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  1. #1
    Snow Dog
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    Recumbent Mountian-type touring bike

    Has anyone ever heard of people setting up a recumbent bike to do off road long hauls? I was just wondering if this would ever be an option....or why Surly has not come up with it yet?
    "It's about having pointless fun in the woods...." - Walt
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  2. #2
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    Ever ride a bent off road? There is your answer.

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    Google just showed me several manufacturers.

    And this: deadspin-quote-carrot-aligned-w-bgr-2

  4. #4
    Snow Dog
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    hmmm...this all might be something I would try after a few years of riding my Krampus...I think it would DEFINITELY allow my fiance to get more into it....
    "It's about having pointless fun in the woods...." - Walt
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  5. #5
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    Ummm, no. What happens when you need to loft the front wheel over a log or rock? pothole? Trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist. Off road like a dirt road or singletrack? Power on a steep hill? Would seem to be lacking. Bents have plus tires and suspension? Both prove useful on dirt.

  6. #6
    Snow Dog
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    Ummm, no. What happens when you need to loft the front wheel over a log or rock? pothole? Trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist. Off road like a dirt road or singletrack? Power on a steep hill? Would seem to be lacking. Bents have plus tires and suspension? Both prove useful on dirt.
    sorry...should have been more specific. If she ever goes with me, it would be on mostly gravely fire road, double track kind of stuff. Though we talked last night, and she said she would rather just use a regular bike anyways....
    "It's about having pointless fun in the woods...." - Walt
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  8. #8
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    About three years ago I came upon a bloke off-road touring on a recumbent trike. We met on the Centenary Trail in the Northwest of the Australian Capital Territory.

    I found talking to him fascinating. He was travelling with everything that he needed to do an extended tour. As you can see from the photo, he is not obsessed with having the latest high tech touring gear. He had toured a great deal on his trike.




    I asked him how difficult was touring on the trike. He said, "I just do it. It isn't always easy. I allow extra time." I can relate to this, because I haul an Extrawheel Voyager trailer with my MTB. It isn't easy for me either hauling a trailer and doing portage and hiking the bike, but I just do it.

    Good luck and post pics of your adventures.


    Warren.

  9. #9
    Snow Dog
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Wassa View Post
    About three years ago I came upon a bloke off-road touring on a recumbent trike. We met on the Centenary Trail in the Northwest of the Australian Capital Territory.

    I found talking to him fascinating. He was travelling with everything that he needed to do an extended tour. As you can see from the photo, he is not obsessed with having the latest high tech touring gear. He had toured a great deal on his trike.




    I asked him how difficult was touring on the trike. He said, "I just do it. It isn't always easy. I allow extra time." I can relate to this, because I haul an Extrawheel Voyager trailer with my MTB. It isn't easy for me either hauling a trailer and doing portage and hiking the bike, but I just do it.

    Good luck and post pics of your adventures.


    Warren.
    that's awesome! and sot of why I was thinking in this direction. I am thinking that for long hauls, sitting recumbent would be easier on the back and butt, and the trike would make hauling gear a bit....not easier, but just better? I do think it would limit me to roads and wider paths...

    I watched the video about quad "bikes" as well and that was sort of intereting, and I think more of what I was looking for rather than a trike
    "It's about having pointless fun in the woods...." - Walt
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sXeXBMXer View Post
    that's awesome! and sot of why I was thinking in this direction. I am thinking that for long hauls, sitting recumbent would be easier on the back and butt, and the trike would make hauling gear a bit....not easier, but just better? I do think it would limit me to roads and wider paths...
    Over the years I've had 6 or 7 recumbents. I initially got them for touring and then tried my hand at rando events. My experience is they trade one set of problems for a different set of problems. I eventually got back on "upright" bikes and preferred them for touring and for rando stuff.

    People imagine 'bents are these amazingly comfortable machines, but here are some issues that frequently occur:

    - you can't lift your weight off the seat or move around which can lead to the painful "recum-butt"
    - hands and feet can go to sleep due to the relative position of the body vs. the limbs on a 'bent
    - you can't stand up on the pedals or move around on the bike with a bent and this makes climbing slower/more painful
    - you can't hop the bike or move your weight around so you have to take all the bumps full on

    In the end way 'bents climbed and the static riding position that felt really boring got me to switch back to upright bikes and work on my riding comfort. Once I did I was able to get comfy on my upright bike for 12hrs+ at a stretch without padded bike shorts or anything else.

