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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 09-04-09, 10:08 PM   #1
AdvenJack
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Recommendations Sought

I live in a HILLY area. I like the big seat of bents. I am NOT attracted to those

that have the rider reclined. I want to sit up on a full seat and pedal with my feet

forward enough that the backs of my legs just touch, but don't rub on the big/full

seat. I want an almost vertical seat back that's strong enough to push against for

those HILL CLIMBS. I don't want USS. I ride for pleasure/exercise, no competing or

racing or the like. The basic look and lines of the DAY 6 bikes seem attractive, but

the down stroke puts the feet too low causing the back of the leg to rub on the seat.

In the end I have to overcome the HILLS here. Is front wheel drive better on hills

than rear wheel drive? So please, which bikes match up to what I've described?

Do any bents or semi bents have the ROHLOFF 14 speed internal hub? How does it

compare to the typical 21 speed, 24 speed, 27 speed bikes as far as the range of the

gears? Thank you for your input.

Last edited by AdvenJack; 09-04-09 at 10:24 PM.
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Old 09-05-09, 09:27 AM   #2
gcottay
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Recommendations:
  • Test ride as much as you can and let the bike choose you.
  • Since you can always add an internal hub, skip it until you are in bent riding shape.
  • Choose a SWB because of low speed stability on hills.
  • Off the top, bikes to consider first are P-38, Volae Century with mesh seat, RANS V-Rex, RANS Rocket. Other riders will likely add to the list.
For me, attitude is the big trick for hills. I started out dreading and even trying to avoid them and gained little climbing ability. Simply going up every hill at whatever speed I could muster made all the difference. In the beginning just ride up the monsters as far as you can go, rest a bit, and then either take off again or walk the rest. Consider getting up however you can as a victory.

Depending on you and your hills you may want to add a "granny" ring. That's a pretty simple and inexpensive change.

The really big thing is just getting on a bike you like, riding, enjoying, and repeating.
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Old 09-05-09, 10:27 AM   #3
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Old 09-07-09, 03:20 PM   #4
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Thank you both for your replies. There's so much stuff out there to consider.
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Old 09-07-09, 07:32 PM   #5
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also try

the message boards at bentrideronline.com

It's the biggest, best recumbent message board on the internet. When you go to that site, look at the masthead at the top. See if one of the dealers shown is in your area. If so get there and test and test some more, as a previous poster had mentioned.

Last edited by jeffh129; 09-07-09 at 07:36 PM.
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Old 09-07-09, 07:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdvenJack View Post
I live in a HILLY area. [...]

I want an almost vertical seat back that's strong enough to push against for those HILL CLIMBS.
Be careful! You can really hurt your knees by pushing too hard between pedals and the seat back on long hill climbs.

The not-so-secret secret to recumbent cycling up hills is to spin, spin, spin... Appropriately low gearing and higher cadence pedaling technique are the most important factors.
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Old 09-07-09, 10:39 PM   #7
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+1 on the gearing. A good climber like a p-38 plus a serious rear gear will do wonders.
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Old 09-08-09, 12:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcottay View Post
Recommendations:
  • Test ride as much as you can and let the bike choose you.
  • Since you can always add an internal hub, skip it until you are in bent riding shape.
  • Choose a SWB because of low speed stability on hills.
  • Off the top, bikes to consider first are P-38, Volae Century with mesh seat, RANS V-Rex, RANS Rocket. Other riders will likely add to the list.
For me, attitude is the big trick for hills. I started out dreading and even trying to avoid them and gained little climbing ability. Simply going up every hill at whatever speed I could muster made all the difference. In the beginning just ride up the monsters as far as you can go, rest a bit, and then either take off again or walk the rest. Consider getting up however you can as a victory.

Depending on you and your hills you may want to add a "granny" ring. That's a pretty simple and inexpensive change.

The really big thing is just getting on a bike you like, riding, enjoying, and repeating.
I only have experience with Volae and Easy Racers. I can add a big +1 for Volae as I ride a Volae Tour which is very similiar to a Volae Century only with more modest components. My hills are few and far apart but I have no problem climbing with either of the bikes though I think it is a bit easier with the Volae. Neither of my bikes are equiped with clipless pedals, just platform type...and the seats are very adjustable from almost bolt upright to almost laying on your back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonmein View Post
Be careful! You can really hurt your knees by pushing too hard between pedals and the seat back on long hill climbs.

