Recumbents and all feet forward machines
24 posts • Page 1 of 1
Finally got the guts to take my new Bachetta for a long ride today (I've been practising around the streets in my neighbourhood). Probably the scariest cycling experience of my life. No way would I take it on the road unless I wanted to end my life.
How the hell can you ride one at slow speeds without wobbling everywhere? Corners are diabolical too. The steering is so twitchy it's close to unrideable at low speed.
Very depressed and pretty sure I'll be selling it...this was my last chance at riding a two wheeler (can no longer ride a road bike).
I guess we all had to go through this stage. Its a new experience to be sure.
First up in a bent you can't lean so you need to steer to keep your balance. At first we all overdo that. In a sense you are learning to ride all over again and it takes a little time to develop the new reflexes.
Now, technique is important too, if I can call it that. Make sure you are sitting back in the seat, shoulders touching the seat back. Now the big thing. Relax, hold the handlebars very lightly. No death grips. pedal off and try to stay relaxed.
if you start to tip turn ever so slightly to the side you are tipping.
After a while it all becomes automatic and you will begin to wonder what all the fuss was about.
Please don't give up to quickly. I'm sure you will get it all together soon.
As john said RELAX. Get into a car park and practice doing figure 8's, start off big and then gradually constrict them. I had a bachetta giro 2 for a while, shoulder injury forced me to sell it and I found after a short while doing that handling improved. I could tell what would happen when I tensed up(twitchy) and immediately forced myself to relax
Masi Speciale CX 2008 - Brooks B17 special saddle, Garmin Edge 810
Bacchettas are lovely bikes that are very easy to ride once you get the knack. I have a Corsa which gets used in all sorts of conditions, including commuting in stop start Sydney traffic. I came to it from another recumbent which helped, but it still took me a little while to feel comfortable, particularly when starting or stopping. These days it’s a non-issue, although uphill starts will always take a bit more planning than on a DF. I find the bike is stable from walking pace to more 75kph.
I’ll echo what has already been said – relaxation is key. A couple of other things you might also look at;
For your first few hundred km, you might try setting the seat a bit more upright. Somewhere around 25-30 deg (measured along the line between where your bum and shoulders sit in the seat to the horizontal) would be a good place to start. This will help with low speed stability. Go through the setup advice on the Bacchetta website to get a good baseline configuration. This will help you to relax by getting your arms and hands in a comfortable position.
For starting and low speed manoeuvring, it helps to be in the right gear. Too low and you won’t get enough momentum and it’ll cause the wobbles. I usually start on the middle ring and in about third gear, When you push off to start, give a good firm push on the pedal.
Finally, when turning at low speed, keep your inside leg forward (left foot forward when turning left), this helps to avoid getting the handlebars tangled with your knees.
I hope you can work through the learning period, because you’ll love it once you get there.
I have a bachetta corsa (practically the same design) and have no problems. Not sure exactly what problems you are having but the only problems I have with it are ridiculous inclines (like ones where you have to concentrate on not lifting the front wheel when you are riding a diamond frame) and lumpy bumpy offroad sort of stuff since the recumbent position defaults the front wheel to a light position that can lose traction more easily.
As yiu have no doubt noticed, the thing with recumbents is that you can't move around on the seat to change weight distribution ... but the good news is that there are a few things you can do to minimize it.
First is to have a something like a zefal mirror on each handlebar. Positioned nicely it removes the need to twist your neck around to see whats coming behind you.
The next thing is to watch your cadence. If you are spinning your legs too quickly it can be a bit of a challenge to keep centred. this problem tends to arise more from the way you hold the handlebars than the actually cadence maneuver (more on this later) . I found this to be an issue when doing speeds over 65km per hour and also very slow speeds up hill. For some time I never went a lower gear than the 2nd chain ring and the 2nd lowest ring on the cassette (its a 3 x 9 gear set up). Now I can ride in the lowest 1x1 setting but it took some getting used to. Eventually you learn to do strong peddling strokes from the hips only as opposed to trying to get extra push from the handlebars (which will simply make it impossible to ride in a straight line). Now I can ride in super straight lines, straighter than what i can on a diamond frame.
