Do the legs suffer?

benb

Evidence based cyclist
Location
Epsom
Just idle curiosity, but do you get achy legs on recumbents (more so than on a normal bike)?

Looking at the riding position, you're holding your legs pretty much straight out without support. I would have thought this would be quite hard after a while, but I'm probably wrong.
 
Location
EDINBURGH
There is less impact on your knees, assuming you have clipless then your leg is supported, you do use your thigh muscles and quads more though because of the different riding position but that is something you get used to.
 

arallsopp

Post of The Year 2009 winner
Location
Bromley, Kent
benb said:
Just idle curiosity, but do you get achy legs on recumbents (more so than on a normal bike)?

Looking at the riding position, you're holding your legs pretty much straight out without support. I would have thought this would be quite hard after a while, but I'm probably wrong.
After a while, no. Clipped in, your legs are supported, so that's a non-issue. With a seat back behind you, you can push well over your own bodyweight, and its the knees that go long before the muscles. Learn to spin, and the issue goes away.

When learning on a two wheeler, there can be moments where you stay upright solely by powering through with one leg. That can hurt if you do it a lot. Once you've got a few miles on the bike, it all settles down.

From last summers long day rides, I'd say I was certainly in no more pain (and often far less) than the accompanying uprights. Not necessarily legs, of course. 24 hours is more than enough time for a saddle to bury itself somewhere you really wouldn't want it.
 
OP
benb

benb

Evidence based cyclist
Location
Epsom
I must admit, a rec does look comfy. I'd worry that I'd fall asleep!
 

mark barker

New Member
Location
Swindon, Wilts
After my first few rides on the recumbent I almost got rid of it... My legs were killing me! Fortunately I carried on, and now I'd be far happier riding a good distance on the recumbent than an upright. You soon notice the different muscle groups that are used though, my thighs and stomach muscles are used far more now than before.

One other thing you will notice is the "spin speed". Because you can't stand up, you need to use the gears much more and spin the pedals faster, and this is something I'm still trying to get used to!
 

betty swollocks

large member
It does take time for your muscles to adjust.
One thing I noticed when starting, is that my hamstrings, especially the attachments under the gluteals shortened and needed a good stretch after every ride.
 

Fiona N

Veteran
Do my legs hurt - you bet ;) I'd never experienced cycling pain like what the Windcheetah caused. And truly, I'm not joking - after years of racing, long fast tours, and riding long hard gran fondo-type events in the Alps, I thought I knew about pain but that was transient pain - i.e. when I stopped cycling, my legs would be tired but not painful. Then I took my brand new Windcheetah on a 10 day tour from northern England, down through France to Switzerland (@ 100 miles per day) and every day started with pain, continued with pain and ended with pain - located in the quads just above my knees. I then had a 2 week break, working in CH, before continuing down over the Alps, through northern Italy then along the coast to Monte Carlo. Miraculously - no pain but, boy, could I motor :laugh:

So moral of the story - no pain, no gain ;)

Jimbo would approve, I'm sure
 

mcd

Well-Known Member
Taking a brand new cycle on a 10 day tour? :biggrin:

No wonder yer legs hurt! I'm trying to work out if that's an athletic achievement or just mental. I'm inclined to go for the latter - now is there a smiley somewhere tapping a finger on its temple?
 

Fiona N

Veteran
Well, it wasn't as though I wasn't already very fit :biggrin:

I think the main thing was that I was sure that the pain was purely muscular (as opposed to any sort of joint discomfort) and a function of the greater force required to get the Windcheetah up hills (it doesn't have very low gearing - about 30 inch bottom - and more weight than my road bikes). So I knew it was a matter of adaptation which I was basically concentrating into a short period. If I had thought I was at risk of becoming injured, I would have had a break and rest or even got the train for the remainder of the journey to CH. So I'm not completely daft :hello:
 

mcd

Well-Known Member
Sounds like you knew what you were doing - maybe I'm just a bit over-cautious in comparison.

Athletic achievement it is (with a dash of recklessness thrown in :o)!
 
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