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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 07-25-08, 10:10 AM   #1
LWB_guy
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Wooden LWB recumbent

Okay, I built the long-wheelbase (63.5 inches) wooden recumbent bike designed by James Robinson of San Angelo, TX. I did this because when I rode recumbent bicycles in 2001, I found the long-wheelbase recumbent with underseat steering by far the most comfortable of the three recumbents I rode. And I'm living in poverty so building a recumbent was more reasonable than paying the dealer 1500 dollars for the long-wheel-base recumbent.

I don't have a camera because mine was stolen when I was living in Massachusetts during the autumn of 2000. However, a correspondent said she'd send me one next week. If she does, then I'll take photos of my bike.


This is my first recumbent bike. It took me 20 to 25 hours of riding it on level ground to get the "feel" for it. Now I can quite comfortably move on it except when climbing hills.

The following link describes some problems I had with getting the bike working well:
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...89#post7132289
These problems are associated with my using parts from discarded mountain bikes and a freebie road bike for the working mechanical components. So far, the only new part I've used is one road bike chain. I needed about two and a half chains to make the recumbent, as it's a rear-wheel drive.

I don't enjoy working as a bike mechanic. I only enjoy riding. So I am hoping this weekend solves the last serious problem. I look forward to riding the bike as opposed to building it, adjusting it, etc.

This past week I started following the century training schedule listed here: http://www.kintera.org/htmlcontent.asp?cid=54755
So far my longest is the twelve mile ride.

If anybody else in central PA is interesting in training for a century ride, by all means contact me.

Last edited by LWB_guy; 07-29-08 at 03:23 PM.
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Old 08-03-08, 06:33 PM   #2
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Today I biked 30 miles on my 'bent, averaging 14 mph. It's hilly where I biked, although the hills are not more than 50-100 feet vertically. There was a west wind. Unfortunately, this meant a headwind ascending the steepest hills through a canyon, with a venturi. So I dismounted on the three steepest hills, after reaching a spot I picked out from a distance. That's what slowed me down. Man, did I hit high speed downhill! Still got passed by a professional bicyclist on an upright though. I also hit some rough pavement going downhill in tenth gear. The bike feels really solid. I like it a lot.
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Old 08-03-08, 10:22 PM   #3
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we need pics to appreciate it, man.
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Old 08-04-08, 03:51 PM   #4
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we need pics to appreciate it, man.

Sounds great though, eh?
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Old 08-05-08, 08:07 AM   #5
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I just remembered my uncle had a digital camera before he died. Maybe my aunt still has it. I will ask to borrow it next time I talk to her.
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Old 08-05-08, 09:27 PM   #6
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I rode 12 miles today. This was the first time I attained my target speed of 17 mph (average). I cranked it up two hills without stopping that I walked up two days ago. YAY!
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Old 08-06-08, 07:14 AM   #7
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Glad you are having fun...feels good to see the improvement, that is doing more than we have done before. > continue to enjoy
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Old 08-06-08, 08:31 AM   #8
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You don't have a camera because yours was stolen eight years ago? Dude, it's time to move on. You can get a functional digital camera for cheap these days. Here's one for $10:

http://www.buy.com/retail/Product.as...epi3is&GSCID=1
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Old 08-06-08, 10:05 AM   #9
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Yes, please send pictures. Likely the most direct way would be to show up at any big ride and let everyone else take and post them somewhere for you. <G>
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Old 08-09-08, 08:30 PM   #10
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Well, I biked 52.5 miles on my wooden recumbent today. Still avoid hills like the plague. I'm getting better on them though. I tied my cap under my chin with a shoelace to keep it from blowing off when I go downhill fast.

Guess I better get a frame pump.
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Old 08-11-08, 07:39 AM   #11
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You don't have a camera because yours was stolen eight years ago? Dude, it's time to move on. You can get a functional digital camera for cheap these days. Here's one for $10:

http://www.buy.com/retail/Product.as...epi3is&GSCID=1
I've heard that a lot of public libraries now have digital cameras that they lend out. What a great idea.
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Old 08-12-08, 02:04 PM   #12
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No cameras at the library. Good idea, though. First, I gotta paint the bike. Anybody have experience painting wood with oil-based paint? What technique should I use to get a good finish with oil-based paint?

