How did you break into recumbents?

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Tangled Metal
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How did you break into recumbents?

Postby Tangled Metal » 10 Jan 2018, 10:42am

Simple question I think. Ignoring the fact you probably have upright bikes too. Assuming you started off on a standard upright bike then switched to riding recumbents, how did you switch?

Did you visit a shop to try a few out first?
Did you just order one online?
Did you try one out that was owned by someone you knew?
Did you see a cheap secondhand one and took the plunge?

Second question, how did you learn to ride one? I'm guessing if you visited a shop to try them out the retailer probably gave you some kind of lesson on riding a recumbent. When I looked at tandems the shop in Yorkshire Dales said they show all new customers how to start, stop and a few pointers on how to ride as a pair. I'm guessing recumbent specialists are like that in their approach.

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NUKe
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Re: How did you break into recumbents?

Postby NUKe » 10 Jan 2018, 11:07am

you really have the Dark side calling you.
I had a quick wobble on one and then bought from DTek. I would have used Kevin's try before you buy session, but at the time he wasn't well.

Learning I went to empty car park did start and stopping braking, left and right turns until I was confident to go out on the road. After that you learn. I have detailed my learning experience here.

viewtopic.php?f=24&t=110210&p=1067954&hilit=grasshopper+NUKe#p1067954

If you can get somewhere to try out that really is the best way and will be money well invested. All the main sellers are happy to talk you through their products and all have demo bikes and give good test rides.

Do you have an idea of what you want ?Second hand they seem to hold their price well, so you can buy and then resell if your not happy, I'd say plan a weekend away, plenty to see around Ely and do a good extensive test ride.
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Audax67
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Re: How did you break into recumbents?

Postby Audax67 » 10 Jan 2018, 11:19am

I phoned up a shop (Haasie's Radschlag in Germersheim FWIW) and they said "come on & try some". Tried a BikeE, a Street Machine, a Speed Machine and something else I can't remember - an LWB, I think. IIRC they would also rent you one for a day with a refund if you bought.

Couldn't afford one, though, I'm still on DFs and likely to stay that way.
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squeaker
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Re: How did you break into recumbents?

Postby squeaker » 10 Jan 2018, 11:58am

Got fed up battling coastal winds on my MTB so visited London Recumbents in Dulwich Park (London - linked with Lifecycle (?) in Preston Park, Brighton) for a half-day try-out session (cost refunded if you ordered a machine from them) on various machines on grassy slopes then the quiet park roads. Ordered the least expensive Challenge Mistral from them and the rest is history :lol:
"42"

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Paulatic
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Re: How did you break into recumbents?

Postby Paulatic » 10 Jan 2018, 11:59am

I bought 2nd hand (an M5) and guy delivered on his way to family in Edinburgh.
He showed me how to get started and it took a lot of trying to become confident enough to hit the road.
10 yrs later, after very little use, I sold it at a profit.
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brynpoeth
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Re: How did you break into recumbents?

Postby brynpoeth » 10 Jan 2018, 12:01pm

Paulatic wrote:I bought 2nd hand (an M5) and guy delivered on his way to family in Edinburgh.
He showed me how to get started and it took a lot of trying to become confident enough to hit the road.
10 yrs later, after very little use, I sold it at a profit.



Time for a poll?
How many bents are gathering dust?
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[XAP]Bob
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Re: How did you break into recumbents?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 10 Jan 2018, 12:54pm

Switched to a trike - my conversion is documented somewhere on here...

I took the plunge on an eBay model on the basis that it wouldn’t lose that much value if I didn’t like it.

Had one brief test, then went to collect it and ride it back to the office - took a while to ride it home though.


For two wheels I took a punt on a low racer from here - collected then learnt as I’d teach a child to ride.

Scoot for a while (slightly downhill) until you can lift your feet off the floor, then put them on the pedals - eventually try and turn the pedals and then keep going. It was really quick (no doubt someone will link to the video of me First trying a raptobike)
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UpWrong
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Re: How did you break into recumbents?

Postby UpWrong » 10 Jan 2018, 1:07pm

I bought a new basic HPV Spirit from Kinetics online. Took me a long time to get the hang of starting when someone was watching.

Stradageek
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Re: How did you break into recumbents?

Postby Stradageek » 10 Jan 2018, 1:23pm

Built one from a kit (KS2) just for fun, got hooked*, sought out Kevin at DTek, traded up to a Speedmachine, added a Bachetta Strada and a Kett.

*Cuts through headwinds, drivers give you LOADS of room, no more aching neck, wrists or bum, dry feet in the rain.

All recumbents used very regularly, upwrongs were gathering dust so I gave them all away

Tangled Metal
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Re: How did you break into recumbents?

