Speed of Recumbent Trikes?

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Speed of Recumbent Trikes?

Postby Downhill » Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:42 am

Well I've just got to ask...

How much faster is the average recumbent trike than the average bicycle? Am I correct in assuming that they're slower if there's a lot climbing because of the additional weight, but faster on the flats and corners? What's the overall nett gain, if any?
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by BNA » Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:13 am

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Re: Speed of Recumbent Trikes?

Postby Riggsbie » Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:13 am

Hiya,

That's a tricky question with no straightforward answer.......

Obviously the rider fitness is a key factor along with type of trike (there are so many different designs for different uses etc....). My Vortex is primarily (by design) a fast trike, my average speed over my commute to work (35.5 km) mostly flat through Geelong is 28 - 30 kph, which probably the same as a good rider on a decent road bike.....

In my opinion, I am definitely faster on descents - my trike regularly sees 70kph on 7% descents with total stability, no speed wobbles etc..... On the flat I think I can be slightly faster than a DF road bike, due to the more efficient riding position lower aero drag etc..... On hills, DF road bikes are faster than me, but not by much and predominantly due to the weight of a trike being at list double that of a DF road bike !

I regularly ride with DF road bikes and the riding profiles are different..... My mates tend to pound up hills, and then coast/cruise to recover on the flats or descents, whereas I aim at keeping high but constant cadence 85 - 95 rpm all the time and never really just cruise along, so I will slower on climbs and drop back a bit but then I catch them on the flats and on descents (& usually pass them).... My heart rate is pretty stable at 138 - 150, never any higher......only a long steep hill gets it higher.....

You are still affected by headwinds but less so than on an upright DF road bike..... So can make good progress in those conditions, also less affected by side winds when you often see DF road bikes get blown around a lot.....

I am sure you'll get more answers to this question !
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Re: Speed of Recumbent Trikes?

Postby Phil » Sat Mar 17, 2012 6:13 pm

I will let you know next week.

I do the Ardross to Ossie Park commute 4-5 days a week on a DF currently. Typically about 35-36 mins on the way in a and about five or so more on the way home (assuming the Sou'wester aint a total shocker). I am new to recumbents so my legs aint going to be used to the slightly different action, but I am hoping to only be a few mins slower to start with and comparable with my DF inside of four to six weeks.

Trike is an ICEVortex+, so lightish at 13kg vs 8.5 for my commuter DF.
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Re: Speed of Recumbent Trikes?

Postby just4tehhalibut » Sat Mar 17, 2012 7:40 pm

Well you've got a bit of tyre scrub when cornering (but trikes are most fun when cornering hard), the extra rolling resistance of a third wheel, a longer chain to circulate, also most recumbent trikes use internal geared rear hubs (so efficiency issues) and are set up as tourers so a seat set higher off the road and more upright. If you'd ridden a race trike you'd have no question that trikes can be fast, but then a racer isn't suitable for the street; the braking, steering, gears are optimised for speed, not traffic or comfort.

I've got a stable of bikes, to different purposes. My trike isn't slow but then it can't beat my upright TT bike on most terrain, nor my lowracer. Never bought the trike to be fast in straight lines, I bought it to be fun while trying to be fast on corners, rolling hills, cambered roads, the odd speed hump (yes, I have been a member of the airborne trike division of fun). Mind you, as a platform it is versatile, I've raced it in Canberra, toured down south, hauled haybales, gas cylinders and humungous loads, stuck a fairing on and bombed down Lesmurdie Hill trying to break 85kmh. It is a tool, use it how you can.

The HPV Challenge is on in Wodonga soon, a chance maybe to try touring as well as purely racing trikes.
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Re: Speed of Recumbent Trikes?

Postby Riggsbie » Sat Mar 17, 2012 7:42 pm

Phil,

It'll take 3 months to develop yor recumbent legs !

Your quads will hurt for a while, but no pain, no gain !

Did your Vortex arrive ?
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Re: Speed of Recumbent Trikes?

Postby Phil » Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:39 am

Going by the tracking websie it arrived in Perth Friday afternoon. So hopefully should get delivered tomorrow - then just have to work out how to get it reassembled.

Hmmm 3 months eh... oh well will see how I go. I must admit even hopping on the MTB Inotice the different positioning and muscles being used diferently, at least when the legs dies I can just pull over and quietly cry mysel to sleep on the big wheeled lounge chair :wink:
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Re: Speed of Recumbent Trikes?

