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Old 06-05-04, 01:38 PM   #1
badkneesmama
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Speed, ease and wheel size

I am looking at buying a bent and am undecided on which wheel size arrangement I should get. I rode a Rans Vivo for a few weeks and did not like the dual 20's. My thinking then progressed to buying a bent with a 20/26 set-up. I tested a Vision with this configuration and thought it was better than the Rans. Well, the other day I road a friend's Vision with dual 24's and thought it was great-fast, easy on off, and my body felt like it was in a good position. But now I am wondering if the Baccchetta's with the dual 650's would be a better way to go. I tried one and liked the speed, but am unsure of the higher positioning of the feet/body.

To sum it up, I want a good beginner's bent that I won't outgrow in a few months and won't cost too much. I am open to any ideas!
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Old 06-05-04, 02:18 PM   #2
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Hi BKM,

Welcome to the Bike Forums!

When you got the chance to test ride the Bachetta with the dual 650's, did you ride it around in a parking lot, or did you really get a chance to ride if for some distance and get a good feel for its riding position and height? On a bike like the Bachetta, a test ride with lots of stops and starts will give you a better idea of what it's going to be like to own and ride one. It has a steeper learning curve to learn to launch than the other configurations, imho. But once you get going, it'll be like riding a really fast road bike!

If you were that comfortable with the dual 24's and you really liked it, you may have found the best setup for you. The problem is that Vision's gone out of business, and I'm not aware of any other recumbent bike maker who makes a bike with dual 24's--anyone? Also, there are a lot fewer tire models/makes to choose from in 24". Your best bet might be to track down the Vision model that you test rode...there could still be some new ones out there in some dealers' showrooms...or, you could try to find a used one.

I currently own a Burley Django swb and a new semi-recumbent Rans Fusion, both with the 20"/26" configuration. That setup seems to work well for me.

Much luck to you and your search! Keep us posted!

Last edited by sukispop; 06-05-04 at 02:29 PM.
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Old 06-07-04, 12:46 PM   #3
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Riding a Vivo with 20" wheels is not the same as riding a Rotator Pursuit with 20" wheels. Geoff gave you good advice about the Bachetta. My advice is simple, don't be put off by one configuration of one model. Try anything you come across and see if it fits and feels good with the stop and go Geoff suggested.
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Old 06-08-04, 10:08 AM   #4
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I'm riding a Rans Tailwind w/ dual 20's. I'm short so that combo works good for me. From what I've been able to read the 20" wheels can be improved by using different tires than the stock ones. I've only had the bike just over a week so I'm still in the learning curve. Even so, speedwise I'm running about on par for what I did on my Trek aluminum road bike at an equivalent level of fitness. The Tailwind seems a lot faster off of the line at a stoplight than the Trek. I really don't notice the extra 10 or so pounds extra weight of the Tailwind. I've been able to climb reasonably well with less effort, albeit with perhaps less speed than the Trek. Just my humble thoughts.

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Old 06-08-04, 09:38 PM   #5
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Thanks for the information and ideas. I haven't taken the Bachetta out for more than 20 minutes-I need to go out for a longer ride.

If I understand correctly, most people think that the 20/26 set-up like the Vision 40's is pretty fast, but the dual 26's would be screamin'?

I can get a Vision 44 ridden 3 times with both ASS and USS, chain guard, rack and bag for $650. SInce this is half of what I can get a new one for I am very tempted to buy.

BKM

Quote:
Originally Posted by sukispop
Hi BKM,

Welcome to the Bike Forums!

When you got the chance to test ride the Bachetta with the dual 650's, did you ride it around in a parking lot, or did you really get a chance to ride if for some distance and get a good feel for its riding position and height? On a bike like the Bachetta, a test ride with lots of stops and starts will give you a better idea of what it's going to be like to own and ride one. It has a steeper learning curve to learn to launch than the other configurations, imho. But once you get going, it'll be like riding a really fast road bike!

