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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 06-07-07, 08:13 PM   #1
carcassonne
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First day

Folks,

Just got a recumbent. A so-called HiRacer from ActionBent. I assembled it in a few hours, no problem. Took me 10 minutes of up and down the driveway to finally get a grip on the balance ;-) The first trip to the corner of the street was great. I think I'll remember it all my life. And then, stopping without any knowing of how to get it rolling again. Great. But then, this being said, it's fairly easy to get the balance. after all. Our sons were telling me I looked stressed yesterday when riding the bike and indeed I was not at ease. But then I took to work today. The hill to an overpass that I couldn't get by yesterday was done today. As far as hills are concerned it feels like more work. But for everything else, it feels just great. I'm getting used to it pretty fast. Rode it on some packed soil trails in parks without any problems. Bumps feels a bit more and in this case I get my back off the seat. I now can get balance even before a full turn of the cranks. I get the impression that indeed it is easier than an ordinary bike, but don't quote me on that now: it's my first day. On Sunday I should get back to doing some hills on mountain bike so I'll gauge the difference.

One question: after some riding and after parking the bike, I get a numbness in the left arm. Nothing that prevents me from using the arm, but when I touch it it feels numb. Is this something experienced by other recumbent riders ?

And, as far the ActionBent HiRacer bike is concerned: I was very surprised of it's lightness. This bike is light. It could very well be that it is lighter than my Cannondale Badboy fitted with the factory 700C wheels. It fits all right on my regular repair stand. The repair stand grip does not seemingly hinder the movment of the brake/derailleur cables. A regular CatEye bar-end mirror is all right. I can hang a standard bike pannier off the head rest and seat frame in what seems a secure way.

Cheers.
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Old 06-07-07, 08:28 PM   #2
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What seat and pad did you get with the Actionbent? If it is the FRP Seat with the original (moulded) pad, it caused my back, neck and shoulders serious pain. It seems to pinch in all the wrong places for rather tall (and somewhat oversized) people. I went to the open cell foam pad, and all was way wonderful. Since then I have added the Zotafoam pad which is even better.

In general, my back [upper and lower], my neck, my shoulders and my hips have all required getting accustomed to the new riding position. I've had some very serious incidents of pain that simply needed to get resolved. A lot of this is sins of the past and working muscles avoided for decades. I still won't go back to the DF since my Actionbent trike is just so much fun to ride.
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Old 06-07-07, 08:45 PM   #3
carcassonne
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I got what's standard with the HiRacer: the foam pad and the FRP seat. It feels all right although I've noticed that sweat accumulates in the back of the t-shirt although the foam seems to remain reasonably dry. I guess that if I'm taking it to work on a mild rainy day I should tear off the foam from the velcro and put it under my desk so it won't soak with water during the day.

What are the options as far as lugguage racks are concerned with the ActionBent HiRacer ? I've seen some recumbent seat bags on some web sites. Are any of these applicable to the HiRacer ?
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Old 06-08-07, 06:04 AM   #4
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Just wanna say, welcome to the bent world...hope you can figure out the 'arm' thing. not usual.
Once you get your muscles tuned/toned you will be climing hills even easier.
peace
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Old 06-08-07, 07:21 AM   #5
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Sounds like your learning curve on the new bent was short! Way to go!
I don't know why you would get numbness in the left arm. But I don't know much about the short wheel base bent, either. My arms hang comfortably with my LWB bent. Unless you had some kind of a cervical disc that was aggravated by a change in head position?? The head position on my LWB is pretty natural, like sitting in a chair and could be a bit different on a SWB bent.
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Old 06-13-07, 07:59 PM   #6
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As for the numbness in the left arm, it kind of vanishes away but I noticed something that has to do with climbing hills. I arc somewhat the left wrist over the handle and then I needlessly pull strongly on it when having to push the cranks harder. This creates some kind of stuck nerve or vein situation of some sort that lasts a few moments after the fact and may have had the effect I described in the more or less longer term.

This being said, I do not get short hills smoothly yet. Like hills leading to an overpass. I manage to loose momentum and then it's a hard climb in an easy gear. But then maybe that's the recumbent way after all, I don't know.

I'm using it for commuting every day and it may turn out that a save a few minutes when compared with a DF bike on the same route. Not that I'm in an hurry. This is at leasure pace, or just about. Sometimes on the way back I push stronger for the fun of it.

Taking curves: This has to be the most fun thing to do. I praticed a bit in a schoolyard and came up with the 'foot forward' approach which is to extend the foot on the pedal on the side the curves turns and then to lean into the curve. Lots of fun. It really feels swift on a bike path through parks, etc...

One maybe downside: pouring sweat in the back. Well, not always pouring, but it surely does not take time to gather sweat. T-shirts becomes flashed with white sweat marks real fast. I'm hopefully getting a Ventisit cushion for the Actionbent FRP seat.

One neat thing: a regular large bike pannier that goes on a pannier rack fits just nicely hanging at the top of the FRP seat. But I'm neverthless looking for a storage use of any sort. A water bottle could fit on the boom. I'd like to use the back of the seat/top of the wheel space for storage but do not know so far of any already-made solutions. I guess a regular pannier over the rear wheel and an additional pannier haning from the top of the seat could be it. Any suggestions ?

Cheers, and thanks for reading.
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Old 06-13-07, 09:28 PM   #7
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FastBack seat bags are designed for hardshell seats that are slightly narrower than the Actionbent FRP, but they still fit. I use the small bag to carry my tools, spare tube, wallet, snacks.

http://www.hostelshoppe.com/cgi-bin/...ory=1081461889

Actionbent makes a seat bag for the FRP, but I think the FastBack looks nicer.
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Old 06-14-07, 08:09 AM   #8
jeff-o
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Glad you're enjoying your new bike! It's a nice one, for sure.

For storage, I'd recommend a rack and a rack bag. Perhaps a bit heavier than a seat-mounted bag, but also more practical. Another thing to look into is the lowracer panniers from Radical Designs. They work well with AB bikes and trikes.

If you're going to be parking in the rain, there's no need to remove the seat pad. Just go out to a backpacking/hiking store and get a backpack rain cover. I use one to protect my seat when it rains, and it works well.

As for mounting a water bottle, it's easy to do with a few hose clamps and some heat shrink tubing. Get two pipe clamps that match the diameter of the frame, and about a foot of 1/2" heat shrink. Shrink the heat shrink onto the clamps, so that all but about 2" is showing. Place the water bottle cage where you want it, then clamp it down with the hose clamps. That's the general idea, I'm sure you can figure out the rest.

Oh, and there are other places to get a Ventist-type seat pad... *hint*
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