Author Topic: Recumbent Commuting  (Read 6180 times)

Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #50 on: December 13, 2017, 07:42:51 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.

Reminds me....

I commute through the recreation ground at Bath Lane. There is an area with swings tat is frequented by teenagers.

Passing through one night and one of the girls says to her mate:

"That guy has a really cool collection of amazing bikes........"

....... ego boost

".....especially for an old bloke"
..... ego deflate

Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #51 on: December 13, 2017, 08:20:44 pm »
We are all mad eccentrics aren't we?

Not at all.

When you consider that our choice of velocipede affords a panoramic view of the road and scenery, you don’t have a narrow strip of leather shoved up your nether regions, you are in an open posture rather than curled into a foetal position with a cricked neck, you don’t get ulnar palsy, other road traffic gives you a wide berth, you have to question the sanity of those who persist riding so called safety machines...

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #52 on: December 13, 2017, 09:18:49 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.

Yes, definitely, mine similarly wrap down to my cheeks.  The only issue is with the prescription inserts, you need to be looking ideally through the centre of the lenses to avoid parallax which tends to mean move head rather than wobble eyes. 

As for seat position, it's an M5, so it's fixed to the holes you drilled when setting up.   I can see between the brake and gear cables, handlebars almost exactly at eyeline.  26" front wheel drops it down a bit to help with forward pothole avoidance rather than canting my head to one side or other.

I'm after a Cruzbike ideally or a Bachetta/Rans Rocket as backup/commuting. 
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

fd3

Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #53 on: December 15, 2017, 09:27:51 pm »
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.
Funny, the thing that making me walk is the stretches of sheet ice - I would try them on a recumbent trike (but I can't budget that for the three days a year its's needed).  Would I trike ride over sheet ice with studded tyres?
[/I could be wrong]

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #54 on: December 15, 2017, 10:02:33 pm »
Would I trike ride over sheet ice with studded tyres?

Yep.  With a tadpole you can mostly get away with just studs on the back wheel - the front wheels will steer like skis.  Or use normal tyres and accept that if you hit sheet ice you're going to end up somewhere random, but unlike with a bike, you'll still be rubber-side-down when you get there.  On that basis a trike with normal tyres is a good choice if it's mostly clear but there's a risk of patches of black ice - you're unlikely to fall off and you don't have to suffer the drag of studded tyres.

The main problem is that small wheels are easily defeated by re-frozen rutted ice, which British roads tend to have in abundance the day after the snow.  And that there's a tedious amount of low-hanging mechanical stuff on a tadpole trike to clean the road salt out of afterwards.

My preferred weapon for actually snowy conditions is still a mountain bike with big knobbly studded tyres, hydraulic brakes (frozen cables are no fun) and loads of mudguard clearance.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

fd3

Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #55 on: December 16, 2017, 08:16:33 am »
My route takes in the ncn 5 to the back of longbridge, it’s an excellent shortcut and a brilliant route when the shares section isn’t a long track of ice.  Not sure I could justify a trike for it though.
[/I could be wrong]

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #56 on: December 16, 2017, 03:59:33 pm »
My route takes in the ncn 5 to the back of longbridge, it’s an excellent shortcut and a brilliant route when the shares section isn’t a long track of ice.  Not sure I could justify a trike for it though.



(From 2013)

That trodden path is solid ice.  It was ridable with studs on the rear wheel, and a fair bit of effort.  I fell on my arse three times while trying to walk back to take the photo, though.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

fd3

Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #57 on: December 16, 2017, 07:31:06 pm »
Rings a bell, can’t quite place it.
[/I could be wrong]

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #58 on: December 16, 2017, 07:54:17 pm »
It's that section of the Rea Valley route that runs parallel to Wychall Lane (between Kings Norton Park and The Bit With The Silly Slalom Gate at Popes Lane).  About halfway down there's an unnamed dead-end access road which joins the path round the back of some industrial units (pictured, facing back towards Kings Norton) to the section alongside Wychall Reservoir (via a short steep hump).

