I thought recumbents were supposed to be slow up hills?

Yesterday I was out on a ride with my local club when I overtook another member who was going uphill on her upright bike somewhat slower than I was comfortable with.  As I passed her I heard a cry along the lines of

“How come you’re going past me?  I’m supposed to have the advantage on hills!”

This was simply the latest in a series of comments I’ve had on this topic over the last year or so since getting Bob – all of which commented on the difficulties of getting a recumbent bike uphill…although, as far as I’m aware, none of the people making these comments has ever actually ridden a recumbent.

Another club member asked me yesterday how it was going uphill on a recumbent compared to an upright bike, but if truth be told, I really can’t remember.  I know it’s only 11 months since I got Bob, but in that time I’ve become so comfortable riding him that I really can’t imagine ever going back to an upright bike again. While I know I rode uprights for most of my life, the experience has receded into the past with an astonishing rapidity. All I can really say is that I don’t particularly like hills any more than the next leisure rider who isn’t a masochist, and I don’t remember finding hills particularly easy on my old upright either. Where there may be a difference is in weight.  Bob may be many things (that are good, naturally), but he’s definitely not a lightweight speed machine.  In fairness to Bob I should add that neither am I!

Having said that, I do know that over the course of our 40 odd mile ride yesterday, while not right at the front of our group most of the time, neither was I at the back. Out of the 26 riders there I had no problem holding my own on the way up any of the hills we tackled – although true to one bit of recumbent stereotyping, I was pretty damn fast on the way down the other side!  In fact as we climbed each upward slope, the one thought that consoled me was that whatever goes up… has to come down again.

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One Response to I thought recumbents were supposed to be slow up hills?

  1. Dave,
    I hope that you have wonderful miles with Bob. I’ve been ‘bent’ since 2001. I’m on my 3rd swb bent. Alice has been my 2-wheeled steed since 2007 and we have over 57,000 miles together. She is a Easy Racer/Sun EZ-Speedster-AX swb touring recumbent. I’m currently on tour on Alice here in the USA. To check us out (www,pedalprayers.org) .

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