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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 12-11-06, 02:33 PM   #1
quietrider
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Need recumbent advise please

Hi. We are hoping to bike across America on recumbents (which we have never done). So I need advise from all you experienced tourers out there what you have found to be a durable, reasonably comfortable recumbent for a 4000 mi. ride. From what I have read, disk brakes (especially for those long mountain down grades) and LWB seems to be what we think we would want. But as for brands and models, I'm still undecided. Sun? Rans? Bacchetta? We are hoping to stay under $1500 per bike. I am a 6'2, 54 year old male, and my wife is 5' and 50 years old (if that helps with frame sizing). What would you recommend (and not recommend)? Thanks so much in advance.
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Old 12-11-06, 03:04 PM   #2
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Are you going self contained or will your gear be sagged?
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Old 12-11-06, 10:04 PM   #3
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Are you going self contained or will your gear be sagged?
Other than water, energy bars and a light jacket, most everything else will be in an escort vehicle.
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Old 12-12-06, 01:11 AM   #4
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You want durable AND comfortable?

Get a Greenspeed tandem TRIKE!

We've had ours for a little over 4 years and have enjoyed it SOOO much!

Guaranteed you'll make new friends wherever you go!

I use it to keep the 4 kids all going the same speed and in the same direction. Sometimes my 6 yr old likes to "Captain" while I hold the reins.

I would have to say that it is probably the most fun of any of the 21 bikes in the garage.
Except maybe the Greenspeed GTX. But that only hauls me and the youngest 3 kids.
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Old 12-12-06, 06:26 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quietrider
Hi. We are hoping to bike across America on recumbents (which we have never done). So I need advise from all you experienced tourers out there what you have found to be a durable, reasonably comfortable recumbent for a 4000 mi. ride. From what I have read, disk brakes (especially for those long mountain down grades) and LWB seems to be what we think we would want. But as for brands and models, I'm still undecided. Sun? Rans? Bacchetta? We are hoping to stay under $1500 per bike. I am a 6'2, 54 year old male, and my wife is 5' and 50 years old (if that helps with frame sizing). What would you recommend (and not recommend)? Thanks so much in advance.
If you want durablilty and you want to be comfortable I'd say like DR. Deltron get a Greenspeed Tandem Trike. We've also had our GTT a little over 4 years and found nothing like it, and with a mountain drive you can ride anything (hills) and anywhere. If money is an issue you can also can look at going with a Wiz Wheel Tandem Trike, you can purchase theres for around $4000 new and they also make an excellent trike.
If I were too look at bikes, my choice would be a Rans Stratus XP a dual 26 long wheelbase, a very comfortable bike IMO.
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Old 12-12-06, 07:21 AM   #6
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I'd look at the easyracers, anything from rans, or as mentioned, a trike of some flavor, though my preference would be separate trikes a la the greendspeed gt3 or the catrike road.

With a long wheelbase bent you have very comfy geometry and the advantages a low bottom bracket bike provides. A trike gives you the ability to take balancing out of the equation, so you can peddle longer than you think you can and still be comfortable, since it takes balancing out of the equation.
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Old 12-12-06, 10:16 AM   #7
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Go for the trike. You won't find anything more comfortable or enjoyable to ride, for such a trip.
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Old 12-12-06, 10:30 AM   #8
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I switched to a bent for a week long trip last summer and I would suggest spending some time getting used to the bent before taking off on the trip. It is definitley different than an upright and your approach to uphill cold starts and hills in general would benefit from practice.
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Old 12-12-06, 11:24 AM   #9
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I'd go with one of the Easy Racers LWB or one of the Rans LWB! But that's just me. I don't know much about trikes.
Best to ride a bunch then decide. Probably a lot of different makes and styles out there that would do it just fine.
Just curious Quierider - are you doing an organized tour? Or just a few friends with someone sagging for you?
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Old 12-12-06, 12:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quietrider
Hi. We are hoping to bike across America on recumbents .... From what I have read, disk brakes (especially for those long mountain down grades) and LWB seems to be what we think we would want. ...We are hoping to stay under $1500 per bike. I am a 6'2, 54 year old male, and my wife is 5' and 50 years old (if that helps with frame sizing). What would you recommend (and not recommend)? Thanks so much in advance.
For a LWB: look at the Cycle Genius Falcon, about $1100. Upgrade the brakes: spend $200 more each to upgrade the BB5 calipers to BB7's. You will need longer handlebars as well, but the OEM's should work for a 5' rider. The OEM's are about 13" long and you'll need something around 18"+.

