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A road recumbent

labarumlabarum Posts: 110
edited October 2007 in Road general
Just had my 58th birthday and hope I have many years active cycling ahead of me. I lost a lot of weight three years ago and returned to cycling. After a year's experimentaion on a second hand Halfords gas Pipe Special I spashed out of a custom made steel audax, which I love.

It's here

http://www.robinmathercycles.co.uk/be/b ... audax.html

Yes, I know, it looks like the same vintage as me, but I am too old to cycle upside down with my nose on the tarmac.

I wondered today if I should splash out on a recumbent, just for the fun of it,;but so that, when I have a few more years behind me, I can use the recumbent more and will not have to learn new tricks as a really old man.

I have found the London Recumbent site - Where else should I be looking? What should I be looking for? What are the merits of a tricycle? Are there advantages in buying in Germany or Holland? Let's hear the advice.

I am 6ft3in tall and weigh 14.5 stone. I cycle at least 15 miles most days.

I will be living in northern Germany till after Christmas.

Posts

  • CunobelinCunobelin Posts: 11,792
    I have an HPVelotchnik Street Machine, and they have a good record for reliability and have a suitable range form commuting throughtheavy touring to a Trike.

    One problem with recumbents is that you need to ride them to see whether they suit you, they are less forgiving than diamond frames as the designs are so different.
    <b><i>He that buys land buys many stones.
    He that buys flesh buys many bones.
    He that buys eggs buys many shells,
    But he that buys good beer buys nothing else.</b></i>
    (Unattributed Trad.)
  • CunobelinCunobelin Posts: 11,792
    I have an HPVelotchnik Street Machine, and they have a good record for reliability and have a suitable range form commuting throughtheavy touring to a Trike.

    One problem with recumbents is that you need to ride them to see whether they suit you, they are less forgiving than diamond frames as the designs are so different.
    <b><i>He that buys land buys many stones.
    He that buys flesh buys many bones.
    He that buys eggs buys many shells,
    But he that buys good beer buys nothing else.</b></i>
    (Unattributed Trad.)
  • Richrd2205Richrd2205 Posts: 1,267
    Labarum
    Not sure where to start & I'm no expert, but will try to answer as many questions as I can as clearly as possible...
    I wondered today if I should splash out on a recumbent, just for the fun of it,;but so that, when I have a few more years behind me, I can use the recumbent more and will not have to learn new tricks as a really old man.
    This is as good a reason as any, but I would suggest trying a few out. There's far more variation in recumbent design than in their upright cousins, so working out what you want is a good starting point.
    Where else should I be looking?
    Where do you come to in the UK? I know very little about recumbent dealers outside Scotland, but can recommend both Ben at Kinetics ( www.kinetics.org.uk ) & David at Laid Back Bikes ( www.laid-back-bikes.co.uk ). Both will be happy to advise via email & can sell remotely. David's tours are a very good introduction & learning experience & a no-risk way of finding out if this is something for you: if you fancy a weekend in Embra, it might be worth a visit. Outwith Scotland, D Tek get mentioned a lot.
    What should I be looking for?
    This is probably best answered when you have a clearer idea about what you want to be doing with the bike. As I said before, there's so much variation from full-on racers ( http://www.velokraft.com/-nc.htm ) to fairly upright, comfort bikes ( http://www.hpvelotechnik.com/produkte/s ... dex_e.html ). My advice would be to think about what you want to do with the bike & work from there.
    What are the merits of a tricycle?
    I ride a bike not a trike, but as I understand it, the advantages are around stability (no need to re-learn balancing & being able to go up hills extremely slowly without falling), and being able to get lower down, thus be more aerodynamic. However, they're harder to store & heavier. I'm sure there's far more to it, but I've not ridden one, so can't comment further...
    Are there advantages in buying in Germany or Holland?
    Not that I can think of, other people may offer better advice...
    I am 6ft3in tall and weigh 14.5 stone. I cycle at least 15 miles most days.
    You're the same height as me & you'll have no bother getting something to fit. The only issue with weight is that some full-on performance bikes have a 105kg maximum limit for rider & luggage which wouldn't leave you much space if you were touring, but then: you're prob not looking at these bikes & they're not really touring machines anyway.

