Let's talk about lowracers... (lengthy)

Discussion in 'Recumbent bicycles' started by B. Sanders, Jan 22, 2003.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. B. Sanders

    B. Sanders Guest

    Lowracers. They're sexy. They're fast. They're not for everybody, and they're kinda dangerous on the
    street (think SUV bumpers above your head). But they don't have to be expensive, as the WISIL folks
    have proven with their wonderful home-brew examples:

    http://www.wisil.recumbents.com/wisil/whatsup.htm

    I am definitely taking notes from the WISIL project bikes. Has anybody here built one? The Alley Cat
    looks interesting. Do the tiny 305mm front wheels work well on less-than-perfect streets?

    I've read reports from lowracer owners that they are not getting the speed gains that they had hoped
    for. So what's the big deal about lowracers, and why do people swear by them? I will admit that the
    M5 attracted coeds like a magnet, which may be one very good reason to own one; but that's not why I
    bought a lowracer :) If not for speed, then why own one?

    Ed Gin is, by all reports, a bona fide speed demon on his unfaired Festina. Certainly there are
    plenty of others who fairly smoke the track on their Jesters, Barons, M5's, Zox's, Wishbones and
    Taifuns (did I miss any?) But for some of us, the promise of noticeable speed gains has remained
    elusive. I'm still convinced that there are speed gains to be had; but I can't figure out the
    formula for speed. I has been said that different riding positions require different muscle
    training, and that surely could explain some of my disappointing results with the M5 (I didn't ride
    it enough.)

    Is it that simple? Is the only advantage of lowracers in the lowness? It can't be the seat angle,
    because the Barracuda, Festina, Sunset and Low Phat (for instance) all have fairly steep seat
    angles. Why aren't sleek laid-back quasi-lowracers like the Taifun just as fast? Why are Ed Gin's
    ultra-low Festina and Warren Beauchamp's Barracuda so blazing fast? Would Ed and Warren still fly on
    a SpeedMachine or a Taifun - or would the bikes hold them back?

    At time, I think I should just buy a Festina (pretty expensive), or build a Barracuda clone. I have
    few framebuilding resources, no garage in which to work, and not a lot of money to spend. I want my
    lowracer to be "streetable", which points to something like the SpeedMachine, Stinger or Taifun. I
    do prefer a larger rear wheel - mostly for aesthetic reasons, but also because bikes so equipped
    seem to be faster. (Why?)

    I have designed a bike that might work. I call it the Speed Racer:
    http://www.bsanders.net/SpeedRacer.jpg

    I figure I can probably build this bike with a 6061-T6 aluminum main tube and a commercial
    fiberglass hard shell seat for under $600, including all of the components (many of which I already
    have), and paying a pro to weld the frame. I was planning to harvest the rear triangle, suspension
    and headtube from a junked aluminum full-suspension department store type MTB. I'm planning to
    include a suspension lock-out; but haven't figured that out yet. Can't be too hard, I suppose.

    What I'm looking for are the magic formulas, money-saving strategies, and perhaps some guidance
    about how to go about successfully building a (quasi)lowracer (including names of people who can aid
    in building a frame). Alternatively, I am seriously considering just buying a Taifun frameset,
    building it up, and calling it a day. Your comments and suggestions welcomed.

    -Barry
     
    Tags:


  2. Harv

    Harv Guest

    I think that Ed and Warren are fast because they have good genes, strong legs and hearts and
    efficient lungs, not because they have better bikes! I'm not sure about Warren, but Ed rides
    (trains) year round. "B. Sanders" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >snip
     
  3. Try the Festina and the M5 on the same day. THen see which one handles better.

    I belong to the Greg LeMond school of riders. I want the bike to be less responsive so that I don't
    have to expend so much energy being a controller. That leaves more for the engine compartment.

    IMHO the M5 requires a LOT of attention from the rider. I am not fast, but I'm faster on
    the Festina.
    --
    Bill "Pop Pop" Patterson Retired and riding my Linear, my front drive lowracer and our M5 tandem.
     
  4. B. Sanders <[email protected]> wrote:
    : I've read reports from lowracer owners that they are not getting the speed gains that they had
    : hoped for.

    Darn. Do I need to reconsider? :p Then again speed is what we are training for and if the LR is not
    fast enough one can build/buy a fairing and wheeldisks/covers etc

    Wonder why that is... At least I figure a LR would be a huge upgrade over my upright hybrid. Better
    aerodynamics... greater comfort... skinny racing tyres (at least 4 mm skinnier!)... umm... did I say
    better aerodynamics?

