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  1. #1
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    Used Vision R40 vs. New Actionbent Jet Stream III

    I'm about to buy my first recumbent and am trying to decide between a used R40, R50 or order a new Jet Stream III. My goal is to get used to recumbent now and then take a trip across the US in about three years on a LWB USS (possibly a Slipstream).

    The used R40 is going for $850 and comes with a fairing, 21 speeds (inc. hill climbing chain wheel), new "top of the line" front rim/hub/tire, new rear gear cassette and new derailleur.

    Just as I was typing this, I also found a used stock R50 (27 speed) being sold for $750

    Should I spend $750 - $850 for one of these or buy a brand new Jet Stream III (http://www.actionbent.com/jsu3.html) for $799?

    Decisions, decisions. What would you recommend? Are those reasonable prices for the R40/R50?

  2. #2
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    Visions seem to hold their value well. Of course you realise that they are no longer made. Most parts, brakes, shifters and such are easily replaceable. The seat may be the only thing that would be harder to replace, tho not impossible. The prices for the Visions are in the ball park.

    The Actionbent recumbent may be good if you are a very handy "bike wrench." Some of their bikes show up in fine condition, others are missing parts or in need of major adjustments. I've also heard several people complain about their customer service, or more specifly, the lack of the same. On the other hand, their is no customer service with the Vision. Of course you may never need it.

    I always believe in buying quality. If it were me, I'd go with the Vision. Their bikes have been around for a long time and have proven themselves over time.
    Last edited by jeffh129; 08-31-09 at 01:36 PM. Reason: spelling

  3. #3
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    Hey Jeff,

    Thanks for the advice, that is the direction I was leaning towards as well. Now between the R40 and R50, besides one being "10 better" than the other, what is the big differences?

    From my research it seems that the R50 has full suspension, which I've heard mixed reviews on, and more gears. The R40 looks like it's in slightly better condition with newer parts. Again, from your perspective, what do you think? Is the suspension important or just a nice to have with a recumbent? What about the extra 6 gears?

    For a bit of context, here are the two bike listings:
    * R40: http://is.gd/2JPnR
    * R50: http://is.gd/2JPoK

    FYI: I currently ride a Trek mountain bike with front fork suspension.

    Thanks!

  4. #4
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    Actionbent is now out of the equation. I emailed them yesterday regarding the back order message they have on the bike. They emailed me back very promptly, which was nice, but when I tried to clarify something he said about the back order, his response was a bit annoyed that I didn't understand the first time.

    So now I just need to figure out if the R40 or R50 is better for my needs and pocket book.

  5. #5
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    Most swb recubemnts sold by all of the major manufacturers do NOT have suspension. That should tell you something. It's really not needed. I'd go with the "other" one that doesn't have suspension, and appears to be in better shape.

    Jeff

  6. #6
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    Oh, and what exactly is a "hill climbing chain wheel"? I can't find any information online about this. Is that just a really low gear?

    Thanks!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffh129 View Post
    Most swb recubemnts sold by all of the major manufacturers do NOT have suspension. That should tell you something. It's really not needed. I'd go with the "other" one that doesn't have suspension, and appears to be in better shape.

    Jeff
    Thank you, your input has made this a really easy decision! I can't wait to start riding.

  8. #8
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    Or check all of the Craiglist sites here

    http://www.allofcraigslist.com/resul...SO-8859-1#1124

    Go here and see all Visions available on all the craigslists. I even put in "vision recumbent" for you. Just scroll down. There a a bunch of them.

  9. #9
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Just MNSHO, but fairing or not, $850 is overpriced for an old R-40. They only went for a thou new, and a 7-speed is functionally obsolete - it's what WallyWorld bikes come with. $500 with fairing might be more realistic, if it's otherwise in good shape.

  10. #10
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    The guy above does have a good poiint about the price. However the sellers ad does say "BO," best offer. Offer him less. For the amount he's asking you could problably get a newer Rans Rocket.

  11. #11
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    Thanks so much for the answers and link. This is all very helpful!

  12. #12
    brad3104
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    I have an R50. And for in town riding or even on light paved bike trails....i really like the suspension. Also $850 for an R40 is just crazy. Like someone else said $500 maybe $600 for an R40. Also keep in mind from the picture...that R40 has a 16 inch front wheel...which means its a SMALL sized frame. I'm not sure how tall u are but this might matter.

  13. #13
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    I have had my Vison R40 OSS SWB for over 7 years now. And I LOVE IT! I have not had a better bike. I would not trade it for anything. I test rode several before I decided on the Vision. I don't think I tried an Actionbent, but none of the models I test rode came close to what the Vision offered. Talk about a durable bike, especially the frame. The only problem I have had is the seat frame. I have had some of the welds break and have had it repaired. I also have a shop that can buld me a new frame when the time comes that I need it. My seat frame is the older style, before Vision changed the design of the bike, thus changing the seat frame.

