Recumbent

  • Thread starter George Hauxwell
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P

Peter Clinch

Guest
Alan Braggins wrote:

> At least one poster here has a recumbent and some uprights, and finds
> an upright more appropriate for at least some journeys (not racing),
> so there can be genuine disadvantages too, beyond the price.


Absolutely: my fleet has a MTB, a folder and a freight bike alongside
the recumbent. There are folding 'bents, but none that fold as well as
a Brom, there are freight 'bents, but not in the niche the 8 Freight
sits in, and there are off-road 'bents, but none approaching the low
price I'm willing to pay for a MTB as I don't do much off road and not
really cut out for balance critical stuff in any case.

> as they go over a bump. Bike suspension can compensate for this, but is
> not free or weightless (and is available for uprights too, of course).


Though recumbents are often better suited to it. With the direction of
push being at right angles to the suspension travel there's far less
tendency to pogo and waste energy. It should be noted that suspension
is at least as much to do with efficiency as comfort, which is a useful
side benefit. If a bike hits a bump then the whole thing loses energy
as it travels up over it. If there's good suspension the wheel moves
but not the frame, rider or any luggage, so the rougher the surface and
heavier the load the more suspension actually makes the bike perform
/better/, despite the extra weight. Of course, that's why championship
MTBs have suspension, not to make life comfier!

> The huge range of recumbents means that not all of these disadvantages
> need be true for any particular machine - and no one upright bicycle
> is ideal for all possible uses, so expecting a recumbent to be better
> for all possible uses is unfair. (And all this is second hand, I don't
> have a recumbent.)


It's quite true though. I'd say that an upright has a better chance of
being a "do everything to some useful degree" bike, but there are many
jobs for which the /right/ recumbent is a better specific machine. If I
only had one bike it would probably be an upright, something like a
Birdy, Bike Friday or Moulton. But as it is I have space for several,
and when I'm touring I use the 'bent and wouldn't swap it for any
upright tourer I've come across to date.

> (I see from http://www.personal.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/cycling.htm
> that Peter finds an upright folder more convenient for "short hacks
> and errands",


And the 8 Freight is better for heavy loads, or compared to something
like a Brox much nimbler through traffic. And the MTB gets me serious
offroad places for minimal money.

And the Muni is better for Big Dumb Fun without having to travel more
than 500m from home!

Pete.
--
Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
 
D

dirtylitterboxofferingstospammers

Guest
>Price, mainly.

Indeed that is it.

>Mine cost £2000 once I'd added lights and some other
>fripperies -


Even my entry level Trice has a base price of £1599 and then add on front
mudguards, extra mirror, lights... cheap is one thing they aren't! Mind you, at
least they aren't made of cheese.
The only reason I've got one is that the offspring decided he didn't want a new
bike for Christmas. I think he's regretting that decision - whereas I'm not ;-)

>Yes, it took me nearly ten minutes before I was comfortable, and a
>couple of days before I was sufficiently confident to wind the pedal
>tension up to full strength.


When we were at Darth Kevin's picking up Mr N Frosty, whilst he was setting up
the Trice for me, Kevin had Nathan trying out two-wheelers. The one he rode was
a sort of semi-recu mbent, in black. As the teenage offspring is heavily into
black and was wearing black jeans, black t-shirt, black shades, black shoes and
a black leather coat, the sight of him zooming along on a black recumbent,
leather coat billowing like a gothic sail... he looked *seriously kewl* - once
he got the hang of the bike ;-)

Mind you, the way I look at cycles for *me* is that when bought they are going
to be used and last a lifetime, so I'm looking for *value* within the budget,
which is definitely not £69 from a supermarket, toyshop of H*lf*rds, even if
£69 was my financial limit. H*lf*rds are strictly for stuff such as LED
lights...

Cheers, helen s


--This is an invalid email address to avoid spam--
to get correct one remove fame & fortune
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P

Peter Clinch

Guest
Nick Kew wrote:

> Space requirements (I couldn't keep one).


