Vehicle: Bicycle: Position
Adaptive bike   (0)  [vote for, against]
Switches from recumbent to vertical

Given quick release hubs and seats, adjustable handlebars, and clever sprocket arrangements, a bike that converts from recumbent (for flats & downhill comfort and speed) to vertical (for rough roads/trails and uphill) would be very handy. I envision (1) a removable vertical seat (probably on an extended bar)above a folding recumbent seat, (2) a forward recumbent pedal sprocket that drives the midpoint vertical sprocket (similar to a tandem), and (3) a dual steering mechanism where the same quick-release handlebars can be attached (and adjusted) in either the recumbent or vertical position. Other clever variations might include a front fork arrangement where the wheel base can be extended or contracted to optimize the speed/stability tradeoff in either mode. My artistic talents are lacking so I've linked a site that shows recumbent bikes. In each diagram, a vertical bike would have the seat directly above the pedals near the midpoint between the wheels.
-- dweeb, Jul 22 2003

Recumbent FAQ
Recumbent bike types [dweeb, Oct 04 2004]

far too large/complicated/heavy/likely to break (-)
-- chud, Jul 22 2003

I like it and it would be even sweeter if you could change on the fly.
-- phoenix, Jul 22 2003

Would it change into a unicycle in case you ride into a circus?
-- DeathNinja, Jul 22 2003

[Phoenix] I though about a continuous on-the-fly seat/pedal rotation arrangement (like the exercise bikes), but the shape of the seat would need to be very different between vetical and recumbent.

[Chud] With all of the adjustments on current recumbent bikes, I doubt this would be much more complicated/heavy. The handlebars are the one place where I might have issues with structural/weight issues.

[DeathNinja] I have and ride a unicycle. If not for the gear thing - and the fact that I rarely encounter a circus in my rides - it might work!
-- dweeb, Jul 22 2003

I once helped design a 2-person bicycle with a recumbant seat in front and a standard seat in the back. It was fairly light and not complex. I don't see any reason this can't be used with just one person hoping from one seat to the other.
-- Worldgineer, Jul 22 2003

I have both types of bike. I ride the upright bike about 20 miles and the recumbent about 2000 miles per year. I chose whichever bike is most appropriate for a particular journey.

I don’t think I have ever encountered (nor can I really imagine) a case in which having a convertible bike would justify the added weight and complexity (little as they would be), or justify the time that it would take to get off the bike and convert it.

A neutral vote from me. It would be a neat machine, but not practical.
-- AO, Jul 22 2003

Flocking unicycles?
-- FloridaManatee, Jul 22 2003

I think [Worldgineer] has the ticket! Although the handlebar still seems a bit tricky. I assume that for a tandem with a vertical and recumbent seat, only one of them would steer. Given the higher center of gravity for the vertical rider, I assume that he/she would steer. I suppose both could be hooked up and one disengaged when used as a tandem.

[AO] Riding to the trail (rather than cartopping) in comfort is the goal. Why put up with sore neck, hands, and crotch from long road trip on a mountain bike (there and back) - if I don't have to?
-- dweeb, Jul 23 2003

The seat could remain the same, but you'd want a backrest when in recombent mode.

Would you be so kind as to move this idea to Product:Bicycle?
-- phoenix, Jul 23 2003

Good point, dweeb. The other way to do that would be to rig up a hitch so you could tow the mountain bike behind the recumbent in the style of a BOB trailer.
-- AO, Jul 23 2003

[phoenix] Thanks - I must have spaced on the category when I submitted. BTW, adding a back to a vertical seat will not work - very uncomfortable in the recumbent position.
-- dweeb, Jul 23 2003

[dweeb] The bike I described had the recumbant steering using two rigid rod linkages to the front tire. I don't see why this can't be set up for the vertical handlebars as well (some interference issues, but nothing that can't be overcome).
-- Worldgineer, Jul 23 2003

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