Recumbent riding observations

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Jim Grippin

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Aug 8, 1991, 9:32:15 AM8/8/91
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Now that I have owned a recumbent for a while, I have some
observations that I would like to share

PEOPLE IN CARS LOVE YOU

There are cosmic forces at work here that I can't begin to understand.
Even though I am obviously on a "bicycle" , car drivers don't see it
that way. They smile and wave. They stare. They SLOW DOWN.
Do they think I am performing some great experiment ?
Is it a "Gosh Martha, look at that wierd thing!" reaction (probably
huh?)
Well whatever their motivation, I appreciate it. I actually feel
somewhat safer on my bent.

IT IS NOTHING LIKE RIDING A BICYCLE

This has a dark side to it. I miss the mood of bicycling. I no longer
need my fancy jersys and shorts. I can no longer hammer up a hill.
It just doesn't feel like "bicycling" any more. Maybe it's the
aggression that I miss. On a bent you can just cruise along, if at a
high rate of speed, and wave back at the cars.
On a bicycle you can be a bit more dynamic. Shift your relative
position around , get flipped off by drivers and so on.
On a bent you are more comfortable. That's good because you only have
one position to sit in.
Bicycles are faster on hilly terrain. I know this can be disputed in
theory, but unless you have legs like Nelson Vails, you are going to
be slower going up a hill on a bent. Trust me on this.
Bents are faster on the flats and down hill. At least some models are.
My average speed on the flats is up 3-4 mph and going down my favorite
hill I am 15-20 mph faster with my bent.

RECUMBENT MANUFACTURERS ARE OFF THEIR GAME

It seems that most of the guys that make bents are bike weenies that
get talked into going into business for themselves. Suddenly they are
in way over their head. They don't know anything about marketing or
customer service.
Lead times for a new bike are way to long. They insist on using 15
year old Sun Tour components. They really don't want to be bothered.

Now they are all nice guys to talk to and can be helpful and
informative. They just don't all have good business sense.


Is this tedious enough yet ?

David Spragg

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Aug 9, 1991, 9:27:10 AM8/9/91
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What is a bent ??? or Recumbent ???


Sounds pretty interesting, could someone elaborate ?


/------------------------------------------------\
| Dave Spragg | spr...@crd.ge.com |
| GE Corporate R&D Center | |
| Schenectedy, NY | |
\------------------------------------------------/

Bob Bayn

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Aug 9, 1991, 12:14:17 PM8/9/91
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In article <9...@soul.ampex.com>, ji...@soul.ampex.com (Jim Grippin) writes:
> Now that I have owned a recumbent for a while, I have some
> observations that I would like to share
and here's my counterpoint to Jim's observations. I've had my Lightning
recumbent since May 1990 (stored it thru the winter though)....

>
> PEOPLE IN CARS LOVE YOU
[...elaboration deleted...]
Jim may be looking for love in all the wrong places, but I too have noticed
a lot "nicer" response from motorists when I'm on my 'bent (thanks for that
word, Jim). The bad feelings that motorists get from confrontations
with "regular" bikes doesn't transfer to this new technology-look. And
I'm glad of that. I've pointed out before (here) that some drivers dont
decide not to run over something in the road until after they've
identified it - a little bit of tailgating results.

> IT IS NOTHING LIKE RIDING A BICYCLE
>

> This has a dark side to it. I miss the mood of bicycling....
[dynamics, hammering, flipping off motorists deleted]
I don't miss it a bit. My old snap-crackle-pop neck joints are much
happier and the scenery is much better, too. The uphills are less of
a pain (because I'm not expected to keep up?) and the downhills are
a blast (a little scary, at first).

>
> RECUMBENT MANUFACTURERS ARE OFF THEIR GAME

[tech-weenies with no business sense deleted]
I dunno about this. My local tech-weenie businessman just ordered a
Lightning frame for me and equiped it out of his stock on hand. The
only boo-boo I noticed was a biopace chainwheel that is out of phase
for the recumbent ergonomics. I shifted it 72 degrees off of the
alignment pin and am saving up my pennies for a round chainwheel.


>
> Is this tedious enough yet ?

I can stand it if you can.

--
Robert Bayn Welcome to Cache Valley;
Office of Computer Services please set your chronometer back
Utah State University 20 years and ten minutes.

Steven Eugene Sergeant

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Aug 9, 1991, 1:07:31 PM8/9/91
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Dave Spragg writes:

> What is a bent ??? or Recumbent ???
>
>
> Sounds pretty interesting, could someone elaborate ?

There is a review of the Ryan Vanguard Recumbent in the July issue
of "Bicycle Guide". I own one (actually both, the bike and the magazine),
and love it (the bike).

Jim Grippin writes:
>On a bent you are more comfortable. That's good because you only have
>one position to sit in.
>Bicycles are faster on hilly terrain. I know this can be disputed in
>theory, but unless you have legs like Nelson Vails, you are going to
>be slower going up a hill on a bent. Trust me on this.

I trust that it is true for you Jim, but think about it a minute.
I have been riding my Ryan for about two years now. I have come to
the conclusion that it's not harder to climb hills (or necessarily
slower) by nature. It seems that because you are seated in a different
position and pushing the pedals with somewhat different muscles it
seems more difficult for cyclists who are use to conventional bikes.

I know that this is true for two reasons.
1. After riding my "bent" on loaded tours several weeks a year for
two years now, I find that I'm every bit as fast with full gear
on hills as the others I ride with (some of whom are on conventional
bikes.
2. I have ridden some other recumbents with different geometries,
(after having first adjusted them for me) and have felt like a
whimp on them, because the muscle usage is different. You can
experience this to a lesser degree by comparing bikes with vastly
different seat tube angles (on conventional bikes).

I'm still convinced that unless you're a style consious poser or a
all out racing hammerhead, once you spend an hour on a recumbent
you'll never want to spend a day on a conventional bike again...

--Steve Sergeant
"You don't have to disagree with me to be wrong."
Stev...@CUP.Portal.com {The PORTAL(tm) System}
GEnie: STEVSERGEANT
CIS: 71620,272

Dwight D. Mckay

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Aug 9, 1991, 3:21:46 PM8/9/91
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In article <9...@soul.ampex.com>, ji...@soul.ampex.com (Jim Grippin) writes:
|>
|>
|> Now that I have owned a recumbent for a while, I have some
|> observations that I would like to share
|>
|> PEOPLE IN CARS LOVE YOU

I've noticed this too! Out where I ride I think the drivers thing my recumbent is some funny sort of farm equipment. :-)

The agression factor for me is lessened by comfortable seating position. Why get upset when you are sitting in a fairly relaxed position enjoying crusing along? Wave to the cars, take in the view, grind up the hill and enjoy flying down the other side...

|> IT IS NOTHING LIKE RIDING A BICYCLE

True. Even more true for a tricycle recumbent like the Trice I just received. I hope to post a review of the trice in the next week or two after I put a few more miles on it...

One of the guys I cycle with often kids me that I just look too relaxed on my recumbent -- like I could ride all day.

|> RECUMBENT MANUFACTURERS ARE OFF THEIR GAME

No kidding. It's even worse if you order one from overseas. The Trice is made in England and even with a friendly and determined importer (EcoCycle) it took three months to arrive from the time I placed my order.