If you were that comfortable with the dual 24's and you really liked it, you may have found the best setup for you. The problem is that Vision's gone out of business, and I'm not aware of any other recumbent bike maker who makes a bike with dual 24's--anyone? Also, there are a lot fewer tire models/makes to choose from in 24". Your best bet might be to track down the Vision model that you test rode...there could still be some new ones out there in some dealers' showrooms...or, you could try to find a used one.

I currently own a Burley Django swb and a new semi-recumbent Rans Fusion, both with the 20"/26" configuration. That setup seems to work well for me.

Much luck to you and your search! Keep us posted!
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Old 06-09-04, 03:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badkneesmama
If I understand correctly, most people think that the 20/26 set-up like the Vision 40's is pretty fast, but the dual 26's would be screamin'?

I can get a Vision 44 ridden 3 times with both ASS and USS, chain guard, rack and bag for $650. SInce this is half of what I can get a new one for I am very tempted to buy.

BKM
The 20/26 set-up can get up to speed rather nicely. It won't be quite as fast as a dual 26 set-up would be, but the 20" front wheel lowers the bottom bracket a bit, which makes launching the bike a little easier, possibly "softens" the handling somewhat, and helps to lessen the chance of getting the numbness in the toes that some bentriders experience with higher bottom bracket bents(IMHO, of course).

I just ran into an owner review of the Vision VR-44...you may enjoy reading it:

http://www.felsens.com/review3.html

It sounds like you may have a pretty nice deal in that Vision 44! Good luck! Keep us posted!

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Old 06-09-04, 04:02 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by bnet1
From what I've been able to read the 20" wheels can be improved by using different tires than the stock ones.

'bent Brian
Hi Brian,

Your Tailwind comes stock with Primo Comets, which really aren't bad tires. They are somewhat vulnerable to punctures, though. I've read some really good comments on tires like Kenda Kwest's, Tioga Comp Pool's(considered the best bent tires by many, although also vulnerable to punctures), and Primo Comet Kevlar's, which look an awful lot like the regular Comets, but are much more durable and puncture resistant, and have a nice reflective stripe on the sidewall to boot!

I'm running Schwalbe Marathon's on both my Burley Django and my Rans Fusion and like them a lot. They have great puncture resistance and have the reflective stripe. But, when it's time, I may replace them with Schwalbe Marathon Slicks. They're just as good as the regular Marathon's, but have less rolling resistance since they're slicks, so my bikes' speed should improve overall. And, since I ride on dry paved roads primarily, I don't really need the treading of the regular Marathon's.

The good folks here may have other great tires to recommend, which will give you even more food for thought!

Isn't this forum great? I've gotten so much help here! Good luck!


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Old 06-10-04, 10:33 AM   #8
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Tires: Comp Pools have been getting a bad rap from many in the last year including me. The ones made in the Phillipines simply are not as well made as the previous ones from Japan. I had two that both developed a knot on the inside of the tire due to threads coming apart internally. I am now run the folding Stelvios and agree with many others, they are a very good fast tire. I now have 2K on them with zero punctures.
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Old 06-10-04, 01:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sukispop
Hi Brian,

Your Tailwind comes stock with Primo Comets, which really aren't bad tires. They are somewhat vulnerable to punctures, though. I've read some really good comments on tires like Kenda Kwest's, Tioga Comp Pool's(considered the best bent tires by many, although also vulnerable to punctures), and Primo Comet Kevlar's, which look an awful lot like the regular Comets, but are much more durable and puncture resistant, and have a nice reflective stripe on the sidewall to boot!

I'm running Schwalbe Marathon's on both my Burley Django and my Rans Fusion and like them a lot. They have great puncture resistance and have the reflective stripe. But, when it's time, I may replace them with Schwalbe Marathon Slicks. They're just as good as the regular Marathon's, but have less rolling resistance since they're slicks, so my bikes' speed should improve overall. And, since I ride on dry paved roads primarily, I don't really need the treading of the regular Marathon's.

The good folks here may have other great tires to recommend, which will give you even more food for thought!

Isn't this forum great? I've gotten so much help here! Good luck!


