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  1. #1
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    Newbie ISO entry-level CLWB - recommendations?

    Hi!

    I am shopping for my first recumbent.
    About 2 years ago, I took short test-rides on the BikeE (all models), Cannondale Easy Rider, Sun EZ-1, and a Rans Wave and Tailwind. From those rides, I decided I really wanted a recumbent. My favorite was the Cannondale Easy Rider, but it was too expensive. I've saved a little more money, and am now seriously shopping. But the market has changed somewhat in the last couple of years...

    My wife was intrigued with the 'bents, and wants me to get a CLWB that she can ride when I'm not riding it.

    I'm torn - should I stick with an entry-level bike, or purchase a more expensive, higher quality one?
    My wife and I aren't interested in speed or performance, just comfort, recreation, and fitness.

    At this time, I am considering a number of bikes: Cannondale 'Bent I/II, Sun EZ-1SC & EZ Sport, Maxarya Ray-1/Rar-1X, Cycle Genius, and (someday?!) Big-Ha.

    Is there a decent entry-level bike that will fit both me and my wife? She is 5'3" (120 lbs) and I'm 6'0" (225 lbs). I ride faster than she does, so she doesn't think she will want to ride with me. One bike that we can both use (that's easily adjustable) would be ideal right now. My wife will end up adopting it later, when I upgrade to a higher level bike.

    Any feedback from those of you who have ridden this "newbie" path before? Suggestions and advice are very welcome!

    Thanks! =)

  2. #2
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    Another bike to consider in this category is the HPVelotechnik Spirit. I had one of those a couple of years ago. It's a very comfortable bike and fully suspended, very nimble handling. Unfortunately I got "recumbutt" on it; for my particular butt the Rans seat works out best so if I were buying a CLWB I'd get a tailwind (I once rented one of those for a few hours and it was great).
    The best way to make sure you don't get recumbutt is a long test ride.
    Rich
    Rans Rocket; Montague CX; Dahon Helios SL

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    One of the best build recumbents in the US is the Bacchetta bicycle. It is a good bike to start with and it is a bike of both speed and comfort. Look at www.bentrideronline.com and you can find their different models.

  4. #4
    Senior Member MrEWorm's Avatar
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    My wife choose the EZ1 light. She tried several bikes and found this was the easiset to learn.
    My son-in-law who rides his road bike 2,000 miles a year tried the EZ1 out on a 20 mile ride with me last summer and thought it was easy to learn, well balanced and a good ride.
    The price isn't bad either.

  5. #5
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    5'3" to 6' is a huge range.

    You might look at the Burley LWB. These are available at entry level prices (stating with the Sand Point: $749) and may accomodate the range you need. She would be able to reach the ground, the the larger rear wheel would mean the weight distribution would be less compromised when you were on the bike.

    If you test one of these, make sure the seat back is tilted all the way up and the seat pan is all the way back. There are a lot of adjustments on the seat; some of them are tedious and the dealer may not have messed with them all. Lots of adjustments available for the bars as well, so if they don't feel right, tinker.

    Some people get bleacher butt from the seat base on this bike, but it might not be a big issue for either of you once you get used to it.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by amyd
    I didn't find that to be true. I'll agree, the Bacchetta's appear to be a decent bike, but it is NOT what most would call an entry level recumbent. It is VERY expensive and and not suitable for short riders. My husband had one and almost got injured at an intersection trying to stay upright because his feet were too short. He he slipped and went down. For taller people i guess it would be fine. Amy
    Hi Amy,

    Depends on the Bacchetta bike: The Giro small fits us "vertically challenged" riders extremely well and is very easy to ride. While it's not an "entry" level recumbent like the EZ-1, it is definitely fine for anyone who has ridden a DF bike for awhile and the price isn't that far off from a top line DF bike.

    For the curious, which Bacchetta model was your hub riding?

  7. #7
    'Bent Brian
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    Being a RANS fan I'll vote for the Tailwind. I'm short and ride I mine all over the place. Unfortunately the shorter seat pan didn't come out until after I bought mine.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ChiliDog's Avatar
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    Being short and having perused the menu intently over the years, I'd direct you to seriously consider: Burley LWB bikes, RANS Tailwind, and Bacchetta Giro (small). All of these are fast, relatively lightweight, and FUN. resale is good on all of them if you decide you don't like it.

