35 votes

Does riding high gear up a hill damage a recumbent bike?

The bike will be fine -- the riding conditions are within the specifications of the bike components. The bigger issue is you -- you don't want to end up damaging joints and what not by overexerting ...
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  • 45.6k
21 votes

Does riding high gear up a hill damage a recumbent bike?

A very strong rider will put a lot of strain on the bike doing that. Wear on the sprockets will be slightly increased by grinding a small sprocket, but that's not a big deal. What's more significant ...
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  • 47.2k
19 votes

How to keep my testicles from freezing on a recumbent

First: merino wool boxers. EDIT: Also windproof boxers, see other answer below Second: Vest and short tights are very little for ~5°C, raining. You are losing a huge amount of body heat through your ...
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  • 19.6k
17 votes
Accepted

Why are recumbent bicycles and velomobiles illegal in UCI bicycle racing?

This seems like a pretty good history of the circumstances around the UCI's banning of the recumbent. Your guess seems to be about right: recumbents were perceived as too weird. It's interesting to ...
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  • 24.5k
16 votes

What is the drag / power lost to a safety flag?

If the pole is a flexible one, you can do the following: Choose a windless day Ride past a second person at a known speed Let the second person take a picture while you pass Repeat immediately in the ...
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16 votes

What are the (dis)advantages of a tadpole vs. a delta trike?

Having two wheels in the front is intrinsically more stable: there is a rollover risk when turning at speed when the two wheels are at the back. The cornering forces (that are in opposite direction of ...
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  • 8,723
15 votes

How to keep my testicles from freezing on a recumbent

Why not add a fairing? There are designs that add a windshield, some that provide protection down to the knee, some that go further down, and in the extreme case there's full nose-cones. This will ...
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  • 101k
14 votes

Is a recumbent trike faster than a non-recumbent bicycle?

Recumbents can be faster. As was previously mentioned, all of the land speed records for human powered vehicles were set with fully faired recumbents (velomobiles). But what will really make the ...
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14 votes
Accepted

Why are recumbents so slow uphill?

"Efficiency" seems like it should be easy to measure. Power out ÷ Power in. Obviously nothing in life is so easy. Here's a blog post by a randonneur who has compared power output on his recumbent to ...
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  • 24.5k
14 votes

How to start riding a recumbent bike?

When learning to ride my first two wheeled recumbent, and when teaching someone else to start riding on it, I first rode without trying to pedal. Using it as a balance bike, learning to steer and ...
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  • 3,304
13 votes

Why are recumbents so slow uphill?

Bike geometry and bio-mechanical topics have been discussed by others already, but I wonder if a large part of what you're observing is a relative difference between speeds on the two types of terrain?...
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  • 420
13 votes

Why are recumbents so slow uphill?

Not sure why it hasn't been mentioned in the other answers but recumbents are generally much heavier than traditional frames and on steep gradients weight makes a big difference. Looks like a 2000$ ...
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  • 1,313
12 votes

Does riding high gear up a hill damage a recumbent bike?

A friend of mine broke a crank (the "arm" of the pedal) in the Alps, so yes, parts can fail under load. It's not always the case that cheap parts fail earlier; sometimes they are actually sturdier: ...
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12 votes

How to keep my testicles from freezing on a recumbent

For most parts of the body a second layer of moderately wind-blocking fabric makes a massive difference -- so another pair of unpadded cycling shorts would go a long way. The rain is likely to ...
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  • 47.2k
11 votes

How to keep my testicles from freezing on a recumbent

Wind proof boxers which have a layer of windbreaking material in the “package” area make a big difference. They are commonly used by cross country skiers so can be found at stores that cater to the ...
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  • 211
11 votes

Why are recumbent bicycles and velomobiles illegal in UCI bicycle racing?

There are a number of factors that come into it. The weird factor is a major one. Cycling is a sport with a lot of history and tradition which many want to preserve. There are many technological ...
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10 votes

How to keep my testicles from freezing on a recumbent

A double layered triangle of bubble wrap under the pants in front of the exposed bits. Cheap and effective! In days of severe cold I use the same method between base and medium layers on the upper ...
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  • 8,165
10 votes

What are the (dis)advantages of a tadpole vs. a delta trike?

I generally agree with the article that Renaud links to, but I'll add a few comments. There's a rollover risk with either tadpole or delta trikes. The article mentions that deltas have a tighter ...
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  • 24.5k
9 votes

Is a recumbent trike faster than a non-recumbent bicycle?

Commercial recumbent trikes are not like light weight upright diamond frame road bikes. I've been riding high end light weight road bikes for 35 years and have ridden well over 60,000 miles during ...
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9 votes

Does anyone sell a direct-drive recumbent with no handlebars?

I have built a direct drive (geared) recumbent mostly according to Garnet's specifications. The centerpiece is a Pinion gearbox that conviniently has a lot of gears (needed for a recumbent) and an ...
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9 votes
Accepted

How can a recumbent tadpole trike brake three wheels with only two levers?

Most are set up with one lever that works two brakes at the same time. There are lots of different styles, such as this one for example. You can see that it has 2 ferrules instead of 1, most commonly ...
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  • 9,061
9 votes
Accepted

What defines a recumbent?

Short answer: whoever is describing it. There are a bunch of dictionary definitions around that all centre on the "lying down" part, which doesn't help when there are recumbents with quite upright ...
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  • 23k
9 votes

How to start riding a recumbent bike?

It is literally like riding a (upright) bike the first time. The problem is you need speed to achieve gyroscopic stability but you won’t have speed until you gain confidence. And you don’t have ...
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  • 28.6k
8 votes

Fairings for an Upright Hybrid Bicycle?

I have read an article regarding partial fairings for upright bikes. It is interesting that a partial fairing will reduce the energy needed to keep the bike rolling at 35km/h while in a fairly ...
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8 votes
Accepted

Are recumbents good for your back?

Yes, recumbents are good for your back, and backside. They provide support for the length of your back, which may be as little as a tailbone paddle, or right up to your shoulders. The longer seats ...
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  • 101k
8 votes

Why are recumbents so slow uphill?

Efficiency i.e., not wasting energy, is not the same as allowing high power output. I thought recumbents were efficient because of low aero drag compared to a conventional bike. With respect to ...
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8 votes

How to keep my testicles from freezing on a recumbent

The traditional way of protecting one's chest from wind chill on a descent is stuffing a newspaper under the jersey. You might adopt this for your scrotum. Fold a sheet of an old paper and stuff it in ...
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  • 9,121
8 votes

How to start riding a recumbent bike?

Background: I've been riding a 2 wheel high-racer for the last month, have 184 km on it now, and have intimate knowledge of what you're going through. You're a practiced Diamond Frame (DF) rider who ...
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  • 101k
8 votes
Accepted

What can I do to pedals to help kids or smaller riders use the bike

There are always options. From OP's link, showing boom and bolts. Shorten the boom, if you can. There are two pinch bolts in the main frame, under the boom Back them both off and see how much can ...
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  • 101k
7 votes

Do your legs get tired faster when riding a recumbent trike compared to a upright bike?

On a upright bicycle you have a part of your weight on your legs part or even most of the time. On a recumbent bike you do not have any part of your weight on your legs. I would say that makes for ...
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  • 3,304

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