Under or over seat steering?

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Paul, Mar 12, 2004.

  1. Paul

    Paul Guest

    Ok, so I've been and had a play, and I want one. The bike in
    question is the new machine from HPvelotecnic, the
    grasshopper. It's the business :D Now I started this search
    with firm views that recumbents should have USS, but the
    demo bike had above seat steering. I still think the USS
    looks better, but what are the pros and cons of each
    steering type?

    thans for your help.
    --
    .paul

    If at first you don't succeed... Skydiving is probably not
    the sport for you.
     
    Tags:


  2. Danny Colyer

    Danny Colyer Guest

    paul wrote:
    > Ok, so I've been and had a play, and I want one. The bike
    > in question is the new machine from HPvelotecnic, the
    > grasshopper. It's the business :D Now I started this
    > search with firm views that recumbents should have USS,
    > but the demo bike had above seat steering. I still think
    > the USS looks better, but what are the pros and cons of
    > each steering type?

    Probably the main reason I went for USS is that it
    looks cool :)

    USS is more comfortable IMHO. It also has the advantage that
    you can leap off of the bike as you stop, which doesn't work
    well with OSS.

    OSS has aerodynamic advantages, as your arms are in the
    wind shadow of your body. With USS, your arms are out at
    the side with their own wind shadow. But I believe the
    Grasshopper, like the Street Machine, is built more for
    comfort than for speed.

    Did you try any other bikes with USS?

    --
    Danny Colyer (the UK company has been laughed out of my reply address)
    http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/danny/
    Why I like OE6 - http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/danny/misc/oe6.html
    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." - Thomas Paine
     
  3. Bentbiker

    Bentbiker Guest

    I would advise, if the bike comes both USS/OSS, and
    especially if you aren't sure, get the USS. Reason: USS is
    usually a more expensive set up, and you can then try the
    OSS latter.

    Danny Colyer wrote:
    > paul wrote:
    >
    >>Ok, so I've been and had a play, and I want one. The bike
    >>in question is the new machine from HPvelotecnic, the
    >>grasshopper. It's the business :D Now I started this
    >>search with firm views that recumbents should have USS,
    >>but the demo bike had above seat steering. I still think
    >>the USS looks better, but what are the pros and cons of
    >>each steering type?
    >
    >
    > Probably the main reason I went for USS is that it looks
    > cool :)
    >
    > USS is more comfortable IMHO. It also has the advantage
    > that you can leap off of the bike as you stop, which
    > doesn't work well with OSS.
    >
    > OSS has aerodynamic advantages, as your arms are in the
    > wind shadow of your body. With USS, your arms are out at
    > the side with their own wind shadow. But I believe the
    > Grasshopper, like the Street Machine, is built more for
    > comfort than for speed.
    >
    > Did you try any other bikes with USS?
    >
    > --
    > Danny Colyer (the UK company has been laughed out of my
    > reply address) http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/danny/
    > Why I like OE6 -
    > http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/danny/misc/oe6.html "He
    > who dares not offend cannot be honest." - Thomas Paine
     
  4. Paul

    Paul Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    [email protected] says...
    > Did you try any other bikes with USS?
    >
    >
    Not yet, I'm still at the 'wow, look at that' stage. I am
    trying to be rational. honest
    --
    .paul

    If at first you don't succeed... Skydiving is probably not
    the sport for you.
     
  5. Frobnitz

    Frobnitz Guest

    "Danny Colyer" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > paul wrote:
    >. I still
    > > think the USS looks better, but what are the pros and
    > > cons of each steering type?
    >
    > Probably the main reason I went for USS is that it looks
    > cool :)

    Guilty as charged, m'lud...

    > USS is more comfortable IMHO. It also has the advantage
    > that you can leap off of the bike as you stop, which
    > doesn't work well with OSS.

    Do you go for the hammer on the front anchor, wait as the
    front of the bike dips and recoils, and bounce out of the
    seat as the rear shock rebounds?

    Or have I just got my suspension set too boingy? (Or being
    somewhat childish - I don't think I've had this much fun
    with a toy since I was six.)

    Slightly more seriously, I've found USS incredibly relaxing,
    occasionally twitchy, but I'm putting that down to the
    learning curve. However, with USS, your turning circle is
    somewhat large because your body gets in the way (your foot
    can intersect the front wheel too). On my commute I have to
    negotiate a hairpin curve on a grade separated crossing - on
    the MTB it was a no brainer, on the 'bent with USS I have to
    be careful. Other than that, aero issues aside, I can't
    think of a problem with USS.

    E
     
  6. Paul

    Paul Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    [email protected] says...
    > I would advise, if the bike comes both USS/OSS, and
    > especially if you aren't sure, get the USS. Reason: USS is
    > usually a more expensive set up, and you can then try the
    > OSS latter.
    >
    >
    Now that is thinking I can relate to :)
    --
    .paul

    If at first you don't succeed... Skydiving is probably not
    the sport for you.
     
