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  #1  
Old July 27th 08, 12:48 PM posted to rec.bicycles.tech,alt.rec.bicycles.recumbent
Tom Sherman[_2_]
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Posts: 9,890
Default TdF and recumbents

Pat ? wrote:
How would a recumbent handle the Tour?


Anyone that claims to provide a definitive answer is blowing smoke up
your backside, since the information does not exist to provide the
answer. You will find a lot a negative answers based on misinformation
by "experts" who have no experience or knowledge, however.

As a starting point, consider that there are only a few hundred state of
the art performance recumbent bicycles in existence (compared to tens of
thousands (or more) of state of the art upright bicycles), and most
people have never seen one unless they attend a recumbent oriented
racing series (and even there, most of the recumbents will not fit that
definition). Furthermore, of this relative handful of recumbents that
are lightweight (less than 8 kgf) and put the rider in an aerodynamic
position, only a small fraction are ridden by riders who could keep up
in a CAT 2 race on an upright, to say nothing of UCI professional level
riders. So all observations made of recumbents in the real world can
pretty much be thrown out as irrelevant to the original question.

Unless someone can demonstrate that upright riders can develop
significantly more sustained power than recumbent riders [1], there can
be little doubt that a recumbent with a seat-back 20° to 30° from the
horizontal and the pedals 20 to 25 cm higher than the seat will be
faster on the flats than a drop bar road bike or an upright TT bike.
This advantage becomes more significant in windy conditions, due to
lower wind speed within the 1 meter boundary layer between the
atmosphere and the ground. For equally talented and trained riders, the
recumbent lowracer would be faster during a flat to rolling time trial
or on a breakaway on a flat stage.

An upright sprinter can develop significantly more short term power than
a recumbent rider, based on the available information. However, as
anyone who has watched a race knows, sprinting prowess is of little
advantage, unless the sprinters are in the leading peloton near the
finish of the stage. Due to the lower frontal area of a recumbent
lowracer and the inability for an upright to effectively draft the
recumbent, the upright sprinters would not be in a position to use their
advantage in short-term power.

And of course, there are the mountain stages, where conventional wisdom
says that recumbents can not climb. The first thing is to throw out all
personal observations here, since they invariably involve recumbents
that are heavier than a state of the art CFRP lowracer and riders
considerably less able than a UCI professional.

The key is to remember that aerodynamic resistance increases with the
square of the rider's airspeed. Therefore, for average club riders, both
upright and recumbent riders will be going slowly enough that rolling
resistance and mechanical losses in the drive train will dominate, which
favors the upright. However, with a professional level rider putting out
400W on a climb, speeds become high enough that aerodynamics does
matter, even on a relatively steep climb, and an upright rider out of
the saddle is not very aerodynamic. Is the aerodynamic advantage of the
recumbent at very high rider output levels enough to compensate for the
advantages of the upright? I do not know, and more importantly, neither
does anyone else.

[1] The few studies down indicate that this is NOT the case.

--
Tom Sherman - Holstein-Friesland Bovinia
"People who had no mercy will find none." - Anon.
  #2  
Old July 27th 08, 05:02 PM posted to rec.bicycles.tech,alt.rec.bicycles.recumbent
[email protected][_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,594
Default TdF and recumbents

On Jul 27, 5:48*am, Tom Sherman
wrote:
Pat ? wrote:
How would a recumbent handle the Tour?


Anyone that claims to provide a definitive answer is blowing smoke up
your backside, since the information does not exist to provide the
answer. You will find a lot a negative answers based on misinformation
by "experts" who have no experience or knowledge, however.

As a starting point, consider that there are only a few hundred state of
the art performance recumbent bicycles in existence (compared to tens of
thousands (or more) of state of the art upright bicycles), and most
people have never seen one unless they attend a recumbent oriented
racing series (and even there, most of the recumbents will not fit that
definition). Furthermore, of this relative handful of recumbents that
are lightweight (less than 8 kgf) and put the rider in an aerodynamic
position, only a small fraction are ridden by riders who could keep up
in a CAT 2 race on an upright, to say nothing of UCI professional level
riders. So all observations made of recumbents in the real world can
pretty much be thrown out as irrelevant to the original question.

