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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 07-26-12, 12:21 PM   #1
janasbent
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Need Rans Stratus Tips

Hi, I have been riding a Trek road bike for a few years that a friend talked me into buying, but I have severe back problems. I gave it up and bought a Rans Stratus LE. I really enjoy it but I'm still trying to figure it out. Can anyone give me some pointers on the best way to do things such as hills and starting. I'm getting real good at the "Flintstone Start", but I'm sure there are better ways of getting this thing going than doing the push off. Any other tips would be appreciated. I ride with a guy on a terra cycle tadpole, so our speed is about the same right now, about 16 - 17 on the flats. It isn't bad, but I hope that I can eventually get my speed up on this thing. Our rides are about 40 - 50 miles long 3 times per week so I don't think we're doing too bad. Thanks

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Old 07-26-12, 12:28 PM   #2
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As I think with any bent, it is better to hold the brakes, cock a pedal at 11 oclock and give the pedal a good push gain balance and get your other foot on and pedal off.

I rode a Rans Tailwind for 3 years and my Stratus for 4 years. I can ride off on a line usually no wider than 6 inches. I can also ride fairly steady as low as 2 or 3 mph. Personally I think the Stratus is a fantastic bent.
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Old 07-26-12, 02:51 PM   #3
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Most important for getting moving from a standing stop, especially if you are headed uphill, is to be in a low-enough gear before coming to a stop.
rydabent's technique sounds good. I always use my right foot to start off - some use left, some use either. Relax back into the seat, be confident, and move forward.
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Old 07-26-12, 04:06 PM   #4
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In my experience, trying to push off just makes life harder than need be. Getting started is really easy. The only problem is convincing yourself that's true.

Here are the simple secrets:
  • select a lowish gear but not your granny unless you're on a super steep hill
  • clip the foot on your choice in
  • have pedal of your choice in position for a nice strong stroke
  • apply gentle brake
  • relax
  • really, the relax part is essential
  • are you totally relaxed?
  • stay relaxed, no pushing off or body flopping or any other trick
  • release brake as you
  • take off with a nice smooth easy stroke
  • staying relaxed because the bike really does want to stay up
  • pedal away as you get the other foot clipped in
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Old 07-26-12, 07:44 PM   #5
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Good advice above so I will just add one more tip that may work.

This trick only works with clip in pedals. If you clip in with one foot, you can actually pedal with only that foot (push and pull) while you hold your other foot near the ground until you get enough speed to balance, then you can coast a bit and clip in the other foot.
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Old 08-02-12, 09:41 PM   #6
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Rydabent,

I just bought a Tailwind. Got it in today, but can not figure out the cables, gears, and brake setup. Do you think a bike shop can do it? I don't have a RANS dealer in my town. Will that matter? Would I be better off to take it to a RANS dealer 90 miles away? Any tips on riding the tailwind will be greatly appreciated. I am 62 and new to recumbents for safety and comfort.

P.S. I just found a Stratus LE about three years old I can get for $650. What's my tailwind worth? I paid $580, which was probably too much.
Thanks,
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Old 08-02-12, 09:57 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by bicyclebill1 View Post
Rydabent,

I just bought a Tailwind. Got it in today, but can not figure out the cables, gears, and brake setup. Do you think a bike shop can do it? I don't have a RANS dealer in my town. Will that matter? Would I be better off to take it to a RANS dealer 90 miles away? Any tips on riding the tailwind will be greatly appreciated. I am 62 and new to recumbents for safety and comfort.

P.S. I just found a Stratus LE about three years old I can get for $650. What's my tailwind worth? I paid $580, which was probably too much.
Thanks,
Bill
Cables shouldn't be a problem for a bike shop. Just have to make sure they have cables that are long enough to fit a recumbent (usually not an issue).

The Tailwind is a good bike for a beginner. Find a safe place to practice before venturing out on the street, just relax and enjoy
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Old 08-02-12, 10:03 PM   #8
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"Find a safe place to practice before venturing out on the street, just relax and enjoy."

I have a 55 mile paved rails to trails bike trial about 5 miles from my house. I have ridden several thousand miles on it, but not on a recumbent. I would never ride on the street.

Thanks for your comments and any help is appreciated for a newbee.
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Old 08-15-12, 03:15 PM   #9
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IMHO A Stratus that is only 3 years old for $650 is a great deal. Try selling the Tailwind on Craigslist.
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Old 08-17-12, 09:41 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by bicyclebill1 View Post
Rydabent,

I just bought a Tailwind. Got it in today, but can not figure out the cables, gears, and brake setup. Do you think a bike shop can do it? I don't have a RANS dealer in my town. Will that matter? Would I be better off to take it to a RANS dealer 90 miles away? Any tips on riding the tailwind will be greatly appreciated. I am 62 and new to recumbents for safety and comfort.

P.S. I just found a Stratus LE about three years old I can get for $650. What's my tailwind worth? I paid $580, which was probably too much.
Thanks,
Bill
Any shop that handles tandems should have cables that will work on a bent. If not, they just have to order the longer ones. Everything else is the same as an upright bicycle.
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