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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 11-24-09, 07:40 PM   #1
Sayre Kulp 
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Recumbents as Commuters

I apologize if this has been asked before. I'm new here and I was wondering if anyone rides their trikes around town to do light shopping, commute to work, etc. If you do, where do you park and how do you make sure it's secure? I was thinking about doing all these things, but I would be paranoid about leaving a bike that costs as much as some used cars anywhere unguarded. Thoughts? Suggestions?
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Old 11-24-09, 09:54 PM   #2
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When I ride to work (once or twice a week spring to fall) I lock my 'bent with a U-lock and cable with padlock that stays at the hospital parking garage.
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Old 11-25-09, 12:10 AM   #3
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I've commuted off and on with various recumbents over the years, and never had a problem with a generic U-lock. I'm getting my Gold Rush in shape for winter commuting (generator hub, finally!) and I'm going to use a security skewer because the wheel's extra-expensive. Covered parking is a good idea- sitting on a soaking seat has very little to recommend it.
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Old 11-25-09, 08:14 AM   #4
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I think it depends on where you live and ride. Where I live and ride (on the outer fringe of Indianapolis) there isn't too much theft or vandalism for bikes. I commute daily year round, and also run errands like libary, post office, hardware store, etc., I just take a really long cable and weave it through all the bits and secure to something solid, like a bike rack or lamp post. Toughest item is if you want to also lock up your panniers instead of taking in. I view this kind of lock-up as a deterrent to the casual thief, not much will stop somebody who's been shadowing you with intent to take. If planned theft is your concern, then multiple U-locks so that they have to take time to break more than one. I'm not on a trike, but I expect the concept is the same. Something like a long cable should be OK in Reading PA (I lived in LancCo 1998-2004), your trike should be safe with almost any kind of lock, what you'll find instead is that small bits periodically disappear or are damaged (mirrors, computers, lights, fenders, etc.) due to the random person who is just mean, sort of like having your car keyed down the side. I also find lots of people think its perfectly OK to climb into your bike to see what the seat feels like, or to have their small children run your shifters and brake levers for several minutes while they do something else. When in doubt, take it inside with you and leave at customer service with a minimal lock.
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Old 11-25-09, 03:52 PM   #5
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I only have one bike and it's a recumbent I use mainly for commuting. So yes, my commuter bike is a recumbent because that's what I prefer. I always lock it up with a Krytonite U-Lock and disconnect the Topeak trunk which just takes a few seconds. Sometimes if it's rainning outside I'll cover the seat with a nylon cover which keeps it nice and dry and hopefully prevents people trying to sit on it like the above poster mentioned, but I've yet to have that happen. Over all I feel much safer commuting on a recumbent than on a DF, I notice that people give me much more room as they pass me on the road. Plus to be honest, I really like the all the attention I get when riding it!
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Old 11-25-09, 04:27 PM   #6
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Yes, I remove computer, lights, water bottle, etc. when it is locked up at work. I did keep a small bag of emerg. tools, etc on it for a few months but that finally disappeared. Since then, everything that doesn't require a tool to remove goes inside with me.
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Old 11-25-09, 05:48 PM   #7
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I commute daily by 'bent. I have the fortunate situation where I'm the only one that works the day shift (out of about 200) that rides. I'm inside a fairly secure (gated) parking and the bike rack is right outside the door at the main entrance where the guards are. Plus since I'm one of three bent riders in the town, nobody really knows what to make of it and leaves it alone.

That said, when I go to the grocery store or anywhere else, I just run a plastic covered cable around it and the pole or rack I park at. We have a fairly low crime rate. Interesting part is that where I live - I've had 3 neighbors had DFs stolen this year so far.
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Old 12-13-09, 08:49 PM   #8
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I have commuted with my Rans Stratus recumbant for years, stopped by the stores, especially the "bread store" (Great Harvest Bakery) and have never had a problem. I use a cable lock, not a U-Lock, as I find it easier to lock up my recumbant. A long-wheel base recomubant is a bit intimidating, and probably harder to steal than an upright bike. How would the thief ride it away or transport it? Anyway, in Beaverton, Oregon I've never had that problem, and I have about 11,000 miles of commuting on it.

