Author Topic: Recumbent Bikes  (Read 4708 times)

ApplePI

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Recumbent Bikes
« on: June 20, 2015, 04:46:10 PM »
I have not yet purchased my first adult bike and instead have been riding around on my bike from middle/high school just to get back into it. Long story short, pain in places that I would prefer not to have pain in. I noticed another thread started a couple days ago about mitigating some of this pain, but I'm curious if anyone has gone the recumbent route to avoid this discomfort altogether. I have never ridden one, but they seem like a great way to get the pressure off of my wrists, feet and other bits. Thoughts?

SwordGuy

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Re: Recumbent Bikes
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2015, 07:29:26 PM »
Haven't tried one, but I think they would be harder to notice due to the rider being lower to the ground.   If you go this route, do something to compensate for the lower visual profile.

ApplePI

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Re: Recumbent Bikes
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2015, 07:45:15 PM »
It seems like a lot of the pictures I have seen recumbents usually include flags or other eye-catching gizmos. I'm not sure how much safer any of this really would make any bike. I have seen videos that show how effective bright lights are at night, but during the day I think all bets are off when it comes to unattentive drivers.

Retired To Win

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Re: Recumbent Bikes
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2015, 08:34:04 PM »
My wife bought and assembled a recumbent bike a little over a year ago.  Plus one of those cargo trailers you can tow with the bike.  Both are still "virgin" and stowed away in our face-punch-worthy humongous metal storage outbuilding.  We live on a narrow, windy country road with no shoulders.

Could there be a connection?  :O

debbie does duncan

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Re: Recumbent Bikes
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2015, 06:20:03 AM »
Google Electra bikes.
 They are not fully recumbent but allow you to sit upright and your ft are forward.
No weight is placed on shoulders or wrists. I ride a Townie 7D. Heavy bike.
I love the ride, it is like I am a kid again. Good luck.

newton

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Re: Recumbent Bikes
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2015, 06:39:24 AM »
How long have you been attempting to ride?  Some of the pain may be normal unless you typically have back issues.

I have a friend who has had back issues and tried the recumbent bike.  Didn't last long.  Didn't get the same enjoyment out of it.  I have ridden in some pretty big rides around the country and you only see a handful of them. 

vhalros

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Re: Recumbent Bikes
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2015, 07:31:56 AM »
They tend to be significantly more expensive than an upright  bike of the same quality, but some people do find them a lot more comfortable. I'd say Wikipedia's list of advantages and disadvantages in this article is pretty balanced: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recumbent_bicycle


ApplePI

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Re: Recumbent Bikes
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2015, 11:24:40 AM »
How long have you been attempting to ride?  Some of the pain may be normal unless you typically have back issues.

I pulled my old bike out a couple months ago after reading this site. I intend to get a "real" bike at some point, but for now I'm just getting back into it. I've conditioned myself to get to the next town over, which is approximately 10 miles away. On the ride back is when things start to go numb and/or hurt. It is possible (even likely) that once I have a regular upright, this will no longer be a problem. Of course, I could drop a ton of money on the new upright and find that I still have these pains.

That said, I am equally as worried that I could buy a recumbent and then it would sit in a garage or storage shed after the first year.

I've read up on the advantages and disadvantes, and read some other forums. I'm specifically asking the mustachians for their view on this. Is this a "luxury" item? Even if it helps, should I just "suck it up" ? I was also hoping to find someone here who rode one regularly and could chime in with comparisons on cost of ownership over time, and daily commute worthiness in adverse weather, which most other forums don't take into consideration.

grantmeaname

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Re: Recumbent Bikes
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2015, 12:46:08 PM »
I'm specifically asking the mustachians for their view on this. Is this a "luxury" item? Even if it helps, should I just "suck it up" ?
You shouldn't just "suck it up" but you also definitely shouldn't just get a recumbent assuming that the problem is with all traditional bicycles. Are you sure that your current bike is the right size, handlebars/pedals/seat are appropriate and adjusted correctly, and that you're using the right technique when riding? I'd bet that these problems explain much more ergonomic pain than individuals just being anatomically unsuited to riding non-recumbent bikes.