For an "upright" style bike, look at the RANS Fusion for $950. Not -quite- as comfortable as a recumbent, but is lighter, is just as easy to balance on as an upright bike and is still much more comfortable than a regular upright bike is.

I would advise against any bikes that have the pedals set higher than the seat. "Numb feet" can be aggravated by a number of things but is basically poor circulation to the feet--and a LWB recumbent is most-resistant to this problem, as the feet are kept lower than the seat base.

I've not owned a trike but from what I have seen, there's very few in your price range. There's only one Wizwheels that goes for under $1500; most of the big-name stuff like Greenspeeds is $2000+. And trikes almost all have high-set pedals.

A tandem is another option of course, but it's gonna blow your budget by a wide margin.
I love the concept of the Kettweisel delta trikes best, in that they can be used independently, or trained together. Each rider can have their "own" bike set up for them, but either can still be used to lead or stoke. This seems like a really nice thing to be able to do, but the Kettweisels are horribly expensive and I don't know any other company making cheap deltas that will work like this.

Also, ++ on the break-in period. You'd want at least a few weeks of local riding before you try such a tour on a radically-different bicycle.
~
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Old 12-12-06, 01:46 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Doug5150
I've not owned a trike but from what I have seen, there's very few in your price range. There's only one Wizwheels that goes for under $1500; most of the big-name stuff like Greenspeeds is $2000+. And trikes almost all have high-set pedals.
Add to that ActionBent and Rebel Cycles trikes. You may even be able to score a used Catrike for less than $1500.
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Old 12-12-06, 01:53 PM   #12
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This seems to be the most common request on any 'bent site, and the answer is always a version of "get one like mine." I'm going to stop making general recommendations. Instead, here's a sequence for choosing the right bent for you.

1. Try as many different bikes/trikes as you can, regardless of price or style. Take notes.
2. Make the same round of test rides a second time. Revise notes.
3. After the second round, make a list of ALL of the models you tested, in order of most favorite to least. By most favorite, I mean how well they will/may fit the desired purpose, not how impressive they are.
4. Ask specific questions concerning a specific bike, i.e. "what rack works with a 2003 Downunder Wonder, and can it carry 60 pounds of gear?" Consider the unquantifiables such as warranties and history. Update notes again, revise list as necessary.
5. Draw a line in your list, below which the bikes will not meet your needs or desires.
6. NOW price all of the models you have on your list.
7. Compare the ones above the line with their prices and make your best compromise. Or, if you're lucky, your favorite will be one of the cheaper ones. If you have to go down below the line to reach an affordable one, you may need to save more before buying or consider buying used.

A few generalizations:
* no matter what anybody tells you, weight *always* matters
* LWB will have more room on the frame to hang racks and gear
* LWB is better for short people, SWB is better for tall people. 5'7" to 6' can ride either equally well.
* more recline is faster, less recline is easier to balance
* SWB, unloaded, will be lighter
* fairings help your speed only if you're going at speeds where aerodynamics become significant
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Old 12-12-06, 02:13 PM   #13
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To all of you that have responded to my question thus far: Thank you!!! I really appreciate your helpful advise and will seriously consider all of it.
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Old 12-12-06, 02:20 PM   #14
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Thank you bobkat! It's an organized tour in the sense that a friend who toured by bike before mapped it out for us and will be touring with us. We will have an escort vehicle carrying our gear and supplies.
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