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old dude considering a switch to recumbent ....

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old dude considering a switch to recumbent ....

Old 01-03-15, 05:53 PM
  #1  
rancocasrich
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old dude considering a switch to recumbent ....

My wife and I moved a year ago to Madison WI. I am a big (6'3"/220 lb) old (68) senior with some arthritis "whispers" in my hip joints and lower back. I am otherwise reasonably fit and go to a gym 3 days a week. I had been a pretty active cyclist but haven't done much in a few years. I want to get back to cycling because Madison offers great bike trails, paths and a big community of cyclists. I have a hybrid that I really enjoy but have some difficulty now getting my leg over the seat, especially in an emergency. I am considering getting a recumbent and perhaps a trike recumbent. I am thinking it may be the way of the future for me. I am beginning to do research on this. My budget is $1000.00 +/-. Does anyone have any insights for me? Thanks.
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Old 01-03-15, 06:01 PM
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Acronyms To Learn : OSS over seat steering . USS under seat steering . LWB Long Wheel Base , SWB Short Wheel base .

here is the Sub Forum Recumbent



I have a hybrid that I really enjoy but have some difficulty now getting my leg over the seat,
In such a situation I laid the bike down . stood over it and Picked it up underneath Me

Now My Folding Bike Has a Low top tube .. easy to get on and Off Of..

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Old 01-03-15, 07:20 PM
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You may as well go over to Bentrideronline and join there, too. That's THE bent community. In Wisconsin, you have two recumbent sources. First is Hostelshoppe in Stevens Point, and second is Wheel and Sprocket. W&S has several shops in the Madison area, and I'm not sure where they hide their recumbents.

With a 1K budget, you're probably looking at a used bike. Bents are not cheap.
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Old 01-03-15, 08:47 PM
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If you buy used, quite often you can find a nice Rans or Burley in your price range. They are usually a better purchase than Sun 'bents which are probably the brand voted most "upgraded from".
When considering an inline vs trike 'bent, the big thing to think about is balance. If your balance isn't quite what it used to be, a trike can be a great option since it takes the balance issue out of the equation. They can also be a benefit if you get stuck overgeared on a big hill, because you can just stop without the rapid pedal unclipping.
January is a good time to find deals, so you might bump your price range up just two or three hundred and find a good deal on a used trike. Personally, I ride both inline and trike 'bents, and appreciate them both.
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Old 01-03-15, 09:44 PM
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I ride both recumbent and upright bikes. My recumbent is an HPV Street Machine - it offers a very comfortable almost stately ride. Compared to an upright, you sort of ride in it vs. on it. Recumbent balance is different your moment of inertia is shorter, you can fall over very quickly. With a short wheel base recumbent, steering is also different, your body and front wheel don't always point the same way.. Takes a little while to develop the different leg muscles for recumbent. Probably went 10 years almost 100% riding the recumbent, then hurt my knee (non cycling related); recumbents can be harder on your knees - after my injury have a hard time riding a long time or over real hilly terrain. currently ride upright bikes more than the recumbent, while I've had three different recumbent bikes over the course of the last 25 years. Only one now - plus a half dozen upright bikes, finally having to go the custom geometry route to get an upright fit that is nearly as comfortable as the recumbent.
A trike has interested me, have tried several - each time I do brings a big smile to my face - think of a pedal powered go cart. A year ago our teenage son needed a new bike, he really wanted a trike (dad don't resist much). Got a Terratrike Tour, which he rides well - takes it to school once in a while, did a 500 km tour with us. Have to say - the darn thing is hard for me to get down into. To get out, I try to stop fast and put my feet down and let my momentum help stand me up (I do a similar thing with the Street Machine, just the rise is much smaller and my legs are more under me than in front when stopped).
Recumbents cost more, are usually heavier and harder to transport than upright bikes.
There is a 1 km section of my commute home that has five stop signs/lights, I easily keep up with traffic flow; it is very satisfying to be in traffic on the recumbent looking just about eye level with car drivers - lots of times they appear irritated because I'm comfortably cruising along with them.
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Old 01-03-15, 10:03 PM
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It's much easier to find and buy upright bikes, especially if your budget limit is a grand.
I was lucky to stumble across a classified ad in our local club's website for a used RANS 'bent and ended up buying it for about $400. That was in 2006 - that bike got me hooked. Have since sold the first one - it was a bit too small - and bought two more single 'bents plus a recumbent tandem. The tandem came from Hostel Shoppe - highly recommend your taking a trip to Stevens Point. (Have never been there - they are an exceptional online retailer and I have heard nothing but good about their shop. Lots of 'bent bikes/trikes to see and ride.)
Do check out bentrider.bike.
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Old 01-04-15, 07:40 AM
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Dont overlook a trike either. I own and ride both a LWB bike, and a trike. The fact is the average rider will be better served and far more comfortable on a recumbent. I firmly believe that with pain out of the picture, bents will be ridden far more than a DF.
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Old 01-04-15, 07:57 AM
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I think that as soon as the weather warms you should plan a road trip to Stevens Point.

