On the waning popularity of 2 wheel recumbents;
Initially, recumbents solved comfort problems that have plagued upright riders. Than two events happened in the market place at about the same time to dethrone recumbents as the answer.
First, upright manufacturers came out with more relaxed frames. Now upright bikes have become comfortable to ride. (Once you break in your sit bones.)
Secondly, as discussed, trikes came along and are a better answer in many cases to the problems that two-wheel recumbents used to solve.
Another problem is that the best recumbents, the high-racers, are not suited-fit-wise for a majority of riders in this country. It is helpful to be tall or at least have long legs. Now I'm 5'5" but I convert all my Bachettas to underseat steering, so have no problem with my height. It is easy to pull yourself upright, feet firmly planted on the ground at a stop with USS. (Would it really be too much for Bachetta to add another head tube on one of their models to facilitate USS?)
Perhaps Bachetta needs to offer an S-frame for shorter riders who want the efficiency of the 700 wheels. I own a couple of, s-frame, Serian SL II's, USS and they do not take a back seat to anything that Bachetta offers. (I actually converted them from 650's to 700's.)
I live in an area where adults frequently ride bicycles and it is considered a normal activity for adults. Now what is troubling is that many riders in this area have tried recumbents and found them lacking. Almost everyone has gone back to uprights.
I asked one fellow today who rode a Bachetta Corsa for about a year why he went back to uprights. First, he said, it was a back ailment that caused him to purchase a Bachetta in the first place. After that he told me that even though he rode the Corsa more days than not for over a year, he never got used to the unsteady feeling he had while riding the Corsa in slow traffic. He never liked the hills on his recumbent but had special dislike for trying to start on a hill. Anyway, he can afford to ride whatever he likes and said that he just prefers uprights.
In summation, I do not believe that there is a slam-dunk answer to improve declining sales. Selling to kids or making USS recumbents are not likely to do more than create additional niche markets.
post edited by bentman1953 - 2017/05/21 18:37:07