What is the fastest bike in the shop?

Discussion in 'Recumbent bicycles' started by B. Sanders, Apr 15, 2003.

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  1. B. Sanders

    B. Sanders Guest

    If it's a typical US bike shop, the answer to this question will not be a low racer recumbent.
    Despite the market for ultra-fast, expensive bikes in the US, low racers are nowhere to be found.
    They are essentially non existent in the vast majority of bike shops.

    I'll bet you race cars to rubles that 90%+ of the fast, expensive upright bikes being sold in the US
    will never be ridden in a race that would ban a low racer. We also know that low racers are quite
    comfortable to ride for long distances, and that they generate a great deal of interest (from the

    This whole "Grudge Match Race" idea was simply an exercise: Why are low racers overlooked
    completely, when they are superior machines? I have to believe that there is a large, untapped
    potential market for low racers in the US. Even if 10% of the shops in the US bought exactly 1
    carbon lowracer and hung it on the wall, that would break all sales records by a long stretch. Then,
    when a customer asks a salesperson "which bike is the fastest," the answer would be obvious. They
    would point to the carbon lowracer on the wall, which just screams "exotic race-only."

    Exotic carbon + radical design + expensive + "fastest bike" mystique = sold

    Doesn't "be the first guy in your club to own one of these babies" work for low racers?

    -Barry
     
    Tags:


  2. B. Sanders <[email protected]> wrote:
    : This whole "Grudge Match Race" idea was simply an exercise: Why are low racers overlooked
    : completely, when they are superior machines? I have to believe that there is a large, untapped
    : potential market for low racers in the US. Even if 10% of the shops in the US bought exactly 1
    : carbon lowracer and hung it on the wall, that would break all sales records by a long stretch.
    : Then, when a customer asks a salesperson "which bike is the fastest," the answer would be obvious.
    : They would point to the carbon lowracer on the wall, which just screams "exotic race-only."

    Maybe there's some hurdles. The customers could sue the LBS when they find out they aren't really
    faster, and just lost $3000 :p

    Of course, bents make a great business plan. 2003, sell the lowracer. 2004, sell tail fairing. 2005,
    sell full fairing...

    --
    Risto Varanka | http://www.helsinki.fi/~rvaranka/ varis at no spam please iki fi
     
  3. > If it's a typical US bike shop, the answer to this question will not be a low racer recumbent.
    > Despite the market for ultra-fast, expensive bikes in the US, low racers are nowhere to be found.
    > They are essentially non existent in the vast majority of bike shops.

    I give Chris Stoder at Rapid Transit Cycles some credit. His shop is one of a handful of US shops
    that actually HAVE a lowracer hanging on the wall. A 2003 Baron, to be exact. It's a leap of faith;
    not many people walk in the door looking specifically for a lowracer.

    > I'll bet you race cars to rubles that 90%+ of the fast, expensive upright bikes being sold in the
    > US will never be ridden in a race that would ban a low racer.

    Well, there are a couple of lowracer owners that don't participate in races with their bikes either
    .... *cough* ..... TOM SHERMAN....*cough*

    > This whole "Grudge Match Race" idea was simply an exercise: Why are low racers overlooked
    > completely, when they are superior machines? I have to believe that there is a large, untapped
    > potential market for low racers in the US. Even if 10% of the shops in the US bought exactly 1
    > carbon lowracer and hung it on the wall, that would break all sales records by a long stretch.
    > Then, when a customer asks a salesperson "which bike is the fastest," the answer would be obvious.
    > They would point to the carbon lowracer on the wall, which just screams "exotic race-only."

    A lowracer doesn't need to be made out of carbon to be fast, much less exotic. However, I don't know
    of a single dealer that would have money held up in the uber-expensive M5 Carbon Lowracer sitting on
    the floor, which is BTW the only standard production lowracer available. It is difficult for even a
    specialty 'bent shop to establish European distributor/manufacturer relationships due to logistics,
    import and market restrictions.

