New to the Dark Side...

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Disgruntled Goa, Apr 30, 2003.

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  1. <delurk> Hello.

    I've recently decided to return to cycling after a back injury and a few years away, and ordered a
    recumbent (Optima Orca low-bar). Things have changed a bit since I last seriously looked at bike
    stuff, and now I can afford to indulge myself slightly. :)

    So, what are the absolute necessities and nice-to-have things that I should be looking at? I've got
    lights, lock and tools covered.

    Cheers!
    --
    DG

    Bah!
     
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  2. Danny Colyer

    Danny Colyer Guest

    Disgruntled Goat wrote:
    > I've recently decided to return to cycling after a back injury and a few years away, and ordered a
    > recumbent (Optima Orca low-bar).

    http://www.optima-cycles.nl/eng/2-08-1.htm

    Ooh, a bike with both wheels the same size. Very wise, you'll only have to carry one spare tube.
    That's one disadvantage of my Street Machine
    :-(

    What colour have you ordered?

    > So, what are the absolute necessities and nice-to-have things that I should be looking at? I've
    > got lights, lock and tools covered.

    The other two things that I regard as absolute necessities are gloves and cycling glasses.

    For gloves, I favour leather-palmed string-backed track mitts in warm weather, Sealskinz in wet or
    cool weather, and Pearl Izumi Lobsters in cold weather. But YMMV, gloves are a very personal
    preference.

    Glasses are an even more personal preference. Find a pair that fits well, and ideally has
    interchangeable lenses.

    For riding a bent, a mirror is pretty much a necessity too. I currently use a glasses mounted 3rd
    Eye mirror, which is the dog's danglies. For handlebar mounting, Mirrycle mirrors always seem to get
    the best reviews.

    You might find these helpful: http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/recumbents/
    http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/danny/stable/smq.html

    --
    Danny Colyer (remove safety to reply) ( http://www.juggler.net/danny ) Recumbent cycle page:
    http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/recumbents/ "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." -
    Thomas Paine
     
  3. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Wed, 30 Apr 2003 18:50:02 +0100, Disgruntled Goat <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I've recently decided to return to cycling after a back injury and a few years away, and ordered a
    >recumbent (Optima Orca low-bar).

    Hurrah! (Optima Stinger). Where from? Darth Ian at Futurecycles?

    >So, what are the absolute necessities and nice-to-have things that I should be looking at? I've got
    >lights, lock and tools covered.

    A red lightsabre, obviously, having joined the Dark Side :)

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    dynamic DNS permitting)
    NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    work. Apologies.
     
  4. On Wed, 30 Apr 2003 20:44:18 +0100, "Danny Colyer" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Disgruntled Goat wrote:
    >> I've recently decided to return to cycling after a back injury and a few years away, and ordered
    >> a recumbent (Optima Orca low-bar).
    >
    >http://www.optima-cycles.nl/eng/2-08-1.htm

    That's the one. Only mine's underseat steering. Don't think they've got a proper piccie of it on the
    website yet.

    >Ooh, a bike with both wheels the same size. Very wise, you'll only have to carry one spare tube.
    >That's one disadvantage of my Street Machine
    >:-(

    I looked at the Street Machine, but the dealers weren't willing to offer a warranty. Being on the
    large size (6'8" and 20 stone) it apparantley won't take my weight. I figured if I'm going to spend
    £lots on a new bike, I'd like it not to fall apart. So, after much discussion with various shops I
    settled for the Orca as the one that's least likely to havevast amounts of flex.

    >What colour have you ordered?

    Well, I ordered red, but's it's coming in silver. Optima were releasing it under the Orynx name,
    but have since changed the name and the colour options. SWMBO is now lusting after the very
    purple Mistral.

    >> So, what are the absolute necessities and nice-to-have things that I should be looking at? I've
    >> got lights, lock and tools covered.
    >
    >The other two things that I regard as absolute necessities are gloves and cycling glasses.
    >
    >For gloves, I favour leather-palmed string-backed track mitts in warm weather, Sealskinz in wet or
    >cool weather, and Pearl Izumi Lobsters in cold weather. But YMMV, gloves are a very personal
    >preference.

