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Messages - ron654

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Gear Talk / Recumbent advice?
« on: March 03, 2006, 01:11:34 pm »
For prospective converts to recumbency, here are a few of my observations about the learning process (while they are still fresh in my head).  

Use of the upper body /arms to aid in propulsion is counter-productive on a recumbent -- the only thing it does is send you all over the road.  To those who (like me) have an long-ingrained habit of using DF handlebars to aid in aggressive acceleration (especially up hills or from a start), you will have to work at it a while to break the old habits.  I recommend restricting yourself to wide-shouldered roads with minimal traffic  initially.

You will also have to learn to use low gears and spin at higher RPMs if you are not in the habit of doing so already.  I'm using a Blackburn trainer while watching the evening news for just that purpose and it is helping.  But I am finding that the greatly increased leg speed on a trainer doesn't fully translate to the road so I am having to concentrate on it there too.

The other big change is in the effects of the recumbent position on vision.  I knew that being lower would affect my ability to see somewhat but the degree to which vehicles block my line of sight still surprised me.  Much more attention is required to "hidden" hazards and I was fairly attentive to start.  

A second  visibility problem is that the 'bent position increases  the incidence of "sun-blindness".  I purchased a Bell mtn. bike helmet with the largest visor I could find (locally) and always wear sunglasses but still find myself squinting and looking away from the sun a lot in the 2 hours after sunrise or before sunset.   If anyone has a source for a better visor (or other solution), I'd love to hear it.

Smooth roads to all!

Gear Talk / Recumbent advice?
« on: February 09, 2006, 11:12:10 pm »
For those who may be interested in my progress since my original post, I am now the owner of a Rans Stratus XP.  I bought it at Richard's Bicyles in Garden Grove (an Orange County suburb of LA) because of their excellent treatment of me as a customer as well as their wide selection of recumbents.  There may be another shop or two in So. Cal. as good as theirs but I couldn't find one in the limited time I had for shopping.  

I picked the Rans primarily because its steering was the closest to neutral I could find and I live on a rural road where I can't afford much of a learning/ unlearning curve.  The Tour Easy was in the same class for ease of steering but cost over $300 more. (I decided that the fairing was not something I need to pay for at this time.)  The Burley Canto (in LWB configuration) was next -- significantly less expensive  but noticeably more touchy in steering.  All the SWB 'bents were much more twitchy although I thought I could adapt to a Bruchetta the fastest.

More on the learning experience later . . . .


Gear Talk / Recumbent advice?
« on: September 30, 2005, 11:24:58 am »
To Lucky13 & Rootchopper -- thanks for the tips!  A less serious problem with which I have to deal is that there are only a couple of bike shops in this area that carry recumbents and only one type in each.  I'll likely have to travel to LA or San Fran (about 200 mi away) to find a 'bent shop and I don't know where to look in either area. Suggestions?

Gear Talk / Recumbent advice?
« on: September 29, 2005, 04:08:20 am »
Thanks for the tips -- but I have aero bars and have tried adjusting the stem, using a shorter one and even using a mountain bike on the road.  The numb hands problem has existed for many years but it used to take many miles of riding in one position to bring it on and it would go away with a change of position.  My 50+ year old body just doesn't adjust as well as was formerly the case and the numbness now comes on within 5 miles and requires hand(s) off the bars to go away.

I found a reference elsewhere to some old articles and a website for advice.  I'll let you all know if I find that a recumbent that solves my problems. Thanks again for your responses.

Gear Talk / Recumbent advice?
« on: September 28, 2005, 04:16:45 am »
I am a longtime touring cyclist whose hands can no longer "handle" the pressure from resting on handlebars -- even riding on the tops with padded gloves and a suspension stem.  I have concluded that the only way I will be able to enjoy cycling again may be to become a "bent" rider.  

Can anyone offer advice on selecting a recumbent?  Criteria for touring use?  Arranging to test ride?
Websites with objective info. about various styles and models?

Many thanks in advance!  

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