Why do road riders still say that recuments are slow

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by lowracervk2, Nov 2, 2006.

  1. anth

    anth New Member

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    I can see your point, but I have to disagree. Weight is much less important than aerodynamics, but by setting that limit they are disproportionately penalising lighter riders.

    Some of their rules increase the amount that has to be spent on equipment. Not allowing disc brakes for cyclocross increases rim wear, and increases the importance of having a spare bike (or bikes) so that you can swap to something clean. Despite claims about safety that decision was about protecting manufacturers who refuse to innovate.

    The UCI not only makes rules to prevent innovation, but it changes the rules retroactively in case any innovation accidentally slips through, as happened to the one hour records set in the 1990s.

    I've already said that I don't care about racing, so this doesn't directly affect me. However race-proven technology should eventually filter down to us normal cyclists, but that isn't going to happen if the governing body is so terrified of change.

    I think UCI should stand for Unwilling to Change or Improve. If they had been around for a bit longer the current state of the art would be a carbon fiber penny farthing.
     


  2. sideshow_bob

    sideshow_bob New Member

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    That was only one example. You can't use disc or 4 spoke wheels in road racing, ditto aero bars, ditto fairings on the frame and hubs etc. Still I think it's a good thing and I do race (lots). I'd much rather be comparing the engine than who has the biggest wallet. By and large the only real design difference between the first bikes to race the TDF are material and gears. The actual overall front and rear triangle hasn't evolved, and again as someone who respects the tradition and history of cycling I see this as a positive thing.

    I was reading an article about a race in Australia today in a magazine. They profiled the guys bike who came second in a race in the 50's. The things that stuck with me were the basic design of the bike is remarkably similar to todays bikes the main differences were the frame material (steel) and the number of gears (10 in total), the wheels weighed in at 1600g and the entire bike at 9.9kg. The guy rode the 250km race at an average speed of 42km/h. To me it shows the very human requirement in the sport.

    --brett
     
  3. mikesbytes

    mikesbytes New Member

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    I couldn't care s**t whether recuments are slower or faster, what does matter to me is whether I arrive at work or end up swashed. How many times have you heard the phrase "sorry mate didn't see you".
     
  4. lowracervk2

    lowracervk2 New Member

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  5. Bro Deal

    Bro Deal New Member

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    You need to take the chip off your shoulder. If you like recumbents then what does it matter what traditional riders think about it? When you troll a traditional bike forum, you should not be too surprised by the less than favorable response.

    Ride the freakin' bike that you like.
     
  6. lowracervk2

    lowracervk2 New Member

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    I'm not surprised by the less than favorable responses. Thats what I expected. Its boring around here. Same old stuff hashed over and over again whether you come back and browse from 1 month to a year. You guys need some excitement, or is that why ARBR exists.
     
  7. Rockslayer

    Rockslayer New Member

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    haha they are all just opinions. I think it's easy to find an opinion from either side about any topic. Some being more vocal does not speak to for everyone. I am sure if I started a thread saying "road bikes are weak coz they wouldn't last down a dirt trail" I would get slammed. [​IMG] Depends what angle the opinion comes from. A recumbent is a recumbent, a road bike is a road bike etc... Not everyone riding is concerned about the speed between styles of bikes/riding. If they do it's their own problem. Can't compare apples and oranges.
    Ride for enjoyment whether you like a tricycle or a monocycle. [​IMG]
    I agree sometimes it is the same stuff hashed over and over, also a case of people not reading through the old posts and new people drifting in and out. Thats life.
    **But I gotta say recumbents are strange looking beasts!! hehe [​IMG] I am sure they are great for the ones who enjoy them. Do they have a MTB version?
     
  8. lowracervk2

    lowracervk2 New Member

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    Yep yer right........you would get slammed. too funny

    yeah there are recumbent versions of mountain bikes but so far none that can keep up or manuever like a real mountain bike. I've outfitted the trike to do fireroads and tame mountainbike trails, but any kind of hill and I don't have enough weight transfer on the back wheel to make it up anything without slipping. Maybe a real aggresive knobby would help, but I doubt it would help enough.
     
  9. anth

    anth New Member

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    I'm aware that there are many other ways that the UCI are holding cyclists back. I don't think you were intending to provide further proof that we'd be better off without them, but thats the way I read it. I can see the reason for things like banning aero bars in peletons though.

    I think we'll have to agree to disagree. I don't see any extra value in something because it is traditional. Being new has no value either. I do see value in things like performance and reliability.

    This has nothing to do with respect for history or the lack thereof. Looks to me like the history of bikes involves a century of improvements leading up to the safety bicycle, which was usable enough to be seen as a form of transport rather than a piece of sporting equipment. After a bit more time goes by much of the population went back to seeing bikes as a toy, and then the tradition of innovation was abandoned.

    It is as if bikes weren't new anymore so the people who were willing to look at new ways of doing things, and to really think about how they were doing them, were no longer interested. I've only just worked that out, and I'm a bit upset by it.

    Whereas I see this lack of improvement as something that for any other equipment-intensive activity would be seen as evidence that the entire industry is lacking a competent R&D department.

    This probably comes off sounding a lot more negative than I actually feel.
     
  10. mikesbytes

    mikesbytes New Member

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    The UCI rules generally make sense, in that they;
    1. Stop cycling becoming a technology race.
    2. Maintain saftey
    3. Provide a level paying field for the riders
     
  11. jamesdemien

    jamesdemien New Member

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    What about corners?
     