Last edited by LWB_guy; 08-12-08 at 07:59 PM.
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Old 08-16-08, 10:32 AM   #13
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I'm getting better (more perseverance) at ascending hills. Yesterday, I walked up the steep part of the first hill. But I pedalled up all the rest of the hills, even the one I knew to be steep. But I cheated -- I ascended it from the opposite direction, which is a shallower ascent. The descent was worth it! Slower uphill, faster downhill. Also, I couldn't use my smaller chainwheel yesterday because my front derailler wouldn't downshift. I'll fix that before riding today.
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Old 08-16-08, 09:47 PM   #14
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Well, I biked 42 miles on a gorgeous sunny afternoon. I can only sit on this bike for 2.5 hours. By then, the seat is really pushing into the small of my back and I gotta get off it and stand up and stretch my back.
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Old 08-18-08, 07:13 AM   #15
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No cameras at the library. Good idea, though. First, I gotta paint the bike. Anybody have experience painting wood with oil-based paint? What technique should I use to get a good finish with oil-based paint?
What kind of paint? I've used rustoleum, from home depot, the kind you brush on, with good results. You should probably use a primer, but I didn't. The first coat soaks in, but after a couple coats there will be enough paint on and in the grain that you can wet sand it down to a satin finish so smooth that no one will know it's wood. The paint has to cover all the wood, so the wood doesn't soak up water while you're sanding. Use a very fine sandpaper; start with 320, then 600, and finish up with 1000 or finer (get that at an auto supply store). The paint has to be really dry before you sand it. If you sand through the paint (easier than you think) stop and put on a couple more coats of paint, let it dry thoroughly before you go back to sanding. In the end you can buff it with soft cotton cloth. Spray a clear topcoat over that if you want.
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Old 08-18-08, 11:59 AM   #16
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Thanks for the info., rhm.
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Old 08-18-08, 05:33 PM   #17
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okay, I've just gotta ask...

Is everyone on this thread just putting the rest of us on?

A wooden bike?

Really???
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Old 08-18-08, 07:45 PM   #18
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Is everyone on this thread just putting the rest of us on?

A wooden bike?

Really???
There are many out there, of multitudinouis designs. Heck, They even make them out of bamboo now. I saw a couple wooden tricycles last year that were some of the most gorgeous bikes I'd ever seen.
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Old 08-18-08, 09:31 PM   #19
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There are many out there, of multitudinouis designs. Heck, They even make them out of bamboo now. I saw a couple wooden tricycles last year that were some of the most gorgeous bikes I'd ever seen.
http://www.calfeedesign.com/bamboo.htm

http://www.woodbike.com/pages/1/index.htm
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Old 08-19-08, 02:13 PM   #20
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well, I thought fried ice cream was crazy, too.

I'll be darned. Once I shifted paradigms and read the designer came up with the wooden frame idea, it made sense.

Pretty cool, in fact.
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Old 08-19-08, 08:49 PM   #21
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No cameras at the library. Good idea, though. First, I gotta paint the bike. Anybody have experience painting wood with oil-based paint? What technique should I use to get a good finish with oil-based paint?
First - don't paint it if you have some really nice looking wood.

Second - what kind of wood did you use to build this bike?

PICTURES!!! I'd really love to see some picture of this bike - sounds pretty neat to me.

Michael
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Old 08-19-08, 10:10 PM   #22
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No, it's not special wood -- just plain 2x4 softwood with some pieces of quarter inch plywood to strengthen the joints.
See the "Long Wheel Base" photo at http://mysite.verizon.net/res88kr1/
No, this isn't a hoax. I really built the wooden bike and am riding it. And yes, I am glad that I did.
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Old 08-20-08, 05:20 PM   #23
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but we want to see YOUR bike

not the one on the other web site.
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Old 08-20-08, 08:08 PM   #24
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No, it's not special wood -- just plain 2x4 softwood with some pieces of quarter inch plywood to strengthen the joints.
Bummer - I'm a wood worker and seeing that people have built bikes out of wood, just kind of makes it a lot more interesting to build my own. Of course I'd like to build a tricycle recumbent to start with - but perhaps building just the bike you have to figure things out and play with the idea. I'd really like to build a tandem tricycle recumbent after seeing the price for one.

Great - something else to build....
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Old 08-22-08, 05:36 PM   #25
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schu777,
The bike is plenty strong, even hitting potholes at high speed.
I"d encourage you to build a tandem tricycle wooden recumbent if so inclined. Heck, my recumbent has a chain 2.5 times as long as that on an upright bike. I have never seen a tandem tricycle recumbent built of wood. That doesn't mean it can't be done. Maybe you could be the first.
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