    > Exotic carbon + radical design + expensive + "fastest bike" mystique = sold

    Conservatism + expensive + road riding restrictions + steep learning curve + additional
    time/money/effort needed to properly dial in the bike = not sold

    > Doesn't "be the first guy in your club to own one of these babies" work for low racers?

    Most upright club folks I know of would take one look at a lowracer and refer to it as "different,
    but not for me", even if you could smoke your roadie buddies with it. Then you are no longer part of
    "their" pack. Can't socialize with your buddies when you are 10 bike-lengths ahead. Just reciting
    the same "why lowracers aren't found in the US" spiel many others before me have said.

    -"Windy City" Keith
     
  4. Tom Sherman

    Tom Sherman Guest

    Windy City Rider wrote:
    >
    > I give Chris Stoder at Rapid Transit Cycles some credit. His shop is one of a handful of US shops
    > that actually HAVE a lowracer hanging on the wall. A 2003 Baron, to be exact. It's a leap of
    > faith; not many people walk in the door looking specifically for a lowracer....

    Keith,

    Valley Bikes had a Cro-Moly M5 Lowracer on the wall during the winter of 2000-2001. It however
    belonged to a customer who was waiting for the snow to melt before taking delivery. The Bike Rack
    had an orange Sunset hanging from the ceiling at around the same time. Ed Gin probably knows where
    it ended up.

    > Well, there are a couple of lowracer owners that don't participate in races with their bikes
    > either .... *cough* ..... TOM SHERMAN....*cough*....

    I have the perfect excuse - I am too lazy to train properly. The Sunset does let me ride at average
    speeds in the 15 mph range while being significantly overweight and completely out of shape.

    So how do you like the Baron so far?

    Tom Sherman - Fellow ex-"Little Barbie" lowracer owner
     
  5. B. Sanders

    B. Sanders Guest

    "Windy City Rider" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > > If it's a typical US bike shop, the answer to this question will not be
    a
    > > low racer recumbent. Despite the market for ultra-fast, expensive bikes
    in
    > > the US, low racers are nowhere to be found. They are essentially non existent in the vast
    > > majority of bike shops.
    >
    > I give Chris Stoder at Rapid Transit Cycles some credit. His shop is one of a handful of US shops
    > that actually HAVE a lowracer hanging on the wall. A 2003 Baron, to be exact. It's a leap of
    > faith; not many people walk in the door looking specifically for a lowracer.
    >
    > > I'll bet you race cars to rubles that 90%+ of the fast, expensive
    upright
    > > bikes being sold in the US will never be ridden in a race that would ban
    a
    > > low racer.
    >
    > Well, there are a couple of lowracer owners that don't participate in races with their bikes
    > either .... *cough* ..... TOM SHERMAN....*cough*
    >
    > > This whole "Grudge Match Race" idea was simply an exercise: Why are low racers overlooked
    > > completely, when they are superior machines? I have
    to
    > > believe that there is a large, untapped potential market for low racers
    in
    > > the US. Even if 10% of the shops in the US bought exactly 1 carbon
    lowracer
    > > and hung it on the wall, that would break all sales records by a long stretch. Then, when a
    > > customer asks a salesperson "which bike is the fastest," the answer would be obvious. They would
    > > point to the carbon lowracer on the wall, which just screams "exotic race-only."
    >
    > A lowracer doesn't need to be made out of carbon to be fast, much less exotic.

    But if you make it out of carbon, then it will not scare away customers due to excessive mass (a la
    M5 crmo). All I'm saying is that if you want something fast and exotic, get something fast and
    exotic. Carbon low racer is the one.

    > However, I don't know of a single dealer that would have money held up in the uber-expensive M5
    > Carbon Lowracer sitting on the floor, which is BTW the only standard production lowracer
    > available.

    So far. As more builders jump on the carbon bandwagon, I suspect a chicken/egg phenomenon may occur.

    > It is difficult for even a specialty 'bent shop to establish European distributor/manufacturer
    > relationships due to logistics, import and market restrictions.

