Considering a Recumbent

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AlexHuggs
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Considering a Recumbent

Postby AlexHuggs » Sun Feb 21, 2016 11:30 pm

Don't bust your gut responding to this post, it's more in the 'tell him he's dreaming' category at the moment. And don't tell the wife...

But I've done a bit of reading and really like the idea of a recumbent for my commute (40 km round trip) and recreational cycling. So I'm looking for some opinions and advice if I go ahead with this.

I think I'm interested in a USS trike.

The tricky thing is options seem pretty limited in WA - should I take a holiday to the east coast? ;) 'Honey, let's take our holiday to Brisbane this year'.

How would you go about buying one and what sort of things should I look out for. Anything to avoid - brands, features, etc.?

OldBloke
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Re: Considering a Recumbent

Postby OldBloke » Mon Feb 22, 2016 12:22 am

My wife and I have Performer trikes which we imported direct from Taiwan. We're pretty happy with them. Monitor Gumtree Bicycles section for recumbents, you'll get an idea of what's available second hand. There seem to be quite a few recumbent pilots in WA.
Feel free to ask 'dumb' questions. There will be folks happy to try to answer them.

OB

OldBloke
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Re: Considering a Recumbent

Postby OldBloke » Mon Feb 22, 2016 12:30 am


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Kalgrm
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Re: Considering a Recumbent

Postby Kalgrm » Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:35 am

Mine is a two-wheeler (Bachetta Giro, 700c wheels), but you're welcome to have a play on it.

Perth is the ideal place for a 'bent. Lots of wind and very few hills worthy of the name. Good luck with the search and with the explanation to the wife. (Mine was very understanding and quite encouraging, especially when I'd get home after the daily slug-fest with the Freo Doctor.)

Cheers,
Graeme
Think outside the double triangle.
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Music was better when ugly people were allowed to make it ....

just4tehhalibut
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Re: Considering a Recumbent

Postby just4tehhalibut » Mon Feb 22, 2016 10:59 pm

How about a Greenspeed trike for $600? There's one just popped up on OzHPV.
Image
You get a few respectable Logo Trikes popping up around Perth, better than a Greenspeed.

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AlexHuggs
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Re: Considering a Recumbent

Postby AlexHuggs » Tue Feb 23, 2016 12:00 am

just4tehhalibut wrote:How about a Greenspeed trike for $600? There's one just popped up on OzHPV.
Image
You get a few respectable Logo Trikes popping up around Perth, better than a Greenspeed.


I think getting it over here would be an issue - and not sure I want to buy a first recumbent without trying it first. Good luck though. I did see a Logo on Gumtree over here but it's one thing talking the wife around to another bike - $3k might end in divorce! Although they look excellent. And local. Who knew! And of course, a trike might tempt her to try it out. Hmmm.

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AlexHuggs
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Re: Considering a Recumbent

Postby AlexHuggs » Tue Feb 23, 2016 12:03 am

Kalgrm wrote:Mine is a two-wheeler (Bachetta Giro, 700c wheels), but you're welcome to have a play on it.

Perth is the ideal place for a 'bent. Lots of wind and very few hills worthy of the name. Good luck with the search and with the explanation to the wife. (Mine was very understanding and quite encouraging, especially when I'd get home after the daily slug-fest with the Freo Doctor.)

Cheers,
Graeme


I'm not married to the idea of a trike and might take you up on that ride. It's just trikes look very easy. But what do I know until I've tried a few?

Bargo
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Re: Considering a Recumbent

Postby Bargo » Tue Feb 23, 2016 12:04 am

AlexHuggs wrote:Don't bust your gut responding to this post, it's more in the 'tell him he's dreaming' category at the moment. And don't tell the wife...

But I've done a bit of reading and really like the idea of a recumbent for my commute (40 km round trip) and recreational cycling. So I'm looking for some opinions and advice if I go ahead with this.

I think I'm interested in a USS trike.

The tricky thing is options seem pretty limited in WA - should I take a holiday to the east coast? ;) 'Honey, let's take our holiday to Brisbane this year'.

How would you go about buying one and what sort of things should I look out for. Anything to avoid - brands, features, etc.?



