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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 12-06-06, 09:08 PM   #1
ax0n
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Getting bent. Revive?

My wife can't ride a traditional bicycle. Can't. Physically unable to do it.

We're both clydes seeking to change. I am having a great time on both of my bikes, but I'm looking for something uber-comfy for my wife to ride, that won't take up a ton of space.

I saw a Revive today, and it looks like something she'd be comfortable on, and it appears to possibly be a folder as well. Folded and bent. That's awesome.

Does anyone know what kind of weight capacity they have? I'd almost be afraid of breaking it, but it looks really comfy, not quite the traditional recumbent, more like an office chair with kid's BMX wheels. The both of us are sort of "wide in the hips" if you know what I mean, which is one reason the Revive looked so attractive when I saw it.

Any other feedback? It appears there's 3 different trim levels (a fixie, a RD-only and a front/rear derailleur model). I can't find anywhere that's listing a price, but I assume it's probably somewhere past the $600 mark for the one with only a rear derailleur, which is probably the one I'd get.

Thanx in advance.
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Old 12-07-06, 07:15 AM   #2
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Giant goes to great lengths to make sure everyone knows that the Revive is a SEMI-recumbent, not that the designation should be used to stop anybody who's interested in the concept. Although the vertical seat adjustment really would put it in that category, I think Giant is so adamant about it because they don't want to be associated with recumbents. I've taken one on a parking lot test ride, and it didn't seem too bad - it seemed pretty sturdy, handled well and was moderately comfortable considering it really is about halfway between a bent and an upright. I'm guessing that hill-climbing and speed capabilities aren't at the top of your priority list, and if that's true the Revive might be a good bike for you.

Revives seem to come in 3 flavors: an 8-speed derailleur, a 24 speed model using a SRAM dual-drive rear hub (8-speed cassette on a 3-speed hub,) and a 7-speed using a Shimano internally-geared hub. No single speeds, although the 7-speed model doesn't have a rear derailleur. MSRP seems to start at US$700 (8-speed.)
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Old 12-07-06, 07:53 AM   #3
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A trike isn't a bad choice either, nor would a BikeE.
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Old 12-07-06, 08:29 AM   #4
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Thanks for the info. I'm not sure how my wife would like a true recumbent either, but a Trike hasn't even crossed my mind. One reason I wouldn't like a trike is because I'd have literally no where to put it. I can park both my bikes in the front hallway of our apartment while leaving that space useable for ingress and egress for our humble abode.

A smallish folding bike would be best, but it needs to be both able to support a heavy person without breaking, and it needs to be comfortable for my wife to sit on/in. For instance, a wide-saddled scooter or mo-ped (like an Aprilia Atlantic 500) would probably work okay for her. You don't see too many bikes with that kind of form factor, though. The Revive seems to be the first I've ever seen that comes even close.

I will say that the bikeE looks promising as well. Whatever we get, both of us will have to like it, just in case she loses interest and I end up being the primary user of whatever it is we decide on. If she test rides a bunch of stuff and still can't find something comfortable, I'll probably abandon this project all together, though.
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Old 12-07-06, 10:13 AM   #5
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I had a Revive briefly. I thought it was kind of a cool bike because I had never had a recumbent of any kind. I can assure you it is not a folder. In fact, it is a pain to store. It is very very heavy and slow. It is also not a recumbent but really a crank forward bike. While it looks totally different, the Electra Townie is actually a similar geometry but a much superior bike. The seat back on the Revive is completely useless and only for appearance.

BikeE made nice entry level recumbents, but they are out of business.

The Sun EZ 1 http://www.easyracers.com/ez_1_sc.htm is easy to find and there are lots of used ones that come up on Ebay and Craigslist. It's also probably the easiest recumbent to learn on. Cycle Genius also makes some relatively inexpensive but good entry level bikes. Either of those would be superior to a Revive. Easy Racers also sells an EZ3 delta style trike http://www.easyracers.com/ez_3.htm. The problem with a Tadpole trike (two wheels in front, I have one and love it) is that it is very low to the ground so if someone is heavy and out of shape it is hard to get in and out of. Greenspeed and Trice make folding tadpoles but they are expensive.

If you find a BikeE that would make an excellent choice, although both the EZ1 and CycleGenius bikes are very similar.
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Old 12-07-06, 01:24 PM   #6
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I forget about sun and cycle genius. Those would also be excellent bikes to look at before making up your mind.

