Low Cost SWB Comments?



3

32GO

Guest
Hey guys -

ARR-RR-RRGH! I don't think I've ever made the first five
in the list of most prolific posters for a month before.
I had hoped Curtis might bump me back into my much more
comfortable position of relative obscurity, but it looks
unlikely at this point, so I may as well get this one in
for January:

Those of you who know me shouldn't get excited about
this post; I'm personally in no danger of abandoning the
dark side of the force (trikes). However, I am very
interested in getting some feedback about the best value
in one type of recumbent: low cost, short wheelbase,
above-seat steering, unsuspended, with a 349 to 451mm
front wheel and 451 to 559 rear wheel (Think $1000 P38
or a Rocket with a 507mm drive wheel?).

Speed is not a big issue; I'm more concerned with all-
around utility, longevity/reliability, maneuverability
and (of course) the selling price at dealer level. I'd
prefer comments based on experience, but I'd appreciate
opinions as well.

Specific questions:

1. Sun EZ-Speedster AX - How big a problem is the weight?
Any cost-effective mods for seat, bars or wheels? Other?

2. Any solid rumors about new $1000 models from anyone?

3. How practical is a mid-racer [like the TW-Bents (aka
ActionBent) model] (or even a low-racer) for general
use (e.g., day touring, commuting)? [WOW! Five sets
of parentheses and brackets in one paragraph; if this
doesn't inspire Tom to pop back in, nothing will.]

Thanks for any responses.

Regards,
Wayne
 
B

Buck

Guest
On 2007-01-31 17:42:34 +0000, "32GO" <[email protected]> said:

> Hey guys -
>
> ARR-RR-RRGH! I don't think I've ever made the first five
> in the list of most prolific posters for a month before.
> I had hoped Curtis might bump me back into my much more
> comfortable position of relative obscurity, but it looks
> unlikely at this point, so I may as well get this one in
> for January:
>
> Those of you who know me shouldn't get excited about
> this post; I'm personally in no danger of abandoning the
> dark side of the force (trikes). However, I am very
> interested in getting some feedback about the best value
> in one type of recumbent: low cost, short wheelbase,
> above-seat steering, unsuspended, with a 349 to 451mm
> front wheel and 451 to 559 rear wheel (Think $1000 P38
> or a Rocket with a 507mm drive wheel?).
>
> Speed is not a big issue; I'm more concerned with all-
> around utility, longevity/reliability, maneuverability
> and (of course) the selling price at dealer level. I'd
> prefer comments based on experience, but I'd appreciate
> opinions as well.
>
> Specific questions:
>
> 1. Sun EZ-Speedster AX - How big a problem is the weight?
> Any cost-effective mods for seat, bars or wheels? Other?
>
> 2. Any solid rumors about new $1000 models from anyone?
>
> 3. How practical is a mid-racer [like the TW-Bents (aka
> ActionBent) model] (or even a low-racer) for general
> use (e.g., day touring, commuting)? [WOW! Five sets
> of parentheses and brackets in one paragraph; if this
> doesn't inspire Tom to pop back in, nothing will.]
>
> Thanks for any responses.
>
> Regards,
> Wayne


Be aware that 451 rims mean being restricted to Schwalbe Stevio or
Primo Comets.
--
Three wheels good, two wheels ok

www.catrike.co.uk
 
D

DougC

Guest
32GO wrote:
> Hey guys -
>
> 1. Sun EZ-Speedster AX - How big a problem is the weight?
> Any cost-effective mods for seat, bars or wheels? Other?
>


I have the CX, the mid-grade one. It turned out to be a bit too short
for me to use with clipless pedals, so it's sitting idle at the moment.
Most shops with new examples will let these go for way less than MSRP as
they are discontinued, if you can find one. There was a 2-inch longer
wheelbase aluminum frame available in the last few months before it was
officially discontinued.

The heaviest part of this bike is the trussed frame itself. It's VERY
stiff (unlike monotube SWB's) but there's not much getting around the
frame's weight.

