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  1. #1
    huffy owns
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    New rider - what are some things to look out for?

    Hello friends. I've been a big time rider for quite a few years. Mountain biking is my passion, and that'll never change, but sometimes I just like to get out on the road bike and do my thing since I can leave right from my driveway and just... GO.

    I don't know if it's the fact that I'm getting older, or if it's the fact that I have a hard time committing to a regular workout schedule (house renovations, infant, wife, job, etc...), or if I'm just too dang sore from the level of renovations I've been doing on our house, but I've been growing resistant to ride because I know what level of back pain I'll be experiencing when I do. I always get bummed out when I have to turn around because 10 miles in I'm in a deal of pain, whereas I used to do a century in a day and smile. I do significantly better on a mountain bike, but I'm also switching positions, hitting jumps, climbing out of my seat, etc. so often that I think mixing it up helps. I try to vary it up

    Recumbent bikes have always interested me and I've never really gotten serious about them until recently. I just began to think, I want to ride, what's stopping me? The thought of back pain despite having to constantly remind myself to be in the proper position. Ah, right.

    Anyway, enough about that, same story most people here have I'm sure. My concern about recumbents is I know very little in terms of the quality of parts, brand names, etc. With mountain bikes and road bikes, I'm familiar enough with the component levels vs frame types vs whatever else to gauge whether a good deal is really a good deal.

    Do the same level of components exist on recumbents? Are there any "gotcha" things to look out for? I'm considering on selling my 2011 Giant Defy 1, which retailed for 1100 when I bought it. Thing is, I don't want to trade something that I consider to be really, really nice to a recumbent that's pretty LOLable in quality. I looked on Craigslist and I found recumbents (unsurprisingly) ranging from 250 to 5,000... hence my concern about what kind of deal am I getting.

    Knowledge is power. That's my current downfall. Any tips?

  2. #2
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Most recumbents use the same parts as DF bikes, so what you know will already carry over. What is very different than DF bikes is that there are a lot of different types of recumbent bicycles and some may work a lot better for you than others.

    Cheers,
    Charles
    Last edited by CbadRider; 10-04-13 at 03:00 PM. Reason: Removed competing reference
    http://Charles.Plager.net
    http://RecumbentQuant.blogspot.com

  3. #3
    Senior Member delcrossv's Avatar
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    +1 to what Charles said. The type of bent you want will be determind by they type of riding you want to do. There's a lot more variety in bents. You really have to test ride them to see what's going to work for you.

    for example here's what I ride:

    The general purpose - all arounder: reasonably fast, climbs well, visible in traffic



    The Racebike- does one thing well- goes like a bat outta hell



    The touring bike- slower, really comfortable- (now used by my kid):

    Lightning P-38 / M5 M-Racer/Ryan Vanguard

  4. #4
    huffy owns
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    Thanks for your responses. I have not even ridden a recumbent bike yet. It's just been a thought in my mind that I've been chasing around for a while now. I only decided to consider it after I began to realize a few things...

    1) If I try to save up, I'll be lucky to get a recumbent bike in the next two years (just had our first child, wife is staying at home)
    2) If I do get a recumbent bike, the likelihood of me ever riding my road bike again is pretty much zilch - so why sit on an item that's worth a few hundred bucks?

    I just called the bike shop I bought my bike from. It's a pretty large shop not too far away. I asked them if they buy used bikes. They said they do in certain circumstances. I said how about a well-taken-care-of 2011 Giant Defy 1 that I bought from you guys direct that I'd like to sell/trade for credit towards a recumbent? He said absolutely. They couldn't give me an estimated price of what it'd be worth, but said they'd have to look it over. In a little bit here I'm going to get it shined up and do a solid look-over before I venture up there. It's never been wrecked and has no scratches on it whatsoever. I hope they have a halfway decent offer, unlike when I traded in my car last time and the dealer offered me 300 dollars. We'll see how it goes though.

  5. #5
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Lots of info on the web sites of recumbent manufacturers like RANS, Bacchetta, Volae/Hostel Shoppe. Check out bentrideronline.com.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  6. #6
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Your profile doesn't say where in PA you live, and PA is a big place. If State College isn't too much of a drive, I'd recommend a field trip there to visit RBR. They've got a pretty good assortment of bents and a face-to-face will answer a lot of questions.