The not-so-secret secret to recumbent cycling up hills is to spin, spin, spin... Appropriately low gearing and higher cadence pedaling technique are the most important factors.
+1
I find I can climb better on my bents using the method described above than I can on my uorights, and when I reach the top I don't need to stop for a breather.
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Old 09-08-09, 04:58 PM   #9
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I realy appreciate your ideas folks, thank you.
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Old 09-09-09, 11:02 AM   #10
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My raptobike has a Rohloff on it. But it is quite laid back compared to your requests. OTOH I can and do lift my butt and put my shoulders deeply into my hardshell seat for bursts of power.



The range on my Rohloff is basically the same as a 27 speed setup. I go from 20 gear inches to 109 gear inches with my current setup. I climb a miles worth of 16% grade every day on my way home and a few miles of 4-8% grade on the way to work. I still find climbing easier on my hi-racer but my corsa (hi-racer) is a lighter bike and that probably contributes.

You mentioned FWD and an upright seat, you should look at a Cruzbike Silvio, they are very interesting bikes that are often overlooked. I also second the comment that bentrideronline is an excellent source of information and knowledge regarding recumbents.
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Old 09-09-09, 11:41 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdvenJack View Post
I live in a HILLY area. I like the big seat of bents. I am NOT attracted to those

that have the rider reclined. I want to sit up on a full seat and pedal with my feet

forward enough that the backs of my legs just touch, but don't rub on the big/full

seat. I want an almost vertical seat back that's strong enough to push against for

those HILL CLIMBS. I don't want USS. I ride for pleasure/exercise, no competing or

racing or the like. The basic look and lines of the DAY 6 bikes seem attractive, but

the down stroke puts the feet too low causing the back of the leg to rub on the seat.

In the end I have to overcome the HILLS here. Is front wheel drive better on hills

than rear wheel drive? So please, which bikes match up to what I've described?

Do any bents or semi bents have the ROHLOFF 14 speed internal hub? How does it

compare to the typical 21 speed, 24 speed, 27 speed bikes as far as the range of the

gears? Thank you for your input.
wass wrong w/USS? I have it, love it, and would probably never get monkey bars...
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Old 09-09-09, 11:50 AM   #12
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QCOTTAY is right. Ride as many different bikes as you can. Find a local mailing list or board, join a group ride. Ask for opinions, test rides, and dealer recommendations.

And take his advice on the granny gear: 26T or less.

Make sure you trust the handling of the bike you buy. I tried a V-Rex when I first got bent, and it scared me. Too responsive. After ten years of experience, I bought one and love it. I bought mine, for cheap, with less than 200 miles on it, from a guy who never got over his fear of the bike.

And climbing hills is the worst part of riding a 'bent. Descending them is the best.

Also, try to find a used bike, or end-of-season deal. That way you won't lose much if you change your mind and bail, or trade up later.

Last edited by Tackdriver56; 09-09-09 at 11:52 AM. Reason: One more thought...
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Old 09-09-09, 06:51 PM   #13
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wass wrong w/USS? I have it, love it, and would probably never get monkey bars...
Ever tried a 18% garde with it?
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Old 09-09-09, 09:00 PM   #14
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+1 on the idea of test riding multiple styles/models of bents. The trick is to test ride as many different 'bents as you can manage, even if they're too cheap, too expensive, too fast, too reclined, too whatever. The experience base will help you know exactly what you want and why; no matter what you think you want now. When I was looking for my first 'bent, I was sure I wanted a Vision. But after a test ride, I discovered I really didn't like them at all.

BTW, upright seating is not required for hill climbing. I've done a 20%+ grade on my Baron, with the seat set to 22% from horizontal. That's pretty steep and pretty laid back.
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Old 09-11-09, 04:33 AM   #15
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Ever tried a 18% garde with it?
think so, but only about 1 block long. no problems...
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