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Thinking about getting a recumbent

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Thinking about getting a recumbent

Old 10-12-16, 09:09 AM
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doug59
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Thinking about getting a recumbent

Any suggestions for a brand? I don't want to go top of the line, but I don't want bottom tier either. Are they easy to transport? Do you need a special bike rack? How heavy are they?

I know, a lot of questions . Thank you for your opinions, experiences, and advice.

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Old 10-12-16, 10:25 AM
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My neighbor with Parkinsons can't ride anymore, selling his.

I Doug, Dave here from Pennsylvania. I think some light perusing around the forum and googling will provide you with many of the answers you seek, regrettably I am not an owner or operator of a recumbent. BUT-- I was visiting my parents last night and they mentioned that their neighbor with Parkinson's cannot ride his anymore. From what I understand it's a really nice one, even has a power assist, and he is sad to part with it but was looking for a good place to sell it. That's what led me here. If you might on the off chance be interested I could get more info. Just putting it out there...Cheers! ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
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Old 10-12-16, 11:50 AM
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I have 3 RANS bikes: A short wheelbase V-Rex, a long wheelbase V3 and a tandem Screamer. V-Rex and V3 not longer made but similar models are. Happy with RANS bikes but would recommend also looking into Volae (Hostel Shoppe), Bacchetta, & Lightning models. There are other good bikes/brands, too.
Heavy? Generally heavier than similar quality safety bikes. My steel SWB is about 30 pounds, my ti LWB is about 25 pounds and the tandem is about 47 pounds. The LWB generally rides on the tandem rack on the roof (as does the tandem), while the SWB is easier to haul in the back of a car. Haven't used a rack on the back of car for a long time - some bents and racks work well together and others, not so much.
Depending on where a person is located, can be difficult to find stores that stock and sell 'bents. I understand Florida has more sources than most states.
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Old 10-12-16, 12:41 PM
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Old 10-12-16, 02:57 PM
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It would help if you gave more information on what your intend use is. Trek touts your current bike with "Domane with IsoSpeed has it all: Blistering speed." It is obviously high end and light.

There are recumbent bikes that are fast (with the right rider). They are called low or high racers and one of the members who reads and often responds to this section (Blazing Pedals) reports that he is quite fast on his. They are not the easiest recumbent to learn to ride. Most of us aren't all that fast and don't ride that type of bike. We ride recumbents because they are so comfortable. I've carried both long wheelbase and short wheelbase recumbent bikes on a standard bike rack on the back of a car. The SWB Haluzak Horizon took a bit of ingenuity to hang it but it certainly is possible. The listed weight for the Zak is 29.5 pounds and for my 1997 Linear long wheelbase is 30.0 according to Bikepedia. I bought both of them used years ago. Paid $850 for the Zak in 2004 and $500 for the Linear in 2001. If you are not sure about sticking with recumbent bikes or trikes, I'd suggest buying a used one.
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Old 10-12-16, 03:31 PM
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What are you after? Riding MUPs? Speed? Touring? Group rides?

And also, how fast are you now?
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Old 10-13-16, 05:01 AM
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I really like my Bacchetta Giro. The Short Wheel Base fits on a standard tray type bike rack.

But really, you want to go to a recumbent shop and test ride as many as you can.
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Old 10-13-16, 05:12 AM
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To answer the questions above....

I ride MUP's. My average speed is 14-15 MPH. My daily ride is 15-21 miles or so. Not looking to set a land speed record, just enjoy a good ride and get some exercise. I'm thinking I want a trike or similar type of recumbent (not a two wheeler). And yes, I do plan on trying some out. I just thought I'd get an idea of what brands and things to look for while shopping.

Thanks so far!
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Old 10-13-16, 05:36 AM
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Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
I really like my Bacchetta Giro. The Short Wheel Base fits on a standard tray type bike rack.

But really, you want to go to a recumbent shop and test ride as many as you can.
Another Bacchetta Giro rider here. One advantage of the model, and why it is what I settled on, is that it works well with public transit on multi-modal trips.
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Old 10-13-16, 06:21 AM
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Unless you get a folder, trikes will be harder to transport. There are only a few folding trikes. For MUPs you'll want low-speed stability, which is a forte for trikes in general; but in the 2-wheeler world could also be said of bents with more-upright seats and low pedal-to-seat relationships.
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Old 10-13-16, 11:55 AM
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Why not a recumbent bike? Just curious.
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Old 10-14-16, 05:07 AM
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JanMM I haven't ruled that out. I'd take suggestions for this type of recumbent as well. I am concerned about transporting as mentioned above by BlazingPedals.