    Gloves aren't something I've thought of yet. I'll add them to the list.

    >Glasses are an even more personal preference. Find a pair that fits well, and ideally has
    >interchangeable lenses.

    Specs. Gotcha.

    >For riding a bent, a mirror is pretty much a necessity too. I currently use a glasses mounted 3rd
    >Eye mirror, which is the dog's danglies.

    Trés borg. I've gotta get me one of these. :)

    > For handlebar mounting, Mirrycle mirrors always seem to get the best reviews.
    >
    >You might find these helpful: http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/recumbents/
    >http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/danny/stable/smq.html

    Duly bookmarked. Thanks!

    --
    DG

    Bah!
     
  5. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Wed, 30 Apr 2003 20:44:18 +0100, "Danny Colyer" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >The other two things that I regard as absolute necessities are gloves and cycling glasses.

    I wear normal bins on the 'bent, myself, and cycling glasses on the wedgie. Of course I never
    ride without gloves, and the best mirror for an OSS 'bent is (IMO) the Mountain Mirrycle - it
    doesn't go floppy after five miles and doesn't point around as you ride along. Darth Ian at
    Futurecycles has them.

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    dynamic DNS permitting)
    NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    work. Apologies.
     
  6. On Wed, 30 Apr 2003 21:32:50 +0100, "Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >On Wed, 30 Apr 2003 18:50:02 +0100, Disgruntled Goat <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >>I've recently decided to return to cycling after a back injury and a few years away, and ordered a
    >>recumbent (Optima Orca low-bar).
    >
    >Hurrah! (Optima Stinger). Where from? Darth Ian at Futurecycles?

    Yep. Nice bloke. Nice place, too.

    >>So, what are the absolute necessities and nice-to-have things that I should be looking at? I've
    >>got lights, lock and tools covered.
    >
    >A red lightsabre, obviously, having joined the Dark Side :)

    Right. I'll have to adapt one of these, then. http://www.bullnet.co.uk/shops/live/lasers.htm (scroll
    down to the bottom)

    I wonder if I can power this from a dynamo...

    --
    DG

    Bah!
     
  7. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Wed, 30 Apr 2003 21:30:19 +0100, Disgruntled Goat <[email protected]> wrote:

    >That's the one. Only mine's underseat steering. Don't think they've got a proper piccie of it on
    >the website yet.

    They've retooled so every frameset should be available in OSS or USS, with the dealer being able to
    fit either from stock; the idea is that the entire range should be covered by X framesets and Y
    component sets, where both X and Y are less than the total number of models in the range, even
    before the USS/OSS option is takein into account. Or so said Darth Ian, anyway.

    I'm still waiting for Richard at Optima to get back to me about price and availability on a tailbox
    for my Stinger.

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    dynamic DNS permitting)
    NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    work. Apologies.
     
  8. Tim Hall

    Tim Hall Guest

    On Wed, 30 Apr 2003 18:50:02 +0100, Disgruntled Goat <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    ><delurk> Hello.
    >
    >I've recently decided to return to cycling after a back injury and a few years away, and ordered a
    >recumbent (Optima Orca low-bar). Things have changed a bit since I last seriously looked at bike
    >stuff, and now I can afford to indulge myself slightly. :)
    >
    >So, what are the absolute necessities and nice-to-have things that I should be looking at? I've got
    >lights, lock and tools covered.
    >

    Off the top of my head..

    Water bottle (not sure how easy it is to fix to an optima) Rack? Panniers/rack top bag Spare tubes
    (much easier to swap a tube than find the puncture by the roadside) Cycle computer so you can see
    how much faster you're going than all the other cyclists. High visibility clothing and/or high
    visibility tape for the bike. Waterproof coat of some sort Clipless pedals and shoes to suit
    Neoprene overshoes

    Tim
    --

    fast and gripping, non pompous, glossy and credible.
     
