Dialing it in

edited August 2013 in Rambler
I've taken my new Rambler on several rides and need a few suggestions on how to dial it in, or solve some minor problems.
I noticed the last few times that by the end of a 10-12 mile ride by toes started to ``tingle.'' Do I need to move the cleats on my clip in shoes?
I also slide down in the seat several times and have to push myself back up to a more upright position.
Finally, it ``feels'' like I need to be slightly closer to the pedals. My knee is nearly straight when I'm at the full out position. Do I need to shorten the boom a bit?
It's a lot of fun to ride and I'm an experienced enough rider to know that any new bike has to be adjusted.
Any and all help appreciated.


  • My feet tingle too, and I believe it comes from pressure on the back of my legs caused by the front edge of the seat. I got my first recumbent in 1997 and I didn't have the problem, but riding the same recumbent today causes tingling. I don't know if the problem has come with age, or if it's because I'm heavier now and therefore I experience more pressure from the seat. When it gets too bad, I just walk around a bit.

    If you feel that you are too far away from the pedals, then certainly experiment with seat position. As mriley suggested, it would be better to move the seat than the boom. Getting closer to the pedals might even help with your slip issue.

    To help reduce slip I know of three options. On my Ryan Vanguard recumbent I laid a small towel on the seat bottom. Terrycloth is high friction and it kept me from sliding forward. Recently a friend bought a Rover and was slipping to the side when going around corners. I had heard of people using a rubber mesh mat, so I made the suggestion. The mat is intended for kitchen cabinet and drawer lining. I've seen it at Walmart and some hardware stores. He reported that it resolved his slip problem. The third is spray rubber, but be warned, once it's on it's not coming off and could make a bit of a mess.

    Product Description:
    The Performix 11 oz. Black Rubber Coating Spray can be sprayed, brushed or dipped onto painted surfaces to provide a comfortable, controlled grip that resists moisture, acids, abrasion, corrosion, skidding and slipping. The flexible, stretchy formula will not crack or become brittle in extreme weather conditions.

  • It took me about 2 weeks to find the "sweet spot" for seat position and amount of recline (I'm in the third hole from the top). I just rode, adjusted and rode some more until it felt right. I did not mess with the boom, I was able to get all the adjust I needed through the seat. I ended up with the seat at the far forward position.
    As for the tingly feet, I had that too until I swapped out the standard pedals for the full platform heel support pedals. WOW, what a difference they made. They come with ankle and toe straps, but I took the ankle straps off after the first ride; the toe strap is all you need. At first the price looks pretty steep, but when you compare them the price of a set of clip-less pedals and the shoes to use them, they aren't so bad. Very comfortable and they let you put more power to the wheel on each stroke. Until you get the hang of getting in/out of them, don't let anyone near you with a video camera. :oops:
  • If you move both the seat and the boom back, you get more weight on the rear tire for better traction. If that isn't important to your ride, OK. The boom can be moved back as long as your heels don't hit the cross member. If they do (short legs & big feet) you might need a crankset with shorter crank arms. Get the trike fit to you and adjust the chain length as needed.

    As said above, try different seat angles, or put a pad in the seat to get it to fit you better. Also, tighten the straps on the mesh as the mesh stretches.

    The horizontal bolt at the bottom of each handlebar can be loosened so you get the angle of the handlebar grip that best suits you. Park with the wheels exactly straight ahead, loosen these horizontal bolts, and move the grips to "your" best spot. Tighten. The vertical bolts in the bottoms of the handlebars are friction adjusters. I like about 8 ft-lbs---loosen or tighten to find "your" best feel.
  • Concerning toe tingling. Could be as easy as wearing thinner socks. Yes you may have to adjust the cleats. One other thing don't know if your shoes are of the tie variety or strap variety. I have both types and my tie shimano shoes if I have the laces too tight they do cause some tingling. I have a pair of Specialized MTB shoes that I wore initially and they were of the strap variety and are extremely comfortable on my normal DF bikes. However irregardless of what I tried with them they were never comfortable on my trike. I will say this the Specialized shoe is a bit narrower so shoe fit I guess for a trike is really quite important.
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