  7. #7
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    most local bike shops won't give you anything close to what your bike is worth from my past experiences, kind of like a car dealership when you trade your car in...I would determine what type of recumbent would suit you best and how you want to ride...I started out on an entry level trike by Terratrike and it was a huge mistake as it had base components and was poorly built...the $1200 sticker price was a shock but like anything you discover you get what you pay for especially with this type of bike...I had several mechanical issues with mine and 6 months later it was exchanged for a model 3 steps up that cost almost $2K more...I never had a problem with that one! I would suggest working with a bike shop you trust or you could get stuck in a situation like mine were the bike shop wanted to say the recumbent was defective and the manufacturer wanted to say the bike shop didn't know how to build or repair the recumbent...I have since bought 4 other recumbents and none of them from that shop due to their incompetence...the other question you have to ask yourself is do you want the comfort of a three wheeler which is a more relaxing ride and easier due to the lack of balance needed but slightly slower or a two wheel recumbent that is fast, keeps you challenged since you still have to balance, and sits higher up...I have gone both ways over the last 4 years...I would go and test ride as many as you can to see what feels right for you...you might like the way something looks but find that the way it rides is not your cup of tea...they all have pros and cons to them...I rode a mountain bike for 20 years and had to get off it due to back pain...I have spina bifida...when I discovered recumbents I realized I could ride again and enjoy it with no pain other then the legs as you develop the different muscles used...here's a pic of two of my speed demons...I also have a Sun SX-3 delta trike to pull the dog in a trailer and a Cannondale fitness DF for those days I miss being on an upright bike...enjoy and good luck with it all!


    [URL="http://s48.photobucket.com/user/sratiburon/media/DSCF2604_zps17e481c9.jpg.html"]
    Last edited by -SEAN; 10-07-13 at 07:09 AM.

  8. #8
    huffy owns
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    Thanks for the responses. I took a test ride on a LWB recumbent at a bike shop a ways up the highway. It was a nice ride, but I tell ya the 1,200 price tag was scary given the level of components on it. I kept looking at it thinking, this is a 600 dollar bike at most, not 1,200. At any rate, they offered me 650 for a trade, which was more than I thought they would offer. I was expecting 450-500. Still, I'm selling my Giant Defy 1 for 750 which I feel is a good deal. I haven't gotten many hits on it yet which is depressing because that's what will dictate me being able to buy a recumbent.

    After that test ride, I was definitely hooked. A two wheeler is something I definitely want. I'm not too sure I want a super long wheelbase though... maybe a more compact wheelbase of some sort. I also want the rear wheel to be at least 26". Aside from that, I'm pretty open minded. I'm going to do my best to go the used route (might almost have to). I'd like to stay within the 1,000 dollar mark.

    As far as bike repairs and whatnot, I'm confident I'll be able to roll with the punches. I have a wide array of bike tools and have built several bikes, including my beloved KHS mountain bike. That said, it doesn't make me any less inclined to turn down an Atlus-equipped bike with a 1.2k price tag. Anyway, after that test ride (that shop only had 3 recumbents) I called around. No other shops seemed to have recumbents, but one shop eventually recommended me to a bike shop nearly 2 hours away. On a hunch I called to have a conversation with the owner. It sounds like this is a rather huge recumbent shop. He said he has about 80 recumbents in stock now with a 50/50 split of new vs used. I plan on taking a drive down this weekend and see what they have.

    I think the biggest issue I am facing now is the lack of familiarity with brands. I'm *far* more familiar with mountain bike brands and whatnot, so some of it crosses over, but not all. Like if someone asked me, name me 5 nice mountain bikes under 1,000 bucks, I could... but I couldn't name you one 1,000 dollar recumbent to save my life. For right now, I'm kind of blind firing... seeing what's out there and quickly Googling as much as I can about it. While on topic, if anybody wants to fire out a few @ 1k or less to keep an eye out for, I'd certainly appreciate it.

  9. #9
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    A sub-thousand bent will either be used or homebuilt. For around $2K you can start getting into a new mid-range 'bent with X-5 or X-7 stuff. Used, you should be able to find a Bacchetta or a RANS, maybe even a Lightning. You could almost certainly find a Sun, but then you wouldn't be happy with it, given your current bikes.

    One alternative is Recycled Recumbents. ADC cuts up old diamond frame bikes and makes them into TourEasy clones. You buy the frame, seat... whatever, and build it up yourself. Not quite as polished as a manufactured 'bent, but they work great. ADC has ridden the 5-day DALMAC tour for many years on one of his bikes.