Enjoy your recumbent!

--Dwight D. McKay, Purdue University, Department of Biological Sciences
--Office: LILY B-145, Phone: (317) 494-4481
--mc...@gimli.bio.purdue.edu

Dan Pritchett

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Aug 9, 1991, 3:55:24 PM8/9/91
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In article <1991Aug9.1...@cc.usu.edu>, b...@cc.usu.edu (Bob Bayn) writes:

|> >
|> > RECUMBENT MANUFACTURERS ARE OFF THEIR GAME
|> [tech-weenies with no business sense deleted]
|> I dunno about this. My local tech-weenie businessman just ordered a
|> Lightning frame for me and equiped it out of his stock on hand. The
|> only boo-boo I noticed was a biopace chainwheel that is out of phase
|> for the recumbent ergonomics. I shifted it 72 degrees off of the
|> alignment pin and am saving up my pennies for a round chainwheel.

!>
I'm in the middle on this one, having just plunked down a $1,000 deposit
on two Ryans and then having to wait 8 weeks for them to come in. To add
insult to injury, not it appears I may need to shell out the remaining
grand I owe on the bikes to get them here to that schedule. I liked the
bike I test rode so much that I am willing to hassle with all of this,
but in a more conventional transaction I would probably be riding my
new shiny bike to work now so I could comment on the rest of this thread
(although I don't think I will miss numb hands and a sore neck one bit.:-)).

Everybody has been terribly nice during the entire purchase process, but
having to wait 8 weeks is really tough when such a neat toy is the object
of the wait.

|> >
|> > Is this tedious enough yet ?
|> I can stand it if you can.

I'm loving it!

--
Thanks

Dan Pritchett | ARPA/Internet: d...@zule.EBay.Sun.COM
Sun Federal System Engineer | Air Waves: KC6TXZ
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
This ain't no upwardly mobile freeway,
Oh no, this is the road to hell.
--Chris Rea

Curt Vaughan

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Aug 9, 1991, 4:47:11 PM8/9/91
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In article <78...@male.EBay.Sun.COM>, d...@zule.EBay.Sun.COM (Dan Pritchett) writes:

[...]

>Everybody has been terribly nice during the entire purchase process, but
>having to wait 8 weeks is really tough when such a neat toy is the object
>of the wait.

This is nothing compared to the waits I've gone through to purchase some
of my musical instruments:

1. Reginald Aitkins handmade flute: 14 months
2. Folkers & Powell baroque flute: 5 months
3. Larry Brown lute: 10 months

Musicians go through this all of the time ... a friend of mine had to wait
*seven years* to get his Powell flute. Not only that, he had to pay the
going price at the time that the flute was ready. Definitely a seller's
market!

Curt
"Move from rim to hub; know the wheel." - Gautama B.

Ben Sloan

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Aug 9, 1991, 6:15:02 PM8/9/91
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In article <53...@ut-emx.uucp>, ccf...@SIENNA.CC.UTEXAS.EDU (Curt Vaughan) writes:
> In article <78...@male.EBay.Sun.COM>, d...@zule.EBay.Sun.COM (Dan Pritchett) writes:
>
> >Everybody has been terribly nice during the entire purchase process, but
> >having to wait 8 weeks is really tough when such a neat toy is the object
> >of the wait.
>
> This is nothing compared to the waits I've gone through to purchase some
> of my musical instruments:
>
> 1. Reginald Aitkins handmade flute: 14 months .................

Last night on the boob tube was a news report about a stupid looking
motor car called a Morgan that has a 9 year waiting list in England, where
it's made, and 4 years in America (figure that out). A man on the show
was taking delivery after putting down a deposit in 1979. He was
taking a 3 month sabbatical from work to watch the car being constructed.

No information on the reaction of recumbent riders to the car was given,
but they no doubt treat it like a piece of farm equipment.

Ben Sloan
b...@emx.utexas.edu

witte...@zendia.enet.dec.com

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Aug 9, 1991, 7:04:55 PM8/9/91
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In article <78...@male.EBay.Sun.COM>, d...@zule.EBay.Sun.COM
(Dan Pritchett) writes:
|>
|> |> >
|> |> > RECUMBENT MANUFACTURERS ARE OFF THEIR GAME
|> |> [tech-weenies with no business sense deleted]
Only some of them. Some bike stores have Linears in stock. Angle Lake
Cyclery was pretty good about shipping about when they said they would.
(They sell Counterpoints, and I think a couple of other brands as well.)
They act like a good bike store. Everything they ship works well, and
you get charged full price for it.

Gene Lemle (Lightning Cycle Inc. he makes a long wheelbase bike called
the tailwind) is a real pleasure to deal with. He shipped when he said
he would, and made the changes I asked for, and charged remarkably little
for the modifications (light brackets, spare spoke carrier, computer mount).
His address is:
3819 Rte. 295
Swanton, OH 43558
Phone: 1 419 826-4056

From what I can tell, custom builders of diamond frame bikes aren't all
that easy to deal with, so why do you expect recumbent builders to be
better. Most of the bike shops I've dealt with are relatively poor
business people. I deal with the ones who know bikes well, and I put
up with the annoyance of dealing with stores that don't return calls
reliably and so forth. (Literally: I picked up some stuff right as the store
was closing, so the owner said to call him to find out the exact amount of
the bill. I called every week for a month, and he never called back. When
I went in to pick up something else, he finally came up with a bill, which
I then payed.)

At any rate, my Lightning tailwind is so much more comfortable than my
old diamond bike that it would have been worth quite a bit of hassle
to get it. Luckily I had no problems getting it.

|>
|> Dan Pritchett | ARPA/Internet: d...@zule.EBay.Sun.COM
|> Sun Federal System Engineer | Air Waves: KC6TXZ
|> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
|> This ain't no upwardly mobile freeway,
|> Oh no, this is the road to hell.
|> --Chris Rea
|>

--David Wittenberg

Keith ROWE

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Aug 10, 1991, 2:27:00 PM8/10/91
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In article <78...@male.EBay.Sun.COM> d...@zule.EBay.Sun.COM (Dan Pritchett) writes:

>I'm in the middle on this one, having just plunked down a $1,000 deposit
>on two Ryans and then having to wait 8 weeks for them to come in. To add
>insult to injury, not it appears I may need to shell out the remaining
>grand I owe on the bikes to get them here to that schedule.

Ryan Recumbents just moved from the Right to the Left coast in
April this year. Part of the point of the move was to get closer to
their frame manufacturing facilities and partly to be closer to their
biggest market. I know Dick Ryan is really trying to turn his machine
into a serious business venture but I expect you're experiencing some
of the growing pains.

I was very fortunate to find a recumbent dealer (Robert Bryant) who
was willing to sell me his demo Ryan Vanguard. He had to take it
to one more show before I could take it. When he came back, Robert
told me he could of sold the bike three times over at the show.

The Ryan is a great bike. Between that and the recent move, I'm
not surprised to hear there's a backlog of orders.


Keith Rowe "That guy with the mutant bike"
kei...@microsoft.com

Bob Manley

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Aug 10, 1991, 3:37:03 PM8/10/91
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Hello to all,

Ok, now you 'bent riders really have my interest peaked, but where does
one find more info on recumbents? I do not know who manufactures them,
and would also be interested in some "intro for novices" type of info.
Thanks for any pointers.

