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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 04-14-08, 06:37 PM   #1
Biking_Lawyer
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Once shy twice bitten

After riding 2 bents for the first time this weekend, I was still a little unsure if I liked them or not. I went to my LBS today and test rode 3 bikes--2 DF and 1 bent. Riding the "roadie" DFs made me remember why I decided to get a fixed gear bike over a geared one 4 years ago. The shifting on the bikes was all clunky---and hen I asked myself--why should I spend circa 1K on a bike that is similar to one I already have. The more I thought about why I wanted a new bike, the more I kept coming back to bents: I want something to go on longer weekend rides that won't kill me; something that won't kill my back after 40 miles; and something really fast. So, after I brought back the second DF i tried, i took out a Bacchetta Cafe. I had tried out a used Giro (26/20) this weekend. The cafe seemed a little more stable (although that could just be because the Giro was the first bent i had ever ridden), and about five minutes into the test ride, I noticed something: I was grinning ear-to-ear. Riding the DFs, I was like "well, this bike feels ok." Oddly enough, the shifting on the bents seemed quite smoother than the DFs. The only thing I didn't like about the Cafe was that the handle bars kept hitting my kneeswhen I would make slow wide turns.

Tommorrow, I think I will try the Giro (20/20) at the LBS. The Cafe is kind of right at my price range, whereas the Giro is a bit above it but doable (whether I can justify the purchase to "the boss" is a whole nother story)


Anyone here have any preferences for Cafe vs Giro, or insights into these two models? Thanks

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Old 04-14-08, 07:17 PM   #2
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Enjoy the "bent grin". I think we've all gotten it. I know I got mine the first time I rode my bent.
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Old 04-15-08, 11:00 AM   #3
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Anyone here have any preferences for Cafe vs Giro, or insights into these two models? Thanks
Never having ridden either, I'd recommend the Giro, if you can swing it. It impresses me as a bike you'd be less likely to "outgrow". Have you looked into used 'bents? I picked up a RANS Vrex with numerous expensive upgrades (Magura hydraulic brakes, Ritchey Logic cranks, Phil BB, etc) for $500.

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Old 04-15-08, 11:24 AM   #4
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I personally don't like CLWBs like the Cafe because they combine the worst aspects of LWB and SWB. So-so performance, harder to transport, taller seat, and heavier. They're like buying a hybrid upright - a compromise design that excels at nothing. At 31 pounds advertised, the Giro is no lightweight either, but you can nevertheless upgrade the wheels, seat, and maybe the fork, and end up with a reasonaby fast bike.
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Old 04-15-08, 11:37 AM   #5
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I'll chime in and +1 on the bent grin, enjoy it... If you have time, and others are available, you may want to try other styles. I say that since you expressed some concern about what you are trying. OTOH that may be just the idea that this is your first? try with recumbent riding. Keep up the good work.
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Old 04-15-08, 11:49 AM   #6
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I personally don't like CLWBs like the Cafe because they combine the worst aspects of LWB and SWB. So-so performance, harder to transport, taller seat, and heavier. They're like buying a hybrid upright - a compromise design that excels at nothing. At 31 pounds advertised, the Giro is no lightweight either, but you can nevertheless upgrade the wheels, seat, and maybe the fork, and end up with a reasonaby fast bike.
thats what kind of worried me- The more i think of it, the more i am leaning towards the used GIRO. basically i want a good all-around bike that is fast, but that I can take on longer weekend rides
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Old 04-15-08, 12:21 PM   #7
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I tested the Cafe and bought the Giro 20. When I made the purchase some of the factors were for me.

Bacchetta dealer was only recumbent dealer in the area and they were within walking distance.

The Cafe felt a little unnatural to me, because you turned the handle bars to turn, leaning did little.

The Giro felt better and leaning was a part of turning. And, the Giro fits on the front of a bus. The steering felt twitchy, but I decided to trust what I was told, that it would feel better after 100 miles.

