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Newb question; what is the point and purpose of a Recumbent bike?

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Newb question; what is the point and purpose of a Recumbent bike?

Old 03-21-16, 11:00 AM
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Punchy71
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Newb question; what is the point and purpose of a Recumbent bike?

Hello,
Sorry if this has been asked before, but I'm a newb. What is the point and purpose of a Recumbent bike? Also; what are some advantages and disadvantages of a Recumbent over a standard bike?
Thanks
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Old 03-21-16, 11:07 AM
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Old 03-21-16, 02:12 PM
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Some get into recumbents for their comfort, some get into them for their speed.
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Old 03-21-16, 04:24 PM
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A recumbent bike is simply transportation like any bike. Then you get to the first and main positive thing about bents, they are comfortable. Beyond that there are a large number of reasons why all of us bent riders think they are the superior way to ride. IMO there are few drawbacks to riding a bent.

Of course you cant race them in UCI races, and bents are not good mountain bikes.
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Old 03-21-16, 05:05 PM
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.... well, this brings up another question; what kind of price can a total newb expect to pay for an entry level price point on either a new or used one?
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Old 03-21-16, 05:43 PM
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Bents aren't cheap. If you're lucky, you can find an old, low end bent like a Bike-E in serviceable condition for $300; but expect even low-end new bents to run more like $1000-1500. (Sun EZ-Classic = $999, and the bottom of the Bacchetta lineup is the Giro = $1700.)
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Old 03-21-16, 06:00 PM
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Get ready for sticker shock. I paid more for my most recent acquisition than I did for my first car in inflation adjusted dollars. I still regard it as a good investment for my health and well being. Compare it to the cost of health care to compensate for being a couch potato. It's a bargain.
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Old 03-21-16, 08:20 PM
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Bents are chick magnets - whenever I ride my recumbent tandem, a woman always rides right behind me.......I can't drop her as hard as I try.
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Old 03-21-16, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Punchy71 View Post
Hello,
Sorry if this has been asked before, but I'm a newb. What is the point and purpose of a Recumbent bike? Also; what are some advantages and disadvantages of a Recumbent over a standard bike?
Thanks
If you have to ask you'll never understand.
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Old 03-22-16, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Punchy71 View Post
Hello,
Sorry if this has been asked before, but I'm a newb. What is the point and purpose of a Recumbent bike? Also; what are some advantages and disadvantages of a Recumbent over a standard bike?
Thanks
for myself and a number of 'bent riding friends, they are essentially medical appliances. Due to various issues associated with aging or injuries, riding an upright bike is not possible or no longer comfortable. A 'bent is a chance to continue to ride.

I spent roughly 7 years riding only 'bents... both 'bents are from Bacchetta and are "high racers". Pretty sporty by comparison to other categories of 'bents. The Giro 26 served as a commuting and utility bike. The Carbon Aero 2.0 served as the "go fast" bike, although it did well enough on supported tours with fitted with wider tires and clip-on fenders.

After 7 years of going to a neurologist for neck problems, I finally got some physical therapy and can now ride my upright bikes. Honestly, I enjoy my upright bikes much more than the 'bents. Even with 20,000 miles on each of the 'bents and having fully adapted to them, I prefer my uprights.

advantages of 'bents:
1. helpful for folks with neck problems, wrist problems, prostate issues, and probably more.
2. when the seat is fully reclined, there are significant aerodynamic advantages.
3. kids will often stop and stare and yell "cool bike!". Adults may ask "did you make that yourself?".

disadvantages of 'bents:
1. logistics. harder to toss in the car and transport it. Harder to get into a building, if that is something that you have to deal with. Harder to pack for airline transportation.
2. weight. A 'bent will always weigh more than an equivalent upright bike. The bike is more stretched out, the chain is longer (generally), the seat structure adds a fair bit of weight compared to a seat post and saddle.
3. cost. They are produced in smaller quantities and require some unique parts, so they will always cost more than bikes produced in much higher quantities.
4. support. There aren't many shops that are experienced with 'bents. Large cities will likely have a couple of shops that have a decent selection. I bought my first 'bent from a shop in the Chicago area, about 3 hours away from me.
5. loss of some bike handling qualities. I'm not sure how to categorize this, but I'm thinking of stuff like not being able to bunny hop over holes in the road, the inability to ride no-hands, or just the fact that a heavier bike with a longer wheelbase is tougher to maneuver around obstacles and such.
6. reduced ability to see in all directions. It's extremely difficult to look behind you when on a 'bent. I suspect it's related to the degree of seat recline. On my high racers, it's effectively impossible. As such, a mirror is essential. Fortunately, I've been using a helmet mirror for a long time, so this was no big deal.
7. there is a learning curve. You'll have to relearn how to balance the bike and your muscles will have to develop to handle the different way that power is generated. The muscles that are used on a 'bent and an upright are different. I spend half of my time on my 'bents and half of my time on my uprights, and switching between them is like cross-training. For myself and other friends that ride high racers, it takes roughly 1000 miles to adapt to the bike to the point where you feel fully skilled. Getting the muscles in shape takes longer.
8. hills. Even after 40,000 miles on 'bents, I am still faster on uprights.

that's my two cents worth.

