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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 08-24-07, 07:15 AM   #1
ndtova
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Longbikes? First Purchase - Need Advice.

I want to buy my first 'bent and, after riding a number, have falled in love with the Longbike Slipstream.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this bike - positive or negative? A few questions I have:

1) What is the reputation of this bike within the 'bent community?

2) How on EARTH would I transport it?? I need the extra long version because I'm tall, so overall length including tires is around 96 inches. Holy cow! I drive a mid-size SUV, so I guess I'd have to put it on the roof?

3) How long does it take for muscles to adjust? After riding it about 5 miles at high speed, I noticed later in the day my hip flexors hurt. I guess my legs would need time to adjust?

4) Any thoughts on how the Slipstream compares to Longbike's Eliminator G2? Is it worth riding one before making a decision? Does the Eliminator have that problem where your foot can hit the front tire during a turn?

I know this is a lot of questions, but if anyone can contribute to one or all of them I'd sure appreciate the advice.
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Old 08-24-07, 07:22 AM   #2
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I should have added that two things I really like about the Slipstream are (a) the below seat stearing and (b) the seat position that allows me to sit fairly upright. AND - it somehow just felt good!
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Old 08-24-07, 08:47 AM   #3
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Longbikes have a good reputation as touring bikes. The thing you like about them - USS and upright seating - makes them unsuitable for fast speeds, but for many people that doesn't matter. The G2 is a short wheelbase, so it'll handle differently. IIRC both bikes are on the heavy side. The one guy in my club who used to have a G2 upgraded a few years ago to a Gold Rush.

My advice is to keep test riding. You may eventually come back to the Slipstream, but you may not. What is the intended use?
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Old 08-24-07, 08:55 AM   #4
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I've never ridden a Longbike, but I've tried a few long wheel based recumbent.
I don't particularly care for long wheel based recumbent because of the size.
I take my bike onto public transportation sometimes and the smaller the easier to get on and off from bus/train/ferry.
Smaller bikes also take up less garage/sidewalk space when I park my bike.
I ride in city traffic, so the short wheel base is more nimble for maneuvering through stop and go traffic.
Long wheel base do have a smoother ride, more visible to other traffic, and depending on the design, could be more rigid for larger/heavier riders that travel at high rate of speed .

Good luck with your purchase.
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Old 08-24-07, 09:52 AM   #5
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I'll be using it for pleasure riding and exercise, mostly rides of 3-4 hours on flat roads and smallish hills. I may equip it for riding on the C&O canal in Virginia and West Virginia, but that is about as aggressive as my riding will be.

I have been riding a mountain bike, but as I get older I find I'm having problems keeping my neck bent for so long. That's why an upright position and good hand placement are so important to me.
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Old 08-24-07, 02:43 PM   #6
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You mention that you have ridden a number of bikes. That says to me that you like this one 'the best'... If it feels comfortable and you have ridden it enough to get a good impression, then I would say go for it. I have a Linear long wheel base and have to admit it is a bit much (different) to haul. I did ride it to pick up my new Ford Escape several years ago and put it in,,,yes that is inside,,, however it reached from front to back and I have not done that again. I made a rack that plugs into the hitch and I can carry it sideways even though it sticks out a little on either side,,,not more than the rear view mirrors. In other words it is possible to carry on a regular rack. Your experience may vary with brand of bike. I love the LWB even though I have a short one too. I ride both, of course, but like the long one for rides that you mention, exercize and not so many hillls. It is a comfortable ride.
Good luck in your purchase. peace
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Old 08-25-07, 06:06 PM   #7
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The wife and I just rode our Longbikes Gulfstream from our home in CT to Fargo ND, fully loaded. And I also have a early Slipstream so I'll take a stab at it...

1) What is the reputation of this bike within the 'bent community? Very good quality, backed by strong customer service if/when you have a problem. All of the machine work done by Longbikes is great.

2) How on EARTH would I transport it?? I need the extra long version because I'm tall, so overall length including tires is around 96 inches. Holy cow! I drive a mid-size SUV, so I guess I'd have to put it on the roof? Thats how we transport our Gulfstream, on top of the car. I drive a Scion XB (Yes I know it looks like a toaster...) it has a 96" wheel base the bikes is 106"

3) How long does it take for muscles to adjust? After riding it about 5 miles at high speed, I noticed later in the day my hip flexors hurt. I guess my legs would need time to adjust? yes, and it all depends on how often you ride and how hard.

4) Any thoughts on how the Slipstream compares to Longbikes Eliminator G2? Is it worth riding one before making a decision? Does the Eliminator have that problem where your foot can hit the front tire during a turn? I have a friend that bought an G2 and loved it, that is until he got a screaming deal on a Slipstream...
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Old 08-27-07, 04:14 PM   #8
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I've been riding a Slipstream since the first of the year. Tried a bunch of different bents, but when I tried the Slipstream it just felt 'right'. No regrets.

