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Which is the best recumbent for me ?

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Which is the best recumbent for me ?

Old 02-24-09, 05:37 PM
  #1  
Unknown Cyclist
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Which is the best recumbent for me ?

Hi,

I have no idea of which recumbents are currently the best.

I think I'd prefer fast rather than slow, I don't mind it being low, I'd like plenty of gears and I don't mind if it's a trike.

Any recommendations as to which recumbent would be the best choice ?

TIA.

Oh, I've had a recumbent before, a Peter Ross Crystal Recumbent by Orbit, one of the very last ones, custom spec. If you aren't familiar with it it's short wheelbase, over seat steering 700C rear, 20 x 1 1/8" front, 21 gears on thumbies, M series type brakes, can't remember the rest of the specs.

Help much appreciated.

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Old 02-24-09, 09:28 PM
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From the online research I have done, when I change over I am leaning towards the Cruzbike line. Their go-fast machine starts with the letter "S" and sells for around 2K. Currently I ride an OCR2 outside and a recumbent inside after dark. This way I can semi-watch the kids after they start snoring.

Bill
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Old 02-25-09, 02:01 AM
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there are so many different styles that are equally fast, it's hard to give you a straight answer,

trike: catrike 700
high racer: bacchetta corsa, or challenge seiran sl (there are others)
low racer: optima baron seems to be a standard "go fast" low racer

challenge also has some other options that are very fast, but these are very expensive, and hard to come by even with the money, i mention that brand only because i like the way they look : P they're way over priced for what you're getting

lightning bikes are also supposed to be very fast, and very versatile as well, p38 or go crazy with an f40 (full fairing)

there are so many options out there, you may have to narrow your needs before choosing.

i myself have not owned a recumbent, and can't afford one, trying to save for a touring bike (which won't be a recumbent) but i have looked into a ton of them

keep in mind, that faster bikes generally have a rougher ride, and if you're on a bumpy road, forget about it : /
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Old 02-25-09, 02:55 AM
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The current fastest machine for the 1 hour record unfaired is the Velokraft NoCom. There are about a dozen in North America, if you can get one. There are also a couple builders that make clones, but I don't know what the waiting lists look like.

:)ensen.
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Old 02-25-09, 04:31 AM
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Originally Posted by purplepeople View Post
The current fastest machine for the 1 hour record unfaired is the Velokraft NoCom. There are about a dozen in North America, if you can get one.
TBH I'd rather buy UK or Europe, import duty and transport cost would probably be crippling on a US recumbent.

Are any of the suggested recumbents available in Europe ?
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Old 02-25-09, 06:28 AM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by Unknown Cyclist View Post
TBH I'd rather buy UK or Europe, import duty and transport cost would probably be crippling on a US recumbent.

Are any of the suggested recumbents available in Europe ?
Velokrafts are made in Poland. But I'm not too sure about the current record. Wasn't it set last year by someone on an MT highracer? (checks...) Yep, Gert-Jan Wijers Riding an M5-High. M5 is also made in Europe.
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Old 02-25-09, 06:40 AM
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Rather than re-edit, I'll just do another post for this. Any low or high racer will be relatively fast. The Nocom is very fast, but it has its own issues, like severe chain interference which impacts turning radius. I like the looks of the Slyway Alaric LFS, but at least for now it remains vaporware. Challenge and Optima make fast 'bents. Rather than try to make a prediction of what's 'best' for you, I'll just say, do your research and try to finagle as many test rides as possible. To make a generalization, the faster bikes will have more reclined seating, and more reclined seating results in a steeper learning curve; but once you learn how, they all handle pretty well.
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Old 02-25-09, 06:45 AM
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Looking at some of these recumbents I guess I'm looking more at entry level to midrange.

I want something for day to day use rather than racing.

I've just been looking at this one: Ratobike

How does the steering work, the front part of the chain appears to be fixed and the bottom part obviously has to move with the steering ?

