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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 11-21-09, 05:00 PM   #1
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Hours away from picking up a recumbent

Hi everyone,

Looks like I am going to do my final test ride tomorrow and unless something screwy happens, I am going to pick up a used Haluzak -- I think it is called the Haluzak Hybrid -- from a LBS. I read some old posts that complained about the seat breaking, but this looks like a model with a reinforced seat judging from the extra braces. This is my first recumbent. I finally took the plunge when I injured the soft tissue between my left shoulder and neck. I'm basically looking for a recumbent all-rounder that I can use for sporty rides as well as commuting, pulling the babies in the trailer, and so on.

26"/20" USS SWB recumbent with Shimano 105 road triple gearing with bar end shifters. Although it appears that the wheelbase is a long short-wheelbase recumbent. That is, it seems a few inches longer than the other bikes. The overall condition seems to be fine; there are a few scratches and the cables appear frayed past the clamps. The bike was somewhat dirty during my test ride with mud on the under the main body. I get a bit of heel strike on the front wheel during slow turns; although after a while of test riding I managed to avoid most heel strikes by simply timing my pedal stroke. Although it still needs to be adjusted for my height a bit, the ride was very comfortable with the USS. It also seemed relatively light for a steel bike.

Two annoying things. One, there is no mount for a rear fender at the top of the rear stays. Two, I can't see a way of mounting a kick stand. But it does come with a simple Blackburn rear rack. I think that the gearing won't be low enough for a spinner like myself, but that isn't too hard to change. With the bar-ends, I should be able to get away with changing the granny for a lower gear without affecting the shifting much. Overall, for the price, it is probably the most reasonable way for me to introduce myself to recumbents.

I see that some people mount lights and such on the mount for the front derailer. But where do people mount stuff like a cycle computer or an air horn on an USS bike?

Any general comments or hints for a soon-to-be newbie?

Thanks.
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Old 11-21-09, 05:39 PM   #2
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I'm not familiar with the Haluzak, but if the seat is fairly laid back and doesn't have holes in it then a stiff tailbag like this can replace both rear fender and rear rack:

True you probably can't hold quite as much weight as a rear rack, but you don't want too much weight that high up anyway. Also, true that you can't attach panniers to it, but a midship rack gives better weight distribution for panniers on a recumbent anyway.

I've seen people mount cycle computers on the top of the front derailleur post (and lights on the body of the post) and I can't imagine you'll have much difficulty figuring out where to mount an air horn.

As far as general comments all I can recommend is to try as many styles of recumbents as you can before you buy. You're fortunate in that there are a lot of recumbents riders and recumbent shops in your general area. After trying a trike, a 26/20 swb, a lwb, and a highracer I ended up with the highracer. IMO, the other formats unnecessarily dispose of many of the better qualities of uprights; For example, I think having two different wheel sizes leads to wonky handling (as you know I love small wheeled bikes, so it's not that I'm not used to small wheels, just the fact that the wheel sizes are different). If price is a major consideration then you're also likely to find that highracers are cheaper.

Last edited by chucky; 11-21-09 at 05:45 PM.
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Old 11-21-09, 07:41 PM   #3
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Hostel Shoppe might have the mount you're looking for up front. Someone on Bentrideronline used the rear rack to mount his rear fender. There might be a mounting hole you can use for the front bottom edge of the fender, then he mounted it under the rack with a piece of copper plumber's tape. I'll try to find the picture for you.
This is the mount he used under the rack. http://ecom1.planetbike.com/7026_2.html
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Old 11-21-09, 11:24 PM   #4
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IMO, the other formats unnecessarily dispose of many of the better qualities of uprights; For example, I think having two different wheel sizes leads to wonky handling (as you know I love small wheeled bikes, so it's not that I'm not used to small wheels, just the fact that the wheel sizes are different).
Mismatched wheel sizes, in-and-of-them-selfs, don't lead to 'wonky' handling. Poor execution of rider ergonomics, wheel base, weight distribution, steering geometry, tire type and a host of other design issues, do however. Designs such as the Tour Easy, RANS 20/26 Stratus and SWB V-Rex, Velokraft Nocom, Barcroft and many other notable 'bents wear 'mismatched' wheel sizes and are highly regarded by many owners - myself included.
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Old 11-21-09, 11:53 PM   #5
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WOW! That's exciting that you're getting a 26/20 LWB with USS. I ride a homebuilt 27/20 with USS, so I know what thrills and many hours of comfortable riding you are in for.