Though the problems can be minimised with creative use of hooks, just
like uprights. But it'll never fit into as neat a spot as a Brom.

> Unsuitability for rough terrain


Depends on one's definition of "rough". Mine's gone plenty of places
more usually frequented by MTBs that would be dafter on an upright racer
and the only particular problems have been the 100 psi tyres being a bit
skittery, as they would be on an upright. You won't win a cross country
or downhill race on one, but that doesn't translate as "unsuitable, period".

> and hard work on the uphill.


Have a look at the movie on the Lightning site of Tim Brummer cruising
past the field going up a hill during a race on an R84. It depends on
the bike overall, not the seating position.

Pete.
--
Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
 
T

Tony Raven

Guest
Peter Clinch wrote:
>
> Depends on one's definition of "rough". Mine's gone plenty of places
> more usually frequented by MTBs that would be dafter on an upright racer
> and the only particular problems have been the 100 psi tyres being a bit
> skittery, as they would be on an upright. You won't win a cross country
> or downhill race on one, but that doesn't translate as "unsuitable,
> period".


The main problem is that you cannot decouple your body weight from the
bike on a recumbent. Weight transfer is an important part of
rough/moving/slippery surfaces and being able to move your body weight
back, forwards or to the side important to good progress. I know how I
would get an upwrong road bike up an 8" kerb without problems but I'm
not sure about a recumbent

The other negatives I would add are:

- transport, especially by car. I can throw 4 upwrongs on the back of
the car quite easily. I have seen what JZGYK needs for his collection ;-)

- use in inner city traffic where an upwrong allows you to look over the
cars and to weave through the small openings they leave. Cycling down
the outside of one car, across the front of it and down the inside of
the next is pretty difficult on a bent, again a victim of weight
transfer balancing.

- pushing. If you do need to get off and walk many bents are impossibly
low for pushing, especially if you need to operate the steering, without
risking your back.

Tony
 
P

Peter Clinch

Guest
Tony Raven wrote:

> The main problem is that you cannot decouple your body weight from the
> bike on a recumbent. Weight transfer is an important part of
> rough/moving/slippery surfaces and being able to move your body weight
> back, forwards or to the side important to good progress.


Yes, but again my point remains that it depends what you mean by
"rough". For what I consider rough I take my MTB, for what a lot of
other folk consider "rough" the 'bent is actually no problem. Cycling
up a rather iffy section of the Buchan and Formartine way while fully
laden for touring last year, Roos and I passed a couple on upright
tourers pushing theirs (we were going up the gentle rise, they were
coming down) and we subsequently overtook a couple of kids on their
MTBs. And Roos' bike is a semi-low with 20" wheels back and front!

> The other negatives I would add are:
>
> - transport, especially by car.


Quite so.

> - use in inner city traffic where an upwrong allows you to look over the
> cars and to weave through the small openings they leave. Cycling down
> the outside of one car, across the front of it and down the inside of
> the next is pretty difficult on a bent, again a victim of weight
> transfer balancing.


Though having said that it's a damn site easier doing the above on a
Brompton than on a 700c drop bar bike, yet nobody ever seems to say that
700c drop bar bikes are untenable because there are better options in
traffic! Often the case that the best thing to do in heavy traffic on
/any/ cycle is just sit it out in the queue, in which case a comfy chair
is more use than a high perch to let you see the back of that bus from
slightly higher up! ;-/

I more often am on the Brom in heavy urban traffic, but not because of
the view, which frankly I find to be a bit of a non-issue most of the
time. I use it in preference because it's easier to [un]park at the
journey ends and stow securely.

> - pushing. If you do need to get off and walk many bents are impossibly
> low for pushing, especially if you need to operate the steering, without
> risking your back.


