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Calling all benders.

Old 06-08-13, 12:07 PM
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Calling all benders.

Just curious. How many folks here ride recumbents? And roughly what percentage of your cycling time goes to what?

I own a Bacchetta Giro ATT 26, which is marketed as the SUV of the recumbent world. It has a Short Wheel Base and 26 inch wheels. I've put Michelin Wild Run'Rs 1.1 on them, which translates roughly into 650x28. Nice tires so far, but I'm not sure how rugged they will be.

Here it is, on Da Loop:



What's good about it: it's aero. Headwinds aren't that annoying. It's a blast to go straight down hill. It's taught me about zen. Less is more on a bent. It works the legs and butt like you wouldn't believe. And it's easy on my neck, shoulders, and upper back.

What's bad about it: it just isn't as aesthetic as my road bike. It's heavy. Until I bought a new car, trailer hitch and hitch mount, it was a nightmare to load up. You don't ride it up a hill, you beg it to go up and see how it feels about it. And as many others have pointed out, it is not necessarily easy on the low back. In fact, I threw my back out from riding the dumb think too much last month and has to switch to short rides on my LeMonster for awhile.

How about you?
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Old 06-08-13, 01:36 PM
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My wife started with recumbents about 20 years ago. She had a used Tour Easy that was the gateway drug. Then a Gold Rush with all the streamlining, the flying egg. She rode weekly with WHIRL in DC (we lived in Annapolis at the time) and rode a Lightning R84 and a Windcheetah trike across North Dakota in different years. Of course I got into the bent spirit. I had a Rans Rocket, an old one, for many years, and had a Bachetta too, but got rid of it immediately, bad fit. Just sold the Rocket here in Florida a year or so ago. I found that the recumbent was not comfortable for me on the paths on our small island. Every time you stop on a recumbent you need to think ahead and shift down, get yourself back into takeoff configuration, and start. I found that I felt unsafe at street crossings. I had a couple of standing still fall overs which didn't hurt anything physically, but damned near broke my ego. So now I have a good quality hybrid with 8 speed IGH. I am riding more than ever, getting my sorry neglected body into better shape than several decades, and enjoying it greatly. I feel like the recumbents I rode were great for long straight lines, but for the starting and stopping and creeping around kids and tourists on the path the upright is better.

I just finished overhauling my wife's Lightning R84 (carbon fiber, etc.) and she is making noises that it may be for sale soon. She does most of her riding on a Trice trike now, and pedals a Hobie kayak in the bay and Gulf.
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Old 06-08-13, 03:58 PM
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I've been 'bent since late 2007.

In Sept. of '07 I purchased a new Sun EZ Sport from a reputable recumbent dealer in an effort to ensure that I was properly fitted to this "foreign to me" style bike. After 50+ years of bicycling I wanted to learn if recumbents would be an enjoyable alternative style of cycling for me and proper fit and good solid information about various recumbent styles seemed like important ingredients to that end. At the shop I was instructed about and had the opportunity to test ride literally every style of recumbent that is readily on the market. I brought the EZ Sport home that same day and I've been a happy camper ever since. It turned out to be a good plan. I'm hooked.

I spent the balance of '07 and most of '08 riding and enjoying the luxurious ride of that Gardner Martin designed LWB machine.




Then in August of 2008 I had the opportunity to purchase a used Volae Tour. I deperately wanted to own a SWB bike just to play with it and determine if there was a place in my life for one of those also. I couldn't have picked a better bike. The readily removable seat made it a fine commuter and I used it as such until I retired in October of 2012. The bike is nimble, quick, easy to ride, loves to climb, and the 406 front wheel makes city stopping and starting a piece of cake. I don't work full time or commute anymore but this bike still gets plenty of use, just because it's a fun alternative to the LWB ride.




Finally in the Spring of 2008 I purchased a used Easy Racers Tour Easy. Never has any machine felt so natural to me. This is by far the most favorite toy I have ever owned. It has the same high speed stability that I had become acustomed to on my EZ Sport and it just wants to go. This is my "Go Fast" and "Go Far" bike. It looks and feels sexy and chews up mile after mile of hiway. This is the bike I take on rally's and group rides. It grips the road through turns at at any speed, it loves to accelerate, it's my best bike ever!




