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First recumbent

Recumbent What IS that thing?! Recumbents may be odd looking, but they have many advantages over a "wedgie" bicycle. Discuss the in's and out's recumbent lifestyle in the recumbent forum.

First recumbent

Old 07-01-22, 10:23 PM
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First recumbent

Got a catrike 700 setup and biked it around. I liked it. Thoughts:

1. Gearing was too high. My area is hilly and this thing is geared with a deore on a triple.

2. Surprisingly comfortable. I had read that recumbents need suspension. I don't think that is true. Compared to a bicycle I think a recumbent trike absorbs bumps better. A bicycle the bump goes in a straight line to your bottom but a recumbent it feels more spread out.

3. Liked being able to just wheel over and take a nap under a tree.

4. Recumbents seem ideal for an electric wheel. I had a road bike that had an electric setup and it didn't work the best because the additional weight required more effort to keep it balanced upright. With a recumbent it is stable already and the weight argument is lost already too. Only problem was this catrike 700 has a 130mm dropout and is too small for the 135mm wheel. Also, the rear wheel is not braked and an electric system with regeneration could be ideal.

5. They look ideal for bike touring. Especially the hundred mile trail rides, the laid back position would be better than a bicycle.
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Old 07-02-22, 08:18 AM
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Bikes: Catrike 700, Greenspeed GTO trike, , Linear LWB recumbent, Haluzak Horizon SWB recumbent, Balance 450 MTB, Cannondale SM800 Beast of the East

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It gets easier with time

The gear range on the Catrike 700 is 21.9 to 124. 2 gear inches. I know since I have a 2013 Catrike 700 and used the gear charts to calculate the range. That's not much different from the lowest gear found on many trikes that come with 20" wheels all around (19-98 GI). The way some trikes like my 2001 Greenspeed GTO get a wider gear range is to use internal hubs. It has Schlumpf Mountain Drive in the front and the SRAM dual-drive 3X8 in the rear. It has a lowest gear of 14 gear inches. I almost never used the lowest gear range on the dual-drive hub.

If you are expecting to go from riding a regular upright bike to a trike and finding it just as easy, it is not. It is heavier than most good road bikes at 33 pounds without accessories. You are using different muscles and you don't have the advantage of being able to rise out of the seat and stand on the pedals. That would be pretty good trick on a trike. I remember my first rides on a trike 19 years ago. I had ridden a Linear long wheelbase 3K miles in the previous year so was pretty accustomed to recumbent riding. It was much harder but once I had ridden for a while it became a lot easier. When I ride my CT 700 I find myself almost always in the middle range in front and use the 10 gears in the rear to get a comfortable cadence. Only use the large chainring on a steep downhill and almost never use the smallest chainring. It will get better if you stick with it.
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Old 07-02-22, 02:14 PM
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Gearing is very individual. I am pretty fit and I lift weights but I still find most stock bikes overgeared! I prefer to spin and I modify the gearing of all the bikes and recumbents I own to get low gears in the 18" to 20" range. Lower than that is difficult to keep upright on a 15 degree slope, especially recumbents. I don't own any trikes but there are trikes out there with 9" lows! The 130mm OLD of a CT700 will be an issue. Superpedestrian should be brought up on charges for introducing the Copenhagen Wheel without a 130mm option and they should be sent to jail for pulling the CW off the market. Still, front of the bike options exist for getting e-assist on a trike like the CT700 but unlike less sporty models, e-assist was never on the radar of CT700 designers. With e-assist the low gear doesn't need to be much lower than the low 30"es so there is that ...
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