Recumbent questions

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Wally, Dec 18, 2005.

  1. Wally

    Wally Guest

    What's the received wisdom on steering arrangements for recumbents? I gather
    the main approaches are normal straight bars under the seat/thighs, straight
    bars underneath with vertical 'bar ends' to mount brake and gear levers, and
    some sort of arrangement where the bars are extended above the legs.

    Do the low-mounted bars have any issues with steering lock? How about
    stopping and putting the feet down - do the bars get in the way? Similarly,
    is it awkward to start with this type?

    Do the high-mounted bars get in the way of the legs while pedalling, or are
    there designs which get around that?

    What's the typical amount of chain needed on a recumbent? Three standard
    chains?

    Cheers,

    --
    Wally
    www.artbywally.com
    www.wally.myby.co.uk
     
    Tags:


  2. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    in message <[email protected]>, Wally
    ('[email protected]') wrote:

    > What's the received wisdom on steering arrangements for recumbents? I
    > gather the main approaches are normal straight bars under the
    > seat/thighs, straight bars underneath with vertical 'bar ends' to mount
    > brake and gear levers, and some sort of arrangement where the bars are
    > extended above the legs.
    >
    > Do the low-mounted bars have any issues with steering lock? How about
    > stopping and putting the feet down - do the bars get in the way?
    > Similarly, is it awkward to start with this type?


    I found it so when trying, but was also riding someone else's pride and
    joy. People who are used to them clearly don't find it hard. The primary
    advantage which seems to be argued for under-seat steering is comfort;
    the primary disadvantage is aerodynamics (although I also think USS
    bikes just look better). There's no doubt that aerodynamically,
    over-seat steering is better.

    > Do the high-mounted bars get in the way of the legs while pedalling, or
    > are there designs which get around that?


    No. Again, as a beginner, you think they will, but they don't.

    > What's the typical amount of chain needed on a recumbent? Three
    > standard chains?


    Yup. Although the front wheel drive bikes use one or less. I don't know
    what chain life is like on a front wheel drive bent - I would imagine
    that the twisting while steering, although not very much, can't be good
    for them. Mr Larrington?

    --
    [email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

    ;; Life would be much easier if I had the source code.
     
  3. wafflycat

    wafflycat Guest

    "Wally" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > What's the received wisdom on steering arrangements for recumbents? I
    > gather
    > the main approaches are normal straight bars under the seat/thighs,
    > straight
    > bars underneath with vertical 'bar ends' to mount brake and gear levers,
    > and
    > some sort of arrangement where the bars are extended above the legs.
    >
    > Do the low-mounted bars have any issues with steering lock? How about
    > stopping and putting the feet down - do the bars get in the way?
    > Similarly,
    > is it awkward to start with this type?
    >
    > Do the high-mounted bars get in the way of the legs while pedalling, or
    > are
    > there designs which get around that?
    >
    > What's the typical amount of chain needed on a recumbent? Three standard
    > chains?


    Have a look at

    http://www.ice.hpv.co.uk/

    I've got an Ice T. The steering is extremely light (good, no aching arms),
    responsive, accurate and the 'bent is highly manoeuvrable - it turns on a
    sixpence. No problems accessing the 'bent, no problems using the 'bent.

    Cheers, helen s
     
  4. David Martin

    David Martin Guest

    Simon Brooke wrote:

    > > Do the high-mounted bars get in the way of the legs while pedalling, or
    > > are there designs which get around that?

    >
    > No. Again, as a beginner, you think they will, but they don't.


    They did for me on every full recumbent[1] I have tried. Then again I
    do have short chunky legs. A bit more adjustment may have fixed the
    problem.

    ...d

    [1] Where feet are more or less horizontally in front of hips.
     
  5. Mike Civil

    Mike Civil Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    Wally <[email protected]> wrote:
    >Do the high-mounted bars get in the way of the legs while pedalling, or are
    >there designs which get around that?


    I hope Wally doesn't mind me tacking another newbie question onto the
    end of his:) From looking at people riding With the the above seat
    steering option it looks possible for rainwater to run down your sleeves
    from your wrists and collect at your elbows. Does this happen in practice?

    Mike
     
  6. LSMike

    LSMike Guest

    Mike Civil wrote:
    > I hope Wally doesn't mind me tacking another newbie question onto the
    > end of his:) From looking at people riding With the the above seat
    > steering option it looks possible for rainwater to run down your sleeves
    > from your wrists and collect at your elbows. Does this happen in practice?
    >
    > Mike


    Not for me, but I have a problem in that my seat is fairly laid back
    and so a little rainwater gets through the zip on my jacket. Not a
    huge problem since my strategy is to be warm rather than dry, but not
    as good as on the upright
     
  7. In article <[email protected]>, Wally
    ([email protected]) wrote:
    > What's the received wisdom on steering arrangements for recumbents? I gather
    > the main approaches are normal straight bars under the seat/thighs, straight
    > bars underneath with vertical 'bar ends' to mount brake and gear levers, and
    > some sort of arrangement where the bars are extended above the legs.