  7. Bentbiker

    Bentbiker Guest

    after market OSS set ups are really cheap Paul, and
    aftermarket USS are really difficult. I'm assuming this is a
    indirect linkage USS? if so, that is all the most money.

    paul wrote:

    > In article <[email protected]>,
    > [email protected] says...
    >
    >>I would advise, if the bike comes both USS/OSS, and
    >>especially if you aren't sure, get the USS. Reason: USS is
    >>usually a more expensive set up, and you can then try the
    >>OSS latter.
    >>
    >>
    >
    > Now that is thinking I can relate to :)
     
  8. Paul

    Paul Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    [email protected] says...

    > paul wrote:
    >
    > > In article <[email protected]>,
    > > [email protected] says...
    > >
    > >>I would advise, if the bike comes both USS/OSS, and
    > >>especially if you aren't sure, get the USS. Reason: USS
    > >>is usually a more expensive set up, and you can then try
    > >>the OSS latter.
    > >>
    > >>
    > >
    > > Now that is thinking I can relate to :)
    >
    > after market OSS set ups are really cheap Paul, and
    > aftermarket USS are really difficult. I'm assuming this is
    > a indirect linkage USS? if so, that is all the most money.
    >
    Yup, indirect USS. Seems this is a bit of a no brainer if
    you think you want USS but aren't sure.

    anyone for the defence of OSS?
    --
    .paul

    If at first you don't succeed... Skydiving is probably not
    the sport for you.
     
  9. Danny Colyer

    Danny Colyer Guest

    Frobnitz wrote:
    > Do you go for the hammer on the front anchor, wait as the
    > front of the bike dips and recoils, and bounce out of the
    > seat as the rear shock rebounds?

    Yup :)

    > However, with USS, your turning circle is somewhat large
    > because your body gets in the way (your foot can intersect
    > the front wheel too). On my commute I have to negotiate a
    > hairpin curve on a grade separated crossing - on the MTB
    > it was a no brainer, on the 'bent with USS I have to be
    > careful.

    How long have you been riding?

    On my cyclepath commute I have to take a 90 degree left,
    pass through a gate just a little over 3' wide, cross a
    railway, go through another gate and start my 90 degree
    right turn before I am completely through. It took a few
    months to get the hang of doing it without dismounting, but
    I find it easy now (it helps that I've done it well over
    1000 times). Sitting up helps, and of course I have to make
    sure my feet are positioned so that they don't intersect
    with the wheel.

    (You can see the gates in question at url:http://www.speedy-
    5.freeserve.co.uk/danny/cycling/commute/vircom.html , just
    after the bollards.)

    --
    Danny Colyer (the UK company has been laughed out of my reply address)
    http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/danny/
    Why I like OE6 - http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/danny/misc/oe6.html
    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." - Thomas Paine
     
  10. Harry Spatz

    Harry Spatz Guest

    I think you should go with what you are more comfortable with, but here are
    some disadvantages for USS:

    1. It is heavier and more complicated.
    2. It is less aerodynamic. Arms at your side block the air
    more than if in front of you.
    3. It makes the bike wider so that it might be harder to
    maneuver through narrow spaces. Also, will take up more
    width on a roof rack on your car.
    4. It is harder to walk the bike because you have to lean
    way over to hold the handlebars to steer the bike.

    By "looks better" do you mean aesthetically pleasing? My
    priority would be comfort and convenience, not aesthetics.
    Your priorities may be different. Some people think that USS
    is more comfortable, some don't. Some feel that USS is a
    more natural position. Most agree that you lose some
    performance with USS, but then there is the comfort factor
    which is quite individual. Try both and then decide. Keep in
    mind that OSS comes in different flavors also. In one type
    your arms are directly in front of you. Some call this the
    "praying hamster" position. Then there is the type where
    your legs move between your arms which are outstretched, the
    "tweener" postion. These 2 positions feel quite different.
    Try them both.

    "paul" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Ok, so I've been and had a play, and I want one. The bike
    > in question is the new machine from HPvelotecnic, the
    > grasshopper. It's the business :D Now I started this
    > search with firm views that recumbents should have USS,
    > but the demo bike had above seat steering. I still think
    > the USS looks better, but what are the pros and cons of
    > each steering type?
    >
    > thans for your help.
    > --
    > .paul
    >
    > If at first you don't succeed... Skydiving is probably not
    > the sport for you.
     
  11. Danny Colyer

    Danny Colyer Guest

    Harry Spatz wrote:
    > here are some disadvantages for USS:
    <snip>
    > 3. It makes the bike wider so that it might be harder to
    > maneuver through narrow spaces. Also, will take up
    > more width on a roof rack on your car.

