You are here

This just in

Day-6 semi-recumbent / forward crank bikes back in stock soon

Day-6 semi-recumbent bikes will be in stock again soon. Production delays have made Day-6 bikes a limited-availability commodity for the past two months, but the wait is almost over.

AlphaBENT expects a new shipment of Day-6 forward crank bikes on Friday, July 28, 2017, but it's not clear how long they will last.

Some customers have been waiting two months, and other potential buyers have had to exercise their patience waiting for the delays to end.

Full stock of Dream-24, Dream-8, and Samson Day-6 bikes will be ready for a test-ride soon.

More information...

Summer travel issue: Recumbent Tandem Rider magazine hits shelves

The 2017 summer travel issue of Recumbent Tandem Rider Magazine is finally in print and on the shelves at recumbent stores across the U.S.

This issue features

  • a thrilling tale of cycling in the Argentine Andes from Mendoza, past one of the tallest mountains (Aconcagua) in the world and on many tall mountain roads on a RANS Screamer tandem recumbent bike.
  • a side-by-side comparisons of the Azub Six and the HP Velotechnik StreetMachine GTE by two recumbent travel adventurers
  • recumbent-friendly trails and roads at Lake Almanor in California just up the road from AlphaBENT's warehouse location in Chico, CA.

The current issue is FREE and available at fine recumbent shops like AlphaBENT.

More information...

Time ticking against Azub price increases

In an unconventional move, Azub is raising prices in mid-season.

On Monday 15 May 2017, Azub prices will increase by 2-5%. 

Full-service shops like AlphaBENT are taking last-minute orders through the weekend of 5/13-14 of 2017. Some Azub trikes like a full-suspension Ti-FLY with Pinion 18-speed transmission can be quite expensive, so a 5% discount is a significant difference.

Of all the recumbent trike manufacturers, Azub is the only one offering Pinion transmissions.

Azub has also announced a new configurator to help buyers customize configurations and place orders through top dealers like AlphaBENT with a minimum of hassle.

More information...

Recumbent Tandem Rider Magazine goes online

Recumbent Tandem Rider (RTR) Magazine has been covering the recumbent industry these last many years since the beginning -- and now, for the first time, the print copy of RTR magazine is available online.

RTR magazine publisher, Charles Coyne, is a constant shadow monitoring the comings and goings in the recumbent industry. He has also taken the initiative of creating the Recumbent CycleCon (the industry's only trade show in the United States).

As regularly as clockwork, stacks of RTR magazines have arrived in leading recumbent dealer shops like AlphaBENT. These unique magazines have been a key source of product information, reviews, and adventures dealing exclusively with recumbents and tandems.

Recumbent Tandem Rider Magazine will continue to be available in its print version and physical copies of the latest issue can be picked up for free wherever they were available before. But, now, the exact same magazine can be viewed online at RTRmag.com

More information...

Recumbent trike racks 1/2 off

[Disclaimer: This item was posted on April Fools Day, 2017. It is not to be taken seriously, though, perhaps, half-seriously. The rack and the trike are real and not Photoshopped. The trike is a Terratrike (perhaps an older Tour) and the rack is based on HP Velotechnik design.]

Today only, AlphaBENT is selling recumbent trike racks that are half off.

These racks are for trike owners who know that "less is more".

They are specially designed for non-touring trike-riders who have half a mind to take something with them, but aren't quite sure. The novel design leaves one side available for mounting dynamos and other accessories.

Manufacturers benefit from the 1/2-off concept by only having to design half of the rack and production is half as fast.

The first partial prototypes are in and AlphaBENT is selling them to test the market.

The new concept ushers in an era of fractional sales of fractional goods in the Fractional Economy.

Adherents of the Fractional Economy Concept say the economy gets a strong stimulation because recumbent trike buyers can purchase their trikes as they can afford to.

"I can see a day coming when people will buy 60% of a trike one month and then buy 15% more when their next paycheck comes in.", said AlphaBENT owner, Hugh Kern, "I'm only partially sure that this is going to take off. A lot of people have been telling me that this is a half-a__ed idea, but, I decided to just run with it."