Thanks!!


This one looks like something worth trying --> http://www.wgwheelworks.com/product/sun-bicycles-ez-sport-ax-65279-1.htm

But I'm sure you guys will have a lot more ideas !

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Old 10-14-16, 08:17 AM
  #13  
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The Sun (now Sunseeker) line-up is pretty much the low end of recumbents. Rather than that, try to find a used TourEasy in good condition. It's also long wheelbase with low pedal height, but will roll easier and weigh much less. I often accuse Sun of making their frames out of an alloy of lead and depleted uranium because they're so much heavier than they look. But at least the EZ-Sport handles well.

The disadvantage of a LWB like that will be that, although it will hang on a standard 2-arm hitch/trunk rack, it's longer than most cars are wide; so it'll hang out when transporting. A SWB such as a used Rocket or V-Rex will hang on a 2-arm carrier well and not hang out on the sides, but will take longer learning to ride due to the higher pedals. If you're still considering a folding trike, here is one suggestion:
Stowaway | Trident Trikes, Recumbent Trikes, Chameleon Convertitrike, Stowaway Folding Trike
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Old 10-14-16, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
The Sun (now Sunseeker) line-up is pretty much the low end of recumbents. Rather than that, try to find a used TourEasy in good condition. It's also long wheelbase with low pedal height, but will roll easier and weigh much less. I often accuse Sun of making their frames out of an alloy of lead and depleted uranium because they're so much heavier than they look. But at least the EZ-Sport handles well.

The disadvantage of a LWB like that will be that, although it will hang on a standard 2-arm hitch/trunk rack, it's longer than most cars are wide; so it'll hang out when transporting. A SWB such as a used Rocket or V-Rex will hang on a 2-arm carrier well and not hang out on the sides, but will take longer learning to ride due to the higher pedals. If you're still considering a folding trike, here is one suggestion:
Stowaway | Trident Trikes, Recumbent Trikes, Chameleon Convertitrike, Stowaway Folding Trike
Thank you for all this information. I'll do some research.
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Old 10-15-16, 04:50 PM
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doug59 - I bought a used Sun EZ Sport AX Limited last year for what I believe was a good price of $350 and it came with a fairing and also a rear rack. Did have to put about $50 into it to change out the rear tire and tube as well as the forward dr shifter.

It is heavy but it does go pretty good here in flat land Texas. With a long wheel base, the turning circle is about the width of a single lane road. No problems however going around corners, etc. The fairing comes in handy during the winter as it blocks the wind from your chest.

You should continue checking on Craig's List for something used if you don't want to put much money into something you might not like. I do like mine but I trade off between my city bike and the recumbent. Ride the city bike on the mups with the wife.

BTW - I usually transport the recumbent in the back of my truck rather than on the hitch mount bike rack. Have a quick release clamp at the front of the bed.

Last edited by james_v; 10-15-16 at 04:52 PM. Reason: added transport
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Old 10-15-16, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by james_v View Post
doug59 - I bought a used Sun EZ Sport AX Limited last year for what I believe was a good price of $350 and it came with a fairing and also a rear rack. Did have to put about $50 into it to change out the rear tire and tube as well as the forward dr shifter.

It is heavy but it does go pretty good here in flat land Texas. With a long wheel base, the turning circle is about the width of a single lane road. No problems however going around corners, etc. The fairing comes in handy during the winter as it blocks the wind from your chest.

You should continue checking on Craig's List for something used if you don't want to put much money into something you might not like. I do like mine but I trade off between my city bike and the recumbent. Ride the city bike on the mups with the wife.

BTW - I usually transport the recumbent in the back of my truck rather than on the hitch mount bike rack. Have a quick release clamp at the front of the bed.
Thank you for your feedback. I really appreciate it. I have emailed a guy on CL about the same bike you mentioned. I just want to try one at my LBS first. They also have other brands and models as well. We shall see how it goes.
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Old 10-16-16, 07:32 AM
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41 pounds as she sits, me 170
Look at that clean chain line, ceramic bearings In the Idler,
Nice fat comfy Tuff Bontrager H5 700 x 35c out back running 75 psi
85 psi out front In the Kenda,
Corners, the faster the better,
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Steel Is real, those that know, Just know....

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Old 11-03-16, 05:15 PM
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Just be sure to test ride a long wheelbase recumbent during your search. It's a layout that works well and provides a lot of comfort. One of the odd things I like about my Sun Easy Sport is a safety thing. It's very easy to step off the bike while it's moving and end up standing. This has really saved my bacon twice.

