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  1. #76
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    Ultimately there can be be a certain irony to riding a Cleland over challenging terrain. This is the fact that sometimes you may be able to make faster progress on foot, without using a bike at all. Or even by carrying the bike over the worst sections of trail.

    But the ethos of reaching the destination and not having to turn back whatever confronts you is strong. A kind of survivalist mentality where the worse the trail conditions or weather, the more enjoyable the riding is. Conversely on warm dry Summer's days with smooth easy trails a Cleland can feel somewhat out of place and over engineered with its fenders, guards, elliptical gears, hub brakes and low pressure tires. All that remains of use is the comfortable easy to balance tall riding position.

    Does this make me leave the Cleland at home on such days and make the logical choice of using my carbon fiber full suspension XC bike. Well not very often. I would miss the standing out of the saddle standing bolt upright on the pedals, my head 7 feet plus above the ground whilst the handle bars oscillate backwards and forwards with rise and fall of the terrain. Just like the way children love to ride there BMX bikes.

    If you find it difficult to imagine how a Cleland rides. Just think BMX with very big wheels, and you wont be that far off.

  2. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWallace View Post
    Here is a video that shows a modern Cleland Aventura TT riding along another stream.

    WateryLane2 on Vimeo
    I'm not knocking the bikes, but I honestly don't see anything in that video that I haven't done with my 26" (or now with my 29'ers) bikes,including the stream riding.

    The part where he rides over the log is just plane silly. They slow the video down as if getting over the little log is a big accomplishment.

    And either the rider is really twitchy in his riding style, or the bike makes for a twitchy riding style.
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  3. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by neveride View Post
    I'm not knocking the bikes, but I honestly don't see anything in that video that I haven't done with my 26" (or now with my 29'ers) bikes,including the stream riding.

    The part where he rides over the log is just plane silly. They slow the video down as if getting over the little log is a big accomplishment.

    And either the rider is really twitchy in his riding style, or the bike makes for a twitchy riding style.
    The 4th paragraph on the home page of the Cleland website says:
    "The Cleland Aventura can do some things more easily or efficiently than a mountain bike because it follows function before form. By the same token, a mountain bike can do some things an Aventura canít; both do similar things, but in slightly different ways."

    For every mountain bike rider who looks at the little log being ridden over, there are (nominally) 9,999 people who would think it a major accomplishment. The video is more aimed at the 9,999. I suspect that most mountain bike riders realise this.

    Below the water's surface are slippery slimy rocks and stones, sandy patches and hollows. Because of the angle of the sunlight, these are impossible for the rider to see. When the front wheel hits them, the steering twitches. As an experienced rider, including stream riding, I would have thought you could have figured this out for yourself.

  4. #79
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    Yawn.
    A bike by any other name is still a bike.

  5. #80
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    Sleep well...

  6. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeoffApps View Post
    The 4th paragraph on the home page of the Cleland website says:
    "The Cleland Aventura can do some things more easily or efficiently than a mountain bike because it follows function before form. By the same token, a mountain bike can do some things an Aventura canít; both do similar things, but in slightly different ways."

    For every mountain bike rider who looks at the little log being ridden over, there are (nominally) 9,999 people who would think it a major accomplishment. The video is more aimed at the 9,999. I suspect that most mountain bike riders realise this.

    Below the water's surface are slippery slimy rocks and stones, sandy patches and hollows. Because of the angle of the sunlight, these are impossible for the rider to see. When the front wheel hits them, the steering twitches. As an experienced rider, including stream riding, I would have thought you could have figured this out for yourself.
    Websites say a lot of things--we call that marketing. So lets leave that where it lies.

    I somehow doubt the 9,999 riders that this video is aimed at are regularly in the habit of thinking "damn, if I only had a different, more purpose built bike, then I'd decide to ride up this stream". So i think maybe there is a lot of confusion about who this video is aimed at. I mean, I doubt someone who thinks getting over that rather small log is a big accomplishment is also the same person who regularly wants to ride up streams.

    The twitchy-ness I was referring to was not during the stream ride--that I would expect to be twitchy. It is the rest of the video--on the non-stream trails, where the bike and rider appear twitchy. Places that should be smooth and flowing I suspect a lot has to do with the gear the rider is in, as well as the layout of the bike.
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  7. #82
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    [QUOTE=GeoffApps;9715648]
    Do you actually mean a wider BB, or do you really mean Q factor?
    QUOTE]

    Sorry for the delay, yes a wider Q factor, I was thinking a 100mm BB and 4-5" tires.

