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  1. #1
    recumbent bike advocate Tractortom's Avatar
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    What recumbent to ride across the country?

    I have been riding recumbent bikes since about 1990, when I purchased a DeFelise Bitubular long wheelbase recumbent. Later it was a good quality diamond frame, then an actionbent short wheelbase, then a Catrike Trail that I rode interstate and on week long tours. These days I'm riding Bacchetta Strada highracer and use it to commute to and from work. I like the Strada, but am not convinced that it is the bike to ride across the country.

    So, if you were going to ride a recumbent across the country, what would it be????

    Tractor Tom in Okeechobee, FL

  2. #2
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Are you wanting to do a CC type, fully self-supported, or a mix? If CC, I'd probably go with a trike myself. But if you're needing to haul a bit more, something like the Lightfoot World Traveler comes to mind,traveler_touring_recumbent.jpg but then so does RANS Stratus, Tour Easy, and Bella. I'd imagine a LWB would be more preferable for touring, but I wouldn't know- I'm kinda on the outside looking in when in it comes to bents
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    Ride what and in what manner pleases you. Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. srsly.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    I'd ride my Tour Easy. Two panniers, a rack pack, and small frame bag. Or, a B. Giro like my buddy has. It's a bit faster I think. No trike 'cause of width and low profile.

    If buying new, I'd take a real close look at Longbikes Slipstream or similar for the underseat stearing and unimpeded forward view. Not gadget friendly.
    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

  4. #4
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tractortom View Post
    So, if you were going to ride a recumbent across the country, what would it be????
    Tour Easy or Gold Rush. That what all my friends did:
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/ER2005
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/Slug
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/8212
    Jeff Wills

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  5. #5
    Senior Member charly17201's Avatar
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    I think a big factor would be "how" you plan to tour... CC, supported or self-contained.Also, where you plan to ride. I can tell you first hand crossing the C&O Canal wasn't fun on the trike. And any distance on a trail like that I'd not go with a trike (or a 2-wheeled trailer if you opt for self-contained and a trailer). That said, I've had no problem with either a trike or the Rans LE pulling a b*o*b trailer.
    Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm.

    In response to bicycling being so dangerous: "We could all died today from any number of accidents. I'm not going to stop living to keep from dying." The Northern Tier by Lief Carlsen

  6. #6
    recumbent bike advocate Tractortom's Avatar
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    I rode a Catrike Trail for a couple years, and then did a Utah Trikes adapter to a 26" rear wheel. I used that trike on the Cycle North Carolina ride from the mountains to the beach a few years ago, and had a great time. But as a solo touring ride, I have kind of decided against a trike of any kind. They are comfortable to ride, and you don't have to clip in and out at stops, but sit too low to the ground and are a bit too slow for day after day of 60-75 mile days. I have decided against a trike. I do like my Bacchetta, and it works good for commuting and a days ride on the weekends, but is untried in a multiday event at this point. It is difficult to get going on and uphill from a standing stop, and I wonder about riding it in the hills day in and day out. I'm thinking about a Tour Easy or the like, loaded up for touring with mid and rear racks, two sets of panniers, and the like. I have a Quik-Pak trailer that I could pull as well, but have not used it with the Bacchetta yet.

    This is all "mostly" a mental exercise, while I make my mind up about the next bike and what it should be. A actual trip is still some years distant. Will probably be 'supported' with the wife in a van/motorhome providing support while I ride each day. Our current plan is to make this trip in another 10-12 years after I finally retire and have the time to travel (if I can afford the cost of gasoline then).

    Thanks for the input thus far!

    Tractor Tom in Okeechobee, FL

  7. #7
    Senior Member 15rms's Avatar
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    I second the Lightfoot idea. I own a Ranger and it is by far the most comfortble bike I have ever ridden. You couls sit on that bike all day and not have any soreness. The Ranger is slightly more robust and slower than the World Traveler. I have rode both and love them both.

  8. #8
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    Going across country I think it would be a Catrike Expedition on Big Apples. Lightweight yet comfortable and can carry enough gear.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Northwestrider's Avatar
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    The HP Velotechnik Street Machine http://www.hpvelotechnik.com/produkt...e/index_e.html would be my choice.

  10. #10
    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    Good question, I think.

    For the last couple of years all my rides longer than 40 miles or so have been on a Volae Century, but I'd likely take the trike, an ICE Q, if going transcontinental. Rather than just doing the miles I would want to play tourist and the trike is even better than the bike for gawking about, smelling roses and meeting people.

    In real life, if provided with a motor home and driver, I might not really ride across the country but rather move the motor home along in stages and exploring each new area by bike or trike.
    George
    Laissez les bon temps rouler

  11. #11
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    I think a short wheelbase recumbent would be the way to go. Easy to reach the ground and flatfoot, seat/peddle relationship is level to slightly down to your feet, so no numb feet. Easy to have both mid and rear racks.

    The Rans Vrex is a perfect fit. Just so happens I'm going to be selling mine this spring ;-) Just saying!
    1965 Moulton Speed 4, 1974 Fuji 12 speed, 1987 DB Ascent EX, 2006 Dahon Speed TR, 2009 Salsa Fargo, 2011 Gravity 29.4, 2011 Salsa Casseroll, 2012 Surly Moonlander

  12. #12
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    I'd bet that more cross-country trips have been done on TourEasys than any other model of recumbent. OTOH, just about any recumbent could do the job. Your Strada could do it; although if you think it can't, then you're right.

