiologists at
    the State University of New York showed that while riding a recumbent works much the same muscle
    groups as ordinary cycling, the focus is different. On a low-level bike your hamstrings and gluteal
    muscles work harder than your quadriceps, which makes it a much better bottom-firming activity. The
    seated position also means that the knees, shoulders and back are under considerably less strain
    than they would be on a normal bike.

    "Recumbent bikes are an ideal piece of exercise equipment for overweight people and individuals with
    lower-back problems and weak core, or stomach, muscles," says Chris Walton, the fitness manager at
    the Third Space gym in London. "The wider seat and the back support offer more stability, and the
    raised leg position is really helpful for people with circulatory problems and lower-leg injuries."

    However, according to Magnus Bowden, the fitness development manager for Cannons gyms, it is not all
    good news. "Because the cycling position means the heart is closer to the level of the legs, it is
    less taxing on the cardiovascular system," he says. "You can cycle without as much aerobic effort,
    but that does mean you don't use quite as many calories." Still, you can expect to burn around 320
    calories in an hour when you cycle at a speed of 10mph on a recumbent (compared with 380 calories on
    a normal bike).

    And, of course, no matter how far you pedal there is the extra advantage that you won't get
    saddle-sore.

    Expect to pay Pounds 900 to Pounds 1,200 for a new bike"

    I take it back. There's just a bit *less* deranged nonsense in this one. But you'd think a newspaper
    which covered Queally's 2001 record attempt in some detail would have been able to find the current
    HPV speed record. I don't know where they got the 55 mph from, though Oliver Taylor has confessed to
    doing 70 on a Challenge Hurricane coming off Ditchling Beacon.

    Dave Larrington - http://legslarry.crosswinds.net/
    ===========================================================
    Editor - British Human Power Club Newsletter
    http://www.bhpc.org.uk/
    ===========================================================
     
  4. Alpha Beta

    Alpha Beta Guest

    Does the following mean I will have a nicer looking butt for the women to chase?

    "Dave Larrington" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Additional: I have found it in my employers' database.
    >
    > "A LAID-BACK WAY TO GET FIT;HEALTH .... the focus is different. On a low-level bike your
    > hamstrings and
    gluteal
    > muscles work harder than your quadriceps, which makes it a much better bottom-firming
    > activity. ...
     
  5. Alpha Beta <[email protected]> wrote:
    : Does the following mean I will have a nicer looking butt for the women to chase?

    Dunno. Can you get transparent hardshell seats somewhere?

    --
    Risto Varanka | http://www.helsinki.fi/~rvaranka/ varis at no spam please iki fi
     
  6. Tom Sherman

    Tom Sherman Guest

    ChrisW wrote:
    >
    > ... A bit too favourable, maybe, as it claimed that they "average 55mph on the flat and 70mph
    > downhill". It's hard to argue with the downhill figure (what can a recumbent rider average if
    > thrown out of a helicopter?). But the figure for flat ground has me worried. To average 55mph a
    > bike is going to have to go at least 65mph for a large part of its journey....

    For what it is worth, the following records were set by recumbent bicycle riders: 50.84 mph by "Fast
    Freddy" Markham on May 6, 1979, 56.55 mph by Dave Grylls on May 4, 1980, 60.43 mph by Peter Thron on
    August 24, 1985, 65.48 mph by Markham [1] on May 11, 1986, 72.75 mph by Sam Whittingham on October
    13, 2000, and 80.55 mph by Whittingham on October 6, 2001. [2]

    Note that none of the bicycles used could be safely or practically ridden on the street.

    [1] Dupont Prize winner.
    [2] < http://www.ihpva.org/hpva/hpvarec7.html#nom01 >

    Tom Sherman - Various HPV's Quad Cities USA (Illinois side)
     
  7. Dave Larrington <[email protected]> wrote:
    : Recumbents can reach average speeds of 55mph on the flat and up to 70mph downhill.

    Note that they don't mention anything about uphill speed, which is doubly suspicious. On the other
    hand, they give average speeds while median speeds would be higher ;)

    --
    Risto Varanka | http://www.helsinki.fi/~rvaranka/ varis at no spam please iki fi
     
  8. "Alpha Beta" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Does the following mean I will have a nicer looking butt for the women to chase?
    >

    its the couch for you tonight, bozo

    Mrs L
     
  9. Mlb

    Mlb Guest

Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Loading...