I went through this same exercise at the start of 2014. I ride a daily commute of about 26 km round trip, and ride into a strong easterly most mornings and straight into the fremantle doctor going home. After commuting for a couple of years on a "normal" flat bar road bike, my wrist was killing me, along with a sore neck, sore back and was tired of the rock hard seat crushing certain bits. I was thinking about a trike (after falling off the upright twice in the winter on slippery roads), but was told that a two wheel recumbent is faster than a trike (which is a little bit debatable but mostly true). I ended up buying a second hand performer recumbent (Toscana 20/26) which was a great starter bike. It took a few weeks to master riding it, but it solved my sore wrist, neck and back within a few weeks. It was maybe 5% faster than my flat bar road bike, but was so much easier to ride into the wind. After getting tired of riding in the perth winter (I hit a run where it seemed it rained on me every night for weeks) I decided to buy a trisled Rotovelo online unseen and untried. It arrived in Oct 2014 and I have done over 7000 km in since then. It is my daily commuter and it is awesome. you would be welcome to come and have a look at it. I recently purchased a second hand Bacchetta Strada from gumtree which I plan to use for riding with my kids in the weekend and the occasional commute when the rotovelo is out of action. the strada is at least 10-15% slower than the rotovello on my commute, which would still be significantly faster than a upright. the aerodynamics of a recumbent has to be experienced to really understand just how superior it is to an upright.

One key thing for you to think about is how your commute works for you. Are there hills?, are you on the road or shared paths/cycle paths. do you want to go faster than an upright, or are you ok with going slower than an upright. Do you need to carry work clothes or heavy items with you etc? where will you store it at home/work, some trikes will not fit through a normal door?

One thing I quickly worked out was that a high performance trike is really expensive to get to Perth. The fast trikes like a catrike 700, or ICE VTX will set you back more than A$4000 brand new. Which in the end was why I went for the rotovelo as it was not much more expensive than a high performance trike and is fully enclosed. There are some second hand trikes out there if you are patient, but they are often more relaxed style (eg heavier and not as fast) eg there is a logo trike for $3000 on gumtree at the moment. There are some very fast two wheel recumbent bikes and you can get one of these cheaper than a high performance trike. Maldon (who posts here sometimes and on BROL (bent rider on line) has two really fast two wheel trikes for sale for $3000 - $4000 (a M5 carbon high racer and a Velokraft lowracer). I looked at them and they are seriously fast bikes but may not be for a beginner (there will be a steep learning curve) and may not be a good commuter, not sure if they can take a rear rack for bags etc, but man would they be fast. He also has a Greenspeed trike for sale (an early GTR) which would be a good commuter. (if you send me a PM with your phone number I can pass it on to him.

If you are riding on roads, a high racer two wheeler would be better for visibility, if you are on cycle paths then being low does not matter. there is plenty of discussion about hill climbing, two wheelers are often lighter and therefore climb better, but get wobbly at low speeds and starting on a hill can be a challenge. trikes don't have this problem and you just gear down and spin up the hill.

For me, I love the rotovelo, it is a fantastic commuter, but if you have lots of hills (it is heavy at 35kg, but I don't have too many hills), or ride on the road lots (it is low but I am mostly on cycle paths), or can not store it at the office (we have a bike locker at my work and it fits through a normal door so no problems for me to store it) it is awesome and I ride it almost every day (I hate it when I have to catch the train). I have the rain hood so riding in the winter is fun and warm. it is very fast into the wind which in Perth can be a nightmare. It is nice not getting wet and cold. alternatively a two wheeler may be a great option for you.

As I said earlier, you are welcome to come and look at the rotovelo and my bacchetta strada and we can discuss the merits of each. PM me and I can give you the details.

Good luck and I am sure you will not regret going bent, I tell my wife all the time, I can not believe more people don't ride recumbents as they are so much better than an upright.

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AlexHuggs
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Re: Considering a Recumbent

Postby AlexHuggs » Tue Feb 23, 2016 12:24 am

Thanks. I'll PM you. No hills. Mix of road (probably a bit more than 50%) and bike paths. I ride the roads mainly by choice as bike paths are either dodgy or the long way around. I do use a rack and trunk bag/panniers. Part of my motivation for another bike is that I'm constantly being passed by roadies which I thought I'd be fine with but when I'm half way through a one hour ride home and they're soon out of sight, I do wonder how much pain I'm unnecessarily enduring. I do really like my bike (commuter specific hybrid) but it's quite heavy and possibly not the best option for a long commute. But if I'm buying another bike why settle on a road bike when a recumbent looks eminently better!? Storage shouldn't be a problem as we're going to enclose the car port and turn half into a bike bay. I do have a dream of doing some light touring at some point but don't know if it will eventuate.