    At 65 a more upright position has its appeal. My currant bike, a 26er has,the best I can measure a 625mm FC and a 130 stem. The Surly Moonlander with 30" tires has a FC of 623.4 and a stem of 90 in size small.

    If I apply your idea on position, I should come close? And any concerns about toe overlap are dealt with. I am also thinking that in reguards to your stats on geo, the position over the pedals overides the others? My currant bike, I am told has a 73.5* STA,
    Close to yours?

    By the way Graham...you did not say just how you got back up that hill...through lots of effort...no matter the method!

  8. #83
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    What do mountain bikers who have ridden alongside or a test ridden a Cleland think?
    Cleland: The original big wheeled off-road bicycle?-dscf5084w.jpg

    Bear in mind that an unusual bike like a Cleland takes quite a while to get used to. So the quotes below are just initial reactions.

    These are are all the Cleland related comments from the ride report of a group of UK mountain bikers, who Geoff joined for a recent days ride in the Scottish Hills.

    The full report can be found here from page 7 onwards:
    Retrobike National Series Rd 5: Tweed Valley ~ AFTERMATH pg7 | Retrobike

    "Great to meet several new faces and several I'd met before.
    It was also a real pleasure and an honour to have Geoff Apps along on his prototype Cleland Aventura. Really fantastic bit of design and engineering and a really nice person to chat with. Pretty handy on a bike too".

    "The upside was I got a few chances to chat with Geoff and hear some of his fascinating ideas about cycling techniques. Everyone that tried his bike were quite taken with it, Mikee in particular".

    "Lord apps ...
    been thinking of how to word my apprasial of sir geoff's bicycle
    went thru the engineering slant then the flowery prose
    in the end i thought id tell it as it is
    i caught up with geoff on one of the early climbs ,i complimented him on the bike , and his reply included the words "want "and" go" in it
    jeff looks a bit smaller than me , but it seemed to fit fine , so when i mastered the technique of mounting the steed i was off (geoff later gave a demo of the moving off bit)
    as an engineer i'm not a sceptic with most things ,including this bike
    but i was not prepared for the experience
    the nearest i can get to is , you know that time when you've packed up
    your rear wheel drive car in the wet field and your trying to get to the exit road slippy slidey no traction type thing
    then some idiot in a landy is driving about up and down thing just because
    they can ?
    thats what the clellands like ,i rode it up the trail a bit then rode over a grassy bit between 2 trails , with no problems , very little body shift is required you just turn the pedals and it goes up ,well anything
    the (i assume )chris bell egg rings went un-noticed until someone pointed
    them out , obviously done right ,like the rest of the bike
    as for speed on it ,well i dont know as geoff wanted it back for the down bits , but he looked smooth and fast on the bits i saw
    and the "lovely hill" as he called it ,i missed him out climbing everyone
    all in a lovely fella and a cracking bike , i hope you make some more sir

    so i met a legend , rode his bike ,and found a new hero
    top day out i'd say "

    "It was great treat to meet Geoff and hear all the reasoning behind each detail on this amazingly capable machine. I didnt get to ride it unfortunatley but I did note that not one person went away unimpressed"

    "Some interesting bikes but Geoffs Clelland definetly stole the show".

    I stuck with Geoff and chatted about his bike. He was having a bit of difficulty with his breathing (smoking too much was his excuse but I hope I'm still riding at 63!!) so we walked up a bit together. He let me ride his bike up one of the steep bits and I have to say after 1 pedal turn I could see what is was all about. The unbelievable grip, smoothness and just plain ease of riding was astonishing. More later......

    "Geoff let me ride his bike quite a bit and I think he thought I'd pinched it as I went off on my own a fair distance while he pushed my bike - sorry Geoff, but it was your own fault for designing such an awesome addictive machine!!"

    "When I rode the Cleland I wasn't sure about it downhill, but Geoff soon showed it was excellent there too as he shot away from me like a bullet on the first slippery muddy rocky downhill. I just couldn't believe it. he just made it look so easy while I was slip-sliding away..... "

    "Good also to meet Geoff Apps having read plenty about the man and his bikes over the years. Good chap and handy rider too".
    Cleland: The original big wheeled off-road bicycle?-inners02_127.jpg
    Last edited by GrahamWallace; 10-03-2012 at 03:33 PM. Reason: Typos

  9. #84
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    There I was demonstrating how easy it is on an Aventura to pick your nose without having to dismount.

