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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 09-04-08, 03:34 PM   #1
juggleaddict
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so hypothetically . . .

let's say i decided that i want to do a cross country ride, north carolina to oregon . . .

let's say i'm thinking about a recumbent bike to do it with. . . .

i'd be on a bit of a budget, but i really want to do it. I'm going to start a fund for it so i can go the summer of 2010. this summer i'll be doing an internship.

what bike? 3 wheels/2 wheels? recumbent at all? (i've looked at the challenge hurricane touring model, and some catrike models and they look to be fantastic, but i haven't ridden a recumbent at all) is there ANYWHERE to get a used recumbent in decent shape? is there anywhere to get the recumbent i WANT anywhere? not that i know what i want.

in short, what's the best option(s) for touring long distances?

i like the idea of the steering under the seat. is this a bad idea for touring?

shed some light on me : )

trailers?? bags? both?
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Old 09-04-08, 03:51 PM   #2
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Many bikes to choose from...... but, from what I did almost (omg) 15 years ago: cross country bike/Amtrak trip and that was on a DF. Camp Lejeune north into Virginia. Amtrak to Sacramento, a few days with a friend riding around the Redwood Forest, Amtrak to Kansas City, bike to Tulsa and back, Amtrak to Penna, bike to Baltimore, rental car back to NC where I put the bike in storage - picked up all my gear drove back to Md and caught a flight to Bahrain. From leaving Camp Lejeune to flying out I spent 30 glorious days. But who ever said Kansas was flat never traveled it on a bike. Constant rolling hills that you really don't notice in a car.

I have a SWB/USS bent which I love, but try several different bikes. Come on, once you get on it you won't just use it for touring. Try and find something that will be a happy medium between regular (commuting/fun) riding and touring.

A trailer might be right for you, but once you get the bike, try and get a test ride with a trailer. There are so many options out there, and a lot of them depend on the bike you get. Check them all out.

Gotta have good gearing - lows for climbing, mid gears for the flats, high gears for the down hills.

Appropriate tires/wheels for the trip.

Panniers and rack(s) (or a trailer) - credit card touring (motels) or camping? You'll have to be able to carry everything without too much trouble. My last month before my vacation I road several times a week with weighted panniers. I was doing 150-200 miles a week already.

Study up on maintenance cause it will always be in the middle of no-where when something breaks. Several tubes, plenty of patches, a good pump. A list of bike shops along your route/hours/phone numbers.

Last edited by charly17201; 09-04-08 at 03:55 PM. Reason: added info
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Old 09-04-08, 06:51 PM   #3
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well right now, i have a stock langster, and it's PERFECT for around atlanta, i'm not so sure i want a recumbent with the stop and go traffic around here.

it is unbearably overwhelming to look at ALL the different styles there are, in that respect, i think you are right, the only way to find the right one would be to test ride a bunch of them

i would plan to use a tent, with a few supported stops from people i knew, and maybe a nice bed once a week, if i'm in the middle of nowhere and the rooms are cheap i want to keep on the cheap side though, and i really want to be out in the open as much as possible.

i'm assuming i will need a trailer and panniers both if i do it this way ^^

i checked out the linear website, that's about the price range i'm looking at, still not sure if that's the style i want

thank you for your response : ) it's got my cogs turning!!
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Old 09-04-08, 06:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juggleaddict View Post
let's say i decided that i want to do a cross country ride, north carolina to oregon . . .

let's say i'm thinking about a recumbent bike to do it with. . . .

i'd be on a bit of a budget, but i really want to do it. I'm going to start a fund for it so i can go the summer of 2010. this summer i'll be doing an internship.

what bike? 3 wheels/2 wheels? recumbent at all? (i've looked at the challenge hurricane touring model, and some catrike models and they look to be fantastic, but i haven't ridden a recumbent at all) is there ANYWHERE to get a used recumbent in decent shape? is there anywhere to get the recumbent i WANT anywhere? not that i know what i want.

in short, what's the best option(s) for touring long distances?

i like the idea of the steering under the seat. is this a bad idea for touring?

shed some light on me : )

trailers?? bags? both?
hey man, not trying to be diffcult, but you're the one that could come close to answering a question like this. Ride some bents, pull a trailer, ride a loaded touring bike and you tell us. IMHO HTH could I tell you what you "want" when you have no clue. Life is an adventure that you will have a great time figuring out what you want. GO FOR IT.

HAPPY HUNTING and watch out for what you ask for.
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Old 09-04-08, 07:36 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by juggleaddict View Post
let's say i decided that i want to do a cross country ride, north carolina to oregon . . .

let's say i'm thinking about a recumbent bike to do it with. . . .

i'd be on a bit of a budget, but i really want to do it. I'm going to start a fund for it so i can go the summer of 2010. this summer i'll be doing an internship.

what bike? 3 wheels/2 wheels? recumbent at all? (i've looked at the challenge hurricane touring model, and some catrike models and they look to be fantastic, but i haven't ridden a recumbent at all) is there ANYWHERE to get a used recumbent in decent shape? is there anywhere to get the recumbent i WANT anywhere? not that i know what i want.

in short, what's the best option(s) for touring long distances?

i like the idea of the steering under the seat. is this a bad idea for touring?

shed some light on me : )

trailers?? bags? both?
Random comments-

I've not owned a bike with under-seat steering. I have read that it's not that great for fast riding due to the added wind resistance of the arms, but with touring, speed isn't much of a concern. Figure on riding about ten mph for ten hours of riding a day, allowing for somewhat-shorter or longer overnight destinations.