    : So what's the big deal about lowracers, and why do people swear by them?

    Why do people buy sports cars? Or expensive designer stereo sets that sound crap?

    1 mph difference makes a difference in a 50 mile race...

    : Is it that simple? Is the only advantage of lowracers in the lowness? It can't be the seat angle,
    : because the Barracuda, Festina, Sunset and Low Phat (for instance) all have fairly steep seat
    : angles. Why aren't sleek laid-back quasi-lowracers like the Taifun just as fast? Why are Ed Gin's

    Tires/wheels add air resistance :) so the effective frontal area/whatever is lower if your wheels go
    'over' the rider and the rest of the bike. Also observe the height of the bottom/boom bracket issue.
    (Should really be the top bracket on those bents? ;p )

    Seems quasi-lowracers and Hurricanes can hold their own in criteriums, though. Maybe it's the
    small rear wheels that make for good acceleration? (Could be nice in city traffic too with
    stop-and-go action.)

    --
    Risto Varanka | http://www.helsinki.fi/~rvaranka/ varis at no spam please iki fi
     
  5. John Foltz

    John Foltz Guest

    B. Sanders wrote:
    > Lowracers. They're sexy. They're fast. They're not for everybody... (snip) I've read reports from
    > lowracer owners that they are not getting the speed gains that they had hoped for. So what's the
    > big deal about lowracers, and why do people swear by them?

    As you wrote in your first paragraph, they're not for everybody. If you don't have the motor to take
    advantage of the superior aerodynamics, you won't see the benefit. The Baron, unadorned, is
    1.5 mph faster than my V-Rex with front fairing and tailbox, which in turn is 1.5 mph faster than
    unfaired. But my starting point is around 19 mph on the unfaired V-Rex. Why do I swear by it?
    Because whereas I could struggle to stay with the fast wedgie crowd on my unfaired V-Rex, and
    comfortably keep up with my faired V-Rex, I can run circles around them on my Baron. That's major
    cool. I've discovered I *like* winning all the city limit sprints.

    Of course, they do look sexy, even going slow. :)
    --

    John Foltz --- O _ Baron --- _O _ V-Rex 24/63 --- _\\/\-%)
    _________(_)`=()___________________(_)= (_)_____
     
  6. Thanks for writing this, Barry and for the interesting links you put in it.

    For your 'bike building' interests, may I suggest you check out the Framebuilders List '
    http://www.phred.org/mailman/listinfo/framebuilders ' and peruse their archives.

    As for your aspirations for speed, there comes a time when you've just got to accept the fact that
    it just ain't going to happen, unless, of course, you chose the right parents. :)

    Don't feel too bad, I screwed up too. :)

    Good luck with your project, it looks great.

    Lewis.

    http://home.earthlink.net/~limeylew/index.html

    ...............