More information...

Eon green back in Catrike color lineup

Catrike has resolved its production issues for the eon-green color and is now producing recumbent trikes in this color again.

One of the few manufactures doing its own in-house frame production and powder-coating, Catrike has extraordinary flexibilty in producing different colors and in shaking up its color lineup. However, the dark side of this is that when some sort of production or supply glitch hits, a popular color like eon-green can simply disappear overnight.

This is what happened to eon green in October 2016, and it took some months for the issues to get resolved.

For now, eon green is available again on all Catrike recumbent trikes.

More information...

Catrike discontinues Hyper-yellow and Eon-green recumbent colors

Catrike has discontinued its popular Hyper-yellow and Eon-green colors due to supply issues with the green powder-coating ingredient used in both colors.

Because Catrike builds and powdercoats its own frames in-house, they have tremendous flexibility in making production changes on the fly. They also enjoy experimenting with powder combinations to make unique colors.

Hyper-yellow and Eon-green were the result of this experimentation and both relied on the same green ingredient component. However, late in 2016, there was a glitch in the supply of this green powder.

Now, the few remaining new Eon-green and Hyper-yellow Catrikes will be the last ones.

Other manufacturers using standard European RAL colors can produce a hyper-yellow equivalent by using an RAL equivalent.

(Note: some day-glo / flourescent-style colors can have long-term fading from exposure to the sun.)

More information...

Electric recumbent trike: HP Velotechnik implements Shimano STEPS

HP Velotechnik offers electric recumbent trike options for most trikes models using Shimano STEPS motor system.

Shimano has entered the e-bike market with its STEPS motor system, and HP has adapted this system to most of its recumbent trike models.

Unlike many other electric-assist systems that use a rear-hub-based motor system, the Shimano STEPS system uses a motor incorporated with the pedaling system and a conventional rear hub drivetrain.

One implication is that conventional rear wheels can be used and that no attention needs to be paid to the torque-arms and torque-blockers that are integral with Bionx, Neodrive, and GoSwiss hub-motor systems. But, another implication is that attention does need to be paid to preventing the motor from putting excess force on the gearing system while it is shifting.

Shimano and HP solve this problem by putting the latest electronic shifting system which incorporates directly with the motor system. This shifting system is very easy to use as it involves electric buttons rather than mechanical cable pulling. It also changes the game for many shifting issues that can develop with conventional systems. Furthermore automatic shifting becomes a real option.

Electric motor is integrated with the pedaling systemOne of the key drawbacks of Shimano's approach is that it requires a redesign of the bike frame for conventional bicycles to accommodate the motor system instead of a conventional bottom bracket. However, because recumbent trikes use a boom system where the bottom bracket and cranks are at the end of what is essentially a long tube, all it takes to adapt this system to a recumbent trike is to design a Shimano-STEPS-compatible boom, and the capability becomes instantly available throughout the entire trike product line. This is what HP Velotechnik has done.

Shimano STEPS batteryThe Shimano STEPS system has a high capacity 418Wh capacity battery. This is not so high as the largest capacity 558 Wh batteries from Bionx and BMZ, but it is plenty sufficient for most daily cycling needs. The battery is rated for at least 1,000 charge cycles and weighs 2.6 kg.

For 2017, HP makes the Shimano STEPS electric recumbent trike system available on all of its trike models including the:

More information...

Catrike Dumont arrives for Thanksgiving triking

Catrike is finally shipping their first Dumon full-suspension folding recumbent trikes.

Just in time for Thanksgiving, the first Dumont has arrived, and we are very Thankful!

AlphaBENT will be open Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, and building up the Dumont and getting it ready for test rides is a TOP Priority.

We'll post pictures and test rides will be possible as soon as it is built up.

More information...

High-tech rim tape saves weight / fingers

Rim tape is an invisible partner to all recumbent trike and bike riders. Rim tape protects the inner tube from sharp hole edges on double-wall rims and spoke-ends on singlewall rims.

