Electric Earth wrote: ↑
Jun 03 2019 3:56pm
A recumbent seems to me like much more of a niche "fun" bike for long, relaxing rides on your day off. It doesn't seem like it would be as practical as a regular bike for touring. Especially not in the case of the OP where he plans on doing many extended miles on gravel trails and very hilly/mountain terrain, going through lots of stop-and-go town traffic, along county highways with big semi-trucks and neanderthal-minded angry bike haters blasting past, etc. There are just so many situations where bike handling(safety), regular stop-and-go, and hill climbing outweigh a little high speed efficiency. And that's not even starting in on where to mount four panniers and a big battery.
You should ride a semi recumbent or full recumbent some time.
I've done >3 hrs long rides on my upright bikes and always find my butt tiring out. No matter what seat. No matter what geometry..
Just consider this with an upright bike. Your weight is concentrated on your butt bones and your wrists. Every vibration, bump etc transmits force to those points.
Depending on your recumbent seat, at the worst, the weight is concentrated on your butt and partially on your thighs, and maybe ~10% of your weight sits on the seat back which is an improvement over an upright bike already.
At best, where you've got a really supportive seat that distributes your weight just like a car seat - butt, thighs, back.
..and yeah, there's pretty much zero weight sitting on your wrists, so if you have issues with your arm joints, no big deal.
And now you know why the greybeards like them. They're the most comfortable bike possible.
A recumbent or semi recumbent's ability to carry batteries is less of a problem due to the much lower amount of power they use. An old school long wheel base semi recumbent is best for this. They usually have huge spaces in the center of the frame.
If you look at people who have done touring around the world, you'll notice they're usually on semi recumbent bikes.
Something along the lines of the a sun ez1... nice big flexy steel frame and very generous battery/cargo space..
Another touring advantage of the semi or full recumbent is how stable and forgiving the handling is when you have a mid to long size wheelbase.