Regards,
Bob Manley

witte...@zendia.enet.dec.com

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Aug 12, 1991, 6:56:47 AM8/12/91
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In article <1619...@hpfcso.FC.HP.COM>,

Here's some info I posted last fall. I think it's still pretty much
up to date. Changes from the last posting are in []'s.

--David

A few more words about recumbent design, and then I'll provide a much
larger list of recumbent manufacturers.

There are three main choices in designing (or buying) a recumbent.
Frame material -- all the ones I know of are either Alumninum or Steel.
Wheelbase -- The front wheel can either be in front of the bottom bracket
(long wheelbase) or behind it (short wheelbase). You can't have a medium
wheelbase without a lot of extra work because the wheel and the bottom
bracket would interfere with each other. Long wheelbase is reputed to
be a bit more stable, while short wheelbase machines are often easier to
fit into cars for transport. Some long wheelbase recumbents fold in
neat ways to fit into a remarkably small space.
Handlebars -- under seat or in front of the rider. Under seat is probably
a more comfortable position when you get used to it (your hands just hang
at your sides), and may be somewhat safer if you get thrown forward as
there is nothing in front of you. High handlebars are somewhat faster
as your arms are in front of you instead of at your side, thus reducing
the frontal area. Some people find them more natural.
[There are long wheelbase bikes with both high and low handlebars. I don't
know of any short wheelbase, low handlebar recumbents, but there may
be some I don't know of.]

There are a couple of interesting publications for recumbents:

International Human Powered Vehicle Association
P.O. Box 51255
Indianapolis, IN 46251 USA

They have several publications on all aspects of human powered transportation
(bikes, aircraft, watercraft.) Dues are US$20/year in the U.S., Canada,
and Mexico, and US$25 elsewhere.

The Recumbent Bicycle Club of America
427 Amherst St. Suite 305
Nashua, NH 03063 USA

This is a new club and a good way to find someone with a particular
kind of recumbent who lives near you. Their magazine is fun, and
a lot less formal than the IHPVA. Dues are US$20/year in the U.S.A.,
and US$25/year elsewhere.


There's a lot of recumbent activity in Europe, but I don't have any
addresses for people there. All these are in the U.S.
That said, here's a list of most of the recumbent manufacturers I know of:

University Cyclery
4007 G Bellaire Blvd.
Houston, TX 77025
(713) 666-4452 High handlebar recumbents

Tour EZ $1 for a catalog
Box 255A
Freedom, CA 95019
(408) 722-9797 High handlebar, long wheelbase bikes.
One of their designs is very fast.

Rans
1404 E. Hwy. 40 Bypass
Hays, KS 67601
(913) 625-6346

Ryan Recumbents, Inc. [He's moved to the West coast. I don't have a
58 Lyle St. current address.]
Malden, MA 02148
(617) 324-1921 Long wheelbase, low handlebars, steel frames.
Around $1000.

Ace Tool & Engineering (Infinity Recumbent) $1 for a flyer
P.O Box 326
Mooresville, IN 46158
(317) 831-8798 Long wheelbase, low handlebars, aluminum frames.
Have a reputation for cracking, but are the least
expensive recumbents I know of. $500, and if you
order before 1 Jan, 1991, they'll throw in a
triple chain ring. [Some people report great
success with these, others early failure. I don't
know what's going on.]

Counterpoint Conveyance, Ltd.
P.O. Box 763
Edmonds WA 98020
(206) 776-6787 Makes a single with high handlebars and short
wheelbase (Presto), and a tandem with the stoker
recumbent and the captain upright, which allows
different cadences for the captain and the stoker.
Very nice bikes. I think the Presto is around $1700,
and the Opus III tandem is a little over $3000.
We have an Opus III and think it's wonderful.
His frames are steel.

Linear Manufacturing Inc. (Linear)
Route 1, Box 173
Guttenberg, IA 52052 Long Wheelbase aluminum bike with either
(319) 252-1637 high or low handlebars (You can convert
from one to the other.) Around $850.
They sell through dealers, and if you
get in touch with them they'll tell you where
the nearest dealer is.

Rotator
915 Middle Rincon Rd.
Santa Rosa, CA 95409
(707) 539-4203

Lightning Cycle Inc. (Tailwind) $1 for a brochure


3819 Rte. 295
Swanton, OH 43558

(419) 826-4056 Steel long wheelbase, low handlebars. Around $1200.
Very nice bike. I like his engineering. [I took
delivery of one about 4 months ago. It's great.
He was the most obliging bike person I've ever
dealt with and made several small mods for no
charge (mainly custom brackets for my lights).
The bike is well designed and well made. A less
well known bike than the Vanguard, but better made,
and similar in price when you add in the options
which are much cheaper on the Tailwind.]

Lightning Cycle Dynamics
1500 - E Chestnut St.
Lompoc, CA 93436
(805) 736-0700 Short Wheelbase, high handlebars. Full fairings
are available, and very fast. Pete Pensyres
commutes on one.

EcoCycle (Trice) $1 for flyer, $5 for video tape
5755 NW Fair Oaks Dr.
Corvallis, OR 97330
(503) 753-5178 The Trice is a steel recumbent tricycle, with
low handlebars, and a short to medium wheelbase.
Around $1200. He also imports a Ross recumbent,
for around $1100.

--David Wittenberg

Giles Morris

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Aug 12, 1991, 2:38:10 PM8/12/91
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ji...@soul.ampex.com (Jim Grippin) writes:

>Now that I have owned a recumbent for a while, I have some
>observations that I would like to share

Is somebody out there prescient? This weekend I finally hauled out the
infinity recumbent which I bought (very) used a month ago and took it for a
ride.

So here is the weekend's bike report:

First, the ride itself. If you were trying out a new, and odd, bicycle you
would stay close to home and go on a reasonable 10 mile jaunt, right? So I
drove three hours (or, more accurately, a long-suffering friend did) to check
out a century for a club meeting in the fall. Dumb? I prefer to think of it
as confidence.

The terrain: Is flat. This area (the Maryland Delmarva peninsula) is where I
found a total altitude gain of 100 ft on a 110 mile ride last year - and that
included two highway overpasses. So... there were no major climbs on the route.
Most of the ride was on very rural, lightly trafficked roads with surfaces
ranging from smooth to gravel.

The bicycle: Is an Infinity. Long wheelbase, underseat handlebars. Rear wheel
is 27", front is 20". Fits the description of "15 year old Suntour components"
quite nicely. It looks like it has already done quite a lot of miles, but it
was cheap. The crank is a double, which was not a problem on this ride, but I
suspect would become an issue in hills. This is not intended to be a racing
machine.

So, what did I think of it?

You use different muscles riding a recumbent. After ninety miles I had
significant difficulty walking. Luckily, this century turned out to be a few
bricks short of a load, so ninety miles was also the end of the ride. Frankly,
I spent the last third of the day wishing that I had a diamond frame bicycle,
but it is hard to blame the bike for my own stupidity in starting off with
such a long ride.

You don't change position, at least I couldn't. Your body becomes a dead
weight rather than an active component. I think that the seat on my Infinity
may need modifying because pressing down on the front of the seat when the
pedal is at full extension becomes very uncomfortable after a while, and
there wasn't much I could do to change position. I would urge new recumbent
riders to get a helmet mirror before going far. I could find no other way of
seeing what is behind.

