Recumbent - Help me pick an affordable (cheap) recumbent
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03-08-11, 12:43 PM
Let me start off saying I'm disabled (neuro muscular disease that limits leg strength) and on a fixed income, so I can't spend too much. However, it needs to be something I can easily get on and off of.
I've been looking at the Sun line up as they seem to be the cheapest, and the only brand the local shops carry. The frames are all slightly higher than what I would like, for stepping over. For some reference, I used to have a rebike 707, http://www.bikepedia.com/Quickbike/BikeSpecs.aspx?Year=1997&Brand=ReBike&Model=ReBike+707&Type=bike and stepping over the chain guard was a little difficult.
The seat can't be too short though, because then I have trouble standing up from it. This makes me hesitant on under seat steering. That's what was nice about the rebike being hybrid, recumbent with a high seat.
So, to sum it up, what are your suggestions for an affordable, easy to get on recumbent.
03-08-11, 12:52 PM
A used Rans Stratus or Tailwind, or a used Easy Racer Tour Easy. Check your local craigslist.
03-08-11, 02:52 PM
+1 A used easy racer or gold rush replicas would meet those criteria and be easy to start on. Local craigslist or any of the recumbents sale on line spots such as Hostel shops, or the recumbent and tandem riders magazine for starters.
cranky old dude
03-08-11, 03:22 PM
It may be tough finding a step-over height lower than the rebike.
My wife has similar issues. Step over height is a big deal for her as it's very difficult for her to lift her legs.
She has a Sun X1-SX. I'd post a picture but photo-bucket has been 'in a snit' for a couple of days and my pics are unavailable for shareing. There are pictures and specs of all the bikes mentioned in this thread on-line though. EDIT: O.K....here we are...her Sun X1-SX...
The X1 has a very low step over height. The seat is mounted on a sloping top tube so the seat is closer to the ground for shorter legged folks and higher from the ground for longer legged folks. The X1 comes configured with a 20" rear wheel and a 16" front wheel. The X2 comes configured with a 26" rear and a 20" front. The cost is around $1000 new.
When you shop, look for that sloping tube that the seat is on. It will be most accomodating for your leg condition. Also look for lower Bottom Brackets to accomodate the difficulty of lifting the legs. The Rans Stratus is a larger bike but also a higher end bike and has similar seat adjustment advantages. The Bacchetta Bella is another
I ride a Tour Easy, a Sun EZ Sport, and a Volae Tour. I stand 5'11" tall with a 32" inseam and around a 39" X-seam (I think). All three of my bikes are a challange for me to mount if I'm tired and I don't recomend them for your situation.
EDIT: I just went out to the garage and measured. The X1 has a step-over height of 18", my Tour Easy (which has the lowest top tube of my three bikes) has a step-over height of 21.5". The top tube of the Tour Easy slopes down away from the Bottom Bracket so the longer your legs are the lower the seat will be. Also of note, my Tour Easy has a 405 front tire (some come with a 451, slightly larger diameter raising the bike slightly).
I hope some of this information will be of use to you.
Good hunting and best of luck with your neuro-muscular issues.
03-08-11, 05:08 PM
The wife has a Sun EZ-1 SX, she has a barely 26 in. inseam and has no problems with mounting the bike. When we rode hybrids, she had to always get a bike, "just a bit big" as she has short legs but a longer torso so the really short bikes cramped her upper body. Cranky's wife's X1-SX looks even easier to step-over. If your of any "size" at all, I'd looks at the Sun X2-CX model with the 20/26 wheel combo, it's got the same, "step thru X-Frame" the X1-SX has but it bit more roomy, jmho, ymmv. If you have to by used, might check some of the old, E Bike Recumbents, they seemed fairly low to the ground.
Have you ruled out a trike. The Greenspeed Anura looks easy to get on and off. But at around $2600 they are not what I'd call cheap. TerraTrike and Trident have the Rover and Spike priced about the same (around a thousand) and with fairly high seats. I find my Tour Easy and Bacchetta Cafe fairly easy to mount and dismount compared to a Rans V-Rex but they both still require quite a leg lift. I briefly had a Vision with USS and a 16 in front wheel and it was pretty easy to get on and off but it felt awkward with no handle up front to grab. I figure it was more because I was not used to it but something to keep in mind.
03-09-11, 10:38 AM
Thanks for the suggestions so far. I think I fall under the category of "some 'size' at all" I'm between 6'4" and 6'5", inseam of 42" don't know my x-seam. On my good days I can lift my foot about 18-20" for step over.
I've also considered trikes, knowing that my condition will worsen over time and at some point I will not have the coordination to keep a bike up right when stopped. However, I had a bike shop put on a trike kit, that turned out to be some jerry rigged thing, and I didn't care for the ride of that.
