Recumbents and all feet forward machines
6 posts • Page 1 of 1
I am seriously thinking of getting a recumbent as I am in danger of becoming a cycle widow. Any advice on wether there is a particular brand that is more girl friendly, and any thoughts on electric assist? I am 5'4" and about 60kg Medium fitness, thinking rail trail type riding. How safe are you really on a recumbent? Any advice would be a help, thanks, Jules
I'm 5'2".... the biggest hassle is finding a frame that will fit. Every adjustable boom 'bent I looked at (which is most of them) would not adjust down enough to fit me.
I ride a Bacchetta Giro 20 (from Flying Furniture in Canberra) which is a 26 rear 20 front and importantly comes in a small frame size. With the original 20" wheel and now with the 24" front I have put in I can still easily touch the ground.
The Bacchettas tend to be about commuting and touring, and incline to narrowish tyres. People do put wider tyres on them though, so if your rail trails tend not to be paved it still might work OK. I have ridden mine on gravel without issue and I have very narrow tyres.
You will need some time to practice though, as slow work and start/stop need a bit of practice to get right. When I first got mine I found starting off and tight slow turns hard, now I don't even think about them.
First off you need to measure your X seam, which is the length from bum to foot. Sit on the floor with your back and backside hard against the wall, legs straight, and measure from the wall to your heel. Any 'bent seller you talk to will need to know that measurement.
I strongly suggest you talk to Ian at flyingfurniture.com.au as he has probably the widest range of recumbents in Oz and a knowledge of many more so he'll know what will fit you given your X seam.
I've been pondering electric assist but the biggest hassle is it adds more weight. Which is not a problem with plenty of charge in the battery but from what I can tell it is when the battery has not got enough oomph anymore and if you are going on long rides that will be a problem. I found that while going up hills on the recumbent is more work than on an upright I learned to do it with practice. The flats and downhills are easier than on the upright bike especially in a headwind if you have much recline.
If your other half is a strong cyclist then he'll leave you behind anyway until you get as fit as he is if he's trying, even with (legal) electric assist as they are speed limited. At least on a 'bent you will be comfortable on the trails and if he can cope with not doing a million miles an hour you'll have a great time and you won't be sore or stressed at the end. As you get your 'bent legs you might be surprised at how easy it is to keep up.
You definitely need one that fits though, it's way harder to ride a badly sized recumbent than a badly sized upright I think. So get on to Ian and see what he can offer.
What I did when first investigating them was get onto the ozhpv mailing list and ask about types and things to think of and if anyone could give me a ride. I was lucky enough to find people who had small enough bikes! If you are within cooee of Sydney you are welcome to try mine. (seeing as you talk of rail trails I suspect you are in Vic, there are a few ozhpvers there, worth a try)
Try the Cruzbike Quest 20" as well or the Sofrider 26" (there may still be a Sofrider for sale in Sydney or else Kim Tolhurst has a demo one for sale). There are 2nd hand Quests that pop up very occasionally. The Quest V2.0 has full suspension and the latest 3.0 only has rear suspension. Kim Tolhurst may still have his demo 20" V2.0 Quest for sale. 0411 295 738.
You don't need the best kit, you just need the best attitude.
Cruzbikes can be a bit daunting because front wheel drive takes a lot of getting used to.
On the other hand they look like they manage a wider range of X seam.
If you do try a Cruzbike be prepared for the work of learning to work with it not against it...
Hi Jules: If you want to head into trike territory, the TriSled Gizmo can be fitted to ,um, smaller builds. My much better half is a similar size to you, her Gizmo fits nicely.
Safe - can't fall off or over-balance, heads up riding, easy to take a hand off for signalling. Hey, a trike is just what you need!
Thanks so much guys for all your helpful advice, SUCCESS:) has arrived with the Wonderfully patient Mr Michael Rogan, I am now the very happy and excited owner of a soon to be shimmering violet, elec assist MRT .... Rail Trails here we come!!!!!!
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