Surely it doesn't twist the chain ??

Has anyone got any idea how the raptobike would compare to the Orbit Ross ?

The Orbit Ross is surprisingly light for a steel frame and has similar size wheels but a higher seating position.

Is the Orbit Ross still worth anything ?

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Old 02-25-09, 10:48 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Unknown Cyclist View Post
Surely it doesn't twist the chain ??
Yes it does twist the chain. Twist-chain designs have been around for years. Barcroft Cycles in the US and ZOX in Europe also have twist-chain FWD bikes in production - I'm sure there's others too.

There's an ongoing thread on BROL about the Raptobike, and a few posters there have framesets in the mail to the US.
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Old 02-25-09, 01:43 PM
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I'm not very convinced that chain twisting is a good idea.



Would the raptobike bike be much of an improvement over the Orbit Ross ?
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Old 02-25-09, 02:01 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Unknown Cyclist View Post
Hi,

I have no idea of which recumbents are currently the best.
"Best" means different things to different people.

...I think I'd prefer fast rather than slow, I don't mind it being low, I'd like plenty of gears and I don't mind if it's a trike.

Any recommendations as to which recumbent would be the best choice ? ...
The main thing that makes a recumbent particularly fast is how reclined the riding position is, because the riding position determines the amount of aero drag caused by the rider. Some bikes allow you to adjust the angle of the seat-back but you still have a limited range of adjustment--because if the seat is too reclined, you cannot push effectively against the pedals. When you push hard you just slide up the seat back.

A trike is always going to be slower than a bicycle with a comparable riding position; most people who have both admit they're 3-5 kph slower on the trike. The trike has 50% more wheels (more weight) and 50% more rolling resistance, and there's no escaping that, it doesn't matter who built the thing or how much you paid for it. Also you often cannot steer a trike's tires through road debris as easily as you can a bicycle. In fact,,, a tricycle's main advantage is not in going fast, but in going slow. Without the need to balance, you can putter along and gawk at the scenery, or switch to a super-low gear to grind up a hill, with no worries of falling over.
,,,,,
The only time people commonly prefer trikes is if they want to run a velomobile/full fairing bodywork. Pretty much all commercially-produced velomobiles you'll find are three-wheelers, because two-wheelers are generally too unstable in crosswinds to work well for this.

A riding position that is very reclined can cause problems of its own, with foot circulation (otherwise known as "numb feet") where your feet sting or tingle while on longer rides. I don't know of any way to predict how much of a problem any person will have with this matter. Bikes with pedals set higher (relative to the seat) cause it more and bikes with lower-set pedals cause it less.

I started out on a short-wheelbase bike with 406/559 wheels (see example here) and got numb feet often. Wiggling your toes inside your shoes tends to help relieve it, but doesn't eliminate it. The pedals on this bike were not even really high, they were only at a "medium" level. I switched to a long-wheelbase with the pedals set low (see example here) and don't have it at all anymore, ever.
,,,,,
Probably the worst part about numb feet is, you won't get it to happen on a brief test-ride around the block. It may take 30 minutes or an hour or more. If you were planning multi-hour rides, having your feet start to hurt after 45 minutes isn't going to work out well. I used the same pedals and shoes on both bikes, so I am certain that was not the difference. I also rode regular bicycles for years, and never ever got numb feet on any of those. And I haven't ever had any other non-bicycling problems with foot circulation at all..... so this is just a brief explanation of how sensitive one can be to pedal height.

It might even make more sense to look for a cheaper bike that has a riding position you want to try out, ride that for a few months, and then upgrade to a more-expensive bike (that offers the same riding position) if it works for you. The problem with this is that when you get into bikes like lowracers, there really aren't any cheap versions, at least in the US.

Usually the reason people mention "a lot of gears" is that they live in hilly terrain.
I have never had a lowracer, but I have also read it more than a few times that lowracers are really poor at climbing hills. I suspect that this has to do with the leg-circulation issue; if the legs don't work well when elevated, then riding a lowracer up a hill is going to elevate them above the heart even more.


