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orcanova 09-16-07 09:20 AM

Best sources to research first recumbent purchase
Hi. I'm a roadie and I post regularly in the road forum. My wife really wants a recumbent so we're getting her one for her birthday this month.

We went to Mt. Airy Bicycles in Mt. Airy Md. and she test road about six different recumbents. Almost all were Sun, one was an Easyracer Tour Easy (I think) and one was a Green Machine tadpole (which she loved except she is timid of sitting so low if she's on public roads). She like the long wheelbase of the Sun EZ Sport AX over the compact EZ-1 AX. She just kept going back to the EZ Sport as the one she liked.

She'll be riding on bike laned roads in Alexandria VA and MUP's primarily. Does the long wheelbase sound like a good choice? What other brands should we be looking at?

Are there any concise online sites that explain all the different styles and their attributes, as well as what the better brands are? This is very foreign to me compared to road bikes. I'd like her to test ride more styles and brands. I want to get her something soon, but don't want to rush into an uninformed purchase.

cranky old dude 09-16-07 09:32 AM

Check out
I just bought my first recumbent and his site along with the
info in this forum was very helpful to me.

By the way, folks come from all over the continent, and beyond
to buy from his little shop.

vik 09-16-07 09:34 AM

Go to and post your Q's in the newbie forum - you'll get lots of help.

Dchiefransom 09-17-07 07:21 PM

This shop, as well as Mt Airy, was recommended to a person looking for their first recumbent on Bentrideronline. Test ride as many as you can before plunking down the money. Sun is a good brand of bicycle, with many of them being designed by Gardner Martin of Easy Racers. The Sun Easy Sport is a good bicycle. I have a Rans Stratus, which I love.

aikigreg 09-17-07 07:38 PM

My usual recommendation is to bug a local recumbent group for test rides :)

orcanova 09-18-07 08:20 AM

Thanks....both very good suggestions...I also read good things about Bikes at Vienna on the bentrider forums. Hooking up with a local recumbent group (group ride?) would probably provide a lot of good info.

Shaman 09-18-07 10:29 AM

There are 3 main Delta trike manufacturers... Hase, Sun, and now Greenspeed. Prices vary wildly. Definitely worth checking out the new Greenspeed Anura.

Tadpole trikes are more fun, however. They are agile and fast on the downhills. As for visibility in traffic, that is what flags and lights are for. I even use the little safety triangle for greater visibility. You can never be too seen and that is true even of a diamond frame.

Just make sure she is aware that pumping a 'bent up a hill is work. Not only are they heavier to begin with, you also have some disadvantages of transferring power to the pedals (can't "stand" on the pedals). Any group of DF's will walk away from the 'bent on tall hills. Of course, conditioning and sheer determination could make that last statement a fallacy. On the flats and rolling hills, I feel I am faster on my trike than I would be on a DF.

Artkansas 09-18-07 05:50 PM

Test Riding as you have done is the real test. BentRiderOnline, besides the forums has a Buyer's guide that has links to most of the major recumbent manufacturers.

Also there are forums for many of the brands. Actionbent has one on yahoo. Bacchetta has their own. Other manufacturers probably do too.

As you study, draw up a list of criteria. Mine were low gears for hills, able to fit on a bus. That gave me a start for deciding. It sounds like your wife has a good start. Some of my later values, were that there was a dealer for one brand within a mile of me, and that we were in the same social network, and the dealer personally rode a recumbent. I ended up getting a Bacchetta Giro 20.

countersTrike 09-18-07 06:33 PM


Originally Posted by Artkansas (Post 5291650)
BentRiderOnline, besides the forums has a Buyer's guide that has links to most of the major recumbent manufacturers.

BROL is my recommendation also. I bought that #@&* Mexican trike because JMs advertisement discussed testing soon by BROL and mentioned Bryan by name. It never was reviewed. If I had waited until the test- I would have found out no one has parts in CA., the alignment changes each driveway, 27 gears make the chain fall off a lot, etc., etc., etc.; and I would have avoided that trike!

I advertised it 4 times; lowering the price each time. Now that summer is over; so it sits collecting dust. I had much better luck selling my Thebis since it was reviewed (RCN- '92). By all means- test - test - and test- and keep an eye on the reviews. I am annoyed with that JM trike. Learn by mistakes- MINE! Good luck!


Shaman 09-18-07 08:24 PM

It was BROL's review of the Actionbent trike that sold me as well. Bought sight-unseen with a 30 day satisfaction guarantee from Actionbent. I got a great trike at an excellent value. Sometimes we just get lucky and sometimes we don't... right? countersTrike

Elkhound 09-19-07 09:04 AM


Originally Posted by aikigreg (Post 5286534)
My usual recommendation is to bug a local recumbent group for test rides :)

What if there is none in your area?

