Recumbent - some thoughts
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09-09-03, 02:01 PM
I live in the Netherlands and thought about buying a hybrid recumbent. I test rode the model I thought I wanted (a Gazelle EasyGlider), but it was just too heavy. I may still buy the 21 speed Giant Revive if it's not too heavy.
The thought occured to me after spending a lot of time looking at various bents on the internet, most have no wheel covers or fenders. I wouldn't think of buying a bike that would throw water at me if it were raining. Also, lights don't seem to be all that common.
Are these items that you guys add afterwards? When I was in a bike store in the US, most of the bikes there had no wheel covers. That's unheard of here unless you buy a mountain or racing bike. Most bikes here are used as everyday transportation (and the weather here is like Seattle). Why don't the companies in the US supply bikes complete instead of making the buyer add everything. Am I not understanding something here?
09-09-03, 02:22 PM
I suspect it is because most bikes sold here are used as toys. As such, the owners would never consider riding them on anything but a sunny day.
09-09-03, 03:28 PM
Hello Dave. There are a few models here that are sold as urban workhorses & do have things like fenders, racks, even a bell. But as Paul says, most bikes in the US are used for recreation.
Many tourers & sport bikes do have eyelets so that fenders can be added at nominal cost. Lights are not supplied probably because the options are so many, but they too can be inexpensive.
09-09-03, 08:04 PM
It's just like kickstands, for many bikes that's an option also. My LBS does carry everything I could imagine wanting for my bike plus a few other things. When I bought my EZ Sport, I added fenders, computer and a pack bag. Even with all these things added on, I discovered he sold me everything for more than 20% less what some shops sell the stripped down bike alone. I guess I got lucky. But it goes to show that it pays to shop around.
09-10-03, 02:05 AM
In Holland you buy a bike and it comes complete (with the exceptions of racing bikes and mountain bikes). The largest market in the Netherlands is commuter/pleasure bikes with the upright handle bars and fenders. Some bikes come with what the Dutch call 'jacket protectors' (jas beschermers' (sp?) - a clear piece of plastic along the sides of the wheel to prevent your long coat from getting dirty.
My daughter lives in the US and had to look long and hard to get a bike similar to the kind that is commonplace here. She tells me that she gets a lot of positive comments on her bike. She's got the upright handle bars which may look unfashionable, but make it more pleasant to ride (certainly less stress on the neck and shoulders). She also has fenders and lights and a bell.
If you have the time take a look at these two Dutch sites and you can easily see how bikes are offered here.
http://www.batavus.nl/ click on the word ' fietsen' after Skip Intro
http://www.gazelle.nu/collection.php click here on the various collections
09-10-03, 09:20 AM
Wow, your bikes look kind of like what I would call "Retro". Old type styling in a new bike. They do look functional though.
Most Americans are too lazy to ride a bike, that's probably why ours are sold more as toys around here. I was disappointed when I had to buy fenders for my bike. Thanks for the links, very educational. I'm guessing you don't see fat people everywhere you look in Holland. Since more people actually get exercise from their transportation.
09-10-03, 12:38 PM
GotBent, believe me, the Dutch are catching up with the Americans as far as weight goes. I've lived here for nine years and I'm seeing more and more fat people. I still get a kick watching a biker with a cigarette in one hand and a cell phone in the other.
09-13-03, 09:34 PM
Living in the Northwest, Newberg Oregon to be exact, I have found that fenders are a must if one plans to ride more that a few days out of the year. It is a shame that bicycles are looked upon by some as "toys" - you should hear the comments I get riding my tricycle! Oregon however, for the most part, is a cycle "friendly" state and thankfully, I get more positive than negative comments.
09-14-03, 11:39 AM
I put fenders on my bike immedaitely after purchase. I try not to ride in rain or muddy conditions, but can't predict when and where I'll run into them.
The fenders I use even have mud flaps on them, great for keeping most of the debris off my front fairing and off the bottom of my rack pack.
Fenders help keep a clean bike. And a clean bike just looks cool. :p
09-14-03, 04:14 PM
All my touring and comuting bikes have fenders, racks and lighting. My toy or play bikes do not. I don't offten get to comute by bike as I often have to go out on the road, and this requires I bring my tool box. I build and repair truck cranes and bucket trucks. So the tools are quite heavy, 3000 lb or so.
09-14-03, 04:29 PM
Why not be a patriot and buy a Yellow Bike? They are made in the Netherlands and look great.;)
09-15-03, 03:29 PM
Yellow bike went under almost two years ago.
09-15-03, 06:35 PM
:rolleyes: Well drat, so much for patriotic ferver.
09-15-03, 10:01 PM
Curious - wasn't Yellowbike a reseller of Optima cycles?
09-16-03, 04:23 PM
Yes, Yellow Bike was a reseller of the Optima bikes. I had somedealings with Yellow BIke. I have to say it was really something to see when they pulled into the lot for a demo, the bright blue VW Bettle coved with recumbents. The last time I was at one of there demos they had nine bents on the Bettle.
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