Author Topic: Low or High for PBP?  (Read 1478 times)

Low or High for PBP?
« on: September 17, 2018, 10:59:46 am »
Which do you think would be best suited for longer audaxes like PBP, a low or high racer, or does it not matter? 

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Low or High for PBP?
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2018, 01:49:21 pm »
I reckon high is better for audax type riding - larger wheels roll better on poor quality roads, and a higher position is more pleasant in wet weather and better suited to riding in a group with DF bikes.  On the other hand, larger front wheels limit the options for riders with shorter legs, and being low down helps you shelter from the wind.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

T42

  • Gaulois réfractaire
Re: Low or High for PBP?
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2018, 02:34:13 pm »
People were doing it in velomobiles last time, with the skin of their netherbys a couple of inches off the road. OTOH you do have to do an SR series to qualify: no guarantee what the roads will be like where you do it.
Où sont les merguez d'antan ?

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Low or High for PBP?
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2018, 02:38:45 pm »
Velomobiles (and for that matter, unfaired recumbent trikes) are another matter entirely.  Fully-enclosed keeps the wet stuff out and the heat in, and multitrack swaps low-speed balance / getting a foot down issues for advanced-level pothole-dodging.

If you can think of a type of cycle, someone's probably done PBP on it.  That doesn't imply that it's actually a good idea, though I'd suggest that velomobiles and fast recumbents are amongst the more suitable choices.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Low or High for PBP?
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2018, 04:52:16 pm »
Wheel size is the key for me, I'd go with either a 700C or 26", if nothing else, plenty of spares available.

Next criteria would be relaxed ride, my low racer is not - it's twitchy and disadvantaged in traffic,  my tourer though higher up is easier in traffic and as Kim notes, easier for group riding, although DFs generally have little understanding of recumbent handling characteristics and do stupid things anyway.

It's all a matter of compromises to me
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Low or High for PBP?
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2018, 05:10:16 pm »
That said, I've toured extensively on a 406 front wheel, and that's okay on crap roads given the right tyres and/or a bit of suspension.  The problem is that to make it work well, you're adding a fair amount of weight and compromising the aerodynamics - which is perfectly fine for touring, but less than ideal for Audax.

As ever with recumbents, the break-even point for trading more weight for reduced aerodynamic drag will vary with the specific ride and rider.  AIUI PBP doesn't suffer too badly from The Wrong Kind Of Hills.

Its a fair point that you don't want to be doing sleep-deprivation rides on something that's liable to chuck you in a hedge due to a moment's inattention.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Low or High for PBP?
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2018, 05:34:27 pm »
Which do you think would be best suited for longer audaxes like PBP, a low or high racer, or does it not matter?

I've audaxed on my Performer 20/26, which is midracer-ish. It was fine, but riding in a group of DFs is not pleasant.  I was tempted, after being ignored asking to give me a bit of room, to stick a pedal into a DF back wheel, just to make a point.  Maybe OK on flat ground, but in hilly terrain you'll be quicker downhill, and they'll catch you up uphill. so you are always moving through their group.

I have previously backed off and let myself be dropped, which is not where I'd want to be, but it makes for a more relaxed ride.

Not audaxed my highracer yet, still looking for the right event, on the basis of previous events on the midracrer!  Like something pan-flat!

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Low or High for PBP?
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2018, 05:36:16 pm »
Trick for mixing recumbents with uprights is to find a tandem.  They have similar dynamics to most 'bents, and anyone sucking their wheel on solos will have worked out when not to get in the way.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Low or High for PBP?
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2018, 06:38:45 pm »
Which do you think would be best suited for longer audaxes like PBP, a low or high racer, or does it not matter?

I've audaxed on my Performer 20/26, which is midracer-ish. It was fine, but riding in a group of DFs is not pleasant.  I was tempted, after being ignored asking to give me a bit of room, to stick a pedal into a DF back wheel, just to make a point.  Maybe OK on flat ground, but in hilly terrain you'll be quicker downhill, and they'll catch you up uphill. so you are always moving through their group.

I have previously backed off and let myself be dropped, which is not where I'd want to be, but it makes for a more relaxed ride.

Not audaxed my highracer yet, still looking for the right event, on the basis of previous events on the midracrer!  Like something pan-flat!

I managed to get my Cruzbike up 14% sections on tour this summer, and 8-10% sustained. It's a matter of stall speed on a two wheeler
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Low or High for PBP?
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2018, 08:16:11 pm »
PBP has roads that are unlike GB, but in an odd way:

There are almost no potholes. Really.

BUT

There are quite long sections of very buzzy surfaces.

Also quite a few villages with cobbled centres (I say "cobbles" - it's not like proper french "Pavé", and it's not like proper northern england Alston etc. But still bad enough to send a few rear lights flying on the 1st night :D ). But the total mileage of these is negligible compared to 1200km, of course.

