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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 08-15-01, 05:11 PM   #1
Pat O'Malley
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Dogs and trailers

I am very interested in getting a bent. I am convinced that they are superior to wedgies in every way except one: defense against hostile dogs. What works to keep a German shepherd from snacking on my hips? Also, does anyone have any comments about pulling a trailer (BOB or Yak) with a short wheel base. I am thinking about getting a Burley HepCat, and I will ride it mostly on Sat and Sundays, 50-70 miles each day, like I already do on my wedgie. But about once a season I would like to take a tour, and can't afford an actual touring bike for those limited occasions. So would a trailer be a way to solve my need for speed on the weekends and my need for adventure twice a year?
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Old 08-15-01, 05:22 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally posted by Pat O'Malley
What works to keep a German shepherd from snacking on my hips?
Outrun 'em.
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Old 08-15-01, 06:01 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forums Pat! As for dogs... Peper spray! I have kicked quite a few dogs while riding my bike, i doubt you could kick a dog on a bent, but i havent tried. Peper spray could act as your third food.

As for the trailor, i have heard a few instances where bobs start to shake at high speeds on bents, i dont know why this is, but you may want to look into this problem. The simple fix would be to get a trailor with two wheels.
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Old 08-15-01, 06:51 PM   #4
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If they get too close, get of and put something between yourself and the dog. I try to outrun them when I can, but that doesn't always work on stupidly steep climbs.

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Old 08-15-01, 09:35 PM   #5
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Remember: you don't have to be faster than the German Shepards; you just need to be faster than whoever you're cycling with.

Maybe you could rig up your bike so that with the press of a button, a bunch of dog biscuits are released onto the ground. Hmmm... I know that some dogs can be distracted by food, but I don't know how effective this would be against a dog that is intelligent and mean.....
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Old 08-15-01, 09:49 PM   #6
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As an alternative to pepper spray you could look into an ultrasonic deterrent device ($22)
http://www.familydefense.com/ultrason.htm

or Mace spray repellent ($10)
http://www.familydefense.com/mace4.htm
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Old 08-15-01, 10:38 PM   #7
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Eddie, great links, thanks Do you have any thoughts about a trailer pat and his bent?
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Old 08-16-01, 08:17 AM   #8
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The ultrasound sounds (no pun intended) interesting. But I wonder if the noise is so irratating to the dog that it actually halts? Or is it like my reaction to a car that has a booming stereo playing gangsta rap? It makes me wanna bite something! As for the pepper spray, do you have to be a dead-eye aim? And I could see myself pointing it the wrong way, or into the wind, and shooting myself. I might fashion a riding whip. I used to carry a length of coathanger for that purpose after having broken too many pumps, and before I discovered how easy it is just to kick 'em. Thanks for the ideas.
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Old 08-16-01, 11:01 PM   #9
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Regarding B.O.B. trailers with bents, visit the Bravenet message board (for bentrideronline.com) at:

http://www3.bravenet.com/forum/show....num=1891253362

There is a very recent messsage there under the title "BOB wobble revisited" as well as a thread on the same subject if you scroll further down the list (August 12-14). It appears that for hauling gear, trailers can be of greater benefit than panniers, however, some folks have experienced wobbling at higher speeds.
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Old 08-17-01, 03:52 PM   #10
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Thanks Bentrox for the fantastic website referal. There I found a not only a great discussion about trailers but a whole lot more on bents. After much research and hours of review I have decided to get the Rans V-Rex. In the beginning I was gonna get an EasyTour, then reconsidered a LWB by choosing the Vision R-40 because it can be converted to both LWB or SWB, but I have decided against that because it's been my experience in life that things that try to be all things tend to be not very good at any one particular thing. So then I looked for a bike that would be fast, yet affordable, like the Lightning P-38 or the Burley Django. Finally, after reading more websites I have for the moment chosen the V-Rex, partly because it is the only one of the three that I can test ride locally.
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Old 08-17-01, 04:19 PM   #11
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Eddie, thanks for the links, i was looking for a site about bent wobble, but didnt come up with anything

Pat, let us know when you like the v-rex! Sounds like a great bent.
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Old 08-18-01, 12:13 PM   #12
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Glad to be of help, guys! Like Pat, I did hours of research of products before deciding on my first bent, an Optima Lynx. Pat, I also considered LWB early on (Easy Racers HQ is nearby) but opted for SWB instead. My 5-months/1250 miles experience on my Lynx has been a blast. The bike has been so fast, nimble and comfortable I look forward to riding. I think you'll like the V-rex, a similar SWB design. Rans has a great reputation for quality and customer support.