Postby Riggsbie » Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:55 am

You will have neatest lounge chair wherever you go !

That new seat is pure carbon porn !! In fact the whole is just pure porn !

:P
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Re: Speed of Recumbent Trikes?

Postby John Lewis » Sun Mar 18, 2012 1:02 pm

G'day phil,

Congrats on the great new trike. Sounds a bit of a speed machine. Remind me not to try racing you with my logo. :D

As they say it takes a while for the different muscle groups to acclimatise. I didn't find it too bad. We had our trikes less than a month and only rode about 50 or so km on them before we went off to tour Tassy. Prior to that the most we'd ever don in a single ride was 15 or so km. We used to think 5km round the block on the old 3 speeds was an effort.

The trikes made all the difference. The first days riding we rode Devonport to Deloraine, about 60 km and never looked back.
I saw a bloke on a Greenspeed. He had a bit of a disability from a bike accident and his whole body rocked as he rode due to a leg problem I think. He scorched past us and disappeared into the distance. He must have been doing 30kmh.

I reckon if you have the engine it won't be long before your speed is right up there. I love down hill. My best is 80 kmh. Uphill is slow but if I want I can go really slow and not fall off. I think you are going to really enjoy the trike experience. Remember though its not all about speed. Trikes are great for just lazing along and enjoying the day.

Good luck,
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Re: Speed of Recumbent Trikes?

Postby Riggsbie » Sun Mar 18, 2012 3:02 pm

+ 1 to what John said......
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Re: Speed of Recumbent Trikes?

Postby Downhill » Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:40 am

I imagine that one of the drawbacks of a trike is that you can't stand on the pedals when it comes to steep hills. Is that a fair assessment?
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Re: Speed of Recumbent Trikes?

Postby Baalzamon » Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:44 am

Downhill wrote:I imagine that one of the drawbacks of a trike is that you can't stand on the pedals when it comes to steep hills. Is that a fair assessment?

But you can push back against the seat
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Re: Speed of Recumbent Trikes?

Postby Phil » Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:07 am

19 Mar 2012

8:33 am

9400 (PER)



Loaded 1 item for delivery

Makes me happy!

Yeah I am not much of a stand and mash climber anyways even on the DF, have much more joy spinning at 100-110rpm. That said Welshpool Rd or Kalamunda Rd are about as long as I have climbed (which is to say bugger all) - unless you count the Byford Cyclo-Sportif last year.
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Re: Speed of Recumbent Trikes?

Postby Baalzamon » Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:51 pm

Phil wrote:
19 Mar 2012

8:33 am

9400 (PER)



Loaded 1 item for delivery

Makes me happy!



OOOOH is that John's Mango :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Re: Speed of Recumbent Trikes?

Postby John Lewis » Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:15 pm

Baalzamon wrote:
Phil wrote:
19 Mar 2012

8:33 am

9400 (PER)



Loaded 1 item for delivery

Makes me happy!



OOOOH is that John's Mango :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:


Not mine.
Yet to hear from Sinner and pay the ballance.

I think that is Phil's Vortex

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Re: Speed of Recumbent Trikes?

Postby Downhill » Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:47 pm

Baalzamon wrote:But you can push back against the seat


Good point, I didn't think of that one. What's the normal gear set?
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Re: Speed of Recumbent Trikes?

Postby Baalzamon » Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:53 pm

I don't own a trike.... YET so can't answer that one, but it can wildly vary between each trike etc making them unique spec wise. For the short time I had my bacchetta whilst on the trainer I pushed back against the seat and couldn't believe how much extra power was generated, more than on a DF when out of saddle.
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Re: Speed of Recumbent Trikes?

Postby John Lewis » Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:06 pm

Downhill wrote:
Baalzamon wrote:But you can push back against the seat


Good point, I didn't think of that one. What's the normal gear set?


My LogoTrike runs roughly 12 through 120 Gear inches. That's a 52-42-30 up front with an 11-32 8 speedcluster and a SRAM Dual Drive hub that gives a high, normal and low ratio.

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Re: Speed of Recumbent Trikes?

Postby Phil » Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:47 pm

Just running the standard setup - 50/34 Compact and a 11-36 ccassette for 25.5"-122.7". Should be more than enough.

Just dropped it off home and did a brief unpack and examination. All looks like its survived the travels undamaged, I know what I will be doing tonight.
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Re: Speed of Recumbent Trikes?

Postby TrikeTragic » Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:22 pm

Downhill wrote:Well I've just got to ask...

