I'm on a quest to buy a recumbent bike and I could use some advice.
I'm female, 5'3", 118lbs, with a 37" x-seam. I haven't owned a bike in 20 years but I'm interested in getting one for exercise, trips around town, and maybe someday commuting (train+bus+bike). I've test-ridden a few and while I like the comfort of LWB bikes, their length is really impractical. I also prefer the maneuverability and agility of SWB bikes.
However I'm having trouble finding SWB bikes that I can ride because of my height. The design of most SWB bikes has the seat rising further off the ground as you move it closer to the pedals, which means I can't reach the ground when sitting down.
I've visited three dealers and the only bikes I have been able to ride are the Bacchetta Bellandare, Bacchetta Giro TT, EasyRacers Tour Easy, Sun EZ-1, and RANS Stratus LE. I was also able to borrow a custom-built Rotator Tiger from a friend (but she's shorter than me and the bike isn't adjustable).
I tried the RANS V-Rex today but with the seat adjusted almost all the way forward, I still couldn't reach the pedals, and I was barely able to get a toe on the ground.
Amongst dealers in my area (SF Bay Area) I might also be able to get a ride on a Lightning Phantom and a Volae Tour. I'm also looking at the ActionBent GC-24A, but I'm very skeptical about buying a bike unseen when I can't ride most of the ones I have seen.
Are there any other manufacturers or bikes I should be considering? Are there any other short recumbent riders out there? I wish it were possible to just slice a couple inches off the boom on a design like the Giro, to bring the seat down to my level and the pedals in reach.
Thanks for any advice!