Recumbent - Interested and looking.........
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Recumbents have caught my eye. I don't know if converting is the right word but I am thinking about diversifying. I've done some reading and have discovered Bentrider Online magazine . BTW some of the contributors seem to live in the area of Fla I lived in until recently.
Anyways I'd be interested in performance and working out by riding fast and have no touring aspirations. I gather a SWB is what I'm looking for. Due to injuries from a motorcycle accident OSS is pretty much mandatory. From upright bike experience I like 700C wheels but am open to ideas. I don't mind spending on something I'll use but would rather get my feet wet before I jump in the pool so to speak.
I saw a review of a semi-custom from a maker in GA that looked interesting but $1600 is decent money, I guess.
Any thoughts on what I should take a look at?
02-03-02, 05:14 PM
I took the plunge...I have been looking and riding alot of bents. I mean alot of them!...I have asked questions, and I know drove some of my fellow bikers nutty. I have asked dumb questions, but I wanted answers. After all 1000 bucks and up is nothing to sneeze at, my pockets are not deep. I am retired and I didn't want to be bike poor and bike stupid. I narrowed it down to the rotator, the Rans V2^ and the Tour Easy. I like the long bent style of riding and handling. Tho...the short wheelbase is a bunch of fun. This week end, I did it, I brought a Tour Easy, with a few upgrades...WOW. I have been riding uprights for years. I live on the edge of the earth, on a island. So folks here take second looks at this bike. But the ride is great. The only advise I can give is...don't get rid of your upright, you will ride it. But ride all the bents you can before you buy...and ask a lot of questions, then form your own thoughts of which way to go. I think once you get a bent..you will ride more...isn't that what it is all about any way...!
Thanks Old Mopar. My looking process is just beginning so who knows what will happen before it's over?
Amongst my uprights is a Colnago Master. Very red, very Italian. I may well fall for a 'bent but enough to get rid of that bike....I doubt it.
02-04-02, 09:13 AM
I see that speed seems the prioity factor in your "bent" choice.
For speed and size of wheel (700c)the "Tour Easy" (LWB) is a choice to consider that satisfys at least two of your criterion, however, if you want a SWB take a look at some other SWB bents; Sabre or a Challenge Distance (both with dual 26" wheels). There are some nice low riders out on the market also that are built for speed (Yellow Bike for instance)they have a mix of wheel size from 20" front & back to a 700cc on the rear.
I find they (low riders)are good for speed but not great on any degree of hill climbing or loaded touring. I have two bents (Haluzak Horizon)& a (Challenge Distance) the Challenge is faster and tours better.
02-04-02, 11:11 AM
The only way you are going to find the bent that suits you is to ride alot of them. But this can be difficult because the availalbilty of bents is very restricted. In my city there are only two brands available to test ride: BikeE which is very easy to learn on, but in my opinion not suitable for speed and long distance. But there are plenty of people who ride BikeE's and will disagree with me. The other brand is RANS which makes alot of different models, SWB and LWB's. I love my RANS V2 ( a LWB) because of the stability and comfort. But after about a thousand miles I still wanted a faster bike, and by then I was "bent" able enough to feel comfortable on a SWB. I got a Lightning P-38 that I had to drive to another city 150 miles away in order to test ride. It is fast, a good hill climber, and stable. Good luck.
02-04-02, 11:52 AM
A LWB TourEasy is undeniably fast and uses a 700c rear wheel, however, it is more cumbersome to turn at low speeds and more difficult to transport and store than a SWB. Most SWBs use 20"/20" or 20"/26" wheels, although the Lightning bikes I believe use a 700c rear wheel (the P-38 is legendary for its speed and climbing performance.)
Your BB-to-seat height varies not only by manufacturer's design, but also by wheel configuration. I've heard that dual 26"-wheeled bents are better for touring and more suited to long-limbed riders.
I find my Optima Lynx (20"/26") provides a great mix of stability, maneuverablity, speed, climbing (and comfort, of course!) The 46" wheelbase is longish for a SWB, but I feel this provides stablity at high speed while not detracting from nimble handling qualities at low speed. The BB height is horizontal relative to the seat and not as radically raised as the lowracer configuration. With the ergonomic rigid seat, I find this combination to be a good driving platform for climbing and acceleration.
I like the cushioned rigid seat of Dutch bikes but many others prefer the ventilation of mesh-back seats, especially in the hotter climates. You should ride in both to decide.
This is only my experience but I hope you find it useful.
Thanks for the replies. Test rides are the problem. The closest shop has a couple of Lightnings on their floor and I plan on stopping by at first opportunity. My neighbor says they don't sell much so the shop doesn't keep many but at least I can try one. A shop in the county north of me has a couple of LWBs but I don't recall the brand. Again they just happen to sell a few 'bents it's not a priority. I've heard of a State Farm agent who sells RANS, basically out of his office.
I'm thinking SWB as I'm looking for something which will be my "workout" and "have fun" bike. I used to ride sport motorcycles and leaning hard into a turn is one of life's great pleasures.
Walter, have you been reading Recumbent Cyclist News? A good source of info. www.recumbentcyclistnews.co The Jan/Feb '02 issue is the season preview and resources guide.
Think long and hard about what you want to do with a 'bent. I used to be a big wheel enthusiast but now I know that small wheels rule. True, small wheels don't go through potholes as smoothly but on a short wheelbase its easier to steer around the potholes. If you want to do any traveling with your 'bent folding is good and in a suitcase is better. I'm a Bike Friday SatRDay lover.
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