Geoff,

Thanks for the info! Just had my first flat Tuesday night. Bummer! Got some patches and in a few minutes I was back in order. A tiny piece of glass got me. I called the dealer and he is looking for some of those Kevlar tire liners. I'll take the tip and look at the Primo Comet Kevlars. I'm well into my second week of riding and things are looking good. My speed is improving and based on the spedo I'm right about where I was on the road bike. Won't be long and I'll be back at the dealer for a "100 mile tuneup". This is the first bike I've had that hasn't had things come loose in the first few miles. I once had a Raleigh road bike that didn't even make it home from the dealer before things started comming loose. Thanks again for the tip!

'bent Brian
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Old 06-10-04, 02:08 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Bruce in Texas
Tires: Comp Pools have been getting a bad rap from many in the last year including me. The ones made in the Phillipines simply are not as well made as the previous ones from Japan. I had two that both developed a knot on the inside of the tire due to threads coming apart internally.
Bruce
Hey, Bruce!

Whoa! Knots developing on the inside of the tire?! 'Guess Comp Pools may not be considered one of the best bent tires around anymore...

I'm glad that the Stelvio's are givin' you a great, puncture-free ride! Keep on keepin' on!
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Old 06-10-04, 02:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bnet1
Geoff,

Thanks for the info! Just had my first flat Tuesday night. Bummer! Got some patches and in a few minutes I was back in order. A tiny piece of glass got me. I called the dealer and he is looking for some of those Kevlar tire liners. I'll take the tip and look at the Primo Comet Kevlars. I'm well into my second week of riding and things are looking good. My speed is improving and based on the spedo I'm right about where I was on the road bike. Won't be long and I'll be back at the dealer for a "100 mile tuneup". This is the first bike I've had that hasn't had things come loose in the first few miles. I once had a Raleigh road bike that didn't even make it home from the dealer before things started comming loose. Thanks again for the tip!

'bent Brian
Hey Brian!

My pleasure! 'Sorry you got the flat, but it sounds like you got yourself up and running in no time! Good job!

I've never ridden on the P. Comet Kevlars, but have a coupla friends who are runnin' with them and are pretty pleased with them...If anyone here has exerience with these tires, maybe they could comment on them...? Yeah, Rans makes pretty darn good quality bikes...some people have criticized Rans for "low-spec'ing" their bikes(Sram 5.0---stuff like that), but you know what? As long as they're adjusted properly, the components that Rans runs on their bikes(try saying that 3 times fast!) work just fine.


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Old 06-10-04, 07:32 PM   #12
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Hey Brian!

My pleasure! 'Sorry you got the flat, but it sounds like you got yourself up and running in no time! Good job!

I've never ridden on the P. Comet Kevlars, but have a coupla friends who are runnin' with them and are pretty pleased with them...If anyone here has exerience with these tires, maybe they could comment on them...? Yeah, Rans makes pretty darn good quality bikes...some people have criticized Rans for "low-spec'ing" their bikes(Sram 5.0---stuff like that), but you know what? As long as they're adjusted properly, the components that Rans runs on their bikes(try saying that 3 times fast!) work just fine.


Geoff,

Well the SRAM 5.0 works better than the stuff on my old Trek 1000 even when it was new. I did nearly have a heart attack the other morning on my way to work. Had to ride the last two blocks almost in granny! I thought both derailures and/or cables had seized up. I simply could not turn the shifters, neither the front or the back. I could shift down but not up. It was a very humid (nearly 90% ) morning and it was warm. I realized that sweat was running off of my fingers and the shift grips were so slick I couldn't get a good grip. After drying things off including my hands a quick test ride revealed that all was well with the world. I now carry a lightweight pair of sticky palm gloves for those, ah, "damp" rides. At the moment my dealer is looking for some of those Kevlar strips to line the inside of the tire. If he can't find those I'll pick up a couple of spare tubes and see if he can get the Comet Kevlars. I should be able to upgrade some components on the Tailwind later, right?

