Author Topic: Recumbent Commuting  (Read 6179 times)

Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #25 on: November 03, 2017, 09:56:35 am »
We are all mad eccentrics aren't we?

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #26 on: November 03, 2017, 12:56:51 pm »
The ones who don't think you're a mad eccentric are the ones shouting "DLA!"   >:(
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #27 on: November 03, 2017, 07:23:33 pm »
More room given, more visible. Plus blistering fast on constitution hill...... and obvs everyone thinks one is a mad eccentric.

 :thumbsup: Except my kids friends who seem to think I'm a coolish eccentric...slightly coolish eccentric....OK different from their dads.   
Pete Crane E75

Dave_C

  • Trying to get rid of my belly... and failing!
Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #28 on: November 10, 2017, 12:31:12 pm »
I used to commute occasionally on an ICE B2, until I sold it.

I found I was given more room by general car drivers, as they didn't know what I was until the overtook me. A few children would shout 'cool bike' at me. The B2 is quite high up, and like Pete, I was at eye level with drivers, so not so low down as to become 'invisible'.

When I climbed slowly the bike would wobble from side to side with each pedal stroke which would give me a slightly 'nervy' look and I attributed this to drivers giving ma slightly more room, as I assume they thought I was a new cyclist and more likely to wobble into their path.

Dave C
@DaveCrampton < wot a twit.
http://veloviewer.com/athlete/421683/

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #29 on: November 10, 2017, 12:39:25 pm »
A few children would shout 'cool bike' at me.

It's not a proper ride if I don't get a "Sick boike!"


I agree that wobbling is an excellent way to get a bit more room from drivers, whatever you happen to be riding.  The Streetmachine isn't a wobbly bike, but I do sometimes wobble the steering deliberately to sweep the rear-view mirror horizontally to get a better look at what's going on behind (usually because there's another cyclist around).  I'll also employ a tactical wobble when I know I'm going to have to do something awkward to doge between surface hazards up ahead, particularly on the Brompton, which is allergic to potholes and perceived by drivers as an invitation to pass way too close.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #30 on: November 10, 2017, 05:15:04 pm »
I commute on a Cruzbike. No problems with anything, I'm at eye-level with drivers and faster than almost everyone into the standard westerlies on the coast here.

The only thing that isn't quite as slick is setting off in a hurry if you want to clear a crossing before the drivers wake up. But for every other of the legion benefits of a recumbent, I'm waaaay ahead of anything I rode previously.
Cruzbike V2k

Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #31 on: November 19, 2017, 09:20:08 pm »
I commute on either my ICE Sprint or occasionally borrow my wife's Hase Kettwiesel when it's snowing (much better with its two wheel drive). I've commuted by velo for the last 17 years, the last 2 years being recumbent. These days I average 10000 km/y having built up over the years from a 5000 km minimum distance to/from work. I enjoy it enough to create longer loops (I leave at 7 am when my wife leaves for her job but I'm lucky that I don't have to be at mine until 9).

What I've observed over the past two years of recumbent cycling is that cars pass much closer to a bicycle than trike. There must be something intrinsically weird about a trike that means that the majority of the cars actually take the trouble to move completely to the other side of the road. Since I've got a mirror on the recumbents (essential!) I can see that they are moving over before they pass. If I revert to a bicycle (which don't have mirrors) it's quite disconcerting to have cars whoosh past so close. What's also fascinating is how the three nationalities differ. I live on the French-Swiss-German border and commute from France into Switzerland. On average the French give the most room. The Germans give decent space but drive faster. The Swiss pass the closest.

I've not yet experienced triking in the UK but that will come in a year or so when I retire and come home. However I've experienced both standard and recumbent cycling in the UK. Again, based upon Birmingham (home town) and south Devon (in-laws) British cars pass closer to standard bicycles than recumbents. Riding my Bacchetta round Brum was particularly interesting - I recognise the "sick boike" quote and got a good number of positive comments on a Sunday ride from Selly Oak to the countryside south of the city.

That said the absolute best experience for both conventional and recumbent city/town cycling has to be trips to Amsterdam, Noordwijkerhout and Leiden.

LMT

Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #32 on: November 19, 2017, 10:49:29 pm »
Commute on a Cruzbike S40. Fitted with panniers and a rack so carrying stuff is no problem. Quicker than a DF even with loaded panniers,  filters okay, only no no is 90 degree switches in stationery traffic.

Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #33 on: November 21, 2017, 10:58:56 pm »
I’m curious about the number of Cruzbikes - I’ve always fancied one but there seems no easy way of getting one in the UK other than buying from abroad or snapping up one on eBay. Or is there a UK dealer somewhere?  I quite like the look of the new T50, I don’t think I’d manage the recline of the Silvio and definitely not the Vendetta!