Riding in town is strange, but I think that I could get used to it. Because
all the balancing is done by the steering, and none by your body, it feels
very unstable at low speed. If you don't think that balancing just with
steering is unusual, try riding a recumbent hands-off... you'll be
investigating the ditch PDQ. I _was_ able to ride it with my eyes closed,
though (kids, don't try this at home!).

Speaking of which, the view is different. You get a different perspective on
the world when your gluteus maximus is that close to the ground: Vegetation,
road surface, other people's cranksets, dogs... dogs? Yep, even a medium
sized dog is face to face with you. I didn't need to try it out, but suspect
that in case of need you could punch a dog on the nose. Conversation with
your riding companions involves looking up to them in a very real way.

Speed: I have been told that recumbents are at their best on flat ground, but
I am sure that I would have been faster on a diamond frame. Even slight
inclines (the only kind in that part of the world) were very noticeable.
Headwinds seemed to have very little effect. I didn't even realise that
there was one until my friend asked me if I could feel it. I think the
problem is with the fixed riding position. I could not seem to get the trick
of sprinting. I am willing to be convinced otherwise, but I am sure that
I did that ride significantly slower than I would have done on a diamond
frame, and I would need a compelling reason to venture into the hills with
a recumbent.

Visibility: The thing looks weird enough that drivers actually see you,
rather than the usual "see and ignore" routine. I don't know if it provokes
friendly reactions, but suspect that it does (every third driver in that
part of the world waves at you even if you look like Dave Harvey - very
civilized). Kids in town love it.

Handling: Don't ride it off road. If you try to ride hands-off, you will
very quickly be (briefly) riding off road. At higher speed, it feels
wonderful and stable. At low speed it feels twitchy. Tight manoeuvres are
interesting until you learn the trick of leaning more than you think you
should and balancing the lean with power, then it gets to be fun.

Comfort: Apart from not being able to walk, I felt fine. No aches in the
neck (although I don't get those from my other bikes), no numb hands (don't
get those, either). Generally, I would say it was pretty comfortable. I did
find that the coating of road dirt on my face was thicker than usual, but it
was closer to the road, so that's reasonable. Something I hadn't foreseen
was sunburn in places that are normally in shadow when I ride.

Don't try to carry anything in your jersey pocket!

Wheeling the thing around is a bloody nuisance! You have to stoop down &
grab hold of the handlebar. I'm _still_ not sure why every recumbent seems
to have a kickstand, but it was at least marginally useful.

Conclusion: After one ride, I am not at all sure that this is the perfect
bicycle. It is certainly interesting, and I will do more rides on it, but it
is not the bike I would choose for a cross-country tour. I was foolish to
start with such a long ride (long? how can a double digit mileage be a long
ride?), and that probably affected my conclusions negatively. Based on my
experience so far, this is not something I would choose as my only bicycle,
but I don't feel like selling it, either.

Interestingly enough, the day after the ride I finished building my wife's
dream bicycle (Kestrel/Mavic/Dura-Ace - I love it) and was able to give it
a short (10 mile) test ride with no discomfort. The bits that hurt the day
before were still hurting, but they weren't bits that I needed.

Giles Morris

witte...@zendia.enet.dec.com

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Aug 13, 1991, 9:59:55 AM8/13/91
to
In article <gilesm.682022290@bird>, gil...@bird.uucp (Giles Morris) writes:

|>
|> The bicycle: Is an Infinity. Long wheelbase, underseat handlebars. Rear wheel
|> is 27", front is 20". Fits the description of "15 year old Suntour
components"
|> quite nicely. It looks like it has already done quite a lot of miles, but it
|> was cheap. The crank is a double, which was not a problem on this ride, but I
|> suspect would become an issue in hills. This is not intended to be a racing
|> machine.
|>

|> I think that the seat on my Infinity
|> may need modifying because pressing down on the front of the seat when the
|> pedal is at full extension becomes very uncomfortable after a while, and
|> there wasn't much I could do to change position. I would urge new recumbent
|> riders to get a helmet mirror before going far. I could find no other way of
|> seeing what is behind.

Helmet mirrors are definitely a good idea, but after a while you could learn
to get by without one. I always use one (and carry a spare on long tours).
There were two infinity models I and II. According to a friend who has one
of each, the I (original) has a more comfortable seat. I don't know if
the old seats are compatable with the newer bikes. If I remember correctly,
the Infinity seat has a "horn" to support the middle of the front edge. You
might try lowering that horn. (I don't like seats with that horn, but it
seems that a lot of people do.)

|>
|> Riding in town is strange, but I think that I could get used to it. Because
|> all the balancing is done by the steering, and none by your body, it feels
|> very unstable at low speed.

I found that the stability problems at low speed went away after a couple
of hundred miles. Now I find it stable at the slowest speeds I can pedal
and I have a 20" low gear.


|>
|> Speed: I have been told that recumbents are at their best on flat ground, but
|> I am sure that I would have been faster on a diamond frame. Even slight
|> inclines (the only kind in that part of the world) were very noticeable.
|> Headwinds seemed to have very little effect. I didn't even realise that
|> there was one until my friend asked me if I could feel it. I think the
|> problem is with the fixed riding position. I could not seem to get the trick
|> of sprinting. I am willing to be convinced otherwise, but I am sure that
|> I did that ride significantly slower than I would have done on a diamond
|> frame, and I would need a compelling reason to venture into the hills with
|> a recumbent.

I seem to be getting better at hills, so apparently hill climbing on a
recumbent comes with practice. Infinities are not fast recumbents.
The fastest recumbents have high handlebars, which reduces the frontal
area considerably. I prefer a low handlebar for comfort, but I know
that I give up speed.


|> Tight manoeuvres are
|> interesting until you learn the trick of leaning more than you think you
|> should and balancing the lean with power, then it gets to be fun.

Yup. It took a while for me to get comfortable with that.

|>
|> Wheeling the thing around is a bloody nuisance! You have to stoop down &
|> grab hold of the handlebar. I'm _still_ not sure why every recumbent seems
|> to have a kickstand, but it was at least marginally useful.

With my Lightning Tailwind, I find that I can wheel it around by holding
the top of the seat and leaning it. It's not as easy to do as a diamond
frame bike, but I routinely walk the bike down the corridors at work that
way.

I'm finding the kickstand so useful I'm thinking of putting one on my other
bike. We were at a rally last month, and it was really funny watching
everyone try to find a tree to lean against whenever we stopped. That's
when I understood why I liked my kickstand.

|>
|> Giles Morris
|>

--David Wittenberg

witte...@zendia.enet.dec.com

unread,
Aug 13, 1991, 10:03:45 AM8/13/91
to
In article <9...@soul.ampex.com>, ji...@soul.ampex.com (Jim Grippin) writes:

|>
|>
|>
|> For a good source of recumbent information try
|>
|> The Recumbent Cyclist Newsletter
|> Robert Bryant , Editor
|> 16621-123rd Ave S.E.
|> Renton , WA 98058 USA
|>
|> This guy knows his stuff.
|>
|> He also runs an all recumbent bike shop.
|>
|> There is also......


|>
|> The Recumbent Bicycle Club of America

|> 427 Amherst St Suite 305
|> Nashua NH 03063 USA

These two are related. The Recumbent Cyclist is the newsletter of
the Recumbent Bicycle Club of America. So send your membership requests
to the NH address ($20 /year in the US, $25/year elsewhere, I think), and
articles to the WA address.

