Hoping to get into recumbent trikes

Purple_panther
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Hoping to get into recumbent trikes

Postby Purple_panther » Thu May 11, 2017 2:26 pm

Hi all :)

New member here. I've never really been able to cycle with my joint issues, especially my hips, but I've always loved the idea. I'm hoping to be able to find a recumbent trike that works for me. Does anyone have any suggestions on where I can go to try out some different types in Perth? I've searched around, and I've been able to try out a Greenspeed GT20 at Garlands. I went easy, but ended up hurting my hip anyway, so need to wait for that to heal before trying again. But I'm keen to try out some others, particularly with a more reclined seating position. I also need to sort out the angle with my foot on the pedal as my legs are quite far out of alignment (knees turn in, feet turn out), so I think I will need some substantial wedging (maybe 15-20 degrees). If anyone has any thoughts or advice, it would be much appreciated.

Thanks

OldBloke
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Re: Hoping to get into recumbent trikes

Postby OldBloke » Thu May 11, 2017 7:33 pm

A few ideas to consider:

Something like this pedal, http://shop.terratrike.com/Strapped-Hee ... 00024.htm#, may help with your feet and ankles.

Shorter cranks will help with joint problems. A lot of bikes and trikes have 170 or 175 mm cranks; 160 or 165 mm cranks may be better, or even 155 mm.

If your physio isn't good with bike-fits get a referral to one who is.

There is a Perth Recumbent Riders group on Facebook; https://www.facebook.com/groups/498654353665784

Hope this helps.

Ken

Purple_panther
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Re: Hoping to get into recumbent trikes

Postby Purple_panther » Fri May 12, 2017 11:42 am

Thanks Ken, that's really helpful. A shorter crank sounds like a brilliant idea.

I'll jump on the Facebook page now too.

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chuckchunder
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Re: Hoping to get into recumbent trikes

Postby chuckchunder » Fri May 12, 2017 10:24 pm

Hi

There are a few riders who I think would be happy for you to have a go on their trikes, the tough part is finding them! I'm in Thornlie and have a couple of trikes in the garage at the moment, a Catrike 700 and a Greenspeed Anura. Happy for you to have a crack on either of them. I am happy to talk trikes anytime, and I have lots of time at the moment due to injury. I'm a member on the Facebook page Old Bloke linked to as well.

cheers
"We have thousands of miles of cycling infrastructure, we just need to get the cars off them....." US advocate

Purple_panther
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Re: Hoping to get into recumbent trikes

Postby Purple_panther » Sun May 14, 2017 11:19 pm

Thanks Chuck, I'll take you up on that. I'll see if I can send you a pm now.

zebee
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Re: Hoping to get into recumbent trikes

Postby zebee » Tue May 16, 2017 12:47 pm

Surprised you wanted more recline on the GT20 - did you have it all the way down?

Admittedly all the way down probably not much under 40deg or so - haven't measured it - but it is still a fair way.

You might want to experiment with seat height too, friend of mine with a hip replacement finds low seat better than high seat on the GT20.

Of course if you want really reclined maybe an Aero...

Bargo
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Re: Hoping to get into recumbent trikes

Postby Bargo » Wed May 17, 2017 8:37 pm

I am in Cottesloe and have a KMC viper trike and a trisled rotovelo you could try both of them. There is an aero for sale in perth on gumtree at the moment.

Bargo
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Re: Hoping to get into recumbent trikes

Postby Bargo » Wed May 17, 2017 8:39 pm

Trisled in Melbourne have 155 mm cranks at a pretty good price.

zebee
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Re: Hoping to get into recumbent trikes

Postby zebee » Wed May 17, 2017 8:55 pm

Greenspeed will cut down cranks for you. Had GS-cut cranks on my Giro which were moved to my Encore, and the GT20 has cut down cranks too.

They'll supply them or you can send them over, but if you do send them make sure they aren't hollow...

You can buy short cranks but they tend to the expensive end.

Purple_panther
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Re: Hoping to get into recumbent trikes

Postby Purple_panther » Mon May 29, 2017 12:16 pm

Thanks guys - that's much appreciated. I've picked up the aero off gumtree, and the seat angle feels pretty good. I think I'll try some shorter cranks, and hopefully I can find a shop that can help me customise cleat angle etc on some shoes. Does anyone know of a good resource on cycling technique? I've found some info on upright pedaling, though nothing recumbent specific.

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Re: Hoping to get into recumbent trikes

Postby zebee » Mon May 29, 2017 9:00 pm

WHat I found with 'bent pedalling is
- experiment a lot with your seat to pedal distance as you can't adjust with your hips the way you can on an upright. A small change makes a lot of difference
- make sure your shoes are loose in the foot. There's a reason a lot of recumbent riders use sandals! A tight footbox tends to "hot foot" on a bent more than on an upright
- sit the cleats far back in the foot. The angles are different and it seems to work a lot better that way
- if you are on the shorter side you might find you need to move the cleats so your foot is closer to the pedal. I found even the 1cm between cleat-in-the-middle and cleat-hard-to-inside made a difference.
- eyeball your knees. Because your hips are fixed you have to make sure you are not putting sideways stress on your knees. Don't let them fall inwards.
- Pull as well as push. Makes a big difference to your speed as well as to the stress on your knees.
- Don't mash mightily. We all push a bit, few are cadence demons, but low gears combined with all the push you can put into them with your back braced can be bad for your knees. Less so with short cranks but still try and spin a bit up hills
- Lift the bum. No idea if this will work with a bad hip, but I find I go faster and easier (it seems like less work) up hills if I brace my back and tighten my middle and get my bum off the seat. My hips tend to wiggle a bit as I put effort in, and the whole thing feels more alive.