Finally the bike you pick might not just be right for you.
I have a semi-recumbent that almost everyone who tried it loved--except for one guy, who had a bad back, and said that the angle his back was at was exactly wrong. The riding positions that recumbents put you in varies much more than upright bikes do. You pretty much just have to try one and see.
~
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Old 02-25-09, 02:20 PM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by Doug5150 View Post
"Best" means different things to different people.
Finally the bike you pick might not just be right for you.
I have a semi-recumbent that almost everyone who tried it loved--except for one guy, who had a bad back, and said that the angle his back was at was exactly wrong. The riding positions that recumbents put you in varies much more than upright bikes do. You pretty much just have to try one and see. ~
I think that's the problem, I don't know which one to go for.

When I bought my Orbit Ross the choice was considerably easier, SWB or LWB and in any case most recumbents were too expensive to consider.

One thing is certain, I really don't want a semi-recumbent.

I'm not very convinced about the twist-chain designs and I believe any bicycle (but especially a recumbent) needs more gears than the reptobike has.

I guess to narrow my search down I need to ascertain which recumbents are available to the UK.

I was hoping for recommendations as I'd really like something that is nice to ride.

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Old 02-25-09, 02:33 PM
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https://www.challenge-ligfietsen.nl/h...lectie=fujinsl

if you want a straight, "you should get this bike" suggestion, this would be mine, they also make a less expensive (but heavier) model, though weight probably won't affect you as much as you may think, especially if you're a stronger rider

there's even a pic on their site of someone touring with one of these : ) though i think it was the heavier model, either way, it's supposed to be a good all around, but fast bike

twist chain designs seem to be designed for track riding in my opinion, i agree, they look fishy to me
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Old 02-26-09, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug5150 View Post
"Best" means different things to different people.................................A trike is always going to be slower than a bicycle with a comparable riding position; most people who have both admit they're 3-5 kph slower on the trike. The trike has 50% more wheels (more weight) and 50% more rolling resistance, and there's no escaping that, it doesn't matter who built the thing or how much you paid for it. Also you often cannot steer a trike's tires through road debris as easily as you can a bicycle. In fact,,, a tricycle's main advantage is not in going fast, but in going slow. Without the need to balance, you can putter along and gawk at the scenery, or switch to a super-low gear to grind up a hill, with no worries of falling over.
,,,,,
The only time people commonly prefer trikes is if they want to run a velomobile/full fairing bodywork.......... ~
I ride both DFs, Recumbents and Trikes and while I agree that a Trike can be slower than bicycle with a comparable riding position, I don't agree with the rest of your premise. My findings are as follows based on riding a performance Trike (Catrike 700 )

1. Performance Trikes are slower while climbing.

2. Performance Trikes are faster going down hill.

3. Performance trikes can be 1.5 mph slower to equal to similar performance 2 wheelers on level ground once the rider has a chance to develop their trike leg muscles. The motto here is don't base your conclusions on a single ride.

4. They are better when riding into headwinds.

To say that there is 50% more rolling resistance is of course totally not correct and the same obiviously applies to your statement ( The only time people commonly prefer trikes is if they want to run a velomobile/full fairing bodywork).

Ride Safe!!!!!!
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Old 02-26-09, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Unknown Cyclist View Post
I'm not very convinced that chain twisting is a good idea.
Too bad, your choices for speedbikes go way up. FWIW, the Varna 3 uses a twist chain FWD. At 82.33 mph, it is the currently the fastest HPV in the world.

Just so you know, the reason twist chain even came around is because somebody figured out that the deformation of the chain caused by a rear derailleur is actually harder on the chain than twisting it, and an MTB doing it while climbing under power was the worst of all.

