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Are Recumbents easy to ride?

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Are Recumbents easy to ride?

Old 03-14-20, 02:33 PM
  #1  
jnbrown
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Are Recumbents easy to ride?

I am a 62 year old road cyclist currently suffering wth a hamstring injury.
The injury makes it difficult to ride my road bike since the saddle puts direct pressure on the injury where the tendon attaches to the sit bones.
It has been 2 months and will probably be many more before it heals.
My doctor has cleared me to ride a stationary recumbent bike.
If that works out I am thinking of getting one for the road.
But I am concerned about falling over and injuring myself especially while starting and stopping.
Here is an example of what I found on my local Craigs List:

https://sandiego.craigslist.org/esd/...089887428.html

Thanks for any advice.
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Old 03-14-20, 02:50 PM
  #2  
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Balance is a little different with recumbents versus DF bikes. My experience ~20 yrs ago with a long wheel base bike with
bars somewhat like those was the first ride around a parking lot was fun and straight forward but once out on the road
it did take a few hundred miles to get accustomed to the steering when climbing hills. The biggest revelation is that
steering is much better if you only lightly grip the bar. A death grip will result in a much greater side to side wobble,
not loss of control as such but a bigger peak to peak 'sine wave'. Unlike DF bikes where a substantial grip is helpful
on hills, on a recumbent it is not, indeed there is almost no upper body contribution to forward motion of the bike while
pedaling. It is all in the legs. I would advise using platform pedals until you get used to this and then switching to
whatever pedals you were accustomed to. Falling over when stopping is less likely if you can easily put your feet
on the ground, some bents have a high enough seat that you have to sit up in order to do this. Bacchetta style bikes
can be this way for those of us under 66-68" tall if both wheels are 650 or 700c size. You very early learn also to
downshift a bit or a lot before coming to a stop, again especially on hills, as stopping in too high a gear will make
start up difficult because you can't do the DF thing of standing up to increase crank torque.

FWIW tricycles solve most of these problems, except the gear down stopping but add the problem of transport
and they have a 10-20# weight penalty. Ready access to bike paths can simplify learning to ride as well. If you
do get a bent, stick to large empty parking lots, parking decks or bike paths for the first 20 miles or so to ease
the transition. Another aspect of bents: falling over you are much closer to the ground, and trikes can't fall over.

Last edited by sch; 03-14-20 at 03:07 PM.
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Old 03-14-20, 06:31 PM
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A RANS Rocket, especially one with a 2" boom as shown, is a nice little bike. It will take a bit of time to learn starting on it, but worth the effort. I used to offer test rides on my V-Rex (very similar) when on multi-day tours. Virtually everyone was able to take off and ride it, although a few needed to back up and try a second time.
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Old 03-14-20, 06:35 PM
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A friend of mine owns several of the two wheel variety. I cannot recall the names of all of them, but one in particular he mentioned should be easiest to try on. The weight balance of my body is off due to an amputation and I could never get properly started.
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Old 03-14-20, 08:08 PM
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The CL Rocket could be a good bike if it fits - my first 'bent after 30+ years of upright bikes was similar. (RANS Tailwind) Only took a couple of false starts to make it around the block for a test ride. I have only fallen 3 times since I got that bike in 2006 and those were due to encountering slippery road surfaces while moving and losing control (1. Unidentified liquid spilled/leaked on road by truck. 2. Wet steel grate bridge decking due to rain. 3. Very wet road due to heavy rains while making right turn) No serious injuries.
Not as far to fall down on a recumbent.
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Old 03-15-20, 06:30 PM
  #6  
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I used to own one of those and I really liked it. HOWEVER, when I came to grips with the fact that I was hiding from my wife how often I fell while riding it, I realized it was trike time for me. I probably had 10 falls the last six months that I rode the Rocket most of them 0 MPH events. In the interest of full disclosure, I'm not probably a typical rider. I have a history of PTSD following a bicycle accident and I've had several concussions and broken bones.
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Old 03-15-20, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by jnbrown View Post
I am a 62 year old road cyclist currently suffering wth a hamstring injury.
The injury makes it difficult to ride my road bike since the saddle puts direct pressure on the injury where the tendon attaches to the sit bones.
It has been 2 months and will probably be many more before it heals.
My doctor has cleared me to ride a stationary recumbent bike.
If that works out I am thinking of getting one for the road.
But I am concerned about falling over and injuring myself especially while starting and stopping.
Here is an example of what I found on my local Craigs List:

https://sandiego.craigslist.org/esd/...089887428.html

Thanks for any advice.
I've had a couple falls from recumbents, generally the zero-speed "Artie Johnson" variety. In every case I ended up on my buttocks- perhaps painful for you but you might not re-injure yourself. Listen to and heed your doctor's advice.

