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Chicagoland Unconventional Bicycle Expo Announced

Posted on March 25, 2015 by Bryan Ball

finalLooks like there will be another trade show catering to recumbents and our “unique” human powered brethren this year!

From CUBE Press Release…

We invite you to join us and exhibit at the first annual Chicagoland Unconventional Bicycle Expo (CUBE).   The expo will be October 2 -4, at The Tinley Park Convention Center in Tinley Park, Illinois.

The Tinley Park Convention Center is located just 30 miles south of downtown Chicago, is one of the Midwest’s premier meeting and convention destinations.  Complete with an area for outside test riding.  Read More »


Category: Blogs

Catrike Ends Rally to Focus on FARA

Posted on March 17, 2015 by Bryan Ball

faracatrikeA lot of you already know that Catrike will no longer be holding its annual Rally and Factory Tour days. Now it’s more clear as to why. Catrike has long supported the  Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA) and now will be doing even more by helping them host an annual rideATAXIA Orlando event.

From Catrike/FARA Press release…

Catrike announces a focus of time and resources to support research for Friedreich’s ataxia (FA) at rideATAXIA Orlando

Orlando, FL, (March 16, 2015) – At their Annual Owners Rally on Saturday, March 7, 2015, American recumbent tricycle manufacturer Catrike announced they are ending their 11 year rally tradition to join forces with rideATAXIA Orlando and put their full weight behind the effort to treat and cure Friedreich’s ataxia (FA). Read More »


Category: Blogs

Elan Acquires Raptobike

Posted on March 17, 2015 by Bryan Ball

A couple of years ago, Elan came in and saved the Challenge brand from going extinct. Now they’ve done the same with Raptobike.

Raptobike’s products were well respected (even winning our Reader’s Choice for Bike of the Year once) but production times and communication was wildly inconsistent. I’m sure that things will be better under Elan’s control.

From Elan Press Release…

Elan acquires RaptoBike! Read More »


Category: Blogs

Catrike Rally This Weekend!

Posted on March 4, 2015 by Bryan Ball

catrally…and I’ll be there with about 300 of my closest friends! Always a good time! Make sure you try and make it out!

From Catrike Press Release…

Catrike is hosting their 11 annual Catrike Rally and Factory Tour on Saturday, March 7th. The Rally has over 300 Catrike participants registered this year and even more will come to see their world class facility for the afternoon Factory Tour where they will be showing CNC bending, CNC milling, wheel building and a whole lot more of their awarded production. There will be members of the University of Central Florida’s jazz band playing and in the spirit of Catrike tradition, there is never a charge for this event and all preregistered Catrike owners will receive a complementary tee shirt. Catrike staff and dealers will be accessible and it will be a great chance to see the new 5.5.9 model that was just launched last week. More information here:http://www.catrike.com/#!catrike-rally/ccls

The weather is going to be perfect, which I’m sure you will appreciate.


Category: Blogs

New Batch of Schlitter Encores Available!

Posted on February 28, 2015 by Bryan Ball

schlitterencoreprofIf you’ve been waiting to place an order for a new Schlitter Encore carbon fiber highracer, today is the day! Pre-orders for the next batch start at 5 PM February 28th! If you’re in the USA, visit the order page then email info@vitebikes.com about building it up if you want a complete bike rather than just a framekit. If you’re outside of the US, email julien@schlitter.bike. Our review of the Encore can be found here.


Category: Blogs

…But the Evolve May Live On

Posted on February 26, 2015 by Bryan Ball

a1-crop-u637A couple of days ago we posted about the impending demise of Edge Recumbents. One of their most eagerly anticipated projects was the E2 folding trike. It was a licensed version of a trike originally designed by Evolve. In response to the message board thread about Edge closing, Eric Ball of Evolve revealed that the manufacturing rights have now reverted back to the designers and they intend to get the trike back into production. There will be a reveal at the 2015 Recumbent Cycle-Con event in Ohio.

From Eric Ball’s Message Board Post…

We regret having to announce that unfortunately we have had to terminate our Agreement with CEW.

We have had increasing concerns with their production processes and other matters from early 2014 and their price increase caused us great concern.
Things came to a head suddenly when in reply to our request to inspect the manufacturing facility they informed us they had closed the facility and moved the equipment into storage. This means that unfortunately there will be no production versions of our trikes for sale this US summer.

