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Recumbent Rookie with Vision

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Recumbent Rookie with Vision

Old 08-03-18, 04:41 PM
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curbtender
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Recumbent Rookie with Vision

I'm trying out a new to me Vision Recumbent and would like a few tips on setup. Pretty much saved this bike from a life outdoors covered in leaves. I'm guessing this model was a one size fits all, with a telescopic frame and multiple seat positions. Adjusted the gears and brakes, but not sure on handlebar position for underseat setup. Also, I have the seat mounted in forward hole with the back raised upright as far as it will go. Do you set them up trying to get full leg extension or do the legs stay bent through the cycle? Had hip surgery 6 months ago and was told not to bend that leg too far back. In a quick test ride, the steering seemed extra sensitive. Stopping seemed a challenge also, in that I'm trying to move forward in the seat so my leg doesn't drag back under me when I put my feet down. Any thoughts?
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Old 08-03-18, 06:09 PM
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It looks to be in very good shape for something that has been left outside. Caveat: I have never ridden a Vision recumbent. I do own two recumbents with underseat steering - 1997 Linear long wheelbase and an Haluzak Horizon short wheelbase. The Linear is disassembled for storage right now but I can look at the Zak. It has bar end shifters. The picture below shows the handlebars almost at the front of the seat frame with the grips pointing up at an angle. The linear had straight bars that I adjusted so they were a tad forward of my shoulders so that my arms hung almost vertically when I rode the bike. Whether or not you can reach the ground depends upon your height. The Zak is set up properly but I always had trouble reaching the ground without scrunching forward on the seat. I should have purchased the Leprechaun version of this bike but I bought it used and took what I could get because the price was reasonable.


Last edited by VegasTriker; 08-03-18 at 06:12 PM. Reason: height of seat to the ground
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Old 08-03-18, 07:20 PM
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Ok, like that bar end placement. Maybe I'll try changing it around from mustache to bullhorn. It might give me more room to put my feet down. This has 7 speed Alivio components. I may upgrade if I take to riding bent'. The rear wheel, 26", has an offset rim. Is this common on this style of recumbent? Thanks for chiming in.
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Old 08-03-18, 07:46 PM
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As with just about all bike types, legs should be just a little bent at the knee at farthest extension. Or almost-but-not-quite straight. That's a starting point. And should help prevent your knees from being too bent at the other extreme.
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Old 08-03-18, 09:09 PM
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By offset, do you mean dished? That centers the wheel over the axle so your brakes will work. It is just like any old school DF bike with conventional rim brakes. My Zak and Linear both have rim brakes so the rear wheel is centered so that the brakes apply evenly from both sides.
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Old 08-04-18, 01:29 PM
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As in not centered. Aligned to the left of axle. Looks like the spokes are all the same length. Not sure if it's built like that for strength or if it was for chain line on this bike. By your answer, I'd guess it's unique.
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Old 08-04-18, 09:27 PM
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Even on a dished wheel, all of the spokes are the same length. It is just a matter of tightening down on the spokes so that the wheel is centered. I makes a big difference on a bike with rim brakes where you want the rim to be centered on the frame so the brakes apply evenly. Not so important on a bike with disc brakes. Any chance you got a bike with a rear wheel meant for disc brakes? It could be a replacement for the original.
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Old 08-05-18, 12:06 AM
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Originally Posted by curbtender View Post
Pretty much saved this bike from a life outdoors covered in leaves. I'm guessing this model was a one size fits all, with a telescopic frame and multiple seat positions. Adjusted the gears and brakes, but not sure on handlebar position for underseat setup. Also, I have the seat mounted in forward hole with the back raised upright as far as it will go. Do you set them up trying to get full leg extension or do the legs stay bent through the cycle? Had hip surgery 6 months ago and was told not to bend that leg too far back. In a quick test ride, the steering seemed extra sensitive. Stopping seemed a challenge also, in that I'm trying to move forward in the seat so my leg doesn't drag back under me when I put my feet down. Any thoughts?
I hope you live in a flat part of SF, because there are better hill climbers than that bike. And, please, please, spend as long as it takes to become comfortable with the handling in a protected off street area before you venture out into the wider world of things that you can hit, and can hit you, at speed. Here is what I did to tame the handling of my USS recumbent. My steering setup is exactly like yours, except the grips of my handlebars rise up on either side of me and are somewhat forward. I also recommend the handlebars in the picture another poster supplied. The handlebars you have are almost impossible to reach when you are walking alongside the bike and need to steer it. I used to be able to steer my USS bikes with lean steer, before my steering mod. Now they only go in a straight line unless steered into a turn. If I couldn't reach the grips easily it would get old real quickly. You want to drop your feet to the ground at the same instant that your brakes get you to zero speed, and not before. Speaking of brakes, I would get new pads, the old ones have got to be worse for wear even though that paint job (and the rest of the bike) has held up nicely. Same goes for the tires. Gumwalls are so 1980's. And the rubber has got to be a little on the hard side after so much time. Kool Stop brake pads are the Gold Standard and are worth asking for by name. You have more leeway with tires. Some Michelin Pro's will see you through the early months. Later on you can look at Schwalbe Marathon, but I like Bontrager Hardcase series tires, but they don't come in a size that will fit your front wheel. Sit on the floor with your back against an ironing board that is leaning against the wall. The base of the ironing board should be about 18" from the wall. Scootch your butt right up to the bottom of the ironing board. Point your toes straight up. Have someone measure the distance from your heels to the bottom of the ironing board. That is your x-seam. You want more or less that same dimension from the deepest part of the seat out to the top of a pedal that is at the 3 o'clock position (out and away from the bike). Your knee should not lock out when your leg is fully extended away from you. It should have about the same amount of bend that your extended leg has when you are on a regular bicycle.