If you want short cranks for an Aero get straight on to Greenspeed. They'll cut you a set straight away.

You couls ask GS if they know anyone in Perth who is familiary with recumbent riding issues. I found that bike fit guys just couldn't cope. Was too far outside their comfort zone.

Best I found was to make a change, and see how it felt. Some felt really good or bad immediately, some were meh.

For example I found on the GT20 that I had to move the angle of my left cleat a bit. I realised I was trying to turn that foot in all the time so I adjusted the cleat to turn the foot the way it wanted to go. Knee pain stopped immediately.

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Re: Hoping to get into recumbent trikes

Postby Kalgrm » Mon May 29, 2017 10:44 pm

zebee wrote:- Lift the bum. No idea if this will work with a bad hip, but I find I go faster and easier (it seems like less work) up hills if I brace my back and tighten my middle and get my bum off the seat. My hips tend to wiggle a bit as I put effort in, and the whole thing feels more alive.


It's funny how we all find different solutions to a problem.

For me, I get more hill-climbing ability by tightening up the core and "crunching my abs", sitting forward and more upright. We're both tightening up the core, but doing so via completely different avenues.

Cheers,
Graeme
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OldBloke
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Re: Hoping to get into recumbent trikes

Postby OldBloke » Tue May 30, 2017 10:51 am

In addition to the excellent advice above.

This site has some info on knee angle and crank length:
http://www.recumbents.com/wisil/misc/crank_angle.asp

One thing that will help with cleat position is to stand in a relaxed position and note the angle from straight ahead that your feet naturally form. Position your cleats so that your feat sit on the pedals at the same angle. For me, my right foot is at a greater angle that my left so I have my right cleat adjusted so that my foot sits at nearly the same angle on the pedal (my heal brushes the crank). This change significantly reduced my right knee pain.

The other thing I have found helps is to set the cleats back as far as I can on the shoe. Have a look at: https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com/bi ... -position/

Cheers

OB

Purple_panther
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Re: Hoping to get into recumbent trikes

Postby Purple_panther » Tue May 30, 2017 4:35 pm

This is all incredibly helpful. I hope this isn't a silly question - how do you adjust cleat position and angles?
I've seen cleat wedges for one angle adjustment, but I'm at a loss for how you'd adjust cleat angle in the plane of the shoe and position on the shoe. I have a pair of Shimano SPD's to use for now (they're way too big), but the position on the shoe looks very much fixed. Are there particular brands or types of shoes, or DIY setups, that are good for this? I've asked in the bike shop too, and just got confused looks.

As for crank length, I used that calculator, and also just held my legs out and measured the distance between smallest (almost straight) and largest comfortable bend, then halved the value - they both come out at around 140mm for the cranks. I saw that there are some crank shorteners that would allow experimentation (http://tandemseast.com/parts/cranks.html and kneesavers), but by the time they're shipped and with the exchange rate, they'd be $200. I'm tempted to just send mine into Greenspeed and ask them to chop to 140.

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Re: Hoping to get into recumbent trikes

Postby MikeAvery » Tue May 30, 2017 5:48 pm

Hi and welcome to the world of recumbent trikes!

Cleats can be adjusted by varying their mounting on your shoes. These are fore and aft as well as the angle.

The shoes have two slots along which the cleats fit with an adjustment from towards the front of the shoe to nearer to the back. For recumbent riding, most riders prefer to have the cleats placed as far to the rear as possible. I suspect this is due to the different way in which the leg muscles are engaged as compared with a diamond frame bike.

The angle of the cleat dictates the angle at which your foot sits on the pedal. For many this direction will be straight ahead, parallel with the frame direction. For riders with a strong pronation etc, they may prefer either or both feet to point slightly inwards or outwards. You can vary this by the slight adjustment available when tightening the screws holding the cleat to the base of the shoe. Hold the cleat at a slight angle and tighten the screws. The holes in the cleats are just slightly larger than the screw that goes through them to allow for this. There's not much adjustment but you won't need much at all to make a large difference.

In addition, many cleats are floating. The foot is able to swivel around on the pedal for a good distance before disengaging. This also helps with knee and foot problems.

A crank arm size of 140mm is very short. Typically 155mm is the shortest used. I'd suggest trying that first. Best way is to send them into Greenspeed for shortening. My recollection is that crank shortened effectively spread your feet out wider and that can cause problems if already having knee or ankle issues etc.

Cheers,

Mike

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bradwoodbr
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Re: Hoping to get into recumbent trikes

Postby bradwoodbr » Wed May 31, 2017 12:04 am

To take the guess work out of shortening your cranks check out
http://bikesmithdesign.com/.
I have shortened cranks from them and they fit me perfectly. There is a questionnaire you fill out with a range of measurements required and then a recommendation is made. All before shelling out.
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http://lowracerrider.blogspot.com/
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Re: Hoping to get into recumbent trikes

Postby Duck! » Thu Jun 01, 2017 8:24 pm

zebee wrote:Greenspeed will cut down cranks for you. Had GS-cut cranks on my Giro which were moved to my Encore, and the GT20 has cut down cranks too.

They'll supply them or you can send them over, but if you do send them make sure they aren't hollow...

Depends what model you get and how short you want to go. I've drilled 5500-series Shimano 105 down to 150mm without hitting the hollow. A 5700-series (two generations later) drilled to the same length just hit the edge of the hollow.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

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