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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Oh My, I Got Bent Today!

    A week or so ago I posted here searching for any DIY plans that folks may know of. I ordered a set and got them the other day....so I was on the hunt for a donor bike to give up its parts for the LWB project.

    I found a local shop I didn't know about that said they have used bikes, and headed out to check it out. Yep, they had a rack out front. An old K-Mart Roadie, A beat up old Huffy Mountain Bike, a Rans V-Rex recumbent, An old Schwinn Tourer...a...wait...WHAT?!?!?! They had a Rans V Rex in the rack....!

    I don't know a lot about 'Bents yet, but recognized Rans from Aviation and knew they build good bikes. Turns out this one is well used, with a fair amount of wear on some parts, but it has new tires. I am unsure exactly what model or year it is, but I think it is an older model. They told me an older fellow in town has ridden it for years, but can no longer ride. They also said they had tons of people checking it out ever since it got there....so I bought it on the spot to make sure I didn't miss it! Certainly it needs a lot of TLC, and will need to be adjusted to fit me- but I am now actually a member of the 'Bent world!

    So this will be my learning ride as I start to collect parts for my DIY homebuilt. Can't wait for saylight tomorrow to get out in the garage and clean and adjust the thing!
    R Bean
    "The FAA says I should weigh 170 pounds..."

  2. #2
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Good find!
    You could probably call RANS with the serial number to find out how old it is.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  3. #3
    Senior Member downtube42's Avatar
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    V-Rex was my starter recumbent about 7 years ago, and is still my main ride. I never finished by homebuilt bent project. Make sure the flip-it stem is tight (bars don't wobble side to side). There are faster recumbent's to be sure, but it's a great all-around bike that IMO climbs very well.
    What is bicycle touring?
    "So I kept looking and eventually found that a spark plug had same threads. So I cycled next two days until I got to Jackson, MS with a spark plug instead of right pedal." - mev

  4. #4
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    A V-Rex was my first bent, too. I still have it, kept at my son's house so I have something to ride when I visit him. One of the lessons you will learn from other people on these forums is that you should NEVER sell your V-Rex!

  5. #5
    Cycling Anarchist Trsnrtr's Avatar
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    Same here; a 2003 V-Rex was my first.
    Dennis T

  6. #6
    Senior Member Notso_fastLane's Avatar
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    Welcome to the dark, but comfortable, side.

  7. #7
    Senior Member osco53's Avatar
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    I gave up bicycles due to diamond frame induced pain..

    Then, having withdrawls and looking at my mountain bike hangin there I started looking at bikes again.

    My wife found a trike she wanted,,the EZ-3 Delta,,I got the EZ-1 sc,,
    And I was riding pain free,,,wonderfull little bent the EZ-1 was.....

    Then I found a nice used Like new Tour Easy....
    I will ride this LWB untill I need the third wheel to stay upright.

    No more Diamond frame pain In my life,,the Mountain bike,,I gave It away.

    OP,,wrenchin Is half the fun XD
    It's a Zen Thing.
    Scott Aspect 940 29er, Tour Easy LE, Sun EZ-3 sx, Walmart Thruster :P

  8. #8
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    Found out it is a 1995 Bicycle. The stem is staright and chrome, and the handlebars are sitting about 3 inches in front of the stem...a straight bar, and I can barely reach them. The stem doesn't lay down in any manner. Currently it is very twitchy to ride. Rans reffered me to a sales page which didn't really have many details on which bars and other parts to get to switch them to what later models had, so I will am asking here for help in figuring out what parts and part numbers I need.

    In addition, I have found lots of small but annoying thingd to be repaired. The brake on the front fork hits the frame. The fork seems to be a BMX one set up for a sidepull brake. It doesn't have a way to mount later MTB type brakes. Th idlers were filthy and one was mounted wrong. The biggest issue is the bracket the lower idler mounts to is cracked, twisted and ready to tear off. The chain binds badly on it as a result. Hope to get it welded up in the next few days. The paint is trash, so no biggie, it will have to be repainted later anyway.

    Drove about 40 miles (one way...) to a LBS listed on the Rans site to find it is no longer there, and the bike shop in the same building has no idea who they were. One step at a time....
    R Bean
    "The FAA says I should weigh 170 pounds..."

