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  1. #1
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    Some Bents Too Advanced for Beginners?

    A shop owner steered me away from the more high-performance bents, recommending that I spend a year on a simpler, slower one, then take the benefit of their excellent resale potential, and then move up to a faster bike.

    Any thoughts on this? I've been a DF road cyclist for years. Touring, commuting, never racing. I don't want to race, I just want a bike that is extremely effecient for long rides. Why wouldn't I want to buy something that takes time to grow into. That seems to be the way to go.

  2. #2
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    When I bought my first recumbent, a Rans Stratus, it took me almost 1000 miles to really get comfortable with it due to low speed stability issues. I suppose that is the sort of issue the shop owner is trying to steer you away from. Still, I did not mind taking the time to learn.

    The other side of the coin: Once I got really familiar with the Rans Stratus, I realized that I had not bought the best bent for my needs. I live in the mountains and have to climb if I want to ride. The Stratus, though a great bike, was not great for riding into the mountains. I decided to get a Greenspeed Trike.

    The other bike that I considered when I bought the Stratus was the Rans Tailwind at about 2/3 the price. If I had bought the Tailwind initially, it would have been an overall savings to me.

    So, I suppose the best reason to buy a less expensive bent is that it might take one bent to figure out what you really want. That is only if you are as fickled as I.

    Regards,

    Gary

  3. #3
    lowracer ninja master lowracer1's Avatar
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    I purchased my optima baron lowracer and vk-2 sight unseen and had never even ridden one before. I haven't regretted that decision at all. As a matter of fact, I wish I could have had a lowracer 10 years ago. very fast...... efficient and comfortable.
    chris@promocycle.net

  4. #4
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    Buy what you really want and something you can grow into. I hate looking over my shoulder.

  5. #5
    Senior Member ChiliDog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CATIN STEVE
    Buy what you really want and something you can grow into. I hate looking over my shoulder.
    Why waste money NOW if you know what specs/frame/style you want now? Seems silly to me. Besides, all of us on here can almost guarantee you that whatever you buy now, it won't be your last purchase. So go for it!
    The bike for you is the one you will ride!

  6. #6
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    Since you seem to have great experience of bikes already I don't see why a change from a DF to a recumbent should cause you any trouble at all. The main thing is the attitude: I know that riding a recumbent might be different and that it might take some time to get used to it. But in the end I will succeed in riding it and ENJOY IT!(to GreatLakes)

  7. #7
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    I believe you should get a bent with AT LEAST the same speed potential as your current bike. You'd never be happy getting a hybrid to replace your road bike, so don't get the recumbent equivalent. Get one that'll do the job for you for the foreseeable future. While you don't need a racing bent, a lightweight, easy-rolling sport model will make normal cycling easier.

    That axim about high resale value only works if you buy a model that doesn't change much from year to year, and if you're willing to keep it on the market long enough to find the right buyer. The audience is smaller, so it can take longer to sell. Is the bike shop going to guarantee a reselling price? (I doubt it.)

  8. #8
    Ride it, don't fondle it! Wheel Doctor's Avatar
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    As a shop owner that sells bents, I always ask the potential buyer what he/she is currently riding, what their goals are speed/distance and a whole lotta other questions. I have been selling bicycles of all types for 30 years. Beware of the dealer that seems to be leading you back to the bike HE wants you to buy, it is probably the one he wants to unload. So be wary. Try bentrideronline.com and check out the buyers guide and the reviews. Some people adapt to a bent quickly some need more time. Don't sell yourself short. Get the best bike you can afford that fits your needs.If you want to ride fast you will be dissatisfied with the entry level bents.

    Jude

  9. #9
    horizontally adapted bentrox!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreatLakes
    A shop owner steered me away from the more high-performance bents, recommending that I spend a year on a simpler, slower one, then take the benefit of their excellent resale potential, and then move up to a faster bike.

