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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 08-03-07, 08:42 AM   #1
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feedback, please on tour easy and gold rush racer

Several years ago I had a Bacchetta Strada that I rode 2 years and traded it off. I really didn't like the high BB because my feet went to sleep on long rides and I kept getting recumbent butt. I've been thinking about getting a Gold Rush Racer EX or a Tour Easy EX. I'll use one for daily riding to stay in shape so I can still drink a beer and for touring. The EX package gives me 19" gearing on the lower side which should help getting up the hills. 113" on the top side is more than my old body can pull for any length of time. Any feedback on advantages and disadvantages of either bike would be appreciated. Also feedback on climbing on one of these as opposed to a DF bike. The Strada was about 20-25% slower up hills.

John
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Old 08-07-07, 08:09 PM   #2
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Very few people have bad things to say about Tour Easys. They are quite comfortable,
regarded as fast for their design age, ie they have held up very well. They go up hills
about like you would expect them to for their weight penalty, with a little further
decrement for inability to stand on longer hills. For shorter hills and rollers the momentum
maintenance made possible by their aerodynamics compared to a DF means you can
keep up with the DF better. I ride a Rotator Pursuit which is fairly comparable in length
and ride position to a Tour Easy and find I go about 2mph slower on the same ride as I
do on the DF. My area is somewhat hilly, not sure about where you are Tx but in the
flatter parts, a fairing would be worth the extra weight for its reduction in air resistance.
I once rode, unfaired, on my bent, behind a front faired Ti TourEasy and found than there
was no benefit at all from sitting in behind the guy, the air flowed around the rider and
came back together behind his rear wheel and blasted me in the face. He just rolled
away from me on the hills. OTOH fairing is not much use below 18-20mph net speed
relative to the air (bike spd - wind speed).
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Old 08-07-07, 08:23 PM   #3
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One thing about the TourEasy/GRR is that the upright position is more likely to cause recumbutt than the relatively laid-back position of a Strada. With a front fairing, the TE should be *slightly* faster than a road bike, at least on relatively flat ground. It won't climb with the DFs though.
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Old 08-08-07, 10:47 AM   #4
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re: feedback on Tour Easy and GRR

My first recumbent was a Tour Easy. It was a well made and attractive bike. Unfortunately, I got wicked recumbent butt while riding it (you may not). The low bottom bracket was the problem, in my view. Adjusting the back of the seat to the rear didn't help as the seat pan angle could not be changed. Also, the long wheelbase doesn't work in your favor when spinning slowly up steep hills. You tend to lurch about some, which gives pause for thought on roads that have narrow or no shoulders with vehicles closely following you. Short wheelbase recumbents, with their nimble handling characteristics, are easier to balance on slow climbs.

Tony
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Old 08-12-07, 10:29 AM   #5
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Thanks for the feed back. I ordered a GRR. Should get it next week. It's very hilly where I live; however, most roads have wide shoulders, so climbing slowly up a hill should not present much of a problem. As to the the recumbent butt, I had a LWB Cannondale that I didn't have the RB like I did on the Strada; however, the C'Dale weighed in the 40+ lb range. Seems like the biggest problem is the engine. However, these old legs still have a lot of miles left in them.
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Old 08-15-07, 10:35 AM   #6
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I think you made a good choice. Have fun with the Gold Rush, and let us know what you think of it once it arrives!
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Old 08-23-07, 09:07 AM   #7
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Picked up the GRR yesterday and traded off two other bikes. Only got to ride the bike about three miles because I was 320 miles from home.
Bike rode smooth, although still needs some adjustment. Bike is extremely well made with nice paint and neat welds. I got the EX model; however they sent the bike with the SS tires. Being as I have plenty of Schwalbe tires that are on my other bikes that are what should be on the EX, I decided to keep the narrow tires for my everyday riding and put the wider tires on for touring.
Hopefully, I'll be in early enough to ride 20 or 30 miles this evening.
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Old 08-23-07, 12:25 PM   #8
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Excellent; I'm glad you're having fun so far.
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Old 08-24-07, 04:26 PM   #9
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Took the GRR out today for a short ride. Was impressed at how much softer the ride was over the chip and seal. Most of the roads have new chip & seal and they are extremely rough. It was nice to ride with my normal shorts and t-shirt and not have to put the kit on.