Unless someone can demonstrate that upright riders can develop
significantly more sustained power than recumbent riders [1], there can
be little doubt that a recumbent with a seat-back 20° to 30° from the
horizontal and the pedals 20 to 25 cm higher than the seat will be
faster on the flats than a drop bar road bike or an upright TT bike.
This advantage becomes more significant in windy conditions, due to
lower wind speed within the 1 meter boundary layer between the
atmosphere and the ground. For equally talented and trained riders, the
recumbent lowracer would be faster during a flat to rolling time trial
or on a breakaway on a flat stage.

An upright sprinter can develop significantly more short term power than
a recumbent rider, based on the available information. However, as
anyone who has watched a race knows, sprinting prowess is of little
advantage, unless the sprinters are in the leading peloton near the
finish of the stage. Due to the lower frontal area of a recumbent
lowracer and the inability for an upright to effectively draft the
recumbent, the upright sprinters would not be in a position to use their
advantage in short-term power.

And of course, there are the mountain stages, where conventional wisdom
says that recumbents can not climb. The first thing is to throw out all
personal observations here, since they invariably involve recumbents
that are heavier than a state of the art CFRP lowracer and riders
considerably less able than a UCI professional.

The key is to remember that aerodynamic resistance increases with the
square of the rider's airspeed. Therefore, for average club riders, both
upright and recumbent riders will be going slowly enough that rolling
resistance and mechanical losses in the drive train will dominate, which
favors the upright. However, with a professional level rider putting out
400W on a climb, speeds become high enough that aerodynamics does
matter, even on a relatively steep climb, and an upright rider out of
the saddle is not very aerodynamic. Is the aerodynamic advantage of the
recumbent at very high rider output levels enough to compensate for the
advantages of the upright? I do not know, and more importantly, neither
does anyone else.

[1] The few studies down indicate that this is NOT the case.

--
Tom Sherman - Holstein-Friesland Bovinia
"People who had no mercy will find none." - Anon.


There are a couple of guys that ride recumbents and show up to up to
our weekend rides occasionally. One of them would never be able to
keep up with our group and the other could on regular bikes. With
recumbents they keep up with the group without problems. One of them
takes pulls at 25+ mile per hour without braking a sweat. On flats,
recumbents transform average cyclists into animals. The lower the
recumbents the faster these guys become. One has a very low racing
recumbents and he built an aero contraption in the back. He goes
really fast in that apparatus and because he is very low, it is hard
to draft him. He makes a great training partner. It's sort of like
motor pacing. On hills, he slows down quite a bit though. It is not
just the weight. His racing recumbent is not that heavy.

Andres
  #3  
Old July 27th 08, 06:01 PM posted to rec.bicycles.tech,alt.rec.bicycles.recumbent
Tom Sherman[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 9,890
Default TdF and recumbents

aka Andres Muro wrote:

There are a couple of guys that ride recumbents and show up to up to
our weekend rides occasionally. One of them would never be able to
keep up with our group and the other could on regular bikes. With
recumbents they keep up with the group without problems. One of them
takes pulls at 25+ mile per hour without braking a sweat. On flats,
recumbents transform average cyclists into animals. The lower the
recumbents the faster these guys become. One has a very low racing
recumbents and he built an aero contraption in the back. He goes
really fast in that apparatus and because he is very low, it is hard
to draft him. He makes a great training partner. It's sort of like
motor pacing. On hills, he slows down quite a bit though. It is not
just the weight. His racing recumbent is not that heavy.

For the sake of argument, let us assume that that a particular recumbent
is 20% faster on the flats and equal on the climbs to the group members'
uprights. If the recumbent rider is just the equal of the group on the
flats, that means he is a considerably weaker rider, so it is no wonder
he gets dropped on the hills. What is being demonstrated is not the poor
climbing ability of the recumbent (which is typically the false
conclusion made by the upright riders), but rather its performance
advantage on flatter terrain.