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Old 08-05-18, 09:11 AM
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Thanks for the thorough reply. Braking and brake alignment are solid. I live on a hill so it's uphill to start my rides. Handlebar will definitely get readjusted. Yes, practice it will take. The riding position really creates a strong pedal position but Im having a hard time getting the balance in a position I would usually experience after falling off a bike, lol.
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Old 08-05-18, 09:23 PM
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Vision rear wheels were dished strangely. I don't think they were 'undished' but they were unique. Most other recumbents use standard dishing for the rear wheels. The only other bents I can think of that had strange dishing were Velokraft lowracers which used 80mm front spacing and took the extra 20mm all out of the drive side (to make more room for the chain to run alongside the fork.)
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Old 08-16-18, 04:49 PM
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I've had a Vision like yours for almost twenty years. It's really a nice, underrated bike. It looks like you may have the later bike with the longer wheelbase, although it's a little hard to tell from the pictures. You can, with the proper parts, convert to lwb and/or above-seat steering. I actually prefer the swb under-seat steering set up, although some folks found the steering a little squirrely. As I recall the earlier models had a wheelbase of under 40".
I'd be careful with the handlebars. They should be set up so that they can move under the seat during low speed maneuvers. It can be a little funky, but helpful if you get the hang of it, especially in parking lots and other tight spaces.
The rear wheel isn't dished. Vision stated (correctly) that the lack of dish made the wheel stronger. Unfortunately, I still broke spokes on mine during tours, so I switched to a 36 spoke wheel, which helped. If you look carefully at the canti studs, you'll notice that they are not perfectly symmetrical. Presumably, the wheel is centered between the flanges, but not between the seat stays, so the studs had to be a little offset to compensate.
Those cantilever brakes are a real pain to set up because of the limited access space, especially on the front. I switched to v-brakes, which helped a lot.
Finally, I'm not sure that your seat is complete. You should have foam on the bottom. If it's comfortable like that, I don't suppose that it matters, especially since I have no idea where you can get a new foam cover.
Enjoy that bike! Once you get the hang of it, you can ride all day without any pain.
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Old 08-16-18, 05:25 PM
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Thanks Palmer, thought it would have a pad on seat, but not bad without one...
Vision Recumbent Bicycles: Guide to bicycle models and versions
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