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  1. #1
    Recumbent Ninja
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    first time trying out bents - thoughts and questions

    So I tried some bents for the first time today. Picking are slim here in DFW but I went for an hour drive to Richardson and Plano to try what I could.

    1. Tried a catrike road. Fun, fast, and easy as hell to ride. So far my most enjoyable trip on a bent. But how the hell do you transport two if I buy this, cause my wife wants one too! (or at least the pocket model)

    2. Tried a lightning p-38. Took about 5 minutes before I could begin to pedial. Something of a learning curve - felt like my first time on a bike ever. Did not like the handlebars, nor did I like the tiny front wheel, which seemed to sharpen how fast the bike turned.

    3. Bachetta Corsa. Did not like the carbon fiber seat, did not like the fact that my knees were coming above the handlebars. Made it feel like the ONLY way I could steer would be to lean, because the handlebars don't move past my legs. Which means I'd never be able to do any decent turning.

    4. Easyracers tour easy. Easy to ride, definately. Enjoy this type of seat much more, but it basically felt like the bastard child of a bike and a lawn chair. NO "Cool" Factor.

    So what's all this mean? At the moment, I'm thinking it means I'm getting a catrike, but What I know for sure:

    1: Needs to be a SWB with equal sized wheels. The 16" front wheel turned too sharply for my taste.
    2. Think I need under seat steering (is that what USS stands for?) Handlebars seem to get in my way.
    3. I really want to ride an optima baron and a couple actionbents and a hp velotecnik grasshopper and a greenspeed folind trike. Those all seem ideal for the kind of riding I want to do. Anybody near me have one of these?

    umm, that's it for the moment - my brain is fried. That is all

  2. #2
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    I don't see any Rans bikes listed. Any reason for that? Their over seat steering (OSS) is quite different from the ones you tried. Thinking V-Rex and Rocket.

    Grasshopper is good if you need suspension and don't mind a laid back seat.

  3. #3
    lowracer ninja master lowracer1's Avatar
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    I bought my optima baron online from canada and had never even sat on the bike. No matter which bent you get, there will be a learning curve. Just about anything I get on other than the baron feels wierd. I really like the praying hamster position rather than the superman bars. Over 8000 miles between 2 barons now and a little over 3000 miles on the velokraft vk2 racer. If you are going for the cool and fast, I wouldn't look any further than a baron. I know 5 guys now that never were able to try the baron first. They love the bikes and won't give them up. Rans rocket.........nah....not cool


    just an idea, get the wife the catrike.......... I got mine a catrike speed. get the drift. you get a baron, then you can still ride the catrike from time to time if of course she doesn't have really short legs.
    chris@promocycle.net

  4. #4
    Recumbent Ninja
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    I wanted to try a V-rex. One of the bike shops supposedly carried them, but then apparently decided not to any longer. I was woefully disappointed in the amount of brands being carried here in this area. Nothing other than Sun/easy models and a catrike, amd one bachetta.

  5. #5
    'Bent Brian
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    Sounds like you are going to have to make a drive if you are going to try out more 'bents. Don't short change the RANS bikes. The V-rex (SWB) and the V-2 (LWB) are pretty decent. If you are going for snappy handling and shorter rides look to a SWB. For long all day rides and loaded touring then go for a LWB.

    'bent Brian

  6. #6
    Ric
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    I ride the Strada with the mesh seat and I can understand not liking the carbon fiber seat,I've tried those and they never fit me, I think you need to try the Mesh and you will find it alot more to your liking. As far as your knees go, if they were coming above the handlebars you were on the wrong size Bacchetta or had the wrong size bars, and it sounds like you need to find a LBS that knows what there doing and how to fit you to the right size. Being able to do any decent turning will come with time, as someone else said there is a learning curve. With the recumbents you have listed I think my question is, what are you looking for, do you have the need for speed or are you looking for comfort.
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  7. #7
    Recumbent Ninja
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    Ric, I was noticing that when I saw some pics of lowracers, that the handlebar should be coming closer in to me and way closer than my knees. I probably would have liked the Bachetta fine if not for that. Still, if I decide to go with that type of bike, I'll likely get a actionbent or a grasshopper. Still,the lowracers seem to be floating my boat at the moment.

  8. #8
    Honorable Member beowoulfe's Avatar
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    I ride a Greenspeed GTO and have for the past 2 years. I've tried the Catrike Road and didn't like it. Course it is quite a bit less expensive. Still there was significant difference in feel and handling. I bought my Greenspeed without having ridden one. Probably not a good thing to do, but from all that I'd read and my own ablility to adapt; I'm happy I did it.

    I have a van now, so transportation by car is not an issue. I've seen plans on the net to build hitch carriers for a trike. Might do that some day.

    Last year another guy and myself (he has a GTO as well) broke down our trikes and put them in the back of a rental van, drove up to Portland, Maine then road back to Virginia via Lake Ontario. Takes about a half hour to break one down and a half hour to put it back together. The more I do it the faster I get at it. It has an S&S coupling to shorten the frame when broken down. I used to put it into the trunk of a Ford Taurus I used to have, no problem.

    It rides well, and takes a load of touring gear well. All this talk has gotten me inspired. Think I'll go for a ride.
    Greenspeed GTO 1027

  9. #9
    Ric
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    Quote Originally Posted by aikigreg
    Ric, I was noticing that when I saw some pics of lowracers, that the handlebar should be coming closer in to me and way closer than my knees. I probably would have liked the Bachetta fine if not for that. Still, if I decide to go with that type of bike, I'll likely get a actionbent or a grasshopper. Still,the lowracers seem to be floating my boat at the moment.