  10. #10
    Senior Member delcrossv's Avatar
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    No other shops seemed to have recumbents, but one shop eventually recommended me to a bike shop nearly 2 hours away. On a hunch I called to have a conversation with the owner. It sounds like this is a rather huge recumbent shop. He said he has about 80 recumbents in stock now with a 50/50 split of new vs used. I plan on taking a drive down this weekend and see what they have.
    Test ride, test ride, test ride. Tell them what kind of riding you want to do, and try 'em. Used is a good place to start.
    Lightning P-38 / M5 M-Racer/Ryan Vanguard

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roasted View Post
    I think the biggest issue I am facing now is the lack of familiarity with brands. I'm *far* more familiar with mountain bike brands and whatnot, so some of it crosses over, but not all. Like if someone asked me, name me 5 nice mountain bikes under 1,000 bucks, I could... but I couldn't name you one 1,000 dollar recumbent to save my life. For right now, I'm kind of blind firing... seeing what's out there and quickly Googling as much as I can about it. While on topic, if anybody wants to fire out a few @ 1k or less to keep an eye out for, I'd certainly appreciate it.
    for the money, you can't beat a used Bacchetta Corsa. I bought mine for ~$1200. With the right wheels and tires, and an aggressive seat angle it's crazy fast, can be configured to under 23lbs (if you go a bit crazy).
    I've done very well racing my Corsa in Hill TT's. 15th and 10th out of 60+ riders on 2 different USAC events, 1st place three consecutive years in a small local Hill TT. Actually, 1st at every one of the local TT events (used to be 1 a month) since I bought the Corsa 4 years ago... couple of CAT2 guys show up.

    Bacchettas have a seat that is very easy to adjust. They have a quick release seat clamp and pull pins for the seat stays. Since the frame is a straight tube, the seat has a huge amount of range of motion.
    The seat position and fit are the most important part of any bent. It affects everything from comfort to handling.

    Bacchettas are very well built.
    they have great customer service and support.
    They're in their 11th or 12th? year now. If you plan on keeping the bike for a decade or more, I think they may be the most stable of all of the manufacturers. Cept maybe Rans. Most of the bents manufacturers out there are a one man or family operation. Nothing against that, I'm a one man operation, too. But I've seen products disappear and support go with it over the years as the lives of the owners change.

    Also, you can get a steal frameset for $500 or an aluminum for $800. If you've got a doner bike, you can move the parts over. You'll need a seat and a fork, though. and probably not brifters... They come in 650c or 700c (or 559 / 26")

    http://www.bacchettabikes.com/

    That said, you can't really go wrong with Metabike, Rans, Volae...
    Take a trip to RBR in State College. They can get you on a dozen different bikes in an hour or so.


    on a side note:
    There's a bunch of guys starting to do Mountain-benting, too:
    http://www.bentrideronline.com/messa...d.php?t=101610

    T

  12. #12
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    The other big dealer in that area is Bicycle Man in Alfred Station, NY.

  13. #13
    Senior Member osco53's Avatar
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    I Ride the Sun Made Tour Easy 'LE' model, The perfect Bent for me,, for now.
    It has 'Base' level components, They work perfectly, they are durable, they give me no problems.

    I bought Used, a garage queen still on the original rubber, I must make shure I never try expensive components.
    If they are really that much better and actually justify what I consider to be Insane prices they seem to command I do not want to know...

    Most will agree your first bent will not be the perfect for you or the last bent you buy....

    Buy used first time out if you can....
    Scott Spark 760, Tour Easy LE, Sun EZ-3 sx, Walmart Thruster :P

  14. #14
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    As mentioned, when you get to the bent world, there are many and varied types. Bents are not wed to the antique UCI formula. There are of course two main types, bikes and trikes. Try some of both.

    I for instance have the best of both worlds, as I have both a LWB bike and and a tadpole trike. I ride them about 50-50.

  15. #15
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    Gee, someone has to say it: look out for cars and potholes and stuff.

    This is my bike, a Bacchetta Giro ATT 26:



    It is a SWB bike. On a good day I can keep up with anybody, except up big hills.

    I rented this bike this summer. Don't be deceived by the hat:



    This is a LWB bike, a Burley Hooska or something like that. It is out of production. It felt less zippy but more stable. I thought it was more fun to ride, frankly, and I regret not buying one when it was listed on eBay. It crawled up hills. This was at 10,000 feet, which explains my wilting hat.

