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  1. #1
    Ellensburg, WA scozim's Avatar
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    Recumbent for an older rider

    Posting for my father who is 71 yo and looking to buy a recumbent. He had an accident on his road bike in October that resulted in some bone fractures. In talking with him yesterday he's excited about using a recumbent to continue his fitness and riding. However, this would be his first foray into this realm of cycling after 30 yrs or more on road bikes.

    What are some things he should know about bents? I know there are long wheelbase and short wheelbase models, models with the pedals in front of the rear wheel, models with the same size wheels and models with different size wheels - what are the benefits of each. Finally, who are some of the good manufacturers he should look at either new or even on the used market.

    Thanks in advance for the information.
    1984 Gitane Sprint; 1984 Gitane Tour de France;1982 Trek 610; 1980's Univega Supra Sport; 1975 Teledyne Titan;1984 Peugeot PSV10N; 1968 Peugeot PL8; ;1982 Nishiki Marina 12; 1977 Peugeot PX-10; 1987 Trek 800 Antelope (touring/commuting set up); 1981 Trek 510; 1993 or 1994 Scott Comp Racing mtb; 1996 Klein Pulse II mtb; 1980's Peugeot Limestone hybrid;

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  2. #2
    el padre
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    I would consider the long wheel base simply cause they are usually lower or better said easier to put your feet down when you stop. I see a long wheel base as a cadilac and the short wheel base as the sports car... as far as learning the different balance of a bent, that depends on the bent so you need to try as many as you can... if there is a trike availabe to try that would be a goood thing, especially if there are balance issues. sorry this is not much help but at least a start

  3. #3
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    There are two ways I could see him going. First, a tadpole trike, which would be low and stable; but would be slower and harder to get in and out of. Those attributes might rule one out, or might make it perfect. At the risk of irking some trike riders out there, I'll say that absent other problems, 71 doesn't seem old enough to put a roadie on a (taller) delta trike, which would be slower still but easier for getting on/off. Second, as Floyd wrote, a LWB like a TourEasy, which is as stable as you'll find in a 2-wheeler, and is low enough to make crashes a matter of lost skin and bruises rather than broken bones.

  4. #4
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    +1 to all the above. I'd also recommend paying a visit to the closest bent dealer for an afternoon of test rides.

  5. #5
    Senior Member 15rms's Avatar
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    I own 2 Lightfoot Cycles bikes. A Ranger and a older model the Camino. I would recommend this bike manafacture because of the quality and comfort of their bikes. The newest product line the Rambler looks like a great fit for an older gentleman. It is not super long and supposidly very easy to handle.

    http://lightfootcycles.com/products-...rview/rambler/

  6. #6
    Senior Member k7baixo's Avatar
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    Is he a young 70 or an old 70? Does he still feel the need for speed or is he more content to smell the roses?
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by k7baixo View Post
    Is he a young 70 or an old 70? Does he still feel the need for speed or is he more content to smell the roses?
    That's what I was thinking. '71' isn't really a very revelent factor. Without knowing a lot more about the overall health and condition of the rider, his past riding experience and where and how he likes to ride, I don't see how anybody could make a very valid recommendation.

    A common recommendation, that I think is particularly true before buying a recumbent, is to test ride a few different styles. Even before offering a test ride, however, a competent bike shop person will probably have a lot of questions about your past riding history and future riding asperations.

  8. #8
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    I tried to reply last night, but my Internet connection was acting up. From what I can see, Angle Lake Cycles, in the Seattle area isn't too awfully far away. They're listed as a dealer for RANS, Bacchetta, EasyRacers, and they probably carry several others too. The question of 'young' 70 or 'old' 70 is a good one. That might determine if he gravitates toward trikes or 2-wheelers.

  9. #9
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    IMHO I would say either a tadpole trike like the Terratrike cruiser, or a LWB such as the Rans Stratus LE which is a great all around bent with a great bang for the buck.

  10. #10
    I am the Snail~! Peter_C's Avatar
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    I'm an 'old' 50yr old, and love my recumbent tadpole trike. You *might* want to take a look at the trike section over at BROL http://www.bentrideronline.com/messa...splay.php?f=13 as if he can comfortably sit on an 18" high chair, he'd be comfortable getting in and out of a trike.

    They *are* slower than upright bikes - more for 'smelling the Roses', than for prepping for the next race. But, if he likes long rides enjoying the scenery - all day comfort is a strong point for trikes.

    Otherwise, I too would suggest a LWB bent - easier to get used to - starting and stopping, etc...
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    70 here and recently switched to a Tour Easy. It's proved to be very confidence inspiring from a balancing standpoint, as your feet can instanly go from the pedals to the ground, which ain't far away. Also comfortable on rough surfaces as the long steel frame acts as a shock adsorber. Another big plus vs a trike, least for me, is the two wheeler's narrow footprint.The ONLY downside is that it's slower than a df, especially when climbing. OTOH, you can zoom down hills.

    The biggest issue with bents, other than speed, is psychological, the *image* factor. Get over that and the *need for speed* and all's good. Especially with a cup holder on the bar for coffee. Or whatever.
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

  12. #12
    Senior Member toolbear's Avatar
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    I went with a trike. No balance issues. You can go slow without falling over. You can stop without falling over.

    Angle Lake has a broad selection of quality trikes and a big parking lot for the initial Does It Fit Me test. Worth a stop. I switched from my MTB to a trike and am very pleased with the change. No more discomfort. No more chamois, creams, powders, etc., etc. I can ride all day in comfort.

    A good starter trike is the Terratrike Rover or Rambler. If the knees are getting iffy, the Rover seat is the same height as a folding chair. I have one iffy knee and no issue from trike riding.

