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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 10-12-04, 11:56 AM   #1
gpsblake
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Question about using a bent for touring

Rode one at the LBS for a test rides, seems pretty cool but probably won't be buying one soon. But did I have question for the future.

I like to tour at times. HOw easy it is to come across parts for a bent? Like tires/tubes/chains etc. Now I know only LBS will carry parts for this but are the sizes standard or if I suffer a major breakdown on the bent while touring, am I going to be stuck in a town for a few days while the LBS has to order parts?

I guess a 2nd question is are the tire sizes on bents standardized? I know on a bike, I can always get a 27/26/700 tube or tire, even at Walmart in a pinch.

Thanks
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Old 10-12-04, 01:29 PM   #2
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Well for chain it's just 9spd or 7/8 speed chian with 3 master links correct. I'm building a Greenspeed trike that will use 406mm (BMX) wheels. That way I can buy inner tubes and tires from Wal-mart if need be. Brake/shifter cables are the same for bent and DF. Bottom brackets, cassette, chainrings, are all standards bicycle parts found anywhere. It's the frame that is odd.
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Old 10-12-04, 05:49 PM   #3
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99% of the parts are standard parts that you can get at any bike shop. The only special parts on many bents may be a chain idler or tube.

I have been using bents for touring for years and have never had a problem getting parts on tour. On one tour I did need to get a bearing for a chain idler, the same bearings found in inline skates. A quick stop at sporting goods store and I was all set. total cost for 16 bearings was $24 and I still have 15 left.
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Old 10-13-04, 10:22 AM   #4
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An exception: Cycle Genius RDX. A nice lwb, but not standardized wheels/tires.
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Old 10-14-04, 07:52 AM   #5
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Some of the LWB bikes like the RANS Stratus make excellent tourers.

'bent Brian
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Old 10-14-04, 09:00 AM   #6
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Rans Stratus is the grand daddy of'em all.
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Old 10-14-04, 09:04 AM   #7
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If you are considering a bent try a trike. No balance issues. You can 1/2mph uphill if you want.
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Old 10-14-04, 12:09 PM   #8
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What about getting tubes/tires for the 16" wheel. Do you order this stuff from the Internet? Or would regular bike stores have it? Fortunately they gave me a spare of each when I bought it.

It looks like besides that tiny tire in front, the seat and the frame, everything else is normal bike parts on my bent bike. The back wheel is 26".
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Old 10-17-04, 10:29 PM   #9
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If you are thinking of touring, think about the Rans Stratus. It is a great recumbant bicycle, and the one I choose over the Easy Rider. I like the older handlebar style, as it is a bit more streamlined than the newer ones, it is easier to mount mirrors on, and easier to walk the bike.

I have been on my Stratus for almost a year, and have well over 1,000 commuting miles on it. It handles very nicely at high speed, and is very stable. I like the long wheel base better than short wheel base recumbants, as I think they are more stable.

Mine is outfitted with a front and back rack, and I attached the front fender to the rack instead of the tube, as the fender fits better this way.

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Old 10-28-04, 05:43 PM   #10
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[QUOTE=John C. Ratliff]If you are thinking of touring, think about the Rans Stratus.

I have been on my Stratus for almost a year, and have well over 1,000 commuting miles on it. It handles very nicely at high speed, and is very stable. I like the long wheel base better than short wheel base .
OK now a question .
What about low speed?
How well does it handle hills or is this more a problem of my balance rather than the bent?
Lastly what about bumpy roads?
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Old 10-28-04, 08:58 PM   #11
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Dude, you need to put the [/quote ] to your post. It makes no sense. Just hit the edit button
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Old 10-28-04, 09:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brucew
Quote:
Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff
If you are thinking of touring, think about the Rans Stratus.

I have been on my Stratus for almost a year, and have well over 1,000 commuting miles on it. It handles very nicely at high speed, and is very stable. I like the long wheel base better than short wheel base .
OK now a question .
What about low speed?
How well does it handle hills or is this more a problem of my balance rather than the bent?
Lastly what about bumpy roads?
Well, I have helped out with the quotes, so maybe funbun can understand your questions now.

What about low speed? Well, it takes some practice. Low speed is really not much problem, but low speed turning is trickier than at greater speeds. The main thing, from another thread, is not to put your inside foot on the ground while turning, as with some recumbants you can get "foot suck." This is really where you run over your foot, and it could cause a lower leg fracture. My Stratus seems to have a frame which is too high to have this happen, but it is possible on some frames.

Hills? Long wheel base recumbants are not too good going up hills. But you can do it. Plan to use the lowest gears, and just keep chugging along. But then the fun begins, on the downhill the LWB recumbant is wonderful.

Bumpy roads? The Rans Stratus, and other LWB recumbants, soak up bumps in the design of their frame. You can feel them, but not like a road bike. Some recumbants have shocks built in too. I hit a rut that may have thrown me from a diamand frame, and just kept going without problems. So this is not much of a concern.