    "B. Sanders" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Lowracers. They're sexy. They're fast. They're not for everybody, and they're kinda dangerous on
    > the street (think SUV bumpers above your head). But they don't have to be expensive, as the WISIL
    > folks have proven with their wonderful home-brew examples:
    >
    > http://www.wisil.recumbents.com/wisil/whatsup.htm
    >
    > I am definitely taking notes from the WISIL project bikes. Has anybody here built one? The Alley
    > Cat looks interesting. Do the tiny 305mm front wheels work well on less-than-perfect streets?
    >
    > I've read reports from lowracer owners that they are not getting the speed gains that they had
    > hoped for. So what's the big deal about lowracers, and why do people swear by them? I will admit
    > that the M5 attracted coeds like a magnet, which may be one very good reason to own one; but
    > that's not why I bought a lowracer :) If not for speed, then why own one?
    >
    > Ed Gin is, by all reports, a bona fide speed demon on his unfaired Festina. Certainly there are
    > plenty of others who fairly smoke the track on their Jesters, Barons, M5's, Zox's, Wishbones and
    > Taifuns (did I miss any?) But for some of us, the promise of noticeable speed gains has remained
    > elusive. I'm still convinced that there are speed gains to be had; but I can't figure out the
    > formula for speed. I has been said that different riding positions require different muscle
    > training, and that surely could explain some of my disappointing results with the M5 (I didn't
    > ride it enough.)
    >
    > Is it that simple? Is the only advantage of lowracers in the lowness? It can't be the seat angle,
    > because the Barracuda, Festina, Sunset and Low Phat (for instance) all have fairly steep seat
    > angles. Why aren't sleek laid-back quasi-lowracers like the Taifun just as fast? Why are Ed Gin's
    > ultra-low Festina and Warren Beauchamp's Barracuda so blazing fast? Would Ed and Warren still fly
    > on a SpeedMachine or a Taifun - or would the bikes hold them back?
    >
    > At time, I think I should just buy a Festina (pretty expensive), or build a Barracuda clone. I
    > have few framebuilding resources, no garage in which to work, and not a lot of money to spend. I
    > want my lowracer to be "streetable", which points to something like the SpeedMachine, Stinger or
    > Taifun. I do prefer a larger rear wheel - mostly for aesthetic reasons, but also because bikes so
    > equipped seem to be faster. (Why?)
    >
    > I have designed a bike that might work. I call it the Speed Racer:
    > http://www.bsanders.net/SpeedRacer.jpg
    >
    > I figure I can probably build this bike with a 6061-T6 aluminum main tube and a commercial
    > fiberglass hard shell seat for under $600, including all of the components (many of which I
    > already have), and paying a pro to weld the frame. I was planning to harvest the rear triangle,
    > suspension and headtube from a junked aluminum full-suspension department store type MTB. I'm
    > planning to include a suspension lock-out; but haven't figured that out yet. Can't be too hard, I
    > suppose.
    >
    > What I'm looking for are the magic formulas, money-saving strategies, and perhaps some guidance
    > about how to go about successfully building a (quasi)lowracer (including names of people who can
    > aid in building a frame). Alternatively, I am seriously considering just buying a Taifun frameset,
    > building it up, and calling it a day. Your comments and suggestions welcomed.
    >
    > -Barry
     
  7. Harryo

    Harryo Guest

    "B. Sanders" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    >
    > I've read reports from lowracer owners that they are not getting the speed gains that they had
    > hoped for. So what's the big deal about lowracers, and why do people swear by them? I will admit
    > that the M5 attracted coeds like a magnet, which may be one very good reason to own one; but
    > that's not why I bought a lowracer :) If not for speed, then why own one?

    No offense, Barry, but I think you are on the wrong track. It appears to me that you are putting too
    much emphasis on the bike and not enough on the whole rider and bike package. Riding fast is not
    just about the bike. although the bike can make a difference. It is also about physical conditioning
    and attitude. Here are my thoughts. I don't claim they are fact but they are what I believe. Take
    them as you see fit.

    I believe a lowracer offers the best speed potential on flat to rolling roads. Throw stiff winds
    into the equation and the lowracer shines more. The last two years, I have ridden an Optima Baron
    for almost all of my road riding. This has been mainly in Central Illinois but I have ridden some
    other areas with more challenging terrain. For the majority of my riding, in Central Illinois, I
    believe the Baron might be an ideal ride. The Baron is certainly faster, for me, than any other bike
    I have ridden. Into the wind, and on the flat to rolling roads common here, I have found no equal.
    By the way, I don't find the Baron at all unsafe for my riding.

    I believe it would be fair to say that those who know me, and have ridden with me, would consider me
    a fast rider. However, I have worked hard to make myself able to ride fast. I have ridden many
    thousands of miles and while I do ride some relaxing rides at a slower pace, many of my rides are
    ridden fast, with me pushing myself and my limits. I spend 3-4 hours a week, besides riding, on
    aerobic conditioning(spinning trainer, snowhoeing, cross country skiing, paddling), and another 3-4
    hours a week on strength training. While I do the cross training for my overall health and not to
    improve my riding, it certainly does help it.

    I am fast on whatever bike I ride, be it my V-Rex, lightweight DF or Baron. I am fastest on the
    Baron because of the aero advantage it offers and the training I do to ride it to it's potential.
    However, I am also fast because I want to be and I am willing, and determined, to put in the effort
    to constantly push my personal limits to a higher level. This is the attitude of which I mentioned
    earlier. Everyone doesn't have it, or even wishes to have it, but I think it is as much of a factor
    as the bike and the physical condition of the rider.

