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  1. #1
    Senior Member SkyMax's Avatar
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    I am going to buy a SWB Touring Bent but I do'nt really like the idea of a small front wheel. Not much I can do about that as choice is limited for the above, ie, most 26' x 26" models are advertised as "Highracers" not touring bikes.
    I would like a fully-suspended bike but all of those have brackets above the hip, too high for me.
    A lot of guys complain about that little dicky front wheel bouncing around on bumps.
    Does front suspension help this problem?
    Clear Skies, Max.

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    I debated on it on my limbo since it has rear suspension. but for around 400.00 it's a lot of money. I had a dealer who let me try one of the suspension hubs http://www.pantourhub.com/products.html#wheel
    this works very well takes care of the small stuff better then the shock does and costs less. but there is no pogo from it. I had to return the wheel and I am now suffering my standard oen till the new one is built. it's about 250.00 for a wheel. the hub is 159.00

  3. #3
    Senior Member SkyMax's Avatar
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    Well thanx Steve this is certainly good news considering I can have it on any Bent!
    I hope they are trouble free on a long tour because I do'nt have much mechanical experience on Bikes.
    I suppose I could order my new bent without wheels and then just order the complete wheel/hub set to suit?
    Max.

  4. #4
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    they seem pretty well built not much too them really. but yes that would be far more cost effetive. hand built wheels will be better then most wheels that bikes come with. I had jsut bought a rear wheel so I could not afford both hubs. but I doubt I coudl have spent that much anyway. I got velocity rims the back has a velocity hub and the deep v rim. the front will be the 1" travel hub and the deep v rim to match.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkyMax
    I am going to buy a SWB Touring Bent but I do'nt really like the idea of a small front wheel.
    It is understandable that, as a DF rider, you regard a 20" front wheel as a disadvantage. After all, big wheels work great on DFs. However for recumbents, a 20" front wheel really isn't bad at all. It adds an element of 'crisp' and precise handling that you wouldn't have with a 26" front wheel. Be sure to get 1.5-sized tires (or smaller) if conditions and touring loads allow for them. That way, except for riding on uneven surfaces like cobble stones, you won't notice a difference in rolling resistance.


    Quote Originally Posted by SkyMax
    ...most 26' x 26" models are advertised as "Highracers" not touring bikes.
    I've toured on one and I agree. Also, in my opinion, they have boring ride characteristics, but they are currently very popular.


    Quote Originally Posted by SkyMax
    I would like a fully-suspended bike but all of those have brackets above the hip, too high for me.
    I agree. In my view, it's an unfortunate trend in the industry...for now. The HP-Velotechnik isn't too outrageous in that regard though. And at least the seat has a pretty good range of adjustment. That said, I'm wishing for a suspended 20/26 Rans or something similar.


    Quote Originally Posted by SkyMax
    A lot of guys complain about that little dicky front wheel bouncing around on bumps.
    Does front suspension help this problem?
    On my DF, I prefer no suspension. But I love riding my suspended 'bent. It has simple spring/elastometer shocks on front and rear. Whereas this solution would be far from ideal on a DF, it works surprisingly well on a 'bent -- no bouncing around what so ever. They're not very expensive and last forever (almost 20K-miiles on mine). If you go that route, order them with extra heavy springs.

    Good luck in you search!

    NR

  6. #6
    lowracer ninja master lowracer1's Avatar
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    Iv'e used a pantour hub pro-lite version for a couple seasons now on the baron. love it. no problems and makes chipseal feel like glass.
    chris@promocycle.net

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    Both Bacchetta and Volae now have touring versions of their dual 26 bikes.

    IMHO front suspension is unnecessary on a LWB bike. This is from someone who can't ride an unsuspended bike on local routes without getting a sore neck. So I am a suspension fan; I just don't think you need it in front on a LWB.

    That said, there aren't many LWB's with _rear_ suspension.

    In any case, front suspension is generally something you can add later, one way or another.

