Toe dipping, best bent

Discussion in 'Recumbents, Trikes and HPVs' started by Jugular, 19 May 2010.

  1. Jugular

    Jugular Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Manchester
    Hi,

    I'm just starting to be come aware of recumbent bikes, and trikes and want to find out more. Can you 'bentonauts tell me where I can find more information.

    To perhaps generate a bit more interest, what's your ideal recumbent?
     
  2. Riding in Circles

    Riding in Circles Veteran

    Location:
    EDINBURGH
    I'm biased as I am the Catrike importer/distributor but I chose Catrike as an enthusiast, I love trikes and could never imagine having a two wheeler only, Catrike Expedition is my steed of choice just because I find it so versatile, in the past I have had Hase, Windcheetah, Trice and they were all good and all had and have advantages common to the particular brands, I am not the kind of person to slag off other brands unless they are actually naff. Personally I don't see suspension as something I want, I have had two wheelers with suspension and have prefered them without, I have ridden trikes with and without and prefer without, other people will tell you suspension is vital, a lot of it is down to personal choice. I think we are recumbenteers by the way although I may be wrong.
     
  3. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Location:
    Salford, UK
    Another Catrike owner here, mine's a Dash. Before that I had a venerable old original Trice (from the pre-ICE days.) Both lovely, in different ways - the Trice was a stately old thing, although still fun, the Dash is much lighter and nippier.

    I think it comes down to deciding what you want, just like with an upright: speed, luggage capacity, position (very low, not very low, very laid back, quite upright) etc. and then looking at the ranges of the various manufacturers, and eventually getting to try a few.

    At the risk of a little self (work) promotion, here's a list of some of the major names.

    http://www.velovision.com/links.html#Recumbents

    To try a range, go to somewhere like D-tek in Ely, or London Recumbents or, oh heck, here we go again:

    http://www.velovision.com/links.html#SpecialistdealersUK

    I think if I had the money, and space, I'd like a 'bent bike too, but I don't know if I'd ever go completely over to the dark side - sometimes just jumping on a nice ordinary, unremarkable upright is what you need to get to the shops....

    There is nothing quite like the feel of a 'bent trike though. Preferably downhill on smooth tarmac on a road where you can see well enough ahead to just let the brakes go....

    It's like this: ;)
     
  4. arallsopp

    arallsopp Post of The Year 2009 winner

    Location:
    Bromley, Kent
    SMGTe and Challenge Furai owner here. The SMGTe is a fantastic fail safe, ultra rugged beast of burden. Takes all the crud I can throw at it and more. 8k miles. No servicing. The Furai is a flighty little tart. Loves the miles. Throws a tantrum once in a while. 8kgs lighter than the SMGTe and all the faster for it. Love them both.
     
  5. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Location:
    Salford, UK
    Mostly fixable with zipties....;)
     
  6. 3tyretrackterry

    3tyretrackterry Active Member

    Location:
    East Midlands UK
    Trice explorer here excellent workmanship had it just over a year and had no problems bought secondhand from D Tek reccomend going there if you want to try one
     
  7. squeaker

    squeaker Über Member

    Location:
    Steyning
    ideal?

    A rather open question methinks :smile: Horses for courses, and all that.

    At the mo:
    • Grasshopper for comfortable mile eating / load carrying with reasonable speed
    • ICE 'S' for (slower, but more relaxed) miles when tired - not having to balance on hills or worry about gravel / dodgy road edges when stopping is a real bonus
    • Raptobike - something (relatively affordable) for the weekend :biggrin:
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Jugular

    Jugular Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Manchester
    I guess I can only blame myself for asking the wrong questions if I don't quite get the answers I'm after. I looked up a number of pros and cons of recumbents. Most of them flipped between trike and bike pros and cons versus uprights. What are the differences between recumbent bikes and trikes in terms of pros and cons?

    Am I right in thinking that everyone above owns their ideal bikes/trikes... I find that hard to believe, which are your ideals!?
     
  9. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Location:
    Salford, UK
    Well, unless I could try every trike there is, I don't know. I do know that it suits me (albeit with a little customising).

    Pros and cons re: bike/trike.

    Well, it all comes down to that extra wheel, really. Trikes are more stable, esp at slow speed - indeed, speeds down to 0mph, at which point you have a comfy chair to have your picnic in. If, like me, you are overly cautious on two wheels, you can let yourself go faster on three.

    They are, of course, heavier and bulkier to store or transport.
     