I generally find Wychall Lane is preferable to the uneven surface on most of that section, but on that particular occasion I was deliberately seeking out the nastiest ice I could find to see how the trike would cope.  The almost permanent shade meant that it had remained fully frozen.  (That's also the bit of path that tends to get the worst chutney in leaf fall season.)
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #59 on: December 18, 2017, 06:02:05 am »
Rear wheel studs are fine for driving the machine, but with most trikes, the problem I found was stopping!

I have a couple of steep hills on my commute, and found that unstudied tyres would just slide, so there was no effective braking

Studded front tyres made braking possible

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #60 on: December 18, 2017, 12:33:20 pm »
Ah yes, I did have a proper brake on the rear wheel when I tried that, which worked well enough (I didn't try it on anything steep enough to earn a chevron, thobut).  If I was serious about using a trike in those conditions, I'd want studs on all the wheels and more ground clearance than an ICE Sprint.

My more general (upwrong bicycle) experience of studded tyre braking is that sheet ice is fine, but you can't ever trust snow or re-frozen slush: As soon as it shears, you're going to slide no matter how good your tyres, and in typical British conditions you can't easily predict when a given patch is going to shear.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #61 on: January 29, 2018, 01:54:27 pm »
I've finally got a recumbent. Time to kit out for lights, etc. Any suggestions on fittings and lights that suit recumbents? What about cycle computers? Where do you fit yours?

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #62 on: January 29, 2018, 02:15:53 pm »
I've finally got a recumbent. Time to kit out for lights, etc. Any suggestions on fittings and lights that suit recumbents? What about cycle computers? Where do you fit yours?

That's a pretty vague question, since you don't say what kind of machine it is.  Bike/Trike?  Steering arrangement?

But anyway:

Derailleur posts (if you have them) are a good place to attach lights.  Dynamo lights tend to be slightly easier - particularly if there are bottle cage (or light!) braze-ons on the post - but if you can bodge up a horizontal bar of about the right diameter (eg. using SpaceGrip style accessory mounts) most handlebar-mounted things will work.  Mounting your lights as far forward as possible reduces foot-flash.

Head-mounted lights can be useful to supplement all but the widest beams on corners.  (Lights mounted to the frame don't turn with the steering.)

On a large-wheeled bike or delta trike you may have a fork crown that would be a sensible light-mounting position, as per a DF bicycle.

Gadgetry is trivial on tiller steering.  Generally doable on open cockpit, though reach may be an issue.  A complete pain with under-seat steering, particularly as mirrors may take the available free space.  Tadpole trikes have kingposts (use stem cap mounts) and mudguard stays in a position that may be usefully employed for mounting stuff with a bit of creativity.

You can attach things to the boom, but not always in a way that's easy to reach or see from the seated position.

A pair of mudguard mounted rear lights work well on trikes (tadpole or delta - the pair of wheels are the widest point).  You may want some supplemental flashing light to show that you're not a distant car.

Hardshell seat backs can be usefully decorated with retroreflective tape.  Rear lights high on the seat back (perhaps on a headrest bracket) is another popular option.  Or you might choose to dangle luggage from the seat.

Bottle cages (at least in positions that you can actually *reach*) can be a problem on many recumbents.  If you can't reasonably reach one while riding, consider hydration bladders.  This may dictate what bottle cage positions you have available to bodge other accessories to.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #63 on: January 29, 2018, 02:37:01 pm »
Sorry, it's a HPV Streetmachine GT (old model) . Two wheeled touring recumbent. Mudguards are bluemels with a flap that flares out on the rear. Not sure if lights can be attached, but do b you mean something like this?

https://www.velovitality.co.uk/collections/rear-lights/products/spanninga-pixeo-mudguard-light

USS is on this bike which takes one option out for mounting stuff. Seat is CF so not sure I can attach anything to that without putting holes in which I'm not about to do. Rack has a reflector which is a beefy one I'd prefer to keep it I had to I could get a cateye mount (might have one) to put there for the cateye light I have (xlite mini or micro IIRC at about 50 lumens). I have a lezyne laser guide light that's got laser lines either side of the bike to mark out your own space plus up to 250 lumens light too. It's seat post mounted but it would be good to find a way to use it too.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #64 on: January 29, 2018, 03:00:12 pm »
Sorry, it's a HPV Streetmachine GT (old model).

