Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => Freewheeling => The Dark Side => Topic started by: Blodwyn Pig on May 22, 2019, 11:21:32 pm

Title: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Blodwyn Pig on May 22, 2019, 11:21:32 pm
I'm lusting after a Streetmachine, but I don't know why. I'm really tempted. I've never even ridden a  layback, and don't really know why I'm tempted. From what I've read they are very good at long touring trips, but that's not what it'll get used for, well , in my head maybe. It would be to replace Olive. Can a SM replace a df completely, or does one need both. I've also read they are slower than a std touring bike, due to the weight and the suspension, but by how much. In N . Kent, the roads are lumpy, with short shap1:5 , 1:4 'a to get you out of the saddle, but not with a SM. so how demoralising is it twiddling up these short sharp little! hills. Does anyone own such a thing and live  , say in Cornwall? I'm slow enough as it is. Am I foolish to drool over such a thing, and should I walk away?
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Kim on May 22, 2019, 11:49:52 pm
I reckon the break-even point is about 1% rolling hills.  Any hillier, you regret the weight, any flatter and you're winning on aerodynamics.  (Disclaimer: I'm a brick, not a feather.)

Can it replace a DF completely?  It's a touring bike.  You can do most things on a touring bike, just not necessarily well[1].  It's never going to be really good off-road, and it's always going to weigh a tonne on hills, because it was designed for you to be carring the same weight again in luggage.  Most recumbent bikes are a bit of a faff in stop-start traffic, and people tend to fiddle if you leave them locked up.  There are other SWB 'bents that are perhaps better all-rounders:  Nazca Fuego springs to mind.  As indeed does the Grasshopper (which has very similar DNA to the Streetmachine, but slightly more nimble handling, and comes in a folding version).  The Speedmachine (which is only a fast bike by HPVelotechnik standards) might be worth a look if you're not going to be fully-loaded touring.  And consider the various extremely competent Azub bikes.

Short steep hills are best tackled by conservation of momentum.  Bursts of spinning like a maniac are occasionally necessary (think canal bridges and similar silliness).  But I don't find either of those demoralising.  I don't find twiddling up long draggy climbs demoralising either, because I'd be twiddling up them on a DF too, and once you do get to the top, you're at the top of a hill and you've got a Streetmachine.   :demon:

On the gripping hand, they're popular bikes for good reason, and come up regularly second-hand.  You're unlikely to lose out massively if you buy used one and end up selling it on.


But the standard darksider n00b advice stands:  You don't know what you want until you've got some experience.  Visit some recumbent dealers with an open mind and play with everything you can get your hands on, and don't shell out for your dream bike until you've been riding something for a year and have decided that it's good but you'd really like something more speed-oriented, or that you'd rather have a hardshell seat, or tiller steering, or whatever.  I usually suggest that newbies go for something well-behaved at the touring end of the spectrum to get a feel for lying down on the job and develop some 'bent legs, and see where they go from there.  You could do a lot worse than a Streetmachine in that sense.



[1] Data point:  I think I've used my Dawes for loaded touring about three times since I got the Streetmachine.  In a couple of cases, because off-roading was planned.  In the other, because studded tyres were prudent.
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: ElyDave on May 23, 2019, 06:15:07 am
agree with wot Kim says, try a few first, I think there's a dealer in that london, or D Tek up here. try a few, buy one second hand and ride it for a good while to decide if you really like them or not. most will retain their value far better than a df so you should be able to sell for what you've paid

very important, matching leg length to bike. if you can't easily get foot down in traffic you won't be confident, so that might predicate wheel size, front at least. 

Once you've decided to stick with it, then choose. my third bent is my dream bike, just about to be rebuilt. I'm biased but the Cruzbike S40 is pretty good as a tourer, taking racks and being OK up hills. I've had it up 14% in the lowest ring of a triple, and its comfotable on the short sharp repeating hills around Essex and South cambs with no trouble on audaxes. Rode it around Scotland for a week last summer, including 100mile days, and there were a few bits that defeated me, but they would have been tough on a loaded upwrong as well. its very different from other bents I've tried and they don't appear second hand very often, but definitely hold their value.

can a 'bent do everything? probably like a df stable, no single bike to do everything, tourers do most things, but you might want a pub hack and an off roader as well etc, or a soot bike for sunny days in country lanes.
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: lmm on May 23, 2019, 08:02:03 am
My Azub Six (very similar design) completely replaced my DF (I do still have a triangular-framed folder to take on the tube). So it definitely is possible. As the others have said, a tourer can do most things, but having just one bike will always be a compromise in some areas - but that goes the same for DF as well.

The recumbent has actually made me a better climber overall (probably because my technique was poor before, and partly just because dismounting is enough of a faff that I really don't want to); my upright friends would always whiz ahead at the start of a climb, but I now tend to steadily chug past as they're stalling towards the top. But it definitely requires learning the technique and applying a lot of patience and self-discipline: the summit may be right there but you still need to keep steadily spinning rather than stomping on it as an upright can. I don't find it demoralising myself but I can see how some people would - and do be aware that it will take some time to develop "recumbent legs" for climbing. And I guess short hills could be the worst case where being able to chug away is less important than being able to put on a burst of climb, which is something I've not (yet) regained.

Over the course of a tour the aero advantage usually outweighs the weight - even for an up-and-down tour, what you lose on the up you'll generally gain on the down (provided the route lets you do that safely). Maybe on a tour that was an outright climb you'd be worse off.

I went against all the advice and bought the dream model I'd been lusting after first thing (having spent 10 minutes on a grasshopper just to confirm that this recumbent business wasn't completely crazy). Worked out for me and no regrets (though most likely I got lucky and the conventional wisdom is there for a reason).
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: tom_e on May 23, 2019, 10:26:33 am
Regarding the hills, I would suggest you start getting comfortable climbing by sitting down and turning smooth circles with your upright.  You will still need to get 'bent legs, but that technique stands the best chance of transferring well.  If you are currently stomping up short hills then you need to figure out whether you are happy to sit down and pedal in circles instead for your local journeys.

About the rest of it, if you have a particular purpose to set it to then I would pick the right bent for that.  I would say they're awesome for comfort and for sheer efficiency on long flat (or rolling) rides.  They're also great fun down hills and good for starting up conversations with strangers.  Think about what you want to use it for most, and buy something vaguely right for that to get stuck in and try it out?
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Blodwyn Pig on May 23, 2019, 02:06:46 pm
Thanks for the advice, one minute I'm about to pull the trigger, the next minute, no. The SM is s/h btw, I'm not THAT foolish!  I've looked ( at pics) of a lot, but for me it's the SM , Azub six, that seems to press my suppressed 'adventure button'. It just looks right to me, and I have seen those videos on YouTube :).  I just don't want to buy it, and think in a few weeks time.......OMG! What have I done.  Something's in life just grab you by the ? , and it is in your head all day long. Buying a Subaru Forester 2.5 sti. is another, but I force myself not to look, as I'd prob kill myself that's why I drive a 20 yo land rover, self preservation! . Can you pedal slower on a bent, uphill, I mean can you grind up hill in slow motion, or must you spin? Also some pics / videos show folks with leg completely extended to the pedals, so that the leg is flat, and some with quite a bend. What difference does it make? Anyone got any ( lots please) of pics of their SM (in action or not). . What is a good avg distance unloaded on a SM. I assume it's too heavy for audax  type stuff. or is it? Is an Azub 6 a similar weight to the SM?   I also love the quirkiness of it, all my cars etc have always been " different"
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: ElyDave on May 23, 2019, 02:24:35 pm
spin spin spin all the way, unless you are built like an olympic rower.