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Old 12-14-09, 09:59 AM   #9
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I've used a BikeE, Giro26 and a Hurricane Sport to commute and do shopping over the years. Way back with the BIkeE I actually had a bike locker at the train station. Recently I went from the railing in the smoking section to the railing in the underground garage at the new building all of which I leave my U-Lock on since I'mr eally not too concerned about theft. I even forgot my keys one day and zip tied it to the u-lock and felt safe with it there all day.
I also have a masterlock cuff with the links in between, krypto mini and a cable lock I have used. For around the town shopping or going to the gym I'll mostly use the cable lock but when I go with the wife somewhere I'll bring the heavier hardware and find the krypto mini works well with most all bike racks/poles and the tubing on her hurricane sl right behind the front fork or her catrike 700 on the rear triangle. If we can't get the bike right up against something the cuffs work well either to lock her bike to something or to lock the bikes together around something along with the cable.
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Old 12-16-09, 02:00 PM   #10
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I lock mine when I go to the store, but don't bother here at work. I park it in a stairwell that's got a camera pointing at it and that you have to have a cardkey to get into, though. If I were required to park it in the racks, I'd probably go for the U-Lock if I could find one big enough. Otherwise I'd just use the cable lock I carry.

One of my colleagues asked me why I didn't lock the bike in the stairwell. I invited him to hop on and try riding it away. He declined.
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Old 12-16-09, 02:17 PM   #11
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I just park my Baccetta Cafe right next to my desk in my office. Doesn't get any better than that!!
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Old 02-01-10, 12:15 AM   #12
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'Bent commuter

I have a moderately secure cable with padlock I use on my EZ-1, so there's part of my low level of concern I'd still be upset and try to get it back were it stolen though. I have saddlebags that I string the cable through the handles and try not to leave anything pricey in them, though I do leave a trunkbag w/tools and patchkit on when I leave it locked in front of the hospital. I remove my headlights, but leave my cheap rear blinkies on the bike. I'm setting myself up, I know, but I'm counting on the oddity of the bike keeping it from being stolen. Come the day I get a nicer 'bent, I'll upgrade my security device.

As for what I'd do with a trike, that seems a problem. 2 cable locks? Actually, I've wondered how velomobile owners secure their 4 figure purchases when out and about?

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Old 02-01-10, 09:04 AM   #13
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I'd commute on a BEATERBENT and use the pricey one for the joy rides that begin and return to the house. I've always used a LIGHTWEIGHT straight cable with loops on the ends. To toss into the seat pack, it is quickly wound up with the ends laced and connected using a keyless 3-digit combination lock (for simplicity). This keeps the impulse thief stymied. No weight penalty and threads a full 7' thru the wheels, frame and onto a grocery cart or something. A fitted rain cover will do wonders in obscuring the bike.
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Old 02-01-10, 03:35 PM   #14
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I'm lucky. I work in a quiet area and my bent (or DF) is parked completely out of site of passing pedestrians. I haven't had a problem leaving my bike unlocked at work. For errands, I'll either use a cable lock threaded through a wheel and part of the frame to deter the impulse thieves or park it where I can see it from inside the shop. I take the speedo off and panniers if I am using them.

I'm not too worried about my bent being stolen. The number of people who can hop on it and ride away without any practice are few and far between (they generally already have a recumbent or two).
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Old 02-01-10, 03:53 PM   #15
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My bent yes. A trike? I'd be very afraid.
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Old 02-02-10, 10:09 AM   #16
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Although I do not commute, I do ride all over town, and run errends on it. Personally I prefer the bent, as you sit upright and have a 180 degree view which is important in town.
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Old 02-04-10, 02:22 PM   #17
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I got started in bents about 6 years ago. On a lark I decided to ride a mountain bike 18 miles to work. Well that was an eye opener.
sore butt and all. So I firmly convinced if a person choose to ride why not a recumbent either lwb or clwb. Especially for long distances.
But for around town on good roads a swb would be perfect.
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Old 02-04-10, 02:46 PM   #18
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Sayre,
Congrats on you progress toward your health and exercise goals! It takes time so hang in there.
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