Recumbent vs. Traditional

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Ck197, Mar 25, 2003.

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  1. Ck197

    Ck197 Guest

    Hello, I'm thinking of getting into cycling to alleviate the boredom I get from traditional forms of
    exercise. Since cycling seems to be more fun, I would like to know if there are any websites that
    highlight the differences between recumbent and traditional bikes, the pros and cons, what type to
    buy, etc. Any help would be appreciated.
     
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  2. Ken

    Ken Guest

    CK197 <[email protected]> wrote in news:[email protected]:
    > I'm thinking of getting into cycling to alleviate the boredom I get from traditional forms of
    > exercise. Since cycling seems to be more fun, I would like to know if there are any websites
    > that highlight the differences between recumbent and traditional bikes, the pros and cons, what
    > type to buy, etc. Any help would be appreciated.

    There are a lot of recumbent web sites out there, but most are not very objective. In general,
    recumbents are much more comfortable to ride than upright bikes. On the other hand, they are more
    expensive, less maneuverable, and heavier (for the same price/quality level). They are also harder
    to find at local shops. There is a great deal of debate about whether or not there are any
    performance benefits (vs. upright bikes) to recumbents without fairings; a few models are designed
    for performance.
     
  3. Mark Lee

    Mark Lee Guest

    "CK197" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Hello, I'm thinking of getting into cycling to alleviate the boredom I get from traditional forms
    > of exercise. Since cycling seems to be more fun, I would like to know if there are any websites
    > that highlight the differences between recumbent and traditional bikes, the pros and cons, what
    > type to buy, etc. Any help would be appreciated.
    >
    Traditional bikes can be ridden easily in packs for fellowship so cycling becomes a social
    pursuit as well as a physical one. Trad bikes are more common so friends to ride with are easier
    to find. Mark Lee
     
  4. "Mark Lee" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    >
    ...
    > Traditional bikes can be ridden easily in packs for fellowship so cycling becomes a social pursuit
    > as well as a physical one. Trad bikes are more common so friends to ride with are easier to find.
    > Mark Lee
    >
    Yeah, right, like most diamond frame riders ride in pace lines where it makes a difference. Where
    do you draw the line? Think its physically possible to mix drop bars with flats, or does that
    worry you too?

    You can ride a diamond frame with diamond frames, but you can also ride tandems, recumbents and
    tandem recumbents with people on diamond frames and any other mix. And when it comes to pace lines,
    most diamond frame riders are an accident waiting to happen anyway. In a small percentage of cases
    the type of frame makes a difference. Like the next A++ or USCF pace line...

    MOST of the time, bike people riding together are taking the time to make allowances for the others
    in the group anyway, whether when the more fit wait for the less fit, the singles ease up when
    things favor them and vice versa five miles down the road for the tandems, the faster hit the store
    earlier and wait eating ice cream until the slower ones show up, and so on and so on. The bike style
    has nothing to do with it. It has every thing to do with the people.

    FWIW, in reply to the original question, I ride at about 16-17 mph on my recumbent and can ride and
    climb with most club riders. The USCF and A++ riders have to slow down when they talk to me, but
    they are probably looking for an excuse anyway (either to slow down or to not talk to me). And I
    have to slow down for some riders, diamond frame and recumbent, at times, but the recumbent is
    comfortable at any speed and I'm probably looking for an excuse to slow down at the time anyway...

    OTOOH, I rode a diamond frame in relative comfort for a long time, so if it fits and works, you
    don't need a recumbent. I still ride a diamond frame for winter utility and some commuting and it is
    still a working design after all these years.

    --
    Curtis L. Russell Odenton, MD (USA) Just someone on two wheels...
     
  5. Steve

    Steve Guest

    "CK197" <[email protected]> wrote in message ...
    > Hello, I'm thinking of getting into cycling to alleviate the boredom I get from traditional forms
    > of exercise. Since cycling seems to be more fun, I would like to know if there are any websites
    > that highlight the differences between recumbent and traditional bikes, the pros and cons, what
    > type to buy, etc. Any help would be appreciated.
    >

    I ride both, though since moving to Brooks saddles last March I haven't ridden the bent much.

    The other posts mostly covered it. I might disagree a bit that bents aren't as maneuverable, as my
    Vision R40 is pretty quick, generally, but admit that I never felt quite as comfortable on it as my
    DF's, mostly as a result of many, many years DF mountain biking, commuting, racing, pack riding,
    etc... and I won't take a bent in the woods as there's no way to bunny hop (grin).

