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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Did a search and can't find anything new on these so starting a new thread...

Have herniated disc in neck, as well as stenosis pinching nerve. Also have 2 partially torn rotators. 65 yrs old.

Have a specialized roubaix with the shock in the stem and the seat, have put spacers in the stem such that handlebars are about as high as they can be on a roadbike. Still not enough. I have considered moving to a more upright bike, hybrid, mountain, cruiser, etc., however, I just ride on roads for exercise. About 6 hours a week.

Then on the bike path I saw recumbents. I spoke to the owner, he loves it. But he does not ride that much.

I am looking to see if anyone here has a recumbent, what brand, what their thoughts are etc. TIA.
 

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I have a volea high racer. I rode it for 1 season, it is very fast but not really fun on steep hills/climbs. I went back to the standard bike for 2 reasons: 1. I faster on a hilly course (which is where I mostly ride) on a wedgie. 2. Your neck situation is exactly opposite to a wedgie, the muscles on the front work holding your head up in lieu of the muscles on the back.
If you have neck issues, how are you if you lay on the floor or in a recliner; then try and hold your head up to watch tv for an hour. Some of my rides are 4 hours long.
 

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Things to consider about recumbents:
If you have a beard of any length, it will blow up into your face.
A long wheelbase recumbent is a pig when maneuvering around town.
A short wheelbase recumbent can sometimes be 'squirrely' at high speeds.
Any recumbent sits lower, and may be hard for traffic to see.
Recumbents are terrible for hard climbs.
Wearing anything looser than cycling short will allow wind to blow up your shorts.
 

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Things to consider about recumbents:
If you have a beard of any length, it will blow up into your face.
A long wheelbase recumbent is a pig when maneuvering around town.
A short wheelbase recumbent can sometimes be 'squirrely' at high speeds.
Any recumbent sits lower, and may be hard for traffic to see.
Recumbents are terrible for hard climbs.
Wearing anything looser than cycling short will allow wind to blow up your shorts.
Everything here.

I rode one for a few years when I was having prostate issues and could not sit on a diamond framed bike. They are great fun, no question, short wheel base can be squirrly, and it can be hard to balance on rough pavement conditions when you your heavy legs are stuck out in front of you. And they really do suck on hills, combination of they are heavy as well as your legs are not as effective at pounding the pedals. They can be a headache to get out of your basement or stick in a car, and you might need to play games if using a roof or hitch rack, they are very long and unwieldy. You dont need padded shorts and a bike jersey with back pockets is of no use, so you save on expensive cycling clothing. And they are a lot of fun to ride, especially if you ride mostly flat bike trails and/or easy rolling hills. And, yes you are required to grow a beard to ride one.
 

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I didn't have a beard, I'm that kinda guy. Mine was a high racer, which is short wheelbase and you sit over the wheels, so it's just about as high as a regular bike, but you are laying flatter. Solid as a rock at high speeds, but remember if your rear wheel loses a little bit of traction, you cannot put your foot down and go FLAT TRACK'IN.
 

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Things to consider about recumbents:
If you have a beard of any length, it will blow up into your face.
A long wheelbase recumbent is a pig when maneuvering around town.
A short wheelbase recumbent can sometimes be 'squirrely' at high speeds.
Any recumbent sits lower, and may be hard for traffic to see.
Recumbents are terrible for hard climbs.
Wearing anything looser than cycling short will allow wind to blow up your shorts.
LOL. Insightful commentary! I've also seen several times a proud recumbent rider not being able to click out of his pedals when having to stop, and ingloriously falling over.
 

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I didn't have a beard, I'm that kinda guy. Mine was a high racer, which is short wheelbase and you sit over the wheels, so it's just about as high as a regular bike, but you are laying flatter. Solid as a rock at high speeds, but remember if your rear wheel loses a little bit of traction, you cannot put your foot down and go FLAT TRACK'IN.
A buddy back in '79 came back from the human powered convention in UK with a trike, "Windcheetah," Tandem front wheels steered by a joystick with friction shifters on the sides, full fiberglass fairing, removable cockpit cover with plastic windshield. It was about the dimensions of a standard recumbent. 24 x 1 inch tires, rim brakes, Suntour crank and rear derailleur, 2 x 6 speeds. Rode the MUT with him on a standard road bike. Well, he zoomed up to 30 mph along the flats. The thing probably weighed at least 30-35#. I'd pass him on the climbs. Otherwise he was king of the road. A recumbent is halfway there to aerodynamic efficiency! A fairing tops it off.

Here's some interesting recumbents being offered today and a taste of attendant culture: Windcheetah

 

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LOL. Insightful commentary! I've also seen several times a proud recumbent rider not being able to click out of his pedals when having to stop, and ingloriously falling over.
At least you have less distance to fall so it won't hurt as much, LOL!

Someone on a ride once let me try his recumbent. His had the handlebars at the sides rather than in front which means you can't use body English to balance so balancing is done solely by steering. I think I managed to stay balanced no longer than about 3 seconds!
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
LOL. Insightful commentary! I've also seen several times a proud recumbent rider not being able to click out of his pedals when having to stop, and ingloriously falling over.
Only riding on bike paths that are flat or up small overpasses. Ride 20-30 mi purely for exercise.

Don't understand the clicking out of the pedals as looking at trikes. But have also seen many 'proud' non recumbent riders not click out in time and fall over. Myself included...

Mostly worried about my street riding as unless someone sees your 'flag' you are not very visible low down.
 

