Why do they hang on to Diamond Frame road bikes



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On Sun, 19 Oct 2003 04:30:59 -0700 (PDT), [email protected] (Steve McDonald) wrote:

>
> The most obvious reason that people keep and use upright bicycles,
> is that they want to train and improve their abilities for racing. =20

Not obvious, and not even true, except perhaps for the small minority of riders interested in
racing.=20

I have zero interest in racing, but one of my major motivations for riding is exercise for health.
After a year and a half of riding recumbents exclusively, I've gone back to riding mostly my
upright, simply because I much prefer the quality of the exercise it offers, such as greater upper
body involvement and the variety of riding positions. I really LIKE getting up to dance on the
pedals when attacking a hill, partly because of the spike in heart rate that results, which has not
proved attainable on the bent.=20
 
There seems to be little disagreement that bents could win the flat stages and time trials in
the TDF. Since specialized TT bikes are now permitted, the rules could be changed to allow
unfaired bents to be substituted for the TT stages, and then the overall TDF times of the podium
would be faster.

Guys like Lance and Jan would have to spend some training time on bents to develop bent muscles, and
the recumbent speed advantage would not be as large as you might expect. With the a forward looking
and progressive organization like the UCI, it is likely to happen any time now . . . .(heh!)

(snippage)
> > Gene Cottrell wrote:
> >
> > > The bents only have a chance to win the time trials and the flat stages, but the Tour is won
> > > in the mountains and a recumbent could never win the Tour.
(unsnip)
 
On Mon, 20 Oct 2003 17:27:26 GMT, "derek" <[email protected]> wrote:

>There seems to be little disagreement that bents could win the flat stages and time trials in
>the TDF. Since specialized TT bikes are now permitted, the rules could be changed to allow
>unfaired bents to be substituted for the TT stages, and then the overall TDF times of the podium
>would be faster.
>
>Guys like Lance and Jan would have to spend some training time on bents to develop bent
>muscles, and the recumbent speed advantage would not be as large as you might expect. With the
>a forward looking and progressive organization like the UCI, it is likely to happen any time
>now . . . .(heh!)
>
>(snippage)
>> > Gene Cottrell wrote:
>> >
>> > > The bents only have a chance to win the time trials and the flat stages, but the Tour is won
>> > > in the mountains and a recumbent could never win the Tour.
>(unsnip)
>

This entire discussion with respect to the hypothetical performance of recumbents in the Tour de
France is stupidly off mark. It has very little to do with the true nature of the competition.

The fact is that , with the possible exception of the individual time trial stages, it ain't about
speed, neither in the hills nor on the flats. Rather the main issue, in what is quintessentially an
endurance contest, is strategic energy management. The help and protection of one's own team is an
essential part of it, as well as cunning in sizing up the condition of the opposing teams, using the
peloton, dealing with attacks and breakaways, and so forth.

Of course, riding in the peloton is a very important part of it, and one thing is certain:
recumbents have no place in an upright peloton, up to 200 bikes riding elbow-to-elbow, inches (or
centimeters) apart.

This entire discussion is a lot of blather, a total waste of time and bandwidth. 'Bent racing and
upright racing are two differen sports.
 
Well Ron,

You must have missed coverage of this year's TDF. A major drama was the relative performance of
Lance and Jan in two individual time trial events. Many would argue that the event was ultimately
won by Lance in the final time trial event when Jan Ulrich crashed out on a slippery course. You
yourself state time trials could be a "possible exception" of relevance. Are you arguing that TT
stages should be eliminated from the TDF?

(Major snippage of post)

> The fact is that , with the possible exception of the individual time trial stages, it ain't about
> speed, neither in the hills nor on the flats.

(unsip)
 
On Tue, 21 Oct 2003 02:43:11 GMT, "derek" <[email protected]> wrote:

>Well Ron,
>
>You must have missed coverage of this year's TDF. =20

In fact, I watched almost every minute of the OLN coverage.