    Where I think 'bents are the ideal solution is for folks who have a physical limitation where riding an upright bike is not possible. That could be a neck, arm/hand or back issue or perhaps a balance issue requiring a trike.

    If you are just not as comfy on an upright bike as you would like I'd recommending spending time solving the your issues unless you have already done everything possible without any progress.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  11. #11
    Rednose/Greenback
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    For the op, TerraTrike has an off road rig that's worth looking at. Don't know too much but there's a recent review at Bent Rider Online. Hopefully it will be useful. A trike, while slower than two wheels, is going to be a lot more stable on off road terrain. I think it's worth considering.

    Some years back, I had a steel framed recumbent (Barcroft Dakota S) that I thoroughly loved, precisely because it was so comfortable. I was able to ride 4-6 hours at a time or longer without any discomfort beyond getting tired legs (and bonking from time to time). The problem for me was this was strictly a road bike. Northern Virginia is not too bike friendly, especially for bents. The situation is somewhat better now but the safest places to ride remain dedicated bike trails. Even on a recumbent, that get's old after awhile. Then I started learning about fat bikes...

    I sold the bent and went fat because I really like the omniterra aspect of being able to go just about anywhere. I also like that some measure of suspension could be dialed in simply by adjusting tire pressure. No regrets either. That said, they are not as comfortable as my recumbent was. Years later, I'm still trying to get dialed into where I can spend long time periods on the bike without too much pain. It remains a work in progress.

    There is an LBS close by that's very recumbent oriented and I still check their used bikes on a regular basis. I've considered getting one again just to build up more riding stamina. Vik is correct with the issues that can affect recumbent riders. I was able to address mine and that Barcroft remains the most comfortable bike I ever rode.
    But after posting this, I'm gonna go ride my pugsley till my wrists hurt and my ass gets sore.
    38 54' -77 15

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by sXeXBMXer View Post
    Has anyone ever heard of people setting up a recumbent bike to do off road long hauls? I was just wondering if this would ever be an option....or why Surly has not come up with it yet?
    I think that vikb is correct that you do get tradeoffs. But I think part of the issue is purpose. What are you trying to do. For a rando rider primarily interested in completing a long ride continuously his comments are correct.

    Recum-butt is different than the problems with a normal saddle and the crotch getting cut-up or rubbed raw. For the most part stopping getting up and walking around a bit solves the recum-butt problem. The seats available on recumbents vary greatly and like an upright you have to find one that fits.

    I bought a rare recumbent trike, when one came up used, to salt away for the day I could not solve my arthritis problems on an upright. But after riding it the panoramic view is a very compelling feature. If you were riding to see the country rather than for a event or record then that difference is significant.

    So I think it depends why you ride and what you want out of a machine.

    New mainstream article in Outdoor Mag on trike packing:
    https://www.outsideonline.com/219001...wheeled-bikes?

  13. #13
    Rednose/Greenback
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    Here is BROLs review.
    http://www.bentrideronline.com/?p=11323

    Pretty nice trike for the money. Now if Surly could make some 24" knards...
    38 54' -77 15

  14. #14
    Snow Dog
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike_kelly View Post
    I think that vikb is correct that you do get tradeoffs. But I think part of the issue is purpose. What are you trying to do. For a rando rider primarily interested in completing a long ride continuously his comments are correct.

    Recum-butt is different than the problems with a normal saddle and the crotch getting cut-up or rubbed raw. For the most part stopping getting up and walking around a bit solves the recum-butt problem. The seats available on recumbents vary greatly and like an upright you have to find one that fits.

    I bought a rare recumbent trike, when one came up used, to salt away for the day I could not solve my arthritis problems on an upright. But after riding it the panoramic view is a very compelling feature. If you were riding to see the country rather than for a event or record then that difference is significant.

    So I think it depends why you ride and what you want out of a machine.

    New mainstream article in Outdoor Mag on trike packing:
    https://www.outsideonline.com/219001...wheeled-bikes?
    I would pretty much ride it only on long hauls. Fire roads; gravel; contry roads etc. It would definitely not be for regular single track riding.

    And I am thinking of it as an option for the day that a regular 2 wheeler is out of the question due to aging. I hope I have another 20 or so years on 2, but when I am doing longer hauls, the plan is more to sight see than to race. (I never raced, even when younger - biking has always been about the "hang", the Zen and making personal milestones).

    Reading the articles and seeing the review of the All Terrain trike are adding to the appeal though...
    "It's about having pointless fun in the woods...." - Walt
    '15 Surly Krampus
    '87 Mongoose Californian Pro
    LET IT SNOW!!!

