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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 07-10-09, 06:37 PM   #1
KernelG
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Measure recumbent height?

Hi all,

Total recumbenewb here. My parents bought a couple of BikeE recumbents a few years ago, garage'd them, never rode them, and now I'm the eBay expert helping mom sell them. They are pretty cool! I'm just getting my head around what's what.

Q: How is a recumbent bike's height measured? I have the manual here but it doesn't have an overall number. Seat height is 26", wheels 16 and 20". Is the seat height the official height, or is it measured to the middle of the top bar of the frame in front of the seat? I thought that was how uprights were measured, but it's been a couple of decades since I last did that.



Thanks!
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Old 07-10-09, 06:44 PM   #2
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The seat height is the seat height. No such thing as bike frame height for 'bents. Many 'bents have different length frames, though. The seats adjust forward and backwards, generally, instead of up and down. The bike I ride, a RANS V-Rex, comes in regular or XL frames. Someone else will have to say whether or not BikeE's have different size frames.
Can you post pics? That might help.
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Old 07-10-09, 07:14 PM   #3
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The seat height is just how high the seat bottom is above the pavement.
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Old 07-10-09, 07:43 PM   #4
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If you're trying to measure for proper fit, google x-seam
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Old 07-10-09, 08:16 PM   #5
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If you're trying to measure for proper fit, google x-seam
"Proper fit" must also include seat height.
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Old 07-10-09, 09:27 PM   #6
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"Seat Height" is usually, but not always, taken as the lowest part of the seating surface, at the top of the pad. That's usually at the back of the seat pan. In the case of slanting main tube bikes with sliding seats, the seat height is obviously variable. In that case, they'll measure with the seat in an arbitrary position; either at the mid-point in adjustment or where it's the lowest. Seat height makes a difference for planting your feet when stopped. Normally, the measurement to watch is the X-seam, which is meant to represent the distance from the seat back to an extended pedal.

Tires are complicated. There are several different, incompatible sizes of 16" wheels, as well as several more different 20" wheels. Sheldon Brown has a web page devoted to tire sizing.
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Old 07-10-09, 09:35 PM   #7
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Thanks all for the info so far.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
Can you post pics? That might help.
Photos attached! I didn't even think about the height spec until I saw that Walmart bike listed as 20" and suddenly this one seems very tall.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg bikeE-fullB.jpg (67.9 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg bikeE-close1.jpg (58.5 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg bikeE-close2.jpg (87.3 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg bikeE-close4.jpg (69.3 KB, 11 views)

Last edited by KernelG; 07-10-09 at 09:44 PM. Reason: More photos..
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Old 07-11-09, 05:03 AM   #8
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I don't remember for sure, but I think the Bike-E had a 406 rear wheel and a 349 front wheel. It'll say on the tires somewhere. That looks like an AT model (Air Tech) and was one of their later attempts at going up-scale. Looks like it's in nice shape, too.
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Old 07-11-09, 10:50 AM   #9
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I think WalMart was just referring to wheel size. Most people who aren't familiar with bicycle sizing think tire size = frame size.
Its not uncommon for a 'bent to have only one size frame. Those that have multiple sizes tend not to change seat height but frame length. Seat height is still important because some smaller riders may have trouble getting their feet down at a stop.
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Old 07-11-09, 11:12 AM   #10
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When my buddy bought a bikeE, I put a 406 - 20" on the back to replace the one filled with solid rubber. The front was 16". The size in "mm" should be on the side of the tires.
Don't forget to put them on Craig's List. Chances are you can unload them locally, so people can come and check them out (no shipping). If they need to be adjusted to work properly, The Bicycle Garage at the corner of Blacow and Mowry works on my recumbent.

What is your asking price for each one?
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Old 07-11-09, 12:27 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Dchiefransom View Post
When my buddy bought a bikeE, I put a 406 - 20" on the back to replace the one filled with solid rubber. The front was 16". The size in "mm" should be on the side of the tires.
Don't forget to put them on Craig's List. Chances are you can unload them locally, so people can come and check them out (no shipping). If they need to be adjusted to work properly, The Bicycle Garage at the corner of Blacow and Mowry works on my recumbent.

What is your asking price for each one?
Solid rubber tire on a BikeE???/
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Old 07-11-09, 01:56 PM   #12
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Looks like it's in nice shape, too.
Yeah, both bikes are squeaky clean. Stored in the garage after one ride, basically. The parents just never got into it. Luckily, I've been on eBay for 10+ years and have imprinted the "keep it nice, keep the paperwork" doctrine on them. Heh..

