PDA

View Full Version : My Bent


Knitting_Guy
05-22-2008, 10:20 PM
A couple of people asked me what a bent is after I mentioned it in my chili post. Sometimes I forget not everyone is a bicycle enthusiast.

Bent is short for recumbent bicycle. It's a bicycle that you ride in a more reclined position and the pedals are out in front of you instead of directly below you. They're a very comfortable bicycle and have a seat that's actually designed to fit your butt instead of giving you a wedgie. LOL

Back in the 30s bents were banned from bicycle racing because they have an "unfair" speed advantage over a standard diamond frame bicycle. To this day they still race in their own class and are not allowed to race against the road bikes. All of the bicycle speed records have been set on bents.

I can do a little better than 30 mph on my bent and it's considered a slow one compared to the more expensive models.

Here's mine. To give you an idea of scale, the bike is six feet long.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3156/2515398002_60e7226ea1_o.jpg

saracidaltendencies
05-22-2008, 10:56 PM
Looks very comfy! I've always been curious though, which is easier to peddle, a road/mountain bike, or, recumbent? It seems like a road/mountain bike would be easier on the legs because of the positioning of the body, but, is that so?

I have an awesome retro lookin' bike: it's an Electra and it's called The Betty. The seat is relatively comfy, but, my butt is still a bit too big for it...lol...I need to get out riding again, I miss it terribly...Haven't had much of a chance to with the kids though :(

Here's a link for The Betty (http://www.electrabike.com/04/bikes/05bikes/str/05_str_13.html)

fireflyknitter
05-22-2008, 11:23 PM
I thought this post was going to be about Bentleys. :rofl:

figaro
05-22-2008, 11:29 PM
I understood you! Is that a good thing, I dunno!

cristina61
05-22-2008, 11:34 PM
That's a cool looking ride, Mason!

My DH and I own 6 bikes, including a tandem -- but sadly, no recumbents. I've always wanted to at least try one out because they look so comfortable and fun to ride.

I really love my bike (it's a Trek hybrid) and our tandem (Fuji) but still hope that one of these days I'll get a chance to ride a bent.

JessicaR
05-22-2008, 11:51 PM
I totally forgot I had a bike! :doh: Maybe I should start riding it to work instead of walking, I wonder if it burns off more calories?

Knitting_Guy
05-23-2008, 12:11 AM
I've always been curious though, which is easier to peddle, a road/mountain bike, or, recumbent? It seems like a road/mountain bike would be easier on the legs because of the positioning of the body, but, is that so?


The Betty looks nice.

A recumbent is actually easier in the sense that it's a more natural position and uses the larger leg muscles. This allows for a more efficient power transfer.

The one downside is that due to being able to apply more force to the pedals you can potentially injure the knees. Bent riders are far more conscious about using a little higher cadence and not trying to power into the pedals as hard as they can.

Balance is also a lot better as you're seated in a natural position. If you do lose it, it's a lot less distance to fall LOL

Knitting_Guy
05-23-2008, 12:12 AM
I thought this post was going to be about Bentleys. :rofl:

:rofl:

Knitting_Guy
05-23-2008, 12:13 AM
I understood you! Is that a good thing, I dunno!

Maybe, maybe not. :rofl:

I love my bent. I call it my Amish Harley.

Knitting_Guy
05-23-2008, 12:14 AM
That's a cool looking ride, Mason!

My DH and I own 6 bikes, including a tandem -- but sadly, no recumbents. I've always wanted to at least try one out because they look so comfortable and fun to ride.

I really love my bike (it's a Trek hybrid) and our tandem (Fuji) but still hope that one of these days I'll get a chance to ride a bent.


You really should ride one. You'll never want to ride a diamond frame again.

Knitting_Guy
05-23-2008, 12:16 AM
I totally forgot I had a bike! :doh: Maybe I should start riding it to work instead of walking, I wonder if it burns off more calories?

That kind of depends on how you ride, but in general over the same distance walking burns more calories than cycling, cycling just gets you there faster.

knitncook
05-23-2008, 10:05 AM
Now I'm presuming that you are a bit taller than my 5'0". Do you feel more vulnerable when you ride your bike on the roads? Are there more or fewer accidents involving bents? My FIL owns one and loves it, but he lives in a small town where lots of people walk and bike. I'd feel vulnerable down low on the ground in my town. We have very few bike lanes, not that anyone pays attention to them anyway. I'm seriously thinking of getting a new bike as most of the places that I need to go are within a 6 mile drive from my house. Just wondering if they are safer as far as visibility. Or maybe people run you over more because they are so curious as to what you are actually riding?

Knitting_Guy
05-23-2008, 11:03 AM
Now I'm presuming that you are a bit taller than my 5'0". Do you feel more vulnerable when you ride your bike on the roads? Are there more or fewer accidents involving bents? My FIL owns one and loves it, but he lives in a small town where lots of people walk and bike. I'd feel vulnerable down low on the ground in my town. We have very few bike lanes, not that anyone pays attention to them anyway. I'm seriously thinking of getting a new bike as most of the places that I need to go are within a 6 mile drive from my house. Just wondering if they are safer as far as visibility. Or maybe people run you over more because they are so curious as to what you are actually riding?


