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Get bent???(22 posts)

Get bent???Carbon fiber fanatik
Nov 23, 2002 2:30 PM
I've had a morbid curiosity for recumbents lately. Why? I dunno.. winter blues I suppose. Anyway, I've done a lot of reading/research lately and was wondering if anybody else out there rides recumbents? What are your thoughts? Rants? Raves? etc...
re: Get bent???cyclist of all trades
Nov 23, 2002 5:32 PM
take it from me, you gotta try it. i just started last may and have never enjoyed riding the pavement so much. my back ground is mountain bike racer from 89 to 95, with a fair amount of road miles during that time, and have been a steady mountain bike, road bike rider since then.

as a general statement 1. bents cruise faster on the flats, climb a bit slower on longer ascents and absolutely bury everything on downhills. overall they are a simply a better pavement machine when it comes to point "a" to point "b". 2. after a good hard ride nothing ever hurts accept your legs. 3. like all bikes there are slow ones, kinda fast ones and speed machines. 4. one of the hardest things to deal with are the few elitist snobs that will thumb their nose at you, but do not fear my friend, for you will be passing them before you know it as they desperately try to cling to your undraftable wheel.

go check out and read the interesting history of recumbents. it is quite interesting and eye opening.

No Way!!!Breakfast
Nov 23, 2002 6:56 PM
I guess I'm entitled to my own opinion and I can't get over the difficulty motorists must have in seeing these guys on their recumbents. I'll stick to standard bikes because of this issue.
Try it-You'll love it!mazobob
Nov 23, 2002 7:24 PM
I loved it so much that I rode mine coast to coast to celebrate the new millenium in 2000. I rode up every hill in all weather and did not need to take any rides. The longest hill was 31 miles! They are fast as hell! I 've been up to 62MPH in the rockies. Fast is when your tears fill your ears! Try that on a wedgy bike! My best mileage is 252 miles in a day. I'm 48 and do ride regular bikes also. but I love to blow away young guys on the road with My Haluzak! Feel free to contact me. BOB
Yes way!!!!Nigey
Nov 25, 2002 6:06 AM
I can tell you from personal experience that often you are MORE visible on a 'bent than on a DF. Motorists tend to notice you more because of the "oddity" factor. Strange, but true. They seem to pick up on you faster because you present more of an unusual sight.

Personal opinion yes, but you'll find most other 'bent riders will agree with me on this one.
Get Bent!Geex
Nov 23, 2002 7:33 PM
A couple of summers back, curiosity became morbid interest and after a couple of visits to the LBS (Local Bent Shop) and many visits to pertinent web sites, I ordered a Haluzak Hybrid Race.

This is a short wheel base, under-seat steering single beam model by a small builder in Santa Rosa, CA. designed for speed over pavement. I spent most of that summer chopping this ride up, leaning the seat back, taking a hacksaw to the seat frame to customize the width to my size, chopping the bar down, changing the gearing, etc., anything to make it a little faster. short of hanging any fairings on it. I rode this machine almost exclusively through the summer months, getting the hang of it as well as for the conditioning.

The Bent enthusiasts will all tell you how fast a Bent can go. They'll tell you about a Bent holding the hour record that's notably faster than the same record on a
i wedgie.
(They usually can't repeat the footnotes below the asterisk regarding that record). But when was the last time one ever passed you on the road? Obviously I was riding this Bent with the same sort of goals in mind that I have with the road bikes: A flat solo century in under 4:40, that sort of thing.

I learned that on a good day aboard the Bent, I could just about keep up with myself on a bad day riding the conventional bikes. It's a slow climber, screams downhill, becomes increasingly awkward at slower speeds, corners like a sled at speed and doesn't accelerate nearly as well as a wedgie. Learning how to ride the Bent was learning how to ride a bike all over again, and it is enormously fun just to ride around on. I love to roll it out for a change of pace.

One lively Bent board:
re: Got bent...Akirasho
Nov 24, 2002 4:15 AM
... just remember, just as "bicycle" is a very generic term... so too, "recumbent".