Its a solid machine, well made but a bit heavy so its slower on hills. But I'm out to enjoy the ride, not see how fast I can get between stops so it doesn't bother me in the least. And one of the previous posters said that LWB/USS combo is not suitable for speed. But the Slipstream just gets more solid at speed. I did a 2-day, 192 mile bike ride a few weeks back and the long downhills were awesome. Steady as a rock and very predictable handling.

I also tried the Eliminator when I was test riding (actually had my eyes on that one moreso before actually doing the test rides.) There is some heelstrike possible if you're not paying attention, but I think it would quickly become second nature to stop pedalling in really tight turns. The two bikes did handle differently, but the Slipstream just called out to me from the moment I began riding it.

I had a cracked weld on part of the handlebar and Greg Peek at Longbikes sent me a replacement with no questions. Seems to be a busy guy and sometimes it would take a while for emails to be responded to, but once I called up things were taken care of quickly.

I hang mine on a regular bike rack on the rear of the mini-van. It sticks out about 9-10 inches on either side, but thats really not much more than the mirrors do. I just make sure I keep my eye on it backup etc. Downside is that it takes up 3 of the 4 bike positions on the rack.

Len - I'd love to see a picture of the Gulfstream on the Scion - that must be a sight!

Did you end up posting any journals of your tour? I'd like to hear more about it particularly any comments on the Gulfstream. Now that I have the Slipstream I'm keeping my eyes open for a tandem (Gulfstream/Duplex etc) so I can ride with my wife or kids.
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Old 08-29-07, 09:52 AM   #9
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I've had my Slipstream for a couple of thousand miles, and it is a great bike. I, like you, test rode several recumbents, and this one stood out and just "felt right". I think Longbikes has this bike really dialed in.

In situations where (1) the bike is fully loaded for touring and/or (2) you are doing long miles on quiet country roads, the Slipstream is in its element.

Some other comments:
(a) There are certainly faster bikes out there. I think it is probably 1.0 to 1.5 mph slower than my bike-shop-quality recreational road bike. (I bought the Longbikes for the reasons above, however, and I'm not competing with anyone, so the speed difference isn't that important for me.)
(b) I've not found a hill I couldn't get up (although I'm not really looking very hard, either). That said, I think a grannier granny gear would be great to have. I think my low gear is a 30/30. A 32 or 34 on the back would allow me to spin a little more on the hills.
(c) This bike is a little squirrelly on gravel roads; I suspect because of the 20" front wheel and the weight distribution.
(d) I do 99% of my miles on quiet country roads. Being a LWB, I suspect if 99% of my miles were in the city that I would either get a SWB or, more likely, even a "wedgie". (Apologies to my 'bent brethren, but it's true.)
(e) I love the USS. This bike is dialed in and isn't twitchy at all, especially at speed. The USS also gives you the opportunity to answer the many questions about "How do you steer that thing?".
(f) I never had any muscle issues when I first started riding it, unless "hip flexor" is another term for "tail bone".
(g) I just returned from a 6-day, 470-mile trip on backroads with some hills and camping in state parks each night. The bike performed extremely well. My long day was 115 miles, after which I was tired, but not crippled.
(h) Regarding transporting, I have a minivan and it fits well inside.

I hope this helps. For loaded touring and long miles on quiet county roads, the Slipstream is wonderful. It's like sitting on my back porch, except the scenery keeps changing.
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Old 09-11-07, 05:26 AM   #10
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Cmorse: You referenced a 192 mile ride a few weeks ago. Was that the PMC? I did it on a D/F with no problems, but have since developed some neck problems and am now considering going 'bent. I saw a couple 'bents on the PMC and would be interested in hearing about the experience.
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Old 09-12-07, 07:42 PM   #11
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Yup, PMC on the bent... I think I counted 8 different bents on the ride. It was a great ride, even in the heat on Saturday, my only problems were mechanical - I broke a spoke on Saturday a few miles before the lunch stop and when I pulled in they told me no problem - 2 hours later and disassembling my wheel they inform me they didn't have standard 26" spokes, so I rode on missing the spoke. Popped two more on the Cape Cod trail on Sunday rendering the wheel unrideable and ran with the bike for about 4 miles including the hill up to wellfleet by the sea. Then finally ran into a repair guy (Ryan from Loft Cycles) who had the proper spokes and fixed me up quickly.

I went 'bent last year when neck and wrist pain made riding the the uprights no fun. I'm never going back... I'm about 20 minutes from Springfield, so if you want to check out the bike sometime, let me know.
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Old 09-13-07, 06:58 AM   #12
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I did the PMC for the first time this year. Awesome experience. Didn't have any major problems, in fact it was a bit easier that I had expected. Then, the following week, I pinched a nerve in my neck. Ended up at the doc, where I found out I have some cervical disc issues. Haven't been on the bike in over a month now. That is why I am starting to think about the 'bent. I'm heading up to Basically Bicycles in Turners Falls to check out some bents on Saturday. Once I get back on the bike, maybe we can hook up for a ride?
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