Quote:
Originally Posted by oddball
I think WalMart was just referring to wheel size. Most people who aren't familiar with bicycle sizing think tire size = frame size. Its not uncommon for a 'bent to have only one size frame. Those that have multiple sizes tend not to change seat height but frame length. Seat height is still important because some smaller riders may have trouble getting their feet down at a stop.
Ohhh! Ok, thanks. That's where I think I was confused. So this would also be a 20" bike. The seat does have two latches underneath so it can (apparently) be moved forwards and backwards to adjust for pedal reach.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dchiefransom
Don't forget to put them on Craig's List. Chances are you can unload them locally, so people can come and check them out (no shipping). If they need to be adjusted to work properly, The Bicycle Garage at the corner of Blacow and Mowry works on my recumbent.
I just brought that up, and apparently they were originally purchased from Bicycle Garage when they were over on Fremont Blvd. Even on eBay, we'll most likely do local pickup only. These things are long. Easily carried with one hand, though!

Quote:
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What is your asking price for each one?
No idea yet. I'm scanning eBay and Craig's list for similar models to try and get an idea. Suggestions are welcome, of course.

And the tires are definitely both air filled. I know because I did the pumping before taking the photos.

I have the manual here. I should actually scan a couple of pages..
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Old 07-11-09, 02:08 PM   #13
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I was surprised by the front 3-speed internal hub on the one my friend bought. Worked great, no front derailer. The last owner had used that stuff that you squirt into the tire and it hardens to a solid. It took us quite a while to cut that tire off.
It looks like that might be a SRAM XO rear derailer in your picture.
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Old 07-11-09, 02:16 PM   #14
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It looks like that might be a SRAM XO rear derailer in your picture.
I have a separate little booklet here for an "SRAM DualDrive" system.
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Old 07-11-09, 02:37 PM   #15
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I have a separate little booklet here for an "SRAM DualDrive" system.
That should be the 3-speed internal hub on the rear. If they were bought at The Bicycle Garage, Fred and Allan know how to work on them. Do these have the suspension on the rear?

I see two of them on eBay for about $350. It sounds like yours are in better shape than that.
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Old 07-11-09, 03:34 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KernelG View Post

Ohhh! Ok, thanks. That's where I think I was confused. So this would also be a 20" bike. The seat does have two latches underneath so it can (apparently) be moved forwards and backwards to adjust for pedal reach.
No, it's not a 20" bike. It has a 20" wheel.

You might want to see if you can adjust the seat so that the bike fits you. Then, figure out what your X-seam is. If the bike fits you, measure to see how much adjustment is available to adjust for a shorter or taller person. Then, you can say to prospective buyers: "I'm 6'1", my inseam is 32", my X-seam is 45" and it looks like there is about 2" of adjustment either way, if you are taller or shorter."
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Old 07-13-09, 06:04 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
I don't remember for sure, but I think the Bike-E had a 406 rear wheel and a 349 front wheel. It'll say on the tires somewhere. That looks like an AT model (Air Tech) and was one of their later attempts at going up-scale. Looks like it's in nice shape, too.
No, not an AT model,-- no rear shock... From the picture this looks like a late model CT (probably Asian-made frame) with standard length frame. The seat is looks like the so-called "Sweet" seat. It has the tall back.

Sizing on BikeE was determined by length of the "beam" not seat height. They had standard, extra long XL and XXL sizes. The longer frames handle heavier riders better (front/back weight distribution) in addition to allowing adjustment for longer legs. There were at least three different seat models.

BikeE CT models appear fairly frequently on Craigslist. Asking prices seem to cover a pretty wide range starting at $300 and going up to $600 and more. I think $300-400 is a reasonable price depending on condition and locale. BikeEs are good "starter" recumbent and utility bikes. Good for someone who wants to ride for exercise. Comfortable, adjustable, and easy to ride.

I've had my AT/XL since '98. Although I used to take it for 30 mile rides and even did a bike camping tour on it, it's not my bike of choice for long rides now. I still ride it for short errands (5-7 miles).

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Old 07-13-09, 11:03 AM   #18
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Regarding size, I think BikeE had two sizes: regular and XL. I bet with half an effort, you could find a forum or a Yahoo! group that caters specifically to BikeE, and they would be able to tell you what the difference is. Other than Janmm's idea for advertising the size, someone on that forum/group could probably give you the official 'fit' sizes for the frame.
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