Touring on a LWB Recumbent

Touring on a LWB Recumbent

Postby Aushiker » Wed May 08, 2013 3:16 pm

Rather than continue hi-jacking Cheesewell's thread I thought I would start a thread on touring on a LWB recumbent. Personally my first priority is to purchase aSinner Bikes Mango and hopefully (pesos and weight and health allowing that will be later this year) but I would also like a "conventional" touring/Audax/commuter in the stable as well which would replace my Kinesis Racelight Granfondo, Look 555 and Surly Long Haul Trucker.

The styling and riding position of the LWB recumbents like the Easy Racer Tour Easy and Gold Rush Replica appeal to me hence this thread to discuss them as touring bikes etc.

I really like the look of the Ti-Rush but suspect the pricing will make it hard to justify

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Still it would make a good "all-rounder" if one could lower the gearing for touring.

The other options is the Gold Rush Replica in aluminium ... just need to get over the idea one cannot tour on aluminium frame :) I suspect I would use such a bike for more "gentle" Australian road touring with some gravel here and there, rather than full on expedition riding going forward.

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The other option in the Easy Racer range is the Tour Easy. I do wonder though if it would be as good as an "all-rounder."

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I am also aware of the Rans Stratus XP. I am not so keen on the 26" front wheel but.

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From a touring perspective the bike would need to be able to:

(1) Take two water bottles and ideally a BBB Fuel Tank XLas well
(2) Ortlieb Bike-Packer rear panniers on the rear rack. I understand a Tubus Cargo will fit the Easy Racer models at least.
(3) Smaller panniers ... underseat I guess and/or tow my Extrawheel Voyager

I also wonder if Easy Racer do a frame kit sell it sans wheels as I would like a dynamo build on the front at least which may mean a comprise in terms of just having a "touring front wheel."

Oh which ever one was decided on would also have a fairing fitted.

Thoughts?

Andrew
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by BNA » Wed May 08, 2013 4:51 pm

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Re: Touring on a LWB Recumbent

Postby Baalzamon » Wed May 08, 2013 4:51 pm

I'm not sure how well a LWB will handle on dirt, but when I was researching highracers, Kalgrm advised me dirt was scary on a highracer, I didn't have my bachetta giro long enough to even try it.
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Re: Touring on a LWB Recumbent

Postby }SkOrPn--7 » Wed May 08, 2013 4:59 pm

Andrew any reason you not keen on a 26" front wheel because as you would well know taking spares for a uniformed wheel set is easier than taking for a mixed wheel set of spares. From the looks of the Stratus XP they have designed the frame to cater for the 26" making in no higher of the ground on the front end than the other models you have listed.

Great thread BTW and if you care to do some digging there is a gentleman over on BROL who I think lives in the USA who makes these bikes from old diamond frames and he has a great reputation of quality. Hit him up for a price for a frame set only then you could add some of the spare gear or tare down one of your other bikes in the stable to build it up.

His BROL forum name is adc1

and his home page is below

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

Some more links for you

http://lightfootcycles.com/

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Re: Touring on a LWB Recumbent

Postby RonK » Wed May 08, 2013 5:45 pm

I have researched LWB crank forward bikes in detail and have formed the view that the Easy Racer offerings are by far the superior choice.

In July 2011 I wrote to Easy Racer to enquire about importing a Ti Rush. At the time I was enamoured of Rohloff, now I have learned my lesson and would not waste my money.

In reality, you cannot just buy a frame, since all but the driveline components are non-standard, so what you would be buying is a bike without wheels, brakes and crankset. I'm not sure that it would be worth the trouble - it's probably better to just buy the bike complete and be done with it.

Naturally the TI Rush is the most expensive, but the Gold Rush Replica and the Tour Easy are very worthy machines.

Also a touring or an MTB crankset could be specified to achieve lower gearing.

Hi,

I'm pondering the practicality and economics of ordering a bike for shipment to Brisbane,
Australia.

Can the Ti Rush be equipped with a Rohloff hub, and are any special adaptations required?

Please advise if the Ti Rush is available as a frameset, and the likely cost including shipping to
Australia if this is possible.

I would be looking at getting a frameset with couplers, carbon fork, stem and handlebar, and seat
with mounting hardware.

And the reply:

We could definitely ship it to you, we have done a number of the bikes with the Rohloff hub, it does require modification.

The frameset is $4550.00, titanium couplers are $750.00 per set, Rohloff modification is $100.00 Carbon fork is $295.00 and stem is $135.00 - there is credit for the steel fork and stem of $115.00.

