recumbent frustration

Discussion in 'Recumbent bicycles' started by Johlde, Jul 9, 2003.

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  1. Johlde

    Johlde Guest

    I recently purchased my first recumbent - a Lightning Phantom - after riding a Bianchi upright for
    several years. I bought it for comfort and speed. I took this recumbent on a 1600 mile tour of the
    Mississippi River from New Orleans to St. Paul. It was a great ride, but it was frustrating in the
    sense that I could not keep up with my friend who owns a Bianchi upright. The first 2 days were
    fine, but by about the third day, my knees were killing me. I think I had my seat to far forward so
    I moved the seat back. That fixed that problem, but then I found that my legs tired much quicker on
    the recumbent than my friends on the upright. I knew my friend would be faster on the hills, but
    towards the end of the ride which was fairly flat, I could only maintain average speeds of around
    15mph while my friend was maintaining averages of 17-19. When we both had uprights, we easily
    maintained averages of 18-19 and if we drafted off one another, we could maintain 20-21 averages.
    After this experience, I feel like going back to an upright. Is what I experienced typical of
    first-time recumbent experiences? Will I become as fast on a recumbent as an upright. I'm thinking
    of trading in the Phantom for a Strada and doing one more ride with my upright friend, and if I
    can't keep up on the Strada, I think I'll probably return to an upright. Recumbents seem less
    efficient to me with longer chain and heavier frames. When I was able to keep up with my upright
    friend, I had to work much harder and could only maintain it for 5-7 miles.
     
    Tags:


  2. Baronn1

    Baronn1 Guest

    Typically, it takes many hundreds of miles to train your bent legs. And you are correct that
    thePahntom is much heavier, with a less efficient drive train. So, you got off a fairly expensive,
    very light road bike, onto a heavier bike that uses different muscles than what you've been
    conditioning these many years.I t's not surprising that you experienced knee pain if you puswhed
    very hard without gving you joints time to get acclimated. On an upright bike, you can not exert
    more force on the pedal than that which would lift your body weight.With the seat bacvk to push
    against, only your leg strength is lthe limiting factor on how much force can be applied to the
    pedal (through your knee!). This is why spinning is even more important on a bent than a DF. Can you
    be as fast on a bent? Yes. Will it take time and training? Yes. Oh, Cletus...

    "johlde" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > I recently purchased my first recumbent - a Lightning Phantom - after riding a Bianchi upright for
    > several years. I bought it for comfort and speed. I took this recumbent on a 1600 mile tour of the
    > Mississippi River from New Orleans to St. Paul. It was a great ride, but it was frustrating in the
    > sense that I could not keep up with my friend who owns a Bianchi upright. The first 2 days were
    > fine, but by about the third day, my knees were killing me. I think I had my seat to far forward
    > so I moved the seat back. That fixed that problem, but then I found that my legs tired much
    > quicker on the recumbent than my friends on the upright. I knew my friend would be faster on the
    > hills, but towards the end of the ride which was fairly flat, I could only maintain average speeds
    > of around 15mph while my friend was maintaining averages of 17-19. When we both had uprights, we
    > easily maintained averages of 18-19 and if we drafted off one another, we could maintain 20-21
    > averages. After this experience, I feel like going back to an upright. Is what I experienced
    > typical of first-time recumbent experiences? Will I become as fast on a recumbent as an upright.
    > I'm thinking of trading in the Phantom for a Strada and doing one more ride with my upright
    > friend, and if I can't keep up on the Strada, I think I'll probably return to an upright.
    > Recumbents seem less efficient to me with longer chain and heavier frames. When I was able to keep
    > up with my upright friend, I had to work much harder and could only maintain it for 5-7 miles.
     
  3. Cletus Lee

    Cletus Lee Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > I recently purchased my first recumbent - a Lightning Phantom - after riding a Bianchi upright for
    > several years. I bought it for comfort and speed. I took this recumbent on a 1600 mile tour of the
    > Mississippi River from New Orleans to St. Paul. It was a great ride, but it was frustrating in the
    > sense that I could not keep up with my friend who owns a Bianchi upright.
    Oh my! Where to start?

    Theory 1: I would think that 1600 mi would condition you to recumbents. Maybe it was 1600 miles too
    soon and too fast. Your body has to develop the bent muscles to be effective. Maybe 400 miles in a
    month with suficient time for rest and recovery in between rides would be enough. So, it could just
    be the 1600 miles all at once and at the front of your bent training.

    Theory 2: Does this Phantom have a 16" front wheel? I started my P-38 with a 16" wheel and was
    dissappointed since it was not any faster than my then year old LWB RANS Stratus. Still I was faster
    on either recumbent than on a DF by about 2 mph. My 16"fork gave me problems. If it had it tight
    enough to hold the wheel on, then the fork squeezed the cones and increased friction on the front
    wheel. Could that be a problem? How freely does the front wheel spin? After I switched to a 406
    front wheel and fork, my speed improved too.