Conventional bikes, as many kinds as there are, are still basically variations on a theme and are relatively easy to select. Recumbents are a comparatively rapidly developing design. There are several quite different styles and they all ride and feel quite differently. The Hostel Shoppe people are the recumbent experts. They have all of the various styles in stock for you to see and even test ride. They can talk you through the recumbent ownership issues of how to transport and store your new bike (or trike). They're good people.

If a new recumbent from the Hostel Shoppe is a budget buster for you, at least you'll have a better idea of what you're looking for.
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Old 01-04-15, 08:09 AM
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Once you try a 'bent, you'll never go back, so they say... Happy shopping & enjoy!
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Old 01-04-15, 11:04 AM
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Have you considered a step-through diamond frame bike?
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Old 01-04-15, 11:10 AM
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NB They have an online classifieds page, to buy and sell stuff .. CLASSIFIEDS - BentRider Online Forums
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Old 01-04-15, 02:17 PM
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hey, there young 'un -

terratrike nexus-8 rover with a lasco 22-32-44 up front will fill the bill. if the slopes seem to be a bit tough after that, an $8 22-tooth sprocket added to the nexus will have you climbing with a smile.
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Old 01-04-15, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by FarHorizon View Post
Once you try a 'bent, you'll never go back, so they say... Happy shopping & enjoy!
So they say but I rode 6-8,000 miles a year on a bent from 2003 thru 2013 but put 8,000+ miles on two uprights in 2014. I still own three bents but they are not getting much love.
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Old 01-05-15, 05:59 AM
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I recommend one of the LWB recumbents, such as a Bacchetta Bella. Burley made a great LWB at one time, and I've seen them pop up from time to time on eBay. They're easier to manage than a SWB bent, which is what I own right now.
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Old 01-05-15, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Trsnrtr View Post
So they say but I rode 6-8,000 miles a year on a bent from 2003 thru 2013 but put 8,000+ miles on two uprights in 2014. I still own three bents but they are not getting much love.
There are several examples of people who were unable to ride uprights switching to recumbents, then getting in shape and switching back to uprights. And many more examples of people who ride recumbents who never stopped riding DFs.

I ride upright folding bikes, but for me they just aren't as much fun as my bents. Ride whatever makes you smile.
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Old 01-05-15, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Dudelsack View Post
I recommend one of the LWB recumbents, such as a Bacchetta Bella. Burley made a great LWB at one time, and I've seen them pop up from time to time on eBay. They're easier to manage than a SWB bent, which is what I own right now.
My SWB is easier to handle at low speeds and my LWB handles better at high speeds. Lots of variations from SWB to LWB and within the SWB and LWB families.
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Old 01-05-15, 10:25 PM
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Something like a used RANS Stratus might be perfect, if you can locate a used one. Relatively stable and easy to ride, it's a good starter bent that should be in the price range. My first was a V-Rex, which is a bit trickier as a first bent.

Bentrideronline.com is the place to go.