>A major drama was the relative performance of Lance and Jan in two individual time trial =
events.
>Many would argue that the event was ultimately won by Lance in the final time trial event when Jan
>Ulrich crashed out on a slippery course. You yourself state time trials could be a "possible
>exception" of relevance. Are you arguing that TT stages should be eliminated from the TDF?
>
>

Not at all. And your point carries no weight against my argument that the entire discussion is
silly. Further, note that Lance did relatively poorly in the first ITT and he, or rather he and
his team, still won the overall title. He unequivocally gives major credit to the teamwork, in
the mountain stage that he won, in the spectacular team time trial which the team won, but
especially in protecting the lead when he had it. He was still substantially ahead at the start
of the last ITT. =20

And your bringing up Ulrich's crash in the slippery conditions allows me to remind you of the
undeniable fact that recumbents are far less sure-footed than uprights on slippery surfaces, not to
mention cobblestones, which are also one of the problems on some stages of some tours. I repeat, it
ain't all about speed, and the thought of trying to introduce recumbents into this competition is
utterly bizarre.
 
Ron Levine wrote:
> ... And your bringing up Ulrich's crash in the slippery conditions allows me to remind you of the
> undeniable fact that recumbents are far less sure-footed than uprights on slippery surfaces, not
> to mention cobblestones...

I will be sure to remember this when I am riding my recumbent trike. ;)

> ... I repeat, it ain't all about speed, and the thought of trying to introduce recumbents into
> this competition is utterly bizarre.

In my opinion, bizarre can be a good thing.

Tom Sherman - Near the confluence of the Mississippi and Rock Rivers
 
>This entire discussion is a lot of blather, a total waste of time and bandwidth. 'Bent racing and
>upright racing are two differen sports.

Well, bents are best suited for road racing type of competitions, where the bike is ridden most of
the time at max speed and road surface is smooth. If there is lots of accelerations and bad road,
the aerodynamics don't matter so much.

What kind of races do you think are better suitable for bents?
 
Markku Poysti <[email protected]_nospam> wrote:

: Well, bents are best suited for road racing type of competitions, where the bike is ridden most of
: the time at max speed and road surface is smooth. If there is lots of accelerations and bad road,
: the aerodynamics don't matter so much.

Tactics come into play in road racing: jumps, pulls and attacks.

: What kind of races do you think are better suitable for bents?

Time trials on flat, round race track.

--
Risto Varanka | http://www.helsinki.fi/~rvaranka/hpv/hpv.html varis at no spam please iki fi
 
It is common knowledge that aerodynamics have little or no effect at speeds below 15 mph and most
climbing is below this speed.

Gene

"Tom Sherman" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
>
> I must disagree. Aerodynamics will still play a significant role on the vast majority of uphill
> grades found on paved roads (in countries that use geometric design standards when planning
> roadway alignments) at the power outputs typical of UCI riders.
>
> I believe that we can also agree that lowracers and highracers have a much lower aerodynamic drag
> (for a given rider size) than an upright with the rider in a typical climbing position.
>
Snip
>
> Tom Sherman - Near the confluence of the Mississippi and Rock Rivers
 
This was between the two top hill climbers in the tour. The non-climbers were not even an issue in
the race no matter what they did in the time trials. Your analysis is way off mark if you think time
trialing plays a large part for the guys who can't climb. Those guys are just out to win a stage for
their sponsors and make no pretense of trying to win the tour.

Gene

"derek" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
> Well Ron,
>
> You must have missed coverage of this year's TDF. A major drama was the relative performance of
> Lance and Jan in two individual time trial events. Many would argue that the event was ultimately
> won by Lance in the final time trial event when Jan Ulrich crashed out on a slippery course. You
> yourself state time trials could be a "possible exception" of relevance. Are you arguing that TT
> stages should be eliminated from the TDF?
 
Let me jump back in here for a second with a somewhat scientific test of your concern, Mike.