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your god hates me
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Here's something I've never understood:

- when I first became aware of recumbent bicycles in the 1970s I was told that their biggest advantage (besides a lower aerodynamic profile) was that you had resistance countering the force of your pedaling -- in other words, you could brace yourself against the seat back when pressing on the pedals, similar to the way you do leg presses in the gym -- and that this made 'bents better at climbing than traditional diamond-frame bikes.

- but everyone who writes about them on internet cycling forums claims that "recumbents suck at climbing"

Was I misinformed as a youth? Or does everyone writing about 'bents on the 'net not know how to get the best out of these bikes?
 

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Here's something I've never understood:

- when I first became aware of recumbent bicycles in the 1970s I was told that their biggest advantage (besides a lower aerodynamic profile) was that you had resistance countering the force of your pedaling -- in other words, you could brace yourself against the seat back when pressing on the pedals, similar to the way you do leg presses in the gym -- and that this made 'bents better at climbing than traditional diamond-frame bikes.

- but everyone who writes about them on internet cycling forums claims that "recumbents suck at climbing"

Was I misinformed as a youth? Or does everyone writing about 'bents on the 'net not know how to get the best out of these bikes?
More likely many roadies who write that they suck are regurgitating hearsay and have never actually ridden one. After all, roadies are the only "real" cyclists. :rolleyes:
 
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Here's something I've never understood:

- when I first became aware of recumbent bicycles in the 1970s I was told that their biggest advantage (besides a lower aerodynamic profile) was that you had resistance countering the force of your pedaling -- in other words, you could brace yourself against the seat back when pressing on the pedals, similar to the way you do leg presses in the gym -- and that this made 'bents better at climbing than traditional diamond-frame bikes.

- but everyone who writes about them on internet cycling forums claims that "recumbents suck at climbing"

Was I misinformed as a youth? Or does everyone writing about 'bents on the 'net not know how to get the best out of these bikes?
2 thoughts. 1) Bents are heavy. 35-40 lbs maybe ?, Maybe not quite that heavy but heavier then my 17 carbon road bike. You can get expensive and lightweight bents, my Vision R40 wasnt one of them. 2), On a DF your heavy legs are going up and down as the crank rotates. The weight of your leg helps push the crank over. That doesnt happen on a bent, the legs go back and forth, so leg weight doesnt help get the cranks rotating.
 

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On a bent your seat back is something you can push against, but if you rode a wedgie you should know that one can pull on the bars while standing. IMO as I have rode both is maybe power max is about the same, but standing on a wedgie is way more natural movement and controllable than sitting in a lounger doing leg press slightly upwards from horizontal. At maximum output things tend to wobble and shift which is easier to control on a wedgie.
 

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Here's something I've never understood:

- when I first became aware of recumbent bicycles in the 1970s I was told that their biggest advantage (besides a lower aerodynamic profile) was that you had resistance countering the force of your pedaling -- in other words, you could brace yourself against the seat back when pressing on the pedals, similar to the way you do leg presses in the gym -- and that this made 'bents better at climbing than traditional diamond-frame bikes.

- but everyone who writes about them on internet cycling forums claims that "recumbents suck at climbing"

Was I misinformed as a youth? Or does everyone writing about 'bents on the 'net not know how to get the best out of these bikes?
I've heard the same commentary.

Well, sitting upright, the rider's legs can turn the crank using the hips to balance and upper body weight to assist the drownstrokes. Bracing against a back plate and in effect doing stationary squats wouldn't so much use those trusty slow twitch aerobic muscle fibers, rather force the use of the explosive force of the fast twitch fibers. You'd lose momentum pushing that heavier machine against gravity, no matter what gear you're in, and goodbye endurance.
 

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More likely many roadies who write that they suck are regurgitating hearsay and have never actually ridden one. After all, roadies are the only "real" cyclists. :rolleyes:
Good point about "real" cyclists.

Once the body is trained riding thousands of miles upright sitting on a saddle, it would take quite a few miles to condition the leg muscles to become efficient in the radically new geometry. Fit runners taking up cycling seem to have this problem. There's always a "break in" period in which endurance sucks.
 

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I've been riding 'bents for 25 years. My current primary ride is an M5 Carbon Highracer. It weighs 23 pounds, has 700c wheels, and has a seat height of about 20 inches. It climbs just fine, if you take into account the 230-pound engine; a few years ago I regularly rode with a 'competitive' group of guys, about half of whom actively raced at some level, and I was typically in the first three of ten up the larger hills. I will say that not all bents are created equally, just as not all uprights are. Mine climbs better than most.

1. I take it the beard thing is a joke about the stereotype.
2. Long wheelbases tend to maneuver poorly at very low speeds for the same reason a tandem does. It's a long bike. However that is partially offset by having a low seat height making it easy to put a foot down.
3. I have 4 Short Wheelbase bents, and they are all just fine at speeds of 50+ mph.
4. Cars see me just fine, even on my lowracer with an 8" seat height. Certainly I have fewer close calls than I did on my uprights.
5. The only liabilities I have climbing are that a) I can't stand and b) balancing at speeds below about 2.4 mph becomes very tricky.
6. The shorts comment is less about recumbents and more about the stereotype. You're right that loose shorts can become bee scoops.Or can become 'showy.' I wear regular cycling clothes.

Of course none of those things are particularly relevant if you're looking for something to allow you to continue riding vs sitting on a couch. Is a bent a good thing for back/neck problems? Maybe. A recumbent position might be better, or it might feel worse. You'd have to do some test rides to see.
 
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