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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 12-31-04, 09:47 AM   #1
skysensor
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Just another newbie request for advice

Hello:

My first post here, and its of the typical "newbie looking for advice" type.

I'm looking for a weekend tourer to be used for short weekday evening rides on residential (suburban) streets and on rails-to-trails paths on weekends. Some of the paths in my area are asphalt, but most are crushed limestone. One such is the Root River trail in SE Minnesota. I also live within a 1-1/2 hr drive (by car) of the granddaddy of all rails-to-trails projects, the Elroy-Sparta trail in Wisconsin. This provides direct connection to three other trails.

About the engine: 40-something, 200# couch potato who recognizes need for exercise, but must identify least painful, most enjoyable method for obtaining it. I enjoy camping, and am definitely interested in bicycle camping, hauling what I need for a complete weekend on the bike. Married, and at this point the wife has little to no interest in biking, though she does enjoy camping (we've tented and now own a small hybrid camper). Most of my early adventures will thus most likely be single, probably meeting my wife at predetermined stops along the trail. My hope is that I can convince her to try biking, maybe on a trike.

So, I've been scouring the net comparing various configurations and models. Setting a realistic budget of $1000, and stating a preference for LWB or CLWB, please provide feedback on the following (or offer other suggestions):

Burley Koosah/Sand Point. Anybody using the rear rack with panniers with this? (I won't pay $125 for the 3rd party underseat pannier rack). How is the balance with this setup? Are the optional seat struts suggested?

EZ 1 Lite. Does anybody have any experience with the under seat pannier racks and rear rack for this bike? What bags do you use, and what is the ground clearance under the bags? Suitable for "loaded" weekend touring?

Cycle Genius LTX. Same general questions as above.

Trikes: I would consider a trike, but am concerned about rolling resistance on the limestone trail surface. Weight is another issue. In my price range, what about the following:

EZ 3

EZ 3 USX (65 lbs ?!). Has anybody given this a full review yet?

EZ Tadpole. This may be just out of my reach price-wise. Does anyone have these yet?


I will definitely consider buying used if another (better) bike/trike was available.

Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

Mark
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Old 12-31-04, 01:38 PM   #2
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I haven't any of the B4 mentioned "Bents" in my stable but I have owned the EZ1 and have ridden the Cycle Genius, Burley Koosah and Jett Creek. If I where making a choice between these "Bents" for your activities I would choose the Burley Koosah. This "Bent" is a very good choice because it is very well made with good componets and a well renown company. It is a very study machine and it has a very quiet drive train. With the 20" x 26" wheels you would have a soft ride with some speed and more weight carrying capacity. The Koosah was also voted 2004 Bike Of the Year. Good Luck and HAPPY NEW YEAR
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Old 12-31-04, 05:57 PM   #3
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I own 2 recumbents, a Burley Koosah and a Whizwheels Terratrike. and the majority of my riding is done on crushed limestone rails 2 trails.
Both are great machines and give you a great workout w/o the usual sore wrists, tailbone, etc. you'd get on a conventional bike. The choice depends on how far you want to go and how fast you want to go. The trike is fun and stable, but slow compared to the Burley LWB recumbent. I think it's great for a relaxed ride of say 25 miles, although I once rode mine on an 80 mile round trip. I've had no problems over several thousand miles and several years. On the crushed limestione trail, i average 8 mph, but then, maybe some of the slowness is due to stopping to b.s. - everyone wants to talk about the trike- it's quite an attention-getter. I WOULD NOT ride the trike on the street unless the traffic is extremely light. The main downside to this trike is that it's over your budget- in the $2000 range.
The Koosah is less than half the price, and about twice as fast- I average 14 mph on the same trail. The Koosah is well made and I've had no problems with it so far (3 months). On it, I routinely do 100 mile round trips, usually with an overnight stay on the trail.
With both machines, I've found that riding the limestone trails makes fenders a necessity- that limestone dust gets everywhere and when it rains, the goop gets everywhere too.
For miscellaneous cargo, either bike can be fitted with a rear rack and bag to carry tools, tubes, etc. For the main camping cargo, I highly suggest a Bob Trailer (about $240), you can carry more (up to 80 pounds) and don't have to worry about fitting panniers, etc. With the Bob, now BEER can be part of your riding/camping routine- nothing like some cold brew at the end of a long ride, hah hah. Anyway,the Koosah, fenders, rear rack/bag, and trailer is gonna run about $1200, close to your budget and a first class set-up.
I've had my eye on an EZ racers Tour EZ with that fancy fairing, fenders, rear rack, and bag...but now that's in the $2400 range...

