Long Distance Bent Info

Discussion in 'Recumbent bicycles' started by jostclan, Feb 11, 2004.

  1. jostclan

    jostclan New Member

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    I'm looking for some help.

    My name is John, I'm 44 years old and I live in St. Louis, Missouri. I've been "seriously" riding for the last three to four years. I've ridden "B.A.M. 2000", a St. Louis to Kansas City and back race as a member of a four man team. I've ridden in two local 24 hour road races. My first one in 2001 was a blast, my second one in 2002 sucked as I ended up with a nasty case of Shermer neck after only 75 miles and by 105 miles had to pull out. In 2003, I entered and completed two 200K, two 300K, two 400k and one 600k ride and tallied up a bit over 5,400 miles for the year. All of this was on a Litespeed Classic, titanium road bike and a Santana Sovereign aluminum tandem.

    I'm not a great climber and generally get dropped by just about everyone including little old ladies, but I get to the top. I don't avoid the hills, and I enjoy riding in Colorado where my sister lives. I'm just not fast. This being the case, I'm curious and leary about climbing on a recumbent. Yes there are plenty of hills in St. Louis, and the brevet series finds some nice climbs in southern Illinois. I would also like to ride Boston-Montreal-Boston (1200K)which is hilly, and hopefully Paris-Brest-Paris (1200K) in 2007, also hilly according to one of my friends who's ridden it twice.

    At a tandem rally I had my first opportunity to ride a Greenspeed tandem trike. This was the first recumbent I had ridden. What a cool ride that was. It had me thinking about my ultra events and brevet rides. I sure would like to be more comfortable and finish without wanting to trade the bike in for a bowling ball. I'm intrigued by the latest entries in the "go fast" recumbents like the Bacchetta Corsa and Strada, Rans Force 5 and the Vision Sabre.

    I wanted some input from other long distance riders (hopefully you are out there), who already ride recumbents. I would appreciate any feedback you can provide regarding things to look for on the bicycle (equipment), handling comparisons (maneuvering, cornering, climbing, descending, pack riding, and pace lining with uprights. I'm also interested in ease of maintenance of the bicycle, as I do most of my own upkeep and take the bike into a shop once or twice a year for a pro tune up before big events. Also, do these recumbents load into a minivan? I currently get my singles and tandem in without too much trouble, although the tandem's rear wheel sits between the driver's and front passenger's seats.

    I'm also curious about fueling while riding. I generally wear a camelback with water only, carry two frame mounted bottles with my drink mix, and load my pockets with Hammer Gel and other solid foods. On self supported brevets I carry a trunk bag with everything I need. On 24 hour races, I travel very light and let the PSV handle everything, so a single water bottle is sufficient.

    How long will it take for me to transition from an upright to a recumbent? As upright riders can and must change position often, (stand to relieve the sore butt and get extra power on hills) what do recumbent riders do to adjust seating positions on long rides? Is it realistic to ride centuries or double centuries with minimal off bike time?

    My goal, if I can put out the money would be to transition to a recumbent after the completion of this year's brevet series, and take the summer to learn how to get the most out of the body and bicycle.

    Again, I appreciate any input you can offer.
     
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  2. bikebob

    bikebob New Member

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    Hello John,
    I have been riding recumbents for ten years, exclusively for 3 years. For my 50th b'day I completed an 1800 mile tour last summer from Florence, OR to Dillon CO on the Adventure cycling route. With roughly 45000' of climbing it really tested the old knees. I did this on a Rans V-rex with 50 lbs of gear, fenders, racks, 2 large water bottles, a water bladder tucked in the seat back and my 195 lb self. I did it in 30 days. In prep I did quite a few back to back centuries. I too am no great climber on any kind of bike, nor am I a speed demon. I did manage to haul myself up those mountains. Slow, and with a lot of stopping. I regularly do the local Geysers ride with about 3400' feet of climbing in the nearby coastal range with some horrendously steep grades(ask Zach). I have also done this on my tour easy clone bike. Again slowly, but I manage. Recumbents may not climb well but they do climb. BTW my low gear is about a 19". I suspect that with a reasonably light bike with the right gearing and lots of spinning you will have little trouble getting up some of those nasty hills Missouri reputedly has. As far as long distance, if anything you will last longer on a recumbent than any DF bike. I really wonder why recumbent makers don't own the touring bike market! Make sure and test ride as many bikes as you can. Good luck and have fun.
    bob
     
  3. John,

    I am an active cycle tourist (e.g. 9021 miles last year) who bought a recumbent bicycle (tour easy
    model) in September and have ridden ~1300 miles on it so far. Most of my previous riding on
    Cannondale touring bicycle.