Since Robert is a bike dealer, his reviews are all positive. Learn
to read between the lines to find out about problems.
Among others, he is a dealer for Ryan Vanguard, and Linear.

--David Wittenberg

witte...@zendia.enet.dec.com

unread,
Aug 13, 1991, 10:08:35 AM8/13/91
to
In article <1...@soul.ampex.com>, ji...@soul.ampex.com (Jim Grippin) writes:

|> By the way, how do you carry your gear on your tours ? I am thinking
|> about converting my trailer (Burley) into cargo mode. I can't figure
|> out how to mount low riders over a 20" front wheel.
|>

I haven't wanted to carry a lot of stuff yet, and my cannondale overland
panniers fit on my rear rack, and a caboose fits on top. If you
want to carry more than that, you might be able to mount an old style
front carrier, which fit above the front wheel, and hang panniers from
that. I don't know what it would do to the handling.

--David Wittenberg

witte...@zendia.enet.dec.com

unread,
Aug 13, 1991, 10:14:04 AM8/13/91
to
In article <1...@soul.ampex.com>, ji...@soul.ampex.com (Jim Grippin) writes:

|> > Angle Lake
|> > Cyclery was pretty good about shipping about when they said they would.
|> > (They sell Counterpoints, and I think a couple of other brands as well.)
|> > They act like a good bike store. Everything they ship works well, and
|> > you get charged full price for it.
|>

|> Does Angle Lake MAKE bikes or SELL bikes ? That information seems to
|> be somewhat elusive. I sure would like to ride a Presto someday. And
|> an Opus.
Angle Lake sells bikes. They are exclusive dealers for Counterpoint
(Opus and Presto), and I think US exclusive dealer for Moulton.
They buy bare frames, add braze-ons, paint them, and build them up.
Because they are exclusive dealers and do braze-ons and painting,
it's sometimes hard to remember that you're not dealing with the builder.

They also sell more conventional bikes like Terrys.

--David Wittenberg

Jim Grippin

unread,
Aug 12, 1991, 2:11:10 PM8/12/91
to
In article <1991Aug9.1...@cc.usu.edu>, b...@cc.usu.edu (Bob Bayn) writes:
> > PEOPLE IN CARS LOVE YOU
> Jim may be looking for love in all the wrong places, but I too have noticed
> a lot "nicer" response from motorists when I'm on my 'bent (thanks for that

>

Yesterday while sitting at a stoplight this guy jumped out of his
pickup and started shaking his finger at me and screaming " What do
you think your doing out here having fun while we have to drive around
in these stupid cars alla time !" The people in the other cars
couldn't hear what he was saying so they seemed to think that he was
chewing us out. Their expressions were hilarious ! ( This is a true
story , really )


>
> a pain (because I'm not expected to keep up?) and the downhills are
> a blast (a little scary, at first).
>

The first time I hit 50 mph on my Tour Easy my eyes were as big as pie
pans.


>
> > RECUMBENT MANUFACTURERS ARE OFF THEIR GAME

> I dunno about this. My local tech-weenie businessman just ordered a
> Lightning frame for me and equiped it out of his stock on hand. The

I want to hear more about your Lightning. Like which model and whats
good and bad about it.

I think all 'bent manufacturers have good intentions. But when you are
writing checks with four digits in them , putting up with their
idiosyncrasies can try your patience a little.

Jim Grippin

unread,
Aug 12, 1991, 3:08:06 PM8/12/91
to
In article <45...@cup.portal.com>, Stev...@cup.portal.com (Steven Eugene Sergeant) writes:
> >Bicycles are faster on hilly terrain. I know this can be disputed in
> >theory, but unless you have legs like Nelson Vails, you are going to
> >be slower going up a hill on a bent. Trust me on this.
>
> slower) by nature. It seems that because you are seated in a different
> position and pushing the pedals with somewhat different muscles it
> seems more difficult for cyclists who are use to conventional bikes.

True. It is a slow process, but I am steadily getting stronger as time
goes by. I keep it in perspective by looking back on how many years it
took to work up to a 100 mile day.


>
> I know that this is true for two reasons.
> 1. After riding my "bent" on loaded tours several weeks a year for
> two years now, I find that I'm every bit as fast with full gear
> on hills as the others I ride with (some of whom are on conventional
> bikes.

On club rides I can outclimb everyone but the carbon fiber road
warriors. On the flats or downhill they rapidly become specs in my
mirror.
BUT I still feel that everything else being equal, you can climb
better on a conventional bike. Two equal riders on a climb ? The
person with the lighter bike will win.
The guy on the bent will be the guy with the grin on his face however,
because only he will know the fun he will be having as he hits
terminal velocity going back down.

Jim Grippin

unread,
Aug 12, 1991, 1:33:42 PM8/12/91
to
In article <15...@mentor.cc.purdue.edu>, mc...@mace.cc.purdue.edu (Dwight D. Mckay) writes:
>
> I've noticed this too! Out where I ride I think the drivers thing my recumbent is some funny sort of farm equipment. :-)
>
> The agression factor for me is lessened by comfortable seating position. Why get upset when you are sitting in a fairly relaxed position enjoying crusing along? Wave to the cars, take in the view, grind up the hill and enjoy flying down the other side..> .
>
> True. Even more true for a tricycle recumbent like the Trice I just received. I hope to post a review of the trice in the next week or two after I put a few more miles on it...
>
> No kidding. It's even worse if you order one from overseas. The Trice is made in England and even with a friendly and determined importer (EcoCycle) it took three months to arrive from the time I placed my order.
>

I look forward to your review on your Trice. To bad fluid drives have
to be so heavy and ineffecient. A tricycles would be a great
application for that technology.

The view sure is better on a 'bent. I see things that I never saw on
my other bikes. My nose gets sun burned though. Bummer.

Three months ?! I thought five weeks for my Tour Easy was more than
enough.

Y'know , from the postings on 'bents that I have seen it looks like
their are enough people with enough different brands that a review of
each type would make some good reading.
Could get us through the long winter that is suddenly looming on the
horizon. ( This is Colorado )

Jim Grippin

unread,
Aug 12, 1991, 12:33:47 PM8/12/91
to

For a good source of recumbent information try

The Recumbent Cyclist Newsletter
Robert Bryant , Editor
16621-123rd Ave S.E.
Renton , WA 98058 USA

This guy knows his stuff.

He also runs an all recumbent bike shop.

There is also......

The Recumbent Bicycle Club of America
427 Amherst St Suite 305
Nashua NH 03063 USA

Without trying to sound to giddy , you should take a 'bent for a ride
around the block. It will peg your grin meter.

Of course you could weave all over the road and hit a parked car or
something. The steering can be a bit SENSITIVE after all.
If you aren't to sure about keeping one of these units upright on your
first ride, start out coasting downhill. Have the owner run along side
to keep you propped up till you get up some steam.

The second you sit on one , you will know that this is real different
from any previous experience.

