Author Topic: Why no Recumbents Bicycles in AC?  (Read 19929 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline RussellSeaton

Why no Recumbents Bicycles in AC?
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2005, 10:34:37 pm »
I'm going to add some support for DaveB.  I was on RAGBRAI and TRIRI this year.  On RAGBRAI, 10,000 riders, the recumbents were easily, easily less than 10%.  RAGBRAI was flat this year.  Ideal recumbent terrain.  On TRIRI, 350 riders, the recumbent count was also less than 10%.  TRIRI was in the hilly SW corner of Indiana this year.  Not ideal recumbent terrain.  On a local very flat bike trail that my group rides very frequently, we see recumbents.  Less than 10%.  On 6 different brevets I participated in this spring/summer, there were 1 or 2 recumbents on one 200 km brevet.  In a prior year there was 1 recumbent on a 300 km hilly brevet.  On 4 of the hilly brevets there were 3 or 4 fixed gear or single speed bikes.  When the single speed/fixed gear riders on 120, 180, 250, 375 mile rides outnumber the recumbent riders, that says something.

Recumbents are out there.  So are small wheel folding or separable bikes.  And trikes.  But all are very small niches of the bicycling population.  One reason is availability.  Local bike shops don't stock them.  Therefore they do not sell.  Kind of the chicken and egg.  Supply and demand.  Which came first conundrum.  Another is price.  A low cost recumbent is $1200.  Low cost.  You have to be a serious bicyclist first before you drop that kind of money on a bicycle.  Its hard to get new people interested in bicycling if you tell them the cheapest bike(recumbent) is $1200.

If you want to see more articles in Adventure Cycling on recumbent touring, submit them for publication.  Adventure Cycling is partially a reader written publication.  At least most of the touring articles seem to be by people who are not employed by Adventure Cycling.  Adventure Cycling is a buisness.  Non-profit business.  But they still have to satsify the interests of their customers.  If their customers are diamond frame bicyclists, it makes sense to concentrate on that.  You have to keep your current loyal customers happy.  And add some extra articles on recumbents, etc. to try to get some new people too.  But make sure you please that 80% segment.

Offline provijo

Why no Recumbents Bicycles in AC?
« Reply #16 on: August 27, 2005, 11:06:48 pm »
Well stated you guys!  And not at all along the "chips on their collective shoulders" emphasis.  Thanks.

Help me then,

1.  is the "touring" age growing older?
2.  is the recumbent participation increasing?
3.  is there an age at which touring DF riders seem to  fall off in numbers ( like when they marry and have kids? )
4.  and an age when they return?
5.  where do older "touring" DF'rs go? ( do they go to the PTA, "bent" or just less time for touring?)
6.  is the "curiosity" number growing ( I would include other "curiosity" bicycles in that number - recumbent, trikes, folding, tandems, single speed )
7.  in 10 years how do you think the demographics or "cyclographics" will be?


Offline RussellSeaton

Why no Recumbents Bicycles in AC?
« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2005, 07:50:23 pm »
How would a touring article written by a recumbent rider be different than any other touring article in Adventure Cycling?

The touring articles I read in Adventure Cycling are about the destination, people met, etc.  Almost none are about the equipment used.  If not for the pictures accompanying the articles, I would never know what form of bike was used by the writer.  And it would not matter one bit.

There are product reviews of camping equipment and cycling products that are applicable to recumbent riders as well as diamond frame riders.

It could very well be that half the touring articles published in Adventure Cycling each month are written by recumbent riders.  The author just chooses not to explicitly mention what type of bike they rode and did not take pictures of themselves riding the bike.  And again, the article would neither be enhanced nor diminished by the type of bike used by the writer.

Offline provijo

Why no Recumbents Bicycles in AC?
« Reply #18 on: August 29, 2005, 03:09:20 pm »
Excellent point Russell.

The distinctions which are very evident in the photos might also be relevant in the biographical info (age often a factor), the comfort matters (cited in many touring articles (numbness, shoulder pain, butt pain), the "confidence" in... yes, I can do that, the matters of hills and bicycle/tricycle,unicycle ;p handling, panniers which work differently on recumbents, rider visibility vis autos, distance, speed, accessories such a mirrors due to less rearward visibility on recumbents, maintenance and parts (such as availability of 451mm 20" tires), even "staying up with your DF touring partners", and other matters which may motivate others to ride vs drive to enjoy the out of doors.

I guess this is a question for the submitter to consider, but the touring experience seems necessarily different for the recumbent cyclist than for the DF cyclist.

Thanks for the observations and the exchange.

This message was edited by provijo on 8-29-05 @ 11:14 AM

Offline Dan_E_Boye

Why no Recumbents Bicycles in AC?
« Reply #19 on: August 29, 2005, 09:25:55 pm »
Earlier on someone mentioned the demographics of 'bent riders.  I'm 42 and ride a 'bent simply because I want to.  I didn't have back pain or any of those medical problems.  One motivating factor for the switch for me was that the traditional bike seat is not meant for the human butt.  I think one reason it's mostly middle age and older people riding 'bents is the price.  There's also the fact that when you get older you don't give a crap about being trendy.  If I had the money I would have bought a nice touring trike.

I don't see a need for many articles about 'bents.  I am more interested in things like supplies, repairs, where to camp, routes, good pizza along the way, etc.  

I don't like the us vs. them kind of crap.  I can't stand bicycle snobbery.  A bike is a bike.        

Offline TheDaltonBoys

Why no Recumbents Bicycles in AC?
« Reply #20 on: August 30, 2005, 10:54:06 am »
I skydived every weekend that weather allowed for 20+ years. In a sport that had so few people at that time, I always thought there would be a higher "tribe" factor. An editorial from a then prominent skydiver talked of how "the enemy had been met and they were us"...basically how the collective "we" had a tendancy to sub-group if you will. Well human tendancies notwithstanding and where bicycling (all types) is concerned.....we can all pedal together, or we can pedal separately to paraphrase from one of the founding fathers. We certainly live in a time where the cost of oil certainly points to bicycling as a mode of transportation whether near or far distances. Here's the bottom line for me....I will wave to anybody who has feet on crank whether riding my communter bicycle (upright), or my road bike (upright), as I consider which tadpole trike to buy after I retire. Put another way..."its all good." To me its all about the fact that a human is powering a mode of transportation and how its configured matters not one bit to me. The biggest smile I get is when doing long road rides and I pass someone who is obviously just starting out evidenced by their posterior and the Huffy bicycle they are riding, and I offer a strong, supportive salutation. They are no different than I, they are a human powered mode of lets all go get some liquid carbs and a pizza. Enjoy the Voyage.....Mark of the Dalton Boys

Offline gofarbent

Why no Recumbents Bicycles in AC?
« Reply #21 on: September 01, 2005, 12:23:38 am »
       I'll wade in here with my 2 cents worth ..
 As you can see by my moniker I'm a bent rider as well .
 Honestly , can't stand riding a traditional bike anymore .
  I ride a Compact Long Wheelbase bent and I find that I'm just as safe on the road as I ever was on a wedgie . I use an eyeglass arm rear view mirror which helps my sense of security on the road as well ..
  In fact lots of folks smile , say " cool bike , where'd you get that ? " etc  and I have motorists honk at me all the time waving and giving the thumbs up in my burg .
  I won't win any time trials but that's fine 'cuz for me cycling is all about taking the time to smell the roses anyway ..