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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 09-21-09, 10:17 PM   #1
brad3104
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Looking to upgrade sometime soon. Advice please?

Well My Vision introduced me to the world of bents this year and I have really enjoyed riding it. The USS was nice on the trails but a bit of a pain around town. Over several months of owning the bike i put several hundred miles on it. Just yesterday I did a 30 mile ride and my friend kept complaining about wrist and butt pain and wanting to stop for breaks. I just wanted to keep riding more and more

Well i think its time for me to upgrade. First let me say that I would like to purchase a NEW bike this time from a company with a good warranty and customer service. I want something a bit faster than my R50 was. This new bent will be my commuter and weekend rider. I will eventually pick up a beater DF bike for the rain/taking on buses. I would like the bike to be a SWB and have above seat sterring this time. I'm thinking about Bacchetta giro 20, 26, or strada or maybe something from Rans. I'm open to suggestions of course but also wondering between these 2 companies which has a better reputation and customer service? I noticed there is a thread on this page about the failures of a Rans bike...and watching is closely to see how the guys bike is handled.
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Old 09-22-09, 08:13 AM   #2
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Why is the USS a pain around town?
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Old 09-22-09, 08:15 AM   #3
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You should add Volae to that short list. Hostel Shoppe provides very good service to customers who can not make it to their shop.

Probably equally important is do you have a local bike shop that carries quality recumbents?
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Old 09-22-09, 03:23 PM   #4
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USS is a pain in town cuz i live in a jam packed city and its a little harder to get around tight spots and stuff than OSS would be. OSS would also be easier to drag in and out of my office at work and the house.

And Like i said im open to suggestions on brands i just heard rans and bacchetta have lifetime warranties and of course are higher end than vision....and still in business. There are only 2 bacchetta dealers in my area of san jose CA: Zach of course....and a guy called the bike doctor that does mobile repair but happens to only carry bacchettas.

I think there might be 1 or 2 more recumbent shops in my area...but are maybe 1 hour away or so. Not too sure.
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Old 09-22-09, 04:30 PM   #5
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I posted a similar message to yours a couple of months ago on BROL. I bought a new Bacchetta Strada. I've got about 1000 miles on it now. Love it. The dual 26 Giro with the bigger tires sounds good. If I were doing more in town rides I might would have gotten a Giro. I love the speed of the skinny tires on the Strada.
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Old 09-22-09, 05:32 PM   #6
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Thats great to hear how is the seat clamp on those bikes? does it slip at all? and i havent been on a dual 26 yet is the height a problem stopping in town and stuff? im average height i guess at 6 feet tall so hopefully it wont be a problem
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Old 09-23-09, 09:36 AM   #7
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From my point of view your list, with the addition of Volae, is a good one. With your riding experience you are in an excellent position to begin some nice long test rides so the bike can choose you.
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Old 09-23-09, 10:24 AM   #8
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USS is a pain in town cuz i live in a jam packed city and its a little harder to get around tight spots and stuff than OSS would be. OSS would also be easier to drag in and out of my office at work and the house.
Okay, that is a good reason. As much as I prefer USS for control, my OSS low racer is easier to walk with because I can hang on to the steering without stooping too much. As for tight spots, can I guess that you actually mean narrow gaps, like gates and hallways? If so, not all USS is as wide as the bars for Visions and HP Velos. My USS tilting trike has bars that are about 20" wide, less than my MTB.

:)ensen.
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Old 09-23-09, 11:01 AM   #9
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Thats great to hear how is the seat clamp on those bikes? does it slip at all? and i havent been on a dual 26 yet is the height a problem stopping in town and stuff? im average height i guess at 6 feet tall so hopefully it wont be a problem
The seat clamp doesn't slide if you tighten it correctly. Stopping in town is a little tricky at first, moreso if you use clipless pedals. My other bent is an Actionbent 700/20". It's not really any easier to stop and start. The big advantage with the Bacchetta is that it tracks straight as an arrow once you get rolling. The key to stopping and starting for me is to make sure that I get in a low enough gear before stopping.
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Old 09-23-09, 03:11 PM   #10
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Thanks to everyone for all the help so far. I have another question about these bikes. Ive heard that on the Bacchetta the chain rubs against itself a quite a bit. Is this true? and if so is a different ideler needed? Also i noticed the volae has a max weight limit of 250. I was hoping to do some light touring and wondering if this is a problem. At the moment im leaning towards the giro26 or strada. Volae seems ok but i just havent heard much from people that ride them.

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Old 09-24-09, 11:16 AM   #11
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The chain does not rub against itself on my Strada. The idler works fine. Some folks say upgrading to inline skate ceramic wheel bearings is a good upgrade. Teracycle makes a replacement idler as well, but it's $90. Not neccessary in my opinion.
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Old 09-24-09, 05:21 PM   #12
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Bay Trail Trikes in Albany carries the Ice brand, and they have SWB over OSS. They have supposedly come out recently with a "B3", which has a 26" rear wheel and a 20" front wheel.

I don't think there's a local dealer, but Lightning has good SWB bikes.