I have audaxed on both my M5 - 14.5kg naked as built, and my S40 advertised as 12.7kg naked, but I've not weighed mine. Toured on the S40 with about 10kg of luggage+rack+dyno set up+water etc
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: phil w on May 23, 2019, 02:38:52 pm
I have done an Audax SR series on my Nazca Fuego.  Think I collected 3000km of audax on my recumbent in 2017.    Just pick audaxes with suitable terrain.  A grimpeur fest you don't want.  Agree about spinning, as once the legs are gone, there's no getting out the saddle to compensate. 

Best I have managed on the Fuego is 20% uphill but that was a trip out specially to try it, and when fresh.  I wouldn't have wanted to do it again, or when tired.

Transport is a concern and if I replace mine it's likely going to be a folding FWD model.  But there's no rush at the moment. The Fuego just fits in my estate car with the pedals over the centre console.
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Kim on May 23, 2019, 03:07:51 pm
Thanks for the advice, one minute I'm about to pull the trigger, the next minute, no. The SM is s/h btw, I'm not THAT foolish!  I've looked ( at pics) of a lot, but for me it's the SM , Azub six, that seems to press my suppressed 'adventure button'. It just looks right to me

To be fair, that's exactly what I did (https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=33007.0).


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Can you pedal slower on a bent, uphill, I mean can you grind up hill in slow motion, or must you spin?

You can't shift your bodyweight to compensate for the grinding like you do on an upright, so a higher gear raises your stall speed.  By spinning, you keep the pedalling frequency from resonating with the wobble frequency, or something.

Given thousands of miles of practice, I can winch myself up hills at about 2mph.  CBA to do the maths, but cadence in the low 50s I suppose (I tend to be concentrating on other things).

Since you've got something solid to push against without using weedy arm muscles or influencing the steering, you can grind much harder on a 'bent.  Which - while occasionally useful for very short steep climbs, emergency shit-I'm-in-the-wrong-gear-and-there's-a-car-coming manoeuvres, unsticking bottom brackets and sprinting for the finish line at races - is a great way to accelerate drivetrain wear and b0rk your knees if you make a habit of it.


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Also some pics / videos show folks with leg completely extended to the pedals, so that the leg is flat, and some with quite a bend. What difference does it make?

Seems to be a personal preference thing.  I find I ankle more on the Streetmachine than on my uprights, and - interestingly - the Baron (which has a much higher BB wrt the seat).  Crank length is another factor - many recumbentists prefer shorter cranks.


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Anyone got any ( lots please) of pics of their SM (in action or not). . What is a good avg distance unloaded on a SM. I assume it's too heavy for audax  type stuff. or is it?

100km rides are fine.  I've done a few 200s on mine, but its suitability for Audax is limited to the lack of contact-point issues (which IMHO counts for a lot), its high reliability (being built like a tank and there isn't too much recumbent-specific weird stuff to go wrong[1]) and that you don't get splattered in wet weather the way you do on lower recumbents.  Obviously a lot of this depends on the engine, and you can rig things in its favour with a flat route and tyres that are a bit faster-rolling than you'd normally fit on a tourer.  I don't think the suspension is a particularly bad thing in this context - when correctly adjusted it's not sproingy like a mountain bike, or a pointless energy-sink like on a Brompton, and it goes a long way towards making crap roads tolerable at speed (particularly when loaded - all the luggage is suspended load).  But it does add an awful lot of weight to the design.

If you're riding in a group with people on uprights (solos that is, tandems have similar dynamics to 'bents and are your friend) expect to work harder up the hills and waste momentum down them.  Riding at your own pace will be markedly more efficient.


*scrabbles for a recent photo*

(http://www.ductilebiscuit.net/gallery_albums/cycling/2018_08_05_13_40_59.sized.jpg)



[1] Water getting into the gear/brake cables can be an issue with USS, but you'd have to be pretty unlucky for that to be a problem during an audax.  Expect to replace the cable outers much more frequently than on an upright.  I've had good results with sticking bags over the controls whenever I park it outdoors in wet weather.
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: fd3 on May 23, 2019, 04:11:54 pm
I was in a similar position as the OP - wanted a 'bent but didn't have a need for one.  Based on the time/faff/cost involved in trecking the country to try a number of bikes I simply bought one second hand at an acceptable price (thank you yacf!).
Apparently a higher recumbent is easier to learn to balance than a low one (so the SM is a good choice).  Is it hamster, aero or USS?  I expected hamster would be the easiest but having tried a couple now I think USS is probably the simplest and hamster the least intuitive.
If you buy it, you will be able to sell it for what you spent.  If you decide you need a different 'bent you will never be able to make that informed decision without buying one first.
So, go on!
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: DaT on May 23, 2019, 05:06:17 pm
I've had a few. While they're fun I don't enjoy it quite like cycling. I would own one again if I owned a car but as they aren't as compatible with public transport I'll stick to DF.
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: ElyDave on May 23, 2019, 05:56:13 pm
I've had a few. While they're fun I don't enjoy it quite like cycling. I would own one again if I owned a car but as they aren't as compatible with public transport I'll stick to DF.

I wouldn't take my M5 fixed boom RWD bent on a train, but have taken my MBB S40 which has the same wheelbase as a DF on trains several times, fits in the vestibule just like an upright
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Kim on May 23, 2019, 06:18:19 pm
One of the advantages of the Streetmachine is that while it's more awkward to get round corners the overall envelope is about the same as a flat-barred 700c touring bike.  I can fit mine on most trains - even CrossCountry's ridiculous dangly bike spaces.  Taller riders may require QRs on the boom to shorten the length.  USS does increase the awkward-factor, particularly if you want to fit it sideways in a car (TBH, this is where some sort of fold is a massive win).  I've found the Baron, while much longer, can fit better on trains where bikes are kept opposite the accessible toilet - as it's low and narrow there's less sticking out to block the gangway, and you can tetris it quite easily with DF bikes.
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: ElyDave on May 23, 2019, 07:07:27 pm
The ICE B2 was good in that respect, though wheels needed to be removed to maximise space for smaller cars. .
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Socks on May 23, 2019, 07:26:04 pm
I was in a similar position as the OP - wanted a 'bent but didn't have a need for one.  Based on the time/faff/cost involved in trecking the country to try a number of bikes I simply bought one second hand at an acceptable price (thank you yacf!).
Apparently a higher recumbent is easier to learn to balance than a low one (so the SM is a good choice).  Is it hamster, aero or USS?  I expected hamster would be the easiest but having tried a couple now I think USS is probably the simplest and hamster the least intuitive.
If you buy it, you will be able to sell it for what you spent.  If you decide you need a different 'bent you will never be able to make that informed decision without buying one first.
So, go on!

