Tall rider recumbent rider...with buggered elbow

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Tall rider recumbent rider...with buggered elbow

Postby SkidderMudflaps » Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:59 pm

After completing the 2012 Around the Bay my left elbow is buggered...to cut a long story short I have joint condition meaning I can't put any downward weight on it.

Surgery won't help (the cure is likely to fail and be worse) and arthritis has set it in. After spending a year off my race bike trying to sort it out, I put on a new customized elbow brace today and went out for a spin...10 km later I realized I will never ride my race bike again (any downward pressure causes a lot of pain and will end up with more arthritis).

Feeling mighty low....

Looking at Bacchetta Carbon Aero 2.0 but have some questions:

1. I'm 196cm & 105kg....is XL going to be big enough? Are the crank arms wide / long enough?
2. Will there be any downward pressure on my arms or is the 'chopper' style handlebars zero elbow impact?
3. I live in Croydon (close to the Dandenongs) and I like to do the 1in20...will I ever be able to climb at a reasonable pace or will my mates leaves me in the dust?
4. Does anyone sell, build, service them in Melbourne?

My only form of exercising is cycling due to both knees having buggered ligaments...I'm desperate to cycle again.

Thanks heaps
Skidder.
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by BNA » Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:07 pm

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Re: Tall rider recumbent rider...with buggered elbow

Postby rdp_au » Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:07 pm

1. I'm 196cm & 105kg....is XL going to be big enough? Are the crank arms wide / long enough?
Almost undoubtedly yes. The frames come in two sizes and the seat is adjustable over a wide range - if you look on the Bacchetta website you'll find a fitting guide that will help in deciding the right frame size for you.

2. Will there be any downward pressure on my arms or is the 'chopper' style handlebars zero elbow impact?
No, your arms will be quite relaxed. Imagine reaching out and holding on to a bar in front of you at shoulder height.

3. I live in Croydon (close to the Dandenongs) and I like to do the 1in20...will I ever be able to climb at a reasonable pace or will my mates leaves me in the dust?
Can't answer that as I live in Sydney. Generally recumbents aren't as fast as a lightweight racer going up hills, however, it really depends on the engine. It does take a while to get your 'recumbent legs' though.

4. Does anyone sell, build, service them in Melbourne?
Not that I am aware of. Flying Furniture in Canberra is the closest (and only) dealer in Oz.
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Re: Tall rider recumbent rider...with buggered elbow

Postby Cheesewheel » Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:35 pm

This site might help you track down a benevolent bent owner to take a test ride on
http://www.recumbent-world.com/

I have a bachetta ss corsa (in qld). I think it tends to be the opposite with short people having to worry about their height (on account of having long enough legs to touch the ground). From memory bachetta bikes have max weights around the 120kg so you should be fine (check their web site to be safe).

Generally there is no downwards pressure at all although when you run into "exciting" moments there is a tendency to grip them in such a manner (although it isn't unnecessary to do so) .
Perhaps having underseat steering could solve the issue (no experience with that).

basically with recumbents all the energy begins from your hips ... which is why the draw back comes when going uphills since you can't lock your arms from the handlebars like you do in a diamond frame when you grind up the hill and adopt an aggressive rigid stance

I find that on the flats I tend to ride about 25% faster/easier on a recumbent, and probably the same ratio slower uphill (although a lot will depend on what your "usual" gear ratio is I suppose). When I go downhill it tends to be more about focusing on keeping the speed down rather than up (I find high cadence at high speed a bit tricky)

Generally you don't find recumbents being mixed with other sorts of frames for rides since their handling tends to make drafting, etc a bit more hazardous
GO!! Run!!! GAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!
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Re: Tall rider recumbent rider...with buggered elbow

Postby fthills » Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:11 pm

The handlebar in recumbents is one of those items where personal preference counts for a lot . Having tried both , I prefer hamster bars.
In the beginning the main reason I disliked the "superman " bars as found on Bachettas was the sensation of the bars hitting my legs during slow turns. And having my arms outstretched on long rides >2hrs just got a little tiring even tho' your arms are doing very little work.
The hamster bars I like because there is absolutely no interference with your legs and my elbows are comfortably tucked into my flanks .And altho' there isn't as much scope for changing hand positions as an upright bike , with hamster bars you can change hand positions ,rest your wrist(s) on them . Re: a trial ride :There are quite a few Audax recumbent riders in Victoria who own a variety of recumbents , some post on this forum .