  8. #8
    Senior Member SkyMax's Avatar
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    OK, first, NazcaRider. After doing more research I am now not opposed to 20" front wheels they do not have significantly more rolling resistance and they are lighter and have less frontal drag. So no probs there. The V-Rex is my first choice in unsuspended OSS but I would really like a fully suspended USS. So far it looks like a Velo Streetmachine, if only I could put a RANS seat on it :/
    JOHN RILEY, Yes Bacchetta now have two new 26 tourers but the Giro 26" is simply the old Giro 20x26 with a 26" front wheel which raises the Bracket up much higher than the original and too high for my all-day comfort, and the CORSA is sold out. Since I'm no longer afraid of 20" front wheels the urge to get a 26x26 has passed anyway.
    I agree that suspension is not necessary for a LWB Bent, I just do'nt want a long wheelbase bike.
    The reason i want a Bent with USS is everyone who has used them declares that they are more comfortable and cause less fatigue on long rides. The fact that they induce a fraction more frontal drag is inconsequential to me as frontal drag is negligible at touring speeds.
    I'm sure you all have your own ideas on USS/OSS and I would love to hear them.
    I am arriving in the States in April to commence my first long distance tour and buy my first Bent, so any advice to this Noob would be appreciated.
    Max.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkyMax
    So far it looks like a Velo Streetmachine, if only I could put a RANS seat on it :/
    I have an HP-seat(which is standard on the StreetMachine) on my Nazca Explorer(which is similar to the StreetMachine). Also, I installed the HP-seat extension which provides additional bottom support. That way I can ride more upright and set the hip-angle tighter. Works great for climbing, not to mention touring since upright riding helps keep blood flowing more normally by letting it 'drain' toward the legs. This solution is the closest thing I could think of in place of a 'suspended RANS.'


    Quote Originally Posted by SkyMax
    The fact that they induce a fraction more frontal drag is inconsequential to me as frontal drag is negligible at touring speeds.
    I agree, aero shouldn't be your first concern. That is, unless you are racing on a flat track or something.


    Quote Originally Posted by SkyMax
    I'm sure you all have your own ideas on USS/OSS and I would love to hear them.
    I love USS. As a touring-oriented rider, I can go plenty fast with USS. As long as your arms aren't hanging straight down, your aero footprint won't be affected all that much. Naturally it's best to try both and then decide which is more comfortable for you.


    Quote Originally Posted by SkyMax
    I am arriving in the States in April to commence my first long distance tour and buy my first Bent, so any advice to this Noob would be appreciated.
    If you plan to always ride in the states, you might not need dual suspension. Most people don't seem to have it there. It's probably more important in Europe where pavement steps between bike path and road can be pretty rough...not to mention cobbles.

    NR

  10. #10
    Senior Member SkyMax's Avatar
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    NazcaRider, Thank you for your most interesting and informative reply. I do'nt think the HP seat is "bad" I have just been told by a very knowledgeable dealer (Peter Stull, The Bicycle Man) that he likes the RANS-style (also Bacchetta, Haluzak type mesh seat) because of it's cooling ability.
    In such ways is the neophyte influenced.
    Although I am aware that legends like Wade Hatler pedalled around the World and then some on an HP-Velo and thought it was just fine.
    I did'nt know there was another seat bottom option, any options are good news. Riding more upright makes sense to me.
    I have never heard of a Nazcar Explorer!
    Although I can remain in the States for as long as I like I will probably eventually return Down Under where the roads are shocking by developed western standards, hence the suspension will pay off.
    I would never consider touring on the narrow dangerous roads in Australia and am filled with respect for those who do risk it. You do'nt see many.
    Australian triathletes who spend a lot of time training on the roads are killed with unnerving regularity.
    Many Australian truck drivers consider "shaving" cyclists as a highly amusing enroute entertainment.
    Also the inside "breakdown" traffic lane on the better highways is considered to be an alternative overtaking lane by motorists who are not thinking about the cyclists who are legally using it.
    I shoud'nt get any mindsets before I get to Alfred NY and start test-riding as you say.
    But if I do decide on a Streetmachine I will have to hang around for awhile as apparently it takes a Month to receive one.
    Thanks again, Max.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkyMax
    NazcaRider, Thank you for your most interesting and informative reply.
    No problem