    Personally I prefer above-seat steering on two wheels, as it's more aero
    and provides more space to mount toys.

    > Do the low-mounted bars have any issues with steering lock? How about
    > stopping and putting the feet down - do the bars get in the way? Similarly,
    > is it awkward to start with this type?


    Not usually any problems until one gets to /silly/ amounts of lock - the
    sort which, if applied while moving, would cause one to fall on one's
    head rather rapidly.

    > Do the high-mounted bars get in the way of the legs while pedalling, or are
    > there designs which get around that?


    If everything is correctly adjusted this should not be a problem,
    although I still have the scars to show what happens when one's foot
    escapes from a pedal while accelerating away from the lights.

    > What's the typical amount of chain needed on a recumbent? Three standard
    > chains?


    Typically a rear-wheel drive one will use about two and a half, so in
    theory one need only buy two "next time". Of course, by the time "next
    time" rolls around, you've lost the offcuts, or they've changed he
    model, or you want to upgrade to nine speed, or...

    Don't know about accelerated chain wear on twist-chain FWD bikes, I'm
    afraid.

    --
    Dave Larrington - <http://www.legslarry.beerdrinkers.co.uk/>
    It is impossible to eat a banana without looking like a tw*t.
     
  8. Phil Clarke

    Phil Clarke Guest

    Wally wrote:

    > Do the low-mounted bars have any issues with steering lock?


    they may, depends on the seat arrangement. On mine the bars butt up
    against the seat but I can still make a U turn on a road - which is as
    much steering as I want.

    > How about stopping and putting the feet down - do the bars get in the way?


    no.

    I find it easier to stop with USS, because I can lean forward while
    stabilising myself on the bars, to look round bends etc. Fixed OSS can
    get in the way of leaning forward, and you cant brace yourself against
    articulated OSS.

    > Similarly, is it awkward to start with this type?


    no.

    Another point about OSS - it induces more steering wobble than USS, as
    there's a lot of mass hanging around well away from the wheel.


    I dont buy the "OSS is more aerodynamic" argument, at least I dont think
    that any advantage is significant. My M5 came with OSS & I changed it to
    USS. On my 12 mile commute I freewheel to 36mph down a safe hill, the
    difference isnt shown in commute times or max freewheel speed.

    Phil
     
  9. In article <[email protected]>, Phil Clarke
    ([email protected]) wrote:

    > I dont buy the "OSS is more aerodynamic" argument, at least I dont think
    > that any advantage is significant. My M5 came with OSS & I changed it to
    > USS. On my 12 mile commute I freewheel to 36mph down a safe hill, the
    > difference isnt shown in commute times or max freewheel speed.


    Peter Ross found otherwise with the Speed Ross; he would go out riding
    with a friend with an ASS model. When Peter was on the ASS model, they
    coasted at about the same speed; when he was on the USS model, his mate
    disappeared into the distance like a vanishy thing.

    The USS model was dropped shortly thereafter.

    --
    Dave Larrington - <http://www.legslarry.beerdrinkers.co.uk/>
    Maffeo Barberini (1568-1644) was made entirely of salmon.
     
  10. Jim Price

    Jim Price Guest

    Dave Larrington wrote:
    > Peter Ross found otherwise with the Speed Ross; he would go out riding
    > with a friend with an ASS model. When Peter was on the ASS model, they
    > coasted at about the same speed; when he was on the USS model, his mate
    > disappeared into the distance like a vanishy thing.
    >
    > The USS model was dropped shortly thereafter.


    Thinking "what does it look like" and throwing "USS model" into google
    images got me this picture:
    http://www.fao.org/docrep/d3200e/d3200e1x.jpg
    It doesn't look very aerodynamic to me either, and could have made quite
    a mess when dropped shortly thereafter.

    In case anyone should ask, no I did't go looking for pics of the other
    model. TMSAISTI.

    --
    JimP
    --
    "We don't have a plan, so nothing can go wrong" - Spike Milligan
     
  11. garryb59

    garryb59 Guest

    On Mon, 19 Dec 2005 00:53:45 GMT, "Wally" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >What's the received wisdom on steering arrangements for recumbents? I gather
    >the main approaches are normal straight bars under the seat/thighs, straight
    >bars underneath with vertical 'bar ends' to mount brake and gear levers, and
    >some sort of arrangement where the bars are extended above the legs.