The downside; They are a little tough in a headwind with the upright seating. OTOH, they fly with a tailwind. bk
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Old 11-03-16, 06:45 PM
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Here's another suggestion for a starter trike. Actually, it looks nice enough to be a post-starter trike. No fold, though.

Performer Trike-E - RBR Recumbent Bike Riders Inc
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Old 11-03-16, 08:22 PM
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No set of recommendations would be complete without Cruzbike being mentioned. Front wheel drive with a moving bottom bracket (FWD MBB) have advantages such as better climbing (though some dispute this) and short drive train. I've only ever ridden this type of bike and it's been good for me.
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Old 11-04-16, 11:30 AM
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Some reasons I like my trike:

@@ Pure comfort. No more pain management. You can ride all day and the next day and the next. On my full suspension MTB I was good for 20 miles. At 10 it would warn me. At 20 I was off and aching. Sorta limited my range.

@@ You (usually) don't fall over at low speed. Come to a stop and sit there. Balance is less of an issue as you have three wheels down. As an Old Fart, I appreciate this.

@@ No more aches and pains in the wrists, the back, the ass, the neck, etc.

@@ I get to see the scenery. With a bike you are often head down, looking at the pavement. With a trike you are seated, looking out at the scenery. For a nap, pull over, relax in the seat and enjoy. Try that on a DF.


I started with a Terratrike Rover X5 out of Utah Trikes. This was the proof of concept trike and it was fun to ride. Like a Ford F150. I found that the big rear wheel was not a good idea. It raised my gear range too much for the hills. I had to swap out the front rings to get it down to workable.

After a year I headed for Utah Trikes to upgrade to an HP Velotechnik Scorpion FS 20 from Germany. I wept as I gave them my VISA. Check the prices on that trike and you can see why. However, it has proved to be an elegant and comfortable ride. It also folds in half, which the Rover did not do. This means I can travel with it all summer, hitting the bike trails all over the West.

Is the full suspension worth an extra $1000. Sure is. I have tested that on a bit of trail that removes fillings and crowns. One rough ride on the Rover. The Scorpion just hummed over it.

The Rover sold in three days and now has a new owner.

"Two wheels good; three wheels better."
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Old 11-07-16, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by toolbear View Post
"Two wheels good; three wheels better."
I found the opposite to be true. Other than the foot pain that went away when I switched to a different seating position, I found that I preferred 2 wheels over 3 most of the time (and the higher seating position that came with my new bike).

Although I do miss the ability to climb hills at 2MPH and stop to take a break without worrying about tipping over. And there was the fun factor too.

I was convinced I wanted a trike and never test rode 2 wheels. I might have ended up in the same position where I had to sell my trike... but in retrospect I would have at least given both a fair try.
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Old 11-07-16, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by toolbear View Post
Some reasons I like my trike:

@@ Pure comfort. No more pain management. You can ride all day and the next day and the next. On my full suspension MTB I was good for 20 miles. At 10 it would warn me. At 20 I was off and aching. Sorta limited my range.

@@ You (usually) don't fall over at low speed. Come to a stop and sit there. Balance is less of an issue as you have three wheels down. As an Old Fart, I appreciate this.

@@ No more aches and pains in the wrists, the back, the ass, the neck, etc.

@@ I get to see the scenery. With a bike you are often head down, looking at the pavement. With a trike you are seated, looking out at the scenery. For a nap, pull over, relax in the seat and enjoy. Try that on a DF.
Other than the balance issue, those attributes can be said of recumbent bikes, too. Not needing to balance is about the ONLY advantage of a trike, and it gets that advantage at the expense of a certain amount of rolling and aero resistance. That resistance can take one of two forms: limit your speed, or require more energy per mile.
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Old 11-27-16, 07:27 AM
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Ride, ride, ride! Be patient and ride as many models and styles as you can. But rest assured, a recumbent, if you have not ridden one, will change your mind in a hurry in many aspects.

Just as blazing pedals has mentioned in many of his comments, there are advantages and disadvantages to trikes, LWB and transportation which may be a factor.

While a typical bike rack can transport a LWB, it usually requires removing the front wheel to avoid too much sticking out beyond the chassis of your vehicle. Now if it's not a VW or some other miniature vehicle that normally works.

If most of your riding is going to be in the city with many stops or heavy traffic, a SWB has some advantages depending on how long your legs are and the configuration of the wheels i.e., 20" front. The smaller front wheel provides a little more stability at stops.

A LWB is great for urban riding but a little more tricky in town. A CLWB is a great choice for a combination of both comfort but maneuverability in town. In the end, it all depends on what feels right and works for you.
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