It's interesting to note that many folks who dismiss them, do so without ever have experienced one type, let alone research all the flavors (from a casual cruiser to a full on fully faired lowrider HPV). Indeed, perhaps the only reason they don't enjoy the same "respect" as the double diamond goes back to their early banning by the UCI (for competition).

Virtually any bicycle design has it's strengths and weaknesses (while I've not tried it, I'd suspect that a $3300 TT machine would suck on a MTB downhill course)... much like the riders onboard (my 'bents are "average" height, and I've no problems playing in traffic (drivers these days aren't the most attentive regardless of what you're riding)). Try to be objective in your assessment of the machine (not the image).

I ride both types... and with physical limitations getting the better of me these days, find that I can pound out high speed, high mileage rides aboard this when the legz and back get funky (because of this, if I could only have one bike... it'd be this one).

We abide.

Remain In Light.

Be the bike.
Recreational MTB style Recumbents?GeoCyclist
Nov 24, 2002 7:31 PM
I have a friend that is just starting to research purchasing a Bent. He has been asking me if I know of any Bents that are built for semi offroad riding; dirt roads, not single trek. Do you know of any Bents that are designed for this? Would you even recommend trying to ride a Bent off the pavement?

Haluzak MTB style Recumbents?mazobob
Nov 24, 2002 7:42 PM
yes haluzak make s a really cool one!
Thanks! I'll have a look and pass on the info.GeoCyclist
Nov 24, 2002 11:42 PM
re: Get bent???eyebob
Nov 24, 2002 6:37 AM
I used to see a fair number of recumbents in Tucson. I'd seriously consider one if I had some physical limitations.

Now would be a good time to start.cydswipe
Nov 24, 2002 6:43 AM
I've read in the paper that Bike-E has gone out of business or is in the process of doing so. I've test ridden one of their machines. I liked it a lot. I would guess you could pick up one of their higher end bikes at a considerable discount somewhere along the line. They are fun to ride and VERY comfortable. I see a ton of them on RAGBRAI every year. I just haven't been fully bitten by the bug to buy one .....yet!
A bit about BikeE and 'bents in generalbogiesan
Nov 24, 2002 11:19 AM
BikeE was a huge (relatively speaking) player in the recumbent niche market. Cool engineering, decent components, and high volume production that allowed high margins for their dealers. No other recumbent mfr enjoyed that kind of penetration except Cannondale (but they've only got one recumbent model). BikeEs are great entry recumbents. People have ridden them across the country but most BikeE owners upgrade to higher performance machines. Some USA recumbent mfrs are low-volume, high quality bicycle crafts shops that only turn out a tiny number of machines each year. Others have outsourced offshore, like everyone else.
You can buy a BikeE at a good closeout price but make sure you can get parts and service from your LBS, you may need them.

If you've got more than one style of bike in your stable, you already appreciate that bicycles are specific to the job, the ride, or the terrain. There are a ton of misperceptions about recumbents and, like any other group of bike enthusiasts, we can be pretty silly in our hyperbole. You can't find much objectivity in our online communities.
I hope you all get a chance to pedal a few hours an a good recumbent. It's a great way to cover miles and to see the world. But they're not for everyone; not everyone wants to give up flatout speed of a road machine or the go-anywhere beefiness of a mountain bike for the long distance comfort, sleek aero profile, and the downhill rocket ride you can get on a recumbent.

Check Out Easy Racer RecumbentsWhoisJohnGalt
Nov 24, 2002 3:00 PM
I've been a long time cyclist and have enjoyed many different rides. My upright is a Trek 5200. I bought a recumbent a couple of years ago because of some nagging back problems. (I'm 46) Anyway, I've had a ball on the Easy Racer "Tour Easy". Go to for the whole scoop. The Tour Easy is a fairly upright recumbent, but with similiar components to many premium "wedgie" bikes. I used to frown on the recumbent set, as I thought they were a "different" bunch. Now I choose recumbent or Trek depending on what I want to do that day. I feel faster on the Trek for a 35-45 mile club ride, but for a 50 miler sometimes I like to show up on the Tour Easy for a change of pace....Either way, it's lots of fun, and you still have to pedal! I rode today on the Trek, but the recumbent is still an option..... Good Riding!
I ride one...Nigey
Nov 25, 2002 6:31 AM
I have a fascination with any bicycle, and a 'bent is one of my current five bicycles (I'm stopping at 7 bicycles when I can ride a different bicycle for each day). If you love bicycles, you should own at least one recumbent. Riding a 'bent is very different from an upright, but different in a great sort of way.

