Author Topic: Yet another newbie recumbent convert  (Read 1596 times)

Yet another newbie recumbent convert
« on: January 22, 2019, 08:16:19 pm »
To all the fellow recumbent riders out there , as a complete newbie to bent riding, does anybody have experience of riding Bacchetta aero 2 or 3.

What’s the ride like? Do you ride 650b or 700c wheels ?

How long is the learning curve?

Hill climbing capability’s?

Appreciate any real user feedback.
Many thanks.


Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Yet another newbie recumbent convert
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2019, 08:30:03 pm »
I don't have the legs for Bachettas (the seat getting further from the ground as it gets closer to the pedals doesn't work for me), but my general impression is that they're pretty stable, and of course large wheels roll well.  Being high up works nicely for mixing with DF riders, too.

My rule of thumb for the recumbent bike learning curve is "Half an hour to not fall off, a few hours to get competent at starting and stopping, a few hundred miles to really dial it in."  I strongly recommend putting in a couple of hours of work on stopping/starting (particularly hill starts and emergency stops), riding really slowly and weaving between obstacles in a controlled environment before you venture out into the real world.  Recumbent-specific muscle fitness takes a while, too, so don't be too put off if you find you're slower than on an upwrong at first.

As for climbing, that's down to the engine.  It won't be far off what you'd achieve by sitting and spinning on an upright bike of equivalent weight.

Welcome to the dark side!   :demon:
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Yet another newbie recumbent convert
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2019, 09:36:55 pm »
^^ What Kim said.

Be prepared for a totally different experience to riding a 'conventional' bike.  Starting and stopping takes practice and confidence, balance at low speed (e.g up hills) needs practice, junctions need care because you are sitting back a metre or so from the give way line, and traffic can be nerve wracking because you can't see over the parked cars.

Be prepared for endless tweaking of the fit and your positioning of bottles, GPS, lights etc, because the ergonomics are totally different to a DF bike - oh and don't try riding in varifocals because the landscape will be out of focus as you'll be looking along your nose.

Be prepared also for potentially higher average speeds (2mph on my 700c recumbent compared to my Giant Defy), total comfort and a manic, fixed grin.  And an almost zero risk of a broken collar bone because you are most unlikely to go over the bars!  But do wear elbow protectors whilst you get the hang of it.

Have fun!  I do!

Re: Yet another newbie recumbent convert
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2019, 03:40:39 pm »
Arrange a test ride. My preference would be 700C due to wide range of stuff available for that size. But then I am around 6ft tall. Climbing speed is a combination of weight, stiffness of frame, seat angle, and how much power you can generate on the bike in question. How hard does you heart have to work to pump blood to your legs when going uphill. 

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Yet another newbie recumbent convert
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2019, 03:56:27 pm »
How hard does you heart have to work to pump blood to your legs when going uphill.

This seems to be one of those YMMV things, with some people being extremely sensitive to bottom bracket height, while others don't really notice a difference.

Personally, I find it somewhat easier to exceed my lung capacity on an upwrong, but I'm perfectly capable of doing it on the Baron if I make an effort.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Yet another newbie recumbent convert
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2019, 08:23:11 pm »
Cheers guys. All very helpful. Off to bikefix in London next week to have a deeper dive into the darkside

Re: Yet another newbie recumbent convert
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2019, 08:54:29 pm »
Cheers guys. All very helpful. Off to bikefix in London next week to have a deeper dive into the darkside
Just in passing, you asked about 650 and 700 wheeled recumbents.  If  you are new to riding a 'bent, then have you thought about a 20" front wheeled machine - say 20/26?  The advantage over the larger wheeled machine is that the seat should be a bit lower, and the BB will be.  That makes for a slightly less challenging ride IME, at least for the first few hundred miles, and hence may be easier to learn on. And it's not quite as far to fall (and you will). That's how I did it and I still have my 20/26, which gets used now as my winter bike and for some shopping in the village.  The 700c is much quicker, and more responsive, but not as easy to stop and start and is mainly used in the drier weather for longer rides, and audax when I get back to that.  I have audaxed the 20/26 though too.

The 20/26 and the 700c are different machines and they do different things - they don't duplicate each other.  And one recumbent is never enough, you really need n+1.  You know it makes sense.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Yet another newbie recumbent convert
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2019, 09:01:13 pm »
^ This.

My advice to recumbent newbies (who don't have specific requirements due to disability or something) is to expect to want to upgrade to something else after a year or so when you work out what it is you actually want[1].  Middle-of-the-road tourers with lowish bottom brackets are easy to ride and generally a safe bet for getting the hang of the whole darkside thing, but rarely[2] outperform equivalent upwrongs in anything but the comfort department.  (Which is enough to be a massive win in a tourer IMHO.)


