Author Topic: Recumbent for Long-Distance Touring  (Read 2735 times)

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Offline Calum

Recumbent for Long-Distance Touring
« on: July 31, 2016, 11:57:40 pm »
Inspired by the recumbent riders I met on the TransAm, I'd like to do the Northern Tier next year on a recumbent. What are your thoughts on the AZUB SIX with above seat steering, and the HP Velotechnik Streetmachine Gte with under seat steering? Advice on other recumbents for long-distance touring with full camping gear would also be much appreciated.
Thanks

Offline canalligators

Re: Recumbent for Long-Distance Touring
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2016, 01:08:00 pm »
Recumbents vary widely in their configuration and character.  You've focused in on suspended short wheelbase bikes.  I would strongly advise you to find a dealer that sells a wide variety of bikes and check them out.  Try a few, then take long test rides on your finalists.  Plan it as an all-day affair.

While the bikes you've identified are well regarded for touring, you should also try unsprung and long wheelbase bikes.  LWB is highly regarded for touring.  Make sure the bikes you try have good handling at both high and low speeds, while loaded.  Make sure they can carry the load you intend to take, and that loading it up does not compromise handling.

Regarding suspension, I/we have toured with an unsuspended V-Rex, a sprung Vision R42 and a Vision R82 tandem with sprung stoker seat (since removed).  Both of us found suspension to be of little value, and a fair bit of added weight to drag up mountains.  My wife has disk problems in her back, and has not had an issue with shocks.  Unless you have back issues where shock of hitting a bad bump could "ruin your day", I wouldn't bother with suspension.  Long wheelbase will buy most of the comfort you get with suspension.  LWBs also handle well on fast descents.  (I use SWB because it's a multipurpose bike and has to fit in my car for commuting to work.)

Good luck with the search.

Offline Calum

Re: Recumbent for Long-Distance Touring
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2016, 10:32:43 pm »
Good advice.  Thanks very much.  I focused on SWB bikes to give me greater ease of taking the bike into motel rooms.  I was also figuring that an SWB would be lighter than an LWB, but I don't know.  I'll try both SWB and LWB.  I was also leaning to an SWB because I figured it would be more stable on steep climbs, but I'll try out both.  Thanks again for your help.

Offline canalligators

Re: Recumbent for Long-Distance Touring
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2016, 12:18:12 pm »
... I was also leaning to an SWB because I figured it would be more stable on steep climbs, but I'll try out both.  Thanks again for your help.

The last time I bought a bike that was going to be used for touring ('07 Rans V-Rex), I tried a number of other bikes.  My litmus test was, would it each machine handle well towing a loaded BOB trailer?  One LWB that I tried was fine going uphill at low speed, without the trailer.  With the trailer, it was almost uncontrollable.  So if you are considering a trailer, also test ride with a loaded one.

p.s. We don't use the BOB in hilly areas, only where it's relatively flat.  Actually I've been sold on underseat racks.  Handling is unaffected, it's a really slick solution.  Combine that with taking as little gear as possible, and you have a winner.