Steve in Peoria
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Old 03-22-16, 09:35 AM
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Probably overall the main purpose is comfort/generally relaxed riding position.

My biggest problems are not being able to unweight the bike when hitting a pothole and very large turning radius with long wheel based recumbent.

I will say that even though the leg muscles are used somewhat differently, my DF average speed has also increased due to my riding the recumbent.
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Old 03-22-16, 05:31 PM
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The only reason to ride a bent is so young children yell COOL BIKE!! They ignore me completely when I ride the Df

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Old 03-22-16, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Worknomore View Post
The only reason to ride a bent is so young children yell COOL BIKE!! They ignore me completely when I ride the Dr
^^This is also true^^
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Old 03-25-16, 04:24 PM
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Why you ask ?

This is why:



You should ask yourself,,,"Why Not?"
and the first one Is mine,,all mine,,
I have left Instructions,,when I die It will go Into my casket with me,,

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Old 03-25-16, 09:58 PM
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To be able to wear regular street clothes and not prematurely wear them out on a DF sadde. If I had been riding a 'bent, I wouldn't have plowed into the back of a stopped van in '79.
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Old 03-26-16, 07:18 AM
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Granted bents are not cheap. Buying a good used one is a good option. However once you have one unlike a DF bike you dont have to buy a high priced kit to protect you from your bike. As someone pointed out street clothes work just fine. Personally I wear t-shirts, and rugby shorts I buy at Scheels sports store for $15.

Of the many pluses of riding a bent is the fact you sit upright and have full view of your surrounding. This is a huge safety factor. You are not bent over watching your front wheel.
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Old 03-26-16, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Punchy71 View Post
Hello,
Sorry if this has been asked before, but I'm a newb. What is the point and purpose of a Recumbent bike? Also; what are some advantages and disadvantages of a Recumbent over a standard bike?
Thanks
What's your point?
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Old 03-26-16, 03:59 PM
  #18  
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If you want to know of a huge advantage 'bent riders have, ride the Katy Trail end to end on a DF. Your bod will let you know!
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Old 03-27-16, 05:31 AM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
for myself and a number of 'bent riding friends, they are essentially medical appliances. Due to various issues associated with aging or injuries, riding an upright bike is not possible or no longer comfortable. A 'bent is a chance to continue to ride.

I spent roughly 7 years riding only 'bents... both 'bents are from Bacchetta and are "high racers". Pretty sporty by comparison to other categories of 'bents. The Giro 26 served as a commuting and utility bike. The Carbon Aero 2.0 served as the "go fast" bike, although it did well enough on supported tours with fitted with wider tires and clip-on fenders.

After 7 years of going to a neurologist for neck problems, I finally got some physical therapy and can now ride my upright bikes. Honestly, I enjoy my upright bikes much more than the 'bents. Even with 20,000 miles on each of the 'bents and having fully adapted to them, I prefer my uprights.

advantages of 'bents:
1. helpful for folks with neck problems, wrist problems, prostate issues, and probably more.
2. when the seat is fully reclined, there are significant aerodynamic advantages.
3. kids will often stop and stare and yell "cool bike!". Adults may ask "did you make that yourself?".