[1] Geometry, wheel sizes, suspension, seat type, steering arrangement...
[2] Stonking headwinds and yee-ha descents, basically.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Yet another newbie recumbent convert
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2019, 07:43:27 pm »
Hurrah! Another one's seen the light.  :demon:

Mentally accept there's going to be a learning curve, and it suddenly becomes much easier to accept that for the first [however long], it's not as easy / fast / unicorn as you were led to believe. Then you'll start getting your guano in a single sock and it'll come to you.

I went straight to Cruzbike's moving bottom bracket, reasoning that it must be possible because most people seem to. Couple of embarrassingly slow death wobbles were pretty much ironed out by 100 miles. Just do it and fight through.
Cruzbike V2k

Re: Yet another newbie recumbent convert
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2019, 08:52:07 pm »
Hi Mcwheels

Interested to hear what you think about the Cruzbike. I’ve read lots about them and there seems to be 2 schools of thought...

1) front wheel drive is the way forward and makes uphill riding that much easier
2) avoid them like the plague and way too twitchy as every pedal stroke pulls you off line and in to a wobble

Which model do you ride? 1st bent a cruzbike?

The v20 just looks a racing machine too laid back but the S40 seems a good bike for keeping up the speed with the up-wrong rides.

Thanks again

Tigerrr

  • That England that was wont to conquer others Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
  • Not really a Tiger.
    • Humanist Celebrant.
Re: Yet another newbie recumbent convert
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2019, 09:56:38 am »
My advice is - really think through what you want from the bike, and the type of riding you want to do.  There is a complete world of a difference between a heavy tourer, a fast commuter, a fast race bike and an ideal audax bike. I don't think there is an 'all rounder' that I would want.
My first bike was a heavy 'speed machine' (Bikefix are UK agents of HP Velotechnik). Fantastic for short fast rides, but a complete pig on longer rides where legs get drained and the weight becomes a pain. It ended up being my perfect London commuter bike (some might call that insane). I then bought a Challenge Fujin SL2 which was super light, and amazing for long fast rides - went farther faster than I ever managed on an upright race bike. But not for riding in town in my view. Recumbents are as different within teh sector, as MTBs and race road bikes in uprights.
I think it took a year of daily recumbent riding to really get fully into the groove and fully fit. Gives a lovely set of glutes!
I am thinking of selling the Fujin now - I am too heavy for it and I think my serious riding days may be over.
Humanists UK Funeral and Wedding Celebrant. Trying for godless goodness.
http://humanist.org.uk/michaellaird

Re: Yet another newbie recumbent convert
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2019, 10:04:34 pm »
Interested to hear what you think about the Cruzbike. I’ve read lots about them and there seems to be 2 schools of thought...

1) front wheel drive is the way forward and makes uphill riding that much easier
2) avoid them like the plague and way too twitchy as every pedal stroke pulls you off line and in to a wobble

Which model do you ride? 1st bent a cruzbike?

The v20 just looks a racing machine too laid back but the S40 seems a good bike for keeping up the speed with the up-wrong rides.

1. There's an argument to be made that you will lose less energy in flexing the frame vs a CB's front triangle and save weight in a shorter chain. If however your bike is as inherently heavy as mine, then that's a wash at best. Get a light and fast one one though, and very few Cruzbikers report being slower up a hill.  Generally the S40 is reported to be faster up hill since you have a better hip angle (much debate follows), but the over the course of a day the V20 will win through pure aero.

2. In commerce, detractors are ten times more likely to say so publically than satisfied customers. If the ratio of those who actually report good and bad news is about equal (I happen to think it's generally positive), then I make the assumption that that's a minimum 10:1 satisfied/not satisfied, and probably better.

The first bent was actually SWMBO's TerraTrike Cruiser while replicating a new SWMBO. Fine machine but not a racer - even though we raced it a couple of times at Hillingdon  O:-). That got me interested in the industry. The decision point was my 12 mile commute into London; one should not be purchasing heamorroid ointment with a fitted saddle.  :o

I got a V2k, which is a Sofrider at the end of the production line painted white. The frame-set was a price I could afford and brother-in-law imported it on a business trip. I built it with poverty-spec hub dynamo and SA 8Sp IGH, so it's a proper Kelpie even though the seat's back to 35 deg. There's a few pics here. (The rear-fairing is a Belgian's idea, it's not me or my bike!!!!  :facepalm:)
https://forum.cruzbike.com/media/users/mcwheels.8193/

With the money, I'd have an S40 with under-seat rack in a heart-beat, but there's nothing wrong with this one; just quietly, it's my only bike.