Bargo
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Re: Considering a Recumbent

Postby Bargo » Tue Feb 23, 2016 12:50 am

AlexHuggs wrote:Thanks. I'll PM you. No hills. Mix of road (probably a bit more than 50%) and bike paths. I ride the roads mainly by choice as bike paths are either dodgy or the long way around. I do use a rack and trunk bag/panniers. Part of my motivation for another bike is that I'm constantly being passed by roadies which I thought I'd be fine with but when I'm half way through a one hour ride home and they're soon out of sight, I do wonder how much pain I'm unnecessarily enduring. I do really like my bike (commuter specific hybrid) but it's quite heavy and possibly not the best option for a long commute. But if I'm buying another bike why settle on a road bike when a recumbent looks eminently better!? Storage shouldn't be a problem as we're going to enclose the car port and turn half into a bike bay. I do have a dream of doing some light touring at some point but don't know if it will eventuate.



The rotovelo is a great commuter and fast on the flat (I averaged 35-38 km/hr on mounts bay road this morning, and around 32 km/hr going home this evening into an average wind) and have held at 40-42 km/hr along there when being chased by a group of three roadies who wanted to try and catch me (they did not). It cost me quite a bit but not that much more than a fast trike and since I commute on it every day I figured it paid out in less than a year (we are only a one car family so the RV is our second car). A high racer two wheeler could be a good option, being higher they have more visibility, and depending on the model will be faster than most road bikes. Most can take a rear rack of some description and panniers.

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Re: Considering a Recumbent

Postby Kalgrm » Tue Feb 23, 2016 1:35 am

A word of warning on the two wheelers: it's a bit like learning to ride a bike all over again. I wasn't competent riding it for several weeks after I started and it took about 8 weeks before I was completely at ease on it. Now it's second nature, but I still remember being very unstable on it. (I never did take a tumble though, touch wood ...)

Cheers,
Graeme
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Re: Considering a Recumbent

Postby max_torq » Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:31 am

I've been commuting on Greenspeed GTS with e-assist and fairing, and it is excellent fun. The dynamics of the trike also mean I have been developing my leg muscles which proves to be good for climbing on a normal bike, but it provides less cardio workout than a normal bike, so I find it is useful to alternate every so often. In general, the trike can carry more and feels safer and is just as fast as my normal road bike commuter. Very happy with steel frame, rohloff, and 20" rear wheel, 250w mid mount e-assist and WGX fairing.



Image

zebee
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Re: Considering a Recumbent

Postby zebee » Wed Feb 24, 2016 12:18 pm

If you go two wheels then investigate a Schlitter too. Not as cheap as the Performers but you get one of the best two wheelers on the market for mid range pricing. (dependent on exchange rates but aren't they all!)

They don't sent complete bikes to Oz, you get a frameset and bars and seat, you provide wheels, drivetrain, and brakes. I was amazed at how much better it was than my Bacchetta Giro. Not just lighter but stiffer and more comfortable in every way. It does have a more radical seat angle than most others but it isn't clear you need to start with an upright seat.

You should also consider a Cruzbike. It seems that upright riders transition to the front wheel moving bottom bracket Cruzbike better than recumbent riders do. Depending on your mechanics skills you might even be able to score a kitbike.

Connect with locals and ride everything you can swing a leg over. I tried both trikes and bikes before setting on a bike. I picked the high racer as I was going to do a lot of time in traffic and didn't like the low stance of the trike as I felt I couldn't see far enough around me to feel OK in Sydney traffic. I am about to buy a trike now as a tourer and sometime commuter as I think nowadays I can manage the traffic. Wouldn't take it into the CBD or other really snarly places though.

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Re: Considering a Recumbent

Postby geebee » Wed Feb 24, 2016 5:49 pm

Op, this would be a great buy for $600 asking plus freight http://www.ozhpv.org.au/forsale/forsale.html
It appears to be a GLR close to the fastest roadable trike around, handling is in a whole different ball park than most and super light comfortable steering.
I have one :) I have fitted a head rest for long climbs or cruising on the flat.
Just strip the electrics and throw a 20" wheel in the back, you maybe able to flog the electrics off to get some extra money back.

It was designed an an Audax racer and would be perfect for commuting at a decent speed, mine is 13kg ready to ride but it was built for a lightweight rider so this maybe 14 kg all up, the frame being CrMo and long it softens the ride nicely, I have ridden a reasonable number of different trikes and nothing comes close IMO.
This picture gives a good idea of how low, small and aero they are next to a person (not the one for sale or me)
Image

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AlexHuggs
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Re: Considering a Recumbent

Postby AlexHuggs » Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:25 pm

geebee wrote:Op, this would be a great buy for $600 asking plus freight http://www.ozhpv.org.au/forsale/forsale.html


You're the second person to recommend that trike and now I'm in two minds. Would it be worth the risk buying a first bent trike sight unseen at that price (depending on freight)? I note the comment above about trying out as many bikes as I can.

