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Novice needs some recumbent advice.(6 posts)

Novice needs some recumbent advice.PhoneGuy
Jul 8, 2002 3:13 PM
I am not new to cycling but am trying to get into a recumbent for the first time. I have ridden the Rans Stratus, Rans Rocket, Cannondale Easy Rider, and a few bike e's. The cannondale was too plush for any serious speed or length in the saddle. The Rocket seemed twitchy from the start. The bike e's had the best comfort and steering but it seems they are geared low and not meant for much speed except for around the neighborhood. The Rans Stratus felt the best except for the "tiller effect" steering. It propelled me forward with every bit of pedal stroke I put in. Someone else suggested that I ride the Easy Racer Tour Easy before making my decision on the Stratus. I'm test riding a Rans Velocity Squared tomorrow evening at a local rails to trails path. Then I'm going to Tallahassee this weekend to try out some USS bikes at Fools Crow.
I guess I'm just looking for some advice, guidance, testimonials from others who have gone through this process. Maybe I can gleen some useful tidbit of info that will help me make a better choice or maybe discover something that I have not yet thought of. I have been to some recumbent specific sites but see very little response in some of the small discussion boards they have.
I will be riding mostly around Jacksonville Florida to begin with and get my bent legs built up. I am about 6ft and 220 lbs. I ride mountain bikes for the most part and the numbness in my hands and fingers seems to get worse with every outing. The pain is even moving into my elbows. After cortizone injections(?) into the wrist and elbow the pain/numbness comes back. The doc's told me to find another sport or get my weight off my hands.
Oh, just a few months ago I was very seriously looking into a 2002 Lemond Victoire. That was until I took a test ride and found myself further over the bars and more weight on my arms and hands.
Thank you in advance.
.............................. some recumbent advice.davet
Jul 8, 2002 6:17 PM
Here are two VERY GOOD 'bent websites. I think between the two, you can find about 99.9 percent of the stuff you need and want to know.
http://www.recumbents.com/default-page.htm
http://www.bentrideronline.com/
Good Luck!
Good sitesPhoneGuy
Jul 8, 2002 8:38 PM
I will be busy for a while.
re: Novice needs some recumbent advice.Akirasho
Jul 8, 2002 6:51 PM
... as you've already started... test riding the various types is a start...

Unlike uprights, there are few "rules" in bentdom, so to appreciate the subtlies 'tween SWB vs LWB... OSS vs USS... high BB vs low BB, etc. it's good to judge from your own experiences...

FWIW... this is the most roadlike 'bent I've ridden. Quick handling, speed on flat to rolling, and while it does suffer a bit on climbs... it can be done (witness, this particular bike is equipped with a double... most come with triples (or the gearing equivalent)).

The steering has been modified... the wheels were extra (HED will custom build a set for you... (note too, that Vision uses an asymetrical rear stay system that leaves the rear wheel with near symetrical dish) and they've remained true for nearly 3 years).

We abide.

Remain In Light.
Sweet ride!PhoneGuy
Jul 8, 2002 8:25 PM
Does your bike convert to OSS with a longer wheel base? Is the shorter wheel base cause for twitchy steering? I'm not necessarilly looking to set speed records here but want something more than just a basic Bike E that will allow me to do some longer trips with gear on board or being towed. Any guidelines as far as this goes?
I like the looks of the 2002 Vision R45 or the R40 MWB. I hope to ride a bunch this weekend and have a better idea of what to make my decision on.
Thanks again and feel free to pass along more info.
OSSAkirasho
Jul 9, 2002 9:36 AM
... yes, this bike could be converted to OSS but has never been so equipped. While there is an argument to be made about the superior aerodynamics of OSS... USS feels more ergonomically natural to me.

... no, this particular series of Vision 'bents cannot be converted (at least with factory parts) to a long wheel base. The steering as is, is quite stable... I've made descents at speeds above 45 mph as well as waaaaaaaay slow speed ascents (once saw the speedo indicate 2 mph on one killer grind) with no problems. I've not spent enough time on a LWB to be definitive, but my impressions are... stable, but slow handling (even this can vary from model to model and brand to brand).

According to Vision's literature, this bike can be equipped with paniers on the rear... and can tow a modest trailer, though I've never done either.

Both the 40 and 45 should offer you a weight advantage over the 50 series.

The only semi complaint I've had has been the USS steering... it can be "flexy". Vision reports that it's designed that way to absorb road shock... and this is true, but for my 50, I wanted a more "positive" feel, thus the modified steering (a quill stem supporting the bars inserted directly into the fork steerer). My 42 (I think I misspoke and called it a 44 in another post... the 42 was replaced by the 50 series) still has it's original steering.

As you probably already know, it takes a bit of work to test ride a variety of 'bents. Few dealers carry more than one brand if any. I travelled up to 80 miles one way to test ride. Most dealers were in the 20-40 mile range...

I should also point out that these are my personal observations... I've got a riding partner who's opinions I value greatly who sees things differently... http://www.dnaco.net/~george_t/get-bent/index.htm This summary is a few year's old, but it's from an engineer's perspective.

Good Luck!

We abide.

Remain In Light.