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Want a bent, but out of your budget?

Old 04-07-05, 10:36 AM
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AlphaGeek
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Want a bent, but out of your budget?

I have been on the BikeForums for quite awhile, but recently purchased an ActionBent recumbent for less than $800. I mention this as an alternative to a homebuilt. www.actionbent.com is the weblink, but some explanation is inportant. The ActionBents are strictly an import from taiwan, which is ok because many big name bikes are made there. Because it is an import operation only, and purchased through ebay or his website only, you must either be able to build up your bike from parts, or have a bike shop do this for you.

I received my Tidal Wave II in the box, much like a bikeshop would receive a bike...in parts. It took me an evening to build, and another evening to get all the adjustments where I wanted them. I am very happy with the purchase and could not have afforded to buy the higher end bents. Because actionbents is an importer only, you have no distribution, dealer, or build-up costs...just your time. I like this bike much better than the EZ models, (more reclined) and it is a well built bike with good components for a minimal investment.
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Old 04-07-05, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by AlphaGeek
I have been on the BikeForums for quite awhile, but recently purchased an ActionBent recumbent for less than $800. I mention this as an alternative to a homebuilt. www.actionbent.com is the weblink, but some explanation is inportant. The ActionBents are strictly an import from taiwan, which is ok because many big name bikes are made there. Because it is an import operation only, and purchased through ebay or his website only, you must either be able to build up your bike from parts, or have a bike shop do this for you.

I received my Tidal Wave II in the box, much like a bikeshop would receive a bike...in parts. It took me an evening to build, and another evening to get all the adjustments where I wanted them. I am very happy with the purchase and could not have afforded to buy the higher end bents. Because actionbents is an importer only, you have no distribution, dealer, or build-up costs...just your time. I like this bike much better than the EZ models, (more reclined) and it is a well built bike with good components for a minimal investment.

Oh!.....Why did you post this?......Until about 2 weeks ago that's just what I was going to do.....get an ActionBent Tidal Wave II.....but then a very convincing poster detailed out HIS NIGHTMARISH problems with ActionBent.....so I gave up on it.....But now, I'm wave-ering again....


Oh well....I'm off to the BicycleMan in western New York tomorrow to, as he puts it, "Try out 6-8 different recumbents."......Can't go wrong with that offer......but I may get back to you for more details on your Tidal Wave experience after I get back from the BicycleMan....
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Old 04-07-05, 11:11 AM
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Norton,

It is a great idea to ride all the recumbents you can and get a feel for what you like. And feel free to contact me with any questions.

Mark
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Old 04-07-05, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by norton
Oh!.....Why did you post this?......Until about 2 weeks ago that's just what I was going to do.....get an ActionBent Tidal Wave II.....but then a very convincing poster detailed out HIS NIGHTMARISH problems with ActionBent.....so I gave up on it.....But now, I'm wave-ering again....


Oh well....I'm off to the BicycleMan in western New York tomorrow to, as he puts it, "Try out 6-8 different recumbents."......Can't go wrong with that offer......but I may get back to you for more details on your Tidal Wave experience after I get back from the BicycleMan....
You should note that the particular poster to whom you refer showed up at about the same time as Spuds. And he never actually admitted to buying an Actionbent; he just posted that there were lots of problems being reported and relayed one or two. And all of his posts were of a critical nature, with nothing positive to add. While these things separately don't necessarily mean anything, collectively they set off little warning flags for me.

As it turns out, the problems were with wheel to fork clearance issues. Someone who is mechanically adept enough to consider building a bent should be able to figure out how to glue shims into the fork dropouts or use a 406 wheel instead of a 451. I would certainly not recommend an Actionbent to someone who is planning on having a LBS put it together, though. But if you consider yourself a tinkerer, I'd say find the Actionbent group and read up on the problems - which models had them and what the problems and solutions are. Then you can make an informed decision whether or not you want to buy one.

