View Full Version : Today's StreetFox progress - and a pedalling pain question.

09-05-2013, 02:00 PM
Although I spent most of the day fixing my daughter-in-laws bicycle that she uses to go to work (swapped out the back wheel with the bent axle and set-up both the front & rear Dérailleurs and adjusted her brakes) I did get some "me" time on the StreetFox.

Managed to get at least some braking on the front left wheel by extending the brake-pad out with some spacers. -Thanks guys for the tips and pointers.
Cobbled together an upper back support to see how it felt and if the engineering approach was good - all OK, very comfy.
Attempted the fitting of a rack but the bolts provided are too long and not the right gauge. Will run a tap through the threaded holes in the dropout's to clean them up and cut down some Stainless Steel bolts to suit.

Can't/won't go out without a rack as I need to take essential repair stuff with me in case of a breakdown (until I am confident the Trike is sound). A smaller chain-set offering 42-34-24 rings is on it's way.
I have figured out how to provide a decent "chain-return" solution with no welding or recourse to paintwork perversion.

On another note.......

The ride feels fine but my knees are letting me know about my pedalling, with a little bit of pain and this worries me a bit.
The new chain-set has smaller cranks (150mm instead of the 170mm that are there at present).
Also, is it normal to zig-zag a tiny-bit when pedalling or is this just my "early-days" behaviour on a recumbent.



09-05-2013, 02:18 PM
Lower gears will give the knees a lot of relief. Proper distance for your leg extension can help knee pain also. Your leg should be almost straight when fully extended but not quite. You zig-zag is called pedal steer and will also improve with lower gearing. Having your feet attached to the pedals will allow you to pedal in circles which will solve pedal steer completely. This was written for a DF but much of it applies to recumbent riders also. http://www.bicycling.com/training-nutrition/training-fitness/perfect-pedal-stroke

09-05-2013, 02:42 PM
Thanks for this George, the info is much appreciated.
I think I will chance the wrath of my other half and go the whole hog with SPD pedals & shoes as it appears to be the ultimate solution to the problem of Leg-suck and it improves the pedalling capability.



09-05-2013, 05:33 PM

You do need to spin on a recumbent , pushing against the seat back can actually hurt your knees in to high a gear , get used to 80 - 120 rpm at the pedals.

From BROL web site :-

Pedal distance works into knee pain. Generally, if it hurts in front of knee then the pedals are too close. If it hurts in back of the knee, the pedals are too far.


IIRC, if the pain is just on the inside of the knee near the kneecap, you may actually be extending just a bit too much. Move your crankset closer by about a cm or two at a time and test it. Usually a 15* bend at the knee at full extension is about right, but that varies from person to person. Do some research and make sure I'm remembering that correctly.

I had my boom extended about a half-inch too far on my Sprint when I got it, and had similar knee pain. Shortening it just that much made a world of difference. I have since also gone to shorter cranks, (152s from 170s) and smaller chainrings which makes for a world of difference in keeping your cadence up. On a DF bike, when your cadence slows, you stand up in the saddle and use your body weight to mechanical advantage. On a bent, and especially a trike, using that same mentality will blow your knees out in nothing flat. You can apply a tremendous amount of force to the pedals with your quads when your back is pressed against a seat. It's possible to tear tissue doing that if you really over-do it. Learn to shift down two gears before you need to. That will help you get the feel of spinning on a trike. Shift often and regularly. That's what'll keep you out of trouble.

Forget everything you thought you knew and brought with you from the DF. Not much of it really applies.

Whole thread is here :-


Also until you exercise your recumbent muscles you feel you are slow and every thing is hard work [ compared to a DF bike ] but when you have a few miles and smiles you wonder why you ever owned a DF bike.


09-05-2013, 06:19 PM
Thanks Paul (and George for his earlier help, of course),

I am a newbie at this recumbent Trike malarkey so I have/will probably make loads of mistakes.

But, I think I am finally understanding the gist of recumbent trike pedalling.

My non-DF upright offers different mechanical and gravity advantages to be sure.

I am a dunderhead (it seems) I had not understood the basic differences in approach and at my age (especially for an old-fart with a dodgy-heart) I need the stress on my knees (and elsewhere) like another hole in my head. :cheesy:

Spin-fast in low-gearing = live-long & prosper? :)

The soon-to-arrive 42-34-24 chain-set with 152mm cranks will probably help then I should imagine.

I am so looking forwards to the "Miles & Smiles" which I know are there for me.