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Looking for a starting point for info?

Old 02-17-13, 08:08 AM
  #1  
CanadianCowbell
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Looking for a starting point for info?

So I am looking to get into biking but the truth is that I am pretty clueless. In my teens/early 20s I used to ride mountain bikes but to be honest I got cheap ones, ran them into the ground and got another cheap one (and repeat). As time went by I put on weight and now I am in my mid 30s and around 300lbs. This past summer I decided to do something about it and went with a recumbent exercise bike and with that exercise bike I am down 50lbs but the truth is that it's getting boring and I would like to get into riding outdoors.

I went with a recumbent exercise bike because I never really enjoyed traditional bikes so I decided to look into a recumbent outdoor bike. Then I found out about trikes (spelling?) and I think that might be the way to go because they appear to not have the problems I had with a "traditional" bike.

The problem is that I am right now trying to educate myself about them but I really don't know where to start. It's that point where even reading here on the forum it feels like you all are speaking another language. So can any of you point me in the right direction so I can start to learn?
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Old 02-17-13, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by CanadianCowbell View Post
So I am looking to get into biking but the truth is that I am pretty clueless. In my teens/early 20s I used to ride mountain bikes but to be honest I got cheap ones, ran them into the ground and got another cheap one (and repeat). As time went by I put on weight and now I am in my mid 30s and around 300lbs. This past summer I decided to do something about it and went with a recumbent exercise bike and with that exercise bike I am down 50lbs but the truth is that it's getting boring and I would like to get into riding outdoors.

I went with a recumbent exercise bike because I never really enjoyed traditional bikes so I decided to look into a recumbent outdoor bike. Then I found out about trikes (spelling?) and I think that might be the way to go because they appear to not have the problems I had with a "traditional" bike.

The problem is that I am right now trying to educate myself about them but I really don't know where to start. It's that point where even reading here on the forum it feels like you all are speaking another language. So can any of you point me in the right direction so I can start to learn?
Are you anywhere near Vancouver, BC? You could head over to Cambie Cycles: https://www.cambiecycles.com/ and ask questions. A lot of times it's easier to talk to someone face-to-face.
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Old 02-17-13, 01:05 PM
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Unfortunately, I really don't think there's an adequate substitute to spending a 1/2 day at a recumbent specialty dealer. There are several quite different basic recumbent designs all of which ride and handle quite differently. A conventional bike store that has 1 or 2 styles of recumbent in stock isn't going to cut it.
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Old 02-17-13, 03:12 PM
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What is it about regular bikes that you don't like? And what is it about 2 wheels that makes you think a trike would be better?
Browsing this and other forums in depth will give you some idea of the pros and cons of the different styles of recumbents, and 3 wheels vs 2. As someone who rides both DF and recumbent, I would say to take things with a grain of salt. You still have to pedal all of them. Also, people who prefer DF tend not to spend a lot of time explaining why they don't like bents, while the bent riders go on at length about their problems with DF's. I don't have a trike, but one of my friends who was no longer able to ride his DF for physical reasons got a trike. After the new wore off, he got a two wheel SWB because he wanted to be faster and liked the feel of cornering on two wheels better.
Also, if you are planning on losing another 50 (or more) pounds, you may find that what is comfortable may change dramatically!
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Old 02-18-13, 04:22 AM
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Sadly online information is really the only option I have right now. The two local stores are geared towards mountain biking or traditional bikes and at the one I just got a blank look when I asked about a recumbent bike (which is a big flashing "walk away now" IMO). The reason I want a recumbent is because I have lower back problems and a traditional bike in the past would always cause me lower back pain, I also have balance issues which makes a traditional bike challenging.

As far as in 50lbs, my hope is that by that point my husband will want to be joining me and if I want to go to a different recumbent I will be able to pass along my first one to him.

