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  1. #1
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    Anyone over 60 switch to a bent?

    Has anyone over 60 that rides 2,000 miles plus a year switched to a recumbent? I will turn 63 in a couple of weeks and am considering a bent. I ride 4,500+ miles a year. 2 bikes that I intend to try are the Bacchetta Giro 20 and the Easy racers Tour Easy. I feel I might be more comfortable in the lower Easy Racer but don't know. Any other suggestions to try? I will do some credit card touring immediately, a lot more after I retire in a year or so. I do a lot of 80 to 100 mile club rides during the year.
    Every bent rider I talk to were enthusiastic about their bent. I forgot to ask if they were low mileage occasional riders or high mileage regular riders. Please tell me your experiences and what you would do different or do over.
    Phil

  2. #2
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    I turned 60 in December and have no plans to own a bent. In fact, I bought my new commuter (see below) as a 60th bday present.
    My bikes: 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2015 Cannondale Supersix EVO carbon 105 on order

    Life is like a 10-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use. ~ Charles Schultz

  3. #3
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    I just turned 60 in January, and I've been thinking about a bent for a couple of years, but haven't pulled the trigger yet. I test-rode a couple last year, and I had a surprising amount of trouble staying upright--I didn't expect any problems, but I just wasn't comfortable or stable at all on anything but the Bike E, which I don't really think of as a recumbent. People who ride bents seem to love them, though. I might have gotten serious about it this year, but I got a good deal on an ex-demo Rambouillet from Rivendell, so I'm going to live with that for awhile. Maybe when I'm 65...

  4. #4
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    Has anyone under 60 ever switched to a bent?

  5. #5
    Ride it, don't fondle it! Wheel Doctor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PALux
    Has anyone over 60 that rides 2,000 miles plus a year switched to a recumbent? I will turn 63 in a couple of weeks and am considering a bent. I ride 4,500+ miles a year. 2 bikes that I intend to try are the Bacchetta Giro 20 and the Easy racers Tour Easy. I feel I might be more comfortable in the lower Easy Racer but don't know. Any other suggestions to try? I will do some credit card touring immediately, a lot more after I retire in a year or so. I do a lot of 80 to 100 mile club rides during the year.
    Every bent rider I talk to were enthusiastic about their bent. I forgot to ask if they were low mileage occasional riders or high mileage regular riders. Please tell me your experiences and what you would do different or do over.
    Phil
    Phil, Go to bentrideronline.com

  6. #6
    Cycling Anarchist Trsnrtr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ewitz
    Has anyone under 60 ever switched to a bent?
    Of course. I tried bents after prostate cancer surgery (52 y.o.) and liked them so well that I sold my uprights, a Serotta and an Eisentraut.

    I rode over 6000 miles last year on a couple of highracers. I'm as fast on my bents as I was on my uprights and a hell of a lot more comfortable.

    -Dennis
    Dennis T

  7. #7
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Am in my 70s and got a new 'wedgie' c/f racing bike.
    Have tried a few bents but still prefer my 'wedgie.'

  8. #8
    sch
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    I got the bent bug in '00 at 57. Resumed riding DF in '96 after a series of fits and starts in the '80s
    and '90s. Rode 6-7 yrs in the '70s then marriage and career in the pre tri days shut me down.
    Got up to 8kmi/yr in '98-'00 and wear and tear began to be a problem, with bilateral tennis elbow.
    An enforced hiatus to recertify my EM boards lead to deconditioning and between that and the
    elbow problem I dropped back to ~4kmi/yr since then. I have had only one bent, a Rotator Pursuit
    and find it extremely comfortable. Took about 300mi to master the steering and adapt leg muscles.
    I find it my preferred bike for centuries, no problems with the crotch or neck, elbows or wrists.
    I ride the bent about 50% of the time, DF the rest. Most of my rides are 25-50mi range with occasional
    60-80milers. If I ride with a faster group I will use the DF, if with tandems or myself I tend to use
    the bent. I feel much less abused after a century ride on the bent than on the DF. You can also see
    the terrain and scenery without neck strain. Because of the slower up hills problem I don't use the
    bent on group rides with faster riders or known hilly terrain. On flats and rollers there is no problem
    keeping contact but I go up hills 2-3mph slower on the bent (hill is anything that knocks me down below
    8-10mph) than the DF so with a speedy group (average >16-17mph) I loose contact and some groups
    won't wait. Steve

  9. #9
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Why do some people type like the above post. Makes it hard to read. Don't hit the return key just because the cursor is at the end of the line; the text will wrap. Thanks.
    My bikes: 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2015 Cannondale Supersix EVO carbon 105 on order

    Life is like a 10-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use. ~ Charles Schultz

  10. #10
    Senior Member ChiliDog's Avatar
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    Hey Phil, www.bentrideronline.com or this boards recumbent section are great places to learn more, as someone said.

