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Recumbent What IS that thing?! Recumbents may be odd looking, but they have many advantages over a "wedgie" bicycle. Discuss the in's and out's recumbent lifestyle in the recumbent forum.

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Old 04-21-17, 05:53 AM   #1
RayinPenn
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I just can't get comfortable on my old hybrid

I had my knee replaced about 16 months ago and am doing well but that old bike simply isn't comfortable. I'm thinking An old guys (high seat) trike would work with these old knees and simply be more comfortable. Terratrike Rover? any recommendations? I'm lost, I don't want a dust collector in my garage.
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Old 04-21-17, 06:37 AM   #2
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A Rover still has a fairly low seat. Is there a reason you're considering a recumbent trike vs a recumbent bike?
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Old 04-21-17, 02:53 PM   #3
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A Rover still has a fairly low seat. Is there a reason you're considering a recumbent trike vs a recumbent bike?
Well the lower I am the less the fall height
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Old 04-21-17, 06:03 PM   #4
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Many recumbent bikes are as low as the Rover trike. And just as comfortable. Not saying you shouldn't consider a trike.
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Old 04-21-17, 08:10 PM   #5
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Depends on your preferences

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Originally Posted by RayinPenn View Post
I had my knee replaced about 16 months ago and am doing well but that old bike simply isn't comfortable. I'm thinking An old guys (high seat) trike would work with these old knees and simply be more comfortable. Terratrike Rover? any recommendations? I'm lost, I don't want a dust collector in my garage.
I've got two Trek hybrids, two long wheel base bents, and two tadpole trikes. Hybrids are for sale! Trikes are stable and comfortable, and fun to ride, but heavy and generally slower than a two wheeler. If you are not planning to ride long distances, and/or are not concerned with speed, trikes are a good option. If you wish to cover more ground faster, two wheelers are worth a look. The Sun EZ Sport is relatively economical, easy to learn, higher off the ground than most trikes, and comfortable. My favorite ride is the Rans Stratus XP. I've done a couple of century rides on it with no discomfort whatsoever. Find a good Bent shop and ride several to find what works for you before plunking down a pile of cash. I love recumbents. Hope you find one you like!
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Old 04-21-17, 08:23 PM   #6
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There is no adequate substitute for spending an afternoon at a recumbent specialty dealer just seeing and maybe riding the many variations on the recumbent theme. They will also be able to talk you through the other details of recumbent ownership like storage and transporting your recumbent on a car.

A bike shop that has 2 recumbents on the floor doesn't cut it. It's well worth a road trip and even an overnight if you have to.
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Old 04-28-17, 07:15 AM   #7
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I'll offer a non-bent possibility. If you're suffering from a range-of-motion problem, the real solution may be shorter cranks. Lower gears usually go along with that, but if you have plenty of low gears that might not be a necessary part of the equation. Short cranks (155mm or less) can be had fairly cheaply, in fact they can sometimes be cheaper than crank shorteners. For instance, if you have 110BCD chainrings and a square-taper BB, you can get these:
https://www.danscomp.com/products/45...FYyMaQodbxoG_Q
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Old 04-29-17, 06:19 PM   #8
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There is no adequate substitute for spending an afternoon at a recumbent specialty dealer just seeing and maybe riding the many variations on the recumbent theme. They will also be able to talk you through the other details of recumbent ownership like storage and transporting your recumbent on a car.

A bike shop that has 2 recumbents on the floor doesn't cut it. It's well worth a road trip and even an overnight if you have to.
What Retro Grouch says is very true. I spent most of yesterday at a dedicated recumbent bike shop and was able to ride several types and found the one I felt the most comfortable and controllable.

I have ridden quite a variety of bikes over the years (heading into my 50th year of cycling) but my back finally said "enough" with diamond frames but was quite happy (i.e. pain free) riding the recumbents.

I placed an order with the shop for a Bacchetta Giro A-20, the one with an aluminum frame. Should be in about a week from now. I'm for sure looking forward to pain-free cycling all the while knowing I have a lot of recumbent specific technique to learn.

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Old 04-29-17, 09:47 PM   #9
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What Retro Grouch says is very true. I spent most of yesterday at a dedicated recumbent bike shop and was able to ride several types and found the one I felt the most comfortable and controllable.

I have ridden quite a variety of bikes over the years (heading into my 50th year of cycling) but my back finally said "enough" with diamond frames but was quite happy (i.e. pain free) riding the recumbents.

I placed an order with the shop for a Bacchetta Giro A-20, the one with an aluminum frame. Should be in about a week from now. I'm for sure looking forward to pain-free cycling all the while knowing I have a lot of recumbent specific technique to learn.

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Should be a great bike to get you started in 'Bent World. Have fun!
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Old 04-30-17, 08:08 PM   #10
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Should be a great bike to get you started in 'Bent World. Have fun!
Yes, I thought it would be a decent starter in the recumbent world and of course I can modify it if I find any of the components lacking. At first I'm sure it will be my riding technique on a recumbent that's lacking but with a few hundred miles of practice I may get the hang of it.

Are there any links to "How to Ride a Recumbent" on You Tube videos? I better go look!

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Old 05-01-17, 06:06 AM   #11
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There's not any how-to videos that I'm aware of. Just adjust the seat to a comfortably-upright position, put the pedal for your strong leg at the 12:00 position, RELAX your upper body, and push. Once you're going, just keep repeating "relax. relax. relax." As you get more comfortable, you can recline the seat a bit at a time. Did you get your Giro from Dana at Bentup Cycles?
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Old 05-01-17, 01:11 PM   #12
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Did you get your Giro from Dana at Bentup Cycles?
Yes, I got the bike at BentUp Cycles and I met Dana but it was Kate who really sold me the bike and set up the bikes for me to test ride. They have a very friendly and knowledgeable staff there so I would recommend them to anyone looking into buying a recumbent.

The only downside of the experience was the driving to and from their shop. I'm in Whittier and they're in North Hollywood so nothing to do but suffer the 4-6 mph traffic through downtown Los Angeles. True, this was on a Friday, and hoping to pick the bike up on a Saturday morning, so hopefully less dense traffic.

I really do want to get competent on the recumbent and I know it will take awhile (old dog and new tricks and all that) but my first "goal" is to ride the Grand Tour double century on it at the end of June this year. Not a difficult double and I've ridden it a dozen times before but doing it on a recumbent will be a different sort of challenge!

Have to see how steep the learning curve is before I actually send in my entry money!

Kate told me the efficient climbing mode would be: Spin! The low gear is a 26 x 34 (if I remember correctly) so that should be low enough for everything including Potrero. Well . . . hopefully!

Would really appreciate advice from anyone doing serious climbing on a recumbent!

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Old 05-01-17, 04:56 PM   #13
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26 x 34 with a 559 wheel is pretty low. I'm not a serious climber but have done a lot of southern Indiana short steep hills in recent years and have found 28 x 34 to be low enough for all but a few hills on our 'bent tandem and 30 x 32 low enough (usually) on my singles. All with 559 rear wheels. Correct that spinning is key, as is staying relaxed generally and especially on the bars. Our tandem is very steady down to about 3 mph, the LWB singles not so steady that slow but easier to ride a bit faster.
Agree with Blazing about not having the seat too reclined and about relaxing.
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Old 05-01-17, 06:37 PM   #14
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26 x 34 with a 559 wheel is pretty low. Correct that spinning is key, as is staying relaxed generally and especially on the bars. Agree with Blazing about not having the seat too reclined and about relaxing.
Thanks for the tips JanMM,

My basic plan now is to get familiar with the bike on mostly level ground and on my own first, then work up to more serious climbs and possibly group rides later. My primary concern is not to be dangerous to myself and others .
So I want to be totally confident and in control of the bike first.

We have those short steep climbs here in SoCal too but we also have very long and not so steep climbs. From Encanto Park in Duarte up to Crystal Lake Café, for example, it's 25 mi. with 5,000 ft. of climbing. Nothing super steep but a lot of 7% and 8% with a couple of ramps up to 10%.

From Glendora up to Mt. Baldy Village is 21 mi. with about 4,500 ft. of climbing, mostly 5% and 6% with rare ramps up to 8%. That will probably be my first serious climb attempt.

We also have club rides every Tues. and Thur. evening but those require a lot of stops and starts. Some climbing too, of course, but nothing super long. I'm also a bit concerned about what I've read here about lack of stability at low speeds. Hopefully practice with eliminate most of that? Or is it just a given?

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Old 05-01-17, 07:56 PM   #15
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Yes, time and miles will be your friends. You'll get the hang of your bike's handling and your legs will build up the right combination of muscles for bentriding.
Slow speed instability? That can be a challenge at first - uphill starts from standstill can be difficult. I did see a woman on a SWB fall over on last Fall's Hilly Hundred tour, but that was on the most challenging Hilly climb. And, I had never seen a recumbent rider fall on a climb before but have seen more than a few DF riders fall over on that same hill on previous Hilly tours.
With your years and miles of experience, you'll be fine.
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Old 05-02-17, 06:48 AM   #16
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The only downside of the experience was the driving to and from their shop. I'm in Whittier and they're in North Hollywood so nothing to do but suffer the 4-6 mph traffic through downtown Los Angeles. True, this was on a Friday, and hoping to pick the bike up on a Saturday morning, so hopefully less dense traffic.
Dana used to lead a ride on Saturday mornings. I was in the area in March a (bunch of) years back, and they did a ride up La Tuna Canyon Rd to Montrose. That was a lot of climbing for a flatlander who'd been off his bike for 4 months of winter!
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Old 05-04-17, 11:45 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by RayinPenn View Post
I had my knee replaced about 16 months ago and am doing well but that old bike simply isn't comfortable. I'm thinking An old guys (high seat) trike would work with these old knees and simply be more comfortable. Terratrike Rover? any recommendations? I'm lost, I don't want a dust collector in my garage.

Ray, it might help to be more specific about what's not comfortable.
More to the point, if you had your knee replaced and now your knee isn't comfortable, that may or may not get fixed by using a different bike. You'll be rotating your whole body around, but that may not change the geometry in your leg or knee much.
Saddle issues, back or neck issues, etc., are more likely to get fixed by changing bike styles.
And I'm assuming you've thought to fiddle with saddle height and all on the existing bike if it's a knee issue.
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Old 05-04-17, 02:30 PM   #18
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In between recumbents and a hybrid upright would be the crank-forwards such as the RANS line-up. Or for less money the functionally-similar but much clunkier Electra Townie.

If you're worried about having to do deep-knee bends to sit in a regular recumbent tadpole trike, the Rover seats you a bit higher. You could also go with a delta trike, maybe like a Sunseeker Eco-Delta SX.
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Old 05-11-17, 06:57 PM   #19
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Townie is the best ride I've found for my knees. 15-20 mile rides are my norm!
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Old 06-04-17, 11:12 AM   #20
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In your search for a recumbent be sure to test ride a long wheel base (LWB) model. I started with a Easy Sport AX, thinking if I really liked it, I could step up to a Tour Easy later. The Easy Sport seat is a few inches higher than the Tour Easy which makes it more comfortable for my old guy self. It also makes it real easy to step off the bike when it's moving. This has saved by bacon twice. bk
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