etape Caledonia on an HPV SMGT

Subflux

New Member
Location
Glasgow
Stupid Question Alert:

I'm sure it comes down to personal choice and things, but I'm a total newbie, so would like your opinion:

Is it a daft idea to do the Etape Caledonia (81mi road race) on an original HP Velotechnik Street Machine GT, a big steel framed fully suspended touring recumbent.

I guess most folk will do it on road racing upright bikes, aluminium and carbon machines, where they've honed the weight down as much as they can?

Thanks for your opinions!
 
Location
EDINBURGH
Should be fine, there are trikes on it I understand, you may find the Street Machine a bit heavy in the climbs, I would not hesitate to do it on a lighter bent.
 
OP
Subflux

Subflux

New Member
Location
Glasgow
Thanks for the quick response!

So the only impact of a heavy bike is climb performance?

Will the Full Suspension have a part to play?
 

Arch

Married to Night Train
Location
Salford, UK
No problem with doing any sportive on a recumbent, or a folder or a gaspipe sit up and beg, as long as you enjoy it (and preferably finish)!

You need to ask Arallsopp about his LEL though - he ditched a Streetmachine, I think, for something sportier....
 

Scoosh

Velocouchiste
Moderator
Location
Edinburgh
I saw 1-and-a half 'bents on the Etape on Sunday.

The 1 was a drop-dead gorgeous M5 Carbon High Racer (I think), light as a feather and the wheels had been changed from carbon rims to alloy - to be a bit more comfortable over the 81 miles.

The "-and-a-half" was a tandem - recumbent at the front and upright at the back, which fairly flew past on the long stretch from Weem to Logierait. They seemed to be chatting as they flew too ;).

In terms of what 'bent to do the Etape on ... well it's much the same as what DF to use. There were lots of race bikes racing; race bikes getting round; tourers; audax-style bikes; flat-bar road bikes; mountain bikes; tandems (at least 6); and probaly other types as well. In other words, just about every type of DF was represented. It's not the bike, it's the challenge to the individual rider. Full/part suspension would give you lots of comfort but maybe slightly slower all round. If speed/time is important to you, get something lighter. If finishing is the challenge - go for it :sad:.

There is really only the one hill of any consequence and it can be walked ;) (and was by many...). [just ensure you are back on riding when the photographers are around xx(]
 
OP
Subflux

Subflux

New Member
Location
Glasgow
Many thanks for all the replies!

I didn't intend asking about the feasibility of the Etape on a Recumbent vs an Upright - I don't know enought about bikes or cycling in general to know the implications of doing a "race" on a tourer like the SM be it 'bent or DF. Real noob here.

Scoosh - your post is just the kind of insight I was looking for.

I suppose I was worried about turing up to an event being the only one with a big heavy touring machine in amongst "proper" cyclists on carbon light-things; though riding through Glasgow City on a 'bent I suppose I'm pretty immune to looking a bit "different". ;)

Finishing is what I'm after, and enjoying the jaunt on lovely open roads will be great, but I can't help the competitive side I have in me. At least doing it once will give me a PB that I can then try and beat then next time... but it's still nice to do well overall!

Thanks again!
 

Scoosh

Velocouchiste
Moderator
Location
Edinburgh
Subflux said:
Many thanks for all the replies!

I didn't intend asking about the feasibility of the Etape on a Recumbent vs an Upright - I don't know enought about bikes or cycling in general to know the implications of doing a "race" on a tourer like the SM be it 'bent or DF. Real noob here.

Scoosh - your post is just the kind of insight I was looking for.

I suppose I was worried about turing up to an event being the only one with a big heavy touring machine in amongst "proper" cyclists on carbon light-things; though riding through Glasgow City on a 'bent I suppose I'm pretty immune to looking a bit "different". ;)

Thanks again!
My pleasure :biggrin:

If you're free this Saturday, why not bring yourself and your 'bent to the CC Ecosse Forum Ride from the FRB/Inverkeithing round Loch Leven - including a (compulsory :rofl:) cafe stop ? Details here and we'd (OK, I'd) love to see a 'bent joining us :biggrin:. Trains to Embra/InverK or Linlithgow and ride a bit .....

