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  1. #1
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    bilenky/viewpoint

    Anyone out there have experience with a bilenky or a viewpoint tandem(upright/recumbent)
    I am thinking of one for the near future. Hoping to find one used.
    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    When the original Counterpoint/'Viewpoint' first hit the market back in the '80s, did get to test ride one. Rode it in both the pilot (upright) and in the stoker(reclined) position.
    The original Counterpoint shut down due to some legal issue after several successful years and Bilenky is now building the Viewpoint with some changes/updates from the original.
    Personally I do not like riding upright (mt. bike); but did like the semi-bent position. This design has the unique advantage that pilot and stoker have an excellent view of the road ahead. Pilot can easily whisper 'sweet nothings' in stoker's ear too!
    Independent shifting was a nice idea on the bike we tested; pilot controlled chainrings/front derailleur and his own rear feeewheel; stoker controlled a separate freewheel so she had her own cadence choice; an advantage for couples who have totally different cadences/abilities.
    Bike was easily rideable as a solo and the vacant recumbent seat could be used to haul stuff (groceries, etc). Also made for a shorter wheelbased tandem.
    If I recall, stoker compartment had an adjustable boom for folks with different length inseams.
    Of course a setup like that runs a bit of a complex chain system, but all worked out very well.
    In the stoker position, I felt that by pushing my back into the rear of the seat I could get more 'oomph' out of the pedals.
    Truly a novel/remarkable bike design, but not meant for everyone.
    Just our impressions from 20 years ago!
    Pedal on TWOgether!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

  3. #3
    Ride more, eat less cat0020's Avatar
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    Less expensive alternative is Performer or TW-Bent Family Tandem:

    http://www.performer.com.tw/page4.htm





    My Girlfriend and I have been riding this since March of this year, approx. 600 miles ridden.
    They are significantly less expensive, but at the same time, componentry and frame performance is not up to par with Bilenky or Hase Pino (an excellent semi-recumbent tandem, check it outat: http://www.hasebikes.com/ens/pino/index.php ).

    Addition to zonatandem stated, the semi-recumbent tandem is more compact than regular tandem, could be transported quite easily with my shortbed pickup. We do not have independent pedaling feature, but never encountered situation when we need that feature neither, both my GF and I are fairly capable of cycling.
    I really like enjoy the fact that I could communicate with stocker without shouting or turning my head around.

    My GF and I also have our own recumbent bikes.
    Master your environment, and you will survive just fine.
    Chances favor the prepared mind.

  4. #4
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    I see lots of advantages, but it has not taken over the world, so what are the disadvantages, why is it not for everyone Zona? (you are still riding an upright). Could it go on an extended ride? Would the stoker last 100 miles in that position?.

  5. #5
    Ride more, eat less cat0020's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xanti Andia View Post
    I see lots of advantages, but it has not taken over the world, so what are the disadvantages, why is it not for everyone Zona? (you are still riding an upright). Could it go on an extended ride? Would the stoker last 100 miles in that position?.
    I think the main reason that semi-recumbent tandems have not took over the world is because they are still new concept that have not been mass produced for the cost to come down, for people to be familiar with them.. same could be said for recumbent bicycles in general.

    If you have similar leg length with your stoker, you could pretty easily switch from captain to stoker on the semi-recumbent tandems. On long distance rides, it is more likely that the captain would get saddle discomfort than stoker on a semi-recumbent tandem.

    I know of a few couples that have taken semi-recumbent tandem on extended/packed touring, check them out at:
    http://fiftybybike.com/the-bike

    http://www.pinoforum.de/phpBB2/index.php

    I know why my semi-recumbent isn't well suited for long distance travels because the drivetrain isn't high quality components, I change them myself within 20 miles of owning it. The frame is flexy, especially at 40+ mph downhill, that could be worse when you load up the tandem with more weight. But for general riding, trips to the grocery stores and under 100km local riding, the cheap semi-recumbent tandem does pretty well. So far, my GF and I have our longest distance ride on the tandem as 68 miles and I was glad to get off that captain (upright) seat, but my GF was doing fine in the recumbent riding position.
    Master your environment, and you will survive just fine.
    Chances favor the prepared mind.

  6. #6
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cat0020 View Post
    Less expensive alternative is Performer or TW-Bent Family Tandem:
    http://www.performer.com.tw/page4.htm
    Good grief... It looks like they've replicated -- within minor deviations -- just about every successful bent design I've ever seen.