    Market restrictions? In the US? Do you mean lack of sales, or import tariffs, or ??

    > > Exotic carbon + radical design + expensive + "fastest bike" mystique =
    sold

    > Conservatism + expensive + road riding restrictions + steep learning curve + additional
    > time/money/effort needed to properly dial in the bike = not sold

    Yeah, most guys don't like to fall over much. They find it embarrassing, especially when they just
    pulled a paceline for 30 miles :)

    > > Doesn't "be the first guy in your club to own one of these babies" work
    for
    > > low racers?
    >
    > Most upright club folks I know of would take one look at a lowracer and refer to it as "different,
    > but not for me", even if you could smoke your roadie buddies with it. Then you are no longer part
    > of "their" pack. Can't socialize with your buddies when you are 10 bike-lengths ahead. Just
    > reciting the same "why lowracers aren't found in the US" spiel many others before me have said.

    Your hypothesis seems to fit observed data.

    Barry
     
  6. > But if you make it out of carbon, then it will not scare away customers due to excessive mass (a
    > la M5 crmo). All I'm saying is that if you want something fast and exotic, get something fast and
    > exotic. Carbon low racer is the one.

    As I said Barry, currently there is only 1 manufacturer that produces a carbon lowracer in any
    relative volume. That would be M5 ligfietsen in Holland. What you also aren't aware of is that this
    bike is difficult to adapt to a rider from the outset, unless your body type is within very specific
    proportions. If you are under 5'10" consider this bike off limits. Visit www.jjscozzi.com (Jim
    Scozzafava's extremely comprehensive website), you will understand what Jim had to go through just
    to be somewhat comfortable riding the bike. He had to hand-build his own carbon solutions to
    problems your average LBS wouldn't touch with a 10 foot pole. Jim ended up selling the bike to
    "M5Mike" from the BROL boards. BTW I have seen this very M5 CLR in person at our Chicago 'Bent X-mas
    party, and I could tell several carbon modifications were made to allow the current owner to ride it
    properly. Last I heard, M5Mike was looking for a solution to adjust the seat angle...

    > So far. As more builders jump on the carbon bandwagon, I suspect a chicken/egg phenomenon
    > may occur.

    Sure, that could be entirely possible, but practical, not to mention profitable? Manufacturers
    produce bikes to make profit. The US lowracer market is an extremely small slice of the overall high
    performance bike market, which is itself a small segment of the US consumer bike market. The only
    other outfits building quality carbon lowracers are elite european team/fabricator conglomerates
    like Birkenstock, Merlin, Razz Fazz and as of late Velokraft. Out of those 4, Velokraft is possibly
    the most accessible to a US customer. M5 has the infrastructure to be able to pull of volume
    production of a carbonbike. These other companies have several obstacles to overcome. And so does
    the high-end US cycle consumer.

    Again Barry, what's the big deal with Carbon? Sure it's the best material, but I do just fine on
    my aluminum frame Baron, and I can keep up with a guy on a tailboxed Razz-Fazz without
    difficulty. Carbon is very expensive, so why irritate the heavy pricetag of a lowracer to begin
    with? I think a metal frame lowracer would be an easier sale in the begining than a carbon one.
    The heavy price alone would scare more folks off than the (relatively speaking) heavy weight of
    the aluminum frame bike.

    > Market restrictions? In the US? Do you mean lack of sales, or import tariffs, or ??

    I've spoken with one 'bent/upright bike shop owner (NOT Chris at RTC) that will remain annonymous,
    and that person has expressed some difficulty dealing with a certain Dutch company that will remain
    annonymous. Duty fee expense is one factor. Uncertain lead times on fufillment of an order is
    another. Low profit margin versus high initial cost to dealer is yet another. To put it into
    perspective, one knowledgeable person informed me that the cost of a particular Swiss lowracer is
    ~$4000. BUT, the duty fee/excise tax is FIFTY PECENT (50%) of the cost of the product! That makes it
    over $6000.00
    !!! For that money, a person could just order the bike from the US,
    fly to Switzerland and pick it up at the manufacturer's facility. BUT, you still get hit with
    European VAT tax before you leave the country. OK if manage to claim over six figures of income a
    year, that price isn't expensive. But I see those folks buying more H2's and Mercedes' than bikes
    ATM. There are exceptions, and I'm sure those folks can speak for themselves.