You can just attach the fender with plastic zip ties. Put one on each side, and increase the tension in each one until the fender is centered on the wheel. No biggie.
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Old 11-22-09, 08:18 AM   #6
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Mismatched wheel sizes, in-and-of-them-selfs, don't lead to 'wonky' handling. Poor execution of rider ergonomics, wheel base, weight distribution, steering geometry, tire type and a host of other design issues, do however. Designs such as the Tour Easy, RANS 20/26 Stratus and SWB V-Rex, Velokraft Nocom, Barcroft and many other notable 'bents wear 'mismatched' wheel sizes and are highly regarded by many owners - myself included.
I've ridden a Tour Easy and a P-38 (and I mean a real P-38, not a Thunderbird or other cheapo model). I had difficulty riding them, but figured I just needed to get used to riding 'bents. Then I rode a Bacchetta and realized that 'bents don't need to have a learning curve.

I stand by my claim that mismatched wheel sizes lead to wonky handling. Remember that on a bicycle the rear tire gets dragged around by the front. It makes sense that things will behave differently if they two are turning at different rates. I can't explain it, but trying picturing the way the rear tire scrubs.
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Old 11-22-09, 08:26 AM   #7
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IH, you are lucky. Mine won't be out of the shop until Tuesday. General tuneup & cleaning, and replacement of rear rim. The seller didn't admit it, but forensic evidence suggests that the bike came partially undone from a rear rack and dragged the rear wheel enough to do some artistic grinding on the rim lip. No other visible damage apart from a couple of scratches in the paint (probably from the same incident). It did help me drop the price, though.
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Old 11-22-09, 08:37 AM   #8
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i picked up a Burley Django on craigslist in DC about 3 weeks ago... the owner had it 3 years and if it had been ridden 50 miles (total) that was a lot! It was basically NEW. I have now ridden it a few times, including commuting (50 miles round trip) to work. I am still on the learning curve, given my main ride prior to this was a fixed-gear bike (no shifting), and on the recumbent I am shifting all the time. Takes some getting used to... My goal at this point is that this bike will become my commuter, and if I don't get clearance from my doc to go back to upright bikes, i will get a high racer in the spring for weekend rides.

I think the comments about different size wheels are tright-on. I thought it was just me bieng a little wobbly, but there is something to be said for the different sized wheels. Never-the-less, i am getting used to it, and it is actually enjoyable. I tend to forget to shift until half-way up a hill, so there is some re-learning to be done, but it is a fun ride.

Enjoy!

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Old 11-22-09, 10:51 AM   #9
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Haluzak Hybrid Race, from the BicycleMan web site. Since their picture shows a kickstand, I suggest you contact them.



Bill Haluzak stopped making his bikes several years ago, from what I've heard. The last I heard, he was still around, though, and honoring warranty work - mostly those aluminum seat frames. Haluzaks are rare in Michigan. They never seemed to have become popular away from the East Coast.
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Old 11-22-09, 04:00 PM   #10
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RE: Kickstand ... thanks for the pointer to the BicycleMan website. It looks like the same bike. Here is the add from Bikes at Vienna.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/43898776@N00/3951027424/

John Bruno lowered the price to $900. Apparently, the bike has very few miles on it too. According to John, it still had the original chain and cassette with only .5 stretch on the Park Tool chain checker. I shop at Bikes at Vienna since they have tires/tubes for small wheels. Given that I know little about recumbents, I thought that it made sense to pick up the bike from a LBS with a good reputation. Interestingly, the cassette is an 11-32 but it has a road derailer on it.

