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What do I wear?

Old 07-18-19, 10:04 AM
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What do I wear?

I picked up a 2009 Bacchetta Strada yesterday that my wife saw on the local FB marketplace for $350 which I considered too good to pass up. Seller said it only has about 500 miles. I'm planning to attempt a 400k with it in a few weeks and my question is what to wear. I took it for a 15 mile test ride in just regular shorts and a t-shirt which actually seemed just fine. My normal cycling kit doesn't seem like it would be very good, but I really have no idea so looking for suggestions on what to wear for a 250 mile recumbent ride. I know there is recumbent specific kit available, but I'd prefer to put that off until I decide if bents suit me or not. Any reason not to just go with shorts and a t-shirt?

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Old 07-18-19, 10:15 AM
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I would wear moisture wicking attire. Don’t spend a lot, just go to any place like Target or Old Navy, etc. You can get some exercise clothes there. Don’t wear shorts like in the picture, because I’ve heard that bees & such get caught up in the leg opening.....ouch. Something like tight running shorts, or even bike shorts would work.

Given the reclined angle, you might want a hat with a brim under your helmet. There’s a product called “Da Brim” that is a hat brim that goes over your helmet. Made for recumbent riders. Wear sun glasses, preferably polarized. Sun screen.
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Old 07-18-19, 10:23 AM
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Blousy shorts will catch a lot of wind and can direct bees up to places no bee should ever go. So some kind of short that is tight fitting, at least at the bottom, is best.

When the pads in my upright bike shorts get ratty, I take out the pads and voila, I have recumbent bike shorts. Other kinds of tight athletic shorts can work well too - rowing shorts, compression type workout shorts, etc.

Shorts with the pads still in them work ok, even if the pad is superfluous.

As for tops, I have both recumbent specific and regular upright bike jerseys. The only difference is the pocket locations. The recumbent tops have pockets on the sides, instead of the back. That said I use my upright bike jerseys on the bents all the time. My bents have narrow seats (as yours does too), and I can still use the two outer pockets for slender items - an energy bar or something like that.

Many folks complain about the sun in their eyes when riding a bent, so you may want to use a helmet with a visor on it, or wear a cycling cap if it's not too warm. I have one old cycling cap that I cut the top out of, so it's like a sweatband with a brim on it now. That works ok.

Padded cycling gloves aren't needed, but some form of hand protection is wise. Glad to see that you are using mountain bike shoes and pedals. Road shoes will slip when you put a leg down at stops and you may end up wiping out or doing a very painful split.

Ok, that's all I have to say about warm weather recumbent cycling gear.
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Old 07-18-19, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
I picked up a 2009 Bacchetta Strada yesterday that my wife saw on the local FB marketplace for $350 which I considered too good to pass up. Seller said it only has about 500 miles. I'm planning to attempt a 400k with it in a few weeks.....
First: Nice score. Great price on a pretty good performing* bent .

(* not the most aero, lightest, or stiffest bent out there, but decent in all of those categories).

Second: Wow, you're jumping into the deep end of the pool. Can I recommend you ease into it a bit and plan a ride that long for the fall or perhaps next spring? There is significant adaptation to riding a recumbent, and you won't reach your full potential on it right away. It will take at least a couple months of regular riding on it, but some folks report a longer period of time than that. I feel like it took me a couple years, quite frankly.

When I re-entered the recumbent world back in 2008 (after a 15 year hiatus), I got a Bacchetta Giro 20 and promptly rode it from Pittsburgh to DC on the GAP/C&O over 5 days. This was a bad move. By the end of the first day (only about 60 miles or so) my legs were so messed up and terribly sore in odd places that I had trouble walking and thought I had an abdominal hernia. Then I had to keep going for 4 more days. This is nothing to say about being efficient and effective on the bent (that takes longer, as I suggested) - it's only to be able to tolerate the different muscle use. Prior to that, in prep for the tour, I had done multiple 60 mile rides in hilly terrain on my upright touring bike and had no issues. So it was all the fault of the bent.

If you are committed to doing the 400K on it, then all I can suggest is to put in as much time as possible on it prior.
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Old 07-18-19, 10:59 AM
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Oh, there is another good reason to avoid loose shorts for anything other than short rides: chafing. On a bent you don't have a saddle keeping your scrotum away from the sides of your legs.