  12. Insight Driver

    Insight Driver New Member

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    Basically a machine like a bicycle is a component of system that includes the rider as the motor. Because of the particular shape and motion abilities of the rider and the power limitations of a person, design constraints are involved. There are many areas of innovation and many areas and classifications of bikes. Obviously one who uses a bike as primary transportation has different needs than a Tour De France first-place contender.

    Let's say, for argument's sake that we constrain our design for this application: road racing in the real world. There are trade offs involved. Obviously light weight is important. It is very difficult to arrange a rider in a recumbent position while keeping weight low; there is just more material you need when you build a recumbent frame. In weight, therefore, the diamond frame wins. In aerodynamics the smaller frontal print wins and that goes to the recumbent. This can be proven in wind-tunnel testing. In fact, when it gets down to it, the reason why time trial bikes have steep seat-tubes is to force the rider into having a flat bike to reduce wind resistance on a diamond framed bike.

    There are other things to consider in a real race. Tight turns, bunched-up riders, steep descents and rough pavement are all considerations a design must take into account. Riders have crashed by hitting the edge of manhole covers, for example. A lower center of gravity makes a bike more stable; that's just plain physics, folks. A recumbent wins for stability.

    A rider of diamond frame has more physical freedom of motion. Because of the limitations of a human rider, being able to shift position and use different muscles is important. A recumbent rider can only spin up a hill. A diamond frame rider can stand up and mash up the hill, using different muscles than when sitting and spinning, so in versatility the diamond frame wins.

    I could go on and on. The simple point is there are different riders and different bikes. Every one has pros and cons. There are riders who fit on a recumbent because the pros, for that particular rider outweigh the cons. The elite racer's pros and cons would favor a road bike of diamond frame, but that is only because of the particular pros and cons for that type of rider and type of bike style required for the activities.

    Not all riders are racers. Not all recumbent riders are old, or slow.
     
  13. anth

    anth New Member

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    The importance of weight is often overestimated. 1lb is supposed to make as much difference in a 40km time trial as a protusion the size of a pencil.

    We have to move our bodies (and the bike of course) from side to side to stay balanced. Being lower down means those movements have to be bigger. I'm pretty sure this is a win for upright bikes at low speed, but I don't know about cornering at high speed. I expect that being able to stand on the pedals and so have a little more independance of movement between the bike and the rider also gives an advantage to the upright.
     
  14. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Well stated!

    I really don't know any serious rider who thinks recumbents are slow on the flats, up a steep climb well that's another story.....

    The whole title of this thread seems flawed IMHO.
     
  15. lowracervk2

    lowracervk2 New Member

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    Very informative and fairly correct. On weight however, my bike weighs 19lbs, but that is because it is all carbon.
    Second, I tend to mash up a lot of hills in higher gears, due to the lighter weight of the bike and don't forget that I have a rigid seat to press against.
    I can develop in excess of 999 watts up a hill if I go all out. Sure, spinning may be easier on the legs, but not necessary if you want to get up the hill quicker. An equal upright contender, watt for watt will still more than likely get to the top of the hill first if it is a long grade. Shorter grades, probably not as seen by the video clips.

    Tight turns aren't much of a problem for lowracers. We raced at the Arlington Crits in Chicago and had the same lap times as the cat 1 racers.

    A lowracer recumbent however is a racing machine and doesn't have too much in common with touring recumbents that most cyclists are used to seeing.
     
  16. blazingpedals

    blazingpedals New Member

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    The thing with balance is, bent riders cannot use their bodies to balance. So for them, moving the body can do nothing good. When you see a wobbly bent rider, it often indicates that the rider has not *unlearned* what used to work on an upright. Bents are balanced solely by steering and that's what makes low speeds tricky for them. Definitely give +1 point to the uprights in the 'low speed handling' dept. Not a problem at high speeds.
     
  17. mikesbytes

    mikesbytes New Member

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    Sorry blazingpedals, this is untrue. Balance is a skill just like any other. There are plenty of riders on racers who can track stand at the lights.
     
  18. blazingpedals

    blazingpedals New Member

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    When I stop at a light, I just put my hand down. Does that count as a trackstand? Otherwise, uprights win hands-down in this category even if you do know someone who manages it on a bent.
     
  19. Blademun

    Blademun New Member

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    I don't have alot to add, but I would like to thank the poster for putting up those links. The one to the offroad recumbent led me to discovering a new good black metal band. (for me, since I am just getting into it, and my friends didn't tell me about this one lol.). Thanks!


    OK..I will stay on topic..uhm, my opion of Recumbents is like this: They are awesome speed machines and are probably the unsung solution to the world Oil crisis. However, they have serious manuverability problems compared to a bike. Hell that film on the offroad recumbents settles that right there. They can't turn tight corners and take up alot more space. The biggest problem (IMO) is that we as humans are used to being in a generally upright posistion when balancing and moving forward. The best recumbents lay you down, throwing off your natural sense of balance. This can be overcome with time of course, but patience is a lost virtue these days. I for one prefer being nimble and agile as opposed to being outright fast. Its like comparing a Street Tuner to a Dragster...Dragsters are great for the strip, but they arn't so hot on city streets. LoL.

    On a side note, I am really serious about Recumbents being a great solution to the oil problem. As another person noted, even mediocre atheletes can make great effect with them. When the oil drys up and the wide open roads are empty, it will be a perfect place for Recumbents. Recumbents can be built with incredible load capacitys and even multiple passengers, something the standard bike designs can't match. You don't just use your car to get from point A to point B. You use it to carry grocerys, supplies and big items you just bought from the store. You use it to carry 3 children to school and 2X4's to your deck. A bicycle can't do ANY of that, except some light grocery runs maybe. A recumbent, with the right design, Could do it All.
     
  20. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    You really put this in the right perspective.
     
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