  7. #7
    Ride more, eat less cat0020's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TandemGeek View Post
    Good grief... It looks like they've replicated -- within minor deviations -- just about every successful bent design I've ever seen.
    I think that's a good thing, maybe soon entry level recumbent bikes could cost as entry level hybrids.
    I personally think that if more people get to experience the recumbent bicycles they would realize that upright bicycles really damage their anatomy more than they need to.
    Master your environment, and you will survive just fine.
    Chances favor the prepared mind.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by TandemGeek View Post
    Good grief... It looks like they've replicated -- within minor deviations -- just about every successful bent design I've ever seen.
    Umm yes, but aren't we all riding the Rover safety bicycle, albeit with minor modifications.

    You can't complain too much since it's recumbent industry standard to offer lowrace, hiracer, LWB, SWB models. And this means models look similar; a RANS Force looks rather similar to a Bachetta Corsa or the equivalent M5 model.

    I'm sure this company will open up recumbent riding to people who hadn't thought about it - imagine seeing department store recumbents - a $300 recumbent even if not quite built to M5 standards would get a lot of people riding bikes who could then aspire to a rolls-royce M5 or Velokraft later on.

  9. #9
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cat0020 View Post
    I personally think that if more people get to experience the recumbent bicycles they would realize that upright bicycles really damage their anatomy more than they need to.
    Although I wasn't a bike messenger, at nearly 50 years of age and having ridden upright bicycles and/or motorcycles (noting that a cruiser is pretty much a recumbent), I must say that "my package", back, arms, and neck are all doing fine. Yes, I've ridden recumbents as well as cruisers and, well, they're just not my cup of tea... yet. Neither are comfort bikes or touring motorcycles, because my riding habits don't lend themselves to bike paths or long motorcycle road trips.

    Mind you, I think recumbents are great... as are cruisers and just about every other type of motorcycle: frankly, anything with two wheels that has a design goal and some panache is OK in my book. And, I also agree that there are probably a lot of folks riding upright bicycles who really derive no benefit from them and who would do better on a recumbent... given their goals (fitness and recreation) and what are often-times recumbent friendly locales. But, if you look at the very bikes that people ride and how they're equipped you must no doubt realize that many bicycle buying decisions aren't based on "practicality" or "suitability". Therefore, when attempting to influence change an appeal to the same senses that drive those buying decisions are pretty much needed.

    I guess my point is, like most efforts to change people's behaviors, the use of FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) and other less than effective tactics or lines of rationale that have the underlying premise -- you're obviously not the brightest bulb given your current behaviors -- continue to be put forward despite their lack of success. Mind you, the image of tandems suffers from the same "lack of sex appeal" that recumbents are often times tagged with and also suffer from bad marketing, image issues, and ineffective advocacy.

    Bottom Line: Frankly, "hey, if you want to really try something different and fun give a recumbent a try" would probably get more folks onto recumbents for a test ride that the usual spiel regarding "anatomy problems", sore butts, shoulders, and numb hands. It also helps when the person delivering the message fits a similar demograhic to their audience... that's a big part of the image problem and that will always be the biggest barrier.

    After all, Harley Davidson wouldn't be in business if they were selling motorcycles: they proved that in the 70's and 80's. However, once they reorganized and figured out that what they were selling was an image and learned how to leverage that... bingo.

  10. #10
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrfish View Post
    Umm yes, but aren't we all riding the Rover safety bicycle, albeit with minor modifications.
    My point was, when you look at most recumbent bicycle makers you'll find they have a philosophy about how a recumbent should be designed and it's reflected in the look of bicycles they produce. Vision, Rans, Ryan, Greenspeed, etc... all have a distintive look and most of us recognize them as such when we see them on the road.

    If you scroll through the offerings of the company that our friend provided a link to there is no such "common thread" in their designs. The designs are replica's of all the popular designs: Hase, Greenspeed, Vision, Rans, etc....

    That was my point. If recumbents all followed a common design approach like uprights do then it wouldn't be as obvious.

  11. #11
    Ride more, eat less cat0020's Avatar
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    Thanks for taking the time to make your point. I will read more into them and think about them more, but it is quite difficult to do so when you start including the peraonal insult among your comments, please reframe yourself from doing so in your future postings.

