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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 11-19-08, 10:58 AM   #1
Neil_B
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Getting 'bent - or semi-bent?

OK, I'm considering a 'bent, or a semi-bent, for the next bike. I have some questions:

Are there any good 'bents under a thousand bucks?

Are there any 'bents that will fit in a car? I currently squeeze my bikes into my Geo Prizm.

How do you handle commuting on a 'bent? Do you have trouble locking up to bike racks?

Anyone test ride the Day 6 bikes? I believe these are sometimes called "semi-recumbent." Since I like touring, I want something I can ride all day on. I don't care about speed, since I don't have any to begin with, but I'd rather not have a bike that lumbers.

Suggestions, folks?

I'm not ready to abandon the diamond frame bike, but I feel that if I can get reasonably comfortable on a bike, I could easily double my yearly mileage.
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Old 11-19-08, 11:10 AM   #2
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Well in a prism hmmmm. Made me think of this recent new bike topic from BROL




Never tried Day 6 but I hear really good things about the crank forwards from Rans.

I'll have to think about this a while.. a recumbent for historian hmmm
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Old 11-19-08, 11:14 AM   #3
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Whats prompting this line of thought? More comfort for the long commute?
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Old 11-19-08, 12:36 PM   #4
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http://jayspedalpower.com/itemlist.cfm?category=137

Outside your price range, but will give you some ideas as to whgat to look for, maybe used.
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Old 11-19-08, 01:32 PM   #5
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BWAHAHAHAHA! Welcome to the dark side.

<1000$ is tough for a new 'bent, but used ones are not uncommon.
First, find a recumbent heavy LBS and go ride different types: long wheelbase (not likely to fit in your car), short wheel base (more likely to fit, but I'm not sure), etc. Give each a good ride and see what you think. It may take you a while to get used to the recumbent geometry--you use your body weight much less to balance, it's more about using the steering to keep you balanced.
Get an idea of the things you like then watch craigslist and your local bike classifieds.

RANS and Bachetta are the two most common makers. Sun makes lower end bents as well, but they tend to be heavy. There are many used bents out there from great makers that went out of business (Vision and BikE) that can be great deals.
The authoritative site is bentrideronline.com. They have a classifieds section as well.
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Old 11-19-08, 01:36 PM   #6
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Missed the question about commuting.

Just use a pannier or seat back bag. I have both and prefer a laptop pannier where you can just pop it off the rear rack and carry it into the building. I have had no probs attaching to a bike rack, but I use cable locks. Getting a heavy duty U lock attached would be a challenge depending on the bent and the rack type.
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Old 11-19-08, 01:38 PM   #7
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If you fall in love with a 'bent that won't fit in your car... put it on your car. A roof rack should be capable. I'm looking to get a roof rack to haul my Agio.
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Old 11-19-08, 01:51 PM   #8
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Historian, find a place that sells them and go test riding. You won't regret it. Aren't you in PA? One of the country's largest 'bent dealers is there: RBR in State College, PA.

Short wheelbase bikes, where the bottom bracket is in front of the front axle, fit on/in cars without too much trouble. I have a Saris 3 Bone trunk rack that works nicely. My '99 ('98?) Rans V-Rex cost me $700 from the classifieds on bentrideronline.com, and that's with some upgraded bits like a Chris King headset and SRAM X.0 rear derailleur. When I lock up to a bike rack I just put the rear wheel in first.

For used bikes, the Rans Rocket (dual 20") and V-Rex (20/26") are good bets since they've been in production a long time. You may find some of the Burley SWB bikes like the Hepcat or Django on the market as well. You could always sell Roarke to fund your move to the Dark Side of cycling, increase your budget by $400, and shop for a new Bacchetta Giro 20 at RBR. Long wheelbase bikes with lower bottom brackets can be easier to ride (like dcrowell's Agio), but are harder to transport and store.