  10. #85
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    I'm still trying to wrap my head around the idea of higher COG=more stable? Inverted pendulum? Mind boggling.

  11. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sand Rat View Post

    @ Graham or Geoff...would you care to post more of the geo stats on your design? I have tried to quess some, but nothing beats the facts, would give me and others a starting point from which to apply your design freatures to fit ourselves. I have not found them posted on your site, did I miss?
    This may help. It's the drawing for a 650b Cleland I had made in 1988. It has a 100mm wide bottom bracket and about 40mm clearance between frame/forks and tires so 29er wheels should fit. I'm 6 foot two inches tall so the frame would need scaling down for smaller riders. There are modern bikes with similar geo stats. And a small sized frame size will give you the shorter wheelbase required.
    Cleland: The original big wheeled off-road bicycle?-highpath_322_131.jpg

  12. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    I'm still trying to wrap my head around the idea of higher COG=more stable? Inverted pendulum? Mind boggling.
    It is!

    But to describe it in a different way to earlier explanations...

    As the bicycle falls its center of mass accelerates, due to gravity, and describes a 90 degree semicircular arc until it hits the ground.

    The taller the bike the longer the circular path taken by the mass and so the slower the fall. A 1m center of mass would take half the time to fall of a 2m center of mass.

    When the bike and rider are balanced, gravity is not rotating their center of mass but pulling it straight downwards. The more the bicycle leans the stronger the rotational pull of gravity and so the faster the acceleration.

    A tall object though initially falling slower will actually be falling faster when it hits the ground.

    In practice there are two crucial angles for a given height of bike:

    The angle at which the bicycle cannot be rebalanced by swerving at a given speed.

    And size of the angle from the vertical that a bike can be balanced without any overt use of the steering. (The track stand angle or riding on sheet ice angle)

    Here is video that shows why a bicycle is a form of inverted pendulum.

    One robot wheel moves from side to side just like the front wheel of a moving bicycle weaves from side to side as you steer. The other wheel remains stationary in a similar way to the rear wheel of a bike. What it does not show is that increasing the height of the robot/pendulum would make it rock more slowly and so give the robot more time to react.
    Inverted Pendulum - YouTube
    When you think about it, long ordinary pendulums also swing more slowly than short ones.


    I hope this helps?
    Last edited by GrahamWallace; 09-24-2012 at 04:22 PM.

  13. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWallace View Post
    It is!

    But to describe it in a different way to earlier explanations...

    As the bicycle falls its center of mass accelerates, due to gravity, and describes a 90 degree semicircular arc until it hits the ground.

    The taller the bike the longer the circular path taken by the mass and so the slower the fall. A 1m center of mass would take half the time to fall of a 2m center of mass.

    When the bike and rider are balanced, gravity is not rotating their center of mass but pulling it straight downwards. The more the bicycle leans the stronger the rotational pull of gravity and so the faster the acceleration.

    A tall object though initially falling slower will actually be falling faster when it hits the ground.

    In practice there are two crucial angles for a given height of bike:

    The angle at which the bicycle cannot be rebalanced by swerving at a given speed.

    And size of the angle from the vertical that a bike can be balanced without any overt use of the steering. (The track stand angle or riding on sheet ice angle)

    Here is video that shows why a bicycle is a form of inverted pendulum.

    One robot wheel moves from side to side just like the front wheel of a moving bicycle weaves from side to side as you steer. The other wheel remains stationary in a similar way to the rear wheel of a bike. What it does not show is that increasing the height of the robot/pendulum would make it rock more slowly and so give the robot more time to react.
    Inverted Pendulum - YouTube
    When you think about it, long ordinary pendulums also swing more slowly than short ones.


    I hope this helps?
    Thanks. That's a good explanation. But, on the other hand

    For any given angle of the bicycle and rider, the moment on the pivot point (the contact patch) is greater when the COG is higher. So it takes more force to stabilize the bike from any given lean angle.
    It seems to me that if you lower the COG, you are able to have more lean with less likelihood to fall over, since distance from the COG to the pivot is smaller (lower torque)..

    How does your explanation fit into the following observation:

    A tightrope walker uses a weighted pole, curved downward, not upward, to stabilize himself. The length of the pole increases his moment of inertia, which stabilizes him against small forces that would move him away from equilibrium. Meanwhile, the lower COG means deviations from center have less of a torque on him that would cause him to fall. In fact, if you could lower the COG below the pivot point, as is possible with the tightrope walker, deviations from center create a torque that tends to right the walker.