Shipping to you is approx. $650.00 - I would need your physical address for an exact quote.

The Ti-Rush is the most incredible bike in the world, extremely fast, comfortable, and fun. Thanks for your interest, let us know how we can earn your business.
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I would order the expedition model, which has wider wheels/tyres and is equipped with v-brakes in place of calipers.

EasyRacer can also supply a dynamo wheel.

Image

I would want the zzipper fairing, because it can be rolled up and stowed in a bag for transit.

Image

The Terracycle underseat racks for my lowrider panniers

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And a Tubus Logo Ti carrier for my rear panniers.

Image

I'd probably get the handlebar bag and the frame bag.

Image
Image

For sure the Terracycle LWB light mount.

Image

And the custom carbon front and rear fenders.

Image

As has been mentioned elsewhere, reading David Cambon's comprehensive review of the Tour Easy will explain why the 20" front wheel is preferred and dispel any smoke and noise about the carrying of spares.

And a read of his Dempster Highway journal will dispel any smoke and noise about riding an Easy Racer on unpaved roads or about touring on an aluminium-framed Gold Rush Replica.

A BBB XL Fuel Tank could easily be mounted on the top tube in the front of the cranks. I also like the way David has bidon cages mounted on the handlebars.
Image

Anything I've missed?
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Re: Touring on a LWB Recumbent

Postby Aushiker » Wed May 08, 2013 6:28 pm

Baalzamon wrote:I'm not sure how well a LWB will handle on dirt, but when I was researching highracers, Kalgrm advised me dirt was scary on a highracer, I didn't have my bachetta giro long enough to even try it.


Take a look at this from Ricky's link ... http://lightfootcycles.com/bike-models-overview/ranger/

Image

Image

Image

:)

Andrew
Last edited by Aushiker on Wed May 08, 2013 6:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Touring on a LWB Recumbent

Postby Aushiker » Wed May 08, 2013 6:33 pm

}SkOrPn--7 wrote:Andrew any reason you not keen on a 26" front wheel because as you would well know taking spares for a uniformed wheel set is easier than taking for a mixed wheel set of spares. From the looks of the Stratus XP they have designed the frame to cater for the 26" making in no higher of the ground on the front end than the other models you have listed.


Thanks Ricky. Those links bring up some interesting bikes! Love the Ranger :)

With regards to the 26" I got the impression from some reading around last night that the handling was not as great with the 26" wheels as opposed to the 20" and as some of the intended duties included commuting, the 20" seemed a better option.

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Re: Touring on a LWB Recumbent

Postby RonK » Wed May 08, 2013 6:56 pm

The Ranger looks like fun. But offroading on an unsuspended recumbent? Hope you don't have a bad back.
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Re: Touring on a LWB Recumbent

Postby Aushiker » Wed May 08, 2013 7:00 pm

Thanks Ron for your input. The dynamo price seems a bit scary but can easily build a wheel and sell the OEM one.

I was wondering about the handlebar bag and missed that one. I would prefer but to use my Ortlieb as I like the idea of the map being handy. I wonder if one will fit with the fairing? Haven't had much luck on that front so far.

Carbon fibre mudguards ... nice :)

Would you go with 406 wheels or 451?

Given your comments on lowrider panniers I am guessing Ortlieb front panniers will go okay on that underseat rack which is handy :)

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Re: Touring on a LWB Recumbent

Postby jaffaman » Wed May 08, 2013 7:39 pm

I can't see why an aluminium frame should be an issue on dirt. I guess being an owner of an aluminium RANS with a mountain bike DNA it seems natural to me to be off-road. Lots of mountain bikes are aluminium. RANS knows its aluminium - they have made over 3000 kit and complete ultralight aircraft and are I believe the largest manufacturers of kit planes in the world. They use this aluminium knowledge in their bikes. I still think the stratus and the XStream would be worth a look - a lot cheaper than the ti-rush. A team of RANS LWB recumbent riders has done the Race Across America a few times, and wins every time it enters - eg 2009 was 3017 miles and they did it in 6 days 3 hours elapsed with next team 7 hours behind. I would have thought that was a reasonable indication of reliability.

The RANS uses all standard components so it is easy to build one locally once you have the frameset. I've built a crank forward RANS - brought in the frameset (frame, seat, fork, riser, handlebars) and sourced the rest locally. All standard bits, which does make life easy. There are two current models of Stratus and two of the XStream which are worth a look.

