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Best Recumbant Bike

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Best Recumbant Bike

Old 04-07-19, 03:01 PM
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Sackaroo 
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Best Recumbant Bike

I know this is a “Loaded” question.....I am training for a 1,000 mile ride across the country (partially) in July. I’m in mid 50’s and about 240 lbs (35 pounds too much!). I have done quite a bit of recumbant stationary riding and enjoy it. Most difficult part of riding upright bike for me is soreness in neck and lower back (when done riding). I thought a recumbant bike might be a great idea. None of the bike stores in Miami have them for sale. What is the best recumbant to buy (assume price is not in the equation for this question.)
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Old 04-07-19, 03:11 PM
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Narrow it down : types; Long wheelbase or short
Over seat steered or Under seat..


then there is the Money thing.. $2000 , is a start for US Made Bikes

Last edited by fietsbob; 04-07-19 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 04-07-19, 04:01 PM
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It's going to depend on your true preference. I will say if you are going to load the bike down, I'd be going for something with durable rims and tires rather than something for performance.

You will probably end up buying something used as the new market is unaffordable (Rans Phoenix LWB for $4500? Puleeze!) and the used market is quite full of bikes. If you are looking for a Long wheelbase (LWB), you are down to a Rans Stratus of some sort or A Tour Easy. SWB, well, I would go with a VRex. I would run tires of 1.5" wide, probably Schwalbe marathons as they roll smooth and are fairly durable as far as thorns and such.

If you are anwhere close to Ohio, I'd be happy to let you test ride my bikes to see what you are partial to. I have a LWB, a SWB, and a trike.
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Old 04-07-19, 05:11 PM
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Is this a self-supported tour where you have to carry some equipment? You might be near or over the weight limit for many recumbent bikes especially with any touring equipment. July is not that far away that you should have begun training even before now. I struggled when I first started riding a long wheelbase recumbent bike in January 2001 (~29 pound Linear LWB). It took a couple of months to really be able to deal with steep hills and headwinds and I rode consistently with improving in mind. I ended up accumulating 3,000 miles in the first 11 months. The long wheelbase bike was very comfortable but somewhat like piloting the Queen Mary. It took a lot of room to do a U-turn. I also own an Haluzak Horizon SWB. It's more difficult to ride than the Linear but a little bit lighter. I wouldn't think of using it as a long distance tour bike. Neither bike would be great on gravel roads with the narrow tires that are on them. The one guy I know who regularly rides long distances in short periods of time owns an Easy Racer Tour Easy. It's a fairly common used bike. He often rode from Las Vegas to southern CA through Death Valley with his wife as support (in winter!).

A quick look shows up a couple on CL like this one for $800 with a fairing in CA. I much prefer underseat steering on my bikes but I think the Tour easy is always OSS.
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Old 04-07-19, 05:20 PM
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You also have to decide whether you want 2-wheel or 3-wheel trikes.

How are you storing the bike/trike when you're not riding?

I've picked up a used Speedmachine that needs to be rebuilt. But, it looks like it should be a pretty sweet ride.

https://www.hpvelotechnik.com/produkte/spm/index_e.html

However, I'm not sure it is designed for heavy cargo use. Hmmm... the company does seem to show a few folding bikes, and bikes with luggage racks. Trikes too.



