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Recumbent cyclists around the world

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Recumbent cyclists around the world

Hey guys,
we´re on the road since shortly 11 months and we saw only two recumbent touring cyclists - we don´t know why!? It´s nothing better for long distance biker :)

Take a look on our blog and you know why:

Daniela & Stephan

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Lucky you !

We just met only one recumbenteer in 18 months of travel ;)

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Recumbents for long distance tours

Hi Daniela and Stephan

We totally agree with you recumbents are the best for riding around the word, their comfort can't be beat!
We rode the USA Southern Tier this year on our recumbents and we even stayed at the same Warmshowers as you guys (the amazing Ken and Kenny in Long Beach)
If you ever make it to England please come and find us

Safe travels

Julie and Mark

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You're right, there are

You're right, there are numerous advantages for the tourer, many people probably don't even take them into consideration when looking for a touring bike, but equally, it's not hard to come up with at least a few cons:
Cost, non-uniformity, availability of spare parts
Performance offroad in difficult terrain?
Weight/performance on steep climbs?
Visibility/handling in crowded urban settings?

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Our opinion about the cons

Cost - YES, they are more expensive then "normal" bike, but really good touring bikes are also more expensive then normal bikes
Cost, non-uniformity, availability of spare parts - NO, only the frame and rack is special, all other components are standards from brands like SRAM
Performance offroad in difficult terrain? - IT DEPENDS. We did in Australia some very long (600+ km) dirt and sandy roads and we loved our comfort because of full suspension on the extrem corrugations.. But in deep sand it´s impossible, no matter with kind of bike you have. At single trails there is no chance to ride on a recumbent. But which touring cyclists ride by his own choise on small single trails?
Weight/performance on steep climbs? - YES, our bikes without any luggage have a weight about 17 kg /38 pounds. That´s heavy, oh yeah. And on steep climbs you have - in our opinion - the biggest disadvantage cycling a recumbent. All you power must come from your legs, you can´t use your body weight, you can´t go in an another position.
Visibility/handling in crowded urban settings? - YES, we sit on our recumbents by comparison very high, so it is ok in citys. But we still hate it. Without mirrors on both side it´s a kind of suicide cycling in busy citys, because you can´t look back.

The pros are - for us - significant. Never problems with your back, bottom, wrist, shoulder and so on. There is no way to ride so comfortable, also perfect for (very) long distances. Recumbents are also a great way to get in contact with people. And so on, and so on :)

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Thanks for your thoughts,

Thanks for your thoughts, those were just a few cons I came up with off the top of my head that might affect my own decision. I guess my point was everyone's different, we all have different priorities and considerations when touring. Personally, living in a country that is an economic basket case with one of the highest rates of inflation in the world, cost certainly comes into it; hence it's going to be fairly likely that I'd continue to tour on the same trusty steed I started out on nearly 20 years ago, but even if I had the luxury of expendable income (and no worries about impending economic doom) to shop for a new touring bike amongst the overpriced offerings here I would probably still lean towards a traditional diamond frame as I still think I would get more bang for my buck in terms of componentry etc (of course if I won the lottery that might change things).

When touring I value freedom above just about everything - so spontaneous jaunts into the unknown on single trail through national parks, on/along railway lines, following the tracks of pastoral nomads etc are activities I do engage in hence my concerns re performance offroad and on steep climbs. If a recumbent made this impossible then I'd have to think twice (incidentally I've heard its difficult/impossible to stop and then re-commence a steep climb on a recumbent - has this been your experience?).

Certainly I believe recumbents will grow in popularity (are any of the well known touring bike manufacturers making them?) and prices will continue to come down. Its quite possible they will be the default choice for tourers at some point in the not too distant future.

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Go far, not fast

Every mean of transportation has its pros and cons.
Indeed, recumbents are a bit slower uphill, but they are faster downhill and on a flat terrain you get the same pace as an upright bike.
Being slower or faster is not the point. After all, touring cyclists want to go far, not fast. So why not doing it the most comfy way :)

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