Recumbent News

If you're like us, you spend some of your day hitting all your favorite recumbent sites for the latest news. Admit it, you have 10 tabs open right now on a variety of different bike sites. Wouldn't it be great if there were just one page from which you could glimpse everything that's going on in the recumbent world?

Welcome to our Recumbent News page. Please note that each full story is launched in a window within the RBR page. We've got you now! Ha ha, no, actually, this is just to make it easier for you to return to the full article listing. Click the [X] in the lower right corner or press ESC to close an article window.

Malloy makes pages of Bozeman Daily Chronicle in RotoVelo

Malloy makes pages of Bozeman Daily Chronicle in RotoVelo

Recumbent Journal's own Chris Malloy was recently highlighted in a Bozeman Daily Chronicle article on winter cycling.

Chris was out for a New Year's ride when beset upon by Jodi Hausen of the Chronicle. Hausen's eye turned toward the lone velomobile in the group.

But the Cadillac of bikes on the ride Tuesday was Chris Malloy’s velomobile.

Malloy, 60, rode recumbent — that is, in a reclined posture— for several years before deciding to purchase a purple plastic pod that encapsulates his recumbent tricycle. It resembles a mini-space rocket on wheels.

“It’s like any addiction,” Malloy said. “You keep getting bigger hits.”

He wanted to ride it Tuesday with the group to show that winter riding is a viable form of transportation. Even in 20-degree temperatures, he overheats.

“I wanted to demonstrate to people that they don’t need cars,” he said.

Read the full article at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

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Source: http://www.recumbentjournal.com/blog/item/589-malloy-makes-pages-of-bozeman-daily-chronicle-in-rotovelo.html

Looking back, looking forward

Looking back, looking forward

In no particular order, here are some stories that caught our editorial eye here at Recumbent Journal.

Five notable recumbent stories of 2012

1. New trike speed record set at Battle Mountain by TriSled rider Gareth Hanks. This raises the expectations of what trikes can do with streamlining and a big drive wheel. It might pave the way for even faster velomobiles. Several riders in two wheeled streamliners broke the (Holy Venturi!) 70 mph barrier.

2. Records in ultracycling events were set by Sara Kay Carrell in the 850 mile Race Across the West, and Maria Parker in 12 and 24 hour events for women's recumbents.

3. John Schlitter departed from Bacchetta, the company he helped found, to pursue a new venture as a recumbent dealer. He opened Vite Bikes with Jacquie Hafner just before the year closed.

4. Expansions, contractions and corporate shake ups in various companies have changed the recumbent landscape. Trikes continue to sell well. Lightfoot and Linear are trying to expand, Challenge has a new owner, Cycle Genius has faded. It looks like the global economy is having an effect.

5. Also expanding are velomobile manufacturers in North America. Pterovelo has begun limited production and Velomobiles.ca are ramping up manufacturing of Milan GT velomobiles with Milan SL coming this year.

Eagerly anticipated events of 2013

1. EUROTOUR velomobile tour in July will build on the success of Roll Over America, the US velomobile extravaganza of 2011. Over one hundred riders have signed up for a long ride around the German-French border. If you want to be involved without shipping a velomobile to the start, volunteer to work the SAG crew. [Shortly after this article went live, EUROTOUR 2013 was cancelled. We accept no responsibility. - Ed.]

2. Maria Parker is entered to ride solo in the Race Across America. This will be the most rigorous possible test of both Maria and the Cruzbike. They might be looking for crew. Most riders are.

3. Speaking of RAAM, Sergey Zimin is signed up again. He made it to Flagstaff in 2012 and is pushing 70 years old. I try to be supportive of old coots since the one in the mirror started looking at me funny. If you speak Russian, visit vershina.info.

4. Expanding efforts to build recumbent frames strong enough for heavier riders seems likely to continue. This is a welcome shift toward expanding the reach of recumbents by building bikes for the people who are not riding now.

5. In thinking outside the gear box to reach new riders, Finland's MirageBikes may have reached the limits of "different" with its shaft drive recumbent. They are also reaching beyond claims of speed to a new definition of what makes the average person ride a bike: durable comfort and convenience. We'll see where it goes.

6. The most anticipated event at my house is VELOSTONE 2013. Bring your velomobile to Yellowstone National Park the first weekend in May while the roads are still closed to automobiles, the hotels are empty and there is still enough snow to justify buying a velomobile.

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Source: http://www.recumbentjournal.com/views/columns/item/588-looking-back-looking-forward.html

Sub-seat Stereo Sticks Steal Standard Stem Steering Style

Sub-seat Stereo Sticks Steal Standard Stem Steering Style

A couple of years ago, I heard Rod Miner at Lightfoot Cycles mention a push-pull steering setup. I remembered when I was trying to develop a racer for Battle Mountain.

