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  1. #1
    Junior Member bentneophyte's Avatar
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    Beardl, but not bent. (yet)

    Okay I have a number of questions that I am sure are stupid, but I have looked around for the answers, and I have not found them. But first a quick bio to give you reference for my questions:
    Iím 45 and I am no longer in the shape I remember being. (Ha) I have a bulging disc in my lower back which will limit how long I can be in the roadie position. I am now looking at bents, and I will be riding on mostly flat ground. (Nothing anyone outside of Florida, would call a hill). I will be doing some riding with Ďroadiesí. ( and yes I would rather not embarrass myself too much, by lagging behind.) This much I got so far from reading this forum and other sites. Test ride, test ride, test ride. (this is easier said then done in some parts of the country. I have some places in the Tampa area that sells bents, but there is not a plethora of different makes.) I think I am partial to the short wheel base. I am also 6í2Ē with longer legs. I would love to be sub 1K, but seems like I might need to go as high as $1600 or $1700. I think that is all you need to know. Well one more thing; I am dyslexic, so please excuse what might look like creative spelling.
    Okay so here are my NOOB questions:
    1. Trikes versus other bents. I had the chance to rent a trike for a few hours in the Orlando area in a lazy ride with my family. LOTS of fun. I loved the quick turns, and USS. However I assume that if I am riding with roadies, I am going to want a two wheel bent? No way the trike is going to keep up with the roadies, unless I spend a Lot of $, right? I know that all bents will lose ground going uphill but I assume that the three wheels and extra weight will add a lot more drag than a two wheel bent?
    2. I notice that USS is not as common with the two wheeler bents. I would think that would be a great hand position. What are your thoughts?
    3. Does anybody know anything about these bikes? I canít find many recent professional critiques on them, they seem like great prices, but I donít know anything about their quality: http://actionbent.com/
    4. Would you buy a used bent? And how much has technology changed the bents in the last few years?
    5. What do think I should know that I am not asking?
    Okay I think that is all the noob questions I havenít seen answered elsewhere, for now. Please give me an idea how long you have been riding bents and many different types. (How much of an authority are You? I have noticed on a sports forum I frequent, that the number of posts doesnít always relate to knowledge)
    Peace and Grace
    Out of every 100 men, ten shouldn't even be there/Eighty are just targets./Nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle./Ah, but the one,/One is a warrior,/And he will bring the others back.
    -HERACLITUS, circa 500 BC

  2. #2
    el padre
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    I just wrote a bunch of stuff and pushed the wrong buttton so here goes again.
    my 2-cents. You need to try a lot to see what style of bent you like, that is the reason for all the hype to try everything. As far as keeping up with the roadies, yes you can if you are in the same shape as they are. A bent will not make you faster...necessarily. I am not faster on my bents...
    a SWB, short wheel base, is considered faster than a LWB and some are considered better for climbing I have a Lighting P-38 which is one of those considered better for climbing but with my motor (58 years old) it does not do much climbing. (in fact I am trying to sell it) I do not have a trike so can not speak to that or those questions. I have more than these 2-cents but this is all have time for right now. enjoy the ride and now for you the hunt for a new ride.

  3. #3
    Junior Member bentneophyte's Avatar
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    Thanks for your reply Floyd. I will try a lot of different styles, but there are only a couple of stores around here and both carry the same styles; Rans, Bacchetta, and Catrike.
    Out of every 100 men, ten shouldn't even be there/Eighty are just targets./Nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle./Ah, but the one,/One is a warrior,/And he will bring the others back.
    -HERACLITUS, circa 500 BC

  4. #4
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Good advice is to check out and ride multiple 'bents prior to making a decision.
    But, often very hard to do that.
    I am anecdotal evidence that not following that advice can work.

    I bought a RANS Tailwind on a whim after seeing a classified ad on the local bike club website. I researched Tailwinds on the web, then went to check it out; one ride around the block and I bought it. (The price was too good to pass up.) I knew up front that I was at the tall end of fitting the Tailwind but I fit well enough to ride the bike for more than two years, by which time I was thoroughly 'bent. By then, I knew I wanted a 'bent that was a better fit and a bit speedier. So, I ordered a V-Rex through my LBS, which had none to look at, and bought it after a brief ride around the parking lot. Have been pleased as punch with the Rex. No regrets.
    Ride several before you buy, if you can, but be aware that it is possible to buy a 'bent that works for you without following that wise advice. YMMV
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bentneophyte View Post
    Thanks for your reply Floyd. I will try a lot of different styles, but there are only a couple of stores around here and both carry the same styles; Rans, Bacchetta, and Catrike.
    At least these are the top brands for bents ( Rans & Bacchetta ) and one of the top brands for trikes ( Catrike)

    Check out the Bacchetta website, bacchettabikes.com

    They have several models that will let you keep up with the roadies. So does Rans. You can't go wrong with either brand. Customer service? Rans is good. Bacchetta's customer service is unmatched. Period. They will walk the extra mile for you, bare foot and blindfolded if need be.

    Actionbent recumbents are "good," but not of the same quality as the Bacchetta or Rans. They are cheaper to purchase, but, again you won't get the quality.

    Yes, you should test as many brands and types as possible. However if you can only test the Bacchetta and Rans, and pick one of those, you won't go wrong.

