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Old 04-16-2013, 09:13 PM   #28141
k7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gummee! View Post
I'll go on record saying 'recumbents are fun to ride, but they're not for me at this time in my life.'

I'm trying real hard to lose the aerobelly and can't for the life of me grow a beard. Looks like I'm doomed to ride a diamond frame bike.

M
Interesting. I'm not quite sure what to make of "at this time in my life" but I have a good idea.

I was talking to Coach John Hughes last year in CO and I asked why recumbents had such a stigma attached to them. He opined that most DF riders seemed to think that only riders with ailments rode recumbents.

Of course, there are dozens of exceptions. Those I mentioned above would likely still kick my butt, DF or tricycle. None of them have absolutely any physical issues. They ride 'cause they want to go fast and far.

Fast Freddy Markham is another legend. Here's one citation:
In 2006, Fred Markham, a 1976-80 US Olympic team member, set a record distance of 85.99 km (53.43 mi) on the track at the Nissan Technical Center, near Casa Grande in Arizona.[5] Markham won $18,000 as a share of the $25,000 Dempsey-MacCready One Hour Prize that was to be awarded to the first HPV to surpass 90 km. Although Markham had not exceeded 90 km, the prize time limit had expired and its shares awarded to those that traveled furthest.[6] Both Markham and Whittingham rode vehicles called Varna designed and built by the Bulgarian sculptor George Georgiev, who lives in British Columbia, Canada. Sam Whittingham won back the record one year later at the Nissan Technical Center with 86.75 km, and went on to set a distance of 90.60 km (56.30 mi) in 2009, at the Ford Michigan Proving Grounds.



But for the UCI banning recumbents from racing in the 1930's, I suspect they'd be more mainstream today.

Oh, Freddy is still fast. This video is pretty cool.

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Old 04-16-2013, 09:14 PM   #28142
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Originally Posted by melville View Post
But the absolute truth is, he's having a great time, and riding more than I did when I was still racing.
At the end of the day, this is all that matters. Good on him.
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Old 04-17-2013, 03:26 AM   #28143
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Old 04-17-2013, 04:46 AM   #28144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k7 View Post
I was talking to Coach John Hughes last year in CO and I asked why recumbents had such a stigma attached to them. He opined that most DF riders seemed to think that only riders with ailments rode recumbents.
Not hard to figure out. Take a look at who rides recumbents around here and you come away with the impression that they're only designed for over the hill fat people. Take a look at the average road bike rider, on the other hand, and you'll see relatively young people at their physical peak, clad in lycra racing suits. If you swapped those groups around, it wouldn't take any time at all for recumbents to become 'cool' and bicycles to be perceived as vehicles suited only for older couch potatoes.
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:04 PM   #28145
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Originally Posted by Aurelius View Post
Not hard to figure out. Take a look at who rides recumbents around here and you come away with the impression that they're only designed for over the hill fat people. Take a look at the average road bike rider, on the other hand, and you'll see relatively young people at their physical peak, clad in lycra racing suits. If you swapped those groups around, it wouldn't take any time at all for recumbents to become 'cool' and bicycles to be perceived as vehicles suited only for older couch potatoes.
Many cyclists who switch to recumbents do so because they can't handle the diamond frame/race/road bike position anymore. I've known 2 guys who were adamantly against recumbents - until they couldn't handle the racer crouch anymore, but didn't want to give up biking.

I gave up bicycling in my youth because my body absolutely hated the road bike position. After I outgrew my StingRay, that was the end of that. MTB's brought me back, but when my buddies kept trying to get me out on the road I got a recumbent. After 3 years they had all converted too. The most serious biker buddy still has his road bike, and rides it for certain rides/training.
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Old 04-17-2013, 01:01 PM   #28146
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that road is a good example of some of the reasons i choose to live here.
kinda' like Patron is to tequilas, Page Mill Road's not the best by a far cry, but a good stable benchmark, and nice to have in the backyard.
you can see @ ~12:26 where they turn right onto Moody, which has more of the characteristics more similar to what's to be found on the roads in the area that i prefer.

as for 'bents? i don't care what they look like or who's riding them. as low as they are relative to traffic, i'm afraid i'd be sucking the underside of a bumper in less than a week due to not being able to see or be seen.


cheers!

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Originally Posted by k7 View Post

Oh, Freddy is still fast. This video is pretty cool.

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Old 04-17-2013, 01:13 PM   #28147
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The only recombant I've ridden was one of those enclosed tube shaped HPV things. Doing 56mph across dark parking lot with what amounted as a maglite flashlight for lighting it was different. That thing cost $6K back then and I certainly wasn't going to buy one. But, I was willing to try it out.
One guy I knew who bought one and toured with it said it was Hell climbing but fun on the flats. In Colorado that would translate to Hell.

I got the beard, but maybe when I'm older and I'm too fat to bend?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gummee! View Post
I'll go on record saying 'recumbents are fun to ride, but they're not for me at this time in my life.'