    ...I've been a DF road cyclist for years. Touring, commuting, never racing. I don't want to race, I just want a bike that is extremely effecient for long rides..
    Try bent models that are suited to the touring and commuting you were doing on a DF. While speedy bents are thrilling (they don't really take a year to "move up to" though) you state that efficiency, not racing, is your criteria. Most all bents are "extremely effecient for long rides" from a comfort standpoint but some frame configurations in bents are better suited for mounting the touring gear you may want to use. Bent steering configurations like USS have no equivalent in the DF world but may have some advantages over OSS steering for those that tour extensively (or so I've read - I don't tour.) Read as much as you can to educate yourself, then try to test ride your short list selections. Don't start with something less than what you will be happy with a year later. It is not that easy to sell a used bent.
    I'll gently rise and I'll softly call
    Good night and joy be with you all.

  10. #10
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    I bought my "dream 'bent" as my first one. Unfortunately I didn't take it for a long enough test ride so I didn't know it gave me recumbutt; I ended up selling that one (losing on the resale) and bought my current one which is great for me. So I definitely recommend a long test ride, at least 30 minutes preferably an hour, of any 'bent you might buy. Aside from that, I agree with the other posts about going for one you can grow into.
    The only thing I can think of the shop owner might be getting at is it's harder to get used to starting and stopping on some higher performance 'bents like highracers with high bottom brackets. But that's something you'd pick up in days, not months. What can take months is your muscles getting used to the subtle differences between pedalling a 'bent and a DF. But you have to get used to that on any type of 'bent.
    Rich
    Rans Rocket; Montague CX; Dahon Helios SL

  11. #11
    'Bent Brian
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    Ok, touring and commuting.... You have a good number of choices for those tasks in both the long wheelbase and short wheelbase formats. I would suggest you test ride and log some miles on both types. You will probably find that for real long-haul loaded touring the long wheelbase bikes are more preferred (Stratus, Tour Easy, etc). Depending on your commute routes a short wheelbase (Rocket, Lightning, etc.) might be better there due to the smaller turning radius and quicker handling. I commute on a compact long wheel base which for me is a be-all-do-all bike. My average speeds are on par for what I did on my old road bike, but the ride is oh so more comfortable.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreatLakes
    A shop owner steered me away from the more high-performance bents, recommending that I spend a year on a simpler, slower one, then take the benefit of their excellent resale potential, and then move up to a faster bike.

    Any thoughts on this? I've been a DF road cyclist for years. Touring, commuting, never racing. I don't want to race, I just want a bike that is extremely effecient for long rides. Why wouldn't I want to buy something that takes time to grow into. That seems to be the way to go.
    You are smart not to buy one of those expensive fancy name "high performance" recumbents. The simpler slower affordable recumbents work the best. Once you do a slow paced country ride you will not regret the recumbent riding style. You can eat a PBJ when you ride along county roads and enjoy the scenery.

    No one wants to race recumbents now a days. Racing is something regular bicycle riders seem to do at organized regular bike race events. Recumbent riders go to rallies and tours and those are not races. Recumbents are for the mellow easy going smell the roses lifestyle. Touring and commuting is where it is at with recumbents.

    Spuds

  13. #13
    Ride it, don't fondle it! Wheel Doctor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spuds McDoogle
    You are smart not to buy one of those expensive fancy name "high performance" recumbents. The simpler slower affordable recumbents work the best. Once you do a slow paced country ride you will not regret the recumbent riding style. You can eat a PBJ when you ride along county roads and enjoy the scenery.

    No one wants to race recumbents now a days. Racing is something regular bicycle riders seem to do at organized regular bike race events. Recumbent riders go to rallies and tours and those are not races. Recumbents are for the mellow easy going smell the roses lifestyle. Touring and commuting is where it is at with recumbents.

    Spuds
    Hey bent forum members IMO Spuds is a Troll. Take a look at his posts and you will see what I mean.

    Jude

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wheel Doctor
    Hey bent forum members IMO Spuds is a Troll. Take a look at his posts and you will see what I mean.

    Jude
    I do not see how posting about riding slow or walking up a hill is offensive. That is the way I like to ride on my cheap homebuilt recumbents. No need to buy anything expensive when I can make my own. It is fun to ride a recumbent and slow is the way to go.

