I'm now the fifth member of my local club (open the poast, surfer).........................
.....to get a recumbent. Two of us, myself included, still ride uprights. I'm not totally new to bents. I played around with one in 2007, my wife rides one for medical reasons and a friend is a nationally ranked Ultra-Cyclist in the recumbent class. As a roadie of forty years the differences were immediately noticeable.
1 On flats, rollers and in head winds I am faster by about 12% over a 40 mile ride. This is without developing what are known as recumbent legs or reclining my seat further.
2. Climbing is slower, but because of item 1, it's not the overall detriment one would assume as I can sometimes begin the climb before other riders. Completing the climb is quite another issue. If I got there first, I might lead the last third of the pack at the top. A considerable amount of this of this can be overcome by technique because you can pull back on the pedals far more than on an upright. These muscles have yet to appear. All said and done, a recumbent would not be my ride of choice on the Galibier......no matter how many years I'd ridden one.
3. On a bent, you don't feel the need to "periodically change your position". I've seen this listed here as a possible down side to recumbents, but I really don't think it applies. Riding an upright, even properly fit, it does.
4. Descending is a blast once you've gotten beyond the beginner's urge to steer it like a city bus. You can lean it into corners at speed with confidence and it sticks like glue. If an upright rider has aero bars, he might be able to stay in contact, but will usually drop off in a turn. On gentle rollers I free wheel down at the same speed or faster than riders who are pedaling.
5. You don't need seven mirrors, only one. Mine is being replaced by a smaller version. I have a small bar end on my LOOK too. Would really miss it if it wasn't there.
6. Recumbent riders aren't all old with big guts, beards, wear Birkenstocks and have flags on their bikes. I'm 61 and if that's old to you, I'm guilty on count one. I'm also 6' 1" - 168lbs, don't have a gut.....not much (good genes). All five of us are running clipless Speedplays or Shimano pedals and no one has, or even owns a flag. Only one of the bent riders in my bike club has a beard. He's the nationally ranked Ultra-Cyclist......division champ, I think.
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Thread: So Now There Are Five
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