    Quote Originally Posted by TandemGeek View Post
    Although I wasn't a bike messenger, at nearly 50 years of age and having ridden upright bicycles and/or motorcycles (noting that a cruiser is pretty much a recumbent), I must say that "my package", back, arms, and neck are all doing fine. Yes, I've ridden recumbents as well as cruisers and, well, they're just not my cup of tea... yet. Neither are comfort bikes or touring motorcycles, because my riding habits don't lend themselves to bike paths or long motorcycle road trips.
    Mind you, I think recumbents are great... as are cruisers and just about every other type of motorcycle: frankly, anything with two wheels that has a design goal and some panache is OK in my book. And, I also agree that there are probably a lot of folks riding upright bicycles who really derive no benefit from them and who would do better on a recumbent... given their goals (fitness and recreation) and what are often-times recumbent friendly locales. But, if you look at the very bikes that people ride and how they're equipped you must no doubt realize that many bicycle buying decisions aren't based on "practicality" or "suitability". Therefore, when attempting to influence change an appeal to the same senses that drive those buying decisions are pretty much needed.
    I guess my point is, like most efforts to change people's behaviors, the use of FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) and other less than effective tactics or lines of rationale that have the underlying premise -- you're obviously not the brightest bulb given your current behaviors -- continue to be put forward despite their lack of success. Mind you, the image of tandems suffers from the same "lack of sex appeal" that recumbents are often times tagged with and also suffer from bad marketing, image issues, and ineffective advocacy.
    Bottom Line: Frankly, "hey, if you want to really try something different and fun give a recumbent a try" would probably get more folks onto recumbents for a test ride that the usual spiel regarding "anatomy problems", sore butts, shoulders, and numb hands. It also helps when the person delivering the message fits a similar demograhic to their audience... that's a big part of the image problem and that will always be the biggest barrier.
    After all, Harley Davidson wouldn't be in business if they were selling motorcycles: they proved that in the 70's and 80's. However, once they reorganized and figured out that what they were selling was an image and learned how to leverage that... bingo.
    Master your environment, and you will survive just fine.
    Chances favor the prepared mind.

  12. #12
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cat0020 View Post
    .... when you start including the peraonal insult among your comments, please reframe yourself from doing so in your future postings.
    Want to throw me a bone here? I'm at a loss as to what you perceive to be a personal insult?

  13. #13
    Ride more, eat less cat0020's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TandemGeek View Post
    Want to throw me a bone here? I'm at a loss as to what you perceive to be a personal insult?
    How about the following:
    Quote Originally Posted by TandemGeek View Post
    you're obviously not the brightest bulb given your current behaviors -- continue to be put forward despite their lack of success.
    Similar idea could have easily be conveied by saying: Would it make more sense to try something other than recumbents, if they have not been successful in the past?

    Stating as a fact that one is not the brightest bulb is an insult, especially if you don't know that for a fact.
    Master your environment, and you will survive just fine.
    Chances favor the prepared mind.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by cat0020 View Post
    Thanks for taking the time to make your point. I will read more into them and think about them more, but it is quite difficult to do so when you start including the peraonal insult among your comments, please reframe yourself from doing so in your future postings.
    Oh no! TG has done it again, get somebody mad!, but you are misreading him Cat. It is sometimes easy to misread TG, but he really means well.

  15. #15
    Ride more, eat less cat0020's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xanti Andia View Post
    Oh no! TG has done it again, get somebody mad!, but you are misreading him Cat. It is sometimes easy to misread TG, but he really means well.
    Maybe I misread, maybe it I took it out of context.. I don't know. could someone confirm that?

    Does TG's posts get misread often?
    Master your environment, and you will survive just fine.
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    I think TG is making a point about how marketeers influence people. My interpretation is that he's not trying to insult you personally. Read it again.

  17. #17
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cat0020 View Post
    Stating as a fact that one is not the brightest bulb is an insult, especially if you don't know that for a fact.
    Re-read what I wrote:

    I guess my point is, like most efforts to change people's behaviors, the use of FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) and other less than effective tactics or lines of rationale that have the underlying premise -- you're obviously not the brightest bulb given your current behaviors -- continue to be put forward despite their lack of success. Mind you, the image of tandems suffers from the same "lack of sex appeal" that recumbents are often times tagged with and also suffer from bad marketing, image issues, and ineffective advocacy.
    This entire paragraph speaks to the general way in which others often try to influence changes in behavior by using ineffective means, usually with poor results. I don't care if it's trying to change what people eat, what they drive, what they ride, or how they conduct themselves. When FUD or arguments are put forward that suggest someone's choices are poor, the underlying premise is that the person who made the poor choice isn't well informed, as evidenced by their behaviors.