But many aren't. Mine is no trouble at all in that regard, the top of
the seat makes for an easy grab. As with a traditional diamond frame
you can generally steer them while pushing without resorting to using
the handlebars, simply leaning the bike to engage the steer. Works for
me, I usually push uprights by their saddle rather than the bars.

Pete.
--
Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
 
M

Mike Causer

Guest
On Thu, 06 Jan 2005 11:02:00 +0000, Alan Braggins wrote:

> At least one poster here has a recumbent and some uprights, and finds an
> upright more appropriate for at least some journeys (not racing),


In my case the uprights are Moultons, which are very versatile, so not all
of my reasons apply to diamond frames. The major disadvantage that any
2-wheel 'bent has is when starting & stopping. So for trips that are in
heavy traffic, or have many obstructions (eg many cycle farcilities) I'll
take a Moulton. Being dismantleable means that a Moulton can be more
easily used on a train journey, avoiding the restrictions on timing. And
there's the large rear rack, which makes trips for a moderate amount of
shopping so easy.

However, for longer journeys where I can keep rolling, the recumbent is
faster and more comfortable. No more sore crotch, no more numb hands. It
will also take a substantially heavier load than the Moulton's rack, and
is much more stable with a load. Hills are not much of a problem where I
live, but wind is, and it is very much easier to pedal into a headwind
with the recumbent's better aerodynamics.



> Bike suspension can compensate for this, but is not free or weightless


..... unless you have 17" wheels, which are sufficiently lighter than 26"
to compensate ;-)



Mike
 
A

Alan Braggins

Guest
In article <[email protected]>, Peter Clinch wrote:
>
>> The other negatives I would add are:

[...]
>> - use in inner city traffic where an upwrong allows you to look over the
>> cars and to weave through the small openings they leave. Cycling down
>> the outside of one car, across the front of it and down the inside of
>> the next is pretty difficult on a bent, again a victim of weight
>> transfer balancing.

>
>Though having said that it's a damn site easier doing the above on a
>Brompton than on a 700c drop bar bike, yet nobody ever seems to say that
>700c drop bar bikes are untenable because there are better options in
>traffic!


No, but it's one reason why if you go into a bike shop and ask for a
general purpose bike you are more likely to be shown a hybrid than a
700c drop bar bike (though fashion means you are more likely still to be
shown an overweight pseudo-mountain-bike with useles bouncy "suspension",
especially at the lower price end).
I don't think anyone's claiming that a recumbent is untenable, merely
that it has disadvantages as well as advantages. Many bikes have much
of their usage in city traffic.


> Often the case that the best thing to do in heavy traffic on
>/any/ cycle is just sit it out in the queue, in which case a comfy chair
>is more use than a high perch to let you see the back of that bus from
>slightly higher up! ;-/


And if you have a comfy tricycle, you don't even have to worry about
how easy it is to put a foot down every time you stop and start (or
learning to trackstand), something I think is easier on an upright.
(It depends on the recumbent of course, something like a BikeE is
a lot easier from something with a high bottom bracket - but then
it's not as fast on the open road.)

But it's not unusual for me to pass stationary cars by scooting along
the inside with one foot on the pavement so I can lean the bike away
from the car, rather than sit it out in the queue (for example, where
most of the queue is observing a cycle lane, but one car is partially
blocking it).
 
A

Alan Braggins

Guest
dirtylitterboxofferingstospammers wrote:
>
>When we were at Darth Kevin's picking up Mr N Frosty, whilst he was setting up
>the Trice for me, Kevin had Nathan trying out two-wheelers. The one he rode was
>a sort of semi-recu mbent, in black. As the teenage offspring is heavily into
>black and was wearing black jeans, black t-shirt, black shades, black shoes and
>a black leather coat, the sight of him zooming along on a black recumbent,
>leather coat billowing like a gothic sail... he looked *seriously kewl* - once
>he got the hang of the bike ;-)


Doesn't your policy on lights and reflectives make the bike colour
rather irrelevent? I can't see you letting him out on more trafficed
roads in black clothing on an unlit black bike on an overcast day.
 
