Long time since my last post, I need a recommendation on a recumbent bike, should I get a tricycle?
I'm 6'4 and 350.
I can't recommend a specific bent. You might want to check under the recumbent forum here on BF or the bentrideronline website.
Some general consideration are the longer wheel base models are easier to ride for beginners. The short wheel bases are quicker because of aerodynamics but a bit more "twitchy" to steer.
A bent vs trike to depends on where you are going to ride. You are more limited in where you ride a trike, in my opinion because you need more space. There are those that disagree with me, and say you just take a lane. That might work on some roads but I wouldn't feel comfortable doing that in certain locations.
So maybe a little more informaion on what type of riding you are doing and why are you thinking bent. I may consider one someday, when I feel my riding can handles the hills I live in.
Last edited by dbikingman; 09-08-08 at 10:11 AM. Reason: add website
When my wife rides her trike she gets the whole lane. People around here won't pass her unless they can change lanes or take the entire lane going the other directions. We live on and mostly ride in two lanes roads with barely enough room for cars there is no shoulder, sidewalk or bike lane/path on most roads.
Of course it only takes one person to miss the flag or twin dinottes on her bike but that goes the same
for any bike you ride. A trike or recumbent usually gets a second look, slowdown and careful pass but it isn't something to depend on. Always be ready to go into that ditch
Two bikes often discussed over at bentrideronline for heavier riders with official 350# weight limits
Rans does it this way.
WhizWheelz does it this way.
Most bents and trikes do publish weight limits and I have gone over on both of the ones I ride. My Rans Stratus XL (older model) is a joy to ride and can be fairly fast. I have put 2000 miles of my heavy butt on it with the only real failures being the rear seat stays (a problem on older ones). Of course, I have had a heavy bombproof wheel built up for the rear.
The real recumbent forum is bentrideronline.com and I hang out there regularly. Not a lot of advice for clydes there, but they are for the most part very friendly.
As to the trike: You will probably be a bit slower on the trike compared to a bent. 1 mph or so if similarly equipped. My Cruiser is sort of low end and my stratus is definitely higher end so I see 2-2.5 mph difference in my speeds, but part of that may be muscle groups and seat posture. I have to have the seat all the way back on both, but feel a bit more cramped on the trike.
The trike is very fun, but harder to keep up with faster riders on group rides. On my Rans, I can make some decent time on and be very comfortable.
Where do you live? There are several well known bent shops around the nation. Going to one or two and riding for a bit will really help you get a feel for them.
2007 TerraTrike Cruiser (XL) Trike
2004 Rans Stratus XL LWB Recumbent
1999 Trek Navigator 200 21"
I have as one of my bikes, a Bike E AT, xl. AT means that it has a rear suspension (shock absorber) unlike the regular Bike E, and the xl frame size is perfect for guys tall &/or large. The bike really is a blast to ride. I've ridden other recumbents and this one is my current favorite.
Some recumbents require a learning curve to get going with, not the "E". I'm 6' 1" 290 [was 310 when I got it] and the fella I bought it from was 6'3" 330. The XL AT is very manueverable and takes un-expected potholes in stride. I'm planning to keep it in my growing small stable of bikes.
Some recumbents that would fit are long, very long, and are fast and a nice ride. The Bike E is more compact. It is not made anymore [some legal distribution suit], although a bunch are out there and parts availability is good...a number of Bike E sites exist (it is NOT the electric bike which has a similar name).
I like the Rans bikes as well. Their seat is great for anybody, including Clydes. The also have a "peddles forward" bike that is interesting. It puts my legs in a position that seems to hurt my lower back, which is fused. They have long-wheel based bikes and compact wheel-base bikes. All have their place. I like the Stratus XL and the Rocket.
I was biking yesterday and stopped at a coffee shop with the outside lined with bikes. Statrted chatting with a guy with a tadpole [trike with the two wheels forward, one rear configuration, which provides better performance in cornering etc] and tried his ride. It wasnt for me due to the angle of leaning back, which put my neck in a bad position, potentially harmful position. There are many trikes and trial is important. One that fits this clyde well is the Sun 3 USX [vs the lower base model, which can also work for a Clyde but parts and components do not seem durable if you plan to ride much], although I did not buy it. The greenspeed [linked in a prior post here] is a sweet ride. I have found, actually to my surprise, that I can hack two wheelers [including non-recumbent] and that they provide more advantages & fun, for me. Trikes do have their place.
I have a Sun EZ-3 AX delta trike. It's higher than the typical tadpole trike, and you'd be more visible than on the tadpole. The seating position is about like driving a car, and the height would put you approximately eye to eye with car drivers. It's rather heavy (about 50 lbs according to Sun), but it has gearing about like a mountain bike, so it handles hills reasonably well.
2009 version of their V3 LWB bike is now rated at 325 lbs, which it the highest that I have come across in my search for a 2nd recumbent (I had an EZ-1 for four years, but the frame failed in '07 after rust got into it .)
I currently have a '09 V3 on order, but as you did on your Stratus, I'm having the LBS I purchased the bike at build a custom rear "super wheel" (this would be their 3rd for me, as I had one created for the EZ-1, and then used the hub from that one to build a wheel for the upright that I'm currently riding.)
I'm 6'-4", 280 lbs. I ride a Catrike Trail model with an extended boom. The fellow at the bike shop in Margate, Florida where I purchased the trike is 6'-5", 320lbs. HE recommended the Catrike. Catrike says they are rated to 275 lbs, but my extra mass, along with bags full of "stuff" to ride long distances don't seem to phase it a bit. I carry tools, camera, ipod, lube, rags, LOTs of water, food, snacks, just a bunch of stuff, and have NEVER had a problem with the bike in the first 1000+ miles.
Give the Catrike a look, it is a first class ride for a big guy.
Tractor Tom in Okeechobee, FL