I asked Rod to retrofit my Easy Racer Javelin with something completely different. He said he could, and I brought my bike to Darby, Montana for an afternoon fabrication.

The titanium javelin is a long wheelbase bike with two tubes on rear 700cc and front 406 wheels. With a long wheelbase, the rider usually needs to sit more upright just to reach the handlebars. I set mine up with a reclined seat that barely cleared the rear wheel. To steer, I had a steering stem almost three feet long. It used "tiller" steering, which means I moved the entire arm, handlebars and all, to one side to turn. It is fast and comfortable going straight. Turning was a bit awkward.

Dave at Lightfoot measured the bike and started work. The system was bolted under the seat to the lower of the two tubes. Tie rods went from arms under the seat to the fork. The base of the system is just welding handles onto head tubes and installing them sideways. Left and right are independent except for the two tie rods connecting them to the front fork. When one handle moves forward the other moves backward. The rider may steer one handed with either hand. With more bearings involved, the push steering is smooth but deliberate. The system dampens itself so the steering is not loose or twitchy at all, an occasional complaint about under seat steering systems.

I wanted to try this because that is just the way I am. The system works better than I imagined. Previously, with a huge tiller, any large change in direction required a long reach out to the side, with attendant weight shifts for balance. With push steering, it only takes a slight motion for any degree of turning. The trick is learning to use a thing without any rotation to turn the bike. Rod demonstrated some real cycling prowess when he tested the bike. On the first try he was doing 360 degree spins effectively pivoting on a stationary rear wheel. With the tiller, it took me two lanes and a shoulder to do a 180.

Steering on a Lightfoot quadLightfoot Cycles also uses the head tube technique to allow the front wheels to tip on his quad cycle. The standard steering handlebars are mounted on the front derailleur tube and connects forward with a tie rod. The rod is loosely mounted so the front axle can rotate and steer at the same time. The profligate use of head tubes makes Lightfoot's bikes very robust for real world use. My Javelin looks a bit encumbered but I love the new maneuverability. The center of gravity is lower for both riding and just picking it up to toss it in the car. After I got it home and rode it a bit, I told Rod I really liked the push-pull style. He said, "That's great. We designed it for trikes. We've never put one on a bike before."

We are including some photos of different steering setups. Linear and Slipstream both make long wheelbase bikes with under seat steering. (I confess this whole project began with Linear Limo envy.) Discussing different long wheelbase designs brings up the problem of steering "trail" which we might discuss next time.

Javelin conversion :: From tiller steering to push-pull underseat. Javelin conversion :: From tiller steering to push-pull underseat.

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Source: http://www.recumbentjournal.com/views/columns/item/586-sub-seat-stereo-sticks-steal-standard-stem-steering-style.html

Monster electric quad from Russia

Thanks to Peter from udobnoposvetu.si I found this set of pictures of a quad homebuilt in Russia by Alex Reah. All four wheels are 26″, left rear wheel is powered by man power and the right one has an engine. The machine can be disassembled and transported easily. Alex has more experiences with building recumbent [...]

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Source: http://www.recumbent-gallery.eu/monster-electric-quad-from-russia/

Timo Sairi returns with MirageBikes Nomad drive shaft bike

Timo Sairi returns with MirageBikes Nomad drive shaft bike

It has been three years since we reported on the shaft drive recumbent design from Timo Sairi. In that time, the design has been further developed and is now coming to market as the MirageBikes Nomad.

MirageBikes CEO Tatu Lund contacted us to let us know a bit about their philosophy:

"Instead of designing the fastest possible recumbent, we have had [a] different design objective. We wanted to design a bike that is perfect for everyday commuting and leisure."

To do this, MirageBikes and designer Timo Sairi continued along the lines of a shaft driven recumbent to remove the noise, maintenance, and mess that comes with chain driven transmissions.

The advantages are strong for a flatland commuter. There's never a need to worry about chain grease on the pants (and no need for chain tubes). The bike is easily adjusted for a variety of riders (though taller riders end up sitting higher relative to the bottom bracket than shorter riders). There are no exposed chainring teeth to get caught on anyone or anything. And with the Nomad's 8 speed Alfine IGH, shifting is simple.

However, there are some disadvantages. First, the Nomad is, for now, locked into its 8 speed configuration, a disadvantage for riders who require a greater gear range for a challenging commute. Second, the shaft drive comes at the cost of weight with the Nomad clocking in at 46.3 pounds (21kg). Third is the inherent efficiency loss in a shaft drive over a chain.