    Quote Originally Posted by SkyMax
    I do'nt think the HP seat is "bad" I have just been told by a very knowledgeable dealer (Peter Stull, The Bicycle Man) that he likes the RANS-style (also Bacchetta, Haluzak type mesh seat) because of it's cooling ability.
    In such ways is the neophyte influenced.
    And that's not a bad direction in which to be influenced. Given your requirements (suspension, mesh seat), you might consider a LWB Burley. I know you really want a SWB, but the suspended Burley LWBs look rather sporty and compact. www.burley.com

    Another good option might be the suspended 20/20 SWB Rans Vivo. Rans stopped producing them in 2003, but you can find both used and left-over new ones. http://www.siskiyoucyclery.com/other/vivo.html

    I don't have any personal experience with either of them, but I'd at least test ride them if possible. There just aren't many choices in that particular category my friend


    Quote Originally Posted by SkyMax
    I have never heard of a Nazcar Explorer!
    Small company in Holland. I like the CroMo frame a lot, but bought it with the intention of changing the seat--again, now it has a more upright HP-Velotech seat. So, my riding angle looks very different from those shown in the pictures: http://www.nazca-ligfietsen.nl/modellen.htm


    Quote Originally Posted by SkyMax
    Many Australian truck drivers consider "shaving" cyclists as a highly amusing enroute entertainment.
    EEEEKKKKK! That sounds downright scary! Well, I now learned something new.

    NR

  12. #12
    Senior Member SkyMax's Avatar
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    I have gone back to the Burley page a coupla times recently but I really need a SWB for getting around Town when I get back to OZ. Also no USS available for Burley bents. There may be bracket stability issues with mono tube frames as well.
    An unsupended 20x20 ?! No Way! A guy my height will look silly on one of those things and the small rear wheel is really going to transfer the bumps straight onto my body. Also once again no OSS.
    I appreciate you giving me advice and ideas but I do'nt have time to chase down second hand or superseeded bikes. Also I am virtually committed to buying my Bent from Peter as he has patiently answered all my dumb questions for nearly two years.
    You mean you do'nt have cretinous dumbass drivers in America that intimidate bikers?
    Many of the journals I have read indicate it's the same over there.
    Cheers, max.

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    I just changed my burley limbo from the medium wheel base to the short wheel base. The ride is so different. I was used to a racing df bike and the md wheel base was weird. Plus no feedback at all on the steering. Well I sure like the ride better now. It seems to handle the bumps better then with a longer wheel base. The shock does not cause as much pogo now either. But really to get a good ride on a shock you have to spend 300 or so for a really good shock.
    Now I wonder if I really need that suspension hub as badly. I had about 35 psi in the front wheel on the medium wheel base but that was like riding a sponge on the short wheel base so I pumped up the tire to 100 PSI and it is not too bad.

  14. #14
    Cruzer johntolhurst's Avatar
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    G'Day Max.
    If I was going to the US and wanted a bent to ride there? I'd buy a Cruzbike kit, fit it up to a bike before I left and ride it round for a while. Then before I left I'd put the kit back in its box take it with me and buy a beautiful aluminium frame dual suspension y-frame and refit the kit. I'd have the 26" wheels, the compact format, 53/47 weight distribution, a good tourer, BB not too high and dual suspension. Plus any bike shops would have any bits I need for maintenance, racks, pannier bags etc along the way. But then, I'm a bit biased! Cheers from Perth. John. www.cruzbike.com

  15. #15
    Senior Member SkyMax's Avatar
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    To steveknight, I quite like the Burleys, the only thing that rules them out for me is no USS. I made a typing mistake in my earlier post by saying no OSS, but I suppose you realised that.
    I'm not suprised your Bent feels better after pumping the front tyre up.
    Johntolhurst, Thanks for your interest. Your post is fascinating but incomprehensible, you obviously know what you are talking about , I wish i did.
    If you can dumb it down a bit I would love to know what you mean, in the meantime I will research Cruzbike and Y-frames.
    On another note, I liked the new Streetmachine Gte with the alloy frame, but pay $600 Oz more to save 2 pounds? forget it.
    Thank you both for your posts.
    Max.

