recommendations/opinions/sources

Discussion in 'Recumbent bicycles' started by Mike Sadofsky, May 23, 2003.

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  1. Hi,

    I'm looking for help in advising my wife in her search for a recumbent.

    This will be her first recumbent, in fact the first such for the household. While we've both biked
    for many years, our biking tends to be casual and limited to a total of only a few hundred miles
    each year, much of it around our immediate suburban neighborhood or perhaps through a scenic area
    nearby. Incidentally, she (and I) are considered at least middle-aged.

    We've both been on recumbents in the past, and she has looked at them on and off for a couple of
    years. Now she is ready to take action, but finds few to look at and ride in our Massachusetts area.

    The neighborhood rides suggest a SWB bent. Turns are frequent and cars, dogs, etc. must be dealt
    with in the confines of residential areas.

    She has seen and ridden a Cannondale Easy Rider, and seems to like it, although the investment is
    considerable for a first recumbent and such limited annual use. She may have also ridden an
    EasyRacer EZ-1, but I don't have any detail.

    So, is there anyone reading this with advice to share? What bent would you suggest for an 'older'
    person who 'thinks young'? Can you recommend dealers in eastern Massachusetts or southern NH or RI?
    What about used bents?

    Thanks for anything you may have to share.

    Mike
     
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  2. bentcruiser

    bentcruiser New Member

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    Hi Mike,

    I personally like SWB after riding other formats. I have a Canto that switches from LWB to SWB. But I have found the SWB to me more fun and better for quick situations as you eluded to in your comment on neighborhood rides.

    I would suggest a RANS Rocket or a Burley Canto. BUT--- the most sound advice would be for you and your wife to ride as many as possible to know what you like. Leave your options open.

    Derek :)
     
  3. PreciousBbird

    PreciousBbird New Member

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    I am very new to bents and to this discussion group, but I have to get in my two cents. I bought a Burley HepCat (it's an SWB), because I love to bike and I hated my 'comfort bike' that I bought after I was in a car accident. I adore my bike and it was probably pricy, but I love it so much that it inspires me to ride even more. I tend to ride on trails, so I don't usually have to deal with sudden stops or life-threatening encounters with cars, but I think it is very maneuverable - although I get better at it every time I ride. I went with the clipless pedals because of my fear of 'leg suck' (I like to go as fast as possible), but if frequent stopping is going to be going on, maybe that's not the best thing for your wife.

    Have you been to the http://recumbentcyclistnews.com? That's a great site to look at and they have sample issues where you can read about different bikes and get lots of great info. As I said, I am a newbie, but I wanted to share my enthusiasm for my HepCat. I don't live in your area, so I have no recommendations for dealers. Good luck!! It's so much fun - I hope your wife enjoys it as much as I do!!
     
  4. Greg Dunn

    Greg Dunn Guest

    The EZ-1's are decent low-end bikes, and selling new on eBay (last I looked) for $399. They're not
    SWB (they're CLWB - compact long wheelbase), but not so long they're hard to maneuver, and LWB
    designs are easier for newbies to get used to. A few years ago I bought an EZ-1 for my wife (who
    rides only occasionally, and rarely more than 4 miles at a time). She likes it, finds it easy to
    find, and really it's all the bike she needs. Used BikeE's are undoubtedly quick cheap these days,
    since BikeE (like Cannondale) went out of business.

    In an inexpensive SWB I'd look at a used RANS rocket. Seems like everybody who has them is happy
    with them. I've seen them new recently on end-of-model-year sales for $799. I think that's what I'd
    buy if I only had six or eight hundred bucks to spend and knew I would have to live with what I
    bought for ten years.

    If she gets a chance to ride a RANS Vivo sometime, that's still a different experience: a fully
    suspended SWB bike, Cadillac ride.

    Or you guys could buy an EZ-1 tandem for $1750 and ride around together!

    When I was buying my first recumbent I rode as many different styles as I could (it took some
    effort). Then I happened upon a really good deal on a really cheap used bent at a bike show, and
    bought it so I'd have something to ride while I continued my research. I was able easily to recover
    my investment in that bike when I sold it later.

    Test rides are important and valuable, but even they won't teach you everything you want in a bent.
    It takes a while riding one and thinking about it. The test rides of different styles give you
    something to think about.

    If you want just to research what's out there, I've put a fairly extensive catalog at
    http://www.bicyclecommuter.com/AlternativeBikes.htm. And you should also check out BentRiderOnline's
    Recumbent Guide at http://www.bentrideronline.com/.

