Answers to frequently asked questions - Longbike.ch

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Answers to frequently asked questions

 

1. Is it difficult to ride a longbike?
2. Is the longbike more dangerous in traffic?
3. Do we breathe more exhaust fumes?
4. Isn't it exhausting to ride a longbike uphill?
5. Is the longbike faster than a conventional bicycle?
6. Is transporting a longbike difficult?
7. Can a child seat be mounted on a longbike?


 

1. Is it difficult to ride a longbike?

No, absolutely not. However, some people may have difficulty the first time. They think they have to hang onto the handlebar. If the rider hangs onto the handlebar, the latter will no longer be able to accomplish its primary mission of steering the front wheel. The fact is that the swinging of the front wheel from side to side is what ensures the bike's balance. Confident people sit on the seat, lean against the back rest, gently clench the handlebar's grips, set a foot on a pedal, lightly press their second foot on the other pedal, start pedalling and steer the bike with a slight pressure of the hands from side to side to ensure the balance. The bike will gradually take the desired direction.

     

 

2. Isn't the longbike more dangerous in traffic than a conventional bicylcle?

No, absolutely not. Motoristswho aren't able to see a longbiker should give up their driver's license. As long as they're not on the phone, talking to their passengers, playing with their radio or are not distracted by something else they are able to see kids' trailers or children cyclists. What we mean is that riding a bicycle, especially in dense urban traffic is not without risk and we should always be highly concentrated. In over 30 years we have never heard of an accident involving a longbike that had not be seen.

 

3. Don't we inhale more exhaust fumes when we are sitting so low?

No, absolutely not. Exhaust fumes are warm and have a tendency to rise. As soon as traffic is moving, air whirwinds are generated. If we measure and compare the nocive gasses' concentrations at 120 cm or at 200 cm above the ground, no difference can be noticed. Nocive fumes are disseminated on several kilometers. It is even possible to find a higher concentration of nocive fumes at an elevation of 800 meters than we would find in the city whose elevation is several hundreds meters below. Finally the longbiker isn't sitting as low as one could think, he is fact sitting higher than most motorists.

 

4. Isn't the longbike more exhausting than a conventional bicycle when riding uphill?

No, absolutely not as long as we are as used to riding a longbike as we are riding a conventional bike. It is a fact that the quadriceps are more sollicited than on conventional bicycles. These muscles therefore need to be trained. Of course it is impossible to apply one's whole weight onto the pedals by standing up as it is on a conventional bike. This dynamic way of pedalling is only reserved for trained cyclists anyway, especially when the bike is loaded. If the longbiker is unable to pedal standing up, he can however hunch himself in his seat and lean against the backrest for support. This way the longbiker can apply a stronger force on the pedals than the conventional biker on his saddle. In any case, what is undeniable is that the longbiker enjoys the view of the hill ahead in all its splendor. Unexperienced people unsure of their abilities have a tendency to get discouraged. Our advice: take baby steps. Appetite comes while eating!

 

5. Is the longbike faster than a conventional bike?

No, absolutely not. Fateba's longbike is not an aerodynamically optimized racing machine. The sitting stance being rather upstraight, the front surface is quite large. The air resistance indexes are not noticeably better than those on conventional bikes. The average speed of a moderately trained cyclist is usually about 18 to 23 km/hr. It is of course possible to go faster in which case the trip turns into a race. The longbike is not necessarily the best bike for a race.

 

6. Is transporting a longbike difficult?

"No, absolutely not" is what we would like to answer but it wouldn't be an honest answer because it is a fact: the longbike is difficult to transport. Transporting it by car is particurlarly difficult. The longbike is cumbersome and even rebellious when you try to load it into a car (which in itself is a rather likeable character trait). On top of that there are no bicycle carriers adapted for the longbike. Also, the seat would act like a kind of brake parachute and would become a bug cimetary. Finally, loading the thing on a car's roof would be a real acrobatic performance.

Things are much easier by rail. Longbikes can be suspended on the hooks in compartments which accomodate bicycles. They must be suspended by the rear wheel. The front wheel can then be inclined and bike will hang in an acceptable way. Swiss Federal Railways charge "tandems and longbikes" double what they do a conventional bicycle. However, in the fine print it is stated that: "... if the bike's length is over 2 meters and/or it can not be suspended to a hook." Since longbikes can be suspended from these hooks, we recommend purchasing regular bicycle tickets.

With air travel, the transporting of the longbike is usually seamless but sometimes not. Enquire about the luggage handling conditions before purchasing your ticket. Give them the weight and the dimensions (length x width x height) from the beginning. We recommend removing the seat and setting it on the side along the frame as it is naturally well protected with shack absorbing material. We also recommend reducing the steering bar's length to its shortest so that the handlebar ends up in the frame's axis. At last, wrap the whole thing in a clear plastic film.

 

7. Can we mount a child's seat on the longbike's rear rack?

Yes, Pletscher's "System" (Athlete, Master, etc.) combined with a Pletscher child seat works perfectly. The child's head is lodged just above the the longbiker's shoulders so communication between the two is a breeze. It is however preferrable for the child's safety to place him into a trailer intended for that purpose which the longbike will pull. Child trailers, for instance by Chariot or Croozer, can easily be fixed with their attachments on a longbike.

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