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New to recumbent suggestion request

Old 10-11-22, 07:19 PM
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CrimsonEclipse
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New to recumbent suggestion request

I've checked out recumbents a few times over the years and I'm looking into them again.

I generally ride rail trails and there are moderate hills, lots of turns, some roots protruding through the pavement and sometimes people maneuver around.

Not 100% sure on 2 vs 3 wheel but tadpole trikes seem to catch my eye.

So I'm looking for an entry level 'bent. Specifically on price. I'd prefer to not drop 3-5k and find out that it's not for me.

There was a company that made inexpensive 2 wheelers but they seem to have vanished.

With the first one, I don't think I need lots of bells and whistles, nor electric motors.

I appreciate any help
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Old 10-11-22, 08:23 PM
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Buy a used one rather than a new entry level trike if that is what you end up doing. You will then get one with decent components, likely to weigh far less, and have a usable gear range compared to entry level trikes. There are a couple Inspired Cycle Engineering (ICE) and a Greenspeed trike on my local CL that would not cost much over the cost of the cheapest new recumbent trike but are far more likely to give you years of use. I rode my Greenspeed GTO trike 9 years and 29K miles with little more than ordinary maintenance.
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Old 10-11-22, 11:37 PM
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If you are looking for a tadpole trike and are somewhat mechanical, Trident Trikes makes the Spike and will ship for you to complete assembly. Their basic Spike is the cheapest decent trike I could find, although I went for the extra gearing with the Spike 2. I've had it a number of months now and have more than 3000 miles on it and it has performed well. No mechanical issues other than having to adjust the annoying Avid BB5 brakes twice a month and that's an Avid design issue not a Trident issue. It was my first trike and I bought it sight unseen and have been very happy. I don't need "more" and really can't think of a reason to pay more but then I'm not into racing lol. If you live where there are good used trike and you know how to assess them, you will probably find you get good value used; where I live trikes are rare and there aren't any shops that carry them or work on them.
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Old 10-12-22, 08:02 AM
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Rail trails are generally pretty flat, since trains don't like hills. So an 8-speed might be enough. Trikes have their advantages and disadvantages. They have NO learning curve - you can hop on it and go. And they excel at low speeds, like when you're stuck behind a pedestrian for a bit, or even if you have to stop. But the disadvantages are that they will cost more for what you get, they take more energy to propel, and they have three wheel tracks instead of one. So you don't just maneuver around a root, you have to decide which wheel will take the hit.
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Old 10-12-22, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
Rail trails are generally pretty flat, since trains don't like hills. So an 8-speed might be enough. Trikes have their advantages and disadvantages. They have NO learning curve - you can hop on it and go. And they excel at low speeds, like when you're stuck behind a pedestrian for a bit, or even if you have to stop. But the disadvantages are that they will cost more for what you get, they take more energy to propel, and they have three wheel tracks instead of one. So you don't just maneuver around a root, you have to decide which wheel will take the hit.
<br /><br />As someone who was new to trikes several months ago, I can relate to some of your comments. However, as I've gotten my bent legs, I find my speed is nearly the same as on a 2 wheeler and I'm not noticeable more tired riding the same routes. It does take a little while to adjust. I was worried about the 3 wheel tracks but it is already innate and automatic for me to ride over things and just automatically know where all three tracks are to avoid objects. I am now skilled at missing dog poop, broken glass, and puddles! One HUGE advantage is not having to put a foot down to stop - I cannot overstate how wonderful that is! I'm a much nicer, more patient, and more lawful rider as a result. There actual is a slight learning curve - learning to push on turns rather than pull the bars, that took me a couple weeks to get used to doing. As to cost, depends.......one of my 2 wheelers cost twice what my trike did, lol. it was custom made. And the comfort -- oh, man, it's night and day.
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Old 10-16-22, 02:21 PM
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Thanks everyone.

You have all given me bits of direction.

I'll likely need a bit more range than an 8 speed can provide, I might go with a front ring with an emergency granny gear.

My new hobby might be to scan the local Craigslist and see what comes up.
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Old 10-17-22, 07:18 AM
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I liked your last post as in my experience the used market offers you the chance to economically settle on the recumbent right for you. There is a world of difference between brands/models. Just one example for me is my back/neck would never get used to a Catrike Expedition seat angle but loved the Catrike Trail.
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Old 10-17-22, 08:13 AM
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The other place that trikes have shown up for sale are on Facebook Marketplace which seems to have eclipsed Craigslist as a place to list used items. I'm not a fan of Facebook but know from others that is is a source. If you let us know roughly where you live and which CL market you search we can take a look and see what might be reasonable priced and a decent quality trike to consider for your first trike. Most decent trikes are going to come with 24, 27, or 30 speeds if they have a standard drive train.
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Old 10-17-22, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by CrimsonEclipse View Post
There was a company that made inexpensive 2 wheelers but they seem to have vanished.
They have not vanished. Nor do they only make two wheelers. I'm pretty sure Performer is the company you are thinking of and both my two wheeler highracer and two wheeler tandem are from 2017. Performers are so cheap partly because they are made in Taiwan and also because they are in a pretty unassembled state when they arrive at your home. Performer continue to make one or more models of just about every single kind of recumbent bike or trike that the mind can envision. At prices that allow you to consider owning them all. I can't get excited about the styling of American recumbents. From the earliest days of long wheelbase two wheelers to the trikes of today, the American designs are all straight lines and simple angles and not always as inexpensive as such kludgy design would have you believe. If I had less than $2K to spend on a new trike and I didn't want to build up a Performer JC20 or JC26 I would find an HPV Gekko (base model) and call it very good.
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Old 10-20-22, 11:14 AM
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I would look for used bikes for various reasons. The two wheel recumbent market is kind of dead in most areas. At least here in the southern US. Yes there are still a few manufacturers out there but no comparison to number of brands 20 years ago. Many brands disappeared such as BikeE, Cycle Genius, Vision, Volae, ... and other brands stopped making them such as Trek, Cannondale, BikeFriday, Burley,...
And my local recumbent store almost exclusively sells trikes nowadays. I think they have not sold more than 3 or 4 two wheel recumbents in the past year. Not many people are looking for 2 wheelers nowadays and used ones are also hard to sell. I have had my share of experience. Meaning you find plenty of cheap used ones and you will not loose too much money if you have to sell it again. Which brings me to the second point: There are various styles of recumbents and not every bike works for everyone. Long Wheel Base, Short Wheel Base, High Racer, Lowe Racer, .... Meaning you may go through several styles till you find the bike that works for you. If you buy new you may loose too much money if you want to sell it again because it does not work for you. I personally started with BikeE, then Lightning Phantom. In between I had a Bacchetta Strada and a Cycle Genius Raven. All of them were used bikes. This way I could figure out which bike works for me and which does not. The biggest issue has always been the seats since the once size fits all seats don't work well with tall riders. I have meanwhile found my bikes which I use as daily driver but I am still interested in trying out other bikes and if I find a cheap used one I might grab it.
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Old 10-21-22, 09:43 AM
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I started riding recumbents about 20 years ago, I generally kept with 2-wheel recumbent for the ease of transport.
I started out with a used $400 compact long wheelbase generic recumbent (like BikeE) with 7-speed, LWB for more stability, but quickly learned that it would not fit inside my car.


Then I got myself and my wife used Vision R40s at $450 each, I can fit both into the rear hatch of my 94 Mazda 323 (with wheels/seat off the bike) back then.
Wife & I used to drive that 94 Mazda 323 up & down the Eastcoast with our recumbents for rides along the shores.
If transporting the recumbent to your ride destination is a concern, consider a Short Wheelbase 2-wheel recumbent.

My wife is 4'11", shorter legs, so not so easy for her to reach the ground with high racers, besides we don't really sustain much time at speeds above 16-18 mph when cruising on recumbents.
Recumbents allow us to relax on the bikes, enjoy the saddle time & scenery, ride longer distance without the physical pain in the neck, shoulders, wrists, butt, etc..


High racers rides nice, but for beginners, the seat height off the ground can be more difficult to get on/off the bike, or to start off from a complete stop.


Wife & I also tried few tadpole & delta trikes, the overall width just gives way to compete road surface with cars.
Eventually, Wife & I got folding recumbents that can be fitting into suitcase for travel and riding overseas.
Before COVID, we used to take annual trips with out folding recumbents.

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Old 10-21-22, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by CrimsonEclipse View Post
I've checked out recumbents a few times over the years and I'm looking into them again.

I generally ride rail trails and there are moderate hills, lots of turns, some roots protruding through the pavement and sometimes people maneuver around.

Not 100% sure on 2 vs 3 wheel but tadpole trikes seem to catch my eye.

So I'm looking for an entry level 'bent. Specifically on price. I'd prefer to not drop 3-5k and find out that it's not for me.

There was a company that made inexpensive 2 wheelers but they seem to have vanished.

With the first one, I don't think I need lots of bells and whistles, nor electric motors.

I appreciate any help
Used 2 wheel bents are cheap. I saw a pair of Rans Rockets on Craigslist for $400 a few weeks ago - great starter bents imo. V-rex or any 26/20 Bacchetta are good starters. $300-400 is common in my area. For trikes you pretty much triple that amount. Since you don't know which you want, a used 2 wheeler is a low cost test.
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Old 10-21-22, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by cat0020 View Post
I
My wife is 4'11", shorter legs, so not so easy for her to reach the ground with high racers, besides we don't really sustain much time at speeds above 16-18 mph when cruising on recumbents.
Recumbents allow us to relax on the bikes, enjoy the saddle time & scenery, ride longer distance without the physical pain in the neck, shoulders, wrists, butt, etc..

I am short, 29" inseam so high anything is out of the question.
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Old 10-21-22, 05:55 PM
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Wife's Vision R40 has 16" front wheel, very low to the ground for non-lowracer.
152mm crankarms, for pedaling smaller circles.
Originally USS, but converted to OSS for narrower overall profile.
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Old 10-23-22, 06:06 PM
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Seat height on the Performer touring model (they've got some stupid model names) was listed as a bit over 22 inches. The seat height on my M5 Carbon Highracer, with dual 700c wheels, is 20 inches. Cat0020's Vision looks to be around that height too (20-23".) If you're looking at trikes, then being low doesn't bother you and you should check out Performer's folding lowracer. You probably won't find one used, though. If you're really looking for a trike, then no other suggestions need to be made concerning two-wheelers.

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