    I got on a recumbent bike at age 46 and have added a recumbent to my stable of bikes. I have a road, mountain, and recumbent bike. I currently have a Bacchetta Giro 20 and have also ridden an Easy Racers Tour Easy and RANS Rocket and V-Rex. Both are totally "sweet" rides, though all ride differently. Then there is the whole world of trikes, which is skyrocketing as more and more models are coming on the market! "Trike freaks" are really addicted to their rides...I've yet to find one to test ride, but it sure seems like fun!

    You don't have to be 60 or disabled or any of the other stereotypes out there to ride bents. Bents are just darn fun and the bent community is full of a great bunch of people!

    Come on over and check us out..... :=)
    The bike for you is the one you will ride!

  11. #11
    lowracer ninja master lowracer1's Avatar
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    Why wait until you are over 60 to enjoy bents? I got bent at age 34. I'm 37 now. NO health problems. Just wanted something more comfortable and faster to boot. I found it in the lowracer style recumbents. Now that you can get a sub 20lb carbon lowracer, hills aren't even that much of a problem now. I keep up with the road riders going up just fine.
    chris@promocycle.net

  12. #12
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    Hey there.

    I am now just switching to a 'bent (albeit at the relatively early age of 52). The first reason was a bad wrist which doesn't tolerate weight at certain angles and the second was my shoulders, both of which are in the process of recovering from surgery and extensive phys. therapy.

    I was very surprised by the speed and comfort of certain of the bikes. My own preferences were for the LWB models, particularly the Tour Easy/Gold Rush and the Rans Stratus. I found the Rans V2 (the new alum. version) a bit stiff, the leg placement a bit too high for comfort, and the arm rests a tad too "Easy Rider" for my tastes. The seat also was too stiff (although that can be addressed easily by replacing it with the std. RANS seat).

    I found the Stratus a bit "tiller-like" in the steering (a description that means something only after one has tried a variety of bikes), but very nice otherwise. Beautifully finished. It just wasn't "hot" enough in its ride for me.

    The Tour Easy still is quirky, but remains my favorite ride. I especially like the steering. I'm going for the Gold Rush, though, partially for its speed and partially just because I want to treat myself...age does have a few perks ;-)

    IOW, try as many as you can and hone in on what you like. I strongly suggest taking long rides (i.e. more than 10 minutes) on all before you make any decisions, since the entire experience takes a bit of getting used to.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
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    I have averaged about 7800 miles a year for several years. Since I am still young (just short of 60) I am sticking with my "wedgie" and my MTB.

  14. #14
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    Thanks Wheel Doctor and ChiliDog for the link. Got some good help there. I had wanted to get in bent shape and try to tour this summer on a bent. I won’t be able to test the ones I want until the middle of next month. 2,000 miles training was suggested several times so I will probably tour on the Cannondale T2000 this year. I will buy the one I like and start commuting on it regularly but just won’t have the miles needed by July. A lot of riders on other recumbent forums ride both bents and df styles.

    Also looked at the recycled recumbent web site. I am now making my own recycled from an old 27 inch and a kids 20 inch. It will be more on the style of the Bachetta with a long square tube frame but I will add a second steer tube further out front to create dual swb and lwb version in one bike. As this is my own design and very heavy it will be a ‘don’t ride farther than you are willing to walk’ bike but should be a lot of fun and good experience. This is not hard for me as I am a retired machinist and have a nearly complete welding and machine shop.
    Phil

  15. #15
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    I swithched to a Sun EZ Sport (akin to the toureasy) this year and I'm 57. What a difference. A little slower but way more comfortable. More comfort means more riding, without constantly making small adjustments to manage pain. I'm definately partial to LWB recumbents like the toureasy. Buy one, and you'll never go back to DF.

  16. #16
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    I swithched to a Sun EZ Sport (akin to the tour easy) this year and I'm 57. What a difference. A little slower but way more comfortable. More comfort means more riding, without constantly making small adjustments to manage pain. I'm definately partial to LWB recumbents like the tour easy. Buy one, and you'll never go back to DF.

    Last week I 'went down' as punishment for not paying attention. I was able to plant my left foot, let go of the bike and plant my right foot. My hands never touched the ground. Not a scratch.