    If I use profanity and say mean things to people I can see why someone takes offense. I'm just a harmless mellow recumbent rider.

    Spuds

  15. #15
    Ride it, don't fondle it! Wheel Doctor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spuds McDoogle
    I do not see how posting about riding slow or walking up a hill is offensive. That is the way I like to ride on my cheap homebuilt recumbents. No need to buy anything expensive when I can make my own. It is fun to ride a recumbent and slow is the way to go.

    If I use profanity and say mean things to people I can see why someone takes offense. I'm just a harmless mellow recumbent rider.

    Spuds

    Ok, Spudsi Boy. Post some pics of you and your homebuilts and I'll apoligize for calling you a Troll.

    Kevin?

    Jude

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wheel Doctor
    Ok, Spudsi Boy. Post some pics of you and your homebuilts and I'll apoligize for calling you a Troll.

    Kevin?

    Jude
    I do not own a camera, a luxury car, a big home or many of the other things people need including expensive bicycles or recumbents.

    CHEAP, homebuilt form throw aways and slow is the way to go in the mellow way of recumbent lifestyle.

    Spuds

  17. #17
    Cycling Anarchist Trsnrtr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wheel Doctor
    Kevin?
    That was my first thought... of course it could be a pre-pubescent monkey, too.
    Dennis T

  18. #18
    sch
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    To get back to the original thread, my experience with two SWB bents was that a
    lite grip (curled fingertips) on the bar improved control. A tight grip, such as is
    typical with a DF, resulted in the bikes being very squirrely. The bent I got, a
    Rotator Pursuit LWB was all over the road (5-7' lateral sinewaves) for the first 50
    mi, but as mileage piled up the amplitude of the side to side wobble dropped to
    3', then 1' by 300mi. After 400mi I could ride the white line almost as well as on
    the DF but the wobble at slow speeds (<5mph) is still larger than it would be on
    a DF. Startup wobble is still present even now, and if in a group I stay on the
    periphery or wait til most are going before cranking up. Steve

  19. #19
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wheel Doctor
    Kevin?
    Like Wheel Doctor sez, read his posts, read his profile, then decide for youselves. Whether or not he's our 'beloved' sociopath Kevin is immaterial. He's still a troll. Battle Creek? That's only an hour from me. You and I can go for a ride with a few of the other BC Benters this weekend! Unless you have an excuse for that too, of course!

  20. #20
    horizontally adapted bentrox!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spuds McDoogle
    No one wants to race recumbents now a days. Racing is something regular bicycle riders seem to do at organized regular bike race events. Recumbent riders go to rallies and tours and those are not races.
    Spuds
    You're so wrong... again!
    I'll gently rise and I'll softly call
    Good night and joy be with you all.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by bentrox!
    You're so wrong... again!
    Here is a photo of some racers in Europe on regular bicycles
    http://www.atomicraceteam.org/images...2003%20100.jpg

    That is a good photo of European low racing you posted.

    Spuds
    Last edited by Spuds McDoogle; 03-17-05 at 12:06 AM.

  22. #22
    horizontally adapted bentrox!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spuds McDoogle
    Golly gee look at all those low race folks in Europe. Must be 100 of them and only 8 or so in the other. Everyone else is out riding tours and walking up hills.

    Spuds
    You said "no one wants to race recumbents" - you're still wrong. I know - trolls don't understand logic.
    I'll gently rise and I'll softly call
    Good night and joy be with you all.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowracer1
    I purchased my optima baron lowracer and vk-2 sight unseen and had never even ridden one before. I haven't regretted that decision at all. As a matter of fact, I wish I could have had a lowracer 10 years ago. very fast...... efficient and comfortable.
    What sort of terrain do have around you? I can't really go anywhere without going up at least part of the time. Which I really like actually, and need to purchase the lightest bike possible i.e. a climber.
    What are your thoughts on climbers.
    Last edited by rlong; 03-17-05 at 12:52 AM.

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