Most importantly, if you get one, report back on your experiences.
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Old 04-07-05, 12:10 PM
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Hey AlphaGeek, what components did you get? They show Dura-Ace shifters but on the front deraileur the site says either 105 or Tiagra, and rear either XT or LX. I'm just curious what you actually got.
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Old 04-07-05, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by twahl
Hey AlphaGeek, what components did you get? They show Dura-Ace shifters but on the front deraileur the site says either 105 or Tiagra, and rear either XT or LX. I'm just curious what you actually got.
I received DA shifters (smooth as silk), 105 FD, and LX RD as advertised.
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Old 04-07-05, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals
Then you can make an informed decision whether or not you want to buy one.

Most importantly, if you get one, report back on your experiences.
Exactly what I did. I researched this at great length, and found that most of the complaints had to do with people expecting an importer to deal with them like a local dealer, (not gonna happen.) By that I mean that the importer is not going to put it together for you, nor do alot of hand holding. But if you have worked on bikes a fair amount, and don't expect detailed instructions on how to do it...You can save a bundle and get a pretty good bike.

I did have a small problem with the seat having a tear from shipping. It was replaced at no charge to me.

If you don't feel comfortable doing your own buildup, or finding someone to do it for you, this is not for you. If you do like to maintain your own bikes, this is a great deal of fun!
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Old 04-07-05, 01:28 PM
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Alternatively, you could by a frame set from Cycle Genuis (bottom of page) or Bentech. You could get the frame set from them and build it up from either from a donor bike or new part as you can afford.

Cycle Genuis's ALX frame set is $500 and comes with frame, fork, stem, seat.


Bentech's SWB frame set is $429 and comes with:

-main frame (TIG welded 4130 chromoly tube)
-adjustable boom to accommodate riders with inseams up to 36"
-Seat (TIG welded 4130 chromoly tube) with aluminum stays, mounting hardware and nylon mesh seat cover
-Fork w/ V-brake studs and steering arm welded on
-Steering extension tube w/ clamp and stem riser (OSS model)
-Under seat steering mechanism w/ rod end linkage (USS model)
-Idler roller
-Cantilever posts for rear V-brakes
-Chain tube

He also sells the LWB frame set and will increase tubing size to accomodate heavier rider weight.
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Old 04-07-05, 06:02 PM
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I, too, purchased an action bent. I got the Jetstream II under seat steering. I've had my problems with it but overall I am very satisfied with what I got for the price I paid. I obviously didn't get to test ride it before I bought it but considering I had never ridden a recumbent or even seen one in real life that wasn't really an issue with me. I knew I could ride bikes and I knew I'd like the one I picked out.

After about 300 miles on the bike the chain holder thing (sorry, my vernacular is limited) came off the frame. I emailed the importer and he offered to pay to have it repaired. It turned out a local auto body shop welded it back on at no charge so it turned out good for everyone.

Maybe I'm in the camp that just doesn't know any better. I'm sure a greenspeed or whatever is a nicer bike but I grew up riding Huffys in a world of Schwinns so I'm not really about bike clout. I just ride because I enjoy it. I suppose ignorance is bliss and I'm one ignorant and blissful rider.

