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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 01-22-12, 07:46 PM   #1
jyl
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Recumbent For Son - Help Me Think About Choices?

Hi guys. My 13 y/o son will outgrow his bike in the coming year. He wants a recumbent as his next bike.

Gasp, shock, weeping, gnashing.

"Dammit, we've always been a diamond frame family. What's wrong with how your daddy, and your daddy's daddy, rode? Can't you be like the other boys? What will the neighbors think? You'll break your mother's heart. Where did we go wrong?"

"Dad, I have to be who I am. I know it's not your lifestyle. But if you love me, let me be free."

[Sobbing]. "Son, I don't understand you, but I love you. If a recumbent will make you happy, then your mother and I will support you."

Okay, it's not like that. He thinks they are cool. I think they are cool. So, i need to figure out what will work.

Here are the criteria. The budget is tight plus the bike will sit locked up outside a school all day in a city infested with bike thieves (Portland OR). So a couple hundred $ ideally. I need to buy it used, but have a year to look. He'll ride it to/from school, maybe up to 5 mile ride each way, on city streets. I'd feel best if he sat relatively high. Needs to carry a backpack/messenger bag and extra books/sports gear/etc, big wire panniers or something like that would work. It rains a lot here, need really good fender coverage.

What would you guys suggest? SWB or LWB? Under seat or high bar? Brands? Models?
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Old 01-22-12, 08:06 PM   #2
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For an impetuous youth, I'd get him a SWB high racer of some sort. To get one in that price range, you'd have to get lucky on EBay or Craigslist. It could happen. On another thread someone scored a trike for so low it was close to thievery (everyone else was jealous).
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Old 01-22-12, 08:40 PM   #3
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http://www.bentrideronline.com/messa...ad.php?t=80179

Maybe doesn't meet some of your criteria, but it's a recumbent close to your price, and in your part of the continent.
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Old 01-23-12, 06:44 AM   #4
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You could always try to score a used Bike-E for <$300, or maybe an Evox semi-bent would do the job. Evox are even harder to find than cheap Bike-Es though, and both are out of production. Bents may be cool, but in his situation he should realize that the best bike for the job is a Wally-world beater.
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Old 01-23-12, 08:38 AM   #5
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Rans Rocket

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Originally Posted by Recumbomatic View Post
That RANS Rocket would make a great first bent, but it's too cool for school. I'd be worried about thieves and vandals, if the area is as you mentioned.
I agree with a Rans Rocket. The V-Rex is a step up but for the age of your son I think you could pick up a nice Rans Rocket for a decent price. Look at Bent Rider on line ( www.bentrideronline.com) and ebay. Two rockets are for sale on both sites presently.
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Old 01-23-12, 09:20 AM   #6
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I'm a DF rider but I think the only thing going for a bent in a school yard is the fact that whoever is thinking of stealing it, may decide not to since it takes a little while to get used to balancing yourself on it. From what I'm told, kicking off and stopping takes even more practice. However, I tend to agree with BlazingPedals that a Wally World bike would probably be his best bet if there is a high incidences of bike theft in your area.
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Old 01-23-12, 04:53 PM   #7
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In you guys' experience, are recumbents stolen as often as diamond frame bikes?
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Old 01-23-12, 06:14 PM   #8
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In you guys' experience, are recumbents stolen as often as diamond frame bikes?
No, because recumbents are much rarer than upright bicycles. However, if your son rides his recumbent to school, for better / worse he's definitely going to attract attention. All it would take is a knife across the seat mesh to do some significant damage.

I actually admire your son's determined wisdom, but I think a school with hormone-distracted teenagers is not the right place to park a bent. Save it for the weekend and non-school rides.
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Old 01-23-12, 06:24 PM   #9
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Cruzbike conversion?

Depending on what he already has (or what you have access to), a cruzbike conversion is another possibility. Definitely not for everybody, but lots of people have had lots of luck with them.
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Old 01-24-12, 11:55 PM   #10
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Hmm, and the fleet multiplies . . .

. . . Okay, a beater DF for school and a short wheelbase recumbent for fun.

Actually, older Bike E's seem to be fairly cheap. But I've heard not such great things about them.
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Old 01-25-12, 10:56 AM   #11
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Here's what to look for if you decide on a BikeE: Delrin seat sliders. The seat can be positioned anywhere on the rail that is the main part of the frame by sliding it back and forth and locking it in place using a pair of quick releases. These QRs depend on delrin plastic pieces to lock in place. In the past, Mr. Bicycleman in Alfred NY carried replacements. I'm not sure if he still does. When and if they are no longer available, the bike will be useless if they break. The other defect that I have personally experienced and heard about from other owners is the SACHS 7 3-speed internal rear hub. There was reported to be a batch of them that were short-lived. Mine broke way back in 2003 on my low mileage BikeE AT. It was simply not cost effective to buy a new wheel or have the existing one rebuilt with a new hub. I finally came across a used hub for $25 recently and switched the internal parts to resurrect the bike as a loaner for my friends. Your son will probably have fun riding it. It's not my cup of tea considering that when I bought mine used in 2000 it cost $700 and I was able to replace it with a much better used recumbent that only cost me $500. I wish I had waited for the second bike.
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Old 01-25-12, 02:59 PM   #12
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In my experience, 'bents for youngsters needs careful forethought. I built a LWB for one of my 14 YO grandkids, and he damn near landed in the hospital showing off. The 'bent has 2 mirrors, but he repeatedly ignores them - especially when he's doing donuts in the middle of the street. You get the picture. A reclined high racer would be downright lethal without rigorous and repetitive training. Bare-in-mind, that kids don't ride them for the same reasons we do - it's different... it's 'cool'... it's a dangerous ego booster.
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Old 01-25-12, 03:04 PM   #13
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Uh oh, that search for a cheap 'bent looks like it's now a search for two cheap bikes. Where does the madness end?
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Old 01-31-12, 07:23 PM   #14
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One thing to watch for when introducing kids to recumbents is that it can be difficult for short legs to reach the ground while the bike is stopped in the case of some models, particularly SWBs. In that case, a used LWB or a compact LWB (like the Bike E) will work well. If he's nearly adult sized already, this won't be an issue.
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Old 02-01-12, 03:02 PM   #15
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That a 13 yo recognizes the 'cool' aspect of a bent is reason enough to get him one, if the money can be found. Especially if there is a way for him to earn part of it. Likely he'll quickly appreciate the collateral benefits and never want another df.

Sure, stuff could happen to it. He'll likely crash more than once. He'll also probably crash his first car. Two of my kids did. That's life.

As for it being stolen, far less likely than a df I'd think, and a lot easier to find should it be fenced.

Good luck.
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Old 02-02-12, 07:31 AM   #16
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13 y.o.?

This and this.
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