Longbikes is about the only one around in the US for that style of bike now (long-wheelbase with USS) and Longbikes look to be built nicely but are not cheap.

You didn't list your location--but a potential drawback I've read of with touring on a trike is that some US states have put rumble strips on the shoulders of all their major highways, and it's almost impossible to avoid riding with one wheel of a trike rolling over these. With a two-wheel bent you can ride the white line and mostly avoid rolling over them.

Many bents can be tough to get a decent amount of touring bags on. Using a trailer avoids this problem entirely, but then, a two-wheel trailer can suffer the same rumble-strip problem as trikes have. There is at least one trailer that is one centered wheel: http://www.extrawheel.com/

Short-wheelbase bents can be particularly tough to get full touring bags on. I also found that I preferred the longer bikes' steering stability over the short-wheelbase. This is the part where test-riding will be necessary. Most shops don't sell bents, most shops that do still don't have a lot on the floor. It's nice if you don't need to do it, but traveling to a big bent shop just to test-ride and buy a bike is not that unusual.

I would also suggest that for a touring bike, you stick to "common" sizes of tires and wheels--those being 20"/406mm (which is kitds BMX wheel size) and 26"/559 (which is the standard MTB wheel size). You can find tires and tubes for these almost anywhere that sells bicycle parts. Avoid 351's, 24"s and 650 wheels totally if you can.

For my long-distance bike, I have a Cycle Genius Falcon which does not cost a lot and fits taller riders well. I haven't ever toured on a bicycle--either before when I had upright bikes, or now with a recumbent--but I didn't want to tour on upright bikes, being on the saddle for more than an hour or so hurt too much. I can see the possibility of doing it on a recumbent.
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Old 09-04-08, 07:40 PM   #6
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I would sure want to check out the Big Dummy rather than pulling a trailer, myself.
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Old 09-04-08, 09:21 PM   #7
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THOSE are things that i was talking about!! (rumble strips and tire size) things i would have NEVER thought of. Thanks Doug

yea i thought about touring upright, and then i got some sense after a 60 mile ride i did here



on a separate note . . . the big dummy would defeat the purpose of a nice comfy seat wouldn't it?,
i'm not too worried about speed, if i can keep it at or above 10 mph i'll be fine
not sure if that would hold everything either
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Old 09-04-08, 09:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juggleaddict View Post

what bike? 3 wheels/2 wheels? recumbent at all? (i've looked at the challenge hurricane touring model, and some catrike models and they look to be fantastic, but i haven't ridden a recumbent at all) is there ANYWHERE to get a used recumbent in decent shape? is there anywhere to get the recumbent i WANT anywhere? not that i know what i want.
Several of my friends rode from New Jersey to Oregon a couple summers ago. You can read their experiences here: http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/ER2005

You'll find that the Easy Racer bikes make great touring mounts. They're comfortable, stable, relatively fast if you have a fairing, and accept a variety of touring-type equipment.

If you're shopping for a used one, Bentrideronline, the Easy Racers forums, and Recumbents.com have for-sale areas:
http://www.bentrideronline.com/messa...isplay.php?f=5
http://www.easyracers.com/vbb/forumd....php?forumid=5
http://www.recumbents.com/home.asp?URL=Forsale.asp

Note that Tour Easies (the cheapest of the "real" Easy Racer bikes) tend to come and go pretty quickly. If you decide on a Tour Easy, make sure you know your size and be prepared to buy one quickly.

FWIW: My wife and I just upgraded from Tour Easies to Gold Rushes, so we'll be selling the TE's. I'm not ready quite yet- both bikes are going to be completely reconditioned before we sell them.
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Old 09-05-08, 06:25 AM   #9
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You have some time. So while you're busy saving your money, you should also search Craigslist (and other classifieds, and ebay, and ...) regularly, and see if you unearth a used recumbent; and if you do, try it out. In the last year I've seen two or three nice 'bents on Craigslist in my area. Of course Craigslist is supposed to be local, but if you expand your search far enough, you're sure to find SOMEthing.
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Old 09-05-08, 08:09 AM   #10
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It certainly is possible to find a decent used recumbent with underseat steering and sometimes at a surprisingly low price. My first real recumbent, a 1997 Linear long wheelbase recumbent weighs 32 pounds cost me $500 in 2002. It isn't as fast as a Tour Easy but just finding one in this price range was enough to convince me. I put over 5,000 miles on it before switching over to a trike as my primary recumbent. Watch the ads in your local newspaper if you live in or near a decent size town. Craigslist has also had quite a few ads recently in my area and the prices often were reasonable.
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Old 09-05-08, 12:07 PM   #11
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If you have not already done so, you owe it to yourself to go to BentRider Online. The message board has subforums on New to Recumbents, Touring, and Classifieds just to name a few.

The Touring subforum alone has 386 threads at present. You should find discussions there on weight distribution, underseat racks and panniers, etc. etc.
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