    Some positive aspects not mentioned, besides being fast in the wind and on the flats and of course,
    being less tiring on the back and upper body, are...... wait, I'm still thinking....Oh Yeah !,
    they're a lot of fun and can be a real refreshment after getting stale from countless DF road miles.
    They're not that much more expensive then a DF and when you own multiple bikes, what's another
    $1,000 for a bent ?.

    Some additional disadvantages. They are a pain to handle and transport. They don't fit on a
    bike repair stand (in general) causing you to come up with some creative ideas to do
    maintenance. Maintenance in general is more difficult as a result. They are a good bit heavier
    (My Vision is 32 lbs,
    VS. 22 for my road bike) and require some dismantling (removing the seat) if transporting on a roof
    rack, if only to save on some gas mileage.

    The bent sites are not exactly objective, I think mostly a result of the feeling that what little
    info the typical DF rider knows about bent's is erroneous, so there's a bit of defensive attitude
    among benters and a seeming need to preach about all the positive aspects - most of which are true.

    http://bentrideronline.com/ http://www.recumbents.com/default-page.htm
    http://www.recumbents.com/mars/whatsnew.html http://www.ihpva.org/pipermail/hpv/
    http://www.hostelshoppe.com/ http://recumbent.bikeriders.com/

    Steve Bailey
     
  6. Belij3

    Belij3 Guest

    I ride both. The DF is more social. You converse with more people while riding and match their
    speed. The bent is easier on the body and I do not think you get as much exercise for the same
    amount of miles on a bent. You can stand on a DF and change speed quickly. You cannot do that on
    a bent. The bent is much more stable at high speeds. The Df is probably a little more stable at
    slow speeds.
     
  7. Mike Vore

    Mike Vore Guest

    On Wed, 26 Mar 2003 05:10:20 GMT, Mark Lee <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > "CK197" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >> Hello, I'm thinking of getting into cycling to alleviate the boredom I get from traditional forms
    >> of exercise. Since cycling seems to be more fun, I would like to know if there are any websites
    >> that highlight the differences between recumbent and traditional bikes, the pros and cons, what
    >> type to buy, etc. Any help would be appreciated.
    >>
    > Traditional bikes can be ridden easily in packs for fellowship so cycling becomes a social pursuit
    > as well as a physical one. Trad bikes are more common so friends to ride with are easier to find.
    > Mark Lee

    Bents also can be ridden ealily in packs for fellowship so cycling becomes a social pursuit as well
    as a physical one. Bents may not be as common but 'bent friends that ride are very easy to
    find/make.

    Bents also don't give the rider a 'wedgie' (also the the lingo for DF bikes as in "I don't
    ride a wedgie any more." or "I've been able to climb a hill on my bent that I never could have
    on my wedgie".)

    Take a look at http://www.recumbents.com .

    mike

    --
    Michael Vore, W3CCV M-ASA [Ka8 (MU)] WHIRL (Burley LIMBO) http://mike.vorefamily.net/ohmywoodness
    <-Custom Woodworking http://mike.vorefamily.net/thewoodenradio <-The weblog
     
  8. CK197 wrote:
    >
    > Hello, I'm thinking of getting into cycling to alleviate the boredom I get from traditional forms
    > of exercise. Since cycling seems to be more fun, I would like to know if there are any websites
    > that highlight the differences between recumbent and traditional bikes, the pros and cons, what
    > type to buy, etc. Any help would be appreciated.

    http://www.bicyclinglife.com/PracticalCycling/FancyBikes.htm

    --
    Frank Krygowski [email protected]
     
  9. Steve

    Steve Guest

    "Belij3" <[email protected]> wrote in message

    > The bent is easier on the body and I do not think you get as much exercise
    for the same amount of miles on a bent.

    An interesting observation is that my miles on the bent "feel" harder then on the DF (not
    considering how painful hills are), which I chalk up to my leg muscles having developed from 15
    years of riding DF's, where as my bent muscles (same muscles used differently) seemingly work gat a
    harder workout. Thus my bent rides seem harder if only due to less conditioning for bent riding.

    > The bent is much more stable at high speeds. The Df is probably a little
    more stable at slow speeds.

    This is very dependent on the type of bent. Certainly long wheel base bents decend better then short
    wheel base bents. My SWB Vision a case in point in that I do not feel as stable at 30+ mph as I do
    on a long wheel base DF road bike, while the Vision feels very comfortable at 3 mph and making tight
    turns. It's all in the design.

    Again, part of this is a result of many, many more miles on a DF that makes me feel more stable.

    Steve B.
     
