Recumbents and all feet forward machines
14 posts • Page 1 of 1
Due to arm and leg issues, I'm seriously looking at a bent. The two wheeler shown on the Flying Furniture Specials page here at the top of the page is a possible candidate. It has a Chromoly frame too .
I'm looking at one for loaded touring uses as well and I have a BOB trailer. I looked at trikes, but on the highways when dealing with road trains, these could become an issue.
I've ridden a bent with steering sticks and found it easy. The one in the above mentioned picture has handlebars. I don't really want one with handlebars as I feel this might aggravate my arm/hand problem.
Does anyone know how much bend in an arm, or stress on shoulder/neck is caused when using handlebars on a bent. It appears to me from looking at the picture, that one's arms would be in a similiar position using handlebars on a bent as it would be riding an old dragster with hi rise dragster bars.
At least with stick steering, ones arms are rested at one's side.
If I decide on a trike, I've narrowed it down to the tadpole on this page. It has steering sticks
Does anyone have experience with a trike on the highways with large semis and road trains?
Can't imagine you'd be able to tow even a small semi with a trike, let alone a large one or a road train
Regarding the handlebars, I reckon they'd be like driving a car - the hands are up there, doing stuff, but you don't have any weight on them. Interestingly, I also have numb hand issues in the car
It looks like that bike has the common 'begging hamster/praying mantis' style T-shaped recumbent handlebars. These put your hands roughly horizontal in front of your chest, often pretty close together. Most people find this position comfortable, but I've heard of a few who didn't get on with the bent arm position required.
The other handlebar style is the n-shaped 'tweener' bar (as seen on Bacchettas) where your hands are mostly vertical and your arms stretched out in front of you. The idea behind these is primarily aerodynamic, but the straight armed position is more comfortable for some.
As Richard pointed out because there is no weight on your arms any type of recumbent steering is likely to put less stress on you arms than a upright bicycle, however for ultimate comfort under seat steering (steering sticks) would probably be the best. A lot of recumbent bicycles designed specifically for touring have underseat steering, at least as an option, as having your arms resting by your side is the most relaxed position.
The two wheel sizes appear to control how high your pedals wind up. However, I've noticed that the more up market models are quite happy to have equal sized wheels and pedals above your belly button. Why? I don't know but it could be either a more efficient position (a bit like racers with their very low bars) or just a result of development over time (discovering that the high position isn't a problem).
Yes, you may deduce that my experience with these creatures is limited, but it is interesting to note that Hotdog's new Barchetta has been recommended to me as an ideal beginner's weapon to perform all round duties, and it has equal sized wheels with the high crank.
I've noticed this as well, so I have more than neck/brain issues to think about. I suspect that using handlebars on a bent will give me a bent elbow position.
Having tried steering sticks, I prefer these. The different wheel sizes are not an issue to me, but having the larger rear wheel, gives gears closer to a normal bike.
Thanks guys for your help, I'll keep researching.
Same. I have to pay attention so I keep my hands relaxed, wrists straight, and move them around on the wheel over time. My left hand gets a break by shifting gears, my right hand I occasionally rest on the door's arm rest.
When using a computer, I use a keyboard timer to remind me to take a break every 25 minutes.
On the roadie, I move between the drops and hoods often, and spend some time on the tops when my speed is low.
I find some benefit on flat bars by resting my hands on the mounts for the break levers. This lets my hold the bars with open hands, and allows a narrower, more relaxed grip. But I don't ride flat bars for too long generally.
I haven't been having numbness or pain since I started being more careful, I think it's primarily just a matter of, if it hurts, don't keep doing the exact same thing!
Oh, and it can also be beneficial to sleep with a wrist brace on the affected wrist, which stops you from contorting the wrist in your sleep and lets any existing inflammation get better by keeping the wrist and hand in a relaxed position.
I tried sleeping with an arm brace to keep the wrist straight and also one for the elbow. It didn't help. They also shoved big needles in my hand and arm and ran electrical currents through for a test and couldn't locate the problem.
Changing the subject, I was looking at pictures of trikes and the ones with the small rear wheel seem to have the rear derailleur and chain too close to the ground for my liking.
Having destroyed a RD on a normal bike, I'll think I'll go for one with a larger rear wheel.
My recumbent also used a similar 'praying hamster' handlebar position.
My experience is that there almost no pressure on hands or arms. Once you learn that on a recumbent, RELAXED arms and hands is the key to smooth riding, any hand, arm, or shoulder strain becomes a thing of the past. Also, since just a light touch is required, it is easy to drop an arm down by your side every now and then as you ride. This really helps relieve any strain that may accumulate as a result of holding it in one place for a while.
It's all about seat height. With two full size wheels, it's hard to get the seat low enough for most people to feel comfortable. Unlike a DF bike, you can't just slip off the seat and stand up when you stop. Pedal height is a secondary issue. If you are tall enough to feel comfortable sitting on the seat, then lifting your feet higher onto the pedals isn't a problem. A configuration such as Hotdog's Bacchetta will certainly be faster, since the high pedals put you in a more aerodynamically efficient position and the large wheels roll more efficiently. And I'm not the slightest bit jealous. No, not at all...
I don't know how much riding you're currently doing on a "normal" bike, but that alone could be the root cause of the arm and shoulder problems you have. You may find that riding a recumbent (of either style) will ease the pain and give you the relief you seek.
Having only just taken delivery of my own recumbent with over seat steering (OSS), I can tell you that I feel completely at ease with it. It is very much like holding the steering wheel of a car, or resting your arms on the arm rests of your recliner at home. I was starting to get some pain in my left wrist before I got the bike after doing many km each week on my MTB, but that pain is gone now.
I've got a neck injury which apparently is causing the problem. I say apparently, because doctors never really know.
I've got my eye set on a trike at the moment.
Hi Kev, I read your post and the replies with interest as your situation is almost parrallel to mine. A neck problem saw me switch to bents in search of relief which I'm happy to report has happened. I bought an Optima Lynxx which came standard with above seat steering but it just didn't suit me, it felt cramped having my hands up at chest height. So I retro-fitted the Lynxx with underseat steering (sticks) and haven't looked back. I would have to say that learning to ride a bent with USS (Under Seat Steering) would probably be more difficult than one with above seat steering. Bear in mind this is just MY experience and you would do well to test pilot as many configurations as practical before making a firm decision.
A bad day's riding beats a good day's work everytime
14 posts • Page 1 of 1
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