    Harry Jiles
     
  8. Freewheeling

    Freewheeling Guest

    Barry:

    I think lowracers are fast because they're aerodynamic. That is, the position of the feet relative
    to the body mass produces a small "shadow." Put a lowracer on larger wheels and you'd lose a small
    bit of aero advantage because of the larger wheel, but you'd also reduce rolling resistance on
    normal asphalt roads. I don't think "lowness" has anything to do with the advantage unless there's
    something about being close to the ground that reduces turbulence. The main "advantage" of a
    lowracer over a highracer is that if you crack up you haven't as far to fall, which is probably
    offset by the fact that you may be harder to see, or at least notice.

    Good luck on the project. I'm off the bike as a result of an in-home accident resulting in an
    injured foot. I tripped on the mouse cord and "took a header." I'm hoping the foot's not broken, but
    it's got some nasty black and blue. Anyway, it may give me an excuse for not doing MoM again.

    --
    --Scott [email protected] Cut the "tail" to send email.

    <<Barry's wordage snipped
     
  9. Barry Sanders wrote:

    > I've read reports from lowracer owners that they are not getting the speed gains that they had
    > hoped for. So what's the big deal about lowracers, and why do people swear by them?

    Personally I was surprised by how much speed I gained. It's not totally valid to compare average
    speeds from races in different years, since weather, fitness and whether one is riding solo on in a
    group will likely play a part, but here's my averages from the BHPC Darley Moor meetings:

    2000 - 22.1 mph 2001 - 24.8 mph 2002 - 26.2 mph

    In 2000, I was riding a Kingcycle - 18" seat height, seat angle approx. 45 degrees, 369 /
    540 wheels.

    2001, HP Velotechnik Speedmachine with "race" Speedbag, 16" seat height, seat angle approx. 30
    degrees, 406/559 wheels.

    2002, Optima Baron Low with tail fairing, 10.6" seat height, seat angle approx. 20 degrees,
    406/559 wheels.

    Darley Moor is on the side of a slight incline, but the prevailing wind direction usually means that
    the uphill leg is slightly faster than the downhill one. There's one tight - 18-20 mph - corner, one
    which is OK at around 23 (for me) if I use all the road and one flat-out.

    Now I *personally* find that *my* Baron is unsuitable for road use due to its near-total inability
    to carry anything other than me, but then I didn't buy it for that reason - I bought it to go fast
    on the race track. It would be possible to rig Cosimo for road use, but it's not high on my list of
    priorities right now.

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

    Ridebent Guest

    "B. Sanders" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...

    > I've read reports from lowracer owners that they are not getting the speed gains that they had
    > hoped for. So what's the big deal about lowracers, and why do people swear by them? I will admit
    > that the M5 attracted coeds like a magnet, which may be one very good reason to own one; but
    > that's not why I bought a lowracer :) If not for speed, then why own one?
    >
    > Ed Gin is, by all reports, a bona fide speed demon on his unfaired Festina. Certainly there are
    > plenty of others who fairly smoke the track on their Jesters, Barons, M5's, Zox's, Wishbones and
    > Taifuns (did I miss any?) But for some of us, the promise of noticeable speed gains has remained
    > elusive. I'm still convinced that there are speed gains to be had; but I can't figure out the
    > formula for speed. I has been said that different riding positions require different muscle
    > training, and that surely could explain some of my disappointing results with the M5 (I didn't
    > ride it enough.)
    >
    > Is it that simple? Is the only advantage of lowracers in the lowness?

    The advantage of lowracers is in the aerodynamics (seems obvious), but these aerodynamics are more
    dramatic, have a greater impact the faster you go.

    People accustomed to riding 12-15 mph aren't going to be doing 22-25mph just by jumping on a
    lowracer. I'm sure the riders you mentioned above (don't know them personally) train for speed and
    as a result, benefit greatly from the aerodynamics that lowracers provide.

    There's no magic bike that's going to dramatically boost someone's speed without the requisite
    physical conditioning. However, with the proper conditioning, lowracers are fast and fun :)

    Alan
     
  11. B. Sanders

    B. Sanders Guest

    <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > B. Sanders <[email protected]> wrote:
    > : I've read reports from lowracer owners that they are not getting the
    speed
    > : gains that they had hoped for.
    >
    > Darn. Do I need to reconsider? :p Then again speed is what we are training for and if the LR is
    > not fast enough one can build/buy a fairing and wheeldisks/covers etc
    >
    > Wonder why that is... At least I figure a LR would be a huge upgrade over my upright hybrid.
    > Better aerodynamics... greater comfort... skinny racing tyres (at least 4 mm skinnier!)... umm...
    > did I say better aerodynamics?