    Theory 3: What was your cadence? You really have to learn to spin on a recumbent. If you are a
    'Masher' by nature (I am) you will blow the knees quickly. In addition to spinning, you need to fine
    tune the seat to pedal distance. a change of 1/4" can make a big difference. What kind of pedal
    retention system doe you use? I use Eggbeaters and recommend them Other like Speedplay frogs. Before
    the Eggbeaters, I used SPDs. With the SPDs, foot position is critical to a pain free knee. When I
    switched to the Eggbeaters, I had two weeks of knee pain. It healed, my knees adjusted to the new
    pedals and I have been pain free since (A daily dose of Glucosamine helps too.)

    Theory 4: Look for wear on the drive side idler Some wear the rubber 'O' ring and notch the inside
    of pulley. I have replaced mine 4 times since I got it. Do you have a 'Quick Size kit' installed?
    The more convoluted the chain, the less efficient it is.

    Theory 5: Tires. Wider tires don't help. Primos might be OK for rolling resistance but only if they
    are narrow. 37mm tires will hurt more than help. City Jets might not be as speedy as Primos.
    Something else to consider.

    It took me 6 months before I was fast and comfortable on a LWB RANS Stratus. With in the first month
    I was fast on the LWB than any DF I had previously. Plus I could ride 40 miles instead of 15 without
    stopping to rest my butt. My Lightning P-38 took me two years before I was really fast. That did not
    happen until I started practicing spinning. Drop a gear down and add 15-20 revs to the cadence.

    > The first 2 days were fine, but by about the third day, my knees were killing me. I think I had my
    > seat to far forward so I moved the seat back. That fixed that problem, but then I found that my
    > legs tired much quicker on the recumbent than my friends on the upright. I knew my friend would be
    > faster on the hills, but towards the end of the ride which was fairly flat, I could only maintain
    > average speeds of around 15mph while my friend was maintaining averages of 17-19. When we both had
    > uprights, we easily maintained averages of 18-19 and if we drafted off one another, we could
    > maintain 20-21 averages. After this experience, I feel like going back to an upright. Is what I
    > experienced typical of first-time recumbent experiences? Will I become as fast on a recumbent as
    > an upright. I'm thinking of trading in the Phantom for a Strada and doing one more ride with my
    > upright friend, and if I can't keep up on the Strada, I think I'll probably return to an upright.
    > Recumbents seem less efficient to me with longer chain and heavier frames. When I was able to keep
    > up with my upright friend, I had to work much harder and could only maintain it for 5-7 miles.

    Even with longer chain and heavier bike, recumbents are well established (by me every Saturday) as
    being faster than DFs. Remember above 15 mph, (IIRC) over 80% of the energy spent is overcoming wind
    resistance. Recently this composite picture was posted. It illustrates quite well the aerodynamic
    benefits of a recumbent. Your closed seat position Phantom will fit somewhere between the Big Wheel
    bent and the AeroBar DF.

    http://www.hostelshoppe.com/images/tech/df_vs_volae.jpg
    --

    Cletus D. Lee Bacchetta Giro Lightning Voyager http://www.clee.org
    - Bellaire, TX USA -
     
  4. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Cletus Lee <[email protected]> wrote:
    > In addition to spinning, you need to fine tune the seat to pedal distance. a change of 1/4" can
    > make a big difference.

    This has always bothered me. On my V-Rex seat, my butt slides all over the place. I'd say there's at
    least 1", probably more like 2" of travel while I ride. How can I fine-tune the seat/pedal distance
    by 1/4" if my "seat" is moving 1-2" all the time??

    Gary
     
  5. Jerry Rhodes

    Jerry Rhodes Guest

    [email protected] (johlde) wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > I recently purchased my first recumbent - a Lightning Phantom - after riding a Bianchi upright for
    > several years. I bought it for comfort and speed. I took this recumbent on a 1600 mile tour of the
    > Mississippi River from New Orleans to St. Paul.

    Sounds like Too Much, Too Soon.

    It takes as long to get your "bent" muscles and nerve synapses working for top performance as it did
    to get your "unbent" muscles and nerves working together.

    I am just now beginning to approach my times on my Trek 1500 after 2.5 years on the Barcroft Dakota
    and now a GRR. I am still improving with each passing week.

    160 ten mile rides will probably yield more improvement than one 1600 mile ride. Nerve/muscle
    coordination is learned slowly. After a ten mile ride your brain is still sorting what just happened
    for hours afterward. If those rides are 24 to 48 hours apart you have spent about 6 or 7 months
    internalizing your "bent" nerve/muscle activity and the act of riding becomes more automatic, just
    as it was on the DF.

    160 sixteen hundred mile rides should make you AWESOME!!!!!! ;-)

    Jerry
     
  6. Don

    Don Guest

    Patience pilgrim. How many miles did you have on the Phantom before you started your tour? Also do a
    search of crank length. Your crank needs on the Phantom may be different from the Bianchi. What
    tires are you using?

    I sense too much impatience. You talk about getting a Strada (yes, it will be faster than the
    Phantom) and doing one more ride with your friend. If you can't keep up then good by bents. It takes
    a little longer than that. If you want to suffer go back to DFs. If you want to make your friend
    suffer then stick with a good bent long enough to develop the muscles and technique.