There's a wisil page that is critical of the steering geometry of this
bike. I didn't find the steering to be much different from the other
SWBs I test-rode but because of me being tall (I had the seat all the
way back) these problems may have been minimal with how I had the
steering adjusted.
~
 
P

PW

Guest
32GO wrote:
> Hey guys -
>
> ARR-RR-RRGH! I don't think I've ever made the first five
> in the list of most prolific posters for a month before.
> I had hoped Curtis might bump me back into my much more
> comfortable position of relative obscurity, but it looks
> unlikely at this point, so I may as well get this one in
> for January:
>
> Those of you who know me shouldn't get excited about
> this post; I'm personally in no danger of abandoning the
> dark side of the force (trikes). However, I am very
> interested in getting some feedback about the best value
> in one type of recumbent: low cost, short wheelbase,
> above-seat steering, unsuspended, with a 349 to 451mm
> front wheel and 451 to 559 rear wheel (Think $1000 P38
> or a Rocket with a 507mm drive wheel?).
>
> Speed is not a big issue; I'm more concerned with all-
> around utility, longevity/reliability, maneuverability
> and (of course) the selling price at dealer level. I'd
> prefer comments based on experience, but I'd appreciate
> opinions as well.
>
> Specific questions:
>
> 1. Sun EZ-Speedster AX - How big a problem is the weight?
> Any cost-effective mods for seat, bars or wheels? Other?
>
> 2. Any solid rumors about new $1000 models from anyone?
>
> 3. How practical is a mid-racer [like the TW-Bents (aka
> ActionBent) model] (or even a low-racer) for general
> use (e.g., day touring, commuting)? [WOW! Five sets
> of parentheses and brackets in one paragraph; if this
> doesn't inspire Tom to pop back in, nothing will.]
>
> Thanks for any responses.
>
> Regards,
> Wayne
>

If you can find a used Haluzak Horizon Buy it. I have one of those,an
old Square tubed Rans Rocket and a Bachetta Strada modded for 700cc
wheels with front and rear V brakes. The Haluzak was my first bent and I
picked it up for about $700.00 and it does have an above the seat
steering available. They are not made anymore except by custom order or
at least thats what I have heard.
PW
 
M

Mike Causer

Guest
On Wed, 31 Jan 2007 18:07:32 +0000, Buck wrote:


> Be aware that 451 rims mean being restricted to Schwalbe Stevio or
> Primo Comets.


This is bad?

Currently 60% of my bikes are on Schwalbes, 20% on Stelvios. Others on
Marathon, City-Jet, usw. As tyre replacement time comes up they will all
migrate to Schwalbe. Unless another tyre manufacturer comes up with
better, but it doesn't look likely atm.

Schwalbe deserve a lot of credit for covering the sizes I need, 349, 369,
406 usw, and generally in a range of tread types too.


Mike
 
B

Buck

Guest
On 2007-01-31 23:16:00 +0000, Mike Causer
<[email protected]> said:

> On Wed, 31 Jan 2007 18:07:32 +0000, Buck wrote:
>
>
>> Be aware that 451 rims mean being restricted to Schwalbe Stevio or
>> Primo Comets.

>
> This is bad?
> Currently 60% of my bikes are on Schwalbes, 20% on Stelvios. Others on
> Marathon, City-Jet, usw. As tyre replacement time comes up they will all
> migrate to Schwalbe. Unless another tyre manufacturer comes up with
> better, but it doesn't look likely atm.
>
> Schwalbe deserve a lot of credit for covering the sizes I need, 349, 369,
> 406 usw, and generally in a range of tread types too.
>
> Mike


451 gets only the basic Stelvios and those and the Comets are a bit naff
in the wet, the Stelvio Evolution is much better but only available in 700c.

I would like the option of using Marathons in the winter for more grip and
when touring for comfort.
--
Three wheels good, two wheels ok

www.catrike.co.uk
 
H

HarryB

Guest
On 31 Jan 2007 09:42:34 -0800, "32GO" <[email protected]> wrote:

>Hey guys -
>
>ARR-RR-RRGH! I don't think I've ever made the first five
>in the list of most prolific posters for a month before.
>I had hoped Curtis might bump me back into my much more
>comfortable position of relative obscurity, but it looks
>unlikely at this point, so I may as well get this one in
>for January:
>
>Those of you who know me shouldn't get excited about
>this post; I'm personally in no danger of abandoning the
>dark side of the force (trikes). However, I am very
>interested in getting some feedback about the best value
>in one type of recumbent: low cost, short wheelbase,
>above-seat steering, unsuspended, with a 349 to 451mm
>front wheel and 451 to 559 rear wheel (Think $1000 P38
>or a Rocket with a 507mm drive wheel?).
>
>Speed is not a big issue; I'm more concerned with all-
>around utility, longevity/reliability, maneuverability
>and (of course) the selling price at dealer level. I'd
>prefer comments based on experience, but I'd appreciate
>opinions as well.
>
>Specific questions:
>
>1. Sun EZ-Speedster AX - How big a problem is the weight?
> Any cost-effective mods for seat, bars or wheels? Other?
>
>2. Any solid rumors about new $1000 models from anyone?
>
>3. How practical is a mid-racer [like the TW-Bents (aka
> ActionBent) model] (or even a low-racer) for general
> use (e.g., day touring, commuting)? [WOW! Five sets
> of parentheses and brackets in one paragraph; if this
> doesn't inspire Tom to pop back in, nothing will.]
>
>Thanks for any responses.
>
>Regards,
>Wayne


Wayne,

I recently purchased an older used Lightning Stealth for under $500 on
eBay. It appears that it was seldom ridden and has probably been
stored for years. It will need a new set of tires since they are old.

I have been lurking on the actionbent list for quite some time because
I was considering one before I came across the Stealth. Most of the
posters seem satisfied with their purchase, but you will gain valuable
insight into the ordering process and how to try to get exactly what
you want if you search the archives. It is a reasonably active list
with some 1,440 members - you will find very little BS. Information
about it can be found here: http://groups.yahoo.com/ Search for
"actionbent"

Cheers,
Harry
 
3

32GO

Guest
Hey gang -

PW (echoed by similar suggestions) wrote:

> If you can find a used Haluzak Horizon Buy it...


Thanks for the replies. I was purposely a little vague
about 'WHY' I was looking for a lowl-cost SWB, not
being devious, but more in the way of playing it down.
However, that seems to have confused the issue. I have
a retail storefront trike shop, and although we're not
(nearly) looking to expand into a more general 'bent
store or 'real' LBS, we do get a number of requests for
the type of bike I mentioned.

There are now a number of new trikes listing for under
$2000, with several available from dealers. Given the
much simpler construction of (essentially two-dimensional)
bike frames versus trikes, it seems to me that we should
be seeing a good $1000 SWB on the market, ala Lightning's
discontinued Thunderbolt and others. Marketing is a
confusing mess, and there are lots of reasons why good
designs fail, while others with less 'value' succeed, and
recumbent bikes in general seem to having a hard time
lately. Anyway, I am interested in suggestions for 'my
idea of the right SWB', available via a dealer network as
new bikes in small quantities. Please keep suggestions
and comments coming.

Buck and several others commented on wheel and tire
sizing, which I think is worthy of its own thread. My
responses on that topic will come as a new topic with
references to the content in this one.

Regards,
Wayne
 
3

32GO

Guest
Hey guys -

Sorry for the extra message to you newreader types. I'm
just bumping this thread back up ahead of the latest
round of SPAM from the anonymous jerk, who will hopefully
now consider his duty done till March at least.

Regards,
Wayne
 
D

Dan B.

Guest
On Feb 1, 11:14 pm, "Edward Dolan" <[email protected]> wrote:
<snip>
>
> If you want a SWB bike to carry in your shop, get the RANS Rocket and don't
> look back. I have never heard anything but good reports on this bike and
> even Tom Sherman liked it a lot. I think it sells retail for around $1000.
>

<snip>

I would tend to agree. As far as value for the consumer, ease of
riding for those unfamiliar with 'bents, and (IME) good customer
service, the Rocket seems hard to beat. I can't speak to how favorable
the _dealer_ experience is, of course...

One caveat; although not a universal rule, the whole "slipping seat"
problem with the RANS seat does exist (at least for fat guys like me),
so stocking your shop with the new Memory Loc seat position retention
devices (http://www.shoprans.com/proddetail.asp?prod=BPST0233) may be
a wise idea, if you go the Rocket or V-Rex route.

Also be aware that many standard rear racks will not easily fit, so
you'd need to look at interesting adaptation efforts or ordering the
seat-specific racks from RANS, if you wished to provide rear racks as
an accessory option.

Best,

Dan
 
3

32GO

Guest
Dan wrote:

> ... the Rocket seems hard to beat.