LMT

Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #34 on: November 23, 2017, 07:51:15 pm »
I’m curious about the number of Cruzbikes - I’ve always fancied one but there seems no easy way of getting one in the UK other than buying from abroad or snapping up one on eBay. Or is there a UK dealer somewhere? I quite like the look of the new T50, I don’t think I’d manage the recline of the Silvio and definitely not the Vendetta!

At the moment no AFAIK, although Maria is looking a for a UK dealer...

The new Silvio that has come out has a 40 degree seat angle which I've found to be the sweet spot of still being aero but also being upright enough to commute comfortably in London traffic.

The Vendetta's seat angle at 20 degrees is not as bad as you'd think. It comes with a headrest so is comfortable and boy is the bike fast - really fast.

Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #35 on: November 26, 2017, 10:55:47 pm »
Kevin at D-Tek had some CruzBikes, didn't he?

Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #36 on: December 09, 2017, 06:46:14 pm »
Recline comes with time. You can go in for the S40 and back yourself to just learn it, or you can go T-50 and progressively slant down, modding as you go.

If you find a 2nd-hand softrider or V2k, it'll be heavier, but using a variety of seat posts got me back to 35deg and it's good.
Cruzbike V2k

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #37 on: December 10, 2017, 07:59:47 am »
Kevin at D-Tek had some CruzBikes, didn't he?

Softcover iirc, I've been after a V or Silvio for some time, no luck yet. Didn't know they were looking for a UK dealer.  I've been in touch with Maria trying to get a test ride, need to give her another nudge. 

I've not really tried it, but I think my M5 is a bit low for easy 'bent commuting
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

JennyB

  • Old enough to know better
Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #38 on: December 10, 2017, 02:20:21 pm »
Kevin at D-Tek had some CruzBikes, didn't he?

Softcover iirc, I've been after a V or Silvio for some time, no luck yet. Didn't know they were looking for a UK dealer.  I've been in touch with Maria trying to get a test ride, need to give her another nudge. 

I've not really tried it, but I think my M5 is a bit low for easy 'bent commuting

Anyone tempted to build an Atomic Zombie FrontRunner?

Jennifer - walker of hills



Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #39 on: December 10, 2017, 09:01:03 pm »
Kevin at D-Tek had some CruzBikes, didn't he?

Softcover iirc, I've been after a V or Silvio for some time, no luck yet. Didn't know they were looking for a UK dealer.  I've been in touch with Maria trying to get a test ride, need to give her another nudge. 

I've not really tried it, but I think my M5 is a bit low for easy 'bent commuting

Anyone tempted to build an Atomic Zombie FrontRunner?
It looks a bit fragile to my untrained eye. When my Streetfox trike is complete (well, maybe just usable) I'm going to to try building one of these:
http://www.atomiczombie.com/Spirit%20Short%20Wheelbase%20Racing%20Bike.aspx
I've already got the main boom, a rear triangle from a Specialized FSR, and a BMX with a disc brake for the forks and f wheel. I only need a rear wheel and mech, a headtube (the BMX is alu) a BBshell, and something I can use for the tiller steering.

The AZ forum is pretty active in some topics, and dead in others - I've not checked out the Frontrunner one....
Cheers
Duncan

Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #40 on: December 12, 2017, 08:18:26 pm »
The seat angle thing with me isn’t so much about balance, as neck and breathing issues. I’m quite happy on my Fuego at minimum recline and mid suspension setting which from Nazca's spec suggests an angle a bit under 32 degrees. If I go to full recline (reportedly 25 degrees) I can't see where I’m going!  Having said that I think there is a bit of advertising hype in the measurement of seat angles and much YMMV.

Mr Larrington

  • A bit ov a lyv wyr by slof standirds
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Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #41 on: December 13, 2017, 05:58:24 am »
I did fit the headrest to my very reclined Trice XXL once and then spent the entire 2005 edition of the Plains 400 wishing I hadn't.
External Transparent Wall Inspection Operative & Mayor of Mortagne-au-Perche
Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime

Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #42 on: December 13, 2017, 06:07:58 am »
Still commuting through the snow and ice (and darkness) of the winter Cairngorms but not on my two wheel bent - back on the metal studded winter upright.
Pete Crane E75

Karla

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    • Lost Byway - around the world by bike
Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #43 on: December 13, 2017, 06:46:11 am »
Well done.  My friend's Dutch (well, German) style e-bike is about 20mm too tall to fit in bike lockers.  Medium size frame.  Useless.

Surely this could be fixed with lower rise stem/bars?  If not, how about lower profile tyres or 650 wheels if they'll fit?

Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #44 on: December 13, 2017, 12:01:58 pm »
I started at maximum recline on an ICE Q on a mesh seat.
When I changed to a hard shell seat, I found I could recline the seat even more.
So I did ......  ;D
With the USS my hands don't get in the way of my forward vision.
If I was anymore reclined then I wouldn't be able to see over my Streamer fairing.
So my eye line is just above my maximum knee height.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #45 on: December 13, 2017, 01:35:56 pm »
Well done.  My friend's Dutch (well, German) style e-bike is about 20mm too tall to fit in bike lockers.  Medium size frame.  Useless.

Surely this could be fixed with lower rise stem/bars?  If not, how about lower profile tyres or 650 wheels if they'll fit?

They went for the simpler and less ergonomically compromised option of using a Sheffield stand (with a couple of Docsquid's finest D-locks) instead, which is fine for the hour or two the bike tends to be locked up at that location.

It says something about the lockers if you can't fit bikes with an upright riding position in them though.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #46 on: December 13, 2017, 01:40:24 pm »
I started at maximum recline on an ICE Q on a mesh seat.
When I changed to a hard shell seat, I found I could recline the seat even more.
So I did ......  ;D
With the USS my hands don't get in the way of my forward vision.
If I was anymore reclined then I wouldn't be able to see over my Streamer fairing.
So my eye line is just above my maximum knee height.

On the Baron I have knees and top edge of the handlebar stuff at about the same height.  I found the ultimately limiting factor was a neck angle that put the lower edge of my glasses frame exactly in (or above) the pothole-spotting eyeline.  Since about half the skill of riding that bike comes down to avoiding the sort of surface features that will throw you off, it really wasn't practical to go any lower.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #47 on: December 13, 2017, 05:18:21 pm »
I found the ultimately limiting factor was a neck angle that put the lower edge of my glasses frame exactly in (or above) the pothole-spotting eyeline.  Since about half the skill of riding that bike comes down to avoiding the sort of surface features that will throw you off, it really wasn't practical to go any lower.
With shallow glasses I found that wind blowing up my face caused my eyes to start watering to much to see if I got above 40 mph.
So I made sure my cycling glasses are deep enough so they just touch my cheeks and stop the draft.
Also I've a slight bend in the middle so they are more wrap around.
This means I now have to be over 50 mph before my eyes start to water.

I'm starting from a lower eyeline but I also tend to get that type of eyeline blockage from my fairing.
But there's less of a risk of a spill from being on a trike.
I also hit more potholes anyway due to three wheel tracks, so I'm more used to it .......  ;D

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #48 on: December 13, 2017, 05:37:04 pm »
I found the ultimately limiting factor was a neck angle that put the lower edge of my glasses frame exactly in (or above) the pothole-spotting eyeline.  Since about half the skill of riding that bike comes down to avoiding the sort of surface features that will throw you off, it really wasn't practical to go any lower.
With shallow glasses I found that wind blowing up my face caused my eyes to start watering to much to see if I got above 40 mph.
So I made sure my cycling glasses are deep enough so they just touch my cheeks and stop the draft.

I keep wondering if some proper cycling glasses (or wrap-around safety specs equivalent) would improve that.  And whether it's a worthwhile trade-off for extra steaming-up in winter.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #49 on: December 13, 2017, 06:10:27 pm »
I found the ultimately limiting factor was a neck angle that put the lower edge of my glasses frame exactly in (or above) the pothole-spotting eyeline.  Since about half the skill of riding that bike comes down to avoiding the sort of surface features that will throw you off, it really wasn't practical to go any lower.
With shallow glasses I found that wind blowing up my face caused my eyes to start watering to much to see if I got above 40 mph.
So I made sure my cycling glasses are deep enough so they just touch my cheeks and stop the draft.

I keep wondering if some proper cycling glasses (or wrap-around safety specs equivalent) would improve that.  And whether it's a worthwhile trade-off for extra steaming-up in winter.

This is what I do.  I normally wear varifocals, but these are useless riding a recumbent.  So, I bought some cheapo (~£10 IIRC, but stylish) frameless Bolle safety glasses (both clear and tinted).  That stops the eyes from watering and deflects insects and road crap (and when the local dairy cows are in the fields, real crap) from my eyes.  My distance eyesight is OK for cycling, but I take my varifocals with me in case I need to read something (like a coffee/cake menu....).

I find it's my vision that limits the recline angle, as any more then I have it now gets difficult as I had 4 of my neck vertebrae fused together when the discs were taken out a few years ago. So I can't get my chin onto my chest any more.  That also means that I'm sitting up a bit more when looking for the ubiquitous in-road opencast mines that others call potholes.......(the word pothole being attributed to the early potters in the Midlands digging up roads to get at the good potting clays, aka the Etruria Marl)