:)ensen.
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Old 02-26-09, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by purplepeople View Post
Just so you know, the reason twist chain even came around is because somebody figured out that the deformation of the chain caused by a rear derailleur is actually harder on the chain than twisting it, and an MTB doing it while climbing under power was the worst of all.
ensen.
Erm....

'Somebody' ?

I hate to state the obvious, but...the deformation caused by a rear derailleur 'might' be worse, apart from the very basic fact that it is not 'deformation' it's a mechanical movement that the chain is purposely designed to deal with - somewhat unlike twisting.

However, that recumbent has a rear derailleur (albeit front mounted) so the chain is actually taking the punishment from chain twist AND the 'punishment' from the angular movement of the derailleur, hardly a beneficial situation.

In any case, the 'deformation' of the chain on a MTB while climbing under power is very likely to be minimal if the gears are being used correctly and a good chain line is maintained (obviously).

Sounds more like 'somebody' realised that a modern chain could (short term at least) withstand the deformation caused by chain twist and took advantage of that.

Ho hum....
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Old 02-26-09, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by scarabeoguy View Post
To say that there is 50% more rolling resistance is of course totally not correct and the same obiviously applies to your statement ( The only time people commonly prefer trikes is if they want to run a velomobile/full fairing bodywork).

Ride Safe!!!!!!
I would think the rolling resistance would be lower per tyre on the trike as the load per tyre is lower.

That said, why do some people (full bodywork not withstanding) prefer trikes ?
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Old 02-26-09, 04:43 PM
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Just to answer your question of why people prefer trikes at least in my case they are FUN. You get the illusion of a higher speed. Like riding a go cart as a kid. I have LWB recumbents and a trike. I just seem to enjoy the trike. My speed on the trike is maybe 1/2mph slower just because I don't push it. A lot less wind resistance and a head turner. I get more room from cars and stay clipped in at lights
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Old 02-26-09, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Pockets View Post
Just to answer your question of why people prefer trikes at least in my case they are FUN. You get the illusion of a higher speed. Like riding a go cart as a kid. I have LWB recumbents and a trike. I just seem to enjoy the trike. My speed on the trike is maybe 1/2mph slower just because I don't push it. A lot less wind resistance and a head turner. I get more room from cars and stay clipped in at lights
You don't mind not being able to filter ?
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Old 02-26-09, 05:32 PM
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Filter

Originally Posted by Unknown Cyclist View Post
You don't mind not being able to filter ?
You lost me?
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Old 02-26-09, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Unknown Cyclist View Post
You don't mind not being able to filter ?

Filtering to the front of the queue is often done, but it's illegal almost everywhere in The States and unsafe everywhere. California is the only place I'm aware of where it is specifically allowed by code; otherwise it comes under the definition of passing on the right, which is the drivers' blind side.

I can't speak for UK laws, though. Maybe where you ride, drivers routinely check their blind sides for objects that may have appeared there after they stopped.
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Old 02-26-09, 05:40 PM
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Ok now I understand. No I don't filter even though I am in California and it is allowed. I just take my place in line
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Old 02-26-09, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
I can't speak for UK laws, though. Maybe where you ride, drivers routinely check their blind sides for objects that may have appeared there after they stopped.
Filtering, while allowed is a little grey here.



By it's nature you don't only filter on the blind side, some junctions even have boxes for cyclists to wait in after they have made their way to the front.

I've even seen some rather poor attempts at cycle lanes around here.
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Old 02-26-09, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
Filtering to the front of the queue is often done, but it's illegal almost everywhere in The States and unsafe everywhere. California is the only place I'm aware of where it is specifically allowed by code;
Bikes are allowed by code in Texas to ride on the shoulder so that allows legal 'filtering' in many situations. It was the main reason I got back into commuting. I work on a military installation and a construction project at the gate caused huge back-ups in the morning. I routinely passed 50-60 cars getting to the gate--sometimes many more.
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Old 02-26-09, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by dclaryjr View Post
I routinely passed 50-60 cars getting to the gate--sometimes many more.
On a recumbent ?
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