    I've never ridden a trike. I hear they're fun. You will be winded when you crest a big hill.
    Last edited by Dudelsack; 10-09-13 at 06:52 PM.

  16. #16
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    The rental bike is a Koosah. The 'checkmark' framed bikes that Burley made were pretty popular. So far, Edge, who took over Burley's former line-up, has chosen to not re-start that model.

    Of the Sun models, the TourEasy and the Tomahawk are the only ones that approach the performance levels of the 'real things.' Those two are cost-reduced versions of actual EasyRacer bikes. The others are designed by Sun and licensed through EasyRacers.

  17. #17
    Junior Member
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    Burley made another model named the Jett Creek. Same frame as Koosah but has slight better components and a 27 speed drivetrain. I see the Koosah's and Jett Creek's pop-up for sale on eBay, Craigslist and other sites from time to time. So you can probably find a used one if you are interested. I think I read on BROL that the owner of Edge recumbents would do special orders for the Koosah, but I may be wrong. They have a contact page on their website if you wish to contact him.
    RANS Xstream | RANS V3 Ti | Catrike Speed | RANS Alterra 700 | RANS Dynamik Duo

  18. #18
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    They were popular, but not particularly fast. Mostly they were easy to ride and comfy. As a replacement for a serious road bike -- probably not.

  19. #19
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    No, the Koosah (hat tip for the correction) was not a speed demon. It was just lots of fun, and easier on the low back than a SWB. I'd be riding it now if I had one. It had 27 speeds and virtually the same components my Giro has, except it for rim brakes. There was a time or two, blasting down a Colorado mountainside, I would have preferred disc brakes.

    I'm thinking the Bacchetta Bella would be very similar.

  20. #20
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    For those interested in the Vail Pass route:


  21. #21
    Senior Member delcrossv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dudelsack View Post
    For those interested in the Vail Pass route:
    Very, very cool! Thanks for sharing!
    Lightning P-38 / M5 M-Racer/Ryan Vanguard

  22. #22
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    *Some* nice scenery, at least. For some reason upright riders always focus on the ground in front of their wheel instead of taking in the big picture.

  23. #23
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
    *Some* nice scenery, at least. For some reason upright riders always focus on the ground in front of their wheel instead of taking in the big picture.
    To make it topical: the footage where the cyclist joyously blasts down, I climbed up with the bent, walking only a short distance at the switchbacks which pitched up to about 20%. It can be done with a LWB bent.

  24. #24
    Member Rollinrock's Avatar
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    hi everyone I have a question. I currently ride a rode bike and love it. Unfortunately I have problems with falling off my bike. I have also fallen off of my mountain bike as well. Have broken my ribs twice in the past 6 months ( once on road bike once on mtb ) and just cant take much more. maybe I have a balance issue i dont know. I refuse to give up riding because it is my life. I want to get a tadpole trike but am limited to finances. can anyone suggest a good entry level tad? Been looking on the web at Trident Stowaway 2 but have heard bad reviews on them. does anyone know about these? also, I have heard that recumbents are hard on the knees. any truth to that? thanks a lot guys.

  25. #25
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rollinrock View Post
    hi everyone I have a question. I currently ride a rode bike and love it. Unfortunately I have problems with falling off my bike. I have also fallen off of my mountain bike as well. Have broken my ribs twice in the past 6 months ( once on road bike once on mtb ) and just cant take much more. maybe I have a balance issue i dont know. I refuse to give up riding because it is my life. I want to get a tadpole trike but am limited to finances. can anyone suggest a good entry level tad? Been looking on the web at Trident Stowaway 2 but have heard bad reviews on them. does anyone know about these? also, I have heard that recumbents are hard on the knees. any truth to that? thanks a lot guys.
    At first I suggested this go in a new thread, but on reflection, it's related. And it's sure easier to keep it here. I can't offer much advice on which trike to get, especially since you don't tell us where you live, what sort of terrain you ride, how you ride, and what your expectations are for the trike you get. As far as knees go, the answer is, trikes *could* be hard on your knees, if you don't gear down sufficiently. That's true with any bike, and especially true for recumbents in general because of the possibility of using the seat as a brace and pushing too hard. But with proper technique, they're no worse than any other bike.
    Last edited by BlazingPedals; 10-17-13 at 06:53 AM.

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