My 'bent is a TE; my DF a twenty-year-old Specialized with Xero Lite wheels. I have a regular route
(hilly) that I do on both bikes. I avg. anywhere from 12.5 to 13.5 mph. (never more) on the TE;
depends on wind, my conditioning - the usual suspects. But on the Specialized I average 15-16 mph.,
with less strain. For what it's worth.... :)

Steve

Mike wrote:

>People by nature don't like change I know. Serious road bike people spend thousands of dollars on
>the DF designed bikes to make them better. You can only tweak a design so much then their is
>diminishing returns. If you want to go faster with less effort and you have reached the point of
>diminishing returns why go on. Get an different design like a recumbent.
>
>I was at a Charles River Wheelmen ride these people are serous riders. I meet 2 "Lance clones"
>with $6000 dollar DF's the sneered at my Bachetta Strada ($1800 dollars). They were bragging
>about how fast they could go down hill with their special aero bars and wheels made out of
>megabuck composites. They asked me how did I deal with the disadvantages of the recumbent. I said
>that I just ride the brakes until I can pass you guys. HA HA HA:) They were in their 30's in
>great shape, I am 47 and 20 lbs overweight. During the ride I passed the "Lance Clones" on a
>steep long down hill with little effort. If looks could kill I would be dead. They were never
>able to catch me and I finished 10 minutes before them. The moral of the story is don't blow
>money on an inferior design.
>
>
>
>

--
Steve Fox McKinleyville, CA http://SoTier2003.crazyguyonabike.com

O \ _____,%) (*)-'------------(*)
 
Gene Cottrell wrote:
>
> It is common knowledge that aerodynamics have little or no effect at speeds below 15 mph and most
> climbing is below this speed.

Common knowledge is often wrong. Aerodynamic drag is a significant fraction of overall drag at
15-mph, especially for an upright bicycle
[1] rider in a typical climbing position. And climbing speeds in the mid -teens are not unreasonable
for a UCI rider.

As an example, using the Analytical Cycling [2] model, a racing upright rider (typical bicycle) with
an output of 450 watts [3] will climb at
2.7 mph on a 6% grade and 14.7 mph on an 8% grade.

If we decrease that frontal area by 40%, increase the coefficient of rolling resistance by 50%, and
the mass by 1.5 kg [4], we end up the same climbing speed on the 8% grade as the upright. Dropping
the grade to 6% increases the lowracers speed to 18.1 mph compared to 17.7 for the upright.
Increasing the grade drops the upright's speed to 12.4 mph and the lowracer's to 12.2 mph. Note
however, that average grade on most mountain stages of the TdF is less than 10%.

While there are some assumptions made with these numbers (lacking real world measurements), they
show that for a very strong rider the possibility of comparable upright and recumbent climbing
speeds is not unreasonable.

I think that no reasonable person will argue that if a racing lowracer rider can maintain similar
climbing speeds to an upright rider, the lowracer rider will be faster overall (assuming paved
roadways and other typical conditions).

[3] Even more so for a UCI rider, since the bike will have very low rolling resistance tires and
high quality hub bearings.
[4] < http://www.analyticcycling.com/ >
[5] Mr. Armstrong is reported to develop an average power in excess of 500 watts on a typical
mountain stage climb.
[6] Assuming a state of the art racing lowracer such as the Razz Fazz

Tom Sherman - Near the confluence of the Mississippi and Rock Rivers RANS "Wavewind" and Rocket,
Earth Cycles Sunset and Dragonflyer

Arguing with an engineer is like mud wrestling with a pig... You soon find out the pig likes
it! - Unknown
 
Tom,
I would rather ride a climbing route or a mountain tour with a lot of steep grades on a diamond frame.

I own a RazzFazz and have raced the bike. It is one of the lightest recumbents in existence. But there is no way to stand on the pedals when climbing a difficult grade.

Its much easier on the knees to be able to stand on a climb than to stay in a seated lowracer position with a high bottom bracket design. Speed performance during climbing with a light lowracer is is not that different than speeds with a diamond frame.

Alan

6] Assuming a state of the art racing lowracer such as the Razz Fazz

Tom Sherman - Near the confluence of the Mississippi and Rock Rivers RANS "Wavewind" and Rocket,
Earth Cycles Sunset and Dragonflyer
 
RazzFazzAlan wrote:
>
> Tom, I would rather ride a climbing route or a mountain tour with a lot of steep grades on a
> diamond frame.
>
> I own a RazzFazz and have raced the bike. It is one of the lightest recumbents in existence. But
> there is no way to stand on the pedals when climbing a difficult grade.
>
> Its much easier on the knees to be able to stand on a climb than to stay in a seated lowracer
> position with a high bottom bracket design. Speed performance during climbing with a light
> lowracer is is not that different than speeds with a diamond frame.