    --
    Greg Dunn

    "Mike Sadofsky" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Hi,
    >
    > I'm looking for help in advising my wife in her search for a recumbent.
    >
    > This will be her first recumbent, in fact the first such for the household. While we've both biked
    > for many years, our biking tends to be casual and limited to a total of only a few hundred miles
    > each year, much of it around our immediate suburban neighborhood or perhaps through a scenic area
    > nearby. Incidentally, she (and I) are considered at least middle-aged.
    >
    > We've both been on recumbents in the past, and she has looked at them on and off for a couple
    > of years. Now she is ready to take action, but finds few to look at and ride in our
    > Massachusetts area.
    >
    > The neighborhood rides suggest a SWB bent. Turns are frequent and cars, dogs, etc. must be dealt
    > with in the confines of residential areas.
    >
    > She has seen and ridden a Cannondale Easy Rider, and seems to like it, although the investment is
    > considerable for a first recumbent and such limited annual use. She may have also ridden an
    > EasyRacer EZ-1, but I don't have any detail.
    >
    > So, is there anyone reading this with advice to share? What bent would you suggest for an 'older'
    > person who 'thinks young'? Can you recommend dealers in eastern Massachusetts or southern NH or
    > RI? What about used bents?
    >
    > Thanks for anything you may have to share.
    >
    > Mike
     
  5. Cjw

    Cjw Guest

    You will probably get many good recommendations. New to recumbents myself, I will limit my
    recommendations to the one bike that I have direct knowledge of:

    The BikeE Corporation went bankrupt last August. Their remaining inventory was sold off and some of
    their bikes are available at significant discounts. For example, the entry-model CT which last
    retailed for $749 can be purchased for $369. Some of these show up on Ebay, but be careful there,
    because I've seen "brand new" old models for sale, and there were safety recalls on some old models
    (part of what drove BikeE under).

    The CT is a CLWB. Generally regarded as an excellent first recumbent and overall good bicycle. The
    last model produced is a 24-speed (earlier models were 21). SRAM 3.0, I believe. This '02 & 1/2
    model also includes a factory kickstand and improved handlebars. You'll find an ample supply of
    discriptions, photos, and test rides available on the Internet.

    If you're interested in one, drop me an email. I can recommend a reputable individual who has
    purchased inventory direct and is selling what's left out of his home. No warranty of course, as the
    company behind the bike is gone. The frames are strong extruded aluminum (not likely to ever break),
    and the rest is pretty much standard bicycle components. Any good bicycle mechanic should be able to
    support this bike.

    Good luck. cjw

    ------------------------------------------------------------
    Replies to [email protected] MUST have a subject beginning with "VALID:" (else=trash).
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    "Mike Sadofsky" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Hi,
    >
    > I'm looking for help in advising my wife in her search for a recumbent.
    >
    > This will be her first recumbent, in fact the first such for the household. While we've both biked
    > for many years, our biking tends to be casual and limited to a total of only a few hundred miles
    > each year, much of it around our immediate suburban neighborhood or perhaps through a scenic area
    > nearby. Incidentally, she (and I) are considered at least middle-aged.
    >
    > We've both been on recumbents in the past, and she has looked at them on and off for a couple
    > of years. Now she is ready to take action, but finds few to look at and ride in our
    > Massachusetts area.
    >
    > The neighborhood rides suggest a SWB bent. Turns are frequent and cars, dogs, etc. must be dealt
    > with in the confines of residential areas.
    >
    > She has seen and ridden a Cannondale Easy Rider, and seems to like it, although the investment is
    > considerable for a first recumbent and such limited annual use. She may have also ridden an
    > EasyRacer EZ-1, but I don't have any detail.
    >
    > So, is there anyone reading this with advice to share? What bent would you suggest for an 'older'
    > person who 'thinks young'? Can you recommend dealers in eastern Massachusetts or southern NH or
    > RI? What about used bents?
    >
    > Thanks for anything you may have to share.
    >
    > Mike
     
  6. Cbb

    Cbb Guest

    I don't think you should limit your search to one style of bents just yet. The LWB bents work quite
    well around town because they are easier (especially for a newbie) to get a foot down at stops and
    get started again afterwards. However many people, myself included perfer the SWB bikes with a more
    laid back seat and theortically faster configuration.