  10. Riding in Circles

    Riding in Circles Veteran

    Location:
    EDINBURGH
    Lee and Arch both have their ideal trikes and me of course, everyone else is just riding an interim trike/bike until they get their Catrike or Catbike, obvious innit? :smile:
     
  11. squeaker

    squeaker Über Member

    Location:
    Steyning
    Trike vs Bike

    IME :sad:

    Trike:

    • slower than similar (role) bike by ~10% (e.g. ICE 'S' vs Grasshopper) unless fully faired (see Quest)
    • sit lower than a bike so:
      • more road spray / splash from passing vehicles
      • more dazzle from oncoming traffic at night (a problem for me in rain - have to wear specs - but at least on a trike you're not going to wobble and fall off...)
    • more awkward to park (don't forget to put the brake on, either)
    • easy to carry big loads (with rack + side bags + trailer etc.)
    • can go up hills very slowly when laden (providing gearing is right)
    • 3 wheel tracks so potholes more problematic, ditto central grass on white roads
    • no problems with loose surfaces e.g. freshly chipped roads
    • no need to remove front wheels to repair a tube, just tip onto it's side
    • more awkward (if allowed) on trains
    • ground clearance on low trikes can compromise route
    • loose pebbles can get pinged into the main frame and chip the paint :smile:
    • if you prefer drifting, instead of carving, turns then a trike's for you
    Bike:

    • you have to balance :ohmy:
      • steep hills can get 'interesting' e.g. wheel spin on FWD Raptobike on wet, bumpy hills
      • starts / stops can get interesting on loose surfaces
    • single track, so easy to find smooth bit of rough roads
    • SWB like Grasshopper is about the same length as a DF bike so fits on trains OK (when allowed)
    Others will no doubt disagree :biggrin:
     
  12. OP
    OP
    Jugular

    Jugular Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Manchester
    Thanks for the response squeaker, but I didn't understand:
     
  13. Riding in Circles

    Riding in Circles Veteran

    Location:
    EDINBURGH
    FRONT WHEEL DRIVE

    SHORT WHEEL BASE

    UPWRONG!;)
     
  14. NickM

    NickM Veteran

    I have a Kingcycle - an excellent "day bike", fairly light, a good climber, and with a really useful weatherproof tailbox. BUT... no longer made. You would have to find a secondhand one, and they are increasingly rare. Plus you would need to get the fork modded to accept a 20" wheel instead of the obscure French size it was originally made for, and for which you can't get decent tyres nowadays.

    I also have a Challenge Fujin SLII, which is a lovely machine (very light for a recumbent, at ~19lbs), fast, comfortable and not so low as to be impractical on UK roads. But it gets exercised rarely, because it makes me too fast for the company I keep when riding.

    And I have a Raptobike lowracer, but that is set up purely for racing on flat circuits, with no low gears. It's pretty good for its targeted use, but in my opinion (others differ) lowracers are not for recumbent beginners - not on UK roads, anyway. My SO has a Catrike Pocket trike, which she adores - but she isn't as fast on it as on an upright bike.

    What I would recommend you look at for a first recumbent, assuming that you want an all-rounder, is something with a good balance of the virtues of Kingcycle and Fujin, the Challenge Mistral SL. You will notice that this is not cheap!! Light recumbents aren't! A cheaper alternative is the Bacchetta Giro 20, which is closely analagous to the Kingcycle - as are quite a few other short wheelbase recumbents, showing that Miles Kingsbury, the Kingcycle designer, got it pretty well right back in 1985 :wacko:

    If the budget is tight, or you don't want to splash out on what may prove to be just an experiment, a secondhand recumbent would be a good taster. You might like to keep an eye out on eBay and the For Sale pages of the Velovision and British Human Power Club forums for a Speed Ross/Orbit Crystal (they are virtually the same thing). One in good condition should cost you less than £500.

    PS another thoroughbred all-rounder for the fairly well-heeled is the Burrows Ratcatcher. It's just as well that I have my Kingcycle, or I'd be tempted!
     
  15. NickM

    NickM Veteran

    Some more recumbent-related words:

    USS - under seat steering - found on touring-orientated bikes, generally speaking, along with suspension
    ASS - above-seat steering, which can be TILLER, "Tweener" (as on the Kingcycle and Bacchetta Giro) or "Open Cockpit"

    Sporty recumbents tend to have a chain which runs from chainset to cassette with a minimum of associated hardware in between. More sedate machines may use lengthy sections of chain tube to route the return run of the chain (and even the power side, sometimes - ugh!). I don't like chain tubes. They are like power-robbing vampires.
     
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