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  1. #1
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    New to bents! Need advice!

    Hi there, first time poster, long time lurker.

    Background, I used to be into MTB, and was going on 20+ mi cross country rides every other week. Then life took over and I stopped. We just bought our son his first "real" bike a month ago, and that got me interested in getting back in the saddle. At the same time, I won a 6-mo membership to a local bike commuter place (indoor secure parking & showers!) so I'm wanting to work up to a daily commuter. (see: The Bicycle Cellar)

    I Had planned on on just riding my MTB for a while to get back into it, but I injured my back a couple of years ago and I'm finding that I am uncomfortable for a day or two after a commute day, mostly the neck. The rest of me bounces back quickly but I can't seem to bounce back as well in the neck. Curses to you, Father Time!

    So, I went to a LBS that carries a few brands of bents and tried out a bunch (6+). I found that I liked the LWBs the best. In fact, the Bacchetta Bella was my favorite. My wallet couldn't afford it, however, but armed with some knowledge and the Internet, I started to do some hardcore research.

    After scanning Craigslist for a couple weeks, an EZ-Sport Ltd popped up. They were asking $369, and I thought, if it's even in reasonable condition, it'd be a steal. I went to take a look at it, and oh boy, it was nowhere near reasonable condition. I think it was sitting out in the central AZ sun for a few years. After doing research and some tough negotiations, we made a deal for $250. This weekend, I ordered $200 in parts, which should be here before too long. All told, $450 and some love will net me a pretty sweet ride.

    I intend to document the process and will update here with the final result.

    In the meantime, I keep going around looking for a way to carry my belongings to/from work. I need to carry my iPad, a full change of clothes & shoes, plenty of water (I'm thinking a 70oz bladder at a min.), and a basic repair kit. To start, I'm gonna just use my backpack, but I'm afraid of the straps, etc getting tangled, along with my current camelbak both strapped to the setback. Clunky, but will get the job done.

    Does anyone here have experience with bags on the EZ-Sport? If so, what configuration do you use? What do you like/not like.

    I've looked at seat back messenger bags, rear trunk style bags, mid-panniers, etc. About the only things I've ruled out are handlebar bags. I just don't like them.

    So, anyone have suggestions on stowage? Or anything else for a noob?

    Thanks in advance!

    Damon

  2. #2
    Senior Member Notso_fastLane's Avatar
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    I assume you're in Az, so you shouldn't have to worry about carrying rain gear, unlike those of us in the Pacific Northwet. (*sigh* I really miss biking in Az.)

    I use this bag for my (almost) daily commute (there's a similar one for mesh seats), and I can just cram a change of clothes in there with my rain gear (when I'm not wearing it). I leave an extra pair of shoes at work so I can ride with my clipless pedals. You might have to hang your water bladder separately. I'd get a smaller frame pack, like one of these for your tire pump and repair kit. The nicest thing, IMO, about the seat back style bags is that they are easy to take off and carry with you, and put back on the bike.

    Having said all that, the bag is a bit too small to carry rain gear, a change of clothes, and anything like lunch (unless it's just a couple power bars), so I'm in the process of fitting mine with a rear rack, and hoping I can find my panniers (just recently moved, everything's in boxes....).

  3. #3
    I am the Snail~! Peter_C's Avatar
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    Rewrite this post over at BROL? They have a bit more traffic on 'bents, as that's all that forum is about...
    Peter_C
    http://s1103.photobucket.com/albums/g475/Peter_CC/ <-- My Photos

  4. #4
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    The seat on the EZ Sport shown in a picture I googled looks identical to the seat on my Tour Easy. A double seat back frame with a couple of straps to secure/tighten the mesh back. If this is so on your EZ Sport, you can add lacing to the seat frame and carry a lot of stuff in the resulting space between the mesh and lacing. Other than the comfort of the ride, that is the feature I like best about my TE. A trunk bag should round out your space need for work commuting.
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Notso_fastLane View Post
    I assume you're in Az, so you shouldn't have to worry about carrying rain gear, unlike those of us in the Pacific Northwet. (*sigh* I really miss biking in Az.)

    I use this bag for my (almost) daily commute (there's a similar one for mesh seats), and I can just cram a change of clothes in there with my rain gear (when I'm not wearing it). I leave an extra pair of shoes at work so I can ride with my clipless pedals. You might have to hang your water bladder separately. I'd get a smaller frame pack, like one of these for your tire pump and repair kit. The nicest thing, IMO, about the seat back style bags is that they are easy to take off and carry with you, and put back on the bike.

    Having said all that, the bag is a bit too small to carry rain gear, a change of clothes, and anything like lunch (unless it's just a couple power bars), so I'm in the process of fitting mine with a rear rack, and hoping I can find my panniers (just recently moved, everything's in boxes....).


    This time of year, it's pretty miserable in the afternoons. I beat the dust storm home tonight (by 15 mins). Thanks for the advise on the bag. I don't ride every day (yet) so I need to carry my shoes.