    -"Windy City" Keith
     
  7. "Windy City Rider" skrev
    > The only other outfits building quality carbon lowracers are elite european team/fabricator
    > conglomerates like Birkenstock, Merlin, Razz Fazz and as of late Velokraft. Out of those 4,
    > Velokraft is possibly the most accessible to a US customer.

    I'm sure Kamil (Velokraft) will be happy to be called a conglomerate. :)

    > BUT, you still get hit with European VAT tax before you leave the country.

    Not you american (or should I say non-EU) types. Theres toll when you bring it into the US and might
    be US VAT too(?) but not the european VAT. Transport costs too.

    M.
     
  8. > I'm sure Kamil (Velokraft) will be happy to be called a conglomerate. :)

    Actually I was speaking about the German/Swiss bike manufacturers, not so much Kamil. He does some
    quality work, which in appearance rivals DF carbonbike finish. Kamil's bikes look like they've been
    built by a company of men, not just one man. The value of a VK bike is umatched even by more common
    DF standards.

    > Not you american (or should I say non-EU) types. Theres toll when you bring it into the US and
    > might be US VAT too(?) but not the european VAT. Transport costs too.
    >
    > M.

    I lived in Europe for nearly 4 years and had to pay VAT whenever I purchased from a retail store. I
    know as an American you can file with the US VAT office, but that is a pain, especially when the VAT
    office takes 30 days to refund your money. Buying direct from manufacturer may be different OTOH. No
    toll IMPLIED on a US citizen flying a bike over IF they do not declare the bike purchased in the EU
    during customs. I would know nothing about that based on personal experience ;)

    -"Windy City" Keith
     
  9. Tom Sherman

    Tom Sherman Guest

    Windy City Rider wrote:
    >
    > > I'm sure Kamil (Velokraft) will be happy to be called a conglomerate. :)
    >
    > Actually I was speaking about the German/Swiss bike manufacturers, not so much Kamil. He does some
    > quality work, which in appearance rivals DF carbonbike finish. Kamil's bikes look like they've
    > been built by a company of men, not just one man. The value of a VK bike is umatched even by more
    > common DF standards....

    The Velokraft lowracers are just too heavy - see the following picture for proof. <
    ftp://www.ihpva.org/incoming/tom_velocraft2.jpg >

    Tom Sherman - Various HPV's Quad Cities USA (Illinois side)
     
  10. Derek

    Derek Guest

    The speed difference between a lowracer and a quality upright is really not so much, even on the
    flats. Add to that the lower visibility /safety factors and relative difficulty climbing hills
    together with the inability to paceline with your riding buddies and you can see why lowracer's are
    not a commercial success. They ARE fun to ride though.

    Cheers, Derek
     
  11. "Windy City Rider" skrev

    > I lived in Europe for nearly 4 years and had to pay VAT whenever I purchased from a retail store.
    > I know as an American you can file with the US VAT office, but that is a pain, especially when the
    > VAT office takes 30 days to refund your money. Buying direct from manufacturer may be different
    > OTOH. No toll IMPLIED on a US citizen flying a bike over IF they do not declare the bike purchased
    > in the EU during customs. I would know nothing about that based on personal experience ;)

    If you live here you get to pay VAT. If you order something per mail from the US or even go here and
    buy it as a tourist you won't be charged VAT AFAIK. You see "Taxfree for tourists"-signs on shops
    here and there. They're talking about the VAT. Poland isn't in the EU yet btw. so maybe there are
    other rules.