Lund addressed the Nomad's drivetrain efficiency in a post at BentRider Online:

"Comparison to the chain drive is still tricky. Chain systems are [not all equal]. In recumbents excluding Cruzbike the chain drive is always a bit compromised too due [to the] long chain and additional guiding wheels, etc. Also selected parts, gears, etc. have [an] impact on efficiency. I would say that our drive shaft system is still [a] few percent behind the best chain systems."

Given the goal of the design, a bike that is easily accessible and low on maintenance, the efficiency aspect is not quite as important, especially given the gearing limitations of the 8spd hub.

At this time, MirageBikes is accepting pre-orders through their site and are expecting a price of around 3000 euros and $3500 USD. They are also seeking dealers - especially ones willing to bring the Nomad to the USA.

For more detail on the MirageBikes Nomad, visit MirageBikes.com.

The MirageBikes Nomad :: Shaft drive recumbent bike The MirageBikes Nomad :: Shaft drive recumbent bike The MirageBikes Nomad :: Shaft drive recumbent bike

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Source: http://www.recumbentjournal.com/news/gear/item/587-timo-sairi-returns-with-miragebikes-nomad-drive-shaft-bike.html

Bad news for SPEZI trike racers

Bad news for SPEZI trike racers

Fans of the annual SPEZI trike race will have to go without this year as the Germersheim show has decided to discontinue the race component.

After nine years of races, SPEZI has announced the popular trike race will not happen in 2013.

According to a SPEZI release, the reasons behind the race cancellation are varied. Among the factors are the high maintenance of the race itself - building out the track, dedicating staff, and avoiding mishaps. One such mishap in 2012 involved an accident with a spectator.

Andreas Seilinger, race director and owner of Traumvelo, shared on velomobilforum.de that the double duty pulled by Hase and HP Velotechnik (the race organizers) was becoming a burden.

The SPEZI trike race has served as somewhat of a trial for different trike designs with the likes of Hase, HP Velotechnik, ICE, KMX, and Tripendo all throwing products into the ring.

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Source: http://www.recumbentjournal.com/news/sport/item/585-bad-news-for-spezi-trike-racers.html

First recumbent with shaft drive to go into serial production

Three years ago we wrote about finnish designer Time Sairi who designed a recumbent bicycle with both 26″ wheels and a shaft drive. Quite an amazing machine and a breakthrough in a recumbent world. After three years of development it seems, there is another breakthrough as the first recumbent with shaft drive is going into [...]

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Source: http://www.recumbent-gallery.eu/first-recumbent-with-shaft-drive-to-go-into-serial-production/

Back-to-back recumbent tandem trike

It seems that there are only few of them existing. Most probably only three, although there are far more back-to-back recumbent bikes on the roads. It is a bit strange as people are more interested in recumbent tandem trikes than bikes because they are afraid of manouverability and problems with balance. The main two reasons [...]

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Source: http://www.recumbent-gallery.eu/back-to-back-recumbent-tandem-trike/

Gallery: Hurricane Sandy vs. Sun EZ-Sport recumbent

Gallery: Hurricane Sandy vs. Sun EZ-Sport recumbent

It's something we've never wanted to find out: what happens to your recumbent after it has been submerged in five foot high flood waters? 

The answer is: lots of rust, grit, and grime all over and all through the bike. The Sun EZ-Sport CX in our gallery came in to RBR Recumbent Bike Riders in the hope that it can be restored to some semblance of its former glory. For right now, though, it just makes us want to store all our recumbents on a second floor.

Thanks to RBR for letting us photograph this unique situation. Prints of the following photos are available for purchase at the Recumbent Photography Zenfolio site.

Submerged Sun :: Don't try this at home. Submerged Sun :: Don't try this at home. Submerged Sun :: Don't try this at home. Submerged Sun :: Don't try this at home. Submerged Sun :: Don't try this at home. Submerged Sun :: Don't try this at home. Submerged Sun :: Don't try this at home. Submerged Sun :: Don't try this at home. Submerged Sun :: Don't try this at home. Submerged Sun :: Don't try this at home. Submerged Sun :: Don't try this at home. Submerged Sun :: Don't try this at home. Submerged Sun :: Don't try this at home.

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Source: http://www.recumbentjournal.com/views/galleries/item/584-gallery-hurricane-sandy-vs-sun-ez-sport-recumbent.html

Kurb Krawla – military single speed python lowracer

I have found this somewhere on Facebook. A homebuild recumbent with python-style steering with military look. An amazing work with great details and also nice looking military-style web page and last but not least tough name – Kurb Krawla. More information can be found directly on the web and Neil made also a nice video [...]

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Source: http://www.recumbent-gallery.eu/kurb-krawla-military-single-speed-python-lowracer/

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