    You got that right; but there's a big guy in my local club who can FLY on a hybrid. It's kinda like
    Enzo Ferrari sez: "aerodynamics are for people who can't build engines." (you get the idea)

    > : So what's the big deal about lowracers, and why do people swear by them?
    >
    > Why do people buy sports cars? Or expensive designer stereo sets that sound crap?

    LOL! Yeah, that has a ring of truth to it...

    > 1 mph difference makes a difference in a 50 mile race...

    True. I didn't have the proper apparatus for a true scientific test; but I would estimate that my
    unfaired M5 Low Racer gave me a 2 mph speed boost over my RANS Rocket. If I had trained on the M5 a
    bit more; perhaps it would have been even better. I didn't think that was too significant; but
    maybe it was.

    > : Is it that simple? Is the only advantage of lowracers in the lowness?

    > Tires/wheels add air resistance :) so the effective frontal area/whatever is lower if your wheels
    > go 'over' the rider and the rest of the bike.

    IOW: Your body should be in the slipstream of the front wheel and cranks. Yeah, that makes sense.

    > Seems quasi-lowracers and Hurricanes can hold their own in criteriums, though. Maybe it's the
    > small rear wheels that make for good acceleration? (Could be nice in city traffic too with
    > stop-and-go action.)

    From my experience, the 406mm wheels have lower rolling resistance, too. I can out-coast any DF
    bike, with any tires, on almost any surface. It's very obvious in a group ride. Aero advantage +
    skinny, hi-pressure tires + small wheels = superior coasting.

    Did I mention that I love my little RANS Rocket? Maybe I should just build a full fairing for it and
    get a 72T chainring...

    -Barry
     
  12. B. Sanders

    B. Sanders Guest

    "Bill Patterson" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Try the Festina and the M5 on the same day. THen see which one handles better.

    My Euro-style M5 was a serious handful to ride. Surprisingly, though, it was actually quite well
    behaved in excessive crosswinds, even with the ultra-deep aero rims. The rims were so deep that they
    actually became *sails* in a crosswind - I kid you not! I could actually feel a significant speed
    boost from the crosswinds. Great fun.

    > I belong to the Greg LeMond school of riders. I want the bike to be less responsive so that I
    > don't have to expend so much energy being a controller. That leaves more for the engine
    > compartment.

    Sounds very reasonable. I like neutral, stable handling too.
    >
    > IMHO the M5 requires a LOT of attention from the rider. I am not fast, but I'm faster on the
    > Festina.

    Ed Gin sure loves his Festina. I'd really like to try one. I might have to find a way to attend one
    of the WISIL meetings and see about some test rides.

    -Barry
     
  13. B. Sanders

    B. Sanders Guest

    "harv" <harv*no_spam*@spininternet.com> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I think that Ed and Warren are fast because they have good genes, strong legs and hearts and
    > efficient lungs, not because they have better bikes!
    I'm
    > not sure about Warren, but Ed rides (trains) year round.

    Yeah, that's definitely a lot of it. They have the engines and the bikes to create maximum speed.
    Ed invited me on several occasions to join their merry band of speedsters - 19mph average on
    training rides, he said. I'll have to train a lot more to be comfortable in that speed range. Maybe
    this year.

    -Barry
     
  14. "Freewheeling" skrev...
    > I don't think "lowness" has anything to do with the advantage unless there's something about being
    > close to the ground that reduces turbulence.

    Actually the air is calmer the closer you get to the ground. It's that Ekman spiral thingie. ;-)
    (vaguely remembered fluiddynamics course)

    However the main advantage is the higher concentrations of free proteine down there. Yes ... flies
    ... you eat more flies down low than up in the air. Yummy :)

    M.
     
  15. Lowracers are faster, but it takes time for a new lowracer owner-rider to develop the necessary
    re-conditioning of the muscles to realize the speed gains that are available. It took me a full
    year of riding in switching from an Easy Racers TiRush to a Jester before I was satisfied with
    my performance on the Jester. Its well worth it however, I love the precise handling, the speed,
    the aerodynamic advantages - especially on windy days and the sensation of speed being so low to
    the ground.

