Slightly homebrewed 'bent - should I have bid more?

Apart from the obvious answers about maximum bids and bidding what you think it was worth

Took a punt at this but maxed at £130 which is cheap for a 'bent but it definitely had a lot of homebrew engineering (which kind of appeals in a quirky way)

Missed out but I was bothered a bit by the seat (close up pics show marks of chainring teeth on the seat though moving seat forward would have most likely been a suitable solution for me at 4" shorter than the rider selling.

Are 'bents like this worth a punt if you really can't afford a fancy one? I do fancy owning one at some point but would like to have a good try out before committing to saving serious money for yet another pedal-powered contraption

mark barker

New Member
Swindon, Wilts
I've built 2 bents so far, 1 trike and 1 2 wheeler, and I'm in the process of building number 3. None of my builds look anywhere near as good as that one, but they ride fine and put a smile on my face! I'd say that a home made bent can make more sense than a production one as a first time ride, they are easy to modify and in the main have no specialist parts to worry about.


This book may be of interest, if you haven't come across it already:

Atomic Zombie's Bicycle Builder's Bonanza

It contains plans for a couple of recumbents, IIRC, as well as much useful stuff on building techniques. What could be more satisfying than this particular form of re-cycling? :biggrin:

There's an associated website, too... although most American builders seem to be obsessed with faux-motorbike choppers, rather than practical bicycles :eek:


Sheffield_Tiger said:
Are 'bents like this worth a punt if you really can't afford a fancy one?
I wouldn't spend a lot of money, because even a builder competent at construction may not have mastered the issues peculiar to recumbent design.

A good secondhand proposition, worth keeping an eye out for on eBay, is an Orbit Crystal/Speed Ross. Good ones go for about £350-400, depending on condition.

Or there's the Pashley PDQ, which fetches about the same price.


York, UK
That looks very like one I owned briefly in the late '90s - was riding a recumbent myself through some lanes outside York and was stopped by an elderly gent at the side of the road - he said he'd built a couple of recumbents but could no longer ride them and would I be interested. Went along to his place a few days later and ended up with both a bike and a trike. After some remedial work on the trike steering I sold them both on very soon after as I had no space.

If it is the same one it was decently built and IIRC it rode OK :-)

I'll see if I can dig out some photos of the one I remember to see if it could be the same machine. Doesn't match his story of him being the second owner, though.


Über Member
Personally I would not buy a 'homebuild' without at least looking at / riding it (especially the latter!) as how they handle is very much down to the steering geometry. That, and the known durability (or lack of it), is a definite advantage when bidding for a 'known' manufacturer's product. (Of course, riding any 2-wheeled 'bent can be challenge if you've not ridden one before...)
Another route is a kit.

My Bentech was first built on a tight budget to see if I got on with it. I did, so it's been up-specced bit by bit. It's been on a 1000-mile trip to Norway with a full camping load, and when Bikepete got off it after riding a few miles he was still smiling, so it must be OK!

It's not quite the deal it was when dollars were cheap, but still potentially cheaper than a production bike, especially if you have parts lying about anyway. You can build the frame yourself if you buy the plans from Dom, and at least this way you don't have to worry about handling, geometry and so on - that's all sorted in the design.
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