--
Tom Sherman - Holstein-Friesland Bovinia
“Mary had a little lamb / And when she saw it sicken /
She shipped it off to Packingtown / And now it’s labeled chicken.”
  #4  
Old July 29th 08, 01:31 PM posted to rec.bicycles.tech,alt.rec.bicycles.recumbent
Qui si parla Campagnolo Qui si parla Campagnolo is offline
Banned
 
First recorded activity by CycleBanter: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,259
Default TdF and recumbents

On Jul 27, 11:01*am, Tom Sherman
wrote:
aka Andres Muro wrote:

There are a couple of guys that ride recumbents and show up to up to
our weekend rides occasionally. One of them would never be able to
keep up with our group and the other could on regular bikes. With
recumbents they keep up with the group without problems. One of them
takes pulls at 25+ mile per hour without braking a sweat. On flats,
recumbents transform average cyclists into animals. The lower the
recumbents the faster these guys become. One has a very low racing
recumbents and he built an aero contraption in the back. He goes
really fast in that apparatus and because he is very low, it is hard
to draft him. He makes a great training partner. It's sort of like
motor pacing. On hills, he slows down quite a bit though. It is not
just the weight. His racing recumbent is not that heavy.


For the sake of argument, let us assume that that a particular recumbent
is 20% faster on the flats and equal on the climbs to the group members'
uprights. If the recumbent rider is just the equal of the group on the
flats, that means he is a considerably weaker rider, so it is no wonder
he gets dropped on the hills. What is being demonstrated is not the poor
climbing ability of the recumbent (which is typically the false
conclusion made by the upright riders), but rather its performance
advantage on flatter terrain.

--
Tom Sherman - Holstein-Friesland Bovinia
“Mary had a little lamb / And when she saw it sicken /
She shipped it off to Packingtown / And now it’s labeled chicken.”


"For the sake of argument"..boy, that speaks volumes.........
  #5  
Old July 29th 08, 02:15 PM posted to rec.bicycles.tech,alt.rec.bicycles.recumbent
Edward Dolan
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 14,212
Default TdF and recumbents


"Qui si parla Campagnolo" wrote in message
...
On Jul 27, 11:01 am, Tom Sherman
wrote:
aka Andres Muro wrote:

There are a couple of guys that ride recumbents and show up to up to
our weekend rides occasionally. One of them would never be able to
keep up with our group and the other could on regular bikes. With
recumbents they keep up with the group without problems. One of them
takes pulls at 25+ mile per hour without braking a sweat. On flats,
recumbents transform average cyclists into animals. The lower the
recumbents the faster these guys become. One has a very low racing
recumbents and he built an aero contraption in the back. He goes
really fast in that apparatus and because he is very low, it is hard
to draft him. He makes a great training partner. It's sort of like
motor pacing. On hills, he slows down quite a bit though. It is not
just the weight. His racing recumbent is not that heavy.


For the sake of argument, let us assume that that a particular recumbent
is 20% faster on the flats and equal on the climbs to the group members'
uprights. If the recumbent rider is just the equal of the group on the
flats, that means he is a considerably weaker rider, so it is no wonder
he gets dropped on the hills. What is being demonstrated is not the poor
climbing ability of the recumbent (which is typically the false
conclusion made by the upright riders), but rather its performance
advantage on flatter terrain.

"For the sake of argument"..boy, that speaks volumes.........

There is no recumbent that is 20% faster than an upright on the flats
everything else being equal. At best, it is possible that a recumbent will
be only ever so slightly faster than an upright on the flats, but even that
is debatable. What is not debatable is how freaking slow they are climbing
hills, even small hills. Case closed as far as I am concerned.

Regards,

Ed Dolan the Great - Minnesota
aka
Saint Edward the Great - Order of the Perpetual Sorrows - Minnesota


  #6  
Old July 29th 08, 03:09 PM posted to rec.bicycles.tech,alt.rec.bicycles.recumbent
Qui si parla Campagnolo Qui si parla Campagnolo is offline
Banned
 
First recorded activity by CycleBanter: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,259
Default TdF and recumbents

On Jul 29, 7:15*am, "Edward Dolan" wrote:
"Qui si parla Campagnolo" wrote in ...
On Jul 27, 11:01 am, Tom Sherman
wrote:

aka Andres Muro wrote:


There are a couple of guys that ride recumbents and show up to up to
our weekend rides occasionally. One of them would never be able to
keep up with our group and the other could on regular bikes. With
recumbents they keep up with the group without problems. One of them
takes pulls at 25+ mile per hour without braking a sweat. On flats,
recumbents transform average cyclists into animals. The lower the
recumbents the faster these guys become. One has a very low racing
recumbents and he built an aero contraption in the back. He goes
really fast in that apparatus and because he is very low, it is hard
to draft him. He makes a great training partner. It's sort of like
motor pacing. On hills, he slows down quite a bit though. It is not
just the weight. His racing recumbent is not that heavy.