  15. #15
    i'm schralping yer thread
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    Quote Originally Posted by apbtlvr View Post
    Some years back, I had a steel framed recumbent (Barcroft Dakota S) that I thoroughly loved, precisely because it was so comfortable. I was able to ride 4-6 hours at a time or longer without any discomfort beyond getting tired legs (and bonking from time to time).
    Awesome -- one of childhood friend's dad, Bill Cook, built that bike! He and his wife just downsized and moved out to Warrenton; but I know he's still riding at 80+.

  16. #16
    Rednose/Greenback
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeePhroh View Post
    Awesome -- one of childhood friend's dad, Bill Cook, built that bike! He and his wife just downsized and moved out to Warrenton; but I know he's still riding at 80+.
    @GeePhroh, thanks! That's great to hear. Bill is class guy who built some really nice, smooth riding recumbents. Excellent wheelsets too. My Dakota S had a White Bros suspension fork which tamed rides on rough roads and made for a rando capable rig. I usually ran it around 110psi if I remember. Though I rode it it on gravel roads at times, it was never designed for that, especially on Vredestein slicks.
    The first photo is from a metric century I did back around 2004.

    Recumbent Mountian-type touring bike-img_0202-web.jpg

    When I sold it...sniff
    Recumbent Mountian-type touring bike-dakota-s-6.jpg

    Keeping on the topic, it's worth noting that Rans has a wide offering of recumbent and crank forward bikes.
    RANS Bikes

    @sXeXBMXer- There's an interesting review of the
    ALTERRA 700 that might interest you.
    38 54' -77 15

  17. #17
    i'm schralping yer thread
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    Quote Originally Posted by apbtlvr View Post
    @GeePhroh, thanks! That's great to hear. Bill is class guy who built some really nice, smooth riding recumbents. Excellent wheelsets too. My Dakota S had a White Bros suspension fork which tamed rides on rough roads and made for a rando capable rig. I usually ran it around 110psi if I remember. Though I rode it it on gravel roads at times, it was never designed for that, especially on Vredestein slicks.
    The first photo is from a metric century I did back around 2004.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    When I sold it...sniff
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Keeping on the topic, it's worth noting that Rans has a wide offering of recumbent and crank forward bikes.
    RANS Bikes

    @sXeXBMXer- There's an interesting review of the
    ALTERRA 700 that might interest you.
    I'll definitely forward him the link to this thread -- he'd get a big kick out of it!

  18. #18
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    I've built a dozen recumbent's (tadpoles) and what I read here seems like theory crafting more than experience. My disagreements:

    I guarantee I can ride up steeper trails fully loaded than a normal bike. I can stop pedalling and rest without getting off and then start again no problem (on normal steepness roads). Where others have failed it is because you are using commercial trikes with commercial chain systems (eg 9 speed chains). Commercial trikes try to deflect the chains and use chain rollers that aren't up to the task. Some even rely on the plastic hose to actively deflect the chain, it's only supposed to prevent chain slap not guide it. A rollhoff single speed with heavy duty chain and several heavy duty rollers can be geared to go slower and take the stresses. Make your own chain tensioner, commercial ones are tat.

    On really steep slopes, you hold onto the front wheels like you would a wheel chair (it's too steep for brakes to work and most of the weight is on the rear). On a rough fire trail, there will be bits that you cant ride, (a fallen tree or badly eroded gully). The biggest drama will be when you want to stop and get off, you need to grab a log or something to stop the bike from rolling back. Then you drag the bike over and I have resorted to rope and hauling the bike. This might sound silly but I'm not talking about normal roads, I mean really steep trails.

    Never had butt problems (your seat is too upright).

    Never had hands and feet fall asleep (some other kind of fit issue). I use a system with multiple hand positions to keep from developing those kind of complaints.

    I always ride at least rear suspension and normal bumps aren't that big a deal. Full suspension is much better on corrugations. When corrugations are really bad and there is a turn and you are going fast, you might have a few scares. For example one wheel in the air while the other is turning etc. So yeah it does not handle like a mountain bike without any panniers.

    I've had endomorphs on one and it was fine on sand but I would not try and ride completely off road. The big wheels don't turn as sharply so I wouldn't recommend investing in a 26" trike. If you plan to ride fat wheels in sandy desert, you will need to design the bike to have the weight further back than usual. This means it wont brake so good because there wont be enough weight on the front wheels. There's no single perfect geometry.