  16. #16
    Senior Member SkyMax's Avatar
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    Ok johntolhurst, I have looked at the cruzbike site and I now know what you mean.
    Well I think it's a very innovative and clever idea.

    You can have a normal length chain.
    You can have endless choices in frames.
    Front wheel drive gives cars good handling so why not bikes ?
    Probably one of the lightest bents available, depending on frame choice.
    Possible pedal thrust influence on steering, but what do I know?

    But for me, still no USS.

    Max.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkyMax
    An unsupended 20x20 ?! No Way!
    The Vivo IS INDEED fully suspended. I've ridden suspended dual 20s on some pretty rough cobbles and other bad terrain and I found them quite comfortable--the suspension really does perform wonders. Incidentally, some dual-20 advantages include overall compactness, requiring only one size spare tube, a stronger wheel, and even quicker handling than a 20/26. The only disadvantage that I can see is that the derailleur is closer to the ground, so the chain collects more grit on dusty roads.

    But all things considered, you are absolutely right, the Vivo doesn't have USS--in this way, it would be an unfortunate compromise--although the bike is actually well suited for the Oz traffic conditions you described because it is very upright and is generally considered a big-n'-tall SWB.

    So, if you happen to see a used Vivo in Peter's showroom, then I wouldn't turn-down a test ride. Otherwise, you are absolutely right; hunting down used bikes is not a very practical approach. As for bike aesthetics and your tallness, naturally you are the best judge of that. Not trying to be pushy in any way. Just wanted to give you my reason for mentioning it in the first place.

    NR
    Last edited by NazcaRider; 02-17-05 at 01:30 PM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkyMax
    You mean you do'nt have cretinous dumbass drivers in America that intimidate bikers?
    I live in eastern Germany, but much of my riding is also in the Czech Republic and Poland. Luckily for me, motorists are usually very respectful. However, the road (and some bike path ) surfaces can be somewhat 'primitive.'--probably much worse than what you described in Oz. I absolutely couldn't ride without suspension. And yes, just for the record, I would gladly ride (and have ridden 220-km in one day) a suspended dual-20 here.

    In case you are wondering, Iím at work, itís snowing and quite frankly, this stuff is fun to think about this time of year Of course, you are probably having a nice summer.

    NR

  19. #19
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    the biek felt good as a medium wheel base and lower tire. as the jolts I got fro mthe front where annoying. the suspension hub was a better solution and I am waiting to get my new front wheel. but moving the wheel back to a short wheel base a lower tire pressure sucked. handing did nto seem to change with tire pressure in the medium wheel base configuration.

  20. #20
    Senior Member SkyMax's Avatar
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    NAZCARIDER.
    UHOH, It looks like my lack of knowledge is showing! I had never seen a suspended RANS so I assumed it was a rigid bent. I will go looking for it after this post. I'm sure the Vivo is an excellent bike and I will try one if I see it.
    Ahah! You are in Germany, (I flew Hang-gliders there in 1976), well Europeans have a totally different attitude to Bikes. When I was in Germany the Police would make all the cars move off the road for Bike Meets, how civilised!
    In Australia the police would refuse to do that (unless it was a National event) and the car drivers would be really pissed off!
    Here many drivers think bikes are a nuisance that might force them to slow down for 2 seconds and Bikes do'nt pay Road Tax so shoud'nt have any rights. I prefer the European attitude.
    "Snow", what is "snow"?
    Where I live is in the Tropical North-east. We have sand, surf, palm trees and parrots. Typically around 26-30deg C now.
    STEVEKNIGHT.
    The Burley is such a flexible design with the ability to change wheelbase length they meet so many riders requirements. I could tour with a Taiko or Canto in LWB then change it to MWB when I got home and wanted to commute into town. If only they had USS But I can understand that most ppl prefer OSS maybe because it's a little easier to get started.
    USS does have some drawbacks. If you want to push it there is nothing to easily hang on to for steering it. I hope I do'nt have to get off and walk up any hills!
    They do,nt have the Limbo on their site anymore and I ca'nt find a pricelist, how much did yours cost and how long ago?
    Clear skies, Max.

