Mike tries a Recumbent (from 2001)
My first Recumbent ride
|It had to happen. My entire life spent on relatively normal bicycles, and then out comes this weird contraption called a "Recumbent" which looks geeky as heck, is rumored not to climb very well (and if you've read this website, you know climbing is everythingto me), and has attracted a rapidly-growing cult following that threatens to bring these strange things into the mainstream. It's even got its own lingo...in particular, normal bikes are called "wedgies" by Recumbent (known as 'bents) aficionados..."wedgie" being a derogatory reference to the idea that a narrow saddle is driving your shorts up your tail end.
Well, it's not like we don't have enough on our hands taking care of "normal" bicycles at Chain Reaction, but TREK, in their infinite wisdom (and sometimes they are very wise) decided that recumbents were more than a fad and had some good solid reasons to exist. And if TREK makes them, we sell them...and since I don't like to talk about anything that I don't have firsthand knowledge about (and since I can't sell them without talking!), well, one thing led to another and when my wife decided that today would be a nice day to do a family ride out on Canada Road, I went down to the shop, grabbed an R200, and the rest is history.
So what does a recumbent ride like? A few observations:
Actually, my very first experience was climbing over Jefferson (in Redwood City, on my way to Canada Road), and I have to admit that it wasn't particularly pleasant on the way over, but on my return trip 12 miles later, it was a breeze! So there's definitely something to the idea that you "learn" how to climb on a recumbent, and people tell me that, if you were a good climber on a regular bike, you'll quickly become a good climber on a recumbent as well.
By the way, the TREK R200 sells for $1599 and I'm told is a very nice piece of work. At the moment, it's our customers that are teaching us about recumbents, not the other way around! But we're working on that.
|If you've been trying to figure out how to mount a cycling computer to your R200 recumbent, here's one way. We used a special adapter normally installed on tri-bars to hold a computer, and spaced it out a bit from the R200's handlebar "stem" so the computer wouldn't run into it. Make sure to leave plenty of slack cable to allow you to fold down the handlebar for carrying in your car etc...otherwise you'll rip the|