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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 03-22-09, 09:15 PM   #1
Neil_B
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As a couple of posters know already, I test rode a bent today:



Well, not exactly rode it. More like I was pushed. I found it impossible to remain upright on the bike. Between my sense of balance, slightly off to begin with, and the super-sensitive steering of a bent, I had to be held from behind during the 20 minutes or so I test 'rode' it. Every time I started off I veered sharply to the left- I have the same problems on uprights, but I can correct for it in a second or so. I don't know if it's bents in general I'll have a problem with, or just this one, but for now a recumbent is NOT something I am pursuing.

Tom Stormcrowe may be right that a trike is what I should be riding.
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Old 03-22-09, 10:05 PM   #2
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'bent riders often speak of "recumbent grin". While this is a real phenomenon, my first 'bent experience gave me what I dubbed "recumbent grimace of terror". It took me 7 tries just to get both feet on the pedals (this was a 'highracer' with the pedals above the 26" front wheel), and I couldn't pedal more than about 5 mph nor go in a straight line to save my life. I tried my co-worker's Easy Racer's Tour Easy and did a tiny bit better. A week later I returned to the LBS and tried a different 'bent with better success, then hunted down and bought my V-Rex. Riding that for the first time was tough and no doubt very amusing to onlookers.

About 3 weeks of practicing on a closed loop road in an office park followed, then 1 terrifying ride in traffic, followed by 2 more weeks on the closed loop - maybe 125-150 miles of riding before I was confident enough to handle public roads. The balance IS different on these bikes and there is a real learning curve. It's not quite learning to ride from scratch, but it's close.

So look - one ride might not have been enough for you to get going on that particular recumbent. Another option is the Rans crank forward bikes. These are semi-recumbent (no weight on your hands on the "Fusion" and "Cruz" models), they climb very well since you can pull on the handlebar to get leverage into the pedals, and can easily handle large loads for touring with a long wheelbase. And riding them is not much different from a regular bike, except for learning hill-climbing technique and the ridiculous grin you get once you can bike without pain. Another co-worker got one recently, and after our ride last week declared: "I'm selling my road bike. I never want to ride that thing again."

All that said...recumbent trikes are supposed to be just stupidly fun to ride. The nearest dealer to me is 90 miles away, but if I'm ever out that way I'll be sure to find out first hand.
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Old 03-22-09, 10:57 PM   #3
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Don't do anything that maybe be hazardous to your health!...They look interesting. Gina's got her eye on 'em, says they look fun. Of course they are my friend's superfast bents. One told me he'd let her try it out on a ride. Heck no, she'd smoke me bigtime. They are about 4k each, I don't think so Gina!

These guys are cruising at 26mph while I'm busting my butt at 23, never catch 'em!
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Old 03-23-09, 05:05 AM   #4
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It's a whole different world from every thing I have ever been told. I wouldn't let the initial impression be the lasting one, or the dominating one.

Give it some time and get some practice in, no matter how awkward, before deciding anything final. It seems there are just as many types of 'bents out there as there are uprights.
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Old 03-23-09, 05:28 AM   #5
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Agreed, the mechanics of riding a bent are different, Neil. If you do look at trikes, look for a cat trike or a Greenspeed Tadpole, though. The EZ3 Delta design is also an option, but given your hilly country, the 52 pound tare weight could make yu somewhat unhappy, although you'll find that if you just put it in the lowest gear and tractor up a hill, you'll get there. It doesn't matter how slowly you go up a hill, either for balance concerns.

The other thing is that either way, your touring trailer can be pulled. If you wind up with the EZ3 design, I'll send you the ways to adapt the basket mounts to pull a Bob type trailer.
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Old 03-23-09, 07:14 AM   #6
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Neil,

My first (and only) test-ride was the Bacchetta Agio that I decided to buy on the spot. It is different, and takes a little time. The Agio has been discontinued, but there are other great bikes out there.

Be sure to keep test-riding. It does become second nature. I commute often on my long-wheelbase Agio, in heavy traffic, with no issues now. I just did it today.
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Old 03-23-09, 07:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
and the super-sensitive steering of a bent, I had to be held from behind during the 20 minutes or so I test 'rode' it. Every time I started off I veered sharply to the left- I have the same problems on uprights, but I can correct for it in a second or so.
You have to really, really relax to steer a recumbent. Over on BROL new riders are usually told to try holding the handlebars lightly with your thumb and a finger, which will help your upper body to relax. If you're tense you'll overcorrect continuously.
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Old 03-23-09, 08:46 AM   #8
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Recumbents are much harder to balance than an upright. If you have a balance problem to begin with, you may never like a recumbent.

High-end tricycles used to be popular in England and France. Well, not exactly popular, but they had a cult following. I'm sure you can find one somewhere. You'll pay a pretty penny for it, though.
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Old 03-24-09, 07:49 AM   #9
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Neil, sorry that it didn't work out for you

Have you considered a tadpole recumbent trike? http://www.actionbent.com/TWTRIKE.html Price wise they are less expensive than I originally expected.
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Old 03-24-09, 09:24 AM   #10
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Wow, that looks nice! I like it better than recumbent bicycles! And $1100 is not bad at all!
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Old 03-25-09, 07:21 AM   #11
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Neil -

Drove to State College last weekend and put $$ down on a recumbent trike - a TerraTrike Cruiser. Libby and I had a blast riding around. Hopefully I'll be able to pick it up next weekend.

Judy
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Old 03-25-09, 07:43 AM   #12
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I was talking to a fella the other day about his recumbent trike, he loves it! Really fast and when he pulls into a rest stop he dosnt even get off the bike, he has a lawnchair on wheels!
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Old 03-25-09, 09:28 AM   #13
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I find my road bike to be nearly infinately more manueverable then my old Giro 26 which was a dual 26" highracer type bike. After being off of it for a few weeks I kept wanting to fall off of it so I'm glad you didn't test ride one of those. Look how high I am off the ground! I put almost 5500 miles on that bike and even near the end when I rode off I'd think I was missing a seat belt or something. N-1 for me as of Saturday

For me it took a lot of practice and i'd have to plan ahead while I rode. I'm sure others can take to it without any sort of issues.

I now have a hurricane with dual 20" wheels and it just fits and works for _me_ better. From the first time I rode it even with it being so different from the Giro 26 I had no problems at all on it. The steering has more leverage(?) and isn't at twitchy plus I'm closer to the ground and feel more like the bike and I are one instead of I'm just floating there.

Still my road bike is more responsive and since you are standing on a road bike it is much easier to throw around. IIRC the EZ you rode has very twitchy steering which at slow speeds is really hard to ride if you try and go straight. You just gotta go not straight till you get up to speed and relax your grip. Relax alot!

Did you get a ride at a shop and did they set you up right on it? One thing about EZ's are they are often available at shops who don't know anything about bents. Even the shop I got my Bacchetta at has gotten repeated workshops on how to work on and fit a bent to a rider. Just good to hear you didn't get hurt on it!

My wife has both a cattrike and she loves it but they are very low and I have a problem getting into them. The weight limit on hers is 250 rider+gear so I have never even sat in hers. I did try out the one at the store which someoen I know ended up buying and returning because it had all kinds of problems
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