suck on the hills

Discussion in 'Recumbent bicycles' started by aa9t8, Dec 8, 2005.

  1. aa9t8

    aa9t8 New Member

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    how can i improve on the hills.
    my bent is a sun speedster. short wheel base. now i know that the bike is not the best of the best. and my leg muscle mass is improving. but when i get into a long hill i just get off and push. which was humiliating but actually is freeing cause now i can go where i want. when i get into low low it requires so much effort to balance and i go further side to side. and so much effort is wasted and i am not having fun. so i just get off and push. which is tons more relaxing. i have an exercise routine. (for arthitis) and i ride one of my other bikes every day. so my fitness level is not too bad. maybe i am just being a wus? i would appreciate any tips. like maybe i am missing something obvious. i do like the way the bent isolates my leg muscles. and is good cardio. help?
     
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  2. BigEZbentman

    BigEZbentman New Member

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    First of all, I don't think you're a "Wuss" (whatever that is?).


    I have the Sun EZ Sport and have experienced the same problem. The only difference between you and me is that "I am a WUSS!". :eek: I recently had spinal surgery and lost a lot of weight so my legs are likewise not up to par.

    I was talking to a long time friend who has a lot of bent experience and he says part of the cure is to get a chainring with more teeth. I am contemplating doing that as soon as I can. He also said that seat position and overall fit has something to do with maximizing your strength curve.

    I would not berate yourself or your bike until you try the above.

    Let's face it, you will never climb hills on a bent like you did on that weggie.

    Keep spinning! (hard):eek:
     
  3. blazingpedals

    blazingpedals New Member

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    Normally if you are having problems climbing, then you will benefit from lower gears. You get that by either going to a smaller chainring, or a larger cassette gear.

    In bicycle terminology, gears are measured in gear-inches, with smaller numbers equating to lower gears. The formula is (Chainring teeth) * (Wheel diameter) / (Cassette teeth). So if you have a 28 chainring and a 32 cassette, and a nominal 25" rear wheel (26x1.50) then the formula works out like (28*25)/32 = 21 inches. New recumbent riders often put on a mountain bike crankset, which has 22/32/44 gears. Doing this would give you a low gear of: (22*25)/32=17 inches. Bear in mind that a lower gear at the same rpm will result in an even-slower speed. But I'm thinking that AA9T8's balance problem is caused by stuggling in a too-tall gear. AA9T8 should get a lower gear and spin it faster; I think he'll be pleased with the results.

    Trivia: Gear inches times Pi will yield a term called 'development', which is the total amount of distance you cover with one pedal revolution.
     
  4. BigEZbentman

    BigEZbentman New Member

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    Thanks for clarifying the gearing. Perhaps I misunderstood that he meant a larger cassette ring.

    I will look into it.
     
  5. aa9t8

    aa9t8 New Member

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    thanks for responding

    i weave in lower gears cause i am geared so low. before i get into a hill i gear down cause i hate to grind it! having a larger ring will not benifit me. what i need to do is to go in, in a taller gear. i read "bryans hill climbing 101" and that has been helpfull. where can i find info about fitting myself better to the bike?
    lately i have just been doing it. with success. so far. however i live on a hill and there is one, that i have made it up, but it is my biggest challenge. it requires major effort on a df but does not stop me. but on the bent i would just rather not. thanks again!
     
  6. blazingpedals

    blazingpedals New Member

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    At a very very low rpm of 60, a very very low gear of 28/34 would still have you going almost 4 mph. I realize that you're probably dropping below that rpm on steep hills (I know I do anyway,) but balance really shouldn't be a problem until you've dropped below 4 mph. You will have to practice your balance to ride well at speeds below that. The trick is to relax and keep your weight balanced on the bike, rather than allow the exertion to make your balance sloppy. It is possible to ride a straight line at 2-2.5 mph. But pedaling hard at sub-60 rpm is bad for your knees and if you're doing it very often you should still consider lower gears.
     
  7. aa9t8

    aa9t8 New Member

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    oh yeah balance!
    i do not know how fast or slow i am going. but i bet i am not going very fast. and i wobble bad i mean real bad. i mean i travel further side to side than i do ahead. i am getting tired just thinking about it. low gear on that bike is so low that on the flats it is like broken. it does not have a mtn bike crankset. but i do not remember the tooth count. i think the big ring on the front is 55
    and by the way balance is my whole living problem too!!!!
    is my wobble because the wb is so short?
     
  8. tom porter

    tom porter New Member

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    After reviewing the specs on this bike I would say it is geared way high for the less than fit rider. The 52/42/30 chainrings are not the right combination to use on such a heavy bike, they would best used on a bike 20 lbs lighter.
    I recommend a 46t max large and 24t small chainring. To climb long or steep hills you will probably need a 20" low, with the stock 31" low I can see why you are spinning slowly and weaving dramatically. IMHO almost all production recumbents are overgeared for a majority of riders. The price of changing the chainrings will be fairly reasonable compared to the problems you will keep having if you don,t change.
     
  9. aa9t8

    aa9t8 New Member

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    thanks tom
    i believe that i am weaving because i am going into the hills so low. low low on that bike is painfully low. i do understand gear inches. my problem on the hills is half 90% mental. if low is too low now how is going lower going to help?
     
  10. aa9t8

    aa9t8 New Member

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    so i got bent today
    i made it up a hill that i could not get up a few years ago on my df bike!
    i hit it in 2 2 and just went, a little bit of weaving, but i made it without puking up a lung or anything. see i think it is half 90% mental
     
  11. BigEZbentman

    BigEZbentman New Member

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    I tend to agree that your fitness and awareness of your machine helps when climbing. Last month I rode with my son (he has a new Trek wedgie) to the bikepath along lake Pontchartrain (which is finally clear of debris from Katrina). I had trouble getting up the road that transcends the levee. :eek: Mind you that I was new to my Easy Sport and frankly did not have a good feel for it. Well, yesterday we tried the same trip again and I had little trouble negotiating the hill. I went into 1 to 1 and made it over with no panting. I just need more training and a little more muscle mass in my legs. I am only 5 months post lumbar laminectomy and that makes things slower. :eek: I'm not going to replace any gears till I am more fit and put down more miles.
     
  12. bkaapcke

    bkaapcke New Member

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    The climbing on my EZ Sport greatly improved when I moved the seat forward enough so that I could press by butt & back into the seatback. Then I could 'push' against it when climbing. WOW, what a difference. bk
     
  13. Wherbob

    Wherbob New Member

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    Climbing is all about gear ratio
     
  14. Hull 697

    Hull 697 New Member

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    When I started out I found a good training route used by several local DF riders.

    At ~20 miles there were a couple hills I had to walk up partially.

    At~80 miles I was getting over those hills, puffing, stop at the top and rest and marvel that I could now balance at 5 to 6 mph.

    At ~400 miles those hills are part of the routine, rarely under 6 mph with much less shortness of breath. I crest them and keep going. There are also long grades on my training route. The difference is dramatic. Now I slow to maybe 10 mph on the worst one, the others are just a nice workout. If I feel strong I work on accelrating the last 1/4 of the grade.

    Your bike has to fit properly! Sometimes 1/4 inch makes a noticable difference.

    Lessons learned: clip in, spin don't mash, learn to use the gears on the approach and the hill, find a good training route and work it, several times per week.

    And, gear ratios. My granny is a 26 tooth on an 11/34 cassette.

    Getting off a pushing is an option, too. My objective is to finish the course without injury. Everyone tells me I need 2,000 miles to build the base muscles and I am looking forward to reviewing my journal when I get there.
     
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