  9. #9
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    Congrats. I started on a Sun EZ-1 as well. It sits so low and is comfy. I used to love to ride over to the local park to watch whatever sport was going on. All I had to do was stop. Already had a comfy seat. Got a Ran Stratus XP-AL now.
    Rans Stratus XP-AL Sun EZ-1 "Retired" Mountain Biker

  10. #10
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AerobaticDreams View Post
    Found out it is a 1995 Bicycle. The stem is staright and chrome, and the handlebars are sitting about 3 inches in front of the stem...a straight bar, and I can barely reach them. The stem doesn't lay down in any manner. Currently it is very twitchy to ride. Rans reffered me to a sales page which didn't really have many details on which bars and other parts to get to switch them to what later models had, so I will am asking here for help in figuring out what parts and part numbers I need.

    In addition, I have found lots of small but annoying thingd to be repaired. The brake on the front fork hits the frame. The fork seems to be a BMX one set up for a sidepull brake. It doesn't have a way to mount later MTB type brakes. Th idlers were filthy and one was mounted wrong. The biggest issue is the bracket the lower idler mounts to is cracked, twisted and ready to tear off. The chain binds badly on it as a result. Hope to get it welded up in the next few days. The paint is trash, so no biggie, it will have to be repainted later anyway.

    Drove about 40 miles (one way...) to a LBS listed on the Rans site to find it is no longer there, and the bike shop in the same building has no idea who they were. One step at a time....
    Pics of your bike would be helpful. To see exactly what you have.
    No canti/V-brake studs on the fork? What brakes are on the rear?
    Recent Rexes don't have flip-it type stems. Several different approaches to risers/bars could work for you .
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
    Pics of your bike would be helpful. To see exactly what you have.
    No canti/V-brake studs on the fork? What brakes are on the rear?
    Recent Rexes don't have flip-it type stems. Several different approaches to risers/bars could work for you .
    Correct, no canti/ V-brake studs on the front forks. It has a normal road bike type sidepull brake on it...and the cable going into it hits the frame on one side. The brake itself is a very cheap no-name assembly. I am guessing it was changed at some point.

    The rear brake is a Dia-Compe sidepull as on a road bike also. It works just fine, but has really cheap pads on it that I need to replace.

    A photo...duh! What a great idea...will work on getting one posted later today!
    R Bean
    "The FAA says I should weigh 170 pounds..."

  12. #12
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Paint: When the paint started getting iffy on mine, I had it stripped and powdercoated. At the time, it was less than $100 and I did it in conjunction with a major rebuild including adding a rear disc brake.

    Steering: The fixed stem should curve back toward the rider. See the attached pic and imagine the pivot wasn't there. The stem should remain in the same orientation.

    Idlers: If you're still making sure they're right, compare them to the pic.



    Front Brake: I ordered mine with Cantis just for that reason. Your choices for sidepulls are more limited, which is a problem with most SWB bents. On my M5 I use an Oval Concepts brake similar to below. They use a noodle because the brake cable comes off the side. I'm pretty sure that other brands have similar offerings; you can confer with your LBS on that.



    edit: here's an offering from Tektro, model R725FB
    Last edited by BlazingPedals; 11-02-12 at 08:09 AM.

  13. #13
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    Nice! Congrats.

  14. #14
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    Rans Brakes and Bracket.jpg
    Here is a photo of the front brake and frame where it hits. You can see the bracket for the front idler below it...the idler is removed as the bracket is broken and needs to be welded up. I have another photo of the entire bike, but the upload said it was too big...so I am trying to find a way to make it smaller...
    R Bean
    "The FAA says I should weigh 170 pounds..."

  15. #15
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    ...and here is a photo of the entire bike showing the odd steering set-up! This is almost impossible to reach while seated....so I need to know what part numbers of things would upgrade it to something more modern/ correct.

    Red Rans Edit.jpg
    R Bean
    "The FAA says I should weigh 170 pounds..."

  16. #16
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    Turn the stem around to point rearwards, and perhaps replace with a shorter stem. You could also cut down that riser if needed.

    Have you looked at the RANS online store for parts?

  17. #17
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Here's a parts list from Hostelshoppe.com, one of each:

    88313 - Stem adapter, threaded to threadless, 1" - $20.00
    85283 - Glide-flex stem 1" to 1" - Check w/Hostelshoppe to verify that the top-load stem below is 1" ID. - $115.00
    81579 - RANS B27 top-load stem - $43.00
    81547 - Riser clamp - $8.00
    81580 - RANS B-26 handlebars.

    While you're at it, get a 73626 front idler. ($23.00) A V-Rex is not such a fire-breather that it benefits from dropping the chain like that; it's better to preserve its maneuverability.

  18. #18
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Never seen a steering setup like that on a Rex!
    Parts as suggested by BP should work much better. Might seem pricy but not compared to a new bike.

