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Thread: Bike-E Tandem

  1. #1
    Senior Member CaptainHaddock's Avatar
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    Bike-E Tandem

    Hello you crazy bent riders you,

    I have been looking for a recumbent tandem for a while now(and as a native to Oregon), have long been a fan of the long discontinued Bike-E recumbent. So to that end, I am looking at a used Bike-E E2; and more specifically to you, bent riders, to find out what is known about this bike, and what are the issues that should be reviewed prior to a used purchase?

    Thank you for your time and advice!

    The Captain

    P.S. this is cross-posted in the tandem section where I spend most of my time.
    http://img525.imageshack.us/img525/7564/tandemsstravalogo.jpg
    http://app.strava.com/clubs/tandems]Strava Tandem Club

  2. #2
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    I saw one being ridden at Killingsworth & 72nd a couple days ago. Maybe that was the one?

    Here's what I can remember about the BikeE E2 tandem:

    BikeE seats were known to break
    Rear air shocks were prone to leak
    Lots of weight on that 16" front wheel
    1 1/4" threaded headset is pretty rare
    Drivetrain parts are a bit weird, but not too hard to replace. A friend has a set or two of unused BikeE tandem cranks.

    Another friend brokers used recumbents for people. He's also in NE Portland- I can put you in touch with him if you want an evaluation from a "recumbent" perspective.
    Jeff Wills

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  3. #3
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    I question if that 16" front wheel is up to tandem duty. I sold one to a customer who wasn't happy when his front tire blew out. He researched the BikE tandem and found blown front tires to be a trend. I contacted BikE and they sent me a replacement tire that had a lower pressure sticker over the molded pressure rating on the sidewall.

  4. #4
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    I went to CABDA with a friend the year the E2 was introduced, and I got to test ride one. Handling was, let's say, unique. With the vertical head tube and negative fork rake, it did not behave like a normal bike, or even a normal 'bent. I could barely ride it, but it took all my concentration. I suspect if I'd had to make any avoidance maneuvers I'd have gone down. My friend could barely ride it solo, but had no chance with me on the back. At the time, I made the observation that lawsuits over the bike would break the company. 'Luckily' they went out of business before that happened.

    My recommendation is to stay far away from the E2. The BikeE handles very well, but its big brother E2 does not.

  5. #5
    Senior Member osco53's Avatar
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    Scott Spark 760, Tour Easy LE, Sun EZ-3 sx, Walmart Thruster :P

  6. #6
    Senior Member delcrossv's Avatar
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    A couple was racing one at the HPRA event at Waterford MI. The were having a good time but man, those things are Really Slow. Unless you're looking for a novelty, or really don't care about making time, I'd suggest a Rans or a Longbikes Gulfstream.
    Lightning P-38 / M5 M-Racer/Ryan Vanguard

  7. #7
    Recumbently Supreme
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    I love my BikeE tandem!

    I've had one for many years, and overall, have been very happy with it. It's big and heavy, but fun and easy to ride. There is a slight learning curve in learning to steer the reversed front fork, but I figured it out in maybe 30 minutes of riding. (Solo at first, then with a stoker.) It's a good bicycle theft deterrent since anyone who jumped on the bike without a little bit of practice would probably crash in about 10 feet.

    I haven't had any problems with front tires blowing, I have 100 psi Hookworms on both front and back. The shock is still going strong after almost 10 years and really the bike has been fairly maintenance-free. My partner and I don't ride long distances, we usually go out for about a 10 to 15 mile ride. I have to disagree with blazing pedals, as I've done plenty of avoidance maneuvers and can even do fairly tight U-turns on it.


    There are couple of caveats though. It is definitely a relatively slow bike, although this might be because of the fairly heavy hookworms on it. It is extremely comfortable, and has a very good upright position that makes it very easy to be seen and to see other cars. It gets tremendous amount of attention wherever we go. I haven't had any problems with the seat supports breaking, although on my other BikeE RX, one of the aluminum seat supports will need to be re-welded before long. I am a 200 pound 5'8" guy, I have typically ridden the bike with women in the back who weigh less than 130 pounds. There is a limit of how tall the back rider can be, it works fine with my brother about the same size as I, but does not work with a friend who is 6' 1".


    I have no other tandem recumbent to compare it to, but have been quite happy with it. I bought it around the time when BikeE was going out of business, from one of the owners of the company. It has dual disk brakes, and a front kickstand. I paid about $1400 for it at the time, which seemed like a great deal back then. It is also very helpful to have the shock, as otherwise the person in the back really suffers when you hit a bump.


    If you have any questions feel free to ask me.

  8. #8
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    A little late to the thread but my wife and I also have the Bike E E2. The wife and I have not had any issues the the bike. Slow but comfortable.

  9. #9
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    My E2 is very comfortable. Love riding on weekends with wife.IMG_9368_low.jpg

  10. #10
    Senior Member osco53's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seragram View Post
    My E2 is very comfortable. Love riding on weekends with wife.IMG_9368_low.jpg
    To my absolute untrained eye I see ALOT of force on that front fork and tire if sudden strong braking was needed
    and a bump was encountered.

    one loose spoke,,,,,, Just one..
    Scott Spark 760, Tour Easy LE, Sun EZ-3 sx, Walmart Thruster :P

  11. #11
    Senior Member anthonygeo's Avatar
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    I so wanted to ride this one last week. I stopped at a bike shop and this was a customers in for repairs.
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    6 Bikes Still Fat

  12. #12
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    First ride we did a spoke broke on front wheel. I had a new wheel built Sun Ryno rim higher spoke count. Problem solved. We have not had any problem with brakes not stopping the bike but we don't ride that fast.

  13. #13
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    An even better (imho) option than the Screamer is the Seavo. Mine's being built now.
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