    More comfortable by miles and safer to boot. Get one. bk

  17. #17
    Berry Pie..the Holy Grail GrannyGear's Avatar
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    I'm 58 now, but bought and rode a Rans Tailwind (sort of "medium" wheelbase) for a year about 6 years ago. Here's my experience. There's a learning curve which may take a few months or more as your body accomodates to the new position. (The Tailwind put the crank spindle about belt buckle high--higher than a Tour Easy but nowhere as "up" as a short wheel base such as a Lightning, V-Rex, etc.--the higher the pedals, the longer the learning curve.) New muscles brought into play meant it took some weeks to get back up to sustained cruising speed. I climbed hills lie Sisyphys pushing his rock going anaerobic in ridiculously low gears, but descended like a greased bowling ball (i.e. fast).

    Things I didn't like. Hard to transport in those days...maybe better racks now. 'Bents give you a low profile...hard to be seen by drivers and your eyeball is level with most truck's tires. No out-of-saddle sprints when that Rott. is vectoring on, not your ankle, but your throat! While the seats are comfy in many ways...there is still something I experienced as 'bent butt-- my tailbone would get sore on longer rides...You can't really shift butt position while riding. The Tailwind had a very flexible "stem" (about 3 feet of it that flexed or "boinged" a lot). No track stands and, for me, less ultra low speed stability while creeping, waiting for a light to turn.

    Good Stuff: 'bents are cool! Nice to ride down roads, breeze in face, sitting up constantly...scenery everywhere. Get attention from people even still I think. Meet a fellow 'benter on the road and its like instant brotherhood. Know doubt that the position is less stressful on the body...fewer pressure points. Easier to ride with non-cycling injuries...sprained wrist, stiff neck, crotch rot (1). Finally, Mr. Winkie doesn't get numb.... so you can hop off the bike and hop on...........8-)

    Went back to wedgers simply because, in the end, they felt like "serious, real" bikes--which was pure bias. I also liked the taller position and easier climbing. In the best of all worlds, I would ride both if I could. Certainly worth test riding and seriously considering as an alternative to uprights.
    ..... "I renewed my youth, to outward appearance, by mounting a bicycle for the first time." Mark Twain, Speeches
    .

  18. #18
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    I switched to a Bacchetta Giro 20 in 2004 at age 64 after a coast to coast ride on a DF. One of the riders on the tour had a Easy Racer Tour Easy. Wow, was he fast after the West Coast mountains. I love my Giro and plan to tour with it. No more back or neck pains. It does take 1000 to 2000 miles for your legs to adjust to the change however once you get the feel you'll never look back.
    I see that you live in Tacoma. Angle Lake Cyclery is located in South Seattle.Telephone number is 206 878 7457. They have been in business for over 50 years and are a bike store that specializes in recumbents. Dale is man to see. He spent almost a day with me as I test rode various recumbents. They handle both Bacchetta and Easy Racer. I would definitely recommend Angle Lake. I would have purchased from Angle Lake but being a Canadian I would have became involved in cross border issues(taxes)

  19. #19
    Hiracer
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    I hit 50 in a month or so. I've been riding bents for 2.5 years. I've promised myself a trike when I hit 60.

    I recently started riding uprights too. I find the upright slightly faster in the hills and definitely slower on flat routes. I view them as different tools for different terrains.

    I second the nod to Angle Lake. Dale is a first class guy.

  20. #20
    Hiracer
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    Quote Originally Posted by PALux
    Thanks Wheel Doctor and ChiliDog for the link. Got some good help there. I had wanted to get in bent shape and try to tour this summer on a bent. I won’t be able to test the ones I want until the middle of next month. 2,000 miles training was suggested several times so I will probably tour on the Cannondale T2000 this year. I will buy the one I like and start commuting on it regularly but just won’t have the miles needed by July. A lot of riders on other recumbent forums ride both bents and df styles.

    Also looked at the recycled recumbent web site. I am now making my own recycled from an old 27 inch and a kids 20 inch. It will be more on the style of the Bachetta with a long square tube frame but I will add a second steer tube further out front to create dual swb and lwb version in one bike. As this is my own design and very heavy it will be a ‘don’t ride farther than you are willing to walk’ bike but should be a lot of fun and good experience. This is not hard for me as I am a retired machinist and have a nearly complete welding and machine shop.
    Phil
    I just saw this. I have done short tours on my Bacchetta Strada. I use Arkle RT-60 panniers hung below the seat. This keeps the weight low and centered, permitting fantastic bike stability fully loaded. The bike is more stable fully loaded than empty. Even on descents. Plus, in the bent position you get to see lots more of your surroundings, as compared to just focusing on the pavement in front of you.