Last edited by bjc97; 12-31-04 at 06:06 PM.
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Old 12-31-04, 06:36 PM   #4
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I can't stress this enough - - try several of them before you buy one. There is a big difference in the way bents handle. The more you try the better the odds that you will find one that's right for you. Try some high end ones as well as low end ones even though you are not going to buy them.
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Old 12-31-04, 06:57 PM   #5
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Watch the weight. The Sun bikes look nice but they weigh a ton. My advice would be to get a true LWB rather than a CWLB - you'll be happier longer. For $1000, you might be able to find an older used TourEasy. TEs will take front and rear racks without going the manufacturer-specific route. Failing that, the Burleys are pretty nice; based in part on a loyal and growing following, they were declared Bent Rider Online's "Bike of the Year 2004." http://www.bentrideronline.com/featu...04/BOY2004.htm There don't seem to be any in my club, so I can't tell you whether or not they'll take standard rear racks.
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Old 12-31-04, 07:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeezerGeek
I can't stress this enough - - try several of them before you buy one. There is a big difference in the way bents handle. The more you try the better the odds that you will find one that's right for you. Try some high end ones as well as low end ones even though you are not going to buy them.
Of course, it goes without saying that comparative rides are critical. What I'm asking for is insight from owners of bikes within my price range and suitable for my application; insight that goes beyond what wisdom a series of brief test rides might provide.

Thanks.
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Old 01-03-05, 07:04 AM   #7
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If you are going to tour and camp a LWB and trailer seems like the way to go. You might want to look for a used RANS Stratus. The Burley and Cycle Genius bikes are decent as well. For your shorter day trips and bike path jaunts you might want to consider getting a SWB like the RANS Rocket at a later time when your funds permit.

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Old 01-03-05, 11:25 AM   #8
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Rail to trail tend to be fairly level, trains are not very good hill climbers . Weight of
bike would be less important on level ground. Bents tend to be a bit less stable and
LWB especially have a tendency to slide out easily on loose paving, such as gravel.
SWB are a bit safer, but not as much as a DF. On the other hand almost any bent
puts you closer to the ground hence a fall is less likely to cause serious injury, if you
keep your feet on the pedals. Trikes are essentially immune to this problem. Lighter
trikes exist, but maybe not in your price range. Catrike in particular has a good $
to weight ratio. You will be a little slower if the bent is above 30-35# but for your
planned use this may not be that significant. Steve
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Old 01-03-05, 12:38 PM   #9
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I am also an extreme newbie to "bents". This post matches my questions perfectly except that my rides include moderate hills with no camping. I have read what I can on the web and would like to try a SWB with ASS. I have a minor back problem that makes riding standard bikes uncomfortable on long trips. Thank you Skysensor for the post. I will be following these closely.
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Old 01-04-05, 01:16 AM   #10
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For my money, I would do the Burley or spring for the xtra money and get the EZ tadpole or the new Catrike Pocket trike. The burley is a better long term solution than the EZ lite. The Sun EZ bikes are more a beginner bike you will soon outgrow. Plus it will not like the offroad much, you'll want the suspension in short order, plus fatter tires. I have riden the Burley with and without packs, it handles just fine. The Cycle Genius and EZ3 are just too heavy to really consider for more than a neighborhood cruiser. Like sch mentioned, I would recommend you don't go LWB for offroad use, the front-end will wash out much too easy because the weight distribution is loaded toward the rear. Like motorcycle choppers, LWB's like dry paved roads best, and like going fast in straight lines. The most fun for your money would definitely be a trike. They are simply a blast to ride.

Darren
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Old 01-04-05, 08:56 AM   #11
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I onkly have one 'bent, it is a LWB. I love it. How ever it is a pain to try to transport a 7 foot bike, even in my pickup (6 foot bed). So if you are planning on transporting it, that may be a factor. We have plenty of "green Belts" around where I live, and some are hard, some dirt, some crushed stone. I have found the wider wheels on mine do pretty nice on all of them. Mine has a regular 26" Mountain Bike rear and a BMX type 20" front (OK I run street tires on them, not knobbies), but the width is the same. I have only had trouble with the front wheel losing traction (sideways) on mud covered smooth hard surfaces such as wood (bridges) and side walks with a 1/4" or so of mud (flooded area after the water left in case you were wondering). You should decide how you need to use the 'bent, then choose a type, then try as many as can in that type before you decide. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 01-04-05, 10:05 AM   #12
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Skysensor:

Other possiblities are the Burley Hepcat, Django, Canto and Taiko. The first two (2) are SWB and the last two (2) can be MWB or SWB.
http://www.burley.com/products/recumbents/default.aspx
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Old 10-16-05, 11:29 AM   #13
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Newbie To Newbie
I took the plunge with the EZ-1sx. 10 mile flatwoods loop 45 min ride est speed 13 14 mph ??
The bike was 499.00 + tax I am happy I Feel I got My Moneys worth.
I am a casual rider I won't spend 1000.00 on my first bent maybee my second.
Remember Keep it simple you can allways sell it and upgrade. GO BENTS
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Old 10-17-05, 04:31 AM   #14
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Also check out www.actionbent.com and look at what they have to offer. Perhaps a little more expensive than Sun, but still within your budget, and MUCH nicer bikes.
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Old 10-19-05, 09:39 PM   #15
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I am a newbie to recumbants too. I have not bought one yet but I did find this cool site with lots of info on it.
http://www.ihpva.org/wiki/index.php/...opment_Project