    The tie-back to YOU was that you too, like many others, advocate the recumbent as a way of eliminating body aches and pains that some folks who ride upright bikes experience. So, the "not the brightest bulb" comment is a metaphor for how messages like that are often times received. For example, I ride a motorcycle to work every day, year round in the Atlanta suburbs... and I'm a white collar type. Everytime someone "educates" me on the hazards and risks associated with riding motorcycles the underlying premise is, "I must be ignorant, stupid, or irresponsible" because if I was smart, I'd drive a car to work... because they are safer. In other words, in these interactions, I'm not the brightest bulb.

    Hopefully that clears the air as it was not my intent to label you as such.

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    I agree w/TG on the "sex appeal" point. Upright bikes - both road & mountain - are based on positions best for racing or performance - not for long term comfort. I think bicycles in general would gain wider acceptance among aging baby boomers if the upright position weren't considered "not sexy". Occasional riders would likely find an upright posture & wider seat much more comfortable.

    I also agree that TG meant no personal insult on his comment on the bike industry.

  19. #19
    Ride more, eat less cat0020's Avatar
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    Thanks for the clarification, I feel better now.

    I've been thinking about these questions lately:

    What needs to be done to improve the market share of recumbent bicycles?

    How to lower the cost of entry lever recumbents so they could be comparable to entry lever upright bicycles?

    What make people hesitant to try recumbent bicycles for themselves?

    With the babyboomers growing into retirement age, I would think that there is a large market for recumbent bicycles that are mostly untapped in the US, but yet recumbents being more expensive and retail bicycles stores rarely have them in stock certainly do not help.
    When I'm out riding my recumbent I always get people that ask me about my recumbent bike, but when I offer them to try and ride it for themselves, people always refuse to try, even after I insist, I would say over 90% of them would not try it.
    Something is missing.. I can't quite figure out what...
    Master your environment, and you will survive just fine.
    Chances favor the prepared mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldacura View Post
    I agree w/TG on the "sex appeal" point. Upright bikes - both road & mountain - are based on positions best for racing or performance - not for long term comfort. I think bicycles in general would gain wider acceptance among aging baby boomers if the upright position weren't considered "not sexy". Occasional riders would likely find an upright posture & wider seat much more comfortable.
    I think the culture is coming around somewhat. I say this because of the number of comfort, trail, hybrid models now being offered and sold by many manufacturers and the many queries posted in the Rec forum from returning and new bikers looking for information on these type of bikes. I would bet that there are many riders that do not post, more so than in the tandem world. However, only someone with industry numbers could show that out. But still, buying vs. riding are two different metrics. I would guess bike clubs would not necessarily bring in these type of riders. I do see more riders in my neighborhood than I remember in "equivalent" neighborhoods in years past. I always told my wife that one measure (not completely reliable) of a communities desirability is the number of recreational cyclists. There are a number of points that seem to allow for this activity. Mostly location, money and time. If you have those, you will probably have cyclists and a community that I would prefer to live in. Not hard and fast and not completely reliable, but one data point.

    That upright position is more comfortable for the occasional rider. If that gets more people riding, I am all for it. I would find it impractical for distance or performance riding.

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    An avid cyclist friend of mine (both upright & recumbent) let me try his short wheel base / under seat steering recumbent in a parking lot. He commented that I had that "recumbent grin". For that little ride, it was a lot of fun. I could see without craning my neck & I wasn't suspended by my crotch. He admitted that the shortcoming of a 'bent is that they are hard to climb with.

    I think the failure of commercial success of recumbents is the common perception that they are for old guys. As in "I'll ride one when I can't ride a regular bike". I'd like to get one but I can't really justify another bike. They really are fun & comfortable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Fraedrich View Post
    Anyone out there have experience with a bilenky or a viewpoint tandem(upright/recumbent)I am thinking of one for the near future. Hoping to find one used.
    Any thoughts?
    Sorry to have hijacked your thread; it happens.

    Anyway, I was kind of hoping that Ken Cummings will chime in here as he owns one of the original Opus Counterpoint II's. The Bilenky Viewpoint is a significantly improved variant of the original design and, as Zona noted, there are even versions out there with independent drive systems.

    We have a friend here in the Atlanta area who has one of the Bilenky viewpoints who I'm sure would be happy to answer any questions. His name is David and in addition to being a cycling enthusiast he's also a major mover and shaker in the Georgia cycling advocacy movement: crites4@bellsouth.net

    In general, the Viewpoint is a fantastic solution for any one of a variety of reasons. There are many great stories about Viewpoints, Counterpoints, and the AngleTech Harmony (which is yet another variant that I believe is still in production) but one of my favorites was the one by Dave Cushwa and his 9 year old son Will's transcontinental journey back in the summer of '03. You can read their account at their Web site diary here: http://www.cushwafamily.com/LA2JAX/ Note that the diary actually starts at the bottom of the page.