    FWIW.

  21. #21
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    I got my first recumbent at age 42. It was a RANS V-Rex, it was about as fast as my old Trek 1000, and it was super-comfy to ride. In fact, I still have it and enjoy riding it. After playing with fairings to make it faster, I took the jump and got a lowracer. Holy **** was it faster! On my first club ride I spotted the racers 30 yards on a sign sprint and whomped them all. It was so bad that when I flew by the breakaway group, they all stopped pedaling and gaped. My best solo century has gone from 6:20 to 4:20. I was never great on hills and I'm still not, but I'm not the last one to the top either. And downhills are something else. I'm now 50 and my best century this year, with bad roads and several stop lights, was 4:38 (no drafting.)

    If you don't have any issues with uprights, there's not much reason to get a recumbent. There's a learning curve as well as a training curve to deal with. But if you have ANY comfort issues with an upright and are willing to give up SOME hill climbing speed, then as lowracer1 says, switch now, don't wait until you're old! I got my first one with the intention of riding both it and the Trek, but after a month or so it became apparent that the Trek was no longer a valued member of the family. The guy who bought it is patiently waiting for me to sell my V-Rex but that ain't gonna happen!

  22. #22
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrannyGear
    'Bents give you a low profile...hard to be seen by drivers and your eyeball is level with most truck's tires. No out-of-saddle sprints when that Rott. is vectoring on, not your ankle, but your throat! While the seats are comfy in many ways...there is still something I experienced as 'bent butt-- my tailbone would get sore on longer rides...You can't really shift butt position while riding. The Tailwind had a very flexible "stem" (about 3 feet of it that flexed or "boinged" a lot). No track stands and, for me, less ultra low speed stability while creeping, waiting for a light to turn.
    The visibility issue is at best a perception thing. If you feel uncomfortable down there, then no amount of argument will convince you otherwise; but I have found that drivers see me just fine, even with my Baron's 13 inch seat height. My V-Rex and its 25 inch seat height puts me eye to eye with most car drivers (but lower than monster SUV drivers.) Note that I'm not doing stupid stuff like cutting lanes or passing on the right in heavy traffic. The dog thing is a definite disadvantage, but I can deal with it as well or better on my lowracer. Even on my upright, I could not outsprint large brown cruise missles, although I could beat smaller ones. The tailbone issue is NOT the same as recumbutt. RANS had a problem with its seats (which it still to this day denies) where the lip of the seat pan or the crossbar would hit the rider's tailbone. There were numerous owner fixes. Recumbutt is merely sore glutes from sitting on the muscles you're using. The stem flexing isn't supposed to be a problem because you're not supposed to pull on the bars when you're riding. - it's improper technique. Finally, I can track stand fine - I just put a hand down.

  23. #23
    Senior Member
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    I'm 49 and have been toying with either buying a bent or an electric for my work commute. Leanning more towards bent.
    People tell me not to waist my money on one for such a short trip.
    The thing is, if I am comfortable I will ride more. With gas prices going up, up, up, my bike is becoming my primary mode of transprtation and I want to be as comfortable as I can be. I sometimes ride to church which is 11 miles away, and little trips around town, running errands.
    I'm going with the Sun EZ Sport mostly because I like the looks and it rides really nice.
    I would love to join one of the local bent clubs and do some touring.
    And then, of course, the next step is to get my wife to join me...that'd be loverly.

  24. #24
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    I am just turning 50 and just a few weeks ago bought a bent. I got a trike and I'm loving it! I recently had a hip replacement and the bent has allowed me to get back to riding without any problems.
    I do nothing but short rides right now while I'm building the strength in my leg back up but I have joined a bike club so once I feel strong enough I can start meeting other riders.
    Not worth it for short rides? I disagree. I enjoy riding my trike so much I look forward to riding and ride it every day regardless of the length of the ride.

  25. #25
    Get A Life - Get A Bike cheeseflavor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trsnrtr
    Of course. I tried bents after prostate cancer surgery (52 y.o.) and liked them so well that I sold my uprights, a Serotta and an Eisentraut.

    I rode over 6000 miles last year on a couple of highracers. I'm as fast on my bents as I was on my uprights and a hell of a lot more comfortable.

    -Dennis
    General questions for anyone on a recumbent, and just because I'm curious about them...

    1) Are they as fast as a road bike?

    2) How are they on hills?

    3) What about visibility, both from your perspective and from the perspective of drivers? They seem to be a lot lower.

    Thanks!

    Steve

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