    I forgot to mention this one. I imagine filtering would
    be easier with OSS than with USS, though after commuting
    with USS for 3 years I don't have much of a problem
    filtering any more.

    > 4. It is harder to walk the bike because you have to lean
    > way over to hold the handlebars to steer the bike.

    That depends very much on the bike and particularly the
    height of the seat. IME it is easier to push a Street
    Machine (USS) by the back of the seat than to push a Speed
    Machine (OSS) by the handlebar.

    And I've never pushed a bike where it has been necessary to
    hold the handlebar in order to steer. In fact I've always
    found it easier to hold onto the seat and steer the bike by
    leaning it.

    --
    Danny Colyer (the UK company has been laughed out of my reply address)
    http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/danny/
    Why I like OE6 - http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/danny/misc/oe6.html
    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." - Thomas Paine
     
  12. Frobnitz

    Frobnitz Guest

    "Danny Colyer" <[email protected]> wrote in
    message news:[email protected]... On my
    commute I have to negotiate a hairpin curve on a
    > > grade separated crossing - on the MTB it was a no
    > > brainer, on the 'bent with USS I have to be careful.
    >
    > How long have you been riding?

    Um, 4 weeks, never on a 'bent before?

    E
     
  13. Garryb59

    Garryb59 Guest

    On Fri, 12 Mar 2004 23:29:15 -0000, "Danny Colyer"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Harry Spatz wrote:
    >> here are some disadvantages for USS:
    ><snip>
    >> 3. It makes the bike wider so that it might be harder to
    >> maneuver through narrow spaces. Also, will take up
    >> more width on a roof rack on your car.
    >
    >I forgot to mention this one. I imagine filtering would be
    >easier with OSS than with USS, though after commuting with
    >USS for 3 years I don't have much of a problem filtering
    >any more.
    >
    >> 4. It is harder to walk the bike because you have to
    >> lean way over to hold the handlebars to steer the
    >> bike.
    >
    >That depends very much on the bike and particularly the
    >height of the seat. IME it is easier to push a Street
    >Machine (USS) by the back of the seat than to push a Speed
    >Machine (OSS) by the handlebar.

    I had a go on a StreetMachine the other week for an hour
    or so...wow, what a nice bike that is, felt good as soon
    as I tried it.

    The only thing I had a bit of trouble with to begin with was
    the USS, not the position [which I really liked] but the
    seeming 'small' steering curve. I was getting into trouble
    with the handlebars knocking against the seat and knew
    immediately I would not feel comfortable with this
    arrangement. There's always a trade-off with everything I
    guess. But it got me thinking [something I've been runing
    over for some time] as to why there are not alternatives to
    the USS design - specifically in the style of 'lever
    action', like a fork lift truck/crane kind of thing. I'm not
    sure what handling would be like, but it would sure resolve
    this turning curve problem that seems to crop up with USS
    sometimes. In addition, you could also have the levers a
    little closer to your body, if you so desired, making you
    slightly more streamlined.

    Does anybody know of a bike with this kind of steering, or a
    home builder who uses it?

    I'm in the process of attenmpting a homebuild [have been
    for some time
    - it keeps changing...can't seem to start the blasted
    thing!], and I've just come up with a idea for this type
    of steering, using some wheel axles brazed into a small
    steel tube swivelling around a couple of wheel cones
    seated in some old brass plumbing nuts!

    If I ever actually do it, I'll report back :)

    cheers Garryb

    >And I've never pushed a bike where it has been necessary to
    >hold the handlebar in order to steer. In fact I've always
    >found it easier to hold onto the seat and steer the bike by
    >leaning it.
     
  14. Victor Kan

    Victor Kan Guest

    > Does anybody know of a bike with this kind of steering, or
    > a home builder who uses it?

    There are certainly great varieties in USS steering with
    TRIKES, including back & forth (Penninger), side to side
    (MR, Hotmover, Catrike) as well as the usual rotating
    steerers (Greenspeed, Trice). There are also the in-between
    joysticks (Windcheetah and Hellbent) that while are
    technially OSS, have the relaxation of USS.

    On USS bikes though, the main varieties are less varied,
    exemplified by:

    - HPVelotechnik (and Actionbent and others), with direct
    steering with a bit of tiller with vertical bar end
    style controls

    - Vision with direct steering with a huge amount of
    tiller with horizontally oriented controls along the
    length of the bike.

    - Haluzak, Longbikes, Linear, Reynolds with indirect
    steering using rotation, with little or no tiller

    I think tiller usually increases the problem you experienced
    with HPVelo bike, so you might want to try a bike with
    indirect steering.

    The Linear in particular largely avoids the seat
    interference problem by using a "Whatton bar", basically a
    flat bar rather than "bull horns".

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

    Tom Sherman Guest

    paul wrote:

    > ...anyone for the defence of OSS?