    Be careful of the actionbent, I've heard alot of bad things about there packing and shipping. You sound like my wife, she tried a Lowracer and ended up on her butt the first time out but when she got the hang of the thing she did pretty well. For me there to much trouble getting in and out of, if I go that low I'll stay on my trikes.
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  10. #10
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    hey I just got an Actionbent...last week. Only ridden it twice but I like it. Its a USS with 16" front wheel, and yes the steering is very whippy, but I think with enough hours on the bike, one will get used to it. It feels like a sports car! I got the lowest-priced model they sell (JeStream II) and the owner gave me a good deal on it, so I shouldn't complain, but the components and especially the paint job are noticebly cheap. I'll probably upgrade the components over time...Also I hope you're mechanically inclined, because the bike comes completely disassembled with NO instructions (it came with a CD that was completely useless..translated from Chinese into non-sensical English, and no detailed instructions at all)
    My first bent, it moves really fast but you can definitely felle very bump and little hill in the road...I'm riding on flat terrain but even the smallest rise will slow me down; but it REALLY accelerates on the downhill side......
    All in all I think its a good value, but you can tell where they cut corners to keep the cost down.

    Good luck!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmydarrell
    hey I just got an Actionbent...last week. Only ridden it twice but I like it. Its a USS with 16" front wheel, and yes the steering is very whippy, but I think with enough hours on the bike, one will get used to it. It feels like a sports car! I got the lowest-priced model they sell (JeStream II) and the owner gave me a good deal on it, so I shouldn't complain, but the components and especially the paint job are noticebly cheap. I'll probably upgrade the components over time...Also I hope you're mechanically inclined, because the bike comes completely disassembled with NO instructions (it came with a CD that was completely useless..translated from Chinese into non-sensical English, and no detailed instructions at all)
    My first bent, it moves really fast but you can definitely felle very bump and little hill in the road...I'm riding on flat terrain but even the smallest rise will slow me down; but it REALLY accelerates on the downhill side......
    All in all I think its a good value, but you can tell where they cut corners to keep the cost down.

    Good luck!
    I reviewed the manufacturers' web site and was sorely surprised by what appeared to be very poor / cheap design. To call a upright handlebase installed backwards on a post the same as USS is detestable. I reviewed this as a viable alternative for a short moment because of the price point. I believe that that examination has reduced that possiblity.

    Does anyone have some good experience with this ActionBent as a viable recumbent? It seems that all the shift levers and brake levers are very inconvenient also.

  12. #12
    Ric
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigAlMN
    I reviewed the manufacturers' web site and was sorely surprised by what appeared to be very poor / cheap design. To call a upright handlebase installed backwards on a post the same as USS is detestable. I reviewed this as a viable alternative for a short moment because of the price point. I believe that that examination has reduced that possiblity.

    Does anyone have some good experience with this ActionBent as a viable recumbent? It seems that all the shift levers and brake levers are very inconvenient also.

    I believe your review is about right, I also believe that to buy an Actionbent and upgrade the components over time is a waste of good money and then I have too assemble the thing, I don't think so? But if you really want to find out more check with Jose on the South Florida Recumbent Riders club site, I believe he tested one. You can also check on Bentrider online there is info there and people that can help.
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  13. #13
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    Hello, Regarding the action bent as a viable bike for use by new comers. I would have a tendency to avoid recommending it myself. The absurd advertising claims, the apparently cheapest and softest paint available, the complaints of off location welding, the reportedly mis machined disc brake mounts, the reportedly fragile seat mounts, and the missed specifications on the build sheets presented in the advertising , and not the least, reports of completly missing small components, should give any newbie pause. There is no effective after purchase support other than the seller sending you a new part if there is a failure. However, he stocks only a limited selection of parts, and woe be to the buyer who has to wait for a specially built part to arrive from taiwan, it will take a minimum of two weeks to have that done, and there are complaints of five weeks and counting on that score. Imagine having to wait all that time for a simple replacement warranty part, and even longer in the middle of your riding season. Its better to go with a local dealer supported brand even though they are some what more expensive, at least you get the expertise of a local dealer to help you select the perfect bike for you, which is nonexistent with the actionbent, as well as a great source of repair help and a warranty advocate for the buyer to the manufacturer. If you are a multiple recumbent owner now, and need to consider an action bent due to low price, and are an expert mechanic, you may want to purchase one new, but keep to ebay and pay with credit card only, since this seller tends to ignore those who purchase off ebay, since he wont have to suffer an ebay neg if things go awry. Paying direct with a credit card also gives you the credit card company to help with leverage if the purchase is deemed to be a failure by the buyer.

  14. #14
    Civil War Vet Melvin Brunswik's Avatar
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    My son in law built me a recumbent.Uses a bean-bag chair and a particle board tailbox.Works just as good as any store bought rig.I keep a 6pack of Schlitz in the tailbox and a pouch of captain tartikoff smoking tobacco.

    You don't need anything fancy, unless yer tryin' to impress the ladies at your retirement home.I also use polident to minimize denture chatter when I hit top speed.

  15. #15
    lowracer ninja master lowracer1's Avatar
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    You are a little late in replying. Aikigreg already bought one of those fancy store bought Optima baron
    's like 2 weeks ago now.
    chris@promocycle.net

  16. #16
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    Thanks Chris, Its good to hear that someone dodged the ab bullet. Am also glad the post is there for others who may look in. Let me know the dimensions on the Optima tailbox. Thanks

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