For the sake of argument, let us assume that that a particular recumbent
is 20% faster on the flats and equal on the climbs to the group members'
uprights. If the recumbent rider is just the equal of the group on the
flats, that means he is a considerably weaker rider, so it is no wonder
he gets dropped on the hills. What is being demonstrated is not the poor
climbing ability of the recumbent (which is typically the false
conclusion made by the upright riders), but rather its performance
advantage on flatter terrain.


"For the sake of argument"..boy, that speaks volumes.........

There is no recumbent that is 20% faster than an upright on the flats
everything else being equal. At best, it is possible that a recumbent will
be only ever so slightly faster than an upright on the flats, but even that
is debatable. What is not debatable is how freaking slow they are climbing
hills, even small hills. Case closed as far as I am concerned.

Regards,

Ed Dolan the Great - Minnesota
aka
Saint Edward the Great - Order of the Perpetual Sorrows - Minnesota


I guess that sound is the my point whizzing over you head
  #7  
Old July 29th 08, 07:01 PM posted to rec.bicycles.tech,alt.rec.bicycles.recumbent
[email protected][_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,594
Default TdF and recumbents

On Jul 29, 7:15*am, "Edward Dolan" wrote:
"Qui si parla Campagnolo" wrote in ...
On Jul 27, 11:01 am, Tom Sherman
wrote:

aka Andres Muro wrote:


There are a couple of guys that ride recumbents and show up to up to
our weekend rides occasionally. One of them would never be able to
keep up with our group and the other could on regular bikes. With
recumbents they keep up with the group without problems. One of them
takes pulls at 25+ mile per hour without braking a sweat. On flats,
recumbents transform average cyclists into animals. The lower the
recumbents the faster these guys become. One has a very low racing
recumbents and he built an aero contraption in the back. He goes
really fast in that apparatus and because he is very low, it is hard
to draft him. He makes a great training partner. It's sort of like
motor pacing. On hills, he slows down quite a bit though. It is not
just the weight. His racing recumbent is not that heavy.


For the sake of argument, let us assume that that a particular recumbent
is 20% faster on the flats and equal on the climbs to the group members'
uprights. If the recumbent rider is just the equal of the group on the
flats, that means he is a considerably weaker rider, so it is no wonder
he gets dropped on the hills. What is being demonstrated is not the poor
climbing ability of the recumbent (which is typically the false
conclusion made by the upright riders), but rather its performance
advantage on flatter terrain.


"For the sake of argument"..boy, that speaks volumes.........

There is no recumbent that is 20% faster than an upright on the flats
everything else being equal. At best, it is possible that a recumbent will
be only ever so slightly faster than an upright on the flats, but even that
is debatable. sWhat is not debatable is how freaking slow they are climbing
hills, even small hills. Case closed as far as I am concerned.

Regards,

Ed Dolan the Great - Minnesota
aka
Saint Edward the Great - Order of the Perpetual Sorrows - Minnesota


Recumbents are surprisingly faster on flats. There was an average
cyclist that got a recumbent and he is always taking pulls at the
front. He can easily motor at 25+ miles an hour. It is tough to draft
him cause he offers little wind protection. On hills this dude is
slow, but not amazingly slower.

There is a group of us that rides fairly fast. We go out every weekend
and go for 50-70 miles and we average over 20 miles an hour with 27-29
mile efforts along the way. There are more leisurely groups that ride
on weekends. A few of the guys in the leisure group got recumbents. On
occasions they cross groups and ride with us. The can hang on notably
well. In the past, they wouldn't have been able to do so.

For fast pack riding, there are some disadvantages to recumbents over
uprights. Uprights are more maneuverable and can accelerate faster.
also when we get in a rotating paceline, recumbents cannot rotate.
They cannot sprint. However, once they get going, they can motor fast.
The guys that ride on recumbents usually stay in the back and go to
the front to take pulls. On sprints and attacks, they may get dropped,
however, when the pack slows down, they can quickly get back.

