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recumbent climbing

Old 09-25-07, 02:29 PM
  #26  
John C. Ratliff
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Well, I am not going to repeat what the others have said. I ride a Rans Stratus, and would highly recommend it to anyone. I have the older version, with the straight handlebars; the newer ones steer more naturally.

Concerning hills, the Portland, Oregon area is known for its hills. There isn't a hill I have not gotten up, but I do have some comments on hills and recombants:

--Recumbants start differently than other bikes. Because you are sitting down, you get one-quarter turn on the first push, then you must be pulling (which says, use clipless pedals). I find that it is the second push, with the other leg, which is really critical to a successful start on my Stratus (a long-wheelbase recumbant).

--Once started on hills, find a good, fast cadence to continue up.

--My recumbant is heavier than upright bikes, and I regularly carry between 20 and 50 pounds of equipment/gear/clothes on my bike. So the main disadvantage I've seen is the weight, not the recumbant style, of my particular bike. When I strip it down to just the bike (take the four panniers off), then it can go quite nicely for an older guy in medium shape.

--No one has said anything about going downhill. Downhill is wonderful on my bike. The Rans Stratus is very stable at speed, and takes the downhills very nicely. I have a fairing, and so it is quite streamlined, and really goes downhill.

Now, concerning the John Forester entry. We have discussed his image of recumbant cycling in these forums, but on the Vehicular Cycling area. Here is a thread about it where John discusses his ideas about recumbants. It is coming his experience in the 1970s, and realize that John is probably approaching 80 years old. He has some very good comcepts, and some that I have disagreed with him on. Read it and see whether you agree or not.

https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=295033

John
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Old 09-26-07, 07:55 PM
  #27  
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I think recumbents can climb faster than uprights in certain situations. check out my climbing video from my recent tour in tennessee. The pass was done on a nocom. The rider drafting the lead rider all of a sudden realizes I'm right behind him. He thinks oh crap.....I better lose this guy. Then he realizes he has no gas left. How humiliating to get passed by a recumbent on an uphill.

<object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="https://www.youtube.com/v/FBfiplJm0XI"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="https://www.youtube.com/v/FBfiplJm0XI" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object>


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBfiplJm0XI
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Old 09-27-07, 12:57 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by lowracer1 View Post
The rider drafting the lead rider all of a sudden realizes I'm right behind him. He thinks oh crap.....I better lose this guy. Then he realizes he has no gas left. How humiliating to get passed by a recumbent on an uphill.
That little surprised wobble he does is pretty funny.
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Old 09-27-07, 07:05 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by lowracer1 View Post
I think recumbents can climb faster than uprights in certain situations. check out my climbing video from my recent tour in tennessee. The pass was done on a nocom. The rider drafting the lead rider all of a sudden realizes I'm right behind him. He thinks oh crap.....I better lose this guy. Then he realizes he has no gas left. How humiliating to get passed by a recumbent on an uphill.
I wanna see the vid where you passed a bike or two on a climb, then I squirted out to pass you right before the top of the hill. Probably the ONLY time I passed you all week!
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Old 09-27-07, 10:11 AM
  #30  
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Hello,

I don't own a bent yet, but plan to get one very soon.

I toured much of the TransAmerica Bicycle route (from VA to CO) on a mountain bike in 2003 at 53 years old. The tour was self-contained, so I carried about 50 lbs. of gear plus front and rear racks. The hills and mountains in western VA and eastern KY are beyond brutal, and they just keep on comin'. In most cases, I found those hills considerably more difficult than in CO due to their extreme steepness. I had to walk quite a few of those hills. And I wonder now if a bent would have enabled me to climb them. I wouldn't care how fast I climb them; I would be happy just to climb them! Although some people report difficulty climbing with bents, I've also heard that at slow speeds one can climb with less effort on a bent than on an up-right. Yes?

David in FL

Last edited by David in PA; 09-27-07 at 10:16 AM.
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Old 09-27-07, 10:36 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by David in PA View Post
I've also heard that at slow speeds one can climb with less effort on a bent than on an up-right. Yes?
With a tadpole trike in granny gear, this is very true.
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Old 09-27-07, 09:31 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
I wanna see the vid where you passed a bike or two on a climb, then I squirted out to pass you right before the top of the hill. Probably the ONLY time I passed you all week!
do you remember which day that was? Hopefully I was recording that day.
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Old 09-28-07, 05:45 AM
  #33  
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Probably the first day, before you got 'happy feet' and dumped me. Was it near the time we passed Ken and the Calfee tandem?
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Old 10-01-07, 10:41 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by lowracer1 View Post
I think recumbents can climb faster than uprights in certain situations.
This is a matter of how one defines climbing. Portland does have some nice steep hills. But they are short. If you have a lightweight bent with a carbon fiber seat, you can leg press and pull on climbs faster than upright riders can. If there is opportunity to gain momentum before tackling a climb that doesn't go for miles, that also benefits the bent rider who can move fast.

On the other hand, if you need to climb 5K feet or more up a steep grade, you have to spin. Upright riders can alternate sitting and standing allowing them to use different muscle sets which gives them an advantage. The aero penalty at low speeds is negligible.

What is true is that a strong rider can climb well on either and a weak rider will have problems with both.

Gearing is the main thing that makes riding up hills easy, and low gears can be mounted on bents or uprights, though if you have a 20" drive wheel, the ratios can go lower. Unless you're towing something heavy up a really steep incline, I cannot imagine why you would ever want a 26T in front and a 34 in the rear with a 20" wheel.
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Old 10-01-07, 11:14 AM
  #35  
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Randomly found on the net. Pic from a UK Audax ride. Nice to see bents and DFs sharing the love on an uphill:

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