I finally bought a recumbent after a number of years looking at them. It's really nice -- a 2007 Rans Force 5 Enduro (dual 559 highracer with disc brakes) -- and was a great deal off of Craigslist.
I have a few questions for those of you who have been riding the Enduro longer (and in some cases to those who ride other recumbents):
(1) What do you use for a workstand? My workstand is designed to attach to a seatpost -- not gonna work here.
(2) How do you carry stuff? I'm a bit of an obsessive about being prepared for disasters -- the packing list for my commute or day trips begins with two spare tubes, two CO2 cartridges, a patch kit and a pump and goes on from there. I usually throw this all in to some panniers and forget about it until I need it. The racks I have, however, don’t seem to fit onto the Enduro. My temporary solution is a Cage Rocket in one of the water bottle holders attached to the seat (which I believe is a M5). This will hold my keys, a tube or two, patch kit, multitool, etc. I still haven’t figured out where to put a lock. Are there any alternatives to the Rans rack and specialized recumbent bags? (If I buy them, I could end up paying more for the rack and bags than I did for the bike!) I considered a handlebar bag, which would fit on the bars. Unfortunately, it looked like it would also hit my knees with every pedal stroke.
(3) How do you steer tight turns? (This is probably an Enduro- or highracer- or maybe SWB-specific question.) Each time I turn the front wheel more than 10 or 15 degrees, I seem to be in danger of either hitting my knee on the bars or my heel on the tire. I discovered that there is no risk if I just stretch out the leg on the side of the turn, but this doesn’t work on the turn into my driveway -- my house is near the top of a relatively steep hill and I need to keep pedaling the whole way up.
Any suggestions would be welcome.
I think this forum needs a “sticky” for advice to a new recumbent rider. My contribution to such a thread would be the following (please correct me if I’ve got it wrong):
Counter-steering: On a recumbent you are much less able to use your body to balance (or unbalance) the bike. You therefore can’t use your body to cause the bike to lean into a turn. Instead, counter-steer: To begin a turn, turn the wheel opposite the direction of your turn for a moment (e.g., if you want to turn left, briefly turn the wheel to the right). This causes the bike to lean in the direction of your turn. Immediately turn the wheel in the direction of your turn to keep the bike balanced (and to make your turn). I’m not sure I ever thought consciously about counter-steering before my first ride on the Enduro, when I found it difficult to control the bike without constantly twitching the steering from side to side. On reflection, I think that the twitching was creating the conditions I needed to be able to turn into either direction and was necessary because I couldn't use my body to unbalance the bike.