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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 08-25-07, 10:12 PM   #1
Cyclaholic
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Researching my first bent... what do you think of these?

I'm researching my first bent, the big challenge down here in Australia is that we're very limited for choice so I'll probably end up buying from the US or elsewhere.

I'm looking for a fast commuter. I do about 50 miles a day on flat-ish cycleways (totally segregated from traffic ) so I'm only limited by aerodynamic efficiency. I'm looking for a SWB low or mid racer style machine, and it must be able to carry a rack with a couple of panniers.

This model from Actionbent caught my eye although it has suspension, which I don't beleive I need...
http://www.actionbent.com/rrsus.html


and I really like the look of this one but I can't tell if there's provision to bolt on a rack
http://www.recumbent.com.tw/WEB-07/mid.htm

I like the Actionbent 'Suspended Road Runner' because it's CrMo and I can see how to easily modify it to eliminate the suspension, knocking some weight off in the process.

Does anyone have experience dealing with Actionbent? are they a reputable business to deal with? what's the quality of their bikes like?

I love the look of the Optima Baron but unfortunately it's out of my budget. So, what other makes/models do you beleive I should be looking at?
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Old 08-26-07, 06:27 AM   #2
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As far as I know, TW-bent: http://www.recumbent.com.tw/HTM/model.htm is the manufactuer for Actionbent.com's bikes, therefore, it would be less expensive for you to find a retailer that would be closer to you who's willing to order from manufactuer.

You may find better pricing from http://www.rebel-cycles.com, but I'm not certain... but pretty sure they are also TW-bent bikes.

These is another recumbent bike manufactuer from Taiwan that looks decent: http://www.flamingobike.com/products...list.php?cid=6

Personally, I think these are great bikes: http://www.azub.cz/en/models.php

Last edited by cat0020; 08-26-07 at 06:55 AM.
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Old 08-26-07, 07:51 AM   #3
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My only advice, and this is (most likely) a big "duh" to you, is test ride as many as you can and pick the one that is most comfy for you. All other things being pretty equal, if you're going to ride 50 miles a day, comfort is the key. (to me at least)
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Old 08-26-07, 09:53 AM   #4
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I also commute 50 miles to work and appreciate a fast SWB. I like the Challenge Seiran. You can get an LE version with no suspension that is very light. It's a high racer with a laid-back seat angle, and either above or below-seat steering. I like USS because the indirect steering gives a very relaxed feel for long rides -- not twitchy at all, and stable at higher speeds.
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Old 08-26-07, 11:16 AM   #5
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If you can find a Bacchetta dealer, not sure down there, I'd say look at a Giro or Corsa. Well built with a company that stands behind them.
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Old 08-26-07, 11:36 AM   #6
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Actionbent is the USA importer for TW/Bents. All their bikes will take a bike rack (also sold by Actionbent).
Actionbent (and Rebel Cycles/Canada's importer) bents are a great value. Some are much more than a beginner's bent at a low end price. There is a Yahoo group dedicated to Actionbent with actual owners (not retailers!) here:
http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/actionbent/
People on the forum will be happy to give you their insights to specific models.
You might also contact TW/Bents directly to see where they might have the closest importer. You might be able to save a few $AUS.

twbents@twbents.com.tw
http://www.twbents.com.tw/

I've had occation to talk with Kevin Kao, great guy to know!
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Old 08-26-07, 08:58 PM   #7
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Thanks for the info guys, this is the sort of feedback I was looking for.

I want to test ride but it's a challenge, the nearest recumbent dealer to me is 6 hours drive away! at least they're an Optima dealer and have a Baron for test riding.

I've emailed tw-bent and maybe I'll be able to deal with them directly... although just last night I got the green light on the extra budget for the Optima Baron if I'm willing to hold off for another 6 months, so now I'm at a crossroads. Would the Baron be worth the wait?
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Old 08-26-07, 09:08 PM   #8
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a baron over an actionbent............ very worth the wait. There sure are a lot of used actionbents for sale now if that tells you anything at all about the bike. Sounds like low quality and possibly people thought they were getting a bit more than what they got.
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Old 08-26-07, 09:18 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by lowracer1 View Post
...There sure are a lot of used actionbents for sale now if that tells you anything at all about the bike. ...
Ummm... where are you seeing USED Actionbents for sale??? all the ebay Actionbents are brand new And if you see a deal on a used Actionbent trike... I'M INTERESTED!

Sorry... just have to keep the record straight... An Optima Baron would be a great first bent. If you can find a local dealer, get to know them well. Getting parts straight from the factory can be a PITA. People have waited 6 months or more just for a replacement idler.

You do know Greenspeed makes a great recumbent trike (agruably the best!) and is made in the land of OZ, right? Just a stray thought!
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Old 08-27-07, 01:46 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Shaman View Post
Ummm... where are you seeing USED Actionbents for sale??? all the ebay Actionbents are brand new And if you see a deal on a used Actionbent trike... I'M INTERESTED!

Sorry... just have to keep the record straight... An Optima Baron would be a great first bent. If you can find a local dealer, get to know them well. Getting parts straight from the factory can be a PITA. People have waited 6 months or more just for a replacement idler.

You do know Greenspeed makes a great recumbent trike (agruably the best!) and is made in the land of OZ, right? Just a stray thought!
There are no second hand bents here in Oz that I could find, and beleive me I have looked and looked!

I know about Greenspeed, and we have another local manufacturer named Trisled, both make exceptionally good trikes only problem is that I'm not interested in a trike, it's just not my thing at the moment.... maybe some time in the future.

I'm happily surprised to hear that the Baron is a good first bent but I'm not sure why that is? It looks like an agressively low ride that would involve a bit of a learning curve (just my guess) but that's OK, I just think its the hottest thing on 2 wheels (after the NoCom) and I'm leaning heavily towards sitting out the 6 months. Has anyone here commuted on the Baron before?
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Old 08-27-07, 03:02 AM   #11
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Try flying furniture in OZ. http://www.flyingfurniture.com.au/
They have some of the same bikes as AB and alot of the more exotics.
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Old 08-27-07, 03:27 AM   #12
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Try flying furniture in OZ. http://www.flyingfurniture.com.au/
They have some of the same bikes as AB and alot of the more exotics.
That's the Optima dealer I was referring to.... they're in Canbera.
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Old 08-27-07, 07:23 AM   #13
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I looked into Actionbents when I was in the market for a bent. The US distributor was happy to ship one to me, but it was going to cost AU$400 or so. No thanks. My emails to the original Taiwan manufacturer went unanswered. Their loss.

I ended up getting a Bacchetta from Flying Furniture. Ian handled all the mucking around with importing and customs, and did most of the assembly before shipping it to me in Brisbane for a very reasonable AU$65. It took a bit longer than I would've liked, but that was due to a problem at the factory end.

Overall, FF are a pleasure to deal with, and the entire transaction was handled online. Of course, I took a huge gamble by not trying out any bikes first, but I made the best choice I could with the info I had, and I'm very happy with it. I reckon you could do a lot worse.
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Old 08-27-07, 07:28 AM   #14
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I wonder if Glen still has his original baron lying around or if he sold it already. He lives down in your parts. If he hasn't sold it , maybe you could pry that bike out of his fingers.
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Old 08-27-07, 09:11 AM   #15
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Thanks for the mentions, everyone!

It would definitely be cheaper to get a TW-Bents bike from a more local dealer (like Flying Furniture), since shipping such a large box is prohibitively expensive. I'm surprised the $400 price tag wasn't higher!

I have a friend in Oz who is/was thinking of becoming a dealer for these bikes, but I don't have his email address handy. I'll PM it to you if that plan was successful.
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Old 08-27-07, 02:33 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Cyclaholic View Post
This model from Actionbent caught my eye although it has suspension, which I don't beleive I need...
http://www.actionbent.com/rrsus.html
I got an AB HiRacer at the beginning of June. I preferred having two 26" wheels, my first idea was to be seen in trafic, but then I learned that they go faster. I have nothing major to say against AB. They forgot to put the stand I ordered with the bike but once noticed, they sent it ASAP. I've fitted two 1.5 tires as I do a good amount of trails. I traded off speed for this. It also gives a smoother ride. The original 1" tires gave quite a stiff ride. The bike was easy to assemble. An Axiom suspended rack fits nicely but at first I could simply hang a regular pannier off the back of the seat. The foam seat makes it so that there's a lot of sweat build up in the back of the t-shirt on hot humid days. I'll eventually get a replacement cushion, like the Ventisit or some such.

I have nothing to say against the bike. I'm quite satisfied for the price I paid, which is quite important. This being said, if I ever would spent more than $3000 for a bike I'd get an Optima Condor, fully suspended. But you know, that's some kind of a dream and I find it not realistic at all to spend that kind of money on a bike. You can see some pictures of my AB HiRacer in the thread anout 1.5 tires on a AB HiRacer.

Cheers.
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Old 08-27-07, 03:52 PM   #17
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I did get a reply about a year ago from the manufacturer in Tiawan and they said to see FF as they were their dealer and it would cost to much to ship a single bike.
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Old 08-27-07, 08:53 PM   #18
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TW Bents has updated the Midracer, now its called the Agenda.

http://www.performer.com.tw/prod/prod7.htm

Looks like a really sweet bike. Actionbent has a picture of one on their website, but not listed for sale yet. According to the Yahoo! group, Randy from Actionbent was recently in Taiwan and may be bringing back goodies. (click on picture for larger image)

http://www.actionbent.com/etrainer.html

I ride another still unreleased Taiwanese recumbent, the Toscana highracer. A good solid bike, I've taken it up to 43mph downhill with no worries.
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Old 08-27-07, 11:38 PM   #19
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Here's the link to a Baron that a friend of mine is selling.
It's very trick! Not your stock option version either!

http://cgi.ebay.com/Optima-Baron-Rec...QQcmdZViewItem
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