Last edited by JohnCub; 04-07-05 at 06:04 PM. Reason: adding the final sentence which I forgot
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Old 04-07-05, 11:00 PM
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Hi, I purchased an Actionbent Road Runner from someone who imported it from Taiwan and got it put together, but couldn't balance well on it. Prior to purchase I test-road a Burley Koosah and an older Vision. I vastly prefer the Road Runner. With the low bottom bracket and the OSS it's pretty easy to ride. After a few hundred KM's, I've had no problems with it. I live in very steep country and it does well on climbs (it has to, because I'm clipped in) as well as fast descents. I did read that other thread on grievances, but apart from the paint being a bit soft (no big deal) and the front tire having very little clearance ( I'm planning on staying with the small road tire anyway) I haven't experienced anything amiss. As far as the seat bracket slipping, I haven't noticed. That's probably because I have it set all the way back.! The LBS guys don't sell bents, but they are fairly impressed with the components and have helped out with adjustments and accessories and will order spare tires. It's been a great bargain, thanks to a seller who was more concerned with seeing it go to a good home rather than recovering his investment. I hope Randy succeeds with his mission on supplying affordable bents. Mine's a positive.
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Old 04-22-05, 01:00 AM
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Hi , It sounds like the guys buying used ab bikes are doing better than the ones buying new ones. There is no shortage of used ones around at reasonable prices as the guys do like to upgrade in a yr or so . They sure go cheap if they fit you, and if youre a really good mechanic the used ab might work for you. I would sure insist on one that is very lightly used, there are those too, they get sold inappropriately to someone who doesnt know whats the deal with them that there is so little support from the importer and end up giving up on them. Ive seen a few used ones going on ebay for a song in the last month or so. There are a couple of yahoo groups focused on those, you may join them, there are some for sale there too. I would tend to trust the original buyers to give you a more upfront and honest deal than the original importer.
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Old 04-22-05, 05:30 AM
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Try Cruzbike. You can take a y-frame mtb and convert it to front wheel drive high racer.
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Old 04-24-05, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by AlphaGeek
I have been on the BikeForums for quite awhile, but recently purchased an ActionBent recumbent for less than $800. I mention this as an alternative to a homebuilt. www.actionbent.com is the weblink, but some explanation is inportant. The ActionBents are strictly an import from taiwan, which is ok because many big name bikes are made there. Because it is an import operation only, and purchased through ebay or his website only, you must either be able to build up your bike from parts, or have a bike shop do this for you.

I received my Tidal Wave II in the box, much like a bikeshop would receive a bike...in parts. It took me an evening to build, and another evening to get all the adjustments where I wanted them. I am very happy with the purchase and could not have afforded to buy the higher end bents. Because actionbents is an importer only, you have no distribution, dealer, or build-up costs...just your time. I like this bike much better than the EZ models, (more reclined) and it is a well built bike with good components for a minimal investment.
There is not always a direct link between quality and price. Both Azub and Actionbent make bikes at a reasonable price with quality components.
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Old 05-10-05, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by jrcln
Hi , It sounds like the guys buying used ab bikes are doing better than the ones buying new ones. There is no shortage of used ones around at reasonable prices as the guys do like to upgrade in a yr or so . They sure go cheap if they fit you, and if youre a really good mechanic the used ab might work for you. I would sure insist on one that is very lightly used, there are those too, they get sold inappropriately to someone who doesnt know whats the deal with them that there is so little support from the importer and end up giving up on them. Ive seen a few used ones going on ebay for a song in the last month or so. There are a couple of yahoo groups focused on those, you may join them, there are some for sale there too. I would tend to trust the original buyers to give you a more upfront and honest deal than the original importer.
Know of any Catrikes or similar models for sale?
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Old 05-11-05, 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by JenM
Know of any Catrikes or similar models for sale?
I'm also very interested in getting a Catrike....
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Old 05-11-05, 06:38 AM
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There is http://www.scarabtrikes.com/
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Old 05-11-05, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by funbun
Those are more expensive than catrikes, and not quite as cool....
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Old 05-11-05, 11:31 AM
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Hi,

I dont know if youve purchased a recumbent yet or not, but this may be of value to other readers also. There have been at least FIVE actionbent seat failures in the past few weeks. On a few of them, staples are pulling out,,who ever heard of staples being used in a recumbent seat anyways except for bike E and they are gone now. Also there have been three total seat failures , broken frames of seats in the last month. The guys that have had these failures are mostly reported to be fixing these things themselves, so much for the much ballyhooed three year warranty. But hey, thats what Ive been saying all along. Those bikes are not much more than a very poor copy of other recumbents as far as engineering of the frameset goes. . I also would like to take this opportunity to change my position on buying used actionbents also. At this point it looks like any of these bikes are suspiciously poorly built, just because someone else has tried to assemble the thing doesnt mean that the basic bike was improved by such assembly. Those of you who have avoided buying these elcheapo bikes because of my posts, you owe me, haha.