    I recently moved from north central MA (Ayer) and my recommendations for bent shops would be Belmont
    Wheelworks (if he's still there ask for Scott Chambers) near Boston and Basically Bicycles in
    Turner's Falls (not far from the Yankee Candle factory). Belmont in a large and busy store but they
    have a good selection of bents and Scott is very knowledgeable. Basically Bicycles is a small shop
    run by the owner who rides bents and he has an amazing selection in his small store.

    Also if you have any interest in a high end bike definately check out George Reynolds of Reynolds
    Weld Labs ( http://www.reynoldsweldlabs.com/ ) he builds a very fast high end bike in his shop
    attached to his house near Salem, NH. He a great guy but the bike is probably a little extreme for a
    first bent.

    Craig

    Mike Sadofsky <[email protected].com> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Hi,
    >
    > I'm looking for help in advising my wife in her search for a recumbent.
    >
    > This will be her first recumbent, in fact the first such for the household. While we've both biked
    > for many years, our biking tends to be casual and limited to a total of only a few hundred miles
    > each year, much of it around our immediate suburban neighborhood or perhaps through a scenic area
    > nearby. Incidentally, she (and I) are considered at least middle-aged.
    >
    > We've both been on recumbents in the past, and she has looked at them on and off for a couple
    > of years. Now she is ready to take action, but finds few to look at and ride in our
    > Massachusetts area.
    >
    > The neighborhood rides suggest a SWB bent. Turns are frequent and cars, dogs, etc. must be dealt
    > with in the confines of residential areas.
    >
    > She has seen and ridden a Cannondale Easy Rider, and seems to like it, althou
    gh the investment is considerable for a first recumbent and such
    > limited annual use. She may have also ridden an EasyRacer EZ-1, but I don't have any detail.
    >
    > So, is there anyone reading this with advice to share? What bent would you suggest for an 'older'
    > person who 'thinks young'? Can you recommend dealers in eastern Massachusetts or southern NH or
    > RI? What about used bents?
    >
    > Thanks for anything you may have to share.
    >
    > Mike
     
  7. Review Boy

    Review Boy Guest

    I cc's advice. You may get recommendations from those who are in love with a particular style or
    brand, but those recommendations may be irrelevant to your wife.

    Here are my suggestions:

    1. Have your wife try MANY different recumbents of different styles (swb, lwb, clwb) and
    manufacturers.
    2. Preferably, do #1 at a shop that has excellent recument expertise. I had a bad experience (that
    is, bad fit and advice, "Nah, that fits you fine [the seat was too far back for me]. Don't
    worry about adjusting the seat.") at a shop that has a single model recumbent way in the back
    of the shop.
    3. Ideally, your wife should get in a longish (well over half an hour; over an hour is best) on any
    recumbent she thinks that she likes. A bike that is very comfortable for 15 minutes may be
    agonizing after an hour.
    4. If she is not positive of a choice, buy a used one. If you read this newsgroup for awhile and the
    used recumbent ads, you will see that lots of recumbents get re-sold after only a few rides, and
    that many of those who love recumbents quickly move on from their first one.

    Good luck!

    "cbb" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I don't think you should limit your search to one style of bents just yet.
     
  8. Jay

    Jay Guest

    in article [email protected], Review Boy at review [email protected] wrote on
    5/24/03 11:18 AM:

    > I cc's advice. You may get recommendations from those who are in love with a particular style or
    > brand, but those recommendations may be irrelevant to your wife.
    >
    > Here are my suggestions:
    >
    > 1. Have your wife try MANY different recumbents of different styles (swb, lwb, clwb) and
    > manufacturers.
    > 2. Preferably, do #1 at a shop that has excellent recument expertise. I had a bad experience (that
    > is, bad fit and advice, "Nah, that fits you fine [the seat was too far back for me]. Don't
    > worry about adjusting the seat.") at a shop that has a single model recumbent way in the back
    > of the shop.
    > 3. Ideally, your wife should get in a longish (well over half an hour; over an hour is best) on
    > any recumbent she thinks that she likes. A bike that is very comfortable for 15 minutes may be
    > agonizing after an hour.
    > 4. If she is not positive of a choice, buy a used one. If you read this newsgroup for awhile and
    > the used recumbent ads, you will see that lots of recumbents get re-sold after only a few
    > rides, and that many of those who love recumbents quickly move on from their first one.
    >
    > Good luck!

    I completely agree with this post and was about to write the same thing.
     
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