Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    2,417
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    SWB recumbent market

    Made it to Fairfield Cyclery this weekend and rode a LWB and a SWB 2-wheelers and some 3-wheelers I had not previously ridden. They had a couple of used SWB recently but had sold them; only had one new on the floor. When I asked them if the SWB inventory was low because it was the busiest part of the year they replied that SWB are only a very small segment of the market, not just for them, but all over the country. Surprised by that. What is the reason? Riders are looking for smooth rides and long trip comfort? SWB too difficult to ride? Really would like to know because the SWB holds more appeal for me and I am in my mid fifties. Guess it really does not matter what the market is if I like it and keep it but it is a consideration.
    What is better than getting your heart rate up and saddle time?

  2. #2
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Middle of da Mitten
    My Bikes
    Trek 7500, RANS V-Rex, Optima Baron, Velokraft NoCom, M-5 Carbon Highracer, homebuilt recumbent
    Posts
    7,279
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Just as a guess, I'd say that trikes and LWBs are such a large part of the market because performance isn't a major consideration for most recumbent cyclists.

    Trikes and LWB tend to have lower step-over heights and seats.

  3. #3
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Indiana
    My Bikes
    RANS V3, RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer
    Posts
    11,759
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Would be interesting/illuminating to see actual sales numbers for recumbent bikes.
    My LWB is more comfortable on imperfect surfaces but the SWB is comfortable enough - a lot more comfortable than upright bikes.
    Hard to say which is easier to ride. Both my bikes have fairly high bottom brackets - LWB bikes like the Tour Easy or Stratus with lower BB's are probably a bit easier to start out with.
    SWB is certainly easier to transport.
    Too bad there are no dealers (that I am aware of) in Central IN with a variety of 'bents to see and ride.

    Maybe a trip to Hostel Shoppe would be worth your while. Their line of Volae bikes (all SWB's) have a great reputation. And they offer test rides on those and the other brands they carry.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  4. #4
    Senior Member delcrossv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Scalarville
    Posts
    1,092
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    That's interesting. Most models are SWB and most manufacturers don't even offer a LWB bike. Marketing disconnect?
    Lightning P-38 / M5 M-Racer/Ryan Vanguard

  5. #5
    Senior Member osco53's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Central Florida
    My Bikes
    Sun Tour Easy LE, Sun EZ-3, Scott Spark 760, Walmart Thruster 700c single speed..
    Posts
    700
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I see more SWB's than any other style,
    I think there are more SWB's because the people who buy bents near me are still into speed and like whipping Roadie DF riders....

    The short wheel base would be better for city commutes I would think.
    Far better tight turning ability but less luggage space for touring.

    I ride for fun and my health with not a care to tour and I don't need speed.
    But my LWB has for me plenty of speed and corners really nice at all speeds.

    I like the flex in my LWB frame, It really mellows out the bumps, I would think a SWB would be very ridged..

    I like being closer to the ground, I like my lower CG,,, Would love to try a Musashi on for size tho...

    ok I'm done.
    Scott Spark 760, Tour Easy LE, Sun EZ-3 sx, Walmart Thruster :P

  6. #6
    Senior Member Steamer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    high ground
    Posts
    575
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by dekindy View Post
    When I asked them if the SWB inventory was low because it was the busiest part of the year they replied that SWB are only a very small segment of the market, not just for them, but all over the country.
    Hmm. The one bent only dealer I know well has the exact opposite observation.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Steamer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    high ground
    Posts
    575
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by delcrossv View Post
    That's interesting. Most models are SWB and most manufacturers don't even offer a LWB bike. Marketing disconnect?
    I seriously doubt that.

  8. #8
    Senior Member delcrossv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Scalarville
    Posts
    1,092
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Steamer View Post
    I seriously doubt that.
    Me too. Shoulda added a
    Lightning P-38 / M5 M-Racer/Ryan Vanguard

  9. #9
    Senior Member osco53's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Central Florida
    My Bikes
    Sun Tour Easy LE, Sun EZ-3, Scott Spark 760, Walmart Thruster 700c single speed..
    Posts
    700
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by delcrossv View Post
    That's interesting. Most models are SWB and most manufacturers don't even offer a LWB bike. Marketing disconnect?
    Bent Inventory is expensive,
    Long Wheel Base bents often come in three or four or more frame sizes,
    try spending 5 or 6 grand on ONE single model and still not having all the frame sizes or the bike for a particular customers X-seam.
    Murphy's law,, states: If a LWB comes in five frame sizes and you get 4 for stock you will not have the one your first LWB buyer needs...

    LWB's don't have a 'Boom' like SWB's and Tadpole Trikes.....

    The above is only one factor,, and I hope no one feels the need to pic my details apart.