What fd3 said - if possible try a second hand one first.  There are as many variables as there are for uprights, for example lighter but less robust; heavier but with suspension and/or better luggage capacity; lower or higher seat height; rigid or hammock type fabric.  And as well as that, getting used to the different riding technique involved in a recumbent.  I started off with a second hand Kingcycle, and after a few months of riding that had a better idea of what I wanted longer term.  Dave McCraw has some excellent reviews (available on-line) however these make more sense once you've tried riding a recumbent for a while.
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: lmm on May 23, 2019, 07:27:59 pm
Can you pedal slower on a bent, uphill, I mean can you grind up hill in slow motion, or must you spin?
You can grind up, once your balance is good enough. But you won't want to. (I was skeptical too at first). You might even find yourself shifting to a more spinny style when riding uprights.
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Also some pics / videos show folks with leg completely extended to the pedals, so that the leg is flat, and some with quite a bend. What difference does it make?
Flat legs put more strain on the ankles (or some muscle or organ in that area). Bent legs put more strain on the knees. You just have to find that sweet spot where they both start aching at the same time.
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Anyone got any ( lots please) of pics of their SM (in action or not).
No action shots but here's my Azub Six on the Green & Yellow Fields (https://www.amazon.co.uk/photos/share/cr0HZPDZJaT3jjVX6kc3Fe4e7YomJbvTY2nx1EdFQDT).
Quote
What is a good avg distance unloaded on a SM. I assume it's too heavy for audax  type stuff. or is it? Is an Azub 6 a similar weight to the SM?
My Six is something like 22Kg "unladen", though that's with full racks/dynamo/fixed lights/mudguards/... . I did a 600km on it last weekend. I'd say this is the perfect style of bike for audax, for the same reason it makes a good tourer: comfortable over long distances, able to cope with a bit of rough stuff, and not bad in road traffic. Mine is specced out more for touring (every possible rack, suspension, wide tubes and marathon plus tires) and maintainability on the road (standard 3x9 derailleurs, hamster bars, cable-pull brakes, spring rather than air suspension). If I were building one specifically for audax I'd probably go with only one rack, a Rohloff hub, maybe USS, maybe hydraulics and air suspension. (And actually I'd go for the Max (26" front wheel) rather than the Six, though as a first recumbent that would be rather a baptism of fire). I'd probably keep the heavy tires and suspension though - they come in handy on towpaths or gravel, and personally I'm willing to carry quite a bit of extra weight if it means not getting punctures.
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Blodwyn Pig on May 23, 2019, 09:52:48 pm
Imm, you did a 600k on it..... :o   did it weigh the 22kg or did you trim it down. how were you time wise, and were you last or well in time. was it hilly????
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: lmm on May 24, 2019, 12:00:08 am
It weighed the 22kg (more with my bag of tools etc.). I'll worry about trimming down the bike's weight after I've trimmed the 25kg of excess rider ;). I was very much at the back (though partly due to a 41/2 hour sleep stop) and this was in fact "the flatlands". it was actually my first 600, I'm hoping to work my way up gradually to the tougher ones.
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Blodwyn Pig on May 24, 2019, 09:12:51 am
When people say "spin spin spin", what do they mean? I'm normally a masher, but on advice from here, yesterday I 'spun' up one of my usual hills, at approx 72 rpm. Would the panel consider this as spinning, or are we talking 90-100+ rpm. I have no idea :facepalm:
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: ElyDave on May 24, 2019, 10:39:17 am
When people say "spin spin spin", what do they mean? I'm normally a masher, but on advice from here, yesterday I 'spun' up one of my usual hills, at approx 72 rpm. Would the panel consider this as spinning, or are we talking 90-100+ rpm. I have no idea :facepalm:

My cadence on a 'bent is normally >90, but I also follow that on D/Fs as well.  I find getting much lower than 70 is very straining on a recumbent, partic on knees and lower back as you tend to arch to put the extra power out,  and it is very much a matter of gears.  Of course you may be able to routinely work at lower cadence than I on both DF and recumbent.

Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: tom_e on May 24, 2019, 12:19:35 pm
My experience was that it was more important to apply even torque all the way round the pedal cycle than to spin at particularly high rpm.  So I could climb smoothly at perhaps 60 rpm (not really low by upright standards).  But I watched a friend, who was managing alright on my bent along the flat, try to pedal up a hill on it by violently shoving at the pedals alternately and it appeared very hard work and quite ineffective.

Don't have notes of exact rpm.  I have a feeling it depends on the bike and at the point at which the pedalling starts to coincide with a natural left-right wobble of any kind, you're fucked.  Which may be one reason why smooth pedal circles work better.
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Kim on May 24, 2019, 12:23:42 pm
Agreed.

Fortunately, Streetmachines come with a convenient system of chain-tubes for training the rider to pedal smoothly; you simply aim to minimise the rattle.
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: lmm on May 24, 2019, 02:18:17 pm
Having looked up the bpm of the Irish folk songs I tend to humm, I'd say I climb at 45-60rpm. Much faster than what I used to stomp at on the upright, so I'd call it spinning, but shrug.
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: PaulM on May 24, 2019, 08:53:03 pm
Lots of good advice but it might help to know how tall you are. A dual 700c wheeled bent is likely to be quickest and to not need suspension, however the seat height can be a problem. The SM is difficult for those of less than average height. You could do worse than dip your toy in the water with a used Giro 20 but they come in different frame sizes which aren't obvious and can be more limiting than you'd imagine depending on the seat type you get and angle you set it at. The Nazca Gaucho is a good tourer and there is a lighter highracer version.
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: cycleman on May 24, 2019, 11:19:00 pm
Kevin at d tek recumbents I think still does taster sessions for a set fee which would give you the opportunity to try a number of different recumbent s .he is based near Ely  😀 .
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Blodwyn Pig on May 25, 2019, 06:58:14 am
I'm 6'2"  +/- .   I have thought about them before, but seeing a frame for sale got me thinking and looking  and now I'm obsessed 😏.  What would be good price for a s/h SM gte, non Rollhof, but with all the whistles and bells?  £1k ?  More?  Less?
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: PaulM on May 25, 2019, 09:57:34 am
At that height you should be able to manage a SM without problems. The GTe is a more recent Aluminium version, maybe 1 Kg lighter. There's one on eBay at the moment with underseat steering. You could make an offer. You'd be lucky to get a good one under £1k but prices of two wheeled bents are very variable. £1300 for a good one seems fair. But do you want USS and would you prefer a triple rather than a dual-drive?
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: PaulM on May 25, 2019, 10:02:06 am
Comparative review of SM and Azub 6 here, http://www.nextstopwhere.com/2017/04/17/azub-vs-streetmachine/
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Blodwyn Pig on May 25, 2019, 03:17:52 pm
Comparative review of SM and Azub 6 here, http://www.nextstopwhere.com/2017/04/17/azub-vs-streetmachine/

Haha! I've read that about 5 times! Most excellent.
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Kim on May 25, 2019, 03:58:08 pm
Comparative review of SM and Azub 6 here, http://www.nextstopwhere.com/2017/04/17/azub-vs-streetmachine/

Very interesting (apart from the specific component stuff, which is less relevant if you're buying second hand).  Particularly the bit about the kickstand - I've always thought the Streetmachine's lowrider stand was one of the better examples of the species.  Admittedly, I've beefed up the ferrule on mine which greatly reduces its tendency to dig into soft ground (as does a parking brake[1]).

Suspect weight distribution comes into it, too.  It looks like they're loading the rear rack more than I tend to, and my SMGT does tend to tip over if I mount the panniers in the wrong order.

I may have to investigate this "SnakeSeal" thing.  I'm guessing they've got a V-brake style boot that fits inside the brake lever or something...


[1] Top tip: If there isn't a tiller in the way, a parking brake allows you to sit upright astride the bike with your feet on the (not necessarily flat) ground, hands-free.  (Which is a lot more convenient than it sounds.  Think phone-faff, snack-nibbling, glasses-wiping and similar activities.)
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Blodwyn Pig on May 26, 2019, 11:29:36 am
Hmmm! I've negotiated a price, but not so sure now. Went out this morning for a quick 50 km before brekky, and thought 'right I'm now on a SM, let's see what I encounter....2km in ...whoops! . Most of my routes, including my usual commute, transect a cycle way, and this has barriers, the low ones, and I tackle these by putting pedals at 6/12 o'clock and sail thro without stopping.BUT the height of these bars would foul the uss of the SM, and depending which way I go, there can be between 2 and 7 of these things, and each would mean a dismount and faff. Also I don't think the terrain is right, lots of narrow twisty lanes, with lots of stops, or busy Medway towns with its shockingly bad and aggressive drivers. Think I'll give it a miss. Shame really but I'd end up not using for what I intended.
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Kim on May 26, 2019, 11:47:27 am
Point of order:  The cables hanging from the SM's USS bars are surely higher than pedals at 6 and 12 o'clock?

The lowrider rack might be an issue, however.

I must admit, I tend to avoid barriery cyclepaths (even on uprights), except when on a touring adventure.
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Blodwyn Pig on May 26, 2019, 12:41:43 pm
The barriers are low ones, one side is lower than the 'upper 12 o'clock pedal, but the other is signicantly higher. So this mould mean stopping, getting off, moving round to the front, lifting up high enough so h/ bars bars clear higher barrier, then wheeling thro, remounting, and doing same again 1/4 mile further on, up to 7 times.   :facepalm:
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Kim on May 26, 2019, 12:51:15 pm
FFS.  One of the great things about the Streetmachine is that you can carry a portable angle grinder and a several of spare batteries without adversely affecting the handling...
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: ElyDave on May 26, 2019, 01:09:39 pm
You can generally get away with hobby-horsing through such things rather than a full dismount, if they are anything like those on the side of the guided busway down here.

I can - mostly - manage to get through them by slowing right down and talking extreme angles of apporach, but your low speed handling needs to be good.
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: PaulM on May 26, 2019, 04:23:40 pm
Maybe think again if one with above seat steering appears.
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Kim on May 27, 2019, 12:26:32 am
You can generally get away with hobby-horsing through such things rather than a full dismount, if they are anything like those on the side of the guided busway down here.

I can - mostly - manage to get through them by slowing right down and talking extreme angles of apporach, but your low speed handling needs to be good.

Yeah, I can do most slaloms on the Streetmachine that I can do on an upright[1], as long as I keep my nerve.  Hobby-horsing is quick and easy if you can't.

But when it won't go past an obstruction, usually due to handlebars or overall length, it's a beast of a thing to manhandle.


[1] A proper-sized one.  Obviously clown bikes had an advantage for this sort of thing.
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Blodwyn Pig on May 28, 2019, 09:34:53 am
Can't stop thinking about this bike . :facepalm: . How easy are they to manoeuvre when walking / pushing. Has any one fitted a handle to the front 'changer tube' the sticky up one, so that it can be lifted up from the front. So it can be either pulled or pushed into doorways, balanced on the rear wheel, bit like a one handled wheelbarrow? The other question to Kim , and others , why did YOu buy one? For touring only, for comfort, for fun, to be quirky?
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: ElyDave on May 28, 2019, 09:43:01 am
You can generally get away with hobby-horsing through such things rather than a full dismount, if they are anything like those on the side of the guided busway down here.

I can - mostly - manage to get through them by slowing right down and talking extreme angles of apporach, but your low speed handling needs to be good.

Yeah, I can do most slaloms on the Streetmachine that I can do on an upright[1], as long as I keep my nerve.  Hobby-horsing is quick and easy if you can't.

But when it won't go past an obstruction, usually due to handlebars or overall length, it's a beast of a thing to manhandle.


[1] A proper-sized one.  Obviously clown bikes had an advantage for this sort of thing.

Yes - Length is the issue with the M5 with that great long fixed boom. Teh Cruzbike is much more maneuvrable in that respect, but that floppy front end can catch you unawares when you stop.

As to BP - why did I take up darksiding - a) I've always thought they looked cool and ii) comfort, I was finding my neck/shoulders and wrists aching after 75-80km, and arse soreness as well.  Resolved that generally by darksiding
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Socks on May 28, 2019, 11:28:48 am
Can't stop thinking about this bike . :facepalm: . How easy are they to manoeuvre when walking / pushing. Has any one fitted a handle to the front 'changer tube' the sticky up one, so that it can be lifted up from the front. So it can be either pulled or pushed into doorways, balanced on the rear wheel, bit like a one handled wheelbarrow? The other question to Kim , and others , why did YOu buy one? For touring only, for comfort, for fun, to be quirky?

Yes - I've used a spare aheadset stem on one of mine, with a short length of alloy tube where the handlebar would go.  Makes a good front light mount and also a handle to lift / hold the front end.  I find it easy enough to sit up and 'walk' through obstructions, occasionally have to dismount.

Why a recumbent?  Comfort (no aching or painful contact points even on long rides);  fun to ride and better visibility because I'm sitting in a natural upright position;. efficiency,  they just seem to roll along and once you've re-learned how to ride and developed the different technique and leg muscles ok on the hills as well.  Only exception is when doing an extremely hilly route I use a lightweight upright to make the climbing a little less difficult.
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Kim on May 28, 2019, 12:20:13 pm
Can't stop thinking about this bike . :facepalm: . How easy are they to manoeuvre when walking / pushing.

Easy to push on flat ground, you hold the top of the seat and walk, leaning the bike side to side to make the steering flop in the appropriate direction (works much like pushing an upright by the saddle, but the steering's a bit less floppy).  As soon as you need to reach a brake, you're leaning down to reach the handlebars, which is doable for short distances (think driveway, wheelchair ramp) but not something you want to make a habit of as a hillclimbing technique, because of the uncomfortable back angle.  You learn to ride at a pace that means you don't have to stop and push.


Quote
Has any one fitted a handle to the front 'changer tube' the sticky up one, so that it can be lifted up from the front. So it can be either pulled or pushed into doorways, balanced on the rear wheel, bit like a one handled wheelbarrow?

I've got an extra stem clamped to the derailleur post, for mounting of GPS, lip balm and bike computer, but you don't want to use that as a lifting point:  The centre of mass of the bike is somewhere under the seat, so to pick it up you grab the stem (the proper one, attached to the handlebars) in one hand and the top of the seat in the other.  You can then rotate around your axis to do an about turn in a tight space, shuffle through a kissing gate, walk up/down steps or whatever.

What you don't want to do is attempt to lift it by the front end.  Like most recumbent bicycles, you'll then have no leverage to control the bike's rotation and it will promptly tip over sideways[1].  This can be a problem on trains, because helpy people (nearly always men) will grab the front of your bike without asking and pull as you carefully position yourself and the centre of the bike over the Mind The Gap in order to safety lift it up or down.  On a bad day, they'll have no mechanical sympathy and will grab it by the lights or chainring guard or something.

For doorways, I lift the bike through with the handlebars at full lock (there's then enough space for both me and the bike to fit through the gap).  Unless there are front panniers attached, in which case I'll carefully line the bike up and push it through slowly from behind, hoping the steering doesn't flop unhelpfully before I'm through.  I'm not sure about the standing it on the rear wheel, that seems to be a tall people / lightweight bike thing and is generally contraindicated by the presence of proper mudguards.  Doesn't sound very safe to me.


Quote
The other question to Kim , and others , why did YOu buy one? For touring only, for comfort, for fun, to be quirky?

I was about to buy my first proper bike, and Charlotte OTP was selling it.  I embraced the wisdom of Ian Utting (https://www.cs.kent.ac.uk/people/staff/iau/) and learned to love my geeky nature.  I figured that if I didn't get on with it, I could sell it on for about the same amount, and buy the Ribble upwrong I had my eye on.

I soon found it suited my style of cycling (quite spinny, pacing myself on hills because Stupid Lungs), and - crucially - discovered that cycling didn't have to leave you with a choice between numb fingers or sore genitals.  Since you can do most things on a Streetmachine, I rode it a lot.  I've since discovered that its limitations are basically serious off-roading, audax-style riding beyond about 100km (unless it's really flat), transporting it by car, city traffic[2] and going round corners at speed[3].  I have n+1s better suited to these things, but it's the Streetmachine I keep coming back to.


[1] You could probably do a variation on the two-person lift that barakta and I employ to get the ICE trike through doorways sideways:  One person on the front simply providing lift, one holding the rear rack and (braked) rear wheel, to control the rotation.  But I'm not sure why you'd want to.
[2] You can ride it in traffic fine (it's a bent, so the drivers are better behaved around you), but stop-start is tedious, you can only see as well as a car driver, and you can largely forget about filtering.  Uprights are better at this stuff, particularly cheaper ones if you're going to lock them up.
[3] It's a tourer, and handles like a tourer.
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: dme on May 28, 2019, 12:55:14 pm
... audax-style riding beyond about 100km, ...

