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Attitude towards Recumbents(10 posts)

Attitude towards RecumbentsCraigVM
Sep 26, 2001 2:34 PM
I have recently joined a local bike club mainly to help get me motivated to get out join their rides next spring.
During the upcoming 6-7 months of good old NorthWest Rain I will not only have a chance to work on my road bike, but also fix up a used recumbent that I have just bought. A friend of mine who is a seriouse rider stated that I may wish to only bring the road bike to club rides as many club road riders prefer not to have a recumbent in their group. He said that they have trouble tracking a nice straight line so regular bike riders tend to want to keep plenty of room from them and not have them in with the pack. He also made it sound as through their is a general negative attitude toward bent bikes. I was just wondering if that is the case and what many of the club riders feel one way or another. The last time I was a member of the local bike club, Recumbents were very rare and it was only those of us that showed up with Cross and Mountain bikes that were looked at in a funny way.
re: Attitude towards RecumbentsSteve Bailey
Sep 26, 2001 6:11 PM
It's similar to the olden days when you told someone you had cancer.

I've been an active club rider for 5 years or so (plus 5 in another club and when recurring prostatitis drove me off the wedgie the bent became my savior for the bulk of my mileage.

My fellow roadies now look at me funny even though I'm about to join them while on my road bike. Seems they don't want to know...

Some day when my muscles adapt to the new position and I'm able to push the hills, I'll take the bent and sit off the back just to start getting them used to the idea.

FWIW, as far as I know there is only one other bent rider in a club of 350. Seems odd as we live in a area where bents shine - few hills, windy....

Steve B.
all truenm
Sep 27, 2001 8:42 AM
start your own clubfiltersweep
Oct 13, 2001 10:59 AM
...he who laughs last: I rarely see anyone under 40 on a recumbent, which tells me that it wouldn't surprise me if half of us "kids" end up on them at some point, despite any current attitude about them! When I first saw them years ago, I was convinced those who rode them were merely doing so "to be weird."
re: Attitude towards Recumbentstarwheel
Oct 22, 2001 12:08 PM
I don't see that many recumbents except on larger group rides, and I have learned to avoid them. I've got nothing against the folks riding them, but I've found that many recumbent riders seem to have trouble tracking a straight line. In other words, they're squirrely -- which is the last thing you want when trying to keep a paceline. In a similar vein, you get practically no benefit from drafting behind a recumbent as they are so much lower that they don't block the wind much. To give you a specific example, I recent rode in an extended cross-state tour with a sprinkling of recumbents among the 1,000 riders. On one nice flat stretch of road we had a paceline going with about 5 bikers that had grown to about 20. At some point, a recumbent latched on and totally screwed up the paceline. He was squirreling all over the place and you couldn't draft behind him. Myself and the guys I was riding with blew past him the first hill we came to. The bottom line is, I don't have anything against recumbents, I just don't want to ride in a paceline with one.
re: Attitude towards RecumbentsDAC
Oct 25, 2001 8:33 AM
In my local club, we have fast evening rides, and longer weekend rides. I've never seen a recumbent come to one of our fast weekday evening rides. And on the weekend rides, the 2 or 3 'bents which do show up are almost always pulling up the back, along with the hybrids and knobby-tired ATB's. From what riding I have done with 'bents, even with an experienced pilot, they are still squirrelly. They also tend to bog down on hills. This may be because the rider can't 'hammer' like a regular cyclist can, but most likely, this is because most 'bents are damn heavy!
Recumbents are really just a different type of touring bike. They aren't road bikes, and they shouldn't ride with them.
Interesting question, answer with a twist...........Len J
Oct 29, 2001 10:34 AM
My LBS sells 'bents. He was/is a serious road rider and loves to go fast. He has been trying to organize a fast group of Bent riders to train together to do organized Centuries next year at a high speed. His observation is that most (not all) bent riders don't want to go fast. He believes this is one of the things that keeps most serious riders from trying them. He is trying to do this in order to demonstrate thier capabilities. He posted his idea on a internet board dedicated to recumbents and he got absolutly blasted. His take on it (& mine after reading some of the responses) is that Bent riders see anything that might attract Roadies as a threat. I think they like the exclusivity.

re: Attitude towards RecumbentsVR_40
Jan 2, 2002 11:39 PM
I just recently bought a recumbent myself. It is a Vision R40 I bought her back in September. She has less then 225 miles on her. I plan to put many many more on her this year. The members of my club think its cool that I bought one. I went to the club banquet in Nov. And those members that have not seen me in a while all congratulated me on buying one. They don't own one and probably never will. But they don't mind that I ride one with them on club rides. Is my club a exception to the rule?
re: Attitude towards RecumbentsRayBan
Jan 8, 2002 9:17 AM
The negative attitude toward recumbant riders that you mention is indeed a reality in the cycling world.
re: Attitude towards Recumbentspa rider
Jan 12, 2002 3:09 PM
My club in Harrisburg Pennsylvania have quite a few recumbents. Some of the guys on they prefer them, because they have back or other medical problems. We don't have problems riding with us because they're doing the 14 to 16 average rides.

I rode with two guys last year and found they're uphills spin is slow same as the C+ riders we have in our club (pace is 14 average for tour purposes). My friend Jeff owns three c-dale roadbikes and a recumbent. He seems to be ahead of the group when we do century rides.

I haven't ever seen any of them paceline, but our club century ride gets a group of them to ride together. Mt Airy cycle in Baltimore has club of them and are very popular on the road. I see they get better respect on the roads than the rest of us. Cars don't know what they are when they come up on them (most of the riders have flags on back).

I treat them the same respect as a tandom. The best time to be behind one is on the downhills. Our club is 70% touring members, so alot of riders have mix feelings towards them, but I never heard anybody complain that their on the group or club ride. You just don't ride too close to them.

After riding with Jeff, I learned his bike handling skills with the recumbent. I race MTB for 9 years, so if you're not aware of how others ride around you, then don't ride too close. In races everybody bonks and there riding skills stink, so I learned to be a defensive rider. This is how I ride with everybody, no matter what bike their riding.

Recumbents aren't any different than the rest of us, except their closer to the ground than us up right bikes (dogs love this option too).