I've got one of those.  Let's find some photos...



Dynamo light (then CyoR, now IQ-X) on the lower bottle cage braze-on with a standard cyo mount and a couple of penny washers.  Not pictured is the Ixon IQ fork crown mount attached to the upper bottle cage braze on in the same manner.  The Ixon died years ago, but I occasionally stick a cheap SMART light (they use the same bracket) on it as a backup for night rides.

Clamped to the top of the derailleur post is a stem (of unknown origin) which has a built-in accessory bar forward of the stem clamp.  I've used this to mount a GPS and cycle computer.  I've usefully employed the gap where the handlebars would normally go as a lip-balm holder (not pictured).  I've done something similar on an ICE trike by abusing a Thorn Accessory Bar.

This puts the GPS screen a bit further from my eyes than I'd like, but there isn't anywhere else sensible to put it.  Obviously I have to lean forward (or stop) to play with the buttons.

Also visible in the picture is the official HPVelotechnik bike computer mount:  This is literally just a short piece of plastic pipe with a couple of holes drilled in it, to screw to the braze-on on the boom under the derailleur post.  I've used it to mount a cadence sensor.

(For completeness I should mention that there's a dedicated light mounting braze-on, along with a hole for the cable to run inside the boom, on the underside of the boom just behind the bottom bracket.  This would work with a dynamo light that's happy to be mounted upside-down, which most of the StVZO-approved asymmetrical reflectors prior to the IQ-X couldn't.)







Rear lights, I've got a B&M with a nice reflector on the rack mount, which is trivial.  Black Scotchlite tape on the back of the seat for stealth bling.  I've also bodged half a SMART chainstay bracket onto one of the spare braze-ons at the drop-out, so I've got a second blinky light down nice and low to minimise obnoxiousness to following riders.  Long pan-head screw to avoid fouling the chain, couple of spacers, cable-tie to prevent rotation.


Quote
Mudguards are bluemels with a flap that flares out on the rear. Not sure if lights can be attached, but do b you mean something like this?

https://www.velovitality.co.uk/collections/rear-lights/products/spanninga-pixeo-mudguard-light

Yeah, that (well, the dynamo version) is exactly what I used on the ICE trike.  I thought they'd stopped making them.


Quote
I have a lezyne laser guide light that's got laser lines either side of the bike to mark out your own space plus up to 250 lumens light too. It's seat post mounted but it would be good to find a way to use it too.

Tricky.  I think the rear rack's about the only place that's going to work for that, optically.  Bodging up a bit of vertical tubing would seem like the way to do it.



To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #65 on: January 29, 2018, 03:32:35 pm »
Hmmm! I got some matt black tape that lights up white under lighting from any angle. From the makers of Sugru IIRC. I got it then my bike got stolen. Never used it because my replacement was silver. Black tape on silver isn't a good look! I'm not bike vain but there are some limits!

That mudguard light is only £10. Not sure how bright it is but battery and simple on off is something I've not used but awhile now.

Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #66 on: January 29, 2018, 03:34:01 pm »
I've finally got a recumbent. Time to kit out for lights, etc. Any suggestions on fittings and lights that suit recumbents? What about cycle computers? Where do you fit yours?

Bottles are a problem.  I use a couple of these on my Performer 2-wheelers. 

https://www.topeak.com/global/en/products/accessories/332-cagemount

They are not big enough to go around the main spine tube but I've been able to find a couple of locations where I can fit them and still reach from the seat when riding.