After buying it, I started training for a century. The twitchyness was all in me. The smallest contraction of my biceps produced a steering change. At first, I just cradled the handle bars inbetween the thumb and forefinger of my open hands to lessen that effect. Of course it takes a little while to train your leg muscles. It seems that I start slow, and after my legs warm up, I'm much stronger.
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Old 04-15-08, 12:43 PM   #8
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Be sure to try out a full on LWB before you buy. Max comfort, stable and easy to ride. Downs; less maneuverable in tight situations and slow on hills. These negatives may, or may not matter, depending to the kind of ridilng you do. bk
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Old 04-15-08, 12:56 PM   #9
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Be sure to try out a full on LWB before you buy. Max comfort, stable and easy to ride. Downs; less maneuverable in tight situations and slow on hills. These negatives may, or may not matter, depending to the kind of ridilng you do. bk
I tired a Burley LWB. Definately more comfortalbe and stable, but the wide steering/tiller/weight/length are all turn offs for me
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Old 04-15-08, 01:47 PM   #10
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I think you will find the Giro is the better choice. Versatile frame, more compact, etc. Be certain to visit both Bacchetta's online forum and BentRiderOnline.com.

The Giro's standard Recurve seat is OK but many find the Euromesh (either the original rectangular seat bottom nose or the new triangle/trapezoid nose) a better seat for a few dollars more (lighter, better seat bottom ventilation). These also come up for sale occasionaly on the above sites.

Use a light touch on the handebars. If you pull on the handelbars when pedaling a DF (=upright bike), you are largely pulling up and do not turn the handelbars much. In contrast, on a recumbent pulling back and forth on the handelbars gives undesirable major steering input. Once comfortable, consider clipless or really grippy platforms or PowerGrip straps to avoid "leg suck" accidents. However, first read threads about clipless issues on recumbent bikes at the two recumbent sites mentioned above.

You will need to do a bit of adjusting to get the fit right. As you recline the seat more, you will find you need to move it forward (easy adjustment). Bacchetta's site has nicely illustrated fitting guide of where to start out.

Other Giro considerations for the future are a seat bag, rear and/or underseat rack, bags or panniers for same, FastBack bags for fluid bladders etc., headrest (search Bacchetta's forum for ADEM or A.D.E.M. headrest), and larger diameter wheel in front (some use 24") or maybe also rear wheel. The Bacchetta forum in particular has lots of specifics about the Giro frames, what racks work with which seat, etc.

Have fun!
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Old 04-15-08, 05:43 PM   #11
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Bacchetta forum

http://www.bacchettabikes.com/forum2/

That's the link to the Bacchetta forum. Also, they have wonderful customer service. I'm also considering a Cafe or Giro 20. I wrote several e mails to their customer service and always had detailed replies with 15 minutes. These were well thought out replies. I am very impressed with Bacchetta.
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Old 04-16-08, 09:31 PM   #12
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You should be able to adjust the handle bars on the Cafe so your knees don't hit them.
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Old 04-17-08, 12:21 AM   #13
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I think you will find the Giro is the better choice. Versatile frame, more compact, etc. Be certain to visit both Bacchetta's online forum and BentRiderOnline.com.

The Giro's standard Recurve seat is OK but many find the Euromesh (either the original rectangular seat bottom nose or the new triangle/trapezoid nose) a better seat for a few dollars more (lighter, better seat bottom ventilation). These also come up for sale occasionaly on the above sites.

Use a light touch on the handebars. If you pull on the handelbars when pedaling a DF (=upright bike), you are largely pulling up and do not turn the handelbars much. In contrast, on a recumbent pulling back and forth on the handelbars gives undesirable major steering input. Once comfortable, consider clipless or really grippy platforms or PowerGrip straps to avoid "leg suck" accidents. However, first read threads about clipless issues on recumbent bikes at the two recumbent sites mentioned above.

You will need to do a bit of adjusting to get the fit right. As you recline the seat more, you will find you need to move it forward (easy adjustment). Bacchetta's site has nicely illustrated fitting guide of where to start out.

