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Recumbent Curious - Cruzbike T50?

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Recumbent Curious - Cruzbike T50?

Old 06-15-19, 04:34 PM
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FlatFender
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Recumbent Curious - Cruzbike T50?

Hey folks, due to an injury from a crash about 3.5yrs ago, I've been mostly off bikes since then. Several times I've tried getting back on, and I just can't ride a bike with a traditional saddle due to my injury.
I'm dying to ride. I'd be content to just be able to cruise the Greenway with my family for an afternoon here or there.


This leads me to the Cruzbike T50. There doesn't seem to be a ton of info out there about it, which makes me slightly hesitant. I searched for forum and found an old post from 2017 where several people were talking about getting their frames, but it didn't sound like folks had a ton of miles on them yet.

So, if you have one, how do you like it? Any thoughts on the possibility of pulling a toddler on a relatively flat Greenway in a trailer? Would the front wheel drive make pulling a trailer impossible?

Thanks!
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Old 06-16-19, 01:15 PM
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Have you tried contacting CruzBike to see if they have an "ambassador" in your area? An ambassador is a CruzBike owner who's willing to show their bike to prospective buyers and maybe even let them try it out.

They put me in touch with a V20 ambassador when I was interested in that, then afterwards located S40 ambassadors when I figured it might be easier to learn to ride. One thing the V20 owner pointed out to me is that because the driven wheel is the front one, while most of your weight is to the back of it, it may lose traction on steep grades, where unlike on an upright bike you can't "stand out of the saddle" to shift your weight onto the front wheel.
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Old 06-16-19, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by dorkypants View Post
Have you tried contacting CruzBike to see if they have an "ambassador" in your area? An ambassador is a CruzBike owner who's willing to show their bike to prospective buyers and maybe even let them try it out.

They put me in touch with a V20 ambassador when I was interested in that, then afterwards located S40 ambassadors when I figured it might be easier to learn to ride. One thing the V20 owner pointed out to me is that because the driven wheel is the front one, while most of your weight is to the back of it, it may lose traction on steep grades, where unlike on an upright bike you can't "stand out of the saddle" to shift your weight onto the front wheel.
I hadn't seen the ambassador thing on their website. They do list a shop that's a few hours from me that carries their bikes so I'm considering making the drive for that, but I'll definitely check into the ambassador thing. Thanks!
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Old 06-16-19, 08:15 PM
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I tried a T50 and found it to be a fairly odd riding bike. The one I tried had these really massive heavy touring wheels on it and I felt like it drove like a tank. Mostly because of that I didn't particularly enjoy riding it while I do like most of the recumbents I've tried.

I don't see why the FWD would cause trouble with a trailer on a flat path. The guy that owned the T50 I tried lived on a very steep hill and had trouble with the FWD traction going uphill (this is in the winter in the Northeast as well) but I don't think it'd be a problem for your use case.

If you're looking at a T50 due to the cost, do check out the 'Bentrider Online forums. One of the guys who posts in the used section restores lots of used 'bents and has as number available fairly cheap.
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Old 06-17-19, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by grayrest View Post
I tried a T50 and found it to be a fairly odd riding bike. The one I tried had these really massive heavy touring wheels on it and I felt like it drove like a tank. Mostly because of that I didn't particularly enjoy riding it while I do like most of the recumbents I've tried.

I don't see why the FWD would cause trouble with a trailer on a flat path. The guy that owned the T50 I tried lived on a very steep hill and had trouble with the FWD traction going uphill (this is in the winter in the Northeast as well) but I don't think it'd be a problem for your use case.

If you're looking at a T50 due to the cost, do check out the 'Bentrider Online forums. One of the guys who posts in the used section restores lots of used 'bents and has as number available fairly cheap.
Cost is definitely part of it, but I also like that it'll fit in standard bike racks, and it seems more like the seating position I'd like. Pedal steer also seems good for me, as I have carpal tunnel issues which cause hand numbness after a while.
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Old 06-17-19, 11:26 AM
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"Pedal steer" in this case doesn't imply no-hands steering. You have to brace the steering against the pedals, as pushing on the right pedal turns the wheel left, for instance. Have you considered more conventional short wheelbase recumbents, or are you just working from a single reference to Cruzbikes?
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Old 06-19-19, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
"Pedal steer" in this case doesn't imply no-hands steering. You have to brace the steering against the pedals, as pushing on the right pedal turns the wheel left, for instance. Have you considered more conventional short wheelbase recumbents, or are you just working from a single reference to Cruzbikes?
I've ridden a friend's Lightning Thunderbolt, and didn't really like it. The Cruzbike seems to check all the boxes (fits in standard bike racks, more upright position, standard sized wheels/tires) that I'm interested in, but if there are other 'bents that I should also consider, I'm all ears.

I'd read on one of the forums somewhere that folks said they could ride the Cruzbike no handed for days because of the pedal steer, so that's why I assumed. I contacted the company to see if they have any ambassadors in my area, still waiting to hear back
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Old 06-19-19, 05:48 PM
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I messed around with a V20 sometime back. While different from the T50, I suspect that similarities with the movable bottom bracket design make them "reasonably" comparable for purposes of the question at hand.

I don't think traction will be an issue climbing unless surfaces are slick and the grade is particularly steep. I wouldn't recommend using these bikes for any type of towing, and I don't think they'd be any fun for slow greenway riding.

The handling on movable bottom bracket bikes is very different from anything you've ridden before and is an acquired taste. Pedal steer is extreme -- orders of magnitude stronger than anything else I've ridden -- and requires special technique as well as smoothness.
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Old 06-19-19, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by FlatFender View Post
I'd read on one of the forums somewhere that folks said they could ride the Cruzbike no handed for days because of the pedal steer, so that's why I assumed.
It's probably true but it's a high finesse technique. Most people riding them are going to be counter-pulling with their arms.

As for suggestions, most SWB that aren't racers would fit your requirements. I have a Bike Friday Sat R Day, which is a folding SWB that's pretty much perfect for what you're after but it's been out of production for 15 years and never had that much volume. Trawling through re***bent classified SWBs would be your best bet but for new bikes, Performer tends to be the cheapest and I think Azub and Nazca are the other two companies making touring SWBs. My preference for the type of riding you're after would be a nice touring LWB (Tour Easy / Gold Rush / Phoenix / Ti-Glide) but doesn't fit your standard car carrier.
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Old 06-20-19, 02:36 PM
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If you're after 'standard' sized wheels as a checkpoint, then you're going to be limited to highracers, which have either dual 26, dual 650c, or dual 700 wheels. Most highracers are reclined for speed (note the word "racer" in the name.) Something like a Bacchetta Giro with their standard seat would probably sit up enough to make you happy. Performer probably has something too, but might not hang nicely on a 2-arm bike rack.
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Old 07-04-19, 04:05 PM
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The perfect starting bike in my opinion is an Encore. You can customize it to fit you easily and it dials in better than most other bikes. It is much faster than a road bike (though not as fast as an M5). I would go 700c wheels. You will be high in traffic, it is easy to ride, and you will be faster than any other bike on the road once you get your recumbent legs.
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