I would really like one of these
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Old 10-20-05, 05:34 AM   #16
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Yeah, everyone would like a go-one. Unfortunately, go-one seems to be sitting on their hands when it comes to mass-production, so their rides are still too expensive and too difficult to obtain for the average person.
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Old 10-20-05, 05:44 PM   #17
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Since we are in a newbie thread let me ask a couple of questions. I see that the SWB models come with understeering or "ape hanger" bars. What are the advantages of each? The under steering is obviously more aero but the hand position looks uncomfortable.

#2 question. Why are there so few 700C wheeled bents? If it is fast and efficient for a road bike then why not for a bent?
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Old 10-20-05, 07:36 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fmw
Since we are in a newbie thread let me ask a couple of questions. I see that the SWB models come with understeering or "ape hanger" bars. What are the advantages of each? The under steering is obviously more aero but the hand position looks uncomfortable.
Don't you have that backwards? I mean, USS is generally considered less aerodynamic because with it you catch air with the entire length of your arms; but its proponents like it for one of 3 reasons: 1) does not aggravate carpal-tunnel problems 2) like the open cockpit that results from not having handlebars in front of them or 3) it's unusual and makes standers-by ask questions.

Technically, 'ape-hanger' bars are like on a TourEasy. SWB bents usually come with either 'praying hamster' (eg Burley or Lightning) bars or 'tweener' bars (eg Bacchetta.) The difference is mostly personal preference, IMHO. I like the feel of the PH bars better, but OTOH, with tweeners I can get in/out of the cockpit easier and the speedo is far enough away from my face that I don't need reading glasses to see the numbers.

Quote:
#2 question. Why are there so few 700C wheeled bents? If it is fast and efficient for a road bike then why not for a bent?
A dual-700C bent will be pretty tall, due to the need of pedals to clear the wheel and normally-proportioned riders not being able to reach their legs to the far side of that large a wheel. There is no reason why a bent can't be designed to use a 700C rear wheel. I too wonder why only a few do this. Why does my lowracer, which is built for speed, use a mountain bike rear wheel?
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Old 10-20-05, 08:04 PM   #19
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Thanks. Praying hamster, huh? I understand what you mean about the understeering being less aero. I've never ridden a bent and didn't picture it correctly. I do see the point on the large wheels as well.

Someone mentioned a 21 lb. bike. I would have assumed bents were a whole lot heavier than that - heavier than MTB's. Apparently not. Bents aren't sold in our area and I've only seen one on the roads. That was 3 years ago. I suppose the only way for me to try one is buy one mail order and climb aboard. Perhaps I'll make it my next cycling project after building the Basso. Take care.
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Old 10-20-05, 08:12 PM   #20
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I can't answer for everyone but what I can say is I have done the conversion from the 559 to 700c wheels on my strada and really like the way the bike feels, but they do have there draw backs. ( cons ) I don't believe they climb as well as the 559 and it takes alot more to get underway than it did with the stock wheels. the other thing is that it raises the height of the bike by 3"
( pros )I did gain 2 1/2 to 3 mph on the flats. As far as handling goes there isn't that much of a difference.
As far as USS and Tweeners are concerned I think it's a matter of what you prefer. The USS puts you in a more natural postion and should be more comfortable and I believe there is alittle more of a learning curve with USS.
The Tweeners like I have on the strada allow for a more laid back aero position on your bike if your into that type of thing. Ask yourself what type of riding do I want to do and buy accordingly. Again it's all in what you prefer.
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Old 10-20-05, 08:35 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fmw
Someone mentioned a 21 lb. bike. I would have assumed bents were a whole lot heavier than that - heavier than MTB's. Apparently not. Bents aren't sold in our area and I've only seen one on the roads. That was 3 years ago. I suppose the only way for me to try one is buy one mail order and climb aboard. Perhaps I'll make it my next cycling project after building the Basso.
A 21 pound recumbent? There are a few out there, but they're not your run-of-the-mill bikes. Expect to pay 4 to 5 grand (USD) for one that light. Where is 'our area" that doesn't have bents? Nice looking bikes, BTW. How do you like the Neuvation(sp?) wheels?
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Old 10-20-05, 09:20 PM   #22
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A 21 pound recumbent? There are a few out there, but they're not your run-of-the-mill bikes. Expect to pay 4 to 5 grand (USD) for one that light. Where is 'our area" that doesn't have bents? Nice looking bikes, BTW. How do you like the Neuvation(sp?) wheels?
North Central Indiana. I'm near South Bend - not the world's hot bed of bike shops. Thanks for the comment about my bikes. I love to build them almost as much as I like to ride them. I'm working on a steel Italian Basso Gap at the moment. The frame is at the shop now getting faced and chased. It will be 100% Italian if I can manage it.

