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Thread: Commuting on Recumbent

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
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    Default Commuting on Recumbent

    Good morning, I am interested in hearing from commuters that ride recumbent bikes on good and bad aspects associated with traffic, logistics, etc.. I have commuted on upright bikes for nearly 20 years from Vienna to Arlington and DC. Considering a recumbent to improve comfort but not sure if it will be a solid idea as a commuting option. Thanks, John

  2. #2
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    Nov 2017
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    I have no personal experience, but I know that bentbike33 rides (and commuted in the "before" days) on a recumbent. I'm not sure about Catedrew's commuting situation, but she rides a trike which I figure has some similarities to a typical recumbent. You could try sending then a PM if they don't see this themselves.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by cycleski View Post
    Good morning, I am interested in hearing from commuters that ride recumbent bikes on good and bad aspects associated with traffic, logistics, etc.. I have commuted on upright bikes for nearly 20 years from Vienna to Arlington and DC. Considering a recumbent to improve comfort but not sure if it will be a solid idea as a commuting option. Thanks, John
    My normal commute is from the Falls Church side of Tysons to SW DC. I ride what's called a "high racer" recumbent, 700c wheels, pedals ahead of the front wheel, hands out front. I have no trouble with traffic as my head is about level with car drivers, and the relative unusualness of a recumbent attracts attention. You do need to always remember to downshift before stopping to ensure a smooth takeoff, however. Climbing is slower, but descents and flats are faster. Sometimes the local bike trails can be a little rough, especially the MVT, as my bike has no suspension, but there are other ways to DC.

    Logistically, a backpack is not an option. I can usually get by with one pannier, so I added a crossmember to the rear rack to mount the pannier on top of the rack behind the seat to maintain a better aero profile. I use a seat pack to keep keys, cable lock, phone, wallet, glasses, light jacket, extra gloves, etc. and a double hydration pack for water on one side, and tools, tire pump, spare tube, etc. on the other. My workplace has a bike cage where I leave a u-lock and cable.

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  5. #4
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    Dec 2018
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    Silver Spring
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    Before I started teleworking full time during the pandemic, I used to commute from Silver Spring near Randolph and New Hampshire to the Postal Square Building across from Union Station. Major sections of my route were Sligo Parkway, 3rd Street and the Metropolitan Branch Trail. Several years ago I purchased a recumbent. Over time, I have done an increasing share of my riding on the recumbent. My recumbent is a Rans V Rex. It has a 20 inch wheel in the front and a 26 inch wheel in the back. I am quite visible to drivers and feel comfortable riding in traffic. In fact, my recumbent may be more noticeable to drivers by virtue of the fact that it is so different from what they are used to seeing. A pannier is a must for carrying a pump, spare tire, change of clothes, etc. The biggest issue for me when I began riding the recumbent was starting after a stop, especially on a hill. This improved with practice. Switching to clipless pedals made a big difference, so that this is no longer an issue for me.

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