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Recumbent What IS that thing?! Recumbents may be odd looking, but they have many advantages over a "wedgie" bicycle. Discuss the in's and out's recumbent lifestyle in the recumbent forum.

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Old 06-28-14, 10:48 AM   #1
imagesinthewind
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Newbie....I know. I'm sorry in advance

Hi all....Newbie Ginny here.

I want to try a 'bent. I SAGed for a group of 7 cyclist around southern Colorado this week. 3 recumbents and 4 DF...steep climbs, high winds, long days, gorgeous route. The 3 'bent riders were the ones that seemed to have the best time riding. I used to ride a DF but have been plagued by knee issues and two surgeries on my right knee. I use my DF on a cyclops trainer, but I am so not looking forward to getting my sit bones back to snuff for riding long distances. I had JUST gotten my first metric century under my butt when my knee cartilage decided to escape it's original place on the femur.

So, I really want to try a 'bent. But I don't want to spend $$$$ to find out I hate it.
There is an inexpensive Maxxam in my area, $350.

Please tell me why this would NOT be the 'bent to try.
I have sat on several and one thing I do know already, I need the pedals to be behind the front wheel. I like the long wheelbase. The shorter base that has the pedals forward of the front wheel has me laying down too much and that just makes me too nervous to ride.

I don't know what model the Maxxam is, but it looks much like the RANS Stratus my friend had on our ride. I really liked hers.

Tell me why the Maxxam isn't a good first try...

And thanks for helping a newbie.

Info that may help...
I'm female, 47, knee issues, I coach roller derby, I'm afraid of traffic. (in one 7 mile trip, I was spit on, yelled at, and a group of people in a pick up snuck up on me and blasted the horn at 3 feet from my back wheel~sometimes people suck)


Thanks
Ginny in Denver CO
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Old 06-28-14, 11:10 AM   #2
VACaver
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I'm kind of in the same boat as you. I'm really interested in a bent, but the closest place to try/buy one is 4 hours away.
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Old 06-28-14, 01:40 PM   #3
imagesinthewind
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I looked at and rode the Maxam. It's the Revielle model and it was okay. It rode well, but needed some TLC. Only 18 speeds and in these Colorado mountains, I need as many granny gears as I can get! The BikeBlueBook.com value said $150 for Like New. I told the guy I'd call him Monday and see if he's ready to let go for $150.

Does anyone know if this bike can hold a bigger cassette, for maybe 8 rear gears? It's got only 6 rear gears and three on the front crank.
I need at least 24...

Thanks!
Ginny
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Old 06-28-14, 03:50 PM   #4
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Maybe you just need a bigger big cog on the rear, and not more cogs. According to Bikepedia, it has a 14-28 freewheel. You should be able to find a six speed freewheel with a 32 tooth big cog that would give you a low enough gear to climb a wall. The jumps between gears might be on the large side, but they will be anyway with a six speed rear. Changing to more speeds on the rear is going to start running into serious money.

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Old 06-28-14, 05:08 PM   #5
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I remember the name, but I can't seem to find much info on it. I don't think they're in business anymore - not that that matters. The Maxxam would probably be a pretty good starter, as long as you realize it's not very refined. Maxxam was relatively inexpensive and rode well, if a bit heavy (from memory.) It's probably steel, so the rear triangle can be spread to take a more-modern 8-9-10 speed wheel. But really what you're after is to see if you like the riding style mandated by a bent. Namely, can't stand, slower going up and faster going down. I'm not sure I'd advocate spending a lot of money upgrading a $150 bike. I guess you could spring for new shifters to match a borrowed wheel from a mountain bike, along with a new tire? Most TourEasy riders (similar style of bent) use either a 24 or 26T granny ring and something like an 11-32 cassette.

There is a rider locator - very under-utilized, unfortunately, here
https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid...a=0&dg=feature
Maybe there are a few recumbent owners in your neighborhood. The names are all tied to members on bentrideronline. If you're serious about investigating recumbents, it's a good site to join (for free.) Lots of knowledgeable 'bent riders and resources.
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Old 06-28-14, 05:22 PM   #6
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In search of gearing, just install an internally geared hub. Adds X3 to the equation with little expense.
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Old 06-30-14, 02:10 PM   #7
wbuttry
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did you buy it or whats up let us know so we can give you a hand on getting it fixed up.
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Old 07-07-14, 07:36 AM   #8
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I did and as it turns out, I didn't need to change out much. I can climb most inclines I've come to at gearing 1/3 or down to 1/2 if needed.
I can change out the 28 on the front to maybe a 24 but I doubt I will need to. My knee is getting stronger and my quad and hamstring are getting better and stronger.
The bike is 40+ pounds so that also helps me get muscles back. When I get the RANS, it will feel really light in comparison.

I have also learned that I can a) ride alone (not something I've done for years) and b) ride on the road without dying (though it's still scary with the drivers who love horns.

Thanks!
Ginny in Denver
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Old 07-08-14, 08:04 PM   #9
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$350 or less for a functional starter 'bent sounds like a deal. (What did you pay?)
After you've ridden the Maxxam for a while you'll have a good idea of what you want in your next 'bent.

Guess I shouldn't complain that my single bikes each weigh about 30 pounds.
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