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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 10-24-06, 03:30 AM   #1
melstar
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Question.

How tough is it to switch to riding a recumbant bicylce? I've seen some with 3 wheels and some with just two like any ordinary bike.
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Old 10-24-06, 05:45 AM   #2
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it depends on what your goals are - because it influences the style recumbent you buy. Many recumbents are as easy as an upright bike to ride. Then there are others, like the lowracers, that take quite a while to get used to. Then there are the trikes, which are easy to ride the first time you sit on one.

..of course all recumbents use different muscles, so it takes months to build up your speed.
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Old 10-24-06, 07:23 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by aikigreg
it depends on what your goals are - because it influences the style recumbent you buy. Many recumbents are as easy as an upright bike to ride. Then there are others, like the lowracers, that take quite a while to get used to. Then there are the trikes, which are easy to ride the first time you sit on one.

..of course all recumbents use different muscles, so it takes months to build up your speed.
Well it looks like lots of fun riding a recumbant! So I figured maybe i'll give it a go.

But I don't suppose i can just walk in to a shop and buy a recumbant now can I?
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Old 10-24-06, 07:58 AM   #4
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First, it's a recumbent, not a recumbant. Most bike shops either don't carry recumbents, or at most carry a limited selection. Shops who have a selection on the floor are rare. The most common brand to see in a bike shop is Sun, which is a low-end maker and can be ordered like a headset or a chain, right out of their supplies catalog. But there are definitely some bents are out there, often sitting in a quiet corner of the floor because nobody knows how to sell the thing.

If you're truly interested, it's best to treat the buying experience almost as if you were hunting big game. Do your homework ahead of time so you know what you're looking at, then go hunting test rides. I usually recommend test riding every bent you can find - bike shops, bike clubs, or just watching at the park can all be productive ways. Narrow down your list based on what 'feels good' and what will fit your riding style. Try to let price be one of the last factors to enter into the decision - first time bent riders often use price as the first factor then end up with a low-end heavy bent that doesn't really match the riding they do. Face it, at least at the low end, bents are more expensive than uprights.
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Old 10-24-06, 11:35 AM   #5
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Take a visit to www.bentrideronline.com. It's probably the largest recumbent-specific forum on the 'net. You will be able to find lots of excellent information there, on what to get, what brands are available, etc. There's also a classifieds section where you can usually get a good deal on a used recumbent.

Also, I'm sure there are a few bike shops in Santa Monica and NYC that will have at least a few 'bents to try out.
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Old 10-24-06, 01:48 PM   #6
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When you're in Santa Monica, check out this shop.

http://bentupcycles.com/index.cfm
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Old 10-24-06, 02:22 PM   #7
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When you're in Santa Monica, check out this shop.

http://bentupcycles.com/index.cfm
Ah, yes! I knew there was a good shop in Santa Monica! In fact, this is one of the very best shops in the country. Say Hi to Dana for me if you go.
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Old 10-24-06, 08:50 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by melstar
Well it looks like lots of fun riding a recumbant! So I figured maybe i'll give it a go.

But I don't suppose i can just walk in to a shop and buy a recumbant now can I?
Well sure, if you go into the right shop. Though I admit, the "right shops" do tend to be few and far between.
------
Unlike upright bicycles, there is a wide variety in seating positions, weights, and aerodynamics of recumbents--so making a blanket statement is not possible.

The best I can advise is that (concerning two-wheeled recumbents) the more reclined the seat is the more difficult it is to learn to balance, and the higher the pedals are relative to the seat, the more difficult it is to balance.

With many long-wheel-base bikes it's pretty easy for someone to get on and ride around within a minute or so. Other bikes (like highracers) it can take all afternoon for someone new to them to get going.
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Old 10-25-06, 03:29 AM   #9
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...The best I can advise is that (concerning two-wheeled recumbents) the more reclined the seat is the more difficult it is to learn to balance, and the higher the pedals are relative to the seat, the more difficult it is to balance...
And excellent advice it is, too. My first 'bent was a highracer with pedals above the seat. I never got comfortable on that one. Starting and stopping were particularly alarming, but even steady cruising was twitchy.

Trikes are unbeatable with or without reclined seats. Once you're on, there's no falling off.

Compromise bikes, IMHO, look like the long wheel base models with low front cranks. I haven't ridden one yet, but someday...
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Old 10-25-06, 10:02 PM   #10
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Hey, thanks for the links and tips!

I would love to start riding as soon as possible and from the posts, i'm guessing that a Trike would be most appropriate for me?

I've had a look at some of the trike designs online, and they come in a ton of shapes and sizes. Are there any differences to these designs or are trikes all the same then?

I gotta say some of them look like you could sleep in them.
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Old 10-25-06, 10:34 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by melstar
I've had a look at some of the trike designs online, and they come in a ton of shapes and sizes. Are there any differences to these designs or are trikes all the same then?

I gotta say some of them look like you could sleep in them.
Are there any differences in sports car? ABSOLUTELY!
A Porshe 911SC is pretty cool, but there is no comparison between that and a Carrera GT!
The first can be had for 10 G's, the other? Close to half a Mil!!!
Trikes are the same way. You can get a EZ Tad or a Windcheetah. What's your budget? Where/how will you likely be riding it?
A friend of mine got a WizWheels a few years ago. Had it a week and sent it back. Got a Greenspeed (about twice as much $$$) and has had it ever since. That's a GTR model.
Another friend recently got an Action Bent and loves it! But that didn't stop him from buying a Slip Stream yesterday off of eBay (Only $1,600!!!) I'll post pics in the next couple of days when he goes to pick it up!
Talk about the Lambourghini of TRIKES! Wai till you see this thing, it is AWESOME!
Personally, I have 2 Greenspeeds. Great trikes! One is their tandem and the other is a GTX. Loads of fun and the GTX is pretty dang fast. (the motor could be a little higher performance though )

And YES, sleeping come naturally to the stoker on the tandem!
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Old 11-12-06, 12:41 PM   #12
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What I forgot is that when you are in NYC, a trip out to The Bicycle Man would get you out into that pretty New York countryside, and they can set you up for test rides.
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