At the least, if you wear loose shorts, at least wear some tight, supporting underwear under them. I use snug synthetic (wicking) briefs. Champion brand, and others.

It also helps to make sure when putting them on to pull them up tight around your junk - up, and centered.

The sides of my scrotum practically wore through on one long sweaty ride one day (12 hr race; Calvin's Challenge) because while I did wear the above described underwear, either I didn't take care to pull them up appropriately, or perhaps they sort of slid downwards over the course of the ride. The sides of my scrotum started rubbing on my legs with every pedal stroke and I didn't notice it at first. But the post-ride shower was quite painful.
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Old 07-18-19, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Steamer View Post
First: Nice score. Great price on a pretty good performing* bent .

(* not the most aero, lightest, or stiffest bent out there, but decent in all of those categories).
Sounds like a great rando bike, kinda ok at everything. Limited choices on 650c tires these days, but otherwise seems quite good for long distance.

Originally Posted by Steamer View Post
Second: Wow, you're jumping into the deep end of the pool...
That's how I roll.

I just finished a 1,000k on Sunday on a DF, so I'm accustomed to long distances. I'll take the Strada out for an easy 100 miles on Saturday and see how it goes. If I can do a century on it, I can do a 400k. The time limits are very generous, and a buddy of mine who also rides a Bacchetta says he'll ride it with me.

Thanks for all the advice on what to wear. That's very helpful. Sounds like my normal cycling kit is the way to go for now. I'll experiment with a few different bottoms to see what works the best. I have another helmet with a bigger visor, so I'll give that a try too. The OFA bag that came with the bike is a little smaller than I'm used to, so I'm debating getting the brain box or a rear rack so I can use one of my trunk bags.

Last edited by kingston; 07-18-19 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 07-18-19, 01:08 PM
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I used to ride a recumbent! Wear anything that's comfortable to you. No rules.
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Old 07-18-19, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
Sounds like a great rando bike, kinda ok at everything. Limited choices on 650c tires these days, but otherwise seems quite good for long distance.
You probably could use 559 wheels/tires to get something a little fatter if desired. Brake pads would need to drop 6mm. High performing tire selection in 559 isn't great, but there are a few tires that may fit the bill. And you could probably get 28mm or 32 mm tires to fit. Recumbents require a little fatter tires than DFs, for equal conditions.

Originally Posted by kingston View Post
Thanks for all the advice on what to wear. That's very helpful. Sounds like my normal cycling kit is the way to go for now. I'll experiment with a few different bottoms to see what works the best. I have another helmet with a bigger visor, so I'll give that a try too.
Yeah, for the most part, the clothing you already own is the way to go.

Originally Posted by kingston View Post
The OFA bag that came with the bike is a little smaller than I'm used to, so I'm debating getting the brain box or a rear rack so I can use one of my trunk bags.
I would recommend either a brain box or perhaps some supplemental bags like these:

For under the main frame tube: https://t-cycle.com/collections/fast...ack-frame-pack
On top of the main frame tube (good place for snacks): https://t-cycle.com/collections/fast...ash-frame-pack

These are also very nice in combination with a seat back bag (if you like to carry a lot of stuff): https://www.radicaldesign.com/universal-racer or https://www.radicaldesign.com/banana-racer

Or even these (although they are bit much for most rando riding.): https://www.radicaldesign.com/banana-s
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Old 07-18-19, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Steamer View Post
You probably could use 559 wheels/tires to get something a little fatter if desired. Brake pads would need to drop 6mm. High performing tire selection in 559 isn't great, but there are a few tires that may fit the bill. And you could probably get 28mm or 32 mm tires to fit. Recumbents require a little fatter tires than DFs, for equal conditions.
I have some nice 559 touring wheels with a 135mm rear OLD that might work. Do you happen to know if the 2009 Strada has 132.5mm rear spacing? I see that some of the other Bacchetta frames do, but I couldn't find the spec for my bike online, and the hub in there now is a 130mm. I can always just try to cram my wheel in there and see if it fits. Steel frame so I doubt I'll break it. The fork looks like it will fit a 26x1.25" tire, and there's plenty of room in the back. Rene Herse has the Elk Pass if I decide to spend almost as much on tires as the rest of the bike, which is definitely the kind of thing I would do. Otherwise looks like the 28mm Paselas are the biggest 650c tire available, which isn't a terrible option.