    The others you mentioned are fine too. It's rider preference and availability as well. I just don't like a heavy, cumbersome, slow bike myself and the rest that you listed fall into that category. Also, suspension is an added, unnecessary weight unless you are riding off road, as on a mountain bike trail, etc. OR have major back issues that needs suspension. It just really makes the bike heavy and less responsive.
    The bike for you is the one you will ride!

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the suggestions!

    I went to the HP Velo Spirit webpage and checked it out - very nice! I've added it to my list of "maybe's" - still trying to find pricing on it, though....

    I've looked at the other bikes recommended as well.... The size of the LWB bikes is objectionable to my wife at this time - she wants something she can fit in the trunk or on a bumper/trunk bike carrier.

    We discovered there is only one 'bent dealer in town (Fresno, CA) - and they only carry Sun products. They only had one 'bent built - the EZ-Rider AX. It was nice, but didn't quite feel right, and wasn't easily adaptable to our size differences.

    I don't like the idea of buying a bike based on reviews only, but the nearest 'bent dealer with a decent selection is a 3 hour drive away. Ugh. Guess it's time to either plan a road trip, or roll the dice, eh? LOL

    Thanks again for your input - I really appreciate it!

    Jeff

    P.S. I'm not buying anything right away - still got more research to do. If y'all wanna keep this thread going, and offer more opinions and suggestions, I'd love it! =)
    Last edited by HydnTalent; 03-08-05 at 01:20 PM. Reason: Needed to add more comments...

  10. #10
    'Bent Brian
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    Make that trip! It may be well worth it!

  11. #11
    Epitome of Mediocrity
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaPa
    With all due respect Chilidog, I certainly don't agree. Unless the traveled route is "glass smooth", then a measureable degree of vertical compliance is highly desirable. I consider it mandatory - be it active or passive. Not only has it proven to eliminate rider fatigue, but all aspects of bike controlability and handling are vastly improved as well. And with current day technology and proper design, optimum vertical compliance (and handling) can now be easily achieved. My steel ride (pictured below) is 11.1 kg of utter sweetness with its adjustable passive rear. Springs and Pantours need not apply. http://www.boomspeed.com/papasbent/papasLWBweb.jpg
    PaPa that is one sweet ride. I am drooling. Is that a homebuilt? Homebuilts aren't usually that light. What is it?
    "God is dead." -signed Friedrich Nietzsche 1890 A.D.
    "Nietzsche is dead." -signed God 1900 A.D.

  12. #12
    Senior Member zoridog's Avatar
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    I just wanted to comment on buying your "first" recumbant. I spent between 2 and 3 years researching and then drove 2 hours to the closest stocking dealers. I rode every bike they had and chose a bike I Knew nothing about .... Bacchetta Giro. The ride was soooo much nicer than the Rans Rocket and EZ1. I'm 5' 7" and not very athletic and I got the hang of riding in the reclined position quickly.

    Wait ... let me climb on the soap box ........

    I paid more than I planned to spend and puchased a bike I didn't think I could ride (before I tried it). No regrets ... in fact I would make the same decision today. My advise is to RIDE ALL AVAILABLE RECUMENTS and then make a decision. Do not buy anything based on the opinions of others. Keep an open mind on price also. You're gonna spend alot of time pedalling away behind those handle bars. That's alot of time to be regretting saving a few bucks on the bike you should have bought.
    I miss bicycle commuting.

  13. #13
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Good point, zoridog. We can give recommendations, but it's not going to be us riding it. Test rides are all-important! I was convinced that I wanted a Vision R-40 for my first bent. That is, until I rode one and discovered I really didn't like the way it felt. Spending a day on a road trip to test ride a whole slew of different bents is a good use of time, IMHO.