    I know it is frustrating when you can not keep up with people you want to ride with. I know that one
    very well. But that may indeed be the case--temporarily. You can work through it.

    Don't give up. Good luck,

    Don (Does not the butterfly fly with the wind?)
     
  7. Baronn1

    Baronn1 Guest

    If you buy that Strada, and give up, I'll take it off your hands... ;-)

    "Don" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Patience pilgrim. How many miles did you have on the Phantom before you started your tour? Also do
    > a search of crank length. Your crank needs on the Phantom may be different from the Bianchi. What
    > tires are you using?
    >
    > I sense too much impatience. You talk about getting a Strada (yes, it will be faster than the
    > Phantom) and doing one more ride with your friend. If you can't keep up then good by bents. It
    > takes a little longer than that. If you want to suffer go back to DFs. If you want to make your
    > friend suffer then stick with a good bent long enough to develop the muscles and technique.
    >
    > I know it is frustrating when you can not keep up with people you want to ride with. I know that
    > one very well. But that may indeed be the case--temporarily. You can work through it.
    >
    > Don't give up. Good luck,
    >
    > Don (Does not the butterfly fly with the wind?)
     
  8. Victor Kan

    Victor Kan Guest

    baronn1 wrote:
    > Typically, it takes many hundreds of miles to train your bent legs. And you are correct that
    > thePahntom is much heavier, with a less efficient drive train. So, you got off a fairly expensive,
    > very light road bike, onto a heavier bike that uses different muscles than what you've been
    > conditioning these many years.I

    You should also describe the Phantom as a "fairly expensive" bike, being priced at $1450 with low
    end components. Anyway, here's a long reply that at least tangentially has something to do with the
    original post :).

    My experience these past few months has been in the opposite direction of most folks in this
    newsgroup. Back in May, I purchased an upright bike, a Specialized Sequoia Sport road bike with
    various, alleged comfort features (some are really to make it easier to manufacture and stock fewer
    models to cover a wider range of potential buyers), like:

    - carbon fork with some shock absorbing elastomer embedded in the middle of each blade
    - suspension seat post
    - Body Geometry (tm) saddle with center channel cutaway and substantial, though
    firm, padding
    - anatomic handle bars and cushy tape
    - two sets of brake levers (the usual Shimano dual-control brake+shifter levers, plus MTB
    style levers on the flats
    - longer chain stays
    - adjustable stem
    - compact frame geometry, good for fitting to shorter riders
    - road triple crank

    For the most part, I'm loving it, confirming that my discomfort with my first "real bike", a Trek
    2x6-speed road bike, was likely more due to bad sizing than anything else. It was a 56cm frame, and
    a little to big for me, while the Specialized is a "compact" frame in the medium size, which is
    supposedly the equivalent of a 54cm.

    That's not to say that I don't also love my recumbent (a Wicks Trimuter tadpole trike, and before
    that, a Linear Mach III, which I gave to my cousin since I stopped riding it once I got the trike).
    I do love it. But I have different goals for the two HPVs.

    A few years ago, I gave up cycling because of pain, from pretty much all over--back, neck,
    shoulders, arms, hands, butt, 'nads, you name it, it hurt. Then a few months later I got the bug
    again and decided to "do it right" and get properly sized for a bike. Then I heard about recumbents
    and figured I'd try something completely different instead.

    After trying a few bikes at Larry Black's annual Bent Event in Mt. Airy, MD, I fell in love with the
    Linear Mach III CLWB. When I got it home, I took it out on my usual bike commuting route, 10 miles
    of rolling hills in both directions. I was able to do it at pretty much the same average speed,
    maybe one MPH less. I quickly got to the same average.

    Then I tried a local triker's Greenspeed GTR, fell in love with that ("gotta get me one of those!"
    was my reaction after about five seconds on the thing), and got a Wicks Trimuter clone of the GTS.
    Switching from the ~30 pound Mach III to the 50+ lb Trimuter (nominally 42 lbs stock, but I carry a
    bit too much stuff in the panniers, just because I can :), I started out at the same average speed
    instantly, and even gained one MPH eventually.

    The trike is wonderful for "just riding" (don't think about tipping over into traffic, ignoring most
    minor road hazards, etc.). It's wonderful for pulling G's in fast turns. It's amazing if there's a
    long, steep downhill where I can reach a very stable 40+ mph with the SRAM 3x7 hub in overdrive.
    It's great for towing a trailer or carrying loads. But the darned thing is bulky and heavy. When I
    get it to work I have to do a hysterical ballet of sorts to open both doors just to get the thing
    through the portal.

    So I wanted to get a more petite, lighter HPV (couldn't get much heavier than the
    Trimuter+panniers_full_of_stuff if I tried) that I could go faster with, and move around more
    easily, that didn't take up so much floor space. In looking around at what's available, I figured
    I'd be happy only with something like a Windcheetah, Trice Micro (though I might not fit into one
    :), a Catrike Speed, or on the bike front, a Reynolds T-Bone (gotta luv that USS!) or a Bacchetta
    Corsa (maybe a Giro) or a Volae Club (maybe a Tour).