I asked around and finally found someone with a SWB, which I tried and nearly broke my neck. I'm told that LWBs are easier for people used to DFs to adjust to, but I can't find anyone around here who has one. And nobody, as far as I have been able to tell, around here has a tricumbent, either delta or tadpole.

countersTrike 09-19-07 11:35 AM


Originally Posted by Shaman (Post 5292726)
Sometimes we just get lucky and sometimes we don't... right? countersTrike

I won twice with the TerraTrike and the EZ Tad, so 66% win vs. 33% is not too UNlucky!! :rolleyes: Looked at another way; I have a whole bunch of great but mis-matched parts now! Now I can make my own trike! :)


BlazingPedals 09-22-07 08:31 PM

Suns are great at parking lot tests because they're easy to learn. Their heavy build would make them good for overweight riders and relatively flat terrain. Of course they seem to attract a certain number of buyers who get them almost exclusively based on price.

orcanova 09-30-07 08:56 AM

Hi All, and thanks for all the input. Here is part of my reply to a PM that I thought I would post here, to sum up my wife's first recumbent purchase. We did our first afternoon ride together yesterday. That was a big deal for me as much as her...


Thanks, and very good points. I was concerned about the weight also. I am a road cyclist and my primary road bike is 15 lbs., but I look at any rides I do with my wife will be her pace and enjoyment level, and I can get my workouts in other times. Even if she had the fastest, lightest recumbent there would be compatibility issues. Therefore, when I ride with her, I am on my MTB and riding nice and easy, not looking for a great workout but just enjoying the day together.

Just seeing her get excited about a bike is a big deal for me because she has had no outlet for exercise over the last five years, and I have been careful to make sure she gets what she wants without me steering her into what I think she should be riding.

So, we went to a second recumbent dealer last week, and again she was interested in the long wheelbase bikes and we tried a few more. She kept going back to the EZ-Sport as the one that felt right for her. We bought the EZ Sun demo and took it home right there.

Yesterday was her first outing on it. I rode behind her on my MTB most of the time, to flank her rear and make here feel more comfortable in traffic, and to make sure she was enjoying a pace that she set rather than me. We rode to a nearby Balducci's, bought sandwiches, sat out on the river and picnicked, and rode the MUP along the river and back home. She put in 10-12 miles, which I thought was fantastic for her. Fantastic because she can now, for the first time, comprehend an afternoon on the bikes as enjoyable without coming home saddle sore and unhappy. On a heavy and somewhat sluggish bike like the EZ Sport, I think that was a respectable workload for her.

I think her bike is a good platform for her for biking because any time she rode before this, she had saddle issues, even after trying several women's specific ones. Also, the cockpit is a nice design for her since she likes to have headlights, horn/bell, water bottles, etc. mounted and in reach, and there’s room in the back for a rack (I have panniers already if she wants to start running errands about town. Also she straps a lock and fanny pack on the rear which is a lot easier for carrying her stuff than an under-the seat saddle bag.

I think she is going to be out and about town more on her recumbent, rather than driving so I think this is going to be a great lifestyle change. I am thrilled she is getting excited about cycling, even though it’s a different part of the spectrum from my road cycling obsession. Hell, we may even bike to bars, rather than walk or get a cab, so the bike may serve some purpose for weekend partying.

So far-so good. Lets hope she really gets into recumbent riding. If she outgrows this bike at some point, I will be happy to sell this one and upgrade her to something more advanced, but right now I am thrilled she seems to have caught the cycling bug.

Mooo 09-30-07 11:55 AM

I wouldn't get too hung up over the weight. I know, it's a common metric to compare bikes, but the EZ Sport is a decently made, nicely mannered bicycle. She's likely to put many more pleasant miles on it than she would on a much "faster" bike.
I used a EZ Rider (like an EZ Sport, but with rear suspension, disk brakes) for commuting for a winter. I grew really fond of it. So did my wife, and it became hers. It's a much more capable bike than people give it credit for (same for the EZ Sport).

So congrats, and enjoy!

Dchiefransom 09-30-07 04:26 PM

It might be good that you got the EZ Sport now. At Interbike, they apparently made drastic changes to it. I've seen a few of them out and about, and each rider has simply been in love with their bike. If your local LBS doesn't have the water bottle mounts for the handlebar, I put a Minoura water bottle cage mount on. The BH-95N.

BlazingPedals 09-30-07 08:18 PM

If your wife likes it enough to ride it, then mission accomplished!

The new Sun models look drastically different, but it looks like the basic geometry is still there. I sort of like the looks of the new "X" frames.

cranky old dude 10-02-07 04:12 PM

Good for her!! I just purchased an EZ Sport CX three weeks ago. I
think I've got it dialed in finally. At about 200 miles I'm just starting
to see some power advantages to the recumbent position and I'm
loving it. Of course it's way more comfortable than my DF's also.
As far as speed is concerned I recorded a personal best last week
at 34+ mph. It's a heavy bike, but it's no dog. I imagine she'll merrily
ride her EZ Sport for a long long time.

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