Keep in touch and contribute what you can - there are too few of us out there sharing.
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Old 08-18-01, 10:09 PM   #13
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I felt very unstable on the V_Rex during the hour that I tested it. When I got off my shoulders were tensed from keeping the handlebars steady. The least little steer made me feel like I was gonna flip. So I thought maybe I need to get myself acclimated gradually, and rented for the day a Bike E RX, which is supposed to be a road bike. It was very easy, but way too slow out on the open road, and in town still too slow to be even a commuter in my opinion. The 20" wheels reminded me of my boyhood Schwinn Stingray, how you had to pedal like an eggbeater to keep up with the bigger bikes. I was really disappointed, ready to give up on bents. Then I tried the RANS Velocity Squared: LWB, low seat but a high bracket ( same ht as the V-Rex),and a 26" rear wheel. The LWB is much easier to ride, and fast. Perhaps it will build up my confidence and improve my riding skills to where I'll be able to enjoy a SWB. The Velocity has high quality components, but the angle of the handlebars proved uncomfortable for my wrists. Fortunately the store is going to change the bars, a feat that will require some special work. While on the BikeE today I learned that clips (or clipless) are needed to keep my feet from sliding down, but I also discovered that I liked to pedal sometimes on the arch, rather than the ball, of my foot, mainly to rest and stretch while riding. (I rode it for 5 hours in the AM and 2 hours in the PM) I guess single sided SPD platforms are the way to go if I opt for clipless. But at first I will get out my old clips which will allow me to ride either side of the pedals and change foot positions. Oh, and I now realize, a little late, that I should have put SunBlock on my shins!
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Old 08-19-01, 02:08 PM   #14
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Pat,

I am watching your recumbent-related posts with much interest.
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Old 08-19-01, 08:06 PM   #15
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I haven't ridden a V-Rex, but my first ride on an Optima Lynx also felt disconcertingly unstable. As soon as I remembered to relax my arms and shoulders, however (a tip from other bent riders,) the ride changed dramatically for the better. I realized the bike was not causing the instability as much as my nervous apprehension was. This may be the reason your shoulders were so tense. I was in relatively good control within the first 20 minutes, however, it was maybe four more weeks of riding before I acclimated enough to feel completely at ease and naturally under full control at all times, whether flying downhill at 45 mph or creeping along at a near standstill behind some pedestrians. I even learned to use clipless pedals, which have improved my hill-climbing efforts considerably. Oh, and when banking steeply into a turn under full spin at 30+ mph you never have to worry about your feet dropping off the pedals or the pedals striking the pavement. You gotta do this to understand the thrill of a high speed turn!

An Optima Lynx has a lower seat height and slightly longer wheel base than a V-Rex. Perhaps the subsequent lower center of gravity and extended track contributes to the feel of stability.
I was lucky my first bent selection was the ride I was lookng for. Don't give up. Trying out other bents may turn up a better experience for you. I've never regretted taking the bent plunge myself.

p.s. Get used to a sunnyside-up tan unless you can figure out how to ride in a prone position once in a while
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Old 08-20-01, 07:58 AM   #16
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Oh, and when banking steeply into a turn under full spin at 30+ mph you never have to worry about your feet dropping off the pedals or the pedals striking the pavement. You gotta do this to understand the thrill of a high speed turn!

An Optima Lynx has a lower seat height and slightly longer wheel base than a V-Rex. Perhaps the subsequent lower center of gravity and extended track contributes to the feel of stability. a while [/B][/QUOTE]

One of the features that made the LWB bike easier was the fact that you can't rub your foot on the front wheel during a turn. The lower seat height definitely adds to the stability, making it easier to keep balanced, and get your feet on the ground. Transporting the bike ( I live in a section of town that is hemmed in by very unfreindly highways)will be a hassle, and another unfortunate reason to keep driving a pickup truck. In Texas however you don't have to have a real reason to drive a truck. I wouldn't be surprised if someday the gov't will require drivers to prove why they aren't driving a truck! I have this dream to do some touring, so hopefully the LWB will someday be my ticket. But in the meantime, I can't help thinking that I will regret not getting the sportier SWB bike.
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Old 09-01-01, 10:24 AM   #17
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Hey Gang; I'm wondering if anyone has found a solution to the problem of high speed wobbles and trailers. Does this just happen with single-wheel trailers?

Also, the Bravenet link in an earlier post no longer works. Can someone point me in the right direction at Bravenet to find the Recumbent forums?

Thanks yawl!
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Old 09-01-01, 08:32 PM   #18
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Hey Nobby! I too lately can't get into BraveNet. But in case you miss it, what I read over there was that alot of people use a bob with no prob. One guy who was having trouble figured it out that it was a loose headset that caused his parade to wobble. I just got my first bent and am enjoying it immensely. Befoe I go on a tour I would like to borrow a BOB for a test ride, as it is a lot of money. And my instinct tells me that distributing the weight, especially some on the front wheel, might be a better way to go.
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Old 09-01-01, 08:55 PM   #19
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Pat...thanks a lot!

That's encouraging stuff. For what it's worth, I am more than happy to loan you my BoB. Sadly though...I don't have one.

Awfully kind of me nonetheless...right?
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Old 09-02-01, 09:09 PM   #20
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I appreciate your generous offer! But since you havn't the BoB, could you loan me the dollars (US) to buy one?
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Old 09-02-01, 11:33 PM   #21
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Pat...I can do that...however it means cyphering out the exchange rate on Canadian dollars...lets see...$1000 CDN = about $29.95 USD. So I guess I need to cough up about $4000 or so. Hang on while I print a bunch from my latest scans!
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