  14. #14
    horizontally adapted bentrox!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amyd
    He was riding a Strada. and he fell again over the weekend. We are talking with a lawyer, so I can't say much more except to say we are looking hard at the guy who recommended it.
    Lawyer??? It wasn't me - I' outta here!
    I'll gently rise and I'll softly call
    Good night and joy be with you all.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by amyd
    He was riding a Strada. and he fell again over the weekend. We are talking with a lawyer, so I can't say much more except to say we are looking hard at the guy who recommended it.
    If the dealer won't give you your money back, I'd talk directly to Bacchetta. They do care about the quality of their dealers and the satisfaction of their customers.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by amyd
    He was riding a Strada. and he fell again over the weekend. We are talking with a lawyer, so I can't say much more except to say we are looking hard at the guy who recommended it.
    so he fell over is it the bike or the oporator? when you start to ride clipless people fall over. do you run to a lawyer? only in america will someone blame someone else when they fall off their bike.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by amyd
    He was riding a Strada. and he fell again over the weekend. We are talking with a lawyer, so I can't say much more except to say we are looking hard at the guy who recommended it.
    Was the product defective and that is why he fell? If not, why would you go to a lawyer?

    If this is as simple as you have described I would say it is disgusting that you would run to a lawyer. Take some personal responsibility in the fact that YOU made a bad decision and move on. Stop making lawyers richer and making it exceeedingly hard for small companies to survive in an environment of frivilous lawsuits.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by steveknight
    so he fell over is it the bike or the oporator? when you start to ride clipless people fall over. do you run to a lawyer? only in america will someone blame someone else when they fall off their bike.
    It is a shame that people want to blame someone else and hire expensive lawyers to sue. Why on earth would the LBS be responsible for someone falling over on a bicycle?

    If the fellow uses BMX pedals he will be safer. His feet will not be stuck in the pedal when he falls over with his recumbent bicycle. I got my BMX pedals from a throw away bike. Maybe this fellow can go the the junk yard and find some good pedals.

    Spuds

  19. #19
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    I think I should sue motehr nature. the last time I fell over on my DF bike I was just about to put my foot down when a 20mph gust blew me over the other direction. or I could sue speedplay as they did not tell me this would happen.

  20. #20
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amyd
    Come'on guys, please give me a chance to sort all thias out befor you start blasting me. Amy
    True, they are. But falling is an accepted risk of riding a two-wheeled vehicle. I'd go so far as to say it's a statistical certainty. I've lost count of how many times I've fallen, and I don't consider myself a klutz or anything. Unless you can prove grievous negligence or an obvious product defect, you're going to have a tough row to hoe. On the bright side, he didn't have as far to fall as he would have it he'd been on an upright...

  21. #21
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    HydnTalent did u ever get your bike? I'm curious to know what you got bc the ones you originally mention in post are the ones we're considering, the Maxarya, Cannondale Bent, Cycle Genius, etc. My husband likes the Cycle Genius ALX, I like the looks of the Cannondale Bent but saw the Maxarya and luved that also and the price was a little better. I'm short at 5.1, and my husband is 6.0. Thanks CJ

  22. #22
    Senior Member ChiliDog's Avatar
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    You CAN put a LWB on a rear bike rack...no problemo.

    (If it feels too wide, take off the front wheel and secure the handlbar/stem in reverse).
    The bike for you is the one you will ride!

  23. #23
    Senior Member ChiliDog's Avatar
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    Update and more thoughts: it really is most important that you do some test riding for yourself and your wife does hers. The comment about the Giro and the Rocket (above) is one example-I totally disagree on that poster's observations and love my Rocket! It's a personal thing and each one must choose for themselves. I think there is a sense of what's "right" when we test ride, so you just have to trust your intuition.

    Another bike that I would have had no real clue about...I rode an EZ-1 SC Lite this past weekend at a shop. Now I was surprized, but that bent was a BLAST to ride! It was not the lightest nor the heaviest bent on the floor, but it was FUN! Weight does not always come into the "fun equation". I could recommend it for it's comfortable seat and natural seating position, it's legenday Easy Racers adjustable handlebar, and it's ease for transport and full accessories are readily available. A super, fun little bent for $595.

    Ya just never know what will "float your boat"..Try as many as you can!
    The bike for you is the one you will ride!

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