How much faster is the average recumbent trike than the average bicycle? Am I correct in assuming that they're slower if there's a lot climbing because of the additional weight, but faster on the flats and corners? What's the overall nett gain, if any?


My experience is that my trike (weighs about 18 kg all up with a pannier, tool kit, spare tubes etc) is a maybe 3 or 4 kph slower average speed in my riding area - lots of hills here, short, steep ones, long steady ones, false crests the lot! I make that comment based on my average speed on the trike compared to my previous steed, a steel framed roadie. Also, I've ridden ATB and a few GVBR with the bulk of people on uprights.

On long rides, I find that my ability to keep riding when the guys or girls on uprights are stretching on pedals to rest their sensitive bits (calves of course...) means I end up with a slightly faster riding avverage speed. I agree with others - the uprights pass me on the uphills, I blast past on the downhills, roadies stream past on the flat if they're in trains.

I brought my trike not for "fast" but for "fun and comfort", and I love the heads up view. I admit to being tempted sorely by a CatTrike Speed or a velomobile for the extra speed though!

Cheers

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Re: Speed of Recumbent Trikes?

Postby Phil » Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:54 pm

Yeah I was having issues with my garmin 800 (sorted now with a software update) so no idea on speed. Other than to say going down hill with your butt six inches off the ground at the second lowest recline it feels damn quick.

Legs getting tired pretty easy, done a couple of 15 km rides at night, giving the 16km commute to work a go tomorrow - all classy with my gear in a bag around my neck sitting on my lap. I can feel the dead spot pretty easy so I can see why the Q-rings are popular with recumbents, but will persever for a few months before I do anything radical.
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Re: Speed of Recumbent Trikes?

Postby Phil » Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:47 am

Did the first trike commute. And pretty happy - other than also giving the trike its first visit from the puncture fairy on the City West PSP.

Average 32.1 kmh for the 5km stretch along the river between Canning and the Narrows, with a lower HR than normal, but a higher percieved effort (inner quads are not used to the recumbent posistion). Comparatively on my DF roadie I sit on 34-35kmh average for this stretch. So pretty happy, things will only get better. Greatly impressed with the comfort and the improved visibility (neck ends up crook and you looki about 5 m max in front on DF), no shoulder pain which is just awesome.

will pick up an extra cadence sensot for the trike today, I have no clue what mine is in a recumbent position. I think I am spinning fast, but I am probably not :wink:

http://app.strava.com/activities/5534240 Strava log for this morning on the Trike
http://app.strava.com/activities/5450538 Log for Tuesday morning commute on DF
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Re: Speed of Recumbent Trikes?

Postby Riggsbie » Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:14 pm

Good work Phil !

Your average over a longer ride will be better.....

We are doing a 120km ride on Sunday in honour of a work colleague who recently died as a result of motor neurones disease...... The Vortex is the machine of choice....l

How's the ride with no suspension ?

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Re: Speed of Recumbent Trikes?

Postby Baalzamon » Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:05 pm

I'm gunning for an Ice adventure HD, hoping to get it b4 easter as FF has it in stock and I'm not doing too many mods to it. Speed of it hmmm well no shocks & can run balloon tyres but I shall see. Gonna try the schwalbe racers 1st up.
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Re: Speed of Recumbent Trikes?

Postby Phil » Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:35 am

Ride can be a bit bumpy as there are a couple of sp;ot on the northern PSP near Leederville I used to stand in the seat for on the DF as it was bad. Still pretty decent though, even with the 23mm Ultremos at 110psi, I have a pair of Duranos on the way for a bit more puncture resistance, which are 28mm.

Felt alot better this morning, working out how to activate my glutes for a bit more power on the return stroke. Average on the Canning Bridge to Narrows run was 33.4kmh which is about where I have been on the DF lately. 25kmh average just a smidge slower than a typical commute, and had a few pedestrians/bikes I had to slow down for due to on-coming traffic, so all in all pretty good, I reckon with time my long distance speed will go up as I won't be stopping to give my shoulder a break.

Getting some very weird looks from car drivers, and strangely enough get given more space than I have even gotten on the DF.
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Re: Speed of Recumbent Trikes?

Postby Baalzamon » Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:44 pm

And you haven't even got your recumbent legs yet :shock: Just wait till you do and you will fly, might be even wanting a bigger chainring :)
Looks like my trike will be coming stock with Big Apples hmmmm suspension :) I just wonder how puncture proof they are, I may need to upgrade to Durano's as well for increased protection and more speed.
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