Other kit can be mounted on one of these (widely available on-line):

http://www.minoura.jp/english/accessory-e/sg400-e.html

And +1 for what Kim said.  You have to get a bit creative with recumbents, but there's almost always a way to acheive what you'd have done on a DF bike.

Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #67 on: January 29, 2018, 03:53:40 pm »
The minoura was one idea I had. Clamped to the derailleur stub somehow.

Another one I saw was a bracket that can bolt onto a fork mudguard stay attachment hole. My upright has such a hole halfway up the fork but the recumbent I think only has one on the axle area. I really need to study the bike more. Tonight with headtorch on (no lighting where it's kept).

https://www.bricklanebikes.co.uk/paul-components-gino-light-mount

https://www.bricklanebikes.co.uk/paul-components-stem-cap-light-mount

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #68 on: January 29, 2018, 04:29:43 pm »
I like the retro-reflective stuff on all of these, thinking perhaps some of that could be useful.

Funnily I was just having a chat with Kevin at DTEK yesterday about bottles and hydration.

My M5 is running a pair of small banana bags at the moment, which happen to foul the one bottle cage mount on the frame of the M5.  I've currently got one of those TT-ist twin bottle holders that mounts to seat rails, on the back of the ICE headrest I use.  It was a reasonable experiment for a tenner, but I'm buggered if once I've got the bottle out, I can get it back in again.  Next step for me therefore is to mount two bottle cages about hip height on the seat shell -it will take a few holes no problem - using rivnuts, much as I had on my old B2.   I know I can happily gate bottles in and out of those, they won't foul the banana bags, and let face it after 2 x 750 ml bottles I'm due a rest for a refill anyway.

That then leaves the rear of the seat free for me to start mounting lights onto the mudguard (reluctant to drill that as CF) or via bits of 25mm PVC tubing attached to the head rest structure, or latest thinking is via a bored rubber bung for a demijohn.

Hydration bladders are an option I've used in the past but there's always the issue of how to attach them to the bike - easier on some than others I think.
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #69 on: January 29, 2018, 08:27:26 pm »
I am using battery mudguard rear leds on my trice which I bought of Amazon to replace the pixer one's that Kim got me a few years ago. There are quite a few brands on Amazon  :)
the slower you go the more you see

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #70 on: January 29, 2018, 08:34:18 pm »
Hydration bladders are an option I've used in the past but there's always the issue of how to attach them to the bike - easier on some than others I think.

I use a 4 litre Ortlieb water carrier, which has straps that clip to the rear rack.  Your luggage arrangements may vary.

But - while this is an excellent solution for day rides and touring (when full, it'll hold enough water for overnight camping) - hydration bladders and particularly the tubing are a pain to keep clean.  I'd much rather use a standard bottle for a commute.

On a Streetmachine, the bottle cage below the seat[1] is easily reachable when you stop.  That's good enough for me for short rides that don't justify mucking about with tubing.  I think if you want bottles reachable while you're in motion, you'll need to mount them to the seat itself (or in pockets on banananana bags, or something).


[1] I've found that the lowrider rack makes this one quite fussy about which cages will actually fit.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Recumbent Commuting
« Reply #71 on: January 29, 2018, 08:35:48 pm »
Next step for me therefore is to mount two bottle cages about hip height on the seat shell -it will take a few holes no problem - using rivnuts, much as I had on my old B2. 

My Performers have Rivnut mounts on the back of the GRP seats.  I (now) don't use them.  Came off one day (dropped the chain on a climb and over I went) and the bike landed on the lh side and bent back the cage on that side, pulling out the 2 rivnuts.  I epoxied them back in and now only use these to mount a pump, which does not protrude beyond the edge of the seat.

It looks like a neat solution, mounting underseat cages on the seat rivnuts, but IME the fixing is too weak to stand much abuse in the event of a spill.