Graeme Obree has dedicated his cycling career to making the cycling position as aerodynamic as possible. Rather than lying further and further back, like fast recumbents do, he went the other way and moved more and more horizontal with his head at the front. Prone, in other words. His latest attempt has been a fully prone and fully faired racer, which he planned to race at the Battle Mountain speed contests.
He is not the first to try the prone position, as shown in this 1907 prone bicycle design. This looks like it hurts to ride it, but its not so different in concept from Obree’s prone racer.
There seems to be a bewildering number of handlebar types for recumbents, especially 2 wheeled ones. Here is my attempt to define some of them:
Below: Hamster bars
Bruce: I much prefer the hamster bars. I run them on both of my bikes. They place my hands and arms in a “natural”, relaxed position. Very little movement to affect a turn. I never did understand the “tweeners” style. Limited movement, and if you have really long legs, lots of banged knees. Way too much hand travel for a given steering input, too! Not for me.
Below: Tweeners, (legs between bars) aka Superman, Open Cockpit, OC
Disadvantages: Bruce: I never did understand the “tweeners” style. Limited movement, and if you have really long legs, lots of banged knees. Way too much hand travel for a given steering input, too! Not for me.
Below: Chopper bars (ER and Rans LWB)
Below: Praying Mantis
Below: Machine Gun bars, Graeme Obree piloting
Below: Under Seat (Linear Recumbent)
Below: Drop Bars (Chopped Drop Bars)
civl3: I have drop bars on my Carbent. I used 56cm SOMA Portola bars. When I put my hands on the hoods, they are in the same position as they were with the original OC bars. That hints at how much lower the crossbar is which gives me a less obstructed view forward. I can turn tighter too because the bars don’t run into my thighs unless I’m turning really tightly. If I want a more relaxed arm position I can put my hands in the drops. The drop bars also let me use brifters (Sram Force in this case), which I prefer over bar-ends. The brifters also allow the cables to be cleanly routed along the bars. I tried a tiller set-up but all of the cables obstructed my view forward as much or more than the OC bars. I am using a flip-it style stem because I needed adjustability to find the correct position of the bars. Plus it makes it easier to get off of the bike.
Below: Varna Bars, for a fully faired super fast Varna low racer