    No toll on EU citizens coming from Poland with a bike either if they keep their mouthes shut. I
    don't know this from personal experience either. ;-)

    M.
     
  12. "Tom Sherman" skrev

    > The Velokraft lowracers are just too heavy - see the following picture for proof. <
    > ftp://www.ihpva.org/incoming/tom_velocraft2.jpg >

    Ahem. Should you be using the words "too heavy" in conjunction with that photo? ;o)

    M.

    P.S. Notice I didn't mention the aerobelly... well not until now anyway.

    P.P. Not visiting Denmark any time soon I hope. ;-)
     
  13. > The speed difference between a lowracer and a quality upright is really not so much, even on the
    > flats. Add to that the lower visibility /safety factors and relative difficulty climbing hills
    > together with the inability to paceline with your riding buddies and you can see why lowracer's
    > are not a commercial success. They ARE fun to ride though.
    >
    > Cheers, Derek

    Derek you are entitled to your opinoins. But no offense, you've got the "speed difference" part
    wrong. If you doubt me, check my results on www.wisil.recumbents.com next weekend for the 2003 Major
    Taylor Indiannapolis HPRA race. If you still doubt me, bring whatever "quality" upright you can get
    your hands on to Chicago, at your convenience, and I will enthusiastically school you in lowracer
    "speed differences". All of this will take place on a rolling-to-hilly course BTW, so your "quality
    upright" will have the alleged advantage.

    Last weekend, Ed Gin, Gary Toy, Larry Zegner and myself held a lowracer paceline for some 50 miles
    before we individually broke off to slow down and socialize with the women, fast roadies and one
    strong MTB guy beating up on the roadies as well. So in effect, yes we can maintain pacelines ;-).

    All fun and schooling aside, I see your point. From a roadie's uneducated perspective, a lowracer is
    a stretch at best. It will take a good deal of time for the plattform to gain any acceptance, if
    there is any to be gained at all. No big deal to me, I'll ride on.

    -"Windy City" Keith
     
  14. Harryo

    Harryo Guest

    [email protected] (Windy City Rider) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    >
    > Again Barry, what's the big deal with Carbon? Sure it's the best material, but I do just fine on
    > my aluminum frame Baron, and I can keep up with a guy on a tailboxed Razz-Fazz without difficulty.

    I believe the exotic appeal of a carbon lowracer is part of an overall obsession of reducing a
    bike's weight, and therefore increasing overall speed, which some seem to really dwell upon. I have
    followed Barry's threads about 'fastest bike' and 'recumbent vs upright speed' and personally find
    it all rather silly and totally unimportant.

    I ride an Optima Baron for most of my road riding. I find it the perfect bike for me, here on the
    rolling, windy plains of Central Illinois. This is where most of my riding occurs but I do take the
    Baron on vacations and have ridden it in several different types of terrain throughout the US,
    including the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Baron, by design, is a fast bike and I am capable of riding
    it fast on rides of some distance. Yes, it is fastest on flat to gently rolling terrain and yes, a
    strong upright rider will beat me up a long sustained grade, but I have yet to be left behind by any
    but the strongest upright riders, on any terrain less than full blown mountains. On the invitational
    rides here, I can pull away from all upright riders, except for a very few who are serious racers,
    and on a good day, I can run with most of them, too.

    Does this mean that a recumbent lowracer is faster than a DF race bike? Nope! I also have a 19 lb df
    bike and I can ride it as fast as the Baron, if wind is not a factor. Does this mean that if my
    Baron was lighter, say the 19 lbs that mt DF is, I would be even faster? Perhaps, but I really don't
    care. I admit that I love to ride fast but I am not obsessed with doing so just for the sake of
    being faster than most others. Those who know me, understand that my obsession is riding fast to
    maintain a high fitness level, something I did not have several years ago when I was grossly obese
    and on my way to a premature death from obesity related health problems. Yes, I could make
    modifications to my stock Baron to make it lighter. I could add a tailbox to make it more aero. This
    might make it faster but I would have to ride at a faster to realize the same health benefits but
    what is the point? I have a couple of good friends I ride with, one on an upright and one on a
    recumbent. We ride at pretty much the same pace and push each other a bit. I have no wish to push
    them even harder, just for some bragging rights about being the fastest.

