It’s with greatly mixed emotions that I announce a clearance sale on the inventory of recumbent bicycles now inhabiting our garage. None of these bikes have been ridden in more than a year (and a couple of them have sat idle for about two years), and there’s no point other than maudlin sentimentality for keeping them around. I’d rather they be owned by someone who will ride them periodically, if not frequently.
Besides, it’s hard to accumulate new toys when the old ones are taking up space.
These bikes are being offered for sale as is. None of them are anywhere close to being new but they’re all in good condition. Nevertheless, the new owners are advised to take them to their favorite local bike shop to get tune-ups (assuming they’re not comfortable doing the work themselves), if for no other reason than they’ve been sitting for a while and the tires, tubes, and lube probably need attention. Also, I don’t want to mess with shipping, so you’ll need to be prepared to come to Midland, Texas to pick up your purchase.
Here are the bikes being offered for sale. Note: Click on each photo to pop-up a larger and uncropped picture.
Ryan Duplex Tandem – $750 OBO
(Priced new at $2700; no longer in production)
We bought this bike new in 1998; it was our 25th wedding anniversary present to each other. I estimate we’ve put around 20,000 miles on it over the years, and we accumulated some wonderful memories as a result. But we bought a new tandem recumbent last year and this one is now just gathering dust.
This bike was designed and built by Dick Ryan, the man whom many consider to be the father of modern recumbents, and he definitely built the first commercial tandem ‘bents. Only 250 were made; I don’t know for sure but I think ours is about #200.
The steel-framed bike features underseat steering. It’s one of the safest, most comfortable bikes on the market, due to its long wheelbase, low center of gravity, relaxed seating position, and cool mesh seats. It has V-brakes front and rear, and the rear wheel is also outfitted with a drum brake that’s controlled by the stoker (the rider in the rear). The components are Deore XT.
The bike as pictured doesn’t have a front fender but I have one that I’ll throw into the deal if you think you’ll be riding on wet streets (not a huge problem in Midland, you know). The stoker also has a bike computer that’s included in the deal, and who can resist the cute pink beeper?
This bike is ideal for cruising the neighborhood, but it’s also comfortable and sturdy enough for all day rides (we did a couple of 75+ mile rides on it, as well as riding from Frisco, Colorado, over Vail Pass, down to Vail and then back in one day…one of the best – and toughest – rides of our lives). It has a 24-speed drivetrain and will handle hills just fine if you don’t mind spinning up them.
If you don’t like to ride bicycles due to strain on your neck and shoulders, or pressure points on your hands and rear, you’ll be delighted at how this bike solves those issues.
The downside to owning this bike is probably obvious: the challenge of transporting it. But we managed to haul it all over the country so it can be done.
Easy Racer “Black Gold” Gold Rush Replica Sold!
(New models available today starting at $3495)
My wife bought this bike for me in 1999 (I have a very, very nice wife!) and it’s been one of the best bicycles I’ve ever owned. It’s the only one of the bikes being offered that’s still being manufactured. The Black Gold is an aluminum-framed recumbent and its awkward name comes from the fact that it’s modeled after the version that Fast Freddy Markham used to become the first person to exceed 50 mph, then 60 mph, and finally 65 mph on a bicycle. And it is fast.
Components are top-notch (Shimano Deore XTR), with a 24-speed drivetrain, and the seat is even more comfortable than those on the Duplex, although the non-mesh bottom isn’t as cool in hot weather. The frame size is L, and according to this document on Easy Racers’ website, it will accommodate riders with x-seams ranging from 41.5″ to 45″.
The fairing is an optional add-on, and is pretty beat up. It doesn’t do much for the ride except in a headwind and intensifies road noise, but it’s easily removed without tools. But it looks cool.
Again, with its long wheelbase and stretched-out seating position, this bike is very safe and comfortable. However, it also has very quick handling – a characteristic of recumbents in general – so don’t expect to do any “look ma, no hands!” tricks…at least, not any successful ones.
This is a versatile bike – you can keep up with the club rides, or outfit it with touring gear and ride across the country.
BikeE RX – Free Gone!
(Originally priced at $1800; manufacturer is no longer in business)
We bought this bicycle for my wife in 2001, and it’s been ridden less than 200 miles since then, not because it’s not a good bike, but simply because she prefers to ride the tandem and isn’t interested in riding by herself.
If the preceding two bikes are examples of engineering prowess, the BikeE is the pinnacle of simplicity (but with a few cool design twists). You won’t find a simpler frame than the aluminum beam on the RX. This 27-speed bike has SRAM components, a carbon fiber headset extension, and a padded-bottom/mesh-back saddle. It also has a tunable rear air shocks, which is helpful due to the very short wheelbase and stiff frame. The bike comes with a high-pressure pump made especially for the shock, and also a custom-made resistance trainer that attaches to the back wheel if you want to use it as a stationary bike.
The BikeE is best used as a cruiser, for neighborhood rides. While some may find it comfortable for longer rides, I never did.
Important Safety Disclosure – Read carefully!
“So, why so cheap?” you may be asking. The simple answer is that there were two safety recalls issued for this bike, and neither of the issues have been addressed on our model. I don’t want to sell a potentially unsafe bicycle to someone else (and though we haven’t had any problems with it, we also haven’t ridden it that much, other than indoors as a stationary bike). If you’d like to take the bike as is, understanding the potential for risk, and either live with or try to fix the problems yourself, you’re welcome to take the bike. In any event, the parts and components might be worth something to a bike-tinkerer. The previous link does contain additional information about the source for parts to fix the two issues. I just don’t want to spend any time or money since we don’t plan to ever ride the bike.