Someplace along the way I picked up a used Sun EZ Tandem for the wife and I to enjoy together. A couple of years later she became physically unable to ride so now I share it with my daughters during their occasional visits and with my pet skeleton, Mortimer.




Well there you have it. I've logged a bit over 12,000 miles on those bikes and I hope I'm just getting started.

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Old 06-08-13, 05:05 PM
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What a great post Cranky Old Dude - I love the skeleton.

Charlie
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Old 06-08-13, 05:53 PM
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My fastest bike is my NoCom lowracer. It's currently in my basement getting some body work done; but when it was on the road it was faster than stink. Hopefully it'll be on the road again in a month or two - I could assemble it now but I want it to be pretty again, too. When I'm done, it'll have a double crankset; so it'll be limited to single-digit grades. I think the narrower Q at the front of the bike will make it even faster on flat ground.



My primary bike right now is my M5 Carbon Highracer. It's almost as fast as the NoCom, but it's at a better height for holding conversations while riding. It handles better at very low speeds, so I have a triple on it to use on rides where I'm expecting those double-digit grades. So it'll be for hilly rides and the NoCom (above) will be the flatland bullet.



Right now I only have one backup bike, my first lowracer. At the moment it's set up for rough roads - fat tires and a thick seat pad; but after the NoCom is back on the road I think I'll set it up more for speed, with narrow tires and maybe get rid of the dual-discs.



Edit: I should add that I think this is a good place to post the question. Bents have a reputation of appealing more to the, ahem, more mature rider. I asked the question, "how many of us ride bents," about 5-6 years ago. At that time, not many.

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Old 06-08-13, 06:48 PM
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Are there any bents with an IGH out there? That's one of the things I really love about my hybrid.
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Old 06-08-13, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Clawed View Post
Are there any bents with an IGH out there? That's one of the things I really love about my hybrid.
Volae sold a couple of IGH models for a year or two. Looks like they would be nice for commuters or flat land riding.
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Old 06-08-13, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Clawed View Post
Are there any bents with an IGH out there? That's one of the things I really love about my hybrid.
HP-Velotechnik has Rohloff available as a upgrade.
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Old 06-08-13, 07:20 PM
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I ride a Bacchetta Corsa but since the arrival of my Cervelo the Corsa only gets about 30% of my riding time. I ride with a local club and we do lots of climbing. I could not keep up with the group on the bent. If it were a mostly flat course or shorter climbs I could manage but we do some long climbs and 6-8000 feet and I would never see them again after the first ascent.
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Old 06-08-13, 07:22 PM
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Completely 'bent since replacing our KHS tandem with a RANS Screamer in 2011. My gateway drug was a RANS Tailwind that I found on the local cycling club's classifieds, cheap, in 2006. It was a bit small for me but got me hooked. Replaced it with a SWB RANS V-Rex in 2008 and then added a LWB RANS V3 in 2009. Plus the Screamer in 2011.
In 2012, rode the V3 48%, V-Rex 33%, Screamer 19%. So far, in 2013: V3 21%, V-Rex 58% and Screamer 19%.
The V-Rex is the only bike I've ridden to work since I got it. It was my club and other ride bike, too, until the V3. This year, I am riding the Rex on more club rides, especially if significant hills are involved - seems to climb better. Steadier at very slow speeds. Also, easier to transport in the back of our Mazda 5 since we traded in the Mazda MPV, which swallowed the two loong 'bents right down the middle (one at a time).
The V3 is hands-down the winner at long, flat or rolling rides, especially if the road surface is less-than-perfect. (Still have a Novara Big Buzz hanging from a hook in the garage.)


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Old 06-09-13, 04:33 AM
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Cranky Old Dude, You described my Tour Easy 'LE' model perfectly.

Wrists, neck and sit bone pain took the fun out of my trail bike, a Peugeot Crazy Horse, It hung on my wall for years until a friend fell In Love with it. sold.