  10. Mike Vore

    Mike Vore Guest

    On 26 Mar 2003 17:20:39 GMT, Jon Isaacs <[email protected]> wrote:

    > I have heard of "Rebumbent Butt" however. Possibly you could explain that one. This seems to be a
    > somewhat common problem but one that is not advertised outside the recumbent circles.

    On my Limbo if the seat base is a bit too far forward the last inch of so of my butt seems to hang
    off the back, and after a while I find it quite uncomfortable. With the seat base moved back a bit
    comfort returns.

    > Regarding hill climbing, I have never heard even the most radial recumbent enthusiasts claim a
    > recumbent was better at climbing than a diamond frame. Most seem to be comfortable with the idea
    > that the poorer climbing performance is made up for by the comfort.

    I didn't say I was fast up that hill, but just that I'd made it. This was a hill in Amsterdam
    NY after a ~50 mile ride on the Erie Canal (http://www.nypca.org/canaltour). My speed was about
    2 - 2.5mph and I was using the entire road. Even at that low speed I was passing those that
    were walking.

    mike

    --
    Michael Vore, W3CCV M-ASA [Ka8 (MU)] WHIRL (Burley LIMBO) http://mike.vorefamily.net/ohmywoodness
    <-Custom Woodworking http://mike.vorefamily.net/thewoodenradio <-The weblog
     
  11. Mark Lee

    Mark Lee Guest

    "Curtis L. Russell" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:p[email protected]...
    > "Mark Lee" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > >
    > >
    > ...
    > > Traditional bikes can be ridden easily in packs for fellowship so
    cycling
    > > becomes a social pursuit as well as a physical one. Trad bikes are more common so friends to
    > > ride with are easier to find. Mark Lee
    > >
    > Yeah, right, like most diamond frame riders ride in pace lines where it makes a difference.

    Well, a lot do round here. Brisbane, Australia - many groups of 40-120 cyclists.

    >Where do you draw the line? Think its physically possible to mix drop bars with flats, or does that
    >worry you too?

    It's physically possible, but only the very fittest can keep up on a MTB - only happens when an
    A-grader's roadbike is away for repair. A local shopowner (ex Euro-pro) rode one of those Cannondale
    townbikes (skinny tyres, flat bars, disk brakes) ONCE... and it doesn't worry me because I'm not the
    one stuck with one hand position and low gears.

    > You can ride a diamond frame with diamond frames, but you can also ride tandems, recumbents and
    > tandem recumbents with people on diamond frames
    and
    > any other mix.

    I've ridden a tandem with groups and been in groups where a tandem is mixing
    it. Tandems are fast but don't work well with repeated changes of pace or uphills. They can be fine
    but aren't as manouevrable as singles. Recumbents cannot be a part of a big diamond-frame
    bunch. They can hang off the back or front but they're too different to mix in. (pedals stuck
    out in front, different height)

    > And when it comes to pace lines, most diamond frame riders are an accident waiting to happen
    > anyway. In a small percentage of cases
    the
    > type of frame makes a difference. Like the next A++ or USCF pace line...

    There are risks but accidents are fairly infrequent in the bunches I know of. At least on a
    "wedgie", the bike is stable enough for no-hands, you can look over your shoulder, jump
    potholes/trenches, unweight or stand for speedhumps, grab a drink or bite, get changed, etc.

    > MOST of the time, bike people riding together are taking the time to make allowances for the
    > others in the group anyway, whether when the more fit wait for the less fit, the singles ease up
    > when things favor them and vice versa five miles down the road for the tandems, the faster hit the
    > store earlier and wait eating ice cream until the slower ones show up, and so on and so on. The
    > bike style has nothing to do with it. It has every thing to do with the people.

    MOST of the time, if you can't keep up, you can turn around and head home or you can wait 'til the
    bunch comes back Those who eat ice-cream regularly are the first dropped (disregard if 22 yrs of
    age, less than 65kg and doing 400+mi per week).

    > FWIW, in reply to the original question, I ride at about 16-17 mph on my recumbent and can ride
    > and climb with most club riders. The USCF and A++ riders have to slow down when they talk to me,
    > but they are probably
    looking
    > for an excuse anyway (either to slow down or to not talk to me). And I
    have
    > to slow down for some riders, diamond frame and recumbent, at times, but
    the
    > recumbent is comfortable at any speed and I'm probably looking for an
    excuse
    > to slow down at the time anyway...