Jim Grippin

unread,
Aug 12, 1991, 4:10:43 PM8/12/91
to
In article <78...@male.EBay.Sun.COM>, d...@zule.EBay.Sun.COM (Dan Pritchett) writes:
> In article <1991Aug9.1...@cc.usu.edu>, b...@cc.usu.edu (Bob Bayn) writes:
> I'm in the middle on this one, having just plunked down a $1,000 deposit
> on two Ryans and then having to wait 8 weeks for them to come in. To add
>
>
A friend bought a Ryan Vanguard last spring. It arrived dis-assembled
of course. So he took it to his favorite bike shop to get it put
together.
Bad plan.
While this bike shop can do just about anything on a regular bike they
had NO experience with recumbents or under-the-seat-steering.
So he was out , say , $50 and had a bike that was totally set up
wrong.
When Bike Guide (I think) had the review of the Ryan a while back, he
used the pictures from the article to make things right by himself.

Make sure you get assembly instructions from Ryan. Getting the tie
rod/handlebar mount/seat mount all correctly oriented can be a real
ordeal if you have to guess at it.

Jim Grippin

unread,
Aug 12, 1991, 4:42:26 PM8/12/91
to
> |> |> [tech-weenies with no business sense deleted]
> Only some of them. Some bike stores have Linears in stock. Angle Lake
> Cyclery was pretty good about shipping about when they said they would.
> (They sell Counterpoints, and I think a couple of other brands as well.)
> They act like a good bike store. Everything they ship works well, and
> you get charged full price for it.

Does Angle Lake MAKE bikes or SELL bikes ? That information seems to


be somewhat elusive. I sure would like to ride a Presto someday. And
an Opus.
>
>

> From what I can tell, custom builders of diamond frame bikes aren't all
> that easy to deal with, so why do you expect recumbent builders to be
> better.

Good point. I guess I want 'bent manufacturers to be the paragons of
the industry and am frustrated by their lack of consistency. They take
a progressive frame design and hang the most gawd awful cheap components on it. For Instance
My Tour Easy came with a decal that states that it is "The Worlds
Fastest Bicycle" but the front brake is some cheap Wienmann sidepull
that can't be centered and the wheels were built using Maillard hubs
(remember those ?). Now these are probably "good serviceable
components" in the mind of some people but to me they are out of step
with the rest of the bike. And I am going to have a hard time
convincing my wife that I need to upgrade components on a bike that
cost this much.

Is that enough whining ?

I know that I will survive the ordeal. I'm going to tell my grandkids
about how tough I had it as a (37 year old) child.

I guess when you are a brave pioneer exploring the cutting edge of the
future and paving the way for others to folloENOUGH ALREADY ! LUNCH
TIME WAS UP TEN MINUTES AGO !


>
> At any rate, my Lightning tailwind is so much more comfortable than my
> old diamond bike that it would have been worth quite a bit of hassle
> to get it.
>

You got that right ! If I wanted it easy I would have bought something
from Taiwan.

Alain Samkocwa

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Aug 13, 1991, 7:02:38 PM8/13/91
to
Please send your answer by Email to: samk...@IRO.UMontreal.CA.

Thank you in advance.

Sam. Al.

Alain Samkocwa

unread,
Aug 13, 1991, 8:20:50 PM8/13/91
to

I'm sorry about the first message on bike frames I sent: I didn't realize I've
lost 95% of the text!
So this the second try.
I have been planning to buy a frame and I have found 3 that put me in quite
a dilemma. They are each built by 3 different makers: Rossin, F.Moser and
Daccordi. They all are made of Columbus SL tubing. They cost about the same
and have about the same appearance (color). So I was wondering if any of you
might have some information about these frame builders or may somehow make some
distinction about their work quality.

Please send your answer by Email to: samk...@IRO.UMontreal.CA.
Thanks in advance!

SAM. AL.

Richard Taylor

unread,
Aug 14, 1991, 3:31:14 AM8/14/91
to
As there appears to be some more general interest, I though that I
would post a short review of the Trice I wrote some months back. If
anyone wants a postscript version (complete with cruddy diagrams)
then mail me direct.

--------- cut here --------

The Trice - a brief review.


After posting something to the net on a comparison between the Trice
and other recumbents, I was asked to write a short review of the beast.
Well a couple of hours into Sunday afternoon and this is it. I have
made a quick sketch to illustrate the review - the file after this one
is a straight Postscript version, diagrams and all included. If anyone
has any more questions, then please do ask me, either directly or
through the mailing list. I have no connection with Peter Ross (who
designs and builds these), but this is a highly biased review - I like
it (the Trice - not the review). If anyone wants to reprint and use
this review (or part of it) then they are welcome. I would appreciate a
copy of it if you do.

I should really begin with another minor confession. I have had a
lifelong fascination for things mechanical and especially cycles (note
the care with which I avoid the bi-word). I have also been very
fortunate in my place of work, and have always worked somewhere within
comfortable bike commuting distance. This has meant that I can indulge
myself - not having to pay through the nose to run a car to and from
work generates some big surpluses! I currently run a pair of
Cannondales (tourer and mtb), the Trice and a Pashley Unicycle. But you
tire of this - so on to the review.

I'll start by describing the construction and then get on to my
experience setting up and riding the beast. Measurements are generally
Imperial given the destination of most of this mail, but no doubt the
odd "continental" measure has snuck in.

By way of background, Peter Ross is an ex(?) Aerospace Engineer who now
builds bicycles full time from a base in Cornwall, England. I believe
that he builds both the Trice (which I am just about to review) and the
Ross Recumbent, a rather nippy two wheel recumbent. The trice is
available directly from him, but I think that it is also imported into
the US by a company called Ecocycle. Addresses at the end.

The Trice is a low slung, `reverse' architecture. (There are two wheels
at the front and one at the back - not so amazing for readers of this
newsgroup, but it sure attracts interest outside). The nearest most of
the Great British Public have come to this is the ill fated Sinclair
C5. This brings it to a wide 36" front wheel to front wheel, and about
80" in length.A fixed fibre glass seat is slung between the two front
wheels, and velcro fastenings hold down a cushion running the length of
the seat. The seat is structural - before you fit it, you wonder
whether the Trice will ever support your weight. After fitting there
are no doubts about its strength. Although the cushion may be removed
quickly, the seat was my first target for customisation; a small hole
to let any water that might gather out!

Given the fixed seating position, the only way that you can adjust for
body length is moving the pedals either towards you or away from you.
The upper 12" or so of the front frame slides into the lower frame. A
hexagonal bolt holds the frame in place. As the frame moves through its
full range, links in the chain must be added/removed (4 links per inch
of movement). This works well - I am just under 6', my wife 5' 5" and
we both feel comfortable, leaving lots of room at either side for other
heights.

Steering is by a set of modified handlebars mounted under the seat. You
turn the front wheels (20" x 1 3/8", 55psi tourer, 85 psi speed) via
two plastic ball joints and a short track rod. The rear wheel (700 x
23C - about 27" x 1 1/2", 85 psi both models) is fixed. The frame is
mainly high tensile steel although I believe that parts of it are
Reynolds 531 tubing.

Braking is primarily through a pair of Sturmey Archer hub brakes on the
front wheels. Although they may be adjusted independently, they are
driven from a single brake lever on the right hand side of the
handlebars. The rear brake is primarily a parking brake and has a
locking lever. Pull it to lock into one of two positions, a small catch
releases it.