  9. >Water bottle (not sure how easy it is to fix to an optima)

    Pop-riveted a bottle holder to one of the seatribs of my Baron; it's still there even after falling
    on it at 40kph. Don't know how I'll ever remove it without leaving rattling bits inside the seat...

    Mark van Gorkom.
     
  10. Andy Welch

    Andy Welch Guest

    On 30-Apr-2003, Disgruntled Goat <[email protected]> wrote:

    > I've recently decided to return to cycling after a back injury and a few years away, and ordered a
    > recumbent (Optima Orca low-bar). Things have changed a bit since I last seriously looked at bike
    > stuff, and now I can afford to indulge myself slightly. :)
    >

    Hi Dg,

    Welcome to the group. Nice looking bike. Having ridden a StreetMachine I'd say they are pretty
    bombproof so you wouldn't have had any problem with them. But Optima make great bikes as well so if
    HPVelo wouldn't give you a warranty then that's their loss.

    Two wheels the same size should be more convenient and the seat is high enough to make it a bit more
    friendly in traffic than a lowracer. Should even handle trails quite nicely. So looks like a great
    all-round bike to
    me. Did you get a chance to test-ride one?

    > So, what are the absolute necessities and nice-to-have things that I should be looking at? I've
    > got lights, lock and tools covered.

    Mudguards and rack would be my must-have options for a bike like this. The picture on the Web site
    shows a rear guard but no front one, which doesn't make much sense to me. But presumably they do
    those as well. I'd also echo the other advice regarding a mirror. I used a helmet mounted one when I
    was batting for Beelzebub, which worked pretty well.

    Have fun with the new bike and let us know how you get on.

    Cheers,

    Andy
     
  11. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Tim Hall wrote:

    > Off the top of my head..
    >
    > Water bottle (not sure how easy it is to fix to an optima) Rack?

    On my Streetmachine I don't actually bother (though HPVel give instructions as how to mount one on
    the side of the seat and have bosses under the seat and on the derailleur tube) as I just leave the
    bottle in a pannier pocket or use a Platypus parked in a pannier. Which means I need a rack, though
    you could hang a Platypus pocket on the back of the seat. Since a rucksack isn't really terribly
    practical on a 'bent, any luggage will want a rack. I note that lowriders are an option. I have some
    on the Streetmachine, and for heavy loads they're *superb*. Having weight between the wheels and
    under the rider means that the handling is hardly affected by bags that make an upright rather
    twitchy at best. If you'll be carrying heavy loads, recommended (assuming they go in more or less
    the same place as HPVel's).

    > Cycle computer so you can see how much faster you're going than all the other cyclists.

    Not really going to happen much on a dual 26" tourer. Though the Streetmachine is faster than most
    things downhill (especially on marginal roads where I can let the suspension take some of the
    strain) I've never bothered with a computer.

    > High visibility clothing and/or high visibility tape for the bike.

    The back of the seat gives a great place to cover in reflectives.

    > Clipless pedals and shoes to suit

    Very well worth it on any tourer, especially on a 'bent as your feet don't rest naturally on the
    pedals. SPuDs or similar means you don't have to hold your feet up.

    > Neoprene overshoes

    Much less of an issue as your feet are well clear of road spray and the waterproof soles are facing
    into the rain. I've never bothered with overshoes on the 'bent, though I used them a lot on my old
    upright tourer.

    Make sure it has mudguards, preferably SKS.

    Guy and Danny are both keen on gloves. I used to wear them religiously but tend not to bother now.
    I've come of the Streetmachine a couple of times (one slide on gravel under heavy braking, the other
    I think must have been a patch of diesel) and never scraped my hands at all. It crashes in a far
    more civilised way than my upright! ;-/ My previous Orbit I wiped out on once, finally proving it
    wasn't unbreakable on corners (110 degrees on an adverse camber, down a small hill and I'd
    "forgotten" to brake and was trying not to use the far side of the road even though I knew it was
    clear, all my own work rather than a flaw with the bike in other words), again without gloves and
    again no unpleasantness on my hands. It seems one is rather less prone to part company with a 'bent
    than an upright... I usually wear glasses, Bolle Vigilantes as they take a prescription insert and
    though I can cycle okay without my vision corrected it seems silly not to as I often wear glasses to
    keep flies, rain and cold wind out of my eyes. Interchangeable lenses are nice. Various other
    manufacturers do similar.

