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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 03-10-09, 01:31 PM   #1
GEARSARECRAP
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Designing a seat?

Hi, new to this forum, never ridden a recumbent but have plans to build one in the summer. I'm a bike mechanic by trade and good welder so the mechanicals are no problem but iv'e scratched my head for a long time about the seat? plywood? GRP? rails with a mesh tarp? ive looked on lots of forums, search engines and fleettirkes.com which i think is great, really helpfull. can anyone shed any light on the way i could fit myself for a seat as it were, how do i get the right shape, what is the right shape, what do i make it from i'm building a low down two wheeled recumbent (sorry for lack of technical terms not familiar with recumbents at all) if anyone can offer any advice i'd be very grateful!

Thanks, Henry
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Old 03-10-09, 01:48 PM   #2
defjack
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Do a search for Atom bikes. You can get a wooden seat there for 45$. This is what I would do. Jack
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Old 03-10-09, 03:15 PM   #3
GEARSARECRAP
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thanks, great idea in thoery but i'm in the UK and shipping would be extortionate, not to mention the terrible exchange rates!
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Old 03-10-09, 03:40 PM   #4
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$45 is nearly free compared to just under $300 for a carbon hard shell. No amount of tax and shipping will possibly raise the wooden seat to that level! But... if you want to make your own, that's another story entirely. First, which kind would work best... I'd say that if your riding position will be very reclined, then a hardshell or something shaped like one would work best. But if you want to sit up more, then you'll want something with more surface area in the seat. If you're more of a welder than a woodworker, then just find a picture of a seat on the Internet and use a tubing bender to form some electrical conduit. If it doesn't fit exactly right, you can always re-bend it or make another. Be sure to get plenty of ventilation when you're welding galvanized steel, but you know that. You can check at Recumbents.com for ideas on making various parts, such as a tubing clamp for mounting your seat.

The last time I replaced the mesh back on my V-Rex, I used Pet-Proof screening material, available at most hardware stores. Using the old mesh as a pattern, I had my sister cut and sew a new one. Not only does it look good, but it's been much more durable than the OEM mesh.
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Old 03-10-09, 03:55 PM   #5
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How 'bout 33 euros plus shipping from the Netherlands? http://www.zephyr.nl/index.php?pagina=zittingen

SP
Bend, OR
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Old 03-11-09, 12:35 PM   #6
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It's your first recumbent, use plywood and get rolling, then make changes as necessary.

Me, I stick with plywood as it is unbelievably strong for it's weight. It can be used by itself or padded. I don't bother with the recurve because you have to get the length almost perfect for each person. Padding is as simple as getting seat foam and upholstering it with your choice of fabrics. Some people put a metal rib on thin (6mm) plywood for rigidity. Others use thicker plywood and remove material with a hole saw.

:)ensen.
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Old 03-20-09, 09:43 AM   #7
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anATOMic seat

For anyone who is thinking about using a hardshell seat on their recumbent, I would suggest that they consider the lowly plywood seat! They are stiff, can be customized for rider weight by adding plies, and are no-where near as heavy as people think. While a ply seat could be made very heavy, a typical anATOMic seat which I make weighs less around three lbs, untrimmed as weighed on my postal scale. Many I have pulled off the mold are much closer to two lbs untrimmed. You can remove some amount of weight by trimming the leading and trailing edges of the seat, and can even add lightening holes in strategic locations to get the weight down even more.

I do not currently ship outside the USA, but do supply plans to build the seat yourself. Select link and scroll down to "anatomic seat plans":

http://www.geocities.com/atombikes/plans_index.html

I always advise people when purchasing a plywood seat to buy the unfinished variety and customize to suit their needs and taste.

The Zephyr seat listed above also looks like a very nice option.

Good luck!
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