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Carbon High Racer

Discussion in 'Recumbents, Trikes and HPVs' started by dodgy, 13 May 2008.

  1. dodgy

    dodgy Veteran

    Location:
    Wirral
  2. Fiona N

    Fiona N Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately (or perhaps not) my legs are too short for it if the minimum inside leg is 33inches :tongue:
     
  3. Andy in Sig

    Andy in Sig Vice President in Exile

    Awww, you poor little lamb. Shall we call you Stumpy from now on?:biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:
     
  4. OP
    OP
    dodgy

    dodgy Veteran

    Location:
    Wirral
    I'll admit it, I've found myself checking out more information on 'bents. I think the trikes look like they might be a little unwieldy and heavy, does the fact they have 3 wheels mean rolling resistance becomes a problem?
    I'm in the market for a new DF bike, but my 'bent curiosity is definitely aroused ;)

    Is the added weight of a trike make up in ease of use (I imagine setting off can sometimes be tricky on a 2 wheel 'bent?)?

    How do people get on riding ITRO 100 miles on a 'bent compared to a DF? Most of my rides are into Cheshire (flat) or North Wales (hilly) so I really do need a 'do it all' bike.

    Cheers,

    Dave.
     
  5. Andy in Sig

    Andy in Sig Vice President in Exile

    Setting off is only tricky when you're learning and even then it's usually just a matte of selecting the right gear.

    I found my distances increased much more easily on a bent once my leg muscles adapted and my one day record is now 200 km and each time I did it I felt that I could have done a lot more without too much effort. The simplest thing that I could say to sum it up is that IMO bents are simply a better design of bike than uprights.
     
  6. BentMikey

    BentMikey Rider of Seolferwulf

    Location:
    South London
    In some situations, but not in others. Horses for courses, and all that. Also, uprights are generally a much more refined design, and thanks to the UCI, 'bents haven't had the same amount of resources poured into R&D.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    dodgy

    dodgy Veteran

    Location:
    Wirral
    Thanks all, and taking on board Andy's comments, if I become a regular user of a 'bent, is it possible that the form I obtain whilst riding it will not be transferrable to my standard DF (which I will keep) and my MTB? I don't like the idea of 100+ rides on the 'bent not contributing to my muscle strength on different bikes - though obviously my general fitness will still benefit in terms of heart/lungs etc. In essence, are the muscle groups used that different? Will I struggle to complete ITRO 100 miles on my first ride (given that I can already ride that distance comfortably now).

    Cheers,
    Dave.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    dodgy

    dodgy Veteran

    Location:
    Wirral
    Another question (sorry), 'bents seem to have a very large chain (apart from the Mike Burrows FWD 'bents). They look like possibly 3 standard chains linked together? Given that chains need fairly regular changing, that seems like a significant maintenance cost?
    Am I right?

    Dave.
     
  9. Andy in Sig

    Andy in Sig Vice President in Exile

    Somebody else will be better qualified than I to address the musculature question but what I would recommmend is this: don't do as I did and stop riding an upright altogether as I now find that anything more than five miles on one is very painful on the bum!
     
  10. andharwheel

    andharwheel Senior Member

    Location:
    Frozen North
    The fitness which is required for recumbents transfers well to upright bikes. I find that I have much more power and my hill climbing is better on my road bike when I use my trike a lot. Top recumbent riders such as Rob English and Sam Whittingham use upright bikes. Sam rides the track and Rob is a 1st cat road rider.
     
  11. Fiona N

    Fiona N Well-Known Member

    Well, put it this way: I was cycling at least 300km a week including a long Sunday ride before I picked up my Windcheetah. So I reckoned the 80 miles or so from AVD to home was no problem - I mean, the A6 is pretty flat going north, isn't it. By the time I got to Preston, I felt like someone had replaced my hip flexors with red hot coals (not a usual sensation) and the muscle immediately above the knee (not the normal 'meat' of the quads) was beyond pain unless I slowed down and the nerves switched back on. I have never, ever been in so much pain on a cycle - no time trial, race, hill climb or interval rivalled that first Windcheetah ride. And the next day I spent lying in a dark room with a cool cloth on my forehead and a bucket of pain killers to hand as the DOMS established itself in muscles I didn't know I had.

