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RBR mentioned in news article

Tim Blangger of The Morning Call, an Allentown, PA newspaper, contacted RBR about a month ago with questions about recumbents.  He was looking to do a piece on our bikes/trikes of choice and that piece is now available online.

The first half of the article hits on all the common reasons why recumbents are not quite perfect, though some of the points are strained at best.  The second half hits some of the benefits and also focuses on RBR's contribution to the article.

To say that some recumbent riders are displeased with the tone would be an understatement.  One has only to look at the comments attached to the article to see that riders have already started firing back.

From Hamster to Tweener on an Optima Baron

RBR customer Jim T. sent us an image a while back of his Optima Baron sporting Bacchetta tweener bars.  You might have seen that pic in our Customer Photos gallery.

Jim recently wrote RBR to divulge a bit of what went into his custom modification.  I have to admit that I am still in the infancy stage when it comes to my technical knowledge of recumbents and cycling, so I'm going to just spit this out and leave it to your interpretation:

  • Replacement handle bars – bacchetta 22” (I like the wider bars for my wider rear end!)
  • Riser 10.5” – cut down 4.5” (this gives me a ½ inch knee clearance on my upstroke)
  • B-Pivot
  • Spacer for fork stem – 29 mm ID x 40 mm OD x 41.5 mm L – In a perfect world I would have cut down the stem on the front fork that 41.5 mm – making the spacer was easier – If I ever change out the front fork to a carbon one – then I’ll make that change and eliminate the spacer.

So there you have it, the ingredients of a successful conversion. And what does Jim think of his Baron? "This bike is FAST!!!!"


Reviving a 1990 Trice

Not too long ago, a customer came to the shop looking to trade in an old trike towards a newer long wheelbase bike.  The trike had seen better times and was covered with dust and grime, but the 700c tire on the rear revealed that it wasn't just any piece of kit.

A little research showed it to be a circa 1990 ICE Trice, one of the earliest models to be sold in the US and the first Trice to feature 20" fronts and the 700c rear.  It was also the last model of Trice to feature their fiberglass seat, which was amazingly intact (with original seat cushion!) on the trike that was traded in.

Not everything survived the years.  The original steering bars had long since been replaced by a standard set of handlebars and some custom bar ends sporting hand rests.  The idler also had been replaced by one intended for BMX bikes.  While the front brakes were still functional, the rear brake was shot.

Still, there was a lot of promise in the 18 year old trike, so Rob took it in and handed it over to Oliver for reconditioning.

Mountain 'Benting

EBent, over at the 'BentRider Online forums, recently posted to let the world know that yes, recumbents can race off-road. Here's what he had to say:

At the last minute, I entered an MTB off-road bike race this Sunday (2 days before the race) and to my shock and pleasant surprise, I came in 4th in my age group (top 1/3 overall in my division)!

The shock/surprise came from:

-I "raced" on my wife's stock Rans Stratus.

-Tires were Big Apples.

-I'm 47 and haven't done this kind of intense off-road riding since my 20's.

-It was a fairly intense 12 mile course with steep elevation gain/loss over logging trails and single track with plenty of mud due to wet summer here in New England, plus rain the day before the race. Yes, I had to get off and push my bike in a few spots, but so were all those on MTB's around me. Yes, I'm plenty sore today.

The Ballad of BentJay

Chipmunks attacking one anotherThere was an ... incident ... during the 2008 RBR rally in which some Pennsylvania wildlife perpetrated an attack upon one of the intrepid trikers. This incident has served as an inspiration for song.

BlindTriker, another rally attendee, posted the following shortly after arriving home:

"Wow! What an incredible experience. Super people, great rides, amazing food and superb live music. A priceless weekend in beautiful (and lush) State College, Pa.

Certainly the highlight of everyone's weekend were the stunt antics of the ever wacky "Bent Jay". A frequent contributor to BROL, Bent Jay is a supremely talented yet humble man, and is well known to this blog. I am not ashamed to say that, hey.... I love the guy. To prove it I have written an ode to honor the "Bent Jay" who is both recumbent triker as well as renaissance man. Truly a man for the new millennium.

I was tempted to write this as an epic, something to rival the "Iliad" or "Odyssey". Instead I've put set to a tune somewhat more familiar. See if you recognize it. Bent Jay truly has his mojo workin'.
It goes something like this:
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