Actually, what you'll find, is that the recumbent is a better bike. Comfier, faster, safer, and more fun. Unless you're mountain biking, in which case I'll concede the upright is superior for better use of body English.
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Old 11-19-08, 02:09 PM   #9
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Actually, what you'll find, is that the recumbent is a better bike. Comfier, faster, safer, and more fun. Unless you're mountain biking, in which case I'll concede the upright is superior for better use of body English.
I agree with your assessment, but wow, I'm gonna grab my asbestos underwear! This _is_ bikeforums!

The perfect bike is the one that you ride. I keep trying diamond frame bikes, but haven't had one speak to me since I started riding the Stratus. I am thinking about a diamond frame for a winter, early spring commuting bike. I won't take my stratus out into the snow and ice, but I might take a beater bike out.
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Old 11-19-08, 04:22 PM   #10
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Are there any 'bents that will fit in a car? I currently squeeze my bikes into my Geo Prizm.
I carry my bacchetta on a hitch mounted rack (your car doesn't need to be able to tow to hold a hitch rack as long as a hitch fits) but my wifes hurricane goes in hatchback. Both short wheelbase bikes but the dual 26" wheels means mines goes outside while her dual 20" wheels mean it fits inside. I just picked up a hurricane for myself an hour after my last post but it may be too low for you and I have seen a few people sell their hurricanes that sited spinal fusion type issues as the reason. Hurricanes have a hard aluminum seat covered by foam so hmm I shoulda thought of that before I hit bid oh well.

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How do you handle commuting on a 'bent? Do you have trouble locking up to bike racks?
I used an aerotrunk and my wife uses an aeropod which is like a mini trunk. They both go behind the seat. Regarding a lock it depends on how you lockup your diamond frame. It is easy enough to use my big krypto u-lock or my cuff lock to lock to any rack/railing to hold the frame but there is no rear triangle. I haven't heard of many recumbent wheel thefts, any actually, but it is possible and I probably will be getting some locking skewers for that. The Mini Ulocks won't fit my frame + anything since my frame is 3" ~thick. Locking will depend on the specific bike but most should be doable without much fuss.


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I'm not ready to abandon the diamond frame bike, but I feel that if I can get reasonably comfortable on a bike, I could easily double my yearly mileage.
I still ride my upright. My poor merlin road is my beater bike but the sheer burst accelleration and quick nimble handling is really nice for short little trips and I don't worry so much about losing it compared to my recumbent.
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Old 11-19-08, 04:37 PM   #11
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I got recruited last year at the LBS (while looking at other bikes I thought I couldn't afford) to try a couple Day 6 bikes the developer had brought in, and they were very comfy. Now that I have more experience and stamina...it would be interesting to try them out again.

I would look at them if I was having comfort or back issues riding the bikes I have now.
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Old 11-19-08, 09:29 PM   #12
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I run on a Cruzbike conversion. Cruzbikes can hover at a hair above $1000ish, fit bike racks and bus racks perfectly (though some of the wheelbenders require creativity), is a bit longer than a regular DF and so might take a bit more creativity to fit in a car, and I have no trouble riding them comuting or on long trips. They reportedly have a steeper learning curve than most recumbents, as you have to learn to work your feet into steering - I ride a unicycle, and the spinning and foot control skills from that made it an extremely fast learn. I personally recommend them.
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Old 11-19-08, 09:49 PM   #13
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if your commute has a lot of stop and go, I'm not sure the V-Rex is a good choice. I have one and love it, but starting and stopping with the relatively high BB is not easy. I currently commute on a DF, but could see moving to a CLWB commuter in the future. Mainly though I concur with those who recommend going to a recumbent shop and trying everything they have.
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Old 11-20-08, 06:43 AM   #14
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Have you considered a recumbent trike by any chance? That would probably make a really nice commuter/tourer especially if you find yourself in a lot of stop and go situations.
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Old 11-20-08, 06:51 AM   #15
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Whats prompting this line of thought? More comfort for the long commute?
I don't need to force myself to learn a 'proper' mounting procedure I'm probably not capable of performing. Also, I don't need to worry about finding a saddle that I can fit my twisted pelvis onto.