Syonyk

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Re: Recumbent Bikes
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2015, 07:51:38 PM »
You couldn't pay me enough to ride a recumbent bike on a street shared with traffic.  It's hard enough to be seen when you're up high, human sized, with a neon shirt/vest and a neon helmet.  Being a few feet lower just means nobody will even see what they hit.

They're probably fine for trails, and if you can commute on a trail with one, awesome, but they look suicidal to ride on the street.  IMO.

ApplePI

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Re: Recumbent Bikes
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2015, 08:03:13 PM »
I'm specifically asking the mustachians for their view on this. Is this a "luxury" item? Even if it helps, should I just "suck it up" ?
You shouldn't just "suck it up" but you also definitely shouldn't just get a recumbent assuming that the problem is with all traditional bicycles. Are you sure that your current bike is the right size, handlebars/pedals/seat are appropriate and adjusted correctly, and that you're using the right technique when riding? I'd bet that these problems explain much more ergonomic pain than individuals just being anatomically unsuited to riding non-recumbent bikes.

This bike is NOT set up properly in anyway. It is old, out of tune, and has been sitting for about ten years. I put some new tubes in it, put some WD-40 on the chain, and started riding. I am aware that the seat height is not ideal as my knees do not extend at the bottom of the stroke, and the handlebars are not at the proper distance, etc. So, I know a new bike is in order - this one was built for a middle schooler, which I am no longer. I am concerned, however, that I will purchase an adult sized bike and still have pain. Just wanted to hear some opinions.

vhalros

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Re: Recumbent Bikes
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2015, 08:49:51 AM »
Definitely try a bike that fits correctly before going and buying a recumbent. It is likely to solve the problem (riding a bike fit for a middle schooler would probably produce pain in most adults after a short while), and recumbent are not a panacea for all pain. (Also, rather incidental, but if you get a bike that is not a junker, do not use WD-40 on the chain).
« Last Edit: June 22, 2015, 08:51:47 AM by vhalros »

enigmaT120

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Re: Recumbent Bikes
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2015, 01:46:40 PM »
Writing as a driver who has seen several recumbent bikes out on the road, I think they are as easy to see as an upright bike.  But I do think you need to have a white beard and a pot belly to ride one.

Nice bright red blinkie lights on the rear help visibility a lot, even in the daytime.  I saw one over a half mile off one morning riding into the sun on my motorcycle, and it just turned out to be a Planet Bike Superflash.  The ones I use on my bicycle are brighter.


spokey doke

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Re: Recumbent Bikes
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2015, 07:39:06 AM »
I'm sure there are plenty of people who enjoy their recumbent bikes, but I think they have a number of liabilities, besides visibility, including how big they are (think storage and parking), how expensive they are for what you get, maneuverability, parts availability, and if you care at all...dork factor.

Besides doing the recommended - get a bike that fits and is adjusted well, I'd recommend giving yourself time to adjust and taking a gradual approach.  If you have been away from riding for a long time, your body is going to need some time to adjust and be OK with some initial discomfort.  Along with this, I'd give yourself some time to discover what kind of riding and what kind of bike is best for you, and that may take some trial and error.  Putting these together, I wouldn't automatically assume a recumbent bike is necessarily the solution(it may be, but maybe not) - or an upright 'comfort' bike.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2015, 03:23:16 PM by spokey doke »

infogoon

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Re: Recumbent Bikes
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2015, 09:18:39 AM »
I've had plenty of close calls with inattentive drivers on a normal bicycle. There's no way I'm putting my face at SUV bumper level.

spokey doke

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Re: Recumbent Bikes
« Reply #15 on: June 23, 2015, 03:24:20 PM »
^ this is  reminder too that the visibility challenge is not only cars seeing you, but you seeing over/around cars as well