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Re: [CF] Recumbent Bikes

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  • jdsingleton
    ... For me, this is a major factor. I own a recumbent and I feel much more visible on either of my mountain bikes wen I am riding in traffic. On my PDQ, I m
    Message 1 of 6 , Feb 27, 2003
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      Jym Dyer <jym@...> wrote:

      >=v= Expense is definitely an issue. A few more come to mind:
      >
      > o They're lower to the ground, and people fear that motorists
      > won't see them.

      For me, this is a major factor. I own a recumbent and I feel much more visible on either of my mountain bikes wen I am riding in traffic. On my PDQ, I'm sitting at around the same height as I would have been in my RX-7.

      > o They usually have smaller wheels, which take time to master.
      >
      > o You can't stand on the pedals to climb hills.

      These just take some getting used to.

      Another factor, in my case, is where I store my bike at work. I am able to bring it inside, but to do so, I have to negotiate a narrow, winding staircase. Carrying the recumbent up the stairs is not as easy as the mountain bikes.

      >=v= I feel pretty much the same way about folding bikes, though.
      >Aside from expense, I can't imagine why everyone doesn't run out
      >and buy them. :^)

      Good question. I own a Dahon Matrix, a full-size folder. The biggest problem as a commuter is I can't mount a heavy duty rack on the back. On the other hand, it's lighter than my other mountain bike and when I commute on it, I can fold it and stick it in my cubicle. (In other words, the aforementioned stairs don't come into play.)

      Jim Singleton
    • Michael Graff
      ... This is a common question among recumbent enthusiasts. The shortest answer I can think of is that they re relatively expensive (for a bike). ... Perhaps,
      Message 2 of 6 , Feb 27, 2003
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        "Paul B. Cooley" <pcooley@...> wrote:

        >I wonder why there are so few recumbent riders.

        This is a common question among recumbent enthusiasts. The shortest answer I can think of is that they're relatively expensive (for a bike).

        >The comfort of a recumbent might get a few more people out of cars.

        Perhaps, but you still have to pedal and adapt to the weather. (As I write this, it's pouring outside.)

        >How many people on this list are carfree through having a recumbent or
        >other HPV?

        I'm car-lite, and my main bike is a recumbent. I also have a folder that I use occasionally. The recumbent is comfy and fun, and I just plain enjoy riding it, so I suppose it contributed to my car-lite-ness.

        >Do you find friends and acquaintances take your carfree
        >lifestyle more seriously because you have invested in something that is
        >somewhat novel to replace your car?

        I don't think I've noticed this. On the one hand, they do show some interest in the unusual bike, but on the other hand, my car-lite-ness has more to do with my enjoyment of cycling and my good fortune to live a cycleable distance from work and other locations. I don't recall anybody making the connection between the recumbent and car-lite-ness.

        One guy in my office building did buy a recumbent (for recreational riding) after seeing mine, but I'm still the only person who cycles to my office building or to my music rehearsal.
      • Jym Dyer
        ... =v= Expense is definitely an issue. A few more come to mind: o They re lower to the ground, and people fear that motorists won t see them. o They usually
        Message 3 of 6 , Feb 27, 2003
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          >> I wonder why there are so few recumbent riders.
          > This is a common question among recumbent enthusiasts.
          > The shortest answer I can think of is that they're
          > relatively expensive (for a bike).

          =v= Expense is definitely an issue. A few more come to mind:

          o They're lower to the ground, and people fear that motorists
          won't see them.

          o They usually have smaller wheels, which take time to master.

          o You can't stand on the pedals to climb hills.

          =v= They do seem pretty ideal for getting people out of cars,
          and the folks at _Bicycle_Culture_Quarterly_ were very keen on
          that proposition. I've seen nice models with fairings on them
          for inclement weather. I'm not sure why they don't catch on
          more, despite the issues.

          =v= I feel pretty much the same way about folding bikes, though.
          Aside from expense, I can't imagine why everyone doesn't run out
          and buy them. :^)
          <_Jym_>
        • Robert J. Matter
          I have a 1998 BikeE CT. That is the unsuspended model. Originally I bought it for comfortable recreational riding. It was my road bike for paved trails
          Message 4 of 6 , Feb 27, 2003
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            I have a 1998 BikeE CT. That is the unsuspended model. Originally I bought it for comfortable recreational riding. It was my "road bike" for paved trails and flat rural road riding and my Raleigh sport-comfort DF bike was my unpaved trails and hilly terrain bike.