Other Giro considerations for the future are a seat bag, rear and/or underseat rack, bags or panniers for same, FastBack bags for fluid bladders etc., headrest (search Bacchetta's forum for ADEM or A.D.E.M. headrest), and larger diameter wheel in front (some use 24") or maybe also rear wheel. The Bacchetta forum in particular has lots of specifics about the Giro frames, what racks work with which seat, etc.

Have fun!

Rode the 26/26 Giro today--nice ride---although I must have had it set up wrong---my feet went numb after a few minutes---very agile--comfortable---at times almost effortless (except for the staying a straight line part). Still dont know whether I am ready (or willing) to drop the big bucks on it.
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Old 04-17-08, 05:46 AM   #14
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I don't think high pedals *cause* numb feet, but they seem to exacerbate the condition, which usually starts with tight shoes. You might want to try something with a less aggressive pedal height. Any chance of finding a V-Rex for a test ride?
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Old 04-17-08, 03:10 PM   #15
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Rode the 26/26 Giro today--nice ride---although I must have had it set up wrong---my feet went numb after a few minutes---very agile--comfortable---at times almost effortless (except for the staying a straight line part). Still dont know whether I am ready (or willing) to drop the big bucks on it.
That's one reason that I went with the Giro 20. My feet were lower; less numb and easier starts. I also have the standard seat, and find that a backpack will hang off it nicely if I cinch the straps up. But I do have the rear rack to keep it off the tire. Take it down a twisty-turny hill and you will be hooked.
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Old 04-20-08, 01:23 PM   #16
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thats what kind of worried me- The more i think of it, the more i am leaning towards the used GIRO. basically i want a good all-around bike that is fast, but that I can take on longer weekend rides
How tall are you? What's your X-Seam? I would only go with a Giro 20 if you were short and couldn't put your feet down with the 26/650c bikes. You will also notice a huge difference in seating and performance.
I think the best bang for the buck from Bacchetta is the Euromesh seat. It will give you the aerodynamic benefits of the carbon but not the cost. I think it's an option on the Giro now. Have you checked the Bacchetta Forums and started asking questions there? http://bacchettabikes.com/forum2/

There's also Bentrider online. http://www.bentrideronline.com

I started with a Strada, then went to a Corsa, then when I retired I put myself on the waiting list for a Carbon Aero. I love both the CA and the Corsa. I have a couple friends that have picked up the Corsa and use them for fast distance riding. IMHO Bacchetta is a great company that stands behind their products. They also put their money where their mouth is, and you can find Bacchetta's at many of the ultra marathon events, with top finishes. A couple of weeks ago, the Heart of the South 500 was won by
John Schlitter of Bacchetta on one of his bikes. http://www.heartofthesouth500.com/results.htm
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Old 04-20-08, 02:42 PM   #17
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six feet tall, ride a Giro 20

I don't know X seams, just rode different bents until I decided on the Giro 20. (also have a Rans Screamer but that's a truck compared to the Giro). I am six feet tall and narrowed my choice to the Giro 20 and 26. The Giro 26 was good but I didn't see any advantage (for me) to it.

Since I commute, I sometimes have to panic stop and being able to put my feet down in a hurry is a real plus. I also feel like I'm piloting a jet or something when I take turns, especially on hills. How juvenile.
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Old 04-20-08, 05:40 PM   #18
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Rode the 26/26 Giro today--nice ride---although I must have had it set up wrong---my feet went numb after a few minutes---very agile--comfortable---at times almost effortless (except for the staying a straight line part). Still dont know whether I am ready (or willing) to drop the big bucks on it.
My right foot has a tendency to go numb after a couple of hours riding too. I had a similar problem on an upright bike too, though. Loosening the shoes seems to help, as does a more laid back seat position (which cured my numb butt too). Putting both feet down at traffic lights and/or wriggling your toes soon gets the feeling back in them.

I chose the Giro26 mainly so that I didn't have to try and source high pressure 20" tyres here in the recumbent wasteland of Brisbane, but you may not have that problem. The Giro20 may be just the ticket for you.
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