I did a quick 40 miles on the bike today for a test ride. Smooth ride; although it is quick steering bike. So I still tend to wander a bit laterally while riding. At the moment, I have a "little girl in the oven" with mommy. Time is a bit short, so I asked the shop to do a thorough tune up and I will pick the bike up tomorrow. I have long Thanksgiving weekend off, so I am looking forward to putting on a few miles and getting used to the bike. Today, at the first intersection, I came to a stop but was in the typical gear for my commuter. Given that it was a bit upslope, it ended up being a mistake. I learned afterwards to go to a much lower gear when coming to an unfamiliar intersection.

I'll keep my eyes open for a long cage rear derailer. I don't care for the tires. I have a 26 tooth chainring in the garage. The tips on fenders are helpful. But I'll wiat a while for that too.
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Old 11-22-09, 05:17 PM   #11
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As far as mounting a light and computer look at my post in "Total Geekiness" http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...=1#post8950018 #1777. You'll see my light set up mounted on a "T" bar I got from bike Nashbar.

My airhorn (AirZounds) is mounted on the right handlebar and I snaked/wrapped the air bottle over and zip-tied it to the left side of the handlebar (I have a SWB USS 20/26 also). I did it at first as a trial and all is working great with it like that.

I got my kickstand at my (not so local) LBS. It is a heavier duty than 'normal' and a universal mount that clamps on near the dropout. I can't read the name on it tonight, but will try again in the daylight. It works great!
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Old 11-22-09, 05:21 PM   #12
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I just bought a Topeak Bar Extender from Amazon for my new Sigma computer, as well as an AirZounds. Will be doing installs Thanksgiving weekend. Photos on completion.
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Old 11-22-09, 06:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buelito View Post
i picked up a Burley Django on craigslist in DC about 3 weeks ago... the owner had it 3 years and if it had been ridden 50 miles (total) that was a lot! It was basically NEW. I have now ridden it a few times, including commuting (50 miles round trip) to work. I am still on the learning curve, given my main ride prior to this was a fixed-gear bike (no shifting), and on the recumbent I am shifting all the time. Takes some getting used to... My goal at this point is that this bike will become my commuter, and if I don't get clearance from my doc to go back to upright bikes, i will get a high racer in the spring for weekend rides.

I think the comments about different size wheels are tright-on. I thought it was just me bieng a little wobbly, but there is something to be said for the different sized wheels. Never-the-less, i am getting used to it, and it is actually enjoyable. I tend to forget to shift until half-way up a hill, so there is some re-learning to be done, but it is a fun ride.

Enjoy!

train safe-
I actually rode the WOD through Reston today. I plan on doing some spinning Thanksgiving weekend, hopefully in time to work out the bugs for a commute the following week.
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Old 11-22-09, 06:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
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As far as mounting a light and computer look at my post in "Total Geekiness" http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...=1#post8950018 #1777. You'll see my light set up mounted on a "T" bar I got from bike Nashbar.

My airhorn (AirZounds) is mounted on the right handlebar and I snaked/wrapped the air bottle over and zip-tied it to the left side of the handlebar (I have a SWB USS 20/26 also). I did it at first as a trial and all is working great with it like that.

I got my kickstand at my (not so local) LBS. It is a heavier duty than 'normal' and a universal mount that clamps on near the dropout. I can't read the name on it tonight, but will try again in the daylight. It works great!
Cool. I'm surprised that sticking the t-bar + light doesn't interfere with the crank. I guess that is why you have the light in the center.

I thought about mounting the air zound -- that is the air horn that I have -- on the USS bar. Doesn't it get close to the ground?

