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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was recently asked why I ride a recumbent. This same person stated he thought they were for the handicap. I am not sure if he is being sarcastic, a jerk or serious.

It takes more skill to control a recumbent than a diamond frame bike. When i first got mine, 10 years ago, it was like learning how to ride a bike all over again.

As far as why I ride one, well it is simple. I wanted to ride bike and not hurt while I did it or after I a ride.

The part of my body that was always in pain during and after a ride was my upper body. My back, neck, shoulders, entire arm, hands, fingers, etc.

I rode diamond frame bikes for years. I did several thousand miles on them. But after every ride I was in pain. The amount or severity was determined by the length of the ride. The longer the ride, the worse the pain was. I went through numerous steps to prevent it. Proper fit kit, different saddles crank arms, handle bars, etc. Nothing I did mattered, so I just put up with it for many years.

Riding like this always put me in a bad mood after a ride because I hurt.

One day after a ride with a friend, I asked him why he is always smiling after a ride. He stated it is because he feels great.

My friend rides a recumbent. I had seen recumbent before, knew what they were, but did not know a whole lot about them. He also knew I always hurt after a ride. He then stated he was the same way until he got his recumbent. After he started riding his he was in no more pain they way I was and the way he used to be.

Shortly after that I test rode a few models and settled on the one I still have today. My friend was right. I now ride pain free and have been for the past 10 years.

The most interesting thing is my average speed when riding has not changed. Sure it is slower to climb hills, but it is a lot faster down hill, which makes up for it. On flats I am a bit faster and in wind a little faster too.
 

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I've always wondered about these contraptions, mainly because I see older folks on them. I know what you mean by pain, I've been riding all damn night. Every night (or morning I should say, I usually am up riding all night) I get in the bed and I stretch my legs out so far I feel like I'm about to fall off the bed. My lower back aches tremendously as well.

What are the costs of these bikes? I would guess they would be slightly more expensive then a standard bicycle. I would love to try one out for a few days.
 

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Interesting.

I can understand it for health reasons (your case-pain) makes sense, your notch hunched over etc..

reclined and in control, I can see the lure of that.

But I can't see me hitting the singletracks on one, even if there are off-road version, it would be a fail in the trail and technical situations.

If I were a roadie, I would totally try one of these out, as I suffer from a lower back injury and would appreciate the reclined ride rather than the hunched over one. But nothing scares me more than sharing the road with the automobiles, at least in this area- too populated, bunch of in a hurry jerks that would sooner push you off the road than to share the lane.

thanks for your explanation SUX, I wasn't being a jerk by saying that I thought it was for the handicapped, I still think they are in a sense, especially now...
 

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The part of my body that was always in pain during and after a ride was my upper body. My back, neck, shoulders, entire arm, hands, fingers, etc.

I rode diamond frame bikes for years. I did several thousand miles on them. But after every ride I was in pain. The amount or severity was determined by the length of the ride. The longer the ride, the worse the pain was. I went through numerous steps to prevent it. Proper fit kit, different saddles crank arms, handle bars, etc. Nothing I did mattered, so I just put up with it for many years.

Riding like this always put me in a bad mood after a ride because I hurt.
I didn't see any mention of strength and conditioning mentioned and I'm not trying to be argumentative, just an observation and maybe just forgot to mention it.

I used to experience a lot of that as well. I have a bad back from years of abuse pulling (improperly) equipment on a flight line and working bent over on cars and heavy equipment. At one point, a few years ago (in a different line of work) while I was working, it was sooo bad it literally paralyzed (said somewhat metaphorically and obviously not in a permanent way) me and was taken to the hospital in an ambulance and given a nice dose of morphine for the pain

I may be the exception to the rule but last year I started working core and upper body strength and conditioning. This year I made a small investment to continue that and make it easier for me to stick with it. I always figured since I was riding I didn't need to do anything more since I was already using those muscles and muscle groups.

It is WAY better now, the difference is night and day. I won't lie and say I never experience some discomfort but it's nothing I can't deal with.