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Re: Considering a Recumbent

Postby geebee » Thu Feb 25, 2016 10:56 am

Swap some emails, ask for more photos, having owned one all I can say is if you had to spend a grand on it (extremely unlikely), it would still be a bargain, it is that good even compared to other Greenspeeds, ideal for windy areas as it is narrow, low and reclined.
I think GS will still make them to order but I dread to think of the cost.
This is from way back but gives an idea of the quality/price of the beast :)
http://www.greenspeed.com.au/GLRorder.htm

zebee
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Re: Considering a Recumbent

Postby zebee » Thu Feb 25, 2016 7:48 pm

If you want to try recumbent and you aren't in thick traffic then you could do a lot worse. Greenspeed are top quality bikes that last forever. I like 'em enough I am on the waiting list for a new one despite not having ridden it.

GS are good for parts and advice so if you buy it and want to put it back to stock or mess with gears then pop an email to them and you will end up in a long and fascinating conversation about your options.

I tried a lot of trikes and found the GS GT3 steered better than the Catrikes I tried and fitted me better than the ICE did. Met a 14yo trike the other day which had been all round Oz and as the owner said the only issue in al that ime was it tended to stop next to pubs....

kencumbent
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Re: Considering a Recumbent

Postby kencumbent » Wed Apr 27, 2016 11:11 am

Have you found a bike yet Alex?

I bought an M5 M-Racer for my 40Km commute and it did the job perfectly. I'm now retired, but I had a great time with this bike. It has a rack and normal panniers so no problem carrying gear, it's just insanely comfortable, and that's the best thing about any recumbent, and it's also insanely fast.

Most recumbents are not faster than uprights unless you're going downhill or into wind. After 6 months commuting my cruising speed on the flat is over 40kph sustained. I don't believe any bike including a velomobile will be significantly quicker.

So I encourage you to look at a high racer. Yes there will be a learning period, but it's not rocket science, just a different kind of bike. The M-Racer was my first time ever on a recumbent and it took me perhaps 10 sessions over 3 weeks to learn, then I started commuting. The only suggestion I would make if you go this way is not to clip in for the first couple of months, by that time you'll be bulletproof under all conditions and you'll well and truly have your 'bent legs' :)

Cheers,

Ken

slacy
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Re: Considering a Recumbent

Postby slacy » Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:29 pm

Hi all I'm a newbie to the forum, but am also considering a recumbent bicycle hi racer like Alex. I am looking for anyone that can point to anyone the sells hi racers in Victoria. Most seem to be trikes.

Thanks in advance.

Stephen

zebee
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Re: Considering a Recumbent

Postby zebee » Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:15 am

Two wheelers are uncommon. According to one dealer it is because of the steep learning curve: people try them and can't ride them so don't buy them.

What I did was connect with recumbent riders from OzHPV.org.au by joining their mailing list and asking for help. People were quite happy to offer test rides on their various machines so I got a good idea of what I wanted.

I don't think anyone in Oz except maybe the Performer importer in Bris has 2 wheelers on the floor. Trisled.com.au used to sell 2 wheelers you can ask if they have any.

So connect with recumbent riders in Vic, see if you can get a test ride on different styles. Realise there is a learning curve mostly with starting, and that different handlebar styles make the bikes feel very different.

OldBloke
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Re: Considering a Recumbent

Postby OldBloke » Fri Aug 12, 2016 9:30 am

I've been riding recumbent trikes for a few years and recently made the plunge to a recumbent bike. I bought mine 2nd hand through Gumtree. I watched both Gumtree and EBay for many months before something suitable came up for sale.

I ended up buying a Challenge Hurricane mid-racer. It's like having to learn to ride a bike all over again. A fellow newbie to recumbent bikes likens it to learning to balance while lying on your back. After eight rides I'm still pretty unstable and have had a few elbow grazes. At least, it isn't far to fall. Hopefully, persistence will pay off.

With buying 2nd hand, if I decide a recumbent bike isn't for me, I won't have lost a lot of money. It's certainly worth having a go.

OB

skyblot
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Re: Considering a Recumbent

Postby skyblot » Fri Aug 12, 2016 9:15 pm

The Performer importer in Brisbane has closed.... Contacting local riders is an excellent way of trying before buying, the Brisbane recumbent riders held a "come and try" morning recently and thought it very successful. Certainly a lot of fun!

OB, your Hurricane looks very desirable - good find and great choice.

OldBloke
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Re: Considering a Recumbent

Postby OldBloke » Sun Aug 14, 2016 9:00 am

Anyone interested in a recumbent bike may find it worth a look at this Bacchetta Corsa:
http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/mosman/b ... 1121155509

OB

slacy
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Re: Considering a Recumbent

Postby slacy » Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:56 pm

Thanks to everyone for the replies, comments, and experiences. I will troll gumtree and ebay.

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