Burley Design Cooperative Limbo Older Recumbent Bike

DESCRIPTION

Introduced in the Spring of 2000, the Burley Limbo¹s highly tuned riding position and steering geometry quickly earned praise for its excellent high and low speed handling. Featuring a heads-up position for better visibility, the Limbo¹s optimized seat-to-pedal relationship enables easy start-up, ideal ergonomic position and efficient power transfer. The versatile Limbo is winning high praise from cycling media and winning the hearts of seasoned ‹ and new ‹ recumbent riders all over the world. The supple and responsive RockShox coil-over rear suspension smoothes out bumps, reduces fatigue and makes greater distances more attainable. An all-aluminum, tilting and telescoping steering mast, together with the world¹s most adjustable seat designed in partnership with Mike Corbin, create a rider compartment that is easily fine-tuned to fit most body types. Using proven materials and high-quality conventional bicycle components, the "designed and built in the U.S.A." Burley Limbo is easily serviced at any professional bicycle shop.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-8 of 8  
[Sep 11, 2019]
Thorskettle


OVERALL
RATING
4
Strength:

Excellent bike overall. Mine lasted 17 years with only minor maintenance. Handles great. Rear suspension does a great job on bumpy roads. Mods: Fox air shock for the rear suspension. SRAM grip shifters, Shimano Deore XT 3x9 group set, Shimano crank set, Shimano PD M520 clipless pedals. Kenda high pressure road tires (100 psi).

Weakness:

I had to install an air shock to mitigate the "bobbing" while powering up hill along with the Shimano 3x9 group set (this was a recent addition). The new group set helped tremendously with hill climbing ability. (Note: it takes a lot of riding to get conditioned for hill climbing on a recumbent, and even then you are still at a mechanical disadvantage compared to conventional bikes, but your quads will actually be stronger!) After about 15 years of riding certain components of my Limbo began to fall apart. First thing was the seat frame had fatigued and formed cracks in the support gussets. My local welding shop was able to fix that. Then the skewers binding the seat mount to the adjustment rail snapped from fatigue over the years but that was no big deal except that I couldn't find the short skewers that came from Burley and had to retro fit longer skewers. Next, the rivets that held the seat rail began to pop out, I didn't notice until 4 of them popped towards the front and caused the rail to bend back along with the seat, I still had 20 miles to go to get home so I was able to hobble back using plastic ties to hold the rail down. I went to the hardware store, bought a rivet gun and rivets and was able to repair the rail myself satisfactorily. The last issue that finally forced me to retire my Limbo was the Fox air shock (does not come stock with the Limbo), I had the air shock installed to fix the "bobbing" issue with the stock spring shock, the air shock was a much better ride, The shock seal failed after 17 years of riding (to be expected - I'm satisfied with how long that shock lasted) but the shock failed when I still had about 10 miles to ride and the energy from the bumps in the road was no longer being attenuated and so the final straw was that the failed shock caused the rear swing arm to crack. Burley no longer manufactures recumbent bicycles and I've had no luck finding used bikes or parts so I just bought an HP Velotechnik Scorpion FX 26+, hopefully I will get as much use out of my HP Velo as I did with my Burley. Overall I loved riding my Burley Limbo and I will miss that bike!

Price Paid:
$2400
Purchased:
New  
Model Year:
2002
[Feb 11, 2019]
drettiray04


OVERALL
RATING
5
Strength:

The limbo has a balanced design, therefore, it is easy to learn how to ride it. When I first purchase my Limbo, with no recumbent experience, I was able to ride the bike (understeering configuration) without any assistance within minutes. given that it is a recumbent bike, the ride is comfortable, and smooth due to the heavy duty single shock system.

Weakness:

the only problem that I have had with this bike is the difficulty of maintaining speed during an uphill climb, due to the heaviness of the bike and the riders position, it is nearly impossible to maintain the momentum for longer than 3 minutes, without losing significant speed. to remediate that problem, I install a Mid-drive motor with torque sensitivity, which allows the rider to maintain pedal cadence during a prolong hill climbed.