    My overall point is whatever bike one rides, bent, or upright, is a matter of personal choice. The
    same could be said for the different bent designs. I do not believe lowracer sales will ever be a
    large segment of the recumbent industry because of several factors that have been covered here
    before. I also think the extremes, and expense, some go to to shave a bit of weight from a bike is a
    bit foolish. Let's face it, most riders, either bent or upright, do not care about having the so
    called "fastest" bike. I think pushing high end, speed oriented bents, is the same as the major
    upright manufacturers pushing their high end speed oriented bikes. Some people have got to have have
    them because they are the latest and greatest. Some people have

    because THEY HAVE JUST GOT TO HAVE THEM! However, most are not capable of riding them to their
    utmost potential, and if they are cabable of doing so, they are just as capable of riding almost as
    fast on lesser bikes. To use Lance's much over used phrase, "It is not about the bike!"

    In the end, it is really about personal goals and motivation. Ride what makes you happy, at whatever
    speed makes you happy and "Don't worry! Be happy!"

    Harry Jiles
     
  15. Windy City Rider wrote:
    > Derek you are entitled to your opinoins. But no offense, you've got the "speed difference" part
    > wrong. If you doubt me, check my results on www.wisil.recumbents.com next weekend for the 2003
    > Major Taylor Indiannapolis HPRA race. If you still doubt me, bring whatever "quality" upright you
    > can get your hands on to Chicago, at your convenience, and I will enthusiastically school you in
    > lowracer "speed differences". All of this will take place on a rolling-to-hilly course BTW, so
    > your "quality upright" will have the alleged advantage.

    I fully agree! I ride regularly with a couple of colleagues a 20 M round at lunchtime. If I ride my
    Quality Upright (it is realy fast!) I compete with some, sometimes I win, sometimes I lose. If I
    ride my Challenge Hurricane, I allways win. The 10 kg extra weight helps them to stay with me at
    climbs (they won't get away though!). And on any other stretch I outrun them completely.

    Kees, faster on the hurricane, van Malssen
     
  16. B. Sanders

    B. Sanders Guest

    "Windy City Rider" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > > The speed difference between a lowracer and a quality upright is really
    not
    > > so much, even on the flats. Add to that the lower visibility /safety factors and relative
    > > difficulty climbing hills together with the
    inability
    > > to paceline with your riding buddies and you can see why lowracer's are
    not
    > > a commercial success. They ARE fun to ride though.
    > >
    > > Cheers, Derek
    >
    > Derek you are entitled to your opinoins. But no offense, you've got the "speed difference" part
    > wrong. If you doubt me, check my results on www.wisil.recumbents.com next weekend for the 2003
    > Major Taylor Indiannapolis HPRA race. If you still doubt me, bring whatever "quality" upright you
    > can get your hands on to Chicago, at your convenience, and I will enthusiastically school you in
    > lowracer "speed differences". All of this will take place on a rolling-to-hilly course BTW, so
    > your "quality upright" will have the alleged advantage.

    THAT is what I'm talkin' about! Grudge match time!