    I have a B&M Cyclestar mirror on the bars of the Streetmachine: works quite well, nice piece of kit.

    One thing about under-seat steering is it means fitting lights can be a bit of a game. The
    Streetmachine solved that by having a fitting built in at the front, but do check that your front
    lamps will mount okay. If you don't have a SON dynohub then I'd seriously look into one. They're
    really quite superb bits of kit.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  12. On Wed, 30 Apr 2003 21:43:05 +0100, "Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >On Wed, 30 Apr 2003 21:30:19 +0100, Disgruntled Goat <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >>That's the one. Only mine's underseat steering. Don't think they've got a proper piccie of it on
    >>the website yet.
    >
    >They've retooled so every frameset should be available in OSS or USS, with the dealer being able to
    >fit either from stock; the idea is that the entire range should be covered by X framesets and Y
    >component sets, where both X and Y are less than the total number of models in the range, even
    >before the USS/OSS option is takein into account. Or so said Darth Ian, anyway.

    Makes sense I suppose. Saves time and money for the company and (hopefully!) the customer.

    --
    DG

    Bah!
     
  13. Seamus

    Seamus New Member

    Joined:
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    I thought the Optima Orca only came with ASS an the Condor with USS.

    Saw a Condor in Denmark a couple of years back. The big guy with it kept his bottle not very handily in a pannier under the seat.
    I was on a Peer Gynt at the time but now have a Challenge Mistral.
     
  14. On Thu, 1 May 2003 08:20:41 GMT, [email protected] wrote:

    >
    >On 30-Apr-2003, Disgruntled Goat <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >> I've recently decided to return to cycling after a back injury and a few years away, and ordered
    >> a recumbent (Optima Orca low-bar). Things have changed a bit since I last seriously looked at
    >> bike stuff, and now I can afford to indulge myself slightly. :)
    >>
    >
    >Hi Dg,
    >
    >Welcome to the group.

    Cheers. Last time I looked in here, there was some bloke failing to flog a campervan with amusing
    results. Did he ever manage to sell it?

    >Nice looking bike. Having ridden a StreetMachine I'd say they are pretty bombproof so you wouldn't
    >have had any problem with them. But Optima make great bikes as well so if HPVelo wouldn't give you
    >a warranty then that's their loss.

    Yep. Though, to be fair, it wasn't HPVelo that were unhelpful.

    >Two wheels the same size should be more convenient and the seat is high enough to make it a bit
    >more friendly in traffic than a lowracer. Should even handle trails quite nicely. So looks like a
    >great all-round bike to
    >me. Did you get a chance to test-ride one?

    I tested both the Condor and the Above-Seat Steering Orca. USS feels more natural to me and the Orca
    was marginally stiffer and more responsive. (It's slightly shorter from the headset to the end of
    the boom.)

    >> So, what are the absolute necessities and nice-to-have things that I should be looking at? I've
    >> got lights, lock and tools covered.
    >
    >Mudguards and rack would be my must-have options for a bike like this. The picture on the Web site
    >shows a rear guard but no front one, which doesn't make much sense to me. But presumably they do
    >those as well.

    I've got the rack and mudguards on the order. The paperwork says it comes with both front and rear,
    so it should be OK.

    >I'd also echo the other advice regarding a mirror. I used a helmet mounted one when I was batting
    >for Beelzebub, which worked pretty well.

    <very quiet whisper> ...don'tlikehelmets... Well, I'm not anti-helmet, it's just that I prefer not
    to wear one. Happy for everyone else to, though. Each to their own, innit.

    >Have fun with the new bike and let us know how you get on.