'bent Brian
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Old 06-11-04, 06:08 PM   #13
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Geoff,

Well the SRAM 5.0 works better than the stuff on my old Trek 1000 even when it was new. I did nearly have a heart attack the other morning on my way to work. Had to ride the last two blocks almost in granny! I thought both derailures and/or cables had seized up. I simply could not turn the shifters, neither the front or the back. I could shift down but not up. It was a very humid (nearly 90% ) morning and it was warm. I realized that sweat was running off of my fingers and the shift grips were so slick I couldn't get a good grip. After drying things off including my hands a quick test ride revealed that all was well with the world. I now carry a lightweight pair of sticky palm gloves for those, ah, "damp" rides. At the moment my dealer is looking for some of those Kevlar strips to line the inside of the tire. If he can't find those I'll pick up a couple of spare tubes and see if he can get the Comet Kevlars. I should be able to upgrade some components on the Tailwind later, right?

'bent Brian
Hi Brian,

I'm glad to hear that your shifting worked fine after you dried off your hands/fingers...but did you mention what happened to your dealer, to see if he/she wanted to check your bike to make sure that nothing else may be going on?

Yeah, I always like to wear gloves when riding...I guess it's a throwback to when I used to ride an upright. When you're bearing a good bit of your body weight down onto the handlebars on an upright, the practical benefits of wearing cycling gloves are immediately apparent(plus, I just don't like the feeling of the rubber grips on my damp, sweaty bare palms). Even on a bent, when your hands are much less prone to becoming sweaty, it's just a nice feeling to wear lightweight, breathable gloves.

Upgrading components and wheelsets are always an option, both when you're first buying your bike as well as whenever you so desire down the road. Upgrade choices are endless...you can go as choice and premium as your gold card will allow! I've learned from making so many mistakes with my previous bikes that, for me, I'm best off riding my bike with its stock components until something starts to wear out or breaks...then upgrade. And then, at that time, with my Rans Fusion, I'll probably upgrade the wheelset only and not the components. With my stock mix of Sram 5.0, 9.0, and some Shimano parts, the Fusion shifts, brakes, steers and handles just fine...but a good quality wheelset will reduce weight where it counts and improve the overall ride quality and experience. Plus, the Thracian set looks fabulous!

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Old 06-11-04, 09:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sukispop
Hi Brian,

I'm glad to hear that your shifting worked fine after you dried off your hands/fingers...but did you mention what happened to your dealer, to see if he/she wanted to check your bike to make sure that nothing else may be going on?

Yeah, I always like to wear gloves when riding...I guess it's a throwback to when I used to ride an upright. When you're bearing a good bit of your body weight down onto the handlebars on an upright, the practical benefits of wearing cycling gloves are immediately apparent(plus, I just don't like the feeling of the rubber grips on my damp, sweaty bare palms). Even on a bent, when your hands are much less prone to becoming sweaty, it's just a nice feeling to wear lightweight, breathable gloves.

Upgrading components and wheelsets are always an option, both when you're first buying your bike as well as whenever you so desire down the road. Upgrade choices are endless...you can go as choice and premium as your gold card will allow! I've learned from making so many mistakes with my previous bikes that, for me, I'm best off riding my bike with its stock components until something starts to wear out or breaks...then upgrade. And then, at that time, with my Rans Fusion, I'll probably upgrade the wheelset only and not the components. With my stock mix of Sram 5.0, 9.0, and some Shimano parts, the Fusion shifts, brakes, steers and handles just fine...but a good quality wheelset will reduce weight where it counts and improve the overall ride quality and experience. Plus, the Thracian set looks fabulous!

No I havent mentioed it to the dealer yet. I've got about 80 miles on it so far and hee will be doing the checkup at about 100 miles. I will bring it up though just in case. After I dried the grips I could not detect any difference in the amount of twist required to make a shift. The derailleurs worked smoothly and freely when activated directly by hand or via the cables and shift grip. All of the cable were routed correctly and in the propper guides and sheaths. They seemed to work freely as well. Having had a few road bikes I'm familiar wit the feeling when a cable starts to fray and bind up. Being an electronics engineer by trade (power conversion) I'm pretty well tuned in to mechanical things. Any new sound or feeling gets an immediate investigation. The humidity was very high and there was lterally sweat dripping off of my fingers. At any rate I'll have Don (dealer) check it out. It has been pouring rain here for the last two days so I haven't been able to get any miles in. Thanks for the info.

'bent Brian
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