Have you looked to see if there are any bike shops near you carry bents other than the revive?
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Old 12-07-06, 03:15 PM   #7
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Although the OPs question was specifically about Revive, I agree that CG and Sun would also be good to look into, as wold the Electra. Sun and CycleGenius are full-up recumbents. Sun may not be carried by a lot of shops, but virtually all of them can order one if you decide to go that way. I'm not sure what CG's distribution network is like. (But I bet an owner will chime in soon!) Definitely try to find test rides, and if it's a private owner, you can ask them where they got it.
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Old 12-07-06, 03:27 PM   #8
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I haven't really been looking at bents, and there's only 2 shops around here I've been to. One small one owned by a guy who set up 3 shops here in town (Bike America - bikekc.com ) and one that I believe is a nationwide chain (BikeSource - bikesourceonline.com not bikesource.com)

I didn't see any recumbents at the smaller store which is the LBS I go to for everything. Only a mile out of the way of my commute, better prices, friendlier staff. They did have a trike or two for sale though.

*IF* I can get my wife to enjoy cycling, I wouldn't mind a side-by-side trike, recumbent tandem bike or other 2-person HPV.

Basically, I want to at least get her to test-ride a few things. Anything at all, to see if she can get into it. I don't care if it's a trike, bent, frankenbike, or a battery-assisted pedal-powered scooter. All options are viable. It just seems that a more traditional "scooter" seating position would be more feasible for my wife.

My original post was a call for recumbent advice, with opinions on the Revive. You guys have been a great help so far. I'll check out a few more bike shops (and a few more branches of the shops I usually visit)
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Old 12-07-06, 04:19 PM   #9
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Sounds like you are on the right track. One of the keys is patience, which you seem to have, and working with what is available...I hope the wife can help you enjoy the outdoors.
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Old 12-07-06, 06:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ax0n
My wife can't ride a traditional bicycle. Can't. Physically unable to do it. .... I'm looking for something uber-comfy for my wife to ride, that won't take up a ton of space. .....
I am not a fan of the Revive or the Townie; they sacrafice a lot of efficiency for only a small gain in comfort. The pedals on these bikes are forward, but not really forward enough.

If you want an "upright-style" bike--I have a RANS Fusion, it's easy to ride and very comfortable overall. I weigh 275 lbs and had an issue with the seatpost slipping down, but it is cheap and simple to fix. The Fusion is about a foot longer than a normal bicycle, but isn't really any wider to store. The Surefoot Lightfoot is another possible choice also.

The seat on the RANS Fusion is very nice--but cannot be changed, as it uses an odd seatpost and bracket. If one will want to try using the various "ergonomic" nose-less saddles out there, then the Surefoot is the bike to go with.

The Fusion is much nicer than a regular upright bike, but it is still not as comfortable as the LWB I have. The supported seating position of a recumbent simply can't be beat, but it is a bit more challenging to balance.

In terms of storage issues--just about any recumbent you get will take up a lot more storeage space than an upright bike will, just because of the recumbent's wider seat. But then of course--the seat is the whole reason for the thing, and a bicycle that isn't comfortable to ride won't get used.
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Old 12-07-06, 06:40 PM   #11
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Yah I checked out a Rans V-Rex at the LBS tonight. It's the only recumbent they have in stock (2 of them) right now. It's the first recumbent I've actually ridden. absolutely a blast, I can see the addiction. It would take her some serious getting used to, as I consider myself well balanced and even *I* almost ate it trying to shut it down. You steer with your body a lot more on a recumbent, too, which I didn't appreciate until I got on it. The only thing is, at $1,700+ it's definitely a bit rich for my blood. I definitely wouldn't commute on it where I currently work, and if my wife doesn't ride it, it's a it of a waste.

I also checked out a cheapish trike, REALLY minimalistic. Fixed gear, right rear wheel drive only, no coaster brake, only a front brake. REALLY turn happy! No steering caster to speak of, the wheel WANTED to turn left or right rather than going straight. I 2 wheeled it more than I 3-wheeled it, which was fun, but inefficient at best. Supposedly it can take a nexus 3, but I'm not sure my wife would be too keen on that. Of course, she'd probably be even less keen on a fixie. That thing would NEVER survive the local MUP. Way too hilly. I didn't bother to check out the brand name.