    Thanks. I pick it up in a couple of weeks time, so I'll post my first impressions.
    --
    DG

    Bah!
     
  15. On 1 May 2003 22:00:27 +0950, Seamus <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I thought the Optima Orca only came with ASS an the Condor with USS.

    Optima were going to release a USS Orca as an Orynx, but according to Darth Ian there's a big
    resurgence in USS bikes both here and on the continent. The dealers wanted one, so they've made one.
    http://www.optima-cycles.nl/eng/1.htm

    There's a lovely pic of the demo model here: http://www.optima-cycles.com/gamme/orca.htm Sadly, it
    doesn't come with tri-spoke wheels as standard.
    --
    DG

    Bah!
     
  16. On Wed, 30 Apr 2003 22:50:05 +0100, Tim Hall <[email protected]> wrote:

    >On Wed, 30 Apr 2003 18:50:02 +0100, Disgruntled Goat <[email protected]> wrote:

    >>So, what are the absolute necessities and nice-to-have things that I should be looking at? I've
    >>got lights, lock and tools covered.
    >>
    >
    >Off the top of my head..
    >
    >Water bottle (not sure how easy it is to fix to an optima)

    I can probably work something out. I quite fancy an Air-Zound, so I may end up with a
    bladder instead.

    >Rack?

    Check.

    >Panniers/rack top bag

    Not sure which are the best, but I'll be looking at some soon.

    >Spare tubes (much easier to swap a tube than find the puncture by the roadside)

    Useful tip. Thanks. I quite like those nifty CO2 pumps, too.:)

    >Cycle computer so you can see how much faster you're going than all the other cyclists.

    I wish! OTOH, it'll give me motivation if I can see how fast I'm going. What's a good one?

    >High visibility clothing and/or high visibility tape for the bike. Waterproof coat of some sort

    I've got an ambulance crew coat which is both. 3M reflective tape is something I'll look out for.

    >Clipless pedals and shoes to suit

    I've been thinking about these. Again, what's the best system for a beginner? Spuds?

    >Neoprene overshoes

    Dry tootsies. Always a good thing.

    Much food for thought. Thanks!
    --
    DG

    Bah!
     
  17. On Wed, 30 Apr 2003 22:28:35 GMT, [email protected] (Mark van Gorkom) wrote:

    >>Water bottle (not sure how easy it is to fix to an optima)

    >Pop-riveted a bottle holder to one of the seatribs of my Baron; it's still there even after falling
    >on it at 40kph.

    That might solve the problem of where to put the Air-zound.

    >Don't know how I'll ever remove it without leaving rattling bits inside the seat...

    Fill the seat-rib with expansion foam? :)
    --
    DG

    Bah!
     
  18. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Wed, 30 Apr 2003 22:50:05 +0100, Tim Hall <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Water bottle (not sure how easy it is to fix to an optima)

    Easy - two pan-head screws through the thin part of the seat outside the ribs. Works fine. The cage
    for the Air Zound reservoir is just tiewrapped on the boom, having very little mass to support

    Guy
    ===
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  19. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Thu, 01 May 2003 17:26:54 +0100, Disgruntled Goat <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Last time I looked in here, there was some bloke failing to flog a campervan with amusing results.

    <http://www.chapmancentral.com/Web/public.nsf/Documents/mini-faq-campervan?OpenDocument>

    I think we have seen the Thornbury One recently...

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    dynamic DNS permitting)
    NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    work. Apologies.
     
  20. Danny Colyer

    Danny Colyer Guest

    Disgruntled Goat wrote:
    > Cheers. Last time I looked in here, there was some bloke failing to flog a campervan with amusing
    > results. Did he ever manage to sell it?

    John Shackford of Thornbury. He did sell it, but not here.

    Surprisingly enough, he's still about. Be careful what you say - he gets very uptight when people
    mention camper vans these days :)

    --
    Danny Colyer (remove safety to reply) ( http://www.juggler.net/danny ) Recumbent cycle page:
    http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/recumbents/ "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." -
    Thomas Paine
     
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