Bella- The Transportable Long Wheelbase Recumbent
One common complaint with a LWB recumbent, is transportability. After all, they are quite a bit longer than a SWB recumbent. But who says you cannot at least make a go at it? Let’s face it, these days a ton of people are driving vans, trucks w/toppers or SUV’s and want their bike inside. And although this article may not work for everyone, it will at least give you some numbers to work with and show you the possibilities.
Note: this is a stock bike, with no fancy aftermarket quick release gadgets attached.Below is the Bella, built up and ready to ride. For the sake of this article, let’s say it’s a short frame, which is 4″ shorter than the large frame. As is, it sits at about 88″ wheel tip to wheel tip and stands around 42″ high at the top of the seat back. That’s a pretty good sized bike to transport. But because of our B-Pivot adjustable stem and easy to remove seat- due to our improved seat clamp that came out this year and is stock on our bikes– we can take quite a bit of length and height out of the equation and do it in record time. All it takes is to loosen off the seat bottom and pull it forward, remove the front wheel and spin the h-bars around and lay them down. A visual example is below. In the ready to transport version, this bike has a length of 73″ and a height to the top of the handlebars (highest point) of 32″. That means we’ve eliminated 15″ off the length and, 10″ from the height. We could probably get rid of another 6-10″, by rotating the handlebars down, but I wanted the re-assembly to be as smooth as possible, by not having to waste time finding your old h-bar position. Now for the big question: how long did this take? At an extremely casual pace, this took me 42 seconds! The only tool I used, was a long handled, 5mm allen wrench. And if you wanted to completely remove the seat, for transporting on a roof rack, it would probably take you another 5-10 seconds, depending on if you have pull pins or velo clamps. Yet, you’re seat bottom position will always remain the same, due to our seat clamp design. Simple, right? So what about re-assembly? That must have taken a bit more time. It did. It took me 68 seconds to re-assemble it to the ready to ride setup, including forgetting to put in the front wheel first (highly recommended). If you completely removed the seat and needed to re-install, maybe add 20-30 seconds to this time. Either way, you’re at less than 1 minute to get it broken down and way less than 2 minutes, to set it back up. Below are those numbers again. Small/Large Bella (ready to ride, wheel tip to wheel tip): 88″/94″ Small/Large Bella (ready for transport wheel tip to fork tip): 73″ long, 32″ high/77″ long, 32″ high Time to dis-assmble: 42 seconds (right at a minute, if you remove the seat) Time to re-assemble: 68 seconds (around 1 minute 45 seconds if you need to add the seat) So there you have it, a LWB recumbent that rides great, has the best component package compared to price and is easy to transport. Enjoy!