    BG

    [email protected] wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > B. Sanders <[email protected]> wrote:
    > : I've read reports from lowracer owners that they are not getting the speed gains that they had
    > : hoped for.
    >
    > Darn. Do I need to reconsider? :p Then again speed is what we are training for and if the LR is
    > not fast enough one can build/buy a fairing and wheeldisks/covers etc
    >
    > Wonder why that is... At least I figure a LR would be a huge upgrade over my upright hybrid.
    > Better aerodynamics... greater comfort... skinny racing tyres (at least 4 mm skinnier!)... umm...
    > did I say better aerodynamics?
    >
    > : So what's the big deal about lowracers, and why do people swear by them?
    >
    > Why do people buy sports cars? Or expensive designer stereo sets that sound crap?
    >
    > 1 mph difference makes a difference in a 50 mile race...
    >
    > : Is it that simple? Is the only advantage of lowracers in the lowness? It can't be the seat
    > : angle, because the Barracuda, Festina, Sunset and Low Phat (for instance) all have fairly steep
    > : seat angles. Why aren't sleek laid-back quasi-lowracers like the Taifun just as fast? Why are
    > : Ed Gin's
    >
    > Tires/wheels add air resistance :) so the effective frontal area/whatever is lower if your wheels
    > go 'over' the rider and the rest of the bike. Also observe the height of the bottom/boom bracket
    > issue. (Should really be the top bracket on those bents? ;p )
    >
    > Seems quasi-lowracers and Hurricanes can hold their own in criteriums, though. Maybe it's the
    > small rear wheels that make for good acceleration? (Could be nice in city traffic too with
    > stop-and-go action.)
     
  16. Al Kubeluis

    Al Kubeluis Guest

    Harryo, You are right, it's mostly the rider and conditioning. How do you compare your speeds on
    your Vrex and Barron in various terrain and wind?
    --
    ~ Al Kubeluis ~ Bacchetta Corsa ~ Maryland ~ USA ~

    "harryo" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > "B. Sanders" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > >
    > > I've read reports from lowracer owners that they are not getting the
    speed
    > > gains that they had hoped for. So what's the big deal about lowracers,
    and
    > > why do people swear by them? I will admit that the M5 attracted coeds
    like
    > > a magnet, which may be one very good reason to own one; but that's not
    why I
    > > bought a lowracer :) If not for speed, then why own one?
    >
    > No offense, Barry, but I think you are on the wrong track. It appears to me that you are putting
    > too much emphasis on the bike and not enough on the whole rider and bike package. Riding fast is
    > not just about the bike. although the bike can make a difference. It is also about physical
    > conditioning and attitude. Here are my thoughts. I don't claim they are fact but they are what I
    > believe. Take them as you see fit.
    >
    > I believe a lowracer offers the best speed potential on flat to rolling roads. Throw stiff winds
    > into the equation and the lowracer shines more. The last two years, I have ridden an Optima Baron
    > for almost all of my road riding. This has been mainly in Central Illinois but I have ridden some
    > other areas with more challenging terrain. For the majority of my riding, in Central Illinois, I
    > believe the Baron might be an ideal ride. The Baron is certainly faster, for me, than any other
    > bike I have ridden. Into the wind, and on the flat to rolling roads common here, I have found no
    > equal. By the way, I don't find the Baron at all unsafe for my riding.
    >
    > I believe it would be fair to say that those who know me, and have ridden with me, would consider
    > me a fast rider. However, I have worked hard to make myself able to ride fast. I have ridden many
    > thousands of miles and while I do ride some relaxing rides at a slower pace, many of my rides are
    > ridden fast, with me pushing myself and my limits. I spend 3-4 hours a week, besides riding, on
    > aerobic conditioning(spinning trainer, snowhoeing, cross country skiing, paddling), and another
    > 3-4 hours a week on strength training. While I do the cross training for my overall health and not
    > to improve my riding, it certainly does help it.
    >
    > I am fast on whatever bike I ride, be it my V-Rex, lightweight DF or Baron. I am fastest on the
    > Baron because of the aero advantage it offers and the training I do to ride it to it's potential.
    > However, I am also fast because I want to be and I am willing, and determined, to put in the
    > effort to constantly push my personal limits to a higher level. This is the attitude of which I
    > mentioned earlier. Everyone doesn't have it, or even wishes to have it, but I think it is as much
    > of a factor as the bike and the physical condition of the rider.
    >
    > Harry Jiles
     
  17. harryo <[email protected]> wrote:
    : to rolling roads common here, I have found no equal. By the way, I don't find the Baron at all
    : unsafe for my riding.