The Neuvations are really excellent for the money. I bought mine on Ebay for $185 for the pair. That's a low end wheel price. They perform more like $400 or $500 wheels, though. A little heavy (1700 grams or so) but sturdy and stiff. Yesterday we had 25 mph gusts and I was out riding on that bike. When I was broadsides to the wind, the gusts would really beat on the aero rims, though. Once I thought I might get deposited on the pavement. They aren't so aero from the sides. All in all, I haven't encountered better wheels in that price range.
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Old 10-22-05, 12:09 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skysensor
Hello:

My first post here, and its of the typical "newbie looking for advice" type.

I'm looking for a weekend tourer to be used for short weekday evening rides on residential (suburban) streets and on rails-to-trails paths on weekends. Some of the paths in my area are asphalt, but most are crushed limestone. One such is the Root River trail in SE Minnesota. I also live within a 1-1/2 hr drive (by car) of the granddaddy of all rails-to-trails projects, the Elroy-Sparta trail in Wisconsin. This provides direct connection to three other trails.

About the engine: 40-something, 200# couch potato who recognizes need for exercise, but must identify least painful, most enjoyable method for obtaining it. I enjoy camping, and am definitely interested in bicycle camping, hauling what I need for a complete weekend on the bike. Married, and at this point the wife has little to no interest in biking, though she does enjoy camping (we've tented and now own a small hybrid camper). Most of my early adventures will thus most likely be single, probably meeting my wife at predetermined stops along the trail. My hope is that I can convince her to try biking, maybe on a trike.

So, I've been scouring the net comparing various configurations and models. Setting a realistic budget of $1000, and stating a preference for LWB or CLWB, please provide feedback on the following (or offer other suggestions):

Burley Koosah/Sand Point. Anybody using the rear rack with panniers with this? (I won't pay $125 for the 3rd party underseat pannier rack). How is the balance with this setup? Are the optional seat struts suggested?

EZ 1 Lite. Does anybody have any experience with the under seat pannier racks and rear rack for this bike? What bags do you use, and what is the ground clearance under the bags? Suitable for "loaded" weekend touring?

Cycle Genius LTX. Same general questions as above.

Trikes: I would consider a trike, but am concerned about rolling resistance on the limestone trail surface. Weight is another issue. In my price range, what about the following:

EZ 3

EZ 3 USX (65 lbs ?!). Has anybody given this a full review yet?

EZ Tadpole. This may be just out of my reach price-wise. Does anyone have these yet?




I will definitely consider buying used if another (better) bike/trike was available.

Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

Mark
You get very little recumbent bike for 1000 dollars. Sad but true. A used TE is the way to go for that kind of money.
Check out Bacchetta's new bike on there web page. $1250.00 retail. A little more than you want to spend but I can gaurentee a Mark Collitan designed bike will be well worth the money.
Bacchetta has a winner here. I would advise you to check it out before you purchase a bike.
This site seems to have a bias against Bacchetta since no one here has mentioned this bike.
I ride high end equipment but this bike like all of Bacchetta's designs is cutting edge for it's price.

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Old 10-22-05, 09:43 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fmw
North Central Indiana. I'm near South Bend - not the world's hot bed of bike shops. Thanks for the comment about my bikes. I love to build them almost as much as I like to ride them. I'm working on a steel Italian Basso Gap at the moment. The frame is at the shop now getting faced and chased. It will be 100% Italian if I can manage it.

.
Bachetta has some shops about two hours drive of you. One in Chicago, one in St Charles, IL, and one in Holt, Mi (near Lansing). Do you ever get out to New York? There's a shop in western NY called The Bicycle Man. They carry bents in stock to test ride. It's one of the sponsors listed across the top of Bentrider Online.

http://www.bicycleman.com/recumbents/recumbents.htm

http://www.bentrideronline.com/

If you wanted to take a week's vacation, or a long weekend, and test out rides, you could go to the Hostell Shoppe near Oshkosh, Wi, or to Minneapolis to Calhoun Cycles.
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Old 10-22-05, 07:52 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeezerGeek
...There is a big difference in the way bents handle...
Granted, but wouldn't the rider adjust to the handling? I'm not sure that first impressions are reliable indicators on bicycle comfort. A case in point is the Electra Townie that I bought last January. First ride was comfortable indeed, but after an hour in the saddle... Let's just say I sold the Townie before 6 months were up.

Wouldn't first impressions (particularly on something like handling) also be misleading?
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