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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 12-27-07, 01:42 PM   #1
HandsomeRyan
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Recumbent learning curve?

I apologize if this question is asked too often here but browsing through the top 4 pages of threads I didnt see it and I could not get the "search" function to work.

How hard is it to transition from riding a "regular" bike to a SWB recumbent? I know everyone learns at different speeds but on average- is this the type of thing I should expect to be riding confidently after 10 minutes of practice, or does it take hours/days/weeks of trying and falling over to get the ballance right?
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Old 12-27-07, 01:51 PM   #2
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You will be riding in 10 minutes with no issue. If you are a strong diamond frame bike rider, it will take some time to condition your "recumbent muscles".
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Old 12-27-07, 01:55 PM   #3
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After 35+ years on an upright it took me:

2 laps around the dealers parking lot to be not-wobbly.
2 weeks, 150 miles to be pretty confident starting, stopping and using clipless pedals.
2 months to feel like I could/should do group rides.
About 1 year, 3000 miles to be as confident doing fast corners, tight group rides and averaging the same speeds as I used to on an upright.
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Old 12-27-07, 02:10 PM   #4
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Thanks for the quick response!

I wanted to buy a recumbent a couple years ago. I walked into one of the local bike shops ready to plunk down some money on one but the owner of the shop told me, "Only older men [I was about 20 at the time] with prostate problems ride recumbents, you'll be much happier on an upright bike" I walked out and have not been back to that shop since then. Now I am working on my bike collection and after purchasing a mountain bike, and a greenway/hybrid/commuter bike, I feel like a recumbent would be a great pony to add to the stable.

SWB recumbents are arguably the coolest looking (2 wheeled) bikes on the planet.
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Old 12-27-07, 02:59 PM   #5
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Took me about 1 hour to lose the wobbles. I found that it was much easier to ride a bent where your arms are extented as opposed to elbows bent. Had the confidence to ride and corner fast after only a few days. Might never return to a DF!
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Old 12-27-07, 03:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoonerBent View Post
After 35+ years on an upright it took me:

2 laps around the dealers parking lot to be not-wobbly.
2 weeks, 150 miles to be pretty confident starting, stopping and using clipless pedals.
2 months to feel like I could/should do group rides.
About 1 year, 3000 miles to be as confident doing fast corners, tight group rides and averaging the same speeds as I used to on an upright.
I experienced the above almost identically except that I started riding in groups and felt comfortable cornering after a couple hundred miles. The 3000 miles was right on for me and that was tough, but I stuck it out and I'm glad that I did.
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Old 12-27-07, 06:12 PM   #7
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I was not safe for group rides for about a week. During that time, it seemed that every stone or pot hole I tried to go around, I ended up hitting. After that, control was not a problem. It took me most of the summer to regain enough speed to consistently ride with my former group. Between getting stronger on the platform and adding fairings, I got incrementally faster in each of the next 5-6 years. I'm still the same speed on an upright, though.
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Old 12-27-07, 10:42 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by HandsomeRyan View Post
"Only older men with prostate problems ride recumbents...
And which bike shop was this?

To answer your question, it's really not that hard. It may look hard, which is probably why many people never try a bent, but you can "get it" in less than an hour.

Here's a local bent group you can hook up with:
http://www.recumbentriders.org/forum...isplay.php?f=6

If you see me on the Millertown or Washington Pike, wave hello.
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Old 12-28-07, 12:03 AM   #9
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I think there is a lot of that to be found, and it stems from the shop owner's well-reasoned belief that he's gonna have a tough time making money special ordering a bent for someone when he doesn't have the knowledge to get it right.
I'm going to post a note on my bike shop's bulletin board offering free test rides on my Giro 20. If folks get serious I'll advise them to place their Bacchetta order with that bike shop.

Maybe that way I'll strong-arm my buddies at the shop into supporting bents, even if on a low-volume basis.



Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsomeRyan View Post
Thanks for the quick response!

I wanted to buy a recumbent a couple years ago. I walked into one of the local bike shops ready to plunk down some money on one but the owner of the shop told me, "Only older men [I was about 20 at the time] with prostate problems ride recumbents, you'll be much happier on an upright bike" I walked out and have not been back to that shop since then. Now I am working on my bike collection and after purchasing a mountain bike, and a greenway/hybrid/commuter bike, I feel like a recumbent would be a great pony to add to the stable.

SWB recumbents are arguably the coolest looking (2 wheeled) bikes on the planet.
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Old 12-28-07, 08:04 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by HandsomeRyan View Post
Thanks for the quick response!

