Posted by Jim Strasma on February 23, 2013
"The BikeE is the same size as a conventional bike, but most riders can easily sit on the seat with feet planted flat on the ground. The controls are well thought out and a no-brainerto use, the bike is light enough to lift onto a car rack and most will enjoyBikeE's somewhat futuristic look."
The $895 original BikeE was initially designed and built in the fall of 1992 by four bicycle commuters at Richard Rau's Pedalcraft, located between Corvallis and Philomath on the coast of Oregon. Its most noticeable feature is its hollow 6005-T5 "box" aluminum main tube.
The seat slides on top of tracks in the maintube, easily-adjustable fore or aft via two quick releases. The seat frame is chro-moly, and the seat itself is foam, covered by Darlexx (like a water-resistant Lycra.) Its angle is not adjustable. There was only one size, expected to fit anyone from 4 foot 10 inches to 6 foot 1 inches in height.
The drive train was an 8 speed Suntour, using XC Twist Grips index shifters. The initial gear inch range was from 37 to 94, suitable for casual and recreational rides. An optional second chain ring for $120 extended the gear inch range to 29 at the low end. Wheels were 20 inch in back and 16 inch in front. Advertised weight was 32 pounds.
"The BikeE really shines for commuting, city riding, and even quit country roads on varied pavement. The high seating position makes the BikeE easy to see and be seen in traffic and the compact wheelbase makes it agile--this could be the ultimate recumbent city-bike."
"A big plus is that it can be moved along at quite a rapid clip without even using the pedals. I just sat on the seat and started running. In fact, since the handlebars are at the balance point of the bike, I could stand, lift the bike without taking my hands from the handlebars, spin 180 degrees, and take off running in the opposite direction!"
BikeE later introduced the Taiwan-built "CT" in 1999, which sold like hotcakes at $650. Sadly, the rapid growth and a later recall for defective seat mounts doomed the company, though Amlings still has BikeE models in stock as consignment bikes. (Personal note: I have a BikeE-RX myself, a full-suspension 24 speed model reviewed as "one of BikeE's last models and my all time favorite CLWB.")
(Source: Recumbent Cycling News)