In the DF world, a vintage mixte would solve the leg issue. If vintage French is appealing, $1k will get you a restored classic.
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Old 01-06-15, 11:40 AM
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[QUOTE=rydabent;17439731] The fact is the average rider will be better served and far more comfortable on a recumbent.


Opinion or fact? Data?
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Old 01-06-15, 04:31 PM
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[QUOTE=crazyb;17446120]
Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
The fact is the average rider will be better served and far more comfortable on a recumbent.


Opinion or fact? Data?
One qualitative data point.
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Old 01-07-15, 01:28 PM
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rancocasrich - as a person who rode a DF for most of my life, switched to recumbents in my late 40's then went back to a DF after about 10 years, I can offer what I think is some good advice:
  • Test-ride several different recumbents. As mentioned above, there are a lot more choices to consider, and you need to get one that is comfortable for you. I made the mistake of buying one that almost fit me (a SWB Lightning Stealth that was too tall for me) and was in my price range, but I think there may have been others that would have worked out better. Even so I racked up a lot of miles on that bike.
  • I'll second the suggestion to consider a tadpole trike. Yeah, they're expensive, but they're a blast to ride. If I ever develop a physical limitation that prevents me from riding a DF I'll switch to a tadpole trike in a heartbeat
  • The only complaint I have about recumbents in general is that they're great on smooth bike paths or if you live in a community with nice smooth blacktop roads, as you can't "post" off of the seat when hitting something rough, and I found the feeling of being 180 lbs of dead weight banging down onto the pavement when going across a pothole or off a curb that I couldn't avoid to be VERY unpleasant. Other than that, they're very comfortable. If you're likely to stick to paved bike paths you'll probably love it!!
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Old 01-07-15, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve Sawyer View Post
The only complaint I have about recumbents in general is that they're great on smooth bike paths or if you live in a community with nice smooth blacktop roads, as you can't "post" off of the seat when hitting something rough, and I found the feeling of being 180 lbs of dead weight banging down onto the pavement when going across a pothole or off a curb that I couldn't avoid to be VERY unpleasant. Other than that, they're very comfortable. If you're likely to stick to paved bike paths you'll probably love it!!
To add to this point:

My recumbents are fully suspended, which helps the unavoidable pothole significantly.

On my Cruzbikes. I can plant my shoulders and lift my butt out of the seat. This makes a huge difference as far as potholes, but this can only be done on some bents.
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Old 01-10-15, 12:04 PM
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I did enjoy my couple years on a bent, but I eventually went back. My reasons:

1) the suspension thing. You can't unweight anything and might take a pothole in the arse. And even at my advanced age I still might hop a curb and cut across the park.

2) riding in groups of DF bikes can be problematic. I experienced a lot of yo-yo effect where I would be much faster downhill (and maybe even flats), and much slower uphill.

3) starting from a stop in a crowd at frequent crossings (especially uphill) was much more awkward.

I'm sure these can be minimized but I'm much happier having returned to normal upright DF.

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Old 01-10-15, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by dbg View Post
I did enjoy my couple years on a bent, but I eventually went back. My reasons:



2) riding in groups of DF bikes can be problematic. I experienced a lot of yo-yo effect where I would be much faster downhill (and maybe even flats), and much slower uphill.


I'm sure these can be minimized but I'm much happier having returned to normal upright DF.
The more aerodynamic the bent, the worse the yoyo effect is. You can get bents that climb well, but you'll still blow the doors off during the descents.
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Old 01-13-15, 01:52 PM
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I bought a 'bent in early December...a Giro 20 and absolutely love it.

I'm 58 and got sick and tired of the assorted aches and pains associated with riding my road and mountain bikes.

Now I can go for a long ride, finish, and walk away from the ride pain free!

I should have done this a long time ago.
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Old 01-13-15, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by cplager View Post
The more aerodynamic the bent, the worse the yoyo effect is. You can get bents that climb well, but you'll still blow the doors off during the descents.
On hilly club rides, I just look at it this way: all the DF guys are riding tempo and I'm doing intervals.
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