RAGBRAI LI Route Announced on Jan. 27!

Recumbents?

Any other recumbent riders out there? How prevalent are bents on Ragbrai?

85 Replies

mentor58, April 10, 2012 at 7:47 pm

Velos are probably the ultimate evolution of human powered transport, at least for mere mortals. I couldn’t see me having one in my stable, I don’t have the horsepower to really make it do it’s stuff. (Me in a Velo would be like putting a Yugo engine in a Ferrari). One thing’s for sure, you’ll be easy to spot.

Steve

#176000

Sandaltan ., April 10, 2012 at 7:57 pm

I must see that paint job up close, the flames are great.

RIDE RIGHT

#176005

SeanHavins, April 10, 2012 at 8:10 pm

mentor58:
Velos are probably the ultimate evolution of human powered transport, at least for mere mortals.I couldn’t see me having one in my stable, I don’t have the horsepower to really make it do it’s stuff. (Me in a Velo would be like putting a Yugo engine in a Ferrari).One thing’s for sure, you’ll be easy to spot.

Steve

Don’t assume that because they are fast that you need to be a pro cyclist to benefit from them.

At speeds above 12 to 15 mph, most of your energy goes into overcoming air resistance. A well designed velomobile almost makes air resistance disappear. What this means is that, because it takes less muscle and endurance to push a velomobile down the road, average folks like me can cruse at speeds once reserved for pro cyclists. Think of it like having a tailwind that is equal to your road speed, wherever you go.

I’m 55 years old, 25 pounds over weight and have only been cycling for 3 years. I can comfortably maintain 25 mph on a flat indefinitely. I could never do that on my recumbent trike, let alone an upright.

#176009

knees36, April 10, 2012 at 8:42 pm

SeanHavins: Don’t assume that because they are fast that you need to be a pro cyclist to benefit from them.

At speeds above 12 to 15 mph, most of your energy goes into overcoming air resistance. A well designed velomobile almost makes air resistance disappear. What this means is that, because it takes less muscle and endurance to push a velomobile down the road, average folks like me can cruse at speeds once reserved for pro cyclists. Think of it like having a tailwind that is equal to your road speed, wherever you go.

I’m 55 years old, 25 pounds over weight and have only been cycling for 3 years. I can comfortably maintain 25 mph on a flat indefinitely. I could never do that on my recumbent trike, let alone an upright.

Would you post a picture or give us a website that has an illustration of the velomobile :?: Thanks. Cheers.

#176022

Den, April 10, 2012 at 9:07 pm

25 mph on a flat indefinitely? BS. Not even with a tail wind.

#176027

SeanHavins, April 10, 2012 at 9:19 pm

Den:
25 mph on a flat indefinitely? BS. Not even with a tail wind.

You are right, of course. there is no such thing as indefinitely.

In real terms, in my present condition, I can go about two hours nonstop at around 25 mph if it is flat. Next year, I’ll be able to go longer. Unfortunately, tail winds don’t help me much cause my velomobile is aerodynamic back to front too.

Wasn’t trying to BS anybody, I just wasn’t being exact. I’ll do better.

#176028

SeanHavins, April 10, 2012 at 9:26 pm

knees36: Would you post a picture or give us a website that has an illustration of the velomobile :?:Thanks.Cheers.

Sure.
http://en.velomobiel.nl/quest/ and
http://en.velomobiel.nl/quest/img/quest_drawing.png and
http://bluevelo.com/Page_2.html (where I bought min) and
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velomobile

#176029

SeanHavins, April 10, 2012 at 9:28 pm

For some reason my replies stopped showing up…

#176030

straycat, April 10, 2012 at 10:57 pm

I’m going to jump in on Sean’s side on this one. I don’t have a velo, I ride a CATRIKE. But I did ride with the ROAM guys for part of day last summer. Most of them were as Sean calls it, “average cyclists”. After they had completed 2 weeks of riding, and AVERAGING 100+ miles a day, they blew me away on a flat stretch where I was going all out at 18 mph. It was pretty easy to tell they could do that for extended periods. There is a real advantange on flats and downhills. At 60 lbs tho, even a more substantial disadvantage on uphills.

Hope I see you this summer Sean!

#176044

Paul, April 11, 2012 at 5:15 am

Hey all,

FAW+ builder/owner here.

Building it helped me stay sane a couple Winters back.

Believe the speed reports. It is all about wind resistance. Just think back to when you fully processed how effective drafting is on a regular bike. People don’t quite get that either until they experience it.

The limiting factors on my velo has more to do with it getting twitchy at speed and staying within the limits of my brakes rzther than going as fast as I can (barring climbs).

My velo is built like an aluminum eggshell w/o a frame beyond a front boom. The biggest modification to date is a sturmey archer 8 speed internal rear hub with a built in drum brake.

For the ride, we will be on our tandem. The velomobile will stay home.

See you on the ride!

#176174

petra, April 11, 2012 at 10:22 am

At speeds above 12 to 15 mph, most of your energy goes into overcoming air resistance. A well designed velomobile almost makes air resistance disappear. What this means is that, because it takes less muscle and endurance to push a velomobile down the road, average folks like me can cruse at speeds once reserved for pro cyclists. Think of it like having a tailwind that is equal to your road speed, wherever you go.

These look so cool. How are they when climbing hills.

#176441

SeanHavins, April 11, 2012 at 12:59 pm

petra:

These look so cool.How are they when climbing hills.

In general terms, up hill is the one disadvantage of the velomobile.

There are two negative things and two positive things about the velomobile on the climb…
Con:
1. You are in a recumbent position and cannot stand on the pedals. you can apply a lot of force to the pedals but you need to use different muscle groups so until you get the other muscles developed, not standing on the pedals is a disadvantage.

2. You have the added weight of the body to haul up every hill and get rolling after every stop. velomobiles weigh anywhere from 50 to 100 pounds. mine weighs 68.

Pro:
1. You have three wheels. Because of this, you can go as slow as you need without wasting energy trying to keep your balance maintain a straight line. If you have configured your VM with a wide gear range as I have or a low range, you can keep a high cadence in a very low gear and winch you way up the hill. Slowly.

2. If you are coming off a roller and have built up some speed, you can often crest the next small hill at speed.

So, the short answer is a hill could be a big pain in the assembly or not much of a big thing.

#176495

schapman, April 11, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Bring on the BENTS! My first three Ragbrai’s were uprights, but this summer I will ride my new ICE Vortex. Expect to be slower going uphill, but screaming coming down. AND very comfortable on the flats. Riding with a small Windwrap fairing up front as well. Can’t wait!!!!

#177023

Bentongoing, April 12, 2012 at 7:09 am

Schapman – did you order the WindWrap on line? It looks like it adds 6-7 lbs to the bike – is it worth it?

#177578

Chirpy, April 12, 2012 at 7:16 am

schapman: Bring on the BENTS! My first three Ragbrai’s were uprights, but this summer I will ride my new ICE Vortex. Expect to be slower going uphill, but screaming coming down. AND very comfortable on the flats. Riding with a small Windwrap fairing up front as well. Can’t wait!!!!

schapman,,, does the fairing act like magnifier under the warm sun?? I would assume it would and also keeps the airflow down for cooling (which would be nice on cooler days) I have thought about one of them but it would have to be easily removed/installed for me. Thoughts?????

#177579

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