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Old 04-07-19, 07:45 PM
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Thank you guys for the ideas. I will not be carrying any cargo as I will have a SAG van following me. Also, since I plan on using this bicycle quite a bit for many years, I don’t mind spending $5-$10K for the “ideal” bike new. I live in Miami and cannot find a store that has several recumbant bikes for me to test. Therefore, I am running blind here and will need to rely on all of your recommendations. I’m not sure if a LWB or a SWB would be best. It seems like underseat steering would be more comfortable; but again, I am ignorant as it relates to these functions. Thanks again for any help!
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Old 04-07-19, 09:58 PM
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Have you looked into Bacchetta bikes? They are headquarter in St. Petersburg. Bacchettabikes.com
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Old 04-07-19, 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Sackaroo View Post
Thank you guys for the ideas. I will not be carrying any cargo as I will have a SAG van following me. Also, since I plan on using this bicycle quite a bit for many years, I don’t mind spending $5-$10K for the “ideal” bike new. I live in Miami and cannot find a store that has several recumbant bikes for me to test. Therefore, I am running blind here and will need to rely on all of your recommendations. I’m not sure if a LWB or a SWB would be best. It seems like underseat steering would be more comfortable; but again, I am ignorant as it relates to these functions. Thanks again for any help!
You won't need to spend $10K but $5K is certainly possible. Just. If you are going to spend that kind of money on a recumbent you owe it to yourself to learn much more about them. The same way you found this forum. Online. Or go to a dealer of several brands of different kinds. I have a SWB (highracer) myself but for the kind of riding you are contemplating I don't think a (high performance) LWB is a bad choice. You don't have tons of choice when it comes right down to it. Isn't Tour Easy going under? Bacchetta Bella? Hmm. Linear (underseat steer). Recycled Recumbents (Tour Easy copy). Hell, with your budget you could get something custom made. The HP Velotechnik bikes are indeed made for heavy touring as are AZUB bikes. SWB. Some models with USS (underseat steering) but unless I way miss my guess you ... are 'of a certain age', and those SWB USS machines require the kind of innate balance that comes with relative youth. This is not to say that you couldn't learn to ride one but creesh its supposed to be FUN. FWIW.
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Old 04-07-19, 11:46 PM
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You're having troubles finding bikes to test ride. How about having a gander at some used bikes. You may be budgeting for a new bike, but this may be a way to get a bike to try out. And, perhaps a quick learning curve about what you do and don't like.

I'm seeing several different trikes, as well as several different 2-wheel recumbents.

https://miami.craigslist.org/search/...e%7Cwheeler%29

Plus, you might look at other classified systems. Facebook? Others?

Try E-Bay, sorting by "nearest"

https://www.ebay.com/sch/177831/i.ht...7&_stpos=33101

Or, just get something shipped (click on worldwide on E-Bay).

Although, sellers don't like "tire kickers", you don't have to buy the first one you see. And, if you get a decent deal on a used bike, then if you decide to get something else, you should be able to resell it without taking much of a loss (or perhaps even turn a profit).

Optima Baron Lowracer - $950 (Key West)



Bachetta Giro Recumbent 26 - $825 (Vero Beach FL)



Cattrike bicycle - $1500 (Florida keys)





There are a couple without photos which may be worth looking at, or at least asking for more info:

Bacchetta Strada Recumpent - $600 (Pt. Charlotta,Fl.)

Recumbent 3 wheeler - $200 (Cutler Bay) Trike, hi performance make / manufacturer: Recumbentusa.com

Recumbentusa.com seems to be defunct, but it may well be an interesting trike, for a good price.

If you are planning to carry the bike in a car, then make sure you find something that you can carry.
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Old 04-08-19, 05:59 PM
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Another thing to look at. There are a few "semi-recumbents" that pop up now and again.

A few of them locally here on the West Coast.

Giant Revive is a pretty big bike.

Rans Fusion

Others?

https://eugene.craigslist.org/bik/d/...861536000.html
https://eugene.craigslist.org/bik/d/...857322200.html
https://eugene.craigslist.org/bik/d/...840944299.html

I presume they'd be like riding a cross between a recumbent and an upright bike.

I'm not seeing any in your area, but they do pop up from time to time.
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Old 04-08-19, 09:07 PM
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Very good ideas, thank you again !!
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Old 04-09-19, 08:04 AM
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There are a lot of touring specific ideas also, if you want to look over at bentrider.com.

Are you set on 2 wheels, or is a trike an option? There are a wide variety that are basically designed for touring, and lots on the market.
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Old 04-09-19, 08:16 AM
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It's obvious that I like trikes having owned three of them over the past 13 years. The reason I didn't suggest a trike for your 1000 mile tour is that trikes are slower than two wheeled recumbents. If you are touring with a group, the compatibility factor comes into play. Will you be able to keep up with the rest? I own one of the best touring trikes in the world, a Greenspeed GTO, specially designed with a very wide range of gearing for all terrain. I didn't have much trouble keeping up on group rides with a two wheeled recumbent but do for my trikes (the other is a Carike 700 reputed to be a fast trike but not with me in the seat). That's even after riding years and thousands of miles.
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Old 04-09-19, 02:13 PM
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VegasTriker — it is interesting that you mentioned a Trike because I found a retailer in Murphesboro TN that sells recumbant and Trike bikes. I am going to finally have a chance to test ride both the two wheel and the trike.

Key question:

All else being equal - What is the speed differential on flat and on uphill climbs between an upright road bike, a trike and a recumbant bike? For example, if the same rider rode each of these bikes in the same conditions, would the upright be 10 percent faster than the recumbant and 25% faster than the Trike?