    But the price tags were a bit on the high side, even for the lower end big+small wheel variants of
    the bikes. So I figured I'd go with my original plan of a few years ago and try an upright road bike
    that really fit me well.

    Well, the Sequoia Sport fit the bill. It's not a weight weenie kind of bike (I think it was like 25
    or 26 pounds with all the gizmos). It fits me very well. The saddle pretty much works. I feel no
    butt pain (at least no different than recumbent butt), though I occasionally get a "nutcracker" kind
    of feeling that I hope to adjust away with some saddle realignment (yeah right! Dream on, I can hear
    everyone saying).

    And my hands do get numb if I keep them in the same position for a few miles, which is OK for my
    intended use of this bike, mainly for occasional short rides during the work day, or when I want to
    ride home on a day I drove into work, or where I rode the trike into work, but want to get home
    faster for some reason (like today where thunderstorms were threatening and I left work later than I
    should have).

    Yep, to get home faster. Short of having an all downhill route where the recumbent's aerodynamics
    easily win out over its weight and other inefficiency disadvantages, the upright road bike is
    significantly faster for me. I've been recumbent-only for years now, yet when I took my first rides
    on the upright, I was instantly at least 2 MPH faster over the same routes of rolling hills, no
    special training of "upright muscles" needed. Yes, my computers were calibrated right.

    I really did fly up hills vs. the trike. Some hills I'd have to work at to get up at reasonable
    speed on the trike I could almost coast up with the bike, and at higher speeds.

    Today I had special motivation with the thunder clouds blowing in and did a personal best on my
    commute route home, reaching 19.3 MPH average on the bike based on real clock time (I must have
    moved my wheel magnet when pumping the tires 'cuz the computer wasn't working properly tonight),
    whereas when I rode to work on the trike this morning, I eeked out a 15.1 MPH ride on the
    slightly easier route (about a mile longer, but fewer big hills) coming into work, based on
    auto-start ride time.

    Granted, I was really, really motivated to get home without being rained on--the last time I rode
    home in the rain on the Mach III, I was so "traumatized" that I didn't ride it for several months
    afterward.

    So what does all this rambling on mean?

    For me, and likely other folks, a relatively inexpensive, but properly fitting upright road bike is
    a good complement to a good recumbent that cost a heck of a lot more (about 3x in my case), weighs a
    lot more (2x in my case), with a less efficient chain line, but better aerodynamics and overall
    greater comfort.

    I've decided to platoon these two HPVs of mine. Ride one into work, ride the other one home. I think
    maintaining "recumbent muscles" along with "upright muscles" is working out well for me, improving
    my pedaling technique on both, and motivating me to ride more.

    Phew, that was a long post!

    --
    I do not accept unsolicted commercial e-mail. Remove NO_UCE for legitimate replies.
     
  9. Your experience is similar to mine and all but one of the people in my area, that I know. I have a
    Strada and can not ride with the guys I always rode with on my upright. After several thousand
    miles, I've decided to sell the Strada and try to get back to the DF, if medical conditions permit.
    If not, I'd rather not ride than be frustrated on a recumbent. I'm a 5-10,000 mile a year rider and
    the recumbent just doesn't do it for me on the hilly terrain I ride in. Even on the flats I've
    tried, it just ain't fun. I know lots of folks on this group love their bents, but they apparently
    aren't for most people, that's why you rarely see them. Good luck in your attempt to enjoy the bent,
    but like I said they're not for everyone.

    Gene

    "johlde" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > I recently purchased my first recumbent - a Lightning Phantom - after riding a Bianchi upright for
    > several years. I bought it for comfort and speed. I took this recumbent on a 1600 mile tour of the
    > Mississippi River from New Orleans to St. Paul. It was a great ride, but it was frustrating in the
    > sense that I could not keep up with my friend who owns a Bianchi upright. The first 2 days were
    > fine, but by about the third day, my knees were killing me. I think I had my seat to far forward
    > so I moved the seat back. That fixed that problem, but then I found that my legs tired much
    > quicker on the recumbent than my friends on the upright. I knew my friend would be faster on the
    > hills, but towards the end of the ride which was fairly flat, I could only maintain average speeds
    > of around 15mph while my friend was maintaining averages of 17-19. When we both had uprights, we
    > easily maintained averages of 18-19 and if we drafted off one another, we could maintain 20-21
    > averages. After this experience, I feel like going back to an upright. Is what I experienced
    > typical of first-time recumbent experiences? Will I become as fast on a recumbent as an upright.
    > I'm thinking of trading in the Phantom for a Strada and doing one more ride with my upright
    > friend, and if I can't keep up on the Strada, I think I'll probably return to an upright.
    > Recumbents seem less efficient to me with longer chain and heavier frames. When I was able to keep
    > up with my upright friend, I had to work much harder and could only maintain it for 5-7 miles.
     
