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Recumbant death jockeys.

gtvlussogtvlusso Posts: 5,112
edited August 2009 in Commuting chat
A few questions about recumbant cycles:

1, Why ride something so low?
2, Why ride something that is difficult/off balance to get your foot down quick?
3 Why the beard?
4, What pleasure can it give?
5, They look stupid and geeky - discuss:

Are they the nerdy dweeb wagons that only a geek would ride (note, I may have completely stereotyped and insulted quite a few people - probably incorrectly!)

I saw one a few mornings ago as I flew by - he had full on wing mirrors, panniers and motorbike style handlebars.....it looked brand new and well looked after, but so damn geeky and stoopid......I laughed my censored off at the contraption.
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Posts

  • AidyAidy Posts: 2,015
    1. Aerodynamics. Why ride on the drops? Why not have flat bars?
    2. It's just practise. Why use SPDs?
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    bad back or real flexibility issues.

    very bad saddle sores

    lots of reasons to use one if you're broken :lol:
  • DonDaddyDDonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    edited August 2009
    gtvlusso wrote:
    A few questions about recumbant cycles:

    1, Why ride something so low?
    2, Why ride something that is difficult/off balance to get your foot down quick?
    3 Why the beard?
    4, What pleasure can it give?
    5, They look stupid and geeky - discuss:

    Are they the nerdy dweeb wagons that only a geek would ride (note, I may have completely stereotyped and insulted quite a few people - probably incorrectly!)

    I saw one a few mornings ago as I flew by - he had full on wing mirrors, panniers and motorbike style handlebars.....it looked brand new and well looked after, but so damn geeky and stoopid......I laughed my censored off at the contraption.

    Die-hard comic book fan so maybe I can comment.

    1, Being low to the ground makes you feel like you're going faster. you don't have far to fall when you're having an off.

    2, Because in the world of the geek the more technically difficult the challenge the mightier the geek who can overcome it.

    3, The length of the beard is a direct measure to the level of nerdy-geek a person can exude. In truth every geek wants to be 'Gandalf the Grey'.

    4, None, accept the repressed introspective pleasure that only geeks have as its the only pleasure they're allowed to have.

    5, Indeed they do, but in the world of the geek, they look cool, geek-girls dig'em and it gets geek's laid with glorious dress-up fantasy geek sex and anyway you want to look at it glorious dress-up fantasy geek sex (i.e. the girl dresses up as Supergirl and the guy in a business suit in desperate need of "saving") is just cool.
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Sheldon used to ride one when his MS kicked in.

    Beards are essential.

    SheldonBrown.jpg
  • amneziaamnezia Posts: 590
    The human powered land speed record was set on a recumbant - 72.74mph

    FACT
  • MrChuckMrChuck Posts: 1,663
    Because they're much faster than uprights?

    Granted though, I think for pretty much every conceivable journey the cons would outweigh the pros so I can't help thinking that people who ride them (without some sort of compelling reason as supersonic and ride_whenever mentioned) are making some sort of statement, which I generally don't have much time for.
  • gtvlussogtvlusso Posts: 5,112
    So, what makes them so fast - I creamed the guy on his, I am pretty sure his wing mirrors were slowing him down!
  • DonDaddyDDonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    gtvlusso wrote:
    So, what makes them so fast - I creamed the guy on his, I am pretty sure his wing mirrors were slowing him down!

    In America recmbrants are only fast of Wednesday. In England they're fast on Thursday's. Why?

    Comic books are released weekly on Wedenesday (America) and Thursday (England) respectively.

    Those guys that are flying on recrumbrants (sp) are only doing so because they are rushing to the comic shop.
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • gtvlussogtvlusso Posts: 5,112
    Ah - I thought it was an Astrophysics thing - about beards being more attracted to the gravitational pull of mars on Wednesday.....
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    If you get a bit of speed up you can bunny hop them.
  • Eau RougeEau Rouge Posts: 1,118
    Aidy wrote:
    1. Aerodynamics. Why ride on the drops? Why not have flat bars?