Price Paid:
$700
Purchased:
Used  
Model Year:
2004
[Aug 27, 2003]
Eric
Road Racer

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Value, the Burley had an affordable price tag. Visibility, the higher seat position not only allows me a clear view of what is around, it allows others to see me. Comfort, this was the clear reason that I bought a Burley. Switching to a recumbent made me feel about as graceful as a hog on ice...until I rode the Burleys. They all seemed to make me feel more comfortable and secure, but the Limbo was by far the superior bike for comfort in the Burley line.

Weakness:

Same as all other recumbents, it sucks on long steep hills.

After years of riding my upright bike, I began to have more and more pain and numbness in my hands. So I had to find another option. The recumbent was the natural choice. The Burley Limbo was the clear winner among the many bents that I test rode, including many that cost a lot more $$$.

Similar Products Used:

Bike E, Rans, Vision, other Burleys, and a bunch of others that I test rode.

[Dec 30, 2000]
Anonymous
Recreational Rider

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

Well thought out design. I ride high enough that I'm not so worried about being used for traction by a Ford Explorer. 26-inch rear tire, so I can upgrade wheel and gearing.

Weakness:

Shimano SRAM 5.0 shifters are cheap and flimsy. Chain jumped off its idler pulley on the first ride, nicking my paint (and everything was adjusted correctly). Bike can easily be assembled incorrectly. Steering stem adjuster screws at the base of the stem are designed so that they cannot be tightened -- a really dumb mistake. Burley will get ninety-eight details perfect, but the remaining two details will be so screwy that you wonder how they got past prototype stage without being laughed out of the factory.

This is my first recumbent, but I did do a lot of research before choosing the Burley Limbo. I'm very happy with the design of this bike, so much so that I'm willing to put up with the bugs that need to be worked out. It's one of the few recumbent bikes I've seen that doesn't look like it was cobbled together in a garage. Even the best recumbent bikes sometimes look hokey, but I'm a bit snobby (sorry!) on the aesthetics of a machine. After a few hours of very awkward riding, I was in recumbent heaven.

My LBS (local bike shop) had this bike in stock for half a year before I bought it, and it was pretty torn up -- chipped decal, abraded seat-back, damaged pedal cage, etc., etc. Most importantly, they assembled the bike incorrectly, reversing the steering stem. It took me a lot of headscratching and poor shifting and wondering why all my cables were too short, but I finally figured out the mistakes and reassembled the bike correctly. In all fairness, I don't expect a bike shop to have assembled many of these bikes. They dropped the price a bit for the damage.

The seating position, somewhat higher than most recumbents (and therefore more visible) is great. The seat itself is brilliant in design, however the cushion will not stay adjusted, no matter how well it is tightened. I'll be modifying this. Setting up this bike takes some time, but it's well worth it.

Shimano Sora and SRAM 5.0 shifters are not of the quality I would like, but bikes have to be built to a price. I'll be upgrading them. Handlebar positions (close to the chest) are not all that comfortable. The steering stem has stop screw adjusters to limit travel forward and back, and they have hex nuts which sink into holes with so little tolerance that they can't be tightened with ANY of my $20K of hand tools. I'll have to custom-machine a workaround. Steering IS somewhat tiller-like, even thought Burley says it's not.

Bottom line: I don't ride my upright bike much anymore. Four chilis for value because all recumbents are expensive (that's what happens with small production runs). Four chilis overall because it's great but not perfect.

Similar Products Used:

A friend's recumbent, either an eBike or something similar for about seven hundred bucks.

[Jan 12, 2001]
Anonymous
Recreational Rider

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
Strength:

An almost infinitely adjustible seat that lets you adjust the seat base and back independantly. The handlebar set up allowed me to telescope and tilt to perfection. The bike was not as heavy as I thought it would be.

Weakness:

Stock grip shifters were a pain, requiring too much effort to click into gear. They felt (are?) cheap. Under heavy peddaling there was noticable "pogoing" from the rear shock - dialing it much tighter helped.

Great ergonomics, comfortable & predictable ride, but you won't like the shifters. I'm holding out for Burley's new Django.