I didn't push it a bit; however, my average time was my second fastest ever for my route. My fastest time on the DF nearly killed me--my HR moniter kept beeping my max. time after time. This bike is fast. I thought the fairing would make the bike a lot hotter. It was about 90 outside and I didn't notice that much of a difference on this bike as compared to the DF other than less wind on the chest.

I climbed several 6% grades and the GRR is a little slower climbing--but very little slower. The main difference I found was where my thigh muscles started burning was different from the burn experienced on the DF. When I get the new working muscles conditioned for the new bike, I think the climbing will get easier and faster.

The GRR is a good 12-15 lbs heavier than my titanium DF, but the extra weight is not an issue at all. I also own a Bike Friday Pocket Crusoe that is only 10 lbs heavier than my road bike, but it is 30% slower. I think the GRR will wind up being as fast, or faster than my road bike.

All in all, I think my 2 other bikes are going to get very, very lonely sitting in the spare bed room. The GRR is going to be my town bike to get groceries, my road bike for daily exercise rides and my touring bike. No stiff neck, no sore butt, no numb fingers.............................

Can't wait to get the legs used to this new ride and take a tour this fall!!!!!!!
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Old 08-24-07, 06:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by card View Post
I got the EX model; however they sent the bike with the SS tires. Being as I have plenty of Schwalbe tires that are on my other bikes that are what should be on the EX, I decided to keep the narrow tires for my everyday riding and put the wider tires on for touring.
OK, ya got me stumped on that one. The SS has 700C in back and a 451 in front, the EX has a 26" in back and a 406 in front. The tires are not interchangeable between the two models; if they sent the wrong tires, you'd be without tires. Do you mean they shipped the bike with skinny tires instead of fatter ones you expected?
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Old 08-24-07, 07:21 PM   #11
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OK, ya got me stumped on that one. The SS has 700C in back and a 451 in front, the EX has a 26" in back and a 406 in front. The tires are not interchangeable between the two models; if they sent the wrong tires, you'd be without tires. Do you mean they shipped the bike with skinny tires instead of fatter ones you expected?
They shipped the bike w/the skinney tires that go on the SS. 700 x 28 in rear, 20 x 1-1/8" in front. EX calls for 700 x 35 and 20 x 1.35. http://www.easyracers.com/04-gold_rush.htm

Being as I have a Bike Friday w/ 20 x 1.35 tires and some 700 x 1.35 folders from a old touring bike, I decided to keep the skinney tires when Easy Racers assured me the wider tires would mount on the same wheels when I go touring.

Last edited by card; 08-24-07 at 08:04 PM.
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Old 08-24-07, 08:17 PM   #12
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They shipped the bike w/the skinney tires that go on the SS. 700 x 28 in rear, 20 x 1-1/8" in front. EX calls for 700 x 35 and 20 x 1.35. http://www.easyracers.com/04-gold_rush.htm

Being as I have a Bike Friday w/ 20 x 1.35 tires and some 700 x 1.35 folders from a old touring bike, I decided to keep the skinney tires when they Esy Racers assured me the wider tires would mount on the same wheels when I go touring.
The 700x35 will mount just fine. (BlazingPedals, I think you were mistaken about the EX model coming with 26" rear wheels...both from their website and from conversations I've had with the guys at Easy Racers, I'm almost certain that EX ships with 700c x 35, as card said.)

The 20 x 1.35 tires will not fit your front rims, though. 20-inch wheels have a truly bizarre system of nomenclature...because both 406mm and 451mm-diameter rims are called "20-inch" for some reason. The only way you can tell the difference when you order tires and tubes is to look at the width. If it's a fraction (such as your 20 x 1-1/8" tires), then the diameter is 451 mm. If the width is a decimal (like the 20 x 1.35 tires on your Bike Friday) then the diameter is 406 mm.