Except... as I noted in my first post, and I've spelled
out a bit more in depth in the 'Availability of Better
Wheel and Tire Sizes' thread, the Rocket has a 406 rear
(drive) wheel, which limits its top gear. I've struggled
with that limitation on trikes way too much to welcome
it on a bike that we might sell.

I'm a bit of a spinner; for me, like a whole lot of
other cyclists, especially those who rarely see speeds
above 20 MPH except on steep downhills where they're
more concerned with braking than with gearing, a 90"
high gear (2.85 m development) isn't a huge negative.
But lots of other folks, for whatever reasons, whether
real and practical or largely emotional, want gears some
15 to 20 per cent taller. I'd really like to find one
bike that could satisfy as many customers as possible.

Regards,
Wayne
 
D

Dan B.

Guest
On Feb 2, 11:48 am, "32GO" <[email protected]> wrote:
> Dan wrote:
> > ... the Rocket seems hard to beat.

>
> Except... as I noted in my first post, and I've spelled
> out a bit more in depth in the 'Availability of Better
> Wheel and Tire Sizes' thread, the Rocket has a 406 rear
> (drive) wheel, which limits its top gear. I've struggled
> with that limitation on trikes way too much to welcome
> it on a bike that we might sell.
>
> I'm a bit of a spinner; for me, like a whole lot of
> other cyclists, especially those who rarely see speeds
> above 20 MPH except on steep downhills where they're
> more concerned with braking than with gearing, a 90"
> high gear (2.85 m development) isn't a huge negative.
> But lots of other folks, for whatever reasons, whether
> real and practical or largely emotional, want gears some
> 15 to 20 per cent taller. I'd really like to find one
> bike that could satisfy as many customers as possible.
>
> Regards,
> Wayne


Hmmm...did you factor the Rocket's stock 62/52/39 and 11/32 cassette
into the calculations? The gear range on the Rocket is 26"-113",
according to their website. That would seem to satisfy the criteria of
"15-20% taller". ;-)

Without actually doing the math, I think a 62-11 combo on a nominal
406 tire at 100 rpm is what, 30-33 mph? I know that's roughly where I
start spinning out...those who spin better than I might see high 30s
in mph.

Best,

Dan
 
D

Dave Larrington

Guest
In article <[email protected]>,
[email protected]k says...

> Be aware that 451 rims mean being restricted to Schwalbe Stevio or
> Primo Comets.


And IRC Roadlites...

--
Dave Larrington - <http://www.legslarry.beerdrinkers.co.uk/>
Maffeo Barberini (1568-1644) was made entirely of salmon.
 
3

32GO

Guest
As Dan was posting this:

>... did you factor the Rocket's stock 62/52/39 and 11/32
>cassette into the calculations? The gear range on the
>Rocket is 26"-113", according to their website.


I was mentioning in a private email to him that I had
forgotten to note that the current (and maybe all?)
Rockets have oversize chainrings, although not all of
them are still running around wearing them.

I (the critical engineer) am not fond of big chainrings
as a workaround for small drive wheels. Lots of folks
have tried and some still use them as aftermarket bits
on tadpoles, of course. But they're not nearly perfect.
No front derailleur I've seen is made with the radial
curvature to match oversize rings, and (maybe especially
when their mounting posts are tilted backward to span a
wider difference in ring sizes) the actual path of the
chain doesn't align with that the lateral contours (ramps)
of the cage were designed for.

It's not as big a problem for bikes as for trikes, which,
with their low speed stability, can use a wider gear
range, but another problem with big chainrings is that
the same difference in size from small to large gives you
a smaller gear range. For example, 23 teeth going from a
39 to a 62 tooth ring is a 1.59 ratio, while from a 30
to a 53 ring is a 1.76 ratio. The bottom line is that as
you increase the top gear, the low end takes a sort of
double whammy. In this example, while top gear goes up
less 20 per cent, the low gear is 30 per cent higher.

A third reason I like a larger wheel is that the super
long cage rear derailleurs really should have a bit more
ground clearance than they get with a 406 rear wheel.
And finally, huge chainrings are simply more obtrusive
and fragile.

All that said, so far the RANS Rocket may be the best
choice for this type of bike in its price range. Their
V-Rex (with a 559 rear wheel) lists for $800 more.

Regards,
Wayne