Oh, I should point out that if you want to fit a hamster bar on a Bachetta , it can be done , by either doing a DIY job or sourcing non Bachetta parts and adapting them to your fit. IIRC Bachetta recommend using the bars that come fitted to the bike, also the designers and the Bachetta team riders prefer them. Its a topic that comes up from time to time on the Bachetta website forums.

In any case , if you can find the right vehicle , recumbents will open up new horizons if you have some kind of physical impediment , that prevents riding an upright in comfort.

Whilst I've only ridden a tricycle for a short distance once , perhaps some tricycle owners could provide some impressions on what the arms/elbows are doing during a ride. The last time I went around the bay a tricycle doing the 250KM ride , anticlockwise , started later than the cutoff time but overtook a big part of the field way before Geelong !
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Re: Tall rider recumbent rider...with buggered elbow

Postby fthills » Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:31 pm

PS if you want to do some tyre kicking there are some offerings on this website that might catch your eye

http://www.ozhpv.org.au/forsale/forsale.html
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Re: Tall rider recumbent rider...with buggered elbow

Postby fredinver » Mon Sep 09, 2013 7:49 pm

I ride a CA2, Brillant Bike and purchased from Ian at Flying Furniture. I am not as tall as you, 180 cm and have room to move the seat backanother 12 holes or about 100mm. I think you would find it adjustable for you. My previous bike was a TW Bent Attack and I found the steering on it lighter going up hills as the weight was further over the back wheel than the CA2. I think you might find the CA2 similar but it is not a game stopper as it was only an issue on rough uphill patches.
I am faster downhills and on flats than on my DF. Hill climbing I am slower than some DF I ride with and faster than others and hills are the hardest part of bent riding. I ride the CA2, a DF, ally frame and a Greenspeed GT3 plus race HPV in the victorian series. I mix up my riding but prefer the CA2
Effort from my elbows is not something I think about but as others have stated there is little pressure on your arms if you relax them. I often pull my grips off the bars a little as I tend to pull on the bars going up hills if not thinking about it or bridging in the seat. I ride alone and with a local group. Group riding tskes some practice and some DF riders are selective but I don't ride a bent because I am worried about what others think, I ride them because I enjoy them the GA2 is a joy to ride. I enjoy the trike as well with USS the effort ffrom my arms is minimal but the trike is made for touring. Done a few GVBR on trike and I would not do them on the CA2 as it is more a road bike killer. USS would certainly suit your elbow issues. I would not have advance to the CA2 and Attack had I not enjoyed the trike so much
It would be worth you checking out the come and try recumbent days of the VicHPV group. Luna park once a month or if you come to South Gippsland I could let you try a CA2.
A bad days riding beats a good day working!
GT3 Trike
CA2.0
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Re: Tall rider recumbent rider...with buggered elbow

Postby Aushiker » Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:24 pm

Cheesewheel wrote:This site might help you track down a benevolent bent owner to take a test ride on
http://www.recumbent-world.com/


Thanks for the link. Now registered :)

Andrew
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Re: Tall rider recumbent rider...with buggered elbow

Postby Roinik » Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:06 pm

Skidder,

I know this might not be a CA 2.0, however before you lash out and buy a CA 2.0, try a few other bikes too. FF in Canberra has a good selection. Since you're in Vic give Kim Tolhurst a call (0411 295 738) and arrange for a run on the Silvio 2.0 that he has. It will give him an excuse to get it finished and you may be surprised by the way you ride it. The Cruzbike Silvio (suspension) or the Vendetta (time trial and recent RAAM winner) requires some upper body input, however the motion is more pulling instead of pushing. You will also find that, with the 150mm chainstay extension you will be cofrotable and capable of keeping up with your mates once you've got your 'bent legs. I'm sure Kim will let you borrow it for a week to see how you go. Just mention that you were sent there by the short bloke from Adelaide that he had lunch with at HJs on the 4th July this year. If you take a trip down Geelong way you might also be able to coerce Riggsbie to let you try out both his Cartrike Musashi and his Mango. He's a little bit south of Geelong on the coast near Torquay or Jan Juc.