Looking forward to the kickstand reference. Looks like tomorrow I will be on the phone for a bit!
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Old 11-22-09, 06:45 PM   #15
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. . . I stand by my claim that mismatched wheel sizes lead to wonky handling. Remember that on a bicycle the rear tire gets dragged around by the front. It makes sense that things will behave differently if they two are turning at different rates. I can't explain it, but trying picturing the way the rear tire scrubs.
How do you explain the excellent handling of the Volae Century and other fine bikes? Might you be overgeneralizing from a few unhappy experiences?
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Old 11-23-09, 03:17 AM   #16
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I stand by my claim that mismatched wheel sizes lead to wonky handling.
If you really wanna know what 'wonky' feels like, spend 20 years on 'bents, then, out-of-the-blue, take a brief spin on your buddy's asshatchet.
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Old 11-23-09, 04:48 AM   #17
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[QUOTE=invisiblehand;10064512] Cool. I'm surprised that sticking the t-bar + light doesn't interfere with the crank. I guess that is why you have the light in the center.

I had about a 1/2 inch clearance on each side between the bar end and the crank arm. I'll try and do a few pics this evening showing the horn and kickstand.
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Old 11-23-09, 08:37 AM   #18
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If you really wanna know what 'wonky' feels like, spend 20 years on 'bents, then, out-of-the-blue, take a brief spin on your buddy's asshatchet.
Should I assume that an asshatchet is an upright? That is hysterical.
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Old 11-23-09, 07:34 PM   #19
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I actually rode the WOD through Reston today. I plan on doing some spinning Thanksgiving weekend, hopefully in time to work out the bugs for a commute the following week.
I will be commuting in on Wednesday (Reston to DC)--and will get to ride home during the day, because we are getting out at 1 pm... then hopefully I will ride on Thursday morning, prior to Thanksgiving dinner-- I'd rather ride than watch football... Keep an eye out for me, I ride the green Django...

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Old 11-24-09, 12:09 PM   #20
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If you really wanna know what 'wonky' feels like, spend 20 years on 'bents, then, out-of-the-blue, take a brief spin on your buddy's asshatchet.
I believe it. Uprights definitely have a "walking on stilts" kind feel to them...especially when they have small wheels as all my uprights do.



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How do you explain the excellent handling of the Volae Century and other fine bikes? Might you be overgeneralizing from a few unhappy experiences?
Maybe, but I thought the Tour Easy and P-38 were the benchmarks for mismatched wheel bents and, frankly, I like being laid back too much to bother trying any more mismatched wheel bents. A few weeks ago I dropped off and picked up a friend at the airport in their car (I'm car free) and the whole time I wondered, "why do all cars have this upright seat position when they could be designed for a comfortable laid back position like a my recumbent?". I'm still wondering. I mean, would you rather sit in an office chair or a lazy boy?

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Old 11-24-09, 12:12 PM   #21
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I can't read the name on it tonight, but will try again in the daylight. It works great!
Okay, sorry for the delay but it was well after dark when I got home yesterday.

Here are some pics of my Airzounds and the kickstand (it is a Greenfield).



Is my bike dirty - heck yeah. Live with it. I commute by bike every day and last evening it was raining like @#$%$%^& on the way home. It'll get cleaned after I get back from the grocery store today. I've driven my car about 10 times since the first of June and put gas in once since then - I'm happy.

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Old 11-24-09, 12:13 PM   #22
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Pics don't work...
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Old 11-24-09, 04:25 PM   #23
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Pics don't work...
Me??? They work fine on my browser...... is it me or u??? Someone else check them please.
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Old 11-24-09, 06:32 PM   #24
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I am running Firefox 3.5.5 and I get the mesage

Invalid Attachment specified. If you followed a valid link, please notify the administrator

Looking for the u-lock videos? Visit http://www.bikeforums.net/video/.
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Old 11-24-09, 10:47 PM   #25
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Me??? They work fine on my browser...... is it me or u??? Someone else check them please.
I get the invalid attachment error as well.

I'm running Safari.
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