Postby Tangled Metal » 10 Jan 2018, 2:05pm

brynpoeth wrote:
Paulatic wrote:I bought 2nd hand (an M5) and guy delivered on his way to family in Edinburgh.
He showed me how to get started and it took a lot of trying to become confident enough to hit the road.
10 yrs later, after very little use, I sold it at a profit.



Time for a poll?
How many bents are gathering dust?

How many 'Bents gathering dust with owners willing to sell at a good price for another owner to take on and then leave it gathering dust or getting the bug?

BTW seriously, if anyone has a recumbent they're not using that's suitable for a 6'5" tall newbie who lives in Northern England and thinks they might consider selling it. If there is such a person feel free to pm me. Or failing that if you're willing to meet up to give me a trial of the dust gathering 'bent...

Is it really hard to pick up compared to an upright?

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: How did you break into recumbents?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 10 Jan 2018, 2:14pm

It's not that hard - but the last time most of us learnt to ride a bike was when we were kids...
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way.
No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
A good pun is it's own reword

There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

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pjclinch
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Re: How did you break into recumbents?

Postby pjclinch » 10 Jan 2018, 2:54pm

Tangled Metal wrote:Simple question I think. Ignoring the fact you probably have upright bikes too. Assuming you started off on a standard upright bike then switched to riding recumbents, how did you switch?

Did you visit a shop to try a few out first?


Someone nearby had an ex-hire/dem one for sale (an Orbit Crystal, a Speed Ross clone, for £250) after he shut the business. I've always been fond of things that are a little left-field and not me-too so I'd been aware of 'bents for a while and that was the spur. I went to give it a try thinking I'd ride it home if I liked it... after getting a bit used to it it was apparent that I would be buying it, but I wouldn't be riding it home 18 miles over the Sidlaws!

Tangled Metal wrote:Second question, how did you learn to ride one?


The chap I bought it from gave me some starter hints (get used to the balance on gentle downhills, just like learning to ride an upwrong) and after that it was just sticking with it. After about a week I was happy enough to go anywhere I'd have gone on my old drop-bar tourer. After a month I was as happy as on any other bike.

At that point I stopped using the old tourer (at that point I had an MTB for off-road and the tourer) unless I needed 4 panniers and the Crystal became my main bike.

It was destroyed in a collision a couple of years later, and with the insurance (the collision wasn't my fault!) from the wreck and some personal injury I bought my Streetmachine, and donated the old tourer to a bike-recycler. I did stop using the 'bent as a general purpose bike once I had a Brom, and subsequently a Moulton TSR, but the Streetmachine is a viable one-bike-fits-most as long as you don't anticipate technical off-road (it's okay on landy tracks and the like) or need to carry it up stairs to park in a flat (it's heavy and unwieldy for manhandling).

Ben "Kinetics" Cooper sells them with the following blurb:
I’ll admit it right from the start – I sell the StreetMachine GTe because I believe that it is the best production recumbent in the world. Period. There are faster race machines, but for everyday riding, commuting, touring, off-road riding, stunt jumping (don’t ask!), and generally having fun I haven’t found anything better. If I had to limit myself to only owning one bike, the StreetMachine GTe would be it.


Some poetic license as he's flogging them, but he said that when I bought mine about 18 years ago and he's kept the copy (adding an 'e' when HPVel replaced the original GT with the GTe) through several website changes. If I had to limit myself to one bike it would probably be a hacked Moulton (discs for larger tyre clearance, and a Rohloff & belt drive), but as a SMGT owner I'll agree that it could be a candidate without too much stretching of the imagination.

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

Tangled Metal
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Re: How did you break into recumbents?

Postby Tangled Metal » 10 Jan 2018, 3:04pm

Not completely true. I learnt to ride a flat bar hybrid bike about 5 years ago. Whilst I've decades of drop bar experience the wide flat bars with different geometry to the bike had me feeling like I was learning to ride again. I seriously took about 10 minutes to feel OK with it. Wasn't helped by being on a canal towpath but it did concentrate the mind on not steering myself into the water.

BTW I no longer ride flat bar bikes because there isn't a good range of hand positions which left my elbows aching after half an hour. And don't get me onto my first experience with hydraulic disc brakes! :cry:

Tangled Metal
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Re: How did you break into recumbents?

Postby Tangled Metal » 10 Jan 2018, 3:06pm

You know what, I reckon my lad would find it amusing to take his dad somewhere safe to learn to ride. I know two good spots. They're the ones I took my son to b to learn to ride. Only needed those two sessions to get it. Hopefully I'll be quicker if I get round to going 'bent!

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GuyY
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Re: How did you break into recumbents?

Postby GuyY » 12 Jan 2018, 10:07pm

Back in the late '90s I tried a load at London Recumbents in Dulwich Park. Bought one from the States and just tried it little and often. Fell over a few times when starting off until I sorted the initial peddle position.... Just back from vertical. They're good fun and cut through a head wind like a dream.
Reclining on recumbents since 1999. :?