Rear wheel drive is through a chain of incredible length (actually
about 160", but when you first fit it you wonder where is it all going
to go!). The chain ring (in my case a triple Suntour, 32 42 52) is
mounted on a short upright on the central strut. The chain runs the
length of the cycle, feeding through two nylon wheels and round the
rear block (6 speed, 28-14 teeth). Once properly adjusted, the chain
has no tendency to "rub" on exposed frame, cable etc... The standard
gears are Suntour Accushift. It took a couple of weeks of riding to get
the cables stretched out, but they were easily indexed.

Overall the Trice is well designed and built. I bought a complete
machine, although it needed about 4 hours of assembly - very
straightforward. There are no specialised tools required (for the
record, Peter Ross specifies 4 open ended spanners 8-15mm, one
adjustable spanner, 2 box spanners (8mm and 14mm), one medium
screwdriver, one Philips/cross-head, a couple of Allen keys and a chain
link adaptor - you probably could get away with less). I had to replace
the front changer (wrong type for the clearances involved). I believe
that Peter Ross had just started using some new components, so possibly
this had snuck through the quality control.

Enough of the construction and down to the riding.

The riding position is low and comfortable. Getting in and out of the
Trice is easy, although it takes a little time to become used to the
toe clips. Start and the acceleration is surprising. The riding
position, laid back with the pedals slightly raised from the horizontal
allows you to push efficiently. Once going, the Trice appears slower
than a conventional diamond frame. This is an illusion - I had to fit a
speedo to convince myself that I was moving at a decent pace. On the
flat without a wind I have noticed a 5% improvement in my
commute/circuit times. With a head wind it is a different story. York
is flat, very flat and there is often little protection from a strong
headwind. On the Trice, the effect of wind (slow-down and buffeting) is
noticeably less than on a safety bicycle. Uphill it is slower than a
safety (you can't stand on the pedals), but still very comfortable.
Just drop into a lower gear and away you go. I have not yet had to use
my little ring in anger, although given the gently undulating York
plain this is not surprising. The largest hill is barely 1/4 mile at 1
in 6. The range of "unused" gears gives me lots of hope for the future
though!

In terms of comfort the Trice is far superior to a diamond frame. A
5-10 mile journey at a moderate 2-15 Mph leaves me more relaxed than
the same on my tourer/mtb. The riding position does appear to use
different muscles, and my efficiency improved noticeably over the first
two weeks.

Vision is open to the front, although restricted to the rear. I have a
side mirror and use it all the time. The combination of riding position
and the somewhat high seat (which supports both your back and your
head) makes it difficult (in reality no different to a car) to look
back.

One note about the cycling position. As supplied, the seat provides
full support for yourhead. If you intend to wear one of those helmets
with a "long back" it might be uncomfortable unless you modify the
cushion. I wear a relatively elderly "Kiwi" (about 5 years old) and am
comfortable in it.

I was apprehensive at first about the riding position - would other
cars see me or not? This has not turned out to be a problem. The bright
orange seat, a rather dinky flag and the width of the Trice make
drivers pay attention. In many ways, I think that the Trice is more
visible on the open road than a conventional framed cycle.

Manoeuvrability is great, the Trice turns quickly. I have tried but not
succeeded in pushing it beyond a slide in tight manoeuvres. The
University of York has several cyclable trails, some of which require
very tight turns. The Trice can whip round them far faster than a bike.

Load carrying is adequate. There is no room for the "low rider"
panniers and handlebar bags seen on safety bicycles. I have fixed a
rear Blackburn carrier and only notice the weight (rather than any
change in handling) when loaded with two panniers and a saddle-bag.
There must be some difference, but as I do not (can not?) travel more
than about 20mph with a fully laden Trice, I have yet to hit it! We are
just about to buy a trailer (probably a Burley Light) to take a new
baby + shopping. I will tell everyone about mixing the two when we get
it (trailer and trice, not baby and shopping).

I have not had much experience in the wet (2/3 days : who said it
always rains in the UK?). I originally bought mudguards, but found that
(a) the front mudguards wobbled around a little too much for my liking
and (b) they were unnecessary. Water comes off the tyres to either side
of you. I have retained the rear guard to keep head, brakes and
saddle-bag clean.

The Trice is noisier than a conventional cycle. This is all chain noise
(it runs over two polythene wheels with Glacier bearings). The noise is
not loud or unpleasant and you soon get used to it.

Crashes - yes I have had two.

The first was very minor. About one week after I took delivery, a
plastic ball joint split, leaving me still in control - mostly. The
Trice is designed so that the wheels track straight ahead if
unconnected and it was not difficult to get home. Peter Ross was
extremely surprised to hear about this - apparently this is the first
time it has happened in 90+ machines. He replaced it very quickly and I
have had no problems since.

The second was more serious. I was travelling between 25 and 30 Mph and
was crowded over by a car (first time ever and never since). I was
forced first into a pot hole and then a ditch. The Trice turned on its
side, but I was unscathed, if a trifle petrified. I recently saw mail
from a couple of riders who crashed their two wheel recumbents and
suffered injuries to their feet and ankles. This appeared to be
connected with their inability to get their feet out of the toe-straps.
The twin front wheels protect you to a much greater extent on the
Trice. I ended up with a slightly lumpy front wheel (easily trued) and
a dislike of Ford Capri drivers. If I had been on an upright, it might
have been more serious.

The only minor bugbear is the width. It is about the same width as a
conventional tricycle - 36". There is a narrow track version available.
This prevents the use of front mudguards (not necessary anyway in my
humble opinion, the water doesn't spray to the side) and puts the front
wheels "close" (PR's words not mine) to your hands. I selected the
"tourer". Our rear yard gate was the first obstacle, 3" too wide
(*&&^%^&^%$). Not a problem now - the Trice is light (about 35lb I
think, not much heavier), picking it up & swivelling it through the
gate is not difficult.

The major problem came with the University authorities - well not
really authorities, the lab superintendent of our Physics' department.
Historically he doesn't like members of our department anyway, and
temperamentally he is the worst type of Luddite, lost in the middle
ages of large cars and wide open expanses of parking space. Some weeks
into the acquisition he noticed the trike and having nothing better to
do, decided it was taking up too much space in the bike sheds. (The
fact that it took up the same space as several conventional trikes did
not move him). Subsequently he has been running a "dump the Trice"
campaign. I am holding out. This probably says more about the amount of
work he has to do than anything else, but it does represent the only
hostile reaction I have met.

To conclude, I am very happy with the Trice. It is well thought out and
well constructed. It is comfortable to cycle, safe and a great buy. I
do not normally use it to get in and out of the city proper. York an
old city, never designed with the car in mind. The motor traffic is
very bad and very slow, a "through the gaps" approach on a mtb works
much better. I do use it anytime I do not expect to spend significant
amounts of time waiting in stationary traffic. I hope to tour Yorkshire
& Northumberland sometime next year - the new member of the household
(no not the Trice) won't be quite ready this summer. Until then, I will
keep up a regular 15 mile fun circuit and the occasional 70 mile day
tour.

On to modifications. I will fit a half fairing - probably modified from
the Zzipper "Experimenters" kit. It will be interesting to see what
kind of difference it makes both to comfort and speed. I'll let you all
know.