            My BikeE is my "nice bike" I reserve for dry summer and fall weather. My Raleigh DF is my all-season all-weather general-purpose bike.

            In nice weather I ride my BikeE to a volunteer job in Chicago about 31 miles away where I have indoor parking. I also ride it to events like Jazz Fest in Chicago where I can keep it next to me on the grass. If I am going somewhere without secure bike parking I ride my Raleigh.

            I am a little slower on the BikeE than on my Raleigh which I equip with 1" high pressure tires in the summer. My BikeE still has the factory 65psi V-Monsters which are a little slower.

            I do take a certain pleasure in rolling up next to a car at a light, and casually glancing over at the occupant(s) who are sitting in the approximate seating position I am. I hope they feel silly driving a big heavy expensive car for light errands instead of pedaling a fun, comfortable, small environmentally friendly cheap bike.

            The BikeE has a relatively upright position and sits a little higher than more extreme laid-back recumbents but nonetheless I am a little more cautious when riding it in traffic in Chicago, especially for sheeple pulling out of parking lot driveways when there are behemoth SUVs parked right up to the edge blocking their view.

            I'd kind of like to try a higher-end recumbent like a Bacchetta but then secure parking at destinations would be even more of a concern than it is with my BikeE. I might put some higher pressure tires on my BikeE this summer in an effort to coax a little more speed out of it. Fairings are available but I do like the wind-in-my-face in the summer and I don't ride it in the winter.

            I haven't tried the new Chicago bus bike racks with my BikeE yet. I don't think they will work. So on multi-modal trips where I will be taking the bus part of the way I will ride my Raleigh DF.

            When riding to Chicago several times per week in summer/fall I try to alternate between the recumbent and DF to give my butt a break.

            -Bob Matter
            -----------
            Friday, February 28, 2003 is Critical Mass!
            See http://www.critical-mass.org for a ride
            near you!
          • mike7773827382 <moshea@adventnetworks.co
            FYI - Michael Bluejay s BicycleAustin website has a blurb about getting a BikeE on a city bus rack... http://bicycleaustin.info/getaround.html#bikee ... wrote:
            Message 5 of 6 , Feb 28, 2003
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              FYI - Michael Bluejay's BicycleAustin website has a blurb about
              getting a BikeE on a city bus rack...

              http://bicycleaustin.info/getaround.html#bikee



              --- In CarFree@yahoogroups.com, "Robert J. Matter" <rjmatter@p...>
              wrote:

              [snip]
              >
              > I haven't tried the new Chicago bus bike racks with my BikeE yet.
              I don't think they will work. So on multi-modal trips where I will
              be taking the bus part of the way I will ride my Raleigh DF.
              >
              [snip]
            • mgagnonlv <MichelGagnon@primus.ca>
              ... Apart from Jym Dyer s excellent arguments, I would add a few: - Too many designs. Concepts like ASS, USS, LWB, SWB, etc are quite intimidating for new
              Message 6 of 6 , Mar 3, 2003
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                Someone wrote:
                > >> I wonder why there are so few recumbent riders.
                > > This is a common question among recumbent enthusiasts.
                > > The shortest answer I can think of is that they're
                > > relatively expensive (for a bike).
                >


                Apart from Jym Dyer's excellent arguments, I would add a few:

                - Too many designs. Concepts like ASS, USS, LWB, SWB, etc are quite
                intimidating for new riders. Each design has its own merits and
                shortfalls, and it's hard to see which model would best suit one
                rider doing, say, commuting, urban riding, loaded touring, etc.

                - Not enough bike shops with them. Do we have 2 or 3 bikes on display
                in Montréal? I know 2 shops that rent them -- but they don't rent
                cheaply and don't sell them -- and 1 shop that sells them but hardly
                keeps any on the floor. We probably need shops with a rent to own
                policy where rental fees on _any_ recumbrent design could be applied
                to the price of the bike one finally buys (whether it's a recumbrent
                or a traditional bike). IOW, no-risk or low-risk trial.

                - Quite noticeable on a bike rack. Good or bad?

                - Poor options for carrying stock, probably because fewer people have
                thought about that issue. Think about panniers that were commercially
                available 30 years ago.

                Regards

                Michel Gagnon
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