Originally Posted by Steamer View Post
I would recommend either a brain box or perhaps some supplemental bags like these...
Any particular reason not to go with the rack? Just curious
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Old 07-18-19, 02:52 PM
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One more thing. Recommendations on water bottle cages? Since they are hanging upside-down, I wondered if there was anything I needed to watch out for. Do people use side-loaders? Seems like that would be easier to access if the bottles don't bounce out.
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Old 07-18-19, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
One more thing. Recommendations on water bottle cages? Since they are hanging upside-down, I wondered if there was anything I needed to watch out for. Do people use side-loaders? Seems like that would be easier to access if the bottles don't bounce out.
I don't find side loaders to be all that much more convenient than top entry cages, but I guess they are a little. This is assuming you use the two mounting points on the seat frame that are behind the mesh. Did you spot those yet?

Of my five bents, 2 have side loading cages, and 3 have top loading.

But yes, you do need a little stronger cage than on an upright bike. I like King Cages Iris.
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Old 07-18-19, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
I have some nice 559 touring wheels with a 135mm rear OLD that might work. Do you happen to know if the 2009 Strada has 132.5mm rear spacing? I see that some of the other Bacchetta frames do, but I couldn't find the spec for my bike online, and the hub in there now is a 130mm. I can always just try to cram my wheel in there and see if it fits. Steel frame so I doubt I'll break it. The fork looks like it will fit a 26x1.25" tire, and there's plenty of room in the back. Rene Herse has the Elk Pass if I decide to spend almost as much on tires as the rest of the bike, which is definitely the kind of thing I would do. Otherwise looks like the 28mm Paselas are the biggest 650c tire available, which isn't a terrible option.
I think the Strada is 130mm but I wouldn't worry about putting a 135mm OLD wheel in it for the reason you mention.

Michelin Wild Run'R tires are a good value, and are reported to roll very fast.

Originally Posted by kingston View Post
Any particular reason not to go with the rack? Just curious
They are hard to mount well on this particular bent, and the installation looks like a kludge in most cases. And if you do get it on, the rack bag may not have enough usable space due to the seat back intruding onto the bag, so the bag may have to sort of hang off the back. Also, a brain box will have a similar capacity as most rack top bags, so there isn't much point.

I should point out that one flaw of Bacchettas in my opinion is how unbalanced the front-rear weight distribution is. They are too rear centered, with no bags on them. This makes for lousy handling. So I tend to favor options that keep the weight more forward and lower. A brain box isn't ideal in this regard. A rack top bag wouldn't be any better, and perhaps slightly worse.
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Old 07-18-19, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Steamer View Post
I don't find side loaders to be all that much more convenient than top entry cages, but I guess they are a little. This is assuming you use the two mounting points on the seat frame that are behind the mesh. Did you spot those yet?

Of my five bents, 2 have side loading cages, and 3 have top loading.

But yes, you do need a little stronger cage than on an upright bike. I like King Cages Iris.
I found the mounting points and mounted a pair of Blackburn Chicanes because I had an extra set lying around. I can swap them with the Iris cages I have on another bike if I find myself losing bottles. By the way, I just screwed the bolts right through the mesh. I thought about melting a hole with a hot poker, but wasn't sure if it's just plastic threads and didn't want to accidentally melt those. I also mounted a headlight and a taillight and checked the rest of the mechanicals so I just need to order a few 650c tubes, and I should be good-to-go for this weekend's shakedown ride. I can make the rest of the modifications and additions you mention as the need arises.

