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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 04-08-12, 07:33 PM   #1
bike00
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New (to me) Trek R200

I'm the proud new owner of a Trek R200 that I got at agreat price.

I'm trying to determine its model year, but can not decipher the serial number which appears to be WTU B044518B.

I've searched other sites and forums with no luck.

Any suggestions?

Thanks.
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Old 04-08-12, 07:51 PM   #2
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A quick search shows that Trek introduced the bike in 1999 and discontinued it in 2001. Don't know if there were any differences between early and late models.
BicycleMan's website shows that they have some R200 parts. http://www.bicycleman.com/recumbents.../trek/trek.htm
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Old 04-09-12, 06:05 AM   #3
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A quick search shows that Trek introduced the bike in 1999 and discontinued it in 2001. Don't know if there were any differences between early and late models.
BicycleMan's website shows that they have some R200 parts. http://www.bicycleman.com/recumbents.../trek/trek.htm
I found that site as well. I'm impresses that most of the R200's parts are standard, with the exception of the mid drive cluster.

I was simply curious as to the year since it does not seem to have any of the "fixes" that different folks have referenced.
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Old 04-12-12, 11:28 AM   #4
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Trek R200 Flickr group

Welcome to the somewhat obscure world of R200 owners.

For your info, I have set up an R200 Flickr group at:
http://www.flickr.com/groups/1475382@N20/

Photos of stock bikes PLUS various modifications/improvements that people have made to their bikes.

Feel free to look and post. There is some interesting stuff to see.

Ron Richings
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Canada
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Old 04-12-12, 12:01 PM   #5
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I would be tempted to pick one of those up at a "great price." I've heard stories that Trek only made one production run of that bike frame and that it took them 3 years to sell through it. Don't know if that is true. It certainly had some nice parts to it.
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Old 04-13-12, 11:12 AM   #6
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The R-200 has an interesting history. It was originally going to be a dual-suspended 'bent (because comfort is the one and only selling point for bents, and in the upright world, the way to be comfy is with suspension, right?) The original target price was $1600. You can stand back and look at the bike, and kind of know what was going through their corporate-think minds as they designed it by committee. But as the production date neared, it became apparent that they'd have to cost-reduce it to keep it under the price point. So the front suspension disappeared.

The resulting bike wasn't bad, but it had a few faults. The seat was too high and despite 40 gears, it wasn't all that fast. And there were shifting problems. First-year sales were better than expected. Early shifting issues were worked out ( believe it was an improperly-specced cassette or wrong grease in the mid-drive unit - something like that...) and the second year sold well, too. But when the original proponent within Trek died unexpectedly, Trek dropped it. Like, the next day! "Super Dave" of Valley Bikes (Indianapolis area) bought out Trek's entire remaining inventory as surplus, for a song, and sold them as-is, still in their shipping cases, for $600 each. They were gone in a matter of a few weeks. I was on Dave's mailing list at the time, and he must've had FedEx trucks lined up at his loading dock, because those babies flew out the door!

As I understood it, Trek's dealership agreement required every Trek dealer in the country to stock at least one R-200, and every one of them immediately became guaranteed money-losers for the shops. Most dealers didn't want to stock a recumbent in the first place, and didn't know how to sell recumbents (and still don't.) That left the dealers all mad at Trek, and left Trek with egg on its corporate face.

Unfortunately, the message that Trek came away with was, "Don't do Recumbents," when the message should have been "give your customer base what they want, AND don't abuse your dealers."
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Old 04-14-12, 06:44 PM   #7
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Well, I think it's a great bike.

Some say the seat's too high, but I think it's perfect. But then I'm tall.

With the rear suspension, I don't miss a larger rear wheel.

I've experienced no shifting problems, but pedaling backwards can be an issue depending on what mid-gear you are in.

I intend to use it around town, so I have already added a kickstand and am working on a rack mount.

It may not be the fastest 'bent out there, but it's fun to ride and is a welcome addition to my bike stable.
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Old 04-14-12, 07:42 PM   #8
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I remember them being cleared out at great discounts.

Which always makes me chuckle when people advertise them now, as 10+ year old used bikes, and ask more than what many of them sold for new.

I do think they can be very nice bikes for the right riders.
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Old 04-28-12, 12:39 PM   #9
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I'm having a good time modifying and improving my R200.

So far, I've shortened the front chain, added a spacer to the bottom bracket to improve the chain line, added a kickstand, and a rear rack.

The kickstand is mounted with an aluminum angle bracket I made to screw into the disk brake mount on the dropout.

The rack started life with a seat post mount and required removing the stock mounting post and manufacturing a mount that mimics the one from Trek.

I love making stuff.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Finished rack.jpg (78.7 KB, 31 views)
File Type: jpg Rack mount.jpg (43.4 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpg Kickstand.jpg (58.4 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg Kickstand mount.jpg (43.5 KB, 21 views)
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Old 05-30-12, 03:54 PM   #10
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I had one of these for a couple of years which I got new when they were being blown out. It was a fun bike. One I wish I'd kept even if just for how rare it is. The only problem I had with it was it's tendency to toss the chain off the mid drive over bumps. At the time I remember a number of home brew remedies being discussed online. The mid drive shifter is a unique part but I believe Shimano bar end shifters (and probably friction thumb shifters if you can find them) would work if that ever fails. This was an interesting time for recumbents with Cannondale also getting into the act. I moved on to a couple of other recumbents before going back to uprights but that Trek was definately a fun ride.
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Old 06-04-12, 05:03 PM   #11
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The "tossing the chain" issue was because both chains were way too long. Shortening the chains to the proper length fixes that issue.

If the mid-driver shifter ever gives up the ghost, I'll replace it with a 6 or 7 speed version and black out the unused gears.

The other glaring issue is the chain-line from the crank to the mid-drive. I've fixed it to some extent by adding a 4mm spacer to the bottom bracket, but it needs to go out further and really requires a different bottom bracket.
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Old 10-20-14, 02:35 PM   #12
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Y'all, I'm cleaning up an R200 to sell, and just saw that the topmost tube of the seat strut is cracked. Anyone know where I can get another? Or can I weld it?
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Old 10-20-14, 06:46 PM   #13
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Dang, and here I was not paying attention to the time stamp reading a Walking Dead post...
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Old 10-20-14, 07:54 PM   #14
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Y'all, I'm cleaning up an R200 to sell, and just saw that the topmost tube of the seat strut is cracked. Anyone know where I can get another? Or can I weld it?
I don't know where you'd find parts. BicycleMan claims to have a few parts in stock. Is the part steel or aluminum? Steel can be brazed, but if it's aluminum you might end up having to fabricate something. Probably out of steel.
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Old 11-12-14, 11:58 PM   #15
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That seat strut might be available from RANS, if not bicycleman. If all else fails, take it to a GOOD welder, and have it cleanly TIG welded up.

And since selling an R200 was mentioned. I'm not "looking" to sell it, but if someone was looking to buy an R200, I've got one I'd be willing to sell. It was a life saver when I broke my elbow, but now that I've got my recumbent trike, the r200 doesnt get much use.
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Old 11-13-14, 09:47 AM   #16
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That seat strut might be available from RANS, if not bicycleman.
Good point. It might be the same part as what the captain's seat on a Screamer uses.
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