    I hope this gives a flavour of what you're in for. Mind you, the trip took well under 4 hours so there would have been pain involved even on an upright.

    Since then, it's been much better :biggrin:
     
  12. Fiona N

    Fiona N Well-Known Member

    Not really as the wear is spread over the longer chain so you get proportionately more life our of a longer chain i.e. 4 x longer chain last 4 x longer. Cleaning and lubing a 4x longer chain is a real drag especially when you can't reach the pedals from (my) normal lubing position just in front of the sprockets. This is especially a problem on the Speedmachine because of the chain tubes which restrict access to the chain. It's less of a problem with the Windcheetah (no chain tubes so I can pick my spot) and also the offset rear wheel means that the chain gets hit with less crap and water than on a normal set up.

    The chain tubes are altogether a mixed blessing - nice to keep your right inner calf grease-free but a problem when the chain's wet. Unless you dry and lube it thoroughly, rust is encouraged on the chain sections in the tubes which slow the drying of the water off the surfaces. I try not to ride the Speedmachine on wet roads which, in the Lake District, is a bit limiting :biggrin:


    On the muscles question - the main thing is that 'bents require you to control your legs close to horizontally, compared to an upright where your legs basically hang down and the main control required is lateral i.e. so your knees describe a circle in the same plane as the bike - no knees wobbling out to the side and whatnot. This is not dissimilar to what we do when walking (although, obviously the balance/proprioception is different) so the muscles are reasonably used to it and the main development is of strength for propulsion (you can test this by cycling at low resistance, very high cadence - if you're not used to it you'll find that your muscles get tired but it's not the usual quads but little muscles around the knees which you notice which are being called upon to perform outside their normal capacity and tend to limit how long you can ride at cadence >120 rpm. It can be learnt if you need to e.g. using a fixie)
    Anyway, on the bents, hip-flexors get more of a work out as your legs have to be lifted in an extended position which isn't usual unless you're a ballet dancer and the lateral control of the knee alignment is also while the leg is extended making more use of the stabilising muscles like sartorius, ad and abductors and so on.
    You can prepare yourself with specific exercises to strengthen hip flexors, like standing straight leg lifts (combine with stretching as tight hip flexors can give lower back problems) and single leg squats for the knees (if you're really keen - single leg squats on a wobble board are the ultimate).

    Have fun :biggrin:
     
  13. OP
    OP
    dodgy

    dodgy Veteran

    Location:
    Wirral
    Well, it sure doesn't sound like it (fun) :biggrin:

    Dave.
     
  14. NickM

    NickM Veteran

    If you ask me, every serious cyclist owes it to himself to try the thrill of riding a fast recumbent like the M5 (or a Velokraft, or a Challenge Fujin). Buying one would probably be a much more exciting addition to your stable than acquiring another upright bike.

    My mate McDee, of this forum, has the M5 carbon high racer (the only one in the UK, as far as I know) and it does seem to be a pretty fast bike... well, fast enough for him to lap me in the last BHPC race, anyway ;)

    You really need to try out a variety of recumbents before committing yourself, though - not everybody can master them, although having said that, high racers are less challenging than the lowest bikes. Why not come along to a BHPC race meeting? There will be some very nice machinery there (including some fine home-builds made by our talented engineer members). If you ask nicely, somebody will probably let you try theirs...
     
  15. OP
    OP
    dodgy

    dodgy Veteran

    Location:
    Wirral
    Thanks Nick,

    I am definitely getting more interested, the only problem is getting to see one in the flesh. There don't seem to be any dealers in my neck of the woods. I've emailed one of the dealers for more info, though.

    I'm starting to veer (see what I did then?) towards a trike, mainly for ease of use in traffic, but I'm worried that I'll be sacrificing speed for this convenience.

    I've virtually no interest in touring, I want something fast and comfortable. Shame one of the upright dealers don't sell these, a lot of them provide 3 years interest free which takes the sting out of the purchase quite a bit!

    Dave.