As for turning, its important to lean more into the corner at fast speeds and rely on steering when you are at lower speeds. If you are doing a tight steering maneuver at low speed its important to stop peddling or do a half peddle and back repeatedly (as opposed to peddling a full 360 cadence stroke) since you can strike the front wheel with your foot (which is certainly an awkward experience)
I have spd peddles so whenever I anticipate some sort of tricky thing ahead (a tight turn, a give way sign, a car doing something funny ahead of me, etc) I unclip one of my feet and have it on standby.
As contributors have already said, there is no need to have a death grip on the handlebars. When riding a diamond frame you can really lock onto the handlebars and get a super rigid stance from the wrists down to your feet as you grind away up a hill or whatever. This habit however serves no purpose on a recumbent since its impossible to get the power starting any higher up your body than your waist.
Sometimes its good to practice on a slight decline or to try these turning techniques when the bike is automatically rolling so you can simply concentrate on your weight distribution and such.
Also another thing is to have the seat adjusted so you have a bit more bend in your leg than you otherwise would when on a diamond frame. If you have to over stretch your leg when pedaling a recumbent it will be more difficult to ride
Hope this helps
GO! RUN!! GAAAH!!!
I'll buy your CA death trap from you......
Ironically I just bought an M5 carbon lowracer and that really is a widowmaker.....it has the turning circle of a 747......but it does look very fast just resting against my van.....
Had a quick ride around a car park on Saturday and going for a proper maiden ride tomorrow on a criterium track......
Hehehehehe, I feel the need for speed !
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Did you get a chance for a second ride with the "Relax, relax, relax" mantra ?
The Bacchetta is a great learner recumbent so please persist once you crack it you will love it !
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Nah, haven't been out again. I think I will sell.
I think I'm too big (105kg, 196cm) so I'm further back than most which I imagine causes even more front wheel lift. The degree of the seat is as high as I can get it without snapping it, where I want to ride has hills including the ride to work, I can't put it on my bike roof rack (its too long) so I can't take it anywhere with the family.
Its a Bachetta Gold with brainbox, new Shimano SPD 105 pedals, carbon seat
Anyone know of someone interested, call me 0477 707 717 ask for Craig.
Sorry to hear that you are selling your Bachetta. What you are going through, all of us been there (riding 2 wheels recumbent). I am glad I didn't give up 'cos riding my M5 CHR is such a blast. It's probably closest to flying on a magic carpet. GLWTS.
Riggsbie - I have always fancy a M5 Carbon LR. I m very envious. How does it compare to Mango interm of speed?
Good idea to sell it without any scratches if you are unhappy with it. However it may not be your "last chance at riding a two wheeler..." as there are many other recumbent bikes that will fit you really well and have very good handling. I am about your height and weight and happily ride an M5 Shockproof and Optima Baron without too much adjustment out of the norm. You may even consider a trike as they are a lot of fun. One that folds may fit on/in your car.
Optima Baron Raptor
Low Racer - Recumbent
Hi Low Racer....
Hard to say how fast it is at the mo. This is my first tiller steering bike so that takes some getting used to....
The handlebars are way too short for me so had cramp in my thumbs after 40 mins on the crit track.... Managed an easy 30.8kph tho with lots of traffic and really slowing on the corners.... So with the tail fairing, handlebars I can actually rest my hands on, who knows.....
I think it should be faster that the Mango.... Best 1 hour speed is 34.2kph in the Mango with soft top roof.... Race hood would probably add another 2-3kph..... There be a few pinchy hills and lots of coarse chip around the Bellarine !!
I'll keep you posted !!
There is a RANS Status LE for sale in WA (Dennis has spec. it high but he may bring it down and the price down) plus there are a couple of very nice CLWB models built by Martin from Logo Trikes fame. All listed at http://wahpv.densmith.server310.com/sale_swap.htm
"no, no this is not another bicycle ... technically this is called a recumbent, dear, something completely different."
GO! RUN!! GAAAH!!!
It has worked for guitars (electric, acoustic, 12 string, classical...) but it's not going to work for bikes - I think the guitars have got her wise to that one.... Still... Food for thought.
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