What I'm wondering is if it would be possible to convert one of the sun bikes into a trike, using sun parts? I haven't seen the trike in person, but in pictures it looks like the frames are similar enough to make it work.
03-09-11, 11:01 AM
NOT mine (trikes only for me!) : http://sfbay.craigslist.org/scz/bik/2250082384.html
Problem is it is in Santa Cruz...
cranky old dude
03-09-11, 06:52 PM
I don't know anything about converting two wheelers into trikes. It may be feasable, I just don't have enough knowledge of the products involved to even guess.
On the subject of recumbent knowledge, the folks over on BROL are fantastic guys also.
Here's some other trike options.
The seat appears high enough to easily sit on and stand from. I'm guessing that the step-over height is about 11" to 12" judging from the pics. There are comfy, low positions for your feet.
You get all the aerobic benefits of cycling and the freedom to ride where you wish without depending on your legs to do the work.
If your issues are similar to my wifes, exercise is an important part of treatment and a bike of this type could extend that option regardless of how your legs feel.
If you're reluctant to go Hand-power, Sun has some nice trikes with higher seating. The advantage to climbing onto a trike is the bike's inherent stability. You can back onto the seat and use your hands to help lift your leg across the top tube.
Also, if you haven't already, check with your health insurance company. You may qualify for some financial assistance towards the purchase if it is endorsed by your doctor. We used that financial assistance towards the purchase my wife's Eliptical Trainer. (The Eliptical is also a great exercise option for neuro-muscular weak leg situations)
There are several styles of both hand-powered and foot powered trikes on the market with higher seating and low step-over heights.
03-10-11, 06:14 PM
Just thought I would mention it?
The "TerraTrike" Rover is a 'tadpole' trike (2 wheels in front, one in back) with a seat height of 18.5 inches. No lifting a leg over, simply back up til your legs touch, then sit down in your rolling lawn chair.
The Rover comes in a single speed, three speed, and 8 speed. Price range is $699, $799, and $999 - shipping to Ohio is $149, there is no sales tax, and the trike comes fully built and put together.
Or, if you want more/custom - go to Utah Trikes (custom shop for TerraTrike), and they can make you a 24 speed Rover for like $1199.
I am 360lbs (400lb weight limit) with one knee replaced, and a hip going bad. The Rover works for me.
I did buy a "Lasco" crankset with a 22/32/44 and 152mm cranks for $75 bucks from UTT - So my lowest gear is now 16 gear inches, but my top speed is only 13 MPH (fine with me) - I took off the two bigger chain-rings.
Feel free to look at any of my photos - showing the trike, modifications and more stuff coming (like my trike stand)...
Feel free to ask any questions if you like.
All the photos:
Be well :)
03-10-11, 09:31 PM
What worries me with tadpoles, or uss deltas is the lack of anything to support myself with getting up. Are the grips sturdy enough to push yourself up? If I don't use the arm rests to get up from an office chair, I'm only successful about 1 in 10 times.
03-11-11, 07:08 AM
If getting a Rover, you order "locking brakes", ($20bucks) and do *not* order front fenders...
Then with locked brakes you use the front wheels (tires), and/or the pedal nearest you. It's something you would need to try I guess?
03-12-11, 10:47 AM
I just posted this one on Ebay It has a low step over height and the stem moves forward to get on and off
Item number: 290544359023
Counterpoint Presto SWB recumbent bike framew/web seat
If you are at all mechanical you could save some bucks throwing wheels on it. a comparable new recumbent would cost at least 1600- bucks
03-12-11, 10:28 PM
Thank you, globalrider, but the swb's don't work for me.
03-13-11, 05:08 AM
You said you looked at a Sun. Have you thought about a Sun X3-XS over seat steering (OSS) trike? It's like the Sun bike that Cranky Old Dude posted, but it’s a trike.
I have one, it's stable and I've never come close to tipping it over, even running my 90lb lab dog...AND BELIEVE ME, HE HAS TRIED!!! :)
Something about the trike with the OSS, you can use the handle bars and the back of the seat to help getting up/dn. Then you could sit down like side-saddle and from there pull your legs over.
BTW, I bought mine new out the door for $975. Station-INC has them for $967 plus shipping, but they do offer fright dock pick up, which is cheaper. Phone # 1-405-605-3765. http://www.staton-inc.com/store/products/Sun_68607_X3_SX_Trike_laser_blue-61-2.html (I've never dealt with them, but I'm probably going to order a lock collar axle gear with less teeth to get more top end from them next week.) They also carry gas and electric motors for that trike, plus many more for other bikes/trikes.
I don't remember where, but I did see them something like around $875 on one web site.
Oh yeah, mine is red, and it is one nice red!!! Ask Cranky Old Dude.
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