    Drops over flats for comfort, not performance. If you want handlebars for aero reasons, fit some tri-bars.
    I don't disagree with the aero advantages of a decently designed recumbant.
  • Wallace1492Wallace1492 Posts: 3,707
    why do the TDF guys not use recumbents?, is it because professional cyclists do not have beards?
    "Encyclopaedia is a fetish for very small bicycles"
  • gtvlusso wrote:
    So, what makes them so fast - I creamed the guy on his, I am pretty sure his wing mirrors were slowing him down!

    like for like i think is the thing, they also tend to be heavier and suffer more uphills, but there are some very very fast ones, ones you see around Richmound Park one could cream with a milk float quite frankly but i see a bloke on a wee red one who would probably humble any uprights/normal bike looks daft mind, I'd love a go can't say i can see that much use for one at moment though.
  • snookssnooks Posts: 1,521
    Well if this is the official pick on recumbents thread, there was this [email protected] on a bent last year at Freewheel.

    Myself and BJUK were cycling down the Mall, chatting to each other, and bent forced himself between us mid conversation...We looked at each other in disbelief! :shock:
    FCN:5, 8 & 9
    If I'm not riding I'm shooting http://grahamsnook.com
    THE Game
    Watch out for HGVs
  • Paulie WPaulie W Posts: 1,492
    why do the TDF guys not use recumbents?, is it because professional cyclists do not have beards?

    They'd all be riding themif it wasnt for the damn UCI!
  • teagarteagar Posts: 2,100
    why do the TDF guys not use recumbents?, is it because professional cyclists do not have beards?

    Ever seen a recumbent go fast uphill?
    Note: the above post is an opinion and not fact. It might be a lie.
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    Always wondered recumbies would suffer a rush of blood to the head if they went up a hill that was steep enough.
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • AidanRAidanR Posts: 1,142
    Not all recumbents are low. There are a huge number of variants for different purposes (akin to the mountain biking world). The reason they are fast is, obviously, aerodynamics. However, you don't have to be low to achieve good aerodynamics. The key thing is a small frontal area, which is achieved by the laid back riding position with the legs in line with the body. You can get lowracers, mediumracers and highracers, the last of which puts the rider's head in about the same position as an upright racer on the drops. There are many other variants with different seat angles and bottom bracket placement (high, low, in front of or behind the front wheel).

    The reason you don't see the pros use them is because the UCI banned them in 1934 after a French rider used one to beat the top pros in racers (he was Cat 2) and broke the hour record. Since a lot of road bike technology is trickle-down from racing, this somewhat set back recumbents.

    Recumbents lend themselves to fairings rather well, with the most usual being a tailbox behind the rider, but full fairing is also possible (though only really for races!). These bikes are highly specialised and have been taken to a world record of 82.33mph (not 72.74mph as stated above) by Sam Whittingham last year.

    Personally I wouldn't use one in traffic though.
    Bike lover and part-time cyclist.
  • secretsamsecretsam Posts: 4,947
    Paulie W wrote:
    why do the TDF guys not use recumbents?, is it because professional cyclists do not have beards?

    They'd all be riding themif it wasnt for the damn UCI!

    Not sure they would, all the time, any more than they'd all ride full on TT bikes for all stages - it's a horses for courses thing, as I understand it they fly on the flat but ain't so hot up hills? Think it's due to the ability to transmit weight of rider into force on pedals or something. Mind you, this may be bo77ocks.

    Where's that Mike Burrows fella when you need him?

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • DonDaddyDDonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    AidanR wrote:
    Not all recumbents are low. There are a huge number of variants for different purposes (akin to the mountain biking world). The reason they are fast is, obviously, aerodynamics. However, you don't have to be low to achieve good aerodynamics. The key thing is a small frontal area, which is achieved by the laid back riding position with the legs in line with the body. You can get lowracers, mediumracers and highracers, the last of which puts the rider's head in about the same position as an upright racer on the drops. There are many other variants with different seat angles and bottom bracket placement (high, low, in front of or behind the front wheel).

    The reason you don't see the pros use them is because the UCI banned them in 1934 after a French rider used one to beat the top pros in racers (he was Cat 2) and broke the hour record. Since a lot of road bike technology is trickle-down from racing, this somewhat set back recumbents.

    Recumbents lend themselves to fairings rather well, with the most usual being a tailbox behind the rider, but full fairing is also possible (though only really for races!). These bikes are highly specialised and have been taken to a world record of 82.33mph (not 72.74mph as stated above) by Sam Whittingham last year.

