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  1. #1
    Dirt Bomb sknhgy's Avatar
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    Test rode a bent.........

    ..but didn't like it. What I immediately realized is that the normal DF bikes I've been riding all my life "give me wings" so to speak. They greatly increase my mobility and freedom. The bent didn't give me that feeling. I noticed it from the get-go. Has anyone else noticed this, and were you able to overcome it?
    The reason this is an issue is that I'm a welder and a bent seems like it would be a good project. Guess I can sell it if I can't get to liking it.
    Last edited by sknhgy; 03-17-10 at 09:05 AM.

  2. #2
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    For me the experience was just the opposite. My DF bikes limited my sense of freedom as I have not aged gracefully, don't keep in great physical condition, and do suffer from some arthritis in my wrists. My cycling adventures all ended too quickly as one part of me or another became very sore.

    The recumbents took the physical misery away and all that was left was the pure joy of riding. I still ride DF bikes, but my most enjoyable rides are on my recumbents.

    You didn't mention which recumbent you test rode. Bear in mind that all 'bents are not created equal. One style may be extremely tedious to ride, especialy for a beginner, while another style may deliver unbelievable happiness..
    Last edited by cranky old dude; 03-17-10 at 07:35 AM. Reason: speling

  3. #3
    Senior Member bobbycorno's Avatar
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    Another vote for 'bents. When I first tried my friend's VRex, it took a couple tries to get the hang of it, but once things "clicked", it was like "WOW! This is what I've been aspiring to all my life!" And I'd been riding df's seriously (as in USCF racing, randonneuring, commuting, mtb'ing, you name it) for 35 years. DF's are fun in their own way, but they don't come close to the comfort, speed and flat out fun of a 'bent. I'll probably always have a df or two around just for kicks, but when it comes down to anything serious, I'll be on my 'bent.

    SP
    Bend, OR

  4. #4
    Senior Member bobbycorno's Avatar
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    Oh, and another thing: with the "heads up" riding position, I feel much more connected to my environment. I'm always looking around, never down at the ground or the bike. And one of the things I love about randonneuring is cruising along at night under a starry sky - a 'bent makes that even better!

    SP
    Bend, OR

  5. #5
    Laid back bent rider unixpro's Avatar
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    It'll probably take a few rides before you're comfortable on a 'bent -- the position and balance are different and, therefore, uncomfortable for most people the first few times. You'll also probably have to fall down at least once.

    I switched to the 'bent for pretty much the same reasons as Cranky, except that my arthritis in in both the wrists and knees. Riding the DF was just getting to be unbearable and I was about to give up riding until a friend suggested trying a 'bent. I'll probably never be more than a turtle on the bike, but I'm a turtle who does 36 miles/day, 4-5 days/week. When I go downhill, I'm not a turtle. I regularly get the bike up to 40 MPH on one part of my commute

    I also enjoy the heads-up position. On my ride Monday, I was able to watch a hawk hunting over the lake. I doubt I'd have noticed the bird if I'd been on a DF.

  6. #6
    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
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    Well then. What is the 'bent of choice?

    For some reason I've been pondering the Raptobikes. They never show up on Ebay, I'd have to order it from overseas, and it would cost an arm and a leg. What's there not to like?

  7. #7
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Bents vary so much, far more than differences between road bikes. There is no bent of choice. You have to get out and ride a few to find what you like.

    The seats vary considerably, the riding angles vary considerably, the wheelbase can vary by a couple of feet, steering can be radically different, height from the ground can vary by several inches, and so on and so forth.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobbycorno View Post
    Another vote for 'bents. When I first tried my friend's VRex, it took a couple tries to get the hang of it, but once things "clicked", it was like "WOW! This is what I've been aspiring to all my life!" And I'd been riding df's seriously (as in USCF racing, randonneuring, commuting, mtb'ing, you name it) for 35 years. DF's are fun in their own way, but they don't come close to the comfort, speed and flat out fun of a 'bent. I'll probably always have a df or two around just for kicks, but when it comes down to anything serious, I'll be on my 'bent.
    I sure hope that I feel the same way in about a month. I'm pretty heavily invested in finding out.

  9. #9
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    OP, if your 'bent test was just curiosity, I'd give it one, maybe two, more tries; if it's coming from some perceived need for you, go deeper and do more.

    I personally have no interest whatsoever in a 'bent. I luuuuuuuuuuv my MTB, for everything!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Wildwood's Avatar
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    Have tried the 'bent test ride 3 times and always come away less than enthusiastic.

  11. #11
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    My favorite bents are the long wheel base, lower bottom bracket designs, like the Easy Racers Tour Easy, the RANS Stratus and Bacchetta Bella ATT. These are very popular as touring bikes. These larger bents are surprising aerodynamic and can be very fast with the right rider/engine.

    http://www.easyracers.com/products/t.../toureasy.html
    http://www.ransbikes.com/StratusXP10.htm
    http://www.bacchettabikes.com/recumb...s/bellaatt.htm

    But most people seem to like the SWB designs. Much easier to transport.

  12. #12
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    My nearest LBS is a bent dealer for several brands including Catrike and Bacchetta. I rode a Catrike once just for grins. It wasn't bad, but as a fairly tall guy, I was uncomfortable in that I am accustomed to a great field of vision when I'm riding. I had an eerie feeling because of the limited view. My buddy Tom who is a good bit younger than me (by about 20 years) has a DF Ti bike, a Corsa (a/k/a the Evil Black Recumbent) and a Catrike. He rides the Corsa and the trike the most and is fast on either one.

  13. #13
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    I find the trikes to ride too close to the ground for my comfort. Can't imagine riding one on a street with cars buzzing around.

    I did test ride the Greenspeed Anura, which is a delta trike, and enjoyed it. It isn't as fast or maneuverable as a tadpole trike but I like the higher riding position much better.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
    I find the trikes to ride too close to the ground for my comfort. Can't imagine riding one on a street with cars buzzing around.
    I contemplated a Greenspeed before we ordered our Rans Screamer. 3 wheel tracks to manage, transporting it by car, the possibility of bottoming out, low riding position vs. auto traffic, and gearing issues with a 20" drive wheel were all considerations. The killer, however, was thinking about getting on and off with the low seating position. Not a suitable design for the Grouches.

    Once the Screamer decision was made I wanted to order a single bike that had a similar riding position so I wouldn't have to relearn how to ride two bikes.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Wildwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
    My favorite bents are the long wheel base, lower bottom bracket designs..... .
    I'll expand upon my interest (but only 3 test-ride experiences).
    My interest in 'bents was first stirred many years ago in the hills near Santa Cruz California.
    I was 'just cruisin along' on a moderate downhill grade.
    Before I know what's happenin - a big neon green flash blows by me - musta been 50+ mph.
    Disappears around a bend in nothing flat.
    What the heck was that!
    I accelerate to top speed for many miles.
    Never to be seen.

    I had my suspicions as to what it was but several months later I found out for sure.

    http://www.calfeedesign.com/stiletto.htm

    It was a prototype of Calfee's recumbent, ridden by a guy using a full bike, lyca stretch, neon green, aero sock.
    Also learned that Fast Freddy Markham was the consultant or designer on the bike. Validates the possibility of 50+mph.

    http://www.gizmag.com/go/5830/

    I agree with Tom B - the long wheelbase, low bottom bracket design was most comfortable for me. Every other design required a bigger leap into the unknown and unfamiliar. Will wait a while, but I know I'll own one while still able to ride hard.

  16. #16
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    I have tried bents on a couple of occasions but they are not for me. We have a good local dealer in "Future Cycles" And they were next to one of my customers. He had a large asphalt area for testing but after a couple of falls- I went onto the smooth grass. I then decided to give it another go and rode there on the MTB and he set up a couple of bikes to my sizing as I appeared to be enthusiastic. I wasn't but also was not going to be defeated by one. Sorry but an hour later and I was defeated. I did get the balance better after about 30 minutes but I just could not get on with that ride position. Legs found muscles that I never realised existed and the shoulders ached from the High bar position. I know that the muscles could be trained but the brain never would.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  17. #17
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    That's an interesting story Stapfam. I have not ridden 1/20th of the miles that you have on a bike, yet I didn't have any difficulty at all in riding a bent. Just hoped on one and started riding. I felt a little uneasy for 3 or 4 blocks and then was fine. I've never fallen from a bent. I find the LWB designs extremely stable, moreso than an upright bike. But I'm much less at ease on the SWB models, having not ridden them much.

    I think everyone discovers that different muscles are being used. Takes a while to get into "bent shape" after switching over. As to shoulders, I do better on a bent, it feels very natural to me. Feels a lot like driving a car.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

    There are two types of road bikers: bikers who are faster than me, and me. Bruce Cameron - Denver Post

  18. #18
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Bents will always feel different than uprights. Not just in the saddle interface but in the way they accelerate and cruise. An upright can feel light and lively because you can throw it around underneath you. With a 'bent, you're connected, part of the bike. The combination of you & bike isn't quite so light and lively, but together you can do amazing things.

    The bike you saw may have been a socked Calfee, or it may have been a socked EasyRacer: TourEasy, Gold Rush, or Ti-Rush.

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