All of which is utterly silly; I wish I was making it up.

The upshot, though, is that while you can certainly put wider tires on your front wheel, they will have to be something like 20 x 1-3/8"...your 20 x 1.35 will be too small in diameter.

For what it's worth, I think you will be happier with the larger-diameter, 451-mm front rim. (Less rolling resistance, and personally I like the geometry of the bike a little better with the larger front wheel.) When you want a more rugged tire for touring, get something wider...but know that your Bike Friday tires and rims won't fit.

Anyway, card, I'm glad you're enjoying the new bike...and as you surmised, hill climbing gets a lot faster and easier once you get used to using a different set of leg muscles. (It took me a couple of months before I could climb at the same speed on my Tour Easy as on my old upright touring bike...which, in my case, means pretty damned slow on either one. But I do reach the top of the mountain sooner or later, and then the descent is way more fun on a recumbent!)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

P.S.: I googled "408 mm" and "451 mm" to make sure I'd explained it right...and the first link to come up was from the great Sheldon Brown. So here's everything you would ever want to know about tire size conventions, from the man himself.
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Old 08-24-07, 09:41 PM   #13
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The 700x35 will mount just fine. (BlazingPedals, I think you were mistaken about the EX model coming with 26" rear wheels...both from their website and from conversations I've had with the guys at Easy Racers, I'm almost certain that EX ships with 700c x 35, as card said.)

The 20 x 1.35 tires will not fit your front rims, though. 20-inch wheels have a truly bizarre system of nomenclature...because both 406mm and 451mm-diameter rims are called "20-inch" for some reason. The only way you can tell the difference when you order tires and tubes is to look at the width. If it's a fraction (such as your 20 x 1-1/8" tires), then the diameter is 451 mm. If the width is a decimal (like the 20 x 1.35 tires on your Bike Friday) then the diameter is 406 mm.

All of which is utterly silly; I wish I was making it up.

The upshot, though, is that while you can certainly put wider tires on your front wheel, they will have to be something like 20 x 1-3/8"...your 20 x 1.35 will be too small in diameter.

For what it's worth, I think you will be happier with the larger-diameter, 451-mm front rim. (Less rolling resistance, and personally I like the geometry of the bike a little better with the larger front wheel.) When you want a more rugged tire for touring, get something wider...but know that your Bike Friday tires and rims won't fit.

Anyway, card, I'm glad you're enjoying the new bike...and as you surmised, hill climbing gets a lot faster and easier once you get used to using a different set of leg muscles. (It took me a couple of months before I could climb at the same speed on my Tour Easy as on my old upright touring bike...which, in my case, means pretty damned slow on either one. But I do reach the top of the mountain sooner or later, and then the descent is way more fun on a recumbent!)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

P.S.: I googled "408 mm" and "451 mm" to make sure I'd explained it right...and the first link to come up was from the great Sheldon Brown. So here's everything you would ever want to know about tire size conventions, from the man himself.
Well, being as most of the weight is on the rear, and I weigh 185 and my touring is mostly on paved roads w/credit care (too much minimalist army camping), the current tire would probably work. I could also change the wheel out w/my Bike Friday. No matter how it works out, I am thinking bent might have been one of my better biking decisions. Thanks for the feedback!
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Old 08-25-07, 09:08 AM   #14
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The 700x35 will mount just fine. (BlazingPedals, I think you were mistaken about the EX model coming with 26" rear wheels...both from their website and from conversations I've had with the guys at Easy Racers, I'm almost certain that EX ships with 700c x 35, as card said.)
Sorry, I guess they've changed their specs since the last time I looked. (It's been a while.)
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Old 08-31-07, 09:08 PM   #15
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I've had four good rides on the GRR this week. Think I may have one DF and a nearly new Bike Friday on Ebay if the satisfaction lasts a few more months. Have to take that tour first.
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