P

Peter Clinch

Guest
Mike Causer wrote:

> In my case the uprights are Moultons, which are very versatile, so not all
> of my reasons apply to diamond frames. The major disadvantage that any
> 2-wheel 'bent has is when starting & stopping.


I don't see it's a universal thing. I don't really see something like a
Spirit is more trouble in this regard than a typical upright, especially
one where you're perched sufficiently high that you can only really
ground out on tiptoe.

Pete.
--
Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
 
P

Peter Clinch

Guest
Alan Braggins wrote:

> Doesn't your policy on lights and reflectives make the bike colour
> rather irrelevent? I can't see you letting him out on more trafficed
> roads in black clothing on an unlit black bike on an overcast day.


Plenty of contrast from a red lightsabre... ;-/

Pete.
--
Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
 
M

MSeries

Guest
dirtylitterboxofferingstospammers wrote:

> . he looked *seriously kewl* - once


But not anymore ? (I bet he told you that)
 
P

Pete Whelan

Guest
Peter Clinch wrote:
> Nick Kew wrote:
>>> and hard work on the uphill.

>
> Have a look at the movie on the Lightning site of Tim Brummer cruising
> past the field going up a hill during a race on an R84. It depends on
> the bike overall, not the seating position.


I don't think they take any more energy to get up a hill compared to a
conventional bike. I've logged my heart rate on both my upright
lightweight tourer and on the trice and found virtually no difference
apart from speed.
 
S

Simon Brooke

Guest
in message <[email protected]>, Tony Raven
('[email protected]') wrote:

> The other negatives I would add are:
>
> - use in inner city traffic where an upwrong allows you to look over
> the cars and to weave through the small openings they leave.  Cycling
> down the outside of one car, across the front of it and down the
> inside of the next is pretty difficult on a bent, again a victim of
> weight transfer balancing.


I'm not convinced that's a negative.

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

Morning had broken, and there was nothing we could do but wait
patiently for the RAC to arrive.
 
S

Simon Brooke

Guest
in message <[email protected]>, Pete Whelan
('[email protected]') wrote:

> Peter Clinch wrote:
>> Nick Kew wrote:
>>>> and hard work on the uphill.

>>
>> Have a look at the movie on the Lightning site of Tim Brummer
>> cruising
>> past the field going up a hill during a race on an R84. It depends
>> on the bike overall, not the seating position.

>
> I don't think they take any more energy to get up a hill compared to a
> conventional bike.


Provided the conventional bike weighs the same as the recumbent and has
similar transmission efficiency, any physicist could tell you that it
cannot take any more (or any less) energy to get up the hill.

--
[email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/
Ye hypocrites! are these your pranks? To murder men and give God thanks?
Desist, for shame! Proceed no further: God won't accept your thanks for
murther
-- Roburt Burns, 'Thanksgiving For a National Victory'
 
N

Nick Kew

Guest
In article <[email protected]>,
Peter Clinch <[email protected]> writes:
> Nick Kew wrote:
>
>> Space requirements (I couldn't keep one).

>
> Though the problems can be minimised with creative use of hooks, just
> like uprights. But it'll never fit into as neat a spot as a Brom.


Won't fit at all here. The neighbours tolerate a normal-sized bike in
the front hall, but any more would be pushing my luck.

>> Unsuitability for rough terrain

>
> Depends on one's definition of "rough". Mine's gone plenty of places
> more usually frequented by MTBs that would be dafter on an upright racer


Only ever ridden a racer once (fun, but not so much as to induce me to
fork out several hundred squid). But I've taken a loaded tourer over
far, far rougher terrain than most MTBs ever see. I really don't think
you could get any recumbent up the rocky trail from Burrator to
Princetown, for instance. I'd even be surprised if you could do the
rough bit and river crossing on my old commuting route to Tavistock.

>> and hard work on the uphill.