Then years later my wife wanted a trike, 'she don't walk so good' we tried what I call a 'Granny trike' with the real wide seat and upright ride, no good for her as she could not muster the power to go up our driveways minimal incline. The bike shop took it back full refund, then told us to give him a week and come back..
A week later she was riding a wonderful Delta trike from Sun Bicycles. I went back to the guy and got the Venerable EZ-1 sx and rode it for years. I had wanted the Tour Easy but could not justify the $2500 price tag.
Then lady luck smiled on me, I walked Into Bicycle Outfitters and there was the Tour Easy LE model used for $1000... It had maybe 50 miles on it, IF that. I took it home and they sold my EZ-1 for more than I paid when it was new, so after the house took its cut and I applied the EZ-1 money to what the TE cost I ended up with a practically brand spankin new TE for $600...
IMO the LE model is a more elegant build than the California built TE's but It was discontinued due to a higher than expected production cost.

I still missed my trail rides and now in better shape and with a proper bike fitting University bicycle center got me back on a mountain bike that I can ride all day pain free. Seems the Peugeot was a bad fit for me, we live and we learn.




I am looking forward to my first Tadpole trike purchase, I have one on my Christmas list XD

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Old 06-09-13, 03:21 PM
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I'm a cyclist who rides a recumbent. No real claim to fame - I'm slow but damn persistent and have finished the full brevet series last year and am only a 600-km short of a second full brevet series this year. I also completed two 1200-km brevets. My times aren't fast - but that's the nice thing about brevets...your time isn't important as long long as you finish under the timelimit.
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Old 06-09-13, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by k7baixo View Post
I'm a cyclist who rides a recumbent. No real claim to fame - I'm slow but damn persistent and have finished the full brevet series last year and am only a 600-km short of a second full brevet series this year. I also completed two 1200-km brevets. My times aren't fast - but that's the nice thing about brevets...your time isn't important as long long as you finish under the timelimit.
You rule. A brevit series is something I can only dream about.
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Old 06-09-13, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Clawed View Post
Are there any bents with an IGH out there? That's one of the things I really love about my hybrid.
Yeah, I got one.


It came with a triple derailleur 105 speed drive train. I converted it to a Rohloff
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Old 06-10-13, 05:12 AM
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Well, since we're recounting our 'bent history...

I got my first recumbent in the early to mid 80s. It was a RANS Stratus Model A, the one with the joystick just waiting to make life-altering modifications to your body. I had seen a Tour Easy and the RANS looked even cooler. An alternative technology Harley, I thought. Help me to pick up chicks, I thought. That's how stupid I was in my 20s.

Rode the wheels off that Stratus, then replaced it with a V-Rex in 2007. It's still in my stable. Best all-round bike, ever; touring, commuting, groceries, it's done it all.

Picked up an ICE Sprint in 2010. That's now become my commuter, because I can go as slow as I want to up the hills on the way home. It isn't my favorite bike for distance; after about 35 miles, I'm bored with it.

Just a few weeks ago, I found a great deal on a barely-used X-stream. Damn, that bike is fast! It has immediately established itself as my century bike, the perfect bike for a long, fast ride. And if I ever get into randos again, that's the bike I'm going to ride.

Anyway, as you can see, I'm like that guy who's owned nothing but Chevys his entire life. I might as well get a damn RANS logo tattooed on my bicep.
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Old 06-10-13, 06:55 AM
  #16  
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I got my first bent in 2005, and sold both my mountain bike and road DF in 2010 when I got my trike. Fully bent and would not even think of going back!!!

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Old 06-10-13, 07:18 AM
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I don't ride one but my wife has had two bent trikes. The first was a Sun EZ delta trike. I rode that one several times while recovering from injuries that prevented me from riding my road bike. It was OK to ride but way too heavy a trike (57 pounds) and slow as all get out. Her current trike is a Performer FX tadpole trike. It's much lighter (28 pounds), and is more of a racer than a touring trike. I have also ridden it while recovering from injuries and this one is very fast for a trike, handles well and is pretty aero, as far as trikes go. Where it falls way short on performance is on inclines. Depending on the angle, you may as well get off and push it.