    >
    >Do the low-mounted bars have any issues with steering lock? How about
    >stopping and putting the feet down - do the bars get in the way? Similarly,
    >is it awkward to start with this type?
    >
    >Do the high-mounted bars get in the way of the legs while pedalling, or are
    >there designs which get around that?
    >
    >What's the typical amount of chain needed on a recumbent? Three standard
    >chains?
    >
    >Cheers,
     
  12. garryb59

    garryb59 Guest

    On Mon, 19 Dec 2005 00:53:45 GMT, "Wally" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >What's the received wisdom on steering arrangements for recumbents? I gather
    >the main approaches are normal straight bars under the seat/thighs, straight
    >bars underneath with vertical 'bar ends' to mount brake and gear levers, and
    >some sort of arrangement where the bars are extended above the legs.


    Not forgetting those bikes that don't have handlebars of course [save
    only to mount brakes and gear levers] - the Python, a curious thing,
    that on the one hand completely solves the issues relating to
    wheel/heal strike and enabling you to have 700c front wheel while
    still remaining in a relatively low level of seating position, but on
    the other invites you to steer with your legs and by shifting body
    weight around the place!
    I've not tried one, and I'm not sure if I will either...not just now
    anyway :)

    http://www.python-lowracer.de/

    Garry

    >Do the low-mounted bars have any issues with steering lock? How about
    >stopping and putting the feet down - do the bars get in the way? Similarly,
    >is it awkward to start with this type?




    >Do the high-mounted bars get in the way of the legs while pedalling, or are
    >there designs which get around that?
    >
    >What's the typical amount of chain needed on a recumbent? Three standard
    >chains?
    >
    >Cheers,
     
  13. Wally

    Wally Guest

    Simon Brooke wrote:

    > ... People who are used to them clearly don't find it hard.


    Fair comment.

    > The
    > primary advantage which seems to be argued for under-seat steering is
    > comfort; the primary disadvantage is aerodynamics (although I also
    > think USS bikes just look better). There's no doubt that
    > aerodynamically, over-seat steering is better.


    I'm not too fussed about aerodynamics. I'm building something on the cheap
    from a pile of bits, with a view to just trying out the two-wheel recumbent
    thing. (The longer-term plan is to make a trike, but I'm still at the CAD
    geometry stage with that.) I can appreciate the comfort aspect, though - the
    USS bars with the risers at the ends look like the type I'd like to try.


    >> Do the high-mounted bars get in the way of the legs while pedalling,
    >> or are there designs which get around that?

    >
    > No. Again, as a beginner, you think they will, but they don't.


    Yup, understood.


    >> What's the typical amount of chain needed on a recumbent? Three
    >> standard chains?

    >
    > Yup.


    Okay.


    > Although the front wheel drive bikes use one or less. I don't
    > know what chain life is like on a front wheel drive bent - I would
    > imagine that the twisting while steering, although not very much,
    > can't be good for them. Mr Larrington?


    Not doing a front-wheel drive version - big wheel at the back, small one at
    the front, pedals on a boom.


    --
    Wally
    www.artbywally.com
    www.wally.myby.co.uk
     
  14. Wally

    Wally Guest

    wafflycat wrote:

    > I've got an Ice T. The steering is extremely light (good, no aching
    > arms), responsive, accurate and the 'bent is highly manoeuvrable - it
    > turns on a sixpence. No problems accessing the 'bent, no problems
    > using the 'bent.


    I don't think I mentioned it, but I was actually asking about two-wheelers.
    Not to worry, though - there's a trike in my future somewhere, so that site
    is handy all the same. :)


    --
    Wally
    www.artbywally.com
    www.wally.myby.co.uk
     
  15. Wally

    Wally Guest

    Dave Larrington wrote:

    > Personally I prefer above-seat steering on two wheels, as it's more
    > aero and provides more space to mount toys.


    That was something I had thought about. With USS steering, I guess some sort
    of little T-bar thing could be done for mounting a computer. Do lights go on
    the 'downtube' stub at the end of the boom (with a remote switch?)?


    >> Do the low-mounted bars have any issues with steering lock? How about
    >> stopping and putting the feet down - do the bars get in the way?
    >> Similarly, is it awkward to start with this type?

    >
    > Not usually any problems until one gets to /silly/ amounts of lock -
    > the sort which, if applied while moving, would cause one to fall on
    > one's head rather rapidly.


    Okay.


    >> Do the high-mounted bars get in the way of the legs while pedalling,
    >> or are there designs which get around that?

    >
    > If everything is correctly adjusted this should not be a problem,
    > although I still have the scars to show what happens when one's foot
    > escapes from a pedal while accelerating away from the lights.