  6. #6
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    In my book, 'trike' is almost synonymous with 'slow.' But then, it depends on your perspective. 'Roadies' in my club will do a 100 mile ride and average 17-20 mph. If you want to ride with roadies, then the best choice is to get something most similar to what they're riding. Probably a dual-26 type bent. That way, you can draft them and they can draft you, and your speed profiles will be more nearly alike. Most of Florida doesn't have enough hills for the difference in hill-climbing ability to matter.

  7. #7
    Junior Member bentneophyte's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the information. I am going to try to rent a Bacchetta for a week if I can get there after work before they're closed. I don't think they actually rent the Strada, which would be the one I might be interested in, but hopefully it will give me the a good feel for the brand.

    Blazing, yea, I was afraid that trikes were slow, but I had enough phun on the one I tried that I was hoping that was a misconception.

    It seems most of the 'fast' bikes are OSS and that USS is tough to learn for a newbie, so I guess I will try the OSS unless I get a chance to decently test drive a USS.

    thanks all for your time.
    Out of every 100 men, ten shouldn't even be there/Eighty are just targets./Nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle./Ah, but the one,/One is a warrior,/And he will bring the others back.
    -HERACLITUS, circa 500 BC

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bentneophyte View Post
    Thanks for all the information. I am going to try to rent a Bacchetta for a week if I can get there after work before they're closed. I don't think they actually rent the Strada, which would be the one I might be interested in, but hopefully it will give me the a good feel for the brand.

    Blazing, yea, I was afraid that trikes were slow, but I had enough phun on the one I tried that I was hoping that was a misconception.

    It seems most of the 'fast' bikes are OSS and that USS is tough to learn for a newbie, so I guess I will try the OSS unless I get a chance to decently test drive a USS.

    thanks all for your time.
    The learning curve for an USS bent is not that much greater thana an OSS bent. Trust me on that, I've owned both. Most riders will say that the OSS is more " airo", with less wind resistance.

  9. #9
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    At one point in time there were a dozen trikes in my club. There still may be, but only one guy ever rides his with the roadies, and at one time he was just shy of being a pro. That old line about Lance being able to keep up even if he was on a Huffy? Yeah, that's this guy; and the trike is almost too much work for even him.

    I think OSS was so much more popular than USS in the States that the domestics just stopped making USS except for trikes. USS became a niche within a niche. It's a little easier to find on Euro recumbents. I just find OSS more practical. There's places to hang computers and bells, it's easier to walk the bike, and there's still no pressure on the hands with OSS.

  10. #10
    Senior Member madhouse's Avatar
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    For your reference: I borrowed a SWB Vision R40 OSS for about two weeks and two hundred miles. I have owned a CLWB OSS Sun for a little more than a year and have a LWB USS Vanguard that I’ve been riding for about two months.

    Last year I drank the Kool-aid and now consider myself a ‘bent prophet… preaching the benefits of recumbents to anyone who will listen, and even to those who won’t! I have sold or parted out all of my uprights but the camp-ground bike that travels w/ the family on the motorhome.

    I ride almost all country roads, very little in-town riding, and virtually no in-city riding.

    The Vision was my first attempt at riding bent and thought it was way too twitchy. I swore off riding bents for several years. In defense of SWB recumbents, I was very close to purchasing a Bacchetta last fall, but decided I liked the leisurely feel of the LWB.

    My first recumbent, and foul weather/commuter is a CLWB OSS Sun that weighs in at 41#. Based on my ride data, last year when I would switch between upright and bent, I was about 0.7mph faster on my upright. My LWB USS Vanguard has a lower profile and is 10# lighter than the Sun and to date I am 0.7567mph faster on the Vanguard than on the Sun. Based on that data: A good recumbent is every bit as fast as a good upright… hills included.

    I know I am faster on hills on my recumbents than I ever was on my uprights… Mostly because I ride twice as many miles now that I’m comfortable vs. when I had sore parts from the interface between man and machine on an upright! Uprights still have a 10# plus advantage on the hills, but if I’m going to shave weight, I’d be better served making the motor lighter!

    I have ridden in a few club rides. I either take the pull or ride in the back of the group… My bike is 7’9” stem to stern and I just don’t fit within the group. I agree with BlazingPedals, that a dual 26” SWB would be the best fit when riding with roadies.

    I think OSS is easier to learn, but USS wouldn’t be impossible. OSS allows for easier mounting of accessories (computers, lights, water bottle cages). I have to be creative with my USS. USS is more comfortable and more aero.

    I would definitely look at the used market. If you don’t like what you bought, buy something different and then put the one you don’t like up for sale and re-coup your money. (Notice the order there… very important to get the new bike first!)

    That’s my two cents on the topics I feel I have the authority to speak too.

  11. #11
    Junior Member bentneophyte's Avatar
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    Still have not had the chance to rent a bent. But I was cued,and discovered that Power On Cycles is only about 40 minutes away, so I might have a few more options.

    I had not thought about mounting space for gadgets. I definitely want to get a computer, while I am training so I can have a good idea of my average speed. Another reason to go OSS. (maybe my second bent can be USS.) HA - I hope my wife doesn't join this forum and read this post!!

    When I finally get a bent, I promise let you all know my choice.

    Thanks again for all the info.

    Peace and Grace

    Neophyte
    Out of every 100 men, ten shouldn't even be there/Eighty are just targets./Nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle./Ah, but the one,/One is a warrior,/And he will bring the others back.
    -HERACLITUS, circa 500 BC

  12. #12
    el padre
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    Yes, keep us up to date....good luck on your hunt...enjoy the ride.

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