If you really want a small front wheel the stratus LE has a 406 up front and a 559 out back - the XP is 559 front and rear.
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Re: Touring on a LWB Recumbent

Postby }SkOrPn--7 » Wed May 08, 2013 8:16 pm

Aushiker wrote:
}SkOrPn--7 wrote:Andrew any reason you not keen on a 26" front wheel because as you would well know taking spares for a uniformed wheel set is easier than taking for a mixed wheel set of spares. From the looks of the Stratus XP they have designed the frame to cater for the 26" making in no higher of the ground on the front end than the other models you have listed.


Thanks Ricky. Those links bring up some interesting bikes! Love the Ranger :)

With regards to the 26" I got the impression from some reading around last night that the handling was not as great with the 26" wheels as opposed to the 20" and as some of the intended duties included commuting, the 20" seemed a better option.

Andrew


Ok gotcha I wouldn't know but it may have something to do with the forks rake.

Here is an off road recumbent.

http://www.bentrideronline.com/?p=1756
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Re: Touring on a LWB Recumbent

Postby }SkOrPn--7 » Wed May 08, 2013 8:22 pm

Good read and info Ron thanks.

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Re: Touring on a LWB Recumbent

Postby RonK » Wed May 08, 2013 10:08 pm

Aushiker wrote:Thanks Ron for your input. The dynamo price seems a bit scary but can easily build a wheel and sell the OEM one.

I was wondering about the handlebar bag and missed that one. I would prefer but to use my Ortlieb as I like the idea of the map being handy. I wonder if one will fit with the fairing? Haven't had much luck on that front so far.

Carbon fibre mudguards ... nice :)

Would you go with 406 wheels or 451?

Given your comments on lowrider panniers I am guessing Ortlieb front panniers will go okay on that underseat rack which is handy :)

Andrew

Yes, the dynamo wheel does seem expensive, but a SonDelux is currently €199 on Starbike and Bike24, so would be close to $300 landed here. Add $100 or so for a rim, spokes and labour and it's probably not that much dearer for the trouble.

The expedition version is equipped with the 406 rim - it's the wider of the two choices, and it's the one I'd go with.

Yes, the Ortlieb front rollers fit on the under seat racks. I'm not sure if you could use the Ortlieb handlebar bag under the fairing, but a Cycloactive Bar Map case might be a solution for your maps.

Image

Image

If a Ti Rush proves to expensive, then the Gold Rush Replica would be the obvious alternative. This bike has a fabulous pedigree as the bike that was used to break the world bicycle speed record.

Image

It's also worth having a look at the Terracycle web page - they have a good range of accessories for recumbents, such as these dashboard bars.
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Re: Touring on a LWB Recumbent

Postby just4tehhalibut » Thu May 09, 2013 8:18 am

There are a lot of LWB around Perth, I even recently helped someone only a km away from me with an EasyRacer fit a new wide fairing (a Terracycle/Windwrap WGX). On the way to a SkyShow once I came across a fleet, someone had made TE clones for all his mates to ride. If you see Phil T at the WAHPV meets then ask him about his, really old school bikes with underseat steering.

It would be really worthwhile tracking one down to borrow or hire, it might not be your cup of tea for your regular commute, maybe a CLWB might be more the go?
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Re: Touring on a LWB Recumbent

Postby Aushiker » Thu May 09, 2013 8:41 am

jaffaman wrote:I can't see why an aluminium frame should be an issue on dirt. I guess being an owner of an aluminium RANS with a mountain bike DNA it seems natural to me to be off-road. Lots of mountain bikes are aluminium.


Its not an issue of dirt; it is an issue of durability under load when touring and being able to get the frame welded in whoop whoop ...

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Re: Touring on a LWB Recumbent

Postby Aushiker » Thu May 09, 2013 8:44 am

just4tehhalibut wrote:There are a lot of LWB around Perth, I even recently helped someone only a km away from me with an EasyRacer fit a new wide fairing (a Terracycle/Windwrap WGX). On the way to a SkyShow once I came across a fleet, someone had made TE clones for all his mates to ride. If you see Phil T at the WAHPV meets then ask him about his, really old school bikes with underseat steering.

It would be really worthwhile tracking one down to borrow or hire, it might not be your cup of tea for your regular commute, maybe a CLWB might be more the go?


Thanks. I will keep an eye out for them. Re the commuting, it would only be a backup rather than a primary commuter (I hope) so could live with it if I had to. My commute is really a pretty straight forward 42 km once I leave Fremantle. I can see this bike being used for where I cannot transport the Mango to start points (Audax rides if I ever do them again :oops: ; tours where I need to bus to some part of the tour etc).