    So in this case, clearly a low COG is better. What is different about the bicycle?

  14. #89
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    Wow, Graham...Thanks!

    At first look it seems as if currant bike if fitted with your idea of stem and bar placement would require little change. Perhaps a Syntace VRO stem in small, (55-105 in adjustment) with larger clamps to extend the range might be workable.

    Of course, if done to my currant bike, it would lack some of your other features. But it does allow me to better place in my mind your concept.

    Thanks again!

  15. #90
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    In practice there are two crucial angles for a given height of bike:

    The angle at which the bicycle cannot be rebalanced by swerving at a given speed.

    And size of the angle from the vertical that a bike can be balanced without any overt use of the steering. (The track stand angle or riding on sheet ice angle)
    I'm not sure about the first angle, but the second angle should be greater when the COG is lower, it seems to me.

  16. #91
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    Here's a wee experiment.

    Take a thin rod about 12" long, place a weight at one end.

    Balance it on your fingertip with the weight down. Now move your finger quickly to one side while trying to keep the rod balanced. Odds are you won't manage to keep it balanced even though the CoG is low.

    Now do it with the weight at the top. I'll bet you'll find it easier to balance even though the CoG is high.

    That's how I envisage what Graham is explaining, a high CoG makes it easier for the rider to handle sudden lateral displacements of the bikes contact patch.
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    In even more practical terms; in a side by side comparison between a Cleland and a recumbent in all riding conditions, which would be the better bicycle in most conditions? My money would be on the Cleland. Low CG is not the be all end all when it comes to two wheels vehicles. Whether a Cleland makes a better off-road bicycle than say a more "common" XC bike probably comes down to personal taste and riding styles, rather than the relative CG of the two bikes with their accompanying riders.
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  18. #93
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    Before you read my answers I recommend you check out this video on Rotational Dynamics: Angular Acceleration and Rotational Inertia.
    Lesson 25 Sample - YouTube

    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    Thanks. That's a good explanation. But, on the other
    hand

    For any given angle of the bicycle and rider, the moment on the pivot point (the contact patch) is greater when the COG is higher. So it takes more force to stabilize the bike from any given lean angle.
    It seems to me that if you lower the COG, you are able to have more lean with less likelihood to fall over, since distance from the COG to the pivot is smaller (lower torque)..
    Pivot point = Fulcrum

    Effort or Input = the downwards force of gravity or/and the lateral movement of the fulcrum.

    Load = COG

    As a lever mechanism there are some problems here:
    a) We have two inputs one at either end of the lever
    b) We have a fulcrum or fixed pivot which is restrained in two dimensions but not fixed. Therefore it cannot be a fulcrum.
    c)Considering the torque loading at the contact point is pointless as the torque is not applied there but at the COG. Unless you rigidly fix the wheel to the ground?

    I do understand where you are coming from here. A rider can use the inertia of his body weight to move a bicycles mass to the left or right whilst the contact patch acts as a fulcrum. This can indeed help to maintain balance. It's similar to the way a runner balances the rearward movement of their left leg by moving their right arm forwards.



    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    How does your explanation fit into the following observation:

    A tightrope walker uses a weighted pole, curved downward, not upward, to stabilize himself.
    The pole does not have to curve downwards but will lower the combined COG of man and pole if it does. In inverted pendulum theory height is inversely proportional to acceleration so a lower COG will accelerate faster than a smaller one. However the rotational inertia of the pole would slow down any acceleration.

    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    The length of the pole increases his moment of inertia, which stabilizes him against small forces that would move him away from equilibrium.
    Yes, Newton's third law of motion is at work here as every clockwise rotation of the pole will cause an equal and opposite anti-clockwise moment of the walker. This is the mechanism that enables him to balance.

    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    Meanwhile, the lower COG means deviations from center have less of a torque on him that would cause him to fall.
    Whilst small deviations from the center balanced position do create less gravitationally induced torque, it is the rotational inertia of the pole that counters lean. At best effect of the COG height is only to give him more or less time to react.

    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    In fact, if you could lower the COG below the pivot point, as is possible with the tightrope walker, deviations from center create a torque that tends to right the walker.
    The tightrope walker are two separate but coupled systems. Only when the combined COG is below the rope could balance be maintained without the effects of the relative movement between walker and pole.

