I am intrigued by recumbent not really considering buying one for now. I was wondering, looking at the bikeE (and some other) pictures. Is it easy to lock a recumbent bike to a pole or a bike rack? It is an important consideration for cummuting. Looking at some model, there doesn't seem to be a good place to put the lock on.
Also (question #2): it is often said that recumbent bikes are not good on steep hills. From experience, how bad is it really (be honest)?
As to locking up recumbents, I never had a problem. Some recumbent manufactures have installed special metal loops on their frames where one can loop a cable through. I find that a 2 meter long cable is needed to go through the frame, both wheels and to a post or tree.
Some people I know use these personal alarm devices (women carry them for safety), use this on locking the bike up and if someone tries to break a cable it screams bloody hell, just don't forget you have the thing on yourself otherwise it can be embarasing.
As to climbing capabilities of a recumbent, I've done steep hills here in Canada. It is essential that your bike be equiped with low gear ratios (20 gear inches low or less sometimes). This can be said for uprights as well. I never found a hill I couldn't at least walk up, eh!
I am a owner of the BikeE and use the long cable to lock my bike to either a rack or anything that is close by. I run the cable through my pannier rack that is located below the seat and also through the chain and then around the post-rack.
On climbing hills, I commute 16 miles to & from work everyday and have a steep will that I need to climb and it only took a couple of days to learn how to climb it. you need to spin more and just sit back and relax. I have gone up the same hill with someone on a upright mountain bike and I stayed farely close to him all the time. He is 25 yrs old riding for years and I am 45 and only been commuting for 9 months.
Locking the bikes isn't that hard. You just need to find a secure spot on the bike and have a non-U-lock that is at least a half a metre long. eh? (half a yard) I tend to use another lock to secure the two wheels to the chainstay.
As for climbing, it may feel weird at first, but you quickly get used to it. I find a lower bottom bracket to take this feeling away. It isn't hard, but it may be slow depending on how strong you are. I can actually climb faster on my bent than most of my friends on their uprights.
In response to the question about climbing, I have found that some bents are radically different in their abilty to climb. I have two bents, and while both are better climbers for me than my uprights ( not so much in speed but in the amount of effort), the short wheel base bent is much quicker and easier to control than my longwheel base bent. One of the many nice features about both bents is that they are so fast going downhill that I can coast further up the next uphill.
Whazzzup? I, too, own a BikeE and have wrestled with the problem of using a suitable and practical lock. I owned a U-shaped lock prior to buying my bent and was determined to make it work. Finally, I got use to using the top-tube (I-beam) part that's closest to the steering-tube. I turn the U-lock slightly sideways and it seems to work in just about all situations. I know what you mean about the awkwardness of locking up a bent. Be safe.....:D
My wife has a BikeE and I use it often. I run a cable through the cut-outs in the front chain ring. That thing doesn't look too easy to get off.