I wanted to buy a recumbent a couple years ago. I walked into one of the local bike shops ready to plunk down some money on one but the owner of the shop told me, "Only older men [I was about 20 at the time] with prostate problems ride recumbents, you'll be much happier on an upright bike" I walked out and have not been back to that shop since then. Now I am working on my bike collection and after purchasing a mountain bike, and a greenway/hybrid/commuter bike, I feel like a recumbent would be a great pony to add to the stable.

SWB recumbents are arguably the coolest looking (2 wheeled) bikes on the planet.

That bike shop owner is not to smart.I ride a LWB but a SWB may be my next bike.But I do like my EZ Sport for just riding not trying to brake any speed records.I have notice that recumbent of all kinds are catching on down here.Also as for old men riding them I get stopped by a lot of women and teens here asking me about my bike.There is a girl about 14 here that has one.I think the price keeps a lot of people from riding them.I would say ride all that you can to see what you really want as there are so many different kinds.As for how long to get use to riding a recumbent.I tooled around the subdivision about ten miles before hitting the road on my regular twenty five to fifty mile rides.I can tell you my first long ride that the next day my legs felt it.Now I have around a thousand miles on it and still am picking up speed and learning new tricks to riding a recumbent like spinning in place of hammering.

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Old 12-29-07, 11:19 AM   #11
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Ryan,
I will refer you to the dealer that I send everyone to from Atlanta.
Art Hagood
Easy Chair Recumbent Bikes and Trikes
423 886 1499

He is in the Chattanooga area. Art is retired and sells recumbents part time so you will need to call him and make an appointment as he is not always in town. Art will spend the day with you if you want, letting you ride everything he has. He is a recumbent ambassador. His belief is that a bike will choose you through all of your test rides.

If you are looking for one of the Bacchetta dual 26/650C SWB, unfortunately he is not a dealer for Bacchetta but RANS has just come out with a new dual big wheel SWB bike (the F5). RANS als has a couple other SWB models to choose from. He is a RANS dealer (among others)

Art can also get you in touch with the recumbent group in Knoxville. If you call him, tell him that Tom in Atlanta sent you.

Tom
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Old 12-30-07, 01:34 PM   #12
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It probably depends upon your choice of SWB. I didn't ride my Haluzak Horizon SWB until I had quite a few thousand miles on an older Linear LWB but I was able to hop on it and ride away without wobbling instantaneously. I've let quite a few people try out the Linear, a now defunct BikeE AT, and the Zak. The BikeE was the easiest. Most anyone could hop on it and ride off smoothly. The Linear is next and the Zak most difficult but only a few people have actually fallen off it and given up. The hardest thing to remember is to downshift BEFORE you come to a stop. Makes taking off again a lot easier, particularly if you are on an incline.
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Old 12-31-07, 02:43 PM   #13
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I try to get as many people to try my SWB as I can and the seat adjustment is so quick on it. The thing I've noticed is that there appears to be a little switch in the brain: bicycle/car. Many people get on and their body says we're in a car so to go left, turn left, then they crash to the right. If they don't get it right off, I say don't pedal, steer, and you are on a bicycle not a car you are on a bicycle not a car... So I push them along for 50 feet and then they can start to pedal. Once that little switch is in the right position, everything is fine. To get confident in traffic or on hills of course takes a little time but the initial learning thing is interesting. I'm a windsurfer and hang out with some tallented people. Its interseting to see who gets it quickly and who not.
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Old 01-02-08, 08:32 PM   #14
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I think if you can ride a df, you can ride a recumbent in very short order. My advice is not to be put off by any bike that you like, no matter your age.
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Old 01-04-08, 01:18 AM   #15
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SWB recumbents are arguably the coolest looking (2 wheeled) bikes on the planet.
This is my first recumbent. Have to agree on the cool looking SWB comment!!
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Old 01-04-08, 06:47 AM   #16
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^^^ Nice looking 'bent! I too prefer SWBs and high-racers.

I had a recumbent for a short time until the owner wanted it back (I traded a Dahon for it). The bike was a Sun Speedster CX as I recall and it was heavy, but plenty of fun. It took me a while to feel confident on it and in the beginning I made the mistake of focusing on the bottom bracket (is that what it's called on a 'bent?) as it was out in front of me. When trying to make a turn, my eyes would stay fixed on the BB which appeared to move exactly the opposite way I was trying to steer, causing me to 'correct' my steering and therefore hitting what I was attempting to avoid.

I am in process of buying a Performer Toscana...based on looks alone.
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Old 01-04-08, 07:49 AM   #17
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Thanks for all the responses. I'm working on getting together some parts and I'm going to attempt to build one. I posted an offer on CL.org offering some beer I had left over from my wedding reception in trade for bike parts and the response has been overwhelming! I am going to try to go with a 26" rear wheel, a 16" front wheel. I posted in a local bike forum about being bent-curious and the guys there were not supportive. I still don't understand the rivalry between DF's and Bents. When I want something sweet, sometimes i eat skittles, sometimes I eat a snickers bar- they are different, but both are delicious.
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Old 01-04-08, 10:58 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by HandsomeRyan View Post
I apologize if this question is asked too often here but browsing through the top 4 pages of threads I didnt see it and I could not get the "search" function to work.

How hard is it to transition from riding a "regular" bike to a SWB recumbent? I know everyone learns at different speeds but on average- is this the type of thing I should expect to be riding confidently after 10 minutes of practice, or does it take hours/days/weeks of trying and falling over to get the ballance right?
Well I am just learnig so this is from fairly current memory... Been riding a DF just over a year. Rode my first bent (well several at a birmingham bent dealer). Spent about 2 hours and rode about 10 miles. Was real wobbly at first but by the time I made a few blocks it was not bad. Never went down. Was hooked so when I found a Bacchetta Cafe on clearance in Huntsville I got it (Dec 4th). just turned 97 miles in Dec but none so far this year (cold snap). My first few rides were an adventure. I had to walk up a few hills. Now I can make those hills but I am still pretty wobbly at low speed. At first I was nervous with cars passing me but now I can hold a straigh line so it is better. I hit 44 mph going down the mountain the other day and while I was a little nervouse the bike was really stable. I cant wait for some warm weather so i cna get out and improve some more. my ride tomorrow as it is sposed to hit 50 again. Wish I had bougth the bent to start with. unfortunatly i really wasnt aware of them (OK i think I saw one on the road a time or too but it never occoured to me to get one).

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Old 01-04-08, 11:03 AM   #19
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I still don't understand the rivalry between DF's and Bents. When I want something sweet, sometimes i eat skittles, sometimes I eat a snickers bar- they are different, but both are delicious.
Excellent!!!!~

The "rivalry" IMHO, is that four letter word that starts with F!



FAST!!!

Each camp thinks theirs is the FAST one!

But I too, like Skittles AND Snickers! (6 recumbents & a dozen diamond frames)
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Old 01-04-08, 12:03 PM   #20
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I still don't understand the rivalry between DF's and Bents. When I want something sweet, sometimes i eat skittles, sometimes I eat a snickers bar- they are different, but both are delicious.
This one time I was eating a Snickers and I noticed this young early-20's fellow was eating Skittles. I pulled up next to him as he eyed my Snickers bar. I nodded at this gesture to say a friendly "hi" and then he looked away, dumped the whole bag of Skittles in his mouth and walked away.

Skittles eaters are no better than leg-shaving, Lance wannabe's in a full team kit...

...or Snickers are the recumbent of the confectionary world.

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Old 01-04-08, 01:27 PM   #21
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I have a related question to all you experienced recumbent riders: How comfortable are you riding with no hands on the bar? No doubt it depends on the bike... I'm especially curious to hear from anyone riding a Burley Hepcat or Django..
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Old 01-04-08, 02:36 PM   #22
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Virtually impossible on an LWB. I tried it once for around 1/20th of a second. That was enough for me.
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Old 01-04-08, 07:25 PM   #23
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I think I beat Chaco, I lasted about 1/10 sec
On the other hand, I HAVE learned to grab my water bottle behind my seat while holding on to the handlebars with only one hand. When I first started, that was a maneuver that would have left me face down in a ditch.
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Old 01-05-08, 03:20 AM   #24
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I have a related question to all you experienced recumbent riders: How comfortable are you riding with no hands on the bar?
Very comfortable!


Oh, that's right, I have a trike.

Of the 2 wheeled variety, I can go about 50 feet no hands on the Tour Easy.
The rest? NO WAY!
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Old 01-07-08, 01:50 PM   #25
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I have a related question to all you experienced recumbent riders: How comfortable are you riding with no hands on the bar? No doubt it depends on the bike... I'm especially curious to hear from anyone riding a Burley Hepcat or Django..
Virtually impossible on an LWB. I tried it once for around 1/20th of a second. That was enough for me.
Fascinating!

Why is that-- is it the slack angle of the steerer, and the heavily raked fork, that makes the LWB jumpy? Or is there something about the riding position that makes it impossible to steer by balancing?

And what about SWB models?
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