Ian
You don't need the best kit, you just need the best attitude.
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Re: Tall rider recumbent rider...with buggered elbow

Postby just4tehhalibut » Wed Sep 11, 2013 5:41 am

When you look on the Bacchetta website (and a few other recumbent sites) they talk about x-seam measurement, you'll need to determine this so that you can work out if you fit and what size frame. I'm a tad shorter than you but my x-seam puts me near the limit for the medium-large frame Bacchetta Giro20 and I can see from their spec sheets that a lot of their models won't suit me. Bacchettas are stick bike frames with the size adjustment via the seat, the crankset can't be slid forward as the boom is fixed.

If you look at trikes or even lowracers you need to not just make an opinion about the ride but the exit from the vehicle. I have hip and shoulder issues and find getting in and especially out from my Greenspeed trike too painful at the mo', haven't used the trike for a while. The Giro20 is at an easy height to exit from. Apart from that trikes might be the few recumbents that you'll find locally that have USS, which you might like.

If you look at a moving bottom bracket (MBB) bike like a Cruzbike there is another consideration, the design suits shorter riders and although they have made adaptors for their bikes to suit taller rides this often moves the crankset closer to the ground, the geometry becomes uncomfortable. This may have changed, if you speak to Cruzbike or John Tolhurst about their bikes see what they can do. You might also ask John what an experienced rider can do on a MBB bike, pedal steer can be an advantage on these bikes.
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Re: Tall rider recumbent rider...with buggered elbow

Postby Roinik » Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:45 am

just4tehhalibut wrote:If you look at a moving bottom bracket (MBB) bike like a Cruzbike there is another consideration, the design suits shorter riders and although they have made adaptors for their bikes to suit taller rides this often moves the crankset closer to the ground, the geometry becomes uncomfortable. This may have changed, if you speak to Cruzbike or John Tolhurst about their bikes see what they can do. You might also ask John what an experienced rider can do on a MBB bike, pedal steer can be an advantage on these bikes.


Cruzbike offer a chainstay extension on their Silvio model. This comes in either 100 or 150mm variants to cater for taller riders. There is also reach adjustment to add to the setup. Tell Kim your height before a test ride and get him to add an extension. John is definitely the most knowledgeable on the setup because he's the designer and holds several patents related to his designs. Be prepared for both of them to be a little eccentric. The Cruzbike website has photos of the latest Silvio with the 100mm chainstay extension.
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Re: Tall rider recumbent rider...with buggered elbow

Postby Velorossi » Thu Sep 12, 2013 11:11 am

Hi Skidder,

Sounds like a very similar situation that bought me to the world of a high speed couch. I had smashed up my left arm quite a bit and lost the ability to put weight through it for any period of time. I loved riding and always had, so like you, I needed to find a new way around it. This was possibly one of the best decisions I made. I love riding even more now, and I'm wayyyy more comfortable doing it for longer and faster than ever. You'll find everyones experience will be much the same... but keep it quiet, we don't want everyone to try it.

The Bacchetta CA2 is a fantastic bike (top shelf stuff), and certainly one of the easier to ride as a beginner (seriously, you will go through a period of feeling like a 5 year old learning to ride all over again but stick with it). The legs will adapt to the new power delivery over a few months to a year, initially you might be slower up the steeper hills than your wedgie bike mates, let them laugh.... and smoke em on the flats ; )

I started with a Performer High Racer as my first bike (2nd hand $990, although it is not standard anymore). I've still got it and it still does a great job. Perhaps a little harder to learn to ride than a Bacchetta CA2 and certainly not as light weight (15kg total current set up) so hills are always harder work for me. Luckily the Bellarine Peninsula is not that hilly so average speeds can still be quite healthy.

Good luck with your choice and hope to see you out on the road some time.

Cheers,
Velorossi
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Re: Tall rider recumbent rider...with buggered elbow

Postby SkidderMudflaps » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:47 pm

Thanks all, kind of humbling. A lot of passionate riders willing to share their stories!

Think I will get my tax return in and make a decision...probably the CA2 but I might come to Luna park and check them out first.
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