  10. Seth Jayson

    Seth Jayson Guest

    Many things can keep you from being faster. Probably the biggest factor would be your conditioning.
    How long did you train on the bent before starting that big tour? If it was less than two weeks,
    that would explain a lot of your frustration. And I know very few folks who will get faster during a
    thousand mile tour.

    I've never ridden a phantom, but I have a RANS rocket, and it's pretty easy for me to keep that bike
    at a 17-19mph clip, especially with another rider to draft. (Yes, you can draft with uprights and
    they can draft off you.)

    A strada will almost certainly be a faster bike, but it sounds to me like the problem
    isn't the bike.
     
  11. Victor Kan

    Victor Kan Guest

    Victor Kan wrote:
    > Anyway, here's a long reply that at least tangentially has something to do with the original
    > post :).

    Oh, and in case it wasn't clear, I was making fun of my own post being only tangetially related to
    the original post, not what others have written, all of which pretty much has been directly related
    to the original post.

    --
    I do not accept unsolicted commercial e-mail. Remove NO_UCE for legitimate replies.
     
  12. Scott

    Scott Guest

    Gary,

    My V-Rex did the same thing. If you call RANS they will send you a shim for your seat free of charge
    that will help keep the seat from moving. It worked for me.

    Scott.

    > Cletus Lee <[email protected]> wrote:
    > > In addition to spinning, you need to fine tune the seat to pedal distance. a change of 1/4" can
    > > make a big difference.
    >
    > This has always bothered me. On my V-Rex seat, my butt slides all over the place. I'd say there's
    > at least 1", probably more like 2" of travel while I ride. How can I fine-tune the seat/pedal
    > distance by 1/4" if my "seat" is moving 1-2" all the time??
    >
    > Gary
     
  13. Rongmal

    Rongmal Guest

    I got my first bent, a Lightning Thunderbolt A-10, last November, and after about 2500 miles, my
    speeds are about 2mph higher than my DF (now sold). It takes time. Just hang in there and try for
    shorter, frequent rides as mentioned above. Also fine tune the seat to pedal distance and maintain
    higher cadence (90's works for me). I've also increased my seat recline to maximum by whacking off
    about 5" off the seat struts. This has really helped speed especially in head winds. I did have sore
    knees for awhile and going from 172.5 to 165 mm cranks helped a lot and also got my cadence up 6-8
    rpm. Keep at it and you won't be displeased entering the land of bentdom.

    Ron
     
  14. Scott

    Scott Guest

    Jerry: After enough time, you should be able to easily maintain the 17--18 mph cruising speeds you
    were speaking of. And the Phantom is a pretty good hill climber, so once you are fully adjusted, you
    should not drop too far behind. On the downhills, you'll be able to kick butt. But give it time!
    Some folks say a year or more. Just enjoy yourself.

    Scott

    One-time Phantom owner Now riding Haluzak and GTT
     
  15. Eddie H

    Eddie H Guest

    My experience is opposite from yours, though I'm not responding in order to preach about recumbents.
    Whether you had enough development time or not, 1600 miles should have shown a difference from your
    Bianchi days. That's a real bummer. I hope the next bent draws more positive results for you. It's a
    tribute to your own perseverance that you haven't dismissed recumbents altogether. It really is a
    different, and improved (in my opinion), biking experience from a Bianchi or any cafe racer, but
    that impression is only relevant if it is yours and not mine.
     
  16. Baronn1

    Baronn1 Guest

    I stand corrected, I should have used the term "relatively" The Bianchi is relatively expensive
    compared to the gamut of df bikes, but the Phantom is relatively inexpensive for a recumbent.
    However, I don't think your tangent actually is a tangent at all. How are trikes, your experience
    with fit related to various df bikes, and advocating owning both styles of bike related to the
    question posted, which was "Can I expect similar speeds on my bent as compared to my df?"? I gave
    my opinions on this question, while you went on a multi topic ramble, never answering the
    question posted.