Supposedly, they have a crank-forward bike coming in, the tech guy thinks it's a raleigh but he's not sure. The manager is having it transferred from another store. He knows it's definitely not a Rans.

I'll keep looking around town.
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Old 12-07-06, 09:07 PM   #12
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If you liked the V-Rex, you might consider a Rocket, which handles very much like the 'Rex. The Rocket has dual-20" wheels and costs a LOT less at $995. Twenty-inch wheels are incredibly strong. But, as with the 'Rex, it's harder to learn than a CF (Crank Forward) so the Good Wife might not take to it.

If you think bents take more body english to ride than an upright, you didn't relax enough and that's one reason why you had a hard time. Bents are balanced mostly by steering since the torso is pretty much plopped immobile in the seat. Tensing or trying to move your upper body to balance just makes things worse. To ride a bent, sit back in the seat, take a deep breath or two, relax, and push off.
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Old 12-08-06, 11:50 AM   #13
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ax0n: I'm a super-clyde (over 375 lbs) and I have a recumbent I'm trying to ride more and more. I can't say enough good things about the Sun Bicycles EZ Sport CX. I have it equipped with Big Mammoth Fat Rims. It is my second one as my first one was stolen. A guy at my office bought the stolen one off of the insurance company after it was recovered, equipped the same way, just the previous years model. He loves it as well. Sun also makes a tandem version, although it isn't a side-by side.
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Old 12-08-06, 03:52 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by ax0n
Yah I checked out a Rans V-Rex at the LBS tonight. ... The only thing is, at $1,700+ it's definitely a bit rich for my blood. I definitely wouldn't commute on it where I currently work, and if my wife doesn't ride it, it's a bit of a waste.
....
Supposedly, they have a crank-forward bike coming in, the tech guy thinks it's a raleigh but he's not sure. The manager is having it transferred from another store. He knows it's definitely not a Rans. I'll keep looking around town.
I wouldn't suggest a SWB, particularly for anyone really out of shape. The big pedal-to-ground distances make them difficult to handle and the high BB tends to cause foot-numbness issues.

I'd suggest YOU stop shopping around alone, get some images of these bikes and get some feedback from her as to what she thinks looks interesting. Don't even mention the storage issue or prices to her yet, if she asks just say "you don't know yet" or "there's a few models" or something similar. A bike with a higher price might discourage her from picking it, and a bicycle that's inexpensive but so uncomfortable that it doesn't get used is no bargain.
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Old 12-08-06, 06:28 PM   #15
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Already been doing that (e-window-shopping with her)

She seems to think that recumbents and crank-forwards look more comfy. What's an SWB?
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Old 12-08-06, 06:31 PM   #16
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If you liked the V-Rex, you might consider a Rocket, which handles very much like the 'Rex. The Rocket has dual-20" wheels and costs a LOT less at $995. Twenty-inch wheels are incredibly strong. But, as with the 'Rex, it's harder to learn than a CF (Crank Forward) so the Good Wife might not take to it.

If you think bents take more body english to ride than an upright, you didn't relax enough and that's one reason why you had a hard time. Bents are balanced mostly by steering since the torso is pretty much plopped immobile in the seat. Tensing or trying to move your upper body to balance just makes things worse. To ride a bent, sit back in the seat, take a deep breath or two, relax, and push off.
That might be the problem, I didn't take time to adjust the seat, and I'm a short guy compared to most "built for bike" guys I see. I had to sit at an odd angle to get my feet to the pedals, and I didn't want to pester the tech to fit me to the bike for a 5 minute ride around the shopping center.
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Old 12-08-06, 09:03 PM   #17
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That is the reason those guys are at the bike shops....to help you feel comfortable.. so you will buy their product. that's the way I see it.
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Old 12-09-06, 05:08 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by ax0n
Already been doing that (e-window-shopping with her) She seems to think that recumbents and crank-forwards look more comfy. What's an SWB?
A SWB is a "short wheel-base" recumbent, which is one that puts the head tube somewhere between your knees and the cranks. The RANS V-Rex and Rocket are SWB's.

A CLWB is a "compact long wheel-base" bike, that puts the head tube right around the cranks. The Sun EZ-1 and the Cycle Genius Sparrow are a couple of the lower-priced CLWB's, at around $600.