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Re: Touring on a LWB Recumbent

Postby Aushiker » Thu May 09, 2013 8:51 am

One thing I am not keen on do with a Tour Easy or a Gold Rush is this :)

Image

Mind there is some arguments in support of the idea.

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Re: Touring on a LWB Recumbent

Postby Aushiker » Thu May 09, 2013 8:56 am

}SkOrPn--7 wrote:Ok gotcha I wouldn't know but it may have something to do with the forks rake.


A thread related to the topic of wheel combinations has just popped up at BROL

PaulW comment sums up what I have read elsewhere ...

It seems to me that a 700c on the rear and a smaller wheel in front, is an excellent choice. The larger wheel is shielded by the rider so the slight increase in frontal area has no effect. The smaller front wheel drops the seat height and makes the bent more user friendly. There is almost always less weight on the smaller front wheel which more than compensates for rr on rough roads.


Mind you I have read that when touring on a Tour Easy some weight on the front is desirable.

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Re: Touring on a LWB Recumbent

Postby RonK » Thu May 09, 2013 3:12 pm

Aushiker wrote:The other option in the Easy Racer range is the Tour Easy. I do wonder though if it would be as good as an "all-rounder."

It's alway been the Ti Rush that appealed to me, but after re-reading the specification for the Tour Easy, I may have to change my thinking.

The Tour Easy weighs 30lbs, compared to 27lbs for the GRR and 26lbs for the Ti Rush. Not much difference really. And 30lbs (13.6kg) is about the same weight as a Surly Long haul Trucker.

The expedition version has a rear disc brake and a 24-36-46 chainset. And the rims are heavy duty Sun Ringle.

It's a very good looking machine. And the base list price is only $2495.

The coupled version has a single bottom tube.

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Re: Touring on a LWB Recumbent

Postby Aushiker » Fri May 10, 2013 10:36 am

RonK wrote:The expedition version has a rear disc brake and a 24-36-46 chainset. And the rims are heavy duty Sun Ringle.

It's a very good looking machine. And the base list price is only $2495.


Have you found a specification list with this information or basing it on the photo? I find what I have seen so far that there lack of detail frustrating.

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Re: Touring on a LWB Recumbent

Postby RonK » Fri May 10, 2013 4:39 pm

Aushiker wrote:Have you found a specification list with this information or basing it on the photo? I find what I have seen so far that there lack of detail frustrating.


I've been looking at the specification on the Tour Easy page.

So I asked:

Questions:
Is the Tour Easy available as a frame kit? If so, can you indicate the price of a Tour Easy frame with couplers?

I would need a frame and fork, handlebar and stem and seat with mountings - can these be supplied in the frame kit?

The Tour Easy pics shows the bike with a rear disc brake, but this is not mentioned in the specification, so I assume it's out of date. Can I have a current specification please?


Answer:
A tour easy frameset is $1745.00 and it is disc brake compatible, the couplers are $750.00 per set, so if you want it suitcase size it would require two sets ....
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Re: Touring on a LWB Recumbent

Postby rifraf » Sun May 12, 2013 8:16 pm

No opinions on anything but a friendly word of caution with regards 20" wheels in general with rear derailleurs on singletrack. Consider IGH for the local singletrack Andrew.
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Re: Touring on a LWB Recumbent

Postby RonK » Mon May 13, 2013 8:36 am

rifraf wrote:No opinions on anything but a friendly word of caution with regards 20" wheels in general with rear derailleurs on singletrack. Consider IGH for the local singletrack Andrew.

Yeah, no problem. The Easy Racers long wheelbase crank-forward bikes we are discussing have 20" wheels on the front only. Rears are 700c.
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Re: Touring on a LWB Recumbent

Postby Aushiker » Wed May 15, 2013 2:59 pm

Another option that has come up is the Bacchetta Bella ATT which can be purchased "locally" from FlyingFurniture.com.au. I think Ian only stocks the Bella and not the Bella ATT but.

Image

Thoughts on the Bella?

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Re: Touring on a LWB Recumbent

Postby Aushiker » Wed May 15, 2013 3:02 pm

Another option that has come up is the Bacchetta Bella ATT which can be purchased "locally" from FlyingFurniture.com.au. I think Ian only stocks the Bella and not the Bella ATT but.

Image

Thoughts on the Bella?

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Re: Touring on a LWB Recumbent

Postby jaffaman » Wed May 15, 2013 7:01 pm

Looks pretty good. Has disk mounts front and back which is good IMHO.
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