Thanks for all the help. I'll check back in after the weekend and let you know how it goes. Temps in the 100's here in Chicago, so I know I won't be setting any speed records.
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Old 07-18-19, 06:14 PM
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Your old biking kit really will work best; you just don't need a fancy pad, and you can't use the middle pocket in back. Nice score, BTW.
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Old 07-18-19, 07:35 PM
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Quite the deal you got, yes. If your brakes will adjust down to the 559 rims, that would give you greater selection for tires.
I wear mostly wicking poly shirts and undershorts. Variety of shorts, none of them cotton or lycra. Haven't worn actual cycling shorts for a long time. Gloves are kind of optional for 'bents. Certainly no need for padding.
I use a soldering iron when attaching a bottle cage on RANS seats.
Shouldn't be a problem putting a 135 wheel in your steel frame if it is 130. I use a 135 wheel in a 130 ti frame.
Glad to hear that you have come around to accepting that a recumbent bike is just another type of bike - welcome to the dark side!
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Old 07-19-19, 02:26 AM
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How do you plan to carry your "stuff"?

Anything that you carry in your shorts pockets is likely to fall out. If you wear a regular bicycle jersey, you will be laying back on it. I bought an inexpensive mesh photographer's vest. It has pockets for my wallet, cell phone, car keys etc and it's all easily accessible while I'm riding.

I sometimes wear bike shorts from which I've cut the padding and sometimes I wear gym shorts. A wicking t-shirt suits me fine.

A helmet with a visor would probably be better because the angle of your head is different. One thing I think you'll like is that you are much less likely to have sweat in the eye issues.
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Old 07-19-19, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
How do you plan to carry your "stuff"?

Anything that you carry in your shorts pockets is likely to fall out. If you wear a regular bicycle jersey, you will be laying back on it. I bought an inexpensive mesh photographer's vest. It has pockets for my wallet, cell phone, car keys etc and it's all easily accessible while I'm riding.

I sometimes wear bike shorts from which I've cut the padding and sometimes I wear gym shorts. A wicking t-shirt suits me fine.

A helmet with a visor would probably be better because the angle of your head is different. One thing I think you'll like is that you are much less likely to have sweat in the eye issues.
The bike came with a seat bag that holds a fair amount of stuff, and I don't normally need access to stuff other than water bottles while I'm on the bike. As I mentioned earlier, I'm likely in the market for a larger bag. I wore a cycling jersey today, but tomorrow I'm going to try a running t-shirt, since the zipper was slightly annoying, and I don't really need the pockets. My helmet has a visor, an I almost always wear a headsweats or something similar to keep the sweat out of my eyes.

Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
Glad to hear that you have come around to accepting that a recumbent bike is just another type of bike - welcome to the dark side!
I wasn't looking for a recumbent. The bike found me, and I'm working on Kingston 2.0, who is more open-minded and less opinionated than earlier versions you may have encountered.

We have a pretty active local marketplace on FB that my wife watches, and she always sends me a screeshot when interesting bikes come up. She said she almost didn't send this one because she didn't think I would be interested in a recumbent, but at the price they were asking, it seemed too good for me to pass up. I figure if I don't like it, I can just put it back up on the FB marketplace for the same price and the next person can snap it up to try it out. Thankfully, my wife is very understanding of my weakness for acquiring used bikes. I bought three already this year.

So I took the new bike out for a 32 mile ride this morning, and here are a few observations: Likely no surprises for this crowd, but thought I'd share my experiences as a first-timer, and a few more questions have come up that I sprinkled throughout.

1) Recumbents use different muscles: I could spin it up to a good cruising speed, but I didn't have the legs to hold it there for very long, so my average speed was several mph lower than on my other bikes for the same route. I'll put a few hundred miles on the recumbent in the next couple of weeks and I'm sure it will get easier, but I'll be really surprised if I'm ever as fast on this bike as some of my other bikes. I realize the Strada wasn't really built for speed so it's probably not a fair comparison, but I don't see any problem with maintaining a 15mph moving average which is all you need for randonneuring anyway.

2) Looking up all the time is pretty nice: I never realized how much I'm not looking ahead on my other bikes until I experienced always looking ahead. Nice.

3) Handling is a lot different: I ride the recumbent more like a tandem than a single safety. Carry more momentum into the hills since I can't stand up and blast over the top, and much more cautious at intersections since I don't have the nimble handling or burst of acceleration that I normally do. Starting uphill is hard, so I'm going to try to avoid that as much as I can.