    You can't hop, but those saying this is a problem I ask if they hop with 40kg panniers on their bike? If you only ride off road with a light backpack, then we're talking about different things. I ride in parks and forests, and here in Australia that means service roads and fire trails.

    Recumbent's aren't perfect: they are heavy, slow and it's harder to find a smooth line (eg one wheel is off the trail). If it is a trail made by bikes, then expect one wheel to be struggling to stay on the trail. Fording rivers has been an epic for me. So I am not trying to sell a better way but some of the stuff said here is just people confirming to each other what is not really true.
    Recumbent Mountian-type touring bike-bikes.jpg

  19. #19
    Rednose/Greenback
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    How about something like this?

    #11778
    Daily fatbike pic thread - Page 118- Mtbr.com
    38 54' -77 15

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by apbtlvr View Post
    How about something like this?

    #11778
    Daily fatbike pic thread - Page 118- Mtbr.com
    that....is pretty crazy. Might be worth a little consideration. i would have to justify the price versus the use though....
    "It's about having pointless fun in the woods...." - Walt
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    '87 Mongoose Californian Pro
    LET IT SNOW!!!

  21. #21
    Deroymac
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    I toured Great Divide last Summer (2017) and Idaho Hot Springs Route the Summer before using an MTB recumbent. I have other bikes but due to neck issues I use recumbent for long trips and I love being able to look around rather looking down. For the GD I used 27.5 x 2.8 tires and a 3 x 11s drive train with a 20 30 46t in front and a 11 40t on rear. I rode solo, self supported and camped 58 out of the 60 days from Whitefish, MO to Silver City NM., a lot of other tourer I met commented on not only how comfortable I looked but also how fast I was, btw I'm in my 60's.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Recumbent Mountian-type touring bike-img_3027.jpg  


  22. #22
    Snow Dog
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spoon Farmer View Post
    I toured Great Divide last Summer (2017) and Idaho Hot Springs Route the Summer before using an MTB recumbent. I have other bikes but due to neck issues I use recumbent for long trips and I love being able to look around rather looking down. For the GD I used 27.5 x 2.8 tires and a 3 x 11s drive train with a 20 30 46t in front and a 11 40t on rear. I rode solo, self supported and camped 58 out of the 60 days from Whitefish, MO to Silver City NM., a lot of other tourer I met commented on not only how comfortable I looked but also how fast I was, btw I'm in my 60's.
    That is exactly what I was thinking about....did you have the frame specially made? What other specs about the frame/components/build...PM if you don't want to derail the thread...but I bet other people would want to know as well
    "It's about having pointless fun in the woods...." - Walt
    '15 Surly Krampus
    '87 Mongoose Californian Pro
    LET IT SNOW!!!

  23. #23
    Deroymac
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    Sorry too say Lightfoot Bikes went out of business a few years ago. My model was their Bigfoot XL with 170mm rear and 135mm front hub spacing. I bought it with Knard tires and Blut 29 rims but will fit Bud and Lou on 100mm rims.

  24. #24
    Snow Dog
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    that sux that they went out of business...will have to keep searching. I am always hopeful that Surly will do a recumbent...seems like that would be in their wheelhouse...the Laid Back Trucker, or something
    "It's about having pointless fun in the woods...." - Walt
    '15 Surly Krampus
    '87 Mongoose Californian Pro
    LET IT SNOW!!!

  25. #25
    Deroymac
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    A LBT sounds cool, my first Fat bike was a Moonlander.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spoon Farmer View Post
    I toured Great Divide last Summer (2017) and Idaho Hot Springs Route the Summer before using an MTB recumbent. I have other bikes but due to neck issues I use recumbent for long trips and I love being able to look around rather looking down. For the GD I used 27.5 x 2.8 tires and a 3 x 11s drive train with a 20 30 46t in front and a 11 40t on rear. I rode solo, self supported and camped 58 out of the 60 days from Whitefish, MO to Silver City NM., a lot of other tourer I met commented on not only how comfortable I looked but also how fast I was, btw I'm in my 60's.


    That's pretty interesting. I wasn't sure how recumbent bikes could handle some of the steep terrain on the TD. On the other hand I had to get off and hike the bike up some of the more egregious parts that I encountered on my last attempt. I guess hiking is hiking whatever kind of bike you're hauling.

    Your bike looks a lot different than most recumbent bikes I have seen. The wheels look a lot bigger and it looks like you are sitting a lot higher.

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