    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclebum View Post
    The seat on the EZ Sport shown in a picture I googled looks identical to the seat on my Tour Easy. A double seat back frame with a couple of straps to secure/tighten the mesh back. If this is so on your EZ Sport, you can add lacing to the seat frame and carry a lot of stuff in the resulting space between the mesh and lacing. Other than the comfort of the ride, that is the feature I like best about my TE. A trunk bag should round out your space need for work commuting.
    I really like the idea of a rack and trunk, but I'm currently at a loss as to how to make it work with those seat supports. I'll keep looking around. I think a backpack is my starting point.

    I was looking at the seat and I might be able to rig the camelback in that space behind the mesh.but refilling it may be A problem.... H,mm

    Thanks for the ideas!

    Damon

  6. #6
    recumbent bike advocate Tractortom's Avatar
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    There is a rack available that would adapt to the bike...I have one on my Bacchetta Giro. I don't know the manufacturer as I got it from the Bacchetta Web site, but it is very adjustable and grabs the seat frame uprights with a clamp to support one end of the rack, and has legs that go down to the rear wheel frame a the axle.

    Tractor Tom in Okeechobee

  7. #7
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    As for the rack, I could find no place on the seat frame to bolt the stabilizing extensions. Improvised with heavy duty cable ties. Still going strong after 7 months and 3 loaded tours.

    As for water, I carried 4 liters in collasable bags in that space behind the mesh on my tour in Big Bend, and could have carried 6. Might require a bit of adjustment to the seat position if much is stuffed into that space.
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dzirkler View Post
    Hi there, first time poster, long time lurker.

    .......

    Does anyone here have experience with bags on the EZ-Sport? If so, what configuration do you use? What do you like/not like.

    I've looked at seat back messenger bags, rear trunk style bags, mid-panniers, etc. About the only things I've ruled out are handlebar bags. I just don't like them.

    So, anyone have suggestions on stowage? Or anything else for a noob?

    Thanks in advance!

    Damon
    Quote Originally Posted by dzirkler View Post



    .........




    I really like the idea of a rack and trunk, but I'm currently at a loss as to how to make it work with those seat supports. I'll keep looking around. I think a backpack is my starting point.

    I was looking at the seat and I might be able to rig the camelback in that space behind the mesh.but refilling it may be A problem.... H,mm

    Thanks for the ideas!

    Damon
    Yes I do have EZ Sport experience. I've been trying different bags on my recumbents for the past five years and I've formed some opinions. I'll share my experience, opinions, and a couple of pictures here....you may or may not find any value in them.

    First, congratulations on acquiring your EZ Sport at such a reasonable cost. They are a fine machine and they're built like a tank. You should get years of enjoyment from it.

    I routinely use three different bags on my EZ Sport. Which of the three I use is determined by how much carrying capacity I'll need on any given day. The three are: handlebar bag hung on the seatback, soft sided rack trunk (the seat braces don't interfere with it at all), and panniers.

    The EZ Sport seat does not readily accept the typical over-the-seatback bags, but it is quite easy to hang a handlebar bag on the back side of the seat to handle any low volume cargo needs. This is a pic of my EZ Sport which just happens to have a handlebar bag hanging in the seat.



    I have a rear rack mounted on my EZ Sport and it actually is quite easy to securely mount it. The braces are a no-brainer as they just attach to the threaded hole near the drop-out. The front brace requires either a couple of clamps or a brake-bridge type bracket. http://www.bikeparts.com/search_resu...p?ID=BPC114972 Mine currently uses the brake bridge type of bracket. See the picture below...



    Another option would be to use a couple of rack clamps. These can be ordered from bike parts places or found in any automotive department. http://www.bikeparts.com/search_resu...p?ID=BPC327801
    Since the rack on an EZ Sport sets almost even with the seat base, you could mount them on the lower cross bar on your seat or on the vertical brace, see the green arrows on this picture of my EZ Sport....



    Here is an example of that concept in use on my Tour Easy....



    I like your plan to use a rear rack as it will allow you to use a rack trunk and/or panniers. Shop carefully for your rack so as not to restrict yourself down the road. You can carry rack trunks on almost any rack without much difficulty, but panniers are a bit different. My personal favorie is this rack by Axiom... http://www.ebikestop.com/axiom_journ...ack-RK6602.php
    The extra tubing on the sides allows me to use an inexpensive set of panniers that I own. They didn't cost much and aren't terribly stiff, but the rack keeps them away from my rear wheel. I currently have an Axiom Journey rack on my Tour Easy and on my Volae. I intend to include a couple more racks in my next order and will be installing one on my EZ Sport to replace the Blackburn rack that is on there now.

    So there you have it. I prefer the Axiom Journey rear rack because it allows me to use less expensive panniers. I use either panniers, a trunk bag, or a handlebar bag on the seatback and they all work great. And finally, mounting a rack to your EZ Sport should be easy peasy.
    Last edited by cranky old dude; 06-30-12 at 06:25 PM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    When I wanted to put a rear rack on my V-Rex, which has a 24" rear wheel, I made my own bracket from a piece of aluminum bar that I got from the local hardware store. It worked very much like the one in cranky's pictures, except I bolted it to the seat rail. Improvise, adapt, overcome!

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