    FWIW we ride at 25-35mph on the flats (only possible in a group -for me anyway) with sprints to
    about 40mph. We range from teenagers to 60+, from surgeons/pilots/DJ's to European professional
    cyclists (depending on the time of year). My diamond frame bike is comfy from 18mph to about 25mph
    solo (too slow and the bum complains, too fast and the legs start to complain). I have ridden with
    recumbents a coupla times - interesting to look down on the flurry of gear changes for no apparent
    advantage. I have ridden past a few. I know they're extremely fast - must just be the riders that
    are so slow. But I'd love to have two recumbents - a tadpole trike (Windcheetah) and SWB lowracer
    bike - what fun! I say if you're only going to have one bike make it a traditional diamond frame.

    > OTOOH, I rode a diamond frame in relative comfort for a long time, so if
    it
    > fits and works, you don't need a recumbent. I still ride a diamond frame
    for
    > winter utility and some commuting and it is still a working design after
    all
    > these years.
    >
    OTOOH - diamond frames are still the most versatile design after all these years! Mark Lee
     
  12. Tom Keats

    Tom Keats Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, "Curtis L. Russell" <[email protected]> writes:

    > MOST of the time, bike people riding together are taking the time to make allowances for the
    > others in the group anyway, whether when the more fit wait for the less fit, the singles ease up
    > when things favor them and vice versa five miles down the road for the tandems, the faster hit the
    > store earlier and wait eating ice cream until the slower ones show up, and so on and so on. The
    > bike style has nothing to do with it. It has every thing to do with the people.

    Maybe a pizza rally could make a fun social event -- participants ride whatever they want, and
    choose their own routes. Second to last one in buys the pie. Last one in buys the brewskies. First
    two in have to reveal which shortcuts they took.

    It's something I've wondered about, anyway.

    cheers, Tom

    --
    -- Powered by FreeBSD Above address is just a spam midden. I'm really at: tkeats [curlicue] vcn
    [point] bc [point] ca
     
  13. Scott

    Scott Guest

    > CK197 :

    Lots of good advice and places to look from the other posts. For me, recumbents have made me a
    cyclist. I just wasn't that into it before. I never had a special "problem"--other than the usual
    sore hands, neck, ass associated with reg. bikes. When I started seeing 'bents, something just
    clicked. I ride my DF just about every day as a commuter--short ride to a bus stop, but when I want
    to go out for longer rides for fun, fitness, etc., it's ALWAYS the recumbent. In fact, my wife and
    I frequently ride a tandem recumbent tricyle--talk about weird! It's a great ride, however, and
    we've done some extensive touring on it. As all 'bent nuts will tell you, get out and test ride as
    many as you can.

    Regards,

    Scott
     
  14. Jay

    Jay Guest

    An alternative information source for recumbent enthusiasts is alt.rec.bicycles.recumbent as well as
    email lists and websites that rae recumbent specific.

    My best advice is to learn all that you can, but to ride as many different styles of recumbents for
    as long as possible (minimum one hour, ideally a couple of days) so that you can decide for yourself
    what works for you.
     
  15. "Mike Vore" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > On 26 Mar 2003 17:20:39 GMT, Jon Isaacs <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > > I have heard of "Rebumbent Butt" however. Possibly you could explain that one. This seems to be
    > > a somewhat common problem but one that is not advertised outside the recumbent circles.
    >
    > On my Limbo if the seat base is a bit too far forward the last inch of so of my butt seems to hang
    > off the back, and after a while I find it quite uncomfortable. With the seat base moved back a bit
    > comfort returns.
    >
    >
    Well, I think that it usually refers to a numb butt more than uncomfortable or painful. I've never
    had recumbent butt on either the Vision or the Linear, but it isn't exactly a hidden problem among
    recumbent riders, any more than the numb feet that I do occasionally have.

    OTOH, the main reason that I stopped riding a diamond frame over 50 miles or so at a time is a
    suddenly occurring problem of a 'hot box' on both feet from pressure. While I tried quite a few
    things to alleviate the problem (starting with Campi quills and track pedals and ending with Looks,
    with a lot of different fit advice from relative experts along the way), the first time I could do
    pain-free centuries again was when I bought the Vision, so the trade from foot-pain to
    foot-numbness was a reasonable one. Usually goes away by walking about briefly, usually once a ride
    when 75-100 miles.

    --
    Curtis L. Russell Odenton, MD (USA) Just someone on two wheels...
     