    >
    >> What's the typical amount of chain needed on a recumbent? Three
    >> standard chains?

    >
    > Typically a rear-wheel drive one will use about two and a half, so in
    > theory one need only buy two "next time". Of course, by the time
    > "next time" rolls around, you've lost the offcuts, or they've changed
    > he model, or you want to upgrade to nine speed, or...


    Fine.


    > Don't know about accelerated chain wear on twist-chain FWD bikes, I'm
    > afraid.


    Not doing one of those.


    --
    Wally
    www.artbywally.com
    www.wally.myby.co.uk
     
  16. Wally

    Wally Guest

    Phil Clarke wrote:
    > Wally wrote:
    >
    >> Do the low-mounted bars have any issues with steering lock?

    >
    > they may, depends on the seat arrangement. On mine the bars butt up
    > against the seat but I can still make a U turn on a road - which is as
    > much steering as I want.


    What make/model do you have? I'd like to take a look at some pictures if
    possible.


    > I find it easier to stop with USS, because I can lean forward while
    > stabilising myself on the bars, to look round bends etc. Fixed OSS can
    > get in the way of leaning forward, and you cant brace yourself against
    > articulated OSS.


    I'm not keen on articulated steering set ups for this kind of reason. First
    saw it on a trike, and it just seemed 'wrong'.



    > Another point about OSS - it induces more steering wobble than USS, as
    > there's a lot of mass hanging around well away from the wheel.


    Noted.


    > I dont buy the "OSS is more aerodynamic" argument, at least I dont
    > think that any advantage is significant. My M5 came with OSS & I
    > changed it to USS. On my 12 mile commute I freewheel to 36mph down a
    > safe hill, the difference isnt shown in commute times or max
    > freewheel speed.


    Not bothered about that - just want to try out the recumbent thing.


    --
    Wally
    www.artbywally.com
    www.wally.myby.co.uk
     
  17. Wally

    Wally Guest

    garryb59 wrote:

    > Not forgetting those bikes that don't have handlebars of course [save
    > only to mount brakes and gear levers] - the Python, a curious thing,
    > that on the one hand completely solves the issues relating to
    > wheel/heal strike and enabling you to have 700c front wheel while
    > still remaining in a relatively low level of seating position, but on
    > the other invites you to steer with your legs and by shifting body
    > weight around the place!


    Nope. It bends in the middle. Too weird. Anyway, I already have a
    conventional recumbent frame, and a donor bike wiv cogs 'n' brakes 'n'
    wheels, to get going with. Just need a 20" front wheel, a seat, and some
    bits like chain, idler(s), chain tube, cables.


    > I've not tried one, and I'm not sure if I will either...not just now
    > anyway :)


    Aye, you and me both!


    --
    Wally
    www.artbywally.com
    www.wally.myby.co.uk
     
  18. Wally twisted the electrons to say:
    > That was something I had thought about. With USS steering, I guess some
    > sort of little T-bar thing could be done for mounting a computer. Do
    > lights go on the 'downtube' stub at the end of the boom (with a remote
    > switch?)?


    On my (rather archaic) Streetmachine[1] I've got a Minoura Space Grip
    mounted just below the front derailleur, upon which I mount my computer
    and my LED light.

    [1] http://www.hpvelotechnik.com/produkte/sm/index_e.html
    --
    These opinions might not even be mine ...
    Let alone connected with my employer ...
     
  19. Steve W

    Steve W Guest

    Wally,

    Have a look at http://ryanownersclub.com/ for an alternative type of 'bent,
    the LWB. Not very fashionable now (although Hase do make one
    http://www.hase-bikes.com/ens/tagun/index.php )

    If comfort is what you want I would definatly reccomend trying one of this
    type. Other makes are Linear, Peer Gynt, Tour Easy.
    Just look out for s/h. I would expect to pay 400-600 pounds.

    SW
     
  20. Danny Colyer

    Danny Colyer Guest

    Alistair Gunn wrote:
    > On my (rather archaic) Streetmachine[1] I've got a Minoura Space Grip
    > mounted just below the front derailleur, upon which I mount my computer
    > and my LED light.


    And for those without a handy Space Grip-equipped SM to look at, you can
    see here just what it would look like:
    <URL:http://www.colyer.plus.com/danny/stable/helga.html>

    Hmm, I really must update some of those pictures. I no longer mount my
    AirZound reservoir to the rack, it's sat in a bottle cage mounted under
    the seat.

    --
    Danny Colyer (my reply address is valid but checked infrequently)
    <URL:http://www.colyer.plus.com/danny/>
    Subscribe to PlusNet <URL:http://www.colyer.plus.com/referral/>
    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." - Thomas Paine
     
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