    <http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-
    google.com&rnum=2&prev=/groups%3Fhl%3Den%26lr%3D%26ie%3DISO-
    8859-
    1%26safe%3Doff%26c2coff%3D1%26q%3Dfast%2Bfreddy%2Boss%2Buss-
    %26btnG%3DGoogle%2BSearch%26meta%3Dgroup%253Dalt.rec.bicycl-
    es.recumbent>.
     
  16. Tom Sherman

    Tom Sherman Guest

    Frobnitz wrote:

    > ... Other than that, aero issues aside, I can't think of a
    > problem with USS.

    I used to own an USS Reynolds Wishbone RT and by far the
    most negative aspect of the USS was that it did not offer
    any mounting location for decent mirror placement. OSS T-
    bars (such as those found on many RANS bikes) are close to
    ideal for mirror mounting.

    Tom Sherman - Quad Cities (Illinois Side)
     
  17. Tom Sherman

    Tom Sherman Guest

    garryb59 wrote:

    > ... But it got me thinking [something I've been runing
    > over for some time] as to why there are not alternatives
    > to the USS design - specifically in the style of 'lever
    > action', like a fork lift truck/crane kind of thing. I'm
    > not sure what handling would be like, but it would sure
    > resolve this turning curve problem that seems to crop up
    > with USS sometimes. In addition, you could also have the
    > levers a little closer to your body, if you so desired,
    > making you slightly more streamlined.
    >
    > Does anybody know of a bike with this kind of steering, or
    > a home builder who uses it?...

    The long out of production Thebis trike [1] has this type of
    steering. The handling is odd, but certainly much of the
    oddness is due to other factors.

    [1] <http://home.mindspring.com/~kb7mxu/images/thebis.jpg>.

    Tom Sherman - Quad Cities (Illinois Side)
     
  18. Tom Sherman

    Tom Sherman Guest

    Victor Kan wrote:

    > ... The Linear in particular largely avoids the seat
    > interference problem by using a "Whatton bar", basically a
    > flat bar rather than "bull horns".

    Whatton bar steering is one of the most unnatural steering
    systems ever devised, in my opinion.

    Tom Sherman - Quad Cities (Illinois Side)
     
  19. Victor Kan

    Victor Kan Guest

    Tom Sherman wrote:

    > Victor Kan wrote:
    >
    >> ... The Linear in particular largely avoids the seat
    >> interference problem by using a "Whatton bar", basically
    >> a flat bar rather than "bull horns".
    >
    >
    > Whatton bar steering is one of the most unnatural steering
    > systems ever devised, in my opinion.

    After doing a google search on whatton bars, it seems I
    misused the term since it seems to cover USS steering in
    general, regardless of the shape of the bar.

    --
    I do not accept unsolicted commercial e-mail. Remove NO_UCE
    for legitimate replies.
     
  20. Whingin' Pom

    Whingin' Pom Guest

    On Fri, 12 Mar 2004 19:34:44 +0000 (UTC), paul
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Ok, so I've been and had a play, and I want one. The bike
    >in question is the new machine from HPvelotecnic, the
    >grasshopper. It's the business :D Now I started this search
    >with firm views that recumbents should have USS, but the
    >demo bike had above seat steering. I still think the USS
    >looks better, but what are the pros and cons of each
    >steering type?

    USS. Because it not only looks cooler, it IS cooler.
    Probably cause it's wider and less aero than OSS but the
    pose factor is worth it. :) Besides, if you hate it, you
    can always go OSS later. And USS is comfy.

    Having successfully put together the Rolls Canardly (Optima
    USS) from the box of bits that finally arrived from Blighty
    I took it out for a gentle spin out to Lanarch Castle for
    tea, cakes and Scottish-style lunacy. (About a 50 kilometre
    round trip) It has been a lovely day today. A nice little
    trundle along the coast road, much bird life in evidence,
    the speed limit is an acceptable 40kmh with cars giving me
    plenty of room when they do turn up which is not that often.
    The sunshine dappling through the leaves on the trees, the
    birds singing and the sea gently lapping against the shore.
    Then a complete sod of a hill up to the castle for cakes,
    tea and watching a party of Usanian grockles be given the
    full "Hail the Haggis!" spiel. Most amusing and caused many
    utterances of "Hamish!", "Dougal!" and "You'll have had your
    tea?" from wife and I.

    Homeward then, and through dramatic (read f*'in steep!)
    rolling hills and a delightful 3k long descent. Cue
    dambusters/ride of the valkyries impressions. :)

    Finally a stretch along the beach road to the calls of
    "Cool bike!" from surfer-types, boy-racers(!) and
    attractive young women.

    This has bugger all to do with your OSS/USS question,
    though.

    I'd say go USS cause chicks dig it. :)

    --
    Matt K Dunedin, NZ
     
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