On double-wall rims, the rim tape has to withstand extremely high forces, particularly with higher-pressure tires. In addition, its adhesive must resist migration and yet be easily removable when necessary in the future, even years after it was first installed.

Traditional rim tapes dominate in the bicycle industry, and these tapes employ thick woven fabric for their protective qualities. However, the thickness of the tape actually makes the rim well larger and hence makes tire changes more difficult. On the smaller recumbent wheels, this increase in the interior rim diameter is a significant factor causing headaches (and sometimes pinched fingers) for recumbent riders who have to remove their tires and fix their tubes. In addition, the additional weight of the thick cloth is unnecessary and wastes rider energy each time the wheel accelerates.

We have been experimenting with a new high-tech rim tape that uses a super-strength polyester film with amazing rigidity characteristics to keep it from stretching or puncturing under the high-pressure conditions on the inside surface of a bicycle wheel rim. Furthermore, it uses a silicone-based adhesive that has a perfect quality of staying in place while still allowing the tape to be easily peeled off years later.

Three years ago, we installed the tape on our own bicycles and field-tested it ourselves. The results were so good that two years ago we started building all double-walled wheels at AlphaBENT with this tape.

When we had the occasion to rebuild one of these early wheels for very different reasons, we got to see how this new rim tape has been working in regular real-world application for the past two years. The results are an absolutely amazing. The tape shows no degradation, even where it has been pressed at high pressure against the sharp interior edges of the rim continuously since it was first installed. There has been no migration of the tape, and when we peeled it off, it came off readily making our job of rebuilding the wheel easier.

Here are some pictures of the tape before we removed it from the rim.

More information...

Cool riding Ventisit cushion relieves Terratrike seat hotspots

Terratrike owners sometimes find that the front corners of the seats are hotspots that chafe their legs as they ride. Additionally, the relatively dense weave of the seat covers on Terratrike Rambler and Rover models keep rider sweat from evaporating readily.

We have found a Ventisit seatpad that provides relief to Terratrike riders by resolving both issues at once. The pad extends for the full width of the seat and smooths out the front hotspots.

Made of high-tech material, the Ventisit pad provides improved air circulation behind and under the rider. The pad is available in standard and extra-thick and will raise the rider's effective seat-height by 20-30mm.

More information...

Bike Show 2016

HP Velotechnik Scorpion suspension recumbent trike redesigned for 2017

HP Velotechnik has announced a changeup to the Scorpion model line of suspension recumbent tricycles. After twelve (12) years in production, the original Scorpion model will be retired.

For 2017, the Scorpion model is getting a redesign to have a 26" drivetrain, and is targetted at the "comfort race-trike" market -- people who want to go fast, but prefer not to have the bone-jarring effects of non-suspension trikes.

HP Velotechnik has designed its No-Squat suspension to minimize pogo and energy losses due to pedalling activation of the rear suspension.

Large drivewheels give recumbent trikes good handling characteristics and efficiency. The original Scorpion model was the first recumbent trike produced by HP Velotechnik and its design principles have flowed into every HP recumbent trike produced.

However, the 20" drivewheel has held it back in an older recumbent era. The new Scorpion uses a 26" drivewheel, but toes the line of the original Scorpion's non-folding philosophy. Although foldability is useful for many situations, many recumbent trike owners refrain from folding their trikes if they don't have to, simply due to the extra steps and the possibility of added wear and tear on the trike. In addition, hinges and foldability add cost and weight, so eliminating that keeps the design simpler provided that the folding capability is not needed.

A preliminary look suggests that there might be enough room in the rear fork to accommodate a larger 700c racing wheel, but this is not yet confirmed.

The new Scorpion should be available by the end of 2016 in a metallic blue or grey color though HP offers custom color upgrades for most RAL colors.

A full range of options including a variety of electric-assists will be available for the newly redesigned Scorpion.

More information...

Pages