    -Barry
     
  17. Derek

    Derek Guest

    "Windy City Rider" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > > The speed difference between a lowracer and a quality upright is really
    not
    > > so much, even on the flats. Add to that the lower visibility /safety factors and relative
    > > difficulty climbing hills together with the
    inability
    > > to paceline with your riding buddies and you can see why lowracer's are
    not
    > > a commercial success. They ARE fun to ride though.
    > >
    > > Cheers, Derek
    >
    > Derek you are entitled to your opinoins. But no offense, you've got the "speed difference" part
    > wrong. If you doubt me, check my results on www.wisil.recumbents.com next weekend for the 2003
    > Major Taylor Indiannapolis HPRA race. If you still doubt me, bring whatever "quality" upright you
    > can get your hands on to Chicago, at your convenience, and I will enthusiastically school you in
    > lowracer "speed differences". All of this will take place on a rolling-to-hilly course BTW, so
    > your "quality upright" will have the alleged advantage.
    >
    > Last weekend, Ed Gin, Gary Toy, Larry Zegner and myself held a lowracer paceline for some 50 miles
    > before we individually broke off to slow down and socialize with the women, fast roadies and one
    > strong MTB guy beating up on the roadies as well. So in effect, yes we can maintain pacelines ;-).
    >
    > All fun and schooling aside, I see your point. From a roadie's uneducated perspective, a lowracer
    > is a stretch at best. It will take a good deal of time for the plattform to gain any acceptance,
    > if there is any to be gained at all. No big deal to me, I'll ride on.
    >
    > -"Windy City" Keith
     
  18. Derek

    Derek Guest

    Keith,

    I know what I am talking about. I ride an Optima Baron Lowracer part of the time. It is not much
    faster on the flats than my carbon C4 Joker upright. Perhaps 1-1.5 mph at paceline speed. It is
    significantly slower on hills, and an overall a slower bike on the kind of rides I do, which are
    hilly northern California circuits.

    While I have pacelined with other bent riders occasionally, it seldom works out as well as with an
    upright paceline. I am not a super fast rider, so maybe at sustained speeds over 30 mph the lowracer
    would have a significant edge due to low wind resistence. So some of the fo fast "big dogs" you
    mention are probably better off on a lowracer for flatland rides. However, for the average rider
    hoping to get a huge speed advantage over an upright from riding a lowracer, they will be invariably
    disappointed after the "new bike" phase wears off.

    Cheers, Derek

    (major snippage of Keith's post)

    > All fun and schooling aside, I see your point. From a roadie's uneducated perspective, a lowracer
    > is a stretch at best. It will take a good deal of time for the plattform to gain any acceptance,
    > if there is any to be gained at all.

    (unsnip)
     
  19. Tom Sherman

    Tom Sherman Guest

    derek wrote:
    >
    > Keith,
    >
    > I know what I am talking about. I ride an Optima Baron Lowracer part of the time. It is not much
    > faster on the flats than my carbon C4 Joker upright. Perhaps 1-1.5 mph at paceline speed....

    This does not sound like much, but a 1 to 1 1/2 mph average speed gain would be a huge gain in
    group riding.

    Anyone, who does not believe this, try the following. Ride a loop of 20+ miles at your comfortable
    "fast" [1] pace. Now try increasing your average speed on the loop by 1 1/2 mph.

    [1] Not going anaerobic at any part of the ride.

    Tom Sherman - Various HPV's Quad Cities USA (Illinois side)
     
  20. Tom Blum

    Tom Blum Guest

    Derek says lowracer not much faster than C4 Joker.

    This mirrors my experience also.

    Bob Bryant, RCN, says it best in the Bacchetta issue. http://www.recumbentcyclistnews.com/ to
    paraphrase: "Uprights are better at going slow". He than goes into the math of it. The time spent
    slaving up the hill is not made up by the speed tearing down the other side. Certainly, in Northern
    Ca, the hills are tremendous. Remember, mountain Bikes were invented in Marin county (sp??) Could it
    be they have mountains there???

    Obviously, stronger riders have less penalty going up, to the point that someone on a unicycle,
    dragging a bowling ball might be faster than Derek on his Joker Carbon.

    With all else equal, I can't argue with Derek's statement.

    But bents ARE fun for the comfort and shock value they have.

    AND, try to hang a tailbox on an upright. Coming soon: TEBCO Tailbox V1.0.

    --
    Miles of Smiles,

    Tom Blum Winter Haven, Florida (remove "nospam" to reply) Homebuilts: SWB Tour Easy Clone Speed
    Machine Clone

    www.gate.net/~teblum
     
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