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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 08-16-09, 11:25 PM   #1
mrdc
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starter bent

hi newbie here.
I want a bent, looking for a cheap one, but still useable.
I saw the walmart semi-recumbent, but it has small tires.
Can it accept a bigger rear wheel?
I like the look of the actionbents.
I like the uss better than oss.
Also found a bike-E.

So it's wally, actionbent or bike E.

Any opinions?

Thanks
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Old 08-17-09, 05:53 AM   #2
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Not the wally if you can avoid it, and are you sure you want uss? They don't turn as well as oss. Other than that, if you're sure, actionbents can be very good value, especially if you can be your own mechanic and put it together. There are sometimes problems with missing parts and such but if you can work it out you're good.
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Old 08-17-09, 08:47 AM   #3
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I would check for a used RANS Tailwind. It is a fantastic recumbent like to start on. I did, and loved it and showed me that recumbents are the only way to go. BTW I have moved on to a new RANS Stratus LE.
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Old 08-17-09, 09:14 AM   #4
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hi newbie here.
I want a bent, looking for a cheap one, but still useable.
I saw the walmart semi-recumbent, but it has small tires.
Can it accept a bigger rear wheel?
I like the look of the actionbents.
I like the uss better than oss.
Also found a bike-E.

So it's wally, actionbent or bike E.

Any opinions?

Thanks
Stay away from the Wally Bent. It's a toy. You'd be better with the Bike E. Lots of people started with those. Or, look for a used Rans or Bacchetta. Both good brands. Neither however offer USS. Check out the Linear at bicycleman.com for a nice USS. Also, USS aren't hard to learn. Most people that claim they are have never ridden one. I had two USS Linears for several years, loved them. I now ride a OSS Bacchetta.

Take your time looking and good luck. Try and get to a dealer and test ride if possible. Watch the various Craigslists in your area. They always have recumbents in the bike section.
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Old 08-17-09, 06:24 PM   #5
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I would stay away from linear...on their own website they state the models before 2003 or something like that have frame problems. If u want USS maybe try a Vision. I learned how to ride USS in about 5 minutes. After that just takes from extra practice to be able to ride around the city.
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Old 08-17-09, 09:54 PM   #6
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Not the wally if you can avoid it..
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Originally Posted by jeffh129 View Post
Stay away from the Wally Bent. It's a toy.
Funny stuff.

I suppose there's an outside chance that Mr. Randy Schlitter (CEO and designer of RANS) harbored similar thoughts when he purchased one of Wally's finest ... then promptly decided it was worth upgrading after the box arrived. Here's a quote from Mr. Schlitter:

"I will post an evaluation of my Wal-Mart recumbent experience. The motive is to create some good from this market effort. The thinking is there should be something worthy about this bike and maybe with a little creative effort we can make a hot-rod kit and a great entry level bent for a lot of people. Others should try this too, it could be fun to see where this leads, and all on the back of a giant! Like in the book “The Wal-Mart Effect” your life is impacted by them, like it or not." -Randy Schlitter-

Last edited by PaPa; 08-17-09 at 09:58 PM.
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Old 08-18-09, 08:34 AM   #7
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I guess that's wonderful if you happen to own a bike company and have the means and resources to upgrade it. The newbie would be better spending 500.00 on a decent used bent. By the time he gets done doing upgrades on the Wally Bent, he'll probably be close to having outlaid 500.00 in total and will end up with what ....a heavy, upgraded Wally Bent.

No, he can do much better....

Last edited by jeffh129; 08-18-09 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 08-18-09, 08:38 AM   #8
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I would stay away from linear...on their own website they state the models before 2003 or something like that have frame problems. If u want USS maybe try a Vision. I learned how to ride USS in about 5 minutes. After that just takes from extra practice to be able to ride around the city.
The fact is that Linears prior to 2003 or something MAY be prone to frame problems. I owned two Linears from about the 1996 era and had no problems with them at all. Yes, a person should be careful about purchasing anything used and should know about the potential frame problem. However I would not let that stop me from considering one.
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Old 08-18-09, 09:23 AM   #9
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I suggest hunting for a good used bike and not making a OSS/USS decision until you have completed some test rides.
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Old 08-18-09, 09:41 AM   #10
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If you don't like the WallyWorld bent because it has small tires, then you also don't want a Bike-E. It has the same size tires.