>
> Have a look at the movie on the Lightning site of Tim Brummer cruising
> past the field going up a hill during a race on an R84. It depends on
> the bike overall, not the seating position.


I'll grant you the benefit of the doubt on that one, as I don't really
know, and I've no doubt a fit darksider could leave me standing.

--
Nick Kew
 
D

Danny Colyer

Guest
George Hauxwell wrote:
>>I imagine the two-wheeled variety would take some getting used too.


and Guy responded:
> Yes, it took me nearly ten minutes before I was comfortable


I didn't need anywhere near that long, but then the first one I tried
was a LWB. There's another term to confuse George. Have a look here:
<URL:http://www.ihpva.org/FAQ/>

> If you want a real challenge[1] stick to unicycling ;-)


Oh, and perhaps my sense of balance is better than Guy's ;-)
(are you riding it yet, Guy?)

--
Danny Colyer (the UK company has been laughed out of my reply address)
<URL:http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/danny/>
"He who dares not offend cannot be honest." - Thomas Paine
 
D

Danny Colyer

Guest
Alan Braggins wrote:
> At least one poster here has a recumbent and some uprights, and finds
> an upright more appropriate for at least some journeys (not racing),
> so there can be genuine disadvantages too, beyond the price.


ISTM there's a spectrum of opinion on how appropriate recumbents are for
varied use:

1) Some people have never ridden a recumbent and have no interest in
ever riding one. That makes no sense to me - I can't imagine not
wanting to try out different kinds of cycle.

2) Some have tried a recumbent, didn't get on with it and have therefore
decided that they don't like recumbents. My opinion is that they simply
haven't tried the right bent yet.

3) Some have tried a recumbent, liked it, got on well with it, but
ultimately decided to stick with a wedgie. Andy Welch springs to mind -
rode a Street Machine for a couple of years, sold it and bought a
Speedy, then sold that and bought a new wedgie.

4) Some find uses for bents and a variety of wedgies, and are quite
happy using a variety of bikes for different purposes. Peter Clinch
springs to mind.

5) Some get used to riding a bent and never want to go back to riding a
wedgie. That's me, although I wouldn't mind having an 8-Freight, and a
Me'N'U2, and an upright trike would be better than no trike...

--
Danny Colyer (the UK company has been laughed out of my reply address)
<URL:http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/danny/>
"He who dares not offend cannot be honest." - Thomas Paine
 
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Danny Colyer

Guest
Tony Raven wrote:
> The other negatives I would add are:

<snip>
> - pushing. If you do need to get off and walk many bents are impossibly
> low for pushing, especially if you need to operate the steering, without
> risking your back.


That varies from bent to bent. The top of the seat on my Street Machine
is higher than the saddle on my wedgie, so pushing the bike along with a
hand on top of the seat is not a problem. Even with USS I've never
actually noticed that the handlebar is uncomfortably low for pushing,
either.

--
Danny Colyer (the UK company has been laughed out of my reply address)
<URL:http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/danny/>
"He who dares not offend cannot be honest." - Thomas Paine
 
D

Danny Colyer

Guest
Nick Kew wrote:
> I really don't think
> you could get any recumbent up the rocky trail from Burrator to
> Princetown, for instance. I'd even be surprised if you could do the
> rough bit and river crossing on my old commuting route to Tavistock.


I'm not familiar with the trail, but there's a machine here that might
do it:
<URL:http://www.mobilityeng.com/>
(seems to be down at the moment, unfortunately).

--
Danny Colyer (the UK company has been laughed out of my reply address)
<URL:http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/danny/>
"He who dares not offend cannot be honest." - Thomas Paine
 
T

Tony Raven

Guest
Pete Whelan wrote:
>
> I don't think they take any more energy to get up a hill compared to a
> conventional bike. I've logged my heart rate on both my upright
> lightweight tourer and on the trice and found virtually no difference
> apart from speed.
>


Lower speed = longer time
Longer time x same effort = more energy

Tony