Thursday, November 12, 2009

An Unfair Advantage

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) banned Recumbents from professional bicycle racing in 1934. The story goes that they felt that the machine had an unfair advantage over a rider on a standard diamond frame. Guess what? They were right.
Like Apples an oranges or more like bringing a machine gun to a knife fight, there just not the same thing.
I was reminded again yesterday when I went out for a nice paced 2 hour ride with my new friend Brad on our upright road bikes.
Yesterday was fairly windy so our overall speeds were slower then if it had been calm.
The first thing I noticed was the sound of the wind while riding. A constant reminder of the increased frontal area of an upright style bicycle. The wind is really not your love while riding on ether design, but yesterdays ride was a harsh reminder of how much more wind is hitting me while riding a diamond frame. Even on the downhills, the bike rolled slower simply because of the extra wind resistance.
The design difference I missed the most was the total loss of power due to not being able to push against the back of the recumbent bicycle seat.
While riding my Bacchetta Corsa SS, I never get out of my Large chainring. The only time I ever drop down to the smaller rings is when I am off road, taking a shortcut or a photograph.
The riding position on the Bacchetta allows me to not only push harder over the top of the crankset, but to pull back on the back stroke. More like Push,Pull, rather then Push,Push.

Yesterdays ride was great. A Beautiful day for a ride. If I had taken my recumbent I would have certainty had An Unfair Advantage.

By the way, The UCI wants to ban Race Radios by the year 2013, How silly is that?

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