Well, there are always the drivers who either don't pay attention or simply don't respect a cyclist's rights to use the roadway, but for the most part bents tend to be more visible simply because people don't see a lot of them and they do look so much different. That tends to draw their attention a bit more.

If the lower profile makes you uncomfortable you can always mount an orange flag on a tall pole. They make them specifically for bents and they're easy to mount.

I also run a flashing headlight and tail light, even during the day, which also serves to attract attention. Can't be too safe ya know.

Last Summer I was riding downtown and had some old fart who doesn't respect cyclist's rights pass so close to me that I had to lean a little to keep his mirror from hitting me. Luckily there was a cop behind him and he immediately pulled him over and signaled for me to stop as well.

The cop wanted me to see him chew the guy out and write him a ticket for it. :cheering: He passed me in a no passing zone.

The cop told me the ticket would cost the old fart $250.

Bicycles are legal vehicles. We are expected to obey all the traffic laws, and auto drivers are required to treat us as a legal vehicle and drive accordingly.

willowangel
05-23-2008, 12:26 PM
This is really interesting to me - I've been looking for a way to cycle that wouldn't hurt me for ages. I damaged my coccyx about 10 years ago, and since then haven't been able to sit on any kind of bicycle seat because of the direct pressure (even ultra-padded ones). I've asked bike shops about options, but they didn't really know much, so I gave up. I am also limited by the fibromyalgia, but I imagine walking is worse for my hips than this would be, so this could be a form of exercise I'm capable of! Woo!

I don't think I'd be comfortable on our roads, cars don't seem to respect each other, let alone cyclists, so I'd stick to the cycle paths in the local parks. It would be great, though - since often I'm too sore to walk all the way through, something like this may open up some places for me.

Knitting_Guy
05-23-2008, 12:38 PM
This is really interesting to me - I've been looking for a way to cycle that wouldn't hurt me for ages. I damaged my coccyx about 10 years ago, and since then haven't been able to sit on any kind of bicycle seat because of the direct pressure (even ultra-padded ones). I've asked bike shops about options, but they didn't really know much, so I gave up. I am also limited by the fibromyalgia, but I imagine walking is worse for my hips than this would be, so this could be a form of exercise I'm capable of! Woo!

I don't think I'd be comfortable on our roads, cars don't seem to respect each other, let alone cyclists, so I'd stick to the cycle paths in the local parks. It would be great, though - since often I'm too sore to walk all the way through, something like this may open up some places for me.

My busted hip was why I opted for a bent in the first place. The seat is far more comfy and natural than a standard bike seat. Find a bent dealer in your area and test ride a couple. They come in many different design styles such as long wheel base, compact long wheel base (like mine), and short wheel base with many permutations within each category.

You can do some googling to find dealers in your area. I'm lucky in that we have one of the best dealers in the country located right here. People drive past several others to go to his shop.

cindycactus
05-23-2008, 04:16 PM
Do Bents come in three wheelers? We see a man ride a three wheeler that looks somewhat like yours. He has it all decked out with a top to keep the sun off, a basket to carry his things and a sign on the back that says, "No Riders. Only Redheads!" We see him at a restaurant we frequent. I thought cars were to pass cycles with at least 3 feet distance.

Knitting_Guy
05-23-2008, 06:36 PM
Do Bents come in three wheelers? We see a man ride a three wheeler that looks somewhat like yours. He has it all decked out with a top to keep the sun off, a basket to carry his things and a sign on the back that says, "No Riders. Only Redheads!" We see him at a restaurant we frequent. I thought cars were to pass cycles with at least 3 feet distance.
Yes there are some trike versions. The model I ride does come in a trike version.

Jaxhil
05-25-2008, 05:10 PM
That is really cool! I've always wanted to try one, just to see what it's like. How is it on hills? I live in a very hilly area, and would be curious to know how it compares to a regular ('diamond frame' you called it? never heard that either!) bike.

It drives me crazy when people don't respect bikers! It's nice that you got instant justice!

Btw, I love your nickname for it-Amish Harley :rofl::rofl::rofl: Too funny!

Knitting_Guy
05-25-2008, 06:13 PM
That is really cool! I've always wanted to try one, just to see what it's like. How is it on hills? I live in a very hilly area, and would be curious to know how it compares to a regular ('diamond frame' you called it? never heard that either!) bike.

It drives me crazy when people don't respect bikers! It's nice that you got instant justice!

Btw, I love your nickname for it-Amish Harley :rofl::rofl::rofl: Too funny!

Bents tend to be heavier than diamond frames so if you do a lot of hill riding I'd go with a model made from a lighter material. Mine has a steel frame and so weighs a little over 40 lbs, not the best for a lot of hills. They do make them out of lighter materials. A nice short wheel base aluminum model would be just fine for the hills as it would weigh about the same as an average diamond frame bike.