    Of course, a senior Roadie will pin to keep up with the boys. Trikes are said to be slower up hill and faster down hill than road bikes. That said, I am quite happy with my HP Velotechnik Scorpion FS.

    <http://www.utahtrikes.com/HP.html>

    As mentioned - read the mail over at BentRiderOnLine: Trikes.
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  13. #13
    Ellensburg, WA scozim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    That's what I was thinking. '71' isn't really a very revelent factor. Without knowing a lot more about the overall health and condition of the rider, his past riding experience and where and how he likes to ride, I don't see how anybody could make a very valid recommendation.

    A common recommendation, that I think is particularly true before buying a recumbent, is to test ride a few different styles. Even before offering a test ride, however, a competent bike shop person will probably have a lot of questions about your past riding history and future riding asperations.
    Thanks for all the great comments. My dad has ridden for a good 30 yrs and for much of that was into the long distance endurance cycling. He's never had the power in his legs that I do so but is very good at a consistent pace for long distances. The past couple of years he hasn't been able to ride as much but he was planning on doing 50 miles the day he had his accident. He rides primarily by himself and likes to ride The Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes in N. Idaho.

    He hasn't had a major bike accident since 1989 but this one shook him up a little. I'm glad to see him re-energized with the thought of a bent. I'm not sure he'd want to go the trike route but you never know, and it sounds like the long wheel base would be a good option. Not know much about the different manufacturers. There's a Barchetta dealer in Seattle which is 4.5 hrs or so and a EasyRacer dealer about an hour away in Spokane, WA. With winter weather starting he may have to wait a little while to check out any dealers in Seattle.
    1984 Gitane Sprint; 1984 Gitane Tour de France;1982 Trek 610; 1980's Univega Supra Sport; 1975 Teledyne Titan;1984 Peugeot PSV10N; 1968 Peugeot PL8; ;1982 Nishiki Marina 12; 1977 Peugeot PX-10; 1987 Trek 800 Antelope (touring/commuting set up); 1981 Trek 510; 1993 or 1994 Scott Comp Racing mtb; 1996 Klein Pulse II mtb; 1980's Peugeot Limestone hybrid;

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  14. #14
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scozim View Post
    Not know much about the different manufacturers. There's a Barchetta dealer in Seattle which is 4.5 hrs or so and a EasyRacer dealer about an hour away in Spokane, WA. With winter weather starting he may have to wait a little while to check out any dealers in Seattle.
    If you want to do him a real favor, plan a road trip with him to a recumbent specialty dealer. Someone mentioned Angel Lake, it's near the Seattle airport.

    Diamond frame riders can talk forever about the relatively minor differences among the different brands and frame geometries. Recumbents are still a rapidly developing technology so there are comparatively huge differences in how the various designs ride and handle. A recumbent specialty dealer will be able to let him sample a variety of different designs and see what will fit his lifestyle best.

  15. #15
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    You don't say what kind of accident he had, but if it was a typical over-the-bars crash with accompanying broken clavicle, then any old recumbent will be better than that. What he needs is a trip to Angle Lake and test-ride everything they have. Then he can choose. Our recommendations will mean nothing once that special one speaks to him.

  16. #16
    Senior Member
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    There's a recumbent shop in Wenatchee. http://gobentbikes.com/

  17. #17
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    Don't buy until he has test rode an Easy Sport and a Rans Stratus LE. If he likes them and wants to get spendy, try a Tour Easy. That should cover the LWB's. bk

  18. #18
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    I have been riding crank forwards for a few years. a Raleigh Gruv and Sun Sunray. Feet are on the ground. He may consider a CF if he does not want to go Recumbent.

  19. #19
    Senior Member aRoudy1's Avatar
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    Come up to Cle Elum when the roads clear off a bit, and your dad can take a spin on my Rans Stratus LE.

  20. #20
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    Definitely have him test ride a few variants before deciding on which one to buy. Trikes cannot fall over but are heavy so they should be grouped separately. Long wheel base bikes will feel sort of weird at first and I doubt he would acclimate just doing a test ride. The same physical forces are there as on a DF bike but you feel them from new directions. They can also feel a bit wobbly starting out but that passes.

    The short wheel base, crank forward type bikes can sometimes require some fine tuning to make sure there's no conflict between the handlebar and the rider's knees or between the front wheel and feet while pedaling. This is not a big issue but something to be aware of while test riding.

    Money determines variety to choose from as it does with most everything.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    More. I've recently discovered that on my Tour Easy, climbing a long steep hill won't be the issue is was on the upright. Why? 'Cause you can maintain a straight line @3.5 mph, stay upright @2.2 mph, and stop to rest if need be, and restart with east on a 12% grade. That was a big surprise, and a huge plus. No fear of falling over gives the psychological edge needed to do all this. It's all good.
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

  22. #22
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Recumbomatic View Post
    There's a recumbent shop in Wenatchee. http://gobentbikes.com/
    Yep. They host an informal get-together in June (The Recumbent Rendevous). They're talking about the next edition on BentRider: http://www.bentrideronline.com/messa...ad.php?t=79018
    Get in touch with Robin (the gal in the chicken suit) if you want to chat with a local (to you) recumbent rider.
    If he can hold out that long, a hundred or so of us get together on the Oregon Coast in August for the Recumbent Retreat: http://www.recumbentretreat.org/ (yeah, the page needs updating).
    Not quite that many come to Portland International Raceway over Memorial Day weekend for racing and socializing: http://www.ohpv.org/HPC/index.html

    The great thing about these get-togethers is that people are willing to loan out bikes for short test rides, so he can try out a bunch of different bikes and trikes in a short time.
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