[I offer this information with no experience of Dark Side riding - caveat rider ... ]
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Low or High for PBP?
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2018, 08:24:35 pm »
While potholes tend to be spine-jarringly worse, buzzy is far less bad on a recumbent than on an upright - even a rigid one with multiple wheeltracks - as the vibration isn't coupled to sensitive bits of the rider in the same way.  Of course, it can still make for much higher rolling resistance if you've brought the wrong wheels/tyres, and shake things loose.

Cobbles are a work of Stan, particularly if you're on a narrow-tyred bicycle that isn't conducive to getting a foot down quickly.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Low or High for PBP?
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2018, 08:25:58 pm »
Which do you think would be best suited for longer audaxes like PBP, a low or high racer, or does it not matter?

Best suited for who? You, I take it. Forget anybody else.
Are you looking to ride PBP, or is your enquiry just a general one?

By some peoples standards [mine for one] PBP's a long way, 1200km to be exact - I'd look at ergonomics first and foremost, regardless of low, mid or high racer.   

Me, I just like the 700/406 configuration. I don't like being too low and I don't like being too high. As a consequence, I have to take two different sized tubes which is a pain, but that's the price you pay.

You're going to be sitting on it for 4 days [if you're a full value rider like me], you want something that feels like it's your cup of tea from the outset.

The bike that's suited for PBP is the bike that's suited for you.
Garry Broad

Re: Low or High for PBP?
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2018, 08:47:01 pm »
Which do you think would be best suited for longer audaxes like PBP, a low or high racer, or does it not matter?

Best suited for who? You, I take it. Forget anybody else.
Are you looking to ride PBP, or is your enquiry just a general one?

By some peoples standards [mine for one] PBP's a long way, 1200km to be exact - I'd look at ergonomics first and foremost, regardless of low, mid or high racer.   

Me, I just like the 700/406 configuration. I don't like being too low and I don't like being too high. As a consequence, I have to take two different sized tubes which is a pain, but that's the price you pay.

You're going to be sitting on it for 4 days [if you're a full value rider like me], you want something that feels like it's your cup of tea from the outset.

The bike that's suited for PBP is the bike that's suited for you.

The bike that's suited to PBP is the bike that you can finish it on. The best bike for PBP is the one that allows you to finish it in the best condition given your objectives. Put your values in the equation and see what comes out.

I will not be doing PBP for reasons stated elsewhere but if I were, given that you are on the bike for 4 days, my choice would be something that kept my face out of the muck and that gave me the best view of the road signing (and other than that was comfortable and controllable when I was struggling to keep awake).

Phil W

Re: Low or High for PBP?
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2018, 08:53:23 pm »
 I stopped riding our CTC Wed night rides on my quasi low racer. Too many bright rear lights at eye level. For something like PBP with around 6,000 riders I would go for a high racer to lift my eye line up a little.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Low or High for PBP?
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2018, 09:07:31 pm »
Which do you think would be best suited for longer audaxes like PBP, a low or high racer, or does it not matter?

I've audaxed on my Performer 20/26, which is midracer-ish. It was fine, but riding in a group of DFs is not pleasant.  I was tempted, after being ignored asking to give me a bit of room, to stick a pedal into a DF back wheel, just to make a point.  Maybe OK on flat ground, but in hilly terrain you'll be quicker downhill, and they'll catch you up uphill. so you are always moving through their group.

I have previously backed off and let myself be dropped, which is not where I'd want to be, but it makes for a more relaxed ride.

Not audaxed my highracer yet, still looking for the right event, on the basis of previous events on the midracrer!  Like something pan-flat!
Okay, as a gnupwriter who inevitably sometimes rides with recumbents (and tandems and trikes but never yet a tandem trike), I'm not quite sure what you're referring to by "a bit of room." Do you mean space to whizz downhill without being held back by less aerodynamic machines? Or wobble space uphill? Or something else?
An ungovernable laughter, a joyous agitation which makes the summer stretching before you seem like an unrolling canvas on which you might draw those first rude pure strokes that are free. (Capote)

Re: Low or High for PBP?
« Reply #15 on: October 01, 2018, 01:38:33 pm »

I've had a couple of DF riders tell me that it is quite unnerving to catch sight in their peripheral vision of my feet/cranks spinning round just at (their) handlebar height as I draw alongside or overtake.
   

Mr Larrington

  • A bit ov a lyv wyr by slof standirds
  • Custard Wallah
    • Mr Larrington's Automatic Diary
Re: Low or High for PBP?
« Reply #16 on: October 01, 2018, 01:43:02 pm »
If you are low it is difficult to recognise your chums when all you can see is the back of their knee.
External Transparent Wall Inspection Operative & Mayor of Mortagne-au-Perche
Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Low or High for PBP?
« Reply #17 on: October 01, 2018, 04:13:40 pm »
Which do you think would be best suited for longer audaxes like PBP, a low or high racer, or does it not matter?