    "Victor Kan" <[email protected]_UCEloopdrive.net> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > baronn1 wrote:
    > > Typically, it takes many hundreds of miles to train your bent legs. And
    you
    > > are correct that thePahntom is much heavier, with a less efficient drive train. So, you got off
    > > a fairly expensive, very light road bike, onto a heavier bike that uses different muscles than
    > > what you've been
    conditioning
    > > these many years.I
    >
    > You should also describe the Phantom as a "fairly expensive" bike, being priced at $1450 with low
    > end components. Anyway, here's a long reply that at least tangentially has something to do with
    > the original post :).
    >
    > My experience these past few months has been in the opposite direction of most folks in this
    > newsgroup. Back in May, I purchased an upright bike, a Specialized Sequoia Sport road bike with
    > various, alleged comfort features (some are really to make it easier to manufacture and stock
    > fewer models to cover a wider range of potential buyers), like:
    >
    > - carbon fork with some shock absorbing elastomer embedded in the middle of each blade
    > - suspension seat post
    > - Body Geometry (tm) saddle with center channel cutaway and substantial, though firm, padding
    > - anatomic handle bars and cushy tape
    > - two sets of brake levers (the usual Shimano dual-control brake+shifter levers, plus MTB style
    > levers on the flats
    > - longer chain stays
    > - adjustable stem
    > - compact frame geometry, good for fitting to shorter riders
    > - road triple crank
    >
    > For the most part, I'm loving it, confirming that my discomfort with my first "real bike", a Trek
    > 2x6-speed road bike, was likely more due to bad sizing than anything else. It was a 56cm frame,
    > and a little to big for me, while the Specialized is a "compact" frame in the medium size, which
    > is supposedly the equivalent of a 54cm.
    >
    > That's not to say that I don't also love my recumbent (a Wicks Trimuter tadpole trike, and before
    > that, a Linear Mach III, which I gave to my cousin since I stopped riding it once I got the
    > trike). I do love it. But I have different goals for the two HPVs.
    >
    > A few years ago, I gave up cycling because of pain, from pretty much all over--back, neck,
    > shoulders, arms, hands, butt, 'nads, you name it, it hurt. Then a few months later I got the bug
    > again and decided to "do it right" and get properly sized for a bike. Then I heard about
    > recumbents and figured I'd try something completely different instead.
    >
    > After trying a few bikes at Larry Black's annual Bent Event in Mt. Airy, MD, I fell in love with
    > the Linear Mach III CLWB. When I got it home, I took it out on my usual bike commuting route, 10
    > miles of rolling hills in both directions. I was able to do it at pretty much the same average
    > speed, maybe one MPH less. I quickly got to the same average.
    >
    > Then I tried a local triker's Greenspeed GTR, fell in love with that ("gotta get me one of those!"
    > was my reaction after about five seconds on the thing), and got a Wicks Trimuter clone of the GTS.
    > Switching from the ~30 pound Mach III to the 50+ lb Trimuter (nominally 42 lbs stock, but I carry
    > a bit too much stuff in the panniers, just because I can :), I started out at the same average
    > speed instantly, and even gained one MPH eventually.
    >
    > The trike is wonderful for "just riding" (don't think about tipping over into traffic, ignoring
    > most minor road hazards, etc.). It's wonderful for pulling G's in fast turns. It's amazing if
    > there's a long, steep downhill where I can reach a very stable 40+ mph with the SRAM 3x7 hub in
    > overdrive. It's great for towing a trailer or carrying loads. But the darned thing is bulky and
    > heavy. When I get it to work I have to do a hysterical ballet of sorts to open both doors just to
    > get the thing through the portal.
    >
    > So I wanted to get a more petite, lighter HPV (couldn't get much heavier than the
    > Trimuter+panniers_full_of_stuff if I tried) that I could go faster with, and move around more
    > easily, that didn't take up so much floor space. In looking around at what's available, I figured
    > I'd be happy only with something like a Windcheetah, Trice Micro (though I might not fit into one
    > :), a Catrike Speed, or on the bike front, a Reynolds T-Bone (gotta luv that USS!) or a Bacchetta
    > Corsa (maybe a Giro) or a Volae Club (maybe a Tour).
    >
    > But the price tags were a bit on the high side, even for the lower end big+small wheel variants of
    > the bikes. So I figured I'd go with my original plan of a few years ago and try an upright road
    > bike that really fit me well.
    >
    > Well, the Sequoia Sport fit the bill. It's not a weight weenie kind of bike (I think it was like
    > 25 or 26 pounds with all the gizmos). It fits me very well. The saddle pretty much works. I feel
    > no butt pain (at least no different than recumbent butt), though I occasionally get a "nutcracker"
    > kind of feeling that I hope to adjust away with some saddle realignment (yeah right! Dream on, I
    > can hear everyone saying).
    >
    > And my hands do get numb if I keep them in the same position for a few miles, which is OK for my
    > intended use of this bike, mainly for occasional short rides during the work day, or when I want
    > to ride home on a day I drove into work, or where I rode the trike into work, but want to get home
    > faster for some reason (like today where thunderstorms were threatening and I left work later than
    > I should have).
    >
    > Yep, to get home faster. Short of having an all downhill route where the recumbent's aerodynamics
    > easily win out over its weight and other inefficiency disadvantages, the upright road bike is
    > significantly faster for me. I've been recumbent-only for years now, yet when I took my first
    > rides on the upright, I was instantly at least 2 MPH faster over the same routes of rolling hills,
    > no special training of "upright muscles" needed. Yes, my computers were calibrated right.
    >
    > I really did fly up hills vs. the trike. Some hills I'd have to work at to get up at reasonable
    > speed on the trike I could almost coast up with the bike, and at higher speeds.
    >
    > Today I had special motivation with the thunder clouds blowing in and did a personal best on my
    > commute route home, reaching 19.3 MPH average on the bike based on real clock time (I must have
    > moved my wheel magnet when pumping the tires 'cuz the computer wasn't working properly tonight),
    > whereas when I rode to work on the trike this morning, I eeked out a 15.1 MPH ride on the
    > slightly easier route (about a mile longer, but fewer big hills) coming into work, based on
    > auto-start ride time.
    >
    > Granted, I was really, really motivated to get home without being rained on--the last time I rode
    > home in the rain on the Mach III, I was so "traumatized" that I didn't ride it for several months
    > afterward.
    >
    > So what does all this rambling on mean?
    >
    > For me, and likely other folks, a relatively inexpensive, but properly fitting upright road bike
    > is a good complement to a good recumbent that cost a heck of a lot more (about 3x in my case),
    > weighs a lot more (2x in my case), with a less efficient chain line, but better aerodynamics and
    > overall greater comfort.
    >
    > I've decided to platoon these two HPVs of mine. Ride one into work, ride the other one home. I
    > think maintaining "recumbent muscles" along with "upright muscles" is working out well for me,
    > improving my pedaling technique on both, and motivating me to ride more.
    >
    > Phew, that was a long post!
    >
    > --
    > I do not accept unsolicted commercial e-mail. Remove NO_UCE for legitimate replies.
     
