eBent Recumbent Cycling

A Bent Look at Self Contained Touring


with 13 comments


I have been a long distance self-contained bicycle tourist since the eary 80’s. For the last 10 years I have spent most of my time riding recumbents. I currently own and ride:

1. Longbikes Slipstream – LWB USS Recumbent

2. Ryan Vanguard – LWB USS Recumbent

3. Bike Friday Sat-R Day – Folding USS Travel Recumbent

4. BikeE FX – Off Road OSS Recumbent

5. Giant Cross – What I ride when not riding a recumbent or the bike I lend friends when they visit.

6. Giant Mountain – The bike I ride when the weather turns cold and I feel like riding New Hampshire and Maine’s dirt roads.

I have a strong bias toward USS LWB Recumbents. I know they aren’t popular but I think they are the ideal touring bike. They are stable, pain free, reliable and give a great view of what is around you.

I live in New Hampshire and have riden most of Maine, New Hampshire, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Soctia, Newfoundland, and Labrador on a recumbent.

I have also ridden in France, Italy, Slovenia, Sardinia, Corsica, and Croatia. Sardinia is world class cycling and Croatia is world class touring.

Visit my website at e-Bent.com for more on my tours.

Enjoy the Ride … Roland


In my non-biking life, I was trained as an Electrical Engineer and did graduate work in Applied Statistics. I also got an MBA for fun. I spent 38 years developing new products for a major US Corporation. I now work as a consult for companies developing Revenue Meters, Tatnic Group.


Written by Roland

March 22, 2006 at 2:38 pm

13 Responses

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  1. We have a lot in common. I have been biking since 1981; got into recumbents about 10 years ago, bought a Linear LWB with USS, and loved it. Toured Miss. River valley, then cross country, then the East Coast Greenway (Maine to Key West) and lately around Lake Michigan. I now have a Longbikes Slipstream also. Please contact me.

    Myron Skott

    September 26, 2006 at 8:46 pm

  2. Myron and Roland,

    I couldn’t agree more about LWB USS recumbents. Comfortable…soaks up the roughness of roads…lots of room to carry equipment…very natural hand, arm and body position…ideal for touring. While researching which recumbent to buy for my style of riding, I have ridden several: SWB…CLWB…LWB…OSS…USS…also including delta and tadpole trikes. The Slipstream is in a class by itself. Greg Peek has recently announced they will be working on a new design for 2007…a delta trike resembling a Slipstream. Sounds very interesting for anyone with balance issues. You could crawl up mountain roads without fear of being all over the road trying to balance at low speed. I’m not so sure about flying downhill on a delta design though.



    September 26, 2006 at 9:53 pm

  3. Hello, love the information available. Vacationed in New Hampshire last year and loved everything about the great state, cannot wait to return. Have a EZ Sport ‘bent’ and just love it. This is my fourth year riding, and at 60 years young, am so thankful I have taken up the lifestyle. Also have a Cannondale that a friend ‘gave’ me. This bike was used in over 30,000 miles of touring by him. I also really like this bike as well (keep going to the bent though). Am planning on the purchase of a Tour Easy, as I have ridden one and the components of the Tour Easy far exceed the EZ Sport. (the EZ Sport is great for an entry level bike). Enough for now.
    Thank you, Andy

    Andrew Grace (Ohio)

    June 19, 2007 at 7:30 am

  4. Andy glad to hear you are having fun., that what recumbent riding is all about.

    The Tour Easy is a proven bike and one that you should enjoy riding. I have switch rides with Tour Easy Riders often and can verify that it is a solid ride.


    June 21, 2007 at 1:56 pm

  5. 7/9/07 Well, now I’ve gone and done it! Test rode a Longbikes, Slipstream this past weekend: first time for the USS; it was great: Loved it: now am going over the Pros and Cons of both bikes, the Tour Easy and the Longbikes Slipstream: Any and all information available from those willing to share will be greatly appreciated. Thank you for all your help…

    Andrew Grace (Ohio)

    July 9, 2007 at 5:15 pm

  6. Andrew

    You won’t go wrong with either bike. The Tour Easy is a proven design. I have ridden one several times and for me the issue is arm comfort.

    The big question is “Do you really want a loaded toring bike?” These bikes are big, heavy and very reliable. But the downside is that they are slow and not the best climbers. They aren’t the best bikes for zipping arouind town and short fast rides.

    I find USS more comfortable, but admit most riders prefer above seat steering. I think the transition to USS is harder for most riders and it takes some time to learn how to climb hills without using your arms.

    Pick the grearing appropriate for your riding. If you are planning self contained tours in the mountains, make sure you have Mountain Gearing. My current favorite is Shamanio XT. I won’t buy XTR again for a touring bike.