    Personally I wouldn't use one in traffic though.

    As a Recumbent user does this apply?
    5, Indeed they do, but in the world of the geek, they look cool, geek-girls dig'em and it gets geek's laid with glorious dress-up fantasy geek sex and anyway you want to look at it glorious dress-up fantasy geek sex (i.e. the girl dresses up as Supergirl and the guy in a business suit in desperate need of "saving") is just cool.
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • AidanRAidanR Posts: 1,142
    No, it's widely acknowledged that they aren't as good uphills, partly because you can't get out of the saddle (though I'm not sure this is as big an effect as many make out) but mainly because of the weight - the lightest production recumbent is around 17lbs if memory serves me correctly, which admittedly isn't far off the UCI limit but there are road bikes kicking around closer to 10lbs.

    They have an advantage braking due to the position of the rider relative to the front wheel, and you can pedal them through corners with no fear of pedal strike, which coupled to the aerodynamic advantage means you could smoke people on the descents (if you had the balls!). But I still couldn't see pros on them in mountain stages. Flat TT courses though, definitely (except that recumbents use slightly different muscles so you'd lose training specificity).
    Bike lover and part-time cyclist.
  • AidanRAidanR Posts: 1,142
    As a Recumbent user does this apply?
    5, Indeed they do, but in the world of the geek, they look cool, geek-girls dig'em and it gets geek's laid with glorious dress-up fantasy geek sex and anyway you want to look at it glorious dress-up fantasy geek sex (i.e. the girl dresses up as Supergirl and the guy in a business suit in desperate need of "saving") is just cool.

    In so many ways... no.
    Bike lover and part-time cyclist.
  • teagarteagar Posts: 2,100
    AidanR wrote:

    They have an advantage braking due to the position of the rider relative to the front wheel, and you can pedal them through corners with no fear of pedal strike, which coupled to the aerodynamic advantage means you could smoke people on the descents (if you had the balls!). But I still couldn't see pros on them in mountain stages. Flat TT courses though, definitely (except that recumbents use slightly different muscles so you'd lose training specificity).

    The TTs would be even more boring than they are already!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jj76yIGcrHU
    Note: the above post is an opinion and not fact. It might be a lie.
  • AidanRAidanR Posts: 1,142
    I disagree... they'd be over a lot quicker! ;)
    Bike lover and part-time cyclist.
  • teagarteagar Posts: 2,100
    AidanR wrote:
    I disagree... they'd be over a lot quicker! ;)

    Touche!
    Note: the above post is an opinion and not fact. It might be a lie.
  • UKScoobyUKScooby Posts: 41
    1) The speed record for the JoGLE is held by a recumbent - the 'normal' bike record is 3 hours slower (41 vs 44 hrs). Respect.

    2) When you have disabilities it helps keep you on the road - back to the reply about Sheldon - RIP - its why we got one for my wife due to her hands.

    3) Depends on the model you get - but try riding a Trice downhill with its front drum brakes - at the bottom make your turn (in my case into the local garden centre) - at the same time as apply a bit of brake. Its like a hand brake turn in a car. javascript:emoticon(':lol:') Can't do that on a normal two wheeler.
  • My cousin rides one, maintains it is silly-fast, but a bit scary on london's big roads. He's promised to let me have a go on it, but it's currently broken. I believe he crashed it.
  • AidyAidy Posts: 2,015
    I want a recumbent.

    Have done ever since I saw a guy riding one on the first century and a bit I did many years ago.

    I'm not sure I'd ever want to commute into London on one though, filtering would strike me as somewhat terrifying.
  • I saw a guy on (in?) a recumbent on Embankment today. He was on a low red thing that looked well used and fast. Chapeau for dealing with London rush hour at that level (his head was max 2.5 feet from the ground).

    It was a pity I had to turn off...
  • My cousin rides one, maintains it is silly-fast, but a bit scary on london's big roads. He's promised to let me have a go on it, but it's currently broken. I believe he crashed it.

    dificult to balance at low speeds etc and slow to put ones foot down i think are the main issues, being seen isn't a problem as it's so odd *every one* can see you....
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