I've audaxed on my Performer 20/26, which is midracer-ish. It was fine, but riding in a group of DFs is not pleasant.  I was tempted, after being ignored asking to give me a bit of room, to stick a pedal into a DF back wheel, just to make a point.  Maybe OK on flat ground, but in hilly terrain you'll be quicker downhill, and they'll catch you up uphill. so you are always moving through their group.

I have previously backed off and let myself be dropped, which is not where I'd want to be, but it makes for a more relaxed ride.

Not audaxed my highracer yet, still looking for the right event, on the basis of previous events on the midracrer!  Like something pan-flat!
Okay, as a gnupwriter who inevitably sometimes rides with recumbents (and tandems and trikes but never yet a tandem trike), I'm not quite sure what you're referring to by "a bit of room." Do you mean space to whizz downhill without being held back by less aerodynamic machines? Or wobble space uphill? Or something else?

I suspect that in PBP conditions it's mostly the hill dynamics, but sometimes people unfamiliar with recumbents get too close on corners, because they don't allow for the front of the bike (which in practice with a SBW 'bent means your foot as it passes through BDC, which is even more unintuitive) to swing out from the line taken by the wheels.  That's usually a more of a cyclepath / Critical Mass type problem, but I can imagine it being relevant around busy controls.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Low or High for PBP?
« Reply #18 on: October 01, 2018, 04:14:03 pm »
If you are low it is difficult to recognise your chums when all you can see is the back of their knee.

Makes a change from arses thobut.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Low or High for PBP?
« Reply #19 on: October 01, 2018, 07:41:05 pm »
Many years ago I took my first recumbent, a rans rocket, around the Dorset coast 200 . Although I was a couple of hours slower  I was much more comfortable and was able to ride up all the hills  . I have also found that the recumbent trike is less tiring I think because you don't have to think about balance but all trikes are slower than bikes due to the extra wheel and weight  :)
the slower you go the more you see

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Low or High for PBP?
« Reply #20 on: October 02, 2018, 08:39:46 am »
Which do you think would be best suited for longer audaxes like PBP, a low or high racer, or does it not matter?

I've audaxed on my Performer 20/26, which is midracer-ish. It was fine, but riding in a group of DFs is not pleasant.  I was tempted, after being ignored asking to give me a bit of room, to stick a pedal into a DF back wheel, just to make a point.  Maybe OK on flat ground, but in hilly terrain you'll be quicker downhill, and they'll catch you up uphill. so you are always moving through their group.

I have previously backed off and let myself be dropped, which is not where I'd want to be, but it makes for a more relaxed ride.

Not audaxed my highracer yet, still looking for the right event, on the basis of previous events on the midracrer!  Like something pan-flat!
Okay, as a gnupwriter who inevitably sometimes rides with recumbents (and tandems and trikes but never yet a tandem trike), I'm not quite sure what you're referring to by "a bit of room." Do you mean space to whizz downhill without being held back by less aerodynamic machines? Or wobble space uphill? Or something else?

I suspect that in PBP conditions it's mostly the hill dynamics, but sometimes people unfamiliar with recumbents get too close on corners, because they don't allow for the front of the bike (which in practice with a SBW 'bent means your foot as it passes through BDC, which is even more unintuitive) to swing out from the line taken by the wheels.  That's usually a more of a cyclepath / Critical Mass type problem, but I can imagine it being relevant around busy controls.

Yep, have been nearly taken out on one audax like that and this summer at a junction as the DF rider drifted right as I was edging forward for vision and trying not to stop on an uphill, RHS turn with gravel.

With a moveable boom on the Cruzbike the tracking thing is less, but still there to a degree, it's more a matter of different riding characteristics that people are unused to - speeds at certain points/situations etc
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Low or High for PBP?
« Reply #21 on: October 02, 2018, 08:53:40 am »
Unfamiliarity with characteristics (not just speed) must be a factor, but perhaps worth pointing out that all those happen between uprights and uprights as well.
An ungovernable laughter, a joyous agitation which makes the summer stretching before you seem like an unrolling canvas on which you might draw those first rude pure strokes that are free. (Capote)

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Low or High for PBP?
« Reply #22 on: October 02, 2018, 10:46:15 am »
very true, but without the added complication of whirly shreddy things pointing out the front
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Low or High for PBP?
« Reply #23 on: October 02, 2018, 10:49:04 am »
I'm not sure it's better for the hittee if the hitter hits your whirly shreddy things or your steery balancey thing.
An ungovernable laughter, a joyous agitation which makes the summer stretching before you seem like an unrolling canvas on which you might draw those first rude pure strokes that are free. (Capote)

Phil W

Re: Low or High for PBP?
« Reply #24 on: October 02, 2018, 06:48:03 pm »
Quite a few DF riders miscalculate the distance from your head to the front if your bike. So they pull across you far too soon, and a sharp shout is needed.  Other mistakes they make already covered above.

Edit - actually another one is undertaking on the inside where you can't necessary see them unless you have a mirror mounted there as well.