Fortunately our ongoing development have yielded an improved model with improved folding to suit a wider range of customer needs. We were intending this model for the EU market, but we feel it’s benefits will suit both markets.

So, this trike will now be revealed at RCC 2015 for release in the US in spring 2016.

Eric Ball
Evolve Trikes


Category: Articles

Edge Recumbents in Hiatus… Maybe Permanently

Posted on February 24, 2015 by Bryan Ball

edge evolve e2Bill Gillette, the (apparently former) Director of Research and Development at Edge Recumbents just posted this on our message board. I’ll call around and get some more details tomorrow when I hopefully have my voice back.

Sadly, it was a pretty poorly kept secret that the E2 folding trike was plagued by production issues since its inception. This isn’t entirely shocking news.

From Bill Gillette Message Board Post…

“Time and tide wait for no man” …Geoffrey Chaucer
As some may have noticed, the EDGE website is currently down. Though I wanted this to be temporary – to be honest – it is not in my power to predict if or when it will return.   Read More »

Category: Articles

Why Your New Bike or Trike May Be Delayed

Posted on February 16, 2015 by Bryan Ball

laborartHave you tried to order a new bike or trike this year and been frustrated by delays and/or vague “estimated delivery” times? If it has any major components made in China or Taiwan, you’re most likely not alone and it’s probably not due to any poor planning on your manufacturer’s part. A major work slow-down and closures brought on by labor disputes between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) that operates roughly 29 West Coast US Ports has wreaked havoc with a number of industrial segments in the US. Unfortunately, the cycling industry is one of the ones getting hit the hardest.

As is often the case with labor disputes, the arguments between the PMA and ILWU center around wages and work hours. An independent arbitrator was brought in earlier this month and for a time, things looked promising. Those negotiations quickly fell apart. Both sides began accusing each other of outright lies and the PMA closed the ports outright this past weekend to avoid giving holiday pay to ILWU workers. Read More »


Category: Articles

News Update February 5, 2015

Posted on February 5, 2015 by Bryan Ball

A few updates for you today! A new 3-Speed gearbox from Efneo, a new Catrike Team Jersey and a very cool rally that I will be attending in Georgia in May!

recumbent2RIDESOUTH RECUMBENT RALLY AND CONVENTION – This is a very cool event taking place in Flowood, Mississippi May 1st through 4th, 2015. Lots of great rides and great speakers including, Ian Sims from Greenspeed, Mark Colliton from Bacchetta and even… ME! Should be a lot of fun. More info at the Ride South Events Web Site.

 

catrike-recumbent-ss-frontNEW CATRIKE TEAM JERSEYCatrike and Bend-It have teamed up to produce this striking new Catrike Team Jersey. Available now from the Bend-It web site for $65.00.

 

 

 

 

Efneo-Bicycle-3-Gear-Front-GearboxEFNEO 3-SPEED GEARBOX – The Efneo gearbox is a very slick new 3-speed bottom bracket replacement that allows your bike or trike to have the equivalent of a 28-40-50T triple crankset without a front derailleur or multiple chainrings. The company is currently raising money on Indiegogo to get it into production.


Category: Blogs

Some Changes At Cruzbike

Posted on January 29, 2015 by Bryan Ball

CruzbikeSilvioWebLooks like RANS isn’t the only recumbent manufacturer making news this week. Jim and Maria Parker have bought out John Tolhurst and now own 100% of the MBB/FWD company. They’ll also be expanding the line-up soon. More info on this at Cruzbike’s web site.


Category: Blogs

RANS Sold to New Owners (UPDATED)

Posted on January 26, 2015 by Bryan Ball

Rocket Side WallNot many details yet but Randy Schlitter of RANS just posted this on our message board.

I am proud to announce that RANS Bikes has been sold and moving to a new location. I wanted to thank all the good people who post here, and have been loyal customers throughout the years. I have thoroughly enjoyed my career in bike design, manufacture, and especially testing. Through the years I have made many friends, whom I will always cherish, and hope to continue to know and enjoy. No doubt this is a huge change for me personally, as my love of cycling is great, my desire to innovate and design alive and well. I will be mentoring the new owners, so I will become the man behind the curtain for a while. I am looking forward to where RANS Bikes will go, new blood equals new and exciting things. Details about who is the new owner and where to call and email to follow!

