Toscana Trials

Recumbents and all feet forward machines

Postby nimm » Fri Jan 18, 2008 4:22 pm

Richard I was asking Graeme about 'putting your back into it' cause I hurt my back doing something like that about 5 years ago. It's good now but I'm weary about stressing it like that and he mentioned he doesn't peddle like that at all. i.e. he spins, if anything more so than on a DF. Graeme - correct me if I'm wrong or misinterpreted what you said :)
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by BNA » Fri Jan 18, 2008 4:33 pm

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Postby europa » Fri Jan 18, 2008 4:33 pm

nimm wrote:Richard I was asking Graeme about 'putting your back into it' cause I hurt my back doing something like that about 5 years ago. It's good now but I'm weary about stressing it like that and he mentioned he doesn't peddle like that at all. i.e. he spins, if anything more so than on a DF. Graeme - correct me if I'm wrong or misinterpreted what you said :)


Different sort of 'putting your back into it'. Your back is fully supported by the seat, so I wouldn't worry about it. It might also be a case of novice tension. It's certainly a different spinning style to riding a df, but how much of what I'm doing is necessary and how much of it is just me making hard work of it, I don't know.

It might depend on the bike you're riding too. With mine, with the bb so far above the seat, I feel as though I'm using a lot of muscle to hold the legs up there, and it's probably that this is where a lot of the 'back effort' is coming from.

Having said all that, there is definite pressure against my back from the seat ie, I'm pushing down into the seat as I push hard against the pedals, but no, I can't see it agravating your back and there's nothing to say you can't just relax and spin. Remember also that I'm only noticing this when I've been pushing up some steepish slopes - on the flat, I'm completely relaxed (or could be if I weren't so darned nervous)

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Postby nimm » Fri Jan 18, 2008 10:18 pm

I hurt my back sitting in a fully supported seat with my legs up pushing against something, very much like a recumbent riding position although pushing with both legs at the same time and probably much more force than you'd normally do with rotating legs on the 'bent.
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Postby Hotdog » Sat Jan 19, 2008 5:14 pm

I think I've had pretty much the same experience as both Richard and Graeme here.

I am always spinning, keeping the cadence in the 80s at least and often 90-100 when cruising. When I'm working at a low or moderate rate, i.e. riding on flatish or descending ground at a cruisy/sustainable/recovery pace, then the pressure on my back isn't noticeably more than just my own weight. If I'm working hard though, either sprinting on the level or climbing a steep hill, then I'll feel myself pushing into the seat as I pedal away. It's a natural consequence of upping your power output.

I think the risk of causing problems for your back (or knees) is pretty low, by keeping the cadence up there's a natural limit on how hard you can push. Nimm, did you hurt your back in some sort of static/slow speed leg press type of situation? You can apply a lot more force that way than you can when your legs are moving at 90rpm.
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Postby nimm » Sat Jan 19, 2008 7:21 pm

I was doing something stupid when I was younger :) Pumping my legs with as much force as I could until suddenly something in my lower back felt like it was on fire.

The doctor I went to see was an ex-military doc who worked with paratroopers and said it was fine. But since then, and possibly due to me spending all work days sitting in a chair, my lower back gets sore unless I do regular exercise.

I'm not worried about gentle pressure and your back muscles will develop along the way. I was more concerned with things like climbing hills if you really exerted a lot of pressure on the back.
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Postby Kalgrm » Wed Jan 23, 2008 9:10 am

Just got back after my drive across the nation.

I'd be worried about pushing so hard that you need to brace yourself against the seat. That's when you will encounter knee problems. You would be better off keeping the cadence up and spinning (circular pedalling).

Nimm, next time we catch up, I'll get you onto my bike and you can see if your back will be affected by the position.

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Postby Uba Tracker » Wed Jan 23, 2008 1:28 pm

nimm wrote:I was doing something stupid when I was younger :) Pumping my legs with as much force as I could until suddenly something in my lower back felt like it was on fire.

The doctor I went to see was an ex-military doc who worked with paratroopers and said it was fine. But since then, and possibly due to me spending all work days sitting in a chair, my lower back gets sore unless I do regular exercise.


Hi Nimm, like yourself I spend all day seated and I also get the sore lower back pains, you also mentioned you get relief while on a regular exercise regimen. We humans really aren't designed to spend long hours in a seated or sedintry position, as a result we lose condition, not only a lack of stamina but more importantly we lose the ability to maintain our posture. Our muscles become weak and unaccustomed to doing their job and as a result they tire easily, the worst case being the inabilty to adequately support the spine and in some instances over compensation. The end result, an aching back. The tonic is execise, get the body moving, get the flexibilty back and get those posture muscles back in the game. Getting on to the 'bent did the trick for me, great back support, no jarring and fast, man are they quick. Rounded up a couple of DF's this morn, made 'em look like bus stops, gotta be happy with that. :wink:
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Postby John Lewis » Wed Jan 23, 2008 9:12 pm

Gday Richard,

Good to see you out there taming the new beast.

If you find yourself pushing hard at a lowish cadence you really do need to gear down and spin up.

There could be a real chance of knee damage in the long term otherwise.

I find that on hills where my cadence goes way low and I've run out of gears and push hard, I end up with knee pain that often persists into the next day or two so I do try to spin where possible.

