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Recumbent What IS that thing?! Recumbents may be odd looking, but they have many advantages over a "wedgie" bicycle. Discuss the in's and out's recumbent lifestyle in the recumbent forum.

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Old 10-13-04, 09:21 PM   #1
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Why so Expensive???

Having riden the traditional road and mountain bikes my entire life, I would like to get a recumbent. But the high price is keeping me away. What would be a good "beginners" recumbent, taking price into consideration?

What is it about these bikes that make them so expensive? The fact that not many are made? I think that if the major bicycle makers would get involved they could make an "affordable" recumbent.
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Old 10-13-04, 10:02 PM   #2
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You've answered your own question. They are low-volume, almost custom-made equipment, hence the high cost. There are $4000-$5000 road bikes and MTBs for that matter - for the same reasons.

There's also the chicken-vs.-egg quandry: No big bike company is willing to crank out large numbers of recumbents when market demand is so very limited but demand will never increase until the public is exposed to large numbers of affordable product. Only Cannondale has a recumbent - it is expensive and in limited distribution. Trek's short foray into recumbents was a failure.

Lower cost recumbents are available in the $600-$900 range - many of these suitable to first-time bent riders. Compared to a $90 big-box store bike, that's expensive, but you can find many bikes in your local bike shop fin the $600-$900 range or higher.

Educate yourself on-line and try to locate some bents to ride. You may find a used one for less outlay. If you get hooked, the apparent price is not going to seem so high after all.
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Old 10-13-04, 10:20 PM   #3
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Burley of Eugene, OR puts out some nice and not overly pricey bents. 2 long wheelbase bents under $1,000: Sand Point @ 749 and Koosah @ $999
Also Rans puts out a new bike for 2005: Rans Cruz, $995, weighs 30 1/2 lbs. A bit unique as it's a cross between a cruiser, bent and upright, but with longer wheelbase.
Saw these bikes at last weeks Interbike trade show in Las Vegas.
Hope this helps.
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Old 10-13-04, 10:26 PM   #4
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I paid just under $1k for mine. Bought it on Tuesday.

It's a good beginner bent, but people who are into component envy say the components aren't so great. I can't tell you about that. I pay no attention. Besides, most of the components are regular bike parts so you could buy what you like to replace them.

They said at the factory they are phasing out the Thunderbolts because the frame manufacturer wants them to order more than their small company can afford. They'll stick to making the models they have with the frames that are made on site in Lompoc. Get 'em while they last.

Your other option is used. They're still expensive but you can save a little.

It's a totally different experience from a regular bike. It's more casual, relaxed. I think that is why people smile while they ride. They are relaxed. I like the way when I come to a light I'm sitting down like I'm on a motorcycle. It makes me feel cool, even though a lot of people probably think I look like a nerd or a handicapper.

It's a lot of hard work, too. I realize now I'm terribly out of shape. My commute is back to 50 minutes like it was when I first began in the summer on my mountain bike. But I'm sure after a few more weeks I'll have buns of steel (this really works your bottom) and my cardio will be pumped up (this spinning thing is hard work!)
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Old 10-14-04, 07:45 AM   #5
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There are a lot of good 'bents out there. You have to decide what you want to do then look at the ones that could fit your intended riding use. I purchased a RANS Tailwind this spring. Cost a lot more than my Trek 1000 road bike but it was worth every penny. Even though the Tailwind has low level SRAM components, these components work every bit as good as the Sountour stuff on the Trek, even when the Trek was brand new. And components can be upgraded. I use my 'bent for errands, pleasure rides, club rides, and even commuting. Riding takes some getting used to, it is totally different from a regular "wedgie" bike and you have to unlearn old habits and learn new ones. Once you get in condition (different muscle groups) the miles will melt away. Plus, how many roadies can sport an ear to ear grin after riding a century? Oh, yeah, be careful about Ebay. There is some real junk out there. There is good stuff too if you are careful. Good luck on your quest.

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