Choosing recumbent bike to build

Recumbents and all feet forward machines

Choosing recumbent bike to build

Postby Roadie » Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:32 pm

I picked up plans from atomic zombie for recumbents but choosing which to build or combining plans I need some ideas as I've never ridden a bent. Is back suspension a necessity? Also feet above your bum height, is that a problem? Also seat height, is lower better or higher better? Thanks for any feedback. I live in north queensland and I've never seen any shops selling bents up here to get a test ride on one.
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by BNA » Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:12 pm

BNA
 

Re: Choosing recumbent bike to build

Postby John Lewis » Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:12 pm

Hi Roadie,

Which plans did you get? I've built the Marauder Low Racer and a DeltaWolf trike.
They are great to ride although a bit on the heavy side due to the construction. I do like the rear suspension on the Marauder.
I rather like the Tomahawk (I think thats the one) high racer. It should be rather good.

My favorite ride is a sort of clone of an Ezyracer. Its a mark2 from recycled recumbents. Easy to build and a great performer. I've built four of them for myself and others.

https://sites.google.com/site/recycledrecumbents/home

I also built a Bentech Short wheelbase recumbent It too is great. I built a frame for rdp who posts here. He built up the bike and it served him well for quite a few years until he got a Barchetta I think it was.
The Bentech and Mark2 don't have suspension but that was never a problem.
The only problem with the Bentech was the plans cost a bit.

http://www.bentechbikes.com/

If your feet are not much higher than the seat you should be fine. Our trikes are about 300mm above and feel fine.

If you are building a bike make sure you can reach the ground easily with both legs and knees bent a bit, feet flat if possible. I'm a bit short and on my Bentech I can just reach the ground tip toe which is why I prefer the others. It feels a bit precarious I'm in the process of re doing the seat to fix that problem though.

John
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Re: Choosing recumbent bike to build

Postby Roinik » Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:06 pm

There are a couple of good vids on Youtube focussing on how to ride the Cruzbike that illustrate the two feet on the ground thing and how that's great for when you're starting out (just to prove a point).
You don't need the best kit, you just need the best attitude.
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Re: Choosing recumbent bike to build

Postby Roadie » Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:19 pm

The voyager and the wildcat are the 2 i'm looking at. I was thinking about the weight and was wondering about using some thin wall tube as long as I can successfully weld it without too much warp or just blowing holes in it. The plans seem straight forward enough. Ian.
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Re: Choosing recumbent bike to build

Postby John Lewis » Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:18 pm

Roadie wrote:The voyager and the wildcat are the 2 i'm looking at. I was thinking about the weight and was wondering about using some thin wall tube as long as I can successfully weld it without too much warp or just blowing holes in it. The plans seem straight forward enough. Ian.


I'll have to go refresh my memory on those two.

On both the AZ ones I built I used 40 mm by 1.6mm wall square tube. I think the weight of the Marauder which is near 3 metres long and has a heavy suspension was a bit under 20kg but it rides just fine and you'd never know it weighed that much. The Wolf with the heavy bearings, 19mm axle shaft and 3 wheels was a touch under 25kg so less than my velomobile.

You can find my build threads on the AZ forum. The most interesting for you might be how I built the Marauder and the Wolf's seats. One is moulded wood and one is tubing. The tubing one is the lightest. Both are to my mind better than the AZ style seats.
I also did a Ventisit style pad that is worth the trouble. I think I posted that here as well as on AZ.

Good luck with the build. Practice the welding a bit first. Short runs with time to cool is the trick.
And remember that once the bug bites you will probably not stop at one.
Edit:
So I just had a look at both the ones you mention.

The Voyager would come out pretty light using Muffler tube which I often use. Wildcat seems to mainly use recycled bike tubes. Could be wrong but thats how it looks.
I think if my choice was Wildcat I'd go whole hog and build the Recycled Recumbent Mk2 which would be a much nicer bike. Of course I'm biased I do like the look of the Voyager and it would be an interesting build.

John
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Re: Choosing recumbent bike to build

Postby DentedHead » Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:22 am

John Lewis wrote:And remember that once the bug bites you will probably not stop at one.


Lol, so true. I started mid October, and am at three and counting... Although a "Phat-Ass" chopper for my neighbour is the next build before more trikes...

Dent.
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Re: Choosing recumbent bike to build

Postby Roadie » Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:00 pm

Thanks for the replies. I hadn't thought about using exhaust pipe, great idea. For up here i'd need a mesh type seat to help stop my back getting too sweaty. I'm leaning toward building the voyager with a rigid back end. Just need to pick up a donor bike or two. I can weld ok but my welder is non adjustable for power so I'd need a bit of practice to control the heat. The plans seem simple enough.
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Location: Townsville

Re: Choosing recumbent bike to build

Postby John Lewis » Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:32 pm

Roadie wrote:Thanks for the replies. I hadn't thought about using exhaust pipe, great idea. For up here i'd need a mesh type seat to help stop my back getting too sweaty. I'm leaning toward building the voyager with a rigid back end. Just need to pick up a donor bike or two. I can weld ok but my welder is non adjustable for power so I'd need a bit of practice to control the heat. The plans seem simple enough.


I built this trike with muffler tube. I think I posted about it on here before but can't seem to find it so will post these pictures. Just shows what can be done with exhaust tubing.

This was mostly brazed. I used to use one of those old stick welders then lashed out and bought a little DC welder. It is much better. Team it up with a auto darkening helmet and its great.
One thing though is you need to sand or grind off the galvanising near the weld or it doesn't weld well at all.

John

Image

Image
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