Finally cost. In the UK, I think that the Touring model of the Trice
comes in at just under 1000 pounds on the road. The Speed version is a
little (5-10%) more expensive. Extras that have to be purchased include
a mirror, triple chain ring (rather than the standard double),
lightweight rack, mudguards (only necessary on the rear). These prices
may have changed slightly. If anyone wants, I can probably dig up the
latest price list.

Richard Taylor, May 1991

PS : If anyone is coming up/across/down to York for the June Cycle
Rally then give me a buzz/mail.


Useful Addresses

Peter Ross, Crystal Engineering
Copper Hill House
Buller Hill, Redruth
Cornwall TR16 6BM
England
tel : (44) 0209 218868

Ecocycle (US Importer)
Don't have an address, but Dwight McKay <mc...@gimli.bio.purdue.edu> does (hope you don't mind Dwight).

Karl Abbe, Zzip Designs
PO Box 14
Davenport, CA 95017
USA
(01) (408) 425 8650

Zzip in Europe (for recumbents)

Pichler Radtecknik
Steiner. 23
7500 Karlsruhe 1
Germany
() 721 376 166


--
******************************************************************
* Dr R W Taylor tel : (44) 904 432351 fax : 432335 *
* Adaptive Systems Group email : r...@uk.ac.york.ohm *
* University of York, England *

Dwight D. Mckay

unread,
Aug 14, 1991, 12:05:03 PM8/14/91
to
In article <1991Aug14....@ohm.york.ac.uk>, r...@ohm.york.ac.uk (Richard Taylor) writes:

|>
|> Ecocycle (US Importer)
|> Don't have an address, but Dwight McKay <mc...@gimli.bio.purdue.edu> does (hope you don't mind Dwight).
|>

Don't mind at all. EcoCycle's address is:

EcoCycle, Earth Friendly Transportation
5755 NW Fair Oaks Drive


Corvallis, OR 97330
(503) 753-5178

They offer an information package ($1.00) and a video ($5.00) describing the
Trice and giving you a detailed view of the machine, the steering, gearing, etc.
as well as what it looks like to ride the bike. The video also includes some
fairly funny out-takes at the end of the "serious" portion of the video.

While Richard rides in the UK, I ride my Trice here in Indiana. I've had mine
for three weeks now and like it lot! Here's a few comments from my experience
riding the Trice:

Assembly:
The EcoCycle folks (Ken Truba) assembled and tested the Trice after it
arrived from England. They then partly disassembled it for shipment to me. I
found the assembly took about 6 hours (I'm not the mechanical wizard Richard
is!), but was not very difficult. I learned a lot about how the machine goes
together, how you setup accushift, what a 13mm open-end wrench looks like... :-)
While the track rod steering and various cable runs look complex, they went
together easily. The only tough one for me was the run for the front derailer
over to the bar-end shifter. It goes through the pedal tube, the main frame tube
and then under the foam grip to the bar-end shifter.

Riding:
My Trice is blue with a white seat. I have a VistaLight on the rear
carrier and the short orange flag Richard mentioned. I've had no problem with
cars or trucks seeing me. You are closer to the ground on the Trice then on a
two wheeled recombent so getting passed by a tracter/trailer is, well, an
experience. I think I get more vechiles taking time to look at the bicycle
then I sis before...
I've found the experience is much like riding is a small sports car with
a taught suspension. I'm slowly learning how one avoids hitting minor road bumps
and pot holes when one has three wheels. Other cyclists seem to be impressed
with how quickly the Trice moves and how comfortable it looks. I LOVE the padded
fiberglass "bucket" seat! This makes the mesh-over-frame seat on the Infinity
look barbaric.
Turns are fast and flat. The rear wheel will squeal in the wet during
hard turns as it slids a bit. The vehicle never seems to be top heavy or tipsy.
Ken Truba reports that some folks at the HPV races in Portland a year or two ago
tried to flip his Trice, but were unable to get it to do more then side slide.
The pedaling position seems much more efficient then my Infinity I. I
can climb my steep gravel driveway on the Trice!

If you have other Trice questions, please let me (or Richard) know.

Giles Morris

unread,
Aug 15, 1991, 9:17:49 AM8/15/91
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ji...@soul.ampex.com (Jim Grippin) writes:

>Does Angle Lake MAKE bikes or SELL bikes ? That information seems to
>be somewhat elusive. I sure would like to ride a Presto someday. And
>an Opus.

They sell bikes. Their two main "weird" brands are Moulton (Alex) and Opus.

The Moultons are different from the ones sold in England because Angle Lake put
more modern components on them than Dr Moulton does. I hear that the newer ones
even have index shifting.

Opus is a one-man company in the Seattle area run by a musician (hence the
musical names). When I was there I saw a Counterpoint as it comes from the
factory: A _very_ strange looking piece of bent metal (the frame) without
even the benefit of primer. So you could say that, in a way, AL build bikes,
too.

Giles Morris

mer...@data.mrc.uidaho.edu

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Aug 15, 1991, 5:58:31 PM8/15/91
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In article <gilesm.682262269@bird> gil...@bird.uucp (Giles Morris) writes:
>[...]

>Opus is a one-man company in the Seattle area run by a musician (hence the
^^^^^^^^
>[...]
>Giles Morris

Can you order one with a mouthpiece option (includes finger holes in
some of the tubes)? :-) :-)

Randy Merrell
Microelectronics Research Center "Rejoice in the Lord always;
College of Engineering again I say, rejoice!"
University of Idaho -- Phil. 4:4
Moscow, ID 83843
-----------------------------------
UUCP: ucdavis!egg-id!ui3!rmerrell
BITNET: rmer...@groucho.mrc.uidaho.edu
INTERNET: rmer...@groucho.mrc.uidaho.edu

witte...@zendia.enet.dec.com

unread,
Aug 15, 1991, 8:41:45 PM8/15/91
to
In article <1991Aug15.215831.26385@groucho>,
mer...@data.mrc.uidaho.edu writes:

|>
|> In article <gilesm.682262269@bird> gil...@bird.uucp (Giles Morris) writes:
|> >[...]

|> >Opus is a one-man company in the Seattle area run by a musician (hence the

|> ^^^^^^^^
|> >[...]
|> >Giles Morris
|>
|> Can you order one with a mouthpiece option (includes finger holes in
|> some of the tubes)? :-) :-)
|>
|> Randy Merrell
|> Microelectronics Research Center "Rejoice in the Lord always;
|> College of Engineering again I say, rejoice!"
|> University of Idaho -- Phil. 4:4
|> Moscow, ID 83843
|> -----------------------------------
|> UUCP: ucdavis!egg-id!ui3!rmerrell
|> BITNET: rmer...@groucho.mrc.uidaho.edu
|> INTERNET: rmer...@groucho.mrc.uidaho.edu
|>

Well, we have a Counterpoint Opus, which doesn't have the mouthpiece option,
but my Lightning Tailwind came with a horn mounted through the fairing support.
The top of the fairing support has the bulb, and the horns are at the
front (bottom) of the fairing, and just in front of it. The air runs
the length of the support tube. It works well, and all the kids around
like to play with it. (Here we define "kid" as under say, 7
feet tall.)

--David Wittenberg

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