If I could find a bike I can ride that works with my body, instead of against it, I could ride forever.
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Old 11-20-08, 06:54 AM   #16
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I don't need to force myself to learn a 'proper' mounting procedure I'm probably not capable of performing. Also, I don't need to worry about finding a saddle that I can fit my twisted pelvis onto.

If I could find a bike I can ride that works with my body, instead of against it, I could ride forever.
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Old 11-20-08, 07:22 AM   #17
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Here is a link with a couple of bents and trikes including price at a wholeseller who ships. The tadpole looks pretty sweet but is a hair above the original budget.

http://www.actionbent.com/GendBikes.html
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Old 11-20-08, 07:34 AM   #18
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If I could find a bike I can ride that works with my body, instead of against it, I could ride forever.
What about a custom frame? There are lots of small frame builders around these days and not all of them are turning out mega-buck frames. I know a local machinist and welder who also builds frames. If work is slow and he needs to put food on the table, he can crank out a darn nice chromoly frame in a day and only charges $300-500 for it. They're sold semi-anonymously, don't get paint/powdercoat, decals, or fancy tubing like the $1000+ full-zoot frames he sells through local bike shops, but they're still great bikes...

Custom won't help with the saddle problems, but may help with mounting and other fit-related issues. You could, for example, have a bike designed to use a bottom bracket with a wider spindle which might better accommodate your toe-out riding style.
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Old 11-20-08, 08:14 AM   #19
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My Tadpole trike, a TerraTrike Cruiser, is a great entry-level trike. I bought my wife's for 1100$ and mine for 800$ both were used. They are very fun--I've done 60 mile rides on it, but efficiency is lower than my stratus.
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Old 11-22-08, 07:46 AM   #20
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Historian: See
http://www.bentrideronline.com/messa...ad.php?t=45045

A fellow in Pleasant Gap, PA has two <1000$ bents for sale on closeout.
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Old 11-22-08, 07:49 AM   #21
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Historian: See
http://www.bentrideronline.com/messa...ad.php?t=45045

A fellow in Pleasant Gap, PA has two <1000$ bents for sale on closeout.
If I purchase a 'bent, it will be a long way off.
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Old 11-22-08, 09:35 AM   #22
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If I purchase a 'bent, it will be a long way off.
I gotcha. Wasn't sure where you were located and thought he might be a nearby dealer.
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Old 11-22-08, 09:36 AM   #23
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I gotcha. Wasn't sure where you were located and thought he might be a nearby dealer.
No, I meant I'm not ready to buy one now. There are disadvantages to being broke.
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Old 11-22-08, 01:17 PM   #24
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I had to get hit by a car to get my first bent then my grandma had to die to get the next.
a little less clunky then the Day 6 bike look at the rans http://www.ransbikes.com/ crank forward.
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Old 11-22-08, 11:58 PM   #25
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I commute 19 miles each way, with a pretty reasonable elevation change just for fun. My route is http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/Microsoft-commute, if you're interested.

I ride a Bacchetta Giro 20 that I bought used from a friend for $1K. Of course I then had to outfit it for commuting, so I spent another $500+ getting the AeroTurnk, good (DiNotte) lights, Kevlar-belted tires, etc. This year I added a fairing, which was another $600. I haul it on a hitch-mounted Saris Cycle-On rack (http://www.amazon.com/Saris-Cycle-2-...419297&sr=8-18) that ran another $325 or so. The point being that, just like the DF, you'll spend money after buying the thing if you're seriously going to depend on it as a primary means of transportation.

That being said, however, after two years of regular commuting on this bicycle, I'm not planning to ever go back. No, I don't have back problems or leg problems or any other kind of problem; I just like riding a seriously comfortable bicycle. I can ride in regaular clothes (i.e. I don't need padded shorts), ride with my head up so I'm able to enjoy the sights, and overall I'm no slower or faster on the 'bent than I was on my DF. I'm a little slower going uphill, but I was never that good at climbing anyway. OTOH, going downhill, especially with the new fairing on, I'm a bat out of heck, or wherever, The long hard climb in the morning regularly turns into a 35-40+ MPH ride on the way home. Seriously scary
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