If I can make an observation, it seems like what usually happens is that when someone gets their first bent, price is the #1 consideration. Then, after having the 'bent for a period of time, they start looking to upgrade. At that point, there may still be a budget, but price has become much less of an issue and the budget is more realistic. There's a moral buried somewhere in there.
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Old 08-18-09, 10:54 AM   #11
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thanks everyone.
looks like it's back to searching.
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Old 08-18-09, 11:44 AM   #12
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I guess that's wonderful if you happen to own a bike company and have the means and resources to upgrade it. The newbie would be better spending 500.00 on a decent used bent. By the time he gets done doing upgrades on the Wally Bent, he'll probably be close to having outlaid 500.00 in total and will end up with what ....a heavy, upgraded Wally Bent.

No, he can do much better....
* Unlike "used" the Wal-mart 'bent comes with a 90 day return policy. Don't like it... take it back... N/C.
* NO shipping charges - either way.
* Wally upgrades can be as close as your local second hand, yard sale, Craigslist or Ebay- I should know, I have over 30 used bikes and NOT one has components lower than LX or 105 - and NOT one was over $50.
* The OP specified "cheap"
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Old 08-18-09, 01:22 PM   #13
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If you have experience with bike maintenance/assembly, I'd recommend Actionbent as a good budget option. My TW3 (old model, no longer sold) compares favorably with bikes from other manufacturers (I've owned a few and test ridden many more). It's comfortable, fairly light, reasonably quick and came with good components. The only downsides are that you can't test ride beforehand to find out if it suits you, and assembly.
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Old 08-18-09, 02:23 PM   #14
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The Wallmart bent is cheap. It is probably useable. You can change the front wheel size by replacing the fork and wheel. You can change the rear wheel size by replacing the frame and wheel. But then it wouldn't be cheap anymore.

Although a lot of people here have given lip service to wanting a sub-$300 'bent; now that it's available, it's not good enough. I guess it's natural to want more for less and what they really want is a $1000 'bent for $300. If a department-store-quality bike is enough to make you happy, then the Walmart bent should do the trick. Most of the denizens here expect more of an enthusiast-level machine.
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Old 08-18-09, 04:12 PM   #15
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Many wanting to try bent don't have the money available to invest in a 'good' bike. WalMart caters to the inexpensive. They serve a purpose. Are they as good as Rans or Bacchetta, or (name your favorite)? No. are they cheaper? Yes. The biggest single issue that keeps 'bent prices high is the limited market. I have no problem with a Wally World bike ( I have two I bought for beaters). As long as you know what you are getting they are a fair deal. If the Wally 'bent gets him the fever, then later when he has more funds availabe he'll get a better 'bent. If he hates it (yes some people hate them) he hasn't lost a ton of $$$.
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Old 08-24-09, 01:51 AM   #16
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One can interpret "Inexpensive entry level 'bent" in different ways.

I firmly believe that used 'bents are great and reasonable deals. A used $500 to $800 recumbent will still be worth $500 to $800 a few months later. If the purchaser decides he doesn't like his purchase he can resell for little or no loss. How much will the Wally 'bent be worth a few months later?

Value is in quality. If a person likes riding their Wally 'bent but quickly realizes that it's very in-efficient (I don't know if it is or not) he'll soon be in the market for a better machine. Having to buy a second bike to enjoy the Sport doesn't make a lot of financial sense to me.

Just my opinion, of course.
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Old 08-24-09, 09:08 AM   #17
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One can interpret "Inexpensive entry level 'bent" in different ways.

I firmly believe that used 'bents are great and reasonable deals. A used $500 to $800 recumbent will still be worth $500 to $800 a few months later. If the purchaser decides he doesn't like his purchase he can resell for little or no loss. How much will the Wally 'bent be worth a few months later?


Just my opinion, of course.
good point!
used makes more sense,
better bike, not much more $$$$
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Old 09-02-09, 12:46 PM   #18
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Value is in quality. If a person likes riding their Wally 'bent but quickly realizes that it's very in-efficient (I don't know if it is or not) he'll soon be in the market for a better machine.
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Having to buy a second bike to enjoy the Sport doesn't make a lot of financial sense to me.
Perhaps you should check the classifieds over at that 'bentrider site. A staggering number of'em buy and sell $2000 machines on a bi-annual basis - many bi-monthly - and that's after they've already spent another $500+ in "upgreades". How much $ do you suppose they've burned tripping over the 'buy'n flip' disease?

While I agree that there are many bargains in used market, it comes at a price.

1. No warranty
2. No guaranties of hidden or undisclosed damage (including expensive frame damage). And if you buy out of state, there is usually no cheap and easy recourse if the product isn't "as claimed".
3. Out of state buyers usually pay shipping.

The Wally 'bent can be returned to your local Walmart within 90 days for a full refund. And NO SHIPPING CHARGES either way.

