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Recumbents(5 posts)

Aug 11, 2001 6:21 PM
What do you all think of recumbents? The guys I see on them seem to really be having fun. Any input appreciated.
Getting BentXeke
Aug 11, 2001 9:43 PM
A couple years back, I tested a Haluzak Horizon at the LBS (Local Bent Shop), my first ride on a SWB USS (Short Wheel Base-Under Seat Steering). All of Jim's (the proprietor) buddies showed up about the time I'm stepping over this contraption that's interested me so much for several months. So I'm sitting back in this seat deciding how to get rolling without heading into the hedge and one of the boys sizes me up right away as, well, a newbie. So he patiently gives me a bit of the usual advice that I might give to anyone, six to sixty, rolling off on any two wheels for the first time. He asks, "Would you like me to hold the bike while you get set?"


Flashback to Dad giving me the gentle first shove down the driveway. He can't see my broad grin any better than I see him tense and flinch as I wobbled towards the hedge and managed to get stopped before dumping. No harm, no foul. This second time forty years later, I rolled away myself a bit wobbly, but successfully. Behind the shop is an amply sized vacant parking lot where I spun around for a bit, stopping and starting a couple times without any major biffs. Okay, I'm hooked. Write it up.

That day I ordered a Hal Hybrid Racer that took seemingly forever to arrive. I rode it exclusively for a couple of months, tweaking it in every way imaginable to make it go faster. Standing in the garage is a couple of too expensive titanium road warriors appreciating the break. I rode a couple of centuries within the first month of riding the Bent.

What I found was that on a good day aboard the Bent, I could just about keep up with myself on a bad day on the road machines. At slow speeds, the Bent can be quite awkward and while it isn't all that fast, it certainly is a ton of fun to ride. While I still ride the wedgies as much as ever, I occasionally roll out the Bent for leisurely rides through the Park and down to the Beach. I love it.

For well over a dozen years I've ridden wedgies 7K-10K miles/year. I had to un-learn a lot of instinctive skills and learn another set. I loved learning how to ride all over again.

Ride Safe
re: A variation on a theme...Akirasho
Aug 11, 2001 10:06 PM
They offer an alternative to "traditional" double diamond frames while having little or no (depending on your usage) downsides.

Recumbents come in various flavors... from short wheelbase speed machines to long wheelbase tourers... trikes to tandems (both traditional and side by side)... to full blown HPV racers. Over the past couple of years, competition and baby boomers with disposable income has lowered the prices a bit, though not quite as dramatic as on the road bike front. Still, you can get a bit more performance (usually in the form of components upgrades, or even titanium and carbon fiber frames) for your bucks.

It's a bit beyond this forum to give you an overview, so I suggest that you visit as a jumping off point.

At the moment, I have two Visions (R42 and R50) both Short WheelBase with Under Seat Steering (used for cross training and rehab). The R50 has been modified a bit and can be used for racing. It suffers a bit on true hills (uses a double... the R42 has a triple and MTB cassette in back), but oftimes, can make up a deficit on downhills or flat runs (on a recent club ride, I slowed to less than 4 mph on a steep climb, yet blasted out the other side (flat to rolling) at an average speed of approximately 25 mph... hitting a high of 43.7 on a downhill stretch).

As for fun... they can be... but make no mistake... it still takes a bit of muscle to get one to move! Also, since you're using different muscle groups and muscles in different ways, it'll take a bit of time to match your performance on an upright.

Lastly, I still ride my uprights. Both have their place in my inventory.

Be the bike.
All cycling enthusiasts oughta have one.E3
Aug 12, 2001 7:05 AM
They are lots of fun. For me, although cycling is a passion, it can get a little stale sometimes. That's where a recumbent can make a difference. It's a cycling alternative helps me keep a fresh perspective and fit at the same time.

My main recumbent is a custom Reynolds Wishbone RT, a low, fast bike on which I averaged 19.7 mph on a solo 50 mile ride this past spring. This was before I felt really fit, and before health issues have kept me off my bikes since May. I feel fresher after a long ride on a bent than on my upright because my upper body stays relaxed.

I think die-hard roadies often look down their noses at bents for some reasons. They are missing out.
re: RecumbentsUNBENT
Aug 12, 2001 9:45 AM
I recently bought a Burley Hepcat, very nice bike, good components, well made, but I traded it back for a road bike.The reason? I couldn't take the attention. It was way too different-- you can't blend in at all, I'm sure people were wondering where the circus was. This may sound silly to most but was a real concern for me. Bents are expensive so most people can't justify one and a good road bike too. Good luck.