Raeknitsnwa
05-25-2008, 10:45 PM
Wow that is cool that would be nice for someone who has never learned to ride a bike(that would be me lol I had no desire to when I was a kid lol)

Knitting_Guy
05-26-2008, 08:22 AM
Wow that is cool that would be nice for someone who has never learned to ride a bike(that would be me lol I had no desire to when I was a kid lol)


Wow, I practically lived on bikes when I was a kid. Give one a test ride. Any good dealer will set it up to fit you and give you instructions on how to ride it.

Balance is easier on a bent due to the lower center of gravity so you'll probably do just fine.

Just don't make the mistake one lady at our dealership made during a test ride. She took off and rode it around the park just fine. She really did take to it right off.

When she came back to where we were standing she rode up, slowed to a stop, and fell over.

She forgot to put her feet down when she stopped so naturally the bike fell over :rofl:

cindycactus
05-26-2008, 02:55 PM
OMG I hope y'all were able to keep from laughing at the poor lady! :passedout:

Knitting_Guy
05-26-2008, 02:59 PM
OMG I hope y'all were able to keep from laughing at the poor lady! :passedout:

Actually no, we weren't. Once we made sure she wasn't hurt, and she admitted that she just forgot to put her foot down, we all busted out laughing.

She did buy the bike though.

tarrentella
05-26-2008, 03:23 PM
I was another one who never learned to ride a bike when i was a kid. I eventually did when i was 13 (having stabilizers on a bike at age 13 is not the best for your confidence!) but because of the embarresment factore etc never realy took to it. I would like to ride a bike more often but as i ahve problems with my knees bike riding can be a problem ... maybe i should look into a recumbent. thanks for the info Mason.

Rorshach
05-27-2008, 02:19 AM
Interesting that you brought up this subject, Mason. I'm right in the middle of building mine. It's about 7 feet in length, from front tire to rear. I'm using a carbon fiber layup over a Urethane core, so to keep the weight down. I'll have pics of it when I'm done if you would like to see it.

Knitting_Guy
05-27-2008, 08:14 AM
Interesting that you brought up this subject, Mason. I'm right in the middle of building mine. It's about 7 feet in length, from front tire to rear. I'm using a carbon fiber layup over a Urethane core, so to keep the weight down. I'll have pics of it when I'm done if you would like to see it.


Very cool. I've always wanted to build one as I used to spend a lot of my youth building custom bikes, but alas these days I simply don't have the time.

By that length I assume it's a long wheel base model. Similar to a Rans Stratus (my dream bike) perhaps? I look forward to seeing it.

WildMountainHoney
05-27-2008, 02:24 PM
Nice wheels Mason!

We're a cycling family too, but in our 'hood, with all the hills, plus towing kids, weight is a HUGE factor. I did really enjoy using my FIL's tricycle 'bent when I couldn't get on my bike seat after my last baby was born, though :wink: :teehee:

I actually just came here though to promote another bike that doesn't get a lot of press - check out Day6 bikes (http://www.day6bicycles.com/) My MIL, who has ridden 'bents and diamond frames, is currently riding one of these. The benefits of a 'bent - great stability, forward peddling, natural uprighting seating - plus the height and familiar "shape" most are used to in a bike!

Of course now I'm looking into a tandem. Right now I'm riding a road bike, with my son behind me on a trail-a-bike, and the other 2 in the Burley trailer behind him. I'm hoping to limit my tail shaking and increase stability. Biggest problem is I'm only 5ft flat, so finding any bike to fit me is a challenge, but a tandem I can captain well is harder still - if anyone has a rec, let me know! - oh, and I have tried a 'bent tandem, but man, I'm not so sure I want to drag that plus trailer up the hill to the store and back!!

lelvsdgs
05-27-2008, 04:10 PM
Nice wheels Mason!

I actually just came here though to promote another bike that doesn't get a lot of press - check out Day6 bikes (http://www.day6bicycles.com/) My MIL, who has ridden 'bents and diamond frames, is currently riding one of these. The benefits of a 'bent - great stability, forward peddling, natural uprighting seating - plus the height and familiar "shape" most are used to in a bike!
That looks like it would be right up my alley... I've tried the bents and did have knee problems. (I have arthritis and it was recommended to me but I was doing something wrong and it really thrashed my knees. I am also short and that could have made a difference.) This Day6 bike looks like it would work...

Knitting_Guy
05-27-2008, 04:37 PM
That looks like it would be right up my alley... I've tried the bents and did have knee problems. (I have arthritis and it was recommended to me but I was doing something wrong and it really thrashed my knees. I am also short and that could have made a difference.) This Day6 bike looks like it would work...

I've seen those bikes before although I've never ridden one. They are a type of recumbent. I've even seen mountain bikes of similar design.

As for your knee issues, the trick to not hurting your knees on a bent is to use lower gears and a faster cadence. Let the bike do the work. You just pedal faster and maintain a gear that allows the speed you want without having to press hard against the pedals.