    When was the Vision you are looking at manufactured? If it was after 2002/2003 you can replace the seat frame. If 2001 or earlier it is probably the older style and the seat frames can no longer be found. Hostell Shoppe in Stevens Point, Wisconsin are the go to folks for Vision parts, especially tube plugs, seat frames, for models 2002 and newer, seat frame covers, seat pads and QR skewers.

    Vision bikes with the smaller front wheel had a 20" size after 2000, maybe a little earlier. Before that they were 16".

    I highly recommend either Vision.

  14. #14
    brad3104
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    When u say u have had welds on the seat frame break...what part exactly do u mean? the long thing bars that hold up the seat that connect somewhere around the back fork like on most recumbents? Cuz i have an R50 with suspension and the back of the seat connects just before the schock as pictured...and the seat is a bit different...or maybe its cuz its a 2000. I was just curious as to what broke.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  15. #15
    slofla zdrifter's Avatar
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    As many here have said ... $850 is WAAAY out of line for a VR40 no matter how good the condition.

    That being said, if it is a 20" front wheel bike you will be hard pressed to find a better starter and well beyond bike.

    Notable difference between the VR40 and the other Visions is the VR40 has a 2" frame, all the others are small diameter and this makes a big difference. As for suspension, not really a good thing unless you're going off road ... and if you are get a MTB not a 'bent.

    Summary ... VR40 w/20" wheel, probably one of the best starter/beyond bikes .. price range $350 -- $600 .. be patient and you'll find one and you'll be really happy, it's a great bike and far, far better than the Walbent, much better than most other used 'bents out there (BTW altho they are out of production, most of the parts you might need can be had from Volae .. same bike almost .. they bought Vision's tooling) ...

    Cheers
    Started out with nothing .. almost got that paid for

  16. #16
    brad3104
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    Also im curious...how much did u end up paying for the R40? i saw u posted a few new threads about getting that one.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by brad3104 View Post
    Also im curious...how much did u end up paying for the R40? i saw u posted a few new threads about getting that one.
    I ended up talking the seller down to $800 for it. I know that everyone says that that is entirely too expensive for this bike, but it was exactly the type bent I was looking for and I hadn't seen anything similar for sale in my area in the month or so that I had been looking. It also came with a full faring, which was a good bonus.

    All-in-all I've been very happy with it so far, have ridden about 100 miles on it and am really enjoying the investment.

  18. #18
    brad3104
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    $800 there is one in your area that is listed at $650 right now. If you would have just waited lol. Also that R50 is still for sale for $750 as he has it posted still.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by brad3104 View Post
    $800 there is one in your area that is listed at $650 right now. If you would have just waited lol. Also that R50 is still for sale for $750 as he has it posted still.
    True, except I wanted USS, and the R40 for $650 was OSS. I've heard mixed reviews about suspension and the welds on R50s breaking, so I decided it would be best to start simple and not get the suspension. I was very picky with what I wanted and the R40 I bought was the only one I saw that had everything I needed.

  20. #20
    brad3104
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    Besides a slight thinner frame (1/4 an inch 1.75 instead of 2) why would R50 welds break? ive never heard of this before... where did u read this?

  21. #21
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brad3104 View Post
    Besides a slight thinner frame (1/4 an inch 1.75 instead of 2) why would R50 welds break? ive never heard of this before... where did u read this?
    Yeah, the R-50 had a problem with welds breaking. IIRC, Vision discontinued them due to the problem. I think it had something to do with the shock mount.

  22. #22
    Who has a good sense of humor for going along with my little April Fool Gag (The Admin) Mr. Markets's Avatar
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    i'll sell you an R40 used for $550 shipped... but... i just had hip replacement so youhave to be
    patient for me to get it off. maybe 2-3 weeks. USS.

  23. #23
    Senior Member charly17201's Avatar
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    My personal opinion, get the better quality bike you can afford. I got an ActionBent Jetstream II about 18 months ago. Yes, I've had to upgrade some items - but I knew I'd have to going in since I was buying a 'starter' bike. Tires, shifter and brake cables, other smaller items. Pedals were replaced as I put it together.

    Today I had to replace the cassette as the teeth were too worn for proper shifting any more. It is a used cassette off my old Trek while I'm still looking at getting a 10-speed set up. Unfortunately, I can't find my chain tool so I have to stop on the way home and pick one up tomorrow - old chain for one more day.

    As long as you are reasonably competent in working on your bike, I don't see any problem with the ActionBent if it is your choice. Hmm.... last time I used my missing chain tool was about a week after I started riding the bent - problem chain.

    Of course, with the used Rans, you may also have to be ready to do repairs, tweaks, etc. But everything I've read on them they are better made that the ActionBent.

    Good hunting.
    Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm.

    In response to bicycling being so dangerous: "We could all died today from any number of accidents. I'm not going to stop living to keep from dying." The Northern Tier by Lief Carlsen

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