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Old 04-10-19, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Sackaroo View Post
VegasTriker — it is interesting that you mentioned a Trike because I found a retailer in Murphesboro TN that sells recumbant and Trike bikes. I am going to finally have a chance to test ride both the two wheel and the trike.

Key question:

All else being equal - What is the speed differential on flat and on uphill climbs between an upright road bike, a trike and a recumbant bike? For example, if the same rider rode each of these bikes in the same conditions, would the upright be 10 percent faster than the recumbant and 25% faster than the Trike?

This isn't a number that you can really pin down, especially in touring conditions.

A recumbent bike would generally have the same approximate rolling resistance as an upright, and (loaded for touring) the weight difference would be negligible. Assuming you could put out the same power in the recumbent position as the upright (which does take a number of miles to adjust), they would be about the same on the hills, and the bent would theoretically be slightly faster on the flats due to the improved aerodynamics.

A trike would be slightly slower uphill, but in theory, hardly noticeable since the slight extra weight wouldn't be significant on a touring loaded machine. And again, the trike would probably be slightly faster on the flats for the same reason as the 2-wheel bent.
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Old 04-10-19, 07:46 AM
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It depends on the bike/trike. I can 't nail down why but my V-Rex climbs better than my tour easy.




Originally Posted by Sackaroo View Post
VegasTriker — it is interesting that you mentioned a Trike because I found a retailer in Murphesboro TN that sells recumbant and Trike bikes. I am going to finally have a chance to test ride both the two wheel and the trike.

Key question:

All else being equal - What is the speed differential on flat and on uphill climbs between an upright road bike, a trike and a recumbant bike? For example, if the same rider rode each of these bikes in the same conditions, would the upright be 10 percent faster than the recumbant and 25% faster than the Trike?

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Old 04-10-19, 10:23 AM
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If you are that dedicated, you might as well want to make a trip to a dedicated recumbent store. I hear that the bicycle man will let you test your heart out for you to find the best recumbent in their store. Obviously, you're going to be looking at new recumbents then, but you won't be flying blind.
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Old 04-10-19, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Sackaroo View Post
All else being equal - What is the speed differential on flat and on uphill climbs between an upright road bike, a trike and a recumbant bike? For example, if the same rider rode each of these bikes in the same conditions, would the upright be 10 percent faster than the recumbant and 25% faster than the Trike?

As someone who regularly rides all three, it really depends on the rider, the equipment, conditions, and how you ride. People lump 'bents together, but there's more difference between them than there are uprights even if you consider ridiculous differences such as BMX and race bikes.

A trike will likely be noticeably slower everywhere due to heavy weight and large frontal area. A working number might be 2 mph slower than an upright which will be a little slower than a recumbent on flats but faster on climbs.

Note that some aerodynamic recumbents can make your neck and back feel far worse than your upright bike will. In all honesty, my race bike is the most comfortable of the lot because it's much easier to change position and rotate muscle sets than on a recumbent or trike.

My gut reaction for a tour like you're planning would be to get a LWB recumbent. Touring is what those bikes do best, it will stable and you'll have a great seating position and view. You'll get good speed on the flats but you'll also probably be slow on the climbs.
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Old 04-10-19, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Sackaroo View Post

Key question:

All else being equal - What is the speed differential on flat and on uphill climbs between an upright road bike, a trike and a recumbant bike? For example, if the same rider rode each of these bikes in the same conditions, would the upright be 10 percent faster than the recumbant and 25% faster than the Trike?

[/left]
First it's a recumbEnt, not a recumbAnt. Second, there is no answer to that question. Recumbent bikes come in a full range of capabilities, just like upright bikes in general. Just as you wouldn't compare speeds from a road bike to a BMX bike, you can't compare a road bike to a "recumbent bike" without more specifics.

Speed is based on weight, frame stiffness, and aerodynamics. A highracer or lowracer can have superior aerodynamics, which matters at higher speeds; but many average riders can't put out enough power to take advantage of superior aerodynamics.
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Old 04-10-19, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
First it's a recumbEnt, not a recumbAnt. Second, there is no answer to that question. Recumbent bikes come in a full range of capabilities, just like upright bikes in general. Just as you wouldn't compare speeds from a road bike to a BMX bike, you can't compare a road bike to a "recumbent bike" without more specifics.

Speed is based on weight, frame stiffness, and aerodynamics. A highracer or lowracer can have superior aerodynamics, which matters at higher speeds; but many average riders can't put out enough power to take advantage of superior aerodynamics.