    Current brake does look problematic.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  19. #19
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AerobaticDreams View Post
    ...and here is a photo of the entire bike showing the odd steering set-up! This is almost impossible to reach while seated....so I need to know what part numbers of things would upgrade it to something more modern/ correct.

    Red Rans Edit.jpg
    Cool bike with lots of potential.

  20. #20
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    Thanks for all the answers so far! I had already looked at the Rans store, but couldn't figure out what set of things would be needed to upgrade the steering. The list answers all those questions.

    The front idler is only off to be able to weld up the damaged bracket it mounts too. Currently it is so bent up that the chain binds on the wheel when pedaled.

    I had played with reversing the handlebars already, and may do that as a short term answer. The stem is so long that they end up almost too close when that is done....

    Based on all the answers, I now intend to order up a set of disc brake lugs and have them welded on when I am getting the idler wheel bracket fixed. Then off to a place to powder coat the frame and getting it protected from corrosion. I'll put it back together with existing parts, change the steering when I can get the stuff ordered....and down the road get a set of better wheels with disc brakes as an upgrade. Many of the parts on here will end up on a LWB project I am going to build as they get upgraded and removed from this bike.

    I love all the answers!
    R Bean
    "The FAA says I should weigh 170 pounds..."

  21. #21
    Senior Member Worknomore's Avatar
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    A V-rex was also my first bent. Purchased way back in 97. Road the heck out of it, toured all over Michigan. An excellent all around design. I was checking out the Rans website a few days ago an noticed it was not there. Discontinued? If so it is a shame.
    Litespeed Blue Ridge, Serotta Colorado CRL, Cannondale Delta-V, Bacchetta Ti-Aero

  22. #22
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Worknomore View Post
    A V-rex was also my first bent. Purchased way back in 97. Road the heck out of it, toured all over Michigan. An excellent all around design. I was checking out the Rans website a few days ago an noticed it was not there. Discontinued? If so it is a shame.
    The Rex very recently disappeared from listed bikes on the website. The Enduro Sport is the sole 20/26 SWB listed. Stick frame bike which is more cost-effective to produce.
    There may still be Rex framesets available.
    Last edited by JanMM; 11-04-12 at 03:57 PM.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  23. #23
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    If you were to *call* RANS and talk in person to someone, they could 'steer' you to the parts you need. The parts I listed are for the standard steering; but there are also parts to build up a 'superman' setup, like Bacchetta uses.

    It looks to me that your V-Rex was stripped down to the frame and seat, then built back up using junk parts. That makes it a good project bike; but then again project bikes tend to be money holes until you get them finished. Keep us updated on your progress! (With pics, of course...)

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
    If you were to *call* RANS and talk in person to someone, they could 'steer' you to the parts you need. The parts I listed are for the standard steering; but there are also parts to build up a 'superman' setup, like Bacchetta uses.

    It looks to me that your V-Rex was stripped down to the frame and seat, then built back up using junk parts. That makes it a good project bike; but then again project bikes tend to be money holes until you get them finished. Keep us updated on your progress! (With pics, of course...)
    The more I look at this bike, the more I agree with this statement. I was looking at it today to see how the front fork stem was set-up, and to measure it's size. Turns out the bike has a 1" threaded headset and fork on it. I think I will upgrade it to a threadless set-up and replace the fork.Since I have front brake issues in addition to everything, I figure to replace the front fork with something more useful.

    I have found a suspension fork that allows for any type of brake set-up you want to use....but don't know if it will work otherwise. Question: Would this work on the front? It is a RST Capa T10 20 inch 50mm For, here is a link for details on it.http://www.bikeman.com/FK8091.html
    R Bean
    "The FAA says I should weigh 170 pounds..."

  25. #25
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AerobaticDreams View Post
    I have found a suspension fork that allows for any type of brake set-up you want to use....but don't know if it will work otherwise. Question: Would this work on the front? It is a RST Capa T10 20 inch 50mm For, here is a link for details on it.http://www.bikeman.com/FK8091.html
    Yes, a 1995 V-Rex would have a 1" threaded steerer. Personally, I've never felt the need to have a heavy, power-robbing suspension fork on my V-Rex. That one is listed as having "no steerer," so it looks like you are meant to buy the steerer separately.

    IMNSHO, a better choice might be to find a chromoly fork for 406, with the brake mounts you want. If you get a threadless fork, you'll need a new headset too, but can forgo getting the threaded/threadless adapter.

    edit: After I sent this, I realized that a 1995 V-Rex probably had a 451 front wheel as stock, not 406. Either would probably work as long as you match the fork/wheel; but with a 406 it might end up with slightly more 'nervous' handling.
    Last edited by BlazingPedals; 11-09-12 at 11:17 AM.

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