    My perspectives on questions you ask:

    1) As far as hill climbing goes, I am also slow climbing hills. Over Christmas week, I rode an AYH
    ride taking six days going 400 miles outside San Diego that includes climbs up to 6000 feet and
    descent to below sea level (see trip report: http://www.mvermeulen.com/sandiego2003). I had made
    the same ride in 2002 with my Cannondale when I weighed ~5 pounds more. I was surprised to be
    riding faster on the recumbent in 2003 than 2002! I think the recumbent is still slower on
    climbs, but extra stability/speed on descents and flats, slightly less weight and being perhaps
    in slightly better shape made me ride faster on my recumbent over some hilly terrain than the
    year before.

    2) Handling is going to vary widely with type of recumbent bicycle. My long wheelbase toureasy
    reminds me a bit of a sedan (not a ferrari), with solid stable riding, excellent descents, but
    not necessarily quick corners and turns.

    I haven't done much in paceline or more detailed pack riding (on either my Cannondale or Tour Easy).

    3) I rented a minivan to drive my XL sized bicycle to San Diego and back. I had to fold down seats
    but it all fit.

    4) Maintenance, largely the same pieces but in a different configuration, so similar maintenance
    should apply.

    5) Transition time. Within an hour I was riding in stable fashion. Looking at newsgroups, I see more
    reports of "recumbent butt" though I've found a fit that works. My longest ride so far is only 99
    miles but just about as comfortable as my upright bikes. Two weeks after I got the bike, I made a
    ~80 mile round trip ride to Estes Park (2500ft elevation gain) and definitely felt more tired
    than than I would have been on my Cannondale.

    I am sure experiences will differ, but listed above are some of mine.

    --mev, Mike Vermeulen
     
  4. Jay

    Jay Guest

    in article [email protected], jostclan at
    [email protected] wrote on 2/11/04 4:37 PM:

    > I'm looking for some help.

    My name is John, I'm 44 years old and I live in
    > St. Louis, Missouri.
    I've been "seriously" riding for the last three to four
    > years. I've
    ridden "B.A.M. 2000", a St. Louis to Kansas City and back race as
    > a
    member of a four man team. I've ridden in two local 24 hour road races. My
    > first one in 2001 was a blast, my second one in 2002 sucked as I
    ended up with
    > a nasty case of Shermer neck after only 75 miles and by
    105 miles had to pull
    > out. In 2003, I entered and completed two 200K,
    two 300K, two 400k and one
    > 600k ride and tallied up a bit over 5,400
    miles for the year. All of this was
    > on a Litespeed Classic, titanium
    road bike and a Santana Sovereign aluminum
    > tandem.

    I'm not a great climber and generally get dropped by just about
    > everyone
    including little old ladies, but I get to the top. I don't avoid
    > the
    hills, and I enjoy riding in Colorado where my sister lives. I'm just not
    > fast. This being the case, I'm curious and leary about climbing on a
    recumbent. Yes there are plenty of hills in St. Louis, and the brevet series
    > finds some nice climbs in southern Illinois. I would also like to
    ride
    > Boston-Montreal-Boston (1200K)which is hilly, and hopefully Paris-Brest-
    Paris
    > (1200K) in 2007, also hilly according to one of my friends who's
    ridden it
    > twice.

    At a tandem rally I had my first opportunity to ride a Greenspeed
    > tandem
    trike. This was the first recumbent I had ridden. What a cool ride
    > that
    was. It had me thinking about my ultra events and brevet rides. I
    > sure
    would like to be more comfortable and finish without wanting to trade the
    > bike in for a bowling ball. I'm intrigued by the latest entries in
    the "go
    > fast" recumbents like the Bacchetta Corsa and Strada, Rans Force
    5 and the
    > Vision Sabre.

    I wanted some input from other long distance riders (hopefully
    > you are
    out there), who already ride recumbents. I would appreciate any
    > feedback
    you can provide regarding things to look for on the bicycle
    > (equipment),
    handling comparisons (maneuvering, cornering, climbing,
    > descending, pack
    riding, and pace lining with uprights. I'm also interested in
    > ease of
    maintenance of the bicycle, as I do most of my own upkeep and take
    > the
    bike into a shop once or twice a year for a pro tune up before big events.
    > Also, do these recumbents load into a minivan? I currently get
    my singles and
    > tandem in without too much trouble, although the tandem's
    rear wheel sits
    > between the driver's and front passenger's seats.

    I'm also curious about
    > fueling while riding. I generally wear a
    camelback with water only, carry two
    > frame mounted bottles with my drink
    mix, and load my pockets with Hammer Gel
    > and other solid foods. On self
    supported brevets I carry a trunk bag with
    > everything I need. On 24 hour
    races, I travel very light and let the PSV
    > handle everything, so a
    single water bottle is sufficient.