First, I ride a Vision VR-40 short wheel base( It's a heavy (30 lbs) "entry" level recumbent that costs around $1,100. One of the problems with 'bents is that they are a small market so you will not get a great deal as compared to an upright bike where mass production gives many benefits.

But I would heartily recommend one; they are a blast to ride -you can barely contain yourself from not smiling when you're out on one on a lovely day, leisurely surveying the scenery from your armchair position. Also, going round corners is really great fun -the best thing I can tell you is that you feel like you're on a street luge. Learning to ride one is like being a kid learning to ride a bicycle all over again. A personal anecdote here: I did a (very leisurely) century just over a year ago on one, and at the end of the ride, I honestly didn't feel like I'd done more than ten miles that day. I'm not making that up. I'm going on a short bike tour of Nova Scotia in May, and I'll be taking my 'bent simply so I can see the scenery more easily.

If possible, try to go out and test ride a few -and don't let other people put you off them -if you enjoy it and can afford one, go for it. Many people will pass comments -usually criticism - on 'bents without ever having ridden one. If you're on a 'bent, you're on a bicycle and that's a really good thing in my books.

Incredible sight line -you're comfortably looking up and around you all the time with no neck strain at all.
Fast on the flats and downhill.
Different and so fun to ride (especially round corners!).
No butt soreness, incredibly comfortable.
Since you're different, you tend to get noticed more by traffic around you.

Sloooowww uphill (you have to pull yourself up a hill, rather than being able to use your weight on the pedals).
For the money, very expensive -and in comparison to upright bikes, very bad value for money -hence they tend to be heavy.
Can be tricky to put on a bike rack.
Some 'bents can be relatively unstable at slow speeds (keep in mind that supposedly applies to the one I have, but I have no problems once I got used to it).
Limited tyres if you get a 'bent with non-700 cc wheels.
Replacing a chain usually means buying 2-4 normal chains and joining them together so it can get to be expensive.
New learning curve to ride one (especially a more twitchy short wheelbase one).
My personal opinion -very bad for city riding. Unless you get a fully suspended one, hitting a pothole can be dangerous, and when stopped in a line of traffic, drivers can miss seeing you.
three wheelers are a blast too....ohmk1
Nov 25, 2002 6:50 AM
new catrike speed-awseome!!!
speed picohmk1
Nov 25, 2002 6:52 AM
as fast as it looks!!!
another speed picohmk1
Nov 25, 2002 6:53 AM
all aluminum-areound 26 lbs, which is very light for a trike
Nov 25, 2002 6:58 AM
that looks quite a machine..... I'd love to try that.
world famous Windcheetahohmk1
Nov 25, 2002 7:00 AM
If you ever get a chance to ride one trike-this would be the one. Super high performance. You'll have a smile as big the Grand Canyon!!
This is the Ferrari of trike recumbents.
Trice Microohmk1
Nov 25, 2002 7:04 AM
Trice makes the Aston Martin of trike recumbents...
re: Get bent???aliensporebomb
Nov 25, 2002 7:48 AM
My wife won't ride anything but her recumbent now that she's
got one.

I just set the thing up on her trainer in the basement.

I've ridden it myself - it's not bad but you could seriously
build yourself into a monster ride riding it up hills all
summer since it weighs as much as my 32 pound mountain bike.

It's a BikeE but it would be hard to destroy it - many of
the parts are off-the-shelf so it's not going to be hard
to maintain.

She's already looking at this one:
a company started by some ex-BikeE employees.