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  1. #1
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    Recumbent steering- which should I get?

    I am buying a new recumbent. Which is the better steering? Handlebats or under seat?

  2. #2
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    "Better" is a matter of opinion. OSS (over) is easier & more common. USS (under) is said to be more challenging and less suitable for tight maneuvering, but those who like it mention that it is more comfortable.

  3. #3
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    I'd love to try a USS 'bent. I wouldn't want to have to walk it up a hill though. What do you hold on to?
    Car-Free IT Geek
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Steamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcrowell View Post
    I'd love to try a USS 'bent. I wouldn't want to have to walk it up a hill though. What do you hold on to?
    One hand on the back of seat pushing / stabilizing, the other on one side of the bars steering.
    Last edited by Steamer; 05-30-12 at 12:53 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Recumbomatic View Post
    "Better" is a matter of opinion. OSS (over) is easier & more common. USS (under) is said to be more challenging and less suitable for tight maneuvering, but those who like it mention that it is more comfortable.
    +1 with a suggestion the OP do some test rides and perhaps some reading at BentRider Online before purchase.
    George
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcottay View Post
    +1 with a suggestion the OP do some test rides and perhaps some reading at BentRider Online before purchase.
    +1 on test rides. The value of a test ride road trip to a recumbent specialty dealer can't be overstated.

    There are a lot of things to get used to if you haven't ridden a recumbent before. I found even the simplest things, like drinking while in motion, to each have their own learning curve. Besides what you learn through the test ride, you'll also be working with a (hopefully) experienced recumbent person. They'll be able to talk you through things like transporting a recumbent by car, rolling it through doors, storage in the house, installing a bike computer and any number of other things that may cross your mind.

    Even a medium price range recumbent costs a fair amount of money. It's prudent to do your "due diligence" to avoid making an expensive purchasing mistake.

  7. #7
    Senior Member delcrossv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steamer View Post
    One hand on the back of seat pushing / stabilizing, the other on one side of the bars steering.
    On my USS LWB I can just lean it to steer, so seat back only. As I ride both I have to admit I like USS for longer distance. Also it's just as easy to ride USS as OSS:
    the "USS is more challenging" is BS IMHO. Heck my 13 y.o. just hopped on and took off.

    Definitely test ride- all else is gas.
    Lightning P-38 / M5 M-Racer/Ryan Vanguard

  8. #8
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by delcrossv View Post
    Definitely test ride- all else is gas.
    \

    Good advice for the ages. Applies to everything.

    FWIW: I tried a couple USS bikes long ago (30 years? Geez...) I've stuck with OSS bikes since. I just like to keep my hands in sight.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bear38 View Post
    I am buying a new recumbent.
    -1 on buying new the first time (assuming this is your first recumbent). Buy a used one of a well regarded model, ride it a year, then go buy a new one if your want continues. That way you get what you want (the first year riding the used bent will tell you which features are most important to you), and you can sell the used one back to the market for its original price.
    Longbikes Slipstream

  10. #10
    Senior Member gavtatu's Avatar
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    although i've never ridden an USS, i dont fancy it !
    i prefer the more natural position of having my hands forward, in a more protective manner !
    like when one falls forward !
    Last edited by gavtatu; 06-01-12 at 02:58 PM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by gavtatu View Post
    although i've never had ten million dollars, i dont fancy it ! !
    fify
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  12. #12
    Senior Member chandltp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilbur Bud View Post
    -1 on buying new the first time (assuming this is your first recumbent).
    Well, I bought new yesterday.. I couldn't find any used tadpole trikes after 2 years of looking. I found a used one that they had, but it didn't turn out to be the model I liked the best so I bought new. I spent about 5 hours testing riding before the purchase, trying a bunch of models with different features. Might I want a different one in a year? It's possible.

    With regard to USS or OSS, the ladies test riding with me preferred the USS. On the tadpoles, it's no choice.
    There are 10 types of people, those that understand binary and those that don't.

  13. #13
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilbur Bud View Post
    -1 on buying new the first time (assuming this is your first recumbent). Buy a used one of a well regarded model, ride it a year, then go buy a new one if your want continues. That way you get what you want (the first year riding the used bent will tell you which features are most important to you), and you can sell the used one back to the market for its original price.
    I dunno. Maybe I got lucky. I went to bike shop that fateful day in 2008 to buy a doo-dad of some kind. I started drooling over the $1500 'bent in the corner. I was offered a test ride. After a few fun loops around the parking lot, the bike was mine. It's still my only recumbent, and I love it.
    Car-Free IT Geek
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  14. #14
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    USS choices pretty limited

    If you are considering 2-wheeled recumbents, your choice for USS is pretty slim and some of those like the Velotechnic that a friend rides costs several thousands of dollars. My second recumbent a 1997 Linear long wheelbase came with OSS bars installed and USS parts in a box. I got intrigued by the idea of the USS because the OSS bars were ape-hangar style and very flimsy. So, I installed the USS while the OSS bars were still in place and rode it for a couple of weeks. I got some pretty good stares by people wondering how I could ride "no hands" so well. It didn't take long to decide I liked the USS bars better and I switched over the brakes and shifters and threw away the OSS bars. I later went on to also buy an Haluzak Horizon short wheelbase with USS. Quite a few people have test ridden both bikes and it didn't seem to take long for them to get the hang of it. It's funny that one poster in this thread mentioned his hands felt natural having his hands in front of him. I felt just the opposite and was more comfortable with my hands at my sides instead of up in the air. Frankly I hated the ape-hangar style bars. It is interesting that I and a couple friends have more than a half dozen 2-wheeled recumbents among us and all of them use USS.

  15. #15
    Just Follow Your Feet! AlphaGeek's Avatar
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    I started out on USS with my first recumbent. A few months ago I decided to give the OSS a whirl, and I like it just fine. I do think the USS is more relaxed, but the OSS is fine. Neither has been an issue with stress on the arms. The main difference I notice is that with OSS, the wind gets to the arm pits better, keeping you a bit cooler/less sweaty in this Georgia heat! Either way USS or OSS, it's great to be on a recumbent!
    Recumbents rock!

  16. #16
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    If it is a first bent, above seat handlebars are probably better, since it will seem more familiar. One small matter with USS is it puts your arms at your sides and presents a wider profile when riding into the wind. That is the reason that on my Stratus I have the handlebars set forward so I am in the "superman" position, and there is very little aero drag from my arms. It also reduces tiller.

  17. #17
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by delcrossv View Post
    On my USS LWB I can just lean it to steer, so seat back only. As I ride both I have to admit I like USS for longer distance. Also it's just as easy to ride USS as OSS:
    the "USS is more challenging" is BS IMHO. Heck my 13 y.o. just hopped on and took off.

    Definitely test ride- all else is gas.
    Maybe I shoulda tried USS when I was younger. It took me about 20 minutes to get used to USS. The guy who was treating me to the test ride kept saying "Relax your shoulders!" Once I finally got it that was definitely my favorite position for long mellow rides. Soooo comfy to have your arms down like that. Maybe too comfy I could see falling asleep riding like that on a nice sunny day.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  18. #18
    Senior Member LWB_guy's Avatar
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    It took me 25 to 30 hours riding to get used to USS. Yes, it is absolutely necessary to relax your hands, lower arms, upper arms, and shoulders. It just takes time to learn to do that while holding onto the handlebars. It was well worth the time.

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