I have never ridden a recumbent nor I intend to for now. I like my
bikes way too much. However, they are useful and can move very fast,
especially if you are riding distance alone.

I think that recumbents are enjoyable and serve a purpose. They are
not better or worse than upright bikes. It's kind of comparing a road
bike and an mtb. The road bike will do better on the road and the mtb
will do better off road. having recumbents competing against road
bikes will have varied results depending on the course that you set,
the conditions, etc. Who cares. Ride what you like.

Andres
  #8  
Old July 30th 08, 02:07 AM posted to rec.bicycles.tech,alt.rec.bicycles.recumbent
Tom Sherman[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 9,890
Default TdF and recumbents

Edward Dolan wrote:
"Qui si parla Campagnolo" wrote in message
...
On Jul 27, 11:01 am, Tom Sherman
wrote:
aka Andres Muro wrote:

There are a couple of guys that ride recumbents and show up to up to
our weekend rides occasionally. One of them would never be able to
keep up with our group and the other could on regular bikes. With
recumbents they keep up with the group without problems. One of them
takes pulls at 25+ mile per hour without braking a sweat. On flats,
recumbents transform average cyclists into animals. The lower the
recumbents the faster these guys become. One has a very low racing
recumbents and he built an aero contraption in the back. He goes
really fast in that apparatus and because he is very low, it is hard
to draft him. He makes a great training partner. It's sort of like
motor pacing. On hills, he slows down quite a bit though. It is not
just the weight. His racing recumbent is not that heavy.

For the sake of argument, let us assume that that a particular recumbent
is 20% faster on the flats and equal on the climbs to the group members'
uprights. If the recumbent rider is just the equal of the group on the
flats, that means he is a considerably weaker rider, so it is no wonder
he gets dropped on the hills. What is being demonstrated is not the poor
climbing ability of the recumbent (which is typically the false
conclusion made by the upright riders), but rather its performance
advantage on flatter terrain.

"For the sake of argument"..boy, that speaks volumes.........

There is no recumbent that is 20% faster than an upright on the flats
everything else being equal. At best, it is possible that a recumbent will
be only ever so slightly faster than an upright on the flats, but even that
is debatable. What is not debatable is how freaking slow they are climbing
hills, even small hills. Case closed as far as I am concerned.

Obviously Ed Dolan has never ridden a state of the art lowracer, or he
would not post such nonsense. The real life Johnny NoCom could set him
straight on this matter. There are middle aged guys out there who would
get dropped in a Cat 2 race who are riding 4 hour centuries on lowracers
WITHOUT any drafting help.

--
Tom Sherman - Holstein-Friesland Bovinia
“Mary had a little lamb / And when she saw it sicken /
She shipped it off to Packingtown / And now it’s labeled chicken.”
  #9  
Old July 29th 08, 03:54 PM posted to rec.bicycles.tech,alt.rec.bicycles.recumbent
Tom Kunich
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 6,456
Default TdF and recumbents

"Qui si parla Campagnolo" wrote in message
...
On Jul 27, 11:01 am, Tom Sherman
wrote:

For the sake of argument, let us assume that that a particular recumbent
is 20% faster on the flats and equal on the climbs to the group members'
uprights.


"For the sake of argument"..boy, that speaks volumes.........


You have that one dead centered.

  #10  
Old July 30th 08, 03:01 AM posted to rec.bicycles.tech,alt.rec.bicycles.recumbent
Tom Sherman[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 9,890
Default TdF and recumbents

Tom Kunich wrote:
"Qui si parla Campagnolo" wrote in message
...
On Jul 27, 11:01 am, Tom Sherman
wrote:

For the sake of argument, let us assume that that a particular

recumbent
is 20% faster on the flats and equal on the climbs to the group

members'
uprights.


"For the sake of argument"..boy, that speaks volumes.........


You have that one dead centered.

TK again totally misses the point. Stop being blinded by prejudice.

--
Tom Sherman - Holstein-Friesland Bovinia
“Mary had a little lamb / And when she saw it sicken /
She shipped it off to Packingtown / And now it’s labeled chicken.”
 




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