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My first recumbent, a vintage early 1990s BikeE CT RoadE edition

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My first recumbent, a vintage early 1990s BikeE CT RoadE edition

Old 01-27-22, 12:37 AM
  #1  
molleraj
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My first recumbent, a vintage early 1990s BikeE CT RoadE edition

Very happy to have snagged this lovely light recumbent thing on a FB Marketplace ad listed as "Bike" (lol!). I picked it up for $50 in Capitol Hill and it just needed a new rear tube and tire. This is a BikeE CT RoadE edition from the early 1990s. It has a 3 speed Sachs IGH and a 7 speed cassette with a Shimano XTR rear derailleur (probably not standard; seems super high end based on my reading). Boy was changing out that rear 451 tire total hell - I had to cut the already torn existing tire to get it off and I stretched out the new tire by the radiator in my apartment before I could get it on the rim. In the past few days I finally adjusted the rear derailleur properly by tightening down the B screw and adjusting cable tension so that the chain was directed at the proper gear or in the proper orientation at each gear, especially lowest and highest. It feels great and rides great. It is less maneuverable than a folding bike, and I affectionately refer to it as a bicycle tractor trailer, but it should be great for some long rides in the DMV.

So far I have ridden it for about 21 miles - to Friendship Heights, the Rock Creek Trail, and Dalecarlia Tunnel. I plan to take it for a 30 or 40 mile tour to National Harbor in the next few weeks, weather permitting.


BikeE CT RoadE edition at Dalecarlia on the CCT
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Old 01-27-22, 08:07 AM
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BikeEs are comfortable bikes. Enjoy the rides.
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Old 01-27-22, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Harhir View Post
BikeEs are comfortable bikes. Enjoy the rides.
Thanks! I love it!
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Old 01-27-22, 07:16 PM
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My old Bike E RX model
I liked the Bike E RX I had but it always seemed quite twitchy in it's overall handling. I have spent the few months riding a SUN EZ-1 SX which seems easier to ride overall than my old Bike E. ENJOY your recumbent and the ride! 🚴👍😁

Last edited by bjjoondo; 01-29-22 at 08:53 AM. Reason: Mis spelling
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Old 01-27-22, 07:33 PM
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Gateway drug bent
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Old 01-27-22, 08:04 PM
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I bought the air-suspended model of that bike, it's a 3X8 with SRAM S7 rear derailer and 1:1 twist-shifters.

Mine with the high seat-back is prone to cracking the saddle frame, and the sliding mounts have been replaced with newer (recall-spec?) pieces.

Not like a bicycle, the steering does not self-center, which is moderately annoying and potentially dangerous when riding past parked cars at speed.

Mine seems very over-taxed by my local hilly terrain, not in terms of gearing, but it's not comfortable going up steep hill since it further reclines the body.

What the BikeE seems best for is riding it to dinner. The reclined ride home is so much easier than on a bike after eating a full meal.

Absolutely no shortage of thumbs up, even from motorists, while riding this thing. Feels like I'm Peter Fonda.

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Old 01-27-22, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by bjjoondo View Post
I liked the Bike E RX I had but it always seemed quite twitchy in it's overall handling. I have spent the few months riding a SUN EZ-1 SX which seems easier to ride overall than my old Bike E. ENJOY your recumbent and the ride! 🚴👍😁
Thanks! Will do, most definitely. Can't wait to take this thing out more once it warms up.

That's interesting - I note the same twitchy handling, but since I adjusted the IGH and derailleur so I can get down to the first IGH gear (and first derailleur gear), handling has been much better at low speed. Before it was a little difficult to balance at low speed. I had heard of the Sun EZ-1 and seen some up for sale here, but for much much more than this BikeE, though comparable to the overpriced BikeEs in northern Virginia ($500?! Really?!). Glad to hear it rides well!!
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Old 01-27-22, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
I bought the air-suspended model of that bike, it's a 3X8 with SRAM S7 rear derailer and 1:1 twist-shifters.

Mine with the high seat-back is prone to cracking the saddle frame, and the sliding mounts have been replaced with newer (recall-spec?) pieces.

Not like a bicycle, the steering does not self-center, which is moderately annoying and potentially dangerous when riding past parked cars at speed.

Mine seems very over-taxed by my local hilly terrain, not in terms of gearing, but it's not comfortable going up steep hill since it further reclines the body.

What the BikeE seems best for is riding it to dinner. The reclined ride home is so much easier than on a bike after eating a full meal.

Absolutely no shortage of thumbs up, even from motorists, while riding this thing. Feels like I'm Peter Fonda.

Nice! I was also worried about seat sliders cracking, but mine has been good so far (*crosses fingers*). The steering is quite annoying - thanks for putting the issue that's come up into words. I also have been miffed by tipping side to side at low speed. It seems that finally being able to shift down into the lowest gears properly has made it much easier to stay balanced at low speed. I know my last ride (after IGH and derailleur adjustment) was much, much better than past ones. I haven't yet gone up any steep uphills but I will see how it feels on them in the near future. Good to know about meal rides - I don't know if I will have that problem lol as I plan to take a couple tamales and a Gatorade as ride snacks, or I buy a snack at the end of the ride. But definitely a good advantage! Time for lasagna lol.

Hoping for more thumbs up, haha. Right now it's more "What the heck is that thing?" but one person on the sidewalk was particularly intrigued.
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Old 01-27-22, 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
Gateway drug bent
Heh, exactly. My collection now has two folding bikes, a Schwinn Collegiate (cruiser/upright?), a Specialized Globe (hybrid), this recumbent, and my friend moving out offered to give me his Falcon road bike, so I will have every bike of every category lol.
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Old 01-29-22, 09:28 PM
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The Bike E's appeal to me because of that boxed aluminum frame. Comfy recumbents can be really heavy in comparison.
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Old 01-30-22, 01:54 AM
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Originally Posted by surveyor6 View Post
The Bike E's appeal to me because of that boxed aluminum frame. Comfy recumbents can be really heavy in comparison.
Exactly! So light and so comfy. As I told a friend in the BikeE FB group, like floating on a plank of aluminum.
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Old 02-08-22, 11:47 PM
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Just took this on 10 and 17 mile trips down to Metro Center and Anacostia, respectively! Super comfy ride and unbelievably fast. I think I went down the CCT from Bethesda to Georgetown at over 15 mph. Photos to come soon!

Last edited by molleraj; 02-08-22 at 11:51 PM.
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Old 02-11-22, 12:27 AM
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Here are some photos, as promised!


Crossing 495 (Capital Beltway) and looking west, most likely.


Bethesda Trolley Trail murals in North Bethesda

At the John A. Wilson Building before the Marion Barry statue

At the White House

Frederick Douglass Bridge from the south

At the Capitol, looking east

At the Lincoln Memorial, looking west

At the Kennedy Center during the lantern festival

Georgetown Waterfront Park

Fletcher's Cove on the Capital Crescent Trail
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