4) Steering and Turns: With my safeties, I don't use the handlebars to steer. I just lean the bike a little bit one way or the other and it goes where I want it to. With the recumbent I find myself steering with the handlebars and high-speed turns are surprisingly different. Not sure how to describe it exactly. With a DF I feel like I can scrub speed or accelerate through the corner if I need to so it's ok to come in a little hot or a little slow. On the recumbent, I feel like I have to pick a speed going into the corner, and I'm committed. The bike corners very well, so it's not uncomfortable, it's just a lot different than what I'm used to. I'm looking forward to getting more experience so I can push it a little harder, which seems like it will be super-fun on curvy descents.

5) Comfort seems overall about the same: Since I don't really experience any discomfort on my other bikes, there's not much room for improvement. I got a little chafing on my inner thigh where the pad is sewn into the shorts. Nothing major, but little annoyances on a 2 hour ride can turn into major discomfort on a 20 hour ride. Tomorrow I'll try some different shorts. I also got a little numbness/pain in a horizontal line across my rear at the level of my tailbone. Is this a fit issue or something that resolves itself with more time on the bike? I feel like the seat tilt & position is adjusted pretty well, but I'll experiment with some adjustments to see if something else works better.

6) Tires: I thought the 23c tires were fine. The foam on the seat provides a lot of cushion, and I haven't really bought into the whole wide-tire craze yet. I rode 25's on a 1,000k last weekend and they were totally fine except for a few short sections of gravel. I'll ride the 650c x 23 kendas until they wear out and most likely just get some 650c x 28 Paselas after that. Don't really see the need to put a set of 559's on there for an extra 2-3 mm of tire width, but it's nice to know the option is there down the road. I'm sure I could also get a different fork if I wanted to go really wide. Looks like the brakes will accommodate 26x1.75" so I could also go 1.25" in the front and 1.75" in the back. Not sure if people do that or not, but it seems like it could work.

7) Gearing: My ride today was pretty flat since I live on the North Shore of Chicago, but I would expect I would need a lot more range on a hilly ride than I would on a DF. The bike has a standard road triple (50-39-30) and a 9-speed cassette. Will a 12-36 be low enough for a hilly ride, should I be thinking about a different chainset/granny ring, or should I just leave the recumbent at home for really hilly rides?
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Old 07-19-19, 09:49 AM
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Spotted this company:

https://www.reversegearinc.com/product/ironbark-shorts/

I like my compression shorts and running shorts over the top — no need for padded bicycle shorts. The problem I ran into was bees! I had on my black compression shorts, so was able to pull off the road and start stripping off. Thankfully no bee strings, but I am sure it was not a beautiful sight to see an old guy pulling off his shirt and shorts. I try to remain calm (don't swat at bees!) but oh crud.

Hence I'd like those shorts for long-distance events. For Triathlons, I wear Sparx Tri Suit. Fine for cycling, but I'm the first to admit looks strange for running/cycling around the neighborhood. I have worn them for swimming as made sense to ride/swim/ride.
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Old 07-19-19, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
Recumbents use different muscles: I could spin it up to a good cruising speed, but I didn't have the legs to hold it there for very long, so my average speed was several mph lower than on my other bikes for the same route. I'll put a few hundred miles on the recumbent in the next couple of weeks and I'm sure it will get easier, but I'll be really surprised if I'm ever as fast on this bike as some of my other bikes. I realize the Strada wasn't really built for speed so it's probably not a fair comparison, but I don't see any problem with maintaining a 15mph moving average which is all you need for randonneuring anyway.
This is a big part of many people's disappointment with recumbents. It's not a quick transition. Most people don't have the patience if they don't have an urgent need or requirement to ride a bent. But please believe me that for all but the hilliest rides (say, 85 feet of climbing per mile or more) I am faster on my bents than my DFs for overall average speed. And you would likely too if you put the time in to reach your full potential on the bent. As for my speed differences, as you might guess, the flatter the ride, the bigger the difference. It's in the 2.5 to 3.5 mph range on flat and rolling courses, and in the 1 to 2 mph range on routes that I would call "hilly". Now, that's just me, but I have been splitting my time close to 50-50 over the last 5 years or so. And I feel like my experiences are reasonably representative of the potential performances differences between the two platforms. Rando may not require speed, but it does favor efficiency. And the same characteristics that produce speed also produce efficiency. Riding a bent consumes less calories. Part of that is in energy savings by having a lower CdA (and aero drag is the single biggest consumer of energy to make the bike go forward) and part is in the passive energy savings of not having to hold your body upright on a DF bike. I can feel the difference on 2 and 3 hour rides, so I can't imagine how it would feel on randonnees. To be clear, I have never done a randonnee on a DF. I only use my bents for that (back when I used to do them, that is).