I'm curious about this, as beyond 100km is when some of the benefits (particularly to my neck and shoulders) would seem to become more apparent.

Is there a more favoured recumbent for that kind of distance, or does the different climbing style rule them out?
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Kim on May 28, 2019, 01:14:24 pm
... audax-style riding beyond about 100km, ...

I'm curious about this, as beyond 100km is when some of the benefits (particularly to my neck and shoulders) would seem to become more apparent.

Is there a more favoured recumbent for that kind of distance, or does the different climbing style rule them out?

Climbing's about the rider, not the bike, but if you're riding long distances without full luggage, one that isn't built like a tank is clearly advantageous.  The all-up weight of my Streetmachine is about 24kg.

I reckon the ideal 'bent for audax - leg length permitting - is a large-wheeled high-racer:  Something that can roll well in comfort over bad roads without the weight penalty of full suspension, high enough up that you don't get splattered in the wet (Streetmachine height is fine in this respect), and can usefully draft / be drafted by riders on uprights.

And then choose kit that's appropriate for the job:  Lighter wheels with faster-rolling tyres than you'd have on a full-on tourer, not having a full set of over-engineered luggage racks, that sort of thing.

Which isn't to say you couldn't make a Streetmachine more suitable for audax by choice of components, but the same goes for a Thorn Raven Tour or Surly Long Haul Trucker - it's just not the best place to start, and n+1 applies.



ETA: Last week I did my first 200 in several years (injury, lack of fitness, other priorities) on my Optima Baron.  That's also not an ideal bike for audax, for somewhat different reasons: It's low down, so you get splattered in shit by every overtaking motorist, as well as the people who forgot to bring any mudguards.  Your view of the road in front is compromised in favour of aerodynamics, which is far from ideal on an unsuspended bike that doesn't react well to potholes.  As with an upwrong, your neck starts to suffer after a while, albeit in the opposite direction.  While your hands aren't bearing weight, the wrist angle isn't neutral like with USS, and I started to get a bit fed up with the two positions I have on the tiller.  It climbs okay, because it only weighs 19kg, and climbing is about the rider, but some concentration is required as it's a twitchy bastard at low speed, and unless handled with tranquility, the down-shift into the granny ring is liable to derail the chain (because nothing can shift a 22-36-50 chainset properly, and the drivetrain's complicated and finicky, because aero).  But on the positive side, it's insanely efficient: I was able to keep up with the main group for 2/3 of the way round, which is otherwise unheard of.  (I might have managed more if I hadn't had to stop for digestive reasons[1].)



[1] First control had laid on a special menu of grease or grease.
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: fd3 on May 28, 2019, 02:28:31 pm
Can't stop thinking about this bike . :facepalm: . How easy are they to manoeuvre when walking / pushing. Has any one fitted a handle to the front 'changer tube' the sticky up one, so that it can be lifted up from the front. So it can be either pulled or pushed into doorways, balanced on the rear wheel, bit like a one handled wheelbarrow? The other question to Kim , and others , why did YOu buy one? For touring only, for comfort, for fun, to be quirky?
I have a speedmachine, so a similar bike, but lower.  Initially I tried to steer it from the hamster bars when walking with it, but it is really simple to steer it from the headrest when walking (like an upright steered from the saddle).  I manhandle it through the house lifting it by the front boom and rear rack or rear wheel, it's not much harder than doing the same with DF (some of the increased difficulty is due to it being heavier than a DF).  Not tried it balanced on the rear wheel.
I got mine because I was bentcurious and because I wanted to go through the experience of learning to ride all over again (to be more sympathetic towards my kids as they learn).  It is like being a beginning rider all over again as I am far more timid at junctions and more aware of motorists and the space I need as I wobble about.  It's okay on towpaths, currently stressful in high parking areas as I can't see as much, but fine on your bigger/straighter/faster roads.  I can see that going out for a 20+ mile ride it would come into its own.

Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: ElyDave on May 28, 2019, 02:59:49 pm
last summer holiday was a smidge over 600km in 6 days, and included the last three consecutive days with all my touring lugage of 172/144/100km. 

day 1 was from Islay to Newton Stewart with three ferries, crosssing Arran, The Mull of Kintyre and the Galloway Forest
Day 2 the lower sections of Galloway Forrest and the flat bits to Gretna
Day 3 - Gretna to Kirkby Stephen with some lumpiness.

I'd say a 200 or more is well within range of a decently geared recumbent.  This was on my 700C wheeled S40, and I'd have been trying to build up to a 200 and then 300-400 on it this year if it weren't for being knocked off.
I would not have tried that route on my low slung M5, even though it has a lower bottom gear at 34x40 vs 30x32.  It's very reclined and I'm a bit too short so end up straining the neck to see potholes as Kim says.

Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Kim on May 28, 2019, 05:26:08 pm
I'm not sure about the standing it on the rear wheel, that seems to be a tall people / lightweight bike thing and is generally contraindicated by the presence of proper mudguards.  Doesn't sound very safe to me.

Just tried this:  You need a hand on the top of the seat to control the tipping of the bike (which ends up quite low down), and - presumably because the centre of mass is lower than a DF bike - the rear mudflap starts getting mashed before it reaches the neutral balance point.  Sort of thing that you might do if you really had to rotate the bike in a train vestibule, but doesn't seem like a good doorway strategy.
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: fd3 on May 28, 2019, 07:24:00 pm
I am more likely to lift the back and tilt it forward o; the front wheel.
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Kim on May 28, 2019, 07:25:26 pm
I am more likely to lift the back and tilt it forward o; the front wheel.

That's occasionally necessary for dangly bike spaces.   :(
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: andytheflyer on May 28, 2019, 07:35:21 pm
I reckon the ideal 'bent for audax - leg length permitting - is a large-wheeled high-racer:  Something that can roll well in comfort over bad roads without the weight penalty of full suspension, high enough up that you don't get splattered in the wet (Streetmachine height is fine in this respect), and can usefully draft / be drafted by riders on uprights.

Absolutely.  I've audaxed my 20/26 Performer over 100k and it's fine.  But my 700c Highracer would be much, much better.
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: cycleman on May 28, 2019, 09:39:34 pm
My first recumbent was a rans rocket swb. 20/20 . I found it very comfortable and among other rides  completed the Dorset coast 200 on it. I was about a hour slower than I had been the previous year and would have kept it longer if a trice explorer had not come my way  :)
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: lmm on May 29, 2019, 10:24:15 am
Pushing one handed (via the seat) takes a bit of getting used to but it's fine. With ASS steering or braking with the other hand on the handlebars is also fine - I can't speak to USS.

I wheel my Azub Six upright on the back wheel twice a day to get it in the lift. Actually lifting it up is a bit of a strain but it's well behaved once it's upright. I used to have trouble with the front wheel flipping over, but I don't any more (possibly because I attached a little bag to the back of the handlebars).

As Kim says, "helpful" people grabbing the front can be a menace, especially when getting off trains (though FWIW my worst case was a woman). I've had to develop a very firm "please step back".
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Mr Larrington on May 29, 2019, 11:39:56 am
[...]the down-shift into the granny ring is liable to derail the chain (because nothing can shift a 22-36-50 chainset properly, and the drivetrain's complicated and finicky, because aero).

Have you tried a Jump Stop/Dog Fang/other derailment-prevention gadget?  Fitted one on the Trice (24-38-50) after finding myself wearing a Belgian roadie for a hat, also have one on the Speedmachine (20-34-I forget).
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Kim on May 29, 2019, 12:38:58 pm
[...]the down-shift into the granny ring is liable to derail the chain (because nothing can shift a 22-36-50 chainset properly, and the drivetrain's complicated and finicky, because aero).