Since I'm not getting any younger and don't know exactly how long I can continue riding my road bike, I have been looking at some bents and keeping their web pages in my bookmarks. I've been looking at the Bacchetta line a bit more than the others because their headquarters are in an adjoining county and they have plenty of dealers in this area. The nice thing about living in this part of Florida is that there are no hills, so a bent may work out just fine, if I ever need one.
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Old 06-10-13, 07:37 AM
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My first recumbent was a SWB Rans Enduro Sport. I built it up from a frameset without having ever examined recumbent bike details. I learned a lot through the process. I have Chris King hubs and XTR derailleurs so it's pretty well equipped. There is nothing that I don't like about it but, if I had it to do over, I would buy the Ti-Rex frameset just for the bling factor.

My most recent recumbent is a Hase Kettwisel delta trike that can link with Mrs. Grouch's to form a tandem train. I learn something new about the Ketts almost every time that we take them out. If I ever figure out what's wrong with my body, I think we are going to have a lot of fun with the Ketts.
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Old 06-10-13, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by John_V View Post
Since I'm not getting any younger and don't know exactly how long I can continue riding my road bike, I have been looking at some bents and keeping their web pages in my bookmarks. I've been looking at the Bacchetta line a bit more than the others because their headquarters are in an adjoining county and they have plenty of dealers in this area. The nice thing about living in this part of Florida is that there are no hills, so a bent may work out just fine, if I ever need one.
When time comes, you might check out the Bacchetta Carbon Aero 2.0 with 700c wheels. You could dust roadies to your heart's content with that thing.
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Old 06-10-13, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Dudelsack View Post
When time comes, you might check out the Bacchetta Carbon Aero 2.0 with 700c wheels. You could dust roadies to your heart's content with that thing.
If he can ride it. That wouldn't be my recommendation for a first time recumbent rider.
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Old 06-10-13, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
If he can ride it. That wouldn't be my recommendation for a first time recumbent rider.
+1. This bears out the importance of going in fully informed, and understanding that different recumbent configurations can be as different to ride as beach cruisers are from road bikes.
Before pulling the trigger on my recumbent purchase, I rented one for a multi day self supported road trip. I rented a short wheelbase unit, and rode it 500 miles in 10 days, pulling a fully loaded BOB trailer.
I don't have pictures of it on my computer, (this was 14 years ago,) but it is the exact unit pictured here. (They are still renting out that same bike 14 years later.)
http://www.bikeforest.com/rotator_tiger.php
The learning curve was huge. I spent the first two or three days in constant fear of wobbling into traffic. The handling was so twitchy and unstable, it took me that long to learn to relax.
It was shortly thereafter that I bought the long wheelbase model pictured in my previous post and it was vastly different.
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Old 06-10-13, 08:55 AM
  #22  
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Been there. I kinda miss it, but there are issues a novice should be aware of with them. And I've found myself talking people out of getting bent.
Mine was a Burley Canto that could convert back and forth between long and short wheelbase.

Since my big ride every summer is with a largish group I found it difficult to ride with the "normal" crowd. I was faster on the straights, much faster on the downhills, and slower on the climbs. The resulting yo-yo effect with the group was very annoying and sometimes dangerous.

Other issues: starting in a crowd, facing uphill, from a stoplight was wobbly and felt dangerous (maybe just me). and there's no way to "unweight" yourself if you slam into a pothole. You just get the whole thing in the arse.

But I still miss it. In a group of other benders I think I'd still love it. But alas I sold the Canto to someone who'll ride with other benders.
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Old 06-10-13, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
If he can ride it. That wouldn't be my recommendation for a first time recumbent rider.
True enough, but: no guts, no glory.
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Old 06-10-13, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Dudelsack View Post
True enough, but: no guts, no glory.
Also: no guts no gory.
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Old 06-10-13, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Dan Burkhart View Post
Yeah, I got one.


It came with a triple derailleur 105 speed drive train. I converted it to a Rohloff
Thanks for that. That is kind of what I am thinking. I wish I had fallen in love with IGH before I sold my Rans Rocket.
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