Waddya rekkon ?
 

arallsopp

Post of The Year 2009 winner
Location
Bromley, Kent
Arch said:
No problem with doing any sportive on a recumbent, or a folder or a gaspipe sit up and beg, as long as you enjoy it (and preferably finish)!

You need to ask Arallsopp about his LEL though - he ditched a Streetmachine, I think, for something sportier....
Its true, and the ditchee was the lighter aluminium framed SMGTe too. I made the decision to use a lighter bent mainly because I was offered one at a much lower cost than I'd expected, and partly as a confidence booster (the event was some 620 miles further than my longest ride until then).

I still use the SMGTe as I find it more comfortable (and certainly more robust) than the Furai. Yes, it carries an 8kg weight penalty over the lighter bike, but its near bulletproof, very reliable, forgiving, and still competes with the DFs for speed on the flats. I managed to hold off a certain speedy forumite in a half mile sprint earlier this year.

Its certainly not a 'daft' idea. I suspect you could be quicker on the climbs with something lighter, but you can say that all the way to a 20k bike.

Nowadays, I use the SMGTe if my destination dictates I absolutely* HAVE to arrive, and I'm looking for comfort over out and out speed. If I'm happy to forsake some of that comfort for velocity, with the added risk I mightn't get there at all, I take the Furai.

Does that help?
 

arallsopp

Post of The Year 2009 winner
Location
Bromley, Kent
Oh, and just a quickie on suspension. Given you can't de-weight a bent, suspension can be very useful up front for ironing out potholes that suddenly spring out from under the rider / vehicle / obstacle in front. I've had about 6 pinch punctures and one dinged rim on the Furai's front wheel that the SMGTe would have absorbed. Its not so bad if you keep tyre pressure towards the max at all times, but it does still happen.

Rear suspension on the SMGTe is fine. Yes, its a little heavier than not having it, but the 'no squat' pivot is neatly positioned so as not to rob power from the pedal stroke. Takes a bit of the buzz off the road too. As the surface deteriorates, the fully suspended SMGTe becomes much faster than the Furai, as confidence is preserved and the rider spends less time travelling perpendicular to the planned direction of travel.

When I say 'deteriorated surface' I'm generally talking about the roads of SE London.
 
OP
Subflux

Subflux

New Member
Location
Glasgow
Thanks Arallsopp, that's great insight - thanks for sharing.

I'm definitely happy enough to sign up for etape Caledonia if there's still spaces in a week. :ohmy:

Makes me feel a bit stupid asking for advice about an 81mi ride when you are talking about distances 10 times that! ;)

[FONT=&quot][/FONT]620 miles further than my longest ride until then
*further*! wow.


[FONT=&quot][/FONT]
 

squeaker

Über Member
Location
Steyning
Suspension for minor roads

arallsopp said:
Oh, and just a quickie on suspension. Given you can't de-weight a bent, suspension can be very useful up front for ironing out potholes that suddenly spring out from under the rider / vehicle / obstacle in front.
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Takes a bit of the buzz off the road too. As the surface deteriorates, the fully suspended SMGTe becomes much faster than the Furai, as confidence is preserved and the rider spends less time travelling perpendicular to the planned direction of travel.
+1. On my local 'quick' hill (now with new road chippings :laugh: ), with slight left after bump near the bottom, the Grasshopper (full suspension) just follows the road, the Trice (rear suspension only) tries to take off over the bump (so I have to aim inside the apex to stay roughly on-line) and the Raptobike (no suspension)shakes my eye balls so much I can barely see where I'm going.
Cycling up the hill is, of course, another story :eek:
 
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