Have you tried a Jump Stop/Dog Fang/other derailment-prevention gadget?  Fitted one on the Trice (24-38-50) after finding myself wearing a Belgian roadie for a hat, also have one on the Speedmachine (20-34-I forget).

I've got a Jump Stop somewhere that I haven't got round to fitting (mainly because it started behaving again, to lul me into a false sense of security).  Advanced level shimmery may be required.
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: lmm on May 29, 2019, 12:58:16 pm
As to why: I wanted the best tourer possible, and having avoided cleats for years because they seemed kinda weird, I was determined not to repeat that mistake. When I spoke to people about recumbents I got two kinds of responses: people who'd ridden them said they were brilliant, people who hadn't had lots of (superficial seeming) objections. I never met anyone who'd ridden one for any length of time but thought they were a bad idea.

My audax philosophy is that consistency matters more than speed. I can pootle along at the rear, close to the time limits on the controls, because I'm confident that I won't get a puncture, that I can handle a gravel towpath or icy patch, that I'm unlikely to develop pains in my wrists, that I've even got a decent shot at riding on if I were to be in a collision. I'm sure on a lighter bike with faster tires I'd have a better average speed, but I suspect my DNF rate would be higher. I'm not sure I'd even take the luggage racks off, because a lot of the time they're what lets me carry a mat and sleeping bag (and maybe even tent) so that I can stay over the night before an event, even if they're dead weight on the ride proper. I'm aware that most are adherents of a more lightweight approach though.
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Kim on May 29, 2019, 01:22:59 pm
As to why: I wanted the best tourer possible, and having avoided cleats for years because they seemed kinda weird, I was determined not to repeat that mistake. When I spoke to people about recumbents I got two kinds of responses: people who'd ridden them said they were brilliant, people who hadn't had lots of (superficial seeming) objections. I never met anyone who'd ridden one for any length of time but thought they were a bad idea.

Of the people who don't get on with recumbent bikes, it usually seems to come down to either struggling with the learning curve and not getting to the point where they can ride confidently (possibly exacerbated by a preference for pedalling at low cadences), or unrealistic expectations (typically that a comfort-oriented touring bike will perform like a lightweight racing bike) that likely comes from the muggle idea that "recumbent" is a functional class of bicycle.

Recumbent trikes are a different kind of cycling, and while they can have all sorts of accessibility advantages, they're even more biased towards the touring end of the performance spectrum.

Presumably the people who try recumbents and don't immediately see an overwhelming advantage for longer rides are the ones who get on with saddles.  I suspect they're over-represented in the cycling community.
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Blodwyn Pig on May 31, 2019, 07:19:18 pm
When audaxing, how do you Cope with route sheet faff, or how do you see / place your garmin . I must confess to not owning a garmin , and also confess to not doing an audax for a few year due to comfort issues. It's one thing being tired, but the older I get, the less enjoyable it is feeling every bump.
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Kim on May 31, 2019, 07:30:55 pm
When audaxing, how do you Cope with route sheet faff, or how do you see / place your garmin . I must confess to not owning a garmin , and also confess to not doing an audax for a few year due to comfort issues. It's one thing being tired, but the older I get, the less enjoyable it is feeling every bump.

On the Streetmachine (USS) I have a stem clamped to the derailleur post, pointing back towards me, with the Garmin and bike computer mounted on some sort of accessory bar thing that's part of the stem, so they're between my calves/knees.  This is suboptimal, as it means I can only just barely read the map while in motion.  Numbers are fine.  I often use follow-road routing to improve the clarity of the display.  Or, if I'm not in a rush, stop and lean forward.  I've done something similar on Barakta's ICE trike, though it only gets used for navigation when I'm riding it.

If there's a routesheet, it lives in a tri-bag mounted forward of the steerer (along with inhaler and on-the-bike nibbles), which is easy to access when stopped, and I try not to need it.

On the Baron (hamster bars) I have a Garmin mount on the handlebars near the stem, like you would on an upright.  This puts it quite close to my face (handlebar position on tiller-steering 'bents tends to be dictated by finding the position where they foul neither thighs nor boobs, and you can mostly see the ground - everything else has to work with that), but it means that I can peer under my glasses to read the screen and easily press the buttons.  I've got even less room for a routesheet, so it lives in my rack bag for emergencies.

Open-cockpit steering seems to give you loads of room for Stuff.  If you don't bash your shins on it...


If I cared more about routesheets, I'd probably experiment with attaching them to a convenient arm or thigh.  Some proper audaxers will no doubt be along soon with their solutions...
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: lmm on May 31, 2019, 09:02:33 pm
The "little bag" I mentioned on the handlebars is actually a clear-fronted phone-mounting one (convenient for brevet card as well). Being designed for uprights it points at my belly rather than my face but I can lift the bars or duck my head to take a glance at it. I'm used to mostly navigating by audio so I only look at the screen for the occasional confusing junction.

Bit of a bodge but it works for me. I don't know what I'd do with USS.
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: frankenthorn on June 03, 2019, 10:10:48 am
I reckon the break-even point is about 1% rolling hills.  Any hillier, you regret the weight, any flatter and you're winning on aerodynamics.  (Disclaimer: I'm a brick, not a feather.)

I seem to recall reading someone else saying something similar, only they put the tipping point as 6%.  Steeper and the upright would win, less steep and the recumbent takes it.  (Though it might have been in reference to Steve Abraham, and therefore not applicable to normal mortals?)  As you said though, the figure depends upon the bike and "the engine"!

If I cared more about routesheets, I'd probably experiment with attaching them to a convenient arm or thigh.  Some proper audaxers will no doubt be along soon with their solutions...

I asked about this many years ago $ELSEWHERE (in the days before things like Garmin Edges) and the suggested solution was one of the Ortlieb document cases that went around the neck.  Obviously this would fly around randomly in a very annoying fashion whilst you where actually riding, so the solution was to sit on it!

ETA: I've owned 6 recumbents (Streetmachine, Grasshopper, ICE QNT, Giro 20, Giro 26, Grasshopper), but I'm currently riding uprights.  I would probably have been riding a Bacchetta Corsa right now (certainly that was the plan) but it seems that whilst they exist and Bacchetta themselves are remarkably quick & helpful at responding to queries there isn't actually a dealer in the UK who wants to sell you one.  (There are UK Bacchetta dealers certainly, but trying to prise a Corsa out of them even when I was waving my credit card at them and shouting "Take my money!" was not something achievable.)
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Arellcat on June 03, 2019, 04:29:23 pm
I've got even less room for a routesheet, so it lives in my rack bag for emergencies.  If I cared more about routesheets, I'd probably experiment with attaching them to a convenient arm or thigh.  Some proper audaxers will no doubt be along soon with their solutions...

Thinking back to your hydration tube solution, perhaps something like a retractable badge reel (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Zhiye-Retractable-Keychain-Carabiner-Key-ring/dp/B07MR83J5S/), hooked onto the frame somewhere under the seat, with a wee magnet for preventing flappiness would work for routesheets?  Grab, read, let go.

Talking of "being tempted, but ...", I was tempted by the Seiran SL that was on eBay the past few days.  It was the bike I nearly bought before I ordered my Lightning P-38.  But heck, I'm just not that taken with the idea of audaxing, and besides, my garage already has enough bikes in it.
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: phil w on June 03, 2019, 04:41:01 pm
When audaxing, how do you Cope with route sheet faff, or how do you see / place your garmin . I must confess to not owning a garmin , and also confess to not doing an audax for a few year due to comfort issues. It's one thing being tired, but the older I get, the less enjoyable it is feeling every bump.