John, if youve got a criticism of my posts, would you please send me a private email thru this site, perhaps I will be able to demonstrate what the specifics are of my posts on this matter.

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Old 05-11-05, 01:41 PM
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I hate to be negative when you are obviously trying to be helpful, but where does your information come from? I could come here and say "There have been 5 Specialized frame failures in the last month" but it doesn't mean squat without documentation. Who reported these failures, and who did they report them to? Was Action given the opportunity to correct the problems, or did the owners just fix the problems themselves? Why would you make a public declaration against a company, then ask that if anyone questioned the specifics, they ask in private?
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Old 05-11-05, 02:16 PM
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His information comes from a Yahoo group which I am also a part of. He is speaking the truth. I disagree with his tone, I love my actionbent and aside from the 5 seats that have had problems (all of which I think were taken care of by the importer although I haven't followed it as closely as I could have) there are likely several thousands of bikes out there without failures.

Something is going to give sometimes.

I like my bike. Actionbent JS2.
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Old 01-25-06, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnCub
I like my bike. Actionbent JS2.
I'll be getting a JS2 by UPS in a couple of days. Glad to hear positive reviews from people on Bikeforums, especially Alphageek, who I have known from these forums from years back.

JohnCub, a guy I work with has a house on Tybee. Must be nice!
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Old 01-25-06, 02:48 PM
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I bought a Jet Stream III from ActionBent late last year and had no trouble assembling it. The difficult assembly like the headset and fork, the bottom bracket and cranks, the brakes and brake levers, the shifters and derailers were all installed before the bike was shipped. All you really have to do is install the wheels, the handle bar, the cables and the seat. The instructions for adjusting the brakes and derailers were adequate and there is no end of additional help available through the internet. I should also note that the wheels were perfectly true and tensioned. The quality of the bike far exceeded the price relative to other recumbents. You don't have to be a certified bike mechanic to assemble the bike, but, you do need to know what a bike looks like and how to use simple tools.
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Old 01-25-06, 07:52 PM
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I've been following the controversy over Action Bent Bikes avidly for the last couple of months as I am buying my first bent next week.However I am buying directly from the manufacturer in Taiwan as I live in Korea(I'm American) and will be going there on business next week after Lunar New Years Holidays are over.The manufacturer seems to be very helpful and nice.Instead of finding my way to their office in a strange city they are going to drop off the trike at the hotel for me all ready for transport and boxed up.I will post pictures and ride reports as soon as possible. I will be putting it together myself as the only LBS here in town has no clue as to what a recumbent is.
But he does know what a dollar is!!!!!!
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Old 01-26-06, 08:31 AM
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I'm going to be careful here and say IMO what jrlcn said is correct, check with zzed at this group. http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group...allrecumbents/ He can tell you all about there three year warranty and also the the problems he and others have had with AB.
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Old 01-26-06, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Ric
I'm going to be careful here and say IMO what jrlcn said is correct, check with zzed at this group. http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group...allrecumbents/ He can tell you all about there three year warranty and also the the problems he and others have had with AB.
Ric, I appreciate your posting your honest views. Nobody I know is trying to do otherwise.

Since I've already ordered my bike, I'll be giving my honest appraisal here on a first-hand basis. You can bet that if I have serious problems, I'll pass that info along. If I like the bike, I'll let y'all know.

I've been bike commuting in Atlanta for about 10 years, and I currently ride about 30 miles round trip, 3 to 5 days a week. There are some tall hills on my commute and almost nothing in the way of bike lanes, paths, etc. I ride for transportation, pure and simple, and have no interest in a bike that isn't doing the job.
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