    How long will it
    > take for me to transition from an upright to a
    recumbent? As upright riders
    > can and must change position often, (stand
    to relieve the sore butt and get
    > extra power on hills) what do recumbent
    riders do to adjust seating positions
    > on long rides? Is it realistic to
    ride centuries or double centuries with
    > minimal off bike time?

    My goal, if I can put out the money would be to
    > transition to a
    recumbent after the completion of this year's brevet series,
    > and take
    the summer to learn how to get the most out of the body and
    > bicycle.

    Again, I appreciate any input you can offer.

    >
    --

    Is it possible to do paragraph breaks on cycling forums?

    There have been several posting by people from that forum and they are VERY
    hard to read.
     
  5. Nogoslow

    Nogoslow Guest

    jostclan <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > I'm looking for some help.
    >
    > My name is John, I'm 44 years old and I live in St. Louis, Missouri. I've been "seriously" riding
    > for the last three to four years. I've ridden "B.A.M. 2000", a St. Louis to Kansas City and back
    > race as a member of a four man team. I've ridden in two local 24 hour road races. My first one in
    > 2001 was a blast, my second one in 2002 sucked as I ended up with a nasty case of Shermer neck
    > after only 75 miles and by 105 miles had to pull out. In 2003, I entered and completed two 200K,
    > two 300K, two 400k and one 600k ride and tallied up a bit over 5,400 miles for the year. All of
    > this was on a Litespeed Classic, titanium road bike and a Santana Sovereign aluminum tandem.
    >
    > I'm not a great climber and generally get dropped by just about everyone including little old
    > ladies, but I get to the top. I don't avoid the hills, and I enjoy riding in Colorado where my
    > sister lives. I'm just not fast. This being the case, I'm curious and leary about climbing on a
    > recumbent. Yes there are plenty of hills in St. Louis, and the brevet series finds some nice
    > climbs in southern Illinois. I would also like to ride Boston-Montreal-Boston (1200K)which is
    > hilly, and hopefully Paris-Brest- Paris (1200K) in 2007, also hilly according to one of my friends
    > who's ridden it twice.
    >
    > At a tandem rally I had my first opportunity to ride a Greenspeed tandem trike. This was the first
    > recumbent I had ridden. What a cool ride that was. It had me thinking about my ultra events and
    > brevet rides. I sure would like to be more comfortable and finish without wanting to trade the
    > bike in for a bowling ball. I'm intrigued by the latest entries in the "go fast" recumbents like
    > the Bacchetta Corsa and Strada, Rans Force 5 and the Vision Sabre.
    >
    > I wanted some input from other long distance riders (hopefully you are out there), who already
    > ride recumbents. I would appreciate any feedback you can provide regarding things to look for on
    > the bicycle (equipment), handling comparisons (maneuvering, cornering, climbing, descending, pack
    > riding, and pace lining with uprights. I'm also interested in ease of maintenance of the bicycle,
    > as I do most of my own upkeep and take the bike into a shop once or twice a year for a pro tune up
    > before big events. Also, do these recumbents load into a minivan? I currently get my singles and
    > tandem in without too much trouble, although the tandem's rear wheel sits between the driver's and
    > front passenger's seats.
    >
    > I'm also curious about fueling while riding. I generally wear a camelback with water only, carry
    > two frame mounted bottles with my drink mix, and load my pockets with Hammer Gel and other solid
    > foods. On self supported brevets I carry a trunk bag with everything I need. On 24 hour races, I
    > travel very light and let the PSV handle everything, so a single water bottle is sufficient.
    >
    > How long will it take for me to transition from an upright to a recumbent? As upright riders can
    > and must change position often, (stand to relieve the sore butt and get extra power on hills) what
    > do recumbent riders do to adjust seating positions on long rides? Is it realistic to ride
    > centuries or double centuries with minimal off bike time?
    >
    > My goal, if I can put out the money would be to transition to a recumbent after the completion of
    > this year's brevet series, and take the summer to learn how to get the most out of the body and
    > bicycle.
    >
    > Again, I appreciate any input you can offer.

    Well John,

    What do you want? Is it a contest? What do you want to do? You already admit you are not fast. Any
    'bent will get the job done if that is all you need. You will be a lot more comfortable 'bent that
    is for sure. If you want to go fast that is another matter. It does not sound to me that that is
    what you are into. Some 'bent designs are well, much faster than others if that is a consideration
    for you. I have experienced that speed over distance on a recumbent and that on a few of the designs
    that are out there. Litespeed? Ha! Any fast bent will outperform any upright bike on a 200 mile
    course. Except that there are only a very very small amount of fast bents on the market today.
     
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