I've been cycling for several years now on a conventional road bike (DF? - not sure on the abbreviation) and have logged several thousand miles on my Cannondale R5. I really enjoy biking and own several 'recreational' bikes and also enjoy restoring/rebuilding bikes from the frame up when my schedule permits.
Having said that, I have participated in the training season and annual MS150 ride from Houston to Austin for the past 5-6 years in addition to recreational riding in the off season, and I'm riding one last time this year. I hate to say it, but my main reason for taking a break is (aside from the training aspect) the discomfort from weeks of riding a regular road bike. I'm pretty bummed as I've enjoyed riding my whole life and really enjoy the MS150, but I've decided that after this year I'm planning to try and sell my road bike and begin saving for a recumbent. Having said that, I've done some initial research and wonder about the following things:
FWIW - my budget is around $2K, I'm about 6' tall and about 250lbs. My primary use for this type of bike would be training rides of 30-60 miles and the annual MS150. (touring, I guess?) The south Texas area I live in doesn't have many hills, and I'd be using my 'bent primarily for distance rides.
1. Lightning Recumbents: Wondering why there's not much info on these guys here on the forum? Are they just not very common? Uncomfortable? Bad customer service? I'm looking at the 'Phantom' model based on weight limit and affordability.
2. Bacchetta - The 'Strada' model has caught my eye. It's a 'performance' 'bent within budget and weight limit. Has great reviews. Also glanced at the Giro 20" and Giro 26"...
3. Easyracers - looked at the Tour Easy but read here that it's a bit 'slow'. Having said that, I'm not sure I can afford many of their other models, but I do have to say that the longer wheelbase 'bents look much more comfy than the short wheelbase ones. Am I wrong here?
4. What are the major differences between SWB and LWB 'bents? I'll be honest, the SWB 'bents kind of scare me, both in a good and a bad way. Also, why do some 'bents have a 26" rear and smaller front while some have 26" front and rear?
Just some other notes about me and my riding style. I'm a Clyde - no way around it, and I'll always be one so this will always be an issue for me. I'd like to not be terribly slow, but I'm no racer and don't have a competitive bone in my body. I currently ride in the 15-17mph group on training/club rides and would like to stay in this area once I move to the 'bent arena. I'm hoping to find some places to test ride bikes this summer!
Please forgive my ignorance moving forward as I am very new to the 'bent realm, but I can say this: 'bent riders always look like they're more at peace when riding and having more fun! I'm in and can't wait to make the change!!
If anyone is interested in a 2008 Cannondale R5 with Mavic Ksyrium wheels and Ultegra throughout, let me know!