Thank you for the spelling correction - my bad! Let me rephrase by question a little “tighter”. Let’s compare the “best touring” Trike, recumbent, and Upright bikes ... pick any three for purposes of this question. Assume ALL conditions are EXACTLY the same (assume zero cargo for this discussion), assume true weight of each bike, assume same rider, same ride exactly, same wattage spent, etc... I understand this is theoretical in nature, but i want to understand clearly the difference in performance between these three types of bicycles.
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Old 04-11-19, 05:58 AM
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One answer to your question might be here:
http://www.kreuzotter.de/english/espeed.htm

The way you are asking the question implies that your are solely focused on speed. For normal DF bikes, the answer will always be road/TT bikes. But people still ewually expensive touring bikes. They are slower, but make long tours much more practical/possible/enjoyable.
And so you might find that the sole focus on speed does not fully capture the full range of motivations why one would choose a particular bike (leaving money aside).
As said earlier, the variety among non DF bikes is so much greater than among DF bikes. This makes it a super interesting thing, but also means that there are many more factors than speed that determine the fun factor.
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Old 04-11-19, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Sackaroo View Post



Thank you for the spelling correction - my bad! Let me rephrase by question a little “tighter”. Let’s compare the “best touring” Trike, recumbent, and Upright bikes ... pick any three for purposes of this question. Assume ALL conditions are EXACTLY the same (assume zero cargo for this discussion), assume true weight of each bike, assume same rider, same ride exactly, same wattage spent, etc... I understand this is theoretical in nature, but i want to understand clearly the difference in performance between these three types of bicycles.
I see what you're trying to do, but where it breaks down is: the same rider (you) is likely to be FAR more familiar with the feel, handling and performance envelope of a DF bike. For a long time that will influence the results they find when they start experimenting with different platforms. I don't have the numbers exactly but I don't think I am too far off in saying that trained ... super trained DF riders have reached 30mph and could sustain it for a very short time. Minutes. 25mph could be sustained for maybe an hour. If that same rider had a car driving ahead with a large fairing shielding the rider from aerodynamic drag forces ... well I think the current record is well over 100 mph!

When you lay the rider down, their aero profile gets better, but it doesn't result in 100mph top speeds. Also their whole balance mechanism gets screwed up. It goes against every instinct of balance to do it while lying on your back! That hurts performance. THATS the main reason for trikes. The penalty for having the better aerodynamics of a sharply reclined rider are worth the higher weight and unwieldiness of the trike platform. Maybe. Some people indeed are able to balance high performance recumbent bicycles very well and they will achieve superior level ground performance to DF riders and trikes. You probably won't be able to do that on your first ride! Maybe not even the second or third. Much depends on age and other factors.

From your questions it sounds very much like you have never even sat on any kind of recumbent. Why not fix that. An earlier poster suggested you find the Bicycle Man, and if you live in reasonable driving distance, I agree, that would be a trip well worth making. I personally never did but I have corresponded with him online and talked with him a time or two on the phone and found him very informative and willing to share his knowledge even when there is no obvious pay-off. A rare trait in these times. This really is on you my friend. All we can do is offer our favorite form of the drug. This is Saki, her and Big Red were purchased August 2017. My first taste of recumbency. The pretty one is what they call a 'highracer'. The seat is reclined 25*. It can recline down 20*. Set up properly Saki would be an excellent bike to do a 1000 mile point to point event on. Bicycle Man doesn't sell racing craft but you should start there, I think. You have questions. I did not. It was love at first sight. Good luck.
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Old 04-11-19, 04:37 PM
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In my experience, if someone gets a recumbent solely for speed, they will usually be disappointed at first and not follow through long enough to see the benefit. They quit, go back to uprights, and tell everyone that bents are really slow.

The real question is if YOU will be faster. The best answer I can give is that riding a lowracer is like having a paceline of 3 of you pulling you everywhere. If you're all riding at 15 mph, that won't help much. But if you're pulling you at 23 mph, it will.
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Old 04-11-19, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
This is Saki, her and Big Red were purchased August 2017.
Haha, I think we may have briefly chatted about your big red at some point! I am out to get a semi-recumbent tandem these days, which is recumbent No. 2.
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Old 04-11-19, 09:30 PM
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Take a road trip to the Tampa area, and visit both Schlitter and Bacchetta. Ride some bikes, talk to recumbent experts.
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