    Next Factor,

    Living with a LWB,,,
    We are talking a wheel base of 60 to70 inches or more with an overall length of 85-90 inches,,,, or more.
    Sticks way out on each side behind a small car,
    Not easy to get up a flight of stairs or past the couch and down the hall,,,,,,,

    A SWB bent takes about the same space as the DF's, Not so with the LWB.
    Careful thought should be advised to buyers considering a LWB..

    Yeah, most manufacturers have a hard time getting dealers to order LWB as a stock/floor Item, IMO they will always tend to be special order,,,
    But then again I think LWB's are just plain special....

    Without my Garage I would have thought twice about a LWB,, then got one anyways LOL

    Just saying,,,,,,
    Last edited by osco53; 08-05-13 at 01:27 PM.
    Scott Spark 760, Tour Easy LE, Sun EZ-3 sx, Walmart Thruster :P

  10. #10
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Indiana
    My Bikes
    RANS V3, RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer
    Posts
    11,759
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by osco53 View Post
    I see more SWB's than any other style,
    I think there are more SWB's because the people who buy bents near me are still into speed and like whipping Roadie DF riders....
    You're over-generalizing. Some LWB's are faster than some SWB's. With the same engine, my V3 is faster than my V-Rex.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  11. #11
    Senior Member delcrossv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Scalarville
    Posts
    1,092
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by osco53 View Post
    Bent Inventory is expensive,
    Long Wheel Base bents often come in three or four or more frame sizes,
    Just saying,,,,,,
    Many don't. But I have to agree thay take up more showroom floor than SWB.
    Lightning P-38 / M5 M-Racer/Ryan Vanguard

  12. #12
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    St Peters, Missouri
    My Bikes
    Rans Enduro Sport, Hase Kettweisel Tandem, Merin Bear Valley beater bike
    Posts
    23,936
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My suspicion is the SWB market has been nibbled away by other recumbent designs.

    The go-fast buyers would rather have a high racer.
    The bike trail riders might prefer a tadpole trike.
    The long distance rural riders are probably choosing LWB recumbents.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Aushiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    978
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Steamer View Post
    I seriously doubt that.
    + 1. A simple search around the place of the number of manufactuers making SWB bikes versus the number making LWB should tell a very telling story. Clearly all those SWB manufacturers must have it wrong which explains why they are still in business

    Andrew

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    2,417
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Aushiker View Post
    + 1. A simple search around the place of the number of manufactuers making SWB bikes versus the number making LWB should tell a very telling story. Clearly all those SWB manufacturers must have it wrong which explains why they are still in business

    Andrew
    Now I am wondering if a high percentage of SWB manufacturers sell direct or limited dealer list?
    What is better than getting your heart rate up and saddle time?

  15. #15
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    St Peters, Missouri
    My Bikes
    Rans Enduro Sport, Hase Kettweisel Tandem, Merin Bear Valley beater bike
    Posts
    23,936
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by dekindy View Post
    Now I am wondering if a high percentage of SWB manufacturers sell direct or limited dealer list?
    Probably need to ask the manufacturer directly. I'm thinking most manufacturers won't sell directly if they have a dealer in the area because dealers don't like it when they get undercut by their supplier.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Steamer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    high ground
    Posts
    575
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by dekindy View Post
    Now I am wondering if a high percentage of SWB manufacturers sell direct or limited dealer list?
    Some will sell direct under certain circumstances (like no dealer nearby; as Retro-G notes).

    There are a very small number that sell almoost all of their bikes direct - like Lightfoot, for example.

    But there is no difference that I can observe in how recumbent bikes and t rikes of one type or another are sold. IOW, bike/trike style/ type doesn't have anything to do with it.

  17. #17
    Senior Member osco53's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Central Florida
    My Bikes
    Sun Tour Easy LE, Sun EZ-3, Scott Spark 760, Walmart Thruster 700c single speed..
    Posts
    700
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    Probably need to ask the manufacturer directly. I'm thinking most manufacturers won't sell directly if they have a dealer in the area because dealers don't like it when they get undercut by their supplier.
    The other factor. A bike retailer/dealer Is more likely to get it built and set up correctly than a guy at home that will not read instructions and has who knows what kind of tools. Picture a guy trying to put a Catrike together with a Phillips and a cresent wrench... LOL
    Scott Spark 760, Tour Easy LE, Sun EZ-3 sx, Walmart Thruster :P

  18. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    My Bikes
    Haluzak, Lemle, Longbikes Slipstrem, Longbikes Jetstream, & Roulandt
    Posts
    37
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm past mid 60's and have SWB, LWB and tandem USS. Each bike has a purpose. Riding around the city on trails and streets and club rides I like my SWB. Trips of camping mean pulling down the LWB. The tandem is for when my wife wants to get out.
    Local dealers stock what they sell and seem to talk down what they do not have in stock. Trikes are selling good at many shops as some of us are getting older and want to stay up right. You are doing it right by looking around and speaking to others that do not have an axe to grind. Look at as many bents as you can and ride them also. Buy what suits you and not what the 'salesman' is 'selling.'

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •