Building or Stock Bent?

Recumbents and all feet forward machines

Building or Stock Bent?

Postby miltah » Wed Feb 04, 2009 5:30 pm

I own MTB's and a racer and have spare parts laying around and Zipp 700c spare wheels.
Reading the forum, its suggested that its cheaper just buying the frame and building up. My problem is I have no experience with recumbents. Is it fairly easy? As the chain is very long I have have no idea how to gauge chain length.
My other option is going for a stock build up bent, and maybe running a 26inch front and 700C back, is that possible.
I am currently considering an Optima Baron or Bacchetta ? not sure which model.
Pardon my ignorance as I have no experience with bents. Speed is what I am after (obviously after I've put in my hours of training)
Thanks
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by BNA » Wed Feb 04, 2009 8:43 pm

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Postby Kalgrm » Wed Feb 04, 2009 8:43 pm

G'day Miltah,

Welcome to the forum.

This is going to be a hard bunch of questions to answer, because everybody's reasons for going 'bent are different. So you need to answer that question before we can start to help you out on this. Why are you interested in a 'bent? What "problem" does it solve for you (if any)? If it's simply curiosity, that's also a valid reason.

My own experience reason for buying a 'bent was the strong and consistent headwind I was commuting home into: 'bents are more aerodynamic than other bikes.

I bought a Bacchetta Giro (partly) because it's one of the very few off-the-shelf 'bents which can be fitted with 700c wheels, even though it comes with MTB wheels as standard. The designers fitted forks with enough clearance for the larger wheels, and the rear wheels also has that clearance built into the design. With disc brakes, it's easy to swap between wheel-sets without worrying about brake calliper lengths.

Anyway, after you've answered the question about what is driving you towards 'bents and also what you intend to do with your bike, I'll offer more opinions.

Cheers,
Graeme
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Re: Building or Stock Bent?

Postby Low Racer » Wed Feb 04, 2009 8:57 pm

miltah wrote:I own MTB's and a racer and have spare parts laying around and Zipp 700c spare wheels.
Reading the forum, its suggested that its cheaper just buying the frame and building up. My problem is I have no experience with recumbents. Is it fairly easy? As the chain is very long I have have no idea how to gauge chain length.
My other option is going for a stock build up bent, and maybe running a 26inch front and 700C back, is that possible.
I am currently considering an Optima Baron or Bacchetta ? not sure which model.
Pardon my ignorance as I have no experience with bents. Speed is what I am after (obviously after I've put in my hours of training)
Thanks


Hi Miltah,
Welcome to the recumbent forum.

If you have enough parts lying around to build up a bike, it will definitely work out cheaper buying a frameset. FF will be able to help you with the bike you have mentioned in your post. I did enquire Bacchetta Corsa frameset. It was at least $1000 cheaper from a built Corsa.

As to the chain length, it depends on how far out is your boom. Generally you will need 3 to 3.5 of a df bike chain.

I have run 650c front and rear 700C. 650c is just slightly bigger than your standard 26 inches. I don't think narrow tyres are readily available on the standard 26 inches. Someone correct me if I am wrong.

Learning to ride a recumbent is like learning to ride all over again. Once you get the hang of it you will move on pretty quick from there. Some bikes are harder to learn on than others. Low racers are generally harder to ride but I heard Optima Baron is probably one of the easiest low racer to ride. You haven't told us how tall you are. Some models i.e hig racers may be unsuitable for height challenged people.
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Postby bradwoodbr » Wed Feb 04, 2009 9:01 pm

Ditto what Klgrm said. Bents are so much fun to ride. the fun factor compensates for being different. They are also comfortable.
The Baron is low and fast and the Bachetta is high adn fast.
I would recommend the following in deciding:
Ride both types as much as you can before you commit.
Select as light as possible with the stiffest bottom bracket possible withing your budget.
Addons and extras will improve the bike.
Be prepared to spend more than standard bikes.
Ask lots of questions.

There ya go. It is not the complete list, just some ideas that came to mind.
PS chain length is easy to work out.

Have fun
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Re: Building or Stock Bent?

Postby Kalgrm » Wed Feb 04, 2009 9:16 pm

Low Racer wrote:As to the chain length, it depends on how far out is your boom. Generally you will need 3 to 3.5 of a df bike chain.

Really? Mine is ~2.5 standard chains on the Bacchetta, and I believe all Bacchettas are about the same. They don't have a boom length to adjust though.

Cheers,
Graeme
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Postby miltah » Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:47 am

Thanks for all the suggestions.
Graeme:
I dun really have a specific reason for going bent other than curiosity. Although I broke my wrist some years back, it has yet to play up. I've always loved riding, growing up with a steel MTB riding to school then onto MTB's and road. I like to do my own servicing if possible and like to install 'stuff'. As such I've got spares lying around from ultegra cranks, octalink BB's, spare 26inch MTB and 700c wheels and just thought it would be a good idea to put a bent together.
As I ride with a group of roadies occasionally, I would like to still be able to keep up with them.
I do not foresee carrying huge loads, going offroad or touring with it.

Bradwoodbr:
I only decided on the Baron as FF are having a sale on that model. As for the Bacchetta, I only suggested that as I saw pple on this forum using 650/700c wheels on it. Unfortunately, I reside in Darwin thus do not have the chance to ride on any bent or know of anyone here riding a bent. Therefore am basing my selection on experiences and suggestions I get from here...

I think before we get onto chainlength, do you think its very technical to put a bent together? Or its just better to get a stock and which, perhaps? Am 1.7m, 55kg.
PS, I noticed there were 'sizes'?? which I did not know and was not indicated on the manufacturers website. Is there S, M, L?
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Re: Building or Stock Bent?

Postby Freddyflatfoot » Thu Feb 05, 2009 6:25 am

Kalgrm wrote:
Low Racer wrote:As to the chain length, it depends on how far out is your boom. Generally you will need 3 to 3.5 of a df bike chain.

Really? Mine is ~2.5 standard chains on the Bacchetta, and I believe all Bacchettas are about the same. They don't have a boom length to adjust though.

Cheers,
Graeme


Ditto, my 3 homebuilts are ~2.5 std chain lengths.
Cheers!
Rob
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SWB recumbent, 700C/451 , "Kookaburra", homebuilt.
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Postby Kalgrm » Thu Feb 05, 2009 8:45 am

G'day Miltah,

I'd say the cheapest way to get into it would be building your own frame if you already have all the gear to do so. Freddyflatfoot and John Lewis have both done so successfully. (Or buying a used bike ...)

The easiest way is to buy a complete bike. I preferred this way myself, because the makes of these bikes have usually sorted out the glitches in design before we even see the bikes on the market.

In between those two extremes is to buy a frame set and add the bits you've got lying around. I know you can buy a Bacchetta frame set (which includes the frame, a seat, bars, forks and chain idlers) from FF for around $1000 less than the price of a complete bike. Brakes, gearing, chain, wheels, etc will set you back a fair bit unless you already have them, which you say you do.

I've been well accepted into group rides with roadies on mine (when I try to ride with them) because the Bacchetta riding position is tall when compared with other 'bents: they can "see" me. I've heard them complain about other (lower riding) 'bents such as the Baron because they fall well below their normal eyeline in a group. If you intend to keep riding with roadies, you may be better off with a Bacchetta or other high racer than on a low racer.

Your height suggests you would have trouble riding a Bacchetta with 700c wheels front and rear. I think you'd be okay on 26" or 650c wheels though. Actually, you'd be okay riding - you just wouldn't be able to stop ... ;) On a high racer, you need to be able to reach the ground with one foot while seated.

As Low Racer suggested, check out the Corsa frame set. It's just about perfect for your application.

Cheers,
Graeme
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Postby Freddyflatfoot » Thu Feb 05, 2009 9:21 am

Rans also have frame kits, a well as complete bikes. And just to add something else into the mix, they also have another style of bike called a crank forward, which is somewhere in between a full recumbent, and a diamond frame bike.
If you can weld thin mild steel, then it is possible to build up a recumbent bike quite cheaply!
Here's mine,
Image
Cheers!
Rob
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Postby Kalgrm » Thu Feb 05, 2009 9:46 am

Oh, I forgot to mention - There's a guy here in Perth who has commercialised his design for a front wheel drive 'bent. Check out the Cruzbike Silvio, which is only available as a frame set. I ride with John (the designer) and I can tell you it's a great bike. It will take 700c wheels - in fact it will take all the components from a road bike - including only one chain! ;)

Cheers,
Graeme
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Bent Frameset

Postby Davey » Sat Mar 21, 2009 11:38 pm

I'm pretty sure I could build a seat, probably not as light as a pro but still functional, but I'd probably never be confident enough to build a frame.

What I wonder is, why aren't bent framesets mass produced, they would cost less than diamond frames as they have less joins and materials.

An experienced frame builder could build a mould for a popular style like a bacchetta with a chainguide, fork and handlebars quite easilly.

Shipping would be easier too as the frame is a long thin box packaged with a fork.

Bike building isn't that hard, you just need a few tools to install the bb, a hacksaw for the steerer. Much easier if you have and exo crank and don't need a crank puller.

I don't know, i'm just a hack, but I wonder, if a manufacturer brought out a frameset that they could make money on at a low price would they pass the savings on to customers?

I personally don't think so, because there is no price pressure on manufacturers from sellers.

A bit of a tangent but people scoffed at walmart bringing out a carbon road bike about their service capabilities. Probably true that their staff aren't qualified to fix bikes, but that is beside the point.

However if volume discounts are the only way to reduce costs I would like to see more high priced bikes in major retailers.

There will always be a market for servicing and parts for a good LBS and I really like some of my LBS's but i'm not going to buy stuff for double the price like tyres or groupset parts.

My friend recently bought a bike from goldcross on the gold coast.

I asked him to wait so I could find a better one for the same price but he couldn't wait, even though he put it on laybuy so he didn't even get it until later anyway.

So he buys the bike, they give him a token discount, say he can have a helmet etc... free servicing blah blah. then I call him later and he sais he has to buy a helmet.

I ask why they later reneged on the free helmet and they say cause they gave him a discount on the price, even though the discount and inclusion of extras was part of the original deal.

I told himI could get a better bike cheaper but to no avail, doesn't matter anyway as long as they're happy.

Most bike sales people I've seen has been slippery as an eel, and alot of the times even as a hack you know more than them.

But the people who really know what they're doing usually don't rip you off, at least as much, and maybe because they're interested in you as a bike rider, not as a potential mark.
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