Similar Products Used:

BikeE, Vision, Rans bikes

[Mar 29, 2001]
Anonymous
Recreational Rider

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

While am perfectly happy with my 2000 Rans Stratus, both my wife and I tested out the Limbo. I'm so sold on recumbents that I wanted my wife to purchase one as well. What we both enjoyed about the Limbo was its ride and its handling. We had limited time and space for a real test ride, but while we cruised up and down some city streets in Minneapolis, we noticed how well it steered and how comfortable it was. What may have sold us on its performance was the knowledge that it can be converted from a SWB model to a LWB in about a half hour. (Or less, if you're really handy). This is a feature which I think will sell the bike more so than its comfort factor. When we buy at next bike for her, it will probably be the Limbo. Recumbents are not only for older folks with certain health problems. I'm 58 and have a heart condition. I USED to have serious pain riding my uprights, I have NO pain on my recumbent. So, who should buy a recumbent? Anyone who wishes to ride a bike pain-free!

Weakness:

In the time we had, neither one of us noticed anything, with this exception. After a year and a half on my Rans, I do enjoy the handlebar position on it better than the Limbo. My wife did not comment on this.

The Burley Limbo is a most welcome addition to the recumbent ranks. I understand, two additional models have been introduced for 2001.

Similar Products Used:

Rans Stratus

[Feb 06, 2001]
Anonymous
Recreational Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

COMFORTABLE,FAST,VERSATILE AS YOU CAN CHANGE WHEELBASE FROM LONG TO SHORT AND COST-COMPARED TO OTHER BENTS SUCH AS VISION OR OPTIMA.GREAT SEAT-VERY ADJUSTABLE.THREE WATER BOTTLE CAGE PORTS(1 ON STEERING MAST,2 ON THE SEAT FRAME.
THE CRAFTSMANSHIP IS EXCELLENT,PAINT,FRAME WELDS ETC..

Weakness:

A LITTLE HEAVY AT 36 lbs,BUT NOT EXCESSIVE.SOME OF THE COMPONENTS COULD BE UPGRADED.THERE IS A BIT OF PEDAL OVERLAP WHERE YOUR FOOT CAN TOUCH THE FRONT WHEEL ON TIGHT TURNS(WHICH IS NOT UNCOMMON ON RECUMBENTS),BUT AFTER A FEW RIDES,YOU'LL KNOW THE TURNING RADIUS AND FORGET ABOUT THE OVERLAP.

THIS BIKE IS AWESOME.THE UPGRADES I'VE DONE WERE IMPROVEMENTS BUT NOT NECESSARY.THE LIMBO IS A BLAST TO RIDE.IT HANDLES GREAT AT JUST ABOUT ALL SPEEDS AND IT IS SO COMFORTABLE.THE ONLY PART OF YOUR BODY THAT GETS TIRED IS YOUR LEGS.THIS THING IS FAST AND THE ROCK SHOX DELUXE REAR SHOCK DOES A GREAT JOB OF SMOOTHING OUT THE HARSH NEW ENGLAND ROADS.
I'LL BE UPGRADING THE FRONT RIM AND THE CRANK(TO ULTEGRA)ONLY BECAUSE I LIKE TO TINKER AND SHED A LITTLE WEIGHT OFF THE BIKE.
IF YOUR LOOKING FOR A RECUMBENT,CHECK OUT THE BURLEY LIMBO BEFORE YOU BUY.YOU WON'T BE DISSAPOINTED.

Similar Products Used:

VISION 40

[Mar 11, 2001]
Anonymous
Commuter

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Well built-fit and finish are excellent. The seat is the most comfortable of them all and I tried them all. Having the option of a SWB or a LWB in one bike. Smooth ride. Excellent price compared to others.

Weakness:

The only problem I can find with the bike is "pogoing" from the rear shock climbing hills or hard pedaling. Tried all the adjustments but no improvement. Most of the other suspended bikes I have tried have the same problem, although this isn't a big problem.

This is a very well built bike and I highly recommend it. If comfort is your number one priority then this is the bike for you and with an added bonus of a very reasonable price tag.

Similar Products Used:

Vision VR54, Rans VRex Vivo Gliss Stratus, BikeE NX, Trek R200, Lightnign P38

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