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Sunday, May 28, 2017

Linear Recumbent Roadster

I have joined the ranks of recumbent riders this month with the acquisition of a Linear Roadster. While I have no problem with upright bikes, I want to keep riding long miles as I get older and do so comfortably. So a recumbent was a choice for me.

Bicyclemans picture of the finished product before shipment.
 I decided upon an SWB, with USS. This type of bike is shown in the above picture. SWB is short wheel base. It has more maneuverability and generally faster than a LWB. I did not want a high racer, which has tires of equal size in front and back because it will be tougher to get feet on ground(and off ground). And generally high racers have a tendency to lay the seat back farther into a laying down position. I also did not want a low racer even though it would be easier to get feet on and off the ground. But the low racer is much tougher to be seen on the road and in traffic. Also the riders own vision is somewhat more limited.
    With those choices made, I needed to decide on OSS or USS. Over seat steering is your normal handle bar style steering as seen on most upright bikes. While I initially liked that idea, there were a few things I considered. With OSS on a recumbent, you will constantly be hanging your hands and arms off of the bars chipmunk style. And does that wear on one over long distances? Also, with Under Seat Steering you have your arms at rest at your side while steering and you have a more unimpeded field of vision. With Linears method of construction, it is also possible to switch to a OSS configuration later, if you so choose. Maybe when I need to redo cables on the bike I might try that. But for now this USS is great!

Linear bike folded into handy carry case minus the seat and tires.
 When the bike is folded and broken down, it fits into the above pictured snowboard case without the tires and seat. A separate suitcase would be needed for those components.
Assembling the bike at night...hehe.
 There wasn't much daylight left when I got started on assembly of the bike. So I did most of it by porch light.
Day after assembly. No long ride yet.
My inexperience with this kind of bike made the first test rides interesting. I left the seat sitting in a position for a much taller person than I myself. I had to stretch so far by twisting my hip and pushing the pedals with my toes due to extended foot, I managed to pull muscles in my lower back and leg. After fixing that it still took many short test rides for me to set up most things properly.
First long ride. Vulcan lake in background.
My first long ride on the Linear Roadster was on the Fox River Trail(FRT). It was approximately 22 miles. I made lots of stops so as to not get tired or winded. Cuz believe it or not, it takes some new different muscles from what one is accustomed to for pedalling. Also I needed to think about the new balancing ideas i must always keep in mind as well as how to handle intersections.

Second ride. To Elgin and back.
On the second long ride I took on the recumbent, I was pleasantly surprised to notice that it has very soft suspension as I nagivated the compression/expansion fractures of the FRT between Dundee and Elgin.
My friends ride summary and map.
Yesterday I went for a long ride on the Fox River Trail with my buddy Rob. As we headed North the trail changed names as we changed counties. It becomes the McHenry Prairie Path or MPP. We decided to head as far North as the trail is paved. This was due to recent rains turning unpaved trails to mush. As seen on the above map, we made it as far as Ringwood Road just North of the Farmhouse in the Sky. The summary shows 38 miles for my buddy Rob. I rode about ten more miles at the South end of this. My total for the day was 47.5 miles at 3 hours 44 mins. His fastest speed says 28 mph. I reached 33 mph at one point on the recumbent. While his upright bike wins the day on the uphills, the recumbent is fast as heck on the downhills and seems to have a better avg speed on the flats.

 There is a bit of a learning curve for the recumbent. The starting from a stop being the most difficult of the new things to overcome. I kinda have to pedal my feet on the ground like Fred Flinstone to get up enough speed to put my feet up and pedal. This process can be improved or hindered by hills or intersections. Things to constantly consider. Here I am at approximately 3+ weeks with recumbent and my muscles are already improving. And my balance and maneuvering skills with the bike are better also. I recommend this kind of bike to anyone who would like to be comfortable while at similar speeds to a regular upright bike. Condition this information with the knowledge that I have only used this bike on trails so far. Happy biking!

p.s. lol forgot about this video MFin bike.


  1. This is how I get a recumbent started: I hold the brakes, move one pedal to just behind top of it's rotation, put one foot on the top pedal, push on the pedal, release the brakes and quickly accelerate to 5 mph. Try it, you'll find it a vast improvement over the "Flintstone start."

    1. Haha! Yes! I have been working on that. People, that was Bicycleman from Go visit his website for this wonderful recumbent bike and more like it!

  2. The softness of ride on a Linear Roadster is controlled by your tire choice and inflation pressure - there is no suspension and almost no 'give' in the frame. No need to change anything if you like the ride - just mentioning this so if it changes you know how to think about it.