Originally Posted by kingston View Post
I also got a little numbness/pain in a horizontal line across my rear at the level of my tailbone. Is this a fit issue or something that resolves itself with more time on the bike? I feel like the seat tilt & position is adjusted pretty well, but I'll experiment with some adjustments to see if something else works better.
This is a common complaint with the Euromesh seat. Is the bottom zip tie still intact? If so, cut it. It will make a longer flat area at the bottom of the seat for your butt to fit into. The other possible cause is if the seat angle is too upright. That seat is not designed to be more upright than about 30 deg. or so (measured along the center section of the seat relative to the horizontal).

Originally Posted by kingston View Post
7) Gearing: My ride today was pretty flat since I live on the North Shore of Chicago, but I would expect I would need a lot more range on a hilly ride than I would on a DF. The bike has a standard road triple (50-39-30) and a 9-speed cassette. Will a 12-36 be low enough for a hilly ride, should I be thinking about a different chainset/granny ring, or should I just leave the recumbent at home for really hilly rides?
I think you will find recumbents to favor higher climbing cadences compared to uprights. My observations have been that I am a good 10 rpm higher on the bents. Say, 80 rpm vs. 70 rpm. Plus I am a little slower on hills on the bents, if the hill is very steep. So, as a result, I find I need a lowest gear on my bents that is about 25% lower than on my uprights. I am content with a 25-27 inch low gear on my uprights, but seek something more like 18-20 inches on my bents. I live in central PA, and we pretty much have paved goat paths for a lot of our country roads, so grades in the 10-15% range are quite common.

Last edited by Steamer; 07-19-19 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 07-19-19, 11:17 AM
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Yes, recumbents use the same leg muscles as uprights but in different combinations. Takes a while to re-train your legs. How long does that take? Varies by person.
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Old 07-19-19, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Steamer View Post
This is a big part of many people's disappointment with recumbents. It's not a quick transition. Most people don't have the patience if they don't have an urgent need or requirement to ride a bent. But please believe me that for all but the hilliest rides (say, 85 feet of climbing per mile or more) I am faster on my bents than my DFs for overall average speed. And you would likely too if you put the time in to reach your full potential on the bent. As for my speed differences, as you might guess, the flatter the ride, the bigger the difference. It's in the 2.5 to 3.5 mph range on flat and rolling courses, and in the 1 to 2 mph range on routes that I would call "hilly". Now, that's just me, but I have been splitting my time close to 50-50 over the last 5 years or so. And I feel like my experiences are reasonably representative of the potential performances differences between the two platforms. Rando may not require speed, but it does favor efficiency. And the same characteristics that produce speed also produce efficiency. Riding a bent consumes less calories. Part of that is in energy savings by having a lower CdA (and aero drag is the single biggest consumer of energy to make the bike go forward) and part is in the passive energy savings of not having to hold your body upright on a DF bike. I can feel the difference on 2 and 3 hour rides, so I can't imagine how it would feel on randonnees. To be clear, I have never done a randonnee on a DF. I only use my bents for that (back when I used to do them, that is).
This probably also explains why one of my randonneuring buddies is having such a hard time transitioning to a DF. He's very fast on his recumbent, and we have cycled thousands of km's together. He got a really nice titanium DF this year and has been afraid to bring in on a brevet because he's so much slower. I'll stick with the recumbent for the next month or so and see what happens. I ride a lot this time of year so that should be over a thousand miles, enough to see some improvement. I don't think I've ever done a ride with 85'/mi of climbing. Some of the hardest I've done were only around 60'/mi. Can't imagine what another 25'/mile would have been like.

