36

Talked to a guy who had a velomobile at a local charity ride. He said the thing cost $5000. Recumbents, while not as expensive as velomobiles are also quite expensive. Usually over $2000. That could be part of the reason. Sure, with economies of scale, they could be made cheaper, but that's kind of a chicken and an egg problem. Also, even though recumbents ...


36

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 yourself.


31

I switched to a recumbent about 10 years ago in 2002, when I was 48. I rented one for a ride and was so impressed with the comfort and speed that I eventually changed over. My current rig has a full fairing and full-length spandex wrap. Arguments: 1 - Cost. I waited over 2 years to buy due to the cost, then started out with a $900 bike (which I soon ...


26

My regular (commuting) bike is an old Cannondale mountain bike with road slicks. It's great for city riding, but it murders my back, crotch, hands, feet, etc. on long trips. So, a couple years ago I bought a Bacchetta Giro 26 recumbent bike specifically for a 2000+ mile ride. I've used it since for rides of longer than a day. So here's my two cents: ...


20

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 is that if a part is going to fail (or a worn part is going to skip), it will fail when under high load. A friend of mine has snapped several chains on the ...


19

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 arms and legs, and this leaves little for body parts without active muscles. Wear more, and your balls will be warmer too.


16

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 opposite direction to capture the effect of the remaining wind. With the bike still, pull the flag back, measuring the force somehow. You can use a spring ...


16

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 note that Faure had been racing on recumbents with success and official imprimatur for a while before they were banned. According to that article, there were ...


15

World human powered bike speed records are indeed on recumbent bicycles. But they are very long, flat roads where a rider can move through 60 gears (30 speed chain, and a 3 speed internal hub). They also have larger wind screens. I have ridden both, and just flat cruising the recumbent will be faster, but hills, corners, and stops are the great equalizer. ...


15

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 deflect a lot of the wind around you instead of into you. You're already riding a recumbent, a fairing isn't going to make it any worse, and the weight penalty ...


13

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 difference is the rider. Consider this rider you've never heard of, Andy Wilkinson. In 1990 he broke the record for fastest bicycle trip from Lands End to John O'...


12

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? Think of it this way: You ride a "regular" bike on the flat. Your ultimate top speed is essentially governed by aerodynamics. You reach a speed where the ...


12

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 have been part of the issue though -- windchill on wet skin (or wet porous fabric) is a big deal. Waterproof overtrousers would deal with that but tend to get ...


12

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 balance before you add the unbalancing effect of getting your feet on the pedals. Not all recumbent bikes do allow that, as some have such a sitting/laying ...


11

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: she would likely not have broken a cheap steel crank. Besides, I wouldn't be very concerned about my cheap parts to begin with. (I would be concerned about my ...


11

"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 that on his diamond-frame bike (there are some related posts at the end that are also interesting). He's found that his peak power output is higher on his DF ...


11

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$ recumbent is around 30lbs and a 2000$ road bike should be around 18lbs or so.


11

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 innovations which could improve the performance of cyclists, but they each take it one step further away from the roots of the sport. You see examples of this, just ...


10

You could get some Pitlocks or other secured skewers, and then use a standard U-Lock/Folding lock on your rear stays. I'm not sure if Pitlocks fit a recumbant properly or if you want to trust your entire bike to them (rather than just the wheels) but it would probably be OK. Also, you could use a U-Lock between the seat and the front fork (possibly with ...


10

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 chest, though only single layered. Works perfectly.


10

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 outdoor sport market. Here are a couple examples: Store Link Store Link Store 1 Store 2


9

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 used on dual disc brakes. There are other models that differ somewhat visually but the idea is the same. Many Trike levers also have a push button locking ...


9

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 confidence because at the speeds you’re going at you don’t have gyroscopic stability. Rinse and repeat. It's all muscle memory and not something that's really ...


8

I suspect the biggest reason is that they're very expensive niche machines that, for most people, do not offer enough clear advantages over regular bicycles. A big reason you don't see more recumbents is safety in traffic. If you're on a "normal" bicycle, you're (theoretically) going to be relatively more visible to motor vehicles than if you're lying close ...


8

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 that time. At 65 I still average 17 mph on my after work 30 mile bike ride. At the start of 2015 I bought a Catrike Expedition and rode the same 30 mile route ...


8

To the best of my knowledge there are no suitable direct-drive hubs available commercially, which means that there are no bikes sold that use them. Schlumpf make a unicycle direct drive hub that offers 1:1 and 1:1.55 gears, but for a recumbent bike those ratios would be ridiculously low. Also, it's obviously fixed gear so without a freewheel it would be even ...


8

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 generally have the option of incorporating a headrest/neckrest too. Getting the angle of seat and neck right is significantly important in your comfort. ...


8

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 your tights.


7

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 less tired legs. I have noticed that at the end of a day long ride I keep sitting on my 'bent trike with my feet on the pedals when waiting for our local ferry, ...


7

References: Bikehub - Cycling and the Law, Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 1994, Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989 A velomobile or recumbent bike is covered by the same law as regular bicycles: "pedal cycle" means a unicycle, bicycle, tricycle, or cycle having four or more wheels, not being in any case mechanically propelled unless ...


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