    Anway, as I said, hopefully Ken will chime in and I'm sure David will be more than happy to share he and his wife's experiences with their Viewpoint.

  23. #23
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    One of the reasons that View/Counterpoints/Pino type tandems are not 'popular' is primarily they are are of excellent design with quality frame/components and not mass produced. That keeps the price up there so that folks will not buy one on a whim.
    While the Performer is much le$$ in price, this Chinese-built machine has a much lower level of frame/components, according to the owners.
    Anyone can build something cheaper . . . is it just as good . . . or is it inferior to the US or German-built up/bent tandems? Top of the line Ti Pino weighs 30 lbs and costs in the neighborhood of $9,000 . . . not exactly something you'll find in your LBS!
    Have ridden a few bents, and even in my mid-70s I still prefer upright tandems. Can someone ride more comfortably on a bent? Depends on the rider; if we had issues that prevented us from riding an upright tandem comforably and a 'bent, or up/bent, was the solution to the problem, you bet we'd switch over.
    Much depends upon the riders needs/desires on what they'll choose and most folks are not ready to lay down a pile of dough for something that could be gathering dust in the garage.
    Asides from price, these up/bent machines are a bit more complex in design/components. Can you just pick up another seat for the bent part at any LBS? Long/complex chain runs are a bit of an issue . . . asides from grease on the legs. Weight can be an issue for some folks.
    But then we have to balance that out . . . did you want independent gearing? Short wheelbase? A lay-low position for one of the riders while the other definitely wants to sit upright? This really narrows the fied on how many people want/need this type of a tandem. Hence low numbers produced and higher price.
    Personally we don't care what you ride . . . just let's go and ride TWOgether!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

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    Quote Originally Posted by masiman View Post
    ......I always told my wife that one measure (not completely reliable) of a communities desirability is the number of recreational cyclists. There are a number of points that seem to allow for this activity. Mostly location, money and time. If you have those, you will probably have cyclists and a community that I would prefer to live in. Not hard and fast and not completely reliable, but one data point.
    Somewhat speak of the devil.

    Walkable neighborhood study

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    Quote Originally Posted by cat0020 View Post
    What needs to be done to improve the market share of recumbent bicycles?
    Reduce the product variability: Consumers like "sameness" when it comes to bicycles. Everyone knows what a bicycle "should" look like. For evidence of this, consider how much turnmoil was created when the compact frames were introduced wth their sloping top tubes and S/M/L sizing. When it comes to recumbents, just what the heck "should" a recumbent look like? If you put 50 recumbent riders together at random just how many different designs would there be? Even when a similar frame concept is applied you can find variability in the rear and/or front wheel sizes, handlebar positions, seat designs, etc...

    Recognize that a recumbent isn't a replacement for an upright tandem: Recumbents can't do all of the things that an upright bike can do and that's OK. It's a different type of bicycle with a different purpose. Bike Friday, Dahon, and most speciality tandem builders, for example, understand who their targeted demographic is and it's a bit different than the average bicycle consumer. Recumbent's are no different: they're not for everyone and shouldn't be marketed that way. Case in point: Climbing isn't the strong point for many tandem teams and it's even a bigger challenge for tandem recumbents. Whether through coicidence or networking, a interesting thing happened on the third day after the elevation profiles for the Southern Tandem Rally were posted to the STR Web site, all three of the recumbent tandem teams that had registered withdrew.

    Be happy with the market share you have: Again, recumbents are what they are: an alternative to an upright bicycle that may be appealing to certain types of riders who live in areas than lend themselves to the suppine riding position. "Fat old guys" happen to fall into that category, along with fitness fad consumers who are looking for an easy way to get in shape, and then there are the folks who just want to be different. There are of course many very enthusiastic, fit and fast bent riders who don't fit these stereotypes. But, in many cases the riders I've seen getting into recumbents are either moving off of uprights to solve a problem created by being a big, heavy rider sitting on a racing bike with a skinny saddle (a really bad idea in so many ways) or someone trying to go the other way: that is, putting their large frame on a 'bent in the hope that they will become fit enough to comfortably ride an upright bike again. Regardless, given that consumers are like birds of a feather who flock together, this is what becomes the 'bent base. To expand that market requires different role models for the industry and until there are a lot more elite riders setting speed and endurance records on recumbents -- recumbents that look like the products the average 'bent rider might own -- then you'll continue to see the same demographic buying recumbents.