    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    So in this case, clearly a low COG is better. What is different about the bicycle?
    A balanced tightrope walker is indeed a form of inverted pendulum so according to inverted pendulum theory a tall tightrope walker should fall to his death more slowly than a short walker. But according to Newton's third law of motion the the rope would rotate to the left as the walker unbalances to the right. This is the equivalent of an inverted pendulum where the movement at the bottom of the pendulum makes things less stable. Instead of moving to restore the state of balance as is the case with a bicycle.
    For the tightrope to be like a bicycle the rope would have to move in the same direction as the fall.

    Types of inverted pendulum.
    There are two separate models of inverted pendulum here. One with a fixed pivot point where maintaining balance is impossible and the only thing to be learned from this is the physics of how inverted pendulums fall. The other is the inverted pendulum were the pivot can move in 2 dimensions where with the correct countering movement, balance can be restored and maintained.

    The reason in physics as to why a taller bike falls slower are closely related to the reasons why a 29er wheel takes more energy or time to accelerate it up to a given speed. The only difference is the direction of the input force as gravity acts vertically and bicycle wheel drive forces act horizontally.

    The key to understanding this is indeed rotational Inertia, and rotational acceleration.
    Think pirouetting ice skater!

    Alternatively try riding a Penny Farthing. There low speed lateral stability is truly amazing.

    After reading this Bigwheel should sleep very deeply indeed

  19. #94
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    I for one think this thread is pretty BA

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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    Here's a wee experiment.

    Take a thin rod about 12" long, place a weight at one end.

    Balance it on your fingertip with the weight down. Now move your finger quickly to one side while trying to keep the rod balanced. Odds are you won't manage to keep it balanced even though the CoG is low.

    Now do it with the weight at the top. I'll bet you'll find it easier to balance even though the CoG is high.

    That's how I envisage what Graham is explaining, a high CoG makes it easier for the rider to handle sudden lateral displacements of the bikes contact patch.
    Funny, in the video Graham just posted the guy balances a golf club with head up and head down and says its easier with head down, (COG closer to fulcrum, ie. finger)

  21. #96
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    Graham. Thanks for the explanations. Its a really interesting topic to me, and one I haven't thought about much in the past, and haven't had much time to ponder lately. So, I'll have to ponder this some more.

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    A simple way to explain this issue is with the following concepts:
    -High CG- greater range of stability (angular amplitude) but a stronger and slower input is required to correct it.
    -Low CG- smaller range of stability (angular amplitude) but weaker and faster inputs are required to correct it.

    From a mechanical engineer's point of view, this pretty much sums it

  23. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    Funny, in the video Graham just posted the guy balances a golf club with head up and head down and says its easier with head down, (COG closer to fulcrum, ie. finger)
    Try it for yourself rather than rely on someone else's opinion.

    A club head is pretty broad, so that's not hard to balance. Try it with something that won't balance because its end is very narrow so it's relying on your dynamic input to stay up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ze_Zaskar View Post
    A simple way to explain this issue is with the following concepts:
    -High CG- greater range of stability (angular amplitude) but a stronger and slower input is required to correct it.
    -Low CG- smaller range of stability (angular amplitude) but weaker and faster inputs are required to correct it.
    That's my understanding. Center of gravity is an important thing. I can recall in my younger years in the martial arts. I was going to Hollywood to appear in action movies but life got in the way. In that context low CG makes you heavy and stable. It connects you to the earth. High CG is the opposite. As a pilot CG means everything. A plane rotates around three axis.CG changes with the distribution of weight within the aircraft. It's vital to calculate CG to insure it's within the envelope of the given aircraft.

    All that probably has nothing to do with bikes but underscores the importance of CG in virtually every aspect of our lives. I see where Graham and Geoff are going with all this. I'm thinking a slightly higher CG might give me more control with smaller/slower movements needed for corrections. This does seem the opposite of my current beliefs but I'll see how it goes. I suppose it's what you're used to.

    Thanks Geoff and Graham for posting such a thought provoking thread giving us commoners something to think about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nemhed View Post
    In even more practical terms; in a side by side comparison between a Cleland and a recumbent in all riding conditions, which would be the better bicycle in most conditions? My money would be on the Cleland. Low CG is not the be all end all when it comes to two wheels vehicles. Whether a Cleland makes a better off-road bicycle than say a more "common" XC bike probably comes down to personal taste and riding styles, rather than the relative CG of the two bikes with their accompanying riders.
    I think the problem with recumbants is not the low center of gravity, but the ability of the rider to adjust COG while riding. Sitting in a chair is not an athletic position, and balance requires positional adjustment.

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