  21. #21
    Cruzer johntolhurst's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkyMax
    But for me, still no USS.
    Max.
    Yes Max, USS is the ultimate relaxing position. My LWB is USS, very nice position. However ... the Cruzbike can be easily ridden hands free, especially on the straight stuff, just cruising along. So, you can drop your arms down, hold the edge of the seat, or to tune in the radio or to put on sun screen (though my bent riding buddies consider the latter to be showing off.). Riding hands free is possible on most moving BB FWD bents that I know of.
    Cheers, JOhn

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    The Vivo does have dual suspension, but if it works for you right out of the box, it will just be luck. The bike has a lot of issues and needs tuning to the individual. Tuning the suspension can be necessary because the seat moves back and forth, which changes the CG. Your needs may or may not fall within the limited range of the stock bike.

    The seat has to be pretty laid back. If it is too upright, the QR skewer will dig into the underside of the frame - check for damage here even if you are looking at a _new_ bike.

    Watch for chain interference with the seat mount if you are short.

    Stock Hookworm tires are tough but slow. Not really sure what they are good for on a bike like this.

    Mostly these comments apply to the last generation yellow bike.

  23. #23
    Senior Member SkyMax's Avatar
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    John Riley.
    Thanks for your views. Maybe thats why they do'nt make it anymore. The BRO review said the same thing about the tyres, or "tires" as they say in the US.
    Not the first time I have heard one person love a bike and another hate it.
    This buying a new Bent thing is a minefield. Woud'nt matter if I was'nt going to be riding it all day for many days.
    Just as well I have the opportunity to try many designs out, this is going to take a while.
    Max.

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    I've also heard about some issues John mentioned--for one, the suspension needing tuning. But I imagine this is normal on any type of bike with a back-to-front adjustable seat. Perhaps the solution would be to tighten the suspension until it feels right? Or is that an oversimplified statement?

    Admittedly, I haven't heard about problems regarding the QR skewer. However, I've seen many posts about Rans' seat slippage issues, along with fixes entailing hose clamps, etc. But they weren't Vivo-specific. Perhaps the dealer would know a fix for the skewer problem?

    I'm not exactly sure why the Vivo was discontinued, but my assumption has always been that it's because fully suspended 'bents just aren't popular in the states. And many buyers couldn't justify the extra cost. Plus they marketed it as an offroad 'bent (hence the fat tires) which IHMO is kind of a weak concept. Of course, tires are easily replaced.

    Truth is, there are few 'bents that appoach Max's requirements: SWB, upright, USS. For example, the StreetMachine would be nice for the states, but I wouldn't ride it under the traffic conditions he described in Oz. Also, the SM tends to tip forward when I apply the breaks hard--due to the short wheelbase and my 215-lb/95kg weight. Pantour might be good in the US, but not sure if it is sufficient for Oz; where I live, it would not suffice.

    And Max, I'm not exactly saying I love the Vivo (although I may have given that impression), but only that I'd see it as a possible candidate.

    NR
    Last edited by NazcaRider; 02-18-05 at 03:43 PM.

  25. #25
    Senior Member SkyMax's Avatar
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    The Vivo is a nice looking Bent for sure. The Vivo and canto both got good reviews here->
    http://www.bicyclespot.com/getbent/myarticles.htm
    I think those small problems can be fixed without too much difficulty.
    The smaller rear wheel would give you a lower gear range for climbing hills woud'nt it?
    Wade Hatler rode his Streetmachine all over the World including Vietnam and around Australia so it must be allright. Bad car drivers are bad car drivers no matter what bike you are on surely?
    As far as i can see the only convertible W/B Burley make are the Limbo (suspended but not made anymore) or the Canto and Taiko which are unsuspended.
    I do,nt think the new 2005 Burley suspension bikes are convertible.
    The Pantour Hubs would be adequate for commuting around the good roads in towns here but not for "highway" touring. I would rather have the hubs than nothing.
    Have a good day, Max.

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