If you can follow direction, and don't mind being a beginner again, I'd say do it. The steering is just a property you learn to adapt to, I don't see it as good, bad or difficult, it's just how it is.
Cruzbike V2k

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Yet another newbie recumbent convert
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2019, 03:46:19 pm »
My advice is - really think through what you want from the bike, and the type of riding you want to do.  There is a complete world of a difference between a heavy tourer, a fast commuter, a fast race bike and an ideal audax bike. I don't think there is an 'all rounder' that I would want.
My first bike was a heavy 'speed machine' (Bikefix are UK agents of HP Velotechnik). Fantastic for short fast rides, but a complete pig on longer rides where legs get drained and the weight becomes a pain. It ended up being my perfect London commuter bike (some might call that insane). I then bought a Challenge Fujin SL2 which was super light, and amazing for long fast rides - went farther faster than I ever managed on an upright race bike. But not for riding in town in my view. Recumbents are as different within teh sector, as MTBs and race road bikes in uprights.
I think it took a year of daily recumbent riding to really get fully into the groove and fully fit. Gives a lovely set of glutes!
I am thinking of selling the Fujin now - I am too heavy for it and I think my serious riding days may be over.

I could swap for an M5 M Racer?  of if you still have it when I've sold that I could be interested?
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Yet another newbie recumbent convert
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2019, 04:43:56 pm »
Interested to hear what you think about the Cruzbike. I’ve read lots about them and there seems to be 2 schools of thought...

1) front wheel drive is the way forward and makes uphill riding that much easier
2) avoid them like the plague and way too twitchy as every pedal stroke pulls you off line and in to a wobble

Which model do you ride? 1st bent a cruzbike?

The v20 just looks a racing machine too laid back but the S40 seems a good bike for keeping up the speed with the up-wrong rides.

1. There's an argument to be made that you will lose less energy in flexing the frame vs a CB's front triangle and save weight in a shorter chain. If however your bike is as inherently heavy as mine, then that's a wash at best. Get a light and fast one one though, and very few Cruzbikers report being slower up a hill.  Generally the S40 is reported to be faster up hill since you have a better hip angle (much debate follows), but the over the course of a day the V20 will win through pure aero.

2. In commerce, detractors are ten times more likely to say so publically than satisfied customers. If the ratio of those who actually report good and bad news is about equal (I happen to think it's generally positive), then I make the assumption that that's a minimum 10:1 satisfied/not satisfied, and probably better.

The first bent was actually SWMBO's TerraTrike Cruiser while replicating a new SWMBO. Fine machine but not a racer - even though we raced it a couple of times at Hillingdon  O:-). That got me interested in the industry. The decision point was my 12 mile commute into London; one should not be purchasing heamorroid ointment with a fitted saddle.  :o

I got a V2k, which is a Sofrider at the end of the production line painted white. The frame-set was a price I could afford and brother-in-law imported it on a business trip. I built it with poverty-spec hub dynamo and SA 8Sp IGH, so it's a proper Kelpie even though the seat's back to 35 deg. There's a few pics here. (The rear-fairing is a Belgian's idea, it's not me or my bike!!!!  :facepalm:)
https://forum.cruzbike.com/media/users/mcwheels.8193/

With the money, I'd have an S40 with under-seat rack in a heart-beat, but there's nothing wrong with this one; just quietly, it's my only bike.

If you can follow direction, and don't mind being a beginner again, I'd say do it. The steering is just a property you learn to adapt to, I don't see it as good, bad or difficult, it's just how it is.

My 'bent journey was
- ICE B2 (yes, they made soem two-wheelers as well) 26" wheels to start withm but can also take 700C which I found a bit too tall for me at 1.75m. A good steady, predictable recumbent, which I never fell off of and served well for learning, but heavy
- M5 M-racer - as the name suggests, an out and out speed machine. I eventually settled on 700c rear and 26" front on this.  It's about as laid back as the V20 with handling and visibility to match, hence the dropped front end.  Built up from a frameset, I have this one up for sale right now
- S40 - purchased as a frameset and imported myself.  Built up with bits from a road bike so I could revert back in case I didn't like it.  No real danger of that.   It's got a 52/39/30 triple up front and a 12-32 on the rear and I can get it up sustained 12% and short stretches of 14%. Toured with it last summer and it managed it excellently.  Between mid March and mid October I put about 3500km on it, then got knocked off at a roundabout and it's now in the shed awaiting repair.

In terms of learning curves, I think I had a bigger jump from the ICE B2 to the M5 than from the M5 to the S40, possibly due to seat angle which makes a huge difference. I can look over my shoulder on the S40 for example, but not the M5, however due to bottle cage positions I can get a bottle from the seat of the M5 but only from the handlebars of the S40 - go figure.

With both though, there was a definite "A-ha" moment when I suddenly realised that I no longer needed to concentrate on keeping the thing on two wheels. I'd say that came earlier with the S40, but that was my 3rd 'bent so experience counts there as well.  The moving bottom bracket FWD design took a bit of getting used to in terms of pedal steer, but no where near as daunting as people make out. 

“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens