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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 03-08-01, 11:50 AM   #1
LittleBigMan
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I would be interested in comments by experienced recumbent owners about recumbents. Are they faster, or is this marketing hype? Which models do you prefer? Upside, downside of various recumbents you've ridden. Any
other comments which might help a prospective recumbent buyer make the best choice. Don't forget to include
the kind of cycling you do most often, your height, or any other relevant factors.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-09-01, 07:18 AM   #2
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Greetings Pete;
I have been riding a bent sice 1994 and though I did not purchase it for speed but for touring there are models on the market built just for that. If you have the roads to use them there are low rider recumbents available that go like a bullet. I have seen low riders pass tandem cyclists like they were standing still, that means average speeds in excess of 20 mi/hr. Is this what you want manily in the bike, speed or do you plan to tour with it?

Low riders I find are NOT the most visible bicycle on the road but if speed is what you want check out "M5",or "Flevobike Low racers" or "Optima" (Yellowbike.com). These are some of the top European recumbents and they like speed, but their roads are in better shape than most North American roads.

I have two recumbents;
(1) 1994 Haluzak Horizon;20" front wheel, 26" rear wheel,underseat steering, 24 speed, rear hub brake,v brake in front also with a fairing (the fastest I've gone was coming down hill was approximately 20 miles/hour, scary) I used this until recently for primarily touring using a BOB trailer. I have toured in Europe, Arizon, Eastern Canada with it.
(2) the second recumbent I have recently aquired is a Challenge Distance;21 speed,Sram 3x7 rear hub, 26" wheels front and back, above seat steering, V-brakes, rear coil/hydraulic suspension. I think this may be my main touring bike in the furture.
My height is 5'-10"(117cm), 170lbs(77kg).Test ride as many recumbents as you can before buying one.
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Old 03-09-01, 11:17 AM   #3
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Thank you, bentrider!

Yeah, I test rode only one, and that was all I needed to convince me to buy one someday. Commuting is my primary form of cycling, but I like the "heads up" position and comfortable seating. Don't misunderstand me, but
I almost felt like I was driving a car!

My upright is just fine because I rarely spend more that an hour or so on the bike at a time and I've become quite
used to the position. In fact, I'll probably need to readjust my technique when I start riding a bent, get new muscles and all. But I figure I've already got the most important prerequisite: a strong heart!

Man, I can't wait. I feel like a kid at Christmas!

See you later, bentrider!

Pete Clark
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Old 03-15-01, 12:34 PM   #4
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I know that feeling of one ride makes you feel like going out and buying the 1st recumbent you can, but I strongly suggest you test as many as possible before you decide as there are so many types out there and the cost is high in comparison to regular bicycles.

Check out a recumbent group ride and ask some of the riders if you could possibly test ride them. I've been on some bents I couldn't ride at all or felt very uncomfortable on.

Some have underseat steering, above seat steering. Some have front wheel drive, some have 27spd, 36spd, 106spd. I have seen some people put out several $$$$ of dollars on a bike and change their mind a few months later and sell it.

Be informed before you make the big purchase.

As to working differnet muscle groups, I find the big glutes (arse) get the work now.
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Old 12-25-01, 11:50 PM   #5
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I absolutely agree with bentrider.

As I've said before, whenever my boss and I have a customer come in and ask us which bike we think is best, we simply tell them that what we think means nothing to them. What I may absolutely love in a recumbent, another person may completely hate. It also all depends on if you want manouverability, speed, comfort, or touring capability and to what extent to want all these things and what is your budget.

For example. We once had a customer come in. He had never riden a recumbent. From reviews he had decided the Rans rocket was the bike for him. We took him out on a test ride. It was very sketchy, but he was beginning to catch on. He tried many other SWB's and CWB's and other brands. He kept coming back to the rocket. He was about to buy it. We had him humour us and take out the Rans Stratus. He came back and said "this is the bike for me."

In all, no two recumbents ride the same (unless of course they are the same model) and with such a wide range of choices in the recumbent industry, it all comes down to a matter of personal taste. Not if other people like it or not. So my best advice when buying a recumbent is to (as bentrider said) find a riding group or go to a shop with a wide selection, and try all the bikes in your price range. See what YOU like
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Old 12-30-01, 10:42 AM   #6
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Pete, All I can say is what bikespokesman and bentrider said about testriding as many as you can. From my research on the subject I had myself convinced I wanted a VRex, which is a very popular bike, but I felt very tense on it. So instead I got a longwheel bike and am very happy with it, until I rode a Lightning P-38, a shortwheel bike that is incredibly balanced. So now I have two bents. That's the problem with bents, like candy there are so many different and delicious flavors!
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Old 01-11-02, 03:31 PM   #7
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Pete: This response is 10 months late, but if you haven't bought that recumbent, here's my two cents...

I don't consider myself a veteran recumbent rider but I did do a lot of research and test rides before buying an Angletech V-Rex last July. I agree with the comments about riding a lot of different bikes before deciding what to buy. The standard routine at Angletech (Woodland, CO) is to let you ride all their test bikes at least twice. That gets you a little closer to a good decision...but you may decide you need to buy two. My advice would be to buy a cheap, used bike the first time. It's going to take more than test rides to hone in on what you like, so why waste money.
Recumbents are generally fast on downhills and slow on uphills but, like any other bike, it depends on the rider. And sometimes you'd gladly trade that downhill speed for a little more uphill speed.
I commute on a mountain bike, not the recumbent. I like being able to get off the road and into the grass and dirt when the traffic gets too bad. I also bunnyhop three curbs on a downhill on the way home...haven't figured out the recumbent bunnyhop yet. I do enjoy the variety of riding traditional mtn. and road bikes as well as a recumbent.
Oh, one other thing. I don't think they'll sell you one unless you're over 50 or have a PhD in astrophysics or are some sort of techno-computer geek or something. I'm over 50.

(Jethro Bodine: "I was working on my PhD but had to quit." Interviewer: "Really? How far did you get?" Jethro: "Third grade.")
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Old 01-11-02, 05:04 PM   #8
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Spininin makes a good point about commuting, and I know you are a big commuter Pete. I too commute on a mountain bike for the very reasons Spininin gave. I know I will raise the ire of my bent brethren but I got to say that bents aren't ideal for commuting in urban terrain. My bent riding is strictly recreational. I would also not feel comfortable using a bent on an errand and having to lock it outside. There just isn't such a thing as a cheap bent.

Jethro: "I'm studyin' to be a brain surgeon."
Man: "Oh really, and where are you studying?"
Jethro: "Mostly the kitchen table!"
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Old 01-11-02, 05:14 PM   #9
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I bought the recumbent because of back problems but Jethro repaired an L4-L5 herniated disk last year (outpatient...out by the cement pond) and I'm good as new.
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Old 01-11-02, 07:02 PM   #10
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I guess it depends on what kind of commuting you do. If you jump on and off sidewalks a lot then bents are not for you. Why you would need to jump on and off sidewalks is somewhat of a mystery to me because like any other vehicle i ride on the road,where all vehicles belong. I can see the need to jump curbs if you are a bike courier however, in the interests of speedy deliveries.
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Old 01-11-02, 09:44 PM   #11
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We have to jump sidewalks/curbs down here in Alabama because we have a unique breed of drivers...sort of a combination yuppie/redneck. You know...talking on cell phones, but pausing long enough to stick their heard out the window and yell yeeehaahh as they clip your left elbow. We also have ladies who can talk on the phone, apply make-up, smoke a cigarette and pick their nose and drive (?) at the same time. We do have those occasional letters-to-the-editor-wars about what rights bikes have on the road and, sure enough, bikes do have the same rights as cars. But, as a lone rider at night on a road full of hundreds of cars, it gets down to common sense rather than laws. I very often yield to cars even when I could force my right of way over them. I wanna get home to my lovely wife and kids.

But I do know that through my riding I am helping the cause. I started commuting because of another bike commuter and I know four people who are planning to start because they know me. But it also helps in that the more bikers there are, the more drivers there will be who personally know bikers, and who might change their attitude about bikers being on road. I could go on but you get the point.
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Old 01-29-02, 09:52 PM   #12
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Those kind of drivers are everywhere....Period...
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Old 07-26-09, 05:17 PM   #13
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No matter what I did on my MTB, I always ended up with a sore crutch, sore lumbar and sore hands after and hour. I wanted to get into touring so my research pointed to bents to relieve the pain. I live remote so test driving wasn't an option. I'm lucky now I have the internet to surf. There are manufacturers in every country and they present a huge range of models. I chose Dutch Optima Lynxx. SWB USS Full suspension Disk Brakes, Dyno Hub and Lights, Large rear panier set with sat back bag and a TWbents "Bob-style" trailer and voila! Instant cycle tourist. Base model was $2500au, options took my price to $5000. I got what I wanted - Comfort, reliability and a snappy looking rig. I have now ridden it 6700km. I commute, shop, ride for fun and exercise and cycle tour. Recently completed a 1300k 19day tour and have a 2500k one in the pipeline. I find the efficiency of the bent very impressive because of its low profile and wind resistance.
I hope you are as happy with yours as I am with mine.
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Old 07-26-09, 05:27 PM   #14
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Worst bikes ever made. You really don't want to own one. So slow up the climbs!
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Old 07-26-09, 07:40 PM   #15
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Alright, What's up with resurrecting a thread from 2001? 'Splain yourself, Lucy - I mean, Roger!
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Old 07-26-09, 09:16 PM   #16
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Back to sleep...............................zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz .
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