disadvantages of 'bents:
1. logistics. harder to toss in the car and transport it. Harder to get into a building, if that is something that you have to deal with. Harder to pack for airline transportation.
2. weight. A 'bent will always weigh more than an equivalent upright bike. The bike is more stretched out, the chain is longer (generally), the seat structure adds a fair bit of weight compared to a seat post and saddle.
3. cost. They are produced in smaller quantities and require some unique parts, so they will always cost more than bikes produced in much higher quantities.
4. support. There aren't many shops that are experienced with 'bents. Large cities will likely have a couple of shops that have a decent selection. I bought my first 'bent from a shop in the Chicago area, about 3 hours away from me.
5. loss of some bike handling qualities. I'm not sure how to categorize this, but I'm thinking of stuff like not being able to bunny hop over holes in the road, the inability to ride no-hands, or just the fact that a heavier bike with a longer wheelbase is tougher to maneuver around obstacles and such.
6. reduced ability to see in all directions. It's extremely difficult to look behind you when on a 'bent. I suspect it's related to the degree of seat recline. On my high racers, it's effectively impossible. As such, a mirror is essential. Fortunately, I've been using a helmet mirror for a long time, so this was no big deal.
7. there is a learning curve. You'll have to relearn how to balance the bike and your muscles will have to develop to handle the different way that power is generated. The muscles that are used on a 'bent and an upright are different. I spend half of my time on my 'bents and half of my time on my uprights, and switching between them is like cross-training. For myself and other friends that ride high racers, it takes roughly 1000 miles to adapt to the bike to the point where you feel fully skilled. Getting the muscles in shape takes longer.
8. hills. Even after 40,000 miles on 'bents, I am still faster on uprights.

that's my two cents worth.

Steve in Peoria
This is a very good explanation! As someone who has ridden bents extensively, I agree completely.
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Old 03-27-16, 05:52 AM
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I have a trike, the reason I bought a trike is that I saw a picture of a trike and immidiately liked the idea, how wonderful to not having to bother about the balance, just gliding along. So I bought a Trice Q, not the cheapest around, but it has served my well and continues to do so. After the first testride I came back with a big smile on my face, and that is a pattern, everybody who has had a testride on it comes back smiling. On the upright you come back with pain in the groin and neck, possibly also in the back, shoulders and wrists, in the trike you come back without any pain at all, regardless of the distance of the trip. On the upright you are mostly staring at the spot directly in front of your bike, in the trike you are reclined so you take in the whole wiev of the landscape you are traveling in. All people you meet smiles and some also waves. One of the big advantages is that most drivers of cars are suddenly very considerate, they give you a lot of elbowroom and stop to let you pass over the road, when I was on an upright you where treated with a lot of disrespect, hardly no elbowroom and pass over a road before a car? Forget it!
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Old 03-27-16, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by starhawk View Post
I have a trike, the reason I bought a trike is that I saw a picture of a trike and immidiately liked the idea, how wonderful to not having to bother about the balance, just gliding along. So I bought a Trice Q, not the cheapest around, but it has served my well and continues to do so. After the first testride I came back with a big smile on my face, and that is a pattern, everybody who has had a testride on it comes back smiling. On the upright you come back with pain in the groin and neck, possibly also in the back, shoulders and wrists, in the trike you come back without any pain at all, regardless of the distance of the trip. On the upright you are mostly staring at the spot directly in front of your bike, in the trike you are reclined so you take in the whole wiev of the landscape you are traveling in. All people you meet smiles and some also waves. One of the big advantages is that most drivers of cars are suddenly very considerate, they give you a lot of elbowroom and stop to let you pass over the road, when I was on an upright you where treated with a lot of disrespect, hardly no elbowroom and pass over a road before a car? Forget it!
+1 on all points. As I have stated else where, I have the best of both worlds, since I have both a recumbent bike and a tadpole trike. I ride them about 50-50. I do admit tho that riding the trike is the most relaxing way there is to cycle.
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Old 03-29-16, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
Bents are chick magnets - whenever I ride my recumbent tandem, a woman always rides right behind me.......I can't drop her as hard as I try.
When I bought my first commercially-produced recumbent bike (I had built them previously), I let my girlfriend coast around a parking lot on it. She immediately asked that I get her one.

26 years later, we've been married 24 years, still ride together all the time (like this afternoon after I got home from work), and still socialize with eclectic, eccentric recumbent bike people.

Downside? What downside?
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Old 03-31-16, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
When I bought my first commercially-produced recumbent bike (I had built them previously), I let my girlfriend coast around a parking lot on it. She immediately asked that I get her one.
When I went to test ride trikes a few weeks ago, I brought my wife along. After 5 minutes on it, she said, "I want one too". Seems like a common thread here.
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Old 04-01-16, 12:33 PM
  #24  
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Before I sold my slightly-too-small Tailwind a few years ago, I offered it to my wife/stoker, but she declined.
However, she didn't hesitate to approve our purchase of a 'bent tandem to replace our KHS tandem. (I promised that there would be no downside for her.) We both love riding the Screamer.
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Old 04-01-16, 01:08 PM
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What is the point and purpose of a Recumbent bike? What is the point and purpose of any bike? Answer one and you've answered the other.

The main difference between a ‘bent and a “conventional” bike is that some people prefer one and some prefer the other. And then there are those loons like me who love ‘em both!

SP
OC, OR
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