I'm trying real hard to lose the aerobelly and can't for the life of me grow a beard. Looks like I'm doomed to ride a diamond frame bike.

M
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Old 04-17-2013, 01:18 PM   #28148
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zouch View Post
as for 'bents? i don't care what they look like or who's riding them. as low as they are relative to traffic, i'm afraid i'd be sucking the underside of a bumper in less than a week due to not being able to see or be seen.


cheers!
actually, with the head up and back position, its EASIER to see behind you etc than on a bent over road bike.

they aren't actually /that/ much lower than a road bike, although your butt isn't up in the air like a red flag.
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Old 04-17-2013, 01:28 PM   #28149
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zouch View Post

as for 'bents? i don't care what they look like or who's riding them. as low as they are relative to traffic, i'm afraid i'd be sucking the underside of a bumper in less than a week due to not being able to see or be seen.


cheers!
If one can see road stripes w/o difficulties, I'm not sure why one can't see a fairly large m(ass) on two or three wheels. My high racer is about the same size as a small rider in an aero-tuck kind of position.
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Old 04-17-2013, 07:08 PM   #28150
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sorry, not buying it.
i ride up next to all kinds of bikes/'bents here in Berkeley on the Bike Boulevards; to be fair, it's probably partly because i'm a GS kinda' build (read: riding 60c+ frames), but not one of those riders has their eyes or helmet anywhere near as high as mine are on a conventional bike. and it's pretty obvious from within any car how much less visible a lower bike/'bent is.

(i don't even want to know why anyone would think a butt is the highest thing, or where you see from, let alone a red flag.)

as for what our fellow motorists can't see but should, does any bicyclist/motorcyclist who shares public roads really need to go there?


cheers!


Quote:
Originally Posted by pierce View Post
actually, with the head up and back position, its EASIER to see behind you etc than on a bent over road bike.

they aren't actually /that/ much lower than a road bike, although your butt isn't up in the air like a red flag.
Quote:
Originally Posted by k7 View Post
If one can see road stripes w/o difficulties, I'm not sure why one can't see a fairly large m(ass) on two or three wheels. My high racer is about the same size as a small rider in an aero-tuck kind of position.
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:26 PM   #28151
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Originally Posted by zouch View Post
sorry, not buying it.
i ride up next to all kinds of bikes/'bents here in Berkeley on the Bike Boulevards; to be fair, it's probably partly because i'm a GS kinda' build (read: riding 60c+ frames), but not one of those riders has their eyes or helmet anywhere near as high as mine are on a conventional bike. and it's pretty obvious from within any car how much less visible a lower bike/'bent is.


as for what our fellow motorists can't see but should, does any bicyclist/motorcyclist who shares public roads really need to go there?


cheers!
Well, you're the one putting forth the argument saying you can't see a recumbent.

There are limits - I agree. Certain low recumbents make me uncomfortable but I can certainly see them. In stopped traffic, I can see how you'd lose sight of one but then again, you're supposed to be in control of your vehicle. Hit one and you know the ending - lawsuit city.

Maybe you can make out the two here - I rode a 60-cm when I was on DF and my buddy is only about an inch shorter than me. I'm guessing he was in the 58 range. I'm not small by any means. If the rider in front of me goes into a tuck, we present roughly the same cross-section in terms of visibility to anyone behind us.

This, for what it's worth, was about a 255 mile day for us. Everyone managed to see us and we had relatively few problems that day. I do get aggravated at riders who don't know how to take the lane. These guys kept insisting that I take the lead but gotdammit, they weren't willing to take the lane when necessary to add even more visibility.

It's like lane-positioning on a motorcycle - we all know you can move yourself around in the lane to increase your visibility.



Here's another picture. Damn hard to see the three recumbents up front but impossible to miss the guys that were behind us. Dana Lieberman, who raced on RAAM a few years ago can take the front and maintain 23 mph all day. He claims to only need about 110-120 watts for that kind of effort on his Carbent recumbent. That's phenomenal. I'm at about 130 watts for 22.5 on most days...drafting.


k7 screwed with this post 04-17-2013 at 08:49 PM
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:03 PM   #28152
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you're extrapolating my point beyond what i actually said, but thanks for the pics that illustrate it so beautifully.

you can't argue that the higher something is, the more likely it is to be visible in traffic. the highest helmet on the 'bents in those pics isn't as high as the shoulder of the riders on standards.
if you won't believe your own eyes, look at the physics; that very same smaller profile that makes 'bents faster by reducing their profile to the wind must also present a smaller visible profile to be seen. lawsuit or not; doesn't make you any less dead.

put cars in the pic, and the rider on a standard is going to be the one most visible, the least likely to be obscured, and the most likely to be able to see.

i'm not one to be telling anyone else what to do (especially on a motorcycling forum!), but you can't justify 'bents as being as safe in the visibility department. you're simply kidding yourself if you think you can see or be seen as well on a 'bent as on a standard.


there are several other reasons i'm not interested in 'bents (poor climbing, unable to suspend yourself through bumps), but this illustrates well the biggest reason i wouldn't want to ride one in traffic.


cheers!