UPDATE – Randy updated us with this info…

I would like to introduce you to the new owner: Jerrell Nichols of Montezuma Kansas. Jerrell has been a long time dealer for RANS Bikes and is not only a highly skilled cyclist, mechanic and craftsmen, he is one of the most fair and honest businessmen I have ever dealt with. You can expect prompt, concise and accurate service. I am confident you will discover doing business with Jerrell to be a rewarding experience. What you will enjoy about Jerrell is his experience, enthusiasm and knowledge about our products.

The new RANS Bikes is ready for your business starting February 2. A new web site is under construction, and that should go on line in the next few weeks. Orders will be accepted through phone or email. Online ordering for dealers will be possible with the new web site along with password protected dealer pricing.  

About the New Location: 
Montezuma Kansas is a small rural town of 1000 located 28 miles West of Dodge City. I have been impressed with the level of industry and strong work ethic. This is a place where old fashion values and common sense are alive and well. The new RANS Bikes is located on Highway 56, the main road through town, in a 12,000 square foot warehouse and show room. The location will also feature bike frame fabrication. Jerrell is a master frame builder and has a capable staff to assure quality production of our U.S. made frames. The location features a large show room with most all our current, and some vintage models. If you ever venture out West, make the effort to visit the new location of RANS Bikes, I am confident the visit will be well worth your time.  

New Location: 
RANS Bikes Inc.
109 West Texcoco
Montezuma Kansas
67867
Phone: 620-846-2209

 


Category: Blogs

News Update – January 22, 2015

Posted on January 22, 2015 by Bryan Ball

We have a few little news tidbits for you all. A new trike tandem from the UK and Catrike selling some tee shirts for a very good cause.

 

Kinetics DuplexNEW CUSTOM TANDEM FROM THE UK – Kentics is a great recumbent and folding bike dealer from the UK. They’ve been doing a lot of custom framework for a few years now and have recently made this recumbent tandem for a customer. They call it the Duplex. It’s made of seamless 4130 Chromoly, fillet brazed and comes with S&S couplers so that the tandem can be broken down. It’s a custom built item and you can get one yourself for £5995. Visit http://www.kinetics-online.co.uk/recumbents/duplex-tandem-tricycle/ for more details.

 

catriketeeCATRIKE SELLING NEW TEES FOR A GOOD CAUSE – From our message board… “Royal Blue with the Catrike logo on the front, Catrike on the back and Ride Ataxia on sleeve. Part of the proceeds will be donated to benefit the non-profit Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance in support of their mission to find a cure.” Visit their online store to order one.

 

 


Category: Blogs

Think Before You Bling

Posted on January 20, 2015 by Bryan Ball

hangingscaleBy BRYAN J. BALL
Managing Editor
 

When I recently reviewed the NuVinci 360 hub, I got a bit of flack from the company’s fans. They thought that I was a bit too hard on the hub due to its weight. I was called a “weight weenie” and a “gear snob” and one email even claimed that me disapproving of a bike part’s weight meant that I was a fattist of some sort. I didn’t know that word existed outside of a Jimmy Carr joke. On the more reasonable side of the spectrum, I was flooded with comments like, “My trike already weighs 40 pounds. What’s a couple more going to matter?”

It is undeniably true that most recumbent trikes (and even bikes) weigh significantly more than the average upright bicycle. Therefore, it’s easy to think that when you factor in the weight of the rider, a couple of pounds here and there don’t matter. I think this can be a dangerous road to travel down. Read More »


Category: Articles

NuVinci N360

Posted on January 5, 2015 by Bryan Ball

N360By BRYAN J. BALL
Managing Editor

Internally-geared rear hubs (IGH) are currently all the rage in the recumbent market. This is especially true in the trike segment. One of the most popular choices with trike enthusiasts is the NuVinci N360 continuously variable transmission (CVT) hub.