    As a start point, for the vague equivalent of what you ride just now (from bikes I've ridden), the Nazca Paseo, Challenge Mistral & HPV Grasshopper might well suit.

    Other questions you need to ask are about how low down you want to be (lower is more aerodynamic, but can feel more vulnerable), whether you want under or over seat steering & what your budget would be. Answering these will help you narrow things down a wee bit.

    I hope that this helps a little & feel free to ask if you have more questions.
  • Got to consider ICE http://www.ice.hpv.co.uk/ if it's a trike you fancy. Loads of fun and very different to a bike so it offers a refreshing change.
    Mind you if you want something completely odd and a real challenge try an upright trike, that's really "strange"
  • labarumlabarum Posts: 110
    Yes, I've been looking at those. Look like great fun, and as you say, a totally different experience to my hand built audax. Something I could enjoy now, and should I, in the future, find riding a bike too much of a challenge.

    I do wonder how it will go with age - and I hope that means 75+. If I have lost the flexibility to mount and ride a large DF, I might also have difficulty lowering myself into a trike - and worse still getting out.

    Can anyone advise from personal experience, or close knowledge of others?
  • labarumlabarum Posts: 110
    WOW

    One of the German dealers is about 5 miles from where I live. Now buying tax free while still here in Germany has some advantages!

    http://www.radhaus-huellhorst.net/
  • ankev1ankev1 Posts: 3,686
    If you google Liegeräder you should be able to get some dealers. Fahrradies in Hameln has a small selection of recumbents and the guy is very helpful and friendly (I got my Street Machine from there) and I think there is a big recumbent dealer in Uelzen. There is also a shop with a very good selection in Marienstrasse in Hannover (about 10 mins from the Hauptbahnhof).
  • labarumlabarum Posts: 110
    labarum wrote:
    WOW

    One of the German dealers is about 5 miles from where I live. Now buying tax free while still here in Germany has some advantages!

    http://www.radhaus-huellhorst.net/


    They have a Trice T coming into stock next week and are going to let me ride it. I have cycled through that village many times and nver knew the shop was there - tis just off the main road!
  • They have a Trice T coming into stock next week and are going to let me ride it. I have cycled through that village many times and never knew the shop was there - tis just off the main road!

    If it's for sale, once you've ridden it, you'll buy it! I've recently purchased a new Trice-Q. Never ridden anything so comfortable. A bit like sitting in your favorite armchair in the lounge whilst riding your favorite bike!
  • labarumlabarum Posts: 110
    Airfriday wrote:
    If it's for sale, once you've ridden it, you'll buy it! I've recently purchased a new Trice-Q. Never ridden anything so comfortable. A bit like sitting in your favorite armchair in the lounge whilst riding your favorite bike!

    I think I would want a Q rather than a T.

    Have you tried both standard and narrow width, and how do they compare?

    What other recumbents were on your short list?
  • I think I would want a Q rather than a T.
    Have you tried both standard and narrow width, and how do they compare?
    What other recumbents were on your short list?

    I tried a friends Wincheetah: http://www.windcheetah.co.uk/ and I looked at but not tried a TW Trike-1: http://www.uk-recumbent-bikes.com/tw-trike.html

    The Wincheetah has a sort of joy-stick steering that I did not master very well but may have done over a period of time. It was too expensive for me at the moment.

    The TW was not available for a while, so I've never seen one in the flesh and never tried one. The price is good but I know nothing about it's quality either.

    I got a Qnt about 3 weeks ago. I had NOT tried the Trice but what with knowing a few people that have them, read reports & reviews and the price is good. The wider model would not go through my workshop door without turning on it's side every time I want to ride (DAILY!). The Qnt is available off-the shelf and was delivered the following day! So far I've only gone for short rides but once I get some stowage for tools etc, I'll be off round some of my longer loops (I am paranoid about breaking down, punctures etc. and like to have all the tools required to fit everything on the bike + puncture repair however bad).

    The Trice-T is a few inches higher and quoted as being more suitable for touring. Maybe, BUT I can't see that the Q (nt) can't do anything the T can do! Everyone to their own taste but I think the Q (nt) is a better looking machine.

    If you "test ride" the "T" when it comes in, I'm sure they could order and get you a Qnt in a few days.
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