Off-Road on a 'Bent?



SnowBiker

New Member
Jul 12, 2010
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Hello everyone. I'm new to the group, and seeking advice. I'm involved in a project seeking to get riders with disabilities out on real MTB trails. There are a couple of things I'd like to ask for your thoughts on, and I'll put the second under a different title to keep things simple.

So, question 1:
Can a two wheel 'bent be used effectively off-road, say at a trail centre. I've seen models billed as off-road bikes, but the videos only seem to feature their use on tracks that you could drive (someone elses car!) down.
Not being a 'bent rider, the biggest problem I forsee would seem to be the inability to weight shift. Would riding technical trails just be a long series of pinch-flats on the back wheel? Is it possible to lift the front wheel using a pedal stroke? Is there an equivalent to a manual front wheel lift (bounce down then weight shift backwards)?Would the inability to ride "out of the saddle" render the whole thing too uncomfortable to be sustainable?

OK so it was actually more than one question. Anyway, I'd really like to hear from anyone with practical experience of riding off-road, and hear your thoughts on the techniques you use and the practical limits you have experienced in your riding.
 

"A"

New Member
Dec 3, 2009
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IMO, it's not the bike that make a break its capabilities in trail riding, if a rider is capable, more than likely the bike does not matter so much.

As to lifting the front wheel with pedal stroke.. there is less possibility of shifting of weight on a recumbent, it is not likely that a recumbent bike can perform a power wheelie, regardless of rider's strength.

I ride my Short WheelBase (SWB) recumbent off-pavement all the time, hardpack trail, couple of inches of sand, water crossings, mud.. as long as you keep the forward moving momentum, recumbent isn't any less capable than a regular upright bicycle. But since you can not stand on the pedals to allow your limbs to absorb the impacts of off-pavement riding, your body can receive a more severe beating during the ride.
 

nasz

New Member
Feb 14, 2005
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I use to have an Optima Condor - 2x 26" wheels and full suspension. Had no trouble off-road - could do pretty much everything my hardtail bike could do!

There were some French guys who would do stunts on the Condor in the woods - like riding over fallen tree stumps, jumps, etc - having seen the videos (from the web), if they can do that on a bent off-road - then you should have no problems.

Obviously, there are still some issues such as weight and more importantly, the length!
 

benttrike18

New Member
Aug 22, 2010
1
0
0
Hi,
Sorry I can't help you out with practical experience riding a bent off road. I can give you this link to Lightfoot Cycles, check out their "Bigfoot" LWB. I think you will find the information there interesting and helpful. I do own a Lightfoot Ariel trike and can vouch for the quality and service from the company. They also do build bikes for riders with disabilities. Check them out. Lightfoot Cycles - The Lightfoot Ranger
Regards
Jim Smith

SnowBiker said:
Hello everyone. I'm new to the group, and seeking advice. I'm involved in a project seeking to get riders with disabilities out on real MTB trails. There are a couple of things I'd like to ask for your thoughts on, and I'll put the second under a different title to keep things simple.

So, question 1:
Can a two wheel 'bent be used effectively off-road, say at a trail centre. I've seen models billed as off-road bikes, but the videos only seem to feature their use on tracks that you could drive (someone elses car!) down.
Not being a 'bent rider, the biggest problem I forsee would seem to be the inability to weight shift. Would riding technical trails just be a long series of pinch-flats on the back wheel? Is it possible to lift the front wheel using a pedal stroke? Is there an equivalent to a manual front wheel lift (bounce down then weight shift backwards)?Would the inability to ride "out of the saddle" render the whole thing too uncomfortable to be sustainable?

OK so it was actually more than one question. Anyway, I'd really like to hear from anyone with practical experience of riding off-road, and hear your thoughts on the techniques you use and the practical limits you have experienced in your riding.
 

blazingpedals

New Member
Oct 18, 2004
394
3
18
Some 'bents can do light trail riding - fire trails, even some tight stuff. But overall they're not the best choice, especially for technical riding.
 

Spinninngrinnin

New Member
Dec 26, 2009
13
0
0
Guess I'd look at it this way....with a DF situation, the rider can "pull" up on handlebars and pedals (if cleated) so has some advantages in handling dynamics. For us recumbent folk, it's gravity against a much more prone body with more challenges trying to get "leverage" with our rides.
 

theflash800

New Member
Sep 19, 2010
1
0
0
 
hi guys, first ever post on here... and i have a question

i've tried researching this with no real insight gained..

im interested in buying a giant defy 4 road bike.

It says the fork is made of "Cromoly, OverDrive Steerer"...

and the defy 3.5 has a fork made of "Advanced-Grade Composite, Alloy OverDrive Steerer"...

what are these materials in basic terms? does the defy 4 have a steel fork?...
because im worried if the fork is steel it will rust or something
confused.gif

forgive me if i'm being stupid. but i want a good bike for my money...

please try and help because im totally at a loss here :-S
 

oldbobcat

Well-Known Member
Aug 31, 2003
3,233
96
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Originally Posted by theflash800 .

 

It says the fork is made of "Cromoly, OverDrive Steerer"...
 
Yes, at this price point the good manufacturers meet the price point by using a steel or aluminum (like the Trek 1.1) fork. You get what you pay for. The Defy 4 and 1.1 still beat other low-price bikes that cut cost by using cheap wheels and Microshift control levers.