Originally Posted by Steamer View Post
This is a common complaint with the Euromesh seat. Is the bottom zip tie still intact? If so, cut it. It will make a longer flat area at the bottom of the seat for your butt to fit into. The other possible cause is if the seat angle is too upright. That seat is not designed to be more upright than about 30 deg. or so (measured along the center section of the seat relative to the horizontal).
Zip tie cut. I'm just under 30 deg. so I'll tilt it back a click or two if it persists.

Originally Posted by Steamer View Post
I think you will find recumbents to favor higher climbing cadences compared to uprights. My observations have been that I am a good 10 rpm higher on the bents. Say, 80 rpm vs. 70 rpm. Plus I am a little slower on hills on the bents, if the hill is very steep. So, as a result, I find I need a lowest gear on my bents that is about 25% lower than on my uprights. I am content with a 25-27 inch low gear on my uprights, but seek something more like 18-20 inches on my bents. I live in central PA, and we pretty much have paved goat paths for a lot of our country roads, so grades in the 10-15% range are quite common.
That's what I suspected. Current low is 23" and I can get down to around 20" with a 36T cassette. Lower than that I'll need new rings.
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Old 07-20-19, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Steamer View Post
You probably could use 559 wheels/tires to get something a little fatter if desired. Brake pads would need to drop 6mm. High performing tire selection in 559 isn't great, but there are a few tires that may fit the bill. And you could probably get 28mm or 32 mm tires to fit. Recumbents require a little fatter tires than DFs, for equal conditions.
I pulled the wheels this morning and was a pretty disappointed. Normally I would have inspected the wheels before taking it for a ride, but the seller told me the bike only had 500 miles and there was an invoice from the LBS for earlier this year with a $90 line item for hub bearing service. Well they were not serviced, and the cones were pitted. The front rim also has some damage, and they're pretty cheap wheels to begin with, so I'm just going to replace the wheels. I put my 26" touring wheelset in with some old 26x1.25" tires and everything fits, but I don't want to leave my other bike wheel-less, so I'm just going to build a new set for the Strada. I have a set of VO touring hubs lying around waiting for a bike, and I think this might be it. Do you have any recommendations for a narrow 36h 559 rim for a 1.25" tire? I'm going to order a set of the Michelin tires you recommended and try to run a 1.4 on the back and a 1.1 on the front to see if it works on the 19mm rims I have. I'm worried that the rim will be too wide for a 1.1" tire. If the 1.4" measures narrow it may clear the fork, but I doubt it.
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Old 07-20-19, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
I pulled the wheels this morning and was a pretty disappointed. Normally I would have inspected the wheels before taking it for a ride, but the seller told me the bike only had 500 miles and there was an invoice from the LBS for earlier this year with a $90 line item for hub bearing service. Well they were not serviced, and the cones were pitted. The front rim also has some damage, and they're pretty cheap wheels to begin with, so I'm just going to replace the wheels. I put my 26" touring wheelset in with some old 26x1.25" tires and everything fits, but I don't want to leave my other bike wheel-less, so I'm just going to build a new set for the Strada. I have a set of VO touring hubs lying around waiting for a bike, and I think this might be it. Do you have any recommendations for a narrow 36h 559 rim for a 1.25" tire? I'm going to order a set of the Michelin tires you recommended and try to run a 1.4 on the back and a 1.1 on the front to see if it works on the 19mm rims I have. I'm worried that the rim will be too wide for a 1.1" tire. If the 1.4" measures narrow it may clear the fork, but I doubt it.
Velocity Aeroheat?
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Old 07-20-19, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Steamer View Post
Velocity Aeroheat?
I guess they call that the Dyad now? Seems like there aren't any narrow 26" rims anymore. Narrowest I can find is the Sun CR18.
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Old 07-20-19, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
I guess they call that the Dyad now? Seems like there aren't any narrow 26" rims anymore. Narrowest I can find is the Sun CR18.
Yes, its the same as the Dyad. Velocity used to call the Dyad rolled into sizes smaller than 622 the Aeroheat, but looks now like they have dropped the Aeroheat name.

The inner width is small enough to use 28mm tires I think, which is about the smallest 559 tire out there anyway. I have been using this rim with 31mm Kojaks for a couple years with no issues. I doubt that dropping 3 more mm would be a problem.
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