Is a Recumbent the Answer??

Discussion in 'Recumbent bicycles' started by Gimpdiggity, Jan 9, 2007.

  1. Gimpdiggity

    Gimpdiggity New Member

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    Hello everyone.

    I am currently in the market for a new bicycle. I've been looking mainly at hybrids, because my main concern is comfort.

    I've got a bit of a bad back, and in the last few years my rides on my Fuji roadbike have become more of a pain than I stand to bear.

    Here is the "gist" of my bicycle rides:
    1. Usually fairly long in TIME, but not necessarily in distance. I ride with my father and he doesn't exactly get up and go. So I may sometimes be out riding for several hours and only get 20-30 miles in.
    2. 96% or more of the time is on roads or paved bike trails. These roads are fairly flat, but sometimes have hills with fairly low grades. I've never had any issues on the Fuji roadbike.
    3. Not alot of traffic. The speed limits are generally in the area of 35 MPH, but the roads are fairly light traffic.

    Here are the things that I am looking for in a new bicycle:
    1. COMFORT-I feel that this has become the number one aspect that I'm looking for. My father has a new Giant Hybrid and I love the comfort of the bike. That said, I'm fairly unfamiliar with recumbents, but I gather that they have GREAT comfort from what I read and what I see just by looking at pictures.
    2. Speed-Even though I don't average very high speeds, I like to be able to get up and go at times...it's fun, and it's a great work out.
    3. Work Out-Riding the bicycle is my main form of exercise. I'm a bit overweight and have begun dieting. I would like to make sure that I am still getting a great workout.

    My price range goes up to about the $1000 range. I know this doesn't get me an awful lot in a brand new recumbent, but I have no problems with purchasing used. I also have read quite a few good things (and qutie a few bad things) about the Actionbent bicycles, so that may be an option as well.

    For what it's worth, I am always up for learning something new...so even if the recumbent is harder to ride, I will learn it and practice until I am proficient at it.

    Also, the "hybrid" bicycle that I am interested in is the Giant Cypress SX. I don't know if that matters, but it seems to be basically a flat-bar roadbike with hybrid geometry.

    If anyone can help me out, I'd love to know if you think the recumbent is the way to go!!

    Thanks,
    Jeff
     
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  2. Hull 697

    Hull 697 New Member

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    I think a 'bent is the way to go. Baccetta has the Agio and Cafe for apporx. $1,000. They have great support and a friend of mine recently bought a bike directly from them - all he had to do when it arrived was adjust the handlebars, top off the tires and go.

    PM me if you need further information.
     
  3. Crankenstein

    Crankenstein New Member

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    I guess my first question Jeff is, what is uncomfortable about your road bike? You say you have a back problem and if that is a problem on the road bike it may just be a problem with the handle bar adjustment. When you ride the bike, if you look down, the front axel should be obscured by the handle bars. If not, the extention isn't right. I mention this because the fix for your road bike may be about fifty bucks if your having a shop tech change out the components. Less if you do it yourself. I ride both bents and DF's and enjoy them both. Okay, now lets look at bent's.
    If your looking for pure comfort, you cannot match a bent. I can ride a century on my Rans Rocket and get up and walk away. Tired yes. In pain of any kind, no way. To me riding a bent is like cheating from a comfort stand point. No pain, all gain!
    Speed. On a flat or a down hill you will be able to at least match the speed of a road bike. Going up a hill is a differnt story. You cannot stand on the pedals. You can push your butt back in the seat and that does help, but on a bent going up hill is a spinning thing. If Lance Armstrong raced Jan Ulrich up a mountain on a bent, he'd really cream him because Lance is a spinner and jan works the big gears. That difference would be magnified on a bent.
    Workout. A workout on a bicycle, whether it be a bent, a road bike or a hybred is what you make of it. After doing road bikes and bents for a few years I can tell you that you can sweat your posterior off on either one and work your heart rate to extremes on either one. If you haven't already, get a heart rate monitor and learn how to use it. It will help you get the best benifit out of your work outs. Rather then wearing the thing on my wrist, I tape pipe insulation on my handle bars and mount the monitor on it. I do this on my bent and my road bikes. This way I just glance at the handle bars to see what I'm doing and don't have to look at my wrist. Comes in handy, especially at the top of that big hill. Ha.
    Price range. First reaserch and figure out what kind of bike is your style. For my first bent, I wanted something that had a good rep as a hill climber and was fast. This indicated a short wheel base. From there I had to look at what was available in what I was willing to pay. I bought a Rans Rocket on an end of season price for $1000.00. Now the short wheel base is a little tricky to learn how to ride, but I've adapted well.
    When i buy a new bicycle, I buy something I'm going to be happy with for years to come even if that means spending a little more. I don't want to be in the position of wishing I would have done this or that. If I'm shelling out the cash, I want it right, now! No upgrading or messing around. I work hard for my money, physically hard, so I want it right the first time. So what I'm trying to say is really do your homework. Figure out whats right. Test ride it and buy it. Life is just to damn short. Bicycling, whether it be on a bent or a road bike will extend it. May as well be happy. Whatever you decide, keep on riding! Do a week long bike tour! You won't regret it!

    Jim
     
  4. bsnrjones

    bsnrjones New Member

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    I definately think Bents are the right choice for your situation. Heck I am a perfectly healthy 39 year old, but I love bents. You can see, and at the end of the ride the only thing tired is my legs! :)
     
  5. bkaapcke

    bkaapcke New Member

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    A LWB recumbent was the answer to my low back, neck, shoulder pain and prostate problems. I ride a lot more, and enjoy it more. I have a Sun EZ Sport AX, which is not a particularly fast bike, but I'm not in a hurry. It is a sweaty, pain free and comfortable workout. It's easy to wrench on and responds well to equipment upgrades. What more can I say? bk
     
  6. Slugster438

    Slugster438 New Member

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    Typically, a recumbent is going to be WAY more comfortable than any upright bike you could buy, but because you have a bad back, you should really get a test ride (if at all possible) before buying anything. ......The seat angles of most two-wheel recumbents is somewhat adjustable, but [practically] not usually across more than a few degrees. This is because to pedal well, you must be able to push against the seat back. If you recline the seat back too much, you'll slide up the seat when you pedal.

    I have a Cycle Genius Falcon LWB, very comfortable, easy to ride. A bother to transport because of its length however. Price is about $1100+ new.

    I also have a RANS Fusion. Very easy to ride, not quite as comfortable as the LWB but still far better than a "normal" bike, and much more agile than a recumbent. The seating position is almost straight up, there's very little hand pressure and the huge seat doesn't hurt like a bicycle saddle does. Price is $950+ new.

    I also have a Sun EZ-Speedster, my first recumbent. This bike is discontinued in early 2006, but new examples are still floating around for $450-$600 in dealers shops. I found I didn't like the jittery SWB steering, and I could ride it easily (I'm 6'2") but people shorter than about 5'6" had a tough time on it, because their feet couldn't reach the ground real well when sitting on it. (this is a common problem with SWB's and highracers, short people don't take to them real well) It's still a huge improvement in comfort over a upright bike but I'm casually looking to get rid of it, since I got the LWB I don't ever ride it anymore. A lot of people like these kind of bikes but I found I preferred the LWB.

    You can shop for used bikes too but what you'll find is a matter of fate.
    ~
     
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