Calling the N360 an “internally geared” hub is actually a bit incorrect. It doesn’t have any actual gears. Instead it uses a a series of ball axles and discs to create a seamless transmission. There is no “click click” between gears and the rider can select an infinite number of ratios over the hubs 360% range. For comparison, a Shimano Alfine or Nexus 8-speed hub has a range of 307%. An Alfine 11 has 409%. Read More »


Category: Reviews

Lightning Phantom II

Posted on January 4, 2015 by Bryan Ball

phantomforsaleBy BRYAN J. BALL
Managing Editor

Lightning Cycle Dynamics is best known for their much beloved and enduring P-38. However, their less-expensive model also has a very loyal following. Much to the relief of those fans, the Phantom II has returned after a brief production hiatus. It’s also hit the ground running with a host of improvements.

The frame is stronger and a bit lighter, the seat has been updated slightly and the tilting steering column is now standard. Wheels and components have also been brought up to date. Read More »


Category: Reviews Tags: ,

A Surprise Tribute to Larry Varney

Posted on January 3, 2015 by Bryan Ball

ansel-f-varneyBy BRYAN J. BALL
Managing Editor

As part of our 15 Year Anniversary Celebration, I thought it was appropriate to take a moment to recognize the efforts of Mr. Larry Varney. No. He’s not dead. I just thought this was as good a time as any to say a few nice words about a man who’s been with us for for over a decade and has made many valuable contributions to the site over the years. And no… He doesn’t know I’m doing this.

I’ve known Larry for a very long time. We’ve shared many long rides together in places all over the world. We’ve spent countless hours in cars together and far too many hotel rooms. We’ve roamed many trade show floors and recumbent rally gathering areas together where he constantly gets recognized more than me. I like to point out that this is because I am just another ruggedly handsome guy and he looks like Santa Claus in ratty bike shorts. He sticks out. Read More »


Category: Blogs

Bern Morrison Helmet

Posted on January 2, 2015 by Bryan Ball

bernmorgreenBy BRYAN J. BALL
Managing Editor
 

My first experience with Bern helmets came in October, 2013 when I reviewed their Allston model. It was the multi-sport helmet company’s first foray into the cycling-specific realm. I liked it. A lot. I kept the helmet they sent for review and now my wife and son use them also. I thought Bern and I were best friends. So imagine my surprise when a reader came up to our Cycle-Con booth wearing a Bern cycling helmet I’d never seen before! I was amazed! I was hurt that they didn’t tell me! But mostly, I just wanted to know what it was called so that I could get one.

It turns out that it’s called the Morrison. Bern calls it their “first mountain bike release” but it’s not really that focused on the dirt market. A lot of the design is still pretty similar to the Allston and their multi-sport helmets but it has a largish removable plastic visor and some slightly larger vents. In my opinion, it’s also a lot better looking than Bern’s other offerings. Read More »


Category: Reviews Tags: ,

2014 End of the Year Awards!

Posted on December 31, 2014 by Bryan Ball

ROTY2014It’s time! The votes are all counted and we can now announce our 2014 Bike, Trike and Accessory of the Year Awards!

First of all, thanks to everyone who participated. We got almost twice as many votes this year as we did last year! Normally this is the part where I say the voting was very close but this year it wasn’t. The winners were very clear in all three categories. Read More »


Category: Articles

15 Days of BentRider

Posted on December 31, 2014 by Bryan Ball

br 15 logo vectorsBentRider was born on January 20, 2000. We waited until after Y2K to make sure the world didn’t crack in half, then flipped the switch! We’re positively ancient for a continuously-running web site and we’re quite proud of this milestone. We keep growing every year and there are no signs of stopping yet! We couldn’t have done it without all of you and I’m going to take a couple of weeks to celebrate with you.

Content is a bit thin this time of year since we’re headquartered in the great white north of upstate New York. However, I’ve been busy banking up a lot of goodies for you and starting with our 2014 End of the Year Awards on January, 1st, we’ll be putting out at least one or two items a day for 15 days straight! Some of it will be new product reviews, some of it will be my opinionated ramblings and some of it will be updated content from yesteryear. We hope you enjoy it as much as we’ve enjoyed your patronage over the last decade and a half!


Category: Articles

New 26″ Rear Wheel Trikes from Azub for 2015

Posted on December 30, 2014 by Bryan Ball

We’re just about to announce our 2014 Trike of the Year and it looks like Azub already has a contender for next year’s prize! In a recent blog post, the Czech company announced updated versions of their T-Tris and TRIcon models with 26″ rear wheel options and a new folding hinge. Watch the video below, then head over to their site for more details.


Category: Blogs