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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 05-03-12, 05:49 AM   #1
chandltp
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2009 rans v3

So I'm looking at getting a recumbent. Due to some other financial responsibilities, I'm looking used instead of the flashy new tadpole I've been aspiring to. I've never ridden a tadpole due to the distance I'd need to travel to do so, I wanted to be prepared to make a purchase when I went.

I found a 2009 RANS V3 on Craigslist:
http://erie.craigslist.org/bik/2983967963.html

I have a few questions about this, and I'm hoping you folks can help me out:

1. Is the $1200 a reasonable price?
2. I noted the wheels are 650c. Is this common among recumbents?
3. I'm going to be getting a wheel with a dyno hub built. If the 650c is an odd size, is it worth it to go to a more standard 26" size?
4. Would a bike like this be suitable for distances / light touring? Basically I'd want to put on fenders and a rack for day trips so I could put some stuff in a trunk bag and / or pannier. For a week long tour, I'd like to be able to tow a trailer. If I were able to tow a trailer, would a single or double wheel be preferred?
5. Since I'm new to recumbents, anything I should watch out for when I'm looking at this?
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Old 05-03-12, 07:00 AM   #2
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I recently bought a new Rans Formula LE. I shy away from the 650's due to the fact that the only available tires are narrow high pressure. Especially if I were touring I would want the more popular 26 and 20 inchers in a little wider (more comfortable) version. But that's just my tastes.
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Old 05-03-12, 10:28 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
1. Is the $1200 a reasonable price?
2. I noted the wheels are 650c. Is this common among recumbents?
3. I'm going to be getting a wheel with a dyno hub built. If the 650c is an odd size, is it worth it to go to a more standard 26" size?
4. Would a bike like this be suitable for distances / light touring?
I was on my DF doing a neighborhood ride last night, and thinking that a V-3 or similar would be just perfect for casual rides. Seems like a nice hop-n-go bike, with sitting position less radical than the RANS Xstream or my high racer, yet still fast. And I like that both wheels are the same size. If I had the money I would jump on it, considering that the V-3 is no longer made. It should be fairly easy to switch to 26" wheels, and I see no reason why it won't work for touring.

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Old 05-03-12, 11:35 AM   #4
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If I had the money I would jump on it, considering that the V-3 is no longer made. It should be fairly easy to switch to 26" wheels, and I see no reason why it won't work for touring.
So you think $1200 is reasonable?

When you say fairly easy to convert to 26" wheels.. assuming the brake reach, would there be much else involved? If not, I'm guessing I'd have to get some kind of adjustable caliper (can't really tell what the brake are from the picture)? I don't have any idea about clearances on this bike yet.
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Old 05-03-12, 01:57 PM   #5
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So you think $1200 is reasonable?

When you say fairly easy to convert to 26" wheels.. assuming the brake reach, would there be much else involved? If not, I'm guessing I'd have to get some kind of adjustable caliper (can't really tell what the brake are from the picture)? I don't have any idea about clearances on this bike yet.
Let me backtrack slightly. The V-3 came with either v-brakes or discs, and there's a 12mm difference between 650c (571mm diameter) and 26" (559mm). If v-brakes, you should ascertain that there is enough space to move the brake shoes down 6mm. The dropout spacing should already be 135mm in the back, so it's a simple swap to 26" if the bike comes with discs.

As for price, $1200 might be the upper limit I'd be willing to pay. BUT, it depends on the condition of the bike, what accessories are included (mirror, computer, luggage, etc.), distance from the seller and whether there's a shipping charge involved. I think that the V-3 retailed for around $1600 new (someone correct me).
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Old 05-03-12, 02:13 PM   #6
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Let me backtrack slightly. The V-3 came with either v-brakes or discs, and there's a 12mm difference between 650c (571mm diameter) and 26" (559mm). If v-brakes, you should ascertain that there is enough space to move the brake shoes down 6mm. The dropout spacing should already be 135mm in the back, so it's a simple swap to 26" if the bike comes with discs.
It's a local seller. The description says it came with V Brakes.

If I go with a 26" tire, I'm hoping I'll be able to mount fenders. If there's no provision for fenders or rack mount, it's off my list. but I can't seem to find that anywhere. Am I trying to fit a square peg into a round hole?

It comes with the extra fork and 20" wheel, and that's why I think he has the $1200 price, but that doesn't really interest me.

He says it's a replacement seat, and the little trunk bag comes with it, as well as the mirror (see the link in the OP).
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Old 05-03-12, 05:30 PM   #7
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As much as I like my steel V3, the aluminum one may not suit your needs, if you are thinking primarily about touring and pulling a trailer. 650c tire choices are limited primarily to 23mm. You could easily spend several hundred dollars on 26" wheels. And tires.
As is, with the 451 front wheel/fork, or with the 650 front wheel, this would be a great performance bike.
I'd recommend asking the seller for more info - I believe he sometimes posts on bentrideronline, judging from the picture that looks familiar, is highly bent-knowledgeable and could probably tell you what it would take to convert to 26" wheels, etc.
A RANS rear rack could be added to the bike, most likely. Probably room for fenders.
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Old 05-04-12, 05:35 AM   #8
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Thanks for the feedback. I'm going to keep my appointment for a test ride on Sunday and see where it goes.

I'm already planning on a front wheel build for a dyno hub, so an extra couple hundred for a rear wheel build isn't out of the question, assuming the price is right for the bike.

I may create an account for bent rider online and see what kind of feedback I get too. I didn't think about that, since I generally just frequent bike forums.
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Old 05-04-12, 07:02 AM   #9
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If you're going to have a wheel for a dynohub built up anyway, the economics become more favorable.
A test ride is the way to go. Have you ridden a 'bent before?
It took me a couple of attempts to get underway my first time six years ago - a test ride around the block on a used bike, which I bought. Took weeks/months to become fully acclimated to 'bent riding.
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Old 05-04-12, 07:53 AM   #10
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If you're going to have a wheel for a dynohub built up anyway, the economics become more favorable.
A test ride is the way to go. Have you ridden a 'bent before?
Nope but everything I've read seems to indicate that's where its at for me. I have numbness problems in both the groin and my hands on a frequent basis (I haven't given up on finding the right seat for my commuter).

He's going to be working on his boat, so he's meeting me about 2 miles from my house on a road that I ride quite frequently. There's a MUP adjacent to the road, so I can start out on there to get the feel of it. Depending on how comfortable he is with it, I'd like to take it for a longer rider (leaving my bike with him).
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Old 05-07-12, 05:46 AM   #11
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After looking at it on Sunday, I decided I was trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. It's really designed to be a go-fast recumbent from what I can tell, which is really not what I'm going to be using it for. Thanks for all the advice.
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