    Reach out to the youth market: Bicycling as a sport needs to do this across the board, but recumbent enthusiasts should also look to shape their future market by introducing riders to recumbents -- again, where conditions make it a suitable alternative to an upright bike -- at an earlier age. Hey, we all started out on recumbents (think Big Wheels) and tricycles. Those of us who had paper routes when kids on bikes delivered papers (instead of adults in cars) slogged up and down hills on our 50lb Schwinn Typhoons or Stingrays loaded down with another 40lbs (or perhaps 80lbs on Sundays) of newspapers, and in more recent years BMX bikes pulled the duty. These paper routes, at least for me, generated the $$ I needed to buy my 3 speed English Racer and, after that, my first 10 speed drop-bar racing bike. I don't ever recall seeing a kids on a recumbent delivering newspapers, never mind a kid riding a recumbent at all. Wait, I take that back: I saw two teens horsing around on SWB under saddle 'bents get their handlebars tangled and crash about 10 miles into the Savannah Century a few years back.

    Go positive on the recumbent message: Most of the arguments put forward for recumbents are as already mentioned, negatives: solve your upright bike riding problems with a 'bent! Solve male impotency with a 'bent. Give your tired butt and neck a break with a 'bent. Worse yet, all of the various competing manufacturers seem to spend more of their time telling potential recumbent buyers why the other recumbent designs are inferior to their design, and so on. Therefore, I think the recumbent industry and enthusiasts would fare much better if they swore off on going negative and focused their energies on the positive aspects of recumbent ownership. Again, imagery works wonders and the marketing guys who can create a positive image that consumers lock onto seem to do pretty well, both luring in consumers for before the sale and then reassuring those same buyers after the sale. Santana comes to mind in this regard, even though they too are guilty of going negative on their competitors. Frankly, the latter worked early on before their current competitors put products that are all on par with Santanas, but is really a tough pill to swallow nowadays as their competitors have achieved similar levels of name-brand recognition with a slightly younger segment of the consumer market. Santana needs to figure out how to shift it's marketing strategies to capture a younger market if they hope to be "king of the hill" after the founder steps aside. Again, there are a lot of recumbent builders who have the same problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by cat0020 View Post
    How to lower the cost of entry lever recumbents so they could be comparable to entry lever upright bicycles?
    Reduce product variability and increase volume. Going off-shore for cheap labor is, IMHO, a short-sighted solution that will eventually bite a niche market product like recumbents (and tandems) in the butt UNLESS there is a robust quality system in place and adherance to non-compete agreements. It remains to be seen how much domestic production will remain domestic for the likes of Trek who protect their cutting edge technogies by doing so, while farming out production of low-tech overseas. Of course, the cost of quality systems erodes a lot of the cost reductions achieved by going to a lower cost labor market and non-compete agreements in the Global Economy are turning out to be somewhat worthless without an army of lawyers to enforce them.

    Quote Originally Posted by cat0020 View Post
    What make people hesitant to try recumbent bicycles for themselves?
    Image... (period). It's an eclectric group that ride recumbents, more so than the already very eclectic "tribes" that ride upright bikes. Hey, as a collective group, cyclists do more to hurt the industry and sport than any outside forces. Of course, it's been that way from the start so in some respects the tradition continues. However, as a group, recumbent riders are perhaps the furthest off the center of the bell curve and trying to bridge to a potential consumer/rider who's not already out there on the far ends of that curve is a tough sell.

    ----------------------

    Back to the subject of this thread, the semi-recumbent is a bit different because it's not a solution looking for a problem: the Opus Counterpoints, Bilinkly Viewpoints, Angletech Harmony, Hase Pino, etc.. are in fact solutions to problems that work well for a lot of different teams with special needs or non-standard requirements. However, if only one out of every 1,000 bikes sold is a tandem, not even one out of 100 is a recumbent or semi-recumbent model. It takes a rugged individual to fly that far out of formation on their own and God love 'em for doing so. Recumbent enthusiasts don't like to hear it but I'll say it: I'd rather see people enjoying cycling on a recumbent (or semi-recumbent) than not riding at all. If there ever comes a time when I can't comfortably or safely ride an upright bike you can bet that you'll find me on a recumbent.
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 09-08-07 at 10:19 AM.

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