Last edited by PaPa; 09-02-09 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 09-02-09, 02:46 PM   #19
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Value is in quality. If a person likes riding their Wally 'bent but quickly realizes that it's very in-efficient (I don't know if it is or not) he'll soon be in the market for a better machine. Having to buy a second bike to enjoy the Sport doesn't make a lot of financial sense to me.

Just my opinion, of course.
Non the less, at $239 NEW, the Wally bent is not at all a large commitment, and should at least for most people, leave sufficient "wiggle room" to later upgrade that bike if he likes it enough, or sell it for perhaps half to two thirds of what it was bought for, and get another bike. I don't think it would be the "end of the world" to go that route.

But finding a used brand name recumbent can be a viable option as well. Last month on Craigslist, I seen a RANS Tailwind, a BikeE, and two delta trikes. One has to make sure however that it's in good working order.

Edward Wong III
"Bentless in Orlando, FL"
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Old 09-04-09, 08:01 AM   #20
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If you think a LWB, USS recumbent might be hard to turn, take a look at the first video below:

U-turns on Linear, trikes, SWB
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wS033m2F6AI&NR=1

Bicycle Man contact info.
http://www.bicycleman.com/recumbents/recumbents.htm

New Linear Limo 3. spec's
http://www.linearrecumbent.com/linear-3-lwb-limo.htm

First timer riding a Linear
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXc7JsjSTHc&NR=1

I am not affiliated with the people who build or sell Linear recumbents in New York. In fact, I haven't ever even seen a linear recumbent. But if I were going to buy a commercial recumbent, I'd definitely go to New York and try one on for size.

I built a Robinson recumbent (homebuilt LWB with USS). For comparison, my specs are as follows:
seat height = 23.75 in.
wheelbase = 63.5 in.
crank height = 25.5 in.
weight = 35#
F wheel = 20 x 1 3/4 in.
R wheel = 27 x 1 1/4 in.
There's a picture of it (very bottom of the page) on this website:
http://mysite.verizon.net/res88kr1/
So you see, it's similar in size and weight to a Linear LWB. But after riding my LWB 2,800 miles, I still can't do a U-turn in one lane. It takes me two lanes, at least last time I tried. So If I had money to get a commercially made bike, I'd take a ride on a Linear LWB.
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Old 09-04-09, 09:12 AM   #21
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As a long time Bent rider, I would avoid the Walmart bike. I guarantee you will have buyers remorse and want to get something faster and lighter, after the first few weeks. A used Bent, would be a better solution in my opinion, and I would also look at the Actionbent products. They come at a great price point and you can always get a LBS to help you set it up, if you can't do it yourself.
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Old 09-04-09, 02:16 PM   #22
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I too will take issue with the "widespread problems" with Linear frames. I and two friends own a total of 6 Linears, both short and long wheelbase, all built prior to Mr. Bicycleman's version. All were purchased used, mostly off of ebay or Craigslist. The most expensive one was $850 and it was barely used and about two years old at the time. The least expensive was $400 and probably dates back into the mid-1980s. If you are trying to sell a new model at nearly $2K, you had better come up with some good reasons why the buyer shouldn't opt for one costing 1/3 to 1/4 as much. I remain unconvinced. My Linear has given me about 5,000 trouble free miles. I have gone on to other bikes and trikes but it is still rideable and comfortable after 7 years of ownership.

BTW, you can do a U-turn on a Linear in less than 6 feet. Stop, plant your feet firmly on the ground, grab the edges of the seat, lift, and swivel the bike 180 degrees. It may not be very elegant but it is very easy and works in tight places.
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Old 10-07-09, 11:46 AM   #23
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The Wally bent actually has a decent frame. Its the drivetrain components that suck. Upgrade them and you still get a good riding value-priced bent. If Randy Schlitter thinks highly of it, who am I to argue with him?
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Old 10-07-09, 12:34 PM   #24
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Vision R40 OSS if you can find one. 20" front wheel and 26" rear. Vision went out of business about 3 years ago. But these are really simple bikes to operate and ride once you have it dialed in and set up for you. After 7 years of riding mine I still love it.

If you can not find a Vision then give these guys a call: http://www.hostelshoppe.com/ the geometry and simplicity of the Volae models are very simialr to Vision. If I buy another recumbent, it will be a Volae. The Volae frames are built by Waterford Cycles.
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Old 10-07-09, 12:39 PM   #25
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+1 with old Visions R40s, I bought mine on Craigslist for less than $300 then had to buy another one for my wife. Both of our Visions have more than 800 mi. since 2007.
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