  17. Baronn1

    Baronn1 Guest

    OK, you got me...;-)

    "Victor Kan" <[email protected]_UCEloopdrive.net> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Victor Kan wrote:
    > > Anyway, here's a long reply that at least tangentially has something to do with the
    > > original post
    :).
    >
    > Oh, and in case it wasn't clear, I was making fun of my own post being only tangetially related to
    > the original post, not what others have written, all of which pretty much has been directly
    > related to the original post.
    >
    >
    > --
    > I do not accept unsolicted commercial e-mail. Remove NO_UCE for legitimate replies.
     
  18. Bobinator

    Bobinator Guest

    I agree with the masses--hang in there. You did put in plenty of miles, but without proper recovery
    it seems. You will build leg strenght and stamina. I bought my Phantom II last december. When I
    first started out, I was only marginally faster than I was on my Tailwind, about 15 MPH. I usually
    average over 17 MPH now, and I can keep up with some of my roadie friends. The racers still drop me,
    but they would do so if I were on Lance's bike. It's still the engine. Watvh for little things like
    wheel true as well. The front wheel on a SWB can take a beating.

    If you are interested, my review of the Phantom II appeares in the latest issue of Recumbent
    Cyclist News.

    Bob

    [email protected] (johlde) wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > I recently purchased my first recumbent - a Lightning Phantom - after riding a Bianchi upright for
    > several years. I bought it for comfort and speed. I took this recumbent on a 1600 mile tour of the
    > Mississippi River from New Orleans to St. Paul. It was a great ride, but it was frustrating in the
    > sense that I could not keep up with my friend who owns a Bianchi upright. The first 2 days were
    > fine, but by about the third day, my knees were killing me. I think I had my seat to far forward
    > so I moved the seat back. That fixed that problem, but then I found that my legs tired much
    > quicker on the recumbent than my friends on the upright. I knew my friend would be faster on the
    > hills, but towards the end of the ride which was fairly flat, I could only maintain average speeds
    > of around 15mph while my friend was maintaining averages of 17-19. When we both had uprights, we
    > easily maintained averages of 18-19 and if we drafted off one another, we could maintain 20-21
    > averages. After this experience, I feel like going back to an upright. Is what I experienced
    > typical of first-time recumbent experiences? Will I become as fast on a recumbent as an upright.
    > I'm thinking of trading in the Phantom for a Strada and doing one more ride with my upright
    > friend, and if I can't keep up on the Strada, I think I'll probably return to an upright.
    > Recumbents seem less efficient to me with longer chain and heavier frames. When I was able to keep
    > up with my upright friend, I had to work much harder and could only maintain it for 5-7 miles.
     
  19. Cbb

    Cbb Guest

    It sounds like upright riders with lots of miles have a more difficult time transitioning to a
    recumbent than the more casual riders. I only rode bicycles occasionally before getting my first
    bent. I've believe I am definately more efficient on my recumbent on flat to rolling terrain. I am
    20+ pounds overweight and nearly all my rides this year are the 8.5 mile ride through the city to
    work and back. Yet I have completed two centuries this year (6 hr on bike 7 hr total). I wasn't fast
    but I wasn't that slow either. On the last ride I was really hurting after pushing myself too much
    on the first 80 miles. But the last 20 was very flat with a strong head wind, I was riding with a
    cyclist that was atleast 40 lbs lighter than me and had many more miles in. While I was able to
    easily maintain 18mph he struggled the whole way due to the wind. This was the strongest evidence I
    have seen of the advantage of recumbent aerodynamics (other than the fact I always pull away quickly
    on any kind of hill). It appears that training on an upright doesn't directly translate into speed
    on a bent. I imagine the difference is even greater if you are a masher vs. a spinner on the
    upright. I hope everyone is comfortable and fast on whatever bike they ride. I am.