Would the additional stress on the knees be an obstacle for UCI riders, most of whom are in their
early thirties or younger, and have the benefit of state of the art physical training programs?

If Alan's experience of a lightweight lowracer having roughly similar climbing performance to an
upright is typical for a stronger rider, would not the lowracer be faster overall in most
conditions?

Tom Sherman - Near the confluence of the Mississippi and Rock Rivers RANS "Wavewind" and Rocket,
Earth Cycles Sunset and Dragonflyer
 
I'd forgotten how much info there is on this NG!

I am a "senior" recumbent trike rider - I ride for my health and wouldn't say I'm particularly fit.

I enjoyed riding my trike for a couple of years and then I started to wonder if I'd be REALLY fast
on an upright. So I purchased a $aud2000 lightweight Al frame wedgie and rode it for about a month
before I sold it at a firesale price.

It climbed hills much faster than the trike. It was slower downhill, but faster overall UNLESS
there was a head wind (because we spend more time going UP than DOWN so time saved on hills is
proportionately greater.) I had to balance the damn thing. It hurt my neck and back and I was
petrified of falling off because to use the bike effectively you have to use clips and so on
etc etc.....

So for me there is no contest for recreational riding and it is very apparent to me that in
competition an upright will be faster point to point just because of that hill climbing. But for
recreational and touring I literally would not ride an upright if you gave me one. And in a head
wind I keep smiling while my wife riding her upright struggles and gets blown around. (she doesn't
"like" the trikes....)

When riders of recumbents (specifically trikes) claim to have thrashed upright riders, they fail to
say whether the competition (?) is riding an MTB on knobblies pumped down to 20lbs.... Recumbent
riders are generally enthusiasts (we CARE about tyre pressures) - so passing an upright rider that
hasn't ridden for three months or pumped the tyres up really doesn't claim many macho points...!

So I have ordered a lightweight (13 kg) trike (Swiftlet 2) with adjustable CF seat (22 to 38
degrees) 16 inch wheels all around, hydraulic linked disk brakes, very low BB, to replace my MR
Swift and I may be a little slower than the Lycra Lizards but I'll arrive fresh and without
gravel rash.

Paul W "The wind in your shorts and the flies in your teeth!"

PSComparing my trike with Val's 12 kg Cannondale (80 psi road tyres)

I can beat her up hills (she's younger and does "pump.") The trike rolls a little faster downhill
and as the speeds get higher, the trike shows more advantage. My terminal speeds are much higher. In
a head wind, I have to constantly stop and wait (it's that kind of marriage!)
 
"Prints" skrev

> When riders of recumbents (specifically trikes) claim to have thrashed upright riders, they fail
> to say whether the competition (?) is riding an MTB on knobblies pumped down to 20lbs....
> Recumbent riders are generally enthusiasts (we CARE about tyre pressures) - so passing an upright
> rider that hasn't ridden for three months or pumped the tyres up really doesn't claim many macho
> points...!

Exsqueeze me but does trikeriders claim that? Haven't seen all that many claims of toasting
on trikes.

I've passed fitlooking DF'ers uphill, downhill, on flats and rolling hills but I didn't stop to
check their tirepressure. :) I did have to kick my VK up to respectable speeds to drop some but
lack of draft behind my tailfairing usually does the trick. If they can stay in front I can just bum
a ride in their draft which is also nice. I imagine skinny racetires would not work well at low
pressures though. A dead giveaway of weekendwarriors is white legs in summer. Pass one of those and
you don't get bragging rights. ;o)

Congrats on the new trike.

Mikael
 
>A dead giveaway of weekendwarriors is white legs in summer.

Did you say exsqueeze you !!! :))

Hey - my legs are white - it's been peeing rain here for months and I've been wearing Ground Effects
Ranchriders to keep my bum at least above freezing!

Paul W
 
"Prints" skrev...
> Hey - my legs are white - it's been peeing rain here for months and I've been wearing Ground
> Effects Ranchriders to keep my bum at least above freezing!

Ah yes but isnt it springtime at your end? I'm talking lilywhite legs in August (northern
hemisphere) after a nice warm summer. :)

Speaking of freezing. I need some of those chemical bootwarmers. Its getting a tad cold up
here at 56N.

Mikael
 
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