I'm not saying this would work for everybody since there are so many different and chronic back issues but it has worked very well for me and I'm and advocate for physical conditioning. It has so many benefits and as you get older even helps with things like balance that WILL make a huge difference in your overall quality of life as you age. I'm not that old( I'm sure my kids would say different :D) but for example... when I started doing lunges it was as much an exercise in balace as it was anything else for me. Sounds crazy I'm sure, but it is what it is :)

I'm just afraid of sitting in that " rocking chair" and never getting back out like I see happen to so many others!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I won't disclose what I weigh, but I am over weight. But that has nothing to do with why it hurts when I ride a diamond frame bike. I was not over weight when I started riding a diamond frame bike and I hurt just as much as when I became over weight. My friend has never been over weight hurt when he used to ride a diamond frame bike, which is why he switched to a recumbent.

As far as I know there is no off road recumbent. Even if there were it would be very difficult to ride a single track on one because of the power to weight ratio required on a mountain bike when off roading. BTW I used to ride single track. I had a Schwinn mountain bike at one time. In fact I never hurt when I road single track on it. So I could go back to riding a mountain bike, but only for off road use, I would never ride it on paved surface.

As far as riding in an urban area with traffic what works for me is I behave like traffic, I am not timid or passive. If anything I may be overly assertive, but I an not an ******* or a jerk either. Yes there are jerks, *******s and idiots out there in motor vehicles, but 95% of the time I don't have any problems.

Not sure if anyone picked up on it, but just in case, when I ride now I am never in pain and usually end my ride with a smile on my face and I am never in a bad mood after a ride.
 

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I don't hurt when I finish my rides either, and I usually have a goofy smile on my face the whole time. (sometimes it's gas)

But I'm riding for fun, and fitness. In the great outdoors, usually in a wooded area.

I don't like people much, I find it best to avoid them, 90% of the time the wife accompanies me on her mountain bike. it's fun.

I can see it being ideal for the injured/handicapped/handicapable/overweight, or just an enthusiast that enjoys being different/unique/special.
 

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I find any type of activity is better when lying down.
 

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Shoulder, neck and wrist pain were what brought me to try recumbents.

Getting in the saddle the second morning of a two-day 180 mile ride with no wincing is what sold me completely. No 'butter' required, no awkward padding in my shorts, I can see the sky whenever I want.
 

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When I got my first recumbent, it was primarily due to hand pain. I weighed 185 lbs at the time, which was about 5% body fat. I was a coach for high school diving and I competed myself in Masters Swimming and Diving. In short, conditioning, strength, and flexibility were not an issue. I was, and still am, a bit top-heavy, which may have been part of my problem. I'm built more like a swimmer than a cyclist.
 

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Recumbents are much more comfortable to ride than regular diamond frame bikes because you have a full seat as apposed to a little triangular pad and your posture in a recumbent is reclined instead of hunched over. For long distance riding it is much more comfortable and the aerodynamics can improve your times. It's a totally different riding experience tho and for some people it takes a while to get used to. Once you get into it tho they can be a lot of fun.

Steve

Intrepid Cycles - Handcycles and Recumbents
 

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I too have been using cross-conditioning to supplement my riding. I am extremely tawt in the muscles. Been working on a lot of stretching and bodyweight stuff centered around the core. It's already helping, and I've got a long way to go...but if I ever have to switch, I'll have to have the lightest one there is 'cause I hate climbing slow.
Had a guy on a recumbent almost catch me the other morning, but I managed to hold him off until the road turned up. Those things are fast in the flats! How are they for running behind? I've seen them heading pacelines out there...
 

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Had a guy on a recumbent almost catch me the other morning, but I managed to hold him off until the road turned up.
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He must have been not trying to hard! Or just playing with you until the flats. :)

Those things are fast in the flats! How are they for running behind? I've seen them heading pacelines out there...
Upright roadies don't really get much benefit tailing a recumbent or velomobile - they are too low and trikes tend to have rough air behind them and velomobiles tend to clean up the air behind them (depending on the model).

In either case, a recumbent is just a slap in the face if the rider is strong enough to lead a roadie or group of roadies (while using a bit less energy for the same output on flat terrain).
 