Quote:
Originally Posted by k7 View Post
Well, you're the one putting forth the argument saying you can't see a recumbent.

There are limits - I agree. Certain low recumbents make me uncomfortable but I can certainly see them. In stopped traffic, I can see how you'd lose sight of one but then again, you're supposed to be in control of your vehicle. Hit one and you know the ending - lawsuit city.

Maybe you can make out the two here - I rode a 60-cm when I was on DF and my buddy is only about an inch shorter than me. I'm guessing he was in the 58 range. I'm not small by any means. If the rider in front of me goes into a tuck, we present roughly the same cross-section in terms of visibility to anyone behind us.

This, for what it's worth, was about a 255 mile day for us. Everyone managed to see us and we had relatively few problems that day. I do get aggravated at riders who don't know how to take the lane. These guys kept insisting that I take the lead but gotdammit, they weren't willing to take the lane when necessary to add even more visibility.

It's like lane-positioning on a motorcycle - we all know you can move yourself around in the lane to increase your visibility.

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Old 04-17-2013, 09:06 PM   #28153
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gummee! View Post
I'll go on record saying 'recumbents are fun to ride, but they're not for me at this time in my life.'

I'm trying real hard to lose the aerobelly and can't for the life of me grow a beard. Looks like I'm doomed to ride a diamond frame bike.

M
I can't grow a proper beard, either. When time comes to go 'bent, I'm gonna get the most awesome helmet mirror I can find and start wearing cotton t-shirts with my bibs.
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:22 PM   #28154
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Originally Posted by zouch View Post
you're extrapolating my point beyond what i actually said, but thanks for the pics that illustrate it so beautifully.

you can't argue that the higher something is, the more likely it is to be visible in traffic. the highest helmet on the 'bents in those pics isn't as high as the shoulder of the riders on standards.
if you won't believe your own eyes, look at the physics; that very same smaller profile that makes 'bents faster by reducing their profile to the wind must also present a smaller visible profile to be seen. lawsuit or not; doesn't make you any less dead.

put cars in the pic, and the rider on a standard is going to be the one most visible, the least likely to be obscured, and the most likely to be able to see.

i'm not one to be telling anyone else what to do (especially on a motorcycling forum!), but you can't justify 'bents as being as safe in the visibility department. you're simply kidding yourself if you think you can see or be seen as well on a 'bent as on a standard.


there are several other reasons i'm not interested in 'bents (poor climbing, unable to suspend yourself through bumps), but this illustrates well the biggest reason i wouldn't want to ride one in traffic.


cheers!
Actually, I compared myself to a smaller rider. We may be saying the same thing but i still put the onus on drivers to be aware of others on the road while taking every reasonable precaution available.

Quote:
Originally Posted by k7 View Post
If one can see road stripes w/o difficulties, I'm not sure why one can't see a fairly large m(ass) on two or three wheels. My high racer is about the same size as a small rider in an aero-tuck kind of position.

If anything, I suppose I'm a reluctant recumbent rider. I still lust after all the carbon bikes like anyone else who rides and wants to go fast. A blue hair in a Caddy messed up my neck in '94. It took a recumbent to get me back into riding and I'm thankful for the opportunity. I rode only a couple of double centuries on my Mercian-framed bike years ago and they werent fun. I can't imagine doing the miles I do now on a DF. Lots of riders do but their recovery is longer than mine.

There are other factors you may not have given any weight. My visibility is more IMAX than that of a DF rider. I've never heard of a recumbent rider impacted by Shermer's Neck. I've also never seen a recumbent go over the handlebars either. I also don't have to worry about neck, shoulders, arms, hand/wrist issues or perineal nerve issues. I don't recall a single brevet where I didn't hear a DF rider complaining about some issue they were having. Pick any item from above....even veteran riders complain.

Even with all that, there are times when I'd kill to be on a DF. I can't so I embrace what does allow me to ride and luckily, I've have a fair amount of luck and can now manage 250 miles in 18 hours +/- without too much "hurt". If it's a multil day event, while the miles dont go down, I'll take more time for the same distance.

Who knows, I may attempt some ultra distance events in the next few years. The most successful can do just over 500 miles in a day. Drafting, without serious training, I think i can do 350. If I get serious, 400 is with reach. 500 miles? In a day? NFW.

If you're ever in PHX, let me know. I'll be more than happy let you ride my Bacchetta Carbon Aero. I'm 6'2" but you'll be a close fit if you ride a 60 cm today.
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Old 04-18-2013, 12:48 AM   #28155
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I too was concerned about visibility to drivers when I first got my 'bent. My experience so far has been that drivers actually give me a wider berth and tend to be looking and pointing and smiling. I believe that 'bents are novel enough around here that they stand out. On my DF I just live with the close passes and asshats with souped up diesels smoggin' for skeeters
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