  16. "Tom Keats" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > In article <[email protected]>, "Curtis L. Russell"
    > <[email protected]> writes:
    >
    > > MOST of the time, bike people riding together are taking the time to
    make
    > > allowances for the others in the group anyway, whether when the more fit wait for the less fit,
    > > the singles ease up when things favor them and
    vice
    > > versa five miles down the road for the tandems, the faster hit the store earlier and wait eating
    > > ice cream until the slower ones show up, and so
    on
    > > and so on. The bike style has nothing to do with it. It has every thing
    to
    > > do with the people.
    >
    > Maybe a pizza rally could make a fun social event -- participants ride whatever they want, and
    > choose their own routes. Second to last one in buys the pie. Last one in buys the brewskies. First
    > two in have to reveal which shortcuts they took.
    >
    > It's something I've wondered about, anyway.
    >
    >
    > cheers, Tom
    >
    I did it when I was ride leader for a club and it worked well. We started with the knowledge of the
    pizza place and did the routes based on pace and time, not distance, with everyone finishing
    approximately the same time. Worked well across a large cross section of rides. Recommend it to any
    club of diverse ride levels (works especially well for families it seemed)...

    --
    Curtis L. Russell Odenton, MD (USA) Just someone on two wheels...
     
  17. "Mark Lee" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >

    (a lot of discussion completely from the point of view of a pace-line rider)

    You completely missed the point. I've ridden pace lines going back to 1970 when I could to a 25 mph
    pace line with relative ease. Has nothing to do with my original reply, other than vaguely about my
    comment that most people don't ride pacelines and many of those that do, do it poorly.

    Group rides aren't the equivalent of pace lines. Tandems, recumbents and recumbent tandems work
    perfectly well together in the typical social bike ride group. If you want to show off your paceline
    expertise, slide a bit south to rbr. Be better prepared, though...

    --
    Curtis L. Russell Odenton, MD (USA) Just someone on two wheels...

    Former ABLA and USCF rider and official, but taking it muuuch easier now...
     
  18. Jon Isaacs <[email protected]> wrote:
    : I have heard of "Rebumbent Butt" however. Possibly you could explain that on$ This seems to be a
    : somewhat common problem but one that is not advertised outside the recumbent circles.

    Some seem to say that recumbent butt occurs to beginners, and goes away when your muscles adapt.
    I've ridden recumbents for about a week, and I've never experienced it...

    Another comfort issue is "hot feet", which occurs to some people and can be difficult to get rid of.

    You need to take fit issues seriously on bents as well.

    Make some more thorough research if you are worried...

    : Regarding hill climbing, I have never heard even the most radial recumbent enthusiasts claim a
    : recumbent was better at climbing than a diamond frame. Most seem to be comfortable with the idea
    : that the poorer climbing performance is made up for by the comfort.

    No no, the (minuscule) added weight is made up for by the far superior aerodynamics... More weight
    also means more inertia, so some people claim (lowracer) recumbents perform better than (racing) DFs
    in a rolling hills scenario, where climbs are quite short.

    In general there is no performance debate, ask any recumbent racer, they know bents are
    much faster ;)

    --
    Risto Varanka | http://www.helsinki.fi/~rvaranka/ varis at no spam please iki fi
     
  19. Steve <[email protected]> wrote:

    : "Belij3" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    :> The bent is much more stable at high speeds. The Df is probably a little
    : more stable at slow speeds.

    Sounds very interesting, wonder if others have found it so as well? Since my idea of cycling is
    going fast in a straight line, this would mean a marked advantage to bents.

    : This is very dependent on the type of bent. Certainly long wheel base bents decend better then
    : short wheel base bents. My SWB Vision a case in point in that I do not feel as stable at 30+ mph
    : as I do on a long wheel base DF road bike, while the Vision feels very comfortable at 3 mph and
    : making tight turns. It's all in the design.

    Hmm, I don't think they make DF bikes in long wheel base configuration, at least not much. :eek:) (Or
    do you mean tandems?)

    And probably SWB lowracers are pretty stable too...

    --
    Risto Varanka | http://www.helsinki.fi/~rvaranka/ varis at no spam please iki fi
     
  20. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "Curtis L. Russell" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > OTOH, the main reason that I stopped riding a diamond frame over 50 miles or so at a time is a
    > suddenly occurring problem of a 'hot box' on both feet from pressure. While I tried quite a few
    > things to alleviate the problem (starting with Campi quills and track pedals and ending with
    > Looks, with a lot of different fit advice from relative experts along the way), the first time I
    > could do pain-free centuries again was when I bought the Vision, so the trade from foot-pain to
    > foot-numbness was a reasonable one. Usually goes away by walking about briefly, usually once a
    > ride when 75-100 miles.

    Why do you think a recumbent makes your feet less sore? The force to move the bike is the same
    (actually more climbing, since bents are typically heavier), and all the force is transmitted
    through the feet on both bikes. Was it a circulation problem?
     
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