I have hamster bars and mount a Etrex 20 just to the right of the stem.  As Kim says it is closer to your face but that also means it is easier to see in bright sunlight than when mounted on the upright.  I tend to have the mount tilted towards me rather than horizontal. As for outesheets, pah, don't bother on the recumbent.  I do carry a back up in the saddlebag behind my head but if the GPS failed (not happened yet), then I'd probably just pull out the routesheet and note the next few villages and towns and try and follow signs. I'd not try and blindly follow the routesheet.  You possibly could mount a bulldog clip and some card in front of the seat provided your thighs didn't foul the routesheet paper.  But like Kim being using GPS for almost two decades, learnt the foibles of the Etrex 20, use it in track (tracks that I have adjusted so I know they work on the etrex) mode, and know what I'll get out of a set of AAs.  One backup set of AA's is sufficient, and there's always garages and most shops for replacements.  A set of rechargable AAs will last 600km now, so running out rarely an issue outside of winter cold, or the big ones.
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Mr Larrington on June 03, 2019, 08:08:28 pm

I asked about this many years ago $ELSEWHERE (in the days before things like Garmin Edges) and the suggested solution was one of the Ortlieb document cases that went around the neck.  Obviously this would fly around randomly in a very annoying fashion whilst you where actually riding, so the solution was to sit on it!


I used to keep mine tucked under my arm.
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: ElyDave on June 03, 2019, 09:08:04 pm
printed double sided, 2 pages per side, folded, in a small plastic bag same size as brevet card, fits in the rear pocket even when recumbenting.  YMMV, but I find that it's only the middel of the rear pockets unobtainable.  Anything not immediately required goes in the rack pack. Snacks etc go in the tri-bag on the stem.

GPS, lights, camera (if you like) get mounted on the handlebars.  I navigate preferentially by GPS
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Kim on June 03, 2019, 09:24:36 pm
printed double sided, 2 pages per side, folded, in a small plastic bag same size as brevet card, fits in the rear pocket even when recumbenting.  YMMV, but I find that it's only the middel of the rear pockets unobtainable.

Yeahbut, things in rear pockets do one of three things onna bent:

End up squished.
Cause a bruise.
End up floppy with a smudge where useful information was once written.

Attempts to avoid the latter with ziplock bag technology instead ends up defeating the Ventisit.
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: ElyDave on June 03, 2019, 10:23:51 pm
printed double sided, 2 pages per side, folded, in a small plastic bag same size as brevet card, fits in the rear pocket even when recumbenting.  YMMV, but I find that it's only the middel of the rear pockets unobtainable.

Yeahbut, things in rear pockets do one of three things onna bent:

End up squished.
Cause a bruise.
End up floppy with a smudge where useful information was once written.

Attempts to avoid the latter with ziplock bag technology instead ends up defeating the Ventisit.

100-200 routesheet goes on a single sheet of paper, folds no bigger than the Brevet, fits in the same pocket in a zip loc bag.

Left pocket - phone, credit card, £10, bog roll all in one bag, maybe a snackbar as well. Right pocket - blood glucose test kit, brevert card and route sheet in a nother bag.  Fits the ventisit no probs
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: fd3 on June 04, 2019, 01:55:27 pm
Talking of "being tempted, but ...", I was tempted by the Seiran SL that was on eBay the past few days.  It was the bike I nearly bought before I ordered my Lightning P-38.  But heck, I'm just not that taken with the idea of audaxing, and besides, my garage already has enough bikes in it.
Xte! had I seen that ...
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: phil w on June 05, 2019, 09:19:10 pm
Here is my recumbent tiller bar setup just the GPS (plus bell). I was checking today and I have the bars set so they sit above my belly button.

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/s8afj51yr694epq/FILE0055.jpg?raw=1)
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: fd3 on June 08, 2019, 11:43:28 pm
Pssst, Blodwyn
https://forum.cyclinguk.org/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=129999
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Kim on June 08, 2019, 11:53:52 pm
Pssst, Blodwyn
https://forum.cyclinguk.org/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=129999

That looks almost, but not quite entirely, unlike a Streetmachine as I know it.

Perhaps an early model from before it gained the 'GT'?

Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Arellcat on June 09, 2019, 11:34:40 am
Perhaps an early model from before it gained the 'GT'?

Yep.  It's an original Streetmachine from about 1995.  When you look at its SWB contemporaries, such as the Streetglider, the Ostrad, the Radius Hornet, the Kingcycle, the Speed Ross, and the Flux ST, you realise how much HP Velo raised the bar.  I think the Lightning P-38 is possibly the only contemporary SWB that is still being made.

Ben Kinetics had an original Streetmachine frameset kicking around in his attic for donkeys years.  A good while ago I was going to buy it from him, until I realised the seat was far too small for me.
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Blodwyn Pig on June 09, 2019, 10:28:24 pm
Pssst, Blodwyn
https://forum.cyclinguk.org/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=129999

Yes I saw that, but not all that is shown in the pic is for sale. Alas the bike I dithered over has now sold, so I missed out, not sure if that's a good thing or bad. Swmbo wasn't convinced, not that I listen anyway, but , usually what she says does make sense. I'll still look for a cheaper GT maybe.
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: frankenthorn on June 11, 2019, 10:56:13 am
Pssst, Blodwyn
https://forum.cyclinguk.org/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=129999

That looks exactly like my first recumbent ...  Right down to the early Magura HS33 hydraulic rim brakes, and the reflective tape on the back of the seat!  :-o  It used to have an improvised mid-rack (i.e. not the official HPVelotechnik product) and was also mahoosively overgeared!  If the picture when a little further to the left then we'd see if it had the overly short mudguard I fitted.  The original was broken, the replacement wasn't broken but also wasn't quite long enough to prevent the back of your neck getting sprayed!
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: phil w on July 15, 2019, 03:20:09 pm
Have you been tempted yet?
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Blodwyn Pig on July 17, 2019, 07:38:36 pm
No not yet, still sort of looking tho. :-\
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: McWheels on July 19, 2019, 07:21:46 pm
I lurk here from time to time. Nearly made the necessary arrangements, but ended up with a Cruzbike framekit, end of line, poverty-spec, thing.

https://www.marktplaats.nl/z/fietsen-en-brommers/fietsen-ligfietsen/ligfiets.html?query=ligfiets&categoryId=458 (https://www.marktplaats.nl/z/fietsen-en-brommers/fietsen-ligfietsen/ligfiets.html?query=ligfiets&categoryId=458)
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Blodwyn Pig on September 07, 2019, 07:45:03 pm
what is the best gearing option on some thing like a GTE. I'm guessing Rollhoff comes out tops, but at a price, so given the two remaining choices, of Sachs 3 speed hub,with  7-8-9? block next to it, or a triple up front, which is the better choice. I'm thinking with the hub combo, then impromtu stops can be over come with a stationary change?.  pros and cons of either?
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Socks on September 07, 2019, 08:32:40 pm
I use dualdrive on various Moultons, the main advantages being a good gear range even with the smaller wheel size (20" / 406mm).  And as you've already noted, the ability to quickly drop down or up to a different range of gears.

On the other hand if the dualdrive hub was to go tango uniform, it is unlikely to be fixable or replaceble by your average bike shop.  As far as I know they are no longer in production, although Sturmey Archer produce an equivalent.

Triple chainset instead offers the advantage of standard, more widely available components.  I think the GTE has a 26" rear wheel, in which case a good gear range is easily available with a triple.  And if your rear derailleur has enough capacity you can use all the rear sprockets on any of the front rings without worrying about chain angle (as the recumbent chain is so long.)

So on balance I would suggest triple chainset as a better option.
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: ElyDave on September 07, 2019, 08:44:05 pm
depends a bit on what you prefer and what you'll be doing.  I've gone with triples on tourers with 10-sp, liking that on my cruzbike as it then rides quite similarly to an upright because of the short chain.  You have to pay the same attention to cross chaining and I find that tends to make you pay more attention to being in the right gear.  The lowest gear I have right now is a 30 x 32, which I've used up 14% inclines at a crawl.  You could probably get away with a 34 on the back before you topple over.