    What kind of experiences do you LR owning people have on the safety issues? Have you gone unnoticed,
    ignored? Do other people comment on safety? Any close calls?

    Where do you ride? I was thinking lowracers might have enough visibility for road riding, but not
    for commuting in (semi)urban environment.

    --
    Risto Varanka | http://www.helsinki.fi/~rvaranka/ risto varanka at no spam please helsinki fi
     
  18. Derek

    Derek Guest

    I recall doing the California "Cherry Pie" recumbent race a couple of years ago with Rob English. We
    were both riding similar Baron lowracer's (albeit his was modified with race components). He lapped
    the entire field 2-3 times, including me, and wasn't even breathing hard at the finish. So the bikes
    don't actually win races all by themselves, it depends on the riders ability and condition. While
    lowracers do great in coast down tests, the speed advantage is not that significant compared to the
    advantage you would obtain from losing 20 years, 20 lbs, or just getting in good physical condition.
    Lowracers are not a magic bullet, but they certainly are fun to race.

    Cheers, Derek

    "Dave Larrington" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Barry Sanders wrote:
    >
    > > I've read reports from lowracer owners that they are not getting the speed gains that they had
    > > hoped for. So what's the big deal about lowracers, and why do people swear by them?
    >
    > Personally I was surprised by how much speed I gained. It's not totally valid to compare average
    > speeds from races in different years, since weather, fitness and whether one is riding solo on in
    > a group will likely play a part, but here's my averages from the BHPC Darley Moor meetings:
    >
    > 2000 - 22.1 mph 2001 - 24.8 mph 2002 - 26.2 mph
    >
    > In 2000, I was riding a Kingcycle - 18" seat height, seat angle approx. 45 degrees, 369 /
    > 540 wheels.
    >
    > 2001, HP Velotechnik Speedmachine with "race" Speedbag, 16" seat height, seat angle approx. 30
    > degrees, 406/559 wheels.
    >
    > 2002, Optima Baron Low with tail fairing, 10.6" seat height, seat angle approx. 20 degrees,
    > 406/559 wheels.
    >
    > Darley Moor is on the side of a slight incline, but the prevailing wind direction usually means
    > that the uphill leg is slightly faster than the downhill one. There's one tight - 18-20 mph -
    > corner, one which is OK at around 23 (for me) if I use all the road and one flat-out.
    >
    > Now I *personally* find that *my* Baron is unsuitable for road use due to its near-total inability
    > to carry anything other than me, but then I
    didn't
    > buy it for that reason - I bought it to go fast on the race track. It
    would
    > be possible to rig Cosimo for road use, but it's not high on my list of priorities right now.
    >
    > Dave Larrington - http://legslarry.crosswinds.net/
    > ===========================================================
    > Editor - British Human Power Club Newsletter
    > http://www.bhpc.org.uk/
    > ===========================================================
     
  19. "Mikael Seierup" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > However the main advantage is the higher concentrations of free proteine
    down there.
    > Yes ... flies ... you eat more flies down low than up in the air. Yummy
    :)

    Hey, don't forget the spray of roadkilled animals from that fenderless front wheel RIGHT there.
    Alas, the wheeldisk reduces that somewhat.

    oops - gotta go - lunch time..

    Torben
     
  20. Freewheeling

    Freewheeling Guest

    Mikael:

    The quality of the bugs is better higher up, however. Not merely the protein content, but the taste.
    There are some critters out near Point of Rocks, Maryland (those who live in the DC area will know)
    that emerge in the early Spring, and have a nutty woodsy taste that is absolutely delicious. Because
    they feed on tree leaves, as opposed to carrion, they tend to be found closer to their main food
    source. I'd try to stay clear of bugs that are associated with anything that goes "plop" or "thud,"
    you you know what I mean.

    --
    --Scott [email protected] Cut the "tail" to send email.

    "Mikael Seierup" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > "Freewheeling" skrev...
    > > I don't think "lowness" has anything to do with the advantage unless there's something about
    > > being close to the ground that reduces turbulence.
    >
    > Actually the air is calmer the closer you get to the ground. It's that Ekman spiral thingie. ;-)
    > (vaguely remembered fluiddynamics
    course)
    >
    > However the main advantage is the higher concentrations of free proteine
    down there.
    > Yes ... flies ... you eat more flies down low than up in the air. Yummy
    :)
    >
    > M.
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Loading...