John
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Old 10-29-04, 05:30 PM   #13
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Thanks Funbun I shall endeavor to correct my ways.
Thanks John for your info.
I've ridden the Burley Koosah for a week of rent and come to the conclusion that the seat is not adequate for my requirements, I think I'll try the Stratus out .
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Old 10-29-04, 06:08 PM   #14
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remember though you can get a better seat for the burley they are about 100.00 though.
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Old 11-15-04, 08:59 PM   #15
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I have 2 recumbents that I've used to tour with since 1994. The old Haluzak was OK for short 1 week tours, couldn't haul much gear as it very unstable at speed. My other bent , Challenge Distance was also a SWB but had two large wheels (26"). It is much heavier bike (17kg unloaded) but can handle 35kg of gear plus me. I've done the Skyline Trail in Virginia over 1000 km, did the Gaspe Bay 900km (that was too much for a recumbent, 17-19% grades), did Nova Scotia, New Brunswick,Holland, Denmark and Sweden also on a recumbent. May be going to Ireland next year.The hills do suck on a bent even with real low gears, down hill is great but it lasts such a short time before the next hill.No I won't ever switch back to uprights, like the bents too much.
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Old 11-16-04, 08:50 PM   #16
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What about off road?
I guess I'm thinking more in the way of rough gravel roads. I'd like a bike that can handle the transition between pavement & gravel / pot holes well as a loaded tourer.
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Old 11-19-04, 08:49 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogerinchrist
What about off road?
I guess I'm thinking more in the way of rough gravel roads. I'd like a bike that can handle the transition between pavement & gravel / pot holes well as a loaded tourer.

The Sun EZ Rider is good for gravel trails and soaks up bumps with rear suspenion. The cro-mo model weighs 42 pounds which many would consider heavy for touring. Alumnum is 36 lb. Also with 20 inch tires and 104 gear inch top gear it's more for knocking around town that cross-country touring.

The Cambie Recumboni is a well built Canadian tourer fully equipped with fenders, rack, and fairing. It sells for CAN$2595. This price is inching up in US$ as the Canadian dollar is increasing value against American currency and Cambie is loosing some of its price advantage.
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Old 11-28-04, 10:36 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogerinchrist
What about off road?
I guess I'm thinking more in the way of rough gravel roads. I'd like a bike that can handle the transition between pavement & gravel / pot holes well as a loaded tourer.
I just put Schwable Marathon Plus 1.75" tires on my Rans Stratus and it goes over gravel off the edge of the road like a mountain bike. I'm taking it to India for 2 months and several thousand K's of touring next month.

Tim G.
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Old 11-28-04, 11:50 AM   #19
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I have had two coast to coast tours on my present recumbent plus spent two months this summer touring Wis and Min, Il, all self contained and have had very little problems finding parts. If you look close, most parts, Derailluers, shifters, wheels ,etc are pretty standard stock in the bike world. only difference is the smaller tires. I have a 26" rear and 20" front on my Short wheel base , underseat steering recumbent and at times it is difficult to find replacement tires for the 20". There are tons of 20" tiers out their in every bike shop but they are mostly the for the fat tire bikes the kids jump with. This is not to say, recumbents do not have much choice. I have had more problems on my old wedgy touring bike, trying to find matching 700's in far away places.
As a standard practice I carry both 26 and 20 spare tiers and tubes. You can have tires (and anything else) shipped overnight from stores almost anywhere on the planet and some of my friends prefer to do this as to carry spares.

It is no bigger concern with the recumbent than any other bike. For comfort on touring, regardless of what you might hear from a "roadie that has never ridden a recumbent", you can not beat them for comfort on the long haul, and you can pedal alot further when you are NOT in pain.

Many times on tours, especially the first 3 weeks, I and many of my friends started moaning about having to get back on our wedgy bikes the next morning and continue the tour, cause body parts were in agony(bums, shoulders, wrists). I know people who have packed up and gone home because of saddle sores from bike seats. The ride stopped being fun for them. I guess I just lucked out, having had more problems with carpel tunnels and slepy hands. Just never happened on a recumbent. Many times I was ready to keep riding after 80-100 mile day while others were looking for pillows after first 35 miles.

All recumbents are not alike, do your research and make sure you ride, at length, each and everyone you can before you buy. It should fit you like a glove and balance up easily when you get on it and feel like your puppy dog is with you.

Choices are many. Debates go on about, Under/Over Steering, long or short wheel base, where the pedals should be. Personal choices on most part. My preference is short wheelbase(40-45) 45 being what I consider perfect. Underseat steering for many reasons and for ergonomics and efficiency the center of the pedal crank being even with the top of your hip. Oh and after last summers ride and a chance to try them over a three day period, Trikes are wicked good machines and you should consider them too, more money out of the wallet, but like everything else, there are advantages (cornering at full speed and still cranking the pedals hard is one of them!)

ANd, no such thing as perfect bike, but we BENT riders are getting pretty close! Owning more than one bike comes close to perfect!
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Old 11-30-04, 03:42 PM   #20
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