How to go fast
How To Go Fast

By Warren Beauchamp

Many recumbent cyclists are content just cruising along and smelling the flowers.
But maybe you are a bit of a malcontent.
A rebel without a cause.
Maybe you want to ride fast.

low aerodynamic drag + low rolling resistance + power = speed
The specific recumbent make and model doesn't matter that much, but if you want to go fast it needs to be able to put you into "the position". This recumbent position provides low aerodynamic drag and enough ergonomics that you can see over your knees. Basically the position is a seat angle between 15 and 25 degrees from horizontal, and a bottom bracket that is several inches above the seat base.
The next ingredient in the go fast recipe is low rolling resistance.

Wide tires and skinny tires can both have low rolling resistance as long as they are tires that are rated at at least 100 PSI and have little to no tread. 100 PSI is a good compromise between ride compliance and low rolling resistance.

Big wheels roll a little better than small wheels but small wheels won't prevent you from going fast.

Going fast on a recumbent doesn't take a huge amount of power, but you do have to work hard. If you're not breathing hard you're not trying. Don't get discouraged if you are not fast immediately. It may take months or even years if you have never pushed yourself hard before.

There is nothing like the feeling of wind in your face when man and machine are working together in concert to propel you faster than you have a right to go.


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