A LWB is a "long wheel-base", which moves the head tube forward beyond the cranks. The Tour Easy, RANS Stratus and the Cycle Genius Falcon are LWB's.
------
For a combination of riding comfort and ease-of-use, I'd say that LWB's with fairly-upright seating positions are tough to beat. The downside is the size--most recumbents will take up about the same width, but the CG Falcon is probably two feet longer than a typical bicycle, making it more difficult to store and transport.
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Old 12-09-06, 02:23 PM   #19
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If you want to get your feet wet with recumbents and don't want to spend a lot, I would highly recommend the Sun CWLB bike or the Cycle Genius Sparrow. The CWLB bikes are much easier to get used to than even the LWB bikes. They are also cheaper and easier to store. I think the SWB is too big of a jump if you are out of shape.

The Raleigh Gruv is a CF design, as is the newest Giant Suede, as is the Electra Townie, and the RANS bikes. Of all those I think the RANS bikes are far and away the best, but also probably too expensive for you. The Electra Townie would be a better choice.

ANY of these bikes either the CF or CLWB recumbent would be a better choice than the Revive which is overly heavy, overly complicated and too expensive for what it is.
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Old 12-09-06, 08:21 PM   #20
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My first recumbent was an EZ Sport, and it is an excellent one to start with. It is well-built, with a good selection of components, is virtually bomb-proof (I too am heavy), and was extremely easy to ride right from the first moment. It can be ordered from J&B Importers by just about any bike shop in the land. It also shows up on ebay now and then. It comes in 3 models, one is high tensile steel (least expensive), one in chrome-moly, and one in aluminum (most expensive). They are long wheel-based bikes and are very user friendly, especially for novice riders.
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Old 12-10-06, 10:34 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ax0n
My wife can't ride a traditional bicycle. Can't. Physically unable to do it.

We're both clydes seeking to change. I am having a great time on both of my bikes, but I'm looking for something uber-comfy for my wife to ride, that won't take up a ton of space.
I recently purchased a Rans Tailwind for my wife. She loves it. It has a VERY wide seat, and the position of the handlebars makes it really easy on her wrists (she has serious carpal-tunnel problems). She wasn't able to ride a regular bike either because of the way a DF positioned her body. Try and find an LBS that carrys a variety of bents and have her try them out.
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Old 12-17-06, 12:06 AM   #22
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defending the Giant Revive

I rode 10K miles a year since 1973 (to the moon!) on all brands of traditional bikes. Now I ride a Revive, mostly up the local RailTrail. It is the most posture-neutral design, and I keep migrating back to it off my other three LWB recumbents. I say your mate will take to it naturally over all others. Sure its heavy at 40 pounds (the awesome rear shock!), but in flattish circumstances it is a joy. It feels just as fast at 12mph as a DF at 18. So you get the same workout without having to go so far afield. The rider experience is supple and plenty lively. Shifting constantly with the motorcycle-style 8 speed grip keeps the Revive on the boil. Buy the cheapest one, at about $650-700. It's the lightest and simplest. There's nothing like this bike, it's the result of clean-sheet careful brilliant original new thinking. Check out the Revive video on the website. It's accurate, the claim it makes. Add the base model to your stable and you'll find yourself mounting it the most.
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Old 01-04-07, 09:53 PM   #23
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Revive opinion

I own 2 Revives; bought them for research and riding. Despite the weight, and some of the other quirks, I do enjoy this bike. When you come to a stop, you simply "step out" of the bike; its almost like riding standing up. I disagree with the post that mentioned the back rest was useless. The bike is made to where you are leaning back while "pushing" the pedals forward. In fact the more you press (lean) back, the more of the "revive" effect you get when cornering, etc.. It does take some getting used to however, and having said all of that, I am not completely satisfied with the bike. It is not geared for steep hills, it is heavy, it is hard to park, doesn't fit normal car racks, and on and on. But still, a joy to ride -- just view it as a personal transport device instead of a bike. By the way, I am currently living in Taiwan, home to Giant, and have only seen one other Revive on the road since I've been here (4 months). I am hoping the company will contact me for ideas to improve the bike.
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Old 02-01-07, 12:18 AM   #24
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I have had my Revive for several months, it is fun to ride, but like others have said hills can be challenging. It took a while to get used to, especially the quick response of the front wheel. If you are not careful and cut to sharp you will tumble.
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