And what is a DF? It is also information like this that I am looking for
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Old 02-18-13, 05:56 AM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by CanadianCowbell View Post
And what is a DF? It is also information like this that I am looking for
DF is diamond frame = "upright" bike.
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Old 02-18-13, 05:58 AM
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DF = Diamond Frame, which is the conventional frame for a bicycle. Upright is another term used for conventional bicycles (because some don't actually have a diamond frame, such as many mountain bikes and folding bikes, but they still have the upright riding position). You may also see "wedgie" (so-called because of the saddle giving you a wedgie) and "upwrong" used as negative terms for uprights.

Here's a recumbent glossary that's worth reading through: https://rbr.info/support/recumbent-glossary.html
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Old 02-18-13, 09:33 AM
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Wikipedia has a good intro. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recumbent_bicycle
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Old 02-18-13, 09:40 AM
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A site to investigate: www.bentrideronline.com

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Old 02-18-13, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by CanadianCowbell View Post
. . . clueless. . . . I decided to do something about it and went with a recumbent exercise bike and with that exercise bike I am down 50lbs . . . bored . . . .
I second the suggestions of a road trip to a good recumbent bike shop and exploring the message board on Bentrider Online.

Depending on how your mind works best you might want to set an early-spring deadline for having your own trike. With your time on the exercise bike and outstanding weight loss you are already far ahead of many who are getting back into cycling.
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Old 02-18-13, 06:48 PM
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https://www.bicycleman.com/

https://www.recumbents.com/home/

https://www.bentrideronline.com/messageboard/index.php

That should get you there,,just remember,,Test rides are an absolute MUST ! BEFORE you buy a bent..

DF's are all very similar,,not so In the Bent world....
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Old 02-19-13, 06:23 AM
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Actually on the advice given I have decided that when I am ready to purchase that I will be planning a trip to visit my sister in North Van so I can go to cambie cycles. I am just now educating myself so I can go in with a better understanding and so I can be a better owner. Thank you so much for all the information.

Off to do *a lot* of reading
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Old 02-19-13, 10:29 AM
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Don't be afraid to come back and ask questions. If you get something, pictures are required!
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Old 02-19-13, 10:47 PM
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And here's some encouragement if you decide to "go trike": https://vimeo.com/59688039
The Recumbent Retreat is every August, on the northern Oregon coast. Several attendees come for Canada (one regular is from Edmonton).
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Old 02-20-13, 08:28 AM
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Congrats on the impressive weight loss. You for sure are a determined and motivated cowbell.

A quality trike does sound like the 'starter' bike for you, especially with your balance issues. Folks who have them do seem to be a devoted bunch. The 'right' bike is the one you look forward to riding regularly.
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Old 02-23-13, 06:38 AM
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Yeah Its kinds cool,,,rolling up onna trike, stopping, feet stay on the peddals,,,riding off..
with low 12"14" gearing no hill can stop you..
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Old 03-08-13, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by osco53 View Post
Yeah Its kinds cool,,,rolling up onna trike, stopping, feet stay on the peddals,,,riding off..
with low 12"14" gearing no hill can stop you..
Really - you need a 14" gear in Florida??? I've never met a hill I couldn't get up using 'standard' gearing; although a bit of effort is required for those 20%+ grades. I used to have a 17" low on my V-Rex but the only time I used that gear was when I was testing it to make sure it still worked. And as far as stops, I can leave my feet clipped in at a stop on my lowracer, too.

But I agree, trikes are good if you've got a balance issue.
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Old 03-10-13, 09:49 PM
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Start at the beginning. A trike is a good suggestion. I would also look at a Long Wheel Base LWB recumbent to get you started. I began with a Burley Koosah, simple to ride, comfortable and can be ridden somewhat fast. You can find one used at a good price these days. It is also high enough that cars can see you if that is a concern.
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Old 03-11-13, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
And as far as stops, I can leave my feet clipped in at a stop on my lowracer, too.

But I agree, trikes are good if you've got a balance issue.
One of the hidden advantages of lowracers- the "handstand". (wear gloves)
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