    As always pick the bike that appeals to your heart and don’t over analze it. That’s the bike that you will want to ride. Worst case is that you will change your mind later. But either way you will have a fine loaded touring bike.


    July 10, 2007 at 8:53 am

  7. How slow is the Slipstream, Roland? What is your average speed on a flat course with no tailwind or headwind? Over what distance? This would be when you are comfortably cruising and not pumping as if sprinting for a finish line. You have also done some major climbing with the Slipstream in Newfoundland and I’m sure in New Hampshire and Vermont. In the granny gear, how did you do on the Slipstream? Always interested in your comments. Happy riding.


    July 12, 2007 at 11:24 pm

  8. I hate to talk about how fast a bike is and usually try to discourage riders from buying a recumbent because of speed. Speed is much more a function of the engine than the bike for most riders. So most statments about speed don’t mean much.

    Riding a LWB Recumbent is much like riding a Tandem. Going downhill is the closest thing to riding a Luge in North America and they climb slowly. On the flats or slow rolls they can be very fast. Add a windshild and there are only a few Diamond Frame Riders that can stay with you if you have your Recumbent Legs.

    But load any bike up for Self Contained Touring and you will want to see your speed in Km/hr instead of Miles/hr.

    I beleive that The Slipstream is a little faster than a Ryan or a Tour Easy for most riders. These are all very heavy but sturdy bikes. But I find the lower seat and higher BB of the Slipstream more efficient than the older Ryan and Tour Easy Designs (Easy Racers has other bike that are lighter and faster). Most riders will feel that they are faster on hills with above seat steering. I am not sure if their is a significant difference when Touring once you adjust to USS. I haven’t had any problem riding with other Recumbents.

    I have riden quite a few Group Tours in the Hills of Maine and New Hampshire and used to be as fast as the fastest Diamond Frame Riders. After 60 I have definitely slowed down.

    When I first got my Recumbent Legs, I used to play a game in Tours. I would ride with the folks who said “Recumbents can’t climb” or “Why would you ride that” and start by matching their speed. Then as we talked I would gradually bring the speed up until they couldn’t talk and and had to stop for a break. They were usually pretty embarrassed at that point. It is amazing how quickly a Rider will tire by just bringing the speed up a few MPH above their comfort point.


    July 13, 2007 at 5:18 am

  9. Hello Again; Went and purchased a Tour Easy last weekend, it is used but has been used very little; will need to do a Tune-Up to it etc and then ride, ride, ride; (planned on this anyway); look forward to seeing you ‘on the road’.

    Andrew Grace (Ohio)

    August 6, 2007 at 4:42 pm

  10. 🙂


    March 4, 2008 at 5:38 am

  11. Hey Roland!

    I’ve visited your blog a few times and I wanted to contact you since your a bicycle touring fan like myself.

    I run the website at http://www.bicycletouringpro.com... and this week I am doing an interview with a German cookbook author about cooking while traveling by bike. We’re going to be talking about the different types of stoves and fuels… and a bunch of other cooking related issues.

    I thought that you might be interested in hearing the interview… and maybe your site’s readers would be interested in hearing the interview as well? It’s free… and it should be good!

    So if this sounds like something you or your readers might be interested in, please go to this page:
    http://www.bicycletouringpro.com/audio/cookingwithberndandbarbie/call.htm and request to be included in the call. All the details will be sent to you immediately.

    It’s going to be a good interview, so I hope you’ll check it out!

    Thanks for your time… and keep up the good work! Please email me if you have any questions.

    Darren Alff

    Darren Alff

    April 8, 2008 at 7:01 pm

  12. Hello Roland,

    As an active contributor among the Canadian cycling community
    via your excellent blog. Montreal Bike Fest would like to invite you personally to join its Facebook Fan Page, which kicks off the summer festival season in the city:


    For this edition Bike Fest created a Facebook Fan Page where people can exchange with other cycling enthusiasts, get exclusive info and updates about the event, but also participate to a very cool contest:

    Queen’s Bicycle Race Video Remake contest:


    For winning VIP tickets to the Tour de l’Ile de Montreal June 1st:


    For years now, the Tour de l’Ile de Montreal give us a unique opportunity to make the city breathe easier but mainly and foremost a great occasion to enjoy our passion for cycling.

    Will be happy to see you there !

    And thanks for spreading the word.

    Cheers !

    P.S: Roland are you cool if we link to your blog in our Fan Page ?


    May 23, 2008 at 9:57 am

  13. Thanks for the kind words and links are always appreciated.



    May 23, 2008 at 12:18 pm

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