  13. #13
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    IMHO the only way to go would be a LWB recumbent. Follow that with a trike. More and more cross country cyclist are turning to recumbents for primarly their comfort. I just cant imagine riding a DF cross country.

  14. #14
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    I have ridden several tours on a Lightning P-38 and a trailer(Quik-Pak). Since I didn't have different machines for different tasks, I found the P-38 and outstanding machine for all my riding. I now am riding and touring on a Catrike Trail.

    Any way you do it, enjoy the riding/touring.

  15. #15
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    Don't know how a long wheelbase is so great when they are so cumbersome to move,store, etc. The Lightning rides as well and as comfortably, and climbs much nicer.

  16. #16
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrq1103 View Post
    Don't know how a long wheelbase is so great when they are so cumbersome to move,store, etc. The Lightning rides as well and as comfortably, and climbs much nicer.
    Having ridden a Lightning for 10 years before switching to a Tour Easy and now a Gold Rush, I disagree. There's very little difference in the ease of moving & storage. Besides, I buy bikes to ride them, not store them. The Easy Racer bikes are fantastically adaptable to all sorts of purposes and give up very little to special-purpose machines.
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  17. #17
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    Tom,

    Hello from Quik-Pak. Thanks for the mention in your post.

    Ray Quick
    Cycle Tectonics, LLC
    www.quik-pak.com

  18. #18
    no one cares -holiday76's Avatar
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    I've done multiple 1,000 miles + tours fully loaded and whenever I do it again it will be on the same bike. A long wheel base above seat steering vision r40. The only thing I might consider is adding a fairing. Fwiw my riding partner has done many of the same trips with me on the same model bike though in the short wheel base config and he's happy with it.
    Mmmm, bicycles.

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  19. #19
    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    For what it may be worth, Jeff Wills is a person you would seek out when looking for an real expert on recumbents.
    George
    Laissez les bon temps rouler

  20. #20
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcottay View Post
    For what it may be worth, Jeff Wills is a person you would seek out when looking for an real expert on recumbents.

    Shhh!!! This is only my hobby... I don't want to get so involved that it takes over my life.


    Wait...


    Too late!







    Jeff Wills

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  21. #21
    Bulky Bullet Sayre Kulp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDenman View Post
    Going across country I think it would be a Catrike Expedition on Big Apples. Lightweight yet comfortable and can carry enough gear.
    I like the way you think.

    Truth be told, I recently purchased a Catrike Expedition because I wanted a trike that I could race on AND would be worthy of a cross-country tour. So...
    "Obstacles don't like me very much. I make them look bad."

  22. #22
    recumbent bike advocate Tractortom's Avatar
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    After researching a bit more, and reading all the posts several times, I have decided to give a couple bikes a test ride if I can find them to fit. First is the Tour Easy, with a fairing on it, it would be shoe-in for a cross country haul. Also need to look at a Rans Stratus XL with the big wheels on both ends. One of the things that I'm interested in is the crank being closer to the ground than on my Bacchetta, making it easier to ride through town with the frequent stops at traffic and lights. I'm really leaning towards the Tour Easy, and need to find a vendor here in South Florida where I can test ride one. Thanks to everyone for your input! It provided me plenty to think about and lots of good information.

    Tractor Tm in Okeechobee, FL

  23. #23
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    I have a LongBikes Slipstream and a Quik-Pak trailer for my CC tour. The underseat steering and web seat make the ride completely relaxed, comfortably cool, and gives a wide open view. The frame acts like a natural spring to absorb bumps. The trailer has more room than you can imagine, is waterproof, and is beautifully designed. I could use panniers but prefer the freedom the trailer offers. The wheels on the trailer are also the same size as the front wheel on the bike which is a plus in itself.

    I would say check one out as there are very few under seat steering recumbents in the offering.
    LongBikes Slipstream
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  24. #24
    recumbent bike advocate Tractortom's Avatar
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    Funny thing, my very first recumbent (DeFelise Bitubular) in 1990 was an under seat steer set up very much like the LongBikes Slipstream that you recommend and I found it very relaxing. But I find that on a long ride, I want quick access to maps, GPS, telephone and camera, something that a above seat steer bike allows with a handlebar bag/fairing. I want to be able ride along and consult the map, and not have to stop and dig around in the bag. Sometimes in towns, you have to check the map multiple times to stay on the route, and to stop each time is a pain... As for the trailer, as I stated, I already have a Quik-Pak and love it. I bought it for use with my Catrike and have not tried it with my current Bacchetta Strada, but feel assured it would work find with it as well.

    Tractor Tom in Okeechobee, FL

  25. #25
    Bulky Bullet Sayre Kulp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tractortom View Post
    After researching a bit more, and reading all the posts several times, I have decided to give a couple bikes a test ride if I can find them to fit. First is the Tour Easy, with a fairing on it, it would be shoe-in for a cross country haul. Also need to look at a Rans Stratus XL with the big wheels on both ends. One of the things that I'm interested in is the crank being closer to the ground than on my Bacchetta, making it easier to ride through town with the frequent stops at traffic and lights. I'm really leaning towards the Tour Easy, and need to find a vendor here in South Florida where I can test ride one. Thanks to everyone for your input! It provided me plenty to think about and lots of good information.

    Tractor Tm in Okeechobee, FL
    The Tour Easy is a really great bike. I enjoy them and would probably already have one if not for the state of the economy. It'll probably be one of the next additions to my stable. Can't go wrong there.
    "Obstacles don't like me very much. I make them look bad."

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