    Craig Optima Baron

    "Eugene Cottrell" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Your experience is similar to mine and all but one of the people in my area, that I know. I have a
    > Strada and can not ride with the guys I always rode with on my upright. After several thousand
    > miles, I've decided to sell the Strada and try to get back to the DF, if medical conditions
    > permit. If not, I'd rather not ride than be frustrated on a recumbent. I'm a 5-10,000 mile a year
    > rider and the recumbent just doesn't do it for me on the hilly terrain I ride in. Even on the
    > flats I've tried, it just ain't fun. I know lots of folks on this group love their bents, but they
    > apparently aren't for most people, that's why you rarely see them. Good luck in your attempt to
    > enjoy the bent, but like I said they're not for everyone.
    >
    > Gene
    >
    > "johlde" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > I recently purchased my first recumbent - a Lightning Phantom - after riding a Bianchi upright
    > > for several years. I bought it for comfort and speed. I took this recumbent on a 1600 mile tour
    > > of the Mississippi River from New Orleans to St. Paul. It was a great ride, but it was
    > > frustrating in the sense that I could not keep up with my friend who owns a Bianchi upright. The
    > > first 2 days were fine, but by about the third day, my knees were killing me. I think I had my
    > > seat to far forward so I moved the seat back. That fixed that problem, but then I found that my
    > > legs tired much quicker on the recumbent than my friends on the upright. I knew my friend would
    > > be faster on the hills, but towards the end of the ride which was fairly flat, I could only
    > > maintain average speeds of around 15mph while my friend was maintaining averages of 17-19. When
    > > we both had uprights, we easily maintained averages of 18-19 and if we drafted off one another,
    > > we could maintain 20-21 averages. After this experience, I feel like going back to an upright.
    > > Is what I experienced typical of first-time recumbent experiences? Will I become as fast on a
    > > recumbent as an upright. I'm thinking of trading in the Phantom for a Strada and doing one more
    > > ride with my upright friend, and if I can't keep up on the Strada, I think I'll probably return
    > > to an upright. Recumbents seem less efficient to me with longer chain and heavier frames. When I
    > > was able to keep up with my upright friend, I had to work much harder and could only maintain it
    > > for 5-7 miles.
     
  20. Victor Kan

    Victor Kan Guest

    baronn1 wrote:
    > I stand corrected, I should have used the term "relatively" The Bianchi is relatively expensive
    > compared to the gamut of df bikes,

    He didn't specify what model of Bianchi. Like the gamut of DF brands, they make a wide price
    range of bikes.

    > but the Phantom is relatively inexpensive for a recumbent. However, I don't think your tangent
    > actually is a tangent at all. How are trikes,

    As I wrote, I started out with a Mach III CLWB and gave that as the example of my first-time
    recumbent experience.

    > your experience with fit related to various df bikes,

    Well, the original poster said he bought a recumbent for comfort and speed. Fit related to various
    DF bikes has everything to do with comfort, and to some extent speed. So maybe he doesn't have to
    give up the DF for comfort--maybe he could get a DF bike with a more comfy geometry, saddle, etc.

    > and advocating owning both styles of bike related to the question posted, which was "Can I expect
    > similar speeds on my bent as compared to my df?"?

    Well, he said he was probably going to go back to uprights if recumbents don't let him keep up with
    his upright friends.

    I'm advocating that even if it turns out he can't keep up with his upright friends (which I can
    certainly believe), he shouldn't give up on recumbents. He should keep the 'bent as a complement to
    his DF, switching on and off, it could help his technique and performance on both. When he wants to
    keep up with this buddies, he can ride the DF. When he wants to be more comfy on a longer ride, the
    bent might be just the thing.

    If he hasn't developed "recumbent muscles" in 1600 miles, maybe he should try a different recumbent
    design. Rather than a high BB SWB, maybe he would be better off with a low BB LWB, like a Gold Rush.

    > I gave my opinions on this question, while you went on a multi topic ramble, never answering the
    > question posted.

    I think I did answer the questions asked, albeit in a rambling way.

    > Is what I experienced typical of first-time recumbent experiences?

    My experience wasn't as bad as the original poster's--my Mach III was about the same for me as my
    Trek DF, maybe just 1MPH slower, but I quickly came up to speed and resolved my comfort issues.

    > Will I become as fast on a recumbent as an upright.

    Maybe, maybe not. So far, for the original poster, not. One should not expect similar speeds on a
    bent as compared to a DF. The bent will be faster on certain terrain and slower on others. Anyone
    claiming total superiority of one over the other would be selling snake oil (not that I'm accusing
    anyone here of doing that).

    Given how different the machines' configurations and designs are between recumbents and DFs, I think
    it's unrealistic to expect equivalent performance in all scenarios, and certainly unrealistic to
    expect the recumbent to be equivalent or superior in all relevant respects (though certain
    characteristics may disqualify one design or the other from consideration).

    The 2-4 MPH difference the original poster found between himself and his friend (and by proxy,
    himself when he was on the upright and keeping pace with his friend) exactly matches my typical
    experience when I switch between my recumbent (albeit a tadpole trike rather than a SWB bike) and my
    DF, even though I have "recumbent muscles" and only started riding a DF again a few weeks and about
    80 miles ago.

    It might balance out overall in favor of the recumbent though, as it likely does for most recumbent
    owners coming from the DF world.

    For me, one of each is working out well, though if I get a Reynolds T-Bone 700/20, I might give up
    the DF world again.

    --
    I do not accept unsolicted commercial e-mail. Remove NO_UCE for legitimate replies.
     
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