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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 09-13-09, 12:14 PM   #1
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which recumbent configuration bike is best?

Hello, i would like to make a recumbent bicycle because i like cycling, but standard bikes area so uncomfortable.

The bike i want is for all uses,off road and paved road

So, i would like to know which recumbent bike is best:

a-Rear wheel drive or Front wheel drive like Cruzbike
b-The crankset behind (like some RANS) or in front of the front wheel.

Cruzbike says that the fwd configuration easies the task of hill climbing. Is that true? What about wheel slippery on dirt ways?.

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Old 09-13-09, 02:00 PM   #2
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FWD configurations are the least favorable on steep hills, actually - you get wheel slippage. I expect the same would be true of gravel.

I couldn't say for sure, but I should think a bike e stle or a LWB style would work best.
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Old 09-13-09, 03:51 PM   #3
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A Cruzbike with 2 large wheels and upright position may be a good candidate for a 'bent that will see off-road use. However like aikigreg I would think front wheel drive could pose a problem on the really steep hills since as you go up you will be unweighting the front wheel. Cruzbikes have been reported to be good climbers but I think it has more to do with the upright seat and the fact that you can use your arms in sort of a pumping motion because of the moving bottom bracket. Disclaimer: All of this is speculation on my part and comes just from what I've read of others experiences on the web.

Another candidate for your consideration may be the Lightfoot Ranger. Its made for your requirements.
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Old 09-13-09, 05:46 PM   #4
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Question: Why do you want to take a recumbent off road? It my experience recumbents don't work too well as off road bikes.
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Old 09-13-09, 06:36 PM   #5
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Thanks for your answers.
Jay D asked to me: "Why do you want to take a recumbent off road? "
Well, the answer is: because when i go out cycling, i take both type of roadsaved and unpaved, and i read that recumbents are good on paved roads because the more aerodynamic position.
Also generally when i go out for several hours on bike, i get pain on my wrists and bum because of the driving position of the standard bike i have.

So now, i am evaluating bike models in order to build mine, because here in Peru it is hard to find recumbents for sale.

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Old 09-15-09, 10:42 AM   #6
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Maybe be more precise in your use of the word 'off road'. If you mean dirt or paved roads in reasonable condition, then most recumbents should be OK, if not ideal.

Probably the best thing to do is to test ride as many styles of recumbents as possible. Tons of configurations, and IMHO even cycles of a similar style are more different to each other that the typical DF

I have a LWB SUN Sport AX that served as a starter 'bent. Now I'm on a Trice trike (tadpole).
Even trikes come in a number of configurations: tadpole, delta (2 front wheels vs 2 rear wheels), front (mostly) or rear steering, suspended (rear only or all round) or not, direct vs indirect steering and so on.
Then you get into stuff like seat angles, weight, gearing (internal or external) and the rest.

One issue I've noticed with my Trice is that rear wheel traction going up steep dirt roads can be a problem, as most bodyweight is over the front wheel, as with most tadpoles. I haven't really looked into it, but you could have the same issue on a 2-wheel SWB.

OTOH, I've had no traction problems with my Sun LWB, where most weight is on the back wheel. Then again, the front wheel feels somewhat vague on dirt, as it is way out there, and doesn't carry a lot of weight.

Then you get the issue of being able to jump or at least use your legs on bumps: on most recumbents this is not possible, so you probably need to consider suspension or at least seat design.

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Old 09-15-09, 12:41 PM   #7
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which recumbent configuration bike is best?
The one you will ride. Test, test, and test!
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Old 09-15-09, 01:02 PM   #8
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If you want to ride dirt trails you may want to check out a crank-forward design like the RANS Dynamik Trail.

BentriderOnline has a home builders' forum that may be useful in building your own ride and getting the right balance of road and off road capabilities.

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Old 09-19-09, 10:05 AM   #9
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The greater the angle of the steering axis off vertical, toward the seat, the less stable the bike
is on gravel, sand or mud. Standard DF frame bikes have angles in the 15-20 D range and are as
stable as you can get for a two wheeler on sand/gravel/mud. By stability I refer only to the tendency
of the front wheel to slide out when turned when the bike is in motion. Higher angle steering
axes like the blue Cruz bike pictured are much more likely to slide out in turns off road in sandy,
gravely or wet mud conditions.
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