Don't forget Easy Racers in Watsonville. They are taking orders on the new Aptera. There's a review of that bike on Bentrideronline.
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Old 09-24-09, 05:23 PM   #13
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Cool thanks my last question about the strada is it appears to only come in euromesh seats according to the site. And the racks on the site say they only fit with the recurve seats. Is this true? and if so is there any way to put a rear rack on a strada?

edit: lighting bikes seems nice. I tried calling a small place next to where i live in campbell CA called Silca cycles, that was listed on lightings site. Left a message.

Also i would like the bike to be under $2k out the door.

edit: #2 WOW Silva Cycles is a small private shop in Campbell that sells Lightning Bikes. He Has a Phantom in stock so im going to go test ride that Sunday. Seems like a very nice guy also.

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Old 09-24-09, 08:19 PM   #14
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Both Zach in Alameda and Eric, the Bike Doctor, are good resources. Zach has all the major models of Rans and B's. (also some others) and will let you test ride out of his shop for $25/hr by appointment only. The $'s will be credited towards you purchase if you buy from him. I think this is a good deal because nowhere else in the Bay Area was I able to find such a good selection of premium bikes with as knowledgeable an expert. I think that Zach must be the Bay Area expert by a substantial margin.

The Bike Doctor is also very good and as you say deals with B's. However, he will allow test rides for up to a week. He is an enthusiastic Corsa rider, an experienced mechanic, and a great guy to talk to about riding 'bents in the coastal range between the South Bay and Santa Cruz. He also does house calls in the San Jose area (not sure his exact range) which can be handy.

There are other shops around (I am in the Livermore Valley just east of you) but, although they are the very best of lbs's for uprights, they know squawt about recumbents.

I would think that the B. Giro 26 ATT would be one to look at for under $2k. I almost got one, then a pristine B. Ti Aero came up on Crag's List and well..Just couldn't resist.

If you find other good resources in the Bay Area for 'bents please let us know. They are as scarce as hens' teeth.
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Old 09-25-09, 06:46 AM   #15
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Rans

Don't dismiss Rans from your list so easily! They are very customer oriented and stand behind their products. We have 7 Rans bikes in our family and all have been excellent. The Rans seat is the most comfortable one I have ever used, but that is a matter of how it fits me, YMMV. The best thing you can do is try every recumbent you can get your hands on. Don't dismiss any without giving them a try. Try a LWB, SWB, trikes, and then narrow your choices down and try them again. There have been several times where I thought, or was told, a bike would be perfect for me only to realize it just wasn't right. I have even tried really expensive bikes only to find that a cheaper one felt better. Have fun, shopping for recumbents is a ball and pretty much what I am always doing!
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Old 09-25-09, 05:27 PM   #16
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I'm sure Rans is great but i just cant get myself to like the way they look. I'm greatly leaning towards the Lighting Phatom as i love the basic looks with the drop handle bars with bar end shifters. Hopefully the test ride goes well Sunday.
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Old 09-26-09, 09:13 AM   #17
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If you don't like the Lighting Phatomafter your test ride, reconsider the Bacchettas. I have both a Rans and a Bacchetta. Rans customer service may be good, Bacchetta is the best I've ever had with any product, period.
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Old 09-26-09, 09:39 AM   #18
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I'm sure Rans is great but i just cant get myself to like the way they look. I'm greatly leaning towards the Lighting Phatom as i love the basic looks with the drop handle bars with bar end shifters. Hopefully the test ride goes well Sunday.
Nothing at all against the Lightning, but I suggest you completely ignore looks until after a thorough test ride. I've found that after a few miles a bike's appearance magically begins to change. It's sort of like dating.
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Old 09-26-09, 05:00 PM   #19
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Or marriage. So.....................be careful.
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Old 09-28-09, 09:16 AM   #20
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Brad I see you have taken this quest to bentrideronline and the Bacchetta forum as well.
I bought my Strada new 7/7/09 direct from Bacchetta. I got it fully assembled in 2 days.
I basically did not ride at all for several years before I got it. I never test rode one. I do have an Actionbent Roadrunner that I got about 5 years ago. It probably has less than 3000 miles on it, all put on the first couple of years I had it.
In the past two months I have dropped 20 lbs. and in the last two weeks I topped 1000 miles of riding. I am starting to work on speed. I'm getting there. One of the great things about recumbents is the aero advantage you get at about 20 mph, and the way that they don't slow down when you first stop pedaling, at least my Strada doesn't that is. I ride a couple of weekend rides with the local bike club. It's a paceline, but never gets much above 20mph. I watch the roadies pounding on their big chainring at low cadence as I spin at 80-90 rpm on the middle ring. Wanna go fast on a recumbent? Spin! I really sucked at hills till I learned that. When I see cadence drop to 80, I downshift.

To sum it up, every ride I do on the Strada I like it even more. I got it to force myself to get in shape. It's working. My new goal is another 20 lbs. of weight loss. When and if I get there, I'm going to get one of the used TI Aeros that folks are dumping when they get CA Aeros.

Whatever ride you end up with, just ride it. You will love any of the ones you are looking at once you get some miles on it and get comfortable with it's handling.

Last edited by noahvale; 09-28-09 at 09:18 AM. Reason: I can't spell...
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