There's a group of recumbent riders in San Diego- I'm not sure how formal, though. (I moved away 24 years ago.) El Camino Bike Shop might know how to get in touch with them.
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Old 03-17-20, 08:28 AM
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Easiest of the recumbent is the LWB bent. And then ANYONE can ride a trike.
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Old 03-17-20, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Easiest of the recumbent is the LWB bent. And then ANYONE can ride a trike.
A LWB with a high bottom bracket , like my V3, is not the easiest to learn to ride. My SWB V-Rex was a bit easier to learn. Neither were truly difficult to learn to ride.
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Old 03-18-20, 09:12 AM
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can you rent one to see how you like it, before you buy? I am not sure how well you can ride hills also
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Old 03-18-20, 10:04 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by HeyItsSara View Post
can you rent one to see how you like it, before you buy? I am not sure how well you can ride hills also
When I bought Saki, I had to make a leap of faith and go with my heart and not my head, certainly not a test ride. Even if a dealer handled these bikes (most don't) , I wasn't able to ride something this ... demanding, for weeks after the purchase. I had to believe that I could do it, sight unseen. Hills are a matter of weight and gearing. Recumbents don't (usually) climb as well as DF's because they weigh more, yet their drivetrains have the identical low (and high) gear ratios.

Take another look at Saki :-) I'm no weight weenie, obviously. She may be the only highracer in Portland with fenders, a kickstand, flashers ... there is a very high performance racebike under there. With Tiagra or Ultegra level running gear and no accessories she could probably hit 20lb. That is DF roadbike territory. I took the OEM 30T granny ring down to 24T and I can spin up the exact same hills in 24/36 that I take with the 34/28 of my DF roadracer.
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Old 03-20-20, 10:15 AM
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Easy to ride, but different to ride. As written earlier, it may take 100-200 miles for your reactions to become natural. I would not learn while injured if putting down an emergency leg and standing up top stop stress the recovering parts of you.
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Old 03-23-20, 06:37 PM
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This Is all day comfort. And super Easy to ride
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Old 03-23-20, 06:41 PM
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This Is my Gravel grinder, I do lots of long 12 to 13% grades
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Old 03-27-20, 02:34 PM
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I'd say I've lost more skin riding my bent than any other bike. But, each fall had me land on the back of my upper leg. Better than landing on head, hands, shoulder, etc. But when that road rash heals up and starts to itch, nothing like being in line at a grocery store and viciously scratching my lower buttocks. People seem to notice.
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Old 03-27-20, 03:00 PM
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remember you spin on a bent its too easy to push hard and screw yourself up. you can get more leverage.
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Old 03-30-20, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by osco53 View Post

This Is my Gravel grinder, I do lots of long 12 to 13% grades
Rambler?
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Old 05-02-20, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
A LWB with a high bottom bracket , like my V3, is not the easiest to learn to ride. My SWB V-Rex was a bit easier to learn. Neither were truly difficult to learn to ride.
You are probably right, I was thinking for of the Stratus or a used Tailwind.
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Old 05-06-20, 02:55 PM
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No, 2 wheeled recumbents are not easier to ride than a DF especially when tiller steering is involved. The results of crashes hurt less but they happen way more. Consider 3 wheels for a safe ride.

My 2 wheeled Raptobike Midracer is my everyday ride. It's fast and comfortable but it not the intuitive ride that my DF bikes are. An open cockpit made the control acceptable but it never mentally disappears beneath me like good bikes can.

800 miles into a long tour on the Midracer, I quit when I found starting on uphill highway shoulders had me using too much road to be comfortable. The recumbent was replaced with my DF touring bike before continuing.

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Old 05-06-20, 03:00 PM
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telling people not to pull on the handlebars helps use a couple of fingers for a light grip to keep from jerking it.
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