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I too have been using cross-conditioning to supplement my riding. I am extremely tawt in the muscles. Been working on a lot of stretching and bodyweight stuff centered around the core. It's already helping, and I've got a long way to go...but if I ever have to switch, I'll have to have the lightest one there is 'cause I hate climbing slow.
Had a guy on a recumbent almost catch me the other morning, but I managed to hold him off until the road turned up. Those things are fast in the flats! How are they for running behind? I've seen them heading pacelines out there...
I think the lightest recumbents available are highracers -- the Carbent and the Bacchetta Carbon Aero2. Both can be built under 20 pounds, which feels every bit as light as a 16-pound upright for some reason. The Carbent is the one with the reputation for climbing. A few others with good climbing credentials but a bit more weight are the M5 Carbon Highracer, like I have, and the Metabikes Metaphysic. Lowracers can be faster on the flats, but their swoopy, serpentine frames tend to weigh a bit more and are more flexy, leading to a bit less prowess on climbs.

Highracers are marginal in a paceline. It takes a short rider on the drops to catch a draft off from me on my highracer, and on my lowracer... they can feel a bit on their ankles, but that's it. I can get about half the normal draft when I'm behind an upright; but OTOH I don't need a lot. The other day I did a ride with my normal group of 8 uprights. The wind was atrocious, 30 mph with higher gusts. I led the entire headwind part of the ride, not because they were drafting me but because I was riding at my normal exertion level and just walked away from the paceline. I had to stop and wait up for the group three times, and one of those was at the top of a hill. :D
 

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The recumbent for me was love at first sight, when I first saw one I realised THAT IS A BIKE! and I am talking about a tadpole now, the two-wheelers just looked awkward. It took a while before I could afford one, but after the first ride I was lost, there is no way now that can bring me back to the old groinpain (with additional pain fram the neck, shoulders and hands). I am sitting comfortably with good view instead of punishing my groin and staring in the ground just in front of the bike. As it says: guaranteed to put a smile on your face, and all who have tried mine comes back with a great smile.
 

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It wouldn't work for the stuff I ride (tight twisty singletrack in the trees), but there are offroad recumbent bikes.

[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-JV1_xP6DI[/ame]
offroad recumbent bike on mountain bike trails in Moab, Utah.

Stuff like I ride (on conventional mountain bikes, both diamond frame and suspension)
[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6u8mPgOIZY[/ame]

Interesting.

I can understand it for health reasons (your case-pain) makes sense, your notch hunched over etc..

reclined and in control, I can see the lure of that.

But I can't see me hitting the singletracks on one, even if there are off-road version, it would be a fail in the trail and technical situations.

If I were a roadie, I would totally try one of these out, as I suffer from a lower back injury and would appreciate the reclined ride rather than the hunched over one. But nothing scares me more than sharing the road with the automobiles, at least in this area- too populated, bunch of in a hurry jerks that would sooner push you off the road than to share the lane.

thanks for your explanation SUX, I wasn't being a jerk by saying that I thought it was for the handicapped, I still think they are in a sense, especially now...
 

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I can ride upright bicycles without problems, but I like recumbents. I don't own any because they are expensive, long, and I don't really do a lot of road bicycle riding (roadie) any more. I do not know how to shop for one without spending $3000, so I just haven't gotten one yet, but plan to own one someday.

I am not picky about components except I don't like Gripshift twisters anymore, and don't like cranks under 175mm. I am 5'11, 145lb, with long legs. I like very practical, pared down bikes, don't need Campy or top shelf stuff. What do you recommend for someone that just wants to ride 50mi or less a day and not spend thousands?

So far the most interesting recumbent I've seen yet was something called a Peregrine, in which the front fork also included the crank boom and complete drivetrain. I think it would be expensive though. Here is one like it called a Cruzbike.
http://hipswap.s3.amazonaws.com/items/129411/129411_full_2x.jpg

The recumbent makers really need to get with it if they want roadies to buy these, like offering entry level 1 metal frame sets (no carbon and weird headsets) and making it easy to select seats and bars. Most of roadies have or can get a 700c bike with good stuff on it, and swap it to a new bike. $2000-4000 for a recumbent with shimano walmart junk is offensive.
 
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