Mind you my age also has a bit to do with it.

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Postby Mulger bill » Wed Jan 23, 2008 9:26 pm

Wonder if the beard's coming along as well? :twisted:

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Postby europa » Thu Jan 24, 2008 7:34 am

Mulger bill wrote:Wonder if the beard's coming along as well? :twisted:

Shaun


I've been 'told' :( I can get away with two day's stubble but that's it.

Actually, until my early forties, I had a full beard and a pony tail I could grab by reaching up behind me 8) The beard wasn't a good look - I looked like a depressed Irish Wolfhound :shock: But it went well with the Collie I used to train :D

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Postby nimm » Thu Jan 24, 2008 6:36 pm

Graeme, cool I'll come along for another WAHPV ride when I get back. I'm away the next couple weekends.
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Postby europa » Wed Jan 30, 2008 11:59 am

Did the school run today :D

Image

Actually, I did the run shown, then continued along the beach to Glenelg, back up the Sturt River, then the above run in reverse ... which meant I had to go UP Expressway Hill :shock:

I actually rode the bent up Expressway Hilll :D ... apart from the 150m steep bit where I walked. You hit that steep bit about 2km into the climb and it's around 10% grade. I guess I could have stubborned the thing out but the HRM had hysterics and I've learned that if I stop and walk early, I recover and the rest of the ride is easy whereas if I push into my max HR zone, I'm stuffed. Give me a month and I'll barely notice that bit ... sort of :oops:

I even fell off :shock: Turned left onto a road - very low speed, steep turn, gutter across the road, car coming up from my right. As I looked to see where the car was, the front wheel side swiped the kerb and boomp, over on my rump onto the dirt. No damage or injury, though the speed sensor was bumped and I rode for nearly half a km before I noticed the computer thought I was still stationary.

45 km trip.
2h 25m so a low average, but the climb is done at around or less than 10km/hr and there's 3km of it. I also found myself loafing along rather than pushing it, which is fair enough. I do this ride for fat burning and fitness, not race training. It's probably also a reaction to my inexperience n the bent too.

Hit 61km/hr coming down the hill :D and that was just coasting :shock: I'm looking forward to doing a speed run down it one day :D

I'm getting this pedalling business sorted out. The forces are all so different from an upright bike that it's hard knowing exactly what is happening.

I've developed a feel I call 'loose feet'. I've found that a lot of pressure I've felt in my legs is actually pushing hard at the end of the stroke and hence is wasted effort and probably not real good for me. So I started to concentrate on the old 'scrape something off the bottom of your shoe' technique, only modified slightly. I aim to feel as though I'm pulling the pedal down (actually feel my foot move in my shoe). Clearly, that in itself isn't efficient, but I get that feel and then relax and suddenly I'm spinning cleanly and freely. No pressure in the legs. No sense of the back pressed into the seat. Great power and good climbing.

The learning curve goes on, but at least it's not as steep as it was a month ago.

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Postby Kalgrm » Wed Jan 30, 2008 3:05 pm

It really sounds like you're getting the hang of it now. That pedalling technique improvement will take you a long way. I know what you mean about trying to figure out how the forces all work now that everything is rotated 90 degrees from your previous pedalling posture.

While I was over in Vic, I only had my MTB with me, and even that bike I didn't ride enough to be of great benefit to my fitness (was fun though). When I returned and jumped on the bent, my lower-outer hamstrings really noticed the difference in riding technique. Man was I stiff for a few days! All good now though.

Cheers,
Graeme
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Postby Uba Tracker » Thu Jan 31, 2008 1:13 pm

G'day Lads, look what's the deal with measuring an incline using %, I've seen signs indicating a 10% grade. 10% of what? 90 degrees? If that's the case then why not show the incline as nine degrees. :?
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Postby Mulger bill » Thu Jan 31, 2008 1:22 pm

A 10% grade equates to 1 in 10 and so on. 1km on a 10% would have you climbing 100 vertical metres. 45deg would be a 100% hill

I think that's right :? I tend to class hills as "Stand and grunt", "Mid ring spin", "Granny gear spin" and "Buggerit, time to push". Saves energy for the legs that way :wink:

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Postby Uba Tracker » Thu Jan 31, 2008 1:25 pm

Ahhh I see, surveyor speak, all makes sense now. Thanks Shaun
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Postby Mulger bill » Thu Jan 31, 2008 1:32 pm

My pleasure Uba, Here's a link that describe it better.

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Postby Hotdog » Thu Jan 31, 2008 1:32 pm

Shaun's explanation is about right, there's a slightly more detailed definition here, in (of all things) a land luge site :?

Strictly speaking it's (height climbed / horizontal distance covered) x 100%, but (height climbed / distance along the road) x 100% is close enough most of the time. Percentage grades are more common than degrees of incline as the grades give a direct indication of the extra forces you have to overcome to climb the hill, it's just the grade x your weight.
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Postby Uba Tracker » Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:35 pm

Thanks for the enthusiastic response fellas, much appreciated. I think I've been a drafty for too long, I can instantly visualize what a 9 or 13 degree angle looks like with respect to the X axis BUT say that it is a 10% grade and I'm lost, particularly when it works out that a 10% grade is a 6 degree incline. :?
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