On the M5, I went with shortened cranks on a 50:34 front and 11-40 11-sp rear, MTB rear derraileur and shifters.  With the rear wheel drive and nearly 3 chains, you can actually use it a full 22 gears if you want to be lazy, so I tend to have to remind myself to change to the smaller ring.
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Tigerbiten on September 08, 2019, 12:43:30 am
Questions to ask yourself when of what gears you want/need.
How low do you want/need to go to make hill climbing easy ??
How high do you want/need to go for silly fast descents ??
How many steps do you want between these two points ??
Now what's the simplest way to get this range.

My thinking with the SA hub gears is it should be used to extend a triple into 5 chainrings.
A 52/39/30 road triple is ideal as the size of the steps between both the chainrings and the hubs gears match.
That way most of your riding is done in the middle range over all three chainring with no extra drag and you only rarely use the top/bottom ranges with the extra drag at very high/low speeds when it doesn't matter that much.

Luck ..........  ;D
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Auntie Helen on September 08, 2019, 06:23:38 am
My partner had a dual drive on his Trike and my friend on her Velomobile.

They are good when they work, but are no longer in production and so spares are an issue.

They also have quite a lot of plastic bits inside which are weak and prone to breaking.

My friend with the Velomobile had her dualdrive break whilst touring in Finland and this really ruined her holiday as she was stuck in one gear on it which didn’t suit the terrain.
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: sprogs on September 18, 2019, 05:49:35 pm
For me, I would say that a hub gear was essential on a 'bent. Getting wrong geared at lights is not good for arthritic knees and hill starts. A triple on  the front is a good idea though as it gives a much wider range. I find also that using direct drive at the hub and changing at the front copes well with most situations without loss of efficiency. My trice has a triple at the pointy end and a 3x8 under my sandwiches.
Despite being at worst 36.5 stone and osteoarthritis I have never been defeated by a hill.
To me the best thing about recumbent cycling is that whereas before, discomfort limited my rides, now it's running out of tea and biccies.
Liz
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Kim on September 18, 2019, 07:05:16 pm
For me, I would say that a hub gear was essential on a 'bent. Getting wrong geared at lights is not good for arthritic knees and hill starts.

I wouldn't say they were essential, if you can anticipate sufficiently to change down before stopping (this is greatly helped by shifters that allow you to change lots of gears very quickly, such as twist-grips or bar-ends).  There will always be emergencies when you have to stop and to hell with the gears, at which point you either have to:

a) Get off the bike, put the stand down, lean it so the rear wheel lifts off the ground while turning the crank by hand and operating the gears.

b) Curse that your bike is stupidly long and doesn't have a stand (or is a trike), and walk it forward while turning the cranks, clicking through the gears as you go.

c) God knows what the derailleur-equipped velomobile riders do in this scenario?  Recruit a volunteer to lift the drive wheel?  Adamantium kneecaps?  Attempt to get up to speed using a combination of gravity and Fred Flintstone tactics?  Flip it on its side and turn the cranks through the holes?


IME emergency stops are sufficiently rare that (a) is an acceptable course of action.  (b) is a royal pain in the arse.  If you spend a lot of time in busy traffic where emergency stops are a common occurance, then gears-inna-can are undoubtedly the way to go.  (And as a sufferer of Knees, I'd say they were equally a good idea on uprights.)
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Auntie Helen on September 18, 2019, 08:10:57 pm
c) God knows what the derailleur-equipped velomobile riders do in this scenario?  Recruit a volunteer to lift the drive wheel?  Adamantium kneecaps?  Attempt to get up to speed using a combination of gravity and Fred Flintstone tactics?  Flip it on its side and turn the cranks through the holes?
(a) Fit a mountain drive, or
(B) say goodbye to your knees
I have no mountain drive, but my motor helps me to about 6th gear. 7, 8 or 9 and I may have to get out, prop the back end up and then use the motor to turn the pedals to change gear (can’t reach pedals when not inside Velomobile, really). Fortunately my twist-grip lets me change 3-4 gears very quickly indeed, and I don’t think I have ever had to get out and push.
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Arellcat on September 18, 2019, 08:57:07 pm
c) God knows what the derailleur-equipped velomobile riders do in this scenario?  Recruit a volunteer to lift the drive wheel?  Adamantium kneecaps?  Attempt to get up to speed using a combination of gravity and Fred Flintstone tactics?  Flip it on its side and turn the cranks through the holes?

It does happen from time to time.  Usually I find the solution is:

(c) Apply AWESOME POWER, and pray that the weakest link in the chain is not
and notch your way down three or four gears as soon as you dare, without the dérailleur making horrible crunching noises.

I remember the lowest gear on ARION3 being something like 140 inches.  It was ridiculous how slowly the pedals turned at first despite pouring on the power.
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Blodwyn Pig on September 19, 2019, 08:32:17 am
Still looking  ::-), seen a SM GTE , BUT... it's in silver  :sick:, and it's an almost non complete home build, with the older looking wider mesh seat, not the split ergo one. Never been fully built up, and used, but built with used bits. I've noticed that home built ones fetch a lot less than factory ones, this has exposed wiring etc , and a triple up front.
Seen another, with DD, but torn seat, rusty chain, rusty bolts, no mudguards, or middle rack, and twistgrips for £900, and it's Orange but they have annoyingly taken off all the original transfers, and it doesn't have the front mech 'stump' . So if the DD fails ?? another hub?  All in all , not looked after. Should have bought the first one I saw .
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Kim on September 19, 2019, 12:05:51 pm
IME derailleur posts are well worth having for mounting lights and gadgetry, even if you're running gears-inna-can.  (Some manufacturers provide alternatives - My streetmachine has a light mounting braze-on on the underside of the boom, and provision for internally-routed dynamo wiring, but that requires a light that can hang downwards, so my light[1] is mounted on the lower[2] bottle-cage bolt instead.)

Agreed about the silver.  The orange isn't great, either.


[1] Which used to be a Cyo.
[2] IME lights on recumbent booms benefit more from being mounted further forward, to minimise foot-flash, rather than a couple of inches higher.
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Blodwyn Pig on September 19, 2019, 06:58:05 pm


Agreed about the silver.  The orange isn't great, either.




I must be part German,  because I love the Orange, it looks like the same Orange, that most local council vehicles are in Germany, and I've always loved the big orange unimogs etc....... ::-)   Mind you , yours is green I believe ?  not seen another green one?
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Kim on September 19, 2019, 07:01:59 pm
I must be part German,  because I love the Orange, it looks like the same Orange, that most local council vehicles are in Germany, and I've always loved the big orange unimogs etc....... ::-)   Mind you , yours is green I believe ?  not seen another green one?

That was a custom colour specified by Charlotte OTP, the bike's original owner.  It was supposed to be British Racing Green, but the exact colour seems to have been subject to a bit of Germanic interpretation...
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: fd3 on September 19, 2019, 09:29:14 pm
my light is mounted on the lower bottle-cage bolt instead.)
That's what I do ... now, where do I put the bottle?

Also, I have to disagree RE the silver as that's the colour of my bike and I will never have the spare cash for a respray.
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Kim on September 19, 2019, 10:08:47 pm
my light is mounted on the lower bottle-cage bolt instead.)
That's what I do ... now, where do I put the bottle?

In the cage under the seat where you have to stop to reach it.  But for anything other than a short ride, I'll use a water bag on the rear rack for easier access.
Title: Re: Being tempted , but .....
Post by: Tigerbiten on September 20, 2019, 12:05:03 pm
If you need a replacement for a dual drive hub, then look at the Sturmey Archer CS-RF3 or CS-RK3 hub.
I gather it's a direct replacement but that's all I know about it.

Luck ...........  ;D